Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Whatcha Reading?

So who still reads?
I do.
I love it.
I get in as much as I can.
I love unabridged audiobooks read to me via my Audible account.

Here are just a few.  Got any suggestions?

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Tao of Sully

On Coping...

I'm pretty frank on my blog here.  It's a side effect of being me.
I think I have a Story to Tell.

Mental Health is something I cherish, being a Seeker of that I think my whole life and not some elusive Spirituality.  Some real peace of mind.  Some real balance.
Yet recently, I've come under real challenges.
And the Struggle is Real.  To Us.  The ones that needed some help in coping with the Mad, Mad World the Rest of You have so much effortless grace in  ^_^

It's been 2 1/2 years since I've stopped Talk Therapy.  I'm open about the experience and its impact on me chronicled here.  Since I started Talk Therapy, I was assigned an SSRI to help me cope with the Tipping Point I encountered.  Eventually, she decided on 40mg/Day.  So for the past few years....clear sailing.  Yet I came upon a real challenge and I couldn't handle it.

That was Odd.  I've been Nigh-Unflappable for about 4 Years.
Now...panic attacks.  Nightmares.  Waking up sweating out, getting sick to my tummy.
Why?  What's Different?
A new professional stressor met something Bigger.
My precious salty waters on my brain.
As the old cliche goes, I could feel it in my water.
Something was Wrong.  Like really Wrong.

What once caused Eustress was now producing Distress.
What once strengthened my Resilience now produced my Anxiety.

Coming to a few weeks ago, a new Tipping Point.
I awoke.  Sick to my stomach, nightmarish and sweating out.  Woke up Tired & Fatigued.  There goes all my electrolytes, I thought that morning.  It was 33 degrees out when I left for my 20 minute walk to work.  I was layered up.  Yet feeling baby-weak.  It was horrible.
I get to the kitchen, HK to us in the know.  I have about 13 different First Things to Do at 7AM.  Kick the Tires, Light the Fires so by the time the Boys show up, we have a fully-rolling kitchen.  I take the spent fryer oil out to the oil dumpster in the parking lot.  These are usually between 25-40 lbs of liquid canola oil that reeks of usage & derivative battered seafoods but iDigress...
I do this, as I do every week and I completely sweat out again.
And I catch a chill.

Imagine this.  4 linecooks, cooking.  3 in shortsleeve cotton button-up kitchen shirts.
Me in two hoodie sweatshirts, with both hoods up and shivering in the heat of the kitchen.
I had to go home.  I was sick.
Yet I knew what was really wrong.
I could feel it in my water.
My Meds are Clobbering Me!!!
My body is being crushed by Bad Signals.
From once was negotiable becomes unbearable.

So...I cut my pill in half.  and after "Listening" to this Med that's helped me...I knew when to rein it back a bit.
Now I'm feeling better.  Lots better.  Back to work with no problems.
Crushing It is better than being Crushed By It.
So if this is how you live life as well...then learn to listen to your body.
Stress is only Natural.
And if anything, I could always check in with my doctor.
Yet I haven't needed to.
She gave me the Gift of Resiliency or rather showed me the "Way".
It's up to me to walk it or not.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Get in my Belly! EMERGENCY RIBS!!!

Snowy Daze Bring This Out in Me!!
Comfort food.  The Ultimate In...
RIBS!!!  Sully-Style.
I love to Share,
Please share with anyone.
These are pork ribs.  Any rib would do esp beef ribs need time braising before your sauce and serve them.
I have a simple technique.
I have taken the thinking out of it for anyone lucky enough to follow.
It's All You Too!!!
Your BBQ Rub.  Your Flavors.  Your BBQ Sauce.
This is Personal!!
So get a rack of ribs in that VacPac.
And follow some simple steps:
Time, Low Heat, Tight Foil.
275degF is Suggested.
My BBQ is Modest.  I hand measured the Kosher salt as if I was seasoning the rack.  Added normal paprika, common dark chili powder, garlic powder, cumin then an almost equal notion of brown sugar,  Placed the Garlic Cloves then covered the rack in Rub.
Then tight sealed.
The rest is in the pictures.
Cheers.  ^_^

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Star Wars

Empathy for the Devil

Hey everybody.  I'm in a Lattes With Leia kinda mood to spin Star Wars thoughts.  

I experienced an unintended empathy with a literary hero/villain, depending on which story side of the coin lands but iDigress...
Let's get Our Own Empathy. What happened?
Sully got a boo-boo! Simple.
Yet it opened a window in my mind to feeling for someone else.
I got a burn on my hand.
Tiny, on the tip of my left ring finger. Under where my print would be, slightly above the inside of the first knuckle.
Not just once but twice in the same spot.
How? Simple.
I grabbed the eggs pan with a badly swaddled towel.  My bare finger barely barely touches the inferno-hot handle. Then minutes later again in the same spot.  Stupid, Sully.  Tres Stooopeed, "Chef".  
In the middle of a brunch service, a professional cook cannot waste time or attention on minor burns. Its simply a workplace hazard. Cuts too. If it doesn't require immediate emergency medical attention...you just gotta deal with it.  Cuts are a lot more serious yet I've seen chefs cauterize simple, bleeding fingercuts on the six-top burner stove by rolling his finger over the cast-iron stove top.
My "Enfant Terrible" happened at the start of service.
For the rest of the day I had to stick my hand back into fire the pain was excruciating!  
Something so small hurts so badly it ripped the attention away selfishly to myself.
Between orders I kept my finger submerged in a six pan of ice.
I got through it.  I mean how could I not?  It was the grandest of inconvenience yes!  But what was I going to do...sit on the bench?  Are you kidding?  In the middle of a HK Sunday Brunch?

Later on, looking at this Small Wonder.  Now out of the fire and feeling better, healing.  In awe of such a small thing making such a big hurt.
And as all things churn in my big, bald head...I usually think of silly Sully things in Star Wars.
Like "What Colour is Your Lightsabre"?  (My Choice: White, like Asohka's Shoto & Daito)
So I thought this...
Anakin Skywalker.  Former Hero.  Sith Lord.  Amputee and Burn Victim.  
He has lost both his arms and both his legs.  His remaining head and torso were horribly immolated by the lava rivers of the planet Mustafar.  I'm of the opinion he got his Wedding Tackle burned off too.  
From here I want Further Context.  This is a Human, Non-Fictional Link to a Site regarding the Managing of Pain after a Burn.  
I thought this to be a great standard on how to Empathize With Darth Vader.  His day-to-day life.  The agony of living in his charred & damaged humanity.  
Anakin is a walking, talking, feeling Avatar of Sarte's Hell.  He is one Giant Itch He Cannot Scratch.  This is Art.  This is an Existential Nightmare.  This is Metaphor.  And there is also a touchstone of Reality to it as well...Suffering.  

My burn was so small.  So tiny.  So healable compared to what befell Anakin Skywalker.  
I felt not Pity...yet Empathy for him.  For poor, deluded, doomed Anakin Skywalker.  So handsome, so funny, so loyal.  Trapped between a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Being Played by a Master Manipulator for sake of the Story.  Yet the Flesh, the Blood, the Person Underneath that Helmet.  The daily agony of his burnt flesh magnified by his self-loathing.  
My little boo-boo has to pale in comparison to Darth Vader's daily life.  
Does he deserve it?  For Killing Younglings, his Wife and countless others since?  
That's for a Jury of his Fictional Peers to decide.  
Me...I was simply pleased to meet him.  
Guess his name?   
Hero or Villain?
Human in Pain, all the same.  


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Star Wars...

So OCHO...
What STAR WARS thing are you tuned into?

What did you think about ROGUE ONE?
Spoiler Alert On!  Let's Talk!
Have I even gone on about it?
I tried to read the set-up book CATALYST which I gleefully bailed on, mid-way.  
I then endured all Eleven Hours of the Rogue One Novelization.  I read book on the Audible reader.  The only scene not in the movie that was in the book was the famous cut Jyn Erso vs TIE Fighter at the Finale on the Skarif Tower.  It must have been one of the last things to be cut and reshot.  
Actual (not) Cut Footage!

Cassian Andor is given a smidge of character depth with an inner struggle regarding blowing away his Act 1 Informant.  And the Set-Up to CLIMB!! in Act 3, By The Way but iDigress...
Baze & Chirrut share a Brotherhood of the Guardian of the Whills.  Yet I think we all like the ambiguity of the film better regarding their relationship.  

I liked the Bad Guy.  So insipid,  So Better-Than-You.  Director Orson Krennic.
Once Again...Actual (not) Footage from the Film!!

As a life-long Asthma suffer, I can only feel True Empathy for Saw Gererra.
The Droid didn't steal the show but he earned his keep.
The real comic relief was Donnie Yen as the blind Guardian of the Whills, Chirrut Imwe.  And his unmistakable contribution to Our Star Wars Lore...
"I am One with The Force and The Force is With Me."
I liked the ending.  A lot.  It was like a real War Movie.  It put War back in Star Wars.  It was like a Samurai movie.  
I loved the cheese and I loved the costumes & sets.  It was a time machine to a Galaxy a Long, Long Time Ago...1977.  The haircuts.  The costumes.  It was all water-tight to fit next to the opening crawl of Episode IV A New Hope.
These are Our Rebel Spies.  

Every planet has it name put in the frame upon arrival.
Except One.  
Where Darth Vader's Castle is Located.  In the book...Director Krennic is simply summoned to Mustafar.
If you know your STAR WARS REBELS, Mustafar is a creepy place where legend says its where Jedi are taken to die...

So Rogue One the Movie, definitely pretty good.  The book?  Ugh.  As a Star Wars fan, I'm glad I could get through it.  I'd reread the Prequels but not this one.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Get in My Belly: Pro Version!

Ok ok ok.  So let me share with you the DIRTY BIRD!!!
The Dirty Bird is a Phenomenon of Brunch...unique to one location in Space/Time: Somerville's Highland Kitchen!
I'm a brunch linecook there on Sundays.  It keeps me "real".  But iDigress...
Instead of the common Benedict, we offer as the House Plate the Dirty Bird.  
Let's let the Menu speak for herself...
That just happened!  And we make it happen every Sunday 11AM-2:30PM.  
I'm proud of this dish because I cook the eggs to order and I made the Sausage Gravy.  My sausage gravy is the Best in the Multiverse.  
HK is an onslaught.  From the moment we open the doors until the end it's a flat seat then turn after turn after turn...Hungry Guests.  And we got a high approval rating.  I'm starting my 5th year and it's nice to run a line of grown-ups.  It's got it's ups and downs but overall, it's very fulfilling.  
Before we open, I go out to greet the line.
Then I pump my boys up with a little Tomfoolery.  We crank a song or two and get pumped up.  This is what a championship locker room must feel like before you step out onto the field.  
So in the Spirit of Doctor Demento and good parody music everywhere...I present the Dirty Bird Song as sung over Surfin' Bird.  
I do it every Sunday.  The boys have a good time and sing along mostly.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Smoking Puck!


Been a while since the last Smoking Puck yet as the Phoenix rises from its ashes, so the Puck Brightly Burns.

Happy New Year and MLK Day.  It's time for a Bruins Matinee against the New Yawk Islandahs.

There's nothing too much to talk about besides it's good to watch hockey.  I got a new TV system so last night I'm watching Minnesota at Chicago on NBCSports.  The day before and right now, I got NESN so I get Bruins Hockey at Home for the first time in about 5 seasons.  Tonight it's Washington at Pittsburgh.  I'm really happy with it so far.

Overall, my lifelong love affair with God's Game is still ready & steady.
What would I like to do?  Get out to Chicago and see the Hawks play at home.  That's doable.
What would you like as a hockey fan?
Finally Stop Fighting?
The Auto Icing?  Liking it?
Sick of the Shootout by Now?  Lots of folk are...lend your voice.
Growth to 31 teams in the Vegas Golden Knights?
My hope is that the NHL adopt the International Size ice surface.  It would help the game, tremendously.  More time to move, maneuver.  See who is coming atcha.  Perhaps injuries and fighting would both subside with more time to skate out of harms way?  But iDigress...

I kind of like this 2017 Bruins.  Hey, they're far from perfect.  They're barely mediocre.  But they're Our Home Team.  New Young Guns...with a veteran core.  There is a D20 at Goalie...you never know what it's gonna roll on any given day.  They skate, they shoot, they score, they miss.  We've missed the Playoffs for two years in a row.  Reality sez, something's gotta give.

Until then here are a few free lessons on how to celebrate a Bruins goal when enjoying the Boston Gahhden.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just a Little Sci-Fi Piece. Enjoy.

The Last of the TechnoArchons, the Man named Morrison stood at gunpoint.
Of course the Atomic Destabilizer Pistol was in the shaking fist of his ex-partner-turned-Nemesis Doctor Wilco Rajas.
"Where IS she?!?", demanded the tragic, brilliant scientist-now-World Conqueror with nothing but fire and rage in his grey eyes.
"Somewhere you can never harm her.  A one-way trip out of your fetid reach, my old friend.", Morrison wiped the sweat off his brow and sat, relaxing and grinning.
"With My Power there is Nowhere on the Planet your haughty shrew of a daughter can hide from ME!!!  You will bring me my Bride!"
"Heh...hahaha!!", Morrison can't contain his laughter.  "Not 'where', Rajas...'When'!!  I sent her into the Future.  This bird has flown!  With my Ultimate Experiment.  A last-ditch countermeasure against YOU.  I just threw it together but it works.  Heh!  She can't come back.  It doesn't work like that.  Yet you can't follow.  Or really...it's not likely you'll follow her.  I don't believe you'd sacrifice all this for her.  I thought you were full of shit then and I think doublely so now, Son."

10 Minutes Later, Doctor Wilco Rajas was willfully strapped into Morrison's Time Machine.
"Are you sure you want to go through with this, Wilco?  There is No Technology in the Far, Far Future when I sent Helen...your Dark Sciences might have no place in such a world!", asked the concerned Father-in-Law, through a microphone.
"I am nothing without my Queen.  My Empire is Worthless without Her By My Side.  Without My Claim through Her from You.  Send Me, Old Man and with the Forbidden Technologies I will forge, I shall return to spite you with my Bride & Brood!", hissed the petulant Young Alexander.
Morrison looked through the glass to the harnessed traveler and flicked the switch.
In a moment after, a few lights flickered and some pistons ceased rocking, a microwave emitter was activated and within seconds, Doctor Wilco Rajas exploded from within, covering the glass bulb in gore.

Helen and her Handmaiden stepped into her Father's Laboratory.
"I think I'll draw you a bath, Milady" and exeunt as the Bard spake.
Grimy & tired, the Lady thanks her servant.
Then Helen falls into Morrison's arms.
"Is he gone, Pappa?", she looks up to her Father.  For him, seeing her mother's eyes cry to him across the years.
"Yep.  Into the Future, alright.  Dumb sumbitch...I never knew what you saw in him."

Monday, January 09, 2017

Station Ident! Happy New Year! ^_~

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