Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quick thoughts.

Am I the only person concerned/excited about the Chiquita headquarters moving to the NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte?? 

NASCAR could finally be interesting...
Most worthless exercise ever? 

Not sure which is sadder, the single parent sticker set or someone who puts a sticker on their car for every child they've ever run over or molested...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hot days.

My birthday present from our house last weekend was a broken air conditioning unit. For 3 days, we had to attempt sleeping while it was 100 degrees outside with nothing but a little fan inside. At one point the upstairs was 97, so Dino asked to sleep downstairs. All is fixed now, but AC fixing ain't cheap, so that sucks. Worked an extra night at work this week which was supposed to just be extra money, instead it went straight to the AC guy.

This picture is for all those posting pics of their car temps outside. Boo fucking hoo. This is inside the discomfort of our own home. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Days 7 and 8: 8 days off?

If you don't sleep during the day before you start back to work you get a bonus day off and then you are ready to sleep right when you get home the next morning. Typically, without sleep, i'm only a little more tired on the first night and only slightly more easily annoyed than usual.

Day 7 was a full day for us. We picked up some satisfying vegan cuisine at Zizi's for lunch, saw Prometheus 3D IMAX (bogo tickets from fandango), walked around the mall, played some games at Dave and Busters (half price Wednesday), ate at Thai House for dinner, then met some friends for drinks and a vegan cupcake at our current addiction Common Market.
Day 8, i lounged around doing nothing until we finally made dinner and went to volleyball. Sadly, it was a pretty crappy volleyball night. With less than two hours until work starts again, i will relax and try not to think about the fun that awaits the next 7 nights.

iPhone apps stuck on waiting

If your iPhone ever gets stuck on waiting when attempting to download or update your apps, there is an easy fix. You just go in and make sure there is nothing stuck downloading in your iTunes (on the phone). Clear the junk out trying to download in iTunes and everything will start downloading as it should. i learned this here after turning my phone on and off, hard resetting my phone, then resetting all data from an earlier date. This problem was really annoying because the apps i wanted to use for a day were all stuck on 'waiting' mode. Worthless. But now it's fixed and i'm happy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 3 and 4

Forgot to finish and post this one apparently...

After a few hours at the pool, roller derby was pretty sweet on Saturday night. Met some friends beforehand for some drinks at Hickory Tavern which i always find agreeable (drinks, not Hickory Tavern). After the bout, we had a tough time finding good vegan food since it was like 11 o'clock and our usual favorite had run out at the Diamond. Luckily their sister restaurant is on the way home because we were completely out of food at home.
Yesterday started the gloomy weather forecast until we go back to work, meaning no more sun-filled activity. We saw "Snow White and the Huntsman" yesterday after a lazy morning around the house. It was as expected. Not bad, not great. Most likely we'll see "Prometheus" today or tomorrow. i had been looking forward to a lazy day to do some things around the house sift through clothes i no longer wear, specific computer related tasks, light cleaning. Of course, nothing of value got accomplished. Thankfully, we picked up some groceries at Trader Joe's after dinner at Deejai so maybe we can finally eat at home again.
Already Monday.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Days 5 and 6: Fillers

With the weekend over, it leaves just Megan and i for the most part to do something since most people are back to work. These are the filler days where we have to scrounge to do something. Potential activities include bowling, riding the jet ski, hanging at the pool, or hitting the shooting range. We both claim to have the same problem with not being able to do anything worthwhile when the other one is home. It seems true though because as soon as she left for a run, i did the dishes and started my own workout. It's a blessing and a curse to have the same exact schedule. Fortunately, we knew what we were doing when we signed on for the whole marriage thing and don't mind being around each other.

Yesterday, we went bowling and surprisingly both did very well. Neither of us left cursing the sport of bowling, which is rare. It's nice having a local bowling alley with reasonably priced $2.50 games ($1.75 on Wednesdays this summer). After bowling, we went home and grilled out some portabella mushrooms, potato packets and corn on the cob. Delicious.

Today, i'm heading to a friend's place to watch a movie, and now i'm late...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Day 2: Out and About

So after seeing Aziz on Thursday night, we actually got to meet him at the Danadelion Market (bar/restaurant) we went to afterwards. Sure it was just a hello, but i do believe he is the biggest celebrity i've ever come in contact with. Unfortunately, the next morning i woke up ridiculously early around 5:30 am, despite going to bed around 1:30. So that sucked for Friday as i was a little tired all day. We did get out of the house by noon and went shopping. Megan finally let out her pent up shopping spree needs at the mall while i bought a pair of socks. Then on to Target where i purchased some new white t-shirts along with another clearance hoodie. Megan's newest interest that would never cross my mind to be interested in is riding a longboard. Not sure what to make of it yet. Not that i care, but i can't imagine what the neighbors think. i'm just waiting for someone to knock on the door holding Megan by the ear saying something like, "I caught her skating on my property again. I'd appreciate it if you would keep a better eye on your wife." i'd make her apologize and bring her inside telling her she couldn't ride her board for one week. Anyway, we went to pick up her longboard which just happened to be next to our favorite vegan eatery/beer joint, The Common Market. Awesome vegan soups and excellent beer selection. If we could, i would sell our house and move next door. Day 3. Started with a workout, now contemplating a pool day or going out on the lake. Tough decisions. Tonight we will be attending our first Charlotte Roller Derby bout to watch our good friend Schmidt Storm. Beautiful day out here on the porch, but time to get the day going.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

7 off days: Day 1

It is common for me working the 7 nights on/7 nights off schedule to have an unfulfilled feeling at the end of my off weeks when we don't go traveling. However, looking back it usually appears that we have done a decent amount of activity that should leave me feeling Snickers satisfied. This week i decided i will document the week day-by-day to see where i go wrong or at least serve as a reminder of the good times.

Day 1: Switching back to Days
The key to a successful first day off is to have something planned on the first night. i recommend a 4-hour nap before your planned activity. If necessary, you can forgo sleep and lead a normal day with a little sluggishness until you reach your regularly scheduled bedtime. If you get stuck inside the house with no agenda for the evening, you may just decide to sleep all day or fall asleep early at like 7 pm then wake up at like 3:30 am, screwing up your sleep for the rest of the week and jumpstarting your feeling of worthlessness.

So we got off work at 8 am this morning, went to the gym, then took a 4-ish hour nap. Woke up, started laundry, Megan went to the pool while i finished the movie "The Goodtimes Kid" and started this blog. Tonight we are going to see Aziz Ansari from Parks and Rec in Uptown Charlotte, so far so good.

Friday, March 23, 2012

a new v-card.

After spending much of my life secretly and many times openly mocking or discouraging those who claimed themselves Vegetarian or Vegan, i have reconsidered. i blame my brother who recently found his v-card and my nephew who currently writes his own blog about being vegan. Check out The Seven Year Old Vegan.

i have watched Forks Over Knives and while it does make the plant-based diet sound like a no-brainer, i'm not convinced by one side of any argument. That's my problem with most things. i refuse to believe most of what i read, therefore, i hardly read anything. However, the more thought (and research) i put into what i'm actually eating, it's practically common sense to eat more like a vegan. Most people know of the recommendations of the food pyramid, but i doubt most people actively follow it. By focusing more on eating non-meats, i feel i'm getting much closer to the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. The limitations on what you can eat does wonders for actually thinking about what you are going to eat before you put it in your mouth. One important point to remember is that being vegan doesn't mean you are automatically eating healthy. Oreos are vegan. French fries are potentially vegan. Eating these alone will not improve your health. However, while there are a few areas that garner special focus to achieve recommended nutritional daily requirements, a vegan diet is full of health benefits. i never thought it could happen to me either, but for almost a month now, i've been vegan.
We didn't start this for the animals (although that From Farm to Fridge *Warning: disturbing video* makes you wonder), we did it for our own health in an attempt to lower Megan's cholesterol that has always run high despite exercise and a seemingly, relatively, healthy diet. We shall see.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flu manchu

i made it to the Minute Clinic first thing this morning, checked in at 8:15, opened at 8:30. After covering the timeline of my symptoms, she said it sounded like the flu. She then said she wanted to rule out strep throat just to be sure since my throat was irritated. So she swabbed my throat, not holding back on the elbow grease. It came back negative. She concluded that it was most likely the flu or possibly another virus. She said she wouldn't make me do the flu test since either way the treatment would be the same and it is rougher than the strep test.
After agreeing with her, i hesitantly asked if we could do the test anyway if it was covered by the insurance. i got my flu shot and while i'm well aware it doesn't cover every flu strain, i just needed confirmation of her assessment. Satisfying my curiosity involved a rather uncomfortable swab in the nose. It wasn't just a swab near the end of the nose, it was an exploratory swab that may have actually scraped my eyeball. In the end, even with my watering eyes, the sneezing, runny nose, and overall sense of nasal violation, it was worth it. Not only for the super clean feeling in my nose, but the test confirmed it was the flu. No hard feelings to my flu shot giver, i still love her.
At the moment, the sore throat is the worst of it, just hope the fever/chills don't return by morning again.

2012 - aches and pains

i don't typically mind being sick. i enjoy going through what countless patients complain about every night in the hope that i'll develop some shred of empathy. For some reason, my instinct is to just tough it out until it goes away. i rarely think, i should go to the doctor. However, this morning after i walked out of the pharmacy after being achy and having chills all night, the cold air made me start shaking, more than just a shiver. When i got into my car, it was like i was having a seizure. It was the most unnatural response to a minor stimuli that i've ever experienced, but i had no control to stop it until the car heated up. i still didn't think to go the Urgent Care across the parking lot. Instead, i came home, threw on a sweatshirt over my work shirt and took my temperature. The thermometer gave a shout out to Q101 (formerly 101.1 on your Chicagoland radio dial) . Fortunately, i found coverage for work the next night. i decided to go to bed right away and ended up burning alive, so i stripped down to normal sleepwear and then woke up in a pool of sweat many hours later but feeling much better. After feeling bad for having someone work when i felt better, i stayed up for awhile and for the first time in my life watched part of a Nascar race. Proof i was sick? Some claimed "delirious." i attempted to sleep but couldn't. The whole night, the achy feelings crept back and my throat began hurting worse and worse. So, i guess i'll go to the Minute Clinic when they open, since it's free with our insurance anyway. Other reasons influencing my decision include:
1. We are going to be on a plane soon and i don't want to a) get every one on there sick b) i don't want my head to explode on the plane c) i don't want to be sick on vacation.
2. i regret not going to the doctor immediately to get my self-diagnosed sprained ankle checked out, since it is still tender and i have to try snowboarding soon.
3. It's good to see what the whole doctor trip thing is all about.
4. If it can be avoided, i'd rather not bring more germs to my pharmacy and patients.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Checking out the Check Ins

It gets kind of old and some considerate it rude pulling out my phone every time i go somewhere and checking in. It might not be so bad, but i am torn between my old loyalty to Yelp and my newer fondness of Foursquare. So most times i'll do both extending my face-in-phone time.
Why check in? The greatest incentive for me to check in is obviously to get something in return. Essentially that is why i have decided to join the Foursquare masses. i still check in via Yelp, but in my significantly shorter relationship with Foursquare, it has already given me more.

Just for checking in on Foursquare, Hooters gave me 10 free wings. That's pretty impressive. Then on future visits, i get free fries. A deal that actually got me to go there in the first place and actually puts them into the realm of consideration for future meals. Another place gave me 20% off my entree. If someone is going to follow me around stalking my check ins, i at least want to get something in return. One other time, i bought a few shirts at Express then got to the car and realized there was a Foursquare discount for checking in, so i went back inside and they gave me the discount which was like $30 back.

Another reason to check-in is as a competition of sorts to have the most points or become the mayor/duke of a business. Decent reason, but not really that important unless you get something for your effort. Annoyingly, people can cheat and check in without actually being places, so the competition loses its appeal.

The partnership between American Express and Foursquare gives another incentive to utilize Foursquare checking in when they have promotions and give you money back for eating local or whatnot. Overall, Foursquare does have the best check in incentives, however Yelp does occasionally have something to offer.

If you like saving money and have a smartphone it just makes sense to at least check out the check in offers available nearby, it could just save you a couple bucks for doing nothing at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the Benji Hughes Experience

"i went with my wife to see Benji Hughes, it was the strangest show i ever saw..."

i first heard about Benji Hughes when we went to see a random Asheville band playing at the Evening Muse one night called Now You See Them (very enjoyable show). They played a Hughes cover and asked the crowd who was familiar with the artist. Many in the crowd applauded, including me, thinking it was another guy's name who i had just started listening to at the time. Despite my confusion, i went home, researched and listened to this Benji Hughes guy from Charlotte. Several of his songs made it into my rotation. Based on his referencing from another band and my enjoyment of his songs, i assumed his show would be a big draw in the area and worried about him playing at a small venue such as the Evening Muse. Maybe it was simply the fact that it was a show on Valentine's Day and seeing Benji Hughes does not resonate as a romantic evening with many? Maybe the Charlotte music scene is even more lacking than i imagined? Admittedly, i don't get out to very many shows, but i was convinced there were more fans out there. With less than 20 people in attendance the show started. The opener was Elroy, a guy with a mixer and a laptop. While i actually did enjoy the trance-like music he was putting out, not the most enjoyable type of performer to see live. It looked as if he just pushed play on a song and was on stage playing on Facebook. Next time you're eating mushrooms or in a planetarium, invite this guy to play.
After a short intermission, Benji Hughes took the stage and the show got started...sort of. He gave a brief speech explaining his show should not be YouTubed and that he was just going to play and basically telling the audience not to expect an ordinary show. It definitely wasn't ordinary. He had Elroy stay up on stage and throw out some sounds. It was more of a jam session/comedy show than an actual musical performance. While some might be annoyed at this variation of a live performance, i sort of enjoyed it. i liked watching the Benji Hughes creative process in action as he took just a few spacey notes and was crafting a song right there on stage. If you had just wandered in and heard this guy sputtering up on stage, you might not be impressed, until he starts to sing. The voice that comes out of this bearded cross between hippie and redneck is amazing. The only downside to his form-free performance was that when he decided to play some of his songs, he couldn't really remember how to play some of them. Not preparing for a show or having a set list in mind when you take the stage is one thing, but you should be able to get through your own songs. Loved hearing "All You've Got To Do Is Fall In Love." Unfortunately, my perfect wife (sober driver and all-around good sport for even coming to the show with me on Valentine's Day) had a 6 AM flight and needed to finish packing so i didn't get to see how the show concluded or hear a few songs i was looking forward to, but i'm convinced Benji Hughes is a musical genius.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Going Green

i finish a bottle of water on the way home from work every day as i eat my morning snack (usually almonds). The next day, i take yesterday's bottle and throw it on the floor of the passenger's side of the car so i can use the cup holder again. Day after day, every other week that i work, i add my daily bottle with an occasional extra for whatever reason.
At first, it was just a small mess, but it kept growing. Apparently, it's been awhile since i've had a passenger in my car because today i removed 54 water bottles and 4 empty almond containers.

Seeing these bottles pile up made me realize how much waste i was producing. As a result, this week i switched to a reusable water bottle. This one to be exact.

i've already saved the lives of 7 bottles.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Since returning to soccer this winter, after every game i have had some sort of injury or ailment. i don't know why i can't stay on my feet, but the turf just tears up my knees every time they meet. Most recently, i sprained my ankle pretty badly with some pretty good swelling and throbbing a day later. i'm pretty sure i heard a pop as i stepped wrong. If our games were recorded, it would have been one of those gross replays where the player's foot lands awkwardly and you just grimace knowing it results in an injury. Unfortunately it seemed like a good idea to go through with our plans to go to a few stores today. The longer we were out and about the more i realized how much my ankle hurt. It beats a broken leg, but this sucks. i should have just stuck with Fifa for the Xbox.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pinterest: Internet for chicks

Pinterest tricked me. In my quest to find a good beer app a while back, i somehow came across Pinterest. In case you don't know, it definitely has very little to do with pints of beer. In their own words; Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. After that description, it shouldn't have surprised me to learn i am one of the few dudes that are registered on that site. Every few days, i get an email that says, "*insert any girl's name* is now following you on Pinterest." If you think for a second it might not be a chick site, check out the ballerina pics in the "Sports" section.

To be fair, it's not really a bad site. i can usually find something mildly humorous (see pic to the right), interesting things for the home (my next shower), and an assortment of amusing things (cooking, photography, organizing) that satisfy my inner chick. Just be warned, it is indeed the Internet equivalent of Lifetime television.