Christmas 2008

This Christmas was a pleasant and rather quiet one. We did the usual Christmas morning thing. Mom and Dad bought me a new Dremel. This afternoon, we had a nice meal with ham, turkey, sweet potato casserole and oyster dressing among other things. We didn’t go to Aunt Dionne’s house in the evening like we have in years past so the evening was uneventful.

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Christmas Eve

The better part of this Christmas Eve morning was spent with various cleaning up around the house. This evening, Dad cooked a nice dinner and we had guests, Aunt Lauren and Arien, who are in town for the week from St. Petersburg. We had a lovely dinner with jambalaya and sweet potato casserole. Aunt Lauren gave us each a thumb drive with a few hundred old family photos that she scanned, which was a very nice gift as putting it together would have been rather time consuming. The family spent some time looking at them after dinner.Later this evening, I watched Night at the Museum while I caught up on my log entries.

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Half Work Day

Dad and I went to the office this morning but we weren’t there all that long. After a little while we drove out to the Metairie office to get payroll. While in the neighborhood we went to the mall. I ordered Mom and Dad’s gift for in-store pickup at Sears. When I got there I had to wait in line a while only to find they didn’t have the item I ordered so I had to go upstairs to electronics to process a return for something I never received. We got something to eat in the food court before heading back to the office.We were only at the mid city office for a little while before leaving. On the way home, we stopped at the west bank office to give Annisha her pay check and stopped by the bank. Later that evening I watched Tsotsi.

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Yes Man

We opened the mid city office to patients this morning as we have a shortened week with the Christmas holiday. Things were quiet around the office but we did see a few patients.After work, I went to Wal-Mart with Mom to do a little shopping. I wanted to get something for my parents but they were out of stock of the item I wanted. I did pick something out for my Dad’s sister’s family though.Later this evening, I went to the movies with Jeff. We saw the 9:50 showing of Yes Man, and entertaining if forgettable Jim Carrey comedy.

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Gov’t Majik

I was at home for the better part of the weekend. I got my room clean, watched TV and so forth. On Sunday night I met Andrey, Patrick and David at the Hookah Cafe on Frenchman Street. It took over an hour to get a cab on the west bank but I wasn’t terribly late. Gov’t Majik had been playing for about 15 minutes when I arrived. I’ve heard them play at least once at the Hookah Cafe. I couldn’t characterize their music but they call themselves an “Afro-beat arkestra.” We were there for a couple hours and left at around midnight.

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Take 2

With the semester break underway, I’ve had a lot more free time to spend. In addition to my usual wasting time on the Internet, I’ve also been playing Fallout 3, which frankly feels too much like work. That may only be the case because my computer isn’t quite fast enough to handle the game properly.For the last couple days, I’ve been working on a revision to my website. I wasn’t especially happy with the redesign I did back in August and decided to take another crack at it over the Christmas break. I’m pretty happy with the end result although I don’t expect the new color scheme to be any more widely liked than the last one.

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School’s Out

With final exams and projects looming and my procrastination, I was preoccupied this past week with school work. Over the last weekend I spent my time with a large project for advertising class. After Monday’s LA politics exam which I think I did well on, I turned my efforts to the research paper assigned for that class. I took the better part of Wednesday off to finish it. My advertising exam on Tuesday was a simple affair.On Wednesday, I took the exam for finance class. I thought I did reasonably well and was the first to finish after about an hour. There was no exam for online journalism class but I did have a final assignment due Thursday evening, most of which I did that afternoon. With school done, I’ll have some time to catch up on some things I’ve been putting off like an update to the website.

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Thanksgiving Break

Regrettably, I’ve let another couple weeks go by without a log entry, skipping Thanksgiving and some of the lead out of the Fall semester. Jeff was in town for Thanksgiving and we had a nice meal at home. Later that evening we went over Aunt Doris’s house to visit some family.This past weekend I got out of the house on Saturday to go to dinner and a movie with Andrey, Patrick and David. Dad gave me a ride to David’s house and we drove out to Metairie and met up with Andrey and Patrick. It took a bit longer than it should have but we decided on the Sake Cafe on Veterans Blvd. I can’t remember the name of the dish I had but it was decent. I also had some sushi, something I enjoy but have only had a few times. It’s not the sort of food I would want to get from just anywhere.After dinner we went out to the Palace Theater in Elmwood to see Transporter 3, which quite frankly was pretty bad.I had work and class last Monday and Tuesday which was rather uneventful. This week was the first time in a while that I’ve been at the office at closing time on a Wednesday. Wednesday’s class went long as there was a lengthy review for the exam.Thursday’s final journalism class was about ethics. There was a small camera crew set up in the back of the classroom shooting footage for an upcoming school commercial. We received our final assignment, 850 words reviewing one of four online news websites.After class I went to McAlister Auditorium where Tulane’s orchestra and concert band performed this evening. I had my camera with me and shot some pictures with limited success. Performances included a rendition of “Peter and the Wolf” by the woodwind quintet and works by Bizet, Holst, Schubert, Sibelius and Saint Saens.There was a light crowd for the final session of ballroom dancing later that night. I couldn’t call the second hand of the semester a successful learning experience as I was still having trouble with the steps at the end. It continues to be an enjoyable diversion, however.This past weekend, I spent time working on a final project for advertizing class which required me to create a marketing plan for reusable cloth diapers. It wasn’t until late Sunday night when I remembered the project due Monday was for Louisiana politics class and I hadn’t started on that yet.I wasn’t at work this afternoon all that long. We were late arriving and I took the 3:40 shuttle to campus so I could go to the library to get a book or two for the Louisiana politics paper I need to write.The exam this evening was a short and simple affair. One student brought jambalaya as part of a special project. The professor was very understanding about the paper so I have a couple days to finish it.

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Ellis Marsalis at Snug Harbor

After a “full” day of work on Friday, Mom gave me a ride home with the caveat of a trip to the grocery store on the way. That evening, I took a cab to Frenchman Street to meet some friends at Snug Harbor to see Ellis Marsalis this evening. Andrey, Veronica, Jason, Shona and her friend Eric were there. I got there shortly before nine. With time to spare before the 10 PM set, we went over to d.b.a. for a couple rounds before the show.We all walked back to Snug Harbor at about 9:45 as a line was forming to get into the lounge. We elected to just sit in the balcony rather than try to find enough tables for our group. The music was quite good, more up tempo than some occasions I’ve seen him previously. Jason Marsalis was on the drums tonight, who I last saw at Jazz Fest. Peter Harris was on bass and Roman Skakun was on the vibraphone. After the show , we all piled into Veronica’s little Ford and drove to Magazine street in search of a place we never found. The rest of the group elected to call it a night and I ended up calling a cab home from Tulane.The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet. Dad got home Sunday morning. I tried to get some school work done this evening but the TV and my computer prevailed.

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Another Week

Although I have had the time to post since last Thursday, I elected to ignore it and do other things like play computer games and watch old episodes of House MD.After an uneventful Friday, I got out of the house on Saturday and went to a birthday party for Patrick at his parent’s place in River Ridge. Jeff was in town this weekend and agreed to give me a ride out there. He was planning to visit relatives nearby in Metairie. It was a nice, low-key gathering with lots of good food, a keg of Abita Amber and about 15 guests. I’d met most of them before at least once but the only other people there I was circumstantially acquainted with were Andrey, Veronica and David.Several of the guests departed around ten and the rest of us left sometime after 11. David gave me a ride uptown so I wouldn’t have to pay for a cab from so far out. He dropped me at the Boot and I got a cab from there in about three minutes, which was good as it was rather cold outside that evening.I had to cover for Dad at the office this week as he has been away. Consequently, I’ve been getting cabs to the office every morning. Elliot, the United driver I’m most acquainted with, has been filling the orders. On Tuesday and Thursday, I accepted rides from my co-worker Chander to get to campus after work. I also had to cancel plans I had to take a trip out of town this weekend which required me to get Friday off.Classes this week weren’t too bad. Monday’s Louisiana politics class was largely off-topic but characteristically short. One fellow student, Colin, and the professor were my only company in Tuesday’s advertising class in which our large final project was discussed. We are to prepare a marketing plan for a company that makes cloth diapers. Wednesday’s finance class was genuinely interesting and featured a lot of insightful discussion of the current market circumstances. The lecture was largely about investor methodologies.Tonight’s online journalism class was about media convergence and journalism and featured a lot of talk about blogs including the professor’s own. He didn’t issue a new assignment so any time I might devote to school work in the coming days can be devoted to the three final projects I have hanging over my head.There was a decent crowd in ballroom this evening. Most of the session was a recap of steps from last week with a new move introduced later. It looks cool when it’s done right but I wasn’t doing it right.

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Last Weekend

Friday and this past weekend were quiet. I don’t recall going anywhere. On Sunday I spent most of the evening working on a large update to the VAIO wallpaper collection on my website. I added about 90 new desktops which I’ve been collecting over the past month or so.I never left the house on Monday. There was no class because the professor had a family obligation. Dad had enough work to do at home so there was no real need to go to the office. I pretty much wasted the day in front of my computer.Work on Tuesday was nice and dull, as was the class which followed that evening. We didn’t finish until after eight because the discussion was littered with personal anecdotes. Later that evening, I started experimenting with an application called Samurize and altered a desktop widget I downloaded to suit my purposes. I want to replace the desktop calendar and system meters I’ve had with Yahoo! Widgets with something more minimalist. I am still working to find a suitable successor to the weather widget I’ve been using for the last few years.Class was more interesting on Wednesday. There was discussion on the current financial situation and the lecture seemed to have a bit more practical application than what has been discussed the last two weeks.

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Swing, Week 2

Wednesday was a reasonably uneventful day. There was decent patient flow at the office this afternoon. I left at four to catch the shuttle to campus. This evening’s finance class was about capital projects. We spent a majority of the time using our calculators to find out if project examples in the book would be profitable.Today, Thursday, had more going on. I got a haircut at 10 this morning. At work this afternoon I wrote a story for my online journalism class. The feature was about the declining state of newspapers. I had to incorporate an interview I did in class with another student last week. I’m not sure if the two little quotes I used will be considered sufficient inclusion.This evening’s class was about different forms of online advertising and their sketchy effectiveness. Class was dismissed rather early and I was able to catch the 7 PM tip-off of the Tulane/Loyola basketball game. Loyola looked pretty good against us for the majority of the game. Tulane had an early lead but Loyola came back big mid way though the first half. Momentum shifted before the buzzer but Loyola had a 29-25 lead at the half. Tulane came back in the second half after what I would assume was a stern talking-to by head coach Dave Dickerson. Slowly but surely they reclaimed the lead and built on it as the game drew to a close. The final score was 64-71.There was a healthy crowd in ballroom dancing this evening. Most of the hour was spent recapping last week’s steps but there was some new material which I was slow to pick up on. Afterward, I went over to PJ’s for a while. Andrey told me there was a chance a group of friends would be going out this evening. I left ph cell phone at home today so I just had him meet me there when he knew something. He showed up at 10:40 still unsure and we talked for a while until he got a call saying nothing was going on tonight. I got a cab home and arrived at about 11:30.

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Election Day

This past weekend was decidedly uneventful. I never even got around to writing my paper for Louisiana politics class. On Monday, I did the paper at work. Class that evening was short, an overview of the book we’d just written a paper on.Before going to work this morning, Dad and I went to go vote. Our precinct is rather small so there was only a 15 minute wait. The other precinct at Eisenhower School looked like it had over an hour wait.Work was rather uneventful today. I watched the series finale of The Sopranos, a show I’ve been watching for the first time recently. I didn’t pay all that much attention in class this evening because I was poring over election returns on my laptop. With Pennsylvania called immediately after the polls closed and Obama up in the count early in Florida, the outcome was apparent rather early. Dad picked me up after class. I spent the rest of the evening watching TV.

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Jazz and West Coast Swing

Again, I am behind in posting and I don’t remember much from Wednesday. I had a reasonably full day on Thursday. I spent the whole workday getting a mid-term assignment done for online journalism. I had to write up to 1000 words on the upcoming election. I managed to finish before I had to leave for campus this afternoon. I’m not sure how well it will go over with the professor, however.This evening’s class was a continuation on interviewing which was discussed last week. Mr. Greenberg showed us some more interviews and at the end of class we interviewed fellow students for next week’s writing assignment.I finished with my ‘interviewing’ shortly after seven. I walked over to Dixon Hall where Ellis Marsalis was playing a free concert. Accompanying him were the three familiar musicians that can be seen at his Snug Harbor performances including xylophone player Roman Skakun. The auditorium was nice and crowded. Following the hour-long set, Mr. Marsalis took questions from the audience. For the most part, the questions had him speaking about his background in music including his teaching days at NOCCA. One of the questions was a request to play “A Night in Tunisia.” Marsalis quipped that he could play if he was in Tunisia at nighttime. At the end of the question period, the Marsalis quartet took a crack at the song, even though they had never played the song together before.Afterward, I went to the Reily Center for ballroom dancing this evening. This was the first week of west coast swing and there were about 26 people in attendance. I had fun but I did have trouble picking up the basic step, which really isn’t that complicated. After ballroom I ended up talking to Andrey on the corner of Willow and McAlister until I got a cab home at about 11.

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