Monday, December 20, 2010

29 - 12-20-2010

Initial Impressions
Christopher Setterlund

29 – 12/20/2010

1.  First real snow of the season today.  End result?  Slowest day at work that I ever remember, and I started there in 1993.
2.  The only day that came close was in 2002 when it snowed so badly that a couple cross-country skied into the parking lot.  I hooked them up big time.  We did 6 for breakfast that day, today we did 7 for lunch.
3.  I thought I had smelled some bad stuff in my life with rotten fish and shrimp, but nothing prepared me for the smell in between our hot boxes.  No lie it can only be described as stale vomit, like if you puked on a shirt then threw it in a pile and went back to it a week later.  Roll that around in your minds for a bit.
4.  It was so slow that all I could do was ruin things in the kitchen, including putting a hot box in the dishwasher upside down.  That meant that it filled with water and was impossible to remove until I spilled water everywhere.  Jean the dishwasher was not happy.
5.  Who is Jean?  He is two 8-year olds in a man costume who has come here from Haiti to work as a dishwasher.  He squeals like a little girl half the day and likes to sing the bass lines of songs like they are words.  Anybody want to take this guy out?  He needs it.
6.  Today must have been epically slow to warrant its own blog posting, and it was.
7.  It is not easy to shovel a brick walkway with a warped metal shovel.  I can’t tell you how many times I caught the edge of a brick which resulted with the handle jamming me in the stomach.
8.  Oh and I also used almost 3 boxes of regular salt on the walkway before Tim let me know there was rock salt.  Food cost?  Sky high!
9.  The day also began with a pair of strange guys emerging from the dining area as I came in.  My first thought was I am about to get jacked up and robbed.  The truth was that they were there to take photos of the restaurant for the website.  Good thing I didn’t grab a mallet.
10.  Classic move by me as a car pulled into the lot and I didn’t want to talk to them so I turned to run inside and proceeded to slip into a split, really smooth.
11.  Oh and another one was after shoveling snow and salting with no gloves on I was so excited for some peanut butter, don't ask.  Anyway I bring it and and proceed to slam the bucket down on the counter wedging my right pinky between the 5 lb. bucket and the counter.  After that I didn't want that damn peanut butter anymore!
12.  Reminded me today of a classic Marsh moment.  Back in the day we used to whistle across the parking lot for a guy named Bento, looks like Drew Carey if he was Brazilian.  When he came out we would whip snowballs at him.  Eventually he got wise to it and would not come outside.  So I went into the old prep room with a snowball and yelled at him.  He jumped up against the wall yelling “No! No!”  I laughed so hard that I misfired and the snowball hit a clock which went flying off the wall.  Ahh, the best times.
13.  I am thinking of getting a dumbwaiter for my room to sit in since that is how I spend a lot of my time recently at work.  Although I am not complaining since summer means no time to even breathe.
14.  Expecting 4 to 8 inches of snow tonight, possibly more tomorrow and Wednesday.  Could we have a few more epic days before Christmas?  We’ll see.

Quote of the Day:  “Oh, my ass, my ass.”  Jean the dishwasher describing the terrible smell of the sludge on top of the hot boxes as he washed them.

Photo of the Day:  
Welcome to the show, and yes that's Jean over there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

28 - 12/16/2010 - In My Footsteps Trip

Initial Impressions
Christopher Setterlund

28 – 12/16/2010 – In My Footsteps Trip

1.  Today was the final In My Footsteps trip of the calendar year.  The next one will be on the 1-year anniversary of my first trip, 1/7/2011.
2.  This was the coldest trip I have taken since the beginning during the last winter, it was 25 degrees to start and windy, busted out the heavy winter coat today.
3.  First visited Rockland, it was the second Rockland I have traveled to.  Only Newport is a town that I have seen in 2 different states.
4.  On the blue crosswalks in Rockland there was some sort of symbol painted in white, it was hard to get a good photo of something in the middle of a busy street, but luckily I found one that I shot.  Still trying to figure out what the hell it is.
5.  I visited Rockland thinking that the original Rockland Trust Bank would be located there.  Seems logical right?  So I start chatting up this nice old guy raising the flag outside and he tells me that the original one was in Scituate.  So then why was it not named Scituate Trust?  I rapidly lost interest as he gave me directions to it, I had one of those thought clouds with a monkey playing the drums going on while he spoke.
6.  The best part of Rockland was this row of 5 wooden soldiers in front of the Town Hall sign.  They were so awesome, every brand of the military was represented too.  I wish I could have taken one home.
Awesome yellow and red house.
7.  There was a nice row of old homes at the end of Union Street in Rockland, but none topped the crazy yellow one with red shutters and little awnings over each window.  The photo will show you what I mean, it was so cool. 
8.  In order to see these homes I parked at a Mobil station.  There was some guy sitting in his parked running car next to mine and he just stared at me.  I wanted to say ‘Dude, I am going to walk around, you’re just sitting here like a creepy stalker so quit staring!’
9.  I always love finding places that aren’t on my list to see.  The only problem is cutting the wheel to whip my car into a parking spot, or turning around with no regard for human life, yeah I might need to change that.
Norwell was a pleasant surprise, best spot of the day.  I stopped at the Town Offices and found myself interested enough to shoot a pair of drop boxes.  I then thought to myself ‘are these really that important to the day?’  The answer was of course yes.
10.  The White Oak Farm Barn was an unexpected spot to see.  I parked across the street and took a few photos, then the owner came to the door with his dog.  Lucky for me he thought it was cool that I was photographing his historic home, or else I’d have been a chew toy.
11.  Garfield Park was a nice little spot, despite the fact that it had nothing to do with the famous orange cat.  I mean even a little chalk sketch on the sidewalk would have sufficed for me.
12.  Best spot of the day was Norris Reservation, a conservation area.  There was a frozen pond which emptied into a creek.  There was some amazing ice build ups around rocks and branches.  I ventured down and walked onto the rocks into the creek, one slip and it was an unpleasant ending.  So I am hunched down taking photos when I notice a guy and his dog staring, yeah looked like I was peeing so what about it?
13.  Wanted a few photos of the North River going through Norwell.  I drove over a bridge and parked in a pretty dangerous area and walked back onto the bridge.  It was here that I saw the nice dirt parking lot on the other side of the river, guess I should have turned my head slightly when driving.
14.  Definitely the oddest location I hit up was the Stetson Meadows.  I thought it was going to be a historic home, which it was, but I did not realize it would be down like a thousand miles of pot hole filled dirt road which ran along Rt. 3. 
15.  The area was nice though, I scared a chipmunk while shooting a marsh.  It was funny because while shooting I could hear the leaves rustling as the chipmunk tried to very slowly escape behind me. 
Hanover was not too exciting, some good stuff but all in like a one block radius.
16.  The best part of Hanover was getting to eat at Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Hanover Mall.  Oh man that was worth the trip all on its own!
17.  What kind of idiot drives around with his gas tank cover open?  Me, boo, real smart.
18.  I was done so quickly with my three towns I visited that I had time to go shoot a video at Old Scituate Light.  That makes 4 times I have been there, never get tired of it.  Also, if you’ve seen the photos doesn’t the lighthouse look like it’s wearing a dress with the way the bottom flows out?  Yes, this was something I really asked, it is on the video.

Quote of the Day:  “I like when I drive places and know where things are.” –Me, I immediately laughed at how stupid that sounded too when I said it.
Photo of the Day
The soldiers in front of Rockland Town Hall

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Death of John Lennon 30 Years Later

This is a little different from my typical Initial Impressions blogs.  I felt the need to share this with you all as the topic of this particular blog is one of the main reasons why I am a write at all.

Remembering John Lennon

     Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of one of the greatest artists of all-time.  John Lennon, along with Kurt Cobain, are the two biggest influences on my writing.  Every time I try to write a song/poem for someone I care about I take a listen to Lennon's 'Woman' and try in vain to express myself in that way.  Anytime I try to write something about how I am feeling about the way things are going in my life I listen to songs like 'Watching the Wheels' or 'Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out,' depending on the mood I am in.  His music and what it represents is never far from my mind when I am writing, or in my daily life for that matter.
     Even though I was only 3 when he was killed I still have vivid memories of John Lennon from that era.  With my father being a huge Beatles fan I can remember Lennon's 'Double Fantasy' album, released shortly before his death, being a soundtrack to many of my childhood days in the early 1980's.  'Beautiful Boy', '(Just Like) Starting Over', along with the aforementioned 'Watching the Wheels,' and 'Woman' always bring me back to a simpler time in my life.
     Now as a man in my early 30's these songs take on a different meaning as I grow and see the world through different eyes.  The songs with great music, or catchy lyrics, as I thought as a child are now much deeper to me.  I feel what Lennon felt as he traveled through his 30's and I have come to appreciate his work even more.

'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans' - Beautiful Boy

     Today I will keep John Lennon's music running in my car all day, and maybe I will try to create my own version of 'Woman' for someone who inspires me.  I will never forget this legend because he is never truly gone.  God bless you John Lennon and thank you for inspiring me to become a writer, someday we will meet in heaven and I will tell you this face to face. 

Wrote this in 2008, as I tried to capture his spirit with my words as best I could.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

27 - 12/2/2010

Initial Impressions
Christopher Setterlund

27 – 12-2-2010
In My Footsteps Trip

1.  Took my first trip since Maine two months ago.  Visited New Bedford, Dartmouth, and Acushnet.  160 total miles, $15 in gas.
2.  Went to Dartmouth first, it is actually more of a small rural town than I thought since UMass is there.  After getting off of the highway and through the center it was nothing but farms until I got to my first destination.
3.  Had to walk once I got to Demarest Lloyd State Park since the gate was closed.  It was worth the mile each way once I got to the beach.  Although I did find it funny that there were tons of those mini grills and nowhere to park, nothing like a long hot walk for a family in summer to cook outside.
4.  I ended up passing 2 places I was going to shoot thinking I’d see them again, which I did, after getting lost and doing a couple huge circles around Dartmouth.
5.  At the Apponagansett Park there was an awesome giant ice cream bucket Gulf Hill Dairy it was called.  Wish it had been summer to see that 30 foot ice cream bucket in action.  I went from delicious thoughts of ice cream to no appetite when I found a perfectly white fish skeleton on the other side of the parking lot though.
6.  Has anyone heard of a ‘Compost Toilet?’  There was one behind the Apponagansett  Friends Meeting House.  Wondering what the hell it is.
7.  There was a donkey behind the Russells Mills Library, I asked him if he worked there, he did not reply, but he did stare at me a lot.  Probably daring me to step over the fence so he could kick me.
8.  It was funny how I went back to Fort Taber and Fort Rodman and the weather was identical to when I went there in February.  Windy, mid-40’s.  Rather than trying to describe how eerie it is inside the earthen Fort Taber I videoed it.  It is tough to narrate a video though with people around, don’t want to look crazier than I am.
9.  I don’t advocate damaging historical landmarks but the holes punched in the brick covered windows at Fort Rodman make for some awesome photos.  Though reaching in the holes with the camera kept making me think a ghost’s hand was going to reach out and grab me.
10.  Nastiest thing of the day was a porta-potty at Fort Rodman.  It made the fish skeleton look like a rose garden.  Details aren’t necessary except for the fact that stuff was everywhere, f’n gross!
11.  The Rotch-Jones-Duff house in New Bedford has an awesome rose garden with a tiny hedge maze to lead you around it.  Probably looks better in summer, and it would have been less creepy without the guy sweeping leaves out of the street near my car.
12.  The New Bedford Historic District is definitely one of the coolest areas I saw.  The cobblestone streets are so crazy, every car goes by and their tires rumble over the stones.  Got to see some guys fixing a section of one of the streets too, that was neat.  Not to mention the fact that my parking meter was already paid for, sort of a perk I guess if I really want to stretch it, hell it was probably 75 cents.
13.  Acushnet did not have much for me to see.  The Town Hall was cool, and the Christmas display in front of the Fire Station as the sun started to sink was great.  The rest was a little let down.
14.  I think I was a little disappointed after finding out that the Panda Chinese restaurant I was so craving ended up being Panda ‘Chinese Food’ and not Panda ‘Express,’  Sorry but ‘Chinese Food’ is not the same as ‘Express’  another lie from Google Maps, damn it.  So I hit Sun On down here instead.

Quote of the Day:  “What should I do?” – LeBron James.  It is his return to Cleveland tonight after all.  Hearing the crowd call him an asshole over and over is so sweet.
Song of the Day:  Groovy Reggae Music - Ekolu
Photo of the Day:
Oxford Creamery at the Bucket, Dartmouth

Friday, October 29, 2010

26 - 10-29-2010

Initial Impressions 

26 - October 29, 2010

1.     1.  So they are bringing back one of my favorite cereals of all time, Boo Berry, just for Halloween.  But wait, they dump it in a store, Target, that is like an hour away?  So the question is do I drive that far for cereal?  Hell I did 2 hours for Chick-fil-A, right?
      2.  You ever notice that some of these meatheads at the gym look like someone literally shaved an ape and put clothes on it?  Big forehead, slack jaw, walking with their arms out to the sides like their carrying kegs under their arms, freaks. 
3.       3.  So as Thanksgiving gets closer I saw three turkeys in someone’s yard playing/fighting.  I wondered if it was something where the loser got cooked.
4.       4.  Do you ever feel like you’re being taken for a ride by someone, but they don’t even know they are driving?
5.       5.  A few days ago a pair of old ladies pulled up at work, slammed on the car horn for me, then after I told them what time we opened one of them yelled out ‘Wow!’  Like I had just explained how the universe was made.
6.       6.  After watching it enough I have decided that the character of Pam on The Office reminds me of my friend Lorena.  Those of you who know her, or if you read this yourself, I mean that as a compliment.
7.       7.  So I asked our Brazilian dishwasher Jose today about another guy named Duval who worked with us for seven summers.  He owns a small motel in the town of Conceicao do Mato Dentro.  When I asked him what the name of it was he said ‘Pousada.’  Turns out when I looked it up pousada is the Portuguese word for motel.  Yay, that was helpful thanks Jose.
8.       8.  The reason why in my opinion the Celtics will go further this year than the Miami Heat is the fact that Boston’s Big 3 is all about the team while Miami’s Big 3 have all been selfish players their entire careers and will need to adapt or it will be an epic fail.
9.       9.  It’s Halloween time, right?  It is time to be scared and watch bloody horror movies, right?  I think that if you’re a network for kids, or families, you should not be allowed to show any chopped up versions of horror movies, it is so beyond stupid, you basically never see anyone get killed and the plot is just pointless.  Well, those horror movies that have legit plots that is.
10  10.  Really love how in the NBA you are not allowed to even talk to the refs about bad calls.  Yeah because these refs are gods and never make mistakes, right.  Sorry they suck and are more often than not wrong about calls.  When will refs in any sport be held accountable for their shoddy officiating?  
11    11.  Do you think that Hollywood has officially run out of fresh ideas?  I mean I love the 80’s, my childhood but damn if I am not tired of every single idea from the 80’s being remade.  Hey there are writers out there with original stories, go find them and stop being lazy.

Quote of the Day:  “To suffering there is a limit, to fearing, none.” – Sir Francis Bacon

Memory of the DayZips Shoes at Stride Rite  

Photo of the Day
Marblehead Harbor