Boredom leads to productivity! Not!

So far today I have done the following: printed out fax cover sheets (actually, I had someone print them out for me), checked every bank account/credit card/phone account that I have to make sure no one is stealing from me, asked a lady if she had received a fax for me (wanted to sound important), filled out a fake dealer packet for my boss (she actually wanted this done), and am now starting to blog. I wonder what the next 6 hours will bring?

No update on Susan, sorry. She was yelling at someone this morning, so something's brewing!

Ok check this out. Tomorrow night, Atlanta Thrashers, GLASS SEATS. Two of those three statements probably don't make any sense to you. Thrashers = hockey team. Glass seats = front row on the ice. I am so pumepd. The last time I went to a hockey game was in Portland with Steve Copenhaver in the 3rd grade. We sat so high that - I kid you not - his nose started bleeding and we had to leave. So I am excited to actually be able to see something, see some fights, pound the glass after too many beers and try to pick a fight with a hockey player thru the glass. The other reason that I am pumped? Double date with Ashley's sister Jamie and her boyfriend! This is a first for us...they are home from Ole Miss for the weekend. Very exciting!

Tonight is more excitement - get to see the Atlanta Hawks play. My friend Jason (from my new small group) invited me to go with him to see the Heat paly the Hawks. I am excited to get to know him better and to go see some NBA! Always better in person than on TV.

Ok let's talk about something. Pick a topic................................thinking..................................private schools vs public schools. This topic was brought to you by: Ashley O'Dea, who is currently subbing in a private school. The topic is hers, the thoughts are mine, FYI. I am a public school boy, as most of you know. I would have never traded this experience for any other high school experience. But what about the private school experience? They, in my mind, are always regarded as better than public schools. They say things like 'smaller class sizes = more attention from the teachers'.....'better qualified teachers'.....'a system of rules or guidelines is a good thing'.....but let's analyze this. At SSHS, home of the Mighty Saxons, the classes weren't small, but they weren't big. I mean, honestly, how big can a high school class be?? It's not USC! And as for the attention issue....I can think of two or three of my teachers that gave me their home or cell phone numbers in case I needed anything...and even went to a Blazer game with my teacher-turned-friend John Turman! In fact we have a beer at every Civil War game. So I don't buy the attention deal, it just depends on the teacher. As for the "better qualified" thing...I don't buy it either. I know people around here who have been teaching for 1 year and got hired at a private school. It is a toss up of "qualifiations"...some are very experienced, some are barely out of a college classroom.

Verdict? Send your kids to public schools, save your money for their college education. Just my thoughts, though.

Ok I just made a phone call. See, I told you boredom leads to productivity.



He is arrested...and the official Grand Tour

Do you recall my friend Susan? My fellow office worker? Well the dude that she talks to every 7 minutes was in custody today...I don't know how it went down, but I heard one phone call. You know which "one" I'm talking about. Will update you when I know more!

So I have survived (not really the right word) Week One at Nana's house. I say survive only because it's a new environment. It is not bad - at all. Let me take you on a tour.

The picture on the upper right (UR) is the office as you come upstairs in to my living quarters. My space contains: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, this office, a sitting area the size of 2 bedrooms, and some storage. Needless to say, it's ample space.

The picture on the LR is my bed and is so big because that's what it is...too big to fit on the iPhone camera. I can lay at any angle possible and still have all 4 extremities touching bed. I can go total X style and be totally fine. The hall way on the UL is my bath room and my big A walk in closet. Could double for another bedroom if need be.

The decor, however.......sketchy. It's a mix of a antiques, the taste of a 67 year old, and collections of many years and many houses. However, it seems to come together in its own way. You should see it at Christmas time. Woah.

So as you can see, I'm doing fine. My days are screwy, for the most part. At the gym early 2 or 3 days a week, home late 7 nights a week. Nana and I don't get much alone time, which is good because she'd probably employ me in her jewelry making side business that she has going ($240 sold yesterday!). I'm sure I'd screw everything up that she makes.

Other than that, I'm still bored with "Abraham", my current book. Only 23 more pages. If I hadn't blogged tonight, I would have finished it. Dang it!

Ashley and I are enjoying our new gym membership (www.mylt.com). She made me do the "Strictly Strength" class tonight - kicked my ass (sorry for the language). But seriously. You think you're tough? Go to a SS class with a bunch of middle aged women and see who's the tough one. One hour of pure hell. But you know what? You feel good at the end.
**BREAKING NEWS!** My mom visited! She made the 3,000 mile trek last weekend, and her very first trip to Georgia! I'm guessing it won't be her last...but it was jam packed. We were tourists one day - a trip to the CNN headquarters (very cool), the Coca Cola tour (you get to taste 64 different Cokes from around the world...beware of Asia!!) and the Georgia Acquarium (World's Biggest...and I'm not just saying that it is huge...it actually is the biggest in the world). The GA is pretty unbelievable. They have Whale Sharks (we watched the feeding), Boluga Whales, everything you can imagine. We spent Friday night with Ashley's family, and Saturday touring around Alpahretta. Got to see Dave Barnes and Drew Holcomb on Saturday night which was a great show! Then we capped off the weekend by showing her the majestic North Point Community Church, one of the biggest in the nation (can you tell that everything is bigger here?). It was great having her come all this way to see Ashley and I and to see where she grew up, and to see our lives together here.

That's about all to report from here. I'll end this blog how my Dad ends every voicemail that he leaves me - with a weather report (ask me why. I have no idea).

Well, 45 degrees, pretty cloudy and really windy. Crappy. See ya later. Click.


The Perks, Phyllis, and a new routine

Well friends, it has finally happened. They (my family, not including me) thought it would never happen. They deemed it unimaginable. They said, Yeah right, him?? They laughed. I'm sure you are dying to know what I am talking about: an office job*. It comes with an asterisk for a few reasons, and I'll get into that a bit later. But first let me introduce you to Synergy Acceptance Corp., my new home.

I started working here yesterday, as an extension with my current employer, which is what the * means. This is not a "new job", per say...just switching roles and workplace. I am helping Synergy out while I am living in Alpharetta, so it works great. They do loans, service and insurance contracts for a few auto dealerships in the greater Atlanta area. This is great for me for a few reasons - mainly learning another facet of the auto industry and expanding my already-limited knowledge. But another reason I perceived to be good was to work in an office atmosphere. Here's how it is going so far.

I showed up yesterday, met with my designated boss Natalie. I'll be primarily working with her in the marketing department. She showed me around, introduced me to 60 people who's names I will never remember, and got me a work space. The perks: computer, phone, office supplies. I felt cool. I'm not, but having never really worked in a office, these are cool things to me. While we were out meeting and greeting, some phantom person came and set everything up. New pens! My very own stapler! A fingertip moistener, which I used today! All bonuses.

So my workday is pretty typical...come in around 8:45 or so, check some emails, write some emails to the west coast that won't get read for another 3 hours, see what I can do to help (if nothing, log back in to my old work's database and do work for them) until I am given a project. Do the project. Try to check facebook only to realize it is a blocked website. Gchat with Ashley while reading materials for Synergy. Today's project is was reviewing and printing marketing materials and putting them in to a Dealer Packet that we will hand out to prospective clients. And reading Dealer Agreements. And blogging. Who knows what tomorrow's excitement will bring!

It is definitely interesting going from working from home on Friday (for the last year and a half) to working in an office 8:30 to 5:30. At least I get to get Dunkin Doughnuts coffee on the way to work! (the best coffee in the US). At least when I get off work I have something (someone) to look forward to seeing. At least I have someone to call during lunch other than a dealership. At least I have a job!

I will post some pictures later today or tonight of the new office...so check back! Until then, enjoy your workday, whether it is from home, at a high school, at an office, or none of the above.


Community and other sentimental things

Community. What an amazing thing. I have realized over the past few years that everyone needs community in their life, and that became abundantly clear this past weekend. It is so important, but more importantly, it is fun and valuable.

What I realized was that it takes very little to have fun when you have great community. When your first reaction is to smile, or laugh, you've got a good one. When all it takes is a kickball to have fun, you've got a good one.

Kickball. When was the last time YOU played kickball? I bet just hearing that word reminds you of the 2nd grade getting hit in the face on a line drive, or catching one swiftly in the crotch, or tripping over first base (wait, maybe all of those were me?) or booting the coveted home run over Baker Elementary's back fence in to Mr. Adams yard. I bet everyone has good memores of kickball. Let me tell you one thing: It was fun in 2nd grade, and it is fun when you are 22 like me.
I played this epic game last weekend with the Boone crew in Raleigh, NC. We were all at a Young Life conference thing and when it was done, we realized that we had 3 hours of sun left. Harry's first thought? KICKBALL. Of course everyone said yes. Here are some memorable moments from our game.

- Erin P yelling HiYA!!! on every attempted kick, fair or foul.
- Blake doing a ballerina jump (arms out, legs spread) while rounding 1st base - and not realizing that he did it.
- Manny literally running over the smallest girl on the field, linebacker style.
- Elise accidentally catching a ball between her legs, no hands necessary.
- Not caring who won.

The point in telling you this was that I realized what a great community Ashley and I had in Boone. All we needed to have fun was a ball and grass. I love that. I miss that.

The other great community in my life (and many others) is Young Life. The Great Connector. Young Life Find a Wife. 6 degrees of seperation, or in YL's case, 2 (doesn't it seem like someone knows someone who knows someone who knows you wherever you go??). Everytime I am at a YL event I feel at home. Camp, club, Boone, Bend, whatever. I feel instantly loved, accepted, respected, welcome and valued. There is nothing like it.

Ashley and I's next goal? FIND COMMUNITY. Find Boone wherever we live. We are trying in Atlanta, but it is hard not knowing anyone. We are trying to get plugged in, but it is a slow process. We want community. We need it. But we are determined to find it.

Thanks Boone for being such a great example of what it truly means to have brothers and sisters in Christ, and for showing what a great community really is.

In other news, I'm moving in with Nana.

Should provide for some interesting blogs!


Thoughts on Normal

Ok people. Maybe it's my luck. Maybe it's my timing. Maybe it's Alphertater. But I have been finding anything but normal people to live with. Craig has really been letting me down. For your enjoyment, here are my recent "interviews", if you will. (I have always wanted to say the following statement, it makes me feel very important). I have changed the names of the people mentioned to protect their privacy. Haha, there is was!! Anyway.

1) Steve. Advertising "new townhouse, furnished bedroom, private bathroom, free internet". Ashley and I go over there to check things out, meet the guy...my pocket statement in case I don't like it is "Hey, great, yeah I have told a few people that I will check their place out too, so I will definitely let you know, yeah, thanks". Steve opens the door and only has one eye. Instantly I am waiting for a moment in the conversation to whip out the pocket line. Sounds bad and horrible, I know. But I'm just being honest. That was my initial thought. The house didn't dissapoint - he did have an extra bedroom and bathroom. And free WiFi. What he failed to mention in his post was that his 18 year daughter may be coming by time to time to stay with him, and that this was HER room. Ah ha. "Hey, great, yeah, I have told a few people that I will check out their place too, so I will definitely be getting back to you, Steve". Goodbye.

2) Barbara. Advertisement: "Everything incl--10 min NPM 400-Lg rm-Priv bath-Ex fac". Looks like Chinese, I know. But it makes sense to us locals. Anyway, off I go, Ashley decided to stay home - don't blame her after one-eyed Willie. I meet Barb at the front gate (gated community, I'm upperclass now!!), and she proceeds to reach out the window of her 1986 Camry to open her own driverside door from the outside to get out.......rough start. I follow her back to the apartment (didn't advertise this), which is on the bottom floor. After getting thru the duct tape holding her door shut, I walked in to an odor that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Later I discovered that it was a mix of cigs and vodka I think. And cat pee. The room was as advertised.....however the "lg" part was not true...and the fact that I would be sharing a 300 sq foot apartment with a woman who talked to her cat like it was her fantasy made up friend Boingo. "Hey, great, yeah, I have told a few people that I will check out their place too, so I will definitely be getting back to you, Barbie". Adios!

3) Bill. Advertisement: "Corporate Relo's / Interns.Furnished room,Large house,No Smoke,Mo/Mo". Ok, sounds decent. I'm not corporate, nor an intern, but what the hey, it was close to Ashley's place. The room was decent.......minus the fact that none of the walls were finished, or the stairs, or the living room, or the kitchen, or the anything. Yes, he was rebuilding his house with roomates in tact. Oh, and he also had his 70 year old mother living there, as well as a German Intern and an Aussie corporate guy. Frat house! With a House mom! "Hey, great, yeah, I have told a few people that I will check out their place too, so I will definitely be getting back to you, Billy". See ya!

All of that searching made me realize a few things. A) Bunking with Nana is quickly approaching, unless my boy Craig lists something good. B) Just because people are quirky and different doesn't really mean that they aren't normal. They are just normal in their own way. I read a book about this. It was called "The Short Bus". You should all read it. I'm sure one-eyed Willie is really nice guy and probably gets a lot of strange looks. But that doesn't mean anything is wrong with him. He's just different than me, and there is nothing wrong with that. And I'm sure that Barb is great. Just not my type. And I bet that Bill is great - he looks after his ailing mom, houses foreign guys who have no other place to live. Extremely nice gestures. So don't get me wrong: I am not bashing these folks. Normal is what you make it. Or what they make it. Normal just is. Normalcy is overrated.

Some more thoughts...

I'm listening to Dave Barnes' new CD right now - called "You, Night, and Candlelight". Go get it. It's only $3.99 on iTunes. What a deal!

I am reading a book called "Abraham". It is looking at how Abraham ties in to Christianity, Judiasm, and the Islamic faith. I can't wait to finish it..............it's that boring.

I can't wait to take another weekend trip with Ashley. We have been finding some amazing places and been having an even more amazing time. Where should we go next? Please respond. Especially if you have a free place to stay! ;-)

I can't wait for two great wedddings coming up...Matt Wade, Ian Swihart.

That's all for now. Sleep well, have a great day, go to the gym, do whatever it is that you consider normal.

Or shake it up and be different.