Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tennis

Just recently I've started to get back into playing tennis. There are two things you need to know for this: (1) I absolutely love tennis. (2) I am horribly out of shape.

For some reason, me and tennis click. I don't have a strong opinion on most other sports but I've loved tennis since I was a kid. I played it at summer camp, took lessons, I even went to a tennis camp in Williamstown, MA to improve! (I think I went there for 4-6 summers in a row!) I love the sport. I love watching it. I love playing it. I love everything about it. I'm also just a little bit passionate about it too, if you couldn't already tell.

I don't regularly exercise. I don't eat all that well though I try not to eat too much that's not-good. (Mmmm... three negatives in one sentence...) Since I had joint issues for the first 3-4 months of this year, I have a decent excuse for being a lazy bum. But I'm rather glad that I'm taking up something athletic. Tennis will definitely help me to get in better shape. Who knows, maybe I'll even shed some extra poundage!

A little less than two weeks ago, I gave a 1.5-hour tennis clinic a shot. As it turned out, the pro suggested I find a higher-level clinic. That one was 2.5 and apparently I play at a 3.0-3.5 level. What precisely those mean, I have no idea, other than that I had to find another clinic. So I did. I'm signed up for a 1-hour 3.0 clinic and I'll be attending it for the first time this weekend. I can hardly wait! If I weren't trying to get in some extra billables by the end of this month, I would totally ditch work and hit up the courts to practice my serving. As it is, after a longer-than-usual day I just don't feel like it.

*THWACK*

Visiting Relatives Last Weekend (And I Dreamt of WoW)

Time to get back to the list topics. Hopefully I can get more of them knocked off in the coming days (though I'll be away for a day, visiting a good law school friend in Massachusetts).

Last weekend, my mom and I visited my grandparents, aunt and uncle in upper-New York state. It was "the holidays" and we were way overdue to visit them. My grandparents are 88 and 92 (I think). I kind of wish we saw them more often than we do though when we do visit with them it's a little rough. They're not as together or "with it" as they used to be. A little sad. Thankfully I have memories of my grandfather from when I was a kid and he was infinitely more awake and in-touch with the world. Sometimes it makes me wonder if living to be that old is worth it but I don't really dwell on that.

While we were there, we stayed with my aunt and uncle in their house. Both of them are smokers and smoke in their house, though my aunt tried to curb that while we were there. (Incidentally, both my mom and I are avowed non-smokers. Though I will have the occasional cigarette if I'm out drinking with friends or such – a very rare occurrence at best.) So my aunt and uncle's house smells reeks of cigarette smoke. Thus, any clothes you wear while in that house and any clothes left unprotected in the house and any clothes placed with the now-smelly clothes all reek of smoke. Which, in the end, means I had to get my suit and dress shirts (which were clean but with the smelly suit under plastic) dry-cleaned. Fortunately we're wise to this and left our jackets in my mom's car so those remained clean.

Anyways, the visit was fine. Nothing terribly unusual. Also got to visit with cousins of mine or another aunt/uncle removed or however you put it (specifically, the son and his wife of my grandfather's late sister). I'll be seeing them again in October for a different cousin's wedding in Texas. (More on that in another post sometime soon.)

While there, we did go to the "Race-ino" (a "casino" at a nearby racetrack, and I say "casino" because all it consists of is slot machines).. twice. I managed to donate an amount of money equivalent to a fairly nice dinner. Ditto for my mom. It was fun, though, and I enjoyed it. They have $0.01 and $0.02 slots so you can gamble as little as you wish. In actuality, you're an idiot if you play less than $0.15 on the penny-slots since that covers the lines, so the $0.01/$0.02 descriptions are a little misleading. The other nice part there was that I got to have the first beer (a Sam Adams) I've had in a loooooong time. I'm talking months. It was so, sooooo good. I may snag a 6-pack of Oktoberfest on Friday. I kind of miss the occasional beer.

In the meantime, I have a chocolate chip cookie to snack on and billable hours to pursue. Onwards!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Not On The List (Part II)

I once typed this up for something. I don't want to lose it but I'm about to delete it from it's original location. It's absolutely fantastic and perfectly illustrates why, if you haven't already, you should read Neil Gaiman's book, "American Gods." Enjoy!

"I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen--I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones that look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline in good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one-day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of the Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it." -- Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Not On The List

Okay, a slight deviation from my "posts from the list." (See a few posts below.) This is one that I've wanted to post for a little bit but intentionally (and unintentionally) delayed. I remembered it today when I found this post (the final Sept. 13 FAQ post) from somewhere.

A week or two ago, someone got to this blog by Googling my name and law school.

Definitely not good. I've never strived to make this blog truly anonymous and/or private but I'd certainly prefer that I not be readily linked to it. However, as it turns out, I am. *sigh*

So what does this mean? Absolutely nothing. I don't say anything here that I would be too ashamed to say in public. I don't comment on work. Heck, I never identified where I work (and I ask that should anyone know or learn, please do not do so yourself). For all intents and purposes, I'm trying to play by the rules. Because the internet is never truly anonymous and what you say and do on it can come around to bite you in the ass.

I will still attempt to not make it so easy to find this place. At some point I'm probably going to remove the references (by name) to my law school, especially since I graduated from it over one year ago. I may also remove other personal references in a vain attempt to further distance myself from discovery. Honestly, the personal references don't really add anything since the majority of my posts deal with what I'm doing or thinking, not with where I've been or what I've done (those two are whole other balls of wax by ten-foot poles, football fields, pigs flying and other trite clich├ęs). I suppose one of these days I might tell some stories from my past (Hello fraternity pledging! Hello study abroad & European rail trip! Hello favorite ice cream!) but even those don't necessitate details about specific locations or such.

I think all I'm trying to say here is what I've said elsewhere. I know this thing isn't private. I know I'm not truly anonymous. I know that people will find this if they diligently search for me. And I don't care. (But I'm not going to make it any easier than I have to for them.)

P.S. It's pretty much any vanilla ice cream that has a chocolate component with it. My aboslute favorite of those, so far, is Ben & Jerry's Half & Half. Vanilla, chocolate, fudge, brownie... /drool

Pumpkin Donuts

WHERE ARE THEY?!?!?? WHO HAS THEM?!! I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN LIKE THE DONUT YOU HAD BEFORE I HUNTED YOU DOWN AND PRIED IT FROM YOUR GRASP.. OR SOMETHING. ALL YOUR PUMPKIN DONUTS ARE BELONG TO ME. I SWEAR, I AM YOUR WORST DONUT NIGHTMARE. WELL, MAYBE NOT YOUR WORST BUT I'M CERTAINLY IN THE TOP 10. DAMNIT.

(Why am I still writing in caps?)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pregnant

Just last Wednesday or Thursday, I got a call from a good law school friend. You may remember her as Captain Kate of the 5th Armed Bucket Brigade. (Or not.) Regardless, we spoke for the first time this year.

Yes, that's right. A year. A very good friend from law school, the one I called when I needed a ride to the hospital at 12:30am for a later-presumed bacterial infection. (Or was it viral? Whichever one is less worse.)

What did she say?

She's pregnant. Due in April.

I was at her wedding. I think I met her before she met her now-husband. A friend of mine, a good friend, my first friend to become pregnant. My first close friend to have a child. Not a kid, not a runt, not a whelp. A child.

Wow.

I'm honestly and truly happy for them. I just think I might be slightly less stunned than them. They live in Hartford. She works for a lawyer. He's currently clerking for the court while looking for something better. She's pregnant. My lord. My friend is pregnant.

Probably not my best, but I am so happy for them. Even as I wonder where the years went, how I got to where I am let alone them, how I've seen 27 years, how--

How they're about to start a family.

So have I fallen behind yet?

But more of that in another post. Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations to the wonderful mother and father-to-be! Hip hip hooray and the very best of wishes to them as they begin their family! May they find happiness, success and the wealth of a happy and healthy home! Cheers to them!

I'm late! I'm late! (aka The List)

Though I'm not going down a rabbit hole. (But that White Rabbit song from the 70's is good.)

I don't have much time right now for a detailed post. This is more a list of topics I'll try to post about (one each) this week. Trying to get in 8+ hours per day of billables. Should be more than doable if I don't screw up.

TOPICS:
Pumpkin Donuts
Wedding
Pregnant
iPod & iPod Accessories
Law School Friends
Tennis
x Days Without WoW And I'm Still Alive (I think)
Ideas & What To Do With Them
Visiting Relatives Last Weekend (And I Dreamt of WoW)
The Fall TV Show Roundup

Gotta run. Gotta work. Gotta bill. Cheers!

ADDENDUM: More...
Heroes
Almost Beautiful People
Studio 60
Nip/Tu--Nah
Music
The Inertia of Loneliness (Long Slow Slide)
Of Were-Friends, Are-Friends, Still-Friends and Friends-I-Still-Know

(P.S. I'll strike the topics out as I publish them.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rocket Apple Donut

Russian-made Rocket-Boots. 'Nuff said.

I just learned of Apple's iPod upgrades from last week. I am sincerely tempted to get an iPod, primarily for listening to music while driving. (I still use CD's for that.)

I like Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I just wish the morning Dunkin' stop carried the Pumpkin Spice donuts. Those things are *delicious.* And deadly. But oh so delicious...

EDIT: Just to be clear, there are two nearby Dunkin' Donuts - the one near where I live (which has the donuts) and the one in the local Stop 'n Shop where I get my coffee every morning (which does not have the donuts). I may have to start going to the former instead of the latter, just for the donuts. Those heavenly circles of pure delight... aaaguhghgh... /drool

Monday, September 18, 2006

Just a few

Just a few things since it's been over 2 weeks since my last post.

U.S. Open came and went. I watched quite a bit of tennis, including Andre Agassi's last match. Kind of sad. Last year I watched his immortal match with Blake. Also saw Men's Finals among others – Federer vs. Roddick. Pretty cool that Jimmy Connors is coaching Roddick, nice to see him around. I love the commentary during the matches. If the match gets boring, the commentators start going off on insane tangents.

I've started to get back into tennis. Played yesterday, an adult clinic at a local tennis club. I need to call them today and find an adult clinic more on my level. A bit ago they started ranking players' ability by numerical rankings, from 2.0 to 5.0 or some such. (I don't know much about it.) Yesterday's clinic was for 2.5 and the instructor said I'm a 3.0-3.5. Yay me. I really love tennis can can't wait to get back into it.

On Saturday night I had a falling out with my WoW guild's leadership. It was actually quite painful because I didn't want to leave the guild. Great environment, great people. But I just can't stay there, even given the people and the fun, if the leaders refuse to accept that they are not the end-all-be-all of everything. Although the guild is run as a dictatorship, which is good, the leaders must understand that they serve at the behest of the members, of the people. And they don't. I opened with "Do you realize how unpopular your decision was?" (This was regarding an unpopular decision they recently made.) And they never got it. All they could do was try and convince me their actions were absolutely, 100%, irrefutably correct. Which I don't actually disagree with. I disagree with their methods, with their attitude, with their inability to inform the peons and keep them happy. So I said goodbye to a lot of friends because I couldn't get along with the 5 people who have power.

And what pains me more is in reading the raid leader's summary of why I left because he got it all wrong:
After a very lengthy conversation with [me], in which the officers addressed all of his concerns and frustrations for him, he chose to leave after being unable to reach his desired conclusion over how [the guild] is run. Unfortunately he has reached the point where playing is no longer fun for him and has decided to leave the game. We wish him the best of luck, and have no hard feelings.
Completely wrong. The Officers did not address all of my concerns and frustrations. We reached an impass. I suppose it was after being unable to reach my desired conclusion since I actually wanted the Officers to listen to the members. That much is true, depending how you interpret it. Playing WoW has been very fun for me, especially in raiding with my guild. That's one reason it's so hard for me to stop.

And that was what I've said before. The guild was perfect for me. If/when I leave, it wouldn't be for another guild. I would leave WoW altogether. And, in my opinion, it would be because the guild failed me in some respect. And I feel like it has.

I want to shout and scream my frustration with the Officers. I want to refute the raid leader's summary of my leaving. I want to vent and vent and vent and rage against the machine. But I don't want to be completely emo about this and I don't want to cause injury to the guild. I stand by my assertions that what I was doing was in the best interests of the guild. At some point, the Officers are really going to piss people off and the Officers won't care or react and things will go to Hell. I know that. They don't.

*sigh*

So yeah, a somewhat emotional weekend for me. I was really invested in the guild and in WoW raiding. I'm sure this is a positive change for me and will help me in the long run. I just wish I didn't have to do it.

[insert string of expletives aimed at guild leadership here]

I do feel better for ranting here. I need to rant. And I don't care if anyone actually hears me, just as long as they could. That'll be enough for now.

Anyways... apparently the local Dunkin' Donuts finally has Pumpkin & Spice donuts. So good. Will have to snag some of those. Sooooo good.

And that's that for me of late.