Modern, Cool Nerd

According to the good people behind the Nerd? Geek? or Dork? test, I’m officially a Modern, Cool Nerd. I scored with some moderate numbers:

56 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 39% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd.

Nerds didn’t use to be cool, but in the 90’s that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn’t quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and “geek is chic.” The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!

It will be fun telling people that I’m 56% Nerd, 52% Geek, 39% Dork, and 100% Rock & Roll.

How’d you score?

oh • boh • KEEN?

You can hear it now:
“Say Hoboken.”
“Oh boh KEEN?”

If you haven’t figured it out yet (this means you my 2-3 loyal readers, and you know who you are ;-) ), then yes, we’re moving to Hoboken. After several grueling days of looking at apartments, we finally found one that has location and a view and is “reasonably” priced.

Either way, the ferry dock is about 150 feet from the entrance to the building so there’s my winner.

Hoboken beat out Edgewater & West New York for numerous reasons, but the biggest is the real estate mantra: Location, location, location. Again, 150 feet from the ferry dock; grocery, dry-cleaning, wine/liquor store, drugstore and Starbuck’s on the premises; sensational view of the Empire State Building and points south; restaurants, bars and shopping a block away (never mind across the river!); and the city of my birth (never-mind Frank Sinatra!)

But before we can enjoy all of that, we need to pack and move, so if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be going now.

Memories: Awake, Asleep, and Someplace In Between

So, with all of the craziness of moving back to Jersey in the air, something’s been happening in my head lately. I’ve been awash in a flood of memories of my own childhood and then seeing Nicholas in my place. These come at all times of the day and night… during work, over breakfast & dinner, as dreams while I’m sleeping, and especially when I’m lying in bed beginning to fall asleep.

Most of these are memories I have of doing things with my dad as a kid. Things like practicing the violin in 3rd grade in my parents’ study; going to the Shop Rite in North Bergen with my dad where they had a snack bar and I could get a hot dog and orange drink (they sold Shop Rite teddy bears and trucks there too—craziness); biking circles around my dad at Hudson County Park; learning how to ride said bike on King Ave. (I crashed into a bush the first time I really got going); going to the 4-Star Diner in Union City after Sunday School.

I think about these events in my past and I think about Nicholas. I know a lot of the area has changed somewhat since I was a kid, but I know a lot of it hasn’t. Doing fly-overs in Google Maps is always wild, retracing routes I used to take to places and realizing how close things actually are to each other. For, as a kid, going around the block was like traveling to a different country. I found the intersection where I fell out of the car when I was five (yes) and saw what it might have looked like from the sky.

It’s great fun watching Nicholas have new experiences and trying to remember what that was like. We talked at my last CTL Staff meeting yesterday about what it must be like to have the imagination of a toddler. Do they see and can they feel the make-believe object they’re playing with that only exists in their mind’s eye? How can one achieve that glory as an adult without resorting to mind-altering substances?

I’m very interested to see how this all pans out when I get to watch him have experiences on the same turf (sort-of) that I had them on. Just so long as they’re his new experiences and not mine relived. That’s a tricky part of being a parent.

Let the Games Begin!

It’s official.

I’ve given notice at UVM and begin work with Fry, Inc. on October 2, 2006. What was once sort of a dream is becoming a full-fledged reality. I’m reminded of the scene from Annie Hall in which Alvy & Annie are at Tony Lacey’s party and we overhear a snippet of a conversation:

Right now, it’s only a notion. But I think I can get money to make it into a concept. And later turn it into an idea.
[source: WikiQuote]

It sort of went that way. A notion in Katie’s head years and years ago, countered by my own fear of moving and great change being clouded by a “good job with great benefits” and being responsible for my (now late) brother. But now Billy has passed, and Nicholas was born, and with this the need to be less than 300 miles from anyone called family became stronger than ever. Katie’s notion never died, and in fact, it became a concept, then an idea, then a seemingly never-ending series of “plans du jour”, with many near starts.

None of them seemed quite right though. None of them had the potential to be my Annie Hall (if I can even compare myself for a brief instant to Woody Allen (which I can’t, so I’ll stop)). Then I ran into an old friend at a wedding and everything began changing. While running around Rhode Island looking at strange (to both of us!) towns to consider calling home and interviewing for jobs that only fit in some ways, a job that seems like the perfect fit becomes available in the old country (my old country, anyway).

So here I am, with only a few weeks left at UVM before doing what most of my friends did ten years ago– moving home. With any luck it won’t be nearly as crazy as it sounds, but I have a feeling that that’s not going to be the case.

Stay tuned…

Over the Weekend

So, I found this in my brain’s internal spam folder this morning… Not sure how it wound up there:

From: Legs
To: Brain
Subject: WTF?!

So, what the hell, man? I mean, sure… we can go to the gym and all… a mile here on the treadmill is cool.. Even a few on the bikepath is okay here and there. 400+ lbs on the leg press, no prob. But RUNNING SEVEN MILES?! Dude?! I mean, come on! Really, what the hell?

But seriously, had we known this was coming, we would’ve seriously kicked you in the ass several times a day, every day.

But no.

So now we’re just going to sit here, not doing anything. And then, when you really want us to do something, we’ll send pain impulses back with each tiny movement. We’re going to numb your ass until you can’t do anything but moan in agony.

Sleeping is going to hurt, you dirty bastard.

You just wait….
– Legs

This was apparently written by my crazy legs (I think it was actually penned by my right, because my left leg wouldn’t use that sort of language in an email) in response to running the Falmouth Road Race on Sunday. They’re right, it was a little over seven miles, but perhaps I didn’t make it clear to them that we were collectively training for a seven-plus mile race. And they’re making good on their promises of bizarro pain that I didn’t know could be created by one’s own doing.

So, here I sit (my ass LOVES to work– literally, he shows up early and goes home late every day… Gunning for promotion or something) writing this whilst I wince in pain, yet all the while, thinking about trying to beat my time (1:23:09) next year.

Oh yeah… Katie beat me by eight minutes, fifty-three seconds at 1:14:16.

Ever Heard a Bunny Scream?

Me neither until last night when our kind, gentle cat, Olive, dragged home a live bunny (for the sake of our discussion, I’m defining a bunny as a baby or immature rabbit) and proceeded to kill it before our eyes (and ears). For those keeping score at home, you’re probably saying “Rob, this isn’t news… Olive has killed bunnies before. Remember your rabbit-face buddy icon?”, and I must agree with you there. This isn’t the first time she’s killed a bunny. It’s the first time we’ve caught her in the act of doing so. And it was the first time we ever heard it. The bunny-in-life-threatening-pain sound is quite unique. Katie thought it was a bat, but it was too loud to be a bat. A piercing screech, pretty high-pitched, clearly designed as both a call for help and a warning cry in much the same way as a volunteer fire alarm calls firefighters to action and warns others that there’s danger afoot (speeding cars, firetrucks, fires, etc.).

I must say though, there was really something heart-wrenching and disturbing about hearing that little bunny scream like that. When we first heard the scream, we didn’t take note of it. We just figured it was some animal screeching outside. But when it happened again (and sounded quite close to the house), we were intrigued so we looked outside. And lo, there’s Olive with the bunny stretched out in front of her. She turned it around and it screamed again (that was the heart-wrenching, disturbing one, as we could see some interaction between predator and prey) and then she began licking its belly. Perhaps she had already ripped it open? Not sure. Then she wrapped her mouth around its face for a moment, as though she wanted to pick it up again.

I managed to snap one photo (coming soon when I get around to downloading the photos from my camera), but Olive apparently didn’t like the Auto-Focus light shining on her during her meal and I couldn’t bare to watch any more. Needless to say, she didn’t come home last night. Probably hovering over her kill and enjoying that satisfied feeling of being full. All that was left when I left for work this morning was a foot, the head, and some intestines.

Brief Hiatus

Well, maybe not brief, but in the context of hiati (is that the plural of hiatus?), 2-1/2 weeks is probably brief. Anyway, we are recently returned from our mammoth 2-1/2-week roadtrip to visit family of all sorts. And, herein lies the rub. I don’t like having to utilize all of my vacation time to see family. But alas, most people that I interact with on a daily basis already know this, so I won’t bore you (anybody there?) with those details.

Either way, we did 1200+ miles of driving, but we got a lot accomplished…

  • We went to Seafood Sam’s twice
  • We toured Barrington, RI as a possible place to live
  • We got Nicholas to the beach at the Cape
  • We drove to the Jersey Shore and toured East Greenwich, RI as another possible place to live
  • We got Nicholas to the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, NJ
  • I got to go boogie boarding (haven’t been in 15 years or so; photos forthcoming)
  • We got Nicholas in the pool
  • We went to Talia & Mark’s wedding in NYC
  • I went to An Event Apart while Katie visited family around North Jersey
  • I got to do more work :-(
  • We drove back to the Cape and toured Portsmouth, RI on the way
  • We took Nicholas to see a fish hatchery
  • We ran a 4.12-mile road race (my first race since I ran track in middle school). You’ll have to scroll almost to the bottom of the results page ;-) and Katie has now successfully guilted me into claiming that she won, since she ran slow with me (her idea) the whole way until we could see the finish line and I asked her if she wanted to sprint to the finish at which point I beat her by five seconds (although we crossed at nearly the same time… maybe it takes five seconds for my belly to get the hell out of the way)
  • We went to Jim & Brenda’s engagement party
  • We drove home
  • My classic Daring Fireball shirt was waiting in the mail for me upon return

As you can see, we did a lot and were on the road a lot. Nicholas is a champ in the car, although now I think he’s a little gunshy when we try to put him in his car seat. It wasn’t the most relaxing vacation ever (hence our ultra-long weekend at Lake George in August), but it was nice to see everyone we saw and do everything we did. As usual (you already know this if you followed most of the links above), photos are up on Flickr, now with more available for public consumption. The cute ones are still Friends & Family only though… Sorry, but you can blame the freaks that scour the Internet for pictures of kids for that one.

Little Man Update

So, it’s been a long time since there’s been a real update regarding Nicholas and his goings-on. In fact, I don’t think I’ve posted ANYTHING about him on the new site here yet (everything you see is from the old blog), so here you go (in a chronologically-themed order):

  1. Nicholas is tiny. For a while I wondered if he was a midget or not. He’ll be 15 months old tomorrow and he still sits backwards in the car (kids are typically big enough to turn around by 12 months).
  2. He eats like a Viking, and he eats real food too! His favorites at this point include roasted red peppers, assorted cheeses including mozzarella (fresh and fake), Parmigiano Reggiano (he’ll never eat that stuff in a can while he’s under my roof) and cheddar, pizza, avocado, spinach, carrots, beets (yes, beets), crackers, and pasta. There are more but I can’t remember them all now.
  3. He talks. Mostly he says his favorite foods (pepper, cheese, pasta, pizza, cracker), but he also says the obligatory Mama & Dada, up, hi, bye bye, and more that I can’t quite remember now.
  4. He walks everywhere (unless he’s freakishly too tall to get underneath something, in which case he crawls). Sure, he’ll still contend with the stroller, but if we’ll be someplace for a while he gets a tad feisty and prefers to be roaming on his own. You really can’t blame him for wanting to get his land legs on I guess.
  5. He wears shoes now. They’re really cute
  6. He dances ALL THE TIME, and he’s got some pretty slick moves. Hard to believe, especially if you were at our wedding ;-)
  7. He’s learning how to jump. I don’t recall learning to jump– maybe that’s why I suck at basketball. But if you ever get the chance to see someone who doesn’t know how to jump try to jump, pay attention– you may very well not be able to stop giggling.
  8. He’s learning how to use silverware. He’s been working with the spoon. Standard stepwise approach, I suppose. Today he stabbed his food for the first time with a fork and then got it into his mouth. There are photos over on Flickr (sorry, friends & family only), including a sequence of victory triumphing over defeat.

Birthday Cake 2006

My Cake!
Here’s the cake that Katie made for me this year. I knew she was to be my wife when she made me my first birthday cake back in June, 1998, as this also marked the return of celebratory birthdays to my life.

This year’s cake was a yellow cake with chocolate butter-cream frosting and the fancy decorations seen here. There’s also a closeup of the “31” from the top of the cake over on Flickr.

I’ve got some other pictures of cakes from years past that I’ll upload at some point shortly. The carrot cake from 2003 still takes the.. umm.. cake for best decorations, and Katie’s carrot cake will truly mess you up (in a good way).

Regarding the DMV

On this last day of 30, I headed on up to the DMV to renew my license as it expires at midnight tonight. I’ve got three words for you: TEN MINUTES FLAT. Well, maybe even less. I couldn’t believe it actually.

I rolled into a somewhat crowded parking lot with a few hours to spare before my next committment (which was actually cancelled prior to leaving the house, but since I had planned for it, we’ll pretend it still existed) and I got a chill that I’d be there for the entire time.

Here’s how it went down:

  1. Enter building and greet receptionist
  2. Get given a ticket and instructed to proceed to Window Two
  3. Arrive at Window Two and complete last two lines of mostly-filled-out paperwork
  4. Pay the $23 that it takes to renew your license for two years. This was actually, I think, the longest step in the process, as the guy behind Window Two had to dig for a moment to find change
  5. Step to the camera area (10 feet away), check my hair, look at Betty Boop while the man from behind Window Two snaps my picture
  6. Sit in the sort-of comfy chairs next to the camera area and begin reading Business Week online on my Treo
  7. About a half-sentence later a woman behind the desk in the camera area calls my name and hands me my new license
  8. Walk out the door of the DMV

In and out in less than ten minutes flat. Completely amazing.