Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from Florida!!!

My old man, was born to rock,

And he's still trying to beat the clock,

Think of me what you will,

I've got a little, space to fill,

You don't know how it feels,

You don't know how it feels,

No you don't know how it feels,To be me.

Tom Petty

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving from the Sunshine State of Florida. And in honor of being in Florida I have a song quote from who in my mind is Florida's greatest contribution to popular music. Now I think he only had to beat out KC and the sunshine band and Gloria Estefan so it's not a huge honor for the Heartbreakers but a pretty sad state of music for Florida.

I arrived late last week and spent a night in Celebration with Jacky at the Mona Lisa hotel. Disney is the planned community built by Disney. It has a quaint little shopping district, a beautifully landscaped walking path around lakes and ponds, very expensive homes on very little land, and makes St George, Utah look diverse. It is my all time favorite place on earth to walk. I love winding around the ponds and through the town early in the morning.

Next stop was Venice Beach, Florida where my parents retired to this summer. It is on the west coast of Florida about two hours from Orlando and one hour south of Tampa. Lets just say that the people selling early bird dinners, depends, golf carts and pre-arranged funer
als are doing very well in this town. I spent one morning walking the golf course in my folks neighborhood, one day walking the beach and pier, and one day walking a couple of bridges that lead in and out of town.

The fishing pier, which was attached to a tiki bar and where I actually saw some people pulling some fish out of the water. It will be even easier for me to laugh at the idiot ice-fisherman in Madison this winter knowing that other people fish off this pier in warmth while they trek out to frozen ponds and sit on buckets looking at holes they drilled in the ice.

Lunch with my mom and Jacky and some bird who actually lept on to the table during the meal.

Sunday night I got to spend at Raymond-James stadium in Tampa seeing the South Florida-Univ. of Connecticut football game. My college roommate Billy McGillis is the Asst Athletic Director in charge of Football at the school and he arranged for Jacky and I to see the game in a skybox on the fifty with his family and some friends. Now, Jacky who is about as interested in sports as I am in say...Prada handbags said that she was willing to go to any sports event that we could attend in this manner.

Wednesday we headed up to Orlando for Thanksgiving. My brother Jay and his wife and two kids arrived that morning and headed to the Nickolodean hotel and resort. My brother Jeff, his wife and two kids live in the Orlando area. My parents arrived last night around 5 pm. So we have now all been in the same city for 16 hours and I am confident in saying that the most number of people in the same house at anytime has been 6 of the 12. :) We may get it right today for atleast an hour or two. I got up this morning and walked the exterior of the World Quest Resort, then boldly ventured in to the swimming pool. It was about 45 degrees this morning outside and about 70 in the pool. My nipples could have cut glass, but I banged out some laps solo in the pool and then spent some time warming up in the hot tub. Tonight I will be watching the Terps take on Michigan St in basketball as part of the Old Spice tournament. ESPN 2 at 7pm est. look for me holding this up( the plate not the car)
Oh yeah I plan to eat, eat and then eat a little more. :) I have many things to be thankful for this year and high on the list is the many friends I have made from this blog. I hope you all have wonderful thanksgivings and Peace, Jim

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm in a Sunshine State of mind

"If you are chilly, here take my sweater.

Your head is aching, I'll make it better.

Cuz I love the way you call me baby.

And you take me the way I am."

Ingrid Michaelson

I leave tomorrow for Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. My parents recently retired to Venice Beach, FL and my brother Jeff and his family live in Orlando. Jacky flies in Friday. On the agenda is getting outside and running again, getting outside and being in a swimming pool again, thanksgiving with my entire family(Jay and his family fly in Wednesday), and attending lots and lots of sporting events. I'm going to see South Florida vs Uconn in football Sunday evening thanks to my college roommate, and I get three days of amazing college basketball at the Old Spice Invitational in Orlando Thanksgiving weekend, and a trip to Tampa Bay Downs to see some ponies. I honestly can not remember the last time both my brothers and both my parents were all in the same room. It's not that we don't get along , we do. We have just lived in four different cities for so long, and working in retail we all have trouble being away at the busy holiday season.

I haven't really done anything to exciting this last week. It's the same as it ever was. Volleyball, morning workouts, watch sports and survivor on TV, and catch a music show. This weeks entertainer was Ingrid Michaelson who is best known for her song above which was the cornerstone of The Gap winter commercials last year. She has also had some tunes show up on TV shows most notably, Grey's Anatomy. She pulled in around 600 people for her third trip through Madison this year and played a fun energetic set. One thing about young entertainers is they just seem to be having so much fun up on stage. Some of the classic artists I see seem almost burdened having to play their hits for the zillionth time but the 20 somethings still have that spirit that makes live music cool. I forgot my camera so no pictures but I'll steal a picture of her for you guys. Apparently she loves bunnies...who knew?
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday. Don't forget tie-dye makes an exceptional Christmas gift. I will get some Florida pictures up as soon as possible and for my friends staying in Wisconsin. Keep the snow off my car or better yet just keep the snow far away while I'm gone. Peace, Jim

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Powerball numbers

"And Home
Sings me of sweet things
My life there has it own wings
To fly over the mountains
Though I'm standing still"
Karla Bonoff
Okay so the powerball numbers from Saturday night were not so good, but there's some good news for those people that signed on. I picked up 20 tickets for the drawing Wednesday and I will now post the numbers so you guys can play along. And again 20% of all winnings will be divided between everyone who commented on the previous post or this one before the drawing.

4-6-17-21-48 03

13-17-24-28-41 08

2-9-14-41-44 40

24-27-32-34-35 11

22-26-28-33-53 30

7-10-11-27-52 34
4-5-12-24-44 11
4-12-40-43-46 08
6-11-17-26-43 31
14-21-22-26-36 08
11-19-25-31-33 35
10-30-36-46-48 25
7-11-23-40-46 30
20-21-23-24-26 27
1-6-9-16-42 14
31-35-43-44-48 19
9-12-15-21-40 18
6-18-25-40-45 30
13-16-34-44-47 04
2-26-47-48-50 31

So before I share my thoughts on the lottery, let me explain that the last number listed in each sequence is the powerball number. The lottery and especially scratch lotto tickets and daily 3 and 4 digit number drawing numbers are such bad bets that they truly are a tax on the stupid. And the percentage of income that people invest in the lotto is highest in low income families. So while I am all for free will, and adults being able to spend their money how they see fit, I am certain that anyone that puts money into lottery will be an overall loser barring a monster lotto score. It's fine if you occasionally play for fun but if you harbor any visions of being able to profit well the math says you have no chance. The same pretty much goes for slots and casino table games but that's for another time.

We had a spirited game of Taboo Saturday night and my team of boys got handled by the team of girls at the party pretty easily. I always have fun playing party games, board games, and cards and wish I did this more often. Plus, I love hanging out with my friends and it just makes me laugh and smile whenever I get a chance to do so.

I made my way to two concerts Sunday night and they could not have been more different. I saw Karla Bonoff, who is a grammy winning singer songwriter, and Michael Franti who is a hard pumping reggae hippie musician. Karla played to about 75 people and I felt young looking around the crowd. Michael Franti played to over 1,000 people and I felt old and out of shape at that show. The show was all about non-stop dancing and jumping, a two hour Franti show would burn 2,000 calories easy. I really never have seen the type of energy that this crowd and this group of entertainers showed. The music is not really me, but I sure enjoyed being a part of that crowd.

I am excited that I will be leaving for Florida next week to spend time with my family and it will be the first time that all 5 members of my immediate family will be in the same house in over half a decade. Should be a ton of fun and I'll also get to spend some time with my old college roomie Billy McGillis who is the Asst. Ad at South Florida, and get my first look at the 2008-09 Terp basketball team as they are in a 3 day tournament at Disneyworld. So if someone checks these number and they are lucky call me and the same goes if something more likely happens like you get bit by a shark, struck by lightening, or abducted by aliens. But like they say you got to play to win. Peace, Jim

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Powerball for you!!

"'Cause I know better not to be friends with boys with girlfriends
Oh I know better than that
I know better than that"
I know better
You play the victim and I'll be the bad guy"

So Jacky and I had a wonderful time at the Hotel Cafe Tour and again it was really everything that is right about music and everything that is good about young artists trying to find audiences. The five solo girls shared a 4 person back up band, came out and sang back up for each other, switched off all night long as to who was singing, played for over three hours, had a damn good time getting drunk together, and played their hearts out.

The highlights for me were Meiko (above) and Rachel Yamagata(below).

I have mentioned this before but Rachel attended Holton Arms school in Bethesda which is a sister school to my high school Georgetown Prep. We talked about our respective schools and getting back to the DC area, and of course her music. She was really sweet and just has an amazing voice. Meiko had a damn good time. I think it was her third trip to Madison this year and she commented that she always gets really drunk in Madison and she did not disappoint on that front.

They had a raffle last night for the Keep Wisconsin Warm fund. Jacky and I each bought ten tickets for $10 and we took home four of the prizes. Including a teddy bear, a $25 gift certificate, a$50 gift certificate, and a duffel bag filled with stuff. We felt kind of bad so we donated some more money but for two $21 tickets, and $20 in raffle tickets we took home $150 bucks worth of stuff and got three plus hours of live music. So because of our good fortune and good luck I bought 14 powerball tickets for tonite's jackpot. I am pledging to donate 20% of all winnings to the Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund, and in the spirit of redistributing the wealth will share with any of my blog readers who comment here an additional 20% of the winnings. You have until noon Monday to leave a comment and be eligible to share.
I had so much fun with the last video I thought I would share some video from the sound check last night. The lady who owns the bar was nice enough to let me stay inside during sound check while every one else had to wait outside. It's nice to be the owner of a store that promotes a lot shows at her bar. Meiko walks in front about half way through and screws up the picture and she wasn't even drunk yet. Peace, Jim

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's a new day

Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings,

And a king aint satisfied till he rules everything.

I believe in the faith that could save me.

I believe in the hope and I pray that some day it

Will raise me above these


Bruce Springsteen

Okay so anyone who knows me or anyone reading this blog knows I was very happy with the results of the election. It's nice to have a President that can string a couple of sentences together without getting exacerbated. It's nice to have someone running the country that can get a positive score in jeopardy. And it is nice that our elected leader believes, as do I, that health care should be a fundamental right of every citizen. Because if you are not treating your sick, your injured, and your most needy people really how civilized are you? Best of Luck to President-elect Obama. I spent election night at two parties and was surrounded by genuinely happy people who were proud of their country mates and elated to be part of the historic night.

It wasn't all perfect by any stretch. Alaska baffled me voting to send Ted Stevens back to the senate after 7 felony convictions. California, where proposition 8 passed, removing a civil right from a minority that had only recently been awarded the civil right to marry. And a special shame needs to go to the California African-American population where on a night where we elected our first minority President they overwhelmingly by a 2-1 margin voted to not allow another minority, gays, to marry. I can only hope that under this new regime we as citizens can become much more tolerant of those different than us and see that we should all be guaranteed certain rights including health care, the right to marry whomever we love, and affordable education.

So I have a really cool weekend coming up. I spent Thursday night with friends watching my Terps get throttled at Virginia Tech. Clockwise from me Luke, Rich, Alex and my all time favorite teacher Paul Schwartz. Paul was my freshman English teacher at Georgetown Prep and we recently discovered that we both lived in Madison. Friday night I am going to see the Hotel Cafe Tour at my favorite Madison bar the High Noon Saloon. It's five acoustic female singer-songwriters including two girls who I like a lot, Rachel Yamagata and Meiko. We have a game night planned for Saturday night at the house and I get to show off some of the pictionary skill learned in Utah. Sunday afternoon we have our year end volleyball party and Sunday night I get to see Karla Bonoff in concert.

My exercise has really picked up and I will play between 8 and 10 hours of volleyball this week. I'll also get in 3 circuits, some outdoor walking and an hour of swimming. Eating has flattened out and I had a decent number on the scale this week. I really need to invest in more new clothes but I don't know if the time is right. And lest you think I have gotten cocky I had a cashier at a gas station whom I had never spoken to or seen before in my life tell me as I checked out with 12 much cheaper gallons of gas, a USA Today, and a Diet Pepsi. "You should talk to my sister she has lost over two hundred pounds" And even as what ran through my head was "You should talk to my sister she used to work at a gas station and now has a job that isn't crappy for minimum wage," I bit my tongue, smiled, and said have a nice day.

I am always sad when we turn the clocks back because I know my dreaded nemesis Mr. Winter is coming. It is already getting dark here at 5:30 and I know 4 pm darkness is just a month away. But that also means we're one day closer to spring. Hope all's well Peace, Jim