Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Daily Caligulan - Fall of '85 to Fall of '86.

Imagine my surprise in reconnecting with a girl that I haven't seen in years! The following is an example of my feeble attempt at humor. It was a parody of "The Daily Collegian." I've added a few other tidbits she sent to me, thank you very much, Melissa. It brought back fond memories!

My Ogunquit Tale

I’m letting those who read my blog (now many, if at all) a little bit about my life for posterity. This was a formative experience for me. I even wrote about my experience in college in '87. I didn't tell anyone that this actually happened to me. It was for a fiction writing class. I think I received a B or a C. Classmates said that my story was unbelievable and that the main character, me, was unsympathetic.

We were staying at our grandparents beach house in Moody Beach, ME, between Ogunquit and Wells. We left, we were smokers at 16 years old, to walk down to Ogunquit, It was about a mile or so. It was the three of us, Steve, me & Kris. We enjoyed our time in Ogunquit. Kris remarked that there were a lot of people holding hands. A lot of GUYS holding hands and a lots of GIRLS doing the very same thing. What we didn't realize is that Ogunquit was very friendly to gay people or so we thought...

On our leaving Ogunquit we were followed by a girl, two what looked like college-aged guys and a kid that looked to be about our age. The thing to remember is that we were relatively small for our age. We had to walk about a half mile or so where there were no houses. To make a long story short, I remember my little brother, Kris, got the brunt of those homophobes wrath. All this time we were wondering why they were picking on us. Later in life it obviously dawned on us. We were the victim of gay bashing pure and simple. I believe the one woman was more vocal than anyone else. I guess she had something more to prove.

We weren't beat up but we had bottles thrown at our heads and my younger brother was tripped up and the two "college" fell upon him, luckily he was no worse for the wear. Eventually we reached the first house that was the start of the beach houses. They were having a party and when we knocked on to door they wouldn't let us in. They were friends of my grandparents, but they didn't recognize us. I will always remember those people as indifferent to us even though we were informing them of our recent plight on the beach. We were just 3 young guys and they were a bunch of grown-ups who didn't care a fig about what was going on outside their comfortable home.

Eventually we made it back home to our grandparents beach house. We told my grandparents and father what we just experienced. The cops were called and they thought that they had found the suspects in a car. Remember, we were followed down the beach, they didn't have a car. I didn't realize it at the time but our tormentors weren't in car and couldn't have returned in time to get a car. Eventually we looked at our "tormentors" we had a chuckle to ourselves, or at least we wanted to chuckle. There were long hairs in the car, not the squeaky clean kids the were ACTUALLY our tormentors. Our irritants (and that’s all they were, but if we hadn’t found that first house we wouldn’t have known what would’ve happened) were probably college bound.

In college and beyond I cozied up with gay people because of my early childhood experience. That's probably why I'm a fierce advocate of the down and out in society or the misunderstood. The freaks WILL inherit the earth, of that I AM certain!

My brothers went away with a completely different viewpoint.
[heavy sigh]

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sigma Nu 100th Anniversary Postcard

Sigma Nu is celebrating our 100th anniversary on Saturday, June 13th, 2009.

I remember going to the house to visit when they were just finished with their 75th anniversary. I remember Dave Miller showing my parents & I around. My brother, Kris, stayed in the car. I remember Dave showing us around, but I also remember Amy Bucher being there as well. She had to skate, but I remember her when I got out of school, she was working in H'burg. When I saw her for the first time, it brought back old memories, including that I met her at the fraternity several years ago. I wonder if Dave will come up from FL, he was up at Homecoming for Sigma Nu's 100th anniversary celebration in Oct. of 2008. We also saw many friends there but not Amy.

In conclusion, I have fond memories of my stay at Sigma Nu, hopefully Alexander will carry on the tradition that makes him a legacy in 5 or 6 years. Hopefully (no pressure!) :)

I'm also posting a link to Sigma Nu's website to get more brothers and little sisters, friends & family to go to said website.

Hopefully you'll join our fambly at the Family Picnic/Black Tie Event in June!

Friday, February 06, 2009

25 Things About Me (You Asked For It)

I should say this: typing stories about my early childhood and beyond is kind of cathartic.

1. Many of you don’t know this but on May 2, 2006, I suffered from a stroke. When this happened I could only barely say “yes” and “no”. I’ve come a long way since then. I got my speech back (to a point), I’m not as talkative as I used to be, but, fortunately or unfortunately (depends on you want to see it) I’m practicing and I hoping for a full recovery. My stroke affecting my right side of my body. I WAS right-handed, now I’m left-handed. I drew with my right hand so...I was drawing since the 5th grade, I suffered my stroke in 2006, you do the math. My mother died of the same thing that I had, she was 31. Both of my brothers, Kris and Steve, were very young. Steve and I were 2, Kris was younger than us. I’m happy to be alive. God has a plan for me, I just don’t know what it is. He kept me alive for some reason and I’m thankful that He did.

2. I have 24 total teeth in my head. In college I had 2 wisdom teeth pulled in 1984. I took a year and half break to get off of my father’s tax return and I was making money at Ye Olde College Diner in State College. I paid for my extractions with the little money that I had. I had 2 other wisdom teeth pulled in Lancaster. It was a grueling 2-1/2 session for ONE tooth. The other one my Dentist extracted in only a half an hour. I got braces in 1995 (I think.) We were going to my family dentist that we have currently. She pulled 2 bottom molars and 2 top molars out. She was a tiny thing and so she subsequently broke off my two bottom molars. What an ordeal. At least I got braces out of the deal! By the way, I had to get 4 teeth out because of my heritage, I’m basically a New Englander, born in Nebraska, but all of my relative were born in New England or thereabouts. Bottom line, we have more teeth than our head can accommodate or smaller mouths. Trust me when I tell you this, look it up...don’t believe me...WHATEVER :)

3. I’ve been a Steeler fan since 1978. I liked their uniforms. I know that I’m from Nebraska and Kansas City was the closest team, but I’m proud of my choice. I’m also proud of beating the Cowboys when my friend, Dave rooted for them. The next year they played the Rams and my twin brother Steve liked them. The next year we moved out to PA. I’m still a Steeler fan, even though Philadelphia was closer to my hometown at the time, Benton, PA. Oddly enough, the Raiders and the Iggles were in the following Super Bowl. I was rooting for the Raiders, naturally!

4. My brothers and I spent 1971 and 1972 at The Omaha Home for Boys. We were released for good behavior (LOL!) when my father married my 3rd mother. We got 2 brothers from the deal, Harold and Tom. Tom was just a week younger than us, by the way. My fathers divorce went through in 1978. Shirley, my step-monster tried to keep Steve, (at least that’s what my dad told me, and I believe him) but my father was having none of her nonsense. I’m glad to be out of Nebraska, did I tell you that!? I made a few good friends, one of which I contacted before my stroke. I’m glad that I contacted him. Our families were going out to NE, before I had my stroke, his family from Tucson and my family from PA. Plans were dashed because of this, unfortunately. At least we got a full refund of our plane tickets.

5. My first childhood memory was, I think, when my twin brother and I were less than two years old. I’m unsure whether my little brother was born at that time. I believe that I was suffering from a bout of childhood pneumonia. I remember my dad holding me at the time, my mother was looking on.

6. In 1980, we moved to PA from Nebraska. I was 16 at that time. We were driving my father’s conversion van. It took about 2 or 3 days, I don’t remember. Steve, Kris and I were in the van, we were following my father, he was driving all of our worldly possessions. We had our cat with us, Spooky. He ran away in about 2 or 3 days after we arrived. I think Spooky was on to us!

7. I remember the first baseball game that we attended, my dad, Steve, Kris and I. We saw the Royals take on the Red Sox. I think that Boston won. I liked visiting Kansas City. We were young back then. It was, I think, before we went into the Home. Maybe we were 6 or 7 years old.

8. I first learned to drive a stick when I was 33. My mother-in-law “taught me” on a 5-speed. I quickly got the hang of it. In fact I mastered it in the church parking lot in one lesson. My father tried to teach me to no avail in Auburn, NE when I was 16, before our trip out East, permanently.

9. My first car that I actually bought for myself was my Miata. I owned it from 2004 - 2006. We used to buy “hand-me-downs” from my father-in-law, a minivan, and my mother-in-law (see story above.) I deleted all of my photos of my Miata because when I had my stroke, I had to give it up :(

10. I’m looking forward to this spring. I’m thinking about giving my Walk-Aide a thorough work out. The road around my development is 1 mile. I walk a quarter mile to and from my spot on the top of the cul-de-sac, of which we own the house. Basically I’m walking (or scheduled to walk) about a mile and a half. I’ve done the trip twice. I’m hoping to walk it more regularly. I used to jog. Hopefully with practice, I can do it again one day.

11. I received my first “F” in history class in the 11th grade. The teacher was BORING! I was on the honor roll when I was in NE. I was in 11th grade physics and was making AMAZING grades. I think the move to PA ruined my otherwise stellar career. Oh well... I was on the honor roll as a Senior, though.

12. My favorite color is red, no green, AAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!! No, my favorite color is red, blue and black, they’re cool colors, I just can’t decide! I have a plethora “Jefe, what is a plethora?” of black clothing. I wear mostly black shirts to my volunteer job.

13. I used to fill out an entire NY Time crossword puzzle in 3 or 4 days. I was filling them out much quicker before my stroke. I would like to dileanate my pre-stroke days with my after stroke days in this way, AS (After Stroke) and...wait for it...BS (Before Stroke). Now I have a Electronic NY Times Deluxe Crossword Puzzle. I like that very, very much!

14. I’m going to post these on Facebook and my blog, which I haven’t used since Dec. 2007. You can look up my address on Facebook on Profile>Info or directly to my blog,

15. I enjoyed visiting my grandparents beach house on Moody Beach, ME, between Ogunquit and Wells. They tore the beach house down and separated the properties in 3 sections. One was so that beach goers could have a direct access to the beach. The other two section were divided in some way. I miss going to my grandparent’s beach house. I liked the smell of the beach. No other smell is like it. We’ve gone down to OBX, it was magical, but the smell of the beach in Maine...there was just nothing like it.

16. We (my twin and I) were born in Omaha, Nebraska. My younger brother, Kris, was born 15 months after we were in Nebraska City.

17. My father towed a U-Haul from Colorado with 100 cases of Coors beer to PA. We were visiting my uncle and aunt’s place at the time. Coors wasn’t distributed on the East Coast in 1981. My brothers and I suggested that one of us ride in the trailer just in case, but to no avail! My father didn’t get recompensed for his trouble. If the police caught us we would have been in serious trouble. We were BOOTLEGGERS!!

18. I learned how to ride a bike when I was in the Home For Boys. My dad bought Steve and I new red bicycles. We were 7. My younger brother didn’t get a bike at that time, he was 5 at the time. Too young even for school. Normally the Home didn’t accept those younger than, but with Kris they made an exception. Steve put HIS handlebars way down, I left them way up. Maybe that’s why we’re complete opposites :)

19. One of my guilty pleasures is “American Idol”. Like Melissa says, you watch it like a slow-motion car wreck. You can’t keep your eyes off of it. I stop watching it when it becomes uninteresting though. I didn’t see most of the end of Season 7, although, grudgingly tuned in to the revealing won between the Daves. My vote would have been for David Cook, if I voted, that is!

20. I’ve had about 20 jobs or so in my lifetime. The first job that I had was detassling corn. Next was hoeing soybeans. I still have a scar from that job, I was trying to pull a BIG sunflower with my beanhook and I must’ve slipped, oops. I was jobless because of that. My step-monster thought I did it on purpose! I baled hay (straw) the following summer. I worked for a lady babysitting her 3 girls. What interesting about my summer job that Elvis died that year in 1977. I got my first ten-speed that and I biked the long way uphill to that job. At least it was downhill most of the way back. I delivered newspapers for a friend of my brother’s a couple of times. When I got to PA I worked planting tomatoes, then I worked at the golf course. I worked in college at Ye Molde College Diner, worked painting various places, worked at the college bookstore, at Campus Casino, Bubba’s Breakaway and thankfully I didn’t work before I got out of college. I worked for my father-in-law at the Tri-County Planning Commission out of college. My first graphic design job was at Drawing Board Associates then Kelly Michener Advertising & Public Relations, Inc., after that I tried freelancing for a couple of months, then Thomas Advertising Communications, Inc., Anderson Advertising, Spencer Media, Inc and now (for what it’s worth) I’m on my own, Thompson Advertising Design. I work as a volunteer at the Lancaster General Health Campus, Tuesday and Thursdays. That’s the sum total of my work experience!

21. I’ve acted in 2 school plays, both in my junior and senior years in high school. I was the lead role in my senior year.

22. I was on the wrestling team in both my sophomore and junior years in high school. What “made” me join the wrestling team in my junior was that a pretty girl asked if I wrestled before I arrived in Benton, PA. I said that I had and subsequently I joined. I went 1 for 4 that year. Nevertheless, I did NOT join in my senior year.

23. We used to goof around when I first moved to Benton. My brothers and I were terrors. I chased my brother, Steve, once with an empty rifle (they might’ve thought that it was loaded, we didn’t tell them that) out onto the front porch so that our neighbors could see yelling something about I’m going to get or something to that effect. We though that it was the height of hilarity. We were BAD youngsters! If my son ever does that...

24. I got a lot of tetanus shots when I was very young. We played around junked cars that were in the bottom of my Nebraska grandparents back yard. There was always something to play around, on, by, whatever. We had a fabulous time playing in my grandmother’s back yard!

25. My favorite food is Linguine and Clam Sauce. It’s been my favorite since Gerard Zoltowski’s mother made it for us for a camping trip up to Dallas, PA.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Naughty Spawn, Alexander faces the TICK!!!

Alexander watched ALL of the Tick episodes AND the live-action episodes as well. He loved ALL of them. Alexander also likes H.P. Lovecraft and scary stories like Goosebumps and other ghost stories. I guess Alexander's like Sue & I.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm a Volunteer!

I'm a proud volunteer at Lancaster General's Health Campus! I volunteered because they took great care of me, so I'm returning the favor. I'm scheduled for every Thursday from 9-4. I'm going to be doing clerical work. Wish me luck! At least I'm driving myself!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I did it again!!

I walked around the development--again! It was Saturday, September 1st. It didn't take me as long as the first trip took me--it was shorter because Alexander rode his bike alongside me. I didn't get sunburned at all. It was 80 degrees and much cooler. We talked with our neighbors along the way--Mark and neighbor Jeff. What's remarkable is that they talked to me of all people--Mark wasn't talking to me because I (and my other neighbor, Tammie) were shooting bottle rockets when Tammie was my neighbor (she lived down the hill from us) 2-odd years ago. He called the police on us because he was afraid that his show dogs would get hurt. I certainly regretted it--shooting bottle rockets off.

This the second time I shot off bottle rockets (and other things.) Some of you remember the first time--you were all invited to my party, I was drinking Martinis from a large Martini glass--good times, good times. Don C. eventually shot several bottle rockets (with my help, of course) at Tammie's house, with her mother in the building, Trudy complaing how close they were coming. For all intents and purpose, we were shooting them at her house an purpose, as I said before, good times.

I seem to have gotten of track, I do that sometimes. Anyway, long story short, I walked around my development with Alexander. Woohoo!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Chez T’s Chunky Vegetable Hot & Sour Soup II

This is an improved version of a recipe I blogged about on March 24, 2006. As I said before, this is Sue's favorite. Again, enjoy!


1 lb. boneless pork tenderloin
25 dried lily buds, soaked in cold water 30 minutes
4 TB dried cloud ears, soaked in cold water 30 minutes
1 lb. fresh button mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 TB sesame oil
7 cans condensed beef broth (keep uncondensed)
2 10 oz can stir fry vegetables (bamboo shoots/water chestnuts/bean sprouts/straw mushrooms)
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup bean curd, cut into small cubes
2 TB light soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup Chinese red vinegar of red wine vinegar
7 TB cornstarch mixed w/ 7 TB cold water


4 TB diagonally sliced green onions
Cooked ham dice
Fresh grated carrot
2 TB. Sriracha (or chili paste w/ garlic)

Freeze meat 1 hour to firm (making slicing easier); slice into very thin strips. Drain lily buds and cloud ears. Slice cloud ears into thin strips. In large saucepan, brown pork in oil. Add the (uncondensed) beef broth. Add cornstarch and water mixture to liquid and thicken on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add lily buds, cloud ears, mushrooms, 2 cans of stir-fry vegetables and ginger. Cover; cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Add bean curd, soy sauce and sugar; bring to a boil. Gradually pour egg into simmering soup, stirring gently until set. Add vinegar and garnish items. Serve immediately. Makes about 14 cups.

I am now driving... look out !