Saturday, January 31, 2009

My son, the kid that other kids and their parents do not like

I'm up very early this morning because Geoff has an event with the Boy Scouts today and I opted not to go with him. Doug didn't WANT to go with him, so we sent him solo. I'm worried now that may not have been a good plan.

This is an annual outdoor event -- they spend the entire day outside, doing winter things... winter awareness, winter site development, winter games. In years past they've slept over at the campground, no matter the temperature. They aren't this year, because we were going to observe Scout Sunday tomorrow. That got moved back, so some boys have changed their plans and are there the whole weekend.

Some call it the Klondike Derby, some call it Deep Freeze. I call it crazy.

I hate the cold and everything about it. I hate being out in it. I never feel properly prepared, or I over dress and then I'm uncomfortable.

I thought Doug was going to go, but he feels Geoff is getting really good at doing this kind of stuff on his own and doesn't need a nanny. He's right, but there are times that Geoff needs an extra external conscience to guide him gently. And this might be one of those days.

We have a really big troop. Some troops have like 10 kids. We've got like 25 and all are very active in the program. The new scouts who are finishing up Cub Scouts are with the troop today, and one of those boys is a young gentleman that Geoff does not get along with.

In December, they had an altercation in chorus that resulted in Geoff getting expelled from chorus. I didn't blog about it because it's been all Geoff all the time lately, and rarely is the news happy or good.

Suffice to say, he was devastated, and hates that he got kicked out and blames the other kid. Not himself, for his own actions... but the other boy. There is a lot of he said she said, there is a lot of conflicting eyewitness testimony... but whatever. What's done is done.

Geoff gets out of the car and goes over to his friends and I get out of the car to go touch base with the Assistant Scoutmaster about Doug not being there and what time will I be coming to pick him up, and I am intercepted.

"I'm Mr. S. A's dad. Are we going to have a problem today?"

Oh shit. Dude is huge and mad looking... and I die a little inside. Yet another kid that Geoff has wronged, and yet another parent pissed, only this one doesn't seem like "It's okay, boys will be boys and will work things out. Let's sit down and chat with them..."

I stick my hand out and introduce myself. He tells me that over this past week Geoff has repeatedly and very aggressively asserted himself towards his son in the hallways. He didn't know Geoff was a boy scout until yesterday when his son told him. And his son told him "I don't want to join boy scouts if Geoff is in the troop."


Damage control, spin, what can we do here. Doug's not going with in order to monitor and keep peace. I'm not dressed and prepared to go, I'm in pyjamas and I didn't even wear a coat. Crap crap crap.

We talk for a while and I tell him that I want to bring the boys together, have them spend a minute before they go, make sure that they're on agreeable ground, Geoff especially. He agrees and goes to get his son. I march over to mine.

"Geoff, I need you to..."

"There he is mom, that FAT ASS that ruined my life and got me kicked out of chorus. I hate hi--"

Oh hell to the no.

I put my hand in his face and said "Get back in the car, you're not going today."

He's stunned. Shocked. "Why!?" As if.

"I can't send you there today with A. because I don't trust that you'll behave yourself. You're a bully. And you're mean. And you're not being a good scout. And so you're done. Get in the car right now or listen to what I have to say."

He says "okay, what do you have to say."

"I need to know that you'll be a good man today. A good scout. A friend to incoming scouts, to show them how things are done. Remember how you felt coming into the troop, all these guys that you had never met. A. needs that kind of support and guidance, not someone who blames him for something that wasn't his fault. You cannot threaten him. You cannot menace him. You cannot make his life miserable and make him feel as if he's afraid to be here. I need you to step up, man up, be good, behave and come over to talk to him and prove you will be good."

"Fine, but just for today."

"Wrong answer, get in the car. We're done."

"Okay! I get it. I'll do the right thing."

We walk over to A. and his dad and Geoff says "A., I'm sorry I've made you uncomfortable. I will treat you with kindness and respect today. Scouts shake hands with their left hand so," he stuck his left hand out to A., who took it. A. thanked him and turned and walked away.

Geoff then turned to the dad, "I promise I will be kind to your son today, and won't give him a hard time." Geoff stuck out his left hand too to the dad, who also shook hands with him.

The dad and I continued to talk. I felt that Geoff was sincere, I didn't have to script or prod. He said the right things. I told the dad I would talk to the Assistant Scoutmaster and make him aware that there have been problems, and ask him to keep an eye on things.

The dad said some other things that I don't want to really get into. He implied that Geoff should be in alternate schooling and that eventually something may have to be done to stop him. I just let that kind of thing go. Dude is mad, and angry at my kid. And it is something I've grown to understand and expect, even though I don't like it and sometimes feel there isn't anything that I can do about it. I ended the discussion by telling the dad that it might be good to sit the boys down sooner than later, and have them talk things over outside of school and not at either's home. Geoff always does better with people when he learns that they are a human just like him. Over a cup of hot chocolate, talk it out and make things right.

It's the best I can do, right?

I flagged the Assistant Scoutmaster down and let him know that there is a history of problems between Geoff and one of the Webelos, and asked if he could keep a really close eye on Geoff and A. during this event. The cub master or Den Leader also came over to listen to what I had to say and said that he'll also be there to monitor the situation.

Geoff will be up at the camp until at least 10pm tonight. The Webelos are coming home at 4. So I'll quietly sit here and pray that the phone doesn't ring. And that when I pick him up later, there will be good reports.

Until then. Meh.

On another note, Jess is in NY this weekend.

A friend of hers from Rebel went to audition for colleges (theatre programs) in the city, and he and his mom needed a place to stay in/near the city for Friday night. Thanks to Facebook, the dad's status brought this to my attention and without hesitation I totally knee-jerk volunteered my sister.


Luckily, Linda accepted my volunteering of her house and hospitality with kindness and didn't kick my ass for it. And Doug suggested Jess go with them, and get some time with her auntie. I'm going to drive down to New London to pick her up off the ferry on Sunday afternoon -- and until then, she'll have a nice visit in NY.

Her friend is a great kid, and I am excited for him auditioning and picking colleges and figuring things out. Seeing as a year from now it will be us, I like that we (Linda is part of the Royal We) are able to assist in the process because who knows what we may need from someone in a year. I also thought it would be a good idea for Jess to see this auditioning process, even if she couldn't see the audition. She isn't going into a theatre program for college, she's pretty sure at this point. But knowing a process for something might make it easier on her brain should she change her mind.

They took the Fung Wah bus to the city and survived. It didn't roll over or burst into flames and no one died. Worth every penny of the $15 we spent on the ticket. And it reminded me of my time in college when my only real option was Amtrak for getting to NY to get home to see my family, stories of which I wrote about here in 2002. I wish there had been Fung Wah when I was moving back and forth between New York and Boston. I'm glad it is there as an option in case Jess ends up in Manhattan for college.

Speaking of which, I had a good long talk with my friend Rob K., professor of awesomeness at an esteemed Southern Region University. He used to be a high school guidance counselor, so he wanted to know where Jess was thinking of going to school or what her choice of program of study was.

He recommended a website to me that helps match the culture of the student with the right colleges and THEN the academic program. I told him that was ass backwards, that you should search for college based on the academic program.

He told me I'm insane -- if you pick an academic program and you're miserable at the college because the culture doesn't match you, well then what have you got? A miserable college experience.

How many of us picked our college because they had a huge and awesome marching band, or we loved football or basketball? How many of us picked our college because it was a state school or a christian school? And then we picked our academic program. You THINK you know you'll be a history or english major. You KNOW you want a strong literary magazine.

He had a point. Even though I think he's wrong.

Anywho, I went online and did the search his way, knowing a little about what I think Jessica wants culturally. Her criteria is simple. Nothing south of the Mason Dixon Line, but she'll go all the way to Northern California, Oregon or Washington. She'd prefer a 4 season kind of place, or at least a place that has winter. She hates the heat. So it has to be a place that isn't hot all year. Okay. I know that she isn't big on sororities or fraternities. She hates sports, and sports culture. She wants a good literary magazine and I think she wants to go to a small school (under 5k students total). I think she wants to major in Foreign Languages.

22 colleges came back with a match, and then it was asking specifics about the major. Colleges like UMaine Orono (hey! There's a LOT of winter in Old Town!) and even Rutgers came up.

We would need to really look at this more closely. I like the idea of keeping her on the East Coast, and UMaine Orono is only about 5 hours from here. So that would make me happy.

Honestly, I can't believe we're here, looking at these realities. It is overwhelming to me. Makes my head explode.

Okay -- I've got stuff to do. More later.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

and you can add speeches of politicians to that list of the fool's there...

"He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf,
a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath."
- The Fool; King Lear

For those just waking up from that 18 year coma, or the two readers I have overseas, today our country celebrated the inauguration of Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States of America. To a lot of people this is an amazing and historic day. To others it is a sign of the apocalypse. To me, I am kind of sitting back skeptically, being skeptical, smack dab between the haters and the worshipers.

It isn't that I don't like Barack Obama. He's a great motivational speaker. But I would augment the quote from King Lear up there to include speeches from politicians on the list of things to mistrust.

Throughout history we've all seen promises made, promises broken. In this day and age, we can track day to day what someone says and count each and every "flip-flop" that a politician makes. Keeping a running tally of the changes ("I was for the war, before I was against it!") adds to my natural distrust of anything coming out of the mouth of anyone.

You may think me cold, but I refuse to drink any Kool-Aid that any poet, priest or politician is serving up. Including Obama.

There is a lot about Barack Obama to like, and then there is a lot that one has to seriously question. How he plans on getting money to fund social projects is one of those things that I seriously ponder. I am a firm believer of the Flat Tax philosophy. That if I bust my ass and make 267,000 a year, I should pay the same rate of tax as someone who makes 67,000 a year, or 7,000 a year. I think 15% is a good rate. I do not think that because you make more, you should be taxed more. What would then make one or motivate one to work harder to make more money for himself or herself, for their family, if it pushes them into another tax bracket?

The biblical philosophy in Luke where it is stated that "to whom much is given, much is required" should not apply to the government saying "Hey, you've got a lot so we're going to take it." No. That person should be giving of himself. Not one forced to do it through the government. I find that when I have more money, I'm a lot more generous. When money is tight, I have to pay for the immediate costs and needs. If I have more money, I give more away. I pay my bills, maybe go out to dinner, and I give money generously to charity and people who I know need it.

I know there are people who do not. And there are people who sit and languish because they do not have what some greedy fat cat has. But to be honest, I have never ever believed in Nanny Government. I have a feeling much more of this institutionalization of "giving" will be put into place. And I don't think it is a good thing.

But I love this and will not quit it like all of those those people who threatened to "move to France" because the candidate of their choice was not elected eight years ago (hey, Alec Baldwin, how's France working out for you, ya jackass. Pompous, bigmouthed jackass blowhard douche).

Obama is my president, and I support him and hope for an amazing four years for this country. I do. I really do.

I am skeptical about is this whole worship cult that is built up around him. The fact that most of this nation has lost belief in God, religion, faith, something ... in whatever that may be, that they've latched onto yet another smooth-talking man snake oil salesman with nice things to say about doing good and making change for people.

This concept of the Saviour of America image that the media and his staunchest supporters are building up really worries me. This wasn't an inauguration today. It was a beatification. A coronation. An ascension to the throne.

I put no faith in ANY politician to do the right thing. I take them all as liars and thieves. And while Obama's pledge for "change" and "yes we can" ring across the nation, I wonder what change this is? How will it get here? And how will people react when it doesn't come fast enough for their liking. I am wary that everyone who has so heartily and deeply inhaled the kool-aid will be so sorely disappointed. And our nation of Id obsessed "give it to me now now now" instant gratificationites will be yelling and screaming that they've been abandoned.

Obama's got a tough row to hoe, as they say. And boy, my hat is off to him and I wish him well. But I have a feeling, no matter what, everything will be blamed on the mess he inherits, not his inability to make good on his promises. Fingers will be pointed. Blame will be cast. Media stuffed shirts will be squawking. It's going to be an interesting 100 days, I think. I predict. I cringe.

The one thing is that I'm happy so many of my friends are so different. I spent the day with facebook loaded up onto my PC and I watched the status updates fly by. So many of my friends are either total moonbats or complete Unibombers. I sit right in the middle and see both of their arguments and say...

God bless the USA, and all the poor souls within it.

Good luck president Obama. We're counting on you to do good things, right things, and please... watch your back, baby. I worry about your safety and if you are lost, I hate to think of what will happen to this nation next. Get through the next four years... I don't care if you're an abysmal failure at it. Just survive it, please. Good luck and God speed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow are the kinds of days that make bald men wish they were Blagojevich. That muskrat noggin covering sure will keep one warm, I reckon.

I feel for Doug because he has an exceptionally long walk from the parking garage to his building and even with a super hat I am sure that the cold just penetrates to his hypothalamus.

We're gripped in a bit of a nasty cold spell here in New England. This happens around here a couple of times a year, usually in August or September. This time of year it is unprecedented though.

I don't mind the cold as long as that bastard wind isn't blowing. It's a jerk, and I hate it. Fie, upon thee, wind! Fie say I.

I'm a little silly tonight. I'm in an exceptionally good mood, even though I'm currently fighting yet another super evil malware on the PC. I'm not sure if it is Facebook or Youtube that is the culprit, but right now I'm pretty much sick of teh intertoobs, webz and any inter anything that makes me have to fight it. I just want a peaceful existence online. Is that too much to ask?

Obviously, it is.

Anyway -- while I'm running yet another system scan, here is my update.

Our house is rather cold and I've had a couple near sleepless nights worrying about the guinea pigs. Not the pipes, or the ever present ice dam. But the guinea pigs. After we lost Gordon, I kind of blamed myself that perhaps the room was too cold for him and that's what did him in. Guinea pigs are sensitive little critters, and they don't like it cold. The actually are kind of okay with cold, I guess it is DRAFTS that do them harm. So I've been covering the cage with a fleece blanket at night and stoking up the woodstove, and cranking the room heat, even though by morning those things have little impact on the temperature of the room. I think it was in the low 50s this morning when I came down to the living room. Cold assed joint that room is.

So tonight, I cleaned the cage, I reorganized the upstairs loft, and relocated the pigs to up here by the computer. I figured they'd be lonely up here, but now that I think of it, someone is ALWAYS on this computer... so they'll have company. They're running around like mental cases right now. I actually am a little worried that they don't get along, because I think they're fighting. Helena's right ear looks like it is being chewed... I'm keeping an eye on them, and I do hope I don't have to get a second cage and break up that party.

They make the cutest noises, and it is nice and warm up here, so I hope they'll be happy. In the summer, we'll move them back where they were because it gets brutally hot up here, and I don't want baked piglets in August.

Saturday we had Geoff's birthday party.

I got up exceptionally early (um, 8?) and began cleaning. I had just cleaned like mad the week prior, but of course with a family of four here no one ever cleans so I found myself again scrubbing kitchens and toilets and sweeping. Geoff was very helpful, I must say. When it comes time to prep for parties, he steps up. I wish he was this helpful all the time.

Three boys and Six Hyde children arrived around 1pm, along with some adults who chilled and chatted. We did pizza and Guitar Hero and you may have a hard time believing this but I think even Jessica was having a good time. Geoff's choices of friends worked out well, the boys all got along well, and a good time was had. Sharing went down with the instruments, and a lot of laughter came from the pink room.

I had promised a trip over to the laser tag joint the next town over, and it seemed like they were having a good enough time here that we could have passed on it and stayed home and rocked out. But we packed up the Six Hyde children and three boys and a couple of adults and trekked over. The boys got to play one round of laser tag and the little wee Hydes got to go to the jumpa jumpa area and boy did they ever jumpa jumpa. They got their money worth for sure.

After the one round of laser tag, two of the boys had to be home at a certain time so we came back to the house. We did cake, and more guitar hero, and Jess' friend Courtney was here for a while. All told I don't think there have ever been so many people in our house.

The Hydes stayed late and there was a lot of Hyde Rock and Roll Family Guitar Hero. Eventually, around 9pm Geoff just left and went to bed and his guests continued to rock out. It was kind of funny.

We overslept church the following morning. We were that tired. It was a good party. Geoff said it was the best ever. I think I'm still recovering. And I'm completely freaked out that I have a 12 year old boy.

The work weeks post-holiday drip past slowly. After a couple of weeks of 3 or 2 work days due to the holidays and some vacation time, I find a five day work week simply intolerable. I say they should be banned. I did get to take Amy out to the Lobster Shanty for her birthday last week though. We whispered to lobsters and discussed the finer points of a great Nacho plate. After my system scan I have plenty of pictures to post in the flickr for your viewing enjoyment.

Most evenings over the past week I spent hours building a new webpage for our Boy Scout Troop. The committee has to approve it, and I hope they do because it is rather pretty and I do enjoy the look of it. I have a couple pages to finish, and it will be nice when it is done. I want to encourage the boys who are doing certain projects to submit stuff to the website. And maybe get an Eagle section to commemorate each Eagle as they finish. We have one coming up in April, and probably two more before the end of the year. Fun stuff.

Tonight, I had the distinct pleasure of having dinner with Terroni, who is visiting Boston on a job search in her chosen medical field. She has interviewed here, NYC and Baltimore. Long ways from her home state, and it would be kinda cool if she would come to Bahstin. The adventures of a single doctor type chick would be excellent for Universal Hub, and she could experience real, honest to goodness French Toast Alert System updates.

I picked her up at the train station, a little later than I planned because I got trapped trying to get out of my parking garage. I didn't know the Registry of Deeds has an Alice Cooperesque "Schools Out For Summer" end-of-day building evacuation. It was kind of ridiculous. Remind me to never leave the office again at 4:30.

Luckily for us, it is lighter later, and I was able to find her, and drive her around a wee bit before the darkness fell. It was too cold really to get out and go look at the House of the Seven Gables or the Friendship... so we cruised through Pickering Wharf and enjoyed the end of day feel of Salem.

I pondered where to go for dinner, and remembered that tonight was closing for the season night at the Lobster Shanty, and last week when I was there with Amy I'd told Ms. Wolf that I would come by for a drink. You know me, a woman of my word. We went to the Shanty.

When we got there, very few people were at the bar. They were setting up a buffet of comfort foods, and I noticed that the lobsters Amy and I had whispered to very recently were all gone. Gasp! So sad.

We had a couple of beers and I was contemplating us going over to one of the very nice restaurants round the way for a nice sit down meal, but the bar started filling, and the fun level started rising. We grabbed buffet food and they brought out home made bar-pie sized pizzas and started passing them around.

Ms. Wolf came by and told me that they had made, get this, a lobster infused vodka this week... and were making "Lobster-tinis." It sounded crazy enough, and before I knew it my mouth was forming the words "I'll try one."

I felt all gastronomically adventurous, like Andrew Zimmern or Anthony Bourdain, without the beating cobra heart or moose penis entrees.

Garnished with a cute little lobster claw, the Lobster-tini didn't suck. That's a ringing endorsement if ever there was one, right?

Well, considering I'm not a fan of martinis or lobster, I was pleasantly surprised by the drink. It wasn't fishy, which I totally expected it would be, and the lobster garnish had been soaked in the vodka and was just delicious. I loved that part.

Thumbs up on the Lobster-tini, yo. And thumbs up to being brave and trying something totally wacky. And thumbs up to Terroni for meeting a somewhat strange stranger blogger chick that she only knew from words on a screen. It was a crazy fun night.

Anyway. The system scan is now going on 2 hours. I am never going to conquer this Malware evilness, am I? Feh. I'm ready for bed, so I'l let it do it's thing and hope for a good result.

More later. Gotta go make sure Geoff has enough blankets and is warm enough. And no one let the dogs out tonight so I'll go do that too. Jeeesh.

Friday, January 09, 2009


New Year's Resolutions are a joke. I don't make them. I never stick with things, so I break the promises to myself, and then get mad and disappointed at my inability to pursue something resolutely. Losing weight, eating healthy, quality time with the kids? All these things fall by the wayside by the Super Bowl in epic fail fashion.

Year after year, I utter such things as: "This is the year I will do a better job at keeping the house clean, organized and tidy," or "This is the year I'll drop 20 pounds." The house is a continual disaster, and while I never put weight ON it certainly does not come off. So screw it.

Elsewhere on the internet I think the resolution machine has also broken down. When I first started writing a journal in 2001, I noted that my reads would write lists of admirable goals. I noticed this year only one of the people I read actually has a list of goals and resolutions for 2009. I think the wheels fell off our collective wagon, and we're all done with making promises we cannot keep.

So instead of resolving to drop those 20 pounds (really, it should be 80 but let's not mince, shall we?) or put away the pile of crap that has been in the corner of my room since we moved here in 2006, I instead have simpler promises.

I plan to write more.

I plan to sit down and put an entry in at least once a week. No more of this 10-20 days between entries crap. At least once a week. And so far, this is my second one this week so I'll be sure to strain a muscle as I pat myself on the back.

Also, I've been inspired by someone I met on Flickr quite a while ago. His name is Mark, and he and his family live in the Seattle area. He set out to walk/hike/run 1000 miles in 2008. He did it... with completing his last 6 miles 2 days before the end of the year. Mark chronicled his progress with spreadsheets and photos along the way.

Now, a thousand is a lot of miles, so I am going to set the bar lower. I'm going to do 500 this year. Long time readers may hearken back to the geocaching days, when I easily did 500 miles a couple years running. We fell out of the hobby as it got contentious when Doug would consistently go off trail and bushwhack through the woods and we'd all end up injured horribly, thorns and nettles ripping our flesh. It became no fun, and we all would bitch at him. So slowly we stopped going, because he got weary of being yelled at when he turned into Captain Bushwhack, and I just got sick of poison ivy and crying children.

I would like to return to geocaching, without the nettles and crying children. So I will figure out a plan to set to and get going on it when the roads are not treacherously icy. And that's about it.

We'll see how I do with both, shall we?

With that -- time to get ready for work. More later.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Geoff's Birthday

I am finding it hard to believe my son will be 12 tomorrow. For his birthday it looks like he's getting a category four kill storm with ice, snow, freezing rain, sleet and more ice. Oh Joy, Oh Rapture. Happy freaking Birthday.

adventure pigs and geoffSeeing as his birthday is horribly overshadowed by the holidays, and I have absolutely no get up and go to pull together a party, it looks like we'll do laser tag with a few friends, come back here for some pizza and guitar hero, and rock out.

He seems perfectly happy with that plan. I just hope it isn't too late to pull a couple friends together for such a shindig. So happy birthday to the little dude. Who isn't so little any more. I'm now pretty much the shortest person in my family, aside from the dogs. It humbles me.

And, lest I forget -- Happy Birthday Amy. Huzzah for your trip 'round the sun as well.

Beverly First Night 7Well, the new year came and went. Photos from our activities are located here in the flickr account if you're so inclined.

I had organized the Rebels to do a stint at the First Night celebrations in a nearby town. There was a blizzard going on, and when we got there it was 20 degrees with a bitter wind.

Our outdoor activities were a total wash out. So when it came time to move inside we hoped for something good. We had two spectators in the audience, and 10 Rebels performing. I didn't think it was a washout, because the kids had so much fun together. The two audience members seemed to really like it. I really enjoyed seeing their choices of scenes, monologues and sonnets... and when all was said and done it was a nice thing for them to do, it got us on the Radar Screen for the First Night people, and hopefully a lot better of a slot for next year (and better weather).

Beverly First Night 39After the kids were all picked up or carpooled out to their new year's eve part two, we decided to stick around and check out the festivities. Normally, there are several hundred people there, but all told I bet there weren't more than 200 spectators.

They do a "New Years In Paris" countdown for 7pm, and drop beach balls out onto the street below. It's all for the kiddies, obviously, and I was keen to just watch and check it out. It was brutally freaking cold out there, and the temperature was dropping by the minute. They did the ball drop 10 minutes early, because there was really no sense in waiting and torturing all the little kids.

The beachballs were dropped down to the street below and went from room temperature to ... 18 degrees. They just kind of... plopped when they landed. The air within just deflating the balls, and the plastic became stiff and cracked. We managed to salvage two, so we have a memento from the event. Like I said, hopefully better weather next year.

We came home, late for our drunkening, and watched the ball drop and mocked all that is the annual coverage of this event on TV. We watched Spanish TV, which was highly entertaining even though we couldn't understand 90% of what was being said. All four of us marked the new year together here at home and it was a really nice wrap up to the holiday season.

Happy New Year, everyone.

After recovering from the freezing cold of New Years eve, we helped our friends move up in Maine this past weekend. I think we've done this three or four times now. They have moved a bunch, and they have a bunch of kids (six) and a total bunch of stuff.

My roommate from college and her husband were there to help with the move, and it was tons of fun, even though moving rarely ever is. It was nice to be with them, seeing as we suck at going out to where they live.

I had a good two hours with their number four child, who was born on Doug's birthday a short six years ago at the end of this month. I really dig this kid, and we had a tremendously fun time.

geoff and pete insideGeoff was actually very helpful.

Usually he thinks moving day for the Hydes is just time for him to play with Peteman and the other kids, but he settled in to being a good helper, and even got to ride in the big truck with Mr. Hyde and talk about football.

He really really wanted to ride in the big truck. I mean, really.

I love where they've moved into. It's an in-town location with all kinds of cool restaurants, bookstores, shops... a real lively downtown right outside their door. And they are less than a mile from the ocean. Once they're settled in, I look forward to chillaxing there with them. And having some more Nathan time.

The following day we had kind of a mini-college reunion.

A good friend from College, that I've recently reconnected on Facebook, was in town, and it was decided that we should have dinner. An impromptu party was thrown together in Newburyport at the Grog. My two roommates, Bonnie and Laurel, and their husbands, our friend Mark and his wife, and another friend Eric and his daughter, Doug and I, all gathered and had a lot of really good laughs and a good meal.

I sometimes can't believe that 20 years have passed since I've seen Mark, but ... wow. Yeah. It has been that long. It feels like a lot less.

There were a couple of people missing, and it would have been magic if everyone from our little Back In The Day circle could have been there. We have been trying to find our friend Paul and reconnect with him, but he's being evasive and that's sad. I know where he is, but really get the message that his silence means he doesn't want to reconnect, which is okay. I can honor that... but I wish he wouldn't be that way. I love and miss him. And I didn't invite Steve and Elissa because she's preggers, and I figured she may not want to schlep out on a weekend in freezing freaking cold January right after the holidays. I know when I was pregnant that schlepping out when I could be relaxing was often not preferred. So I left them off the invite list. I probably should have given them the choice, but it was a thrown together thing at the last minute and I just didn't.

I felt sorry for Mark's wife and Bonnie's husband having to sit there and listen to us babble about the Back In The Day days. But there was a lot of non-college history talk, and some really insanely wacky clairvoyant stuff that we threw down on some lady walking by named Nancy.

Good times, y'all.

Anyway. That's the big wrap up and update. I didn't make any new year's resolutions, but how about I try and write more? See how I make out with that and how long it is before I break THAT promise. Heh.