Monday, August 31, 2009

How to: Sneak into a movie theater with a wife that's 9 months pregnant

*There is still time to enter the baby pool contest*

So here I sit. Tomorrow is wifey's due date, and we are still awaiting the arrival of our little bundle of joy. By joy I mean, pooping, spitting up, crying at all hours of the night, small handed, and cute footed, bundle of joy.

What is it about baby poop that makes parents all gooshey?

It's morning. The past few days have been, for the lack of a better word, boring. It's hard to get a very very pregnant woman excited about moving. She is feeling, well, pregnant. That means, but it not limited to, fat, ugly, tired, swollen, and over all miserable. I think she looks beautiful, but then again, I'm a guy, what do I know?

With nothing but time on our hands, we sat around all day, goofing around on the interwebs, we got tired of watching movies on TV around 3 or so. I decided that we needed to see a movie. The wife suggested Inglorious Bastards, but after viewing the trailer and reading what people are saying about it, we [she] decided that G.I. Joe might be a better choice. Less blood and guts, and more mindless action without purpose. It's a great way to get your mind off anything.

We also had the need for dinner, and milk shakes. What better place close to the theater than Steak N Shake? Greasy, lovely burgers, hand dipped milk shakes, and a side order of Lipitor.

Now, over the summer I have commented on several types of burgers. Pizza Burgers, Jucy Lucy's, and Bar Symon burgers. This Steak n Shake burger was awesome. Now I usually don't say that about chain burgers. The Whopper and Big Mac have a special place in hell, but I find myself eating them from time to time, but I fail to ever mention the extraordinary experience of eating them. This Steak n Shake burger, The Wisconsin Buttery, was great. They combine, red meat, grilled onions, cheese, and a huge dollop of butter. Either I was terribly hungry, or it was really really good, but my god, I wolfed it down. The Snickers Milkshake was more of a blizzard from DQ than a milkshake, but I drank [ate] it nonetheless.

After dinner, we headed over to the movie theater, about 30 minutes too early. Again, we are trying to get to things early so we can set the example for our unborn child. Get your ass in gear, you have about 37 hours left to still be considered on time.

My cousin works at the theater and we were planning on taking advantage of the, we know the ticket girl discount. Unfortunately, she is no longer the ticket girl. We asked the acting ticket girl where my cousin was, and she called her down to the lobby. We went into the concession area and waited. 22 minutes later still nothing. My cousin is really cool, and I text her a few times, and still nothing. So we did what any responsible adult would do. We snuck in. It was great, we walked the length of the concession stand a few times, I would glance at my BlackBerry a few times, and would motion to the wife in a way that would suggest we were waiting, and we were frustrated that our friends didn't show. Then we wondered right past the guy taking tickets, without giving him anything, and walked right into the movie theater. No one said a word. My cousin shot me a reply text and asked where we were. I told her we were able to sneak by the ticket guy and get a seat. Poor kid, we sneak in, then tell on him. My cousin is now the manager of the theater. Hope I didn't get him fired.

G.I. Joe was good, for a more comprehensive review, check out Ryno's Hollywood spin. I agree with his review.

Other than that, we are just.....waiting.....still.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Baby Pool

I was told that the reason that wifey has yet to give up this child is because there has been a lack of a baby pool. You know where everyone gets a date on the calendar for $5.00 or some crap. Then 50% of the total contribution goes to the baby and the other half goes to the winner.

Anyway, here is the Throwing Quarters version of this contest.

How to win:
-Place a comment on this post and this post alone with your guess of the baby's arrival. The entry must be in the form of a date AND time. [example: My Manager guessed 8/30/09 at 3:33pm]
-Include your e-mail with your entry. [example: username [at] domain [dot] com OR]
-All entries must include your name as well
-winners will be notified by e-mail.

The Rules:

1. You MUST be a follower of this blog. You can use Google Friend Connect and follow publicly, or use the Networked Blogs for Facebook or be a friend of mine on the 20 something blogger community that I have on the side bar.

2. Entry period ends as soon as my wife has gone into active labor [contractions that are 5 minutes apart].

3. Since I moderate comments, you can't see what everyone posts right away, so in the event of a tie [where people guessed the same date AND same time] then there will be multiple prizes given away.

4. If by chance you all pick the same day the tie breaker will go to the time. The winning time will be the closest time to the actual birth WITHOUT going over.

5. Winner[s] will be announced within 24 hours of the actual birth.

6. Only 1 entry per e-mail.

What do you win?

You will be winning a t-shirt from the C.L.E. Clothing Company. The design of the shirt will one of MY choosing.

Good luck and tell your friends. You can stay updated by checking back to the blog, or you can follow me on Twitter as I will be giving updates as the birth takes place. [Before I get hate mail, during the labor and delivery process, there is a lot of downtime for the Dad. At least there was with my first born. So this may give me the opportunity to keep you informed of the progress.]

For those who want more details.

The official due date is 9/1/09. My wife is currently 3cm dilated. She has been experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions, but has only had 1 substantial contraction 48 hours ago.

Comic Books, Students, and You!

*Housekeeping. Please update your RSS feeds. The domain of my blog has changed to*

As I sit and think back, I don't remember the first book [novel] I read. I want to say it was an old novel written about a B-17 gunner who was sick one day and his airplane got shot down over Germany, but I am not sure.

I think back, and try really hard to remember the title, but I keep coming up empty. I took an unofficial poll in my office this morning. I asked everyone what their first novel they had read was. There was only 5 people at work when I asked. No one could really give me a definitive answer. I went back and asked the same people what was their first comic book they read.

Without thinking, I got the most 100% solid answers ever. X-Men issue 57, Batman issue 100, Superman-the one when he died with the green cover. All of these came back to my co-workers.

I remember the first comic book I have ever read. X-Men special edition issue 1. It was amazing. It hooked me on comics. That summer I took all of my extra money and bought comic every week. This is back when they still offered comic books in grocery stores.

This love of comics is exactly what Ken Glanc of the Elyria Comic Book Initiative [EBCI] is banking on. His small non-profit that was born out of an idea in a coffee shop, is now a recognized 501(c)3. Last night he held the first of many open houses to introduce the board and also to recognize who has helped to get his idea off the ground.

What is the concept? Simple. To provide free comics to the masses. To use comics as a tool for literacy and creativity across all age lines. He wants to fight the illiterate demons that pepper the landscape. This is just phase 1. There are many more phases to come. There are talks of a comic book academy somewhere. There are talks of publishing comics for people who would have otherwise had no avenue to do it.

I remember making my first comic book at lunch in 7th grade. I went on to partner with a few other artistic kids and we formed G-Force comics. It wasn't officially incorporated, but the Adventures of Radio Active Rabbit is a character I still have pleasure in drawing for my kids today.

It's with this love of comics and art, that I look forward to working with Ken and his team in the coming weeks, months, and years to bring this passion for writing and the love of art to kids who need it.

Ken's program has just teamed with a local public school system to bring this idea, and curriculum to 6th and 7th graders. Once the pilot program is done, ECBI will look back and get input on what worked, and what didn't.

Ken has a great team of folks with him. I can't wait to share with you the news of all the great things he will be able to do.

Non-profits are inherently poor vessels. Their ability to give is all dependent on your desire to want to help. ECBI has started a website and is accepting donations to help fund future projects.

Right now this is a local program centered out the children of Elyria, Ohio, but this idea is not bound by geography, it is bound only by our imagination. You will notice I have linked ECBI, and please help me in spreading the word of the great program.

This is the community service program that Tangobaby mentioned would come out of nowhere and change a person.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Still Waiting

There is a certain anxiety that comes with waiting. The impending excitement. For me this is the delivery of my new daughter. It's like the grown up version of the night before Christmas. At least with Christmas, you know when you wake up, there will be presents there. My Christmas will come unannounced. I am excited to see what my new daughter will look like, act, yawn, and what color of her eyes will be. I am excited to see what kind of personality she will have. Until Tuesday comes with no delivery of the baby, I know this child inherited her mother's trait of being late.

December 31, 2008 my wife walked down the stairs and said, with a look of terror and happiness, "I'm pregnant." In my head I had dreamed of screaming, crying, and calling everyone I knew to tell them. Instead, it was quiet. I just shook my head. It just seems logical and right. That night we went to dinner with our family. The announcement was filled with excitement.

Now, nearly 9 months later, here I sit. Coffee to my right, feet up, and writing a blog. Waiting. The tings and twinges that my wife describes are getting more and more pronounced, and here we are. Still waiting.

Waiting for her water to break so we can pack in the car and get this baby born. Waiting for the doctor to tell her that, well you're dilated, time to go to the hospital and get this over with. Waiting to crest the longest ascent to the top of the roller coaster that is being a parent [again]. Just waiting.

It's awful. Every minute of my day is just filled with anticipation. Anticipating bringing home a new life. Anticipating molding a new woman into the world. Anticipating being a parent with my wife. [Jenn does great with Audrey, but there is just something different seeing a mother react to a child they gave birth to.] Anticipating how Audrey will react to a new child. Anticipating how my dog will react to the new child.

So here I am. Still waiting.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Excuse me?

Work has been, well, work. It seems as though every customer watched Andy Rooney on 60 minutes and decided to come in and act like the crotchity ass that he is!

I remember a few years back, Andy was taking on insurance and extended warranties in the consumer electronics industry. He said they were a bad idea, and how could you accept a company will give you a 'refurbished' or 'reconditioned' phone or ipod as a replacement to the device you paid your hard earned money for? Is this acceptable? No. Read the fine print before you buy.

I am not here to debate this topic. What I am here to talk about is the person who listens to Andy Rooney on 60 minutes, and takes his word as, 'The word of the Lord'

*congregation says in unison* "Lord, hear our prayer"

If you are this person, you need to stop, and think about how you talk to people. Obviously when you listen to Andy Rooney, his segment is meant to get you to act, get pissed off, or see the other side of an issue. His segment is not a license to walk into your local retailer to be an asshole.

A customer walked into my store and before you could say hello they were in your face telling you how this transaction was going to go down. They said that they wanted a new phone, even before you had a chance to look at anything. They said that they wanted a brand new device and refurbished phone is just unacceptable. They said that they would not leave until this happened.

What the hell am I supposed to do? Since when is it ok to walk into a store and talk to me like I'm a little child? Since when is it ok for YOU to tell ME what to do? Since when is it ok to be a douche bag?

So I look at the phone. I don't see what her problem is. Her phone works great. It works like it should. But why is this woman acting like this? Why on Earth is her husband cowering like the cowardly lion in her shadow, and her daughter taking notes on why it is acceptable to talk to people this way.

I have watched the television show Snapped on Lifetime. This woman is going to get killed by her husband one day.

I grab a manager, and he explains what we can and cannot do. My patience for this sort of thing is nil, and he is paid to deal with customers like this. Plus I am just skipping a step in the process for the sake of efficiency, because this woman will not listen to a single word I say anyway.

My manger explains that we can replace the phone with a warranty replacement. He is doing this woman a favor, as we have both determined that this phone she is presenting is working exactly as it should.

I can't remember exactly what she said, but it was like, "..blah blah blah, you WILL do this because I have already talked to your customer service department, and boy is your store under scrutiny..."

Why do customers feel the need to call our customer service department and bitch about us here in the store? At least in a court of law, the accused has the right to cross examine their accuser. In the retail world, customers think that they are getting the stores in trouble when they call and gripe about us. That is exactly NOT the case. So if you are one of those people, stop. Either deal exclusively with the customer care department, or deal exclusively with the stores if there is a problem.

My manager explained what he CAN do for her, and she shoots back with, "...didn't you hear me, your store in under scrutiny from your customer service department.."

No, he heard you, and so did I, but apparently YOU did not notice that we don't care about our customer service department.

The customer draws that line in the sand. "You will do this or I will file a complaint with the attorney general."

Stop. We just hit the emergency button on the subway to stop the train on the tracks. We are done talking now.

The fastest way to get exactly what you DON'T want is to tell me you are calling the attorney general. At this point to you're turning this stupid little transaction into a legal case, and everything we said BEFORE this point cannot be used, but everything we say AFTER can and more than likely will be used against us. So we are done now, continue on your way. I can no longer help you. We can talk with a mediator called the attorney general.

Why do people feel the need to be complete assholes? I can understand the economy being bad, but again, it doesn't give you the green light to be an asshole. Think before you act.

Don't be a dick to someone who is in a position to help you. This is a motto to live by.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I Scribble Well!

Well well well. This is the second time in a year I was bestowed the honor of the Superior Scribbler Award. Thank You Vodka Logic! There are rules, and because this is MY blog, I will break them.

I am supposed to bestow this award on 5 [I chose 6 on purpose] deserving blog writers that I follow.

Those are in no particular order,

Lou Duk: Fellow Blog of Noter and great photog. But I am bestowing this on his NEW blog, 'An Open Letter'

Just Jules: What an awesome lady and contributor to the Throwing Quarters Podcast.

Julie: This is Life..... good friend of mine and writer of many different subjects. Topics of late are food and horses.

Carrie: She writes Shawnee's Girl, a blog about her new addition to her family. She lives in D.C. with her hubby Chef Pallardy and can't wait for them to come closer to home.

Tangobaby: The coolest photog and Throwing Quarters Podcast contributor ever and the first Blog of Noter I have ever met!

Alexa: Cleveland's a Plum. Throwing Quarters contributor and giveaway-er. I won a shirt from her blog last night, and you need to check out how I won it! Hilarious!!

So, Superior Scribblers, get out there and let us know who you think needs this award. No need to link back. Just spread your love for your fellow bloggers.

I don't feel 'good'

We all have those people we see, work with, and talk to on a daily basis. They are usually the last one to the meeting, or the over zealous friend that you hang with, or even yourself.

They are asked to participate in anything, and what happens? They don't want to. But instead of saying they don't want to, they quickly look for an excuse to get out of what ever it is you are asking them to do. The most commonly used line in the arsenal, "I don't feel good."

This line is especially useful in morning meetings where we have to be chipper and involved, but we are still shaking off the sleep, and this is usually around people you are totally comfortable with. Don't act like you have never used this line. You have. And you do it well.

What drives us to use this line? Is it because we truly don't feel well? If that were the case, then why didn't we phone the boss and tell them I don't feel well? Why did we even roll out of bed? If I truly felt like I couldn't participate at work, then I would just not go, phone the boss, and not go. If I felt I could not hang with you, then I wouldn't hang. If I truly didn't feel good, then I would not be doing, whatever it is I found myself doing that early in the morning.

Is it because we want to act like we have an active social calendar? The line would be, "I don't feel good..." then leave the phrase open with a small smile. It would lead me to believe that you went out last night and partied you ass off. If that were the case, then I would look at you with disdain. Wow, you knew you had to get up early this morning, and you went out and got wasted. Nice work. Real responsible. Oh wait, you want sympathy from me, so you can get out of something? I don't think so. Why are you wasting my time with your irresponsibility?

So as we sit back and observe this human condition, let's get off that clutch phrase, 'I don't feel good.' and call a spade a spade.

I'm lazy, I don't want to, call on someone else.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Throwing Quarters Podcast Season 2 Episode 3 w/music from Adam Taylor

Here it is. The biggest podcast I have ever done. We took the show on the road the Cleveland Barley House in lovely Downtown Cleveland.

This was the first time I have ever taken the crew and I out of our comfort zone and into the fire of live.....anything. Even this podcast wasn't truly live because I did cut a ton of stuff out, but it was pretty damn stressful to do a podcast in front of people. I had a great time and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

I learned a ton from this experience and we are ready for the next time we go out and do a show somewhere in this fine city.

Technical glitches aside, Adam Taylor and Kate Young did a lovely performance live on stage and I was so glad to get it all recorded. I was so glad Adam Watt and Dan were able to get down there as well, because without these guys, I would not have a show. And a special thank you goes out to Kasey Crabtree from a 'real' radio station here in Cleveland. She told us many great stories and even some really juicy stuff that I had to leave on the cutting room floor! Oh, you should have been there. You could have heard it! Oh I have deleted a few lines from this post for fear that it may get out. You're welcome Kasey.

Anyway, the podcast goes down like this. We open the podcast with Adam Taylor and Kate Young. After the first song we sit down and talk with Adam about his album, genre, influences, and favorite songs on the radio. We then send it over to Dan and his Hollywood Spin. We come back with a beautiful song with Adam and Kate again, and then we wrap it up with 'Tell Us a Story" with Kasey Crabtree and then Adam Taylor Brings down the house with his sweet ass cover of No Diggity.

Here are some sights and sounds from the night. All the photos were taken by Melissa Hofelzer. She was great, and it was nice to see here again. If you want to see all the photos you can see those right here.

[Kate Young, Adam Taylor, Adam Watt in background]

[L-R Dan Ryan, Kate Young, Adam Taylor, Me, Adam Watt]

[L-R Kasey Crabtree, Adam Taylor, Kate Young]

[L-R Kasey Crabtree, Me]

Mobile Users you can download Stitcher on you BlackBerry or iPhone or click here.


Monday, August 17, 2009

A Big Thank You

Well last night was the night. We got together at the Barley House in Cleveland and had a show. It went well, and I had a great time, despite all the stress and issues that went into it, but oh well. This was the first time I took on anything on this scale, however small it might have been. Here is a sneak preview of a photo I grabbed with the help of my blackberry.
Look for the new episode on Wednesday morning at 12:01am here on the blog, and shortly there after with iTunes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Dog Puke Alarm Clock

I am going to make an alarm clock. It's going to be an application you can download to your phone, or for the nostalgic in the crowd, and old school flip clock. It's going to be simple. It will tell time, and the sound for the alarm with be the sound of a dog puking.

That shit would wake you up in a heart beat. Like it did to me today. I mean my real alarm clock can't get me out of bed as fast as the sound of hearing my dog retching.

It's coming I tell you. It's coming.

Now that I am up, the dog is sleeping on the couch and looks like he's got a hangover. I am awake wishing I could sleep like he is.

Bastard dog.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The 'OFF' day

I woke up this morning with a certain daze one could only get by sleeping next to an uncomfortable pregnant woman. I don't hold that against her, and I can't wait for her torture of pregnancy to end so we can enjoy the life that comes at the end of it, but for now, sound sleeping is not something I have been coming by. It could be a good thing. It's like my training camp for fathering an infant.

This morning I woke up to the same noise I have been waking up to since I was in grade school; the alarm clock. The dreaded piece of machinery that keeps the American work force on time. I got out of bed after hitting snooze a few [5] times and after a while got out of bed and started to get ready for work. I was wiping the sleep from my eyes with the use of a warm shower. I casually walked down the stairs to the kitchen. I had almost an hour to finish getting ready. I was feeling good. I grabbed the coffee and filters and started to put together my reprieve from lethargy.

I noticed my work blackberry on the counter. It was flashing at me with it's red LED indicator letting me know that there was a message waiting. I grabbed it up. It was unusual to get a message this early in the day from a boss.

Well it turns out this message was from the night before. They changed the time of the meeting to 7:30am. I panicked. I glance at the clock. I am still wet from the shower and only in my boxers and under shirt. It was 7:30am. Holy hell. I'm late.

I slammed the reply button on the phone so hard I thought I might break the screen. I punched out a text message to my boss and started to gather my shirt and tie for the day. I was in 'hurry the fuck up mode'.

I ironed the shirt, brushed my teeth, did the hair, and after hurriedly getting my clothes on, was out the door after a quick peck on my sleeping wife's cheek. Time seems to move in fast forward when you are late. It is just father time letting you know you messed up. He is further punctuating the fact that you are late.

I finally got to work, 28 minutes late. I hate being late. It throws off the rest of your day.

After the meeting [abbreviated for me] I realized I had over 90 minutes before the start of my shift. So I reached to grab my moleskine from my pocket to write down some thoughts on my up coming interview with Adam Taylor. I dug into my pocket and grabbed nothing but lint. The moleskine was not there. Where the hell was it?

As I start to panic even more, I realized that in my hast out the door this morning I left it in my work bag, with my laptop, with my book, with my life really. I just have my two blackberrys [work, personal] and my mind. For a writer with a certain MO [method of operation] this is cause for almost mini shut down. I am ready to blow a gasket.

Lucky for me, surrounded by the technology at my finger tips, I DO have a back up plan in place to get all my thoughts written down and recorded. My Blackberry. Voice recorders and notepads on these devices are great tools, but it is not my prefered method. It's great in a pinch, but there is a certin catharsis in physically writing down an idea. You can tell by the way you wrote the idea what kind of mood you were in. There is much more to writing an idea that capturing the words. The pen also can tell you how you were feeling. The slant on your 's' and heavy period at the end of a sentence. You know that when you go back and explore that idea, what kind of words you need to put in with it, to get the point across later.

I feel like a fish out of water today. Wednesday and Thursdays were my days off. Today is my off day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Next Level

Waking up this morning was about as easy as doing 2+2. I know, the answer is 65. I know I know.

Ok, I don't know.

The sun was shining, the air was cool, and it smelled just like you would expect a summer morning would smell. The birds were doing a remix of 2Pac and Dr Dre's classic hit, California Love. Everywhere I walked I could hear the classic bass line hitting. I am a gangsta. Ok, not really. I am a white dude from the 'burbs from Cleveland, but a guy can dream.

Wifey and I trekked to the doctor this morning. She is about ready to pop. It was ultrasound day. Apparently someone sneaked some HGH into wifey's uterus, because this baby is growing. I checked and last sighting of Jose Canseco's trainer was a few weeks ago in L.A. so I think my wife is drug free, but you never know.

According to the ultrasound technician, our baby currently weighs 7 pounds 1ounce. So if the baby books are right and she goes full term, that is going to make baby 10 pounds. Holy hell. That child will be almost grown by the time we get her out! Jenn is a bit freaked out to say the least. There is only one way for that baby to come out, according to Jenn, and it doesn't sound fun.

After the doctor it was time to get the hair cut. I have been going to the same place for close to 5 years now. The ladies there are awesome, and they take care of me. During my hair cut, the awesome lady cutting my hair was asking about what was new. Boy did I have a story to tell. I have been going there for a while, so they all know my story. They have heard about the wife and kids, the dog, the job, but they haven't heard of the blog. What better time than now to tell them about the blog? After I told her the story you already know, she looked at me. She was astounded. She looked at me like I was a rockstar. Was it truly shocking that I can write and blog? Or was she doing what she thinks I want to see for the tip that is in my pocket? I think it was the former, but then again, my rose colored glasses look pretty awesome on me.

After the hair cut and a hefty tip, I was off to meet with a guy that writes a pretty awesome Cleveland blog. I won't get into details about the meeting, but all I can say is damn. Michael DeAloia is awesome, down to Earth, and totally awesome! I really do appreciate all the time he took with me and I left the meeting inspired. It's just amazing at the people you meet through something so unassuming as a simple blog.

After the meeting I needed to get down to the Barley House. As you can see from my previous post the meeting went well, although it took me a few minutes to convince the manager that I was NOT selling something to him. I dropped a few names and he calmed down. But as you can see, the meeting was successful! I am heading down there to have lunch with a member of the Throwing Quarters tech crew, and we are bringing Audrey with us. We hope to get a tour of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Now, since my day was almost done,
I had one piece of unfinished business. I had to set up the new BlackBerry for the blog. I have a BlackBerry for
work and with my small trickle of e-mail I have been getting, it didn't pose a distraction or create a conflict of interest between work and personal life. Now that I am getting e-mails from everywhere under the sun, the potential for conflicts has doubled significantly, so getting a communication tool for the blog up and on the air separate from my work, then that's all the better. It also allows me to carry two cutting edge devices, and my technology addict in me is pleased.

Once I got home I had a doting wife and awesome little girl waiting to welcome me home. I never get tired of coming home. When I got home my wife had another surprise waiting for me.

I have been waiting to make business cards for a long time, and today, since I was getting so much attention, having a business card gives me a little bit more legitimacy. I am not just some dude writes some blog.

What do you think? I need some feedback. I also never get tired of plugging my wife's work. She is for hire. We have kids to put through college.


I think my wife has talent. Seriously. What do you think? Would you buy it, cuz I just did!

Season 2 Episode 3 Announcement

There has been a buzz around my next podcast. I said yesterday that it was going to be huge, and for a podcaster who hosts his podcast out of his living room, this next episode is going to be HUGE!

First let me tell you the Rest of the Story. [May you rest in peace Paul Harvey]

Up until August 3rd, my blog/podcast was a proverbial nobody. I had only 33 loyal followers. I wasn't looking for anything larger than what I was able to grow myself. I used Twitter and Facebook to 'market' my blog, but other than the occasional links I got from other bloggers, it was just a word of mouth operation over here.

A few months back I was able to get out to an Ohio Sky show with my buddy Julie. As a happy coincidence, it was a dual show at the Beachland Ballroom, and a folk-pop artist called Adam Taylor was playing. I sat at the back of the room, just taking in the music, and Julie was around snapping photos with her analog 35mm camera. [what is it about friends of mine named Julie, and their obsession with photos? It must be the name.] I was impressed with Adam. His sound was original, fresh, and it made you tap your feet. It was an intimate show. I picked up some of his drop cards from a makeshift merch table at the back of the house, and I looked him up with my Blackberry.

I wanted to have this kid on my podcast. I learned that he was on his way to Summerfest in WI and Cleveland was the first stop on his tour. I really wanted him on my podcast at this point. I grabbed his e-mail from his website and punched out an e-mail all the while sitting at the back of the room.

It wasn't for a few weeks later than Adam e-mailed me back. By that time I had already played his stuff on the podcast, to great reviews, and he was delighted. He said that when he came through Cleveland, he would definitely stop by the podcast and do a show. That was in July.

August 3rd I got a tweet message from Adam Taylor. He was going to be in town on August 16th. That is also the same day Blogger decided that I should be the Blog of Note. With increased traffic and a ton more visitors than I have ever seen, I decided to try and find a venue for this I wanted to share this spotlight with MY city. I wanted Cleveland to come along for the ride too. I didn't know a single person in the Cleveland bar scene. I mean I knew Alexa from Cleveland's a Plum, but that's about it, but then that is when it hit me. I have been exchanging tweets and links back and forth with Joe Harvey from Local Food Service. I asked him for help.

Joe went a little further. He e-mailed my request to several friends of his, and then posted a news post on his website calling for restaurants to help me. I thought it was an exercise in futility. My e-mail box had been silent with news. I sent an e-mail out to Adam Taylor and my crew and said that we would just have the podcast at the Couch Potato Studios, also known as my living room. That was the plan.

Then Joe Harvey sent me an e-mail at 4:53pm on Monday August 10th. The Cleveland Barley House said yes. They said that we could monopolize their restaurant to do our podcast. Adam Taylor was now going to play a venue that was larger than my living room.

So 7pm on August 16, 2009 at the Cleveland Barley House, the Throwing Quarters Podcast brings you Adam Taylor live and in person. It's a free show and I want you there to make this podcast special. Adam Taylor is going to play a live set then we are going to sit down and talk to him after the set.

This is by far the largest under taking I have ever done. It may seem small to some, but to me this is huge. If we are lucky, Adam Taylor will bring stuff to giveaway, so stay tuned for that!

I couldn't have done it without the help of Joe Harvey at Local Food Service and his colleague Joe Arico. Thank you again to the Cleveland Barley House for opening your doors to this small Cleveland blog/podcast.

Throwing Quarters blog/podcast w/ guest Adam Taylor
Barley House Cleveland
1261 W. 6th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

All that is missing is you and your friends! Be there! Make make sure you drink heavily. They are letting us do the show there for free!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mini Panic Attack

Ok, it's not that serious, my head is swimming, my heart is pounding, and I am on the verge of losing it! In a good way.

Today Cleveland, Ohio came through for me, and I am going to give back to the city and people that have given so much to me. Tomorrow is shaping up to be a big day, but I can't spill the beans on it until I work out some small minor details.

I am suddenly nervous. I was talking to my brother this evening and I told him that I feel like I've been in the bathroom jerking off, and turns out that the mirror was a two way. Hell I am an exhibitionist. So I'm going to keep going.

I can't wait to share with you what is happening. Let's hope it goes through for us!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

P. Diddy was onto something

This week was a whirlwind of activity. From getting my latest podcast uploaded and on the air [which was the biggest podcast undertaking to date], to receiving blog of note, to meeting you, my life will forever be changed by this event. It's one of those events that has a before and after. This point is now a reference point in my life; "before I was blog of note" and "after I was blog of note".

With BON, came a great deal of traffic, attention, acclaim, and fame for which I am forever grateful. Thank you for all the kind words you bestowed upon me in your comments. Thank you for all your comments that weren't so nice [there were a few of you] and as you can see, those comments remain. Although I may moderate my comments [now] I don't edit anything you say, I just make sure Hoo Flung Poo doesn't leave 10,000 comments of spam. Apparently I have won the Jamaican lottery since getting BON. You wouldn't know that, because I deleted them before it hit the comment boxes.

As all of this new found success in the blogging world, my friend Jules put it all in perspective in a Facebook chat.

"Remember, just keep being yourself.....this is still your house, make sure people wipe their feet." Great advice.There has been so many comments asking me advice about 'how to make it', how do you come up with posts, or the now infamous, please check out my blog comment [which I have tried to do, really]

Here is the answer to all your questions.

Be yourself. Write about what ever the hell you want to write about. I don't think that I've 'made it' until I get a professional writing career. This blog is not my attempt at a professional writing career. This is my sanity, my catharsis, and my way to meet you. I never got into this blog thing expecting to get BON or even to have 340+ followers. I got into this to be honest and hopefully meet like minded people. I didn't ask Blogger to give me BON, they just did. It was amazing to get recognition.

So with that I leave you with a thank you. Thank you for stopping by. Thank you for your e-mails. Thank you for coming along on this blogging journey with me. Now, next week, it's back to reality. I am done reveling in this glory. I am ready to keep writing for me, and you are welcome to keep reading.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Over the Hill

What is it about age that gets people all wonky? I recently walked into a retail store [Spencer] and saw all this 'Over the Hill' stuff. It would be a black background, and say Over the Hill in some old looking font, and it would have on a tomb stone, 30, 40, 50 etc.

What? 30 is now over the hill? I think not. 30 isn't even close, and if it were anything on the hill it would be base camp, maybe.

I mean if one needed to make the analogy of life to climbing a hill, I would say it would be like climbing Everest. People spend their life looking at Everest, wanting to climb it's sheer faces, navigate over the ice falls just to go to the top, take a few pictures and then come down.

Isn't that what life is?

Being born and up until your 20's you are getting enough gear together and saving enough money to fly to Nepal, to try and tackle the mountain. You climb a few little mountains first before you tackle the big one! Your gear to climb the mountain of life is the emotional gear. The heartbreak in college, leaving the family for the first time for an extended time, even being elated when you had sex for the first time, then only to find out that the girl [or guy] was also sleeping with the rest of your friends too. These things get you ready enough to start making that trek to the base camp of 'The Mountain'.

In your 20's you start to get acclimatized. You just graduated from college [flew into Nepal] and you have a blue flame of ambition shooting out your ass, and it is now time to start your journey. There is no more hypothetical situations anymore. No more training. This time, if you fall, it isn't into a foam pit, it's into the jagged rocks of the valley below. The trek isn't always hard, but you think you might die at times, but the views are spectacular on your assent. Your first love, maybe your first marriage, and having your first child. The 20's are amazing and challenging at the same time. By 29, you are trucking right along. Just as you enter base camp, things are going just fine. That's when your 'real' climb starts.

I am still a year away from entering base camp, but the wife is beating me there this year. She is all beside herself. She thinks her life might be over. She is getting 'old'. My God, that couldn't be further from the truth. Some people think that life starts to end at 30. I think it only begins. There is a story she tells when her entire family thought their grandmother was 3 years younger than she was. Is it true? It might be, but it could also be urban legend, but why would you do that?

Now, this is where reference points to the summit can vary from person to person. I know what you are thinking. What do I consider the summit of life?

The summit is retirement. It's the pinnacle of your entire life. Your kids [if applicable] are grown, married, and are just getting to base camp themselves. You can see all the accomplishment behind you as you look out over the highest point on Earth, enjoying the view. That is when you are over the hill and are back down. But this isn't the beginning of the end of your life. This is when it gets fun. Sure the hike down is not easy, but it's not as hard as climbing up.

Is 30 over the hill? Not in the least. So stop all your whining, that's just you making that final push to base camp. It only gets harder and more rewarding! The mountain has claimed lives before they even reach the summit, so consider yourself lucky once you make it!

Embrace your life, you're not old.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jucy Lucy::Juicy Lucy

This summer has been packed full of great eats! I think my grill is the best purchase I could have EVER made since I bought my wife's engagement ring. I have been outside griling up a storm this whole summer. I used up my first tank of gas in, what felt like, 30 seconds, but my gas grill gets better gas mileage than a cash for clunker trade-in.

A few nights ago, I was watching a Man vs. Food episode where Adam went to MN. If you aren't familiar with a Juicy/Jucy Lucy, you aren't the only one. I had no idea what they were either. So before you continue, go read about them.

I have never been to MN, but I already don't like the Matt's Bar version. Their burger involves a type of cheese that I absolutely hate and I hope has it's own suite in Hell. American Cheese. I know I know, I should be a patriotic guy, but I can't eat it. There is something about peeling off the plastic wrapper that I just can't stomach. When I worked at McDonald's in high school is when I decided that I will never eat American cheese if I can help it. Bring on the cheddar! So with that being said, I will use the 5-8 Club version as my template. They use American, but they also use blue cheese, and god knows what else! Exciting ingredients equal an exciting meal!

So last night, I decided to try my hand at creating a meal that involves my favorite ingredients. A hunk of cheese, and hamburger.

Talk about a wonderful surprise. I think food that has a creamy and delicious center are awesome. [see also: Twinkie, cheddar wurst, boston creme doughnuts, Hostess Cupcakes]

Audrey really liked them, she almost finished one. [for those who didn't put that together yet, Audrey is my 7 year old daughter]

Wifey really liked them too. I mean just look at them. This is my version of culinary porn. This was my money shot!

That photo was taken with my Blackberry. Yeah, I know, it looks good. It was delish. My friend Julie posted photos of her awesome grilled cheese, but I say that, my burger is better than your grilled cheese. You decide!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Operation Baby Watch: Dirty Diapers and Lavender

I swear, navigating Babies R Us is like navigating the rings of Hell. What makes me uncomfortable is that I am able to navigate it pretty nicely.

That place smells like dirty diapers and lavender, which is what my house will start to smell like in less than a month.

Today was project day. Through the entire month on July, I was working 6 day weeks, with the exception of my quick getaway with the family to Louisville, KY to visit the family. It was tiring and exhausting, and left very little time to work on the baby's room.

Well, last week we finally made progress. You know like the time you started to listen to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and with The Wizard of Oz to see if the lyrics matched the movie. You know it isn't going to work, but you are too stoned to really care. Too far out there? I digress.

But the room is painted. Crib is assembled, which was a complete pain in the ass. The mattress was sheeted, the window was curtained, and the glider chair; well, that was placed in the corner and made to look cozy. The only thing left to do was paint the dresser. Oh joy!

Painting to me, is like what child birth is to women. Messy and painful. I mean at the end of child birth, at least you get a prize. After the dresser was painted I had a sore back and had paint everywhere. There is no happy ending in painting. Even famous artists like DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello didn't really get their greatest recognition until 1984 when Mirage Studios created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The room is coming along nicely, despite the lack of painting enthusiasm. Just another few weeks and there will be something other than the cats living in the room and sleeping on the custom made sheets, quilts, and pillows made by my mom. Wifey's mom also made a crib set, but she is still putting those finishing touches on it.

What wifey also doesn't know is that I secretly snapped a photo of her belly when Dave Ritz was over for the latest podcast. And for those of you who commented, you can get Dave's music at his website, which I so conveniently linked for you.
Now before you get all mad. She knows I have this photo, and he gave me permission [sort of] to use it. The loop hole I found was, once we find out digital camera [it was lost] I could post a photo of her belly. Well this was the best I could get.

Her latest doctor's appointment was today. There is an ultra sound scheduled for next week. Wifey has measured a little large, so they are gonna get an approximate weight of the baby and size. If baby continues at this pace, we could have a 10 pounder on our hands. That freaks her out a little more. And by a little, I mean she belabored this point all day today while we were out navigating the circles of hell.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


So this blog of note thing is pretty hilarious, I'm not going to lie. My statcounter has gone off the charts, and all of you have left some pretty awesome comments. Last night I sat at home, giggling. I was reading comments from all over the world. Today at work I stumbled across an e-mail with an attachment. I opened the e-mail on my Blackberry and read the note.

It went something like, blah blah blah blah, your wife is pregnant, I bet you haven't had sex in a while, here is a photo to jerk off to.


Are you kidding me?

So I opened the attachment and there was a fairly attractive woman, butt naked, diddling herself. It was truly mind boggling.

Does this woman's Dad know she is e-mailing random people? Scratch that. Does her HUSBAND know she's doing that? Does she have a husband? I would have thought that it was just a random photo that someone may have taken off the net, but she took it right by her computer. I could actually see my blog in the background.

Who does that? This girl apparently. I mean, I have read some pretty x-rated blogs, but never have I ever gotten a random nude photo. I mean when I was in my early 20's I would have killed to have chicks send me random nude photos. But now that I am happily married, with a child on the way, I don't need random nude photos. Thanks, but no thanks.

No before you ask me to send you this photo, I have to finish my story. I deleted it, because I accidentally opened it at work, so I had to get rid of it pronto, because although my blog is cool, it doesn't pay the bills, so keeping my job is of the utmost importance. I wish I still had her e-mail. I would have totally forwarded it to my single friends. Maybe it was my piece of ass line in yesterday's blog?

In the meantime, stay classy San Diego!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What happened?

Many things happen in your life that you never knew would ever happen. That promotion at work, that hot piece of ass at the bar you somehow talked into going home with you, the home run you hit in little league, or the first time you stepped onto a football field to either play, or perform. These things in life can change you, forever. They never come announced. Wouldn't it be great if these little events came with an RSVP card? Or maybe a calendar invite on your Blackberry?

Today one of those 'events' happened.

This morning was nothing but routine. Wake up, coffee, breakfast, drive to work. It's August in retail. Let the back to school specials begin. When I got to work I was greeted by 15 people waiting to get into the store. This day was shaping up to be the craziest day. With a short staff, and an average transaction time in the 20 minute range, welcome to my life. Grinding out sales from people who have such a tight hold of their money, I can see the imprints of the letters on their hand. People do not want to let go of anything. So thus, this is when I get to do my job. I need to change your perception of what I sell, and get you to part with your precious money. It's tiring work, but rewarding.

Now before you get all mad, I work in sales. I don't sell you something you don't need, because if you return it, I don't get paid, so what's the use of selling something to you that you are going to turn around and return?

But my day was trucking right along when the Blackberry on my hip chimed to life. It was from my good buddy Lou Duk. He was a recent Blog of Note, but I was one of the people who followed him before all that. His e-mail was simple. "you just got blog of note for today no joke"

My heart skipped a beat. I have been secretly in awe of anyone who has been named a Blog of Note. I met some pretty cool people who have been Blog of Note, or through some people who have been Blog of Note. Tangobaby was the first time I reached out to someone else that I didn't know in this vast world of blogs. I surprised at the response I got. She e-mailed me right back and checked my blog out as well. I felt really good. Someone whom I had never met, liked what I wrote to this blog. From there I would read her comments and I met a few other great people. Jules from Just Jules was another person I have met. I have personally helped her with her cell phones [I sell those]. I have also sold a phone to ~K over at Still Breathing.

Some people have come out and found me from Tangobaby. Lou was one of them.

Now that I am a Blog of Note, I feel undeserving. Tangobaby writes a wonderful blog and take some spectacular pictures, Lou is another one of those people who has an eye for photography which I feel I will never have. So as I am sitting back wondering about what the hell Blogger was thinking, I just feel I owe a thank you to those who have read when I wasn't expecting it, commented it when I needed it, and to all the new bloggers who find my little corner of the blogosphere intersting enough to click the follow button, and to all of you who follow, but don't make it publicly known, I still like you.

My statcounter is getting a workout today. Just some quick points.

  • This is not just a blog, but also ground zero for my Podcast. You probably have listened to my latest episode and if you would like to follow the podcast in iTunes, just search for 'Throwing Quarters' in the Podcast Library.
  • All of the banners and logo's on my blog were created by my wife. If you like what she has done, e-mail her and tell her how awesome it is. If you want to hire her to do some work for you [inexpensive] you can also e-mail her! She loves feedback and creating!
  • If you know an unsigned musician, or a musician who is signed to a indie label, please have them e-mail me so I can get them on my Podcast.
  • This blog is broadcast from Cleveland, Ohio! Word up to my Cleveland, Ohio fans!
  • You will read a lot about my wife, my 7 year old daughter, and my new baby due in less than a month!
  • You can follow me on Twitter.
  • I like comments, and I like it when you tell your friends.
  • The Crazy Lady has been good since posting my blog about her! Thanks for reading that, but she will make another blog, soon.

So, thank you for stopping by and saying hello!

Hastily Thrown together post

Welcome to my humble blog/podcast! Stick around, read up. Promise to post something Blog of Note worthy later today! I can't believe it! I am in good company.

I am stuck at work and can't access my blog to thank blogger properly, and welcome all the new people to my blog.

In the mean time check out the latest podcast, which I guess is what got Blogger's attention.

Thanks for stopping by.

you can follow me on twitter, the widget is on the right hand side of the blog.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Season 2 Episode 2

What happens when you have a singer/songwriter, a guitar, a sound guy, Skype, and some friends over?

This Podcast.

This episode of the Podcast was by far my favorite to produce, edit, and actually put together. As you can hear, we had a great time, and I hope you do as well. Here is a little run down of what we talk about, and listen to.

First and foremost, I cannot say enough great things about Dave Ritz. Truly a great guy, with a great voice, just happy to be doing what he loves to do; entertain. I won't lie, I was a bit nervous about this podcast. Was Dave going to think I was a hack [the answer is more than likely a resounding yes I'm sure] because he's been on bigger and better shows than mine. So having someone over the house and playing for me was a humble experience. I loved every second of it and I cannot thank him enough for coming out. I can't wait to see his live shows with his band behind him. Please go check out his website and say hello.

Dan Ryan, my announcer, and now a contributor to the podcast was also here [he drove Dave from the far East Side to the far West Side] and he brought burgers to grill. There is nothing like having a guest come over and bring burgers for me to grill up and be the butt of a few jokes, but then again, tell us about the movies. Check out his blog and keep tabs on it.

Adam Watt was also here for this podcast making sure it all sounded ok. He brought a studio in a box to capture Dave and his Guitar. He was awesome to hang with as he always is and again, I cannot thank him and his record label enough for supporting this small podcast. Thanks again Adam. If you are a singer/songwriter and want to be considered for a project with Adam, please e-mail him: atomwatt [at]

On the phone this week we had Jules from Just Jules. It is always funny to hear someone's voice after reading their blog and have your own version of what their voice sounds like. She broke in a new segment called, 'Tell us a story". Her story is a must hear, and by God, when I taped this, long after the rest of the gang had left, I was rolling and laughing to the point my eyes watered.

Tune in!

I was able to snap a few photos of Dave Ritz rocking the Couch Potato Studios. Check em.

Blackberry and iPhone users can download Stitcher and search for Throwing Quarters Podcast to listen on the go.

Here is a photo of all of us on the show today.
[left to right: Dan Ryan, Adam Watt, Me, Dave Ritz, and that's Audrey in front]