Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
I think I just peed a little...
It's been a Looooong wait, but I'm sure it will have been worth it. I can't wait to see what shenanigans these ladies are getting themselves into now!
And NeNe...oh, how I've missed you!
You know you love her too...In all her delicious awesomeness! The one with a big, caring heart, but also tells it like it is...a Perfect balance!
If you've watched the previous season of RHofATL, you know what I'm talking about.
If you haven't seen the show, tonight is the night for you to jump on board! Please...come along and take this exciting journey with me!
(...and if you are one of my co-workers, you BETTER be watching this season, as I expect you to come into work and talk about the episodes with me around the water cooler...)
A big change this year: They got rid of the boring girl. (See...she was so boring that I can't even remember her name right now...) In her place, they added Kandi Burruss, a singer/songwriter who used to perform in the 90's R&B group Xscape. She has written songs for Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Faith Evans, Mariah Carey, etc...
According to the preview, it looks like she clashes with NeNe. OH HELL NAH! DON'T MESS WITH MY GIRL!
Did i ever tell you how much I love NeNe? :)
And then there's Kim...good ol' gold-digging, 'I want a music career' Kim. Apparently, she splits up with Big Papa this year, so it will be interesting to see if she can keep up with her fine-living, luxurious lifestyle without him.
Ooh...I'm getting excited!
There's also Sheree and Lisa, who are supposed to get into a tiff as well, over dueling fashion lines. Don't tease me with a good catfight!
Of all the 'RH' series that Bravo likes to mass produce, Atlanta has to be my favorite! Probably because these ladies know who they are, know where they came from, and then put on a show! They know how to have a good time and live it up!
Hey Bravo...can we get a Chicago series yet? Thanks.
So...if you are ready for some fun, mindless, entertaining television (...and an hour of amazingness!) then tune in to the season premiere tonight!
Yes, i will always be here to discuss with you tomorrow! :)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?'
And that's when the fight started...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Last night at the gym, I stepped up to the scale...and I was hoping for a number in the 150s.
First of all...I am NOT trying to lose weight!
You see, Since I am training for the upcoming Chicago Marathon, it's a given that I am going to lose some weight...but this year I am trying to counter attack by keeping the weight loss to a minimum.
Which means...MORE CHIPOTLE, PLEASE!
Last year, during the week of the marathon I was down to 137 pounds.
Yeah...I'm not kidding.
I got small. The nice thing is that my body was completely "cut up" and toned; the bad thing is that I was emaciated...and gaunt...and at times could barely lift a fork to my mouth...
Kidding! (sort of...)
So, as I step on the scale, I am hoping for a nice, respectable, solid number. I would say 155 would be about perfect...
Over the winter, I gained back all of my weight...on purpose. After the marathon in October (when I was a svelte 137 lbs), I ended up putting the weight back on, and by February of this year I was back to just under 170 lbs.
Now, I may have taken some liberties in my diet (but let's pretend like it was all muscle!) LOL!
You know...It was winter, you get to cover up with big sweaters and coats...
It was nice. I enjoy having extra poundage on me.
Fine...I enjoy eating...a lot! There, I said it!
...like Peanut Butter. I won't even tell you how many jars of Peanut Butter I go through in a month. I literally could sit there with a spoon and just work my way through a jar!
I don't know if it's healthy or not, but my body weight fluctuates heavily with the seasons. It is very important for my closet to be stacked with both "Smalls" and "Mediums."
For example, when I was playing rugby I was definitely one of the smaller guys on the team. In fact, my coach would BEG me to try to gain weight.
One time, at a team BBQ, coach told me that I needed to eat 2 burgers instead of 1, and to double up what everyone else was eating. Don't tease me!
God, that was one of the greatest seasons of my life! :)
So, I am on the scale....here comes the number...
Quick, get me to a Chipotle!....or a Pizza Hut!!!
After downing about a gallon of water, that should put me back at 150, right? I'm OK with 150.
But...I know that it's inevitable. Over the next couple of months, I will slowly chip through the 140s as the mileage on my training runs increases.
That's Ok...I will have all winter to stockpile it back on.
Look...As long as I don't lose my ga-dunk-a-dunk, I will be just fine...
Monday, July 27, 2009
If you have already seen this video, then take another 5 minutes and enjoy once again! It will be a great start to your week!
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I remember when I first started and I was excited to get 8 of you to read my postings. :)
Now that I am up to 400-600 readers a day, I do not take any of you for granted. Thank you greatly!
So, today will be a little different...a hodgepodge of things, if you will...
It wasn't even a close contest, as Nate clearly stood out among the other contestants! So, if you are out and about in Chicago at a Budweiser-sponsored event, there's a good chance you'll run into Natey-pie...
AND...Shout out to my boys Mario & Brad who also were impressive, scoring the two alternate positions. WAY TO GO!
More cool news:
Take a look at this AWESOME email I received this week:
First I must commend you on your heroic behavior this weekend. nicely
done. What I am about to say might come as a shock but eveyone loves a
good surprise! Remember that blog you wrote about Mrs (Mariah)
Carey? Of course you do, well just recently I transitioned working for her
team...and your blog (well just the part about her) fell into her hands and
management team and after the album drops and the schedule dies down a tad there is going to be a handful of intimate meet and greets or there were talks of a
few other ideas. Anyway, you are on the list my man, to get those
questions answered. Hope all is well and if you have any questions please
let me know. Take Care. -KU
WHAT??? Amazing! Meeting the great Mariah?
Seriously...I need to start writing about more of my favorite artists if it leads to perks like this! HAHA...Thanks Kevin!
Also, I want to say "gracias" to blog reader Jacob for the extra tickets to the Midwest Film Festival. I had a great time at the event, and it was great to finally meet you in person!
Now...last week's blog that I wrote, commenting about the "Orange Crowd" blog was my biggest readership day so far, as just under 1000 of you decided to click on the link. (Thank you for that!)
I received a lot of feedback that day...some good, some bad...But i say, Keep it coming! It's nice to hear all types of views, and makes things much more interesting.
So...Thanks again to all of you who randomly read 'Dangling Carrots.' I am honored, and you all keep me inspired!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Last week, I went out for dinner/drinks with a couple of girls that I've known for a while. As we were sitting there eating, one of the girls made the comment, "I am thinking of getting a tattoo."
Immediately, the other girl said something to the effect of, "Why would you want to get something so trashy on your skin?"
I think my mouth dropped...
I was slightly taken back. Come on now...One of the main rules of conversation: Know Your Audience.
Did she completely forget that I have tattoos?
I mean...I had just come from work, so I had long sleeves on...and pants...but I've know her for a while now. Geesh!
Exhibit #2: A few months back, some friends and I went on a small road trip. As we were driving we passed a trailer park, where some individuals were hanging out in front of their homes.
Well, later on the trip we passed a tattoo parlor, in which someone lightly made the comment, "We should all get tattoos to commemorate this trip." That's when one of my other friends blurted out, "Great...then we would fit right in with the people at that trailer park."
I took that comment as insinuating that having tattoos automatically makes you white trash.
Once again... Know Your Audience!
Hello! I have tattoos, so I am a little surprised that people who know me are so quick to make these types of remarks.
I mean...we all have our opinions, but there is a time and a place for them.
I got my first one way back in 1999. This was back when getting tattoos was still associated mainly with bikers and rockers.
But body art has gone mainstream, and now everyone from Frat Boys to Pop Stars have them.
Depending on who you talk to, they are either a great way to express your individuality/uniqueness, or just another way for you to do what's popular (join the crowd...) It depends on what you actually decide to get.
However, for many people that stigma is still there, that tattoos = trashy.
Well, NEWSFLASH: Times are changing.
So...in order for that way of thinking to go away, we all need to help do our part. Therefore, if you are thinking about getting a tattoo in the future, here are a few simple rules to follow:
First, if you are getting a tattoo, MAKE SURE you get it on an area of your body that is fairly toned up! Tattoos do not look good on flabby skin! Nobody wants to see a huge tattoo of Jesus' face on your big flabby arms. However, his face does look amazing on a nice, ripped bicep!
Second, if you are in shape and get tattoos, you MUST remain in shape late into your elder years! Or...cover up! Remember that huge tattoo you got across your ribcage that looked incredible when you had flat, six pack abs? Well, it doesn't look so wonderful on your big flabby gut, now does it?
And ladies...you are not immune, because that pretty little rose you got on your ankle doesn't look so hot when it is expanded across your entire cankle.
Third, please take some time to design your tattoos to be aesthetically pleasing. Don't just slap something on your skin in just any old place! The coolest, most original tattoos are usually thought out and placed strategically on the body.
My buddy Jason has amazing script across his chest and upper arm...it looks unbelievably cool. Another friend of mine, AK, has a really nice design that runs up and down his arms. Clearly, very well thought out...
Hey...this advice is free. I'm only here to help... :)
And a word for the haters: Keep this in mind. Most of the time, tattoos are a very personal, powerful thing for the people who have them. They usually display something, or someone, very meaningful for them. Or...they represent a specific moment or time in life. Please think about that before knocking someone's tattoo, or judging them.
My next tattoo will come after I complete this year's Chicago Marathon.
Now, where exactly will I put it? What will be the exact design? How big?
So many options!...Luckily, i still have plenty of time to think about it...
Monday, July 20, 2009
Let me take an entire blog post here to indulge myself: I. LOVE. WHITNEY!
I realize that this is just another example, reminding me of how old I really am getting...but I seriously love this diva!
Whitney is a 7-time Grammy winner!...and has scored 11 #1 hits. Amazing.
I mean...What a set of pipes!
Is it possible that Whitney Houston was blessed with the greatest voice ever? Debatable...
Many of today's top Divas split the public's opinion. For example, some people love Madonna, Mariah, Britney, Lada Gaga...and then others completely can't stand them!
Not Whitney! Nobody hates Whitney, right? Even people who don't necessarily think she's their cup of tea don't go to the other extreme where they downright detest her.
Even when she was down and out, you know you were still sort of pulling for her, right? :)
Do you prefer the Superstar Whitney from "The Bodyguard" days, who was on top of the world? Or do you prefer the "Crack is Whack/Being Bobby Brown" Whitney?
I admit...I kind of like both!
The cracked out Whitney...for entertainment purposes, of course... (How could we ever forget her famous, "KISS MY ASS!")
But that voice...Oh my god...that voice!
Look...Whitney can open up the dictionary and just start singing definitions at me, i might orgasm!
So many memorable hits...
'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'
'I'm Your Baby Tonight'
'I Will Always Love You'
Oh My Goodness...Just too many to choose a favorite from!
And who can forget her performance of the 'Star Spangled Banner' at the Super Bowl in 1991. Hands down, it was the BEST National Anthem I've heard, still to this day...
Whitney's career is just another sad story of fame & celebrity overtaking the person. I can only imagine how many more #1 songs and albums, Grammy awards, and other accolades she would've racked up by now if she had somehow kept control of her life.
But the point is...She has cleaned herself up and is BACK to doing what she does best: Using that VOICE!
She just released a new single from her upcoming album, being released on September 1st. Sure, the single most likely won't get much radio airplay, as it really isn't teen-pop friendly...but in my opinion it's still worth a download.
I'm amazed at how strong she is sounding, even after years of ruining her 'gift' by not taking care of herself. No, her voice is not what it used to be, but it still sounds good enough to make me fall back in love with her!
If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to the new single...and the return of the "Voice" below. Enjoy!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I gotta tell you...
People who start fights with others for no good reason are douchebags...plain and simple! I can say this because I know from experience.
Can't we all just get along? Geez Louise!!!
HUG IT OUT, ALREADY!
Don't get me wrong...I'm not talking about people who defend themselves or their friends. I am speaking of the "instigators." You know who I am talking about: The ones who usually do it in front of their pals to prove how manly they are, or just simply get a kick out of bullying people around.
**The random guy who cuts you off with his car, and then when you smack into him he verbally attacks you for f*cking up his vehicle.
**The girl in the bar who will bitch you out because you accidentally looked in her direction.
**The insecure guy with such low-self esteem that will punch you because his girlfriend shows interest in you.
...and no, being drunk is not an excuse!
Saturday night, I was faced with a choice...and I chose to defend an acquaintance of mine. I could not sit back and watch a bully attack him.
Now... in order to not sound like a hypocrite, I need to let you know that, unfortunately, I have gotten into a few tiffs in the past. My friends who have known me for quite some time have seen me lose my temper and go after people who (at the time) I felt deserved it.
(Sorry Brian, Mike, Curtis, Chris, Terry...etc....) LOL!
Hey, at least many of those people that I've fought with, I have now befriended and we are on good terms. :)
Age and wisdom are good things: You learn to take an extra breath or two when someone pisses you off, and you understand that walking away from a situation can be the best solution, allowing you to rationally confront the other person at another time.
But seriously...to any instigator out there who tries to pick a fight with me or any of my friends, and it comes to the point of having to defend myself physically, you bet your ass I will!
As much as I can't stand jerks who start ridiculous, unwarranted fights, I cannot allow myself or the ones I love to become victims.
So...I am walking home from a bar on Saturday night(well..Sunday morning...) and about half a block in front of me, I see an acquaintance of mine walking alongside another guy that I didn't know.
For story purposes, I will call my acquaintance "B."
Everything seemed fine, until a couple minutes later when I see the other guy reach over and slap 'B'. Then, 'B' sat down on the ground and put his hands over his head, as if he is shielding himself from another blow.
I was shocked! How do you react to seeing something like that?
Well, I caught up to them within seconds and couldn't ignore the fact that someone I knew had just been hit, so I asked, "What's going on?"
I was basically told to 'mind my own business' by the other guy. If both of them had said that to me, then I would've gladly continued on my way home to get to the delicious chicken nuggets in my freezer. :)
However, 'B' had that look on his face as if he didn't want me to leave. So, i told the other guy to leave him alone, still politely at this point.
That's when the other guy decides he was going to kick 'B', and started yelling some things. (Talk about kick someone when they are down...)
All of a sudden...I don't know what got into me, but I went into, "OH HELL NAH!" mode, and pushed that guy up against the building. I held him there for a second (while he was able to 'sort-of' land a very light swipe to my head...bastard!) and then told him to "get the f*ck out of here!"
Now, I know I'm not the biggest guy in the world...but he must've realized that I was serious, because he ended up yelling a couple more things, but then walked away. Or...maybe he realized that he was outnumbered 2 to 1.
Look...I hate violence as much as the next person, but I can't stand bullies even more!
I don't have a clue what started the fight between them, or the details of how they knew each other; All I know is that someone that I happen to know was getting hit. And the funny thing...I don't even know 'B' very well!
Hopefully 'B' didn't instigate the fight, or I would feel real stupid defending him.
(Although NO ONE should hit another person! Talk it out, y'all!)
So...would you have done the same thing? Should I have continued walking?
I don't know...but i did what I felt was right at the time.
Next time, I'm taking a cab home...
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Or even to stretch it a bit....shallow?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Yesterday, I fell asleep on somebody...
On my commute home.
I was tired. I couldn't help it!
I'm not going to lie...I fall asleep on my way home from work almost every day. In fact, I look forward to my little "nap" session on the CTA. (Chicago Transit Authority, for those of you who aren't in the know...)
And you, Judgy McJudgerton...Don't act like you've never fallen asleep on mass transit before! (or...at least WANTED to!)
If i try to read a book on my way home, I am conked out within a couple of page turns.
So, that definitely won't help.
Look...My sleep pattern has been awful lately. I try to get a decent amount of sleep, but for some reason I have been waking up multiple times throughout the night. Maybe it's stress...who knows...
Therefore, I NEED this refresher on my commute home. A good 15-20 minute cat nap is just what I need to get me through the rest of the evening!
And just like our bodies seem to have an automatic internal alarm clock that will wake us up at our normal time, even on our days off...I feel like I have my own CTA alarm clock that wakes me up within a couple of stops from where I need to get off.
Only ONCE did i miss my stop.
A couple of years ago, I was riding the Purple Line train, planning to get off at my stop. I snoozed through it, and ended up WAY far north, due to the train going Express! That sucked hard...
But that was a while ago, and it hasn't happened again since.
So, I sleep in peace...
And...I don't try to hide it either. I sit there in full "shut-eye" glory! Yes, I'm the guy whose head may bob up and down. Sometimes, i may lean towards my seat mate, but I've never actually fallen on them.
Yesterday, on my way home, I woke up suddenly with a cushion underneath my head...which startled me for a second. That cushion was the shoulder of the guy next to me.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!"
The guy looked bigger than me, so i sized him up for a quick second. If he was really mad at me, and tried to start a fight, could I take him? I was preparing myself...
And then he chuckled lightly, "Don't worry about it."
Phew! I Lucked out! I dozed off on a nice person...
Hopefully, i wasn't sleeping on him for a long time. I hope it was an 'oops...my head bobbed and hit your shoulder, but then i lifted it right away' moment.
I imagine it would be way more awkward if I was actually resting my head on him for a while...
Although, if I did he seemed to be ok with it. Weird.
SO, I got lucky this time, but I can imagine what it would've been like if I fell asleep on someone different! I mean...what if it was some bitchy Lincoln Park trixie? That would've been the WORST!
What if the tables were reversed? I've never actually had someone fall asleep onto me before. I wonder how I would react...
I guess I would let them...especially if they were really cute. :)
And as long as they don't drool...
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Ten years ago, when I lived in Denver, Colorado, there was this little restaurant called Chipotle. I had never been there before, but one day my buddy Shaun and I went for lunch.
From the first bite of my burrito, I was an addict!
In fact, I don't know if I had a smaller stomach back then, or if I'm just a fat cow now...but I used to only be able to eat half a burrito and would save the rest for later.
Now, I always eat the whole thing in one sitting, of course. In fact, I could probably even eat 2!
While in Denver, I remember having an emotional night, comtemplating what I was doing with my life...over a Chipotle burrito, of course! You see, I was in Denver for a ministry internship, seriously thinking about becoming a Missionary overseas.
As I sat there in the restaurant, alone, I was wrestling with some feelings...and it was there that I decided that I was going to come home and go back to college. Do you see the clarity of mind that a good Chipotle burrito can give you? (hee hee...)
Well, upon moving back to Illinois, there were no Chipotle restaurants. Whenever I would be out for Mexican food or having a burrito, I would randomly remember Chipotle and how much I missed it.
But then the most wonderful thing happened...McDonalds Corp. bought Chipotle and expanded, bringing the deliciousness all the way out here to the Midwest.
And even luckier for me...
There's a Chipotle just a couple of blocks from my house!
WOO HOO HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
Oh, the memories I have built up with Chipotle...
In fact, I've probably spent more money there than I have on actual groceries from the grocery store!
When first moving here to Chicago, my ex and I went to look at apartments together, and immediately after signing the papers for our first place in the city, where did we go for lunch? You guessed it...
The past couple of years, for our Secret Santa gift exchange at work, what do you think I request each time? None other than a delightful gift card from Chipotle itself!
The Sunday afternoon that I was talking to my father on the phone, as he informed me that my mom had lost sight in both eyes, I was balling my eyes out while chewing on my tortilla...
When someone breaks up with me, a good vacation to the Chipotle is usually in order.
In fact, whenever I hear bad news I have a tendency to just throw on my shoes and walk down the street to the Chipotle. It's almost like a knee-jerk reaction now!
( ...and where do you think I was when I came up with the topic for this blog posting!)
The best thing about marathon training season is that I can eat a Chipotle burrito and not even bat an eyelash at how many calories I may be consuming. If running a marathon means that I can eat a few more burritos, then I will keep on trotting!
The main message here...is that I love the delicious flavors of a hearty Chipotle burrito. So if you are ever stumped on what to get me for a birthday or Christmas gift, be stumped no more! :)
I may not ever fulfill my life's biggest goals...
I may not ever get to Paris to find the cafe of my dreams...
I may not ever fall in love again...
But...God-willing...I'll always have Chipotle to make it all better!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
NYC Prep? More like NYC Huge piece of crap!
Hey Bravo...you've REALLY outdone yourself this time! Congratulations on creating this pile of sh*t!
I mean...seriously...this program has to be one of the worst things I've come across in a looooooong time...and for ME of all people to say this...you KNOW its bad!
"But PaulBenjamin, how could you say that? You are majorly in love with the Real Housewives series..."
Yes. That's true. I love those ladies. I also love my good share of trash television. Rock of Love Bus? Charm School? Basically, if it's on Bravo or VH1, I'm there....
"So then, how could you say that this show is worse than those?"
Because this show is about a bunch of priviledged kids who think they own the world just because they were born into wealth on the Upper East side of Manhattan. These are spoiled rotten brats who are not ashamed to let you know how much better they are than you...
If you haven't seen the show yet, don't worry...you aren't missing anything!
"Well, the Real Housewives' programs are also about wealthy people who spend money frivolously..."
True, but that is not what disgusts me about NYC Prep. I am not bothered at all by watching people with a lot of money. (I mean...isn't that the American dream?...) The Housewives and other similar shows are about adults, in which many of them have worked hard to earn their own money. And if they haven't...at least they have some life experience under their belt to know that some of their actions will lead to consequences.
And shows like 'Rock of Love' are so ridiculous, and feature many people who are considered to be 'trashy,' but at least the cast members sort of understand that they are 'in on the joke' and doing it somewhat for the viewer's entertainment.
Also...the other shows usually balance their cast out; a really ridiculous person with a nice person who you root for. That way you get a protagonist and an antagonist. But on 'Prep', all you get are terrible people with NO ONE to root for...
SO what is so annoying about NYC Prep? Where do I start?!?
First, getting involved with charity is not done out of a desire to get involved, it is done out of obligation in order to get into the desired college. In fact, Camille even befriends someone that she can't stand in order to become a Board Member of the charity she works for. A board member? You're 17 years old!
Second, there is a character named Taylor, who is not a part of the New York City prep school scene. She goes to public school, so I think she is supposed to come across as "the good one." However, she dumps her nice, down-to-earth boyfriend in order to date the richer and more high-society friendly Sebastian because, "I've always wanted to just, like, marry rich, and maybe I should just, like think about things with Sebastian."
And by the way, Sebastian's main goal is to hook up with as many girls as possible, which is his prerogative. But we must sit and watch Taylor and Kelli get asked out on dates with him right in front of each other! Pathetic. No shame at all, that Sebastian.
But the biggest douchebag of all is PC. This "straight" guy who loves fashion and breeds more drama than the entire rest of the cast put together is really the only interesting character on the program. (And i say interesting because he is the only one doing anything worth watching...) He treats everyone around him like shit, he is not afraid to tell you what he thinks of you...and DO NOT ever buy him a "JagerBomb" because that is "so Jersey..." And God forbid he ever get offered a seat in the 2nd row of a fashion show, because anything but the 1st row is "so low-class."
With the exception of PC, this show is a HUGE Snoozefest...
In fact, the show is SO bad that Bravo even resorts to misleading the viewers in their "Coming Up Next" teasers, scamming us into believing that next's week's episode is going to feature a death that rocks one character's world, or have one character admit to being bisexual. (Both being really overblown situations...) Good job, Bravo...way to stoop so low...
I hate to be the person who says that these kids are "Everything that is wrong with America," but honestly...they contribute greatly to everything that is wrong with America!
I have removed the series from my TiVo, because I can't bear to watch another episode. However, I will try to catch the Reunion special at the end of the season, just to see if any of these kids have any regrets about the way they acted. (Which I'm sure they won't...)
And PC, it's only a matter of time before he gets his own spin-off right?
Or...maybe in a few years he will join the cast of the Real Housewives of NYC...after marrying his new "life partner"....
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
You know what though...I would probably react the same way if I found out Wendy's stopped making Frostys!
Thanks to my buddy Chris Overby for sending me this delicious Wednesday treat!
Please enjoy below: