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