Monday, November 26, 2007

Chirstmas Traditions

During my lunch break at the GAP today I was watching "Christmas Vacation" on the breakroom television. I felt complete empathy for Clark as he tried his hardest to create and keep alive traditions. What is a family without traditions?

Though I have no plans(as of yet) to chop down a 45 foot Christmas Tree and put it into my living room, I am going to do somethng equally crazy. In the intrest of keeping alive my rich family traditions, I will be driving 46 miles to the nearest Chick-Fil-A in Wisconsin to buy a nugget tray for two, a couple sandwiches, and lots of fries. Some things are just worth keeping alive.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white....

Thanksgiving... just like the ones I have never known. It snowed this morning, no accumulation though. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone... Love, JON

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Boy am I hungry, and I don't feel like blogging.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Friday

So the black Friday phenominon has struck my gorgeous wife. We have some wedding money that has been earmarked for registry items. Once I got the spending bill through congress and the appropriate committees, we have now been allowed to buy some kitchen wares (not the food processor) that we may actually use. Amanda has been on store websites, namely the one that pays people too little and gives no benefits. (I will give the same prize to the person who guesses this one as I gave in the previous post.) So we are looking at all the cheap TV's, kitchen stuff, all that junk. I think we have aquired our target and though the store opens at 5am, Amanda will be joining the Black Friday extraviganza of crowded parking lots and long lines. I will report Friday night on her success or failure.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Cold, She Be A Coming!

Amanda's beware! The cold is coming, in perfect time for Thanksgiving. The weather is looking quite swell.

Tomorrow is warm, ugh, 54 and cloudy.

Wednesday is colder and rainy... somewhere in the mid 40's.

Gobble Gobble... oh yeah, 35 degrees. Weather channel says snowy & 38, accuweather says 35 and sunny.

Why is Jon blogging about weather you may ask fair reader. I am giving the fine readers of this not-so-fine blog the chance to predict the future. Please vote for what the weather will be on Thanksgiving.

a. 37 + sunny
b. 36 or less + sunny
c. 37 + snowy
d. 36 or less + snowy

winner gets a bowl full of pride.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Diet... WEEK ONE

This Week's Loss: 5lbs
Grand Total Loss: 5lbs

Fall into the GAP

So Amanda and I went shopping on Thursday, we went to the GAP to enjoy some of her employee discount for my Crazy Stripe sweater. There was a "coupon" list that allows you buy some seriously discounted wears. I told her "maybe I should get a seasonal job for Christmas time so I can get an employee discount."

Saturday Amanda calls me and said "Jan said you should come in tomorrow and fill out your paperwork." Um, I guess that is cool.

Today I worked a shift and enjoyed my discount. I really liked working there, just mindless folding for a while. I have already used up some purchases. I am going to work the next 4 or 5 Sundays. No those who might worry, it is not about the money. I highly doubt that anything I make there will make it out of the store. Amanda and I got to drive to work together and go to lunch together. She worked in kids while I was in adult.

This Sunday I would have had nothing to do but watch the Steelers loose and maybe find a way to cheat on my diet. I hope I meet some people I can hang out with and befriend. So we'll see, it is just 4 more days anyway.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

New Work Shoes

No, really, seriously, I have nothing better to talk about than my new work shoes. I suppose I could include a story of my fantastic shopping story.

Picture this, dateline today, roughly 5 o'clock.

Jon steps out into the clear, crisp fall evening after a long but slightly boring day at work. He stepped lively, day 4 of his diet and feeling light on his feet, he decides he should re-accessorize those feet. Jon got into his MANLY MINI and proceded to Kohl's. Debating on a few pairs of shoes, he decides in his infinite wisdom that the criteria were going to be as such:

Waterproof (rainy appraisals can wet your socks, thus ruining your day)
Not-Tennis Shoes or Hiking Shoes

Not too tough I though.... hah! Sponge Jon Square Feet sturggles a bit to find shoes when he is not being picky.

Jon headed to the Famous Footwear.... that lasted for five minutes. He headed across the street with an illegal right turn and landed at DSW. After 45 minutes, 7 pairs of shoes tried on, 3 pairs in two different sizes, and absolutely NO GREETING from any of the four well dressed but not well mannered employees. Those gypsies in the palace blew a sale by forgetting to say hello.

Across the street Jon saunterned off to REI, apparently he learned that this store is unique, it is a CoOp. Jon was very interested but the guy trying to get him to join forgot to explain to him what a CoOp is. Jon liked a pair of Keens that he tried on but at $110, they were way past his work shoe budget.

Heading back to the Mini, starving, flustered, Jon headed for home. On the way back he dicided he would try to go to the Clarks store at Old Orchard and give it one last shot. Hark! Between the McCormick and Schmicks and the California Pizza Kitchen was the holy grail of comfort shoes.. The Walking Company. This shrine to over priced ECCO's and UGG's also carries a few pairs of Keens. Jon managed to find the only pair of shoes that were not only inexpensive, but on top, ON SALE

Jon then went home and wrote the most lame blog entry EVER!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dog Days of Diet

Man do I miss me some McDonald's. I cannot possible describe this feeling with mere words.

My biggest test of will power was all day long yesterday. I get into work at about a quarter til noon, I can smell oreo's. Before my butt hits the seat of my chair my nostrils flare and I snap my head to the left and see the bag of gorgeous cookies sitting maliciously in from of the oscilating fan. Brutal!!! They were also Reduced Fat Oreo's, that fact alone will mess with your head when you are trying to rationalize eating one. About four hours into my shift and 20 minutes before I ate dinner, the office was empty, not positive influences, no judging eyes, I grabbed a cookie, placed it directly in the middle of my tongue. Before the gigantic smile cracked from my lips, I pulled the cookie out, and filed it away into the trash can.

I felt very bad about how weak I had been, but good because in the 11th hour, I pulled it out.

*my spouse, who will remain nameless, has Swiss Cake Rolls in this house, she does have the respect to hide them though.
*my coworker, the grumpy old man, was mad because I would not go to the buffett with him and throw down.
*I cannot call her by name, but we will just say, "someone that I live with'' ate McDonald's in the car with me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gobble Gobble

I actually had an employee complain because we are closed on Thanksgiving. He had "heard" that we pay time and a half on the Turkiest of all Turkey Day.* All the full time associates get paid for that day so I guess he assumed that he would too. After chuckling for a minute, he asked me in his most serious voice. "Well, I mean can you clock me in for a couple hours so I can get some money." I have to admit I am concerned he thought that was okay. Also that he didn't consider that someone might notice that only one person in the entire company would be on the clock that day. Kids.... heh!

*It turns out that Republic Day is the Turkiest of all Turkey Days.

Food Processor?

We got a very nice food processor as a wedding gift today. I don't recall ever having one at home growing up. I had to level with Amanda that I really didn't know what a FP did.

j."So what do you do with a food processor?"

a."You know, you chop things up with it."

j."Isn't that what a knife is for?"

a."No, it finely chops, puree, that kind of thing."

j."Don't we have a blender for that?"

a. w/ exacerbated look on her face "No, you can do things like a chopped salad, or mixing, or make dough with it"

j."So what are you planning to use this for?"

a."Nothing right now, we should leave it in the box until we get a bigger kitchen."

Then the heavens above opened up and light came pouring into my brain like the High Intensity Discharge Headlights of a BMW M5 doing 100mph soon to be greated by a West Virginia buck" (was that simile drawn out way too far or what?)


*yes, B, I realize CP Morgan offers you more KITCHEN square feet for less money

Monday, November 12, 2007

Weight Loss, Wait, I lossed!

On September 12th, 2006, I weighed 283lbs.
On March 12th, 2007, I weighed 244lbs...
Today, 268lbs :-(

Tonight starts my new diet with Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating. All prepared food, picked up twice a week, three meals a day, seven days a week, no substitutions, no soda, etc. At first it sounds harsh, but what went wrong with weight watchers was (note crazy alliteration) that I had free reign. My personal short coming is that I have no self control when it comes to food. I didn't gain weight when I moved immediatly because I had become much more physically active as a city dweller. Now all the calories going in are catching up with me. Also, I now skip breakfast most days and I eat out a lot. Lets see how this goes, I did better on WW when everyone knew and was supporting me, so I would appriciate prayers and thoughts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Ever be so lazy on a day and actually feel guilty about it. My wife went to work today and I did next to nothing. Here is my lazy schedule.

9:20 am - Wake Up
9:30-11:00am - Watched "Take The Lead"
11:00am - lunch
12:00-3:30pm* - Watched the Steelers Kick Ass
3:30-6:00pm* - Watched Crap on TV
6:00-7:30pm - Put wedding presents away

*means laundry was also done during this period

I must say this lazy day was quite enjoyable!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ayo! I am getting used to technology...

I have to remember how to use things like in home internet and the DVR. I am currently watching Grey's Anatomy and I keep forgeting to fast forward through the commercials. I just watch them like it is live tv.

I was thinking today why I have changed my mind a little bit about the course I want my life to take. Obviously, I am a married man now and those vows do change the way you think. That being said, the family high in Charlotte really had me wanting to move back quickly. I even explored moving to Ellicott City, MD in December to grand open a store there. My great co-workers and quality of work life as well as Amanda and I's pure exhaustion of moving really killed that move. I had this idea in my head about what living in a city was going to be like.

I am pretty sure I thought my life would be like "Friends" episodes. I make friends with people in my building and at the local coffee shop and we get into all kinds of silly hijinks. I didn't realize how hard it is to make friends in a city of 8 million people. I have some friends up here and I have my gorgeous wife to hang out with, but life isn't quite what I had pictured.

Isn't that the way it always is though. I would have never dreamed to still be working at Carmax or to be married at 26. That being said, I am very very happy that both things have occured because I look forward to going to work, I look even more forward to coming home!

To Be Titled Later

Yeah, I have no idea what to write about... I am lying in bed next to my sleeping and very beautiful wife trying to keep my promise to Allison.... be funny Jon... dammit.

Shit, here comes the play by play...

Today was super manager day at the ole max. I was involved in something in just about every department. I had to have a really tough conversation with an employee too. I like the chance to help someone get better at what they do and become better employees. This person tries my patience the most. The sad part is that he is really good at what he does, he just fails to come in on time. I want him to be successful but I also need to run the business. I just hope I got through to him, it doesn't feel that way, but I just plain hope.

I got to hang out with Jenni today, first time I have seen her since we got back to the Chi. She came over today to hang out with Amanda and instead of Amanda taking her back home to the city, she sqatted and waited for me to come home so we could go to dinner. We ate some yummy cajun food at the Dixie Kitchen and came back here. We did a crossword and watched HGTV. I liked coming home from work, sipping on some scotch, watching the tube.

Diet starts Monday! I am so excited... I am going to gain some this weekend with all the junk I plan to eat.
chickity check it out y'all!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wedding Photos III

My Mother's siblings.....
... my mom and I cutting a rug to some Jimmy Buffett

.... thanks Aunt Annie & Mom.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

IKEA Injury Report

So we got a new couch... chair... ottoman... coffee tables... broken toe.... and end tables @ IKEA today. I will share one photo today.... the broken toe... the rest will come when we get the living room arranged the way we want.

*Yeah, I droped a coffee table on my foot.... friggin ouch man...

Wedding Cash..... poof!.... gone!....

I am sadly going to ask that this count as my post for the day.... first day back at my home store and I am about beat. Today Amanda spent some wedding money and bought the Duvet cover... Choqua (brown and aqua) stripes with natural accents.... very nice with the brown sheets we already own. She also got me Flight of the Navigator on DVD... that movie kicks ass!

Tomorrow I have rented a van and we will be heading to IKEA to buy a couch and end tables, pick up lamps from Target. We will then be having the cable and internet installed, welcome to last decade Jon! Then we have a UNCC alumni & friends dinner in downtown... getting all dressed up and riding the train in will be fun for the wife and I.

My friend Chuck sent me this picture of W riding a bomb... I liken Dick to be more like Dr. Strangelove but the affect is amazing.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wedding Photos II

L to R : Chad, Ashley, Dhara, Yours Truely, Amanda the Wifey!!!

Here is one submitted by Ray Henderson (also took the one in the previous post). Thank you, remember, if you got them, send them please!!!

Promenade @ the Prom

Completely off season and off subject... but my cousin just posted a great (and somewhat sad (but I take pride in your courage)) story about her prom experiences from high school. I have had some very unique experiences in my storied prom career.

I was very luckly to have had a warm up every year since my freshman year at the JROTC Military Ball around Valentine's Day. The only one I missed was so I could go with my mom to the Jimmy Buffett concert that I bought her tickets for the previous Christmas. We got to wear our uniforms, buy corsages, and practice picking up the tab for dinner. I took Dhara my freshman year, I took Kelli my Sophomore year, Jimmy Buffett my Junior year, and Ashley my Senior year. It is funny that these three women are still in my life, still great friends.

Here is a picture of Ashley, Dhara, and Emily (mentioned later in the story) at my wedding... we're all grown up now.

My junior year I went to my prom with Kelli. She and I had dated the year prior and I had somewhat struggled to accept the fact that she had moved to Florida and was not my girlfriend. So I saved up money, bought her a plane ticket, I may have even helped her buy her dress. Unlike most teens, I didn't blow ALL of my money on material things, I spent my money on friends as well. This prom was absolutely amazing. We all had so much fun, we slept over at my house and had snacks, watched movies, and I dropped Kelli off at the airport in a blaze of tears as I had realized she was no longer my girl. Despite that bit of heartache, this was one of the best moments in Jon's life.*

Two weeks later I went to Butler's prom with three dates.... they paid for dinner. Uh yeah, I got game.

My senior year could not have been worse. I must premise this tale by acknowledging that my horrible time was completely my fault. So I was going to go to the prom with Ashley. We had been on and off "in like" with each other for about two years. In a fit of raging insecurity I began to date a freshman girl who adored me and gave me all the attention I could have ever wanted. I hurt Ashley really badly. I can't even tell you why. She was the first (non-puppy) love of my life and I was afraid of her... so I ran. (Coward!). So needless to say Ashley informed me she would not be going to the prom with me and who could really blame her. I could not bring my new girl, it just wouldn't be right. At the time I didn't think that we would be together that long (three and a half years later she broke my heart). I was a third wheel to my generous and other best high school friend Emily and her boyfriend Ryan. I drove alone, I sat alone a lot, I dance alone. On the upside I did finish 2nd or 3rd in the prom king court voting and Emily escorted me on the stage to save me some horror. I wore a zoot suit with black and white Dr. Martens and wallet chain (late nineties, that was bad ass then). I got to dance with Ashley during the song "Angel of Mine" and we didn't speak much for over a year after. After the pain heeled and Ashley found a lot of forgiveness, we became friends again. Despite some bright moments, that prom was one of the worst days of my life.

I shared this story with my wife before I posted to ensure that I would in no way hurt her feelings. We discussed how both of our junior proms rocked and the senior proms sucked. We came to the conclusion that it has to do with all the pressure to make the night so unforgetable.

Lesson to all high schoolers should be: Loosen up, it really doesn't matter in the long run!!!

I don't really mean that though, because if it didn't matter in the long run, then one of the worst days of my life wouldn't have happend around prom and one of my top ten days in life wouldn't have happend around prom.*

*my wedding day is #1

Monday, November 05, 2007

Its begining to look a lot like....

CHRISTMAS. Everywhere you go. Amanda (and to a minor extent yours truely) have been confused by the weather. With highs in the mid-50's and leaves on the ground, it is already 10 degrees cooler than your average Charlotte Christmas day. The lite radio station has started their broadcasts of Christmas music. Furthermore, on the way down to Charlotte last week (the 24th) we heard a station in Indianapolis that was cranking out 93 days of Christmas Classics!!! I am anxious to see if working in the mall and listening to the musak in the store will drive Amanda nuts. We shall see.

Kicker... flurries in the forcast for Tuesday night!!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


After our nuptuals, Amanda and I are starting to settle in for our first winter in Chicago together. We are hooking up the apartment with Cable and Internet (finally!, I know) and we will be getting a sofa at Ikea on Wednesday.

If I remember I will try to take before and after pictures. Our living room serves as an office as well. Late today, I am going to try to make two rooms out of it so that you don't see our horrific desk from the living room. I think it will be nice. I am going to employ either a free standing chinese curtain or an actual curtain to divide the room up. I have watched way too much HGTV while at David and Allison's place and have been inspired. We are most excited about the couch because we will have a bed for friends and family to stay on when and if they come to visit. I want to seperate the office from the living room to provide a little privacy as well. We will see how it turns out.

(I pre dated a couple posts so I would have one for every day this month. I know it is cheating but starting on Thursday we will have in house internet access so I will not have an excuse to cheat!)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wifi in WV

So we went to what may be the nicest Mc Donald's in the world. West Virginia gets a bad reputation for the the education of their population and some non-forking family tree issues. That having been said... they can rock out a McDonald's like no state in this great union. We used to stop at the one on 19 in Summerville to have a bite to eat. They always had the menu items you expect, but unlike most, they also had the McRib, even when retired, and all the promotional items were on the menu 24/7/365.

This McD's was off the beaten path somewhere. I remember WVUP was near by... don't remember the P. They had a big sign that said Wifi and I have not seen many McDonalds so equipped so Amanda and I had to stop. It was very disappointing, you have to pay. I know it is an income generating thing but I hate that Starbucks and McDonalds do not offer free Wifi. I think it is bad business. The Brother's K coffee shop in Evanston has three people in their shop for every one I see walking into starbucks. Their competitive advantage: FREE WIFI. People stay in, they drink, buy a refill or maybe a pastry to go with. Meanwhile, the Starbucks that sits on the corner next has places to seat 31 people (big Starbucks, yes I counted) and there is one person there without a laptop reading the paper. I know that Starbucks needn't worry about losing market share here, but I just think it is a basic thing that you should offer, like a public restroom.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Family Also

* My cousin Allison has challenged me to post every day this month. As you can tell, we are off to a hell of a good start.

Today's topic is family. Much like Allison (Maggie's Red Thread) I have been blessed by many families. I have my diverse and non-sensical family that I belong to. I have ex-aunt-in-laws that are more like my Dad and I have called 4 women grandma but I am pretty sure that a family tree only has room for two. They all proved this weekend how much they care about me, a majority showed up to support me at my wedding.

I have a family from high school. Dhara, Ashley and Emily have all known me since 7th & 10th grades respectively. Emily was a bridesmaid and super helpful to Amanda. Dhara and Ashley, both recently married, were very supportive of my endeavors. One of the neatest things my mother told me about was Dhara's mother approaching her and telling her that she was honored to be there and how much they love me. My mom replied that she adored Dhara as well and missed her when we all went to college. This is the part of family I forget.

You always hear that "friends are family that you choose." Very true, but your family also chooses to embrace them as well. My family knows a lot about my friends, they ask about their well-being, about school / work. My family over time is actually invested in my friends. How cool? Dhara even played a role in my cousin Erin's wedding. The best thing about my family is often we blur the lines between family and friends.

My last night in Charlotte I am spending with Sara and Tim. They are not just our "couple friends" that we do "couple things" with. They are my family as well. I am invested in how they are doing, the Smiths return in kind.

This has been a fun week and a half. I thought I would grow "sick of home" but I really just got homesick. I am not sure when we will come back, if we will come back, but I need my kids to know the rest of my family. So I don't want to tell people we are coming back.... but we won't stay gone too long.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wedding Photos

Thank you Erin for submitting photos.

Below you will see my gorgeous wife coming into the church with her dad.

The two cutest flower girls in Wedding History came down right before Amanda. At ages 4 11/12ths and 25 months they were so well behaved. Elizabeth was a good leader for Maggie.