What a Year

What a freaking year!  Here’s a list of some of the things I learned this year (no particular order):

  1. Watching your wife give birth is the most amazing thing you will see in your life.
  2. Changing your own kid’s diaper isn’t too bad.
  3. Dishwashers should only use dishwasher detergent, if you use the dish soap from your sink, a huge bubbly mess will come out of your dishwasher.
  4. Europeans have way more vacation time than Americans.
  5. The Baltimore Aquarium is not much better than the Camden Aquarium.
  6. Fell’s Point in Baltimore is much better than the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.
  7. Knocked Up is not a good movie to watch with your Grandparents.
  8. Drinking beer while fishing from the beach at night is a great way to spend a night.
  9. New Jersey is not as good as Pennsylvania (I think I’ve known this forever, but it is now confirmed).
  10. Don’t forget to give your wife a mother’s day card (assuming she has a child).
  11. The orchestra is an amazing thing to see, just don’t get front row seats, you will only see a small fraction of the amazing performance.
  12. Even with the fence, we lost all our games.
  13. Montana West will fill any shot glass you can imagine and they did for my birthday.
  14. You never realize how much your parents did for you until you have to raise a kid.
  15. The new World War 2 monument and Vietnam Veterans wall in DC are two of the most solemn places in America
  16. I don’t think dollar dogs are as good as the more expensive hot dogs at Phillies games
  17. The Temple football game at Lincoln Financial is just a wonderful way to spend a Fall afternoon
  18. I should grill more, it’s easy and food just tastes better grilled.
  19. Unopened Coors Light cans float on the Delaware River.
  20. It was sad to hear that Colby Umbrell lost his life in Iraq.  Knew him briefly while playing football at East.  He was a good guy and it seemed like he was really committed to making things better over there.  On his trips home, he would go around to schools and ask for school supplies to bring back to the kids in Iraq.  From what I can tell, he was really trying to make things better and it is sad that he died before he had a chance to make even more of an impact.  It is a big loss for us and a big loss for Iraq.

It’s Yuletide Baby

A little background for what my life has been like for the last two weeks.  The accounts I manage at the advertising agency have about 120 open jobs that were created throughout the year.  Early December brings “Year End Close” where I have to meet with the clients and close out all of those jobs, invoice for them, and make sure they hit the books before the accountants post work done in 2007 to the 2008 books. 

Typically, this process is done as the year goes along, but there’s been a lot of transition and my staff has dwindled from 4 to just me, so it has been a real fire drill to get this done.  There were some surprises along the way, some jobs went over estimate by a couple of bucks and that caused a lot of anxiety.  In general, it is highly stressful boring financial stuff that has sucked the life out of me. 

But, I think the worst is over and we’re gliding into the holiday season. And with the holiday season comes increased blog frequency…YAY!!!

Malls suck.  I went to the mall last Friday for my lunch break and everything looked exactly the same.  Maybe it’s because I am getting older, but all the merchandise looked exactly like it always looked.  It just looked like junk. 

On Friday, I snuck out of the office early, I felt all nervous like I was cutting class in high school.  I swear I passed my boss on my ride home, I ducked down and tried to look all inconspicuous. 

I am getting sick of work and consumerism, it’s probably just the holiday’s, but I’d rather just be home with my friends and family a lot more than contending with rush hour commutes and long hours.  I don’t want to wax economics, I’m barely qualified with my degree in Business Administration from Temple, but I do want to briefly talk about something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot. 

I think it’s sad that so many people are sacrificing so much to get ahead in life.  50 years ago, the man worked and the woman stayed at home.  But to help make ends meet and to move up in the world (and for women to pursue their dreams of going to college and contributing to society), women started working full-time.  Now men and women work full-time, take less vacation, work crazier hours, drive further to work, have less kids, and put more on credit.  I think of the hamster on the wheel, it’s just going faster and faster, but since we collectively increase our pace, it basically keeps us all average, instead of moving up, we’re just keeping up.  I think the collective workforce needs to unionize, take back the workdays, get back to the 9-5, and start asking for more vacation. 

I just got approved for a mortgage, but it’s just a huge commitment, I’m going to be working my ass off for many years.  I know my parents worked their asses off and it’s not like anyone ever had it easy, but I’m starting to prioritize things differently, I just want so much less than I wanted before.

I could be wrong, but I think America is starting to feel the same way, the pendulum is shifting to smaller cars, less waste, more green space, and the credit belt is tightening.  I guess we’re just moving towards being more practical. 

I hate to admit this, but I always thought Amish people were very strange for their lifestyle.  But I look at them now (and Jaclyn, please don’t get scared, I do not want to become Amish!) and I envy them a little bit.  I still don’t agree with it 100%, but I can see the logic behind their actions. 

Okay, I have to get back to work, sorry for not proof reading this, I am sure it is disorganized, but I wanted to get something up today.

The Point of Life

Hi guys.  I haven’t gotten a chance to see “I’m Not There”, the movie about Bob Dylan.  I was planning to see it while in the Outer Banks, but there wasn’t a movie theater within 50 miles showing it.  When we returned home, there wasn’t much of a chance of seeing it either. 

Having a child means having a lot less time to do that kind of stuff.  Romantic dinners, movies, dates, and free time are few and far between.  It’s funny how much your life changes and how much stuff you give up when you have a child.  Before Winston, the weekends included one or two nights out on the town, staying up late, watching countless DVDs, playing endless xbox 360, and lots of dinners out with my beautiful wife Jaclyn. 

Don’t get me wrong, my life is far from boring now.  I still have my softball, occasional night on the town with Jaclyn, and it’s not unusual to see me on the xbox, but it certainly is different being a parent. 

I am grateful for a lot of things, but I am especially grateful for how much Jaclyn does for Winston.  A baby is so much work, they require all of your attention, energy, and patience, and even that is sometimes not enough.  It would be impossible for me to raise Winston without her. 

I think we’re doing a pretty good job with Winston, at least I know we are doing our best.  As for the things I have given up (or do in much more moderation), I don’t miss them that much, I’m generally too tired to miss it.  An eleven month old boy can really tire you out. 

So, I will probably see “I’m Not There” when it comes out on DVD, but it’s an incredibly small sacrifice considering how wonderful Winston has been.  There’s nothing in the world that makes me happier.