Sunday, February 27, 2005

Quick Update

Man...I can't believe it's Sunday already!

Taking a quick peek back at the past few days...

Thursday
Went out for Beer Night with some buddies at a local brewpub that also happened to be in a casino. I will note right now that I am a complete dumbass when it comes to gambling. I am almost always up at some point when I am at a casino. Sometimes...it's even $200 or more as was the case on Thursday night. Inevitably though, I always give it back. For whatever reason, I just can not walk away from the casino when I'm ahead...unless I have a plane to catch or something.

To make matters even worse on Thursday, I got a speeding ticket on the way to Beer Night, so I really could have used that $200 to pay for the ticket. One of these days, maybe I'll learn my lesson.

Friday
Worked and actually got back to the gym again. This time I took J & L with me to play in the kids care area while I played ball. They loved it and really want to go back. I'm thinking this will be a regular Friday occurrence for us. I may even have to get them memberships because it may be more cost effective.

Saturday
Hung out with the kids while K went out with my sister to look at wedding dresses. Last night, we took the kids (except baby M) to see Racing Stripes. It was funny enough at moments and the kids seemed to enjoy it (except J who kept asking if it was almost over...15 minutes into the movie).

Today
Hang out with the kids some more. Do a ton of laundry. Try to find time to watch the KU game later. Get ready for my trip to Florida tomorrow. My flight leaves at 6:55 a.m. Yeah...that sucks.

And that, my friends, is my abbreviated four-day post.

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Movie Sneak Preview Night

K & I are members of our local theater chain's "MovieWatcher" club. In fact, we've been members for about 10 years or so...since about the time the program began. We joined mainly because members got free popcorn on Wednesdays and, back then before we had kids, we would go to see two or three movies per week. It just made sense.

So last week, we got an e-mail from the club with an invite to go see a free sneak preview tonight. It was first come, first serve but we also got a free popcorn and drink. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

The catch? We didn't even know what the movie was going to be. No hints or anything.

So we show up tonight and learn that it's The Thing About My Folks. It's a Paul Reiser film that he wrote and directed and also starred in alongside Peter Falk aka Columbo.

Some theater chain exec comes in and introduces the film and explains that the movie won't be released nationwide until late this year...probably the fall. He also asked everyone to please stick around until after all of the credits as they wanted to collect feedback in the form of surveys. In exchange, we'd all get a very cool gift. Again...sounds good to me.

As for the movie itself? Excellent! I'd feel comfortable recommending it to anybody. Now, granted, I'm a sentimental guy and the movie deals with both father/son relationships and also husband/wife relationships. And, even though I shed a few tears (yeah...I'll admit it), I laughed far more during the course of this movie. It was just a great way to spend an evening with K. When it comes out later this year, I urge you to go see it. Honestly? I think Peter Falk deserves an Oscar nomination for it. Only time will tell about that.

So we were good audience members and stuck around at the end. After all, I wanted the gift. I figured it was going to be some kind of merchandise like a sweatshirt or something from the movie or the theater. Guess what.

Not so much. (OK...that's a hint.)

If you ever watched Mad About You, you've probably figured it out by now. If you didn't, I'll spell it out for you.

Our "special gift" was Mr. Paul Reiser himself. He was actually there...in the theater...here in Leawood fucking Kansas!!!

He was very cool and had a very fun Q & A with the audience. (Yours truly asked two questions.)

And, let me say this, I would have recommended this movie even if he hadn't shown up.

Anyway, far and away this was my best moviegoing experience ever. I can't wait to get invited to my next sneak preview!

So did anyone else see any celebrities in person tonight?

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

1GB of Musical Goodness

Yep...tonight, I managed to track down the 1GB iPod Shuffle at my friendly neighborhood Target.

Prior to calling Target, I actually drove down to the Apple Store on the Plaza, called Best Buy, Mac Hardware, CompUSA and Wal-Mart and none of them had a single Shuffle in sight. I was especially disappointed in the Apple Store...I mean, they're the creators of the iPod...shouldn't they have plenty of them?

Anyway, with the bonus that Target is open until 10, I was able to zip on over and pick one up tonight. When I got there I was shocked to see that they had about four of the 1GB models and probably 7 or 8 of the 512MB versions.

I still bet they're all gone by tomorrow...Thursday at the latest.

I wish I had more time to post, but I really need to work on some stuff for a meeting I have tomorrow.

In fact, it could be a few days before I post again. Tomorrow night, K & I are going to a sneak preview of a movie...only problem is, we don't know what movie it is. Oh well...it's free, right? Then, on Thursday night, it's Beer Night with me and my buddies and now, my future brother-in-law will be joining us, so it should be fun. (Did I mention it's at a casino? Woo-hoo!!!)

Have a good one everybody!

Until Next Time...

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Monday, February 21, 2005

godDAMMIT!!!!

I almost names this post: "MOTHER FUCKER!!!!" but decided I wanted to retain a PG-13 rating.

So you may be wondering...at what is my rage directed? My be-fucking-loved alma mater, the KU-goddamn-Jayhawks.

You see...tonight they managed to lose their third basketball game in a row and they have an excellent opportunity to make it four in a row this weekend.

For those of us that are partial to the successes of the scholar athletes in Lawrence, Kansas, basketball season is easily our favorite time of year. This is when we get to finally enjoy sports after enduring year after year of crappy football. It's pretty much a given that KU will field a top 10 team...maybe top 15 in a bad year. Tonight we were #7 heading into the game and I'm guessing we'll drop out of the Top 10 for sure...possibly further if we lose again this weekend to the now Big 12-leading Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Did I mention that 7 days ago we were undefeated in our conference and had a 2-game stranglehold of a lead on the rest of the league? Now? Not so much.

My god we sucked!

I mean, obviously, I couldn't have done any better, but as a fan (short for fanatic), it is my job to rant and rave about their performance on the court.

I remember reporting on the psychological terms for what sports fans do way back in college...BIRGing and CORFing. If memory serves me correctly, that stands for Basking In Reflective Glory and Cutting Off Reflective Failure.

If your favorite team is losing, you refer to the team as "they" but if your team is winning then you'll refer to the group as "we." In other words, if the team screws up it's their fault, but if they win, you somehow are at least partially responsible for that victory.

Hey...makes sense to me!

(Deep breath...deep breath....deep breath.)

OK....now that I have THAT off my chest, let's see if I can find a positive note to end this post on.

I know...free music! OK...free in the sense that I'm not paying for more than the cost of a bottle of Diet Pepsi. I have shamelessly been cheating whenever I go over to 7-11 to buy a bottle of Diet Pepsi to get only the bottles with the free iTunes songs under the cap.

I mean...it's SO easy! Just tilt the bottle, look under the cap and if you see the word "song," it's a winner! I've bought about 8 straight winners so far.

(Please don't remind me of the fact that I'm paying $1.09 for a 20 oz. bottle of Diet Pepsi when I get an entire 2-liter bottle for $.99 and a whole freaking 12-pack for $3. It's all about the music.)

On my old work laptop, I'd downloaded iTunes and had bought a few albums and EPs to listen to. When I left though, the music didn't come with me, so I've been listening to all of my music on Windows Media Player. I've been avoiding the lengthy conversion process of translating my Windows Media files over into iTunes, but I think I'm going to have to.

You see...I just got $100 for my birthday and another $50 in a rebate for a monitor we recently bought. For those of you who are mathematically challenged, that's $150.

Conveniently, that's almost exactly what one of these costs. I'm going to go for the one with the extra memory even though the smaller one is probably enough. Why chance it?

By the way, in case you were wondering (and I'm sure you weren't), here are the songs I've downloaded with my freebies so far.

  1. Over and Over - Nelly and Tim McGraw
  2. Candy Shop - 50 Cent
  3. Regulate - Warren G
  4. Accidentally In Love - Counting Crows
  5. Just Lose It - Eminem (This was a mistake...I thought it was the next song, so I now have two Eminem songs..damn.)
  6. Lose Yourself - Eminem

I have two free ones left to get. I think I know what they'll be, but you'll have to wait to find out for sure.

OK...enough rambling for me tonight. Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I don't even have a good excuse.

Until Next Time...

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

It's A Good Day

I've almost always had good birthdays, but for some reason, this one has just gotten off to a fantastic start.

First, K let me sleep in and got up with M this morning. Then, all of the kids came in to "wake me up" with hugs and kisses and a few presents. One was Clerks X which I've been wanting for some time.

But the best presents were the framed collage and the handwritten birthday card. I'm not sure why, but it really pushed the right button today. I scanned the part that I really loved and it's posted just below this entry.

(By the way, I'd already bought myself a nice desk for my office so that was my big birthday present...don't want you all thinking K is some kind of cheapskate or anything like that.)

After the presents and a quick shower (and the realization that I still have to go renew my driver's license), I went downstairs to see that K had made heart-shaped pancakes for all of us. I mean...does it get any better than this???

It's also a good day because daughter K has the day off for school conferences, so we'll be going to that this afternoon where she'll be giving a PowerPoint presentation? Should be interesting.

Continuing on the good day theme...I guess it really started yesterday when the total repair bill for our car, including an oil change, was $90. Considering the fact that I thought we were going to have to replace an entire transmission, I'm quite pleased with those results.

Have a great day everyone!

I already have.

Until Next Time...

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Here's a scan of the card I got this morning. Posted by Hello

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Monday, February 14, 2005

TGIM???

It's been a very busy weekend and I hate to say it, but I'm looking forward to slowing down with work on Monday.

The in-laws have been here all weekend...they'll head home in the morning. On top of them, my family was here along with our neighbors from down the street to celebrate M's baptism.

Now, I'm the first to admit to not being a "good" Catholic. By that, I mean we pretty much only go to church on major religious holidays, if that often. And, to be honest, I disagree with the Church on several fairly major issues (gay marriage and gay rights being one of them). When I really think about it, I realize how hypocritical I was today in going through with the Baptism itself. It's one of those things where it's easier to do what's expected by my Catholic mother than it is to rock the boat.

Our next-door neighbor has invited us a few times to come join him at his church and I have to admit, I've been seriously considering it. Maybe one of these days. (It's also far easier to sleep and be lazy on Sundays than it is to get up and dressed nice for church.)

Right now, I'm catching up on the Grammys which I had to record on the DVR since we had company and the in-laws just aren't into the Grammys.

Oh yeah...Happy Valentine's Day! (Just noticed the time.)

Grammys note: Damn, Alicia Keyes can sing. The opening montage was pretty decent and I'm glad Los Lonely Boys won the first award given tonight for their song "Heaven."

I already have K's main gift for V-Day, but had originally planned to get her something else, but never got it. Now I'm trying to figure out if it will seem lame if I run out and get the secondary gift in the morning before giving her the card. I definitely don't want her to think that it was an afterthought. FWIW, she won't get the main gift until tomorrow night. Decisions, decisions.

(I'm not really sure what the point of that last paragraph was, but I guess I'll leave it there anyway.)

Have a good week everyone!

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Blogging Friends

Just wanted to make all five of my readers aware of a few blogs they should be checking out. (Blogroll to be updated soon.)

First, I used to have Sarcastic Journalist, but then she disappeared and I wasn't sure as to where. Well...I've found her again and, apparently, so did The Washington Post. Go see today's article featuring SJ.

Also, when you get a minute, go say hello to my good friend Fist Tickle Brick. I accept no responsibility for the naming of his blog.

Other than that, it's Friday, my boss is on vacation and the in-laws are coming today.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

I Got Nothin'

Nothing of any real substance to post this morning. I'm (obviously) getting a late start on the whole work thing today.

As much as I enjoy sleep, I really need to force myself to get up a little earlier and be ready to work by 8:00. I find myself all too often taking advantage of the one-hour (soon to be two-hour) time difference between me and our corporate office. I could be so much more productive if I really applied myself.

I have to admit, too, that the whole working from home thing is a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. Everyone here thinks of me as just being downstairs instead of really being at work (current situation withstanding). M starts screaming and I can't just ignore her. If I hear her, I'm certainly not going to make a phone call to a client while that's going on. J & L are getting better, but they still occasionally stick their heads in when I'm on the phone.

It's also tougher to get back on my old workout schedule of going to the gym on MWF over the lunch hour. Since I'm here, it's way easier for K to leave M at home while she runs J & L to pre-school and their speech class or, as often happens, she'll stay home with M and I'll run them to their different places that they have to be.

Today, I'm actually listening to music on headphones to drown out the upstairs noise. I usually just have it on the speakers, but that hasn't proved successful in eliminating distractions.

And...since I've now wasted 20 minutes putting this post together, I really should start working.

Have a good day everyone.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Thank You Medicine

The drugs have kicked in and I'm finally starting to feel like a human being again.

I was actually already asleep once tonight, but got woken up (for all the wrong reasons), so now I'm watching Celebrity Poker Showdown.

Tonight's episode has one Lacey Chabert...she was the youngest sister on Party of Five. I had to double-check IMDB.com to make sure it was ok to say this legally...but DAMN!!!!!!! That is one fine looking woman.

I've also just finished watching the season finale of The Amazing Race. The team I wanted to win didn't, but the team I hated didn't win either, so I can live with it. I can't believe it's only three weeks until the next season begins.

Not much else to report on the TV front...I'll be waking up early to see if the kiddos have school after the 4" of snow we got today. They should have school tomorrow, but I'm sure they'll probably cancel it...bunch of wusses.

Until Next Time...

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Monday, February 07, 2005

Blech

Yeah...it's Monday and I still feel like shit. Went to the doctor this morning and got some drugs. Hopefully, I'll be back to my normal chipper self in no time.

Weekend was fairly boring due in most part to the way I feel. I can't even remember Saturday except for K's 8:10 pm indoor soccer game. Her team won to improve to 2-0. This was followed by another game on Sunday morning where they won again and so they now sit at 3-0. K even had three goals in about three minutes on Sunday...she definitely was in a groove.

After the game, we headed over to Papa Keno's for an early lunch only to find out they don't open until noon on Sundays. So that sucked and I'm still wanting that pesto slice with chicken and black olive.

Yesterday afternoon I felt the worst I've felt since I got this bug in the first place, so I crawled up in bed and slept for three hours, only getting up because I felt some kind of weird obligation to watch the Super Bowl.

The game itself was alright...sloppily played, but it was a close game and the team I wanted to win won, so I can't complain about that. None of the commercials did much for me...I did kind of like the P. Diddy Diet Pepsi truck commercial, though.

The halftime show? Pretty much the worst I've seen in recent memory. Nothing against Paul McCartney...I like his music alright, but it's not who I want for halftime of the Super Bowl.

Time for me to get back to work...although I haven't done much of that today since I got stuck with chauffeur duty since K was watching the neighbor's kids during the crucial pickup and dropoff times and she had to take baby M to the doctor to make sure she didn't have an ear infection.

I am this close to taking this afternoon off as a sick day and going upstairs to sleep again.

Hope your Monday is better than mine.

(And now that I realize today is Monday, I feel like an ass for whining about how crappy I feel knowing that my buddy J is having a chemo treatment today...kind of puts things in perspective.)

Until Next Time...

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

UGH

This'll be a short one, but it's appropriately titled on a couple of levels.

First...the cold/bug/thing that I've had for two weeks is starting to get worse. I feel like absolute crap right now and am counting the minutes waiting for K to get home from helping my sister paint her new place. I think I'll be seeing the doc on Monday.

Second...and even more UGH...is the idiotic state I live in. My blood starts boiling just thinking about it, so it's probably wise for me not to go into details. You can read the story here. What a bunch of fucking idiots.

On that note...have a good weekend.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Too Damn Early For This Shit

OK...in last night's post, I mentioned my neighbor's 7-9 a.m. scheduled delivery arrived at 6:45 a.m.

Guess what. I've got them beat. The phone rang at 6:20 A.M.!!!!! They were right outside our front door. I was pissed and asked them to wait 15 minutes.

The guys were nice enough, I was just pissed off about how early it was. It only took them about 5 minutes to move the desk downstairs and put it in place, so that was good.

Minor problem though.

As I was getting my desk reassembled, I was opening the drawers to check out the lay of the land and got to the middle drawer which I seem to recall was a pencil drawer of some kind. Only, when I pulled on it, the front hinged open like a keyboard tray.

Not exactly what I need since I use a laptop and all, but I can work with it. So I go to try to pull it open and it won't budge.

I keep trying and trying, but with no luck, so I finally crawl underneath to make sure there's nothing holding it in place for the truck ride down here. Nothing seems to be there, so I decide to try pushing it out from the back.

Of course you know what happens next. It was still stuck, but all of the sudden I added just enough pressure and the drawer goes flying out of the front of the desk.

When I go to pick it up, the face of the drawer (the hinged part that folds open) has the screws stripped and popped out of it.

Now, granted, I probably shouldn't have been pushing on it when it wouldn't give, but it's a drawer goddammit...and drawers were meant to open!

So I'll be giving a call to my furniture store to a) complain about the early ass delivery time and b) the fact that the drawer broke when I opened it and now they need to either send me a new drawer or a whole new desk.

What a pain in the ass.

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I LOVE MY JOB!

After really not caring about my professional life for 2004 and pretty much just mailing it in, I couldn't be more pleased with the way my new gig has started out.

I just got back today from my first sales trip for the new company. I had four meetings with the right people and a fifth with someone who can help my case within their organization.

Of the four meetings I had, I'm 90% confident that two of them will sign with us within the next month and about 75% confident that a third will do the same. The fourth one also has a pretty good chance, but I'm not ready to put a timeframe on it.

When I first found out about this company and their business model, I really couldn't figure out why anyone wouldn't buy it. My meetings this week haven't disproved my ideas yet.

It's definitely got me motivated to make a lot more calls.

It sure feels good to enjoy my work again.

Oh yeah...I forgot to mention another highlight of my trip.

I saw this!

And on top of all the great meetings, I even managed to catch an earlier flight to get home in time for dinner.

Other Stuff

Been catching up on TV tonight...watched The Amazing Race and was bummed when Adam and Rebecca didn't get eliminated. Right now, I'm watching Celebrity Poker Showdown. I think Chris Kattan might be the worst poker player to ever walk the earth.

Also cleaned off my desk and removed it from my office as I'm having a brand new one being delivered in the morning...

BETWEEN 7 and 9 A.M.!!!

And from what our neighbor tells us, the last time they had a delivery scheduled for that time, their doorbell rang at 6:45.

Let me tell you something...when your commute consists of less than 100 steps from your bed to your office...you don't need to get up very early to be working at 8:00.

Rest assured that I have a full set of clothes on the floor by my bed waiting for me to jump into them the second that doorbell rings.

And, with that, I will leave you for this evening.

Until Next Time...


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