I was born. I suffered.
I suffered some more, and hopefully,
I won't die a painful death.
This is my life.

The Old Woman and the Lenties

My version of Lenties
Many years ago, when The Old Woman would cook dinner for our massive family, one of my favorite concoctions was called Lenties. This dish consisted of lentil beans and pasta. I'm sure this recipe was handed down through the generations. I recall that it was made with tomato sauce or puree. Now, The Old Woman was deathly afraid of onions and garlic. Yes, that's right an Italian who hates onions and garlic I know. So, you ended up putting alot of salt and pepper in your bowl when it was all done. It was still delish though.

Now speaking of pepper, The Old Man would empty half of a bottle in everything he ate. This would usually cause him to sneeze violently when he shoveled in his dinner. But that never nixed his love of pepper. You know when you go to a restaurant and they ask if you would like freshly ground pepper? Well, the waiter or waitress serving The Old Man would end up with tennis elbow.

Unfortunately, after Lenties get cold, they harden like a pot full of cement. The Old Man would joke and say that this is what the Germans served in the Stalags.

In the recent years of eating nothing but soup, I found a lentil soup from Progresso that when mixed with some sort of little macaroni, tastes remarkably like Lenties.

I'm sure it's fifteen years since The Old Woman has whipped some Lenties. The next time I'm home, which will be very soon, I plan on making a big batch to put a smile on her face.

The Old Woman and the walking shoes

*This is a repost of an earlier entry to keep The Old Woman in our thoughts as she starts on her road to recovery.

Some of my dearest memories of The Old Woman are of our walks. As a kid, I would walk everywhere with The Old Woman, along with my little sister. The Old Woman had never learned to drive, and she always had to either, walk, or have The Old Man take her places. I used to have many hellish dreams that The Old Woman was driving and I was in the car. Usually, the car was spinning out of control and we were about to die.

In my hometown, every Thursday night in the summer months, downtown would be filled with local farmers selling the fruits of their labor. I seem to recall that we would always buy either apples or strawberries; I'm a little fuzzy after all these years. But, the one pure truth, precious memory, or whatever chemical process that got emblazoned into my brain that I will carry with me until the day that I die, is the taste of the french fries and gravy we would get at the little diner up the street from the farmer's market. I'm pretty sure it was called Freddy's Diner. At any rate, if you have never had french fries with gravy, it is one of the things that should be on your bucket list.

The Old Woman loved to walk. She would walk for miles, mostly pushing copious amounts of children in strollers in the early days of course. I can remember one cold October night walking clear across town and eating dinner at Friendly's. She would walk to her various clothing stores and visit all of her friends who worked there. The Old Woman would walk to visit her mother and even though, it was hard for her to hang out in the apartment building with all of those old people, she would still go.

Now that time has passed and The Old Woman has aged, surgery has repaired some of the ravages of time. The seemingly endless walks have faded into memory. But I certainly believe that The Old Woman will be remembered by many in my home town, not by the amount of jewelry she wore or her funky two-toned hair, but by the shear pride that she showed when she was walking with her children.

Music for manic depressives

As most manics will attest to, top 40 music just doesn't cut it when dealing with mood swings and horrible ups and downs. So, I have compiled for you some of my favorite "easy" listening music. This weeks submission is:

Zeromancer -The Death of Romance 

Zeromancer is an Industrial metal/rock band from Norway. How would I describe this album? It's a melodic romp filled with heavy guitars, electronic effects, well written lyrics and great vocals. Dark, moody and with a hint of self loathing, it will definitely get you through a variety of shit.
Track list:
01 2.6.25
02 Industry People
03 The Hate Alphabet
04 The Death of Romance
05 The Pygmalion Effect
06 Murder Sound
07 Revengefuck
08 Virgin Ring
09 The Plinth
10 Mint
11 V

This weeks submission to the list is Snow Patrol's A Hundred Million Suns

This album is a hypnotic masterpiece.  There is something drastically wrong with you and you are dead inside if you don’t like this album.  These songs will wretch emotion out of your soul and you will be curled up in and fetal position in the corner weeping.

Track list:

01 If There's a Rocket Tie Me To It
02 Crack the Shutters
03 Take Back The City
04 Lifeboats
05 The Golden Floor
06 Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands
07 Set Down Your Glass
08 The Planets Bend Between Us
09 Engines
10 Disaster Button
11 The Lightning Strike

Three Days Grace, One-X

Three Days Grace is an Alternative Rock band from Canada, but don't hold that against them. Their best album, and one of the greatest collection of music ever to be produced by any band, is the 2006 disk, One-X. Written by singer Adam Gontier while in Toronto rehab center CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) to break his addiction to Oxycontin. One-X has gotten me through some of the worst times in my life, and I will be eternally grateful to 3DG for producing such a beautiful masterpiece. 

Track List:

01. It's All Over
02. Pain
03. Animal I Have Become
04. Never Too Late
05. On My Own
06. Riot
07. Get Out Alive
08. Let It Die
09. Over And Over
10. Time Of Dying
11. Gone Forever
12. One X
Deadstar Assembly, Unsaved 

With mind altering vocals and bitchin' electronic programming, not to mention, insane guitars. Deadstar is one of a kind. 

Track List