Thursday, February 26, 2009

So far, so good.

UPDATE:

It's now 3:44 and the 'unofficial' word is that I'm safe. It was a BLOOD BATH in here today.
Without a doubt, it was one of the more stressful work experiences I've had.
Unfortunately, there were a LOT of people I know escorted out over the course of the day.
In my area, there were 5 people, 3 of which were in my row. Needless to say, it hit VERY close to home.
It's very sad/unreal to be chatting with my friends and co-workers one minute and then suddenly they mysteriously disappear without a trace. It was like they were abducted by aliens. One minute they were there and then suddenly they were gone. Yuck.

I'm waiting to be called into the official 'we're finished' meeting....
If I can, I'll write later on tonight.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm still employed....for the moment.

It's been very quiet around my area, but I know that there have been several folks 'walked out' so far today.
We're not sure if they just haven't 'hit' us yet or if we're safe, but either way, I'm staying alert.
We've also heard that there will be more tomorrow because HR didn't have the required resources to get to everyone today.
Awesome.

I'll be in touch. :-)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nice Ash!!!


I hope you all have a GREAT Ash Wednesday! ;-)
I celebrated the day by having a ham sandwich for lunch.

I'm SOOOOO busy at work it's insane, but I wanted to at least let you know I was thinking of you all!
Tomorrow is bound to be a very ugly day, but I'll keep you posted.....

Have a good day!!!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Catch-up...


I know, I know...I didn't write at all yesterday. I wasn't feeling 'inspired', which is another way of saying "I was too damn lazy to write."

That being said, I'm here now and I'll quickly catch you up on what's been happening.
Friday - rehearsal (fun and quite productive)
Saturday - Jim and I dropped off my car to have the automatic car starter installed and while that was being done, we went out to lunch, shopped and had a great afternoon. Saturday night we met up with some friends and went to see 'The Fantasticks' at The Company Theatre. It was a great production of a show I don't particularly love. I enjoy a lot of the music from the show and after seeing it, I've been inspired to go out and buy a CD of the show. Can you even believe it? I call myself a musical theatre fan and I don't have a recording of 'The Fantasticks'?!?!? To be honest, there are a lot of shows I don't have recordings of and I really should. I'm not going to get into any specifics, because certain readers of my blog would hunt me down and strip me of my Musical Theatre Card (it's like the Gay Card, but different). After the show, we went out for a few drinks and (as always) had an excellent time.
Sunday - I got up and went to a softball meeting, then rehearsal, then out to dinner with friends. Again - fun and laughter were aplenty. After eating WAY too much, Jim and I headed home and watched the last 45 minutes of the Oscars (Yay Sean Penn!!!) and went to bed.
Monday - Got up, worked, went to rehearsal....fun, fun, fun.
That brings me to today. :-)

Nothing too exciting going on here....work is still work and this week is THE week from what I've heard. I feel like 'The Boy Who Cried Layoffs" - but seriously....that's what it's been like around here. So many questions, rumors, etc...etc...it's really unsettling. I'm TRYING not to let it bug me, but it's a bit discouraging. All we can do is try to maintain a positive attitude and hope for the best. I'll certainly keep you all updated.
Here are some photos (thanks to B's blog) from dinner on Sunday night.

Oh, and before I forget...the installation of the car starter went smoothly, and so far it's working just fine....and it's one of the coolest things I've ever owned.
LOVE IT!!!
This is me, harassing Melissa with the hat the wandering 'balloon man' made for Jim



Ben doesn't quite know what to make of it....



Apparently he finds it amusing.



At least SOMEONE thinks I'm funny. ;-)



Hail, hail, the gang's all here!



Friday, February 20, 2009

Wake Up, Little Susie!

I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.


Apparently when one turns 37, they lose the ability to go out on a week night and still function the following day.

OK...I’m exaggerating a little bit – but I am T-I-R-E-D!!!!

Last night was very fun. We had a very good dinner followed by lots of fun at Fritz.
Don’t you love it when you have an excellent waiter or waitress?
It makes things so much better (Legally Blonde: The Musical reference #132).
The woman that waited on us last night had a great personality, was very attentive, and SO good at her job. I love that.

I realize that this hardly counts as a blog entry, but I’m going to stop writing now.
I'm really hungry and I need to go foraging for breakfast. I may comeback a little bit later and write some more once I wake up - have no fear.


Since I was recently told (by a certain blogger) that I don’t put enough pictures on my blog - here are some pictures.
I know they’re not recent, new or exciting…but they’re pictures.
Now get off my back.


This is our house. This picture was taken shortly after we bought it (2 years ago). Those 2 smaller bushes are long gone, but the two on either side of the front door remain.





This is another view of the house....in this one you can see that the shrubs out front have been removed. :-)





This is our kitchen. It's not exactly my dream kitchen - but I like it....for now. :-)




This is the dining room...the blue isn't that bright 'real life'...for some reason it came out crazy blue in the pictures. Anyway - this is the next room that we're planning on re-doing. We're going to lose the wallpaper, lose the blue, replace that GIANT light with something a tad more appropriate and eventually buy a new dining room set....all in due time. You can't really tell, but there's a beehive oven in there (that's the black square on the left). It's not functional, but it could be if we ever wanted to re-open the fireplace in that room....which isn't a top priority.





This is what we refer to as the 'middle living room'. It's where we have our fish tank, a rocking chair (which Scooter has pretty much claimed) and a lamp....it's not a room that we hang out in too often, but it's a nice, sunny place to sit and read every now and again....



We also have a den, an office, a larger living room (with a fireplace that we can use) and two bedrooms...but I'll save those pictures for another 'slow' day. :-)

This is the hot tub. Jim has been in it twice since he drained and cleaned it last week - I haven't been in it since last year. I need to change that.




This is our pool. I love it and I want the summer to be here now!!!!!!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tonight, tonight.....

Thank you Bernstein and Sondheim.

I'm very excited for tonight!!! I'm meeting up with some of my softball pals for dinner and drinks! YAY! We're kind of getting together for my birthday...but not really. I mean, we usually go out for my birthday, and we couldn't find a time to do it last week, so we're doing it this week. It's not a birthday party or anything...but it's an excellent excuse to get together for dinner and drinks on a 'school night'.

We're having dinner at Flash's in the South End (or maybe it's Bay Village - I never know where one neighborhood ends and the other begins) and then gathering at Fritz for a drink or two. Yes, Fritz again. What can I say? It's one of my favorite places.
As much as I like Club Cafe (they're super great to the softball league, and they have a great brunch), it's not exactly the kind of place I like to hang out. One of my out of town friend's always refers to it as 'Sephora' and it's often referred to as 'Club So Gay'.
It tends to be gathering place for the younger (and often times snotty) crowd. I prefer to hang out in places where you can sit at the bar, have a few beers and 'watch the game' as opposed to being crammed into a small space with the Abercrombie crowd, hoping that you don't end up wearing Miss Prissy Pants' Choco-Apple-Caramel-Bubblegum-tini.
You know what I mean? I bet you do.

anyway - that being said, this day is CRAWLING by....so I'm going to try and keep myself busy for the last hour and a half that I'm here.

I'll see YOU tomorrow....F-R-I-D-A-Y!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Taxes Schmaxes

This “filing your taxes thing” is really irritating.
It’s not that I find it difficult to do, but it serves as a yearly reminder that my civil rights are being violated.

Dramatic enough for you?!!? :-)

Seriously though….I’m hardly a political person, and I rarely complain about the ‘stuff’ that goes on in the government, but (as I mentioned on Big Rob’s blog) it gets me really angry that the federal government doesn’t recognize my marriage.
I was bitching to one of my best friends (as I do every year at ‘tax time’) and she said:

“I know we have this discussion every year, and every year I say the same thing, but it’s just not fair. Are you sure it’s legal?!?!”

Yes, it’s legal – and no it’s not fair…..BUT until the federal government makes some major changes, we have to suck it up and deal with it.

The good news is, that most of it is done. I’ve filed my federal return, Jim finished his federal return and can submit it whenever he wants, and then within the next day or two I can do our state taxes. Yes, that’s right. If we want to file our taxes using Turbo Tax, we have to make three completely separate submissions, and pay for each one.
IRRITATING!!!

Enough of that negativity…..I’m going to get back to work. Maybe I’ll go grab a cup of coffee and cheer myself up!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Three Cheers for Spring Training!!!!

Let the fun begin!!!!




I'm so jealous of my dad. He gets to see Tek (and all the rest of them) up close and in person on a daily basis!

Why aren't I visiting him?!?!?!? ;-)

We had a super-fun weekend.....dinner and 'game night' with another couple on Saturday night, a family party on Sunday night, and lots of time at home with Jim and Scooter!
Good times.

I just bought myself a CD this afternoon for the first time in AGES. I honestly can't remember the last time I bought a CD, so I'm VERY excited. I know you'll be shocked, but it's musical theatre related. :-) It's called 'Wish' and it's Sutton Foster's first solo CD.

For those of you who don't know who she is, she's a Tony Award winning actress who's currently starring (on Broadway) as Princess Fiona in 'Shrek The Musical'. She's also been seen on Broadway in 'Young Frankenstein: The Musical', 'Little Women', 'The Drowsy Chaperone', and she played the title role of Millie in 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' (for which she won her Tony award). She's made quite the career for herself, having appeared in 9 Broadway musicals all before she turns 34. I think she's got a great voice and I think she's quite talented. Anyway, her CD came out today, so I took some 'birthday money' and treated myself. I'm sure I'll love it.

That's all for today....have a GREAT day and keep smiling!!

PS - As of this weekend, the hot tub is up and running. Now I just have to get myself to use it!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Here's a video that Jim made for me.... :-)



video

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nap time!





I just got back from lunch and I'm on the verge of collapse.






For some reason, I am soooo tired right now. I'm guessing that it has to do with the fact that I just ate, and it's about 350 degrees at my desk.
Good lord, see what I have to put up with!?!?!? ;-)

Well, it's Friday and I don't have a lot to talk about. Work has been relatively slow, so I've been entertaining myself by reading all sorts of blogs. There are some VERY funny people out there.
Keep on writing!!!

I'm sorry that I have nothing interesting to say...I'll keep it short, so I don't bore you.

Oh! I'm very excited that Monday is a holiday and I don't have to work. Hopefully at some point over the weekend I'll get my scanner hooked up and be able to post some fun pictures from days gone by. That would be wicked fun, right? Totally.

Let's see....the weekend....tonight we have rehearsal - tomorrow I'm getting my car serviced (oil change, tires rotated, etc...) and then tomorrow night I have NO idea what we're doing. I think Jim and I are getting together with some friends, but I'm not positive. I let him be in charge of tomorrow night's plans, so I'll just do whatever he tells me to.
Sunday we have rehearsal and then my sister is having a little get together at her house for one of her friends and I. We both have birthdays in February, so we're going to celebrate them together. That should be fun.

Have a great weekend and a very pleasant Valentine's Day, whether you celebrate it or not!!!!













Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yes, I'm completely spoiled.

I had a GREAT birthday yesterday! Thank you to everyone for all the messages on my facebook wall, phone calls, emails, etc...etc....
You're all wicked nice. :-)

I got home from work yesterday and Jim had a pile of presents waiting for me to open. It was very exciting and completely unexpected.

He bought me:

the DVD of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (for some strange reason, we owned all the movies parts 1, 2, 3, and 5 but not part 4....so strange)
Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 for Wii (I can't even TELL you how excited I am for that)
A 9 in 1 Chef's Fork Digital Meat Thermometer (can't wait to start grilling!)
2 Snuggies!!! - and 2 free bonus book lights (as seen on TV - in maroon - we're going for the total religious cult look)
And.......an automatic car starter!!!!!
No more having to run out in the sub-zero temperatures or pouring rain to warm up my car!

I know, I know...I'm super spoiled and a very lucky man. :-)

Scooter was thrilled with his gifts as well, and almost exploded when he saw the new toys we bought him. I can't wait to see how he likes the new 'viewing stand'. (he was more interested in the toys last night than looking out the window)

After opening the gifts, we went to dinner at the Stoneforge Grill in Easton. It was an amazing dinner. I'd never been to one before, but Jim has - and he said this one was 10,000 times better than the other ones he's been to. We HIGHLY recommend it.

Oh - and I didn't mention this before, but Jim and I bought a fancy pants, all-in-one scanner, copier, printer, etc...etc...over the weekend (Circuit City was having a crazy going out of business sale and we couldn't pass it up).
You've been warned. :-)

Have a great day, and thanks to all who made my birthday most excellent.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

37 Years ago...

Today is my birthday. YAY!

I'm not a huge birthday celebrator. You know the type; they think that the world should stop in order to acknowledge their existence? And I'm certainly not one of those people who try to keep their birthday a secret and get all mad if people say something about it. I find that kind of irritating, and a little bit weird.

Anyway - I was born at 11:18am in the Boston Lying-In Hospital (strangest name ever).
My mother used to say that I came out just in time for us to both get cleaned up and have lunch!
Excellent.

Random Birthday Fact About John: (may be too much information for some)

I was delivered via c-section - which means I have never in my life made contact or even been NEAR a you-know-what.
And I have no intentions of trying it now...so don't even suggest it!

:-)

OK - I'm off to do some work....I hope you all have a great day!!!

Since it's Scooter's second birthday, I'll share some pictures of him that Jim took last year for his first birthday. (you may have seen these before, so if you have, please forgive me)




















Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Re-cap

Happy Monday everyone!

My weekend was simply delightful. Rehearsal went well on Friday night and Saturday was a lot of fun.
Jim and I got up, had breakfast, Jim ran some errands while I did laundry, then we went out shopping for Scooter’s birthday presents. :-)
Yes, present shopping for the dog. He’s going to be 2 years old on Wednesday the 11th...which also happens to be MY birthday.
That’s right folks….Scooter and I have the same birthday. It was fate.
When we first saw him and asked when he was born, they said February 11th. Jim and I looked at each other and laughed…and the rest is history.
Our goal was to find something for Scooter to sit on so that he can look out the windows in the den. We used to have our couch in front of the windows and he was ALWAYS sitting there, looking out the window.









Well, we rearranged the furniture and he lost his ‘viewing stand’, so we wanted to get something that would allow him to return to his favorite spot. Initially we were thinking that one of those cat windowsill platforms would work well, but we didn’t really like the ones that they had. Then we were looking at the cat scratching posts with various platforms, which could possibly work but those were way too expensive.

We decided to leave the pet store and look at Target to see if they had some piece of furniture that would work. Well, the FIRST thing we saw was ideal. It’s a square footstool (hassock, ottoman, etc…) with a removable top, that will be the perfect height for him to sit on and see out the window…AND we’ll be able to stow all his toys

This is what it looks like:










It was very exciting….and a lot cheaper than the stupid cat thing. I'm sure he'll love it.

After shopping, we met up with some friends to have dinner and see ‘The Producers’ at a local theatre. Dinner was very fun, and the show was a big hit.
After all was said and done, we were T-I-R-E-D, so we went right home, watched a little TV (SNL, which was quite funny) and then went to bed.

Sunday morning, I slept in a little later than normal (I got out of bed at 9!! Yikes) and Jim was already up, showered and had begun cleaning the hot tub. It was unusually warm, so it worked out well. Once that was done, we went grocery shopping, had lunch and took off for rehearsal. Rehearsal was great…especially since it was the first time we sang and did the choreography at the same time. That is ALWAYS a very challenging experience. It was exciting, mostly because it wasn’t a total disaster…far from it. It was surprisingly good…and will only get better.


Last night I watched the Grammys for the first time in my life. I thought it was OK...bordering on bad. I didn’t find it too exciting.

I loved everything about Jennifer Hudson, and it was nice to see Whitney Houston – unfortunately she still sounds like a crazy person. So much for her making a big comeback. Yikes. I enjoyed Carrie Underwood, in spite of her horrendous outfit…and the fact that her backup singer sounded better than she did…Ooops.
I think Justin Timberlake is quite cute and The Jonas Brothers should be embarrassed. Stevie Wonder should have told them to shut the hell up and get off the damn stage. They were awful. Miley Cyrus and Tayor Swift were not good and I don’t believe for one minute that they’re friends. I’m not even sure that they like each other.
It came across as very F-A-K-E.
That rap ‘thing’ they did, (led by that woman who is literally about to give birth) made me cringe. Incomprehensible rubbish.
Needless to say, I didn’t stay to watch the entire thing…sleeping seemed like a much better option. :-)

Enough of that...I'm getting back to work!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Zoinks!

My goodness! In all the excitement (and by excitement I mean trying to stay awake at my sweltering desk) I completely forgot that I haven't written at all today!

Actually, the fact that I did a quick little entry from home last night kind of screwed me up....

Anyway - it's Friday afternoon and I'm about to hit the road, Jack.

I have rehearsal tonight and then tomorrow night I'm meeting up with some friends for dinner and a show. YAY!!!
We're seeing the Mel Brooks musical 'The Producers' at a local theatre. I'm very excited to see it. I'm familiar with the musical because I own the cast recording, but I've never seen the show itself. (or the movie for that matter)
Well, that's not entirely true. I saw the movie a long time ago, but I haven't seen the movie they made of the musical. Get it? It was a movie first, then it was a musical, then they made the musical into a movie. Awesome.

Expect a full report on Monday morning.....have a great weekend one and all!!!

xoxo

This is what I looked like the first time I ever grew a beard...in case you were wondering.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Come on....everyone is doin' it...

You should do it too!!!

This is me as a superhero....fun, fun, fun....

Just go here....it's wicked easy.

Thanks to fellow Bostonian (and softball player!) RG for bringing this to my attention.
If you're at work, the library, or some other public place - you probably shouldn't visit his blog. Wait until you get home...if you catch my drift. ;-)

I love that the title is 'The Incredible Gifted Knight'.....that's cool.



So far, so good....

It seems that all is quiet in layoff land.
I'm still at my desk, and there have been no reports of 'missing' IT folks.
Apparently that means that the 26th of February is the 'big day' for all of us in IT.
We shall see.

In the meantime, we got an email this morning from our CEO letting us know that we'd only be getting 50% of our bonuses this year. Yuck.
Although it completely suck, I'm not all that upset.
I'll take 50%, as opposed to nothing!!!

I'll write later with an update or two.....

UPDATE: Looks like today was just a rumor. There were no layoffs today that Ive heard of, which means that it looks like the 26th is the day to watch out for. I'll keep you posted as I find stuff out. :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm mellllting...I'm melllllting.....

Seriously...it's about 85 degrees at my desk.
How do they expect anyone to be able to function, let alone do their job in this heat?!?!?
It's insanity!!!
Well, it would seem that my 800mg of Ibuprofen is helping my back pain considerably. It's not 100% gone, but at least it's bearable. Hopefully after a few days of the meds and stretching, I'll be right as rain.
Thanks to you all for your blog help. I assumed that checking back to the comments you'd made would be the most popular answer, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
There's not too much to report today. We got a bunch of snow last night, which made my ride home REALLY irritating. I have to say though, seeing a fresh layer of snow, on top of the already dirty, icy, yuck snow banks made for a very pretty sight. It was really light and fluffy, and actually looked like the fake stuff that they make for the Department 56 villages. :-)
Don't say anything against Christmas villages....it's one of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas.

This is an aerial shot of our 2007 village. I don't have the pictures from Christmas 2008 on my work computer, but there wasn't a huge difference between the 2007 village and the 2008 village.


Here are some close-up shots:
Hanging lights....


Pier 56...


The Doll Shop...

Well THAT was random...I blame it on the heat.

OK folks...tomorrow is Thursday, and as expected, the layoff rumors are FLYING around the office.

I'll keep you updated as the day goes on. Hopefully (if all goes well) you'll be hearing from me.

xoxo

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

BACK to life....BACK to reality...

I had a LOVELY visit with my doctor this morning.
To be honest, it wasn't bad at all.


After explaining all my symptoms to him, (in great detail) he determined that it's most likely a lower back strain/sprain, and nothing to be overly concerned with.
He suggested that I try some stretches as well as giving me an anti-inflammatory medicine. If it's still bothering me in a week or so, he said to give him a call and we could talk about other options.
Had it been something disc/spine related, he said the pain would be greater, and I'd be experiencing some muscle weakness in my legs. Thankfully, I have none of those more severe symptoms; it's pretty much just sore...and extremely annoying.
It's been really odd though. When I'm at rehearsal, dancing and moving around, it doesn't bother me at all. For example, last night at rehearsal, I was literally kicking, jumping and dancing around like a loon (we were doing a little 'improv' in which we were acting like cheerleaders - fun, fun, fun!!!) and I was completely fine. I'm hoping that if I stretch daily and take my medicine, I'll be back normal (well, relatively normal) before too long.


Here's a random blog question for y'all.....if and when you post a comment on a blog - take mine for example - do you check back for a reply under your comment? Do you expect a comment to be made on your own blog (assuming you have one)??
The reason I ask is because there have been times when I want to reply to a comment that's been left on my blog, but I don't know that people always go back and look there for a reply from me. Would an email be better? What if that's not an option?
I'm just curious how you all feel about it, and I'm not sure what the blog 'etiquette' dictates. :-)
Feel free to leave comments with your answers and/or suggestions...and I'll reply...or I'll send an email...or I'll write an entire post about it....see what I mean?
It's tres confusing for little ol' me.

Well, it's almost time for me to leave for the day - and it's been snowing non-stop since about 10am, so I'm sure there's plenty of snow waiting for me at home.

All you people out there wishing that it would snow (Kelly S.) can take comfort that there is PLENTY of it up here for you to enjoy, and you're MORE than welcome to have it.


Hopefully in a week or so I can report back here to let you know that I'm not longer feeling like this:



But more like this:




Happy Tuesday!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday's Soap Box...



Michael Phelps, what have you gotten yourself into now?!?!? First a DUI and now this?!?!?
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Now, don’t get me wrong….I may not agree with the choices he makes, but I do think that what he does on his own time is his own business, and should stay that way.
However, I will say this: if you're going to do it - for God’s sake, don’t let yourself be photographed!
I’m sure he’s going to end up losing some endorsements because of this, and it’s his own damn fault.
Enough of that crap…..

Once again, I had a great weekend, although I have to say that I’m kind of in agony right now. Not gut wrenching, 'I can’t function' agony, but my back is KILLING me. It’s a constant pain that kind of just sits there, constantly bothering me.
It all started on Monday, the 16th of January when Jim and I spent the morning shoveling. The day after we shoveled, I was sore, but I thought it was generic pain from doing physical activities, and being out of shape. :-) Unfortunately, it’s been really bothering me since then. Maybe I’ll call my doctor this morning and get a referral from him?? I’m tired of being in pain. Annoying!!!

Anyway…rehearsals have been going GREAT. We have a ton of super-talented folks in the show, and the whole process has been really fun so far. It’s so nice to have something to look forward to three times a week!! YAY!

Saturday morning, I spent the morning doing laundry and watching the Food Network. Can I just say that I’m COMPLETELY ADDICTED to the Food Network? Seriously. I watch it from the time I get up in the morning (On Saturdays and Sundays) until Jim makes me stop watching it and do something else. :-)
I’ll have dedicate an entire entry to it, but let it be known….I love that damn channel.
On Saturday night, Jim and I went to a wine tasting event for my sister’s church. It was actually quite fun, even though I was a little bit tired going into it. Jim and I went to dinner beforehand and then met my friend Joanne and a co-worker of hers, Michelle. The four of us had fun. Joanne and I tend to laugh a LOT when we get together, so we know that whenever we have plans – laughter is inevitable. And she reads my blog everyday, so how bad can she be?!?!?

OK – I’m going to get some work done….

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the scandalous picture that is putting Michael Phelps back on the front page….for now: