I'm back, in several ways.

First of all, let me plug "Back in the Game," a new ABC comedy. It's baseball themed, sort of. I like it a lot and I think you should check it out. If you don't like it, sorry I wasted some of your time. But you might :)

Secondly, I'm back in the country. Lindsay was in FSU's marching band this semester, and they went on a cruise last week. I got to go too! We left Tampa on Saturday, then spent half of Monday at Grand Cayman and all of Tuesday at Cozumel, Mexico. I was not impressed with how Americanized both places were. I guess I was hoping for a little more authenticity and a little less merchandising. That's not to say we didn't have fun, though. We found a cozy little beach in Grand Cayman and swam for a bit. It wasn't 7-mile Beach, and in that respect Lindsay was a bit disappointed. There were all kinds of coral and sea urchins that could have made for bad times. Most of the group we were with just kinda sat in the tide rather than swimming. It rained in Cozumel, but that didn't affect our snorkeling excursion much. We had to do the beginner's snorkeling because you can't do most excursions if you're pregn--

Oh yeah. I'll interject here. Lindsay is pregnant again! I remember telling her that I didn't want to try again for a while, at least until after the cruise, but that lasted all of a week and a half apparently. Our newest creation is currently eleven weeks, and she isn't bleeding at all. When we told the new nurse about the problems we had the first time, she suggested that a healthy fetus would have likely survived the incident that we think killed it.

The first one was not likely to survive in the first place, and what could have been a minor hiccup ended up being the end. It's kinda callous, but that can be seen as evolution in action. It makes me feel better to think of it like that, because even if we did perform an action that led directly to the miscarriage, it was going to happen eventually. If it's going to happen, the earlier the better.

We had an ultrasound two weeks ago. The baby's heart was at 174bpm, and it moved while we were looking at it! That was pretty sweet. We go back in about two weeks I think. Bless her heart, Lindsay is a trooper. She is experiencing real pregnancy symptoms, like morning sickness and a nearly insatiable appetite. I'd gladly share some of her burden in that respect if I could, but I can't. I can be there right by her side the whole time (and I will), but I'll never know what it's really like. My enthusiasm is more tempered than it was in September, but it's there, believe me :D

So, uh... back to snorkeling. It was pretty cool. Afterward, we got some authentic burritos. That's right: burritos, made by Mexicans, in Mexico! And let me tell you what, those were damn fine burritos. A little expensive, but very good. One thing I noticed about Cozumel from riding in the taxi to the snorkeling place is that their soda products are way cheaper. Coke 3 liter bottles were two for 56.50 or so. The dollar is worth about thirteen Pesos, so that's six liters of Coke for $4.20 or so. I jump on cans of my favorite beverages (Pepsi Throwback and Cranberry Sierra Mist) when they're a quarter apiece, over twice the price per ounce of this Coke. And it's 3-liter bottles, which you can't get around here anymore.

But even Coke isn't the prevalent beverage of this tale. Alcohol EVERYWHERE! The ship (Carnival Paradise) had a duty free shop with soooo much alcohol, including Hennessey Pure White, which I'd never heard of before. Bottles were 2/$70, but we didn't have that kind of money. We also couldn't afford this, but they had one. There was also a 4.5 liter of Johnnie Walker Black Label for $175. It was pretty ridiculous. The Grand Cayman shop had a bottle of Hennessey XO for $165. I had a shot of it on the boat Sunday and Monday night at around $15 each with tip. I felt bad about the first one after getting the second one because it went with my $28 Monte Cristo Open Eagle-- a fabulous Cuban cigar. I'm not an aficionado or anyhting, but I've been know to smoke the super occasional cigar. I think hanging out with the small group of us that smoked cigars nightly was my favorite part of the trip. We also hung out in Serenity, the 21+ back deck of the boat. Sometimes the wind was crazy, but I had a lot of fun just hanging out. And no, Lindsay was not with me when I was smoking, but she did come down to the back deck.

It's interesting that a lot of the people we went with have said it was their trip of a lifetime. I remember my life changing trip. Going to the 2001 National Collegiate Honors Council gathering in Chicago. Everybody hears that you can do anything you want, but just hearing that isn't enough. Chicago made possibilities more tangible for me. Maybe it's the difference between knowing you can do something and believing it. I had a lot of fun on this cruise, don't get me wrong. It's just that I find different things about it to be more important to me.

There's a whole lot more I could talk about (like the food), but I'm tired and want to go to bed. Maybe later. Merry Christmas everyone!

Three and a half months.

Since I last posted on LJ, there have been some... Changes. Some good, some AWESOME, and some I'd have preferred didn't happen. Let's see...

On July 3, some dude ran a stop sign and plowed into my Neon, totaling it. The cop at the scene didn't exchange our insurance info, and it ended up being over a month before I could get my new car, which is a 1998 Buick Lesabre custom. It's pretty sweet, IMO. There are a couple more things I want to do with it, like add a device that will allow the steering wheel controls to work with the new stereo I put in (I had bought it for the Neon the day before the accident), and wire the remote entry system I bought cheap on eBay into it. Plus if I'm really ambitious, I can replace the manual climate control with a digital one. I really liked that about my first Buick.

I started running some Magic events again. There's a local game shop that was doing Monday night Magic events, and I committed to running their Legacy events every other Monday. Last week, some drastic changes happened there, and now that series of events is at Sal's on Tuesdays. Because of that, and some other stuff, I will be running about one Friday Night Magic per month. Also, I am planning shaming event on FSU's campus November 9th to benefit Kappa Kappa Psi. There are a couple things that need to be finalized before I can do real announcements with official times and stuff. That's why I haven't plastered anything and everything with it. But I will.

I'm coming home! Both FSU and EFHS are planning alumni band events for homecoming this year! This is the first time in a long time for EHFS. October 12 is FSU and October 18 is EFHS. I'm glad they aren't on back to back days because I don't know if I could play my horn back to back days. It's been a hell of a long time since I've had any need to. I'm ordering a rugby from EFHS so I'll have one. Did I mention I'm SUPER PUMPED about this?

I may be a little worn out for FSU's homecoming because I'm going to see Pearl Jam the night before in Pittsburgh. I don't get out to many concerts, so this ought to be pretty fun for me. I just wish Lindsay could go. Unfortunately, she's not able to be around all the smoking and loud noise because... (And most of you already know this) she's pregnant! That's right, we're going to be parents! Our little one is due roughly April 17. That's right in between Lindsay's and Mom's birthday, haha. Fine for baby, less fine for them. That wasn't intentional, per se. We'd been trying on and off for a while now. We are in week nine. I don't have a preference as to a boy or girl because I won't let myself. We can come up with a name for each, but I never want my child(ren) to feel like I wish they were the other gender. I personally believe it's impractical to not find out the gender beforehand, but Lindsay doesn't want to know, so that's going to be interesting. Our first ultrasound is this coming Thursday.

We had a scare a couple of weeks ago from Lindsay's surgical scar. There was a line in it that had become discolored, and a circle developed in the line. Melanoma has forced us to deal with some things that just aren't things you want to deal with, especially when you think you're too young for it. We have our whole lives to live, you know? Well, she had the spot removed, and a few days ago, we got the call back that it was nothing. The doc had a good feeling at the appointment to begin with, but she took the spot off just in case because of the history there. I joked that maybe it was a freckle, and the scar was really beginning to heal outwardly, then snip! You can't be too careful with melanoma. It's no joke (even though I joked about it).

I've been trying to post humorous stuff of Facebook lately, in an effort to change my attitude toward the things I'm not thrilled with in my life. That's going to be a locked post story, for later. Right now I want to focus on the good. Catch you later

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


The evolution of my Magic collection

Some of you know that my collection was shared with Jeff for a long time. We split it up once because he was supposed to move away, and that would have been too difficult to finagle. Then he didn't move, and we ended up recombining after a while. A little over a year ago, we split for good over an argument. We negotiated a buyout, and after some other wheeling an dealing, the whole thing was mine.

One point of contention we had was that Jeff wanted to sell cards when they were hot and buy them back once they cooled down. My argument against that is "WTF do I build decks with if we do that?" and I put my foot down every time he brought it up. Now I find myself in a bind because I can't afford to buy the cards I want to buy, and I think I have found a solution that works for me: diversify!

There is a huge secondary market for Magic. There are lots of older cards that aren't rares that I have a lot of copies of because we used to buy a shitload of product, and now some of those cards are valuable. Nothing spectacular alone, but if I have a couple hundred singles I can get at least $1 each for, that's a good chunk of change to help get those cards I want. In the past, I've been reluctant to sell any cards off. I've seen it was sign of weakness, and I still do. But there's no shame in recognizing that I am weak in the buying department, and if I want these cards, I'm going to have to give up value for them.

Over the weekend, I sold ten of each basic land from Unhinged (a 2004 spoof set) for $205. Those lands are very popular because of their design and scarcity. Most basic land is less than $.10. I turned those cards into 4 Windswept Heath, last week's draft at the card shop, and about 40 bucks I owed Sal for a couple things. Not too shabby. I'm going to continue this route because there are lots of really expensive cards I want, like Lion's Eye Diamond, Gaea's Cradle, and Mox Diamond.

One thing I'm sure I won't do is sell off pieces of my collection to pay for things that aren't collection related. I never understood why people do that. Reacquiring cards is a colossal pain in the ass. Why not keep what I have?

There's a special printing of Fourth Edition from 1995 that was a test print done by US Playing Card Company that got leaked out into our area, and those cards have some value as well. I'm looking into unloading those in order to help get the cards I want. I have a potential buyer on MOTL, and it looks like I could take in over $100 for what I have of those cards. It's funny. I only discovered I had them because Jimmy had a black light on in a room I was storing some cards. I happened to notice a stack of white bordered cards weren't behaving like the others under the light. Turns out the USPC test cards are UV coated like their playing cards, and they don't glow under black light, whereas all official Magic cards do. I was proud of myself for discovering them, but had been beaten to the punch by a few years by the Internet. Anyway, there are some hardcore Alternate 4th collectors, and I have quite a few of the more valuable, i.e. popular cards. Hopefully I can get that money and repurpose it into some stuff I'm really looking for.

I've also been doing something kinda interesting with auctions on MOTL. I have a huge list of rares I'm looking for to complete sets from 8th Edition forward (this known as the Modern format). Occasionally I end up with a foil version of a good rare card, but I don't care for foils. So I put them up for auction at the price of one nonfoil version of the listed card plus x number of rares from my giant list. I value all the rares the same, so I'm basically trading for the junk rares, but that's ok because I need them just as much, and they're not terribly easy to trade for over the Internet because it's not really worth paying the postage when it's more than the cards' value.

I am finding it difficult to fill out my collection with Mythic Rares because they aren't super cheap, so no one wants to give them in my auctions. I don't want to be one of those guys that try to trade for profit, so I'm not sure how I will continue to procure cards in order to trade for more cards. Somehow, I guess. I'll figure something out, I always do.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Feeling better today

We talked the Dr Gharib today and she was trying to temper her optimism, because you never know, and I could tell. I think she believes that Lindsay will probably be fine. While I like that, I don't want to give into a false sense of hope. I'd rather brace myself for the worst.

This is going to require some significant time off work, more than likely. I can try to make the hours back up somewhere, but then someone else gets the shaft. Lindsay losing hours will hurt too. We'll figure it out, though.

There's a couple other things I've been thinking about, but I don't want to say them both because I know you wouldn't want to read them, and because at some point Lindsay will have access to these posts. These are things I'm going to have to get off my chest at some point, but most likely in person. It's too personal to see any light of day on the Internet.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


A Life Update, Sans Stuff I Don't Want To Talk About

Damn, were the Red Sox bad this year! Damn, were the Patriots bad in the AFC Championship! Damn, both Rondo and Sullinger done for the year for the Celtics! As good as it has been to be a fan of my sports teams lately, this has been a bit of a lean year. Yeah, New England almost went to the Super Bowl, but everyone knows that both the Pats and Celts are the girl you brought to the dance because the Red Sox turned you down. When the Red Sox come calling, you drop the others like a bad habit.

Lindsay got a membership to Planet Fitness earlier this week. I think we're going to work out on Mondays and Wednesdays there. At first I was skeptical of the atmosphere, but I like the 30 Minute workout and the 12 Minute Ab Station. This is more because it's regimented than I'm good at it. All things being equal, however, I should get good at it. I just wish my foot wasn't hurting. That's from, well, I don't really know. I don't think it's the plantar fasciitis returning because wearing my overnight boot doesn't help it. Could be a bone spur, I hope not.

In August, I stopped running the local Magic events. I desperately needed a break. Last Saturday was a pre-release event for the new set, and it was the first tournament I had ran in almost six months. I don't have any interest in taking over week-to-week events again, but the larger ones that are much less frequent should be fine. It was the largest tournament I had ever ran-- 76 people! I think it went very smoothly, considering. We only "lost" something like 40 minutes total in between rounds. 8 hours for a 7 round event seems like gangbusters to me!

Well, I had better go. Got stuff to do today, including a tournament that should be much smaller. Catch you later

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


To Florida!

We're about to embark on a bus trip to Florida for a few days with Fairmont State's Marching Band. It should be fun. We could use the vacation. Once I get back, I have to vwork pretty much the entire week to make up for the work I'm going to miss over the weekend. :/ c'es la vie

I have a lot of stuff going on right now-- A LOT-- but I really can't talk about any of it. That's why I've been largely silent on LJ and Facebook. Well, that and since I don't get paid to hand people their asses, I stayed away from ignorant political posts as much as I could. Let's just say I was kinda "successful."

Well, I'm off to don my alter-ego's thinking cap. Hopefully I can come with some easily implementable ideas for my next internet endeavor. Is that intentionally vague enough?

Catch you later

Been a while

I've been toying with finishing 30 years in 30 days. Nothing concrete. While it was implied by the timing that I wanted to get one year a day through to my 30th birthday, I think I can cheat and pick the days I post them.

I've been going through a lot of stuff lately, most of it physical. In June, I had a nasty bout of Plantar Fascitis that had me hung up for a few days. I needed a cortizone shot to be able to walk. In August, I hurt my back pretty good. I tweaked it at work carrying some produce-- I must have done something exactly wrong because it wasn't all that heavy-- then it froze up on me the next day while I was gathering chopped lettuce with both arms in front of me. It felt like I was dry heaving, and I couldn't get it to stop. My driver that day shift was a new hire, and it was his first day not training. Matt has really been thrown into the fire since he was hired, but that's for another paragraph. As I was recovering from that, I got sick. As in, I couldn't breathe heavily without hacking. It was really weird. I never got the drainage I normally do when I'm sick like that, but I was always coughing up the most foul crap. And then last week, I acquired another gout attack. It was nowhere near as bad as I've had it, but still a nuisance and a half. I'm totally out of shape. Since I quit driving and became a manager, I've grown more and more sedentary. I stand around all day, and that makes we want to sit all night. It's a vicious cycle that I'm going to have to break if I want to be mobile when I'm 50!

I kinda wanted to talk about work and some other stuff, but it's super late now, after being hijacked by the rest of the internet. Good night.

Yesterday was AWESOME!

My phone apparently doesn't like to make Facebook posts anymore. I posted something last night that I thought was a cool thing to post, but it's not here, and I feel like I lost the moment to post it. No big deal, really, I'm not going to go crawl into a hole and cry my heart out, just thought it would have been an interesting post.

Yesterday was a very nice day. I had a lot of fun with Lindsay and Logan, plus a lot of Lindsay's family! We went to an elimination dinner, and didn't get eliminated! We won a few dollars, not enough to need to report, but it will be very helpful with a few endeavors. Then we watched Dark Shadows-- we liked it a lot-- then a late night snack at Applebee's, where the weirdest thing happened.

Our server was nice, but didn't do a great job. That wasn't the end of the world or anything, but when he brought us our check, he brought up how tonight had been a light night for him and he needed to make $100 to go see his mom today. Having worked for tips for several years, I know he just broke the cardinal rule: never talk about tips. I was torn because I was already going to tip him less than I normally would (I'm usually a little above average). That move on his part revoked his right to receive a tip in my opinion*. But I've done that maybe two times in my life. It's just not something I do. It was a very tough decision to make, but I didn't tip him. That's a rule you just can't break.

If you're reading this, and I'm your manager, know that I would seriously chew you out if someone spoke to me about you breaking that rule. If you think I've chewed you out before (I haven't), multiply that by ten. Thousand.

Overall, it was a really great day, and we had a lot of fun. I needed a day like this. Haven't had one in a while. Not that my days have been bad, but this one was especially awesome!

*No need to get into whether tipping is a privilege or a right. If you don't agree, you don't agree, and that's the way it is. Also,

And now for something completely different

I'm always calculating how I'm going to make Live Journal posts. How lame. That doesn't tell you about me, except that it tells you that I only want you to see what I want you to see. And of course that's accurate, but it makes for a downright awful blog. I decided I want to make a post this morning, and I don't care if it makes sense, and I don't care if you read it, and I don't care if you like it, and I don't care if I make gammaritval errors. Okay, maybe I do care about grammatical errors, but still.

Today is Lindsay's birthday. She is 24. At 24, I was working at Pizza Hit and married to someone else. And I took that year off from Kappa Kappa Psi, too. What a dumb idea that was. Speaking of Kappa Kappa Psi, if you didn't see it on Facebook, I posted a picture of my induction certificate. It's dated for April 7, 2002. That means I've spent nearly a third of my life as a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi. It's weird though, like I didn't find my stride until I didn't need to anymore. And now I'm awesome and I have most of the answers, but I don't get asked the questions. I hit the sweet spot in he 2006-7 year, the year I met and ultimately fell for Lindsay. Speaking of her...

I may not have done the best job of advertising for her party (I thought I did fine), but hardly anyone showed up. What a crock! There were things I had to do that I decided to leave out because it was like a damn ghost town! Way to be there for your friend on her birthday. I bet all those Facebook posts on her wall are going to make up for the fact that you weren't there Saturday. Oh, wai--

And you know what? You didn't just snub her, you snubbed me too. Know why? Because SHE'S MY WIFE! Well, that and because I'm the one that put the party together. I made all the damn food, and I set up the decorations. Dave Allen helped me out a ton with preparations and I really appreciate that, and I appreciate him. We're kind of kindred spirits, I think, in that "do what needs done" is hardwired into us... it's not something to bitch and moan about, It needs done, fucking DO IT!

Sorry if this is a little incoherent. Actually I'm not. I have to keep typing or I'm going to flame out and be all like "I shouldn't post this..." but I'm going to tonight. I'm not going to get all drama queen on you and be like "well if you were real friends, you'd have been at the party," because that's bullshit. But would it have killed you to say "sorry I can't make it. I hope everyone has a good time!:)"? Having that thought led me to wonder if I had done that with a Facebook event. To my recollection I haven't. If I can't go to something that the invitee actually has cause to think I will go to, I post that I can't be there, even if I don't say why. Because why you can't be there doesn't matter, just like why you weren't at Lindsay's party doesn't matter. You still weren't there. And yeah, I know there could be extenuating circumstances, but most people have an EXTREMELY lax idea of what those situations could be compared to me. BOO HOO I don't feel good. Suck it up. Do you have any idea how many times I haven't felt good but I was still there for you? Reciprocity. I don't forget.

By the way, I don't want any replies to this post talking about why you weren't at the party. Message Lindsay if you're that worried about saving face. Point being, don't come onto my page and try to defend yourself when I've already said you have no defense. I'm not naming names, and if you want to talk PRIVATELY or in person, I will be glad to. Holy crap, look at the wall of text I've typed...

I think I want to own my own pizza shop. I have ideas all the time that I think are good ones. I watch Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant Impossible, and Restaurant Stakeout. FRESH FOOD, GOOD FOOD. There are certain things you cannot do as a licensed affiliate of Fox's Pizza Den, and that's ok. Those guys made their fortune doing things their way, and I don't have a problem with following their rules while I'm working for a franchisee. That said, I feel like they could do some things differently to allow franchises to be more competitive and profitable. The way we have to buy our sauce and our dough really hurts us. I suppose it wouldn't matter if our owners had a few Fox's stores, and maybe that's what corporate wants. Also, who knew boxes were so fricken expensive? WOW! It's just cardboard!

I could complain about money, but the reality is that Lindsay and I are "haves" not "have nots." Yeah, that includes debt up to our ears, and maybe corporations aren't really amking it easier for me to get out of debt, but I got there myself in the first place. I overextended to get the shit that I wanted, and now I have it. I'm not poor, I have too many bills, and I racked them up myself. I have to deal with that like an adult and get myself out of some of that debt. Well, that or we could rent for the rest of our lives. Seems legit.

I know I'm intelligent, but I need to be smart. I've proclaimed myself to be the jack of all asses before, which is an obvious play on a colloquialism. But I should be a jack of all trades. It sucks when you have to pay other people to do stuff you could do yourself with a little more knowledge, like working on your car. I don't want to be a mechanic, but I ought to both know how to do more stuff and be willing to do it. It's ridiculously easy to change your own oil, but I don't do it. I need new brakes, rotors, and bearings because I drive like a maniac. I bought the brakes and rotors already, but I need to put them on! Quit being lazy, quit playing Skyrim all the time (actually, I haven't been doing that much lately), do something CONSTRUCTIVE! That's the one lesson I learned from Dori's dad that I remember clearly:

We were in Alabama for the summer. Jay was in the National Guard at Fort Rucker, and mom was getting ready to have Dori. Since I wasn't in school, we flew down to Alabama
so Jay could be around when Dori was born (plus I think it was free, military base and all). Anyway I was playing with some kids at a day care, and as he came to get me from it, I toppled over some other kid's block creation. Instead of beating my ass and locking me in the cupboard (as an example, that never happened), he explained to me that that action was destructive, and that I should strive for my actions to be constructive. I bet he doesn't remember that. That's how perspective goes.

Speaking of perspective, maybe it's because I have a pretty good memory (when I want to), but I notice that I tend to glorify my interactions with people, and that no one I know has as fond a memory of me as I do of them, or that their fondest memories are ones I don't remember at all! Or that for some reason, Jeff seems to think of how I bombed his best man speech differently than I do. If I were him, I probably wouldn't talk to me anymore. I thought it was that bad. But he remembers what happened at my first wedding differently than how I remember it. Actually, with the exception of bringing it up to give him shit, I don't even care about it. It wasn't the smartest thing to do, but whatever. I guess I have a lot more things about that day to remember that are worse.

Just for reference, this is what half a bottle of Manischewitz blackberry wine will do to you ;) I'm off tomorrow, and I have big plans for me and Lindsay! She really is awesome, the best, MY BEST! I love you Lindsay, happy birthday!!!