A Year in review
What happed to the year? I know a few people that have said every year you get older it seems like time goes by just that much faster. The years just seem to be flying by…
It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago I got to cross one thing off my life wish list: I was in New York for NYE. I bought a one way plane ticket to NY -my favorite city- and I was off to see my good friend in the Bronx. Before I knew it time had passed and we were screaming “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”. Just a day or two later (hell I can’t remember if it was one or two days, besides it doesn’t change the story!) I used my one way train ticket to hoe a train to Syracuse. Why? To see a Michigan State vs. Syracuse basketball game and to hang out with a few new friends. A few days later we drove home…9 hours. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
I made one personal resolution in 2004 that I remember, it was a carryover from 2003…I had to talk to my parents about something. During the spring of 2004 I completed it.
I rode in the Make-A-Wish 300 mile bike ride for the third year. It’s a 300 mile bike ride that raises money for Make-A-Wish; an organization that grants wishes for kids with life threatening illnesses. I got one of my friends to ride in it and I joined up with a few friends I had met previous years. Total money raised $1600 for me, $602,000 for the event. Next year I will have to miss the event for a wedding, but I’ll be back in 2006 with more friends to ride in a team (I hope).
Starting in December of 2003 I started reading one book just to start myself reading…I tried reading 20-30 min a night and eventually I created a habit. I was preparing myself for returning to school, this time I would keep up on things; specifically: reading. In 2004 I read between 20 and 25 books…most of them from the summer on through December the month when I read about 2 books a week.
I started what I wanted for many years: a blog. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because I think way too much and I thought it was a good release of ideas and thoughts. I like to ask questions that don’t always have an answer. I created a CSS design that was just what I wanted…I learned CSS as I went along. :)
My birthday came and went. Thanksgiving seemed like a day later and before I knew it, it was Christmas. NYE was here…the end of another year.
What was 2004? A lot of little things, not too many big things…for most people it was just another year. For me it was a good year. I just hope next year it’s even better.
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
– Carl Sandburg
And talking to Santa
My sister showed me the note my nephew wrote for a class assignment. I love it and I am sure you will to.
I would like to be your new elf because I’m only 9 and I’m just a kid so I’d probably be small enough for an elf. I also want to because I’ve always wanted to meet Santa, “the Big Cheese.” I would also want to be your messenger because I wouldn’t be good at making toys. But, I could if you taught me for a long time. If you did, I would want a lunch and a bathroom break every 10 minutes
– my nephew, age 8
It is Christmas day
Just a quick post…check out the top 100 toys!
People were shopping and wrapping like mad
So today is Christmas eve and I am with the fam [family]…watching us all wrap presents and shop at the last minute because what else would we do? Well actually we do usually do something else on Christmas eve as a tradition every year. We go to the casino!
No kidding. So how is this make for a good family tradition? We spend it together as family, having fun as families should. For the past few years we have created a wonderful family tradition of spending time laughing and gambling. We set a time to meet and we have dinner together; sitting at a large round table. Some of the wait staff knows our name – but they all remember our faces. Very year it’s new stories of life and what is new, but it’s the same discussion about how some people might think it is funny to do on Christmas eve. Last year we saw more people –families- at the casino then ever before…our secret of a casino all to our family was out!! Other people were now seeing that something you can enjoy with your family any time of the year can also be fun with your family at special times in the year.
There has been many times where my father and I have sat in an almost empty casino floor at a roulette table – just he and I. We laugh about our numbers coming in; I cheer him on and he cheers me on. Unlike a normal table where you clap for the other players out of fun and sometimes for show – we clap out of real joy. I love seeing my grandparents face when they win just five dollars. I can usually find my mom by listening for the shrieks and screams of excitement…she loves the bonus rounds on the nickel slots. This to me is fun and fun with family.
This year things are different. Two days ago my grandfather fell in the store while shopping with my dad for last minute gag stocking stuffers (another family tradition). He used a shopping cart to help him get out of the store because he could not support his own weight on his own. Later at the emergency room they found that he had broken his knee and they believed he would need surgery. Yesterday the orthopedic doctor said for sure he will need surgery, but rather then fly home to Florida they will pin his knee next week on Tuesday. Today he is using a walker to get from a recliner chair to bathroom or to the table when it’s time to eat.
I have never seen my grandfather (now in his upper eighties) ever need assistance from anyone. This is the same guy that was excited when I would come visit him in Florida because he “finally had someone to ride the roller coasters with!” I remember one year when he was so excited for me to visit because Bush Gardens had been running promotions for the park showing the new ride the “Koomba!” He was ecstatic to finally get a chance to ride one of the new famed “best in the US” roller coasters.
Yesterday and today there was one thing my grandfather was upset about: the family not going to the casino. He wanted us to leave him at home and go without him. None of us cared. This tradition we had been keeping up for years really didn’t matter because we all know we can do the same thing here at home. Tonight we had dinner together, just as we usually do on Christmas eve. I wrapped the presents my grandfather could not wrap. He and I talked for hours about his life growing up in the armed service and working for Ford. Most of the stories I have heard more times then I recall, some of them I know better then him…but I listen anyway as history is sometimes best told by the person that experienced it; this was his history and his story to tell.
Tonight we’ll play cards or watch a movie. We’ll still laugh and still remember it as a good night – hell we will probably laugh at it next year. I’ll still tease my grandfather that he fell on purpose just so he could get everyone else to wrap his presents and help him into the bathroom.
In the end, today would still be about family and fun and that’s what it should be about.
Happy Holidays to everyone…may your time be spent with family and friends be fun times.
Knowledge is power
Yea I know another damn entry about books…when will it ever stop? I bought a massive quantity of books recently – BIG shock! :)
“Tuesday’s with Morrie” a Mitch Album book…I read a few pages last night, so far so good. “Fermat’s Enigma” by Simon Singh…this is a book about the world’s most complex math theorem and the story behind cracking it. I read another book by the same author (The Code Book) and thought we was pretty decent. Since he is known for this book I thought I should try it out. “The Essential Tao” and “Book of Five rings” by Thomas Cleary; I have a few Cleary books, so I trust his translations and I like his notes. A collection of Confucius sayings/quotes – actually I think it’s is a
collection of all of his sayings…I don’t recall the title at the moment :) Then I bought 3 books on leadership, leading, business stuff…I don’t recall all the titles. Of course they will all be listed correctly in the “On the shelf” list!
Reading 4 books at once isn’t that bad for me. It’s when I read more then one book on a subject or similar school of thought that all the information turns to mush in my head. Hopefully I’ll be on a roll when I start classes again this summer…
Yes classes. I am trying to work the kinks out with my college classes and I am planning on going back to finish the 7 or 8 classes I need for my bachelors degree. After that? Well it will be MBA time of course…I’m sure at that point I’ll be going crazy.
“A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.”
– W. H. Auden
Saturday night’s concert was awesome!! I got to see Natives of The New Dawn and they have a great sound…good vibe and they really got the crowd pumped up. I was surprised at how many people jumped to the floor and started dancing so early in the night…but since I was one of them; I know it was the band that pulled us. They are still a little wet behind the ears, but keep an ear out for them. I picked up their CD: The Sunshine Chronicles for $5.00 and while some of the recording quality could be better, the studio songs are just as fun and happy as they were live. “Sunshine” [Track 9] is good, but way better live. I’d pay to go seem them again just to hear this tune live.
Tamara Bedricky played a great set as usual. There was a little bit of trouble with power for her guitar a few times, but she kept going. Out of the nine tracks, she played all but two of my favorites. She found a few new fans that night as I heard some people saying they really liked her style, others loved her voice. The only downside was I thought the volume on her mic was too low, but it could have been the acoustics in the front of the stage because I noticed the same problem with the other bands.
Jody Raffoul can rock! Holy shit!! One of his songs is being played on local radio 93.9 and I am pretty sure I have heard it before. I didn’t get a chance to pick up his CD, but rest assured I will be getting it sooner then later. He’s a far cry from the male acoustic guitar players we have been seeing since 2000 (Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Jason Miraz, etc) he has a rock sound and can really sing well. His band plays a great set and the collection of musicians each has a personality you can see on stage. Very impressive! Jody can been seen at The Post in Ferndale on Wednesday nights.
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
– Aldous Huxley