Sunday, September 04, 2011


A few months ago, I booked a trip on Southwest to visit a former roommate who now lives in Chicago.

I flew out on Saturday, August 27th in the wee early hours. Once landing, John picked me up & we were off to downtown Chicago. A riverboat tour was in order. We purchased the tickets early & grabbed breakfast at The Corner Bakery. While sitting outside in beautiful 75 degree weather, we caught up on life as well as a car commercial being shot. Since we still had more time to kill we walked down Michigan Avenue & ended up at Niketown.

Finally at 11:30, on the boat tour, I took various photos of the buildings in Chicago, the boat tour was architecture based. I'll post some of those pictures eventually. We then caught a movie and went to a networking event at Chicago Booth where John attends. The drinks & food were free, so I went. After all, there was a big bowl of guacamole I couldn't pass up. After that we went south and attended a wine & cheese party at the parents' of the intern at John's company Astute-Games which sells the ultimate card game dabong!

On the way home, John got pulled over. We "somehow" ended up in the back of a cop car. As "they" say, it was just a little "misunderstanding." Eventually we went home. John's business partner Kilton picked up some White Castle, we ate & caught up until about 1am.

Sunday morning I woke up way too early. We hit a favorite Mexican place of John's and then then the grocery store for a grill out we were having later that night.

Sunday night we grilled out. One of the guys that came, John Jaquish who created a bioDensity machine brought some Belgian Waffles. These things were amazing. If you know my love for cheesecake, these waffles are right up there. Delicious doesn't quote cover it. More people came & we all sat around the tables & told stories. These stories included: shocknifes, nickel titanium alloy, serial killers, movies, fireflies, unicorns, & police cars.

Monday was a great day to sleep in. We then hit Yolk's for breakfast and saw his office area, and also where 5 Degrees resides.

We then took in a bus tour of the city, we stopped at Navy Pier for a bit. We stopped for lunch at Al's #1 Italian Beef. Originally, I was wanting a "Chicago Style Hot Dog", but ended up with a big beef sandwich. Messy. Good. Repeat messy.

Finally it was time to take me back to the airport. After a flight delay I was back home to Omaha.

A great trip in all. Met some great people. My re-return will have to be longer.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Things I know to be true...

List writing idea prompt'd by Sarah Kay's speech at TED.

10 Things I Know to be True...
  1. God

  2. God has a plan for every life He created

  3. She is out there (I will find her or she will find me)

  4. I need to write more, consistently

  5. I have more mistakes to learn from

  6. Amazing stories (and personal growth) come out of times when a risk was taken

  7. We spend much of our time and energy negotiating, rationalizing, and justifying our actions and our choices

  8. Life has the ability to change directly in front of us without our permission or any warning

  9. There's always another point of view to consider

  10. The joys in life's journey are often hidden in a landscape we can't always see...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

16.5 things about turning 33 yesterday...

1. Having the day off to do 'me' stuff was a birthday present in itself
2. Even when you try & sleep in, you still get up too early for having a day off.
3. I'm all about birthday presents, but a present can also be getting birthday wishes via email, phone call, text, and Facebook
4. Browsing a bookstore with no time restraints is dangerous, but only finding a book in the bargain bin was just fine
5. Browsing Best Buy with no time restraints is dangerous, but I didn't purchase anything
6. Meeting up with some friends, my Goddaughter, and another little one makes for a good lunch with good company and food
7. Planning on taking a nap, but not getting a chance to wasn't so bad
8. Having a mocha smoothie at my favorite coffee shop was a great treat
9. Rereading from 'that book' I'm trying to write, what I had written so far was just what I needed to spend my afternoon doing
10. Attempting to add onto 'that book' from where I left off was kind of rough, but I'll progress
11. Meeting up with friends at Red Robin was just right - good food & company
12. Getting a big bag of pistachios put a smile on my face
13. Today, forgetting the bag while leaving for work and realizing it put a frown on my face
14. Catching the last 2 hours of the series finale of "24" was bitter/sweet, "I'll miss you Jack Bauer"
15. Continuing to get comments on Facebook from friends wishing me a happy birthday helped make it seem like my birthday all day
16. Reading a nice note from my mom about the day I was born up & other comments until now was a priceless gift
16.5 Getting a gift certificate to a bookstore reminds me that my friends do indeed know my addictive habits & are willing to support them

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beach House Vacation

I had been long overdue for a vacation. My friend CJ invited me to his Pensacola beach wedding & after I worked out some logistics, mainly with getting time off - I booked my flight. It was a 1/2 wedding trip, 1/2 vacation and a well-needed break.

Okay, my dear reader: I won't bore you with a play-by-play of the trip, but I'll highlight some bits.

John & I flew in on Saturday and were picked up by CJ & (his then soon-to-be-wife) Jeanann in her mom's Mustang convertible.

A few handfuls of people (referred to now as 'the gang') rented out a beach house, it was a great change from a typical motel. From the back porch, was a beach and a body of water. It was a great place to eat & watch the sunset & even a bowl of Frosted Flakes. My friend John & I took a few pics of other odd looking and sweet looking beach houses around the area. I might have to get myself one. Who wouldn't want a vacation home?

The beach wedding was a few miles from the beach house. An almost random spot picked, was a beautiful background for the wedding. I had never been to a beach wedding before; I give it two thumbs up! After the wedding, we went to Flounders restaurant, they had some of the best fish I've ever had and I'm not even big on eating fish.

'The 'gang' play a few games of beach volleyball that day and the next and later foosball & pool at a local tavern.

On one of the afternoons, 'the boys' (and a girl) from 'the gang' rented 4 jet skis for an hour. I think all of us tipped over at some point, but mine was pretty sad since I was at a stand still when I tipped over.

We took 3 trips just on the beach and played Frisbee and catching sea shells & even at one point, a crab. I even made a sad attempt at building a sand castle.

Pensacola & all the views never got old.

I bought a pair of sunglasses that broke way too early.

On the last day, we went to see the Blue Angels practice their air show. There was quite a crowd for just a practice. Then we went to the National Aviation Museum & I picked up some astronaut ice cream. It wasn't as good as I remember having it in elementary school.

All in all, I'm sure I could have spent a lot more time in Pensacola with the gang, hanging out in the beach, & enjoying the view!

Now, I should start thinking about my next vacation...

Friday, March 19, 2010

The pump next to mine

Over lunch today, I ran a few errands which including getting gas.

I pulled into my usual gas station and began the process of pumping gas when the guy at the pump next to mine struck up a conversation. I have a few takeaways from that conversation.
I'd say he was in his 50s, he looked a bit like a band member from ZZ Top.
I didn't catch his name or why he told me all this, all I could do was nod at the bits of information he was telling me.

He didn't seem drunk or high. He sure thought his whole story was funny.

From what I understood of his random story was this:
1. He remembers when the gas station used to be a carnival and how there was four gas stations on the corner.
2. He remembers having some form of hepatitis that summer he came to the carnival where we standing.
3. He remembers paying a quarter to see some type of freak show, but having to go home sick.
4. He remembers being as yellow as the cement post he pointed out by the windshield cleaner next to the pump
5. He remembers walking up the hill in pain (he pointed east)
6. He then told me to have a good day

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


“We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
~ Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Looks like you

I took some of my writing notes with me to lunch to 'work on' at a nearby restaurant. (The same restaurant as this blog post).

I was promptly seated and a blond waitress (let's call her Jessica) came to take my drink order. Jessica proceeds to bring my drink, I take a sip, and give her my food order. I ordered a sandwich & substituted the fries for a $.50 up charge to some broccoli cheddar soup. It sounded good and I don't even like broccoli. It was in fact, good soup!

About five minutes later, Jessica walks by and asks, "have you been helped yet?"
"Yes," I replied, "I ordered the chicken sandwich and broccoli cheddar soup - will the soup be out first?"
"Who was your waitress? Was she blond?"
"Umm yeah, she looks like you."
"Oh?" Jessica proceeded to check her computer for my order, realizes she thought I wanted broccoli on my sandwich and not the soup. She brings me my soup with no up charge and a minute later my sandwich.

(Blogger's note: The blond references isn't to say, "she was blond and dumb" but more because when she asked what my waitress looked like, it seemed like she was describing herself because none of the other waitresses were blond.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

This bar is full of nothing but Chads

"Chad" as defined by the Urban Dictionary

(some fowl language may appear)

#4 is nice
Hot, attractive, intelligent male. Known for his all American good looks, dry humor and sarcasm. Funny, witty and modest. Chad is a well rounded, great friend, boyfriend, husband, etc.
He's so perfect, he's such a Chad.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Books vs Cigarettes

My good pal Mike & I banter back & forth about our habits.

He, smokes.
I, buy books to fill my bookshelf. Reading them is another 'story'.

Similar to a compare & contrast I did regarding his shopping cart & my shopping basket at Wal*Mart, I decided to do the same with cigarettes & books.

This will be an ongoing blog post in progress, feel free to add a comparison or contrast in the comments area.

Comparisons & Contrasts between cigarettes & books

Cigarettes can cause lung cancer.
Books can cause paper cuts.

Cigarettes cost $.70 to $5.50 a pack
Books vary between $1 and $100 for some text books.

Cigarettes come 20 to a pack.
Books come one at time unless it is a book of anthologies or an author's best of combined.

Cigarettes burn up in about 5 minutes
Books can be read for hours.

Cigarettes smell.
Some really old books do too.

Cigarettes have a quick stress fix.
Books - possible.

Cigarettes are burned.
Sometimes, books are too.

Cigarettes (smoking) are banned in restaurants.
(some) Books are banned in schools.

Once you buy cigarettes, most smokers pack 'em.
Before going to school, most students pack their books.

Cigarettes have nicotine.
Books do not.

Cigarettes cannot be resold.
Books can.

Cigarettes come in many varieties of brands.
Books do too.

You have to be 18 to buy cigarettes.
You can buy books before you are 18.

Cigarettes weigh around an ounce.
Books weigh more.

Cigarettes cause liter when thrown out a window.
Books would too - if thrown out a window.

Some cigarettes are best sellers.
Some books are best sellers.

You can buy cigarettes at gas stations.
There are few books sold in gas stations.

Smokers smoke outside coffee shops.
Readers read inside coffee shops.

Take your pick
Second hand smoke.
Second hand bookstores.

Does anyone smoke while they read?