wine by the color

Sunday, January 04, 2009

I return to work tomorrow for the first time since Dec. 23 and am already imagining the alarm will more or less feel like being shot.

But it's been an enjoyable break. In particular, 2009 has gotten off to a great start. New Year's Eve was spent with The Captain and many of his friends. We started our evening at a terrific hibachi/sushi restaurant, where I tried quite a few new foods. We then headed to their local bar, where they rented out the upstairs for festivites that lasted late into the evening. You can guess how that worked out:

No, those are not sober faces. But they are faces that had a great time and as a result slept until 12:15 p.m. the following day. And then napped throughout the rest of the day. But the face on the left had it back together by the following morning, which was good as my social calendar had a large red circle around it.

For years, the Sandman has talked about his "band practice" on Friday nights. Most of the others in our group of friends have questioned the legitimacy of this musical outfit, given that we have never met any of the other musicians and they never play any actual gigs.

Imagine my dual discovery that a) there is indeed a band and b) they do not suck.

It wasn't Zeppelin or the Beatles, to be sure. But the motley crew of musicians, most of whom were in the Sandman's father's age range, created an overall enjoyable musical experience, working through a solid playlist (including a great version of "Jersey Girl" dedicated to yours truly).

More notably, this group brought a tremendous amount of shtick. Seriously, this group needs its own television show. I don't know where to begin. I'll simply say it was a cast of characters the likes of which I have rarely come across. They kept questioning my sanity, asking if I was sure I wanted to be there, and certain I'd never return. Oh, I'll be back. I see myself making regular appearances.

But the real revelation of the night was experiencing the Sandman's musical talents in action. I knew he was musically inclined - I've been enjoying his kareoke skills for years and knew he could play some instruments. But he has incredible talent, particularly on the drums. I was mesmerized watching him play. It's always amazing to watch someone you have known for years do something you had no idea they possessed in their skill set. I have already started pestering him about why he hasn't pursued a career in music. As any good Jewish man would do, he's somehow blaming his mother...


The one thing I have not done thus far in 2009 is make a lengthy list of goals. As you may recall, last year I compiled a list of 25 goals for the year. Let's look at how those worked out...

Last year, I resolved to...
1. work less (outright failure until October; much better since)
2. dance more (I do a lot of dancing in Casa Magnolia and The Captain humored me by dancing with me in an Atlantic City bar a week ago; otherwise, not so much)
3. read one book per week (my biggest failure of the year - finished with nine. Not even one per month. Shameful)
4. lose at least one pound (success)
5. see as many Springsteen/E Street Band concerts as my time and finances allow (moderate success, with three shows; room for improvement in 2009)
6. write the second chapter of my book (started another book after what we like to call the Jerry Springer Episode of my life hit in early October, so I'll give myself an incomplete here)
7. shave 10 minutes off my 2007 Spring Lake Five time (eliminated six. A success, as far as I'm concerned)
8. ride my bike at least 700 miles (I stopped counting sometime in June. But I did well)
9. visit at least two new countries (went to Scotland)
10. knock three more states off my to-visit list (made it to two - Mississippi and Alabama - leaving five to go in my quest for all 50)
11. make strides toward finishing the world's slowest masters' degree (zero strides made)
12. consider getting Easy Pass (I only vow to consider it. I'm still not sure I want The Man to be able to track my every vehicular movement). (I considered it. I declined.)
13. maintain a low, healthy blood pressure regardless of what happens on Jan. 7. (I did manage to keep myself under control as Ohio State lost its second national title game in a row. Overall, I did a pretty good job when watching sports. Until the Jets-Seahawks game two weeks ago. Not my finest moment. Let's move on...)
14. finally clean the damn walk-in closet (I did this several times this year. And I'm sure I'll do it again in 2009)
15. start playing basketball again. (I tried, at one point signing up for a league. Which was canceled due to lack of interest)
16. do more camping (zilch)
17. stay out of McDonald's, particularly between the hours of 7 and 11 a.m. (Had I known they were opening a McDonald's four miles down the road in January of '08, I would NEVER have included this on the list. failure, but not my fault)
18. bring the crazy nephews to Shea Stadium and Coney Island's Astroland, both in their final year (Shea 2, Coney Island 0; but I understand Coney Island will live another year)
19. make a major appliance purchase. (another no, although that process is well underway for new kitchen appliances and should be completed in 01/09)
20. start to learn French (nyet)
21. consider writing a fan letter to Le Anne Schreiber (I sent her a lot of mental notes with quite a bit of positive feedback)
22. learn how to properly grill fish (another no, but I started dating someone who is a master at catching, cleaning and grilling fish, so I'll count that)
23. figure out how to operate the sewing machine I got last year (hmm, let's hope there is something I can say I did coming up soon, because this is another no)
24. do something completely irresponsible (whew. Of COURSE I did irresponsible things)
25. make one major life change (switched jobs)

When I look at that list, the one that really annoys me is #3. So when I compiled this year's much smaller list, that one led the way...

1. Read more. Doesn't matter what and I'm not putting quantity parameters on it. But there will be more reading.
2. Be more organized. For the first time in 13 years, I will spend the majority of my days at home, rather than on the road for work, and I plan to take advantage of it.
3. Reconnect with friends. Something I've done more of lately thanks to Facebook. Now that I'm finding old friends, I will make more time for them. As well as the ones I didn't lose touch with but haven't seen as much as I'd like during the travel-heavy years.
4. Move more. Play Wii, wrestle with the nephews, ride my bike. No resolutions in terms of exercise frequency or weight loss. Just be less of a couch potato.
5. The Great Photo Project. This is the big one. I have thousands of pictures. THOUSANDS. And I have no system for cataloging said photos. By year's end, I hope to have created a searchable database of all of my pictures. It is a massive undertaking. But classic photos like this one, which I found while scanning the old college photos last week, need to be easily found.

The other thing I should probably vow to do is post more often, so I don't have to write novellas like this, which has gotten out of hand. For anyone still reading, I thank you (and I'm speaking mainly to my mom and Todd's mom here). You're clearly gluttons for punishment.

Happy 2009!


  • At 1/04/2009 11:34 AM, Blogger David said…

    I share your alarm clock dread. I walked out those doors on 12/17 and, due to the memo that came out on 12/18, haven't given work much thought since then.


  • At 1/04/2009 1:01 PM, Blogger ClarkKent said…

    I assume it goes without saying that one of the silent resolutions you make every year is to never again wear jeans with that level of stonewash?

  • At 1/04/2009 2:10 PM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    DPH: Understandable.

    CK: that stonewash, the hair, the tie-dye shirt, the Keds sneakers. Really, everything but the smile and the friend/co-conspirator...

  • At 1/04/2009 2:52 PM, Blogger David said…

    That outfit cries out for leg-warmers...

  • At 1/04/2009 8:29 PM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    I am certain there are no pictures of me wearing leg warmers. That was one horrific trend to which I did not succumb.

  • At 1/05/2009 8:00 AM, Blogger freakgirl said…

    I love these recap/new year posts. Catches me up on everything.

    Again, I resolve to assist you in increasing bike mileage this year.

    I think I may have succumbed to the legwarmer trend at some point...I don't think I have any photographic evidence, though. Although I did recently uncover our prom photo. I have a lot a scanning to do.

  • At 1/05/2009 6:38 PM, Blogger jersey girl said…

    There will be lots of biking this year. I think I might treat myself to a new bike this spring. I have pedaled a LOT of miles on mine, and it really hasn't been the same since that curb/headfirst over the handlebars incident last summer.

    And that photo actually wasn't too bad. Sophomore and senior years were okay. The dress I wore junior year, however, is simply horrifying.


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