Thank You’s of 2008

Okay, I know I wrote on the last entry that it was the last of 2008 but it’s my blog and I can change my mind, ahem, thank you!

Here are some recent “taawd thank you’s”, a new weekly post I’ve been thinking up.

Thank you to the drive-thru clerk at McDonald’s on E. 30th & Carnegie who took the orders from three cars in the other lane instead of taking mine. By the way, my window was down the entire time. It ain’t warm in Cleveland today.

Thank you to the clerk inside who calmed me down, took my order, gave me food and a free coupon for a McDonald’s breakfast value meal.

Thank you to the two women at Wal-Mart Customer Service who waited on about 10 people before me, agonizing over each of their requests, only to spend 10 seconds with me and sending me on my way. That 45 minute wait during all of the Christmas crowd rush was appreciated.

Thank you to the man who was driving the Lexus on Columbus Avenue yesterday. As I mentioned in a previous post, I understand you drive an expensive car but that doesn’t give you the right to stop your car at certain points on your drive with people behind you in order to point out tourist {sic} attractions to your passengers. I love my moderately priced car and don’t want to have body work done to it because you slam on your brakes on a whim.

Thank you to Apple for inventing the iPod Touch. Of course, now that I have one and it dominates so much of the time, I feel the need to upgrade, ditch Sprint and my Samsung Instinct to go to AT&T for the iPhone.

Thanks to the construction workers, Cleveland Power, Cleveland Water and all the rest of you (you know who you are) for working so diligently outside of my window. Construct, repair and demolish the heck out of whatever but just take it easy on backing up. That signal is the only thing that normally wakes me out of my daytime slumber.

Thanks to facebook for creating the world’s most connected social network. They make it easy for you to become absolutely addicted. I know people who’d never get on the computer and they can’t spend a day without logging on. Welcome to the dark side!

Thanks to you for getting me addicted to Starbucks’ Chai Tea Latte. I crave them fortnightly or anytime I see that green and white logo on the side of the street or building.

Thank you to someone who pointed out to me that Darth Vader twitters. That is until Lucasfilm Ltd finds it and makes the person take it down. I’ll thank you to read it, it’s hilarious.

Thank you to all of my blogging friends and anyone who reads my blog, your comments and posts make life a little more fun.

Thank you to 2008 for all it was. I hope I can pay the same compliment to 2009 next December 31st.

Again, Happy 2009!

The Final Post… of 2008

Did I scare you? Did you actually think I was going to stop blogging. I’ll admit the subject matter recently has been either too scarce or too personal to post on this spot on the web. So you haven’t seen a lot of entries. 2009, my friend, will be different.

My most last few posts have been a little sappy but hey, it’s the holidays and I’m allowed to do whatever I want. It’s like the teacher in high school who will always issue you a hall pass.

So onward and upward to 2009.

First, a look back at 2008, I fully embraced the life of a downtown dweller. It will be hard to leave someday. 35 (and a few months of being 36) wasn’t a bad age. I really focused on working out. I lost some weight and bulked up. The past few months I haven’t been so good with the fitness plan but hey, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are all about, right? I got into bicycling. There’s a reason they call it the Flats of Cleveland. You have to get up a hill to go anywhere else.

I have to think this sounds like one of those letters that my sister sends out updating everyone about the past year.

I could go on for hours but I’m not gonna.

So what’s ahead in 2009? My friend is getting married down in South Texas in February. I’m part of the wedding so I guess that means I’ll be booking a flight in February. I’m sure it will be a drag to go down to South Texas to weather that’s around 60 or 70 and sunny instead of the cold and snows of Cleveland. I also hope I get a chance to see Europe (especially Switzerland) next year around this time.

I do wish I had a crystal ball to see all of the rest of the year. Wouldn’t it be great if they had movie trailers that showed you snippets of your life from the coming year?

Well, since they don’t I’ll (we’ll) just have to wait and see. I’m sure you know the place to come if you’re looking for details (both good and bad) about me. It’s right here (if you didn’t figure that one out for yourself — there’s no charge by the way)

Happy 2009!

On More Selling Out…

Yep, I love Target, I admitted that…

I’ve sold out and joined the cult of Starbucks lovers.

My iPod touch rules my life. I can’t live without it now. I have now have two “touch” devices. When I don’t have WiFi, I can get online via Sprint.

Now comes the latest “selling out”… I have The North Face apparel. A hat, gloves and a coat. Yep, I’m a walking billboard. If you aren’t familiar with the “Face”, I’ve also included a link on my blog, but how couldn’t you be?

So, this is going to be a short post. I just wanted to admit my giving into peer pressure in hopes of being more like the cool kids.

Happy Christmas

First, Happy Christmas!

This is such a great time of the year. People smile more at the store, we are all a little happier, friendlier and tolerant of each other. For that, I am thankful.

There are exceptions to that Christmas cheer. I told someone last night people often forget the tru meaning of Christmas. You know what it is, I don’t need to tell you. It’s a season of giving, happiness, joy and lastly, receiving. It’s not a season of hate, anger, frustration or vindictiveness.

Here’s the challenge this Christmas. Forget what you don’t have and cherish what you do. Throw away the feelings of the past and embrace what’s here in the present. Every day can’t be Christmas. It comes once a year. That’s what makes it so special.

I hate that there’s such a rush to get people things. Some of the best things aren’t bought with money but given with love. My mother is giving me a quilt my great-grandmother made. Is there any price for that? It’s a selfless act my mother is doing for me. Remember the day isn’t made up of expensive clothes, jewelry, toys, gadgets and electronics. It’s all about family, friends and loved ones otherwise not mentioned in the first two descriptions.

Celebrate the holiday in your way. Forget what it’s become, for me, some of the best memories of past Christmases are what bring happiness to each year. It’s listening to Christmas songs that made your holidays. For me, it’s Phil Spector’s Christmas, Motown, Carpenters, Gene Autry, Brenda Lee, Bobby Helms and yes, even Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas”.

I should, of course, be loading up my car with presents to make the trek down to Wayne County to see my family but I just wanted to say a couple of things before I got these next two days officially started.

Thanks for reading my blog. I’m honored by the fact that anyone reads my blog to get taawd’s thoughts or cares what’s going on in my life. It’s the only one I have and I’m thankful for all of the family, friends and loved ones I have. Each one of you holds your own special place in my life and I’m happy you are part of my being.

Now go and enjoy Christmas. Enjoy the fellowship it brings, enjoy the happiness it delivers, embrace the love and joy that’s unequaled the rest of the year.

Love. Peace. Joy.
& always, Happy Christmas,

I’ll Have A Bluetooth Christmas…

I’m cool, I’ll admit it because I wear a bluetooth in public. Yep, you want to be cool just like me.

Actually, I’ll admit it, I’m not cool, because I wear a bluetooth in public. It’s because I’m lazy and a bluetooth is convenient. I can do the wash {not pronounced WORSH} while talking to you on the phone. I can put away the laundry while talking to you on the phone. I can do all sorts of things while I have my bluetooth on.

I’m part of an elite group of people who wear their bluetooths inside of Target while I talk to my family and friends.

I don’t like doing it but I hear all of the cool kids are doing so, so I’m doing so too. Try to stop me.

Just look around the next time you’re in a store, are you the only person not with a bluetooth fired up?

Giving In…

Maybe it’s a deal where I’m getting older or maybe I’m getting smarter. I’m sure it’s NOT the latter but I’m just starting to give in to different things.

There are words that bother me. If Narm can love pie charts, I can love words. I don’t like “cancelled” spelled “canceled”. “Cancelled” just looks right but it’s the preferred British way of spelling the word. The preferred American word is “canceled”. Yes, I know it doesn’t look right. I have other words that I like one way even though they may be preferred another way.

Enough about words, how about emotions. I’ve always been quick to be passionate with my response to things, even if it’s not the correct passionate response. I’m learning you can’t just fly off the handle. I guess I thought people were more forgiving and not so sensitive. You have to be careful in e-mails, you have to be careful talking to people. It seems like everyone is so defensive about things. Isn’t this how wars get started?

I’d rather joke, smile and have fun than be poisonous with my words or actions. What brings more to the table and makes everyone feel better? I think you understand that’s a rhetorical question.

I know we all have our own insecurities. I work in television and come in contact (thankfully) with all sorts of people. What I’ve found over and over is that we are all human. Our little minds process things in different ways all in the line of making sure “number one” feels comfortable, safe and maybe even a little better than the next guy.

This is such a special time of the year. We all seem to forget some of those things and let down some of the walls we build up and defend the rest of the year. It’s also a very stressful time. Everyone is running to get things done. It’s a deadline, Christmas is coming and the countdown clock ticks every second, minute, hour and day closer to the holiday. Some people handle deadlines better.

My challenge to you is to give into the Christmas (holiday) spirit and smile instead of looking the other way. Say hello instead of saying nothing. Give instead of receive. Love instead of hate. You could make a difference in another person’s life without even knowing it.

What we do have the ability to do as humans is have an effect on others. Why not make it a good one instead of a bad one. You never know when someone out there will smile at you when you’re having a dirty and rotten day.

Maybe if we all give in a little more, this little place in the universe might just function and spin a little smoother,

(p.s., sometimes I have to admit, I don’t know where my blog posts will end. I didn’t plan for this one to go this direction. Maybe it will brighten up someone’s day or change their way of doing things and make them see things in a different way. If that’s the effect, it was worth my time this afternoon when I should have otherwise been sleeping. Happy Christmas! That’s another post though.)

I’m Part Of The Tribe

Or at least, I’m part of their promotional materials. This was at the beginning of the season on Media Day. I wasn’t aware I was going to be in some pamphlet about Progressive Field.

Thanks to Curtis Danburg from the Indians for giving me a copy.

How fun is this?

Sunday Morning Frustration

My morning got off to a little bit of a frustrating start because it’s hard to “Sprint Ahead” when you don’t have any network service.

Apparently here in the Cleveland area, it’s been a problem to connect to someone and keep connected. I’ve called two people already this morning and our conversations are cut short by a disconnect. It’s not just my phone because the two other people I’m calling also have Sprint. My mother doesn’t have any problem connecting but she lives south of Cleveland and she’s dialing out like she has the Verizon network of 8 billion people behind her. Me, on the other hand, I have Sprint network of zilch. (I don’t know if I’ve ever used that word in a post before.)

While I’m on the topic of phones, I’d like to talk about my dying satisfaction with the Samsung Instinct. Sprint has been promising upgrades to the phone but they don’t roll out when they’re promised. They also have done nothing but make my phone more buggy. I’m not happy with the fact my phone locks up more (after the alleged updates) than when I first pulled it out of the box. If I’m on a three way call and someone text messages me, forget it. I’m wading through screen after screen of different notifications just to get back to my information about the current call.

Samsung and Sprint still have to do something about the virtual keyboard. So many people have a problem with it and how it’s arranged. I can’t type a text message without bobbling a letter and resulting in a misspelled word to save my rear.

Instead of recommending the phone to people, I’m telling them to get an iPhone if that’s really what they want. I’m playing with my iPod Touch more and more and finding out that Apple really gets it. They seem to design products that people enjoy. I’m thinking about pitching a real complaint to Sprint and maybe even trying to get off their network. I’ve recently been nothing but unhappy with the phone they marketed and sold to me. The service, with the exception of this morning is acceptable.

Hope this problem with the service is temporary. I also wish there was a place on the Internet that they’d post information about outages so everyone could go to that page to find out what was wrong and when the problem would be fixed.

For now, I’m sitting and using the Internet for my only form of connection to the outside world. I’m just jogging instead of “Sprinting” ahead.

Missing Christmas Movies

I live in Cleveland, the place where “A Christmas Story” was filmed back in the 1980’s. The house has become very famous in Northern Ohio. It’s situated in the Tremont neighborhood.

The play is at the Cleveland Play House right now. We do a lot of stories about the play at my station because’s we’re a sponsor.

Here’s the rub, I’ve never seen the film. I know it’s on TNT every Christmas over and over again but for some reason I’ve never been drawn to it. I’ve never seen “Miracle On 34th Street” either.

I don’t know what it is about movies but I don’t tend to see a lot of them. What are my holiday favorites? I like “Elf”, “Love Actually” and the “The Family Stone”. They are the Christmas classics that I like.

Of course, I’ve seen all of the Rankin & Bass TV Christmas shows a billion times. Who doesn’t love “A Year Without A Santa Claus” or “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”. There’s also “Charlie Brown Christmas”. All are great shows that I hope my kids (if there are “my kids”) will enjoy someday too.

So if you see me and make “A Christmas Story” reference and I don’t get it, you’ll know why. Maybe I ought to spend some time this holiday watching it.

Happy Christmas,

Christmas Cutout Cookies

From scratch and not from the Pillsbury tube!

Things I learned while making them:

  • Flour goes everywhere
  • Vanilla Extract does not taste like it smells
  • Lemon Extract does not taste like it smells

How then does both of them taste like they do when mixed with other things? Where’s Bill Nye the Science Guy when you really need him?

Anyone want the recipe?