Monday, May 26, 2008

My Secret Love Affair

Shhh!!! Don't tell Stephen, but I have a new love in my life! He goes by the name of Home... Home Depot.

Yep, you read right. Home Depot is the new love of my life. And I'm sure I'm not the only closet - or out-of-the-closet - lover of HD. Every time I go, I see people just like me lovingly gazing at all that HD offers.

I've been to HD two or three times this week, walking up and down the aisles, pricing needed items for upcoming projects or dreaming about what I would do with an unlimited budget. And it never gets old. I'm frequenting HD so much that I'm becoming a regular face, the sales people knowing who I am and what I'm looking for. One guy even knows my Texas history and teased me about it today.

And it doesn't stop there.
My love doesn't hold back, and makes me feel like I can do anything. Yesterday, I walked out of the store almost certain I'm going to be an electrician when we're done installing and updating the outlets in our home. Do you have any idea how cool that is? I've learned how to update our switch boxes, install new outlets, wire the outlet plugs, install ceiling fans and fish wire through the walls. Thank you, HD, for making me feel empowered!

At this rate, and with this kind of empowerment given to me by my love, HD may replace Target as the place I take my weekly me-time trips.

Friday, May 23, 2008

It's so Hard to Say Goodbye

Last night was my last volleyball lesson and it's so sad to know I won't be going back next week. However, I couldn't have asked for a better ending. I'm in the beginner's class and there is an advanced class immediately after ours on Thursday nights. One of the girls in my class, A, and I are both pretty decent players (compared to the others in our class who have never played volleyball) and we usually stick around after class to ask questions, stretch, etc.

Well, last night our instructor was telling us where we could go play during the summer and he mentioned that he needed two extra people that night for the class, so A and I got to play with the boys. I can't tell you how great it was to play volleyball with people who actually knew what they were doing and who cared about doing it right.

Also, I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but I have a HUGE stigma about setting the ball. For whatever reason I've always been afraid of doing it - and as a result I've really sucked it up whenever I tried to do it, and managed to jack up my thumb the second week of play (and it's still so swollen that I have a man thumb!) Last night though, I had some amazing sets. And oddly enough, I felt really good doing it. That's not to say that I'm really good at it; there is definitely room for improvement, BUT I think I may have conquered my fear of setting.

So... it turns out that I REALLY enjoy playing volleyball and I'm going to try and play as much as possible. I'm going to make it my mission to go to pick-up games every week and try to get on a team this summer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Learnings From Project One - The Carpet

  • Tearing out carpet is disgusting, especially when the carpet is 40 years old.
  • There's a good chance the carpet pad underneath will disintegrate on contact with air.
  • Always have fun - it makes things so much easier
  • If it seems too easy, brace for the hardship, because it's coming (and it came... in the form of a stairwell runner)
  • Plumber's crack is funny, even when you're not a plumber and ESPECIALLY after 9 hours of removing carpet, tack and staples from 4 rooms and 15 stairs.
  • Shop vacs are the greatest invention known to man - they pick up the biggest piles of disintegrated carpet with the greatest of ease.
  • When all is said and done, and you've actually completed your project, you feel pretty good.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Boston - 4 months Later

Where is the time going? I've been in Boston for 4 months now and I can't believe time is flying that quickly. Spring is finally here, the birds are chirping outside my apartment right now, and the outlook on life is looking good.

Stephen closes on the house Friday, and we'll spend the weekend ripping out carpet; we've postponed the housewarming party to a TBD date since we don't want to rush things. We'll start moving next weekend and we haven't even packed yet, which is good, I guess, considering we don't have movers reserved.

I've been sick the past 4 days. Ironically, this is the third time in the
past 4 months I've been sick: chills, fever, nausea, sweats, etc. Today was the first time I've been to the doctor up here. After being stuck in each arm to have blood drawn (yay for blood cultures!) I've got one minor infection (antibiotics for the next 10 days) and was told that my body isn't immune yet to the viruses up here.

My friend Kelly is moving back to Iowa today to spend her last two weeks in the country with her family before she goes off and fulfills her lifelong dream of serving in the Peace Corps. I saw pictures of her going away party and I'm so devastated that I missed it. For those of you who don't know, Kelly is the one who actually got Stephen and me together. And when she did, she said I better toast her at our wedding. Now I have to wait almost 3 year
s to toast her properly. So K, while I'm so proud of you for chasing your dream, know that I'll miss you more than words can say and I can't WAIT for you to come home! In honor of that, here is a photo of us from our greatest night ever.

Pete Wentz - Reaching out to touch Kelly

My friend Devon is coming to Boston in a few weeks - our first visitor! I am so excited for her arrival. I'm going through the list of things we'll be doing while she's here. And then we're headed to Texas for the annual tube trip, and the week after that Bucky and Dusty are coming to visit us (or the Red Sox, but that's just semantics, right?). June is going to be a busy month.

Despite being ill multiple times since I've been here (dammit, hurry up you slow immune system!) I'm loving every day - ok, ALMOST every day - of Boston. This was seriously one of my better decisions, and each passing day makes me more grateful.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blurring the Lines

I apologize in advance if this post bores any of you to tears, but it's something I want to explore and discuss. We recently received updated employee handbooks at work and there's a new section on blogging. Our company has a really supportive environment for personal blogging and even maintain a corporate blog. All they ask of us is to "not cite our clients, partners or suppliers without their approval" and "be respectful to the company, employees, clients, partners and competitors." It's fair, but raises the question: how do you mix business and pleasure in a world where everyone can see how you feel?

I ask this because office gossip spread like wildfire the other day and allegedly one of my colleagues was offended by a post that another colleague had written about them on their personal blog. Without going into more detail than that - because I don't know more than that, and, frankly, it's something I don't really want to know about beyond having a better understanding of what went down - it makes me wonder how to openly express your thoughts and not worry about offending people.

I'll admit that I'm cognizant of offending people on here, and I've written things that at some point that probably did offend someone. But I have to remind myself sometimes that my blog is written for me, not for other people. While I appreciate the fact that people actually read my blog, my blog is an area for me to discuss what's important to me, and sometimes things happen where I'm upset and I want to talk about them. Sometimes I'm upset about work and sometimes I'm upset with the people I work with, but I try to exercise extreme caution when discussing work - especially anyone at work - because I know that some people in my office read my blog and I don't want to be put in a bad situation.

So what do you think? How do you retain the ability to talk about things important to you when the lines are being blurred?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

*DING - A Guest Post

I've been a little negligent with my posts lately and one particular person brought it to my attention more than once, so I invited him to fill the space for me. His name is Dan (last name hidden to protect his identity) and his post is funny - just like Dan. So read on and let me know if you like his post; if so, I may just ask him to guest blog again.

If you don't like it, go easy on him - he's a newb.

Without further ado...

So here I am trying to come up with something witty pertaining to the fact that I’m originally from Maine to head this guest post off with. Unfortunately I’ve got nothing; my normally rapier sharp wit has been dulled by a day sitting at work. I’ll have to settle on something mildly entertaining:

News from the North!

You may be asking yourself, what possible news could this random individual have that pertains to me? To be perfectly honest not much if any in regards to my humble social life. News that SHOULD pertain to everyone however is the current political climate in the country. I’m a fairly avid reader of websites like,, and some various political blogs. I’m always amazed at our generation’s ability to vomit up ignorant buzz words. I don’t think it’s localized to just the 20-odd-something-or-others, but it’s depressing to see an onslaught of emoticons, poor grammar and poorly thought out editorials regurgitated over and over again.

Partially fueling this ‘intellectual shift’ seems to be the ever-increasing sense of entitlement in this country. Playing the victim card has become a past time in the legal system. Take a look in the realm of medicine: Have you injured yourself somehow? Call this number and we’ll make someone pay! This basic inability to accept consequences of your actions has numerous repercussions, not the least of which is driving up medical costs causing insurance prices to soar.

Wait a second:

Who wants to read a guest post where the write just berates modern social tendencies? THAT WOULD BE BORING AND OUTRIGHT LAME! That would make me seem like some whining baby:

(I really love this picture)

This post requires more ZAZZ! Let’s go ahead and switch gears a little bit. Allow me to illuminate you a little bit on who I am and why I’m even posting here to begin with. My name is Dan, yes I’m originally from Maine, and I now live outside of Boston. I work at Analog Devices with Michele’s boyfriend Stephen (OMG STEPHEN XOXOX <3>KISSES BUT NO BABIES!!!!!111!!!11!22!!).

Thinking back I honestly can’t remember when the first time Michele and I met. It may have been at one of my co-worker’s parties, it may have been at volleyball. It doesn’t make a difference in the long run because I CAN BEAT HER AT BEIRUT WITH MY BAD HAND (Beer pong to the less civilized). It’s ‘OK’ though, I accept her for who she is.

She does seem to share my affinity for social sports (Beirut inclusive)((And that’s where we met….Volleyball!)). It’s one of the many things about Analog Devices that I really enjoy; the ability to play softball/volleyball/hockey etc. etc. with my co-workers. Looking at the weather today, it’s mid 70’s and we have a practice game at around 5:30. Juxtaposing that against last night where I drank Busch Light while playing Team Fortress 2, Rock Band and surfing (Here's a good one) it’ll be a nice change of pace. So long as I don’t get injured for tomorrow night’s volleyball it’ll be 100% good.

That’s about all I’ve got for this horribly convoluted post….I’ll leave you with a bit of wisdom in picture form:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bitter Enemies

This week Stephen and I become (temporary) bitter enemies. Starting Thursday, the Dallas Stars look to advance to the holiest of sporting events - the Stanley Cup Finals. The only thing standing in their way: the unholiest of sporting teams, the Detroit Red Wings.

I can't explain why I hate the Wings so much, but that hatred runs deep. Ever since I started following hockey, the Red Wings have been a thorn in my side. Perhaps it's because they're so good (it pains me to even say that), perhaps it's because my defensive idol, Darian Hatcher, was traded to them shortly after the '99 season when the Stars won the cup.

Regardless, once Detroit and Dallas go head-to-head, there will be so much smack talking between Stephen and me, we'll be sleeping in separate rooms by the time the series is over! At least it will be worth it when the Stars advance to the Finals.