Monday, December 31, 2007

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Hey all,

It's New Year's Eve and I'm sure many of you are taking a moment to reflect on the past 365 days. If you're like me, you may even have taken some time to jot down your thoughts. Here are some of mine:

2007 was a rollercoaster year for me. Most notably, my health has deteriorated to the point of needing a liver transplant. I've already detailed my issues in past blogs so I'll keep this brief. I was hospitalized in July and have been battling liver failure ever since. I was listed for transplant on December 6, 2007. The past few months have been some of the hardest ever where my health is concerned. Thankfully, I've been feeling pretty good over the past couple of weeks. I hope that feeling continues up until the point I'm transplanted. We shall see.

My illness has been quite an ordeal, but I can't forget about some of the other notable happenings in 2007.

In December 2006, after almost 26 years of living with my family, I finally moved out of the house and was truly supporting myself. I had a decent job, a great apartment with a really cool roommate and had some great times, including many Patriots and Red Sox games on our killer high definition TV.

Speaking of New England sports, 2007 also saw the Boston Red Sox win the World Series for the second time in 4 years! Last night, the New England Patriots completed a perfect 16-0 season! It's a great time to be a New England sports fan.

2007 Fun Fact: I bought my first ipod this year.

In addition, my relationship with Trine grew and what started as a friendship between two people with similar (but different) health issues grew into something much more significant and special than I'd ever imagined. What began as a visit in December 2006 has become a loving relationship, partnership and, most necessary of all, a supportive friendship. I'm writing this blog from Miami, Florida, where most of you know I moved to a few months ago to be with Trine after nine months of phone calls and plane rides. I quit my job in Hartford and was in the process of moving down when I received a phone call and a job offer that I'd been hoping for, making the transition to south Florida a lot easier. Earlier in the year, my mother got a new job in south Florida so my mother, her boyfriend and my brother also moved to south Florida. Having family around has been great, especially given my health issues.

2007 Fun Fact: I ate four buffalo chicken sandwiches in a single sitting.

In August 2007, Trine and I bought Niles, an awesome puggle puppy (his mother was a beagle and his father was a pug). Niles is the sweetest, friendliest and most loving puppy you could ever want to meet. I've always wanted a dog and Trine helped make that dream a reality. Niles is now six months old and doing well. See my pics!

2007 Fun Fact: Alicia Keys' hit song "No One" is awful. Just plain awful.

Also, in 2007, my best friend, Beau, and his wife, moved away to Michigan so he could pursue his career. Though I was already planning to move to Miami, this has put a damper on our 13 years of songwriting. Our acoustic group, Championship Vinyl, is currently on hiatus, but I have no doubts that he and I will collaborate musically again in the future.

Shortly after Beau's move, I played my first solo acoustic show. It had been something I'd wanted to do for a long time, if simply to know that I could. I did and it was a lot of fun. It boosted my confidence in myself a musician. I've only played a couple shows since August due to both my move and illness, but one of my goals over the next year is to play out again.

2007 Fun Fact: Trine gave me the Nintendo Wii for my birthday. Thankfully, no blood was shed in the process.

With all the positives, I can't quite say I'm happy to see 2007 go, but I do have high expectations for 2008. Obviously, I hope to be transplanted in early 2008 and on my way to recovering and getting my life back. One of my favorite passions, weightlifting, has been put on hold until I am transplanted and recovered. I know it's going to be a long road to recovery, but I'm hoping 2008 will hold a lot of positive things for me health wise. I hope to write more fiction, blogs and music. I hope to both record and perform more in 2008.

2007 Fun Fact: This year was 60 minutes shorter than it should have been. I do not account for the hour I wasted watching the Soprano's finale.

Also, I have some friends getting married this year and hope to be healthy enough to attend their weddings in the summer. Sadly, I've already had to cancel my attendance at one wedding due to my health.

Trine is currently applying to medical schools so there may be a move in our future, but we're committed to each other and to making the relationship work. I think 2008 is going to be a very exciting year for us.

Happy New Year!!!

To 2007: It's been swell, but the swelling's gone down. Welcome, 2008.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas! (And some other stuff)

Hey everyone,

First off: Merry Christmas! This will probably be the last blog before the holiday, so I hope it's a happy one for you all and that you enjoy your brand new cars and expensive jewelry, which are evidently the true symbols of the holiday this year.

Seriously, do people really buy each other cars for Christmas? What kind of gift is it really? If you buy your loved one a $30,000 car, do you pay all $30,000? Or do you put down the initial amount due at signing and the rest is up to them? "Happy Holidays, baby. I put $2,000 down on a brand new car for you. Now you're saddled with an extra $350 per month car payment plus your insurance premium will also go up. I love you!"

Joking aside, I really am looking forward to the holiday. It will be different than previous Christmases, but change is good. I'm grateful to be spending the holiday w/ my girlfriend Trine, our half-insane puppy Niles, Trine's family, my mother, her boyfriend and my brother. I know there are a lot of people that I normally spend the holiday with, or at least see at some point, and though that's not happening this year, rest assured you're in my thoughts. With my health being less than stellar this year, family and friends seem all the more important. I'm usually not so sentimental, but I've posted the video of "Better Days" by Goo Goo Dolls on my page. I think it warrants a listen.

Even serial killers are cute at some point
Recently, CNN ran a story about a five year old Arkansas boy who killed a 445 lb bear. Now, my first reaction was 'wow, this boy was attacked and somehow managed to not only escape, but kill the bear. What a feat.' Alas, I gave him too much credit. Turns out the boy shot and killed the bear from a tree stand. Hey, that's pretty darn impress--…wait, what the fuck is a five year old doing with a rifle?! What kind of parents are raising this kid? Am I the only one who is a tad concerned? While this news item fascinating enough to make headlines, did anyone stop to realize that a 5 year old is handling a deadly firearm? And if I remember correctly, most serial killers start off killing animals as children. Let's keep an eye on this kid.

Experimental plane crash kills 1 (actual headline from
Ok, maybe this is being nitpicky, but what exactly was the experiemental part? The plane? Or the crash? "Listen Jimmy, we're trying out a new experimental way to crash this plane. It involves chickens, a grease fire and the complete first season of Gilmore Girls on DVD. You in? " Ok, so I realize the real meaning of the headline, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it's poorly written. I just thought I'd point that out, considering these people are supposedly professional writers.

If I'm offended, it must be bad….
I'm not above a tasteless joke, bad humor or pushing the envelope. You've read my blogs, you know what I'm capable of. I've blogged about school shootings in the past, including the Virginia Tech shootings, but my scorn, anger, rage, etc is always aimed at the pathetic loser who commits the crime and I never intend to poke fun or make light of the victims. That being said, there are some pictures circulating on the internet via Facebook of some college kids (in Pennyslyvania, I think), including one very obviously drunk girl, dressed up as Virginia Tech victims for Halloween, complete with V-Tech shirts, bullet holes and fake blood. What's even worse is that the kids admit that they're being disrespectful assholes. In fact, their intent was to shock and disgust fellow party goers and they showed no remorse when the pictures surfaced. This really pissed me off.

First off, you skank, you wanna shock someone? How about not having to do the walk-of-shame home the next morning with vomit and some guy's dong stains in your hair.

Secondly, I wholeheartedly support any threats of violence and retaliation on the part of current Virginia Tech students who are saddened, angered, outraged and disgusted by this display of utter disregard for the victims. Some people, regardless of gender, just need to get a good, old fashioned ass-kicking.

Lastly, the more I hear about what goes on on Facebook, the more credibility Myspace gets.

Anyhow, I hope you all get what you want for Christmas and that Santa Claus tickles you all in the right spots. Have a Merry one!

Next blog: Looking back on 2007, Looking forward to 2008.