Archive for December, 2009

25 Days of Thanks- Day 6

December 8, 2009

Thankful- Khakis

Forgot to mention that my brother declared the roadtrip a “khaki free experience”.

For many years, I did not embraced jeans.  Why?  I don’t know.  Khakis were my going out pant, my work pant, my working with my dad in the yard pant, my everything pant.  It was tough to break from the addiction.  Not necessarily a 12 step process but my closet is thankfully slowly diversifying its pants repertoire.

But I’ve got to get credit to the khaki for getting me this far.  I mean, it’s a respectable, adaptable fashion piece.  But wearing them all the time needed to change.  Just because one pair had cargo pockets or could convert into shorts thanks to clever zipper placement, they were still khakis.

I still wear them to work a lot but jeans and other colored pants are expanding my fashion horizon.

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25 Days of Thanks- Day 5

December 7, 2009

A little late but it’s been a crazy weekend!

Thankful- Christmas Trees

This post  had the possibility of going in several different directions from talking about going fake for Christmas to how much of a fan of tinsel I was.  But it wasn’t until staring at the real tree I chopped down on Saturday that I realized something, it has the perfect home here.

Why?  Well, it’s got some “fullness” issues that I think I can cover by turning it the right way.  It’s also flat on one side from it tipping over the other day.  I had to cut off some branches towards the bottom to get in the stand which left a gaping hole.  While “fluffing” the branches, I noticed that a squirrel must have been real ticked off one day at my tree because it went all Freddy Krueger on part of the trunk.  And I’m wondering if I have to put it on a water diet.

It’s got a perfect home because it’s kinda like me.

Now, yes, you could probably take anything in ones apartment and make an analogy to yourself about it (“The bookcase is like a person because it has all sort of knowledge and experiences with various heights and various ages…).  But, I don’t know, just something about this tree gives me a good feeling.  It’s completely unlit and undecorated, which won’t last much longer, but it keeps standing tall and smelling fresh even though it’s been put through the wringer.

And then tomorrow it will get better, and the next day, and the next.  It will grow with a little water, reach for some light, the scars will heal, the patches will get less with some pruning, continued fluffing will hopefully help too, and soon with some lights and decorations, it will be one heck of a tree.

The Christmas Tree connections could go on and on to Lisa, John, Pauline, and John who helped me buy it and carry it in (Side story:  you know what does not happen on a tree farm, nor really in real life, the Griswold family Christmas Tree moment.  Where the light comes out of the sky and shines on that perfect tree.  Nope, no light.  No voices singing in unison or trumpets.  Only a voice in my head saying, “Ok, everyone else has picked theres.  Don’t look like a Christmas Tree snob.  Just pick one.  It will be ok.”)  or to Kathleen who let me borrow her tree stand, but I’m going to leave it at a simple and genuine thank you to them and all those who helped get this thing standing for the Christmas Season.

25 Days of Thanks-Day 4

December 5, 2009

Thankful- The Men and Women serving our country

Whether it’s as local as the public safety officers at RIT, or as global as the men and women in the marines, I have a lot of respect and awe of these people.  To those who protect my right to walk down the street and those who protect our way of life, a big thank you.  To the family and friends who serve or have served, a big thank you.

I’ve got no witty stories or past experiences for this one.  Just the belief that you should and probably do thank them too.

25 Days of Thanks… Day 3!

December 3, 2009

Thankful- Fireplaces

Probably until I was 12, we had an active fireplace in our house.  Really it was a wood stove though.  Each morning, my dad would get up, throw some logs in there, and light ‘er up.  Coming home from a day of sleigh riding or playing in the snow, the thing was great!  Walking in the door, boots and jackets would go flying and you’d see my mom scurrying behind us to tell us to move them closer to the wood stove.

Then the mustache incident happened.

One day, my brother and I came home from something and noticed something different about my dad.  Something was just off… Glasses- check.  Two eyes, two ears- Check.  Two eyes- Che… WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO HIS EYEBROW?  One was fully intact, however, the other, yea, not so much.  Ok, that wasn’t so ba… WHERE THE HECK IS HIS MUSTACHE?  11 and 12 year olds have no idea of the severity of such a thing.  Maybe I should take this opportunity to apologize to my dad for, what I imagine, the laughter or smile my brother and I had on our faces when we first saw him.  We were both in shock dad!  Honestly!  I think eventually the other eyebrow came off too but thanks to a backdraft in the chimney, my dad was lucky that all that was blown away was some facial hair.

I think I’ve mentioned before about how I can’t wait to have a house.  And yes, that house must possess a fireplace.  I think previous fireplaces that I’ve hung out in front of have drawn as much attention from me as a good television show.  I can relax in front of the darn things for hours.  Lately, (and Sharon, my boss, stop reading right now…) daydreams (I told you to stop reading!  Seriously I only daydream at night, after work… never during the day) have taken place in front of fireplaces.  Sure, maybe it’s the cold weather, or rain/snow hitting the window, but just looking forward to that day of cuddling up in front of the fireplace with good company.

25 Days of Thanks- Day 2

December 3, 2009

Thankful- Sports Warmup Songs

Now Now now ow stepping to the plate late ate, number 30 irty irty, Jeff eff eff Spain ain ain (cue Taylor Swift’s Lovestory)

I kid!  But the right song while the batter is stepping to the plate can make or break the crowd.  Imagine if while a professional player was stepping to the plate, that song came on?  It’s a good song and I admit I paid 99 cents for it but there are just some times you need to not only get yourself pumped up but the crowd as well.  Traditions are huge in sports and a lot are built around music.  Think about the longest ones… the Star Spangled Banner, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, the Bills Make Me Want to Shout song after every touchdown.  Each is meant to not only pay respect but to pump up everyone in the stadium.  I’m thankful for those moments where it’s been a close game or a hockey game comes down to a shootout, and the music just hits the right moment.

My top 5 songs I would play if I were part of a sports team or were introduced in a stadium:

1) Doobie Brothers, China Grove- The guitar riff at the beginning always gets me pumped up.

2) Moxy Fruvous- King of Spain- Brings me back to the Studio X days at Canisius.  It was a variety show that I hosted with a good friend for a few years.

3) The O’Jays- Backstabbers- When I need a little soul and coolness to step up to the plate.

4)Eric Clapton- Layla/Forever Man- I put these two together because, well it’s my list, and because really there a ton of Clapton songs that have great guitar riffs in them.

5) The All American Rejects- Move Along- Great drum opening with the low piano notes behind it.

Runners Up: Ants Marching by DMB, Number One by Nelly, Superstition by Stevie Wonder, Baba O’Reily/Won’t Get Fooled Again/Who Are You by The Who (psyched these guys are playing the Super Bowl!), Empire State of Mind/Off That/Young Forever by Jay Z (great album!), and Crazy Game of Poker/Love and Memories/This Town by O.A.R.

Not Thankful- Key Rings

“Who’s got nails?” is usually what I ask when handed a new key.  Those stupid circle things with the metal that you can’t quite get far enough apart to get a key in…  hate em.  And each time, with a new key, comes a brand new one of those rings… a brand new one, meaning that the darn thing has only been stretched once!

I know they make clip ones and easy access ones but while I hate the circle key rings with a fiery passion, they’ve never broken on me.  But it’s just that moment of frustration when I realize that, thanks to a bad habit, I can’t get the key on my key ring.

25 days of thanks… Again

December 2, 2009

Lots to be thankful for this year so Round 2 of my 25 days of Thanks.  Want to see round 1?  It starts here

Thankful-Road Trips

I’ve got no problem driving.  Whether it’s with good company or good music, I could drive for days and not get antsy or frustrated.  This was tested though with a recent trip with my brother.  The trip with him was good and I don’t think we’d pass on doing it again.  We might just do it differently the next time.  Here’s some things that I think we both learned on the trip:

  • The more things change the more they stay the same.  Although we’re on different sides of the country, we still have old habits and um, different, yea different music tastes.  Although, I’ve got to give him credit.  He did turn me on to a great band called Phoenix.  You’ve probably heard their song in a recent Cadillac commercial.
  • Always have cash on you on a roadtrip.  Think we caused a good backup at a toll booth because neither of us had any cash or change.  After a few minutes, a guy from a few cars back came up huffin and puffin and threw a few dollars our way.
  • I was being pretty limited in my possibilities for the future.  There are some great little towns and colleges out there that I passed that could be potential spots for the next step.  Think I was limiting myself too much to beach towns and warmer weather.
  • Get off the highway.  We ended up in some awesome backwoods parts of Colorado and I think if we had stayed on the main highway we would have missed a lot.  Especially an awesome drive through Zion National Park.  If you get a chance to go there, I highly recommend it, especially the little town to the southwest (I think) of the park.  Will definitely be back there.

So to Chris, Stacy, and Allison, thanks for a good week.  Thanks also for stopping in Vegas!

Not Thankful- Those postcards in magazines

A recent snapshot into my brain:

(Sitting down on the couch)

“Ah, a good night to read Men’s Health. Oh jeas, Taylor Lautner again!  Smack dab on the cover.  He’s everywhere.  What’s this?…”

(Postcard advertisement falls out)

“Huh, 19.95 for a full year…”

(Flip open the magazine.  Two more fall out)

“No I don’t want a Holiday bag.  Don’t have the money to send to a subscription to a friend…”

(Bring magazine closer and feel something sharp poke me)

“What the?  Darn thing is sharp”

(Keep flipping pages)

“And another one… and another one…. OH!  YEA!  Two stuck together.”

(Open to article I really want to read)

“How did you manage to get folded between the pages?  Seriously how did you manage to fold between three or four pages.  May have to take a picture because I don’t think anyone will believe me.  Now I can’t even keep the page in view because you keep folding the page over…”

(Increasing frustration…)

“Oh look, it’s a full length one stapled inside… Great…”

(And cue temper tantrum)

“Well lets see if you can stay in there now!”

(Turning over the magazine and holding it by the binding, I shake vigorously to get the remaining ones out.  A few more come out)

“Yep, peaceful reading at last”

(Turn the page, another one falls out…)