Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Checking In! LOL

Does anyone still blog? Boy, I miss could speak your mind without pissing anyone off! Try writing some of the shit you write on here on your Facebook'd have no friends left! I miss the days of blogging...can't believe this was started almost 10 years ago!! Sugar V, where are you???

Monday, January 12, 2009

Four Years at "The Beach"

Tomorrow (1/13) marks the 4th anniversary of this blog. It is really hard to believe that four years have passed! I was reading some old posts earlier and it is strange to see all I've been through since the creation of this blog.

I have lived in 5 different places
I have dated a bunch of different people
I have worked 3 different jobs
I got engaged
I moved into/bought a new home with Jen
I adopted a pet
My family moved out of state
My sister got divorced
A very close friend passed away
The Sugar V moved to Texas and stopped blogging
I've made a whole bunch of new friends
I've lost touch with a few friends
I've reconnected with dozens of old friends (thanks facebook)
I saw an African American win the Presidency
I saw a US City get wiped out by a hurricane
I saw a Pope pass away and a new one appointed
I saw the Democrats take back control of Congress
I saw Saddam Hussein hang
I saw VA Tech get shot up by a maniac
I saw Wall Street crash
I watched a war that never ends
I saw Hank Aaron's Homerun record fall
I saw baseball players testify before Congress
Ipods, Iphones, and a ton of other technologies

Alot in four years...and I am not even including it all.....

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Life With Children......

Since moving into our new home in July, I've been exposed to children more than I ever have been in my entire life. Yeah, I managed a Discovery Zone fun center years ago, but it was a job, and my responsibilities were to manage the facility and make sure the place was turning a profit. So, I didn't get too involved with the children.

Since leaving Long Beach six months ago, a town where most people are single, child-free, and care-free...I've been around families and children on a regular basis. Since joining Facebook and getting back in touch with old friends, neighbors, and co-workers, I've noticed that over 90% of them are now married with kids, divorced with kids, or just have a kid and were never married. People I NEVER thought would get married are, and people who I never thought would have kids, have is stunning.

Anyway, I've noticed a trend with just about every couple/person with children. They have NO identity. They post profile pictures of their kids instead of themselves, everything they talk/write about is about what their kids are doing, they talk about PTA meetings, school conferences, child illnesses, soccer practices, report cards, and a host of other boring topics. Jen and I watch our neighbors chauffeur their kids around constantly...ballet, dance, soccer, play dates....these people are in their 30's and look/feel like they are in their 50's from the constant running around and lack of peace. They celebrate when their kids go back to school or are out on a play date because they can get some quiet time or relaxation in...maybe even SEX!

On New Years Eve, we were invited to our next door neighbor's house. They are a great couple.....they have two young boys (5 and 8). They had about 40 kids there and about 25 or so adults. The kids stayed downstairs, for the most part, and played, had a magician there, etc. Well, when Jen and I arrived, we stood out from the crowd. People came up to us and thought we were 10 years younger than we were...for real....and asked "What are you doing here?" disbelief that two young people without kids would be at a party like that.

I promised my neighbor I would do the music for the party. Well, when I started playing the music, these housewives started dancing like if they had not been out in YEARS!!!! Jen and I were just standing and watching this all unfold. They all were raving about how much fun they were having, how great the music was, they were getting hammered on was quite the scene. It just made me realize that once again, these people had kids, and everything they now do revolves around the kids...and they have no fun, no identity.

Sure, seeing your kids at Christmas all excited must be a thrill...but Christmas comes once a year! I truly don't know how these people do it 24/7/365. I am glad I met and am marrying a woman with the same views on kids as I have... which is "Thanks, but NO THANKS!" In my opinion, there is definitely a lot more to life than a minivan, parent/teacher conferences, play dates, doctor visits, homework, and driving kids's called actually living!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Wrap-Up

I truly can't believe 2008 is over. It went so fast. Honestly, where did this DECADE go? It seems like yesterday that we were all worrying about Y2K and ringing in a New Millenium. I am hoping 2009 is a great year for all of us. We have a new President who gives us a lot of hope. Let's all pray he lives up to what he promised us during the campaign, God knows we need it!

2008 was a very different year for me. Full of highs and lows. I must say, a lot more highs than lows. I got engaged, moved into a new home with Jen, started planning a wedding, and a lot of other great stuff. As I sit here with 31 hours left in the year, I am thankful for a lot.

I am thankful for Jen. She is an amazing person...anyone who can put up with me for this long, and under the same roof, must be great. She has made my life a lot more complete and I am excited about our wedding, but more so, about our marriage and life together.

I am thankful for the new friends I've made this year. Our neighbors are truly great people. We all look out for each other, get along so well, and enjoy each other's company so much. I am glad we picked this house, not only beacuse the house is great, but mostly because of the friends we have made.

I am thankful that I got the opportunity, through Facebook, to reconnect with dozens of people I had lost touch with over the years. I look forward to getting together with many of them in 2009 and catching up. I am also thankful for the people I've kept in touch with over the years, my friends. Vito and Margaret, Supplymadam (Lisa), Amy, and so many more people. Although I don't get to see everyone as much as I'd like, keeping in touch by email, phone, etc means a lot to me.

I am thankful for our pets. As much as they drive us crazy, we love them. To think Bruce was just two days away from death in 2005, and the fact that he is living a full, happy life with us makes me so happy.

I am thankful for the 20 years I knew Kevin Farley. Although we lost him this year, I have the greatest memories of him. He was a great influence in my life and he will never ever be forgotten. In a world full fo people who are "fake" and poor role models, Kevin was genuine, down to earth, and a true role model. He treated people so well and made a difference. The world needs more of that.

Family. Although my Mom still drives me a little nuts, even from North Carolina, I am glad our relationship is solid again. I am glad I got to see her and my Brother a couple of times this year. Brian is the best. I am also thankful for Jen's family. From the beginning, they have made me feel like part of their family...even before the engagement. I love spending time with them.

I truly hope that 2009 is a great year for all of us individually, and as a country. Let's all make the most of it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Digital TV

I'm not sure about you, but I am tired of these Digital TV public announcements telling us that on February 17, 2009 all TV will be digital and that if you still have an antenna, you'll need the converter box.

Ok, it is 2008, almost 2009...who the fuck is still using rabbit ears? Maybe the person who now lives in the Unibomber's cabin in Montana...but in the NYC-Metro area????

What's even funnier is that the commericial goes on to say "log on to for more details." Now...if someone is too fucking cheap or out of touch with the world, that they still have rabbit ears...isn't it safe to say they don't have an internet connection or even KNOW what the fuck the internet is?????

For those sipping your "Old Milwaukee Beer" in your one room cabin, in Wyoming....get the converter box...or you'll be watching your non working Philco TV come 2/17/09.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Working Class Hero

Today marks the 28th anniversary of John Lennon's death. Each year I pay tribute to John on this day by remembering what he stood for and by listening to his music all day. In the crazy world that we find ourselves mired in today, we can use a man like Lennon to speak out against injustice, war, and other social issues. He is gone but not forgotten. Elton John's "Empty Garden" says it all. RIP John.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Our First Tree and Snowfall

Yesterday Jen and I got our first tree here in our new home...and just hours later our first great is that? Here are pictures of some of our decorations/tree/snowfall....

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Sad Goodbye

Back in April of 1987, I lost my grandfather (my mom's dad) to cancer. My grandfather and I were extremely close and he was the male figure in my life that I would do most things with. Don't get me wrong, I have a dad, but my dad's personality was/is very low key. My dad would go to work each day and provide for the family and contribute his share in the house, but he didn't get too involved in the process of raising my siblings and me. My mom shouldered most of the day to day issues and got involved with what we were doing along with my grandparents.

About a year after my grandfather passed away, in July of 1988, I met Mr. Farley. I had been working at Herman's World of Sporting Goods for almost a year. It was my first job. Mr. Farley was transfered to our store in Bay Shore from one of the Queens stores. He made an immediate impact on me and most of the other employees. He was more than just a "boss". He was someone who took an interest in your life, what was going on in school, at home, and took an interest in what you were interested in. We immediately bonded over music. He had a passion for music unlike anyone I had ever seen except for maybe my mom. Mr. Farley and I would talk music all the time and make each other "mix tapes" of our favorite bands. He introduced me to many of the artists and bands that I love so much today. We saw a few concerts at Jones Beach together as well and just enjoyed the music.

We also shared a passion for baseball and sports. Although he was a Mets and Red Sox fan, and me a Yankee fan, we talked baseball all the time. It wasn't one of those situations where we taunted each other about our teams, we both loved the game so much, that we'd just enjoy talking about the game itself. We made an overnight trip to the Hall of Fame in 1999 and had such a blast.

As a St. John's University graduate, Mr. Farley loved their basketball program and we went to a lot of St. John's games together. We even got season tickets a couple of years together and I really got into the sport.

The "trademark" of Mr. Farley was Coca-Cola. He drank about 10 cans a day....from morning until night...he always had a can by his side. He would pull up for work in the morning drinking a can, and carrying a few more.....he couldn't get enough.

Sports, music, and coca-cola aside...what I loved the most about him were his stories. His stories about his summers in the Hamptons, about past jobs, and about life. His stories reminded me of Bruce Springsteen songs. They always had a cast of characters, were very descriptive, and you always walked away taking something from those stories. I enjoyed our talks very much as well. He'd always have sound advice, but he'd never talk to you like he was talking down to you. With almost a 20 year age difference, he never made me feel like my views or experiences were insignificant.

We kept in touch over the years. I went to his wedding in 1991 and was there for him in 2000 when he divorced. In between, we shared so many good times, laughs, stories, and talks. He helped me through many tough times with his advice, and he was also there for the happy times. After his divorce in 2000, he met someone new and remarried in 2002. I had helped him move after he sold his house and moved in with his new wife and saw him once more after that. Since 2002, we would email occasionally and touch base. I last heard from him in July. I told him that Jen and I were engaged and about to move into our new home. He was happy for me. He would always ask about my parents who he knew very well....and I'd always give him an update on how they were. My mom worked for him at TJ Maxx from my mom had the pleasure of knowing him as well as I did.

Yesterday morning at 10am, our phone rang. It was my mom. She said she had bad news. I thought she was going to tell me that she could not make it up from NC for Thanksgiving on Thursday because of the pain she has been in with her back. Instead, she said "Mr. Farley died." I said, "What?" in disbelief. She said that my godmother called her right before she called me and told her the news. My Godmother also used to work with Mr. Farley at TJ Maxx. Apparently he died of a massive heart attack last Monday. Unfortunately the wake was on Thursday and the funeral was I missed both which devastated me. Needless to say, I am absolutely stunned and very sad. He was a big part of my life for a long time.

The strange part.....Mr. Farley was now working for an arts and crafts store not too far from our house. Jen and I needed frames for pictures we wanted to hang on the walls. We went into his store about three weeks ago and looked for him. We asked his employees if he was working that day and they said he was off. I had every intention on going back in to see him, but just got busy......assuming time was not an issue.

It's funny...I always called him Mr. Farley when his name was Kevin. It was a respect thing, sort of like how Derek Jeter still calls Joe Torre, "Mr. Torre" even after years of knowing each other.

If there is a "heaven" or some other "paradise" we go to after we pass...I know he'll be there. So, today....a week after his passing...I hope he's sipping a cold Coke, and has "Dr. Wu" by Steely Dan blasting on a radio somewhere on a beautiful beach. I know he wouldn't have it any other way.......

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

80's Theme?

It is hard to believe that the 1980's were almost 30 years ago. It was an amazing decade for music, you had a little something for everyone. In the early 80's you still had the residual disco/dance songs, then came "new wave" music, you had punk rock, heavy metal, the beginnings of rap, r&b, soul, pop, arena rock, and so on. The 1980's had it all.

Jen and I are considering an 80's theme wedding. Naturally, not our attire, but the music, the favors, etc. This would capture the decade in which we both grew up and incorporate those memories into our wedding. It was kind of a "buzzed" idea while we were drinking one night...but the more I think about it, the more it sounds different and fun.....

Also, check out my new "photography" blog

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Winds of Change

Here we are, less than a day before America votes in one of the most important elections of our time. After two years of campaigning, hype, biased media (for both sides), Joe the Plumber, dozens of debates (primary and general), and dozens of SNL skits...the day to vote is upon us.

Unlike the last two elections, where the elections were "won" by voter intimidation, corrupt Secretary of States, Supreme Court decisions, voting irregularities, false "swiftboat" ads, adding gay marriage propositions to ballots in key states, and scare tactics (terrorism fears)...this time America, and the worl are craving a change. And tomorrow, change we shall get.

After 9/11/01 the country was 95% united behind George W. Bush. He had an opportunity to do great things with the country united and a 95% approval rating right after a controversial election. Instead, he squandered the opportunity by setting his own agenda, one that was not right for all of us. He ignored laws, took away our rights by scaring us with terrorism alerts, lied to us about the threat Iraq posed, took record surpluses and turned them into record defecits, mismanaged a major natural disaster, appointed unfit Supreme Court Justices, and didn't care how we all felt about it. Well, now our voices will be heard. Tomorrow, the Republicans will pay the price for eight years of neglect. The Senate, House, and President will be strongly Democratic when the sun rises on Wednesday Morning. It's about time.

Although I feel Obama is a pretty good candidate, I think he is as far ahead as he is because of the factors of the last eight years. People from all over the country, not just typical "blue" states, have finally woken up and realize there has to be a better way. I've also read article after article about how closely the rest of the world is watching, and praying for this decision will have an impact on them in many ways as well.

McCain has run an awful of the worst I have ever seen. He has had no focus, his ideas and plan have been scatterbrained....and his VP pick was a big mistake. In addition, people have finally seen through the negative stuff and the fear mongering. People want a real change. Change they can be proud of. Let's hope Obama lives up to the hype, the promises, and the opportunity he is about to receive.