Saturday, August 30, 2008

Not Blog, Website or The (Belated) End of an Error

I should have forgotten you long ago...

Anyone still checking in here surely has noticed that my posts are very infrequent. I can't claim that apathy and sloth had nothing to do with this, but it's also due, in part, to what this blog captured - a time in my life that is, for all intent, over. Like my website and travel blog before it, the time has come to let this space become what it is - a time capsule.

Farewell, readers. I'm off to the greener pastures of Goodbye, Samurai. I hope you will join me.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My brother, the... actually, I'm not sure what he is.

My little brother Todd came up from New York on Thursday to hang out for a few days. It was the usual movies and video games for a while, but after going out for a run on Friday, he returned to my apartment with tears in his eyes. It seems he was attacked by what he referred to as "an enormous, ill-tempered monster insect". My interpretation: your average mosquito. Now, the area swelled a bit, but he was fine - I told him to take some Benadryl and shut up.

My parents came up on Saturday for my slightly belated birthday celebration, but after seeing my brother's arm (and the tears welling up in his eyes once again), Mom demanded an emergency room visit. So, instead of presents and cake, we had two hours of sitting in Newton-Wellesley hospital. The end result of this needless excursion: a recommendation to shut up and take some Benadryl (this time from an actual MD).

Hooray for medicine!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Keith (Est. 1978)

Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd, smiling.

Those with little patience for self-indulgence should stop here, hopefully awaiting my next post.

I entered my twenties as an undergraduate student at SUNY Farmingdale and an employee of King Kullen grocery stores, in the Seafood department. The year was 1998, and I was a pissed off kid. See, I had not long ago ended my tenure at the Pennsylvania State Univeristy, not by my own volition, but by theirs, as my grades were far beneath adequate. I knew, at my point of termination, that the end was near, but I figured I had one more blissful semester to enjoy before I got the boot. Not so, though, so I formulated a plan that I thought was airtight - to save up $500, get my parents to buy me some weatherproof garments (which they did), and go live in the woods at Penn State, continuing to enjoy the company of my matriculating peers. Needless to say at this point - my maturity has consistently been a step behind that which my years would lead one to believe. Fortunately, this plan was thwarted by my obsessive (and remaining) collection of music and movies - I was never able to accumulate the funds necessary to embark on this ill-fated journey. It should be noted, as I've now mentioned my obsesssion with music (one which has remained from my youth until this very day) that my attention broadened, happily, in 1998. I no longer focused solely on punk and metal, but turned, as well, to what Mr. Mike (and Mr. Mike would earn great mention in this post, had our relationship not formed in our teens) called 'old guy music' - and thank god (or whomever you like) for this, as a record collection without the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Cream, etc. would be sorely lacking, in my opinion.

It was also in 1998 that I became friends with Enston - we had known each other in High School, but were never close until we started hanging out. Since then, I've proudly served as co-Best Man at his wedding, and look forward to the birth of his first child, expected just days from now.

Eventually, I decided that getting a Bachelor's degree wouldn't be a bad idea, so I took the first step, graduating in 1999 with a 3.9 GPA at SUNY Farmingdale with my Associate's degree. It came time to pick a school to continue my education, so off I went to SUNY Albany, mostly because they had a Taco Bell in the commons (and my Dad was fairly pissed to find out that this was my criteria for choosing a school).

Albany was a blast, and I'm so glad a picked it, as I had the good fortune to make friends with Dave, Frank and Kenny, among others. If you'll indulge my sappiness for a moment, I'd like to say that those three have enriched my life in ways they'll never know (mostly cuz I'd never tell them).
I again savored the college experience there, taking 2.5 years to do what should have been accomplished in only two, but nevermind.

I've many times been asked to compare my two main college experiences: PSU and Albany. It remains difficult for me, as they were both so formative, so important to who I've become, but they were, certainly, different. Penn State was about learning to learn from others, as I truly feel like I knew nothing before I went there (I went to a faily strict Catholic school). Albany was more about learning to become one of the guys - I was always (and still am) kind of a weird one, but Albany taught me how guys interact, and my life has been all the better for it. Also, PSU was more hanging out in people's dorms, apartments, or the woods. When I went to Albany, I was already 21, as were my peers, so it was more about hanging out in bars. I won't say one was better than the other, as they were both extraordinary experiences, but Albany was certainly what I would call a more 'realistic' life.

Coming home from college was, for me, really devastating. I graduated in December 2001, and had no idea what to do with my life. I had always thought that college was some lead-in to an easy life where everything was laid out nicely - coming to the realization that this wasn't the case was really hard for me. I was able to continue the job I had in the last semester of college (Pharmacy technician at CVS), and that lasted another 9 months before I found a 'real' job. That job, unfortunately, wasn't nearly what I was looking for... I spent about three years just showing up for work, hoping something better was coming along, and hanging out with Frank and Dave every weekend (though this was a lot of fun).

In July of 2005, I quit my job, and embarked on one of the greatest experiences of my life - I took what money I had saved and traveled the country by car for about three months. I went from New York to San Diego, stopping everywhere in between, including Atlanta (to see Mike) and Denver (to see Kenny). I guess I figured I would find that one place where I truly felt like I belong, but it wasn't to be. I came back to New York and stayed in my parents basement until I found an apartment in Long Beach with Dave.

It was at this time that I started hanging out with Sarah, an old friend from Penn State. I eventually moved in with her in Massachusetts, got engaged, then disengaged and moved into the place I find myself in now.

As I turn thirty, I find myself only marginally wiser... I'm in school, pursuing my MBA; I'm in a job that I enjoy (finally!), and I'm looking forward to seeing where this all takes me. I think I'm in a fairly peaceful place, but I continue to believe that my life still has many unwritten chapters.

The one thing that strikes me is this: when I moved from my teens into my twenties, I looked forward to new people and new experiences. As I move from my twenties into my thirties, I hope that the same people continue to see me through my future. I have many people to thank for who I am - my family, Todd, Mike, Enston, Kenny, Frank, Dave, Atom and Hnat. Thank you guys, for everything that you have given me, and know that I am forever in your debt.


It's my birthday, and I'm getting drunk.

When it's time to party we will party hard!

Well, hello.

Often, when a man enters his fourth decade, he pauses to reflect on his life. Perhaps I'll do that one day soon, but tonight, on the recommendation of Mr. Mike, I'm getting drunk.

My last few days have been downright blissful. See, I took the week off, not to go on some silly vacation, but simply to sit around and do nothing, something I just don't have time for when I'm working every day. Since leaving work last Friday, the bulk of my time has been spent sleeping. I'm like Sunny von Bulow without the allegedly murderous husband. My brief periods of consciousness have been filled with movies, video games, and the occasional sandwich. Naturally, my shower-frequency has plummeted. The best part of all of this is that I've only just now hit the 40% mark of my time off. However, the rest of the week should be slightly more active, as I have a softball game tomorrow, then Tooter arrives on Thursday, then the rents on Saturday.

At this point, it would be awkward to not address where I've been since my last post, more than a year and a half ago. Well, I moved to Massachusetts. There, now you're all up to speed.

Until I blog again, dear reader (and this should occur more frequently now, as I am unfettered)... godspeed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Breaking News!


You may have noticed a slowdown in my blogging. Well, I have some news:

I am moving!

More specifically, I am moving to the Boston area!

Still more specifically, Sarah and I have put a deposit on an apartment in Watertown, MA!!!

So, what does this all mean - is the blog dying? Certainly not. However, I will need to devote more time in the near future to my move and my frantic job-search. So, I'll appreciate your patience (and your support, and your congratulations). I'll blog when I can, but I will need to focus on real life, at least for the time being...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year! or Hey! Look what I did!

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you without a dope beat to step to...

So, I left my house on 12/22 and I basically got back last night (there were a few days back here in between, but they were full of guests and fun, so they're considered part of the entire vacation time). I'll try to fill everyone in on what went down, but I bet the beginning will be difficult.

Friday 12/22 - I went to my parents house to kick off my end of the year festivities. It was Dad's birthday, so we did some presents for him, then some dinner, and then, since we were going away for Christmas, we exchanged our presents. My big gift was new tires for my car (whee!). Aside from that, there was a sweater, a book, and some boxers, and I'm sure a couple of things I'm forgetting (hey, it was a long time ago). I'm guessing we really didn't do anything else that night, but I really can't remember. We'll assume I went to bed at some point.

Saturday 12/23 - I woke up and was told I could take my time getting to the Christmas destination (Lenox, MA). Then I received a text from cousin Megan saying "Get here now!", or something to that effect. I was all "Umm, taking my time, what's the deal?" to which she replied "Umm, dinner at 5:30, be there!". I checked my watch, let out a 'eek!', grabbed my things, took the dog to be boarded, and went to pick up two cousins and Grandma. We did the drive up, and arrived at the Birchwood Inn at 5:25. We immediately headed to dinner at some place with really good bread. I had a quesadilla. We all went back to the inn, played some Trivial Pursuit, and went to bed. I shared room number three with cousins Ryan and Jonathan. I should tell you at this point that the inn had some literature in the room about its history, and one thing it mentioned was that rooms number three and ten were thought to be haunted.

Sunday 12/24 - We woke up and Ryan told us about how he heard a ghost during the night! How adorable is that? I should mention that he's nineteen. Apparently he saw and heard the closet door opening and closing rapidly at around 5am. He said he thought of waking me, but he thought I would just make fun of him. That may be true, but also, he should know that I have no idea how to fight a ghost. We went to breakfast, which was delightful, and then Dad, Todd, Ryan and I went to nearby Jiminy Peak for some skiing. When we arrived it was rainy and the slopes didn't look too good, but we decided to give it a shot and actually had a really great time. We went back to the inn to get ready and then went to some restaurant. I had artichoke pasta - it was ok. At some point in my car with Todd, Ryan, Jonathan, and Emily, we heard "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" by Tiny Tim, which quickly became the theme song for the rest of the trip. Back at the inn after dinner, the cousins did Secret Santa (I got a t-shirt and a pony from Brian!), and then I think we played Scattergories for a while. The game ended in a tie between Colleen and I, so we had a little showdown, which she won. I'm guessing we went to bed after that.

Monday 12/25 - Christmas! We all had breakfast together, and then got ready for church. Thankfully, someone put Grandma in charge of finding out when church was, and I guess she made some mistakes, so we weren't able to go. I'm not sure anyone even pretended they were sad about that. Christmas without church is like a day where no one punches me in the face, and by that I mean it's simply wonderful. Then Todd, Jonathan and I went outside to play some football, which basically meant Todd spent a lot of time on the ground. After that I'm thinking we exchanged gifts and then got ready for dinner. We went to the Red Lion Inn (or something) and had an awesome Xmas feast. I had squash ravioli followed by white chocolate cheesecake. We went back to the inn, played Pit (which I totally won), and everyone went to bed, or so I thought. I went upstairs to find Megan and Jonathan chatting in the hallway, so I joined them. Then Emily came over. Then we went and sat in our room, and Ryan came over as well. Then Aunt Erin came over. Then Uncle EJ came over. I think we were in there talking until around 3am. That was fun.

Tuesday 12/26 - We woke up, had breakfast, packed up, said our goodbyes, and made our way out. I headed to Stow, MA to see Sarah. I arrived around 2pm, and I don't think we did much of anything until around 7, when we had pizza with her grandma. Afterwards, we went to see Black Christmas, which was pretty darn terrible.

Wednesday 12/27 - We were supposed to go skiing, but the conditions didn't allow, so we pretty much spent the day lying around. We watched Wedding Crashers, and around 8pm we finally got the motivation to get some dinner at Friday's. We came home, watched Just Friends, and went to bed. It sounds like our time in Stow was boring, but it was actually super relaxing and fun.

Thursday 12/28 - We left Stow, headed to Moe's in Shrewsbury for lunch, and made our way to my place in Long Beach, NY (sidenote: I was telling Sarah today how one of my favorite parts of the whole vacation was driving to NY and back to Massachusetts with her. I'm not really sure why, but it was really nice.). We arrived around five pm, fully expecting to see Mike and Shelley in the near future, but some communication breakdowns and a pretty good distance led to them arriving at my place around ten pm. In the interim, Sarah and I exchanged our Christmas gifts. I got a Moe's gift card and an awesome Celtics sweatshirt (and they quickly became my second favorite NBA team, replacing the NJ Nets). Mike, Shelley, Enston and Heather arrived, we ate dinner, exchanged gifts (I got a shirt, some cds, and some dvds) and then played Apples to Apples until 2 am, at which point Enston and Heather went home. Sarah, Mike, Shelley and I played cards until 6am, and then went to bed.

Friday 12/29 - We all slowly woke up, and Mike, Shelley and I went to West End Pizza for lunch. After that I left Mike and Shelley to watch Psycho as I went to pick up supplies for the evening's pre-new years party. Around 7pm, our guests started arriving. Frank, Rachel, Enston, Heather, Atom, Stacey, and a few of Dave's work friends came over. We all had a wonderful night of drinking and hanging out, and I think I finally got to sleep around 7am.

Saturday 12/30 - I took Mike and Shelley to the airport around 9am, said goodbye, and quickly came back here for another lie-in-bed day with Sarah. I did laundry at some point, we did some post-party cleaning, watched Chasing Amy, and at around 8pm we went to Chipotle in Hicksville. I think that was the whole day, but it was excellent. And I think it was today that Sarah told me she booked us a New Years hotel so we wouldn't have to drive back to her parents house after the party. Awesome.

Sunday 12/31 - Sarah made some cinnamon rolls, which was very nice to wake up to, and we got ready to head back to Massachusetts for Becca's New Years Eve party. We drove up in the afternoon, and made our first stop in Worcester at Dick's Sporting Goods (the sweatshirt she bought me was a large, which is fine, but I prefer XL for sweatshirts). They didn't have my size, so we went to Dick's #2 in Framingham. They didn't have it either. Then we got dinner at Friday's, checked into the hotel, and got ready for the party. We took a cab to Becca's, and arrived to find her, Mardi, Joe, Melissa, Carly and Kevin having some drinks in the TV room. We quickly joined them, and then moved to the living room to open some naughty gifts and goody bags. After playing with some of our new toys, we watched the ball drop, and did some New Year kissing and champagne toasting. Not long after, Sarah, Becca and I went to 'find the beat' somewhere in the neighborhood, and, after failing to find it, came back to see a naked party through a window. More beer was consumed, phone calls and merry were made, and then Joe and Melissa graciously offered us a ride back to the hotel, where we, umm, went to bed.

Monday 1/1 - We woke up around noon. I watched Bobby Knight become the winningest coach in college basketball while Sarah showered and got ready, and we left the hotel around 2pm. We went to the last Dick's in the area, and they finally had my size! Then we went to the Outback for dinner. I got made fun of for ordering a Bloomin onion and cheese fries as dinner, and I deserved it, because seriously, that was out of control. I think my body agreed, because I was forced to poop at the restaurant, which, as most of you know, I absolutely hate to do. It actually went pretty well though. We went back to Sarah's house, and, while I was having my about-to-leave pee, I dropped my phone in her toilet. I fished it out and cleaned it off, and now it seems to be working well enough, but come on, the thing has been in a toilet, we all know it has got to go (new phone comes Friday!). After that unfortunate event, I said goodbye and sadly made my way back to NY...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Warm Holiday Wishes

I dedicate this post to all you brothers taking long trips down South... Virginia, Baltimore, all around the world, and your girl gets this message that you ain't coming back... she's sittin' back in her room, the lights is off, she's crying, and then my voice comes in... POW!, in the middle of the night, and this is what I told her for you:


I'll be gone most of the week, so here's to all my family and friends having a wonderful holiday. Remember, the spirit of Christmas isn't about just buying gifts, but, specifically, buying gifts for me! And don't forget gift receipts - I'm sure I don't want the crap you picked out... (OMG! Just kidding! You got me a sweater with a puppy on it? I LOVE IT!)

And to my friends who don't celebrate Christmas... Jesus hates you!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Safety In Number Two

A while back, in Weekend Wrapup #3, I told a story about a certain incident at Sarah's house. This has become a topic of great interest among some of my readers, and I have been asked to go into greater detail regarding my pooping-policy.

But really, it's not so much policy as it is simply what my body tells me to do. See, I have this thing where I never have to poop until I reach what I call a "safe toilet". For example, I could be at work all the live-long day, not having to poop, but once I open the door to my house, I basically need to run to the bathroom. See, in this example, critical mass was probably achieved well before I got home, but my body won't allow it to come out until I feel safe. Of course, it's all mental, but it's completely involuntary.

However, I have been able to pinpoint the qualities that can make a certain toilet 'safe', and I'd be glad to share them:

1. Cleanliness. A toilet must be impeccably clean. This is why my home toilet will always qualify as safe - because I can be in complete control of its cleanliness. And it's a very good thing that my home toilet is always safe, because I would be quite backed up otherwise.

2. Quiet. A toilet is like a fortress of solitude. Safe toilets are always in low-traffic, low-interruption areas. Also, even the home toilet is temporarily unsafe if there is some sort of gathering of people. Basically, no one should be allowed to know you are pooping - it should be handled as a completely clandestine operation. It needs to be handled with such decorum that, five minutes later, you can pretend it never happened.

3. Infrequent Usage. This basically disqualifies any public restroom, and rightly so (unless you can find a secret bathroom, like one I found at college - then you've got a very special relationship). Who wants to share ass-space with the general public? Have you seen the general public? They're gross. A safe toilet must be shared with as few people as possible. This sounds a little selfish, but remember, I didn't consciously create these rules, I just noticed how my body works and figured them out.

4. Strength. A safe toilet must be able to destroy all evidence - it must be able to handle anything you can throw at it. Now, since it's so hard for me to find an appropriate toilet, I can often go several days without pooping. This means that when I do poop, it can be a real toilet python. Or sometimes even a big brown baby. That said, the strength to handle my assault is the most elusive of all the safe toilet qualities.

5. Comfort. Basically all the previous qualities lead to a general feeling of comfort. However, occasionally a toilet will meet the other requirements, but it just doesn't feel right, and the mission must be aborted. That's a comfort issue. This one is difficult to explain, as it is simply a gut feeling, but, believe me, it's important.

So there we are... I've let you all into a small slice of my psychosis. Fortunately, I rarely suffer due to these rules; as I said, my body doesn't even alert me to the fact that I have to poop until I've reached a safe toilet destination.

It should be noted that there have been exceptions... often if I'm either sick or if I have simply pushed my body too far. But that's very infrequent. For example, I don't remember pooping in my High School. At the job I've worked for almost four years, I've pooped maybe twice. Ironically, the times where I'm absolutely forced to poop somewhere I wouldn't normally poop are the very times when disaster is most likely to strike, as I have likely created such a mighty log that no toilet should be expected to swallow it.

So, here I'd like to open this up to discussion (ahem, Traci...). Your thoughts?