552 miles... 1 million more smiles.

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Oscar Buzz

As I sit here at work, once again bitter that I don't get to enjoy watching the Oscars, I thought I should register a few brief remarks.

1) Natalie Portman, I'm sure, is a very wealthy young woman. Could someone please recommend to her that she might want to purchase a sense of style? She always looks fantastic from the neck up, then wears the most heinous dresses.
2) As God-Awful as Star Jones is doing the "pre-game" show on E!, I'm starting to understand why the network let Joan Rivers go. Joan and Melissa on the TV Guide channel was an utter catastrophe. Joan didn't know who Leonardo DiCaprio was. Seriously, she started interviewing the wrong guy. He's up for Best Actor, Joan. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that Melissa was drunk off her ass. Slurring, giggling inappropriately, long awkward pauses.
3) Why, oh why, does Beyonce need to sing these songs? She's a great soul singer. She's a butcher when it comes to operetta (or whatever you want to call Andrew Lloyd Webber's songs). Of course, I guess not every performance can live up to Robin Williams on the 2000 Academy Awards. (and after I posted this, I watched Antonio Banderas and Carlos Santana perform. It wasn't pretty. Antonio, you have a nice voice... it would be nice if it was in tune, though.)
4) I wish they showed clips from the nominated Animated Shorts this year... it's always one of my favorite parts of the show. And I'd much rather see clips than the nominees sitting in the audience.
5) Why don't I remember Tony Randall, Marlon Brando, or Janet Leigh dying?

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Rainy Reprieve

I woke this morning to the sound of rain. Not a hard rain... certainly not enough to cancel one of the nation's largest NCAA softball tournaments. Just enough to make it a serious pain in the ass to shoot video at said tournament.


Well, I think in my groggy, didn't-get-to-leave-work-until-well-after-midnight, now-it's-9:55-in-the-morning state, at least it's not really cold out. And maybe the tournament's been a little delayed so I'll be able to take my time. And maybe... just maybe... the game will be scheduled to be played in the stadium, where I could get a little respite from the rain. High hopes, I know.

Usually, I'd just suck it up and head over to the South Commons. But, since this tournament is such a big deal, it has it's own website with live scoring updates. So, I log onto the NFCA website to check the bracket.

Oklahoma vs. Georgia-- Sunday 11 p.m. CANCELLED
Championship Game-- Sunday 1 p.m. CANCELLED

I'm going back to bed.


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Beware the Cranky Blogger

I apologize that I haven't blogged much in the last couple of days... I've been too tied up with work and haven't had any free time. Actually, you should probably be glad that I haven't blogged, because I would have written some really bitchy things.

I had the day off on Thursday... which would have been nice, except I had two doctor's appointments to monopolize my entire early afternoon. I got the results of my IVP test, and discovered that I do, indeed, have two functioning kidneys. Hurrah! But here's the rub... one of them has a pair of kidney stones. Boo!

Ever take a car in to have one little thing serviced... and the next thing you know, you've got about $1000.00 worth of repairs that are needed? That's the way I feel right now, only in this scenario, it's my body instead of my car.Steve sent me this picture a few weeks ago.  If women ruled the world, the manogram would become a reality. A couple months ago, I went to the... um... female doctor with some minor female-type complaints... next thing I know, I have kidney stones. That isn't even her part of the body to worry about!

Oh... and later in the day, I had to get a mammogram. It actually wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, thank goodness.

Friday was one of the longest days I've had to work in a very long time. It started at about 9:30 am with a trip to Troy, Alabama, for a basketball tournament. The day didn't end until after the last newscast (about midnight). And by that point, I was so hopped up on Mountain Dew that I wouldn't have been able to sleep, so I met some co-workers out to celebrate Josh's birthday.

Sunday won't be much better... I have to shoot an 11:00 am softball game and won't stop until after midnight again. Lucky me.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Just Kid(ney)ding Around

A few posts ago, Kelly mentioned an old story from my previous life. I felt like I needed to share it with the rest of you.

Once upon a time... I briefly dated a guy who could, at best, be described as the epitome of a "dumb jock." This guy lived in a house with his dumb jock fraternity brothers, who made him look like Einstein by comparison. For example, Brian, who played football. To say that Brian wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer would be way too kind. In a drawer full of knives, Brian was a wooden spoon.

My friends Darren and Barb worked with Brian at a local bar. One night, they all went out and painted the town red (not hard to do in a town the size of Kirksville).

The next night at work, Brian asked Barb, "So, hey, we gonna go out drinking again tonight?"

Barb laughed. "No Brian, I don't think that my liver could take another one like last night."

Brian, completely straight-faced, replied, "Why not? Ya got two of 'em!"

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Saying Good-Bye

It's been nearly a week since Cory and I made our long, sad journey to Athens, Georgia to say goodbye to Mike. I think I can finally talk about it without getting too sappy, which Mike would absolutely have hated. His favorite nickname to describe me when I got all weird and emotional was "Lame-o." You have to say it in a funny voice to get the full effect.

So, I'm going to try not to be too lame as I describe the events of last week.

We took my car for the drive, primarily because I have XM Radio. Priorities, right? Got to have the music for the road trip, even if it isn't a particularly fun road trip. But nearly every single song we heard on the drive up made me think of Mike. Poor Cory had to listen to story, after story, after story... I'm sure I probably told the same story three or four times. I lost it on the drive when we heard an Elvis Costello song. For those of you who didn't have the honor of knowing Mike, it's hard to imagine that Elvis Costello could have had a bigger fan.

The next morning, we headed out to the funeral home. At that point, the whole experience became kind of surreal. We walked into the visitation room, and there were dozens of people, milling around, talking, sharing. To be honest, I felt a little lost. After a minute or two, Mike's friend Meredith walked up and introduced herself. I think I just kind of stared at her blankly. I've talked to Meredith via email before, and back when she was blogging, I was a regular reader. I guess meeting her, seeing someone that was a part of Mike's life made it all too real. I hope she didn't think I was rude... I just couldn't handle it at the moment ("Missy," if you're reading this, I'm sorry if I came across a little odd). Eventually, I ran across some of Mike's other Atlanta friends... Holly, Cassie, Sansanee. Mike's best friend from college, Dennis, walked up (I didn't recognize him at first). Then I met Stephanie, the woman Mike had fallen in love with during his last months.

The irony of the whole experience didn't escape me. There we were, some of Mike's closest friends, many of us meeting for the first time. Mike would have wanted us to all meet... but he wasn't there.

Well, actually, he was there. In an open coffin, on the far end of the room. I kept sneaking peeks... but I couldn't go see him. I just couldn't do it. It wasn't like when my Grandmother died and I felt like I had things I needed to say to her (that's another story altogether, and I'm not going to get into it here). Mike knew how much I loved him... how much all of his friends loved him. Seeing Mike, laid out like that, just seemed too morbid. He was too young... too alive... for that to be him.

Next to Mike's coffin was a photo of him... his senior class picture. That's right. God love her, but Mike's mom had put a picture of him from 1988. I would guess it's probably the last formal picture taken of him, so I can't blame her... but still, I could see Mike rolling his eyes.

Mike also would have shaken his head at another picture in the room... him as a March of Dimes poster child. I could just hear him saying "Can you believe it? I didn't think I'd ever have to see that picture again."

We all eventually filed into the chapel for the service. After a few brief readings (which I couldn't listen to... my head was spinning), the Pastor asked people to get up and tell stories about Mike... particularly funny stories. Apparently, he had a pretty good handle on Mike's personality. Dennis and I both spoke... and I'm pretty sure that we had the same problem... telling a story that wasn't too risque for a Christian service. Almost all of my favorite Mike-stories end with his favorite punchline... "In my pants." (If he'd been on a sitcom, that would have been his personal tag-line).

Then, the procession drove to the cemetary. More tears, more laughter. After that, a luncheon at Mike's parents' church, where we shared more stories.

It's funny. People grieve in such different ways. From the moment I found out about Mike, I couldn't stop eating. Filling the void, I guess, mostly with chocolate. Other people couldn't eat at all... they lost their appetites in their grief. We all tried to stay upbeat, but it was hard.

In a weird way, we didn't want the day to end. Leaving the company of Mike's friends and family was kind of like giving in, and admitting that Mike wasn't part of our lives any more. I was like the guy who doesn't want to leave the party because he doesn't want the fun to end. For me, I didn't want Mike to end.

Halfway home, we stopped in Atlanta and met up with some of Mike's friends at The EARL, one of Mike's favorite bars. Both times I visited Mike in Atlanta, a trip to The EARL was involved. (In fact, if you look down about five posts, that picture of Mike with Cory and me was taken last May at The EARL.) We had a few beers with Mike's friends, toasted Mike several times, and stayed and shared stories for several hours. As a finale to the evening, the girls wrote a little good-bye note to Mike on the bathroom wall. We thought Mike would get a good laugh out of that.

In a horrible, horrible way, it was a great trip. We met some really great people, some of us with very little in common except for the fact that we loved Mike.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005


We've all known for a long, long time that I'm a freak of nature. Well, last week it was medically confirmed.

In the last three months, I've been to the doctor more times than I'd been in the previous three years. And despite the fact that I'm relatively healthy, apparently I have a series of medical abnormalities that I never even realized.

Without getting into too much detail about my more private parts... on Wednesday morning, I got to spend some of the afternoon lying on a table, getting probed. I'll leave the part that was probed out of the discussion... I'm sure your imagination can come up with something good.

Anyway, the technician doing the probing was watching a readout on a screen (not visible, of course, to me), and started talking to the nurse in the room.

"Hey," she said, getting the nurse's attention. "do you see this?"

"Wow," the nurse responded. "I've never seen one like that."

"I wonder what the doctor is going to do with this?"

The alarmed look on my face finally got her attention, and she explained what was "different" about me. Apparently, I'm a medical oddity. Not like a one-in-a-million, touring with the Lobster Boy and the Chicken Lady kind of oddity. More like a one-in-a-hundred freak.

So, she assured me that I'm not completely abnormal, and that I should function properly as a result of said deformity. And then she dropped the bombshell: Apparently, people with my particular medical issue also tend to be... get this... missing a kidney.

More poking, prodding, and eventually an ultrasound test revealed that I indeed have two kidneys. However, there's a good chance that only one of them works. Guess what that means? Yep. More tests. Monday morning, I have to go to the hospital and have an IVP. Oh happy day.

Being a freak ain't easy.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

News Blues

It's so easy to be cynical when you work in television news. The crappy hours, the crummy pay, the constant exposure to some of the most repugnant, depressing, and vile elements of human society (and that's just your co-workers... ha!)

That's why, when I see a reporter produce a story like this one, I think there might be hope for the rest of us, after all.

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Nerd Alert, Vol. II

I've spent much of the last several days avoiding the computer. It brought me such terrible news last week, and every time I log on, I've automatically headed over to Mike's blog, and checked out the new comments left for/about him (87 at last count). His mom left a lovely post today, saying that when she walked out to her garden this morning, there were a few tiny flowers blooming. In the next day or so, I'll write about his funeral.

But that's not why I'm writing tonight. I'm writing because the computer brought me a nice surprise today... the theatrical trailer for the new "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" movie. Check it out.


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Monday, February 14, 2005


I was really looking forward to Valentine's Day this year... our first V-Day as an engaged couple (sappy, eh?).

And Cory bought me a dozen beautiful red roses, a box of Dove chocolate truffles, a tiny little rose bush, and the softest little stuffed puppy-dog ever.

But it's really hard to enjoy Valentine's day when you spend most of the afternoon preparing for a trip to your friend's funeral. Mike had just started dating Stepanie a couple of months ago, and was madly in love. Wednesday night, he was on his couch, talking the phone with her when he died. Can you even imagine?

Tomorrow, we say goodbye.

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Missing You, Mike This is the last time I saw Mike, Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta.  I miss him already.  (This photo posted by Hello)


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I sit in stunned silence

I just woke up to the most horrible news. My close friend Mike, the man who inspired me to start blogging, died on Wednesday night. Cory read the horrible news on Mike's blog and woke me up to tell me the news.

Three and a half years ago, I was living in Kirksville, Missouri, and Mike was in Atlanta. I'd just been offered the job here in C-Town, and was so excited to be moving to the South.

"Guess what?" I asked, after calling Mike to tell him the good news. "I'm moving to Georgia!"
"Oh yeah?" He responded, not missing a beat. "I'm moving to New York City!"

When I flew down to look for an apartment, we met for lunch at the airport. Since then, I've only seen him twice: Once for a brief visit when my grandmother passed away in Massachusetts two years ago, and once last summer when he came down to Georgia to visit family. He'd managed to squeeze in an evening of dinner and drinks with his friends, and I had to beg for a day off to go up to Atlanta and see him. It was the first, and only, time that Mike and Cory ever met. I'm so glad that Cory got the opportunity to get to know him.

Mike and I only talked a few times a year, but he was never far from my thoughts. I probably checked his blog dozens of times a day. In fact, I even commented to an old post on his blog yesterday, not even knowing that he'd passed.

Just a few weeks ago, Mike called to congratulate us on our engagement. We only got to talk for about ten minutes, and I feel horrible now for not talking to him longer, for not letting Cory talk to him, for not asking more about Mike's life instead of rambling on and on about mine. We assured each other that we'd talk again soon, and I never once thought that we wouldn't. The word "stunned" doesn't even begin to describe how I feel.

I'm going back to bed now, though I suspect I won't get much sleep tonight.


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Bridezilla Returns

No, that doesn't mean that I'll be battling "Mothra" any time soon.

The Bridezilla inside of me is bursting at the seams, ready to tell you hundreds of inane and neurotic thoughts about my impending nuptuals.

My first thought was to spare you of all my insane bridal rantings. But then, my alter-ego (or would that be my "altar" ego?) got hold of the computer. Next thing I knew, my inner Bridezilla set up a new blog.


Come visit soon!

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Two Down, Three to Go...

Cory and I went to see "Million Dollar Baby" tonight. Fortunately, this time, the fine folks at Carmike Cinemas managed to start the movie at the correct time, and we didn't see the last ten minutes of the movie first. That would seriously have sucked.

So now, we've seen two of the 2005 Oscar nominees for "Best Picture." And as much as I loved "Sideways," I think "Million Dollar Baby" is my front-runner right now.


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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Nerd Alert

Last week, Kat blogged about Douglas Adams.

Then, sitting in the theater, waiting between the end and the beginning of "Sideways," a trailer for "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" movie, coming out in May. Am I a total nerd because I'm looking forward to this? (And by the way, it comes out two weeks before Revenge of the Sith).

The answer, by the way, is 42. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, I guess you'll just have to read the book.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Let This Be A Lesson To You:

No good deed goes unpunished.

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Good Things that Happened Today:

1. Doctor's office called. Test results: Negative. (No, it wasn't a pregnancy test. And shame on you for even wondering.)
2. Finally saw "Sideways."
3. Got to spend time with Cory (A whole four hours)!
4. Nearly finished making Cory's Beer Stein in my pottery class.
5. Clinique Bonus Time!

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Sneak Preview

Cory and I finally got a chance to see "Sideways" tonight. First of all, if you haven't seen it, I highly reccommend it. I laughed, I cried. Seriously.

But one really bizarre thing happened. The movie was scheduled for 9:30. Now, much like in most places, that means the movie will actually start sometime between 9:40 and 9:50, after about a zillion commercials and trailers. So, we always go to movies a little bit late. Every now and then we get burned and miss the first minute or two, but usually, we get to the movie ten minutes late and still have to endure about ten minutes of trailers. I remember one time, we arrived for a 9:30 movie (13 going on 30) and still waited until 10:10 for the actual movie to start.

But, since Cory and I have been eagerly anticipating this movie's arrival for months, and because only had to work a half day (a long story), we actually arrived at the Carmike 15 on time. We paid for our tickets, walked to the correct theater, and were stunned that the movie had actually already started by 9:32. Actually, we were a little pissed off that it had already started.

So, we found a couple prime seats right in the middle (though we had to cut in front of a couple of people to get there). We felt a little releived that another handful of people walked in a minute or two after we did, and that we weren't the only losers that missed the beginning of the film.

So, we watched for about five minutes. Then a funny thing happened. The screen went black, the house lights came up, and the credits started rolling.

That's right. The previous showing of the movie was just ending. We had watched the last five minutes of the film. But did anyone bother to tell us that they weren't seating for the next showing yet? Nope. Thank goodness it wasn't a mystery, or else we would have known who dunnit.

Of course, we double-checked our tickets. Just as promised, they were for 9:30. And yet, at 9:40, the previous showing had just ended. At least we weren't the only ones duped by it. We shared a laugh with the people in the row behind us, who had also just watched the end of the movie. All in all, there were about fifteen people in the theater who just had the same experience that we did.

Then we had to sit there for ten minutes, endure another fifteen minutes of trailers, and then watch the movie. And yes, it really, really, really bothered me that I already knew how it ended.


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Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Ol' Heave-Ho

Like video of the famed waterskiing squirrell, it's something that never grows old: Less than a second left in the basketball game, a kid heaves up a desperation full-court shot that makes the basket, and they win. It happened a couple of nights ago for Jordan Snipes of the Guilford College Quakers. You can watch the video here.

Always looking for a fun live shot, WFMY put Snipes up to the test, and challenged him to do it again, live on air.

Snipes was happy to oblige.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Think Your Job Sucks?

At least you don't have the thankless task of being the Athletics Director at Savannah State University.

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