Monday, September 1, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 98 (Cats & Dogs)

Day 98: Why are dogs a guy pet and why are cats a woman's pet? Why when people see a dog, do they immediately say "what's his name?" So commonly the same people will say "what's her name?" when referring to a cat. Why are single guys so often seen walking their dogs and single women are so commonly known as cat ladies?

I think the answer is simple. Guys need someone to worship them. They need every insecurity fulfilled and need to know they are the main reason for the object of their affection's living. Basically, men are insecure freaks, who once out in the world with out their mommies and daddies, immediately feel the need to be superior to something. They name their dogs after cars, motorcycles and the devil, hoping that the testosterone filled name will somehow validate their masculinity. What they don't realize is that dogs will pretty much worship whichever person holds the food bag and is willing to take them for a walk. Like adult males, eating, sleeping, shitting and being goofy are the components of a dogs perfect day.

Then there are feline friends. Oh yeah their cats. C'mon, this has become such a distinct stereotype, that we've nicknamed a woman's sexual organ after a freaking cat. Cats are very simple. They like to be fed and left alone, unless of course they want attention and then, and only then, if you aren't giving them all of the attention, you're going to get clawed or bitten. Cats act graceful and when they look stupid, which is quite often, they immediately look to see who saw them. Think of a woman looking all sexy who slips wearing heels. Before making sure they haven't exposed themselves, they immediately survey the area to see who saw and if witnessed, immediately they stick their nose in the air, similar to their feline counterparts tail, showing us that we weren't worthy of witnessing that moment.

Both animals also act like their gender counterparts when times are tough. Dogs, like men, simply acknowledge something is wrong and look at you with that "what do you want me to do" face. They curl up next to you and let you know they care, but the second you move, it's immediately all about them and what you're getting them or doing for them. Cats on the other hand are like women. They don't care so much that something bothers you on the outside, but they want to get to the bottom of it. If your leg hurts, they will curl up next to it. If it's a stomach ache, they will climb aboard and if it's your head, they become almost as much of a problem, trying to press their purring body against your face. Then when you move, it's like the world is ending...they jump in fear that something worse is about to take place. Then when they realize you're just brushing your teeth, they go back to their slouched position and give you the look of "oh I knew it was nothing, I was just stretching."

If these aren't all accurate reasons why the stereotype has been confirmed, then let me ask you this. A dog will spend all day chasing his tail around, knowing he can't get it and a guy would sooner not get to where he is going, than to ask someone for directions. A cat...well a cat buries and hides it's poop. #100DayOfHopper

12 Simple Tricks To Save Money & Lose/Maintain Weight

I am broke and overweight, so of course, I'm your man to listen to, but trust me, as a test, I managed to live off of $47 worth of food over 14 days, without skipping meals.

1. Iceberg Lettuce - it's fresh, it's crunchy and it fills your sandwiches, salads and more importantly, your stomach. It's also pretty cheap and lasts a while.

2. Wraps over bread - store brand wraps are the same, but generally a little smaller. They are also about $1.69 for 8 as opposed to $3-4 for 16 slices of bread.

3. Cut cold cuts in half. You'll find that your sandwiches are just as thick and actually appear bigger. If you stuff them in a wrap with lettuce and tomato, it's a big meal and you're actually eating half as much food.

4. If you buy a family pack of any protein and there are eight pieces in the package. Immediately, when you get home, divide them between four freezer bags and put three in the freezer. The less you cook at once, the more you can make it last.

5. Add rice or pasta, even as a tiny side. to almost every meal. You add a starch and it's filling, causing you not to eat as much of the items that actually cost a lot. Rice and Pasta are about as inexpensive as it comes.

6. Beans!!! - see above. When beans are on sale, they are literally giving them away. Beans make everything better in my opinion. There are few meals I can't find a way to incorporate beans of some sort. Oh and a tortilla wrap, with a 1/4 can of black beans, some lettuce, a slice of tomato, chopped onion and a dollop of sour cream is a great lunch....costs about 75 cents, tops!

7. Stock up on pantry items when they have crazy sales. Especially on items like spices, condiments, grains and pasta.

8. Don't buy anything in a 16oz jar that you can make a gallon of for about twice the money. Make the gallon and freeze the rest. Pre-made and processed foods are so expensive compared to making fresh yourself. Almost always.

9. Don't ever buy paper plates, cups or napkins. Unless you're having 20 people over for a BBQ, this is the single biggest waste of money there is. Washing dishes and having a cloth napkin is the way to go.

10. Leave the junk food in the store. There is absolutely nothing that makes your receipt grow faster than buying chips and cookies. It's the most expensive stuff in the store in terms of how much you spend in comparison to what you receive.

11. Buy inexpensive, good coffee Spanish coffee, like Bustelo. You'll spend less on two weeks worth than you will on one trip to Starbucks. 

12. Finally, I'll leave you with one other tip that saved me a fortune...Cook as many meals as you can. When you cook, you'll find you're much more likely to sit down and enjoy the meal, you're less likely to make more than you need, especially when it comes to breakfast and lunch, if you're home.

*12 works wonders if you have kids too. It's a lesson that they will carry on with them forever, they'll appreciate food more and it's quality time. Oh yeah and if they're old enough, you might just wake up one morning and have breakfast served!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 96-97

Day 96: If most of you don't know by now, I'm soon to be giving up the title of resident of Westchester. That being said, I must at some point return home to pick up my stuff and probably attend to the legal ramifications of my leaving. That and apologize to my mailman, for having to (I assume) figure out where to put my mail.

I'm sure within that mail is another letter from my management company, who apparently has taken me to court for a third time, without warning, which under the laws in NY state, is illegal. Of course, they have a lawyer and I can not afford one, so that means they will be right and I will be wrong. I understand how the game works and money goes to money and money buys public opinion.

Before anyone blames me for letting this go on, understand that I contacted the court and they are slower than molasses and while eventually appear helpful, it took three calls to get one simply piece of information, which cost me three weeks, then to adhere to their instructions, it took another two weeks. So basically, I've had zero communication and I've added three months rent. Lovely.

Well, I'm sleepy, the sun is coming up and I'm also starving. That fish I had for dinner at 9PM, was good, but that and the two rugalach were not sufficient to hold me for eight hours. Especially since I only slept for three hours last night. This isn't my typical 100DOH, but I am a little frazzled right now and I'm not in the mood to talk about anything I deem important. Enjoy your weekend all and thanks to two of you. Sincerely. #100DaysOfHopper

Day 97: Being it's a holiday, I won't get into specifics, but it has me thinking about pettiness. A friend and I have been e-mailing back and forth and somewhat reflect on our friendship over the last (almost) 30 years. We've had long lapses, despite our close proximity, but we've remained close. There have been times in life, where we've competed for the affection of similar people, both romantically and in some ways, simply friendship. All that aside, we've remained close enough to confide in each other.

We've recently noticed that so many of those we knew have succumbed to jealousy, envy and flat out pettiness. My friend is lucky to be removed from the dark side of social media and actually sees this for himself from reading e-mails and texts from those in question and about them. The best part about this person, is his ability to describe these faults in ways I can only imagine. Sometimes it's an eloquent word and sometimes it's a four letter blockbuster. Either way, it's understood and taken with a laugh.

Think about it. In the past five years or more, I've fallen off many a guest list, for making a subtle suggestion or for a person's vanity actually having them believe that everything I say is about them. Other times, the commentary was directed at one person specifically and I've been told everything from being "retarded" to a hypocrite (I'm a lot of things, but never this) to stupid to being told to kill myself. I laugh it off as my words ringing so true that the person has no other means to defend themselves, but to sling insults.

I'm a lot of things, but I'm not a hypocrite, not stupid and definitely value my life, not in what it means to me, but what it might and does mean to others. I guess there in lies the real difference between myself and those who mock and dismiss me. I'm not here to better my life in any other way, but to see a smile on someone else's face. People will be petty and I'm not going to change that, but I will point it out when I see it, so be prepared, but yeah, I already know. I have the lists of insults written down. #100DaysOfHopper

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Random Thoughts - August 2014 Edition

I'm learning over time, that my cooking is much like my life; it goes splendidly as long as there are no directions.

Social media is a big part of my social life. From Twitter I get laughs and connections to different views from shut ins to celebs and once in a while, I'm worthy of the latter's attention. From Instagram I am reminded of life's subtle beauty, both living and not. And then there is Facebook.

I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, but I have people who care about me and have surrounded me with love. Pretty damn good spotters. I just hope I have time to repay them.

The kindest thing anyone has said to me recently, was a complete stranger, who said "You don't think like other people. Makes ME think more about stuff."

The nicest thing anyone has done for me, was simply remembering something I told them weeks ago and taking a photograph because of it. Little things like that mean more than any tangible gift.

There is someone I used to think I liked, maybe even more than as a friend, but their materialism disgusts me. I view materialism as I do racism, in the sense that both are the individuals false sense of superiority, but from different angles.

I am home alone, but not in my home. I have the ability to go anywhere, watch anything and yet I sit alone, in the smallest room in the house, surrounded by books and papers and the workings of a greater mind than I and I feel such comfort.

You ever wish you believed in God, so that you could pretend that there is a reason other than luck, fate, choice or simply life being life?

Friday, August 29, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 95

Day 95: We've all been crushed under the tidal wave of the ice bucket challenge, treated like psychological chew toys by our furry friend loving champions and had our news feeds riddled with the quick spreading cancer plugs. Every single day, I can count on being hit up or "forced" to watch or read something about these funds. I read almost every one and I wonder.

I wonder why the biggest problem in our country isn't being faced. I wonder why when I have in the past asked people to donate, as little as whatever they would have spent at the deli on lunch, I get not even a single comment or like. I wonder why we donate to a disease we don't know anything about, because the challenge is fun. I wonder how and when a shelter dog became more important than a family living in a similar situation.

One in 11,000 Americans have ALS - there is no cure
One in 50 Americans have a cancer - the survival rate grows
One of every three shelter animals will be adopted

One in six Americans  (50+ million) will go to bed hungry - this rate increases every year. The amount of food thrown out in this country each and every year could more than adequately feed one half of these people (26 million).

The contents of your garbage can is probably enough to sustain a human life. Think about that. #100DaysOfHopper

Facebook! It's Always F***ing Facebook!

How the hell does that website do it? How is it possible, that people I once thought had above average intelligence and common sense, are reduced to slobbering idiots?

Seriously folks, it's about time you think before you post. How the hell do you not know the one thing your home town is famous for? How do you not know that there is no pumpkin in a Starbucks pumpkin latte? How do you not know if you have your settings on public, that everyone on the planet can see you're an idiot?

How do you not realize that your shirt was see thru before you went out? How do you not know that your significant other is interested in the person whose page they comment on sixteen times a day? How do you not know you're a fucking idiot, when you complain about how hard life is, but three hours later you're sitting by a fucking pool, drink in hand and bragging about how you have nothing to do for a week? Do you realize most people who complain one tenth the amount of time you do, don't get vacations and further more, you don't work, you cook once a week and spend more time posting about it than it takes to make and you complain about laundry. Laundry! You put it in and push a fucking button. Then you feed your fat face with bon bons while you wait to hear the buzzer, but you miss it, because you have your computer on Pandora, the TV onto The View and your phone surgically attached to your hand. Then you complain your husband or ex-husband is a deadbeat.

Sorry, this sounds sexist. There are just as many men who sit on their asses waiting for Junior to get off the bus and somehow manage to post 500 times on Facebook how lazy black or Spanish people are.  Yes those lazy fuckers got fired and unlike you, they didn't get a severance package, because it's not offered. Their Cobra is nonexistent and they can't collect unemployment, because their old boss is screwing them. Yes, so criticize how they collect food stamps to feed their five kids, while you search Expedia for deals on your disgusting Sea World extravaganza.

Remember that scene in Good Will Hunting? You know the one, the best one in the movie. No of course you don't fucking know it, Mr. Facebooker, because you're programmed to say "them apples" and "about a girl" and all the other awful fucking scenes in that pretentious, sentimental horseshit of a movie, but maybe just maybe you at least remember it. It's when Chuckie is talking to Will and he utters this masterpiece...."Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, 'cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that." That is me with Facebook. Just once. Just fucking once!!! Just once, I would like to sign on and not see four pictures of dogs beaten or cars shivering. Just once, I'd like to not see fourteen memes of Jesus posted by people who fuck their best friend's husbands. Just once, I'd like to not see some grifter trying to scam money out of people. Just once, I'd like to hear that the fuckers who complain about their jobs 24/7 finally upped and quit, because their mental health is more important than making "the man" happy. Just once, I'd like someone to publicly say what others say privately, good or bad. Just once, I'd like someone to not hit like and say "Hey so and so, I like you as a friend, but you know what? We all know you're rich and you know what else? You didn't work for that shit, so quit rubbing it in the faces of those of us who have slaved away trying to make ends meet. Stop telling us about your vacations, your cars, your jewelry and tell us about the conversation you had with your kid about life and how they want to be a scientist, because they cry when they read the paper at all the disease in the world. Then and only then will I spend a second of my life giving you the satisfaction of a like or a comment."

Just once, I'd like to wake up and find the angry worker had their comments read by the friend who needs someone in that field at their job and can offer her solace. Just once, I'd like to read that the person who spend six months a year in the ER, realized that mental health might have been a bigger issue than physical. Just once I'd like the two people who are always sad they are alone, to post "in a relationship with..." Just once, I'd like to wake up and go on and have someone say, "Thanks and it not really be about what they did."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#100DaysOfHopper Day 94

Day 94: Rosacea (although I don't think that's what it is), torn rotator cuff, severe elbow tendinitis, carpal tunnel and arthritis due to breaking each finger at least twice, some as many as four or five times, a degenerative hip, a weak back caused by hip and knee problems (and the weight gained from them), torn anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees, severe cartilage tears in both knees, almost no mobility in one and occasional goat flare ups, gall stones, diverticulitis (once) and chronic insomnia.

Above are just the physical things I deal with on a day-to-day basis. So sorry, if I don't like or comment my sympathies for each time you have to wait in line at the DMV or someone cut the line at Starbucks. Sorry, if your flight was delayed or the person at the gym smells funny. Sorry if your kid had a sniffle and you can't "afford" to get sick, because you have a dinner party this weekend.

I'm also sorry that you didn't have time, like me, to research a topic, yet you feel free to continue posting after you've been proven wrong. I'm sorry that weather is such a big deal in your life, but me talking about racism annoys you. I'm sorry, you posted that Jesus will take care of us all, but I bothered you with my post about the millions who go hungry at night. Sorry, that your 70th beaten puppy pic was interrupted by my day 94 status blog. Part 2 will be the positive (promise) side...coming later or tomorrow. #100DaysOfHopper

 Day 94 Part 2: The Good stuff. Despite physical ailments I've acquired over the years and the fact I don't "look the part," I'm actually quite healthy. Perfect heart rate, perfect blood pressure, perfect cholesterol levels, all my last blood work proved me to be fit as a fiddle....well, internally. I almost never get sick. Not even the common cold. I've usually get really sick for two or three days in November or December and that's it. I never, ever take medicine, aside from the occasional Advil. Other than diverticulitis, I've not had more than a 24 "bug" in over three years. Not bad.

I have very few close family left. I have my brother, my father and my sister in law. They are the best people in the world. They keep me sane, they challenge my perspectives and I theirs and we have more laughs than most. I have great memories of all my grandparents and especially my mother. People say that this one was this or that, but despite personal faults, they were good people. They would give almost anyone they saw in need, the shirt off their back and did so without any expectation of reciprocation. They were the glue of their families and it's something I have failed in carrying on. I may seem like it, due to Facebook or my ability to run into people I know, but I have very few true friends. I don't think I'd have it any other way. Sure there are some I simply haven't known that long who are great people, but my inner circle is minute and in fact, made up almost entirely of people I never hang out with. It's much better that way, trust me.

I have my faculties. I'm starting to notice my eyes get tired more quickly and at times, I do question seeing things (at night), but my senses all seem to be very acute. I also, despite what a handful of people might tell you, have my intelligence, which has actually been more of a hindrance than benefit in today's society, but I'll stick with it. I have common sense, but believe me, I don't confuse that for decision making. I've made many poor decisions in my life. In retrospect, more poor than wise, but I've also learned from them. I'm quick to judge, but I'm also quick to apologize, quicker to acknowledge my mistakes and even quicker to give credit where credit is due.

I'm flat broke and romantically alone in this world right now and I wouldn't have it any other way. Sure there are times I'd love to join one or two of you in Aruba or London, but it's not to be. If I was to come into money tomorrow, I'd probably blow half of it sharing with those who are in need. I'm alone socially too and have been for two months and aside from seven or eight people, nobody has been concerned. It's Facebook's fault, but believe me, I'm OK. I appreciate the simple things in life, like a comfortable chair, a good article and some fresh picked blueberries. A cold drink, a good conversation and a hot meal. This is what life is to me. I've been without a car for three years and now I have one. I have no desire to drive all over and see the sights. I want to enjoy the tranquility and embrace the solitude. Time will come again where I'm surrounded by people, arguing, debating, hugging and kissing, but I'll long for this, so why fight it? Life is about creating happiness out of the happiness you bring others. If I bring that to one person each day, they bring it to me. #100DaysOfHopper