Monday, December 24, 2007

Don't ask:

You Are A Cedar Tree
You are elegant yet unpretentious, modest yet vivacious.Attractive and friendly, you are full of imagination but might lack passion.You abhor vulgar people, and you don't like anything in excess.You have little more ambition than to live a calm life and enjoy nature.You create a content, peaceful atmosphere for others.
What's" Your Celtic Horoscope?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Paris for the Holidays!

So far it's been pretty good. I haven't been this unproductive in a long time. Which is pretty good, I needed some downtime. I did have a little office blow up just after I got here and it's hard to manage by email when you are 6 time zones apart and don't have a crackberry, but I managed. Since then it's been pretty quiet. But I am having cell phone withdrawal. While waiting for something I have this almost uncontrollable desire to pull out my cell phone, check my messages, make a call, or play a game. Yes, I'm pathetic.

It's cold here. And not crazy cold, only like 25 degrees cold, but it seems colder. You really have to bundle up or you'll freeze. I think part of the problem with the cold is that I'm used to that cold of weather when I go from my house to my car, and my car to the gym, and the gym to my office. Short periods of time where you just suck it up. Here, you walk around outside in the cold for 2-3 hours at a time and it gets to you.

Now, I would feel sorry for the homeless (and in general I do), but when I see a homeless guy sitting on the street with two beers, two packs of cigs, and talking on his cell phone, it's hard to feel that same sympathy.

My sister and I walked down the Champs Elysees last night and saw all of the cool lights. Paris is definitely the City of Lights and they really pull out all of the stops at Christmas. In addition to the lights on the buildings and in the treese (cool blue ones!), we were treated to the lights of a million cars cruising the Champs as I like to call it. The traffic here is really insane.

Oh, I'm not a big drinker, but I do want to get an Amsterdam beer! We saw this sign for Amsterdam beer that comes in three different types. The Explorator with only 6.8% alcohol. The Navigator with 8.4% alcohol. Or the Maximator with a whopping 11.6% alcohol. That's just insane.

And no I have not been going out at night. One it's frakken cold. But also because I just don't see the point. I'm huge and feeling about as asexual as an amoeba. So why go out and depress myself.

Well it's time to go swimming with the kinder. Joyeux Noel to all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Running Away to Paris

I've got a day full of meetings and then I'm off to Dulles to catch a flight to Paris! The past month or so has just been crazy busy with radiation treatment, parents & sister visiting, Army-Navy game, trip to San Diego, trip to NJ, working on a proposal, etc. I have barely had time to catch my breath. I sooo need to unwind. And yet sadly I'll be taking my laptop with me. Oh well, atleast that means I can blog from Paris!

Au revior!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Adventures in Shopping

Now I missed that gay gene about loving shopping. Just like I missed the interior decorating gene. Anyways, I don't really hate it, it's more like I tolerate shopping. But I usually try to have a plan (gee, go figure). I need to know what I want, where it will be, I'll go in, I'll get it, and then I'm out of there. Kind of search and destroy style shopping. I really don't like shopping when I'm just wandering around because I'm not sure what I need. Or, as today, what my sister and my mom want.

So I'm wandering through Filene's Basement in the women's section. With my eyes just glazed. No clue as to what either of them want, much less need. And, to make it worse, I'm really not sure what size they are. So the wandering is pretty pathetic. And while I'm not a fashionista, I do know enough about clothes to wonder who the hell is buying some of this trash. Well wait, let me re-phrase that. It's more like that some of the clothes there are targeting a different demographic than I'm looking for. But I dealt and I ended up finding something that I hope they don't hate, and fits. That will be a win in my books.

Oh, and I'm still scarred from the trip to Toys-R-Us yesterday. I ordered my nephew's gift online in time for it to get delivered, but apparently it never got shipped. So I had to go to Bailey's Crossroads (which is a traffic nightmare) to the Toys-R-Us there. Saying it was a zoo would be nice. It was a chaotic version of hell with children running amok. I stood in line for over 25 minutes so I could buy the race car set for my nephew. He better like it!

Oh, and 48 hours from now I'll be on a plane to Paris. I've got a TON of stuff to do. Including getting a proposal for work done. I haven't hit the panic stage, but I'm fairly certain I'm not sleeping Monday night. See, I try to plan my panic attacks. That's just the type of guy I am.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Year, New Motto

So Museum Man and I came up with a new slogan for 41 and for 2008.

"Be Better, Not Bitter"

So that's my new plan. Try try not to complain, or be bitter, just to figure out a way to be better. A better person, a better friend, a better human. Sounds like a good goal.

Went to see The Golden Compass tonight with Superlawyer. It was good. And while I don't think it over overly anti-religious, I can sort of see how some people might be upset. But get over it already people, it's just a movie. If you want to get upset about something, there are enough things wrong with this world and this country for you to get all spun up about.

Oh, great line from the movie: "You mustn't deny me this one little thing, you really mustn't."

Oh, and I really loved Nicole Kidman in this movie. She plays the cold heartless bitch so well.


Happy Birthday To Me!

My horoscope:

"As usual today, your ability to roll with the punches is going to save you a lot of grief. Adaptation is your saving grace. While others run around like chickens with their heads cut off, you will be able to stay cool, calm and collected. You know how to let go of worrying about what other people think about you, let go of expectations you have put upon yourself, and most importantly -- you know how to let go of trying to keep everything the way it has always been."

So the first part I buy. I can deal with stressful situations pretty well. I can adapt, come up with new plans on the fly. I'm good at that.

Letting go of worrying about what other people thing about me? Letting go of my own expectations? Not so much.

Oh well, it's just a horoscope.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Found While Blog Surfing #2

From the Farmboyz via Joe.My.God (natch!):

"Holding On.

The way I see it, we are, each of us, dumped from the Titanic of our births into icy waters. We survive instinctively by clinging to what is nearby, some luckier than others by circumstance, some by strength, and still others by cold-blooded gumption. I am among those who, while awaiting rescue, trade up to better debris.

In childhood, I was supported by careless teachers, unhappy parents, and the lonely respite of the public library. As a young adult, I enjoyed the comfortable floatation of the Church, pulling at my oar half-heartedly while snickering quietly at the drama of my voice. When the dark and starless skies let me know that I was making circles, I took a dive into the passing ship of State, making myself useful dispensing the sterilities of mapless government.

In my early days of safety, I saw many people drown, and secretly I wished to know the foam of the waves that overcame them.
I watch others tread water for the length of their lives, using curious tools to stay above its surface. The morphine of religion. The aquarium of wealth. The fanning gills of sex. The antifreeze of drink. Their sharks never seemed much to care for me, though I would have been easy prey.

Imagine my surprise twenty-four years ago when someone passing took hold of me and pulled himself up and into the listing vessel of my life. Turned about in winter, I felt warmth for the first time. Good and playful work. An ease of course through dire straits. Laughter in the clearing of the drain.

To him I make these words. Happy anniversary, you with your charts and signs and sense of direction. Do not argue with me when I set love between the stem and stern of us and say now we will go this way or that. Hold fast, and sing with me when there is music in the wind. I feel good currents beneath us. Portage to those sunny islands. Soon."

Wow. What a great post. The part that speaks to me is the part about treading water for the length of their lives. I've been lucky. No drugs, alcohol, or sex have disturbed my progress through life, though I know a lot of people who have been diverted, sidetracked, hamstrung by these demons. I am truly lucky. But I wonder if work has become the shark that has taken a hold of me and won't let go. If I use work to put enough blood in the water to draw the shark, to make me just weak enough not to be able to escape. If it's a comfortable hell I've created, and am afraid to escape from? Don't know. And don't have time to think about it. I need to get back to work. ;-)

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

18 Years Ago . . .

It's been over 18 years ago since I first came to Coronado. I'm sure I've been here since then, but I can't remember.

After graduation, and after a quick trip to the Bahamas, I drove from Annapolis to Dayton Ohio (crashing at my sisters). From Dayton to Leavenworth (crashing at my Aunt and Uncle's). And then from Leavenworth to Colorado Springs where I spent some of my basket leave. Then it was Colorado Springs to Beaver Utah (a sad pathetic Best Western if I remember correctly). And then from Beaver Utah to San Diego, CA. Naval Amphibious Base Coronado to be exact. Coming down out of the high California desert into LA was depressing. The smog was awful. And the drive down the coast to San Diego wasn't great. It seems like a blur as I try to remember it now.

What I do remember, very clearly, was crossing the San Diego Bay Bridge, and finally slowing down. Slowing down and finally really *seeing* California for the first time. Coronado is the picture perfect image of California. Streets lined with beautiful palm trees and cute little shops and restaurants. Coronado is also home to the Navy SEAL training facility, and I remember quite distinctly a very attractive guy running shirtless down the middle of the grassy median, glistening with sweat. And I was driving with the top down in my 1988 Chrysler LeBaron convertible.

As I drove back onto Coronado this morning, all of those images came flooding back to me. And I think they were all good. Maybe time has worn away the edges of any bad memories. Not sure. All I know is that it felt so good to be back.