Monthly Archives: December 2007

Goodbye 2007

2007 is coming to a close tonight.  We are one year closer to the end of the world.  An event that some would say is not too far off if you follow the Mayan calendar or wear a tin foil hat.  It was a pretty good year.  It saw me learning lots about love. It saw me finish out my undergraduate education.  It saw me spend lots of money and hold my only job to last longer than a year.  It was in summation a wonderful year and a truly blessed year from a taoist point of view.

Justin’s gift arrived yesterday.  It was a collection of all the posts for The Onus.  The Onus was a comic that I had put out for about 6 months.  I’ve always dreamed of resurrecting it and maybe this gift is just the nudge I needed.  It is a truly awesome gift and I thank him very much.

My dad and I have a trip book to go to Ski Paradise this April.  That means I have 3 months to get in the best shape of my life.  It’s sad that this happens to coincide with all the folks who will make a resolution to lose weight.  Luckily Any Time Fitness is open 24hrs.  I’ll just have to go at slow times.  Elizabeth has decided that she also wants to start working out.  This mean that the two of us should be able to motivate each other.  She already motivated me to go today.  This will be our first trip to the gym and I hope it won’t be our last.  I’m making a workout sheet to provide a means of immediate gratification.  I’m hoping to turn it into a web application so that I can put it up on the site to provide another means of accountability.

Well it’s time to go get ready to celebrate the new year and say farewell to 2007.  A toast to 2007!  May 2008 be a continuation of a wonderful life and may it see me through to 2009.  Be safe tonight everyone.  A $100 cab is worth your life.


Today was a monumental day.  I was present to witness the first shootout in Gopher Men’s Hockey history.  It was a phenomenal display of individual talent for the Gophers.  Sadly, that seems to be all they have because as a team they just aren’t clicking.  The shootout was forced after the first over time ended with no score.  It was against Air Force, a team that the Gophers should send packing soundly.  It’s sad the Boston College beat Air Force so decidedly last night and tonight we were forced to go into a shootout with them.  I fear the worst when we have a real series against Boston College.  Some may argue that our best players are away in the Czech Republic, but I think it’s a chemistry issue and not a talent issue.  The shootout was wonderful however and Kangas really showed what he can do.  On one stop he spread full out and from skate to skate he was much wider than the goal.  I think that he should be our main net minder due to his very consistent performances over this year.  Today he was only beat once and scored on twice.  To clarify that statement, the first goal he stopped the first shot but an unfortunate rebound was picked up by a pinching defensemen(?).  That should have never happened because one of our D-men should have not allowed the pinch.  The second goal he was in decent position but let it in near side.  (This happened while Air Force had their goalie pulled to get the extra man with one minute to go in the third period.)  Kangas redeemed his mistake by making four saves to completely shut out Air Force in the shootout.  Barriball had an amazing five hole goal that I knew was going in the moment he touched the puck.  It was a definite high for fans who have had a rather mediocre season.  I can only hope that this helps the guys gain some morale and some momentum going into the second half of the season.

Sometimes I wish I could throw Lucia (The Don) some tips.  I would say:

  • It takes 15 seconds to score
  • Tic-Tac-Toe not Tic-Tac-Tic-Tac-Tic-Tac-Tic-Lose the puck
  • Teams are playing the Gophers aggressive.  Take advantage of that by getting them out of position.
  • Passing too much allows opponent goalie to set up.
  • Find someone else who can carry the puck in aside from Barriball.
  • Set Goals to get Goals.  Ever notice how a team plays their hearts out when they know how many goals they need to score?  Well go out there and aim to get 2 goals a period.  Not get as many as you can but get 2 a period.  If a hockey team can get 6 goals in a game they will win 95% of all games.
  • The D-Men need to learn how to clean up the garbage.  Our Goaltenders our doing a fine job most of the time but it is the second, third and even fourth shot that is killing us.
  • You’re not superstars yet.  I still want to see some hustle.
  • If you’re gonna pass, make it a good pass.  Tape to Tape.

I’m clearly not qualified to be a coach, but I’d like to think that if these pointers were followed they would do better.

There is a busy New Year’s Eve ahead of us.  I will try to get a better post up before the new year hits, but we shall see.

A Tale of Two Suits

Woke up at a decent hour today to go suit shopping.  Elizabeth was kind enough to lend her opinion and joined my Mom and Me on our adventure to Men’s Warehouse.  Up until today my suit shopping experiences have been limited to paternal hand-me-downs and consignment piecemeal.  It was quite a different experience from the moment we set foot in Men’s Warehouse.

It was a cool December morning.  The way to our destination was hectic and filled with perilous traffic.  Never fearing death, we steadied our hearts and our minds.  It was then that the labyrinth entered our sight.  Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised to see no minotaur but rather a normal American store.  Instantly we were asked if we had been helped and when we replied in the negative we were paired with an associate who was more than happy to be our Sherpa on this journey.  He brandished his tape measure in a fearsome manner and collected the necessary measurements.  Without a moments hesitation we were off to the racks to find our would be suit-ors.  Like an Aztec Priest he sacrificed suit after suit to the judging gaze of our trio.  It was apparent that he had done this a few times for the first suit I tried on was one of the two suits to eventually come out of this fray.  The process was draining.  It was a frantic whirlwind of fabric, buttons and criticisms.  Too brown, too grey, too long, too casual, too old, too 70’s and just No.  The few that remained of the rack were lined up.  Some easy cuts were made and eight turned to four.  A simple remark from Elizabeth turned four to three.  It was here that our tribe needed to enter serious deliberation.  It was clear that one suit was going to be purchased this day.  It was the suit I previously mentioned, a navy and silver pin striped three button.  That left us with two suits to decide between.  Now it was time for us to make our way to the land of mirrors.

We arrived and I quickly donned one of the suits to be cast under my personal judging eye.  It immediately felt right and I knew the other suit was going to have a hard time in stealing my heart.  To be fair I quickly changed suit jackets and was surprsied at how much I liked this other jacket as well.  What was a guy to do in this situation?  Ask the Girlfriend and the Mom of course.  Unfortunately the general consensus was that each suit had its pros and cons.  When the concept of flipping a coin came up we now looked at the price.  The first suit was much cheaper and Elizabeth noted how it went really well with my hair and eyes.  It was done.  I had found the two suits that were the prize of this quest.  The first already mentioned, the second being a cream/brown two button European suit.  (The description does not do it justice.)  With decisions in mind and suits in hand it was time to get the measurements for them to be fitted.

Not sterotypical at all, a small Asian women appeared out of no where.  (I would have to say Chinese or Korean, but I’m terrible at that.  I’m sorry.  I later found where she came from.  There is apparently a backroom where they do their tailoring.)  She was very assertive and had a delightful demeanor.  Directing me what to do and how to do it, she utilized her chalk blade to mark the marks that would make me beautiful.  In a very short time she had marked up both jackets, vest, and both pants.  In confused bewilderment I was directed to a table with undershirts and ties placed in two familiar jackets.  It took me a while to notice that these accessories had been place in and around MY jackets.  With their new cohorts in fashion excellence, they were truly stunning.  My mind salivated with the imagery of myself adorned with such finery.  Silently at first but echoing louder and louder the voice of reason began to ring.  While everything looked so wonderful, I realized that all these accessories were meant to destabilize me into purchasing more than the budget had accounted for.  In an effort of compromise we decided upon two ties that looked absolutely stunning; with the idea that more ties could be purchased at a far more reasonable price in the future.

Our associate drew up the designated purchases, collected my information, and handed me the slip of slips that spoke of when I should return to claim my prize.  We were ushered to the cash register where I handed him the preferred method of payment, Visa, and was informed that I had spent enough to earn a “free” gift certificate.  I am now (, in three weeks when it should arrive,) the proud owner of a fifty dollar gift certificate. (Should be good enough for another tie.)  Our Men’s Warehouse adventure drew to a close with our associate shaking all of our hands.  Our trio donned our jackets and steeled ourselves against the frigid grey of winter and in a blink of an eye we were gone.  Never to return again until a couple of weeks from now.

End Scene.

So after Men’s Warehouse my mom had to pick some things up from JC Penny’s.  She had purchased some curtain rods for the cabin and had to exchange an item.  This was Elizabeth’s first time shopping with my Mom.  My Mom is a very assertive person and doesn’t let stores take advantage of her.  It can often result in awkward situations, but I can honestly say that she gets some of the best deals ever.  The point is pretty mute since on this trip there was very minimal resistance and not a whole lot to go wrong.  I picked up some slippers and some “burgundy” shoes to go with my new suits.  Shoes are expensive.

The day didn’t end there.  We barely had time to relax once we returned home and Elizabeth and I were off again to her Aunt’s for a Christmas Party.  It’s not the present crazy type of party but just a laid back time for family to get together and enjoy some wonderful food.  We had the Patriots-Giants game on in the background.  Witnessed the Patriots going undefeated in a season.  (Actually saw this when we got back to Elizabeth’s house.)  I dropped Elizabeth off at her house and stayed for a few hours.  We watched some terrible television and I decided it was time to leave.  We have Gopher hockey tomorrow.  Gophers lost today and will likely lose tomorrow, but being around friends is always fun.  It’s possible that we might even squeeze some hockey in for ourself before we leave downtown to watch the game(s?).

Thank you Mom and Elizabeth for all your help today.  Without the female perspective, today would surely have been a disaster.

The Great Christmas Wrap Up

…or Boxing Day if you have government funded health care.

So Christmas is over (or almost, Justin says he has something in the mail for me. He shouldn’t have, but it’s very nice of him to get me something and I’m excited to see what it is.) I’d like to thank everyone who went out of their way to gift me something and at the same time I hope everyone who received gifts from me enjoyed their gifts. I wish I had the funds to buy gifts for everyone and the time to spend the Holidays with all the people in my life, but sadly the world doesn’t work that way. In an effort to appear non-materialistic (ha!) I will now see how the list faired (the one’s in red are still missing):


  • Men’s Ware House Gift Certificates (Received some for Graduation)
    • Received a wonderful dress shirt and tie from Elizabeth’s parents, Thank you!
    • Dress Socks from Mom and Dad
  • Electric Blanket (Thanks for that already Mom.)
  • New Cellphone
  • New Slippers
  • Those fancy ear muffs that don’t mess up your hair


  • Nintendo DS Lite (Uber shocked to cross this out. Elizabeth is the greatest girlfriend ever.)
    • +Games!!!! (The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hour Glass, came with the Limited Edition Zelda DS)
  • Music CDs (Secret Santa: Uncle Craig got me $40 at iTunes.)
  • New Computer
  • Hockey Goalie Equipment
  • Spare Xbox 360 Controller (I purchased these items shortly after I put up the list.)
    • Rechargeable battery pack for Xbox 360 Controller
  • 2 More Wii Remotes
  • Digital SLR Camera
  • New earbud headphones

I received some gifts from Mom and Dad that I had mentioned earlier in the year and completely forgot about come list time. Most notable is a Makita Hammer Drill and Grinder set. After working at O’keef’s I’ve grown to love Makita products. In addition they gifted me more construction related tools and utensils. I’m pretty pumped because I find myself in need of tools and it feels like a sign that I am growing up. Purchasing a house doesn’t seem so far away. My sister bought me a pretty sweet zip up hoodie from Buckle. Look for me to be wearing it often. She also bought me some Jägermeister that, because it was a gift, came in a pretty cool metal slip tin. Now before you get all up in arms because she is underage, she had someone else purchase it for her and I am of age. Now all we need is some red bull.

To follow suit, I ‘ll do what Justin did and write what I got for others.

Elizabeth: 3 Different Types of Scarfs. She asked for a scarf for Christmas and not knowing what else to get her and not having the funds to buy what I really want to get her, I went over board and got her multiple scarves. I bought her a University of Minnesota scarf first because I knew the moment I saw it that I had to get it for her. I realized that it probably wouldn’t be appropriate for work so I figured I would get her scarves to match whatever she wore. I went with a fancy black scarf and a big fluffy white scarf. She seemed to be happy and I hope she likes them. I’ve already seen her wearing the Minnesota one. (After her gifts, though, I felt that my gifts just didn’t match the awesomeness of hers. She totally won this year and at the same time I win because of that.)

Melissa(sister): I got her $20 at Buckle because she loves that store. She is also going to Mexico for school this January so I tried to get her a CD that contained popular Latin Musica. Wow. Shopping for music in a different language is hard. I’m not terrible when it comes to Spanish, but I still struggled. I was able to find a CD that said it was the winner of 4 Latin Grammys. It was either that or one of the bajillion mariachi bands present in Wal-Mart’s Latin Music selection. So you can guess which one I went with. When we popped the CD in on Christmas day we were all pleasantly shocked. It was a pretty sweet CD. Juanes – Un Dia Normal, if you are interested.

Mom: Our family is big on “TV on DVD”. Mom is always hard to shop for. It seems that women are much harder to shop for than men. I think it is because women don’t like to express what they like and would prefer you guess. So I picked up that my Mom and Dad like Boston Legal. My Mom even told me that they really liked that show, so I purchased the first season on DVD for my Mom.

Dad: Continuing the theme, I purchased Battlestar Galactica Season 2.5 on DVD for him. This one was pretty easy. We already own all 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1 on DVD, my sister was picking up Stargate Atlantis Season 2 for him and we own Battlestar Galactica Season 1 on DVD. However, this is where I erred. I thought the extra “.5” meant it was season 2 with bonus features. Silly me. When I eventually bothered to check, I found that they split the season up. Those capitalist bastards. So today I actually went out and got Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0 on DVD so that we can watch them in order.

Secret Santa – Cousin Mike: He didn’t put anything down on the list. So I got him the multipass of gifts; a Wal-Mart gift card. I also made him a card with the following poem I wrote the morning of Christmas Eve:

Santa’s confused this Christmas Eve,
For on his list your name he does not see.
He’s checked it twice,
and he’s sure you’ve been nice.
It must be that you’ve asked for naught.
Now you’re stuck with what he bought.
Lucky for you, he’s a nice guy,
And left it up to you with what to buy.
A golden ticket to the land of lights,
Where they never close for holidays or nights,
A land of toys, games, food and mead.
A land with everything you may need.
Santa hopes you’ve learned this year,
Forget again and you’ll get a kick in the rear.

That is all the giving and receiving I was involved in. Christmas Eve was spent with the family at Andy and Theresa’s. We managed to set the house on fire only two times. We had to open all the windows, get the air flow going and clear out the smoke. It wasn’t so bad when we did it before most people arrived because the sun was still up and it wasn’t too bad outside. However, when it happened right before dinner it was dark out and much colder. To be fair, I think only one involved actual fire and that was with the ham in the oven. The earliest incident was just turkey juices spilling over in the oven and being turned to steam. The rest of the evening was a run of the mill family event with everyone playing their normal parts. The most unlike normal role goes to Tigger (Andy and Theresa’s cat) for actually being playful with so many people around. He was pretty good until people took his playfulness for granted and got him all ornery again. Dakota was in heat so we had to keep her penned up (don’t worry she has a nice heated garage.) It’s too bad too. She is such a wonderful dog and it has to be hard for her to be excluded. It doesn’t help that her new friend in life, Chase, is away at training.

Everyone stayed for a pretty long time. Eventually we all made our way home and the night drew to a close. I couldn’t read the book I had read on the way up, Negotiating for Dummies, so I decided to sleep .

Christmas morning, I woke up at the bright hour of 10:00am. It wasn’t long after that we opened presents. Santa brought the family Scene It Deluxe Movie Edition 2 so we played that a bit and watched Christmas movies on TV. The day was spent relaxing with the family and it was very enjoyable. Elizabeth stopped by late at night after her family event had concluded. She stayed pretty late which was surprising considering we would be going skating the next morning. It’s a family tradition of hers to go skating the day after Christmas. Braving the winter weather she headed home around 2:00am and I was relieved to get a message saying she had made it home safe. My Christmas 2007 came to a close then as I went to bed to get some well needed rest.  I would need it, for the next day we would play hockey and skate.

And there you have it! The great Christmas wrap up of 2007. The culmination of a month or so of shopping and hours of preparation and cooking. I hope everyone had a wonderful time, I certainly did.