Monday, December 29, 2008

Sights and Sounds from the Holiday Maddness!

"With a gun stuck in your mouth and the barrel of the gun between your teeth, you can only talk in vowels."-excerpt from the novel 'Fight Club' by: Chuck Palahniuk

The holiday shopping season is finally over. The longer hours, the sore feet, the never ending stream of bitchy customers, is over.

By all reports on the news and online, America's retail sectors are down this year. I would like to contest any of those reports. I have been in the midst of the busiest shopping season to date in my eyes. The first half of the December the crowds were thin. 7 days before Christmas I would have told you that, yes, retail was down, but in the last 7 days leading up to Christmas, the crowds came, and they spent. My company's location that I work in did almost an entire month's worth of sales in 7 days.

That kind of volume makes you want to eat a bullet. Nothing can prepare you for being that busy.

"Money is not earned or won. It is just a mutual agreement to a change in perception." Dan T's Blackberry Messenger status message

One observation I have made this year, during this 'economic crisis' is that the over all mood of the people is poor. All day long they have to listen to the news reports telling us the economy is in the crapper, the stock markets have lost more points than it did during the Depression. The new President keeps telling us that we are facing the worst economic crisis since the Depression. It is no wonder why the people are depressed.

Now usually I am the biggest Grinch in America during the holidays, but this year, my mood seemed downright festive.

Despite this economic crisis the news said that retail sales were down, but I feel that people were still spending money, but you can tell that they just didn't want to let it go so easily. In my business there is a type of person that we do not like to see. That type of person is called, "Mr. and Mrs. Beeback".

Mr. and Mrs. Beeback represent a retail sales reps. worst fear. That they will come in, talk your ear off, and then think about it, and 'be back' later. All of our sales training that we have been put through is designed to close sales immediately, because we all know that Mr. and Mrs. Beeback are not coming back if they leave and if they do come back, they will either talk to your colleagues or go to a different store all together.

This year, Mr. and Mrs. Beeback actually came back. We kept very meticulous track of all the customers who said that they would be back, and we kept touching base with them. In a week most of out Mr. and Mrs. Beeback's had come back. Our sales went from being in the toilet to being up ahead of what we did last year. The economic crisis in my eyes, isn't the doomsday that the media is making it out to be. People are getting laid off but that is because the company they worked for made bad business decisions. The America auto maker put it eggs in the large SUV basket. They need to learn from it and move on. Pick up another skill. Its not always as easy as that, and I know people are hurting, but people are always going to be hurting. The broad strokes of the issue is not that people aren't hurting, but that people aren't hurting nearly as bad as the media would like us to think. Now in January; it might be a different story. That's when people will get the credit card bills.

"Damn my arm is killing me!" Me-after playing Wii until 4am
I was a part of a lot of other people's gifts to their loved ones this year. It is one thing to give a gift to another person, but the way in which you do it is what makes it all special.

How do you give a cell phone as a gift and make it all original. Many parents like to wrap up the phone in the box and call it. The ringing phone makes a noise, and the kids know what they got, and they tear into the package like a tiger to Roy's face.

This year I wanted to help people make giving a cell phone more fun. At this point calling the phone under the tree is old news. I tried to help people think of more creative ways to give gifts.

Here is a list of some of the ideas I came up with:

1. There is a very popular and very expensive phone that all the kids want. Because of the high demand for it, be had a ton of empty boxes for this phone. Parents were not buying the really expensive phone for the kids' first cell phone although they surely wanted it. So I would give them the expensive phone box and the parents would put the phone they really bought in it and wrap it up. Now many say, well you are just disappointing the kids. My retort is actually one a customer told me. "They can shut up, the phone they got was totally better than the one they had 5 minutes before opening that one."

2. Take the phone out of the box and place it in a much larger box labeled as something else.

3. This one I am particularly proud of. I had a customer who wanted to add on a new line for his girlfriend. He had to do it although he and his girlfriend were 'exploring their best options' with other carriers. He came in and picked out the phone and said he would call me to let me know when he was picking it up. He called me and said, I will be there today, but she is coming with me and she is going to want to talk to a sales rep.

We had to put on like we had never talked and they were a completely new customer. So he came up solo and said, we have 1o minutes before she gets here, so he bought the phone and put it in another bag he had already gotten from another store. He then walked away and said that he would be back.

So when they came back she was asking about phones and asked about plans. I basically sold her on the phone and accessories he just bought for her 15 minutes earlier, but lied and said the phone she wanted in the color she wanted didn't come out until January. She was excited and decided that they would come back after the new year.

Little did I know what he was going to do with the phone. He then took a photo of the engagement ring with the phone's camera and put it in the box.

She opened the phone, laughed, and when she turned it on, the engagement ring was the wallpaper of the phone and the banner read, 'Will you marry me?'.

She said yes and stopped back yesterday to tell me that I was a wonderful actor and he thanked me for all his help.

Its special moments like that; that can turn the crappiest most busy holiday season around. The acknowledgment of all my hard work from a customer is all I needed.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Talk about a crazy day!

I am currently sitting in a very very noisy party where I know absolutely no one but my wife and another friend of mine, Char and the host.

Right now Journey is playing very loudly on a an old school hi-fi system. You know the one that Patrick Bateman (played like a genius by Christian Bale) had in the movie American Psycho. Along with the loud music comes a lot of very drunk people attempting to dance.
[note to self: next time I am drunk, stay put in a seat. I can now see what everyone else sees when I drunk dance.]

Oh God, they started singing! Shoot me now!

I am huddled in a corner with my BlackBerry punching out this blog.

[wife just walked through the room 'dancing and singing' Journey is over, on to Abba's Dancing Queen]

The story of why I am here requires a story.

Today was a very busy Saturday. Retail this time of year is crazy, but today was the busiest day of the season by far! So I need to give you background. I sell mobile communication devices. More specifically I am a sales supervisor. So I manage a small staff in a mall kiosk.

[I am now in the car driving home. Thank God-]

In my industry there are 2 things that analysts use to judge success. New subscribers and Churn. New subscribers are a given, pretty self explanatory. Churn is just jargon for the rate in which current customers leave our company. Now Churn isn't something I can measure on a day to day basis. So when we set our goals, we only have new subscribers in mind. Don't get me wrong, current customers count too, but let's face it, growth is the name of the game. Keep the customers you have and attract new ones too. In this economy, if you can show growth, you are a part of a successful company.

With that being said, let me give you an idea of how busy it was today. On a typical Saturday, outside of the holidays, getting 6 new subscribers is a great day. During the holidays getting 10 new subscribers is great. Well today we added 23 new subscribers. It was so busy I didn't have time to think.

Its just one of those days where you just hold on for your life and wait for it to be over.

[I'm home now]

So I got to work about 12:30pm and left work about 11:30pm. 11 hours, a long day no matter how busy, but add 130% more customer traffic and you have a very busy day. Oh, yeah, almost forgot, I was up at 6am with my daughter and her friend. 6 year old sleep overs are not for the faint of heart. So, I've been up for a while. [I cooked Audrey and company pancakes. They rocked if I must say so myself!]

About 10:30 my wife tells me that she is going to a Christmas party and would like me to come along. Reluctantly I accept and when I leave work I go to this party. I trek halfway across the state, or so it feels.

Now this party is being thrown by a friend of ours, a common pleas judge for a neighboring city. To say this guy throws one hell of a party in an understatement. I walk into this house looking for my wife. She was no where to be found. Wading through the crowd felt like I was in a movie. Think Can't Hardly Wait, but with older, more drunk people, and what they were getting drunk on was not cheap keg beer. Most of these people make a decent amount of money. These people work hard, and my god they play hard. I knew the host, and 2 other people. I was not having fun. When one arrives to a party as late as I did, its like coming into a child birth to watch the placenta hit the floor. The beautiful part is over, now all that is left is sloppy seconds.

So now that its nearly 2am, its time to end my day and go to bed!
The only great thing about busy days are that I get paid on commission. Let the crowds come!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

At the end of a long day

This weekend in retail is what we insiders call the 'mad dash'. It's when last minute shoppers run to the mall and shop and shop and shop and shop. The weekend before Christmas is historically worse than Black Friday. The volume is higher, the hours are typically longer, and the deals this year seem to be better.

Retail this time of year is the equivalent to 14 hour shifts at the plant. I am one of the fortunate that was blessed with the ability to bullshit, so I make a great salesman. My Grandfather, Father, and anyone before me in my family had to work. I don't have to work. I mean I go to work, but I get paid to talk all day. I get paid to tell people what they want. How awesome is America?

Well today was a pretty long day. I worked from 1pm to 11:3opm tonight, and I am beat. Not as much as the wife is right now. I came home and I find my 6 year old passed out on the couch, my daughter's friend sitting on the couch disappointed that her hostess couldn't hang much past 10pm, my dog running around the house all freaked out, and my wife is sitting the chair worn ragged from the kids and dog. This is Audrey's first sleep over, so the wife wasn't sure what to expect. I think she bit off more than she could chew. The next one, I don't think I am going to be allowed to work.

Of all the times I wish I had a camera ready, it would have been tonight when I got home to capture that scene. I wish I could have gotten it, but you win some and you lose some.

After changing into some comfy clothes, putting Audrey and her friend to bed, I poured myself a drink. Isn't always nice at the end of a long day, to have that one drink you always love?

Bourbon and water is my poison. I am pretty sure my wife needed it more than I. I'm sure if she could have found the corkscrew, the case of wine we just bought would have been gone.

**of you hadn't noticed I added a FaceBook badge to my FaceBook page. Feel free to add me**

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things In Life.

I am sitting at home watching House on USA, and I am reading and writing a lot.

This evening I have managed to read 15 different blogs, comment most of them, send an e-mail to the author of one blog of note, and update my FaceBook page. I subscribed to 2 new blogs of the 15 I have read.

I have decided what I am. I am a voyeur. I love to watch people. I guess reading all the blogs of note is the internet equivalent to sitting in a dark room with a long lens snapping photos for my own sick perversion. I like to see what other people think about their surroundings.

I have no idea where I was going with this, and I will retreat back into my blog reading.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Who Throws A Shoe?

At the end of my post titled 'LZ Cheer' I promised that there would be photos of Audrey's "war".  Well I am sorry to say that something has happened in the news that cannot go un-commented by me.  

So you have heard that our President of the United States had a shoe thrown at him during a news conference in Iraq.  

Just to fill you in on the details, an Iraqi journalist is a bit pissed off that Bush came in and turned its country on its head.  Never mind that we unseated a tyrant dictator that more than likely made his mother and father gargle his mayonnaise and then was unmercifully killed execution style and then placed in an unmarked grave with about 1,000 other anonymous innocent people.  

Let's assume for a minute that this citizen of Iraq is justified in feeling that America is evil.  Let's assume he is telling the truth when he says we went to war with bad intelligence.  Why would you throw a shoe?  Really?  Isn't that a pretty chick move.  For a culture who is all about the man, and all about suppressing the women, this journalist did the equivalent of a women throwing her high heels at her husband who pissed her off.  

I have some advice for the people of Iraq.  Right now you are the face of the Arab world.  You guys feel that America thinks that your culture and blood are cheap.  You feel that America is the land of supreme evil because we are not a culture ruled by religion.  You are right, religion is not the center of our government.  You are wrong when we think that your blood and culture is cheap.  You have to somehow understand a majority of American's positions on the Arab world.  In the last 20 years there have been numerous terrorist attacks on innocent people.  I am not one to say America is not guilty in this, because Americans overseas in foreign country's make mistakes, but they are not random acts of terror.  We are not targeting the innocent civilians, we are targeting those who continue to undermine the progress of the Arab community.  Do I think America went to war with best intentions?  Yes.  Do I think that now that we realized our intelligence was bad we should get out?  No.  We created a huge mess, and now we need to clean up that mess.  I do feel that American forces need to take more of a back seat.  The reason your police forces are being targeted is because they are backed up by American forces.  So if we used the Segment Addition Postulation, the A= America B=American Forces and C=Iraqi Police then ab+bc=ac.  That means America multiplied by the American Military plus the American Military multiplied by the Iraqi Police equals America is the Iraqi police.  

I think that makes sense.  

So that is why Iraq is so upset.  I am a genius.  

So my advice to Iraq, which is a point I started before but got off on a tangent, don't throw shoes.  It solidifies the position of what you think America thinks of Iraq; that Iraqi people are a bunch of little bitches.  

P.S.- Had this journalist thrown a shoe a Saddam Hussein, he would have been tortured and executed.  Instead, he's being ruffed up a bit, and he will live through it.  You're welcome Mr. Iraqi Journalist.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why the UAW and Organized Religion is bad

It's no secret that the economy is in the crapper. Our stock markets are crashing, banks are being bought and sold much like they are for sale on eBay, the retail sales this Christmas are down, and realty stocks are rising while prices are falling.

Another tragic story of this economic downturn is the American Auto Maker. The American Automakers, GM, Chrysler, and Ford [read: Big 3] are petitioning the government for a bailout. They want the America taxpayer to bailout their company in order to stay afloat. To an extent I agree that yes, they need a bailout because the results of any one of these automakers going out of business would be disastrous for our country, and economy.

Late last night the Bill that was passed in the House went over to the Senate. They Senate voted the bill down by a resounding majority. The United Auto Workers (UAW) refused to budge on their position the lower wages to bring them in line with other auto manufacturers (Toyota, Honda) that are building cars on American soil. The UAW flat out refused to make that concession. They knew that they had to make concessions, but they did not want to make that one.

Let's get a little lesson in facts. It is a fact that most of the cars made by the Big 3 are made in Mexico. There are plants in America which are mainly component plants. I know the Chevy Cobalt and the Pontiac G6 are made in Lordstown, Ohio but the majority of their parts, and manufacturing are done outside America. Honda and Toyota [read: profitable 2] make their vehicles for America, in America. They have the leading hybrid technology and they have a more profitable business model. For the most part, the UAW haven't infiltrated the upper echelons of the company and re-molded it to their liking. The UAW has been driving the prices up on the Big 3 for years, and to keep their non-profitable gas guzzling cars coming off the assembly lines, they approve and agree to higher pay with each and every contract, because if they don't the UAW will pout like 3 year olds and strike (temper tantrum) until they get their way. The profitable 2 have lower wages, but they aren't petitioning our government for more money either.

GM hasn't out sold Toyota for almost 2 years, but you have to think, if GM out sells Toyota, that is like the 6th grade bully beating the crap out of a kindergartener. Toyota has 1 major brand, Toyota. They have Lexus too, but for the most part, people are buying Toyotas. GM on the otherhand has, Chevy, Pontiac, Buick, Saturn, Cadillac, and Hummer. Yeah, they have 6 major brands against Toyota's 2 maybe 3 if you include Scion. So to say Toyota out sold GM is a major thing.

So the UAW says no way to a wage cut to keep the employer of their members open, they may force the Big 3 into bankruptcy. So they would rather tell their members to hold out for more money, than to guarantee their pay checks. So why are the members of the UAW even paying their leadership?

This brings me to my next point. The economy is in the crapper and many people are pinching pennies and trying to make ends me. I am no exception. A situation has come up where Audrey's tuition for private Catholic school may be in jeopardy. Slumping economy and things of this nature, has forced my ex-wife to use the money she would normally reserve for Audrey's school, to pay bills to keep the lights on.

We had a discussion, so we decided to go to the parish and ask for assistence. Figured if we explained our situation to Father, he would understand and help with some sort of assistence. We weren't asking for a reduced rate, but a special payment plan or something. These were Christian people so why wouldn't they help.

Instead of empathizing they chastized my ex and made her feel like less of a human. If she wasn't able to pay, then Audrey could no longer go to school at St. Mary's. They didn't stop and think about what it could do to Audrey's psyche or what it would do to her further development as a Catholic. They just cared about the all mighty dollar.

I have been searching for a place of worship for sometime now. Everytime I walk into a Church i I feel like they are selling me on why I should come there and because the Bible tell us so, pay them 10% of what I earn. Yes the Bible says to need to give 10%, but no where does it say that it has to be money to a church. It says give 10% to God, so what you do with your hard earned money it never says give it to a guy in a robe at a Church. How ever you choose to remit your 10% to God is between you and God.

All organized religions are the same. They don't care about the Christianity of the matter, they care about how they are going to continue to get your money.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LZ Cheer

The air had a bit of a chill in it tonight. It has been raining all day and now into the evening it was turning into snow.

I am sitting on the bleachers on Audrey's cheer practice doing what I do best. Staying quiet and passing judgment.

Cheer practice has become modern warfare in my eyes. The war paint of a cheer leader is not camouflage, but blue glitter. The uniform is not jungle stripes, but a mixture of tailored polyester and other synthetic fabrics. The weapon is not an M-16 but the tooth less smiles of 6 year olds. The more obnoxious the better.

The modern day Huey helicopter is a late model minivan with dual sliding doors.

Today against the cloudy night sky, I parked my car and Audrey climbed out and ran into practice. We were late.

I took my time coming in. I was on a phone call and didn't want the loud music of cheer practice to hinder my ability to communicate.

I hung up the phone and placed my phone back into my pocket and I could hear the faint thumping in the air. I felt like the Vietcong hearing their demise from a H-1 Huey Gun ship filled with highly trained US Army personnel from the 2nd Calvary. The thumping grew louder.

From around the corner came a Chrysler Town & Country. It sped into the parking lot and stopped short in front of the door. The side doors flung open and 8 kids jumped out. The van closed up again and it was gone. The thumping was not of rotor blades, but the massive bass hits of Miley Cyrus.

The whole move had as much precision as Navy SEAL insertion.

I am completely baffled by this whole ordeal. Today is dress rehearsal day. The Cheer Snobs are out in force. They are all criticing their own daughters performance. Who is hurting the team, and who is helping. Of course it doesn't matter that their daughter has been messing up all practice, they are all convinced of their daughters infallible talent.

Audrey's first competition [read: war] is coming up this Saturday. I will have photos no doubt.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

You're old, sorry, I don't speak your language!

Well its an early Saturday morning in retail. The malls open a whole hour earlier, so that means the customary mall walkers are out a whole hour earlier. I don't know what it is, but everyone is so grumpy. I have been working for a whole hour and I have already been yelled at by a potential customer because I didn't have any printed literature about a product.

This customer got under my skin in particular because he wanted to know what was new. I show him. He seems interested in what I have to say. He asks if I had anything he could take with him. Well no, we keep all the information on our products online, and I gave him the address. I offer to write it down. He looked at me with such contempt, you would have thought I showed him a video of his wife with a huge black guy named Tiny. He started into me with, you people need to keep the older customer in mind when you are trying to sell us things. Now mind you, this guy couldn't have been a day over 50.

I asked this dude, what he meant. He said that he has been to our website and he is more confused now than he has ever been. He said he came into see me today because he wanted to walk away with something he could read. I asked him what kinds of problems he was having with the website.

He said that every time we sell something to him we assume he knows how to get on the internet.
I can appreciate someone not knowing how to use the internet. I can appreciate someone coming into my store to ask me questions. What I don't appreciate you talking down to me like I am stupid.

Ok I get it. I work in retail. I am somehow less of a human being for enjoying my job, and because you are off on weekends that makes you better than me. And excuse me for assuming you look younger than you are and speaking to you like an adult instead of a child which is what a lot of young people do when they speak to people of your age group. I am not stupid, and when I try and help you understand why we do things the way we do, don't look at me like I am feeding you a line of crap to shut you up.

Now because I can't retort to you in person, here is my retort to you.

You, Mr. Old guy, are the reason this country is in the disastrous downturn it is in. Because of your lack of adaptation and refusal to learn about new technology, is the reason that you still get a paper check for social security. If you got direct deposit it would save ME, the taxpayer millions of dollars in postage. But no, because you were not able to save properly while you were in the work force, you are dependent on the money I pay into the social security system, and when it comes time for me to use that same system that is keeping the roof over your head, there will be none for me. So when you come into my place of work and chastise me for assuming you are smarter than you really are, you need to remember that I and the rest of my generation are paying your bills. Furthermore, if you can't figure out how to type in a question into a search engine, you shouldn't have a computer anyway, let alone looking at a product that will give you that technology in the palm of your hand. So I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart for assuming you know something that you obviously know nothing about. I tried to show you, but your Ben Gay was starting to wear off so you had to leave. So leave. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Drive Safe, but not like my wife

The title is just a little jab at my wife.

Before I get into the meat of my blog, let me first wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. How great of a country we have. We dedicate an entire day to gluttony.

God Bless America!

Now, back to the blog at hand.

As mentioned before in the beginning of the blog, Thanksgiving is here. Like most people, Jenn and I decided to take the family to Kentucky to see Jenn's family. Its the first time I am going to experience Thanksgiving in Kentucky. Well last night Jenn, Audrey, Freckles, and I packed into our cars and headed down OH-301 to start our drive to Kentucky. We had to take 2 cars. If you need to ask why, [see also: I Hate the Holidays].

Well I was driving ahead of Jenn and it was snowing. Snow + Country Road = adult version of slip and slide. As Jenn was driving she hit a patch of ice and slid off the road into a ditch. [see the photo on blog. Don't know where it will be because when I send blogs from my BlackBerry I have no say as to where it is placed].

We sat there for close to 90 minutes for a tow truck to come pull is out. By 11pm we were on a dry highway well on our way to Kentucky.

Now my blog today is serving 2 purposes.

1. To inform you of the adventure that has transpired.
2. To create a platform to make fun of my wife for a little bit.

Now, onto making fun of Jenn.

Yeah as her car was sitting in a ditch and the adrenaline wore off a bit, I decided to get out of my car and walk up to Jenn's car and let her know that she NEVER allowed to tell me how to drive EVER again. She said that she is a safe driver and that she didn't wreck the car so I can't say that.
I retorted, that's true, but then again, my car isn't sitting in a ditch.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I hate the holidays!

I'm going to try and write this without spewing profanity, but I apologize in advance if I slip up a bit.

Its the holidays and forgive me for being the Grinch, but I say the month of December should not exist. Again, this is coming from a cynical retail employee in the midst of a holiday rush. I am actually writing this on my Blackberry during a quick break.

I just experienced a smart ass customer. I know that people out there view retail sales employees as slimy, crooked, and stupid. Unless you live under a rock, you will know that my employer launched a new product that rivals another competitors product. The only real similarity that my product has and my competitors product has is; the touch screen. That is where the similarities end.

Understandably I'm going to try and sell you one.

I can get into debates all day long about how my product is better and far more superior, but that's a boring argument. I will win every time.

What makes me even more mad is that people have totally unreal expectations.

For instance:
I happen to be standing next to our new product and see a customer getting frustrated with it. He said that the product is just not intuitive enough. It doesn't move as fast as it does in the commercials.

Well duh! Nothing ever is the same as it is in the commercial. My audi doesn't do jack knife reversal moves right off the lot. Should it? It did it in the commercial. But I don't know how to do it, so therefore my car won't do it.

This isn't the Matrix. I am not going to learn something just by watching the commercial or loading a program into the port on the back of my head. I have to spend time learning it.

So when you walk up to a display and start pushing buttons on a screen like court reporter trying to document a boxing fight, no, it isn't going to work like the commercial because the guy in the commercial isn't a screen molesting jerk. He is pushing a button, waiting for the product to respond, like you should in real life.

If you walk up to my sales floor and you tell me that you are a customer and tell me you don't like the new product, that's fine. If you want it to be like a competitors product, then just go buy the competing product. I will not tell you what you want to hear just to make the sale. I will be honest with you and tell you that it has its limitations. It isn't Jesus. It won't turn water into wine. Just by touching my product you can tell that it isn't as intuitive huh? What if I made snap judgments about you? I will walk up to you and touch you, then procede to tell you that you aren't as intuitive as your commercial. Let me do what I do best and walk you through how everything works first before you snap judgment on it. I'm the professional, not you. I'm trying to show this product and help you gauge how this works in real life. You, just touching it and beating it up like an economy class rental car isn't going help you figure anything out. Its like beating your wife and expecting her not to leave you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This one is short

It is snowing.

I have to walk to the dog this morning. I'm not exciting.

Mother Nature is cruel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Not sure how I feel

I have been quiet all day. I feel like I have been at a party all night and am working off a hangover. Its like I'm unsure how I feel about the random girl in bed with me, meaning, I'm not sure how I feel about this election.

Obama won. I can't change that. So I have come to the conclusion that I either have to embrace the change or fight it. Fighting it will not help anyone. It will not change the fact that Obama is going to be the President.

I need to be optimistic about this. My sister-in-law said it best. Obama could be the best president in the universe. My older brother took a More pessimistic view. Obama will be lucky to make it to January 20th, which is his inauguration date.

My hope is that Obama keeps his views somewhat centered. I think even he might be a little afraid of having a super majority in the government, and I'm sure he will keep the leftist views centered.

I know blacks, gays, and the poor are happy about this change. What is even more strange is that young professionals are happy about this change, which makes me believe that this change could be what the country could need. I am not going to jump on the Obama support train, but I will not discredit what he has to say just because he doesn't hold all my views. I must remain skeptical.

I am happy to see this change, and I believe in this country to take back the power it gives, if they feel that it isn't serving them.

The democrats have the ball. They are either going to fix this crisis, or they or going to make it worse. They will have the glory, and must share the failure if it comes to that.

I do not feel Obama is going to give us a tax cut. It doesn't add up. You can cut taxes and pay for a $700 billion bail out, on top of Nancy Pelosi's economic stimulus plan totalling $150 million.

Obama can't cut taxes for 95% of the people when only 65% of the country pay taxes.

Nonetheless, Obama can rally people behind a cause that I agree with. Help America.

The 44th President of The United States..... not a Republican named John McCain.

I was up late last night. A lot later than I had anticipated. I was not expecting this election to be the seemingly landslide victory that it turned out to be.

Now I am not going to punch out a blog damning the diligent voters of America. I want to congratulate them. Congratulations on a successful election. I won't lie, my guy didn't win. But it is what it is. The American public voted, and in record numbers, and they elected Obama.

Now I have been sitting up all morning watching the news and all the pundits are saying that America is tired of the Bush administration and its failed economic policy. The pundits are saying that America is tired of the failed foreign policy. Now that Obama is President Elect, I can finally say that they are true.

Now that the Bush Era is coming to a close, I don't think his Administration was a total failure. During the Bush Administration, we saw the worst attack on America besides Pearl Harbor. We haven't seen one since. During the Bush Administration, every tax payer received a check from the government on top of their regular refund called a tax rebate. During the Bush Administration we invaded a country, disposed of a tyrant dictator, and are helping to set up a Democracy, albeit under false pretenses, but nonetheless it was done, and instead of cutting our losses and running, we stayed the course and are helping the fledgling government get on its feet so that we can one day leave their country.

The Obama Era is beginning. Obama was able to energize a people to vote, and vote they did. Now that Obama has made it all the way to the White House, I would love for him to renounce any party ties and have an objective view.

It is one thing to have liberal views because you have them, it is quite another to have party ties. Now every move he makes is tainted with the thought that he is being controled by a political party, instead of being an independent thinker. I would ask the same thing of John McCain.

The Republican party is now dead for now. They need to dissolve and when Obama dinounces his ties to the Democrats, that party will be dead too and we will now have a government run by a person who is in it for America and not his political party.

Thank you America for voting.

I hope America made the right decision.

Thank-you Lance for the picture from your blog.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Edition

No, its not Bobby Brown and company.

Jenn and I decided to get a dog. We were so excited to welcome Freckles into our home.

You can also check out my new blog, Life With Our Dog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vote. Its your right. Not a priviledge.

Over the past week there have been a number of attacks on Democratic Nominee Obama. Some of these attacks have come from the mobs at the McCain-Palin rallies. In the last debate Obama attempted to say that these attacks were nothing but a smear campaign, by McCain to try and discredit the American people. McCain says that its absurd, and Obama insists that McCain has done nothing to stop this kind of outbursts from the crowds at his rallies.

I would like to say on record that Obama is not only mistaken, but also so misinformed. Obama said that McCain has perpetuated all these attacks. I would like to say that it is false and here is a video to prove it. This was broadcast on CNN 5 days before the last debate.

I understand that there are a lot of Americans out there that are scared to have Obama as a president. I get that, and be scared, but don't let your emotions get the best of you. Do not call him a terrorist because his 'blood lines' say he is. These claims are absurd.

If you don't like Obama you need a better reason why. There are so many reasons not to like each candidate. For instance. If you want to reduce America to the USSR, then vote for Obama. If you want the debt to grow, then vote for Obama [Give a tax cut to 95% of the population and raise taxes on the other 5% all the while you plan to increase].

I don't agree with Obama's views for many reasons. The first and foremost reason is because his tax plan says that he is going to give a tax hike to those who make $250,000+ a year, and cut taxes that are making anything less than $250,000. His tax hike will effect 5% of the total population of America. His tax cuts would benefit 95% of the Americans.

His reasons are to "...share the wealth."-Obama 10/15/2008 during the Presidential Debates.

I don't agree that I need to share my wealth with any one but my family. There are some fanatics of Obama that ask me why I even bring that up as a point because I don't make $250,000 a year, and because I don't make that much, I shouldn't care.

You're right. I don't make $250,000 a year, but I aspire to. I already think like I have that kind of income. I want to have that kind of money, and when I get there, I don't think anyone needs to stick their hands in my pockets and take what I have worked so hard to earn. I don't care if its the government, I don't care if its my daughter. My money is my money. I will pay income taxes, just like everyone else in this country. If we are all taxed at the same rate, then we will ALL feel the same pain, relative to what our income is. If you make $10,000 a year, and you are taxed at 2% of what you make, then you pay $200 in income tax. If I make $100,000 and I am taxed at 2% of what I make, then I pay $2000. Its simple math. They take 2% of what you make, and they take 2% of what I make. If the country had 100,000 people in it and let's just say for the sake of simple math that 95% made $10,000 and 5% made $100,000 then the total amount of money the population would make is $1.45 billion. The government's share of that would be $200 million. $190 million would come from 95% of the population and $10 million would come from 5% of the population.

Wait does that seem fair? There is 5% of the economy contributing 5% of the total revenue for the government. Why should the poor people have to front more money?

The reason the poor should front the most is because there are more poor people. The only way to split the math 50% is to cut taxes for the low income, and raise taxes for the high, but why should the poor pay less money for a system they are using more than the more wealthy?

If we are to look at the whole picture, the people using the system are those who are in need. That's great, we have a great country who loves its constituents. But why are the people using all the great programs we have, if they are not paying to use them. I can't get on a city bus unless I pay for it. If we are to use this logic, take from the rich and give to the poor, then what incentive does the poor person have to go out and get a better job? What motivation do they have to get an education to get a better job or even try and raise their standards of living? There isn't. Its the same logic that is in the child support system. If the person paying child support in the current system gets a raise, they have to tell the child support board, but if the person receiving the child support gets a raise, then its ok, mums the word. The person paying gets a child support increase, and the person receiving gets their raise and the raise of the person paying the support order. Is that fair?

I don't agree with that at all. If we cut taxes for the poor, then the rich need a break too.

You may not agree and that is fine. But once the government tries to get the people of America all on the same level playing field, then we will slip into socialism, and then welcome back USSR! Look how that ended. They tore down a wall and built a Starbucks, and they haven't been able to recover since. Their dollar is weak, their government is a shell of what it once was and Red Square is not a large tourist spot. I remember the KGB being some bad asses. Now where are they? Nowhere. They are consultants on the Bourne Series.

I am not saying vote for McCain. I am saying, before you get into who ever you are going to get into, learn the issues, look at the big picture. Don't go to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or even CBS. Jump on your candidates website and learn what they stand for. Be an educated voter, rather than a blind sheep going into the wolf's den.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Something worse than........

There is nothing in this world that says, suburbia than a mini-van full of kids and a bag full of soccer equipment. Soccer Mom's and Dad's are all the rage these days. They are getting all the credit for being over reactive, snooty, and even rich and arrogant.

I have found yet an new class of snob. defines snob as:

1.a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
2.a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

When you read Soccer Mom or Soccer Dad, read, Soccer Snob. Its unisex. This word doesn't discriminate.

Every Wednesday I take my daughter to cheer practice. I have heard my wife, my wife's friends, and even my ex-wife talk about the Cheer Mom's. Now there are not a lot of Cheer Dad's. The Cheer Dad's that are there, like myself, are just quiet because getting on a Cheer Mom's bad side, is much like throwing yourself on a grenade to save al-Queda. But I keep hearing Cheer Mom's this and Cheer Mom's that. I think it is time to tell the world what the dark under belly of competition cheerleading is.

I have come to reduce being a Cheer Mom is the realization that you have 3 kids, have a husband who makes a little money, and used to be the hottest thing in high school/college. You used to be on the cheer squad, get all the hot football players, and somewhere after the freshman 15 and then the mommy pouch 30, you lost that look, and your hot football player boyfriend turned into the couch potato husband who drinks a 6 pack a day and can't keep it up to get you off anymore, and then to capture the magic of yester-year, you push you young daughter into the world of competition cheerleading, so she can somehow live the life you haven't lived. The purpose for Cheer Mom is to live through their child.

Today at cheer practice I have learned that Cheer Mom's are the nastiest things in this world. I sat in the bleachers at practice with the other Cheer Mom' for the first time, ever. They didn't know who I was, but I knew who they were. I knew that mommy #1 in the corner with the muffin top is in the mom of the nice talented girl in the front row. I knew that mommy #2 with the laptop and the Mercedes out front, is the adopted mother of the only black girls on my daughter's team. These ladies, didn't know me. If they knew me, they didn't talk to me.

I sat in the back row and observed the practice. It was pretty rough. The girls didn't know the routine and were making simple mistakes. The mom's would watch and try and coach their respective kids via hand signals and head nods. I did nothing to help my daughter. She didn't need to be looking at me to learn, she needs to look to the coach. Now my daughter was making a lot of mistakes, but was not the only one making mistakes. Everytime my daughter made a mistake, the mom's would talk. I couldn't hear them so I sat closer. Now that I could hear, it was clear they were not happy with the progress of my daughter's skills. Now when it comes to my daughter, I get a little defensive.

I reserved space in my blog for my response because I lack the balls, and have a conscience about the attitudes of adults infront of children to say what I really feel at practice.

Hey fat ugly has been sitting on the bench. Shut the fuck up! You and your nice car, nice hair cut, but fat ass muffin top need to take you and your attitude and shove it up your ass. You sit here all high and mighty talking about how MY daughter's mistakes, but you overlook the mistakes of your flesh and blood. You are not in high school and if you were any good at being a cheerleader, then you would still be doung it, but your not. You are sitting on your ass at home day in and day out, washing the socks of your fat and lazy husband, and you're miserable. Don't take your frustrations at your failure in life our on my daughter. Take you and your opinions and get a fucking job and contribute to this economy because you are the reason we are in this recession!

Whew, I feel better. Stupid bitches.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unformated, Stream of Consciousness Rambling

I type this from the business center in a Courtyard Marriott in Dublin, Ohio.  I have to mention that because who ever monitors this computer for them might get mad that I have monopolized this computer for too long and I have to give them a mention so I can continue to type.
I am in Dublin on business.  I am away from my family, friends, and comfortable home.  The Marriott (keep me plugged in) is not a bad place to spend your days, but I always miss home. 
The business I have in Dublin is training for the position I hold.  I am, for lack of a better word, a middle manager.  I am not a high level executive, nor am I just a sales rep.  I am in the gray area, where I have the responsibility to grow sales numbers as a person, and also as a team.  Before I get off track, I am here to learn how my Multi-Billion dollar company wants me to train the employees that work under my direction.  I am also here to learn how the business works and more specifically, how our company is different than the competition in the way we decide to conduct business.
Today was the first time I learned something new in a training class.
Today I learned that our CEO, wants us(read: every single person who works for the company) to be business people first, and sales people second.  He wants us to see that big picture.  He wants us to see where our money comes from, what we do with our money, and why we do it. 
The bottom line in business is always money.  The more you have, the more stability you have.  The more stability you have, the more control you have over growth. 
Now I am not an expert in business by any means.  I am just a humble pawn in a very very large game of chess.
I am energized by this class, and makes me want to put together the mechanism for a successful business for myself.
--switch gears for a second--
The economy.
This financial crisis has us all in a worry.  I used to think that this crisis did not affect me.  I thought it only affected Wall St. and very, already, rich CEO's.  I am finding more and more that this crisis affects me a lot. 
I am trying to secure financing for my condo.  My credit is just ok, and my income is just ok.  When it comes to a bank to loan me money, with this credit crunch, they are going back to make sure I am going to pay it.  I have money in the bank, but they want to know where that money came from.  I have defaulted judgements, and they want to know why they defaulted.  They want bank statements, W-2's tax returns, and verification that I have a job. 
This doesn't sound different from before the crisis?  They wanted all this stuff?  Yes.  But what banks were doing was accepting other forms, like plan B documents.  Can't get a canceled check for that deposit?  Fine, then we can take the statement saying it cleared your bank. 
Unfortunately now that they are really strict, this makes my situation even harder.  I have to get all this, what I think is stupid stuff, and give it to them, for them to give me money.  I meet all the criteria for the loan, but they just want to know how I got to this point.  Awesome.  The bank just wants the loans they give back.  But when did it start to feel like the Spanish Inquisition? 
--switch the subject again--
The debates last night did nothing to help me solidify my decision for president.  Through the debates I only heard McCain talk about challenging his own party, and Barack only blame the Bush Administration for the problems we face today.  The both of them were asked to outline the plans they have.  Neither candidate did.  I didn't hear Barack tell the audience that his action plan to fix health care was to do "x,y,z."  I heard, "Health care is something that is important to all Americans.  I feel that insurance companies should cover pre-existing condition's, and that everyone should have Health Care.  I feel that Americans have the right to choose who provides them Health Care."  That's really great Obama, but I see your vision, but what I don't see is your steps to get there, so your vision means shit to my investment dollars.  Unless I get a return on my investment, take your vision and shove it up your ass. 
Tom Brokaw asked a direct question to each candidate about who they feel would be their Treasury Secretary.  John McCain was the only person who gave names.  Obama did not.  Obama said that Warren Buffett would be great, then he went off and said that the Bush administration is to blame for our hard times. 
So based on what little I know about their plans, they both suck.
--full circle--
After taking this class, it gave me the big picture on government, business, and finances. 
If we were keeping track of our budget, then we need to see America's financial statements.  We, as American Citizens, need to view the statement of our government and give it a good look over.  I want to call the IRS and ask to see the last 2 years of Annual Reports for America.  I bet you they would never give me that information. 
I want to see how much America is bringing in with TAX dollars, and how much it is making in investments.  I want to see what I can do to help our economy.  I don't want to be told what I have to do, I want to find out for myself.  I want to take the control of our money out of the hands of my government, and into the hands of me. 
Why do we put the trust of our money into the hands of those who are not educated about economics.  If we are just going to give it to someone who has a degree is politics, then I would rather I take the Budget of America to my accountant and have him look it over. 
Let's take a look at the cash flow statements, balance sheets, and profit/loss statements.  I can tell you that if more Americans learned how to read those kinds of documents, like I learned today, we wouldn't be where we are today.  But government seems to be in the business of keeping us stupid and in the dark.  It seems like it is in the business of telling us what is a good investment and a bad investment. 
I just want to know where my money is going so I can call my representative and tell him how I feel.  I want to become part of the process.  I never had a member of Congress how I felt about anything.  Even if he did ask me about a program he wants to support, I wouldn't know about it. 
I need to stop being so ignorant!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mom, Dad, I got you a gift, its called 5 to 10. Merry Christmas!

Driving Audrey to school this morning I was listening to Q104. Today a story broke in Garfield Hts, Ohio regarding a weapon, a student, and a locker. There was a note, phone call, and what some parents call a lack of response.

It goes without saying that firearms at school will get a response out of the general public. When you mix that with a suburban school district where there are stay at home mothers, a response is like breathing.

The first caller was a parent of a child in that school. She said she got a phone call saying an incident happened and to expect a note. She liked that. Her voice went to nagging stay at home mom mode when she said the school didn't do enough. The school has a responsibility to keep out kids safe, the school has to do this and that. I wanted to drive my car into the ditch just to shut her up.

The administrators are trained to handle this situation, we are not. I would give this woman more credibility if she said she was a police officer, or even a hall monitor, but she isn't. She is a stay at home mother with nothing better to do than second guess people from the arm chair of her over sized SUV.

No one got shot at this school. A gun was found, in a locker, not loaded. The student was arrested, no ammunition was found, and life goes on. Is it serious a gun was found at school? Absolutely. But to sit around and say the school didn't do enough is absurd. Your children don't have bullets in them, so sit back and take a deep breath.

Now the parents of this gun toting child need to be detained. They have a responsibility to know what their kids are up to. Parents need to be the proverbial CIA to their kids.

There are tons of parents who are not involved with what their kids are doing and it drives me nuts. If my daughter even had the opportunity to touch a gun, what would go through her head is, what is Dad going to do if he finds out? It isn't going to be, wonder if I will go to jail. My reaction should be enough to detour her.

I work in retail. I see little brats all day who think they are entitled to whatever their little heart desires. They talk to their parents with such disdain that its hard not to correct them and tell them that they need to show some respect. What drives me even more nuts are the parents who allow their kids to act like this in public.

There are a lot of parents who let their kids talk to them with a sharp tongue, but if I would talk to them that way, they would get all bent out of shape.

Personally, I loved it when parents were fined for their kids skipping schools a few years ago!

I think if a child brings a gun to school, first thing that should happen is arrest the child and parents. If the child is found guilty, then so should the parents, unless this child got this gun somewhere the parents supervision wasn't there. If the parents supervision isn't there, the adult who was present at the time goes to jail. This will account for kids going to a friends house and taking their friend's stuff.

Hold the parents accountable! Stop second guessing your schools administrators.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hope your broker's plan B isn't to jump out the window

There are 2 reasons for this blog.

1. To test the ability to post a blog by e-mail from my BlackBerry.

2. To address how this 'financial crisis' is effecting me.

If you are reading this blog, then, the ability to post via e-mail worked.

So how is this financial crisis effecting me?

Well to understand how this crisis effects me, one has to understand the crisis.

This crisis is because there are a ton of banks that wrote a bunch of bad loans. No one was watching who these banks were lending to, and there are a lot of loans that are now going unpaid.

So banks aren't collecting on their loans so they are no longer loaning money out, or they are looking at who wants the money a little closer and its harder to get the loans people need. So now that no one is getting loans, they are holding onto their cash. Now regular consumers aren't investing/buying consumer goods, the markets are losing value because the general public has pulled their money out of the market, you see all these sell off's and the markets crash.

This effects all of us. Do you need a credit card? Good luck trying to get one. Trying to buy a house? Good luck.

This is how I am being effected the most. After a year of saving and paying off debt, Jenn and I are finally in a position to buy a home. We had a condo picked out. We have been trying to buy it for a while. We made an offer of $131,500. A reasonable offer. The seller is breaking even and Jenn and I have an affordable house payment. Because of declining home values the appraiser couldn't make this house appraise for more than $125,000. Well that's a deal breaker for the sellers. They want their money back. They don't want to lose anymore money than they have already.

So they called and said that they would lower the purchase price to $125,000 and they will consider the other $5,000 a personal loan and we can pay that back over time.

Well here is the problem I have with that. Why would I pay $131,000 for a house that is only valued at $125,000 in today's market? I won't. So if they don't appraise this house at $131,500 I'm going to walk away from the deal. I will pack my shit and move.

This is something I would rather not do.

Now the second part of this crisis, is that banks aren't loaning money out all that much, so with my weak credit score and lack of a large down payment, getting my deal through underwriting is going to be hard enough, and with this appraisal fiasco, this is giving me more hours of lost sleep than I care to lose.

This crisis has people freaking out. The malls are empty, people aren't spending any discretionary money. So people aren't coming into my kiosk and buying phones. This is effecting my paycheck because I work on commission.

Let's hope the rebound in the market isn't just a one day buy back and we keep making progress.

The government needs to keep its bail out package and let the market fix itself. Let the banks pay for the bad loans they doled out with their own money.

Hey, at least Congress got oil prices to drop, albeit by coincidence, but hey, at least they got something done for once.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wedding Blogs [Part 4 of 4]

Original Post: June 5, 2008
Original Place:
Original Title: The Wedding Part 4(Honeymoon)
About: This was a series of blogs written to chronicle my wedding from my point of view.

I guess this is just a natural last blog in regards to my wedding.

The Honeymoon.

Here is a fact about Honeymoons and why they are called Honeymoons.

Back in the old days, the bride and groom would have to make some babies, so the father of the groom would provide all the mead he could drink for one month after the wedding and lock them up. Now in that time, the most common mead of the time was honey mead, and back then months were tracked in phases of the moon, and one month was called a moon. Thus the Honeymoon.-----Thanks Pat for that tidbit of useless knowledge.

So the day after the wedding. Like I said, Audrey woke me up, then a headache woke me up. After a while, Jenn and I decided to leave our room and go venture out into the world as a married couple. We went to breakfast, where Keith and Jim were at a table talking quietly about the exploits of the night before. Most of us were all at one table, most of us being, Mom, Reggie (The best DJ in the world), Chris, Shelly, and Patrick along with me, and then Jenn, Audrey, Char, and Jenn's parents were at the other table. We all recounted the various things we could remember from the night before as we ate, and then Mom and Reggie left for home. Keith, Pat, and Jim headed to the Slugger museum, and Chris and Shelly also had a long drive ahead of them. For the rest of us, we had things to do. Packing to be done. Houses to be cleaned.

Around 3pm, Pat dropped off Keith at the airport, and then dropped off Jim at his car so he could go home, and he came by Jenn's grandmother's house to grab Audrey so he could go too. Now Audrey was not very happy to leave me. She never is. I tried to get her through the house to hug everyone good bye quickly because I knew this wasn't going to be easy for either of us. I walked her out to the car, and she started to cry, and very hard. Sobbing is more like it. She didn't want to leave, she wanted to go to Florida with Jenn and me. Unfortunately, something called school got in the way of that. I gave her a big hug, and got her in the car, and at this point banshees are less noisy. Pat got in the car and left. The tears came down, on her face and my face. I have never left Audrey for more than a long weekend, now I was going to be gone for a week. It was hard to see her go. Jenn just hugged me in the street until I was good enough to walk back into the house. It was a while, but we eventually went back in.

With that out of the way, Jenn and I got to packing. We got the car loaded up, and around 5pm, we set off for Florida. We got as far as Tennessee when we decided to stop for the night, around 10:30 or so. The next day we had to get there.

Now, no one really ever hears me complain about VZ Navigator. Well this day, I got pissed. We were going along on the highway, when it tells us to get off and take GA-4 south. Cool, thinking it was just not the interstate but just a state route that was a 65 mph zone. Well it was, but it also was 45mph, 35 mph, small towns were 25mph. Great! Well it was really pretty as far as scenery goes, but at about mid Georgia, the GPS grid was gone. My VZ navigator went dark, and we were not lost, but just not sure where to go. I looked ahead at the navigator and it told us to continue on this road until we got to route 17 in Florida. Well it didn't tell us about the detours, or that GA-4 was also GA-1 and GA-28. Anyway, we didn't get too lost at all. We were just not sure how long it was going to take. It wasn't until Jenn knew where we were that the VZ Navigator came back on. I cursed under my breath.

My first impressions of this resort were amazing. My tummy was hurting, so as Jenn checked us in, I went to the bathroom to find, really nice fixtures, the smell of home, and quilted TP in the stalls. Very nice. I like.

So the room was amazing, 7th floor with an ocean view. Breathtaking. I have photos up.

Jenn and I wanted to take some photos. Oh yeah, our digital ate our memory card, and we were forced to buy a new one. Then the digital camera broke, so we had to buy a new one of those. Tuesday was fun. We got a golf cart for the week and started exploring. I thought this resort was a couple of hotels and some condos, but no, it's a hotel, restaurants, shops, spa, houses, and condos. Oh yeah, the resort is something like 3 miles by 5 miles. Pretty large. Wednesday was nice too. Massage day. I was completely uncomfortable and nervous because the ladies got a nice LONG robe to wear, and the guys, it went maybe a little past my knees. So you try and be a guy, naked, under a short robe, and try and hide the goods. Its nerve racking. Anyway, all that went away when we got into the massage room. All I got to say is, awesome!

Thursday, we went to St. Augustine. What a cool old town. Its something like the oldest town in America. There was an awesome lighthouse and old fort, also the A1A brewery had an excellent beer tour. It was lovely. Then we went back to the hotel.

Friday, the Segway day. Now if you haven't ever been on one of these things they are awesome. I want to buy one ASAP. They are so much fun. It was a nice nature cruise after a short orientation, and then we got to go down on the beach with them and play in the sand. It was fun to chase the sand pipers. They were awesome. We built a sand castle that day too, because we are just those people.

Saturday we played golf. What a nice course. $195 a round, per person. Yeah apparently the owner bought it for us because our account said friend or family member guest. They asked us who we knew, and we told them. Our round cost $50.00….. for both of us. Yeah I know. It was the best round of golf one could have asked for. We shot like hell, and didn't really have fun until the back 9. Later that night we ventured in to see a comedy show with Jenn's good friend Barb. We had dinner and had a great time drinking and laughing.

Sunday was a day of reflection. We cruised the resort, cruised the beach, cruised the bar, got a drink and started to cruise the resort again. It was a nice relaxing day. Monday. Time to go home. Never fun, but we were ready.

Now before I end this blog, I must mention the food we ate. We had fabulous meals every night we were there. We ate everything from steak, to Mahi Mahi, to scallops, to pizza, to Ahi Tuna, and we went to some really nice restaurants. I don't want to bore you, but all the weight that Jenn and I worked hard to lose, well, its back, for the time being.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our wedding as much as we did. If you were there, you know I left out a ton of stuff. If you were not there, its ok, this is just a broad strokes look at the wedding. I'm sure when we get together you will hear much more detail, as it will be talked about for the ages.

Keith said it best. "Another classic Gercak family wedding."

Wedding Blogs [Part 3 of 4]

Original Post: June 4, 2008
Original Place:
Original Title: The Wedding Part 3(The Reception)
About: This was a series of blogs written to chronicle my wedding from my point of view.

I left you hanging after the last blog.

I did marry the woman of my dreams. I am the luckiest man in the World, with the exception of the guy that invented the plastic tips on shoe laces he's a pretty lucky guy too.

I will spare you the details of the time between the ceremony and the reception. Here is a brief synopsis. Jenn and I shook all the hands of the guests as they exited the church. More tears and hugs ensued. We then got into the rental car (Chrysler 300) and took it around the block with Keith at the helm. Family, plus wedding party, plus photographer, you connect the dots. Short drive. Wedding party, outside, wind, balloons, plus photographer. You get it.

So now we are pulling into the Marriott in Downtown Louisville. The valet saw me, and was like no big deal. He saw the Amanda (Jenn's sister) get out of the car, and I think he went, wow, she's in a nice dress, and 3 nano seconds later he saw Jenn in her dress and he RAN to get her door. They treated us like royalty as we entered the hotel. We were greeted by the wedding planner and they escorted us to a holding tank for the bridal party. I practiced dancing with my Mom in the reception hall before the guests got in there (they were outside the hall enjoying an open bar and awesome appietizers).

The Dance. There is nothing that can prepare you to do a choreographed dance for your wedding. 9 months of practice? No. A shot of bourbon? No. We ran through it once and I was like, I can't focus on this right now, I was too excited/aggravated because a person in our bridal party doesn't understand the concept of 2 lefts and a right hand turn into the hotel. Crazy I know, but I have to talk this person in. Anyway, I am walking off the dance floor when I say, "Damn I can use a drink".

"What are you drinking?" some super server ninja says right behind me.

3 seconds later, I had a stiff bourbon and water in my hand, and I was off to enjoy the night.

So meanwhile, in the holding tank, we are all just hanging enjoying the day. Jenn and I are doing the married people chant, "I love you" and "I love you too" *smooch*

The wedding planner gets us, and we are announced to the guests who are now in their seats. How awesome was this? All the people ahead of me were all announced and then we walked in. The reception room looked amazing. The crowd was clapping. Jenn and I felt like monkeys. Dance monkey Dance! I like attention, but not all of it 100% of the time. I like to stand out, then blend in, then stand out again, then blend in again. Nope not today. We were put up on a stage in front of everyone.

Dinner was served pretty soon after. As we sat down at the table, I saw a card. On it said, do not open until instructed by the best man. I noticed it was on all the tables. This made me nervous. What did my brother Keith have planned?

After dinner the DJ calls Keith up to the microphone and he whips out a sheet, which I presume is the speech he is about to give. The microphone is cordless so it gives Keith the stage to walk around like he is performing. He starts off with the hi, I'm Keith, I've known Adam for….

He then instructs the crowd to open the envelope, but not the head table. The crowd is reacting to the picture in the envelope. This is what they sound like.

"Awe," then "*snicker snicker*"

I wanted to know what it was. I wanted to tear into this envelope. Keith then tells us that we can open the envelope. I tear into it and it wasn't a picture that was unfamiliar to me. It was a photo of Jenn and me, in 1997, at her senior prom. Because I am unable to get a photo of it uploaded in time to post this blog, I will describe it. I am wearing a long tux coat (Black) and striped pants (black and white like chef's pants but nicer) and a white shirt with a grey paisley Ascot. Jenn is wearing a Blue dress with sparkly things all over it. Our hair is in the typical fashion for 1997. Bad. Well Jenn's looked good. I had so much product in mine it would have pasted a crash test put on by the NTSB.

Keith apparently got the reaction he was looking for out of Jenn and I, so he unveiled the picture he had covered on the easel on stage. I guess he wanted people to get a good look at it, because it was enlarged and framed. He then went on to tell people what I just told you, it was Jenn's senior prom in 1997, blah blah blah……

He went into a comedic diatribe about what were we thinking. Did we know today would be happening back then or were we worried about our chicken dinner at prom being cooked all the way through?

People laughed, then he went in for the pay off.

"Do you think they knew that they would be getting married 11 years later?"

Wait for it.

"Here is another fun fact about this photo."

Here it comes.

"This photo was taken 11 years ago……."

Here you go

"… the DAY!"


Tears rolled down Jenn's face, my face, and anyone who was there.

Keith continued. He quoted something about love from the dictionary. He then made a wise crack about its definition and that the Rhodes Scholars who wrote it were incredibly romantic as his comment dripped with sarcasm. He then re wrote the definition and I wish I could remember it.

Keith finished with a very great monologue. If there was a checklist. Adam and Jenn followed it. He named what would be on this checklist, motioned, and said check after each one. He said if you've ever wanted to see love, look at these two. Look at Jenn around Audrey. Look at Audrey around Jenn. Look at Adam within eyesight of Jenn. That's love and I wish them all the best.

That's when we wiped our tears, and drank to the toast.

The hug I gave Keith was unlike any hug I've given him. I never knew he thought the way he did about Jenn and me. Whether he actually meant what he said, he really played it off as heartfelt. Now I have no doubt he meant what he said, but I am humbled by his words. I don't like people to talk about me, and when they speak and its good things, I don't like to brag. However, Keith's speech was awesome. People are still talking about it. (There is a partial video of it; I will post it as soon as I get it)

So now with the mushy crap out of the way, let's eat cake and dance. Now Jenn and I didn't smoosh cake in each other's faces. We were good. Classy.

My Mom and I got out on the dance floor and I messed up our dance entirely. No one noticed but me. I still haven't watched the video of it. But people loved it! They clapped, Mom cried. All was well. Jenn and her Dad got out there and Jenn cried her way through 'Butterfly Kisses". Then she and I got out there and tore it up to "Take my breath away" There is a joke that is too long for this long blog.

So time to mingle. Many people wanted to know. Did I get wasted at my wedding? Yes. Were there a lot of people at your wedding? Enough to party is my answer. Now I am not sure if anyone noticed, but I would only speak to any one person for one drink. The drink was bourbon and water. If you wanted to do a shot with me, then I would do a shot of bourbon with you and then walk away and get another drink and talk to someone else until that glass was empty. It was a good system. I got to have a drink with everyone, and there were about 75 people at the wedding. So needless to say I got drunk. Now about 9:30pm Keith, Steve, Pat, and I went out to the patio of the hotel to smoke the cigars I got us and have a drink. Well half a cigar later I was empty, so I made the mistake of sending Pat's brother in law, Chris, in to refill me. Bourbon and water. Tell the bartender it's for the groom, he knows how I like them. Well he comes back with bourbon and water and a shot, which I was lead to believe would be bourbon. Now I can drink bourbon and not get totally and unequivocally wasted. I was drunk, but not as sloppy as I could have been. I would call it comfortably numb. So Chris tells me I am doing a shot. So are the other people on the patio, which were a few wedding guests and two very drunk and very cool Australian blokes in town for the NRA convention in the same hotel as my wedding.

Bottoms up. I pound this shot down. I swallow. I taste. I am handed a bourbon and water. I hand back the shot glass. I say… "That's tequila."

"No, its 1800 gold tequila." I was told by Chris.

I was happy and furious all at the same time. Not only did he break my bourbon only rule, he is now going to break the one drink per conversation rule. I tell anyone within ear shot that this bourbon and water is going to be my last drink of the night. Chris may have single handedly ruined my wedding night for Jenn. May have. Keep going.

The tequila hit my veins. I felt it pour through my body like battery acid. I went from being drunk, to couldn't talk with out trying really hard NOT to slur my words, and it just got worse. No more alcohol, just water. The bar tenders knew it. No more bourbon and waters for Adam. Just water, and lots of it. I ate some peanuts from the bar, and water. For the record I drank twice as much water as bourbon that night. I was sober enough to walk in a straight line and carry Jenn into the hotel room.

So the reception is over. Jenn and I are brought to the hotel. Like I said I carried her over the threshold like a good groom should, and into the honeymoon suite. In the living room of the suite was food from our reception in case we were hungry, a bottle of champagne on ice, our gifts, our cards, and the top of our gorgeous cake with a note saying "congrats on your wedding, love, the Marriott staff" How lovely.

The bedroom had the tops of roses in the shape of a heart on the bed, with a plate of chocolate covered strawberry's in the center of it, and our towels, folded into a heart on the bed. Awesome right? I know. What happens after this point you don't get a blog on.

All you need to know is, I woke up the next morning to a ringing phone, and it was Audrey asking me if I was awake yet. I said no, and went back to sleep to wake up 5 minutes later with a pounding headache. Thanks Chris, you asshole, for giving me tequila. Cock. But I love you anyway.

Wedding Blogs [Part 2 of 4]

Original Post: May 21, 2008
Original Place:
Original Title: The Wedding Part 2(Ceremony)
About: This was a series of blogs written to chronicle my wedding from my point of view.

So, there are people out there who want to know what a hanky bonnet is. What a hanky bonnet is; it is just a hanky, like the lace kind women carry, folded up to create a bonnet. In my family, it is tradition for all babies to wear it home from the hospital. After the baby wears home, it is taken off and placed somewhere safe, and if that baby was a boy, the hanky is unfolded and ironed, and given to his bride to carry down the isle as the 'something old'. It is a symbolic gesture of a man's mother giving her son away, because let's face it, its all about the daughter as far as weddings go.

That's what a hanky bonnet is, and I hope you can see why Jenn was so upset when she didn't have it with her.

Anyway, let us get into the wedding day.

Keith's friend Jim drove in the day before, after thinking he couldn't get here. He got there and he was able to spend the last night of bachelorhood in bed with me. He likes to cuddle, but after some pushing, he stopped spooning me.

The morning of May 17th was just like any other day, except that I was about to get married, and that I had not really slept a whole lot. I wasn't nervous, just excited to get it over. I had a lot of anxiety over how the day was going to go. I didn't want to be late; I didn't want to be so early that I was pacing just to pass the time. I had a few things to do and I wanted them to be done so I could get going.

So I got out the door to run errands about 10:30am, after forcing myself to eat an apple for breakfast. For the past month, I haven't been hungry for breakfast, and those who know me know that I am a freak for breakfast. So I went out on a search for a golf glove for Jenn. About a month ago, Jenn and I agreed that we would not get each other wedding gifts because we spent so much on everything else. Now when I got to Kentucky, I hadn't seen Jenn in a week. Within hours of me waking up when I got there, I was already at the florist to send her one rose. What I wrote on the card to my bride was special to me, and I hope she loved it. (My mom told me, that she cried when she read it.)

My search for a golf glove ended at Golf headquarters. They had the specific type of golf glove I was looking for. A golf glove was meant for a manicure and jewelry. I found one, quickly purchased it, ran over to Wal-Mart got a gift bag and tissue paper, then went back to the hotel and wrote out a card, put it in the bag with tissue paper, and got a shower and started to get ready.

It took me a whole 25 minutes to get ready. I forced myself to slow down. Keith and I left and took the rental car to be washed. I picked it up that morning, and it was dirty. They washed it, but they had one of those crappy machines do it. Keith and I took it where they wash it, then had dry it to get all the crap off it.

So once I was at the church, things really started to speed up. The photographer took us to get some pictures done. You have seen some of them on my page already. Wait until you see the rest. Our photographer was amazing! Once the photos were taken, the guys and me went up to the church and hung out. I drank a ton of water and talked with Jim, Chris, and Josh while I waited. Keith, Steve, and Patrick left to take the ring bearers to the ladies, and then to light candles and usher in our guests. It was just Jim, Chris, and myself alone. Eventually it was just Jim up there with me. It was just awesome. I am still glad he was eventually able to make it down for the wedding.

I was standing behind a door that went right into the sanctuary, when all the guys got back. I walked in to see Jenn's mom crying, my mom sitting and being my mom, and a few other people in the front few rows. If you were back further than row three, I could not see you. I stood there and watched the bridesmaids come down the isle. They all looked genuinely excited to be there. I've been to some weddings when the bridesmaids look like they have a gun to their head to smile as they walk down the isle, but Char, Shelly, and Amanda looked great. My niece and nephew walked down the isle and made it to their spots, and then I see Audrey start to come down. She looks so beautiful. She looked so excited. She walked to the end of the isle and then gave me a kiss. As I type this, I get a tear in my eye.

I try to regain composure, and then Keith and Steve take the runner down the isle. At this point, Jenn is standing off to the side so I can't see her, but I do see her Dad. Keith and Steve look off towards her, and Steve said something to her and told Keith not to walk on the runner, it is only for Jenn. They take their positions again, and then the music starts. Everyone stands up, I look down the isle and here is the most spectacular bride I have ever seen. The tears didn't let me enjoy the view, it turned into a soggy mess, but once I got them out of my eyes, it was fantastic. I went down and met her and her Dad gave me her hand, and then once it was just Jenn on my arm, all the noise, all the music, and the guests just went away. It was just Jenn and me, holding hands.

The ceremony went on, and then it was time for our vows. I told my self to hold it together, and for the most part, I did, but I was a bit teary eyed. Once the vows were over, all the stress, all the anxiety of timetables, all the worry went away.

I was married to the women of my dreams. If only everyone could be as lucky as I am.