Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Will the owner of this JUICY TUBES please step forward?

Q: Did you lose your JUICY TUBES in my car's back seat?
A: Chances are, you did.

One (1) item of Ultra brilliant, Ultra Shiny, "Miracle," JUICY TUBES Lip Gloss
The sparkly pink 0.5 oz. (14.16 g) tube is from Lancome

Angela, Kristy, Lisa and Nicole - I'm looking in your direction.
Yes, all those women have recently been in my car's back seat (where said JUICY TUBES was found).

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Hopefully this product will find the lips of its rightful owner soon.

Until then, my God have mercy on your less than juicy lipped soul.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

How will this project end?

Q. If the first person you wrote about was your sister, who will be the 40th and final?
A. My brother.

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

A very long time ago my Father and I rode our bikes from our home in Prospect Heights to All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines. It was the only time I had ever been to my brother's grave, until yesterday.

Yesterday, Good Friday, was the first time I ever went there by myself. My only 20+ year memory of the location was vivid enough to get me close... It took me less than 10 minutes to find what I was looking for... The sight of how close together one grave is to the next and how some gravestones only have a single date engraved had quite an effect.

I knew Kevin's death was in an April. I didn't know much more. I saw the date and realized that the anniversary of his death was this past Tuesday. What did I do this past Tuesday? I thought to myself... The answer: Went to work, played basketball after work, checked my fantasy baseball team before I fell asleep...

That's all I did? It made me feel the urge to apologize, and I did... After regrouping I also softly said thanks. Probably just how a selfish kid brother should... It's horrible that I was so cavalier in not recognizing that day... I should have at least called home to tell my parents I love them. Instead I just lived my selfish life. But, as I've said before, I don't think I'd be here (at least not in this capacity) if Kevin had survived past his ten months he saw in this realm... that's why I gave thanks...

To summarize the last 40 posts, especially today's, in as a simplified statement as possible:
I'm happy to be alive.

Happy Easter everybody.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where did I learn to live?

Q. What was the source of your largest investment?
A. Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

You all had to have seen this one coming. The four years I spent attending MU starting in the Fall of 1998 to my graduation in 2002 have shaped my life more-so than any other epoch. My "college life" was far from the typial fare that fuel MTV reality-based programming - which is the reason why I look back so fondly at my time there.

Don't bother telling me a story involving you getting drunk at that frat party when you almost banged whatshertits. That's not interesting. Then again, my stories of marathon duration (to us) evenings of two-on-two basketball involving players of lesser than average calibur would only be interesting to the other three involved.

Here's a brief list of what I've taken with me since Milwaukee:
-An unhealthy devotion to an at best above medicore basketball program.
-A degree in Marketing I believe helped separated me from others in applying for the new position I applied for 2 years ago.
-A network of friends that I still keep in (varying degrees of) contact.
-Many gold t-shirts.
-A really nice leather basketball I will never bounce outside a gym.
-An I.D. card that I still keep in my wallet (people like seeing the 1998 mugshot).
-The knowlege of what a bubbler is, although I won't ever call one such.
-A prefrence to Frozen Custard over Ice Cream.
-A habit to check the Journal Sentinal's website.
-A love affair with Milwaukee County Buses.

There's more, but you get the point.
I went to John Hersey High School.
John Hersey was an author.
He has a quote painted in the school's main hallway.
To paraphrase that quote, "A school not so much a place to learn about past lives, it's about a place to learn how to live your own life."

Although that quote was in my high school, it was my college that is the better example.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How can you summarize nine years plus more?

Q. Do you know that I graduated first in my class?
A. From St. Alphonsus School (class size = 10 kids)

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

I was baptized at St. Al's
Spent the Sundays of my youth in the peu for 9 am mass.
Four years as an altar boy.
My school jerseys from the basketball team are hanging on my living room wall.
After nine years (kindergarten trough 8th grade) it did it's best to prepare me for high school.
Now able to sleep in, I'd go to 10:30 or noon mass.
The new church, with new mass times, now gets me there by 11 am.
Most Wednesday nights, you'll see me playing basketball in their newer gym.

The above list is how I've selfishly benefited from St. Alphonsus Parish in Prospect Heights. I'm not as active as most in the Parish - but I've seen it do great things for many people. Many people are against organized religion (with just cause). Personally, with what I have seen, I still see many examples of where it works.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Where do you spend most of your time?

Q. What's the only way I can spend more time doing something besides work?
A. I'd have to quit sleeping.

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

It's amazing the effect a full time job can have on your quality of life.
My last job was the primary force behind my life sucking.
I got home and had no will for any fun.
It was just immediate dreading of the day ahead.

I'm not saying I'm working currently in a super fun happy factory for smiles and sunshine...
But I'm happy to be working there.
I feel others are happy I'm working there too...
Both of those factors, make a huge difference to me.

Especially in today's economy - I'm very thankful to be employed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's your fantasy?

Q. What will be the most (immature / pointless / inconsequential) of all these 40 posts?
A. The faceless men and women behind fantasy sports.

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

I'll be quick.
I don't know who "started" fantasy sports.
There's a rumor that it was between NY Sports Writers who met for "rotisserie" chicken dinners...
Regardless, these fantasy sports greatly improve the quality of my life - and the lives of my friends.
Seriously, I'm glad they exist and can not picture going through another baseball season without it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What happens when the doctor / patient lines gets blurred?

Q. Hippa what?
A. Dr. J

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

When you are 14 years old, you don't choose your doctor.
It's whoever your parent drives you to when you get sick.
This is how I met Dr. J...
I needed a physical before my freshman year of high school.
It was to allow me the massive humiliation of trying out for a basketball team that I had no prayer of ever making.

Since that day in 1993, Dr. J has since joined my church.
I've seen him on Sunday mornings with his wife and daughters.
My sister knows the family well too.
Dr. J is also my Father's doctor.
And when I see Dr. J he always asks about my family... We joke that all of us are breaking privacy laws - but we will tell Dr. J if our father is not watching his diet and exercising like Dr. J wants him to....

This post, however, needs to be more than just about Dr. J... I am just choosing him to represent all the doctors that I have been in front of when my health has been worse than it is now.

And I'm thankful to all of them that I am now in better health than when I was in front of them.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

When you are raised by a teacher, how can you evaluate the educators of your life?

Q. Who got me through high school?
A. The English Faculty of John Hersey High School

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

On Ash Wednesday I sat down and made a list of the 40 subjects of this project.
The task was very difficult.
It's also very moving, at least it was to me, and I'd recommend that everybody make a list of 40 people you are thankful to have in your life.
Even if you don't ever do anything with it, it's a process that makes you happy to be alive.

There was a time, however, in which I was not happy to be alive.
Those were the years I spent in high school.
And when I wrote down this list of 40, I had to include this group.
I would not have graduated with my class if it wasn't for them.
That department "got me"
I loved learning from them.

It will have to be under "TQ is now ultra famous and has been petitioned by the entire school to speak" circumstances for me to walk down those hallways again. I do want to show many of those teachers how I turned out... and I want to - as corny as it sounds - thank them personally.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What happens when you meet your friend's parents first.

Q. Can you provide an example of high school sweethearts who are still that way today?
A. Mr. & Mrs. M.

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

The reason why I call Skip "skip" is because he shares the same first name as his Father. I had met his father first, so he was "M." Having grown up in a family with multiple repeating names - I gave Skip the option of a nickname - he chose Skip.

M. and his wife N. were both coworkers at the place where I grew so close to Skip. I saw them day in and day out for many months and years. They have been married over twenty five years and still go out on "dates." Their marriage is another example that I remind myself when I doubt if it can still work in today's world.

I also give them credit for raising a good friend of mine. Not to mention, they are one of the greatest reasons why I think I may end up adopting a child.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Can I be as mature as I need to be?

Q. Can I maybe be a mentor?
A. A.S.

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

A few weeks ago I wrote about "T.M."
He is someone ten years older than me who I have (and continue t0) look up to...
There's a rather close friend of mine, A.S. who is about seven years younger than I.
Of everyone I'd consider "a friend" he is easily the youngest.

I feel like I'm on the reverse side of the dynamic that T.M. and I have.
He's called me for professional advice, I try to give him some lessons that I've learned hoping he won't have to pay some of the costs I have.

A.S. both keeps me feeling young and reminds me that it's good that I'm not.
He doesn't realize it, but he's making me a better person.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Who's the hostess with the mostess?

Q. What will happen when the girl who loves to throw parties finally has one for herself?
A. M.K.

(For Lent, I've decided to write 40 posts about people I love / made me who I am / thankful to know / appreciate)

If you read my last post, you saw that I mentioned that I went on an "evening date" with KMH, and that she was the only subject of these posts that will be able to make that claim. That's because I actually consider the first date I've ever gone on (with M.K.) doesn't really qualify.

M.K. and I went out to a movie, yes.
But the movie was Bambi, her Mom joined us, and I was five years old.

She's now engaged.
Her wedding will be a huge party, for someone who throws some of the better ones.
For those that know me, you realize that "kegs and boobs" is not what I'm looking for in a party.
Intelligent conversation plus board games with a slight factor on inside comedy is what makes a M.K. party great.

The following, I swear, is a compliment:
My most painless New Year's Eve nights were spent in her condo thanks to her parties.

She's been working diligently in the preparation for her own wedding - I can't wait.