Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Apparently, they did not like the little distribution business I had started. 7th and 8th graders were not supposed to buy such a product.
"They are so young" it was said.
"How can they be making such adult choices" it was asked.
Then the focus came back squarely on me..."That little delinquent is providing access to the contraband. What are we going to do about it?"
My supplier did not have as high a mark-up as I did, but she was happy. I made sure to tip her from time to time and to make sure she knew she was appreciated. I had a system...my supplier would purchase the goods, I would split it up into individual servings...Each type would be priced accordingly. I could sell the high-end product at twice the price I could see the generic street product for. I would give discounts to my regular buyers and their buying in bulk.
But when the Jr. High Principle called pops, the distribution quickly came to an end. My parents said "boys will be boys" and dismissed my selling as a rite-of-passage.
El Rancho lost their Blow-Pop supplier that day. Candy being sold at a modest mark-up just was not in the cards for the school. They could not have a 12-year old making $30-$45 a week selling suckers...They had gum in them and gum ended up at the underside of desks...they also were not approved snacks for 7th and 8th graders.
Mom had to stop buying them in bulk from Price Club (now called Costco)...well, not completely...she still had 6 kids at home that loved to eat them!
Thanks mom for getting my little business off the ground and being my "supplier".
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
On Monday, I got some sweet pictures of my good friend's baby...Last summer, I lived next door to him and his wife...our townhouses were close enough that we could literally just talk back and forth without going outside. If their bedroom slider was open, I could hear when they turned on the shower. So, when he sent the pictures over of Ava, this was my response:
I miss hanging out with Jeremy.
That reminded me of my very first apartment in college. We had two very, ahem, "active" couples living near us...one above and one beside. The ones above had a squeaky bed and the ones beside us (we shared a balcony) were, well, boisterous.
The best part was the wafting cigarette smoke that would come through the window after they were finished...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
While I appreciate you taking time to enjoy your family, making time for your friends, sharing a meal of nachos, popcorn, ju-ju bees and coke, I do not appreciate you doing it all-at-once while in the movie theater.
You see, when the movie starts that usually means that people are trying to pay attention and get as much out of the $20 they just shelled out to enjoy 2-hours with their significant other.
So in the interest in sparing everyone else the pain that is sitting in a theater with you, please let me outline a couple of really good guidelines for you to know:
1. If you walk in to a movie theater after the movie starts, please try to be courteous and quiet. Others are watching and trying to enjoy the movie. Your constant yelling at the kids, talking to each other and complaining about the comfort level of the seats is not really conducive to an enjoyable movie going experience.
2. Please do not answer/talk on your cell phone during a movie. Cell Phones are wonderful devices, but a certain level of decorum is expected. I know that what happened last night on Celebrity Circus was important, but most of the people around you paid $10 to watch Robert Downy, Jr. not listen to you tell us how Antonio Sabato, Jr. did on the high-wire act.
3. Please don't think that anyone who politely asks you to keep it down is wanting to fight. If you are being loud, you might even get shooshed...and if you keep thinking that fighting those people makes sense, I am guessing that someone may take you up on your offer.
4. 3-5 year old kids belong at movies, but maybe not ones that are rated PG-13 or R. Sure, Iron Man was not terribly disturbing, but do we really want our 3 year-olds to see bombs and shrapnel more than they already do? Panda Ninja was playing just across the hall. That might be a better choice.
5. Yelling at your kid when he spills the popcorn bowl that is bigger than him is really unnecessary. How could you not see that coming?
Thank you for your consideration. I am a fairly tolerant person and my patience is higher than most, but selfishness is a very rapid, one-way trip to ninja-town.
Bogart in P-Towne.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Maple Grove, MN
Saint Paul, MN
2 Cancelled flights, 3 flight delays, 2 long trips...
I am home. I am alive. I am recouping.
There have been a few questions about what I do...let me explain it this way.
I earn my living by schmoozing and negotiating with mid level bankers across the country. If I am successful in convincing them that my company is good and that my check won't bounce (okay, it really is a wire, but you get the picture), they just might sell me some of their receivables.
I was concerned about going to South Carolina. Not gonna lie, it does not have the best reputation...but Charleston is one of the coolest cities I have ever been. I can't wait to go there again, but probably not during the summer.
I did zero in Atlanta. I arrived Thursday, went to dinner, slept, went to meetings and went back to the airport. Unfortunately, those type of trips do happen more than I like.
On the flight from Charleston to Atlanta, I sat next to a very nice, chatty young lady. I mentioned Claire a number of times during our conversation, but it was not until I told her about moving across the country to chase her down that she suddenly shut up. Yes, it was that abrupt.
No, I am not usually a talker on planes. I usually put on my Bose Headphones and read.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the opportunities I have and how much I enjoy what I do. I still can't really figure out how I got into the work I am in, but make no mistake, I am very well aware of how blessed I am to have fallen into it.
But sometimes that travel gets to be too much. Sometimes holding that phone to my ear, talking to Claire in another time zone, gets very old. It is why I chased her across the country, leaving all that I ever knew and everyone I love.
The last 2 weeks I have been traveling, yet again. Another trip, another flight, another meal, another hotel.
Then I hear that Michael Buble song, Home. It might have been a little much. I would like to be home in Virginia, having dinner with her right now.
Flip-flopping means you change your mind and then change it again...not because you had an epiphany, but because it was convenient for you to do so. It served you in some fashion to keep changing your mind...An example would be you believe something...argue for it...dare I say campaign for it...then you change your mind...maybe it is genuine. Maybe someone showed you the error of your ways. Maybe you saw first hand that your initial beliefs were wrong, so you admit your error and move on...but then you decide to, oh I don't know, run for president...then that thing you now know to be true is no longer politically convenient so you change back. The winds have blown in another direction and you change your mind to appease voters...
That would be flip-flopping...
But if you were against something...let's just say for arguments sake, against a certain Tax Cut...but as you see it working, as you see the benefit, you decide you were wrong. You admit you were wrong. You now see the error in your ways and change. You then campaign on that more correct idea even though it may hurt you in the polls...Sticking to it whether it is politically expedient or not...that is simply growth and evolution of a thinking mind. That is not something to be ashamed of and it certainly IS NOT flip-flopping.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
We spent Friday night at with Kalar (my sister's boyfriend) and his family at their house on on their dock. We even took a sunset cruise on their boat around the lake. It was a great night, kicked off with a wonderful meal and capped with a HUGE FRIGG'N bonfire.
Saturday we toured Mall of America. While there, we checked out the aquarium, mini-lego land and amusement park, all of which were located INSIDE the Mall. It is crazy big and it was a lot of fun. Before I left for the airport, we had a wonderful lunch at Napa Valley Grille. Sure, the waiter spilled a glass of Sparkling Wine AND a glass & 1/2 of white wine all over Kalar's lap...but the food was good, they comped the wine and gave Kalar a $25 gift certificate for his sticky lap. They took good care of us.
After arriving back in VA at 1am Sunday morning, I have about 40-hours before jumping a plane again to South Carolina. I will be there Monday night through Thursday morning...then to Atlanta, Georgia for a 30 hour visit...I think I will be home for a short while after that.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post, mentioning that I read Whit over at Honea Express. So then late last week, I won a contest at his site. Coincidence? I think so...
Anyway, I am really excited to get all 11 books that will be sent over. Now I don't have to wonder what to read all summer long.
There is some nasty wildfire down in North Carolina that has been burning since last week. That fire did bring me a smile last week though...As I left for the airport at 5am last Tuesday, I got a smell of burning brush. As silly as it is, that aroma reminded me of home.
How sick is that? A brush fire making me nostalgic for SoCal.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Was my diving partner when we were the "Thompson Twins"...
Has 2 beautiful babies...
Encouraged my niece to call me "Yo-Yo". It has stuck.
Got very good at the "Name that band" game I made her play.
Is the "loud one" in the family...
Is a great mother...
Actively pursues her faith in a way that makes me a little jealous...
Found a great husband...
Has a soft heart...
Has done an amazing job of working hard to keep the entire family involved in her life...
Put up with my constant tormenting and teasing...
She is joining the ranks of 30-something's today and I want to
WISH MY SISTER A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Hester Prinn...I hope your birthday is a great one. You are a wonderful woman, mother and wife. I appreciate the trail you have blazed for all the siblings and have set a pretty high standard for being a parent that we all hope to live up too. I love you.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
1. I don't know anything about heat...sure, I have been in the desert at 117 degrees and complained, but that really has nothing on 90-and-90 in New Orleans. Wowee.
2. Claire's youngest sister Sarah looked like a princess during her wedding.
3. I am at least 10-strokes better at golf than Claire's dad...I say "at least" because I was playing with clubs that were 1 1/2 inches too short, on a course that I had never played, and in weather my linebacker body was not made for and I still managed a 10-stroke win.
4. I enjoy golfing with Claire's dad and there are not many people I say that about.
5. When sitting around with the guys and nobody has said anything for a min or so, "Yeah, buddy" is an acceptable silence breaker. No, not in response to anything, just a random "yeah, buddy" while staring off into space is okay.
6. Claire's grandfather can cook some mean bbq sausage.
7. The worm should not be attempted by anyone over 30. Sure, it was my signature move on the dance floor back in the 90's, but that ground is not so soft anymore.
8. Southern Hospitality is a real thing.
9. I rock at Wii bowling, but am terrible at Wii boxing.
10. Grooms at Southern Weddings get their own cake. How cool is that? I think, if I get married, I will have a grooms cake made out of homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies (with no nuts!!!).
11. There is a lot of pressure when you catch the garter at a wedding...especially when you combine that with the girlfriend pulling the ring out of the cake.