Friday, December 27, 2002

OMG!! The last five days have been quite interesting. Not only with Xmas, but other happenings too. Mon dieu!

Hope everyone had a nice Xmas and spent it with family and friends. New Years is just a few days down the road and then its 2003. What a year ... huh?!? Before I go into all my talk about the "happenings", let me relate what friends, co-workers, family and ole Santa brought me for Xmas. Lots of lovely goodies ... several boxes of assorted chocolates/truffles, bookmarker, magazine, CD holder, keychain, Avon 4 in 1 Companion, toiletries, wine, ferret note pad, CD [Queens of the Stone Age], more scented toiletries, lip balm, sweatshirt, soap, Xmas ornament, book on Teddy Roosevelt, bubble bath, muffin mix, candles, Ansel Adams calendar, basket of edible goodies, power cordless screwdriver and another calendar. Today I'm sending out "thank you" cards and returning phone calls.

Okay ... now on to the "happenings" of the holiday season. Last week wasn't that busy at the office, with the exception of a caterered meeting [free food] on 19th and the companies main holiday party on 18th. As to that later one ... for the most part it was okay. I went with my boss Ed to the party at Copacabana and we only knew a handful of people [literally]. Most of the crowded seemed to be between the ages of 21 and 27. [Guys were talking sports/money and the gals were into primping/ gossiping.] I only knew about 5 people and same with Ed. It was an open bar and the buffet tables were loaded with good food. Quite frankly the disco music was way too loud and reminded me of being at a rock concert, only I'm not grooving to the band. Ed and I only stayed two hours. I went home and he went on to a different party.

Left NYC on Sunday, December 22nd, and head upstate NY for the Xmas holiday. My aunts hubby picked me up at bus terminal and brought me to my parents home. That afternoon Mom and I went shopping, then visited her friend Barbara in a very nice nursing home [was once a posh mansion]. Dinner at home and taking care of Dad, who is still recovering from his hospital ordeal earlier in the month. He's doing better, tho not quite 100% and was regaling me with his hospital stories.

Monday morning we woke up to learn that my Aunt and her hubby had to take my Uncle Bob to emergency. Hum ... doesn't this sound like shades of Thanksgiving weekend all over again. Anyhow ... he's more stubborn than my father when it comes to doctors and hospitals. Apparently blood was gushing from his nose and down inside his throat. While all this suspense was going on I had to drive my father [with Mom] to a doctors appointment, as well as the hospital for X-rays to his left elbow. Fun ... huh ... still with me. Good! We came back to learn from Nick [aunts hubby] that my uncle came home [stubborn man] with his nose packed to stop bleeding, but it didn't stop, so they took him back to hospital. He's been there since then and had to have surgery on inner nose region that Monday night. Hopefully the surgery worked okay and he'll be released on Saturday. Updates on all this next week. Yeah, I know, I can tell your just as excited about it all as I am. Sorry about the sarcasm ... he is my fathers brother ... tho Bob and I never ever got along. A good friend of mine has nicknamed my uncle the "pole" and it fits him to a T. Inbetween all this I'm helping Mom out in the house with assorted chores, painting picture frames, cooking, watching cable tv, phone calls, etc.

On Tuesday, Xmas Eve, I'm up early to get my hair colored and trimmed by my hairdresser in town. Afterwards do errands before heading home to pick up Mom. Dad didn't feel like joining Mom and I in going to my brothers in Schenectady for Xmas Eve luncheon. Mom and I had a very nice visit down at Duane & Michelle's. Hadn't seen Michelle [she's working out at a gym 3 times a week] in a long time and I last saw Duane at Thanksgiving. We had a yummy meal of tossed green salad and Michelle's homemade Macaroni & Cheese. Then we exchanged and opened gifts, plus I took photos. We left their place shortly after 3pm, cause Mom didn't want to be out after dark and its a 70 minute drive. Back home we settled in for the evening, heard Nicks report on my Uncles situation, had a lite dinner and opened our gifts. Instead of opening the gifts Xmas morning we did them evening before ... cause I was leaving early to head back to NYC. Or so I thought.

On Xmas morning we're up early and I whipped up a yummy breakfast of pumpkin pancakes and fried eggs. The weather report said snow was on the way, but nothing was happening at that time of the morning. Plus no other alerts on the local news stations. Nick stops by around 9:30am to pick me up and we head off to Albany Bus Terminal. At this point I'm figuring on jumping on the 11:30am back to NYC. One thing I learned on ride down to Albany with Nick is that he likes Pearl Jam. So I played the Milan 2000 bootleg CD. Yeah! Should of known something wasn't right when we pulled into the bus terminal, but he was in a hurry and I wanted to get on a bus. Nick dropped me off and I walked into a pretty desolate bus terminal. Only one other passenger was sitting in there and a few employees were manning certain posts. Learned that ALL the damn buses were cancelled as of 10am [I got there at 10:30am] until further notice due to the snowstorm. Mind you it hadn't started to snow in Albany, but I guess it was kicking up a mess down south and west of us. Naturally I'm abit annoyed by this "news" and quickly phoned Mom. Asked her to phone Nick on his cell phone and come back for me. I phoned her 10 minutes later ... Nick doesn't have his cell phone with him. Great! Geez! Instead, Mom called a friend of the family [Steve] and he'd come and get me. So I waited until shortly after 12 noon when Steve picked me up and drove me back north. Arrived at the family homestead after 1pm and ate lunch with my parents. Then made phone calls to let my co-workers know I wouldn't be at office tomorrow. Taking an unexpected personal day. Rest of day was spent watching cable tv, playing in the snow [blizzard blew in at 2pm & left after 10pm], continually shovelling the porch/walkway, nibbling on snacks, drinking wine, working on pastels and chatting on the phone.

Next day dawned with about 18+ inches of snow outside, sunny skies and cold temps. Shovelled the porch, walkway, cleaned off Dads car and started it up. Didn't take long for it to warm up. Took Mom to the store for a few groceries. Called the bus terminal several times for updates and schedules. The buses are running ... hurray! Nick and my Aunt Nan picked me up shortly before 12 noon and drove me to Albany, where I got on a very crowded bus leaving for NYC at 2pm. Arrived at Port Authority about 4:45pm and waited 45 minutes on line in getting a taxi to go to my apartment. Ahhhhhhhhhh ... NYC!

Overall it was an interesting holiday, with many little happenings that add up into bigger ones. Until next time......................

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Damn ... In yesterdays entry I forgot to mention news on Pearl Jam et al. Thats not like me to go forgetting anything to do with my current, fav band. About two weeks ago I called up PJ e-pal Sarah in Canada. It had been awhile since we last chat and we had fun talking about PJ and other topics. [Sarah, don't worry girl, I'm sure you'll do just fine in regards to finals.] Within the last 2 to 3 days I've chatted with several other PJ e-pals on the phone. That awesome dude Sean [Toronto] called me on Friday at work and left an amusing voicemail. I phoned him back on Monday [from work] and talked/laughed about several topics. That evening I phoned Erica [how's Maggie] down in Texas to hear all about her recent visit to Seattle and seeing PJ at Key Arena on December 8th. Lucky girl!! She had a great time, took pix and went with her very hip Mom. They both enjoyed the gig very much. Today I received an unexpected ... such a delightful surprise ... phone call from Melissa [Missouri]. Last time I saw her was when she visited NYC back in August with her friend Jodie. Since then she's moved from Missouri to Eureka Springs, AR. [Happy Belated B-day!] Both Sean and Melissa I know thru the Yahoo Group IRWT. And Sarah and Erica I know thru Synergy BBS. Their all really groovy, kind, fun, generous people. We're all excited about Pearl Jam's upcoming "Riot Act" tour for Spring 2003. Yeah baby! Keep on rocking in the free world!

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Good lord, has it been two weeks since my last entry? Yeah, I know, naughty me. I meant to write up a short bit this past Friday. Then one thing led to another here at work and before I knew it, 5pm rolled around and it was time to go home. A thousand and one apologies for my absence.

Damn ... can you believe it ... Xmas Eve will be here in a week and then a week later its New Years Eve! Geez! The year flew by so quickly. The good news is I finished my holiday gift shopping this past Saturday and wrapped everything last night. All my Xmas cards have been mailed, as well as gift parcels to friends here and abroad. Amen! Speaking of gifts ... I've been baking away these last few weekends making cookies and quick breads. This week I'm distributing my "goodie baskets" to co-workers, bosses, friends, personal trainers, etc. Today I received two nice gifts [ie: Guylian truffles & toiletries from Bath & Body Works] from one of my bosses [partner here at E&Y].

This past friday, December 13th, my father finally came home from the hospital. He's doing better, but still has a long ways to go in recovering from major colon surgery. A nurse comes to my parents home twice a day to clean, re-dress the incision and sometimes help Dad take a shower. He's on a special protein diet right now to help in the healing process. Once that is 100% okay he'll then be on a different diet to keep his colon healthy. This means no more beer, mixed nuts or fried foods. From now on he needs to consume more veggies, fruits and water. Dad's not happy about it, but the doctor laid down the rules to him in big, bold letters. Basically he needs to follow the "rules" or be dead. For now he's taking it easy at home ... this includes sleeping, watching cable tv, some socializing, healthy eating and reading newspapers. Mom is doing her best in coping with the whole situation. I'll be heading upstate NY this coming sunday and stay thru Xmas day. I'm sure I'll be busy helping them out around the house, as well as enjoying being away from the city.

Oops! Damn ... just saw the time. Must finish up work before heading to the gym and a one-hour, workout session with Personal Trainer. Happy Holidays!! Ho Ho Ho!!

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Well folks, sit back for a spell, as this will be a long entry. Several things are going on or have happened.

Hope everyone had a nice, safe, fun Thanksgiving holiday and started their Christmas shopping.

I spent the long holiday weekend with my family in upstate NY [near VT border]. Weather was cold with some snow on the ground. Seven of us sat down for turkey dinner with all the trimmings at 5:30pm. I usually don't eat much ... partook of sweet potatoes, stringbeans, roll and a little bit of turkey. Everyone else piled their plates high with food, plus a few of us were drinking a nice, fruity white wine. Most of the time I don't say much or act like a silly thing. Alot of my relatives don't seem to take me seriously and are always critical. Even when I'm straight-forward or serious, they'll still find something to joke about or critize. You bet its frustrating, annoying and my feelings do get hurt. With close friends I'll express my deep thoughts/reflections, but with a portion of my relatives, no way. Why set myself up just to be chopped down without a thought or care. Anyhow ... enough of that ... on Friday Mom, Dad, my brother and I went to Saratoga Springs and the huge Wilton Mall to do shopping. Damn! Was it ever crowded! Mom and I were saying to each other that last year, at this time, the Mall was practically empty. Many people stayed away from the Malls day after Turkey Day cause they were afraid terrorists would strike. Not this year! Mon dieu! Friday evening the relatives came over again for leftover turkey dinner and the usual bullshit. Saturday I got my hair done [ie: colored & trimmed]. That afternoon Mom and I went shopping over in Manchester & Bennington [VT]. Saturday evening my fathers health wasn't so good, but he refused to go to hospital. Stubborn man! Sunday morning was a different matter and he was worse. My uncle took him and my Mom over to Bennington Hospital. He's been there since then and yesterday had 1/3 of his colon surgically removed. Doctors are keeping him there until Friday. So thats my holiday weekend in a nutshell.

Came back to NYC Sunday afternoon, went grocery shopping and started putting up my Xmas decor that night. Finished the decorating and putting up the tree last night. So many lights, garland and pretty ornaments. The apartment is looking very colorful and festive. This coming weekend [Dec 7th & 8th] I start my holiday cookie baking. Every year I make about 8 to 10 different kind of cookies and brownies. Set up Xmas goodie containers with an assortment to give to friends, family and co-workers. Speaking of work, its been a nice steady stream of activity since yesterday morning. Some meeting cancellations, new travel plans and such for my bosses.

Did I mention its terribly COLD and WINDY outside. Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Lets see ... remember me briefly mentioning that chap from the midwest? Well, I haven't heard a peep from him in a week. He's either not interested, out of town on business or away on vacation. Oh well.................

I'm sure there are other bits of news to relate, but can't seem to recall it to mind. If it comes to mind I'll just tag on another entry. Gotta jet for now....................

Hiya ... I'm back! Just remembered that the pipes under Mom's kitchen sink decided to give us troubles on Turkey Day. After the meal Mom and I are cleaning up the table and notice the wet carpet under sink. Not a good sign! All underside was soaked with water. Had to clean it out and then my aunts hubby tried to fix it. Dad's terrible at fixing plumbing and would just bitch the whole time. So my aunts hubby had the honor. Got it to a point were Mom and I could do dishes, but it still needs to be taken care of by a professional. Also, over the weekend, watched some cable tv. Which was a treat for me, since my telly died back in May. So I caught up on a few movies and Foodtv Network. Love to watch Emeril! Oh, one last thing, with Dads help early Saturday [or was it Friday - anyhow] we put the white Xmas lights along the roof and porch of the house. Looks very nice. Okay ... I think I'm done babbling this time. Remember to keep rocking in the free world!