Saturday, December 31, 2005
2K5: The Year in Review
Every TV channel, radio station and blog take a look at the previous year around New Year's Eve, so I thought that I would do the same. After all, this has easily been the most incredible year of my entire life, so I'd be remiss if I didn't take a few minutes to look back at it, month by month.
This was a month of ups and downs for me personally. On the down note, I got the worst annual review from my boss that I have ever had in my entire life. As a result, my annual bonus was cut in half, and my give-a-damn was surely broken for a while. On the upside, I had to fly from snowy New England to sunny Tampa to get the review in person. It was only supposed to be for two days, but through a series of unfortunate company events, I stayed for a week. Bonus that I got to stay with The Jewish Elvis and his wife.
Love was in the air as we took a much needed mini-vacation to Lake George for Valentine's Day and Mrs. Flounder's birthday. On the downside, the NHL officially cancelled the 2004-2005 season. Short month, so I'll keep it short.
For about the 10th year in a row, I was unable to get Jimmy Buffett tickets through the last remaining monopoly, Ticketbastards. In their infinite wisdom, they put tickets for Buffett in Boston on sale at the same time that they put tickets on sale for U2 in Hartford. The line at Filene's was about 50 deep, and I was ninth. I was sitting pretty, or so I thought. The first two people in line asked for U2 tickets, which Ticketmaster changed the sale time to 10:15 without informing their merchants. Once the smoke settled and the merchant got a clue, only one person got Buffett tickets, and no one got U2 tickets. Uggh!
Redemption was in the air as Buffett announced a show at Mohegan Sun, just 30 minutes from my house. I called them and found out that they were not going to allow tailgating, so I decided to pass. A Buffett concert without tailgating is like pizza without cheese; Good, but missing the best part.
Softball season begins! This was my first year as a non-playing coach for my church team in the CSA. We were 2-1 after three games, our first time over .500 in team history. But the schedule got rougher and we went on a four game losing streak. Also, the Big Boned Barbecue team began NEBS competition at the RI State BBQ Championship. We competed in all four categories pork shoulder, chicken, pork ribs and brisket, taking home a 9th place ribbon for the brisket. Not bad for a rookie team, eh?
The Big Boned team was at it again, this time at the New Hampshire State BBQ Championships in Merrimack. This time we took fifth place in grilled fish and third place in brisket. The following week, Mrs. Flounder and I took a cruise to Bermuda on the Norwegian Majesty out of Boston. The cruise over and back was very calm, and the weather was absolutely perfect! We even brought home a souvenir that didn't need to clear customs!
On July 7th, we got the most incredible news of our lives; We're expecting! After five years of trying, fertility testing, failed fertility treatments and countless ovulation and pregnancy tests, it finally happened. Those in Bermuda will swear it was either the fish chowder or the moongate wishes, but we know that it was simply God's perfect timing! We figured the conception date was Father's Day. Tres ironic, eh? Amazingly, I even scored Buffet tickets for his show in Philly at face value!
This was possibly the busiest month of my entire life. It started with my the merciful end to our softball season, losing the first two games in the playoff tournament. Then on to my father's Lion's Club annual fund raiser at the Log Cabin in Margate, NJ. The next day, I was on a plane to Baton Rouge for work, but managed to sneak in an afternoon of drinking hurricanes at Pat O'brien's and eating beignets in New Orleans, just ten days before Katrina hit. I flew back into Philly for one last night with the boyz at Maloney's Tavern. Two days later, I was back on a plane to Tulsa for work, but flew back to Philly for the Buffett show on 8/27. Whew, I'm tired just remembering that month!
We celebrated our 8th anniversary at The Capital Grille, where my pregnant wife was just miserable because she could not get her steak the way she normally eats it, bloody as hell. All was forgiven when they brought out the Creme Brulee', though. We refinanced our house too, paving the way for Mrs. Flounder to be a stay-at-home mom.
Big Boned BBQ hits paydirt! We took first place at the Cape Cod Classic for pork shoulder. It was one of the coldest nights I have ever spent outdoors, but it was worth it. In the biggest news of the month, we found out that our baby is a boy! From the ultrasound, I could tell that he will be a left-handed quarterback when he grows up. And finally, much to my delight, the NHL returned to the ice with the new look Philadelphia Flyers!
This month started out with an announcement that my company had been sold to one of our competitors. Fear and anxiety quickly followed. At this point, my job status is still uncertain, but I am confident that God will continue to provide. In any case, I am sure that I will be mentioning this again in the blog.
The month that this blog was born. It could be an historic occasion, or not. We traveled down to Ventnor for a short visit to the Flounder family for Christmas. I had Wawa coffee and White House subs, but my favorite restaurant, Angelo's Fairmount Tavern, was closed. As Meatloaf said, "Two out of three ain't bad"!
Well, that's it. A year in my life, and it took me three days to write it all up. Here's looking forward to 2006. May it blow 2005 away! Cheers!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Home, Sweet Home
After a great weekend at home with family for Christmas, it was nice to get back home. Every time I go down there, I remember that the Jersey shore is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there again.
Not that I have anything against the place where I grew up, in fact, I feel just the opposite. I truly love it down there, but the reality of the present never meets my expectations that have developed from past experiences. I know that area has changed over the years, and I am sure that I have changed, too. But going back there really slaps me in the face with all of those changes, and I do not like change. Not even a little.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
It's My Birthday, My Buh Buh Buh Birthday!
I've started thinking back on birthdays past, and there were some very significant ones:
- 1986 - I got my driver's license, and I never even had to parallel park during the test! The Super Granada awaited my mad driving skills!
- 1990 - I celebrated my 21st birthday with 7 rounds of "One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer" at Maloney's and the Greenhouse. I don't remember much after round 4, and it was fun going in to valet park cars at the Trop the next morning smelling like Foster Brooks.
- 1996 - I proposed to Nicole, and surprisingly, she said yes.
- 2004 - I officially became a member of the 35-49 year old demographic.
And now 2005, my first birthday as an expectant father. Today is also the last day of my wife's employment outside the home, as she has been promoted to "Domestic Engineer" of the Flounder household. Seems like the older that I get, the more good things keep happening to me.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
- I need a creative outlet other than my wife. I assure you that she has grown tiresome of my schtick.
- I truly believe that someone, somewhere will benefit from a random thought that I am having. Even if it just brings a smile to their face for a moment. Go ahead, call me a narcissist.
- I guess that you would call it a "midlife crisis", though I think that I am too young to be considered middle aged. Bottom line is that I can't afford the Corvette that would cure most men of this!
- Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son. I don't drink like I used to, so the "drunk" is out, but I can truly feel myself getting more and more stupid every day. I don't read enough and I never write anything anymore, so a blog is really a brain exercise for me. Ok, I'm still fat.
- I just bought a kick ass new computer, and there is only so much free cell one man can play.
- I haven't met any new people in quite a while. Though this isn't exactly Interpersonal Relationship 101, it is certainly a new community that I am happy to be part of.
- I am curious how I relate to people around the country and the world. I think that I am an "ordinary average guy", but maybe I am actually an extremist or radical.
I am sure that there are other reasons that I will discover over time. But for now, welcome to my blog!
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