Monday, September 28, 2009

57 - What I would like to be remembered by...

Today is Day 57.
I have only 308 days to go.
My son is 351 days old.
Time moves tooooooo fast.

So what I would like to do is this: (please imagine me speaking in a 3rd grader voice and the inflection should be like "MY Summer Vacation by [insert name here]")


by -A

#1 - Books.

Books. I have a love affair with books. I don't understand how you can't and it makes me sad when people don't like to read.

I'm not a book snob.
A long time ago I worked with plenty of them - it teaches you very quickly NOT to be like that. I say if you're reading, good job, I don't care WHAT you're reading, as long as you are... why?
You are your own director, producer and actors - someone gave you a script and you are filling all the roles in your head, fleshing out the shot locations, and even selecting the exact wardrobe of everyone in the cast.

How can you not love that?

Fiction is a wonderful thing and it's an ancient thing and sadly, it's a dying art.
With the invention of OnDemand and all the other technological goodies I so love, it has slowed us down in this arena.

We let other people tell us what they see when they read those words.
That's why if I go see a movie based on a book I'm sure to read the book AFTER the movie, that way I can enjoy the movie, even if only for that night. Because in the end, I rarely ever agree with what the story has been transformed into - from "Jurassic Park" to "I am Legend" - it pisses me off to no end.

Books are just wonderfully glorious to me... you can be transported anywhere in the entire universe and back again with all of your best friends.
They're always there waiting for you.

I hate when people say, "Well I've already read that one, why keep it?"
I have books I've read, 10, 20 and even 30 times.
Passages memorized
Lines I drop into conversations just like others quote movies or song lyrics.
Whatever my mood - my friends are waiting for me sandwiched in the pages of so many books - from romance novels, to the classics, to comics, to short stories I found online... If I love a story, I love a story.

So that is something I would like to be remembered by. (yes I love to write, but this is different...)

The first book I want to mention is called "Ender's Game"

Written by Orson Scott Card back in 1985, Card say's this is his least favorite book of the Andrew Wiggins series.

I don't care. I love this book. I love Ender. (aka Andrew Wiggins) I love it so much that I've read this book so many times it's not normal and I still like to read it at least once a year.

I've own about 10 copies - because they fall apart or I've lent it to someone and never seen it again.

A friend of mine told me about this book over a decade ago. I don't even speak to him any more, but he it the reason I love Sci/Fi as I do and he is also the reason I love (LOVE! LOVE) anime.

But, back to this book...

This sci/fi thriller is about a world of humans who are only allowed to have two kids - but the Wiggins are just popping out some gems. Peter and Valentine.
Peter is the oldest and a bit too smart for his own good, plus he's not a very nice boy. He knows that he's smart and he uses it to all of his ability.
Valentine is in the middle - she too is brilliant but over sensitive - so the government allows the family to have a "third" the "ender" of the family. (a nickname given to him by his sister)

Ender is drafted to space at 6 to go to battleschool in order to help beat the Buggers. A race of aliens that are trying to destroy the humans and life as we know it.

Ender is a joy, just like this book is a great time.

They've spoke about making this into a movie, but seeing the original novelette was released 32 years ago and I still don't know how they would do the battleroom sequences, I hope they don't.
On a sad note, since Card doesn't much care for this book - he feels that it's not perfect or complete (or something to that extent) he has revised it. First the novelette, then the novel in 1985, a revision in 1990 and last year when Marvel started putting it out in comic form, he revamped it again.
(the comic is brilliant too - and so are the off shoots about Bean, Valentine and the rest of the crew)
But in the end, Ender's Game is, and has been for years, in my Top 5 book list.

Even if you don't like Sci/Fi - it's worth a read.

#2. Music.

I grew up in a very musical house.
The oval hall the sat in the second floor we the meeting place for us kids growing up. (it's a big hall) This hall was our play room of sorts and was equipped with most things we needed to grow up as strong and smart kids - lol...

There was a record player that sat in that hall on one of my mother's beloved tables, and underneath were piles of my mother's records. (she had a big collection)
Some of the songs I listened to on that record player - 45, thank you very much - and these are the first ones I want to be remembered by:

Snoopy VS the Red Baron - Royal Guardsmen

Dizzy - Tommy Roe

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland

Please Don't Talk to the Lifeguard - Diane Ray

oh and Macho Duck - on the Disco Disney Record - Macho, macho duck! I wanna be a macho duck!

I still know most of these song by heart, even though I never talk about them.
My last band I tried to convince (poorly) everyone that we should cover Snoopy VS the Red Baron, but we broke up... :(
Oh... how fun that would have been...

The older I got the less I talked about it because everyone would give me the "Beatles V Stones" talk and frankly I didn't feel like being part of it. (stones)
But those song reminds me of being 6 or 7 and twirling around that oval hall, my brother and sister with me (and probably the dog too) singing at the top of our lungs:

That record broke.

I don't think I know another song by the Royal Guardsmen - but that song will live with me forever.
Actually - I want it played at my funeral. (quickly to be followed up with theme to The Facts of Life and if there is a video portion, please play the opening credits. Thank You)

#3. Food.

Ah... food. When I meet people they expect this of me. "You're Italian American, you have to love food!"

No. My love of food came much later in life. A mixture of lack of money and dietary restrictions I learned that if I didn't want to live on Kraft Mac 'n Cheese for life I needed to step up the game.
When you don't eat meat you lose some fine meals - so I try my hardest to recreate these in a vegetarian format.

So I give you "The Sammich" (aka - veggie ruben)

Jewish Rye bread (go to a bakery please - the real thing is better than anything you can buy in the bread isle at your local super size grocery store)

1 jar of sauerkraut (I say "jar" because you may have left overs and the bag you find by the meats is just messy... kinda like the meats... ;) )

Swiss cheese (from deli - not processed)

Vegetarian Italian Sausages (I've used Boca and Gardenburger but Tofurkey's brats are awesome too)

Dressing (I never measure):
chili sauce
sugar (don't go crazy here or you're gonna have the sweetest dressing ever)
pickle relish
s&p... if you want

or you can use Thousand Island dressing.

You'll need 1 1/2 Italian Sausage per sandwich <-

Start by sauteing up the sauerkraut in some butter (sometimes I add caramelized onions to this or hot peppers depending on my mood)
In a different pan make an open faced grilled cheese with 2 pieces of Jewish Rye and swiss cheese (more cheese the better I say!)
Microwave the sausages according to the directions - then cut, lengthwise, so they will lye flat on the bread.
And then make the sauce (to your taste - sometimes I add hot sauce to this... love me hot sauce)

The put the darn thing together:
Jewish Rye, grilled and covered with melted cheese
3 sides of the Sausages
other piece of Jewish Rye


I'll be revisiting Books, Music and Food a bunch - but plan on adding other little things too!

NOW! Go listen to the Royal Guardsmen while eating a Sammich and reading Ender's Game. (you may want to wait till you're done eating... the sammich is a messy, messy piece of work.)

And have a great night!


  1. 351 days

    bet the time has blown by so fast that day 1 seems like yesterday :)

  2. This was by far the fastest year of my life. I'll think of moments that feel like they only happen a month ago, but it's been over a year.
    But I wouldn't change it for the world.
    He's the best!