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Heaven It's Not

Springtime in the Midwest I am cranky!  Yes, today is definitely a day for Crabby Pants to visit here at TAOBC. I could blame it on the weather.  A foot of snow in late March didn't help improve my mood, but actually it is a combination of smaller annoyances, which I will get to shortly. There was a movie...although for the life of me I can't remember which one...that espoused the idea that Heaven was a place where the things you loved ...

What Are the Odds?

This year, as in years past, Hubby and I went to one of the walk-in clinics to get our flu shots.  We are gamblers that way.  This years odds are that about 60 percent of the various strains of flu are covered by this year's shots.  Yes, the odds are in our favor not to be standing in the crowded hallways of the infected, sneezing, wheezing, snotting, coughing, vomiting, pooing people that picked up the bug from some shopping cart ...

What Were They Thinking?

In the past I have done articles on Friday about the less-than-mainstream news. My theory that people slack off a bit on Friday at work and need some fluff to talk about while waiting for the clock to give them  permission to get the weekend started.  Frankly now that we have our IPads loaded with Words With Friends and Angry Birds, we have our Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay on top of and can watch our favorite TV shows on ...

Welcome 2014: Happy New Year!

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Alfred Tennyson Happy New Year 2014 fireworks, confetti, and celebrants at Times Square NY ★♥★ Happy New Year and Welcome 2014 to You & Yours!★♥★ We made it and I’m delighted to be back to familiar territory again. A year ago today, I had an upbeat list of tips for 2013. Suffice it to say, my year took off quite well and then life and its many ...

Blogs and Bunnies

Thought Number One: Updating Aesop Remember when you were little, all the stories that you read or  that were read to you that had a "moral" message. Some of those might have been written by Aesop. Do any of you remember Aesop Fables? Aesop was a slave and a story teller that lived in Greece between 620 and 560 BC.  He is credited with writing hundreds of stories for the purpose of teaching moral lessons.  Exactly how many stories he wrote is unclear ...

Inspiration: On Desire…

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus Inspiration: On Desire… The Frogs Who Desired a King – Aesop’s Fables The Frogs were living as happy as could be in a marshy swamp that just suited them; they went splashing about caring for nobody and nobody troubling them. But some of them thought this was not right; they felt that they should have a king and a proper ...

Flowers from the 85th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball

So what happens after the big awards show? The stars let loose and party! One of the biggest, most-talked about parties is the the Academy Awards Governors Ball. This glamorous, glitzy gala is the official after-party hosted by the Academy for approximately 1500 nominees, presenters and other VIPs. The event is catered by the celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck and his team of hard working staff. This year, the menu and the decor reflected the theme, “Oscars in 3D.” Florist Mark Held, ...

7 Questions With an Author: Frank Viola

Bestselling author, speaker and blogger – Frank Viola This post marks another installment of my “7 Questions With an Author…” series, where I ask published authors an unchanging set of questions and share their responses here. Today’s featured author is Frank Viola. Frank is a highly-sought speaker and an incredibly prolific writer with 16 published books so far. His web blog frankviola.org is one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the Internet. His latest work is a collaboration with Internet rock stars Mike Morrell and Michelle Shaeffer, which ...

Early Onset Dementia of the Alzheimer’s Type

Kudos to Pat Summitt, age 59, for the way she is facing her newest competition, early onset dementia of the Alzheimer’s type. She wondered at her erratic behavior and got herself checked out at Mayo Clinic. She didn’t hide from reality. By not hiding, and by forcing others to face her reality as well, she’s setting a great example for respecting the truth. Once you have answers, you can start to pick among whatever options are available to you. You make ...

The Greatest Artist I've Ever Known

Grandma Chatterbox is finally home from the hospital and she’s progressing better than she wants to admit. Her surgery has left her weak and she needs assistance to maintain her apartment and independence. It’s fallen on me to find someone to help her. There are many good organizations to draw on and much of my time is currently being spent searching for a suitable individual who can put up with Mom’s idiosyncrasies. This hasn’t prevented my head from filling with ...

5 Ancient Leadership Mistakes

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”~ British statesman and philosopher, Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Frequently, the forward-looking leader is best served by understanding and avoiding the missteps of the past. With that in mind, perhaps the greatest leader of antiquity whose life was full of successes and failures that we can learn from is the Hebrew leader Moses. Stained Glass Moses - Zachi Evenor, Flickr Tradition holds that Moses authored the first five books of the bible; transcribed the 10 ...

Capturing Nature’s Palette with Chip It!

Have you discovered Chip It! yet? It’s one of my favorite new design applications. The tool allows you to take any picture and turn it into a collection of up to 10 Sherwin-Williams paint colors through a matching process with the company’s extensive database. Not only is it very helpful, it’s also a lot of fun! I’ve been a bit of a mad scientist lately, experimenting with images and coming up with some unique and exciting color palettes. And recently I ...

Taft's Tub

Some stories are stuck in the public’s consciousness and can’t be dislodged by logic or evidence to the contrary, such as the story of how Catherine the Great died. It has been rumored for centuries that she perished in an equestrian accident, a polite way of saying that this regal nymphomaniac died while trying to copulate with a stallion suspended above her bed from a crane. According to legend, the chain broke and crushed the czarina to death. While this ...

The Cost of Educating a President

I haven’t written about the current presidential election because I’m fairly underwhelmed by both options. Regardless, we’re a week away from a national vote that will impact this nation for the next four years and beyond. Putting aside all policy positions and platforms, I found an interesting infographic from degreejungle.com that looks at the cost of educating President Obama and Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. This is a fascinating comparison that should inspire any parent to encourage their kids to stay in school ...

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Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

Yet Another Reason I Hate Funerals….

Nondescript Casket

My immediate family spent the majority of last week at my in-laws home in New York because my wife’s grandmother passed away.

While I think it’s extremely important to celebrate the memory of the deceased; support and sympathize with the survivors and offer a degree of closure for the living via the various death-induced services and rituals – I hate funerals.

As a former news reporter, I had to attend dozens as an uninvited gawker amidst grieving strangers and then trying to speak with someone on camera – yuck. Within my own family, the funerals for all my grandparents and both my parents further soured an already distasteful experience – double yuck.

However, the latest funeral affront I experienced last week was the seemingly unending cavalcade of culinary creations that crammed every inch of table and counter space at the in-laws single-story rambler.

As an aside, death is a natural part of our existence but I’m convinced that the ritualistic events around death make most people uncomfortable. They frequently don’t know the unspoken etiquette to engage grievers – it’s not something you can practice for in advance or take an online class titled “Funeral 101: communication tips.”The awkward nature of attending a wake, memorial gathering, funeral service or graveside burial adds a layer of stress to a stressful someone that you’re “Sorry for their loss” or “Quite a lovely eulogy the pastor delivered.”

After a point, conversations experience a metaphorical death of their own – and the easiest thing left to talk about is the food that everyone brought. Apparently death brings out the inner sous chef in all of us.

And what types of cuisine do people bring the grieving???

Comfort food.

Don’t get me wrong, the care, love and attention that people pour into food preparation for such events is humbling and appreciated. However, they also tend to pour in tons of sugar, shortening, oils, salt and butter to ensure maximum calorie density in an effort to assuage the pain of loss.

It’s ironic that the very foods that people tend to prepare for post-mortem funeral gatherings are overloaded with the cholesterol-raising, heart-stopping, clot-forming, artery-hardening, stroke-inducing ingredients that medical science continues to urge us to avoid in an effort to extend our lives.

I don’t know whether such food prep is an unconscious attempt to thumb a nose at the Grim Reaper, or an unspoken ethos to unabashedly indulge in the edible extremes that life has to offer – because life is too short – but I hate it, because I ate most of it last week.

Which brings me to this week’s WeightWatcher weigh-in, where I apparently gained +5.0 lbs in seven days. I have no one to blame but myself, but I am focusing an accusatory eye toward the strawberry trifle, twice-baked ziti, home-style chicken and biscuits as well as various baked in which I partook last week.

Damn, I hate funerals!

Assuming that all of my relatives can make it through the week this side of eternity – I’m hopeful that there will be less of me to write about after next week’s weigh-in.

 

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

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