Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Transcribing


What does one get from a two hour interview? Twelve hours of typing and over forty pages of question and answers. Picture Hefty Cinch Sacs under my eyes now, and I'm still not finished. Quirky reality of a Graduate student trying to learn.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sweat

I saw this commercial the other day and grew terribly self conscious. This is me, but it not only pours out of my armpits, it also gushes out of my back, my chest and a spot on my head. When I begin to sweat, I become Niagara Falls - AND I HATE IT. Such quirky reality is the life of Bryan, indeed.

I share my excessive waterworks problem as part of my 12 step psychological approach towards my sweating anxiety. I leave the gym and people ask me, "where's the pool?". There isn't a pool. I simply sweat that much. It is even worse when I'm teaching and speaking in public. My nerves trigger the sprinkler system and gush, the Colorado river. Nice chemical imbalance, eh?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

2009 Gold Medalist Cadet Divas

Congratulations to my niece for successfully holding an undefeated season with her friends in the Cicero-North Syracuse Cadet colorguard circuitry. After the storm, and a first place finish, a butterfly was pinned on her uniform. It isn't just a quirky coincidence that my first reaction was, "Look, you're great grandmother, Grannie Annie, wanted to be with you today."

And a shout out, too, to the floor dads & moms who've spent the season lifting 500 pounds of painted tarp each week for six minutes of exceptional success. Congratulations to Julie for leading the girls to their victory.

You deserved this gold medal and the smiles out there looked better and better every time we saw them.

Friday, March 27, 2009

WASP - (Not Colonial Ancestry)

At Cynde's house last night, she noticed a wasp on the window crawling around. She said, "Look, the wasps are already out." It is somewhat amazing that as we get the itch for spring on a warm day, so does the insect world. No. They don't need prozac and zirtec to help them adjust to season mood disorders, they simply need the power of the sun. There is something to be said for that. I wonder how they'll do for the snow forecasted in Sunday's weather predictions, or what they'd think about the Blizzard in Colorado today. Nature. It is always miraculous.

Squiggy & Lenny


Remember these guys and the ritual of Laverne & Shirley? In case you don't, I post this quirky duo. My generation had great role models.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Let the temperatures remain

Better than having the sun, a few minutes to spare, and temperatures that allow one to shed a winter coat, is the opportunity all three provide for taking the dog for a walk. As quirky as it may sound, nothing makes me happier than moving my canine along the pavement while listening to my iPod. It's a win/win/win ordeal: exercise, music and fresh air. To me, that is nirvana. I can't ask for anything more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

U R Here

In the vastness of a universe, we are infinitely tiny. We are dust and light that matters temporarily. Yet, we stress our moments upon the stage before we're heard no more. Focusing on the bigger picture is hard, but ignoring the grande picture of it all is to be ignorant and stupid. I find comfort, then, in my ignorance and stupidity because my fleeting, quirky moment doesn't even register on the entirety of it all.
Or, perhaps it does. I find comfort in the fact I just don't know.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1994


This is a photo of Matt, Craig, Ace and me before heading out to the bars in our senior year of college. That was sixteen years ago. The Big Chill is upon us. Matt's a teacher, Ace a doctor, Craig a dentist and me.....a student (ha ha ha). I thought I was a grunge hippie with my overalls, flannel shirt, tie dye, crystal, New Age-guru necklace and long hair. Actually, I look stupid.


Nothing can replace the freedom, innocence, hope, and dreams of our senior year. Living on Rotary Avenue, down the street from the Pine Lounge and $4 pitchers of Genny Cream Ale was a true treat. George Bernard Shaw once wrote, "Youth is wasted on the young," and we didn't realize it at 21, but young we really were.

It is a beautiful, quirky kind of sadness to see this photo again. The way it once was.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bad News, Bears...Mike & Bryan have fielded a team


Mike & I went to our first meeting as coaches. I'm the assistant and will give the hours I can find in my schedule. We have eleven players on our team, ages 7 - 9: nine boys and two girls. Our colors are black and gray. Now all we have to do is endure three months of rained out games, mud, "little league dads," and trying to get elementary kids to concentrate for at least two hours to complete a game.

What have we gotten ourselves into?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Old Skool

video
This is a quirky memory from 1987 when Cynde was a junior in high school - Championship performance and a throw back to yesteryear when most of us were a lot younger. It is rather unimaginable that 20 years have passed. It does seem like yesterday.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Aquarian Fortune Cookies


Eating Chinese food last night, I got a fortune cookie that said something about my life in China. I live in America and the fortune was odd. Disappointed, I turned to an online horoscope. It is written, "You need to calm down and let others catch up to you -- or even surpass you for the time being. It's one of those days when it's easy to forget that you're in a marathon, not a short-distance."

Great.

Actually, that's pretty deep. I like my horoscope. Not bad for an eccentric boy born under the Aquarius water sign.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Burning Man Quirky


I read about Burning Man in Jonathan Mooney's The Short Bus. I looked it up tonight and settled on this rendition of Willy Wonka's Pure Imagination song. Burning Man is the capital of quirky for artists, misfits and individuals looking for abnormal reality. Although the event would put me in complete anxiety mode, there is something to be said for those who attend and go odd for a while (perhaps they're odd year long and congregate to be odd together). If you can endure the video, you will see some of the peculiar rituals that take place. The event is huge and draws people from around the world simply to be peculiar. This blog would be incomplete without a mention to it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A challenge to the matrix


It is common expression of today's rapid society to be seen as a series of #'s creating a matrix of what exists. There is truth behind this and I believe that we are numerical. There are, of course, those who want to add up all these numbers so that there is meaning to our lives.

On the opposite end, or maybe its parallel, we are also a series of letters, and all objects can be made of these letters to form words and ideas.

I've been thinking about quirky art, lately, where everything is represented in words. Instead of a tree-tree, there'd be a word tree with all the words that make the tree just that. Of course, I haven't created that yet.

Ah, but Erin Lobb has and that is my post (late) for today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Engrish


When I spent a short time in Japan, I loved finding signs in English that didn't make sense. For instance, on subways it would often say, "Please Silently Walk Go." When I returned, I learned of many websites that collect such Engrish. I think we do a remarkable job as a planet with the multiple languages we communicate with. It's hard to master one, let alone figure out another. I am thankful, however, that we don't have Flesh Salads in our local grocery stores. I don't imagine they'd be very good unless they were grilled with BBQ sauce, and even then, I think I'd pass.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Silly Green Groundhogs, Surely thee jest.


Yesterday's temperature went above fifty degrees and Central, New York could feel it. I did, too, and went for both a walk with Baby and then a long run.

I noticed several daffodils were peaking their green arms out of the soil, reaching for the hope that Spring was actually arriving. In shorts, I knew I was equally optimistic. I hear my mother, though, saying "It's a trick. Winter is not over yet. Don't get used to this. There's more snow to come."

And this is what living in Syracuse is really like. It is a cautious desire that blue skies and warmth really do exist and that there's more to life than banks of snow and Canadian winds. Daffodils don't lie. They may get hammered in their blind, underground faith, but they offer us hope that better days are on the way.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bingaling?


We often said we chose Binghamton for its football! There was never a football team, of course, but they did have basketball. From 1990 - 1994, the Binghamton Colonials worked their way into a few basketball achievements. Now they are the Bearcats and they've been pushing their athletic program a little further every year and tonight they will be bracketed for the first time in the NCAA tournament. They will be a smart squad of ballaz.

Best of luck, Bingaling. I cherish my four years in Broome County as an undergrad and I hope your team shows its claws in the national tournament.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cuse


I'd be a schlep if I didn't post this. And as I do, Syracuse is about to head to the finals by beating West Virginia. If they do, they will play the Louisville Cardinals in the Big East Final. Okay, is this supposed to be? Am I supposed to have both my teams up for a title? We shall see.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here's a good story that hasn't been written yet


I followed a medical waste transport truck today driving on 81 south. I thought, hmmm, what might be in this truck and what would it look like if there was a story of a sports fanatic (this is March Madness after all) who was driving to a road race, 10K, and he was in an accident with this truck? What story could be written where such a crash was an epiphany to his life and suddenly he found himself covered in bags of blood, intestines and removed body parts while lying comatose on a highway? Perhaps this is a bit Stephen King of me - grotesquely quirky - but there's a story ready to be written where an athlete finds himself covered in liposuctioned fat removed by a plastic surgeon. I'm sure that would be a comment on our culture. It'd make a great ending!

pineapple

I came back from the gym tonight and craved a snack. I opened a can of Dole pineapples and let the sugar fill my tummy. Such a delicious treat and rather whacky that we can drive to our local grocery store when the wind is hollowing outside and bits of snow are flaking in the air, simply to buy a tropical fruit. It is evident of an odd world, but what is quirkier is how full of flavor a pineapple is - perhaps the sweetest. Amazing. Trying to imagine what I'd live on in early March if we needed to rely on local lands is difficult. Perhaps I'd be eating tree bark and scratching for hibernating grubs. As harsh as a global economy is, there's benefits when one can have a pineapple in Central, New York, whenever he feels like it.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pipelines


On April 1st some years back, NPR did a story on how Starbucks was creating a pipeline from Seattle, Washington, to transport coffee across the nation. For a fee, Americans could have a line directly installed in their house so mornings could be spent with fresh, hot coffee at the faucet. They gave a number to call and, me being a quirky imbecile, I dialed it up. April Fools. I was duped.

I had Starbucks yesterday and although I'm not a fan of their coffee or corporation, I remembered this story. I await the day such caffeinated miracles arrive. In the meantime, when are you having me over for coffee?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In my next life


I will learn more about the Hindu gods. I spent a large portion of today interviewing a young man from Nepal. His ancestors are from there, but he was born in Bhutan. The Bhutanese government threw his family (and people) out of the country because of their Nepalese history. The country of Nepal would not accept them and put them in refugee camps. That is where this man lived until coming to Syracuse with his family last Fall. He is named after a Hindu god and I realized today how quirky education is. I've read a lot but have no understanding of the Hindu religion.

I tried to brush up on it tonight, but it is more complicated than understanding mom's plots on DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

So, in my next life, I'm hoping for more time to be educated on Hinduism. In the meantime, I'll stick with Maude like my Grannie Annie.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm Lobbying for New Hobbies


Growing up, I remember Sundays were a day where nothing was open. Everything had to be done Monday thru Saturday and Sundays were spent visiting grandparents. Soon, though, Sundays became another shopping day. This is why I'm intrigued, stoked, bothered, perplexed and awed by the fact that A) Hobby Lobby has finally opened in Syracuse, but B) It closes on Sunday so that "employees can spend time with family and to worship."

Imagine if every place closed down on Sundays so we could be with our loved ones and think about the bigger issues in life.

Personally, I think we'd kill each other, but still it is something we should strive for. No hobbies on Sunday except the ability to "chill out," think about the afterlife and relax.

Quirky me, somehow I don't think I'd do well with that. I'd find a new hobby to stress me out.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Time


There's never enough
springing backward, falling forward
into seasonal March thunderstorms.

All minutes swarm
into ticks and tocks
and ubiquitous w.t.f's.

And that is why I'm choosing to sleep in today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

laughter is contagious


We are a quirky species, indeed. We all know somebody who laughs like this and when they do, it makes us laugh. It is then passed on.

We are very much like chimpanzees, dolphins, and mockingbirds with the ways we sound.
guffaw, y'all.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad


In honor of my father's birthday, I wanted to depict other Butches in history. Doing as I do in the way we do it in the Internet age, I went to google and typed in, "Famous Butches."

Now, I wasn't thinking - really I wasn't - and what is quirky about this is the fact that the results for "famous Butches" are quite fascinating.  I highly recommend trying it in honor of my pop's special day. I say, "Go for the Google" and look for famous Butches.  You won't be disappointed. It's better than any birthday card.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD (Butch)!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh, To be Gonged in 2009


I had a flashback of The Gong Show. It's reality show frenzy in the United States right now and with the American Idol hooplah I was thinking about the show I grew up with. I decided to look it up and found an episode when Paul Reubens (Pee Wee Herman) was on. Bonus. And he didn't get gonged.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

49 Quirky things to think about on Wednesday


1. The present population of 5 billion plus people of the world is predicted to become 15 billion by 2080.
2. Worms taste like fried bacon, beetles taste like apples, and wasps like pine nuts.
3. The word 'set' in the English language, has the most definitions!
4. The "French kiss" in the English speaking world is known as an "English kiss" in France.
5. "Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters in alphabetical order.
6. In 1386, a pig in France was executed by public hanging for the murder of a child
7. A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off.
8. Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete.
9. You can't kill yourself by holding your breath
10. On every continent in the world there is a city called Rome.
11. When the last four letters are removed from the word "queue" it is the only word in the English language that is still
pronounced the same way.
12. The longest English word without a vowel is Rhythm.
13. In Iceland there is a law against having a pet dog!
14. Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day!
15. Horatio Nelson, one of England's best known historical admirals was throughout his life,
never able to find a cure for his sea-sickness.
16. Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people
17. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
18. The elephant is the only mammal that can't jump!
19. Our feet house a quarter of the bodies' bones!
20. In the same way all fingerprints are different all tongue prints are different also!
21. Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!
22. It's against the law to burp, or sneeze in a church in Nebraska, USA.
23. Every time we breathe our ribs move; that is 5 million times a year.
24. Dead skin makes up for most of the dust particles in your home!
25. The first known transfusion of blood was performed as early as 1667, when Jean-Baptiste,
transfused two pints of blood from a sheep to a young man.
26. The skeleton of Jeremy Bentham is present at all important meetings of the University of
London
27. Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian, and had only ONE testicle.
28. Honey is the only food that does not spoil. Honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs
has been tasted by archaeologists and found edible.
29. More people are killed each year from bees than from snakes.
30. The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English
words.
31. More people are allergic to cow's milk than any other food.
32. Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.
33. Queen Elizabeth I regarded herself as a paragon of cleanliness. She declared that she
bathed once every three months, whether she needed it or not
34. The placement of a donkey's eyes in its' head enables it to see all four feet at all times!
35. The six official languages of the United Nations are: English, French, Arabic, Chinese,
Russian and Spanish.
36. On average a hedgehog's heart beats 300 times a minute.
37. Earth is the only planet not named after a god.
38. Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a "Friday the 13th.
39. You're born with 300 bones, but by the time you become an adult, you only have 206.
40. Some worms will eat themselves if they can't find any food!
41. Dolphins sleep with one eye open!
42. It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open
43. The world's oldest piece of chewing gum is 9000 years old!
44. Slugs have 4 noses.
45. Owls are the only birds that can see the colour blue.
46. A man named Charles Osborne had the hiccups for 69 years!
47. A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue!
48. The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds
49. The average person laughs 10 times a day

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Star Spangled Banner


In 1931, the Star Spangled Banner became the National Anthem of America. Here, to celebrate, Jennifer Hudson offers her rendition. March 3rd and all the quirky anniversaries since.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I must be embracing my fears


My little sister, Casey, loved horror flicks. Me? I preferred reading books and avoiding such television. A favorite past time of Casey's was convincing me to watch movies with her, including a viewing of TROLL (1986). I hated it. I watched most of it with a pillow over my face and she laughed at my uneasiness with any film that had monsters, murderers or demons in it. She'd try to convince me that these were just stupid movies, but they didn't settle well in my active imagination. After all, this is the boy who was convinced Cookie Monster lived at his Grandma Vera's and wanted to kill him. This is the same kid who was traumatized when Snoopy ran away from home. And I admit, this was the same guy who still can't forgive his little sister for making me watch this tragic film in my freshman year of high school. It is bad enough I lived through this movie once, but now I'm living through it again as evidence of my quirky nature. It is important for my mental well-being that I post this today.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Eugene & Calliope


Growing up in a Days of Our Lives household, I often had to watch taped versions of my mom's soap opera a good three times: mom, Cynderballs and K.C.. I would do homework on the couch and have to deal with the drama of Bo & Hope, Marlena & Roman, and Patch & Kayla, at least three times a day as they watched it individually upon their return home from work or school.

My ears always perked up with Eugene & Calliope came on because they weren't your typical soap opera super couple. No. Eugene & Calliope were Days of Our Lives version of day time quirkiness. I applaud NBC for allowing such an eccentric couple and can honestly say that when they disappeared -- Was it Stephano Dimera? -- that I lost interest in my mother and sister's hobby of living vicariously through Hollywood types. They were proof that whacky love exists and matters. I say, bring the two back to the fabric of American society. Our nation can use such a whacky couple.