Friday, August 22, 2014

In a recent Online debate about "what is consent?" regarding sending Naked Pictures of One's Self to Others in the new era of Social Media, Dr. Langley chimes in with astute clinical clarity.  What is the Social Norm regarding this?  
A great emphasis is the "who"?  I mean, are people my age doing that?  I do admit to sticking cameras down my pants in my early 20s as a goof.  But I was pranking, wasting someone's precious film & developing with a blurry pic of my pale Irish boy bits but iDigress...
Did I invent the Dick Pic?  Gawd, No!  Those have been around since Daguerre!  
Yet would I do that now, 20 Years Later...as a goof?  No thanks.  
Below in Italics is an excerpt from Dr. Langley's article.  
The DSM-5 establishes criteria for exhibitionistic disorder (formerly called sexual exhibitionism), a clinical syndrome in which the person feels the need to display his or her genitals to others in other to achieve sexual satisfaction, part of the larger group of paraphilic disorders regarding habitual sexual behavior that others find disturbing and that causes distress.
Sexting has become a common thing. I know many individuals who have had trouble getting adolescents to understand what's wrong with sending sexually explicit photos of themselves, the potential repercussions, and the fact that the photos can last forever. Time after time, those sharing the photos have been dismayed when other people also share those same photos or when others judge them for doing that. People can send these at any age, of course. In trying to understand this behavior, we may have more questions than answers.
  • What's the protocol for sharing nude photos? What norms have developed?
  • When's the right time to send such photos? 
  • Is there ever a right time?
  • Is it right to tell others?
  • Is it right to show others?
  • Is it ever right to share other people's sexts?
  • Who sends these photos?
  • Why send these photos?
  • Why send these photos to people who don't want them?
  • How can you know people want them?
  • How explicitly must you ask before sending explicit photos?
  • How do you respond when you received unwanted photos?
  • How explicitly must you indicate if you do or do not welcome explicit photos?
  • Is silence consent?
  • Is unwanted sexting a form of sexual aggression?
  • Is sexting ever a good idea?
  • Do you really need to opt out instead of "don't send nude pics" being the default?
  • What are the legal issues involved?
  • What can or should anybody do about it?
  • What needs to happen to the people involved?
  • Does safe sext exist?
Do you have answers?

xkcd

"Thesis Defense"
xkcd

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hello and Welcome to CHANNEL OCHO!
My Contribution to Helping Write the Internet.
Image above: The "SuperOm" aka The Supermantra, a stylized Om within the iconic Superman diamond & a variation on the classic color combo.  
I drew it...then I put it on a Cafe Press tee-shirt but iDigress...

What do I do here? I blog.  Along with the help of my friends who occasionally chime in.
Why?  I'm into writing, sharing stories & experiences and also want to turn you on to something cool or delicious whether it be Music, Fiction, Hockey, Spirituality or a Well-Made Dinner.
Channel OCHO is the Magazine on the Coffeetable of my Life.  The Coffeetable was where my friends & I would gather, share stories, good meals & company.  Time & Geography have split a lot of the corps up, yet we hold it together with the glue of our love & interest in all things cool & fun.

Come check out the Archive of Articles:
And much much more!
Joie De Vivre!  And write it down.  You'll never know who you could inspire next!
Namaste & Good Luck.

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA USA
@revsully on Twitter

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Tao of Sully

The Tao of Sully:
On Suicide
An Elegy, not an Effigy

Robin Williams was one of my Heroes.

I don't have many, in truth.  Sure there's Batman, Spidey & the Rest but they're fiction.  
In Real Life, there's my grandfather, Joseph Patrick O'Sullivan; immigrant, self-made man, husband, father & still missed by all, it seems.  He passed of natural causes in 2000.
There's "Uncle Eddie", technically my childhood best friend Bryan's uncle.  Uncle Eddie was a BFD firefighter from an old Southie Irish family of firefighters.  I always loved his hands, rough, scarred with burns from saving lives.
The first time I saw Robin was as "Mork from Ork" on "Happy Days" in February 1978 when I was 5 Years Old.  I wouldn't see him again until I was 7, when "Mork & Mindy" premiered in 1980.  Yet as soon as I saw Robin, I knew I was looking at Myself.  
Another Me.  What I've come to learn as a Jungian Archetype.

I'm not going to make Robin's story up for him.  There could have been a few hundred of things going on in his life, making his Now a crushing, unbearable Experience.  What led him to this ultimate choice, we might never know.
Yet I Understand...I understand Depression.  I understand these Black Thoughts.
And I understand that "Calling".  In the Blackest of Moods, in the Darkest of Days.  Not a "voice" but a "calling", a "whispering", a "beaconing".  A way out of it.
No more.  No more Worry.  No more Suffering.
So I can understand being in the Worst of Internal Places with my mind focused on Freeing Myself of Worry.
I look at myself, a humble man.  I rent, I work, I earn, I live day-for-day.  And I see Robin as blessed with the opulence of his earnings.  Homes, cars, wealth, wives, children.
I recently came across one of those Spiritual Tweets I love to disseminate because sometimes 140 characters are just enough to make complete sense,
And I once again see only Myself in the wake of Robin's terrible choice.  Yet for the most part, I am very content.  With what I have, what I do, who I am, who I've become, who I could be...And still suffer from these shadows in the darkness.  Yet for the first time in my life, I'm for the most part running the shadows, not have the shadows running me, if you can dig?  

Am I worried I could find myself, like Robin, in the darkest of moments?  Sure, I am.  If Depression is a real disease, then is Suicide a Terminal Case?  Is Depression Clinical? Yes.  Is Depression as real as Cancer? Is that thought more to opinion than empirics?  I'm not even comfortable answering that one.  Yet, perhaps I see this more as Robin losing his life-long fight against Depression rather than gruesomely murdering his own body.  And that's the most selfish thing about Suicide.  Is the thought of Whomever Finds You.  In whatever state you chose this.  I mean I've thought about doing what Robin Did and I'm horrified I ever thought of it.  The impact on a loved one in real life finding your body has to be unfairly sharing the trauma & pain that led you to do this in the first place.  

Unlike Robin, I found a different way out.  
In an interesting parallel, I found similar qualities between the Depressed Mind And the No-Mind State of Meditation.  Recently I read this Blog on Depression called "Blackness Ever Blackening: My Lifetime of Depression"
"I can explain it up to an extent now. With hindsight. Using narrative for an experience that is, I think, entirely without narrative. (To me, then, explaining wasn’t the point, any more than a train is the point once you’ve arrived at your destination.) It is reaching some place deep inside, a physically experienced cavernous place enclosed by the barrier, as it seems, of my skeleton and skin, and something in addition that forces out the air of the room a little way beyond my physical self. It is a place where I can’t be, and where I can’t not be.
I know that this place that I enter, the inner-space surrounding me – in which I can’t be, can’t breathe, can’t exist, but can’t not exist – also itself can’t be. A room for which there is no room. A place that makes no sense, that no sense can be made of, but which is all there is when I am in it. It is negative upon negative. Blackness ever blackening."
I was awestruck by this.  I shared this experience as a "Moody Child" and as a Moody Adult.  
And then illuminated to something New.  
These are Similar Qualities to the Meditative Mind.  A Room without Room.  A Room Without Walls.  Yet instead of a Black Room, I inhabit a White Room.  
In the Gap I attain in Meditation, a space in-between thoughts where the Thinker sits.  This Thinker is the Real Me.  Where I make real choices from.  I am not my thoughts, I am not the result of my thoughts either.  And when I slow down my thoughts to a standstill, I reunite with my real self beyond Life & Death, beyond pain & pleasure, beyond changing seasons, beyond the Material World and its Sense Objects, the reactions to them...oh and beyond all those other people in your life around!  
The Withdrawn Depressive Mood is so similar to the Meditative Mind.  

I have a Spiritual Solution to Depression.  I use it daily.  I use it in conjunction with talk therapy & an anti-depressant.  So perhaps with the Spiritual Path, my Tao I found a way to paint that Room Without Room from Black to White.  
And You Can Too!  It's not Hope.  It's not Worry.  It's something Entirely Within.  Just like the pain.  The bliss is there too.  You just have to walk towards it.  
Goodnight & Nanu-Nanu, my Sweet Mork.  
I will miss you.  I'm not judging you for what you did.  I'll just miss you.  

Kriya Shakti,
Rev Sully

Eric O'Sullivan
Hub of the Multiverse
021XX

PS This song came up as I finished editing, it's only Right to Share.  Thanks for reading

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Comics Gnome Presents...

A Helping of Funnybook Goodness!

Hello and Welcome to the "Comics Gnome Poots".
It's an article I've come up with over the years documenting not only my lifelong love of comicbooks but making sane suggestions to savvy seekers!
Meaning YOU!   Hopefully.
I am trying to get you to read a funnybook.  

Being from a well-connected northeast metropolis, I've never needed to own a car.  I've gotten about my total life not in the great American Love Affair with the automobile.  I have Subway Maps, Transfers, Crosstown Busses & odd numbered routes that connect neighborhoods like telephone wires.
All you need is a little time...and always bring something to read.

I am a line cook, by Trade.  Sometimes I describe myself as a chef, sometimes not.  But I live, breathe & eat a culture that may be foreign to you.  Think of your work culture for a moment...
What's it like?  Work in an office?  Papers, filing, meetings?
On your feet, as a nurse, a technician or cashier?
I'm a Line Cook.  My culture is of the Kitchen.  And of Service.  And of Loyalty.  And of Watching Out for the Other, whether they are New, Veteran, Close, Estranged, Useful, Useless, Family or Friend or Enemy.

Which brings me to the two selections that synchronically fell into my Bag of Life.
Some fantastic slice of life adventures; one in the Quentin Tarantino Shoot-'Em Up Values in the Pre-9/11 Days of 2001 and another a new release I've been eagerly expecting.
The stories are about People.  Who live, breathe & eat the culture of their own Kitchens.
In COUSCOUS EXPRESS,
writer Brian Wood (DMZ, NORTHLANDERS) tells a simple yarn of young love in NYC in the turn of the century.  Our heroine: a sassy 1st generation American gal named Olive Yassin, a 16-year old spoiled scooter gal.  Olive delivers takeout for her family's restaurant, The Couscous Express (voted best Hummus in NYC 3X year in a row!).  She hates her job, loathes her family and is a bit of a normal, useless American teenager.  Drama ensues.  Gunplay too.  All in B&W with art by Brett Weldele.  It's about doing the right thing.  What matters most in Service but iDigress...

Our other book is something I've been looking forward to.
SECONDS by Bryan Lee O'Malley 
A few years ago, I fell completely in love with O'Malley's previous SCOTT PILGRIM VERSUS THE WORLD 6 volume series.
Katie, is a Chef.  And she's a bit of a jerk.  And when her selfishness catches up with her, she finds a way out....but not without consequences.  Something special happens!  Katie is given the ability to make a bad choice better with a "Do-Over".  The thing is, she abuses her power and ends up worse off than she was when she began!
Along the way in this magical story of Cause & Effect, she learns what's best is the unbidden chances of life, not the overthinking the past and redacting events.

Both are charming in their very different ways, yet share something.  A vibration.  A flavor!
Something in the cooking, I guess.
Check 'em out if you can.

Kriya shakti,
Rev Sully

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Comics Gnome Presents...

A Map of the DC Multiverse

to me, it's like a subway system map of an Imaginary World.  Strata of possibility!

by Grant Morrison & Rian Hughes.

Get In My Belly: Special Edition!

A Day in the Life of a Linecook
by Rev Sully

It is an average Friday in July, where I ply my trade.  My day starts pretty early and if I get up wickid early, I can get more done.  Hey, I like to sleep in too.  Sleeping in means 5:25AM.  
I got until 6AM to get out of the bathroom unless I'll start the Real Game of Thrones with my Flatmate.  I leave at 6:30AM sharp to make my 6:40AM bus.  All July.
This schedule switches to the 5:45AM bus during the School Year but iDigress...
It's the Summer and school is Out, where I work in one of Cambridge's hallowed halls of higher learning.  I do not work in a cafeteria of some dorm hall.  I'm more of what you'd classically call the Rounds Cook, master of basically every station & counted on to do so in a rotation if the schedule allows.  
Summer's for me are still full-time, covering other people's stations while they vacation.  
I hit the ground running.  I enter my building at 7AM prompt, I wash my hands & I get to work.  
This Month, I'm running the Pizza Station!  It's not an easy gig.  
And if you're ill-prepared, service will suffer...therefore life will suffer too.  
Things need to be done in almost-Astronaut fashion of rote executions.  
Time is the Key, use it Wisely.  
I got 3 hours until we open.  
That is plenty of time to the organized linecook.  

As soon as I get in, I start a series of "First Things" to First:  
Coffee, usually a 12 oz. mild Starbucks, black, no sugar, served Blackeye style.  
A bucket of Sanitizer and turn on my Pizza Oven.  It's a gas-operated "Masonry-Style" oven; stone bottom with a great concave top that circulates the heat with an adjustable open fire.  Great pizza oven, I love cleaning it after the day is done I love her so much but that's between a chef & his oven... oh and please think about if you turn on the pizza oven before service?  It doesn't work like that.  It needs to achieve an internal temperature of 350deg and more to cook a pizza in that.  First Things First...
Then I retrieve my pizza dough from the walk-in cooler.  I've "Sheet Panned" them up already and placed them on tall, mobile "speed racks".  We use a frozen 16" round for cheese & veggies: I've usually "panned up" 20 dough.  I've also "panned up" 48-60 7" rounds for calzones depending on how busy I think it's going to be.  
I'll "proof" these doughs now by putting them under my heat lamps.  By 8:30-9:00AM, these doughs will be puffy, proofed & ready to manipulate into production.  Do the Math, mouthbreather...it takes literally a few hours to get the thawed dough to a great state of usefulness.   From the freezer will take much, much longer.  I'll also take the time to wipe down my station with sanitizer & assess the sitch on leftovers.  
At this point, I now start to Plan My Menu.  I'm on the hook for 6 different pizza items, 4 of them change daily.  Since it's Summer, I asked Chef, "Hey you got a menu or do you want me to do my thing?"
He said, "Do your thing".  And that's what I do.  I'll also throw a few serving bowls of Marinara into the streamer.  People love extra sauce and they can help themselves, I'll always make sure you got plenty.  
It is now 7:30AM.
And I haven't even punched in yet.  I'm still in my tee-shirt & ballcap.  Why work off the clock?  
Time.  Time is a Key Ingredient.  This July, my schedule is 7:30AM-3:30PM.  
I now change into my chef's coat, clogs, floppy hat & neck bandana, apron and cut glove.  
I am now ready to work.  

Second Things Second: 
OK, now I can start my day!  I go to the freezer & grab some dough to prep for tomorrow; I grab the 7" rounds for calzones and also some 12" X 16" Squares for Sicilian Style.  I load up my cart with these and also about 40 lbs. of shredded mozzarella cheese and 5 big restaurant cans of pizza sauce.  I'll grab some towels, aprons (I'm a bit of a slob, a bad habit to work on professionally), a few cutting boards, some empty, clean pans of varying sizes & volumes, another speed rack loaded with empty, clean sheet pans and useful, need utensils such as serving spatulas, pizza cutters and ladles.  Seriously, miss something, you'll be looking for it later when you need it, that means leaving your station while cooking?  Uh uh!  
Properly laden, I return to my pizza station, now properly garbed.  
It's gotta be 7:45AM and I already feel like I'm Losing Time.  
Actually, it's all going to Plan.  I take the time to prep my paperwork; HACCP sheets & temperature logs.  I get my menu signage and holders, give them all a nice wipe down.  Doublecheck my shakers of powdered parm, oregano, granulated garlic & red pepper flakes; clean & loaded.  Assess leftovers and come up with some ideas...

So far, it's all pretty Rote.  Mechanical.  I betcha you're wondering, "Sully, where's the good stuff!"  
I'm about to get to it.  Yet, I need to stress the importance of the Rote Stuff.  It's technique.  It's Paradigm.  And it's the foundation of the Day & Service.  You simply cannot have one without the other.  
By 8:00AM, I've come up with my menu of the day; 4 Pizzas, 2 Calzones.  Daily: Always Cheese & 'Roni.  Then one meat special and the other a veggie.  One meat calzone and the other veggie.  
This is the point when I start Thinking Creative.  I'll actually get creative in another hour because I got more Technique to get out of the way.  
The rounds are still proofing so I take this time to "pan up" tomorrow's Sicilian doughs.  There are 11 sheet pans to a case and I piss through these so I'll sometimes pan up 2 cases, daily.  The squares are "panned up", "speed racked" and placed in the back of the higher-temperature kitchen to proof.  They're right from the freezer, as I mentioned above.  I'll come back for these about 1:30PM, when they'll be perfectly proofed and ready to par-bake.  
When I'm done with the squares, it's time to start par-baking the rounds.  We do this as a time-saver without scrimping on quality.  We, as cooks can balance production without compromising quality & freshness.  
I'll use a Dough Docker, a hand-held roller with high pins.  It's used to rolls the bubbles out and prevent over-rising.  I'll par-bake my rounds off.  While they're par-baking, I'm handling my calzone dough...hey if you can't manipulate it now, how are you gonna stuff it and then think someone's gonna be able to pick it up and eat it?  You gotta think this way.  Once the rounds are "squared", I move on to some "real" cooking!  

Third Things Third: 
I'm on the hook for four fresh & delicious menu item.  And this is great because they're of my own creation, with the faith of my Chef and using leftovers.  Pizza is a great destination for yesterday's meatloaf to be today's Taco Pizza.  I can take Tuesday's roast pork into Friday's BBQ Pork Calzone.  When it comes to veggie pizza & 'zone, I always start with whatever's in my produce cooler.  Usually tasty roasted veggies, seasoned with simple kosher salt, oregano & minced garlic, roasted in canola oil.  Simple mushrooms...yet this is the time to taste and know how to use salt.  Not over cooking it either.  I'll pan up some squash & zucchini with a little onion & pepper, toss in my "sabor" and let 'er rip.  Great, delicious food.  Simple.  What I like to eat.  Lots of marinated tomatoes paired with feta or ovaline.  And I'll see what's in the meat fridge too.  Cold cuts go a long way on pizza.  Ham & Pineapple with basil & oregano is one of my personal favorites.  Different cheeses...another fave if the 3 or 4-Cheese Pizza & 'Zone.  Last time, I did Swiss, Mozz, Muenster & Havarti Dill.  Yesterday's leftover seasoned lasagna ricotta mixed with some freshly steamed broccoli and seasoned with kosher salt was a big hit and made an Impressively Plump Calzone.  
So, I really have free reign in the menu, daily.  That's a good feeling.  And to nail it everyday too.  
So between 8:30AM-9:30AM, I'm prepping toppings & stuffings.  Cooking, cooling and producing, safely & sanitary.  

In the 'Zone:
Realistically, if I'm not started rolling those calzones by 9:20AM, I start to worry.  It just takes a little time, organization, slowing down and being consistent.  In Aikido, the Japanese Budo of my Soul, I learned the concept of "Mai-Ai", aka Proper Distancing.  It applies in Baked Goods as well.  What happens if two calzones are leaning against each other while baking?
Yuk, happens my friend, Yuk.
You need to space them apart.  So when I was handling the 'Zone dough, I split them, needs-wise over 5 sheet pans.  48 Calzones give me a 30 Meat/18 Veggie Split.  I would never cook more than 12 Calzones to a sheet pan, FYI.  
To make life easier, you tend to do them all at once, rather than one at a time.  High production style.  I'll cheese them all, a handful of shredded mozz.  Start with my veggies, clean gloved handful on each.  Then change gloves as not to get stuff all over outside of dough and begin to roll them.  Pull both sides up, fold one side over, pull opposite side over completely then seam-side down in pan.  Now I've got 48-60 Identical, Consistent Calzones.  In the beginning, mine were kinda ugly but developing knowledge & faith in my dough, technique & ingredients, by the end of July I was making the handsomest & prettiest calzones you'd want to stuff in your mouth.  

By 10AM, I'm feeling the Heat.  With my Calzones all prepped, panned up, ready to fire & safely in my walk-in cooler, I now turn up the gas and expend a lot of energy on my pizzas.  It's the messiest part of my morning too.  I've cracked about 5 cans of sauce.  I don't even have to jazz it up any, it's simple ragu.  The secret on a pizza is the right amount of sauce.  So I then methodically ladle sauce on my rounds & squares.  I  then take a clean, gloved hand and smear the sauce all over the surface of the pizza.  I change gloves then start cheesing the pizza with shredded mozz.  Now, it's time for toppings.  You can't rush it and make it look like a hack job so slowing down yet keeping pace is so important.  I knock a few 'Roni, Veggie & Meat Special first to open.  When 10:30AM hits, it's 30 minutes until we Open.  
I fire my first round of Calzones; 325deg for 22 minutes, sometimes longer.  I spin the sheet pans halfway through, a baking technique I learned from my friend Meghan McGarry, a French pastry chef I worked with.  Making pizza & calzones, you have to have rudimentary baking skills or you really shouldn't be doing the job.  
I'm still furiously topping my pizzas while the 'Zones are baking off.  15 minute before service, I arrange my signage & serving station and fire off that first round of Pizza.  
By 11AM, I am open for business.  There is plenty for the first round.  And being summer, we're not immediately besieged by guests...that comes in about an Hour.

Lunchtime: Don't f&*king bother me...I'm Union employee and I'm on my 30 minutes lunch break.  Unheard of in any other kitchen I've worked in.  Hey, I'll take it.  These days it's either Them or ObamaCare.  
Hey...I ate calzones all month long.  I tell guests, "Trust the cook that eats his own cooking"

By 12:30PM, the pace is quite furious.  The queue of guests stream from some event horizon down the hall.  
It doesn't let up until almost 2PM sometimes.  Running Out is not an option.  The Summer brings International Youth Groups.  Literally a group of over 140 Brazilian teens and they were here for 3 weeks.  
Lemme tell ya...Kids Everywhere Love Pizza.  Can you imagine how busy I was?  'Nuff Said.

At 1:30PM, I start par-baking tomorrow's Sicilians and go to the freezer to "pan-up" tomorrow's pizza & calzone rounds.  By tomorrow morning, they'll be thawed after a night in the cooler, ready for me to proof and start this cycle all over again.  

By 3:00PM, we shut it down.  I've cleaned my station, wrapped up and dated all my toppings, cheese & sauces, I've stowed them safely in the walk-in cooler.  I clean my pizza oven.  I got a long-handled chisel for the heavy duty but an oven brush tends to get a lot.  My secret weapon, I soak a rag in white or rice wine vinegar, wrap the pizza oven brush head with it and swab & scrub with a vinegar rag.  Never use soap on a Pizza Stone.  The vinegar amazingly gets that surface really clean and brings up lots of carbonized crud that would make someone sick if ingested.  My Big Catholic Guilt arises when I do this; I feel like the Roman sentry, who upon hearing Christ's plea for water on the Cross, soaked vinegar instead.  It was to slate the thirst of the condemned for water could only sustain life.    

By 3:30PM, I'm done and off to my bus home, conveniently at 3:40PM.  
So next month, another vacation, another station to run in the rounds.  
Thank you, Pizza Station.  
What a great experience.  We made a lot of happy guests together.  
And thank you for reading.  
A Slice of Life through a Slice of Pizza.  
Bon Appetite! 

Kriya Shakti,
Rev Sully

Eric O'Sullivan
Boston, MA
the Hub of the Multiverse

(PS. Added On Wednesday, July 30
After all this talk about pizza, on a random day off...
I felt it was unfair to the reader not to point out that Fresh Dough will proof in only One Hour.
And I lead by example.  Happy Cooking! ^_^)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014