Just Another Relaxing Day

Just Another Relaxing Day

Saturday, April 11, 2009

5000 Facebook Friends in 2010

A tweeter friend has advised me that each person is only allowed 5000 friends. So, my goal must be changed.

UPDATE: Apparently, this task is not going to be easy as I learned that I can not make more than a certain amount of friend requests per day. Oh, well...

I realize that I will never make a million dollars in one year…however, it is possible that I could make a million Facebook friends in a year. Since Facebook easily reaches over two million people, I could conceivably become friends with half of them…. not bad odds…a 50/50 chance of meeting my goal. I would roughly have to make 2,740 new friends per day to accomplish this task. Wow…imagine having a million friends. Since today is only my first day on Facebook, I will have to make up for lost time somewhere between today and next April 10, 2010.

Now…how should I go about my task…First, I am going to have to register for a domain name…. this will lead people to my Facebook page and blog…. imagine waking up every morning to have 2,740 new friends on your Facebook account…Who doesn’t love getting e-mail…imagine the places and people that I would learn about through this experience…I would like my One Million Facebook friends to help me discover the vast world that is beyond my imagination…I would like to explore other cultures…learn about traditions, customs and religions…I would like to meet people from every region of the world…the more varied the backgrounds, the more interesting my project will become.

Journey with me on this adventure…. send me a friend invite…write on my wall…send me a message to say hi…. follow my blog as I share this experience with my readers…but, most importantly…just become my friend, because nobody can have too many friends.

Lori DiPatri's Profile
Lori DiPatri's Facebook profile
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Spread My Wings and Soar

I have decided to take my blog one step farther and try writing for websites, magazines and newspapers. I realize that there are hundreds, thousands, probably even tens of thousands of people who all want the same opportunity. I am going to start slow by contacting local papers and magazines to see if there would be any interest. Hopefully, interest will peek, and I will be writing more frequently for larger audiences. However, I have no plans of quiting my day job anytime soon...unless, of course, an offer I just couldn't refuse came knocking at my door...okay, enough dreaming...

I stumbled upon a site called Trazzler. They have an open contest each month on a particular theme. April's contest was local institutions. I submitted the following 65 - 100 word entry. Wish me luck.

Overwhelmingly the Best Bagels in Glassboro

Waking up on a crisp Saturday morning, I can almost smell the intense aromas of fresh bagels as they come hot out of the oven. While there are other menu item choices, nothing can compare to the variety, freshness and overall quality of the bagel. I stick with my usual choice of a toasted cheddar cheese bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. The thought of these chewy delicacies arriving piping hot on a pillowy sheet of wax paper placed perfectly in a red plastic basket is more than the senses can take. I linger over every delectable bite knowing it will be a whole week before I will be back.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Would You Dare to Eat Here?

I came across several interesting articles on restaurants located around the world. Listed below are the ones I found most entertaining.

1. Cannibalistic Restaurant
"Nyotaimori" is the name of the Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and sashimi on a body which is made from food and placed on an operating table, much as though in a hospital. You can literally perform surgery on the body. The body will actually bleed as you cut it and the intestines and organs inside are completely editable. Utterly disgusting!!

2. A Toilet Restaurant
A restaurant named Marton Theme Restaurant, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) has a toilet theme. The restaurant is named after the Chinese word "Matong" for toilet. Why anyone would want to eat out of a toilet is beyond my comprehension.

3. Dark Restaurant - Beijing, China
A restaurant in which all the walls are painted black. You see nothing and are supposed to have a more "enlightened" food experience. I don't know about you, but if I can't see what I am eating, I am not eating it.

4. Graveyard Restaurant - India
The New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmadabad has something very creepy between the tables... graves!! The restaurant has been operating for close to four decades. Just too bizarre for me.

5. Prison Restaurant - Pisa Italy
Serenaded by Bruno, a pianist doing life for murder, the clientele eat inside a deconsecrated chapel set behind the 60 ft-high walls, watch towers, searchlights and security cameras of the daunting 500-year-old Fortezza Medicea, at Volterra near Pisa. Bizarre...but, I would consider if I were in Pisa again.

6. Undersea Restaurant (MALDIVES)
I would love to eat here....reservations, please....The first-ever undersea restaurant in the world is located at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. It sits five meters below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear acrylic, offering diners 270 degrees of panoramic underwater views.

7. "Cabbages and Condoms" Thailand
There are condoms on the walls and pictures of condoms printed on the carpets. Instead of after-dinner mints, patrons are offered a bowl of condoms at the counter. Profits from the restaurants go to support the Population and Community Development Association (PDA).

8. Medical Restaurant - Taipei
D.S. Music Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan is a medical-themed restaurant with crutches on the wall, waitresses dressed a nurses, and drinks served from an IV drip bottle! The owner came up with the idea to express his gratitude for care he received at a local hospital.

Things About People That Annoy Me

1. who have to lie even when telling the truth wouldn't matter
2. who don't keep promises they have made regardless of the magnitude...a promise is a promise
3. that always have to one up you no matter what...is insecurity really that big of an issue?
4. who think they are always right
5. that have a cell phone literally glued to their hand...Plain and Simple...it's just rude!!!
6. that carry a huge chip on their shoulder and think the world owes them something
7. who can never admit they are wrong
8. who think the world revolves around them
9. that believe whatever they do is the most important thing in the world
10. who don't value what they have...until it's too late.
11. who think money equates to happiness
12. who make judgements without knowing the truth
13. that think no one can do their job better than them...Everyone is replaceable...Everyone! Someone did it before you and someone will do it after you.
14. who don't have empathy for others
15. who say things without thinking
16. that purposely hurt other people's feelings
17. that have to prove a point no matter what the cost
18. who don't value sacredness of a family
19. who take what never belonged to them in the first place
20. who can't see beyond today

Remote, Remote...Come Out Wherever You Are...

Have you ever tried to watch TV without the remote? Something tells me it is not even possible. We have had frantic searches in our home to find this device that seems to rule our lives when it comes to watching the television. Now mind you, we could just as easily walk up to the TV and change the channel…however, our downstairs flat screen does require us to use only the special remote provided by Comcast…otherwise, it remains on the same channel for eternity….walk up to the TV…who ever heard of such a thing…I am not even sure I would even recognize the buttons…I have spent what seems like hours to find the remote with my daughter screaming in the background that she is desperately missing the latest episode of Hannah…logic would tell us that we could just turn on the TV in another room until we find the damn thing…but, it is more the point of how it become lost in the first place.

Losing the remote can mean all out warfare in our home as it means that the best TV is really not usable. As the mass hysteria begins to try and find the little bugger, pillows and cushions are thrown on the floor…chairs are overturned…toys are thrown everywhere…cabinets and drawers are emptied…the house looks like it was just cased by the crime squad unit…sometimes I wish it would be…they would probably find the thing quicker then me. Maybe we could put some type of special GPS locater in the stupid thing…one can dream…

Our remote seems to magically grow feet when we are not watching it. Wherever we think we put it is never where it actually is located. Sometimes it can be found tucked safely into the sofa cushions or underneath a couch pillow. Other times, it will wander around the house and find a spot on the counter to perch itself. It’s almost like having another pet. I often wonder what life was like before the remote. Can you imagine having to get up every time you want to change the channel?

The upstairs remote died on us some time ago. We now have our favorite channel lineups that have to span at least an hour. This allows for sufficient time to fall asleep with the TV on using the magic of the timer. Shows that I never thought I would watch have become instant favorites, because they either come on before or after something that I really want to watch. It’s amazing what the power of not wanting to get out of a warm, cozy bed can do for someone.

It’s only after a ridiculous search of every nook and cranny in the entire house that the remote shows up in the most obvious place…usually right in front of our faces.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holiday Cooking

Cooking for the holidays…there is just something about having a house full of people that makes me want to cook. I never say no to anyone as I love to entertain. My motto always seems to be "the more the merrier". I have always been one of those people who prepares way too much food…antipasti tray, relish tray, crudités, chips, dip, u-peel shrimp…you name it….I have to have it out…..and this is before dinner is even ready. I am always afraid I won’t have enough…and I would rather have extra then run out. My relatives have even come to look forward to this tradition and bring their own Tupperware containers for leftovers. Sometimes, they even bring a shopping bag. My Mom and aunts just can't seem to accept the idea of throwing away good food. One of my faults seems to be in that I refuse to keep all the leftovers..I want them gone....I don't want them taking up room in the refrigerator only for me to have to throw them away a week later because no one ate them...and it happens one of two ways....the trash or the container....but either way that food is leaving when the last guest leaves.

Let me give you an example…for my daughters sixth birthday last year, I wanted to do away with all the cooking and have a simple pool party with pizza. After awhile I started thinking…maybe I’ll just make one tray of homemade Italian meatballs in pasta sauce…which by the way are my signature dish…over the years I have received many requests for the recipe….I am really not even sure what I use…it’s more a texture thing…anyway…then, I also have to make a tray of ziti to go along with the meatballs. Before you know it….I am cooking for almost seventy five people. This happens time and time again…I remember when I spent all morning barbecuing 75 chicken quarters for my daughter's fourth birthday party….it was a pirate party, and I wanted that realistic feel…never, ever will I do that again….I had no idea that chicken takes over an hour to barbecue….I thought I was going to die of exhaustion.

Emeril, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray....All big on my list of consults for the perfect Easter meal. Do I want BAM!...Do I want snooty with a touch of elegance that I would never be able to pull off....or... do I want it all for under $40?....This Easter things will probably be more calm….I am planning an Italian Easter dinner for my family….between ten and twelve people…..I am trying to keep things simple, but having some difficulty….I already have the menu partially planned….baked ham, lasagna with meat sauce….which means I will also have to make meatballs….and maybe chicken Parmesan….or I was thinking some crab cakes from Bobby Chez and forget the ham….see how things start to get confusing…..I have also wanted to make braciole for the longest time and did not have the chance this past Christmas….oh, the ideas that are spinning in my head…..see how fast a simple meal can turn into a days labor....the choices are endless.

Since I have waited until the last minute, I will also have to endure the hordes of people shopping on Good Friday. I still have to pick up my free ham….which I earned for being such a “valued” customer…okay…I really just spent enough money and the receipt printed out with my free ham coupon….but, sometimes I like to make myself feel important. So, after my dreaded trip to the mechanics tomorrow, I will be off to fight the crowds at ACME. Now, if I can just settle on a menu and write a shopping list things will be perfect.

Marble Swirls

I purchased an Easter egg dying kit several weeks ago during a grocery shopping trip. Let me explain that this was no easy task. It seems there are numerous dye kits on the market all calling my name as I enter the Easter isle…. Pick me, no pick me…over hear, I am more fun…this one razzles and that one dazzles…this one sparkles and that one glitters…this one uses dye pellets and that one uses gloves…I settle on the one that uses gloves figuring it would be the least messiest.

We all know that once you bring the egg dye kit home there is no way in the world you can let your kids see it. That would mean instant crying to dye eggs. It could be ten o’clock at night and the sight of the dye kit would cause an all out frenzy. The questions would start…Can I just open the package? I just want to see what it looks like…I won’t open any of the dyes…. please, mommy….I just want to look…so, against your better Mommy judgment….you give in. We all know what this lead to…. now that I have it open, can we just dye a few…pleeeease…

Well, this year I was smart. I hid that dye kit until today. My daughter was overjoyed at the fact that we would be dying eggs…. she could have cared less that I picked the glove dying kit…. something tells me it was way more messy than what it should have been…I was also shocked to see that our eggs didn’t look anything like those on the box…something fishy there….I wonder if anyone’s eggs ever look like the “perfect” ones pictured on the cover. It didn’t seem to matter to my daughter or me as we thought each one of her twelve eggs was more than picture perfect. Martha Stewarts got nothing on me….

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Never Ignore the Light

Curse my car! Sometimes I just want to abandon the thing on the side of the road. I only wish someone would steal it (of course, only after I have cleaned out the entire car and nothing of value is left in it). Now, you might think that I drive some piece of junk that should have been off the road ten years ago. Wrong. I drive an Eddie Bauer Explorer. This is the second one I have owned…a twin to my first one…when you like something, you might as well stick with it. This car has been nothing but trouble since the day I decided to purchase it. Mind you, nothing major…. just minor annoyances that make you regret the day you ever walked into the dealership.

Today, I noticed the check engine light has magically turned itself on. Of course, this means some costly garage repair, as I obviously have no idea what is wrong with the thing. They could tell me I need a whole new engine, and I would be none the wiser…except for the fact that I would be shopping for a new car…because one has to draw the line somewhere. It never fails when you bring your car in for an oil change that the mechanics find “something” wrong with it. I usually decline these “somethings” as I see no need to have extra work done on a car that is running perfectly fine. I always find it amazing that when you take your car back the next time there is a different “something” wrong with it….I am always left wondering what happened to the problem they told me about before. As usual, these previous “problems” seem to have a way of fixing themselves if you refuse to have the work done.

Damn my car!….this means a whole wasted day finding out what the stupid light is trying to tell me. I would ignore the light, but you know that just spells trouble waiting to happen. I can see it now….I ignore the light for several weeks and decide to take a short cut one night. As I begin down a stretch of deserted road that seems to have no end in sight, I hear the faint putter sounds of an engine that is about to give out….yes, I have made one of the most stupid mistakes possible…. alone on a dark deserted road with a car that I know is about to die…..I am sure my untimely death won’t be far behind…something gruesome...I can see it now...all my worst nightmares about to come true!!!......Oh, God….why didn’t I just take it to the garage like I should have?……as my engine slowly putters out and I roll to a stop,…I think no big deal…I’ll just call 911, and they can send someone out to help me…oops!…creepy, deserted road equals no cell signal….I am going to be killed, I can feel the panic starting to build into sheer terror….How could I have been so stupid??

Okay, questions are running through my head a mile a minute…. should I walk…no, way too horror movie…should I stay in the car…. yeah, what good is that going to do me…what, oh, what should I do? I am going to try to start the car one last time. I pray to God that if he lets the car start, I will never ever do something this stupid again. I turn the key….Thank you, God….the car starts.

As I near the end of the deserted road, I now have a signal on my phone. I call my garage for the first appointment available….after the trip to hell and back….I realize that my car might just need a little TLC after all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail...

Sunshine. Warm weather. Flowers blooming. Spring is in the air. I can already hear the songs beginning to play in some remote corner of my mind…Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity look at Peter go…Now, what could be more exciting than taking your kids on a ninety minute train ride with none other than Peter Rabbit…possibly a lot of things…but, for today, we will have to settle with the train ride.

With the aid of my GPS (I don’t know what I did before this nifty little invention)…we found the Wilmington Railroad line. For some reason, my sister and I decided to reserve our tickets online, but we made the mistake of not doing it at the same time. Remember, it’s Palm Sunday and every kid in the world wants to ride the train with the Easter Bunny. After waiting for what seems like an eternity…when you have three kids with you, one minute seems like forever…we are told that are seats are not on the same train cars. HOLD ON….as all hell breaks loose among our three kids…not sit together…is this lady crazy???…I realize that she is about ninety and has no idea how devastating this is to three little girls all under the age of seven. She tells us that we can get in the “other” line and try to exchange them. With a quick glance at the “other” line…which has about fifty people in it…we suck it up and get on our separate cars. At this point, my daughter is sobbing so loudly that people are beginning to stare at us...not like some of their kids are behaving any better...her cousins sit in the train car in front of us…I realize that there is no way I am going to torture myself like this for the next few hours…with quick thinking and seconds before the train departs the track, my daughter and I make our way to the train car where my sister is sitting. No big deal…plenty of room…and the one hundred year old man punching tickets is none the wiser. Instantly, the sobbing stops and a huge smile comes over my daughter's face...crisis diverted...they should make me head of the FBI.

Okay….Easter Bunny Ride here we come…the customary snack cart is rolled down the isle….for a small fee you can dine on a selection of junk food and carbonated beverages…a young boy follows behind the cart handing out chocolate Easter Bunny lollipops…my sister and I hold out our hands for one….the snide little boy replies…”Sorry, these are only for the kids”….Now, wait one minute….I paid more for my ticket on the train than my daughters’…I am not sure why as we both occupy the same amount of seat….it’s not like they cut the kid’s seat in half…who makes these crazy policies? …

Now, my sister did put the kid on the spot by asking him to clip her ticket like Tom Hanks did in Polar Express...I am not sure he found that too amusing...I, however, was more caught up in thinking exactly what word he might have have punched on it...probably some vulgarity that would have put him in bad graces with the bunny...With more than two hundred bunny lollipops in the basket...he slowly inched down the aisle without giving us another look…probably thinking...screw those parents and their stupid jokes...I think he might have been keeping all those stolen bunnies for himself…a secret stash just in case the Easter Bunny happens not to stop at his house...something tells me this could be a real possibility.

After ninety minutes of Easter Bunny heaven for our kids and a hundred pictures to ensure memories of every joyous minute, we depart the Wilmington Railroad. The next big question…where do we have lunch?