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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

December 5, 2009

Yeah, it’s that time of year again. That glorious time of year where parents lose hair trying to find that toy their spawn has to have, retail workers feel like shooting people, and that ever looming threat of finals is upon the weary backs of over-partied college students. The wonderful season where the Jews hold Hanukkah, the Wiccans observe the Winter Solstice, or Yule, Muslims mourn on the Day of Ashura, Kwanzaa is observed, and the Christians celebrate Christmas. The Holidays. I know some people get pissed because they think calling it “The Holidays” cheapens the particular holiday they celebrate, but, when it comes right down to it, it’s exactly what this season is.

Anyway…

Snow 12-05-2009

A Mississippi Blizzard in all its primal fury.

That was taken by Alicia from our front patio. There is something about snow that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Chalk it up to most of my childhood Christmases taking place in northern states, but when I see snow I want to string up the Christmas lights and then go caroling. I also want to build a giant snow-battleship and get in a massive snowball fight, but I digress. Christmas isn’t the same thing it was to me as a child, but I still love it. I still enjoy looking at Christmas decorations, drinking Egg Nog, and watching the same movies and specials I that I have watched almost every year. This year, though, I get to do it all with my wife.

… And yes, we’ve even already got an “Our First Christmas” ornament to commemorate the occasion.

I hope the snow lasts a little while, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I’ll just take solace that some sap is going to bust their butt tomorrow when they go out and play around in it. Sadistic, I know, but down south it seems that snow brings out the stupid in people and it’s almost always funny to watch.

More snow 12-05-2009

It's all fun and games till it freezes.

Well, that’s enough from me. I think it’s about time I head to bed. If you’re out playing in the snow tomorrow, don’t be “that” person. Also, have fun.

This day is yours

November 11, 2009

I don’t usually do this. Typically, I refrain from talking about the military, because somehow it almost always evokes talk of a more political nature. However, I really feel like I should thank the veterans in life who have influenced me, starting with my father.

Mark and I are alike in a lot of ways. I get my speaking ability from him, as well as a certain charisma that makes us seem so approachable and friendly. Those of you that know me can testify to my extroverted personality. We like to show off a little to our friends and we gravitate toward the center of attention. We enjoy many of the same things when it comes to cuisine. Still, we are very different, in more ways than we are alike. There are too many differences to list, although I would say a big one would be our political views, as he is a conservative and I am fairly liberal. Another very noticeable difference is our heights, as I am almost eight inches taller than him, maybe more.

My old man has seen a lot in his lifetime. He was the fourth of six boys, and, at the time of his birth, was the smallest baby born in the state of New York. What he lacked in stature he made up for with his personality. My uncle told me about some of the pranks my father initiated… I could devote an entire blog them, not just a post. He was forced to grow up early, though, when my grandmother died. My grandfather was devastated and my father, who at the time was 16 and the oldest boy left in the house, had to help take care of his younger brothers.

He end up joining the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Although the war was nearing its end, my father still saw things that, even today, he does not freely speak about. As I am now, at the age of 25, I still have yet to witness (and I hope I never do) the horrors that he experienced when he was only 18 and 19 years old. Despite going through what destroyed so many physically, mentally, and emotionally, he came back and made a life for himself in the military. Eventually he put his charisma to work for the Air Force and recruited many new Airmen. He also found time to father me, which I am grateful for.

My father once again saw action in the Gulf War. I was old enough to remember the effect it had on the people around me. My mother was frightened but tried to put on a strong front, Selina was too young to realize what was going on, and my brother, Simon, had somehow come to the conclusion that he was already dead. I myself was scared that I’d never get to see him again. He sent us videos and pictures and we sent him supplies that he couldn’t get there. He always smiled and told us everything was okay.

Back then I thought he was the bravest man ever. While I will never doubt the bravery of any veteran, I know now that he too was afraid. Every soldier is afraid at some point or another, yet they still fight for their friends and family. They face horrors that most of us only think we know through our movies, shows, and video games. Some give everything, but all of them pay with a little piece of themselves.

I would also like to recognize my grandfather, Bill, for his service during WWII. He was a Marine and he fought in one of the bloodiest battles to take place in the Pacific: Iwo Jima. I did not get to know him very well before he passed away, but to this day I still proudly tell others of his service. He and the men he fought alongside became the shining example of the Marine fighting spirit.

I can’t forget about the Headley brothers, Matt and Austin, either. These are the guys I think of when I think Marines. They live for the Corps, serving several tours of duty in the Middle East. You can call them what you want: Jarheads, warriors, grunts, bullet sponges… I call them heroes. My friends. My brothers. I am proud to call them those things. Semper Fidelis.

Today I want to thank all the heroes, those in my life and those who fight for me without knowing me, for the sacrifices they made. Our country is far from perfect, but they fought and still fight to protect it and us. We shouldn’t limit our gratitude to just one day a year, though. We should always recognize them and, if they need it, lend them a helping hand.

So to all of my friends and family who have served, and those that still serve: Thank you…

Especially you, Dad.

Rabble rabble rabble

November 4, 2009

Not much going on here, just waiting for Thanksgiving. Once my wireless card arrives I will actually update the layout of the site.

Alicia’s family is coming down for Thanksgiving and we are cooking the dinner. This will be my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner and, while I am confidant in my ability to do it, I am going to have to modify certain dishes because of the multiple allergies in her family. No nuts, garlic, onions, eggs, and very little wheat… I may just make little side pans for the ones that can’t eat certain things. Not using garlic is going to be tough for me because I love garlic and I put it in most of the stuff I cook.

Anyway…

Right now Alicia is laying in bed, having called in sick from work. I swear, it seems like for the past three weeks one of us has been sick. I suppose I am going to have to strengthen my immune system, because this is probably just one of the things I’m going to be dealing with while living on a college campus. She did her best to take care of me while I was sick, so I am going to make her some homemade chicken noodle soup to return the favor.

The other day she and I bought a Wii and Mario Kart Wii with some of the leftover wedding gift money, which has made Alicia very happy. She’s already cleared the 50cc and is already working on the 100cc. I just got that far, mostly because I am not as big of a fan of Mario Kart as she. We haven’t raced each other yet but she’s already proven to be better than me at bowling in Wii Sports (I hate bowling in general, though). I’m hoping to pick up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, just to name a few. I’m not sure what else she wants other than Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort, but I’m sure there are others she’ll want.

The job hunt is not going as well as I initially hoped it would… It’s not going badly, but the current consensus from every restaurant (the good ones, anyway) I’ve interviewed or applied at is that they won’t be hiring until the end of the month at the soonest. I’ve had a few good interviews and one really great interview where essentially the executive chef told me that he wants to hire me, but he needs to get approval from the owner first. I’m really hoping it comes to fruition… It’s a nice French restaurant which does affordable breakfast and lunch items, and then kicks it up to fine French cuisine for dinner, complete with white table clothes. I may take a temporary job doing retail (*shudder*) until one of these places calls. Keep your fingers crossed for me, because a few of these places could really help make my career.

I just realized the randomness in the way I compose my posts. I just kind of flow from one thought to the next, writing about that subject as it comes to me…

*shrug*

I digress…

If you haven’t been watching The Venture Bros.: Season 4, Sundays at midnight on Adult Swim, then you have been missing out. No spoilers here, but so far I have been impressed with the level of intelligence in the writing and the artwork, in my opinion, is spot-on. The show has evolved from a spoof of the old mystery/adventure cartoons of the 70’s into it’s own wonderfully messed up show where you come to love all the characters… Not because those characters are cool or bad-ass, but because those characters are all as messed up as the rest of us. Even certain figures in the series that were at first depicted as great, untouchable legends have been revealed to be just as flawed as the rest of the characters, perhaps even more so.

I think that is enough rambling from me for one day. I’m off to try to catch up to Alicia on Mario Kart and then to visit some more restaurants.

Outie.

Walking Dead? Nah, I’m still alive

October 27, 2009

I am changing the layout of my blog a bit so, for the time being, it is going to look pretty plain. Good stuff is on the way though.

It’s been a little more than two weeks since Alicia and I finally tied the knot. So far married life is good… I’ll say nothing of the more intimate details of marriage, though, since it’s not entirely appropriate and Alicia would probably murder me in my sleep. There haven’t been any huge obstacles to overcome yet, and for that I am thankful. It has been a bit of an adjustment for us both. Once I learn to put down the toilet seat and she learns to shut cabinet doors, things should be awesome.

I’m still searching for a kitchen position, but I’m not in a hurry and I am being a bit picky about where I am applying. I had an interview this morning with the manager of one of the best restaurants in the area and it went well. It’s hard to find places I am interested in mostly due to the fact that I don’t know where a lot of things are yet. I don’t want to settle for something like an Applebee’s because you don’t learn as much as you do in a privately-owned restaurant. I am slowly learning the spots, though, but I am content to take my time for now.

On the gaming front, currently I am limited to offline-play games until I get a wireless card. Alicia’s laptop can’t handle any of my games, either, so using it is out. Once my computer is online, though, I doubt I will be making a return to WoW anytime soon. I played it for years and, while I still think it is a great game, I am not sure that I want to devote time to raiding now that I am married. Sure it’s fun, but I’d rather not have my wife pissed at me because I am spending too much time doing it, and I don’t want to half-ass something if I play it. I am probably going to get involved in another MMO that I can still enjoy but not spend nearly as much time doing things. Also, I’m sure I will at the very latest return to WoW for a little while once Cataclysm is out.

Right now, my new MMO of choice is leaning toward Warhammer Online. The developers have been making a lot of improvements to the game and my past experiences with it have been mostly positive. Also, it is nice to be able to pop on for a quick battle and then leave and still feel like I got something done in the game. I may venture away from my usual Dwarf career choices, though, and make a melee Warrior Priest. Right now, this is what appeals to me the most, and I can’t wait to get in some RvR goodness.

Okay, I need to get back to other stuff. As always, check out my Twitter feed for more frequent updates. Later.

Game over, man… Game over!

October 10, 2009

I even have a T-shirt that says so (thanks to Mitchel and Alicia’s father) and my display picture on my phone says it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you’ve been missing out. Every married man/soon-to-be-married man should have one. Alicia hates it, but I keep telling her that while the first game is over, the second one is a co-op campaign and is a lot longer than the first. Yeah, I know I’m a nerd.

Anyway, this is my last post before the actual wedding, which is in a few hours. I am still nervous and excited, but I can’t wait! I’ll be sending updates via phone to Twitter if you all are interested in whats going on.

So, I’ll catch you all later. I’m going to go get hitched.

DOOM DOOM DOOM Go the Drums!

October 5, 2009

So, the wedding is this Saturday.

That means there is still time to run, right? I kid, I kid…

This past Saturday was my last night at Fast Jack’s, and boy was it a long one. I came in at 12:30PM and didn’t leave until almost 1AM. Everything ended on a good note though, and I can honestly say that I enjoyed working there more than any other place I have been. After all the work was finished I sat down and had a couple of drinks with Jack and my manager, Chris, and we talked about life in the food service industry. I can only hope that whatever kitchen I end up working in down in Hattiesburg is even half as great. I’m going to miss that little hole-in-the-wall and all it’s colorful characters.

Right now I’m taking a short break from getting all my stuff ready… You never realize how much crap you have until you move in with another person and there is only so much room. I’m pretty much just taking my clothes, my computer, and my books and that’s it. Anything else I am either chucking, putting in storage, or giving away.

I also have technical stuff to do for it. Who know that a wedding could be so complicated? I always figured it was “I do”, then “I do too” and then BAM! Done. Married. Go play house. I wish I could wear a nice shirt, khakis, and flip-flops to this thing. That’s probably what I am wearing from the wedding to the hotel anyway…

Honestly, I couldn’t think of a good title for this…

September 5, 2009

36 days and counting, my friends.

Little by little, time inches forward and soon I’ll be a married man, which is both an exciting and a sobering thought. Despite the fact Alicia and I had dated for so long, and wedding bells were something we had discussed for years, I don’t think the gravity of the whole thing hit me until just recently: Marriage is a union of two souls… Two lives become one… Our life. It can’t be about me anymore, and it can’t be about her. It has to be about what’s best for our future, and, more than likely, the future of our children.

It’s enough to make a drunk man walk in a straight line.

Being responsible was a lesson I never really learned as a kid due to the fact I was always much more interested in building with LEGOs or playing video games. I feel as though I’ve learned a good deal about being responsible over the past few years, but I still have a good ways to go. I’m still an impulsive spender and I have to constantly fight with myself not to spend money. Seriously, you try telling me that buying the next big, “WoW-killing” MMO is a waste of money and I will come up with a number of reasons why you are wrong and investing 50 to 60 dollars is actually a good choice… I guarantee that you will be amply frustrated with me very quickly. It’s not always about video games either, as I have a number of interests (video games are just the best example I can think of right now). I deal with this argument almost daily as Impulse has it out with Reason, and Impulse is a strong contender…

I guess what I am scared of is that I will forget to be responsible. Sometimes it is very hard for me to look beyond the here-and-now and plan for the future. I can be very selfish and prideful, and it has been my downfall in the past. I don’t want to repeat my mistakes, but we are creatures of habit, and habits are hard to break.

Alicia is far more responsible and frugal than I am, which is good, because someone has to have Reason’s back when Impulse sucker-punches him. She has a knack for riding my ass to make sure I get things done (If you are reading this, hun, that’s my nice way of saying you nag =P) so I probably won’t have the chance to revert back to my old ways. We’ve done a good job balancing each other out over the past eight years, so I see no real reason why that should change. I don’t want to have to rely on her to make me do things, though, because she’s not supposed to be my mother.

*sigh*

Anyway… I’m a little more introspective than usual right now. This week has been surprisingly hard for me, and even now I am having some difficulty putting it into words, so I’ll just say this:

R.I.P. Julie… I miss you already.

Under 100

July 22, 2009

Actually, its like only 86 days until the wedding… under three months. It still doesn’t feel quite like its going fast enough at times, but then I look what we still have to take care of and I find myself wishing it’d slow down for a bit so I could get it all done. I’m trying not to procrastinate so much with this but with Alicia in town it is hard to get stuff done. If it were up to me, we’d go in, say I do, thank everyone for coming, and then we’d be on our way to the honeymoon… Which we still don’t know where we are going to.The big honeymoon is going to be a cruise but we are taking that later because she can’t get off long enough to take one, so we have to find weekend spot to go to. Preferably a warm place with saltwater and drinks.

In the meantime, I’ve been testing out new MMOs. I still love WoW but I am super bored with it right now so I’ve decided it’s time to find a new virtual home. My vision of a great MMO is one with decent graphics, lots of PvP, and enough story to keep me pulled in. WoW has all these things, but lately everything has felt stale and overdone. Plus, being a known and, at times, hated individual can get to you, and sometimes it’s good to take a vacation. The wanderlust has taken me, and I seek new horizions.

First on the list was Age of Conan, which is a beautiful game. Since it’s less-than-great launch they have made a lot of improvements and it’s definitely worth taking a look at. It is quite possibly the most visually stunning MMO I have played, even more than LotRO and EQII. The starting “Destiny” quest is pretty epic and makes you feel like a true hero. The PvP is intense due to the fact that pretty much anyone can attack anyone in certain areas. There is really only one bad thing about this in my eyes: Whiners. There seem to be more of them in AoC than any game I have played, but that just might be because they can message you after you kill them. Most games do PvP on a faction basis, and when you kill the opposing side they can’t send you messages. I recieved so much “QQ” after my murderous rampage that I just logged out in frustration. I hate playing with children. Good game though, I just recommend ignoring everyone the whines.

Then there was Darkfall, a game I had been waiting on for more than seven years. This was to be the game for the hardcore, large-scale PvPer, with skill-based combat, city-construction and siege, and open PvP. It finally opened its North American server earlier this month and I was on it the day it opened… It was crap. The graphics were awful, the controls were clunky and unnatural, and it looks like it was thrown together by a bunch of college dropouts who failed all their computer courses. EuroGamer gave it a 4/10, and I think they were being generous because I have never been more disappointed by a game in my life. Seriously, do not buy this game. It is a waste of money, time, and brain cells.

As I write this I am downloading Warhammer Online to do a free 10-day re-evaluation. I have really liked WAR in the past, its just that my computer has been unable to handle the game and it was very laggy for me. I’ve updated some hardware since my last foray into WAR, so I’m giving it another go. For those of you that are interested in joining me, you can download and try the game free for 10 days. I’ll be Order-side on Pheonix Throne, the RP-PvP Realm, not because I am a roleplayer, but because the gaming environment is better and the players are usually more mature.

On top of all that I am still working on setting up a Team Fortress 2 server, so I’ve been fairly busy. If you have any gaming recommendations feel free to let me know. I’m up for just about anything these days.

We Know Something You Don’t Know

July 17, 2009

And if we don’t share then we won’t grow

Unibomb will set the whole world on fire.

Now with 100% Less Rattlesnake!

July 14, 2009

I just wanted to give a quick update since I haven’t written anything in a while. Amidst the wedding planning and work, a friend of mine and I have begun work on a special project. While I won’t say what it is right at this minute, I will say that you should check in every once and a while. The end result probably won’t be available until after the first of the year, although it will be sooner if everything runs smoothly.

Other than that, there is really nothing new going on. I have become increasingly bored with WoW and I’m browsing new MMO communities. Also, the restaurant has started serving Rattlesnake Pasta (no actual rattlesnake in it) and it is amazing.