Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving oh nine

So I think that Facebook wins. I spend all my time there, I never write here, and have lost interest in blogging. But I could not let the month end with one sad, lonely entry. Because that would suck. If this didn't cost me 25 bucks a month to maintain I think I would give up entirely.

I have nothing really interesting to say. Tonight I'm feeling particularly empty and void of interestingness. I'm sick already of the Christmas Creep, where the pre-thanksgiving influx of Christmas ridiculousness made me sick, and today being Black Friday I think of all the meaninglessness of the consumerism of the holiday and it just makes me retreat.

I have a friend who is younger than I am, and he suffered a massive heart attack this week and is in a medically induced coma. I am sitting here in the living room watching TV and all I can think of is how kind he is, and how he beat the crap out of stomach cancer 5 years ago... and how this is heartbreakingly unfair.

What else can I say or add? I'm honestly empty of anything.

Here is the muppet update.

Next week we are going on a college tour with Jess. Right now she just wants to apply to Umass Amherst, and that is it, but we (Doug and I) are requiring her to look at more schools. So we are aiming for University of Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Syracuse. Syracuse is the real long shot, because financially it is stupid expensive. Pitt is the same cost out of state as Umass, so I'm kind of happy about that even though it is so far away. If she can go somewhere as cool as Pitt ... why go to Umass!?

She only wants to apply to Umass, but we know for a fact that the in-state tuition schools are handing out more positions to out of state students because if they can make 30k instead of 20k, they'll take the 30k students, which means the out of state kids. She can probably get into each of the schools she wants, no problem. I'm quite pleased with her SAT scores (1900 out of a possible 2400). I think she can get in anywhere, but have no idea how we're going to afford it.

We'll leave Geoff here with a house/baby sitter. I think everything will go okay. Geoff doesn't want to go with us but I think he is secretly jealous about her future plans. He has latched onto German as his language of choice and only speaks German around the house since we had our house guest and now that he is taking German in the middle school. I love how he likes it, but he needs to bring his math grade up if he is going to progress a grade next year. He got a big fat F this first quarter and he has to bring it up to a C or we're in big trouble. He can't do Shakespeare in the summer because that is when it is summer school, so it really falls on him to take care of bringing that grade up. He got 2 Bs and 2 Cs and a big fat F... so this is reality for him.

We spent Thanksgiving with my college roommate Laurel and her husband Chris, and their kids. Jess is close with Sarah (who was born on my wedding day) and it was a wonderful night. They live near Umass, so ... if Jess ends up out there it'll be good that they are so close.

I dunno. I guess that's about it. I have nothing else really interesting to say as all I can think of is my friend Chris and his family right now. That's about it. I don't know why I am keeping this journal any more. Certainly, it isn't because I'm writing anything of interest.

I hope you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

By the pricking of my thumb...

Welcome to yet another November in the world of the Way Out Inn. Since the last update, Jess has started to apply to colleges, we had an amazing fun fundraiser night for Boy Scouts at a local restaurant, and Halloweeners came to visit. In our old house, we maybe got two or three Halloweeners. This year we had about 50, and it was kind of weird because I actually expected more due to the fact that the local 55+ residence that usually hosts an indoors apartment to apartment trick or treat (which every kid in town goes to) cancelled due to fears over H1N1 Swine Flu.

I work in Salem, so I bailed from my office at about 3:30. For the past few weeks there has been a ferris wheel outside my office building just sitting there... and they weren't running it until 4pm daily. I wanted to ride it when I would have lunch, and was always disappointed that it wasn't running at noon. I came out of my office and there it was... running. So I got my ride. I got some fried dough, and I beat feet out of the city of Salem before all the freaks and knuckleheads could come out. If you aren't familiar with what happens in Salem, it is the hub of the north east for Halloween "fun." It is absolute chaos when it kicks into full gear on Halloween itself.

It was a beautiful Halloween, I love when Halloween falls on a weekend and I don't have to rush home from work and be all spazzed out over trying to get ready in time. I also love it when it isn't stinking freezing out and we can sit out and enjoy ourselves. As usual, Jess went to her friend Lizzy's house. Liz' birthday is Halloween so they always spend the weekend together, and this may be the last time she gets to do it because I don't know where Liz and Jess will be next year.

Geoff doesn't trick-or-treat anymore. He's "too cool" for it. So he played Guitar Hero Metallica all day yesterday. Doug and I set up lawn chairs outside in front and he came out a few times to look at kids in costumes, some his own age and older, and then he went inside. I am not sure why he didn't want to go out. I gave him the option to go down to a friend's house, and he opted not to. So I'm not sure where he is with friends and things. Maybe next year.

My friend Janet, her husband and their two boys came by. Dave took the two boys around the neighborhood and Janet sat with us, relaxing, chatting and having a great time. We had initially planned on putting out the fire pit and chilling at the end of the driveway, but the wind was hellacious and I was afraid that the house would catch fire if we did. So we didn't fire up the cozy.

Jess came home from Liz' very early. She told me to pick her up at 4... but called us at 11 to get her. She went straight to bed. She has had a horrible cold, and I think it is owning her. She asked me if she had a fever or not and she didn't feel hot at all, so I think it is just a cold and not Swine Flu or anything.

I've had a lot of discussions with people about the vaccine and whether or not to get it. We opted against it. All of us are always sicker after the vaccine (yes, I know it is a dead virus in the vaccine, but after we get shots we get sick. Just the way it is, and I hate that). We also discussed the fact that there are 3 million vaccines for 300 million Americans, and that if there are people freaking out that they WANT it, they can just have it. We'll run the risk of getting it.

I know several people who have had actual confirmed cases of the flu, and others who said they had it but never went to get a test at the doctor to confirm that it was THE H1N1 flu. I have friends whose kids have it right now. I have friends who are just coming out of it. Our elementary school attendance has dropped to below 30% but they haven't closed school. I wonder how many parents are keeping their kids home with colds or even if they're NOT sick, just to keep them away from school.

How about you? What are your plans for the super flu that is sweeping the nation? Do you think the media and citizens are overreacting? The people I know who have had the flu say it goes fast, is intense but done. Over. Fini. So I'm thinking that it'll be okay if we get slammed by it. Doug had to get the shot because he works at a hospital, so we'll see how we fare in comparison.

Before I go -- if you live North of Boston and you'd like to buy a Christmas Wreath for your house for the holidays, get in touch with me. Geoff's Boy Scout Troop is selling greenery and I can arrange to take your order, get it to you, the whole nine yards. So drop us a line.

Alright. More later...