Forgive me, bloggers, for I have sinned. It's been over 4 weeks since my last blog.
And a whirlwind four weeks it's been too! An extremely fun and understated birthday, full-on geek immersion, successful adjustment to the new job, a couple days of semi-bachelorhood, and the resurrection of my beloved laptop (hence my return to blogging).
My birthday party on the 10th went very well. Maybe a dozen or so folks came by to help me celebrate. We sat around the fire bowl in the back yard, sang some songs, drank some beer, had cake, and caught each other up on life in general. It was a nice, relaxed, understated evening with friends. I like a big party, but given the late announcement and other peoples' prior commitments, this was just right. Not too big, not too small. I'd like to thank everyone who came by and made my birthday fun: Paulie, Sarah, Nyma, Todd, Jenn, Kirk, Leigh, Lou, Linda, and of course, my lovely wife Sonya. I know I'm forgetting one or two people. Forgive me. The last hour or two are a bit of a blur 3 weeks after the fact.
On the 17th, I went to my first Motor City ComiCon. I have never felt SOOOOO in my element...sadly, pathetically, embarrassingly in my element. I decided to go in my Greatest American Hero t-shirt rather than the full costume (first ComiCon and all, I wanted to tone down the geektitude a bit), figuring that was the ONE place it would be appreciated more than anywhere else (and it was). I ran into several friends I expected to see, and a few that surprised me. I was on the lookout for my friend Chris Brown, knowing he was closing his comic store to attend ("All my customers will be there anyway"). After maybe a half hour there, I spotted him. He was kinda hard to miss, being a 6'2" beanpole of a guy with a Mohawk and what can only be described as an entourage. I followed him for a while, and then got bored with the pace as he stopped to talk to virtually EVERBODY there like they're long lost cousins at a family reunion.
Later I spotted a former co-worker of mine, Jamin Fite, who runs a website, www.LeiasMetalBikini.com. After seeing the large representation of "Warsies" there, my surprise faded a bit, but as I walked up to say hi, I noticed he had his own entourage...of Slave Girl Leias. Resisting the urge to get my picture taken with hot girls in bikinis who will likely have to spend the day surrounded by enough overweight geeks as it is, I wandered off to check out the celebs. Not many of note, but I did manage to shake hands with Mickey Dolenz, Walter Koenig, and Anthony Montgomery (Ensign Travis Mayweather on Enterprise), as well as stand close enough to breath the same air as Chase Masterson (Leeta on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Erik Estrada, Avery Brooks, and the ever-cool Billy Dee Williams. I also sat in on a talk with Anthony Montgomery later with several folks in Star Trek regalia, a Klingon or two and several others who looked like they haven't seen the sun since the Reagan administration.
Last Thursday was Courtney’s pre-school graduation. I took my lunch a bit late that day so I could attend. While I think the idea of a graduation ceremony for pre-school a bit much, it was nice to see my somewhat shy baby girl get up and perform some songs with her class so enthusiastically. They’re growing up so fast.
The past 2 weekends, I’ve had a brief taste of the bachelor life. On Memorial Day weekend, I stopped by Valerie’s place to borrow her mower again, and paid my usual price: free mowing for her double lot. It was nice, though, getting a bit of exercise on a nice day and being able to chat with my little sis. Memorial Day, Sonya, Courtney and I accompanied Liam and his Cub Scout troop in the parade, picking up Valerie and Rufus along the route. Liam decorated his bike and rode it along the route, Courtney had a ball being pulled in the wagon and throwing mini Tootsie Rolls at the kids, and we all enjoyed a nice 2-mile walk on a gorgeous day. Later, Sonya and the kids headed to the family cottage in Canada and I had the run of the house…to wash dishes, fold laundry, vacuum, mow the lawn… Not exactly exciting, but I was able to take some pride in my productivity and managed to spare a few moments to sit, relax, and enjoy the wonderful weather. After being productive, I decided to call up Paulie B., and he and Sarah Bradley came over to watch the Pistons game. A good time was had by all.
Last weekend, Sonya & Liam went to a Cub Scout “Mom & Me” campout, while Courtney went with grandma so I could do my shifts at Blockbuster. Once again, I did a few chores in my all-too-brief free time before work, fix a bug in the desktop computer, and tidied up the place. I did manage to fit in hitting the comic store and have my annual Monte Cristo sandwich at Bennigan’s. I usually have one of these heart-attack-on-a-plate sandwiches a year, usually around my birthday. Turkey & ham with Swiss and American cheeses, battered, deep-fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with a side of raspberry preserves to dip it in. Sarah Bradley calls ‘em “Turkey Paczkis” - an apt moniker. I called up my best friend, Lou, and he and his girlfriend Linda joined me for some company at Bennigan’s. After my shift at Blockbuster that night, I stopped by my friend Bob Perye’s place for his weekly IPM (In Perpetual Motion – www.IPMradio.com) internet radio program/party and had a lot of fun chatting, playing Wii bowling, and trying pizza-flavored beer (I know, sounds gross, but it’s actually pretty damned good).
The new job is going VERY well. I had been a bit nervous about fitting in and “clicking” with the folks at my new place of business, but a couple weeks ago, one of the other salesmen actually made a point of stopping in my office to mention how well I had acclimated myself to the flow of the place. That really meant a lot to me, as I had still felt a bit awkward around everyone, being the new guy and having brought a plague of some upper respiratory infection to the entire staff my first week. The job has its periods of dull, slow times, filled with motivating myself to make cold calls to prospects and clients who haven’t heard from us in up to a year, but there are also days where I can’t seem to detach the phone from my ear as I’m punching in order after order. It makes me a bit nervous to work on commission and have my paychecks ebb and flow with the sales trends and economy, but on the whole (with some tenacity in sales and financial planning and budgeting), I know I’ll do better here than my former job.
We have a new guy starting today to take over the extra territory I had been covering in the interim. He has tons of experience in the field and I know he’ll do well. While I’m a bit sorry to see some of the clients I’ve been serving for the past month go to someone else, I knew it was coming. It’ll be nice not to be the “new guy” for a while and I look forward to meeting him. He’s stepping into a good territory and I’ve tried to “warm it up” a bit for him.
My laptop: I dropped it with my computer guru and old friend, Chris DeLaney on Thursday. It seemed to have a relapse of the problem I had before: staring up, quick flash of BlueScreen, citing a problem with the last shutdown, prompting for safe mode, lather, rinse, repeat. I feared another wipedown was in order – ugh. After not hearing anything over the weekend, I feared the worst, then Monday, Chris called me. Apparently, it was just a static shock to the computer initiated a restore to the default BIOS settings. As my computer doesn’t seem to like the default settings to read my hard drive, it was just a matter of disabling the SATA driver. VIOLA! Back to work!
He offered to refund me the cash I offered him, saying it was a simple fix and was probably the original problem when he re-installed Windows last time, but I made him keep half, if for nothing g else, being willing to deal with my needy self whilst I suffer laptop DTs.
Last night Sonya and I, through the gracious babysitting abilities of our good friend Leigh, were able to take a night to go on an anniversary date. We went to Bahama Breeze for a wonderful dinner and caught the new Indiana Jones flick. Star has apparently started a great weekday deal with $4.75 tickets and $5 pop/popcorn combos, so we even managed to save some money. We had a GREAT time and both loved the movie. Go see it!
That’s all I can recall for now. God willing, I’ll have the time to do a bit more blogging, now that my laptop is back. TTFN!