25 Random Things About Me

My friend, Ani, wrote 25 random things about herself and sent it out with these rules: You must write 25 random things about yourself, then tag 25 about whom you would like to know more and send it back to the person who started it- that would be me.

1. I used to build US Embassies for a living.
2. I went on safari in Tanzania in 2002.
3. I smuggled 10 large duffle bags of electronics into Bulgaria with two of my friends. (Bulgarian custom agents are lax…but scary!)
4. I got detained in the Indianapolis airport for insinuating to the ticket agent that I was holding a suspicious package.
5. The last day of school, freshman year of college, I was arrested and spent the night in jail.
6. I had an older brother who passed away when I was 3, and remember him very, very well.
7. I seem to have retained a lot of memories from my toddler days. 1977 was an interesting year.
8. I have enough airline miles to fly anywhere in North or South America. (I’m holding out for first class).
9. I was the general contractor for my first home.
George Washingtons Thanksgiving Proclamation of 178910. I love to play tennis, and am amazingly average. I love to throw frisbee, and playing ultimate, and think I’m pretty good.
11. I want to grow my hair out again to 90’s grunge-style length. But everytime I start, I can’t get past month #2 of the 6-9 month process.
12. I’m partially deaf in my left ear.
13. I was nearly engaged to a woman with three kids. (they were great!)
14. I want kids of my own. (God speed).
15. I’m the middle of my parents’ five boys.
16. I love the west coast lifestyle, but the carolinas will always be home.
17. I sailed boats as a teenager.
18. I’ve always wanted to be a surfer, but too embarrassed to learn.
19. I love R&B smooth jams. In high school I would stay up late doing homework listening to radio shows like “The Quiet Storm” and “Pillow Talk” on the local R&B stations.
20. I had my first kiss when I was 13 at a church lock-in.
21. I have a moderate fear of heights.
22. As a toddler, I would put myself to sleep. I think it was a defense mechanism from being in a competitive household, plus the middle-child thing.
23. Took karate as a kid, trained under Chuck Norris’ first student. made it to green belt.
24. I had my first real job at the age of 13. I was an usher at the local movie theater. I would wear my dad’s ties, which made me look ridiculously tiny.
25. I think these lists are fun, but I really want you to like me for the billion other things not on this list…or, just because.

Home Gym for Sale

Over my lifetime, I have seen my parents own just about every piece of work-out equipment ever marketed on TV. Starting with one of these really small trampolines (they now call them urban rebounders!). Then, a stationary bike. Then, a treadmill. Then, the ab-roller. Then, the ThighMaster. Then, the Gazelle. And, the one they’ve had the longest has been the Total Gym.

I think each of these I thought of as amusement rides. I would come home and use it once (the first time I saw it) and thought “wierd…”. Especially because none of these devices were every really used.

A few years ago I was turning 30 years old. Six months prior, I freaked out and told myself I needed to be in shape when I turned 30. So, out I went and purchased this lovely home gym. It’s been four years, and I think I’ve used the thing maybe 20 times total. That’s not a good ratio.

This past weekend, while visiting my parents, I hopped onto the Total Gym. I don’t know what it was about this tryout. But, I really got into it. I love the versatility. I loved the continuous workout. And the up and down motion somehow makes you feel like you aren’t working out. It really is a good system.

So, today I posted my home gym for sale on Craigslist, and am actively looking for a Total Gym. I can’t wait!

If you are interested in the fine piece of equipment pictured above, please feel free to contact me. If you contact me via this blog, I’ll give it away for free.

**UPDATE** This item is now sold.

Your life summed up…

The Charlotte Observer has been running a reader response story based on Hemingway’s six-word story (For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.). The Observer asked for readers to send in their story, limited to six words. Today, the paper posted some of the responses on their website.

I wondered if I would be able to limit mine to six words. So, I took 10 minutes and came up with a few. All are good contenders.

1. Clarity found, partially at age thirty-three.
2. Hope is for those without grace.
3. Grace erases guilt for fresh starts.
4. God’s love will be there always.
5. Loved, lost, will try again soon.
6. Tried it my way, didn’t work.
7. Finding peace with Christ, my blessing.
8. Love is a verb. Give selflessly.
9. To love unabashedly is the goal.

I like the first one a lot. There’s some good imagery in that one. The second one I stole from a TV show. The third is for a brother who asked me once, “what if there are no second chances?”. Four is a reminder to me, family and friends. Five sums up the last 10 years for me. Six is my current realization, and a difficult one to accept. Seven brings me comfort. Eight reminds me to stay humble. Nine remains a question, for now.

Editors Note: (whoa, this was deep. time to go out and have some fun now. TGI FRIDAY!!!)

10 Ways to Better Sleep

The other day LifeHacker.com had a great article on ways to improve sleep. I’m a terrible sleeper in the summer. I toss and turn, and can never sleep straight thru the night. I look forward to the fall and winter when I can pile on the blankets. I sleep like a baby when it’s cold outside.

Here are some of the things that they cover in the article.

1. Don’t watch TV or veg in front of the computer screen before bed. (Guilty!!)
2. Exercise to enhance your sleep. (I need to do much better with this.)
3. Eat to enhance your sleep.
4. Master the power nap.
5. Avoid the rude wake ups by alarm clocks. (no problem.)

I’m going to work on these things this coming week.

Wesley’s 30th Birthday

What a great weekend!
On Friday, my brother Wesley got in the car early in the morning and started driving to my house. From DC to Charlotte it’s normally about a 7 hour drive. With Wesley’s busiest day ever (his press release was the front page of DrudgeReport on Thursday), it actually took him 9.5 hours. But, that was understandable.

When he arrived at 7:30 on Friday night, the fun began. I planned a fun filled, but no-stress weekend. That evening we ran up to Creation for dinner. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it. Then we rolled over to the Gallery Crawl in NODA. There, we first hit The Rat’s Nest where the Loose Lugnuts were playing. We hung there for a little bit, then checked out Dolce Vita for a bit, then rolled home to prepare for a big day on Saturday.

Saturday morning Wesley’s good friend, Brian, drove into town and joined us for the rest of the weekend. When he showed up we jumped into the car and headed over to the US National Whitewater Center, conveniently located here in Charlotte. This is a brand new facility, and it was quite impressive. We had a blast. After a short instructional, we were on the water and rafting class 2, 3, and 4 rapids. We were on the water for about 2 hours, of which Wesley and Brian spent a few minutes each outside of the boat being rescued. Ha!

After a long afternoon rafting, we bolted over to the Pengiun to refuel. Pitchers of beer, fried pickels, and one of the best burgers you’ve ever put in your mouth was just what the doctor ordered! After going home and watching a movie, we went out to Cabo Fish Taco for some dinner, then called it a night.

Sunday, we slept in then rolled over to Kenilworth Park to play disc golf – 36 holes! The first 18 were great. The last half was a bit taxing. (Thanks for Jared joining us to keep us honest on the scoring.)

Here are the photos from the weekend.
Great times, even better company! Happy birthday, Wes! Hope you had a great time.