xoder: (Eyecon)

After a lazy morning, Erin and I went to Rockefeller Center to have brunch at the Rock Center Cafe. The head chef from one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Seersucker, was guest chef there. The prix fixe menu was delicious beyond words. I think he's there until the end of the month. Go!

Then we went to the Top of the Rock. If you love tall buildings, there is no better view in the city. Attached, please find the requisite couple photo, a panorama, and me in front of a radome.

While there, I got a text from Alex V., saying that he and Kitri were in our neighborhood, having a few drinks at our local German place, and asking if we could drop by. I said maybe, as my aunt Kathy was in town and we were going to have a small birthday dinner for me, so we couldn't stay long.

Erin and I took the train home, dropped off some stuff and went to the restaurant to say hi to Alex and Kitri. When we got there, they suggested we check out the downstairs, as we had never seen it before.

"Surprise!" I heard and reflexively ducked, extraordinarily embarrassed for accidentally triggering someone else's surprise party. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I saw one familiar face, then another, and another. People from Science, TKD, and even my extended family came into focus. I had not set off someone else's surprise, but my own!

To recap the party itself would take far too long, and make for slow reading (imagine the list of begattings in the Old Testament), but I am so very grateful for everyone who showed up, and I'm extra grateful to Erin, the mastermind I am extremely proud to call my wife.

Entertainingly, my aunt Inge was there, with whom I share a birthday (albeit 50 years apart) and who, unbeknownst to her, had her own surprise party scheduled for the next day. Needless to say, my family is done with surprise parties for a while!

If I was paying attention
My dad didn't have a solid dinner plan for our (fictional) party - he usually plans this stuff way in advance.
My mom read out an email where her sister said "see you Saturday", despite the party I knew about happening on Sunday.
My aunt from Boston coming to town itself - although I thought it was because we didn't do any swims by her this summer
When we stopped by the house on the way to the German place, there was stuff for Manhattans out - only my mom's side of the family drinks Manhattans

In short, well done everybody. I've always wanted a surprise party and you all delivered in spades. Thank you thank you thank you!
xoder: (shmoopy)
First off, the new Zipcars:
· 2008 Honda Civic — The cockpit looks like a spaceship! It's surprisingly roomy inside with a nice amount of acceleration and handling. I didn't have it for long or use it for much, so I cannot really comment on it too much.
· 2008 BMW 328i — So much fun! From the push-button start to the three different shifting modes (Drive, Sport Drive, clutchless manual), this car was all about a good time. The inline 6 rode smoothly and powerfully and [livejournal.com profile] erin_trying and I had a great time opening it up once or twice. Being a 3-series, the backseat was a little small, but the trunk is surprisingly large for such a small car. The only problem I had with it was the steering was a little tight at low speeds, making it slightly harder to park. As a geek, I really appreciated the MPG meter right below the tachometer.

See the other cars I've driven.

On to the important stuff: This weekend, Erin and I got married again! This time with family and friends!

Thursday I randomly ran into my dad as well as my cousin and his wife down in the Village and had dinner with them and Erin. Well, not entirely random, as my cousin and his wife were in town for the wedding.

On Friday, Erin and I took off from work. We brought some final stuff to the venue in Queens as well as bought the wine. Then we returned to Brooklyn and picked up my brothers for help set up the venue. We got there at 3pm and nearly finished by 6pm. We all returned to Brooklyn yet again for dinner with my dad's family, with even more people from out of town!

Saturday, very early in the morning, I took the train to lower Manhattan to pick up the aforementioned Beamer and drive it back to Brooklyn. I took the Brooklyn Bridge and bought flowers and bread and way too many breadsticks on the way back home. After a short while at home, Erin and I took off with the really truly final load of stuff for the venue. We were a little late, so Alex and Kitri were already there, ready and willing to help out.

After some setup, Erin and I took off for some last minute supplies (coffee things, balloons and an emergency undershirt for me) and came back to some small emergencies. While the cupcakes arrived on time and in perfect shape, the Fairway order had gone slightly awry. The lasagna had been completely sloshed about, the wrong salad was delivered, and an entire entree was missing! Our servers from Barnard Bartending Agency were able to rescue the lasagna before guests arrived, while Fairway was able to redeliver the correct salad, the missing chicken, and a "we're sorry" cookie plate along with a 10% discount. So yeah, I'd still use them again. I heard [livejournal.com profile] rosefox may have had something to do with all that, but I was in the car, so I'm not too sure about what exactly happened.

During some of the Drama above, I got dressed, then picked up [livejournal.com profile] malaul and Erin for them to do the same. Then I schmoozed with the now-arrived guests while they got ready. Sometime in there, Rose gave me her very cute paperclip cufflinks to replace the ones I left at home.

Shortly after the ladies returned to the venue, we did the ceremony (again). Afterwards, Erin and I returned to the car to enjoy some alone time and A/C. (The venue forgot to turn it on, initially, so it was still rather warm in there throughout the entire gathering.) We came back, and used a text message to cue Rose (our lovely DJ) to start some big band song I'd only ever heard less than 24 hours prior, but it was sweet and true. Dinner was served according to flower color (my idea, thank you very much!).

All the while, everything moved very smoothly, and for that I have to thank the Barnard girls as well as the powerful solution finders of Rose and Faelan. Erin and I schmoozed primarily with our friends and family, rather than our new in-laws, but that seems rather natural to me.

After dinner came cake and after cake came the last dance. We hired the Barnard girls for an additional hour to help break down, but they were done in less than a half-hour! Perishables were loaded into my car (never I have I ever taken so quickly to such possessive language with a Zipcar), gifts loaded into my father's car, and everything else loaded into Erin's parents' van. Erin and I stuck around to make sure the breakdown went successfully and to pay our delightful servers.

Erin and I returned to Brooklyn to drop off said perishables, and it is during that time that any liberties that may or may not have been taken with the car happened. We dropped off the car at its home in lower Manhattan and walked to the hotel.

Picture this: Young couple in semi-formal wear, lady with a veil, gentleman with a vase and a bouquet of roses. The couple checks into a fancy hotel, just across the street from the WTC site. The person at the desk takes a break from checking them in to go into a back office. Moments later she returns with her (presumed) manager who asks, "You two got married today?" The couple responds affirmatively, and he replies, "Well, I just got you an upgrade I think you'll be very happy with."

We went up to the 52nd floor and found some lovely fireworks over the East River visible outside the window in the elevator lobby. After a little bit of watching, we headed over to our room. I should say "headed over to our massive suite with 1½ bathrooms, jacuzzi tub, king bed, and views to the North, East, and West". We were so invigorated (and hungry) that we ran out to a diner and came back to sleep a peaceful sleep — after all the planning and the stress, we were done.

Got up the next morning, ogled the view some more and wend out for brunch. Came back, checked out and went home on the subway. Did dishes and laundry and then Erin went out for a massive massage while I chilled with my dad's family for one last evening.

Truly a successful weekend, don't you think?
xoder: (Default)
Below is a very happy sight. NJTransit turns off signal lights when there are no trains around. So it is very nice to see the lights come on at 1130, telling you that you're about to head home.

I just got my mom one of her birthday presents. I think I'll install it tonight so she won't have to deal with it. Also because I'm a cheapskate and got her an open box version. Gotta love Best Buy. I plan to get her some other things, and split it with one of my brothers. Sounds fun, right?

Being on 2nd shift has screwed up a lot of my normal routine. I'm down to 2-3 big meals a day, instead of 5-6 small ones, for instance. I also haven't been posting nearly as much. And I've been lazy at work because there's no support. Whatever, I'll be back on 1st shift next week, and all will be good.

I also picked up 'Foot Fist Way', which was hilarious in theatres and I can't wait to show to Howard and Pat. I think they'll get a kick out of it as the lead does everything wrong.


Jul. 17th, 2008 08:15 pm
xoder: (Default)
My mom's going back to the hospital tomorrow. They are unhappy with the lack of progress made on the oral antibiotics, so she'll be going back in for a week or two for the IV. I'm worried, but I have faith she'll beat this soon.

Looks like an icky night. At least Tom's coming soon. And now I don't think there'll be anything relevant to our business at HOPE, which makes me feel a little guilty for taking it as training, but that's what my boss told me to do. (I guess that's a problem with defense, your problems are rather esoteric and not exactly discussed often.)
xoder: (Default)
Well, actually, I don't think it actually is Total Internal Reflection because we can actually see the weird effect of seeing the inside edge of Carrie's glasses repeated. This was taken at the Sciffie gathering on the 4th.

Today my mom goes home from the hospital! Apparently the infection is largely beat, just some swelling and pain remains. So now it's time to stay the course and finish up the antibiotics (that's a pretty word to spell on the phone: 26842468427).

Unfortunately, I need to re-do week 3 day 1 because I couldn't complete it today. If I fail again Friday, I think I'll repeat week 2 at the next highest level before trying 3 again. I knew it would be a problem because my exhaustion test yesterday got me to the lowest qualifying score on the lowest level for this week. What can I say, I have no upper body strength to speak of. But that's the whole point of this exercise, right?

Edit: I have made the photo friends-only at Carrie's request. If you are my friend here on LJ, this will not affect your viewing. If you are not, you will get a broken image. Sorry.
xoder: (Default)
Nom nom, tasty union.

Tonight, after my first half semester off since I started this Masters thing, I return to class. It is sad, because I'm missing Fordham TKD classes, and all the tasty people there. But I'm glad to be moving again, and I'm really excited to start CyberSecurity classes in the fall (I need to remember to get the schedule ASAP, so I can sign up for the online courses).

My mom is much improved. She's expecting to get out on Wednesday, if everything continues going this well. The swelling is down, and her color's coming back, but her foot still hurts. For a while there, things were looking a bit dire.

I'm trying to get back into my routine, sleepy alarm included. As it stands, I'm like the overeager kid at a sleepover: I always want to talk, even when it's way past lights-out. Speaking of, I'm thinking of getting a clapper and a small lamp for my room. I think it would be nice to have a little light that didn't come from the overhead.

xoder: (Default)
Found in Fairway on this long weekend. Apparently, this juice brand one of my roommates really likes is full of rich conservatives.

On Wednesday, two very important ladies went to the hospital. You may have already heard of Erin's sprained back, and how she was forbidden from sitting or laying down for days.

My mom also went to the hospital that day with what turned out to be cellulitis. Over the next few days the infection spread from an injection site on her foot almost all the way up her leg. Obviously it hurt a lot. Luckily, the fascia do not appear to be infected, and the redness and swelling have gone back down to being just on her foot. Still hurts, though. Because of this, she missed the swim on Saturday. Needless to say, we're all rather pissed at the Dr that gave her the injection that touched this all off. Hopefully she will recover soon.

xoder: (Default)
What should I do for the next 2 hours in Penn Station? See, thanks to a variety of factors, only a few were w/in my control, I missed the 914 train. The next train to Seacaucus leaves in an hour, but that doesn't even matter, because there's no train for me out of there until 1140.

Yesterday was nice until it wasn't. Practice was good, lunch was good, chatting with my parents was good, even starting the replacement of my dad's stereo system was good. I realized I needed a part, and my dad volunteered to drive me to RadioShack to get it. Then it started pouring. We got the part and went home. My dad went down to check on the basement, which had flooded, so we spent the next 4 hours with a shop vac, emptying the several inches of water. During this time, when the water was low enough, I struggled with restarting the water heater. When that was done, I went back upstairs to the stereo. Of course the case was too small, but I only skinned my knuckles a few times. Eventually all was well.

xoder: (Aluminum)
I've been reading an AskMetaFilter post about life-changing events, and I've decided to try and catalogue some of my own:
  • On Religion: Many of the comments in that thread talk to a single moment where a person realized that there was no God. I never had such a revelation because I never believed in one. I intensely realize, however, the moment I became a Discordian (albeit a non-theistic one): I was reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy and I realized that, despite my interest in order which drove me to engineering, science, etc., chaos was equally valuable, and should be respected. Of course, that doesn't mean that everything must be chaos (those who follow the purely Eristic path worry me), however, but instead that chaos has its place, and that creation/destruction is the sides of the Sacred Chao I'd rather worry about. Around this time I met [livejournal.com profile] shoujo_mallet and shortly after I met [livejournal.com profile] malaul. Taking into these two important people, along with the "Enlightened Nihilism" I picked up from [livejournal.com profile] faboo, helped form much of my personal philosophy, such as it is. The fact that there is nothing that I have to do, except die, is something that I needed to learn during the more stressful portions of college, and I still need to remind myself of it often (c.f. my time troubles in an earlier post).
  • On Adults Being Wrong: Although often being told to take bullying by not responding and failing, I never considered this bad advice from my parents. The worst was when I was in first grade and I got a math problem wrong. I started crying (I cried a lot in elementary school, now I nearly never do) because my Dad had checked the work, and he should have caught any mistakes. I remember once being upset and loud about it when my mom screamed, "What do you want, my blood?" That shut me up quick and I felt how badly I was hurting her over nothing, simply by complaining. There's one more, and it involves riding back from Rochester with my dad, and talking with him about it a few weeks later that I'm not going to go into here, but a lot of you know this story, and if you're curious, drop me an email or a text.
  • On Mental Health: I was sent to a child psychologist twice when I was a kid. I never understood why, until my mom told me as an adult that it was because I was asking about suicide. The question I was asking was about English, actually. It was "What's the penalty for committing suicide?" See, that word, commit I'd only ever heard on TV law shows, committing purjury, committing murder, committing a felony, &c. She said that it was its own punishment, so I asked why anyone would do it then. See, committing murder makes sense, because you get some gain out of it (revenge, or sating a compulsion or something), same thing with stealing, or lying. To be fair, however, I was/am depressed a lot, and I was bullied a lot until about HS.
  • On Failure: In college I had a lot of angst about my first withdrawn class. Did this mean I shouldn't go into EE? Was there anything I was good at? I talked with my advisor about how it would look on my transcript, and he said, rightly, that one or two W's is not a bad thing—it shows that you know when to cut and run, and when to ask for help. Making a habit of it, however, is another thing. I never made a habit of it, and here I am.
  • On Success: When I earned my First Degree Black Belt back in 2000, I felt an intense sensation of having everywhere to go. I felt that I had so much to learn and now I was able of at least beginning along those paths. It was euphoric. Trivia bit: at every black belt test, your teacher comes up and says a few words about you, and at every one of mine, Howard has used the phrase "gentle giant."
  • On Speed: One time I was rushing off the train while I was still working in Chelsea, and the door hit my ankle as it was closing. I can still remember time slowing down and I thought: "I could do this to avoid falling, but if I screw it up, then I'll hurt worse and have more broken electronics on me than if I fall flat correctly." I fell flat, and I'm sure it looked very undignified, but I landed right and had no major injuries. Bonus story: While rollerblading at RIT, I took a turn a little too wide and had to hold my outside skate over the mud to avoid falling. I did OK for a good five feet, but when my wheels sunk in and got stuck in the mud (I had detachable wheels at the time) I did a roll, shoulder to hip, and came out unscathed.
  • On girls: This may not be accurate, but I feel I lost a girlfriend (back in college, not anyone I'm currently dating) due to a lack of libido on her part triggered by hormonal birth control. Since then I've been a little quick to assume drugs' influence on others' lives. This pisses off Erin when I jump to such conclusions about her.

OK, that's enough ridiculous introspection for one shirking from work day.

Big question: What would you say was your "life-changing" event? Or perhaps events?
xoder: (Tao Antialiased)
So I was getting out of a Tae Kwon Do trip, but for some reason I was in PA, in some weird cross of Hawley and Montreal, Canada. My parents came up to pick me up with both my brothers, but they were a little lost. So I rollerbladed out to where they were supposed to be, as they zoomed past me. They had to leave town to be able to get back to where I was before. I kept chasing, though, rolling past a black wolf that was clearly dead and leathered, more or less posted in front of a family's campsite (which was in the middle of town, for some reason). Eventually they called me and said they had figured out where they needed to be, so I should go there. So I 'bladed back, past the wolf again and down through an industrial loading area when I woke up.
xoder: (Tao Antialiased)
So I ran this morning. I adjusted my route to spend more time on asphalt, which I'm assured by my mom to be softer than concrete. Yay bike lanes! ) Ran to Veranda Park, did my forms and came back. Took 19 minutes. A slight improvement over Friday, although I don't think I was checking with such precision on Friday, so it may be the same. So 1.5 miles today done as well.

Nick was supposed to go to school this morning instead of enjoying the middle of a six-day weekend for some purpose of his History final. The teacher left a message on the machine and not much explanation. Nick, being his usual stubborn self, went through all the work of waking up and having a shower to be an ass about actually going. I don't think he's left, actually. The teacher's probably trying to do him a favor, but Nick's too busy being a cock.
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