Monday, December 29, 2008

Dream Update #???

Let's see, I had to move out of my apartment, because of the TV/HD situation, and Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois Tight End, was my roommate. That was the dream I had before 6.

Afterward, there was a dream that involved some sort of bizarre strip club type thing that I got suckered in to, where they were taking rich and powerful people. The strip club wasn't labeled as such, and so they had sent invitations to people in the community that they believed had money. We were all there, including James Earl Jones, and were a little hinky about the whole thing, because it was a fancy strip club. But then the other rich people got ushered in to one room, and I didn't, because I obviously didn't have money. It's at that point that we started moving, and yes, the strip club was actually the back end of a tractor-trailer 18 wheeler, and we had been kidnapped.
I was in a different room, and was able to escape out the back door. I then had to try and make my way through Peoria (which was actually like Venice, completely water-filled) on a motorcycle, and rescue, or get back together, with the people who I had lost. One of whom was ?uestlove, of the Roots. My solution on how to do this was to play the drums with members of the band.
Eventually, he showed up.

Also, I dreamed that I had found a large open field in Canada, so I started farming. Unfortunately, I was just a pawn in some type of computer game where I farmed to harvest something for the headquarters, and then we had to build castles to protect our area, etc., because suddenly, the blue team came running through my fields to come destroy shit. That wasn't cool. I had some cabbage to tend to.

More on Christmas at a later time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

OK, here's something that bothered me today:

Something that bothered me today at the gym, conversation by two nearly naked dudes:

A: Hey
B: Hey
A: How are you doing?
B: I'm freezing my BUTT off!
A: I know, can you believe it?

YES YOU CAN BELIEVE IT. Know why, dumbass? Because that's what happens in Central Illinois. It gets freaking cold from time to time. So yes, sir, I can indeed believe it, because it happens every freaking year. EVERY. FREAKING. YEAR.

I then laughed at him, which caused both of them to stop the conversation and look at me. I ran off.

Also, as a follow-up to yesterday's post, Julia reminded me that she will not ever be done with her projects. Ever.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A couple of random thoughts for today, the 14th.

-The United Center game went well. My Dad says he's got some photos, but I haven't yet seen them. I would like to. And he also has a video of me doing the intros with the lights out.
-Christmas is less than two weeks away. I'm pretty much done with my shopping, and I've stayed within my budget for the first time in probably 3-4 years. I have 2 people left to shop for. Both of these people read this blog. I want to make sure they get the gifts they should get because of the love I have for them. So it is tough.
-This Rod Blagojevich thing is just unbelievable. I won't sit here and pretend that the words that I have would have any more weight than the words written by the slew of political critics. Or wannabes, like Glenn (who needs to be a talking head). But it's really just amazing, isn't it? When you talk to legal experts, and they tell you that the only defense will be to say "well, it's always been done like this," that is just stunning. Much like others, I was not surprised that it happens. I was surprised at the length to which he has gone.
-Update on my throat: I have made a deal with Julia. I'm getting it checked after January 1, and she's getting her eyes looked at. Nice to have deals. Peer pressure is amazing.
-I am in charge of the Illini Radio Group holiday party. Vegas style, buffet, etc. And a party DJ for the people who want to dance at the end of the night. I think it will be a lot of fun.
-I get asked a lot of questions about the basketball team. All I really want to say about it is that it's been a fun team to work with so far.
-I put up Christmas lights today, for the first time ever on my own. At the age of 32.
-Bonita has her cast off. But she's not out of the woods. Her nail is now disstended (is that the right word?), and she's lightly limping. She still wants to play fetch all the time, though. Which certainly makes me happy.
-This week, I have no announcing. I'm thrilled for that. Julia gets done with her big project on Wednesday, and I'm looking forward to her not having to worry about that for a few weeks. It's certainly taken a lot of her time, and has been stressful. Sadly, I don't get to go out to Tulsa after Christmas. That's too bad. But, it is what it is. There will be another time.
-Leigh and Louis have a new car. Neat. I know no details.
-I've started watching 60 minutes again.
-Training begins now for the Illinois Marathon, April 11. I hope that I can run under 1:55. I would like to be down to 1:50 by August. We'll see. It's definitely doable.
-That's all. As always, I love questions.

Friday, December 5, 2008

So, it's time for the United Center game.

I'm sitting in my spectacular hotel room at the downtown Hilton in Chicago, about 12 hours away from doing my intros at the United Center. This game is just different than the others. It's the whole lights out, Illinois only intros. It's the jerseys in the rafters. It's the fact that this is where I went in the early 90s, to see basketball Jesus. It's the fact that he'll be there, and his statue will be out front. It's the fact that these fans are a little more basketball savvy, and quite frankly, don't give a crap about who the PA announcer is. I like that.
My throat, on the other hand, is not ready. It's in pain. I'm muddling through right now. After Clemson, there was a ton of pain. I think once the new insurance plan kicks in on January 1, I'm going to go to the ENT doctor, just to get it looked at. Granted, I know he'll just say "rest it." But I just want to make sure that there isn't anything else to be done.
I really do need a flat screen TV, don't I. Yes. I do.
This Hilton only has about 25 stations. That seems odd to me.
When I get nervous, as I am right now, I want to eat. I'm craving diner food. Eggs and hash browns. What I have is gluten free granola bars.
And Predator on TV, apparently, as evidenced by Carl Weathers and Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
Sarah has laryngitis. I freaked out on her this morning. I feel bad about that. But not entirely. Because laryngitis is not something to eff around with.
I made gluten free lasagna for Julia and I last night. Shockingly, it was OK. I'm happy to have a good excuse to cook again.
I think I'm running out of time on my one hour of internet here. I'm hoping to get through tomorrow, and see what I have left for Monday. I'm also hopeful that a night of rest will help my throat. And maybe some hot tea in the morning.
Outside of that: things are going well.
Love you all most of the time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Loving. This. Team.

Loving it. Absolutely loving it.
So happy to be associated with them.

Monday, November 17, 2008


So, the Challenger is done. I still have to put together a recap for the USTA so I can get paid, and my friends can get some nice gifts for Christmas, but yeah, everything wrapped up quite smoothly.
I'm very thankful that I had Alex to spend the time with. He's very good at what he does, and despite all the crap that we give each other, it was a lot of fun all week long. Webbie was awesome with her Jimmy Johns runs, and her ability to make me laugh. Julia was sweet enough to deal with me when exhausted, and to come out twice to sit and enjoy some tennis. And Leigh kept me calm when I completely wigged on Friday.

Now, I am ready to focus on basketball, my personal life again, and my running. Exciting times are in front of me.
More later.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Before this takes over.

Let's see.....friend update: Ali is in Dubai. Unreal. She was sitting there, and Jelena Jankovic came up and talked to her.
Ted: Jamaica. Freaking Jamaica. And he recently went to Lebanon.
Intern: Living in San Diego, spent Halloween in Las Vegas.

Apparently I need to get cracking.

Things are really good, though. I have no major complaints. For the most part, I managed to get my house at least picked up and organized ahead of the tournament. Today I'm paying my bills, and I'm ready to start Christmas shopping once we're done here. I know this all sounds really mundane, but these are the things that I've failed to do the last few years. So.....I'll take it.

So downtown Champaign nearly burned to the ground yesterday. I have this conspiracy theory that somehow, someone who wants to continue with the new buildings that are being constructed around the area, did this on purpose. Just a hunch.

The soccer team is waiting this weekend to find out if they make the NCAA tournament. I'm going to think positively. In the mean time, you can (hopefully, if I post this correctly) watch one of our award winning versions of Corner Kicks.


Monday, November 3, 2008

So, do you like Phil Collins?

I have two ears and a heart, don't I?

Today, Monday November 3rd, officially starts the two weeks of crazy that is the Challenger tennis tournament. This year, it has been toned down a bit for me, as the USTA would not allow us to do our own programs. Less writing for me, and less stress, but bad for fans. And isn't that what the USTA should be working towards? Building back up a dwindling fan base? Lord. I don't claim to know the answers all the time, but this is a no brainer. If there are bright and enterprising people at the tournament sites, take advantage of them, and let them do things that they think will enhance the experience for fans. If not, you're wasting money, and ideas. And that's disappointing.

First basketball game yesterday. From my standpoint, it went as well as can be expected. No flub-ups, a good amount of energy, and the voice held up. Of course, on the message board, there was still one or two "this PA guy.....he sucks. Long live Jim Sheppard." That's cool. It's to be expected. I guess. I'm just happy to be doing my job, and getting paid to do it. I'm pretty lucky that way.

While I look forward to the end of the Challenger on November 16th, I'm not sure if I'm more excited about the fact that I'll be down to just one sport for announcing/covering (basketball), or the fact that I'll be able to start planning the CrackMonkey trip to Las Vegas. I think I may have a problem. Correction. I know I have a problem. But dammit, it's just so much fun!!!

Final thoughts: Tonight is our final softball game of the year. My brain and my beat up body both say thank goodness.
- Now that I think about it, I'm also very excited to clean my house after the Challenger is over too. And hopefully, have Bonita take her cast off, so she's happy again.
- Had a chance to be a celebrity waiter at a benefit for CASA last week. Had a blast, took off my pants, and met some wonderful people.
-Oh, and the Bonita update: She hides all the time now, only coming out for food, and naptime with me. It's very depressing.

On that note, I'm off to go dress like John McCain.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My latest distraction and cause of lack of sleep:

I don't know how she did it. But she has a broken bone in her paw, and has to wear a cast, and collar, for at least 4 weeks.

Thankfully, during this time, I'm not working a lot or anything.......

Today, I've had to move my litter box and a mattress to the ground floor, since she's not allowed to go up and down stairs.

it's pretty sad, and she's a tough booger. She managed to shake the original cast off last night. She's also cost me several hundred dollars in the last 24 hours. YOU OWE ME, BONITA!

Monday, October 27, 2008

A photo, and answers.....

1) A clear cloudless day-time sky is blue because molecules in the air scatter blue light from the sun more than they scatter red light. When we look towards the sun at sunset, we see red and orange colours because the blue light has been scattered out and away from the line of sight.The white light from the sun is a mixture of all colours of the rainbow. This was demonstrated by Isaac Newton, who used a prism to separate the different colours and so form a spectrum. The colours of light are distinguished by their different wavelengths. The visible part of the spectrum ranges from red light with a wavelength of about 720 nm, to violet with a wavelength of about 380 nm, with orange, yellow, green, blue and indigo between. The three different types of colour receptors in the retina of the human eye respond most strongly to red, green and blue wavelengths, giving us our colour vision.

2) Because it was not being publicized well enough, and with enough creativity. People need to think outside the box when they have fun ideas like this.

3) I think you should be a ballerina, Christina. I think you have the fluidity needed, and obviously, the dancing skills.

Basketball game #1 is in the books. Content with it. Good to get back in the flow. First exhibition game on Sunday. Should be a hoot, as my mother would say.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I'm Still Alive......

That is all. I'm willing to answer any and all questions, however.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Random thoughts for October 14th-

Lots of things to get to.
1) A shoutout to Grandma and Grandpa Cation, who apparently saw the video of Laura becoming a magician, and left a voicemail saying "dishes are supposed to stay on the table." Good point, Grandma....however, they were also not supposed to stay out all night!
(and neither were we)
2) A special shoutout of love and support to the ass who hit me in the nuts during our softball game last night, without a simple "my bad." I have three bruises on my body today from getting hit by you assholes last night. And 0 apologies. 0.
(for the record, my bruises are on my ankle, my left hand, which might have saved my ability to procreate some day, and right above my dillybar.)
3) I had a fun night at the Crackmonkey party on Saturday night, where we got to hand out all of our awards for the wonderful summer season, and as Jill Cappa so aptly put it, I was being a ham. Shocking.
4) I have found I have at least one friend who uses me in certain situations, but doesn't like to hang out on my time. Not sure how to handle that.
5) I think i'm going to start pulling a George Costanza, and start doing the opposite of what I normally would do. I'm interested to see the fallout.
6) My new vacuum cleaner is lovely. It actually works well.
7) On Saturday, there is a possibility that 15 or so 21 year old girls will be staying in my apartment, as my cousin and her club volleyball team will be in town from Madison. There is a whole hell of a lot of "what the eff are you doing there" possibilities. As in, Mike, this is not a good idea. But it's family.
8) Read an interesting article this morning, and I wish I could find and link it, about the possibility that Obama's poll numbers are overly inflated by white guilt. That when asked by another person, that many whites feel guilty saying they're not voting for the black guy, so they say they are. But when they're by themselves, they vote for the white guy. Interesting read.
9) Personally, I'm very excited that last Friday, I was able to run four miles. First time since May that I was able to go past 3.1 . Very exciting.
10) I would love to spend Saturday just cleaning and reorganizing this place, but don't have time. Any suggestions?

Did I miss anything here? Let me know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I have Sunday off.

I'm going to try and use it well.

I obviously get freaked out and dramatic way too easily, as I did last night, but whenever those things happen, I try my best to learn from them.

So, I've made a promise to myself this morning that I'm going to do the best I can to pull a George Costanza, and try to do the opposite of what I would normally do.

In all, I'm going to try and put myself in better positions so that I don't get annoyed so easily. Because as most of you know, I get annoyed quite easily.

I wrote a bunch of other stuff, but then realized it was directed towards people, and was a crappy way to direct the disdain I'm feeling today. Because ultimately, it doesn't matter. People are who they are (self included), and I'm certainly not going to change them. I just have to make better choices for myself. That simple.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yeah, so I've been rather busy of late.

Soccer, Ed and Kelly's wedding, the grandparents anniversary weekend, Leigh in town.....I'm rather worn out.
I don't have a heck of a lot to say at this moment. So I'm going to upload photos.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Dream Update #7

I apologize for the lack of my good friend Ali was so kind as to point out this morning, going so far as to say my life is boring.

in today's dream (parts of which are lost to the last two hours):

My cousin is Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. We are at my grandparents house, and See You Again is blaring. I'm not at all shocked that she's my cousin, just that she happens to come from the conservative side of my family. But I'm waiting near the massive train sculpture thing that my grandpa has, and I will someday own, and then we head to a party, because it's the thing to do, obviously. Internet message poster ATLIllini has notified me that fellow IMP KDL05 will be attending this party, with an interesting guest, who turns out to be a Rockford radio personality, Jenna. We go to this party, Miley/Hannah and I, and that's when I realize it's actually a law party, and there's my ex. So, we stay on opposite sides of the room, I dance to Miley's performance, and then suddenly, everybody else runs out of the room, and I'm stuck there needing to go to the bathroom, knowing that she is in the only bathroom, and I'll have to run in to her when she comes out.
That's when Bonita woke me up. Thank you Bonita.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dream Update 5/6

Both of these dreams happened this afternoon, one during a snooze:

#5- (Ironically, this morning, we were talking on the air about celebrity cameos): I am walking around the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building on campus, and see some people hanging out in a conference room (that isn't actually there in real life), and there's Illinois golf coach Mike Small. We talk for 10 minutes about how his team won a tournament this weekend, and how it was the best win his team has had in school history. I ask him if he had to TIVO the Ryder Cup, and he said yes, and I then make this joke: "My gosh, you must have had more shots on your brain than an alcoholic!" which, for some reason, makes both of us laugh so hard, that we hug. Mike gets called over to do a TV interview, so I prepare to leave, except both of the men's and women's cross country teams are preparing to take their team picture, so I can't get out of the entryway.
That's when I wake up, and then go back to sleep to have DREAM #6, a very quick dream

#6- Kevin, from the morning show, is lamenting how he hasn't had any of his favorite candy, Schillpees, since forever, because his kids end up taking his, and this morning, he found some tucked in his car somewhere, completely melted. He told me this, and immediately, I knew what they tasted like, (M&Ms), and where I could find them. So I run out to my car, and sure enough, tucked away in the curtains of my blinders (yes, like the blinders that protect your eyes from the sun.....mine are curtains), is a half eaten bag of Schillpees. I bring them in, and put them in the freezer for instant freezing, and then give them to Kevin frozen, but delicious. But I'm feeling guilty, because I don't know exactly how old they are, so I tell him that they could be two years old, and then he begins to yell......and I wake up.

More on my weekend in Rock Island soon, hopefully.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dream Update #4 - Live from Rock Island

I am back in college, which is in a large metropolitan area. I'm walking with Glenn to my math class, which I'm dreading immensely, because I haven't taken a math class since calculus in high school. So I get there, and LPGA golfer Lorena Ochoa is teaching the class, and is apparently a math wiz, and also a whack job about her math. I pull up a chair next to Emily Wickstrom, who works in the University of Illinois Sports Information Department. (How do I say this....Emily is awesome in real life, but I wouldn't say she gives off the impression that she's some sort of amazing math wiz) Emily and I lament that Lorena is being so tough about this class, and apparently, there is a math tournament coming up tomorrow for the math majors. But for whatever reason, Lorena is calling on Emily to answer the first few math problems in class, to make an example of her. But Emily knows them! Without even figuring them out! Ochoa can't finish writing the problem, and Emily spits out the answers. The Professor is asking her for her reasoning (which, for some reason, I'm able to logically answer how each of the problems is solved, but I dont answer out loud, for fear of ruining Emily's moment), and Emily can't answer that.....and then the alarm went off.

Greetings from some fake lodge in Rock Island. It's bizarre.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dream Update #3

Already getting a little fuzzy after 5 minutes, and I only have two minutes so no in depth reports, but the girl from dream update #1 was there again, and we were in some type of class at the National Hurricane Center, which I knew because it was three black buildings that were black, with red centers, much like the hurricane flag, which is the inverse.

Anyway, she and I (and yes, it does concern me a little bit that the same girl is in two dreams in a few days) were instead reminiscing about high school, and it turns out she played soccer, which is awesome, because I did too (I didn't) so we played while walking from the bus in to the classroom.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dream Update #2

Unfortunately, I don't remember too much of last night's dream, but I certainly do remember asking Shawn Johnson whether something "made her taco pop."

Monday, September 15, 2008

My favorite photos from the weekend.....and I have some 180 photos available to me. The rest are on facebook. Have fun!

Dream Update #1

OK, so as most of my close friends know, I have the most bizarre dreams. There are days when I feel like I'm just on LSD, and weird, weird things happen. I always say that I'm going to chronicle these dreams when they happen, but really hadn't figured out how to do it. So, it starts here, today.

Dream from this morning, between 2-3, which I only know because my phone was acting up, and woke me up twice, which wasn't cool.

I was out to dinner with a female friend who I haven't seen in weeks, at best, in real life. We went out, and she exclaimed that we HAD to go to the bathroom right now. The bathrooms in this restaurant were two stalls, which were in the dining room. While in the bathroom, she told me how she had always loved me, and just had to tell me right now. Mind you, I was sitting on the toilet, because that's all they had in the men's room, was a toilet. So, we discussed, everyone was happy, and then exited the bathroom, for a lack of space. Upon coming out of the bathroom, a 50 year old woman was there waiting for us with a pregnancy test, to which I responded, no, not right now, thank you.

For the next five to ten minutes of the dream, the girl and I argued about how and when we should change our status on facebook. That's right, friends.....even in my dreams, I get no sex. Instead, a discussion about how we should post something on facebook.

Following that discussion (I said we should give it a week or so before we post it, and that was the eventual concensus), there was tennis viewing on a gigantic screen in the park, so we went and watched that.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Indulge me for the night....

Back tonight from the Daschler wedding of Leigh and Louis. Amazing ceremony, and I'll get some pictures on here tomorrow, hopefully.
But I have some things that I think I need to just get out today.

My friend Brittany asked me on Thursday or Friday whether or not I was going to cry at the wedding. I said no, that I don't cry at weddings. I don't. On the day of, I'm a bundle of energy, and filled with happiness for my friends, and the experience of it.

The day after, I'm a mess.

This one was especially hard today. And it's hard to explain.

I'm blessed with amazing friends, I truly am. I'm lucky to have the people around me that I have around me. I couldn't begin to list the number of people I think I could call at any second should I have a problem, and needed something. That's true to this day, and I consider myself quite fortunate.

Last night was one of those nights to celebrate, and we did. Leigh and Louis were amazing throughout. As I said to Leigh in the card, she's the person I emulate in all things. She is flawed, but never faltering. She brings joy to everyone who knows her. She takes negatives, and is able to somehow force the smile on her face that everyone expects, and within an hour, it's gone from forced, to natural. She is the person I hope to be on a daily basis.

Louis is an unbelievable guy. To deal with Leigh is not an easy task, but he does it with his own sense of style and comedy. He is strong, but not overbearing. He is a sarcastic teaser, and yet shows the sweetest sensitivity at the most crucial moments.

And to be a part of a wedding to celebrate the two of them was an honor.

The party was fantastic. What added the extra level was Kalleen being able to attend. She's a rock for me too. I'm always amazed at her ability to switch between the greatest gossip queen on the east coast, to the caring and understanding friend. On some crucial issues, we have philosophical differences, but I don't think there are very many more people who I would trust to give me the perfect advice at any given moment. And for her to make the trip up from North Carolina, and sacrifice a day without Luke....(and Tom)....

So yeah. Yesterday, was amazing. Those three, along with Glenn. And my new friend Jeremy, who truly is the Des Moines Mike Cation, and I'm proud to say I'm the Champaign version of him. And Keri, the first lawyer I've actually been able to talk to in four years without feeling a bit of vitriole, who Leigh promises would be my BFF if we actually had the time or proximity to each other. And Brooke, the matron of honor who puts ants in my shirts. And Sarah, who did shots, to my surprise.

Kalleen and I talked long in to the night, after hours and hours of dancing, and dominating at name that tune. And I went to bed with a smile on my face.

It's not there today.

It's not that any of that has changed. I didn't rue the drive back, and had good company as always. I don't come back to a bad situation at all. It's good. I have a job that, for the most part, I enjoy. I love my apartment, I love my cats, I'm able to run again after my stress fracture, and my friends are always there. And although I am absent the money that I think anyone would enjoy, I do not want. I do not have any pressing needs that impair my life.

But today, I long for my friends that are not able to be with me on a daily basis.

Today, I cry because I wish I had that opportunity to go for a walk with Leigh, which is supposed to be for us to get in better shape, but always ended at Custard Cup. I cry because Kalleen won't be there in the morning to stop by my office and gossip about people down the hall. I cry because Ted is in Jamaica, and no matter how much I wish I could be there and support him in these massive endeavors that I can't begin to place myself in, I can't do it enough to satisfy myself. I cry because Ali is stuck in Australia, and I can't afford thousands of dollars to go and see her, and every time she is here, it's entirely too short, and can't ever be enough to match the level of love and caring I have for her. I cry because Bri is in this unknown town to me, and every time I talk to her, she tells me how much she misses being here, and I can't ever offer enough words to say that I miss that more than she does. And I could list a hundred more. I miss my intern. Hell, I miss Jeremy, and cry because I wish I had had the opportunity to meet him before this weekend. I miss Keri, and cry because I trust enough in Leigh to tell me that she's the kind of person who I truly would be extremely close with. And yeah, I miss a hell of a lot more of you that I'm not naming, and today, I cry because I can't be with all of you.

So today, I long for my friends. I will allow this for myself for the night. I will sit here with my candles lit, and my Imogen Heap and my Miles Davis, and let every possible tear hit the floor, until there are no more. And I will have that drink, remembering in my head every moment that will flicker through my already completely oversaturated brain, filled to the brim.

And tomorrow, I will restart, refreshed.

Tomorrow, I will smile, thinking of Leigh, and Louis, and their honeymoon, and chuckle thinking about the amount of immodium she'll have with her. And I will smile while thinking about Kalleen's reunion with her son, knowing that it's a joy that she cannot express to me, but will be able to prepare me for when it is my turn. And I'll smile thinking of Ted, smoking some incredible Jamaican weed, listening to music never heard before in the states, but will mean more to Ted than it could to anyone else. And I'll smile thinking of Ali, and how even on her days when she wishes she was in the states, she can solve it with a walk on the beach. And I'll smile thinking of Bri, and how much dancing and singing experiences I'll want to share the next time I'm there. And I'll smile while missing my intern. And I'll smile while realizing there's a Des Moines me. And I'll smile at having another really fun person to visit when I get to go to Portland again, which needs to be sooner than later, so that I can collect my dollar.

And I'll smile because I know that no matter how many tears there are on a day like this, there are infinite reasons to wipe all of them away. And so to my friends, both extremely old, and extremely new, I say I love you all very much. I may not get to express it in the ways that I want, but believe me, it's always there, and always will be, and I consider myself lucky to have all of you in my life.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Random weekend musings......

First of all, my love to Miss Britney Spears, and most importantly, congratulations to her for getting her life back together a little bit. She looked awesome at the VMAs. Although, I found it really weird that she held the microphone in front of her face while talking, and you couldn't see her face at all.

The weekend was a busy one. Got to see my brothers, who had a very unexpected visit to my house, and got to stay here, which I had no idea about. But I think they ended up having a good time, even though they trashed my bedroom, and somehow, Steve, you made my couch smell. I don't know how that happened, but you did it, kiddo.

Memorial Stadium looked awesome. The press box will be great. The singular problem that I had with it was that for the first hour or so, for 11AM games, the front row of the press box is basically overheated because the sun shines through the massive glass window panes. But good night, I was really impressed with how nice it all looks. The suites are going to be a big fundraiser for the athletic department. The stands look pretty full, even though it wasn't a sellout. And how about the tailgating. I was thrilled to tailgate again, and had 5 to visit. Shout outs to the TCIs, Dawn, Amber/Matt/Brad, Ted, and of course, the Crackmonkeys, for their hospitality.

This week is Leigh's wedding. It's going to be a full weekend for me. I have decided on a gift, which I obviously can't list here, but I think it's going to be an incredible weekend. I'm looking forward to meeting Leigh's friends, and going from there. Especially since Leigh has talked some up in particular.

I'm tired.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

CD creation....

OK, so here's what I'm dealing with this week.

Last week, I put together a pretty kick ass warmup Mix for the Illini soccer team (winners, btw, of the inaugural Illini Challenge Cup). Not necessarily because I like the music (girls, we need to get rid of R Kelly at this point....), but because of the challenges involved. Here are the rules:
No swearing
No references to alcohol drinking
No references to drugs
No edited swear words
No slurs

Now, this is not easy, when half of the songs contain many of those things. And by many, I mean many.
So we would take out entire verses. We'd take out choruses if need be. And as a result, it was completely clean, with some Busta Rhymes, some Fort Minor, and yes, some Lil Wayne.
So, now it's time for a bigger challenge: The football team. I've got an clean slate. I can add whatever I would like. So, I've got some Tribe in there....a little Talib Kwali. Little things that I like. But I'm also trying to throw in some Nas. And some Lil Wayne. And hopefully, we can get it done, and get it approved. That's going to be the trick. There's not as much concern about the soccer warmup CD, just because you don't have 30,000 people listening to it. But at football, you do, and many of those people who come in early are above the age of 60, and they feel completely ok with complaining about it.

So, that will be my entire day Thursday. I have to put it together, and make it cohesive, and print out a lyric listing, so that the administrators can have a look at what is being said at all time. I really want to make it sound spectacular, and have the players appreciate it too.
We'll see.

Also of note, yeah, I got to see the inside of the Stadium on Tuesday. It will look gorgeous. They're obviously not going to get it finished by this Saturday. But it'll be presentable. And hopefully, they'll be able to get it completely wrapped up by the 13th....when I won't be there.
Leigh's wedding, and all.

OK, I'll have an update on the CD by Friday morning. I'm hopeful, but realistic.
I will say, it starts with Journey's Don't Stop Believin, the "theme" for the team this year as issued by Coach, and then a record scratch, in to the very hard "Get Busy" by the Roots.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Interesting note:

The girl who honked at me was my friend Brittany. And to answer my question, she's doing fine, thank you, and so is her wonderful boyfriend of 3+ years, Luna.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A couple of random thoughts.

1) To the young lady who obviously mistook me for someone else as I was running today, who honked and waved while checking me out from YOU doin?

2) I am waiting for the news to come on at 5PM, and the last couple minutes of Oprah is on, and David Cassidy is performing, and he reminds me right now of the guy who tried to claim he killed JonBenet Ramsey, except David Cassidy is allowed to touch people. And he did quite often while performing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Link to the Video


I won, eating an ear of corn in less than 30 seconds.
Leigh McNabb claimed a time of 26 seconds when she won two years ago.
I smell an eat off.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yes this is late notice....

but tomorrow morning (Friday) on Channel 3, at around 7:30, I compete in a corn eating contest against Jennifer Ketchmark, local weather extraordinaire. Set your TIVOs!

Hopefully, I'll get a video on here later.

Monday, August 18, 2008

So I got my computer back.

It has a new hard drive.

I am fascinated to see if this one can last a full year.

Apple did nothing to assuage my anger.

I am not recommending Apple to anyone who reads this blog.

Let's take a poll: How long will this hard drive last? The closest to the correct time will receive an autographed copy of the hard drive.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Things I'm happy, or unhappy about.....

Please excuse the fact that for some reason, I
can't get this blog to justify these photos correctly this morning.

Anyways.....I'm certainly pleased that this Sunday will be the last CrackMonkey softball game for at least 3 weeks. I'm mentally tired. It's a lot easier to deal with being mediocre. I found myself placing undue pressure on my pitching since we're good, because everybody wanted to win a jacket. And thank goodness we did, and can play our last game under a completely relaxed atmosphere.

I'm also very happy that my grandmother is celebrating her 80th birthday with her family this weekend. It's going to be weird being in matching shirts with the rest of my family, but them's the breaks sometimes.

I'm also very happy that I'm lucky enough to know a few Olympians this year. One of the perks of the job, for sure. Justin Spring won a bronze in Gymnastics, and tomorrow morning, Emily Zurrer starts for Canada against the US Women's Soccer team, with a semifinal berth on the line, and I'm not afraid to say that I'm pulling for the Canadians.

Here's what I'm not at all happy with:
That's right, my Macbook. The hard drive failed, AGAIN. Second time in less than one year. I have about a month or so's worth of pictures that I haven't backed up yet, so I'm in danger of losing that, unless they can save it for $199 of MY MONEY.
Now, I'm not that good at yelling and screaming to get my way, but I think I'm going to have to do that today. They're likely going to put in a brand new hard drive, and I'm going to have to suck it up and demand an extended warranty, and some other things. But I don't think I'm good at it. How do you do it? Post a comment to let me know.
What I do know is that Apple has really dropped the ball here on customer service. At no point has anyone apologized for my inconvenience. Why doesn't anyone do that anymore? I had a similar situation with a co-worker recently who really did something that put me in an extremely awkward position, and I think I would have been fine if this person had just said, "hey, my bad, I screwed up." But instead, they were defensive, and I haven't spoken to them in 3 months.
So that's my pontification on today: Learn to say I'm sorry. Sometimes it will do ten times more good than explaining what you were thinking, or what you were trying to do. Just say, my bad, and move on.
Finally, I'm happy that I'm running again. Tomorrow, I'm going to do 3 sets of 3 minutes walking, 7 minutes running. That's the inverse of what I was doing about a month ago, and I feel so much stronger. And when I weighed myself on Monday, I was at 169. I'm getting there.

Again, no comments the last time, maybe this time I'll get one or two.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I have not been able to post

because my Mac done broke again.

2 breakdowns in less than a year of ownership.

Not exactly a positive track record.

If any of you have thoughts on how to alleviate this problem, or how I should go about getting a brand new computer out of the Apple corporation, I'm all ears. Until then, please be advised that my emails, and any further blog updates, will be limited for the next flipping week.

Also, two thoughts about male public restrooms:

1) I understand that some men like to, for whatever reason, spit in the urinal. Ok, whatever. I think it's nasty, but it's your call. But why, in God's name, would you spit NEXT to the toilet that you're going to the bathroom in. Not IN it, but NEXT to it. I witnessed this in Peoria.

2) If, for whatever reason, you're not wanting to use the urinals (stage fright is an understandable thing), and you decide to use the toilet for privacy, please, I beg of you, LIFT UP THE FREAKING SEAT. Why would you possibly give yourself LESS room to shoot the stream through. There is no possible logical brain fragment that would think this is a good idea.

OK. Also, a shout out to the CrackMonkeys, 2008 Blue league softball champions, already decided with one more game to go. We've battled through a surgery, a stress fracture, a torn hamstring, and countless vacations to get to our first ever softball championship. Pretty freaking cool. And a 4-0 shutout to clinch it. Neato.

comment away.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Live from the Greater Peoria Regional Airport

Which is neither Greater, nor.....well, I think it is probably all of the remaining things.

Needless to say, it's already been an interesting day. I got the special security treatment!!! Isn't that fun! Yes, it actually was. For some reason, I actually really got a kick out of the old man who was talking me through how he was fondling my ass. He was excessively polite, and conciliatory, but hearing him say, "OK, now I'm going to go around your back, and down from your hips" made me quiver with anticipation, fear, and primal sexuality. Yeah, I said it. Thank you, 57 year old man. If this is the prelude to my 4th Las Vegas trip, I think we're all set.

Also, a rather attractive, maybe 27 year old was bending over in front of me while we were waiting in Allegiant's line, and she was not wearing a bra. So.....felt up, and saw nudity. (Sorry Glenn).

I'm quite excited about playing some penny poker tonight, having a few drinks, and getting a good night sleep before we get all set for approximately 42 hours of complete insanity and debauchery.

I feel that I've used words in this post that I normally wouldn't, and I think it's because Glenn uses so many flipping big words, that I feel challenged to expand my vocabulary. That isn't good. Or maybe it is.

And for our video entertainment today, and especially for Glenn, as he deals with his hamstring injury.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday night.

So I deleted the picture

of the woman with large breasts outside Wrigley.

Too many people visiting this blog specifically for that picture. That's creepy and weird.

Off to play softball!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

In 4 days, I'll be here..

After working for the last two weeks on the Zook Zone, I'm rather gassed, and will definitely need the recharging and rejuvenating powers of Las Vegas. I'll be there with Bri for a night, then Leigh, Louis, Brittany and Boo.

I don't think it can come fast enough.

One last day of writing and editing.

And more importantly, a softball game tomorrow.....with at least four players hungover, and one with a torn hamstring.

Awesome. That's all I have today, I'm pretty pooped.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Alright, today, we're going to try some audio.

Here are a couple of mp3s from the horse race. Let me know what you think.

The first one is the actual bit we did on the air, from the horse race, with my professional rider, Marcus Miller.

The second is the raw audio from inside the cab as we were racing. Notice, no swearing.

Let me know what you think! Leave a comment.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Interesting note today.....

I added statcounter, to see how many people are visiting the site, and where they come from. From 9AM-2PM, 10 people came and visited the site. 5 of those visitors were doing google image searches for Jenn Sterger, who is the woman with large breasts and a Cubs hat.

I don't know exactly what that means.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Horse Racing Update

I finished in a dead heat for first. I think, and my jockey friend Marcus Miller believed, that we actually finished second, so we'll take it.
Hopefully, a video and audio to follow.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rock the Bells, and other things.....

Alright, so on Saturday, I got to go, with Glenn, of course, to the Rock the Bells festival at Tinley Park. To the left, you see Method Man up in the stands. To the right, Phife and Q-tip, from Tribe.

I think I learned never to have expectations for a show like that. I turned to Glenn as we were walking in, and said, Lord, this is going to be a freaking sausage fest. It was far from that. I also thought, with no way of putting this delicately, that it was going to be a bunch of 30 year old white guys. It was far from that, too.

I felt Method Man and Redman got it best, in terms of working a show on that type of level, with that many people. Completely incorporating the crowd at every point. Mos Def didn't fit. He's like a jazz show, in that you're supposed to relax, maybe have a drink, chill out, and think. A crowd at a festival like that has no interest in thinking. Tribe....well.....Phife Dog is looking old as shit. Still doing his thing, and doing it well, but lord, he was looking old. And they did some tracks I was just not expecting, like Skypager.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. I was still sore from standing and nodding my head for 9 hours. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Other notes:
-Tomorrow, Tuesday night, I'm participating in a celebrity horse race at the Champaign County Fair. I think post time is around 8:15 or so. Its harness racing, with a jockey next to me. Man, am I nervous. I have a feeling I'm going to fall out of the cart or something horrendous.
-Tonight, I bought a bottle of gluten free soy sauce. Now I can have some good sushi.
-CrackMonkeys won again.....just keep finding the right things at the right time.
-I'm going to have to spend a lot of time this weekend writing up the Zook Zone. Not exactly looking forward to it, but its part of the job.
-As for many of you know, he had major, emergency surgery on Wednesday of last week. It was very difficult to see him the first few days, with tubes everywhere. But he's doing so much better, and was in better spirits this morning when I saw him. And by better spirits, I mean complaining about everything, which is exactly what I would hope.
-My friend Ted moves to Jamaica next week. Bizarre, man.
-I forgot to mention the Pharcyde. I love the Pharcyde. Love them.
-I was inspired today by my friend Brittany to post my weight here, as I've got a goal to get to by Leigh's wedding in September. So, I'm at 172. I want to get below 165, and close to 160.
So there you go.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We had a bit on the air today.....

about Kevin's wife making him go to a party for someone he didn't know, instead of the Batman premiere, which he'd been planning on going to for several months.

I love Angela (I really do), but man....I think I'd be upset if someone forced something on me if I really wanted to see that movie. For example, (Hi Glenn!) when the Star Wars movies were rereleased, I totally had to see that opening night. HAD to. To be a part of that experience. I feel bad that Kevin really wanted that, but isn't going to get it.
I think some women didn't like me saying that, and then made comments about that's why I don't have a girlfriend/wife, but still....I think that it's important to have experiences like that from time to time.
So I'm insensitive.
I'd like to echo my friend Glenn's call for a salute to the softball team.....the Crackmonkeys finished the regular season 7-2, and in a tie for first in the league. Pretty cool. Never had that happen before.
Ted's in town this week.
Haven't seen him tonight, though. That's cool. Maybe tomorrow.
I wish to God I could stop watching Girls Next Door. But I just can't. It's fascinatingly bad. Kendra drives me nuts. Completely crazy.
My grandmother apparently has what's called "Broken Heart Syndrome" where part of her heart stops working for a period of time, like a few weeks. She sounded great on the phone though, and we find out about the treatment later tomorrow.
Also of note, I haven't made a big deal of this, but I'm not drinking pop anymore (other than mixed drinks), and I haven't had any chocolate (outside of my little gluten free granola bars) for a while (outside of that one treat in Madison). I'm hoping to drop about 10 pounds by Leigh's wedding. That would be the goal. Hard to do without running.....
That's all for now.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Who's been bad about updates???


I guess I have to put together a solid update at some point soon. I will make the effort to do that tomorrow. But I do want to say that this past week has been one of the most enjoyable I've ever had. 2,583 miles, too many states to count right now (and I will tomorrow), and sadly, one dead rabbit. That little booger just hopped out in front of me Friday night.
That was the one negative of the trip. Outside of that, it was amazing. This is the first time I think that I've ever done a good job of living in the moment as I vacationed, and didn't think for one second about wanting to get back to work. I needed that.
Many, many thanks to Leigh and Louis for making it a fun few days, to Glenn for always putting up me on a travel trip, and to Scot for being, once again, the n00b, this time, as a vacationing CrackMonkey.
Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quick Update

Horrendous internet issues over the last two days.

What I can say that is I'm safely in Atlanta, having a blast. At the wedding tonight, I sat next to the parents of Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin on the Office. I definitely was geeked about that one. Asked way too many questions, for sure.

But I will have some picture updates, hopefully tomorrow. For anyone on facebook, for whatever reason, they uploaded there, but not here. I'll work on that.

And more details on the trip too.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


3 passes. The third was immediately lateraled to Jennifer Roscoe.

Thanks to WCIA for the highlights to remind me.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I caught that.

I caught two passes from this man during a celebrity football game today, including one for a touchdown.

That's pretty neat, in the grand scheme of things.

We also raised eight thousand dollars for the Cunningham Children's Home. It's less than I was hoping for, but it means a million to the kids at that home, and I want to keep that in perspective.

That's all for now. I leave for vacation on Friday, and will likely blog from Tennessee on Friday.

Monday, June 16, 2008

In the summer, I tend to get bored.

It's especially true this summer, with my leg in a boot most of the time. But I need to have projects and different things to get done. Hilariously, during the "school year," I tend to feel overworked. So, I'm trying to do a better job this summer of giving myself various things to do. Running, obviously, would be a big one if I could, but in the meantime I'm:
-Blogging more
-Playing online poker
-Biking and working out.
-Yoga and Meditation
-Printing and organizing pictures.
-Planning my trips.
-Framing things.
-Selling things on ebay.
-Watching some old shows on DVD.
-Guitar Hero.
-Big projects at work.

Unfortunately, what I've ended up doing on many nights, and I really don't know why, is watching America's Funniest Home Videos. Why do I continue to watch America's Funniest Home Videos.

Tonight, though, I'm trying to organize my trip as well, get everything ready. I went today and purchased gas cards from Shell so that I would have it all set and ready to go ahead of time. I've also set up a nice itinerary and a couple of folders and a to do list before I go. There is a lot of stuff.
I also just realized tonight that I don't have anyone to take care of the kids. Someone should probably feed them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


12 more days of work until I get to go on vacation.
I'm currently looking for things to do in the following cities:

Thank you.

Also, if you are a guy and are good at softball, I need you to play softball for my team on Sunday night. Thanks in Advance.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Back in a boot.....

So, here it is, the big boot. It is tall, and a bit bulky, and it's taken a little bit of time to adjust to. But it's not all bad. The positives are that after two days, my leg honestly feels a lot better, and less achy. (Is that a word?) And obviously, it's also very fashionable. The drawbacks....well, it's bulky, and hard to drive with. But you take the good, you take the bad....And then you get Mrs. Garrett.
This was a very productive weekend. I helped Glenn move (which I did without the boot, because I didn't think that would be good for going up and down stairs), and other than that, I didn't do a damned thing. Perfect. I did play some poker online, and earned a couple of bucks. I put 6 things on ebay. I paid my bills. I vacuumed. I slept a lot. I organized. I put together a collage of all of my media credentials. In a frame! I know. I'll have to put a picture of that on here eventually. So, all in all, a fun weekend. And softball tonight.
(Yes, I know it is stupid to play softball with a broken leg. But who else is going to pitch?)

Other notes:
-Congratulations to Tony and Jill (stuckinchambana) on welcoming Macy in to the world. I'm secretly hoping they'll come out to the softball game tonight so we can see her, but it might be a little too soon to bring Macy in to the CrackMonkey world, yet. Lots of swearing and drinking. Better give her another week.
-Congratulations to tehRyan (stank) on his marriage yesterday. And more congratulations for being able to keep it relatively quiet for 8 months.
-I have yet to try out medium on Guitar Hero. I think I'm nervous.
-This week, i am planning on trying out a new/old gym. I get my membership to the Fitness Center in the morning. I'm hoping that with some more space, I'll do OK. I wish the ten dollar place had expanded. Jerks.
-In 3 months, Leigh is getting married. Weird.
-Congrats also to my brothers on their high school graduation. It gets just more and more flummoxing to think they're going to be at Eastern in a couple months.
-I go on vacation in 3 weeks. I'm very, very excited about it.
That's all for now.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

It boggles my mind

at how poorly I fall asleep on the weekends. It's like I try to make up for the fact that I don't get to sleep much during the week by staying up as late as I possibly can on the weekends, and sleeping way too late.


Fun night out with the Monkeys tonight. Listening to Glenn critique fashion for over an hour is absolutely mindboggling.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Disappointment ensues.....

Things could certainly be worse. I certainly know that. But there's something inherently depressing about not being able to complete a half marathon that you've been training for, over a period of several months.

Please note at the left the several different tools I used to TRY and run the half marathon. Included: vicodin, athletic tape, a shin splint brace, an ACE bandage, advil, immodium, running watch, baggies to hold my drugs, and a bagel. This was the final result.
Obviously, it's not exactly pretty. But it would have been functional, I think. The first two layers of tape were very good. The last one was somewhat sloppy. That's what makes it look so ugly.
Either way, I'm very happy that Michelle was able to run her race so well, and finish in 2 hours, which would have been less had that bathroom line not been so long. I also had a spectacular time with the Voss-squared. They killed a boot at the Essen Haus. Alex looked like he'd had a can of something, not 2/3 of a boot. Impressive.
Other thank yous:
Becky- for a fun lunch.
Tracy- for keeping me entertained on the drive home.
Glenn- for taking care of the cats.
The makers of immodium- for just being themselves.
Leigh- for making time in a busy schedule for a Saturday lunch.
Doc J- for the vicodin.

Other random notes for now:
I beat Guitar Hero 3 on Easy. That was pretty fun. It is hilarious now that whenever I hear one of the songs from the game, I start thinking about playing. I heard the Killers this morning....just wanted to turn it on.
My brother Steve and his high school team, Glenbard East, made it to the state volleyball championships. They play on Friday in the quarterfinals, which I think I'm going to get to be able to see, which is very cool. I hope he gets a little bit of playing time.
Alfonso Soriano.....I can no longer take your hot and cold streaks. Show a little consistency. TIA.
If anybody has any ideas of how to recover from a tibial stress fracture, that'd be awesome. Thanks.
I picked up Meditation for Dummies at the library. Those books are not for Dummies at all.
I have to come up with some projects to keep me occupied over the next few weeks while I'm not running. All I've come up with so far is cleaning the spare room. And my car. So if you have any ideas, I'm all ears.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I didn't finish. I didn't start. Hurt too much.
More later, including photos.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Delicious Dinner

First, a shout out to the Cappas for a delicious dinner last night. Let's just say that the Angel Food Cake looked exactly like this, and the gluten free pasta was spectacular.

I always feel bad when people put forth such an incredible effort, and then they eat the gluten free food, and frown. Jill, you're an absolute doll for making that dinner, though. I actually liked the pasta, despite the excess of spice.

Got the PS2 from Alex last night, and yes, I played way too much Guitar Hero 3. I should just go up to Medium, since I've played before, but I think that I want to beat it on Easy first, just for the practice. I'm also going to try tonight to switch to a left handed guitar setup, to utilize the better dexterity that I have in my right hand.


The right leg feels as good today as I think it can before a race. I was going to work out this afternoon, but I think I'll rest it instead. I have decided that for this race, I'm going to also need to bring a cell phone with me to contact someone to come pick me up when I die.

I signed back up for last night. Why? I think because I was bored. We'll see how that goes. I have very low hopes.

Also got to watch the European League Finals yesterday, and sadly, see Man U win the freaking thing. That pissed me off.

I also ate too much German Potato Salad. Sorry Holly, no recipe for you. But it was a delicious batch, mostly because I let it cook for an extra 45 minutes.....while I played Guitar Hero. Oh man, it was the best batch I've made in a long time.