Friday, June 30, 2006

Floods & Family

As I was leaving for the center of the universe, Pittsburgh PA, I came home to change and here is the picture I took from the back yard. Note that the tree in the center, with the chain on it, is where the hammock is supposed to be with about 6 feet fo solid land before the creek. Note the water.

So then I flew to Pittsburgh, bought some cars on Wednesday, caught a ride to Elizabeth PA with Paula and enjoyed some quality time with my Aunt Annie. We went to Quaker Steak and Lube for lunch Thursday. She had a cookout, my Uncle Neil and (There's Something About) Mary came over as did my Uncle Mike, Aunt Meg, and Cousin Molly, who is now 12, 5'4", and fire red hair like her mother. We had a great time!!!

I am in town Saturday and Sunday, the I fly out to Seattle for my vacation. This is the longest (8 days) I have been away from Amanda, I am not a fan and hope I don't have to do it very often, that is as mushy as I will get tonight.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


We have a new addition to our family. My cousin Maggie has been reffered to my cousins David and Allison!!! She was born on 9/24/05 and will hopefully be stateside in August.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Week from Hell

Date: Monday, June 19th..... Time: 11ish..... Disposition: Sunny...... Weather: Hot, Humid, the Devil is sweating......

Phone Call:
Amanda: Hey hun!
Jon: Hey baby I was just talking about you (I say that ONLY when I wasn't talking about Amanda)
Amanda: Poor you, listen, the house is like 82 degrees
Jon: Well I didn't turn it up before leaving this morning.
Amanda: I don't think the A/C is working
Jon: I will check it when I get home

Later the same day:
Amanda: So, it's like 95 degrees in the house
Jon: Shit, I will call the warrany people

Even Later the same day
Jon: Hi, my name is Jon, my A/C is not working, I have a repair order from my warranty company.
A/C Dispatcher: Sure, it looks like we can get there Monday!!!
Jon: Aw great, when should I expect you?
A/C Dispatcher: We will call before we come, sometime between 10-3.
Jon: It is seven o'clock ma'am
A/C Dispatcher: I know, I was talking about next Monday.

Tuesday, Jon in Pittsburgh(74 degrees, 40% humid), Charlotte's heat index reaches 108 degrees

Wednesday, Jon still in Pittsburgh (72 degrees, 60% humid), Charlotte's heat index 109 degrees

Thursday, Jon at work, Charlotte's heat index reaches 116 degrees, missed record by 1, our house is roughly 96 degrees, kitties are not impressed with Daddy's warranty. After work, I have to cut up what remains of the tree in my front yard and lay it out in squares no taller than waist high and no wider than a human's wingspan, per the trashmen. Mommy and Daddy sleep at Grandma Linda's house, kitties do not.

Friday, Amanda packing in 90 degree + house, we sleep at Grandpa Brodie's house. Heat index reaches a cool 110 degrees.

Saturday, Jon drops Amanda & rents at the airport, goes to work, heat index w/ clouds 98 degrees, fuck you Nick Lachey.

Day, Sunday, June 25th...... disposition: Angry, half cocked, ready to fight....... Weather: Jon is looking to relocate to Nova Scotia, or Pittsburgh, F Charlotte!!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

If I had a friend that was a professional tightrope walker and he tripped on the sidewalk, that would be unacceptable!

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Since I have met the love of my life, er, well the second love of my life, Sirius Sat. Radio, I have become a critic. They give you all kinds of little tidbits about the artists and the songs, I just love it. Here are some songs that I like/love that are currently on the radio.

Keane- "Is It Any Wonder?"- This song is a great euro-pop rock song a la Oasis or Coldplay. They don't seem to be hitting a sophomore slump after their first album "Hopes & Fears" did so well with the song "Somewhere Only We Know." That song is featured in that new Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves movie "The Lake House."

Mary J. Blidge- "One"- Mary, the latest in a long line of Diva's in the soul community has her first new album out in 3-4 years, after the success of her first single, she released this cover of the classic U2 song "One." My biggest pet peave for anyone is when you cover a song, PLEASE be original. Although the song does not sound exactly the same, when you use the band who originally recorded the song to do the back up vocals and music, you can hardly call it a cover. It is like she is sharing the stage at one of the million benefit concerts Bono supports in SE Africa. That being said, she puts a good spin on the song and I think I like her GUEST VOCALS (not a cover) version almost as much as the original song.

DMC f/ Sarah McLachlan- "Just Like Me"- Unlike above, this cover of Harry Chapin's hit song "Cat's In The Cradle" has a very unique twist. First of all, this time the lyrics are rapped by DMC (of Run DMC fame) and then the chorus is sung at 50% faster by Sarah Mac. Some of the lyrics were changed and the only music that was used from the original recording is the string arangement at the end of the chorus. This is a very cool cover song.

I am noticing a trend in pop music that cover songs are back in style like the were in the mid-90's. Sheryl Crow covered Cat Steven's "First Cut Is The Deepest" last year. I have heard pieces of Cat Stevens on Jimmy Buffett albums, I have heard Neil Diamond pieces on some hip hop records. UB40 was so ahead of their time!! They covered Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine, Can't Help Falling In Love With You, and Cherry Cherry." Who hasn't covered Neil Diamond songs, Elvis did it (11 times), the Monkees & Smashmouth (I'm a believer) and Urge Overkill (Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon). Neil Diamond rules, though I own nothing of his repitoire.

I cannot wait to hear someone 20 years from now ripping off Eminem, 50cent, or Blink 182 for a rif and some kid calls it old school. That is the measure of being old!!!

...reaching out, touching me, touching you......



Monday, June 12, 2006

Weddings, Fallen Trees, Cars, Tempora, Weekend!

Wow what a busy weekend. Sometimes I like it better when my days off fall in the work week because then I can relax more. I find that a weekend off is more work than "work" itself.

This Saturday I woke up (9ish) and headed out to Concord Mills to buy a suit. I know that is not the most desirable place to buy a suit, but a man who wears a suit only 3-5 times a year need not head to Jos. A. Bank and drop a half a thousand dollars on a suit. So I head to Haggar, where they are clearing out the store and have their $350 dollar suit marked down to $79 bucks. I thought about buying a second one, but I might do that this weekend if there are any left. I then went to Banana Republic and bought a (pink) shirt and a (pink) tie. I came home, put on my suit, and Amanda and I headed out.

We showed up at Meredith's wedding at about 10 minutes to gate. We wandered in, ran into her dad, where he congratulated Amanda on her engagement, her graduation, and her fabulous graduation cap (I am responsible for about 2 of 3). It was held at St. Mary's chapel where Erin got married, I had forgotten how small that place was. I got to spend time talking with three very important men in my life, Major Ainsle who was my Senior Exit Essay Advisor, Colonel Wilbanks, who single handedly gave my mom the greatest compliment that I was responsible for, and Sarge, sergeant Libro, the man, the myth, the legend. I had all three as teachers in school, in fact my senior year of high school, I had 4 JROTC classes. I got to talk with them and many other throwbacks at the Great Aunt Stella Center in downtown Charlotte, as far as I could tell it was an old church. It was a perfect size and a perfect distance from Merph's wedding. The food, music, and cake were all good. Once you hit that trifecta, you know it will last.... God bless Merph and Jeff!!!

After the wedding, we were going to see a movie, but the theatre was just too crowded. I love movies, I love going, I even don't mind paying, but opening night sucks!!! The crowds, the heat in a crowded theatre, it is just not my bag baby. So we headed to Southpark Mall, where Manders and I go when we can't think of anything else to do. She bought some books, I spectated. We then headed to my father's to share the engagement smiles and show off the ring. (I'm sorry, you said you wanted a completely irrelevant side story? Does it belong here? it is like you have deja vue, ESPN, or something!)

So last weekend my dad went to his preachers daughter's wedding. After attending said wedding, he came home and was browsing a magazine and the article he read was about how to plan a wedding and still be friends afterwards, essentially a guide for parents to not rule the day. The article started off like this. "So you just got home from a co-worker's daughter's wedding, you are laughing and thinking to yourself 'I am so glad we don't have to go through this' when the phone rings, it is your child, low and behold, they are engaged..." About 20 minutes later my Dad's phone did ring, and his youngest son is engaged. Cool huh, stay tuned for more predictions in this wicked-retarded-long blog entry.

Sunday Amanda and I skipped church and went to the pool. We are trying to get a base tan going so when we go to Miami in July/August, we don't burn to ashes. After cleaning up, we shared lunch with Marlies and the two of them went off dress shopping. I went to Huntersville to visit with Tim and Sara. Tim was breaking out the deep fryer and tempora, we dipped shrimp, lobster, zucchini, and attempted a blooming onion. Amanda joined us up there, we were too far away to make the Southpark Pops concert that we wanted to make with my cousins and aunt & uncle. While on his back porch we were looking at some trees and noticed a dead one in his neighbor's yard that looked as though the right easterly wind will rock it down on his garage. I told him about my Bradford Pear tree to the right of my driveway and how heavy it looked for such a soft wood. We went to Concord Mills and saw the greatest movie ever made.... CARS!!! (check this cool segway) Wouldn't you fucking know it....

The second tree discussed is the one that fell during our freakishly strong thunderstorms we had on Sunday evening. It layed across the driveway, I am glad Amanda came up because that tree would have done a some damage to the Super-Focus. It was 11:00pm, we were tired, the house had no power, it was hot, and we went to my mom's to spend the night.

My dad came over today. When I came home from work, he was out in my yard sawing up the tree. I got to bust out my horrificly dull chainsaw, it made it about 95% of the way before it reached the effectiveness of a butter knife. Amanda came out and the three of us, along with some short term help from neighbors David and Bonnie, worked on it for a solid 2.5 hours. This is one of my dad's shining moments as a father. He came over to help unasked, he rarely puts himself out there like that but I wouldn't have finished in time for this next freakish storm we had. I will blog about my dad at a later, much more interesting post.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Wow, who would have thought it would come this soon? Actually, Amanda has been very graceful in what has been a long week for both of us. She has already been looking a wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and has checked out MPUMC's church calendar to get a feel for available dates. You go girl, I am just hoping to learn not to call her my girlfriend, she is my fiance.

On other fronts. I will be going to Pittsburgh every Tuesday but one for the next seven weeks. I am going to a baseball game with my Uncle Neil next Wednesday night and I will be staying for a couple days with my Aunt Annie while everyone is on vacation. My softball team benefitted from a forefiet this evening and moves on in the league playoffs. Next week we play the #4 Dilworth United Methodist Wise Guys to go to the Championship (we are the DUMC Wise Men, #1 seed, and we beat them last time we played and we crushed them during the scrimmage we played tonight.) I do want B**** to notice that this is the first time I have talked about softball in my blog since the first game of the season. Also, you are suppose to post more often than I do, that is how I know I am suppose to post. Gah!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

We're Engaged!!!!

On Saturday, June 3rd 2006, I took Ms. Amanda Andrew to the VanLandingham Glenn, Susan Harwood Gardens on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and asked her to marry me. Under the ruse that we were there to snap a few pictures of our favorite campus spot so I could complete a group of pictures for our living room, Amanda was brought to the gardens. After search for Vebernum, a Japanese fern, and a three year old inside joke between us, I snapped a few shots of Amanda. I then told her I wanted to show her some pictures I had already taken and get her opinion of them. When she opened the album, there were a few pictures of the two of us. The first one was of she and I at her graduation. The second one was of a drunk Amanda and a goofy Jon on our Asheville trip. Then came the directions for Da Bradshaw Code. She was to look at the extreme close up of signs from Charlotte that are very near and dear to Amanda's heart. When she cracked the code, she would get a prize. The code was as follows:

W= dilWorth united methodist church (our church)
I= brIxx pizza (her work)
L= sur La table (favorite store)
L= Lindt chocolatiers (favorite truffles)
Y= tiffanY & co. (her ring)
O= 89o1 Elkins Park Drive (our home)
U= dilworth United methodist
M= sMithfield elementary (her work next year)
A= callAway plantation (our neighborhood)
R= R (a building block from her graduation cap)
R= midoRi (her favorite drink)
Y= toYota (my 4Runner)
M= Montpelier (the street she grew up on)
E= smithfield Elementary
see prizes below

Above you see Amanda, holding the photo album I gave her with the Da Bradshaw Code. Note the big cheeeeeessssssseeeeeyyyyyyyy grin on her face! It was later said that her cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

Above you will see the happy couple, about 5 minutes into being engaged. No, we don't yet have a date, but look forward to so a fall 2007 wedding!

This is for the girls, the ring and the little box it came in. For some reason unknown to men, that matters?