Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Oh Boy!!

So as anybody who has spoken to me in the last couple of days knows I am sick. It is just a head cold, tight chest, runny nose and a cough, but in this weather it is completely unbearable. I think I am not alone in saying I wish it was Autumn already. If we have to deal with it getting dark around eight o'clock now we should at least be blessed with some cooler, drier weather. Hopefully it will be drying out in the next couple of days, I just can't take this much longer. Yesterday was a perfect example of how the humidity makes me more stressed. I went to work early to do some expenses work and was able to leave early. Unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy the day because the night before I had received a cable bill stating that I owed $300 because of unreturned equipment. So when I got home yesterday I pulled the cable box and modem out of the closet, but quickly realized I was missing the remote control. For the next twenty minutes I tore through all of my belongings, in my scorching hot room, looking for the stupid remote. No luck! Time was running out because I had to drive all the way to Salem by five to drop it off and every minute I spent looking the traffic was getting worse. I cut my losses and jumped into the car. Luckily I made it to Salem with a half hour to spare, but I couldn't find the place. It was hot and sticky while I called Ken at work to have him run a google search for me. Five minutes later I was standing in the Comcast office while the annoying clerk was talking on the phone. She never hung up the phone and kept chatting while returning my equipment. Fortunately she didn't say anything about the remote and I made it out of there with an $18 credit balance. Woohoo, that will show them.

Spotsylvania Battle Information
Civil War Battle Naming

Two words to live by challenge and reinforce.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Ahhhh Vacation!!!

Let me start by saying it was a lovely vacation. I won't go into full details because it would be rather boring to everbody but here is a list of all of the places we went.
Day One: I-93 and Franconia Notch
Bought the new Mraz live CD.
Played a round of miniature golf. I came back from being down three strokes to win by one. Woohoo!!!
Clark's Trading Post to see the bears.
Snuck into the Flume Gorge from the real hiking trails.
Bought sandwiches at some random sandwich shop, where the lady at the counter proceeded to give Jen a hard time about wheat bread and just how bad it was for you.
Ate lunch at the Basin while watching tourists from all over the globe.
Hiked up the Falling Brook trail to check out the cool waterfalls and warm up for the big hike on Day Two.
Ice cream at Dairy Queen.
Went to the house in Newry and tried to use my Somerville key on the door.
Ate dinner at Suds. As good as ever.
Day One Photos
Day Two: Mount Jefferson
Drove to the base of Mount Jefferson.
Hiked four hours up to Edwards col. A col is a low point between two ridges.
Made a push for the summit of the third highest peak in the Northeast. Elevation 5,716 feet.
Beautiful views from the top, with the exception being a few random clouds passing below us.
Long and somewhat tricky hike back down via the Castle trail.
Shopping at Shaw's.
Pat's Pizza for dinner.
Day Two Photos
Day Three: Camden
Woke up in Newry and drove two and a half hours East to the coast.
Saw the cleanest gas station bathroom ever.
Walked around Camden and had some lunch.
Checked in at the bed and breakfast.
Rested a bit before driving up to a mild hike.
Hiked up Mount Megunticook and enjoyed the views from the top. It was lovely.
Joyously hiked back down the mountain.
Cleaned up before a fantastic flatbread dinner at the Frogwater Cafe.
Spoke with a couple from Pennsylvania at the bed and breakfast before bed.
Woke up the next morning and had breakfast with an amazing array of people. Old married couples, newlyweds, a German guy, a couple from Malta, an expecting couple of from Boston and other people I didn't get to meet.
Explored the shops of downtown Camden.
Drove around a looking for the Children's Chapel. Finally found it to see the garden was beautiful, but the chapel was eh.
Southbound for Freeport.
Stood in line to get a piece of my backpack replaced for an hour or so.
Ate lunch and had Pesto for the first time. I think it would have been good if there wasn't so much cilantro.
Took a drive up Mt. Agamenticus.
Couldn't let go of the vacation and drove 1A along the coast.
Went to 39R so Jen could meet the family.
Of course mom wasn't there so we waited and had dinner before going to Hodgies.
Finally got back to Somerville completely exhausted.
Day Three Photos

Day Five: Plymouth
Drove to Plymouth in the morning and hung out with Mark and Kate.
Talking and swimming at the Lafavers.
Ate lunch and fixed some computer problems.
Watched the race from the boat with Kate.
Mark finished fifth in a tough field of sailors.
I played guitar on the dock while Kate and Mark went to a meeting.
Ate dinner at BBC.
Drove back to Somerville, took the wrong exit and was slightly lost.
Went home unpacked and passed out, until my coughing woke me up twenty minutes later.
Sailboat Race on Long Pond Photos

Monday, August 23, 2004

A Fantastic Weekend

Now typically I only put one picture up, but I really wanted to show something strange that I didn't really notice until I was looking at the pictures at home. The first picture was taken around 2:30 PM and the second was taken a few hours later, but notice the dramatic change in the water level and color. Notice how in the top picture there is some shoreline visible on the far side of the river and it has disappeared in the bottom. Okay that is all of my observations on the waterfall.

Jen and I left for Letchworth State Park (1 hour southeast of Buffalo) on Friday afternoon and began the long drive westward. I was pretty psyched because for the first time in a long time I got to be the passenger, which I must say was good for a few hours, but then I got way to antsy. It took us seven and a half hours to get there including a couple stops for gas, food and a mysterious thumping noise. We pulled up to the inn, which looked like a saloon/hotel from the old West. We walked in the door and I felt like I should have had a six shooter on my hip. Fortunately there weren't any mean cowboys playing poker inside, but instead there was a large array of antiques including a collection of chamber pots. A very classy touch. We got the key and walked upstairs to find our room among the huge doorways, but couldn't find number 22. There were all the other numbers, but not ours. Finally, we gave up and went downstairs to ask for help. The woman said with a thick Irish accent that our room was outside. She pointed us toward the back of the hotel and said walk that way until a light turns on and you will see the room. We followed the directions and came to the random outbuilding, which was decorated like an old 70's style hotel room. I said the place felt haunted and no sooner had my mouth closed and there was a knock at the door and Jen screamed and jumped. I laughed as she got her keys from the lady from the Iobby. Too funny!!!

The next day we had to go to the wedding at Letchworth State Park. It was a beautiful wedding at a fantastic spot. The ceremony was right near a giant waterfall, quite impressive. I finally got to meet some of Jen's friends and they were great and too funny. After watching them interact for a little while it occurred to me that they could easily be cast in a Friends like show. Everybody had so much in common, but all had very distinct mannerisms and qualities to create a perfectly balanced and well rounded group. Just an odd observation I made, probably because I watch way too much television. The reception afterwards was fun, and I actually got out there and tried my hand at dancing. Let's just say I was really cutting up a rug. Ha!!!

Sunday we woke up and got right out of there because there wasn't anywhere decent to have breakfast in the area. The drive back was fine and we stopped in Northampton to break it up. The weather was so nice yesterday and quite a change from when we left on Friday afternoon. Alright I have to get to work now. Just know it was a great weekend and I am looking forward to my vacation coming up on Wednesday. Woohoo, I love Maine.

Wedding Slideshow

Soap Opera Definition
Letchworth State Park, the "Grand Canyon of the East"
I-90 West to 93 North? (Maybe its not the most right I've ever been) The two missing exits are I-93 South to I-90 East and I-90 West to I-93 North. In case any of you were wondering I-90 West does provide direct access to I-93 North. Oops!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

It was a great day

I am very busy today, but wanted to put some albums out here in honor of Clemence's last BoCaNO for now. We played soccer in the park and then went over to John Harvard's for dinner. It was very yummy.

Clemence's Last BoCaNO for now

Clemence's First BoCaNO

I also had a nice afternoon of shopping in the city with Jen. I bought new brown shoes yes I know this is quite a rarity for me. I also bought some new nice clothes because I can't really go out anywhere dressed in my ripped or marked up khakis I wear to work. They were selling fresh apples and cider at City Hall plaza. It was nice to have my first cider of the year, I am very excited for Autumn to begin. Cider Hill Farm donuts will soon be in my belly.
I have been really bad at keeping up with this, but I really want some record of what has been happening with Jen. First of all it has been over a month since our first date at Dali. A few days after that we drove up the coast of NH to Odiorne Point State Park and then at dinner at Margarita's followed by a night cap at her house. She was busy over the next week and then went to the Cape nannying for a week. We kept in touch though and would talk often and for long periods of time. Haha looking back it seems so long ago that I was talking to her on the phone in my apartment in Salem. She came back from the cape on the same day I moved (August 1st). I was supposed to see her that night, but due to my moving troubles I wasn't able to.

However the next day she came over to see me. When she got here I had just started playing the guitar and played my first two songs for her, Big Eyed Fish and Too Much. We left and went to Boston to go to the Aquarium. It was nice to go on a date without taking the car for a change. I needed to get a T pass so we went to South Station and then walked around to the Aquarium. We stood in line and had our picture taken, because they require it to buy a ticket. We got our ticket and went inside to see the Jellyfish exhibit. It was amazing and we also learned about copapods. We watched the penguins for a while and then went to the Imax theater. The movie was good especially the dramatic tone of the narrator. Afterwards it was clear that we needed to eat and walked over to Faneuil Hall for lunch at Bertucci's. We were both extremely hungry and glad to get something in our stomachs. We both had margheurita pizzas and were full afterwards. The waitress was rather peculiar and actually butted in to a conversation we were having about credit cards. Very strange, but also something fun to laugh about. We went back to the Aquarium and saw everything else we missed on the first visit. Slowly winding are way to the top of the giant tank things were going very well. I felt very close to her and was having a really fun afternoon. The top of the tank was a good place to stop and take a break for a little while and learn about the different fish in the tank. Our curiousity got the best of us and we played in the gift shop for a good half hour before returning to the oppressive heat of the outside. In our travels we ended up in PO Square, where we just laid on the grass for an hour or so just talking and enjoying each others company. Playing in the fountain was also fun. It was getting late so we went back to Somerville and stopped by my house. We sat on my bed talking and I played the guitar for her for about an hour or more. It was hot and I was sweating from being so nervous about it, but she really seemed to like it, which I of course loved. She went home late that night and I was glad to say the third date was just as much of a success as the first two, if not even better. Oh I almost forgot when she came over I gave her a mason jar full of wishing stones, shells, sea glass and snails I had gathered on the beach in Salem. She loved it.

On Monday, we gathered an impromptu BoCaNO crew together and went to The Burren. It was Jen's first time meeting everybody so we were both nervous, but of course everybody thought she was wonderful and they were very happy for me. She fit right in with the group especially Clemence. Unfortunately she couldn't stay long, so I walked her outside and gave her a kiss good night. I was so happy to have my friends meet her and even more excited that they liked her so much. It was strange having a girl with me in front of my friends, but also nice because I could just talk to her at points and leave the group for a while. So once again another success with Jen. My happiness just keeps increasing.

Our next official date was on Friday, August 6th, the day after I had my wisdom tooth pulled. I went to Jen's bright and early for the beginning of what would be known as the Tour De New England. Within a couple hours we were up at the end of the Kancamagnus. We stopped briefly for drinks and to use the bathroom before heading down "The Kanc". Within a few minutes we stopped at an overlook and took some pictures with our sweaters on. It was beautiful and she was seemed very happy to be outside in nature. I was excited that she brought her camera and was taking pictures. We drove some more in the car and just kept talking and having a great time until we got to Rocky Gorge. We got out again for some wandering and picture taking. The sun was now shining down and it was nice to just lay there and bask in the light. It was getting near lunchtime and we were both hungry. The nearest grown up place to eat was a local pub, so we went in and I had a bowl of chili because of my tooth. A nice lunch overall and a good way to break up the day. We originally intended to drive up Mt. Washington, but the weather was less than desirable and instead we stopped at Glen Ellis Falls. Once again Jen was excited about seeing the falls, which made me extremely happy. It was such a peaceful spot and we stopped there for an hour just enjoying the serenity and each others company. I wanted to show her my parents house in Bethel so we drove east into Maine. When we got there Noelle's sister's boyfriend was there and kept asking us if we wanted to join his BBQ. We graciously declined despite his persistence. The house was different, but still just as nice and the river behind was beautiful, capping off all of the wonderful nature spots we visited. It was starting to get late and we had a long way to go. Next stop Amesbury. I had to grab my bike for the triathlon the next day so we had to stop. Only Jon and Zach were home so they got to meet Jen. Hunger had set in again and what better place to go on your first trip to Amesbury than Hodgies. Jen ordered a quarter kiddie on a cone which was huge, but she managed to finish most of it without making too much of a mess. Our final stop on this long trip was Salem, where I had to pick up my deposit from Jesse. We tried to keep it short and then made it back to Somerville, thirteen hours after we left. Needless to say I was exhausted and when we got upstairs I passed right out. After a little rest I regained my strength and was a little bit more awake. We went to bed and only slept a few hours because we had to get up for the triathlon the next day.

Triathlon in Plymouth
Jen went to Maine for the week although we talked every day and became even closer
She came back on 8/16 and I went to her house and then dinner in the North End and then a sleepover
On Monday night she came over to plan our trip next week to Maine.
Tuesday night we talked on the phone and then couldn't resist a sleepover
Wednesday we met in the city and did shopping for the wedding this weekend. Stopped at the chocolate dipper, bought cider and apples and just had an unbelievable afternoon together

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

More Dentist

So I went back to the dentist and for those of you keeping score at home this is the third time in three weeks. I sat there for a while waiting to be helped and then finally was seated in a room.
The techician said, "Are you ready for your root canal."
I responded, "Ah I am only here for an exam."
She realized her error and moved me to the correct room. Now this is the second time this has happened, but in some odd way I feel it means I belong at this dentist.

So I had my X-rays done and the doctor came in to look at my mouth. So here is the break down I need two fillings replaced, my three wisdom teeth extracted, a cleaning and to have a section of my tongue looked at further to make sure it isn't cancerous. Overall a good day for me here in Boston. Now I have an appointment for a cleaning next Tuesday and another one for the oral surgeon to check out my wisdom teeth and my tongue. That will be five visits in four weeks, it means I will have been to the dentist more in the last five weeks than I had in the prior eight years. Still two more to come after next week too.

On the bright side they haven't told me it would be easier to just remove all of my teeth and get dentures. My weekend away and vacation next week will not come soon enough.


I can't do it anymore, I can't just sit here at work and put on a happy face. It has become too much to bear and I am ready to explode. Now I know certain people are going to say go back to school or apply for the big 90,000 dollar a year job at IBT. First let me answer the school comment, I would love to go take classes and learn new things, but I don't even know what I want to do anymore which makes it kind of wasteful and in the past when I took classes it just turned out to be a big fat waste because I never was able to use any of the knowledge I actually gained. Secondly I don't want to be a financial analyst, I don't want to be the guy who watches people work, writes it down and then passes it off to somebody so they can do the only part of it I actually enjoy. Yes its a lot of money, but well now money is great, but I am not about to go further from what I like to do just to make some more money. Besides since I have an inability to save money, it would just end up being rather wasteful.

The saddest part about the whole thing is I used to be positive working computers was where I wanted to be, given their logical manner and the constant problem solving. After sitting behind this desk for five years, I am beginning to question even this fundamental certainty I have had for years. Now have my feelings for this career changed because I don't actually enjoy it or is it because this job has caused me to view computers in a different light. I would like to think I truly do enjoy this field, but doing meaningless Access projects has sucked my will to code. Furthermore working in this giant grammar school like environment hasn't helped my feelings much.

Coming out of college I had this idea of a big corporate office being structured and very rigid about things. Nothing would be completed without proper documentation and written approval. A system where you could easily see goals, make movements upward into new positions because a heirarchy existed. Now I find that I work in a middle school where people interrupt you, destroying any bit of focus you may have had to answer a trivial question. I thought it was bad when people asked me to go out back for more oranges at the supermarket or asked where the apples were. At least they had the excuse that they might not be educated and weren't necessarily familiar with the store. The idiots at work just come up to me like I am their bitch and ask the simplest questions that, given five minutes of thought, they could have figured out themselves. Insead I sit back here put on a happy face and take care of their ridiculous request, while they go back to their desk to continue reading the latest news story about the Boston Red Sox. It gets worse if I do not respond to their request in a timely manner not only do they get irritated, but they go back to their desks surf the internet and complain about me. Of course when I walk by its all smiles and hellos, so the next time I will help them, but I know what is really going on in their heads.

Now this morning I have a meeting with my boss about possibly becoming the lead PC person, which means really nothing. I will make the same I am doing now, do the same tasks as right now, but for some reason it will officially rest on my shoulders and not his to do his job. If I say I don't want to do it, I will be doing it anyway and if I do decide to do it they will probably try to rope me in for another year. I keep telling myself October 26th is just around the corner and I will be able to post out of this group and November 15th is soon after that when I will finally be vested. Its possible there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the question is whether I can make it to the light. I have to fight the urge to just quit and go back to stocking produce at Shaw's, at least there was a variety of stupid people there instead of the same stupid people day in and day out.

"In a world of uncertainty, logic is only a spectator." - KWS

Monday, August 16, 2004

2004 BBQ

It was another successful BBQ thanks to everybody for showing up. I made my signature watermelon fruit salad with a twist this year. Instead of making a basket I carved little waves into the side in honor of the hurricane. The pictures can tell a better story than I ever could. We did do a bunch of fun things like swimming, hacky sacking, frisbee, eating, egg tossing, basketball, pinata beating, and Hodgie's ice cream eating. I personally enjoyed more than last year's because I was much more relaxed and not nearly as stressed about making sure everybody was happy. New things this year were the Hodgies afterwards and my set on the guitar. Yes its true I actually played for real people out in the pool area. It was really dark and I could barely see the strings, but I managed to muddle through a few songs.
Here is the setlist for record keeping purposes:
(Dressed In Black) -->
Big Eyed Fish
Angel From Montgomery
Song That Jane Likes
In My Life
Too Much
All Along The Watchtower

( ) indicates partial song
--> indicates segue

Haha how lame is that. It was fun to play, I am not sure how fun it was to listen. For the first time I wasn't nervous playing in front of people. It was a nice change. The pinata was next and once again it broke off of the string and we had to resort to the softball pitch to bust it open. Hodgies was great especially because it was hilarious watching Amy eat her ice cream like a five year old. Hahahaha. When we got back the collge girls had arrived. It was nice to see Emily and Nissa for the first time in like six months. I gave Britt, Sara, Vanessa and Amy a ride back to Boston and made it home by midnight. A long but fun and great day. What will next year's BBQ bring?
Brendan sent me a couple of his pictures, complete with captions:

Here is a link for 2003 BBQ Album for a nice look back.

Yesterday the weather was so poor I just stayed in most of the morning reading a book and then I read the newspaper. I picked up super glue for my bowl, which I conveniently dropped on the floor Friday night. It is now together, but I don't know if it will hold milk. We'll see tonight. Jen came back from vacation yesterday and we went to dinner at a nice grown up restaurant in the North End called Bricco. It was really nice, one of those places that still serves bread and they even put the napkin in your lap for you. I tried squash blossoms for the first time and they were very good. My main course was a pasta dish shaped like a drum. On top of the drum is a giant blob of mozzarella and inside was penne and veal. It was covered in a red sauce and petite meatballs. Although somewhat difficult to eat it was also scrumptious and filling. Unfortunately it left little room for dessert and so we weren't able to go to a cafe afterwards.

In case you were wondering here is a page with the information about the difference between crickets, katydids and grasshoppers.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Back Online

I am sitting in Somerville on the internet finally. I am now wired and updating the LJ from home again, which will certainly make for more positive entries. Its tough trying to make nice sounding entries when I write from work. So this evening Kate and I went to Kendall Square and ate pizza at Emma's. It was a cool place, the pizza was yummy and the atmosphere was also very chill and hip. We got a spinach, mushroom, olive and chicken pizza. It was my attempt at being a healthy grown up and not just getting a pepperoni pizza. Afterwards we went over to the Kendall Square cinema and saw Garden State. It was fantastic and I highly recommend it to those of you who like decent indie films. The acting was great, story was air tight and dramatic with perfect accents of dark and light humor. Zach Braff is fantastic as Andrew and Natalie Portman is hilarious as the lying and twitchy Samantha. I returned home after the movie to find that my internet was actually worked without any extra coaching by me. Woo-hoo!!! It's good to be online.

BoCaNO at the Alley Pictures. I also want to send a shout out to Amy. I hope everything went well with your appointment today. Feel better soon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The Perseid Meteor Shower

It's mid August again and that means the Perseid meteor shower is occurring. The Perseids occur at this time every year as the earth passes throught the ice and dust left behind from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet takes about 134 years to orbit the sun, last passing by Earth in 1992. It will be back around in 2126 so mark your calendars. As our green and life filled planet makes its way around the sun the ice particles hit our atmosphere causing streaks of light in the sky. The Perseids got there name from the constellation where they seem to emanate from, Perseus. It is very difficult to forecast these storms, but most astronomers are estimating a good show, in part this is due to the extremely small crescent moon tonight. Less moon light makes it easier to spot the meteors. It will be nearing its peak this afternoon and unfortunately in North America we will miss the peak. However meteors can will still be visible tonight, assuming it isn't cloudy. So tonight on your way home look into the Eastern portion of the sky

Some Informative Links
Perseids 2001 Meteor Gallery
A Perseid Guide from Space.com
A NASA Document on the 2004 Meteor Shower
More Meter Shower Information

Pottery Pictures

Pottery Zip file
Please right click and save as.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

No TV = More Reading = Smarter Keegan

I left work yesterday at 4 and then got a haircut and by 4:45 I was sitting in my bedroom wondering what to do for the next six hours before bed. I looked over at my bureau and saw a nice book sitting there, but instead grabbed my guitar for some much needed practice. I played through a half of a song and broke a string and since I don't have any extra strings I had no idea what to do. Once back in my room I noticed the book again and decided to do laundry. Finally I did jump on my bed and start reading. It was so nice just reading in the peace and quiet of my apartment.

I think of all the people I know who read all the time and realized they are the smartest people I know, could there be a correlation. Maybe me getting cable isn't the best idea and instead I should focus on reading, so perhaps the next time people are having interesting and intelligent discussion I can actually partake instead of sitting there like an idiot trying to squeeze a one-liner in here and there. I wish I could just tell people really I am smart, just because I am unable to have a good intelligent discussion about internal medicine or the history of ancient Macedonia doesn't mean I am dumb. I have been frustrated lately trying to convince myself that I am actually knowledgeable of things. I know it is silly because you can't just write down a list of things you know it is also a matter of analytical skills, which I feel is one of my stronger suits. Okay this is just babbling now you all get the point though. In the end I wish I just had better social skills, because sometimes I feel so uncomfortable in situations where thoughtful discussion is going on.

It's annoying and I can't but help feel it is in some part due to how I grew up. We mostly just stuck to the family and I don't really recall ever going out in situations where we had to deal with lots of people. Not that I am complaining because I am close to my family and wouldn't want it any other way. It probably didn't help that I never went to parties in high school and in so doing fell out of the in crowd. Come to think of it most of my trouble these days probably comes from the erratic social life I had in college. Freshman and sophomore years I had a strong group of friends and we were all very close, but as I began to work more weekends I began to distance myself from them. Junior year inolved less friends because of my first college girlfriend and so I fell out of any good social circles I had been involved in. Now moving on to my senior year, what is supposed to be my most socially connected year due to a huge network of friends and comfort with the campus, started out as the most isolated year of all. I ended up being more like a freshman and missing out on what is a prime year for social development. Of course at work I had a great group of people I was very close with, actually they were more like a family to me. Finally at the end of my senior year I actually started to make friends again, but I think it was too late at this point and my social skills were never properly honed. Thankfully two years ago I met the people from BoCaNO and have made leaps and bounds trying to catch up to where I should be at the ripe old age of twenty seven. Rome wasn't built in a day though.

Yeah I don't know why I decided to write this emo entry. In other news Keegan's BBQ is turning out to be more like Keegan's BoCaNO get together due to several cancellations. On the bright side I won't have to buy more than a dozen burgers, five hot dogs and a couple veggie burgers. The low turn out will also let us do some water skiing on the lake, which will be fun.

Have an excellent day,

Monday, August 9, 2004

Full Weekend

Wow it was a full weekend and I don't know if I am going to fit it all on this one page. I will give it a try though.

The last time I wrote it was a few short hours before my widsom tooth was supposed to come out. I met my mom in the park and we went to the dentist's office. I went in and sat in the chair and the assistant asked if I was ready for my filling. I laughed and said, "Ah no I am getting my wisdom tooth out. She was confused and said that the doctor I was seeing couldn't possibly be doing an extraction. She left and came back to tell me I was right and that he would be taking my tooth out. The dentist finally came in and told me usually an oral surgeon would do the procedure, but since I needed it out sooner than later he would take care of it. He said he used to work in a prison and had done several extractions in his time. I smiled and said, "Well at least you will get some practice." At this point I was super nervous, but just kept breathing. The novacaine shots were fine and after waiting for that to settle in he came back to take the tooth out. It was painless. He just stuck this device in my mouth to twist the tooth around and applied pressure to the side of my face to counter the tool. After about ten minutes of pushing and twisting he put it on the little table next to me. That was it, all of my whining and complaining about nothing. He stuck gauze in my mouth to stop the bleeding and I thanked him and walked out to the waiting room. I was a little dizzy out there, but after a minute regained my balance and left with my wisdom tooth now out of my mouth and in a little bag in my hand. My mom drove me home to Somerville where I spent the rest of the day lying in bed listening to music. It was such a boring day. The tooth hole never became sore once over the entire weekend. I had trouble eating, but that was because I tried to avoid that side of my mouth so I didn't re-open the wound. Overall it was a piece of cake. To see a picture take a look at the end of the Sunday in Plymouth slideshow. It was a nasty and rotten tooth, I think I really need to get the other three out, because I assume they look the same.

I woke up on Friday morning feeling fairly well, and I probably could have gone to work, but instead I took the day off. Jen and I decided at the last minute to go for a ride up north to the White Mountains for a scenic trip of the area. It would have been nice to hike, but I certainly wasn't up for that. We left Somerville at 8:30 on Friday morning and shot up 93 to the Kancamagnus Highway. We stopped at an overlook and took some pictures. It was a very cool day, but the temperature was just right for a sweater. Who would have thought a sweater in August? We stopped at a couple of spots along the highway before eating lunch in North Conway. Unfortunately due to my tooth, I had to eat a big bowl of chili for lunch. Now don't get me wrong I love chili, but the menu at this place was gigantic. Ahhhhh, all I wanted was to eat some french fries. The original plan was to drive up Mount Washington, but it was cloudy and I figured it would be a waste of time to drive up into a cloud. Next stop Bethel. We stopped at the ski house, but Noelle wasn't home, so we just looked around and went back towards Massachusetts. It was so nice to be back in Maine again after such a long hiatus, the back roads were so much fun to drive down. I miss doing that every weekend. Since the triathlon was the next day I needed to go to 39R for my bike. We picked that up and on the way to Salem (yes I moved just wait a minute) we stopped at Hodgies. Jen had never been there so it was funny to see her face when the guy handed her a 1/4 kiddie on a cone. Haha, it was huge all two and a half scoops of it piled high. I laughed as he handed me my 1/4 kiddie packed as a to go order. Oh boy that Hodgies it gets them every time. Now I had to go to Salem to pick up my deposit from Jesse. It was a quick stop, but we didn't get there until around 9PM. Haha, talk about a long drive, in 12 hours you can drive to North Carolina or Ohio. Overall it was a long exhausting day, but not being at work was such a great feeling.
Tour De New England Photos

Saturday was the Long Pond Triathlon. I woke up early to be down in Plymouth by 8:00. Yes I know more driving, can't get enough. It was my third LPT, but second that I was not competing in due to injury. I did chicken out again and used my recent oral surgery as an excuse, but I really didn't want to be running and then start bleeding out of my mouth. Everybody was at Kate's house when we got there and of course confusion ensued as we tried to logistically move bikes, people, clothes and the other stuff involved with the race. It went smoothly and around nine twenty everybody was at the shore ready to swim. Once again I was on boat duty, which was fine with me, especially now that I am much better at handling the boat. Those outboards are very strange, I definitely prefer steering wheels. The race went well with Dr. Mark winning the BoCaNO division. To pass time during the race I was coerced into going swimming, which turned out to be relaxing and not as cold as I thought it would be. We hung out at the Wilson's for a little while and then went back to Kate's house for lunch. Everybody was just chilling relaxing and talking out by the water. It was great. The food was pretty good, it was nice to eat solid foods again. Andy and Mark left to get ready for the races and eventually we all drove over to see them. We piled into the Tippy Tin Boat with Chippy Red Paint. The name is very descriptive, but does not justice to about how tippy the boat really was. Dr. Mark, Kate, Jen, Clemence and I all climbed in and the boat dropped a half foot deeper into the water. At one point Clemence decided to switch seats and I was certain we were going over, it was crazy. Andy finished third in the Sunfish race which meant he would be getting a flag at the meeting that night. After the race, Clemence went sailing with Andy, while Dr. Mark grabbed a kayak and tore off to explore the pond. A half hour later he returned and we went back to Kate's. I was exhausted at this point and we went back to Somerville, after another full day. Thanks Kate for arranging another great Long Pond Triathlon. Next year I have to compete, regardless of my physical health.
Long Pond Triathlon Photos

I woke up early on Sunday and decided to go back down to Plymouth. Last night they tried to convince me to go down there, but instead I went to the North End for some pizza, and mocha with the collage girls. I had never really sat in one of those cafe's before and it was great. Thanks for letting me hang with you girls. You Rock!! I got to Plymouth at 8:00 AM and instead of waking people up I just sat down by the water and enjoyed the perfect weather. I finally called Kate to let her know I was there. Eventually everybody (Clemence, Andy, Mark and Kate) were sitting on the dock. We were like a bunch of turtles sunning ourselves on the dock. It was getting late in the morning so we went out for breakfast. Wow I ate so much food. I hadn't eaten a decent breakfast in ages so I had to make up for it. Afterwards we went to the ocean for a bit. Then it was back to the ponds for the afternoon races. Finally I went to dinner with Mark, Kate and Sam. It was so relaxing and the perfect way to end a busy weekend.
Sunday In Plymouth Photos

Thursday, August 5, 2004


It has finally come the day I have my wisdom tooth extracted at the dentist. I woke up this morning and thanks to the rain it was finally a reasonable temperature in my room. It then hit me that in less than eight hours I was going to have to sit in the dentist's chair wide awake while he pulled my tooth out of my skull. Since remembering this I haven't had an appetite for anything, my breathing has been quickened and the cold sweats have come and gone throughout the day. I wonder why I am such a wuss. Its not like my tooth is impacted, so it should be fairly quick and not as painful as most people have it. I wish I could go back to my childhood and see the one experience that caused me to have such trepidation when it comes to the dentist. While I am in that time machine I am also going to go back and find my first bad thunderstorm event and hopefully remove that fear too.

Its just annoying that at 27 years old I am scared to have a dentist poke and prod in my mouth. I do riskier things that could certainly result in more pain, like skiing down Excalibur at over 55 MPH, jumping off seven foot jumps and completely turning around in the air or rollerblading down Powow Hill withouth brakes. How is it that sitting in a relatively comfortable chair and having somebody stick a small metal tool in my mouth is ten times scarier to me than those other activities. If somebody has any tips on how I could possibly grow up, just let me know. On the bright side instead of wasting one hundred dollars on a bungee jump for an adrenaline rush, I can just go to the dentist for a cleaning and insurance will pay for it.

Okay I need to get my mind off of that subject and on to something more fun like BoCaNO last night. We went to Made-By-Me a potter painting place. You pick a piece of pottery and then paint it however you want. They take it afterwards and fire it up in the kiln for pick up a few days later. It was tough coming up with ideas at first I wanted to do an arctic scene on my bowls with penguins and seals, but new that would involve lots of drawing, which I am not good at. See My Art Show I finally came up with an okay idea for my cereal bowl and after an hour and fifteen minutes had finished painting. Afterwards we went out for Mexican food across the street which was fun, especially because the BoSox were on and they were defeated by my Devil Rays

Pottery Slide Show Sorry for the poor picture quality. I either need a new camera or it is time for a cleaning.

I went home and read another essay in my book. Fun fact I learned last night. The Dutch traded a little place they called New Amsterdam, you know it better as Manhattan, for a small Nutmeg producing island called Run in the Pacific. Why would you do that? Well to create a monopoly in the Nutmeg trade. Silly Dutch!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Did you ever?

Did you ever sit down to write your livejournal and you couldn't put all of your thoughts together into something cohesive, so instead you just kept typing whatever came to your mind. I have been so busy lately and my head is kind of spinning from all of the wonderful thigns that have happened over the last few days. For some reason I keep waking up early which only compounds my exhaustion problem. Last night I did laundry for the first time in a couple weeks, because well I was pretty much out of clean undies. The laundry room at my new place is kind of sketchy and dirty, its very important to make sure you don't drop things on the ground when moving from washer to dryer. While my laundry was doing its thing downstairs I finished organizing more of my things. My bookcase is now full of books again, however there are way too many books and it might be time for a new bookcase. I also unpacked my videos and DVDs, but decided to leave most of them in the box with my CD's. It decided to leave the CD's packed because I never use them since they are all in my iPod. Finally I finished organizing all of my crap and sat down to read my new book, I was tired and only made it through the first essay, but so far so good. It is so hot in my room, but thanks to being so exhausted I have been falling right to sleep every night. Last night was no exception to this new rule.

So why would you care
To get out of this place
You and me and all our friends
Such a happy human race

Eat, drink and be merry
For tomorrow we die

-David John Matthews - Tripping Billies

More lyrics
One time she thinks it was easy and
Like breezing through the world was just all I wanted to do
But no now its more like my feet are locked down
Like my eyes are blind and I just can't see the light
Yeah yeah yeah I reach for hope but
Come up with nothing but sand in my hand

-David John Matthews - Crazy-Easy

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Breaking News

I will not be going to the dentist this morning to have my tooth removed. My dentist called in sick with the stomach flu, so now I will be having the extraction on Thursday. I am very thankful that the pain has subsided because it would be a long couple of days.

Here are some pictures I took on Sunday at the aquarium. I added some comments Jennie Caldwell style to make it a little more exciting. Aquarium Slideshow

Somerville Update:

So far living in Somerville has been great, a little hot, but still lots of fun. My stuff is all unpacked and my room is set up. My roommate Katja has been great, we hung out a little bit yesterday while unpcaking the kitchen. I also let her borrow a copy of my Dave & Tim Live at Luther College CD, because she had never heard of Dave Matthews before. I think it is the perfect starter for anybody. Surprisingly I have been playing my guitar a lot. Last night Mark came over and we sat out on the stoop. I brought the guitar and we just sat there for over an hour just talking and playing, it was very relaxing. Jen came over and the three of us went to the Burren for a little get together Andy had organized of the Somerville sect of BoCaNO. Kate showed up a little while after we got there and then not long afterwards Andy and Clemence arrived. Later on Dr. Mark made an appearance, making the entire Somerville sect present. It was a classic evening and since Jen wasn't familiar with most of our odd BoCaNO stories, it was a good chance to go back and revisit some earlier discussions like the relationship hierarchy. I do have a habit I need to break though, well besides the one Mark pointed out, I need to stop looking at my watch and thinking about the train schedule. It was so nice to leave the bar and be home in just a few minutes. I am looking forward to more fun nights like this in the near future.

Have a great day,

Tapas Date

Standing in Porter Square I felt slightly out of place, because everybody seemed to have a place to go and I was just standing around waiting for my date to pick me up. Yes of course it was slightly different to be driven by somebody else, especially given my love for driving. However due to my schedule and the location of Dali, Somerville's most famous tapas restaurant, this was the best way to go logistically. I had been conversing with Jen over email for the past few weeks and we were finally going to meet for the first time. I was slightly nervous as is typical for most first dates, at the same time I was excited to finally this person I had recently learned so much about.

In my anxious state, I was reading my book, but not truly comprehending what I was reading. Every ten seconds I would gaze up and look around for a green Honda and then go back to reading. After a few short minutes the car appeared and I jumped right in ready for an exciting date. Once inside the car I introduced myself and was immediately relieved to see how great she looked. In the online dating game you can never be sure, because pictures can sometimes be misleading. In this case they actually were because she looked even better in person. Conversation flowed immediately, which I would soon find out is usually the case with the two of us. Of course it wouldn't be a date without me making an ass of myself which I accomplished early on in this one. We were driving and something came up about a one way street and how killing me on the first date wouldn't be a good thing. I replied back, "Yeah usually it is the guy that kills the girl on the first date." A pause and a moment of awkwardness passed before we started talking again.

We arrived at the restaurant within a few minutes and were quickly seated at a small table in the back. I looked at the menu and was immediately overwhelmed by all of the options. On top of all of that we had to decide together what four tapas we were going to order. We discussed basic food preferences, I told her I had to pass on any seafood dishes and she wasn't a huge fan of any pork related or beef products. After a little bit of negotiations, okay a lot, we narrowed it down to chicken, duck, rabbit and mushrooms. Once our waiter appeared we took turns and we each ordered in our best spanish accents.

Now that the ordering was through we could once again turn our attention to the great conversation we had already started before the menus arrived. Things were going very well and the lights began to dim, the people at the table next to us were celebrating an anniversary and several waiter came over to sing to them. It was great and everybody in the place applauded after the song. The lights went back up and we became completely lost deep in conversation again. The food began to arrive and we split up each plate and began to eat. We couldn't stop talking though and before long most of the food began getting cold. Finally after a long time we finished the finale of chicken with asparagus inside. My first experience with tapas was fantastic not only because of the food, but mostly due to the company.

We paid the bill and went back out to the car. It was a short ride back, because once again we just kept talking and talking. Once in the Porter Square parking lot we sat for a while just talking. Finally it was time for me to leave and I leaned in and we kissed. It was so nice and felt comfortable, a great first kiss. I thanked her for driving and stole another kiss before getting out of the car. It was a great first date and I was looking forward to a second date soon.

Monday, August 2, 2004

30 Minutes Door To Door

The sky was just beginning to lighten up when I rolled over checked my watch only to see it was half past five in the morning. An hour earlier I had woken up anxious about my long day ahead and grabbed my iPod to help me sleep, it worked, but not too well. I decided to take a shower and begin the move ahead of schedule, hopefully if I started soon enough I could catch then end of the sailboat race down on Long Pond. Little did I know how ambitious that thought would turn out to be. Everything in my apartment was now piled into the living room including my bed, which was leaning up against the wall. I had spent the night on my futon and confirmed that it did provide a comfortable night's sleep. Within fifteen minutes I had showered, dressed and pulling my car into the driveway. It took ten minutes to load the car and just as the sun poked its head over the horizon I drove off down Nichols Street towards Somerville.

The traffic was light and after a little bit of navigation issues in Somerville I pulled up to the new place. The door opened right up and I was the first person to move back into the apartment after months of renovation. My footsteps echoed as I quickly carried one box after another through my new cavernous abode. Ten minutes later and my first load had been moved, things were looking very good. I quickly drove back to Salem and grabbed another load for delivery. Once again the traffic was light and I laughed to myself about how I might even find time for a haircut before the races. I dropped the second load off and went up towards Amesbury to meet Travis and pick up my stepfather's truck. On the way up I gave Travis a heads up call, but he didn't answer the phone. Very strange. No problem though I still wouldn't be up there for another forty minutes. I finally made it to my mom's house and the truck was missing from the driveway. I went inside, didn't see a note, but figured Travis' truck was smaller, but we could still manage with it. I dialed his number again and it quickly went over to voicemail. I drove by his house and the house was locked up tight and his truck was missing too. Now I was starting to get nervous and began to ponder in my head whether I could move the rest of my stuff in my car. Instead of wasting more time thinking about it I just drove back to Salem and try to make due with the old Jetta.

One at a time I carried out different pieces of furniture and tried to squeeze them into the side door first and then attempted to slide them into the trunk. Somehow my entertainment center popped into the back seat and my book case was able to fit in the trunk. I loaded some small stuff inside before driving back to Somerville. It took about five minutes before I was able to twist the entertainment center at just the right angle to get it out of the back seat. Finally with a little lifting and pulling it came loose and I fell backwards, catching my balance just before I hit the ground. I took a little break to unload some refrigerated food and got back on the road to try another trip. It was now around noon and it was about 94 degrees outside. My phone rang and it was my brother telling me that the truck was now available if I wanted to use it. I thought ahead and decided to pick up some things in Salem that were ultimately destined for life back in Amesbury. My stomach began to rumble, so I took a helpful piece of advice and at some lunch at the newest sub shop in Salem. It was quick but helped me regain some energy and much needed fluids after sweating profusely all afternoon. Thankfully I decided to wear my new wicking shirt, which helped keep me dry on the driving parts of the move.

I pulled up the driveway to my mom's house five hours after I had been there before and nothing changed including the presence of the truck. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought to myself, "Somebody must have it in for me today." After a few deep breaths I unloaded some of my stuff and went inside for water. Thankfully within a couple minutes Jon showed up with the truck and I heaved a sigh of relief. I told him I would return within a couple hours and jumped in the truck. Now seeing me driving the truck is always quite amusing, because I am not your typical big pickup truck owner. Sitting high above the little sedans I almost feel like a kid navigating this massive vehicle through the streets. My favorite part about the truck though is that my stepfather doesn't have a CD player, but instead he has a cassette deck. The only tape he has is an old Dave Matthews tape, it is always an added bonus when I climb up into the drivers seat to see the tape waiting to play. One side of the album later and I was in Salem ready to load my toughest cargo so far.

The big three of the move had to be moved and it was just little old me to do the moving. Futon, box spring and mattress. The latter two aren't too difficult, more bulky than anything, but the futon was an entirely different story. It was now the middle of the afternoon and the sweat was pouring off of my head, down my arms and pretty much every nook and granny of my being. I transformed the futon into a bed and picked it up on its side. It was surprisingly light, but tougher to maneuver through the kitchen. I made it out the back door and began down the steps. All of a sudden the futon decided it wanted to be a couch again and began to fold back into a seat like position. My arm was now well lubricated and slid in between the slats of the futon, the only catch was that the space between the slats was smaller than my arm. I barely kept the futon off the ground as I ripped my arm towards me freeing it from its painful prison. I managed to turn it back into a bed and put it in the back of the truck. My arm was stinging, but I knew I had to keep going. The last two pieces went smoothly and I tied everything down as best I could before shooting down the highway into the wind. I kept picturing everything blowing off of the back of the truck, but it stayed put all the way to Summer Street. Once I arrived there I saw that my roommate, Katja, and her friend were there, so thankfully they helped me carry the blasted futon into the house.

We talked for a bit and I learned they had been having some major issues with U-Haul, so I volunteered myself and the truck to pick up the rest of her stuff in East Cambridge. We drove across town and quickly loaded up her bed, mattress and a desk. It was nice to be moving things with other people for a change. Fifteen minutes later and we were back at our apartment unloading her things. I looked at my watch, it was now 6:30 and I had been moving for over twelve hours with at least two trips to Salem in my future. I said goodbye and drove back to Salem for my final load with the truck. I filled up the back with a bureau, a desk, and a bunch of chairs. It was a quick stop, since there wasn't much planning ahead involved due to the lack of choices. The last truck load was finally delivered a half hour later and it was time to drive back up to Amesbury for the third time of the day. The sun was beginning to set as I drove northward up I-93. I was now halfway through the Dave Matthews album for the third time. It was almost too much for me, but it beats the radio any day.

It was dark by the time I pulled into the driveway on Kimball Road. I was now completely exhausted and it was difficult to stay awake. The last of the furniture was supposed to go back to my dad's house, but I was too lazy and just dumped it upstairs over the garage, to move another day in the near future. I went inside grabbed a glass of lemonade and thanked my stepfather for the use of his truck. Now it was back to the Jetta for the final trip to Salem. I shot down the street not only because I knew my day was nearly complete, but also because my car zooms around much faster than the big old truck. Before long I was on Nichols Street for the last time. I went inside did a little cleaning, walked through again to make sure I didn't miss anything and carried the last of my things out to my car. It was sad to walk through the apartment one last time. While not many exciting things actually happened there I did learn many new things in my eleven months at my first apartment on 21 Nichols Street. A lot about me has changed significantly over the last eleven months. I cooked my first meals, paid my first utility bills, ran out of money on more than one occasion, witnessed how difficult it is too keep the cupboards stocked, how to entertain myself when coming home to an empty house night after night, learned how much fun it is to go home and visit my family, how to sing and play the guitar at the same time and a bunch of other things, the list would be too long. I shut the door to the apartment and also on one important part of my life, walked to my car and drove down the hill for the last time.

Thirty minutes later I lucked out and found a parking space at the bottom of the stairs to my new apartment. I carried the last of my things into the apartment locked the car up and walked in to see a mountain of my belongings piled in my bedroom. It was now 16 hours after I had begun moving and while it was finished, things were just beginning for me as I moved boxes out of my room to make way for my bed. The day had been long, much longer than I ever anticipated, I had my shares of scrapes and bruises, drove over four hundred miles between Salem, Somerville and Amesbury and more than once was faced with challenges I could never have anticipated. However standing in my new room with the lenghty task of unpacking ahead didn't bring me a feeling of frustration, instead I was looking forward to organizing and the new experience ahead of living with new people in an exciting new city. All this from a person who a year ago resisted change at all costs, now how's that for a change.