Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Teeny Tiny

Let me tell you what this ongoing cold weather has done to me: I'm composing tonight's Rambler on my iPhone.  Which is a first.  And the reason I'm putting up with the insane tedium of typing long form on my iPhone?  Because I don't want to get out of the tub.  That's right, I'm rambling to you live from the bath.  Which is also a first.

Hey, that's two firsts in one post!  Impressive, no?

As a side note, for those out there who (like me) are attempting to knock off the winter weight?  Don't eat Mexican food.  It's the food where all the calories from all the other healthier, leaner foods go.  They do it just to go somewhere they feel wanted.

All right.  Time to de-tub and get in that bed, now that Yesenia's gotten it all warm.  If only there were a way to go instantly from the bath to bed, without the steps in between that will lower my body temperature.  Someone smart should get on that.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Infinite Recursion

For today's entry, I'm going to direct you to an appreciation I wrote about Dave Sim and his comic masterwork, Cerebus.  Since there's a chance that people reading that may come here, feel free to stroll around and also to visit my very outdated website at  It's all part of my ongoing attempts to break the internet by creating an unending link-loop.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Up Jumped the Devil in a White Nightgown

And BOOM, the whole place gets hit with snow and ice and it's crazy, crazy cold.  I'm of two minds about winter - fashion-wise, I love me some sweaters and I like when the weather agrees that it's a good time to wear one.  On the other hand O MY GOD IT'S FUCKING COLD.

Well, that sort of makes it sound like I don't like the cold.  I do, actually - I love being outside on cold, brisk days.  The white, heatless sun in the crystal blue sky, the overwhelming silence that is like no other season.  But I like winter to stay outside, and when it's as cold as it's been for as long as it's been, the house gets quite chilly.

I mean, of course it does - it's a 90 year old lathing and plaster job with no insulation in most of the outside walls.  But there's a deep set chill in some rooms that's kind of alarming.  I've taken to calling the first floor bathroom 'The Ice Cave', and it's not much of a surprise, as it's a small outside room with no heat and the entire wall given over to a window.  During the first half of the cold snap, the faucets actually froze shut.  I do not kid.

So all I want to do on nights like this is get into bed at 7:00 PM and stay under the covers for the next fourteen hours.  At least there's one great thing - when I renovated the master bedroom, I added insulation, and now it's not just the warmest room in the house, it's genuinely, actually warm by real-world standards. Naturally, the floor gets very cold, because it hangs over the front porch and there's nothing but cold air under there.  Because the house was built when people liked freezing their balls off.


Monday, January 20, 2014

Stewed Air

I'm smack dab in the midst of the first real serious diet that I've done in about a decade.  It's going well (enough) - usually, the first ten pounds fall off pretty quickly, and then the next ten takes a little longer, and the last ten is basically like proving Zeno's Paradox with a bathroom scale.

Reading between the lines, there, I bet you can figure out the math - yes, I started this diet when the holiday season ended and I found myself about thirty pounds overweight.  What's especially annoying about finding myself on the north side of 200 pounds for the first time in about fifteen years is that back in June, I had hit 193 and I said (to Yesenia, but also apparently to some God of Irony), "Hey, I'm going to get down to 180!"

I did it wrong, though - rather than losing thirteen pounds in six months, I gained fifteen.  Oy.

So, now, the diet.  Which is going pretty well, thanks to the two factors of Yesenia (who is also dieting with me) and the startlingly excellent site/app "My Fitness Pal", which lets me be ridiculously obsessive about calories.  It's now not an uncommon event for me to log in my calories after dinner, and say, "Oh, I have to burn some!", and promptly head out the door for a half hour walk.

As I said, thus far, it's working.  The only problem with dieting in winter is that my body's native instinct is to eat as much as possible during these cold, dry and dreary months, along with sleeping and remaining as sessile as possible for as long as possible.

Well, at least there's plenty of snow to shovel for that cardiovascular workout.  Feel the burn.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Pounding Down the Files

Short post, tonight - I spent the last couple of hours (after Yesenia went to bed) getting together some voiceover narration and various Dave performing clips for a video to promote Resonant Motion, a not-for-profit that I call myself the 'Director of Communications and Social Media' for, which mostly shakes out as me offering advice and building the site.

Came across a couple of interesting artifacts in my dig, including performance footage from my 40th birthday party, which I'm definitely going to share some highlights from, here.  At some point!  These things take time, you know

Anyhow, everything has now been uploaded and sent to the director / editor, which means I can brush my teeth and go to bed.  Or, I could brush your teeth and go to jail.  Your call.


Sunday, January 12, 2014


Christmas is about home.  It's about family, and celebration and blah, blah, blah.  But at least as much as anything else, Christmas is about forgetting about bad and lame shit for a little while. Somehow, the colored lights and the tree keep it at bay.  That, and getting to see everyone you know and care about and drop out of your own life and into theirs for a little while.

But we finally arrived on the other side of the holiday season yesterday, with one last round of socializing and the breaking down of decorations and packing everything back into the attic for another eleven months.  And that, of course, is when the mopiness lands square on my forehead.  Yesenia thinks it's the new diet, a theory which certainly has the ring of truth.  But it's also those doldrums a-comin' in, once the lights go off and the party fades away.

I have about two-and-a-half weeks before I return to school for the second round of coding courses (which will most likely be PHP and Advanced CSS, if I read the calendar correctly), and I have a few projects that need my time and attention between now and then, so that's okay.  But as many close readers of the Rambler will have deduced, one of my big things is THE WAIT.  That interminable period between one thing and where you want to be.  No colored lights to celebrate that, unless someone makes strings of gray and beige LEDs.

Actually, I can't even imagine what a gray light would look like.  Really, I don't think it's physically possible.


Thursday, January 9, 2014


So, after almost two months of wanting to go to the new Zinburger at "The Stores at Nanuet" (oy), we decided to make a trip tonight.  The last time we tired to go - a weekend lunch, after a matinee of Frozen - there was going to be a forty minute wait.  That's too long.  When Yesenia is hungry, she starts to get cranky, and the longer she waits, the less enjoyable the meal will be for her when it finally arrives.

Tonight, there was a ten minute wait.  Which, for a Thursday in the middle of a cold January, is kind of surprising.  But good for them.  We grabbed beer (Naragansett Cream Ale) and hard cider (an Orchard that is Angry), and then had a turkey burger (her) and a veggie burger (me).

Annnd…?  Well, it was my second time at a Zinburger, and I knew what to expect and enjoyed it.  Yesenia, who has being hearing hype about the place from me and many others for the last few months was pretty disappointed.  "I don't get the whole 'fancy' burger thing," she said.  Actually, the ironic quotes around 'fancy' may be mine.  I replied, "Well, it's not that fancy.  It's just burgers."

She shrugged and ate a few more fries.  Now I have a mission, which is to get Yesenia a good meal that makes her happy.  Any suggestions?

- D.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sleep Not

Another Tuesday, another major bout of sleeplessness.  And here I was prepared to go to sleep without having Rambled.  I'm hoping that the Rambler isn't a thing I only do on those nights when the magical insomnia tour isn't dying to take me away.

I sort of had it in my head today that I wanted to write a longish post (or series of posts) digging into my political philosophies, but it's tough to write that stuff without coming off hectoring,  It really takes a spine of steel and a soul of coal to be a pundit, I think.  It's one thing to be an expert opinion when you're frequently right.  It's something else entirely to be able to keep it up even when you're pretty much always wrong.

So, no politics for me.  And I know I've still got the pictures from the third Yarn Barn entry to post, but that's the type of thing that requires a little more brain power and gumption than I can summon at a quarter to one in the morning.  As the Rambler is sometimes a victim of my going to sleep before I write that day's entry, so are the more ambitious entries a victim of the lack of energy that one has after midnight on a work week.

So I guess I'll just leave you with the promise to write something more cohesive and purposeful tomorrow.  Good enough?

- D.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Les Epiphanies

Last night of Christmas, people!  I used to not think anything about it, but the whole twelve days thing is pretty big in Latin culture - thirteen days, if you count the effort that they put into Christmas Eve.

Anyway, for me?  It is not to complain.  I genuinely lovee the way Yesenia transforms the house for the holidays, and any excuse to extend the colored lights and scent of pine for a few more days is all right by me.


Friday, January 3, 2014

When the Wind Blows

Writing this a little past midnight as Winter Storm Hercules (which feels like it should have an exclamation mark, doesn't it?) howls up my street on its way into New England and upstate New York.  Yes, yes - I know that Rockland County is considered 'upstate New York' by people who live in any of the five boroughs, but since I can get to midtown Manhattan from my house faster than almost anyone I know in Brooklyn, people should probably take the fucking artesianal cheese out of their eyes just stop calling us 'upstate,' already.


Anyway, W. S. Hercules! is probably going to complicate our big plans for the weekend, being the throwdown to celebrate Yesenia's 40th birthday - which is today, as I write this.  I've written a little about the lady before, and anyone who reads this probably already knows how awesome she is, but I'll say it again, because it bears repeating: I am a very, very, very veryveryvery lucky man.  And I know it.  So here's hoping that the weather drops everything it has tomorrow so that Saturday can be free and clear for my baby's birthday.  You hear me, W. S.?

"W. S. Hercules!" - if there isn't a comic out there about Hercules taking a job as a 1920's stockbroker, feel free to make one and use this name.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Into the Newish Frontier

It would be altogether too easy to blather off several reams of observations about the meanings of a new year, both personally and globally.  I'm going to resist this temptation.  I'm also not going to Ramble about the highs (some) and lows (some) of the year just past.  One reason for the elision is that, as I grow older, I grow more and more bored with simply looking over my shoulder and playing monday morning quarterback to myself. Another is that if I couldn't be bothered to get up the energy to write about 2013 while it was happening, I sure as Janus don't have any burning desire to pick through its bones after the fact.

So, let me just trail off with an off the cuff and therefore wholly unconsidered list of resolutions for 2014:

  • As ever, Ramble more
  • Rebuild so I don't always feel vaguely embarrassed sending people there.  The site was thrown together in a haze of post-layoff anxiety, and it shows
  • As part of revamped site, add big gallery of archival content.  Specifically,  I'm going to scan and vid the best of my old flipbooks
  • Finish both albums and then figure out what that actually means
  • Lose the 12 pounds gained in the last year
  • And would it kill you to read a book every once in a while?

Thanks, all - and those of you that i know as friends, i also resolve to be a better friend.  Another thing I realize as I grow older is the importance of friends, so if you are my friend, thank you for your  friendship, and i hope that your own 2014 is a benevolent and rich year.