Sunday, May 31, 2009

summer, summer, summer time!

In case you were wondering about the title, I was trying to make it sound like Will Smith's song 'Summertime' :). It's been a while since I've blogged, especially on here. This following blog will not be on myspace, as it is exclusively on here (for personal reasons).

I've had so much on my mind lately. It's pretty much concerning my future. Every day I always want to change, but with my weird work schedule it's impossible. I know I'm letting it get in the way, and its not a good thing to say. I don't mind being at Steak 'n Shake on great hours (I usually work 45 hours a week), and being reliable and dependable has always been my strength (thanks to good parents). But three days from now will be my 11th anniversary (slam!) and looking at that number just makes me wanna gag. It just shows I'm going nowhere with a college degree and not getting promoted. (I chose not to be promoted) Don't get me wrong, I find Steak 'n Shake to be my comfort zone and I find it to be a great workplace as I've made it become a part of my life. I don't however plan on considering it a career, as I've got other things on my mind.

Which leads me to my next topic. Some of you know I've been taking an online/overthephone real estate course. I do see myself doing it by the end of this year. I've actually been with the course for over a year now, and it's been 9 months since I last talked to my coach. I recently subscribed (or 'followed') his blog as well as his tweets for inspirational reasons. I did get some info over the phone from my coach, but not too much for me to understand very well (no offense Geoff if you're reading this!). He did tell me many times to seek mentorship from a local real estate investor. I mentioned the Plummer guy (who's one of the wealthiest in my town Edwardsville), but his son told me 'it's a tough world out there'. I've even tried asking a mutual friend who flips houses, but he didn't recommend it. And I also asked one of my high school classmates that I recently reconnected with thru Facebook (who does real estate investing on the side...), and he never got back to me. I really hate it when people blow me off like that. But I'm going to keep going on to the next person until someone says yes to mentoring me. I call it the 'Colonel Sanders Philosophy'. Some of you know the story about Colonel Sanders, at age 66 (at retirement age), travelled across the country to sell his fried chicken recipe. It was the 1,142nd person that said yes to him and the rest is history. I have several motivations, but the one thing that draws me back is not being awake during daylight.

Overall, I want this summer to be very special. I want it to be the 'summer of change' for me. Yes, there will be a number of challenges, and I have to learn to be patient with myself in the process of it. I want to leave Steak 'n Shake on a good note very soon. I want to make a lot of money in real estate enough to leave. As said above, I've been there way too long and if I spend another year there, I'll pretty much be kicking myself. Life's too short, and what I have here on this Earth I cannot take with me if I go.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Edwardsville jokes

This is a collection of one liners taken from the facebook group 'You know you're from the 'ville when...'. Several people have contributed new ones and memories on the posts. I put them all together, weeded out the useless, and even added some of my own on here. Enjoy and get ready to laugh your arse.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE FROM EDWARDSVILLE (OR GLEN CARBON) WHEN: have ever questioned why the town nickname is E-ville, the high schools colors are orange and black, and why Halloween is the biggest celebrated holliday in town (noticing a trend?)
...summer officially starts with the Bonifest! (and ends with the Glenfest) complain about getting out of the 'ville and yet you either come back often or you go to SIUE.
...when you drive through town you continuously wonder if there exists anywhere in town where there is not any construction
...if you did go away for college you have trouble getting people to understand the 'twin city' concept that is Edwardsville and Glen Carbon know that the cool thing about living in Edwardsville is that if there is no traffic or construction (ha!) that you really are about 20 minutes from everything never understood how a school who's color is purple is our biggest rival ever did the 'historical walk' downtown in grade school get frustrated when you tell people that Edwardsville is east of St. Louis and they continuously think that you live in East St. Louis hung out at Cottonwood Skate Corral as a kid went to the fire station open house when you were little and have a shirt of every color from it
...until you were about 9 you thought that the only 'beach' was Holiday Shores would get lost in Esic, even if you lived there remember a time before Showplace 12 but then you wonder how you watched so many movies at Cottonwood can't figure out how the high school was so good with sports and academics and the district is so unorganized remember when N.O. Nelson was K-6 and not a campus and Woodland was a Junior High (and you still can't remember what N.O. stands for) spent many evenings (and some weekend afternoons) at Sacred Grounds
...up until you were in high school you got really excited when the Bonifest came to town know that Glik's and R.P. Lumber originated in the Edwarsville area
...if Preach ever flashed you his badge and threatened to arrest you remember always seeing the can man and maybe even gave him one
...even though you never went bowling you miss seeing Montclaire ever put soap in the fountain or you knew who did look up to Laurie Metcalf and Mannie Jackson because "they're one of us" never knew that LeClaire was actually once a town. remember when all the strip malls in E'Ville and G.C. were farmland (and still wishing it was that way)'re automatically on the team if your last name is Allaria, Bevis and/or Dougherty
...after football games, there was always Imo's
...when you played put-put where there is now a Lowe's. When the Moose was where Home depot is now, and raced go carts, where there is now LOWES!
...Montclaire Madness after 10 pm on Fridays was pretty much amazing.
...when there were more than 20 people at Tropical Sno on a friday nightWhat about when there was nothing to do
...(like always) so the only hang out place was Taco Bell....because everyone was always there!
...when the word " 'ville" can only mean one thing... and no, no other lesser -villes such as Collinsville or Belleville. Once, I asked a few people who lived in Collinsville and Belleville if they referred to their city as the 'ville. They had no idea what I was talking about. It's true.
...when 5% of your graduating class gets arrested and thrown in jail for 8-15 hrs for underage drinking out in the middle of nowhere
...while being far away at school get so annoyed with trying to explained to people that you like right outside of stl, but in another, you just start saying "around stl"
...when you still call the road that goes inbetween the movies and governers parkway (plum) the "new road" remember Granny's Rocker, and when a big-name band (like Quiet Riot) comes around the whole parking lot is packed; also the Granny Fanny contest also remember the following places: Rax (before it was Arby's), Bonanza (where Rally's is now), Zipp's (before it was Rally's), PK's, Catfish Heaven and Marko's Fish (where the bank is now), Walgreens (before it was Deals), Lion's Choice (or what I call, Last Chance), K-mart (now Kohl's), the Montclaire Bowling alley, the Bargain Barn (or center), Whistle Stop, National Food store, Yonika's, Ben Franklin's, Dog n' suds, the Flaming Pit, the Grainery, Rusty's, Manhattan's, Papa K's, Laverne's furniture, Little Professor, and definitely the A&W Root Beer Stand know Route 66 passes through Edwardsville
...people from Alton, Granite, and Collinsville think you're a snob once watched movies/shows at the Wildey! consider the cow atop Edwardsville Frozen Foods an icon remember the movies 'Stingray' and 'The Lucky Ones' were filmed in E'ville inch of snow gets you out of school and/or sometimes Hightower's bad judgements
...the Draw an Ad contest for the intelligencer was a big event when you were little thought the Stephenson House was a fraternity house ate at least once at the old Schwartz lunch counter (and can't believe its now an art gallery!) get really irritated when out-of-towners call Township Park 'airplane park' the old high school, you always went to either Convenient and/or A&W were confused whether or not to feed the ducks at Leclaire Lake. remember the state baseball championships rented movies from C&M Video, Mr. Video, and Treasure Trove on Main St. (not knowing there was also a porn shop in the back...) were considered rich if you lived in Ginger Creek and at one time, Dunlap Lake practiced soccer in the fields which are now Dierberg's, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc... explain to others why you trick-or-treat the night before Halloween remember Center Grove Road was a rural road
...THE TEACHERS: ...the old rumor that Ms. Beckett used to be a Playboy bunny
...that Mr. Zupanci and the Hopkins brothers looked like Papa Smurf didn't know Mrs. Beal was a pom pon instructor never knew who Joe Lucco was
...your dad argued with Mr. Gregor know definitely Mr. Pyle does not like to lose had Mr. Becker (history) as a teacher and thought he was cool until the scandal broke out
...every one of your older siblings (and maybe your parents) had Mr. Freymuth fell asleep once in Mr. McCarty's class
...and lastly, you complain about the traffic, the taxes, and cost of living, but never think about raising your children everywhere else!

Friday, May 15, 2009

dueling pianos

As most of you know, last night was a fabulous one. I knew it would be awesome, mainly because I got to take off work after putting in several (I mean, several!) hours at S'n S. I got to see two of music's greatest legends, Elton John and Billy Joel. It was at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. This was the first time I saw both (hopefully not the last!) and needless to say I got my money's worth.

Before I do the review, I will say that I am aware that not a lot of people like Elton John. He has stated several offensive things about religion (and his thoughts on banning it), and I understand that not everyone agreed. Some despise him for being homosexual. I don't agree with the views of over 90% of musicians that I like, as most are far left-leaning. To me, its the music that always counts (or in some cases). It is also unfortunate to note that before the show, I saw a group of people across the street holding up signs and yelling. They looked like followers of Fred Phelps. I was so ashamed to see people holding up signs that attacked Jews, Obama labeled as anti-christ, gays, and America. I was more shocked to see little kids as part of that group doing the same. I am for free speech and all, but be careful of whose toes you step on.

I've been to several concerts, including metal to old 80s bands. But the concerts I like the most are where you can see a very diverse, multi-generational (minus kids) crowd. I felt like I saw several people from different walks of life with one thing in common: to see the superstars that everyone liked perform. When I was on the Metrolink I was talking to a group from Topeka, KS (6 hours away!) and they knew, like me, they would be in for a big show. One of my older co-workers, Vicky, said that she saw Billy three times during his 70s and 80s years, and she said to be careful because the guy talks at the piano between verses in songs. He didn't do that last night, but instead made several humorous comments about various things (like the Kiel Center and its name changes...).

Alright, on to the music. British royalty music came on and suddenly the pair graced the stage and started pounding away a few duets. One of them, 'Just the Way You Are', was brought to my surprise (according to his wiki page, it is reported that Billy does not perform this song in concerts for personal reasons...). Then finally Elton performed for about an hour an a half, and then Billy. It was mostly their 70s and early 80s songs, and that was fine with me. I honestly don't care too much for Elton's short 'Disney' period, and apparently neither did anyone else. I was a bit surprised that Billy played one of my favorite 'not-so' hits 'Zanzibar' (off 52nd Street). Overall, I was satisfied with the song selection. With a huge catalog of songs, I know it was hard for them to choose what they and the public liked.

So the question on everyone's minds: Why do we still love these guys and their music? I usually use the same old answer: because, arguably, today's music sucks. Look at it this way: have we really found this generations ultimate male (or female) singer/songwriter/pianopounder? I remember this question was raised during radio news class where our teacher made the remark. It's also important to note that Elton and Billy are outspoken critics for the music industry. They know indeed that touring is the only way to 'stay around' and 'stay alive'. That's probably the reason hardly any new material has come out from them in almost a decade.

It was awesome, overall, and one of the best energetic shows I've been to. I don't have a favorite particular concert, because I've been to 'artist only' and several festivals. So it would be hard to analyze. I've been listening to these guys for a long time, since grade school. I remember when I was helping my mom clean the basement and I found a box of 45s. I started playing one, and one of them was Elton John and a duet with John Lennon 'I Saw Her Standing There'. My mom said to flip it over and play 'Philadelphia Freedom'. Over the years I've been introduced little by little of Elton John's material. My older sisters were the ones that got me into Billy Joel, as I clicked well with his songs. I would always listen to the Greatest Hits Vol. I and II on vinyl over and over before getting into his other material. To finally see the two perform, in person, was an amazing experience.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Amendment and so-called professional journalism

It's not every year that we have some pageant girl (no matter which one, although its usually Miss America), but no other one besides Miss South Carolina (2 or 3 years ago) has gotten the media blitz until Miss Cali USA spoke her mind. And she's gotten investigated by the far-left media just for saying 'I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman'. She was asked that question by the judges, I'm sure mainly because in the last six months that has been the big issue that has probably divided more Californians. I wrote a blog on it months ago, saying Prop 8 was probably more important than the 08 Presidential Election.

Everyone's opinions are their own, definitely. I myself are torn; probably I believe it should be up to the people. There have been so many protests all over the country and even celebrities are blaming certain religions and groups for the passing of Prop 8. But even more shockingly, I believe, is that Keith Olbermann (whom I'm surprised is not in a mental hospital yet...) was pretty much trashing her and putting down all the people in WWII who fought for the first amendment. Video: So pretty much the mainstream media is divided on here too. Donald Trump let her keep her crown, luckily. Obama probably would have made the same statement too. Even Miss Cali USA, Carrie Prejean, even defended her comments, saying that so many people became obsessed and all the hateful media started digging up dirt on her, like risque modeling pictures from years ago. Come on now, so what she was just trying to make some extra money and if she's got the looks and talent, let her show her stuff. Nudity is one thing, though. I won't even be surprised, if half those girls representing their states have had a 'mysterious' past.

So cheers to Miss Cali USA for utilizing the First Amendment and of course the people that stood by her. And jeers to all left-wing media, especially MSNBC. It's no wonder that you guys are always last in ratings every week. And your network counterpart NBC was 4th place this season.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

bizarro stuff

Taken from Penn Gillette's twitter:
Person A: Knock knock.
Person B: Who's there?
Person A: Atheist.
Person B: Atheist who?
Person A: Oh, I'm sorry, we don't knock on your door when you're trying to relax.

I also was listening to Sean Hannity's radio show and Rich Little, who did his Ronald Reagan impersonation, commented on Barack Obama:
'If he were the captain of the Titanic, people would believe everything he would say' (as he was commenting about his mindless following.)

Also, I noticed something in my email: July 8th of this year will be totally different. Why? because at five minutes and six seconds after 4 am on the 8th of July this year, the time and date will be: 04: 05: 06 07/08/09. This will never happen again, as we all are led to believe.

I'm obviously in a bizarro mood today