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