Category: Everyday Life

Spring is almost here

This winter has been brutal. Long, cold, lots of snow, the whole nine yards.

It doesn’t help that the driveway at the new house is big enough for 10+ cars. So needless to say, the new snowblower I bought has gotten its fair share of use.

It’s been 50+° the last couple of days, which has lead to some serious snow melting, a little bit of water in my basement (which, in fairness, is 120 years old this year), and all of the ice melting off my roof. I spent about an hour out there last night with a hammer breaking up the remaining big chunks of it, and we’re completely ice free now, which is nice.

I look forward to Spring arriving. I’m really excited to explore the entirety of the property. When I closed on the house it was December, so too cold to go out into the wooded area in the backyard. I’m also excited about planting a garden and starting to progress on the addition that’s being planned.

Lots of big projects coming soon and I’m really excited about all of them. Not about spending batches of tens of thousands of dollars, but about being “home”.

Lasik: Five Years Later

Okay, so it’s been a little longer than five years since I had the surgery, but you get the idea.

It was the end of December of 2009 when I had the surgery done. I was incredibly nervous, as people often are when things are going in, around or on their eyes. I’m not sure what made me so nervous, but I remember sitting there, waiting for my turn. I hear the zap zap zap through the door to my right as the person before me was having their treatment done. I equated it to hearing a tattoo gun for the first time while waiting for your first tattoo. The noise makes it even more terrifying.

I made it through the procedure unscathed – if you want some details from that day, this post is what you’re after.

In the last five years, I haven’t missed wearing glasses even once. Some awesome things you can do without wearing glasses:

  • Get pushed into a pool and not care about getting your glasses wet.
  • Voluntarily swim and still see stuff.
  • Not worry about your glasses slipping off your head while you’re mowing the lawn and get sweaty.
  • Wake up and read an alarm clock across the room.
  • Watch TV while laying in bed.
  • Kiss someone without stabbing her in the face.
  • Use your finger to push your glasses back up your nose.
  • Never have to take the glasses off to clean them with your shirt sleeve.
  • Look through the viewfinder of a camera properly.
  • Use the binoculars at the top of the Empire State Building.

I still look back and am incredibly glad I got the procedure done. If I had to do it again, I would do it in a heartbeat. Being able to wake up in the morning and not wonder where my glasses are, where I left them last night,  or if they’re clean is such an incredible feeling. It’s nice to not worry and be able to just roll out of bed and get dressed.

It’s amazing how quickly the last five years have gone by. I look forward to a full five years after my tattoo removal treatments are done, so I can reflect back on that as well.

Tis the Season!

It’s that wonderful time of year again, when your friends and family all get together and try to out-gift each other, showing one another how much they like the other person. Piles of gifts stacked high in trunks, zipping up highways to their ultimate destination. A pot of gravy simmering on the stove, waiting for Christmas dinner (which is oddly right smack in the middle of the afternoon, in most cases) to be ready.

Christmas reminds me of good times with my family as a kid. We had it pretty good – my Dad had a good job, and we had piles of presents. My older sister and I usually crept downstairs in the wee hours of the morning – probably just hours after our parents went to bed – and separated our gifts into piles, a matching his and hers pair. We did this for a few years until Santa just did it for us.

Our Christmases were themed. One year I’d get a whole collection of Legos, another it’d be basketball stuff, another was drum stuff. It was always a theme.

Rather than putting together some of the toys while we were sleeping, my Dad would spend his morning putting things together; a bike, a race track for cars, a super mega-doll house that my sister wouldn’t even like. That was our Christmas morning.

Like most kids, we couldn’t open anything until Mom and Dad got up, so we’d sit around in the wee cold hours of the morning, speculating, wondering. The sun would come up and start shining through the windows and we’d know it was almost time to try waking Mom and Dad up. It never worked the first time, we usually had to try two or three more times. After all, they were up until the wee hours of the morning wrapping things and putting them under the tree. In hindsight, it sounds exhausting.

We were lucky as kids. We never had to beg for things – well, sometimes we did. Usually if Mom said no, Dad was a pushover.

Some of my favorite Christmas memories:

  • Always making sure Weezie got the turkey neck. Still, to this day, I’ve never met another human being that eats a turkey neck. And Weezie loved her turkey necks.
  • The year I got my first drum set. 21 years ago this Christmas! (And, if memory serves, it’s still in my Mom’s basement, stacked neatly away in a corner.)
  • The first year that Jen and I split the pile of presents into two – I think I was 8 that year, and it was obviously Jen’s idea.
  • Hitsticks. Remember those? The “air drums”
  • My first pair of drumsticks. They were more decorative than real drumsticks, and I got them probably a good six years before I got any drums. I used them the first time I got real drums and broke them the same day.
  • My Mom’s Christmas decorations. For years, she ran a ceramics business out of our basement and taught classes. So all of our decorations (including most of our ornaments) were handmade by my Mom.
  • Getting together with our family. We’re not (and never really have been) one of those families that gets together at the drop of a hat. But holidays were a time that we’d all get together at a designated family member’s house. It was a time to see all of my cousins and all of my Aunts and Uncles in a single room, enjoy lots of cookies and soda, and be happy. It was never about the gifts with the family Christmas party, just about hanging out.

Here’s some photos from my childhood Christmases for your enjoyment.

That’s it for my trip down memory lane. Merry Christmas to you. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed my little photo gallery of my childhood Christmases. It’s fun to reminisce sometimes, especially this time of year.


Sometimes I wish it weren’t wrong or immoral to shame someone for being dumb. I wish it were okay to just sit someone down and say “Look, you did something stupid, just own up to it and let’s move on with life.”

Sometimes I wish people would do that to me. Just slap me upside the head and tell me that something I did was stupid.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if everyone just said what they meant and did what they said?

I’ve been in this perpetual rut for the last month. I won’t get into details about why, but it just seems like everything is going badly. There’s been more downs than ups, and it’s really wearing on me. I truly believe I’m due for a vacation.

Once the home buying process is completely over with and the stress is gone from my life (you know, after we’re settled into the new house), then I need to take some time off to relax a bit. Before I punch something.

Another Year Older

Another year has passed. My birthday came and went last week and for the first time, I think in forever, I took the entire week off. I put on an out of office message, I did my best not to check email and tried my hardest to actually relax.

My birthday fell on Monday and I fully enjoyed the day. It was very low key the entire day. I was still a bit sore from the weekend before. What happened the week before? Glad you asked.

Some guy buddies and I went up to Vermont for another buddy’s bachelor party. We went white water rafted and then camped out overnight. It was a quick little weekend away, but also a lot of fun. I hadn’t been camping in over 20 years, so in typical fashion of how I am, I bought every piece of camping gear that I could possibly need, including a tent big enough for the population of Rhode Island. All in all, it was a great weekend. The white water rafting was a lot of fun, but also left me pretty sore for a few days afterwards.

It was a little tough to know if the soreness was from the white water rafting or from the sleeping on the ground, but it was worth it.

Tuesday I spent watching movies. I gave in and finally watched The Fault In Our Stars because I love a well written movie and I’d heard good things. I’ll admit it, I cried a bit. It was sad, even though I knew how it ended, but still an incredible story and movie.

Wednesday I went in for another tattoo removal appointment, this was number 7. It was filmed by the Boston Globe for a piece they’re doing on the place I go to, so I may post a video of that whole process when/if it makes it to air. The guy filming interviewed me quite a bit about how it felt, why I was doing it, etc. And he filmed the entire hour long process. Hopefully in an effort to educate people that you can really remove a tattoo you don’t want. Or, in my case, three.

After that I drove out to the new house that I’m buying to meet my Agent and home inspector and walked through the whole property. We came up with a list of things the seller needs to fix and sent that to him to get to work on. It’s an adorable little Victorian Farmhouse from 1895 that’s been completely renovated. I hope that all works out.

Thursday bore a little bit of work. I got a call from a client that I had to help out because that’s just how I am. I did make time to relax, though.

Friday bore more work. This time for a couple of other clients that had things that needed to be done urgently. I’m a sucker for a payday, so I gave in and did it.

Friday afternoon I went and met with my mortgage broker to fill out an additional bunch of paperwork to get the mortgage process rolling along. I should be hearing back from the underwriter and the home appraiser any day now.

That was the gist of my vacation. I realize, in hindsight, I should have gone away somewhere. I would have been less inclined to do any work related activities if I had. Maybe next year. Maybe.


I remember being a kid and hearing my mom and dad tell me stories of the things they remembered from their childhoods.

The day Kennedy was shot was a big one for both of them.

There was a church down the street from where my mother grew up, in Arlington, that burned down. When we’d drive by it to go to my grandmother’s house, we’d hear stories about how she stood diagonally across the street, on the corner, and watched it burn down when she was a kid. I want to say that she said that happened in 1963 or 1964. But she still remembered it so vividly.

It’s strange how the human brain works sometimes. The things you remember, the things you forget.

Our generation will tell their kids all about where they were on this day, thirteen years ago. How they woke up to chaos and panic, worrying about someone they knew and loved in New York, hoping for the best.

They’ll remember April 15th, 2013. They’ll talk about how they watched the news all day long, how their out of town friends and family called or texted or Facebooked to check in on them. How they watched the manhunt progress well into the evening, glued to the television or looking out their doors to see what was happening.

It’s unfortunate that we choose to remember the tragic and terrible things that happen and don’t focus on the good things.  We remember some happy times, but it seems the bad ones are the most vibrant in our memories. We remember the 9/11s, the marathon bombings, the wars overseas, the Pearl Harbors, the presidential assassinations.

Do we remember the happier times? Do we remember falling in love for the first time? Driving after getting your license? Your first promotion? Where’s the cutoff point of what you remember?

We remember death, we remember new life. We remember the way the sun reflected off of the first winter snow, shining through your bedroom window to wake you up in hopes you wouldn’t have school that day.

Most importantly, we remember those that gave their lives on September 11th. We thank them for their sacrifice, we thank them for giving up their everything to race in, try to help, and try to protect others. Our country wouldn’t be as great as it is, if it weren’t for people far braver, far better, far stronger than I.

Trying to stay afloat

Every so often I remember to come back here and blog about something.

Then I stare at the screen for what seems like an eternity and realize I have nothing exciting to say. The track changes in iTunes over and over, and I’m stumped on what to talk about.

I really don’t think you’re here to hear about what I’ve been up to. I don’t think you’re concerned that I haven’t blogged in a month, I just feel like I need to write something here, otherwise the internet Gods will come and take my blog away. Or something less crazy.

Since my last update, I’ve done a few things:

I’m extremely close to finishing the first draft of my second novel. It’s called My Last Days and is the tale of someone who’s given a short time left to live. We follow him on his journey to complete a bucket list and try to make the world a better place before he leaves it.

I also published another short story about my wacky life on These Are My Stories just yesterday, and have another queued up for a couple of weeks from now.

I bought a new primary monitor — a new super wide screen monitor — to replace the 30″ Apple Display I’ve had for almost 5 years. I’ll blog more about that once I’ve had time to fully evaluate it.

That’s pretty much it for what’s happened in the last month. Did you think I was going to be interesting?