Blogging these days is more dangerous I feel, but I’ll give it a shot anyways. I missed several typical posts over the past few weeks and I’ll try to make up for them here, no promises though. Let’s start with Christmas, everyone’s favorite holiday.
This Christmas wasn’t terrible, I didn’t enjoy it too much but I didn’t end up nearly as frustrated as usual. I’m not sure if that is a result of the continual lowering of my expectations or things actually being better. The worst part was probably Christmas Eve, when the Michalski side of the family comes over for a traditional Polish Christmas-eve dinner. The food is never tasty, Katie “tried” and didn’t like any of it. Nothing too unexpected there. Usually we pull names out of a hat at Thanksgiving and exchange gifts according to that drawing. This year, my dad decided to mix it up. Everyone would bring a generic gift and we could draw them live according to age. He suggested that my brother and I buy for each other so we end up getting something we’d actually like, which would work out great being the youngest and second-youngest people there. This sounded like a half-decent way to avoid getting something from a relative that I have no desire for. Less emphasis should have been placed on half-decent.
My brother ended up buying a generic gift, and I ended up buying something specific to him. We coordinate great. I briefed him to make sure he would pick my package, and being the youngest he would in theory do that. The plan wasn’t great, but it seemed decent until my cousin decided we should draw numbers to determine the order. I got number 2 and my brother got a much lager number. Being #2, I figured there was a low probability person #1 would pick my gift at random from the pile and they didn’t… whew. Since it was my turn, and I didn’t want the gift for my brother to get pulled by anyone else (no one would have wanted a wii game + controller) I decided to draw my own anonymous gift. It was fairly depressing ripping open my wrapping and pretending to be surprised. Everyone else seemed to genuinely enjoy their gifts, or at least they had fun with the process. Better luck next year I guess.
On Christmas day the notable gifts from my parents included the following: a toaster, ‘colonial’ style wall clock (stained wood framing), 2 pairs of jeans, <mind draws a blank>, a laptop bag, and a rubber mat to put boots on. I returned the jeans (now I have to figure out what to do with a JCP gift card) and the laptop bag. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with the clock, but in theory the toaster will cook toast and the rubber mat will collect debris from my shoes / boots at the apartment.
In theory I am suppose to pick out a TV at some point that will also count as a Christmas gift from my parents, but I think that buying gifts for youself is almost entirely against the Christmas spirit. I bought myself a new router (trouble with my WRT54G) and decided to take it out of the box on Christmas night. I didn’t bother to wrap it, but saying “Merry Christmas self” seemed pretty depressing. I could have easily told someone else that I wanted that exact router, but it wasn’t something I was super excited about. The things I want for myself tend to be more utility oriented, and passing them off as gifts only reminded me how boring things can be.
Let me think, what else can I report on after Christmas.
I just got back from a trip to Puerto Rico. The choice of the word trip, opposed to vacation, is strategic. My family + Katie went for 7 days and stayed in a condo complex. The place we stayed in was nice, the air mattress I slept on worked out better than I expected, but eating down there was pretty painful. I don’t pretend to know spanish, nor do I pretend to enjoy trying new foods.. neither does Katie. Luckily they had american fast-food restaurants so we didn’t starve. I think the “best” place we ate it was Pizza Hut, which was hardly the place to celebrate Katie’s 21’st birthday. Unfortunately she is used to being let down on these sort of things, so making it up is on my todo list. I know all to well how it feels to be let down with these sort of things, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone for the world. I feel bad when I can’t figure out how to make things work or make them right, but some subjects are particularly hard for me. Alas, better luck next time. Overall I think my body physically took a vacation, my mind didn’t move an inch. Someday I will take an actual vacation where I can relax an enjoy myself for a few days instead of a few minutes / hours but I don’t think that will be anytime soon.
This evening I watched “The Social Network” and found it to be a thoroughly depressing movie. Probably on my top-10 depressing movies list. I don’t remember the other 9 movies on the list at the moment. It was a decent film with pleasant acting, overall I would say it was very well made. That said, I wasn’t a huge fan of the story presented… regardless of if it is the actual “Facebook story” or anything like that. It might be just me, but I don’t think the film placed a respectful amount of emphasis on the actual making of a website… just the social interactions of a group of people. It would be like if you filmed all of the Webtech folks circa 2009 or something as we went to meetings and others went out to eat; you wouldn’t get a very accurate picture of all the time I and others spent staring at a computer screen and/or whiteboard actually doing the site building work. I can see why my parents both walked away wondering why I hadn’t invented the next Facebook or something like that.
That summary turned out to be a lot more mild than I expected. Let’s get serious (and cryptic).
I always catch the clock, no matter what time it is, it means nothing to me. Not because I don’t let it but because it hasn’t. Some days I feel like it never will. You’ll always be better than me. I know, far to well sometimes, how it feels to exist in an unpleasant state. We often take the ability to change states for granted. Unpleasantries are but fixtures most people pass driving down the highway. Mine are stuck in/on/in-close-proximity-to-and-traveling-at-the-same-velocity-as my car. Regardless I try quite hard to see the light at the end of my tunnel, and help make the light the end of others’ much easier to see. It’s days when that light goes missing that we need it the most. Good thing I have batteries in my flashlight.
Good night moon.