Monday, January 29, 2007

When You Dream

I had iTunes on shuffle mode while I was cleaning and was stopped in my tracks by a song I heard. It is "When You Dream" by Barenaked Ladies(Stunt). It is a song Stephen Paige wrote about his baby in the first few days after he/she/it was born. Songs like this make me look forward to being a Dad (of course, a few many years from now.) I have attached the lyrics below.

I wonder what Maggie & Nicklaus & Elizabeth dream about sometimes.

With life just begun, my sleeping new son
has eyes that roll back in his head
They flutter and dart, he slows down his heart
and pictures a world past his bed
It's hard to believe
As I watch you breathe
Your mind drifts and weaves

When you dream,
what do you dream about?
When you dream,
what do you dream about?
Do you dream about
music or mathematics
or planets too far for the eye?
Do you dream about
Jesus or quantum mechanics
or angels who sing lullabies?

His fontanelle pulses with lives that he's lived
With memories he'll learn to ignore
And when it is closed, he already knows
he's forgotten all he knew before
But when sleep sets in
history begins
But the future will win

When you dream,
what do you dream about?
When you dream,
what do you dream about?
Are they colour or black and white,
Yiddish or English
or languages not yet conceived?
Are they silent or boisterous?
Do you hear noises just
loud enough to be perceived?
Do you hear Del Shannon's "Runaway" playing
on transistor radio waves?
With so little experience,
your mind not yet cognizant
Are you wise beyond your few days?
When you dream,
what do you dream about?
When you dream,
what do you dream about?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Apartment Photos

Hello all, I decided since the bedroom was put together, I would go ahead and post those photos so that Amanda and everyone else can see where I am living.

This is the bed swallowing up the left side of our bedroom. Note the comforter that Amanda got on sale at L.L.Bean. For references, the room is two feet wider than our old one and one foot shorter. Overall, a gain of space.

The reverse angle of the room. The door on the left goes to the hallway, the right is the one goes to the closet. Out the window you see the window to the kitchen and the backs of other buildings, a very (not) nice view.

A little splash of home, keeping my loosing Niners in mind.

Friday, January 26, 2007


For my second week in a row, I had Thursday off this week. I dig that a lot because I work three days, have one off, then work two and have one off. It creates a little balance and rythm to my life. I actually got off my but and went out yesterday. I met Jenni (my friend Kelli's college roommate who happens to be a nurse at NorthWestern Hospital in Chicago) and we went Ice Skating at Mellinium Park, south of the MagMile and right in the loop. I am so sorry I have no pics to post because I found out after I got there, the batteries were dead. It was 22 degrees yesterday and very blustry. They weren't kidding about the Windy City thing. I wore my new GAP jeans ($9.97 on sale), sweater ($9.97 on sale) and knee length wool coat ($34.97, was $178.00) I picked up the other day. I stopped working there in 2000, but I still love the GAP with all my heart! I was pretty toasty except I forgot to put on long johns. We skated until we could no longer bear the wind. While on the rink, a fire truck rode down Michigan Ave. playing "Bear Down" the Chicago Bear's fight song. They are no Steel City, but these folks know how to get behind a football team. Everyone in the park began to sing along with the fireman singing on the loud speaker. We then went to Starbucks to chit chat and talk about the city. We then went to Buddy Guy's Legend's club to hear some blues. I tried a Chicago Italian Beef sandwich, it was superb. I am a fan. I really like living here, it is made much easier by having at least one friend that doesn't wear Carmax blue. I am off Sunday, but that is reserved for cleaning the bathroom, floors, and cleaning sheets and all that junk. I have a great schedule this week, I open on Monday, I work 9-6 on Tuesday and Wednesday, off AGAIN Thursday, I think I close on Friday and open on Saturday. We don't get many full weekends off at Glencoe, which sucks, but you also rarely work more than 3 days in a row, that is cool! Love everyone, miss everyone, I say hi to everyone.

p.s., I weighed in, I have lost now a total of 30lbs, I have to go and meet to set my lifetime goal. According the the website, I should be 190, we all know I would look pretty silly at that weight, I am going to see if I can get a doctor's not to say 210 or 220 is a healthy weight for me. If so, I am halfway there! Those new jeans, are a size smaller than those I have worn since I dunno, 8th, maybe 9th grade. I admit them to be a touch snug, but I wore them well, I wore them proud.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Death In The (Carmax) Family

So some sad news was dropped on the Glencoe Carmax team on Tuesday, one of our sales consultants had passed away. Orio died during the day sometime on Monday, no one new he was even having heart trouble. He was an older man, I think in his 70’s. The part that I feel kind of bad about was the last conversation I had with Orio before he passed away.

Orio was one of those sales consultants that did not always follow the Carmax process; he had a tendency to not always be truthful with his responses to management. I asked him to debrief with me as he was dropping the keys off to his appraisal. He told me “the customer’s mother just died and they are selling the car for the estate.” That is not all too uncommon considering we buy your car even if you don’t buy one of ours, many people use Carmax to liquidate assets from an estate. However in Orio’s case, this was the fourth time in two days that I had heard this from him, I called him out on it and he was frustrated. I called him the Grim Reaper for the rest of the day, telling him that death followed him around everywhere. What an asshole I am, I won’t loose sleep over this odd coincidence, but it is very weird don’t you think?

Tomorrow is my day off this week, I got an early start on laundry tonight, so I will finish that early. I normally do it on Sunday but I skipped it last Sunday and the pile is intimidating. I think I am going to go downtown and go ice skating tomorrow. A fun way to do some physical activity. Be well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Quasi/Semi/Diet Coke of Paragraphs about Nothing

I don’t always know what to write on these blog posts. Sometimes I think I should just tell you guys what is going on, just little mundane details. Basically the play by play on my life. Then there are the times when I want to blog about my emotions, deep insight into my thoughts, all of that stuff. I have never been good at keeping a diary nor have I ever been a really consistent blogger. So I will try to find something witty and charming to say, because I have no mundane things to share with you, I go to work, I come home, I live a very simple existence right now with no frills. Here are some highlights of the last few weeks.

I got some pictures of Maggie and I before I left Charlotte. She is dragging me around Re Re’s house. I have them sitting next to my Lazy Jon chair, they make me smile and feel warm when it is 15 degrees outside.

My new store is in a really rich part of town. To the north is a Mercedes Benz dealership, a Bently store with Caddilac. To the south is Lexus, Infiniti, and BMW. Poor ole Carmax in the middle. We appraise really nice stuff. In a given year in Charlotte, I would put more than $50,000 on a car once, maybe twice. I have already appraised 3 $50,000+ cars, one $62,000 and one $73,000 car. That is retarded yo, but a lot of fun!

President Bush is an idiot. I respect the light level of humility he has tried to show since the last election, admitting mistakes. Admitting mistakes means nothing if you continue to prove that you don’t learn from those mistakes. Sending 21,500 more troops is another mistake. I wish no child left behind also included “No Texan Left Behind.”

At work I will be assuming the role of Inventory Manager. I will be managing hourly associates for the first time, budgeting hours, schedule, mentoring, and performance managing It is cool because I get to continue with the job that I love, and learn another part of the business. Since this is the first of the small market model stores in the company, I will be an invaluable asset (I hope) to Carmax. Eventaully, again I hope, this will be financially beneficial as well.

My family is very cool, my fiancé at home has been invited to birthday parties and included in family events, even when I am 800 miles from home. She is grateful for their acceptance and love they give her and I am very proud to have them. They say friends are special because they are the family you pick, well I would also pick my family if I had the choice given to me.

….and that’s all I got to say about that….

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Few Snowy Pictures

Here are some more pictures. I just thought I would take some dumb photos, just so you can see more of what surrounds me everyday. I will be taking some pictures of inside the apartment when I have all the photos hung and I have a table & baker's rack so I can finish putting away Amanda's endless supply of baker's supplies!

This is a picture of the park that is across the street from the building. I am guessing on warmer days there would be children playing there. Evanston has an excessive number of parks, most like this one in the middle of residential buildings. I like it because it keeps kids from playing in the street.

Another angle on my building, looking back from the park. I just thought I would post a picture with some snow.

I got Illinois plates on the 4Runner today! I was so happy to be prepared for that, I had all the doccuments that I needed and was able to only spend about an hour at the DMV. I have to give the Secretary of State some credit here, the facility was well staffed, easy to use, and clean. I think N.C. has some things to learn here. It was faster than I thought, so I began to wander over to the area where a driver's license can be issued. I then remembered that I didn't bring that doccumetation with me because I had no intention of taking a driver's license test today. I will do that soon, I have 60 days for insurance purposes to get my IL license. I then went to the Evanston Civic Center to get my city parking pass. I was happy that it was at the discounted rate because my registration was new, so instead of $90 it was $60. So after $200 spent on my car, I am yet again broke, but thats fine, I went to Jewel and got some groceries for the week.

I am going to go to the Boat & RV show and the Convention center downtown, I enjoyed the one in Charlotte and it seems like some good clean cheap fun here in Chicago. In February, the Chicago Auto Show will run for a week and a half, of course what ever day I have off will be spent there. It is open for 11 hours, I will likely spend all day there. It is the largest auto show in america. Even though it is big, there are more debuts made by manufacturers in Detroit and L.A. Oh well, I am still excited.

I love my Steelers still, but Go Bears!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Monday Snowy Monday

My first day of snow since I have been here. It was so cool. I woke up this morning, got ready for work. I walked out to the car and the snow had maybe been falling for all of an hour. I have not gotten to see much daylight snow in my day, kinda pretty. I brushed off the car, the roads were fine, I headed to work. The farther north I got, the snow fell harder. I put out window stickers and got a snow collection on my shoulder. Big fun for the southern boy. It snowed all day long, collecting about 3 inches, maybe a bit more in the northern side of town. The drive home was not as great as the drive in. I skipped out on the interstate because it had been bumper to bumper since 3 or so. I took Tower Road over to Sheridan. Well, in the Village of Winetka, snow plows are not owned, so I got to drive ON the snow, all was fine, same was to be said for Kenilworth and Wilmette, when I got into Evanston all the roads were salted and plowed. We are a big town, we own trucks! I got to use my 4WD for the first time on a real purpose. I have used it just to keep the differentials lubed up, but I actually drive about 6 miles before I hit the treated roads. After a 45 minute drive (normally 20 minutes) I got a parking spot right in front on the building, it was overall a great day. Tomorrow I will try to get some pictures of the snow around here for you guys sweating it out in CLT. It shouldn't melt considering it is supposed to get down into the low teens tonight. The high for tomorrow is going to be 25, then down into the single digits. I honestly think this will be my first time experiencing tempretures that low.

So I sit here in the coffee shop waiting for my Office : MAC to finish updating, and listening to the NWU girls next to me talking about their Sexcapades of the weekend. "Like oh my God I totally hooked up with this guy who was supposed to be my friend, but that night we had this major connection.... I think we might be in love, but I have to be able to date other people." There are many days when I miss college and the carefree ways that comes with it.... this..... is..... NOT.... one of those times.

Oh Where Oh Where

can my flurries be? No snow tonight :-( We'll see when I get up what the deal it. I am the only person in Chicago wishing for snow, and I am the one who has to get up at 6am to go to work, but I still wanna see a gorgeous blanket. Looking at the forecast (not that it means much) I think it is going to be quite cold the coming weeks. Welcome Me!!!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Some Early Flurries.... snow to come

Hey kids, I wanted to post a few pics so you can see what I am typing about

This is my building, I am in the back corner on the left side there. It was built in 1923.

This is looking back up tree-lined Keeney Ave. from the lake toward the train. I walk three blocks and hang a left to get home.

This is South Blvd. Beach in Evanston. There are six public beaches in Evanston. I was tempted to go for a swim, but being about 33 degrees out and I think the water temps are close to 50 degrees, uh, no thanks!

Friday, January 12, 2007

This weekend's forcast.....SNOW

Supposed to be clear during the day, then start snowing at night. All day on Sunday, more snow, finishing off with flurries on Monday morning. I am glad I am off to enjoy it. Tomorrow I am going to the lake front and see what that is all about, I plan to take some pictures and if I can figure out how to, I will upload them to blogger tomorrow. On Sunday I may just play in the snow. I am going to head downtown maybe. Pretty broke, so no "fun-funds" to play with. Until then folks, have a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Work Week

Here are some photos. Okay, not yet, but they will be coming soon, whenever I get a little more familiarity with Iphoto and the apple way of doing things, I will be ready for you.

The adjustment to Chicago life is made a lot easier because I have the same job, so at least there is something very familiar 5 days a week for 9-10 hours. I have only worked two days, but I like the people a lot and I enjoy the store. I actually went out last night with two co-workers to watch the OSU v. Florida game at a pub in Irving Park. It was fun. I close the next three days and I am off on Saturday!

The one thing I cannot get used to is the "prime time" because everything starts an hour earlier. I like it because my favorite programs used to start at 9 or 10pm, now it is 8 or 9, so I can go to bed earlier. I also like having 10 oclock news. I do however always feel like i am running an hour late, which I didn't think it would take this long to adjust but oh well. Next door to the little coffee shop is a subway, I have been abusing the $2.49 lunch speacial. I had a tuna sub on Saturday, if you know me, you know that is kinda shocking considering I haven't eaten tuna since I was a kid. I am broadening my horizons further and putting some green crap on top of the sandwich, along with vinegar and oil. Growing up changes what you'll order, but for my money there is still nothing better than turkey on white with american cheese and lots of brown mustard.... no decorations needed on that little gem.

I am trying to hold off on buying cable and internet for the apartment, besides being an extra $100, I have to go 2 blocks to the coffee shop to get internet access, but it makes me walk and get some exercise, also, I can meet and be around other people instead of couped up, It was 28 degrees today when I walked over here and who knows how cold when I leave, so that part kind of sucks. The good news is that it might snow this weekend, kinda why I moved here!

Thanks to everyone who called me and gave me encouragement the last few days!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Brothers K Coffee House

I am broadcasting live looking over Hinman Avenue at the corner with Main Street in gorgeous South Downtown Evanston Illinois. I survived the unusually warm tempretures (about 47 degrees) to bring you this breaking news update.

The local media is reporting that newcomer Jon to the neighborhood has just bought his first cup of COFFEE- FLAVORED-COFFEE. Until recently, this Charlotte transplant did not even know the existance of such a drink. He has had caramel coffee, chocolate coffee, hazelnut coffee and something know as a Mochachino. Being a history major, Mr. Bradshaw had heard that this drink existed once but only for reasons of colonialism and to show the Brits that we "don't need no stinking tea!"

Well day three and all is well. I have made more progress with the unpacking, a more arduous task than I had first imagined. I thought that two days to unpack what took a mere three hours to pack would be a sinch. I have learned that quite often, I am wrong! I am down to a remaining three boxes fully packed and two that are open and in progress. All of my clothes have been put away as I look forward to the task of laundry day tomorrow, new towels and washcloths included. The laundry "facilities" are downstairs in the basement, which includes going out my back door, then down stairs, out of one gate, into another, sounds like a lot, but it is all of 20 vertical steps and about 20 horizontal steps, should not be too tough. You will certainly get an update on this tomorrow. I expect that walking 3 blocks for internet and 4 flights of steps for laundry, these pounds should be shedding at a quick rate.

I did not want to use this blog to discuss my love Amanda and talk about how much I miss her, but I don't want anyone to assume that the omission of such a statement means that I don't miss her... I do.

I have never been more ready to go to work in my life, since December 15th I have only worked 4 days, and my head was so gone it did not even feel like I worked during those days!

That is all I have for you fine folks now, hunkey dorey here!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hello loved ones, I am broadcasting live from the Panera Bread in Wilmette, IL, this blog entry is brought to you buy my kick-ass MacBook!!! It took forever to get going this morning, mainly because it was the first night I have spent in our bed since December 12th. It felt so comfy to be back in my own bed. It also did not help that it was overcast and raining all day today. After getting out of bed, I had to find clean towels and soap so I could grab a shower. After my shower, I worked on unpacking all day today. Just moving stuff around and trying to find a place to put everything, we have so much crap it is unbelieveable.

I must admit yesterday was a scary day for me. I was changing my life forever, I can not return, no do-overs, nothing. I have all of my comforts, things I love, all my experience behind me now. I broke down and cried at one point because it was the only thing I knew to do. I must admit, I felt better, and I moved on. Tuesday was much harder than Wednesday, all I could think of was reasons that I should not be moving, on Wednesday it was easier to think of why I wanted to move. I felt good when I arrived, like I had made a good decision. This morning, the sound in my apartment was deafening, I was a little overwhelmed with the task of unpacking everything I owned and deciding where it would all go. As the day progress, I felt better again.

Here I am now, at Panera Bread, after finishing my first day of living here, I know I will be fine. I don't know how life will unfold for me, but I know I will be fine.

Thank you to everyone who has called and prayed for me the past couple of days. I love my family and friends, very very much.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

I will be back posting some blog entries I have written when I get some time together. I bought a MAC Book so I will be blogging all over Chicago. Until then, may you have a fabulous new year, healthy, hopeful, and happy.