Thursday, February 28, 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013

Reflection before the storm

I slept for twelve hours last night and woke up this morning to the sounds of silence. A rather far cry from the usual bustle and hectic pace that my life has been these past few months. I have to say, I rather enjoyed it. A deep snow still blankets the trees and land in my neighborhood and the only faint sounds I can hear now are the small birds chirping while fluffing themselves into feathery balls in the evergreen hedges around the house. My grandfather clock chimes the hour and like clockwork the coffee machine clicks on dutifully to fill the house with the cozy smell of freshly brewed coffee.

Lately, I have not made much time for myself to sit, muse and write here about the happenings in my life or the thoughts and questions in my head. A good habit formed is just as easy to break with the small steps of simple neglect. Putting something good off is just a poor practice for me as indulging in wasteful or illogical behavior and I have been remiss in cultivating my inner life shared. There is something cathartic about getting my thoughts out in word form to be perused and reflected on. Even my frequent writing in my own private journals has stalled out, due to the hours I have been investing in work and rest. I guess there is a certain ebb and flow to our own lives that changes with each season we find ourselves passing through.

Winter has always found me a bit more solitary. I have my fill of people, activity and energy in my daily work cooking for people and events and with the hours I have been putting in, once I leave, I am more prone to enjoying the time I do have with myself. I have some incredible friends who have known me through the years and understand that my involvement socially tends to alter itself with the pace of each year. Spring, summer and fall is my forte while these cold months tend to nudge me back into the quiet places of my own heart. It is not an unreasonable arrangement and quite necessary for my own peace of mind. They know that all too soon, with the warmth and sun, I will be back out and about enjoying the people, crowds, places and events that I retreated from for a while.

Thanks to the insight of my GM at work, I have been granted two whole days off to rest and recharge my batteries and body. We have another storm coming and Kyle, our Executive Chef, has "volunteered" to stay at the hotel in my stead to feed the hungry travelers and coworkers who will be overnighting till the worst has passed. I am very grateful. It looks like we have a few hours this day before the snow arrives and I am going to make good use of the freedom and time I do have. Last night I watched a good independent film (The Reader) and baked some Pumpkin Spiced Gingerbread to share with friends and family. After I quit my writing here, I am going to get cleaned up, drink some more coffee and then bundle up to deliver some loaves to my parents, my neighbor Bernice and my friends Troy and Bruce. A home made treat is always a great way to share some love. For me, cooking and sharing with others is my way of saying that I care about them and have been thinking of them in my absence. I think I can just make all the rounds around the city before this afternoon.

I realize I have not shared much about my own inner monologue or the questions and ideas that have been steeping in my mind. There is always much going on in my head but I think the things that I am pondering and wondering about can hold their peace until I have arrived at more concrete answers or at least more well formed questions to broach the silence and invite discussion. There have been few other times in my own introspective life where I have been challenged as much or seen such evident changes occur in such a short time. I am growing. I can feel it. I think that is a good thing. Take care and keep warm. Until later,


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Black History Month for White People

I really like how this guy thinks and communicates. Well worth watching.



Just got home from work. I have been there since Tuesday. We all got snowed in by over a foot of the white stuff so I got a room and stayed at the Hotel till today. I spent my time cooking for the guests and all my coworkers who were trapped by the storm. It was NOT a holiday for me, as it was for some, since people have this strange habit of eating three times each day? Go figure. I was the only Chef in the building. I just keep telling myself that I love my job. :)

Needless to say, I am a bit weary and am going to rest now. I did manage to stay up last night and watch "The Princess Bride". It was totally worth being sleeping this morning. Love that movie! I go back tomorrow and then will have my Monday off. I am truly hoping this next storm that is on its way will not catch me at work again. I truly need a break and one day a week isn't quite cutting it. Time for a long winters nap. Hope you all are well.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A day off

A day off work! I can't help but grin this morning as I wrote that. I slept in this morning and am even now just waking up slowly. No alarm clock chirped me to action at 3:30 am. I simply woke up when my body decided enough sleep had been had. I slipped on some PJ pants, a favorite, worn t-shirt and some woolly socks and made myself a pot of coffee and pulled a double shot of espresso. They both taste delicious and I am enjoying the fact that I have time to savor them instead of gulping them down, donning my chef togs and hustling out the door. *happy sigh*

It is COLD today. The thermometer on the deck reads at 22 degrees and a North wind is blowing something fierce. I bundled up and took the trash out to the end of the driveway and was thankful to have a warm house to return quickly to. As I was walking back inside a hound dog came rushing through the yards to sing at me in a somewhat scolding tone of voice. I stopped and watched him watching me. He was clean, well fed and had a collar and tags. He paused for a while and continued trying to tell me something at the top of his lungs and then seemed satisfied and padded on off up the street, stopping to sniff random points of interest. A neighbor's dog then called to him from another yard, so he rushed off yipping to give that dog a piece of his mind. I have to wonder about the strange life of animals and what must be going through their minds as they live near and among us.

I am not really sure what I would like to do today. I know I would enjoy heading into the city to my coffee shop and catching up on some reading. I have a few National Geographic magazines still in their wrappers that I have saved for some free time of leisurely perusal. For some reason, I only read them at my coffee shop. I am still unsure where that habit or quick came from. I don't think I will call anyone to join me though, as I would like to enjoy some solitary time today. There is a new breakfast shop that has opened in Westport and I might stop in there for a bite to eat that someone else has cooked for a change. I do wish it was a bit warmer, but a thick wool sweater and my down coat can surely ward off this wintry chill. Maybe I will bundle up eventually and start my day. Maybe I will holler at Bruce and take him to lunch and a movie. It would be great to catch up with him.

Life is good. Works is keeping me busy and I am still slowly getting over this cold/flu thing that has been hanging around for over a week now. Mornings are amusing to me because I never know what shape my voice will be in when I get up. The last few mornings I have sounded like a young Muppet when I talk, but this morning it is a deep, gravely resonant voice that sounds entirely unlike me. Maybe I should have some fun and record a new voice mail message with it? I will be glad to be back to normal health soon. Working 6 days a week has kind of extended the healing process. I am so used to my working schedule that a whole day away from it has me a little giddy. That also could be the coffee now coursing through my veins.

I really don't have much news or change to report. I am waiting for Spring to arrive and am doing all the things that I must in order to make my life run smoothly. Time away from work is quiet, filled with my own simple activities and choices. I am reading good books, slowly working my way through some movies that friends have recommended and biding my time till warm weather finally comes back to us. A huge storm is supposed to hit this week, so we shall see what that will bring. I noticed this morning that my hyacinths are cropping up in the front garden so I need to remember to cover them before Thursday. It is refreshing to see little bits of life perking back up.

My life is simple. I am content and on the mend. I am over here doing what I do and the minor complaints that I could enumerate would seem like the best of worlds for those with much less to be thankful for. I am a happy man.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Nick Pitara :One Man Disney

Ran across this guys videos and music today. Pretty fantastic. Looks like he went viral and Pixar picked him up as an animator on their movies. If you have kids, nephews or nieces or just love Disney, you will dig this. This is a link to all of his different videos. He has covered Les Mis and Phantom of the Opera, as well as numerous other artists! Enjoy! :)

Nick Pitera


So God Made a Gay Man

A moving take on Paul Harvey's 1978 speech "So God Made a Farmer" most recently used during a Dodge Super Bowl advertisement.


Happy Valentines Day!

Today is a hard holiday to ignore. And by ignore, I mean the inevitable rantings of all the people whom you know who "hate" this holiday and eschew it loudly to the populace at large. If this were a drinking game where you were compelled to take a shot each time someone mentioned "Hallmark" or "commercialized" I think we would all be schnockerd by noon.

Today is first about love. We all have people in our lives we love for many varied and compelling reasons. Don't make today's posture one of negativity and a rudely yelled "NO!" but rather welcome and enjoy love in all of the diverse forms it is expressed in our lives. Love the ones you are with, even if that is only yourself. It could be the start of something amazing. Happy Valentines Day!

A Single Guy

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I am alive!

There is nothing quite like being sick to give one a perspective on what is important in life. I know that I personally have always taken good health for granted. I awoke this morning and can actually breathe though the persistent deep cough is still hanging around. I have been off of work for three days, due to illness, and I have to say, that is the longest time in years that I have been bedridden and weak. I usually am able to just hibernate and recover within a day or so, but whatever this flu bug is, it got me good.

I don't have a lot on my mind this morning, though I have certainly had time to think in the last few days. I would wake up feverish from strange dreams and stare at my bedroom ceiling while my mind wandered. I cannot say all of my thoughts and ruminations took me to good places. When sick, I tend to focus on what is not good in my life and that tends to become a downward spiral, at least until I can get into the shower, shave, stare into my own eyes and talk me back into the place and person I know myself to be.

This morning I woke up early and am actually ready to head into my kitchen an hour early. I am going to hit the road sooner than normally scheduled in order to give myself time get things back in order. I really am not sure what to expect when I get to work, as we all have our own ways of organizing our space and others have been filling in for me these past three days. It will not be an easy morning but the rhythm and pace of work should help me settle my mind, get me to concentrate on what needs to be done and find my happy again.

None of us can predict when our health may take a turn for the worse. I know that I felt fine on Saturday and then wanted to keel over and die by Sunday afternoon. Yes, I might be a bit fatalistic when ill and everything seems to be amplified, including my emotions. I have learned a lot about myself these past three days, namely that I tell myself the oddest stories in my attempt to make reason and sense of the unpredictable and random that often happens in life. I need to remember that my stories are just that. Stories. It is good to be upright, sipping some coffee and ready and raring to go again. I simply hope that my kitchen is still in some semblance of order and that my peers aren't too upset at having to cover for me. Service work can be somewhat dramatic at times and when routines and patterns are broken, everything seems to get blown out of proportion. It is time to pour some oil on troubled waters and reassure the natives that all is well with our world. I am certainly not indispensable by any means, but I do think my employers tend to rely on me just a bit too much, as evidenced by the panic and drama my absence seems to have created.

I will put on my calm and solid face today, keep a good attitude, avoid the drama and probing questions and get back to what I do best. I ran across this list this morning and felt compelled to share it. I can say with certainty that I will be implementing these things in my own life as winter draws to a close and spring begins to show her face. I hope you all have a great day. We need to be thankful for everything, especially our health. It keeps us going and smiling.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Finally someone said it. Bravo!


Morning ramble on

I realize that I have not been writing much here lately. It is not that I have forgotten about my blog or do not wish to share because I think of my space here often, but I have not been moved to write about any one thing. This post may be a bit or a ramble but I have a lot on my mind and need to get some of it out, even for my own sake, to review it at some later point of reference.

A place to start will be a point of hurt that I am experiencing and living in and with currently. This last week I decided to call Michael to see how he was doing. I genuinely still care about him and certainly miss his presence in my life. To be blunt, his response both shocked and wounded me more that I would like to admit. He stated calmly and efficiently that he did not know who I was and that I must have the wrong number. Three years of life, love and experience erased with a few simple words. In his world, not only do I not exist, I never existed in the first place. It crushed me. I had saved his life and he was my world. That is all I can about that matter right now.

I spent some time getting coffee and catching up with Bruce yesterday at my favorite coffee shop. He was a bit late arriving but I did not mind as it gave me time to attempt a catch up read on my growing stack of National Geographic magazines. For some odd reason or quirk, I only read them at the Broadway Cafe and as I have not been there in quite some time (last November to be precise) they are beginning to add up. My subscription is a long standing gift that my parents began many years ago and I look forward to it each month. It was so good to talk and listen to him. We never are at a loss for words and no topic is taboo. I admire him for his intellect, education and vast experience in life. He literally knows something, if not a large amount, about everything it seems. While some people can be cowed a bit by his confidence and manner, we have become fast and dear friends. I cannot imagine what he must see in me but I am most happy that we are in each others lives. He always asks me the right questions, no matter how uncomfortable they may be, and is quick to cut through the stories and fabrications I tell myself about my reality. In a phrase, he is a truth sayer. I think me and him are going to catch a movie later this week. His husband Mark might join us as well. I love those guys. :)

Today marks my second day off of work in a row. I had the joy of working fifteen days in a row, so I am very thankful for this break and respite. I woke up a early once again today and am still unsure of how I will be spending it. After spending over four hours with Bruce yesterday, I then joined several of my friends at a local restaurant and had a great lunch and a few drinks. I am a regular there and know the owners and other people that frequent the place as well. It was good to see so many familiar faces and simply enjoy listening and catching up with so many people. My work schedule and patterns had made me a bit of a homebody through this winter I believe. The high point of the afternoon was realizing that a few guys there found me attractive and interesting (though they were a bit shy when I talked to them) while the low point was the arrival of my ex-boyfriend Brian, whose presence can still unsettle me greatly. I made a point to say hello to him politely and  to be gracious. That guy still manages to get under my skin and time has not made the chemistry fade. It frustrates me and is maddening!

It looks like it is going to be a clear and sunny day today, though a hard frost arrived over night. I am still in my pj pants and hoodie though I have managed to get some coffee and breakfast inside of me. I have a bag full of books to read, a stack of movies to watch and another whole day to enjoy myself. I may get out and about later. Who knows? I will take it a moment at a time and savor each one. Hope you are well, wherever you are. If you have any ideas on how to cope or handle this situation with Michael or even just a comment or two of observation, please feel free to share. I have never been in a situation like this before and I am not sure exactly what to do. I hate admitting that, but it is true.


PS: I forgot to mention that I am beginning to loathe being single while at the same time do not have the energy or time to devote to a new relationship. I think it is great that guys like me but it is a rather moot point when the attraction isn't mutual or the timing beneficial. I just don't think that I am ready to open up to another guy and share my life right now. I am obviously not emotionally over my last two relationships, or maybe any of them, for that matter. I will not waste a great guys time by not being the best person I can possibly be. I refuse to give less than everything. And I still hate being single. Blah.