Wandering…..

  • Hard to believe we’re approaching a new decade. I remember as a kid there were times when an hour felt like a millennium and all I wanted to do was grow up up up. Now there are times, like when I’m hugging my kids, when I wish an hour felt like a millennium again. Man, it goes fast. That said, I guess the music nerd in me needs to start thinking about my favorite bands/songs/albums of the decade!
  • This whole H1N1 thing is really random. I know quite a few people n the next town over who seem to have gotten their kids injected with the vaccine without any problems, but our place in Acton seems to be getting ignored. Our whole family got the “normal” seasonal flu shot, but we can’t get the H1N1. This is the second year I’ve gotten the seasonal flu shot. It is also the second year I got sick right after getting the shot. I don’t really think the shot caused me to get sick both years, but it is odd.
  • I had a gift card burning up my wallet, so I went an upgraded to Windows 7. I have a Dell XP machine (Dimension 9100) and I’ve tricked it out over the years so it’s processing power and memory is maximized and pretty killer. The upgrade went without a hitch and my machine, four years old, is humming along with no problems. Windows 7 is really nice. I did have to move nearly everything to my external hard drive for safe keeping, so that was the longest part of the upgrade. Yeah, that’s nine years of photos and 8,555 songs in my library that I had to move. I think I saw the computer sweating at one point….
  • I have to admit, I love Glee. Modern Family is also a totally kick-ass show – reminds me a lot of Arrested Development and any show with my #1 celeb crush Julie Bowen is good in my mind.
  • I had my car in the shop for its regularly scheduled service the other day and I went and sat in a new Prius. Whew, it is super-nice in that cabin now! A lot of updates, a lot of fun technology and real smooth looking. I still have never driven one. I’m always struggling internally on this, because I have no payments on my current car and it only has 84,000 miles on it. I could probably go another 80K on it and save a ton of cash. But the car is boring me to tears now! I’ve had it for almost eight years!
  • I could have sworn I read something about there being an afternoon World Series game this year? In looking at the schedule, though, all the games are at 8pm….
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Words Are Paper

I caught my child in what I believe to be their very first lie yesterday. It went something like this:

Me: Zachary, what are you doing

Zachary (finger deep into nose): Nothing!

Me: What are you doing with your finger?

Zachary: Nothing (moving finger towards mouth)

Me: Zachary…..(said sternly, while I reach for his hand)

Zachary: No Daddy!

A touching moment, yeah? Glad I could document this for future reading. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.

Song time. I’ve been meaning for almost a year now to post a song by a Brit band called Field Music. A few months ago, I posted a song sample by Matt Pond PA, a chamber-pop outfit based on the east coast of the U.S. This is fairly similar, if not a little richer. There isn’t much info on them on the internets other than what’s to be found on Wikipedia, but the basics are that they’re an English group fronted by two brothers, who seem to break up the band and put it back together now and then. But I’ll tell you what, the music is excellent. Very full sounding, chamberesque and beautiful. Check out “Trying to Sit Out” and turn it up a little……it’s not a loud rock song, but sounds gorgeous with a little power behind it. And Frank P, you’ll love this one. Promise.

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The More Things Change, The More They Remain Insane

grade7I know why I so clearly remember this picture being taken. It was February, 1985. I was in 8th grade and had just woken up at my house in Lancaster, MA, the day after returning home from a week long vacation in Gilroy, CA to attend my cousin’s wedding. I thought it was so cool because

a) I had never been on a plane before and I loved it. There’s a lot of things where “you never forget the first time” applies and flying is one of them. I have such a clear picture of sitting on that plane in Boston and taking off from the runway, plastering my face on the window in wonderment at what was going on. I still do it today.

b) I got to take a week off of school!

Anyway, my dad shot this picture as I was walking back to my bedroom to chill. There’s another reason why it’s so memorable – the next day when I returned to school I would find out that our very popular and funny science teacher had just been arrested for child molestation. Nobody, except the victims of course, saw that one coming. As a 7th grader, you’re shocked, but the complexities of that whole situation were way above our heads. As a parent today, I can’t imagine what would be going through my head if this happened at their school and hope I never have to.

It was also that same day when I got back into school that I discovered that Tracy Pirro was no longer my girlfriend! She had moved on to someone else! Really, an 8th grade relationship isn’t something I was totally broken up about, but still…..that was also a surprise.

Ah, rites of passage. We all have ’em.

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Crazy

Whoa! Per my post last week about driving in Germany, here’s a video of a driver on one of Germany’s autobahn’s, getting passed – while doing about 100mph! It’s estimated that this car was doing about 160mph. This is the kind of stuff you see on those highways!

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Drivin’ That Train

Purple, baby.
Purple, baby.

So here’s my prom picture, this would have been the spring of 1988, which means I had just turned 17 years old. That’s more than half a lifetime ago now. Ouch, did I just say that?! As I approach my 20th high school reunion, I’ve been trying to scrape out the crumbs that are left in those vaults to see if I can come up with some good memories. Oh, I have a few doozies. But proms are not one of them. In fact, this particular picture wasn’t even for prom at my own school. My girlfriend at the time attended a different school and that’s where I was headed that evening. I cropped her out of the photo. Not sure it’s cool to spray the internet with pictures of a person you haven’t talked to in 20 years. See? I’m not a bad guy.

Anyway, I have no memory whatsoever of that prom.¬† I do have very specific memories of my own school’s prom, though, because that night was a night that tested my mettle and was one of the events that may have played a role in turning my life around. High school for me was a series of life tests. Some of those tests I failed in spectacular and stunning fashion. Other tests, particularly in the latter half of my high school years, went a little better, though it didn’t feel like it at the time.

Take, for instance, prom night (again, picture here is from a different night, but it was the only prom picture I could find). Some friends and I had rented a limo for the whole day. We were pretty excited to roll around in style that day, liberated from school and feeling older than we were. I hopped in the limo and things started well, we were joking around and feeling positively unstoppable – like normal 17 year old boys do – and in general having a good time. Then out of nowhere one of my friends unleashes a bag of cocaine and I’m sitting there utterly¬† shocked as they dove into their new discovery. The offer came my way and I declined and asked the limo driver to take me home. I felt prudish. Stunned. Numb. I mean, I’m not stupid – I knew there were more things than pot going around the school, but I didn’t know my own very close friends wanted to take the next step. But there it was, out of nowhere, sitting right in front of me. Prom that night was horrible. I remember very little except being numb to what had happened that afternoon. I don’t think we stayed more than an hour or two before bailing. It was a low point.

After being such close and good friends with them, everything changed that day. Everything. It was one of those rites of passage, I guess. I didn’t participate and I was never in their circle anymore. Oh, they were friendly to me and we got together a bit after that, but I faded away. Part of me didn’t want to be in that circle, but man, it hurt. It hurt that because I didn’t do it I was seen as not fun or whatever. It hurt that I didn’t have that bond with my friends anymore. It wasn’t like I was going to turn them into the cops or something. And at the time, I just shrugged and figured “hey, they’re just sowing wild oats.” I wasn’t some guy who was gonna preach to them about the danger of drugs. They were big boys and they made their own decisions. I was ready to still be their friend. I could still hang out and I could still have fun (and I would have), but clearly it wasn’t in their cards or mine.

With that, I had to take some left turns. I started to really focus on school. Schoolastically, I had a nice recovery underway from my horrific freshman year, but my senior year I really applied myself. I did not get accepted to some schools I really wanted to get into. These were schools that I was unquestionably smart enough to get into, but because of that freshman year and some of sophomore year, I got rejected. But not discouraged. I got into a couple of other good schools and very much looked forward to getting off to college to start a different life. Which is another story in itself.

Socially, it was a very fun year. There were plenty of other friends to enjoy good times with. Lots of fun parties, an incredibly enjoyable hockey season, a diploma and of course, that party that topped it all off. The end of that year was marked by horrible, senseless tragedy, but I don’t need to go there. Bottom line is that even though some decisions I made were hard to accept at the time, they were the right ones for me. Only very few people knew how I was feeling and I still thank them today in my thoughts for being there.

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