Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Happy Anniversary to my very good friends Steve and Stacey. Their wedding was a mixture of ahhh how sweet with a little bit of yuck thrown in...they know why. I am not explaining that one. You never know who reads this stuff.
But their marriage has been one that I look to for ideas, attitudes, examples, and love. I hope to one day be blessed as you have been. Thank you for always being there...thank you for allowing me the honor of being Emma's Godfather...thank you for being you.
Inspired by this post over at Poop and Boogies, I thought I would share my own sad picture...
Seriously I look like I am wearing some sort of Velvet Elvis Revival Shirt.
Mom, what were you thinking?
I think if I wore that shirt to a club today I would be in style...
Don't you just love the hair? Yes, I did wear some semblance of that style until 2006. Claire swears up and down that if I had been wearing that when we met she would have laughed me away and never looked again. Good thing I had the sense, at 30, to get a new do!
Glad my teeth grew in.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Enter the Dollar Store in New Orleans (Thanks to Claire's mom/sisters). Oh yea. 1.5 ounces of Premium Beef Jerky (Product of Argentina) for $1...yes, ONE DOLLAR.
Suck on that Costco.
Speaking of Costco, I ate lunch there yesterday with Claire. I would love to see their profit margin. I mean seriously, we split a hot dog, a piece of supreme pizza, and a coke and it cost $3. I have paid more than that for one dog. I love that place. Now, if they could only find some $1 jerky.
How cool am I, taking my Lady Friend to lunch at Costco? Best Boyfriend Ever.
Went to a bar last night and played NTN trivia. I have not done that since college. Claire and I had a blast! Yes, I can confirm the rumors that she did beat me in the first game. She ran away with it with the last lightening round. Luckily, I smoked her in the second game. Whew, ego intact.
But I do have one concern. It needs to be prefaced with the line "I am not a smoker." Sure, I enjoy an occasional cigar and might have snuck a cigarette or two in my lifetime, but I have never smoked with any regularity and frankly find it a bit stinky. But last night, Claire and I are sitting at the bar, enjoying our wings, a libation, and NTN and the two guys next to us are sucking down Marlboros like they were running towards a finish line...one right after the other they lit up. And a funny thing happened...I started to want one.
I used to know that feeling...when I was in college, I was a bouncer. This was back in the day when you could smoke in a building in Cali...I would work Friday and Saturday nights, 6-10 hours, surrounded by smoke. After work was over for the week, I would go through withdrawls. I craved cigarettes and by Tuesday or Wednesday, I would be having the shakes and would clammour for just one little hit of tobacco. After that fit would subside, usually Wednesday afternoon, I was cool again. Problem was, two days later I would start the whole cycle over.
I wonder if that is what happened last night. A subconcious call for a hit of tobacco from the days with I did(n't) smoke.
No mom, I did not smoke a cigarette last night, but I might have a cigar this weekend. :-)
By the way, all is right with the world. Pitchers and Catchers reported last week, position players showed up this week, and baseball highlights are back on ESPN. I love me some baseball.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I met him back in 1994 when I started dating Stacey's twin sister. Over the next 4 years I spent a number of dinners, afternoons, and brithday parties with him. He was always so kind, quick with a joke, and eager to chat. He always struck me as a man who understood the important things in life and I respected that.
I know his passing is a relief in many ways. The last couple of years have been tough for him, but even through that, it was clear he found ways to be happy and enjoy his family.
I am sorry for your family's loss Stacey. I am praying for all of you.
Monday, February 18, 2008
What is with the lack of good Mexican food anywhere outside of California or Texas? I mean seriously, how hard is it to mix up a nice salsa, grill some carne asada, and whip up some good guacamole. This place had great margaritas and even good mariachi music, but they really need to work on their food. You know it is bad when I could not tell the difference between the Burrito and the Enchilada...I really could not tell which was which.
Saturday we drove 2 1/2 hours for a cup of coffee. No really, we did. Up in Fredericksburg there is a coffee place called Hyperion Coffee. Our friends Jeff and Dorthe served us their coffee when we were visiting them in Denmark. We enjoyed it so much we had to drive up to Northern Virginia to get a cup. We ended up buying 4 bags of coffee (only 2 of them were for us) and spent the rest of the day adventuring around Fredericksburg. It was a really great day!
Sunday brought church, a trip to Loews, and a new Zoo membership for Claire and me. We ended up at my apartment watching Joshua, 3 episodes of Scrubs, and a pizza. It is like we are dating or something.
A shout out to Claire's little sister Pam...she was in a good, old-fashioned bar fight on Saturday night. Punches thrown and everything. Okay, she did not punch someone, but she got stuck in the middle of a brawl while walking back to her table. Guys were literally throwing punches over her head. I guess somebody saw here scrunched up in the middle of the pile and yanked her out. Quick quiz...how do you know when someone is from New Orleans? When they are in the middle of a brawl and still don't spill their drink! Way to go Pam!
Friday, February 15, 2008
So, for V-Day we decided no chocolate and only good food. What did we do for lunch? Bennigan's. Ah yes, the bastion of health, Irish Pub Food. What did we order? Glad you asked...
"Good afternoon and welcome to Bennigan's. Can I get your drink order?"
"Yes, and I think we are ready to order our food as well.. Can we get a Turkey O'toole, one of those deep fried, ham and cheese sandwich egg roll thingy's, and a large diet coke."
Yes, we were living, breathing examples of Good Eats. A cheesy, meaty sandwich on pretzel bread, served with fries...a ham and Swiss sandwich that is dipped in batter and deep fried (called a Monte Cristo). Then it was sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with raspberry jelly for dipping. Ah yes, the essential fruit, raspberry jelly.
But no worries mom(s), we shared our food and we did get the large diet coke, so we are covered.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Because you don't laugh at me when I dance...
Because you make me my favorite chocolate chip cookies, with no nuts, and let me eat the batter, eat the cookies as they come out of the oven, and eat a 1/2 dozen more before we put them away.
Because you love to entertain and get excited over the prospect of having friends and/or family over for dinner, the weekend, or for just a visit.
Because you will exercise with me. Not just going through the motions, but really train and run and work out...and you talk to me the whole time.
Because you get nervous when meeting my friends and family even though I keep telling you that they will love you...and I am right.
Because you are a great travel companion.
Because you are just as happy sleeping on an air mattress, eating lunch from a street vendor, and walking everywhere as you are when we stay at a 4 star hotel, eating truffles and riding in a limo...and in a similar vain, that you showed me the greatness that is Chick-fil-a Polynesian Sauce mixed with Mayonnaise, boudin, Sonic, and all the other cool foods that we try.
Because you enjoy giving me a back rub.
Because you let me drive and then you don't fall asleep in the car unless you are really, really tired.
Because you humor me when I go off on tangents and you engage me in conversation about things that matter to me like God, politics, and philosophy.
Because you found us a church that fits our personality so very well and that you get super excited to go.
Because you are willing to challenge your faith, my faith, and our beliefs, constantly seeking to learn more and become more mature in what we believe.
Because you support me and my dreams...whether it is to run for congress or to run a church, you are 100% on board.
Because you love to serve your country, volunteered to fight in a war, and have shot machine guns and grenade launchers. I cannot ever express how in awe I am of that...no, not just the guns.
Because you believe that love is a daily choice, one that you can make last forever and one that you want to make last forever. Even the romantic love. Kisses at red lights, holding hands at the grocery store, and touching feet under the dinner table.
Because you laugh at my jokes no matter how many times I tell them and you don't care that I might be a little silly more often than not.
Because you remind me to call my mom, my brother, my sisters, my friends.
Because you love your family.
Because your sisters and your mom are your best friends.
Because you challenge me to be a better friend, Christian, cook, driver, thinker, companion, person...
Because you make me smile.
Because you really are "nothing but trouble"...
Happy Valentines Day...
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I mentioned that Claire and I were in Las Vegas last week for a wedding. Claire's childhood best friend Carrie got married to a really cool guy at Red Rocks Canyon. It was a very nice ceremony and we had a lot of fun. Congratulations Carrie and Jason.
We spent the rest of the weekend touring around Vegas with Claire's family (sans her youngest sister). They had never been to sin city, so it was very cool to show them around and experience all the stuff with them. We saw Spamalot, ate good meals, visited the Hoover Dam, saw a chocolate factory, and generally had a great time. Too bad I lost $20 to Claire's father on the Superbowl. Stupid, San Diego hating Eli Manning.
I had no idea that those pictures were still floating around and were still being used for promotional purposes. All I could say was "I was young and I needed the money!"
I know, it is weak. I should not have used my body for profit, but it was the one asset I had. Little did I know that it would come back to bite me.
Don't let the smile on Claire's face fool you. She is deeply concerned that her man is lusted after by women the world over. It is disturbing to me as well, but what can I do. I only put the photo on here to show that I am truly sorry for any pain this little "modeling" phase of my life might have caused.
We spent the rest of the week working at a conference. Nothing fun there. Just work and good food. Okay, there was some fun, including an amazing dinner that I had at Nobu at the Hard Rock Hotel. Holy carp batman, that was good. The two things that were memorable were the Salmon Carpachio with a Miso Wasabi sause and the Black Cod on Butter Lettuce. Yes, it was a bit pricey, but sooooo worth it. I will go back!!!
Claire then met me in San Diego for the weekend...we had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Pamplemousse Grille) with my father, toured San Diego, had lunch with some great friends, then went wine tasting and had dinner with even more friends. Did I mention it was 70 and sunny both days we were there? Shocker, eh?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
5 Material Wishes:
1. I would like a nice watch. Yes, I have some good looking watches. I have two watches that I wear out to nice meals and client meetings, but I would like to have what my buddy "Mongo" calls a "Timepiece". Claire and I love to look at watch magazines, going through each page and critiquing each watch. I hope to eventually find the one that speaks to me, have the ability, and then pull the trigger on buying it. Until then, I will have to sit back and wish...
2. I would like to become a homeowner once again. Unfortunately, the house I used to have is no longer mine. I loved that little, 100-year old craftsman home, but it is gone...I can't wait to own again...which brings me to:
3. I want a dog. Is that a material thing? I mean, I do pay for one, right? My last dog was great. She was a black lab, that was well behaved and a lot of fun. It will be fun to have a pooch for walks, trips to the beach, camping, and other miscellaneous dog things. Good thing Claire likes them, eh?
4. I would love to have a big screen, HD, LCD television. My brother has one. My best friends all have them. I don't. There is something wrong with that. I want to see the blades of grass when I watch baseball. I want to see how cool the Discovery Channel stuff looks with that Liquid Crystal Display. I want to see how good that food really looks when I watch Iron Chef. I want my HD LCD.
5. A few years ago, I found out that there are passes that Major League Baseball gives out that allows the holder to go to any game, in any city, at any time. That would be soooo cool. As a freaky baseball fan, I would be a happy, happy camper if I could have something like that.
5 Spiritual/Meaningful Wishes
1. I wish I was better at living out my faith on a daily basis.
2. I wish that when someone is identified as a Christian, it is not automatically assumed that they are closed minded, judgmental, and/or angry.
3. I wish that mental illness was treated and accepted the same as other diseases. I know the symptoms are different, making it much more difficult in many ways, but that does not mean that it is not real.
4. I wish Christians would really work at understanding what Jesus taught. It is so frustrating to see hate, anger, and joylessness spewed from the mouths of those who claim to follow Christ. Oh, and while we are at it, it would help if they understood that sin is sin. What does that mean? Well, despite what we think, in God's eyes one sin is not worse than any other. Stop railing against homosexuality and start keeping an eye open for lovelessness. Stop preaching against drinking and start including real discussions on joylessness. Stop pretending/thinking that you are better than everyone else and start remembering that Christ came for the sick, the lost and the forgotten. When you lose sight of those things, we run the real risk of becoming Pharisaical. Jesus saved his harshest words for the religious leaders that were acting holier than thou...
5. I wish everyone could learn what it feels like to be truly loved by another person. Not just liked a lot, not just tolerated, or sort of enjoyed, but really, really loved. I know so many people who go through their whole lives without knowing that another person really loves them and that makes me sad. There is nothing like knowing that you are unequivocally and unconditionally loved.
There, that is all I got. Now, I have to go take a nap cause I am sick and all this thinking has taken every last bit of energy I had.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Next step, take a Ziploc bag and fill it with shaving cream...not all the way full, but maybe 1/3rd full...remember, shaving cream expands and if you fill it too full, the whole thing won't work.
Next, zip the bag closed, slide it 1/2 way under the closed door, forcefully step on the bag and you have just created a shaving cream projectile...it does not hurt when it hits...the spray pattern is pretty tight...the smell is tough to get out. Perfect for pesky roommates.
It was used a lot...Teddy and Jerry's bathroom had the perfect set up. I don't know how many times we hit Jerry...enough that he started to only do "his business" when Mongo and I were not home...but this particular Friday night, we might have surprised him.
Mongo and I walked in the door..."Dude, the bathroom door is shut...I will get the shaving cream, you get the Ziplock."
We got the perfect pour, zipped it shut, and began to slide it under the door...
Cries of "No, no, please no" came from the bathroom. Was he begging? No, it sounded more like he was pleading. "Seriously guys. Please not tonight."
We were 20 years old...the begging and pleading of another man does not phase us...if anything it egged us on. "C'mon guys...pleeeeaaasssseee!" Did I detect a whimper?
Mongo and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders, and did the deed. It was a perfect shot...full explusion of the ever expanding, menthol cream. Then silence, followed by some sniffles..."Ah crap, is he crying?" "What did we do, dude?"
Jerry was getting ready for a big date...Jerry was wearing his ONLY suit...really it was his only good clothes. Through the tears Jerry said "You guys suck! This is my only good outfit and now what am I going to wear? " More sniffles followed.
That was the last time we ever pulled the shaving cream bit.
This story is so much funnier when told in person...I mean, I got the sniffles and the pleading voice down pat...but as I write this, it really does seem mean. Jerry moved out not long after that episode...I do feel bad...I really do. Yes, he was kinda of a sucky roommate...actully he still owes Mongo and me $500 and his girlfriend tried to fight us, literally...but I think it might have been a little mean. Sorry Jerry.
Thanks so much for the kind words regarding my buddy's little son, Matthew. It was so appreciated...really strikes me that we have developed a community that really cares for one another, despite the fact that most of us would not recognize one another if we bumped into each other.
I will be in California for the rest of the week...checking out the old haunt and showing Claire around SoCal...Sunny and 70 is forecast...WOOOHOOO.
Friday, February 1, 2008
"We gathered Saturday morning to give Matthew Anderson Romney a name and a blessing at Children’s Hospital with two dozen family members and friends. At approximately 12:25 pm, the doctors withdrew his breathing tube. He rested peacefully in Amy’s and my arms throughout the afternoon and evening and passed away silently shortly before 4 am Sunday morning. We are saddened by the loss but grateful that Matthew has now returned to live with Heavenly Father.
The doctor’s official diagnosis is an extremely rare metabolic (genetic) disease called NonKetotic Hyperglycinemia (or NKH, for short). His body produces too much glycine (an amino acid we all carry). This overabundance of glycine is flooding his brain fluid and, at these high levels, is toxic to him. It has destroyed his brain activity. There is no cure or treatment. He would be a vegetable his entire life if he even survived. Thankfully, Ava and Dylan are not at risk for NKH since they have shown no symptoms of the disease. As NKH is genetic, however, there appears a good chance that Amy and I are both recessive carriers and all future children we bear will have a 25% chance of developing this same problem. We will continue to learn as much as we can about the disease and try to plan accordingly."
Miles is a great guy and his wife Amy is such a beautiful woman. Please say a prayer for Miles, Amy, and the rest of their family. The pain that they must be feeling at this time must be indescribable and thankfully, knowing how Miles invests in other people, there are probably many that are stepping up and surrounding him and Amy with love.
Miles, I am so sorry for your loss. I will continue to hold you, Amy, Ava and Dylan up in my prayers.
Then, this week I found this post through one of the blogs that I occasionally read. The gist of it is:
"The Joseph Salmon Trust supports parents who have lost a child by providing financial assistance to those who need it most. This may be to help with funeral costs or to allow the self employed a break from work while they come to terms with their loss. Grieving families have enough to deal with without worries about where they will find the money to say goodbye to their child or pay the next electricity bill. Nothing we can do can make their situation better, but we can do something to stop it getting worse."
The timing is impeccable.