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2006.05.22 joyeux anniversaire:

it seems almost inconceivable, but today marks the sixth anniversary of the first post on bipolar. of course, that post was pretty much just a test post, but no matter. and it's also not to say that bipolar has enjoyed much life in the last year. out of the last 10 months, it seems i've only successfully posted in three of them. brian has fared a little better, posting in four out of the last 10 months.

i suppose this is one of the reasons why blogging has gone the way it's gone… the only people who can effectively keep it going are the ones who are getting paid for it.

nevertheless, brian and i are still here, still putting up stuff when we can find time to do it.

now, in honor of our anniversary, and anniversary posts past (which, on review, I've realized were fewer and farther between than I'd have hoped) here's a brief recap:

a few things I didn't mention, or barely mentioned were the births of my goddaughter�sara's niece emma�and my first nephew, reuben. of course, now I have four nieces and a nephew, and they are all uniquely adorable.

sara's almost finished her third year of med school, and is looking forward to getting a greater concentration in her chosen field of pediatrics here in the upcoming fourth year.

lastly, a large chunk of my friends, those from the core murray group, are finally getting themselves married off. brax this past month, and nate and the puffin in very short order.

six years covers a lot of ground in the lives of 20 somethings to 30 somethings. i do wish i could have chronichled more of the last year, but i suppose it's better to live a life you've no time to write about, than to have tons of time to write about the life you wish you had. six years has seen me go from a time of insecurity (personally, financially, professionally), to the complete opposite. I've gone from waiting for my life to get started, to realizing that it already has. and even better than that, I'm happy.

2005.07.19 not so humble:

wow, we actually got to go see a movie!

seriously, it seems like we've not gotten to go to a movie in an insanely long time (though we did go see Batman Begins on our honeymoon). but, we finally managed to get out of the house to go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which i loved. i loved the original movie, and i love this version of the story too… they are so completely different, it's hard to even compare the two. unfortunately, i haven't read the book, so i can't really say which is the more "accurate" version.

finally had a little job interview today, which i think went pretty well. it's actually a little surprising, as generally, one of my hallmark traits (self-promotion wise) has always been a heaping helping of humility. strangely, during the last few interviews i've been much more "at ease" and confident about my abilities and about my inter-personal interactions with the interviewer(s). it's a very weird experience for me to not be timid around people i don't know and who could have some influence on my career. at a few points during the interview, i actually felt like i was delivering some kind of post-shakespearian monologue. perhaps i went a little overboard at points, but i think it was ok. i think i might've overdone the hand-talking… but otherwise, it seemed to go well.

on a more local level (bipolar-local, that is), i've been trying to spruce up the gallery scripts a bit, since they suffered some after the move to the new server and directory structure. i've managed to get the galleries themselves working and displaying properly, but there're some issues with the (still relatively new) "view by date" code that i haven't been able to spend enough time to massage out yet. and thus far, brian's joycamproject is still utterly non-functional, which is probably also a result of directory re-organization more than anything. hopefully, i'll get a chance to fix that up here soon, then help brian get the actual joycamproject implemented with the designs he's come up with. once that's accomplished, i intend to kick up development of a ground-up recoding of the gallery scripts… something i've been contemplating for a while now.

should be fun and challenging.

last but not least, i took a few moments yesterday to register our RSS feeds on Feedburner. so if you're subscribed to our feeds through an RSS reader, you'll want to update your subscriptions to the following:

main feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar
brian's feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar/left
matt's feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/x13design/bipolar/right

now, the fun aspect of this change, is that Feedburner allows you to integrate a couple other sources into your standard feeds. so, brian's feed is integrated with his flickr account, and will intermix any new images he uploads there with his posts here. for me, i don't have a flickr account yet, so i'm integrating my del.icio.us bookmarks feed into my bipolar feed. so… one beautiful side-effect will be regular updates (of the RSS/Atom feeds) even if we don't necessarily post on that regular of a basis.

now, these things aren't integrated into the main bipolar feed (though they could be if "demand" is there), so to take advantage, you'd have to subscribe to our individual feeds.

another good thing about Feedburner is that we're no longer stuck (well we never were before, but i could never be bothered to create an Atom output for MovableType) with just RSS… feedburner will serve up whatever type of feed your feed reader asks for… Atom, RSS 0.9, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 probably others… so… subscribe away!

2005.07.06 now, back to your previously scheduled reality:

as you might have guessed, there's been so much going on in my world of late, i can hardly keep my head on straight, much less figure out what to write about. first and most importantly, the wedding was awesome, and married life thus far has been challenging, interesting, enjoyable, and fun (not necessarily in that order). to read more about the wedding itself, check the last post on the wedding website.

after the honeymoon (which we both enjoyed the hell out of and wished never to return from), we've been busy trying to dig ourselves out from under all the crap that got piled into our house the following week–mainly wedding presents, but also all her stuff when we finally got her (almost completely) moved in. things are settling out, finding their places, and we're getting the house in order (have i typed/said this a million times already? it sure seems that way… oh well, i'm nothing if not consistent) i've been too busy and distracted the last few months and in the weeks since the wedding to even really think about getting a bunch of pictures online, but i did manage a few of the simpler smaller sets. wedding/honeymoon pics will follow as soon as i can get them whipped into shape.

one set i did manage to get online are the ones of our new kittens! artemis and apollo are about as cute as kittens can be, but ari was a bit sick the first few days… we're still having to give her some anti-biotics, but i think she's feeling much better. of course, they're both turning out to be little shits, running around like crazy, knocking stuff over, scratching the shower curtain… y'know being kittens, essentially. we're trying to "train" them, but as you'd expect, it's hard to control them when you're not home–they tend to do whatever they like, which usually involves something potentially destructive.

the other gallery i got up was some of the pics from my new phonecam.

generally, things are great, and we're gearing up for our first big party this weekend–something i've been itching for for quite some time.

- 05:07 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Family - Friends - Happy/Love - Love Life - Travel - Wedding - Wife

 

2005.06.10 anxious/nervous/excited

the day is almost upon us. tomorrow +3 hours from now, i will be married and beginning the next phase of my life. it'll be weird to share a house with someone again, but i'm looking forward to having Sara there all the time.

amazingly enough, i haven't really been nervous or apprehensive about the whole thing until about… oh, 10 minutes ago. i think my nervousness mainly stems from the confluence of events and things that have to happen in the next 24 hours to pull this thing off. plus, we're taking a weeks vacation, and i always feel like i'm leaving something undone in the days/hours leading up to a departure. and there are so many things to leave undone. of course, none of them cannot be picked up when we return, but it's the reality of leaving things in a half-done state that is a bit nerve-wracking.

while we're gone, my laptop will be in the shop, the electrician will be roaming about the house bug-bombing the crawlspace and grounding all our outlets. seems like there should be more going on than that… amazing how the mind blows things out of proportion at the slightest provocation.

nevertheless, i'm trying to maintain my focus on Sara and enjoying the proceedings. tomorrow is all about me & her, so i want to make sure we're not losing perspective with all the other stuff going on.

and despite that selfish focus, i'm sincerely looking forward to being able to get all my friends and family, and new extended family under one roof, and to be able to see and talk to as many of them as possible, especially those i don't get to see very often (which is pretty much everybody, considering our social calendar of late).

so, i'm excited, i'm nervous, i'm anxious, and i'm focused (or trying to be) on the things about this next 30 hours that are the most meaningful. all-in-all i suppose i'm pretty much the typical husband-to-be.

wish us luck!

completely unrelated link: Technorati Profile

- 10:42 am - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Family - Friends - Happy/Love - Love Life - Travel - Wedding - Wife

 

2005.05.12 a dam bursts:

holy cow. i swore (to myself) i'd stop mentioning with every new post how long it's been since the last one, but jeeze louise, i'm making history here! a whole month gone by without a single post in it, and just over two months since my last post! it's a bipolar first folks (and hopefully a last). i'm going to have to fix the archive index script (see way below) to skip April 2005 for me… weird.

anyway. as you might have guessed by my last few posts, and by my (even for me) uncharacteristic silence, i have been bizz-eee… no, not even that, i've been extremely fucking BUSY for too damn long now. let's recap, shall we?

1) finally bought a house.
2) closed on the house and moved out of the old apartment
3) ITS ALL A BLUR
4) slowly began to see light again
5) started writing this post

i think somewhere in there around 3 and 4, Sara and i spent a bunch of money buying stuff for the house, she had a couple of bridal showers, so we got crap-loads of gifts, i've been doing honest-to-god yard-work, washing a crap-load of dishes (no dishwasher), trying to get my stuff organized and put away, trying to finish the wedding website, trying to finalize wedding plans, trying not to go insane.

we're getting a load of brick today… how incredibly surreal and weirdly pedestrian and adult-like is that? i spent 8 hours on sunday outside… my world is currently sitting directly on its head.

the work roller-coaster was barely noticed (by me, anyway… Sara would've been freaking out if she hadn't had to study so much for finals), in that my 1 year contract expires at the end of the month… but my newly minted boss finally managed to push the paperwork through for a 6 month extension, so i'm gainfully employed until… er… christmas time.

all this, and the wedding is only… 4 weeks away. i'm not consumed with fear or anxiety yet, so that's a good thing. and hell, i'm looking forward to being able to get away from all this recent hubbub for a week and just enjoy *life* (and being married) for a moment without having to deal with anyone or anything else.

but i'm glad my sis, a new foreign service initiate, is coming into town this weekend and bringing that cute niece of mine with her. and she'll actually be staying in the states most of the year as she does her FS training, so it's conceivable we could see her more than twice in the next six months. and then, of course, she'll ship off to some foreign land, and we'll be hard-pressed to even get to see her once a year.

and my darling has successfully completed her 2nd year of med school and is even now studying for her first set of boards. i think we'll have at most a week after we get back from the honeymoon before she has to start her first rotation. thankfully she managed to get it set up so she doesn't have to leave town to do a rotation for a while.

and last, but not least, after giving up my precious kitties to Paul and Allison, and having been in the house for a month and getting it mostly whipped into shape, Sara and I are looking for two little kitties of our own. we want babies, and we'd like them to be litter-mates, but we are a bit flexible on that last bit.

and thanks to everybody for their well-wishes and congratulations re: the house. we're hoping to have a house-warming party soon, and i'll make sure to mention it here unless anybody out in the wide world has an opportunity to make it down for a weekend (pre-wedding, i'm hoping)

oh, one more thing… i just launched the wedding website yesterday, so go check it out!

2005.01.18 where you do want to go today:

sara & i have finally really started the ball rolling on this whole buying-a-house thing we've been talking about. we're talking to real-estate and mortgage agents, and we've been to our first open house this past weekend. what fun. and so many questions to ask & answer… do we top-end it, or bottom-line it? do we get a fixer-upper, or something we'll not need to do much work on? where exactly in the hell are we willing to live? obviously we can't afford much in the highlands, so how much are we willing to compromise on location? (in case you're curious) if anyone sees or knows of any decent houses in the 100k – 115k range in that general area, feel free to let me know. we are on the hunt in a big way at this point.

in other news, sara, in her constant struggles to get me off my lazy ass and exercise for a change, has now resorted to bribery. she's now offered to get me "whatever MP3 player" i want, if i'll join the running team she's on and at least walk with the walking contingent. it is a tempting offer. so far, i've narrowed down my choices to either: the iRiver H340, or the (no surprise here) iPod.

Here's how it breaks down for me so far:

iRiver

cons

  • not as much 3rd party support
  • not as pretty
  • i've "heard" the ui isn't as elegant, and borders on counter-intuitive
  • i've "heard" you have to create playlists on the PC, you can't create them on the fly on the player
  • heavier, bulkier
  • the company isn't unstable, but it's still not apple
  • not your standard "hip" apple mp3 player
pros
  • direct LineIn jack
  • built-in microphone w/ voice record function
  • mounts as standard USB removable storage device (acts like a hard-drive)
  • don't have to use proprietary software to access/manage songs
  • not your standard "hip" apple mp3 player
iPod

cons

  • no voice record feature/built-in microphone
  • no direct line-in jack
  • must use iTunes?
  • mounts as USB storage device, but only for non-music/media files?
  • it's "hip"
pros

  • it's apple!
  • lots of 3rd party accessories & stuff
  • it's cute
  • it's hip
  • it's userfriendly?

if anyone can think of any pros or cons i missed for either of these two, or has any specific thoughts/suggestions either way, please post a comment and help me make up my mind.

2005.01.11 creeps in this petty pace from day to day

the time rapidly approaches wherein my bachelorhood will find it's end. as i've mentioned before, the planning process is progressing, and gathering in force. my lovely bride-to-be, being in med school, has (however tentatively) handed over the reigns of this process to yours truly (and her mother), so i'm going to be hip deep in it for a while. my other projects will have to take an increasingly distant back-seat to the three big uber-projects that i have to undertake–1) planning the wedding (obviously), 2) planning the honeymoon, and 3) finding a place for us to live.

if any of you here in the 'ville have lines on a good, relatively cheap DJ who'll do a wedding reception without prattling on incessantly and trying to be funny, let me know about 'em.

a sub-project that's moving closer to completion is the website i'm designing to house relevant information and meaningful stuff–something to kind of mark the occasion for us and provide all the answers for the curious. i'm trying to do it without going off the deep-end of cheesiness, though i imagine that with a sentimental site of this nature it's probably almost impossible to avoid. nevertheless, the main point is to have fun creating something honoring our relationship. it's still far from complete, but i've posted some mockups, and i thought you might enjoy them.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

those are real low-quality JPEGs to save on bandwidth–the actual site won't look so blurry.

comments on the design are welcomed.

- 05:28 pm - PL :: 4 Comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Happy/Love - Love Life - Personal Projects - Wedding - Wife

 

2005.01.05 another one's just begun:

so, Jan 2002 was the last time i did a year end recap post, and i've kicked myself every time i've forgotten. so, here goes…

setting the tone for a large percentage of the posts to follow (and the year to follow, natch.), my first post of 2004 (even worse than this one, at 17 days after the new year) jumped headlong into politics and razzing george w., and also mentioned some stuff about the gallery scripts, both of which practically became an obsession for me.

also, i think this was the first year where i've managed to post only once a majority of the months out of last year.

anyway, some major events happened this year, the first of which was deciding (not that i had to think very hard about it) to ask my girlfriend of 1.5 years to be my wife, then throwing down the bones for a ring.

of course, no sooner had i bought the ring, than my boss at work called me in to tell me the place was shutting down. luckily, i landed a new job before the last one was over, so i had something to come back to upon return from the trip to France Sara & i had been planning.

we left for France on schedule, me with a diamond ring hidden–wrapped in paper, taped to a fob on my keychain–so it wouldn't get lost with or stolen from the luggage, and so she wouldn't find it if she were to rummage through my carry-on. we had a first day in Paris that ranged from great to horrible, then woke up fresh-faced the next day ready (well, except that she didn't know about it yet) for the event that would alter our lives in subtle and profound ways. in the afternoon, i rummaged through my backpack for the ring, dropped to a knee, and asked her to marry me. of course, she said yes.

after this event, life carried on–settling into the new job, more politics, more gallery scripts, helping her cope with school, adjusting to the idea of being married, making wedding plans, making other future-oriented plans, looking for houses, talking about finances/money/retirement savings (sheesh). i'm startin' to feel all growed-up.

then of course, there was the travesty we called an Election…

and now Christmas has come and gone, and the New Year as well. it's time to hunker down and make preparations for tomorrow. time to think about the things we want in life, the things we can have, and how to correlate the two. don't make resolutions, just do what needs to be done, do what you enjoy, and do the best you can for yourself and others. none of us are at the mercy of our surroundings, rather, it's the other way around. grab hold of yourself and make this year a better one than the last. call up a friend, go to a movie, bake yourself a cake, quit smoking, just be happy.

- 05:19 pm - PL ::
categories ::  Bipolar: Year End Recap - Happy/Love - Love Life - Nostalgia - Politics - Society - Travel - Wife - Work

 

2004.06.28 let the countdown begin!

my lovely girl and i took off for Paris on May 19th, and had a wonderful trip. we spent just over a week with my sister & her husband, and their insanely cute little self-propelled floor scrubber. the trip itself was awesome, and i'll write more about it in detail later, though not in as much detail as the last time i went, partly because i didn't keep a detailed journal like last time, and partly because, as infrequently as i update, i'm sure you guys don't want to be bored to tears by 8 days worth of interminably long posts. 'cause you know if i wrote 'em, i'd write 'em big.

anyway, the main reason i'll not write more about the trip in this post is because there really was only one event that i want to highlight, and it's possibly the most important event so far in my life (except, perhaps, for my birth). it took a lot of planning, and even some conniving and sneakiness, to pull it off, but i like to think i pulled it off with charm, character, and panache.

on friday, Sara and I headed out on our first full day in paris (we don't count thursday, 'cause we were barely lucid after staying awake for 36+ hours…) to the louvre, which is the only place i had regretted not spending more time at on my last visit. we spent several hours walking around the louvre, until the pictures started really blending into each other, our feet were demanding a break, and our lungs were clamoring for fresh air.

back out in the daylight, we wandered for a bit through the courtyard, then out towards and into the Jardin des Tuileries. some of you might recall the garden as being the location of my favorite view of Paris. when we reached the end of the Jardin, near the huge gate connecting the gardens to the Place de la Concorde, we went into the little bookstore set into the wall, above-which was the spot–my ultimate destination. of course, i'd told sara several times about the spot, and the view of the Parisian skyline that it afforded, with the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Egyptian Obelisk in the large open plaza.

the bookstore was filled with gardening books, and was really just a delaying tactic, though a completely explainable one, considering Sara's mom's gardening/landscaping hobby.

still, there wasn't much of interest, so we left the bookstore and headed up to the spot. hand in hand, we trudged up the incline to the top of the wall. we walked up to the fence and stood there for a minute or two just kind of taking in the scene and hanging onto each other. then i told her i wanted to get some pictures, and i handed her my backpack, so i could dig into it for my camera.

i reached in and rummaged around for a while, long enough for her to get curious as to why it was taking so long. just about the moment, she said "ah… wha…", i set the backpack down to the side, dropped down to one knee, and, with ring in hand, asked "will you be my wife?"

after taking the briefest of moments to recover from shock, she said she would. we hugged, she cried a little, and we just enjoyed the moment for several minutes. i'm certain the french couple sitting on the bench nearby had seen the whole thing, and were either watching us intently, or trying intently not to watch us. we walked over to another bench and sat for a while, talking, and just being close. then we got up and took a few pictures to mark the occasion.

after taking in the view one last time, we headed out of the Garden and onto the streets, walking down to a restaurant in the Marais district that my sister had picked out at my request especially for this evening. we enjoyed the night air, had a great dinner at a classy-yet-cozy little French restaurant, and then made our way back to my sis's place.

i couldn't have asked for a better day, and i couldn't have hoped for all the little plans i'd been working on for the proposal to have gone any better than they did. and i couldn't have hoped for a better girl to have that day with or make those plans for. so, after 20+ years of waiting to find the right person, the countdown has finally begun to end my life as a single man. in June of next year, we're not sure exactly when yet (though, probably on the 11th for all of you who're expecting invitations), we'll get hitched and get started on our long lives of bugging the crap out of each other and laughing about it later. wish us luck.

personally, i can hardly wait.

» France 2004 Gallery

- 05:21 pm - PL :: 4 Comments
categories ::  Family - Happy/Love - Love Life - Travel - Wife

 

2003.12.18 you'd think *i* was the one in med school:

hi. uh… my name's matt. you might remember me from such hits as "posts on a semi-regular basis," or "lies, lies, and more lies." needless to say, considering the time of year, quite a bit has happened since my last post. i'm not going to try to go into it all in one post, but here's a summary, in the form of an ordered list:

  1. visited nathan in bloomington over a weekend
  2. followed, almost as i predicted, the fun the Courier-Journal was having with Ernie Fletcher's stupid transition team choices, and his lies about them not being lined up for jobs. he hadn't even been sworn into office yet, and already his making questionable choices and getting reamed for it by the liberal media.
  3. got to meet sara's new niece Emma Rose
  4. got a new cell-phone, but had to wait a week for it to work, because of the whole number-portability thing
  5. went home for thanksgiving and finally got to meet my new niece Emma Ruth
  6. made some modifications to the MP3 of the moment thing… anyone notice? — for a while, i was uploading the mp3 directly from WinAmp to the server, and the magic script gnomes were providing a link to it for you to download. i scrapped that in favor of…
  7. more modifications to replace the previous modifications — now, if you see the little "listen (x)" link after the MP3 name, (on my side anyway), you can "tune in" to my bipolar radio stream.
  8. even more modifications that basically entailed me taking the javascript that was driving the MP3otM thing, and converting it all to PHP. — oh yeah, and, it doesn't show up at all if it's been more than 30 minutes since we last listened to anything.
  9. finally managed to get around to buying christmas presents, spent way too much, but found some cool stuff.

sara's working on her 1st semester finals this week, so i've been trying to keep her sane. i'm just looking forward to the rest of the month, at least until she starts her 2nd semester. it'll be nice to be able to hang out with her without her worrying about a test or having to study 90% of the time.

i'm looking forward to this next week as well. christmas with the fam is always an enjoyable time, even if i'm somewhat of a anti-social hermit while i'm there. i've been getting better over the years, we'll see what happens this time.

btw. winamp5 has been officially released.


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