It’s Christmas Eve for a few more hours! So have a Merry one! In the spirit of watching movies set around Christmas, we ended up with Die Hard, a classic if there was one. It’s a perfect action movie that happens to be set at Christmastime, and we didn’t feel like watching Elf tonight, although that is my other favorite holiday movie.
I’ve got pics from this past weekend, as it was non-stop full of activity!
First up are some photos from Friday night, when we went over to Paras & Carey’s apartment in Hollywood. It was a lot of fun but one thing we did that I had never done or even thought of was lighting and releasing wish-lanterns over the 101 Freeway. I’m sure if a cop knew where these were coming from, we’d have been arrested. That didn’t happen though, so instead we got kind of a pretty neat sight, with these lights floating away over the 101 and towards downtown Hollywood. Pretty neat.
19 Dec 2014 – Wish-Lanterns
On Saturday afternoon, Larry & I drove down to Carlsbad to join in the festivities for the Sperske family held at my cousin Erin’s home. A big chunk of the family was there and we all ate like kings. It’s definitely nice to see family; it would be nice to see them more frequently, but I’ll take what I can get.
20 Dec 2014 – Sperske Christmas Fun
And now we’re back. This’ll be a short week, so yay. Yesterday when we got back, I finished up playing South Park: The Stick of Truth video game on my PC: soooo funny and kinda short, relative to other games, but well worth it.
That’s the title of one of Britney Spears’ new songs and if you say it just right, it is also highly juvenile yet HILARIOUS. I can’t believe one of her songs is titled that.
WELL! Here’s where things stand now that it’s 2009 –
- I now have TWO apartments and ONE house. I have officially become a real-estate mogul. Okay, that’s taking it a bit too far. But right now my name is associated with the Riverwalk apartment in Jersey, my soon-to-be swank UWS apartment, and my house in Colorado. Oy. A lesser person would pass out from the stress. Me? I just develop panic attacks! LOL.
- Concerning the oh-so-awesome new apartment, I got the keys last week before New Years. Before I went home to Los Angeles for Christmas (more on that later), I bought a new 52" Samsung flat-panel LCD TV which is effing AWESOME. I was going to buy it from Best Buy, but those bitches had a) the nerve to not have a delivery date for it before JANUARY 20 (yes, still in our future) and 2) not even have the TV I wanted in stock in any of the 6 stores around the NYC area and iii) I know I mixed up the listing increments. I did that for Jenny. She has a love of the Bart that is the ultimate in unrequited love so I thought I’d give it some appreciation. BWahahahahaqhahahahahahaha1!111111111!!!!!
- I ended up using Crutchfield.com and man, I wonder why anyone would buy big-ticket electronics anywhere else. I got the same price I would have paid for a lesser TV for the much higher-end model, FREE shipping, and no sales tax. SahhhhWEEET. They ended up delivering that this past Friday (Jan 2nd) to my empty apartment. And it is awesome to behold. I also bought from Crutchfield a matching TV stand and Larry & I built that yesterday and today, having fair to satisfactory success. I say that because the floor in my apartment is not what one would call ‘level’. It took a bit of work to make it okay. But once I put a lot more stuff in the place, it won’t look wrong.
- Yesterday we went to Macy’s where I bought a new couch since I had sold all my previous couches before moving away from Colorado. I got a Macy’s card and got it on 12-months same-as-cash, which is YAY! Free shipping on the couch too, which is a 4-pc sectional. Comfy. I’ll get that this upcoming Friday, after…
- …the movers come move me out of my current digs in West New York! I set that up for Thursday which is all sorts of stress-inducing for me. I hate moving with a passion. I wish it was just over. It soon will be, but still. Hate it.
- So come this upcoming weekend – well, I think I’ll have a pretty fucking awesome place.
- Christmas in Los Angeles! Yes – I flew back to Los Angeles from the 23rd through to the 28th. It was so great to get back home and see Mom and Harv, as well as a whole lot of other friends and family.
- The first day back, Harv picked me up and for dinner Mom had got us El Pollo Loco!!!!! I heart El Pollo Loco and really wish it existed out here in NYC, just like I wish the Noodles chain from Colorado Springs was out here too. <sigh>
- The first family outing was on Christmas Eve when we partook in the Sperske annual Christmas Eve celebration, although many of the cousins/kids didn’t make it this year, so it was a relatively quiet time. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have a good time though seeing all my aunts and the cousins who did show up. It’s always fun when this family gets together!
- On Christmas Day, we went over to our friends EB & Andrea’s house in Monrovia, and of course had EB’s world-famous prime rib. I ate far too much and literally had a food headache after getting back home that night. It’s a good thing, but not really. But it was so delicious!
- The day after Christmas, I got to spend some time with my buds Mila and Sveta. Mila came over in the early afternoon and picked me up and we began our Memory Tour ’08 in style, first going to Target. Mila likes to pretend she celebrates Christmas and definitely enjoys the after-Christmas sales on all holiday items. Then we went to BURGER BASKET(!) which is one of our cherished childhood places to eat. We would eat there all….the….time. We also swung by MHS and took some pictures (all my pictures are still on my camera for a little bit longer – sorry!). We then headed out to North Hollywood where Sveta lives and we crested the Hollywood Hills and drove around West Los Angeles and ate at our spot, The Stinking Rose ( a great garlic-y restaurant). It is never a dull moment with all of us together. I really really hope those two can make it out to visit me this spring. It would be redonk. After dinner we drove around some of the Hobie highlights, including around and in UCLA and Westwood as well as various locales throughout Los Angeles. It was so strange to see that Bookstar Beverly Connection was actually gone and replaced by an Old Navy!!!!!!!
- Finally on Saturday, we met up with some of Harv’s brothers and sisters-in-law at Mimi’s Cafe which was awesome as I hadn’t seen them for literally five years. Then that afternoon my stister Stacie and her husband Phil and two of their boys came over for some Christmas fun.
- As you can see, it was non-stop and it was EXHAUSTING. I loved it, but seriously, that was not what anyone could call ‘relaxing’.
- And of course, New Year’s in New York! This year was a whole lot better than last year’s (and the year before that, and so on and so on…..) as one, I had someone to kiss that wasn’t family or a friend. Two, it wasn’t spent alone, which I’ve done far too many times to count as an adult. Third, it was a blast to celebrate it in New York City. Shelly’s co-worker (and our friend, of course) Claudia had invited us to where her husband, Gualti, is the head chef at, a restaurant called Revel, in the Meatpacking District. So Shelly, Larry, and I went along with Claudia and it was a great time. It was definitely cold as hell outside, and I feel bad for those poor schmoes who felt that Times Square was their place to be to ring in the new year. No gracias. But inside the restaurant, where we had a full four-course meal and fantastic wine, the atmosphere was fun and exciting. And warm. It was nice to not be crammed into a place where you can’t even sit. It was especially nice to be amongst friends and of course, Larry. So yes, I hope this New Year’s celebration was a sign of good things to come.
- These last few days, it’s just been a matter of getting everything lined up for the move. The TV is there and the cable guy was there this morning hooking up my high-speed internet and HD-DVR service. Yay! Thursday will be moving and Friday I’ll get a couch. Saturday night is the loft party!!! Be there or be square (this is what cool people say when they throw parties….) Larry & I even cleaned the windows today – ugh, those bad boys were Le Filthy.
Normally I do a wrap-up of the year, and I think I still will. Probably tomorrow. But I at least wanted to let you know I was still kicking around and hope that everyone is doing well too. Here’s to a fantastic 2009!!
I did this last year and it’s kind of fun to reminisce and really think about what happened in my life this past year. ESPECIALLY this year.
I guess before I begin – and this may be a long post, so you have been warned, I’ll post my holiday pictures up from my trip back home to Los Angeles for Christmas. It was really wonderful to see the whole famn damily after 3 years of being a no-show at the typical Christmas festivities. It was definitely a brief trip and accordingly exhausting as I left here on Saturday night and got to LA about 2 in the morning on Sunday. We had Stacie and her family over that evening so there was really no rest for the wicked to be had. It’s always a blast to catch up with stister Stacie and it’s like things are always the same between us. Then the next day was Christmas Eve with the Sperskes, which has been a tradition as long as I’ve been alive or at least as long as i remember. Again, seeing the whole family with all the young generation around is crazy. I used to be the Baby of these gatherings – but I guess when the baby is now 31, that title has to be passed on eventually! I am really glad I went home, if even for a short time. Just hanging out at home with Mom and Harv was so nice. But this was a short trip and after spending Christmas day pretty lowkey with going over to the Jensens (my first time partaking in EB’s fantastic Christmas Prime Rib – awesome!), I headed back to New Jersey the day after Christmas. And so this week at work was a whopping two days but they were fairly busy for me as I’m trying to teach myself Oracle Reports based on other completed results and while that is a very good place to start (cue ‘Do Re Mi’…), it doesn’t quite get me up to the speed I need to be at. So my work laptop has been brought home to continue the working/learning. Anyways, that’s a brief recap of this week. You are free to leave at this point if you want as the rest is basically pics of family that probably only family will enjoy and then a long recap of this year that I’m sure will leave some asleep at the keyboard and others going WTF? and some going, “well, did he Really need to say that there?” And to all of that, I say, ‘this is my page and I can write pretty much whatever the hell I want!’ (For you Arielle fans, I’ve got nothing more for you either!)
23 & 24 Dec 2007 – Christmas in Los Angeles
Well, I guess there’s no time like the present to begin my 2007 recap!
- Okay, well, hmmm….I have things that I want to write about but where do I start off? 2007 felt like a very LONG year. I guess at the beginning of 2007, I was hopeful. I knew that 2007 would be the year I finally got free from the Air Force, but I’d have to put in 8 more months of it before I earned that freedom. So I put on my Determined Face and was ready to be the Flight Commander of SCB for what I figured would be at least till the summer when Melissa would take over for me once she put on the rank of Captain. Alas, that little daydream didn’t pan out as expected. Around sometime in mid-January, the squadron leadership tells me that they’re excited about the fact that I’ll be stepping up to take over as deputy sq cc for a month or so and that Melissa will take over in February…. WTF? I was so pissed. Especially when that house of cards fell apart and I basically got left with nothing to do. For the remaining 6 months. A new phrase was coined during that time: Bitch Don’t Care. You can interpret that in many ways, and you’d be right in EVERY interpretation with regards to that situation. But it was hilarious that I muttered that under my breath and Melissa called me out on it – don’t misinterpret that as I was not directing it at Melissa at all but she heard it and now the phrase took on a life of its own. It was awesome.
- Here’s a sort of awkward one to write about, but it certainly was a big part of my life the first half or so of this year. I finally had a true best friend again: Jeremy. It was an awesome time for a while. And then of course life, being life, says things must change. And Jeremy went off to find happiness and work satisfaction, but that wasn’t in Colorado Springs. And I lost my best friend. I hope this doesn’t make any of my other friends think that I don’t care about them, but I’ve had very few true best friends. Before Jeremy, it was Jason back at Lajes. In Las Vegas I never really truly had a best friend but a few great ones. In Colorado Springs there is/was a great group of us that I consider awesome great lifelong friends but Jeremy was the one who fit the mold I guess of being in the Best category. So when he left, it was pretty sucky. And to be honest, it was one of the prime motivators for me to leave Colorado Springs. I’m sure I could have searched harder to stay in CS, but I didn’t. I decided it was time for me to get where I needed to go…wherever that was. And I’m sure that was/is flawed thinking because even if Jeremy had stayed, it would have been foolish to have aimed at staying there as while Jeremy and I were good buds, it’s not exactly likely a great guy like him is going to stay single for long and at that point, I become the ‘extra’ around, which is how I basically felt my status was near the end of my time in CS anyways as everybody had basically coupled up. And since we all know now which way I am, that kind of left me on the outside looking in.
- I guess the screamingly obvious one for this year would have to be coming out. After the awkward way things happened in October of 2006 when Jeff and Susan found out (don’t get any bad or weird thoughts – I wasn’t caught in the act or something – but it certainly was not exactly the way I had imagined things to have gone that’s for sure) I really had no clear idea of what was going to happen next. Turns out that Oct 06 while stressful was exactly what needed to happen for me. In April when my Mom and Harv came out, I told them. That was one of the scariest things I ever had to do. I can vividly remember that entire day and I’m sure I will for the rest of my life. They of course were awesome about it and that alone helped so much. I don’t know what I would have done if they had rejected me. But looking back at that time as well as basically the past few years, everyone who knows admits they weren’t really surprised and kinda figured. Usually those words exactly. It’s probably my awesome ability to dress myself which gave me away…. I’m so glad that it’s done with, but now it’s just a whole new set of things I have to learn and adjust to. I’ve never dated as an adult and so a lot of this stuff is so new I feel like a damned retard.
- Finding a new job. Yeah, leaving the Air Force was great but I knew that I had to have my act together to make sure the transition period had as minimal unemployment time as possible as I know that I’d go crazy not having somebody pay me to be there. So this summer was definitely an exciting time of traveling the country (Chicago, San Diego, New York City) looking for jobs. Through the recruiters and agencies I used I learned a HELL of a lot on how to effectively interview and do resumes etc. I guess something worked. But I have to say that sending that one email to Rob Hemker saying I wasn’t interested in going to Houston for another hiring conference was the single-most important email I may have ever sent so far in my life. I had just come back from San Diego (which was a week or so after Chicago) and I realized that those two conferences had been major wastes of time for me (ultimately). The experience I gained from interviewing was certainly good, but the actual positions I was interviewing for were not at all anything I was interested in. So the idea of going to Houston was not appealing. I had just flown back in to CS that morning and I was at my laptop trying to be productive in my job search as I realized then and there that I had to change my hunting strategies somehow. First and foremost was being direct and honest with these recruiters who were constantly calling me with more conference invites. First up: Rob from JROfficer.com. I sent him a polite email expressing my thoughts and literally 10 minutes later I get a call from him. And the rest is history as one of the first jobs offered for my pursuit was the NBC one and well, I guess we see how that went.
- Leaving Colorado Springs. You may think that from that paragraph a few back that I couldn’t wait to leave once Jeremy left. You’d be wrong. Jeff, Susan (my Grace!), KD, Eric, Melissa, Erin…. these are all great friends that made life in Colorado Springs awesome. A true circle of friends that I feel honestly blessed to have had as it hadn’t been since Lajes that something like that had existed for me. Once I actually got an offer from NBC and after a day or so of pondering the offer and accepting it, the realization came over me that I was WILLINGLY starting over, once again. And I wouldn’t have any friends out there nor a built-in network of military to depend on. That’s one thing that is great about the military community – you can almost always find a few in your built-in rank circle that are awesome to hang out with. And since everyone in the military always moves around, they understand where you’re coming from when you’re the new guy and don’t have established friends there. It’s up to you how good of friends you want to get with these new friends, but it’s nice to have that option there (unless you go to Vegas and your ‘peergroup’ deems you unworthy of association…. thank God for fraternization!!!!). So basically saying, okay, not only am I going to leave Colorado Springs, I’m going to go where I know basically no one. Great. It sucked to leave. Those last few days spent with my friends were really painful and sad for me. But once I got on the road, I knew I had to just look forward and not dwell too much on what I was leaving behind. I’ll always keep in touch with those guys but it certainly isn’t the same not having them around to drink with, eat with, go see movies with, etc.
- Leaving my HOUSE!!!! I still look at pictures of my house every now and then and get bummed. I tried to sell it because I’d rather have a clean break, but with the real estate market as it is, that didn’t happen. Fortunately my property management company found a renter a few days after I left and they’ve signed a two-year lease, which is awesome. But still, my house!!! I miss having my TV room. I miss the porch out back. I miss my garage. I miss my awesome kitchen/bar area. I miss my dining room. I miss my redone bathroom. It sucks just writing this. That house was totally mine and it was pretty much just how I wanted it. But now it’s gone, all my furniture is pretty much sold and gone except that which I took with me. Now I wanna drink. <sigh>
- Summer with my Dad and Pat. It was weird – I didn’t know what to think of my Dad and Pat coming out to Colorado Springs for the summer. I was excited but it had been so long since I’d lived within any reasonable proximity to parents. Las Vegas was close to LA, but that’s still 2.5 hours away from LA. So having actual parents around to go have an impromptu dinner with was nice. I loved having them around, and having them over for dinner on the weekends was nice, as it felt great to have company that was actual family there. And then dropping by in the mornings down at the KOA camp before ‘work’ (which at this point was merely a place that I had to make an appearance at – although I probably could have skipped that too in all reality) and have breakfast. They left about a few weeks before I did and that just added to the sadness of leaving CS. I’m glad that I got this opportunity as honestly, that was the first time spent with my Dad on that regular of a basis in… well, I have no idea. It was just nice.
- Becoming a New Yorker/Jersey Boy. I have to pay taxes to both of them so why not claim both as heritage???? New York has definitely been an incredible experience. Working at NBC and Rockefeller Center with a great group of people. Lucking out into an incredible living situation with a wonderful roommate. Doing the tourist thing in the biggest city in the world. Dating. It’s crazy. I’m still working on trying to create a new circle of friends to hang out with here, but it’s not easy going in that regards. Dating has slowed down to non-movement so it’s been kind of a lonely month except for going home. It’s my fault I guess, but frankly I don’t know how much energy I have. And this month in New York is ridiculous with tourists, so I’m really not spending much time in the city as it’s just too aggravating. I’m looking forward to relatively calm January and February to resume my exploration of the city as otherwise I’m gonna commit murder. You should have seen the ridiculousness of this past Friday as I was going home. 49th St was literally CLOGGED with tourists – they were literally walking in the middle of 49th and blocking traffic. I have NEVER seen it this crowded yet. I knew then and there that waiting for the Ferry bus would be pointless as the bus itself wouldn’t be able to move. So I walked it from 49th St/5th Ave to 39th St/12 Ave. It was actually a great night for it as it wasn’t too cold but navigating through the area around Rockefeller Center and Times Square was ludicrous. Once I got to the 9th Ave/Hells Kitchen area, it was a lot calmer and I walked by a quite a few of the places I’ve been, remembering the good times I’ve had there. So yeah, New York has been fun and while it’s a lull right now, I fully anticipate January to resume what Oct and Nov were like.
Okay, that’s probably not exactly all the Greatest Hits but it is a fairly accurate recap of the biggest things that happened to me this year. I just finished rewatching Season 3 of LOST on DVD and when Charlie writes down his 5 ‘Greatest Hits’ in his life before he is about to die, it got me thinking that I don’t even know what would be my 5. But that led me to think smaller and at least think of what happened in 2007. So there you go. If I don’t write again until 2008, I hope everyone has had a fantastic 2007 and has a safe New Years Eve. I will NOT be in Times Square this year as I just don’t have the motivation to go by myself there and suffer needlessly. I’ll be safe and warm at home with easy access to a bathroom which is what those thousands of people will NOT be able to say. And my booze is a lot cheaper to drink then out there!
Happy New Year and see you in 2008.
Yep, it’s my Dad’s birthday today! I tried calling but I think he went to sleep early!!!
Alright, here I am and I am back for a little bit. It has been crazy at work and then this past weekend, well, I wasn’t what you would call busy…at all. So I really didn’t have anything to write about and work is interesting but it’s not exactly going to translate well here.
Hope you all have been taking care of your christmas shopping – I sent out my Christmas cards this weekend (one of the MANY exciting things I did this weekend – you have no idea how bored I was…. but I guess at least I took care of stuff – and the weather was crap, so that helped justify me staying indoors). That’s about all I did in terms of festiveness. No decorations went up as I didn’t feel like unpacking the fake Christmas tree I bought last year. Because I’ll be IN Los Angeles for Christmas, so why bother?! Can’t wait to do that, but I found out I’ll have to bring my work laptop with me just in case. This job is a 24/7 job and damn you people who insist that TV go on even on holidays!!!!! What the hell is that about??? And like my boss reminds me often, “We couldn’t be fired enough times to make up the money lost if even one commercial doesn’t air right…” I feel so valued. 😉
Anyways, my main catalyst for updating today was because I have some pictures to share from today, as today was NBC Media Works’ Holiday Party. Since there are far too many of us in this particular group there’s no way to have done an evening affair, so it was done as a lunchtime event in the Saturday Night Live studios. Last time I was in the studio for the Town Hall meeting, I forgot my camera. Not this time, bitches. So I got some pictures today and I think they turned out pretty cool – feast your eyes below. It’s still pretty neat to say I hung out in the SNL studios, I gotta say.
19 Dec 2007 -Â NBC Media Works Holiday Party in the SNL Studio 8H
If I don’t manage to update before I take off for LA, I hope everyone’s holidays are stellar! I’ll see you when I get back next Wednesday!