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Dome Pondering - 2012 Year in Review

Mic check. One, two, three. Mic check. Okay, so we're on, and hey, we're still alive! Stupid Mayans. Welcome to the DP's signature post of the year, the Year in Review. Each year, as we did last (Dome Pondering Year in Review - 2011), we take a look back at the calendar year and prepare for the next one ahead. With a packed and eventful 2012, there is much to delve into and plenty to prepare for in 2013. 
Before we do, I'd like to simply thank all of the DP devotees out there for your continued support and interest in this little blog called Dome Pondering. While it seems I've come to say the same thing every time at this part of the year, it bears repeating that this site full of my thoughts and words has grown tremendously over the last three years because of you. It seems the older I become and the less time I have, the more I am able to punch the keys. I don't get it either, and I'm not even going to try to figure it out. Nonetheless, thank you once ag…

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Seeking A Friend For The End Of The End Of The World (2012)

What is it about?

With an asteroid set to hit earth resulting in the world's demise, the sudden departure of his wife causes him to seek out his high school sweetheart on a road trip with his neighbor, who is also looking for her family. The trip leads to an unexpected find.
Who is in it? 
Steve Carrell - Dodge
Keira Knightley - Penny

The Pondering 10 - Why I Do Like College Basketball (I Really Do)

Apparently the perception of Dome Pondering and myself is that we do not like College Basketball. And I can see why this has been perceived especially after a recent Pondering 10 post (Pondering 10 - Issues/Annoyances With College Basketball Product). Well, let's set the record straight - that couldn't be furthest from the truth. I enjoy college basketball a whole lot.In fact, I work in college athletics! Yes, I prefer the NBA game, but that's probably because I have a love of the New York Knicks that does not parallel for me in College Basketball. St. Johns, maybe? Anyhow, let's call it truce with College B-Ball enthusiasts who I've gotten feedback from regarding the precious Pondering 10 list, especially, as we near the beginning of conference play. The following Pondering 10 list is why I enjoy college basketball.

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #101-110

101. If you were to prescribe a cure for grief, what would it entail?

The cure would be music, dancing, and the clinching ingredient of the cure, a smile. 
102. If someone were trying to woo your lover away from you, what methods would bring them the most success?
Haha, this one is going to get me in trouble. But here goes...
They'd have to be funny, a little bit crazy, and be pretty good at making meatballs and pancakes for starters. 
After that, I would say being a good listener and being very patient will help too. 
With that said...I love you, babe!

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Brave (2012)

What is it about? 
A princess defies a normal custom and brings chaos to her Kingdom. After a wish gone wrong, she must now rely on her bravery and her archery skills to reverse the curse before it becomes permanent at sunrise. 
Who is in it? 
Kelly McDonald - Merida
Billy Connolly - Fergus
Emma Thompson - Elinor

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Escalator on Swings?

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

Pondering Picture #30

We Have To Do Better: Dealing With Newtown, CT Tragedy

"What I do know, is that over the last twenty years...
Columbine showed us that we are not safe at High Schools.
Virginia Tech showed us that we are not safe on College Campuses.
Fort Hood showed us that we are not safe at Army bases.
Binghamton, NY showed us that we are not safe at community centers.
And now, Aurora, Colorado showed us that we are not safe at the movie theaters.
Where are we safe?!"
Those were the words I wrote following the tragedy that was the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting (Horror in Aurora: Where Are We Safe?). Sadly, we now can add an elementary school to the growing list of places we are no longer safe in.

2012 Bucket List - #30 Visit the Bahamas

I'm an island guy at heart. Despite a family that hails from all over God's green earth such as India, Portugal, England, and Canada, my immediate family is from the small Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. So Caribbean customs, lifestyle, and fanfare is what I have grown up with, and it is what I love. I love warm weather, beaches, tropical foods and spices, and the hip-moving music that derives from the region. 
After last year's return to the area for my honeymoon after a twelve year drought, my passion for my roots were reignited. I visited St. Lucia, a super beautiful island, and loved everything about it. As described in 12 Years In The Making: Relax. Refresh. Return. Rejuvenate, I rediscovered and fell in love all over again with my Caribbean roots.

2012 Bucket List - #29 Eat Something I Never Have Before

Another year, another opportunity to jump out on the limb to try new things. As the year nears to a close, my recent vacation was just the right opportunity to branch out in my food palette and try a food that I have never had before. 
Last year, I delved into octopus, as I chewed, and chewed (and chewed!) my way to accomplishing the task. This year, I went with a more common food. A food that is actually considered to be an upper class dish. Yes, this past week on vacation in the Bahamas, the head DP'er himself ate snails. And for those of you who prefer to go by fancy names, that would be escargot.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

What is it about? 
After eight years, Gotham is once again terrorized by a new villain, Bane, and the Dark Knight must comeback one more time to save the city that has now branded him as an enemy.
Who is in it? 
Christian Bale - Bruce Wayne
Tom Hardy - Bane
Anne Hathaway - Selina/Catwoman

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Jarhead (2005)

What is it about? 
Based on the book written by former Marine, Anthony Swofford, which recounts his military experience in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 
Who is in it?
Jake Gyllenhall - Anthony Swofford
Jamie Foxx - Staff Seargent Sykes

The Pondering 10 - Annoying Sports Fans

Fans are what drives the entire billion dollar industry that is sports. However, as we all know, there are certain fans that annoy you and really get under your skin. These fans don't necessarily have to be opposing fans of your team's rival, but simply sports fans in general. These people are the fans that really annoy you. Some of us at one time have been guilty of becoming one of the types of these fans, but there are fans that take on these roles full-time, and a few who are simply just born that way. Regardless, they are highly annoying to talk to. The following Pondering 10 list takes a look at the top offenders.

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - No Half-Naked Laying on Benches

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #91-100

91. If you could rid your family of one thing, what would it be?

With a family that is all over the world, it's really hard to put a finger on one thing since there is so many of them who I barely even know. I could wish to have has be closer in proximity, but it's what makes my family the United Nations feel it has. It's what makes me, me. 
However, I'd probably go with the issue that I feel is a universal one for all families, and that is the grudges many have with one another. With a family so spread out and so scarce in real contact, having grudges really makes it harder to maintain already strained relationships. 
92. If you had to name the all-time best song, which would you pick?
Probably the toughest question yet in the series so far. I know whatever answer I put here, I'll read it back a day later and kick myself for not answering with another song. Or a week later with another, or a year later with another. 
So for today, at this very moment, I will go wit…

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Racket-less Tennis?

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

It's Getting Late Early For A-Rod

It's the gift that keeps on giving folks, and Alex Rodriguez simply seems poised to maintain his position as  the most controversial figure in sports. Forget budding topics like Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, and steroids/Hall of Fame talk in baseball, A-Rod is once again a hot topic. After an absolutely abysmal playoff performance, one in which he was not only benched, but paved the way for Raul Ibanez to make A-Rod's existence that much smaller, we now get the unfortunate news that he has a tear in his left hip which will require surgery.
It's an operation that is expected to keep him out four to six months. However, at thirty-seven, who knows if he can meet the expected recovery time.

Sanchez Era Over With Debut of the Mac?

When you thought the New York Jets season couldn't get anymore controversial, we get this past Sunday's developments. Mark Sanchez benched. And his replacement, Greg McElroy, lead the Jets to a 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals. 
Who?
Yes, that Greg McElroy. The same guy that made comments about the Jets locker room being dysfunctional this past off-season, an act that was seen as treason. The same quarterback that has been forgotten behind all of the Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez drama. The same guy that most forgot was a pretty solid quarterback for a pretty good Alabama team in college.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Burn After Reading (2008)

What is it about?
A disk containing the memoirs of a former CIA agent end up in the hands of two gym employees which spurs a series of events that affects several lives. 
Who is in it?
George Clooney - Harry Pfarrer
Frances McDormand - Linda Litzke
Brad Pitt - Chad Feldheimer
John Malkovich - Osborne Cox

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #81-90

81. If you could enact one law in your country that does not currently exist, what would it be?

There would actually be quite a few. However, I would go with gun control. Nothing too elaborate, but the type of control that requires screening and effective security of allowing firearm usage in this country. 
82. If you could own only one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
I would probably choose a good pair of pants. Weird? Yes, most definitely. But a good pair of pants sets the tone, and for a big and tall guy like myself, dictates the comfort for the day. As hard as pants are to find for us big guys, I'd like to own one pair, thus renting or borrowing everything else. If you happen to be one of those folks that has your perfect pants size in every store, you most likely won't understand this.

Knicks and Nets Should Be Fun For Years To Come

I can't lie. I had this game circled on my calendar for a few months now, and so did many other Knicks fans...and I guess Nets fans as well. After the long awaited changes such as the move from the Meadowlands to my backyard of Brooklyn, the unveiling of their brand-spanking new building on Flatbush and Atlantic, the changing of the colors, the spending of millions of dollars on new players, and the enormous endorsement and hype from Jay-Z, Knicks fans watched as the spotlight that would've been theirs after years of heartache and misery, was now being taken away.

2012 Bucket List - #19 Devote an Entire Day to Anything and Everything My Wife Wants To Do

The date on my phone said November 24th, and it was indeed that day. It was the birthday of my tag team partner, and the day that she decided to cash in her "anything I want to do" card. After not claiming the opportunity in 2011, she decided to not miss out this year. 
So, as she stated the night before, "it begins at 9:00am", I rolled out of bed at 10:37am awaiting direction from the birthday girl, and the ruler of the day. 
Shockingly, the day began with her making pumpkin pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Yes, she made breakfast and not I. While I would've gladly done so, she wanted to cook, and well, it was her day. So I simply settled for helping and washing the dishes. You know, the stuff she didn't want to do.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: 30 Minutes or Less (2011)

What is it about? 
Two start-up criminals strap a bomb to a pizza delivery guy and inform him he must rob a bank or else...
Who is in it? 
Jesse Eisenberg - Nick
Danny McBride - Dwayne
Aziz Ansari - Chet
Nick Swardson - Travis

Dome Pondering Import - "Sanchez, the Butt of Jokes"

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! After a day of food, fun, and for some families, football, I thought I would add some comedic relief for everyone on a fun-filled day. While it does come at the expense of my favorite team, the New York Jets, I figured a video of this would keep things light on Thanksgiving here at the DP. So without further adieu, please take a look at the following play made by Mark Sanchez which signified the embarrassing ineptitude of the Jets tonight. Even non-football fans will get a kick out of this.

138 Points! And a Range of Emotions

I was at work when one of my student aids said to me, "some kid just scored 138 points tonight!" 
"What?" 
Thinking that college teams don't ever score 138 points in a game, this kid might be seeing things. Was it 38?
"No, one hundred and thirty eight points!"
After checking my phone for the story and eventually twitter for the updates, it was indeed true. Jack Taylor of Grinnell College scored 138 points, leading his team to a 179-104 victory.

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Signs, The Cure For Chaos

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #71-80

71. If you could own any building in existence, which would you own?
My intial reaction would be one of the Trump Towers for its financial gain and luxury, or even something sports-related like Madison Square Garden or Yankee Stadium for it's personal satisfaction. However, I'll go with the Empire State Building as it represents the city and  is very relevant with it's colors in the NYC skyline.
72. If you could own any one existing sculpture from anywhere in the world, but not the right to ever sell it, which one would you want?
I have no idea. I'm not an enthusiast for sculptures, but I would go with the Statue of Liberty. Yeah, not much creativity on these questions. Either you think I'm in a "IF factor" slump, or you probably think I'm completely obsessed with taking over New York City and it's landmarks. Don't judge me.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Shes Out of My League (2010)

What is it about? 
An average guy meets an attractive woman, but struggles with the insecurities of their relationship and the societal norms placed upon the situation, which eventually wears on their relationship. 
Who is in it?
Jay Baruchel - Kirk
Alice Eve - Molly
T.J. Miller - Stainer

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #61-70

61. If you had to give up your favorite food forever, what is the minimum amount of money you would want in return?

Interesting question. I'd probably take the approximate cost of a serving of that particular food, multiply it by the number of days until I am 75 (average life expectancy of an American male), and then add thirty percent for sacrifice fees. The total would be the minimum, which doesn't even include inflation, interest, or any self-punitive damages.  
So for example, let's take one of my favorite foods, a Chipotle Burrito with white rice, chicken, peppers, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and guacamole - $9.25 (the cost here in NYC, much, much cheaper around the country). 
$9.25 (price per burrito) x 365 (days per year) x 48 (years until 75) + 12 (Amount of Leap days between current age and 75) + %30 = $210, 822.30
Seems like a reasonable amount to give up my freedom to choose me favorite meal. 
Didn't think I'd get so technical, huh?

The Pondering 10 - Qualities Men Really Want

I have a friend who is single, and has many rules about what is ideal woman should bring to the table of any potential relationship. The rules are complex and lengthy, and quite honestly aren't wrong or correct in anyway - they are his rules. I also have a friend who feels the same way, and wants many things from her potential significant other. She also claims, "men are too complex." We all have different things we desire, and that's without the comprehensive barrier that is between men and women.
We all know and have seen (especially guys) the articles in women-geared content that help the female side in their journey through a relationship. "Things that will keep him happy!" "What Does He Want!" "Be His Perfect Woman!" You know exactly the headlines and articles I am talking about. And often, even the professionals make it way too complicated, adding psychology and other things that make things between the sexes that more confusing. …

Remembering the 2012 MLB Season

Another champion, and another great season that was the 2012 Major League Baseball season. The 2012 campaign was a truly memorable one that saw baseball take yet another step towards the fruits of a strong revenue sharing system that has improved the parity around the league. The season saw many great stories in the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics, who weren't predicted to have a winning season by anyone outside of their organizations. There was, of course, the rise to competitiveness that was the Washington Nationals, those that utterly failed in the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Boston Red Sox, and to some extent, the Miami Marlins. And of course, there were the storylines that swirled around the usual suspects such as the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and St. Louis Cardinals. And let's not forget the inclusion of the Wilcard one-and-done round which added so much intrigue this year! 
However, the biggest story of all was that of th…

The Pondering 10 - Favorite NFL Uniforms

Nike recently become the official vendor for NFL uniforms as of this season, and with that, came the typical changes and quirks that Nike likes to do. Sometimes, Nike can do to much (see Oregon Football and any of their official basketball schools), however, there were minor changes as the worldwide  athletic company elected to keep it simple with it's foray into the King of American sports. With the now Nike influence, it got the wheels spinning on the best uniforms in the National Football League. Who have the best? Who have the worst? We'll leave the negativity for a later post, and focus this Pondering 10 list on my favorite NFL uniforms. Sports fans, do you agree or disagree?

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Hide the Port-a-Potties!

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #51-60

51. If you could have one specific power over other people, what would it be?

It would be the ability to force them to tell the truth. The truth is a powerful thing, and there are so many people that we all encounter that shovel us you-know-what on a daily basis. It would be nice to force people to simply tell the truth, say what's on their minds, and be straightforward.
52. If you could have one meal from your past exactly as it was, which would you repeat?
This question is stated as if I've had only a handful of meals in my entire life. I don't even remember what I had as my three meals yesterday! But I guess I'd go with Chipotle Burritos. It's my guilty pleasure as I can have them over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

Red Bulls Serve Up Another Heartbreaker

It was a tough loss to swallow. 
Last night's Red Bulls loss in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals was the kind of loss that not only exemplified the franchise's long chase for its first MLS Cup, but that typical let down we often get from New York professional teams. 
There were so many opportunities, and so many second chances for the Red Bulls to be advancing on to play the Houston Dynamo, but it just didn't seem to be. 
The Red Bulls missed eighteen - count em! - eighteen shots on goal in the 1-0 loss to the rival DC United. We also saw Rafa Marquez put the icing on the cake on what has been a terrible marriage between him and the Red Bulls with two yellow cards. The second card simply being one sheer laziness.

Five Keys To Knicks Season 2012-2013

This annual post is a bit late due to the events of Hurricane (or Super Storm?) Sandy, and my thoughts and posts being consumed with the recent events. However, tradition is tradition, and here we are taking a look at the keys for the New York Knicks and their upcoming 2012-2013 NBA Season. With a full season to tackle, a chance at a normal training-camp, and the addition of several free-agents, and yes, dealing with that sudden increase in average-age, the Knicks have a chance to really do some special this year. I know I said that last year, and it was true, but last year's Knicks campaign was one of the weirdest I've ever experienced.
But this is the year, right?!

If so, here are the five keys to the Knicks 2012-2013 season.

Aisle Reaching is First Step In Moving Forward For United States

Four more years was the result of what was the culmination of a very, very interesting Presidential election. Dating back to the Republican primaries and caucuses, all the way through last night, all of it has been an absolute whirlwind. One full of emotion, information, frustration, lying, flip-flopping, cover-ups, dust-ups, and even annoyance. After last night, we can all agree, regardless of who you punched a ballot for last night, we were ready for a decision to be made so the campaigning can stop, and the real work of restoring our country can begin. And that's a message we all can approve! 
With President Obama still at the helm of leadership for our nation, hopefully, the excitement and movement he gained from many demographic groups in his two election wins can continue. And hopefully, that can eventually inspire those who punched their ballots elsewhere last night to bring that same spirit to balance the spectrum. As the President stated in his speech, the work is not do…

Random Rumblings on Hurricane Sandy's Aftermath

The last couple of days here in the New York City area has been heartbreaking to say the least. It has been crushing in many ways, even if you turn off the television coverage. As New Yorkers try to return to normalcy, while trying to get those who are in still in need of recovery the help they need, it is hard not to be overwhelmed at the destruction, devastation, and in some ways, the chaos in this city. After my experience (Another Extreme Weekend: DP Notes From Living Through Sandy), in this post, I simply wanted to take a step back from it all and punch the keys on some of my experiences over the past few days, as well as the random thoughts as well. I apologize ahead of time for any disorganization,  rambling, or random comments...however, it might be fitting for the time we are currently in.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Campaign (2012)

What is it about? 
After a complacent and non-progressive congressman is finally challenged by a local tourism director, both campaigns go through changes as both men not only try to win the candidacy, but not get corrupt from large businessmen looking to change the district. 
Who is in it? 
Will Ferrell - Cam Brady
Zack Galifianakis - Marty Huggins

Pondering Picture #29

Another Extreme Weekend: DP Notes From Living Through Sandy

Similar to what I did last year with Hurricane Irene (Part 1Part 2 and Part 3), I took some notes or at least punched the keys recording a few words during my time experiencing this hurricane that I can at least look back on in the future, or possibly help shed some light to someone outside of this devastation. The following are what I composed over the last three days.

Dome Pondering Import - MTA Video of Hurricane Sandy's Damage

There is no doubt about the damage Hurricane Sandy has inflicted upon this city - New York City. With Sandy all but done imposing her will on us, the damage across the city is possibly the worst I have seen in my lifetime. Part of this is way the subway system has been rendered paralyzed in usage. It has been noted by many MTA officials that the damage is the worst in the 108 year of the subway system. In a video released by the MTA, it reveals the damage and flooding done by Sandy to one of the stations at the South Seaport station. The video is unbelievable, and for New Yorkers, very eerie to see. Also below are some other videos released revealing the damage to other areas. 

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Change-Up (2011)

What is it about? 
A career driven family man and his best friend who is a carefree bachelor, end up switching bodies during a crucial time in both of their lives. 
Who is in it? 
Jason Bateman - Dave Lockwood
Ryan Reynolds - Mitch Planko
Leslie Mann - Jamie Lockwood
Olivia Wilde - Sabrina McArdle

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Bad Teacher (2011)

What is it about?
After a woman's goldigging ways are revealed and her engagement is broken off, a junior high school teacher returns to teaching to kill time until she is able to catch the next sugar daddy.
Who is in it?
Cameron Diaz - Elizabeth Halsey
Lucy Punch - Amy Squirrel
Jason Segel - Russell Gettis

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #41-50

41. If you were to drown in a liquid other than water, what would you want it to be? 

Wouldn't I drown anyway? So it's not like I would enjoy it or it would make for a less painful experience. But what the heck, I'll entertain the question and go with white grape juice. Tasty, and still transparent enough to see if an escape were possible. 
42. If you could reverse one sports call in history, which one would it be? 
Oh wow, I'd probably go with that push off by Reggie Miller against Greg Anthony in the 1995 Eastern Conference Semi-finals. It was a no-call, but I would obviously change it to a foul and save Knicks fans from the embarrassment of having Miller score eight points in 8.9 seconds to win the game.

DP Review of Third Presidential 2012 Debate

It was the final go around for both candidates before November 6th decides the next four years of our nation's leadership. After splitting the first two debates, with things becoming intense during the second debate, it was very important for both candidates to not only win the rubber match, but also stay calm, respectful, and poised, without losing their aggression. After the arrogance and rudeness displayed in the second debate, not to mention the bickering of inaccuracies and non-factual statements on both sides, it was crucial for both sides to not alienate the audience before going to the polls. 
And both sides did just that. This debate was moderated very well, and for the first time during their series of debates, both candidates respected the timed response, and also did not talk over one another. However, in the end, after a few weird agreements, it seemed that President Obama won this debate. 
Nonetheless, here are the things we can take away from the final debate.

2012 Bucket List - #22 Attend One of My Wife's Interior Design Networking Parties

My wife is an interior designer that works for the City of New York. In her industry, like many others, the need for companies, manufacturers, and firms to get their names out in the marketplace to consumers, employers, and competitors is vital. From lighting companies to architecture firms, all are vying for new business. 
In an effort to do this, these companies, manufacturers, and firms hold parties, networking events, and other shindigs to advertise and impress the industry. The tag team partner and her close friends (who also happen to be in the industry) attend these events which are usually held in some of the coolest places throughout the city. From high rises with nice views, to suites and other impressive buildings that are nearly impossible to enter if not for the networking event.

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Dude, Where's My Stuff?

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

Pondering Picture #28

DP Review of Second Presidential 2012 Debate

And we're back at it! The President and his opponent for the 2012 bid were back in full swing at Hofstra University for the second of their three debates. The second debate shifted to the town hall format of fielding questions from an audience, and one which places the candidate outside the confines (and comfort) of a podium. 
As a viewer, the second debate was much more informative as we were able to hear the candidates opinions, plans, and even witness some of their short comings. We saw Romney incorrectly accuse the President of not calling the attack on Libya an act of terrorism, and we also saw President Obama evade a few questions. 
However, as a debate geek, the current format forced the issued for the candidates, but at the same time created an invasive, machismo culture that created some moments of sheer disregard for your opponent, and for the rules of engagement in formal debate. 
With that said, here are the things we can take away from the second Presidential 2012 De…

Bound For Glory 2012 is Change New Creative Envisioned

Since changing the creative staff and the overall long-term planning of the company, TNA's rebuilding of it's brand has been progressive, and has been truly entertaining. From the switch back to it's roots of a more traditional, wrestling-focused brand, to the new concepts such as "Gut Check" and new production elements, the product has been the best in the pro wrestling industry over the past six months. Something that is quite the 180 from the last time we reviewed the company's biggest show of the year (Bound For Glory is Bound by the Past).

Upside Down Yankees Universe: An Honest Look From a Yankees Fan

Recently, Detroit Tiger's outfielder Quentin Berry had the following statement regarding the atmosphere at Yankee Stadium, "This is a very easy place to play now. Coming from Oakland where the fans were so rowdy, it's easier to come here." 
As a Yankees fan, I have been downright embarrassed by the atmosphere and the actions of other fellow Yankees fans, and yes, you know, those fraudbags that come out this time of the year. 
I have been downright embarrassed from the empty seats in the stadium, to the blatant unintelligent remarks and blame being thrown in the direction of A-Rod as if the Yankees struggles are solely on him, and I'm embarrassed by the overall cynicism and entitlement occurring within our fan base - Yankee Universe as it is sometimes called.

DP Review of Vice-Presidential 2012 Debate

Despite already being a debate geek, I was really anticipating this year's Vice-Presidential Debate for one reason - Joe Biden. I'm not sure what it is about Biden, but the guy has a certain type of charisma that is entertaining. Whether that equates to  actual votes or simply, entertained viewers is another subject. However, Biden has a unique and distinct way of making his points. His choice of words and how he gets his points across are quite the adventure, an aspect opponent Congressman Paul Ryan touched upon that incited laughter among many during the debate. And speaking of Ryan, his intellect and anti-Biden style provided the clash that made the VP debate must see.

2012 Bucket List - #28 Complete a Mud Run

It's funny to think that several years ago I would have laughed if you asked me about signing up, training, and completing in races and runs. Now, with an understanding of how to correctly train and to take care of myself, I'm very much into the process of challenging myself in these races. I enjoy the idea of setting a goal, training for it, and ultimately doing my best on race day. Not to mention, I very much love raising money for charities.
After running in my first 5K (Bucket List - #27 Run a 5K), which was a total success in raising money for helping to find a cure for Cancer, actually running my first 5K, and being able to get onto the field of Yankee Stadium, I decided to register for the Rugged Race For Respect. The event, held at Aviator Sports and Entertainment Center at Floyd Bennett Field here in Brooklyn, (and for your DP devotees, yes, site of yours truly's only collegiate baseball win), is basically a 5K obstacle and mud run.

Subbed and Benched: Changing Expectations for A-Rod

Alex Rodriguez continues to be the most fascinating story and topic I've ever seen covered in pro sports in my lifetime. More complex than steroids, instant replay, the designated hitter, the salary cap, and yes, even Tim Tebow. In a past post (There Should Be More To 'A-Rod' For Alex Rodriguez), I've let it be known how much I believe A-Rod could have been much more than what he is, and has been. 
In 2009 we saw what seemed to have been a redemption story for Rodriguez after years of speculation, ridicule, debate, and skepticism. We witnessed the ego, the money, and the fraudness that surrounded him, until the stars aligned in 2009. We saw a new person. A focused player. And a clutch player that buried the criticism of not being clutch and unable to step up when it counted.

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #31-40

31. If you could have chosen your own first name, other than your current one, what would it be?
That's an interesting question. I'd probably go with something wacky like Kobar. Or maybe something more traditional and strong like Noah. This question simply makes me appreciate my name. Glad this part of life was taken care of in my first moments of life.
32. If you were instantly able to play one musical instrument perfectly that you never have played before, what would it be?
Saxophone. It's smooth, and honestly, comes with tons of respect. C'mon, who doesn't dig the sound of the sax when it's played well?

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Is This Thing On?

Note: I used to work for a park slowly in continued development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handled anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

Growing Up and Moving On

Growth has been the mantra for yours truly in 2012. I mentioned about it in the 2011 DP Year in Review, and have done so several times in posts over the past ten months. I've tried to improve myself daily and attempted to mature as I have begun my years of the late-twenties. In doing so I have broken some habits, started new ones, and have ultimately been searching for that special something - that next step as I always called it - in my life. I wasn't sure what it was, or what it entailed, but I knew it was something there that needed to be explored. 
Well, after months and months of consistent prayer and asking the good Lord to not only make that next step aware to me, but give me courage to pursue it without fear, as faithful as he is, it was granted. After seeing a job posting online one night, I applied, and even worked some contacts I already had to learn more about the position. After a site visit, a job interview, and yes, more prayer, I was offered the position of a …

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #21-30

21. If you had to select the one thing in life you feel the most guilty about, what would it be? 
I think it would be the standard of living we have all become used to enjoying here in the United States. We enjoy running water at the whim of a faucet, indoor plumbing with our toilets, plenty of options for food, and technology that is the essence of luxury. It's a rather guilty feeling I have when I think about other countries and the problems and hardships others have within their lives when it comes to these basic essentials we take for granted. How can you not feel guilty when you see children with no shoes or clothes struggling to simply survive, and we complain about things such as dropped calls or having no service on our cell phones? 
22. If you could rid the earth of one thing, what would it be? 

Selfishness. The world could use some more people that care about more things other than themselves.

DP Review of First Presidential 2012 Debate

The first leg of the presidential debates came and went, and honestly, it left me wanting more from both candidates. As a former College debater, a lover of the art form, and a total geek for political debates, last tonight's debates left me completely underwhelmed and disappointed. 
From the ridiculously phrased questions (You have two minutes to explain why you are different? How does that force debate, or facts?), the poor moderation of the panel, the insanely lack of respect for the code of a timed debate, and the overall poor structure, this debate was a complete and utter disaster. 
With such a poor structure, we received poorly structured arguments, tons of fluff because of the lack of the time limit, and constant pitter-patter that made both candidates look like children instead of the intelligent officials that they are. 
However, the first debate wasn't a total waste, as there were several things we can take away from the first debate.

Idiot Mom Proves Society's Lack of Accountability

I recently read a story that got me so worked up I had to make my way to a blank page here on the DP to begin punching the keys to vent. The story is in regards to a bisexual Queens student who was sent home from school for wearing a "I enjoy vagina" T-Shirt. Yes, you read that correctly. 
The story can be found here
What really drives me up a wall is the fact that after being sent home for refusing to change the shirt, her mother has now come to her defense and has claimed that her daughter's first amendment rights were violated. 
Yes, I hope you are rolling your eyes. Because I just did after typing that, even after reading it once before.

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Man Power To Create Peace

Note: I work for a park slowly in continuing development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handles anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

The IF Factor: Questions Answered #11-20

11. If you had to assassinate one famous person who is alive right now, who would it be, and how would you do it?

Ouch. This seems rather drastic, and sort of a sadistic question. Honestly, as annoying as some celebrities might be, I really wouldn't want to KILL anyone. Not the Kardashians. Not Lindsay Lohan. Not Kathy Griffin. Not even some of these "reality" "stars" who bug the heck out of me with their empty stardom. Can we like, just maybe, shoot them with a stun gun? How about a simple punch in the face...OK, maybe the gut. Nahhhh, their face.
12. If you could have stopped aging at any point in your life up to the present, how old would you want to remain?

How about my current age, 27? I'm old enough where maturity is now settling in, and young enough where most of my physical abilities hasn't begun to erode.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Cars 2 (2011)

What is it about? 
Mater is finally invited overseas with his best friend Lightning McQueen for the World Grand Prix only to get wrapped up into espionage, and an elaborate energy scheme. 
Who is in it?
Mater - Larry The Cable Guy
Owen Wilson - Lightning McQueen
Michael Caine - Finn McMissile

What The Heck Happened to ROH?

What the heck happened to Ring of Honor Wrestling? 
Seriously, ROH was once the renegade third national company in the United States that provided that pure wrestling product with a modern appealing flavor to the die hard fans of pro wrestling. The product never really appealed to kids and casuals the way the WWE and TNA does, however, many of their shows were well attended, usually topping 1,100 at many of the shows. And at times, ROH outdrew a few of TNA's events and house shows. 
However, lately, after following ROH closely through blogs, podcasts, DVD's, YouTube  and other avenues since it's beginning, my interest in the company has waned. In fact, it disappeared. After ROH left HDNet, it feels as if the company forgot about it's core fans (Northeast). And as one of those fans, I found myself swept away in the WWE's product (which has been pretty good in 2012) and TNA (Which has rebounded into great product after a disappointing 2011).
So much so that I haven…

Plan B in NYC Schools a Terrible Idea

This past week it was announced that thirteen schools here in New York City will be providing the morning-after-pill to students as young as fourteen years old without parental consent. Obviously, the topic is one of high controversy, and is one that has caused intense debate among many. All of it derived from the support of doctors who claim the program will decrease teen pregnancy, and increase education for teens in regards to the growing nation-wide teen pregnancy epidemic. 
I find it very shocking that as long as Plan B has been available, that now is the time doctors and education officials find the pill to be a conducive avenue against teen pregnancy. Honestly, I find it to be an overreaction, and even rash to do such a thing in our public school system. 
Heck, possibly even revenue-driven. I wouldn't doubt it...

True Tales From Parks and Recreation - Public Bait and Switch?

Note: I work for a park slowly in continuing development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handles anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!
Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

Replacement Referees Blunder Signify Eye-Opening Truth For Fans

"Wait what?!" 
That was my initial reaction to the on-the-field call of touchdown to the now infamous play that closed out last night's Monday Night Football contest between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. 
"Well, this has to be overturned. No problem. It'll be overturned"
That was what I thought upon seeing the replay which affirmed by live reaction (and probably yours too) to the controversial play. 
Except it wasn't. And today, the NFL supported the blown call, the replacement referees (who are now the biggest enemy in the United States) and their lousy decision. 
The immediate reaction and fallout we have seen is the overwhelming coverage and review of the now notorious replacement referees. Twitter exploded, sports radio was full of opinions, and even non-sports news platforms like CNN had the story as their website's headline.

The Unity Road Writings - Lose Yourself

Plus 365 days. 
Thought this road was over, huh?

Well, honestly, so did I.

But the one thing I've learned as the tag team partner and I celebrate one year of marriage bliss is that this "Unity Road" has merely just begun. 
And with one year under our belts, I think I can speak for the both of us and say that it hasn't been as much of a drastic change as most people warn or continually push. I'm not sure if it is because we are so compatible, if we are more ready for this step than others were, if our personalities make it easier, or if we're some freak duo that defy the usual marriage hardships. For the most part, year one of marriage, has been special, but really is more reflective of seven years of being together. 
However, personally speaking, there are things that are hard about marriage. Things that I really feel no one would understand until they are sharing a last name with the love of their life. There are many aspects that as a husband, I can get be…

The IF Factor: Questions Answered: #1-10

The word "if" is a very powerful word. It evokes many fears and reveals a lot about an individual, and the character one has.  After completing the 365 Thought Provoking Questions challenge created by the folks over at the blog, Marc and Angel Hack Life, a challenge that was highly regarded by you, the DP devotees, as well as a series I received much feedback on, I've decided to create and take on a similar challenge. 

On our shelf here at DP headquarters is a book written by Evelyn MacFarlane and James Saywell called, The Big Book of If. The book is filled with questions beginning with that powerful word, "if". The following series will be my shared answers to these questions. What are yours?

The Pondering 10 - Jobs I Would Love to Have

It's very rare in this life that we have jobs that we enjoy. It's the reason we go to school, get fancy degrees, and even network a bit, to put ourselves in positions where the day-to-day routine we have is that much more bearable. However, if you have, or have ever had a job that you've enjoyed, you know how easy and simple it made your life. Since we have already done the Jobs I Never Want to Have, the following Pondering 10 list are the jobs I would absolutely love to have. The following are my top ten dream jobs.

Romney Lacks Connection With Nation

This election was almost cake for Mitt Romney. It really was. For President Obama, who ran on "Hope" and "Change" and hasn't produced much in terms of domestic economic growth, the material, evidence, and hard facts were on the table. Romney simply had to drive it home with the American people. However, that seems to be his biggest problem in his entire campaign - his ability to connect with - as President Obama has no coined - Main Street. 
I've stated as early as the Republican primaries that I was not a fan of Mitt Romney. In fact, I was in favor of an Obama/Santorum showdown. Nonetheless, since the initial Iowa debate, Romney has sounded like a phony to me. A fraud. And as I stated in a post earlier this year, Romney just evokes "car salesman" whenever he opens his mouth. From the moment he foolishly offered a ten-thousand dollar wager on national television with his fellow republican candidate, Rick Perry, in the middle of a discussion on he…