Monday, May 4, 2009

2009 Update

After much pressure from my beloved fans, I have decided to start writing again about things going in my life for the whole world to read... or the eight people that have nothing better to do.

Things have changed quite a bit since then. I have moved to Birmingham. It's not as easy as thought it would be. I miss a lot of my friends in Montgomery. It's nice having people you can call up at the drop of a hat to hang out or go on a Walmart run with. I guess I took those for granted. But, that's part of moving away and there are more pros than cons. I do have a good support network up here with the grandparents, Kyle, Tiana, and Andrew. The job is going well and I feel like I am catching on quickly. I hope to start my real esate license in the near future. I've been putting it off and need to just do it.

I'm also singing bass in another group. They sing primarily oldies but they are wanting to venture into some different genres. It should be a fun hobby and I might make a little extra money. I've always wanted to sing bass in a group so I am looking forward to impressing the ladies (50+) with my smooth voice, haha. I am never able to impress girls my age. In Cornerstone it was 12-14 year olds and now senior citizens. Oh well, I still enjoy the compliments.

I am looking forward to a busy summer. So far it includes whitewater rafting, Braves/Red Sox/ Yankees games, Six Flags, family vacation in Destin, and concerts in between everything. I'm pretty pumped about everything minus the extreme heat.

I am going to make it a personal goal to write more. Until next time...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Catching Up

Things have been crazy in my life the past few weeks. I finished up my first semester at AUM May 5th. I have a few weeks off before I start back again for the summer. The month of June is going to be killer because on Mondays and Wednesdays, I'll be in class from 5:45 until 10:00. That will be a long night after having to work all day. I heard the teachers never keep you the entire time so I hope that is the case.

In other minor news, Tiana and Andrew are ENGAGED! He proposed at the graduation party at the house in front of both families. Tiana had no idea. I'm excited about those two being together. As the older brother, I have always been protective of the girls. Andrew is great to Tiana and extremely patient. He is a great fit with the entire family. I'm one of the groomsmen in the wedding on December 6th. It'll be a fun wedding party.

I sold my car and I am in the process of finding another one. It's fun and stressful at the same time. I'm too picky with the budget I have to work with. If I could have it my way (like @ Burger King except w/o the creepy King) I would have a black or red '03 or '04 Honda Accord Coupe V6 w/ heated leather seats, sunroof, and a 6 speed manual transmission. All of this would wrapped up in a tidy price of $6000...yeah right. Like I said, if I could have it my way. If that is what I really want, I might have to suck it up and expand my budget.

Kyle is coming down tomorrow. Kyle, Emily, Susan, and I went to the Barons game Saturday night which was a good time. We thought it was going to rain but it turned out to be a great night for baseball. BirdZerk was even there! We went to Nana's church service and rest of the family came too. It was really country. Creepy preacher started singing, " What the world needs now, is godly mothers, it's the only thing that there's just too little of." It was extremely random. Old women from the audience started singing it with him. Never a dull moment with Clarence Denney.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ad Design...check

This is the first of many ad designs that I will be helping out with. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. I'm like a proud poppa that counts all the fingers and toes on his newborn and realizes he did 'real good.' Bryan, the technical art director, did a great job especially the way he added clothes to the model after management offered the suggestion. I'm really enjoying getting experience in many different areas of the magazines. I just hope they don't ask me to do any editorials! EEK!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My brokeded heart

As some of you know, I had a bit of a minor heart surgery done this past Thursday morning at UAB. I can hear you saying to yourself, I didn't know heart procedures could be minor. On the contrary my friend, this procedure was not really a big deal with the modern technology we benefit from. It is called Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation. You can read all about it until your heart's content right here. My doctor in Montgomery suggested that I go to UAB to have it done because they have the best doctors and equipment. That was good enough of a reason for me.

Dad, Mom, and I headed up to Birmingham Wednesday after work and spent the night with Nana and Granddaddy. Nana had prepared a feast for us. Fried pork chops, potatoes, carrots, fresh corn, broccoli casserole, rolls and homemade apple turnovers were waiting for us when we got there. We ate and visited for a while then called it a night because we had to leave by 5 am. I tossed and turned all night. Obviously there was a lot on my mind. Dad said he didn't sleep well because he keep thinking he was going to sleep through the alarm.

We got up on time and made it to UAB by 5:30. We only waited about 15 minutes before a young, attractive dark skin girl asked me to follow her. As we where walking down the hall, I kept thinking, please don't let this be the girl that tells me to strip. As she pointed me to the room and started the walk away, I thought I was in the clear. "Strip and lay on the bed" she said as she walked away. That's my luck. I don't think I've ever had an attractive nurse until this day. I had no problem with Two Ton Tina prepping me for surgery but not this girl. She was married, but still.....awkward.

The prepping conversation was interesting and definitely too graphic for mixed company blog viewing but it was not what I expected. All I'm going to say is that catheter was inserted in the groin region, and that's all I'm saying. After I was prepped, mom and dad came in the room, we met my doctor, Tom McElderry, and we waited until they took me back for surgery.

The next thing I remember was waking up and Kyle Bedgood comes in the room with a get well balloon and 4 Arby's shakes for everyone. I think he said his wife ran over his parent's dog but I'm still not sure because I was a little groggy. I had to lay still for six hours and by around 4:00 we were able to leave.

I took it easy during the weekend and was able to go to the gym Monday night. I ran for a while and got my heart rate up but it never went into supersonic mode like it used to. Some people have to go back for surgery if it continues to happen but I think I'm healed. I've had to deal with this since I was a freshman in college so I am extremely relieved and thankful. I know that God was watching out for me and I had a ton of good friends and even strangers that were praying for me.

So...long story short, I'm healed and I challenge anyone to a footrace! GO!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Living on locusts and honey

Okay, maybe it wasn't that rough but I was definitely at peace with God and Mother Nature this past weekend. The HikeFest group of 15-20 guys quickly dwindled after the news of Hatch's hemorrhoid issues. People were dropping like flies and when it came time to leave, we were left with a pretty solid crew of five, me and 4 seasoned veterans of the AT. Dirt, Cary, Adam, Clay and I set off that Thursday night with only a 35 lbs pack, 4 mustaches and and a dream.

Clay and I took his Tahoe and the other guys took Cary's Camry. We made a pit stop at Jim Bob's in Opelika for a dinner. An attractive young college student brought us our food and she asked if we needed anything else. Adam quickly responded with, " Yeah, can you bring Clay a razor to shave off that mustache?" We laughed until we cried while Clay hung his head in shame.

It was an uneventful ride to North Carolina and finally made it to the car drop at the end of the section we were hiking. We all loaded up in the Tahoe and set out for the mountains. A couple of hours later and several very long wrong roads, Dirt (the navigator) got us to the beginning of the trail. It was about 3 in the morning so we set up our tents and bedding and I was warm in my new mummy sleeping bed by 4:10. The wind was blowing where we were and there were several times that I thought my tent might not hold up. My head hit the pillow and my eyelids finally won the battle they had started on the way up the mountain. I never even woke up during the night.

I was awakened by the sound of Clay packing up his tent and Adam making fun of him. Dirt and Cary stayed in their tents until close to 10. We finally got packed up and started on the trail. We passed many interesting people along the way. The first couple was a young hippie couple. The woman was about 6 foot and had a bunch of cleavage showing. You're not supposed to see cleavage on the frickin' Appalachian Trail. That's against the rules! Then we came across several single hikers, a guy sitting on a toilet, old women hikers, and a college age couple that screamed out variations of cuss words at random times. It's like they were just trying out cussing for the weekend, just for funsies. Their favorite word seemed to be the word "fock". Most people switch the "o" with a "u" and becomes a "dirty word." Like I said, they must be new at it.

The only real downfall to the hike was the fog covered the views on the other mountains and they said that is one of the best parts of the hike. The weather Friday afternoon was kind of wet and cold but it didn't bother me too bad. Once I started walking, I was able to warm up. We didn't see any animal except for a few birds at our lunch stop.

We got about an hour and a half from the car and decided to keep going and get a cheap motel for the night. We made it back to car before dark ending our 15 mile trek through the forest. We made really good time and we weren't even in a real hurry all day. We took plenty of little breaks but we kept a steady pace. Somehow, we were able to load up all the packs and all of us in Cary's car. We picked up Clay's Tahoe and went to Clayton, NC to find a motel. We found an old Days Inn. When I say old, I mean this thing was a one level, rent by the hour motel. The room was decent and the hot shower felt amazing. I think all of us were asleep by midnight.

Saturday morning rolled around and our decision to stay in a motel was emphatically confirmed as Adam and I opened the door to see and hear one of the coldest, nastiest rains that I have ever witnessed. We made our way down to the awesome continental breakfast. Okay, the lobby of this place was probably a 12' by 12' room. Adam and I could have easily shut down that breakfast but we were considerate of the other guests. The lady at the desk was a friendly soul and asked what room we stayed in. We replied "35" and she said with all the sincerity in her heart, "oh, y'all got a nice room." We tried to compose ourselves as we finished our krispy kremes and headed out the door. I'm soooooo glad that we were big spenders and got a "nice room." I would hate to see the non-nice rooms.

We ate lunch at a HikeFest favorite, La Pachanga's. I was good mexican food. It was nice not having to eat on beef jerky, peanut butter crackers, trail mix, and dried bananas. After a full stomach, we loaded up and drive the 4 hours back to the Gump.

There are several life lessons that I learned on this hike:
1. AT hikes are more fun with mustaches, plus, bears are deathly afraid of them.
2. Never trust Dirt when he says "I think this is the right road."
3. Buy good equipment, it will pay off.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as I enjoyed hiking. I plan on returning again to conquer another section of the trail, maybe with more than 5 guys.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

blind vs deaf...blind in a second

Live music never ceases to amaze me. I get a different experience everytime I go to a concert. March 17th finally came and a big group of Montgomerians(?) made the short drive to Birmingham for the sold out Hotel Cafe Tour at Workplay featuring Eliot Morris, Ingrid Michaelson, Cary Brothers, Joshua Radin, Allie Moss, and Sara Bareilles. The format of the concert was really different. Each performer came on stage and did about 3 songs then someone else would come up. This worked out really well because you never got tired of listening to anyone. They did this for about 3.5 hours. It was a jam-packed concert. Everyone's favorite song was a song by Ingrid called "The Chain." Ingrid said she wrote it to be sung in rounds with 3 girls so Sara and Allie sang it with her. She said Sara had just learned it 3 hours before. It was amazing.

They had a pretty eclectic house band too. The bass player (Johnny Flowers) was probably the funniest person to watch. Jason Helton and I laughed at his facial expressions so hard that we cried. He was tall, skinny, and his arms was extremely veiny. I think he realized we were laughing at him and he seemed to be playing in spite of us. Every note he played looked angry and hurtful. I put his name so hopefully whoever reads this will find him on YouTube one day and laugh till it hurts.

And while I'm talking about the concert, Cary Brothers does not have brothers that play or sing with him, at least not last night anyway. For the longest time I thought Mom and Pop Cary concieved a talented collection of musicians. All of this confusion could have been avoided by just not putting "The" on the front of Cary Brothers. And as I noticed last night, it all depends on the stress you put on Cary Brothers. The MC last night was so clear in his enunciation that a small child would have known that he was talking about one person named Cary Brothers. I wonder if gigs pay him more for the "brothers" that he doesn't have just because they were misinformed... or maybe its just an elaborate marketing idea. I need to take notes. (The ) Cary Brothers, you are genius.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Just Like The Last Time

I had no idea it has been over a month since I wrote. I'm really slacking. I can't blame it on being to busy because things have slowed down considerably after the conference. There are still some residual projects but nothing like before. I took my very first vacation day on Friday. I had to fill out a blue slip and everything. It was very official. I decided to tag along with the guys on their way up to CYC in Gatlinburg. There is just something about that place that makes me feel comfortable. We rolled into the Foreskin Lodge (it's really the Bearskin Lodge but guys have a way of coming up with alternative names) at about 3 a.m.

I worked the booth with Chad and Chuck and saw a ton of familiar faces. I saw a lot of kids from summer camps. Hopefully I got their names right(I hate when someone forgets my name so I try my best to remember people's names). We ate at this pizza place close to our hotel and Kid got peer pressured into ordering the 16 INCH CALZONE! This thing was bigger than a moose head...there was a moose head on the wall and the calzone was bigger, promise. We knew he wouldn't be able to do it and about halfway through, Kid hung his head in shame. It was a valiant effort though Kiddo.

The guys sang after the Ambassadors on Saturday night and blew them away like we normally do. But seriously, the Ambassadors were really good this year. Surprisingly, the girls were a lot better than the guys. They just can't compete with Cornerstone's secular show. The Faulkner table was swamped after their show for about 45 minutes. We went and saw Smokey (guy from India that remembers us every year) that night on the way to the hotel and gave him and his wife some Faulkner memorabilia. He was very excited. He still has a Faulkner football hanging from the ceiling of his convenience store that Chuck gave him last year.

We had some confusion Sunday about what time we were actually leaving so Chad and Chuck went back while we ate at the Apple Barn with ole Stan and Kathy, Stevo's wicked awesome parents. After making some "sweet mammories" telling motorboating stories at the table, watching Kid run up a mountain and saying exactly what was on our mind in the Apple Barn bathroom, we parted ways and I enjoyed a funny slumber filled ride back to the Gump.

It was definitely a trip that I will never forget because of things that can't be repeated over a blog. I miss those trips so it's always good to take off on a Friday and hang out with the guys.