Woohoo!

This has been the most exciting and eventful few days that I can remember. First off we had all the holiday madness, friends, family and all the turmoil as usual. We had a good Christmas and got some great gifts. But after all that, like two nights ago it all got a little weird.
I’m sure most of you know that I’m on twitter (@gibb626) and pretty active within my one little group. I follow about 300 people and its mostly reciprocal. I “speak” with probably 15-20 regularly. Jim Irsay is someone I follow but he doesn’t follow me and I don’t speak with him at all. Until Tuesday night. He posted a riddle and the winner got a trip to Hawaii and the ProBowl.
I won.
Seriously, yesterday I spoke with his assistant and they are working out all the flight and hotel details, but we’ll be spending 5 nights in Honolulu and the end of January! Erin and I are both still in shock a bit to say the least.
The answer to the riddle was “one hundred forty characters” the question was basically a long tweet that had the numbers 1, 4, 0 and the word characters at the end. It wasn’t that hard but it wasn’t that easy either. Tons of people got it right after me. I was lucky.
After Irsay declared that there was a winner but that they were working on determining exactly who it was, I started to check to see if it was me. I was flooded with tweets that said i had won, of course not from anyone with any authority but still… People were saying I’d won! I was wired. Did I mention it was after 11pm and Erin had work the next day? She didn’t quite believe what I was talking about mainly because she wanted to go to bed and secondly because I think she thought my Twitter fascination was a waste of time. But I didn’t really care, I thought I had won and I had no chance of actually sleeping until the real winner was announced. Irsay then tweeted that they would announce the next morning.
Kyle and I headed the Steak N Shake to kill some time. I got home about 2:30am. I laid down and stayed awake all night. Waiting…
The next morning at 8 I moved to the couch to wait. At 10 I got a direct message that they thought the winner was me but they weren’t announcing for sure yet. Well that pretty much made me twice as excited, phone calls went out to friends and family with the caveat that it wasn’t official yet. At 2pm I got another direct message this one was a phone number to his assistant to setup the travel arraignments. Moments later he announced it on Twitter. I was flooded again…

The other big news is that Erin and I are moving forward on our Debt Snowball. Yesterday we also paid off the next in the line. We still have a ways to go but since this was our first big payoff, I think now this is just the start of really getting the snowball rolling. It only gets bigger as it rolls along.

Gotta get back at this…

There’s been so much going on the last few days this might just be a dump post to catch everything up, I’ll probably miss a bunch too.

My birthday was last Saturday, the 28th year, it’s already begun and I feel like it shouldn’t be here yet. I feel like I’m getting older but not moving forward as fast as I always thought I would. I guess I just feel old or something and don’t know how/where to push forward right now. I’m sure in 20 years I’ll look back and wish I wouldn’t have pushed forward so much.

I wonder if I’ll still be writing then?

Saturday, Erin and I went out on the town so to speak, not a fancy thing, just out and about in Indy. We don’t do that much anymore, life gets in the way too much. We went to an auction first thing in the morning but didn’t stay long because things were just going for way too much money. After that we went to get her a new iPhone 3GS, I got my iPhone 4 Friday so she was itching for a new one too I think. We’re both pretty happy with each of our choices. We stopped at Lowes next and bought a new microwave, we had to do it, our old one took like 3 minutes to cook pizza rolls, now we can do it in 1. Then we went home, installed the new microwave, and chilled for a bit. Dinner at Logan’s and a quick grocery trip rounded out our day.

Sunday was my official birthday party or whatever you want to call it, family dinner basically. We had a good time. I did a good deed, and honestly it made me feel like I was making a difference and helping out someone who really needed it. I love that feeling. That selfless giving feeling that you get when you go out of your way to make a miracle happen for someone.

Last night, I went out with Kyle for a traditional guys night dinner, Hacienda and Best Buy. Had a pretty good time there too.

Work: What can I say about work other than it’s been stressful at times and dead at other times. Just not into talking about it now I guess.

Its odd to have old friends coming back into the picture now, we’ll see how that goes.

Courtney just headed off to Tasmania, it’s going to be a while before she gets back. I hope we can pick up right where we left off when she gets back.

I’d better get going… more forthcoming, including July 4th plans.

Vacation Days 2 and 3

I didn’t forget to blog last night, I was just busy and today was more of the same. Christmas with my family and friends is more than just a few hours on the morning of the 25th, it’s an extravaganza lasting a few days before and maybe the day after too.

Yesterday was glorious. I did absolutely nothing and I loved it! I watched the Colts beat the Texans in basically one half. I finally got dressed around 7 and headed out to meet up with Kyle for our traditional Sunday night tea and talking. Good times.

Today I started bright and early at 8 although I wish it could have been 10 because I really didn’t sleep much the night before. Seriously do that trash trucks have to come at 330 on a Monday morning? We headed to my grandparents for a little Christmas Eve lunch and to open some presents. I got some good stuff really and it’s only just begun.

In the afternoon we headed out to Erin’s for Christmas with her family. An amazing roast beef was waiting as well. I got some really great presents again. A blender (you might not understand but I really wanted one, one with a knob especially), some money to put towards some new glasses which I desperately need, and a pair of leather Chucks are some of the highlights. Erin got me tools, Craftsman, the only kind I want ever, and some nice sweaters and I’m sure there is tons more that I’m forgetting. I love it all and know that I am truly blessed to receive so much.

Tomorrow is Christmas proper and I’m ready. The holidays are hard for me to get in the mood for lately, I just can’t find the spirit. I found it tonight, on the drive home I jammed to some Christmas music and it hit me. The holidays are about giving though, I still have to give something, I don’t know what or how yet but there’s still one thing missing that I do year after year. Just being that lifeline for someone that needs something a bit more than I do, I’ll find the opportunity soon enough I’m sure, though time is ticking.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and that your time with family and friends can be as rewarding to you as it has been for me.

Only one post for tomorrow, my traditional post, I’ll update late in the evening or the day after.

Adventures with Avocados

Before: I don’t like avocados. I hate them. They are slimy, gooey and I just think they are probably the most repulsive fruit on the planet. Guacamole is a just a waste of salsa fixin’s mixed into the gelatinous green goo, called the avocado. People in my family eat them. People all over the world eat them. There are entire cooking shows about avocados. I hate avocados!

The dawn of a new era: Alton Brown is probably my favorite TV chef. He not only makes food that tastes good (at least the things I’ve made) but he also explains why things taste the way they taste and why things do what they do when you cook them. On the episode Curious Yet Tasty Avocado Experiment, Alton tells us about all that the avocado has to offer. Wikipedia says:

The fruit has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruits, mostly monounsaturated fat. A whole medium avocado contains approximately 15% of the United States FDA’s recommended daily amount of saturated fat. Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are also rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E, vitamin K, and folate.

The fruit is not sweet, but fatty, strongly flavored, and of smooth, almost creamy texture.

Avocado is also thought to promote physical beauty and is used in cosmetics to this day. The Aztecs ate the fruit as an aphrodisiac.

Interesting stuff really. I mean this thing sounds kind of amazing really. Lots of vitamins and healthy things. But it tastes bad. The show got me thinking though, I wondered if I should try this thing that a loathe so much.

I’ve been into eating a little better lately, not whole-heartedly dieting or even giving up fast food. Just eating a little better, more veggies, less fattening stuff, smaller portions. I decided to try the fruit. I told myself that I would force myself to eat some avocado at every chance that I had. That was a few weeks ago.

Avi the AvocadoAfter and beyond: I ate a little on some tacos the other day, it was OK, nothing to write home about but I didn’t mind it so much. On Tuesday I had guacamole on a burrito, this was some good guac! I think I’m starting to like avocados. The flavor is pretty good, the health benefits seem to be measurable, overall they seem like a good thing to eat. Now I just have to find a way to eat them without eating guacamole all the time.

Now I have Aví the Avocado designed entirely from scratch by Erin! (pictured)

It’s amazing how sometimes you start off with a simple thought, something that just passes through your mind on a late night TV binge. The next thing you know you are changing your diet and eating something entirely new. I cannot say that I’ll be a lifetime avocado eater, I can say that for the time being, I’m going to continue to experience what it has to offer. I invite you all to check out the avocado too. An interesting fruit and possibly one of my new favorites.
Avocado.org
Avocado Hints & Tips
And thus, the avocado adventure has begun!

Living somewhere…

Congrates to Jake on getting his new apartment. A cool place, I can definitely say that I’m jealous. As a matter of fact, when I was looking for a new truck a few weeks ago, I thought of skipping the truck and getting a place on my own, well Jake has renewed my wish to be on my own. I called a few places this afternoon, holy hell, why is it so much to live on your own! Nothing even close to my price range. I found out about some kind of income assistance stuff, yeah 6 month waiting list, if not longer…

So alas, I’m still living at home with the family… only another year to go.

MOVIE REVIEW: Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man

Cinderella Man (2004) Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger

Russell Crowe stars as pugilist Jim Braddock in this riveting biopic created by the Academy Award-winning team of producer Brian Grazer, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. Braddock, who garnered boxing glory when he defeated champion Max Baer in a winner-takes-all bout, arrived on the scene during the Great Depression (a time when Americans were woefully in need of a hero) and rose to the occasion with a vengeance. via Netflix

Another great Ron Howard movie about Jim Braddock a fighter who is fighting for more than a belt, he’s fighting for his family. It’s actualy one of the few Russell Crowe movies that I like honestly. Seeing Braddock wait in lines to work and to sink as low as possible before rising to greatness is truly awesome. I think that Zelweger’s role is a bit weak but Crowes is really a great actor in this one, he reminds me a bit of Mel Gibson in The Patriot perhaps. Either way, this is a must see I think. Not a huge boxing movie, something that I think almost anyone will like. Give it a try one night.

A new week has begun

Here’s a brain dump of the weekend:

Wednesday – As I said we went to see Rent with Ben and Franki. Good movie, good times. Definitely worth the price of a ticket to see this one in theatres.
Thursday Turkey Day – The whole family showed up, and then some. An uninvited guest made things interesting and I must add that your embrace was a little too friendly to just be “friends.” The usual stress of family gatherings was of course apparent. Nothing big really, just stress as usual. After that though I headed to Jake’s to listen to some music and just enjoy some relaxation. After the music started winding down, we had the bright idea of going to Okie Penokie out on the east side of the county. Supposedly there have been bodies found and who knows what else. Supposedly scary too. We all drove out there in two cars. This place is located about a mile off the main road, in the woods, the path (not a road) is winding and kinda bumpy. Once we got there we saw some headlights arriving jsut in front of us. Of course we had no idea who could be there but Orion got out to investigate, it was Corey, Jake’s brother, tryign to get there ahead of us to scare us. It didn’t work, the place wasn’t that scary really, but it had possibilities. Someday when it’s warm again, it will be a cool place to go.
Black Friday – Thankfully I don’t work retail now so I didn’t have to get up to work. And since this year I really didn’t see anything worth braving the crowds for, I slept in. When I finally got up though, I headed to Erin’s and we did go do some shopping. What shopping we did! I got totally done with my X-mas shopping except for Erin, who was there with me so I couldn’t shop for her anyways. I did spend a ton of money, way too much. Bought myself a RAZR phone and headset for it and then bought my family and hers some nice gifts. We had a great dinner at Carraba’s, our waitress was actually at the riots at Walmart in Westfield where two men got into a fist fight over a laptop. Craziness. I also must recommend that if you go to Carraba’s you try the Chicken Bryan with the cavatappi amatriciana (pasta with a tomato cheese sauce). As our waitress said in her mom-from-the-south-i’ll-take-all-your-cares-away voice, “It’s just Wonderful.”
Also I found my favorite pen all over again. The Tornado from Retro51. This is the best pen you will ever write with! I promise.
Saturday – I stayed home on Saturday to work on a paper, the only paper I have to write all semster actually. I’ve been putting it off too long and now it’s due soon, so I stayed home to write it. I wrote like 12 pages in about 3 hours, that’s pretty amazing if you ask me. After that I had to get out of the house for a bit, I went to Kokomo, bought some boardgames at Target for Toys-For-Tots, checked out the mall a bit and then was heading home. john called me back from earlier in the day and I hung out with him at the coffee shop downtown. Blind Boy was playing, no one knows who he is, but he used to play at the Blues Jams we used to go to downtown. They were basically just a bunch of musicians getting together to play, you told them your instrument and they just sent a “band” up to jam for a bit. People mostly played old standards like “Sweet Home Chicago” and the like, but Blind Boy had a knack for the blues. He coudl jam with anyone and make them sound great. I miss those days. After the coffee shop we headed to John’s house and played some X-Box for a bit and then I headed home. A long day really.
Sunday – I got up early and headed to Erin’s house to go over to her grandma’s for Thanksgiving dinner. The food was good, I was stuffed again. After all that though, I headed home and then over to Jake’s. Sunday was the day of the big poker game. $10 buyin. Jake won, I didn’t come close, I’m done talking about it. We played football in his yard after that though, that was probably the most fun I’ve had in a while actually. It was just fun, win or lose, we did win though, it was just the guys playing around and enjoying a warm evening in November.
Monday Today – I got up early to wait on the cable guy to come and fix my Internet connection, again. He found that one of our neigherbors had been tryign to steal our cable and in the process he screwed our stuff up. We don’t know which neighbor yet, but I have a good idea of who it was. Stupid people.
Do you hate squeaky shoes on tile after the rain? I do. It rained most of the day today, so at IUK everyone in tennis shoes was squeaking all over the place, it drove me nuts. I was doing it to which drove me even more nuts. There should be a law.
Tonight is MNF though, the Colts and the Steelers. Should be a great game, the Colts are 10-0 and the Steelers are a tough team. Who cares about the Pats this is the game of the year. I’m kinda worried about this actually, I doubt that 16-0 is possible, so I know that they need to lose soon, cause I don’t want that first loss coming during the playoffs. Let’s be happy with 15-1 and a ring, ya know?
School is almost over too, man this semster has really flown honestly. Profs are always talking about reviewing for the final now. One prof is being “nice” to use and giving us our final a week early so we have one less to worry about. That doesn’t help me, because now instead of having 1 week to stress about passing a test, I have 2 weeks to stress. Doesn’t anyone else see that?
This is probably the longest post ever, so I’m heading to Damon’s to watch the game. Leave a comment with ya, I know you’re out there, this is the biggest month ever for visitors by far. More on that later though.