Last night I got back from an 8 day trip to Lakeland Florida. For Christmas this year, my mom gave my dad and I a trip to participate in the 2008 Detroit Tigers Fantasy Baseball Camp. 2008 also happens to be the 40th anniversary of when the 1968 Tigers united the city of Detroit from all of the riots and wont he World Series over the proven and formidable Cardinals.
My mom had been planning this trip for us to play baseball with the 1968 Tigers for a year and a half, pretty amazing. She got Sarah involved, and both she and Sarah went to the respective bosses to ask for the extended time off in advance. There were no details spared.
Christmas day, when my dad started to open our special gift, I was pretty clueless as to what was happening. It was kind of like a clue hunt, but the hunt didn’t take us anywhere, we stayed situated in the living room and filled in the word clues with individual wrapped gifts that served only as hints to missing words in the big puzzle.
We opened the final gift, and it was a pamphlet for the camp. I didn’t understand at all what was happening, still…and my dad was shocked, couldn’t believe it, and was getting misty eyed.
So, for me, I don’t know that I had time to let it all sink in. We had the tragic personal events happen over Christmas, then upon our return I worked two long weeks and started classes so my first couple of week in January went by in the blink of an eye.
But once we were down there, I could relax, and it was an amazing experience. I got to talk to some of the stars I watched when I was growing up, and talk to some of the guys that I didn’t know and hear their amazing stories.
I have an album of 150 photos of us in our full away and home Tiger uniforms spanning the whole week, from the initial drills, to scrimmaging and nightly activities, to the tournaments and finally playing the Tigers on the last Saturday.
If you are interested, check it out, click on the photo below. It’s in my public Picasa Photo album, and henceforth, is being pulled into the blog.
Thanks again to my mom for such an awesome gift, to my dad for some great memories and to baseball and the players who play the game and have rejuvenated my interest that sometimes gets shuffled aside when live comes along.
When we got back to Indy a week from yesterday, we had a relaxing couple of days. I had a college friend, Jen, down for those three days and we had a good time catching up, it had been too long. But that also meant I didn’t have time to post here.
I also knew that the day I got back to work, I’d probably be working 10 hour days plus to make sure a lot of work got done by Friday. Doing business in China means we have to plan ahead, and since we’re going to Las Vegas in February of 2008, we really needed to have all artwork to China the Wednesday I got back. The more time they had, the better.
I got the artwork finished in some state, minus final approvals on Wednesday night after 11 hours of work. But the artwork didn’t actually make it to China until Friday, as originally planned, after two more 10 hour days.
On top of that, my boss left this morning for a whirlwind week sales trip down south to start selling our awesome product. He needed two fully stocked graphic catalogs of our designs before he left. One was 9 pages and was designed completely from scratch, and the other one was 20 pages, and that might as well have been designed from scratch. Over 200 mocked up product illustrations later, and 13 hours on Saturday and 13.5 on Sunday and we are finished (57 hours total over 5 days).
I haven’t had time to post here, or do anything else. In a time when my wife has needed me most, I haven’t been able to be there. Chalk it up to timing, something you can never control. But this is a really big exciting moment for the business, and I am confident we are going to see some results next week when he returns. Not to mention my boss is really good to me, giving me some time off to make up for the weekend time, and he got us a couple of lunches while we were working…
So, to any of you who have emailed me and read this, sorry I haven’t been able to get back to you. Sorry to my wife. I feel like things will be a little more normal until the 19th. We’ll see. I may have some more things that need to be done before I can pick up and leave, but with the show in Vegas in the third week of Feb, maybe I’ll have time to do all of that in early February.
Oh, and on a final note, I squeezed in one meeting this week at the business school. My first two classes are Economics and Business Law and those start on the 14th, so I am pretty excited and nervous. I have different motivations this time around, but I had trouble with a simple Econ 101 course in college. I blame that on the Russian prof. I had thought I wanted to take it then to get some “business” knowledge, but truth was I wasn’t mature enough to be truly motivated to excel. It’s a different story this time around, I couldn’t be more serious.
Hopefully there will be more to come.
Started the morning off with my first “Run” outside probably since we went on vacation this summer. It felt good to have new shoes and to be able to do that. I opened a couple of presents, I got a Transformers calendar and a book about Tony Dungy from her parents, and Sarah got me a Garmin GPS. Pretty awesome present, and expensive. But she did a good job of researching it some and getting it here without me knowing what it was. I was very happy.
We went to morning bible study, and met Christine before hand. She gave me a cool present, a Batman Jersey from the now defunct Warner Brothers store. Very cool, now I have something to wear on the other six days the Colts aren’t playing:)
The plan was to go to Bob Evans after church. The Durkin’s were there when I arrived, which I didn’t think too much of, but then Kate showed up and I knew something was going on. Sarah had planned a surprise lunch since the birthday party for Wes and Brian went south. Very awesome. 11 of my closest friends showed up, including John and Keri, who I hadn’t seen for about a year and a half.
Afterwards, Dave, Paula, John and Keri came over. Sarah made poke cake for my birthday desert, and we all had some and watched the Colts vs. the Chiefs. The Colts barely won, 13-10, it was really bad, Peyton Manning looked terrible for a second week in a row. But we have a ton of injured players and lost a couple more this game including Aaron Moorehead.
After the game, I got a quick game of Jr. Pac-man in with John, and then everyone took off.
The rest of the night was pretty much spent on the phone. I talked with my parents, my sister, her parents, and my aunt Janet. I also just started a huge, new, really time consuming project, kind of inadvertently. It’s a secret, and it is going to be hard to balance with my test stuff too. I haven’t figured out how I am going to be able to accomplish both with success, but we will see.
Originally, today, both Sarah and I were supposed to go downtown to do the thanksgiving baskets with the Revive Group as a servant project. But, since I got out of work so late last night which messed up my lifting plans, I went this morning instead. Dave and I had a tough week getting to the gym, and this was really important to me. I gave Sarah the option of waiting for me until I got back to go down, or she could go without me. She went without me, and she was done really early because by the time I got back just after 10, she was home again. There wasn’t that much to do, so it probably worked out for the best.
We went out and ran some errands. We finally got me some new shoes, we stopped and got some wax for Sarah’s new paraffin bath, and the third stop we made was at Petsmart. I had been meaning to go look at the puppies, we had gone a couple of times with no luck since we got Nokes last February. We saw a full bred Shar-pie there, and we knew we were meant to stop by today. This dog looked exactly like Nokes, the coloring, the size, the tail, except for the head which was obviously different. But we are convinced that Nokes must be a Shar-Pei, Retriever, Shepherd mix. The dog was cute, named Zeus, with big slobbery jowls.
We left without another dog, good for us. We made a couple more stops, including picking up a new bone for Nokes, before getting back just around 1 pm.
I got right to work. I had intentions today to do a full GMAT before our plans later started. I worked hard, but didn’t quite start early enough, and I had to stop at about 4:40, with the last section left at 1:15, and our dinner plans starting at 6. I was bummed that I had to stop the test, but I was hoping that I could come back to that section, it looked as if the test was on pause.
So, while Sarah got ready, I played some Jr. Pac-man. We still didn’t leave on time, I almost cold have completed the test.
We met up with Dave, Paula, Katie and Patrick at the Oaken Barrel in Greenwood. I know one of the guys who started the restaurant, this was one of the places I had always wanted to try. It was Dave’s birthday, he’s a youngen’, and he wanted to go out for dinner and then do One Liner’s Comedy Club afterwards. Worked out great, two things I had been meaning to try.
Dinner was very good, and Dave got a desert for free in the end. It was a good time.
One Liner’s, now that was something else. I had thought, “You know, I should do a long writeup on this place”. The service was horrendous, abhorrent if you will. But our main Comedian was hilarious, so it was a little bit of a paradox. I thought I could do a long writeup on him too, but it is hard for me to focus long enough on those things that are less important with so many very important things going on right now.
So, the service. It was like they were running credits cards by hand via the Pony Express. It was so slow, they had one person running the checkin and even that person’s pace seemed comical in how long it was taking. The second guy that came up front was not nice to people coming in, was short with them when asked simple questions like “Where do I go after I have my tickets”. If you hadn’t been there before, screw ya’, because we weren’t telling you where the main stage is. For a new timer, it wasn’t apparent to us that was for sure. Just a low class operation that looks terrible on the inside.
Once inside the stage area, again, pretty low-quality. Granted, I haven’t been to a comedy club before, so this sets the bar for me. I hope there are other places that are a little bit nicer. Maybe in proportion, the cost for admission is lower, so they don’t have as much money to keep things clean, or have walls instead of black curtains. I don’t know… In relation to the cost, they force you to buy two things off the menu, which is a croc too. I would almost rather pay 2-3 dollar more per ticket then to feel this social pressure to buy something off the menu just because. We just had a huge dinner, and I didn’t feel like eating or drinking anything else. Not to mention, I had a GMAT to come home to, so I wasn’t drinking any beer that would make me sleepy. Just low class I thought.
So, the first comedian, Will C, no creativity laced with a ton of crass, offensive, and attempted shocking humor. We were glad to see him leave.
But Michael Mack, the main performer, Great! Very creative in his stand up. He did the whole singing comedy with a guitar. Some of the songs were short, some were long, but they were funny. That wasn’t the original part. He had a couple of bits that were something I hadn’t seen before. He grabbed some names from the crowd, women’s names, turned the lights down low, and then just singled people out and sang a song about them. The names were randomly matched with whatever person he saw, but he did some great ad libbing, and the planning songs were funny. Then, the last bit, was faces of rock. This left everyone shocked and roaring with laughter. I personally loved the Queen Song Bohemian Rhapsody, he did an awesome job from there to the end. I would go see him again with someone who hadn’t. He was crass and vulgar, but at least it was mixed in so it didn’t feel like he was hitting you over the head with it.
After the show was over, everyone pretty much went home. It was an early night.
It wasn’t until I got home that I found out that my test timed out. I was upset, that I had essentially wasted one of my practice tests. But, now I know. It truly is like the real thing, even though it is on the home computer. I studied a little bit and went to bed.
Tonight was a crazy night. I had to work late to hit a deadline, and that meant that Sarah had to stay at school until 6:30 for the musical. She had the longer day of the two of us. From there she went out with the faculty for a low key get together. I came home.
When I got home, I took the dog on a walk, made myself some dinner, and hung out with Nokes since he was alone in his crate so long today, and a cople of days this week.
I got in about a half an hour of studying, and Sarah called. Johnson’s were going to drop her off from Southport. They stopped in a visited for a little bit, Paul and I had a beer (only one for me because I intended to get back to studying). But by the time we wrapped things up, it was about 11, and both Sarah and I were exhausted. Tomorrow should be better for studying, we have most of the day open.
After yesterday’s stink bomb of a day, I wanted today to be particularly focused.
I got up early and studied an hour before church. We went to late church because Sarah’s kids were singing, so we didn’t get to see anyone after church other than Lori and Kenny who were at the same service. Oh, and Kim and Brian were still there.
We came home, had some lunch and relaxed. About 2:30 Jessica called and we talked for an hour or so.
Then an hour more studying. I was having some people come over who were interested in buying the Dig Dug, Wizard of Wor, and Tetris in a bulk buy. I was praying that things would work out, I don’t need to worry about those games as I am trying to stay focused on studying. Not to mention, when I bought a house, I swore I would never park outside. Well, I broke that rule over summer months, but not over the winter. I never want to have to scrap again. They were interested, but they didn’t buy tonight. Their son was going to fix them up, so they wanted him to come by and see them, sometime early this week. That was fine, it wasn’t a no.
Right after they left, I headed out to Eagle Creek area. Someone had contacted me through my Craigslist ad here in Indianapolis. They had a working Baby Pac-man that I went out to check out. I wanted to see if the game was one I wanted to have, since I am such a Pac fanatic. They were looking for a bit much for it, but finding a working one can be difficult at times. The little gameplay I got, though, wasn’t enough to evaluate it. All I know if that it seems to be better than the Mr. & Mrs. Pac-man pinball machine.
I got home, studied for a half hour before the game came on, Indianapolis vs. The Chargers.
Not a good outcome. The Chargers were up 20-0 through to the end of the third quarter. Somehow Peyton Manning brought Indianapolis all the way back from a loss, setting up Indianapolis for a win. Then Adam Viniteri missed the field goal. Crazy, embarrassing, heartbreaking game. Manning was without Harrison and Clark, and we lost Freeney during the game. It showed, he threw six picks. Not a great way to go into the week.
Wes and Kate stayed over, so we had breakfast together, egg mcmuffins. Sarah and Kate went up almost to the northside for a large thift type sale at a church. Since it was so close to the northside, we knew there would be awesome sales on stuff from the upper crust cast offs.
Soon after breakfast, I didn’t feel so good. I got some sort of 6 hour flu. Until the early afternoon I felt dizzy and weak, all I could do was sleep and watch tv.
Sarah got back just about the time I started to feel better. They made out like bandits, I also got some really nice suits for $20. Sarah got some shirts for me, some jeans, an awesome Pineapple slicer for a couple of bucks (regular $20 on QVC) and a cheap paraffin bath ($5, regulary $50).
Now that I was moving around, I continued the plans I had for the rest of the afternoon. I headed up to Robert’s to pick up that switching power supply for the Tetris and we hung out and chatted for a couple of hours.
When I got home, we had a quick dinner and then took Nokes out for a walk.
I don’t remember what I did for the rest of the night. I know I relaxed, watched some tv, messed around on the computer and played some arcade games. I know I never did get to my studying which stunk. But tomorrow I will be better.