I Think I’m Alone Now

I have been working remotely for about a month now since moving to Connecticut.

I really appreciate being able to move with my job. It removes a lot of stress and provides income while we deal with the cost of settling in a new place.

But, I really miss goofing off with people. I like quipping love being laughed at or with. I am a foole. And proud of it.

I realized that on Tuesday when I went into my wife’s new work which is pretty awesome. And being both tired and caffienated was on a run of jokes. People that know me well know that if you start laughing I won’t stop. I also belong to the David Letterman school of comedy where if I a joke fails, make fun of the failure.

I could have worked remotely for a long time in my call center job. It’s a perk for experienced agents that a lot of people really enjoy. I declined. Westbrook, Maine to the mall area is very close. A 15-20 minute drive at once due to the traffic lights. And I like the casual atmosphere where I work. I liked being able to joke around when it’s quiet between calls it makes the day go so much faster.

Being home with a locked door is very quiet. And the Macintosh is quiet, much quieter than the laptop I am using now. Doesn’t seem to need the fan.

In fact, since it is so quiet I often have a fan on low just for the white noise.

It’s odd to be home.

I also miss the beautiful landscaping on Southborough Drive where I worked. Beautiful landscaping and a lovely green with marshes and a creek. I miss that walk.

I still walk around on my breaks with my headphones, but it’s different going down the streets, although I do have beautiful moments like seeing the bees loving wildflowers. But I do miss what was a special place to me.

And it’s especially lonely when you are in a new place and don’t know people. I have been spending a lot of time alone. I do love alone time, I find the woods recharge me. But it is lonely.

And I think I do need to see a therapist again, it’s only been eighteen months since my dad died and I had a mental health crisis, major manic episode and breakdown.

Connecticut is beautiful, there so many beautiful parks. I love all the stones in the area, love to hear the crickets. The view across the valley from my front yard looking across the Naugatuck Valley is so, so beautiful. Having a state forest up the hill less than a mile away is amazing. The drive through Woodbridge to the Merritt Parkway is so green.

But, I miss people. Going to work is a chance to get away. I thought I might spend too much time at home working remotely and it’s true.

It’s also tough to only have one car. My old 99 Mercury Sable with 150,000 miles had too many repairs to keep going. But it’s actually been nice to drive Lanna to work and explore some of the local trails. Especially the Shelton Lakes Recreation Trail. And to have delicious bagels at the Royal Bakery, and delicious corned beef hash at Pagliaro’s Lunch in the same shopping plaza. My Tuesday mornings have been very good.

Wednesday night has been for pinball league and I really enjoy it, although I do wish it was on Mondays so I didn’t have work the next day. It’s only 40 minutes to Meriden, CT but when you have to get up at 5:45am the next morning it still leads to tired Thursdays.

So, still looking to find my place here in Ansonia, CT. I do want to get more involved locally. I was very much looking forward to checking out the Ansonia Harvest Festival today to meet local organizations but alas, postponed due to rain and next Saturday I am working.

I think it’s beautiful here and touched by magic. But I do miss people, especially working remotely.


Write Until You are Done

One of my favorite recent lessons comes from Roger Ebert. People always said he was a fast writer, but he said he wasn’t he just spent far less time not writing. When he wrote for the Urbana, IL high school paper on sports and stuff, he had a friend who wrote for the Champlain, IL paper next door and also became a future sportswriter and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bill Lyon:

“One, don’t wait for inspiration just start the damn thing. Two, once you begin, keep on to the end. How do you know how the story should begin until you find out where it’s going?”

Roger Ebert’s “Life Itself” is well worth a read. A story about being a journalist’s journalist, who made his own newspapers as a kid and never stopped wanting to be a newspaperman. He stumbled into movie crictism, but as you can tell from his blog, he was far more interesting than that. I also didn’t expect the book to be so much about his struggles with alcoholism. *** 1/2

Personally I love this idea but have not been putting it into practice enough. I have been writing the Three Good Things post on Facebook everyday, and I do write that until I am done, which is usually 10 to 15 things, but have got off track from the blog.

When I did blog everyday, I held by this idea.

Sometimes it was a lot of writing, sometimes not nearly as much.

Hope to get back at it again.

It’s a great practice.


3 Good Things Day 68

Three Good Things Day 68
1. Not blogging everyday but over two months on this practice.
2. Kitty in the tub,kitty in the tub!
3. Brave investigative journalism
4. Whistleblowers
5. Matt Taibbi
6. Carl Sandburg
7. Having a great progressive candidate who cares about civil rights and used to work for the ACLU, vote Shenna Bellows in Maine for US Senate.
8. Kitties laying on the unmade futon.
9. Putting clothes away
10. Kitty water fountains
11. Getting lost in nature

I have really enjoyed doing these and it is a practice I do everyday now for over 2 months.
I definitely will talk more about Matt Taibbi’s “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap” as I continue reading it.
Things are bad, things are very bad.
Although kitties are awesome.
Shenna Bellows is awesome.
And people brave enough to run for politics and not just be apathetic are awesome.

Blessed be.

Awkward. ***1/2

Just good writing.

I like the Jenna character. I like that she overthinks everything all the time. The rest of the show is sweet and often ridiculous.

I usually don’t like the absurd drama of MTV shows but I like this. Saw that ten more episodes were on Amazon Prime last week and ran through season four part one in a few days. Fun show. Although not in the same class as the Wire which I just finished. ***** Also easier admitting my love for The Mind of a Chef.

In the woods

Sitting on an old rock
Shelton Lakes Recreation Path
Insects chirping
Planes overhead
Train whistle in the distance
Even the reverse of distant trucks

Birds chirping
Insects humming
Heart slowing
Mind calming

Cool rock
Cool breeze
Cooler spirit.

Just finding a quiet place
For the soul to rejuvenate.

15 Films That Have Stayed With Me

I saw this on Kayt Sukel’s wall on Facebook.

The Rules:
Don’t take too long to think about it. 15 films that you’ve seen that will always stick with you. List only the first 15 you can recall and in no longer than 15 minutes. Tag friends, including me, because I’m interested in what films you choose.

I have way overthought this over time and my top 10 plus. Here we go.

1. Brazil (1985 film) – Been my #1 for a longtime, surreal and fantastic
2. Intolerance (saw originally with a full orchestra) – I am curious to see this without the symphony in some ways, likely to not be as good.
3. The Empire Strikes Back – The Best of the Star Wars series, definitely better for the whizz bangs of the Special Edition
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark – Pure moviegoing fun
5. Citizen Kane – As good as everyone says it is. Masterful cinematography and writing
6. Singin’ in the Rain – Pure joy on film.
7. Casablanca – A wonderful movie.
8. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – I would love to be Mr. Smith myself in a lot of ways. We really need it in Washington. It’s a film that makes more sense now that ever in the era of People’s United
9. Vertigo – Hitchcock at his best
10. Rear Window – I said this would make a great date movie in film class at Rutgers. I’m weird.
11. GoodFellas – Easily my favorite Martin Scorsese movie. Incredibly rewatchable for an epic.
12. Apocalypse Now – My favorite version was the one I first saw cut for cable. The original version feels like a bunch of music videos put together. The redux is way, way too long. The French scene belonged on the cutting room floor
13. Beauty and the Beast – Joyous musical.
14, Monty Python & the Holy Grail – Incredibly hilarious and as Lanna knows, I have quoted it way too long
15. The Naked Gun – Definitely not in my top 15 all time, but my favorite movie in high school. Pure slapstick.

So many others I could say but will leave the 15 for now.

Thoughts Two Weeks After Moving

Been in Ansonia, CT almost 2 weeks now. 2 weeks ago we were sleeping on an egg crate, exhausted and overwhelmed. So, so much stuff, so much crap. Terrible loaders, filled the truck too much (were still packing) and after a while had to tell them to come back up and get things. Of course the fact that there was wasps didn’t help. I sympathize with that, but movers be expensive.

We did leave early in the morning, exhausted and a full minivan, did leave some stuff behind, a desk that we couldn’t take apart, and the big step stool being two things we wish we had brought. And simple things like lightbulbs (almost brought), trash cans, the toaster … Also need to give a big thank you to my mother in law Dottie Maheux and some family who helped us clean up after we left. Big, big thank you, I appreciate it so much.

I don’t even know if you can prepare for the nightmare and shitshow that is moving. My friend said it can take a year off your life, and I think I now agree.

We brought too much media, and not enough little things. We had and even after culling have way, way too much stuff. Started a storage with one minivan load of boxes, still need to take a couple down.

My old desk didn’t survive the move well, was pretty much a POS, couldn’t believe how flimsy it was when we took it apart. Was able to get two new desks, 3 lamps and a bunch of stuff at IKEA for under $300. That was pretty awesome.

Able to get a vacuum that looks like a good model but is a pain to put together for $150, Hoover Industrial Vacuum, tons of power from Sears Outlet. Lanna’s old (over 10 years) drill died trying to put together the second desk (hers) from IKEA. Bought a new drill at Sears Outlet with more than twice the power for $70 with a powerful shop light. Went from 9.5 to 19.2 Volts. Huge, huge increase in power.

One of the other frustrations is that the queen boxspring couldn’t go down to the cool, cool basement where we now sleep. So slept in the guest bedroom for a week and had to buy a split boxspring at Sleepy’s. $200 for the boxspring ($100 each piece) was so bad, but $100 for delivery and $20 for the takeaway was a HUGE ouch. But the bed is very nice downstairs, it’s good to sleep in a cooler space, and having a frame makes and enormous difference.

Just got through my first week working remote. It definitely takes getting used to, so, so quiet. With the heat wave here, upper 80s to 90s, I have been very happy with central AC, such a nice thing to have. The view is beautiful we have in Ansonia, CT. We look across the other side of the very green Naugatuck Valley. And it’s so hilly here, a 5 minute drive away we are in a state forest. I loved that when I took the 40 minute drive to play pinball in an old industrial park in Meriden, CT I drove through a state forest in Woodbridge, down country roads, and up the beautiful, treelined Merritt Parkway. I tried the route down 691, 84 and 8 on the way back and didn’t like that nearly as much. Still pretty but so much more work. And the fact that a FedEx semi tried to cut me off on the 84 onramp didn’t help, he could have passed me miles earlier.

The drivers in Connecticut are terrible. Rude, aggressive and driving like 45 MPH in a 25 zone in my residential neighborhood, slow down, pay attention, be in less of a rush. The world is more beautiful when you are able to appreciate it.

We are also down to one car. My 99 Mercury Sable with over 150,000 miles on it was looking at a $3000 repair bill. Decided to junk it with a local guy who decided to keep it for himself and registered it. His problem. There is a lot of good features about the car: leather sunroof, 6 cd changer (wish I left the holder for the 6CDs now, originally wanted him to take it out, just as well I didn’t), and it’s good for a big guy like me, nice engine too, but fuel filter leak, oil leak, bad suspension, brake issues and most expensively a messed up power steering rack and huge leak made it better to stay in Maine. Living with one car hasn’t been bad so far, and it’s great I can work remote.

It’s also been nice to drop Lanna off and walk around the beautiful Shelton Lakes Recreation Path. The initial enterance I got from Google Maps is my favorite, going through a neighborhood of ugly, huge, expensive, cheaply made McMansions that won’t look good in a few decades, to a little court with huge, rustying bulldozers and industrial equipment. I would think the construction company would want them for other projects. Maybe the town of Shelton bought the land before a second round of development. Anyway, I went into the trail and there were beautiful rocks to sit on, great graffiti and just a sense of peace. Really excellent place to spend a morning and then get a small cannoli, and a bagel with cream cheese at the delicious Royal Bakery.

I would say more but I am running out of writing gas. It’s lovely here I love hearing the cricket songs (my original idea for the post), and the beautiful, trees, flowers and bees. Had amazing real tacos, for the first time in years from taco trucks in New Haven Long Wharf, near IKEA and 95. There is a good puerto rican place to eat up the block …

More updates to come. We are getting settled, I think this will be a great plus for us, but moving is a frustrating mess. A moving adventure, which I think is U-Haul’s motto, is a horror film. Glad we are here, glad I got rest today.

Blessed be.


Lucy – 0* (full of spoilers)

This review is full of spoilers and plot summary. I highly recommend you skip “Lucy” as it may be the worst movie I have ever seen, but going to give that warning.


I went to see Lucy with my wife last night. The previews looked cool, I like Luc Besson and I like Scarlett Johannson. I read a horrible review of it but I thought I would give it a chance since it was the most interesting option at the movie theater.

It was absolutely horrible. Horrible, ridiculous setup. Seems like there should be much easier ways to transport drugs that with stomach surgery. Horrible druglord.

And when she becomes “enhanced” she just acts more and more like in a major mania where she should be hospitalized, while taking something like cocaine and angel dust. Kind of like Charlie Sheen when he was “winning.”

And she kept needing more, and was supposed to be somehow “enlightened” and could go through communication media.

Also if she had all this power couldn’t she stop the drug lords without a shooting sequence?

And all of the animal cut-outs were ridiculous and annoying too.

Luc Besson is a very talented director. This could have been a good movie but it was just horrible.

The idea that we only use 10% of our brains isn’t true. The concepts Morgan Freeman’s professor character gives for more “cranial capacity” are ridiculous. The idea that more brain power makes you worse to people is insane. Lucy’s lack of compassion for humanity is terrible.

Awful, horrible, ridiculous. Although I think this could use Rifftrax. There is so much to make fun of.

Banana Brasil Grill ****

Sometimes when you travel you get lucky.

Me and Lanna are moving to Connecticut and going up 8 towards 84 on the way home. A mile before 84 we decided to get off the road and find lunch.

After a couple miles or so on the old road now Main Street we found the Banana Brazil Grill. A small place next to an old motel. At first we drove by it and then circled back.

It’s delicious. A buffet with unlimited food including meat on a fire rotisserie. Only $12.99. The rice and beans and rare beef are spectacular. Lanna loved their potato salad. It’s clearly a neighborhood place where Portuguese is spoken. I am seeing takeout and even huge party platters.

I am sure I am not saying enough but if you are in the area you have to go. Plug it in the phone with an empty stomach and prepare for happiness. ****

It’s on 2060 South Main Street in Waterbury, Connecticut near where 84 and 8 come together. But not right off the road. Definitely will require a GPS.

They are open 6am-10pm seven days a week. The phone number is 475-235-2671.