Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Home again, home again....

I'm happy to report that our first family trip to Florida was a HUGE success!!!

Not only was the weather PERFECT, but Zachary was great the entire time. He didn't make a peep during either of the flights, and while were in Florida, he was well-behaved and seemed to love the warm weather. My dad and Betty were over the moon being able to spend time with him, and Jim and I loved spending time in the sun and our ‘family time’ by the pool. :-)

We went to a Red Sox game on Tuesday night, which was VERY fun, but they weren't looking their best. I realize it's only a Spring Training game, but yeesh...they looked TERRIBLE. I'm hoping that once the actual season starts (on Friday) they bring it up a notch and actually hit the damn ball.
Just sayin'

The day before I left for Florida, I had a 'recording session' with the group I'm singing with at Symphony Hall this Friday night. As it turns out, we recorded a piece that's going to be used as the background music for a soon-to-be-released video game.
As I've said before, it's a HUGE deal to those people who consider themselves 'gamers', but it's pretty much lost on me. It's such a big deal that we all had to sign non-disclosure agreements saying that we wouldn't reveal the name of the game, or any details about it. Totally fine by me!!! To be honest, I can’t even remember what the name is. It was a pretty cool experience though, and it was nice to make some unexpected money right before we left for vacation. As it turns out, we're all going to be listed in the credits of the game when it's released, which is pretty cool. I guess I'll have to get myself a copy so that I can hear the final product once it's finally released - and who knows? Maybe they'll ask us to record more stuff in the future?!?!?

Jim and I have a busy/fun week coming up, which I'm very much looking forward to.

I have dress rehearsal for the concert tomorrow night, then the concert itself is on Friday night. Jim's sister and brother-in-law are going to babysit Zach, and in return, Jim is taking her three kids to the concert with him. :-)

Saturday night we're getting together for dinner with K, B, and {b} - who I feel like we haven't spent any time with in FOREVER - so it'll be great to see them and catch up.

On Sunday evening, Jim and I are going to see Patti LuPone in concert at Symphony Hall which I'm VERY excited for. (I'll be sure to leave my camera in the car) I'm sure she'll be a hoot and sound fantastic….even if she leaves her consonants at home. ;-)

Next Thursday night, Jim and I are going to see the national tour of 'Hair' at The Colonial Theatre in Boston. He was able to get super-discounted tickets at the last minute, which is awesome. I saw the show in September of 2009 when I was in New York with Jim for his work conference, but he wasn't able to see it with me. It's one of his favorite musicals, so I'm very excited that he's going to get to see it. I hope he likes it as much as I did!!

OK - that's what's going on with me....believe it or not, softball season is about to start, in spite of the fact that we're expecting snow on Friday night. Don't even get me started on THAT!

I hope all of you are doing well. I'll be doing my best to catch up on all your blogs over the next few days....I've missed you all so. :-)

Jim, hanging out by a palm tree during the weekly "Monday Night Carport Cocktail Party" - oh to be retired...

Jim and Zachary (in disguise) spending some time by the pool.

(don't worry, we kept Z out of the sun for the entire trip)

Scooter, enjoying the fact that the sun was out, and we were all back home - together again.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Be Back Soon!!

Hey there everyone!

I just wanted to post a quick 'I'll be back soon' notice, because I probably won't be posting for a week or so. :-(

We leave on Monday for Florida, so I won't be blogging. Keep your eye on my twitter or facebook if you REALLY get desperate....but otherwise, I'll be back before you know it!

Take care!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

I hope you all have a great day. :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Humpty Hump!

Happy Hump Day to one and all!!

I hope this blog entry finds you well. I have hardly anything to report, but I felt like it was SO long since I've blogged that should at least write something to say hello and let you all know that I'm still alive and kicking.

Of course, I'm assuming that there are people still reading this. Are there? I'm sure you're just a little quieter than usual.

Maybe I need to post some more pictures.....those seem to get people talking!!!

So, my work from home 'experiment' has been successful so far. I definitely get a lot done when I'm at home, it's just that I have a bit of trouble with the guilt of having Scooter at home, yet I'm pretty much ignoring him. I get lots of looks like this:

In spite of that pitiful look, I think he's OK. He just sits in the office with me and hangs out, and from time to time, I'll take a break and bring him outside.

I can't even WAIT to go to Ft. Myers. I'm a little anxious about having Z on the flight with us, but I'm sure it'll be fine. I know how I'd feel if I saw an infant getting on to the plane, so I'm hoping that Z doesn't become THAT BABY....but I'm confident that he won't. He hardly ever cries, and when he does, it's easy to calm him and quiet him down...and he has a really quiet cry. I know, that's hard to believe, but it's true.

Anyway...I'm very excited, not only for my dad and step-mom to meet him, but for us to have the chance to be somewhere warm! This has been one cold winter!

I'm also excited to see the Red Sox in action. We've been to the park and practice fields before, but that was in November, so no one was even there. This time we'll be there in the middle of all the action, and I'm hoping we'll get to watch a practice or two. We're going to a game on Tuesday night (vs. Tampa Bay) so that'll be fun, I'm sure. I'll certainly take lots of pictures, and fill you in once I get back!!!

Have a great day!!!
PS - I've been meaning to mention it on here, but for all you 'Twitterers' - I'm out there now...and looking for followers (@ ajohnpjr).
I'm not promising anything earth shattering, but you's something else to keep me occupied. ;-)

Friday, March 11, 2011


Hooray, it's Friday!!

I'm currently listening to our IT Executive Vice President blather on about the current state of our company as we come to the end of the first quarter of 2011. Clearly, I'm not giving him 100% of my attention, but I'm listening to the 'highlights' - which is more than enough attention, in my opinion.

This weekend should be pretty calm, given the fact that we only have plans on Sunday night, when we're going to my sister's house to celebrate my nephew's birthday.
That being said...we're always ready for anything and 'surprise' visits aren't all that uncommon, as Zachary is a very popular fella these days.

I'm not going to go into a huge post on the issue, but this whole Japan thing is really freaking me out. Seeing the footage they've captured is really alarming. It looks like something you'd see in a disaster movie, but it's alarmingly real. My friend who's a flight attendant just got home from Japan last night, so we're VERY happy that he has such great timing!!!
Hopefully, the folks in Hawaii and the west coast were given enough notice to get themselves to higher ground in the event that the tsunami does hit them with any kind of force.

Keep everyone in your thoughts, and have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And So It Begins!!!

I had the day off yesterday to take Zachary to his two month check up.
(I know, I can't even believe it's been that long! Crazy.)

Anyway...the little guy is doing great. He's up to 9 pounds 12 ounces and just about 22 1/4 inches, so he's right on track as far as height and weight are concerned - and everything else looks good. He was suposed to have a couple of shots and an oral vaccine, but when the doctor was checking him out, he found that the poor kid has a double ear infection!!!

Of course, I felt horribly, and was convinced that Jim and I are the worst dads ever, but the doctor assured me that since Zachary wasn't showing any symptoms, we couldn't be expected to know that anything was wrong.
So, Zachary is now on antibiotics (which he loves the taste of) and is still acting as happy as ever, so we're lucky.
He can still fly with us to Florida, and although getting ear infections this early is usually an indicator that he'll probably get them often, we can keep an eye out for the slightest changes in behavior, and bring him in to be checked. :-)

Other than that bit of excitement, nothing too exciting is going on.

One of my neghbors from my old neighborhood passed away the other night.
It makes me very, very sad to know that she's gone.

In my neighborhood, there were 4 families that were very close. All the parents were the best of friends, they all had kids the same ages, (many of whom babysat me) and we often took family vacations together. When my mom passed away, everyone was there for my family, and especially for me, since I was the youngest.
Eileen, Elaine, and Ida were the three moms who pretty much took over and made sure that my dad and I were OK. There were SEVERAL occasions when I was lucky enough to spend dinner time with the other families.

Eileen's son Scott and I were best friends, so I was there more often than not, Ida and her family owned a local restaurant which we frequented throughtout my entire childhood/teen years, and Elaine lived directly across the street from me, and kept a watchfull eye on things. :-)

Eileen and Ida passed away several years ago, as did both their husbands, and Elaine's husband passed away about a year or so ago. That left Elaine, as sole survivor of the group - and she lost her battle early Wednesday morning.
It's never easy to see your old neighborhood transformed into a completely foreign place, especially since I grew up in such a great neighborhood, where you knew everyone so well - but although they have all 'moved on' (with the exception of my dad) - I take comfort in the fact that I have such great memories of the old days and can look back fondly on the place where I grew up, surrounded by supportive and caring people.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Video Game Orchestra

This is kind of random (OK, completely random) but also kind of fun and different....

I was asked by a friend of mine, who's a local music director, conductor, actor, singer, and all-around musical genius,if I wanted to be a part of a choir he's putting together for a performance at the end of the month.
Now, as you know, I'm a big theatre fan - and the fact that I haven't been in a show of any sort in almost a year (RENT opened in March of 2010 - I can't believe it's been a year already!) means that I'm getting a little antsy as far as performing is concerned. That being said, when my friend contacted me, I was immediately interested. He's a very talented guy who I trust, so I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be working with some rag-tag, amateur group.

Anyway, the deal is that there's this group called the 'Video Game Orchestra' who performs all over the place, and have quite a following. They're performing a concert (one night only) on Friday, April 1st. My friend is working closely with them, and he has been put in charge of getting together a choir (around 25-30 people) to sing along with the orchestra for this concert. The cool thing is that the concert is going to be held in Boston's Symphony Hall!!! SO cool.

Video Game Orchestra, you ask? What the $*&% is THAT? Exactly what I said when I saw his email. So, I did a lil' research, and this is what I found:

From their website:

"VGO, founded by a Berklee College of Music alumni Shota Nakama, is an orchestra that performs contemporary arrangements of video game music. As the first and only New England based orchestra that focuses on showcasing interactive media compositions, VGO is dedicated to provide access and raise awareness of orchestral video game-related compositions.
Comprised of a chamber orchestra, a 5-piece rock band, and a choir, the regional and international award-winning musicians come from over 20 countries. This multi-cultural diversity background contributes to the unique sonic signature of VGO.
VGO's debut concert was on July 2008 in front of about 200 people at a small Boston chapel. Since then, the success and audience number have been growing along the way. The latest concerts at PAX East 2010 won VGO an acclaim for our outstanding performance from the 7500 people who were at the concert."

Now, I'm not a 'gamer' by any means, but I looked on YouTube and they have a few videos up there. They seem really cool. Their concerts seem very laid back (no formal wear for them!) and their audiences are TOTALLY into their performances. You know how people can be when it comes to their video games! Apparently it's not uncommon for a character or two from some popular games to make a surprise 'guest appearances' during the concert, which makes the crowd go wild!

As for me, it seems like a pretty cool way to get back up on a stage again with limited commitment and a pretty cool pay off. Hopefully everything will work out, and it's not some big April Fool's joke...I'll certainly keep you posted!!!

Have a great Thursday, y'all!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's Mahhhhhhch!

Hey y'all!

I'm going to do my best to refrain from starting off every blog entry with an apology for not blogging more often. Let's face it my peeps, anyone who reads this blog with any regularity is well aware of what's going on in my life and when they see I've posted a new entry they're probably so THRILLED to see it, that they don't even care why it took me so long!! ;-)

I can't even believe that it's March already! How crazy. I'm very happy that it is, but yeesh - time sure flies around these parts, don't it?!?!?

Things are going quite well with everything at home. We're all adjusting to work/life/daycare quite well, if I may say so. The craziest days for me are Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those are the days that I drop Scooter off at daycare in the morning, pick him up after work, drop him off at home, and then run right out the door to pick up Zachary at daycare. It's a lot of running around in a very short amount of time, but so far, so good!

I'm apparently getting accustomed to feeling slightly hungover at all times. I still haven't had a single drop of alcohol (since January 16th) yet each day I wake up feeling like I went on a small bender the night before. However, I'm managing to ignore the constant, dull, headaches - exhaustion - baody aches - and slight nausea, and press on through the day.
Who said fatherhood wasn't fun?!?!? :-)

Did I mention that we're still taking the trip down to Ft. Myers? I think I may have, but if I hadn't - now you know. We're heading down on the 21st and staying until the 25th and I can't even wait! Not only am I excited to go to Florida for the week, but I'm so looking forward to my Dad and Betty meeting Zachary for the first time. My sister Donna is flying down with us and staying until Thursday, so not only will she be there to lend a hand if need be, but she gets a little vacation of her own!!!

Jim and I are going to see the Red Sox play Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, which I'm SO excited for. I imagine that we'll also do the 'touristy thing' at some point and go to the practice fields to meet/watch the players. I'd love to get a picture of Zachary with a player of two, so that we can show it to him when he's a little older. I'd also like to get my picture taken with a player or two...but for an entirely different reason. ;-)

Other than the Red Sox stuff, we're just hoping for some good weather so we can go to the beach or pools, and not be at work!!

OK my friends, enough blabbering....I's got some work to do!!