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Encounter with a Retreat
Sep 20th, 2006 by blogger

This past weekend was a big step forward on the way to marital bliss at our Engaged Encounter retreat. While there were some couples that were clearly only there because they had to be, Nicole and I fell into the category of “giddily in love and therefore actually interested in talking stuff out”. There was a lot of talking about topics as diverse as love, sex, and money. Appropriately enough, for the sex talk, one of the host families carted out their two year old boy to demonstrate in no uncertain terms what the Catholics think sex should be about. That was before the “Natural Family Planning is the only way” talk :).

Of course, despite feeling wholly connected, there wasn’t much I could do about my typical fidgety behavior. On Saturday night, we gathered in a big circle for a prayer ceremony. The idea was that each couple received a candle, which represented our love for each other. But you know, when you’re holding a candle, the wax can be very entertaining. It melts, and burns, and swishes around. So … anyway, I put out the candle, and not only that, but I buried the wick in the wax. I went to the middle to relight, and it wouldn’t light. So they just gave me another candle. Nicole wasn’t too happy about the implied ease with which our love could be replaced.

Happy Anivaaaarsary!
Sep 19th, 2006 by blogger

Thar she blows - twenty five years of marriage to my parents. On this day twenty five years ago, while wedding bells sounded in a Chicago-area church, Simon and Garfunkel performed their famous Concert in the Park in New York City. In the time since, my parents have had quite the life. They’ve volunteered at Misericordia when Carrie and I were really young. They had four beautiful children, the oldest of course being their favorite. They’ve owned several homes, put us all through school, and still had time for each other. And of course, my parents still make my home feel like home, whether it’s by planting an herb garden or fording a stream. Gotta say, these are some good parents.

It is also Talk Like a Pirate Day. Scurvey ye mates, for here is an annivaarsary entry!

Happy twenty-fifth, ‘rents.

Seasons of Grapery
Sep 14th, 2006 by blogger

Grapes galore! This is what greeted us upon our arrival in Napa this past weekend. John, Andy, Josh, Dave, Nick, and I all grouped together once again for E-vent 2006: Part II. The first part of course was last May, when we all gathered in Baltimore for some Preakness stakes (I didn’t go) and delicious Maryland seafood (I ate some). This time around, everyone was in the Bay Area, so that was the place that lured us.

We rolled ourselves into Sac-town late on Friday night, only to find out that such a scene does not exist. Turns out, Davis is actually far more happening, so we retreated to the comfort of Dave’s new abode and played poker until the wee hours of the morning. This despite Dave’s living across from a cornfield. Most memorable part of our stay in Davis was Josh and I getting lost the next morning while running around on suburban bike paths. Probably it was the most memorable because I was not drinking, which is a stark departure from the rest of the trip.

Saturday brought wine tasting sort of on the cheap. We had some fancy pants cheeses, meats and breads, bought a bottle of wine, and threw down a blanket at one or another Napa valley winery. I ended up sending home a six-pack from vintner Charles Krug. The entire valley is covered in grapes! I figured there’d by at least some other industry — maybe a coal mine or at least a software house or something — but there’s nothing. I was surprised by the lack of other business so close to San Francisco. Guess it goes to show just how valuable the land is.

The rest of the weekend was a mixture of shopping thriftily, drinking heartily, and eating at a creperie. Sunday was a great chance to just lay back and relax. Played some ping pong at Nick’s frat-house-style apartment, then caught the Manning vs. Manning action just because it was on. Have you ever watched football at a Thai sports bar? It seemed like a very uniquely San Francisco thing to do. Round it out with a visit from Charlie Cheever, and it was a good break for the weekend after all.

A new way to write
Sep 13th, 2006 by blogger

I’ve been feeling lately like i’m losing touch with the folks that matter most. Friends, family, etc. Way out here on the Way West Coast, it’s easy as pie to just forego the regular emails and phone calls. So here we are — my attempt to let you all know what’s up with me, and perhaps inject a little commentary into the world. We’ll see how this evolves.

I had previously been using some open source software called LucidCMS to manage my website. What initially attracted me to it was its simplicity — it’s small, lightweight, and gives tons of flexibility over what sort of content you want to display and how. I loved the thought of so much freedom. But now, about a year after trying it out, I realized why that might be a bad thing: my website still looks the same as it did the day I put it up. So, lots of freedom — and plenty of laziness to go with it.

So I figured, if I’m going to be lazy, I may as well be lazy in style, so out comes Wordpress to play a pivotal role in reinvigorating my web persona. Because you see, my web persona desires that there are things playing pivotal role in it. It’s needy like that.

Take advantage of the new features! Leave comments like breadcrumbs throughout my site. It’s interactive now, after all.

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