A couple of marbles rolling around in my head lately that I need to staple into the motherboard for safe keeping:
This past weekend I did something that I probably haven’t done since college or maybe even before that. I wrote a handwritten letter. Remember the thrill of getting physical mail? I don’t mean crap, I mean cards from distant family members or letters from people or whatnot. Thrilling! I still get a touch of excitement when my two magazines show up on my doorstep. I love that a thrill from childhood remains with me like that.
Anyway, I wrote a letter to David McCullough. This was part of an exercise I did with my kids where we all decided to write a letter to someone who has influenced us in a positive way. I’ve read several of his books over the years, so I dropped him a line to tell him so. It ended up taking up almost an entire page and by the end of the letter, another memory from childhood came rushing back to me – that feeling I used to get in school when my hand hurt from writing too much.
Zachary decided he would write a letter to J.K. Rowling, and boy did he ever. He filled up a piece of paper, front AND back, telling her how much he loved the Harry Potter stories, how he wanted to be a writer and asking her all kinds of questions. Nathan wrote his letter to Wayne Gretzky. The admiration for Gretz is a recent one, as Nathan has been watching a lot of countdown shows on NHL Network and #99 was featured on one. His letter was shorter (part and parcel) but no less inquisitive and adorable. I hope they answer us. Law of averages says we’ll be lucky to receive even one response, but you never know.
Last week my employer sent myself and a co-worker off to Worcester for two full days to immerse ourselves in advanced techniques in Microsoft Excel. Now, I know my way around Excel pretty well and I thought I was in a for a real snoozefest during the first 2-3 hours of the class, but then shit started to get real. I learned way more than I expected and was really happy with what I got out of it. With a full time job, kids at home and a marriage to maintain, time for learning isn’t plentiful, so this was welcomed. I was really glad to add some advanced capabilities into my Excel arsenal. Always trying to build.
Some other highlights of the class happened outside the class. One was a terrific lunch at Armsby Abbey. This is a place I would totally hang out all the time if it were closer. Excellent local & organic menu and a very, very impressive beer list, backdropped by a cool wood/brick decor. My kind of place for sure. We struck up a fun conversation with the two barkeeps, too. Just a great vibe. Go there if you’re local.
I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention my co-worker Jeff Bercume, whom I attended the class with. Jeff and I see a lot of each other at work and I consider myself lucky, because I know a few people who don’t get to work closely with people they enjoy on both a personal and professional level. He’s a future leader, smart, well-spoken, a good person and we laugh a lot, not to mention play a fair amount of ping-pong. That’s a good dude to take a two day Excel class with. The ice cream Big Boppers were an added bonus….and added calories. I can’t remember if he’s holding both of them in the picture here.
One last thing. You may have noticed lately a few references to childhood and memories. My last post went into it a little more seriously, but today I’m keeping it light. I really, really want to work on bringing the word “der” back into heavy rotation. This was an ’80s staple and it’s so damn funny.