Sunday, August 2, 2009

Will you marry me?!

I finally asked my girlfriend to marry me! A little over a year ago I started looking for rings and thinking about how I wanted to do it and yesterday I pulled the trigger on my plans. Here is how the night went. I told her that I wanted to take her out to a restaurant, Petterinos, that we go to every once and a while so that it wouldn't seem out of the ordinary. I called a taxi and they never showed up, so I had to call another one which finally showed up but made us 30 minutes late for our reservation. It was ok because the restaurant wasn't to busy (no good shows in town) and were seated right away. We ordered our food and after the main course Fatima starting to not feel well, which then caused me to start sweating bullets, but ultimately she starting feeling better so we pushed on with desert and decided to go for a walk. The walk was planned ahead of time as a way to get us to the next part of my 3 part plan. We walked down a few blocks and on the way I mentioned that it was a beautiful night and that we should do a carriage ride. She thought this was a very nice idea as well and so we walked to the old water tower on Michigan ave where all the carriages start from. I went up to the driver and asked how much and after he told me I started to get out my wallet and told Fatima to go ahead and get in the carriage. When she was out of ear shot I asked the driver if he could take a route that went by Lake Michigan and ended on Ontario and Michigan which was were part 3 of the plan would commence from. So, we started our ride and and took some pictures and a short video (posted on my Face Book account) and when we got in front of the Lake and in sight of Navy Pier I popped the question. Here is what I said: "When I first saw you I felt a connection, the second time I saw you you gave me the finger and told me "your not getting any of this", the 3rd time I saw you, you spilled wine all over my jeans and we took a carriage ride and I fell in love with you! Fatima Noda, will you merry me?"! She said yes and made me the happiest person in the world at that moment in time! This is where I asked her:

View Larger Map

I asked the driver to take a photo of us and we continued on as we talked about our future and commented on what had just happened and how beautiful the evening was. We approached our destination and Fatima and I were discussing how much we wished we were already home when I said "I don't know if I can wait to get home!" She looked at me confused, especially when I started to get out of the carriage before we had actually come to the end of the ride. She asked what I as doing and I told her that we were staying at the Allerton Hotel tonight and not going home! She was very surprised! So we went up to our room, I mean Suite, where I surprised her again with flowers, candles, and rose pedals on the you know what! (other stuff happened) We got up and relaxed with a nice breakfast and then went home where we called all of our family members to spread the news! All in all I think it went pretty well! We are very excited about all the great things we have in front of us!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Life... Like a box of chocolates..

I found out today that a very good friend of mine is having relationship issues and as a result has called off his upcoming wedding. Now, you might say this is a good thing because at least he found out these things (whatever they may be that are big enough to call off a wedding for) before he said "I do" and got his receipt (marriage license). The difference here is that they have a little girl waiting to enter the world and my friend really wants to do the right thing and make a family for the new addition to grow up with. Now, this sentiment of getting married just because there is a child involved might be a shade old school, but I think that you have to try and make it work as best you can and that's exactly what my friend is trying to do. Unfortunately, it sounds like no compromise is coming from the other party involved. So, now what happens? Well, like in most other situations, we get the lawyers involved and pay them money we don't have so that we can argue our points to a neutral third party to be the decider on what should happen with the new life that is or has entered this world. I really hope things get better for my friend, he is a great guy and deserves to be happy. This is a sad story, I hope it has a good ending..

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O'Hare Airport manditory delay..

Waiting on my sister's flight to arrive from Philadelphia. It was already going to be in kinda late, like midnight, but now it has been delayed till 12:53. So, I am here at home tracking it via Pretty cool website, gives you pretty up to date info about the flight in question and you can even have alerts sent to you mobile phone via text. They also have a pretty nice mobile site (with a lot of ringtone links). It is amazing the things we are able to do these days. I remember when you had to make plans with people and keep them because once you left your land line phone there was no way to get a hold of them. I think that all this tech is great and in a way freeing you to explore, but do you think that it is also having the negative effect of making people less responsible and creating some serious reliance? I don't know for sure but I do know that every time some one says to me "let me see whats going on" or "I want to keep my options open" when I am trying to put together a get together I want to scream WTF and perhaps some other choice superlatives. Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is people have become so free that now they are becoming A-holes and enough of an A-hole that they will basically say to your face that they are holding out for something better to do, but might come if nothing comes up.. That's just wrong..

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting in Shape for the Winter!

Ok, so I have started to do things a little healthier. When I say healthier I mean I started riding my bike to work (about 6 miles a day) and eating a bit better. I stopped drinking coffee and soda and I am trying to eat healthier snacks like granola and fruit. So far, I have been doing fairly well on all fronts besides a few trip ups with the snacks (damn you cup cakes). To help me with this, a friend sent me this link as a way to supply goals and a reward. The premise is that you are doing a triathlon, but instead of doing it in a day you do it in 6 weeks. There are also options with this approach, if you don't have access to a place to swim you can double up the run or bike, etc. I chose to double the bike ride because I knew riding my bike to work would help accomplish a big chunk of the 224 miles I need to do in 6 weeks. If at the end of the 6 weeks I complete the required miles then I will be treated to dinner by those people that didn't complete it (along with everyone else). I think I can do it but the only thing I am not looking forward to is the run. Between now and August 2nd I have to run/walk (although I think walking is cheating) 26.2 miles in all. I really haven't had to or wanted to run since I had knee surgery in 2002 and I am not looking forward to doing it again. I plan on sucking it up and doing it anyway, but it won't be pleasant. Anyway, I hope this is the start of a healthier me and leads to a lifestyle change. It is weird how as you get older these things start creeping into your thoughts. I mean years ago I did it to stay in the game with the ladies, but now I am solely thinking of longevity and being able to be active well into my golden years. Things change I guess and I am just glad that I am realizing this now and not after it is too late!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Republican Conspiracy Theory

Ok, I am about to introduce you to the way my mind thinks sometimes when it is idle from other tasks, so prepare yourself. First off, just because I am writing this down doesn't mean that this is what I believe is true and is really nothing more the idle thoughts that in no way are fact.

So, I have been reading a lot about this whole deal with Nancy Pelosi being briefed about torture back in 2002 I think, and how they (the republicans in Congress) are trying to make it seem that the Democrats in Congress where just as much to blame for what went down the last 8 years as they are. Well, here is what my brain is seeing. In response to this every left-winger and Congressional Dem is pointing out that the cited proof of this comes from the CIA and that, per their track record, are prone to lieing to Congress. Now yes, Republicans are pushing the idea that it is unamerican to say such things about the CIA , but the Dems and the media are becoming the loudest voice basically discrediting the CIA on all things torture related (of the last administration). Ask yourself this, do you really want one of the only sources of information on the top secret goings on over the past 8 years to be an agency that Congress and due to the media, the people of the United States has no confidence in? I don't think so.. So, to the conspiracy part, is all this just a plan by the opposition party to derail any possible investigation while also looking like they want it investigated?

Anyway, that's my wild theory that may have some flaws but broadly enough plausible, I guess..

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Updates to "The List"

Ok, so I had actually made this list like 3 years ago and haven't really accomplished any of the things on it. So, here are the first things that I am going to do:

8. Raft down a world class river (arguably I have already done this, many times)

For my birthday I am going to be going to Washington D.C. with Fatima and Yvonne and meeting up with my sister Jessica and brother Jason. We are then going to hop in the car and drive to West Virginia where we will be rafting down the New River. I am not sure this qualifies as a world class river but I think due to the fact that I have rafted the Okee river many times and am now doing this one I can check this off the list.

31. Visit the national gallery (I have been here, but really only to the gift shop)

Since I am going to be in D.C. I thought I could get this off the list. I did go the last time I was visiting my sister, but it was right at closing and only really saw the gift shop.

You know, now that I am actively trying to do these things I feel better about the list and can't wait to cross some more off! I will keep everyone up to date with details on how the activities went!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Things I want to do before I die

1. Raft through the Grand Canyon
2. Run to the top of the statue of liberty
3. Spend Christmas on the beach
4. Drive the Autobahn
5. shower in a waterfall
6. Drink beer at Oktoberfest
7. See the sunrise from Maui’s Mt. Haleakala
8. Raft down a world class river
9. Take a steamboat ride down the Mississippi
10. Soak in the mud and waters of the dead sea
11. See Stonehenge
12. Visit Machu Picchu
13. Kiss the Blarney Stone
14. Visit the mysterious Blue Grotto in Capri
15. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland
16. Visit the Galapagos Islands
17. Visit the Amazon Rainforest
18. Float along the Nile
19. Explore the New York public library
20. Ride a cable car in San Francisco
21. Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace
22. Visit a former concentration camp
23. Walk the great wall of China
24. See the ruins of Pompeii
25. Visit the Athenian Acropolis
26. celebrate the day of the dead in Mexico
27. Tour a vineyard and sample a good bottle of wine
28. Visit an active volcano
29. Scuba dive the great barrier reef
30. Visit the forbidden city in Beijing
31. Visit the national gallery
32. travel on the Orient Express
33. See the Northern Lights
34. Visit Hong Kong
35. Go island hopping in Greece
36. See the Himalayas
37. Visit Australia
38. Go on a round the world trip

39. Learn to bar tend
40. Learn to paint a landscape
41. Learn to survive n the wilderness
42. Learn enough Japanese to carry own a conversation
43. Learn how to play Guitar
44. Learn how to surf
45. Learn how to sail
46. learn how to cook Thai food
47. Take a Yoga class
48. Learn how to speak Spanish
49. Take a photography course

50. Make a hole in one
51. Go deep sea fishing and eat your own catch
52. Go up in a hot air balloon
53. Spend 3 months getting my body in shape
54. Donate money and put my name on something: Scholarship, bench, etc..
55. Sleep under the stars
56. Send a message in a bottle
57. Brew my own beer
58. Attend at least on major sporting event: Super Bowl, Olympics
59. Swim with a dolphin
60. Be an extra in a film
61. Make love on a train
62. See the Dali Lama
63. Defy Gravity (bungee, sky diving)
64. Let someone else have the chance I missed
65. Buy a proper piece of art
66. Write a travel book

I will let you know how I am doing from time to time!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The End of the World

So I was reading an article on the mysterious deaths of bats from a disease that seems to be spreading from the east coast of the US to other states inexplicably. Apparently the disease, White-nose syndrome, is pretty serious and it doesn't discriminate between the various breeds of bat and is just killing them all. So, just out of curiosity I started wondering and then reading about what sort of impact that the mass extinction of the bat order would do to the ecosystem. Well, come to find out they play a fairly major role when it comes to plant and flower pollination and seed distribution. From what I have read they are pretty much the only animal that does seed distribution for a multitude of tropical plants, leaving those plants without any other form of seed distribution. Now this may seem pretty crazy but I think that this could have greater repercussions then even I am saying. What do bats eat, what other animals rely on them, can the ecosystem bounce back from this? Anyway, it just got me thinking about the environment and how the combination of this, global warming, extinctions from global warming and who knows what else is all kinda happening right around and leading up to the end of the Mayan Calendar, December 9, 2012! Just thought I would share!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ignorance is not bliss, at least for the Non-Ignorant

Why is it that people are the way they are? Why do they insist on doing the things they do? If someone is doing great and comes across someone that isn't why does the less fortunate feel they need to bring the fortunate down to their level? All good questions I guess, but will they ever be answered? I doubt it.. I guess all we can hope for is that in the end the Human Condition won't become an epidemic and you/I will live a relatively normal life with as little hardship as possible. it is all chance and you can do all the things possible to give yourself a better shot but in the end we are all gambling, hoping to hit it big and get away with our lives.