John Mc

This is a collection of my thoughts. Some of the thoughts that I once had, I no longer do. Some thoughts I have now I have never had. Yet none shal be discounted. This blog is soley for the enjoyment of the author and the readers. On occasion the views expressed are overly exagerated in order to prove a point. Also there may be a dirty word or thought in some of the posts. Grow up and take this for what it's worth - a blog that barely anyone will ever see.


Miley Usage

We must conserve our usage. We must think of future generations!

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New Thoughts

It's over.
Obama's sworn in.
Did I vote for him? Nope. But, he is our president. For the next four years he will lead this country. I must respect that. Do I like it? Nope. But, I defiantly respect it. I respect him, the office and above all, the country.
I sincerly hope (no pun intended) that he does remarkable things for this country. I hope that through his leadership that America comes out on top and proves to the world why it is the best country in the world. Maybe, just maybe, he is what we need right now. Only time will tell.
With a democratic president and a democratic congress, perhaps they can show what they are made of and put together something incredible that we weren't able to see before this.
Perhaps we will get out of the financial mess that we are in. Maybe we will be able to offer universal health care for everyone. Hopefully we will be able to say that today is better than yesterday and tomorrow offers nothing but greatness.
I hope above all else that this administration does great things for America. I hope they make us proud. I hope they accomplish great things and that this gives them confidence for greater things.
While I may not agree with all that they stand for, I will stand with them and respect them as the current administration. I do not wish them ill. I do not hope that they falter. I pray for success and the assistance from God that will prove necessary in these tough times.
I challenge everyone who is in my position to do the same. While we may not have enjoyed the outcome, we must face the fact that bitching and moaning about it won't do anything. (Thus, I deleted many recent posts on this blog.) If this country comes together and works toward a common goal of bettering the day-to-day life of the average American, which I believe both sides want, then nothing but great things will occur.
May God bless Barack Obama, his family, his supporters and above all - America.

Very Important Decision!

A lot went into putting together the dance routine for Obama's inauguration!:

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Poor Obama Supporters

Hopefully there are support groups for the Obama supporters.

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Here is who is going to the Superbowl:

The Steelers
The Cardinals.

Those are my choices.

The Ravens' defence isn't as scary as they pretend that they are. Watch for the first interception from their rookie QB. The Steelers have their number. This despite many people saying "It's hard to beat a team three times in one season." No, it's not. You have the ability to see what worked and how to not only copy that, but build upon that. Ray Lewis is a blow-hard and will be silenced today.
The more controversial choice - Arizona. Yes. Here's why: The Eagles love to blitz. They are very scary when blitzing and usually create great results. However, that will not be a good game-plan against the Cardinals. Warner is great in dealing with the blitz. While his O-Line isn't perfect, it is better than most. Plus, they anticipate the blitz well and usually give Warner several options to get the ball out. Expect some big plays early. As long as AZ can gain the momentum and the lead early, it will become an uphill battle for The Eagles.
This was a hard decision. If PHI realizes this, then they could shut down AZ. AZ will have to go to their running game if PHI covers the field well. AZ isn't that great at the run-game and this could go the way of The Eagles. However, with the inflated egos of The Eagles' defence, I see them starting out by blitzing heavy and then having to re-adjust.

My post-season record has been a little less than desired. I haven't run the numbers, but I bet that I'm somewhere around .500 for the post season. So, expect the Superbowl to host The Eagles vs. The Ravens.

Enjoy your football!

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Obama's Experience

Obama makes up for his lack of experience. No worries anymore!

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The Evolution Of Dance!

Remember the YouTube sensation "The Evolution of Dance?"
Here is part two!:

Incase you didn't see the origional, here it is:

And, of course, The Evolution Of Dance for the rest of us:

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Cuisines, Pizza - What?

Another weird-ass wedding two weekends ago. With all the 2008 re-cap going on, I didn't have a chance to let you know about it.
The bride and groom were both frigid. And at the end of the night, she was pretty drunk. So much so that we ended a half hour early. (Honestly, I enjoy having a good time as next as the other guy, but I'm not going to be drunk and miss an important day like my wedding. How pathetic.)
I started off the wedding with my regular set. I was told that the bride and groom had specifically asked me not to play the first two songs. I looked through my list of music and noticed that their "do not play" list was completely empty. I was confused. Had the office forgotten to include that? I went to ask them.
The bride pointed to a footnote that said that she didn't want any interaction for fear that her wedding would become like the bar mitzvah that she had experienced with our company a few months prior. I became even more confused.
I asked her what that had to do with the music that I was playing. She then let me know that I shouldn't play anything that would be played at a bar mitzvah. I must have looked as confused as I really was because she followed it up with "Have you even been to a bar mitzvah?"
The way she said it put me on the defensive. "No. I haven't. I've DJed nearly 12 years of solely weddings and corporate parties. Not once have I DJed or attended a bar or bat mitzvah." She gave an aggravated huff and asked me if I had gotten her list of suggested songs. I said I did and that I would just stick to that for the rest of the evening.
As I walked away she said "You don't have to do that. Just don't play anything that would be played at a mitzvah!" I thought I had made it clear that I have NO IDEA what the hell she was talking about. But, I figured that if I slipped up, they wouldn't fear coming over to let me know. I started by playing three of her awful requests in a row and they got mixed results. No way as good as the "mitzvah songs" that I had played earlier, but not bad.
She seemed happy, which is all that matters.
They gave a generic and empty "Thank you." to us at the end of the night. I don't care. Whether they are happy or not, I get paid the same.
What was unique about this evening was not the bride and groom, the guests or even the staff. It was the surroundings. First, it was where I worked at an insurance company for 8 hours a day sorting claims in 2002. Nothing but bad memories from that place. The insurance company had since moved out and a prominent national bakery company had moved in.
The wedding took place in the cafeteria. Now, it is not a bad place and actually has a simple elegance to it. It is not the linoleum floors that we imagine with the word "cafeteria." However, there was a food serving section that the employees would go through to get their food and then pay for it on their way to the cafeteria.
This section was closed off and all the food removed. However, we stored our empty equipment boxes back there. This is where we noticed the signs that they had as options for the employee's lunches. These are their options:

Action? Really? That's an option?

"Bill, what did you have for lunch?"
"Well, I was going to get some Pizza. Instead I decided to get some Action."
"Huh, me too. It usually seems more appetizing."
"I don't understand how Jim is able to get some Cuisine AND some Action in the same sitting."
"You think he would be too full from the Cuisine to get some Action."

One sign that I wish I had gotten a picture of, but didn't was "Links." This must be for the morning crowd who are looking for some breakfast. They must keep their sausage links there.
If that is the case, though, why have it called "Links?" Are there other types of Links that I am unaware of?
Oh well. Another Saturday. Another grouping of weirdness.

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Mr. Chi-City Breaks Down Justice

Mr. Chi-City gets heated over a ticket in the cold. $550 to describe an "Overlapsation Situation!"

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Erin - Come Back!

Whatever happened to Erin Gray? She played "Kate" on Silver Spoons (Who didn't want that train in their house?!) and also was Wilma Deering on some AWFUL 70's TV show called "Buck Rodgers."
Since then she has gone down the standard path of pathetic cable TV movies. (Probably that insulting Lifetime crap that Joanna Kerns does) One of her most recent "Loaded" had a comment with the phraze "'s poorly acted, stereotypical, and ultimately terribly boring."
Erin! You're better than this! We all know it.

All I'm saying is, Erin, come back. We miss you.

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Blockbuster Museum

The Onion is AWESOME! If you are unable to get a copy of the paper, the videoes that they release online are very well done as well.
This one is on Blockbuster.

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The Best of The Best

In my oppinion, these posts are the best that were put on this blog in 2008. (No, none have to do with the NFL's games for that weekend.)
Some you may have missed.
Some you may have forgotten.
Some you need to post a comment on.

Enjoy my delayed New Year's gift to you:

Scrubs’ Janitor has some advice:

Why are commercials so messed up?:

Why are my co-workers so messed up?:

Random Thoughts:

Oh No You Di-int!:


My sister’s wedding:

It’s Over:

Milestone Post!!!:

Ask A Ninja:

Don’t be like this:

The money issue BEFORE the bail-out!:

Ah, the sundress!:

Tiger Woods at Jewel!:

Worst wedding of the year!:

Tony and Jackie’s wedding:

The evils of the McRib (A personal favorite entry!):

A Effingham wedding:

Debating on a new level:

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Red Line - Pants = Social Experiment

Pants off on the red line?
It went down.
Were you there?
Did you see it?
If you did or if you didn't, here's what the Chicago Tribune had to say about it: Click here
Or you can watch last year's event here:

No Pants 2k8 from ImprovEverywhere on Vimeo.

No Pants 2k8: Woman's Reaction from ImprovEverywhere on Vimeo.

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One More

There is one more post that I didn't have time to put up from the "2008 Re-Cap" series. There were two more, but I have decided against one of them. I work at the same restaurant where Drew Peterson's (alleged) fiance' works at. But, due to the fact that this story is rooted in the (alleged) homicide of two of his wives, I thought it would be in bad taste to tell you of the behind-the-scenes stuff that I witnessed.
The second story, however, I debated as to whether or not I should post it. It is, by far, the most controversial post that I will put on this blog. I am currently re-writing it so that I can be placed on here.
You will see this post on Monday at noon, if everything goes well.
After that, a "Best of 2008" post will occur on Tuesday for those who don't want to see what will occur on Monday.

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Where's Waldo?

Finding Waldo is not always fun.

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Post-Season Week Two!

Here's how this weekend is going to go down:

TEN over BAL
PIT over SD (Sorry, Chad!)
CAR over AZ (Warner can't keep going, can he?!)
PHI over NYG (This one is hard. I thought about this quite a bit. While the Giants did so well last year, this was before Burris shot himself. I think the Eagles have a good shot.)
Enjoy your football this weekend. I have it completely off of work, so you now know what my priorities are!
Oh, and thank you to all who enjoyed the "2008 Re-cap" (Stories I forgot) that we had this week!

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Pants Off Commute Off

I just heard on WLS an interview with one of the leaders of a group called "Improv Everywhere."
They do strange things to mess with people such as get a group together in a store to "shop in slow-motion." Or have an even bigger group freeze at the same time in a train station for five minutes. Then move for 15 seconds then freeze for another five.
They plan on doing something rather interesting at noon on Saturday across the world. Here in Chicago, it will go down on the Red Line.

Find out more by clicking here.
For the specific Chicago aspects, click here.

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Across The Desk

As most of you know, I teach college. For the most part, I teach adults who want to better themselves and their place in the world. Sometimes a child with an attitude slips into the mix. Such is the case of a girl named "Amy." I have changed her name to protect the innocent, namely, me. She is far from it.
Amy is the kind of girl who some found very attractive and thus, got everything handed to her. It was because of this that she felt that talking with her friends during class was appropriate behavior. When I would call them out on it, they would deny it. I would even remind them that they are in the front row and I can both see and hear them. They would then sulk and begin texting between each other.
Each time they aggravated me, I made mention of it to the higher-ups so that everything was documented should I ever need to lay down the law. At one point, management even recommended that the three be separated. I went back to class and told them that management wanted me to split them up. I told them that I wasn't going to do this because I knew that they enjoyed sitting next to each other. I played it as if I was on their side and it was us vs. management. This despite the fact that I am the one that brought up their behavior to management. And these students bought it for a while. They became more involved with the class and the assignments. Well, for a little while.
They slipped up again, but I didn't have the energy or desire to go through separating them. But, it was great to know that if it ever did get really bad, those over my head had my back. As you may have guessed, it did eventually get bad. It went from bad to worse really quickly.
One of the projects that we worked on as a class is a study of News Talk radio. Think of WLS or Rush Limbaugh for examples. As a class I had each of them select a controversial topic and take a side. Someone else in the class will select the other side.
These topics are controversial. They are heated. They cause great emotion. I encouraged them to express this. However, they must remain respectful of themselves, their opponent, the class and me. Should anyone in the class lose this respect, they will be docked points on this project.
Sure enough, while some students were giving their opening arguments, others were talking. I would make eye contact with the offender(s) and then make a fake mark in my book. I would later decide if the infraction was enough to dock them actual points. But, it scared the hell out of them and they thought twice before doing that again.
After just a few tandems, it was Amy's turn. She brought her typed research up to the desk that I had at the front of the class room. On opposite sides of the table sat two chairs for the debaters. She took the one on the class' right and Jasmine the one on the left. Jasmine didn't have anything typed. As a matter of fact, Jasmine didn't have anything with her.
This in light of me telling the entire class "Research the hell out of your side. Then do just as much research on the opposite side. Come to class with a one minute of typed opening statement. Then have the fact supporting your argument well documented." She must have missed that small portion of the assignment.
The two girls would be discussing gay marriage. Amy gave her opening statement. Jasmine gave hers. Then they began talking. Then arguing. This was fine. It is a part of the project. They weren't personally attacking each other.
Amy stopped mid-sentence and turned to me and asked "Why are we doin' this?" I paused from my notes to look up at her. "She don't even have any research. I did my part. Where is her papers?"
Jasmine then let us know that her research was that she had a cousin who was gay. Thus her research was in her heart. The class found this amusing. I told the two girls to continue. Amy stopped once again and looked at me. "I can't believe we are still doin' this! She didn't do any work before this!" I reminded Amy that it would be pretty easy to prove Jasmine wrong then. "Amy, you can use the research you gathered in order to shoot down what she says." Amy sucked it up and went at it again. She seemed a bit calmer at first, but then she burst like a pressure cooker.
Jasmine brought up some sort of "fact" of hers. Amy took a look at her and said "Where did you find that? Made-up land?" Jasmine got aggravated and Amy took advantage of that. Amy looked her dead in the eye and said "I'm better than you."
I couldn't believe that someone would have such a warped sense of self to say that to another human being's face. This was the last straw. Jasmine broke. She leaned forward and said "Don't make me come across this desk."
"You do it. I dare you. You come over here, me and my group are gonna mess your world up." Amy pointed at her obnoxious friends in the front row. They looked at each other as if to say "How the hell did we get involved with this crap?!" Their true colors really shined at that moment.
It was here that I started telling them that their presentation was over. They didn't hear me. I even got in between them by leaning over the desk and telling them that they were done. They leaned around me.
It is very rare that I become upset. I don't have a temper and don't usually let things get to me. This didn't quite upset me as much as I made it seem. But, I realized I could not allow this to escalate any more than it had, so I put on a bit of a show.
I threw their papers on the ground, slammed my hands down on the desk and shouted "YER DONE!"
They both paused and looked up at me. I stood up and shouted "YER DONE. GET BACK TO YOUR SEATS, YER DONE!"
They gathered up their papers and when they caught each other's eye, started shouting across the classroom to each other again! I couldn't believe it. They were each about to sit down when I shouted at them again. "YOU KNOW WHAT? I HAVE A BETTER IDEA - GET OUT." They looked at me very puzzled. "YOU HEARD ME. GET OUT. I'M DONE DEALING WITH BOTH OF YOU!"
Jasmine quickly gathered her things and headed out of the room. Amy took her time. She was about to say something to one of her pain-in-the-ass friends, but before she could get a word out I cut her off. "AMY, GET OUT. WHAT PART OF THAT IS DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND?"
She came up to me and said "But, I didn't start-" I cut her off again. "I don't care who started it. I don't care what you have to say. I'm sick of your attitude. I'm sick of your mouth. I'm sick of you. Get out of my class room. If you want to run your mouth, I have office hours after class for an hour and a half. Until then, shut up and get out."
The class was speechless. She even backed up a bit not expecting that out of me. She (literally) stomped out of the classroom and then all eyes fell on me. I knew that I needed to cut the tension otherwise things could ignite once again.
"MARCUS! SEAN!" Both students had the knee-jerk reaction to shout "HERE" I tried to hide my smile when I said "YOU'RE NEXT. GET UP HERE." I then turned to the rest of the class as they made their way up to the table and said "They will be discussing the legalization of marijuana. I'm assuming that this will be a MUCH more mellow conversation than the previous one." Everyone laughed and they began debating.
While I was evaluating them, I hear the door open behind me. You'll never guess who was entering the classroom. Amy walked up behind me and said "Excuse me. Mr. Mc?" (No, she used my real name, but I'm not about to publish it here! Remember? Have to protect the innocent!)
I turned to her and whispered "Can you not see that I'm busy evaluating other students? What part of shut up and leave don't you understand?" Meanwhile the students continued debating.
"I just need to know what the assignment is for Wednesday."
"Check your syllabus. Get out."
"I don't know where mine is."
"Then see me after class. You are bothering me and cheating the current students out of their time."
"Ok. Oh, and I thought you should know, Old Girl is talking to your boss."
She then stomped out again. This poor thing must have had unusually heavy feet.
For the remainder of the class I thought about what was going to happen when I went back to my office. I knew that my boss had heard from at least one of them, if not both of them. Would I be reprimanded for how I handled things?
I thought I did the right thing at the right time. I did everything in my power to hold back any cursing. I was so very tempted. So very tempted.
We closed up shop and I went to my boss' office. I asked him if he had heard of all the fireworks that occurred in my classroom. He asked me to close the door.
He looked at me and said "You had to deal with some really F-ed up bitches today, didn't ya?"
I was relieved that he had the same opinion of them as I did. He reminded me that they always had my back from day one and that they will continue to do so. If I was able to justify my actions, then I was cool.
I ran into Jasmine in the hall moments later. She saw me and then looked down at the ground. "Come here" I said to her. She slowly walked over.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Mc. I didn't mean to disrespect you or your classroom."
"Good. I appreciate hearing that. You know what happened in there? You lost it. She got to you. And you let her. You let her." "I know, Mr. Mc."
"You're better than that. You are much better than that."
"I know, Mr. Mc."
"Don't let that happen again. Do you hear me?" "I do, Mr. Mc. I'm sorry."
"Fine. I will see you on Wednesday."
Amy was no where to be found until Wednesday. It was shortly before class that I saw her in the hallway.
She came up to me and said "Mr. Mc., I want to apologize for what happened in the last class. But, it wasn't my fault. I didn't start it."
"Thanks, Amy for your attempt at an apology." No true apology has a "but" in it. "Irregardless of whether or not you started it, you escalated it. That is why you are getting a 0 out of 100 points on this project. There is only 700 points total for the class."
"What? I got a zero after all the work I did? She didn't do any of her work and I'm the one that got a zero?!"
"You nearly started a fight in my class. Do you honestly feel that I should give you points for that?" "You mean that if I started something with someone we would both get in trouble?" "If they behaved like an irresponsible child and fed into it, then, yes."
She looked at me, snorted and went into the classroom.
She didn't end up passing my class. Although, her "friends" put forth more effort (and didn't start any fights in my class) and passed. It looks like it will just be me and her next semester. I can't wait.

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Let's Go Go Go White Sox!!!

This year was a great year for the Chicago White Sox. No, they didn't win the World Series. They barely limped into the play-offs. But, I got to watch their progress. I caught nearly every game this season. Some on television, but the best were in person. I have lost count of how many times that I had the opportunity to go to the ball park. However, the most memorable was the rained-out game that I went to! Click here for that full story.
On that day, we got a tour of the park that included a trip to the field. While we didn't get to go on the grass, we did get to go in the dug out. How very awesome! They also showed us the view that the rich people get of the game from the seats that we would never be able to afford.
Here are some photos of us hanging out at that game: (I'm in the white 2005 World Series Champions Chicago White Sox hat.)

I should have brought some sunflower seeds!

This is the view the White Sox see right before entering the field.

Got to stand on the warning track. How VERY awesome!

We also went for my birthday (it just so happened that the game that we went to was one week prior to it so that we could take advantage of Nick Swisher Bobble Head Day)

Me and some co-workers enjoy the tailgating before the game.

We even went for no apparent reason other than it was time to catch a game. And it was time for Marcus and I to start a tradition - a 40 before the game for good luck:

If we get our 40's before the game, Da Sox will win that day. This season we may try doing it at home for added luck for Da Sox.

That sign never gets old.

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A Scrubs Christmas

I know. Christmas is over. It is no longer on our minds. Instead, we are now agonizing over the Visa bill and wondering why we spent $5 on wrapping paper that would be in existence for less than 24 hours?!
The last thing that you probably want to see is another Christmas special.
Well, because I'm addicted to YouTube, I found one last Christmas present under the tree before it is tossed. This one is a little different.
We looked at the best moment in Christmas Special history last month with the Charlie Brown gang. Today, we get to hear Scrubs' take on the whole thing. I don't think this has ever aired. I am not sure why this was made. But, if you are a fan of Scrubs or Charlie Brown or Christmas, then you'll dig this. It is surprisingly touching at the end.
Another reason why this is being posted today is because Scrubs makes their triumphant return to television tonight on ABC. Cortney Cox (She was in a show called "Friends." I recommend you google it. It wasn't too bad) also makes a guest appearance for the first few episodes. Probably just another way to stick it to NBC.
Without any further delay, this is A Charlie Brown Christmas from the cast of Scrubs:

(More forgotten 2008 posts to come! They get better and better! Keep checking back!!!)

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Tying The Knot In Effingham

Effingham. How I miss thee.
Effingham always provided for me a slower, quieter and calmer look at life. This perspective really allows one to observe and appreciate life in general. The short amount of time that I got to spend down in Effingham will be a point in my life that I will always cherish. The strangers who became friends very quickly became my family away from home.
One member of my family got married on September 21st. His name is Josh.
A little back-story on Josh:
When I first interviewed at WCRC, Effingham, Josh was currently filling in on the show that I would be taking over. While he will never admit it, most everyone knew that he wanted to keep the program. He claims that he always wanted to be behind-the-scenes doing electrical work, which is what he eventually ended up doing. He is currently an engineer in Iowa for several radio stations and is soon going to be moving to field worker for a radio computer company.
However, our relationship was strained in the beginning. He mentioned that he would show me around "his town" during my first week. I thought that would be enjoyable, not realizing that he was quoting "My Town" by Montgomery Gentry when he said this.
After a few months of Miller Lights on the deck and late nights discussing the relay systems for the satellite programming, I knew that I had a friend in Effingham. He was also very proud to call himself a "redneck" and owned many Jeff Foxworthy albums to back up his claims.
While I was down in Effingham, he met a girl named Sherry. They dated and eventually started living together while she went to school in Carbondale, IL. This was the longest that I had seen Josh date anyone and we all were wondering when they were going to take the next step.
I was thrilled to get a phone call from Josh letting me know that he had asked her and, by some miracle, she said "yes!" They let me know the date was September 21st and I let them know that I wouldn't miss this for the world!
Not only would I get to see my two friends get married, but I would have an excuse to head back to Effingham after several years of being 3 hours north in Chicagoland.
I packed up the Scion early that morning (Well, early for me - 9am) and headed south to Effingham. I had forgotten how long that trip was. I passed the familiar scenery that I had come to know after many weekend round-trips while I worked in Effingham during the week and Chicago on the weekends.
While on my trip down, I contacted the folks that I had come to know while I was down there to set up times to see them. One person I talked to was Heather. She had the air shift right before me. She let me know that she was going to the wedding as well. Plus, her husband and daughter were not going to be there, so she would be my date that evening. I asked her to be my designated driver in return.
As I pulled into town, I quickly made my way to the United Church of Hope (or something like that) for the ceremony. I knew that this wouldn't be the regular wedding that I was used to. I was expecting things to be slightly off.
They were.
The church reminded me of the theater for Second City. It had a black ceiling and movable chairs with a raised stage that had white background and a sound booth behind the "audience." I was given a program and found a seat next to Heather. As I entered I didn't hear the standard string quartet that I was used to, but instead a guy on saxophone and another on guitar played blues rifs. I recalled Josh's love of "The Blues Brothers" and pretty much anything blues and this really made sense. I found it a great touch and a way to make your wedding ceremony unique and your own.
I agreed with the design until I saw the groomsmen enter the room and then read how the bride would be welcomed down the aisle. The groomsmen all wore the sunglasses and hats of Jake and Elwood as they walked in. (Despite us being a little further than 106 miles from Chicago.) "Here Comes The Bride" would be played by Josh... on harmonica.
I recalled that when I met Josh that he had just received a harmonica. He would attempt (key word) to play me a song on harmonica. Instead it sounded nothing like the song he was aiming for and bordered on noise more than music. I was fearful for his performance.
However, apparently there had been months of practice on this song and it came out alright. The ceremony had the unity candle and the pouring of the sand and all the rest of the standard stuff. That is until we went out to welcome them to their car.
No one was given rice or bells or bubbles. Instead, everyone got a mini harmonica to play as they left the church. Cute. Way to keep the theme going. I dug it and expected nothing less from Josh.
We had some time between the ceremony and the reception. So, we went to a former hang-out of mine called "Sneaky Pete's." (The locals creatively nick-named this "Stinky Pete's") After a Jack and Coke and a Long Island, I was doing ok.
Heather and I ventured off to the American Legion where this was being held. I knew of two in Effingham, but it was at a mystery third that I never knew existed. (And I thought I had been everywhere in Effingham. Apparently not!)
We step out of the car onto the gravel parking lot and head for the doors. Inside, long tables with white plastic table cloths await us. Each has a center piece with balloons and mutli-colored sprinkles on it. We sat right near the buffet table. (Wise move, if you ask me.)
Heather, being the great date that she was that evening, got a drink for herself and me while I met the folks at the table. They claim to have known me from when I was down there before. I let them know that I have no idea who they are. (I'm working on being more honest.) They talked about how they listened to me all the time and have even hung out with me on occasion. Still didn't ring a bell.
The servers gathered up a portion of each item from the buffet table in big clear plastic bowls and brought it up to the head table so they didn't have to wait in line at the buffet. The rest of us shuffled through the line to get our meal. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and other amenities were available for us. Just don't forget your napkins and plastic silverware at the end, otherwise you have to go through the line again or cut in briefly to retrieve them.
I got just what I needed for round one of my meal. I figured this would be all that I needed, but left room for more of what tasted good for my next time through the line. That is until Heather pointed out that the waiters had taken what was picked over from the head table and were placing it back in the food's respective containers on the buffet table.
I didn't get a second round.
Heather then pointed out the gun rack on one of the walls in the room. I must say that it was the widest variety of rifles that I had seen in a wedding hall in quite a long while.
The bar was on the side of the dance floor. There you could order anything you wanted. As long as it was Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite or Miller High Life. All in cans. At one point I went up to place my order of Miller Lite, and the bartender paused.
"Do I know you?" She asked.
"No. I'm not from around here." I quickly responded. I knew where this was going.
"Sure I do. Are you on the radio?"
"No. I used to be, but I'm not anymore."
"SURE! You're John! You're from Gayle and John in the Morning! Where's Gayle?"
"Yeah, I am. Not sure where Gayle is."
"Well, I used to listen to you guys all the time. You were great. Tell Gayle I said 'Hi' the next time you see her."
The bar, itself, remained open during the reception. The denim-clad patrons would walk through the dance floor to the bar and watch the festivities. This wasn't a problem, for most of the patrons were also in jeans. even the bride wanted to slip into something more comfortable than her high-heals and donned her cowgirl boots.
When I heard that the DJ was a cousin of Josh, I had my doubts, but she did a great job. Everyone really enjoyed the festivities.
Meanwhile, up in Chicagoland, one of my second-cousins was getting married. My folks were invited and told me of the $1000 centerpieces that were on each table. How the meal was filet and lobster tail. The floors were marble and the chandeliers were plentiful.
I thought about this and realized that I was glad that I was where I was. I guarantee that I had MUCH more fun with fried chicken and cans of Miller Lite than I ever would have had at my second-cousin's wedding.
The reason? Josh's wedding was a celebration. It was friends and family gathering to spread the joy of their union. My second-cousin's may have had that. However, people didn't talk about that. Instead they discussed how expensive and lavish everything was. The pomp and circumstance seems to have clouded the real reason that we celebrate a momentous occasion like this.
I had a blast. And it wasn't over yet!
There was an after-party at Josh's folks house. Did Josh and Sherry retire to their honeymoon suite after their reception? Hell no! They were at the after party as well! A keg of Miller Lite (What else?) was in the backyard. Small bottles of Jack and Baccardi were on the picnic tables for shooting. (One lady had to really twist my arm to get me to do a shot of Jack with her. Then it hit. I let her know it would be a few minutes before I did another one.)
After my first beer, a 13 year-old came up to me and asked "Would you care for another, sir?" I asked him if he knew how to pour it properly. He looked at me as if I had asked him if he knew how to walk. "Yes, sir. My grandpa has taught me well."
Sure enough, 99% beer and 1% head was in my solo cup in no time. I turned to Josh shortly after and said "That kid really knows how to pour a beer."
Josh pointed behind me and said "He knows how to drink it as well." I turned behind me and several adults huddled around this kid encouraging him to "Chug, chug, chug!"
"I love this place," was all I could think.
It was at this point that I was glad that Heather had drove. She remained responsible and took me back to my hotel where I called it a night.
The next day, I woke up early to go to church with my good friends William and his wife, Nancy. We met up with Chad to have lunch at William's parents' house. This isn't a standard lunch. This is an Effingham Sunday lunch. His dad was on the grill with the hot dogs and hamburgers. I assumed this was it. Not a chance. His mom brought out pasta, steamed vegetables and 106 other dishes. Not to mention desert afterwards.
It was after an afternoon of catching up with old friends that I once again said good-bye to Effingham. I miss it every time that I leave. But, I knew it wouldn't be the last time that I would be down there.
Sure enough, I have yet another wedding down there on the 31st of this month.
It is a different world and I'm thankful for every minute that I have the opportunity to spend there. I'm even more thankful for the friendships that have endured long after the distance between us has grown.
More on Effingham soon!!!

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David Blaine Street Magic

Before I do the 2008 re-cap. I had to share something with you. This is "David Blaine Street Magic." My friend Amanda showed this to me on New Years and I found it to be quite humorous. All you really need to see is the first two. The third is decent. Everyone after that is something done for a French company. Not really too sure what is going on.


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2008 Round-Up

It looks as if I can only get .500 for my picks today. At least my BAL pick seems to be panning out as the 3rd Quarter comes to an end. Go McNabb! Don't make me a complete failure this week!
I have been thinking that there are a few stories that I have forgotten to post on here throughout 2008. I will be spending the next week updating you on the lost stories of 2008 and then concluding with a year-in-review.
Expect a post a day until we have cleared out all of 2008. It is then, and only then, that we can look forward to 2009.
So, stay tuned, more to come shortly!

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Post Season

Both the Giants and Colts are in the post season. Many, including myself, would like to see if they end up playing each other in the Super Bowl. This would pit brothers Peyton and Eli Manning against each other. Finally we will see who Archie likes better. (Chad from Effingham reminded me that it was Matt from AZ.) Both Matt and Peyton play today. (Well, Matt is in more of a Grossman position with his I-Pod on the side-lines, but he will be there.)
Here are the post season picks. (Not that the post season matters this year!)

ATL over AZ (I like Matt Ryan and Turner here.)
IND over SD (For some reason this is an upset. Yes, IND hasn't been playing as they have in past seasons, but in the post season they are a different team.)
BAL over MIA (What is MIA doing here?!)
PHI over MIN (MIN shouldn't be in the post season either.)

Without the Bears, it is pointless. But, should you watch the post season, this is how it's going to shape up.

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