Friday, 29 September 2006

It's Time...


...for a haircut. Luis will hate it but will have a whole week away to deal with it and get used to it. I'm going to Lucy's tomorrow morning, then on to my parents' house to help Ray close the pool. Luis is coming with, so he will be there for the crushing disappointment, and then my parents will be delighted, as will I - I know that while hair is fun, I am not meant to have it.

I have a long horsey face and no neck (even any EMT will tell you that I take a "no neck" size collar). When my hair is short, the neck is more pronounced (as much as it can be) and the long horsey face is not a long horsey face anymore but a nicer, rounder face! So the time has come.
Granted, neither image is all that flattering. One was taken at Ren in August of 2003; the other in July of 2004. I looked all over but could not find an image of right before the hir came off and right after. Icame off right around my birthday in late January - I was going through EMT school and riding and discovering that I don't like having my hair pulled out by the roots! Patients will grab ANYthing... So I cut off all those dark (red-dyed) curly locks and went for short. And tomorrow around this time, it will happen again!
Sorry, Sweetie...

One Red Clip - Becomes A House

I had read it about this well over a month ago, and yet, after much cogitating and considering, it needs to be mentioned, however riefly, that this is really going on. Some guy named Kyle began with - literally - a big red paperclip. That's it. Nothing amazing, nothing you could get excited about and search days for. It's just another over dressed office supply for the many nuts who think that more will get done if they like the way the paperclips look...

The paperclip was traded for a fish pen. The fish pen went off to morph into a funky handmade doorknob. The doorknob, not nearly enough of the house, became a Coleman Stove... which, in turn, became a red generator (must've been in someone's garage powered up and ready to go one New Years' Eve of 1999!). OK, well, so far, so good - you can't say that this is not already quite a wowwer from when Kyle began with a red paperclip... I mean, really.

The generator, while interesting, is not really something one needs I would imagine, so it went its merry way to become a Budweiser window light... you know, the neon things. (Not sure how that is a step up but we all know I am a total snob in this way and so I don't need to get it, really. The Bud sign was obviously a hot ticket item, so it flew off to become a skidoo (I have no idea... looks like something Nanook of the North might use) - but the skidoo was snapped up for a trip - yes, as in a journey to - Yahk, British Columbia... and that (obviously that was too easy to part with) became a van. Like a big box truck, not just Joe-homeowner van. The truck went on to become a recording contract... holy shit! A truly useless item unless you have an amazing garage band... No? Onward to the one year stay in Pheonix, Arizona, which looked less attractive than an afternoon with Alice Cooper (I have to admit that the appeal in that is not lost on me. I have heard that Alice Cooper is extremely well read and educated and passing up an afternoon with someone of his mental caliber... well...

But Kyle was really hell-bent on a house, and so the afternoon with Alice Cooper (sigh) became a Kiss snowglobe (yes, the band Kiss), which must have been on someone's wish list in a big way as it became a role in the next Corbin Bernsen movie. Wow. All that, again, from one normal red paperclip!

And the movie role became this lovely house in Saskatchewan, Canada! (http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7327/1939/400/trade%2014%20one%20house.jpg)

Now that is really SOMETHING!

Sunday, 24 September 2006

A Response - A GREAT One!

Remember I sent out a card to Harry Trebilcox on Monday? I must have gotten there Wednesday as predicted as I recieved an e-mail answer on Thursday morning! I was astounded! Amazed! Beyond words. And it was a wonderful e-mail, no rancor, no mention of the past, no seeming rancor of things that happened so long ago. He even was completely open to getting together! Wow.

I'm in the process of writing him back and I sent a response yesterday morning. I have no idea how long it takes to check mail - everyone is different. I check my work e-mail thoughout the day, I check my home e-mail once in the morning before work, once in a while at work, and once when I get home or need to check something.

But I know some poeple who might check their e-mail once in a month or over a couple of weeks' time. So we shall see. I will be finishing the rest of the letter tonight or tomorrow; but for now, I must get ready for the NYRF.

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Scarred for Life

I did my yoga as I always do... and then I made the fatal mistake - I went to the belly-dancing/salsa dancing class following. I'm tired; I'm falling apart from exhaustion! She really had us going. That might have been fine had it only been the small four us, incuding Millie, the instructor. But at one point I could see myself gyrating about in the three mirrored-sided walls... Yikes.

Without a mirror, maybe I a can do this but quite honestly, I'm just a little too big a woman to pull that off. I want to keep doing it, though, so get my weight down to a point where I would look much, much more appealing in front of a mirror or another person. I have my small fanclub of men, but really, the one who has to feel good about me, is just me!

Sunday, 17 September 2006

I Finally Did It!

Well! I am nervous and I have no idea how well received this will be or if/when I get a response. I wrote a card to my biological father, Harry Trebilcox.

I think about it often enough that I should have written something ages ago. And time is not quite on my side. He is 74 years old... I have no idea of his general health. What if he is dying? What if he has Alzheimers? I have no idea and no way of knowing. It really, I guess, hasn't been my business. But he is - like it or not - part of me. He has not been a part of my life in any active father sort of way; he hasn't really even been in my life. He wanted a child quite badly in the mid-60s when they began trying (there were a lot of road blocks on the path to conception, both figurative and literal, so that is why I was born in the late 60s, not mid). But this is a man who was born in the 30s. Ouch. That is quite a long time ago. I wonder how well he recalls World War II? My grandfather fought in WWII (I recall that Grandma said he was stationed on Okinawa) but where my mother was born in 1941, Harry was born in 1932 - quite a bit earlier and enough to likely recall more than the air raid sirens and practicing hiding under the desk, which seems to be the extent of a 4-year-old's memory of that. Ray was born in 1944 so has no recollection of World War II and its depredations.

Anyway, I was thinking about it this morning after watching "The Sixth Sense", in the scene near the end, when the little boy, Cole, is telling his mother how Grandma likes to visit and talk to him. Oh, how I wish I could do that. I don't know that I would want to talk to every single lost soul with something to discuss, but to talk to my Pop-pop would mean the world to me. I can't do that - I don't even know where, exactly, he is buried, but I can extend the olive branch, as it were, to Harry and maybe find out (on a non-emotional level) family history. I also want to ask about family medical history, since I don't have a lot to go on.

So I wrote the card, asked if the four of us could meet somewhere in Dallas, PA (they live there) at a tea shop or a diner or something to just see each other. Have a polite conversation. Catch up on 20+ years of no knowledge of what the other person has done. I had in my head a thousand things to say, but shorter is better (like less is more) and so I kept it very generic, didn't mention careers, hobbies, my parents, anything about not having kids, or anything too personal. It's just an invitation.

The fact is, genetically speaking, half of me is from him. I think it is important to see the genetic other half of me. I certainly need to know any existing medical history as a benchmark for what I should look for. I want to know my family's history. I would not mind seeing Harry and Donna and I would like for them to meet Luis. I have not gotten to the point of omitting the fact that we are not legally/religiously married or just saying that it is a commonlaw marriage (most people are wholly unaware that New Jersey has no commonlaw marriage, surprisingly enough. This state doesn't recognise it. (You would think I lived in Louisiana, or some other buckle belt state...) Anyway, I'll burn that bridge when I get to it. I won't lie about it if asked directly, but I may not bring it up.

My feelings about children are what they are and again, I won't lie if it comes up, but I may not go out of my way to comment that I understand why certain species eat their young! (While that brought out a lot of laughter in Jack over at Car 69, somehow I don't know enough of Harry's sense of humour to know if that would deadpan, be outright frowned upon or received the right way and maybe he'd laugh. Oddly, though, I don't recall Harry as a smiling, happy, laughing, extroverted person. I may not look a lot like my mother, but I am very much her child in personality.

Still, the reader, the scientist, the music appreciator, that is all from Harry, not my mother. My mother likes science and occasionally reads, and she likes music. I love sciences - almost all of them - I absolutely HAVE to read, and I do not live life in any way, shape or form without music. That is much more Harry than my maternal side. Oh, and I was an artist. I'm not now, but I was. He is/was a painter as well as a musician.

Oops, I need to be at the squadhouse in four minutes for Parsippany Day!

Friday, 15 September 2006

A Puffy Planet - that FLOATS!

WASHINGTON - "The largest planet ever found orbiting another star is so puffy it would float on water, astronomers said Thursday. The newly discovered planet, dubbed HAT-P-1, is both the largest and least dense of the nearly 200 worlds astronomers have found outside our own solar system.

HAT-P-1 orbits one of a pair of stars in the constellation Lacerta, about 450 light-years from Earth.

"This new planet, if you could imagine putting it in a cosmic water glass, it would float," said Robert Noyes, a research astrophysicist with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The planet, a gas giant, is probably a puffed up ball of hydrogen and helium.

HAT-P-1 is an oddball planet, since it orbits its parent star at just one-twentieth of the distance that separates Earth from our own sun. While Earth takes a year to orbit the sun, the newly found planet whips around its star once every 4.5 days.

Astronomers believe HAT-P-1 may belong to an entirely new class of planets, along with a second, smaller distant world that's also puffier than theories would have predicted, Noyes said.

Astronomers used a network of telescopes in Arizona and Hawaii to discover the planet. Its parent star is too faint to see with the naked eye but can be spied with binoculars."

My take? Very cool! I have no idea how much empirical proof that this thing will actually float on water, but hey, At least they are just learning about our neighbours instead of trying to suck them all in to out small happy family! That is a cool rendition of what HAT-P-1 might actually look like...

Monday, 11 September 2006

Two Anniversaries

Today is one of those strange days. The weather is perfect, a canopy of undistrubed blue over a temperate day that is entirely too reminiscent of five years ago, when under the same canopy, with the same perfect temperatures, two planes commandeered by terrorists, crashed into and distroyed a huge part of the northeastern seaboard culture - the Twin Towers.

I sent an e-mail to someone I know who was there and also fought in Iraq. He had shared some things with me about it some time ago and so yesterday I was thinking of him. So I sent him an e-mail to thank him for fighting for us and for all that he did. And here is the response:

"I often ask people if they can name one actor on "Friends" or the "Sopranos" and they usually can...........but then I ask them if they can name ONE......of the 37 hero cops that died that day.

Not one has to this day..............

Thanks for your thoughts......."

Embarrassingly, he's right. Certainly when I thought about it, I had to admit with no small sense of shame that I did not know a single person's name who perished 5 years ago going into the area to get people out. I don't know the actors from "Friends" but how bad is it that I can name a fair percentage of the actors in "The Sopranos" - people who are just actors? Not that I don't have great respect for people who have that (or any special ability, really) but actors can't save lives. And what's worse, this is a show where not only are the characters not saving anyone, they are all regularly breaking a ton of laws AND killing people!

Not a very promising sign of our culture, is it?

Here are some facts to know:

Initial estimate for clean-up: $2 billion - City of New York
Actual cost of clean-up: $650 million - City of New York
Final cost to build the Twin Towers in 1972: about $1 billion - NOVA: Why the Towers Fell
Date of ceremony marking end of clean-up: May 30, 2002 - Great Projects Film Company
Agency in charge of recovery and clean up: NYC Department of Design and Construction
Tons of debris cleared: 1.8 million - City of New York
Weight of each tower: 600,000 tons - NOVA: Why the Towers Fell
Number of truckloads of debris: over 100,000 - City of New York
Man-hours spent during clean up: 3.1 million - City of New York
Office space destroyed or temporarily useless: 15 million square feet - Century Foundation
Number of construction firms assigned to clean-up: 4 - Great Projects Film Company
Number of workers involved in clean-up: about 3,000 - Great Projects Film Company
Number of buildings completely destroyed: 8 - Great Projects Film Company
During clean-up, number of firefighters per shift: 100 - The New York Times
Feet of subway tunnel crushed: 1,300 - Century Foundation
Number of people killed in the attack at the WTC: 2,823 - The New York Times, 6/25/02
Percent of victims who have been identified: 42 - The New York Times, 6/25/02
Number of firemen killed in the attack: 343 - The New York Times, 5/30/02
Total Firefighting force in NYC: 14,000 - The New York Times, 5/20/02
Number of New York Police Officers killed in the attack: 23
Number of workers who died during the construction of the World Trade Center: 60
Number of workers who died during the clean-up: 0
Number of people critically injured during the clean-up: 0
Type of plane that hit the Twin Towers: Boeing 767, 137 tons - U.S. Department of State
Estimated cost of rebuilding WTC site: $26-29 billion - Century Foundation
Estimated cost of rebuilding subway damage: $1.7 billion - Century Foundation
The Twin Towers were designed by American architect Minoru Yamasaki - Great Buildings
Groundbreaking for the Twin Towers was August 5th, 1966 - Great Buildings
The first tenants moved into Tower One in December, 1970; occupancy of Tower Two began in 1972 - Great Buildings
The Twin Towers, 110 stories high, were the tallest buildings in the world until surpassed by Chicago's Sears Tower in 1976 - Great Buildings
The Towers were designed to sway as much as 3 feet in high winds - NOVA: Why the Towers Fell
On Friday, February 26, 1993, a massive bomb was detonated by terrorists in the Center's parking garage; 6 persons were killed, and more than 1,000 injured - Great Buildings

I also found this article:

"Rescue and Recovery:
Rescue and recovery efforts took months to complete. It took weeks simply to put out the fires burning in the rubble of the WTC, and the clean-up was not completed until May 2002. Many relief funds were immediately set up to assist victims of the attacks. The task of providing financial assistance to the survivors and the families of victims is still ongoing.

A small number of survivors and surprisingly few intact victims' remains were found in the rubble of the WTC. The forces unleashed by the towers' disintegration were so great that many of those trapped in the buildings were pulverized in the collapse. Some victims had to be identified by a few scraps of flesh or individual teeth. Most bodies were never found, presumably because the heat of the fires incinerated them. On January 18, 2002, the last hospitalized survivor of the World Trade Center attack was released from the hospital. As late as April 2006 [11], small fragments of human remains were still being found on adjacent buildings in New York.

Fires burned amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center for weeks after the attack.

Over 1.5 million tons of debris produced by the collapse of the WTC posed unique problems for the cleanup effort. A fully occupied skyscraper had never collapsed before, and the environmental and health consequences of such an event were unknown. About 100 tons of asbestos used in the construction of the WTC had not yet been fully removed [12]. The attacks released dense clouds of dust containing pulverized cement, glass fibers, asbestos, and other airborne contaminants.

By 2004, nearly half of more than 1,000 screened rescue-and-recovery workers and volunteers reported new and persistent respiratory problems, and more than half reported persistent psychological symptoms. [13] Because of the long latency period between exposure and development of asbestos-related diseases, exposed Manhattan residents, especially rescue-and-recovery workers, may suffer future adverse health effects. The January 6, 2006 death of NYPD James Zadroga was ruled by a coroner as directly due to clean-up at the WTC site."

I have been searching extensively but cannot successfully find a list of the names of the policemen killed in the Twin Towers attack. Something tells me that if I did a search on James Gandolfini, I'd find an endless amount of information...

Thank you to all who gave up their lives and those who worked tirelessly after to do all that they could. A HUGE thank you. You make our freedom possible.
I did say that there was another anniversary today and that is the two year wedding anniversary of Tom and Alayna, very near and dear friends of ours. Out of any sadness and anguish should come joy and I prefer to reflect happily on their wedding day more to remember 11 September as more than the day that so much tragedy occurred. So for them it is that I smile and remain my happy imperterbable self. They - and others - contribute to making this a happier date and a better day to recall!
Happy Anniversary to all. Good and bad. Out of all sadness does come joy. Always hold onto that as your thought and nothing else!

Friday, 8 September 2006

My Space.com - What Not To Look At!

Well, I did. What a mistake. That is not a blog, it is flesh for sale. I'm the first to say that 1. I'm as over sexed as they come (partially that is just me and partially it is a physical imperative), b. I'm not against legalised prostitution, and 3. if you are looking for a relationship, go to match.com or matchmaker.com, but don't waste your time here. This is clearly where the lowest common denominator goes to post and/or hunt for other misguided, sleazy, not terribly intelligent people. Parents with kids who are even randomly looking at this Website should monitor and probably block this site entirely. No wonder I've only read bad press about it!

That concludes any more posting for tonight. That was just the biggest turn-off in the world!

Separating Work From Blogging

I was looking at a couple of my favourite blogs, one of which is called "My Other Blog". He doesn't allow comments (more's the pity) but he writes often and about interesting things. Sometimes he forgets punctuation but for those who regularly read my blog or at least stop in occasionally for a visit, you know by now that I often will open a paranthesis but forget to close it! So I won't hold that occasional forgotten period against Rick.

Tonight (well, this morning... the gods only know what I am doing up at... good gods, it is 0324 - half my shift is over), I found this on his blog:

"Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blogger Gets Fired: This is another one of those stories that CNN is so found of regading someone who does something wrong and refuses to face the consequences of their actions. The blogger in question said some inflamitory things regarding the company where she works. So what, I say inflamitory things about where I work, and I run the place. But what got her in trouble was that she was using her work time (and I suppose a company computer) to blog to her thousands of daily readers. The company said "Enough!" and gave her the boot. But the article talks about her "right" to blog (she is now suing the company). She claims that she was doing a private blog and it is her right to spend her free time as she wishes.

Reality Check. Every company that I have worked for has had some policy on the use of company property for personal use. The last company I asked for (in writing) the "right" to use my cellular for personal use when I was traveling and the right to use my computer to communicate with my family, also when traveling. But this was a different situation, I wasn't sitting in an office, I was giving my personal time to the company by traveling. If my employees wanted to blog on their free time, I don't think that I would have a problem with it, so long as they asked. I wonder if she asked?

posted by Rick at 6:51 AM"

Clearly I'm not the only keeping odd blogging hours... But at 0651 on almost any weekday, I'm already at work!

It so happens that we have a very comprehensive computer policy that no one (except me and the management) seems to follow. Everyone downloads picture slide show screen savers, everyone has idiotic smiley faces in their e-mails (I squashed that one when it showed up in one entire department's e-mails - good gods. I know this was coming from the right place (warm & fuzzy, something we both see eye to eye on!) but I finally sent an e-mail asking them to please kill those happy faces (as if it wasn't enough that they were happy faces, they actually moved - yikes!). They know the policy as well as I do. (However, this is the hardest policy in any computerized place to enforce, next to time keeping!)

But people consistently forget that any company, when it comes to their communications, be it mail, e-mail, faxes, phone conversations, whatever, are owned by the company and just don't even think for a moment that the First Amendment has any place in this conversation! Welcome to Comapny XYZ, soveriegn nation when it comes to communications.

I love my blog and I think I'm at least a passable writer. I do put some things up that related to work - let's face it, out of a one hundred eighty hour week, some 35 - 50 hours are spent there. And it is, overall, time exceedingly well spent. I'm lucky - I rarely have gripes about my job or work and really have an overwhelming affection for my situation and people in it. But even when I do have a gripe (it is a wonderful job but it is not all roses and song by any means) I generally keep it to myself or maybe allow a very broad nondescript whinge to make it onto my blog and then drop it. I don't think anyone at work would really take offense to anything I post about it or my specific job. They may find the other topics objectionable on a personal level, such as my views on religion and th overwhelming desire to discuss sexual matters, but again, not a terminable offense. And I do NOT use work time to blog. Ever.

So was the company right? Well, let's put it this way. At least two people I know have My Space sites that are... questionable. As long as they don't broadcast their sites or ever post anything regarding their employment I don't care. (I don't particularly agree with putting up photos of their very gang-member-like friends and such, but they are young and well... one can only hope that the strong resemblance to gang life is just that... but not my business and not my problem.) However, in the process of reviewing and re-writing our employee manual, I will tell you that there will absolutely be verbiage about blogging and Web postings in there. Especially in our industry.

In this, the company does indeed come first. I agree it is a god-given right to complain, but not to publicly bash your company on the Internet!

Science as Learning

Everybody learns from science; it's what you do with it that counts.

Gil Grissom said that at the end of last season's episode "I Like To Watch", a very good episode (then again, last season was one of their best seasons). And it's true. I don't know if criminals learn things that aren't meant to be life lessons from watching forensics shows. I feel that I learn a lot, but more about the inner workings of the lab, how detail-oriented the work is and how a killer's mind may work. But someone who is a serial rapist/killer doesn't think along the same lines as most people. Very often there is a history of some kind of abuse - maybe not physical but psychological or learning abnormal behaviour or thinking from someone like a parent or guardian. The wiring and the history combined may develop a person with weird fetishes - almost everyone has something a little odd or unusual that might "get them off" - or it may become a latent problem...

Most sex offenders start small. A normal thing, like a magazine collection, is one thing. My father had stacks of Penthouse in his closet for years. It was never a secret and it did not make him strange or a pervert. It made him a normal man, men being the mostly visual creatures that they are. But someone else with that collection may reach a point where the collection is not enough. Pleasure is no longer derived from viewing images in a paper format. Often the perp will escalate at a pace... peeping tom, then breaking and entering, then rape and finally murder. To an extent there are profiling techniques for this, but until the perp makes it into the system, through CODIS or some criminal database or sexual offender database, there are a lot of unknowns, more than knowns.

I seriously believe that science does indeed teach. Certainly where another person might read the bible or Koran or Quaballah to restore their faith, I read books about forensics, astronomy, history, etc. My comfort is in the knowing. Where religion is emotional answers to questions that have no proven scientific answers, science gives the world perspective and doesn't shrug and give generalities and vague, meaningless answers. So for me, the comfort is in the evidence, not the guessing.

I do think that there are plenty of things out there that don't teach the right things. Video games, natuarally, are not what I would want my child learning about life. I realise that kids love this stuff and heck, I'm married to what is essentially a large child! Luis is wonderful, but video games were not sophisticated then and didn't have the kind of visual input or impact that they have now. I don't know and have not seen any empirical data to suggest that children learn that auto theft, rape and killing is acceptable behaviour from playing "Grand Theft Auto". But I do feel strongly that a value for life is not taught in these games. Every game that Luis plays has a resurrection feature... you may get killed, but if you have the right mana, magic, reagents, potion or know the right character, well, all is not lost and you may end up - sorry, will end up - alive and kicking and fighting and killing others who will also be resurrected, or rejuventated or whatever. Is this teaching kids anything other than death is a transient state? Hmmm.

So when a kid is immersed in video games, clearly science is not what is stimulating the mind. I grew up with Atari, and Ray and I played Pong. Hardly the damning sort of game one would think. In PacMan, the character you had died and you needed another quarter. In asteroids, you were a little arrow that shot out dots. Now the games are very sophisticated and visually entertaining and often the characters have distinctive views and move fairly well (I would not compare it to television just yet... but it certainly improves constantly and movies like "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles" prove that game animation is not far behind). But the lessons being learned are unlikely to be positive ones.

Give me the science any time.

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Ripping Apart Lobster

Will wonders never cease. And will the coolness of my job ever go away? I don't think that I will ever be bored or underutilized or not a part of an amazing team of people. I really love not just my job, which really everyone should love their job, but the people I work with. I realise that everyone says that. I get that as the standard disgruntled employee response:

I ask, "What were your favourite aspects of the job?"

The happy employee who is leaving to return to school or got a better offer or is relocating will typically break down various portions of the actual job and give me a really detailed answer with the top four or five things that they liked to do. That's helpful.

The disgruntled employee (whether they made themselves like that or truly had a legitimate gripe, will invariably answer, "Oh, I really liked the people. There are some great people here." And that is it.

Unless you are truly a loner in the worst way, that is the easiest answer in the world. And in a place where the employee population swells for the "in season" portion, you'll always find people you enjoy and will miss. And I would say that of any place I worked and left. I miss the people the most. I work with everyone, being in HR, on some level and it is great. Even people that I would not normally gravitate toward in normal, everyday life are wonderful and all have something to offer. I can't honestly say I intensely dislike anyone where I work. Even those that I mostly don't care for on a personal level are still good to talk to and offer knowledge or something and so they are worthwhile and worth taking time to know more.

This afternoon, I helped Chef tear apart cooked lobsters. Yes, that most definitely does NOT sound like me, does it? Well, it doesn't. But I was standing there holding a conversation while he was doing it (and I appreciate that alone. Our Chef gets his hands dirty and does as much "grunt work" as any of his staff and never seems unhappy doing it. He is indeed a cut above; I don't often see that in managers. But in this industry, people do, as a whole, seem to be more hands on) so he finally offered one to me and I at first was reluctant to do this. It's really rather disgusting to look at. But then I found myself thinking what the hell - when's the last time a manager offered to have me do something so... unusual? OK! So I grabbed it and twisted and pulled and hey! The tail came right off and there's the torso and how weird was that? It wasn't hard, not at all. And pulling off the two claws is quite easy. I did a couple more and it was, well... it was interesting! I know it won't make me want to cook but I loved that Chef was more than happy to allow me - and offer me - the opportunity to experience this!

I think that is what I love and I think it is why the others like me. I'm always into the education. Show me something new, something I don't know. That is it! Education makes me deleriously happy and I know with Chef he is always happy to show me things, teach me the French words for things, give me an ongoing education. And maybe it is that I always show a lot of interest. I wonder if my predecessor did that?

I think when the off season comes, I will go out to the Grounds department and maybe donate a couple of hours of my time to see what they do, try what they do. The Director of Grounds and I have a wholly unique relationship and again, I think it is because I am so interested in what they do. There is clearly so much more to this whole grounds thing than cutting grass! Much, much more - it boggles the mind!

And so, as usual, I ended my day on a really high note!

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Hallelujah

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the lord
But you don't really care for music, do you
Well, it goes like this the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift

The baffled king composing hallelujah

Hallelujah...

Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah...

Baby, I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
But love is not a victory march
I's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah...

Well there was a time when you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you
But remember when I moved in you
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a god above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah...

The beautiful thing about music is the way it can be nothing to you or can mean everything to you. Time in your life, scene in a movie or television show, a moving moment on a date. It can be anything, it can be nothing, and yet, some songs can hit you in such in the most profound, moving ways. Usually, admittedly from shows...

It must have been the fourth or fifth season of the "West Wing", one of the best shows ever. GJ Craig and her bodyguard, well played by a very attractive Mark Harmon, were deinitely going to get together for a date after the New York City play that she had to attend with the President. There was a brief kiss outside with the just the smallest hint of what was to come. She went into the hall and he went into a bodega to purchase a soda and a rose. The music to "Hallelujah" was playing.

There was an ominous feel to the air; and it took Mark Harmon's Secret Service character little time to realise what was going down. He called for back up and shot at one perp but another one got him from behind... and he died. CJ was told during the show and she was destroyed - in only a way that anyone who has received that kind of sudden and completely shock could be.

Maybe you are really young. Maybe there is great logevity in your fmily. Maybe your friends have not died. But I have been down this road; a good, close friend from Ren who dropped dead of a massive heart attack at age 42. A friend who was healthy and then in six weeks went from healthy to dead from pancreatic cancer. People come and people go. It is the cycle of life. But it is different when you feel it as only you can.

Music can do that to me. Sometimes this song gives me the outlet to cry and let it out and other times I am swept up in the beauty and emotion within. Jeff Buckley gives all of his heart to God and that is fine. We all know how religious I am - at least in a Christian sense. But I don't hear the Christian part - I just hear and feel the emotion within. And amazingly, it makes me happy even as it can make me sad. Does that make sense? I have been to that place, and I have had my throne broken and my hair cut and I have felt the joy of life and living and feel it every day. I prefer to give my love to all different things, not only to God (in my own way, I do, but not in the accepted Christian [for most]), to see the beauty and joy in so many things. And to know abject happiness and extreme joy, you need to have journeyed through the other side of the sun, gone through the pain and agony and the feelings that extreme emotional pain brings. But when I feel happy, I can feel it in every part of me, all of me and share that with other people and be infectious and light. I want to feel joy and so in that song, in that sadness, there is the knowledge that I will always have a balance, even during times when it seems as though there is none...
Hallelujah!

Friday, 1 September 2006

Anniversary Number Five


Today, at this very time and date, exactly five years ago, I was sruck, on foot, by an SUV, clearly not caring anything about what he was doing other than jumping off of Route 287 at a break-neck speed and getting to the next... what? Bar? Girlfriend? Concert? Whatever it is that irresponsibly driving 17-year-olds with no valid drivers license, no registration on the 1988 Nisan Pathfinder and no auto insurance do on a Saturday night. Do I sound a little bitter? I suppose I do. I would certainly have an earful for the jerk that did this. As it was, the jerk would only get an earful.

I not only lived to tell about the story (which is in a very long posting circa last June), I lived in a better way than anyone would imagine after being hit by a very large, very high-elocity vehicle! I got away from it with a slipped disc, some back issues and knee problems, and only a portion of the back and knees come as a direct result of this. The slipped disc, which used to pinch the nerve going down my left arm, no longer does that after three years of intensive chiropractic work (thank you, Dr. Molinari in Parsippany!) and the yoga I do now certainly improves everything.

I'll always have the scarring on my right knee from the intense road rash I picked up and I have more care driving than most as a direct result. But I am whole, have all my limbs and brain and movement, and this moron that struck me is still paying the tons of fines he incurred from all the moving offenses he garnered from this as well as the criminal offense. And I have a better life; so who came out ahead in this?

Well, that is how life is sometimes. Happy Anniversary!