Friday, January 29, 2010

Air Force Amy

Happy Friday to you all! 

This actually made me laugh out loud!

In case you haven't seen this...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"I'm Just Keeping It Real..."

You know you've all heard it!

Somewhere along the way in society, we have become permissive and accepting to the "I'm just being real" person.

This is the guy or girl who claims to be "real" and says whatever they feel, whenever they feel...with no consideration for who their words may be affecting.

For example:

"I'm sorry if she started crying when I called her fat, but I'm just speaking the truth.  I'm just being real!"

Well, guess what...
It may be the truth...but you don't have to say it out loud.

You may be 'just keeping it real,' but you are also a complete Asshole!

Seriously.  Nobody asked your opinion.  Show some class.  Have some couth!

If you look up to, and aspire to be like Kanye West, then you are probably a complete jackass.

I think that is all that needs to be said on this topic.

Be kind.  Be polite. 

"The tongue is like a sharp knife.  It kills without drawing blood"  - Buddha

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Get a Pic, you weirdo!

So, this weekend I had to say goodbye to 2 of my closest friends in the entire world, Ryan & Stephen  (See their amazingness in the picture!) 

I am going to miss them dearly as they are heading to Amsterdam for the next great adventure of their lives.  I guess I can't hate on them for that.  Hopefully they have the best time ever, but a part of me wants them to return back to Chicago as soon as they realize how much they miss me!  :)
We love you guys!


On Sunday, a bunch of us spent the day together hanging out at our favorite local bar, Scarlet.  While we were there, I saw so many people that I haven't seen in a while.  It was nice to get caught up.

There was one person in particular who was in attendance, and I will call him "Doug." 

Doug and I are acquaintances, and have known each other for about 3 years now.  I went up to him, gave him a hug, and told him it was nice to see him again.  His response to me was somewhat cold.

"Why did you delete me from facebook?" he asked.

"What?  I didn't delete you."  I I thought about it, I don't remember seeing his status updates  for a while, so as I was standing there I thought maybe it was he who got rid of me.

You all know those people who 'clean house' on facebook...deleting friends in a mass execution, and then put their status as "If you can see this, then you survived my friend cutting!"

I just don't do that.  If I added you in the first place, then I probably want you to be there.  Why would I risk our friendship, or acquaintanceship, over hurting your feelings by deleting you?  One day, we both may regret it.

However, I HAVE taken liberty to use the 'Hide" button.  There are some people that can annoy the piss out of me.  It's not that I don't want to be pals with them anymore, I just think they can be quite ridiculous!

Now that this blog readership has grown, it is normal for me to get friend requests from many of you who read this.  Sure, if I recognize you from your comments or emails, then yes I will add you too. (and some of you are HILARIOUS, so I'm glad that I did!) 

BUT...the one thing that I NEVER do is add someone without a picture of themselves.  It's just weird!  Get a pic already!

If you don't have a picture, then it makes me wonder 1) If you are real,  2) What you are trying to hide, and 3) If you are going to spam me for the rest of my life!

I have even rejected people that I know pretty well for not having a picture. 

So back to "Doug" at the bar...he says that I deleted him.  I told him that if that was true, that it must've been a fluke, or a FB error, because I can't see myself doing that.

Then, of course I went home and searched for him. His name was not coming up though.  I just couldn't find him.


So, I sent a text to a friend, "Hey, are you friends on facebook with "Doug?"

He responded,  "Yes, but he isn't under his name. His fb name is "_____."  (It's a totally made up name in order to be funny, and I know if i tell you exactly, y'all will go search for him!)

WTF?  Ok, so he is trying to be cutesy.  Whatever.  So, i search that ridiculous name and get a result. 

However, the profile pic is of a woman holding a baby under a tree.


Doug is right.  Then I probably deleted him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Prank Calls, R.I.P...

Piggybacking off of yesterday's hilarious blog post (hee hee!), there is one amazing benefit that those of us 'over-30 year olds' got to experience in our lifetime...

The Prank Phone Call!

I do feel a bit sorry for the kids growing up today, as they will never get to fully experience the amazingness of it!

In today's world, where everyone has a cell phone, clearly you see every number that is calling you.

But boy, oh boy...did we have fun back in the day!

Remember disguising your voice to try to make your prepubescent tone sound much older, and then asking a random neighbor if their refrigerator is running?  And when they said 'yes,' you responded with, "Well, then you better go catch it!"?

Ahhhhh, memories...

Some people were a little more cruel with their prank calls.  I remember being at a friend's house for a sleepover, and one of the more 'rebellious' kids among us decided that it would be fun to order a pizza for the neighbors across the street. 

We would then spy ever-so-carefully out the window, watching the pizza guy walk up to their door, only to see their shocked faces:  "We didn't order any pizza!"

Oh brother...

So many varieties: 
You could whisper in an eery, soft tone. 
You could just randomly keep calling and then hanging up on people. 
You could pretend to be from a radio station, telling them they won a prize!

Prank calls worked SO well back then, before we had Caller ID, because you had NO CLUE who was calling you.  The element of surprise made people automatically answer their phones!  (you know...if by chance your bookie WAS calling, you needed to pick that phone up!)

One of the most amazing calls my friends and I ever made occurred late on a weekend night.  We just picked a random phone number out of the phone book, (eesh...remember when phone books where also a necessity...WAY before the internet)  Anyway...

We picked a random number from the phone book.  First, I would call and say, "Hello is Stacy home?"
"No, I think you have the wrong number..."
"Oh, I'm sorry.  Are you sure?  Is this 555-1234?"
"Yes, but there is nobody here by the name of Stacy."
"I apologize.  Have a good evening."

Then, 10 minutes later, another one of us (a girl this that the voice is clearly different) would call:  "Hi, is Stacy home?"
And the same conversation would take place, although this time the person we called was a little more annoyed.  "No, There is no Stacy here...are you sure you have the right number???"

Another 10 minutes would pass and a 3rd friend would call back and ask for Stacy.  By now, the person on the other end is irritated.  "Look, there is no Stacy living here!  I don't know where you got this number, but it doesn't belong to a Stacy!"

Finally, about 5 minutes later, my friend Jennifer called the same phone number (now, being the 4th call) and when the contact answered the phone, she responded:

"Hi, this is Stacy.  Did anyone call for me?"


I still find this HILARIOUS!  The person was so pissed off.  I will never forget seeing Jennifer's face as she was getting screamed at through the handset!

But the BEST part is that they had no idea where we were, or how to find us in order to STRANGLE US TO DEATH for our rude prank!

What....a nice memory.

I realize that in today's world you can still pull of a nice prank phone call, but it takes much more work and planning.  Most people do not pick up their phones anymore for random unknown calls

So...take that you young kids of today!  We old folks got to experience this great joy in life.

Suck on that!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Spoiled Under-30 Crowd!

If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning....

Uphill... barefoot...

BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda...

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it

and how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen!

Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take, like, a week to get there!

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our ass!  Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3' s or Napsters! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished and the tape would come undone. Cause - that's how we rolled, dig?

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister..or princess!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!
We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'.  Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen... forever!

And you could never win.

The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off you're a$$ and walk over to the TV to change the channel!

There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK  for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-b*stards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy.  You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or before!

The Over 30 Crowd

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Health-Care Reform is Trash!

Yeah, I will say it:  This health-care reform is a Joke!

Whether you are Republican or Democrat, I don't really care.  The House and Senate health care bills have become so watered down that i have to ask, "What is this bill actually going to accomplish?"


At this point, President Obama is adamant about getting a bill passed as soon as possible.  ANY bill!  It doesn't matter if it is the best possible solution or not...he just needs to save face and say that he has accomplished something.

What is really being reformed, in my opinion, is health-insurance reform; NOT the best possible health care for all Americans.

On this very day, the state of Massachusetts is voting for their new Senator.  Clearly, Democrats are fighting hard to keep the 60 necessary votes required to pass this legislation. 

But you know what should really upset the American public?  The backdoor deals and set of bargains that have been made in order to get these 60 votes! 

These include:  1) The Senate has agreed to cover 100 percent of the extra Medicaid costs in Nebraska in order to get Sen. Ben Nelson's vote.  WTF????  2) Deals were also made to get Senators in Vermont, Louisiana and Connecticut to get on board. Who is paying for this?  YOU!  ME!

And get this...  The plan would require EVERYONE to buy car insurance.  If you don't, you will be penalized.  Good luck with that!!!  We all know that to this day many people do not carry vehicle insurance, even though they are supposed to.  Do you know why?  Because they can't afford it!

This plan clearly profits the Insurance companies.  Since the Public Option has been scrapped, ordering the 30ish million Americans who currently are not covered to purchase insurance clearly keeps the power with the insurance companies.

The plan also expands the Medicare program so that more people can be insured.  This means that the States will have to cover the costs and will be required to allocate more funds, many of which are already facing a major budget crisis.

Sure...there are some good things that will come out of this.  Insurance Companies will not be able to exclude coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.  Also, people who become sick later will not lose their insurance. 

But how are we going to pay for this?   Through Medicare cuts and more taxes, of course!

Look...this is basically a political victory that really doesn't reform our healthcare system.  The American people are the real losers here. 

Thanks to heavy bi-partisanship and numerous back door deals, real health-care reform has taken a backseat.

But its politics.  What did you really expect?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Have Caught the Social Media Bug!

Do you remember, once upon a time, when we all had Myspace accounts? 

Think back to the beginning:  It was one of the coolest things ever!  You were able to get acquainted with friends that you haven't talked to in a while, you were able to see when people were online, and you actually visited friends' profile pages in order to hear the song that they were rockin' out to at the moment!

Or even before that, there was a site called 'Friendster.'  However, Myspace killed Friendster with all of the 'interactive' features. 

(I know both of these sites still exist, but does anyone actually visit them anymore?)

Then somehow, Facebook came along...and with it's easy simplicity of letting people know "What's on your mind," it somehow became the site to be on. 

I only know a small handful of people who have resisted the lure of Facebook. 

Flash forward to today:  Not only is Facebook's popularity still in its' prime, but now you have Twitter, and so many various other social media outlets!

I have to say...I still use Facebook often, but Twitter is becoming my Social Media site of choice! 

I love it because you are able to follow people...even people who you have never met in your life...without them having to add you as a friend.  Also, you can create lists of people that you follow, if you only want to check out what certain people are saying.

I am also now using DailyMile.  It's a great, fairly new, site that allows you to track your daily fitness!  It's sort of like a facebook for athletes.  If you run, swim, bike or whatever, I encourage you to join...and add me as a friend! 

Part of what is great about dailymile is that friends can help motivate you, or keep you accountable to get your workouts in.
The more, the merrier!

A brand new site that is starting to gain in popularity is Foursquare.   When I first saw people posting tweets about foursquare, I was intrigued.  So, i went to the website and checked it out. 

Foursquare works with your mobile device's GPS.  If you have an iphone, Droid, etc. then it allows the phone to pick up where your current location is. 

When I first checked it out, i thought it was sort of pointless and decided not to use it.  However, when one of my friends sent me a friend request, I looked into it again...and then decided to give it a shot.

Now, I am hooked.  It is sort of a game.  Very fun and simple.  The more places you visit, the more points you get.  Also, you get to see what other people have visited the places that you like to visit (whether they are your 'friends' or not.) 

And if you visit a place more than anyone else, you become the 'Mayor' of that place.  Oohhhh.....

I encourage you all to join, because the more people who join, the more specials/deals that the establishments will offer.  Gotta love that, right?

Well, i have to say, I feel socially connected.  Online, of course...

Is there any site that you use that I am missing out on?  I might need to check it out.

Now i just need to find time to clear out my TiVo!

Monday, January 11, 2010

No wonder Triathlons are so hard...

Swimming is Rough!

This is going to be a lot of work...but I am ready for a new challenge!

As you all know, I enjoy running more than most things in this world.  After completing 2 Chicago Marathons now, as well as plenty of other races, I get quite the thrill when I am training for something. 

It keeps me focused, and keeps my head together.  It makes me happy and content...

However, I'm realizing that when I am not training for something, I tend to get a little 'down,' which makes the winter seem a LOT longer.

Two weekends ago, I was at home, lying on the couch like a slug with no intentions of getting up to do anything that day.  I was flipping through the channels on TV and came across the Universal Sports channel.  They were showing a marathon of the Ironman Triathlons from the past few years.  So, i stopped to watch.

I have always been a sucker for these, as I have watched them for many years, going back to when I was in grade school.  I always admired these people, but thought, 'there is no way in hell I would ever do one.'

As I was lying there on the couch watching some of the athletes' amazing stories, and then balling my eyes out as they crossed the finish line, I still thought to myself, 'Amazing for them...but that's too much work. I would never do one.'

But then something hit me...

I remember the feeling I had when I first decided to sign up for the Chicago Marathon when I was really only able to run about 6 miles at the most.  It seemed overwhelming, but I signed up anyway, hoping that I would be able to complete one. 

All of a sudden I had that same feeling.  Finishing a triathlon seems so out of reach, but why not just try?

Well, for one, I don't know how to swim!

But anyway... I got up off the couch immediately, (and set my TiVo to keep recording the rest of the Ironman marathon), packed up my swim trunks, stopped at Sports Authority to buy some goggles, and headed to the gym.

Now, I hadn't actually swam in years.  AND...I have never had formal swim training in my life.  What I know about swimming, I have taught myself from watching Michael Phelps or Summer Sanders through the years.

So I get to the gym, and luckily the pool was empty.  Phew...I didn't want to make a fool of myself!

I am ready to do my first lap.  I somehow manage to get to the end of the lane, and then I realize that this is going to be WAY harder than I thought!

I mean, i am not really out of shape, but i was winded!  After 25 meters, I was having trouble breathing! swim technique is bad.  I have a hard time kicking my legs correctly, and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack when I put my head under water!

"Paul, this was a dumb idea!", was all that I was hearing.

But I gave it another try.  I went back down the lane to where i started, rested for a couple of minutes, and then repeated this until I finally hit 300 meters. 

I hated every minute of it!

But...I still want to do this!  So, 4 swim sessions later, and after googling "swimming for beginners" multiple times,  I am starting to see small progress every time I get in the pool. 

I realize that it isn't meant to be easy! Then we ALL would be triathletes, right?

So yes...Swimming is one of the hardest things I have ever done!  I am going to continue to practice and hopefully with enough passing time, I will get to a point where it becomes much easier.

I know that many of you think I am crazy, but we just have different mindsets.  That's ok.  I am willing to appear a little 'out there' to you, because this is actually saving my life.

Please...if any of you have swimming technique tips, I would love to hear them! 

So, who knows...maybe I will do a triathlon one day.  Maybe even the big Ironman.  All I know is that it gives me something new to focus on.  It keeps my mind busy, and gives me a purpose.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Goals!

Happy 2010 to you all!

Although the new year started a few days ago, I'm pretty sure that most of you have decided to give yourself a few more days of debauchery, and will be starting your New Year's resolutions today! 

I can tell this by how empty my gym was over the weekend!  :)

So, here we are.  A new year.  Which means for some of us, a new outlook.

I've never really been one to measure my life by years, meaning I've never said, "2009 was awful.  I hope 2010 is awesome."  There were parts of 2009 that were awful, and parts of it that were awesome.  Therefore, I generally feel the same way about the turn of a new year.  It doesn't mean that I needed to wait until January 1st to begin making adjustments/changes.

But the symbolism of a new year is great.  It gives you that chance to begin anew.  A fresh start...

I hear some of my friends talk about their Resolutions for 2010, and the skeptic in me wants to say, "Yeah, right...I give that 2 weeks tops!", or "Why attempt something that we all know is NEVER going to happen...?"

But you know what...I love the optimism.  I love seeing that people have the WANT or the desire to make positive changes, and to become a better person, even if they don't follow through with it. 

It's nice to see that side of people.  So, for their sake I hope they succeed!  I hope you ALL succeed in your goals.

I wouldn't necessarily say that I have specific resolutions, but I do want to overall just become a better person.

At the risk of sounding like a cheesy self-improvement guru, I really want to focus on being more compassionate.  I want to love others with a more natural reaction, getting to a point where it is my natural instinct. 

I want to judge less. 
I want to 'feel' more.

I want to surround myself with good, like-minded, quality people. 

I want to become as healthy as I can...physically, mentally and emotionally.

I want to practice more humility.
I want to be more generous.
I want to be honest.

But most of all: 
I will let go of who I thought I was, to discover & embrace who I really am.

I wish all of you a VERY HAPPY 2010, filled with love, hope and many new friendships!