2003 Comes To An End

2003 has been a different kind of year for me. If I had to come up with an event that has shaped the year, I don’t think I could. In 2002, I got a full-time job, moved off-campus, and graduated from college, which were all rather large steps in my life. 2003 has been kind of dull and boring.

I have learned a few things in the past year though…

I’ve always said that your job should not seem like work. You should love what you are doing so much that you would do it for free. About 6 months ago, I finally hit the wall at work. I never planned on staying there long, but I can’t stand computer support and answering phones any longer. The only thing keeping me sane at work are the friends I’ve made there. Our crew (all young) is really a good group, but we aren’t appreciated for what we do.

I for instance, could do almost anyone’s job in the department with a few weeks of training. I’m not trying to brag, but I’ve always caught onto things quickly. I breezed through high school with a 4.0 and college was almost as easy (3.976). My skills are not utilized like they could be at SVSU. Hopefully 2004 will bring a new career path. Haha…that reminds me of something one of my cousin’s said at Christmas…”Anyone can find a job, I’m looking for a career.” I think that someone calling herself an Event Planner might have a hard time finding a job, let alone a career.

More and more people these days are asking me if I have a girlfriend yet. I don’t. It’s been about 4 or 5 years now since I’ve had one. Mom is the worst, especially around other people. She always has to bring shit up and acts like I should be in some kind of rush to get hitched. I’m only 24, there’s no hurry. I really hate it when people get on me about the subject. But…I have realized that I’m missing something in my life. The puzzle always seemed complete (for the most part) when I had girlfriends.

It was just so much easier for me back in high school. You saw the same girls everyday, making it easy to get to know them. I need to find a way to get over my shyness so that I feel comfortable talking to strangers. I will very very rarely go up to a girl I don’t know and start talking to her. Maybe if I’m drunk, but that is even pushing it. Some of my friends can’t believe I don’t have a girlfriend yet because they say I’m the nicest guy and I would treat a girl right. Sure, but meeting them is the first step and where I struggle.

Recently I’ve come to understand that helping other people is more rewarding than doing something for yourself. Christmas was a prime example this year. I didn’t really care what I got, I was more excited to see how everyone liked the gifts that I bought. Helping Mo with his website is another example. Sometimes I get extremely frustrated, but when we finally get something working correctly, it feels great. I want to do my part to better the world around me.

Look for a post tomorrow relating to some of the above lessons I’ve learned.

Well, the plans for tonight are to head over to Greka’s Tavern with some friends since I’m still up here in Rogers City. Their slogan is “The Best Bar on 1st Street”, but anyone who knows this town could tell you that it is the only bar on the street! I plan on getting extremely drunk so that when we walk home it won’t feel so damn cold.

Be safe, don’t drink and drive, tip your bartenders well, and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Drill Another One

Just got back from the dentist…AGAIN! I had another big cavity filled to use up the rest of my dental insurance for the year. I hate going to that place, but it’s my own damn fault. If I would take better care of my teeth, I wouldn’t have these problems. Yesterday I couldn’t eat on the left side of my mouth because of the two big cavities I had filled and today I can’t eat on the right side because of this one. It’s so much fun!

My brother’s team beat Boyne City last night 58-50, so it’s back to Cheboygan tonight for the championship game. They play against Cheboygan who beat St. Ignace yesterday. I think his team will be out matched (or should I say out coached?), but you never know in high school sports. At least it gets me out of the house and out of this town for a few hours.

Enjoying My Break

I’ve been enjoying my holiday break a great deal. At the same time, I miss being back in Saginaw at my apartment, but this is a nice little get-away. I’ve been sleeping in until at least 10 every morning and I didn’t even leave the house yesterday.

The big project yesterday was to get a page up with poker chip tricks tutorial, and so far the page is getting a lot of attention. According to my web hosting stats, almost 500 visitors stopped by my site yesterday, which is amazing since I’ve never had 200 visitors in a single day before. My brother Isaac helped me out by doing most of the camera work on the videos. We used my digital camera and it worked out pretty well. Once the videos were done I wanted to compress them a little bit and I removed the audio to save some space. I used a DivX 5.1.1 codec for the compression, which seems to be giving a couple of people problems viewing the videos. Later tonight I hope to work on getting another video format posted as a 2nd option.

Update: Those having problems are now able to view the videos after installing the DivX 5.1.1 codec, so I will not be adding a 2nd video option for now.

Today I went and contributed to the Ryan family college fund. Doc. Ryan is my dentist, who I’ve been visiting frequently since I got my own dental insurance. I think I’ve bought half the equipment in their office by now. They filled two big cavities on upper left teeth. The numbing is starting to wear off and I can feel some pain coming on. It’s funny how my teeth never hurt until after I go to the dentist, even though my chart shows red marks on just about every tooth. As a kid my teeth were always hurting, but over the past 5 years or so I really haven’t had any pain. Maybe I’m simply used to it.

In a few minutes we are off to Cheboygan for Isaac’s varsity basketball game. I’m not even quite sure who they play, but hopefully the Hurons will come out on top. It’s a mini tournament they are playing in, so I’ll be going back tomorrow for either the championship or the consolation game.

When I get home tonight I’ll be working on the poker chip trick videos like I mentioned earlier. Maybe Isaac will even want another ass-whoopin in March Madness. I’ve only lost one time so far in the game…any challengers?

A Good Birthday

Overall it was a good birthday, but not that much different than any other day. I woke up around 11:00, when Heather and Isaac gave me their gifts. Isaac got me some Coors Light stuff and Heather got me a new basketball and a spare battery for my camera, which was pretty sweet. Jere came over around 12:30 and we played a few games of March Madness on XBOX. I kicked his ass!

After I finally made it to the shower, we headed over to Tom’s and watched Rounders, the greatest poker movie of all time! If you haven’t seen it and like poker, definitely check it out. I came home around 5:00 and opened my gifts from mom and dad, which included more Coors Light stuff and a nice little pair of binoculars, which I hoped I would get. They are nothing special, but will be perfect for taking to sporting events. After that, we went out to eat. My food was awesome! I started off with a salad from the salad bar, and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Next we had a few appetizers and my main course of shrimp scampi was great too! When we got home, I headed back over to Tom’s for some poker.

Around 10:00 we headed to the bar, which was the worst part of the day. There were a ton of people there, so when we walked into Greka’s it was like walking into a smoke filled sauna. Tom bought me a few screwdrivers that were easily the worst I’ve ever had. Needless to say, Jere and I left after we finished our drinks, so this is where I sit.

Tomorrow I’m off to Alpena for the Momrik family Christmas gathering. Maybe I can win the poker tournament.

I Don't Feel Any Older

Officially I’m 24 now, but it doesn’t feel any different. To me it’s just another day. The only big difference is that mom makes me a cake and I get a few presents. No real big plans for the day except to probably go out to eat with the family. During the day I’ll most likely hang out with a few friends and then at night we’ll have a “few” drinks I suppose!

I’m glad Christmas is over, but I have to say that the past two days were the most enjoyable Christmas holiday I’ve had in recent memory. Today I crawled out of bed around 10:00, played a few games of March Madness on XBOX, and then took a shower. Dad was just getting done snowblowing the driveway, so we started to mess around with his new GPS for awhile. The device needs to initialize the first time it is used and I think it was having a hard time because of the weather. We’ll have to figure it out when it is a clearer day.

Mom’s family started showing up at our house around 2:00 and almost immediately we started playing poker. I took second place in the first mini tournament, but decided to sit out the second one so that I could snack on all the goodies. Nothing exciting happened and everyone was gone by about 5:30. I had started to play March Madness again and kept playing as everyone left. Eventually I sat down in the living room with Mom and Dad, who were watching World Idol. Both Dad and I were starving, so he made us some eggs and bacon.

After the show was over I went back to playing March Madness. Yes…AGAIN! When Isaac got home from his girlfriend’s, we played head-to-head 3 or 4 games. I won every one and even came back from a 20+ point deficit in one of the games for the win. It’s a pretty sweet game.

In a nutshell, that was how I spent Christmas.

Christmas Tradition

Every year on Christmas Eve we have a tradition that we follow. Around 5:00 we start off with crab legs for supper. After everything is cleaned up, we open our stockings. For the past few years dad has been in charge of the stocking stuffers and we have a little joke with it. He goes to the dollar store and picks up cheap little things and usually a few lotto tickets. A few examples of things people have gotten in recent years are:

  • Small flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Packs of gum
  • Car air fresheners
  • Socks

We always have fun laughing about what everyone gets, even though some of the things are pretty useful.

We then go to church for 8:00 mass. After church, we take a drive around town and look at some lights and luminaries. What are luminaries? Let me explain…on Christmas Eve a lot of people light candles inside of old milk jugs (or other types of containers) and line them up on the street in front of their house. Every year they look the same, but for some reason we always have to drive by.

Once we get home from church, everyone changes into something comfortable and we usually make a few drinks. Then it’s time to exhange gifts, which takes us about an hour and a half. By the time we get done with presents, dad will be falling asleep and Isaac and I will either be ready to play a new video game or watch a movie.

On Christmas day we always get together with the Tatros (Mom’s family) to eat, play cards, and enjoy the holiday. This year everyone is coming over to our house, so we have to be the entertainers. I suppose we’ll play some Texas Hold’em, since everyone has fallen in love with the game.

The day after Christmas (26th) is of course MY BIRTHDAY, but we’ve never really done anything special for it. It’s really not a big deal to me. I guess this year on the 27th we are heading over to Alpena to get together with Dad’s family and are having a poker tournament over there. It’ll be interesting to see how they run it, since all of the tournaments I’ve been in so far were run by me.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Christmas with their families!