December 2006 Archives

The year is almost behind me, and I've started to reflect a bit on the year that was. My first thought is that nothing of great import (for me personally) happened this year. Last year I finished college and got my first job, moved to Chicago, etc.

This year nothing major changed. I didn't move, change jobs, get a new car, date, etc. It's almost as if this year was the first year of the rest of my life. An idea I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with or not, perhaps because next year doesn't likely contain any major changes. I have no plans for anything besides a possible move in June/July depending on what happens to my apartment situation after Big J's wedding.

I'm checking in at the end of my "Christmas Break." I've not been to work in seven days and I desperately needed the time off. I've stayed up til 3am several times this week and started my day after noon a few times as well. I like to think of it as pretending I'm still in college, but really it's just relaxing to sit around with no responsibility and no pressing concerns.

The week was spent at "home" which is not home anymore, but rather Valparaiso where I grew up... but certainly not home even if it still feels like it. Valpo, more specifically Mom and Dad's house still feels like home, but it isn't. It's a quasi home, not to the point that I need to knock on the door, but still not home.

Samantha was there all week. She's four and a half months now. Cute as can be, and still awfully fussy. Theis calls her Fussbudget, an excellent nickname.

On Tuesday, Kyliah called the ambulance because John woke up with chest pains. It was surreal to wake up because the ambulance was coming and then to watch them cart John out of the house on a stretcher. Fortunately, it was a bad case of indigestion and John's been told to be careful with the diet and take some Pepcid. Everyone was super-relieved that it wasn't heart related.

Anne was around a lot this week. It was their first long break together since Myles popped the question. (They're engaged now.) It was a lot of fun having her around. She fits in quite well with the fam and she's very good with Samantha. I just like how comfortable everyone is around her.

On Tuesday, after John's indigestion scare, we all (save Kyli, John, and Samantha) went over to the Sutherlands for a Boxing day meal. It was good to get to know them better. They're an interesting couple and Anne's mom seems to have a story for everything you could imagine. She's a very interesting person.

Tuesday eveing was the annual "Smart Kids Dinner" and was quite enjoyable to see many of my friends from high school. There were nine of us in attendance, six still in school (2 med schools EM, BS, 2 law school JH, DK, 1 architecture CK, 1 engineering LT, and 3 of us out in the workforce.) Anyhow, I love getting the group together. It's always great to catch up and I hope we keep doing this for many years.

On Wednesday, we went over to the Espelands. Good times were had as all eight kids were together for the first time in probably four or more years. The evening ended with everyone blowing a ping-pong ball across the table.

The rest of my week was mainly spent playing Rome, Total War. Fun, yeah! Oh, it's nice and relaxing to waste an entire week of your life. I can't believe how frivolous I was with those wonderful weeks of bliss in college. I wanna go back to being a student.

Today was interesting. Mom and I had lunch at the Chili Bowl. Good catchup time. Played some Rome Total War. Decided I had to get out of the house as I was going crazy. Drove into Chicago to spend tonight and most of tomorrow away from screaming baby and crazy house with too much energy for poor Byron. So I got in and picked up the mail and there were two envelopes from the Illinois Board of Examiners.

As I had expected, they were my CPA exam results and... drum roll please... I PASSED! Woot! I passed BEC (86%) and REG (81%). These scores are added to my collection AUD (85%) and all I need to do is pass FAR and then I'll basically be a CPA.

I called Dad with the great news. It really was great. I've been trying not to think about the exams. My gut told me I'd failed both exams... I told myself that there was little likelihood that the exams could be as tough as I'd felt them to be and that I'd still passed them... but somehow, the studying and the classes and the praying and whatever paid off and I passed. I'm so relieved that I don't have to spend another three weeks cramming for exams. I hated November so badly. It was no fun, and to think I could have needed to do that again because I didn't pass the first time was too horrible to even think about. Now, the sun is shining and all I have to do is pass the FAR portion of the exam. Only three weeks of intense studying to the detriment of any social life I may (not) have. Only one more section to go. I know it will be tough... but by God, I'm almost there. I should have it by Baseball season... and if I can pass REG on 12 days studying, then I CAN PASS FAR. Oh Happy Day...

So, that's where I'm at mentally right now.

Later (after opening the CPA letters and calling Dad) Angel came over wanting to talk because of a tough situation with his mother, the social worker, and some stuff they said. That whole situation can be really tough on everyone involved and I really hate to get dragged into it, but I'm trying to be kind to Angel. Sometimes the Christ-like action can be really tough, and other times it can just be about listening. If I can't listen, I don't see how I could think I could do more.

Then, while Angel and I were watching the Sports Report, Wyatt called saying for me to talk to Theis who was stranded at Midway. So, I sent Angel home and went to Midway to pick up Theis who will have to fly out to Boston tomorrow instead. We came back, watched the Office, Ugly Betty, and knocked back a drink of Bourbon each. Bourbon... that's good stuff.


Long November

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It has apparently taken me eight days to recover from November... and what a horrible November it was.(*Disclaimer* There were some very good parts, but on the whole it was quite distasteful.)

I took three sections of the CPA exam in November (Audit on Nov 2, Business Environments and Concepts on Nov 18, and Regulation on Nov 30.) I knew leaving the Audit exam that I had done well, and that was confirmed at the end of the month when I got my passing score. I'm a little less sure about BEC and Reg, but I should know by the end of December.

For my birthday, my parents and younger brother drove into the city and met myself and my housemates at a quaint little Italian place called Rose Angelis. Awesome. The birthday was probably the highlight of November. Woo.

Otherwise, there was some enjoyable football and I got to go to my second Bulls game, but the month was short on entertainment and long on studying... something I had hoped was behind me.

This last week has been mainly about recovery. I've managed some writing, which has been fun because I've been storing all my creative juices since about mid-October. So, hopefully chapter ten of HPRotS will be ready by the end of this weekend. It's been nearly three months since I published chapter nine.

Today was a very good day. I had my annual review and it went well, resulting in a decent sized raise and a nice bonus. Of course, everything's already spoken for, but that's life. I doubt I'll ever get a raise that isn't spoken for three minutes after receiving it.

Aight, that's the update. I'll probably update later in the month.

Mercy, Peace and Love be yours in abundance!