Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve Festivities

Since I did not have a Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving, I am glad I got to enjoy a great night on Thanksgiving eve. Actually, my only meal I had on actual Thanksgiving consisted of left over Chinese food from the previous Friday, at least it wasn't the Ramen I had planned on eating.

The night began with a lasagna dinner that was brought by several people and was very scrumptious. I brought Jager and Red Bull for desert. After everyone was done eating we played the easiest drinking game ever. You assign everyone a number and roll dice, when your number comes up, you drink. If there aren't enough people then all the unused numbers are social (usually the highest and lowest numbers). After a while we moved to an easier version, odd numbers are for the girls and even numbers are the guys. We had our desert (Jager, Sambuca, or Grape Vodka) and headed to the Pickled Parrot.

I don't have any exciting stories from the bar, but can say that it was a great time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Finally getting to the Weekend

This was supposed to be 50 hours of straight drunkenness that turned out to by one night of crazy drinking, a day of recovery and nerdom, followed by a day of partial drunkenness and an early night to bed.

Friday night started on track when I left work and was able to get to Slainte in Fells Point by 5. This was my first time there and I definately liked it. I always like going to an Irish Pub, but unfortunately none of the girls had an accent (but some of the guys did). Some good conversations and a few half & half's later my friends called me and I had to head home so they could pick me up with all my Rock Band and weekend stuff. We headed over to Newman and Paris' place in Fed Hill and continued drinking while playing our world tour:

After a couple hours we head to Dog Pub on Cross St. for some more drinks and to meet up with some friends. On the way there I ran into an ex that was pretty drunk heading to some other bar in Fed Hill, it's always nice to know how small the world is. Several "pairs" and some shuffleboard games later we decided to head to Ropewalk down the street. This is where things started to get interesting. There were a bunch of people dancing (they dance at Ropewalk) in the back room and certain members of our group were destined to join in. Of course we had to get the obligatory drunk picture at the bar with some drunk ass-hole giving the shocker, a guy appearing to be sleeping standing up, the contemplative drunk and the laid back guy with the mohawk beanie (and of course the hot girl in the background):

So the random group of people dancing slowly started to include people from our group. Coincidently, this happened shortly after a group of us had some Jager bombs. The following is an accurate representation of why I do not dance at bars, this could happen to you:

The usual reaction WoW gets when he tries talking to girls ... even one's he knows (OK, maybe this isn't true, but it fits the picture)

We left Ropewalk at last call and then split ways. The majority of people went home and three of us decided it was a good idea to go to the Hookah lounge on Light Street that was open till 5. They don't serve alcohol (hence being open till 5 in B'more) so we ordered some Red Bulls. I was drunk and hungry and ordered some kind awesome shrimp. I also proceeded to force both York and Paris to eat some of them because I was drunk. We got some kind of Hookah and for about 10 minutes I participated. Shorlty thereafter all I remember is being constantly told to wake up. An hour and a half later (after about an hour of solid sleep) the three of us left and headed back to Paris' place. Getting there around 4:30 was great because the walk home in the freezing cold and not drinking for a couple hours woke us up and we felt the need to do the same to everyone else crashing there that had to be up at 5:30 (which was everyone but me and Newman).

The next day I woke up to the jackhammer in my head trying to get out. I thought it was early but it happened to be around 11:30. Everyone else was gone and apparently made it into work on time, even if they weren't coherent and probably unable to pass a sobriety test (they walked to work btw). Newman and I got up and played some Resistance 2 for about an hour until the uncontrolable urge to swear off drinking came over us and figured passing back out would be the best idea. Most of the guys that had to work got home around 5 and a few of us went out to eat. When we got back everyone was pretty much a zombie and we just spent time waiting (and playing video games) for the other 2 to get home so we could go out again. Eventually, we just gave up on going out since we couldn't get in touch with them and they didn't have a key. We decided to be super-nerd and play some future version of Risk. I have never played this and didn't know the rules, but learned them during the first couple of rounds. The other 2 got home real late after working for about 17 hours (one was York who slept 0 hours after getting home from the Hookah lounge) because IBM sucks at life, and proceeded to pass out. Once 2 AM came around and we weren't done playing yet we just quit and all went to sleep.

Woke up the next day and some people went to work again and Newman and I went to the Ravens - Eagles game with several hours of drinking/tailgating before. I am done writing and now need to go out for Thanksgiving Eve festivities.

My Thanksgiving (gotta love family)

OK ... so here is a quick warning ... if you are a member of my family, stop reading now (or don't hold anything I write against me). Everyone else, since I can't express myself very well in my writing ... good luck following along and prepare for a bazillion tangents.

My family had our Thanksgiving 2 Sundays ago since schedules are pretty out of the ordinary and it's difficult to get everyone together. I guess I need to provide an overview of my family structure to be able to explain everything. Let's make use of a bulleted list.
  • Mom and Dad split amicably 3 years ago
  • 2 older sisters (+2 and +4 years, let's call them Lisa(+2) and Maggie(+4))
  • Aunt on Dad's side with 2 dogs lives nearby (Selma)
  • Mom's siblings (Bro w/ family, Sis w/ family) live up north (Red Sox nation)
  • Grandparents on Dad's side no longer with us
  • Grandparents on Mom's side unable to travel (I need to visit them; far north)
  • Dad's been dating Betty for over a year
  • Mom's been dating Fred for under a year
  • Lisa has been dating Milhouse for over a year
  • Maggie has been dating Nelson for over a year
  • Betty has 3 children, one that is still in school (we'll go with Bamm)
  • I don't (or at least apparently shouldn't) date [more on this in a later post]

With that background information you should now have the key to unlocking the following puzzle. That puzzle being my Thanksgiving dinner.

Family gatherings are really a bittersweet experience for me and have been since college. It's rare that everyone gets together and I really love my family so it is always something I look forward to, but at the same time we all have conflicting personalities that seem to get stronger every year. When I say our personalities conflict I don't mean on an individual level, it's just something about all of us together that brings forth the aspects of those personalities that don't blend well. I get along great with all of them when it is just a couple of us (i.e. me, Lisa and Milhouse or me, dad and Betty) but I just can't take all of them together at the same time for very long.

For example, whenever I am getting together with Maggie, I know to tell her about 30 minutes before when I actually expect to see her. She is notoriously late to everything (except work, like ever). This is fine when it's just us or a small group, but when the whole family is waiting to eat and she was supposed to be there over an hour prior, it can get a little aggravating. I can't really think of anything Lisa does that gets on my nerves except that she is really nice and tries too hard to keep everything civil ... if I want to be mad at Maggie, damn it let me express that. As for Selma, I have never really gotten along with her (except when I was really young and we went to lots of hockey games, she was the "cool Aunt") and I don't know why. She just frustrates me beyond belief, and I won't even go into the grudge I hold against her (and my dad to a certain extent) over my dog from college (maybe I will, just not today). My parents are great, they have little quirks that tend to bother me (and I let them know about these), but for the most part we have never really fought about anything significant. Everyone's significant others are also high up on my list, with one slight exception that doesn't really fit in.

Finally, onto the actual day. I love my Thanksgiving because it shows how awesome my family is. We have the dinner at my mom's house and the table is filled with 11 people (10 and the 11th came mid-way through), none of which are married. There are a total 6 different last names among us. The main thing to consider here is that only 5 of these people are my immediate family, everyone else sports a different last name. Everyone contributes some dish (Lisa's green-bean casserole is the best; I brought beer since my stove/oven was still dirty from house work) and we all have a good time. I think this was the first time most of the family met Betty's son Bamm (I met him last year on a trip to Hershey Park with Dad, Betty, Bamm, his friend, and one of my Ex's) and I felt bad since I was supposed to bring Rock Band but completely forgot. I was only there for about 4 hours (had to leave for a volleyball match) but had a great time and am already looking forward to Christmas. Now what to do tomorrow since everyone else has their own Thanksgiving plans (I was invited to be the third wheel at no less than 3 Thanksgivings but figure I can use the day to work on my house and write some of these reports for work)?

I've been busy

I realize I haven't posted anything in a while and a lot of that has to do with how busy things have been both in and out of work. I meant to write about my Thanksgiving (that happened 10 days ago now), volleyball, work, this past weekend, and just all the randomness in my life.

I guess I just needed to take a break from work and this is the best way to do that right now. I don't feel bad either since I'll be working tonight, tomorrow, all day friday, and part of this weekend. Expect several new posts in the next few hours about the last few weeks. Of course, since this blog is listed reverse chronologically you are probably reading this after reading those other posts and can just stop now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I have heat!

I worked from home this morning so that I could fire up my boiler and make sure the heat started warming up the house without blowing up. I had to install the new thermostat first which was fun because my hands were cold. The temperature on the thermostat went as low as 50 but the meter was below that, so my house was somewhere in the 40's. By the time I left for work it was up a little over 50 ... hopefully when I get home tonight I will have a low 60's house.

I probably would have worked from home all day but I am going out for Sushi near work with a friend from grad school that works for one of those secret government agencies. She just got the job there a little over a month ago and I want to hear about how it's going. Then I will inevitably be playing rockband later because it is becoming an addiction. We played again yesterday after Mahaffey's wing night and realized that the drums are much easier when drunk cause of the stupid foot pedal.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun

OK, so a couple reviews today, first the new Bond movie (no spoilers), Quantum of Solace and then onto sangria night at Gecko's, with a little Rock Band thrown in for good measure.

Newman and I went to the theater in Harbor East to see Bond and naturally when there is beer available, I got some. I like that theater because the seat are more comfortable than any other theater I have been in and there usually aren't a lot of people there. I really only have a general review as I don't want to write about the story or anything specific for people that haven't seen it. Several of my friends have said they don't like the lack of gadgets in the new movies (this and Casino Royale); I actually like that better. I like that it is a little more grounded and could potentially happen, unlike the invisible car from the one with Halle Berry. The opening was great and I really like the song, "Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys. [Side Note: I really liked her first CD, "Songs in A Minor" because nothing sounds sexier than a soulful woman singing over a piano] Their voices sound really good together and the visuals of the opening were pretty sweet. I thought the movie was very bi-polar. There were several scenes of intense action followed be long, slow, dramatic build-ups. While I liked the action, I thought the scenes were too jumpy ... couldn't really focus and who was doing what, just that there was action. I liked the ending too, I feel like it opens it up to a lot of options for the future. That's really all I got. Oh, and as we were leaving the halls were filled with girls and women of all ages ... apparently there was a Twilight pre-screening. They seemed pretty excited.

On my way home from dropping Newman off I got a text from Boozer and Strike Out (names given from my volleyball team, not me) about going out for drinks. Boozer had a bad day at work and she wanted to get out. I met up with them at Looney's and we decided to go to Gecko's on Fleet Street for sangria night. I had never been there before but heard about it and was looking forward to going. The sangria was really good and the price was low for how much you got. $10 a pitcher and you could get 4.5 or 5 glasses out of each. We started playing pool and ordered some guacamole. The guac wasn't anything special, but it was fresh and tasted good. After several hours, lots of pool, and maybe 5 pitchers of sangria, we headed back to my place to play some (semi) drunk Rock Band. An hour of that (our band is up to 90,000 fans) and we called it a night ... at around 12:30 I think.

Overall it was a good night but I still haven't installed my thermostat and will try not to get too distracted with Mahaffey's wing night and 3 for $4 happy hour tonight. It's really starting to get cold out and I need to get some heat in my house so the pipes don't freeze.

Oh, and if this post seems like I ran out of ADD meds and someone was waving shiny things in front of me while I was typing may be because I wrote it 5 words at a time over the course of 6 hours.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's snowing, must not drive at reasonable speed

Why is it snowing today? I still don't have the heat on in my non-insulated house and I didn't bring a coat or hoodie to work today. Good thing I am going to the early showing of Bond tonight so maybe I will have enough time when I get home to install my new thermostat since the ceiling took out the old one.

By snowing, I mean there is a slight mist of frozen white things in the air not actually falling, but more moving around like the bag that creepy kid filmed in American Beauty (you'll understand if you've seen it ... and if you haven't, you should). Even if there isn't enough snow in there air to make it to the ground, Baltimore drivers (myself not included) will decide the road isn't safe and move at the pace of the economic rebound (yeah, I couldn't think of anything).

My encounter with George Lucas (kinda)

After the Terps game on Saturday night I met up with my friend Amy and headed over to Mahaffey's for a couple beers. She had her Praxis II earlier and wanted to hang out and relax and Mahaffey's is really one of the best places around me to go out on a Saturday night and not have to fight through a crowd (even more so now that it appears Tiburzi's has closed down again).

When we got there we immediately went upstairs, it's smaller but has a more relaxed atmosphere and I like the bartender up there. There was a small group, maybe a dozen people including Amy and I and many of them were bowling on the bartender's Wii. Amy and I were content sitting at the bar catching up (I haven't seen her in over a month) when this guy I have to assume was George Lucas' clone started whistling ... and not the normal whistle, he was doing the two fingers in the sides of your mouth, ear piercing, siren whistle. Now GL was literally sitting less than a yard from Amy and every time he whistled she would do a flinching cringe that made it apparent the whistles were not pleasant. Just to note, he was whistling at his wife/gf when it was her turn to bowl on the Wii. Here is the following exchange:

Me - "Excuse me, would you mind not whistling as loud, thanks?"

GL - "Sure, no problem" (GL turns away and pauses for a second and turns back)

GL (perplexed) - "Wait, you're serious, aren't you?"

Me - "Yes, I would appreciate it ... thanks"

(GL turns back, a few minutes go by without a whistle, GL turns to me and puts out his hand)

GL - (shaking hands) "Hi, I'm Jim, I come here a lot"

Me - "Good to meet you Jim. I come here often too, I've seen you around"

Jim (formally GL) - "Yeah, I was the first person to get in the 100 beer club here"

Me - "Congratulations"

(Jim turns back away, several minutes later Amy and I hear him telling his wife/gf about our exchange and how he wasn't allowed [yes, allowed] to whistle anymore)

(more time passes, Jim is packing up to go home and pays tab ... bartender comes over and tells me Jim picked up my tab)

Me - "Thanks Jim, that wasn't necessary ... you really didn't need to do that"

Jim - "It was nothing ... and next time you don't want someone whistling, go to a different bar"

Me - "I'll make a note of that, thanks again for the drinks"

(Jim leaves)

Now, I was pretty impressed with myself throughout this entire time ... first, if anyone knows me and I have a problem with someone, I am typically not the most polite person. Since I had seen Jim around Mahaffey's a lot, I thought it would be appropriate to be nice, plus I didn't think my request was unreasonable. The area upstairs was something like 15' x 30' with the bar and sofas and tables taking up a lot of it. His whistles were pretty damn loud and while I didn't care, Amy did and she wouldn't have said anything. I also didn't ask him to stop, just to lower the volume a little. For someone obviously at least in their 50's and seemingly well into their 60's, I think this guy acted like a child. I just wish I had more than 3 drinks on my tab at the time. Anyways, I like Mahaffey's and there aren't many places with the beer selection they have so I will continue to go there and maybe I'll find a reason to whistle.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Yes, I am posting a lot today and still have two more after this (but may not get to them)

I am pretty sure I have lost it ... and by it I don't mean that loving feeling ... that is still fully intact. I didn't know what I was thinking today and may have just been acting under impulse, but I registered for two classes to start working on my second masters degree in January. I actually think there is a strong possibility that I blacked out and woke up to the confirmation screen and was just too lazy to go back and un-register.

Anyways, I already have my MBA ... which, in a sense was a waste of my time. I like having the credentials, but the program was fairly easy for me (studying & going to class optional) and it hasn't really benefited me at work yet (stupid crappy market and working in the financial industry). Of course, immediately after giving the financial industry shit I will tell you that my next program is for my MSF (Finance). I feel like this is a good time to get a better understanding of the financial marketplace so I will be in a prime position when the market levels off and we go through another cycle of financial prosperity (in 3-5 years maybe?). Even if that doesn't happen, at least I will be in a position to control my own finances (better than I currently am) and not worry about being lost or getting taken advantage of.

Plus, my company will reimburse me and I will have my student loan payments deferred again.

Saturday's Terps Game

The Terps are 5-0 at home this year and 5-0 (going back to last year) against ranked teams yet they can still suck beyond comprehension at times. I understand why everyone rags on the ACC because somehow the Terps are in 1st (again) in the Atlantic division and have a loss to Middle Tennessee State on their record. On to the game ...

This weekend's game was another wet one with the rain starting an hour or so before game time. Other than the fact I was in shorts and a jersey and freezing cold, this made it a lot more fun. For some reason I enjoy the messy games a lot more and don't mind hanging out in the rain. I didn't go with my usual crew and this resulted in us getting there later than normal and not tailgating for as long. On the plus side, I remember a lot more of the game but I also felt the cold a lot more. As sloppy as the game was, it came down to a pretty exciting end with the Terps getting a field goal with under 3 minutes (I think) to play to put them up by 2 and then UNC throwing an interception with just over a minute (I think).

Friday's disappointment made better

So, I was not able to see the new Bond flick on Friday because one of the applications at work decided to break around 5:15 and I didn't get out of there until around 7 ... I was planning on going to the 6:30 or 7:00 showing downtown (about 30 minutes away) and wasn't going later than that.

Instead, I called a friend I haven't seen in a couple months and we headed to Yuki Sushi in Owings Mills. When I first started my current job a group of 4 of us used to go there at least once a week and I loved it. At lunch they have an awesome deal where you get a couple rolls and soup for $6 or something like that. Unfortunately, that deal does not carry over to the dinner menu. Friday night we started with Edamame (theirs is good because they use the sea salt, but tonight it was a little too salty) and each got a spicy tuna crunch hand roll. Gotta love a seaweed ice cream cone with raw fish replacing the ice cream. Then we got several rolls: a jaguar roll (eel and avocado, fried), a shrimp tempura roll, and some roll with blackened tuna and shitake mushrooms. My favorite is the jaguar roll. She paid for dinner and I left the tip so overall it was a great experience.

Now I am planning on seeing Bond tomorrow (Tuesday) night and will provide my thoughts of it at that point (if I actually form an opinion).

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Lunch

Today I took a long lunch. I went to Home Depot to buy a broom and mop for cleaning up the left overs from last weekend and also got soap and a bucket. Oh, and I needed a thermostat since my old one was the victim of falling ceiling and I am starting to think about turning on the heat in my house in the next couple weeks.

After the HD trip I met up with my co-workers at Bateman's for lunch. I was naturally the only one at the table that ordered a beer, but since I am used to this it wasn't an issue. Also, this guy that eats an unfathomable amount of food ordererd the 24 ounce bacon cheeseburger. Really, the only reason I am writing this post is so I have an excuse to post this picture:

That's really all I got ... for now, I am going to see Bond (Quantum of Solace) tonight and then gearing up for the Terps - UNC game tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

By later tonight, I meant tomorrow morning

Here are the pictures of the finished product from this weekend:

That wire hanging down is the switch to the light at the top of the stairs, but you can also probably use it as a jump rope

I am truely looking forward to the tedious task of removing all the small nails in the cross beams

I think this is where there used to be another chimney or a wood stove, still haven't gotten a good look at the hole in the top of the picture, but those bricks (not even real bricks) are just sitting in place with no mortar or anything

Old stairs maybe? and the opening that has been half-assedly (it's a word) filled

That's my neighbor's house, thier second floor to be exact

The craptastic patch job of a master mason I presume

Another angle

Yes ... the walls do appear to have been pink

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I tried

I tried to post the pictures of my house but wasn't able to ... I am too busy at work and sure as shit am not going to do it right now. I have the pictures uploaded and will try (yes ... try ... again) to get them up tomorrow but we are starting some hard core testing of a huge enhancement to our main application that will keep me busy until about March of next year. Oh ... and I applied to be an adjunct professor for a local community college so if I get that I am sure there will be something more interesting to write in here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things that would be better explained through pictures

I know I said I would take some pictures of the house after cleaning most everything up but I did not get the chance because I stayed in Columbia last night and haven't had the chance to take any of the pictures ... I will try to get on that tonight. In the meantime, here are some things that I learned this weekend:
  • There is only one layer of brick separating me from my neighbor (as evidenced by the hole in my wall where I can see into the next house)
  • There used to be a second (or first, but in a different spot) fireplace in my living room
  • The stairs used to divide the room and be perpendicular to the length of the house instead of parallel
  • There used to be pink walls and the carpet on the stairs also used to be pink
  • I think I should completely take out the second floor and re-level it (is that a term?)
  • Golf themed birthday parties include a lot of argyle
  • Dust and debris finds its way into every room even when you try to close them off
  • I have a lot of cleaning up to do
  • My house will be how I want it around 2012 and I am OK with that

I'll try and get the pictures up tonight to show the awesomeness that is my first floor.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Got a lot done today, finished up just about everything I wanted to accomplish with my house, will take some pictures tomorrow and post them. Won our BSSC football game 21-20. Now I have to head to Columbia and then buy a tennis racket for someone's bday then come back and go to a golf themed party ... oh, and I need to find my passport (from when I was 16 or so) since I lost my license ... needless to say, this should be an excellent evening.

Friday, November 7, 2008

By the way

F the Terps and their inconsistency. That's all ... goodnight.

I thought this day would never come

I am sore and don't feel like typing ... so I will just show some pictures.

My salvation
My living room @ 10:30 AM
Before lunch (with a shot of Dad taking out some debris)

After lunch (with plaster dust for good measure)
After tearing down the ceiling
Both his mask and my arms began this day white

That's all I took pictures of because I lost the ability to think after inhaling 90 years worth of black dust. I'll be up bright and early tomorrow to do some more and will try and remember to take some more pictures.

Third Guest Entry

Hi kids! I'm back, that's right, your favorite guest star of this here blog. Now before I start let me say how bothered I am that neither of my two previous posts have received a much deserved comment. It hurts people! Real bad. Despite the hurt, I still come back for more...isn't that the essence of life?

Anyway, today I walked into a mine field (aka this house) it was all sorts of crazy. You seriously can't walk in here without getting the Black Lung...think Zoolander (I've got the black lung, Pop!) I don't even know if that quote is right, but close enough. It was quite disshovelled when I came in and ironically enough we used shovels to lessen the disshovelment (yes that's a word) it makes me wonder, what is something that was disshovelled, but was shovelled, so now it's...? Think about that one kids, it will haunt your dreams. This is a perfect point to comment and share your thoughts, BTW.

Also we saw Xack and Miri make a Porno. Pretty good flick. This weekend, if you're not doing anything, round up the kids (hey, elementary schoolers are talking about sex now a days, and they may as well hear about it in the theatre then from their dirty friends) and go see the movie. You'll get a good laugh out of it.

That's it for to follow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There goes Trivia night

So I start my new/second job tomorrow night. I have been looking for a second job for a while but needed something flexible and this job seems like it will fit that description. I am hoping to get some extra money to help with the bills but it will suck losing two nights that I would have previously been able to unsuccessfully work on my house. I am also sad that I won't be able to watch the Terps play V-Tech tomorrow night but am happy Florida State lost last weekend and will probably lose this weekend too. I also need Wake Forest to lose to UVA ... lets make that happen.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Breaking and Entering

I just went outside to get my mail and literally had to block a stray cat (more like a kitten) from running into my house. It didn't stop at one attempt either and it wasn't being suave about trying to get around me ... it ran right into my leg and bounced back off my stoop then looked at me and trotted away.

Of course, if the cat did get in my house it would realize that I haven't turned on my heat yet and have zero insulation so my house is sitting right around the 58 - 62 degree range depending on the day (got as low as 54 a week or so ago) and would immediately try and escape.