Jun. 22nd, 2006 02:22 pm
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sneaky little bridget had these delivered to me at work! i wish i could transfer a picture from my cameraphone; they really add to the ambiance of the lab i'm working in. :)

thank you thank you! and yes, i'd be happy for four billion more too...
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wow bridget wins for posting right at midnight. yes yes it's been 4 wonderful years together, and things only seem to be becoming more and more exciting for us. so many good things in the past, so much to look forward to. yay!
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heh courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] brigid, i've been called out of LJ hibernation to answer this:

Write 10 of life's simple pleasures that you like the most then pick 10 people to do the same. here we go...

1. holding my arms above my head and slowly lowering them, feeling my shoulder blades descend along my back
2. the satisfaction that comes from solving a problem
3. beat frequencies
4. making a perfect shift from one gear to the next in my car
5. hugs
6. dancing - or more generally, losing myself in the moment
7. peanut butter and graham crackers
8. the sound a pin makes when you hit it squarely and forcefully in candlepin bowling (and keep quiet [livejournal.com profile] clevernonsense!)
9. wandering around while listening to music on headphones
10. savasana - both the tightening/relaxing of the body and that half-awake half-asleep half-who-knows-where state that happens a few minutes into it

who to tag, who to tag...

[livejournal.com profile] clevernonsense
[livejournal.com profile] cosinezero
[livejournal.com profile] frederic
[livejournal.com profile] heatray
[livejournal.com profile] jasonlizard
[livejournal.com profile] mrzero
[livejournal.com profile] photiq
[livejournal.com profile] pyrric
[livejournal.com profile] silas7
[livejournal.com profile] yosh
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scheming little bridget threw me a surprise dinner and party last night to celebrate my birthday (which was last week, but we were a few hundred miles away from boston so the delay is understandable). a bunch of you chipped in and bought me a PSP, which is just all sorts of awesome. thanks again everyone! :) last night involved about 30 pounds of shared soy bean products (care of buddha's delight), mulled wine, and a chocolate fountain. today has been spent prepping the machine so i can run and make homebrew apps. so far i'd tried out an atari 2600 & NES emulator, along with my buddy noah's latest noisemaker, psp kick. it's all quite inspiring; can't wait to dive in.

so yes, you guys rock. no denying it.

and double extra thanks go to bridget for pulling the night together - since my birthday falls over thanksgiving i'm basically never around my friends for the actual day. little did i know, big birthday parties are a very cool thing!

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leave one memory of you and me together.
It doesn't matter if I know you a little or a lot, anything you remember!
Next, post this in your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.
also, i'll reply in your journal with a memory, so it's an even trade.

just be warned that i have a depressingly bad memory so if you contribute something all i might be able to muster in return is "i remember we met... sometime ago... and talked about some stuff. i guess it was fun but i'm not really sure." ;)


Oct. 12th, 2005 08:03 am
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kurt vonnegut interview

good interview with an aging kurt. the second to last paragraph just killed me this morning. if i could take you there, i would...


Sep. 23rd, 2005 07:32 am
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my mom called this morning. her and the 3 cats are safely in arkansas. i feel much better.

and as for the offers of housing, i mentioned this to her and she told me that she has some options lined up, so it doesn't look like at the moment that will be necessary. but seriously, thanks from both of us.
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a lot of little things have been happening over the past few weeks, and happily almost all of them have been good. bridget and i have more or less settled into our new apartment. there was a period of adjustment, but the concept of our old place feels more like a dream than anything else (we had 3 floors!?!?). i'm liking the layout and my office is cozy and window-tastic.

after years of not really acquiring any new tech i now have:

- an external HD so i can back up all 5 computers and gather together years of pictures and music and other digital bits and pieces. this might sound mundane, but due to the years of my life i have invested in my home and work machines, i feel so much better knowing there's some redundancy out there.
- a cell phone - i've decided to learn some j2me and see what sort of stupid apps i can write for it. java and OOP are smashing into my assembler-C-perl centric brain, but it's good sometimes to see the world in a different light.
- an ipod nano (black! 4gig!), which i won at the embedded systems conference. it's in my cube right now, waiting to be opened. some serious gear lusty tech there. i didn't have any real complaints with my old flash player, but i'm certainly not going to bitch about adding this to my life.

along with this is the eternal wedding planning. our mood is still good and we don't feel swamped... yet. still enjoying the moment. i think we'll survive the first wave of scheduling/commitments (wedding/reception space, caterer, wedding dress) with our heads held high. still, i'm sure it's the details we'll run into at the end that will haunt us and make us see why eloping in vegas is so popular. but we're not there yet and that's fine with me.

so yeah all of these things are good, but right now i'm thinking more about my mom and what life's going to be like for her in the future. she's been living in galveston tx for the past 9 years, and that city is ready to be removed from the map on saturday. she's on her way to little rock arkansas; the closest hotel she could find that takes pets is 460 miles away. ugh. i spoke to her yesterday, she was crawling out of texas on hwy45. i tried to call today but 'all circuits are busy'. at least she's plenty smart enough to leave and is traveling with someone else so she'll be safe.

my mom and i have a pretty strange relationship. the details of which would take far too long to write at the moment, but the basics are that she left my dad 11 years ago because she realized she's a lesbian, eventually moved to galveston, and we've been in very loose contact since. the reasons for this are many (and our distance had nothing to do with any judgement of her sexual preference) and blame can certainly sit on both of our shoulders. but in the end she's still my mom and i love her and am wondering what she's going to do with her life. her family is scattered and friends are primarily in the northeast, but she really likes life in texas and i'd hate to see her starting over -again-, especially if it's somewhere where there's lots of snow and ice and cold.

if there's one thing that she's shown with her new life it's that she's a very strong person so i know if anyone can deal with this she can. i wish all of the strength and luck in the world. i just hope those circuits clear and i can talk to her again soon.

oh and i appreciate the offers in bridget's journal of a place to stay for her. i have no idea if i will need to look into them more seriously, but thank you so much for your kindness and generosity.
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this past week has felt so charmed and airy compared to the stress i experienced before asking bridget to marry me. this was something that had been on my mind for a while. i have this terrible tendency to overthink situations, psyche myself out, and either do something exceeedingly strange/dumb or don't act at all. i had a pretty good idea of what i wanted to do, but i was getting buried in details and concerns about the right date to do it. while the idea excited me, i feared i would miscalculate something and the night would lose its lustre. boo for overanalyzing, but it was happening.

last thursday (before i'd asked her to marry me) we went to get the ring resized and reset. late that afternoon she called to tell me how beautiful the ring was and how excited she was to see it. i thought about it too; how happy it would make me for her to wear the ring, how this was the person i wanted to marry and nothing was distracting or detracting from this thought. and -snap-, my mind was made up. i was going to do this tonight. no more fussing with an intricate plan, i wanted this -now-. it was so liberating; i decided i needed a tux and champagne but anything else in the end would be superfluous. that evening was complicated by a need to work late and that i was meeting up with my dad in natick (thank you mr suburban tux for staying open past closing, you're the best mr tux ever!), but it all came together. the tux wasn't perfect, but it was pretty awesome that each piece fit me rather nicely. fate was complying with my wishes, the transformation was complete. i changed back into my working clothes, ate a quick dinner, received some good wishes, bid my dad adieu, and took off in my car, my mind as much a blur as the road. this was it. eep.

so i arrive home and had the rather difficult and amusing job of changing into a tux in our parking lot in the middle of the night. not being exactly the most modest person, i stripped to my boxers and threw everything on. my heart's beating hard, but i'm not nervous. just excited for the moment to finally arrive. i open the door, expecting to see bridget on the couch. no bridget. hmm. i make some noise downstairs to get her attention. she comes down and i'm sure i've got the silliest grin on my face. all i get for 10 seconds is 'oh my god!' and 'look at you!' - it's nice to be well received! i take bridget's hand, go down on one knee, tell her all the things i think of her and us and what i want our future to be, ask her to marry me, she says yes. lots of hugging and kissing and sappiness. the closest analog i can think of would be a true religeous revelation; powerful, beautiful, personal, exciting, energizing, but additionally amazing because you're a part of something larger than yourself. you've seen this before, you're doing it now, and it will happen countless times in the future. and despite the fact that we've seen and read about wedding proposals all our lives, this one is ours. it's so special and a moment i'll always hold on to.

i'm really happy right now. we're both still excited and glowing, and the inevitable pressure in making wedding plans hasn't hit yet. tomorrow we visit our first potential location for the ceremony/reception, i imagine it'll be a fun experience. we're not stressing over the details yet. we're just so much in love and looking forward to whatever our long long future brings to us.
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hey, this is one for the boston locals... i have like 100 cds i want to get rid of. instead of selling them to a cd store for a pittance or trying to manage mailing out 100 packages via ebay/amazon; i was thinking it would be cool to have a little music sale/swap. everyone could bring music if they wanted and we could sell/trade/barter them away. i'm thinking we should meet somewhere T-accessable. perhaps somewhere near kendall (since there's a lot of empty parking lots and free space) or at the cambridge commons?

so what do you think? anyone else want to get in on this?
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well since the last 3 posts in my friends list are from [livejournal.com profile] brigid, [livejournal.com profile] mrzero, and [livejournal.com profile] atalanta, i figure i should also post about oleana. i think i was the only person who was ok with their dinner. i thought the bread and olive oil were quite yummy (though if the bread were warm it'd have been 10x better), the hummus was good, and my main dish (chicken with some wilted greens and a nifty cheese pancake) was fine. that said, i did taste a bit of two other dishes and they weren't anything too spectacular. i wouldn't say stay away, but it doesn't scream 'must come back' either. one of the nicer restaurants i want to try next is tango, i've heard a few rave reviews recently so i must go. in general i haven't been digging the more expensive places as much as the old standbys, maybe i just don't have the taste for expensive cuisine anymore. if that's the case, fine with me!

but yes, i will also echo the sentiment that it was nice to see the freshly married couple. they're one of the first people i met from this crazy little circle of folks; it was the second date between bridget and i and we ran into them plus a bunch of other now familiar faces while at the cellar. i'm sad they'll be leaving soon, i've always been happy to see them around. though i do think they will be in boston fairly frequently and, since it will be a unique occasion, we will be more likely to go out and see them as they make the rounds. i imagine we'll see them more frequently than now. so that's good.

and everyone should send good wishes to bridget for tommorow. i know she'll be fine and doing somersaults in a few days, but i'm sure she'd love the encouragement and good thoughts. we've got a stack of video games and movies ready and i've taken 3 days off to take care of her; while i wish we had the ability to use the time to go wander new places, it'll be great to get out of work, catch up on silly movies, and spend some time together.
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this was a pretty awesome weekend in provincetown. originally [livejournal.com profile] brigid and i were going to go to montreal for the weekend, but after she had a really good experiece out there while i was in china (plus her pointing out that visiting the city might not be such a smart idea in the middle of summer, we'll put it off til the fall with the excuse of going to see sigur ros on tour again) we headed off to the land of all that is gay and fabulous! we took the high speed boat, which i wasn't so psyched about at first but once we were on the water it was really amazing. standing at the bow of the ship, there's so much force from the wind. you look out and just see shimmering shades of blue passing by. it's like a really awesome screensaver, but with more salt and your hair is all tangled when you go back inside. seriously, it's pretty similar to skiing; except that you can't hug and ski very well, and shorts are rarely appropriate. bridget also suggested it's like flying, i believe that too.

anyways, ptown itself was a really fun and an atypical vacation for us. this is an eat, drink, and eat and drink some more type of place. none of that castle visiting or mountain treachery that we're so used to. oh and there was some shopping thrown in for good measure. the food was great and the drinks were fruity and threatened to knock us over. the b&b wasn't unbelievable but still very very nice. the owners were a couple from europe (one from france, the other germany). it was fun to geek about europe and feel all snooty and worldly. (sigh i miss the UK.) but yeah, breakfast was expertly prepared, the room was comfy, all the employees were very sweet, and there was an eternal spring of port and sherry in the living room. i think i'd like to stay there again in the fall when the sherry + the hot tub would be infinitely more appropriate.

seeing all the comfortable gay couples was pretty cool too. for some reason i was amused at how like 80% of all the tables at every restaurant were 2 guys sitting together; it's so rare to see that outside that context. it was disconcerting and sad to come back to boston and see people standing together everywhere - walking together, sitting together, who presumably weren't in love. and if some of them were, they wouldn't necessarily be able to comfortably show it. alas. now that i think of it, ptown was more full of couples than anywhere else i think i've been. it shouldn't be surprising, but it just dawned on me now.

bridget was spot on on her impression of the weekend; lots of really wonderful moments adding up to a great trip. one that i really loved was seeing these 2 kids, one around 8 the other maybe 5. the older one is pulling a wagon down commercial st with the younger one + a big container of lemonade sitting inside. the little one is -SCREAMING- "lemonade for sale! 50 cents!" in a really insane sort of voice. i had no idea what she was saying until it had passed my ears like 6 times. and her lemonade was pretty good too! i tried to capture them on video but, of course, they ran out of lemonade just as i was ready to record them. i might have caught her once, we'll see. we joked with them that they probably make more money than bridget and i do at our boring jobs, and i wouldn't be surprised if that was the case... hmmm! hey brigid, want to run a couple kids out of business? i'm more than happy to pull the cart as long as your voicebox holds out. what do you say?

one of many moments to remember. but it's late and it's monday, so others will have to wait.
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it's pretty amazing to look back and see how the arch of your life can change so dramatically at a single moment. three years ago today is when bridget and i moved from being friends to starting a relationship. before this point we were both being a little coy and not looking to jump into something serious – or at least this was what i was thinking at the time. however, we just fell together in such a way that, after a pretty short period of time, i knew that we had started something beautful and unqiue, and more than anything else in my life, this was where i wanted to be. we just connected in so many different ways at the same time that i knew there was something good and real at the core of what we were experiencing. it’s amazing to me that after 3 years in some ways it still feels like 3 weeks; i still feel a little thrill when my day at work is done and we see each other again. it’s my favorite part of my day. i’m incredibly lucky to have found this person and can’t imagine my life without her. happy three years, and to countless more... i love you!
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this has been some exerpience, but i'm really excited for tomorrow for i come home and get to see b! about time! wish me safe travels!
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wow went for a long bikeride around hangzhou and the surrounding area. saw some ancient buddist temples (specifically this one), really humbling. lots of supernatural beings carved right into the surrounding rock formations. saw some -poor- sections of town, learned how to ride a bike like a local. only had one crash (bike to bike) but it was as amicable as things like this can be.

woo i'm hyped. hopefully dinner settles better with me than my lunch has the past few days. pictures when i get home!

wow wow wow

Jun. 2nd, 2005 08:00 pm
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so i'm in china now! too much to write about at the moment, but the west lake at 6.30am is just amazing. it's like all the best elements of mount auburn cemetary, the arboretum, jamacia pond, and decordova + lots of tai chi everywhere and people writing kanji in water with giant brushes on the road and not a single non-chinese person anywhere. wow, just an amazing place. tomorrow i'll get a bike and explore more fully. i just wish b was here to see this with me.

but now i've got a serious headache. time for coffee and whatever breakfast the shangri la has cooked up.
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as [livejournal.com profile] brigid mentioned, i have 2 star wars tickets for sale ($14 for both). they're for thursday morning (aka tomorrow) @ 11.30am. the tickets are for the fenway 13 in, well, the fenway. join the millions playing hooky, see what appears to be a kickass movie!
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good luck on your first day [livejournal.com profile] brigid! kick some financial booty!
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first off, thanks [livejournal.com profile] brigid for the new icon! nice to have these things prepared while you sleep. i wish that it showed off the bit of hair growing on my chin, but this one was the best of the bunch. i've temporarily retired the old freakish picture. but don't worry, i've still got a copy on my laptop, so when i stop cheaping out and start buying my LJ service, that one will definitely come back.

god that picture made me laugh for weeks. sad.

of course now that i have this nifty new icon, i need to post. i think this was her way to trick me into writing. well, it worked.

thinking about the things swirling in my life, there really is a lot that i could write about. for now, i'll just start with last night. first off, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mrzero for inviting me and [livejournal.com profile] lepidosiren for organizing the event. dinner was quite good; it's really rare that i end up at a fairly traditional steakhouse; nice to get back to basics. by the end of the meal i was full of cheese and meat and chocloate. no curry or wasabi or galangal or other foreign seasonings to challenge the tastebuds. just big slabs of quality foods. perfect in every way, of course. ;) plus i completed the trifecta of beer, wine, and 'the hard stuff' in one sitting. i think i could become a bit of a scotch snob. however, i don't think i will take it too far. the pragmatic side of me tends towards wine, since it's something that can be had with a meal and wine can be had for 1/4 the cost of a good bottle of scotch. still, i'm increasinly excited to open the bottle of 18 year benromach back home...

anyways, future drunkardness and poverty is not the point of this post. what is, is that it's interesting to spend some time with bridget's friends when she's not around. bridget and i get along very well in so many different ways. we spend large swaths of time together and i don't feel like parts of my personality are left wanting. plus, since we seem to enjoy most of the same things, it's pretty rare when one of us really wants to do social thing 'x' and the other would rather not paticipate. so, when a bachelor party comes up, it's one of those times when i'm off on my own. two things stuck with me from the experience:

- at first i noticed that a lot of what i was saying was somehow tied to bridget. not that it's not to be expected (i'd say 90% of my social existance involves her in some fashion), but eventually i found myself making a small conscious effort to talk about things or interact in a way that didn't bring her specifically into the discussion. while the past 3 years have really been wonderful, one area that i have not done so well with myself is personal growth. i feel like i'm pretty close to the same person i was 3 years ago, except that i have this wonderful person who is completely intertwined with my life. in some ways that's good; i like a lot about circa 2002 plankton and bridget makes me very happy. however, that's not all i want to be. in fact, i think my borderline obsessive amusement over the goatee and going to the gym is because i really haven't changed my appearance at all since bridget and i met. i dyed my hair black for years but stopped doing that in 2000. i feel like i was in a pretty serious transitional and growth period when we met, but that has slowed since we started dating. it wasn't a conscious effort to remain the person that makes our relationship work; i think i just stopped being so focused on my own life decisions and started to play things a little safer with my existance. but that's not the way to live and isn't really fair to either of us.

so yes, personal reflection through facial hair and slightly larger biceps, eh? i guess whatever it takes. what's nice is that this reflection can be accompanied by thoughtful powerful stroking of the beard, so i'm bound to come up with some pretty astounding realizations!

- it was nice to see that i can interact with these people on my own and feel like just another friend; not someone on the outside. i've felt like this is true for a while now but the opportunuties are almost nonexistant. in general i've never felt like i've been excluded or seen as a bystandard; any sort of outsider status is due more to my own occasional shyness and because i am walking into the middle of many long term friendships. however, i think the gap is shrinking and it's nice to feel like i'm existing on my own terms. there's still years of comfort and shared experience that i'll never have, but i'm happy to be a part of one important shared experience; last night.
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i've been meaning to post in LJ fora while but life has been rather busy and i haven't had the chance to gather my thoughts. ah well, for now you'll all have to wait and deal with this instead.

the fun little 3 of everything quiz! )
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