Thursday, December 21, 2006

Relocation Day Two

So I woke up a little late, of course with the time difference, I was right on time ;-). I drove from my hotel in Glenview to Evanston, my future home. I had done some research the night before on parking, registration, and driver's licenses. Now aware of all the rules, I parked in front of my building and walked the block and a half to the "L," hopped on the purple line, transferred to red, then to brown. I got off and walked 12 blocks (1.5 miles) to the Wirtz Realty Company and the leasing office. I sat down, spent all of three minutes signing paperwork, got my key release so my super can hand me those, off onto Belmont street I went.

I got on the bus and rode through Lincoln Park (the 151 Manders, we spent most of our trip here on that bus) and got off and the top of the "Magnificent Mile." I got a hot dog from a street vendor, just chilli though, I was not willing to spend the points on some cheese. I called Amanda, walked into a few stores, being that I paid a deposit on the apartment, first month's rent, AND my mortgage this month, money is, shall we say, a bit tight, so I did not feel much like shopping. My house is supposed to close on Friday and I can loosen the purse strings enough to buy a few presents, maybe even make a car payment! The store fronts were quite well decorated and were fun to look at. I strolled down the Mile to the Loop, where I caught the Brown line train back up to the Red, to the Purple, and off at my South Blvd. stop back to the building. I met with my super, walked around my apartment a little bit, imagined the furniture placement.

I headed back to the hotel at about 4:30, I didn't feel like dealing with rush hour, traffic was a little heavy. It seems that as long as you avoid highways, you are in good shapes when you are in and around the "close-in 'burbs." Most of the people who live way out there are the ones who clog the interstates.

As I headed downstairs after a swim and a shower, I went downstairs and was headed for dinner, while checking my e-mail I smelled italian food, I was right. It turns out that this hotel serves a free dinner, tonight was meatball subs with some chips. Best of all, free Miller Lite on tap. Needless to say with free beer, I blew a few of my weekly points allowance.

Watched a Duke game... went to bed.

Relocation Day Three

So woke up way too late, even on central time. Who cares though, I am just time and learning my way around this place until the moving guys show up. I feel like a homeless vagabond with no ties to anywhere. I decided I wanted to check out the hub store in Schaumburg, IL.

I was not aware of how far this place was. One thing I learned about the difference of sprawl of 1.2 million people (Charlotte) and 8.4 million people (Chicago) is that when you drive 20 miles away in most directions from Charlotte, you will find a farm or a forrest. When you drive 20 miles from Chicago, you will find Charlotte. Schaumburg is the largest of the Chicago suburbs and our store there is huge. It is a very nice looking red and tan brick building, hardly looks like a Carmax at all. The front lot is roughly the same size as our Independence store. As I was checking out the local Wendy's, Mitch the van driver called.

Mitch said that he would be there in a couple hours to drop my stuff off. I got to the apartment around 3 and called him, he said he was about 3-4 hours away (to me, that is more than a "couple") so I went back to the hotel. I chilled for a few hours and decided that before rush hour hit, I would go to Evanston and see what local eatery I would like to sample.

I tried the local greek place, the food sucked but I think I didn't really order something I would have likes, so I am willing to give it another shot. I of course saw a place as I was walking down Main Street that was right up my alley, so I know where I am going to eat tomorrow. I went to the local coffee shop, bypassing the Starbucks on the way, I want to keep my money in the community when I can, a little lesson Aunt Annie always taught us. She eats at the Red Lion in Elizabeth not because the food is so great, but because there are jobs attached to that place and Elizabeth needs all the help it can get. I went back to the apartment and waited, and waited...

I met one of my neighbors while I was knocking on doors to pre-apologize for the impending noise. His name is Robert, his wife was out of town visiting relatives and he works in sales for some kind of medical supplier. He and I chatted about the area and what drew each of us to the Evanston area. Everyone I have met so far has applauded me for our choice and been nothing but positive about the community.

Finally our stuff arrived, about 5 of 8. Unlike the loading process, I had to help. There were too many steps. The alley behind my building made my apartment pretty accessable but the stairs were very steep, they would not pass any building codes today, my guess is that they are "grandfathered" in because of the building's age. Some of the bigger stuff, like the headboard, dressers, and my desk had to be hauled in the front door and brought up those steps. So now all the crap is piled high in the living room.

Agenda for tomorrow, 1, meet my new boss and my new boss' boss, 2, unpack some stuff if I can and sort through some crap, try to figure out where to put things.

Friday.... shopping day!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Relocation Day One

So I thought I would tell you what it is like on a relocation journey. %0D%0A%0D%0ADisclaimer%3A+The+long-term+hotel+I+am+in+has+free+beer+on+tap...+thus+the+following+does+not+nessicarily+contain+the+truth+or+objective+views.%0D%0A%0D%0AWell%2C+that+being+said%2C+this+could+be+worse.++%0D%0A%0D%0ADay+1%3A%0D%0A%0D%0AJon+wakes+up+at+Amanda+%26+Marlies%27+apartment+around+the+ +of+nine.++%28discontinue+third+person+here%29++I+am+a+little+hoarse+from+screaming+at+the+top+of+my+lungs+the+night+before%2C+the+Barenaked+Ladies+put+on+a+Holiday+concert+which+included+the+soon-to-be+classic+Christmas+ad-lib+%22Canadian+Jesus.%22++I+clear+my+throat+and+drink+a+Diet+Pepsi%2C+wondering+how+I+will+get+the+day+done.++This+is+the+first+day+of+this+journey+where+I+was+genuinly+scared.++I+drove+from+Stonecrest+to+my+mom%27s+and+was+perplexed+by+the+chain+of+events+that+lead+to+my+Chicago+relocation.++I+don%27t+know+what+I+am+scared+of+and+I+must+admit+that+as+I+write+this+the+feeling+has+subsided.++I+stoped+by+the+credit+union+to+pick+up+some+travel+cash+and+went+to+my+mom%27s.%0D%0A%0D%0AI+got+to+spend+some+time+hanging+with+my+mom%2C+she+made+me+scrambled+eggs+as+we+chatted+about+stuff.++She+did+a+couple+loads+of+MY+laundry+%28old+school+yo%21%29+while+I+showered+and+got+ready+for+my+flight.++Everything+that+I+own+that+isn%27t+currently+on+an+Atlas+Van+Lines+truck+is+now+in+the+back+of+the+1989+Chevy+S-10+that+I+spent+the+first+3+years+of+my+driving+life+in.++All+my+stuff+is+sitting+in+the+garage+waiting+for+my+to+load+into+my+4Runner+and+drive+out+of+Charlotte%2C+the+next+time+I+come+back+it+will+no+longer+be+home%2C+I+will+be+visiting.++%0D%0A%0D%0AI+got+to+the+airport+and+of+course%2C+my+flight+had+been+canceled.++Shrug+Shrug%2C+I+lope+off+to+the+%22speak+to+a+human+line%22+to+await+my+destiny.++Thank+God+I+am+US+Airways+Dividend+Miles+Gold+Prefered+because+I+think+I+would+have+been+in+line+for+hours+to+be+told+I+just+missed+my+last+chance+to+get+out.++The+airport+was+full+of+soldiers+on+leave%2C+by+the+busload+they+enter+the+terminal%2C+I+thank+God+right+there+for+their+service+and+I+am+glad+I+don%27t+have+to+work+for+W+and+get+shot+at+so+his+family+can+get+richer...+I+digress.++At+first+they+tried+to+stick+me+on+a+7%3A55-9%3A30+flight%2C+uh%2C+can+you+say+unacceptable%21++Then+they+tried+to+send+me+through+Philly%2C+umm%2C+yeah%2C+see+I+want+my+luggage+to+arrive+the+same+year+that+I+do%2C+and+if+where+January+I+may+have+given+it+a+shot%2C+but+giving+Philly+only+2.5+weeks+to+deliver+my+luggage+was+just+not+enough+time.++I+opted+for+the+earlier+connect+thru+Indy+that+cost+the+airline+more+money+because+it+was+a+United+Flight...+screw+you+USeless+Airways.++%0D%0A%0D%0AArriving+at+O%27Hare+is+good+times%2C+I+get+to+the+rental+car+counter%2C+check+in%2C+go+out+to+get+my+car...+oh+wait%2C+this+isn%27t+good%2C+in+the+mid-size+department+sits+20+PT+Cruisers+and+20+HHR%27s%2C+both+of+which+are+again+unacceptable.++I+am+not+too+cool+for+these+cars+and+if+I+were+in+Charlotte%2C+I+would+not+have+a+problem+being+seen+in+them.++However%2C+I+am+in+%22Drive-It-Like-You-Stole-It%22+Chicago+where+the+speed+limit+is+merely+a+guide+as+to+how+fast+you+should+drive+with+a+flat+tire%2C+not+four+good+ones.++I+spent+20+minutes+digging+out+the+only+V6+car%2C+a+Carmax+Blue+Pontiac+G6+burried+behind+a+row+of+5+PT+Loosers.++The+lot+porters+were+not+happy+with+my+choice+and+asked+about+what+I+was+doing%2C+after+my+retort%2C+my+helpful+sympathiser+remove+the+last+PT+Cruiser+and+I+was+on+my+way.%0D%0A%0D%0AYou+must+be+thinking%2C+what+a+day...+it+aint+ % ++I+got+up+to+the+Deerfield+area+which+Amanda+and+I+were+familiar+with+a+little%2C+I+called+the+number+on+my+sheet+and+got+the+fax+machine...+uh+oh%2C+well%2C+at+least+I+have+an+address.++So+I+finally+spot+the+address+and+pull+into+the+empty+parking+lot%2C+it+is+an+office+building+for+a+company+that+sells+and+distributes+urinal+cakes%2C+or+ +pucks%2C+on+an+industrial+road.++%28Ladies%2C+ask+your+man+if+you+don%27t+know.%29++I+am+none-to-impressed+with+our+travel+department+at+this+point.++After+some+help+%28%3F%29+from+directory+assistance+I+am+lead+to+a+hotel+20+miles+from+where+I+am...+this+is+not+the+right+hotel.++The+ladies+at+the+Springhill+Marriot+are+nice+enough+to+google+my+hotel%2C+give+me+a+proper+address+and+phone+number%2C+after+missing+my+turn+once%2C+I+am+able+to+find+it%2C+check+in%2C+and+go+get+a+sub+for+dinner.%0D%0A%0D%0AIt+was+a+stressful+day+one%2C+but+after+this+my+fear+is+gone%2C+there+are+many+obstacles+you+can+throw+my+way.++Go+ahead%2C+send+them%2C+I+will+navigate+them+all+and+prevail%21+++

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Good Night & Good Luck

Okay, so I am not signing off but it will be a while before I post again. Gee, I hope I don't loose my fan base... whats that?.... you say I don't have a fan base.... well cool, no one misses out then. Anyway, I am going to be without computer for a while, but as soon as the proceeds from my house come in and the final bills are paid... iBook here I come!

Til then, Good Night & Good Luck

Friday, December 08, 2006

Relocation Update

We got the apartment! Our house is under contract and will close on December 19th.

I took our breakfront and dining room table to the storage facility today. They are both very nice pieces of furniture that are too nice to give away, and when Amanda and I finally get another house, we want to have those to move into the house.

Amanda picked up her keys to her Ballantyne Apt. We took the sleeper sofa up there, that will be her bed for the next 6 months. The house is kinda empty.

The moving van will pack and load our stuff for Chicago on the 13th... quick huh? We are not sure yet about the drop off date, I am trying to get a firm date from the driver so I know if our holiday plans will work out, sad to say, it doesn't look very good. I will be back before Christmas regardless.

I plan to work the "13th Month" (retail term for the week between xmas and new years) in Charlotte and then be permanently in Chicago at the begining of January.

WW Update

Loved ones...

Last Two Weeks: -4.6lbs
Total Weight Loss: -27lbs

I am almost at my 10% goal! I started on 9/20/06 at 280.4lbs (Holy Cow Right, no really, Holy COW{first time I have mentioned my actual weight}) and I am now at 253.4, one more # and I will be at my 10% goal. At that point I will set my overall loss goal. I am guessing somewhere around 190-200lbs for a guy my build. I have not been that light since Jr. High maybe. I am going to do it, it took 12 weeks to loose this much, I suspect it will take two years or so to loose the weight the safe, slow, and permanent way! When you see me at the wedding, I would like to be in 220-230's, a svelt looking dude!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Me Day

So after a crazy 3 week period in which our lives have been flipped upside down, I am talking a "Me Day." I am off of work, I have no appointments, no one coming to the house, no trips to plan or take... just me and my laundry. If you want to come over and hang out, welcome, if you are up to something today, give me a ring.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Evanston Sweet Home

I put in an application on a sweet vintage apartment north of Lincoln Park but south of Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois.

This house hunting trip was a little bit stressful. With the pending sale of our house here in the QC, there was not a "we'll find some place next week." Nope, we were under the gun. After some disappointing places and the realization that it is too expensive to have a car AND live downtown, we headed a little further out in the burbs, but we could not find somewhere we liked. I was actually considering paying $250 a month to park my car and suck it up. We decided to head back to the hotel to regroup (internet access) and look up some new places using good ole google. We went out to Evanston and saw two apartments, though we didn't like the apartments that were shown, we fell in love with Evanston. Everyone closed at 5pm, we left a few messages hoping that someone would call us back on Sunday, we had a 10:00 am appointment with the one person who did answer their phone.

Evanston is like a Dilworth style suburb right to the north of Chicago, the apartment we liked is two blocks from the "L" and is also about 30-45 minutes (traffic varries greatly in this 20 mile jaunt) from my new store.

So as long as everything goes well with the application, I have found me a home.

Notes From The Trip

+++Snow is very cool, especially when it doesn't melt when the sun is out

+++Even though everyone told us we wouldn't make it Friday night because of the blizard, our plane arrived early.

+++Every company outing should be direct billed, talk about no hassle.

+++Nine degrees is very cold, 22 as the high is also very cold

+++Windy city is an accurate descriptor.

+++Pontiacs have big gas tanks

+++Chicago's suburbs are like going from Mooresville to the south side of Rock Hill, then heading to Gastonia, without an interstate.

+++Roads in Chi-Town have only one name, and that is the name that road keeps until it ends. (i.e. Tyvola, Fairview, Rama, Idlewild, Seacrest Shortcut... ALL ONE ROAD)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy December

Hi guys, hectic life so just a little recap

Our house is officially under contract today, we actually received a verbal offer on Tuesday but it took us a coule days to work out the details. That is 7 days on the market yo!

The only bad news is that we are closing on December 19th, which means that I will be in Chicago sooner than expected. I expect to be moved up there before Christmas now. I am waiting for the details to see what will happen to Amanda and I's Pittsburgh Travel plans and when I actually will start working / living up there.

Due to the quick closing, I moved our habitat hunt up a weekend, so in 5 minutes A2 and I will be heading to the airport, as you know, there was a midwest blizzard so we might be back here in Matthews later tonight. We will be back late Sunday. If you need me or A2, I will have the trusty cell phone

Keep us, the weather, and the apartment search in your prayers please

Love, JON

p.s. A.M., we won the Mecklenburg County Parks & Rec Softball Championship, the 3rd of the last 4 for my team, and 5 in a row for our church (we have two teams)! {I know you care}

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Selling Your House

Selling your house sucks. As Amanda put it well, "Its like you are walking on eggshells." You have to keep your house clean every single day. You have to turn lights on, open blinds, and have your house ready to show before you go to work. I only have about 75 days to sell the house, so the pressure is on to get this thing done. I do not want this house to be the reason I can't move to Chicago. This house has already DQ'd me from going to D.C., they asked me to move before I had even made a mortgage payment and they opted out of buying out my loan ammount. A year and half later with many interior improvements, it looks like I have a good shot, but I just want it to be done and over with. Amanda and I never fight, but this whole relocation thing has caused so much stress that we argue about dumb little things that mean nothing. I feel like when we get to Chicago, we will be fine and all the effort will be absolutely worth it. If this deal falls through, I have no clue how I could possibly walk into my office with a smile on my face.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Family & Friends,

I would like use this medium in lieu of a bunch of awkward phone calls and people being insulted for the order in which they are told. With three of our four parents in the know, Amanda and I would like everyone to know that we are relocating with Carmax to the gorgeous city of Chicago, Illinois!!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The direct details are not around yet but I will tell you all that I know

I will be working in a suburb to the north called Glencoe, Illinois, when asked people who live here compare it to the Southpark area of Charlotte. I am going to attempt to live as close to downtown as I can afford and reverse commute (while everyone is coming into town, I will be leaving town.)

I am to be moved and ready to work by January 15th 2007.

Amanda will be staying in Charlotte through June to finish out the school year at McKee road.

This does not in any way affect the wedding date, location, or any details.

This does not change any vacation plans I have made(i.e. Pittsburgh for Xmas, Duquesne v. Charlotte game, Ashley's wedding, New England cruise, and our Wedding / Honeymoon)

If you know me well or have read much of this blog, you know that I have been wanting to get out of Charlotte for a very long time. Also, I have been a very big fan of the city of Chicago since Amanda and I went there in August of 2004. I have wished for an opportunity to leave this place and try something new, like a coward, I allowed the chance to slip by when I first graduated from college, I was not going to slip up again. I am thankful for such a wonderful family and superb friends that I know will support Amanda and I through this exciting, scary, and adventurous time!!!

Love, JON

p.s. I will throw out details as I get them

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Twink / Deck Incident

Yesterday was just another weekday off for this retail working guy. The plan was to sleep in a little and then head to the Charlotte International Car Show at Noon, you know, be the first one in the door kinda thing. Everything was going well until......

I left the house around 9:45 am to go to the local Weight Watchers meeting and get weighed in. I lost a very little bit of weight, but am happy to still be moving in the right direction. It was a warm blustery morning with wind gusts around 30 mph. I open the garage door and leave it open, planned on cleaning some stuff out of it and take inventory of the massive amounts of paint I have laying around. So I walked in the house, went right to the fridge to get the (skim) milk out, I then poured 2 cups of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios followed by 1 cup off skim. The wind whipped up outside, then I heard the door that goes to the garage slam shut.

Fear struck my heart realizing that for the last 90 seconds, the garage access door failed to latch and had been wide open. I immediately began to call for the girls. I called out "Twink-M-Toes" and "Cheeeeeeetoooooo" and ran through the house to their normal hiding spots. No kitties, I knew what had just happened.

I love our cats, but lets not kid around, I was fearing for my life at this point. I knew that there are 4 people in this household. 1 is the Queen, and she has her favorites. In order is Amanda the Queen, Princess Twink, Princess Cheeto, and Serf Jon. I knew I would most certainly be beheaded for this gross offense.

I headed out the front door of the house, I had hoped they would be very scared and would be in the garage, so I would walk in the garage door and spook them back into the house, brilliant plan, horrible research, the curious ones were long gone. A minute of searching and I spotted Twink on the west side of the house( the front of our house faces south) looking stealth. I called to her, shook a can of treats and she walked up to me, well, almost. She must have been spooked by something because she then darted under a bush. I then got on my stomach and reached out, fed her a treat, and while she ate it, I grabbed her and launched.... OH, I mean gently placed her inside the front door and went on looking for the much older, wiser, and curious Twink.

In case you don't know, Twink is black with white feet, not really easy to spot in the fall next to the backdrop of gray. I did two laps around the house, knowing that the other time I accidentally let her out, she stayed right up against the house, even when I had to chase her. I extended my search to the neighbors yards, climbing fences, walking in creek beds in Birkenstock's. I had to find this cat. I was really upset at this juncture and about to make the phone call to the boss. Then, I heard a bunch of dogs barking loudly, so I headed for the noise, splashing through the mud and muck that is our back yard. No Twink. I decided I had missed the most obvious place.

I looked under the deck and there were her frightened little beady eyes. Thank God, I found the cat.... OH SHIT, she's under the deck. Of course she is wedged in where the fireplace comes out, so there is no reaching her from that side of the deck. Also, my deck is only about 18 inches off the ground, which if you include the support beams underneath, leaves just about enough room for a cat. I know I have lost some weight, but I am not getting under that deck without a shovel.

Grabbing Twink's favorite toys and treats, I began my hostage negotiations with the cat. Twink was not feeling my offers of peace and happy resolutions. She would sometimes come closer to me by about six inches, but when the wind would blow hard (every freaking 30 seconds) she would take shelter and back further in. I tried to call Andy to help flush her out, but no answer. I wanted two things, the first was not to die, the second was to go to the car show, one of the highlights of my year. My brilliant rescue plan began to take shape.

First, I grabbed a spot light and would shine it in the corner underneath the deck. I then took my 15 lb pry bar and began to pull one of the deck boards up. It was getting stuck on the siding, so I was going to have to pull the whole 12 foot board up and then slide it out. I did it very slowly without any sudden moves. Twink was a good girl. she stayed put. I reached under the deck and then she decided to flee. I grabbed her hind leg and held on. She was not such a big fan of that move and clawed at my hand. She slipped out before I could pull her up and she took off out the back of the deck. I could not see in which direction she ran after that. I heard a rustle down the creek so I chased after her. Nothing. I was so pissed, frustrated, worried, that I got sick. The few cheerios that I had gotten to eat returned to nature.

After thinking in the "what would I do mode," I hoped that twink ran in the garage. I looked around and there she was behind the garbage can. Without making sudden movements, I opened the door to the house, after a 3 second pause, Twink ran into the house and under our bed for the rest of the afternoon.

I showered, went to the car show, and e-mailed Amanda with the above story. Don't we all love a happy ending.

(p.s. I repaired the deck today, and actually I made some more repairs to the surface. I went to Lowe's and bought some wood so I can replace a few rotting pieces of trim and some paint so I can touch up the house.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wait Loss

Crappy Week!!!

This Week: -0.4lbs
Grand Total: -21.6lbs

Monday, November 13, 2006

Why Doesn't Jon Blog Anymore?

I have been thinking about the answer to that question for a while now. Obviously, in the last 6 weeks or so I have not been inspired, motivated, or even thoughtful enough to blog with regularity. During the day, when I get thoughts or ideas, I have full intentions of jotting it down, to no avail. To my loyal fan(s), uh, my bad, if this were a pay service I would gladly refund your money. I have come up with some conclusions on why this is happening.

MySpace / Time Management:

I spend way too much time on myspace and do not allocate enough time to blog. I was spending between 30-60 minutes a night on myspace where I used to spend my valuable Internet time sharing with you fine folks on blogger. My time-management opportunities reach further than just with my myspace. I have noticed a trend in my blog when I am on the Butler Auto Auction schedule, I don't blog nearly as much. I know I only spend one night a week in PA but it throws the rhythm of my life off. My laundry, cleaning, yard, all go to waste because I am away from the house. I also feel like I neglect Amanda during these times, between blogger and Amanda, she wins. (She went to bed at 9pm tonight {Sunday} and will wake up early, I will go to work at 1 {at S. Blvd.} and be home at 9:45 or later, she will be asleep and will wake the next morning before I do, and I fly out to Pittsburgh. My return flight will be back after she goes to bed so even though I am only gone one night, we will go from Sunday night to Thursday night without seeing each other {awake} now isn't that nuts). On top of that, I have Charlotte 49er's Basketball season tickets, I have DUMC softball, and I still like to pretend that I have friends. My dad asked me the other day if I missed college that much, the thing I miss most are my friends. It was nice to have a common locale, goals, focus, and center-of-life to revolve around. I live few miles from Dhara, Sara, and many others, yet see them too seldom.

Jon Management

The second is an internal issue. Even though I am loosing weight, looking better, and physically feeling better, it hasn't really equated to me feeling better about myself. I have found that Weight Watchers helps you focus on yourself a lot, we discuss how weight loss is all about us and no one else. It changes your mindset a bit and I swear I feel a bit more selfish. Not only that, I am much more introspective, critiquing not only my eating habits, but my lifestyle in general. I have felt a slight drop in self-esteem (I guess it is not correlated to self-image because I feel good about the way I look) and though I am not massively depressed or hating life, I don't even hate me, I just don't feel that I have anything to say to anyone. This is the long point I have been trying to get at" I don't feel that I have much to write that you want to read.

Some time ago I put a counter on my blog that I have since removed. I got many more hits than I would have ever expected. The reason I wrote this blog, and now this entry, is to show me that I need to keep a journal of my feelings. My friend Lisa has taught me a lesson (with her marriage) about making sure your feeling are transparent to those you love. I want this journal of my life to be accurate, for me. For a while I was concerned and I would edit based on who I thought was reading my blog. That is nuts!!! Going forward, I will try to write as though I am the only one who will ever read this blog.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Weight Watchers Update

I will most likely be trying to go to my meetings on Thursdays now because I will be in Pittsburgh for most Tuesday nights & Wednesday afternoons. It has been a hard week, I did not track anything all week. I still did good which makes me believe this WW is actually making me change my habits.

This Week : -1.8lbs
Total Lost : -21.2lbs

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just A Thought

I was on the plane coming back from THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE (Pittsburgh, PA for those who don't know yet) and I wondered.... If some ultra paranoid person wanted a parachute as a carry on, do you think the airline would let them. They have no rules on the matter, I would guess they would suspect something was up. I wonder if they would even let you check the chute???? Anyone know the answer?

FYI. Since I will be in Pittsburgh most Wednesdays for the upcoming months, Weight Watchers will be moved to Thursdays. It is my way of replacing "Friends" in America's Thursday night schedule.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ocotber Recap

Halloween was a mixture of fun, silliness, and joy this year. Those of you who know me well, know that October is generally one of my worst times of year. I have no idea why, but since I could drive, bad things have happened in the month of October. This October was not that bad. We managed to set a wedding date and time (Aunt Barb, it is 3pm)! Halloween has become one of my more respected and enjoyed holidays because it indicates the end of my "bad season" and ushers in my most favorite time of year known as the "holiday season." I refer to it as chuankawanzzachamas.

This Halloween season started on Saturday the 28th, Amanda and I being as popular as we are went to two parties. The first party was hosted by my co-worker Eli. Amanda and I showed up as Dr. Sheppard (McDreamy from Gray's Anatomy) and Dr. Meredith Gray. We both adorned nametags to identify ourselves and some authentic stethoscopes. I kept a pair of Meredith Gray's sexy black panties in my pocket to play on last year's season finalie. We had some good food, enjoyed conversation with adults that did not work in education or the automotive industry (a welcome relief) and played some foosbol in Eli's dining room. (yes, like Chandler & Joey, they have a foosbol table in their dining room.) We then traveled to hootersville (Huntersville) for Tim & Sara's party. They had it dark and spooky with little more than candle light. Everyone had a great time dancing, enjoying more food (but I was good, I lost three pounds overall) and we got a little tipsy. Overall, it was a fun Saturday.

Halloween day I had lunch with Dhara at Camilles, their potato soup was killer. After that I made my way to Kings Mountain to see my long lost friend Lisa.

Lisa and I were in school together for a long time, but we grew close in Chemistry class in High School. She was the kind of person you could tell anything to, a good listener, a great friend. Lisa and I went to UNCC and had lunch together almost every single day for the first three semesters. Through a tough relationship and a bad first year of college, she was there for me like no one else. As we all do at times, she fell on some rough times, left school, and disappeared from the earth. I looked for her, even breaking some privacy laws by using DMV computers to look up a registration (didn't help that she got married and changed her last name). I never found her and for the last 4-5 years, her well-being had been on my mind. I programed my AOL Instant Messenger to forward my IM's to my cell phone. Though I never use AIM anymore, I guess it stays logged on permanently. I got this IM on my phone while at work last week, and in the username was the word Daisy and I knew exactly who it was. Lisa had found me, using myspace to get to my blogspot to get to my im, the internet makes this such a small planet!!!

I went up to see Lisa and her two gorgeous little boys Ethan and Simon. Simon is three and we really had a good time playing, he like to climb Mount Jon and then flip over my head. Both boys have blonde hair (though Ethan has a touch of red) and Lisa looked like I remembered her, her smile and giggle have not changed. It was very important to me to see that she was doing well, she deserves a good life after all she had given to me. They have a nice house on a huge lot of land. The kids have two of everything that Toy-R-Us carries. Going forward I hope that weeks do not go by that I don't speak to Lisa.

I guess all in all this was one of the best October's I have had in recent years. This blog is to serve as my chronical of life. There were some crappy things that happened to me and because of me this month (like every month) but I think if I write in the positive, I will think in the positive.

(by the way, I am really sorry i don't edit my entries, I know my spelling and all is bad, but I write like I speak, and when you speak there is no backspace)

Wait Wattchurs Winsdey

I felt really good about this week. I have had a least one person per week who hasn't seen me in a while who will notice some weight loss, what a great motivator. I want to look slimmer, I want the compliments. Your ego baloons up and you get confident. I can't wait till I have to get a smaller jacket and pants for the wedding. I cannot wait until the suit I got my senior year in high school from mom fits really well again. I can wear it but it is a touch snug. I wouldn't being way to small for that suit when my high school reunion comes up in 2009. I felt so good after the meeting, I went to the grocery store and picked up some bananas, apples, weight watchers 1 point carrot cake bite size snack things, a box of honey nut cheerio's and a fridge pack of DIET pepsi. 2 months ago I never would have bought this stuff. It would have been full-tilt coke, fudge rounds, cookies, and hot pockets. When you feel better, you make better decisions. Now, I just have to avoid that big bowl of candy still sitting by the front door. I hope my skinny fiance will polish some off, we can distribute the remaining among her students and all the kids I work with!!! I want to get over that 20lb mark next week!!!!

This Week: -3.0lbs.
Total Loss: -19.4lbs

Friday, October 27, 2006

2007's Event of the Year

One year from this very day, Amanda and I will be getting married at MPUMC. Save the date for what will undoubtedly be the Malady/Bradshaw/Andrew/Adams event of the year!!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Weight Watchers Wednesday

Damn! 1.8lbs... my second bad week in a row (a bad week consist of a bad weekend in which I eat what ever I want to the tune of 40 or 50 points. These weekends have also been known to contain weddings.) Okay, I didn't mention that the 1.8lbs were lost, not found!!! I cannot believe I lost weight yet again. But I have no weddings to go to this weekend. (Bad news: Two Halloween parties to attend, both are pot-luck types) I must stay strong. I will be going as McDreamy (Dr. Sheppard) from Gray's Anatomy, Amanda will be Meredith Gray. I have grown my hair a little bit so I can have some of Patrick Dempsy's curls, I stopped shaving Saturday because it takes me an entire week to grow 3-day stubble.

This Week Total: -1.8lbs
Five Week Total: -16.4lbs.

Manda's Mazda

Manda's 2005 Mazda 6 S Grand Touring

Sara said it looks like a Mommy Mobile and we should fill it up soon. My mom begs to differ!

Length: 187.8 in.
Width: 70.1 in.
Height: 57.3 in.
Wheel Base: 105.3 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.1 in.
Curb Weight: 3461 lbs.
Gross Weight: 4491 lbs.
Front Head Room: 38 in.
Front Hip Room: 54.7 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 56.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 38.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 54.9 in.
Rear Hip Room: 54.1 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.3 in.
Rear Leg Room: 36.5 in.
Luggage Capacity: 33.7 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5
Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 6
Base Engine Size: 3 liters
Base Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 220 hp
Max Horsepower: 6300 rpm
Torque: 192 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 5000 rpm
Drive Type: FWD
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft.

Folding Center/Rear Seats
Heated Front Seats
Power Moonroof
17 Inch Wheels
3.0L V6 DOHC 24V FI Engine
6-Speed Shiftable Automatic Transmission
Alloy Wheels
Traction Control
4-Wheel ABS
Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
Front and Rear Head Airbags
Front Side Airbags
Anti-Theft Alarm System
5 Passenger Seating
Front Bucket Seats
Leather Seats
Power Driver Seat
Audio Steering Wheel Controls
Cruise Control
Front Center Console With Storage
Overhead Console With Storage
Power Steering
Remote Trunk Release
Tilt and Telescopic Steering Wheel
Leather Door Trim
Leather Shift Knob Trim
Leather Steering Wheel Trim
Automatic Climate Control
Single-Zone Climate Control
Intermittent Windshield Wipers
Power Windows
Rear Defogger
Rear Window Wiper
Remote Power Door Locks
Heated Exterior Mirrors
Power Exterior Mirrors
AM/FM/CD Changer Audio System
Bose Audio

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wedding Web Page

To the right of this entry, there is a link that says Amanda & Jon's Wedding Page, oddly enough, if you click it, it links to a web page about... you guessed it, our wedding. Check it out, when we figure out details, we will post them there!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Busy Weekend

So Friday Amanda and Coleton went to the Charlotte Checkers home opener. By suprise, I got off work early and joined by college pals at Carraba's (I did not eat though) for some chatty convo. We then went and saw The Prestige.

The Prestige was a really good movie. A little on the long side, but no minute detail goes unappriciated. This is one of those long movies, like Slingblade, that you realize while you are watching it that it is terribly long, but it doesn't quite feel like wasted time. You will spend the whole time trying to figure out how they do what they do and who will end up on top of the other. Go see it, tell me what you think!

Saturday I took Amanda's car to KMX so my boss could appraise it. We then went to Brixx (this was a bad WW day) and ran some errands. We then got all dressed up and went to my friend and former co-worker Lee's wedding. It was held at Providence UMC off of Providence Road. Amanda and I were both suprised at how small the wedding was, about 75 people. They had the advantage of growing up in Virginia and Maryland respectively, so not a lot of people made the trip. Amanda and I, with friends and family both being local and with a VERY limited budget are going to have trim our guest list considerably and even hurt a few people's feelings in the process. The reception was held at Queens University's Alumni House (Withers) and was wondeful. Open bar, good DJ, a Mashed Potato Bar (yes, sMashed Potatos in a martini glass with cheese, chives, bacon, sour creme) and turkey. It was a really well done small affair. We had a superb time. As a couple we spent more time on the dance floor than any other. I got to meet a corporate legend. Dick Hunt, the 3rd Carmax associate ever hired and the first Purchasing Manager at the First Store. Lee grew up across the street from them. He was a very nice man, though retired now, he speaks so highly of the company and made me really proud to work for them. He was the third employee, we now have over 13,000 across 80 stores. His son works at the Richmond store and will be grand opening at the Charlottesville VA store while their daughter is the Assistan Business Office Manager at the Midlothian store in Richmond. Amanda talked to Mrs. Hunt all night, both being educators and all. Behind every Carmax man is a great teacher! Overall, the evening was quite fun and I hope our wedding compares to Lee & Brenda's!

Oh yeah, save the date!!! October 27th, 2007 at Myer's Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, at the corner of Queens & Queens & Providence & Providence (if you are from Charlotte, that intersection makes complete sense, if you are from somewhere else, you will probably die trying to make sense of it)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday Weight Watchers

Well, after fretting a poor performance this past week, I somehow managed to loose 1.2lbs, yep, that put my total up to 14.6lbs. Imagine the impact that carrying 3 bags of sugar around with you all day, or two gallons of milk, one in each hand. That is what I have lost so far. I am a little over half way to my 10% goal in only 5 weeks. This week motivates me to have a really good week, because I think if I can loose a little wieght on a bad week, how much can I loose as a good steward of my body?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Relapse Week

So, I had a bad week, tomorrow I weigh in and I know I have gained 2 or 3 pouds back. Still, I am lighter, I plan to really stick to my system, be a good boy, and see how it goes. I went to a wedding on Saturday, the groom's family was Italian so there was lasagna, ziti, and HOLY CANOLI'S!!!! Tonight, for Sara's birthday, we went to the Palm and ate. I had a wonderful steak topped with crab meat and hollandaise sauce. 3 cheese potatos au grautin as the side dish, and about the best ceaser salad I have ever tasted in my life. So, I will regroup this week and update you tomorrow on how much I gained, and how I will move forward with loosing weight.

FYI, please remember to vote, mid-term elections are very important, they tell the leaders how they are doing and they tell the parties what they can do between now and 08 to win the big one. I don't want to use this blog as my political pulpit (though I will likely do so from time to time) but I do want to stress that it isn't how you vote, but rather that you vote that makes you a responsible citizen.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Sorry I have taken a bit of a blogcation. I have a few drafts I am working on, thoughts, insights, etc. I want to try to put better stuff up on this bad boy.... here is a last week recap.

1. Cable Day- We celebrated this new holiday yesterday. We had been without cable since January of 2004. After 2 3/4 years of abstinance, we could not hold out on cable. In that time, the DVR was invented, and I think the maker of said device should be given the Nobel Peace Prize!!!

2. Weight Watchers Update. I lost 5.5lbs last week (weighed in Wednesday) and that brings the total to 13.4lbs lighter!!!! Of course, I got lazy and have gained a pound or more this week. Back on the wagon!

3. Amanda spent all week meeting her kids at McKee Road and will begin teaching tomorrow.

That is all for now.... I will post a couple of things this week. I think having cable will keep me off the computer for a bit!!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wednesday's Weight Watcher Weport

Mad alliteration yo, must be because I hung out with an English teacher today! Fun day today, I went and had lunch with Allison and Maggie, yummy McAlisater's Deli. We chatted about all sorts of stuff, I am lucky to have family that I have, we are all such interesting people. You snicker now, but you are reading MY blog that is interesting because it is about ME!!! Anyway, I lost 2 lbs this week, it brings my total to 6.8lbs. I was actually doing better this week but Sunday and Monday got the best of me, if I put together 7 days of loss together, I will be over the 10lbs goal I set for myself this week. So c-mon 3.2lbs!!!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Yes, I Continue To Buy CD's (WARNING! long ramble ahead)

I understand that you can buy music on the net via i-Tunes, I know you get more for your money with bonus tracks and stuff, but I continue to buy CD's because I want the album art. I want to know what they look like, what the words are, and to support the little labels $ distribution companies that print and ship out CD's. I was a music pirate my first few years of college, I amassed a collection of 1,300 songs before my hard drive got wiped by a virus, I deserved that. I think stealing music is wrong, and I think no more of the person who pirates music or movies than I do of the people who break car windows and take things. There is no such thing as a victimless crime. Even though G.W. Bush is really close, no one is deserving of having a crime committed against them. Those of you who say that "they are rich anyway" as an excuse to pirate music, chew on this.... Everyone is rich in this country, compared to those in Gabon, so is it cool if they stroll buy and borrow your wheels for a few months, I mean its cool right, you're rich to them.

Wewh, I cannot understand why you are still reading this, send me a self-addressed envelope and I will refund you what I think the last 5 minutes of your life is worth.

Matt Kearney- Nothing Left To Loose- This album was a surprise right out of the rapper. I had heard his title track single "Nothing Left To Loose" on Sirius and on a friend's myspace. I thought at first that it was the Counting Crows, the distinctive voice had to belong to Adam Duritz, but no, it was Matt Kearney. The first track I put in began with a "cracker-rap" (a-la Linkin Park, Trik Turner, Jason Mraz) song over an acoustic music arrangement. Most of his songs on this record have a little bit of rhyme, making it a new favorite!
{{{ This is where I insert an illogical story that you may skip if you wish. My senior English teacher in high school made everyone write a piece of poetry that we would be forced to read to the class. It was to be an introspective piece that no one in the class would expect from you, the class and teacher had to learn something about you. There was no getting around sharing it with the class. It was at the end of the year, making it much harder to find a topic that you hadn't already shared. Our class decided that the winner of the most "supprising piece" would win a great prize, a pass to skip class the last two days of school. I had it 5th period, but on "B" days that meant first period!!!! Sleeping in was at stake, I took this project seriously. I decided my inner hip-hop star was going to have to shine. I wrote a piece called Kunfewshun (confusion, if ya don't get it) about the complexities of dating as a high school senior. I know it wasn't exactly earth-shattering subject matter, but it was all about delivery. Most of the kids in my class (non-AP advanced) were African American, I knew I didn't want to do their culture any injustice. I rehearsed Kunfewshun over and over, in front of the mirror, I had to control my goofy facial expressions somehow. I finally got the beat down, moved and mixed words so it would flow right. Like Eminem on 8-mile (loosely based on my life in the ghettos of Mint(al) Hill) I stood up and delivered my rhymes.... Perfectly..... That explains why I like white artists who do their own versions of rap music. I think being original, rapping out to acoustic guitars, banjos, and piano is much cooler than Eminem's impersonation of gang-bangin'.}}}
The Fray- How To Save A Life- Who on this planet has not heard "Over My Head, Cable Car???" Hm, anyone, no, kinda what I thought. This huge hit was followed by the equally mellow "How To Save A Life" which was featured on Gray's Anatomy both at the end of last year and in the season premiere last week. This song is catching on all over Sirius and mainstream radio. It is an album full of piano-rich pop rock songs that are almost entirely about the joys and pains of love. (is there anything else to write about... no.... we call that Christian music)
Dashboard Confessional- Dusk & Summer- This is a pop rock album, reminiscent of Train, MB20, or 3EB. I have never bought a DC album before, but everyone at work was talking about how good they are. I have enjoyed the little I have heard of it. I will update you if I think the rest sucks.... if no update, that means I think you should buy it... mmmmmmkay?
Your REWARD for reading this ramble/diatribe/POSt
Hell yeah I won "Most supprising Piece" but I loved Ms. Serenski's class so much, I didn't bother to skip. Little did I know, she used a video of my performance to show the kids in classes behind me how much creative freedom we had with it. She warned them not to copy me, because originality counted and if you rapped, you got a zero. My sophomore year at UNCC, a freshman girl walked up to me and asked if I was "that guy that rapped in Ms. Serenski's class?" I said "Yes, do you want to have dinner with me tonight?" She said "Yes." We went to dinner, needless to say, it didn't work out.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Finally.... A Destination

Amanda knows where she will be teaching for the rest of the year....... McKee Road Elementary School will have the services of this lovely first year teaching phenom. Roughly 10 miles (or half the distance) this school is a geographical powerhouse for Amanda. Also, 96% of the kids pass their E.O.G.'s annually. The upside is strong in this school's history of performance. That being said, she is loosing the diversity of Smithfield which is why she chose to drive to BFSouthCharlotte to begin with. She is going from a 1/3 white, 1/3 black, 1/3 Hispanic school which celebrates diversity to the school where the new-money rich white kids go. I hope she is able to make them celebrate diversity, then you know how good of a teacher Amanda can be. All we ask is that you keep Amanda in your prayers as she makes the transition over. [wow, that is the best segue in this entire blog (that was for you big guy)] The principal will be breaking this news to Amanda's class tomorrow, she will be packing up Monday and Tuesday, then moving into the new school in the middle of the week as an observer. I am not sure but I think the week of the 9th is when she will get her new class. I will be keeping you posted on all displacement news as it comes across the AP wire and from Reuters.

In other news, I had a very interesting day at work. I was appraising a 2003 Mazda MPV van when I hear a little yelp, it was a human yelp, I scanned the lot and saw nothing. Then I heard "can you come here, hurry!" and I saw a female sales consultant respond with look towards the bottom of customer parking and yelled "uh uh, you don't talk to me that way, acting a fool!" I then saw a guy with standing behind his Saab and he just yelled help, I ran down to the bottom of the lot where the guy had his finger caught in the decklid of his car. He was getting something out, the wind shut it, and with his finger in the jamb, the trunklid actually latched shut. I opened the front door and popped the truck. With the pressure of his finger, the latch didn't want to release. I finally got it open and got his finger free. He walked away, shaking his hand, mumbling about a broken finger. He started to walk towards the building when the second by-stander, an inventory associate, addressed the guy. We were in the middle of offering to drive him to the hospital when he decided he would sit on the curb. He exclaimed he was fine and we should leave him alone, he the slumped over and passed out. James (a sales consultant) and Chris (the inventory associate mentioned earlier) lifted him up, I came around the car, saw his eyes roll back, and he began to shake and convulse a lot.. The two guys held on to him while I called 911. As I was giving location and describing the issue, he sort of came to. His heart was racing, he was sweaty and hot. When they asked me for his age, I said "he's in his thirties" and he raised his hand up, middle finger extended, and said "I'm 24." (In my defense, he had less hair than anyone in our family of any age, my bad dude, F U) About 2 minutes later, a bus arrived (that is Gray's Anatomy Speak for ambulance) and they began to treat him. One of the EMT's knew who my mom was and had some positive praise for her. He perked up and ended up driving himself home about a half an hour later. The lesson I learned was this; If you are the first one on the scene, you will end up doing an hours worth of paper work and interviews with associates at Carmax.

We won our softball game because of forfeit, 2-0.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Weight Watchers Meeting

The day I signed up, last Wednesday to be exact, I joined in the Pineville location. I was off and that is the one that Amand and Colton go to. Well, today, I had to venture out on my own, somewhere close to the homestead to attend a meeting. I went to the one across from my house, right next to the K&W cafeteria (irony) to weigh in. In my first week on Weight Watchers program, I lost 4.8lbs!!! It is nice getting weighed in the morning.

My biggest suprise last week was how much you could actually eat. I found myself trying to find a snack at the end of the day just to burn off my last few points. I left 17 weekly bonus points on the table. I go to bed comfortable every night, not starving. I wake up hungry, but that is normal for me. Now I have to focus on making those points more nutritious!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Stoopid CMS

I am a product, and I am ashamed, Amanda just called from school and said that she won't even find out where she is moving until October 6th..... um, that is almost a full quarter. They might as well leave her where she is. This does nothing but hurt the students at both schools. Now Amanda will have to pull off the parent-teacher conference with a notebook and a weeks worth of observations. This is so dumb!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Amanda's Displacement Announcement

Will be broadcast on this blog tomorrow, because the HR department of Char-Meck Schools cannot be bothered to make a phone call with some life changing information..... stay tuned friends!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Wrap Up

So, the Steelers lost, that sucks, but the offense moved the ball and we just had too many turn overs, not too bad.

I missed Maggie's party, I thought I would be okay with it, but I was kinda bitter at work today. Retail schedule really gets under your skin on a day like today. The weather was perfect, Amanda went to Troutman to go to her late Grandfather's old church's homecoming week. I have gone reluctantly the last two years and have never failed to have a great time, so I am kinda bummed about missing that one. Then I had to miss Maggie's first birthday party. So here I am at the South Blvd. store, stewing because I know my beloved family is off having a good time and I am driving a 94 Mustang with 246k, grrrr.. I bought it though for $350. From all accounts (okay, so Amanda says) Maggie was well behaved, didn't even cry during the Malady remix of "The Birthday Song." I love my family, they are all so welcoming, they treat Amanda so well, actually, they treat her better than me:-)

The Weight Watchers is going good, I used some of my weekly bonus points today, but every other day I have hit my points target a little short or right on the nose. I am not starving like I thought I would, I think that is going to make it easier to keep up with and on this diet. I am learning how to make some better decisions with this diet. I know that my vice is not really the types of food I eat but more the quantity in which I eat it. Why stick to 11 chips when a half-bag will do. Why only have 2 slices of pizza when the whole pie will do. Just changing my philosophy from eat-all-you-can to eat-what-you-NEED is going to go a long way to a healthier lifestyle. I write about the diet for the purpose of accountability, ANYONE who reads this blog has the right to call me out when I am over-eating or making bad food choices, ANYONE!!!!

I will blog about Amanda's teaching assignment and timeline tomorroe, stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fatty McFatFat

So I joined weight watchers today.... mixed emotions as listed below.

1. Happy, for once I am going outside of myself to help loose weight, I have always done it on my own, obviously, not with a lot of success.

2. Embarassed, I am embarassed that I am not in control, I have been chubby since the second grade, and I always felt I would loose the weight, it just took 20 years to do something about it.

3. Scared, I am scared that I will sabotage this to make it not work.

4. Taxed, weight watchers program fee is a tax on being fat, but sometime financial motivation is good.

5. Unattractive, If I were so good looking, then I wouldn't need to loose weight. (Sounds kinda girlie, I know)

6. Responsible, I am taking responsibility for my personal health and my future by getting down to a healthier weight.
Still waiting on word about Amanda's teaching assignment. She was thinking she would know this week, but the principal pulled her in the office today just to discuss preferences, that leads me to believe that we will not know until late this week or maybe even next week. Mid-quarter is coming up and Amanda is going to have to do progress reports, that seems like it is a little late to be moving people around still. This is the kind of thing you need resolved in the first two or three weeks. Enough about Amanda's beloved employer.

The weather, the weather looks good, should be getting down in the 40's Thursday night, during my SOFTBALL game. I am very excited about this season.... that's all I got to say 'bout that.

I am so bummed about my schedule this week. I am off Wednesday and Thursday but cannot get anyone to switch with me so I can have Sunday off. Maggie's first birthday party is Sunday, there are weeks when working a retail schedule blows, this just happens to be one of them. In case you were wondering, it doesn't blow when you have to get stuff at the bank, DMV, or post office done because there are no lines at 10:30am on a Thursday morning, everyone else is at work.

I just found out today that my favorite band, Weekend Excursion, will be playing a reunion show in Raliegh, NC on December 22nd. They broke up about 2 years ago and have only played once since. Amanda and I were planning on driving up to Pittsburgh that night but if she is willing, we might make an overnight stop in Raliegh to catch the show.

So I have shifted my 10-midnight obsession from Ebay to MySpace. This is of course much better because it is a lot cheaper. The sad thing is that MySpace is much more addicting. I am looking up old friends, co-workers, it is almost leagalized spying. Of course you should only share what you want others to know. I found out about the Weekend Excursion show through MySpace. Here is a list of some random stuff that appears on MySpace.

A clip of carmax employees running into a garage door, also a clip of the Buyer's office soaking a co-worker's chair with water and filming her sitting down on the chair.

Two clips of my favorite comedian Mitch Hedberg, one from Comedy Central and the other from Conan O'Brian's show.

A video of BNL performing "Break Your Heart" live during the 1999 Stunt tour, this is by far and away my favorite song ever recorded by anyone.

The "Evolution of Dance" video that I think all of America has seen and enjoyed

Weird Al Yankovic's parody of Chamillionaire's Riding Dirty, White & Nerdy

The Charlotte 49er's mens basketball schedule

A calendar with some concerts coming up in and around the Charlotte area.

Check out my MySpace at

Please enjoy responsibly!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Maggie in 'Merica

This IS the absolute first picture of Maggie Malady on American soil on the world wide web. I win!!! (prize to be determined)


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Banana Pancakes

So the yard is done, the office is cleaned up, 4 loads of laundry are done, the end result of 11 days of consecutive shifts. I sometimes have no clue how my mom does this more often than not. I am so tired and worn out. I have so many things to catch up in life, family, friends. I sometimes take my days off for granted until of course, they are poof! Gone. Amanda and I have decided that the rest of the day is dedicated to rest, nothing more than shopping and moping around. I need to pick up shop supplies from the Celtic Trader, a TV from Re's, and both are cars need baths in the worst way. It will all wait. More important fish to fry. Maggie comes home in about 30 hours and it could not be too soon. I wish they were here now.

I have Grey's Anatomy Season 2 on DVD, I need to catch up before it starts next week!

I also have Grey's Anatomy soundtrack vol. 2, the new BNL album, Barenaked Ladies Are Me, and I got Jack Johnson's latest effort In Between Dreams. All are good, especially JJ. Last week I bought Keane's Under the Iron Sea for Amanda, I like it, I will let you know when she actually listens to it.

Gonna work backwards here, no, this is not Pulp Fiction,

Yesterday I got to have drinks with Emily, okay multiple drinks over a 4 hour span with a jewel in my life. We caught up on life, love, and other various grown up things. I cannot believe she and I have been friends for a decade now, such a long time. I am so blessed to have such a strong group of friends who will always be there for me. Before that, I went to Amanda's school (that she will be leaving next week) picnic at Park Road Park. We had some Penn Station subs and she was the only person who made a home made dish. We had a good time chatting with her fellow teachers, can't wait to meet the NEW group.

Thursday, sucked (softball canceled, I know you care B.)

Wednesday, sucked w/ rain

Tuesday, I don't remember...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A little toooooo ironic, and yeah I really do think....

its like rain on your wedding day.....

Enough Alanis, anyway. I intentionally omitted a post on 9/11 so that I spend one day free of Bush-bashing and just focus on loving my country!!! A country I will mention is run by a monkey in a neck tie, but it is no longer 9/11, so FU W.

Wow, that paragraph did not match the title or lead in, so allow me to segway into the truly ironic...

I have been trying to move from Charlotte for three years now, just some kind of relocation with work and I am out. No dice. Amanda had finally gotten settled into her school, classroom, and kids... poof, she has been DIS (fucking) PLACED. For those who do not know, that means that class sizes in her school are too small (because small=good for students, god forbid) and that Smithfield must drop 4 teachers. Well, last hired, first fired. She will be moving schools next week, she will know where she is going by the end of this week. She has handled the news very well, better than most in fact, but it sucks. She is not allowed to tell the kids until her class room as been divided up and their parents have been notified. Poor Amanda has little to no control over where she goes. I think only 5 schools have available positions open. On the bright side, there are two good schools on that list that are closer to our house than Smithfield. One is McKee road right off of Providence and Ballantyne Commons Parkway and the other is about a mile down Providence Road from there at Providence Springs. I hope she gets one of those schools so she will be closer to me, home, and the kitties. I will keep you updated on news as I am informed.

Life isn't fair, but you never know, this could work out wonderfully! (not sunshine attitude, you might want to document that, it will be worth something someday!)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bored Kind Of Life

Sometimes I think my life is rather bland and dull. Here are some headlines.

Amanda has been house sitting for the Cribbs, I am patheticly lonely.

I am going to Greenville SC to work at their store while they have Buyer's Day Out

Grandma Grace's bofriend of 40+ (or more) years, Ted Kalman, died of cancer, he was as much a part of our family as anyone!

Maggie is in our grasps, we just have to get her all legal and stuff and she can come home to her forever family.

My new Car & Driver arrived today, it is my most favorite part of the month (that is pathetic)

Church softball is starting up, you will see updates as to my progress during the course of the season.

Amanda and I MIGHT do weight watchers... I know I am skinny but you know, it is just moral support for Amanda.... damn lexdysia.

When you treat your life like a newspaper, maybe you find yourself a little more interesting and a little less dull.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sister Hazel Show

So, the show was fantastic, made even better by the lack of an admission price. Really though, it was smart of them because they still got my $20, I spent it on a shirt instead of on admission. Where I really saved the dough was not buying any alcohol, I negated that by going to wal-mart after the show and buying some crap I really didn't need. Needless to say, I spent the same ammount of money tonight as I was supposed to, I just got to reallocate funds around.

Sister Hazel rocked out, Matt and his wife-to-be came out to keep me from being the lone loser guy singing every word to every song and going home to blog about it and hang out with his cats. Oh crap, that happened except for the alone during the show part. I ran into an old high school friend, Brad Broders. He looked happy and healthy. I got his number, in my heart of hearts, I don't think I will call him. I am too afraid that there will be this awkward realization that we have nothing in common anymore, and what fun is that? The cool part is that I might call him just to spite myself. He is currently living in Dilworth and reporting the new for News 14 Carolina. He is a natural in front of the camera, he was so psyched about covering the hurricane/ tropical storm.

For you music fans that read this blog, Sister Hazel has a new album coming out on October 10th, from the stuff they played at the show, it will be a little more upbeat than their last album "lift." It sounded like old skool stuff off of "fortress." More pressing excitement is over the Barenaked Ladies new album coming out this Tuesday, September 12th.

Can you believe it has been five years since the Terrorist Attacks, America is the only country since then to successfully launch terrorist attacks. Yeah us! Please vote for someone in the next election who believes in rebuilding Iraq and the region but also believes in not invading sovereign nations during a time of peace. Thanks!

Thats about it, as you can tell I am very lonely because Amanda is house sitting for the Cribbs so I am all alone. Feel free to call me. I work the rest of this week including a Sunday stint in Greenville South Carolina. Have a good rest of the week. Don't forget my "myspace" link as well as the Adoption page for Lil Maggie, she's coming home from China on the 17th. Love you David, Allison, and Maggie!!!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Charlotte + Free + Fun

Yeah, I know that combo doesn't happen very often in this town, but there is a cool event coming up for free. One of my favorite bands, Siste Hazel, will be playing the Carolina Panthers Kickoff Party uptown on the block between 2nd&3rd and Graham&Mint. The party starts at 5pm, I work to 6, so I will be there in time for SH to take the stage at 7:30pm. Join me if you wish!!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

New Way to Jon-Track

I have created a profile on Myspace, primarily for the purpose of catching up with long lost friends, feel free to check it out though!!!

I will continue to make this my primary blog!!!

Families Grow

And mine is growing in a way we have never seen before. My cousins David and Allison are going to be parents at 3:30 this morning, they are in China, in route to meet Maggie. Track their progress at Oh we could not be more excitied.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Football Friday Night

In general, I do not care too much about High School Football, I usually make fun of anyone who wears their high school ring after they start their freshman year of college. But Independece, my school, is on a 94 game winning streak, longest in the country. That said, tonight was a big night because it pitted Amanda's Olympic Tojans against my Independece Patriots.

Independence - 55
Olympic - 14

Oh yeah, make that 95 games in a row!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You Are Boston

Both modern and old school, you never forget your roots.
Well educated and a little snobby, you demand the best.
And quite frankly, you think you are the best.

Famous people from the Boston area: Conan O'Brien, Ben Affleck, New Kids on the Block

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why Lists Are Evil

Well, I was driving in the ole 4Runner and listening to Sirius # 9 "The Pulse, the best of the90's and now." I decided it would be a good time to make a list of some of my favorite 90's songs so when I look back on this blog in many years, I will remember the soundtrack of my life. It started as a top 10, I have no idea how many I finished with until I start typing here. I did most of these from memory but some of the artist names I had to look up. I hope reading this list will bring back some good memories to your head. I tried not to repeat attists, but I did on a few with more than one great single. This is not a best of, I am sure there are some great songs left off this list, this is just Jon's favorites, so don't get all mad...... GAH!

In No Particular Order
99 songs from alumni of the class of '99
Uninvited- Alanis Morrissette
Push- Matchbox 20
One Week- Barenaked Ladies
Jump Jive N'Wail- Brian Stezer Orchestra
My Name Is- Eminem
Turn My Head- Live
Save Tonight- Eagle Eye Cherry
Only Wanna Be With You- Hootie & The Blowfish
Runaway Train- Soul Asylum
Jeremy- Pearl Jam
Buddy Holly- Weezer
How's It Gonna Be- 3rd Eye Blind
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)- The Proclaimers
Flood- Jars Of Clay
Crash- Dave Matthrews Band
Ice Ice Baby- Vanilla Ice
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)- US3
Sadness (Part One)- Enigma
Are You That Somebody- Aaliyah
The Dance- Garth Brooks
Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Dreams- The Cranberries
Lovefool- The Cardigans
Roll To Me- Del Amitri
Breakfast At Tiffany's- Deep Blue Somthing
Iris-Goo Goo Dolls
Walk On The Ocean- Toad The Wet Sproket
All For You- Sister Hazel
What I Got-Sublime
Here Comes The Hotstepper- Ini Komoze
I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)- Meatloaf
End Of The Road- Boys II Men
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm- Crash Test Dummies
No Diggity- Blackstreet
3am- Matchbox 20
Nuthin' But A G'Thang- Dr. Dre
Just Another Day- Jon Secada
Gin & Juice- Snopp Doggy Dogg
All I Want- Toad The Wet Sproket
I Got A Man- Positive K
I Wish- Skee Low
Sell Out- Reel Big Fish
Zoot Suit Riot- Cherry Poppin' Daddies
Closing Time- Semisonic
Counting Blue Cars- Dishwalla
Baby Got Back- Sir Mix A Lot
Everybody Hurts- REM
Torn- Natalie Imbruglia
Shimmer- Fuel
Brick- Ben Folds Five
Lullaby- Shawn Mullins
Everything Falls Apart- Dog's Eye View
Not An Addict- K's Choice
Bawittaba- Kid Rock
Shelter- Brand New Heavies
Yo Mama- Pharcyde
Can't Help Falling In Love With You- UB40
Laid- James
Nookie- Limp Bizkit
Jumper- 3rd Eye Blind
Right Now- Van Halen
Slam- Onyx
Informer- Snow
Knockin' Tha Boot- Candyman
Going Through The Big D- Mark Chesnutt
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss- PM Dawn
Fields Of Gold- Sting
Under The Bridge- Red Hot Chilli Peppers
School Boy Heart- Jimmy Buffett
Basket Case- Green Day
Loser- Beck
Sweater Song- Weezer
Livin' On The Edge- Aerosmith
Killing Me Softly- Fugees
Freshman- The Verve Pipe
What I Am- Edie Brickell
It's Gonna Be Me- Nsync
Good- Better Than Ezra
Hell- Squirrell Nut Zippers
Numb- U2
Walking On The Sun- Smashmouth
The Impression That I Get- Mighty Mighty Bostones
Flagpole Sitta- Harvey Danger
I Want You To Want Me- Letters To Cleo
One Of Us- Joan Osborne
November Rain- Guns N Roses
Enter Sandman- Metallica
Connected- Stereo MC's
Weak- SWV
U Can't Touch This- MC Hammer
Take A Bow- Madonna
Foolish Games- Jewel
Nobody Knows It But Me- Tony Rich Project
Intergallactic- Beastie Boys
Down- 311
Ants Marching- Dave Matthews Band
Popular- Nada Surf
Everybody Want To Rule The World- Tears For Fears
Pepper- Butthole Surfers
#'s 100+
(The songs I forgot but then thought of later, also deserving of this list, please check back or
feel free to make your own personal additions in the comment field provided!!!)
Suzanne Vega- Tom's Diner (Do Do Do Do)
Oasis- Wonderwall
I cannot believe I forgot Oasis
4 Non-Blondes- What's Going On?
Soul Coughing- Circles
Marcy Playground- Sex & Candy
Gin Blossoms- Follow You Down
Kiss Me- Sixpence None The Richer
Run-Around- Blues Traveler
Linger- The Cranberries
Semi-Charmed Life- 3rd Eye Blind
Tubthumping- Chumbawumba
Mmm Bop- Hanson

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Another One Bites The Dust

Wow, all but one of my ex-girlfriends is now married or engaged. Congrats Ashley (who is more best friend to me than she ever will be ex) on your engagement to Chad!!!! It happened in Friday where they live, in Raleigh. The wedding should be sometime this spring, making them yet another couple who will be married before Amanda and I.

I find it funny that when Ashley, Dhara, and I were so close in high school, we used to joke around. Dhara was going to be the absolute last one to marry, Ashley would be in the middle and I was going to be the first one to go. Woops, we got Ashley right, Dhara got married in the fall of 06 and that leaves me in last place. Oh well, there were not prizes or bets involved, and it seems we all have won!

Christina - summer 2003
Dhara- fall 2005
Meredith- summer 2006
Ashley- spring 2007?
Me- fall 2007
Kelli- the lone ex girlfriend holdout!!!

It is different when your best friend gets married, you are just so happy, Sara's day was like that. I am sure if Emily ever settles down, I will feel that way too.

The fall 2007 wedding I think will be my absolute favorite, mine, duh!!! I am not looking forward to the planning aspect of the wedding, but I am looking forward to the event itself, and more importantly, the years that follow the event.

Monday, August 21, 2006

My Lil Teacher!!!

Bridal Expo

Wow are brides a very scary group of wild animals. The folks at the Charlotte Convention Center have brass balls to host this event without the assistance of a SWAT Team. First off, there were about 5 brides to every groom, yet this was not the place to get chicks. The you add in the estrogen dioxide exhausted by the mothers-of-the-bride that were in attendence and you can see why I was shaking in my boots. All in all, we had a very good time, got some answers to questions that bothered us so. We saw some cool ideas for some bouquets and tuxedo's that are kind of non-traditional. Our favorite part was talking to a professional wedding planner. This is a route that we might take.

Now before you poo-poo the idea of a wedding planner, yes I know they take 15% of the wedding costs as their own. That being said, the fact that they can get you SOME discounts because of the volume they do. The biggest thing Amanda and I need help on is knowing where and how much of the budget we should spend (that assumes that the bride's parents have given you a budget, in our case, they have not). There are some certain aspects of the wedding that are very important to the bride (dress, flowers) that the groom does not care about. There are some things about the wedding that they both care about (cake, music, reception location) and then there are things that we both could give a flying flip about (table linens, church decoration, transportation). The biggest gain we have made is that we both have a clearer understanding of what is important to the other and ourselves.

Now all we need is a budget from the bride's rents and we have it made!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


eBay is like crack, only worse. This was my first time selling stuff. I am nervous because I hardly ever ship packages, I hope I don't mess that up. I also hope that no one gets mad or leaves bad feedback. I did my best to represent the stuff but who knows.

So the big winner was a New Zealand All-Blacks rugby shirt that I got from Uncle John in a hand-me-down box he sent about 9 months ago. I wore it once, and when I was cleaning out my closet and thought I would list stuff on ebay, this was the last thing I threw in the pile. Shows you what I know, apprently in slightly used condition it is worth $22.50(+$6.95 s&h). My other winner was two of my fraternity letter shirts I sold as a lot, they ended up selling for $15.50 (+$6.95 s&h). I sold an Air America base ball shirt for 99 cents plus s&h. I had a reserve on my Tommy Bahama shirt of $25, but it did $18.50, so I sent a second chance e-mail just to see, I made enough on the other shirts that I don't really care about that one. I still have a few items up there for the next three days or so, I hope they do well!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Conch Republic

We now have a cool Conch Republic flag soon to be flying proudly over the Elkins Park Estate Family Compound. (I don't think I can call a shoebox on in a parking space a compound, well, I did!!!) How ya like me now?

Ebay, I am selling some things on Ebay, I have not tried this. As I was cleaning out my closet, there were some things that I didn't want to just give away, if they don't sell I will keep them I guess. My ebay id: barenakedtoby. If I make a buck or two then cool, it only costs 20 cents to list it on ebay, unless you pay for all these options, which I did for my Tommy Bahama shirt, like reserve price and multiple pictures. So far, only one person is watching my product.

update 8/8- two items have been bid on, 11 people are watching my stuff.

The Cool Parent

On of the most important things to me, when I think of my future, is being a good parent. I stress sometimes thinking about how to be a good Dad. I didn't have the most prime example, my rents got divorced when I was 12 years old. I had a lot of men (and Re Re) who set an example for me on the way one should raise a kid. I have the task of putting together the best attributes and try to pass them on to my daughter or son. Here are some of the things that I want to pass along to my child:

I want to be very handy around the house, be able to fix, build, have cool stuff. I got this from Ed Sanfilippo. He was always in the garage working on something. On top of that, he took Jason and I camping, and most importantly, never told Jason that he was too busy doing something. I get very preoccupied with things and I have to be careful not to let anything come before my wife or children.

I want to let my kids try new things, this was ReRe's strength. I used to joke around that Re Re was my dad because she lived with us for a couple years after Dad had left. She always tried new things with me, she let me drive her car all the time, even when I was really too young, she would take me around the neighborhood on her lap and let me steer the car. I think when I was thirteen of fourteen she took me out driving quite often. Then came the rollerblade era. We used to laugh when she said she wanted to buy rollerblades, but by God she did it. When we went to Erie to visit her, she didn't have a lot of money but she did have rollerblades, she was not the fastest, but she was pretty steady and managed not to break any bones!!! I hope that I will not only allow my child to participate in things but also try to participate with them, until I am some old dude who embarasses them.

I want to be very involved in my child's life, activities, and social development. I look at the way Mike McKinney was always involved in his daughters life. He had a house full of girls, he could have left it all to mom and no one would have blamed him. He was a starter, scorekeeper, and coach for their swimming and softball teams, he was the husband of a troop leader and an honorary Girl Scout. He never missed many drill meets in ROTC, he made most soccer games, and overall was very involved in what the girls had going on. I don't want to be pushy about it, sometimes parents don't realize that their child will grow more without their shadow, but if they want me involved, I hope to be there.

The most important thing to me, the largest focus for me, and the hardest thing to do as a parent is to be the Cool Parent. I am not talking about wanting your kids to like you so much that you buy them alcohol, drugs, or $200 shoes. No no, I want to be the neighborhood Dad. I had a great example of the neighborhood cool parent. My mom made our house the neighborhood clubhouse. It is so easy to learn social skills and have fun in your own home. My mom had to say no to certain requests, my mom spoiled us when appropriate, and she always welcomed our friends as if they were her children. The sleepovers were usually at my house, the basketball games were usually at my house, the after-prom party was at my house. I know it cost her an arm and a leg to keep 18 kids fed, but she did it by herself. She taught a whole group of us how to put on a condom so we would know how to have safe sex, I don't even think they ratted her out to their parents. When I see people, my friends from school, they always ask about her, if I had a nickel for every time I heard "I just love your mom" I would be living in Key West doing nothing. Even my ex-girlfriends miss my mom more than they miss me. My mom was loved dearly by the neighborhood boys. When my parents split, they checked on her all the time, even if Andy and I were gone with my dad or camp or something. Clint used to see her car coming home late from work and would take his dog Toby and come visit with my mom while Andy and I were in bed. That is pretty cool to get teenagers to care about anything outside of themselves. I hope I can create a home environment where I know my kids and thier friends are safe and comfortable. I hope all of them will come to me with issues, questions, and share their lives with me.

This whole post was inspired by Marlies, who saw my mom for the second or third time in her life, after dinner we stopped to get my car keys. My mom hugged her like a long lost friend, said "come see me anytime, even without Amanda or Jon." The difference is she meant it. I remembered how proud I am of my mother and the way she raised Andy and I. Then I thought/worried about the way that I am going to parent my children, and who else I would emmulate. Marlies said it best about my mother; "Your mom is awesome."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Miami & Key West

Background. Amanda and I took a trip with another couple. Sara is my best friend from college. She and I have traveled near and far together with no issues. Tim is Sara's husband, I stood for him at his wedding, he will stand for me at mine. Sara's father and step mother live in Coral Gables, FL, right outside of Miami. A little spice to the trip was Chance, the 2 year old black lab.

Friday- after saying goodbye to the Celtic Trader, we enjoyed a night at the Smith's house and headed out. As surprised as some may be, Chance was a really good traveler, he only needed to stop when the other girls did. Amanda almost dehydrated herself all day just so she wouldn't be the cause of frequent pee breaks. My mom raised me to to travel swift, hurry up so you can spend more time at your destination. Amanda is trying to teach me that the journey is part of the experience, I am yet to be bought in. We got to the Hilyard's around 8ish. It was a good trip.

Saturday- We just went and hung out at Miami's Bayside shopping area, we took a boat tour of the Star's Homes. We saw Tom Cruise's condo, Elizabeth Taylor's pink mansion, and Rosie O'Donnel's palace. Shaq-fu was not spending time on the basketball court.

Sunday- we went to South Beach. We were disappointed at the lack of topless women, but there was no shortage of scantily clad Cuban men sporting banana hammocks and boy-cut shorts. Contrary to the name, boy-cuts are made for women only!!! It was so f'n hot that you actually got more soaked when you left the bathwater temp'd ocean. We ate the most amazing dinner (Sara's dad is a carpenter {not like J.C.} and a superb cook) of Salmon with a champagne double reduction sauce, lobster tails, and king crab legs. Amanda and I discussed it that night, there is a reason she and I have headed to the mountains multiple times since dating but have yet to wander to the beach. WE DON'T LIKE SAND!!!!

Monday- Drove down Route 1 to Key West. This is a dream place, especially for Amanda and I, there are no beaches, so no worry about sand. We have all the island charm without small granules in every crevice. We stayed at the Key Lime Inn ( and it was a dream. This old home was remade into a campus of cottages. We actually had a room next to Tim and Sara that shared a rocking chair front porch. The pool was the perfect temp, we swam twice a day. We got a great rate because it is Key West's off-season. We went shopping for most of the evening. We did however decide that we must stay another day!

Tuesday- Headed to the Hemingway house to see the six toed kitties. They are freaky looking. Our tour guide was pretty cool. The house is 16 feet above sea level, the altitude was getting to us so we had to head on to Mallory Square to see the sunset. It was everything Jimmy Buffett has written about and more. If I ever have to stay in the Southeast for any godforsaken reason, I am living in Key West. We followed up the evening at Sloppy Joe's where Sara, Amanda, and I got trashed. Amanda is a funny drunk although I must admit, she is not a good walker when sober, her skills deteriorate further when inebriated. We danced the night away, at one point during Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, we were that couple, yes, the ONLY couple on the dance floor. Does that make us crazy?

Wednesday- We stopped on the way back from Key West in Key Largo and picked up two huge ass lobster traps. Duh, this is a perfectly normal thing to do while on vacation, who doesn't do that? Oh yeah, NO ONE DOES THAT!!! (We had to strap one on the roof, I am sure we looked to cool driving in Miami through Little Havana with a lobster trap on our roof.) (In Tim & Sara's defense, the got the traps because they bought some local Key West art for their turquoise living room and her dad is goind to make picture frames.)

Dm dm, da dadum dm dum, from the windows.... to the walls...... get low!

Thursday- that hip-hop interruption was uncalled for, I will fire myself as author of the blog and hire someone else soon. Anywho, we did NOTHING on Thursday except to finish puting a roof on a shed, because once again, that is a totally normal thing to do while you are on vacation. I did get to see a nice collection of formerly illegal assault rifles. [W gave in to the NRA and now the Brady Bill is expired, I hope he gets shot by a legal assault rifle] {Now is when I usually apologize for such comments, but I hate that guy, I am not the least bit sorry for saying that.......}

Friday- It was long boring trip home but.......

note: This entry will not be finished, due to the Patriot Act, the author has been arrested, he will not be formally charged with anything, but he is a danger to the country. Love, Dept. Homeland Security

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

iPOD Karaoke

Okay, so my beloved cousin, author of maggie's red thread, has turned Amanda and I on to the thought of iPOD Karaoke. I thought I would return the favor in kind. I challenge anyone to find a love song, any love song, by anyone, be it Barry White, Michael Bolton, or Jimmy Buffett. Find me a song that CANNOT be easily made into a Christian pop song. I think it would be awesome if the compilation of popular love songs was made into Christian music by simply changing some words around.

baby (or any other tender reference to a sig. other) = God
make love = give love
kiss = pray
touch = save
etc etc etc

This was brought on when I was appraising a minivan today and on the radio was, what I thought, was a love song. Talked about loving, caring, sharing, all of those things we want in a relationship. I was grooving along, then all of a sudden, the last line of the song simply said "thank you God." Now I love me some God, and I think that any artist who can be a successful Christian artist should be (God knows it isn't easy writing a careers worth of songs about the exact same thing while still not sounding repetitive could not be easy). But if you are just taking a love song you wrote for your high school girlfriend and changing some word, you are no artist, unless you consider yourself a con-artist.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Well, freking B!+(# tagged me on her blog, so here I have to discuss the following prompt using 5-paragraph essay, minus the essay, form.

"List/discuss the various obsessions that you have had over your lifetime."

I will try to put these in chronological order.

Matchbox cars were my first love, obsession, and best friends. I have likely had thousands of them. We would go out every pay day with mom and go to K-mart (now Ashley Home Furnishings on Independece Blvd.) and Andy and I would get some kind of toy. We would then go eat at McDonalds (now South 21 in front of AHF). Then we would go to the $1 movie (now the Aldi / Cookout on Albemarle Road). I had this plastic bin full of matchbox cars. Each car was a person in a community, I would have a Mayor, an ambulance, hospital, I would build garages and all kinds of things. I would lay on the sidewalk for hours and on the side have roads and trails, build buildings out of sticks, and have long running story lines.

I think my next obsession, and likely the most odd, would be rental moving trucks. I learned everything I could about rental trucks. Keep in mind this is before the internet, I would learn what brand rented out what kind of trucks, how much they cost, how old thier fleets would be... etc. I remember there was Ryder trucks, they are light yellow, they are now owned by Budget Rent-A-Truck. Then there was Hertz-Penske which was my favorite because they maintained their trucks better, had the youngest fleet, and they rented only Chevy's. U-haul was my least favorite, the ran their trucks into the ground and then sold them. You still see old U-haul trucks when people are too lazy to have them painted. I would always point them out to my mom, I am sure she was wondering "I wonder if he will be a mover one day, damn, I thought he would go somewhere."

Sticking to themes, I then started my NASCAR collection. I would buy the racing champions cars and leave them in their package. At first I would open them, but then I realized their value so I would buy two, keep one mint and play with the rest. I once took a 4'x4' peice of plywood and made a mini race track with them . Made walls, pits, and even tried to make the corners banked. I was the master of popcicle sticks and wood glue. I looked up my collection when I was in college and it was worth about $3,500, I guess today it might be worth a little more.

My first musical obsession started in 1988 when Jimmy Buffett released Hot Water, still one of his better albums with cameo's by James Taylor, the Neville Brothers, and Kenny G. I loved Buffett, I had posters, t-shirts, and all the tapes you could get your hands on. Aunt Annie and my mom got me hooked, I still am though in some moderation. I remember constantly standing on my bed with the floor lamp (a rocking mic stand) and putting on a whole concert. I think I would still bring the house down today. (My other music from that era: Def Leppard, Billy Joel, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Ghetto Boys, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Toad the Wet Sproket, Van Haggar(I missed the DLR era), Aerosmith, and Wilson Phillips.)

The Girl Years

As far as crushes went, I had ginormous crushes on Jewel and Claire Danes. Jewel was my snaggle tooth'd love, I thought she was SOOOOO sensitive and deep, her strong lyrics, blah blah. Claire Danes was so-cool in My So Called Life and then when she was Juliet, she was MY Juliet. I thought she was the most beautiful person ever because she wasn't fake.

My other obsession in the girl years were girls themselves, and notably I picked up the love of the 3-way phone call. This awesome invention by the phone company kept Dhara, Kelli, Ryan, and Laura up to date on everything that was happening. We lived a few miles away, but when you have no car, that is a long way. I think it was the summer between 7th and 8th grade Dhara and I got on the phone right after dinner, lets say 7ish. We included Kelli at 8ish, and Ryan and Laura got on the gossip conference call around 9. Laura and Kelli both got off sometime after midnight, I think Ryan finally fell asleep on the phone at 4 am. Dhara and I hung up at 7:30 when her mom got up and picked up the phone. Dhara got in trouble I think, but I don't know why. Even though some of the things we said were not that innocent, at least no one was having real sex. Man, I loved the phone, hell, I STILL DO!!!!

Now, maybe forever

I will start with music, I love almost any kind, and I am starting a new obsession with Sirius Sat Radio. But I am a BNL fanatic. I have been to 8 concerts, I have driven hours to see a show, I have every thing they have ever released, I have their new E.P. because my cousin David rules! I have some t-shirts, I belong to the fan club. I cannot explain why I love them so much, their songs make me laugh, their music is pleasing to my ears, and their deeper songs strike big chords on my heart strings. I guess my favorite story is of the day before we started college, my high school friends and I went to the BNL show at Verizon. We had camped out all night and landed 2nd row tickets center. We were so close, right after "I live with it everyday" Stephen Paige looked in the crowd at my horridly colored blonde hair and glasses and introduced me to the crowd as his little brother who flew down from Canada to see the show, I was treated so well by those around me.

I will finish where I started, Cars. If you take the Beastie Boys song "girls" and change it to cars, you would have me. "Cars, in the morning its Cars, and in the evening its Cars, that's all I really want are Cars, two at a time I want Cars, Cars, Cars Cars." I love them, I work with them on a daily basis, I have appraised nearly 8,000 cars over the last 3 years. I have owned more cars than ride in President Bush's motorcade, only none of mine were bullet proof, I wish none of his were either. I counted somewhere earlier in my blog, so you look it up, but it has been a lot of cars. I love all kinds, I like the status symbols, I love the performance, I love the practical, I love the impractical, I love the off road, I love the on road, I love most cars. With my obsession with cars comes a heavy price, I can find something I hate on every car, every freaking car has something I cannot stand, no matter what. My biggest car obsession comes with interior ergonomics. The layout of a cars interior is much more important than anything else, here's why. If you drive to Pittsburgh, you spend about 7 hours inside the car and about 15 minutes outside pumping gas, I see the inside more, therefore it is more important. I think that Japanese car makers are the best at laying out dashboards. The buttons make sense, they are logical, they are not too numerous (like German cars) and the materials they use feel good to the touch (unlike American cars). The japs do not understand armrest at all, they are generally too low, rough materialed, and never soft enough. The Americans generally get spacing right, they should, they live here, they know we are a fat country. Germans understand the deadpedal, you know that think you put your left foot on in an automatic transmission car or where you rest when not using the clutch, yeah, well like me, Germans have big feet. They know where to put your foot. I will flat out refuse to buy a car if it does not have a sufficient dead pedal. See, obsessed, who gives a shit about dead pedals but me?

I hope you enjoyed this, I would tag someone, but no one reads this damn thing, except Amanda, please e-mail me your obesessions and I will post them for you on my blogtastic place on the world wide web.