Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's been almost two months to the day since I've posted... mainly because I can't justify being on the computer for long periods without working on my graduate school applications. Unfortunately, that does not translate to completed applications, but instead endless revisions combined with fewer hours in front of the screen.

I spend the rest of my time working one of my two jobs... oi so much work lately.

I am posting today however in response to an intriguing post my friend Geoff made on his blog (which you can visit here)

I don't really know how to feel about the death penalty. I can see its benefits, but I can also see how it is a huge responsibility for the people carrying it out. What if the jury got it wrong? What if the execution is botched? I read of one man who waited so long for a medic to find his veins that he actually needed to be given a bathroom break. How horrible would that be?
The reason I started thinking about this is because I was reading a story on CNN.com about a man who was executed this morning in Texas. The story lead me to the webpage of the Texas department of criminal justice and I began to read their facts about executions. They proudly report that, "Texas leads the nation" in executions, as if that is something to brag about. They've executed 17 people so far this year, with three more scheduled for next week alone.
I would agree that the people who are on death row in all likelihood deserve to be there. Most have led violent lives and if nothing else are a huge risk to prison populations and the general public. What concerns me is the express lane atmosphere that executions in Texas seem to take. What do you think?

There were two also interesting comments:

Blogger Lolakun said...

I have an internal conflict with the death penalty too. I'm a big fan of the adage, "An eye for an eye makes the world go blind." I think life imprisonment or some alternative punishment is more humane and effective than capital punishment.

Also, I think despite whether the person is religious or not, it's important to allow the criminal and the victim time to repent and forgive.

6:33 PM

Blogger Litzner said...

The 'express lane' death row thought is a bit disturbing.

But one thing that gets me is people being on death row for extended periods of time. You read stories about them being on death row for ten or fifteen years. What are they waiting for? If they are going to be in prison for that long, why not just give them a double life sentence?

6:37 PM


I felt compelled to reply... So I responded:

Blogger trace.dominguez said...

I would have to agree with both of the top two, the Death Penalty is something I think many people struggle to justify in themselves.

Unfortunately, it is obscenely expensive to keep prisoners in prison, and death row prisoners (who can spend decades on death row) are very expensive as well. There is an easy way to deal with that - the express lane - but its also a disturbing way in that our system does have it's flaws.

Bottom line? I feel like the "deterrent" is invisible with the Death Penalty because you have a chance of dieing of old age anyway, and with prisoners getting cable tv, a gym and other amenities that people on the outside would have to pay for: I feel like there are other ways to make our criminals regret, repent and reform.

If you are going to use the Death Penalty, use it so it holds weight, if not, why not find another way to make prison more punishing? Maybe go back to making license plates or clearing fields.

9:20 PM


Now, I ask what YOU think just as Geoff did. I am hoping for some interesting insight into an what is truly a modernized yet archaic method of justice. Thoughts? Comments? I encourage them even if it's short and sweet (though if it is too short I might ask for clarification).



Sunday, October 26, 2008

Amanda told me I needed to update.

So it's been a long time... Most of the summer and now the fall has gone by and I still haven't been blogging. I think It might be because I have been so busy with my two jobs and all my new friends, but really that is probably and excuse.

I feel like my blog has gotten stagnant! Sort of like my life. I dont want to blather on about it, but this last year has really helped me realize my potential is really not tapped at all. I need to focus and get shit done!

Also, it's nice to actually have friends that are on the same page as me. Ray is a lifesaver, and his girlfriend Daryl is pretty great too. Without Ray I dont even know where I'd be right now.

I talked to Amanda the other day! It's so strange that friendships that I made while I was in a foreign country still resonate with me. We didn't know each other very long, had almost nothing in common before we got to our new home, but we somehow became fast friends. If only home was more like that.

So over the summer I spent some time on Mackinac Island, worked a lot at Olive Garden and some at Williams-Sonoma. My brother finally moved out of my parents house. They subsequently rented a dumpster (and not the small one) and proceeded to throw everything away. Evan went so far as to stand at the edge of the huge metal box containing our past and say, "My childhood is in there..." It was sad, but also liberating, especially for my parents. I'd imagine it's much like going off to college, it's such a big step, so much change in perspective without really a big change in who you are; that comes later.

My parents do seem happier, they spend more time together, because they have to. I get a bit misty when I drive away from their house now, much like you feel leaving grandma's. You know when they go back inside it's empty. I trust and love my parents. I know they can fill it.

********

Mackinac Island is another place that's changed for me. I am very happy I wasn't there this season, I don't think I could have taken it. Not because I don't still love what I used to do, not because I don't care for the people there, but more because this year was not what I always remembered Mackinac being. This was more like the stories I'd heard about what it used to be... For those of you out there that know the old stories, it was a sleep-fest, a drunk-fest, a drama-fest, a fight-fest, and there were so many rumors and so much backstabbing that came to my ears I was just relieved that I could go to work and not have to be involved. I went to visit a couple of weeks ago on the last day the Fort was open, and the brand new fife that KC had bought for the guys was smashed and stuck through a nail by the door to the guideshack. In my mind that was kind of the theme of what I had heard from the summer. Disrespect. I wasn't there and won't waste any more time talking about events I know nothing about but it saddens me to learn the program that Ihad helped build through friendship and comraderie was driven to this.

********

There's a guy I work with names Alex who probably will never read this, but he took an amazing picture that I posted on facebook:
I left a comment that it reminded me of a cast photo for a sitcom and my friends jumped right in on it... Leaving a comment:

[Yeah!] a sitcom about a levelheaded guy with these kraaazy friends....

-Sandy [blone on the left] is cute but clumsy and always tries to help his love life but ends up making him look like a creep in front of his girlfriend of the week.
-Tina [in the back - peeking] is actually the neighbour from down the hall that invites herself to their parties. Her favorite story is about how she threw a redbull at a car once. Full can. Then she drank it. Nobody gets it but they all laugh because she's kind of scary.
-Jon John Jr. [the guy on my left] likes to be known as Triple J because "Jon is what my mom calls me" and "John is so formal" and "Jr." is a hick name. The name doesn't catch. He is usually called J. R. He recites Shakespeare late at night.
-Emma [on the right in orange] is a free spirit who always dates the wrong guy, one day they will see they're so right for each other. But only for one day, then it's off to the next crazy episode.

Hahahhaa!

I was inspired and thought it was very clever and creative, so I wrote her back with another episode of my own!

Sandy was working out at the gym, eyeing the guy in the machine next to her, so she decided to show off by lifting all the plates on HER machine, which was like 250lbs. Dropping the plates REALLY LOUDLY after her grunt of effort wasn't the attractive move she wanted it to be, but it turns out the guy was super friendly to her and even offered to drive her to the hospital. She couldn't stand up straight at all, and the getting into the car was pretty hilarious, but she got his number...

Tina invited herself to a party this week (ugh i know) and had a new story about the time that she decided to go base jumping in costa rica with her sister but instead of pulling her parachute she pulled the harness release, falling 25 feet down she broke her fall on an endangered bird nesting in the tall weeds. She made a superstar move... we laughed, but it was actually pretty awful.

J. R. decided to take his Shakespeare to the next level doing hamlet in the park, we all were planning on going but other things came up. We each figured that we'd get the DL from the others, and when we all met up at the bar we usually hang out at pretended like we all saw it, picking scenes at random and using the most general terms possible talking about how it was, "Really good when he was holding that skull up and monologuing!" et cetera. This went on for about 10 minutes before we all realized none of us had gone. He was pretty mad, but kept dragging it on because he thought it was funny that Emma thought Hamlet was actually a spin off of Toy Story 2 about the Pig.

Emma met a new guy last week who she was still with this week. Turns out he was obsessed with female underwear. She stayed over at his house and found a secret room filled with his "conquest wall" of every girl he'd ever stolen panties from. She ran away, and as it turns out was in such a hurry she left her panties (which oddly enough were her lucky pair). We decided to help her out by breaking into his loft apartment with the "PLF." She got all camoflaged in paint and everything and tried (without a lot of success) to repel down into the oversized windows. He had another girl over so she was just hanging upside down there outside his windows watching him try and seduce the other girl. Emma was spotted eventually the girl screamed and Emma just shrugged. We bailed her out around 2am.

so that was another crazy episode!

If you are inspired too why don't you try your hand to write an episode? Leave it in the comment section!

*********

Ultimately, my summer was busy and eventful. I spent a lot of time with Ray, dated a little, met a lot of new people and decided to try for graduate school again. My friends got married, some moved across the country. I still live here, I love my family, but I need to find myself. Amanda and I were relating to each other in this way:

You were born here. It wasn't your choice. What if there's somewhere else that you'd be better? Happier? More at home? Isn't it doing a dis-service to not at least find out? If you choose to come back someday at least you know this is where makes you happiest. There are too many places to just decided arbitrarily that the place your parents birthed you is the best for you.

I am out to find my place.

And now a smattering of pictures from the summer... my favs...


From a wool soldiers outfit to a tie that you wouldn't want to put on a dead man.

At least the glasses are sweet.

A horse on the Pensylvania Turnpike.
We were stopped for over 2 hours so we got out and wandered around...


Ray, Svetlana, and Daryl (in ascending order)

The gang back together at Travis and Beth's wedding

Beth and Travis holding hands their first night of marriage...

Blacksmithing! Yep, that's me!

Erik lookin' feisty!

Ray and I in full volunteer soldier regalia.

Two of my favourite people on the planet

Historic Interpreters doing what they do best. Standing. Lookin' good.

Canada Day on Mackinac (of course)

Eric's Bachelor Party. He was quite popular.
A low-quality (to prevent future gift spoiling) of a panoramic of Eric and Katy's Wedding...

Travis and Beth's Wedding on Mackinac

Ray and I kissing the Stanley Cup
Time to take the old Coke-noe out on the river and have a smile

Carmen and I boozing a bit on the river

Everyone loves canoing!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

it's Katie's fault.

First the rules:
Link back to the person who tagged you
Mention the rules on your blog
Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.



So, here they are in no particular order:
1. I have a slight obsession with audio equipment. I listen. I really like to listen! You can hear a lot of things if you stop thinking about it so much.

2. I like scented candles. I think they make my apartment feel more like a "home" than the smell of my roommates overpowering cologne. Call me crazy. Currently my favs are Good Morning (a spiced pear/muffin/something i can't identify) and Sandalwood. Gotta love sandalwood.

3. I love to not wear pants. And not only in the not wearing pants way. Pretty much I like not having anything from the knee down. So shorts too, I like shorts, i like cut offs, swim suits, boxers, etc. I also don't like wearing shoes if I can help it. I've been known to drive barefoot, hike barefoot, run track barefoot, walk through the snow barefoot, and pretty spend as much time outdoors without shoes on as possible.

4. I remember things. I have a knack for remembering little details, song lyrics, stories, jokes, names, people, quotes, trivia, et cetera. I have actually become fairly well known for it in some circles. And i've never lost at Scene It.

5. I like sports, but I don't really. I like the playoffs more. Why should I really care about the 80 games a team plays for months on end, when only 3 or the 20 teams don't get in the playoffs or whatever. Heck, even if 8 of the 20 don't thats still not too bad right? I think the playoffs are better because if you lose a couple of times, you're done. It just makes it seem more important to me.

6. I seriously check Facebook probably 25 times a day. It's a bit of an addiction. In fact I'll probably tell people I tagged them via facebook in about 3 minutes...

I Tag:
Jessica
Kara
Mike
Kris
Sandy
Andy

Monday, September 29, 2008

So it's been a while, but I've been busy okay?! Sheesh.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Letter to Sen. B. H. Obama

Welcome to the Presidential Race Mr. Obama, and I would love the opportunity to share some of my views with you, and as you are most definitely too busy to listen to the likes of me then I would hope that a member of your staff agrees with my view here on this blog and maybe some of the other blog-readers would as well.

Voting. Voting Rights are more important than many American's believe. Many believe that on Voting Day one just votes! Or mails their absentee ballot and sits back to watch the zoo on Voting Day. Voting Day is often plagued by long lines of people, armies of lawyers watching polls in select cities, small town women and men helping those who have never voted or who are confused about something. Voting Day is truly a blessing on our country that we have forgotten to appreciate amid the turmoil and rush of Lunch Hour voting.

We need a better plan, indeed a plan to remove poll harassment and intimidation, a plan to enact a nationally recognized ballot system, yet if we are going to reform the schema of Voting Day why not reform Voting Day itself. In the campaign people often worry about those who are "Staying Home" on Voting Day, which includes the blue collar workers who can't afford to drive over to the polls because their short lunch break doesn't allow it, or the mother who runs a day care from her home and can't leave to vote even though doing so is something she cherishes. We need a better plan for people who are too busy or cannot afford to stop their work, find their voting card and stand i na line for 5 hours in Ohio to vote.

In short Voting Day should be a National Holiday. We have holidays for everything now, but we need a holiday that everyone agrees is important. Democracy Day, Voting Day, Election day, whatever it would be called there are few that would oppose a day specifically dedicated to the celebration of Democracy in the most successful Great Experiment of Democracy in history.

We need a day where those who can't get away CAN get away. Many people get Christmas off a religious holiday of great significance, but very few take off work to vote. This is where America shows its true colors, we value religion in this country as the world knows, but we also need to value the principles by which our country is governed, University students should not have to attend class, businessmen and women should not be required to work because they should be busy voting for the future of their nation.

Voting is casting your opinion in arguably the most important job interview and hiring in the next eight years, and I for one will be doing my best to hire Mr. Barack Obama for the job.



Voting Day should be a holiday, lets get on that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What was lost, now is found

Sitting here in my darkened apartment I can't help but let my thoughts be drawn to what I could have been.

What if my mother had taken me to be a baby model? (apparently it was seriously discussed as I was a pretty cute baby) What if I'd gone to State? What if I'd sent my resume to just the right job earlier on? Lots of what if's...

Most people seem to think these what if's are a plague on your thoughts, keeping you from doing what you are doing and thinking the grass is greener... I respectfully disagree. I have a number of what if's that didn't turn out well at all, and make my current life look pretty good, whereas there are others (maybe more fantastical or ideal) where the life I have now seems pretty much crap.

Not that I'm not happy, I've got some great friends, a good roommate and a new apartment, I've been to 4 weddings this year, so my friends are all doing well, and I've got a couple of great jobs... but then there's that nagging feeling, that if I just tried a little hard a little while ago... It's like there's a Free Mochas Yesterday sign in my head, and I keep convincing myself no matter what good happens to me, that I just missed something because I didn't try it yesterday... I keep thinking of the right thing to do but on the wrong day.

So lately, I've been on a bit of a sabbatical at best and hiatus at worst. I prefer to think I've just been too busy, but honestly when you try and write a well read (choke* cough* chuckle*) blog using pirated internet, you can never be too sure if you'll be in the blogging mood when the internet strikes.

In honour of my walkabout, I've decided to post some of my thoughts that I've been collecting on my Thought Recorder I received from Santa. I left it in the pocket of my coat and just pulled it out now a few months later...

  • March 26, 2008: "Write a documentary about the lives of people who have been caught Streaking at Professional Sporting events. Title it, Anything Butt. Talk to them about why they did it and perhaps document a live case if plausible. Would make an interesting movie."
I like this idea still... I think it would go really well... anyone want to foot the bill?
  • April 4, 2008: "Note to self: Make sure you put pudding in a pinata before you die."
Yea, who wouldn't love to do this?
  • March 13, 2008: "A industrial strengh magnet that would fit in a small space, a cup, and a car. Combine that with a video camera... Genius."
An interesting proposal, though I think I might have been in a self-promoting mood that day, because it's hardly genius without a better sales pitch than that. In fact I have no idea what the hell I was talking about. The only thing I could think of is to drive around with a cup on my roof and see people's reactions and how they try and tell you, or what they do when they see it on the roof on the highway...
  • March 7, 2008: "Remember when the top of the fridge was so far away? And the cupboard over the fridge was a strange and mysterious place... no one really knew what went up there... How about when the bathroom faucet handle was too far away to reach??"
I often used the Recorder for possible brainstorming topics for later blog posts, this was one of the ones that never came to fruition obviously... not enough gusto I guess.
  • February 16, 2008: "Try walking around with your Carhartt overalls on and the fly open, with your regular pants on underneath with the fly zipped in an area where carhartts are commonly seen... Are people going to think you have your fly open?"
Your guess is as good as mine on this one.
  • February 4, 2008: "The highest rated football teams are from the Midwest and New England; *interjection* the highest rated HOCKEY teams are from the Midwest and New England; the highest rated political candidates are from the Midwest and New England; and yet... everybody's moving to Texas... ... ... one of the Lowest rated presidents in history... from Texas... ... Texas?! ... people really are going to vote against their self-interest..."
An interesting realization if I've ever heard one.
  • February 2, 2008: A conversation between Justin and I about his future was captured by the recorder and is reproduced here...
T: So what would you have to say about this?
J: Anything? Well one day I am going to have all these ideas, that are going to be formed into thoughts...
T: What kind of thoughts?
J: About video games mostly...
T: Okay, excellent. Do you have a publication in mind that you would be interested in?
J:Well eveyone reads electronic gameing monthly...
T: Thats a pretty popular one as I understand, with those geeky kids.
J: Yea, well I read IGN.
T: Oh, the online one! Is that an online only?
J: That's an affirm.
T: So you want to work online... in the online environment?
J: No. No, I want to develop games, for Nintendo.
T: You want to develop games? Don't you have to learn programming for that?
J: No, that's a programmer.
T: Right... So you're in game development? So you guys, what? Sit around in a basement and talk about how to make cows disappear?
J: Exactly, somebody says, 'Hey, we should put this in the game, some kind of fighting racket' and someone else goes, 'Whyyyyy?'...
*silence*
T: So then, you'd be the 'Why' guy?
J: Yea, I question postulates.
T: You postulate questions?
J: Prostate.
T: Well. Thank you for your time... I guess.

Pretty interesting... maybe?


I mentioned earlier that I had been to 4 weddings. The most recent of which was Travis and Beth's wedding on Mackinac Island. Held on Friday 13 June, their wedding was absolutely beautiful. The hike up to Stonecliff was long, but the wedding was fabulous. It was also nice to see Billie for the first time since North Carolina, and though she snubbed me to hang out with some guy who she likes, I found I really didn't care too much, because I was just happy to be back on the island.



This slideshow runs through the bulk of the pictures from my island Wedding Weekend.

I hoped to blog about something a bit more interesting, but unfortunately, I've got 13 hours of work tomorrow, so I think I am going to cut it short. For those that are keeping tabs, I've still not heard back from the job interview in New York, I've emailed a couple of times and they email me back telling me to keep in touch they are still making decisions, and for those of you that missed the Red Wings playoff beard, check out the shots below!
Before the night began...

The boys en route.

At B-dubs just after the cup was hoisted

Yes, thats right, he shaved it. He had it, then, still at B-Dubs, he shaved it. Amazing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Stag Night

Good afternoon faithful readers, and Erik who says I don't update enough. Where's your blog huh?! Geez. So, Eric was just leaving for the bar. Andy had gone to purchase a few, shall we say, "supplies" for the night. We were going to bar hop, but after visiting the Grotto, we ended up just staying right there.

In a new format I decided to create a slideshow rather than just posting a hundred photos



Let me know what you think of this format rather than the spread out one for a massive picture post...

There have been other things going on too, I am planning on a new Blogcast coming up here very soon with my reviews and details of my newest purchase, the Nintendo WiiFit! It's going to be pretty good, and if you're lucky there might even be video. I'm debating still. Also I went to a wedding last weekend with Megan and got to see Kendra!

Oop!

That. Is a Hot Picture.

I won't dance, don't ask me...

Just a little closer...

Working for the Olive Garden which comes with it own drama and a whole new set of friends who all seem to think I am pretty cool or something.

Plus Eric and Katy's wedding next Saturday, and Ray and I are moving into a new apartment here on Sunday!! Wow. Lots of stuff going down. Once we are settled I garuntee we'll have everyone over, don't you worry! I know you were...

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Damn Good Taco


The last few weeks have been something. I've been fairly productive. Working for Olive Garden has gotten me back in the swing of every-day employ. I've made some 'friends' though they are all tentative and only at-work friends at this point, maybe someday I'll see if any want to be out-of-work friends? Either way, this weekend was Eric's Bachelor party and it was Legen-

FLASH: Pat Dillon Spotted in East Lansing!
For those of you that haven't been following the papers. Pat Dillon has been spotted in East Lansing, Michigan. The Illinois transplant was spotted entering Woody's Oasis and this reporter was here to give it to you first.
Pat Dillon, a mild mannered Western Michigan University graduate has been residing with his now-former girlfriend She-who-shall-not-be-named. After the severance Pat Dillon was once more free to walk amongst his fellows. Now in the employ of one Little Caesar (who apparently enjoys an Italian dish called Pizza) Pat Dillion was able to escape to make a visit to his far-be-gone friends here in the Greater Lansing Tri-County area. One Megan C. was on hand for comment, "It's like he's a celebrity," she commented outside of the Taco Bell in East Lansing, "all the guys are fawning over him, hanging on his every word! It's kind of weird." One of Pat's greatest admirers (and this reporter feels maybe an unrequited lover) who refused to allow his name to be printed and instead wished to be known simply as Ray Lee commented, "Wow. He's just so amazing. I missed Pat so much. You should have heard what he just said!! Wow!! I'm so happy!"
Unfortunately, Dillon himself was not available for comment, but this reporter did overhear him saying, "Some people might thing this is a bad idea, but I just think it's a damn good taco."
So there you have it folks. The famous P. Dillon right here in East Lansing. Just remember you heard it here first.
Pat Dillon now resides in Ireland where the Caesar has ordered him to open more of his so-called Fran Chises. An old girlfriend perhaps? Only time will tell.

And now back to your regularly scheduled broadcast. Cheers!~

******
-dary. We started out with an early morning where Nate and I drove over to Ray's to get to Kzoo (actually) Bangor for some paintballing. 5000 paintballs and 4 hours later - during which we even took on part of the current WMU Broncos Football team (they were a hoot) - it was time to head to Shanks. We finished the Wings game over a beer (and after a short nap in the car), and then watched the guys play their own game. Finally it was almost time to go to the bar.

That's when the real fun began... check back later for the update!! time for work...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Whole 'Nuther Issue

I promised. I swore and oath that I would uphold the Blog, and over the past two months I have failed. I have failed not just you, but myself. I created this blog to help me account for my life, or the highlights anyway, and now I have let myself slip! Of course, I've had some pretty valid reasons! And you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't want to hear them...

Back in early-February, Ray and I were sitting in my basement having a grand old time on my webcam. Chatting with whom you may ask? The Elusive Billie; in her natural habitat no less! During the conversation we made plans and booked tickets for a short visit to North Carolina, crazy I know. Our time down in NC was bitter-sweet. The Billie who I had come to know and care for was there, but not in full. It seemed that she was excited to have us visit, but at the same time was distant from the Billie from Mackinac Island who I used to spend hours with.
Regardless, the NC Trip was a successful venture, we flew down without a problem (and on the cheap) and spent a fruitful weekend with some of the more colourful inhabitants of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Arriving and heading almost immediately to a party we were a bit out of place, but Ray and I are masters of the social blend so by the end of the night we were already well liked. Prove it you say? Well Ana, Mike, Amy, Ray and I along with some others (who's names unfortunately escape me) all went to a local late-night breakfast-dive called Best Diner. Billie had long since gone to bed. That's right. Ray and I are Experts at Social Blending - or at least were with this crew.

The Trio. Ray and I had not been Informed this was a 50's Party until we got off the plane.
We improvised. Attempted... to...

Ray, Billie and Amy at 50s Party

After a late night eating good b-fast and crashing at Billie's place we got up to watched her Women's Lacrosse practice, yelling out names of the players as we overheard them - neither the team or the spectators (namely us) had any idea who the others were.
Nothing like a post-lacrosse-practice-breakfast (again?). This at another little - yet much more amazing - place. Ray and I and treated Amy to the Tri-Shake. Something we had invented. It's pretty sweet.
After breakfast and a town tour we had rousing game of bowling at the local Lanes...... and joined people downtown for dinner at Nathan Green's - a very cool establishment coined after the founder of Greensboro! It was everything I wanted in a brewpub and was just fantastic all around. In Greensboro for a while? Head to Nathan Green's.
Later, we started our party evening at an apartment with more Guilford people (one of which really wanted me I am quite certain) smoked some Blake-Cigars. Yea. They were good. and General Lee HadAGoodTime.
Apparently, at Guilford it's not long before every party becomes a dance party. This was fun and fine with me, I told the story of the time I Got Served and even danced a good long while. We moved this party back to campus before we were all too drunk. Ray and I grabbed our Mini-Keg - yea that's right. We'd bought a Mini-keg - and headed back to the apt's at Guilford. This party had dance majors so the dancing was noticeably improved. I was a bit intimidated, but their great attitude and the acceptance made it easy to join in. Now Ray, bless'im, doesn't do too much dancing, but after a few beers was doing well, and had even found himself a mostly-permanent dance partner! After another LATE night getting to know more of the Guilford peeps (and liking every one of them - what great people!), I retreated to Billie's and slept. Hard.

Morning brought Billie's pops- Pete, to Greensboro for a fancy Brunch at a truly excellent Southern establishment. Definitely, the most Southern thing we'd done all weekend. Heading back to campus Ray and I rebuilt Stonehendge in the little diag and then headed out with Billie to find a disc golf course that proved to be VERY elusive. Too bad we didn't have iphones, we'd have found it straight away. After over an hour of buying discs and then searching for the course we finally discovered it on a country road only to be turned away because of a Pro Tourny! Damn it! Ray and I would not be held down and Billie needed to do homework so we trekked back to campus so Ray and I could invent our own course. Our course was basically different angles of the same terrain over and over at different distances, but we had fun and killed an hour or so. Some of the Guilfords even came to watch for a while.
Our last night, we patronized a restaurant enjoying dinner & beer and chatting with all our new friends. The next morning we flew home! What a trip... and this was just what I can recall two months on!
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Returning from NC Ray and I were invited to a housewarming party; this was motivated by my friend Jen's desire for me to meet her sister with the goal that we'd hit it off. Arriving at a housewarming party with no gift in hand and no idea who 99% of the people were Ray and I did our best to socially-merge and succeeded fairly well. Shortly after arriving I met Megan, Jen's sister. She was very nice and quite pretty and Ray met Jess, Megan's friend. While a housewarming party is a very exciting place to meet new friends it was sort of an older crowd so we bailed and headed to a bar to get acquainted. Megan and I chatted while Ray and Jessica hit on each other. Ray even went to the dance floor again, he must have been smitten!
After a night out on the town and a 3am stop at Taco Hell we crashed at Megan's left in the morning and never saw them again. Crazy.

Ray, Jessica, Megan, & Weird Smiling Guy

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Also in February, Ray and I discovered Old Chicago's: World Beer Tour. 110 Beers, prizes and who cares what else, you get credit for drinking beer. We were in love. With it! Not with each other! gosh. crazy talk. Eric, Andy and George Visited and we enjoyed a great night out at the Claddagh, then the next day went to the Red Wings game... where unfortunately Eric didn't do us proud.



We frequented Old Chicago many times throughout Feb and March so I won't bore you with all the details, but needless to say Brock came once. It was pretty much amazing. Here are some results.
Who is going to be the best of the two? Let's duel.

Drawn on the comment card. Oh yea, we turned it in. Colorized later.

The newly implemented Quad-Shake. Awesome.
We got a bit silly; and scary.
Yea, scary.
Nice.

The culmination of a good night.

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Around the time of the NC Trip, I received an email from STA Travel. They are a student travel group based in Europe that does tours and flights all over the planet! So cool. They were looking for: The Ultimate World Traveler Intern 2008 to fill their ranks. I was noticeably excited. In fact so much that this was the catalyst that destroyed my blog posting for the next two months. I forfeited blog postings to focus my energies on creating a 3 minute video for STA Travel, due on March 1st. I posted mine a week early!



Needless to say I was on of only 10 people (as it turns out) to be given a phone interview. I was on Outreach with Dave at the time. It was a bit hectic and I think I could have done better, but I was honored to be in the Top 10. There were over 2000 applicants after all.

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About now you might be asking yourself, 'Why would Trace go through all this trouble to type all this out?' Well it's simple, by going back through it I get to relive it! It's actually pretty great. You should try it sometime!

Near the end of February I was able to visit one of my favourite places on Earth: Mackinac Island. Driving up early on a Friday we stayed at Mission Point Resort - in the winter I know! And hung out on the island causing General Mayhem and just having a good time. Unfortunately, my camera had finally broken, sorry old buddy... so I bought a new one, and it is amazing!

Mackinac, as always, is an excellent place to visit. A completely different environment in the winter however. We arrived on Friday, flew over into the new airport - saw Troy there, hiked into town and dropped our packs at Mission Point before heading back downtown for grub.





The VI was just as we remembered it, only less crowded and with much better prices. Relaxing and waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive we chilled out, no pun intended and later headed on a hike and then down to Sinclair's for some good old fashioned Pub Runner's time!! Yay!



The next day we spent on sleds, both traditional and motorized! I rode a snowmobile again, this time I got to drive a lot. It was tons o' fun! Sledding was crazy, I went down a very steep hill and almost seriously damaged my genitals on a shrubbery hit-and-run. It was horrible. I got to the bottom and just lay there. It was crazy. We hiked around the island, doing sleddings at various places, but eventually made it up to Fort Mackinac, everyone filming, shooting and having a good 'ol time. I even re-enacted 2007s Sledding at Fort Mackinac.



During the sledding, Joe had previously talked to me about his plans to ask Andrea a Question... The Question. I got on a sled and headed down, started rolling, and captured the whole Life-Altering Question... good for them!

Afterward, we trekked back to the hotel for a nap and some pre-party fun and then headed down to the VI again for some dinner pre-Pub Runners. Wow, was that a good night! I am really going to miss all you guys. I love Mackinac and everyone there, even when I get pissed off or rant or bitch. I love it. I'll miss you all a lot. A Lot.








During another exciting night out on the town there were rumors that the weather (which was worsening) would get us stuck here on the island on Sunday. Personally, I had nothing to do so I didn't care, others had a more negative attitude, but I chose to say, "Oh damn, we HAVE to spend ANOTHER day stuck on MACKINAC ISLAND. Darn. So awful a place to be."

I probably would have gotten punched, but everyone realized I was sort of right. We could be stuck somewhere crappy. The following day we were very much snowed in, or iced in really, so we spent the day dozing and drinking gluwine in the common area of the hotel trying to keep our spirits up and stay warm. We built a fire and went to the store for some snacks and spent the whole day talking and laughing as a group together. It was actually really great to just spend time without an agenda and no way to know when we could leave or what would happen next. After an entire day of just lounging though, we were ready to get off the rock, and luckily Peggy and her Brothers were able to come and get us on their snowmobiles and take us up to the airport bright and early so we could get back to the mainland and on with life.

What a trip!
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February concluded we me not getting the STA Travel Internship, though over the next few weeks I worked diligently to create and then re-create a video that I thought really captured my personality and told STA how great I could be. They picked a kid from Cape Cod named Pat. I don't really like his videos or his writing, but he won. Congrats man.

I also was working very hard on my Book. I've mentioned it many times so I won't get into it again, but I am almost finished now. Only 1.5 chapters to go and then editing time... My May deadline is looking to be a bit steep.

A Venice Spread

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As March commenced, I was asked to do some modelling for Bri...
...and then went to Eric and Katy's Housewarming! good for them! I hadn't seeen my kzoo friends in a while so I was pretty excited to get down there. Fiona had been to Alaska and returned that same day, so I got a quick hug before she headed out, but I would see her again no doubt. Jessica and Andy, two of my favouritest people were at the Housewarming and again invited me to live in Virgina nearby them... I have to admit it is a tempting offer. I do love the two of them and would really like to be able to just get out of here... I'm still considering it. Jessica also has a blog, which I frequent. Shout Out!



After the housewarming had ended I called my Broseph and we got together at the Bilbo's. It was great. Ray and Brock and I sang. I Believe in a Thing Called Love. It was great.

Just Listen to the rhythm of my hearrrrt!

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March wore on into the mid-Marchal area, and speaking of Marshall Erickson he's awesome. Check out How I Met Your Mother on CBS. It's amazing.

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As the Pope said once. "Let's see how badly we can fuck up people's St. Patties." And as he said it, it was done. We had a great time though, maybe because we weren't tricked by the religious doctrine the Pope tried to lay down. He's tricksy he is.

The night before St.P's Sandy and I went out on the town and met this girl that really liked bugs at Woody's and I saw my Williams-Sonoma manager. But the next day was to be the true test of our amazingness.

On St. Patty's weekend, had a lovely Mackinac Reunion Weekend here in the Lansing Area. Sandy Safford came down, and the Pub Runners were in town so we headed out to the Grand Ledge Opera House, watched the GL Parade, I had dinner with my family at OG, which then prompted me to actually look into getting a job there... and that changed everything...








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Next on my list of things to do was visit London, Ontario and hang out with my new buddy Jen! As it turns out London is a bit of a hole, but we had a good time anyway, just walking around and whatnot. We found some really good pubs and it was neat to meet in real life after we'd talked on the internet for so long! No we didn't meet through stupid eHarmony, it was a random facebooking by her via this blog actually, and eventually after lots of chatting we ended up wanting to meet up for a beer! It was strange to see her in person, but I'd say it was stranger to describe to the border official where and why I was coming to Canada...

Official: "Where are you headed this evening?"
Me: "Visiting a friend in London, Ontario."
Official: "How do you know this Friend?"
thinking it would be pertinent not to lie or eschew the truth in this case, I was as honest as possible.
Me: "We met on the internet." and when that was met with an odd look. "On facebook actually"
Official: "I see, have you met this friend before?"
Me: "Not in person, but on webcam we've talked many times over the last few months"
following another odd look she continued with her normal questions before letting me through...

All in all London was a good trip, a long drive though, and we talked about doing it again! Arriving back in Lansing I had to get packing for Texas the following weekend!! Now do you see why I was too busy to blog?!

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I never really thought much of Texas. I didn't really like it much when I was younger, but then again, when I was younger I couldnt go to the bar, or see anything for myself. We could drive but we were only 17 (my cousins and I) so we really had limited options. I decided long ago for this very reason that I could never again date someone under the age of 21, as it severely limits your ability to enter bars. Severely.

Indoor waterpark amazing.

I flew down with Gma, Mom and Dad, and met Nancy and Roy at the hotel; and by hotel I mean family fun extravaganza. The Great Wolf Lodge had a waterpark in the hotel, and it was HUGE. Of course I went I took my Swimsuit to London, Ontario just in case there was a pool or a warm bathtub I could sit in. There wasn't btw, but I take my suit everywhere.

We'd all gone down because Tom and Kandice were going to tie-the-knot. The wedding was set for Saturday, we'd arrived Thursday late, so Friday was spent enjoying the company of family and hanging out around Grapevine and our General Area, of Texas.

Thursday night, I hung out with TJ, Tom and the rest of Tom's friends who I had always heard so much about but never before seen. It was interesting to put faces with the names I had been hearing for years and many of them were exactly as I'd thought they would be. We hung out late into the night making our own fun at Tom and Kandi's Apt.

During the next day, Friday, we had to hit up the waterpark. The guys all came over and we found ourselves in sea of little kids and pre-teens with their parents. We were the strange Twenty-somethings in suits running around the wave pool, which was only 5ft deep and trying to to touch the bottom so it would be more fun. Even the lifeguards were just kids.

The water slides were amazing. I MEAN. AMAZING. I wish I could have taken video of them, because they were great. One was like a drain where you go around and around and around into the middle, another was a huge cone that you shoot into and fly up the walls and back and forth until you come out the other end. It was just awesome. We spent like 3 hours in the waterpark.

Before the wedding on Saturday we went to the Fort Worth Zoo, which was a great time. It's a fairly large zoo, though shaped like Cuba, with all the entrances and exits at one end. Like any real Zoo, it has an old fashioned train, but unlike most, it wasn't free. So we hiked back to the gates after a few hours of Zoological-entertainment... Zoologitainment?




The wedding was only 12 minutes long and the ceremony was 3hours minus the 12 minutes, we only had the reception place until 10. It was still great though and we managed to do the Numa Numa dance just as the first dance with the bride and groom was ending. Yes, it was panned.





Monday I got back on a plane and flew north again with gma, mom, and pops. I was supposed to start at the Olive Garden monday, but I wouldn't make it in time.

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Over the next few weeks, I would spend every waking moment working for Olive Garden, Williams-Sonoma, or just trying to study for my OG tests. I haven't even been to Burgerama in a month. Nor have I mentioned burgerama in this blog. If you don't know. Go to the Riv on Thursdays. If you do know. See you there.





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Yea, so this is the end. Last weekend I hung out with Megan C. a different Megan from earlier in this post, she's pretty cool. We hit it off I'd say. I'd like to go into more detail but I think I am getting bed sores from my computer chair from typing this post. We bowled, we ate and we drank. It was a nice weekend. you may have noticed the details have sort of, slipped through on some of these sections. I assume by now most all of you have stopped reading anyway, but if you have great job. You've made it here is the end. The end.