Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I WILL be home for Christmas

One of my Xmas gifts. The Times Picayune is the New Orleans Newspaper my pop works for.

My original..true original plan was to work Christmas. I had a trip that started the 23rd of December and ran straight through Christmas. I got home on Christmas day..during the afternoon, and would try to get home that evening. If I was lucky.

At least that was the plan.

But by the Grace of God, I somehow managed to trade my 3-day trip down to a 2-day trip, which made me work just the 23rd and 24th, and giving me Christmas off.

But my parents still thought I was working.

So I talked to my brother, and we planned to surprise my parents christmas day at my aunts house in Mississippi. So I would fly into Jackson, Ms. and he would drive up, pick me up, and we would drive back.

I completely forgot the fact that my brother would have to somehow escaped the grasp of my family for a good 2 1/2 hrs...while they go to church..and not be suspicious. Not an easy task.

But the boy did a great job. He told them he forgot a present in Mobile, and he had to meet a friend in Hattiesburg to go get it. They bought it, but he had to dodge some harrassing and inquisitive questions to pull it off.

But he showed up right as I walked out, and boy did we give my family a shock. It was great.

So then I just did the whole Christmas thing in Mississippi, with both sides of the family. With my Dad's side of the family, we had a photo session.

Awwwwwwwww. Oh, and props to my cuz Hayley FOR TAKING SUCH
AN OUTSTANDING PICTURE! oh, and yes THAT IS my brother, and ladies, YES HE IS SINGLE..i think...at least he's not married, i do know that.

My sweet grandma and her "suiter!"
The Whole Fam...Together.
The cousins...and Grandma! I like this picture because a few of us are scared..of something..not sure what, but look at the faces! Oh, and Maggie, WAKE UP!

Then we headed home to Louisiana Christmas night. They were so nice as to wait for me before we had Christmas morning-Santa n' presents n' stuff, we ended up doing it the morning of the 26th. And my dad, being the hopeless romantic/drama queen he is, turned on the train that morning, which carried around the tree the Christmas Egg he had painted (a Jackson family...err..Ted Family tradition) and a present for my mom. (ok, all together now..AWWWWW) So we opened presents from Santa and from each other..we laughed..we cried..na just kidding. we just laughed and ate breakfast and watched Seinfeld episodes from the DVD's I got.

Ladies and Gents..The man loves his trains.


The Woman knows how to take a picture

The evening of the 26th, we had our famous Christmas steak n' potatoes dinner. This was the scene. It included my mom's famous sweet tea and slipping bits of steak to the already spoiled Doberman, Jasmine.

Dinner table set

The Next day was ridiculously warm (or was it the next day? I don't remember), so we took the sailboat out on the lake. My brother chose to leave us to go back to Mobile, so it was just the three of us.


Captain at the Helm


Don't look at me to tie that knot...

Don't get mad at me for taking pictures..OH HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED...

Nice hat, Nancy


Get off there!!! I can't sail by myself!! We're headed towards disaster...LAZY!


This one got picked up with the tide during Katrina...and got misplaced in the process

So uhh..yeah that was pretty much my Christmas. I'm back in Chicago now. Cya!

-JJ

PS If for some reason your picture made the blog and you are unhappy about it, then please write your name and your reason for not liking it on the back of a $50 bill and hand it to me on the way out.

Monday, December 26, 2005

hold ur horses

I'm enjoying christmas with my family, I'll be back either wednesday or thursday. see ya then!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jowler Del Jugo!

So I took a cue from my boy Grubbsy and decided to do some Jowlin' of my own!!! If you're not aware what Jowlin' is, and you can't figure it out by the pictures, and you didn't read grubbsy's blog, its basically shaking your head really fast and taking a pic in the middle of it. It creates quite the headache, but quite fun when its over!! As an added bonus, I got my roommate in on the act, though shes not aware yet that her pic is on the internet. I'll tell her when she gets home.










I hope you had some good laughs. Merry Christmas!

-JJ

Monday, December 19, 2005

GET IT RIGHT, NANCY!!!

Santa Monica, Ca 12-17-05


No mom, I'm not calling you out. Promise. I'm calling myself out.


If your completely baffled and slightly interested by that last statement, then by all means, read on.

No seriously, I wrote that last post because I really didn't have a whole lot else to write, so I made something up..or something that I've been pondering lately, but since I've slept on it, I think its lame and makes me look lame. Though I did leave it posted, for all you who are bored at work. But i reposted the pic because i strangely like it.

Anyone else like it? Or is it just me. I took it thinking it wouldn't be much, but theres something about it that strikes me. Lemme know if you figure it out. Or even if you agree in that its kinda cool.

Anyways, Adam "Brown Sugar" Brown just blogged about nicknames, and it brought me back to my youth, and a few nicknames that me and my friends had.

I have no idea where we got it from, and it will definitely strike you as slightly strange, but in all hilarity and absurdity, its true.

Robbie, Justin, Alton, Albert, and I all called each other by our mom's names.

Go ahead, read it again. We did. Ask my mom. I'm sure she heard it.

In other words, I was known as Nancy, Robbie as Gail, Justin as Terri (though at some point he got away with getting called his dad's name..wayne) and Alton and Albert, who are twins, were called Barbara..or "BARB" for short.

This started out probably my sophomore or junior year of High school. I was the oldest, and none of us were the same age, so obviously they were younger when it started. But once it started, it didn't stop.

We never called each other by our real names. I think for a while I forgot their real names. It got so bad, that Wayne, Justin's dad, got mad at him one day and yelled at him by HIS name..Wayne. something like "HEY WAYNE!!! GET OVER HERE!!!" When in all actuallity his sons name was Justin, not his own.

To this day, sometimes I'll call Gail and call him..well..Gail.

I think it all started with "yo momma" jokes. But instead we started using our parents real names instead of "momma" and it kinda morphed from there.

Anyways, in other news, my dear ipod was recently stolen. And we were so close. I miss him.

Oh, and I've decided to do a picture of the week, such as the one above..usually from places that I have been during the week. Cool?

-JJ

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'm not a creepy guy!!!

Santa Monica, Ca 12/17/05
A couple weeks ago it started snowing. And like usual, I had a fever...and the only prescription..was a little adventure.
So I did something that I'd never done before, hopped on my bike, and tore down the snow covered street, slipping and sliding, all the way down to the lakefront. I wanted to use my new camera, but I was tired of just taking pictures of snow and trees and in-animate objects. As I sat there on my bike under an overpass, I saw a lady with a dog. I thought it would be cool to take pictures of someone playing with they're dog in the snow. But as I sat there trying to decide if/how to approach this person to ask if I could take pictures, she quickly noticed me staring and un-obviously...ran away.
So I found someone else, and instead of pondering, I didn't give her a chance to run and I went straight towards her. I could see she was slightly scared, but I politely asked if I could just take some pictures, as I was just having some fun in the snow. She agreed, and the rest is history.
When I got home, I told Diedra about my experience, and I commented about how its a shame that these days people get so creeped out by an approaching stranger. Maybe I just wanted to meet a new friend. Would that be so bad? Unfortunately in most circumstates, the "ifs" in that persons mind usually outweigh the "most probably's" when it comes to approaching strangers.
This has a lot to do with why I don't have a girlfriend. I see plenty of girls I'd like to get to know, but in most cases its close to impossible to get to know them without being creepy. I've heard of guys approaching strange women in places such as bus stops, but sorry, I'm not Brad Pitt. It doesn't work that way for me.
Some of you right now are thinking "oh c'mon, yes you can!!"
I think I already proved my point when I told you about the lady running away from me.
Anyways, me not having a girlfriend is really not the point. I'm just saying that it's very difficult to start a conversation with a stranger without being "that creepy guy."
But I've also noticed an explosion of internet dating-services-usage. I'm wondering if this is in some way less creepy that being approached by a guy in person. I'm slightly confused on the whole idea. I've got a lot of friends who've recently used them and are now dating people or are married to people they have met through such services.
I'm curious where the line is between creepy and not creepy. why is it all of a sudden more acceptable all of a sudden to meet people online where anyone can be anyone than to be approached by a complete stranger?
I don't have answers, just lots of questions.
And one more question: On kickoff in football, if its so windy, like it is in chicago tonight, and there has to be a holder for the ball, what if the holder quickly pulls the ball away before the kicker can kick it, like on charlie brown?? Would they be penalized? Or would it be just really funny?
-JJ

Monday, December 12, 2005

Final Descent

Yesterday I decided to whip out my new camera as we made our final approach into the Houston Hobby airport. I got some cool shots, especially ones where we were turning. You know when you're in the plane and when the plane turns, it feels like the plane is just tilting a bit? Well heres proof that the thing actually turns! Enjoy!

-JJ

P.s. And those of you who wanted them, I hope you got them because I resized all of the pics so they are minuscule in size.























Saturday, December 10, 2005

I'm here!

Hey sorry. Wow, almost a week without posting. Seems like forever. Things are very interesting these days, I'm sure you all realize. But you read this knowing that I was not involved in what happened. I was sitting comfortably at home, and what I saw made my stomach church a lil'.

But anyways, I won't say much for fear that someone of importance will read this, track me down, and fire me for saying something that I shouldn't. But to let you know I went to work the morning after and things are runnin' smoothly, passengers don't seem bothered. Anyways, I'll come up with something better to post in a few. Cya, and thanks for the calls!!!

-JJ

Monday, December 05, 2005

I got yo back, Bev

Hey guys! The new issue of The Digital Journalist came out today. Whats that, you ask? It's an online magazine that recently did an article on my dad. So do yourself a favor and check it out! You can look at the pictures or click on "introduction" to view the article. Beverly Spicer wrote it, hence the title of this blog. Hopefully I'll help her get some hits.

In other news, I did one of the crazier things ever yesterday. Just don't think less of me after I tell you the story.

So yesterday I went to pick up Cherie at 10:15 for church, just like our usual Sunday routine. It had snowed a good bit the night before, and since we are both southerners, we very much enjoy the snow. When she got in the car we chatted about how we need to enjoy the snow and go play in it. One thing led to another, and the idea of snow tubing in Wisconsin came up. She suggested the next weekend, but unfortunately I'm working every weekend from here on out. There was a short pause, I looked at her, and said "Well, we could go now."

And we did.

I pulled a U-turn right there in the middle of the street, took her back to her house, she changed, went back to my house, I changed, and we were on the road by 10:45.

3 and a half hours later...yes, THREE AND A HALF!! (we took the long way on accident on the way up there) we were in nowhere Wisconsin (which is most of Wisconsin, by the way). We planned on going to Wisconsin Dells, but fortunately we found a snow tubing place 20 miles closer. So we went there.

Did we snowtube? Nope.

We skiied instead. And it was really great. I was surprised at the quality of such a ski slope in Wisconsin of all places. Unfortunately for us, I think the temperature hovered around 15 degrees the whole time, and maybe dipped into single digits when the sun went down. I know this because when I got off a run that took me all of 3 minutes to get down, my face was completely numb.



A few hrs later, we were so cold we couldn't bear it anymore, so we up and left and drove the 3 hrs back to Chicago.

A day well spent, I'd have to say. Even though we didn't go to church that morning. We'll make up for it on Wednesday.

-JJ

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cloudy? Act Like it

I'm inside on a saturday. I've got an entire day of awesome college football on tap. Its a great day for it, mid-20s outside, chance of snow, cloudy, overcast, the good ole' sun is nowhere to be seen. i should call the city and ask them to turn on the street lamps its so dark oustide. Typical Chicago winter day.

Then I glance outside my window, and I see a gentleman stroll by my window, with his shades on. And when I mean shades, I mean sunglasses. Used to protect one's eyes from the sun. Unfortunately for this guy, there is no sun today, so its fairly obvious that he's using his sunglasses to be..well..cool.

I hate when people try to be cool. Especially when its completely obvious . I see people all the time inside with their sunglasses on. Cloudy days with sunglasses on. I can't stand it. It's like the guy in H.S. or college who wears shorts and flip flops when its snowing outside just to prove to everybody that he's a man. When in fact its just proving that he's a neanderthal. Hey how 'bout we start using umbrellas inside. that'd be cool.

Hey man, just because you're wearing your sunglasses inside DOES NOT mean that I want to come over, shake your hand, and want to be your friend. It's not gonna happen, so quit acting like it is. Quit acting like every woman that comes in contact with you is going to WANT YOU because they can't see your eyes. Its pathetic.

I have a nice winter ski jacket from Patagonia that my friend in NY helped me get. That does not mean that I wear it when its 90 degrees outside. I dress in what makes me feel comfortable. If I'm not cool because of it, then I'm really not interested in being your friend.

All I'm asking is that people be themselves. If the sun is in your eyes, put your shades on. cold? wear a jacket. hot? take it off. raining? use an umbrella. Don't do the opposite just to draw attention to yourself.

And for cryin' out loud don't turn a swan into a dress.

-JJ

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cries and Wails



Poor Hurley. Shea and Jonathan thought it would be funny to dress him up in a little costume. Hurley? Not so much.

I felt a lot like hurley these past couple days. Held captive by a larger force.

I thought that it had been long enough since I've seen the dentist. I don't like'm and I'd rather not see'm. You think I've crazy? That I have nothing to worry about? In my lifetime, I've had 11 teeth pulled and had braces. And before I had braces I had this retainer thing that when putting it in, I had to use the palm of my hand and hit it with all my might to jam it in my teeth. It was meant to push a tooth back into place.

But how bad can a simple cleaning be? As I walked in, the hygenist said "just here for a cleaning?" yup. nice and easy.

How could I be so naive. Hmm..where to I begin. First he said I had 2 cavities, one that we needed to fill soon or I would need a root canal. I've had one of them before, I'd rather not do it again.

Also, I have to see an oral surgeon so he can remove a tooth in the back, which would allow for the dentist to cap a chipped tooth I have back there. "Oh yeah" I thought. Chipped that one on a Bic.

So I arranged an appointment the soonest I could. I had a day off in-between a string of trips where I'd be working...a lot.

So today I got up and headed over to the office a couple blocks away. It wasn't long before I was sitting in that chair of PAIN...and I was bracing for it. He numbed me up..which involved needles..and I HATE needles. I had my eyes closed, but I sure felt them in the corner of my mouth. He let me relax for a minute, then I started feeling nauseated and light headed. I wanted to vomit. "eh, some of it gets in the blood stream. You'll be fine." Sure. He started drilling and scraping and drilling some more and then theres that spit sucking machine..and before I knew it, he was done with that tooth and on to the second. This wasn't shaping up to be so bad after all. Once the needles are over with, its a breeze!

Then when he was halfway through, he pulled the mask off..looked at me..and said "the decay is into the root..we're gonna have to do a root canal."

"now?" i asked

"Yeah. I'm already in there. Might as well do it now."

Right. go ahead and do it now.

And the rest is history. I spent the rest of the day drooling and half-smiling.

Sure. Just a simple cleaning. Just a stupid simple cleaning.

-JJ

Friday, November 25, 2005

You're free to put up the trees..and it better not be plastic

One at a time, folks, one at a time.

Poor thanksgiving. It's the red-headed stepchild of all holidays. What did it do to deserve getting stepped on and spat all over??? Theres a progression of holidays in the eyes of the people (beginning with July 4th) and it goes 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas. It was started by Marketing geniuses and you dumb people keep it going. Theres no money to be made on Thanksgiving, so we skip it.

And you nitwits keep the tradition alive by putting up your dad-gum christmas trees before thanksgiving even arrives!!! You know what that means?

Good job. Way to go. Your selfish and your superficial. Bottom line. You'd rather get to the giving and taking of PRESENTS and material things than to sit down and really appreciate what you already have. It's true!

If you're not American, does that mean that you can go ahead and skip Thanksgiving and not feel bad about it?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! ahem...DEBBIE!!!!! AND JOSUE!!! Just because you're Malaysian and Mexican, respectively, doesn't mean that you can't sit down and realize how blessed you are!! Sure it started American, but you're the one that moved here.

Dont get my wrong. Christmas is my favorite holiday by far, but lets just keep things in perspective here. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Holidays are celebrated for a reason, so let's honor that reason.

And lets talk about trees, shall we? Unless you're severely allergic to sap, GET A REAL TREE. Don't be a sissy and buy that plastic mess at the store. Go be a man and cut it down yourself. It's good for you. Plus its one of the best family traditions you could have, going out to the farm to get a tree. You don't even have to go to the farm! I found a real tree last year in New York City! So no excuses.

How crappy would it be if the tree in Rockefeller center were fake? We could even put that fake white frosting/snow/icing on it! Yes!

Don't be crappy.

According to Webster, another word for fake is SHAM. yeah, thats right, if you have a fake tree YOU'RE A SHAM! We should have to put in those holding wooden things where your head pokes out in the public square so all the REAL tree owners can throw Grandma's left over dressing at you that nobody ate because we were too busy shopping for Christmas gifts.

-JJ

Monday, November 21, 2005

ICE SKATING!

Yup, its that time of year again...so me, Cherie, and my roommate Diedra took it to Millenium Park to skate the Ice downtown in front of the world famous bean...no..not the one at ACU.
I know that guys is looking at me wierd..but the 2 girls make up for it..
















Saturday, November 19, 2005

Keep your eyes to yourself

I'd like to begin with a controversial comment thats completely off topic.

Off all the cities that I've travelled to..and thats a whole lot...Chicago has the greatest skyline.

Yeah, thats right New Yorkers..

Chicago has the greatest skyline.

I flew back into town this afternoon..expecting light traffic on the freeways...since it was a Saturday.

I finally got on the onramp only to see taillights as far as the eye can see.

I was confused, I was angry. I've never understood the concept of traffic. Why can't people just GOOO!!???? If everyone would just move we wouldn't have a problem.

So i meneuver across 2 lanes looking for that perfect lane that is going 60mph while the others go 5. Be honest, we all do it. It doesn't exist, but for some reason we all switch expecting to find that perfect lane.

But to no avail.

About 20 minutes later, I move slightly onto the shoulder and I see police lights in the distance..

ahhhh...an accident. Really the only good reason for traffic is an accident. People injured? Ok I can deal. If you're just ignorant and brake happy I wanna run you off the road.

I finally get to the scene, only to realize it's only a car that had been pulled over by a cop...20 feet off the road. at least.

and all of a sudden, before I know it, I'm doing 75. No traffic. We're good.

Now is a car pulled over really so important that we all must brake to see it???? I'm really confounded by the whole idea. And it makes me angry. I could have been home 30 minutes earlier if people weren't so mesmerized by flashing lights.

I once got stuck in traffic in Dallas, and when I arrived at the cause of the backup, I realized that a car had stalled. It was on the shoulder...it shouldn't have been a problem..only the driver was an attractive blonde with a really short skirt.

And it was quite the breezy day.

And I don't know about you, but the single thing that makes me truly angry, is sitting in traffic. It drives me absolutely bonkers. And I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one.

So please.. I urge you..for my sanity and for the sanity of the public as a whole..

Keep your eyes to yourself and GO ALREADY!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Women..sheesh

Man, I've been working 9 out of 10 days, with 6 of them straight. I havn't had a whole lot of time to sit at a computer. I know that doesn't sound like a whole lot to most of the working folk..but to be on the road that long..its well..long.

If you didn't pick up on it, the last post was a joke. I thought it would be fun to act ridiculous like T.O. for once. And just like him, it didn't get me anywhere. But luckily you can't bench me.

C'mon guys, I knew women had quite an effect on us, but cmon.

What's with gender roles these days? More women are doing jobs that are traditionally men's jobs. And its starting to work the other way. More men are doing women's jobs.

When I sat down and pondered it in my tiny peanut sized brain in my tiny skull...I realized that women started the whole thing when they wanted to vote. Not that I mind it. I think they should have a voice in government. Don't get me wrong. I think its great. It just didn't stop there.



Next thing you know, they want to lead prayers in Church. WHAAATT?? But seriously thats another thing that I'm ok with. But a whole 'nother blog people, so don't start. But its true.

Now we've got women pilots. Women football players. Women firefighters. Policemen..err..women..policewomen. congressmen...ugghh.congresswomen...doctors...you name it. In any traditionally men's job theres been an influx of women.

So what happens next? Well...if they can do that...then I'm gonna become a flight attendant.

And I did. I'm a man doing a traditionally woman's job.

And I'm ok with that. Actually I'm more than ok with it. I just think its a little funny how we went about the whole thing. Women started it, then the guys came back and said, "hey, if they can do it, why can't I?"

And we did.

Suzy homemaker has become John Homemaker. One of my good friends designs rugs. We knit now. Crochet. We knit sweaters for cryin out loud. We do it all.

Is it good? Is it bad?

I think its fine. I mean sure, us guys get odd looks when we say what we do for a living..but you give over that.

and they will too.

-JJ

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Underappreciated

I'm angry. I thought I meant more to this organization, and this is the thanks I get?

I have almost 20,000 hits. Of those almost 10,000 are unique. And thats in only 1 year.

Sure I can be a pain. Sure I can tick people off. But in the end, I'm worth it, right? I'm one of the elite, if not THE BEST, of the blogging world.

And blogspot.com has the AUDACITY to not even mention..not even a FOOTNOTE...about my 1 Year anniversary that rolled over on Nov. 4th???? Are you kidding? I thought this was a classy organization. I came here to make it the best. I wanted to take them all the way. You'd think they would appreciate me just a tad more.

I'm just so hurt..i mean...I think i'm a little ill. I need to take a break for a week or so. I'm just not sure its all worth it. Almost twice a week I put in all the time and effort that it takes to create a good blog. And I think they're pretty dang good! But no one appreciates it. And whats worse is I do it all for nothing!!! And yet i get no recognition for 365 outstanding days?? Over 130 outstanding posts about my sooo exciting life?? I'm gonna hold out.

If you need to speak to me, call my agent.

-The Terrell Owens of the Blogging World

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Until Next Year

This is my last world series post.

I promise.

But I think the toughest part of us losing the World Series is the shaft that the Astros are getting. I'm not exactly surprised by it. But I think its worth pointing out.

We lost by 6 runs. No, thats not in 1 game. Thats total. 6 runs. in 4 games. All headlines read that we got swept. But that hardly tells the story. Each game was a tooth and nail grind it out loss. Heartbreaking losses.

I'm not whining. I'm not complaining. Its frustrating. We had such a great season. We came so close in every single game, just to fall short every time in the end. And yet all of a sudden the bitter fight, game after game, is forgotten. Lost. The astros, their great season, sunk into oblivion.

The White Sox deserve the attention. They're the World Series champs. They earned it. But the articles written on the World Series don't come close to summing up what happened. A four game sweep is usually easy. Not this one.


I visited my friend Cherie last night, who is a huge White Sox fan. She was very simpathetic, she didn't rub it in, but I let her talk about the series and tell me about the parade she went to downtown. But I told her that the crappiest part about the entire ending to the World Series was that its over. Thats it. Go home.

I don't wanna go home. Let's keep playing. Lets play a winter league. different players, different teams. I don't care. But keep the ball rolling. Let's play some baseball.

But nope. I'm stuck with football and (uuggghhhh) the start of the NBA. And don't get me started about Hockey. I've seriously never been this uninterested in football before. I can't tell you why. The Saints are never in it. The Buffaloes will be playing for a Big 12 title just like last year, and LSU is top 10. It's just not there for me. There was something better, but it's gone for the season. I'll just have to wait 'till next year.

Lucky for me, the snow is beginning to fall in the mountains, and my trusty snowboard should make its first appearence here in the next 5 or 6 weeks. It couldn't come soon enough.

-JJ

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Congrats

You know, I'll give the White Sox credit. They played well. But then again, I think that if the Astros had been just a tad better with runners in scoring position, i think this series is tied 2-2, if not 3-1 astros.

We were horrible with runners in scoring position. It seemed like every inning we got the leadoff man on...and couldn't get them in. It was the ultimate frustration.

One of the biggest stories of the series that will be missed out on because we lost is our pitching. I thought it was awesome. Sure, you may say that you rocked clemens, but he injured himself and he's just one of those guys that will have a hard time admitting it.

If we could have just had 2 or 3 timely hits to get some guys in, this is a whole different series. It's not like the sox blew us out...every game except for the first was actually a 1-run game. It's just a shame we got embarrassed like that. I'm really just happy we made it that far. But maybe its a natural progression. NLCS last year, World Series this year, and a Championship next year. Lets do it.

-JJ

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Don't tell me what to do

Don't come into my house and tell me what to do.

As Chris Ewing says "I don't come into your house and tell you not to wash your dishes."

I'm angry. I'm a tornado of anger swirling about, I'm really really angry. Mostly at Bud Selig and the MLB. Actually completely at them. I don't understand them. How do you justify telling the Houston Astros that they have to open their roof?

I know you may not think that its a big deal, but your taking away a huge part of home field advantage. A lot of it is mental. Right now we're losing 5-4, and if it ends a 1 run game, yeah, i'm gonna blame it on that open roof. I've heard that with the roof open, its the loudest stadium BY FAR in the major leagues..and if you think it doesn't matter, think about taking half the fans out of that stadium. You think that will affect players?? Of course it will.

The only excuse I've heard is that Selig thought they should take advantage of the nice weather. Well I'm sorry, this aint a lazy sunday afternoon here. We're not trying to save electricity.

The stadium was built by the organization and the taxpayers of Houston. They should decide whether its open or closed. Not Selig, not anybody in the MLB. I never heard any complaints during the world series in Toronto. I've never heard it anywhere else.

How about if we went to Chicago and told them that because its raining they need to put a tarp over the stadium!!! Sound absurd??? EXACTLY.

I've heard that the closed roof is an "unfair homefield advanage." Home field advantage is what it is. Theres nothing unfair about it. It's homefield advantage, whatever it is.

I'm so angry about it right now that I really don't know what to say about it.

I adopted the White Sox when I moved to Chicago....but as of right now, I don't think I can pull for any chicago team anymore. Can't do it. Maybe in time I'll get over it.

PS After watching our heartbreaking loss last night, I'm beginning to realize that this entire world series has been BULL CRAP. I mean seriously, nothing went right for us in Chicago. Absolutely nothing. We needed to come home. And when we finally do, we can't even get our roof closed!!! Honestly, what do we have to do to get something to go our way???? It's insult to injury, thats what it is.

-JJ

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Ira Comes Home

With all this World Series happenings, my brain hasn't been able to do its usual wanderings. Though I've been asked a lot who I'm rooting for...since I adopted the White Sox when I came to Chicago. I think its pretty needless to say that I know where my heart is....and if you're that dense or you just don't know me...go 'stros.

P.S. I'm watching game 1 right now, and if the Sox end up winning this game, Joe Crede is the MVP of the game. Without him we're up, easy.

But I wanna take this chance to fill you in on Joe Hays' little boy Baby Ira. I wrote about him a while ago, about how he's been in the hospital since birth. But just recently baby Ira got to come home for the first time, and it's quite the touching story. Even for me, the one whos been called "completely dead inside. Devoid of emotion." So I'll let you read it straight from the source.

-JJ

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

MONEY

YYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2005

UGGGHHH

I'm in need of a counselor...

I don't know where to start...

I just sat through the entirety of game 5 of the NLCS between the Astros and Cardinals. I shared in the Astros joys...and their bone crushing agonies.

As of earlier today we were ahead in the best of 7 series 3-1. 1 more win and we go on to the world series. a place we've never been.

It was 2-1 st louis going into the 8th, when lance berkman hit a miraculous 3 run home-run to put us ahead 4-2. I held my breath through the entirety of the next 2 innings.

I was at my friend Cherie's house, and both of us were on our feet, she doing her dance that seems to work for the White Sox...me telling my bladder..and my heart... to keep it together.

The Astros were created in 1962, and since then they've never even sniffed the world series until last year, when we went up 3 games to 2..and proceeded to drop both in st louis.

Chad Qualls and Dan Wheeler for the Astros breeze through the Cardinal hitters in the bottom of the Eighth inning, and the astros go 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.

3 outs away and we're in.

Chris Ewing calls me, and I talk for a sec, but since his T.V. signal is 4 seconds faster than mine, I can't stand it and I tell him I'll call him when its over.

We bring in our stud closer Brad Lidge...at first I was wary because he's pitched so much lately..but in times like these I understand you gotta ride your big guns.

First guy strikes out.

Second guy strikes out.

Only one more out to go..i can smell victory...I imagine myself stripping naked and running through the streets with excitement.

The annoying fly in David Eckstein gets up and with 2 strikes on him, slaps a single to left.

My gut clenches slightly.

Edmonds gets up, and I know..I KNOW..that we CANNOT WALK THIS GUY..because right behind him was Pujols..who scares the living doo doo out of me.

Whatdya know, we end up walking him. 2 men on...and albert "i never smile during the game" pujols gets up. I'm reminded of those movies when the big hitter gets up, grits his teeth, stomps at the dirt like a bull, twists his hands on the bathandle so hard that dust falls off...just the meanest looking guy ever..thats pujols in my eyes. I think of maybe walking him..but apparently garner wants to take him head on.

We get him swinging at a slider. strike 1.

only 1 out away.

lidge serves up one of his nasty sliders...except it doesn't slide.

Pujols knocks the rear end off of the ball out into nothingness...it was so far it didn't hit anything. cards 5 stros 4.

I'm stunned. paralyzed. i call chris. he doesn't answer. i call again. he picks up. "I just threw up" he says. I don't know what to say. theres nothing to say. I dont know what to do. I just sit there. disgusted. 5 minutes later i pick my jaw up off the floor.

we go 1-2-3 in the ninth. game over.

now we go back to st louis just like last year. all of a sudden the momentum has changed with one swing. its a whole new ball game. A loss like that is completely deflating to a team. I just hope they players can fight throught it and maybe..HOPEFULLY..PLEEEASE just pull one win out in st louis. we've got to.

Tomorrow I'm taking the entire day to go for a long bike ride out in the forest preserve just to digest it all.

Tomorrow's a new day.

-JJ

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Baseball Glory

Is it just me, or is the Baseball Playoffs truly, truly AMAZING!!!!???....

stop.

If you're from the northeast, I don't wanna hear it. Actually, sure, go ahead and make your case about how your not enjoying it because BOTH the Yankees and Red Sox are out of the race..Thank God. We can go ahead and chop off the eastern part of the U.S. CUZ YA JUST DON'T MATTER.

If you'll notice, the teams that are leading the series' at the moment have on thing in common: Pitching. Straight up stellar pitching. It wins championships. Bottom line. We all know it but some of us just don't listen.

But on to my point.

The baseball playoffs is ABOVE AND BEYOND superior to any other postseason in..ahem..american sports. (I say that cuz the Soccer World Cup is pretty dad gum intense.) But heres my top 10 reasons why I think so:

These are not in order of importance

1: I spoke to Chris about this today. The common man can go. On tuesday, I'm gonna get online and take my chances on World Series tickets. About $150 a pop. Not too bad. Try going to a super bowl. You'll end up spendin' a cool $2,000 from some Large Corporation that has all the tickets. Sure, It's cuz its only 1 game, but I don't make the rules.

2: Any day the tides can turn. Who knew in the Atlanta-Houston Series that Chris Burke... A ROOKIE! would all of a sudden catch fire and win the game. Who Knew?

3: A playoff team is only as good as its weakest link: Case in point 2004 houston astros...good hitting, good pitching, great closer...couple sub-par relievers...the lose in 7 to the Cards. You can trot out a Jordan or a Joe Montana in bball and football...but currently the top 6 HR hitters this year are ALL out of the playoffs.

4: CLASSY PLAYERS/MANAGERS- See Mike Scioscia of the Angels. After a bad call lost them the game after game 2 he says..We didn't play well enough to overcome something like that. We need to play better... He didn't cry, he didn't complain, you take your losses like a man and you move on.

5: NO FLAGS!!!! Is anyone like me and getting sick and tired of stupid block in the back calls in the NFL??? We don't have penalties in baseball! You hit a homerun....YOU HIT A HOMERUN! How ticked off are you when a long play wins a SUPER BOWL and is called back on a penalty. Or when a NBA game comes down to free throws? Baseball runs smoothly..what happens happens..nuthin you can do about it.

6: All bets are off. Wild Card winners have won the last 3 World Series. Doesn't happen anywhere else.

7: No Fakers. None of this "I'm going just to watch the commercials" mess. Real Fans Only.

8: "One of God's greatest gifts is anticipation" as my Dad says. and theres tons of it in baseball. Final batter. Hanging on every pitch. It could happen any time...or could it....watch the runner...can't get the signs...step out...as the fans watch and wait..they can't stand it...

9: A lead is never safe....most super bowls are over by halftime. One swing in baseball and your back in it. When you score, you dont' have to give possesion away. Think you can win it? Go ahead..give it your best shot. It's all yours. A 10 run inning is at your fingertips....

10: Strategy..Houston-Atlanta 18 inning maration. Garner chooses to use all his relievers..it comes down to clemens..theres no one left to pitch. its clemens or no one. Garner rolled the dice and it paid off. You only get so many players on your roster, and once you take him out...thats it..he can't come back in. What would you do?

-JJ

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Homecoming

I got lucky on monday and with about 5 days off I got on a flight bound for New Orleans. Theres only 2 flights a day, and seats were few and far between, but when its meant to be, its mean to be. Since I could only come home during the week (my dad decided that i should just come home when i could, because $100 might not be enough to get me off for the weekend), I basically spent the day on monday with my dad at work. But most of the day he got to basically show me around.

Lunch was first...he took me to the only place in the city still open..a restaurant downtown in the french quarter. As you know, that area didn't flood, but for the most part its deserted as far as civilians. Lots of national guard, firefighters, policemen, and such. But this restaurant was somewhat crowded, seeings its the only place to go eat. And that includes fast food. My dad said fast food places are trying to open, but theres no one to work, and they're even offering $16+ /hr plus a signing bonus just to work.

After that he took me to the ninth ward, one of the most devastated parts of the city, where I could see water lines running across houses up over windows. Streets were littered with debris, stranded boats, tree branches, and the guts of cleaned out houses. All of these houses were probably going to be demolished. Signs were everywhere offering to gut people's houses. The economy here is pretty much being supported by destruction services. We tried to go to the lower ninth ward, which is the lowest income and the most devasted part of the city, but there was a checkpoint and you needed credentials to get in (which we had), but the line was too long. We had things to do.

After that he took me to one of the levee breaches...where we had to four-wheel through sand-covered neighborhoods just to get close to. We had to walk part of it. We found construction crews working on the levee, which still had a trickling stream of water coming through. Houses were destroyed, sand that came through the levee was up to the windows of houses, and the house right behind the levee breach had been ripped from the foundation and thrown 50 yards away. Everything was destroyed. My dad said that on a scale of 1-10, and the lower ninth ward being a 10, this was a 5. No comparison.

The plan for the evening was to cover a high school football team. Theres an inner city ministery called Desire Street Ministries which my dad is involved in, and is run out of the lower ninth ward. The ministry turned into a school, and recently they started a football program thats never actually played a game before. Scrimmages, yes, but never a real district game. Before the hurricane they evacuated to florida with help from Danny Weurffel, a full time employee who happens to be an ex heisman trophy winner at Florida and an ex NFL Quarterback. With his connections, they moved the school to Destin, Fl with the kids (i was informed that after the storm they found some of the kids in other states, and with they're corporate connections, used private jets to go get them). Anyways, that night they were driving in from Florida to play they're very first game.

After my tour of the city, we met the team at a church (we had to four-wheel it around a flooded underpass, following the national guard, to find the place) and my dad took pics of the kids getting ready. We headed out to the field where i just watched while my dad took pics. Danny Wuerffel was there, but his duties have nothing to do with the team. He doesn't coach or anything, he's just there for the kids...and maybe he gives a few pointers every once in a while. He also helps a lot raising money using his name.

Bottom line was, these kids were probably one of the most talented in the state, but they were not a team. They didn't know what they were doing. Refs helped them out, telling them what they were doing wrong without penalizing them. Consistently I heard "Hey coach, you only got 9 kids out here!!!" It was all a learning experience for them, but I don't think they understood that. I've never seen so much drama and emotion left on the field. During a 50-14 defeat to a small white-boy dominated private school, I saw kids cry, refuse to take the field, and just basically give up. They blamed each other. They hung they're heads. They didn't grow up with the concept of "team," but they would have to learn. If they played together and with they're heads, they could've been anybody. But they were just raw talent. After the game ended, at 9pm, they got on the buses and drove 5 hrs back to florida.

We headed home that night where I got to see my mom and just take it easy. The next morning I tailed my dad again as he continued his story and headed to Danny Weurffel's flooded home. My mom told me that i'd get to help find the heisman trophy. Hey, thats somethin i could do!

We met danny, his wife, his dad, and the writer at his very modest home and tried to get in the front door, which wouldn't budge. We went 'round back, past his flooded car, and got in the back. We found a toppled fridge, rotten furniture and mold everywhere. It stunk. The water must have been 4-5' in the house...and there were about 10 steps leading up to the house..it was raised. So i'd imagine about 8' of water from the ground up. They didn't live far from one of the levee breaches. They were in good spirits all things considered...they joked about how they couldn't find the olympic torch he carried in florida, which they found later broken in two. Not much was salvagable, except for the 3 year supply of lotion his wife had.

His wife later told me that my dad called them during the flooding and said he was in their neighborhood in a boat..and asked their address. He found their house and took a picture of it, which they now had and wanted to frame. She said it would save a lot of trouble if the house would just burn down.

Luckily, the Heisman Trophy was safe and sound and his parents house.

Since then I've been taking it easy at my house (parents are at work...don't have transportation). Things around my hometown are returning to normal, except for the traffic that i've never had to deal with. I went to the grocery store last night, and it took twice as long as usual. My dad said our population has gone from 250,000 to 350,000 since the storm. Theres TONS of trees down in my neighborhood, one getting toppled with 2 trees that is pretty much destroyed now.

Stores around here are slowly opening, but the moods have changed. The local news is...well everything about Katrina. Theres no other news to report. Grocery stores are back on their feet, though some items are still unavailable due to suppliers getting destroyed.

So that pretty much brings me to where I am now, where I finally got my dad's internet fixed. I'm heading back home..hopefully...assuming i can get on one of those 2 flights...and gettin' back to work.

-JJ

Friday, October 07, 2005

I LUV my company

I work for the greatest company...EVER. If you don't know who I work for, I'm not mentioning it for saying something stupid and getting fired. I've heard rumors of it happening elsewhere....and...well...i'm just not doing it. I think all of you know who i work for anyways.

About 2 weeks ago I received a phone call from a lady that was one of my supervisors in training, and she was just making sure that my family was ok down in New Orleans. I assured her that everything was fine, but that I really appreciated the call...it meant a lot to me. It may not seem like that much, but when you have 30,000 employees, it takes a lot of work to find out exactly who is from New Orleans, and who still lives there, and who has family there.

But what came next was completely unexpected. This morning fedex came to my door with an overnight package from the president of my company. Slightly scared, I opened up the package to find a letter HAND SIGNED by the 3 top execs in the company, along with a $100 gift card and was instructed to "indulge myself." Pretty much do whatever I want with it.

I was shocked.

I called my parents to see if they "had good use for $100", and after discussing it, we decided I would use it to pay someone to pick up of my 3 days of work this next weekend so I can go home and be able to actually see my family, instead of going home during my off days and sit at home by myself.

So needless to say, I think my company is quite amazing.

-JJ

Thursday, October 06, 2005

You were never wanted

This morning I was pretty sure what I wanted to post today about. Seriously, I could probably post something every day, but I figure I gotta give you guys a chance to read. So most of my ideas get lost. But today I had a pretty good idea, until I turned on the 8am sportscenter.

I had a good day yesterday. Starting at 3pm, my Houston Astros took it to the Braves and completely dismantled them and they're best starter Tim Hudson. Immediately after, Tony Graffanino completely botched a simple double play ball that helped the White Sox score 5 runs en route to edging the Red Sox, giving them a 2-0 lead in the division series.

Wait, theres more.

Immediately AFTER THAT the Yankees fell to the mighty Angels of Aneheim, evening the series at 1-1.

So imagine my dismay when I turn on Sportscenter this morning and see Hockey highlights. you know what? That doesn't even deserve to be capitalized. hockey. yeah. hockey. take that. I was disgusted. We just had 3 specatcular playoff baseball games and you're gonna give me hockey highlights? the only thing hockey does is take up valuable air time on sportscenter.

I could rant all day but I think you've heard this before, so I'll keep it short.

"I love hockey. I love going to the games. They're so exciting!"

I hear it all the time. You go for the fights and you know it. Thats the only attraction. If you're from Canada, thats your national pastime, thats ok. But not here. Not in my house.

Here's an interesting fact: 2 years ago the super bowl ALONE outdrew the entire hockey season in terms of tv viewership.

You're not wanted.

You left last year and never was sportscenter so good.

-JJ

Monday, October 03, 2005

Passing Chance

I sincerily apologize for leaving you with a lackluster informational post that belongs on an information card in the doctor's waiting room. But I've been working and staying at hotels with no internet connection. But plenty of time to brood.

Just the other day I went for a long bike ride along Lake Michigan, which is my usual daytime activity when its 60 degrees out and sunny and I really have absolutely nothing better to do. I get some exercise, plus I get to do some people watching.

On my way back from my ride, I ride pass this attractive girl, and I kinda glance at her, I kinda could tell she glanced at me, and BAM, that was it...OVER...the moment had passed.

And she was one of those where by just looking at her I could tell she was my type..I mean not neccessarily the one I'm gonna marry, but once that I'd enjoy getting to know.

I know what your thinking. "Jeremy, why didn't you go talk to her? Why didn't you do SOMETHING?"

WHAT THE CRAP WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO? I had a split second to figure something out. My only reaction was to screech to a stop, turn around, speed up and catch up to her, and say "hey, wanna go get some ice cream?"

I'm pretty sure thats what they teach self defense for.

Growing up in youth group, I used to love youth rallys and retreats because I could meet someone like that and have at least 24 hrs to figure out my move, how I'm gonna get in a conversation with her. And I like to say I'm pretty darn good at it...But at this moment all I had was a passing glance to go off of and a split second to do something. could you imagine me showing up 3 miles down the road after stopping, pondering on a park bench, then deciding my move and chasing after her? I guess that would make for a good story..or maybe an even better bloody nose.

I feel like that guy on the dockers commercial that sees the girl on the passing bus and jumps off to get on her bus. and finds her waiting for him on the other side of the road. But thats a perfect world. This world is far from it.

But lets be honest..this happens to all of us! At the train stop, at the airport, on the street...it happens all the time! And its kind of depressing to go home thinking you missed a golden opportunity...especially when you've had a couple of hrs to come up with what you SHOULD HAVE done. It's like coming up with that perfect comeback after you've been insulted..only 20 mins too late. Too bad. It's over. Go home and don't come back. You're through.

Am I crazy? Am I doing something wrong? (obviously so) Or am I just a gutless, yellow bellied little boy?

-JJ

Friday, September 30, 2005

AAAhhhh children

Honestly, theres no good way to fly with children.

My friend Christine asked in the comments of my last post the best way to fly with children, and since I don' t have her email, I guess I'll just make a post of it. She may have even flown with her baby boy jack already, but oh well. Maybe this will help someone out.

Flying with kids is like playing against Joe Horn...you can't stop him, you can just hope to contain him.

Kids scream. they make messes. they smash they're cookies and grind them into the carpet, they slobber, they mess their diapers and theres no good place to change it, they kick seats and people get mad, and on and on and on. It happens. The best you can hope for is understanding people around you.

But there is some hope.

Their ears are GOING TO POP. Prepare for it. Make sure you have their pacifier to suck on, gum (if they're old enough) to chew on, or let them gnaw on your finger.

Get there early. Preboard. Sit in the front with the rest of the kids. Let the people who want peace and quiet go to the back. Theres nothing worse than screaming kids in the front and the back. Give us somewhere to escape.

Give him a sleeping pill. Dunno what the rules are on how old they have to be, but if you can, do it.

Let people play with them if they want. Dunno what it is, but sometimes those kids enjoy a fresh face. We had a kid screaming in the front seat during landing , and the girl I was working with made faces at the kid the entire time, and the kid sat there staring at her for the entire descent. Didn't say a word after that.

Oh, and punish the dad-gum kids if they're out of control!!! I See waaay too much of this. Dont do that "let them cry it out" stuff. If they're going to do that, give them something to cry about. :)

Theres no good place to change diapers. I've seen it on the seat, on the galley floor, and in the bathroom...Whatever. Though i hear we're adding changing tables in the bathroom..so ask when you get on.

But like you all know, I'm no father, this is just from my non-parenting point of view, things I see on the plane. If you don't like them, fine, these are just my ideas.

Other than that, just go, grit you teeth, and brace for the worst and hope for the best!!!

-JJ

Monday, September 26, 2005

Am I taking crazy pills?

I think we try too hard. Yes, racism does still exist today. It's unfortunate, but it's true. But I think we all just make it worse.

A lot of people, especially in the south, have grown up with certain ideals that aren't exactly...right...and thats not an excuse for them, but thats what they know and it's hard for them to change. Again, thats wrong, its not an excuse, but I can see that happening.

But when I open a newspaper and theres a huge write-up about how theres not enough black quarterbacks playing football, and theres not enough black coaches, and theres not enough black CEO's, and on and on and on, I think we've got a problem. Why do we have to make it an issue??? Why do we have to bring that up?? Not that we should ignore stuff like that, but I really don't think it's an issue. What are we supposed to do, start favoring a minority race over another? (affirmitive action..btw, possibly one of the most absurd things ever) Doesn't that just turn the tables? Isn't that still racism, just against another race? I just don't get it. And then the media brings it up and makes it an issue.

If we're all created equal, and we're all working for racial equality, then why can't we do just that? Treat people like they're a normal human being, not a charity case. That doesn't mean that every occupation has to be a perfect racial ratio. That'll never happen. But again, I don't think we should even think in those terms. It's simple. Take the best man for the job. So maybe we're protecting people from racists...fair enough. But I think they will be phased out. It takes time, but lets not make matters worse.

On a plane, I don't go out to serve drinks, and say to myself "ya know, I think I'm gonna serve black people first." Thats just dumb.

I don't like BET. Not like anything on it bothers me, but why you gotta call it that? Don't limit it to who its intended for.

I don't claim to have all the answers, I'm just pointing out a problem.

I dont' like to change subjects like this, but while we're on the media, imagine this: what if all they reported was good news? What if everytime you tuned in to the 6 o'clock news you saw people helping people instead of people killing people? I understand not as many people would watch, but do you think we'd have a better society as a whole? Would people be more positive? Would it inspire more people to do good instead of inspiring people to do more bad?

Maybe we've already experimented with this when they came out with Sunday Funday, and lets be honest...It just don't work. But It's a thought.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Gosh

Ok apparently that last story was a little too wierd for you guys. Sickos.

So I guess I'll give everybody a lil' update on my family and my home and our boat and my dog and my cat and my brother and my yard.

Everyone is fine, though when I call my parents I can tell my mother is becoming increasingly frustrated. She's gone back to work, as has my dad, but its just not the same. They have electricity, and we have a well so with electricity comes water, and my dad has some global internet thing so he has internet wherever he goes, but theres none at the home computer, and theres no cable. So its like they've backtracked about 20 years.

I havn't made it home yet, though we've started flying 2 flights in and out of houston. They did have a lot of yard work to be done...months worth, but apparently there was a church group or something drive down from arkansas and cleaned up the entire yard in a couple days..or a day..one of the two. So theres not a whole lot of work to be done, so if I go home I'll end up sitting at home while my parents are at work with no tv, no internet, and no car. So my parents suggested I wait before coming home. So thats what I shall do.

As for my dog and cat I assume they're happy since they don't watch tv or use the internet. And my dog has her space to run around in the yard.

So thats it! You've been great. Keep your noses and minds clean, kids.

-JJ

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Magic Retainer Story

Until last night I had completely forgotten about this story, but it defies everyone's imagination. It's so completely amazing and absurd that it deserves a spot on this blog. So here it goes:

Freshman year at ACU there was a freshman retreat. It was early in the semester, so we were still meeting people and striving you find our place and just fit in there. I had just recently met zach, and after a few days of convincing him that I wasn't someone's little brother and yes, I was actually going to school there, we had become pretty good friends. So that night we had grabbed bunk beds next to each other.

At this time I was still wearing my retainer at night So like usual, right after lying down in my bed, I placed my retainer in my mouth, laid down, put my head on my pillow, and kinda watched all the crazies be...well..crazy in the dorm. I wasn't really comfortable enough with everyone to act like that yet, so I just watched and talked to my new friend zach who was in his bed approximately 1 ft away.

A few minutes later we all turned in, lights went off, and I fell asleep. This is where the wierd stuff starts. From my point of view, I wake up early the next morning and find that same retainer lying next to me on the bed. This really isn't out of the ordinary, because my retainer routinely came out of my mouth in the middle of the night and ended up in my bed.

But this next morning, when Zach wakes up, he told me that about 3am, or somewhere around there, he had waken up and that same retainer was lying next to him, in his bed, under his covers, next to his waist. Thats right, my retainer had magically, somehow, jumped from my bed to his in the middle of the night, and had crawled under zachs covers.

So Zach naturally takes the retainer and throws it back in my direction and it ends up back in my bed, where it belongs.

So 6 years later we're still trying to figure out how this all happened.

-JJ

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Am I Too Nice?

As I sat in Chicago Bear traffic today, I think I allowed 4 people in in front of me. I don't usually have a problem with being nice and letting people in as long as I'm not in a hurry. And I have to get the hand wave. You know, the one thats really impossible to say "you're welcome" too.

Anyways, a few minutes later I was passing a white SUV when I noticed it halfway in my lane. Apparently I hadn't seen them want to get over, and at this point it wasn't going to happen. I sped up as I saw a look of disgust upon the ladies face. My first reaction was "thats what you get for yappin' on your cell phone, lady."

My next reaction was "dadgummit I've got that dang Abilene CHRISTIAN University sticker on the back of my car. I've just give n all us Christians a bad reputation.

But for real, where do you draw the line?? We should all be so nice as to let people in line in traffic, but there's gotta be a point where it stops. Do you want me to just stop and put on my blinkers and let the whole world in front of me? Is everybody gonna expect me to let them in? On the plane a bit part of our job is just to be nice. thats it. Simple. But you get too nice and people walk over you. They don't respect you.

I can't stand it when we land and I'm sitting on the front jumpseat right after we make the welcome announcement and tell everybody TO STAY IN YOUR FREAKIN SEAT WITH THAT SEATBELT ON until the sign goes off and we actually stop, and people start takin' they're seatbelts off. People right directly in front of me, people that i've been staring at and talking to for 20 mins, they take their seatbelts off. I mean its really not that big of a deal, honestly, cuz i know 75% of the plane is doing the same thing, but it represents a blatant disregard for anything we say. I always point it out, and say, "hey man, how you gonna do that right in front of me?" they kinda laugh it off and don't even bother to put it back on. I usually tell them that when we slam on the breaks and they fly out of they're seats and smack their heads into the bulkhead i'm gonna sit there and laugh. not move a muscle and just laugh. I actually tell them that too. It's just that we've been so dang nice the entire flight, they don't take us seriously anymore. Sometimes you have to draw the line and you look like a big fat jerk! the only thing they take us seriously at is overhead bin space. cuz they DON'T want their bags checked and they KNOW that we'll do it too.

But back to my point. You like to be nice but if you get TOO nice, then people start taking advantage of you. I know most of you are Christians and good public citizens and genuine NICE PEOPLE, but does anyone else ever feel taken advantage of? Like on the Subways in New York if you wear a T-Shirt that somehow identifies you as a Christian, you know the pan-handlers of the city are going to flock to you and EXPECT that you give them money. Or food. Or something. It's what you do. But we can't give to everybody!!! Where do we draw the line? And that one guy you turn down, shakes his head, turns around as he walks away, and calls you an SOB. Serious. It's happened to me before.

At my healthclub job in NYC, I wanted to help out as much as I could, so I started doing a little extra work to help the company out, and slowly but surely they wanted me to do more...and more..and more...and I started doing all this because I wanted to be nice and help people out, but they kept piling up more things that wasn't in my job description and I never saw an extra cent. NEVER. and I didn't want to be the selfish employee going in demanding a raise.

So I think I made my point. WHERE DO WE DRAW THE LINE ON ALL THIS NICENESS STUFF? WHEN DO I GET TO BE MEAN?

I think I need to take that ACU sticker off my car. It'll solve a lot of problems.

-JJ

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Summertime: A ReCap

I'm not the biggest summer fan, I personally think its a tad overrated, but throughout the season I realized that all most of you know about Chicago are the wintry pictures I sent back way back when when I moved in. I know, that was a long sentence, but on my biking adventures throughout the city, which is most of what I do here when I have free time, I stopped along the way to snap a few photos. They might not be the greatest pictures, but they should give you a good idea of what it's like here when 6 feet of snow doesn't cover the ground. Plus, just wait until I get my Canon 20D.




My Street


Yeah I dunno


My Apartment


Cubs Depreession is Everywhere