A Major Accident

January 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Today I was driving west on 76 when I witnessed a very violent, one-car accident directly in front of me. A car veered off to the right, slammed into the retaining wall (drawing sparks and going up on two wheels), then shot across three lanes and slammed into the median head-on, before bouncing backwards to the middle lane.

I was the front car in the left lane, so I came to a dead stop, in part to keep traffic at bay, but also to try to help. And realistically, my help consisted solely of having my friend call 911, getting the guy away from the car, and directing some traffic around the wreck. But I suppose it’s good karma for me and the other three people who got out to help.

Now I got to thinking that if I had been going 5 mph faster, or if I’d run a yellow light at 30th Street, or if I’d been fiddling with the radio, there’s a good chance I would’ve been involved in this. This isn’t some spiritual awakening, or a vow to live life to its fullest going forward because most likely, I’ll spend tomorrow night watching like fifteen episodes of Cheers or something. But, it does make me appreciate the roles that chance, luck, and timing play in this world. The best laid plans can be undone by wrong place, wrong time and, I suppose, being in the right place at the right time can undo a lot of mistakes.

Now back to the nonsense posts.

Categories: Daily Life

Puko’s World in Photos, Week 1

January 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Quick update on my New Year’s Resolutions one week in:  I haven’t written a speech, I haven’t joined match, and I haven’t lost weight.  BUT, I have stuck to my goal of a picture a day.  Here’s what I’ve got.  I swear these will get better over time, so bear with me.

January 1, 2013:  New Year’s Aftermath


I hosted a NYE party this year.  By party, I mean six people came over.  I’m not a huge NYE fan, and I’ve been asleep by 11:00 more often than not, but this year, I had some people over.  And rather than default to my usual decorations (i.e. a pile of Christmas cards I got), I actually bought junk to hang/put on the walls, and a cardboard hat that didn’t fit my huge cranium.  This is the extent of the decorations after cleanup the next day.  For some reason I felt the need to put them in storage, you know, just in case 2013 comes around again.

January 2, 2013:  Tofu and Asparagus


It was admittedly a slow day.  But I took a photo of my go-to healthy meal, tofu and asparagus over brown rice.  It’s actually delicious and very easy to make.  Beneath the meal is the custom placemat that was given to me last year.  It’s a picture of a chef with “Putro” written across it.  The ‘O’ is in the top right, partially obscured by the plate.  Funny story about the plate:  In 1997, after a year of living with Novak post-college, we had a “draft” to divide up the common goods in the apartment.  I had the first pick and took the set of dishes.  Fifteen years later, the set is generally intact.  I lost one plate, nothing else.

January 3, 2013:  Woof Woof


I got this for Christmas this year.  Every year, my dad asks me what I want, and my wants are pretty meager.  So this year, the only thing I wanted is the camera that I’m using to take these pictures.  To my surprise on Christmas Day, I opened a box and found this metallic dachshund.  I know my dad and stepmom like to spend the same amount on all the kids, so this was a filler because I didn’t ask for anything else.  But it’s also because I’ve often talked of getting a dachshund, but never have for a number of reasons.  Upon seeing it, my friend Lety named it Woof Woof.  It stuck.

January 4, 2013:  17th and Addison


I was walking with my friend to dinner in Philly and we passed this street and a girl was taking a picture, so I figured I should too.  The prettiness of the street doesn’t really translate in this photo, but it was cool to see in person.

I haven’t read the instruction manual for the camera.

January 5, 2013:  “The Trailer”


I was at a viewing on Saturday at the church / school I went to growing up.  When I was in school, this same trailer had a two-fold use.  First, in the finest Catholic way of dealing with things, kids whose parents were divorced had to go to this trailer for counseling.  Of course, the ancillary effect was to ostracize them.  It was also used for testing for the mentally gifted program.  Thus, I ended up going to the trailer, and I’m happy to say, I was the only member of the IHM Class of ’86 to be in mentally gifted.  (Note:  Tim Novak was also a member of this class.)  Being in MG was a giant pain in the ass, as I had to go to the weird public school one day a week with kids a year older than me, and all I really did was learn about diabetes and dissect a frog.  But I guess it was better than my brother’s MG experience which resulted in him being stranded on a corner in the worst part of North Philly while prompting a legendary meltdown by my parents.

January 6, 2013:  Pops


My dad turned 69 on Thursday, and we had a birthday dinner for him today.  Chinese food and wine, nothing big.  I tried to take a picture of him as he blew out his candles, but I screwed up the flash, so I took this picture a couple seconds later.  I know he looks very stern and / or annoyed, but I actually think he’s eating a nut or something.  My sister is in the back, by stepmother’s back is in the foreground.  My goal for this coming week is to work on my angles.

Categories: Uncategorized

2013 New Years Resolutions

January 1, 2013 1 comment

Another new year is upon us.  I believe time is an abstract and too much importance is senselessly put on years and ages (and time zones), but I nonetheless feel the need to put forth some resolutions as the calendar slips into another year.  And while I expect to hit around.300 on these, they remain, in theory, a good guideline for me for 2013.

Read more…

Categories: Daily Life

What I’ve Been Up To, Part 2

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Following a birthday month filled with eating and drinking, which happened to coincide with the weather getting colder and the end of my bike riding, I noticed a certain doughiness setting back in.  In addition, a friend of mine asked me to attend her son’s basketball game.  Now I know you’re thinking: he won’t dare rip into adorable 8-year olds running around and playing a basketball game that will end up 8 to 6.  Rest assured:  my friend’s kid plays NCAA Division I basketball.  Thus, using the associative property, I’m old. Read more…

Categories: Daily Life

What I’ve Been Up To, Part 1

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Just realized that I haven’t blogged in over four months and I hate leaving my four readers hanging, so I’m going to attempt to make up for it all in one post.  I had kicked around handling several of these topics separately, but I’ve had some serious writers’ block interspersed with my normal malaise.  As a result, here’s a recap of Puko’s World since July.

Okay, I did nothing in August.

In September, I went to Europe.  London, then Belgium, with a side day trip to Amsterdam.  London was incredible, as it was every time I’ve been there.  Here are some highlights (in convenient bullet form):

  • Very high cut denim skirts with fancy leggings and high boots are all the rage.  I suspect the same will be true in the States shortly.  I encourage all females to jump on the bandwagon now.
  • There were also a number of females wearing what I’d call scuba pants.  Don’t see these catching on in the US, but they were mesmerizing at times.
  • I saw the Magna Carta and the Rosetta Stone, neither of which I’d seen before.  I then got back to the hotel and Wikipedia’ed the Magna Carta and the Rosetta Stone as I had no idea of the significance of either.
  • I went to a soccer match at Craven Cottage in SW London.  Due to maintenance on the tube (that’s the subway for you Yanks), we had to get off early and switch to a cab.  I’ve never had a smoking hot, 28-year old blonde cab driver before.  Seemed like the start of a Cinemax movie, if I hadn’t been the male lead.  Shockingly, I think I was more attracted to her awesome driving skills that got us to the match on time.

Then it was on to Belgium.  Great country, four days of mussels, frites, and waffles.  I also did a six-hour walking guided beer tour, which was among the six greatest hours of my life.  The final beer, a rare Belgian that is not available in the US, is referred to by the locals as “Angels Pissing on Your Tongue”.  I’m not 100% sure I believe in angels, but if they do exist, and they happened to urinate in some manner that a drop splashed near my mouth, and I accidentally tasted it, it could taste like this beer.

Took a side trip to Amsterdam.  Was glad I did it, as the city is quite pretty and stops like the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s House were very worthwhile.  I did walk along the Red Light District for a bit.  The smell of pot coming from the coffee shops was overwhelming.  As were the hookers in the windows, rapping on the glass and gesturing to get the attention of passers-by.  While the typical Dutch prostitute is substantially better looking than most of the hookers I’ve seen (I used to have to drive through Kensington frequently), it’s incredibly depressing to see women basically being sold like lamps or clothing.  Not my scene.

The week I got back, I did an 80+ mile bike ride to the Jersey shore because I’m a friggin machine.  Oh, and to raise money for MS.

In October, I had what many consider to be a milestone birthday.  I sort of believe in time as an abstract, so I’ve never put a ton of stock in birthdays, but I guess this is one that was supposed to make me feel old.  The weekend itself was quite good with stops at Sampan, Misconduct, Noche, Lucky Dog, Monk’s, and Brick American Eatery, along with a fall festival in Philly, seeing Chelsea Peretti at Helium, and going to a pumpkin beer fest at the City Tap House.  Good food, good beer, good company–no complaints.  I’ve thought about starting to blog primarily about bars and restaurants as I’ve been to over 150 places in the past couple years.  Also makes me think that I might need a sponsor.

From there, life took a shocking turn…

(Not really–I just ran out of steam.  Will post Part 2 tomorrow.  Or possibly in March.)

Categories: Daily Life

Things That Really Aggravated Me This Month

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

For years, I was very easily aggravated by even the slightest provocation.  And I’m not sure if it’s a function of getting older, or some sort of maturing process, or just becoming wiser, but for the most part, a lot of things don’t bother me any more.  Too many items in the express lane, not using a turn signal…things that used to make me irate no longer do.  I think at some point, I realized that about 92% of the country is dangerously dumb, so I have a lot more tolerance.  That being said, I have a few observations about things I’ve encountered over the past week that managed to, at the very least, perturb me enough to express them in blog format. Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

Why I Don’t Go to the Gym

July 16, 2012 Leave a comment

My exercise regimen during this pre-midlife crisis get-in-shape extravaganza that I’ve embarked on has been limited solely to bike riding.  Well, I guess not solely.  I went out and played soccer one day (and by “playing” soccer, I mean I kicked a ball around for awhile and also chased some balls that I kicked over the fence).  I’ve taken several leisurely kayaking trips on my dad’s lake.  Oh, and I did some ab exercises from this app I downloaded to my iPad.  One of those ones where a woman in the best shape of anyone you’ve ever seen demonstrates how to do the exercises, then you try to do them and end up in the same position a dog assumes when you rub its belly. Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized