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Christmas 2016

Saturday, December 31st, 2016 2 comments

The Christmas season has been fun this year. Even though the snow was an inconvenience at times, it was nice getting an unusually high amount of it for Portland this year.  I’ve spent a lot of time at home due to the snow and the fact that people work from home a lot during the holidays.

I didn’t have trouble getting into the spirit after the great Friendsgiving I had at my friends Matt and Zach’s place.  I may have dialed things back a bit because I’m living with someone who is not really into Christmas.  I think Kysen was going through some emotional stuff at the Friendsgiving celebration, but he had a good time.  We even went to see a movie that night. During the Christmas season, I still listened to music, sang songs, watched Christmas specials, etc., but I didn’t do it much around him. He was a good sport and tolerated it when I did.

We decided we would have more of a Solstice celebration. We decorated a little potted tree that Kysen normally keeps in his room.  We crafted some ornaments and even hung John Lennon and Yoko Ono sock puppets on it.  We took a photo in front of the tree with Reese, who wouldn’t be still.  We put the tree up the night of my accident. A little later that night, Kysen got a piece of headlight from my old car and put it at the base of the tree.
Family Christmas photo

I gave Kysen his gifts on December 21. He gave me my Solstice gift on my birthday because my birthday present hadn’t arrive in the mail yet. He gave me my birthday present on Christmas eve because it came in the mail that day.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were on a Saturday and Sunday.  We spent Saturday grocery shopping, art supply shopping for a class I’m taking soon [I think I forgot to write about the class I took in the fall], and getting some stuff for a tank Kysen bought (I think he got it the day before). I actually got a nano tank while we were out.  We spend Saturday organizing and cleaning and getting the tanks ready for fish. We had salmon and rice that Kysen cooked for dinner. One Sunday we finished organizing and were really lazy for the rest of the day. Kysen did some painting and I played video games. I used my slow cooker for maybe the second or third time to make Indian food. It turned out well. We watched Sausage Party while we ate.

What did I get for my birthday and for Christmas:

  • a homemade candle
  • a mermaid bathroom hook
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
  • Weird Oregon: Your Travel Guide to Oregon’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
  • 12-month PlayStation Plus membership card
  • a Broadcast tank top
  • Game of Thrones shot glasses
  • Imploding Kittens (the Exploding Kittens expansion)
  • Drawing the Head & Figure
  • a bag of cleaning rags
  • a Super Mario Christmas tree ornament
  • a video game centric drinking cup
  • MacBook Pro (gift to myself)

It wasn’t a traditional Christmas, but it was great to spend it with someone I care about. We spoke the other night about New Year’s Eve. Neither of us have plans, but we’ll figure out something.

This year has been a mixed bag.  Some of it’s been really great, and some of it’s been really difficult.  Life is still good though.  I met all the goals I set for myself last year. I think the last time I met all my goals for the year, I didn’t set any goals for the following year.  I think I’ll just wait a few weeks and see if I want to set any goals for 2017.

I hope everyone has a happy New Year.  Take care of yourself.

Christmas 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 No comments

Another Christmas has passed and another New Year is coming. I was thankful not to spend Christmas alone this year. Thanksgiving was a little tough. Seeing everyone post pictures of food and family while I was sitting at home playing Fallout 4 was a little sad.

Luckily, my friend Joel invited me to a Christmas dinner party that he was going to. He’s in the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and some of them had a fun party that night. My company and my runner’s group had Christmas parties the week before, so this was my third one this year.  I had a great time and it was fun connecting with new people.

What did I get for Christmas?

  • Blue Snowball microphone
  • Star Trek shirt
  • The Firefly board game
  • A wooden box that I plan on painting and keeping stuff in
  • A pair of briefs
  • Guitar Hero Live
  • Game of Thrones coloring book
  • Game of Thrones season 4 soundtrack

I hope I remembered everything. I’ll be getting something from my sister and family later.

This year I decided to end my tradition of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy in December. It’s just becoming harder and harder to find the time and this December I was trying to re-watch all of the Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens was awesome, btw). Last year was I believe the 10th consecutive year, so it’s probably a good time to end it. I’m a little sad because my favorite traditions are ones that I’ve started myself. I always said that the year couldn’t really end until I heard that Annie Lennox song at the end of the third movie, which I always watched on New Year’s Eve.

I think I stopped setting goals for the upcoming year after I moved to Portland. In case I’ve never said this before, I hate calling them resolutions. I posted some 2016 goals on Facebook the other day and figured I would post them here to make them easier to find. Some are repeats of things I did this year. #1 will be completed on January 1 and #2 may happen before the end of basketball season.
1) Go on at least 1 real date
2) Attend at least 1 pro sports event
3) Get more sleep
4) Get organized again
5) Keep doing the good things I started this year
6) Take more pictures
7) Not forget about this list

Usually I don’t do out on New Year’s Eve, but I am tonight. It might be the first time I’ve ever done so. I’m going to a private party at my friends Ez and Andrew’s place. I was also invited to hang out with the Chorus people I spent Christmas night with, but I had already committed this one. It should be a great time. I guess this will end my tradition of buying a bottle of wine for myself on New Year’s Eve.

I had such a great 2015. I put myself out there more and made many new friends. I don’t have a lot to complain about, and what I do I hope to change in 2016. I hope everyone has a happy and successful 2016.

Christmas 2014

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 2 comments

Christmas was good this year.  I was in the spirit pretty early on, but sometime the week before I lost it a little bit.  I got it back though in time for Christmas.  I was alone here in Protland, so at times I did feel a little lonely.  It was hard seeing all the photos on social media of people with their families and good food.  All I had for dinner was a piece of chicken and some veggies. At least I had Reese and he’s good company.  Next year will different hopefully.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas?

  • Spartacus: The Complete Series on blu-ray
  • Microwave (I bought for myself)
  • King size wine glass
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind hardcover
  • Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD
  • Labyrinth on blu-ray
  • The Neverending Story on blu-ray
  • Interstellar soundtrack
  • GIRL by Pharrell Williams
  • Twin Peaks soundtrack
  • Requiem for a Dream (the book)
  • Touch and Go paperback by Lisa Gardner
  • Game of Thrones map poster
  • Game of Thrones blanket

Christmas 2013

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 No comments

I had a good Christmas this year.  I decided to remain in Portland this year. It’s nice to spend a holiday resting instead of traveling.  I missed seeing my family, but I didn’t mind missing out on the airports. I worked on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, but I did take a vacation from work beginning on Christmas Day and ending on New Year’s Day. On Christmas Day I saw two movies, two of many movies I plan to see during my break. I’m going to a game night on New Year’s Eve, but that’s the only social activity.  I have planned.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas? My friends and family took very good care of me this year.

  • Grimm lore book
  • Batman figure
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Princess Mononoke on DVD
  • 2(x)ist underwear
  • Pizza pan
  • Beanie
  • Enterprise-D model
  • C.O.P.S. Vol. 1 and 2 on DVD
  • Batman snuggie

I sent my niece a toy Dora the Explorer guitar. I hear that she really liked it and was doing air guitar not long before she got her gift.

A Night at the Drive-In

Sunday, September 15th, 2013 No comments

When I was living in Mississippi, I was often jealous of things that my Twitter friends could do in their cities that I couldn’t do in Starkville. One of those things was going to a drive-in theater. I see tons of movies every year, but drive-ins are a part of cinema history I had yet to experience. That changed last night.
99W Drive-In

I know I searched for a nearby drive-in either before I moved or soon after. The 99W Drive-In is in Newberg, which is a 35-minute drive from where I live. This theater has been around since 1953. My friend Arturo and I went down to watch a double feature of Pacific Rim and The Conjuring for $8 each. I had seen both of them, but he hadn’t seen either of them. I had thought about going a few weeks ago, but they weren’t playing anything I wanted to pay money to see at the time. We got there early and got a space right up front. Each row has a little hill so you can park your car at an upward angle and get a more comfortable view of the screen. There were people there who were obviously more experienced at this than us. They brought chairs, blanket, blow-up mattresses, etc. Most of these people were in SUVs, vans, or trucks, and parked in reverse so they could lay down in the pack. I took some mental notes for next time.
99W Drive-In

It was packed by the time the first movie started. They played the two movies back to back, with an intermission in between. Along with previews for current movies, they played some advertisements from the 50s and 80s. I enjoyed seeing those 2 movies again even though it was weird hearing the sound through my car speakers. I had a great time there and I definitely plan on going back.
99W Drive-In screen

One thing I didn’t know until a few weeks ago is how much danger drive-ins are of going out of business. This is the last year that films will be distributed in 35mm and most theaters can’t afford the $75-$80K digital projector upgrade. Honda had a contest where they allowed you to vote on which drive-ins to save. They would donate a free digital projector to the top vote getters. When I found out about it, I spread the word amongst my local friends. Without this, 99W would probably have to close. As of last night, Honda had announced a few winners, but 99W was still waiting to see if they’d won. Earlier today I got a message from Arturo saying that 99W had won and they were doing free movies and snacks today in celebration. I’m glad that they’re staying in business and that I may have played a small part in it.
99W Drive-In won Honda contest

Star Trek Into Fun

Monday, May 20th, 2013 No comments

Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t overly impressed with many of the movies I had seen this year. Other than Warm Bodies, I hadn’t seen anything that I would consider great. Yes, I haven’t gone to the theater as much as I did last year. Word of mouth and laziness has made me skip a few movies I had planned to see.

The first few months of 2012 brought us some movies that I really enjoyed: Chronicle, The Cabin in the Woods, Haywire, and The Hunger Games. Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

This year hadn’t been as enjoyable. But then Iron Man 3 came along and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has some flaws, but overall it was a great ride.

And then a couple of weeks later we got Star Trek Into Darkness. I loved this movie to the hundredth power! I’ve been a Star Trek since I was a little boy, so the chances are that I was going to like it at least a little. This movie exceeded my expectations. It had everything I wanted! It’s the most fun I’ve had in the theater since The Avengers about a year ago. I’m already planning to go see it again, and I don’t see many movies in the theater more than once. I think The Avengers and the first Iron Man were the last two I did. Hopefully, the rest of the year can produce movies that are close to as entertaining. Go see it in IMAX 3D if you can.

Goodbye Netflix DVDs

Saturday, April 6th, 2013 3 comments

Today I canceled my Netflix DVD account and I’ll be streaming only from now on. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a couple of years now at least. I hardly use the DVD service anymore. Most movies that I’m interested in I’ll see in the theater and either never want to see again or like enough to buy when it’s on video. Most Netflix rentals sit around here for weeks or months and I send some back without watching them. I told myself that once I got my DVD queue down to 0, I would go streaming only. Technically, there are 2 movies left in my queue, but I’m sure I can watch them before my membership expires in 22 days.

I figured I can use one of the various streaming services or Redbox to watch new releases that I don’t want to own. I’ve already been doing that a little. Lately, Netflix has mostly been for older movies that aren’t streaming.

I’m going to miss getting those red envelopes in the mail. According to my account history, I first joined in March 2004. My first rental was Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 1: Vol. 1. The last movie in my queue is The Abyss (the classic version).

A Visitor

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 No comments

John was here in Portland for 10 days.  He arrived on Thursday the 14th and left on Sunday the 24th.  He told me he wanted to come here for his 30th birthday (the 21st) about 5 or 6 months ago and we’ve both been looking forward to it since.  We had a blast!  I wanted to write as much down as I could recall to help remember the trip.

Thursday – John’s flight was scheduled to arrive late Thursday night, shortly before midnight.  I saw online that it would be arriving a little late.  At some point, I stopped my car while I waited.  Some security lady told me that I couldn’t stay there and I had to circle around.  When I tried to start my car, it wouldn’t start.  I waited for John to arrive and then went to get help.  The airport sent someone to jump my car and we were on our way.  It was a great way to start John’s trip.

Friday – John went out and explored the city while I was at work.  My company had a party celebrating the opening of our new office here in Portland.  After John and I went to get my battery replaced, we chilled at my apartment that night.

Saturday – We got up and drove to Vancouver, British Columbia.  It was my first time leaving the country and John’s first time in Canada.  The hotel was pretty cool.  We went out to some clubs that night.

Sunday- We went to Granville Island and had lunch with my married friends Michaela and Dave.  After that John and I drove to Cleveland Damn and went on a short hike before it started to get too dark. We decided to go ziplining the next day in Whistler. We were exhausted after that, so we went to bed early.

Monday – We drove up to the mountains to Whistler.  I believe they had some winter Olympic events there in 2010.  The zipline tour on Cougar Mountain was so much fun. We got quite a bit of snow. We spent the night at Michaela and Dave’s in Richmond.  We had a steak dinner and some great beer.

Cougar Mountain, Whistler

Tuesday – We made our way back to Portland.  We stopped in Steveston Village, which is where they film Once Upon a Time.  It was cool seeing some of places where they film the show.  When we got back to my apartment we watched the latest 2 episodes.

Steveston/Storybrooke

Wednesday – I went to work and John did some more exploring.  Later John went to dinner with Breck and Mickey, two people that we knew back in Mississippi but have recently moved to Portland, unbeknownst to me.  After that John and I went shopping at Powell’s and Buffalo Exchange before heading home.

Thursday – This was John’s 30th birthday.  I got him a cake and an hour-long massage.  That night we went out to dinner at a pub and we went out to a club.

Friday – We had lunch at Little Big Burger.  They have delicious fries.  We drove to Tillamook near the coast for a wine and cheese tasting.  I discovered some great wines we both brought back something with us.  I don’t remember what we did that night.

Blue Heron French Cheese Company

Saturday – We went to the first ever Portland Comic Con.  We had 3-day passes, but I think we did everything we needed to in that one day.  We got to get Morena Baccarin’s autograph and see a bunch of stars.  That night we went to see Skyfall ant Baghdad Theater with Breck and Mikey.

Portland Comic Con 2013 crowd

Portland Comic Con 2013 - Morena Baccarin's autograph

Sunday – That morning it was time for John to go back to Mississippi.  I always hate parting from friends after having a good time. After he left, I cleaned a little, took a long nap, did some grocery shopping, and watched the Oscars.

I was glad that John got to visit.  I was worn out after being on the go for 10 days straight, but it was worth it.  I hope he’ll be here again soon.  I think he liked Portland and the Northwest enough that he wouldn’t mind living here.

Christmas 2012

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 No comments

Leading up to Christmas, there were times when I was really into the season and times when I wanted it to be over. Of course, the traveling was what I was dreading. I hate flying and driving gets old after a while.

I flew to Mississippi on the 23rd. This is the first time I’ve flown United. I had already made plans to fly to Jackson months before I knew everyone would be in Georgia for Christmas. I was going to cost around $1000 to change the flight to Atlanta, so I figured I would drive the rest of the way since I had already planned to rent a car. I spent the night in Jackson and drove to Decatur the next day. I had a blast in Georgia. I hadn’t seen my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in a little over 2 years and my mom since February. My niece is almost 3 now. She is adorable. I never got tired of her calling me “Uncle Will”. She wore me out a few times. I don’t see how parents do it. Seeing her joy at opening her gifts made me happy. It was great seeing everybody again and getting caught up.

The day after Christmas it was time to return to Portland. I drove back to the airport in Jackson. I ran into a high school classmate at the airport. Our plane was late leaving Jackson due to the plane arriving late in Jackson due to bad weather in Houston. I think we made up some time in the air, but it wasn’t enough. Between leaving late and being stuck waiting for a gate to open up after we landed, I missed my connection. I rushed through the airport as fast as I could. When I made it to the gate for my next flight and handed the lady my boarding pass, word came over the walkie that the door had closed. It was too late in the day for another flight. I was put on standby on the first flight out the next day. I didn’t like the fact that the customer service guy made it sound like it was my fault that I missed my connection. United put me up in a room in Houston, but I had to pay for most of it because my missed connection was caused by something beyond their control. This will probably be the last time I fly United, though other airlines would’ve probably done the same thing. I got a seat on that flight the next day and was glad when I finally made it home. Overall, a great Christmas, but I may be trying to convince everyone to come to Portland next year :).

What did I get this year?

  • How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
  • Super Fly on DVD
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlen
  • A Best Buy gift card that I’ve already spent
  • A nice shirt that I’ll probably wear on NYE
  • The Bourne Legacy on blu-ray
  • A Tardis cookie jar and Texas cookie cutter
  • One gift that I still haven’t received yet

Cabin Fever

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 1 comment

One benefit of working at home: It’s been about a month since I filled my gas tank and I still have a little under a quarter of a tank left.

One drawback of working at home: I’m going a little stir crazy. Other than trips to the gym and to the grocery store, I haven’t gotten out much lately. I’ve probably said this before, but this town is so boring. I’m glad to be leaving.

I think I’m going to the movies this weekend. Haywire looks really good and it’s getting good reviews. I’m interested in Red Tails as well. Watching the Golden Globes this past weekend made me realize that I slacked off on movies last year. That’s partially because a lot of movies I’m interested in don’t play in Starkville, but it’s also because it’s a lot easier and cheaper to stay home. Maybe I’ll go to Columbus and do some shopping as well.