Monday, November 30, 2009

Throwing Quarters Poetry Jam [Guest Post from Vodka Logic]

Today's guest blogger is Laura from Vodka LogicLaura and I have become good good buddies via Twitter.  She decided to bring a spice of poetry to a blog that is sorely lacking that style.  

Not many people know this but I am published twice as a poet.  Once when I was 17 in high school.  Once as an adult in a poetry anthology.  I have a duct tape book filled with poetry.  Maybe one day I will dust it off and give you a taste of the rhymes I can spit.  Until then, enjoy Laura and her word wizardry 



Hello TQ fans. I want to thank Adam for this opportunity to post as a guest on his blog. The poor guy will be so swamped with us unruly Christmas shoppers that he asked for some help on his blog. Here's mine I call it.........

An Ode to Adam

Hello, I’m your guest blogger today,
Adam is busy slaving away.

Working hard to earn a living,
Twelve hours a day to his boss he is giving.

He asked for bloggers to fill in the gaps,
Didn’t want his site to go empty and lapse.

Some blogger girls offered their skills,
Let’s hope his readers don’t run for the hills.

No guys seemed to jump at the chance,
Cowards I’m thinking, the thought made them blanche.

The challenge for me was what topic to write,
An Eden Fantasy review, or would his readers take flight.

I wanted to be funny, charming and witty,
Like Adam can be, hope he likes my ditty.

This poem popped into my head while at work,
In the middle of the night, it did make me smirk.

So the topic it seems is really nothing at all,
Throwing Quarters may not notice while at work at the mall.

I’ll sneak this blog in and hope he won’t see,
Selling phones for Christmas, on sale says the marquee.

Before this gets epic and runs on too long,
I’ll leave you all with this Mommy blogger song.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Call of Duty [Guest Post from Through the Grapevines]

Today's blog come from Ashley over at Through the Grapevines.  To tell you the truth, I had no idea what to expect.  She was a recent addition to my blog roll and I must say, I have enjoyed her posts. What she came up with is just plain funny, and sad, but mainly funny. 

Her blog today is filled with hilarity and a Call of Duty obsession.  By obsession I mean---well nevermind just read it.



{Hi. You’ve reached the voicemail of Adam from Throwing Quarters. Sorry he’s not available to take your call right now. Please leave a message after the beep.}

I’ve got to admit, when Adam asked me to write a guest post here, I may have peed my pants a little! (read the true blogosphere fairy tale here) In all seriousness though, I’m so honored to be given such a great platform for my voice today. I’m just a little old  unknown blogger with a whole lot of opinions! I hope my post today inspires you and, at the very least, entertains you. If you’re interested in reading more, you can follow my blog, Through the Grapevines or stalk  me on Twitter.

I know that hate is a really strong word, but I really hate video games. (Oh hello, hate mail?) I hate the stupid sounds. I hate the unrealistic graphics. I pretty much hate everything about them. Most importantly, I hate being ignored when my boyfriend has the Playstation controller in his hand! I am seriously convinced that it’s some sort of top-secret CIA shit that blocks women’s voices.

Exhibit A:
The other night, our guest bathroom toilet completely started overflowing & flooding our house. Since I suck at emergency type situations, I start panicking instead of thinking to turn the water off..

D: click click........
D: ..............................
D: ......... BALLS. I have to bomb this airport first!

Don’t get me wrong, guys. I’ve really tried to tolerate video games. I’ve even purchased D a nice, QUIET, relaxing Tiger Woods golf game. (Let’s face it, the sounds of AK-47‘s and football whistles aren’t exactly soothing after a long work day.) I had high hopes of polo shirts, sunny days, and chirping birds. Instead, I hear, “AHHH MANNNNN! COME ON YOU PIECE OF SHITTTTT!!! GO IN THE HOLE!!!” and possibly a controller bouncing on the tiled floor. (Why didn’t it just break?! FML)

The inspiration of this blog post was derived after coming home to find D playing Call of Duty in full army fatigue with all of the blinds closed... For 4 hours.

Ladies- do you feel my pain? Gents- put.the.controller.down!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale [Guest Post from Kasey Crabtree]

Well, like everything, the guest post segments fumbled on Black Friday.  I finally got Kasey's blog post so Kasey is here to lead us off.  Her tale that is pretty remarkable considering how VAST our world is, but then again with advents in social media, our world has definitely gotten smaller.  

But first, here is a little background on our guest blogger. 

@KaseyCrabtree is a DJ with Classic Rock 98.5, WNCX in ClevelandOH ( and can be heard Saturdays from 10am-2pm.  Watch for the launch of her website within the next couple of months, and check back here for info on her own, yet-to-be-titled blog which will have its first official posting before her birthday on December 19th.

From Stranger to special BFF in 48 hours: A True Twitter Tale
by: Kasey Crabtree

That is how I would describe my relationship with Adam (AKA Throwing Quarters).  So when he asked for guest bloggers to help cover his posts over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it seemed the logical thing to do; the next progression of our friendship. It is also an honor to have this, my first ever blogpost, featured in his blog. 

But in order to appreciate where Adam and I are today, we need to look back and review how we got here.  Ours is truly a happy story of the ‘social’ aspect of social media; of some of the best results one could hope for from this new era of communication.  The coolest part: versions of this story could be happening to people everyday, maybe even to you!

The Common Question (?)

So how have things been?  What’s new? Whatcha been up to?
How ARE you?

How many of us will be asked these ubiquitous questions over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend?  How many times will we answer with polite, generic responses: “Things are the same”, “nothing much”, “I’m good”. 

I was recently asked these very questions by a friend I hadn’t seen in a few months.  I looked at her and I wasn’t sure where to begin. Instead of giving her one of the usual scripted responses, I was honest with her, telling her how I had been let go from my ‘day job’ on 4/3/09 – and I that am still job hunting.

I saw her look of concern and sympathy, but before she could say anything, I told her it was all ok – even better than ok. Now she looked puzzled. 

explained I felt like Dorothy when she opened the door from her black and white world to the new world of Oz in Technicolor, or, maybe more appropriately, like Neo, when he swallowed the red pill and wakes up in ‘the real world and begins to understand the true nature of The Matrix.

No, I wasn’t on drugs: rather, I had finally discovered the world of social media, and I couldn’t imagine how I had ever lived without it.  She looked skeptical and dismissive, possessing the same attitude I had toward social media only 6 months ago: Facebook and twitter are a playground for self-absorbed people with way too much time on their hands.

Extolling the virtues and conveniences of twitter (especially once I had been shown Tweetdeck) fell on deaf ears with her, and the glazed look in her eyes made me realize I was losing her.  I offered to give her an example of the power of twitterverse….  Here it goes….

The common (or not-so-common?) occurrence

My first day on twitter was Friday, 7/31/2009; just five short months ago. (I’m @KaseyCrabtree, BTW).  Two weeks later, Friday August 14, 2009, I experienced my first #FollowFriday using Tweetdeck.  It was so exciting - I felt like I had arrived! I think I had about 75-100 followers at that point and was excited to connect with new people. 

@TeamNEO (an organization that promotes business growth and development in NE Ohio) had several #FollowFriday suggestions, many were business, but there was one in the list that was just a name - @acgercak.  I clicked on it and stumbled across one of Adam’s great Throwing Quarters blog entries discussing an “off day” vs. a “day off”.  The quick read was entertaining, candid, witty and well written. I was intrigued.

I tweeted him back complimenting his writing, and so began a dialog between us.  Based on some of his writing, I wondered if he worked in retailyes he did; I then shared how I had recently been let go from high-end retail job myself.  As our short tweets continued back and forth, we both began to see a picture of each other and how many common interests we shared.  Moreover, he was working practically right across the street from my condo, AND we both regularly frequented the same Starbucks.  It was quite the series of coincidences!

I can’t remember the exact sequences of events as he discovered I work part time as a radio DJ (Adam also has some radio experience), and I then invited me to attend the taping of a ThrowingQuartrs podcast on Sunday Aug 16th at The Barley House.  Sunday rolled around; I went to the show featuring singer/songwriter Adam Taylor (@AdamTaylorMusic) and then found myself sitting in on the recording of the podcast, interjecting questions.  It all seemed so effortless, so natural, so comfortable.  By the time the night had ended, many smiles had been exchanged and pictures taken.

Adam seemed like a friend I had know for years, yet 48 hours prior, neither one of us had known of the other’s existence (Adam may have heard me on the radio).  Now, I couldn’t imagine not having this kindred spirit in my life.  I told him he was like my new BFF GF, but he wasn’t a girl, nor was he gay!  However, I felt like I could talk with him about almost anything, and I have!

We are still good friends; I have come to know his wife Jenn, and I tease both of them about the fact that they may have named their new daughter Addison, but I already had a 3 yr old cat by the same name.  See??? Yet another coincidence. 

Now rememberthis wonderful friendship is ALL a DIRECT RESULT of having connected on twitter.

So what did my friend think of this story? She was intrigued, but still concerned about my current status. I acknowledged that on paper, my situation might seem bleak:  I am divorced with no kids (I have 3 cats), I have been unemployed for over 6 months, plus I am deeply in debt and terribly behind on all my bills.

I smiled and looked her straight in the eyes.  All these facts are true; these are all hurdles for me to overcome.  However, I have more hope and a stronger positive feeling toward the future than I have had in over 10 years!  I feel that our society is on the cusp of a new dimension of communication, almost as significant as the invention of the printing press. 

Yet more importantly, I feel like I have finally found “my people”.  A community of caring, positive, foreword-thinking people who embrace change and the future, with excitement and awe.  I have happily stepped into the new world of Social Media, and with every bone in my body; I believe it represents my future. 

To paraphrase a line from a favorite book, please join me; please join US, as we tweet the road of happy destiny.  See you all in the twitterverse!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stay Classy

Sometimes I think we forget the power of the most simple of devices.  A cell phone.  Easily considered a strict communication tool.

It wasn't long ago where we would put printed pictures in our wallet to show off to other people.  We would keep boxes of spare photos under our beds, and in our closets.  That all changed with one small advancement in cell phone technology.

The camera phone.

Somehow overnight we went from printing pictures to snapping photo with our innocuous cell phones.  And if your cell phone has become the virtual wallet of photos, the computer has become the virtual shoebox.

Enter the smartphone.  The smartphone moved our cell phones one step closer to computers in our hand.  Powerful tools to connect us to the virtual world!  Powerful tools to keep us organized! Powerful tools to snap nude photos of ourselves!

Wait.  What?

Yes.  Yesterday after work I was walking to my car.  I saw a friend of mine in the parking lot so we chatted for a little while.  She was having problems with her smartphone, so I offered my assistance to her.

"Let me see it!" I say.

I grab the phone from her hand and I she tells me her memory card isn't working right.  So I open up the phones memory card folder, clicked a few setting and like some kind of magic, her photos came flooding into her phone like water over a levee in New Orleans.

As I am watching the fruits of my labor, I notice something.  There are tits all over these photos.  What is that?  I think they call it shaved?  It looked more like an underwater plant.  I look at her with a perplexed face.

It was just then and there when the color ran from her face much like Usain Bolt from Jamaica.  I hand over the phone, and tell her it's fixed.  I bet she is wishing she didn't run into me in the parking lot, and let alone with her new boyfriend.

I left her with this:

"Nice tits, but a word of advice, let it grow out a little more though, it looks like you're a 12 year old."

And I walked away.  Leaving her blankly staring at her phone.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.    

Starting tomorrow we have some great guest bloggers filling in for me over the long weekend!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Funeral for a friend

I don't feel up to writing a whole lot today. Instead I will try and lend my support my Brother's in-laws, who are some of the nicest people in the world.

See you tomorrow with all pizazz that Thanksgiving should be.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blog it Forward

When you start a blog you start writing for yourself.  You dance like no one is watching, if you will.

Then there comes a point when that whole thing transforms.  You make a few friends, you gain a few readers, and your blog which was coming straight from your heart is now a part of someone else's life.  Then your blog changes.  You start to have a voice in the world.  You become someone's center of influence.  You somehow are put in the position to help someone else, just with your ability to write.

This time of year is always tough and we often lose the meaning of these holidays on shopping and worrying about company.  We never stop and think about all the people out there who are having a tough time.

Yesterday I saw a post from a fellow Clevelander and blogger Chef's Widow.  She told us a story of a 35 year old mother who is in the ICU fighting for her life after having a stroke.  The woman's name was Anissa and her blog that she writes is called Aiming Low.

The Widow decided that she needs to take action.  So she organized a benefit at her restaurant on December 3rd.

I am going to do my best to make sure I am there, and if you are in town, I would love to see you there as well.  It's a good cause and The Widow's husband can sure cook!  

The Blogging community in Cleveland is already spreading the word as I have seen reposts on Cleveland Foodie and Cleveland's A Plum. If you are in Cleveland, please get the word out!

See you there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Life on Auto-Drip

It's that moment when you relinquish control.  You accept the madness that is coming to you.  You find your life is much easier to cope with when you have a routine.


You wake up.  The darkness of the morning is blinding.  You are not sure if you are still asleep or if you are sleep walking.  The night before was a blur.  The only thing you can remember is the pot of coffee you have set up to start brewing precisely as you enter the shower to wash the smells of sleep or other extracurricular activities you happened to have partaken in off.


Fill the pot with water.  3 scoops of coffee in a filter.  Set timer.


You exit the shower still dripping.  Teeth brushed, face shaved, clothes on, and tie tied.


You blankly kiss your spouse good by, just as you see the first peeks of sunlight over the roofs across the street out your second story window.


The trek down the stairs is long.  Your back is still a little stiff.  Maybe you over did it last night?  Maybe you don't care.


The cup is waiting on the counter for you.  Anxiously waiting to do it's duty.  A vessel of salvation.  You pour your coffee.  The rich smell of the Arabica beans.  The sound of the cup filling up.  The snap of the lid.  The first sip.


You grab your car keys, jacket, and the lunch a certain 7 year old made for you on your way out the door.


This is my life, on auto-drip.

*photo credit is here

Sunday, November 22, 2009


The holidays are bad enough.  With the stressing over cooking dinners, making sure the house is clean, and just living through the holidays in retail; we don't need anything else stressing us out. 

Unfortunately, for my family, the holidays are a mixed blessing.  On one hand, this is where I make most of my money for Christmas gifts, bills, and over all holiday cheer, but on the other hand I am never around.  On one hand the family gets together, but on the other hand we notice the ones we lost over the years.

The holidays are always a stressful time, but for me they are exceptionally stressful.  Back in 2000 I lost my 6 year old cousin to a brain aneurysm just a few short weeks after Thanksgiving.  In 2005 I lost my Grandfather just a few days before my Grandmother's birthday on December 12.  Two major unexpected deaths during the thick of the holiday season.  There was a time when I wished December would just be canceled.

Well today we can add one more to the mix.  My sister-in-law lost her Grandfather today.  A death felt very close to home.  It's never easy to say good-bye, and it's exceptionally difficult to watch it all happen in hospice at home, but as of today, her Grandfather is in a much better place.

He has been fighting a sickness for sometime and now he no longer has to fight.  He is comfortable.  He is at peace.

The bad side of all of this is the timing.  Just a few days away from Thanksgiving.  Needless to say, our Thanksgiving plans with my brother and his family have been canceled so that his family can mourn and heal.  Keeping it low key.  Trying to keep all that stress at bay.  It's hard enough to say good-bye, but let alone say good-bye and entertaining guests or trekking all over the city when all you want to do is cry.

Jenn and I are replanning Thanksgiving plans, and it gives us time to get the Christmas stuff out and put it all up, and to get the house cleaned up for our friends coming from out of town.  Our Thanksgiving plans really are on the Sunday following when we get to cook for our friends from Washington D.C. and also friends we don't get to see very often.

So let's hope my sister-in-law and her family can mourn peacefully and make the best out of the holiday season.

I'm not overly religious.  I could be considered as spiritual.  I don't subscribe to any particular school of thought, but it's days like today when I find myself thinking about mortality.  I wish my Brother and his family well.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gearing Up

You can sense it as you walk through the mall.


The new holiday help as just started, the veterans are walking the floor with a calm and cool demeanor as they silently look over the displays.  They fold clothes.  Answer questions.  Ring people out.  Handle the crowds.  You can tell who was green and who was not.  The greenhorns are freaking about the lines.  The vets know that this is just the beginning.  The storm surge before the hurricane. 

The vets have a blank stare that only many holiday shopping seasons can bring.  The greenhorns have that naivety and have no clue what is in store for them. 

This is all a part of the week leading up to Black Friday.  Training the new people while making sure everything is in place. 

Retail.  They aren't gonna know what recession is.  The month leading up to Christmas Eve is a marathon.  Days will start to run together, everyone starts to look the same, and you still have a sense of calm in the chaos around you.  The retail machine is a well oiled one.  Supply chains are secured.  Headcount is accounted for.  Computer systems are double checked to make sure the flow of cash doesn't stop. 

For a weekend, retail workers are going to forget that there is recession.

Today I could sense all of it as I walked the mall with the Wife to do Christmas shopping recon. 

I have gotten 2 of the 5 blogs to be posted during the Black Friday weekend.  I must say, they are fantastic, and I cannot wait to introduce you to the soon to be famous bloggers who are going to fill in. 

Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving plans and an Invitation

"What are you doing for Thanksgiving?"

How does one who works in retail answer that?  Do they think they are going to get a crazy awesome story on how they go through Thanksgiving with a smile on their face and a thankfulness that they have the long weekend to stay at home and veg out, maybe do some Christmas shopping?


My plans for Thanksgiving [as of right now] are to get up extra early to start prepping the bird for the oven.  Then I go through the day, glad to have the family and friends over, and I listen to everyone else make plans for shopping, hanging out, and sleeping in all weekend.  My plans are not nearly as exciting.  I will kick my family out of the house around 8-ish so that I can get to bed early, because my alarm is going to be going off very very early in the morning so I can get to work the next day by 5:30am. 

I work in retail.  While many families may go out and have their Christmas shopping bonanza, Christmas decoration hanging parties, and singing with canned laugher and happy Christmas Carols, I am at work, listening to the same 15 Christmas tunes our Musak will play over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.....

You forget about the workers in retail this time of year. You see us all as punk kids working their way through college without a vested interest in you.  You think we don't care.  You think we are there to abuse. 

"Do you know how long I stood outside?" or "Do you know how long I waited?"  you'll say.  In the back of my head I want to shake you and tell you that there is more to life than shopping on Christmas, and that you take yourself WAY too seriously.  But nontheless I won't.  I will smile, apologize for your wait, and give you my undivided attention.  I take it upon myself to make sure your family has a nice Christmas present, and I ask you a lot of questions to make sure that the product you pick out is going to make your little Johnny smile in delight and tell you that you are the best mother/father in the world.  I am going to take your snide remarks, your shit eating grins, and overall grumpiness, and let it roll off my back, because frowns don't sell people, I sell people.

We are a week from Thanksgiving here in America.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Oh and I am looking for a few good bloggers.  Because I am going to be pulling some crazy hours next week, I would like to have you guest post throughout the weekend.  Shoot me over an e-mail at throwing25s [at] gmail [dot] com.  There is no theme, but I would love to have you on.  Just let me know if you want to come on and blog.  I have 5 spots open starting on Black Friday to December 1st. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm Suing The Clevelnd Browns

So, it being Wednesday and a day AFTER Justifiable Homicide Tuesday, I figured I would chime in on a hot subject.  Frivolous lawsuits.

If I see one more ad on daytime television talking about how this lawyer will "make them pay" I will slit my wrists and bleed on the 1000 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets I might find somewhere..  The modern day advertising equivalent to ambulance chasers. So while people are having lawyers sue companies for whatever, I am making a list of people to sue.

Today, my target is my beloved Browns.

In 1964 The Cleveland Browns were tops in football.  It was the pre-merger days.  Paul Brown was winning championships with the Cleveland Browns on the legs of Jim Brown.  Cleveland was the mecca of all things pro-football.  With the Pro Football Hall of Fame just a short drive from downtown Cleveland, we would be considered the cradle of professional football.

All you football fans out there, Cleveland says you're welcome.

Then the 80's happened.  The Drive, The Fumble.  Just mentioning these things in front of me makes me want to find a high ledge and just jump off to a nasty death.  Just a side note, I hope I would make a mess. 

In 1995, Cleveland lost its team as they knew it.  Art Modell lacked the business acumen to secure a new stadium and the political clout to get the help to make it happen, but I am pretty sure he just never asked for help either, so he moved the team to Baltimore.  He was forced to leave the team color, name, and history at the door, and Cleveland said, with a middle finger up, "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."

In 1999, the Cleveland Browns came back.  With an expansion draft under its belt, they came back to a sold out stadium.  But what they didn't have were the ticks in the win column.

Flash forward.  Its now 2009.  A decade later and the Browns have yet to make it past a division playoff game.  Shit, I would like to string together 2 winning seasons.

So I'm suing the Cleveland Browns.  When I have the opportunity, I will devoutly watch the Browns consistently lose on Sunday.  According to my wife, it seems as though I developed a drinking habit.  When they lose I tend to have more than 3 drinks and when they win, I am too excited to drink, or confused because frankly, it doesn't happen all that often.

I'm filing suit on the Cleveland Browns for leading me to drink.  Start winning, I might settle out of court.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Taking up space

I am going to be honest.  I have been having fun these past few weeks.  I have been making appearances on friends blogs as of late. 

I have only shared with you 2 of those guest posts.  All of the other one's are secret.  No, you will not find the links here.  So that's my story.  I have been taking up space on other blogs. 

That's not to say I have been neglecting my blog.  I am working on some awesome blogs.  I want to introduce you to some other good bloggers out there, and I have one hell of an opportunity to win a fabulous prize from a prominent Cleveland blogger and so do you.  Go over and check out her blog now and find out what she is giving away for shopping here in Cleveland.  Here's the link!  Go!

So that being said.  So troll the internet and look for those guest posts [there is even one out there today] if you dare, but don't ask me where they are, I'm not telling.  Just know that they are pretty awesome. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Breaking all the rules.

So I recently read a blog written by a friend of mine from High School.

I have never laughed out loud reading a blog before. I chuckle, smile, smirk, but I never have literally LOL'd. Go read it, it's pretty funny.

Now that you've read it, I am going to break every criteria that gets her to tune in to MY blog, IF she tunes in at all.

Today was the day. 2 months and 1 day ago Addison was born. Well now that we are 2 months in, it was time for shots.

*gets up on his soap box and all opinions and claims of fact are probably made up for my own purposes, and again, all opinions are my own, so if you're offended, go fuck yourself.*

If you do not get your children vaccinated, you're an idiot. Really. If you have watched Oprah and saw Jenny McCarthy sitting there spouting some junk bullshit science about how these things are not tested or safe for your child, and you thought it was all fact, again, you probably are drinking Evian [spell it backwards] water. Oprah is NOT a doctor. Jenny McCarthy is an actress. Just because they are on TV talking about bullshit and making claims that a vaccine caused her child's autism is complete and outright bullshit. The timing of the vaccine and the onset of autism is more than likely just a coincidence. Or less that 1% of all people vaccinated have an adverse reaction to the vaccine so the likely hood of that happening is slim.  Jenny McCarthy already used her 1% when she got her chance on MTV so it's unlikely she would have gotten lucky twice.

Did you know the CDC has a hot line that every doctor is tapped into to report any reactions to the vaccine. If it's systemic, they pull it, like they did with the roto virus vaccine 8 years ago.

Don't tell me that vaccinating my child is a bad idea. You're a retard if you don't vaccinate yours.

That being said. I talk a lot about vaccines and how safe they are and I am asked by customers, coworkers, and friends about the H1N1 vaccine. I tell them to get vaccinated if they think they are at risk of getting it, but I don't think, necessarily that the H1N1 vaccine is needed. I have known people who have had it [my wife had it back when it was just called Type A influenza] and they all said the same thing. It isn't as bad as the media is making it out to be. It makes you feel like shit for 5 days. As long as you got the Tamiflu, you'll feel better in no time.  Just as many people die from the regular flu as H1N1.

It's no coincidence that the media is hyping this version of the flu at the same time Congress is debating the biggest overhaul of our healthcare system.  Whether or not THAT is need will need to be saved for another blog.

Well today to prove to you that I believe the H1N1 vaccine is safe, my wife and I, together, got the H1N1 vaccine today. I am not going to say where, because they do not advertise that they have it because of the limited dosages, and we had to go through a questionnaire to make sure that we were in an 'at risk' category to get it. Just know I didn't get it from the dude at the street corner.  Check with your doctor.

So now that I am vaccinated, the Wifey is vaccinated, and Addison is vaccinated [not H1N1 just the regular 2 month shots.  advice to new parents, just get them all done at the same time, no need to make your baby feel like crap for 1 day 3 weeks in a row], I just need to get Audrey to the doctor to get hers.

Now, onto the 2nd half of the blog that is gonna break another rule of Meghan's rules of why she DOESN'T read your blog.

If you have followed my wife on Twitter, she has been down lately. She has been struggling with delicate balancing act of making sure we have money to pay bills, and trying to get her school schedule solidified, and over all being a mom that doesn't feel like she is contributing to the household. Nothing could have been further from the truth on that one.  My undies don't wash themselves, my dog can't feed himself, the baby can't change herself, and mom can't do it all by herself [although she tries really really hard to do it all].  Mommy also needs to make sure she is doing what SHE likes to do and not worrying about everyone else!  Hence the birthday present I gave her that she still hasn't done anything with. [again, another blog for another time]

That being said, I can understand the need to feel like you are contributing financially to the house, but what sucks about the whole thing, is that she can't go back to work full-time because we would have to put Addi in daycare and Audrey in after school care.

Because I make too much money to qualify for daycare assistance, so putting the baby in daycare would be a wash financially. All of Jenn's income would go to child care and with her final semesters of school coming up, that is nearly impossible to manage a full-time job, the baby, and her demanding school schedule.  We've went through her possible days had she had a full-time job and she would have to leave the house round 7:30am and not be home until 9:30pm [after school].  With my finicky work schedule, it would be hard at this time to manage.  When school is out of the way, it will be easier to manage.

This really reached a head this week when the Wifey had an especially hard day. So we she came up with a solution. My wife has got a talent that I do not possess. She can draw, paint, and create things digitally that I would never be able to come up with in my wildest dreams. Look at my blog header, logo, and the backstage pass she created for Audrey. Sure I came up with the ideas, but she can execute them.  She is amazing.

So enter the Wifey's latest adventure.

You see all the rich people doing it. You know, decorating their child's room with block letters on the wall that spells said child's name on the wall. The letter's are ungodly expensive; to get them personalized would require you to hire an interior designer and even then, you would have to compromise with the design, or because YOU lack the creativity or the ability to; customize those letters yourself, then you end up painting them white and calling it a minimalist design.

This is where my wife comes in. She will take what your room looks like, and create a theme on the letters around that. She will work with you to make sure they fit in and look terrific. She has been making these things for years and for the first time, she is about to go public with it, and open up her own 'business' for lack of a better word.

She is also planning on making custom jewelry [a la Just Jules] with my mother [who recently lost her job and has been making her own jewelry for herself and family for some time] and offering all of these things to you just in time for Christmas.

There is an official website coming soon, and possibly an Etsy [looking into the cost], and when it all goes live, I will let you know and enlist your support. 

Making something out of nothing is what her our plan is and I hope you can help her us.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ok, Ok, Ok

Remember yesterday when I said I was over at Just Jules? Yeah, I lied, it's today. But if you have your RSS feeds tuned in, you are sure NOT to miss it!

Go over, check out Jules' site. She just got back from Vegas and she is dead dead tired. Let's just hope she didn't get any tattoos she doesn't know about [a la Dude, Where's My Car?]

Ok, what are you still here for, get the hell outta here and over to Just Jules.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm not here

I'm not here today. I am over at Just Jules' place a a guest blogger for the day.

Jules is currently flying home from a vacation in Vegas. Let's hope she has some good blog material.

So if you are still reading this, you really need to stop and get the heck over to Just Jules and follow her, and check out her other guest bloggers, and comment the shit out of my guest post.

It's long but reads fast!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Holidays, Rebates, and a Guest Post


It's now nearly a week into November and I am still blogging. To me this is just amazing this time of year.

A part of every holiday season are rebates on big ticket items. Like, cell phones, printers, computers, game systems, and maybe the occasional car. A majority of these rebates are mail-in. *I can see the eye rolls from here*

Coming from a guy who works at a retailer who offers mail-in rebates, take my advice. Don't give your sales associate shit when he tells you that the rebate is mail-in. No matter how much you ask, the guy on the other side of the counter doesn't have a way to make it instant. Many retailers, mine included, offer instant rebates if you buy your items on-line. Again, coming from a guy who works in retail, DO NOT under any circumstances go into the store, waste the sale rep's time and then when he is ready to close the sale, leave and say, well I am just going to buy on-line because they offer instant rebates.

If you are savvy enough to buy on-line, you are savvy enough to do all your research on-line, make your own decisions, and not clog up the retail stores with your questions that the sales rep will answer with a smile, even though your are being a dick and not buying from him. The sales reps that work on commission hate it when this happens. Why would you waste their time? Isn't their time worth something? [Yeah that's right we don't have "real" jobs" because we work in retail, somehow we are less human that you] While we are doing our job with the hopes that we will make a commission, you are sitting there knowing that you are not going to buy from me who is right in front of you diligently selling you a product, you are going to go home and buy your things on-line.

Then when you make the wrong choices on-line you are going to come into the retail stores and return it, wasting even more of the sales rep's time. Not only did you not allow me to do my job, you want ME to fix YOUR mistake.

Now you have wasted how much time? If you came in and listened to your sales rep, who is trained to discern what is good for his customer and what is not based on the questions he asked, you decided that coming up with an extra $50.00 was not worth it, because YOU had to mail something in to get that $50.00 back. Instead you have wasted a sales rep's time returning product you should never have purchased in the first place and if you had listened to your sales rep when he TRIED to help you, this would have never happened. Meanwhile, your sales rep has lost potentially hundreds of dollars helping you instead of selling to customers who value his time and opinion and will gladly shell out the extra $50.00 in the store knowing that they will do the right things and mail in the rebate.

And you wonder why you aren't getting the BEST service out there? If someone came up to you and took a C-Note out of your pocket, you'd be pretty pissed off too.

So take my opinion and rant for what it is. A how to guide for good service.

Just a quick little side bar for those naysayers out there who think that mail-in rebates are bullshit. You are right. The reason mail-in rebates are STILL around, is because only 60% send them in [in the case of Dell Computers it is more like 2% and the company pocketed $5,000,000 in profit because of it]. If more like 80% sent them in it would eat into the profits of either the manufacturer or the retailer, and I bet you would just see a reduction in prices. But because you are lazy you forget, or don't care to send them in, thus perpetuating the problem.

Get on it.

Now onto some fun stuff. I am a featured guest blogger on another blog tomorrow. So set your Google Readers, RSS feeders, or Blogger "Blogs I Follow" to Just Jules.

She is currently on vacation and asked for some help, so I offered up a guest post. I will warn you, because of time constraints, I used an old post. That post is on THIS blog, but because most have not read it because it was one of the first 3 posts I did on here, so I sent it over Jules. I am anchoring her guest posts tomorrow, so show up and show some love. I guess she saved the best for last, but some of her other guest posters are amazing bloggers, so go over there now, poke around, get to know Jules and her Guest Bloggers.

The post is a recount of a very eventful day in my life way back in 2006. I was younger, and going through some stuff and it was in the first few years the Wifey and I were dating. So don't bother looking for that post here. I would rather you show Jules some love and follow her blog too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

[Audrey and her pumpkin. Take a look at this face, because you might not recognize it later]

Halloween. Where minors dress up in make believe lives and go knock on their neighbors doors for candy. If children wanted to do this at any other point of the year, they would have the cops called on them.

Our story for this Halloween starts last year.

I was sitting in the car of the Outback Steakhouse. I received a photo of my step-daughter [the first born of my ex-wife]. It was awful. She was wearing a store bought costume that was too small over a regular outfit. You can tell in the photo that she was uncomfortable, embarrassed, and pissed off that she left her costume in the hands of her unwilling and unengaged father. I have a pet name for her father, Summer's Eve. His name for now on is Summer's Eve, or Summer for short. Why do you ask? Because he is a douche bag!

Moving on. I showed the photo to my wife. In the back seat of our car we had a very sleepy Audrey in her homemade hippie outfit. Jenn made a commitment to my step-daughter that she would make her costume next year.

All through the summer the Kids would check in and give their ideas to Jenn. I want to be this, I want to be that. It wasn't until late August that the Kids decided on a good witch and a bad witch. Jenn and her brain started to work. Audrey was going to be the bad witch. Black and Green were going to be her colors. Orange and White were the other colors for the Step-Daughter.

Jenn worked tirelessly since October. Finding materials as she went looking for baby things. Consulting her mother and my mother for ideas on how to make a skirt, a top, ways to make it pretty, ways to make it ugly.

It wasn't until mid September that the fabric sheers came out and construction began. Jenn fit in her sewing time between cleaning, laundry, baby feeding, and many times giving up much needed rest. There was a time where Jenn was getting frustrated with her progress when Audrey would come over and tell her how excited Katelyn was getting that Jenn was making her costume too.

The pressure that Jenn put on herself to make sure not only Audrey and Addison had a good Halloween, but that Katelyn who is just as much a part of our lives as anyone, also had a good costume.

The Thursday before Halloween, Jenn stayed up late to finish the costumes. She gave up much needed rest, again, but this time would be the last for the costumes.

They came together great, and so I made preparations to make sure both girls could be at the house on Halloween for a final fitting and last minute adjustments.

The morning of Halloween Audrey was excited. She was looking forward to Trick-or-Treat time seeing as the day before she wore her costume to school for her Halloween party and she got great reveiws, and she also had a badge of honor, having been the only child in the school to have a hand made costume.

Katelyn and Audrey played all day, but they were just counting down until Trick-or-Treat.

I ran into work for a Hail Mary pass to hit my goal at work. Too bad the Hail Mary pass was thrown to Braylon Edwards and the game was lost, but I had plenty of other things that needed to be done.

I had to get these girls ready to go.

I stopped by my Grandmother's house to get our clown make-up.

Side Story: When I was younger and more involved with my church, we had a clown troupe that went to nursing homes and schools to make people laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. I will try and find photos and post them later.

S0 having done make-up in the past, I decided that store bought throw away make-up was not good enough. I was prepared to use it, but I remembered the make-up bag my Grandma had.

So as Jenn started hair for Katelyn, I started make-up for Audrey. I am not much of a glamor make-up artist, I am more of a character make-up artist.

[Hair Curling by Jenn]

[Audrey after the first hour of make-up by Me]

Audrey was a champ. By the time I was her age I was a pro at getting make-up applied, but this was the first time she had had her face painted with the intensity I was throwing at her. She looked tired and haggard because it is tough holding still that long to get a base coat of green on, all for the bad witch effect.

Audrey was not really excited about the process. She was really happy with the result of the hard work and sometimes pain she had to endure. About 90 minutes later, Katelyn's hair and make-up were done, and so was Audrey's. They suited up for the war that is Trick-or-Treating, and their Mom and Step-Father came over to join in the trick or treating fun, along with their other sister.

[L-R: Katelyn, Audrey, Makayla]

Addison's costume was not as intense as Audrey's, but she was there mainly for support and show, than for actual Trick-or-Treating.

[Addison and Me]

[Her Halloween Sleeper]

[Enjoying an evening in costume]

So after Trick-or-Treating, Audrey, Jenn, and I got separated for the rest of the pack. So we stood at the end of the street waiting for them to meet back up. Everyone was getting pictures of Audrey and her witches stare, and they all wanted her to smile.

I sent them a reply with this photo and a caption.

[Bad Witches don't smile]

In the end, we spent more money making costumes than it would have been to just buy them. I just looked it up. These costumes would have cost us $14.95 ech had be bought them. Instead we spent over $50.00 or so making these, not counting the make-up which cost easily $30 bucks because of the high quality stage make-up we used.

Who needs to save on looking good. Not my kids!