Daddy needs a drink!

August 17, 2008 :: 11:11 PM


instrument (the band) :: mohegan sun, uncasville, ct :: august 13, 2008

I’ve been really fortunate in the past two years.  The ability to reconnect with old friends has been nothing short of amazing.  Through Facebook and MySpace, I’ve found a lot of people I knew in college.  It’s nice to be back in touch with them.  Really nice.

One of the perks is that I’ve become a groupie of my friend Derek’s band.  It wasn’t my intent, but since the drummer and I went to college together, marched bass drum together and hung out together in South Campus, it was kind of inevitable.  It doesn’t help that the Latvian half of my brain goes to the shows, and where she goes, I will most likely follow.  Just like in college. (Hey, an introvert like me needs to follow a bulldozer that’s plowing down a field of daisies.  It makes my entry into social situations much less traumatic because all the attention is on the bulldozer.  But in a good way. Honest.)  It’s also kind of inevitable that I will find someone I went to college with at an Instrument show.

At any rate, I drove the two and a half hours to Connecticut to see Instrument play at Mohegan Sun in a Battle of the Bands.  Their story never ceases to amaze me… Out of 300 something bands, they made the top eight.  They haven’t been together very long and the last time I heard them play, they were really rough and I didn’t think they were very good.  It’s amazing what a few months can do. Seriously.  They’re amazing for being a little local band.  Then again, I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with members of some of the best Connecticut bands ever - Spring Heeled Jack and BiG MiSTAKE - so this shouldn’t have been a huge shock.

Once we found Boski, we found the Dig Dugs.  I haven’t seen these people in over 10 years and it was just like I’d last seen them yesterday at the practice field.  (Well, with the exception that Dig Dug was carrying around a baby instead of an instrument…)  There were lots of laughs and lots of fun.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, non? It’s so weird to hang out with these people outside of the familiar settings, to include them in our new lives, but at the same time, it is so very, very nice.

I learned something Wednesday night.  Something important.  From someone who has instantly been granted membership in my small, exclusive outer circle just for that BFO.

I often forget that people don’t know both my parents died from complications due to alcoholism and that I don’t drink for that very reason.  Now that I’m older (and somewhat wiser), I’m better around alcohol, but being around it still causes me to put my defenses up.  So, at dinner with the band and friends, the lead singer, Ben, asked me if I wanted a drink.  Instantly on the defensive because the rest of them were discussing beer, I told him I didn’t drink. The look on his face when he asked me, “Not even water?” was both adorable and heartbreaking. I had kind of tuned out the rest of them and I think he had noticed and was trying to bring me back. 

So, yeah.  Lesson learned… I might want to relax a little more when I get asked that vague a question.  My response was appropriate had he asked me if I wanted a beer, but I shouldn’t always jump to that conclusion.

He was also responsible for teaching me what it feels to be like on the other side of the pre-hug size up.  Normally, I’m the one that’s dealing with the whole-I-don’t-want-to-be-touched-by-someone-I-just-met thing. When he hugged V, I was kind of wondering if I should follow suit and then I was aware that I was being sized up in the same manner.  Apparently, he’s rather shy.  (Could have fooled me.)  So we hugged.  But when I was driving home, I couldn’t stop reflecting on how he affected me.  It’s not often that my guard is down far enough for these things to actually affect me.  Normally, I deflect things like that and I’ve become so good at it, I don’t normally know I’m doing it.  For whatever reason, Wednesday night, I was totally in the moment.  That really, seriously, never happens.  Thanks, Ben!

I could really learn to like living in the moment.  Luckily, I think I’ll have a lot more opportunities.


*tap* *tap* Is this thing on?

July 06, 2008 :: 11:23 PM


michael stipe :: great woods (mansfield, ma) :: june 13, 2008

I’ve been a little busy since my last post…

1) I survived tax season and took a much deserved break from classes and life in general.

2) Got my other blog up and running. Feels good to be home.  REALLY GOOD.

3) Spent some time with the in-laws and the reason God invented birth control.

4) Had a great weekend with my family - a little dinner, some perversion, lots of laughs.  LOTS and LOTS of laughs.

5) Applied for a job in hockey… I didn’t get it, but things happen for a reason.  After thinking about it, I’m not sure taking it would have been in my best interests. 

6) Learned how to kayak.  (We’ll be getting me one next summer.  I don’t think J enjoyed sharing his today.)

7) Finished the guest bedroom and my scrapbook room.  I did the scrapbook room in a Classic Pooh theme… NOT my best idea, but the room came out beautifully.

8) Did some serious introspection and will be revising the 5-year plan again.

9) Saw R.E.M. at

Great Woods Tweeter

Comcast—whatever it is now.  Between J and & I we got some great pix. 

I’ll be back—just trying to get back in the swing of photoblogging.

No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from - JCM

March 02, 2008 :: 8:57 PM


my grandparents, ukie side :: wethersfield, ct :: february 1986

That might very well be the last picture ever taken of my grandfather.  If memory serves, he passed away sometime in ‘86. Heart attack.

I spent most of this afternoon trying to clean my craft room up. I started in the closet and that’s as far as I got. I found a box of random stuff - old drama club bits, my UCONN Hockey scrapbook, my attempt at NaNoWriMo in ‘03, and lots of newspaper articles.  Of course I had to look at each and every one.  I had a very good, very long cry.  I have articles from 1986 when Challenger exploded, I have the articles when Columbia experienced the same fate, I have the Sox winning the ‘04 World Series, I have the last day of the Whaler’s existance and I have a lot of 9/11 stuff.  Painful.  At least the NaNo was a nice palate cleanser.

I also managed to slice open my pinky with an X-acto knife, take a picture frame to the bridge of my nose and trip twice.  Needless to say, the room is in worse shape than when I started.

So, Groundhog Day Resolution Day.  I’m a wee bit early, but that’s OK.

1) Take (and pass) the CPA exam.
Wild Success:
Getting my license.
Progess: Bought the study guide

2) Less dining out
Wild Success:
More money, less weight.
Progress: Not much but I do sometimes take leftovers to work when there are some.

3) More time with friends
Wild Success:
To really become a part of my friends’ lives again
Progress: I can’t always make it, but I’m doing more with them when I can.

4) Dedicate myself to my health
Wild Success:
Getting down to my target weight
Progress: I’ve been trying to get in at least a half hour of Wii Tennis in a night (Haven’t looked at a scale yet…)

5) Use my camera at least one time a day
Wild Success:
Completing all 366 “once a days”!!!
Progress: I let it go in February and started back up yesterday.

6) Knit more
Wild Success:
More socks, a sweater for me
Progress: Frogged a pair of socks, lost 4 inches of a sweater.

7) Stop biting my nails
Wild Success:
To have decent looking nails, instead of the raggy ones I have now
ProgressI have white showing on 5 fingers…perfect biting length. I haven’t given in yet.  Photos next month.

8) Be myself more
Wild Success:
To blog like myself again, get a card published
Progress:I’ve got the domain set up, I have the design, I just need to put it together. As for the cards…check in with me next month.


Vanished off the face of the earth

February 24, 2008 :: 6:50 PM


bu vs maine :: agganis arena, boston, ma ::  february 16 2007

I’m alive.  Just buried. 

Wonder Hubby’s mom has “the C-word” and we’ve been on pins and needles for a while.  Waiting for news sucks.  Having people in denial/controlling things that aren’t theirs to control is just making everything harder.  On the school side, I have a 15 page group paper due last week.  Yeah. That good.  A member of my group, one that offered to do the bulk of the work, has vanished.  Poof! Gone!  Leaving me and the other person to pick up the slack. Did I mention I have another paper due? And a project? And a job that keeps me at work until noon on Saturday, killing all my good homework time?


In other news, I took a stab at getting rid of a vicious green-eyed monster attack. 

My heritage is Ukrainian and god knows what else.  There’s a lot of people with my last name and I’ve not had the time to work on my dad’s side of the family tree to figure out what’s out there. But I digress.  Almost a year ago (!!!!!) I kissed and made up with a very old, very good friend.  Who happens to be 100% Latvian.  She speaks it. She lives it. Her name drips it.  We talked at length about the Old Guard of each culture pushing out the younger generation and how my mother failed me by turning her back on her heritage. Then, I ran across my cousin on MySpace.  Some bad blood started between my aunt and I after my mother died and I’ve just never been able to forgive her for it… and in doing so, distanced myself further from my Ukrainian side. My cousin spent a lot of time with my grandparents, and both her parents are Ukies, so I know she’s had a lot of exposure.  And it pissed me off.

Between the two of them, they created this strange jealousy.  One is so entrenched in her culture that it comes up often in conversation.  Like every other word often.  And I want that.  I want to know people who share my blood and speak a language I don’t (yet) understand. My cousin spent more time with our grandparents than I did and I know she probably managed to pick up more than she realizes.  To be left out hurts like I can’t even put into words.

When my father passed away, I became obsessed with knowing where I came from. It was too soon, and the project got put on the back burner. But with the reappearance of both of these people in my life, that project started whispering in my ear. I found a place in Boston that teaches the Ukrainian language and the culture. I’ve actually been in contact and will probably start after tax season. There’s supposedly a Ukie contingent in both Salem (MA) and JP…at least there are churches in both areas.  Yeah, I said “churches”. Big ol’ Agnostic me, is seriously thinking about going back to church.  Not for the religious aspects - I turned my back on God a long time ago - but for the social networking. I know, it’s a frightening thought.

It’s time for me to do this.  To find that part of me and embrace it.  To never let it go.

Groundhog Day Resolutions

February 03, 2008 :: 3:05 PM


groundhog day resolutions :: da ‘brook :: two two ought eight

I linked to Dave’s take on Groundhog Day resolutions a few days ago.  Considering my world was turned upside down in December, it was nice to have a little break to think about what I really wanted for myself this year.

1) Take (& pass) the CPA exam—duh!  I need the CPA license if I want to be a cost accountant.  It’s not required for my job at a CPA firm (but it is HIGHLY recommended) and it will bring a pay raise and allow me to go out on my own if I ever choose to do so.

2) Less dining out—We’re really lazy and fickle.  It’s hard to go grocery shopping when we eat according to our moods. We’ve tossed more food because it sounded good at the time and then we weren’t in the mood for it or didn’t feel like cooking.  That needs to stop.

3) More time with friends—If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times:  It’s awesome to have my family back together.  ‘Nuff said.

4)Dedicate myself to my health—Between the bipolar and the weight, it’s time to get serious. 

5) Use my camera at least once a day—I joined the Once a Day group on Flickr and then, life got in the way and it just wasn’t something I deemed important. It should be.

6) Knit more—I can run a yarn store off my stash.  It’s time to start knitting between my sporadic visits to my Tuesday night group.

7) Stop biting my nails—Soon, I’m going to be doing client visits.  My hands are a constant source of shame.  I even went so far to visit a hypnotherapist but came away with disasterous results. I can do it - I got off to a good start last year and then all hell broke loose.

8) Be myself more - more creative outlets—I used to like web design, writing, scrapbooking and card making.  Now it just seems like a lot of work… and it’s really not.  It’s important for me to start doing these things again.

The David says when embarking on a project to imagine what wild success looks like and then go after it. I’m still working on that part…but I’m close to having a solid definition of wild success for each of these.

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