Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a super Christmas! We took off to visit my wife's family for a week. A very nice visit. Travel was pretty easy. The visit was fun. We had a nice Christmas, everyone got nice gifts, we ate awesome food for the week, and we came home feeling ready to kick back and relax for the rest of the holiday break.

Our family tradition for New Year's Eve (which may be a tradition for millions of people?) is appetizers. We just put out appetizers around dinner time. And we add more appetizers to the table as the evening goes on. We browse the table and eat all evening. Shrimp. Chips and dip. Little hot dogs in crescent rolls. Pizza bites. Meatballs. Chicken wings. It varies year to year...but always the appetizer spread. So I'm looking forward to some good eating later tonight. And the timing is perfect cause I'm actually pain free from the new braces for the first time! So bring on the food!!

I've got no words of wisdom or resolutions to share. I just hope you and your families and friends have a great New Year's and a fantastic 2009.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Gift List

Well this is my final post before the big day so I figured I better let you guys know what I want. Or more precisely, what I need. One of the blogs that I really enjoy is Greg's General Store. And Greg (see how the name just fits!) did this fun thing where he Googled what he in "greg needs" and hit Enter. Well I did the same. And here are the top ten things I need. Or so Google says. And Google is very smart and powerful.
  1. Em needs more love. Sure...I'm not gonna argue with that one. Fits right in with the spirit of the season. So bring on the love!
  2. Em needs G.E., and right now G.E. needs Em. Wow, I had no idea I needed G.E. But if they need me, their people should get in touch with my people and we just might be able to arrange something for the new year.
  3. Em needs more love. Again? Okay, who am I to complain? Let the love flow.
  4. Em needs help. Always. With so many things. So anyone who wants to help, drop by the house. I'll put you to work.
  5. Em needs enterprising minds with the attitude, products, skills, finances and business ideas that can change the world. You betcha! Give me that and we can probably forget about #4 on the list.
  6. Em needs $3351-$7151. Yep. No doubt about that. And let's try to keep it closer to the big number if we can.
  7. Em needs the approval of two-thirds of his neighbors. Absolutely. I love approval. It is great to be liked. And two-thirds seems to be a pretty reasonable benchmark.
  8. Em needs assistance with obtaining the food and helping with setup and cleanup. Sounds like a party! Let's do it!!
  9. Em need more timeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. And yep, that is an exact quote from Google. I told you they were smart. They really do know.
  10. Em needs him. Hmmmm....wonder what my wife will say about that?
Perhaps you won't be able to give me any of my Needs According to Google. But that's okay. You go have yourself an awesome holiday! And I'm sure when I return from visiting the in-laws and celebrating Christmas, I'll have stories to tell.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tooth Hygiene

I'm a brusher, not a flosser. Much to the dismay of my dentist, I've never really enjoyed the flossing experience. But I brush on a regular basis just like everyone else.

But now with the braces, I'm supposed to brush even more. Morning and night isn't good enough. Now I've got instructions to brush four times a day. After each meal and then at bedtime. And I've even got myself some prescription toothpaste to do it with.

Mostly I don't mind. I hate the feeling of things being stuck in the braces. And when I try to lick/suck/tongue/work it out on my own, I look like a dog that just bit a big spoonful of peanut butter. So brushing helps avoid all those facial contortions.

However, I have to say, brushing my teeth at work is weird. I don't know why it strikes me as weird. But it does. I feel odd standing in the big staff bathroom and brushing while various folks wander in and out to take care of their .....ummm....needs. And somehow, in my head, that all seems just a bit brushing and drooling and them peeing.

So I've taken to brushing in my office. I try to make sure I do it without any of the drooling. But then, I have to wander down one hall, turn the corner and head down another hall, just to get to the bathroom so I can spit and rinse. The walk is odd..meeting folks while my mouth is full of bubbles and paste and a toothbrush...

"Hi Em, how's it going?"

"Mmm mmm..mmmm."

I thought about going and spitting and rinsing at the water fountain. But would I want to get a drink after someone else just spit there? Nope. So out of consideration....I haven't.

Maybe it isn't too late to ask Santa for a spittoon for my office.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

12 Days of Christmas

Up to this point I've spent 1 hour cruising for parking places, 2 hours walking in the mall, 3 hours sitting in traffic, 4 hours shopping online, and 5 golden hours waiting in lines to check out. Will it be possible to survive the rest?

We have almost entirely given up on eating food that we prepared. Taco Bell, Wendy's, Chili's, Burger King...I should be able to earn something for being a frequent eater. I mean, I earn miles for being a frequent I should at least get a free piece of bacon on my whopper next time I pass through the drive-in.

We've also almost given up on family time. The holidays really aren't about family anyway...that is just in the movies. We are too busy to really see each other. Unless you count Daughter15's band concert. We saw her. Sorta. From our seat way in the back. Too bad she was sitting behind that tall flute player. Why can't they let the alto sax players sit on the front row just once?

But there is something for which to be grateful. Gift bags. All sizes and shapes. Instant gift wrapping, no tape, scissors. Just drop it in and cover it all with a big wad of tissue paper. Every year I silently send good wishes to the person who created that life saver!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My network has networks

Is it just me or has it gotten really hard to manage an online presence? I know we are all busy with holiday stuff and kids and paying the bills and all that good stuff. It all takes time. And then we try to squeeze in time to read a few blogs, comment on a few, and update our own.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg! This blog is just one blog for me. I also have two that are part of my job. In addition, I help maintain numerous parts of a large website for our school. But even those big pages are just the beginning.

Let's talk blogs. How many do you read? My Google Reader tells me I'm subscribed to 162! Some are for fun. Some are for work. But it takes time to read them all. Google tells me I've read 1,193 items in the past 30 days. There were way more that I didn't get time to read. The problem is...I wanted to! I wanted to read them all. But there just wasn't time.

Then there is e-mail. At the moment I've got eight (yep...EIGHT) e-mail accounts. Many I don't have to check cause they are just associated with work things and all the e-mail gets routed to one inbox. But I do check four accounts several times a day and try to respond to all the mail I receive.

And Twitter. Do you tweet? Did you have to download and try Twitterific and Spaz and a variety of other desktop applications so you could easily read the stream of tweets?

Facebook? a page...visit it about once a month. MySpace. Got a page...never go there.

And don't even get me started on things like Ning and delicious and bloglines and all the other social networking possibilities!

I guess what I'm saying do you manage it all?? Do you even try? Or did you narrow things down to a simple e-mail and blog?

I want to be in touch. I love being in touch. I love the social networking phenomenon. But damn, it sometimes seems like a lot of work to have fun!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Braces. Yep, you heard me. Braces.

I'm 52 years old...and yesterday I got braces. Two hours at the orthodontist and I've got a mouth full of metal and ceramic and I look sooooo handsome.


That is not actually a photo of me...but it looks exactly like mine. Ceramic brackets on top with metal on the bottom. And one tooth without a bracket on the bottom. And my reasons for getting braces are just like this example...overcrowding on the bottom. So, like this person, the tooth without the bracket will be "excised" next Monday and will allow space for the teeth around it to close up and straighten.

Excise is a nice word, huh? Much better than pull....or yank. But that will be Step #2 next Monday.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a lot of pudding and mashed potatoes and applesauce. The soreness is definitely there...but the biggest issue is that my top teeth can't close all the way against my bottom teeth. So even if things weren't sore, I still would not be able to chew. I've been reassured this is normal and will resolve itself. I hope that resolution happens soon!

So is the soreness and the lack of chewing the biggest problem? Nope. The biggest problem is that I'm 52 years old and yesterday I got braces! Some things you just think you left behind when you were a teenager. But nope, it is never too late.

And does my vanity kick in? Oh yes. I'm quite certain that my awesome natural good looks just won't hide the fact that I have braces. However, my wife did say I looked "adorable".

Of course, she was laughing a bit when she said it.