wwcitizen: (Long Road Ahead)
These past few autumn weekends, there have been times in the morning or late afternoon that we have had the windows open at the kitchen table. Light, cool breezes whip the blinds about making a friendly "tack-tack... tack... tack tack". We are sitting at the kitchen table reading through our news feeds or looking up recipes for that evening's dinner.

It's around these quiet times of day when I hear familiar distant sounds that tug at my soul. These specific sounds are off the in the distance, so I cannot see what is making the sound, which further tugs on me. At each occurrence, I want to run to the office to post about these distant sounds.

These sounds always bring forth throngs of memories. Some sounds even remind me of smells, such as hanging out the laundry mid-afternoon or passing by barns where the smell pork curing sneaks onto the sidewalk. Other sounds make me want to book a trip somewhere or just get in my car for a spontaneous road trip! Most of the sounds remind me of my grandmother or my childhood.

Every time these sounds occur, we are sitting quietly in the house. I suppose at those moments of focus and stillness that my soul is most willing to listen. I'm probably most present in that stillness.

Each sound is unique. Each memory is unique. The season of the memory or place the sound takes me to is fairly distinct each time. I love those distant sounds.

A-Z Meme

Jul. 9th, 2013 01:21 pm
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
So, no, I haven't done a meme in a LONG, LONG while. This was prompted by [livejournal.com profile] erstexman, so I thought it would be fun.

A - Age:  45 (for just under another month)
B - Bed size: Queen
C - Chore you hate: Folding the laundry
D – Dog’s (Pet’s) Name: None currently
E - Essential start to your day item(s): Blueberries with yogurt and coffee
F - Fun Factoid: I was daytime entertainment on a cruise ship for a month
G - Gold or Silver: Silver (I think I might be allergic to gold!)
H - Height: 5’ 10”
I - Instruments you learned to play: Piano, Hammered dulcimer, violin, handbells, trumpet
J - Job title: Sr. IT PM & BA
K - Kisses or hugs: YES!!
L - Living arrangements: In a condo in a high rise
M - Mood: Joyous!!
N - Nicknames: Steve, Bother, Dude
O - Overnight hospital stays (other than birth): None
P - Pet Peeves: Not knowing the difference between "You, You're, and Your" or "it's and its" or "their and there"
Q - Quote from a movie: "That's just what this country needs: Another cock, in a frock, on a rock."
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 4 altogether
T - Time you wake up: With alarm – any time. No alarm, normally about 8:30 AM
U - Underwear: boxer briefs
V - Vegetable you dislike: Eggplant, but learning to enjoy it
W - Ways you run late: Caught in a Facebook rant or exchange
X - X-rays you've had: abdomen and teeth
Y - Yummy food you make: green bean casserole and enchilada casserole
Z - Zoo favorite: Lions and tigers and bears! The meerkats and sugar gliders are always fun, too.
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Everywhere we go in almost every city, there is some graffiti. San Francisco, Berlin, NYC, and DC have some of the best I've seen. Philadelphia is known for their spectacular murals (which are commissioned by neighborhoods), but I wouldn't classify those as graffiti. NYC has phenomenal graffiti. A few weeks ago, we were in the Lower East Side, and I captured a couple of interesting pieces from around Prune on 1st St. & 1st Ave. I noticed - possibly for the first time - that graffiti is now being painted on sidewalks or (as the Eyeworks piece was probably commissioned) on cellar doors, but on the sidewalk nonetheless.

Some captures of LES graffiti... )

Yesterday, we spent the late afternoon and evening in Brooklyn: Matthew had an appointment there next to the Brooklyn Brewery, so I dropped him off and spent about 30-45 minutes driving around checking out the graffiti in the area. I kinda wanna go back there and find more specimens.

Graffiti holds my interest because it's fleeting and dynamic! You see it, you appreciate it, and you might capture it.  It'll be there once for maybe a week or two, sometimes a month. Then it changes. Someone comes along to add their touch to the item.  Or someone else decides to cover that one with their own thing. The graffiti that is the most exciting is the wall that grows and expands off of one particular tag or image. San Francisco and Berlin graffiti artists, I find, tend to build on others' work, while in NYC, it seems that most artists want to be the ones on top. Perhaps the individual's or collective's cultural expression is coming through the graffiti and its placement - on top of others' work or next to and feeding off of another's.

Here are some examples of Brooklyn graffiti from yesterday's foray; notice the differences between Manhattan and Brooklyn graffiti. It's slight, but interestingly different and both unique.  Also, does a scarf wrap qualify as graffiti? Perhaps. Why not? One of the telephone poles in Brooklyn (below) has a knitted thing around the base, which is covered in graffiti. How about an old, broken, miniature skateboard? It's interesting to see that artists are using stencils and stickers more and more - why not other artistic mediums and materials - like yarn or wood? Enjoy!

See the Brooklyn graffiti collection... )

In honor of this graffiti post, I even graffiti'd my finger!
IMG_3342
wwcitizen: (Tax Season - UGH)
I just changed my settings on Twitter NOT to post my tweets to LiveJournal. I hate the format, the re-tweets are impersonal, and just, well. Ugh. It's all too much.

BUT, my LJ posts do go to Twitter!  So, yay that.  (<-- saying that makes me think of [livejournal.com profile] dendren).  :-)

HAPPY HUMP DAY, TOO!!
wwcitizen: (At Puter)
This is interesting. This is a list of the top 28 responders to my blog in 2012 - only 2012. How narcissistic is it that I'm #1 on my own!!  I got the idea from [livejournal.com profile] london1967 on one of his posts a couple of weeks ago. I'd been meaning to look into this, so I did!  Here's the link he posted in a comment on his post: http://www.livejournal.com/tools/topcommentators.bml. He did a lot more than I did... having written a SQL script after creating a database to make a more dramatic display and included many more years. I might do that sometime, but I just didn't wanna forget that I wanted to look into this.  :-)

1wwcitizen303
2mort_8361
3texwriterbear37
4dendren34
5dan4behr30
6ironranger128
7jccub123
8changeling7223
9tkn111422
10kenwoodville19
11martini_tim19
12delmarmar14
13spatts514
14erstexman13
15paterson_si13
16icejohn213
17divos_voids13
18dorisduke12
19holy13nation11
20spikejrt11
21goreyboy10
22durabear8
23njbearcub18
24london19676
25techgirl_on_ij6
26tinman11201*4
27Matthew Vecera4
28pepe094
wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
The first FIVE (5) people to comment on this post will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a handmade/homemade/crafted item. There will be no warning and it will be made/happen/arrive whenever the mood strikes me.

The catch? Those FIVE (5) people must make the same offer on their next  post (... and if I don't have it already, your address - either via email or private message, but not on my wall or on yours).

Thanks for starting this for 2013, [livejournal.com profile] jimwnyc!! MWAH!


(Also, it was about damn time that I post something meme-"ish"...)
wwcitizen: (Airplane Travel)
Here's hoping we can get to this house (1619 Pine St):
Hasn't changed much since 1982, has it?  Just need to pick up the right suspenders.

Neither of us has ever been to Denver, although I've flown through. I have a friend from college out there, who's getting married there, a friend from grade school, and my pseudo sister-in-law (my b-i-l's sister) - what do you call those folks - the in-laws?

Anyway, looking forward to going out there. Also, hoping that we can run into [livejournal.com profile] zedsled whilst in town for at least a beer or martini!

Should be an interesting weekend.  I haven't seen the friend who's getting married except in FB photos since he moved out to Denver from DC.  His mother was my manager back in college at a store and I really liked her. Can't wait to see his sister and dad, either - they're a very nice family.  His mother really challenged me to think about things - even whilst at work - about where I was going, what my future would look like, and where I'd end up.  She totally knew that neither my friend nor I would have gotten married before we were 40.  Who knew my reason would be that marriage for me wouldn't be legal??! 

I'm really looking forward to a little Rocky Mountain High... in Colorado...


wwcitizen: (Gimme a hug)
Tonight, Matthew and I ventured into the city to meet up with Phil ([livejournal.com profile] dendren) and Bob - IN PERSON!!!  WOW! What great men. Had a very fun time with them and some friends I introduced them to. They had coordinated with a couple of other LJ friends to meet them at Ty's and we all got along splendidly.  We didn't have too much to drink, either, cuz I had to drive home - in fact, I ended the evening with a diet Coke followed by a seltzer.  :-)

It's always great to put a personal, physical hug to a person's persona online. Phil and Bob give good hugs!  They are in town for their 20th anniversary. Matt and I are totally jealous that they have tickets to Book of Mormon - a show we've (lack-lusterly) have been trying to get tickets for. We will one day. I really hope that Phil and Bob enjoy the show, which I'm SURE they will.

Here are a couple of pictures from the evening:




At one point in the evening, I returned to the front of the bar to get a drink and a guy with a plaid shirt (Calvin) behind me tapped me on the shoulder. He said, "Excuse me, my friend really needs a hug. Would you mind giving him a hug?"

I said, "Oh, of course! I love to give hugs."

This sweet, gentle-hearted guy, pretty thin and pretty much no fur peered out from behind his glasses sheepishly. I said in my big burly voice, "Oh, you want a big, burly, furry hug, huh? You haven't had a hug today?! Everybody needs a hug!"

The guy just looked at me surprised and in disbelief that I just asked him the question.  He said, "Yes, I'd like a hug!"

I gave him a big bear hug. He was the sweetest guy and gasped satisfied.  I introduced myself around. A little later, the same guy, Calvin, came up and tapped me on the shoulder again to explain that his friend, Muhammed, was from Abu-Dabi. "You can't be out in Abu-Dabi and he's never had a bear hug. You gave him his first bear hug." 

Wasn't that sweet?!  I was very happy.  

Took A Nap

Apr. 27th, 2012 05:30 pm
wwcitizen: (S&M - Sleep)
Just got up from a wonderful power nap. Matt came into the bedroom when the mechanics called about my car, which has been in the shop today.  I haven't driven my car since last June, actually, as posted earlier this year, about a month ago.

When he came in the room talking to the mechanics on my cell phone, I woke up out of an intense dream thinking, "What's that? Who am I? Where am I? Is Matt up already? Have we had our coffee?"

That kind of reaction typically means that I had a pretty decent nap. I could probably sleep a little while longer, but paired with last night's awesome sleep (almost 8 hours!), I think I'm good for the evening.

We might go looking at cars tomorrow, but most likely, I'll keep my car now for a while - after spending $400 on two new tires, a new battery, a slight tune up, and an oil change. I think I'm pretty justified in keeping it at least another year or two. Right?  It still doesn't make good fiscal sense to buy a new car when I'm still a consultant with no guarantee of 5 years commitment.

Have a GREAT Friday evening out there and a wonderful weekend!
wwcitizen: (Easter Bunny with Hat)
We've been having a wonderful weekend!!  The weekend started out on Friday with us getting our hair cuts.  We were about 2 weeks overdue for those.  Friday night, we visited our friends Tommy & Brian for Easter Egg coloring.  It was so much fun, and best to do with friends.
This is Brian with his most fabulous egg ever!  It's fun how some dying elements just happen and then if you take advantage of them - juuuuust right - you can make something amazing out of it! Brian cooks a mean Cornish hen and Tommy makes delicious guacamole! YUMMY!
That was the culmination!  Beautiful eggs, tons of colors, lots of creativity, and fun with friends. (Plus, I love Matt's face here: "That's enough pictures, Stephen!")

Yesterday, Matthew and I slept a long, long time. We didn't eat ANYTHING all day till dinner at Tony's di Napoli. There we met up with [info]squirreltot*, [info]texwriterbear, [info]super_sean for the first time ever along with another Texan friend, Shane. Unfortunately,[info]allsmilesbear didn't make it out, but [livejournal.com profile] mat_t did! [info]jimwnyc and [info]tinman11201* came out, too, and we met THEM for the first time in person, too!  It was a lot of fun, great food, and great company.

Dinner was arugula/pear salad, grilled shrimp, (libations - goes without saying), broccoli rabe, escarole and beans, veal salimbucca (thinly pounded veal cutlet with provolone and prosciutto) over spinach, chicken scarpiello with potatoes, peppers, and Italian sausage, and lobster raviolis with vodka penne. Don't forget the amazing Italian bread, and dessert: NY cheesecake, tiramisu, an ice cream cake (on the house), and cannolis.  Oh, and libations. Most everyone got appletinis.

Here are a few pictures from the evening (including some of the damage). More pictures from the dinner, you can find here.
 

Afterwards, as everyone else retired for the evening, Matthew and I dashed off to Ty's for a nightcap. We hadn't been out in the city since about February, so were pretty overdue.  There we were glad to run into our buddy, Chris. Such a sweetheart.

Today, we're heading up to the Ramsay, NJ, for Easter Dinner at about 3:00 with Matt's family; we're not hosting this year (don't get me started!).  I'm kind sleepy from all this weekend activity so far; might have to go take a nap before breakfast and lunch!

Someone brought Easter Bunny Ears to the bar. Of course, I had to take advantage of them!!

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!
wwcitizen: (Airplane Travel)
If there were ever a time that Matt and I find each other in the Far East (e.g. Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia, etc.), we have discussed our possible memoir title: "Under the Big Bamboo". I've been to Singapore, Seychelles, Malaysia, Indonesia, Maldives, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, and Israel (all prior to any social unrest). I would LOVE to go to China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Korea, as well as all over sub-Saharan Africa (except Uganda).

But, my Asian trip would have to be a month trip or longer. And my Asian trip would have to be with anyone other than Matthew, unfortunately. He has no interest in going to those places.

Matthew DOES have interest in going to Australia sometime. But, again, that would have to be a month-long trip in Australia with stop-overs along the way. So, we're talking about 5-6 weeks on the road. THAT would be AWESOME!

FYI: We're planning a trip to France with friends in late spring, so all this chatter about travel plans and destinations does have an actual origin of discussion today.
wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
Be aware that there are bots comments on LJ ... AND emails to your profile on LinkenIn, in case you have a profile there.  Here's an email from a "Sharon jamallove" to my LinkedIn account:
____________________________________________________________

LinkedIn

Sharon jamallove has sent you a message.

Date: 12/24/2011

Subject: My dearest,

My dearest,
With hope this mail will get you at your good health.I am pleased to write to have a good relationship with you.
My name is Miss Sharon ,good looking,sincere and honest young girl.I need a sincere and honest friend that will lead to a long lasting relationship.I am hoping for kind your response if i interest you,so we can share pictures and know ourselves more.I will send my picture when i hear from you,i wish to have yours too.
you can contact me with my private email (sharonjamallove@blechblechblechblech.com) or send me
Your email id for more introduction
Yours sincere friend,
Sharon Jamal

____________________________________________________________

I think that I would like to meet the person - in a public setting with together with friends - who responds to this note and follows up with Sharon.  I would like to see that person, ask them a few questions... and then leave. Quickly.

Oh, in case you happen to be one of "those people" who are easily duped by emails such as the one above, my advice would be not to respond to them.  (My public posts get cross-posted to FB, so there's every possibility that someone else outside of the LJ realm would read this and be helped!)
wwcitizen: (Maybe I Guess)
So, last week, when I posted a GST and a FYFF together with a slight change in not only day, but also abbreviation, I got a little inspired.  Who do I talk to about creating a new Tuesdays picture-posting meme to replace OST, since it kinda fizzled out?  The posting got me excited, and then I remembered that I have a new unicorn T-SHIRT!!*   So, here's my first post for "Unicorn Tuesdays".  It might could all get tweaked a little with sumpin like "Animal House Tuesdays" (for the 3-letter acronym = AHT).  Watch-hyall thankin'?  HAPPY EOB for Turkey Tuesday!  Oops!  I mean "Unicorn Tuesday"!
 
 
*FYI: I posted a couple of these pictures on the Amazon item for posterity. Please vote on my pictures!! Mine are numbers 14 & 15 - and possibly the only two pictures with notes in them!

Surprise!!

Mar. 23rd, 2011 10:31 am
wwcitizen: (S&M In Ptown)
There are a few LJ projects that I really love and fewer in which I actually participate. I like the month-long projects like 30 secrets in 30 days and I was really intrigued with the March picture meme (might actually transpose that into April just to be different). I'm sorely tempted to do the "Year In Pictures" project, but that might have to wait till next year.

A couple of years ago, I participated in the Pay It Forward project as a recipient. This year, I posted the Pay It Forward project a the maker. I still haven't decided what I'm going to make for the people who've responded to my post.

On Monday, my building's front desk called to let me know that I received a package. I asked Matt, "What did we order?" Neither of us had ordered anything that would have already arrived by Monday. To my surprise, I got a BEAUTIFUL, well-made, personalized, and handmade quilted table runner from [livejournal.com profile] dorisduke!! I was surprised because I'm supposed to make something for him!

BIG THANKS to [livejournal.com profile] dorisduke (Mike) and Gus for their generosity and craft! Impressive work. Unbeknownst to most folks (till now!), we try to use Chinese reds and designs in the bedroom, so even as a festive adornment for the futon or bed, it's perfect!

Here are some pictures:




The back:

wwcitizen: (Open Wide-r)
Last night on Rachel Maddow, I heard her "Cocktail" report on red bees in Manhattan. I really had wanted to see the red bees themselves, but Rachel didn't show any. The honey is red, the comb is red, and the bees are turning red. All from the dye in maraschino cherry juice. I can't imagine what the honey tastes like, even from the description. I like Rachel's breakdown of the red bees, their honey, and the comb. The beekeepers can't sell what the bees have made, except maybe the beeswax, which is supposed to be an added bonus to husbandry. :-(

The other stuff Rachel says is interesting about the cocktail garnishes. I have to say that I agreed with her to a point - especially about the olives and onions. However, the bars that we frequent don't have olives that have been sitting out all day or picked over by various dirty hands. We actually watch the bartenders use spoons to get our garnishes out of the jars that are housed in refrigerators at the bar. So, for her assumptions of gross garnishes, she's either relying solely on straight or lesbian bars, or greasy spoons, which, well, why would they serve martinis anyway?




wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
So, on the trip to California, when Matt and I met up with [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com], [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com], and [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com], we went to sing Karaoke at "Elvis!?" - a place in Fountain Valley, CA. It was really fun, and as I mentioned on a previous post, I wanted to post some videos.

I didn't hear any screams coming from the California corner of LJ or FB, so here are three of them:

Tim singing "What A Wonderful World"


Robert & Steve singing "Queen of Hearts"


Steve singing "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
wwcitizen: (AnimatedFace)
Finally, I've finished putting together, configuring, selecting, and posting the best pictures from our trip to the OC. You can find them on my Picasa album. We met up with [livejournal.com profile] martini_tim, [livejournal.com profile] bigsabu, and [livejournal.com profile] animbear for lunch at their favorite spot, Curry House. [livejournal.com profile] mondragon happened to be in town, too, from back home in NJ and he was able to meet us for lunch and coffee afterward.

We spent the day with the OC boys (except Greg, who is actually an original OC boy) after lunch. We went to a Japanese/Korean shopping center for a couple of hours of private Karaoke. It was a VERY fun experience! The place was called "Elvis!?" and we got to enter Barbra Streisand for the afternoon (that was our Karaoke room). We sang songs like "What a Wonderful World" (Tim), "Won't You Be My Neighbor" (Steve), "Magic" (Steve & Robert), "Fire" (Tim), "Running Up That Hill" (Reid), "Queen of Hearts" (Robert & Steve), and "One Week" (Robert & Matt - who wouldn't get on the mic!!). We sang more, but some of these I videoed and am posting on my YouTube channel today; they were too large for Picasa and kept bombing during the upload.

After Karaoke, we went next door to a Shabu-Shabu restaurant, something neither Matt nor I had ever tried. That was really tasty, too, and lots of fun! We drove down to Laguna Beach to see the sunset and send the boys off home.

The day was too short!! We had so much fun. [livejournal.com profile] martini_tim, [livejournal.com profile] bigsabu, and [livejournal.com profile] animbear are so much fun and creative. Can't wait till the next time!!

Now, they just all have to get their asses to NYC!
wwcitizen: (Maybe I Guess)
[livejournal.com profile] ironranger1 posted results of an analysis of his writing style. I thought this was interesting and fun thing to do, too, but realized that depending on my mood, I might have a different writing style. I poked through my archives to find three distinctly different pieces to analyze. These are the 3 results (all interesting choices because we're all around the same age):

Number 1:
Wallace is interesting on a lot of fronts, but also disturbing in that he committed suicide in 2008. This guy was also steeped in philosophy, taught, and had parents who expected good grammar.


I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



Number 2:
This guy is a Canadian blogger. Fancy that! That my writing style is similar to that of a blogger... But, again, he's within my age range.


I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



Number 3:
Albeit only 4 years older than me, of the three authors whose writing mine resembles, his is also partially the most interesting. Interesting, until I realize why the piece of writing I chose resembled Brown's writing style: There were lots of "secrets" in the piece - back during the 30 Secrets meme.


I write like
Dan Brown

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!



I found the last one particularly interesting and Matt even exclaimed, "Dan Brown???!! Get out!" It became clear that certain phrases, words, or amounts of punctuation really dictated which writer was selected for the analysis.
wwcitizen: (AnxiousFace)
We've been boycotting Sonoma County, CA, for months by not buying wines from there (not easy to do!) because of the mistreatment of an elderly gay couple. The court case was finally settled on July 25th with pretty good results, but the entire outcome for the couple (who'd been together for 20+ years) was so sad. Not sure if our and others' boycott of Sonoma County products was helpful in the process, but we like to think it was. We are lifting our boycott of Sonoma County wines due to the fruitful outcome of the settlement. BTW, "the settlement also prohibits the public guardian's office from moving people against their will."

However, now Target is supporting opponents of the LGBT Community and specifically opponents of gay marriage, which, as everyone that knows me knows we support same-sex marriage (the terminology is unimportant, but the equal civil rights and federal & state benefits are important). We'll be boycotting Target now.

The substance of the issues that sprung up in Sonoma represent the need for same-sex marriages or civil unions (whatever they end up being called) across the country. A business that supports candidates that oppose same-sex marriage should not be financially supported by the LGBT community.

Out of the 308 million Americans estimated by the 2010 census bureau, there are roughly 5 million Americans (using 1.5% as based on earlier estimations) who acknowledge themselves as LGBT. If every one of the 5 million people spends $100 a month at Target, then we are supplying Target with $500 million per month to spend as they like. If, however, we decide to boycott any specific company, like Target, and remove that $500 million we spend with them in a month, we send them a distinct message that we don't like how they're using our money!

Just so companies realize, the US Gay Buying Power is estimated at between $732 and $734 billion for 2010. Wake up people! Money talks!

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wwcitizen: (Default)
Stephen Lambeth

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