Category Archives: Most Wonderful Girl

An Odder Week Than Usual…


Today’s Music: The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright

So here’s the latest from my corner of the world…
- My boss of the last several years has quit. His last day is this week.
I had a conversation with my new boss. I asked who was my backstop if an issue comes up that I can’t deal with. His response was to kick it along the line to the people taking over. So, great that it isn’t my responsibility, but I’ve spent the last several years with my company before we were bought.
From what I understand, there hasn’t been much of a brain dump from my boss to the new overlords. Which means all the institutional knowledge my boss holds is about to walk out the door.
I don’t mind change, and we have a great product, now under the umbrella of a multinational company, so it can be taken that much farther. And it would be nice to stick around and grow with the new company.
Plus taking a new job is always a pain in the ass. but I’m still waiting to see if we’re all just interchangeable cogs in the machine, or if this is actually an environment I feel like coming to daily.
Jury is still out on that…

Mine is the one that stands out. Obviously.

Mine is the one that stands out.
Obviously.


- After reading stories from CurvyRoads and REDDog, as well as a ton of great pics from Gray Dawster, I’ve decided to actually go and get my motorcycle license. Hopefully, I’ll have my permit soon, then it’s off to the Motorcycle Safety class and a whole bunch of riding lessons. I had an old Suzuki GS 750 decades ago, but never got around to getting a license. I figured this time I’d do it properly.
My wife, (The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe), is still very against me getting a bike (NYC driving is a full contact sport), but I’d like to be able to rent when we’re in more motorcycle friendly areas.
Plus riding a bike down the Pacific Coast Highway is on my list of things to do.
You know what would look good on this? Me.

You know what would look good on this?
Me.


- I still haven’t heard from Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I can only guess that they are trying to sort through the list of all the kids that want to hang out in my awesomeness. I’ll follow up with them later this week and see where that stands.
My work is halfway done already...

My work is halfway done already…


- The model railroad looks a bit like a cross between Three Mile Island, and the Manhattan High Line railroad before they turned it into a park: a mess.
I’m trying to decide whether to just rip up and re-lay all the track, or strip it down to the wood and start again. Either way, I really need to learn how to solder.
If anyone knows any good tips or instruction sources, I’d really appreciate it.
Clearly, I'm modeling the latest tsunami/earthquake/nuclear explosion.

Clearly, I’m modeling the latest tsunami/earthquake/nuclear explosion.


- I took today off (late night last night), and Friday is a day off too. More time with TMWGITU!
Woohoo!
Rings
And around it goes…

How’s your week looking?

On A Dime…


Today’s Music: Soulive – Soul Serenade

I’m sitting back at home right now. I’m pretty relaxed. The errands and chores for the day are pretty much done.
I’ve had some time to poke around the web, read some blogs, laugh at twitter.
I’m listening to some good music.

Yes. That grumpy.

Yes. That grumpy.


My week didn’t start off that good. NYC was ridiculously hot and humid for about a week, and everyone was just miserable. I had Trombone Shorty tickets Monday night, with Soulive opening, promising to be a good show.
Soulive was great. Trombone Shorty was on fire. The crowd (as it did most of the times I’ve been to Central Park Summerstage) sucked.
It’s a personal thing, but my friends and I go to concerts to see the music, not to try and talk loudly over the music and pretend the venue is our living room.
Then it started to rain hard. So we left about twenty minutes into Trombone’s set.
Tuesday was a pain in the ass – email problems, computer problems, Big Red having issues with his computer stemming from the fact that he doesn’t know how to read what’s on the screen, other people having problems because obviously the instructions to do this and not that don’t apply to them because they’re special.
I kept thinking that the best solution would be to just throw their computer in the river, with them right behind it.
Wednesday was the same. New coworker thinks his job is 8 to 5. So any testing or maintenance or other work on weekends isn’t his problem.
I don’t mind doing the work because it has to be done, but it would be nice if there was someone to split the load with.

I was grumpy.
Office
Then I got to Thursday.
I had a doctor’s appointment at 0930, and since I’d be out all morning, I figured I’d take the rest of the day as a mental health day.
My wife (The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe asked if she should take the day off too.
Sure! I said, with one condition – it couldn’t be a chore day, and we had to go out and play.
She agreed (there’s a reason she’s TMWGITU!).

So we made a reservation to go stand up paddleboarding in lower Manhattan (Pier 40) in the early afternoon. Because it was late when my appointment ended, we drove in. On the way, it started raining. then it started raining harder.
We found a spot as the rain dwindled away and made it to the place (N.Y. Kayak).
25 minutes later, we were changed, on the dock, and ready to slide the boards into the water and shove off.
In we went. Kneeling as we paddled out, I felt the beginnings of a smile on my face.
10 minutes later, I stood up, took two strokes and with a shout of “GOING ON!!!” completely lost my balance and flopped backwards into the Hudson River off West Street.
I surfaced with a big grin on my face, no trace of grumpiness, and pleasantly untensed shoulders.
And my mood turned on a dime.

That's fun right there!

That’s fun right there!


The rest of the day was a blur of fun – two hours in the water, finishing with a fantastic foray into the river itself, with a current fast enough that it was all I could do to paddle and keep my place…a trip to Chelsea Market for one of the best burgers I’ve had in a while (it was a lamb burger, but still, delicious!) and a delicious bottle of ice cold American Ale (this wasn’t gluten free, but apparently that’s available these days too), followed by some incredible freshly made mini donuts and then a stroll along the Highline park, built on an old elevated freight line along 10th avenue.
My mood couldn’t be broken, not even when the guy from NY Kayak called and told me I’d left our bag of wet clothes behind. We laughed as we flew back down to get it.
Grumpy? Yeah, I can fix that...

Grumpy? Yeah, I can fix that…


Friday was a quiet day. Dealt with whatever came up (which wasn’t much), mostly sat at my desk and caught up on blogs. Then for the evening, we went out for a nice dinner and saw a great set by Paula Poundstone, along with a few bottles of the ever satisfying Rogue Dead Guy Ale, a beer that will always have a special place in my heart.

Now I’m sitting at my computer writing this, and in a few minutes, I’ll pick up my guitar and a beer (Blue Moon, I think) and spend a quiet evening with my girl.
I don’t know when the next time I’ll get to go out for an adventure, but I’ll start planning another mental health day as soon as I feel the grumps coming on.

Makes me wonder, how do you deal with them?

The Obligatory Valentines Day Post


Today’s Music: Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend

“Buy roses.”
“Buy Chocolate!”
“SHE WON’T BELIEVE YOU LOVE HER UNLESS YOU BUY A LOAD OF CRAP!!!”

Meh.
BurntHeart
Things I really don’t like about Valentines Day:
- Anyone that ever grew a flower for money
- Some of the music that is repurposed. Fiona Apple transcribed for harp and clarinet does not give me the warm fuzzies
- The franticicity. In all sincerity, love should be celebrated.
Every. Single. Day. I don’t understand why there’s such freneticness around a manufactured holiday. Seriously, stuff starts showing up now the day after Christmas.
- Hallmark. The perfect words for that special someone. One point eight million special someones. Stop monetizing my emotions.
And they’re never stacked with the right size envelopes.

Things I love about Valentines Day:
- I cherish and adore The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe. All the time.
Valentines Day is when my behavior looks absolutely normal.
(Actually, it’s the only day my behavior looks absolutely normal.)
(Except for Dia De Los Muertos, but that’s a different post…)
- With a little bit of cleverness, it’s easy to avoid all the other crazies.
RedHeart
I’ll try to leave work on time tonight. That should get me home a little before TMWGITU. I’ll have time to spread the blanket in the living room, set up some other effects (she reads this blog, so I can’t be too specific), and get ready for our mid-winter picnic.
I’ll get in the kitchen and start cooking. We have fresh mozzarella, creme fraiche, salmon and cherry tomatoes.
It will be delicious.
While the salmon is in the oven, I’ll make the whipped cream. It will have a smidge of vanila and a dash of sugar.
All of that will fit nicely in the desert pastry shells.
She’ll get home, and I’ll help her out of her coat, give her a kiss and a long hug.
I’ll tell her that I love her, several times, even though she already knows. It’s written on my face and everything I do.
Maybe I’ll pour her a drink, maybe just a soda.
We’ll sit on the blanket and share a meal prepared with love, and eaten with love.
I’ll tell her I love her a bunch more times.
At some point, I’ll slide in behind her and give her a back rub.

After that, who can say
(We both have to work Friday, so probably just go to sleep next to each other and wake up next to each other)
(She’ll probably steal the blankets.)
(Again.)

The only difference between tomorrow and a regular day will probably be that tomorrow, everyone is in a tizzy of love, instead of just us…

More about The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe (because some is just not enough…)


Today’s Music: Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
Days Til Spring: 34

(This is continued from yesterday’s post)

When it came time to plan our wedding, we both had exactly the same ideas:
- It should be small, so we could enjoy the time with our guests
- It should cost less then the downpayment on a good house
- It should be…unique.

We checked out a
Farm Museum. They include a hayride!
Central Park Carousel. Beautiful, but small, and for a place with fake horses, it smelled a lot like real horses.
Top of the Rock (Rooftop observation deck of Rockefeller Center). Great view, but what would it cost?

It turns out that renting Top of the Rock is $25k. Before food,band, or anything really. Just for the space.
And not even the good space. It’s for an enclosed terrace with a very limited view.
The manager must have seen our crestfallen expression and taken pity on us.
“Of course, if you wanted to”, she went on, “you could just by tickets for the observatory for you party and just show up. the only condition would be” – we held our breath – “you couldn’t block off the space from other visitors,
and you couldn’t bring a professional photographer”.
We looked at each other. No professional and random strangers wandering through our wedding?
PERFECT!!!

The view from the wedding altar


Once we started, the staff couldn’t have been nicer. They did gave us some space on one end of the platform and thanked us at the end for picking their place to have our wedding.
The minister, on the other hand, had no idea what to do with us.
She was a non-denominational minister. Since my girl and I are of different faiths (and neither devout), we chose someone who could bring spirituality to the ceremony without dogma.
Poor woman.
She was hesitant to say “Mawwiage”, but all our friends caught the reference.
At one point during the ceremony, when my girl leaned over to kiss me, she told us (jokingly) to knock it off.
My girl’s response: “Have you met us?”
But she took it in stride when I stuck my tongue out at my girl (when she was telling the story of how my girl turned me down for the Harry Connick Jr date). Because she totally deserved it.
We got married on a Thursday. I took the day off and went in Friday.
Several of my wife’s co-workers took a long lunch and crashed the wedding. Her boss forced her to take Friday off too.

And I'm never letting go.


That was four years ago, eleven since we first started dating. Here are some snippets from our life together…
- Every night ends with the following (both of us say each line)
“Good night (pretty/handsome) (nickname)”
“Happy Valen-(nickname) -day”
“I love you”
I don’t think we’ve skipped more than a small handful of nights.
- I will poke her constantly. She retaliates by scratching my palms. Because that freaks me out.
- I will, when opportunity present itself, lick her nose. She will get back at me by slobbering my entire face.
- She keeps a spray bottle filled with water to squirt me with if I tickle her.
- I can count the number of yelling arguments we’ve had over the years on both hands. Without taking my mittens off.
- If she tells me seriously that I’m being a jackass, I will (after I shake off the frustration) think about and change what I’m doing.
- She has her own custom made action figure, commissioned by a friend.
- When my bungee jumping plans fell through, she found a place in Portland that was reliable.
- She knows how to tie a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue. I carried it in my wallet for years.
- She is the only person who has ever been able to get me to take care of my diabetes.
- I have gone to flower shows because she wanted to see them. (To be honest, she was right – they’re pretty cool).
- She is incredibly well read in history, fantasy and science fiction.
- I will never forgive her for referring to Hemmingway’s The Old Man And The Sea as “A Boy And His Fish”.
- She can quote Douglas Adams with the best of them.
- I love her so much that I have taken her to see both Depeche Mode and Pink live. And before you say “So?”, the Ting Tings opened for Pink. I would rather have gotten ringworm.
- Her only bridezilla moment was insisting we get married on our anniversary.
- My family likes her better than me.
- When separated in a large store, I will yell out “WIFE!” and listen for the answering “Husband!” (Because she has decorum and doesn’t bellow in public like I do.)
- She is queen of saying “Yes dear”.
- And sticking her tongue out at me. (He deserves it – TMWGITU)
- Sometimes, when she reads over my shoulder as I write these posts, she twists my ponytail into a knot. (Like now!)
- She bakes incredible scones. And turned me on to clotted cream.
- Starting a life with her is the smartest thing I ever did.
- Her choosing me is the best thing that ever happened to me
- If you were wondering, yes. The first year we were together, she took me to see Harry Connick Jr. Because she is that cool.

That’s about all I’m going to say. Because it’s been about 45 minutes of me playing on my machine, and I really want to go tell her I love her.
Bet I’ll get a kiss!

Happy Valentine’s Day, all. Have a great day no matter what you do, and every day after too.

The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe


Today’s Music: They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse In Your Soul
Days Til Spring: 35

A long time ago, I worked at the college bookstore.
There was a girl who worked there. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was the most wonderful girl in the universe.
We were friendly. We teased each other, flirted a bit, but nothing really came of it.
Along the way I developed a crush on her.
One day, I asked her out.
“Harry Connick Jr is playing”, I said. “Would you like to go?”
“No thanks” she answered. “I’m not really a fan”.
“Ok”

She filled in this part later on:
“One of my friends asked why I wasn’t going out with you. I told her that I didn’t really like Harry Connick.
‘You idiot’ she said. ‘He was asking you out on a date’. I didn’t realize it. Oops.”

In the course of our daily teasing, she handed me a piece of paper, with the following poem
The Lollipop
When you come to the end of a lollipop
To the end to the end of a lollipop,
Plop goes your heart.

For when you are through with it,
what can you do with it?
All you have left is a stick.

How can you doubt she was the girl for me?

Fast forward about 10 years or so. I had left restaurants, learned IT and just started a new job.
That very day, I had also moved in with a friend of mine.
So I’m sitting in this bar, at a reasonable hour, having a pint.
I distinctly remember thinking to myself “Ok, what next?”
And the door opened.
These two girls walked in. One of them was pretty cute, so I smiled.
And…she…waved…
I’ve done a lot of stupid things in a lot of different places over the years, and have often run into people who knew (or heard of me) and I had no idea who they were.
I was nervous that would be the case here.

But when she sat down and I looked more closely, I recognized and remembered her. And it was great.
We spent the rest of the night talking (her friend was across the bar talking to some people she knew). When it was time for her to go, I offered to give her a lift (It was ok, I’d just had the one pint).(And she has since cured me of drinking and driving)
I drove her home, and we spent the next couple of hours sitting in front of her home just talking.
Eventually I said I had to go (because I really had to pee), but before she left, I asked her out again.
“I’ll tell you the first naked bar dance story” I said.
“The first?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
“You pick the place”, I answered, realizing this might not have been the best lead-off. “Someplace you’re comfortable with lots of people around” I raised an eyebrow back at here. “You know, in case I’m insane”
“Oh, I know you’re insane” she said.
“No, I mean in a bad way”
We went out a few days later. Had a lovely meal. I told her some of my more…colorful stories. She told me hers.
We went for a walk in the neighborhood on a cool clear night.
We were talking about astronomy, stars, planets, constellations. I pointed out a constellation to her.
Where, she asked. I moved closer so she could sight along my arm. As I leaned down to describe the shapes, she looked up. And kissed me.

At the intersection of astronomy and astrology, Orion brings smooches!


It was a good date.

Some scenes along the way from there:
-”It’s my birthday. You can meet all my friends”. Oh joy. And it turns out her friends are just as cool as her. And are my friends now too.
-”Honey, if you want to build a model railroad, then you should.” it’s ten years later, and I’m still working on it, but she has never been anything but supportive.
-Me: “I’d like to take you out on your birthday”
Her”: “I’ll be in Atlanta”
Me: “That’s fine.Let me know where to meet you.”
Best. Daytrip. Ever.
-On a week in January a few years ago when I was having a wicked case of Cabin Fever: “Why don’t we go to Key West for a few days?”

So we were together for several years. One day, it bothered her that we weren’t married, because of the legal implications.
To me, she was my wife, and I her husband in every way but the paperwork. But she wanted to be married. So we went out to find a ring.
We went to a mall and she found the ring she liked. I handed the saleswoman the money and stepped to an empty counter while she boxed it up.
I pulled my girl over.
“Honey, we had lunch before, but not desert.”
I reached into my pocket and pulled out two napkins, laying them on the counter.
I took out a small bag of Oreos, two each, and portioned them on the napkins.
I went back into the pocket for a candle holder and candle.
I lit the candle.
My girl was both laughing and blushing deeply as we ate our cookies, looking deeply into each others eyes.
The saleswoman came over with the ring in a box as we finished the cookies.
I took the box.
“Honey”, I asked. “Will you marry me?”
Some onlookers started applauding and congratulating us. I ignored them.
Because she hadn’t said yes yet.
But then she did.

(This post is turning out way longer than I expected. Part two will go up on Valentines day. Or , at least I’ll try…)