I feel like writing here tonight, but I have no idea what I want to write about.  It's been a long week and my brain has ceased to function.  So this is just going to be a random splattering of what pops into my brain.  You've been warned.

I'm tired.  Real tired.  I thought for sure being on vacation when the clocks got turned ahead an hour would go unnoticed by my body.  I figured that because I didn't really live by the clock, so that when it was time to start again, I'd just ease right back into it.  WRONG!  Monday morning was really hard.  Everyone at work was already adjusted because they got a week's head start.  Not me.  Monday I was Friday tired.  And today, Friday, I found that I was only Monday tired.  I've slept like the dead every night this week.  I tried going to be early, but it didn't quite happen like I wanted it to.  Every day this week I felt a little better and more awake.  I think the exhaustion was manifesting itself physically in my body as a sore throat.  Monday was bad, Tuesday, too.  The more rest I got, though, the better my throat felt.  Today it's almost gone.  Tomorrow I don't have to set the alarm, but Ollie will get me up by 7 because he wants to eat.  That's still later than usual, so I'll take what I can get.

Speaking of vacation, there's a video of me being Pearl Harbored at the airport and I've watched it a bunch of times.  If we're Facebook friends, you can find it on my timeline.  It's funny watching the video.  Things are kind of the way I remember them, but not totally.  First of all, everything happened way quicker than it did in my brain.  You can see that I'm really checked out for all of it.  The before shots show how not into being at the airport I am.  And then I spend the rest of the video in shellshock.  I don't even speak!  Those assholes got me and they got me good.  I'll never forget that moment the rest of my life.  (In a good way, naturally!)

I predicted the Project Runway: All Stars finale correctly last night.  Just to be spoiler free, I decided that the collection I liked the best would finish third (correct!), the collection I liked second best would be in second place (correct!) and the one I liked the least would win (and correct!).  That usually seems to be the way Project Runway ends.  I really enjoyed the season.  I was bummed when I heard that Heidi, Tim, Nina and Michael weren't going to be a part of it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the new host and judges.  Angela Lindvall did okay as a host, but she was still a little too stiff and stilted.  She was best when she wasn't reciting her script.  Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi actually made decent judges, much to my surprise.  And Joanna Coles started off a bit stiff, but by the end she was pretty decent.  I wouldn't mind seeing any of these people again as fill ins for the regular show.

I started back at the gym last weekend.  I stopped going because my knees have been troublesome since the beginning of January.  It's been driving me crazy not going.  But all week in Florida, with the exception of the first day there, my knees were feeling great.  So once I got home, I headed back to (a) take advantage of the better feeling joints and (b) to start getting rid of the ten pounds or so I brought home.  My knees are starting to ache again and I have a feeling that the better weather of Florida played a part in that.  The weather here has been spectacular, too, and that might be why they've been better.  Next week will make or break that theory when the weather gets back to more seasonable temps.  But I'm trying not to over do things.  Trying.  I'm alternating between the elliptical and the treadmill when I go and then working my arms when I finish that up.  I'm already feeling a difference in my arms.  My muscle free, scrawny arms.  I can't do too much weight-wise yet, but I'm learning.  I'd love it if I could actually build some muscle there.  Even if my legs start bitching and moaning at me, I have incentive to go back now.  The one thing that makes me feel terrible about myself is the shoulder press machine.  I have that thing set on only 20 lbs and I can barely do it.  Twenty lousy pounds.  That's how little muscle I have.  The other machines I can comfortably do anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds, though.  So whatever muscle it is that you work when doing a shoulder press is holding me back.

It's not even been a week yet, but the living situation with Ken's nephew Peter is actually going really well.  Ken was going to give him a couple of weeks to detox from New Hampshire before he expected him to actively find a job, but that wasn't to be.  Not only did Peter start looking for a job within two days of getting here, he's already started working.  While it's not the most glamorous job going, it's a job, it's income and it will still give him time to look for something better.  I have to say I'm really impressed with him.  And he's calmed down a whole hell of a lot since the last time he was here.  If things continue along the way they're currently going, I'll be very happy.

I don't remember if I wrote about the change I felt recently regarding my Mom.  Back in January it happened, actually.  To recap, Mom got sick at the beginning of September and passed away at the end of the month.  And it really shook me up.  Bad.  It was horrible watching her wither away to nothing and then she was gone. I spent the next few months in a real funk.  I was depressed.  I really didn't want to talk to much of anyone.  All I wanted to do was cry and I couldn't even do that.  The worst part of the day, every single day for some reason, was my drive home from work.  I'm guessing it was because I was worn out and it was the only time of the day I had 100% to myself.  And that drive home every night had me almost in tears.  I would talk to Mom and kept asking her to just give me a sign of some kind that she's okay and that she hears me.  And I wouldn't get an answer.  Mom never came to me in dreams like I hoped she would.  I'd never almost catch a glance of her.  Nothing.  And the longer this went on, the more upsetting it would be to me.  I was there with her when she passed away, but she never got the chance to properly say goodbye and I think that was the part that hurt the most.

Anyway, in our backyard, we have a couple of bird feeders.  They're right outside the window of Ken's office and he loves just sitting there watching the birds.  In early or mid-January, he was sitting at his desk, watching the birds like usually, when he noticed this giant bird just sitting on one of the feeders, staring at the house.  It struck him odd because the bird was so big and just didn't do anything.  He noticed this bird a couple of days in a row, doing the same thing.  He took a picture of it because he wanted to show it to me.  I finally saw the bird that Saturday morning.  It was odd.  Just sitting there, staring at the house.  I didn't really pay it much mind.  Not right away, anyway.  That Saturday night we had tickets to go see Aimee Mann in Woodstock.  Great show, had a blast.  It was an hour or so drive home and we didn't get home until very late.  As we're getting close to the house, both Ken and I saw this sudden flash of light in the sky in front of the car as this white bird flew by and disappeared into the night.  It was eerie, but I instantly knew it was Mom.  This was the sign I was looking for.  Call me crazy, but I think that big bird was Mom, sitting out there, waiting to see me.  And later that night, it was Mom, leaving.  And what's even more amazing to me is a lot of that grief flew away with that bird.  I've read a lot about birds and after-death communications.  I'm 150% convinced this was Mom saying goodbye.  Although I haven't discussed this with my Dad or sister, both of them seemed like a big weight was now off their shoulders the next time I saw them.  I miss my Mom desperately and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her and am sad that she's gone, but I feel differently now.

I was having a conversation with Ken the other day about being hard on myself.  I don't know what made me start thinking about it, but I realize I'm incredibly hard on myself about just about everything.  I've discussed in the past about being hard on myself about my weight.  I worked so hard to get where I am today that I never want to be fat again.  And it mostly works for me.  But I do this with everything.  With work, with exercise, with chores, with social interactions.  There isn't really ever a time when I cut myself a break.  With work recently, I've been burning the candle at both ends.  I'm the only one in my unit right now and I'm doing the work of three people.  I was really looking forward to vacation because I wanted everyone at work to see exactly how much I've been doing.  I don't think anyone really realized.  When I got back, one of the first things I was asked was "Why does it take 16 people to do your job when you're not here?"  That made me feel good.  But because I'm the way I am, I push myself hard to get everything done and then some.  This week has been hard because I spent most of the week working on the stuff no one bothered to touch while at the same time trying to keep current with everything else.  I would have pushed harder and worked longer hours if I wasn't already dragging.  I've found myself questioning who I am again, too.  Meaning, I'm having a hard time seeing what it is in me that people find appealing.  I know there's something there, that there's always been something there, but seeing it myself is very, very hard for me.  So every time I say something stupid or do something that I find moronic, I start beating myself up and that's all I see.  I need to stop that and I need to stop that now.  But it's hard.  I've been like this my entire life.  Trying to undo 45 years of self-taught behavior is going to be tough.  I'm up for the fight though.  Just watch me.

I've been playing Draw Something for a few weeks on my phone.  It's a fun and addictive game, but it's taking up so much of my time.  An inordinate amount of time.  And I'm falling behind on not only that, but the various word games I'm addicted to.  Tonight I counted and I have 34 games going right now.  So if you read this and we play together, I apologize for being slow in returning my turn.  I've got too many games going!

Ken wants to go see the Hunger Games.  He read the first book and loved it.  He's slowly reading the second one because he doesn't want it to end.  I told him it's probably not a good idea to go this weekend.  Next weekend, while the theaters will still be mobbed, is probably a better time to go.  And plus, I want to have a do nothing weekend.  I'm a tired boy.

There's a new Persian restaurant in town.  We noticed it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it out tonight.  I was a little hesitant because I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Well, what I should have expected was pure deliciousness because that's what I got.  Man, that place was good.  It's called Manama Grill and I will definitely be going back.  I ordered a spinach and mushroom dish that looked rather gross, but tasted pretty amazing.  I like that while the menu is fairly small, they gave four vegetarian choices.  It's hard to find non-meat dishes at most restaurants, I've discovered, since trying to reduce my meat intake.  

And speaking of which, I made it nearly two solid months without eating any meat.  It was easy as anything, except when we would go out to eat.  While on vacation, I indulged in a burger or two (or five), though still eating less meat than I would normally.  And honestly, I didn't really miss it at all.  The last day of vacation was the first day I had any candy in just over two months and I think I finally got that craving out of my system.  I've had a little bit here and there this week, but not too much and to be honest, I don't think the candy tasted as good as I was hoping.  I'm really proud of myself for the changes I'm working towards making.  It doesn't mean I'm still not making bad choices, but I think overall, I'm making better eating choices.  

Hey, I think I was just not too hard on myself there for a second.  It's a whole new me! 



In just a very short while from now, an hour or maybe two, everything changes. And I'm freaked by it. Ken is on his way home from New Hampshire with his nephew in tow. He's moving in with us. I'm such a creature of habit and slave to my routines that this change in the status quo was me worried. I'm hoping it's needless worry. The next week or two will be tough as I try to ease into a new pattern and new structure.

Goodbye peace and quiet! :-)



I'm home from what turned out to be one hell of a vacation.  I had a mental picture of what this vacation was going to be like and it turned out to be anything but.  I don't think I've talked about the trip here, so this will be a brief recap of what the vacation was going to be all about.

A few months ago, Ken came home from work and told me that the wife of a co-worker of his won a trip to Disney in March.  Unfortunately they weren't going to be able to go, but Ken's co-worker offered to sell the trip to Ken.  They went over the paperwork and it was transferable, so he jumped at the chance.  We haven't been to Disney since September 2009 and I think we were both a bit anxious to go back.  The one downside to this trip is that it was for a week during all sorts of school breaks, but I didn't have much of a problem with that.  We've been a million times in the past and if we didn't get to do everything, no big whoop.  People watching can be just as fun as going on the rides.

As time went on, Ken decided he wanted to expand the trip.  He started looking for hotels and stuff and decided we were going to go down a few days in advance, stay at a hotel off property and maybe hit a park or do some shopping.  Again, I was fine with that.  He asked that if I wanted to get together with friends down in Orlando to please confine that to the days before the Disney part of the trip officially started.  He thought it would be a nice treat to just do Disney by ourselves again.  The last couple trips we did the parks with friends.  I agreed and set to making plans with friends for the first few days.

So those were the plans.  Things didn't exactly go that way.

We arrived last Wednesday evening.  Ken needed to get a haircut and I needed to eat, so that's basically all we did the first night.  No big whoop.  We got in too late to really do much of anything anyway.  Thursday, though, we decided to hit a park.  We went to Magic Kingdom and had a really fun time.  The crowds were much heavier than we were used to and we didn't get to do the park like we usually do, but we got to do most everything we wanted to do that first day.  Thursday night we had plans to meet up with friends Ryan and Scott for dinner.  We went to Gloria Estefan's restaurant Bongos.  The food was good, but the service was absolutely repulsive.  From the hostess who did nothing but give us shit, to the waiter who disappeared after taking our order, only to show up at the end of the meal to give the check.  The appetizer came out after the entrees, refills on beverages were non-existent.  But we had a great time anyway.  

Just as we were getting ready to part ways for the night, Ken's phone rang.  It was a co-worker of his.  He excused himself to take the call.  When he came back, he told me I wasn't going to like this.  His co-worker was calling to ask Ken a huge favor.  His mother was flying in to Orlando on Saturday night around midnight and needed a ride to her hotel.  Ken felt like he was put on the spot and agreed to pick her up.  I wasn't very happy about this.  It's our vacation and I found it really rude.

Friday we got up and went shopping all day.  Actually, we went shopping for a little bit of the day and sat in traffic for most of the rest of it.  It was infuriating.  The traffic was horrific.  But we've never been to Orlando during such a busy time, so it was to be expected.  I was happy because I got four new pairs of Converse, including a pair of Batman Converse!  Friday night we went over to Ryan and Scott's new house and then out to Banana's, a drag queen diner.  Again, the food was terrific.

Saturday was spent at Disney Hollywood Studios.  We met up with friends Michael, Al & Erick and spent most of the day there.  Michael had to leave us around 4 to go to work and the rest of us headed back to our hotel for a while until we could meet Michael and Kevin for dinner.  Ken kept insisting I take a nap.  I was beat, but I was having a lot of fun with Al & Erick, so I didn't sleep.  We talked for a few hours and then headed out to dinner.  That was a lot of fun.  I had such a great time and that's where I totally blew what little good I was doing in the eating department.  Oh well.  

Dinner ran long enough that when it was time to part ways, it was time for us to go pick up this woman neither of us had met at the airport.  On the way to the airport, it was really starting to hit me how tired I was.  I didn't sleep well the night before and then spent the day on the go.  We got to the airport and I played on my phone for a little bit before I started to crash.  Eventually he flight landed and we waited for her.  I was slouched down in my chair, in a foul mood and completely over it.  That's when someone walked up to me and just stood next to me.  I waited about fifteen or twenty seconds (at least in my head that's how long it was) before I looked up.  And let me post a picture before I continue.

I don't know how clear it is to you, but that look I'm giving is of shell shock.  I looked up to see one of my best friends and favorite person in the world staring back at me.  Freddy.  And Jed.  And the kids.  I never, ever saw this coming.  It took me most of the rest of the night to make any sense of what was going on.  

Ken and Freddy had been in cahoots since last August, right around the last time I was in Texas visiting, planning this trip.  Ken has known about this for the last seven months and never once let the cat out of the bag.  Freddy never mentioned a word of it to me.  And this is why Ken wanted me to make whatever plans I was going to make for the first part of the trip.

This surprise was not only for me, but also for Freddy's kids.  They had no idea that they were going to Disney World.  This was their first trip.

The next day was so messed up for me in so many ways.  I was working on no sleep, the clocks had to be set ahead an hour, I needed to pack because we were checking out of the hotel and heading over to a Disney resort and I still wasn't quite sure any of this was real.

The rest of the week has turned into a giant blur.  We had four days to hit four parks and try to take in as much as we could.  And I have to tell you, I think we performed like champions.  We hit just about every single attraction we wanted to.  Some were brand new for me, others old favorites.  We lost a child, which was the single scariest events I think I've ever experienced.  We ate so much food (or at least I did -- I'm up nearly 9 pounds from this trip).  It really was one of the greatest experiences of my life.  I got to see Disney through the eyes of a six and seven year old, which was pretty incredible.  I also got to see Disney through the eyes of two adults who, for all intents and purposes, haven't been before. 

I've spent the last week feeling emotionally overwhelmed.  I know I wear my heart on my sleeve a lot of the time, but it's hard for me not to.  I know this vacation wasn't all about me, but there was a huge chunk of it that was and just thinking about it makes my eyes water up.  The fact that these amazing fucking people in my life planned this out with me in mind is a real kick in the pants.  It makes me want to work harder to earn to love and respect they give me unconditionally.  I don't know how I managed to hit the jackpot, but I'm grateful every single day of my life for who I have in my life.

I won't bore you with too many vacation pictures, just some of my favorites.  I posted a shitload on Facebook today and will start putting a bunch up on my photo blog soon, so if you really want to see them, check out those places. 

This is Ryan and me.  I did a piss poor job of taking pictures when I was with him.

Al, me and Michael with Erick photobombing us in the background!

I absolutely love this picture of Michael and I.  Wearing dark colors definitely hides my fupa.

Me with my nephews.  I love these little bastards so damn much.

Okay, maybe not "so damn much."  They were my alarm clock Sunday morning.

He's an animal.

Freddy & me

There really aren't too many good pictures of Ken and I together.  I love this one.

Nathan never fails to make me smile.  Never.

Best moment of Magic Kingdom was when Freddy was continually picked on during the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor attraction

Yay Family!

Me, the morning after getting home, exhausted



I hate the end of a weekend. I really do. I have little to no desire to go back to work tomorrow, even though this is going to be a very short week. Two days of work and then it's off for vacation. The next two days are going to be very busy days, too. My goal is to get everything off my desk by the time I leave Tuesday night because I know it's going to look like something exploded by the time I get back to work.

I feel very accomplished right now. It was a busy weekend. Did a lot of running around, we bought and installed a new toilet in the guest bath, went to my Dad's house to celebrate my sister's birthday today, met up with friends both this afternoon and Friday night for meals.

And in my spare time, I spent a lot of time playing a new game on my phone called Draw Something. It's really fun, it's really addictive and I suck at it, which makes it all the more fun. It's basically an iPhone version of Pictionary. I've got way too many games running right now and I'm afraid I'm going to have to slow it down with them or I'm never going to get anything done.


This Is Only A Test

I just found out today that blogger has an iPhone app (finally.) I've searched for one in the past, but always came up finding nothing. Anyway, this is just a post testing out the app.

Last night into this morning we had our first official snowstorm of the winter. At the rate we were going, I thought we were going to miss out on snow completely. Not that I mind. Last winter was the worst winter of my adult life. As everyone I knew at work started putting in time off requests for today, I started looking around at who was actually going to be at work today. The list was pretty scary, so I put a slip in, too. When I saw how much snow had actually fallen overnight, I started feeling guilty for taking today off, but then I thought about how pleasant work would have been today with me and every single person I hate. So I spent the day doing chores (laundry, dishes, shoveling) and am now sitting down to read or nap.

I've got a small fire going, a cat in my lap and the first volume of Sandman handy. I've taken photos of these three things to see how that's going to work with the app.

Time to get on with my lounging.