I Was Thinking About Something Else

That pretty much sums up my life nowadays. I will be doing something, walking into a room or driving, and I will go askew. Someone will inevitably ask at that same moment, "What are you doing?". Which will confuse me and I can only respond, "Yeah, well...I was thinking about something else".

(formerly A Connecticut Yankee)

Location: Connecticut, United States

People you should read

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Rarely Asked Questions (RAQs) -as shamelessly stolen from Zoot

1.What is the "theme" on your calendar this year? Jump the Shark. Describes the point at which a tv show turns ridiculous, and therefore, no longer watchable.
2. Do you read the newspaper every day? Not since the ‘80’s.
3. What kind of shoes are you wearing right now? Ten inch stilettos with…oh, wait…I’m a guy, I don’t know what kind of shoes they are. They're just shoes.
4. What magazines do you subscribe too? None, nada, negatory
5. What is your favorite condiment? Sugar
6. What was the first occupation you remember wanting to have? Actor
7. Are you a green thumb? I’m more of a maintainer. Pull weeds and such
8. Did you have an imaginary friend when you were little? Is this question intentionally past tense.
9. Do you floss regularly? Yeah, as if. It's when I get a chance or remember.
10. If you could still hang posters of celebrities on your walls and get away with it like when you were 12, who would be on your walls right now? Ashley Judd, Melissa Etheridge
11. Do you keep shoe boxes or throw them away? Used to keep‘em, now I toss‘em
12. Would you be embarassed if someone looked under your bed? Good Luck getting under there! Ha.
13. If you could be one character in book, who would you be? Augustus McCray in Lonesome Dove
14. What do you sleep in? Modesty around the kids in addition to not wishing to frighten them prohibits my preference
15. What is your favorite word? Chuckle. It is irresistible. Because you have to chuckle when you read it (just like you did just now) or hear it because it sounds funny.

Deep Breath...exhale...here we go!

It’s only been a couple of weeks but it feels like forever. I’ve wanted to comment on other blogs, but I had to think, well if I have time to comment then I should be able to put something together myself. But actually I haven’t. While I was away in Chicago yes life went on back in Connecticut, but at work, and I know it only looks this way to me because it just affects me, but it does seem like work did stop while I was gone and I’ve been doing catch-up since getting back. Mighty worth it though. I’d do it all again for Chicago. And a trip note. My wife and I do the same job in two different buildings of the same place, so we attend the conference at the behest of our fearless leaders. This is cool because for us it’s a vacation, really, no kidding.

The day before we left: The kids were bundled up and off to the grandmothers, the dog was bundled up and off to the kennel. Sidenote: the dog LOVES the kennel and it really is a nice family run business and they take good care of him whenever he’s dumped there (Thanksgiving for instance), as we approach the place he goes nuts, ready to see all his dog buddies or something.

The day we go: We just make the plane (9ish or so A.M. flight). The flight from Hartford, CT, to Chicago, IL, got into the windy city (because of some huge tail windy) like a full half an hour early and the tone for the trip was set right there. It’s going to be awesome. We have been here before so we’re not fumbling around as much trying to figure the basics like transportation, etc. So we’re into Chicago at 10:30 am, even more time to enjoy the city, very, very cool. Our conference stuff isn’t until the next morning, so it’s time to play! We drop our stuff at the hotel, too early to check-in, and we find out our room is not the upper floor room with the king-size bed as requested, but the ground floor with two doubles (boo, hiss). We balk a little at Hotel Desk Trainee Katrina (no relation to the Trump Apprentice Katrina) and head out to embrace Chicago.

Transportation…not a problem. Very cool train system circumnavigates the city. For a buck and a quarter you can go anywhere in the city. Free trolleys will take you to the bigger places too. Cool. So we check out the Shedd Aquarium. Initial thought, whoa, this is very expensive, but as it turned out, well worth it. This one exhibit though, the person that works there announces as we approach, “You’re now in the Philippines!”, to this I had to laugh (chuckle, if you will) because I lived there for three years and this didn’t look anything like the real life Philippines. But hey, the penguins and otters were funny as they always are.

Scoped the city a bit more and then headed back to the hotel. Lo and behold the now experienced desk clerk in front of us did have the room we wanted (woohoo) so it was off to the room with a view. I love the view of big cities at night from on high when there all lit up. We grabbed some foodage ( I had beef at every meal because let’s be honest, it’s Chicago – sorry to all you bleeding heart vegetarians). A variety of beers were always near as well. A decent amount of sampling went on throughout the trip.

Next day, conference stuff. Actually wasn’t boring although it could have easily gone the other way. That night was Chicago pizza (meat on it, of course). More beer (of particular note was an oatmeal stout, tasty…mighty tasty). Caught the Apprentice finale. Ditka’s Restaurant was all over the news because Bill’s sister and friend’s were there. It was amazing.
Conference stuff, blah blah. Big reception buffet dinner. Open bar. Dancing. Open bar. And of course the open bar!

Conference stuff, blah blah. Then into Chicago! Others told us that this place called the Navy Pier was cool so we decided to check it out. It turned out to be this pier that juts out into Lake Michigan for what seems like a half a mile. And it’s a big marketplace/Atlantic City Boardwalk combination, which yes, did turn out to be cool. We were able to note behaviors of Midwesterner’s on this occasion and apparently in lieu of other activities they like to dress up in formal clothes and have formal dinners and proms in a group setting. What do I mean? Well along the pier there were several yachts moored. And teens and such were lined up to get on them all dressed up. Bear in mind they had to walk from where they parked and now you’re talkin’ a bitchin’ long way in formal attire no matter which yacht you’re heading for. But I guess if you’re in Chicago, that’s what you do. Then at the end of the pier was the building that was some kind of Navy depot in the beginning, but was now…a formal ballroom! So folks in their tuxes and evening gowns trucked the half-mile to get to this ballroom. Actually, it seemed a bit more than I would be willing to do, but then I’m not from Chicago. Had a Chicago-style hotdog grabbed a couple of pizzas for the road and back to the hotel, souvenirs in tow.

Leisurely flight back to Ct the next morning, picked up the weasely dog, the weasely kids, and home sweet home.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

A Faux Entry

I'm calling this a faux entry because nothing of any real substance is going to come out of it. It is merely a bridge to the real entry coming to a computer screen near you soon.

I just wanted to get a couple of housekeeping details out of the way. I've been back a couple of days from Chicago. Chicaqo was (I'm getting a little misty) awesome. Saw a few sights, consumed alcoholic beverages in interesting places, did have time to see the Apprentice Finale (quick thought - what would it be like to be IN Chicago when Bill won...don't hate me because I was! ha ha)

Anyway, this is just a short web boxstuffer to say thanks to those who wrote. I haven't had time to comment on other blogs let alone write on my own, but to be sure I got some comments to hand out.(quick thought - It drives me nuts when I read in somebody's (not any of you people, gentle readers) blog that they'll write what they want and they don't care what anybody thinks!...Well then, why'd you put a fuckin' comments box on your blog ya moron...But, I digress)

Must stop now more work to catch up on...will be back shortly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Out of the Office. Back in Five...

days! Ha. I'm going to Chicago, woohoo! Won't be posting, but will be reading, so everyone keep up the good work! Zoot, something must be said about you and your drunk easter bunnies, but the hour is late and....oh, everyone just go read it.

Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to regale all of you with outstanding Chicago adventures, eateries, and oh, I love them bars!

Friday, April 09, 2004

The Songs on the Radio

About a week ago I did a post that incorporated a short quiz consisting of twelve questions having to with what songs inspire you, get you to dance, etc. And there was one question in particular: Name a song that ignites a specific memory. I thought, how could limit yourself like that. Just driving along the road and listening to the radio you’ll hear song after song that reminds you of people, places and things you’ve come to know over the course of a lifetime.

Also, for me, the radio itself plays a huge part for me in terms of memory. I love hearing those songs that evoke special memories when there played on the radio especially because then it feels like a shared experience with anyone else that’s listening at the same time. Even though I don’t know who else is listening, to me it’s cool that they might be thinking about some fond memory as well, and reliving the enjoyment of a particular moment in time in which that song played a part.

I had an experience that I refer to as my music video moment. About 3 or 4 years ago on a sunny summer day around noontime I was driving in a suburban neighborhood in Connecticut heading towards the beach of Long Island Sound when I came to a four-way intersection. A car approached from the opposite direction and we came to stop at the same time. A young woman was driving. I made her out to be probably 25-30 years old and she was crying. Both hands on the wheel and she was crying. Not sobbing, but obviously upset about something. The song that had been, and was now playing on the radio while we were at our respective stop signs was Bruce Hornsby’s “The way it is”. The moment to me was profound. Here was this person in pain. I didn’t know her. I was never going to know what happened in her life to bring her to this point. We would in a moment part ways, she would go on, and I would be left with this memory of a sunny day where I saw sadness, and a song telling me at the right moment that’s the way it is, you’re never gonna know about everything going on around you, and life goes on. I think of it as a video moment because with the song playing in the background on the radio, this wordless little scenario played out just like a music video.

I’m looking at what I’ve written so far and I see that I haven’t touched on songs you associate with specific points in time. I got a butt load of them. I was in Korea for the first six months of my son’s life. I was then transferred from Korea to Spokane, WA, so I had to bundle up my wife and brand new six-month-old boy and drive from Boston, where they were, to Spokane. At a gas station in Wyoming at early evening, Mike and the Mechanics “The Living Years” came on the radio for the first time that I heard. My dad had passed on in the late ‘70’s so he would never know his grandkids, but I got this feeling that, like in the song, there were things that my dad did that were now passing through me and onto my son. It was a cool feeling.

The songs associated with sadness are the toughest. One of my cousin’s had a beautiful full of life young teenage daughter that was taken from us in a swimming accident and at the funeral was played Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young”. Now this is all that song will ever mean to me. I have to mention here that when my wife and I drove from the gathering after the funeral to our house, as it was a hot day we saw some of the neighbor kids ranging in age from 3-4 years old out on a front lawn running buck-naked, arms flailing, laughing and screaming, through the water sprinkler. It was a moment we needed.

The contrast between those two events was amazing, but like the song said, it’s the way it is.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

At 9 o'clock it's news, at 10 o'clock it's history

As I post this the Apprentice is on and I can't watch it. (My devoted wife and beloved children are taping it for me) I am working until 2 AM and won't be able to watch it until then. Media blackout for me. Which is really hard because constantly surf regular sites and I don't want to find out by accident who got axed before I see the show.AAAARGH.

Just Have to Say Something...

The Apprentice - Although I could easily do 30-40 hours a week of TV if given the chance, I have but one show that I prove loyal to. Of course, that would be the Apprentice (Thursday's 9pm est on NBC). I believe in the pit of my black, black heart that Bill and Kwame (finally Kwame RIP) are going to get axed, leaving Nick and Amy. Somehow Troy figures into this. Don't know how but I'm sure it's ratings driven.
As for the show itself, it's all about ratings. Omarosa = ratings gold (but a personal nightmare). Troy, although ethically challenged at times, made a heroic effort, and was rewarded accordingly until the end, and I've said it before Troy bowed out more gracefully than anyone else so far. So why bring back Troy? The remaining four are to boring to keep us riveted? No, that can't be it. (I hope!)
On a sidenote; Kwame and Troy really look like they've forged a friendship and kept it separate from business. I saw Troy on Leno where he said, and I agree, if he (Troy) had taken Bill into the Boardroom instead of Kwame, Donald would have fired him (Troy) for that alone. Troy = shrewd businessman.
Personally, I pull for Nick ('course now, having said that, he'll be fired tonight making me look like a real chucklehead) mostly for showing great leadership qualities, allowing others to step up when he saw they had a better grasp on an aspect of the task, gave credit where it was due. Showed true strength of character giving back the money on the handsome cab advertising thing. Making the unilateral decision during the art deal without really pissing people off, was dfinite brownie points.
It just came to me that my kids were watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the other day and now that I think about it, Nick kinda looks like a grown up Charlie Bucket. Good Luck Nick.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Steak & Stupid

Years ago I had a friend named Bob Powers. Didn’t really know him for very long, little over a year, but for that time we were kindred spirits. At the time we were both electronic technicians in shops that were close to each other.
I don’t really remember how it came to pass that we started our Friday ritual but nevertheless we did. Actually, let me take a moment to clarify some things. Bob and I were Air Force. The locale was Clark Air Base in the P.I. (Philippine Islands) in the early ‘80’s. Side note: I didn’t see a lot of the videos that MTV showed until the mid ‘80’s because of being out of country. But…I digress. When not busy doing Air Force work, there were pretty much but two activities (you can also count as an incredibly distant third activity: going to the movies on base). And those activities in order of preference were drinking and the other as it turns out was not drinking.
Bob and I worked out this deal where on Friday’s after work we’d motor on over to the base commissary (military grocery store) on our motorcycles and purchase 1 ½ inch thick steaks. We would then transport them to Bob’s house off base and then marinate them and barbecue them. This is where the actual ritual would begin. We would take the steaks and marinate them in San Miguel (skunky local beer) for 20-25 minutes. And while the aforementioned steaks were marinating in the skunky beer the blender would come out and each week a new adventure in alcohol experimentation.
This whole operation worked on many levels. The level of drinking although excessive was not inherently dangerous because we didn’t have cars. Local transportation was provided by mainly two types of vehicles and operated by the local nationals. The trike (a motorcycle with sidecar) and jeepney (open air bus). Both items looked, acted, and felt as though they were better suited for the Flintstones. But they were all that we had.
By the time the steaks were done marinating and had headed for the grill, we were getting mighty hungry, as does also occur with the alcohol consumption.
The most memorable concoction was daiquiris made with 151 rum. Lordy, those were good! And mighty fast too. Powerful medicine.
That’s kinda it actually. There really isn’t an amazing twist to this. No big finish, as it were. It’s really just me stumbling down memory lane. Yeah, sure, there were people (not me) who woke up naked on a barroom pool table the next morning, and okay, yes, someone (not me again) ran through the off base neighborhood naked (he was a fighter pilot actually), and there are stories about legendary pajama parties with contests and prizes awarded…(that one actually was me!). Folks are pretty flexible in a tropical island setting ten thousand miles from home. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
But hey, those are all stories for another time. Oh, I almost forgot to tie in the title of the post. Bob and I eventually came to refer to this event as Steak & Stupid. Good times, good times.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

This just in:

UConn women join men as NCAA basketball champions!

'nough said.

Courtesy of (So please visit his very funny + interactive pages!) tjhanton

tuesday is chooseday

    Would you rather:
  1. go through 5 years of poverty and get $10,000,000 OR go through 1 year of poverty and get $100,000?
  2. date someone who is fabulous looking but has unmaskable, horrible breath OR someone who is simply average but has great breath all the time?
  3. hand wash the poopy cloth diapers for 50 babies for a day OR hand wash the poopy cloth diapers for 5 babies for a week?
  4. be fat, dumb, and happy OR in excellent shape, sharp as a whip, but melancholy or depressed all the time?

1. I can handle poverty so five years would be a walk in the park.
2. Bad breath creates the one sense memory that you never forget and far overpowers any other memory. I gotta go with average looks.
3. After three diapers you really can't make it worse, so definitely short term with 50 diapers.
4. As 'Nando always said, "It's so much more important to look good, than to feel good."

Friday, April 02, 2004

If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot

This was inspired by Katherine by way of Zoot.

Name a song that:

Reminds you of your youth…Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams.
Gives you the chills…Boys of Summer by Don Henley. It was timed perfectly with my leaving the tropics and I thought at the time, well, this intense part of my life just ended. On to something new without looking back.
Makes you want to bang your head…Relax by Frankie goes to Hollywood. Don’t have a clue why, but I loves that tune.
You wish you knew the lyrics to…
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
Makes you so upset you turn it off…
Tears of Heaven by Eric Clapton. All I can think about is how he wrote and dedicated the song to his four-year-old son dying.
Was/is ‘your song’ with someone else…
Nope, don’t got one
Makes you want to dance…
YMCA by the Village People. Shut-up. No, I’m not gay. I think the song is hysterical though. And quite a toe-tapper.
Helps you heal after a breakup…Someone Saved My Life Tonight by Elton John. First girlfriend. End of story.
Your parents made you listen to…
Johnny Cash.
Ignites a specific memory…
Too many songs to list here. Maybe I’ll do a post sometime specifically for that one.
You’ve dedicated to someone…
Loves Theme by the Love Unlimited Orchestra. And that’s all you need to know.
You identify with…
Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie and the Blowfish. It’s just a feel good, inconsequential tune, that hits every one of the right campy notes.