Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Costa Rica!

Merry Christmas from Costa Rica!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The (Internet) Year in Review

Basically Facebook grew 12 fold and passed MySpace. Not bad for a site now valued in the $10-15 Billion dollar range. Can I just write a check for $15,000,000,000.00, how about an IOU? As a side note, Facebook reportedly made $150 million in revenue this year, which doesn't justify the valuation in my opinion, though Facebook is very light on advertising so it must be based on increased monetization as well as furutre growth in users. Has a social networking site lasted long enough to justify that kind of investment (see

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Top Dinners Ever

In honor of Dale (who is known for his Top 10 lists) I have decided to create a list of my best dinners ever. This is partially because I had a Top dinner just last week in Boston!

The criteria is Overall Experience, sometimes it might be good food, other times might be good company, and sometimes are because of a special location. Here the ALL TIME list so far, I am hoping I left some off the list and someone will jog my memory because I think all of these meals occurred in the past 2 years, so I feel like I am missing something.

#6 - Right Field Roof Deck of Fenway Park
For Dave's bachelor party, My Dad and my two brothers and I went to back to back Sox / Yankees games this year in September. The Right Field Roof Deck is awesome because you have your own table, a waitress serves you, and $100 of food and drinks for the table is included with the tickets. While Fenway food isn't gourmet, I do enjoy a good Fenway frank, some clam chowder and a hot chocolate on a cool day. Being with the guys at a Sox game is a great way to have a meal!

#5 - Tango in Aruba
Meghan and I went to Aruba for our Honeymoon, the beaches were amazing, the weather was perfect, no one is there in September, and the food was amazing! Tango had the best Argentinian Beef, maybe the best meat I have ever had and it wasn't too pricey. Of course the company for the honeymoon makes for a great atmosphere. In addition to my lovely wife, I was entertained by the restaurant's professional Tango dancers who put on a show every hour which was fun to watch. They also had outdoor seating so we made a return trip because we wanted to hear the outdoor band. They were a really great band and somewhat funny!

#4 - Flat Bread Company in Boston
This was the most recent meal and it didn't make the list because of the food (it's off my equity). Meghan and I were able to catch up with our friends Kathy & Evan, Beth & Tom, and Aaron & Laura from home. We had a long and funny dinner, we laughed the whole time and Meghan said her stomach hurt from laughing so much! The time really flew and it made me miss seeing everyone back home.

#3 - Honeymoon Dinner on the Beach in Aruba
On our first day in Aruba we scheduled the sunset dinner on the beach and it was awesome. It couldn't have worked out more perfectly because as soon as you land you are excited about being on the honeymoon and this was a classic honeymoon activity. The steak was good, the jumbo shrimp better, and the dessert was a delicious chocolate cake. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the beach and then ate by tiki torch light as the sun set.

#2 - Private Room in the Precinct for Dale's Promotion
This one was a shocker because I made the reservation online using open table, but in the note I put that it was a promotion dinner, and next thing we know we have our own private room in the back and the captain served us! Eating at the precinct is pricey and an annual event for us, but this dinner certainly was the peak of the "high society" dinner at the precinct. The steaks are amazing, and with great company of Dale, Dave & Rachel, and Jim & Karen - Meghan and I had a blast!

#1 - Omni Dinner in Indianapolis
It's not what you know but who you know, and Ivette's brother is someone important at the Omni hotel in Indy. We were there for research and were all hooked up with end suites for rooms. I think my room was the size of 3 with 3 walls of windows. The entire end of the building was my room! I thought we were living large until we went over to Ivette & Jamie's room for dinner, they had a 2 story suite with a spiral staircase in it! Their view and balcony was amazing. We had dinner catered in the suite by the staff, and they kept bringing drinks and food and desserts! The food and service were top notch and we were treated like VIPs for sure! We also had our secret santa exchange which was hilarious. The conversation was great and I really was "in the moment" enjoying the time with such great friends from work. Rachel, Jamie, Ivette, and Kandis (the Venus goddesses) have been a lot of fun to work with and I miss the SWAN team already! We also had our favorite moderator Alisha who is great, and our Agency person Jen who is funny. This dinner certainly takes the #1 spot as I know I don't have the connections required to duplicate this feat!

Honorable Mention
While not actually a dinner (and therefore didn't make the list), our Venus team was in Chicago for research and after a funny dinner in some fancy diner, we ended up at the hotel bar and had a blast! It was again the goddesses and Alisha but this time Joel joined us for the design research and he is a riot! I remember laughing the entire time and some detailed analysis of the new YAZ! commercials. It certainly was a memorable time and I think also the invention of the "crab arms" impersonation that Kandis does!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Awesome Trip to Boston

Meghan and I had an awesome trip to Boston. We got to hang out with my parents for a 30th Birthday (I'm old!) / Thanksgiving / Christmas trip, it's always fun to see them, plus we were able to catch up with a lot of people we hadn't seen in a while.

My cousin Laura cooked a great meal for us at her apartment. It's a really nice place, if I lived there Laura could find me at the poker table most of the time! We got to see my Uncle Paul and Aunt Diane who we haven't seen in months so that ware awesome. We also met Laura's boyfriend for the first time, he seemed very nice and we all had a good time.

Thursday night we got to spend some quality time with the parents and watch the Cowboys / Packers game. Unfortunately it was on the NFL network so I had to add it to my parents package, but the price was right at $5 per month so it all worked out.

Friday we got to go out to lunch with Jen and my niece Carly. We had a blast, Jen picked us up in the new VW bug which is a fun car. Poor Carly was under the weather so she slept through most of the fun. It was great to spend time with Jen because when both of the girls and the rest of the family all get together it's hard to catch up, plus Meghan usually gets kids duty and entertains them (aka distracts them) while I get to catch up with Mike and Jen. I almost need a separate day for adults and a separate day for the kids to see everyone!

Friday night we went out to dinner with Aaron and Laura, Beth and Tom, Kathy and Evan! I never laughed so hard in my life! We had a blast! The flat bread company was pretty interested, even though it was nitrate-free organic pizza made with whole dairy milk, it tasted fine. Our waitress was definitely "on equity" with the whole organic theme, and she didn't get sarcasm. I was especially glad that Beth hadn't delivered baby Trudie yet so we could see her and Tom, though we were hoping we would be present for the birth at the restaurant - no dice. Now I just need to meet Trudie in person. I hear she has been asking about me.

Saturday was fun and Mike, Jen, Josie and Carly came over. Josie seems like such a big girl now, and Carly is as cute as a button. They both love Aunt Meghan and she kept them busy. We had Apple pie and Boston creme pie - my two favorites! Mike also took me for a ride in VW #2 - the bug. It was a lot faster than the Rabbit, it's amazing how much fun you can have with 48 hp.

Saturday night I got to meet up with Lauren for dinner. Meghan was a little under the weather, so she stayed home. Lauren and I had a great time at dinner. I got to see her new car which is really nice and who doesn't love seat warmers when it's 13 degrees outside! We had a blast and had a long dinner, it's so nice to catch up but it also makes me a bit sad I don't get to see everyone back home that often. We decided to plan more vacations together, and one of these days Cincinnati will become a vacation hot spot and we'll get some people to come out for a visit.

Sunday was uneventful as we just flew home. The best way to survive a plane involves an iPod (in this case iPhone) and Bose Quit Comfort noise cancellation headphones. You are in your own little world of peace and quiet!

It was lonely to come home to an empty house without Shelby, she is so beautiful! She just got back from college last night and she was sooo happy to see us!

All in all a great trip home. Boxboro is a nice quiet little town, doesn't seem like too much has changed since I left.