Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

I just returned home from my visit with the family.  It was an action-packed trip.  Babysitting Jaylee, which consisted of countless hours of stacking and unstacking coasters and dancing to animatronic singing stuffed animals.  I also had dinner with two old schoolmates.  I won't mention how far we go back, but let's just say we all had single-digit ages when we met.  And I've eaten more food than I ever thought possible.

I hope everyone has had a festive holiday season.

Tomorrow I'm off to Europe, where I'll bring in the New Year.  I haven't even begun to pack, although I jsut located my passport.  Score.  Where's my elf when I need him?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Go Cocks

I'm happy to report that for the third consecutive year, South Carolina has defeated Clemson in football.

Last night's win marked the first threepeat in my lifetime, and only the second time the Gamecocks have reached 10 wins in a season.

Take that Clemson.  Bugger off, Dabo Swinney.  Now we just have to sit back and wait for the post-season bowl selections.

What a great rivalry, along with an ending to an up and down regular season.  Who knew back in August that we'd lose our starting quarterback and star running back, yet still see so much success.  I'm already excited about next year.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Back

Hello, readers.  After a long summer hiatus, I'm finally back to my personal little blogosphere.  I've finally reached my 300th post, so I'll try to make it count.

I've been all over the place since my last post, from South America to Broadway, but for the most part it's been a nice relaxing summer at home.

Shortly after my trip to Sunset Beach, I headed down south for some fun in the sun.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of Central America.  Panama is my new favorite country, aside from la France.

August brought about work changes.  Familiar faces in new places.  I'm with a lot of my old BF buddies here in Charleston.  Miss my banking buddies heaps but I'm managing to keep in touch.

Labor Day was my annual pilgrimage to the U.S Open.  I had day session tickets for the first time, and caught some great matches.  Woz, Fed, and Serena.  I didn't stay around to watch Serena because I had to haul ass into the city to see Cirque du Soleil Zarkana.  It was quite a freakfest, and not to be missed.

This year's Broadway selection was not as eventful, but seriously, what could top getting Kristen Chenoweth and Sean Hayes autographing my Playbill?  Certainly not Harry Potter singing.  Stick to wizardry.  I'm fairly certain that I was the only person obsessively checking the score for the South Carolina game on my iPhone in the theatre that night.

Yes, football season is finally here and it's been up and down.  The Cocks are doing OK, losing only one game so far, but our best player was knocked out for the season last week.  It's going to be a rough second half.  To make things even worse, Clemson is still undefeated.

I'm happy to report that "Dexter" and "The Walking Dead" are back, the latter premiering last night.  My Sunday nights are now complete.

Even more exciting, I just found out that there is a 5K Zombie run/obstacle course coming up early next year.  It looks like a blast, and several of us are going to make the road trip to the backwoods of Georgia.  Check it out at http://www.runforyourlives.com/.  Good family fun.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunset Beach


I'm finally back home after a whirlwind tour of the Southeastern United States.

My cousin and I left Savannah yesterday afternoon and made the drive up to my aunt and uncle's house in Sunset Beach, North Carolina.  Without going into the details, and to protect privacy, there was a lot going on with our family.  We did get to visit with our other two cousins, one of whom I haven't seen in decades.

The circumstances were a bit unusual, but it was still SO GOOD to see everyone.  It really made me realize how much you can miss those you grow up with.  Life always seems to get in the way, and everyone seems to go on there separate paths.  We've vowed to do a better job of getting together though, and I'm hopeful that we can all make that happen at least once a year.

Thanks for a great weekend to Trey, Dana, Alicia, Tres, and all their families.  I can't wait to see you all again soon.

Tomorrow I'm off the Philadelphia.  Back to reality.  Argh.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Savannah

After I quick day at work yesterday, I finally made the 2 and a half hour drove down to Savannah, Georgia.  I think it's been at least 10 years since I've been here, and I didn't really recognize a thing.  It's old and historic, but not really at all like Charleston, at least on the surface.

My cousin arrived around 4:30 pm, so I was able to take a quick nap.  Good thing, because it was full-on fun from there.  We had a blast catching up.  Around 6 pm, my sister and her family arrived at the hotel, and we walked to the Crystal Beer Palace for dinner.  It was really nice and homey.  A good selection of food and TONS of beer.  It was an especially nice reward after being so diligent with diet and exercise all week.

After dinner, we came back up to the room and dove into old photo albums.  That's always a great source of entertainment, if only for the ghosts of hairstyles past.

I also had fun playing with my grand-niece, which mainly consisting of chasing down the hotel hallway and riding up and down the elevator.  I know---I've turned into one of THOSE people.  Ha!

Next stop on the whistle-stop tour: Sunset Beach.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mini-Break

It's finally here!  I'm leaving for Savannah at noon for a short weekend visit with my cousin from Seattle, sister, and her family, and then headed up to Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to see one of my aunts.  We're going to have a blast.

I woke up at 4 am this morning ready to go.  The world is a very strange place that early in the morning, but I'm getting used to it lately.  I worked out, did some computer work, walked Jasper, and am now puttering around the house doing odd chores.  I'm also trying to get things in order because I have a quick turnaround.  After getting back home Sunday evening, I have to leave Monday afternoon for Philly.

Ok, I'm ready for work.  We have a kick-off call at 9am, after that I should be ready to hit the road.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Whew!

I am so relieved.  I had a pretty big meeting at work today.  I admit I was nervous, but after 2 hours, it was clear that my team was successful.  At least we made it past the first hurdle--a very demanding boss.  Now we just have to make it past our partners in the UK.

I also finally managed to finalize travel plans for next week.  2 cities with 2 other co-workers is not the easiest thing to coordinate, but by 8 pm we were all set.

So I only have a half day to survive tomorrow until I leave for Savannah, Georgia, at noon.  I can't wait.

Also, I have to give myself props for continuing to battle with Jillian Michaels every morning.  It certainly helped that I was awakened around 4 am this morning due to a thunderstorm.  My waistline is thankful though.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Gap

It is Wednesday.

I have now officially survived half of a work week.  One more full day to go before my minibreak in Savannah.

I'm pretty proud of myself.  I woke up again early this morning and exercised with Jillian Michaels.  Maybe it's all in my head, but I feel great and see results.

To reward myself, I had a mini-shopping spree at The Gap this evening.  Nothing like fitting into a size 32 shorts to make a guy feel good.  I'm not aging without a fight, and refuse to go up a size.  Even if it means giving up my Wednesday night sundaes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday

This day has been a blur.

I've been so busy with work, I've lost all touch with everything that is going on in the world.  That's a pretty weird feeling.  No news.  No celebrity entertaining.  No break to catch up with friends.

Around 3 pm this afternoon, my power went out.  Right smack dab in the middle of a conference call and WebEx.  That's not surprising though, since I spend around 8 hours a day on the phone.  So it was bound to happen sooner or later.  After dialing back in on my cell phone, power was restored a little over an hour later.

And that is my exciting life...

I did have dinner at Q'doba, which is pretty exciting for me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Super Cocks

Yay!

South Carolina defeated UConn in Game 2 of the Super Regional last night.  Off to defend their title in the College World Series!

In a way, I almost hoped they'd lose, and then win again today obviously.  I am very wary of streaks, and would rather them lose a game in Columbia than later on in Omaha.  But they pulled off a pretty good streak last year and ended up taking the title, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Devil

Jillian Michaels is the Devil.

Yes, I'm referring to the trainer from hell from "The Biggest Loser".  I decided this morning that it would be a super idea to try her "30 Day Shred" video which is offered On Demand.

Big mistake.  Huge.

I barely made it through the 30 minute routine without passing out or falling into the television.  The women is a freakin Nazi in spandex.

And that was only Level 1.

It was a good way to start the day though.  I was grocery shopping by 9 am, and all the pain inspired me to shop for really healthy food items.  For some reason, I was craving a tomato sandwich, and I DETEST tomatoes.  But I ended up having a turkey and tomato sandwich for lunch anyway, and it was awesome.

I think the Jillian Michaels-inspired endorphins are really messing with my body.

So I'm going to try and wake up early tomorrow (not a problem lately), and Shred It before work.  Beats dealing with the 90 degree heat in the park.

I'm in denial about the weekend being over so soon.  It was a really good one though and I feel like I made the most of every single moment.  That is a mind-set I should aspire to every day from here on out.

Next weekend is my getaway to Savannah and Sunset Beach with family.  I'm so excited.  I talked to my cousin from Seattle and my Aunt at the beach this evening, and everyone is ready for reunion time.  Just 4 and 1/2 work days to go...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Update

What a great Saturday!

The crappy part is that I woke up at 5:30 am.  On the bright side, I was able to pack in all sorts of fun and exciting activities.  Well honestly, maybe not too exciting, but I still made the most of the day.

As usual, I started out with a trip downtown to get my hairs cut.  I'm very happy to report that I was able to abstain from my usual chicken biscuits on the way home.  Chick-fil-a has probably issued an A.P.B. for me.

I managed to get in a nice run in the park before it became to hot, but just barely.  I think tomorrow I'm going to check out some of the work-outs on Comcast On-Demand.

I'm pretty pissed at the person responsible for the baseball scheduling this weekend.  Not only was there no Friday evening game, but I had to wait all day until 6 pm to see South Carolina open up the Super Regional series against UConn.  That's just cruel.  Fortunately, the Gamecocks prevailed with a 5-1 victory.

After a nice sushi dinner at Tokyo Bistro, I settled in for a night of at-home movie entertainment.  Don't laugh, but I watched "Letters to Juliet".  It wouldn't have been my first choice obviously, but the On-Demand options were rather limited.

What a sappy movie, although stories like that always make me think.  I'm pretty sure that I'm where I'm supposed to be in life, and I'm very happy with everything.  However, when looking back at all the critical decision points and choices, those made by me and those made for me, I just have to wonder...how many alternate paths and endings could my life possibly have.  It's really kind of fun to think about.

Just for a bit though.  No time to look back, only forward.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday!

Finally Friday!

It appears that I'm going to be doing more travel than I'm used to in the coming weeks.

Before I leave on my cruise, I'll spend a week in the Jacksonville office.  I found out yesterday.

Today I found out that I may have to pull a George Clooney and visit Philly, Minneapolis, and Toronto all in one week.

Silly me, I thought I gave up the road warrior lifestyle years ago.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday

Almost Friday, and a payday on top of that!

I had the strangest dream last night.

I was back in high school, except that in this dream, my high school was located in a castle.  Very similar to Hogwart's from the Harry Potter films.

Of course the dream was too good to be true, because Mrs. Hanks, my 10th and 11th grade English teacher was in it.  Which is fitting since she was a total witch.

Apparently, I had missed a day of school, and she was trying to give me 0's on missed assignments because I had failed to make them up within the 3 day allotted period.  It was Day 4 and she was giving me grief.  What a bitch.

So what was potentially an awesome dream was totally ruined.  Seriously, how cool would it be to go to school in a castle?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cheese

Who.

Moved.

My.

Fucking.

Cheese.

Anyone working in corporate America knows what I'm talking about.  This morning, between 9 and 10 am, my cheese was moved.  And I am not amused.  My job is beyond ridiculous, and if anyone knows of an opportunity where my talents could be better utilized, please contact me.  I'm honestly very hard-working and enthusiastic, I just have become disenchanted with the wasteful use of time, money, and resources that has invaded out corporate culture.

On a bright note, I had dinner with Saskia and Mark at LaPizzeria in Mount Pleasant.  Nothing like dinner out with friends to balance out the day and bring me down from the ledge.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 of running in this sweltering heat.  So far, so good.  At least I'm surviving.  I've completely gone through an entire box of sugar-free popsicles though.  That's what they get for telling me they're only 15 calories.

It's official---South Carolina plays Connecticut this weekend.  No Clemson---yay!  I can't wait to get started, and hope the games are televised.

It's only Tuesday, but feels like Thursday.  Tomorrow night I'm dining with Saskia and Mark, so maybe that will put some pep in my step.  Pizza!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weiner

Good grief.  That congressman from New York, Anthony Weiner, just admitted that it was indeed his weiner pictured on that Twitter post.  When are the public officials just going to learn to fess up when this stuff comes out.  Lying only makes it worse.  Who cares anyway?

In more serious news, I just received news that Teddy, my late grandmother's Pomeranian, passed away yesterday.  He was 14, blind, and still suffering from alopecia.  But he lived a very full life, most recently with my grandmother's former caregiver, Verneree.  Rest in peace, Teddy.

After a serious thunderstorm delay last night, South Carolina finished off Stetson today, and now advance to the Super Regional round of the NCAA tournament.  Their opponent, either Clemson or Connecticut, will be determined based on the results of this evening's game.

Other than that, the hardest day of the week is over.  19 more work days until vacation.  It's never too soon for a good countdown.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

NCAA tourney



2 down and 1 to go. The Columbia Regional enters its final games. South Carolina has defeated their first 2 opponents, Georgia Southern and Stetson, and have advanced to the final game.  Georgia Southern has been eliminated, and N.C. State and Stetson now face off in an elimination game to determine who South Carolina will face next.  Good Luck Gamecocks!  One step closer to a repeat.  Unfortunately, it looks like they might have to deal with nasty Clemson in the Super Regional matchup.  Ugh.  Those buttholes will definitely be seeking revenge for us eliminating them from the College World Series last year.

I saw "X Men: First Class" yesterday afternoon.  It was excellent! Magneto is such a bad-ass.  If I were a mutant, I would totally want to be a villain and on his side.  They are just so much more interesting.  Is that wrong?

The French Open final begins in about 20 minutes.  I'm very relieved that Rafa does not have to face a streaking Serb.  Instead, he getting aged Swiss.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sacre Bleu

Life just is not fair.

Aside from being one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, pretty boy Bradley Cooper has to go and show his other talents, as shown in the video below.



His French is pretty impressive. Great accent. Bastard. As if stunning good looks and millions of dollars were not enough to get men and women worldwide to drop trou, voila, the mutha is good with foreign tongue. Maybe we were doing our study abroads in France at the same time. He's not that much younger than moi...

Speaking of French, the French Open has really developed into quite the tournament this year. Thankfully, Rafa is through to the final. As I suspected, Roger was able to trip up Novak and put an end to the streak.

And yes, I've been predicting these exact semifinal matchups and results since Week 1. I am just that good.

So thanks, Roger. I'm sure Rafa would never admit it, but he must be breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that his chances are much better now. None of that bullcrap about wanting to beat the best to earn that title...

The Ladies final begins shortly. I'm very excited to see that little Italian-that-could power through and have the chance to defend her title.

Paris sure is looking good...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reunion

I had the best evening.  One of my oldest friends, Fred, is visiting from Atlanta for the Spoleto Festival.  We used to hang out in Columbia and then while we both lived in Atlanta 15 years ago.  He's basically known me for half my life.  Scary.

I haven't seen him in nearly 5 years and we had a blast catching up and reminiscing about old times.  We had dinner at Jestine's Kitchen, and then a few beers at the rooftop bar on Vendue.


Hopefully, I'll be able to see him again before he leaves.  It really makes me realize how you can never replace old friends.  I think I'm going to have to make a trip back to the ATL very soon.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Today is my little sister's birthday.

I really can't believe she's already 26.  And has a baby.  And that I'm pushing 40.  It always circles back to me being old, of course.

It seems like just yesterday that she was coming home from the hospital as a fussy little bundle all wrapped up.  The walking.  And pestering my by going in my room when I was away.  The starting school.  Then going to Paris with me to celebrate her 16th birthday.

The years have really flown by.  Happy Birthday, Ashley!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hurricane Season

Today marks the official beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season.

For those of use who reside on the East coast of the United States, it marks the beginning of six months of wondering whether or not this will be the year of the next big storm. 

I've lived in Charleston for over 7 years now.  So far I've been lucky.  There have been a few near misses, and several tropical depressions, but so far I've been lucky in that I haven't had to experience the impact and aftermath of a major hurricane.

With each passing year, they say we're overdue.  It's been over 20 years since Hurricane Hugo landed in Charleston, and although at the time I lived over and hour and a half inland, I still remember that day.  I was still in high school, and we were released from school early.  Fortunately, we were spared any major damage where I lived, but the coastal area were not so lucky.

I am thankful that while hurricanes such as Hugo, Andrew, and Katrina equal disaster and ruined lives, at least they do not come without some warning.  For me personally, the tornadoes which have been popping up recently all over the country scare me even more.  The unexpected blink of an eye aspect is terrifying.

Here's hoping that we all make it safely through November 30 with no major storms.  But if we are in fact faced with the threat, I hope that people act prudently and take the necessary precautions so that the damage is limited to things that can be replaced.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday

Today was not Monday, but it was almost as bad. 

The bloodbath conference calls picked up where they ended Friday afternoon.  Will the carnage never end?

What particularly pisses me off are all of the spineless little weasels who sit back and listen, preferring to simply let others get their hands dirty.  Obviously, I am referring to my own filthy hands.

At least tomorrow is Hump Day.  Nothing wrong with that.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!  It can't believe it's over, but at least we've reached the time of the year with nearly one public holiday per month.  Fourth of July, here I come!

I'm seriously not ready for work tomorrow.  This week HAS to be be better than last week.  If not, I'm not sure I'll make it to the end of the month.

South Carolina was awarded the #4 national seed for the NCAA baseball tournament.  That means home field advantage throughout.  As long as they keep winning, that is.  Good luck.  Let's have a repeat!

The French Open is heating up too.  Roger, Rafa, and Novak are still all in the hunt.  As for the women, the field is so pathetic.  Never thought I'd be pulling for Sharapova.

Reminds me, just a few shorts months until my trip to New York City.  I need to start planning.  It's never too early...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beach Bum


I'm finally back from the beach.  It was a fun trip, but I'm pretty exhausted.  Entertaining Baby Jay-Z is a full-time job.  The picture above was taken while I was feeding her her lunch.  Banana baby food.  Not bad actually.  She seemed more interested in cutting up than actually eating.  I have no idea where she gets that from.

I never did make it too the beach.  I decided I needed a nap when everyone decided to step out.  It was a wise decision as I needed the recharge.  Now that Jaylee can crawl, keeping up with her is constant.  She consistently goes for shoes and power cords.  And insists on untying my shoelaces.  I must remember to wear sandals next time.

One more day of freedom before starting work again.  Holiday weekends are the best invention ever.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Garden City

It's been a long day.

I woke up early and left Charleston for Garden City.  It's less than and hour and a half drive north, but still a major feat that early in the morning.

I've spent the rest of the day playing with baby Jaylee.  We're both exhausted.  She's crawling now, and I'm very proud of her efforts.  She's trying to stand, but just doesn't have that trick licked yet.

The family and I all went out to Miyabi for dinner tonight.  I only had sushi, but unfortunately we sat at the hibachi table, so I still smell like it.

Everyone is tired.  Looks like it's going to be an early night.

Friday, May 27, 2011

French Open

The good news---it's Friday.  The better news---it's a holiday weekend.

The bad news---it's taken surviving a really shitty work week to get here.

But first before I get sidetracked...

The French Open has been shocking so far.  Clijsters.  Wozniacki.  Stosur.  All early round casualties.

Oh, cruel clay.  I hope the second week is kinder to my favorites.

It looks like after winning their opening game, South Carolina will be bowing out of the Southeastern Conference tournament.  I'm not to fussed about it though.  They traditionally perform poorly in it, and I'd rather they save their best stuff for the NCAA tournament.  We see how that fared for them last year.

Now back to work.  Everyone is so stressed.  As we move toward our June 30th deadline, things are only getting worse.  Everyone is at each others' throats on these calls.

The douche of the day is a guy named Tim.  Tim looks like Kojak after a long battle with anorexia.  He moans into the phone, mainly because he can't shut his mouth long enough to let anyone else speak.  So he moans and makes odd clicking noises like a zombie sending off a mating call to his fellow undead.

Learn some manners Tim.  Try listening instead of constantly running your mouth and speaking over others.  Or better yet, just quit.  No one likes you anyway.  Tool.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oprah

I was having so much fun yesterday on conference calls and touring breweries that I missed a major worldwide event.  No, there was no Rapture or natural disaster.  I'm referring to the end of the 25 year run of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

I've never been a huge fan of Oprah, other than to mock her ever-increasing world domination and strangelhold on the media.  At the same time, I do recognize the impact she's had over the past 25 years and struggle to remember a time when Oprah was not a household name.

This whole Oprah-fest has really brought back a flood of memories recently.  When Oprah first burst onto the scene, I was 13 years old and in Eighth Grade.  Yep, believe it or not, I once was young and carefree.  Still grumpy though.

My South Carolina history teacher that year was Donna Pinkston.  Mrs. Pinkston was pure evil, and was my class's source of torment for the entire year.  She had short black hair and wore purple eyeshadow up to her eyebrows.  I don't care if it was the 80's, there's no excuse for that type of makeup, other than to signal to the world the inherent evil trapped in human form.  She probably had a 666 birthmark on her scalp as well, but I never got close enough to look.

One day, we were all talking in class about the new Oprah show when Mrs. Pinkston butted in with an obnoxious "Who's Okra?"

Of course being the smart-assed adolescents we were, we delighted in her ignorance, and ridiculed her endlessly.

She didn't seem to care though.  But I'm sure that Mrs. Pinkston, wherever she may be (lurking in her lair perhaps), knows who Oprah is now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beer


I had the best evening!!!!!

After a grueling day at work, full or tortuous conference calls (eff you, Haiwen), I met Weslyn and Mark at Westbrook Brewing Co., a fairly new local brewery here in Mt. Pleasant.

They were having a fundraiser, 30 bucks and unlimited beer and pizza, all made on-site.  At least the beer.  And they even offered a tour of the brewery.  I don't remember many of the specifics regarding the tour, but I'm sure it was very informative.  I suppose that's a testament to the quality of the beer.

It was a very entertaining way to spend a few hours with friends on a Wednesday night.  I'm hoping they have happy hours there on a regular basis.

For more information, visit www.westbrookbrewing.com.

In other news, South Carolina beat Auburn in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.  Go Cocks!

Whew, glad tomorrow is Thursday.  I'm going to Garden City this weekend to see family.  I'm very excited.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Back on top: Gamecocks No. 1

As reported as www.gogamecocks.com:

South Carolina finally grabbed the top spot in Baseball America’s Top 25 at the conclusion of the regular season.

After winning their weekend series at Alabama to clinch a share of the SEC regular-season championship, the Gamecocks (44-12) became the fourth team to hold the No. 1 position this season, joining Florida, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

Virginia (45-9), which shared the ACC title with Georgia Tech, fell out of the top spot after five weeks to No. 5 when it was swept by North Carolina over the weekend. No. 3 Florida (41-15) and No. 4 Vanderbilt (44-9) both moved back into the top five after winning their final weekend series to tie USC for the SEC title.

USC, the defending national champions, began the season at No. 7 in the poll before steadily ascending over the course of the season. The Gamecocks were ranked No. 4, No. 3 or No. 2 over the previous 12 weeks. Texas (40-13) moved to No. 2 in the poll, up three spots.

USC also is No. 1 in the Collegiate Baseball and PerfectGameUSA rankings.

The Gamecocks open SEC tournament play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday vs. Auburn.

- Neil White

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

I'm 38!  And feeling great.  I don't know where the years have gone, but they sure have been a blast.  I hope the next 38 pass a little more slowly though.

Also born on this date, 40 years before me, was Alexis Morell Carrington Colby Dexter Rowan herself, Joan Collins.  Yes, I'm referring to "Dynasty" for those of you born post-80's.  I'll save the story behind that obsession for a later post, but I'll just say it involves parental bribery via eating vegetables in exchange for watching trashy primetime soap operas.


But enough about her.  Below is a picture of me before I had so much grey hair.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Macho Man

I have to admit, I'm a little sad.  Earlier this week, Randy "Macho Man" Savage died in a car accident down in Tampa, Florida.  He was one of the leading wrestling entertainers from the 80's, from the same generation as Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper.  At first, he was an ally of, and later feuded with the Hulkster.  If I recall correctly, it all started because of Randy's wife/valet, Miss Elizabeth.  She was so pretty.  She died a few years ago from an overdose.  These wrestlers lead traumatic lives.

Ok, so now my secret shame is exposed for all to see.  When I was growing up, I LOVED wrestling.  But everyone did, at least here in the South.  It's kind of funny, because  professional wrestling is like soap operas for straight redneck men.  So it was HUGE, and continues to be huge to this very day.  The local newspaper here in Charleston still covers all the happenings in the Sports section.

My neighbor/best buddy growing up, Clay, and I would watch all the matches on Saturday, when we weren't running through the woods playing ninja warriors.  No one told us that it was all scripted, so we would get very wrapped up in all of the drama and rivalry.  Each week, we would analyze the action, and then attempt to recreate all the moves.  It's amazing that I never broke a bone until the age of 16, and that was a stress fracture from running cross country.

One summer we came very close to running away from home so that we could go see Summer Slam, an annual wrestling festival and series of championship matches.  It was held in Charlotte, about an hour and a half away from home.  It could have been in California for all we cared, we were little boys and a city like Charlotte seemed like a world away.  We had no money to fly, so we planned to hitchhike.  In the end, it just seemed like too much trouble, as it was a very hot and humid summer.

In other news, the South Carolina baseball team clinched the SEC regualar season conference title yesterday with their win over Alabama.  Now on to the SEC tournament and the NCAA tournament, where they will have to work hard to defend their national championship.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Big Night Out

Hmmm, today started out slowly, but ended up very nicely.

I spent the better part of the day lounging around.  I was exhausted from this week.

I did manage to finally shower and venture out to meet Heather, Saskia, and Mark for dinner in Park Circle.  We all used to work together, and Heather, who now lives in Anderson, was in town for a conference.  We do not get together nearly enough, and I had a blast. 

We dined at Cork Bistro, and I was very excited to get a Croque Monsieur.  Felt like I was in Paris.  Heather gave me a book of Insults and Comebacks for my birthday.  That has to be the single best birthday present ever, and I cannot wait to study it and commit it all to memory.

Afterwards, we had a few beers at an Irish pub down the street.  That was a substitute for the karaoke fun we thought we were going to have.  Unfortunately, the people we heard singing outside of the Mexican restaurant next door were actually professionals, and unlikely to be open to sharing the stage.

Good times!  And we all survived The Rapture!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Video of the Day

In honor the "The Rapture" tomorrow, I offer the following video...

Seems a shame that it's supposedly going to happen 2 days before my birthday. I was looking forward to turning 38 Monday.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Home

I'm finally home.  Jasper is very pleased to see me.  I just had Chick-fil-a for dinner.  All is well with the world.

Except that I just found out that the world is supposed to end Saturday.  WTF?  My birthday is Monday, and I'd really like to be around to see 38. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Charlotte - Day 3

I obviously need to participate in a sleep study.  3:50 am this morning was the witching hour for me.

I made it through the day though, I have just one more in the office before returning home tomorrow afternoon.

I'm not sure what I'll be doing this weekend, but I do know that it will not involve work.

Nothing on TV tonight.  I think it's time to go to sleep.  Clothes are ironed and bags are semi-packed...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday

It's Tuesday evening in Charlotte and I am finally back in my hotel room.

I worked late last night and barely had time to watch the premiere of the New Jersey Housewives.  Of course I also woke up at 5 am this morning and could not go back to sleep, so I was in the office before 7 am.  It was an extremely long day full of conference calls.  The guys visiting from the U.K. are very nice though.

It's now 8 pm and I am ready for bed.  Two more days to go.

I really must remember to buy a Powerball ticket on the way home.

What's this news about the Arnold having a love child?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Roundup

I can't believe the weekend is over.  Too quickly as usual.  Here are my closing thoughts.

  • Novak continued his dominance over Rafa, this time at the Italian Open.  Vamos, Rafa, pick it up a notch for the French.
  • After dropping the opening game to Arkansas, the Gamecock baseball team bounced back in the final two games to clinch the series.
  • On last night's "Survivor" finale, Boston Rob FINALLY won!  I'm glad, I like the turd, but honestly, after 4 tries, even I could probably manage to win te million dollar prize.  It still amazes me that the jury members are always so bitter in the end.  It's only a game, you big babies!

I'm in Charlotte once again.  Just until Thursday, but less than excited nonetheless.  Tomorrow is going to be brutal.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dreams

Every night is a adventure lately.  I'm not sure if it's the warmer weather, or perhaps a change in diet, but my nocturnal mental activity has definitely kicked into high gear.

I've always had bizarre dreams.  Ask anyone.  Maybe mine are no stranger or more abundant that anyone else's, but the difference is that I nearly always remember them.  It quite often makes for amusing conversation with my friends.

Last week, I experienced, once again, my most frequent recurring dream.  Back to high school.  This episode was more specific---it was the first day of my Junior year, and I was filled with the excitement and anxiety of trying to find my new classes.  The really shitty part was I was stressing over remembering the sequence of numbers needed to open my locker's combination lock.

This particular aspect of that dream has haunted me for years, and it's actually rooted in reality.  I always had trouble remembering my locker combination.  This problem was exacerbated after prolonged breaks, such as the Christmas holidays and Spring Break.

I begged my parents to purchase a simpler lock that would open with a key, but I'm sure I would have ended up just losing the key.

Last night's dream was a bit more whimsical.  I was a contestant on a show similar to "Top Chef" and I had reached the Final Round of 3 contestants.  Our challenge was to create stunning desserts by combining atypical ingredients.

My concoction was a type of pudding consisting of rice, bananas, and veal.  It must have been great, because the judges were impressed and I won.

What does any of this mean?  Are there any psychologists out there reading my blog?  And please don't tell me I have unfinished business and want to go back to high school.  No way.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bridesmaids

Today started out just like every other Saturday.  After washing the car, I headed downtown to get my biweekly haircut.

Much to my dismay, Lisa D. was absent, and the barbershop was unusually busy.  Abby cut my hair this time.  Big floppy boobs and a tramp stamp, with fingers that reeked of cigarettes.  Nauseating to a reformed smoker like me.  She was also too rough with the neck, shoulder, and scalp massage.  Lisa D., please come back.

Afterwards, I had breakfast with my old boss, Raymond, at Joseph's.  Joseph's is my favorite breakfast spot downtown on Meeting Street.  It was nice catching up for the first time since February.

It seems that my testicles have disappeared into my body and morphed into ovaries, because for the second time in two weeks I've gone to see a chick flick at the movies.

I have to admit though, "Bridesmaids" is definitely not the typical girly movie.  It is piss in your pants funny.  I highly recommend seeing this one.  There are just too many hilarious scenes to detail.  Take my word for it.  I have a bit of a crush on Kristen Wiig now.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

In honor of the upcoming season premiere of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey"...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Finally

I made it through the week.  This one has seemed unusually long.

I've done quite a bit of socializing (happy hours), which is not typical for me, and work has been exceptionally stressful.  I'm so tired.

I just returned from my dinner at Lon Point Grill.  What a great reward!  I ate entirely too much though.

I plan to be very lazy this weekend.  Tomorrow is haircut day, but other than that I have no firm plans.  I have to drive to Charlotte for a few days next week, so I fully intend to be a homebody until then.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

WTF

Blogger has been down forever.  Don't they know how many people out there depend on my amusing updates?

Get it together, Blogger/Blogspot

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday

My good mood was too good to last.

We had horrible storms come through last night around 4 am.  It even woke me out of my drunken stupor.  I could hear Jasper downstairs stirring around, so I went down to lie on the couch.  I let him climb up and lie with me (all 110 pounds) just so that he would not be scared.

I woke up surprisingly refreshed.  Alas, it was all downhill from there.

Work sucks.

If any psychics out there read my blog and can suggest what I'm supposed to be doing with my life, please feel free to send me a message.  Via e-mail, not brainwaves.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drunk

I think I am drunk.

I met my boss, her fiance, and a friend of theirs downtown earlier this afternoon.  We met at the Library at Vendue, a great rooftop bar.  Apparently, I have no tolerance, and after 4 beers, was totally lit.

For the second night in a row.

Afterwards, we stopped by Wet Willie's for a frozen drink.

I just returned home from dinner at Qdoba, and feel like I need to vomit.

I think I am too old for the crap.

But it was fun.  Had a great time with the group.  I just hope I don't pay for this all day tomorrow.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tipsy

Oops.

I think I might be a bit drunk.

Had drinks with my friends Weslyn.  Have not seen her since she had her baby, so I went to her house.  Her son is adorable, btw.  We walked across the street to Vespa and had a few happy hour drinks.  Was so much fun catching up and gossiping.

My tolerance is at an all-time low.  Unfortunately, have to do the same thing tomorrow.  Boss is in town and have to meet her.  My liver is crying out for help...

Ready for bed already...

Unfortunayely

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Drat

What a crummy day for sports.

After spending years underachieving compared to the talents of Nadal and Federer, it appears that Novak Djokovic is hitting his stride.  Unfortunately, today it came at the expense of Rafa in the finals at Madrid.

To top off my mood, South Carolina dropped its first weekend series of the season against Ole Miss.  Revenge is sweet however, as the winners still have the misfortune of living in Mississippi.

Meow.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Water for Elephants

I saw "Water for Elephants" today and have to admit, I've never been so in love with an elephant in my life.  It was actually a very good movie.  Surprisingly, I liked Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, both of whom I've never been huge fans.  Maybe I was just relieved to finally see beyond the pasty Edward Cullen vampire hair and makeup.

Of course the real star was the character Rosie, played by the lovable pachyderm Tai.  I sense an Oscar in her future.

In other news, Rafa once again got the best of Roger Federer in tennis.  This time the defeat came on Spanish soil in the Madrid semis.  Tomorrow's final against the on-fire Novak should be good.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Weekend

Happy Friday, folks!  Finally made it to a well-deserved weekend.

I started celebrating a bit early and had dinner at Outback Steakhouse.  Now I am miserably full.

I'm trying to decide what to do with my evening.  I need to make the most of my free time as I need to work for a while tomorrow.  But I will have peace and quiet so I do not mind as much.

My boss is on her way to the Charleston area for a week of vacation.  While I will enjoy the freedom, it seems strange to know that she will be out lurking in my area.  Fortunately she will be on the other end of town, Folly Beach, so random unplanned encounters are not likely.  It's not as if I'm out and about much on a daily basis anyhow, so I really needn't worry.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

I began the holiday by waking up at 3 am, unintentionally of course.  So once again I was up, ready, and in the office by 6:30 am.

After putting in a pretty full day, I did manage to leave shortly before 3 pm.  The drive home was not too bad, as I managed to avoid all traffic in Charlotte, Columbia, and Charleston.

I arrived home just before 6 pm.  Jasper seemed very happy to see me.  After settling in, I was out the door again to get my Mexican fix at Qdoba.

Now I'm ready for bed.  One more day of work and I'm free!  At least partially, as it looks like I'll need to work a little Saturday and Sunday.  At least I will have some relative peace and quiet.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Long Day

Wow.  What another long day.

Woke up at 5 am.  Showered and downstairs for breakfast before 6 am.  In the office by 6:30 am.

And I've been going ever since.  It was a scramble all day long, getting ready for my 3 pm meeting.  Right as we got started the fire alarm sounded and we had to evacuate the building.  Down 13 flights of stairs.

After finally making it back into the building, the meeting ending up being a total waste of time.  My entire reason for being here has been for nothing.

But at least I get to go home tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here Again

Once again I find myself in the beautiful city of Charlotte for a few days in the office.  This is beginning to become a habit.

Unfortunately, my hotel Uptown is sold out.  There must be some Nascar event.  But don't they know who I am?  I'm an integral part of the banking community and they really should make room for me.

Instead, I'm stuck out by the airport.  At least I was able to get Chinese food delivered.  So it has not been a total loss.

It's 8 pm and I'm ready for bed.  I've unpacked and ironed.  I said I would work some tonight, but now I'm thinking maybe not.

Relaxation is more important.

Monday, May 2, 2011

bin Laden

Wow, what a night.

I knew something was up when they interrupted "Celebrity Apprentice" to say the President would be addressing the nation soon.  That never happens at 10:30 pm.  At first I thought he must be trying to get even with Donald Trump.

But at last came the news that Osama bin Laden had been located and killed.  I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it.  Numb I guess.  Not that I don't think he deserved it, it's just that I think I've locked 9/11 away in a place that seems so surreal and distant.  I really cannot believe it was almost 10 years ago.  In some ways in seems like just yesterday, and it has drastically altered the way we live out daily lives.

Life before the crackdown on air travel.  Remember when you could go through airport security to meet someone at the gate?  Or take your pocket knife hooked to your keychain?  Or not have to take off your shoes to pass through the metal detector.

Yep, it's altered our lives in so many ways, but nothing compared to those who lost friends and families, or who have since lost loved ones in the subsequent wars.

It's very sobering.  So I remain at a loss.  I cannot truly celebrate because it is all just so sad and pointless.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday

What a great day.  The weather could not have been nicer.

As promised, I went for a run in the park.  Broke in the new shoes.  44 days to go.

I also washed me car.  Other than that, I did nothing exciting.

Unfortunately, I ended up working for about 4 hours.  Thought I would be making a few quick spreadsheet updates, and got sucked into some major stuff.  At least I got it out of the way before all hell breaks loose this week.

I'm not ready for this weekend to be over.  Why do they always go by so quickly?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday

Another routine Saturday. 

Up early to see Lisa D. and get my haircut.

Breakfast at Chick-fil-a.

Walk in the park with Jasper.

Grocery shopping.

I did manage to break out of the rut a bit and went shopping for new running shoes.  Tomorrow is May 1st, and I've set a goal to run every day (at least until July).  My old shoes were so worn out, this seemed like the perfect way to motivate myself.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

Ok, I admit it.

After being awakened from a strange dream at 5:50 am, I turned on the TV and was sucked into the Royal Wedding spectacle.

It was actually kind of nice.  The bride was beautiful.  The pomp and circumstance was the stuff of envy.  All in all, jolly good show.  I'm actually a bit jealous that we don't have that sort of tradition over here, but at least it saves us billions of dollars.  To be wasted elsewhere I suppose.

Here's wishing the bride and groom years of happiness.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

1 More Day...

I can't believe we're so close to having the royal wedding over and done with.  Of course then we'll have to deal with the endless recaps.

I'm so jealous though.  I was on a conference call with a U.K. colleague today and found out they have a holiday Monday---in addition to the one tomorrow.  It just doesn't seem fair.  My bank reconizes only 7 or 8 per year.

Bugger.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hump Day Again

It's my 4th favorite day of the week-Hump Day.  After Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of course.

Today I had a dental appointment with Dr. Kandl.  It was quick and pain-free.  He's such a good dentist, but I think I've become a very good patient now that I floss religiously.  So kids, the dentist is not kidding.  Daily flossing is the key to good dental hygiene.

Two more workdays until Friday.  Hopefully Friday will be calm since my douchebag business partners in the U.K. will be wrapped up with that wedding.  Here's hoping...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sharon!

Today is my friend Sharon's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Sharon!

In other new, it was another busy workday.  I called it quits at 4 pm and went to pick up Fletcher's ashes.  Now I just need to find the perfect urn.

It's good to have him back though, even if it is just ashes.  Poor little thing.  Still missing him...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday

I have nothing good to say.  It was a funky Monday for obvious reasons, in addition to the usual Monday crap.

If I make it through the week without snapping, it will be a minor miracle.

I have to pick up Fletcher's ashes tomorrow.

Wednesday I have a dentist appointment.

Friday is the damned Royal Wedding.  I never thought I'd say this, but I'm sick of hearing about it.  Maybe I'll be in the spirit by Friday.  But certainly not enough to wake up at 4 am when coverage begins.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

Happy Easter!

It continues to feel empty around the house.  Life without Fletcher is just not the same.  Jasper is holding up as well as can be expected.  He's not acting up or misbehaving.  Every now and then he looks behind when getting ready to go out for a walk, as if he's waiting for Fletchie to come along.

I have not seem him lie on his bed since.  I don't think he wants to be in that general area, preferring to sleep in the bathroom or kitchen.  I'm hoping that he just prefers to cooler surface.

We went for a walk at the park today.  Afterwards, it was a quick grocery trip to Wal-Mart.  I was disappointed in the lack of available leftover Easter candy.  I did manage to procure 3 boxes of Bubble Gum Eggs.

"The Wizard of Oz" was on this afternoon.  I didn't watch all of it, just the pre-tornado bit.  I got really pissed off at that wicked Miss Gulch.  First of all, if that ugly old bitch came into my home and tried to take my dog, I would have beat her fugly ass into the ground.

I was secretly hoping that Toto had taken a shit in her basket before he managed to escape.

What made me the angriest was seeing Dorothy acting like a pussy-assed little victim, crying in her bedroom after her dog had been kidnapped.  If that had been me, I would have instantly begun plotting my revenge.  Secretly concocting a plan to break my dog out Miss Gulch's house, escaping just after I soaked it in kerosene and torched the place.

Much more dramatic and satisfying than throwing a bucket of water on her.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Farewell, Fletcher





Today was such a sad day.  I knew it was coming, but I didn't expect it this soon.  Poor Fletcher had to be put to sleep.

His little body just couldn't take it anymore.  His arthritis was getting the better of him.  In the end, I knew it was over when he started refusing food.  Eggs.  Peanut butter.  Canned food with tuna juice.  Nothing was appealing.

I spent over an hour this morning brushing him, and engaging in his favorite activity---DOGGIE MASSAGE!!!  He'd pick his little head up and look at me, then collapse back down.  He couldn't even lick my face, which is a first.

He couldn't keep down the water that he had managed to drink, so I knew it was time for a trip to the vet.

I've never met a sweeter dog.  He was 14 and led a very full life.  Despite his size, he was definitely a lover, and not a fighter.  Just in the past few years, he was attacked twice by pitbulls here in the parking lot, and once outside the vet.  Each time, he never fought back.  He just took the brunt of the attacks and defended his family.

It's been a while since I've cried so much.  I'm going to miss him lying near me while I work each day.  I'll miss his little hops, the best he could manage since he could no longer jump up and down.  I'll miss his little cries every morning, letting everyone know that it's time to wake up.  I'll miss giving him doggie massages, and cleaning up the lumps of black hair that he constantly shed.  I'll miss laughing at him while he was staring at the walls, happy and high on his pain medication.  And don't get me started on his expert ability to scam for treats.

I'll miss you Fletcher.  Thanks for all the good years, and thank you for letting us know that it was time for you to go.  I never wanted to spend my Saturday this way, or any day for that matter, but I'm glad that the vet made you a terrific final cocktail.  You looked so peaceful.

I love you Biggie, and we miss you already!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday

Friday at last!

It's been a tough week, but I survived.  My reward was dinner downtown at Jestine's Kitchen.  I had not been there in ages.  Fried chicken, fried okra, macaroni and cheese, and about 2 gallons of sweet tea are enough to make enough forget the trauma of a week's worth of work.

And to top it off, I had Baskin Robbins ice cream for dessert.

The final stop on the way home was at the Harris Teeter, where I took advantage of the awesome VIC special of the week.  30 eggs for $2.50.  It must be the Easter special.  I won't be dying eggs, but it was tempting.

Fletcher had to go to the vet today.  His leg is hurt and he is not eating.  It's not looking good for the poor thing, and I'm so depressed about it.  I even made him some scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and he turned his nose at it.

I predict some sad times ahead.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Storms

We're definitely approaching summertime in the South.  Or maybe I should say we're being thrust into it.  Today we had a lovely afternoon thunderstorm, complete with hail.  It was awesome.  Maybe I should check on my car before saying that. 

I had another busy day at work, one of endless conference calls that sucked the last ounce of life from my telephone battery.  One day left.

I heard the best news this evening.  The season premiere of "Jerseylicious" is May 15.  That just may help me get through what is looking to be a tough month.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tired

I am the early bird who did not get the worm.

I am exhausted.  For some strange reason, I was wide awake at 3:50 am and could not go back to sleep.  So I watched TV.  surfed the net.  Finally showered, got dressed, packed, ate breakfast, and checked out of the hotel.

Apologies to my colleagues.  I was grumpier than usual.  I slept at 3 and arrived home shortly before 7 pm.  The drive was a blur. 

So now I am ready for sleep.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday

Tuesday.  My last night away from home.  Good dang thing, because I'm tired of waking up at odd hours of the night in a strange environment.  It's not like I'm a twentysomething party guy anymore.

I just checked into my new hotel near the South Charlotte office.  Leaving the office so late combined with my extreme laziness should be great for my diet.  I just couldn't be bothered to go foraging for food. 

Therefore, I will just go to bed hungry.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Office Space

What a long day.  After finally falling asleep around 11:30 pm last night, I had the misfortune of waking up at 5:00 am.  I made it into the office by 7 am.

It was a busy day of course.  Besides making the usual rounds, catching up with friends and colleagues, I had the usual slew of conference calls.

The highlight of my day, as always in the Uptown office, was mocking the post-graduate school fratboys who make up out Finance department.  These guys are nice enough young whippershnappers.  They are full of youthful energy and are generally well-groomed, even if they do sport too-tight trousers purchased from Banana Republic.  However, their behavior reminds me of watching puppies playing.

I typically book the conference room across from their section just for the entertainment value, although it is pretty shocking that the financial success of my bank is in their hands.

Sample conversation:

Fratboy 1: Dude, did you go out last night?

Fratboy 2: Yeah dude, we stayed out until 3 and got so wasted.  We ran into T-Bone and Stan.

Fratboy 1: Dude, sweet!  You going out tonight?

Fratboy 2:  Yeah dude, call us and we can hookup for dollar drafts.

You get the picture.  As if eavesdropping on the highly intellectual conversation were not entertaining enough, I get to watch them socializing from desk to desk, furthering their bromances by tossing around a football.

Office services has sent an email asking whoever is on the 14th floor and throwing a football to cease such activity as it is wreaking havoc on the ceiling tiles.  Yet they continue.

I think I'll be a grumpy old bitch and narc them out with an anonymous email.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dinner With Jay-Z

What a busy Sunday.  I just arrived in Charlotte, where I'll be spending a few exciting days in the office.

On the way here, I stopped for dinner with the parents, my sister, and Little Jay-Z.  Jaylee had a blast playing with her favorite uncle.  She received an early Easter basket, popped into her holiday couture, and spent a few minutes posing for some pictures.

Lookout Tyra, here comes America's Next Top Baby Model.


In sporting news, congratulations to the South Carolina Gamecock baseball team for clinching the series this afternoon against top-ranked Vanderbilt.  Also kudos to Rafael Nadal for winning the title in Monte-Carlo for the seventh year in a row.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday was a Scream

My favorite day of the week, Saturday, began with a familiar bi-weekly ritual.  I stepped out of the hacienda to be greeted by the pollen-covered mess pictured below.  Off for a quick vehicular soaking at the Wando Car Wash.


I then headed downtown to the barbershop.  Lisa D. did me right.  Here's an after pic of the newly cleaned car parked on Broad Street.  What a difference 7 quarters and 10 minutes can make.


Such early morning productivity deserved a Chick-fil-a chicken biscuit, as if I needed an excuse.

This afternoon, I went to see "Scream 4", the latest reminder that we all are getting old very quickly.  Cougar extraordinaire Courtney Cox and Neve Campbell are both looking a bit mature, not that I can talk.  The movie itself was just OK.  At this point, there's nothing scary about the franchise, not that there ever really was.  It's good for a few good startles, as well as chuckles, but that's about it.

I just finished laundry, but I don't have the heart to start packing for by trip tomorrow.  I'm much better at last minute suitcase stuffing anyhow.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Night

It's Friday and I successfully survived another grueling work week.  This was the worst in a long time.

To reward myself, I had dinner at Long Point Grill.  It was well worth the wait.

I was the trashiest movie On Demand tonight.  "Zombies of Mass Destruction" is the campest thing I've seen in ages, so of course I highly recommend it.  I just hope that does not inspire any zombie-themed dreams.  I have any early day tomorrow.  It's early morning carwash and downtown did get my hair did.  So I need my rest.

The 3rd ranked Gamecock baseball team kicked off their weekend series with a 3-1 win against the top-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores.  Go Cocks!

In tennis news, crybaby Roger Federer lost in the quarterfinals of Monte-Carlo.  Rafa continues to roll. 

The perfect start to a weekend...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Drama

What an interesting day.  ABC announced that they are canceling long-running soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live."  Granted, I'm not a fan of either, strictly being a "Days of Our Lives" kind of guy, but it's still a momentous day in history.

Of course I haven't watched a soap opera in years, but any Southern guy who spent any amount of time with an aunt or grandmother while growing up experienced the bonding ritual of tuning into "the stories."  And any college student who had morning classes and returned to their dorms for a mid-afternoon nap most likely fell asleep to the sweet sounds of courting by the likes of Bo and Hope.

Gone are the days when the soaps ruled the afternoon airwaves.  Like sands through the hourglass...

P.S.  What will Susan Lucci do now?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday

Another brutal day at work, but at least it's Hump Day.  I had approximately 7 hours of conference calls today.  If I never talk on the phone again, it will be too soon.

I have to go to Charlotte for a few days at some point next week.  I'm just not in the mood for a road trip, but it could be worse I suppose.  I could be gone for a whole week, or have to deal with airports.  So I'll try not to complain.  I'll just hope for nice weather.

I must be really grumpy.  "Survivor" is on right now and I'm not the least bit interested.  TV in general has not captivated me much recently.  Maybe I'm outgrowing it.  Perhaps I'll just stick to listening to NPR.  At least until "True Blood" and "Dexter" begin again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Readers

Here are some interesting statistics from my blog.  Below are the rankings of countries from which my readers hail...

I love being global, and I'd REALLY love to hear from all of my readers from around the world.

The Top Ten:
  1. United States
  2. Denmark
  3. Germany
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Russia
  6. Slovenia
  7. Japan
  8. Canada
  9. Netherlands
  10. India

Monday, April 11, 2011

I Hate Monday

My recent string of Pollyanna-I-Love-Mondays happiness is OVER!

I am TIRED!

I am GRUMPY!

I need MORE sleep!

And my work colleagues need NOT fuck with me!

Only four more days until complete and utter relaxation.  No tennis.  No driving girls around.  No taking orders.

Just me, my bed, and the TV.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Cup Runneth Over


After dropping off the Wozniacki clan on the tarmac...

I'm done with the tennis!  And what a day it was...

After a relatively slow start, I was thrown into the high-stakes mix a little after noon---drafted to take Caroline Wozniacki to the airport.

I've never seen so many people scrambling over such a simple task, it was a bit daunting.  But she had to catch a connecting flight in Washington before flying on to Monaco.

Minutes after her win, she was shuffled into the car and we were off to the airport with a double police escort.  One in the front and one in the back.  It was quite exciting actually, and I had moments of being impressed with the importance of my high-speed task.  That was in between the moments of sheer terror as unsuspecting Charleston motorists dared not to give way.

We finally made it to the private airport and I whisked the Wozniacki family onto the tarmac safe and sound.

Mission accomplished.  Until next year...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

More Tennis Greats

I had another great day serving as Transportation at the Family Circle Cup.  Met tons of people.  I had about an hour and a half of being in charge.  Highlights include:

  • Todd Martin, nice with a lovely wife
  • Cliff Drysdale, quite the comic
  • Pam Shriver, nicer than ever
  • Ms. Scheepers and coach leaving town.  Please come again next year!
  • Virginia Wade came in and showed off one of her old wooden racquets from yesteryear.
  • And douchebag of the world, John McEnroe.  For the second year in a row, this tiny little troll of a man mistreated a few of my fellow drivers.  I WISH I would get this little cocksucker in my vehicle.  He must be bitter because he's not even really famous for being even one of the five greatest tennis players in history.  Just famous for being an ass.  Seriously, I cannot stand him, and it would serve him right if he falls and breaks his ankle in five places tonight.  Asswipe.  He even pulled an Alec Baldwin and spent quite a few minutes bitching his daughter out over the telephone.

Last day is tomorrow.  I'm a bit sad already.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tennis Legend

Tonight's shift at the Family Circle Cup was quite eventful.

My first trip was to the Charleston airport to fetch Chris Evert.  She was extremely nice, but a bit under the weather.  I really appreciated the fact that she took the name to ask my name.  It's nice to know that even a legend still knows how to treat people well. 

Take notes, John McEnroe.  He's arriving tomorrow.  I'll keep you posted of any misbehavior.

Caroline Wozniacki scared us all a bit today, but pulled off the win.  Tomorrow's semifinals should be very entertaining.  Too bad I'm working two shifts and will be unable to watch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pre-Weekend Celebration

I've never been so happy to see a Thursday.  This has seemed like the longest week ever, and my entire team is really frazzled.

I'm so frazzled, this seems like a good random thought posting....

  • Fuckwit Stephen Garcia is in trouble again, and has been suspended from the team indefinitely.  The dummy has had enough changes.  I think it's time for Steve Spurrier to finally give his fat ass the boot.
  • I cannot believe they had yet another earthquake in Japan.I nearly forgot to gloat about the Gamecock victory over U.S.C. Upstate the other night.  18-2.  Wow.
  • Sabine Lisicki looks to be in a bit of a pickle at the Family Circle Cup tonight.  Oops.  It's over.  6-4, 6-4.  Dammit.  I really like her.  At least Wozniacki won.
  • Tomorrow night is my next shift.  Martina and Chris are coming in.  Yes, THE Martina and Chris.  I drove Martina a few years back and she is one of the nicest human beings I've ever met.  Love her.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Night at the FCC

Tonight I finally made it to the Family Circle Cup as a spectator.  Unfortunately the evening was a bit short-lived.

Vania King and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova seemed to have Zheng and Peng's number.  Until the trainer was called out and the match was called.  I'm still not entirely sure what happened.

By that point though, I figured out that I was extremely underdressed and that I was being eaten alive by the noseeums.  So I made the strategic decision to bail on the stadium matches.  Although I could be watching Sabine Lisicki crush Marion Bartoli right now, I'm satisfied with having had my fix of event food and being back in my warm home.

Besides, I'll be working there again Friday night, and that's much more exciting that being in the stands.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday

What a stormy night!  I think Charleston was spared some of the tornadic activity that hit much of the South, but I was still awakened by a major thunderstorm.  Luckily everything passed through by mid-morning, and no tree limbs hit my car.

Tennis resumed by noon.  Not quite as bad as the rain delays at Wimbledon.

Work was Ok today.  Getting busier.  Sharon left for her first trip to the Charlotte office this afternoon.  Who else can I recruit?

Hmm, what is on TV tonight?  I can't believe I forgot about "Nurse Jackie" Sunday night.  Maybe I'll just play catch-up.  Seems like a good evening for it.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Windy City

Today was not too bad for a Monday.  That's awesome since I don't feel like I had a very relaxing weekend.

I feel sorry for the ladies who had to play tennis today.  We're having wind gusts of nearly 40 mph and tomorrow is supposed to be stormy.  I guess an entire week of uninterrupted sunny weather would be entirely too much to ask for.  On the bright side, at least it's not freezing.

In other news, Novak beat Rafa yesterday (boo), but South Carolina swept their weekend series against Kentucky (yay).  I think I'll go to the Cup Wednesday or Thursday evening since I'm volunteering Friday night.  It would be nice to actually enjoy some of the tennis for a change, and not just cater to the needs of the twenty-somethings.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

More from the Cup

My second day at the Family Circle Cup was more exhausting than the first.

I arrived early for my shift before 10 am, eager to get started.  The first half of the day seemed to be an endless amount of shuttling players between the practice courts and the main site.

A little while later, I was called to duty --- escort Bob Moran to the private airport to pick up Denmark's very own Carolina Wozniacki and her family.  As the number one player in the world and top seed, Caroline received special attention.  I was just the tag-along vehicle for luggage, but I fulfilled my duties with enthusiasm.

After dropping the great Danes off at the Charleston Place hotel, I played shuttle for the other ladies getting ready to attend the annual player party held downtown.  I've only just now recovered from the perfume and non-stop not-so-familiar sounding chatter ringing in my ears.

I managed to break away from my shift a little after 8 pm.  I don't work again until Friday, and I already miss it.  Especially since the Real Housewives of Charleston County were held at bay for most of the day.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Family Circle Cup

I just got in from working my first shift at the tennis tournament.  It was a very long day.  I drove so many people, including old favorites such as Chanelle Scheepers.  My new favorite has to be Austria's Tamira Paszek.  I drove her and her coach several times today and they were a blast to be around.  I hope they stick around all week.

It was also nice to see all the old friends I've made over the years.  Unfortunately it was not so nice to have to deal with a few of the Real Housewives of Charleston County who seem to enjoy their only week of being in a real power position.  Whoever puts them in charge year after year is nuts, but if I get one more earful of their Mommy-speak directed my way, I'll likely shove my credentials down their throat.  Pushy broads.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Weekend!

The weekend is here and I'm ready to rock.

I woke up especially early and drove downtown to the Broad Street Barbershop for my biweekly visit.  I decided to get my weave worked before the masses descended on downtown Charleston tomorrow morning.

It was a fairly uneventful day at work.  I got a decent amount accomplished.

This evening, I had a quick bite to eat and bought new sheets at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I love that store, and I love new Egyptian cotton sheets even more. 

So far the evening is turning out to be a sportsman's wet dream.  Rafa Nadal just demolished crybaby Roger Federer in the semis down in Key Biscayne.  And the Gamecocks currently lead Kentucky in the bottom of the 6th.  I hope I didn't just jinx them.

Tomorrow is my first shift at the Family Circle Cup.  Should be great weather, so everyone come out and see me.  Or the players.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Top Chef

The season finale of the All Stars Edition of "Top Chef" aired last night, and I could not have been more underwhelmed.  As usual, I could not make it past 10:30 pm.  Luckily, the blogosphere was filled with updates this morning.  Sourpuss Richard Blais finally got the monkey off his back and redeemed himself by taking home the title.  Two years after choking on the big one, he can finally find peace with himself and be happy.  Until next season, Tom and Padma...

It's almost the weekend.  The weathermen are calling for clear skies and 80 degree weather.  It's going to be a busy week in Charleston.  We have the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament, the Flowertown festival, the annual Cooper River Bridge Run, and a Cajun festival.

I'll be braving traffic and shuttling tennis players to and fro.  I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blah

It's Hump Day, which is always good, but I have a major case of the blahs.

The weather is a bit suspect.  Overcast and rainy.  I wore a sweatshirt again today, but it seems to be getting better.  I think we're supposed to be back in the 80's by the weekend.  Just in time for the Family Circle Cup.

Last night was the season finale of "Million Dollar Listing."  I'm going to miss that show.  It really makes me think that I should get my real estate license.  I just find all of that so fascinating.  But I know that there is more famine than feast.

Another quality episode of "Survivor" to look forward to tonight.

I shouldn't fret, the weekend is almost here.  One more call with Europe to get through tomorrow and then it will be Friday and time for my tennis volunteering to begin.  I can hardly wait.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nurse Jackie

The Season 3 premiere of "Nurse Jackie" aired on Showtime last night.

Unfortunately, after being outed as a drug addict by her husband and best friend/colleague, I was expecting a few more fireworks and dramatic aftermath.  Alas, it looks like Jackie has gotten away it it.  For now.

I'm sure things will heat up soon.  Kevin made his first appearance at the hospital, surprising nearly everyone.  Apparently having a husband is easy to conceal.  Easier than having an affair with the pharmacist.

My favorite character is still Dr. O'Hara.  She is such a riot.  I'm not sure how long she can continue staying mad at Jackie.  Hopefully she'll give her a hard time for at least a few episodes.  The betrayal was immense.

More to come.  It's so nice to be watching quality programs again instead of reality shite.  I even stayed up until 10:30 pm.  Barely.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back to February

As it if it weren't bad enough that today is Monday, it was unusually cold too.  I'm talking 40's cold.  And terribly rainy.

I am not amused.

I picked up my uniform and credentials for the Family Circle Cup today.  I AM quite pleased with the uniform this year.  Anything is better than last year's baby blue hot mess.

My first shift is not until Saturday, but I'm starting to get excited.

They also announced today that the World Team Tennis finals will be held here in July.  Could this be my chance to meet Pete Sampras?  Or Billie Jean?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Stormy Weather

I wrapped up my relaxing Hilton Head weekend this morning and made the trip back hoe.  I made a quick stop to look at a house on Edisto Island, but the owner was apparently there, so I put the P-Wagen in reverse and headed home.

It's been stormy all day.  Not much actual rain but it looks horrible and we have tornado warnings.  I love a good storm.  I guess we should get ready for April showers.  Which reminds me of my favorite joke from first grade:

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Pilgrims.

Hahaha.

I'm so not ready for Monday.

P.S.--- Congratulations to the South Carolina baseball team for winning their series against top-ranked Florida this weekend.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hilton Head Island Day 2

Today was another eventful day.  After getting up and making breakfast, we made a quick trip to Target for forgotten provisions.  I also discovered coconut M&M's.  Who knew such things existed?

The rest of the afternoon was spent rollerblading, playing ping pong, and sitting by the pool.  Not as much drinking today, as I woke up with a HUGE headache.

After a nice steak dinner, it was hottub time.  I don't think I could have asked for a more low key and relaxing weekend, and I can't believe it's almost over. 

Time to start planning the next minibreak...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here At Last

Ah---finally on holiday.  what a wonderful feeling.  As planned, I ditched work promptly at noon and left Mount Pleasant.  Three hours and one stop at Chick-fil-A later, I arrived in Hilton Head.

My first official business, after unloading the essentials of course, was stopping at the Seeds of Calm Spa.  Sharon had arrived a little earlier and was mid-pampering.  I treated myself to a much needed facial, and was surprised at how relaxing it was.  I've never been much of a spa kind of guy, but I might actually be hooked.  If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend this place.

The rest of the evening was a blast.  We spent the whole time catching up, just like the good old days.  Sitting around, talking about the most irrelevant crap, eating junk, and downing a few beers.  Quality time!

We both manged to stay up to 10:30, but have now retired.  Tomorrow is going to be awesome.  Rollerblading!  I hope I still have good balance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Almost Packed

The second load of laundry is in the washer.  I've packed the cooler.  The suitcase is out and ready to be stuffed with more clothes than I could possibly need in a week, much less two days.

I'm almost ready to head to Hilton Head.

Only a half day of conference calls tomorrow and I'm off.

Not a moment too soon.  I need the break...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

The entertainment world lost another icon today when Elizabeth Taylor passed away.  She is one of those few people who I remember being around since my earliest years.

I sincerely hope that in remembering her, people can get past the larger than life aspects of her celebrity.  The marriages, the illnesses, all the things which seemed to overshadow her reputation can never overshadow her beauty and talent.  Furthermore, her beauty inside, most clearly shown through her constant activism, inspired so many people to courageously act before it was en vogue.

She will be missed.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Summertime

It seems that after only a few days after the official start of spring, we've hopped directly into summer here in Charleston.  Today is was 86 degrees and I could not be happier.  I feel sorry for the poor unfortunate souls still dealing with snow and such.

I'm about halfway done with the week and closer to my upcoming minibreak.  Only a few more grueling conference calls with Europe stand between me and my getaway.  I can do it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday

Another wild Monday.  After such a busy and productive Sunday, it's no wonder that I had trouble sleeping last night.  I was a total wreck this morning, and was slow moving.  Unfortunately, today was the big conference call with our friends in Europe.  It was two hours of pure torture.  We didn't cover nearly as much as we had planned, so it looks like follow-up calls will be necessary.  Ugh.

The rest of the day was a blur.  I'm now sitting in bed.  I just had a hot bath.  I still have a crick in my neck from last night's fitful sleep.

Only 3 and a half more days until Hilton Head.  Yay.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cirque du Soleil



Last night I saw Cirque du Soleil's performance of "Alegria" here in Charleston.  I've always wanted to see one of their shows and I was definitely not disappointed.  Everything about it was mesmerizing.  The music, costumes, acrobatics, it was all just amazing.  I would highly recommend catching a show if the tour happens to be coming through your town.

Today I was a little dynamo.  After sleeping in late (8 am), I busted loose and got some much done.  Here is a list of my accomplishments:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Trip to the park
  • Completed 2010 income taxes
  • Funded my SEP IRA
  • Bought tickets to NYC
  • Made hotel reservations for NYC
  • Watched some tennis (sorry, Rafa)
  • Spent an hour catching up with a West Coast friend
  • Imported more music into iTunes (now on the 2nd batch of 200)

It might not sound like much, but I've been going non-stop and I am exhausted.  Here's hoping the upcoming week as just as productive.  It's going to be busy, and I can't wait to leave for Hilton Head Island!

P.S., congratulations to the Gamecocks who won their series against Georgia.  Go Cocks!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

C.H.C.


What a beautiful morning in downtown Charleston.  Those of you who keep up with the guidos and guidettes of "Jersey Shore" are familiar with G.T.L., or Gym, Tan, Laundry.  I have started my own Saturday morning routine, C.H.C..  I started out just after 7 am with a much needed carwash, eliminating all traces of the nasty yellow pollen which has plagued our city.  Then it was off to the Broad Street Barber Shop, where I snapped the picture above, for my bi-weekly haircut.  Finally, a chicken biscuit (or two) at Chick-fil-A.  What a great morning.

I also dropped my car off to get my windows tinted at Pleasant Details.  They did a great job.

In just a few short hours, I'm going to see Cirque du Soleil.  I'm very excited.  Such an action-packed weekend for me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Telephone Boycott

I had the most unimaginable day at work.  I was on various conference calls from 9 am to 5 pm.  Not even a measly break for lunch.  Is that not the most ridiculous thing?

How I managed to stay in a good mood escapes me.

I did reward myself with a trip to Chick-fil-a for dinner.  Only the best for me...

Ok, so I did have a brief 3 minute period during which I managed to mute my home line and call the window tinters using my mobile.  The planets must be perfectly aligned, as I was able to get an appointment at 9 am tomorrow morning.  Amen!