Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thirteen Things about Michael

These are Thirteen Jobs I have had!

1. Paperboy! Yes, growing up in SE Pennsylvania, the small towns had local papers and kids got after-school jobs as delivery carriers. It was awesome being 7 and making money and being able to buy Atari games at will.

2. Christmas Tree Lot Worker – a temp job when I was 14. It was my first opportunity to taste beer as well. Unfortunately they had bought Moosehead which is never the first beer you want to sample. Yuck!

3. Grocery Store – My first real job was for Kroger. I started when I was 16 as a bagger. In about 5 months I made cashier and a year or so later I moved up to front office supervisor. I stayed with Kroger for over three years when I moved to Florida.

4. PBX Operator – When I moved to Orlando, my first job was a telephone operator at a 1506 room Marriott Resort. Mainly I answered and forwarded calls, but we also hand-delivered faxes and messages. I met comedian Yakov Smirnov and The Righteous Brothers this way.
5. Valet Parking Attendant – At the same Marriott resort, I transferred out to Valet to spend more time with a girl I’d met in one of my classes at Valencia Community College. It was fun, but so many “cool” cars mean so little now that I have driven them. Here I parked the vans used by the Christian ensemble “Truth” and I got fired for the first and only time in my life. We’d had to deal with an extremely arrogant and rude guest so we blocked his car (which he would not park himself or let us park for him) with other cars. I was a scapegoat for the bellman or doorman who called him in his room and called him a name. As we did not know his name (as we did not check in his car) we could not have called him!

6. Merchandise Clerk – Planet Hollywood – I spent a Summer working at the “World’s busiest restaurant” the Planet Hollywood in Orlando. Here I saw George Foreman, Kerri Strug, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and a few other celebs.

7. Yogurt Clerk – Freshens Yogurt – It was a transitional job through the fall of ’91. The coolest thing was the pumpkin pie yogurt.

8. Freelance Photgrapher – My photojournalism class got me going working for local bands in the Orlando area. I probably shot 5 or 6 bands, some multiple times. I got offered marijuana in the dressing rooms of the Hard Rock CafĂ©, I got me name on a CD insert, and I got published by the Debbie Gibson Fanclub Magazine and the Orlando Sentinel (on separate occasions).

9. Video Store Manager – I did cumulatively about 5 years for Blockbuster. I was in my element as I love movies and I only got invited outside to engage in a fight with one person who did not want to pay his late fees (it was mom’s account and he wanted to use it, but any balance had to be paid first). I worked a lot of stores helping fill needs and make improvements and I eventually became a district trainer teaching classes on customer service and suggestive selling. I still have my Bubba Gump Shrimp watch for winning the Forrest Gump presale contest.

10. Retail Manager – I worked three and a half years for Family Christian Stores. I liked the work, but I had a sword hanging over me a lot of the time I was there. Eventually their focus shifted so far to money from ministry, I chose to leave on my own, but I loved being in the lead on new books and music!

11. Accounting Clerk – USA Today – the Nation’s Newspaper – Mom worked for them (she was a founder) and I worked long-term temp in accounting, circulation, and marketing.

12. Drug Rep – I found a job with a company that inventories medicines at hospital pharmacies and helps them get credit for outdated drugs. I enjoyed the travel, especially the NYC trips and Baltimore (got to drive up to Philly to see family). I visited FL, SC, NY, NH, MO, MD, PA, and GA and I was in NYC when the Yankees played the Mets in the world series in 2000, and the hospital I worked in SC was once run by my father-in-law!

13. Promotions Intern – WHTQ 96.5 The Classic Rock Station – in Orlando I did a year helping at special events and trying to break into the business. It never happened, but it was fun!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #3 - "The Castle"

This is an actual private residence in Roswell, GA. Gnomes guard the gates, and the moat leads into a swimming pool in the back!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

This find is dedicated to Steven Russell.

TobyMac MegaMix

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Capriciousness of Youth? Nah, Just STUPID!

So I'm at work this morning, taking orders in the drive-thru, which I do a lot because it's probably my best area. We're pretty busy because we're at the end of breakfast and on a Saturday we get chaotic from 9am to about 10:45. I glance out the window and see a car is there, but it is facing the wrong way for our flow of traffic.

Now, we have people who drive along the north side of our building heading east, which is against the flow of traffic for the parking lot, but this car was facing east while parked at the window. A teenage boy was driving and another teenage boy was in the passenger seat paying for an order. I thought perhaps they had pulled up to the window while driving east. It turns out they actually pulled up to the ordering lane in reverse and drove around the side of the building in reverse as a joke.

At the time I realized this, I noticed three of Roswell's police officers in the lobby of the restaurant about to order. I know these guys so I said yeah, wanna check this out? They watched the kids drive in reverse out to the parking area, back into a space, and then pull forward to leave the property. They had no clue their little stunt was being watched by the police, but they found out pretty quickly when Offier Ortega ran out to his car, sped afdter them and pulled them over.

He rejoined his coworkers about 10 minutes later with aq pretty bug grin on his face. He told us he wrote them up for wreckless driving and he just wished he could be there when they have to explain to thier parents why they have a traffic ticket!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Friday Flashback - At the Movies with the Brat Pack

This week we feature music from the soundtracks of our youth, and the youthful actors and actresses like Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, and Andrew McCarthy. We'll jump from Weird Science to The Breakfast Club, to St. elmo's Fire, and wrap it up with Pretty in Pink.

Oingo Boingo - Weird Science

Simple Minds - don't you forget about me

John Parr - St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)

OMD - If You Leave

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 7

Thirteen Things about Michael - Lover of Amy

Thirteen of my most memorable concert experiences

1…. November, 1989 - Debbie Gibson - I have always been a fan of Deb's, and this was the first time I got to see her perform live. There have been other performances and times I have met her, but this was special as it was the first.

2. November, 1987 - U2 - As the band really began to be popular, they played 3 nights in Atlanta and EVERYONE went to see them. It was the tour supporting the Joshua Tree and it was a great show. I saw them again in '92 or '93 once they had become pop icons.

3. Febraury, 1985 - Hall and Oates - This was the first concert I ever attended. it was my birthday gift for my 14th birthday.

4. Sometime in 1992 - Jimmy Buffett - "Jimmy's Jump-up" was the name of this short tour of FL and a few other cities outside the Sunshine State. When I moved to FL in 1990 I knew Buffet's name but did not know it was connected to "Margaritaville." I get to thank my fellow youth workers in Younglife for introducing me to Buffett and my becoming an official Parrothead. I think I've seen him 5 or 6 more times since then.

5. May, 1994 - Pink Floyd - The PULSE tour. This is the last time the band toured the USA. They played two nights in Atlanta at Grant Field on the campus of Georgia Tech. It was damp and hazy all day leading up to the show and that misty fog made the light show quite awesome! I also saw them in '87 on the Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour.

6. Summer, 1998 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - this was when SWING was in it's resurgent prime and the guys played the outside stage at Disney's Pleasure Island.

7. February, 1993 - MeatLoaf - about 7 months before the release of Bat Out of Hell 2 he played at Disney's PLeasure Island. I never imagined I would see Meatloaf on Disney property! He played some songs from the upcoming album and a lot of the original Bat out of Hell. I saw him 3 more times after that including on the VH-1 Storytellers Tour.

8. Summer, unknown - The Who - They toured the USA and I saw them in Atlanta at what was then the Lakewood Ampiteater (now Hi-fi Buys Ampitheater run by House of Blues). This was betwen 1988 and 1990 when the band regrouped and toured the USA including performances of Tommy in NYC and LA.

9. 1987-1988 - Bruce Springsteen - The Tunnel of Love Tour. He is the Boss! We saw him in Atlanta and again in Orlando around 1998.

10. 1996-1997 - Garth Brooks - This may have been his last tour and it was awesome. He sold out 5 nights at the Orlando Arena with a policy of $20 per ticket no matter where the seat.

11. 1999 - A Night in Rocketown - Michael W Smith brought the artists on his label to Orlando to record a concert experience at the Hard Rock Cafe. He introduced each act and emceed the night. After an intermission they all joined him on stage in a living room set-up where they requested songs from each other. Artists included Chris Rice, Watermark, Wilshire, Cindy Morgan, and the newbie on the label at the time Ginny Owens. I won my tickets by a radio call in for which I had to see if my phone would stay connected to the station while it spent 10 seconds in the clothes dryer while running!

12. October 2000 - The Dixie Chicks - long before the political controversy I took my Amy to see the band as our first concert date. I had Amy convinced we were going to a rodeo which she was not enthusiastic about.

13. April 2002 - Steven Curtis Chapman - Steven had a show scheduled in Atlanta for Good Friday but it had sold out so we went to the Wednsday night show in Birmingham, AL. Amy did not know our destination, and as we got close I had her believing we were seeing Bon Jovi!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #2

She stopped well short of our bus, but it was pretty awesome seeing this lioness come bounding over the rise heading right towards us!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Talking Pennsylvanian

My thanks to my Aunt Tina for this one...

Talking Pennsylvanian ...

Once a Pennsylvanian, ALWAYS a Pennsylvanian!
About Pennsylvanians:

You've never referred to Philadelphia as anything
but "Philly" and New Jersey has always been " Jersey"
You refer to Pennsylvania as "PA" (pronounced
Pee-ay). How many other states do that?

"You guys" is a perfectly acceptable reference to
a group of men & women

You know how to respond to the question
"Djeetyet?" (Didyoueatyet?)

You learned to pronounce Bryn Mawr, Wilke! s-Barre ,
Schuylkill , the Pocono's, Tamaqua, Tunkannock, Bala
Cynwyd, Duquesne & Monongahela.

You know what a "Mummer" is, and are disappointed
if you can't catch at least highlights of the parade.

You know what " Punxsutawney Phil" is, and what it
means if he sees his shadow.

The first day of buck & the first day of doe season are school

You know how to get 'rid' of things and how to read up.

You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception"
& not even bat an eye.

You can't go to a wedding without hearing the
"Chicken Dance," at least one polka & either an
Italian song (sung in Italian,) or "Hava Nagila."

At least 5 people on your block have electric
"candles" in all or most their windows all year

You know what a "Hex sign" is..

You know what a "State Store" is, and your
out-of-state friends find it incredulous that you
can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart.

You own only 4 condiments: salt, pepper, mustard &

Words like "hoagie," "crick," "chipped ham,"
"sticky buns," "shoo-fly pie," "pierogies" &
"pocketbook" actually mean something to you That's
PA slang for purse!

You can eat cold pizza (even for breakfast) and know others
who do the same. (Those from NY find this "barbaric.")

You not only have heard of Birch Beer, but you
know it comes in several colors: Red, White, Brown,

You know several places to purchase or that serve
Scrapple, Summer Sausage and Hot Bacon Dressing.

You can eat a cold soft pretzel from a street
vendor without fear & enjoy it. It almost always
comes with mustard.

You know the difference between a cheese steak & a
pizza steak sandwich, and know that you can't get a
really good one outside PA. Except Atlantic City on
the boardwalk.

You live for summer, when street & county fairs
signal the beginning of funnel cake season.

Customers ask the waitress for "dippy eggs" for

You know that Blue Bell, Intercourse, Paradise ,
Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville,
Mars, and Slippery Rock are PA towns. (and the first
3 were consecutive stops on the Reading RR).

You know what a township, borough, and
commonwealth is.

You can identify drivers from New York , New
Jersey , or other neighboring states by their unique
& irritating driving habits.

A traffic jam is 10 cars waiting to pass a
horse-drawn carriage on the highway in Lancaster County

You know several people who have hit deer more
than once.

You carry jumper cables in your car & your female
passengers know how to use them.

You still keep kitty litter, starting fluid,
de-icer, or a snowbrush in your trunk, even if you
now live in the south.

Driving is always better in winter because the
potholes are filled with snow.

As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that
were taller than you were.

Your graduating class consisted of mostly Polish,
German, & Italian names.

You know beer doesn't grow in a garden but you
know where to find a beer garden.

You also know someone who lives "down the lane"

You actually understand all this: send it on to
other Pennsylvanians or former Pennsylvanians!

And send it to people that never lived in PA and
confuse them.

Original or Extra Crispy, sorry Original vs. Remake

Though we watched all of season four of American Idol, I don't remember Carrie singing this song, but man, here's an example of the remake sounding a lot better than the original.

Tiffany - Could've Been (Music Video - 1988)

Carrie Underwood - Could've Been

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Flashback - Numbers Game

Something must be screwy over at Youtube because last night and this morning it said video will be posted to your blog shortly and neither time has it happened. I'll look back later to organize bands with numbers in the name. (B-52's will NOT be listed as they appeared in last weeks' Friday Flashback).


38 Special - Back Where You Belong

Level 42 - Something About You

Timbuk3 - The Futures So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)

UB40 - Red Red Wine

Important News re:Adoption

We have received our invitation to get fingerprinted by the Department of Homeland Security. Read about it and our entire adoption process at

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Eanie Meanie, Meinie, Moe

At the Maharaja Temple in the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, it is not recommended to catch a tiger by the toe, the tail, or anything else on its' anatomy.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Southpark(Cartman The DOG!!)

I have to admit, despite poor editing (consistant repeating of scenes to fill the half hour) I love the show DOG the Bounty Hunter. I learned about the SouthPark take on the Dog from Dog's year in review episode.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Flashback - Hometown Tribute

In the 1980's the "ATL" was known as Atlanta and was a prime source for college radio's developing acts. R.E.M. and the B-52's both came from Athens, GA, a little town about an hour East of Atlnata that is home to the University of Georgia. The Indigo Girls are actually from Atlanta. I remember before the pop explosion that took REM to the mainstream they would play 5-7 nights in a row at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

REM - Shiny Happy People

REM - Stand

The B-52's - Roam

Indigo Girls Galileo Music Video

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm published!

After about 6-8 tries over the 5 years I've been in ATlanta, I have finally had a "Vent" published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Click on the title/lilnk and look for the one about Nikki Taylor!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just Because I Love You

Sneaky sneaky.

I went in to work this morning not realizing I had a short day, off at 2pm instead of 4pm. I made a decision at that rime (when I realized I was off early) to do soemthing special. I left work and ran an errand or two and then went to Sam's Club, in part because they had called me to say my membership was inactive (duh, I knew this because I opened it in October 2005 and I have not been to Sam's since before October 2006. My plan was to renew it on my next visit). So I went there and found my way to the floral department to get some roses for my lovely wife. I have bought flowers there a few times before and never seen an employee in the area, but today was different. A rather efeminate man showed up and asked if I want arranged (insert joke about letting an apparently gay man "arrange" anything of mine).

I had to establish what he meant, and it turns out you can buy the bundle of flowers and a vase and leave, or for $10 he will do them up very nicely, trimming the leaves from the stems and adding flourishing accompaniment to the roses. He said he would waive the fee if I could hold on while he took a phone order. SO I browsed the wine and noticed the pinot grigio I first had (and lead me to like pinot gri) is at Sam's now for about $12 a 750ml Santa Margherita from italy (we had it on our Italian cruise ship). So anyways, dude does the flowers and even trades out some he thinks do not look good and keeps adding more and the 2 dozen becomes 3 dozen with baby's breath, fern thingies and some carnations thrown in. it seemed he was just having fun making this beautiful arrangement.

So I did my standard slick move and drove to Amy's work to deliver them and then came home knowing she would see me at home and then get the flowers when she got to work. I love doing stuff like this for her. The card read, "Just because I love you."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Friday Flashback - Double Take

Here are two videos that are for songs that had two videos. IMHO these are the superior versions. I have always loved the Dreams video because of the Blue Angels footage, and as for Mr. Harrison, his other version had a bunch of animatronic taxidermied animals singing. The blonde in the crop top is far nicer to watch.

Van Halen - Dreams

GEORGE HARRISON - Got my mind set on you

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #6

Thirteen Things about Michael

13 Roles I would love to have the talent and ability to perform from the theatre.

1. Jean Valjean – Les Miserables has always been my favorite musical.

2. Mark Cohen – RENT – Something about the detached attitude he has as he chronicles a year in the life of his friends has always connected with me. I like to be the observer.

3. Beast/Eric – Disney’s Beauty and the Beast – again something about connecting with the character who wants to love but is too hideous for this world.

4. Charlie Brown – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – I have actually played this role and I loved it. It was the first time I ever tried out for a pay, a church production as a choir fundraiser. It was a two performance run that I would have loved to have continued.

5. Old Deuteronomy – Cats – Someone’s got to be the top cat.

6. Joseph – Joseph and the Amazing Techno-color Dreamcoat. The songs are in my range, and it’s a great story.

7. Jesus – Jesus Christ Superstar

8. Judas – Jesus Christ Superstar

9. Marius – Les Miserables – the chance to sing “Empty Chairs”

10. The Engineer – Miss Saigon – okay, so I’m not Asian, but I love this character – funny lines and good songs in a poignant story.

11. Joe Gillis – Sunset Boulevard – I wish this was still touring or re-opens in NYC.

12. Roger Davis – RENT – some great songs, and a love story to boot. I love the songs in which he trades words with Mark

13. Danny Zuko – Grease – There’s not a lot of depth here, but I love the Sandy (reprise) at the beginning of the London Cast Recording, of course he was singing about Debbie Gibson, who has also appeared in Beauty and the Beast, Les Miserables, and Joseph which are on my list.

14. Honorable mention because it’s not a theatre piece – Christian from Moulin Rouge.