Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Great Author Quote!



Don't aspire to be published, aspire to be read.
Bob Hostetler, author 




Wednesday, May 30, 2018

99 Things to Do Before You Die

(Photo by Anata  Nsg from Pexels.com)

I was going through mounds of paperwork several weeks ago and happened upon a folded-up copy of an article from years ago which had been given to me by a close family friend, Marianna. I have wrote about her before, she was one of my Dad's closest friends and went by the nickname Tia.

Tia was in the education field, a writer, artist and truly a romantic at heart. She was constantly spouting off euphemisms about living life to the fullest or how love trumps all. She was wonderful to have around and she remained close to my family until her passing. 

The article (with no byline) originally came from a Cosmo magazine from 1993 but I modified some of it so that it's pretty fun for anyone. Don't worry dudes, you won't melt just by reading an old Cosmo list! LOL.

I do not claim the list as my own and as I stated prior, have only modified it so it may appeal to both sexes or is more in tune with present times. However, a couple items were kept how they were originally written to show how much our times have changed. How many have you done? When Tia had given me the article, I had already done over 36 so I was on my way! I show my updated number at the end of the post! 😊

Here they are in no particular order with my comments following each. I divided each into sets of ten so it's a bit easier on the eyes for reading. Enjoy this fun list. It makes you think and gives you some ideas on what you could be doing with your life! 

  • Give your mother 50 red roses and tell her you love her.
  • Learn to speak a foreign language, make sure you use it.
  • Go skinny-dipping  at midnight in the South of France. (Does a pond in Skook County count?)
  • Have a love affair in Paris.
  • Get dressed up and enjoy an evening at the opera, ballet, or symphony. (How about the Strausstown rodeo?)
  • Spend a whole day eating everything you've been told is bad for you, without feeling guilty. 
  • Be an extra in a film.
  • Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details. (Maggie's and my road trip to see Nance!)
  • Make love on a forest floor or the beach. (Too much sand, trust me!)

  • Make love on a train or a plane.
  • Learn to roller-skate. (Or how about ice staking, snow boarding, or skiing?)
  • Own a room with a view. (Nailed it.)
  • Learn how to take a compliment.
  • Buy a round-the-world air ticket, a rucksack, and run away. 
  • Change your hairstyle totally or decide to grow/shave that beard!
  • Tell some spin-chilling ghost stories around a campfire. 
  • Have your portrait painted.
  • Put your name down to be a passenger on the first tourist shuttle to the moon.
  • Send a message in a bottle. (Mine came back empty. LOL)

  • Discover your own personal style. (Nerd-jock)
  • Terrify yourself by parachuting, white-water rafting, or rock-climbing. (How about bungee jumping? NOPE to all, LOL.)
  • Ride a camel in the desert.
  • Get to know your neighbors. (I'm SO lucky.)
  • Swim with a dolphin. 
  • Plant a tree. 
  • Learn NOT to say yes when you mean NO.
  • Make love on the kitchen table. (Note to self, clean table afterwards, LOL.)
  • Throw an enormous party and invite every one of your friends. (I called the cops on my own graduation party in '88.)
  • Have the ultimate luxury-hotel experience with champagne and caviar. (Done!)

  • Write a fan letter to your all-time favorite hero/heroine. (Now what is Bugs Bunny's current address?)
  • Visit the Senate and House of Representatives to see how Congress really works.
  • Get your father to teach you how to waltz properly. (Wow very DATED. How about having your Mom teach you the Twist? My Mom did!!)
  • Eat jellied eels from a stall in London. (NOPE.)
  • Be the boss. (But don't let Diana Ross know, she'll be pissed.)
  • Fall deeply, helplessly, and unconditionally in love.
  • Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia. (I'd settle for the Orient Express too!)
  • Write that novel you know you have inside of you, compose, that poem, paint that picture. (Work in progress.)
  • Go to Walden Pond and read Thoreau while drifting in a canoe. (Actually, I'd rather read Hemingway at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West!)
  • Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home. (Done, several times. God I enjoyed my 20s!)

  • Dress sexy, provocatively. (Ugh, I can barely make sure that I have no stains on my work clothes from lunch time.) 
  • Sing as loudly as you possibly can from the top of a mountain. (How about just bad karaoke at a dive bar?)
  • Dive off the side of a yacht into the turquoise Aegean. (Caribbean is good too.)
  • Become someone's mentor. (Done! And a good friend is now MY mentor.) 
  • Do a hair-raising lap in a race car! (Commuting to work does NOT count.)
  • Pamper yourself with a facial or spa day. (Girls AND guys!)
  • Shower in a waterfall.
  • Ask for a raise. (For all you private-sector peeps.) 
  • Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill. (Done, piano! 10 years of lessons.)
  • Blow all your savings and take a flight on the Concorde. (SO DATED! LOL How about just First Class?!)

  • Spend a night in a haunted house - all by yourself. (NOPE. BUT I did grow up in one!)
  • Stop hiding your true feelings and tell several people what you REALLY think of them. (YEAH! That means YOU! LOL)
  • Read the Kama Sutra and put a bit of theory into practice. (I'm too clumsy.)
  • Be serenaded from beneath your bedroom window. (And I don't mean by the feral cats of Lake Wynonah!)
  • See the northern lights.
  • Run a marathon. (Does running late into work count?) 
  • Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it instead of just thinking about it.
  • Experience weightlessness. (NOPE.) 
  • Ask someone you've only just met to go on a date.
  • Drive across America from coast to coast. (We drove around America. I think that counts.) 

  • Make a complete and utter fool of yourself. (Um, EVERY TIME I BARTEND.)
  • Own one very expense suit, dress, shoes, bag, etc. (Ties count!)
  • Make your will.
  • Sleep under the stars. (Maine. Just beautiful.) 
  • Take a ride on a roller coaster. 
  • Learn how to complain effectively - and do it! (How about whining? I do that VERY well.) 
  • Go wild in RIO during Carnival. (How about Mardi Gras in New Orleans?)
  • Leave home. (Hear that Millennials? LOL)
  • Spend a whole day curled up on your bed reading a great novel.
  • Forgive your parents. (Done and with greater happiness as a result.) 

  • Learn to change a tire.
  • Write love letters to your gal or guy.
  • Learn to juggle with three balls. (Most guys can't even handle two balls. 😉)
  • Sunbathe naked. (Cover the jigglies so they don't burn!)
  • Find a job you love! (For most people, sadly this does not occur.)
  • Spend the holidays in December on the beach drinking tropical drinks. (I was on Sanibel Island over Xmas in my younger years. Does milk count?)
  • Overcome your fear of failure. (Workin' on it!) 
  • Sing (or be sung to) in a steamy smokey jazz club in NYC or New Orleans.
  • Revisit your old school and old haunts from childhood.
  • Donate money and put your name on something: a college scholarship, a charity brick, a bench in the park.

  • Buy your own house, condo, rent an apartment, and spend time decorating it exactly how you want it to be.
  • Appear on TV/Cable and enjoy at least 15 minutes of fame. (Hopefully not on the criminal wanted list!)
  • Grow something from seeds! (I like to grow my herbs this way.)
  • Take a cruise somewhere!
  • Spend three months getting your body into optimum shape.
  • Own a convertible and drive everywhere with the top down and music blaring. (At the very least, rent one like I did. I drove down the overseas highway from Miami to Key West!)
  • Accept yourself for who you are. (Pretty good on this one!)
  • Learn to give a speech in public. (You can't shut me up. Many have tried. LOL) 
  • Scuba dive or snorkel!
  • Go up in a hot-air balloon. (NOPE.)

  • Attend a really huge rock concert. 
  • Kiss someone you've just met on a blind date.
  • Be able to handle: tax forms, telemarketers, your bank manager, your boss, your hairdresser, and power drills. (Power drills. Whaaat? LOL)
  • Lose more money than you can afford to just one time at a casino in either Atlantic City, Vegas, or Monte Carlo! (Hollywood Casino in Grantville, PA does NOT count.)
  • Attend a major sporting event: Wimbledon, the Indy500, the Masters, the Super Bowl, or the World Series. (Don't forget others like the Stanley Cup or the NBA Finals.)
  • Walk along a seaside pier in the middle of winter eating hot salty French fries straight from the bag. (I haven't done it with French fries but with pizza!)
  • Let someone feed you seedless grapes. 
  • Kiss the Blarney stone and develop the gift of gab. (Again, I got the gift of gab. You can't shut me up. Where is that darn Blarney Stone???)
  • Get dressed up and go to one incredibly swank party or ball. (Annual Henri David Halloween Ball in Philly!) 

Hope you enjoyed this. It was fun going through how many I've accomplished!  I recounted, and I have accomplished 58! Pretty cool. 




Friday, May 25, 2018

Family Dinner, a Good Step in the Right Direction

"Adam, Sheryl and I around the dinner table."


This is one of my favorite videos off of Youtube.com. It's been reposted many times and is originally a commercial from the large food company Masterfoods Australia. It is featured with the company slogan and title, "Make Dinnertime Matter." An interviewer asks parents who they would like to have dinner with. The parents rattle off hilarious answers such as Justine Beiber, Kim Kardashian and some specific Australian celebrities like Kylie Minogue. One woman thoughtfully states Nelson Mandela.

The interview then turns the table on the parents and asks their kids the same question. OMG, this gets my heart strings every time I watch it. I won't say anymore until you watch it via the Youtube link. This is a brilliant commercial and marketing at its best. Who knows how much was staged but for purposes of pure emotion, let's suspend our skepticism. The message is crystal clear.


"Who would you most like to have dinner with? Chances are, if you're like most adults, it's someone famous, whether a movie star or a TV personality or possibly someone who's made a difference in the world. The interesting thing is, the answer can be quite different if you ask a kid."






What a great and powerful message to send to our families! These adorable kiddos just want to have dinner with their family. 😊😊😊 Their parents are understandably moved, some to tears, as was I by the commercial. Back in the 70s and 80s, my family always ate dinner together. Very rarely did we watch TV during a meal and even then it was on our small portable black and white set in the breakfast room! Usually Mom would have it on during the morning watching her shows or in the evening watching the local news.

At dinner, we would talk about our day. I have specific memories of Mom and Dad going around the dinner table asking each of us, "How was your day? What did you learn? What did you do at school?" They made very attempt and effort to be involved in every aspect of our young lives. As an adult, I now appreciate how much this has bonded us together.

Family meals were a very important part of growing up and helped create and foster the closeness and familial bond that my family still has today. I know my brother strives to have meals with his kids as much as possible. It's a little difficult when the kids get older. I know that happened with us. I also know it's not possible to have this happen in every family and that makes me sad.

My sister makes a point to hold her annual Passover Seder for friends and family. She makes a point to do it EVERY year because she realizes how important it is to have it and continue with the tradition. It's about getting together, celebrating the family and friendship.

Watching this video, I do feel hope for our humanity through this next generation, if we can help foster them to become healthy adults. I also realize that I NEED to have dinner more with my sister and brother.

Perhaps we all need to make more time to get together, eat together and just talk. Put down the phones, turn off the TV, and find out how we are all doing. And remember, in today's age, family is just not about parents and children. It can be your siblings, friends, roommates, partners, spouses or whomever YOU choose to call your family.





Sunday, May 20, 2018

Insecurity in the Gym

"Image from Magplanet.com"


Nothing holds you back more than you're own insecurities.

I wish I could claim that quote but I cannot. I tried to research it online but it seems like everyone has said it. It has been claimed by several famous and not so famous people. I will be happy though to pass it along...

I am usually tough as nails. I can have the confidence of a lion king. But I have my insecurities too. It hits you at the most inopportune times. I am fine speaking in a public setting and conquer those butterflies with ease. I get none when striding into a crowded bar or party. I am usually the first in my group if they need me to be. I ask questions with no fear.

But sometimes, when you least expect it, that monster of insecurity rises up and takes over. Two times in recent memory come to mind in which it has happened occurred ironically at the same place, the gym. Let me recount them to you in hopes of you realizing that you are not alone.

The first time began when I joined my new gym Anytime Fitness almost a year ago. I had worked out at my previous gym Flex Fitness quite comfortably for several years. I knew the ins and outs of the equipment. Had established my routine hitting hit after work. I knew pretty much anyone who came in to work out. This complacency allowed me to work out with ease but also set me up for quite a shock when I was forced to join a new gym due to Flex Fitness closing.

Like the first day of school, I entered the gym, eyes quickly scanning the room looking to see if I knew anyone. I saw no one and about a dozen faces who glanced blankly at me. OK this will be fun I thought to myself sarcastically.

I figured I wouldn't lift initially and just do some cardio to get used to my surroundings. Slowly after a week of some light workouts and an "official" tour by one of the workers, I become more comfortable and at ease in my new gym. I had to keep telling myself and believing that I deserved to be here as much as the big muscle guys lifting 100 pd dumbbells! One of my new favorite sayings from a new friend comes to mind, "Fake it till ya make it!"

This young twenty-something worker showed me around the different rooms and answered my questions about some new equipment I had never worked out on before. He was a big help. He asked me how I liked it and I was honest about my apprehension coming to a new gym. He said, "Don't be nervous. You're in pretty good shape for someone in their 30s." I replied, "30s??" I laughed. I appreciated the compliment especially with me approaching 48 next month ya crazy youngster!

When you are younger, you work out for looks. I was no different. I now work out for healthy heart, body, mind and soul. As you get older you realize that is much more important than the superficial side of working out. I soon got over my insecurities and plunged in a regular routine working out with confidence next to much bigger and younger guys.  I deserved to be at that gym and I stuck with it.

Come the holidays this past year, my lifting took a nose dive. Coupled with getting sick from reoccurring sinus infections, I struggled at the gym. I kept up the cardio but the lifting waned. I think I started suffering from a minor bout of seasonal affective disorder as well (AKA winter blues).

Now fully in the Spring, I began to finally feel like my old self again with regards to working out. I was really only maintaining during the winter. It feels good to be making gains again. Once I started lifting though, there was that monster of insecurity again, always peeking over my shoulder, making me feel inadequate compared to the other guys.

How do I deal with it besides "faking it till ya  make it"?  I pysch myself up. I continue to tell myself I deserve to be there. I block out others and the excess noise by listening to music. I ignore others. Now not to the point of being rude, I just don't socialize. I say hi to people, but I focus on myself. I am the reason I am there!

You are worth it. You deserve to be there to work out and be the best you can be. If this former introvert now nerd-jock can do it, so can you!

Don't get held back by insecurities which can be just as easily conquered as they are debilitating. Rise above them. It takes some mental work but you can do it.



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

An EGG -hausting Way to Make Eggs!

NOPE. 

Back in the 70s, I remember my Mom "hard-boiling" eggs on the stove top. I have flashes of memory where she scolding me from getting near the stove. "Now don't touch the stove Marc!" Being the plucky child that I was, of course I touched the stove. It only took one time for me to touch that burner and I never did again. I had burn marks on my palm in a circular pattern from the top burner coil.

Mom would place eggs in the saucepan, bring the water to a rolling boil, turn it off and let it sit for 12-15 minutes depending on the size of the egg. Simple as that. She'd then make her famous egg salad and we'd eventually have toasted egg salad sandwiches for lunch. YUM! Very good memories.

Hard boiling eggs, along with scrambling them and frying them were probably the first things I learned to cook from my folks. That and heating up soup or cooking pasta! I wasn't the most adventurous cook in my youth.

The pain in the butt part about making hard-boiling eggs is NOT the possible splashing of the scalding water and NOT the potential for burning yourself on the range. It's the drudgery involved with peeling those eggs out of their shells! Sure there are ways that can make it easier. Here's a link to several of them:
https://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2014/04/how-to-peel-a-hard-boiled-egg.html

One late late night a couple years ago, I was watching trash TV after a night of bartending. As I sat there at home drinking a nightcap, counting my tips, I flipped on an infomercial for an awesomely EGG-cellent product! It was for Eggies, the kitchen product where you could hard boil eggs without the pain in the butt issue of peeling the eggs!

EGGIE Instructions
EGGIES! I needed them! I was hooked! It looks to easy! So time effective! I think you could get one for $19.99, no WAIT ... If I acted within 30 minutes (at 3:30AM) I could get one for $9.99! NO EVEN BETTER! If I called within 5 minutes, I could get 2 sets of EGGIES for $9.99!!! As my sister Sheryl oft exclaims, "What a bargain!" After the initial excitement wore off, I fell asleep on the couch and woke up about 1/2 hour later and forced myself to bed at around 4AM. But  Eggies were forever burned into my mind.

Fast forward a couple years and I was hunting for treasures at a flea market and what did I come across was the Eggies, sealed, never used, for just $1.00!!! It was a dream come true! Now I would have my Eggies and be able to make them without having to peel off those annoying egg shells. According to the description, I just crack, boil and twist! (Sounds like my 20s, but another story, another time.)

The sealed box of Eggies sat in my pantry for about a year getting buried beneath boxes of pasta. I came across them last weekend cleaning out the pantry and decided once and for all to test them out. out. In each box, you get a set of 6 which make ... duh... 6 hard boiled eggs. Instructions are included and to my surprise, each Egguie is made up of 4 separate parts which twist together. I was staring at a collection of 24 annoying plastic parts! Okaaaay ...

After hand-washing the parts, I laid everything out to assemble. I put each one together and found you have to crack an egg and then pour into the Eggie. Not so hard ...

Ready to Go! 
I then reread the instructions and realized I missed a step. You gotta wipe down the inside with butter or spray oil so the egg doesn't stick to the inside of the Eggie. I sighed deeply, rolled my eyes, cursed at the innocent Eggie and took apart all 6 to their original 24 parts.

I wiped down each with a spray oil and then reassembled them. Another couple minutes had passed and I finally started to crack the eggs and pour them into the Eggies (minus the twist on top of course). The problem was that the yolks, being the heaviest, tended to plug up the top resulting in the eggs whites running EVERYWHERE!

I then tried to pour the egg whites in the Eggies first but the yolks were too heavy and quickly ran out over the Eggie, all over my hands, either onto the counter or onto the floor. ARGH!!!! I was now down two eggs and had 10 left. I could only make four more friggin' mistakes with these STUPID EGGIES.

ODD EGGIES
I took my time with the subsequent Eggies and managed to get all six filled with eggs with the tops twisted on. I followed the instructions closely and while boiling, watched them dip and bob around the saucepan. That was amusing for a bit.

After the required time in the boiling bath, I removed them and put them aside to cool. I unscrewed the Eggies apart and was able to pretty easily slide out the hard-boiled eggs. But what slid out was a little unsettling. Sure after tasting them, they tasted just like the hard boiled eggs of my youth BUT ... here lies the problem. They looked DIFFERENT. They didn't have the oval eggs shape I was used to.

They looked like pitted half-assed hard-boiled eggs (SEE PIC).  They just looked ODD. I just couldn't wrap my head around them. They reminded me of white Alien eggs from the movie Aliens!

I decided the Eggies were just too too much work for hard-boiled eggs. And again, they looked pretty odd. I packed up the Eggies and shipped them off the nearest Good Will store. I will use my old trusty egg timer found at a flea market and then deal with the peeling. All that time trying to get Eggies assembled while following directions frankly had me EGG-sausted! HAHAHA! I know, pretty bad right?

A Good Vintage 80s Timer! 
Not to mention, Amazon has a choking hazard out on them stating, "Small parts, not for children under 3 yrs." AND... they get 2.1 stars out of 5! Um, no thank you! I'm sure there are people out their who swear by their Eggies and I say more EGGS for them!  😏

The moral of this story is that sometimes the old-fashioned way of doing things is just as good, if not better as the newfangled product on the market. Sure you have to spend time peeling the eggs but honestly, who wants to clean, spray, assemble and then disassemble 24 parts just for hard-boiled eggs? NOT this guy!! I listened to my Mom in my head saying to me, "See I told you so!"  😲




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Life Story Quote

I've always loved this quote. I came across it years back when looking for a birthday card and took a pic of it. Sounds cliche' but we truly our the masters of our own destiny. You want your life story to be grand? Work towards it! You want it to be an adventure? Get out and see that world! You want a quiet existence? You can have that as well. Just be proud of what you have chosen.






You are the Author of your OWN Life Story.