Operations, House Hunting, Blah Blahs, & Bombshells

1. Ankle Biter goes “under the knife” on May 11th. He is getting his tonsils & adenoids removed, along with also getting tubes put into his ears. As the date quickly approaches, I find myself getting more and more anxious about the whole procedure. I mean, it’s awesome that his numerous nose and ear and throat infections will become a thing of the past. It’s also awesome that he’ll be able to hear more clearly, and hopefully be able to speak more clearly once he really hears what he’s saying. These are great things that excite me. But still…it’s my little boy. He’s only 3 ½ years old. He’s going to be OPERATED on. I know it’s safe…it’s just something that creates a lot of nervous energy within me.

2. Is it wrong that I’m absolutely thrilled that Siobhan was eliminated this week on American Idol? She was a one-note wonder (or one-screech wonder) that quickly lost lustre after Week One. I certainly don’t wish any ill will upon her, but I’m glad she’s gone.

3. Sunshine arrives tonight and we’ll not only be loving every waking minute we’re together this weekend, but we’ll also be with my folks tomorrow as I go house hunting (as I mentioned yesterday). When talking to Sunshine on Wednesday night about it, her only wish was that I’d take pictures of her posing in each house we visit when my parents aren’t looking. I think that’s absolutely something I can do and I can’t wait to show those next week.  On the flip side of things, I went through what was pretty much one of my worst days ever yesterday and it ended up affecting Sunshine.  I won’t go into too many details yet, but needless to say I need Sunshine here with me this weekend more than I can put into words.

4. What’s with the Nickelback hate? I mean, I understand that they’re not everybody’s cup of tea…but goddamn people; they’re a pop-rock band who make catchy pop-rock songs that a TON of people love to listen to. And while you’re totally within your rights to not enjoy them, it seems that those who dislike them dislike them A LOT. I mean, we’re talking Justin Bieber-level dislike. And I just don’t understand going out of your way to dislike something. It almost makes me think you actually DO like them but you’re just trying to pretend that you don’t so you look “cool”. Eff it…here’s a recent performance of their new single (which I love, by the way):

5. Rugrat and I haven’t talked in awhile now…and it’s bothering me a bit. The thing is, I know that I need to take the reins on it…but her mom also tells me that she’s just going through a phase and doesn’t really want to talk to her old man on the phone but still loves me blah blah blah. She still wants to come to visit me in August, so I guess I should be happy about that. I dunno…I just wish we had a closer relationship than we do. It’s not that it’s bad, but it could be a LOT better.

6. Just when you think celebrities can’t put anything over on the tabloids, along comes Sandra Bullock to say that she and Jesse James had adopted a child back in January. I mean…is this a bombshell or what?? Heh.

7. I’m really NOT looking forward to moving. I can’t bring myself to pack up my shit even though I’ve got an entire month to do it. Jeez…it’s not even like I’ve got all that much stuff, either. I guess I just have to suck it up and do it. (#thatswhatshesaid)

8. C’mon…”is this a bombshell or what”…that was brilliant, right?

Have a great weekend, everybody. 😛

The House Hunt Continues!

Well, after finding out my house had been sold (pending financial approval, of course), it quickly hit me that I hadn’t yet found a new place to call my very own yet.

Where my dad is a real estate agent in another town, he has been grabbing the reigns and helping me look for deals on decent places (he’s good at that). We had done some window shopping of sorts and were primarily looking for some economical duplexes where we’d rent out one side of the duplex to help supplement my income.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of quality duplexes in the immediate area…though some of the places we saw would have been solid fixer-uppers.

My dad then started looking for nice bungalows and homes that had basement apartments for rent. Maybe then just a bit more income could offset things and allow me to start saving up a bit of money (wow…wouldn’t THAT be a concept??).

Unfortunately, there are even less houses with basement apartments than there are duplexes.

Then I got the phone call earlier today at work. Dad had done some number crunching and figured that we might be able to take the money that we made off the sale of my home and pay off my car (!!). In addition to that, we might still have a few thousand left over that we could place on a down payment on a newer semi-detached home…allowing for me to be able to cover the mortgage, tax, electricity, and water.

I’ve been browsing through Google and the semi-detached homes in the city are really quite good looking. Not only that, but the neighbourhoods that they are situated in are excellent…and with Ankle Biter spending time there, that means a LOT to me. I’d rather have a crappy house in a good neighbourhood than a great house in a drug-filled neighbourhood any day of the week.

So I’ve included pictures of a few of the homes that I’ll be seeing on Saturday…and what’s more awesome is that Sunshine will be with me! It’s her weekend to visit me and (thankfully) thinks it’ll be fun to go “house shopping” with me and the folks.

It’s a little intimidating, though. I mean, the house I’m living in now is just a mini-home and it was picked out by the ex-wife and I over seven years ago. Other than my parents house, this is the longest I’ve ever lived in one spot…and moving to another spot that could very well potentially be a short-term stay (relatively speaking), is a bit intimidating.

Still…it’s exciting and a chance for a fresh start. I really can’t wait and will definitely keep you updated.

My 10 Most Awesomest Things

“The Breakfast Club”, which is what the local rock station morning show DJ’s call themselves, had a little blurb yesterday morning on what they considered to be the most awesomest things ever. That got me to thinking of a list of my own. And I decided to exclude obvious choices like my kids, love, family, oxygen, LIFE (lol), and things of that nature. I mean, those should go without saying, right?
So without further adu, here is my list of what I consider to be the ten most awesomest things ever!

1. The Internet – I gotta be completely honest…I have NO idea what I did before there was the internet. Hell, I grew up in a world without the internet so I guess my age is the reason for my memory issues. But really, is there anything in this world any more awesome than the freakin’ internet? No…I thought not.

2. Earth – I’m not going to start talking about UFO’s or aliens or anything like that, but think about it: we live on a planet that is the perfect distance away from the sun, contains the perfect amount of oxygen, has the perfect gravitational pull, and contains all of the perfect elements required to sustain life. Seriously…how absolutely awesome is that?? We don’t live in a bubble…we don’t live underwater…we don’t live in space. We live on the perfect planet. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty frickin’ awesome.

3. Lightning – This item came up during the radio segment yesterday morning because of the awesome photographs taken at Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano. Apparently, the perfect “ingredients” are present to create “volcano lightning: water droplets, ice, and possibly hail…all interacting with each other and with particles, in this case ash from the eruptions, to cause electrical charging. Don’t believe me? CHECK THESE OUT!!





4. Physical intimacy – No, this isn’t just about sex. There is something unspeakably intangible about being TRULY physically intimate with somebody…body, mind, and soul. It’s absolutely one of the most awesomest things you can possibly imagine. There is just something about that unspoken connection that turns the dial all the way up to 10.

5. Bacon – Honestly…could I possibly ignore this wonderful, glorious food? Is there any other food that is as spectacular as bacon? I could probably go on and on about bacon, but I’ll leave the pork-lovefest up to QTMama. She’ll give you all the bacon-love you could ask for.

6. Star Wars – My mom was commenting over the weekend how strange life can be sometimes. I mean, here I was…a very young kid in the late 70’s loving a sci-fi movie and all of the action figures that came as a result…and my son, 30 years later, was going through the exact same thing now. From Darth Vader to Darth Maul, from one Death Star to another, I love everything there is to love about the Star Wars universe. Whether it’s Han Solo shooting first or Yoda kicking ass with a green lightsaber, there is little else in the world of entertainment that is more awesome than Star Wars…especially now that my son is a fan.

7. Dr. Pepper – I know that some other people may have placed something like tequila or beer in this spot, but to me there is no beverage more awesome than the beverage with 23 flavours, Dr. Pepper. I can unabashedly unequivocally say that I’m 100% addicted to this beverage. I could drink it all day every day without fail. Of course, my insides probably hate me at this point in my life…but Dr. Pepper has been totally worth it. Mmmm…I’m drinking some as I write this.

8. Ninjas – Seriously…how freakin’ awesome are ninjas??? They wear black…they wear masks…they kick ass…they use weapons…they disappear once they’re finished disposing of their victims. The only way to make ninjas more awesome would be to have them eat bacon and drink Dr. Pepper while watching Star Wars in a lightning storm.

9. That’s What She Said – It’s the most juvenile, infantile, immature, silly little childish joke on the face of the planet. And you know what? It’s the single greatest thing that can bring a smile to my face no matter how bad my day may be going. I can’t even begin to describe just how much I love that joke. Well…maybe I can.

10. The female form – Honestly, this should be #1 on my list. But y’know, I don’t want to come across like some kind of douchebag pervert. To me, the single most awesome thing on the face of the planet is the beauty that is the body of a woman. And what’s better is that a lot of women also appreciate the beauty of the female form…and that’s even MORE awesome!

Heh…

So what about you? What do you find to be the MOST AWESOMEST thing ever?

I Sold My House!

Well…it ended up happening out of the blue and without much warning, but my house has now sold!

Before last week, only one person had even SEEN the house in the almost three months it had been on the market. It was bad enough that my own house search was pretty much on hold until there was at least some interest in my place.

I got a phone call at work last Monday asking if it could be shown that evening.  I left work early to clean the place up, picked up Ankle Biter for supper, and made sure the place was as nice as it could be before dropping him off and wasting 30+ minutes until the showing was over.

I didn’t hear anything from the realtor until Wednesday evening when she called asking if the house could be shown again on Thursday morning.  She then said it was the same couple from Monday so that was probably a good sign.

I went through the day on Thursday without hearing anything.  I didn’t want to get too excited so I put it out of my mind.  The realtor called that evening and asked me a couple of questions and that was the end of it.

On Friday afternoon, I got a call from my dad saying that there was an offer put in.  It wasn’t a low-ball offer and we countered.  By the time I picked up Ankle Biter for the weekend, I had received a second call from my dad saying that the house was sold.

AWESOME!!

Of course, now that means I’ve got until June 1st to find a place of my own to move into.  That shouldn’t be too difficult, right?

Umm…right??

Confessions from a Cubicle

Confessions from a CubicleSometimes I drift off at work a bit. It’s not like I actually fall asleep or anything…I just let my mind wander. But sometimes on a break or during lunch I’ll hear or read something online that sticks with me.

What I usually do is just jot something down and then finish these thoughts once I’m home. Yesterday I was in not one boring meeting but TWO…hence I had some time to throw some random thoughts on paper.

And for whatever reason, people seem to enjoy my random take on the world…

1. Last weekend was extremely busy. With two nights spent with both Sunshine & the girls plus a movie out as a family plus friends coming over on Saturday night plus a birthday party on Sunday afternoon…my time spent with Sunshine seemed a bit rushed at times. I certainly don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, though…I love her girls and our friends are awesome people to hang out and talk to. I’m just looking forward to a slightly quieter weekend with Sunshine next weekend. Maybe a coffee date with a friend and maybe a hike or two…but other than that, just relaxing with my gal. I think we’ve earned it.

2. I’m developing a strange crush on Kate Gosselin. I know I know…she’s insane and a fame-monger and a total bitch (if you believe the tabloids), but her most recent make-over has finally won me over. I haven’t even watched her on DWTS but from what I’ve read she was absolutely terrible…and that’s okay with me. I don’t know if she’s deserving of being entered into my “Top 5” list or anything, but I certainly have a crush on the woman. Maybe that’d go away if she opened her mouth, I dunno. So yeah…Kate, just stand there and shut-up. That’ll TOTALLY do it for me.

3. I’m an addict. It’s just a part of my personality. I was addicted to smoking…I’m addicted to cola…I’m addicted to food. I kicked the first habit but I’m having an extremely difficult time kicking the other two. After losing 12 pounds on my last “Biggest Loser” kick, I’ve since gained 7 pounds back (!!) and am really unhappy with my lack of motivation. So I’m starting up another “Biggest Loser” contest at work that begins on May 5th, and this time around I’m planning on going hardcore (for me, anyway). I mean, I did the whole “lifestyle change” thing and it worked a bit…but just never took. I’m hoping to get into good eating & exercise habits to the point that they become routine and not just easily dismissed after having a good week. I know Sunshine isn’t too keen on me trying an actual “diet” (at all…she feels it sucks and I shouldn’t be upset with losing 1-2 lbs per week), but I just feel it’s something I need to try. I feel as though I owe it to myself because I’ve never really REALLY tried to lose weight before (other than the weeks leading up to my wedding, but that whole episode of my life has been deleted from my memory). So I’ll be keeping track again on my blog because I really feel like I need the motivation of telling the world where I’m at…and that can be quite motivational. We’ll see what happens. Hell…I might even change my mind after a week. Who knows?

4. I want to own Avatar on DVD, but yet I *don’t* want to own Avatar on DVD. The mass appeal of this movie were the 3D effects, which were spectacular. The entire movie came to life on the big screen…it was an incredible visual experience even though the movie itself was just okay. So for as much as I enjoyed it sitting in an IMAX theatre, I’m wondering if it’s worth spending $25 just to watch on my 25″ television at home. Hmmm…

5. Ankle Biter’s potty training is going extremely well. Maybe it’s because the ex and I waited until he was a bit older (he’s 3 1/2 now), but the number of accidents have been a LOT less than I had initially anticipated. He’s going on Week #4 and is doing great. Other than an extremely unfortunate incident from two weekends ago (**shudder**), he’s been nothing but perfect with me so I’m really hoping for a great experience this weekend. I’m planning on going to a playground or two and taking him outside on his bicycle (weather permitting, obviously) and driving to see his grandparents, so my hope is that we go the weekend “accident free”. I guess only time will tell…but my fingers are crossed!

6. I might be getting an offer on my house today! I’ve only shown the house three times in three months, but the third time was a second viewing for a couple and my realtor is expecting good news. Of course, my father and I aren’t getting too excited as it might be a low-ball offer…but at least there’s a tiny bit of interest.

7. How paycheck-to-paycheck am I living? Well…$600 would clear me of immediate bill-collector debt and I can’t seem to find a way to get that taken care of. How sad is that?? I mean, I’m in a pretty good position overall…I only owe $300 on my credit card and other than my house and my car and my monthly bills, I’m only $600 in the hole. You’d think that’s an AWESOME position to be in, considering where the economy is right now. But I’m broke ALL the time and I’m always scraping by. At this stage, I’m totally willing to even sell advertising space on my blog (seriously…email me if you’re interested). Hell…if I thought I could make money selling sperm or by donating blood, I’d do it. It just sucks to be SOOOOO close to being debt-free, y’know? Bah.

This year’s American Idol sucks!

I’ve been a fan of American Idol, on and off, since its inception.  I was excited about Kelly & Ruben winning, but I wasn’t so excited about Fantasia and Taylor winning. I missed Jordin’s season, but I got to see David & Kris from beginning to end.

This year, though, has got to be the worst season of American Idol they’ve ever had.

Are there people who can actually sing?  Sure…but there’s only one clear artist in the entire group.  And let’s be realistic, folks…even Crystal Bowersox won’t sell a couple million records because her style isn’t “mainstream”.

But I’ll get into that later.

So let’s just quickly dissect the remaining contestants, shall we?

Casey James
I’ll be honest…I like the guy.  He’s a bluesy guitarist with a pretty decent voice and I can see a solid fan base for him going forward.  Why? Because he’s different.  Sure…the judges all say he’s “just another guitarist with a decent voice”, but how many bluesy guitarists are out there right now?  John Mayer…Kenny Wayne Shephard…umm…yeah.  So while he may never go platinum, he’s got the potential to corner a niche market that could keep him busy on the road for a very long time.  Add in some good looks that make the women swoon and you’ve got a great future in the business.  But is he a superstar?  Oh heck no.  The guy is a walking snoozefest.

Lee DeWyze
This guy’s charisma (or lack thereof) makes Casey look like Jim Carrey.  Having said that, he’s probably a good bet to make the final three.  I don’t think his voice is that good and he rarely goes off song into anything truly original, but people seem to like him. A lot. His “I’m too shy to be charismatic” shtick has snowed-over the judges but I just don’t get it.  He reminds me of a less-talented Danny Gokey.  I honestly don’t see a big career for the guy.  I mean, at least Chris Daughtry and David Cook were original enough in their Idol performances that you could sense their ability to have successful pop/rock careers.  I really don’t get that from DeWyze.  Sure, he can sing…but so can most people who are on this show.  Nothing really stands out for him.

Tim Urban
Ummm…how do I even begin to describe “Teflon Tim”?  I’ve got one word for you: Sanjaya.  Honestly…this guy is a singing waiter and I cannot believe he even lasted in the competition as long as he did before his elimination last night.

Aaron Kelly
Pretty.  That’s how I would describe Aaron’s voice.  It’s not particularly strong, though, and he isn’t quite ready yet for the big stage yet.  “Karaoke Boy” is how I’d describe him.  He’s not really a lot better than any good singer you’d hear on karaoke night somewhere.  He’s like a less-talented David Archuletta…and we all know where HIS career is right now.

Siobhan Magnus
This chick bothers me.  Her voice when she doesn’t scream is just “really good”. And that’s the thing with her: when you take away the screaming big notes, you’re not left with much else. She started the competition as the “female Adam Lambert” but has fallen quickly in the past few weeks from that lofty comparison.  She started off as a unique singer with massive potential and it just appears as though she’s going week-to-week singing very boring blasé songs in a safe effort to get votes instead of just being herself and risk it all. And it appears that every week she is defending herself by saying that she doesn’t want to be put into a “genre bubble”, yet she’s singing adult contemporary songs that just don’t seem to go with her look.  I’m just confused by her and that bothers me. To me, she’s not being herself…rather she’s trying to win. I know that’s the goal, but I just don’t respect how she’s going about doing it.

Michael Lynche
“Big Mike” is my personal favourite. He reminds me of Season Two winner Ruben Studdard…and that’s a very favourable comparison in my book. In addition to the vocal ability, I think he’s got the most charisma out of the entire group. So what’s the problem with Lynche? His genre.  Listen…solid R&B singers aren’t easy to come by but the genre isn’t breaking any sales records. You’ve got occasional standouts like this week’s “mentor” Alicia Keys, but she’s made a career relying on pop singles to help sell her R&B albums.  I fear that Lynche, much like Studdard, won’t have much of a career even though he’s extremely talented and has all the tools.

Crystal Bowersox
Let’s face it…if Crystal doesn’t win this season then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with the show. She is heads and tails above the rest of the competition in terms of overall star power and musical ability. People may have their favourites, but Crystal is far and away the best artist out of the bunch.  The problem, similar to Lynche, is that I fear that her style wouldn’t do much in terms of selling records. She’s a new-age Melissa Etheridge, and I mean that as a big compliment.  But for as much as I love listening to Bowersox sing, I just don’t know if I could listen to an entire album of hers.  I suppose time will tell.

___

Add to these final seven (now six) some of the recently departed underachieving singers like Lacey Brown & Paige Miles, and it all adds up to one big ball of suck.

And what’s worse this year?  THE ADVICE!!  I won’t say that the judges are worse without Paula around because Ellen blows Abdul out of the water in terms of being an awesome judge.  So no, the judge change isn’t the problem…the week-to-week advice is the problem that makes these average performers even worse. One week it’s “do something different and step out of your safe boundaries”…then the next week it’s “you changed around the song until it was unrecognizable…where’s the person we know and love so much?”

It’s brutal.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my thoughts on this season.  Are there people out there who disagree?  Am I just not seeing something in these singers that you see?  What say you?