New Book & Facebook Page

Hey all! Since Den just had his third book published, he got an author Facebook page! So head over and like him here so you can keep up to date on what’s going on with him.

He misses you all (and posting here) thoroughly. But he IS feeling quite optimistic still, and things are quite well for him. He got married, went to London on honeymoon, and in general is quite happy.

Here’s a description of his new book:

On the day author Dennis Finocchiaro sat and started interviewing his grandfather for a graduate school project, he never knew how far into the past he would travel or the range of emotions he would feel. This is the story of Rosario “Charlie” Finocchiaro through the eyes of his grandson Dennis, throughout his childhood in 1920s Philadelphia to war in Italy all the way up to his retirement in Havertown; Inheritance introduces the reader to the life of an everyday man, a soldier, contractor and patriarch. Experience childhood in 1920s Philly, wartime Italy during World War II, the Jersey Shore throughout many decades, and contemporary suburban Philadelphia in a memoir that jumps through the last one hundred years and introduces the journey of a grandson getting to know his grandfather thanks to an assignment. Humor, romance and even a few bootleggers make this nonfiction account of one man’s life both heartwarming and informative. Travel through time with a grandson as he learns his family’s history, heritage, and ultimately, his greatest inheritance.

Shadow Puppets

Dear Optimists,

Last week the gal and I were driving to a friend’s house for a little get together and the sun was setting, creating this really cool shadow of us in front of the car. I had to point it out to her.

“Look at how cool our shadow looks!”

As she looked I decided to wave. She giggled.

It’s the little things.

Love,

Den

Early Morning Horror

Dear Optimists,

There’s nothing like watching a horror movie in the early morning as I eat breakfast before work. Here it was, 6:30 A.M. and my television ends up on one of my favorites, 28 Days Later. I ate Cheerios with little banana pieces as I watched bloody, disease-ridden people try to eat other people.

What a morning.

Love,
Den

Den Can’t Speak Danish

Dear Optimists,

The longer I work on this blog, the more I wish I could speak/write Danish. Since a large percentage of our readers are from Denmark, it just seems like something I wish I could do!

That, and sometimes I worry that my Danish friends on Facebook are saying stuff about me right in front of me and I don’t even know it. Especially since my name is actually a Danish word…

Love,
Den

P.S. Why do I have a weird feeling that our Danish readers might respond in Danish just to make me more paranoid? 😉

Say Cheese!

Dear Optimists,

Do you have a favorite snack? No way, me too! What’s yours?

My personal favorite is cheese and crackers. I LOVE a good cheese and there’s nothing I enjoy more than trying new cheeses. I don’t have a favorite…I love so many. But some that I do love are: Havarti with dill, Brie, Wisconsin Cheddar, fresh mozzerella…this list could go on forever so I”ll stop there.

My second favorite snack is apples and peanut butter. Chunky, of course. I don’t trust people who like creamy peanut butter…it’s just not right!

This has been a really random post.

Love,

Den

Busy? Busy!

Today’s illustrations are by Mette. Check out her blog!

Dear Optimists,

Busy busy busy. Sometimes we find ourselves so busy that we don’t get the chance to sit down and enjoy the simple things. And that is ME right now. Over the next two weeks, I will teach twenty-four college classes, work at six hockey games, write at least nine blog posts and still attempt to find time to write. Plus about five appointments that surround planning our wedding.

When will I find time to relax, enjoy my house, have some quality time with the fiancee?

Trust me, I will. I’m like that.

Love,
Den

A Fulfilled Dream

Dear Optimists,

Last week, I got to fulfill a dream I’ve had for around fifteen years.

Neutral Milk Hotel has been one of my favorite bands for that long. They broke up before they even really got to show the world their talents in a live venue. They did a tour or two and that was it; I never got the chance to see/hear them live.

Until last week. The lead singer and the songwriter of the band, Jeff Mangum, went on tour and I got to go and just soak in how beautiful the music is live. I sat there like a wide-eyed kid:

It was AWESOME and I will never forget seeing Jeff Mangum live. Eventually I calmed down to the point where I couldn’t stop smiling like a kid:

I hope everyone gets to experience something like that. Now if only I could somehow see The Beatles live.

Love,

Den

P.S. Here is a video of my favorite song by Neutral Milk Hotel (I am aware that their sound is not for everyone), so you can check it out:

Contest With Den!

Dear Optimists,

I have to admit I love writing posts for this blog. Not only does it keep me optimistic and give me the opportunity to make others smile, it also, sometimes, opens my world to new people and friendship.

After months of friendly emails with a certain optimist, I finally got the opportunity to have a Skype conversation with a new optimistic friend from Canada. And it was a blast! I just love Skype and how it makes everyone just a bit closer to me emotionally. We talked for a bit, laughed a lot, told stories…what fun!

So now I’m offering a different type of contest on DO. Nadia gets to offer you artwork, but I can’t exactly send you some random scribbling and expect you to get excited. So I’m trying something a bit off the wall – everyone who comments today will be entered into a random drawing to have a Skype chat with Den! Or maybe if your comment is especially enticing I will choose you! Got something you’d like to chat about? Know a funny joke? Just need a bit of a laugh?

Not really sure this is much of a prize, and yes I am nervous that nobody will enter for this prize, but heck, it’s the best I can offer…a few moments of entertaining chat with a disgustingly optimistic person. And trust me, worst comes to worst I WILL make you laugh. I guess the only steadfast rule is that you have to be comfortable speaking English.

Good luck, even though I’m not sure anyone wins in a chat with Den.

Love,
Den

P.S. I did the artwork today since Nadia started a very difficult semester this week.

Peanuts For Sale!

Dear Optimists,

The other day I was walking down the street and this guy was carrying these giant bundles, one in each hand. From afar I recognized the sheer size of the bags and that they were a yellow meshy material, but as he got closer I saw that each bag contained nine smaller plastic bags of peanuts.

“What, do you have an elephant as a pet or something?” I joked.

He gave me a dirty look. Some people have NO Sense of humor.

Love,

Den

Train Rides

Dear Optimists,

The other day I wrote a short story based on true events that I wanted to share with you. I was on the train on the way to work when I noticed that in the seat in front of me, a girl in a fluffy white hat had her head on the guy’s shoulder. I wondered if they knew each other or if this was one of those awkward times someone fell asleep on a stranger.

When the speakers crackled the Suburban stop, he nudged her lovingly, her head lifted, she rubbed her eyes and stood. Before she walked away, she leaned over, kissed him and said “I love you.”

There was something so cute about the moment I wanted to share. How many couples get to commute to work and yet still totally love it? Adorable.

Love,

Den