Monday, January 29, 2007

The Castle in the Forest: Chapter One Excerpt

You may call me D.T. That is short for Dieter, a German name, and D.T. will do, now that I am in America, this curious nation. If I draw upon reserves of patience, it is because time passes here without meaning for me, and that is a state to dispose one to rebellion. Can this be why I am writing a book? Among my former associates, we had to swear never to undertake such an action. I was, after all, a member of a matchless Intelligence group. Its classification was SS, Special Section IV-2a, and we were directly under the supervision of Heinrich Himmler. Today, the man is seen as a monster, and I would not look to defend him—he turned out to be one hell of a monster. All the same, Himmler did have an original mind, and one of his theses does take me into my literary intentions, which are, I promise, not routine.

Buy and read this book.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hitler's Childhood

Forgive me for my total slack-job here on my blog. I've been pretty busy.

I am still completely enthralled with my LibraryThing. I can't wait to move my bookshelves into the livingroom and start alphabetizing my books into something that might resemble an actual library.

Can I tell you all how silly I actually am about this whole book thing? There's a store in Hamburg called "Crazy4Bookz". It's a gently used book store and she has the little space packed to the brim with all sorts of books. I was in there the other day (like I totally NEED more books, right?) and I asked her about the V.C. Andrews' series.

I have always been a fan of "Flowers in the Attic" but I haven't read the other books in that series...well she had them - and I bought them - all seven books. Then I get home and I realized that I already had two of them. See...this whole cataloging thing will definitely save me money.

I can't wait to go out and buy Norman Mailer's newest book "The Castle in the Forest". I love Mailer and this book will prove to be Pulitzer-worthy. It is the story of Adolf Hitler's childhood as seen through the eyes of Deiter, a demon sent to put him on his destructive path. Talk about fun! I might have to read it tonight...all 600 pages.

OK, enough chit-chat. I've got some Swiffering to do and then off to Borders.

Stay warm, kids. I promise to be a better blogger in the near future.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

RE: My Library

OK. I love the website I recently posted about.

I started this about 8 hours ago (granted 6.5 of the past 8 hours were spent working and/or doing other things.) I have over 100 books listed and I'm not done yet tonight...

I have a ton of books. Not as many as some other people on the a long shot...but a lot.

I'm proud to say that out of the 106 books listed, I have 84 different authors.

Did I mention that I LOVE

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Personal Library

You may or may not know that I am a bibliophile. I love books. I read them; I collect them; I give them as gifts. I love books.

A few months ago I attempted to start cataloging them on my home computer. It wasn't difficult but I kept thinking that there should be an easier way...something online perhaps. Well, for some bizarre reason, I googled "book catalogue" and up popped It peaked my interest. I clicked and read about what they had to offer.

Here's what it says on their site:

LibraryThing is a full-powered cataloging application, searching the Library of Congress, all five national Amazon sites, and more than 60 world libraries. You can edit your information, search and sort it, "tag" books with your own subjects, or use the Library of Congress and Dewey systems to organize your collection.

If you want it, LibraryThing is also an amazing social space, often described as "MySpace for books" or "Facebook for books." You can check out other people's libraries, see who has the most similar library to yours, swap reading suggestions and so forth. LibraryThing also makes book recommendations based on the collective intelligence of the other libraries.

So...I joined. And I'm happy. I love this site almost as much as I love my books. They even have a "add to your blog" feature. (I've done it, you can see it on the right.)

Granted, since I just noticed this today there are only about 10 books listed in my library...mostly plays, of course (being at work, that's all I have at my desk.)

Check it out. Click HERE and start your own online library.

Talk about nerdish fun, huh?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pierogies with Grandma

For years and years my family has made and eaten pierogies. Although the Kelley family isn't Polish, living in Buffalo we've learned to adapt. My Grandma Kelley (almost 100% German) is the matriarch and cook of the family. I don't know precisely when she started making pierogies but I sure do remember eating them.

The Oleniacz side of my family (that's Grandma Dem's birth family) is Polish...her parents are directly off the boat from Poland. While I don't remember Grandma Dem ever making pierogies, she prepares them for every single holiday meal.


Why am I writing this post? Because, for the very first time in my life, I am going to learn how to make them. Grandma Kelley, my cousins Jessica and Melany, and I are going to be taught. (Jessica actually already knows how...Grandma taught her already.) I am so very excited.

Those of you who know me know that I love to cook. Now I'll have something else to add to my arsenal.

I'll let everybody know how it goes.

Did I mention that I'm 2 hours I'll be pinching dough!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Smoking Update #1

I've cheated...many times.

Jamie and I are not smoking in the house. If we crave a cancer stick we force ourselves to go out on the front porch. We are also not smoking at Grandma' all. I have also cut my work-time cigarette outings in half. I'm not proud...but still...gimme a break!

We have both cut down considerably. I'm not making excuses...we feel very guilty about it. But we have cut down.

Please don't leave reprimanding comments. I'm not done trying.

Who do I have to F%$K to get a drink...

It's funny how things happen.

In the few final days of 2006 I was sitting with my Grandmother discussing work, money, aspirations, cigarettes and life in general. I told her that I'd love to get a small, part-time job to break-up the week a bit (and to make some extra spending money.) There wasn't really anything that I wouldn't do but there were some things that I definitely was looking the event that I did, indeed, take on a second job:

  • Part time - less than 20 hours per week.
  • Close to my house - less than 5 miles away.
  • Flexible - I couldn't disrupt my full time schedule.
  • Fun - I didn't want to be behind another desk.
  • Different - something I could look forward to.
  • Lucrative - if I was going to be taking on an additional 20 hours, I wanted to make sure I was making more than minimum wage.
We were discussing all sorts of part time jobs: waiting on tables, hosting and bartending being on the top of my list. I have some bartending experience and I thought that I would focus my energy on finding a bartending job. I first thought I wanted to work in a bar-bar (a place that doesn't serve food) but I realized that those sorts of jobs were more difficult to come by. Then I entertained the idea of working in a high-end place. Then, while I was thinking of the few high-end restaurants in Hamburg, my Grandmother said, "How about the Water Valley?" I totally hadn't thought about them but it totally peaked my interest.

I came to work the next day, called the restaurant and asked if they had any bartending openings. The woman I spoke with said, "We might. We just had somebody go on vacation and we might be hiring someone to fill in for him before he returns. Why don't you stop in and pick up an application today." Well, if you know me, you know that I don't fill out applications unless I'm forced to. I'd much rather take the higher road and send a cover letter and a resume...which is what I did. I wrote my letter, found their fax number, and sent it to them within an hour or two. After work I drove over to the Water Valley Inn and the rest, as they say, is history...but I'll fill you in anyway:

I sat at the bar, ordered a drink, and asked the woman lighting candles if the manager/owner was working. She told me that she was the manager/owner and we started chatting. Her name is Debbie and she is very nice. Within minutes, she told me that she would call me the following Tuesday and set something looked like I would be their Tuesday Guy. (I know that this is getting long-winded...I'm just in the mood to elaborate.)

She ended up calling me and asking me to come in that Thursday (Jan. 4th) to "train". I told her I'd be happy to. I got there about 30 minutes early and she saw me and said, "OK, the bar's all yours...if you have any questions, just ask!" I kinda chuckled. Then, with anticipation and trepidation, I got behind the bar and made myself familiar with my new surroundings. Elaine, one of the nicest women I've ever met, showed me a few things (how to work the register; where the wine was; where the ice machine, etc. was; credit card machine...). I was then ready. It was a relatively slow night which was fine for me. After about an hour Mickey, Debbie's husband, showed up and judged me. Apparently I did a good job because he actually sat down and ate dinner with his daughter. I was really proud of myself: Day One, well done. Mickey asked me if I wanted to work on Saturday...I said yes.

Well, I won't go into too many more details but to say that my Tuesday Guy job is now a Tuesday-Sometimes-Thursday-and-Sunday-Guy job...and I love it.

I'll elaborate more eventually. All I have to say is that if you find yourself in Hamburg and you want some REALLY good food at a REALLY neat restaurant (they're the oldest operating restaurant in Hamburg...built in 1890), please come in and say HI. The prices are very reasonable, the food is phenomenal, and the bartender is really nice.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Idle time.

OK, this is an interesting enough excersize...even though I don't really know what it's supposed to accomplish. My friend, Tom Loughlin, did this and I think it's kind of interesting. He said it should be "tagged" along to friends but, instead, I think I'll just let you decide if it's interesting enough to put on your own blog. Please share your results with me if you decide to do this.

  • Find the nearest book.
  • Turn to page 123.
  • Go to the fifth sentence on the page.
  • Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
  • Name the book and the author.

Here is my result:

"A golden-yellow owl flew above us, heading in the same direction as we. I felt as if the central part of me floated up from my lathering filly - as Fortunata had floated in bubbles - and became the owl. Athena, I thought, burst from the skull of the god-king, remembering my childhood book that Cesare'd read to me about her."

The book is called Lucrezia Borgia and the author is John Faunce.

Hmm...not as interesting as I thought it was going to be.

Monday, January 01, 2007

First Post of 2007

Well, it's official. I have not smoked at all this year! I know that this is no huge achievement but normally, by this time of day, I would have smoked at least 15, none!

There's a few really great quit sites that I've been frequenting today. They all say that cold turkey is the best way to go and that the relapse occurrences are low. They all recommend that we smokers take it one HOUR at a time. They say that it's better to control the immediate than to try and predict the future.

I'm actually doing pretty good. So is Jamie. Like I said, it's only been 16 hours but I am very proud.

I'll keep you updated. I just wanted this to be the official first post of the year...that way if I fail on this endeavor, you'll all have a reason to point fingers and admonish me.

Best of 2007.