Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh. My. God. IT’S OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!


self-explanatory, eh? :: 50,591 words

I can’t believe that I did it (again).

Not only did I survive it, I finished early. EARLY!

<.insert evil laugh>

That’s three years I’ve done this. Two in a freaking row.

As if ya’ll ever needed more proof that I was insane…

Posted by Matty on 11/29 at 08:44 PM

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It’s Thanksgiving in the US, so…


johnny curry makes the save :: pens @ wolfpack, hartford, ct :: november 19, 2009

It dawned on me that despite the constant stream of ick, I’ve actually had a lot to be thankful for.

Last night, I made beef fondue. My mother’s way - london broil cut up into cubes and then dunked into boiling peanut oil until cooked. It can’t be the healthiest thing, but I hardly eat it, so it was a nice treat. While I was eating, I was reflecting on some conversations I’d had about my father recently. It sounds weird, cold, whatever, but I’m thankful they’re gone and that I’m distanced from 99% of my blood relatives. The past seventeen years have been a completely messed up ride, but in their passings, each gave me so much. My mother flat out lied in her will - to my daughter, whom I gave everything in life, I leave nothing in death - and it’s funny that she made a point to spell that out. Her death was freeing, it tightened up my relationship with my father and it ultimately ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back, destroying my tenuous connection with my blood relatives once and for all. I don’t need people I’m related to only by blood causing me drama. Especially when they had shown very little interest in me when my parents were alive…

I know who my friends are and I know which ones are my family. For those guys I’m wicked thankful. Matter of fact, I’m thankful for a lot this year.

- My favorite platypus who always has a hug at the ready.

- My favorite bulldozer for helping me break into the social circles I’m traveling in.

- My old friends who are still around and those I consider my family. Especially the first person I considered a sister and my little brother.

- My skiing buddies… although we may be down a man, we will always have Pony and the memories of riding on the moving carpet.  Looking forward to this year’s adventures!

-  The boys in the bands—Soup and Skinny for always making me feel awesome at their shows and for sneaking me some of the rough mixes of the new album. All the guys in instrument for letting me

smother them

help them out and especially D for that parking lot talk after the Webster show. For whatever reason, it was exactly what I wanted to hear, what I needed to hear. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

- My furbabies for the unconditional love and support they’ve given me. There’s nothing better than puppy kisses. Nothing.

- Hockey—The BU hockey program for reigniting my all-consuming love of hockey and for winning the National Championship. I know we won’t repeat and this season is going to be a long, painful one, but I look forward to getting out and seeing the games. The Rangers for signing Matty Gilroy and being close enough so that we can watch a majority of the games. The Wolfpack for hosting the Baby Pens and allowing me to reconnect with Hockey Girl.

- While I’m on the topic, I’m thankful for having Hockey Girl in my life. Who else would understand that NEED to get the cable stations working in time for the big games? Who else would understand me when I ask them if they want a teddy bear? Who else just “gets” me? Here’s to running around the woods!

- I’m thankful to have a job. As trying as it is to work with Mom and Dad most days, Fig definitely makes it better. I look forward to his bits of wisdom and the jokes he cracks. I think I’ve learned more about him than I’ve wanted to, but he’s just too cute. This job really suits me and I knew going in it was going to suck. I just had it sucking for the wrong reasons. Slowly but surely, we’re getting it to suck less. It’s always been a matter of time, a function of the learning curve, a function of the new world I’ve entered.

- I’m thankful for my knitting girls. No one makes me laugh the way they do.

- And finally, I’m thankful for the Wonder Hubby. I love that we don’t have a “conventional” relationship and that he survived my hitting rock bottom in such a spectacular fashion. I love that we crack the same jokes at the same time. That we order our food in the same boring ways. Even the fact that we tend to wear the same outfits on the same day. He is definitely my other half. (I’m the better half, LOL). It’s been eleven years since we met and we’ve been married seven. We joke about getting divorced all the time, but I know I can’t live without him. I’m pretty sure he feels the same.

Posted by Matty on 11/26 at 10:48 AM

Friday, November 20, 2009

Coffee house and parking lot conversations


john curry makes the save (no, really) :: pens @ wolfpack, hartford, ct :: november 19, 2009

This post has been brewing in the background since a chat at a Dunkin’ Donuts got the idea percolating. (HA!) I just haven’t been sure where the line between real life & interweb life should be drawn. I never used to censor myself but this is a highly publicized blog and some highly personal/private stuff, so I’m going to be super vague. Sorry!

Anyhoo, a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to catch up with some old friends. Like elementary school friends. There were some things said that were interesting, but it took the general mindset of “I’m not ready to go home / I never see you / where the hell is there a 24 hour Dunkin’ Donuts?!” to really drive some things home. Sitting in the DD, my oldest and bestest friend EVAR was telling me how she doesn’t have any drama in her life. I completely (unfairly?) unloaded on her. Oh yeah. Can you say I have drama? There’s a lot of stuff going on and I’m not sure why the hell my personal life is shitting the bed the way it has been lately. It seems like I’m just struggling to deal with people and the impact (or lack thereof) they’re all having on my life.

It’s pretty weird to be me right now… I’ve always been the uber-introvert and having a small number of friends has been perfect. Suddenly, I have a large circle of friends and it’s just, well, shitting the bed is pretty descriptive.  I’m not saying that as a complaint. I’ve worked hard to get comfortable in larger groups of people and I do enjoy their company, but for every two decent people I let in, it seems that an asshole will sneak in. I blame the interwebs because I’m on so many different radar screens now because of the blog, Twitter, Facebook, social circles… It’s just not a good place for me. I’m toying with privacy measures, defriending / blocking people, but it just seems so mean. (Me. Worried about being mean. I know! STOP LAUGHING!)

There was one sentence that just stuck in my craw. “They’re just jealous of [x].” Seriously, that particular thing ain’t worth being jealous of. It’s not something I set out to do. It’s not something that I’m trying to rub in people’s faces. It’s just the way it is. All things considered? I probably would have chosen a much different direction when faced with the whole “Do I? Don’t I?” thing. Of course, life would have been different… but sometimes I wonder if it would have been better. I would love to have my cake and eat it, too but nope. I made my choice and I’ve stuck by it ever since.  (I know there are a lot of you who THINK you know what [x] is. Trust me, ya’ll are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrongity, wrong, wrong, WRONG.)

I’d been puzzling over my NaNoWriMo at that point, too. I knew where I wanted to go with the story. I just wasn’t sure how… art was imitating life which was imitating art, and it was just beyond weird. My male main character has been a pain since the pre-NaNo brainstorms. He just isn’t playing nice and I’m still trying to decide how to send him to the Sporky Pit of Death.  While he and I were arguing the finer points of accidental vs unplanned pregnancies (I prefer “unplanned” for a variety of reasons), why being on the road all the time wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, and why soulmates were a sh’load more trouble than they are worth, he said something that stuck in my craw as well.  He said, “You’re thinking too much about it. She and I, we just don’t know how to be friends anymore. But. I’m not letting her go.”  (Yes, my overactive imagination often leads me to having conversations with my NaNo characters during quiet times.) It’s helped me rewrite a particularly icky bit, but he needs to let her go, or he’s getting abducted by aliens or something. I’m running out of time and I don’t want him horking up the plot anymore.

So… I’ve had this, this, STUFF in my head and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Situation [x] is not something that can be shared with just anyone, so it just sits there but at least, now I have a way to frame a particularly hard “break-up” I’m going through - we just don’t know how to be friends anymore. We just can’t give each other what the other needs… some things are unforgivable. Some things you just can’t get past no matter how much you try to fool yourself.

Fast forward to last night.

I journeyed into Hartford - for a hockey game this time. Former BU players, John Curry and Brian (Can’t Stand Up) Strait are playing for the Baby Pens and this was their only trip up to Hartford.  I ended up going with a girl I knew in high school. We weren’t really friends, but we knew each other. We’ve (re?)connected via Facebook because we’re complete hockey nuts. Now that I’ve changed loyalties (yes, I’m a Rangers fan now… at least for as long as Matty’s there), we have a little more in common. Heading down for the game though, I really thought hockey was the only thing we had in common.

I. Was. So. Wrong.

I had made the comment a while back about how sometimes you have no idea what your friends’ boundaries are, but you can pick up on a complete stranger’s…Granted, she’s not a complete stranger to me, but it’s not like we were friends on a level that would kind of give me an idea of where her boundaries are - especially after the time that has passed since I last saw her in person.

Holy crap. For me, everything was just effortless. That doesn’t happen that often in my life. I’m not good with “new” people.

We shared. We overshared. We bonded on a level that I didn’t think I was capable of… We share some pretty intense experiences and have the same opinions about them. She and I, we exist in a whole world that other people don’t understand. It’s really a “you need to experience it” thing. We’ve been there.  We were talking about how [y] attracts [y] and that how, even when we have friends that say they ‘get’ us, we know they don’t. They just can’t. They’re not wired for it. For me, it was an unexpected Good Thing. I’m looking forward to future chats and hockey games.

I had a long drive home, made longer by freaking construction, and plenty of time to think about everything that’s been in my head for the past few weeks in addition to what had happened at the game.

While I’m not even at 50% closure on so many of the things that have been bothering me, I feel better about how things are going to work out.

Some times, the universe gives you what you need just when you really need it the most.

Posted by Matty on 11/20 at 09:49 PM

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you, vets


dad’s dog tag

I found my father’s dog tag about a year ago when we were giving the house a good top-to-bottom cleaning. I hardly ever take it off.

I don’t quite remember when I received it but at that point, I had no interest in wearing it - I just wanted it because it was his.

Because he went to Vietnam and survived.

I know there aren’t a lot of people who can say that.

I think about that a lot… especially now that this little piece of metal sits next to my skin every day.

I don’t need the calendar to tell me to thank those that are willing to give or have given their lives to protect me. On a day like today, the outpouring of support is touching, but it’s fleeting… and it’s just a shame that not ALL the vets get recognized.

I always take it hard when I find out that good friends are suicidal / have actually succeeded in their attempts. Some affect me more than others…

Five years ago, on November 5th, my friend, Pelkey, put a bullet in his chest. I think he has a right to be recognized for his efforts as a member of the military and to be declared a casualty of war. I’m not alone—his wife has been working tirelessly to get vets with PTSD the help they so badly need, the help that Pelkey couldn’t get in time.

From the Iraq War Heroes website (emphasis mine): Mrs. Pelkey’s husband, Captain Michael Jon Pelkey, died on November 5, 2004 from a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the chest after being diagnosed with PTSD. Pelkey wants to tell her story to help the many soldiers who are suffering from this disorder, and to request that her husband be declared a casualty of war… “I don’t want my Michael to have died in vain. He had a purpose in this life and that was to watch over his soldiers. I intend to keep helping him do so by spreading our story. My husband died of wounds sustained in battle. That is the bottom line. The war does not end when they come home.”

So thank the living vets and casualties of wars all you want, I will too… but don’t forget those that suffer / suffered from PTSD. They deserve to be recognized for their service to this country, too.


Posted by Matty on 11/11 at 01:40 PM

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Decisions, decisions


striped convertible mittens :: knitpicks pattern :: november 8, 2009

I’ve just started the foot on a pair of ‘retro rib’ socks, I’ve got the back, a quarter of the front and half a sleeve of the ‘star’ sweater done, and now I’m starting a pair of convertible mittens. (Those are the fingerless gloves with the mitten top that flips over.)

Honestly, I need a new knitting project like I need a hole in my head. Especially one where the color changes every five rows and changes in random spots, like increase rows. (I hate that!) But I’m addicted to the mittens, especially now that it’s closing in on winter and my hands are already freezing at work.


<.sarcasm>I really need a new knitting project that I’m addicted to while I’m in the middle of NaNoWriMo, too.<./sarcasm>

Granted, I’m “cheating” on my NaNo and writing the sequal to last year’s suckfest, but I’m struggling with it. The characters just don’t want to play nice. One of them won’t stay out of the story despite my best efforts to get rid of him. I may have to kill him, but then I’ll have to deal with his ghost. Maybe I can have him abducted by aliens and come back with his memory erased. (Yup. I’m talking about aliens… it’s that bad already.) I don’t know what to do with him, but he’s screwing up the nice and neat plot I was rocking and rolling on. *sigh* He’s just continuing to prove my theory that teh boys, they are teh st00pid. Even the fictional ones in my life suck.

As if all that weren’t enough, I have this burning desire to bring a web project to fruition. It’s one that got started a while back and then died while I tried to work on other stuff. I’m giving myself a deadline of Dec 31st to get it done. I figure once I get it done, I can go after two other websites. I’d be doing them as a favor, but it’s a great way to rebuild my web portfolio. Yeah, I’m seriously thinking about reopening my little web design biz. I could use the new revenue stream. BUT, to further complicate matters, I am dying to learn WordPress. The only good news here is that WordPress won’t do what I want right out of the box for that first site, but my beloved ExpressionEngine will. However, now I’m obsessed with redesigning this site and moving it to WP. Even though it just (finally) got a long overdue overhaul of the backend.

I’m completely ADD lately… but at least it’s keeping my mind off of the stuff I don’t want to deal with.

Posted by Matty on 11/10 at 11:38 AM