Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Stars in my Eyes






Some days I find the stars in my eyes.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Football is back (2013)

I should be pontificating on something as the world has so much going on in it... but football is back. So my brain turns to mush as I watch men paid WAY much more than me smash into each other for three hours.
My son, who is a Buccaneers fan solely because that was the first team who could remember, is wearing his Packers gear today. Why? You got me. He keeps saying, "The Packers are cheaters!" So I say back, "You're wearing a Packers jersey, fool!" After a moment of contemplation, he replies, "I like them, but I hate when they cheat."
Out of the mouth of babes.

As for his dad...Well...I like pain. I'm a NY Jets fan. My season is going to suck, but it'll be fun to watch my son cheer.

Welcome back football. Welcome back.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ending (Breaking) Bad


I know I'm late to the game, but I've been thinking a great deal about the end of what many are now calling the best show ever. (I still think it's either The Wire or Oz, but that's just me.) There are only a few episodes left before Walter White, Jesse Pinkman, and the rest of these very complex, deep, and slightly inhuman (at times) characters leave our screens (The rumored Saul Goodman spinoff aside). This has led me to think a great deal about what the ending of show is going to be. I have no doubt none of these are original, and it's very possible, dear reader, you've seen it somewhere else by now, but I haven't gone out of my way to see what other people have said. If I'm copying, I apologize.

By the way, as a side note, I feel like I get to be a bit of hipster on this show. I watched the first episode and was hooked. People were talking about Dexter and other shows at the time, but I was trying to convince them that Breaking Bad was going to be special. I was shot down. Those same people then came back to me a few years later and said, "OMG! Have you ever seen this show?!" Or I read tweets where these same people said, "Why didn't someone tell me about this show?" I did. I don't need credit. I just want to get a "I was here first" in for once.

So, I present two not really serious endings (though I think they would be fun) and one actual ending.

Ending 1:

Walt, having returned to New Mexico to kill Lydia (who tried to have Walt and his family killed), shows up at her house, now a compound of sorts, with his newly acquired heavy machine gun. Locked and loaded, he rushes through the front door and fires. Unfortunately Lydia has help from her partners in the Czech Republic and armed guards. Walt is gunned down. As he dies, we suddenly see him wake up in a bed. He looks different. His hair is longer. He's has no scar and a little more belly. He's hyper-ventilating when we hear a familiar voice:
"Hal! What's wrong? Why are you hyper-ventilating." It's Lois, Hal's wife.
"I had a strange dream. I was a Chemistry teacher...and I started making Meth."
"That's terrible. Come on, you have to get dressed. We're late to pick up Malcolm."
Hal sits on the bed and begins thinking, when he begins to talk to himself out loud.
"I mean it had some great moments. What if...I mean Malcolm is a genius. And Reese is a thug with a heart of gold...not unlike Jesse.... And Francis and Dewey would be able to move product. Lois! I have an idea of how we could solve ALL of our money issues." And with that, the camera pans to a bucket of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken and fades to black.

Of course, this would require people to remember Malcolm in the Middle and be ok with it. So let's try this:

Ending 2:

Walt returns to New Mexico and eradicates his enemies. Hank, Jesse, and Lydia are all dead. As Walt stands over the dead bodies of Hank's DEA buddies, he notices something strange. One of them has a black, oil-like substance coming out of his body. Suddenly, the man stands up. Walt opens fire again and the man dives out of a window. Confused, Walt drops the gun and runs for his car. He returns to the motel he is hiding out in, locks the door, and hides behind the bed. He is prepared to stay up all night just in case. Cut to morning and Walt is asleep against the wall. Suddenly he is awakened by a knock on the door. He slowly moves toward the door and asks, "W-Who is it?" A stern female voice says, "FBI, open the door."
Walt opens the door to see two people standing there, a man and a woman."
"Sir, are you Walter White?"
"Who are you," asks Walt.
"I'm Dana Scully of the FBI. This is my partner Fox Mulder. I'll ask again: Are you Walter White?"
Walt is shocked. "Yes, I am. What...What is this about?"
Suddenly Mulder begins talking. "Sir, we believe you saw an Alien last night. Your prints were found on a gun at the home of one Hank Schrader. We also found an oil-like substance on the floor that suggests an alien was there. Sir, did you see something?"
Walt is confounded. "Aliens? No. That's....That's not possible." He explains what happened leaving out the fact that he was there to kill Hank. Instead, he talks about his brother-in-law being obsessed, etc.
Mulder and Scully ask Walter to come with them. "I'll need a minute," he says. Scully points out the car and asks him to meet them there. Walter goes into the bathroom washes his face. As he towels off, an alien bounty hunter appears behind him. Before Walter can do anything, the alien bounty hunter grabs him. Time slows down and Walter sees his life flash before his eyes as his neck is snapped. His last thoughts are of Holly, Flynn, and Skyler. In an interior monologue, his last words are, "I'm sorry," and, "I deserve this." As his body hits the floor, the camera shows that the Alien Bounty Hunter has already turned into Walter. He adjusts his clothes and leaves the bathroom. The camera centers over Walter's body lying on the floor and begins to pan out and up as Buffalo Springfield's For What it's Worth is playing. It then fades to black.

No? No good? Well Gilligan was very involved with The X-Files. Ok, ok. Here's my real ending:

Ending 3 (real ending):

The last episode begins with Walt standing over the body of a dead Hank. "I'm sorry," Walt whispers. He looks at the cup on the table next to Hank and begins thinking back.
"You got me. For real this time," Walt says to Hank. "I am Heisenberg. I had no choice. I couldn't leave my family with nothing, and I knew the Cancer was going to ravage my body and my mind. Skyler was pregnant with Holly. YOUR niece! Walt Jr. has needs too, Hank. It was supposed to be a fast and quick money with no one getting hurt, but it kept building."
"I don't care," Hank hisses. "Do you know what you have put me through? Marie? Skyler?! You say you care about them, but what you did....WHAT YOU DID! Jesus, Walt, you put ALL of us in danger."
Walt thinks it over. He is silent as Hank is filled with rage.
"I'll explain it to you, Hank. Let's have a drink, and I'll explain it all. Then you can take me in. You can arrest me, but you have to promise, you MUST promise to protect my family." Walt moves over to a bottle of whiskey and pours two glasses. As Hank turns away, Walt drops the Ricin he was hiding into the glass. He hands Hank the poisoned glass and says, "A toast to you, Hank. You never gave up. You never bended like a reed in the wind, and because of it, you got me." Walt drinks. Hank then does too. He puts the glass down and begins to walk over to the couch...but suddenly something isn't right. Quickly his body shuts down and he drops. It's here that Walt apologizes. He then pulls out a list from his pocket and crosses Hank's name off. We see the names he's crossed off, with some being very familiar, but the camera stops on the last name below Hank's now crossed off name: Jesse Pinkman.
We learn that upon finding out that Walt let Jane die and that he poisoned Brock, Jesse couldn't forgive Walt ever. He swore he'd kill him and went to associates of Mike's as well as the new clients of Lydia's in Eastern Europe to solidify his new goal: Destroy Walter. He exposed Walter as Heisenberg attempted to kill him. This led Walter to relocate his family to the East Coast and to fake his death and retreat to New Hampshire. Now back, Walter has bought the machine gun to go after Jesse. Walter has another secret, however. The cancer is not only back, it's terminal. He cannot escape death this time.
Walter goes to Jesse's house with the machine gun. He notices that Jesse has some muscle in front. With a thought back to Scarface, he steps out of his Volvo and begins shooting. During the fight, Walter is shot but finishes off the men Jesse brought in. The gun is out of ammo, but the only one left is Jesse. Walter checks his side and sees the dark blood coming out. He's done for. All he has left to do is get to Jesse.
"Jesse, I just want to talk," Walter says.
"You have a funny way of showing that, Mr. White," Jesse replies.
Walter is beginning to feel woozy. The wound is bad.
"Jesse, I just came to say what I need to. Then...then you can finish me."
Jesse is hesitant. After all, he knows what Walter is capable of from their dealing together. He steps out and begins walking toward Walter.
Walter sits in a chair and sighs.
"Jesse. Jesse, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I did what I did for my family, and...."
Jesse cuts him off. "This shit sounds rehearsed, bitch!"
Walter is running out of blood. He notices a gun near him on the floor and begins speaking more.
"JUST...listen, Jesse. You were right. I lost EVERYTHING because you were right. I thought you were just some moronic high school kid who could help me make money before I died. Turns out you were better at being a human being. In the end, I didn't teach you....You taught me. I'm dying, Jesse. Your guys got me, but if I hadn't been shot, the cancer is back and aggressive. I don't have a great deal of time. I should be angry with you, but I'm not. You were right. My family is safer without me. You were better off without me." He pauses. "I once told Skyler, 'I am the one who knocks.' I was right at the time. Now you are the one who knocks. Don't be like me, Jesse. Don't destroy it all for nothing."
Walter now falls to the floor, but he isn't dead. Jesse, who has seen through this ruse realizes what Walter is doing: He's trying to get a gun. Jesse moves quickly and kicks Walter away from the gun and says, "No. You don't get to take me with you. I told you I didn't want to do this anymore. These guys were watching over me because I was giving them EVERYTHING. Your legacy, Mr. White, will be that every cook from here to the end of the Earth now knows your formula. You'll be remembered because everyone will cook like you do....Did." And with that, Jesse walks away and sits on the couch, crying.
Walter is finished. His breath is incredibly labored. Slowly Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt" begins playing as Walter thinks back over his life and his choices. He sees the people he's used and abused (taking us through clips of the previous five seasons). The last thought he has is of his family. Tears roll down Walter's cheeks as his last breath is taken. And as the song finishes, the camera pulls up and away from Walter as he dies alone with the only person near him, his former partner, hating him. Walter dies alone away from his original goal: his family. Jesse gets up and walks outside into the sun. He has truly broken the bad around him and will now go and do whatever he wants with his life.
Fade to black.

So there you go. Walter dies. The true heart and soul of the show, Jesse, moves from punk in season one to being the person who redeems himself. He breaks the bad. Yes, it was supposed to be Skyler (as Gilligan once said), but she was corrupted. Jesse develops a conscious and comes out better.

That's how I see it. In a few weeks, we'll all know it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nerdy Past Comes Calling

Confession: I liked Dungeons and Dragons when I was younger. I like it now, but I have no one to play with now. So when I saw the link below about finding out who you are as a D&D character, I had to try it. The following is my outcome:


I Am A: Neutral Good Human Sorcerer (5th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-13
Dexterity-14
Constitution-17
Intelligence-17
Wisdom-15
Charisma-14

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Homestyle Ratatouille

This is for TeamPhotoblog Challenge #4.

Let me start by saying this: If you're expecting a ratatouille that looks like the final dish Remy makes in the film of the same name, you're going to be disappointed. This is a homestyle version of the recipe where the vegetables are cubed instead of sliced.

This dish is for the vegetable lover as it incorporates ten different vegetables (if you count different colored peppers as different vegetables...which I do).


What you'll need:

A stock pot to cook it all in
A skillet to brown the vegetables in
1 green pepper: cubed
1 red pepper: cubed
1 yellow pepper: cubed
1 orange pepper: cubed
1 medium sized eggplant: cubed (for this recipe, I used a larger Japanese eggplant)
3 cloves of garlic: diced
2 onions: sliced into thin rings (I used sweet onions, but red or white are just as good)
2 green zucchini: cubed
2 yellow squash: cubed
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
4 roma tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup of olive oil


Begin by chopping up the vegetables. It's a long, arduous task that requires good knife skills (and a good knife. I like using a Santakou for this).












Take the stock pot and put 1 & 1/2 tablespooons of oil in it. Heat over medium-low heat.

Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.

As that's going, take the skillet and heat 1 & 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and saute the zucchini in batches until browned.Saute all the remaining vegetables one batch (peppers, eggplant) at a time, adding 1 & 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet each time you add a new set of vegetables. Once each batch has been sauteed add them to the stock pot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaf and thyme and cover the pot.

Raise the heat to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and parsley to the stock pot.

Cook for another 10-15 minutes while stirring occasionally.


Remove the bay leaf, plate, and enjoy.





A nice twist to this dish is to cut up and fry polenta. Then serve the homestyle ratatouille on top. Another way is to cut up and bake some french bread, then serve on top. In any way, this is a delicious recipe that's easy to make and healthy too.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Missing the Green
















I grow grapes on the side of my house. I really miss the green and am excited to get back to gardening.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Laying in Wait

I'm a fan of Sopheava, so when she asked for people to participate in her Photo Challenge, I decided to join in.






So, here is my first entry.






Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Face Plant


This is sadly how I feel about many of my classes lately. Really good setup. Everything looks like it's working, and then they take the tests....Oy.

Life Alert


While Albert Haynesworth is totally worthless, this is also how I feel about my staff meeting today.

We gathered, as we always do, in the auditorium of my building. Unsure of what we would be discussing, we waited, graded, and talked to each other. This would be the last moment of positivity for me.

We had five kids who graduated last year speak to the staff about how the International Baccalaureate program made their lives better and college easier. While it was great to hear they're saving money and are ahead in classes, the problem was in the delivery.

1. It felt like a giant commercial. "Here's why IB is great. We should all love it." All it was missing was white tigers and fireworks.
2. What about the teachers who don't have IB? Are we to feel horrible because our students aren't doing the same thing?
3. One of the students completely ripped AP (Advanced Placement). I understand that my school no longer teaches AP, but it was uncalled for, and angered me as I had done some AP classes. Her words ("AP is useless compared to IB") were born of ignorance, but she was praised as though her words were gospel.

The rest of the meeting was a midyear check up that ended with us being told to buck up and chill out from our stress. In all, it felt like the Haynesworth gif above:

Tons of promise that ended with nothing more than disappointment.

Namaste.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Broken Wings


This is my son's reaction after finding out our plane was delayed...again. (Note the sweet Hartford Whalers hat.)

Resolute

Hello there, dear reader.

Happy New Year.

I'm going to try and write more this year. That was the first resolution I made. I love writing, but it has been hard trying to find time with two children and my career. That will change.

The second resolution, however, will seem strange when compared to most resolutions made:

I'm going to be more selfish.

You aren't reading that wrong. I'm going to be more about myself and less about other people.

Now this leads to the question a few people have already asked me: "Why? That's horrible."

I have worked very hard for other people the last few years, and, honestly, I have been burned a great deal for it. People I have considered friends have taken my good faith and left. Others that I have moved Heaven and Earth for never said, "Thank you," or showed gratuity. As one of my neighbors put it: "People use you, and you let them."

Well, I resolve to not let that happen anymore. I'm tired of people using me. I'm tired of people telling me that my feelings don't matter. If it means that I'm alone, then so be it.

At this point, other than family, there are only two people I will go above and beyond my means for. Those two know who they are because I consider one family and the other my best friend. Everyone else just has to hope I'm in a good mood and not busy.

I hope, dear reader, that you have a fantastic 2011.

Namaste.

Monday, December 06, 2010

George Lucas's First Failure

The Star Wars Holiday Special.
Campy, horrible, and just plain ugly.

Enjoy.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Brilliant Marketing

Showing that people are really idiots when drunk, a young woman who happens to be a Boston Bruins fans kicks in a column in the bathroom (seen here).

Now regardless of the fact that my mind slightly melts at the fact that they would upload a video with their faces which is them performing vandalism on public property, the Boston Bruins really impressed me.

You see, they have this bear (known as The Bear) who gives the rules of right and wrong for hockey fans.

The Bear posted his response to these women today.

Absolutely brilliant. It also makes me want to go and look at other Bear videos (I did).

Keep up the good work, Bear. And defend that Garden. And that's coming from a Rangers fan....

Namaste.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Have We Met?

Hi.

So, dear reader (and at this point I'm assuming there's only one left), I've been writing for five years now.


And I'm not sure what to write about now. See this is what's happening in my head:


Hey, you could write about work
.

No, I can't. See, I'm a teacher, and while there would be wonderful stories about the frustrations of the job, the kids, and more, the issue is that my colleagues would get wind of it, read it, and then come after me. It's happened before...so, while I would love to vent, I can't.


Ok, how about your life?


In truth, my life isn't that interesting anymore. When I started this blog, I was looking to use the things that had happened in my life as a way of creating moralistic stories (hence the title). I did a great deal of stupid stuff and there was fallout. The problem is that I have become just another person. I'm married, have kids, and work. As such, I don't go out and do crazy stuff anymore. I can't. I need to be a better role model for my kids. Which is ironic as I suck as a human being, but that's only what two bosses, a few exs, and some other people have told me.


So what do you want to write about now?

Well that’s the issue, isn’t it? I’m not sure. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers who just writes about his kids, and I can’t write about work (even though people would love to hear about how crazy I, the kids, and my colleagues are).

I’ve been thinking about micro-fiction, but Michele did that really well and I feel like I’d just be copying. Seriously, go read her stuff. She’s really good. I’ll wait….See? Awesome.

I want to keep writing, so I’m not sure yet what it will be, but the blog will be here until Blogspot starts removing people it doesn’t like, and I am tossed aside.

Anyway, dear reader, there you go. That’s what’s been happening. I’ll try to get better as I was (for some reason) Blogger’s blog of note for a day. I’ll need to try and live up to that.

Namaste.



Winds of Change


















It was a gorgeous day today, and Little Leab (as opposed to Leab 2.0) had a birthday party to attend. This is the neighbor's tree saying, "Hello," as we headed out.

Fall is most definitely here. Isn't it wonderful?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Toes on the Edge

























This is always how I feel right before school starts. This year will be interesting. I have a full Freshman schedule and a student teacher. The issue won't be the material; it will be if my brain explodes or withers from the possible boredom of teaching the same thing all day.

However, I am grateful to have a job. So, with toes on the edge, I will leap off.

Good luck on 2010-2011, my fellow teachers.

My Hero


In many ways, he is.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Safe









































Quick, what
store in downtown Minneapolis has a bank vault in the back? A random bank vault, which has nothing to do with the store itself?