Days like this I want to drive away…

Music. If you’ve not figured it out yet, is a major part of my life and well lyrics speak to me constantly – as if some songs were written just for me.  Like Katy Perry’s song, Part of Me, really resonates with me on some days and it’s really thumped in my head more lately.

There are two parts of the lyrics that really stand out for me: Days like this I want to drive away – Pack my bags and watch your shadow fade …  I just wanna throw my phone away – Find out who is really there for me… I’ve often wondered if you reach a point where disappointment is truly heartbreaking … so overwhelming that you really want to do something as radical as what these lyrics suggest.  Sometimes you just wish you actually could do just that … drive away and throw away your phone  … see what would actually happen.

I even alluded to it several posts ago when I had been listening to John Mayer’s music non-stop and had bonded with Heartbreak Warfare with the single line … Disappointment has a name, it’s heartbreak warfare.  I think, perhaps, I was attempting to avoid the inevitable … me walking away from people within my life whether it be friends or sadly enough – family.

I’m always happy when someone has the genius to turn a literary work I love into a Broadway hit like Wicked because one of my favourite songs of all times comes from that musical and it’s the moment in the play when Elphaba makes the decision to succumb to the pain and heartbreak she has been put through and live her life handing out nothing but misery. The song, Defying Gravity, pretty much sums up why she makes the choice she makes …

Something has changed within me – something is not the same … I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game … It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap … It’s time to try defying gravity, I think I’ll try defying gravity and you can’t pull me down … I’m through accepting limits – cause someone says they’re so … some things I cannot change but ’til I try,  I’ll never know — too long I’ve been afraid of losing love I guess I’ve lost … well, if that’s love – it comes at too high a cost … kiss me goodbye, I’m defying gravity and you can’t hold me down … – Elphaba Thropp, The Wicked Witch of the West

I think music has reminded me, lately, that no matter how hard you may try, sometimes you cannot avoid disappointment.  You can do a lot of things when faced with disappointment … you can ‘run away’, be miserable or ‘walk away’ … and for me, I’ve reached that point where I have to just ‘walk away’ from people who, on a regular, on-going basis, disappoint me with promises or their actions.  I’m just not willing to be disappointed, hurt or sad any more.  I’m not even sure an apology or a huge effort will change my mind at this moment in time. 😦

And I have a request … if you pray – could you pray for my ‘child’ – Nica, I’d really and truly appreciate it.  I didn’t realise that she had been eating paper until I discovered her munching down on a napkin on Monday and now, she’s bloated and we’re playing this waiting game of ‘will her body digest it’ or not. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain or discomfort — perhaps, it’s just me being upset about it.

And of course, I made the biggest mistake by going online and searching for ‘what happens if a dog eats paper’ … Needless to say, I’m upset by what I’ve read and I should have known better, but … 😦  I’m hopeful that the pumpkin, extra water and frequent walks will help her digest it and expel it.  At this point, she can poop all over my house and I’ll be perfectly willing to deal with it.

So much on my mind … but I do hope that everyone’s week is going well.


wise and witty prescriptions for living

What would life be without the wise and witty prescriptions for living from the doctor himself?  I think everyone should fill their quote libraries full of quotes and Seuss-isms from Dr Seuss … his approach to life and the many complex social issues … they’ve endured time and I imagine will span infinity as well.

Things are going much better as of late … of course there are hiccups here and there, but overall — my journey is less bumpy and that means that I’m happier, relaxed and have a clearer head. 🙂  I, honestly, don’t know why people think therapy is a bad thing … it’s one of the most liberating experiences you can have because the person isn’t going to agree with you like most of your friends would or judge  you like some of your friends would.

Perhaps the most important thing I think I’ve learned and it really should be no secret that no matter how old you might be or where you are in life – you can make a change and it’s important to know, realise and understand that  it’s never too late, ever. 🙂

Caroline Manzo.

Okay, so I watched one of my guilty-pleasure shows last night … The Real Housewives of New Jersey (#RHONJ) and yes, yes, yes – I know, but I’m sorry – I love this show.  And the episode last night … it was one for the books.

Finally someone told Teresa Guidice (I laugh everytime I hear Andy Cohen say her last name the new way — ROFLMAO) exactly what people with common sense have known about her forever … she’s absolutely, totally, undeniably, without question, 110% DELUSIONAL.

I love Caroline Manzo and I’ll always be Team Caroline because she’s never had anything to hide.  Teresa, on the other hand, is all about deny, deny, deny … and when the truth catches up to her – it’s lie, lie, lie.

And the best part of the entire evening battle … when Teresa was offended about a joke made at her expense in a publication and everyone — and I mean everyone —  looked at Teresa and repeated her words right back to her: “It was only a joke” … “It didn’t mean anything” and that sent Teresa over the edge.

Kathy tried her very best to point out that a joke at one’s expense isn’t really funny if you’re don’t perceive it as a joke; however, Teresa maintained her stance that she meant nothing about the 1/16th Italian poke at Caroline in her cookbook and that she had said she was sorry.

I love the fact that Caroline won’t back down to Teresa. Obviously, none of us knows everything that’s going on with Caroline and her sister, Dina; however, I’ll say that Dina has crossed a line and it appears that we’ll see and hear all of that in next weeks episode.

With a sister like Dina, Caroline needs no more enemies.  It’s a sad commentary when your own flesh and blood turn on you … shame on you, Dina.

How prophetic was this tweet in November 2011?

As for my other tv shows … The Exes continues to make me laugh and laugh and laugh; Major Crimes – are the same writers from The Closer working on this show? I’m not sure it’s going to make it; It’s about to get really good on The Real Housewives of NYC … cannot wait for tonight’s episode because of the shot fired by Aviva (not a big fan of hers) … “Quite frankly, you’re both white trash.” Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy; Leverage, for me, always delivers … it’s quirky approach and the mystery between Nate and Elliot – haven’t you noticed it?

As for Fall TV goes …  Once Upon a Time returns 30 September and I’m so excited for it; The Secret Circle won’t return to the airwaves for a second season – at least not anytime soon and well, that’s it other than Falling Skies and Rizzoli & Isles are on hiatus as they sleep on their little break … and that’s about all I have to say about my favourite telly shows well, except for …

Season 3 of BBC’s big hit Sherlock won’t be coming back anytime soon as its filming begins in 2013; however, the good news is that it is coming back — why the wait?

Both of the leads – Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have been in very high demand since the shows premiere.  So, if your Sherlock Holmes fan — looks like you’ll have to wait until Summer 2013 for the third season, but – in my opinion – well worth the wait!

There seem to be a few movies coming out really soon that I think I want to see … LawlessThe Possession, and House at the End of the Street … I’m not always that big on horror flicks, but I really want to see The Possession and House at the End of the Street.

The Possession centres on demons that must be dealt with by Rabbis — from Jewish lore and passed down for centuries these stories have been kept secretive and apparently this is a true account of what this dibbuk has done to several owners.

House at the End of the Street – it looks like it’s one of those, “Don’t go in there!” types of movies – which I like and of course, could never watch alone!

And Lawless, well that just goes back in time to prohibition — tommy guns and moonshine – you know that it’s going to be as great as The Untouchables and Bonnie and Clyde. My sister bought me a few Fandango movie gift cards and well, I think it’s time to put them to use! 🙂

So, that’s it … just more ramblings from a happy-go-lucky bloke who’s happier than words could ever express, but who knows the journey is far from over!  I hope everyone has a great week and here’s to watching re-runs on other channels whilst the Republican National Convention “dominates” the mainstream airwaves.


you see, TiVO is my friend

One of the most important things I’ve learned during my journey back to being happy is that you cannot allow anyone to – even for a moment – detour you.  The negativity I’ve experienced over last 18 months prior to June — has and continues to affect my health, but I must say that things are starting to get better, but it’s a day-by-day process.

I’ve found myself, for the last few days, saying, “I can not be a part of this negativity.”  That’s something that I used to say after I’d been a part of the conversation for a while and suddenly would become overwhelmed.  Now, I’m finding that I’m saying it almost immediately when a conversation shifts to something negative.

My therapist said that this means that I’ve reached a point where I’m no longer willing to keep myself in a situation where a conversation or an event is rapidly approaching negativity.  Last week,  I found myself in a conversation about someone that, apparently, is pissing people off left and right.  And I, of course, added my tw0-cents worth.

I literally could feel the impact of this conversation on my body physically – my neck and shoulders began to hurt from the tension.   It’s amazing once you’ve begun to feel so much better that you can instantly realise when you need to say, “I understand what’s going on and I feel bad about; however, I cannot deal with all this negativity right now and I’m going to step away.”   And what I appreciate more than anything … the people in my life – my friends, family and colleagues understanding where I’m working to get and respecting me when I pull away. 🙂

This past week was extremely tiring … meetings and supposedly well thought out designs — that had to be adjusted repeatedly in order to accommodate the space I was working on … a classroom.  Yes, even classrooms need exceptional design to enhance the environment for the teacher and students who’ll be living there for the year.  My work there is not complete, but it’s really close! 🙂  I’ll be glad when I finish that little project and move on to bigger and better things!

I know that I talk about my TiVO a great deal and yes, I’m going to talk about it again … you see, TiVO is my friend because he lets me watch my shows without commercials.  Why is that so important?  Because I don’t have to watch any of the political nonsense being spewed by both sides.  I rarely engage in political discussions debates with people who have their minds made up before they even initiate or join a conversation.

My voting method is simple: I vote against anyone who believes it’s okay to put the burden of the economy on the backs of the middle class; the dismantling of environmental protection; bash public servants (teachers, police, fire fighters, paramedics, social workers, et al.) on a regular, on-going basis and when they do not pay their fair share of taxes based upon their income (in and outside the US). End of story!

So, tonight – another of my favourite shows comes to an end for the season … Falling Skies has been better than I imagined it would be and I love the fact that Wil Wheaton hosts an after-show panel.

The second season has been better and apparently, tonight the last five minutes are touted as being sensational and setting the stage for an upswing in S3.  Although, I’ve liked the show, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop — you know, Steven Spielberg’s name is on this show and so, I’m expecting things to shoot to the next level really quickly!

Speaking of shows … several of you have emailed about The Closer and well, I’ve had time to digest the final episode from last week … We all knew it would go out with a bang, but it literally did.

I figured that it would have to be related to someone from her past and I had thought about the rapist-lawyer, but I thought the bang would be that Brenda Leigh Johnson would be named as the Chief of Police.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who thought that would be the end of the show – right?  It was bad enough that her mother died — that was a huge shock, but when she walked into the bedroom with the cup of coffee and was rambling without a response from her mother — well, I think that caught everyone off guard.

My guess was that she’d make guest appearances on Major Crimes as the Chief and she could focus on other acting projects.  I did watch Major Crimes, but I’m not sold on it yet and maybe I’ll never be sold on it 100% … but I’m giving the show the benefit-of-doubt for a while.

I am sad that Rafa has withdrawn from the US Open, but I can certainly understand why … his knee has to be given the time to heal properly if he’s going to continue his career.  It will be weird to watch without him playing, but if I’m pulling for anybody in this tourney, I’m pulling for Andy Murray now.  I think his finally winning at Wimbledon — well, the Olympics, but on the Wimbledon grounds mind you — will give him a boost.  Hopefully, Rafa recovers fully and returns in January for the Australian Open.

I continue to be saddened by the slaughter of the innocent people of Syria who want nothing more than freedom.  If there were peace in the Middle East, the US and the EU would have already gone in to stop this bloodshed; however, because of the hostilities and threats made daily to Israel by various anti-Israeli militant and terrorist groups  – it is impossible to step in for fear of attacks on Israel.

I believe that the continued defections of top Syrian leaders and military leaders will bring about the fall of Bashar Hafez al-Assad and his regime — and I hope it’s soon.  It’s a shame that religion and politics play such a deadly role in the lives of human beings across this planet every single day.  My prayers and thoughts go out to the people of Syria.

Okay, I have a bajillion things to do today and I’ve procrastinated long enough at this point!

I need to get started and stop — well, you know, not doing — procrastinating — so, here’s to a great rest of  ‘what’s-left-of-the-weekend’ … 🙂


“Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.”

For the last 18 years, I’ve listened to politicians and regular every day people blame educators for the lack of success with students across this country. Here’s a news flash for all of you “experts” who’ve never taught a day in your life and probably wouldn’t survive in a classroom for a day: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Lawmakers and educational “experts” like to compare the US education system to those at the top in the world and want our education system to be like those from around the world that have burgeoning success; however, they never mention the fact that those countries VALUE, RESPECT and FUND education at the top of their budgets.

So here’s a simple solution to help our lawmakers understand why they should not be cutting education funding so drastically and in many cases – cutting education FIRST to solve the problems they’ve created with WASTEFUL spending.

Every member of Congress and every state-elected lawmaker should be required to head to a school for a week and meet with teachers on the Friday before their teaching assignment. The Friday before would be for teachers to give them a tour of the classroom and school; the state standards for the content areas they are responsible for on a daily basis; district content curriculum maps and answer any questions they might have on that day. However, since many politicians believe “anyone can teach” – they’d receive no help from teachers for that week.

At the start of their first day would be a pre-test given in every subject area that they will be teaching that week. It would be administered under testing security protocols to ensure that an appropriate testing environment was established for the students and ensure the security of the tests from start to finish.

From the point they finished the pre-test until Friday afternoon when the post-test would be administered, the politicians would follow the daily schedule and routines whilst teaching these students. At the end of the week, the post-test would be administered in all of the content areas – and that test would be compared to the pre-test for gains and losses. And if their students make gains – meaning they went up and didn’t stay the same, they could keep their salaries for the year; however, if their students had losses based upon the baseline data of the pre-test, they’d lose their salaries for the year and that money be earmarked for education.

I would like to think – hope – that politicians would then understand, because of this experience, that the majority of teachers in the US work extremely hard with very little; that under-funding education is directly related to the future successes or failures of our nation in a global economy; that the majority of teachers truly are in our classrooms for the right reason (yes, there are bad teachers out there … just like there are bad bankers, managers, et al.); that bashing teachers in the political arena does nothing more than tell parents/students that teachers should not be respected or valued for what they are doing on a daily basis.

Would this ever happen? To be blunt – there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell. Why? Because it would require politicians to do the right thing and ‘playing’ with the money of people – well, you get it, right? Let’s hope that, for the sake of our children, that our politicians realize you have to invest in the future and it starts with education. If we’re going to say that public education must be offered – let’s pay for it and invest in the teachers who spend long hours working to make sure that our students are learning what they need to know!

And that’s all I have to say about that.


ordinary people can cook extraordinary meals…

Blake Jenner wins The Glee Project S2

Gleeks Anonymous (GA): Hi, my name is Bryce and I’m Gleek.  :::: Hi Bryce::::

So, I’m a Gleek. Yes, you heard it hear … I’m a Gleek.  I took a break from Glee for a bit because … well, it was too outrageous and I got sick of seeing it tweeted & tumblr-ed before I could catch up with it on TiVO.  So, I just walked away …

However, I came back … and I own way too many tracks from way too many Glee episodes.  And then, somehow I missed it, someone said, “Do you watch The Glee Project?”  :::cue the little tag phrase — “The Gleeeee Pro-ject” 🙂  And well, I started watching it — and well, got addicted!

I had this core group I wanted to see make it to the end … Michael, Blake, Nellie and yes, even Lily – even when she is annoying.  So, last night was the S2 Finale and only one of my favourites made it … Blake.  Everyone else knew last night that he won, but I found out tonight when I caught up with the finale via TiVO and I was excited for Blake to win!   So, so happy for Blake to win it and cannot wait to see him on his seven eps … it’ll be interesting to see how they incorporate him into the show!

I am sure some of you were (are) expecting to read my take on The Closer finale … I’m still mourning the fact that it’s over, but I do have thoughts that I’ll share really soon … I promise!

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.

And today, would have been Julia Childs 100th birthday … I love catching all of her old cooking shows and her ever constant message that even ordinary people can cook extraordinary meals for themselves and the ones they love.  In particular, I rekindled my ‘love affair’ with her after the movie Julie & Julia … If you’ve not seen the movie — it’s worth renting — of course, if you want to learn how Julia Childs became Julia Childs.  Next to Paula Deen’s recipes, I love Julia Childs’ recipes the next! 🙂

This week has been really tiring, but I’m happy to be working with a new team … there’s been nothing but: click-click-click-click-click-click.  I miss the beautiful people I used to work with, but they’ve moved on and I’m nothing but happy for them!  The next two days are going to be extremely hectic as I try to have everything in place so that the ‘stress’ of preparing is done, over and finished.  So, shout-outs to my former team mates — Laura and Caroline and shout-outs to my new team mates … Jessica and Donna!  We’re going to have a blast! 🙂

And just in case you’ve not caught on … my journey to happiness is going quite well, thank you!  Learning how to deal with stress and not allowing it to dominate every aspect of my life has been the key to moving forward.  I am extremely pleased that I’ve not allowed a disappointment to just throw me into a tailspin — that’s a HUGE accomplishment for me! 🙂  I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say at weekend … so, stay tuned! 🙂  I hope everyone has a great rest of the week! 🙂