The Day After Easter Discount Candy Quest

I’m not going to lie: the day after Easter is sort of like an especially sweet day for me. For those in the know for insanely good savings, it is “Discount Easter Candy Day”. Most stores that have Easter candy have their overstock at 50% off. You see besides the day after Easter, this only happens a few times per year after a major candy holiday where you get this incredible deal, which is Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas. So on my 25-minute drive home, I calculated multiple stops for me to take full advantage of this super-sale. I first stopped off at Walgreens on Henderson Rd. I almost didn’t this year because last year they barely had anything. I’ve learned that Meijer is the best bet with the largest overstock selection and most variety. Yet I figured to give Walgreens a try since it was right on the way. This year they had a pretty great variety left over with the chocolate-covered marshmallows in the egg carton (a personal favorite of mine since they rang up for only 54-cents per carton), Bunny and Chick Peeps (you can’t celebrate Easter without Peeps!), malt ball eggs, egg gum balls, Sweet Tarts jelly beans, Cadbury chocolate eggs, and Cadbury mini crème eggs. It was the regular version of the Cadbury crème eggs that proved to be the hardest the find. They were completely sold out at Walgreens. I walked out of there buying $22 worth of Easter candy, which is a pretty good score.

Yet as I did my day after Easter shopping, I was also rather morally conflicted because all this candy was becoming severely damaging to me as I am middle-aged man. More importantly, I am now diagnosed as pre-diabetic. I needed to be extra careful to not have all this extra candy lying around the house. I had to remind myself that I was only getting it because it was a great deal that could tide our family over for half a year! It was about portion control and not giving in so easily to eating sugar just because it was around. I knew that I was buying some for my students in my three classes as well. All I needed to do was look down at my extra expanding gut to know that I didn’t need too much junk food to make me get even fatter. So I reminded myself to be extra careful with my calorie intake per day. I was buying for the year!

My search continued since I was curious what the others had for sale. I stopped off at Kroger, which didn’t have their Easter candy fully marked down to even 30% off. From there, I headed over to my main destination that I knew would have plenty of candy: Meijer. Surprisingly, they were mostly cleaned out! Last year they had an abundance of Cadbury crème eggs. This year they only had one spare one lying on a cleaned out display area. They just had some bunny Peeps left behind and that was it. I was rather surprised. It was a good thing I had stopped at Walgreens then. Since I still hadn’t found many Cadbury crème eggs (which seemed to be worth their weight in gold the day after Easter), I decided to make a final discount candy stop at CVS pharmacy on Bethel and Sawmill. Surprisingly, their candy hadn’t been picked over too much, though they didn’t have a huge display amount. Still, they had enough variety to make me happy along with two containers of Cadbury crème eggs.

My sale day, quest, and journey was now complete. My “starving artist” students will be able to feast on Easter candy for the rest of the semester no matter if they believe in Jesus Christ or not. Until next time….

This prolific “1984” movie trailer…

I just so happened to have re-watched the movie “1984” about a year and a half ago. Back then, the movie experience unnerved me a bit because so much was coming true. But I wasn’t too deeply troubled. Yet this morning, I stumbled upon this old movie trailer for “1984” at a website remembrance for the late John Hurt. I cannot express how disturbing and unsettling it is to watch and bare witness to this movie’s message now. Everything in that movie (and book) feels far more real now. It was once considered science fiction. Now it is suddenly science fact. (Unless you don’t believe in science or facts.) The majority of “1984” (the book is now the #1 bestseller on is actually happening. Every line from the trailer is taking place. It sent a cold shiver down my neck. The only thing inaccurate about it was the date was off. Instead of “1984”, it should have been titled “2017”.

Narration from the beginning of the trailer: “George Orwell had a haunting and terrifying vision of what the world might become. He imagined a world held in the grip of fear. A world of absolute conformity… of continuous surveillance… of organized hatred… and ceaseless war. A world where pleasure is forbidden… where history and language are being systematically destroyed… and where living people simply vanish.” Hmmm… does this remind you of any nations or world leaders?

The Extra Meaning Behind an Image

At Alum Creek’s “Fantasy of Lights”, my daughter Alyssa met Santa for the first time without freaking out. Normally, she has a severe phobia with Santa Claus for her entire life. I mean, Santa has always freaked her out to the point where she would have a major meltdown. So neither Lisa nor I knew fully well how she would do this time around. Alyssa was a bit nervous, but was game enough to sit on Santa’s lap. At first, Alyssa was a bit more interested with the basket of candy canes sitting next to her. Yet once Santa asked Alyssa what she wrote down on her list for what she’d like for Christmas, Alyssa was able to engage and converse back to him while smiling happily. Upon seeing how well she was doing, I sincerely started to tear up crying. This was one of those small victories you pray for as a parent. It was like feeling a pound of hope descend upon your body and being. I put my arm around Lisa because our daughter with high-functioning autism was managing to be a happy, “normal” little girl for the holidays.


“Duck” Wins!

I am pleased to report some positive election news that everyone can (mostly) be happy about. My daughter didn’t have school on Election Day because of possible unrest and safety concerns. But they did have school the day after and got to participate in their first “election” by voting for either “Duck”, “Grace”, or “My Teacher”. After all the students in her kindergarten class voted in their first ever Civics lesson, “Duck” ended up being the winner! And you know what? Everyone was okay with it… even the teacher who didn’t get picked. There wasn’t even a “Grace”, yet some kids still voted “Grace”. (Was it for a “her”, or for “a merciful state of being”? I wonder.) I just wish all elections were this simple and less divisive.


A Remembrance and “Hallelujah” for Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen – poet, songwriter, singer, and Buddhist monk – is no longer on this plane of existence. Wow. Literally late this morning, I was listening to his 1975 song epic “Death of a Ladies Man” while color correcting photos. I’ve been a great admirer of his work since the early 1990s when I first learned about his work. His song “Everybody Knows” was featured so prominently in the film “Pump Up the Volume”. Kurt Cobain sang in “Pennyroyal Tea”: “Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld so I can sigh eternally.” Then three of his songs were used in “Natural Born Killers” that now seem so relevant these days: “The Future”, “Waiting For the Miracle”, and “Anthem”. And the list of his great poetry and songs are unbelievable: “Hallelujah”, “Sisters of Mercy”, “Suzanne”, “Who By Fire?”, “Bird On The Wire”, and so many more. Thank you, kind soul, for giving us all so much who were lucky enough to discover it.

“I did my best, it wasn’t much. I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch. I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you. And even though it all went wrong. I’ll stand before the Lord of Song with nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.” -“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.

“I’m ready, my Lord.” –“You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen. (Released just mere weeks ago.)

Reflecting on the 20th Anniversary of My Mother’s Death

October 12th has always been a tough, somber, melancholic day for my father, my older sisters, and I. This date marks the 20th anniversary of my mother’s death from a sudden and tragic two-car accident by someone recklessly speeding on a country road while she was coming back from doing volunteer work on a Saturday night in 1996. Four out of the five people in the van she was in were killed instantly. Now that two decades have passed, it comes as a shock to me to realize that I only knew my mother for half my life. She used to be a part of my whole life. Yet she’s spiritually still with me, with my father, my sisters, her own sisters/ my aunts, our relatives, her students, and anyone who knew her, especially from her volunteer work. So I stop to reflect on the immense positive nature of that rather than focus on the tragedy of her not being around any longer. She never got to see her children fully grow into successful adults and each become teachers just like her, not to mention raise children of our own. It aches me that she was robbed of becoming a grandmother. Yet I believe she’s still with us and smiles down at the grandchildren that never had the privilege to know and love her the way we did. Thank you, mom, and we love you. See you on the other side one day….

This picture of us slow dancing in my college dorm room was taken just months before she died. I believe it’s the last photo I have of the two of us together.