Everyone Fits Somewhere. We All Fit At The Deli.

It was a busy day. I spent the morning running writing and running errands. Hitting everything on my to do list felt great. I’d finished the list, except for the thing on it that I’d been looking forward to – lunch.

As I drove, I considered my options. Pizza was a possibility. Some really spicy Thai food would’ve hit the spot. I hadn’t had Chinese food for days. There was a great burger joint close by. And then I decided to try something completely different.

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others

To be fair, the food was good, but maybe not this good. (image public domain)

Not far from our house, there is a little local deli that I’ve never been in. The place is in an older, interesting looking building that I’ve wanted to get a look at. It always looks busy at lunch. I took that as a good sign and gave the joint a shot. Read the rest of this entry »

Where Do Oreos Come From?

Some years ago, I got to explain where babies come from. I think I got the point across. Maybe I was able to handle the task because I knew what I was talking about. That class I took on the topic in sixth grade helped after all. Knowing what you’re talking about helps.

English: Two regular Oreo cookies. Please chec...

These, in pudding. Yeah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m happy that my son didn’t ask me where Oreo cookies come from. It turns out I didn’t know as much about the topic as I believed I did.

On a recent road trip, my car’s alternator gave up the ghost. I spent the night in an unfamiliar town, then walked back to the garage where I had the car towed and waited for the mechanic to finish the repair. Read the rest of this entry »

My Graduation Speech

It is college graduation season. On a local radio news show, they mentioned some speakers who were giving graduates their send off speech. Traditionally, politicians would have littered any list of graduation speakers. The list I heard was trending away from the political realm. Among the speakers mentioned were a retired NFL kicker and Darius Rucker, the singer from the band Hootie and the Blowfish.

Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie and the B...

Darius Rucker (Photo credit: Wikipedia, public domain)

I like Rucker. He comes across as a personable guy and he co-wrote “Only Wanna Be With You.” He and Hootie also recorded an absolutely wicked version of the Bill Withers hit “Use Me.” I would invite Darius to speak based solely on how hard he rocked “Use Me.”

But the bigger news is that if singers and NFL kickers have wrested control of the graduation speaker market from politicians, it is only a matter of time until obscure bloggers are holding forth before graduates. Once obscure bloggers get their chance, it is a short drop to me. Read the rest of this entry »

When I Get Rich: My Announcers

English: Harry Caray during a Cubs-Pirates gam...

I’d love to have Harry Caray, but he’s excluded because he is, y’know, dead.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As my cash flow from Blurt increases, my spending will increase with it. I plan on being extravagant and wasteful. While some of the purchases I have planned can also be used to promote the blog and make me even richer, all of them are ridiculously excessive.

My latest idea is to have my own announcers. Their job will be to provide commentary on my activities as they happen. Two announcers will be just right because I want them to follow the pattern used in sports announcing – one will do “play by play”, reporting exactly what I’m doing. The play by play announcer’s partner will be the “color commentator”.  The color man will discuss how I do the things the play by play reports on.

Play By Play: Oma has pulled into the bagel shop for breakfast again. He rarely misses a day. He’s greeting several patrons. They seem to be discussing something…is it…yes, it’s the weather. Oma’s trying to explain why he left his jacket in the car on a cool morning.

Color: Ha ha ha, they always catch him on that. Oma is especially forgetful this early in the morning.

Play By Play: He’s at the counter to place his order, but look! The order is already prepared when he gets there!

Color: Very exciting, Jim. That’s the kind of thing that happens when you order the same thing every day. You young breakfast eaters at home can learn something from this. Decide what you want and stick with it.

Not everything will be as exciting as my breakfast. Just like sports, my life ebbs and flows. Sometimes there is excitement. Other times, there is a meeting. Read the rest of this entry »

Pause Like Moonlight

As the players warmed up, a ball skipped off the rim and made a break for the edge of the basketball court. It rolled toward freedom with an NBA player in pursuit. The ball found a gap in the court-side seats and dropped to the arena floor. The player paused at the edge of the court. He paused like Moonlight.

Moonlight Graham (public domain – wikimedia)

Moonlight Graham. Most people remember him as a character in the film, Field Of Dreams. But Archibald Graham was a real man, whose life was very similar to the movie’s portrayal.

Graham’s ambition was to play baseball. He made the major leagues, entered one game as a late inning substitute. Moonlight was the next at bat when the last out of the game was played. He never appeared in another major league game, never got to bat. He left baseball, got a medical degree from the University Of Maryland and became a small town doctor. Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking The Fourth Wall

Chatting isn’t really my strong suit. I’m more of a people watcher. I watch and fill in the blanks.

Comedy and tragedy masks

The same play has been running for 51 years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, I’m not exactly a hermit. It’d be more accurate to say that I start slowly with most folks. I can hold my own once I connect, but until I do, I watch.

Being a quiet observer is entertaining. There are so many people in my world who I don’t know. I see them; I form impressions based on what I see and who they’re with. Since I don’t interact with them all that much, I decide what they’re up to as our paths intersect and divide.

In a way, going through life as I do is like moving through a play. I’ve watched this production for fifty-one years. My play has no real plot, but I give it exceptional reviews.  I’m not sure about the director’s artistic vision because I have no sense of where the play is going. Each act is different and barely related to the last.

Some of the actors appear almost daily. Others take a cameo role and are never seen again.

A few days ago, a plot twist came up in my play. I never saw it coming. You see, I don’t get involved in the play. I just watch it as my world goes by me. A few days ago, the play got involved with me. Read the rest of this entry »

Life Is Better With A Pint Of Vermont’s Finest (Than With A Pint Of Creamed Corn)

When I was a kid, I’d rush through dinner at big family gatherings. Being in a hurry never got me closer to what I wanted, but I always hoped that it would.  When the rest of the family finished eating and the adults stopped chatting, it would finally be time. The white bakery boxes would reveal the treasure I knew they held. Cannoli.

English: Home-made cannoli at family's New Yea...

A beautiful thing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those crispy, creamy desserts were, for me, the point of those meals. I’m more careful about eating desserts than I was back then, but I’ll still sneak in an occasional cannoli.

I anticipated the arrival of Ben and Jerry’s Limited Batch Cannoli ice cream like I used to anticipate my aunt cutting the red and white string on those bakery boxes. Vermont’s Finest and the best that Italy has to offer. Two of my favorites combining forces could not miss.

As it turns out, perhaps those two favorites shouldn’t have gotten together.

B&J’s Cannoli is everything you’d expect of one of their concoctions – sweet, creamy, cold goodness. It simply lacks the one thing that would make it the perfect intersection of two great confections. That one thing is the flavor of a cannoli.

Ford KugaTDCi, Gen1 (from 2008), BEN & JERRY´S...

Maybe you could bring me some Phish Food? Maybe some Cherry Garcia?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beyond the chocolate covered bits of the pastry’s signature shell in it, Cannoli ice cream tastes nothing like its namesake. The ice cream itself has but two things in common with the pastry – name and color. Move past the name on the lid and the shade of the ice cream beneath, your cannoli experience is over. Pork chops, creamed corn, pecan waffles and this special edition flavor all taste equally like my favorite Italian dessert.

Despite the creamed corn reference, I want you to know that this ice cream is quite good. It is enjoyable, in ways that creamed corn can only dream of being.  Get yourself a pint, if you can set aside the fact that it does not taste like as it should.

It’s been said that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. I’d have to add that a dandelion that someone calls a rose is still a dandelion. Limited Edition Cannoli Ice Cream is Ben and Jerry’s dandelion.

Fellas, mix me up a batch of Phish Food. I’ll be right over.

So now I’m a food critic…or not. Actually, this post was fueled not just by disappointment, but by an invitation to write about Ben and Jerry’s from my friend Lenore. She’s got a lot of folks writing on the topic today. You can find more ice cream lit here, here, here, perhaps here, probably here, here for sure, and here of course, but then again here .

Walking with a memory

Today is a two post day for Guest Post Week. Lenore writes her own blog and co-writes another, so she’s posted with her co-author. That’s the kind of guy I am, whatever kind that is. But this isn’t about me, it’s about Lenore. Did you know she invented natural gas? She did.Thanks so much, Lenore, for helping me keep the blog rolling. That and for natural gas.

Do you ever find yourself reflecting back to moments in time when your path crossed the path of another? You may have only crossed paths for a second, but the memory lingers for years and years.

For the past three months, I’ve been exercising regularly. I find I do most of my reflecting during my morning walks. In fact, I cannot walk without remembering the day Mr. Voris stopped me on the high school track.

We lived across the street from our high school. Oftentimes, I would walk across the street to walk/run around the school track. I typically exercised early in the morning or after dinner at night, and I would run into (not literally) the same walkers/runners most every time.

Mr. Voris was a professor at our school. He taught math. He didn’t teach simple math – he taught Calculus. Math was not my best subject, so I never had Mr. Voris as a teacher. Well, that’s not entirely true. During my senior year, Mr. Voris was my homeroom teacher.

Mr. Voris was a runner, and he was one of the regulars I would see at the track, week after week, month after month, and year after year.

Now let me tell you, I was (am) a fast walker. Super fast. I owe my fast pace to one of my sisters, with whom I walked to school when I was young. Apparently, she didn’t really want her younger sister walking alongside her. Sisters!

During one of my run/walks at the track, long after I graduated from the school, Mr. Voris stopped me. He had been watching how I moved my arms while I walked, and he suggested that I change the way I move my arms to increase the workout and better help my core. Read the rest of this entry »