Friday, May 28, 2010

free bird.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

–Winston Churchill 


So Tuesday was the last High School commencement i'll attend for a long time.

it was kinda nice. i actually saw some of my old high school friends who were there for their families.

i know its a Commencement CEREMONY, but god, was it awful. my littlest sis, her last name starts with A, so she was seriously the 4th to cross the stage...but it wasn't even that. the speeches were meh. i mean one talked about picking out shoes and the Macarena.

i mean it was impressive, if you followed my tweets. there were like 363 in the graduating class. Class of '99 had like 230. and the top ten students had to have a minimum 4.375 GPA. and they had something like 4.7 million in scholarships and awards! crazy smart people are graduating from THS this year.

along with announcing the Top 10 students each one had to pick a VIP Teacher and that Teacher wrote a little something about them. Long, Boring, Meh.

the CEREMONY took a little over 2 hours. GRRR. and i was hungry and Olive Garden was calling my name.

anyways...i was really irritated with something i heard after the CEREMONY. a little background cause i'm sure all ceremonies are a little different. there are 4 guidance counselors and they have a certain section of the alphabet. so while they announce their group each kid walks down center stage and shakes hands with all the important people. they grab a blank diploma holder and exit the stage.

behind the scenes is where they actually give you your diploma. its the last line of defense that the faculty has to make sure each student behaves on stage. WELL...

this one girl gets announced and instead of shaking everyone's hand she curtsies for each one. it was really kind of adorable. and i thought it was timeless. i mean people curtsy for the queen and such. anyways, turns out they didn't let her get her diploma. i was mad. especially when the Superintendent son (or maybe nephew) hugged majority of the people. one student even went across stage and hugged the announcing counselor. did they get their diploma revoked? no.

i just wonder how students are suppose to feel empowered and proud of their accomplishment when they have something like not receiving your diploma hanging over your head.

and this brings me to my original point. why does it have to be a CEREMONY? its a celebration. even in this day and age some of those kids might be the first to graduate in their household. why do we, as the audience, have to wait till all 363 students are announced to clap? why can't they take an extra few seconds to let the family cheer? i would totally be happy if i had that to look forward to. it's 2010 Faculty, lets celebrate!

speaking of celebrating i would like to congratulate my VIP Twinsburg/Chamberlin Teacher...Mr. Smith. he retired yesterday. he was my "Graphics" teacher. i learned Photoshop, Silk Screening, Offset lithography and other things that really pushed me into my Graphic Design career. Mr. Smith, you rocked!

Oh, and Samantha. I'm so proud of you. Good luck next year at my Alma Mater, Kent State! You're going to be a great Honors Architect!!!!

how was everyone's last few weeks? have a great and safe memorial day weekend!

Friday, May 7, 2010

#ridingderby part 2

Oh My!
– George Takei


see i told you i was a bad blogger.
work has been crazy busy, then there was cinco de mayo and the blind pig run for the border race on wednesday...but i'm back and ready to finish telling you about my 3rd Kentucky Derby with AJP.

Derby Saturday
after waking up at around 10am the sky was a little overcast and AJP and i were definitely going to the derby. we had a few errands to going to target and getting matching rain boots, getting some pizza hut. at target and the obvious bank stop. we would've purchased poncho's but they were all out. in past years, my first cousin once removed, todd, would come with us and we wouldn't have to worry about driving or parking. but this year he was MIA and we didn't feel comfortable bugging his roommate. so i hoped on my trusty macbook pro to look up directions.

we decided to park in the UofL stadium lot and walk to Churchill...logic took hold...this will be a nice sober walk back. once we finally found parking around 1:30 we were lucky enough to park next to some derby tailgaters. i believe they were from Chicago or at least Illinois. they offered us some beer...we said yes and it was official Derby 136 had commenced!

the wind almost blew AJP's hat off numerous times. we made our way to the entrance around the 3rd turn and entered Churchill Downs shortly after 2pm. once we got into the infield we were on a mission to find a miller lite tent. found one and it just so happened to be close to where alexa was. Hooray for meeting up with cleveland friends. to bad there were no pics to prove of our out of town hook-up. then the plum and i were on a mission to get some mint juleps. i was a little disappointed when i realized they raised the price to $10!!!! oh well, it didn't stop me from buying/drinking/savoring each one.

a new mission commenced, find the bathroom and karate jon. we did both successfully. however finding bob and Rkelly = not so easy. it turns out they had the best seat in the house...well the best seat for $40. they were on turn 1 and 2...and it was a pretty sweet set up. you could actually see the horses!

after Super Saver won the Kentucky Derby we decided to head out and walk back to the car. (fun fact: i had to look up the winner of the race) we decided to meet Todd at his bar, Bearno's by the bridge. we ordered some drinks, food and got to watch the cavs win! we even got the other Clevelanders in the bar to chant "Cha-Lu-Pa!".

AJP and i knew we wanted to show bob and karate jon what 4th Street Live was all about. so we were getting ready to leave and guess who decides to show up....the cop that drove me and AJP to 4th street 2 years ago was waiting out front to take us again!

yup...we got a ride to 4th street in a cop car. i even touched the shotgun that hangs up in the back. rockin. after a few drinks there and some people watching we decided to call it a night around 1:30...which was lucky for us. by the time we got back to the house it started pouring down rain. and i HATE driving in the rain. we hung out outside and watched it lighting and i think we all passed out by 3.

no money was won, no fights broke out that we saw, no embarrassing falls in the mud. but it was still an awesome time!

let the pictures commence.

bob checking out AJP's caboose 

 Me and my dapper gent.

 the ride to bearno's
karate jon was a little tired.
yes, that's sun glare in the background

a special thanks to Todd and my family for making this such an awesome experience yet again! and to all the boys that bought us drinks and called us pretty. and to AJP for officially making the Derby a tradition for us!
can't wait for next year!

all i can ask is "who's driving?"

have a great weekend. hopefully i'll get back into some sort of writing habit.


Monday, May 3, 2010

#ridingderby part 1

If, after the first twenty minutes, you don't know who the sucker at the table is, it's you.– David Levien & Brian Koppelman, Rounders 


i'm a bad blogger.
i should be sent to my blogger room.
it's been way to long and i apologize.

but without further groveling i give you my awesome Derby weekend...
we had a fully booked weekend and took advantage of every moment...

Derby Thursday
the usual, oil change, packing, picking up AJP driving 6 hours, getting stuck in traffic cause there was a horrible semi accident we finally made it to Todds. Todd is my First Cousin Once Removed...seriously. i have 7 cousins on my dads side. Todd's mom Stephanie is my cousin. She has 4 rocking kids Timmy, Todd and Kristen are all around my age and then there is little Kate. who is going to be famous or on American Idol or something....anyways, Jen and i always stay at Todds...its tradition.

We unloaded the car, said our hello's and got ready to hit the town. Todd had a country concert to go to while Jen and i had a VIP event to attend. My cousin Chip is President, CCO of Bisig Impact Group. (fun fact: i interned there the summer of 04). His company is a co-sponsor of the Derby Poker Championship! This was the second year they've helped put on the event. it.was.awesome!

It was held at the Palace which is an old theater with awesome character. Since we were VIP we got open bar and free reign on the poker floor. the host of the evening was Phil Hellmuth. i didn't know who that was till Thursday. i honestly thought he was an old guy. but he's pretty least he was on the mic...i've heard stories as to what a d-bag he can be.
the night was awesome i meet some of Chips clients, got to rub elbows with famous people that i didn't know existed and we even made it to the after party on Fourth Street Live. Fourth Street Live is totally awesome...great for people watching and the southern gentle men will buy cute ladies drinks! but beware, it can also be full of d-bags.
Thursday Night = Success!!!

AJP, Phil Hellmuth & me!

Derby Friday
we couldn't have asked for better weather. we were out to the waterfront to hang out at the Fest-A-Ville. we were outside all day! drinking beer and enjoying live bands...and not just country music! they played some rock-n-roll!

after some bench side people watching we moved location to Joe's Crab Shack to have a beach party (fun fact: beach party is when everyone in your group is drinking a corona). After a full day of drinking we got ready for the 5th Annual Unstable Clown party that my Cousin, Stephanie, puts on every year. Unstable Clown has some history...quick overview: there is a famous Gala every Derby called the Barnstable Brown Gala. All the famous people who plan on going to Derby go to this party. Well my cousin lives on Speed Ave. Speed Ave is where all the limo's drive down to either turn around or drop off famous guest. yep. the limo's drive by this little niche of homes to get to this FABULOUS party. So to celebrate this once a year event she hosts the Unstable Clown Party. there are drinks, music, dancing and even a fog machine! it was a lot of fun, and family friendly. there was no swearing aloud. if you had to say, for example: "you f'ing idiot". you had to say "you cussing idiot". all swear words were replaced with the word cuss. pretty awesome. i can picture AJP using that.

there were no crazy disasters like last year, wear my "cousin in law" (is that real?) leaned up against the stove, turned it on and lite the back of his coat on fire. Little Kate was prancing around in her older sister (Kristen's) super cute heals. she even got me and AJP to do the do-si-do.

after our fashionably late arrival and hanging out with 5 of my 7 cousin Jen and i decided to say our good byes and make back to 4th street live. we didn't get lost, it just took us a long time to get there. we finally arrived and parked by the police station around 1:30. (fun fact: bars stay open till 6am Derby weekend).

we went to a couple bars meet up with Todd and his friends and danced. it was probably 4:15ish when we decided to call it a night. after our long walk back to my car terror struck. yes. terror in the form of a stolen/towed car. my car was missing. we even went into the station and tried to find out if it was stolen or towed. no luck. i cried. i even asked jen if it was okay if we took a few minutes on the curb for me to cry. i then needed to walk it off while we waited 45 min for a cab. then jen suggested walking one block over and there beneath a beacon of street light was my glorious car...with the passenger side window open about 2 inches. but nothing wrong with it. we jumped in, i wiped my tears from my face and we proceed to go home.
Friday Night = Success!!!

Derby Saturday...i'm going to copy the plum and post Saturday for you tomorrow....don't hate.