The First Day of the Rest of My Life

Monday, April 30, 2007

I thought that, after Saturday, I was really over it. I thought I could move on. On the way into work this morning, I might have begun the next phase.

Then , at 8:32 a.m., Michelle Branch came on the radio.

Back when we were dating, I remember softly singing "Everywhere" to her in my room one night. A few weeks later, we broke up. A few weeks after that, we both attended a retreat, during which one of the speakers used that song for her talk. I remember seeing her head drop, as I sarcastically pumped my fist.

So I guess I'm not over it. If this morning served as an example, the following are off limits to me: Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts movies, puppies, Led Zepplin, PT Cruisers, mimosas, Austin and USAA.

Leaves me with plenty of options, no?

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

I'm participating in this year's American Cancer Society Relay For Life. Last year, I walked for Fr. Charlie. This year, I'm walking for someone a bit closer.

If you'd like to donate to the fight against cancer, please visit my donation page. Thanks for your support.

(EDIT: link to my donation page corrected)
(EDIT PART 2: NOW the link is corrected)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

One more thing...

don't ask me how I know, but today is the day of my ex's wedding. I spent most of the day on my couch, recovering from last night's events, which I may or may not cover here.

Like a famous man once said, "It is finished." I just want to be finished with it myself.

Time to explain some things from this post...

The concert that I went to was pretty fun. Missed Naughty By Nature due to G's stomach being illin', but the three acts we saw were okay. We caught Amos Lee, Mat Kearney, and the Roots. (Actually, the two couples I was with decided to leave a bit early, I saw most of the Roots' set on my own.) I may have to go get an Amos Lee record after what I heard. I could do without the incessant "rapping" from Mat, though...

One thing that struck me was the unofficial uniform I saw the Vandy students wear. All the girls were in spring dresses, the guys in polos and khakis. I almost felt like I was walking through an Abercrombie catalog; there was even a token guy with his shirt off.

One of the hardest things I'll ever have to do is make conversation with a friend's significant other. Even harder is for me to actually appear interested.

At the concert, I was listening to the indie music and bemoaning my luck with women up to that point, when a fairly attractive brunette walked the blanket the five people in our group were sitting on. I made eye contact with her, gave her a semi-smile, and she smiled back. "Holy crap!" I thought, feeling that my luck was about to turn around. She then proceeded to walk towards me and hand me a promotional flyer for some event being sponsored by Scion. Somehow, I figured it was too good to be true.

The day after saw G become engaged. He asked the next morning when they were in bed, I only heard shouting from her man while I was in the guest room. Apparently, his friend was knocking on the bedroom door saying that they needed to get back to Memphis while it was going on. I just never knew proposals were filled with such rage.

After G's newly-minted fiancee and his friends left, G and I went to a local park to toss around a frisbee, see the Parthenon, and talk about stuff. I jokingly gave her my blessing during our heart-to-heart, which she (seemingly jokingly) was happy to receive. I also came to a bit of a realization, that I've had an overly simplistic view of relationships up to this point. Instead of fighting with my ex, I'd just simply avoid any sort of uncomfortableness or conflict. Could be a reason we were on and off so often.

So, what did this trip teach me?

  1. Happiness is not found at the bottom of a glass or bottle.
  2. Maybe my folks were right about me coming here. (You may remember I ended up going to Portland back in '05 when my original plan to roadtrip it to Nashville was stopped by them after, among other things, they said I shouldn't make such a trip without some sort of "commitment.")
  3. I either need to start reading, or stop hanging around PhDs.
  4. There are a lot more hipsters in Nashville than I would have thought.
  5. Don't judge a person until you've listened to their iPod. (Unless they have Bjork...)

And now I begin saving money for my next trip. My folks came back from Italy on Tuesday night, maybe I'll try that. Maybe go see some friends of mine in Chicago, maybe somewhere totally different. Only time (and my reward points) will tell...

Monday, April 23, 2007

And I'm home, finally...

A blow-by-blow report of my trip to come. For now, I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


A quick recap, Michael Davies-style...

FOR: The Roots, Amos Lee, solo breakfasts, walks, not waiting in line, getting a ride from the airport, playoff beards

AGAINST: Being a third/fifth wheel, the Vanderbilt Uniform, food sickness, forced conversation, leaving concerts early, Scion promo girls, worrying about the same shit time and time again

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I'd like to think that there were other external factors that contributed to lack of enjoyment from last night, that bad muic from the jukebox or irate hockey fans caused the night to not go as well as I would have liked. But you know what they say, when you point a finger, you have three pointing back at you.

Things started on an up note. G and I met 3 people at a nearby bar, two of whom I met the other night at dinner. They were nice, not really pretentious, just good people who made decent conversation. Then the Memphis contingent showed up, consisting of G's man and a married couple who are friends of his. I "inadvertently" turned my head away when he came to the table; I'm still not sure why. (Though I could hazard a couple of guesses...) After a few minutes, Shy Greg decided to show up, owing to a bit of intimidation from sitting with a table full of Ph.Ds. They were talking about "high" subjects, I remember making a "Deal or No Deal" reference before returning my attention to my Shiner.

After an hour or so of this, I decided to try an experiment to see if I could duplicate the enjoyment from last weekend. I either used the wrong drink or just didn't see any drunk girls worth chatting up, because it didn't happen. My saving grace was when the darts showed up, at least I had SOMETHING to take my mind off the bad night. (It also helped that, even after about three years or so of not playing, I can still throw a mean game of Cricket.)

Towards the end, G asked repeatedly if I was okay. I tried my best to say that I was, but I guess my acting skills just aren't up to snuff for that kind of thing. The three of us returned to G's place for a nightcap (amaretto sour for G's man, tap water for me).

A new day brings new hope that I can turn this around. Or, at the very least, a chance to see some good hip-hop. Wish me luck...


1 Shiner Bock + 3 Gin and Tonics + 2 victories in darts + 2 couples = one forgettable night.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Okay, looks like the coast is clear now. The conversation between G and her man had little to nothing with me, but about commitment between them. At least that's cleared up, just in time for me to set up shop here until I leave on Sunday. (And yes, he's staying here as well. At least my room is five steps away from her room, alleviating any possible awkwardness....)

Some random bullets from today:

- I can now say I've seen the Grand Ole Opry. Didn't go in, but I saw it. The Gaylord Opryland Hotel next door is really nice and big, only it costs $12 a day to park there. My suggestion: park at the nearby Opry Mills outlet mall (lot 6B) for free and take the walkway to the hotel.

- I've discovered a local brew called Yazoo over the last couple of days. I like their Pale Ale and Hefeweisen; their Dos Perros? Not so much...

Apparently, it's time to go.More later...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


You know, I used to think I had good timing. Now, not so much.

G's got herself a man who lives out of town. For a couple of weeks leading up to my visit, things were looking like they were on the verge of breaking up. But, thanks to some renewed efforts on his part, they're still together. She's happy, which makes me feel good. Unfortunately, I'm starting to feel like the proverbial monkey wrench.

They were supposed to have a "phone date" at around 8 or 9 this evening. She ended up missing it due to dinner with me and two friends of hers. She left our table for what seemed like thirty minutes while talking with him on her cell in another part of the restaurant. (I was preoccupied with one of my tablemate's attempt to flirt with our cute waitress, so at least the time went by quickly.)

When it turned out that V wasn't going to be coming along on this trip like originally planned, all sorts of awkwardness came into play. Instead of me staying with G, she booked me a room at the Best Western for two nights. Tomorrow night, her man is coming into town. Only then will I be actually hanging my hat here.

I'm not sure where all of this drama is coming from; I didn't come here to break anyone up. I just wanted to hang out with my friend before she left Music City, and see the Roots and Naughty by Nature. Now I get to deal with awkwardness for the next few days.


My friend left a book she needed for work in her car, so I decided to give myself a campus tour. This is a beautiful campus, the cool spring air and clear skies only help to add to it. Rolling hills, plenty of trees makes this place seem a lot more intimate than other schools I've been to in the past. (Then again, the small number of students helps to add to that feeling as well.)

One observation: is it just me, or is every school's engineering building the ugliest building on campus?

Thinking about hitting the Country Music Hall of Fame later; I've heard there's a Ray Charles exhibit there that looks interesting.

Anyone else out there have any suggestions for things I just HAVE to do before I leave?



Now I can say I've been to the South. Got in a few hours ago. G picked me up, showed me around town (a little), took me for some drinks, and dropped me off. I actually have use of her car during the day, so I'll be getting around real easy. (so to speak...)

This should be fun...

Monday, April 16, 2007

This is my 501st post. Totally snuck up on me.

In lieu of actually describing what happened to me over the weekend, I'll use some keywords and phrases:

- drive to Austin
- flowers, a card and a Suze Orman book for my friend Laura's 29th birthday
- sushi
- a trip downtown
- a pitcher of mojitos
- a trip to the Library for old times' sake
- me putting $2 down a young lady's pants
- a tequila shot, sans lime
- saying, "I can rub two sticks together!" when asked by another young lady if I had a lighter
- hanging out with said woman, her cousin, and a tall black fellow for an hour in the streets and alleys of downtown Austin
- coming thisclose to seeing two people be intimate in a Mitsubishi
- overhearing my friend get into an argument with her "boyfriend" about me staying over
- being awakened at 8 the next morning by my friend in order to avoid a confrontation with her "boyfriend" (who happens to have a key to her place)
- groggily driving to her brother's house
- sleeping on another couch
- watching "Office Space"
- a trip to a small town for some great barbecue
- a trip down memory lane
- driving back home

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Blogging while getting my car's oil changed... will wonders never cease?

An interesting fork in the road has come up career-wise. A new division has opened up at my worksite, purely delaing with brokerage services, as opposed to my area that deals with brokerage, banking and retirement plans. The division has already come online (I interviewed with them a few weeks ago, but was passed over).

Thursday, a position was posted for our area, one that would be more of a supervisory/coaching role for new reps completing their on-the-job training. Out of curiosity, and wanting to show the powers that be that I'm a "go-getter," I put in for it. Yesterday, my boss told me that the new division would be opening up for internal candidates in June. of course, he told me this a few hours AFTER I submitted my app and resume for the other position.

The new division is very intriguing to me: different methods of working, different attitude, different responsibilities, a chance to develop my advice-giving and salesmanship. I've even hung out with a couple of the guys from that division, and they're good people. The co-workers that went there say that it's an improvement from where they were (a.k.a. where I am now).

The coaching position seems to have its perks as well: not answering a phone all day, bump up in pay, possibility for further advancement down the line, a chance to develop leadership skills. And now I'm wondering which road to take. My boss told me that if the coaching position doesn't happen, he'd be more than happy to recommend me for the new division (which definitely wouldn't hurt).

So what do you think? Which track would you take if you were me?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Oh yeah, one more thing...

I hear that it's National Poetry Month. I don't have any personal favorite poems to share (note to self: start reading more), but in the spirit of the month, I'd like to offer up one I wrote.

Some background: the weekend before I took off to Canada last year, I was at a retreat that had the theme of "Finding Balance." The object of the weekend was to learn how to better balance work, family, school and faith responsibilities. The last activity of the weekend was for the campers to compose an acrostic poem, using the word "balance" to provide the first letter of each line. My contribution to the assignment (and to the perpetuation of bad poetry) follows.

Becoming closer to God
Awakening to what is important
Living every day to its fullest
Avoiding the rat race
No man balances himself
Coming together with others + with Him
Equilibrium is achieved

Happy National Poetry Month, everyone!

So this is Easter...

Seriously, how can it be warmer in February than it is in April? I got to my car yesterday, and found ice on my windshield wipers. I'm starting to think Al Gore is full of shit.

Lent is over, and I didn't quite go all the way with giving up fast food. I broke down last weekend with a trip to McDonald's. But, I did end up closer to 170 than 180, where I was at the beginning of all this, so that makes for a good side effect. (I did find, however, that can eat like shit just as easily without the help of fast-food joints.) As for the porn, I ended up doing without that for the entire period of Lent (save for the photos I'd see on craigslist ads).

I partied last night with my girls V and C. C turned 30 a few days ago, so her, her husband, V, V's friend and I went downtown to celebrate. Dinner at a touristy restaurant downtown was followed by drinks and dancing along the Riverwalk. The weather helped assure that the only other people at the bars we went to were people celebrating other special occasions. We ran into about three or four different bachelorette parties; thankfully, the ex was not part of any of them.

V's got herself a new friend, a guy she met online, from the Catholic date site I sorta belong to, though have since lost hope for meeting anyone there. She lives in Houston, he lives in Dallas. He was a nice enough guy, dressed well enough for where we went, kinda quiet. (Honestly though, most people are quiet compared to me sometimes.)

As for me, it was another night as the 5th wheel. I'm sorta used to it by now, better to be a 5th than a 3rd, I say. (Though, one day, I hope to pull off becoming a 9th, or even an 11th, wheel.) Maybe I should write a book on what role a 5th wheel is expected to play in social situations. Find out what the other members of the group have in common, make jokes, build rapport, watch after purses and coats, etc.

More rambling later...

Friday, April 06, 2007

One more thing...

remember the night I spent in College Station? I guess I found some memorabilia about myself and the group I ended up drinking with.

Seriously, is my shirt THAT bad?


- A friend of mine's new apartment.
- My job is going to suck over the next few weeks.
- The results of my Lenten sacrifices.
- Some new responsibilities.
- The worst portrait ever.
- Finally getting around to answering PG's questions.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


- Sunshine after what seemed like weeks of clouds and rain.
- A marathon of American Gladiators on ESPN Classic.
- Mowing my parents' lawn. (Honestly, I wasn't thrilled with the idea at first, but they needed the help, especially after my dad's minor operation earlier this week)
- A call from a friend for ice cream which turned into a fun night of dinner, dessert and Dance Dance Revolution.
- The same friend (who told me earlier that I'd make a good priest) saying that I'd make a good husband and father. (Honestly, I started tearing up a bit; I've not gotten a lot of compliments from people lately, but hearing one like that really made me feel good.)
- An invite from a work friend to go hit golf balls this morning.
- Great weather to play golf.
- Some good shots on the practice range.
- Some good Mexican food for breakfast.
- Seeing my old friend at the restaurant.
- An afternoon nap.
- Palm Sunday Mass.
- A meeting with the church's young adult group.
- Dinner afterwards, with a new member, a 20-year-old nursing student who has good taste in skirts.
- Finding out "Deal or No Deal" is holding auditions in town April 17.

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