Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Long (and tiring) Weekend

It was a great weekend. I'm exhausted.

Friday - Worked. Went with the new guys (Mark and Wes) to a bar near our office. I'd been there before. It's a dive but never have I had an experience like this. As we were walking into the establishment some woman asked if any of us were single because she's ready to mingle. We said no and headed inside hoping this would be the end of the interaction with her but it turns out that she's the bartender. The only guy in there was a creepy dude in a cowboy hat. And then a gaggle of girls sauntered in. The bartender told that we were in luck b/c she had strippers there tonite and pointed to the girls - who fit the stripper mold in dress only and seemingly walked the line between hookers and dancers with a large degree of care. We declined and she said, "Why not it's only p****?" Then the bartender mentioned how drunk she was. Wes started a tab with his credit card. The dude in the cowboy hat went and started rubbing the girls' backs. (I told you he was creepy.) The bartender asked again if we wanted lap dances stating again that it's only pussy. She also mentioned that they have "boobs" and "ass." Prince started blaring from the jukebox. Wes ordered us another round. Then asked for the tab. The bartender couldn't find his card which was weird because we seemed to be the only folks paying for drinks. It turns out that it had fallen out of the cash register drawer and into the cash register. It was mildly amusing watching her struggle to put the drawer back in. We cashed out and Wes and I went to meet Steve (another coworker) at a local horsetrack.

At the track, I lost less than $20. I didn't win at all. I typically bet the exacta (meaning I need to pick first and second place.) Worse odds, better pay-off. It was a good time and we got to try potato-crusted hoakie - which the waitress claimed was a fish. It wasn't delicious or even appetizing but it became the joke of the night and probably the month.

Saturday - Went to my favorite store in the world, Marc's to pick up some flowers for our house. It was pretty crowded everyone had the same idea I did apparently. I went inside for various sundries and got into a checkout line. The line was pretty long but the dude working the register was amazing. He was like a flair bartender except he intoxicated people not with alcohol but rather his speedy technique of handling and bagging the wares. Toothpaste went end-over-end into the bag. My strawberries were bagged delicately but with the speed of Mercury. And in series of quick motions. the parcel was double-bagged and landed on the counter. One of the other cashiers called him "Flash." His peach-fuzzed mouth broke into a wide smile at the mention of the nickname that he both earned and loved. It was incredible.

I brought my purchases home and began to work on getting an enormous stump out of our front yard - manually. The thing is at least 2 feet in diameter. I hacked at it for several hours not accomplishing much except to make it look like Mordor from the Lord of the Rings.

Then Lisa and Mike arrived with the boys. Mariella came over and we grilled up some turkey burgers and played some Wii, which Henry is scary good at.

On Sunday, Mariella and I went to our friend Christy's 30th birfday party at some Irish pub and watched the Cavs beat Detroit. (Eat it, D-town!)

Then Monday, was Memorial Day and we went and cooked out over at Grandma's. It was weird because typically we'd go over in the morning with mom for the parade. Dad would've stayed at home working on the flower beds and tomatoes. He would show up just in time for Grandpa to start grilling. I started as Grandpa's grill helper and eventually assumed the role of chef. He'd always comment on what a good cook I was and would tell everyone how well "Marker" had made the burgers. So it was completely weird without Dad and Grandpa.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Arm floods

That's as long as my sleeves are. I've got long arms but this shirt doesn't even come close to fitting right. It said the sleeve length was 34 on the package.

I roll up the sleeves to hide it and look more industrious.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy Birfday, Joan!

We went to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate Joanie Baloney's bday.

And here are some of the pics that come up when you google "Joan Birthday."

Have a backpack this cool, you shall not.

Why didn't I think of this?


On Sunday, Mariella completed her first (and she claims last) marathon. Luckily, it wasn't the thoroughly confusing 10K. She did it in about 5 hours and 41 minutes. I'm very proud of her. There are somedays that I don't drive 26.2 miles.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Every power couple needs a good moniker for the tabloids.
So we've now got ours and the internet domain to match. Visit www.markiella.com for all the wedding updates fit to print.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weekend Recap

I'm having some sinus issues.

I woke up at 5 am on Friday with a terrible sore throat and throbbing earache. I didn't think I was going to work. I took some theraflu and went back to bed. I woke up at 7 feeling pretty good, so I went to work. It was pretty hectic at work. A bunch of people were out.

We were going to go down to Shelby to see Shane (Mariella had never met him.) But I didn't want to get all the kids sick. So we tabled it until Saturday.

I woke up early on Saturday to fertilize the lawn. (We cancelled our chemlawn contract.) I had bought a seed spreader the day before and I needed to get the tags off. So I broke out the pocket knife and quickly managed to slice my left ring finger open. I was bleeding pretty bad but didn't need stitches. Unfortunately the first bandages I could find were princess ones - thanks, Maya. (I later found a suitably rugged alternative)

I then went to pick up Mariella and Chloe (the dog). We dropped Chloe off at Mariella's parents' house. And found out that her dad had a literal run-in with a steel beam and had six staples on top of his head to close the wound (I noticed first, b/c I'm taller.)

Then we headed to Shelby and hung out all day. Went to Galion for a birthday party for Micah and Mallory (Shane's brother and sister - they're twins!) As usual it's always cool to hang out with my friends, I just wish circumstances weren't what they are.

On Sunday, Mariella and I went on a 6-mile run/bike ride (she ran, I rode. What?! She's training for her marathon) on the towpath. It was beautiful weather and a nice ride. We even saw a blue heron.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Skull and crossphones

We got awesome new phones at work. They're the same ones they have on 24. They do all kinds of cool things. But I managed to improve it. Under the receiver there's a couple of lights that come on if you have a call. And now my phone is bad ass:

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Sasha Smash!

Went to the Cavs game Sunday with Mariella, Mary and Vince.

Saw the best Cavaliers play I've ever seen compliments of Sasha Pavlovic.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spider-man 3

Eh, it was okay.

As a comic book fan it was awesome to see Venom on the big screen. But he was barely in it. And who decided Topher Grace would make a good villain? And who told James Franco that amnesia made you retarded? And what's with all the stupid shots? e.g., Spidey poses in front of the American Flag for no reason before a big action sequence.

Mariella said Harry Osborn is way hotter than Peter Parker. I think Gwen Stacey is way hotter than Mary Jane Watson.

But despite all that it was still pretty good.

Monday, May 07, 2007

How much?!

I paid the most I have ever paid for gas this morning. $3.19 per gallon.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Our Year?!

I'm jinxing it by posting this but as a Clevelander, how can you not be excited?
The Cavaliers are kicking ass in the playoffs.
The Indians are in first place and finding ways to win games they shouldn't.
The Browns are calling last Saturday The Draft.
Could all of our sports teams collide in a giant explosion of success?

Of course not. This is Cleveland. Our motto's "There's always next year."

But what if...

It's a horse, people

Listening to the radio yesterday morning, I heard some newsbite about the upcoming Kentucky Derby and someone mentioned the Barbaro Memorial Fund. Donations are encouraged to help aid the research of laminitis, the hoof disease that plagued Barbaro.
I can get behind any charity that helps ease suffering. Even more so if it's for humans. But having had pets I can understand the attachment to animals. But aren't racehorses typically owned by the rich? You don't hear too much about people choosing between feeding their horse and their family, do you? So shouldn't that research money come from those deep pockets rather than approaching average joes who simply think horses are pretty?
Frankly, I'd rather see donations go to the Red Cross or Cancer Research. Than to help a race horse. Wouldn't that disease have claimed them in the wild anyways?

Bad news

Today's 8 months to the day that Dad passed away. And yesterday I got a chilling phone call. My best friend Shane's father passed away.
Apparently, he was complaining of a headache, went to bed and didn't wake up. Sucks is an understatement. I think he was in his early 50s.
Shane lives out in Arizona, so he's coming in today. I called him yesterday and he said it still seems unreal. He was worried about his mom. Which is pretty close to what I went through in September.
I got to know Shane's dad while at OU. Larry would come down and party with us. Actually the whole family would come down and party with us. He called me "Sharky" (just like everyone else at college) and actually it eventually become shark-I. If your name ended with a long e, he replaced it with a long I. So his wife Judy became Jude-I. So we took to calling him Lare-I.
Larry was always very welcoming to everyone. I always really liked going down to Shelby to visit the Wolfersbergers. CJ and I went down for Shane's cousin Austin's wedding. And Larry invented one of our all-time favorite phrases "Chicken Whammy Jammies" CJ and I were standing around and Larry asked if we had tried the chicken whammy jammies. We hadn't. So Larry made a big production out of it. He got one off the tray (I think they were simply chicken fingers), and he said "watch this, watch my mouth." He put the whole thing in his mouth enjoying it heartily. He kept saying how delicious they were. Finally, convincing us to try them. They weren't as delicious as he made them out to be.
When I talked to Shane, I told him that there was never any doubt that his dad loved his family. And that's more than true. Larry relished in managing the many bands of Micah (shane's youngest brother) including IZENET KOLDOUT, Buzzbucket and I'm sure there's one I'm forgetting. Larry even printed out T-shirts for us once.
You can definitely see Larry in all his children. Shane shares his father's mannerisms and ability to get excited about little things like breakfast. Larry would always make Camper's Quiche and some "steaming java." Shane will make up stupid little songs about random crap, which apparently he got from his Dad.
It's scary that it can all be over so suddenly. Once again another unfortunate reminder to make the most of the time that you're given.
We'll miss you, Larry.