Christmas lessons

December 25, 2007 :: 4:07 PM


apache and arsey :: da ‘brook :: christmas eve 2007

I haven’t liked Christmas in a very long time. To me, all the gift giving is such a hassle.  Wrong sizes, wrong colors, gift cards to places we’d never go…never mind that on our end we have lost gift cards and mispicked orders sent to us.  I’d much rather spend the time just being with my family and friends than worry about whether or not they like the contents of the boxes.  But every year, I get a little better with it.  This year, I’m actually listening to Christmas songs.  Granted, it took me until 3 PM today to fire up the iTunes playlist, but they’re on.

Every year, I also tend to learn a valuable lesson. Normally, they’re of the personal sort and related to my status as an orphan, but this year I actually learned some lessons worth sharing.  Enjoy!

Things NOT to say during your Christmas vacation:

1) One more game! (Said during hour 2 of a 6 hour Lego Star Wars marathon)

2)  Holy cow, is this sweater fugly!  (Yeah.  It really is.)

3) Do I look like a girl? (Wonder Hubby ofter opening a package containing a very feminine looking Halloween t-shirt.)

4) C’mon,  you wuss, let’s go! (Wii Sports - Boxing, after I won a match, and lost the next two.)

5) I don’t need a level! (Apparently, I DID need a level to hang the corkboard.  Whoops.)

Things not to buy with Christmas money:

A freakin’ Nintendo Wii.  That thing is such a major time suck.  Plus the active games, like Wii Sports, are really ACTIVE.  We’re still sore after a few games of tennis, baseball and the previously mentioned boxing matches.

Things to buy with Christmas money:

1) A Keurig B60  We have one of these at work and while I love it,  I was never going to buy one - I mean a buck fifty for a freakin’ coffemaker?!?! I became converted after 4 days in a row of washing out a coffee pot for one cup of coffee.  It should be here soon!!!!

2) A Circa Zip Folio  Since I’ve finally decided to become a true grownup (wearing suits to work every day creates a different mind frame than my usual jeans and sweaters…), I decided to buy a nice cover for my beloved Circas. 


Obligatory year end post

December 22, 2007 :: 8:48 PM


me with my d40 :: da ‘brook ::  september sixteenth two thousand seven

My life has always been this incredible ride - some years more than others.  This year, I’ve seen The David twice, mended fences with old friends, made superficial contact with old friends and family members, hung out with people I love dearly and don’t see enough of, dropped more balls than I can count, made new friends, lost some, did a very good deed, started watching football (!!!!), went to Ohio and changed jobs (which included changing the 5 year plan).

Normally I do a silly new year’s resolution list and I probably will again this year.  It’s the joy of the fresh start, not the actualization of anything on that list, mind you… I do want to do one thing and get it done before I go back to work on Wednesday and that’s finish this stinkin’ design.  None of the back pages are finished and that bothers me.  I hate leaving things undone - I’ve come to learn that its not the end of the world & that I’m doing more important things with that time (homework, Wii, family, sleep) but that doesn’t make it any less grating. 

I have also closed up shop on my other blog.  I didn’t like where it went after I had a pretty good breakdown and I wanted a fresh start - without my name attached. I’ve got a new domain, privately registered, and I’ve begun using that persona in a couple of forums.  It’s not as comfortable as “Matty”, but since I’ve been a Mat for a long time, I’m sure the new name will grow on me. Whatever.  The whole point is, I miss my daily rants full of language I do not wish co-workers and other random googlers to find. This here is nice but very stifling.

I did a lot of stuff this year that I wasn’t planning on and discovered, for the zillionth time, that my father was right. I can survive.  I am strong.  I am independent.  I am me, and that ain’t such a bad thing lately.

It’s funny that everything that happened this year was never on my 2007 list of resolutions. I guess we’ll just have to see what winds up on my 2008 List of Things That I Want To Do But Will Probably Never Get To.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend, no matter how you plan on spending it.


I love sammiches

December 14, 2007 :: 12:53 AM


l boy sandwich:: winchester, ma :: december eighth, two thousand seven

You can’t always get what you want.  But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. —Rolling Stones

After a wicked ugly fight, I finally made up with an old friend.  She was coming up on Saturday to hang out when our third friend called.  He and his brother would be an hour away. Did we want to meet up with them?  Um, YEAH!!!!!  (No, the surprise is not a pony.  You could ride it if you want, but I wouldn’t recommend it.)

It was the most twisted, most disgusting, most juvenile, and most AMAZING day of my entire life (she says…).  There’s a very specific chemistry the four of us have - and it’s not meant for everyone.  I haven’t laughed that long and that hard in forever.

I am constantly reminded of why I fought so hard to move back to New England.  it was definitely the best thing I have ever done with my life to this point.

All Messed Up

November 21, 2007 :: 6:51 PM

final game :: brown arena :: boston university :: january second two thousand five

Being a BU fan lately is like watching the Hartford Whalers… but hope always springs eternal.  The BC game is next Saturday.  Its the only game at Agganis this year, but I suppose I could suck it up, sell my soul, and go to Chestnut Hill for the other two.  I’m not sure it will be a win, but at least it will be a good game. *sigh*

So anyhoo, I’m sitting here taking a break from my accounting project when the weirdest thought pops in my head.  All the desktop icons on my Macs (all three of them) live on the right side of the screen.  The desktop icons on my peecee at work and Peter are on the left side.  Now, it’s not that that’s how they come out of the box.  I did a bad, bad, bad thing and put Windows XP on the MacBook… its icons are still on the right hand side, so this is a conscious arrangement of icons.

Of course, I had to google the different sides of the brain and try to make sense of this… the working side of my brain - the one that spends all its time buried in impossible excel spreadsheets - is the left side.  The creative side - the one that works on web design, blogging, and photochoppin’ - is the right side.  Logic, left, peecee.  Creative, right, Mac.

Somehow I’ve managed to align the sides of my brain with the tasks they’re related to and set up my computers accordingly. 


What state sucks the most?

November 11, 2007 :: 8:13 PM

keystone high vs. black river high :: near cleveland, oh :: october twenty-sixth two thousand seven

So. The Ohio Trip.

I’d just like to note that, with a few exceptions, Ohio wasn’t very nice to me when I did my 7 years hard time there.  On it’s second pass, it reminded me wahat an evil life-sucking state it is.

Tuesday, before I even left work, there was an incident.  (An ugly incident that I chewed on the ENTIRE WEEK.)  Then we dropped the dogs off at the kennel and they both freaked out.  They’d never done that before and I was just waiting for the woman to tell us that she changed her mind, she won’t take them.  We drove all the way to Batavia, NY and stayed at a Comfort Inn where I was told I couldn’t get the WiFi connection because our room was too far away.  HA!  Shows what they know.

Wednesday, we arrived in Sandusky, OH… home of Ceedah Pahk as it’s known here. Not our best idea, but it was between where he had to go and where I had to go.  We had some Marco’s Pizza because Jamie missed it and then we went to Target because I had to buy new pj’s.  (Yep. It was that sort of trip.) Couldn’t get on the internet to sumbit my accounting quiz.  Spent hours on the phone with tech support following up on calls they never returned.  Crashed early. No fun there.

Thursday, 6:30 AM, I go out to start the car so I can go to Toledo and… c’mon you know what I’m going to say.  The freakin’ car died. DIED!!!!  It survived a twelve hour drive to crap out in the parking lot of our hotel. I abused my AAA plus membership and had the car towed 70 miles to Toledo, where I had to be and where the closest VW dealer was.  (Yes, we should have taken my car, the NEW one, but I wasn’t driving the 12 hours so I wasn’t going to argue.)  I got stuck with a tow truck driver who didn’t want to be a tow truck driver, who smoked in the truck, ground the gears, blasted the radio, got lost twice, and almost got us killed several times.  Woo-hoo!!!!!  To make matters even better, the dealership wouldn’t tell us if they could get to it or not.  Of course, they were down two guys with a full schedule - why should I have expected anything different?

There were a few highlights—when I finally got to Toledo, I got to hang with my old co-workers, which was nice. But more importantly, the Ohio half of my brain was able to get Cute Printer Boy to take us to lunch.  Mmmmmm, Cute Printer Boy. Of course, he was just as hot as I remembered. And as married.  (*sigh*) The Ohio half of the brain and I tried scrapbooking a bit after lunch, but the freakin’ dealership was able to get to the car after all and we had to cut the crop short so I could get the car before they closed.  A new alternator—cost more than the hotel and the kennel combined.  So much for staying within our budget. *double sigh*  Spent more time that night fighting with the hotel’s WiFi tech support… no love there, no explanations why I couldn’t get online either.

Friday, we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so I could see the R.E.M. inductee exhibit.  I was kind of underwhelmed.  I know they have an exhibit in Athens, GA as well and probably sent all the cool stuff there, but I was still hoping for more. I mean, they did have one of Mill’s bass guitars, Buck’s Rickenbacker, and Berry’s first snare drum, but nothing of Stipe’s.  If you know me well, you’ll understand why I left the R&R HOF completely bummed.  It’s like having a Beatles exhibit and leaving out Lennon.  Grrrrrr. After that, we headed to Elyria to watch Jamie’s brother coach a football game. Of course it was freakin’ cold and everytime I pulled out my camera it POURED.  I was resigned to actually having to watch the game until the last quarter.  At least they won - not that it got them into the playoffs or anything - but it could have been an ugly loss.

I know I grew up in an entirely different world than my in-laws, but wow!  All I can say is, it is nice to be upper-middle class.  Even our high school marching band was so much better than the ones these schools had.  I had my random ‘You know you’re in Ohio when…” moment when the Black River MB played Ozzy’s “Crazy Train”.  It was senior night for Keystone (the home team) and their MB seniors got to choose their own music and choreograph the routines.  Oh. My. God. It’s like the only move they knew was the DCI-inspired “get wicked close to the audience, plant your feet, bend your knees, lean back and blast the snot out of their eardrums” pose.  I will say this for the Keystone MB, they had the coolest drum solo ever.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be into their version of “Turn the Beat Around” as I had done a version of it in college, but as I said, they inserted this cool little drum solo which was totally awesome.  The bass drummers put their drums down and wore the snare drums on their backs.  I keep saying it, but it was just freakin’ mind blowing.  I certainly wasn’t expecting them to be that original.  (Of course it rained through halftime, so I couldn’t get a picture…)

Got back to the hotel and still no answer on the internet issue.  I finally had a moment of brilliance and hacked into their network.  Whoops! I won’t go into details here, but let’s just say it’s NOT a secure network if you don’t change the default passwords. Happiness ensued.

Saturday, we went to the Toledo Zoo.  On Pumpkin Patch day.  All the gorillas were off exhibit because they get stressed out by the costumes, the zoo was overrun with rugrats, the hippos were inside, and it was raining. *sigh*  I wore a bright red BU sweatshirt and had so many people do doubletakes because in Ohio if you’re wearing red you’re wearing something with either a buckeye or Ohio State on it, not a little Boston Terrier.  Left the Zoo in record time and headed to Jamie’s Aunt Alice’s house for a party.  It’s not much of a secret that I prefer Jamie’s brother to his sister, but even their kids fall on the same sides of that dividing line.  SIL’s kid was obnoxious and BIL’s kid was so cute.  Apparently, his first word was ball, second word was football.  No doubt he belongs to BIL. Apple will not fall far from THAT tree.  His poor wife, she’s got another boy coming in 2008. 

After the family reunion, we headed to Ann Arbor for dinner at our favorite restuarant, BD’s Mongolian BBQ, and the BU/Michigan hockey game. We quickly realized we couldn’t have picked a worse time to cross the border. There was a football game that afternoon, so Ann Arbor was crazy packed. We couldn’t get to Yost because of all the traffic and ended up turning into some random parking lot.  As we pull in, we see a group of kids in BU jerseys!  Woo-hoo!  We hung out with them a bit - one of the girls was all impressed we came all the way from NH to see the game and took our picture for her scrapbook. They were so much fun and really made me miss that part of college—you know, the insane road trips and the meeting of random strangers along the way.

Once we got in the arena, we ended up sitting behind Pete and Jenny.  Who save $8 on their seats because they sit in the obstructed view section.  Jenny had done a Thanksgiving tailgate at the football game earlier, had no voice, but still ended up talking our ears off.  Pete, too, got all excited when he realized we were from Boston.  Did you know the U.S.S. Constitution is in Boston? *sigh*  It was amusing to hear Jenny yell the Michigan cheers at first, but as we quickly fell down into a deep hole, it became more depressing. The Michigan students were chanting “Let’s go Rockies”, “Warm up the CAH!” (instead of “Warm up the bus”) and “We want CHOW-DAH”.  Cute, but uninspired all at the same time.  I’m pretty sure we wound up on CN8—the two BU fans, with Red Sox caps, sitting in the middle of yellow Michigan jerseys watching their team lose. How New England.

The best part of the entire trip? Using the 24 hours in the car to do my advanced accounting midterm.  I got the highest grade in the class on it.

Just do me a favor—if I ever say I’m going to Ohio again, please please please lock me up somewhere until my brain comes back.  I will NEVER set foot in Ohio again.  My in-laws want to see me, they can come here.

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