Friday, December 21, 2007

To continue, a pair of random thoughts on love...

Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you risk nothing, you risk even more.

The worst thing that can happen to a man is not rejection, but falling in one-sided love. This leaves no doubt that the saddest word in the English language is "unrequited".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Running from Love...


So many thoughts and emotions have overwhelmed me over the past few days that I felt certain I would have little hindrance in conveying these to you via finger-to-key contact. I was wrong. This, without a doubt, will be the hardest thing I've ever written. If at certain points in this particular diatribe the words on the screen move you emotionally as well, know that at those points there was a pretty good chance the keyboard was soaked with the tears of their author.

I'm not really sure where to begin. Each of you who takes the time to read my thoughts in this virtual space already know the history of her and I. I won't waste your time nor mine recycling the wonderful days we've spent together, the vivid memories we've shared, nor the love that has grown in such a very brief period of time. Rest assured all of that was real - very real. Well, real at least for the person involved that keeps this blog space functioning.

I won't divulge the details of the past few days' events. No, regardless of how I've been treated throughout this whole ordeal, I refuse to spend time revealing the actions she took and the circumstances which have now surfaced. I will not do this because that's not the man I am. You know that. I'm the "nice guy", and no matter how many times it gets me walked on, my heart ripped out, or turns my world as I know it completely upside down overnight, I will not change. Call me what you will: stubborn, foolish, oblivious, or what have you. I have values, dreams, and ideals. I believe in romance. I believe in passion. And, greatest of all, I believe in love -the pure, unfiltered, unabashed, raw and uncut kind of love. It's the only thing worth living for in my eyes; the only thing worth fighting for.

As she has reminded me several times prior, perhaps I live in film. I live in movies. I live in "The Notebook". I prefer to think I live firmly affixed in a reality where this sort of love does exist, albeit elusively. Elusive doesn't mean it doesn't exist, however. It simply means it's hard to find. It's rare. So, when it comes along, you have to seize it. You have to snatch it up and hold it as tightly as possible. It's almost like riding a bull of sorts. It's so powerful and unpredictable that you hold on as best you can and try not to be thrown from the beast. You try to make the most of the time, the situation, the experience. That's love. That's life.

She and I found love these past few months. I seized it. I did everything I could. The palms of my hands are red and rough with the the metaphorical blisters obtained via my grip on love. She, on the other hand, chose to not hold on quite as tightly, and was subsequently thrown from the the beast in a most violent manner. Fear can overcome each of us and cause us to make rash decisions. It can cause us to run scared in the opposite direction.

The fear of love is not all that uncommon. I think each of us is frightned by it, at least on some level. I think the fear of love and the fear of the unknown are one in the same. Love itself is perhaps the greatest unknown in the world. Some of us are scared to fully open our hearts and minds to love because it exposes us. It exposes our naked hearts to others and leaves us in what is a most vulnerable position. Some of us fear love more than others. She happened to be one who does. I do not.

None of us are born with fear. Fear, for the most part, is a learned behavior. We are taught we are supposed to fear certain things; heights, death, snakes, spiders, and love among them. Fear is also a product of prior experiences gone horribly wrong. It is a product of things not going as expected upon their undertaking, and unexpectedly turning out for the worst. This type of fear can only increase as the number of occurences increases. Multiple increases result in greater fear. It only makes sense.

Unfortunately for the both of us, fear based on prior experiences proved to be too much, at least at its current level. We all have issues in our lives. We all have demons that hide in the darkest corners of our minds and like to show their faces at times when circumstances exist similar to those that allowed the demons to emerge in the first place. Some fears are larger than others, and we all deal with them in different ways. A common way to deal with these fears is to run from them; to hide from them all together. This works for a lot of fears. If you are scared of heights, you don't step out on a ledge. Problem solved. However, the fear of love is not so simple. When one runs from love, one not only hurts the one they're running from, they hurt themselves, likely on a greater scale. Denying one's self love is no way to go through life. It's a vicious cycle to repeat time and again. It's cold, it's numb, it's bitter. Love is the most powerful, overwhelming emotion known to man. It exists for a reason. Don't run from it, embrace it.

Is there the chance you could get hurt in the process? Of course. I am living testament to that fact. We all drive cars on a daily basis with the knowledge that we can be injured or die in the process, yet we do it anyway.

As Alicia Keys says in her song "The Thing about Love",

Everybody laughs, everybody cries,
Sure it could hurt you baby,
but give it a little try.
See, that's the thing about love.

Love is worth the risk. Take it.

As I said, love is the most powerful emotion on earth. Wars have been waged over love, after all. Love allows one to see another imperfect person perfectly. My trust has been broken, yet I remain. I'm not running because my belief in love is that strong. My love for her is that strong. No one is perfect. Mistakes are made. Forgiveness should be granted, especially in those instances where actions taken, as wrong as they may be, have valid influences behind them. I'm not excusing what she did. It was wrong, and was the worst thing anyone has ever done to me. However, it was done out of fear. It was done out of anger and fear fueled by the all too clear memories of the past.

I forgive you. You can earn my trust back. Stop running. Acknowledge your love. Embrace it. Conquer your fear. Come back to me. I love you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

As my heart dangles by a thread...

...I remain the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Too nice according to some. To those of you that feel that way I say simply, oh well. I'm not changing. It's what makes me who I am.

Just to forewarn all of you, this post will be an outpouring of emotion unlike anything I've ever revealed to you. I hope you're ready. Give me a few days to gather my thoughts and I'll share my life with you. Thanks...

Monday, December 10, 2007

One of my Favorite Christmas Traditions...

So many things come to mind when I think of Christmas and the various traditions each of us have that accompany it. I thought I'd share one of my favorites. I have a sneaking suspicion it might just be one of yours as well. I don't care who you are, if you are flipping channels in December and come across National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase, you have to sit down and watch it. This is one of my favorite scenes of the whole movie, mostly because it includes my favorite Christmas song by one of my favorite artists: Ray Charles. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Love is Frustrating


No one ever said love is easy. In fact, it's pretty damn difficult some days. Don't get me wrong, however. There are days where the tides of love ebb and flow naturally and you and her/him are metaphorically skipping hand in hand through a field of daisies, butterflies and sunshine. Sometimes this emotional high can be so high one might easily confuse it with a scene from a Disney movie of yesteryear - Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella for example. You know what I mean. The two of you kiss and suddenly the flowers around you instantly turn to full bloom and all the animals in the forest come out of hiding to frolic with you; the deer playful, the birds in harmonious song. Those are the days you live for. They're the ones you cherish..the ones you hold on to.

Unfortunately from time to time you hit a bump. Maybe a miscommunication occurs, one party isn't getting what they want out of the relationship, schedules conflict, or whatever the case may be. Compromises have to be made. The fact that you are both willing to argue and not only voice your concerns but acknowledge and address the concerns of your partner is actually healthy for the relationship.

Perhaps I have a distorted view of what a relationship is supposed to be. Everything doesn't happen like it does in the movies, regardless of how much the passion and idealism I bring to the relationship influences it, or how much I want it to be that way. I'm very aware it may all be very cliched, but I don't want the newness to wear off. I want every time to feel like the first time. I want the passion to always be there. I don't want to just "go through the motions", as they say. It has to be special, otherwise it's just a waste of time and an exhaustion of emotion. Full-fledged, unabashed love is the only thing worth pursuing. Here's to the pursuit.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

BCS = Bull Crap System?


I break down the BCS bowl games, who got screwed and who got a gift. Coming soon...

19 Shopping Days Left...

Is it just me, or does it not feel at all like Christmas? It used to be that as soon as I took that last bite of Thanksgiving turkey I was in full-fledged Christmas spirit. Now it just seems as if it comes and goes in a flash. You blink and it's passed you by. I guess time really does fly as you get older. Remember when you were a child how the December days leading up to Christmas used to just drag by? Yeah, me too. I remember, and I want that feeling back. I want that giddiness of antipating opening presents with family and friends.

Now Christmas seems more like a deed you just have to get out of the way. We mindlessly shop for gifts because we have to. Television markets to us the same four or five "must have" items of the year, and if we don't get one of those items to give to those on our lists, we've somehow failed at Christmas. Whatever happened to thoughtfulness? Whatever happened to giving something of meaning because you care about those to whom you give gifts? Something of meaning that costs $5 will be received with so much more gratitude than something that costs $500 but has no personal meaning (The only exception to this is the unexplicable relationship between women and diamonds. That infuriates me, therefore we will not go there - at least not today).

I would encourage each of you to take a moment this holiday season to remember what it's all about. Remove yourselves from the materialism of it all and focus on the quality of the time spent with those you love. Focus on your family traditions, whatever they may be. And, most importantly, focus on the greatest gift that we were all given. I hope I don't have to tell you what that gift was.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The "Gloved One": 25 Years and Counting



I'm willing to bet that for most of this past Saturday December 1st was just that: Saturday, December 1, 2007. Yet for some of us, Saturday was far more significant. It was 25 years ago to the day that Michael Jackson released his album "Thriller" on the Epic Records label.

Michael was famous in the United States prior to the release of "Thriller", thanks to five prior albums that were successful in their own right. However, "Thriller" propelled Michael to a whole other level of International fame. Twenty-five years later, "Thriller" is the greatest selling album of all time, having sold more than 104 million albums worldwide, and counting. In the United States alone, the album continues to average sales of 60,000 units per year. The album won 7 Grammies. It set numerous other records, too many to mention here, but the records it set are not my point of focus. What the album meant to music, is.

I'd be lying if I told you I remembered Thriller when it was released because I was a mere 11 months old. My earliest memory of Michael, who is by far the greatest performer/entertainer/musician of all time, with the statistics to back it up, came in Christmas of 1987. Thanks to the always reliable Santa Claus, I was the recipient of my first stereo A.K.A. "boom box" as we referred to them back then. Accompanying said boom box was my first ever cassette tape: Michael Jackson's "Bad."

They say really good music makes you feel something, and listening to "Bad" was my first recollection of feeling something when I heard the sounds emanating from the speakers of my boom box. What I felt for the first time in my life was rhythm. I felt soul. I felt inspiration. This was all very new to me...very fascinating...very cool. Apparently I'm not the only one who felt that way, regardless of age at the time (I was 6.) because the album had five songs reach #1 on the Billboard Charts - the first and still the only album ever to achieve such status. I'm sure if I looked hard enough in the top of my parent's garage I could find that old dusty cassette tape, though I doubt it would still play after being blasted so loudly so many times that were probably past my bedtime on a school night.

Every generation has their musical artist(s) that define them. For my generation, it was and always will be Michael. Twenty-five years later "Thriller" continues to stand the test of time. Every time I hear the songs or see the epic Steven Spielberg directed music video (which by the way is the best music video ever, hands down) it takes me back to my childhood. I can't help but wonder if one day as a very old man I hear songs from "Thriller" on my generation's oldies station and tell my grandchildren "Now that's good music!", only to have them laugh at me, communicating to me that I'm out of touch. Statistics don't lie. "Thriller" will live on.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Turkey, Shotgun Weddings, and "the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

I'm back. Yes, you heard me. I have returned. What's that you say? You didn't miss me? Oh well. I'm here to write regardless.

I hope each of you had a Thanksgiving weekend that was filled with family, friends and good food. I know I sure did. The parents and I went to Richmond, VA to my mother's sister's house, as has been the annual tradition since the last of my grandparents passed away. My mom's oldest sister is now the matriarch of the family, and as such sees fit to prepare a palatable meal at least once a year; a bonafide culinary delight.

We all crowd around a table that must be 50 feet long to accomodate all of the aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses and such that show up. Tradition dictates that we discuss the events of the year about to come to a close and plans for the year that is about to begin. A quick summary of my year provided mental bullet points of both positives and negatives. Positive bullet points included trips to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, San Francisco, and of course Pebble Beach Golf Links. Another siginificant positive happening was meeting a wonderful young woman to spend a great deal of my time with falling in love, all while solving the problems of the world in which we live. I love you Doodle. There was also skydiving. How could I forget skydiving. One word: Wow.

Of course, with 365 days in a calender year, they all can't be bright copper kettels and warm woolen mittens (Thank you, Julie Andrews.). Negative happenings always find a way to intersperse themselves into at least a few of our days. One particular negative happening stands out from this past year. I had a brief encounter with loneliness and depression. This can, however, be looked at in a positive light, as it drove me to spent time discussing life with a therapist, which in turn made me a better Patrick. There were other negatives, but all too minor to waste time mentioning here.

While on the drive to Richmond Thursday morning my father -the preacher (Yes, I'm the son of a preacher man.) - informed my mother and I that he would be marrying my cousin Scott on Friday while we were there. He had just found this out on very short notice, so for most of the family this was basically considered a shotgun wedding of sorts. We had a nice little ceremony with about 20 people from both families on Friday afternoon. It was about time for Scott, he's 39. There's a bun in the oven too. That may have a tiny bit to do with this short, albeit logical decision.

Christmas is on the way. As I type this there are 24 shopping days left until the big day. I can't wait. I'm like a kid at Christmas. I sneak and peel back the tape on the presents to take a peek at what's inside. I get up before the sun and wake up the rest of the family to open presents and make breakfast. I love seeing the reactions on people's faces when they open presents. I love the decorating, and I love the music. I'm sure most of the rest of you feel similarly. However, let's not forget the real reason for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ.

Going to Winston-Salem with the girlfriend this weekend to help her mother decorate for Christmas. It should be an interesting time.

Expect a post on "The Gloved One" soon, hopefully before the weekend is over.

Take care of yourselves, and each other. I stole that from Jerry Springer!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Because I'm already watching the clock anyway...

I figured I'd make it easier for myself and put a clock at the bottom of the page so that I may keep up with exactly how much time is left until SHE's home. It's a little therapeutic in a way, watching the numbers tick ever downward. Excessive, you say? Perhaps, but it works for me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Absense: Days 1 & 2

We as humans all have our own ideas, beliefs and opinions on everything imaginable, from one's view on a particular ethical debate, to how one takes one's coffee - if one even takes coffee at all. Love - and all additional emotions that come along with it - is not immune from this. It means something different to everyone. One could stand out on a street corner in a metropolitan area and ask 100 different passing pedestrians to define love, and receive 100 unique responses. One's definition of love can change as well, as it can be influenced by the events which one experiences in everyday life. We are, quite simply, products of our environment.

On Saturday, November 17th, my personal definition of love changed. It became more specific and circumstantially focused. If someone asked me today "What is love?", the following would be my reply:

Love is watching a plane go across a map on your computer screen for 14.5 hours.

Let me explain. Before the sun ever came up Saturday morning, I put my girlfriend of approximately two months on an airplane bound for Tokyo, Japan - essentially the other side of the world. Since the inception of our relationship we've spent very little time apart, seeing each other at least a few minutes every day except two. That may strike some of you as excessive, but for us it works. So when she told me she'd be gone for 9 days, I was afraid I wouldn't know what to do with myself and, as it turns out, I was right. If I learned anything this past weekend, it's that all the football and basketball one guy can watch could never fill the void of having the person you care so much about (and whom you know reciprocates those feelings) by your side.

And, if I learned anything else, it's that my true feelings have been confirmed during her absense.

I'm in love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trying to Locate the Pause Button


Salutations! Happy Wednesday to you and yours. It is Wednesday, isn't it? I half-heartedly question that because things have been a bit of a blur lately. So much to say, so little time. Let me beg you to bequeth me your patience today and I'll try to make this post as coherent as possible. Deal? Good. Now, where was I?...

What a nice, extended weekend this past weekend was (extended if you work at a bank such as myself, or a Federal institution). I would be remiss if I did not thank the Veterans among you for all you have done and continue to do so that I may live in freedom to post this blog.

In as few words as possible, the weekend recap: Carolina-State football game (It was one of the better games I've seen in a while, though nothing will top Boise State-Oklahoma.), American Gangster (Denzel should get an Oscar on the mantle.), evening with girlfriend (Can it get any better?), Developing a potential billion dollar idea while sitting with my best friend at a bar in Chapel Hill (Yes, seriously.), Monday off work to do absolutely nothing (Thank you, Uncle Sam.).

A few random thoughts:

Experiencing the first period with a new girlfriend - It's like a hangover really. You have a ton of fun getting drunk, but you know you're going to pay for it later. You accept that. A girlfriend is no different. You know that along with all the benefits of having a girlfriend come those few days a month that you are going to dread. That was a joke, of course. It's really not that bad. YET. Ok, moving on...

Alicia Keys released a new album yesterday. My early though after perusing the tracks is simply ALBUM OF THE YEAR.

The first Carolina basketball game is tonight. It sure has been a loooooooong off season. Georgetown left a bad taste in the collective mouths of the Heels, and their fans. Let's go cut some nets down.

After the whirlwind of the past couple of weeks, I'm just searching for the pause button on that virtual DVR you've all known me to mention before. Unfortunately, for a nine day period starting Saturday I'll refer to simply as "The Absence", I'll be searching for the fast forward button just as desperately. For those of you who do not know what "The Absence" is, it is probably inevitable that I will blog about it sometime next week, at least once, if not multiple times, out of pure frustration and uneasiness. So stay patient, dear readers.

Here I go again, wishing my life away...

I'll leave you with a few words from Alicia Keys' new record:

I don't wanna forget the present is a gift
And I don't wanna take for granted the time
you may have here with me
'Cause Lord only knows another day is
not really guaranteed.

So every time you hold me
Hold me like this is the last time
Every time you kiss me
Kiss me like you'll never see me again
Every time you touch me
Touch me like this is the last time
Promise that you'll love me
Love me like you'll never see me again.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Weekend with Her...

It's that time again boys and girls. What time is that you ask? Oh, come on, you know exactly what time it is. It's time for me to once again divulge (almost) all of the events of my personal life, including the thoughts and feelings that accompany said events. Why do I do this? I'm sure that's what you're asking yourself. Ok, maybe not, but it's what I'm asking myself. From what I've been able to discern thus far, this blog has served as a virtual therapeutic outlet of sorts from which I've learned a lot about myself, while allowing you, dear readers, to do so simultaneously. I must say my writing talent has allowed me to communicate my innermost thoughts and feelings with each of you much easier than I would be able to do through the spoken word. That's something I am working on, however. Call it a veritable work-in-progress.



Anyway, without further delay, I present to you a summary of the weekend...



Friday night: This one's tricky. I'm not sure how much I can divulge here, mostly out of respect for the other party. However, I will say that I and said other party started watching a movie and we were both in such a pleasant mood that we didn't get very far into the movie. It was a good night, let's just leave it at that. Oh well, it was Letters from Iwa Jima. World War II - we all know how that one ended anyway.



Saturday: A great day, yet a tremendously taxing day nonetheless. It started early - too early. I appreciate her constant drive to be productive and efficient, but whatever happened to sleeping in, cuddled up, revelling in the events of the night prior? Nevertheless, after I worked my magic in the kitchen for breakfast we were off to tour downtown luxury condos for a big design project she was working on relating to the marketing of real estate. It was actually fun. We toured this nice place over on Oberlin and pretended to be a young, engaged couple, searching for a lavish place to call home. The lady that showed us around ate it right up. As for the place we toured, wow. It was almost as nice as when I lived in the Nissen in downtown Winston-Salem. I almost felt a little bad lying to the leasing agent. Oh well.

Next up was a foray into the retail world. In this particular instance, Triangle Town Center was the scene. I hesitate to say I hated getting drug around by a beautiful girl , because I actually enjoyed it, being the clothes horse that I am. Business suits were the items of the day. It seemed as if she felt guilty for spending too much money, but reassurance from a wise young man (wonder who that could be) that she was simply making an investment in her professional future seemed to ease the tension a bit (Something I've noticed lately, as I get older by the minute: Finding the right thing to say at the right time is becoming second nature to me).

Now for the "I'll never let you live that moment down as long as you live" event of the day. Let me set the scene for you. Shopping is nearly complete. All items have been purchased. The only thing left is a trip down the escalator on the way to the car. Girl wants to show guy physical affection through the simple gesture of running fingers through his hair. Yet, somehow, she fails to notice the $170 Armani sunglasses sitting on top of his head (Yes, I realize they may be a little hard to notice given the nature of my JFK-inspired hairstyle). Glasses fall off head, and disappear over the side of the escalator's handrail. After arriving at the bottom of the escalator, and not finding any sign of the glasses anywhere, there was only one conclusion at which to arrive: Girl had just knocked guy's glasses squarely into the middle of the fountain. The trouble was, they were impossible to see, impeded by the foam being created from the water cascading from above. To make a long story short, imagine this scene: Guy with fishing net on the end of ten foot pole fishing glasses from center of mall fountain. Thank God cameras were not involved. Physical evidence is the last thing I want to remind me of that. The mental picture is more than enough.

Saturday night: Here's where it got tricky. Guy somehow convinced girl to attend the first scrimmage of the Carolina basketball season with him. The game started at 8:15, yet guy failed to mention that minor detail to girl, instead opting to show up almost two hours early because seating was general admission, so the better your place in line, the better your seat was going to be. After much berating and verbal abuse from the girl after standing in line outside the Dean E. Smith Center for more than an hour, guy and girl found seats near courtside that more than made up for the wait (at least in guy's eyes). As much fun as guy had watching his team, the long day had begun to get to him and a migraine insued. It was all he could do to drive himself and the girl home to the warm comfort of his bed. Luckily for him, girl took necessary steps to ensure headache subsided quickly (Details of those events have been removed to protect all parties involved).

Sunday: No more third person references today. She actually let me sleep in too. Wow, today was starting well, or so I thought. After another amazing breakfast prepared by yours truly, it was off to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to search for quality bedding for myself. I should note that in the course of Saturday's shopping events I saw exactly what I wanted, yet they were sold out of one particular piece for my bed size - the duvet cover. After finding I could order it online from Macy's, I was relieved. However, she convinced me to look other places before making the purchase. Here's where things went a little awry. As we perused the aisles, she began pointing out suggestions to me as potential purchases. For whatever reason, I didn't care for any of them. Apparently I came across as snobbish in making my distaste for the items she suggested known. I can assure you this was not intentional, I just know what I like. A minor argument insued, as she portrayed me as being a snob for liking expensive, name brand things. But for me, it is not a matter of price, but appearance. If I had liked the things she picked out, I wouldn't have cared if they were $10 or $10,000.00, I would have bought them. I liked the stuff at Macy's better. It just so happens what I liked costed an arm and a leg. And yes, I made the purchase anyway (It should arrive today via UPS). There's a lesson to be learned in these events boys and girls. It's easy to misinterpret someone, even a significant other. This is why it is important to be completely open and honest with each other, something I made known immediately that I appreciated in her. Were it not for her possessing these qualities, I may never have known I came across in that manner.

Her frustrations with me were resolved through extra effort on my part. Who knew you could solve a problem and make a girl smile with a simple desk lamp? That's an inside joke of course.

Another weekend in the books folks.

P.S. - Guy continues to fall for girl. HARD. We'll see what tomorrow's roadtrip to Columbia brings.

Stop and Smell the Roses...

It really is amazing how quickly one's life can change. One minute you're riding high without a care in the world, and the next minute your life has taken a 180 degree turn in the complete opposite direction, leaving you faced with heartbreak, anger, or another similar emotion. This scenario functions both ways of course. One can just as easily go from the depths of despair to the top of the highest emotionally positive mountain, metaphorically speaking. This is why it is important, as they say, to "stop and smell the roses". In other words, don't just admire the beauty of the rose ( whatever the rose might symbolize in your own life) in passing, but rather take the time to truly recognize everything the rose has to offer. Do this not because it is there, but because you don't know when it might not be.

Just a quick thought for the day boys and girls...

More on the weekend's happenings coming later this evening...

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Friday Hodge-Podge

With no particular topic at the forefront of my mind today, I figure a posting of various musings would be adequate for this entry.

1. Tonight, myself and my girlfriend (Wow. Did I just use that word? I had almost forgotten how to say it, much less spell it.) are going to see American Gangster. The word is that Denzel Washington's performance in this film is Oscar worthy. Don't let me down Denzel. I paid $8.75 for this ticket.

2. Speaking of Denzel Washington, I think he's my favorite African American actor of all time. Two others come to mind: Morgan Freeman and Sidney Poitier. The three couldn't be any different, yet they all bring some very endearing qualities to the big screen.

3. I got the most random voice mail in the middle of the night last Saturday. It went something like this: "Patrick, this is [insert name here]." My mind was slow to process this information after being awoken from my slumber. Who is [insert name here]? I thought. Do I know you? I listened further. "I'm laying in my bed and...nothing. And you're not having sex with me, which you should be having sex with me right now, but you're not. Oh well, your loss. Or maybe it's mine, I don't know. But anyway, you're not having sex with me, and you should be having sex with me. Talk to you later." It took me about ten minutes to figure out who the girl was, because the encounter we had was nearly 18 months ago. Does this happen to any of you other guys? Is this one of those epiphanistic moments where I'm supposed to realize something? Am I a...a man whore? Maybe. In my past life.

4. You know that bubbly, giddy, excitable, can't sit still feeling you get when you first embark on a relationship with someone? You can't wait to see them, you want to spend every second with them, you want to ask so many questions and learn so much about them, etc. I think you'll all agree with me when I emphatically declare the following: that's the best feeling in the world.

5. Another Halloween on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill has come and gone. Although this year's experience was rather tempered and abbreviated (in order to appease a certain someone who I coerced into tagging along with me) compared to the drunken debauchery I was a part of in years past, I did discover one thing Wendesday night. I have a fetish for slutty nurses. Or, at the very least, a fetish for good girls in slutty nurse clothing.

6. United States senator and Democratic Presidential hopeful candidate Barack Obama was in Durham yesterday, stumping for votes at NC Central University. I like Mr. Obama, I really do. He's my candidate for the next four years in the Oval Office. With that said, apparently Mr. Obama didn't get the memo. Bloods and Crips don't vote.

7. I was in the mall the other day, several days before Halloween. That meant it was still OCTOBER. The mall was already decorated for Christmas, as were all the storefronts. Christmas became over-commercialized a long time ago, but for the first time this really pissed me off. Somehow I don't think one of Jesus' thoughts while hanging on the cross was "I'm dying for you so you have a reason to camp outside Nordstrom at 4 AM on the day after Thanksgiving".

8. College basketball is officially underway. The Tar Heels are #1 in the preseason poll. I'll be in attendance Saturday night at the first scrimmage of the season. Go ahead and mark my prediction down for two losses this season, a trip to the Final Four, and another National Championship Banner and Naismith Trophy in the Dean E. Smith Center come that first Monday night in April. While you're at it, go ahead and place the over/under line for items I throw at the television and/or break this season at 4.

9. I'm looking forward to winter so I can go snow skiing, but damn it's going to be a long few months waiting to skydive again.

10. Writing a book is harder than I thought. Writer's block sucks.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

On Contradiction through Persistence and Patience

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to my little corner of George Bush's "Internets". While I'm at it, let me give credit to one Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. for creating such a fine virtual world (Thanks, Al. While I'm thinking about it, that Nobel Prize you won for your work on global warming was touching. Really, it was.).

To the 90% of you who waited patiently for more than a week for a new entry to quench your parched thirst for knowledge, let me say thank you. To the other 10% who I liken to salt in an open wound, your persistent pestering served only to encourage me to delay this entry a day or two longer than I originally would have. Luckily for you, it just so happens that this particular delay allowed for a magnificent weekend experience from which the motivation and material for this post originates.

Thirteen days ago I wrote openly to the world about giving up on love...giving up on "her"....giving up on "you", because I know you're reading this. I had done it my way, and as painful as it was to accept the outcome of doing it my way, only to fail, I found solace in the fact that I was true to myself all along, refusing to compromise who I was in order to make the situation less painful. I remember sitting in this exact chair at this exact keyboard thirteen days ago, typing out the phrase "Second chances are rare". And while second chances are indeed just as rare today as they were two weeks ago, they still happen, and not only in the movies. The key ingredients involved in increasing the odds that you will stumble upon your own second chance at some point in your life are simple. They are persistence, and patience. Neither of these is more important than the other. The relationship is symbiotic. One simply has to find the right ratio in order to achieve the desired result. In my case, my desired result was/is getting the girl.

It is because of this desired outcome that I take almost a pride of sorts and pleasure in completely and totally contradicting my last Sinatra-inspired entry. It's not over. The curtain, as much as I thought it had closed two weeks ago, is still very much open. The lights have yet to go out, and the cast of characters remain at center stage. The final bow has yet to occur. As much as both characters both thought the show was over, it turns out it has only begun. Who knew it was so hard to discern "The End" from intermission? Act Two has thus far been a welcome surprise.

Persistence is an interesting fellow. For those among you who don't know him very well, you should know he has a very close cousin who goes by the name Stubbornness. These two cousins are character traits one possess in order to get something one really wants. It is all but impossible to have one without the other. They work very closely in conjunction with patience. Patience is perhaps the most difficult of all adopted behaviors to master, mostly because one never knows when it will pay off until that moment occurs. It does not allow one the ability to plot their progress on some virtual graph. It's impossible to analyze a given situation and tell one's self "Being patient is working so far, so I'm going to keep it up". No, patience pays off when you least expect it. Most among us don't even realize they possess the ability to summon these traits and behaviors until they are thrust into a situation (either by circumstance or one's own doing) in which a strong desire to achieve or obtain something (or in my case, someone) is present.

Let's face it, you can't make someone love you if they don't. Isn't that a lyric from some Top 40 song? But what you can do is prove to that person you care by simply being...by simply remaining. Persistence, patience, and stubbornness: three traits that when applied correctly, can make a world of difference. And trust me, when they do, you'll be just as happy to contradict yourself as I am.

Stay tuned boys and girls, minor details of the weekend's happenings are forthcoming...

Monday, October 22, 2007

A step in the right direction...

I'm taking a big step forward today to ensure future success in every aspect of my life's progression. More later...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Old Blue Eyes: "I did it my way"


I suppose you could say I've been trying to pick myself up off the pavement for the past week or so since my last post. The trouble is, getting up has proved to be far more difficult than I could have ever imagined. Such is the burden of the guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. You see, instead of springing upright in a timely fashion, I've been more like the deer you see when you're one of the first people to pass the scene of its collision with an automobile: limbs flailing, painfully trying to bring itself upright and continue on its journey, only the pain and damage are too great for any real chance at success. When this happens, the police officer on the scene has the unenviable task of putting the poor animal out of his misery via the .45 he wears on his hip.




For the past week, I've been that deer, only no metaphorical police officer has responded to put me out of my misery. Therefore, I've taken that task upon myself - metaphorically and symbolically, of course. I've rarely applied these two little words to any task at hand in my lifetime, but I've deemed them necessary at this point. I QUIT. The game is over. Give me my ball back, I'm going home. The extent of my injuries this time are far too great to hope for a recovery. I went down swinging, and it just wasn't enough. I failed - for the last time.




There's only so much one guy can take, I don't care who you are. By now, all of you know my status as a hopeless romantic. You know what that consists of: wearing my heart on my sleeve, being real, being genuine, being honest, caring, willing to do anything...all of that. You know that's who I am. The risk that comes with being that guy is that you put yourself out there on a limb to get your heart ripped out. And well, I got my heart ripped out. It wasn't the first time, but it was the last. I quit, as much out of necessity as choice. The thing about being a hopeless romantic is that each time you get your heart ripped right out of your chest, the person ripping it out takes a piece of it with them. There's only so much of me to go around, and this time someone just happened to take the last piece. And not only that, they probably took the biggest.




Let me give you a scenario: Guy has feelings for girl, girl reciprocates those same exact feelings. She acts on them, albeit briefly, and just when you think a harmonious melding of two people is about to occur, it's over. She doesn't retract those feelings, she just refuses to act on them any longer. I'm not sure there could be anything more frustrating than knowing someone feels the same way you feel about them, only they choose to ignore those feelings and emotions. I have a strange suspicion that it probably feels worse than outright rejection.




It's funny how quickly life can change. One minute you're on top of the world, and the next minute you're blindsided by something so negative, so polar opposite that your feelings shift to the other end of the spectrum before you realize what hit you. I think people who read this blog regularly like to take a brief moment out of their own personal lives to live vicariously through me. Want to walk in my shoes for a minute or two? Imagine making love to someone for the first time and three hours later they tell you it's over; all the while they're trying mightily to mask their feelings for you, which are exactly the same as yours for them. I bet you want to take those shoes off pretty quickly, don't you? For those of you who still want to keep the shoes on a moment longer, spend a week thinking of nothing but that person, and asking yourself only "Why?" and "What could I have done differently?" Second chances are rare. There's no DVR in life. If there was I would have pressed pause two Saturday nights ago and rewound to earlier that afternoon, and replayed those few precious hours over and over. I guess that's what memories are for; they're virtual DVR. I recorded that day in my mind, burned it to disc, and filed it under the description "The Day the Last Piece of my Heart was Taken".




When you have nothing left in the tank, nothing left to give, you quit. It certainly wasn't easy to make this decision, but I take some solace in reminding myself that, like Sinatra, I did it "My Way".




And now, the end is near;


And so I face the final curtain.


My friend, Ill say it clear,


Ill state my case, of which Im certain.


Ive lived a life thats full.


Ive traveled each and every highway;


And more, much more than this,


I did it my way.




Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blogging the unbloggable...

I never once thought when I began this blog that I would experience events with circumstances and outcomes that would prove extremely difficult to write about, not only emotionally, but without stepping on some toes. I did, however, charge myself with the task of writing in full honesty, without holding back any one though, feeling, or emotion about the subject at hand. And that's what I'm about to do.

Update coming soon...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Heartbroken...

I don't know if I can do this alone

Oh after all our sweet love is flown

I've been running

I've been skipping like a stone

And I don't know if I can do this all alone



When I met her she was standing by a door

I ain't never seen a light like that before

Now she's left me for something more sure

And I don't know if I can do this anymore



Cause loves will come, lovers will go

These rare seeds are from which true love might grow

If you see her, won't you please say hello

Cause I don't know if I can do this alone.


-Amos Lee, "Skipping Stone"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wine and Cheese(cake)

As I lied in bed last night, the day's events and various highlights played out in my head in slow motion, as is the norm for me. It's become so much a part of my daily routine that I hardly ever have to think about doing it because it just happens. Lately I've also begun to pose questions to myself about what I'm doing in my day-to-day life: various actions I've taken, were they right or wrong, am I as tuned in to the needs of friends and family as I need to be, etc. Often, I ask myself these questions as a means to not only reflect, but to identify ways I can improve when the sun peaks through the blinds the next morning.

I mention this portion of my daily routine not because I aim to persuade any of you to begin adopting this practice, but because I want to share with you a question I posed to myself last night in the hopes of getting some feedback from some of you. First, a little background information is necessary.

I've been dating this amazing young lady for the past couple of weeks. Last night was our fourth "date". I prepared what I suppose could be considered a thoroughly intricate meal to the majority of you, and even the food snobs among you similar to myself. We enjoyed the meal, a bottle of wine and finished it off with lemon raspberry cheesecake and an episode of House. However, the details of the night are irrelevant. All you need really need is that bit of background information. Let me get to the matter at hand.

Last night, as I lied staring at the ceiling, the most significant question I posed to myself was "Why am I sharing my deepest thoughts and feelings so willingly to you, my readers in this little corner of the virtual world?" And not only that, but also "Is it a good idea?" I asked myself these questions because I have begun to wonder what topics should I refrain from posting here. I've begun to wonder if I share with you my truest thoughts and feelings concerning my various experiences - especially my pursuit of the elusive thing known as love - will I in fact be doing myself a disservice?

You see, last night by my estimation was a very good night, and I can only hope that the one whose company I enjoyed feels the same way. But do I really need to be sharing that here? Could it perhaps be doing me more harm than good? That, dear readers, is my current struggle.

Those of you who know me, and I mean truly know me, know that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm just beginning to wonder whether or not it's a good idea for me to wear it on my blog as well.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cruel and Unusual...

In my estimation, there are three topics that evoke deep, heartfelt emotions in us as human beings, usually at one extreme end of the spectrum or the other, but rarely does anyone among us remain neutral in our opinions of the subject. They are (in no particular order) abortion, same sex marriage, and capital punishment. Seldom do you ever hear someone say apathetically that they do not care about these issues. Unfortunately I was once forced to put my own ethical and spiritual beliefs about abortion into action, in the not too distant past. Luckily, it was not a decision I had to aid in making that concerned fathering a child of my own, but instead, rather or not I would financially back someone in need who wished to terminate their own pregnancy. Needless to say it was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but that is neither here nor there at this point. And I won't get into my feelings about same sex marriages today. Look forward to that one in the future. Today I'd rather focus my energy on providing you with another perspective on the ethics of capital punishment, or as it is more commonly known, the death penalty.

Again, it's one of the three main topics that evoke the most extreme, raw human emotion. I suppose a fourth topic would be the merits of war, but nevertheless, just think about it. When you go home at night and turn on the news (those of you with brains, not you simpletons), what are the most common things you see people protesting and picketing about? I guarantee you the death penalty is one of them.

Capital punishment is something that has been debated since its inception however many thousands of years ago, when a sharp, descending blade to the back of the neck known as the guillotine was the most common method of carrying out such punishment (though I have to imagine it was not the most sanitary). We as a society later advanced (if you choose to think of it that way) to electrocution, the gas chamber, and to today's most commonly used method, lethal injection.

Lethal injection has been in the news quite frequently in the past few months in North Carolina. Death Row inmates have even brought a law suit against the state in which they argue the case that this so-called "cocktail" of deadly drugs constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, thus violating their rights given to them under the Constitution of the United States of America. Quite simply, I agree with them. Who's to say what level of pain someone endures when injected with this concoction? Who knows the length of time this lasts? No one, that's who. No doctor, no matter how educated and experienced in the field can say with 100% certainty they know what it is like from a first hand account.

Law suit and cruel and unusual punishment aside, this is not my issue with capital punishment. The severity of pain is irrelevant to me. I don't care if an inmate injected with this lethal cocktail of drugs experiences sensations similar to euphoria before expiring on that cold, sterile table deep inside Central Prison. In my mind's eye capital punishment is wrong, regardless of physical pain endured. It's immoral. It's despicable. As a Christian, it is my devout belief that taking the life of another human being is wrong. No one - not me, you, Governor Easley, President Bush, the nine Justices of the Supreme Court - should have the right to determine whether an incarcerated man or woman should be put to death. I can only hope to live to see the day a moratorium is placed on capital punishment, not only in North Carolina, but nationwide.

I know many of you will disagree with me on the basis that those who are sentenced to Death Row received their sentence because they took the life of a person, or even multiple persons and therefore deserve death and nothing less. I recognize and acknowledge this. To not do so would be foolish and ignorant. But let me ask you this: Does executing someone for their decision to take the life of another make everything right? Does one forced death cancel out another? Does it bring anyone true happiness? What, if anything, does an execution solve? I know news outlets always question family members of victims who usually say it brings them solace and closure, but I really don't think that's what they are feeling.

I think only evil inside someone could cause them to be relieved by the death of another human. I believe in forgiveness. People make mistakes, it's a fact of life. Granted, some of those mistakes are larger and therefore come with greater consequences and punishment to fit the mistake, or in this case crime. However, death should not be an option among the types of punishment available. Life terms in prison should be adequate. Taking away the freedom of another is the real death. It's the death of the mind, and it's the death of life as one knows it. The physical death of the body is simply symbolic and, at best, serves as a deterrent, because the real death occurs long beforehand.

Those among us with hearts know that the debate should not be whether lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the rights given to us by our forefathers, but instead should focus on the ethics of carrying out such punishment at all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mid-week musings for the masses...


After much prodding and countless requests to beseech you, I suppose it's time I throw my minions a few table scraps...


Lyrics from Kanye West's "Barry Bonds" seem appropriate at this juncture:


It's what you've all been waiting for, ain't it?

What people paid paper for, damn it.

They can't stand it, they want something new.

So let's get re-acquainted, became the hood favorite,

I can't even explain it, I surprised myself too.


....So here's another hit, Barry Bonds.


It has become very apparent that you, my loyal readers, can't go a day without begging for a new blog, a new update, anything to keep you satisfied. You crave the knowledge, insight, and wisdom I direct your way. It is as if I am the teacher, and you are the pupil. You need this relationship. I, like Mr. West, am not cocky, I'm confident.


Now, without further delay...



It's Wednesday, and I'm at home. "Why?", you ask. Because head colds are the devil. Luckily for me, I get one cold a year, and once I get it out of the way, it's smooth sailing. As I lied in bed this morning I pondered rising early to seek out a productive, fulfilling day. But, after sitting up, I thought better of it, chugged some DayQuil, and hit the snooze button. Here's to a day of naps, surfing the net, and learning to appreciate Lee Corso's overused cliches on NCAA Football 2008 on the Xbox 360.


Revelations continue to come to me at a record pace. This week's ephiphany: Realizing that through aiding others in finding the solutions to their problems that you can also solve some of your own simultaneously. While recently listening to the best assistant in the world, AKA Shelley, talk about her long history of commitment issues with men, and subsequently issuing advice, I realized that I too had a similiar issue that I must acknowledge as willingly as she was acknowledging her own. You see, as badly as I have been desiring a meaningful relationship to fill the enormous void that exists in my heart, I have simultaneously been countering that feeling and failing to act upon it due to fear of additional failure, low self-esteem, and confidence.


Failure, as I'm sure you all have experienced in one way or another, most often serves to beat one down, lowering confidence and self-esteem, bit by bit, until self-doubt is the predominant emotion affecting one's decision making. I've been single for 21 months, and in that time I have experienced one failure after another with the opposite sex. And I'm not taking about one or two, I'm taking about more like 10. As those failures began to mount, I subconsciously began to defer a potential relationship with any of the women I encountered and focused solely on sexual interaction. My rationale was simple: By not allowing myself to try to get into a relationship, I couldn't fail, and the sexual encounter would pacify me for a given amount of time until I could do the same again with another female, and the process would continue. Of course, a relationship was really what I wanted, but I was denying myself.


I know all of you are, by now, completely sick of me describing not only the physical experience, but emotional experience of jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet. It's all I've talked about for two weeks. But until you have experienced it, you can't truly understand the magnitude of what I have described - how it is as if you undergo some sort of metaphysical transformation in the short amount of time it takes for gravity to propel you back to earth. For me, it was a spiritual and emotional awakening. It was, quite simply, the ultimate confidence booster. Relationship fears must pale in comparison to mortality related fears, right?


Over the past three days, this new found self-esteem and confidence has metastasized into potential. Potential for new passion. Potential for new love. Potential for a new, better me. And you know what? I'm not afraid anymore. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am overcome with a feeling of content and certainty. The fear of failure and the unknown are no longer a factor for me. Love and potential are in the air, and I'm no longer running.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This place looks a little familiar

First order of business: I feel I owe you all, dear, loyal readers of this virtual space in which my mind has deposited its thoughts, otherwise known to George Bush as the "internets", an apology. Since starting this space and putting my thoughts into words, this is the longest I've gone without an update. I'm not sure why I did that exactly. Believe me, twas not for the lack of material. I've seen and read so many things over the past nine days that have inspired me, that have provoked powerful thought, and that have even enraged me. Yet, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I have failed to bring them to you dear, loyal reader. And for that, I apologize.



Now that I've gotten that out of the way, why don't we talk a little bit about a lot of things, without too much focus on a singular topic.



By now I'm sure you, my readers (all 3 of you), are aware that I am in the early, developmental stages of the most difficult, damning thing I've ever chosen to undertake, a.k.a. writing a book. After finally deciding to begin this massive untertaking just a few short weeks ago, I've already scrapped the original title and theme altogether. Hey, don't blame it on me. Blame it on my recent found love for throwing myself out of a perfectly good aircraft at 15,000 feet. As I said last week, it changes the way you see things. As of today, the new working title is "The Jump: Taking the Plunge" While this title was obviously inspired by my first skydive, the title serves a dual function. It metaphorically represents the decisions we as humans make when facing great uncertainty about the subsequent consequences of those decisions. These decisions can be anything, because we each lead individual lives, and therefore each of us has widely varying priorities and face many different decisions in daily life.

I had an interesting thought recently about reality, what it is, and how to explain what it is. Most often we hear people reference reality in a negative manner. For instance, when someone is talking about a best-case scenario, or a dream they have to do something great someday, there always seems to be someone present, ready and waiting to quickly retort, almost snappily "That's nice and all, but it's not realistic." So I've been wondering more and more lately: What exactly is reality? What makes something realistic? The simplest way to explain reality is through the following statement: What is, is. But wait, is that not too simplistic? The trouble with defining reality that way is that it implies acceptance. That something is the way it is, and there's nothing that can be done to alter it. What is, is. Deal with it. In my reality, the only things one must accept are death and taxes. Everything else is negotiable via optimism and creative thought. My advice then, would be to not accept someone else's reality other than your own. Imagine where we'd be today if the great optimists and non-realists of the world accepted someone else's reality. What if someone like Henry Ford had accepted the way things were prior to the automobile? Would we be commuting down our highways and interstates via horse and buggy? You see where I'm going with this. You make your own reality, bottom line.

Karma's a bitch. Thirteen years after unexplicably being acquited of murdering his wife and family friend Ron Goldman, OJ Simpson is once again facing the possiblity of life in prison. How's the old saying go? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Let's hope the judicial system gets this one right.

I can't stop listening to the new Kanye West record. Talk about a breath of fresh air! It's that good, honest. In the past four years, the guy has almost single-handedly evelated the game to a higher level of conciousness through the implementation of thought provoking lyrics on everything from politics to racial issues to superficiality and the worshipping of fiscally acquired luxury wares. For those simpletons among my readers who are afraid of actually engaging a few brain cells from time to time, there's always "Crank That" by Solja Boy, a barely pubescent teen whose single is somehow #1 in the country, boasting a chorus encouraging other young males to "Superman that ho" and furthermore "Supersoak that ho". I don't know what supermanning that ho means, much less supersoaking her, nor do I want to find out. America is getting dumber by the minute and we wonder why. Do yourself a favor and pick up Kanye's record.

Speaking of guys elevating their game, Tiger Woods has been absolutely off the charts in the past two months. The guy won the Tour Championship, and thusly the FedEx Cup, going away this past weekend. He has been the most dominant athlete in the world for the past decade, and I feel priveledged to live in his era. Roger Federer is a very close second.

I have my candidate for the next President of the Unitest State of America. His name is Barack Obama.

Females continue to confuse me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Now I Know Why the Birds Sing

I'm sure the intellectuals among my readers, upon reading this thread's title, thought immediately of the classic Maya Angelou book entitled "Now I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". In a sense, I suppose her book is partially responsible for me naming this thread as such. However, the circumstances surrounding this particular instance are slightly different. You see, the birds of which I speak are not caged. They are not restricted, withheld, or constrained. Rather, they are free to fly as high as the wind beneath their wings will allow them to ascend. Why do I suddenly proclaim to know why they sing? Because this past weekend, I was one of them.

I've never been the type of person who questions things from the perspective of why they should be done. For the majority of my 25 years, while most around me have been busy questioning "Why?", I've been asking "Why not?". Skydiving is one of those things 99.9% of the world's population will always question from the skeptical perspective of "Why?" During the days leading up to my first jump, nearly everyone I encountered, both young and old, questioned my sanity and of course never failed to pose the question "Why?". This skeptical point of view is also the very reason they'll never experience the most amazing adrenaline rush available to man. Well, that and the overwhelming emotion we all experience at some point in time known as fear.

Fear is probably the most interesting emotion humans feel. Everyone reacts to it in a completely different manner. However, for the most part, reaction to the emotion of fear can be broken down into two categories: those who run from it, and those who face it. Those who run from it are often viewed as cowards. While I do not completely agree with this point of view, I do believe it to be valid in certain situations. Skydiving isn't for everyone. I acknowledge that. Yet after experiencing it, I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone in a physical condition sufficient to allow them to take the plunge. Ultimately, I think running from fear is more of a survival instinct than anything.

Those of us who choose to come face-to-face with fear see things through a different pair of spectacles. We subscribe to the idea that the best way to overcome a fear as opposed to succumbing to is to just do it. And not only that, we do it without thinking about it. Never second guess yourself. Often times the first choice is the better one. Questioning one's self is human nature. Yet the less time one spends second guessing themselves is time that could be spent actually making things happen.

Don't think for one second that I don't have my own fears that I succumb to from time to time, because I do. While many of you may have a fear of heights or a fear of death that keeps you from jumping out of a plane, my fears are socially centered. I would much rather stare death in the eye by jumping out of a plane than approach a beautiful woman in a social setting. And, just as I acknowledge the validity of fears others face, so to do I believe my fear to be valid. However, lately I've begun to face it. My running days are behind me. I approached a beautiful young woman when I was out last weekend, and I was successful. And you know what else? It felt great. Even if I had failed that particular attempt, I have a strong suspicion it still would have felt at the very least, somewhat good because I faced my fear. So what am I suggesting? Jump out of that plane. Whatever fear your metaphorical airplane may represent, jump out of it. Face it. You'll be happy you did.

At the same time, I'm strongly suggesting you go skydiving. Regardless of your level of desire or fear, just do it. You will see things in an entirely different light once your feet are once again firmly planted on terra firma. We're only given a short amount of time on this earth. Human beings were not meant to be chained to a cubicle day after day. Take advantage of your time, because you never know when you roll out of bed in the morning and your feet hit the floor, if that day may be your last. Experience things. You'll be glad you did.

As for the actual skydive itself, words can't truly do it justice. It was the greatest experience I've ever had. To begin with, I was terribly excited to do it. Yet in the back of my head I thought I might have just a little bit of fear once I was in the air and the door opened, but that that wasn't the case. I felt this amazing sense of calm. As the door opened at 15,000 feet, and I stood at the threshold of uncertainty, I'm not even sure my heart rate changed. Before I knew it, gravity had me speeding towards earth at 120 mph. For just a split second I had that falling feeling in my stomach, but it quickly turned into a feeling of weightlessness and floating. That's terminal velocity for you. The 60 second free fall felt like forever. As you can see in the video I had a permanent grin on my face. Everything is coming at you so fast that you really don't have time to think when, at about 5000 feet, you deploy your parachute. Suddenly everything goes silent, and you know exactly what it feels like to be a bird, with the sky literally being the limit. From that point you catch your breath and enjoy the view for the 5 minute ride to the bottom. There is literally nothing like it. Special thanks to the guys and girls out at Carolina Sky Sports. Check them out at www.carolinaskysports.com.

The general feel of things is different now. I see things in a different light. I can't really explain it because it's such a new feeling. As I come to terms with this I'll talk more about it in an additional post. If I can jump out of a plane nearly 3 miles in the sky, what can't I do?

Now I know why the birds sing.

Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9UoGhIe7qw

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Date with Gravity

Tomorrow, thanks to the kind invitation of a client of mine at the bank, I will have the opportunity to face my own mortality and stare death in the eye from 14,000 feet. I'm going skydiving. Yes, most of you who read this probably think I'm crazy, but I can't helpt it. I get bored easily. I need a real adrenaline rush to keep things interesting. This will be my first jump, and if all goes well, I'm planning on pursuing my license. Something about throwing yourself out of a perfectly good airplane nearly three miles in the sky, free-falling at more than 120 MPH for more than 60 seconds, and then cruising in for a soft landing seems irressistible to me.

Everyone I've told of my plans has replied with something along the lines of "Why would you want to do that?" The first thing that came to mind when posed that question was a quote from a great adventurer, Sir Edmund Hillary (for the ignorant readers among you, he was the first man to climb Mount Everest, also a future goal of mine). He simply replied to his critics, "Because it is there." Along those same lines, I'd like to tell you all who question my logic and motivation in making this decision, I'm doing it because I can, "because it is there".

I'll post about this exhilirating experience as soon as I've completed it, which should be sometime late tomorrow afternoon (assuming I live).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

An absolute certainty...

I think all guys can back me up on this. Well, all straight guys anyway. If you meet a girl while you're out somewhere one day or night, things go well, and you get her number, it's as much of a surety as death and taxes that she will not answer the phone when you call her for the first time. As I'm sure you all remember from a previous post, I met a girl while I was out at my favorite watering hole (The Flying Saucer, www.beerknurd.com) (shameless plug) on Sunday night, and things went well enough that I was able to get her number. Well, I called her last night for the first time, knowing full well that I'd be leaving a voicemail because she was not going to answer the phone. Of course, I was right.

I left a nice, casual voicemail explaining how much I enjoyed meeting her Sunday night, and that I'd be interested in getting to know her more. I wasn't sure if she'd call me back, because for all I know she may have just played nice and then given me a fake number. I had no way of telling whether or not the number was authentically hers, because the voice on the other end of the line was a computer, not her personal message. I must admit for a split second I thought I had been played. However, to my delight she returned my call within the hour. We talked briefly (about 5 minutes) about how each other's week was going, etc. She said she was busy the next few days, but that she'd like to go out next week. I think we're going to shoot for Wednesday. Could this be just another conquest, or could I possibly be looking at relationship material here? Only time will tell I suppose (and this blog). Stay tuned boys and girls.

Football, football, football...

After an exciting opening weekend of college football last Saturday, which saw what was probably the greatest upset of all-time in App. State's beating of Michigan in the Big House, the start of the NFL season has finally arrived as well. Tonight, the Colts play the Saints. Give me the Colts by a tally of 34-24. I may post weekend game picks tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

So, about that female...

I promised to post later today about a certain female I encountered over the weekend, and damn it, I'm going to do it.

After a mostly lazy Sunday, I coerced Nick into going out downtown, thinking there would be decent nightlife due to the fact that Monday was Labor Day. Other young people had to be out partaking in "communion" as my old buddy Matt from college used to say. Well, as it turned out, that really wasn't the case.

We went to my favorite watering hole, The Flying Saucer. The place was mostly dead save for a few sparse groups of 30 somethings. However, that would soon change. Five minutes into my favorite dark beer (Battlefield Black), a pair of young women walk in and proceed to take the two bar stools to my immediate right. Lucky for me, the really beautiful one sat right next to me. As soon as this occured, I was searching my brain for something witty to say to her. Her friend, who was apparently already drunk before they got there, got up and went to the bathroom almost as soon as they sat down. This gave me an immediate chance to make a move, but I needed an in. And as luck would have it, she gave me an easy one. At a bar known for it's incredible beer selection, the girl proceeded to order a rum and coke.

Before I allowed my brain to jump in and and stop me from confronting my fear of approaching and talking to women, my mouth blurted out some teasing, chastising statement about her beverage of choice. She laughed, and instantly, I felt at ease. It was completely out of character for me. See, I've never been one to go out and pick up girls, get phone numbers, etc. Of the two girlfriends I've had in my life, both of them pursued me. This experience was completely new for me.

The conversation was standard fair for the most part early on...career, hobbies, etc. I quickly ran out of material and the conversation fizzled. She went back to talking to her friend for 5-10 minutes. Luckily, I quickly thought of something I had forgotten to mention: I'm writing a book. Girls love to read, so this easily re-engaged her interest in me. We talked about it for a good 10 minutes, when the strangest thing happened. She mentioned how much she enjoyed reading. I immediately said, "I know you do," to which she said "You do?" I said yes, you read Nicholas Sparks books. She looked astonished and said something to the effect of "How the hell did you know that?" I played it off like it was nothing for a minute or two, but she persisted. Then I said possibly the greatest thing I've ever said to a woman: "Yeah, you read all his books, you know, when you're not watching Grey's Anatomy." She practically fell out of the chair this time. I was in.

We proceeded to talk about general dating topics. It turned out she had been on a blind date the previous week, but it was nothing serious. I figured it was my time to close quickly having learned of this, so I said "That means you're open to dating other guys then." She nodded yes. I then wittingly said "So you don't mind giving me your number then", and damn if she didn't give it to me willingly. I had succeeded. I'm going to call her tomorrow and try to set up something simple in the near future. Today's lesson boys and girls: Maybe this whole picking up women thing is much easier than I originally thought. Stay tuned.

Did I mention she was beautiful?

Football, Good Food, and a Female

Thank God for extended weekends. I took Friday off from work to make my holiday weekend even longer. I can't even remember what I did on Friday, but I can assure you of this: I enjoyed it. Sometimes being lazy is so fulfilling, especially when it's well-earned.

Saturday was awesome, as it marked the return of college football, which means I'll be seeing my good friend, and the foremost expert on football outside of John Madden, Randolph, quite often. He came over and we went to Chapel Hill for the UNC vs. James Madison game. The game wasn't until 6 PM, but we arrived in Chapel Hill around lunch time to soak in the atmosphere Butch Davis has created in promising the return of big time college football to Chapel Hill. Following the departure of Mack Brown in 1997, Carolina fans suffered through 9 seasons of mostly sub-par, mediocre-at-best, football. Butch Davis has been tapped as the savior to turn that all-around, and after game 1, so far so good. I'll get to that in a minute.

Let me first address the giant killer Appalachain State Mountaineers. For those of you who live in a cave and have yet to see the highlights, or hear a second-hand account of the events, the Mountaineers went into The Big House in Ann-Arbor, Michigan this past Saturday to face the fifth-ranked Michigan Wolverines. No one in their right mind with any knowledge of college football even expected this game to be close, yet some how Ap. State came away with a narrow 2 point victory in one of the most bizarre endings I've ever seen in a football game. After somehow denying inevibility for 55 minutes of football, the Mountaineers gave up the go-ahead score to Michigan with about 4 minutes left in the game. At that point, you had to think to yourself, well they played better than anyone expected, they should be proud of themselves even though they're going to lose. That thought was further solidified when with about 3 minutes left Ap State threw an interception deep in their own territory. Hold on. "Not so fast my friend!", as Lee Corso would say on ESPN College Gameday. After a quick 3 and out, the Mountaineers proceeded to block a Michigan field goal, and with just under 2 minutes left, somehow still had a small glimmer of hope that they could drive the length of the field and win this game. Sure, the chance was dire at best, but still possible. Then it became reality. After several plays for huge yardage gains, there were the Mountaineers, on the Michigan 5 yard line with a chance to kick a field goal and win this thing with 20 seconds to play. The snap was good, the hold was good, and the kick was good. Michigan fans stood stunned and shocked - all 100,000+ of them. Ap. State proceeded to celebrate like they just won the BCS Championship. But again, not so fast my friend. With one last gasp of desperation, Michigan ran a hail mary play to perfection, and suddenly they were on the 20 yard line of the Mountaineers with another chance to escape an upset of tremendous proportions. with 5 seconds left, they set up for a 37 yard field goal to seal the win. The snap was good, the hold was good, the kick was good. Or at least it would have been, if a Mountaineer lineman hadn't blown through the line untouched and swatted the ball out of the air. Ap. State had won, but that wasn't enough. The same guy that blocked the kick proceeded to scoop up the ball and attempt to take it to the house for 6. And he would have proceeded, had he not cramped up just a few yards shy of the goal line. But it didn't matter, the greatest upset in college football history had just occured. Are the Mountaineers the best team in the state of North Carolina right now? I think so.

Now back to Butch. It was apparent that big time football had returned to Chapel Hill before the opening kickoff ever occured. A capacity crowd filled Kenan Stadium a full hour before game time, whereas in the past, the less than capacity crowd that came to games would show up late and leave early. But not this time. Anticipation was in the air. When the redshirt freshman quarterback read the defense perfectly and threw a 65 yard touchdown pass on the third play from scrimmage, it was evident Butch knew what he was doing. Am I expecting a BCS season? NO. This is a young team, and it's going to take time to get to that level. But the first game couldn't have been more promising. Flashes of brilliance and signs of improvement abound. As if the fireworks and having the game ball brought in via paratrooper from 14,000 feet weren't enough. Nice touches Butch. Of course none of that matters as much as the win column, but it was still fun.

I apologize for my misleading post title alluding to food and females. I don't have time to get to those stories right now, but I promise I'll get to them later today. I'll also give my review of the new Kanye West album I had a chance to get two weeks bfore it's release date. First impression? It's hot.

Be patient folks, it's coming.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Anticipating a great weekend

After that big trip to San Francisco in April which afforded me the opportunity to fulfill a dream of playing golf at arguably the greatest course in the world in Pebble Beach, I've been going strong at the office. I posted record numbers for the bank in July. August stands to be just as good. The problem is, other than a couple of days to stay home and watch the Britist Open or the PGA Championship, I've been living in my office. Even those of us with the best careers in the world get burned out from time to time. This might be one of those times for me. Thankfully, a mini vacation of sorts is coming this weekend.

There won't be any big elaborate trips this time around. Instead, my time off is going to be filled with good food, a couple of good bottles of wine, a few Blue Moons, quality time with my good friend Randolph, and the glorious beginning of college football season.

The bank already observes Labor Day as a federal holiday on this coming Monday, so I thought I'd take Friday off to make it that much sweeter (As if college football and the coeds that come included in the deal don't make it sweet enough to begin with!). For those of you not fortunate enough to attend a game between the pines in beautiful Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, let me tell you what you're missing: Coeds.

I've been fortunate enough to attend football games at colleges all over the southeast: Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss...the list goes on. I think it's a safe bet that the University of North Carolina has the finest coeds this side of the Mississippi (Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. is a close second). And get this, they have brains too! So while I'll be attending Saturday night's opening game against James Madison, I won't be attending just for the football, I'll be attending for the surrounding eye candy and the off chance that I "accidently" bump into one of those fine young specimens and am lucky enough to start a conversation with her. By the way, there's a reason you see all the old men bring binoculars with them to the game, and it's not because their cataracts prevent them from seeing the action on the line of scrimmage. They're checking out the coeds. With the level of technology available today, I'd be willing to bet they can see the little beads of sweat dripping down the cheeerleaders perfectly tanned, taut abdominals and pooling inside their pierced belly buttons.

Believe it or not, while this glorious event is taking place, there might actually be some football being played. Excitement is high this year for Tar Heel football, yet the bar for expectations among the masses is considerably lower. We're excited for the coming of the next Messiah, Coach Butch Davis, who for those of you are not aware, resurrected a Miami program coming off NCAA probation ( a time in which their scholarships were severely limited) in the late 90's and took them all the way to the top of the college football world within 5 seasons. The year after he left, Larry Coker won it all with Davis' players, then came within a couple of plays and a Willis McGahee broken leg of doing again the next year. Of course, Coker has since been fired. So that tells you how much of a factor his coaching was in winning a national championship, as opposed to the level of talent that Butch Davis recruited. Davis had enough players go in the first round of the NFL draft who played for him in five seasons in Miami to field an expansion team. The guy has an eye for talent, and he can coach that talent.

People are expecting big things in Chapel Hill, and I'm not referring to Roy William's hardwood Heels (Although they will be the preseason #1 team this year and the favorite to win it all with Junior big man Tyler Hansbrough's leadership). Davis is the chosen man to turn around what Carl Torbush and John Bunting ruined in the 9 seasons following Mack Brown's departure to Texas. This righting of the ship is not expected to happen right away, however. It's going to take 2 or 3 seasons. This years team is nearly half freshmen and redshirt freshmen. There's going to be a learning curve. It's inevitable. On the way to greatness, expect them to win some games they shouldn't win and lose some they should win. Regardless, it's going to be fun, because Heel fans know as long as Davis is in place, things are going to be headed in the right direction. Progress is going to be made, week by week. By the 12th and final game of the season, expect the team to look completely different than they did on that first weekend in September. They'll be better. Things like that just take time.

In the meantime, expect the ride to be a fun one. I know I'll be in Kenan Stadium Saturday night with my good friend Randolph, both of us not knowing what to expect from this young team. But it's going to be fun. Besides, if the football gets ugly, I'll borrow the binoculars of the old man seated next to me. There's always coeds!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Call me crazy, but...

I believe Michael Vick. I believe he's sorry. I believe he realized he made a mistake, and that he had to be a man about it, own up to it, and put himself out there for all to see as an example of what not to do.

Vick stood in front of that podium, and the world, for nearly 15 minutes expressing his remorse. It wasn't scripted. If it were, it would have been filled with far more legal jargon and grammatical correctness. But it wasn't. He stood there, took the time to gather his thoughts, and spoke from the heart.

He even went as far as to issue a disclaimer, saying he was just a football player, not a public speaker, and that because of this the things he was about to say weren't going to sound like a prepared statement, because they weren't. They were true, genuine thoughts and feelings of remorse that this man - who is still a human being believe it or not - was about to attempt to put into words in front of the entire world.

I give Vick credit. He could have easily had his lawyer prepare a statement to be read while he was hiding in some back room somewhere deep in the bowels of that Richmond, Virginia courthouse. But he didn't. He took it like a man. He faced the fire. He took responsibility. He pledged to redeem himself. Think of how many others didn't. You listening, Pacman Jones? How about you, Jayson Williams? Mike Tyson? Paris? Lindsay? Are you people listening?

Our athletes, musicians, and movie stars need to learn what that word means: "responsibility". Whether it's killing a limo driver accidentally and later denying it, raping a woman, or driving drunk multiple times with disregard for the lives of those around you, they need to take responsibility for their actions. They're not above the law, as much as the bottom line on their bank statement, or their athletic ability may lead them to believe they are.

Therefore, young people and celebrities alike need to let Michael Vick serve as an example of how not to act. You can be filthy rich, beautiful, or the most athletically talented person in your particular sport, but none of that matters if you don't know right from wrong.

A big factor in the numerous events that have caused the downfall of many of our celebrities and athletes in the past couple of decades has been hip-hop. It's not been the music so much as it's been the culture. Let me first issue a disclaimer of my own. I'm a white guy, and because I'm a white guy, I can't speak for the black community. What I have to say would have absolutely no credibility within the black community because of the color of my skin. However, I'm going to say it anyway.

The so-called hip-hop culture that arose in our society in the 80's and 90's ,and has since culminated into a media giant in the past 4 or 5 years should shoulder at least a portion of the blame here. I say this, having grown up listening to rap music practically from the time I could walk. I play it loud in my car, I play it loud at home. I even know all the words. However, I know the difference between talking about something and doing it.

For whatever reason, black athletes these days have become woven into the very fabric of hip-hop culture. The two almost go hand-in-hand. The trouble is, some black athletes, who have come to think they're above the law as I mentioned earlier (whether it be through ridiculous paychecks, fan worship, endorsement deals, or groupies), have started to take the things hip-hop artists talk about literally.

Adam "Pac Man" Jones of Tennessee Titan fame is perhaps the best recent example of this. During NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas a couple of months ago, Jones got involved in an altercation after "making it rain" on a stripper and a brawl ensued. Shots were fired. And where do you think he got the idea to "make it rain on them hoes"? Lil' Wayne. Rap music.

Even more sickening have been the comments in the past few weeks from other athletes like Stephon Marbury and Deion Sanders. They've all but condoned dog-fighting, calling it a part of black culture and even a sport.

With athletes acting the same as rappers, there aren't too many role models left for our children. Except parents. Parents should be the front line against teaching our kids right from wrong, not athletes like Michael Vick. Sadly, we can't count on athletes to be role models these days. The Tiger Woods' and Arthur Ashe's of the world are few and far between in 2007.

It is because of this that it felt so refreshing yesterday to see Michael Vick on television, admitting, in what I believe to be a sincere manner, the error of his ways. It took a troubling matter of monumental enormity for Vick to wake up, but I belive he has. He openly rejected dog-fighting and other criminal activity. He told kids not to be like him, but be better than him. And he didn't mean Michael Vick the football player, but Michael Vick the person.

It's unfortunate it took something as horrifying as dog-fighting to set this example, but at least it's been set. For years to come, we as a society should not forget these events, but rather let them serve as a reminder of what can happen to any of us when we go astray. I just hope other athletes, celebrities, and most of all, black American youths have their eyes and ears open. Michael Vick is not only learning a tough lesson, he's teaching us all one too.

Call me crazy, but I believe Michael Vick.

Monday, August 27, 2007

So I deciced to write...

the great American novel. At this point I have no idea what it's going to be about. I've done some brainstorming but haven't come up with anything decisive as of yet. Yes, I know I'm a banker, but it's always been my belief that I should have been a writer; a belief that is shared by my the most influential person in my life, my mother. I'd probably be a sports journalist if I could do anything I wanted. However, this book probably won't be about sports. It will probably be about life, love, and the general pursuit of happiness. While this will most likely be a work of fiction, I will use parallels in my own life to shape my characters, whether it be a character who is a projection of myself, or one whose attitude and mannerisms are influenced by those around me (friends, family, co-workers).

Any ideas you may have can be directed to me at bpcoxjr@yahoo.com. I'll keep you updated here about my chosen subject, working title, plot, etc.

An 11th random thought

11. Guys who wear the cell phones clipped on their belts really need help. Do they not realize how ridiculous they look? I think it's a safe bet they either A) are virgins, or B) rarely get laid. Stick it in your pocket man.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ten Random Thoughts

1. I really, really, really hate the people who walk around with a Bluetooth earpiece stuck to the side of their face, regardless of whether or not they're actually talking to anyone. Newsflash: This isn't Star Trek, and you're not Captain Spock.

2. Fat people disgust me. Besides the fact that they are gross to anyone that has to lay eyes on them, what really gets me is the excuse they like to use about how people should mind their own business because they're fatness isn't affecting anyone else. Riiiiight. Try telling that to my health insurance company, fat ass.

3. People who drop big words in everyday conversation, without even knowing what those words mean are poseurs. They interject them merely to project an image of being intelligent. Please. Quit feigning intelligence. You either have it or you don't.

4. While I'm on the subject of the written and spoken word, I would be remiss without mentioning people who use words that don't exist. Irregardless isn't a word, and it never will be, REGARDLESS of how many times you use it.

5. I can't stand when someone says "Can I ask you a question?" Didn't really give me much of a chance, did you?

6. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Kanye West both have albums dropping on September 11th. The very public, very verbal jabs coming from both sides in the leadup to their album debuts are growing more personal every day. This could very easily become this decade's Biggie versus Tupac rivalry (hopefully without the gunfire). Rap is relevant again.

7. Speaking of September 11th, can anyone else believe this will be the 6th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon? Momma wasn't kidding when she said time flies the older you get.

8. I had the opportunity to stand in awe of that enormous abyss in lower Manhattan last October. For the first time, I truly felt the pain of all those who died on that tragic day, as well as the family and friends they left behind. We're so desensitized to tragedy as a society. My first thought was that the media is to blame. But maybe it's not the news media. Maybe it's the television. We see stories of rescuers trying to dig miners from the darkest depts of the earth, and a catastrophic hurricane leaving a path of destruction that will forever change the lives of countless human beings. Some of us even remain oblivious. Yet with the simple push of a button, we can easily escape to Grey's Anatomy or ESPN, and return to our regularly scheduled lives. We can change the channel. They can't.

9. I wonder if I'm the only one who thinks it's ridiculous to call somewhere in this country and have to press 1 to hear the options in English. Last time I checked, this is America. If you want to move here (hopefully legally), learn to speak the language. I wouldn't move to the Amazon and expect the spear toting natives in loin cloths to learn to speak my language. I'd learn the native tongue and attempt to fit in.

10. I'm very excited about the start of the college football season. I'm not so much as excited for the football, as I am for what it signals. College basketball is right around the corner!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Blogging the weekend...

First of all let me apologize to my readers (all 3 of you) for the delay in this weekend's post. It being slightly eventful, combined with my Sunday evening procrastination are to blame. Let's see, where shall I begin? I suppose chronological order makes the most sense.

Friday night my buddy Andrew, better known as Saquatch because he's something like 6'6", 240 pounds rolled into town from the dirty south, ATL to be specific. He holds the same position I do with the bank, but his market is entirely different, and makes for some interesting conversations during the work week. Let's just say I spend the majority of my time selling money to business clients, and Andrew spends the majority of his time begging, whether it be begging them to take it, or begging them to give it to him. Andrew's a very fun guy to hang out with, mostly because he and I share the same affinity for crude, offensive humor.

We met up with one of his old Raleigh girl friends, and no I don't mean girlfriend, I mean friend that happens to be a girl. However, in the car on the way there he very willingly volunteered her proficiency for metaphorically being able to suck a golf ball through a garden hose. This was the kind of girl I had to meet, I thought to myself. So we met this chick at Flying Saucer, which is one of my most favorite places in the world to consume quality fermented wheat, barley, and hops, otherwise known to Homer Simpson as "sweet, sweet beer" (the waitresses aren't bad eye candy either!). She was really cool. She was one of those chicks that likes to hang out with the guys, and that's always cool. The mood was light and fun until one of her co-workers showed up to hang out with us, after being fired from her job only hours earlier. Needless to say the mood changed drastically from that point forward. To make matters worse, it was compounded by her boyfriend's lack of consolation and concern. The guy was at home playing video games with his boys. I can't say I blamed the chick for being as upset as she was. She was a sweet girl, and she was hot. He should have been there for her. Did I mention she was hot? Anyway, as the night went on, she got angrier and angrier, more about her boyfriend than about losing her job (Which by the way, was a simple waitressing job. She acted like those aren't readily available. It's not like she got disbarred ala Mike Nifong and is going to have a hard time getting hired somewhere else).

So after a few beers, she got this idea that it would be fun to go clubbing and dance with hot guys to forget her boyfriend. Yeah, that's the ticket sister. She insisted that she and the other chick, who was much cooler, but less hotter, go change into something sexier for the club. So Andrew and I take these two chicks to one of the girls' houses and wait half an hour for them to decide on something to wear. Luckily, we did get a bit of a show out of that, but I'm not so willing to divulge that bit of information. We ended up at a few places after that, White Collar Crime, and Ess Lounge next door. Ess lounge, by the way, is the place that singer Uncle Kracker was arrested for sexual assault less than 24 hours earlier. I have since been informed that this arrest came after a female accused him of giving her a titty twister. What is this world coming to? If you can't playfully give someone a titty twister anymore without having to think about the legal consequences of the action, you're destined to live a boring, monotonous life. Both clubs were pathetically lame, unless the idea of meatheads cockblocking you all night while wearing the same shiny black shirt from Express that's two sizes too small for their steriod-enhanced biceps excites you. Much more appealing were the females in Julia Roberts Pretty Woman hooker dresses, accessorized with the best plastic ASSets money can buy. Sadly, this weekend's models did not also come equipped with brains as standard factory equipment. I'm sure some guy used them as pump and dump material Friday night, but there weren't enough $15 Grey Goose martinis to entice me to do the same.

The night ended up at Blue Martini, which wasn't quite as lame as the two previous nightspots, but still rather lame in its own right. Saturday was a bit boring (can't wait for college football to fill that void). However, Saturday night I went to a little birthday gathering for my friend Liza, who I met through my roommate Nick. Good times were had, though it's tough not to have fun playing juvenile drinking games. Note to self: How old is too old to play a drinking game? Second note to self: Probably around the same age that's too old to have a myspace page, which I'm thinking I'm rapidly approaching. We then went to Hideaway BBQ, which seemed like a nice enough place, to hear this blues trio. They were talented, but it got old a little too quick because damn it, they didn't sing, so everything started to sound the same. I did get to meet this chick Leslie that Liza was attempting to hook me up with. Unfortunately, we didn't get to talk much. I'm not sure if that was a product of the environment, which was better suited to 40 something's, or if she just wasn't feeling me in general. She was a knockout though. After the place became just a little too much to bear, I left and followed Leslie and this other guy and girl downtown to go out. However, after spending my last $5 to park, I was out of cash, because I rarely carry any to begin with. They wanted to go somewhere with a cover charge, which I can't stand to do because all you are doing is paying more money to be among meatheads and plastic Barbies. I can do that at the gym or on the toy aisle at Wal-Mart. I didn't want to spend all my time searching for an ATM, and I didn't want to borrow money from people I barely knew. So I told them to go ahead and have a fun night, and I went home. It wasn't exactly the climactic ending to the evening I was hoping for, but then again I'm not sure I care at this point.

Sunday was productive, as it was my first day working on the side with my neighborhood buddy Peter, who flips houses for a living. We are currently working on this house just off Wade Avenue near Whole Foods, that should bring a hefty profit once completed. We spent the entire afternoon cutting down trees along the property line, and powerwashing the entire oustside of the house to get it ready for painting. Nick compared me to a Mexican when I told him of this news, and I called him racist. I just think he doesn't know anything about good, hard, old-fashioned labor. It's not until you can appreciate this that you can begin to truly appreciate your everyday lifestyle and career. Besides, the scenery wasn't half-bad. Twenty-something chicks lying on the roof of the house next door in bikinis is more than enough motivation to get the job done. On top of that, I've always been the type of person who enjoys working on the sort of project where you can see what you've accomplished when the work is done. I guess it's just that sense of accomplishment.

Anyway kids, this post has been way too drawn out. Quit reading and get on with your lives.