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29 December 07   Greatest Hits 2007-style

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 07 - Christmas in Los Angeles

Mom and Harv are nuts. Here's next year's Christmas card photo....
Stacie and her son, Trent
Me and my stister Stacie!
Stacie, Charlie's Angel
Uncle Steve and Auntie Helen
Mom and Uncle JC
Cousin Erin and Mom
Erin, Mom and Cousin Cindy
Erin, Cindy, Aunt Lorraine, and Mom
Me and Cindy
Can't go a few pics without looking stupid, now can I?
Erin, Helen and Mom
Erin's son Finn as Christmas Spiderman
Lorraine and her grandson
Me and Erin
Me and Helen
Erin and Harv
Me, Helen and Erin
Aunt Mary and me
Lorraine and me
Mom and me
Helen's family
Erin, Eric and their kids
Me and Harv
Our little family!
Mom and Helen
Helen and Steve
Me, alone as usual at the gift table.

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.


19 December 07   Happy Birthday Dad!

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 07 - NBC Media Works Holiday Party in the SNL Studio 8H

This pic cracks me up - this is exactly how it looks when I come by. Arielle smiles, Joe glares.
Okay, Joe doesn't always glare. Just most of the times. :-)
That's Dan, the third member of the Morning Coffee Crew
And there's me!
And once again - I had to get full SNL coverage. This was up on the small band stage area.
Looking up at the chandelier that hangs over the band area
From the band stage, this is the view out
And again
Arielle returning with desserts only for herself. Selfish!
Another of me, on a higher ISO setting
And one more for Dan
A badly aimed self-portrait - well, unless you're an Arielle fan.
And here we actually got someone to take our picture
Me and the main studio floor
This is the band stage area for those who don't watch SNL

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!


10 December 07   Cue from Jenny

This YouTube video made me laugh out loud (that would be LOL for you newbies to the 'Internet'). And if you want to really laugh, go check out Jenny's site where she has put some HEEElarious videos up, including the first time she got drunk. She still acts like that, by the way. Seriously. Anyways, the cue from Jenny is because she's been posting lots of YouTube videos up, not because of the content of the video below!

This video is to help keep the heterosexual population from accidentally going gay. You can all thank me later for this valuable insight.

"Sweetie, pass the chips..." - again laughed out pretty loud at that one!

So my goal today was to have gone to the doctor this afternoon after working a half-day or so at the Englewood Cliffs/CNBC location. Well, I did the whole work thing for the first part of the day, and then I drove to my doctor using my trusty GPS. Well, my 'little bit racist' (see Avenue Q to get my reference) side came out when I realized that my doctor was smack dab in the hood of West New York, which is up on the palisades part of the city. You see, I live down by the river, and usually 'down by the river' implies the shady part of town. But alas, West New York likes to turn things on its ear, as you may have already surmised. First, the name of the city alone makes you think, "oh, it's in New York..." WRONG. "Ooooh, the Palisades, that sounds pretty..." WRONG. "ohhhhh, down by the river???" WRONG. All sorts of backwardsness, let me tell you. So anyways, once you go up top to the Palisades of West New York, which admittedly has an awesomer view of Manhattan than 'down by the river', you enter the poorer side of town. And as I realized I was driving around the heart of it and I'd have to park somewhere in the ghetto (cue Cartman singing), I was like, "Peace Out, Yo" and I am so not stopping here. So back to Health Coach I go and get some recommendations, maybe in the WASPy area of Edgewater or just go somewhere in Manhattan.

And that's that.


9 December 07   Going Home for Christmas!

Made the reservations yesterday - I'm going to be home in LA for Christmas for the first time in a few years. Yay!!!!

It'll be nice to be back. I know i'll get to see Mom's side of the family, but I'm hoping to shoot for seeing some of the Dad side too. I won't be back too much time though, so I'm definitely going to have to hustle if I wanna try to accomplish all that.

Anyways! So here we are again. How are you? It's been such a long time. What? I'm a lazy bastard? How dare you say that! I..I, I - well, I resemble that remark! Okay, so my during-the-week updates aren't exactly something you can set your watch to. Most of the time not much goes on, and this week really didn't change that too much! I did have a fun Wednesday evening and an awesome Saturday day and evening, so that makes for a good week in my book.

Yesterday I was with Eddie and we went to see Avenue Q - and let me tell you that is a ridiculously funny musical - think a foul-mouthed Sesame Street (include puppets in your thoughts, they're the stars of the show) with catchy songs that are aimed at teaching adults a thing or two about growing up and living life. It's awesome. When talking with Eddie and doing a comparison between Wicked and Avenue Q (which is the extent of my true Broadway knowledge), I think Wicked is the more 'fantastic' one and has amazing production values, but the songs as a whole are not all that memorable. Avenue Q on the other hand is hilarious and the songs are very much ones that get stuck in your head because they're so well-done.

As many of you may already know because I sent you an email concerning it, I've converted (succumbed) to the iPhone. On Friday, after work, I took a stroll over to Best Buy because I had been going through withdrawals and had to get my fix...and then I realized, why deny myself an iPhone when it is so freakin' awesome.... so off I went to the AT&T store. I didn't go to the Apple Store because if you ever have been to one of these stores, you know how ridiculously crowded they can be - now muliply that by 10 and that's how crowded the NYC ones are. At the AT&T store though, it was very mellow and you get tons of attention and help without a bajillion tourists cramming around you. I was done in 10 minutes or so, including the pre-approval credit check and everything - you'd think for all the money it costs you'd have to spend some more time jumping through hoops, but I guess it's mainly because you do most of the 'hard work' at home when you connect the iPhone to your computer and iTunes. I had to make a decision though, and I decided not to keep my Vegas-based cell phone # anymore. I've been living with that for quite a few years now and it just was time to get a more local #. So there I am.

Anyways, this weekend was quite nice and today I got to just stay in, continue re-reading Wicked (I had forgotten how incredible a book it was as I hadn't read it for Years!), and basically veg around the house. It was glorious. And now I think it's time to eat some dinner and watch a DVD!


3 December 07   I Got a Bag!

A fairly expensive one at that, but it's a beautiful cherry red leather bag that will last probably forever.

I saw it listed in one of those Holiday Gift Guides for 2007 - this one was from the website arstechnica.com, which is a fairly geeky yet interesting website I frequent. I skimmed through the list fairly rapidly until I saw this bag and after reading more about it and then going to the website itself, I was hooked. The makers of the bag/briefcase is a company called Saddlebag Leather Co., and if you go to the site, you'll possibly feel the urge to buy. They're not cheap by any means, but man, I got mine today and I was so happy with what I got.

I took another picture of the Rockefeller Center tree too - I also took some pics of me in front of it to be my Christmas Card, but alas, they turned out kinda blurry, so I'll have to reaccomplish this tomorrow. But the pic I took of the tree was pretty outstanding, see for yourself:

You have no idea how close I was to walking down to AT&T or the Apple Store after work today. I want an iPhone so bad it hurts. But I reminded myself about the bag I had ordered and was like, calm down there Hobie. So I didn't get the iPhone - but it doesn't mean I don't want one. Badly.


2 December 07   Tolerably Good Person

One of my coworkers described me with those words. I think it's hilarious, because it's actually hard to say what that is really meaning.

So once again I took it kind of easy on the updating - that's becoming a regular occurence, isn't it? Well, let's just say work and social life have been actually taking up a lot of time. Plus, by the time I get home during the week (usually right around 8pm), I'm not really in the mood to update. But, I know, I know, you all want to see pics of the tree - I guess the NBC Special wasn't enough for you? :-) I didn't watch that damn thing either. In fact, I realized that I had no desire to fight the ridiculous amounts of people who had clustered around Rockefeller Center that night after the lighting ceremony, so I left for home before the lighting ceremony. I figured, I'll get to see the tree nearly every day for a month and can take my time taking pictures of it. It was crazy that night though - the roads were clogged with FTPs and I ended up not taking the ferry home. Instead, I tagged along with Arielle who lives in Hoboken. She takes the PATH train home (the same train of infamy in which I sat next to PukesInPlasticPurseGirl one night a month or so ago) so I did that. A MUCH better experience this time, but mostly because Arielle and I crack each other up the whole time.

What else has been going on? Work has been fairly busy lately and it's been nice. I really think I'm beginning to feel like a contributing member of the group, although there's still a long ways to go. But I seem to have carved out a good niche of responsibility and work closely with a really smart guy, Jim, who I also get along with great. So that's that!

This past Tuesday I went to a screening of the upcoming movie, Atonement. I went along with some other coworkers here at NBC who are also gay and I just gotta say, it was a freakin' blast. The movie, not so much. It's beautifully filmed and there are definitely intriguing parts to it, but I just wasn't blown away by it. On the walk back to Midtown though, I got to see even more of the city, and stumbled upon Park and Lexington Avenues, one time even looking up and realizing I was walking along the Citigroup building, which I've been trying to see closer. I don't know, it was just a nice night and it wasn't ridiculously cold yet so it was a good night for strolling along Manhattan. Especially at that time of night (between 9 and 10 pm) - the city is almost 'calm' if you will, and there's not too many people milling about.

This morning, woke up and looked out the window: New York's first true snow happened today! I don't know how long it'll stick around, probably not that much, but it was cool to see snow again. Just glad I don't really have to drive in it! Can't escape the cold aspect though, and it's in the 20s today. But my Colorado friends can probably trump that.

Alright, enough rambling. My quality posts are never the ones where I'm trying to sum up a whole week or so of events. I usually try to cover everything so quickly that I end up glossing over the real fun or good stuff. Robbie told me he got a PS3 and I am ridiculously jealous of him now. And Greg (a guy I'm dating) has an iPhone and I want one of those ridiculously bad too. It's probably a bad thing that I make a decent amount of money. I ended up buying a new leather briefcase/bag that should come in tomorrow - can't wait to get it and replace my Gap Messenger bag with somethign that looks a bit more classy and nice. I'll take pics of course.

With no more further ado, I present to you: Pictures from New York and of course, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!!!


25 Nov 07 - Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Some animal clock at the Central Park Zoo
Me at a bridge in Central Park
A gorgeous scene in Central Park. You gotta agree!
The tunnel leading to the fountain (I'm sure there's real names of these things, but not to me)
Me in front of the 'Met'
Close up (taken by Greg)
The Metropolitan Meseum of Art (we saw a Rembrandt exhibit)


28/29 Nov 07 - The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Looking through my door to the rigs set up outside on the balcony for the lighting ceremony
A view behind one of the big displays
Ah - let the fun begin. The lighting was over 2 hours away still and it was this packed already.
The tree before its lights were turned on
Here you can see the view looking towards Saks and their giant snowflakes. Every 15 mins or so they do a whole light/music show with those snowflakes
Trying to include a view of the rink too
Looking up at the rigging from my awesome balcony view
Zooming in to the Swarovski crystal star
So crowded but beautiful... from up where I was.
Thought it was a cool view looking straight up 30 Rock again
The NEXT evening, on my way out from work, I took this picture of the fully lit tree. Awesome, yes?
From Dec 2, I had to include a shot of the first real snow this season as seen from the comfort of my bedroom window.