the grinch stole my christmas

it's all about me!! 4 Comments »

I think I can pinpoint exactly when the grinch stole Christmas from me this year. It was when I had to fork over almost $6000 to replace our broken down heating system in my house last week. yup. there’s no question about it. It definitely ruined it for me.

bah-humbug!

..I guess I should be thankful that the outside temps weren’t all that cold during those days we didn’t have heat in the house. the operative word being *should*. :P

a productive break

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you should all be proud of me. normally during thanksgiving break, I simply “do nothing” and just “veg out” in front of the TV or make a huge glutton of myself. But this time around, I was actually pretty productive! I actually did some stuff off of my “honey-do” list. impressive stuff, huh? I replaced three outside light fixtures that are on the front side of the house. The existing fixtures were old and worn out so we got some nicer looking fixtures with a “classier” antique finish. The wife and I also primed and painted our oldest son’s bedroom. We never did get around to painting the room when we first moved into this house so getting his room painted was long overdue. We chose a nice bright looking “Coastal Surf” color since his room doesn’t get a lot of sun. I hope he appreciates it! and like most weekends during the fall, I tackled the leaves out on the lawn. man, our new backpack blower really rocks. it’s SO much better than that old craftsman blower I had all these years. so, how was your thanksgiving break?

dinner for two

it's all about me!!, Family Talk 1 Comment »

After enduring a long and rough week, the wife and I had the rare opportunity to go out and enjoy dinner together without the kids. I can’t even remember the last time we did that. anyway, we kept it simple and just went to a fairly new sushi place in our neighborhood. The restaurant was relatively empty for a saturday night so my guess is that the place won’t be open for long. Another factor that may contribute to their demise is that their food wasn’t all that impressive. But who knows? I’ve been proven wrong numerous times before so maybe they’ll be sticking around for the long haul. And that’s all well and good since we do need the variety in the types of places to eat around here. But another thing that clued us in on the *quality* of the food there was the fact that we were the only asian customers having dinner there at the time. It’s definitely not a good indicator for a japanese-fusion restaurant. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the dinner out. As parents of little boys, we’re always thankful whenever we’re able to sit and share a meal together in peace and quiet.

just another humdrum birthday

it's all about me!!, Family Talk 1 Comment »

In keeping with a long standing tradition, I took the day off on my birthday this past friday. I mean, who in their right mind would want to work on their own birthday, right? Well, instead of relaxing the day away, I unfortunately spent the bulk of it getting frustrated over setting up a new wireless-N router I received as a birthday present. I don’t know about you but whenever I’m in a situation where it’s not going quite my way, I get all worked up and become overly consumed in finding a way to make it right. For some reason, my old wireless-G adapter on my laptop wouldn’t connect securely with the new router. It’d work when the router is unrestricted but under WEP or WPA, it was a no-go. I was pulling my hair out, going through all the various settings trying to pin point where the problem was. If it wasn’t for my wife, I probably would have sat in front of the router and laptop for the WHOLE day until I got the darn thing working. Thankfully the wife pulled me away to get me to enjoy a nice meal at our favorite local korean restaurant. we then took our little one to the bookstore to stock up on some new books to read. As usual, the little one can’t help but stop at the train table to have a play with Thomas the Tank Engine.
the little one at the bookstore
And the day ended with me taking our middle child to soccer practice. while I was out with our future soccer star, our oldest went to his first school dance. No, he didn’t have a “date” or anything but went with some friends of his. Afterward, he told us that he had a blast. when asked what they did, he basically said that they ate candy, drank some soft drinks and just hung out. I guess, there wasn’t much dancing at the sixth grade dance. at least he had fun, right?
hanging out at the soccer field
As for the wireless router- I finally got everything working today (saturday). I never got my G adapter to work (in WPA mode) with the N router so I ended up purchasing a new wireless N adapter card for my laptop which pretty much solved everything.

7 facts

it's all about me!! 2 Comments »

Thanks for the tag Michael!! In keeping with the title of my blog, I’ll attempt to keep my 7 facts as mundane and humdrum as possible. heh.

Here are the rules:
List these rules on your blog.
Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

Here are my 7 facts:

1) spent a good part of my childhood in and around Chicago. I have some great memories growing up there.

2) my best friend John (in the fourth grade) introduced me to the wonderful sounds of The Beatles by making me watch Beatles cartoons on TV after school. I still love the Beatles to this day.

3) My parents forced me to take accordian lessons when I was little. Apparently, accordian music was BIG in the midwest at the time. The experience has scarred me for life.

4) My first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins during my junior year in high school. I’ve never set foot in another Baskin Robbins ever since.

an old corolla5) The job at the ice cream shop allowed me to get my first car at the age of 16. It was an old grey (1977?) Toyota Corolla Liftback. Man, it was an ugly car. with no air conditioning. Not even a stereo!! I promptly got into an accident in the old corolla in a matter of months.

6) I love playing guitar. but as I grow older, I’m finding less and less time to pick up the instrument to play. I was supposed to teach my son to play and as with most things with me, it has fallen by the wayside.

7) I procrastinate like nobody’s business.

As for 7 victims - well, you are all off the hook. it’s friday, go enjoy the weekend instead!! :P
you can thank me later!

Friday’s Feast - 06Jun08

it's all about me!!, ramblings 2 Comments »

it’s friday and you know what that means! It’s time for another round of Friday’s Feast!
fridays feast graphic 2008
Feast One Hundred & Ninety Two

Appetizer
When you drink soda/pop/coke, do you prefer to drink it from the bottle, a can, or after pouring it into a cup?
It really depends on if the coke is already chilled or not. If the can or bottle isn’t already cold, I’ll pour it in a glass full of ice. a no-brainer, really.

Soup
What television show are you willing to stay up late to watch?
sadly, there hasn’t been anything worth staying up for lately. Letterman and Leno aren’t really that funny anymore. and if there actually was something that I wanted to catch past 11:30, I’d just simply RECORD it to watch at a more convenient time. you know what I mean?

Salad
Name one person, place, or thing you think of as brilliant.
The guys that came up with youtube (Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim). absolutely brilliant!! they singlehandedly changed the way we all watch online videos.

Main Course
Would you be willing to work 4 10-hour days instead of 5 8-hour days in order to save gas?
I would be willing to do just about anything to save on gas. come on, these gas prices are killin’ me.

Dessert
If you were a superhero, what would you call yourself?
you know, I’m already known as “the International Man of Misery”. whatever I touch turns to shit. woe to all those that know me. I believe XTC already wrote my theme song!!

The disappointed all shuffle round in circles
Their placards look the same with a picture and a name
of the ones who broke their hearts
The disappointed all congregate at my house
Their voices sob with grief that they want me to be chief
Of the tribe with broken hearts
Once, I had no sympathy for those destroyed and thrown away by love
Seems, your ring upon my finger signifies that I’ve become the spokesman of
The disappointed will bear me on their shoulders
To a secret shadow land where a sombre marching band
Plays a tune for broken hearts
And day grows darker now everywhere, everywhere
The disappointed are coming in their millions
They’re spilling from the bus at a monument to us
Made of bits of broken heart
The disappointed are growing every second
They blot the sun to black at the bottom of the pack
I’m the king of broken hearts

- The Disappointed by XTC

lamest chorus program. ever. for reals.

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I hate to tell you all this but last night I witnessed what must have been the lamest chorus program in the history of mankind. you see, our elementary school somehow feels the need to add incentive for the parents to come to the quarterly PTA meetings so they schedule various events to coincide with the meetings like student awards, skits and yes, music from the 4th & 5th grade chorus. Look, I understand the turnout to the PTA meetings wouldn’t be as large without these added presentations but there’s got to be some accountability for the overall content and quality. I have no problem with the PTA meetings themselves but come on, we all got things to do and to prolong the time at these meetings with under-rehearsed, off-key performances just makes things all the more painful. it’s obvious that the problem stems from the music teacher. I’m sure she’s a kind, caring teacher but frankly, she just needs to go ahead and retire. Look, I know there are budget restrainst, limited resources and limited time for the kids to rehearse but there are still things that she could do to make these performances less cringeworthy. first and foremost - time. keep things short and sweet. this teacher does not know how to do this. for some reason, this woman wants to fill up 20 to 30 minutes where 5 minutes would do just fine. if there isn’t enough time to rehearse with these kids, why try to forces them to learn 10 songs? obviously most of these kids didn’t even know half the songs last night. just rehearse TWO songs with these kids over and over again until they get them right. another thing she could do is STOP singing along to prerecorded CDs. singing along to prerecorded music is SO LAME. how is this an actual performance when these kids are singing along to a boombox?? the least she can do is act like a proper music teacher and lead the kids with a piano. from what I gathered, the theme last night was early rock ‘n roll music like “Rock ’round the clock” and “The Twist”. but then, inexplicably toward the end of the long, excruciating program, she had three kids come up and sing “In the End” by Linkin Park!!! WTF!!! and again, they sang along to the Linkin Park CD!??!!! if these three had some semblance of some sort of talent it’d be one thing but they had zilch, nunca, nada and they didn’t even know some of the words for goodness sakes! who’s idea was this and how does this crap song fit in with the 50’s rock ‘n roll theme? someone please explain the logic??? and that’s NOT all!!! afterward, one of the kids that sang (can that even be considered singing?) Linkin Park, continued to hog the spotlight by playing the drums along with his dad on guitar (who looked like a Grateful Dead tribute band wannabe) and his dad’s friend on keyboards for a rousing rendition (NOT) of …wait for itCarry On Wayward Son. AGAIN, what on earth did we (the parents) do that was so bad that we have to sit there and endure such lousy renditions of moldy oldies??? the Kansas cover really put this over the top. it was wrong on so many levels. what’s the relevance of performing “Carry On Wayward Son”??? is there some sort of link to the 50’s theme that I’m missing here? and isn’t showcasing this one kid’s lack of talent a bit one-sided and inappropriate for this particular forum? Now, if the rest of the chorus had been incorporated into the epic 10-minute performance of “Carry On Wayward Son”, I would have given the music teacher some slack but the kids in the chorus weren’t involved and so the inclusion of “Carry On Wayward Son” really didn’t make any sense to me. can someone please talk some sense into this woman? am I the only parent that thinks these overlong chorus performances are a huge waste of time? Do I have to resort to getting myself elected onto the PTA board in order to save ourselves from future crappy chorus programs? oh the horror. oh the humanity. oh my ears.

Feast One Hundred & Eighty Nine

it's all about me!! 1 Comment »

friday feast
Friday’s Feast
Feast One Hundred & Eighty Nine

Appetizer
What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?
I loved watching saturday morning cartoons growing up. it’s tough choosing just one favorite so let me just say- the Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies shows

Soup
Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?
I’d probably go for one of those scruffy lil’ Jack Russell Terriers. I’d call him Bubba Gump.

Salad
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?
I’m a dress down kind of guy so I would rate it a 3.

Main Course
What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?
angry music to fuel my road rage!!! nah. I try to listen to new CDs every week in the car so that I can review them on my music blog.
This week I’ve been listening to the new Weepies CD - Hideaway.

Dessert
When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?
oh, the wife made me purchase a giant clock for our foyer about a year and a half ago. We never put it up. it’s still hidden away in our office! just another example of our great home decorating skills!

Happy Friday!! Have a great weekend.

the morning drive

it's all about me!!, ramblings 5 Comments »

ahh, the morning drive. it’s always an opportune time to gather your thoughts, listen to some music and enjoy some morning coffee.

..but it’s NOT so great when you’ve got the dreaded morning traffic jam to deal with…
cameraphone-DL-morning02-apr08-web

a lovely way to start a thursday, wouldn’t ya say?
cameraphone-DL-morning01-apr08-web

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the check engine light strikes again

it's all about me!!, ramblings 1 Comment »

the song of the day is dedicated to my car. specifically the ol’ SUV that I drive daily to and from work. it seems like everytime I take it in for routine maintenance I end up plunking down anywhere from $250 to $900 in repairs. what supposed to have been a $40 visit yesterday quickly escalated to $300. happens every time. lovely. I just hate taking this crap car in for servicing. it’s never a good day.
..well, at least I won’t have to stare at that dreaded check engine light for the time being. let’s see how long that engine light stays off this time around.
DLee - Song of the Day
Song of the Day: Ode to My Car by Adam Sandler

[click thru to listen to the song. warning - NSFW]
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just another rite of passage

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after posting about getting tickets for my son and I to go see Journey, I realized that I’m basically bringing things back full circle. kind of like a rite of passage. As I mentioned before, I get a chuckle out of thinking back about the first concert I’ve ever attended and how lame the bands were (The Monkees, Herman’s Hermits and Gary Puckett). the funny thing is, Ethan, my oldest, will most likely be thinking the same thing of Journey (plus Cheap Trick and Heart) when he looks back on this experience. I can imagine it now - “man, my dad took me to see some old farts playing some old 80’s tunes for a huge crowd of gray haired moms and dads reminiscing about the good ol’ days. man, that was soooo lame!” he’ll probably even post about it on his blog one day when he’s a dad and thinking about taking his own son to see a concert. ahh, the circle of life…

Journey tickets!

it's all about me!!, music 2 Comments »

legendary rock group Journey will be coming to town in august and ticketmaster had their pre-sale for the Raleigh show today. and as you may have guessed, I just got two tickets. I’m planning on taking my ten year old to the show - his first rock concert. I think it’ll be fun for him. the added bonus is to be able to see and support asian lead singer Arnel Pineda fronting Journey. I don’t know of any other mainstream rock band that features an asian frontman so this will be unique and exciting to see. there has been some great buzz from their initial shows in Chile and Las Vegas so I’m looking forward to the show. I wasn’t that thrilled with the ticket prices (plus all the extra ticketmaster surcharges!!) but what can ya do? I guess they can justify the price b/c this is a packaged tour. yup, Cheap Trick and Heart are also on the bill. boy, my ten year old’s first concert. If I remember correctly, my first concert happened way back in high school when a friend of mine’s dad was the head of security at a local university and he got us free VIP box seats to see none other than… *wait for it* … The Monkees. ha! It makes me laugh just thinking about it. it was their reunion tour back in ‘86 I think and they were packaged with Herman’s Hermits and Gary Puckett. but alas it wasn’t a *true* Monkees reunion since they were missing Mike Nesmith. ahh, memories…

check out Journey (with Arnel Pineda) performing Separate Ways live in Chile:

Journey’s brand new album, Revelation, will be released June 3rd exclusively through Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club.

easter weekend

it's all about me!!, ramblings 6 Comments »

easter-2008-kids-002
had a pretty good weekend. I accomplished all the tasked I had to do around the house. definitely a good thing since I usually sit around and procrastinate all day. did our usual easter egg hunt with the kids. and then had a wonderful sunday afternoon cookout with some awesome ribs the wife marinated overnight. plus our middle child got accepted to a brand new charter school that’s opening up this year. it was a lottery drawing and we just place his name in just to see if he’d get in. now that he’s “in” we have to sit down and really think this through. there are a lot of unknowns since this is a brand new school with no history to go by. plus, with the “charter” system, parents are required to put in some volunteer hours so that’s another thing to consider. and since there’s no transportation provided, the wife will have to drive our son back and forth everyday. if the school had a stellar reputation, it’d be one thing but there are no guarantees in this situation. lots to chew on…
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Feast One Hundred & Eighty Four

it's all about me!!, ramblings 1 Comment »

friday feast
Feast One Hundred & Eighty Four

Appetizer
Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city?
There are pros and cons for both obviously. but if I didn’t have to worry about cost of living, schools and the kids, I’d definitely pick the city life. I’m getting a bit tired of living around ignorant rednecks and prejudice suburbanites.

Soup
Who is the cutest kid you know?
you know I can’t pick just one! how ’bout these three?
the boys -dlee

Salad
Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard ___________.
I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the death of UNC’s Eve Carson.

Main Course
If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise?
I could be the spokesperson for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee since I seem to drink so much of it every day!

Dessert
What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis?
I have some centrum multi-vitamins that I forget to take on a daily basis.


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DLee.us - The Ridiculously Mundane by Daniel Lee