Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve!

As 2009 is winding down I started thinking about what my New Year's resolution should be. I haven't made a New Year's resolution in a long time because I never keep them so I figured what is the point. I know the things I need to work on in 2010 and whether I make a resolution to work on them or not does not matter, what matters is actually working on them. So I hope that 2010 is much better than 2009 and I will try to make it so. There, I've made my New Year's resolution.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day.

Today is Boxing Day. So if you didn't put on your boxing gloves and start a fight with a complete stranger, it's not too late since it is 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. This means that if you hurry you can still get in good ten rounds before midnight.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

It's been two months since I posted anything on my blog. I have a very good reason for my absence. At the time of my last post I was preparing a presentation which was going to serve as my audition for a job with a consulting firm. To make a long story short, I got the job and then we started looking for a new place to live.

We found a new apartment right before Thanksgiving and I started my new job shortly after that. For a while now I have been commuting to Camp Hill from Bloomsburg three days a week. This isn't a bad commute since it only takes anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours depending on traffic and weather conditions.

We also have been moving our present residence to our new residence a bit at a time. And this is the part that is taking the longest time. But it's Christmas Eve so enough about the last two months. I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

And Happy Birthday to my daughter Lili who will be three tomorrow.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Blue Puppy.

This is a Soviet cartoon that came out when I was my daughter's age. It is in two parts and entirely in Russian. So watch if you speak it.


Stop! and think once in a while
you have no reason to run away
you have nothing to fear but
you fear anyway and they say
that fear for fear's sake is in style
these days again so you're in a rut

and you think that being afraid
like every one else will make you
different somehow and lift you up
above your status but it's hard to do
because, I am sorry to say, I'm afraid
nothing's more common than fear so Stop!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

In vino veritas.

They say there is truth in wine
While I don't know if that is true
It would be rude if I'd decline
To share a bottle of red with you

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I reach for the past.

I reach for the past
but it does not reach for me
in return because the memory
has faded and is gone at last

It wants nothing to
do with me its buildings lie
in ruins covered by sand and I
have been long gone too

Et si tu n'existais pas.

This is a French song that I really liked when I was a kid. The singer's name, Joe Dassin, seemed strange to me at the time. Recently I learned that he was an American. This is a performance from 1973. Enjoy.


This is a video of Al Bano and Romina Power singing their song Felicita. Italian music was very popular in the Soviet Union when I was growing up. Now I can relive my childhood via YouTube. Enjoy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I sing the body.

I sing the body eclectic
with all the bits and pieces
that comprise it.

I sing the little metal
gears that move back and
forth keeping time.

I sing the graceful hands
that display the obvious and
the not so obvious.

I sing the golden case
which houses the whole and
the sum of its parts.

I sing the body eclectic
because it is of my body.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I the undersigned.

I, the undersigned, upon running into you at a bookstore
will proceed to bore you with the details of my daily life
to which you are required to listen by the terms of this
rather poetic contract.

Then you, the undersigned, will proceed to regale me with
the details for your latest adventure in some exotic location
which I am required to imagine and envy because of my
inability to take such a trip.

At the conclusion of this transaction, we will depart each
other's company and proceed with our own rituals
carrying a little bit of the other with us.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

If W.H. Auden.

If w.h. auden were william butler yeats,
his initials would be W. H. Y.
and who knows what torment
he would pour on the unsuspecting
heads of poor english majors.

Or if yeats were keats,
he would be romantic
and less prone to see
patterns where there are none.

Then he would be changed,
changed utterly and a terrible
beauty'd be born.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

What about 2012?

This is a sign on the side of a camper advocating Christianity that is parked by the Bloomsburg Fair. It seems these people aren't familiar with the Mayan calendar.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Measure of a man.

there were dreams
but like college loans
they, too, got deferred

there were hopes
but they had to be adjusted
quarterly for inflation
and the rising price of oil

there were prayers
but they were filed alphabetically
in large cardboard boxes
marked answered and unanswered
then put away in storage

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New in romance.

NY sticker.

I-80 rest stop.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Write what you know.

There is an old saying that goes: "write what you know." And since I always wanted to be a writer, which was one of the reasons I started this blog, I try to follow it when I sit down to write something.

This time I want to put in words things that have been bothering me because they have been bothering me for a long while. One such thing is my lack of a career.

As I mentioned before I always wanted to be a writer so I went to college and got an English degree. This wasn't a Teaching English degree, mind you, just a plain old English Lit one.

Since I am a non-native English speaker this was probably an odd choice of a major, not to mention the fact that it stopped being fun after a while. I think that History or Philosophy might have served me better in the long run. Alas, poor Yorick, (see how I worked that Hamlet quote in there) you don't think of these things when you are young.

So after graduation I attempted to get a career going. But since I lived, and still live, in a small town in North Eastern Pennsylvania and had no idea what I actually wanted to do, I ended up working in retail.

Eventually that got old. So I decided I wanted to get somewhere in life and went back to my Alma Matter to check out a Masters program. The subject of this program was Instructional Design and since I have heard about this program previously, not to mention the fact that a slew of people I knew in college went through it, I enrolled.

As you would expect, I eventually graduated. I had a lot of fun earning my degree and even started this blog after fellow classmate did a presentation on blogging. Also my wife and I started a family in December of my first year in the program.

When I graduated I was filled with hope and excitement because I was finally going to do something with my life and succeed. But, like another saying goes, "when man plans, god laughs."

Just as I was getting ready to graduate, the economy was getting read to take a major nose dive. And what a nose dive it was!

Suddenly companies and banks were failing left and right. And those that weren't failing, were shedding employees in a manner that reminded me of a zeppelin trying to stay in the air.

So it became harder for somebody right out of college to find a job, or so I thought. My former classmates didn't seem to have any technical difficulties finding jobs.

Maybe I just need to be patient, I thought. Maybe things will get better soon. For a while I watched GM trying to get away from the edge of the abyss thinking that if a company that size is in trouble, my inability to find a job isn't really all that big of a deal.

Eventually that got old, too. I got tired of watching everybody else pass me by while I was on the shoulder fixing a flat tire or doing something else equally tedious.

In the almost two years I have been out of school, I have had a couple of contract jobs but the highly desirable full time job keeps alluding me. Maybe it is time to reconsider my career path and go back to grad school for my PhD.

Or maybe it is time to stop looking for a job in my chosen field get a different profession. But what do I do exactly?

This is the one question that I have not been able to answer. But since I am getting older, and do not want to feel like I am failing my family anymore, I am open to suggestions.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Saturday, August 15, 2009


One at a time.

This sign is from Lake Tobias Animal Park. It seems that many people are allowed to boat on the lake, but only one person at a time can fish here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP, Les Paul.

Les Paul, a musical genius and inovator of multitrack recording, died today at age 94. He left a lasting legacy which streches across many musical genres. Rock n' Roll would not be what we know today without his influence and his guitars. So, to remember him here is a video of his performance with Chet Atkins.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I am a blog critic.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read it right, I am a blog critic. Or should I say I have just become a member of Blogcritics and now need to write my first article for them. I have 24 hour in which to come up with this article but I don't see that as much of a problem.

I currently don't have a topic in mind for this piece, but with all the wonderfully exciting things happening in the world, most of which are delivered to my cell phone via Twitter, I should have no shortage of ideas.

Maybe I should write about that. Stay tuned to this space for further developments.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Miley gone wild.

Cheryl Phillips, a mild mannered single mom by day and a super blogger known as The Daily Blonde by night, recently awarded Miley Cyrus a rather coveted AssHat award.

This was due to the fact that Miley, the maven of tweeendom and a Disney darling, shed her secret superstar image and performed on the MTV Teen Choice Awards as Britney Spears Jr clad in less clothes than some people put on a poodle in Winter. Miley even brought along her very own stripper pole.

Those of you who are fans of her show, and if you read this blog I highly doubt it, might find this unbelievable. But you have to remember her most recent brush with infamy: the almost naked pictures shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. The above picture is the one I am referring to.

At first you might find it shocking that a teenage girl who is also a public figure would choose to rebel against the norm, or what is the norm for her, in such an exhibitionistic way. But if you think about it, in Hollywood reality is different from the one the rest of us occupy.

So it makes perfect sense that a 16 year-old would choose to go this route. But what horrifies me as a parent of a 2 year-old daughter, though, is the fact that Miley's show is popular with children younger than half her age. I have seen 5 year-olds wearing Hannah Montana clothes and getting excited to go see her in concert the same way that their parents used to get excited about New Kids On The Block and their grandparents used to get excited about The Beatles.

This means that the same 5 year-olds probably have seen the MTV Teen Awards and Miley's presentation on the basics of being a stripper. So now they are going to think that dressing like her and dancing like her is perfectly OK. And don't we frown on child pornography in this country?

Child pornography is exactly what Miley's MTV performance was. A prosecutor recently tried to go after some high school girls for sending naked pictures of themselves to their boyfriends. So why isn't somebody trying to do the same to Miley? I think it would be a great idea and it would be a fun trial to watch.

Miley, as a role model for millions of impressionable young girls, try to keep your clothes on. But if you are going to take them off to show the world that you're not a child star anymore, wait until you have had something other than Hannah Montana on your resume or at least until you're eighteen and can buy your own cigarettes instead of sending your assistant.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Milton Hershey.


Wall of trees.

Parking lot.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Senate confirmed Sotomayor.

This is a great day in American history, politics, and jurisprudence. The US Senate confirmed Sonya Sotomayor as the 111th Supreme Court Justice. However, this is just a small step on our journey to a better and brighter future.

If we do indeed "hold these truth to be self-evident that all men are created equal," we need to demonstrate this to the rest of the world with our actions. And, I believe, this was one of those actions.

The Hispanic community is going to see this confirmation as a win for them, but I think this is a win for all Americans. I felt this way after Obama was elected President because as an immigrant father of an American-born child I knew that I live in a country where my daughter can achieve anything.

Now, we all live in a country where "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" has a whole new meaning.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Take me out to the ball games.

This is Champ. He is the mascot for the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees. He was greeting people at the stadium entrance when we went to see what turned out to be a double header. The Yankees have had problems with the field drainage system since the 4th of July and the home games were scattered around.

So when we arrived to see our regularly schedule game, we arrived in the middle of a previous one. The Yankees were taking on their arch rival Pawtucket Red Sox. The Yankees won both games with very little difficulty which is what I expected.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In between.

Quote of the day.

"You don't have to eat TV dinners alone. You don't have to pay bills alone."
This is from a radio commercial for All About Singles, a local dating service. I definitely agree that eating TV dinners and paying bills are much better reasons to find a special some one than love and companionship.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Best sports quote ever.

"Why the Mets even bring bats to the plate anymore, I’ll never know. They certainly never use them.
This quote is from the blog of Andrew Sodergren, a sports writer for the Naples Daily News in Naples, Florida.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

At midnight.

At midnight the wax drips
my candle onto the wooden
keeping time with my steps

This house is old like myself
and so it moans and creaks
the sails are unfurled from
my bedposts waiting for wind
there are no ghosts here
just a bit of undigested cheese

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hiawatha backwards.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Eating corn.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Water tower.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

RIP, Michael.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

This video is like epic!

A new follower on Twitter indirectly lead me to this video by a YouTube user updownbiglittle. It made me laugh so I posted it here for all to see. Enjoy.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Ukraine is weak.

First of all, Ukraine is not weak. Also, unlike Holland, there is no "the" in the name of this Eastern European country. I should know, I am from Ukraine.

So what is all this about?

What this is about is a t-shirt, or rather a busted tee. Bustedtees is a an online company that makes funny t-shirts like the one on the right. This t-shirt is a reference to a Seinfeld episode in which Newman and Kramer play Risk.

Here is a clip from that episode. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Life after people.


Fight or flight.

I have been reading Fight Club lately and have a different reaction to it than I had to the film. While the movie made want to start a fight with a complete stranger and to become like Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden because my self image is closer to the Edward Norton character.

This time around I am filled with desire to transcend my existence, if I can use that phrase, since my quest for meaning has been rather fruitless. In this Internet age, we are defined by what we do more than ever before and since my attempts to kick start a career have been dashed upon the rocks of recession I can not begin to define myself in those terms.

So I am driven to seek meaning elsewhere. The question is where? Like Fight Club's narrator I long for a better life but, unlike him, I don't believe I will find it in support groups and fight clubs.

So what is left then? I have absolutely no idea. I am Stan's Complete Confusion.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Dumpster sign.

It's sad that we have become so dumb that a sign of this nature is necessary.

Monday, July 06, 2009

US and Russia agree on nuclear reduction.

This is great news since it shows that despite attempts to resurrect a Soviet past, Russian government isn't completely without hope or common sense. The fact that the US President is somebody who is willing to listen to and talk with "enemies both foreign and domestic" doesn't hurt either.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Friday, July 03, 2009

YouTube video game.

This maybe old news for some, but I just discovered this cool game via a post on Bloggasm. It's an interactive, 30-level game of spot the difference based on the 2009 Oscars. I only got to level 17.

Ferris wheel.

Knoebels food stand.

Street lamp.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

For whom the bell tolls?

The recent celebrity deaths brought with them a slew of coverage on various television and internet channels. They also resulted in a bunch of tasteless jokes, especially at Michael Jackson's expense.

The day after Michael Jackson died, I received two text messages which contained Michael Jackson jokes from an acquaintance of mine. These were so awful that I replied to them telling this woman, who is fond of tasteless humor, I did not appreciate receiving these and that they were not amusing.

Later I read a Facebook post by another acquaintance degrading Michael Jackson. This man continued in this vein with a post about Billy Mays and another poke at Michael Jackson.

Why do people feel the need to do this?

I know that when a famous person dies their demise will automatically become big news but there are much better ways to address whatever feelings or animosities you have toward that person than bad jokes.

Death is the one thing all of us have in common. Regardless of your socioeconomic status, your education, your political views or your sexual preference, eventually you will meet your manufacturer.

Let's try to remember that next time somebody famous dies and not vilify them or attempt to profit by selling their memorabilia on eBay. Shall we?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going up.

Inclined plane in Johnstown, PA.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Church sign.

12th and Blair.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Monday, June 22, 2009

One small step.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hershey Park Carrousel.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sky in a puddle.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Bread and circuses.

My wife got me involved in watching Jon & Kate Plus Eight with her and I have to say until recently it hasn't been worth watching. But this season, which has been surrounded with controversy before it even began, is way better than the previous seasons.

What makes it worth watching is the destruction of a marriage. After all, we are all guilty of slowing down to look at a scene of an accident for the gory details. This trend of deriving entertainment from other people's misery and pain is not new. I believe that it goes all they way back to Ancient Rome.

Back then, you see, the common folk had a famous chant "bread and circuses" which meant they wanted to be fed and entertained. The feeding part wasn't very hard the problem was how do you entertain people whose lives are at the mercy of the Roman Gods and could end at any moment. And so gladiatorial combat was invented.

I can see an Ancient Roman carnival barker now: "Ladies and Gentlemen, step right up and get your tickets to see a marvelous new interactive entertainment! Live human beings will fight one another to the death for no other reason than your enjoyment. Don't worry, these are slaves, Gods know we have a lot of them, and no actual Roman citizens will be hurt. There is still time to get front row seats so you can be close to the action. And did I mention the best part? You control the outcome of these fights. You decide who lives or dies! So what are you waiting for?"

Romans even invented what we now call sports arenas for the purpose of watching these fights. The Coliseum had a retractable roof and elevators which would bring gladiators and animals to the stage. If you don't believe me, go to Rome and look for yourself.

But what does any of this have to do with Jon and Kate Plus Eight?

Well, it seems that even though we have become a bit more "civilized" than the Ancient Romans we still like to watch a good fight now and then. We might not have the Romans' taste for blood, but we continue to crave conflict and other people's pain prominently displayed in our living rooms.

And nothing quenches our thirst for pain and suffering like Reality TV. We want to see real people put in front of a camera lens so we can watch them wriggle and squirm the same way inquisitive children do with bugs. But, of course, this is not true reality.

Just like Roman Gladiators the people we watch were selected for our maximum enjoyment. If this was actual reality, we would be sitting in front of our televisions watching other people sitting in front of their televisions. And who wants that?

Nobody! We all know what we want. We want "bread and circuses!" And we want them delivered to us in a form we have become accustomed to, television.

The invention of television eventually lead to the inventions of TV dinners and Reality TV. And these two combined allow us to have our "bread and circuses" in the comfort of our own domiciles.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


In between.


Man walking.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009



Parking lot.



Wet road.

Nap time.