Wednesday, January 30, 2008


76) My favorite food - the finalists would include prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella, or maybe beef wellington, or sushi or something. But it is buffalo wings. Not those boneless buffalo wings, actual hot wings. I could eat them all day. This is where the Prilosec comes in handy.
77) I have been involved in 2 major car wrecks in my life so far, and countless minor fender benders here and there. It happens with icy conditions - I get the occasional love tap, no major damage. My two major car wrecks happened before I was 18, so my kids will not drive before they turn 18 as a result. Yeah it is closed minded, but here we are.
78) I made a resolution this year to record all the new shows and only watch the ones that got good ratings. I failed - I fell in love with Journeyman and it got canceled. Also, we love Carpoolers, believe it or not - it cracks us up to no end, and I hope it lasts. I guess it is better to enjoy a show for a little bit than to not watch it at all.
79) I think when I am older, I will remember the years between 1998-2001 as the good years. In 98, I finished college and took a year off, and Cullen and I hung out all the time and just had a good time. Then I moved up here in 99 and had such a great 2 years in grad school on my own, meeting new people. Plus, Carrie and I started dating, and that fun part of the relationship just starting out is always awesome. Really - we used to set the alarm to wake up by 1 in the afternoon, and I was living off my stipend. Good times.
80) At the same time, I am really happy where I am now. I just worry that we work for the weekend too much.
81) The fact that the Band of Horses is on stage at this very moment in Memphis, TN, while you are all at home in bed just astounds me. It is akin to pouring a nice bottle of wine down the sink - it is right there, people! Be tired the next day! You aren't that old!
82) I have freakishly strong legs. I have no idea how - I think I walk funny or something. I could do jumping jacks in the apartment and the ground wouldn't even shake. And I am a big man - I just walk on the balls of my feet. (There I go, talking about my balls again.)
83) I have never been to an NBA game.
84) The best sporting event I ever attended in person was a Memphis Riverkings game. I think it involved Taylor May, Dynamite Lady, some player named Doug getting in a fight (Cullen - help me out on the last name!), and 60 people tripping over the same step.
85) The place I want to visit most in the world is France. Then Alaska, then New Zealand.
86) Toronto is the farthest I have ever been out of the United States.
87) My earliest memory in life is either preschool at St. Mary's (maybe?) or Mom and Ron getting married or living in that first place on Whitehall (right?). I guess I was around 4 at the time. Which means that maybe what is happening with Connor right now will be his earliest memories, which blows my mind.
88) Grady's was my first job. Plus, when you get down to it, moving up here was an indirect consequence - Michigan first got on my radar because of Bill. Ironically, I rarely ever see him. I need to call him to invite him to the wedding.
89) I own my own bowling ball and bowling shoes.
90) I have voted in 3 Presidential elections. My guy won the first one, but my guy lost in each of the next 2, although that is debatable.
91) I love voting. It is one of the things I take the most pride in. I am all "I love America" on those days, and may have even cried after voting once. Just the fact that we can actually vote and take part while 99 percent of the people in the world can't (I made that number up). Of course, thinking that corporations can illegally change my vote by manipulating the voting machines is enough to actually shake my faith in the whole thing.
92) Up until about a year ago, I thought there was a strong possibility that OJ was actually innocent. I think that if I ever want to get out of jury duty, I will put that on the questionnaire.
93) I have never had a nickname really ever. Random people here and there tried, but nothing ever stuck. There isn't really any effective way to shorten my name - Shan doesn't work. I get called Miller sometimes at work because there is another Shannon.
94) When Carrie and I are watching TV and we see someone we recognize, but we can't remember where from, we have to pause and go look it up. Otherwise, we spend the whole time thinking about it, and we don't pay attention to the show we are watching.
95) I spent exactly one semester at UMichigan in the Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science Engineering program. Then I left to take accounting classes. I would be so much less in debt if it wasn't for these classes. At least I am kinda using the accounting classes.
96) In a conversation at work today about ACT scores, I did mention my GRE scores.
You guys thought I was joking about number 62.
97) I am a king of useless trivia. Carrie wants me to go on Jeopardy really badly.
98) I am also a stat-head. Meaning, I love statistics - I wish I had a better understanding of it all, because it intrigues me. Stats are the best way to defend an argument.
99) Driving makes me more nervous than flying. I would much rather fly to Memphis every time, not just because it takes about 9 hours less.
100) This list was much more difficult than I ever thought. I will think of a dozen things tomorrow, I am sure. But mainly, I want to start working on posting pictures. You know, if we ever take any.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


51) I have a never ending need for external validation. If I saved you from a burning building, I wouldn't just assume your gratitude - I need to hear it.
52) I use humor as a defense mechanism and as a coping device.
53) I completely misunderstood the lyrics to "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman for about 12 years. I always thought she was leaving her small town finally, when she tragically was involved a car wreck and couldn't leave. I thought she was "speeding so fast 'cause that guy was drunk" and the accident made it so "I've got legs wrapped 'round my shoulders". This was what I honestly thought the lyrics were.
54) Last November, I went to Memphis for Cullen's birthday, and we played golf. On one tee shot, I completely strained my rib cage, and it made it uncomfortable to move for several weeks. I just realized today that my ribs are still sore from that. I am an old man.
55) I miss my sister, why'd I go ?
She's the one who took me
To my first all-ages show.
It was Mr. Big - they were en fuego,
They had a record out, but it was before they went gold.
I miss my sister. I really miss her.
56) I still take Flintstones vitamins every day.
57) I still have all of my flannel from the 90s, because I am convinced that it will come back in style.
58) I hate bottling up emotions. If something pisses me off, I would rather just yell an obscenity and then go on with my life, instead of having it all come out as road rage or something.
59) I apparently have a very distinctive laugh. I would never have realized until Carrie pointed out that when I laugh hard at something around other people, they all laugh at my laughing. But not in a bad way.
60) In my entire life, I have probably smoked 3 cigarettes, excluding that one time I went to Canada. I don't get the appeal. And I don't want to.
61) I scored a perfect 800 on the math part of my GRE. However, I was too pissed off to notice what an achievement it was. See, it was the second time I took the GRE because I wanted to bring up my verbal, and my verbal score went down 10 points.
62) If we hang out long enough, I will bring up my 800 on the GRE math. Anytime someone mentions a standardized test, it is a matter of time before it comes out. I want my GRE scores on a t shirt.
63) One of my BIG pet peeves - how can I say this knowing who reads this blog... - I hate teabagging the toilet. I mean, come on - I'm not Cisco Adler or anything. You need to fix your toilets - I can't be the only guy that this happens to. Plus, your water bills will decrease if you are able to fix this problem.
64) I am not a conspiracy theorist - anymore. Although I still think that there was a conspiracy about JFK - I just don't see how there wasn't one. If I need to read all 26 volumes of the Warren Report, I will do it.
65) I love the Oscars, but I don't try to see all the movies like I used to. But, the following best picture winners actually weren't all that great: Crash, Forrest Gump, American Beauty, Ghandi.
66) Since moving to Michigan, I have become a big fan of the Pistons and the Tigers. The Tigers were never my favorite baseball team - I have always been a Cubs fan. But now, the Cubs seem like they are trying to buy a title. The Tigers have been more shrewd in terms of trades and free agent signings as well as developing their talent from within.
67) As for the Pistons, they are just more fun than most other basketball teams. Sheed is crazy, but we all love him. Chauncey hits the big shots, per his nickname. Tay is just so much more solid than anyone would have expected. Rip never stops moving - it is insane. And don't get me started on Maxiell and Amir.
68) I loved the Red Wings before I got here. But really, they are the only hockey team where I know all the players. I was amazed that I watched the NHL All Star game and didn't recognize a couple of people.
69) While I have adopted those teams as my favorites in their respective sports, my favorite professional team is easily the Tennessee Titans. Ask me now - I could name their entire starting lineup - and some of the backups. I just can't get into the Lions. If they got good, maybe. But I would root for the Titans over the Lions any day of the week.
70) College sports - it is all about the 3 Ms - Michigan, Memphis, and Marshall.
71) I used to think I was a genius because I can hold two opposing viewpoints in my mind at the same time, and there was a saying about that at some point. However, I have come to realize that I am just indecisive.
72) I like to believe that after I die, I will live my life again, only starting at one point early on where I will do one little thing differently that completely changes the rest of my life. It will be a parallel life, but in a different universe, and there are infinite possibilities. Therefore, I will always exist - I mean, time isn't linear, right? But yeah, this probably isn't the case. And no, I'm not high! I just really like this book.
73) I can dish it out, but I can't take it. (The opposite of what she said.)
74) If I won the lottery, the first thing I would buy would be a really expensive bottle of wine. Then a car, a big screen TV, a house for me, and a house for mom.
75) One of the things on my list of things to do before I die is to really see the northern lights in all their glory. Here, I have lived in Michigan for 8 years and not seen them. I saw them on the horizon once while camping up north, but I want to see them fill the sky and dance around. I just need to plan a weekend in Calgary with Carrie at some point.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


26) One of my biggest pet peeves in this world are shopping carts that pull to one side. Seriously - how hard can it be to design a shopping cart where all 4 wheels touch the ground? I can spend 5 minutes when we enter the store just picking out the shopping cart I will go with. The best shopping carts are at Ikea - all wheel drive.
27) I have to take a Prilosec every day because of heartburn. The first time you get full on heartburn, it can make you think that you are dying. I am happier without it, but being on a pill every day makes me feel old.
28) Two things that people in the cubes next to me do that annoys the piss out of me: clipping their fingernails and clicking their mouse very loudly when they get frustrated. The former makes me think that one of the nails will fly over and land in my drink. The latter wouldn't be so bad if it weren't 15-20 times a day, every day. Dude - chill out.
29) I can't fathom ever being a dog person. They smell bad, shed a lot, and are very high maintenance. I have Carrie for those things. (Just kidding somewhat! :) )
30) Northern Exposure is and will always be my favorite TV show of all time. Back in the early 90s, I would watch it every Monday night with Mom and eat some Ben and Jerry's. Then, in repeats, I would sleep in with Carrie and wake up to watch it on A&E at 1:00. Those were the days - we would set the alarm to be up by 1:00 pm.
31) Currently, my favorite TV show is Lost. It just is. When everyone was bitching about it last year, it still had me. Friday Night Lights is the best written and acted show on TV, but I don't go to the message boards immediately after watching it the same night it airs.
32) I do not have an addictive personality, but at one point in my life I was addicted to Coke. The soft drink, not the good kind. I would get 3 12-packs, and go through that every week.
33) I lived in Michigan for a year before I realized that you paid an extra 10 cents for every can you bought, because you were expected to recycle and get back your 10 cents per can. All those coke cans - money down the drain.
34) I miss taking classes. I think I got burned out after 9 years of college, but I am ready to go back. I work with a guy taking a medieval history class, and I want to attend the lectures with him.
35) I have a weird thing about collecting - when I was into CDs, I bought them all the time. Same with baseball cards, DVDs, books, fantasy leagues, and now I am all about wine collecting. Note - only 2 of these things have any real resale value.
36) My favorite movie of all time is Field of Dreams. If you mock this movie, then we aren't friends.
37) I honestly feel like I have gotten better looking as I have gotten older. I am not bragging here, I am basing this on other peoples' reactions to me. Then again, I think it is partially in the confidence that goes along with being secure in my relationship.
38) I am in touch with my sexuality enough to admit when another guy is good looking.
39) Everyone has a famous movie that everyone else has seen, but they haven't. And when you mention it to anyone, they reply with, "You haven't seen so and so? Really?" For me, that movie is Scarface. Or maybe Pretty in Pink.
40) I really can't wait to spend Christmas with Carrie - alone. I love you all, but Christmas isn't the relaxing lovefest it was when I was growing up - I spend the majority of my favorite day of the year shuffling between at least 4 different houses. I am not saying I don't want to see you guys on this day, and I do love all the time I get to spend with everyone. The time I get to see Mom on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day ranks among my most treasured moments, year in year out. But, the thought of waking up with Carrie, snow on the ground (or even possibly falling), spending all day in my PJs, making a nice meal, nowhere to go - it just seems romantic. We would come home the next day and all - I promise! It will never happen though - this is because we would both spend half the day crying and the other half on the phone. But, if we ever spend two Christmases alone, the second one would rock.
41) My weekend routine involves about 5-15 grocery/wine stores: Whole Foods, Bella Vino, the Produce Station, Village Corner, Tippins, Meijer, Costco, and occasionally Busch's, Zingerman's, the shops at Kerrytown, Kroger, Main Street, the Liquor Lotto Deli, Hillers, Morgan and York (formerly Big 10) and in the summer, the Farmers Market.
42) One of the things I look forward to most every week is going to Caribou Coffee and getting my Northern Lights Chocolate cooler with a shot of raspberry (only 5 points!), and chatting it up with Carrie's coffee boyfriend. We think his name is Logan. Carrie has a crush.
43) My dream job involves actively investing the money I won in the Lottery.
44) Out of nowhere, one of my favorite parts of summer is the heirloom tomato. Sorry Steph and Tiff. (Oh wait - Tiffany tried one and like it when she was up here!)
45) I love cured meats. That's what she said. My favorite was always prosciutto, but recently it has been surpassed by something called Soprosetta Peppata. There will be a plate of cured meats as one of the choices at the wedding. Please save me some. You can have the olives.
46) I love to cook - it is my only creative outlet.
47) Frankenstein is my favorite book of all time. Not because I like monsters or anything. It is about a man who gives birth, no help from a female, and then the creation develops an oedipal complex for his father. As much as To Kill a Mockingbird was the first book that taught me about symbolism, Frankenstein was the first to teach my how to read true subtext and use things such as Freudian analysis to describe the characters and action of a novel.
48) The three bits of knowledge about me that people I meet find out about me if we develop any kind of relationship beyond casual acquaintances are that I am the son of a preacher man, I have a master's degree, and that I moved here from Memphis.
49) I wish all of you would come and visit. The wedding doesn't count. I want to take Connor to his first college football game. (Real college football - Rhodes doesn't count.)
50) I would never ever live in Memphis again unless one of you is dying. I am just not a fan of the city anymore - I don't know if I ever was.

PS - it is 1 degree outside with a -10 wind chill. But that is for another post.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Let me take a break from the 100 list and embarrassing Carrie by discussing my poo (at this point, it is my only motivation) to talk about a scene from a movie. When I was in high school, I played guitar. Not as well as my friend Jim, who went on to get several degrees in guitar and put out his own CD, but enough that I worshiped the guitar gods and all. Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, George Lynch, etc. Well, in 1986 before he was famous, Steve Vai had a cameo in a movie called Crossroads, where he kicked ass and somehow lost a contest to Ralph Macchio. This is the scene, and I need to discuss it, because it really bothers me to no end. Here are some thoughts about the scene:

0:01 - Karate Kid is at some shack in the middle of nowhere to compete against the devil's guitar player in order to win back some old dude's soul from devil. See, the old guy had lost it years before and is like dying or something stupid, and wants to get it back. Ralph puts his own soul up if he loses, and they get the old guy's soul back if they win.
0:07 - Miles Dyson. If you guys aren't watching the new Terminator TV show, you are missing out.
0:15 - Ralph is like, "can't play none? Suck it." Then he basically air guitars the scene while Ry Cooder actually plays his part.
0:29 - This smiley MF is the devil. Just a heads up.
0:45 - Holy mother of all things holy, it is frickin' Steve Vai, son!!! Now, little Stevie Vai is going to play a composition on the guitar. He wrote it all by himself!
PS - I want to cuss a lot here, but everyone and their mom literally reads what I write. Plus, I got 6 hits on my blog from Illinois. Who is that?
0:55 - No hands! Steve Vai can kick Karate Kid's ass just grabbing the whammy bar!
1:02 - God bless him, Steve Vai is giving some acting faces here. He has no speaking part - the guitar does the talking. (I wrote this song for all my friends - when I grow up, I'm gonna be a famous rock and roll guitar player.)
1:20 - Ralph is so cute here. Some of the music actually occasionally syncs up with his hand motions on the guitar. Plus, it is 1986, so Ralph Macchio is like 37.
1:27 - The devil's smile begins to fade, because Ralph can answer Vai's power chords? Really - if he didn't think he could match that first part, then there is extreme overconfidence on his part.
1:43 - A lot of awesome kick ass overacting on Steve Vai's part here - plus, they are trading one note at a time. Even I could keep up so far.
1:48 - Holy shit, Macchio almost messes up answering ONE NOTE!
2:17 - Vai is starting to take it up a notch with his long ass fingers.
2:26 - Macchio doesn't even try to sync up with Ry Cooder here.
2:37 - Vai starts playing before the guitar strap is around his neck. Good job there, editing.
2:38 - Vai, bitches.
2:45 - So, what Vai just did, Macchio doesn't even come close to answering. He doesn't even try. Maybe this is what Vai should do at the end...
2:46 - The dancing chick. This movie was obviously written by a white dude, because black chicks don't start getting down after some guitar hero does a bunch of runs.
2:57 - I think this chick is the same one who danced for Jabba in his palace before he fed her to the Rancor.
3:13 - Old dude comes up with the harmonica, and plays a bunch of crap with Ralph Macchio. Here, I could play any of what either one of them is playing. What Vai did a half a minute ago - he is ahead easy 2-0 right now.
3:33 - What Vai does with the guitar here, I used to emulate all the time. It was in my high school repertoire. And it is no big deal. But I give him a point for it.
3:39 - Beginning of a Vai guitar solo here where he earns at least 5 points. I think there is the beginning of a solo off Eat 'Em and Smile in here too. (Tobacco Road?)
3:54 - Macchio's solo here is the definition of cute. Like, congratulations, you answered bad-ass with suck-ass. Go buy some cologne.
4:04 - Vai looks worried here? Is this the director of this film trying to sell to the audience that what Macchio is doing is somehow comparable?
4:09 - Sweet spin move, Stevie. For the love of God!
4:10 - Easily my favorite moment of this whole thing. Vai's spin move has moved old dude into some defensive position, with his hands out and palms flat. But, in an effort to recover and not look like he was just intimidated by the devil's guitarist, he makes his hands into fists and does something like the white man dance! Smooth dude - the devil really did take any soul you had, didn't he?
4:16 - That lick was right out of Just Like Paradise! PS - Just Like Paradise and Dreams by Van Halen were my favorite 2 songs ever for the years 1987-1993. Before I discovered Don't Fear the Reaper and Wonderful Tonight, and eventually Bela Fleck. Maybe I should have saved that for the 100 list.
4:20 - The first moment I can even give Ralph credit for. The score is like 11-1 now.
4:37 - I have chills right now, because Steve Vai is about to earn a clean 20 points. Seriously - watch the kickassitude of this solo.
4:59 - Holy crap, he picks up his guitar by the whammy bar and puts it in Ralphie's face! PWN3D!!!
5:07 - Old dude knows it is over. He feels bad. Only some messed up scoring going forward can even this out. Everything that Vai has put up to this point, Macchio has lost the comeback. At no point so far has Macchio gotten the best of Vai. All Macchio can do here is try to match that.
5:18 - Macchio's character in this movie plays classical guitar at some school, but he really wants to play the blues. However, at this moment, his blues isn't enough to beat the rock guitar, so he reverts to some classical shit. He wins with this crap. If you are scoring at home, this movie makes the point that classical > rock > blues, when it is actually trying to make the opposite point. FAIL
5:42 - Note that the whole sound of his guitar changes at this point.
5:55 - Wow, Steve Vai is young in this movie.
6:24 - Macchio ends by hitting a really high note. It is actually some really high note - Vai has hit higher notes so far by using pinch harmonics, but he won't be able to hit this magic note that Macchio just hit.
BTW - that really was an awesome solo. Good job Ry Cooder. However, wasn't that just Macchio's answer to Vai's 20 point effort a minute ago? Why didn't he have to match Vai's solo, but Vai has to match this? Who is making these arbitrary rules here? Yes, Vai just got served, but he absolutely pwn3d Macchio a second ago - we are even-ish. At this point, Vai would still hold about a 5 second lead going into the Eliminator if this were American Gladiators.
6:35 - Vai just up and starts playing this - he gets a point for that.
6:43 - He messes up here believably - like one would if they didn't know the music.
6:56 - He messes up here unbelievably - do your hands ever just fall off the guitar, or do you just play the wrong note? Ugh.
7:09 - Painful that he can't hit that note. Too bad he doesn't know that there are other ways to hit that high of a note on the guitar other than trying to go beyond the 24th fret. Oh wait, he has played higher notes about 12 times thus far. Ugh.
7:21 - I wonder if I look this awful when I try to give a sexy look. (Nope - I got those bedroom eyes. I am teh seXXay!!)
7:33 - Don't drop that shit! It isn't over - he wasn't able to play any of the stuff you played, now you conveniently forgot how to play guitar and it is over? Get back out there! You were one of the G3 guys!
8:04 - Devil tears up the contract.
8:06 - Ralph Macchio says "Devil just come on back if you ever wanna try again. I done told you once you sonuvabitch I'm the best there's ever been."

There it is - every guitar player in the late 80s/early 90s had a copy of this movie on tape that they kept fast forwarded to that scene. I mean, I guess that Vai chose to play exactly the same thing that Macchio did and couldn't so he lost. But, up until that point, Macchio had been kicking field goals while Vai was scoring touchdowns - I just don't get why he lost. Maybe if I watched You Got Served, I would better understand the rules of these head-to-heads. Until then, I will just remain puzzled as to why Vai lost this thing.

PS - one last Vai clip. Nice pants suit with shoulder pads! Is that from the Luann Van Houten collection?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I wanna do the 100 list too!!

I need to be better about posting on this thang. So, I will get started on the 100 things about myself. The only thing, I don't really know the rules. Here goes nothing:

1) Method actors really bother me. I feel that if you can't turn it on and off, you really haven't mastered your craft. If you need to go around 24/7 as a character, then you aren't really good at "acting" like that character - you just take on that persona. I would call Daniel Day Lewis names to his face if I ever met him.
2) Then again, I feel some of the best performances in film history are done by method actors. Go figure.
3) On the Weight Watchers diet, at least 2 of my points every day come from the Skinny Cow fudge bars.
4) I own a pair of black jeans that I got from Express, but I never wear them, because really - what goes with black jeans?
5) I don't take compliments well.
6) I don't take criticism well.
7) I have been digging LCD Soundsystem recently. I know they were all the rage last year, but I am just now getting around to it. It is really just this one guy, and it is kinda dance/punk or whatever, but he is like 37 years old, so I don't really feel like my liking this band makes me up-to-date with what all the kids are into.
8) I have this horrible fear of Adam's apples. They just freak me out. Now, I have touched mine accidentally twice in the past 2 days, and I feel like my throat is bruised. It is my equivalent to Steph's knee thing and Carrie's nose thing.
9) As a guy, I apparently think of sex once every seven seconds. However, I also think of my credit card debt about once every five seconds.
10) For some reason, every time I get my blood pressure taken, it is lower than average. The last time, it was 100 over 70. Of course, I am basing this on a 120 over 80 average. I don't know if this is bad or good. I know I need to lose weight and get in shape - maybe it will be 120 over 80 once I get down to where I want to be.
11) Even though it isn't one of my favorite shows on TV, I do watch Bones every week and I will not die happy until Bones and Booth end up together. I feel like Chandler when he cried about Ross and Rachel here.
12) I watch more TV than the rest of you combined apparently, but I am just not in a hurry to get HD. I mean, I will inevitably get one at some point, and I don't have anything against it, I just don't feel like it is a priority. The fact that I feel this way really surprises me - it seems like it would be the thing I want most in this world. I don't get why I feel this way.
13) I just finished Paul Shirley's book - I can't decide if I like him or not. Like, he should have more friends, and the fact that he doesn't is kind of off-putting. Then again, I feel like I have a lot in common with him, and wonder if we would hang out if I knew him. I don't know - I did enjoy the book a lot though.
14) I am also reading Watchmen right now, and it might be one of the coolest books ever. Certainly my favorite graphic novel ever - then again, it really has no competition for me. Yet.
15) I hate to sweat, unless I am prepared to. Which is rare.
16) I am totally that guy who can go into our apartment and tell whether or not the thermostat has been touched.
17) I am horrible about keeping in touch with friends. I fall into routine too easily, and I need to be better about calling Bill Bernard, Kyle, Di, Carolyn and Dave, Robin, etc.
18) I can't go to the bathroom unless I am wearing shoes. No, we don't have an outhouse - it is just, if there is standing water on the floor in a bathroom, do you ever want it coming into contact with your foot?
19) I hate pooping in public restrooms. I have actually left work and driven home. Well, that was until this high fiber thing started up and around 3 o'clock every day... It is taking me out of my comfort zone.
20) I am a sales rep right now and am 31 years old, but I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I think there is something I could do and really like, but I don't know what it is yet. I do have some ideas though.
21) Without an alarm to wake me, I sleep exactly 8 hours every time, barring some unforeseen circumstance.
22) If I pass out drunk, I wake up exactly 3 hours afterwards and am unable to fall back asleep for 2 hours after that.
23) I have learned more about makes and models of cars over the past 3 months than I have in my entire lifetime up until now.
24) I really, really like spicy food. Except for wasabi.
25) Fantasy baseball is easily my favorite hobby. (Beats out food and wine, which is actually closer than I am giving it credit for.) I check fantasy baseball websites as much from November - February as I do during the season.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fiber in my diet

I realized last night when I spent over an hour writing what was essentially a throwaway prologue blog post about wine, that I need to do some smaller posts. Basically, I need some practice writing on these things so that I stop starting sentences with "like", "I mean", "also","So", "plus", and "but still". (hehe - butt still.) So here is a short post about my day - I will wine blog soon though, don't fret. Plus, I promise to try posting pictures soon.

We met with a photographer tonight who we will probably go with for the wedding. She was in our budget, really nice, and apparently lives about a block away from where we are having the reception. That being said, you are all still encouraged to bring cameras and take as many pictures as possible.

Another thing - we are back on the Weight Watchers diet full time now. And this isn't because my sister made fun of my supposed man boobs in the comments of my blog yesterday, or because my best man did the same in one of the pictures from New Years Eve. (I am surprisingly sensitive about my weight.) I want to look good for the wedding! In case you guys don't know, the WW diet encourages a lot of fiber. Well, today I really went for it - here is a rundown of the grams of fiber in the food I ate today:

Fiber One bar - 9
2 portions of Pringles - 2
2 Boca Vegan burger patties - 8
2 hamburger buns - 6
2 hot dog buns - 6
2 skinny cows - 8
Boca Chili - 12
Rice pudding - 3
Vitatop muffin - 4

Grand total of 58 grams of fiber - the recommended daily allowance is something like 25. Needless to say, I am doing today what Romeo Crennel could not do this season. Mainly, I just wanted to prove to Carrie that I would blog about anything, including regularity. Plus, the traffic on our blog has not matched what it was the day after I wrote about everyone's kids, so I am hoping that some potty humor will do the trick. Talk to you soon!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wine blogging

One of the things I am most excited to blog about is wine. I want to use it as a tool to educate, not only myself but you guys as well. Plus, I really want to make it interactive - feel free to discuss with us when you drink any of the wines that we blog about. And I don't just mean Steph and Chip either!

For many wine drinkers, there is the misconception that each wine falls along some line from the lightest white to the fullest red, and each grape has its own place on that line. I mean, when someone who is used to the Pinot Noir-Merlot-Cab progression of US wines, what are they supposed to think when they see wines made from grapes like Tempranillo or Mourvedre? I worry that many people do not venture into other wine regions out of fear of the unknown, or that there is a comfort zone with wine that people settle into. I want to help remove the idea of this progression, and appreciate that each wine is different and brings something unique to the table. Remember - when you step out of your comfort zone, that is when the adventure begins!

My resolution this year regarding wine is to gain more of an understanding of the world of wine, and figure out some specifics as well. (Actually, I wish my resolution was more like Steph's, but we are working on a budget here! At least for the next 4 or 5 months.) I taste a Pinot Gris - what does it mean that it is from Oregon? How is it different from an Italian Pinot Grigio? I want to share this with all of you - Carrie will be my editor here, so you know that you are getting the facts right. (Really, I still need her to occasionally confirm that Burgundy wines are indeed mainly Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.) I worry that all of us see that a wine did well on Spectator, but we will only try it if it is under $20 or if it is one that we would at least recognize on sight. Really - when the top 100 came out, did you look everywhere for the Didier Dagueneau Pouilly Fume, or the Mondavi Cab and the Mollydooker? Did you look for the Yellowtail or did you look for the Mulderbosch? When the latest issue gives the Quinta do Vale Meao Duoro a score of 91, what the heck do those words mean? Where is this bottle in the wine store?

Several years back, we brought a Cote du Rhone to the Christmas party. It had a quality known as "barnyard" to it, which is something we actually like in a wine. However, I do not think that the enjoyment of that bottle was universal - every bottle of wine we have shared with Steph since then has started off with her asking, "it doesn't smell like barnyard, does it?" I want to explain what makes Bandol my favorite wine, and also give a description of what it is, where it is from, what wines are like it, why is it unique, etc. I worry that when we tell people about some wines that we have tried that they aren't familiar with, they are somewhat reluctant to try them out of fear that maybe the wines have some stank to them that they will find unappealing. Therefore, my blogs will probably have a book report quality to them as to let you know about the new wine we are into - we have accumulated a number of wine references over the years, it is about time that I started utilizing them!

My goal here is to let you guys know what wines we are into, in part so that we can dispel the notion that we like all of our wines to smell like manure. (PS - good quality wines can have a "dirty diaper" or a "cat urine" smell to them. Just a warning - I hope you guys will see what I mean!) I am not trying to be Andrea Immer here, but I don't want to be your Wine for Dummies either. I will assume a healthy interest and level of experience from any of you who decide to read the wine posts - I am not going to give the basics of wine tasting, but I am not going to give you a description of all 50 "Grand Cru"s of Alsatian wines either. We want to maybe open up some new regions to you that you may not be familiar with. (More importantly, when you get us the Quarts de Chaume Riedel glasses for the wedding, you will know exactly the characteristics of the wine we will drink from them in 15 years!) Now that Steph has the book, I can also use this space to explore the relationship of wine and food, and someone will know that I am not just making it up. You don't always have to have a light white with fish, or full red with steak - last weekend we had champagne and popcorn with a truffle butter.

Most of all, it will be a way for me to share a drink with the rest of you, despite the distance between us!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


The drive from Ann Arbor to the following cities takes around 4 hours: Chicago, Traverse City, Toronto, Indianapolis, Niagra Falls, and Cincinnati. I mention this because we could have made the drive to any of them in the amount of time it took us to get registered at Bed Bath and Beyond today.

It started off innocent enough - it was around a quarter after 2:00 when we arrived. The first thing we did was to go to the registry section, chat it up with the girl, and then we started. First things first - we actually picked out a China pattern. (Do you capitalize China here? Well, I am going to.) And we both love it. I don't know why, but having China was never all that important to us - when Tiffany visited last year, she and Carrie had a discussion about it, and Carrie later asked me my thoughts on the matter. I figured we would just inherit some from somewhere. But today we chose 3 China patterns from the displays to take a closer look. However, it took the two of us about 10 seconds to just fall in love with the square, white with a platinum lining pattern that we ended up settling on. It was one of those moments when you are trying to find the perfect something, and you see it - you just know. I am still waiting for this emotion on the used car front.

Then, wine glasses. We are gonna do the Chip thing - we want 2 of each of the Riedel glasses for each type of wine. Heck, I think we even registered for 2 of the Quarts de Chaume glasses for the half bottle of Baumard we bought when we thought it would win wine of the year.

Next - silverware. Some neat stuff, our first real moment where we didn't sync up, but I just didn't care enough to fight it. The ones we decided on are kinda skinny for me, but whatever - I am excited about them nevertheless.

Next, some everyday plates and all. It is a cool little design, and it will work. They are the ones that are unbreakable - we see this as more of a challenge than a luxury. We couldn't find any silverware to match, so we are just sticking with what we got.

After that - about 3+ more hours where part of me died. I did get to carry around the gun and shoot stuff, so that was cool. I think they do that just for the guys, as part of a stroke prevention thing. There is so much stuff in that store - are we really gonna register somewhere else? What is left? We registered for roughly 250 items in the store, meaning that if we get 2 gifts from everyone we invite, then there might be some overlap. Of course, I imagine we are just gonna get 250 of the Good Grips drain stopper that I put on there.

Some highlights - a rice cooker, pots and pans, towels, 3 toaster ovens (if we get more than one, we can just take it back), a bunch of knives, sheets and duvet covers and shams and pillow cases and fitted sheets and yadda yadda (odds are that we only get the shams - I had to call Steph to ask what a sham was), a vacuum, a wok, an electric blanket, an etc., and so on. I am excited about the whole thing - for some reason, we generally put in thought on every single thing we shot with the cool gun thingy. The 3 toaster ovens are on there as a result of much debate and the fact that there were some that we didn't see the first time through. I heard that you just go through shooting at things, but no - each item on the list involved a decision. It will be interesting to see what we end up getting - I know it will probably the strangest hodgepodge and all, but everyone says that you end up getting more than you expect.

The only thing I can come up with as an analogy is baseball cards. You know there is a 300 card set you are hoping to build up, and the showers and the wedding will be like buying a pack of cards - you get a mixture of a bunch of players. You will land the occasional Pujols or A Rod card (like the vacuum or the down comforter), you will want to get all the Tigers cards since they are so awesome (the China), you will probably get some multiples that you can trade for other things you don't have, and someday the set will be complete. Of course, you want some cards more than others, but at the end of the day, having the whole set would be pretty awesome. Each item counts.

When we left at the end of the day (which was literal in this case - it was dark when we left, and we were late for our 7:15 couples date - as a point of reference, we paid for the lunch we got at the Noodles in the same strip mall as BB&B at 1:51, according to the receipt) we were happy but utterly exhausted. I feel in a way that we have also knocked out our Christmas and birthday wish lists for the next 2 years as well. Of course, there were several things that we didn't find that we do want (a dehydrator - I want to make my own jerky)(that's what she said), but at Christmas and birthday times, I will update my amazon wish list. But hey - I want my 4 and a half hours to mean something - chances are, you can get us some China at Christmas time too!

PS - don't go look at our list yet, as she put the entire Good Grips catalog on there for us - we need to go and remove some of the things. I just don't need that thing that helps you open jars - I still have my pride. And we have to discuss whether we really need a melon baller (shot caller) as well. Also, I think I registered for some king sized sheets on accident - we have a queen sized bed in case any of you ever want to get us sheets or whatever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Nieces and Nephews

I wanted to do a blog post about all the kids that I got to see over the 2 weeks we spent in Memphis. The thing is, I really don't want to make it sentimental because I madly love them all - I want to be funny somewhat. Herein lies the challenge - I don't want to offend or hurt feelings or anything. So watch me straddle this line with confidence! The important thing to remember is that we really had our best trip to Memphis in some time, maybe ever, and we do love all the kids. (Although on New Years Day, I maybe could have gone without, but it was just karma getting me back for my behavior the night before.)

Some things to take note of - first of all, we have collective names for family members - grandparents, kids, parents, siblings, cousins, etc. - how come there are no collective names for aunts and uncles like that? Or, nieces and nephews? Secondly, I have the unique view that most of you used to have but don't anymore - that of someone who doesn't have kids yet. Also, I think babies are kinda cute, but really kinda ugly - I think it is uphill until they hit puberty and get zits. I mean, they are all little miracles, yadda yadda, you cried when they were born and I will understand when I have one of my own, etc. Point being, I no longer rate them in terms of cuteness (I never really did). They are all cute now that they aren't babies - they actually look a little different from one another. Also - I apparently really, really like to use dashes when writing.

PS - I also would totally race kids if I had them. So, with each kid, I will put where they would finish in the race.

Connor - (second) - I start here because he is blood and the oldest, so the first of the next generation of my family. This trip was great because Connor sure loved his Uncle Shannon, and that just meant the world to me. Although, I did almost kill him, or at least permanently scar him - in a chase around the downstairs, Connor did not negotiate a turn well enough and his forehead hit the door frame at full speed. But, he didn't even cry! (I think all in all, the whole thing scared me the most!) I was very proud of him - not as proud as when he tried to punch the neighborhood cat who tried to scratch his little sister a month or two ago, but still. Also, in a show of love that he will only appreciate when he is older, I got under the covers with him to read his book. This was only difficult for me because it was about 85 degrees in his room and we were under 3 covers, at least one of which was down. Who knows why he sweats so badly at night? I can't wait to get him up here and take him to the Big House to watch his future alma mater. (PS - he would be the clear cut second here in the race. There can be no debate.)

Chloe - (sixth) - Chloe is at the age where she could kill the cat and we would all say how cute it was. Really, everything she says and does at this point is the cutest thing ever. And I am not being sarcastic. One of the highlights of the trip for Mom - Chloe has her Mimi (Chip's Mom) and her Grammy (Steph's Mom). For some reason, she called both of them Mimi, leading to an existential crisis for poor ole Grammy. Finally, over sushi one night, Chloe was able to blurt out "Grammy" much to everyone's delight. Another thing - she just figured out my name, so it was fun to hear her say it each time. Chloe has sleepy eyes, which makes me think her real father comes from Steph's most obscure and specific top 5 list. PS - Chloe eats everything. She is one of us - I hope she doesn't inherit my belly. (She finishes sixth because she would be inspired to follow her brother, but she just doesn't have the wheels yet. Give it time.)

Ashton - (fourth) - Ashton has always been the ladykiller because of his unnatural cuteness. However, he is totally at that age where he is too old to just like whoever picks him up, and too young to want to play ball or whatever. As a guy without kids, this is the hardest age - it was difficult to figure out Connor at that age, and Ashton is there right now. I know that he is about a year or two away from being wanting to go outside and play ball and hopefully thinking his Uncle Shannon is pretty awesome. But I need to see him again at some point soon, because the last I saw him this trip, he was extremely tired, and the last thing he did was hit me in the mouth when I went to hug him bye! (You will be able to see why he was 4th and not 3rd by the end of this thing.)

Christopher - (seventh) - Chris and I bonded really well when he was really young, so I am always somewhat guilty of playing favorites with him. But still, when he saw me for the first time this trip, he smiled and held out his arms for me, and he isn't quite 2 yet, so that was just awesome for me. He even cried when I was holding him and put him down, and stopped when I picked him back up. That sure makes an Uncle feel special! Chris also rarely cries, so that makes it a lot of fun to play with him. The next time we see him, he will probably be more at the gibberish stage. (Chris just moves slowly and takes in the world, but I put him ahead of other kids here because of his size - he would knock them down. That is how he rolls.)

Deez Nuts - (Drew - first, Megan - fifth, Nathan - last) - You know how I said before that babies are mostly ugly? It doesn't apply to Nathan, who is the spitting image of his older brother. Seriously - can you have twins that far apart? (It would probably be better to say Drew is more handsome than cute, since he is taller than I am.) I really want Drew and Connor to be good friends, especially because Connor might enjoy having an older brother figure like that. I know I always liked hanging out with kids a year or two older - made me feel cool. That, and if they hung out more, then we wouldn't have to do as much driving around when we were in town. Drew is about 6'5 at this point - I think he could buy beer and not get carded. I think his dad already taught him how to drive a stick shift. Tonight I was putting away the Christmas tree (that's right) and I saw an ornament that Drew had done for us a couple of years back - I don't know why you all don't have your kids do stuff like that. You know we will put anything on the tree with any remotely sentimental value! Megan is funny because she fully didn't know how to react to me, so it was a lot of her looking at me and making eye contact, then backing slowly away. Like most everyone in the world does. (Drew wins the race because he is the oldest and has legs that are longer than any of his fellow racers are tall, Megan beats Chloe based on age alone and Chris because he still has that baby walk thing which is hi-larious, and Nathan gets last because, well, let's be honest here, a crawl isn't gonna win, place, or show in this heated of a competition. Don't worry - in another couple of years, he will move up the list.)

Charlie Palmer - (eighth) - We only got to see Charlie for a couple of hours. But, we were excited because when we went to wine country this year, we went to his restaurant! So, I made a point to save a menu for Charlie to bring home over the holidays, and we forgot to bring it of course. But later, I realized that I actually had brought it because all my stuff from the California trip was still in my bag. So in summary, I got something for the Palmers, forgot it, but then realized that I had accidentally not forgotten it, but then still didn't get it to the right hands in time. Charlie has a really cute wide eyed thing that makes him look like one of the kindergartners on South Park. (Charlie is still pretty young, and I think Chris' funky baby walk and his determination would overtake Charlie for seventh place.)

And finally - let me just say that most of the kids have started to become very independent, but one has lagged very far behind in terms of development, and we are worried. That last niece/nephew (again, no collective term?) is:

Shelby - (third) - In the book I got from Jackie, it dispelled the myth that 1 human year equals 7 dog years, noting that dogs can live to be 20 while humans don't generally live to 140. Well, they also pointed out that a 1 year old dog is equivalent to a 16 or 17 year old human in terms of development. Shelby is, what, over a year or two old, making BB (or beebee, or byby, or bebe, I don't know how to spell it) like the equivalent to 20 years old or something - what 20 year old still sleeps with their parents? Creepy. I mean, how would you feel if you came over to watch the game and your best friend had his 20 year old come and crawl under a blanket in his lap to take a nap? Apparently Cullen wants to be a mom, while I want to be a dad - we only did it right half the time! Also, Shelbyby hates me like a fat kid hates the opposite of cake. But then again, all dog hates me (including your moms). I will say, it does make me feel good that Cullen takes such good care of the dog - he will be a good dad some day probably. Maybe a little creepy and all, but still. (Shelby gets third in the race, because of the really short legs. Connor could totally outrun him some BB, and Ashton would make it close.)

There it is. You might say that I was a little hard on your kids, but I would just laugh at you because you said "a little hard on". Steph - you can't give me crap for putting Drew ahead of Connor, because I literally watched them race at the Stanfill's house, and Drew clearly won. I did think all of the kids were cute and fun, and I really can't wait to see them all again. Also, let me take one of the last opportunities to say that we can still go out on weekend nights without a sitter. Ha!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Josh Gro(wned)ban

A couple of months back (I can't remember the exact date, because this actually didn't happen), I was listening to the radio on my way home from work. All of a sudden, I lost reception or something, which was strange because it is a station I always pick up. I could only hear a static-y mess of strings and drums, and occasionally it sounded like a Halloween sound effect CD or a recording of a fight between two or more alley cats. I was fascinated - was this a song or a cruel joke? Moments later, the DJ came on and said that I had been listening to Josh Groban.

Well not really. But seriously though, I cringe every time I hear Josh Groban "sing". I am just not a fan. So back in November, Jerry and Janfill come up for Thanksgiving. I don't remember exactly when we were talking about Groban, probably because one of the radio stations had moved to an all Christmas format by this point and one of his "songs" was on, but Jan let me know that she thinks he is great and has a great voice and all. Now, she is probably right - I just think he is a failed opera singer who puts out cheesy crap - but, we teased each other about him and his "music" the whole time. It was and still is a running thing I have with her, in that she will play one of his "songs" and I will run away.

Fast forward to Christmas day (not in the morning), and we are all at Aunt Jackie's house (Jackie is Jan's sister) for the afternoon. Now, let me just say that I love Carrie's Aunt Jackie - we get along great, and it is encouraging because I really don't get to see Carrie's extended family that much. The fact that we live so far away made it difficult to really develop relationships with each other's immediate family at first, much less any extended family, so the fact that her Aunt Jackie looks at me like one of the family really makes me feel accepted. Well, it came time to exchange gifts, and I get a gift from Jackie that is obviously a CD. I am thinking it is one of those Best Buy gift cards, but I start to open it and of course I see Josh Groban's fugly-ass face trying to turn me on or something, on the cover of his Christmas "album" of "songs" where he is "singing".

Now, of course, I just am thinking "haha" and I look in Jan and Carrie's general direction with a look like, "you got me, very funny". Jan asks me what I got, and I show them and Carrie says, "Shannon - I don't think Jackie knows..." Then Jackie looks at me and says, "what, do you not like it?" I was literally speechless - I am momentarily sitting there thinking, oh no, I am an ass because I am ragging on a gift when she tried to actually get me something that I might like instead of getting me a gift card. Then, I am thinking, even if I try to play off that I like it, it will come out from Jan that I truly hate this guy, and Jackie is going to be devastated, and this is going to set back my status as just one of the family! I just had no idea of how to react here. I wish someone would have taped the whole thing just so I could see the look on my face!

Luckily, Jackie started laughing, and Jan had told her to get me that as a joke - the gift was actually for Jan, and I was free to point out that his singing sounds like the death throes of a dying wildebeest and all. My real present was this awesome book called The Book of General Ignorance, and I finished it before the new year. Jackie said she saw it and thought of me because it looked like something I would like. And she was exactly right! She does know me! Seriously, if you thought I was annoying before (and you did), just wait until you say something that this book says otherwise.

Just to let you know, I don't know if Carrie has ever made me speechless in the 8 years that we have been dating. (OK, she has, but those are stories for another time.) It is rare that someone gets me good like that, so hats off. Jackie - thanks for the real gift, although I hate that you had to add to Josh Groban's album sales! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Start: Memphis; End: Ann Arbor

Here is a brief rundown of what you will see on the drive from Memphis to A2, with active links!

- Take I-40 to Nashville
- 3 huge pretentious crosses
- Jackson, TN
- Pringles Park
- Tennessee River
- Cuba Landing (Jr.)
- The Chockleys' Exit (196)
- Take I-65 North to Louisville
- Before you leave Nashville, turn to your right to look at downtown
- You are now entering Kentucky (Speed limit is now 70!!)
- Bowling Green
- Corvette Museum
- Nothing really of note until Louisville
- the buildings of Louisville downtown are really close to the interstate - I don't know, it is just neat
- Take I-71 North to Cincinnati
- Really, only one thing of note (a street sign commemorate this - makes me think of this) until you turn onto 71/75 North about 20 miles before Cincy, the most exciting 20 miles of the trip
- Richwood exit, home of teh awesum
- Holy Mount Zion exit (I sing it every time)
- Florence Y'all
- Buttermilk Pk (Really - we just say it is the Buttermilk pancake exit)
- Downtown Cincy in all its glory (the view from the other side of the river at night really is awesome)
- Now entering Ohio. You immediately lose 20 IQ points. It is uncanny
- make sure you stay on I-75 north to Dayton
- The kick is up, and it's good.
- Needmore Rd. (makes us laugh - we are scared to drive on it)
- 75 to Toledo is about as boring as things are in this world. Plus, the speed limit is only 65, because Ohio is teh suck.
- US Plastics. Owned by none other than God.
- Turn onto 23 N to Ann Arbor - on your right is the Islamic center. You can't miss it.
- Drive past Maumee, which we pronounce like Jordan on Millennium.
- You drive past a bunch of streetlights on the way through Toledo.
- Now entering Michigan
- Exit 15 - Ida Petersburg. Not a person, but 2 different towns.
- Cabela's
- Get on 94 W towards Chicago, then get off on State Street. Welcome to town!

Friday, January 4, 2008

2008 - the year of the Millfill blog

I just wanted to post because it is after 3:00 in the AM here and I can't fall asleep. I wonder if it is the excitement of being home, the lingering excitement of one of the best trips to Memphis that I have had since I moved to the A2, the nervousness I have about going back to my job on Monday, or if it is just the 7 pounds of beans that were on my Big 10 Burrito that I ate when we got into town. (See, I don't like to eat on the drive home because I don't like making dookie stinks in a gas station. If we are on the road, I will actually go to a hotel and use the one in the lobby - it is always nicer. But it adds time to the drive. So I eat very little and then chow down when I get home.)

Just to let everyone know, I have plenty of upcoming posts that I have been thinking a lot about in the last 2 weeks. Here are some topics I will be covering:

- the temperature differences both inside the house and outside in Memphis versus here. We didn't even put on our heavy coats the entire time, yet to unload the car I had to put on gloves and I thought about a scarf. The humidifier is working overtime as we speak!
- an analysis of my niece and nephews, then a breakdown of the other children we saw on the trip. Also, which one of them would win in a race. Assuming there are no door frames to get in the way.
- an extended apology for New Years Eve. Again, I am so very, very sorry.
- as an addendum to the one above, I might need to break down the differences between Rachel Ray and Giada.
- a description of how I got owned by Jackie and Janfill.
- a list of some sites to look out for on the most gawd awful 11-12 hours that many of you will spend in a car come mid-May.
- I will try to determine why Carrie and I had the most messed up dreams while we were in town. Seriously - 2 of mine actually traumatized me worse than some fight videos I have watched online. Then Carrie had one that was so awesome, I think she made it up.
- the 34 pounds I put on in the last 2 weeks.
- wedding updates
- an overall recap of some individual stories from the trip.
- again, an apology for New Years Eve. (Also, an apology that I don't know exactly if or where the apostrophe goes in "New Years Eve").
- New Year's resolutions, involving the wedding, money, jobs, and this blog in terms of typos (too versus to, etc.)

Tomorrow, Carrie and I will be buying our presents for our own Christmas celebration on Saturday. We will be throwing down with some fine wines and food, and all my drunken discrepancies will be private. This will produce yet another blog post - since Steph and Chip will be drinking better wines this year and now have the ultimate resource, we have to throw out some pointers of course!

One last thought - the words "amuse" and "bemuse" mean 2 completely different things. No reason, just thought I would throw out some John Tesh-style knowledge for your life.

PS - we did not win the Michigan Millionaire Raffle.