12/29/08 10:05 - ID#47209
While the holidays are great, they also exhaust me. There is the mad prep, the juggling of egos, the balancing of which out of town visitors need to see the kids next, the guilt (imagined or otherwise), so it was with a sense of relief that I walked from my mother-in-law's place back to mine on Thursday night. Without prompting, the kids pronounced themselves "happy" and I think my ex and I both exhaled at the same time. I took them out to my folks on Christmas eve to be feted by my folks and siblings. She did likewise Christmas Day for dinner. The five of us got together Christmas morning and I think it was my favorite part. Nobody was on their best behavior and I mean that in a good way. That was fun, getting to see them show off their new wares.
Work on the 26th was surreal by comparison. Everything is open, but a large contingent of my department takes a good chunk of their holiday this week. The commute is a quick one, and downright deserted on Friday. Ten minutes this morning and that's including a stop at Spot to caffeinate.
I'm not complaining, but it is good to be the marketing guy. You get a lot of gifts that, well, swish. Two bottles of Bully Hill's finest from one of the radio groups, two bottles of local stuff from one of the tv stations, a case of guinness from my brother in law, and a case of Sleeman's Dark Ale from my own brother. My mom gave me a couple pounds of coffee. Together that is a metaphor for something. I'm just not sure what.
Order my Secret Santa thingy, what will officially be the last Christmas gift of the season -- Hope it makes it in time for the festivities for Wednesday evening.
The clock across the hall is chiming different christmas carols at the top of the hour with all the style and verve of dentist office muzak. Is it bad that I want to take to the parking lot and run over it a few times with the little bull dozer?
Would have thought for sure that yesterday's winds would have hit my block. They did last year. I seem to remember wrapping the final presents pre-christmas by flashlight. At the height of yesterday's gales, I was searching for a good football game since the Bills were playing and number one son was gaming on my pc. We like our power.
The alarm clock went off this morning and my first thought was toward a nap.
I'm tired. Think I'm long overdue for sammich from the old Pink for dinner.
But I'll rest up for the (e:strip) balldrop (no, not a euphemism)
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/23/08 10:52 - 29ºF - ID#47163
So, about 50 minutes into the 90 minute class, during one of the quietest parts of class, my stomach announces in a large voice that it is yiddish
It's hard to stretch constructively and laugh at the same time.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/22/08 07:50 - 17ºF - ID#47144
Call the ex and kids to see if all was well, if they needed anything, only to see them zipping past me on their way back from Wegmans.
Netflix resumes with Dr. No, excellent.....
Blew off Yoga tonight as Elmwood is still a mess. I didn't want to come out and guess which drift is mine.
My boss called to say we were closed this morning at 6:15. It was early enough that she didn't remember about caller id and was a little bumfuzzled when I greeted her by name. At that hour, something is closed or somebody died. Worst part, that was just long enough that I was UP, and contemplating the best way to avoid the mess on the "S" curve.
Still wondering what the Park ring road will look like tomorrow. It was an adventure leaving on midday Friday.
Saw an idiot driving down Lexington last night when I was taking number one son back to Mom's. If your pickup truck is fishtailing like that, it might be a sign that you are going too fast. If you continue to drive like that down a street without a lot of room, it might be a sign that you are a moron.
Sudden snow day meant ironing got done, laundry got done, trash got taken out, tree was put up, dishes were washed and the shelved stocked. At this rate, I'm looking forward to work on Tuesday to slow down. Did I wrap anything? Nope.
Got the Sabres game on in the background. I'm pretty sure that the Versus network couldn't cover a ribbon cutting very well. Announcers are talking about everything except well, the game in front of them.
Got to buy one more thing for each daughter and I'm done!
I paid bills today too, on a Monday, oin the daylight!
Unexpected napping opportunities are downright blissful.
Rented the lastest "Guitar Hero" over the weekend and had a blast with number one son. I'm scared of the Primus, but thankful for the Jane's Addiction and Wings. Guess that is another in a series of factors that make me old.
Great time at the holiday dinner last week and I'm looking forward to the annual PMT ball drop next week.
Not sweating Christmas, eager for boxing day!
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/20/08 10:24 - 13ºF - ID#47122
Random Acts of Foolishness
With the snow, the parking lot looked like an angry toddler tossed his toy cars where gravity decided. People basically impaled their cars in snow banks in order to get their desired space. Essentially, cars abandoned everywhere. Inside, it was busy but not overwhelming like I can only imagine that the Galleria must have looked like the shopping apocalypse.
The Boulevard has those obnoxious folks with the carts who "HAVe" to ask you a question. I declined one such samply query with a polite "No, thanks" and kept walking as she just couldn't help but ask "Can I just ask you one more question?" Apparently, there is an air of ambiguity in my delivery of the phrase "no, thanks." I gather the death stare I awarded her foolishness sent her back to annoy somebody else.
After securing some duplo blocks (big legos) and a magna doodle for my 2 year old nephew, I was done and rewarding my efficiency with a quick escape to Ted's for some of their finest. With the snow and the cold yesterday, the ex and I decreed that everybody should stay put. I got a good nap out of the deal as well as not having to share one of my better culinary endeavors.
I had pulled into the Target lot, where a car was signaling left, so I started to cross, but she was still going straight (and looking right). I think the combination of almost christmas and actual snow can reduce some folks' cerebral cortexes into something resembling a jello pudding pop.
Since number one son was headed over tonight, I wanted to swing by Blockbuster on Elmwood for a game or movie where something blows up. With all the unplowed snow and all the people infiltrating the neighborhood for shopping, getting remotely close to Blockbuster was interesting to say the least. The elmwood village Santa was talking to a guy withdrawing money from the bidwell HSBC. From the car, it looked like Santa might have holding him up.
After making off with Indiana Jones #2 & #3 and Edward Norton as the Hulk, as well as Lego Batman for the Xbox for just $25, we had the makings of a decent night.
Stay warm everybody, round #2 is tomorrow.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/18/08 01:40 - 28ºF - ID#47101
It's a nice occasion, but to me it feels a little tempered. When I attended my first one of these last year, it was just our department and we went out to a restaurant. We stayed at the office and it felt a little weird having the shenanigans in front of non-participants from accounting passing us by. They were invited in, but chose not to. This can be such an awkward holiday at times.
That said, nothing like a helping of pizza and wings to get your mojo running for pizza and wings at the 24 this evening. A lunchtime food coma to kick the afternoon off right. Perhaps, the garlic bread could have stayed out of the mix.
Looking forward to it, especially since the winter apocalypse is coming overnight. I know the tv stations find some brown paper bags for their weathermen. They all seem to be hyperventalating at the prospect of some snow. Like we've never gotten it a foot a time before.
Kids are already counting on a snow day.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/12/08 10:34 - ID#47042
Went to a Sunday morning version of my Hot yoga class and came out of it feeling good. This, in and of itself, was a major breakthrough as most of the time I'm wrecked. I found a pace and kept on at just the right clip that I was almost jazzed by the experience. I thought I had a bit of breakthrough of sorts. The euphoria lasted till Tuesday night, where with a new teacher, I was a trainwreck. The key isn't the heat, just the steady pace you keep your breath moving. I fell off the tracks about 40 minutes in and never quite got it back. Just one of those things, but the frustration can make you loopy.
It was the end of a very long day that had me in Syracuse to start. I met my counterparts from the Syracuse and Rochester Zoo to brainstorm and whatnot. I had been to Syracuse a number of times and it is always gray and overcast (kind of like the residents), but the Zoo was a little odd. It is mostly inside exhibits, impressive in a way. The buildings all link together around a courtyard that has a town square like feel to it, but reminded me if somebody used the "Old West" set from Fantasy Island. Ah well, I think the long day threw off my yoga mojo.
There is another board here that I am a liason for and they are exasperating in the extreme. By in large, I rumbling along just fine. Part of our monthly gatherings is to do a Zoo update as to what is going on. My part of that is talk about potential advertising, promotion and most importantly, corporate sponsorships. That last one is something that is tougher to get. Now, both my boss and the board chair also like to hear about prospects for sponsorships, people I'm working on to get them to try something zoo related. One of those is a meeting I have to take in January with one of the personal injury law firms. It certainly isn't my first choice, but they have money and are interested. Now this board heard that and crickets filled the room as there are a handful of lawyers from firms a little higher up on the corporate food chain. So, I got subjected to their attacks of self-righteousness. None of these folks have their companies doing anything at the Zoo. The state,city, county, and the school board are all talking money from us (or at least attempting to) and these jackasses want to give me a little shit about somebody wanting to invest in the Zoo? Puh-leeze. I felt frustation starting to enter my voice so I just stopped talking because there didn't seem to be much point.
Worst part was I had to hang out because they had their holiday party. I was in no mood to grin, so I sullenly slugged back a couple of beers with my boss, partook of what catering food I could identify and headed home. An annoying meeting/gathering that spanked my yoga time, which in turn will make whatever weekend class I get to that much more of a chore.
To quote Yosemite Sam, "I'm thinkin' but my head hurts.
On the much more pleasant side, I got invited to my brother's house christmas party on Wednesday evening after work. Without getting into too much detail, my older brother is a special needs guy and resides in a duplex with five other folks. It's a good setting, well-staffed and designed to create as normal living environs as is possible for individuals dealing with everything mental retardation, autism , to a few "isms" I'm still processing. With the staff's help, resources are pooled and this year they had a party at the Italian Village in Williamsville. I got invited last year, but a work committment kept me away. It was nice to see a genuine holiday thing, even more fun to get a peek into my brother when he isn't dependent on the family. It was the first time he'd seen me not at our parents house or at his place, so the look of pleased surprise he gave me was pretty great.
So, that was a nice place to hang my coat of this week. After plopping down for the Zoo's annual fund, City Honors graduation dues (which I hope means Daughter number one graduates), I figured as long as I was spending money that I shouldn't, what the hell. Number one son and I are going to go see the Sabres and Leafs play tonight.
"Dad, do they have pretzels bigger than my face?"
Yeah, they do. Good times
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/07/08 12:34 - 19ºF - ID#46990
The Complaint Department
While I'm at it, there is a Ice Cream topping called Mrs. Richardson. There is a variety of flavors all in the vein of parlor quality and nobody in Buffalo is carrying Strawberry anymore. The hell?
Went to early morning yoga this morning. THe 105 degree room felt really good considering how cold it is outside. To prep for class, you plop your mat down and lay down to give yourself a chance to get used to the heat. I was first one and found a space. The studio marks spaces out and it is very rarely packed. I felt the breeze of a mat going down near my left and got up to see I was surrounding where the other side of the room had room to space. Made me claustrophopic. It's too sweaty in there to be that close together people! Spread out.
People are sometimes a little too desperate to show that they are smarter or more sophisticarted than they really are. The church I go hosts a "Music Sunday" twice a year. A small orchestra comes in and the church's choir gets to show off with some really ambitious music. The place is full to the rafters for this one occasion. Some free classical music and people lose themselves. I got up a few years ago to my son to a class and came back to find a woman sitting on my belongings. A beautiful thing ruined by knuckleheads with no regard. I skipped yesterdays to go work out and felt better for it.
Thinking the genuises who planned the Bills' Toronto game weren't counting on the fact that more Dolphins fans would show up.
Our good "friends" at Time Warner never took my payment for October despite me making it. Argh!
What the hell is Sahara Grill doing selling Christmas trees? Moreever, what the hell is anybody doing buying from them? You know those were cut real fresh back in, you know, August.
Was running some errands last night and found myself in the unusual location (for me, at least) of being in the KMart on Hertel. Among the festivus chaos was a shoplifting bust. Seriously, swiping from Kmart? Ugh
Still bumming over the Friday after Thanksgiving report from Walmart and the poor bastard who died from being stamped to death in a "Black Friday" (Geez, I hate that term) mob of shoppers. Are "deals" that important that people lose their humanity? Does your holiday hinge on beating the fat bastard behind you to the HDTV specials. If that is what the season is about, I'll check out till New Year's.
Liked Cadillac Records on Saturday night (okay not a complaint, but an observation).
But, I was probably going to hell anyway.
I liked (e:jason) ' s line about being as efficient as the NYS Government lately. I feel similarly. Work has been a little static, but thanks to continued hot yoga, I have lost 12 pounds since starting in October. Today's class actually left me feeling pretty good. Onto laundry and perhaps checking in on the Bills canadian odysessy.
Stay warm, ya'all
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/05/08 11:42 - 21ºF - ID#46981
My darling eldest is one bad add looking cheerleader this week. She is on the city Honors squad and took a elbow to her cheek so she is sporting both an impressive shiner and a equally impressive string of nick names. I've settled on "Left Eye" myself. One of her friends thought that displayed a lot of soul for a white guy. That made me chuckle.
Went on an esoteric music binge which my latest Ipod feel good. It absorbed Sinatra's Only the Lonely, Radiohead's In Rainbows with the Forrest Gump Soundtrack thown in for good measure. I got some weird and easily influenced taste. Good call on the Frank, (e:Joshua) . Nobody can listen to "Angel Eyes" without immediately thinking of a bar someplace with the bourbon is getting poored over the rocks.
Apartment building is full once more. The new folks on the third floor had their tv going on before 5 this morning. That I didn't need.
The facebook virus hit my account. I do apologize if a funky looking email hit your account with my picture attached. It wasn't me as I never say anthing like LOL. Supposedly it's all good now.
I'm enjoying my home pc more so now with some time passing, My office just got new pcs and I think I did like the old ones a little better. THe new ones are the intel duo core models but the whole system slowed to a crawl this week, furthering the feeling of getting nothing done.
Univera picked up the tab for another round of yoga so that has me going for another month. I may actually start seeing some progress as I can get through a class without wanting to die as much as I did when I first got cranked up. Got a little definition at the very least I'm back to pre bell's palsy form.
I'm thinking more and more that my free airline tickets should take me someplace warm, beach laden and where there is the reasonable certainty that there are umbrellas fliiating in drinks nearby. Ft. Lauderdale looks like a contender. So, does San Diego. I was thinking New Orleans too, but I've been there before. When somebody else is paying, time to explore something new.
Time to get the predecorated tree out of it's box.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/03/08 01:17 - ID#46936
May get a vaca-y this year. Yea!, me!
Location: Buffalo, NY