Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
What to do, what to do? Some items of interest:
1. They're fixing my car. It should be ready by January 23rd. Until then? Bumming rides off people. Poor poor sister. They said there wasn't any additional damage to the engine and such, which I guess is great news.
2. Closer and closer to a new job! Every day brings some new exciting details and I should know more next week about the exact details. All I know is they're very interested in me staying.
3. Christmas was very nice with the family. Ate too much yummy food and made myself sick on cookies. We ended up spending about 3 days down at my mom's house. There was some very unfortunate news as one of my second cousins was killed in a car accident on Christmas Eve about a mile from my mom's house.
4. The exodus of people leaving the city during the holidays has put a dampen on my social life. No car & no friends in town = lots and lots of DVD watching. Seeing how I got FIVE box sets for Christmas.. I've been doing a lot.. and I mean A LOT of marathon tv sessions. Nicole, Nola and I even got through four episodes of Nip/Tuck.
5. Having a get together on New Years Eve at my place. Six are confirmed as coming, so large or not, we'll have a great time. Now to clean and buy all the necessary food stuffs. Wanna come? Stop on by or let me know. :)
6. Headed to the Real Bodies exhibit at the Rochester Museum & Science Center with my mom tomorrow. It's only here for a couple more days, and I've wanted to go to it ever since it came here, but nobody would go. My mother offhandedly asked if I'd go with her... so that works!
Posted by Luke at 2:24 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Turn the video sideways. Nola is recording.
We opened up presents tonight, as we always do, on Christmas Eve. I got my mother that Sony VAIO laptop computer I won in the raffle on Tuesday, and this is the reaction of her and my very very jealous sister. Apparently, I won the gift giving game this year (and last year with the fridge)! Yeah, my family is nuts.
Viewer discretion is advised. ;)
Posted by Luke at 10:48 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
Posted by Luke at 8:09 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Posted by Luke at 7:15 PM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Barkley the Wonderdog!
It's been an interesting week. I keep thinking about what is gonna happen in the next few weeks. After my car was damaged on Friday, things play in my head. What if they fix it even after $6,000 in damage? Will the car be OK for the next 6 years? Probably not. What if they total it and write me a check for $10,000? Should I use that and my other savings as a nice 25% downpayment on a house? I've been given two new job opportunities in the past two weeks, and major decisions need to be made. If I take a job in Rochester, I don't want to rent anymore. But buying a house is so ... permanent. It feels like a big step. And I should be making big steps.
But what about a car? I guess I could buy a new or a used car... and start again on monthly payments. But I loved having no monthly payment over the past 6 months, and now I'll be back to doing something similar. And with my degree done, job prospects, I almost feel compelled to take a job just so I can get a pay increase, a house and car purchased, just so life can settle down again and I can be in a routine. I hate bumming rides off people. Independence really goes a long way to confidence.
But friends have all been supportive, and I've kept my mind occupied by having people over a couple times for dinner and tv. And I've been making progress on my 10 seasons of Stargate SG1. ;) I do like that show. And then we have 5 episodes of Survivor for this weekend.. should be a fun catch up afternoon. Maybe they'll come over to my place. It'd be nice to host one, one of these days.
And I never let holiday shopping stress me out, but I feel like I've just let it slide this year. I'm not even done and it's only a week away. Less even! But that new computer finished off my mother's gifts.. I just have to finish with my sister and brother (and wife?) and should be set. Then there's the MAILING out of gifts. Blah. Oh, and wrapping. Most everything is wrapped.. (even the computer box!), but just the whole thing seems like such a chore this year. I've purchased a new tv, new furniture, a dozen box sets of tv shows... and now am frustrated by the thoughts of being in debt again with a car loan. I finally felt like I was debt free and making huge headway toward a house. The whole thing gives me a headache. But I wasn't hurt.. and it's just a car.. but blah, I'm just glad I'm not ill.
Oh, and my insurance informed me that the girl reported she was injured in the accident. *sigh* So I have that to look forward to. Can I get a hug? Or maybe just a new car? Mom won't give me one for Christmas. ;)
Posted by Luke at 4:01 PM
This time of the year has a million holiday parties all crammed into one week. We had one yesterday (won a laptop!), and one today, and I have one tomorrow evening.
The party is put on my boss and organized and run by my coworkers Katie and Emily whom did a wonderful job with everything. The food was good, the desserts decadent, and leftovers a plenty.
Didn't participate in the office gift exchange this year, but I still had a good time, and packed enough leftovers for Nola to last her a couple days. In fact, she stopped in to my office to get some leftover lunch. Not a lot of pictures since I wasn't in the camera-phone mood, but it was still a good time.
Posted by Luke at 1:17 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It simply wouldn't be December at where I work without the big holiday party that is held every year in Wilson Commons. Food, door prizes, candy, drinks, live music and coworkers. This party has hundreds of people invited and attenders coming and going as they please over the course of 3 hours. I ended up getting there around 3 and spent the next hour or so nibbling on chicken skewers.. waiting for the raffle calls every 30 minutes. They gave out 2/3rds of the 30 or so gifts to lucky attendees, but alas I did not win the golf shirt, the beer mugs, the URBee stuffed toy or even a Simon hat. How sad. Mingling, unmingling and finally walking out around 3:45, I went back to my office to finish out the day. But at around 4:30, my boss pokes her head in my office to tell me that I won the grand prize.. a new Sony VAIO laptop! How exciting.. and uplifting.. and immediately mood stablizing. After my accident, the problems with insurance, the problems with the poor girl saying she's hurt now, and the fact that my car may be totaled.. it was a very nice surprise to win a laptop. Very nice. Someone said it was so nice to see me smile that big for once this week.. and I couldn't agree more.
I played with it last night, got it all set up, and wrapped up for my mother for Christmas. Just in time. I think she's reaching her breaking point for being without a working computer.
Posted by Luke at 5:33 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Oh, what started as a very nice evening out on the town with John, it ended in a very unhappy moment.
John messaged me earlier in the week suggesting we go out to a couple bars. Accepting, and being the driver, we headed out to a couple small bars down on Monroe Avenue, meeting up with a couple of his coworkers. Trying out several beers and experimenting on tastes, I spent the next few hours having my butt kicked in darts and being outdrank by my fellow patrons.
However, as the 11pm hour arrived and I had switched from alcohol to my diet coke regimen (which oddly the bartender stopped charging me for?), I headed out around midnight to meet up Marni and her gang at the bowling alley to enjoy the remainder of the night. As the group dispersed, and we all headed in our own directions, I headed out and back toward home.
But on my way back south on Culver, a car stopped at a flashing yellow light about 4 car lengths in front of me. Being too close and swerving and breaking to miss her, I nailed the corner of her car, hitting her bumper, but wedging it into the right front end of my car. A quick thud. No airbags, and the engine still running, I called 911 as I shut off the car. A guy from across the road ran over to check on the girl in front of me.
Jake, Rachael and Lindsay passed the scene (Was that Luke?), eventually turning around and staying with me for the next hour as the police officers arrived, wrote up the accident report, and gave neither of us a ticket. The young girl called her parents, with them rushing out and hugging her and comforting her. Um, yeah, their car was hardly damaged. Mine was leaking fluids and Jake was having a field day looking at the damage and pulling pieces of my car out of her bumper. At least our group still outnumbered them. I texted Nicole and she offered to bring out hot cocoa and join in the sidewalk brigade. She was, after all, 2 blocks away.
A witness stayed with our little group on the sidewalk for the entire hour (Thanks, Mark!) and laughed and joked with us as we shivered and I continued to be in awe of the entire event. However, it turns out my insurance company faults me. I don't blame them, even if that means my poor car may be totaled and my rates increased for years to come. I hit the girl, even if she stopped in the middle of an intersection for no reason. I'm trying to keep my head up. It's just a car.
I ended up driving the car, clunking and spewing fluids as we went, over to Marni's house a couple blocks away. This gave me hope. Waking her group up (she has friends over for the weekend), she gave her condolences as Jake borrowed a flashlight to do some last minute investigative evaluations of my car's motor. He says certain things are cracked and pushed that may cause the whole thing to be totaled. Yikes. But they took me home and left me to my own thoughts.
So after having the car towed and taken away on Saturday, and having a nice lunch at PF Changs at Eastview Mall, I've spent the rest of the weekend inside, warm, as the snow falls at incredible rates. Me without a car. Maybe for a month. Good thing I don't drive to work. Oh well. Onward I go. Well, without a car. For now.
Posted by Luke at 10:16 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tonight's holiday party at game night was a blast. Got in about six games, and the food was great too!
Only about 12 people were there, and I was able to spend a full 7 hours hanging out with everyone. Played a couple games I have never played before, and a couple ones I really liked.
I took a couple pictures, and Chuck took my camera and took about 3 dozen "artistic" photos. Enjoyed: Party Photos
A little video I took. Zoomed into too far, but we were setting up a game that took about 3 hours to play. Fun fun!
Posted by Luke at 1:10 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Posted by Luke at 5:26 PM
Thursday, December 06, 2007
...unless the question is, "What is not the answer?" (stole that from Laura) Anyway, drinking has nothing to do with this post... google search people who hit my blog like it's a famous cookie recipe.
Well, the snow stopped. But it's friggin' cold out. I almost got hit by an angry driver this morning crossing the crosswalk. Almost fell down on the ice on my walk in. Is it too early to start complaining about winter?
On Saturday, I went off to Emily's holiday party at her place on Canterbury. Was very lovely. They definitely put in a lot of effort to make everyone feel welcome and wonderful. I ended up bringing some leftover beers (sorry Jake) as my contribution for my hour stay. Since I had made plans the night before with Seth and Kelly to watch Christmas movies on Saturday night, I felt juggling the two events within the same timeframe would be a good excuse not to be out and about for too long.
I sat and talked with a couple people I know from work, joked with Emily, ate some of the very delicious meal they had prepared (catered) and excused myself and went home. This was, of course, after saying hello to Emily's cat Coco. Hugs, kisses, and off back to my place where Seth, Kelly and Josh were waiting. Josh is a guy I know from game night, and was up for movies too. Jake and Lindsay were invited by proxy and while waiting for them, the four of us ended up watching Battlestar: RAZOR, which the three of them had yet to see. Both Seth and Kelly have really taken to the BSG series, and I'm all too happy to share in that with them.
But we ended up watching Scrooged when Jake/Lindsay got there and enjoyed the rest of the evening late into the night without enough seating room for the six of us. I need to fix that before the next time I have a party. The Super Bowl may not be too appealing if I make everyone sit in kitchen chairs again. But then again, they're coming for the food and my new TV.. so maybe it's not that bad.
The week has been quiet so far. With no classes and no obligation, I ended up spending Monday evening with Marni watching Kathy Griffin's newest comedy special (which was almost exactly like the one her and I saw LIVE back in September) and several big episodes of 'Little People Big World.' With the roads as bad as they were, it took me about an hour to drive to her place, which normally takes about 10 minutes. And it didn't get better on Tuesday, so I stayed in, digging in for the long haul.
Wednesday, a bit brighter and less snowy, had me out to lunch with my mother, grandmother and Nola at the Olive Garden for a quick lunch. It's felt like I've hardly worked this week with all the interruptions, snowy starts, early dismissals and appointments.. but I ended up leaving a bit early to make a car maintenance appointment at my Honda dealership. My little car has hit 60,000 miles and needed a tune up. But to my surprise, it was a $466 tune-up. Seeing how nothing was broken, no problems even to mention... I was a bit taken back, but patiently waited the 2.5 hours until it was done, test driven and returned to me.
Unfortunately, that delved into my dinner plans with Steve, a guy I went to college with and recently bumped into at the hospital. But he was gracious, and after explaining how many times he's been late for people, completely okay with my 40 minute late arrival. He has pepped up my anticipation about his home theatre system.. telling me to expect amazement at the SteveMAX experience. He lives in a basement apartment of his uncle's house, equipped with a 7.1 high definition speaker system tied in with an HD projector attached to the ceiling to showing on a screen over 70 inches wide.
SteveMAX for sure. We watched 'Live Free or Die Hard' which was an amazing movie. Felt just like the theatre and puts my little livingroom to shame. However, I also don't like seeing wires everywhere, and his setup has them tied and taped to walls, ceilings and the floor. I guess there's a give and take to any system
Next on the agenda? I'm meeting up with Deb tonight for some dinner and gambling before heading to game night. This weekend has me headed to a Bill's game in Buffalo on Sunday and a little bar hopping with a group on Friday and another one on Saturday. Should be fun. Should be busy.
Posted by Luke at 2:11 PM