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Lookin’ Back
posted on May 17 2007

lookin' backThis photo comes courtesy of the state of Nebraska. I took this shot during my big move to Seattle in August of last year.

No matter how certain you are of things… no matter how many times you’ve prayed about, thought about, or the issue, the simple fact of the matter is… we all look back, wondering “what if?”

What if I hadn’t moved?
What if I may car hadn’t died?
What if I didn’t do what I knew I needed to do?

This was truly a situation where I was 100% certain moving to Seattle. There’s a phrase that pilots use: “Check your six.” It means to look backwards, ever-so-often… just to make sure. I decided to capture my “six” moment… and all was well.

I like it a little better in this size.






“So Where Do You Live?”
posted on Oct 9 2006

I’ve recieved this question all too any times since I left home 5 weeks ago, so I figured that it’s best that I show you using Google Maps.

The map below is an overhead view of the city of Seattle. The area zoned-off and highlighted in pink is a small portion of our neighborhood, Queen Anne, and also includes a portion of the adjacent neighboorhoods, Lower Queen Anne, Westlake, and South Lake Union.

Circled below you can see our relation to Key Arena (where the Sonics play), the Space Needle, the floating house of Tom Hanks in Sleepless In Seattle, the location of “Seattle Grace Hospital (which actually houses our favorite sports bar and is the home of KOMO 4 News) , and of course… Meredith’s house from Grey’s Anatomy, which is in our neighborhood and about a 3 minute drive from our house.

Although it’s hard to tell from this view, we sit at the top of Queen Anne Hill. The Space Needle is at the bottom of the hill.






A Question For You “Interior Design” Gals
posted on Sep 28 2006

Wow… so… this is a blog first. But I need some help.

Ok, so I’m buying picture frames for my bedroom. If you know me you know that I decorate very plain, very simple, but very stylish… in a sense. Clean cut, like this blog. It helps me think clearer if there is little clutter.

Albert Einstein once said:

    “Simplicity means the achievement of maximum effect with minimum means.”

I want it to match the interior of my bedroom. The walls are white, the floors are hardwood. My bedroom set is wood (duh) and on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being that old light brown M&M’s color and 10 being deep, dark, beyond doo-doo brown) my furniture is a 7… maybe 8.

I want to get frames that are black frame/white matte… but will that work? I really want black frame/white matte.

I need help from you girls… or guys… the guys who as children were jumping rope when the rest of us were playing football. You chicks who studied Interior Design at MC surely learned this in all those hours you spent in that room in the top of Aven Hall.






The Random Links
posted on Sep 22 2006
  • ‘Projecy Runway’ in Jackson, Mississippi? Yep.
  • Grey’s Anatomy spoilers
  • The “Ghetto Latte
  • Drive coast-to-coast in 4 minutes





  • “So, What About Your Roommates?”
    posted on Sep 14 2006

    Answering another from the “Stack-O-Questions” I will textually introduce you to my roommates and new found friends.

    I’ll tell you more about the actual house at a later date.

      Matthew : Matthew owns the house. He’s 27 and works in Seattle, Portland, and Spokane for Axis, a dental supply company. He hails from Northern California, Orange County, and San Diego. He attended the University of San Diego and lives downstairs.

      Robert : Robert is a bio chemist, er somthing along those lines. Basically, he’s really smart but is the furthest thing from a bio-nerd. He attended Baylor and has a doctorate from UT Austin. He hails from Plano, Austin, and New York City. Robert and I live on the main level and share a bathroom.

      Danielle : Danielle is Matthew’s sister. She’s 24 and lives upstairs. She studied biology at Chapman University in California. Right now she works at a pricey new restaurant on Mercer Island, however, she will be heading to nursing school within the next few months.

    The Back House – We have a smaller “cottage” behind the main house.

      Jenna : Jenna is Matthew’s other sister. She’s 22, went to photography school for 3 years and she’s quite good. Many of her works grace the walls of our house. She works at the same restaurant as Danielle.

      Monica : Monica works for port/shipping company. Unfortunately I don’t know too much about her because we’ve only been able to talk once.






    “How’s the Weather?”
    posted on Sep 13 2006

    One of the later asked but ever-present questions asked by people is the question of weather here in dear ole Seattle.

    You know that one day when you’re at the beach and the sun and the wind and the humidity all seem to work together in perfect harmony? It’s so perfect that even if you could explain it to friends you’re afraid they wouldn’t believe you. You know that “day” I’m speaking of? That is the day I live in… everyday… for now.

    The weather ranges from 65 to 75 during daylight hours. It gets down to about 50 or 55.

    During the day (and night) we leave the windows of the house open as it is almost perfect for the majority of the day. No need for a/c when nature provides its own.

    Its like that here… everyday… for now. The weather is absolutely incredible… for now. This is quite possibly the most amazing weather I’ve ever witnessed… for now.

    I say “for now” because come mid-October that will all change. The on-and-off mist that classifies as “rain” will enter, bringing with it the gray skies that will linger until Springtime. Yes, it does rain here… “just like on ‘Grey’s Antomy.'”

    But for now… this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt… aside from a good backrub.






    The Ryan Berry Video
    posted on Sep 8 2006

    We love Ryan Berry… we just wanted to remind you. Those of your who know this Mississippi College School of Law stud know that in his glory days at Mississippi State he was the cream of the crop when it came to male cheerleaders.

    We love you Ryan…

    We’ve run this video before, but just wanted to run it again in honor of Slyvester Croom’s last year as coach at Mississippi State.

    Look for Ryan screaming, “WE’RE NUMBER ONE!!!” 52 seconds into the video.






    Settling In
    posted on Sep 5 2006

    Got my supermarket — 3 blocks/5 minute walk to a 24 hour

    Got my transportation — the bus system does a horseshoe in our neighborhood… couldn’t be much better than that

    Got my roommates — relocators from Orange County, California… very cool folks

    Got my choice of coffee shops — Starbucks, Tully’s, and two other locally-owned shops just 3 blocks/5 minutes walk

    Got my bedroom set — arriving tomorrow

    Got my tickets to Snow Patrol — 2 weeks baby

    Getting a gym membership today — Rain

    Getting a library card today — all of you have to visit this library when you come and see me… ’cause you promised that you would come see me…

    Going to hit up Whole Foods — as soon as possible

    Going on the “great church hunt” starting next week — starting with Mars Hill Church

    Going to get a new(er) car — I’m in great shape with the buses… but sometime you just need to spend $3.35 on a gallon of gas






    Pictures-A-Comin’
    posted on Sep 5 2006

    Many of you good-looking men and women have inquired about seeing photos of my new residence in Seattle. I’m going to hold-off until my room at least gets some furniture in it… which will still be embarassing for me to show such a bare room.

    The house is very “Seattle”… not that most of you understand what I mean by that. (I don’t even understand what I mean)

    But seriously, what I mean is that it’s nice, it’s quaint, it’s fresh, it has history, it has personality, it has a deck, it has a marvelous view of sunset… etc, etc, brag brag, nudge, nudge.

    I’ll post pictures sometime Thursday.






    Talk Smack
    posted on Sep 5 2006

    A new segment here at the blog will be “Talk Smack” — a weekly indulgence into all-things-college football. All of college football.

    (I’ll make a snazzy logo one my computer get outta that shop back home)

      The purpose: To talk smack, as well as to defend against smack concerning your favorite team.

    Last week’s games. This week’s games. Stupid calls, smart calls, and the like.

    You are allowed… nay, encouraged to make each other just the slightest bit mad. “Slightest” meaning that I almost have to block you from commenting… which I would never (maybe never) ever do.

    So go at it… and if it doesn’t work, we’ll nix the thing and pretend it never happened. It’s up to you.

    [NOTE: This week should be fun seeing as there are some Mississippi State fans who think they have an ice cube’s chance in Hell against Auburn this Saturday]






    I’m Here
    posted on Sep 2 2006

    I just drove 14 hours straight.

    I made pretty good time through Montana and decided to make the trek all the way to Seattle. It’s about 2 AM here as I’m typing this.

    I’m freaking exhausted.

    I just met 2 of my 3 roomies. Very cool. Very down to Earth. Very clean. And they’ve welcomed me into the nicest house in one of the best nieghborhoods in town.

    They’re both originally from Orange County, California. I’ll tell you more about them later.

    Alright… it’s been a long week, so I’m headed to bed on my air matress. It’s actually quite nice.

    Have a great Labor Day everybody!






    Car Go Bye-Bye
    posted on Sep 1 2006

    go bye-byeAnd so, today I bid farewell to my beloved Pontiac Grand Am. I started working at age 16 to help buy this car.

    I purchased it from Bynum Automobiles in Fayette, Alabama one afternoon in the Spring of 1999 just before graduation. I loved everything about it. The way it handled.. the incredible stereo system…. everything. I loved it.

    I pulled around to the gym after school to see what people thought of me ditching the beloved Ford Bronco II and snagging a less-than-Alabama-boy-like white four door sedan. Lindsey Cunningham told me she loved it… Bethany Burns followed with, “It doesn’t suit you.”

    Love you too Bethany.

    It drove like a champ for more than 7 years. I had to replace an alternator twice. I got in one finder binder (not my fault). It drove 156,000+ miles overall. But it had handled way too well for way too long. This week’s result were inevitable.

    So now I look back… getting slightly emotional — at a car which holds so many memories on

      I took it to college.

      I took it to graduate school.

      I took it to Smith Lake nearly every night of the summer for 5 years straight.

      I took it to 15 states.

      I took it to countless collegiate formals, dates, and swaps. (Gosh… I was a studmuffin) Sorry.

      I spotted it from Google Earth.

      And just a few months ago I broke 150,000 miles.

    I love my Grand Am. It handled like a champ. It will be missed. I wish I didn’t have to sell it this way… but that’s life. The unexpected always comes unexpectedly (quote me on that).

    Now comes the task I thought wouldn’t come for a few more months: picking out a new car

    I feel like I’m flirting with a hot chick right in front of my ex-girlfriend… so we’ll save the “new car” talk for next week.

    Good-bye Grand Am. You will be missed.






    I’m Off To Seattle
    posted on Sep 1 2006

    I officially sold my car this morning via telephone at 7:15 AM. I got what I expected, which is quite alright. I depart as soon as I type this… and check my Facebook.

    Thank you to all of you for the help/encouragement over the last few days. Even to those of you who seriously said, “I mean, I’ll drive up there and pick you up if you need me to.” It made me laugh… and you were actually serious, which made me happy.

    Sometimes I think God just likes to mess with us to see how we react. I really don’t know what to make of this situation right now, but if someone learns from the mishappenings of myself… then I feel like all of this was worth it.

    960 miles to go. I’ll spend the night in Spokane, WA tonight bofore I drive into Seattle tomorrow morning.

    Have fun watching college football everybody!






    Kissing the Pontiac Good-Bye
    posted on Sep 1 2006

    car6First, let me give a big thanks to my Mom and Uncle Jerry for their help Thursday.

    Second, the Grand Am is no more.

    A timeline of the worst most eventful few days of my life. The situation in which I joked about with many of you before I left… well… it actually came through. It doesn’t surprise me either. My car has worked perfectly for 7 years… it was just a matter of time.

    If you want the highlights, just forward to Thursday.

    Please note: Just to give you a grasp of how “middle of nowhere” I am… I’m in a town with a population of 15,000 people. The closest town to here is 98 miles away. There is only 1 gas station between here and there… and one town with a population of 3,900 people.

    Tuesday

      9:30 AM : My car sputters as I leave the motel heading for Devil’s Tower.

      2:00 PM : I pull over in Gillete, Wyoming [Population 19,000] to get an oil change and investigate the rumbling engine. My car overheats but the mechanics tell me that it’s just “bad gasoline” that needs to be burned off.

      4:30 PM : I pull over for gas in Sheridan, Wyoming [Population 15,000]. My car begins to overheat. I decide to get a hotel room and get it fixed in the morning.

    Wednesday

      10:00 AM : Every auto shop in town informs me that the earliest they can help me is next Tuesday.

      12:00 PM : I take my rumbling car to the local Pontiac dealership. The car dies at the door… literally. They tell me they might be able to help me today… then change their mind 30 minutes later as it is a busy day. We believed that the low coolant was the issue. So, I stock -up on coolant and hit the Interstate.

      I leave the dealership at 12:45 headed for Montana.

      1:00 PM : My car breaks-down two miles down the Interstate. I let it sit for a while to get just enough juice out of it to get it back to the dealership. This is the last time I would ever drive my car (I’m sad. I’m being seriousserious.).

      1:30 PM : I decide to leave my car at the shop, hoping that a slot will open the next morning for them to check-out my car.

      2:00 PM : I get a rental car from Avis.

      2:30 PM : I get to see some buffalo and elk in a downtown park. I could not feed them… there was a fence… and a sign… that said “No feeding the buffalo or elk.” Dang it.

    Thursday

      9:30 AM : I recieve a phone call telling me that: “You’re engine is fried.” Gone… a used replacement will cost $3,500. Not worth it for a car with 156,000 miles.

      I have to find a way to get to Seattle.

      10:00 AM : I am told by Avis and Enterprise that they do not rent their cars one-way.

      10:15 AM : I am told by U-Haul that the smallest truck they have is ginormous. A 24 foot bohemuth. I only have a few things… renting this sucker is going to be pointless and cost me a fortune.

      10:30 AM : I think I want to purchase a used engine… Uncle Jerry says that would be stupid. He’s right. I just wasn’t thinking at the time.

      11:00 : I inquire about leasing a vehicle for a few months… but they only do it for a minimum of 2 years. Leasing sucks anyway.

      11:30 : I inquire about possibly purchasing a vehicle. I soon realize that to process the money/paperwork I’ll be here through next Tuesday. Besides… there isn’t anything worth buying here anyway.

      12:00 : I’m told that there is a rental car here in Sheridan that needs to get to Gillete (backwards, 98 miles) where there I will find a rental car that needs to get to SEATTLE of all places. Nice, eh?

      I am forced to pay a full days rental fee ($65.00) for a car I drive for an hour and a half. But hey, I got a car.

      1:00 PM : Because I didn’t hit anything and the car problem is a “mechanical failure”… I am told that my Progressive Insurance will not cover the damages. Ouch… but the truth-be-told, the Pontiac was only worth $1,200 at this point anyway.

      2:00 PM : I call “Mr. R’s”, which specializes in purchasing used automobiles for spare parts. They want to buy the Grand Am.

      I think of it as an automobile form of organ donation.

      5:00 PM : I return to the dealership currently housing my Grand Am in Sheridan. I clean it out and crank it for the last time. I revved the engine one good time as it mustered up just enough juice for a nice vroooooom! I turned of the car and watched it shake as it embraced the fact that it could drive no more… at least with the busted engine that was her heart.

      I’ll be honest… I got a little emotional saying good-bye to it. Make fun of me if you will, but there’s something sad about leaving a car you spent you college and first “adult years” driving around the country.

    I’d planned on purchasing a new car within the coming weeks… but not like this. It’s one thing to make the decision as you still have your car. It’s another thing to know I’m gonna be forced into it next week.

    God is good, especially in the bad times. Some good reflection time is sure to follow in my 960 mile drive over the next 36 hours.






    Stuck In Wyoming
    posted on Aug 30 2006

    So… my car overheated due to some “bad gasoline” which in turn caused some minor problems which are changing my travel plans majorly.

    I’m still in Sheridan, Wyoming [Population 15,804] which is the self-proclaimed “#1 Western Town In America.” Long story short, I’ve snagged a motel room for another night and I’m hoping (fingers crossed) to get out of here sometime tomorrow afternoon.

    This means no Yellowstone. Which, actually, is ok with me. I was looking forward to it but really wasn’t going to have enough time to do all that one needs to do when visiting the National Park.

    Today my car literally broke down at door of a Pontiac dealership. However, there’s much to be grateful for…

  • I have a rental car.
  • I’m in a great hotel.
  • I saw some buffalo and elk today.
  • I’ve got an Internet connection.
  • I’ve got cable TV.
  • I’ve got a book to read and some magazines to peel through.
  • Laguna Beach, Two-A-Days, and the season finale of Entourage (which I have yet to see in its entirety) all come on back-to-back-to-back tonight.
  • Sometimes you just gotta make due with what life throws at you. I’m good for now. Just hoping to get the car fixed before Friday (PLEASE Jesus!).

    Out.






    A Few From the Road
    posted on Aug 30 2006

    bud lookin' back snakes on the plains (get it?) wyoming devils tower






    I’m Not Dead
    posted on Aug 29 2006

    Sorry for the lack of photo/blogging updates over the past 48 hours.

    Cell service in South Dakota and Wyoming sucks.

    However I’ve found a Motel 6 (that’s new and quite nice, actually) in Sheridan, Wyoming, which is about 25 miles south of the Montana border. I just finished watching an amazing match between Agassi and Blake. Holy cow. Agassi ain’t gonna retire anytime soon.

    Oh, I also watched the sun set over the Rocky Mountains from my hotel. Ouch.

    The story of the day is the ’85’ gas I purchased last night. “85 gas?” you must be wondering to yourself. Exactly. Most gas stations have 87, 89, and 91 gas available for purchase. As I strolled into central South Dakota Sunday night I pulled-up to the gas station where they had 85, 88, and 91 gas. I figured that the 2% difference in 87 and 85 wouldn’t hurt my car at all.

    Wrong.

    As Monday came to an end I noticed that my car wasn’t really having a good time starting. I didn’t think too much of it seeing as I had a full inspection of my vehicle just before I left. As I pulled into the town of Moorcroft, Wyoming [Population: 807] last night I figured I’d better top-off my tank so that I could leave first thing in the morning to head to Devil’s Tower. So, I snagged some 85 gas.

    Tuesday morning I tossed my bags into the car and started the car… which began to hop as I pulled out of the parking lot.

    Looong story short, the gas is awful and not even people in South Dakota/Wyoming purchase this crap. So, to keep my car from overheating I’m having to “burn it off”, meaning that I have to sit in my car for 10 minutes at a time burining off the gas in my tank to take away to 85 gas.

    The irony of this situation is that one year ago today I could find no gas for miles, and today I have too much.

    What a difference a year makes. I’ll have some pics up later.






    Your Prayers Are Asked For
    posted on Aug 28 2006

    Praying that I don’t have a work-a-holic boss is imperative at the moment after glancing at the concert calendar around the Puget Sound over the next month. Late nights equal missed opportunities… however in all of my interviews I’ve asked for a work-a-holic position… so, I only have my self to blame.

    I definitely won’t make all of the following concerts (due to both a lack of interest and the cost factor) however this is a bad set of options

    *Denotes tickets already purchased… so I’m gonne be a little ticked if I have to work late.
    ~Denotes free concerts… so I’ll still be ticked if I have to work late.

      Kanye West*
      Snow Patrol*
      Carrie Underwood
      Keane*
      The Beach Boys~
      Montgomery Gentry
      MercyMe~
      Train
      The Killers*
      Switchfoot~
      Third Day~
      David Crowder~
      Anna Nalick~
      Teddy Geiger~
      Hilary Duff
      Ben Kweller
      Devo

    A lot of Christian bands, eh? And ya’ll thought I was gonna lose my religion.






    Make That 13 States
    posted on Aug 26 2006

    Oops. In the rush to get my computer to the shop the other day, I created theBigmove map without marking Arkansas.

    This is not the first time somebody forgot about Arkansas.
    It won’t be the last.






    Questions & Answers Over the Last 10 Months
    posted on Aug 25 2006

    I’ve been all over during the last few weeks – hugging your necks and kissing your babies – and there have been a lot of questions asked.

    Since they’ve almost all been the same ones, I thought I’d post the most frequent ones below.

    So, here you go.

    Question: Now that you’re moving, are you still gonna do the blog?

      Answer: Are you kidding me? I’m starting a new life in the furthest, most beautiful, most polar opposite of Jasper in America. I have no plans of ditching this blog anytime soon.

    Question: What have you done for money over the last 10 months?

      Answer: There literaly hasn’t been one day (even Saturday & Sunday) since 1999 where I haven’t made money. I’m not even close to being rich… but I’ve always got a steady cash flow.

      Plan ahead, suckas.

    Q: Why did you leave your job at MC in the first place?

      Answer: I had other job offers, and it was time to move on.

    Q: What happened to the “other job?”

      Answer: I was in the midst of changing jobs when Hurricane Katrina hit. When Katrina came through it took away a lot of things… including the position(s) I was supposed to roll into. So, I was left jobless.

    Q: Why didn’t you just get another job in Mississippi?

      Answer: While that’s what I would have loved to do… I just didn’t feel like it was what I needed to do. I love the Hospitality State more than you’ll ever know. However, life is about making decisions that are correct, not comfortable.

      I love Mississippi. I miss Mississippi.

    Question: But you left Mississippi 10 months ago. Why did you wait so long to move on to something else, you lazy bum?

      Answer: I was offered an interview for a PR firm in Birmingham while changing planes in Chicago on the way back from Europe. The offer for an interview was pretty much an on-the-spot offer to take the job. As much as I love the ‘Ham, now just isn’t the right time to move there.

      I was asked to move to Boston 3 months ago but didn’t feel right about it even though it still is one of my favorite parts of the country.

      I was asked to come to Seattle 3 months ago, but I would have had to fly back 4 times before September for weddings and meetings. Say… $5000 a flight… $50 each time for airport parking… taking off at least 5 vacation days within my first 3 months of work. So… yeah… not the smartest move to make at the moment.

    Q: Do you get mad when we make fun of the fact that you’ve been living at home for the past 10 months?

      Answer: No. Because I know that 99.999% of you mean it lovingly. Almost all of you have expressed interest in coming out ot Seattle over the next year and I know you’re excited for my big, risky move.

    Question: What about the 0.001% of those who aren’t joking?

      Answer: I peed in your cereal.

    Question: If you had the last 10 months to do over again, would you do it the same way?

      Answer: Yes, and no.

      Yes in the sense that I’ve been able to do a lot of things I’ve been wanting to do for years. I’ve also had quality time with the parents, and quality tiem with friends in the Birmingham area.

      No in the sense that I wish I would have relaxed a bit more. I’ve literally spent day and night reading, writing and researching for business ventures… that’s just me, always thinking about tomorrow, rarely stopping to enjoy today.

    Hindsight is always 20/20, and you can never anticipate a hurricane taking away your next job.

    However, if things hadn’t gone wrong I would have never been able to go to Europe, or spend time with my parents, or have time to really reevaluate what direction I wanted my life to take.

    Being 25-years-old, single, having another source of income, and being willing to subject yourself to lesser than normal conditions are neccesities to even think about pulling the stunt I have pulled over the last 10 months.

    But I could do it… because I started working myself into this position years ago.

    Setting-up Juicee News while people questioned sitting at a computer for 6 hours a day. Juicee News (along with other minor endavours) has been paying my bills, as well as my trip to Europe, for the past 10 months.

    So… do I regret it? No. Because I planned ahead. I planned for the unexpected. I was flexible. And I never freaked out about “what will people think?”

    I’m ready to move onto a new job — that’s for sure. Those of you who know me well know that I love business. Love it. We’ve got some things on the docket that we’ll beannouncing soon. Also, when I move and get everything set into place, I’ll be working on a couple of smaller projects that have a small chance of making it. It’ll be fun, whether or not big things happen from these small items.

    Through it all you must remember and repeat two very simple but very important words: delayed gratification

    You keep repeating that… everything else takes care of itself.

    Let’s go to Seattle.