Thursday, August 28, 2014

One Direction!

Where do I start?  First off, yes, I went to the One Direction concert last night.  My point of view is going to be very different because I am an adult and I could care less for this group or any other at this point in my life.  So, If you are a One Direction fan, perhaps you should stop reading now.

Concert was supposed to start at 7pm.  So much for that.  It started late, at 7:15ish.  Also, their opening act cancelled.  Something about having an award ceremony on Monday and not being able to make it from LA in 2 days.  Lame excuse if you ask me.  It's called an airplane.  It was invented a while back.  They could have made it, if they tried.  But that's another story.

Replacement opening act was a singer who did a few numbers for half an hour and then we were left with screaming fans waiting for their beloved group 1D to arrive.  Yes, the fans call One Direction, 1D.  Sounds like an apartment to me, but whatever floats their boat, I suppose.  Anyways, back to the concert, the opening act left around 7:45pm and then we waited and waited and waited.  I figured if the first act cancelled the decent thing to do, would be to start the concert sooner.  But no.  Apparently 1D was supposed to come at 8:30pm but they didn't do that either.  They just played blaring music and kept everyone waiting.  At one point they played songs from Grease.  It was funny.  They played the Friends song and the kids (12 years olds) I went with just stared into space not knowing the song.  That's when I realized how old I really was.  But the music just went on and on.

Yes, 1D finally made it at 9:10pm or so.  I thought it was very disrespectful to waste the time of the fans.  Of course, the fans were too excited and dizzy to care, but what about the parents.  The parents mostly pay for the tickets and bring the fans to the location so that was a giant fail in my opinion.

OK.  As far as the concert goes after 1D made it on stage, everything was great.  They had some great fireworks, streamers coordinated to their music and the light board was a good visual experience.  Even the stage and the walkway to the front of the stage was unique.  Reminded me of a guitar because the walkway to the front stage could have been the strings on a guitar and the actual front stage could have been the end where you tune the instrument.  They had laser lights.  And of course, the fans provided the lights with multi-color glow sticks and also at one point using their cell phones, made the audience look like a field of stars.  Don't ask me about their music because I do not particularly care for the music of today.  I feel the art has disappeared into a frenzy of money and screaming teens who can't truly appreciate talent because of their hormonal dictates.  And not to mention the pretty boy faces. They did pick one lucky little girl to sing happy birthday to.  Her reaction was priceless.  She was in heaven.

As far as I was concerned, I did look at my watch as much as I could.  I wanted to go home.  The cell signals were jammed and trying to post on Facebook or even use my iPhone to text only drained my battery to zero by the end of the concert.  And I wish I could say that my experience ended there, but no.  Unfortunately the trip back home was eventful too.  Eventful, but not in a good way.

The Metrolink was extremely disappointing.  Extremely.  We only have 2 lines, a blue line that goes to Shrewsbury and a red line that goes to the airport.  Why would they close the blue line from the concert venue?  Which means we had to transfer to another train (the red line to blue line) at a different stop.  That would not be so bad if they didn't make us wait for over a half hour at 12:30am after a loud concert that got delayed.  We waited and there were 3 red line trains that came by before our blue line train.  I don't know whose fault it was but that was pathetic city planning especially after an event.  I guess I should be grateful that the trains were still running after midnight, but it's a small consolation for being so disorganized.

A few years ago, I heard an expression.  If you feel like everyone around you is losing their mind then you know you have lost your mind.  Well, after the concert yesterday, I don't know what to say about it.  "Sitting" there amongst a whole bunch of standing screaming teenagers, being the exception to the rule, I knew I was not crazy.  The world has gone crazy.  Or maybe it always has been this way.  I just woke up and got exposed to it.  Time to go back under a rock and hibernate.  Call me when One Direction is no longer a thing and sooo totally a thing of a past.  Like seriously!!!  Yes, that's my attempt at mocking the teens of today.

I can't blog anymore for now.  Massive "one directional" splitting headache!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I didn't think I would write a blog post about Jello, but after today's adventure, I think I should.  Let's start with the basics.  I do not eat regular Jello as it contains gelatin.  I do not eat any pork products due to religious dictates and since most of the gelatin in Jello comes from pork, it's off limits for me.  There are several off limit products, like marshmallows, but let's focus on Jello for this blog.

My mom has a killer 7-layer Jello recipe.  It is to die for!  7 layers, so 7 flavors of Jello, poured one on top of each other.  And some of the layers are tweaked with evaporated milk.  The final product is just YUM.  Well,what would be the the most important ingredient in 7 layer Jello?  Yes!  Jello!  7 different flavors.  Black cherry, cherry, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, and strawberry!  No sweat, right?  Wrong!

I walk into store number one.  I looked through all the Jello and looked for the package with a K on it.  K for Kosher which means the gelatin is acceptable for me to eat.  They had all the flavors except none of it was Kosher.  So, no stress.  I walk into store number two.  What flavors do you think I found here?  All the flavors were there, but none with a K on it.  Again!  Store number three next.  At this point with the 100 degree weather outside, I wasn't too amused at my results.  Of course, store number 3 didn't have it either.  They said their other branch may have it.  I should have asked them to call.  My mistake.  And store number 4 did not have any also.

I must mention that at this point, my mom was also shopping for Jello.  We decided to stay in touch.  Whoever got the Jello first, would tell the other person and that would be it.  Mom went to the ethnic type store.  So, the first store that had foods from different countries, did not have Jello and mom called me from her 2nd store.  She said she found the last 3 flavors but would go to another ethnic store to look.  The 3rd ethnic store had some of the flavors but mom replaced a couple of the flavors with banana and mango.  Don't know how that will go, but she bought what she could.

At this point I was already home.  Mom stopped by my home to drop off the Jello.  I looked inside the grocery bag and I looked at my mom.  "What is this?" I asked a bit surprised.  "It's what they had."  "But what IS it?  Is it made of gelatin?  Or how does this work?"  Mom said, "I don't know.  This is all they had.  Try it.  If it works, great.  If not, don't worry about the jello"

I'm sorry to end this blog without closure.  I had to come back to work shortly after that so I haven't tried her brand out.  And also I don't know how that brand will work with the Jello recipe, but we'll just have to see, won't we?

And before I go, I must say that the gentleman at Store number 4 that I visited was super nice.  He took the time to call another larger branch to ask if they had any Kosher Jello.  He told me that not only did they not have any Kosher Jello at the other branch, he also told me that Kosher Jello was a seasonal item.  Apparently it's only available during Passover.  I don't even know when Passover season is (as I'm not a Jew), but I found it interesting.  Reminded me of Medjool dates during Ramadhan.  Another seasonal item.

I will stop here.  I'm hoping to blog soon about my cake experiments.  Until then,

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moving up or down?

If you've been following my blog, you might remember my last post on having a tough week.  I've been thinking about it quite a bit and that didn't help.  But then again, it did.  So, I went through the turmoil of trying to decide if I needed a new career, yes, that bad, and just going through my usual thoughts about life and people.

Today, I'm thinking about computers and my past.  Huh?  You read me right.  I think about a computer because sometimes we open too many windows and have plenty of applications running and it shows the system down and sometimes crashes it.  That's how I felt.  My computer crashed.  Not literally my computer, but you understand.  My brain shut down.  What do you do when a computer crashes?  Well, again, if you've been following my blogs you'll know I'm not totally computer savy, so what does TTR do?  I power down my computer and restart and most of the time it works beautifully.  Let's just say, I powered down this weekend and just relaxed.

Yesterday, I felt alright.  I guess my systems take a long time.  I'll digress here for a minute and go back to my college days.  I remember how stressed out I felt one weekend.  I had 3 papers due and a test on Monday and I was going crazy.  On Friday, one of the instructors suggested I take Saturday off completely and then work on my papers on Sunday.  WHAT?  ARE YOU CRAZY?  That's what I wanted to ask him, but I asked him nicely.  "But didn't you hear me?  I have 3 papers and an exam.  How am I supposed to finish all that if I took a day off?"  He said, "just trust me!"  I look back and think, that was the best suggestion I ever followed.  After the break, I was super energized that I finished all 3 papers in half the time it would have taken me and felt my brain was a sponge when I studied.  It was amazing.

I don't know why I took the leap of faith so many years ago, but back to the present, it didn't work a miracle for me.  I tried to take time off and get my mind off things and like I said, Monday was fine.  Then Tuesday, today hit me.  I woke up and was driving and suddenly my "Aah Ha!" moment got me.  I had a plan.  For my life and my career and it would be great.  I'm not necessarily moving up or down the ladder, but it's a lateral move.  I can see it with clarity now.  TTR has a plan!

I guess the point of this blog is a reminder to all out there that our second wind is out there, somewhere.  We just have to keep the faith and wait.  As hard as it may seem.  Imagine how stressed out I must have been if I was ready to change my entire career!  Friends and a break gives one clarity.

I guess that's it for this post.  All of you who actually spend time to read this blog.  Thank you.  I'm honored.  If not, no big deal.  I'm still here...

Best to all,

Friday, August 22, 2014

This hodge podge called life

This week has been rough for me.  I've had some issues pop up and while I was trying to deal with a lot of it, I'm learning a lot about myself and the world we live in.

1.  Not everything is negative, but it is.  We live in a world where people focus on things that go wrong.  No one cares when things go right.  If someone complains, everyone LOVES to join that band wagon and throw in their 2 cents with a complaint.  Everyone wants in edge wise when it means demeaning someone.  I've also noticed that this fire goes bigger and the stories get wilder.  It's very rare that someone stands up and says, "let's stop this negativity and talk about all the positive things that happen here!".

2.  I hate and love Facebook and our internet.  What was life like in the 80s?  Simple.  We didn't have all this information overload.  Information is great, if it's used well but it can also be very powerful on the flip side throwing destructive forces that take a long time to get back to normal.  I'm not blaming social media when that scientist said we shouldn't vaccinate our children, but Facebook and our internet has NOT helped the matter.  I'm sure pediatricians are still recoiling from that and it's not fair.  I can't keep track.  Everyday there's something toxic, everyday something we eat is bad and then it changes back immediately the next day and a lot of this valuable information come from quacks.  And with this rampant media, people all over are making changes that are not necessarily good.

3.  Despite having a rough week, there have been a couple of perfect events.  Again it goes with my first point.  There's a rainbow.  I had a most perfect evening when things around me came crashing.  Other things worked out much better than I had anticipated.  And the people I work with have stood behind me and it's nice.

4.  I'm right and you're wrong or maybe I'm wrong and you're right?  But why is it that we think in terms of black or white, right or wrong or more importantly who's right or wrong.  Why can't we both be right.  Why can't we understand that as human beings we are unique individuals one to another and your thoughts may not be my thoughts but that doesn't mean you are wrong and it doesn't mean I am either.  I fear we do not communicate well.  I fear some people prefer to hide and be passive aggressive rather than stand up and discuss and grow.

5.  I'm not the best at blogging.  I've been reading someone's blog lately and it makes my day.  I think it's so poignant and I know my blog doesn't brighten days.  But c'est la vie.  It helps me vent and move forward and rewire my systems.

6.  Up coming vacations are perfect when things are not great.  I have my vacation planned in a couple of weeks and I can't wait.  I really feel that going to the beach will be so much sweeter after having had to deal with "stuff".  I will respect my time off more than when I take vacation when life is great as it is.

That's it for this rant.  Laters, TTR

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let it go and be happy!

I must start off with a disclaimer on this one.  I live under a rock sometimes.  Okay.  Not sometimes.  Most of the time.
Despite living under a rock, I have watched the movie Frozen and of course, have heard the song "let it go" to nauseum (is that even a word?).  I have watched several takes of the song on You Tube and have heard a group of girls just singing it at a restaurant.  Off key, of course.  Twice!  Different group but still off key!  I've even found myself singing it at times.  Yes, most likely off key.  I can't believe I just admitted that, but that's not the point.  We in the US know the song and when we think of the movie Frozen, we think "Let it go".  Like it or not, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
And then recently I got visited by a friend from India who talked to me about the "happy" song that went viral.  My response, "What happy song?"  And he explained about how the different cities and countries were doing the "*&^% city is happy" and I stared blankly.  He explained that it was from Despicable Me 2 and I still stared blankly.  Despicable Me 2?  Is it one of the minion songs?  And he didn't seem to know anything about the minions and stated that he was sure it was the Despicable Me 2 song.  Lo and behold, we looked it up on You Tube.  It is all over the place.  I have heard the song before but I did not even associate the song with the movie and didn't think it was worth going viral, but what do I know?
I asked my friend about "Let it go" and he stared at me blankly.  He had never heard of it.  He said that kids in India will not "identify" with the song.  I guess not.  I don't know.  I was thinking about how different the two songs were and how I didn't even know about the happy song.  The song I knew from Despicable Me 2 was an old one.  Bababa babanana sang by the minions!  Nothing like the happy song, so you can't blame me for being confused.
I asked someone in my office and they looked at me like I was crazy.  Apparently the happy song is famous in the US also.  So, proof yet again that yours truly, lives under a rock and doesn't even know what's famous and what's not.  Hey!  I heard about Robin Williams though.  That's something.  Right?
Irrespective, I found this perspective interesting.  He had not heard of "Let it go" and I did not realize the "happy song" was viral.  So, there you have it.  Another blog post from me.  Enjoy and stay tuned.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blogging for the first time. Where to start?

This is my 4th blog and I'm still very much in the process of learning.  So, I thought I would write a blog about the "process".  This way, I'm hoping I can share what I've learned so far and perhaps all you newbies out there can grow with me.  I'm hoping the oldies out there will look past their busyness and want to help this up and coming blogger and others for that matter.

What to write about?  Ha ha!  This is a blog.  So far I'm thinking there are no real rules.  I was considering streamlining and writing specific topics and that's all great, but I'm still stuck in the technical computer details right now.  So, forget about topics because if you are an organizational freak, you may just get frustrated in the learning process of trying to organize things.  Notice how disorganized my blog is?

What platform to use for blogs?  I googled blog platforms.  And I came up with 2 choices.  Word Press or Blogger.  This blog is set up on the Blogger platform.  I asked friends on Facebook which they preferred and it was a 50/50 split leaning more towards Blogger for a first timer.  As I'm new to blogging I can't even tell you what the discussion was.  I think my search results came up with Word Press as being the best and having a lot more options and the physical look being better.  I'm told Blogger is easy to use and I'm not as computer savy as the average person, and maybe it's my age, but I'm still trying to figure things out on this platform.  So, let's just say, I'm glad I tried this first.  From the sounds of it, I feel Word Press would have frustrated me quite a bit.

Do you have to pay?  If you want your own domain name then yes you have to pay.  I paid to purchase my domain name "".  If I did not pay I could still have a blog and it would be free but the domain name would be "".  You do not have to pay if you don't care about the domain name of your blog.  Even word press offers a free blog.

What is a domain name exactly?  I bring this question up because while I was investigating blogs and coming up with names and figuring out what would be free or what wouldn't, the words "domain name" came up.  I used to just call it a website.  But I realize that "technically" those 2 things are different.  For those of you who are computer handicapped as me and wonder what a domain name is.  It's what you type in the bar for accessing a website.  It's the difference between the "email address" and the "email".

Blogger issues I have run into so far.  The biggest issue I have run into has been with protecting my real name because of the whole google interlinking between  email, YouTube, G+ and all their other apps.  If you want a pseudonym like myself, it's tricky.  For example, my name is XYZ but my blog name and ID is "theythrowrocks".  When signing up for a new account and google asks for "name", do not use your real name because that will be tied in with EVERYTHING.  It'll say XYZ's blog is theythrowrocks.  And then it's difficult to backtrack because I made the mistake and I had to go back to G+ and change my name and then google will only allow you to change your name once every 3 months.  Google thinks of your name as a bank would.  The internet is crazy as it is.  You can only do the best to protect yourself.  It's easier to start off right.  Use a clever nickname for your google official name and then things will be smooth.

Where to purchase domain names?  I bought my domain from Go but I've heard of a lot of other sites that sell domain names.  Sell is really the wrong word.  You can only "lease" domain names for up to a maximum of 10 years and then you have to re-lease it.  But yes, there are other places to get domain names.  I just don't know which ones.

How to upload and host the blog?  Again, I googled how to upload a blogger blog into a go daddy domain.  I tried following directions as best as I could.  I ran into a road bump when blogger did not recognize my site and gave me more information to add to my go daddy domain.  But I managed.  Google hosts the blog for free.  Apparently hosting is just the place where the blog is stored and accessed from.  When someone goes to the domain name, the blog will show up.  Or something like that.  I do not pay for hosting.  I guess I could if I wanted full control, but then again, I'm not too sure how that would work.  I know this is not the best information but at least you know that you are not alone in your confusion if you are confused.  If this is too basic for you, I apologize.  I did not mean any offense to anyone.  Just sharing my thoughts.

Until next time,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Waving Game

We've all played this game at some point.  It's quite easy.  There's a child in the back seat of a car that waves to the drivers of the other cars.  So, if you are a driver and a child waves at you, well, what do you do?  You smile and wave back.  Simple enough?  And of course, you make the child very happy and for a moment you find yourself smiling at the little things.

I recently played this game except I wasn't waving to a child in the backseat of a car, it was a child in the backseat of a school bus.  Invariably, I was running late to work and I was stuck behind the big yellow weeny.  As I was fumbling at my situation the bus in front of me stopped and a little girl got on.  She walked towards the very back, saw me, smiled, waved, and sat down.  I waved back of course, and I thought that was the end of this game.

She was seated and talking to 2 of her other friends who also happened to be girls, but I was convinced there was no more smiling or waving to be had.  They were probably discussing the start of school, their teachers, the American Girl Doll, I don't know.  I can only speculate.  OK.  Probably not talking about the doll because they weren't smiling.  They looked quite serious actually, like they were discussing an issue, a problem maybe.  I kept my eyes focused on them - and the road - and just continued on.  And then it happened.

Two of the girls looked back at me and stared.  There was no smile and no wave.  Just a serious look.  I wasn't sure why they were staring.  Perhaps they wanted to make sure they could identify me to the police.  I was clueless but I figured I didn't do anything wrong.  At that moment, I decided to change the outcome, and so I decided to play again.  I smiled big and waved.  As though caught off guard, they smiled back and waved.  The first little girl was now smiling and waving again.  The stranger or the problem they were talking about, was perhaps no longer a problem.  Maybe this woman who smiled and waved at the children had no ill intent other than to share a moment in time and space with a smile and a wave.

On the back left corner of the bus a head turned.  It was a little boy who turned around to see who was causing all this commotion.  He looked at me very disinterested and put up his first two fingers in a V.  I smiled and reciprocated.  Peace to you too!  He just turned around and went right back to sleep.  I continued to wave at the girls as the bus turned.  We continued to wave, til I drove past.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mine! Mine! Mine!

I know I sound like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum, but let me explain.  I've been a writer all my life.  I write because I have to.  I don't have a choice in the matter.  I guess, all my life, this was the best way for me to express myself.  Maybe it's childhood issues, but that's not the point.  Some people doodled. I wrote.  I used to write poems and stories and at one point even started on a novel.  The blogging world started several years ago, and while I was aware of it, I blogged at random social sites.  And then came the advent of Facebook and Facebook notes and I tried that out and let's just not talk about Facebook and the number of times they changed their format and what I'm trying to say is that I stopped "blogging" a few years back.

As luck would have it, there is a radio station here in town doing reviews of plays and they were looking for reviewers.  The process would involve going to watch a play, writing a review, uploading it onto the radio website and recording a radio version of the review.  For the purpose of this blog, let's just focus on the written portion of the review.  It wasn't really uploaded into the website immediately.  It would sit in the inbox of the main person in charge until s/he approved it.

So, I started writing again.  It was different.  Yes, there was a "format".  One had to write a short synopsis of the play.  Obviously we had to mention the acting, the directing, the technical aspects such as lights and sounds and review it so others can decide if it was a play worth watching or not.  Despite the format, I loved to write and I loved the liberty to express my thoughts.  I would request to do play reviews every opportunity I got and so started trouble in paradise.

Remember how the review would sit in the inbox of the person in charge?  Well, one day I got an email stating that my reviews have needed a lot of edits and the person requested that I would be more conscientious about my reviews.  I was a bit taken aback as I did read and re-read before I posted, but fair enough.  I should be more careful, I suppose.  On the next review, I got an email saying that I was not upholding the standard of the radio station and I was requested to have someone else edit my work.  I talked to my husband and I would have him edit my work after I was done editing it several times.  And the email came back saying it was better but I still needed to work on my reviews.  My husband has been involved in theatre for a very very very long time and he did not feel my review needed so much derision.

Being a woman, I brought up the issue to my friends.  I'll be honest.  I was getting frustrated.  I wanted to quit.  Why must I write for fun when it wasn't fun anymore?  I mumbled about how I was probably a bad writer and I had just talked myself into believing I was something more worthwhile.  It was hitting me hard.  Very hard.  And my friends who understood my need to write offered me another edit.  They said that they would edit it after I was done with the edits and after my husband was done.  They were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to read my review.  And so for one last time, I did another review and this time I emailed the final product to my friends.  They came back with NOTHING.  Yes, nothing.  And I submitted the review.  I asked the person in charge if the review was any better.  The email reply stated that there were a few more changes that s/he made and that was the last time I requested to do a play review.  And that was 2 years ago.

I've been writing plays and dabbling but deep down I felt broken.  I guess I still feel broken.  I'm not good enough.  I've read works of my friends and there's a smoothness and elegance to their work, like beads of mercury bouncing and rolling on a table.  And here's my work.  Sounds like a 2 year old.  There was a cat.  There was a dog.  I felt the simplicity of my sentence structures.  I loved the written world and as much as I loved it, I couldn't insult it with mine.  And I was losing again.  Just as I'd lost "They Throw Rocks", I was losing this one too.  I was losing myself.  I would learn to go on without writing.  I had to.  I had no choice.  Ah the irony!  The wrote because I had no choice.  And now I had to stop writing because I had no choice again.

Like with all great stories, there came a good friend to my rescue.  "You need to write a blog," he said. I guess, he remembered the old me.  The me that couldn't exist without writing.  And so here I am.  Writing again.  And this time I'll do it on my terms.  This blog is mine.  Mine!  Mine!  Mine!  I do not care what people say anymore.  I've lost too much to lose again.  I may not write as well as you.  I may not write well at all.  But hey, it's me.  Take it or leave it.  So, I fell down.  We all do.  But I'm back on my feet again.

Until next time,

Saturday, August 9, 2014

They Throw Rocks

Welcome to my first blog.  I must start off with an apology.  I'm new to this whole thing and hence the million or so "They Throw Rocks" all over the place.  Bear with me while I figure out titles and all that jazz.
So, let's get started with the blog, shall we?  Why "They Throw Rocks" for the blog and what is my blog all about?  Well, what was Seinfeld all about?  A show about nothing?  OK, I won't say my blogs are about nothing, and I'll try not to digress into the philosophical mode about what really is something, alas, I have digressed.  Back on track.
"They Throw Rocks" is the title to a short story I wrote in 2000.  The story never got published and it went through several revisions and it became the title of a play that never got produced.  The play went through several revisions and to make a long story short, "They Throw Rocks" makes up two documents on my computer; one the short story version and the other a version written as a play.  And unfortunately that's where it will stay.  It serves as a reminder to me about how we start off with something and try to make it perfect and it ends up to be something else in the process and the final product ends up like nothing you ever imagined it to be.  For me, it's the journey of getting lost and getting found.  It's a journey of life.
Through my blogs I will take you through tunnels of my mind that may seem crazy and digressive.  I plan to write about my travels, my hobbies, play reviews and whatever else I can think off.  The one thing I plan to not write about, again unfortunately, is my professional life.  This blog is personal and as much as my professional life is a part of me and my personality and thoughts, I have to stay away as much as I can, to protect all those concerned.  No, I do not work for the CIA or FBI, but just do not want rocks thrown at my blog that can affect my professional world.
With that said, fasten your seat belts.  This blog is going places I have not imagined before.  Oh Boy!  Is this going to be fun or what?
Best wishes to all,