Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Toy Fad

Hasbro has introduced a new toy into the market called Mighty Muggs. They are available at most every toy store out there. My buddy Mike told me about them, and got one for his birthday. I have no idea what you are supposed to do with them, but they are kinda neat looking... or as he called them, "adorable!". I saw them at work today, and my co-workers in the toy department said they are very popular.

I am always amazed to see what new toys are introduced and how popular they become. They range from very simple and basic toys like Beanie Babies (remember those??) to high tech gadgets like Firbees (those still scare me).

I have to admit, I almost bought the Indiana Jones Mugg just because he is wearing my signature hat. I had it in my hand, but decided why spend money on another toy, just to have it sit on my desk? I can only imagine all the comments I would get since Indiana has a whip too. Har Har.

Now, if Hasbro made a Mighty Mugg of Chef Duff from Ace of Cakes... now THAT I would buy! =-P

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In Memoriam

I just found out today that my former teacher, Sister Dorothy FSSJ passed away on August 9th at the age of 87. I was planning on going to visit her and another of my former teachers at the Mother House over the summer, but never made the trip out to Hamburg. Needless to say I regret it now.

Sr. Dorothy was a wonderful teacher, and we stayed in touch over the years. I last visited her two years ago, and at the time she was doing well. She loved to exercise, and would go for long walks every morning, work out on the trampoline, and would even go swimming in the ocean when she would return to her hometown for a vacation.

Sister was a wonderful teacher, and I feel so privileged to have been taught by nuns while in grade school. It is very rare that sisters teach in schools any more, much less be of the caliber of the sisters of old. It was from these good women that I first got my desire to become a teacher, and saw something in them that I wanted to emulate.

It's because of my relationship with these sisters that I can't stand the mean nun jokes and stories that are so quick to be told when the word "nun" is mentioned. I don't deny that there were some nasty women who became nuns, but you can't judge an entire group of people because of a select few (in comparison to the whole communities of sisters). It is important to keep in mind that when many of these women were getting bachelor's in Education in the 1930s and 40s, the teaching style of the time was centered on corporal punishment and intimidation as the best way to teach, instill respect and keep control of a classroom (I once saw a picture of Sr. Dorothy in a classroom with her students in 1943. She had 40 kids in her class!!). We now know better, but all teachers at one point were trained in these now obsolete methods. Ask someone who went to public school in the 30s and 40s if a teacher ever hit them. Unfortunately, the nuns still bare the stigma of the ruler.

Eternal Rest grant unto her O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her.
Requiescat in Pace.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Welcome Fall!!!

Happy first day of Autumn everyone!! This is my favorite season of the year, and unfortunately, here in Buffalo, the shortest season of the year.

The temps have slowly begun to drop below the 70 degree mark... when it stays in the 50's, I shall be thrilled!! Pretty soon the leaves will be changing and the beauty of the season will start.

I'm tempted to put out my Halloween decorations just to get into the spirit of the season.

Anyone up for a hayride and apple cider? :-D

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Will teach for food!

Last week I received my teacher certification in the mail. It's a great feeling to know I am New York State certified, but I have no job to show for it. With each passing day I feel more and more out of the loop.

People keep asking if I'm subbing, but to be honest, I'm not eager. Substitutes, unless they are long term subs, aren't teachers... they are fill ins, or "babysitters" as I have heard them called. I'm not exactly thrilled about getting a phone call at 6am telling me I will be working out in some district, teaching anything from Phys Ed. to Science, and everything in between... and we all remember how substitutes get treated by students.

I can't sit in limbo forever, despite the fact I am working towards my masters. I have to get out there and get experience. I have decided that next year I will leave Walmart and the health insurance it provides, and if I don't have a teaching position, will indeed to the substitute gig. I miss being in a school and classroom, and am eager to return to it. I want to be doing my "big boy job"!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Favorite Hymn

I stumbled across this clip from one of my favorite movies. It is by far my favorite hymn, "O Sanctissima".. and being sung by my name sake (nickname that is), Bing Crosby.

Ahh... those were the days!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Anne!

Saturday I met up with Anne and her large family to celebrate together her 80th Birthday. All her children and the majority of grandchild (and great-grandchildren) came in for the festivities. They all went out to dinner together, then I met them back at the house for cake and drinks.

Anne has such a wonderful family, and I have gotten to know and love all the people that make up that beautiful family tree. I am so honored to be included in events like these. I have often commented about my own family connections that by and large (in my case) seems to be a bunch of strangers who happen to be related. As for Anne.. she is someone whom I chose to be close to, and it has been a continual gift ever since.

Anne's actual Birthday was yesterday, and I couldn't let the day pass without another celebration. At the age of 80, there really isn't anything I could buy her, and there is little she needs. I decided to take her and her husband Vince out to dinner, then have them back here at the house for coffee and cake. We went out to the Grape Vine restaurant, and had a ball chatting over a nice meal. I enjoyed having them here at the house with my parents as we swapped stories over homemade pumpkin cheesecake with coffee and tea.

Some people give me funny looks when I tell them my closest and dearest friend is 80 years old, but they don't know Anne. She has friends that span the generations, and from the time we met, we just clicked, and our friendship has grown tremendously over the years. I often think of her as my soul-mate.. not in the sense of a spousal relationship, but in terms of another human being who understands me on an emotional and spiritual level that no one else has. I have known her for 11 years, and yet I can't remember life without her there. She has always been there for me, in the best and worst of times.. and I truly hope she can say the same about me. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her.

I have encountered few people with the genuine love, compassion and sincerity that Anne possesses. It was my honor to celebrate the anniversary of her birth, and I wish her many more years to come!

Monday, September 8, 2008


As I have mentioned here before, a friend of mine is participating in a bike marathon to help raise money for Aids research. The marathon is known as "Breaking the Cycle". Jim has pledged to raise at least $3,500 to help in the effort to cure this horrible disease which has claimed the lives of so many people, crossing racial, ethnic, national and sexual borders.

His deadline is quickly approaching as the marathon is at the end of this month. I implore any and all of you out there in cyberland to make a donation to this very worthy cause. Simply click on the "donate" link below and make your donation. Ten dollars... twenty dollars... it all adds up. Please be as generous as you can, and help Jim break the cycle of aids!!

Thank you!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Classic Leading Man Test

Your result for The Classic Leading Man Test...

Cary Grant

You are the epitome of charm and style, the smooth operator who steals the show with your sophisticated wit, quiet confidence and flirty sense of humor. You are able to catch any woman you want just by flashing that disarming smile, even if you're flashing it at a kindly aunt or engaging child at the time. When you walk into a room, women are instantly intrigued and even the men are impressed, but you're too nice a guy to steal anyone else's girl...unless the guy deserves it. You're stylish, yes, but you can also be a little bit nutty. However, you're primarily seen as dashing, suave and romantic. Your co-stars include Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, stylish women with a sense of fun.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.

Take The Classic Leading Man Test at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I'm so happy that September is finally here. This means that the final days of summer are coming to an end, and Fall is just around the corner. For those of you not from around here, fall in WNY usually means two weeks of awesome cool-crisp weather before the snow comes.

Already signs of the impending change in seasons are being seen. The stores have their Halloween decorations and accessories out on display, which no longer seems to far away to be overly rushing the season. I would argue against buying candy with the intent of saving it for Trick-or-Treaters, I doubt any of us have that kind of will power.

I for one am looking forward to swapping the dreaded shorts for a jacket, and the straw hat for the felt ones. Being able to walk outdoors and not melt into a puddle of sweat is a great feeling!

Even tonight, as I settle down to do some reading for class, I am reminded of the gradual season change as it gets darker sooner, and the lamps get switched on earlier. Even as I struck a match to light a candle in my sitting room, the smell of the match reminded me of the excitement of fall.

I have always believed that one of the many charms of living in the Buffalo area is our seasons. By the time I have grown tired of one, it is time for another to begin.