Thursday, January 6, 2011


On rare occasions, I go to the office much earlier than usual. During such days, I think of myself as a volunteer subject participating in a study with the aim of figuring out what is the highest amount of caffeine that doesn’t kill a human being.

For the sake of mankind, here is my report.

Cup of Coffee #1: Shortly after waking up. It doesn’t have a noticeable impact on my early-morning-zombie self.

Cup of Coffee #2: As soon as I arrive to my office. I feel philosophical and question myself about important things in life. For example: I am not a teenager anymore. Why do I still use a velcro lunchbox?

Cup of Coffee #3: I wonder why lunchtime seems so far away. I get this terrible feeling that I’m wearing a boot on one foot and a house shoe on the other. I look at my feet to make sure my shoes match.

Cup of Coffee #4: After lunch. I realize that I emailed this to my boss:

I have new a new report to show you. When can we nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnn nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn meet?

Cup of Coffee #5: I ask my Secretary to join me, because I need someone to hold me in case I start vibrating.

You know when you leave a cell phone on a table, and it starts vibrating? Many times, it starts moving while vibrating until BAM! it falls off the table. I fear this will happen to me after coffee cup #5. I start vibrating and if there’s no one around to hold me I will fall off the flat surface of earth.

(Yes, after coffee cup #5, I say the earth is FLAT! AND DON’T YOU DARE FIGHTING ME ON THIS!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Joe Cooks a Meal

The weather here is currently pretty crappy. This wasn't the most pleasant grilling experience I've ever had. Luckily skirt steak only takes minutes to cook.

I started this meal by marinating skirt steak in a mixture of EVOO, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and finely ground herbs de provence overnight:

I prepared the ravioli filling using pecan-smoked blue cheese, grated parmigiano reggiano, whole milk ricotta, and marscapone:

( I added some Lobster to some.)

I prepped the pasta dough using semolina flour:

Rolled out the dough and started forming the ravioli:

I stuck them in the freezer to firm up, while I started boiling some water and prepping the Weber.

I grilled up the skirt steak:

Boiling the ravioli:

Started browning some hickory smoked butter:

Dinner is served:
Grilled skirt steak and 4-cheese smoked ravioli, topped with smoked brown butter sauce, beef bacon bits, and freshly grated parmigiano reggiano:

The steak and the ravioli complimented each other perfectly. Excellent meal.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Joe gets a Neti Pot

I don’t know why I’ve been cursed with chronic sinus issue. I didn’t kick dogs as a child. I didn’t do drugs as a teenager. I stopped pushing senior citizens out into traffic weeks ago.

It doesn’t seem fair.

Usually I just drug myself into oblivion when I have sinus issues. I really do sort of have myself convinced that Nyquil is the ALL purpose medication. I drink it straight from the bottle. I have no use for that little plastic cup they keep insisting shows me the correct dosage.

Now, the only problem with my Nyquil addiction is this pesky need to be alert and upright for the majority of the day. Despite my best efforts to persuade my employer, I cannot pass out in my office and still keep my job. So I need alternative remedies.

Over the counter medications do nothing. Literally, no relief. The doctor isn’t much help either because he just wants to prescribe me an $80 nasal spray that doesn’t do anything except deplete my Little Debbie fund.

And we all know that’s not ok.

So in desperation, I bought this:

The “Neti Pot.”

As disconcerted as I am about the entire process and by the fact that no real drugs are involved, I give the neti pot two nostrils up. I wouldn’t say I feel 100%, but it doesn’t hurt to be alive anymore. I’ll take it.

And next time I’ll make sure none of the dogs are with me in the bathroom while I’m doing it. It’s sort of awkward when they try to drink from the stream that’s flowing from one of your nostrils. And by awkward, I mean completely disgusting.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Everything happens for a reason. maybe you don’t see the reason right now, but when it is fully revealed, it will blow you away.

Reasons happen for everything. You are here because this is where you belong. Right here, Right now.

I recall hearing a story about a girl who was fired from a major holding company and she was so furious that security had to escort her out of the building. That next day, sitting in her living room, eating breakfast, she watched the news as the two planes crashed into the World Trade Twin Towers in NYC. She had worked in the second tower…

Life is simple, yet so complex. Yesterday is a memory. Tomorrow is the future. Today is what you should be living. Live in the moment and be content with what is in front of you. We all want more and we want it now. Patience is possibly the hardest thing in our day-to-day lives. I know it is for me.

We all say it, “we are living for tomorrow.” What a stupid statement.

Now is the only time that makes sense to live. Yes, we can all plan for tomorrow, but both you and I know that plans change. Life can be one big interrupter to our plans. That’s when life sucks and is disappointing. But, who did that? You did. You made plans for tomorrow instead of living in the moment. I am thoroughly convinced that people who plan for the future are not happy with their lives. Young, old, rich, poor, we all do it.

We all meet people everyday, and some are subtle reminders and others make an impact that change us forever. What was the reason we met those individuals? We may not know exactly the reasoning at that very moment, but time tells everything. Stay focused and stay with it, and it will be revealed. Maybe a great friend is in store or the love of your life. Whatever it may be, live in it.

Everything does happen for a reason.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I know the common phrase: Streams of Consciousness, but I think more in snippits and bits of thoughts, rather than streams (which makes me think yes, my thoughts are truncated bits and not flowing wisps of intellectual property).

Right now, these days, I think in frantic drips; I'm trying to catch them before they escape into the ether. The harder I try to harness them, to relish in their minute existence, they vanish....teasing me with a fragment left behind. A fragment of nothing, of something....inclusive of frustration.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Failed Dreams

We cut our love ones with words that sometimes live through generations. Our children become us and live our pain through no making of their own. We push our dreams, aspiration and hope through them without consultation with them of their own dreams. Only because we think we know what’s best for them. We continue to cut them by pushing our failed stale dreams through new fresh rivers that have channels of their own. Then we wonder why our offspring’s are confused and weary of life at such an early age. Think again, could it be our words of surgical cuts breeding a new generation of failed dreams.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We are a generation of scanners

Folks, I’ll keep this brief; I have a hunch you won’t read every word here, but that’s okay. We are becoming a generation of scanners, taking in titles instead of full paragraphs, bullet lists instead of full prose, bolded words instead of complete thoughts.
Just think, when was the last time you fully read something like a newspaper, web page, document or blog post, from start to finish?
I bet it wasn’t recently.
A 2008 study found that on average, a webpage reader only has time, at most, to read 28% of the material on the page. Most likely they will take in only 20% of the information presented.
(PS – You made 25% of the way – keep on going!)
I’ve noticed that my reading habits have changed over time, too.
As a student I had an overwhelming amount of information to digest so I learned shortcuts and prioritization techniques to make life easier. Those techniques have proved to be extremely important as the information that is available to me keeps increasing and seemingly, my ability to find time to read this wealth of information keeps decreasing.
More often than not, I look at my google reader with 100+ new items, my twitter feed with endless updates, and the piles of unread magazines, books and articles that are scattered around my condo, and I just don’t know where to start. So instead of reading thoroughly, I start scanning for the bits and pieces I find relevant, interesting and meaningful.
And I’m not the only one. According to Carol Phillips, Millennials have been noted to be a generation of scanners. We like quick hits of information, instant conclusions, summarized findings, and it all has to come in a format that lets us get what we need, and move on to other things quickly.
I worry that the quality of information changes when we change the way in which we present the information.
Will newspapers begin to report in bullet point lists only? Will websites become more visual and provide less text in the future? Can short basic words replace long and complex words and still provide the same meaning?
It’s obvious to me that our tendency to scan information is already making changes to the way information is presented.
I prefer to read blog posts that have titles bolded and paragraphs that are short and to the point. I prefer facts to be present in a list, not in prose and I always prefer a graphical visual when data is involved.
But, what works the best?
I’m sure the jury is still out on that.
What I do know is that although style is evolving, substance still trumps everything.