Archive for the ‘Travels’ Category.

The new year, and the old.

It’s New Year’s Day 2008. Just want to summarize some of the events that have transpired over the last year:

  • Baby Boy, pt 2
    The biggie this year was finding out that I will be a dad…again. Sean continues to be the axis that my life now revolves around, but soon there’s going to be another one. When Cathy sprung this nugget of info on me, I was stupefied. We wanted another kid, but this soon? The endless remarks of “well, it’s good to have them close together, makes it easier” from various sources seem to be lulling us into a state of ease. Of course these have been paired with comments of “hoo boy, are you in for some interesting times”, which only serves to confuse the issue a bit: Is this a good thing or a bad thing again?
    Probably the biggest difference in this pregnancy period than with Sean has been the lack of soul searching and navel gazing that accompanied the impending arrival of number one son. I haven’t been too introspective about the nature of fatherhood; I wouldn’t be, though, would I? My sort of theoretical thinking of last year has become the pragmatic real-world experience of dealing with a growing boy. The only sort of thinking along these lines has been getting my head around doling out love and attention for two without feeling like denying either.
    We are certainly better prepared for this one, at least from a preparation standpoint. No early surprises this time! But the joke seems to be on us. Even though the boy is not due until January 8, Cathy was convinced he had dropped and would appear anytime between December 17 and the end of the year. So we’ve been at Defcon 2 for the past two weeks. The boy actually showing up when he’s supposed to has thrown us completely off!
  • ManWeekend
    One of the most enjoyable events of the past year was The ManWeekend. This was the second year for this get-together, but the sheer production of this year’s event made it one of the more memorable times I’ve had in my adult life. A quick history and recap (I am relying on my fellow ManWeekenders for clarification: Register for this blog, you guys!):
    Even though ManWeekend as we know it began last year, a “proto-ManWeekend” (or call it the pilot program) was a bachelor party-like gathering for a fellow MW participant a few years ago. In 2006, MW members Pete and myself were facing new fatherhood, so Matt (aka Squiggy) and Rob (aka Woodcock) organized a “last fling” weekend for us to enjoy before the long fatherhood campaign. The weekend would involve games, movies, much food, and much much beer and spirits. Many of our friends were invited, making more than a dozen guys in a rented house drinking lots of beer, eating heartily of smoked pork and cold cuts, playing videogames that ranged from cartoony violence to classic 80’s arcade (for the older boys), and the occasional game of chance. Conversation ranged from the stupid to the unbelievably stupid, with generous quotes from TV and movies; the kinds of conversations that make our significant others run from the room so they aren’t afflicted by whatever stupid field had ensnared us. It was loud, coarse, drunken shenanigans, so naturally it was a rousing success.
    Now take that experience from last year, and add a dash of rigorous management. THAT was ManWeekend 2007!
    This past event was down at the Beach in Delaware, with more pork BBQ and a whole roast turkey. A beer exchange program was put into place where participants bring a case of their local or personal fave, and the remainder (after our own copious consumption) was redistributed to provide each man with a sweet sampler pack! More videogames (Guitar Hero the game of choice, and some evangelism of the Nintendo Wii: No less than four participants have bought one since!), some frisbee & football on the beach, and some late night poker rounded off the weekend. The retinue was expanded, with a total of 22 attendees (it should be noted that all but one of our group is a member of Penn State’s Phi Mu Alpha music fraternity, hence the connection. For the “outside” member, he is considered the “Tom Hagen” of the group1)
    It is with fervent hope that we can continue with this new tradition. Having one weekend a year to look forward to that I can be a boorish, crass guy in a safe environment, is a truly valuable time!
    1 for those who don’t know the reference, watch The Godfather
  • Vegas 2007
    This past summer marked probably the last time for a few years Cathy and I could travel to Las Vegas (or anywhere) as a couple. We joined our regulars Matt (see above) and Rob (see also above) and his wife, as well as an old regular traveling in from California and a new traveler who was in that part of the US at the time and could swing by. I’ve written about our past trips to Casinoville in this blog, so there was not much to add, but I may put some interesting items that happened on this particular trip in another blog. The main point for this paragraph was to signal the last of the fun couple trips for awhile, as our next long trip will probably be to some place with cartoon characters at the end.

There were lots of other things that happened this past year. Life with a baby, though, becomes the pursuit of the routine, getting our lives into a nice regular rhythm. Hence the year does seem to blur up a bit. The items above stand out as three things that gave the regularity some nice hiccups