(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)
YOU KNOW WHAT? It’s hot in here. The place is a mess. Clutter everywhere. Dishes piled high. It’s five kids against one dad right now. Dad is losing the battle. My strategy? Through my hands in the air. Mumble some words that I wish were not in my vocabulary. Turn up the music and WRITE! I am listening to a great band from Philadelphia called Isle of Q. Blistering tunes! Funny thing is that the cover to the CD player is broken. The player won’t play if the top is up. So I have a big ol’ 28 ounce can of “unpeeled crushed tomatoes” on top of the thing to keep the top down! Such is my life.
Now, I have to get caught up a little bit here. I always have lots of things that I intend to write about, lots of pictures I intend to post in the picture gallery and not enough time or energy to pull it all off sometimes. So I thought I would write an entry of random things that have been on my mind. You may click on some of the photos below to see larger versions. There are a few links to new photo galleries. Plus there are a few links to some great websites. So here I go, off to write… right after this song, “Bag of Tricks.” Oh man! This band makes me want to grow my hair, buy a new drum set, quit my job and play rock-n-roll until the end! Okay, so we all know that my hair will never grow very long again now. (There’s an idea, a picture gallery from my old long hair days.) So I think I’ll shave my head, shave my beard (except for a thin little goatee), pierce my ear (again), wear nothing but black leather and speak only in grunts. That’s pretty rock-n-roll, huh?
ICE CREAM IN A THUNDERSTORM
We had so much rain on Saturday, June 23! Thunderstorms kept rolling through all day long. Of course, the first one started just moments before I was ready to carry all of my nice, clean, DRY laundry out to the car after spending two hours at the laundromat! Then the “photo bug” bit me while I was driving home. That happens to me now and then. I just get an inspiration for some good photo shots or just a crazy idea for a photo theme (as you will see as you read on). I am learning to live with this “photo-spontaneity” by carrying my camera with me nearly everywhere I go these days. I am also the crazy idiot driving in front of you in the morning who pulls over to the shoulder of the road, jumps out and clicks off some pictures while you are still cursing at me for not using my directional signal! Well, yes, sometimes I pull over. Other times I just take pictures while I am driving. (Yes, Friend D, I know you yelled at me for doing that while driving to Harrisburg in the rain. I just can’t help it!)
On this particular Saturday, M insisted that we stop for ice cream. I, being the “nutrionally-minded” father that I am, insisted that we eat lunch first. So, we went to KFC and the girls had some good ol’ greasy chicken. (I was saving room for my lunch.) When we got to the ice cream place, it was raining so hard. We sat on a little patio behind the ice cream stand. The patio had a tin roof which made the rain sound incredibly loud. But after a few good thunderclaps, the girls were scurrying to the car and they finished their ice cream there. (I was still saving room for my lunch.) Then, with the girls’ bellies satisfied, we made our way through all the rain so that Dad could finally eat. Bring on the sushi! (see below)
So, here is a gallery of RAINY DAY PICTURES that I took that day.
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG?
Check out this guy! I took this picture while at a standstill in morning traffic. This guy was just flying along in the opposite direction than the traffic was headed. I was wondering if he got fed up, got his little plane out of the trunk, left his car on the highway and took off! (I apologize that the larger pic is not so clear. It got messed up when I was resizing it.)
MY KIND OF GIRL!
Now check this out! T and I were out one day during the 4th of July week. We were looking for a new bike for him. This is what he wanted for his eighth grade graduation/birthday present. While we were driving through downtown, we saw this couple walking along. Something just did not look right as we went by. I said to T, “Did you see that?” He said, “Yeah! She has a tire in that baby stroller!” So, we quickly turned around and I clicked off this “drive-by photo.” (Sorry for doing that again, Friend D!) We laughed ourselves sick as we drove away. I thought to myself, “Now that is the kind of girl I need – a girl who will not only take care of my child but my wheels also!” This one gets the prize for photo of the month!
I DID IT ALL FOR THE SUSHI!
What a find! Friend J discovered a new Japanese restaurant not too far from his house and right on my way home from work. You have to understand that Japanese restaurants are not very common in our area. I’ve been there more times than I will honestly admit to over the past month. It is a very nice place for several reasons, and for one in particular. (Some of you know what I mean.) I have even gotten brave enough to eat some pretty funky stuff! Eel is a lot better than I had imagined. And octopus! Oh my! Now I understand why Yen mentions sushi so often! Once you start you just can’t stop! Oh my! I have a raw fish addiction!
Okay. Here are the vitals on the place. If you live nearby, stop in and tell them I sent you!
Sa Ku Ra Japanese Restaurant
(at the King Buffet)
190 Center Street
Clinton, NJ 08809
(908) 238 – 1788 or (908) 713 – 9292
TEEN TALK AT 2AM
You just never know when the “important” conversations in life are going to arise. Most of them are not scheduled or planned. They just happen, usually when you least expect them. One of those conversations happened at an hour when I did not expect it and was not in the mood to deal with it. It was a weekend when my boys had a few friends staying overnight. I fell asleep around midnight, only to wake up to the sounds of teenagers laughing outside at 1:15. I got dressed. Put on that “Dad-means-business” face and chased them all inside. 30 minutes later, a few more kids showed up outside and appeared to be up to no good. So, I put on that “Mr.-Snyder-means-business” face and chased those guys away. 15 minutes later, conversation struck.
While cooling off outside for a few minutes, my recently-turned-15-year-old daughter came outside and sat on the steps. The next thing I knew, I was faced with some heavy teenage questions about drug abuse, alcoholism, divorce and more. My first impulse was to just say that I was too tired and run away from the situation. But I realized that this may be one of the only opportunities that I might have to discuss such things with my girl. We had a very honest talk about experimenting with marijuana and alcohol. It was such a flashback to my days as a 15-year-old when I tried these things a handful of times. I remember getting high one time and listening to Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice.” What a bad experience! I was so completely paranoid that everytime I close my eyes, my mother and her three sisters were singing background vocals! Yikes! You could count the times that I tried that stuff on one hand and the times that I had a little too much alcohol on the other. It was never really “my thing.” I was always so afraid that something would happen to my brain and I would not be normal – or even less normal than I already was. These thoughts actually helped me to talk about these things with my daughter at such an ungodly hour. I remembered what a confusing, lonely, empty time 15 was for me. Hopefully some of my words will stay with her and help her through her tough years. I often feel that most of my efforts in guiding and instructing these three teenagers are almost in vain. But I just have to continue on. Speak the words. Make the rules. And listen to their hearts. I am learning to read between all the “F-words” and see what may be actually going on inside of them. To shut them down because of bad language or anger is not going to help them work through things. Certainly, they need to be held accountable for bad or hurtful language. Words do matter. But the heart of a teenager matters more.
ANOTHER BIRTHDAY PARTY
We had a surprise party for the above mentioned recently-turned-15-year-old back in June. It was a little hard to pull off the surprise since she has a mind of her own and planned her birthday totally different than what was already planned. On the way to Sister C’s (where we had the party), S was even mumbling how the rest of the family did not remember her birthday and did not even call. The typical teenage “I-hate-my-life” attitude was thick in the air! It took her a few minutes to lighten up once we got there and she saw the rest of the family. Then we all had a great time. All except for poor M. She was so exhausted that she slept through the whole party. Of course, Pop and the boys played outside. They had an all out battle going with several different balls being thrown at anyone who walked through the yard. I claimed immunity since I was with “the press” just taking pictures.
Here is a gallery of photos from S’s BIRTHDAY PARTY.
Another “photo-spontaneity” experience happened during the 4th of July week while I was off from work. We had been visiting my mom. It was around 10:30 PM when we got home. H and M were asleep. The idea struck me to go out and take pictures of neon signs. So I got my bike ready, grabbed my camera and took off. I rode around until 1 AM. After passing the second drunk guy weaving down the sidewalk, I realized that riding around on a brand new bike at midnight with a digital camera hanging from my neck may not have been the best of ideas. But I survived and here is a gallery of pictures: Neon Signs, Etc.
THE NEXT KARATE KID
Check out who got the leading role for the next “Karate Kid” movie! (Just click the question mark.)
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE
Okay. In reality it is NOT all about the PEZ. But you have to admit that PEZ is cool! I have a bunch of cool PEZ guys: Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, a smiley face guy, a Santa (from Friend D). This PEZ was an especially cool find. Lucky Charms has always been my favorite cereal. (I always eat all of the oats first and then eat the marshmallows when they are soft on the outside and still crunchy inside. Mmmm.) So to have a “Lucky” PEZ guy is totally cool.
A BEAUTIFUL SITE, A BEAUTIFUL PERSON
Here is a really nice journal and art site by a super nice lady. Please check it out and sign up on her notify list. I encourage you to read her entries and get to know Jarta.
Here are a few sketches that T did in school. They are pretty good! I thought I would put them up here as a way of saying, “Hey! I am proud of you!” T had some bad experiences in school this year with a few teachers who are simply asses. (Yeah. I said the “A-word.”) I am just glad that he is done with that school now and will be moving on to the high school with S and J. Sister Ch is tutoring T over the summer and we all hope that he will get a good start on his freshman year starting in September.
Want one? Just think of their value on one day! If you would like one, just CONTACT ME. Give me your name and address and I will mail one to you. Oooo! Free stuff!