Oatmeal: It’s What’s For Breakfast

IMAG0745-w1200-h1200I live an odd schedule. It’s ten of two. I’m on the patio. I’m having breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal has been invited.

I have oatmeal for breakfast every day. Helaine usually prepares it. She’s out today. She left an oatmeal kit. Like so many guys, my kitchen skills are limited.

No one eats oatmeal for the taste. Neutral. I sprinkle a little Splenda on. Passable.

I do enjoy the texture. Good oatmeal has loads of texture. It feels best when slow cooked.

Oatmeal maintains heat for a long time. Walk away from oatmeal for ten or fifteen minutes, its still piping hot. I am baffled by this ability.

IMAG0746-w1200-h1200Oatmeal sticks to everything! The pot must begin soaking with hot water as soon as the oatmeal is served. When dry, oatmeal could easily be mistaken for cement.

I don’t want to think about what it sticks to inside me.

If my twenty year old metabolism decides to reappear I can switch to bagels. Until then it’s oatmeal, my top choice.

My Mom’s Cracked Vertebrae

My mom fell a few weeks ago and like all good moms she suffered in silence. Why do they do that?

My mom fell a few weeks ago and like all good moms she suffered in silence. Why do they do that?

It hasn’t gotten better (though she kept telling me it had–a little). Yesterday she went for an MRI scan. She has a cracked vertebrae. Her doctor says she’ll need a procedure called a kyphoplasty. Doctors will inject cement into her broken piece.

Medical science is amazing but there’s no way to make this any easier. You don’t want your mom to hurt.

Culture Shock Texas Style

My friend Bob recently moved from Minneapolis to Austin, TX. Is there anything these two cities have in common? I assume there’s culture shock… in fact I know there is.

Last night, while talking the dog outside to do her bidness, I encountered my first scorpion. It was parking itself in Terri’s space in the garage, as she’s away in Dallas, learning how to drive the Wells Fargo loan stage.

This Lobster mini-me danced across the cement like an effeminate waiter with two full trays, its claws in the air with an invisible WELCOME TO TEXAS banner stretched across them. Its tail was curled in challenge.

The siege had begun.

Then Mister Shoe stopped the show. And added another just for crackling sure.

I’m gonna get a gun!

My best,


OK – we’ll scratch Austin off the list.

College Shopping 2.0

I woke up early (for me) Saturday morning. We had another appointment to visit a college. This time Hofstra University. As with C.W. Post, we were going to Long Island.

The day was gray and gloomy with showers as we pulled out of the driveway. Within 2 minutes, we were back to get the instructions.

We used to make the Connecticut Turnpike, New England Thruway, Throgs Neck Bridge trip all the time. We still make it occasionally. It astounds me that no matter when we go, there is construction… and always in the same places.

I’m sure there are places in the Bronx that have been torn up for the twenty years we’ve been in Connecticut! OK – maybe a small exaggeration… very small.

The biggest improvement in this trip is the advent of E-Z Pass. E-Z Pass is a little white box with some sort of radio transponder, that signals the toll booth you’re there. So, no more change. No more stopping.

It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it’s pretty good. I can’t remember the last toll booth tie up at the Throgs Neck. It used to be jammed all the time.

Our trip to Hofstra was painless, and we got there 15 minutes before our appointment.

Back in the late 60’s, while I was a high school student, I used to take a series of busses to Hofstra College and hang out at the radio station. Back then, it was WVWH. The campus was small and close to the center of Hempstead.

Now the campus is huge. Hofstra has become a university. Covered walkways and security separate the campus from Hempstead, which has seen better times.

For some reason Stefanie’s name wasn’t on the list, but that didn’t pose a problem.

After a few minutes we entered a small theater and watched a presentation on the school. An admissions officer (who reminded me of our next door neighbor Margie) spoke before and after a nicely done video.

This was a much more polished presentation than C.W. Post, though that probably speaks to the economies of scale a larger school provides.

The tour, conducted by a student named Emily, was fine. As much as the Post campus is known for its beauty, I was more impressed with Hofstra. The buildings were understated and appropriate. The grounds, though not as spread out as Post’s, were full of mature plantings and lots of sculpture. I’m a sucker for sculpture.

Emily took our group, probably a half dozen or more families, to her dorm… and her room. That was impressive, because while I was in college my dorm room resembled a battle scene from World War II.

The dorm buildings we saw were high rise structures of cement and brick. The few open doors I passed led to tiny rooms. But, for college, this is what you want. Rooms have cable and high speed Internet connections. The buildings have washers and dryers, and the bathrooms in the high rise dorms are cleaned, daily, by the school.

There were other dorms with suites of rooms. Those have clean-your-own bathrooms. I would have perished to some dirt borne disease before Christmas break!

On our way through the school, passing the radio station (now WRHU), I noticed a sign with staff names. At the top of the list was Bruce Avery who used to be our weekend weather anchor at the station. I knew he had become the general manager of the station at University of New Haven station. He has moved up – and he still does weather – now for Cablevision’s News 12 Long Island.

I have created a small photo gallery of some of the sculpture I saw on campus. Click here to take a look