Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Sky's Secret (the morning after)

The morn breaks clear
and the clouds are late.
I stare up until my neck
aches from wandering;
what else is in there?
the birds seem to know.
they're quite cheerful
at this time anyway,
the brisk air whispers,
it's chasing itself again,
someone seems delighted,
Well at least I have my health.

The vast scape requires
admiration, sweet jubilation.
Oh the cleverness of this "so-
called" cunning sea of clout,
it stands for something far
more than we want to admit,
we deny it the proper
label it has so undoubtedly
we render it with obtuse minds
and folly.

We treat it as we treat ourselves,
each other, and those lost.
without a cause.
with each drink, with each smoke
we attempt to tarnish what we have.
mine's gone, mind's gone,

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the Serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.

Comment: Amen, even unto our dreams!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quote on dreams

"Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd tow'rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

-- Shakespeare ...the Tempest

Searching for Topics

Quickly to a quiet pool he trout,
There at water’s edge to perch,
His mind below loosed to fish,
Seeking place as would the minnow.

Moving past the greasy newt,
Evading as the plunging frog,
Dreams and notions bury in algae,
Topics stay concealed among the cattail.

The next topic is Dreams.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Clean Plater


Pheasant is pleasant, of course,
And terrapin, too, is tasty,
Lobster I freely endorse,
In pate or patty or pasty.
But there's nothing the matter with butter,
And nothing the matter with jam,
And the warmest greetings I utter
To the ham and the yam and the clam.
For they're food,
All food,
And I think very fondly of food.
Through I'm broody at times
When bothered by rhymes,
I brood
On food.


Go purloin a sirloin, my pet,
If you'd win a devotion incredible;
And asparagus tips vinaigrette,
Or anything else that is edible.
Bring salad or sausage or scrapple,
A berry or even a beet.
Bring an oyster, an egg, or an apple,
As long as it's something to eat.
If it's food,
It's food;
Never mind what kind of food.
When I ponder my mind
I consistently find
It is glued
On food.

-- Ogden Nash

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


1. US onion consumption is annually about 25 lbs/person.
2. US garlic consumption is annually about 3 lbs/person.
3. US annual sales in mouthwash $67 million.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My favorite food

1). Wild Mushrooms on toast
While visiting my California family, in a rustic cabin in a Redwood forest, harvested from the mossy ground moments before, sauteed in an excess of butter and served on toast points. The ocean is close by but we are surrounded, enclosed, and encapsulated by a dense wet green mass of dripping wet with occasional dark tree trunks the size of a small house.
2). Yellow fin tuna salsa with fresh tortilla chips
An miraculous leftover creation made by the chef at the restaurant where I work, served once to the kitchen staff three years ago and never again. Sushi grade tuna, chopped with fresh cilantro, lime, cumin and salt, served on tortilla slices fresh from the fryolator. Must be eaten standing up and quickly as possible in order to get as much as you can before everyone else eats it all.
3). My wedding cake
Chocolate butter cream, lemon cake, lemon curd, and fresh dahlias. What can I say. It was so beautiful and so good and I was so happy.
4). Bob's roast chicken
The one thing he really likes to cook. Olive oil massaged into the skin before roasting. We have it once a week in the fall and winter. There is no dinner conversation. Perhaps the crack and pop of wood in the wood stove and the rustle of newspaper pages turning are the perfect accompaniment.
5). Indian Pig Out with Dad
A very dangerous mission involving eating as many and as much Indian dishes you can in one sitting, including various breads, speciality drinks, chutneys and sauces. Complemented by conversations involving your future, or lack there of, with the occasional splash of irony involving how much weight you've gained and the need to take it off.
6). Macaroni and Cheese
My version is the ultimate comfort food, warning: not for the faint of heart. People have been known to gain 3-7 lbs after one sitting. For cold and snowy nights in front of the fire when the sun goes down at 4:00 and you are wearing an entire wardrobe of fleece. You're really not thinking about anything other than the warm gooey mess you are ingesting.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Competitive Eating

Although it renders me speechless, the International Federation of Competitive Eating does exist in a world where every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger. My apologies for the is understood that the importance of this blog is to make better the day.

So at this point I can only resort to taking aim at my own hypocrisy which seems to know no bounds. I once downed 3 Irish Car-Bombs in the time it took my opponent to finish 1. Proof in the puddin'....see image below.

Ingredients: Combine 1 oz Baileys & 1 oz Jameson Whiskey in a shot glass. Drop the shot glass into a 2/3 full glass of Guiness Stout. Drink Immediately.

Instructions in Competitive Drinking:
  1. How to Shotgun a can of beer - hold aluminum can in your left hand, while you aim a well sharpened car key in your right. Using the key, draw an imaginary line from the closed mouth of the can to approximately 1/4" from the bottom. Make 2 perpendicular stabs at this central location of the can in to form a "+" shape. proceed to push back the 4 corners to create a diamond shape hole in the can. Put mouth up to hole and pop the tab on the top of the can. proceed to gulp gulp gulp gulp... Optional: crush can over your head in triumph or simply step on can in order to maximize space in the grocery bag tied to your car bumper. (yes, you are now tailgating.)

  2. How to Shotgun anything else - Find a plastic/rubber tube (clear if possible), connect to a funnel. hold both the end of the tube and the base of the funnel in one hand and pour liquid in the funnel. IMPORTANT: to avoid spills or leaks, you must esure that the middle of the tube is pinched, hence why you hold both ends of the apparatus in one hand. Optional: Plugging end of the tube with your thumb while pouring may be optimal. Once capacity is met: put your mouth around the end of the tube while raising the funnel end to the sky. commece chugging chugging chuggin...

  3. Study Drinking Games - Easily could justify a seperate entry to describe each: Crazy 8's, Around the World, Flip Cup, Beer Pong, Panama, Shut the box, Roxanne (this is when you take a drink everytime Sting sings "Roxanne" in the self titled song; much harder than one would imagine), Waterfall, Quarters, Das Boot, Beirut, Power Hour.

Keep in mind the words my assistant high school bball coach used to say, "Practice doesn't make perfect... perfect practice makes perfect."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

call to all bloggers

The topic of this week will be food!

Baked goods must be submitted to this site prior to all exclusions!

Liquid recepies are to be tasted by Mikey and will posted upon verification of his survival!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Call to writers

What if JP or Mikey selected a theme for the day and we all submitted posts on that theme?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Special request to God

If there is one type of killer whale that eats only fish,
And another type that eats only seals,
then how about one type that eats only sea gulls?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pater Noster

Our father that art in heaven
Stay there
And we will stay on the earth
Which is sometimes so lovely
With her mysteries of New York
And her mysteries of Paris
Which well equal those of the Trinity

With her little canal of Ourcq
Her great wall of China
Her river of Morlaix
Her treasures of Cambrai
With her Pacific Ocean
And her two lakes at the Tuilleries

With her good children and her bad subjects
With all the world's marvels
Simply on the earth
Offered to everyone
Marveling themselves to be such marvels
And who dare not avow it
Like a pretty girl who dares not show herself

With the world's horrifying miseries
Who are legion
With their legionnaires
With their tortureres
With the masters of this world
The masters with their priests and their traitors

With the seasons
With the years
With the pretty girls and the old bastards
With the straw of misery rotting in the steel of cannons.

~ Jacques Prevert

Believe It!

"Too much of anything is bad,
But too much whiskey is barely enough."

-- Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Jimmy V's ESPY Speech

Thank you, Thank you very much. Thank you. That's the lowest I've ever seen Dick Vitale since the owner of the Detroit Pistons called him in and told him he should go into broadcasting.

The I can't tell you what an honor it is, to even be mentioned in the same breath with Arthur Ashe. This is something I certainly will treasure forever. But, as it was said on the tape, and I also don't have one of those things going with the cue cards, so I'm going to speak longer than anybody else has spoken tonight. That's the way it goes. Time is very precious to me. I don't know how much I have left and I have some things that I would like to say. Hopefully, at the end, I will have said something that will be important to other people too.

But, I can't help it. Now I'm fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how's your day, and nothing is changed for me. As Dick said, I'm a very emotional and passionate man. I can't help it. That's being the son of Rocco and Angelina Valvano. It comes with the territory. We hug, we kiss, we love. When people say to me howdo you get through life or each day, it's the same thing. To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

I rode on the plane up today with Mike Krzyzewski, my good friend and wonderful coach. People don't realize he's ten times a better person than he is a coach, and we know he's a great coach. He's meant a lot to me in these last five or six months with my battle. But when I look at Mike, I think, we competed against each other as players. I coached against him for fifteen years, and I always have to think about what's important in life to me are these three things. Where you started, where you are and where you're going to be. Those are the three things that I try to do every day. When I think about getting up and giving a speech, I can't help it. I have to remember the first speech I ever gave.

I was coaching at Rutgers University, that was my first job, oh that's wonderful (reaction to applause), and I was the freshman coach. That's when freshmen played on freshman teams, and I was so fired up about my first job. I see Lou Holtz here. Coach Holtz, who doesn't like the very first job you had? The very first time you stood in the locker room to give a pep talk. That's a special place, the locker room, for a coach to give a talk. So my idol as a coach was Vince Lombardi, and I read this book called "Commitment To Excellence" by Vince Lombardi. And in the book, Lombardi talked about the fist time he spoke before his Green Bay Packers team in the locker room, and they were perennial losers. I'm reading this and Lombardi said he was thinking should it be a long talk, or a short talk? But he wanted it to be emotional, so it would be brief. So here's what I did. Normally you get in the locker room, I don't know, twenty-five minutes, a half hour before the team takes the field, you do your little x and o's, and then you give the great Knute Rockne talk. We all do. Speech number eight-four. You pull them right out, you get ready. You get your squad ready. Well, this is the first one I ever gave and I read this thing. Lombardi, what he said was he didn't go in, he waited. His team wondering, where is he? Where is this great coach? He's not there. Ten minutes he's still not there. Three minutes before they could take the field Lombardi comes in, bangs the door open, and I think you all remember what great presence he had, great presence. He walked in and he walked back and forth, like this, just walked, staring at the players. He said, "All eyes on me." I'm reading this in this book. I'm getting this picture of Lombardi before his first game and he said "Gentlemen, we will be successful this year, if you can focus on three things, and three things only. Your family, your religion and the Green Bay Packers." They knocked the walls down and the rest was history. I said, that's beautiful. I'm going to do that. Your family, your religion and Rutgers basketball. That's it. I had it. Listen, I'm twenty-one years old. The kids I'm coaching are nineteen, and I'm going to be the greatest coach in the world, the next Lombardi. I'm practicing outside of the locker room and the managers tell me you got to go in. Not yet, not yet, family, religion, Rutgers Basketball. All eyes on me. I got it, I got it. Then finally he said, three minutes, I said fine. True story. I go to knock the doors open just like Lombardi. Boom! They don't open. I almost broke my arm. Now I was down, the players were looking. Help the coach out, help him out. Now I did like Lombardi, I walked back and forth, and I was going like that with my arm getting the feeling back in it. Finally I said, "Gentlemen, all eyes on me." These kids wanted to play, they're nineteen. "Let's go," I said. "Gentlemen, we'll be successful this year if you can focus on three things, and three things only. Your family, your religion and the Green Bay Packers," I told them. I did that. I remember that. I remember where I came from.

It's so important to know where you are. I know where I am right now. How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal. You have to be willing to work for it.

I talked about my family, my family's so important. People think I have courage. The courage in my family are my wife Pam, my three daughters, here, Nicole, Jamie, LeeAnn, my mom, who's right here too..... That screen is flashing up there "thirty seconds" like I care about that screen right now, huh? I got tumors all over my body. I'm worried about some guy in the back going thirty seconds? You got a lot, hey va fa napoli, buddy. You got a lot.

I just got one last thing, I urge all of you, all of you, to enjoy your life, the precious moments you have. To spend each day with some laughter and some thought, to get you're emotions going. To be enthusiastic every day and as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nothing great could be accomplished without enthusiasm," to keep your dreams alive in spite of problems whatever you have. The ability to be able to work hard for your dreams to come true, to become a reality.

Now I look at where I am now and I know what I want to do. What I would like to be able to do is spend whatever time I have left and to give, and maybe, some hope to others. Arthur Ashe Foundation is a wonderful thing, and AIDS, the amount of money pouring in for AIDS is not enough, but is significant. But if I told you it's ten times the amount that goes in for cancer research. I also told you that five hundred thousand people will die this year of cancer. I also tell you that one in every four will be afflicted with this disease, and yet somehow, we seem to have put it in a little bit of the background. I want to bring it back on the front table. We need your help. I need your help. We need money for research. It may not save my life. It may save my children's lives. It may save someone you love. And ESPN has been so kind to support me in this endeavor and allow me to announce tonight, that with ESPN's support, which means what? Their money and their dollars and they're helping me-we are starting the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research. And it's motto is "Don't give up, don't ever give up." That's what I'm going to try to do every minute that I have left. I will thank God for the day and the moment I have. If you see me, smile and give me a hug. That's important to me too. But try if you can to support, whether it's AIDS or the cancer foundation, so that someone else might survive, might prosper and might actually be cured of this dreaded disease. I can't thank ESPN enough for allowing this to happen. I'm going to work as hard as I can for cancer research and hopefully, maybe, we'll have some cures and some breakthroughs. I'd like to think, I'm going to fight my brains out to be back here again next year for the Arthur Ashe recipient. I want to give it next year!

I know, I gotta go, I gotta go, and I got one last thing and I said it before, and I want to say it again. Cancer can take away all my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever.

I thank you and God bless you all.

~Jim Valvano died 2 months later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shall we have emotions in heaven?

Our deceased family members are in heaven…surely most are. The bible tells us, there “all share happiness, peace, and joy.” Indeed our hope is to participate in this eternal reward. This brings forth a more formal understanding of everlasting life.

1. Proposition:
Souls that have made the journey Home retain their emotions. That is to say, our feelings are not abandoned to the grave.

Joy is an emotion, as are peace and happiness shown by all in heaven according to God’s own word.
Souls that have left this world shared such emotions while on earth
Thus all souls entering God’s Kingdom continue their emotions.

2. Corollary:
Anger and sadness are emotions to be found in heaven.

Anger and sadness are emotions to be found in people on earth.
People on earth retain their emotions.
Hence all souls in heaven share anger and sadness.

By definition, heaven is the fount of ceaseless joy and therefore can never be the cause of distress or suffering. Hence the cause of anguish to those in heaven must be those souls who remain on Earth. Our prayers for those in heaven are not sufficient. Our goodness is required as well. Amen!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

My first and last motorcycle ride

I was twenty
He was the guy all of my friends wanted to sleep with

He lived in an old house on the hill
With all the other members of a band called
“Strawberry Jam”

It was a simple matter of needing to get from one place to the next
There was no pretense of romance
And yet here I was,
The chosen one.

I can still feel the drumming beat of my heart
As we pulled out into the winding asphalt
And I lived, for once in my life,
Purely in the moment

Inhaling his smell of sweat and tobacco
Clinging desperately to his wiry frame
Watching ribbons of green trees fly by.

Later that night, when I stopped again to remember the ride
I also added it to my mental list
Of ways in which I had disobeyed my father.

Friday, August 14, 2009

a joke

Answer to the question: Do you spell your name with a V, Mr. Vagner?
- Steve Allen

Palabras (for La Diosa)

Here it is almost ready to rain

It is as if the weather would begin
a long sentence

but keeps stalling over the first few words -

a drop here, three drops, a little wind

Then, a moment later, the manic stutter of cicadas
who are desperate to explain their thing for trees

but somehow stick on that one odd syllable.
It is this way at times.

A man keeps tapping the tip of his nose,
his brain tensed like a spider,
but what's the use? All sense runs away.

It's as if every word were a roach
and the need to speak
like turning on the kitchen light.

Let's say, for example, that I love you
and must tell you why.

Your eyes... see what I mean?

The taste of your mouth...

Do you see how I sweat?

Your fingers. The fields.
The fine, fine weave of your skin.
I want to say so much about so much.

It's as if my heart were crammed with grapes -

each of which I would slip inside you,
then savor lazily, lying under a willow
while the long shade wrapped its legs around me.

Of course I talk like this now - my heart
is swollen with grapes,

grapes I would steer carefully with my lips
up and over the Aztec-brown swerves de tus nalgas

grapes I would squeeze then sip
from the tiny chalice of your navel
while God held both of us in Her all-knowing mouth.

Now everyone wants to question my appropriateness.
I can even feel my parents, faraway, squinting
and crossing their arms.

But how can I not say that I'm saying?
Because of you and your witch's talk, woman

my heart is a grape - big as a man -
a grape full of gasoline, a grape so thoroughly grown

it would be a zeppelin
if it didn't walk around all day
writing its hands -

a grape that wears glasses, a grape
that breaks chairs, a grape that mumbles
with its mouth full of chips,
a frape so well hidden in itself
that it has disappeared entirely.

and then come these words

all at once, as if from nowhere

like a storm.

-Tim Seibels, from Hammerlock (1999)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

No More Night

”No more night. No more pain.
No more tears. Never crying again.
And praises to the great I AM.
We will live in the light of the risen Lamb.”

-- Walt Harrah

Sung best by David Phelps

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dreaming about surfing

I am where
there is no air
and seaweed is my hair

feet over head
and head over feet

and then I see
ahead of me
the light of day

I rise from the froth of the salty stew
breathless and new

The Mad Ones

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”

~ Jack Kerouac

Do not fill all empty spaces!!!!!

Unfilled spaces make proper placing,
For vacant thoughts to be collecting,
These though dire upon a testing,
Be good to have for litigating.

More harm has come from a good thought misused by a malicious spouse.


Song of the Gardener's wife (or I am the canning Queen )

What is hotter than the beating sun on an August afternoon,

What is richer than the lush,heavy, green of the garden- full of life, buttereflies, birds,bunnies and the slugs... oh, the slugs

Who is prized more than the gardener- laboring, watching, coaxing the soil's gift,

What brings more memories than the bittersweet rhubarb- summers and pies of the past,

Can this all be captured in a glass jar, placed on a shelf where it waits for winter and then it's promise is released, savored, uncomparable to what other things we call "food",

How grateful am I for the chance to share this taste, this season, this bounty

Monday, August 10, 2009

to the thought of Mrs. Erin McDonald

Like all great things, we were an accident. We weren’t supposed to end up together, but like John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when your busy making other plans.” Despite being in front of each other’s face for so long, we finally found ourselves and continued to grow together in love through the hard times and the good.

I want to marry you because you completely erased any notion I had about what being in love means. Your love is completely unconditional. It doesn’t come with parameters. Your love makes me feel like I will never be alone in anything I do. More importantly, you let me be myself. You let me be a person that my friends and family love & understand.

I want to marry you because we think with 2 different sides of the brain. I get excited about what you have to say about any subject because I know it will differ from mine, right or wrong. I love the fact that I either love or hate the music you listen to and vice versa. There is no indifference with us. We are equally passionate about the way we feel about life and sometimes I can picture our thoughts waving to each other as they pass by in opposite directions. You are a thinker first and I am talker first, and that analogy can be related to almost anything we experience together.

I want to marry you because I know you are a good person. You work hard, you play hard and you never settle. You will be a great wife and a great mother. You come from a wonderful family whose love and generosity is unmatched. I know I will be a good husband and father because of the challenges met by mine. I know you will be a good wife and mother because of the strength of yours. You are a beautiful person, inside and out.

I want to marry you because like me you are totally and utterly mad.

I want to marry you because of all these reasons and more. Because being with you feels like home. Our relationship is stronger than any wickedness that life will throw at us, our trust more deeply rooted than anyone’s desire to break it.

I will love you, always.

God’s Pests

Spring’s creeper comes from the deeper,
Summer’s buzzes come from wraps of fuzzes,
Fall’s croonings come in gloomings,
Winter’s seekers head for heaters,
They by beaks to nests are welcomed.

Bugs out number us!


Saturday, August 8, 2009


"We thank the Moon and the stars,
who give us their light when the Sun retires....
We thank the Great Spirit, incarnation of all kindness,
who directs all things for the good of Its children."

— - an Iroquois prayer

Friday, August 7, 2009

the dentist

"Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Is dental."
~Ogden Nash

advice on a husband

“Get thee a good husband and use him as he uses thee”
-- William Shakespeare

Thursday, August 6, 2009

More Art Linkletter

Art asked a little girl how she helped her mother.
She said, "I help her make toast for breakfast."
He said, "Tell us what you do."
She said, "Well, you take a piece of bread and you put it in a kind of machine there. Of course, I'm not big enough to flush it."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


"Political correctness is tyranny with manners."
-- Charlton Heston

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

why hope

"Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises; and oft it hits
Where hope is coldest, and despair most fits."
- - Shakespeare

Monday, August 3, 2009


You are as welcome
as the rain to end the drought,
as the wind to lift the heat,
as the flowers that bring the spring,
as the toddler to a father's arms.

The rules are listed along with the blog's name.
You be doing real good!



By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
-- Socrates