Friday, August 15, 2008

Hey, Look! A Church!

There it is. St. Mary's Chapel east of uptown Charlotte, USA. That's where Jennifer and I marry in a little more than two months. I visited for the second time today. The first time was probably in 2000 when Tara Lane married there. I didn't know Tara then, I was simply a date for one of her then-coworkers. Anywho, it's a beautiful setting, especially in the fall.
Jennifer and I met Mom and sister Anna at the church Friday afternoon to test out some decorations. Luckily the chapel has a ton of character on it's own and doesn't need that many flowers. Jennifer asked me what I thought and shockingly I had little insight to offer. I said they looked good while the ladies(along with a few other future brides checking out the chapel) kept mixing, matching, measuring and taking pictures to make sure everything looked good.

I knew the chapel was tiny, but my gracious it's small. 125 people can allegedly fit in there. I'm not sure how but I guess it will happen. I'm glad I'll be standing.

Actually being in the church helps you realize it's actually happening. It's not talking about it, tasting a cake, looking at limos on the interweb or dreaming of honeymoons. We're marrying for real, and it doesn't suck.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Needed a Shower

I got up at 7:30 Saturday morning. Understand that I don't ever get up that early unless it's for golf or something spectacularly awesome. Unfortunately, this time it was for yard work. A TON of it. I've been messing around with a large bed in the yard that was full of old leaves, pine needles, weeds, a baby snake, yellow jackets and some old shrubs that looked like ass. I spent several hours on it one day last month and decided to finish it Saturday morning. I started early so I could take advantage of the temperature in the 60's. After spending five or ten minutes putting on my shoes and yard pants(I quit wearing shorts in the yard after the spider bite,) off to work I went. It took about three solid hours of weed pulling and NPR listening to get it done. By the way, I highly recommend National Public Radio on the weekends. Yes, I know taxpayers subsidize eight percent of their operating budgets and I'm against all things we have to unwillingly pay for, but that doesn't mean it isn't great radio. Unfortunately I couldn't listen that afternoon for the two hours of grass cutting, weed-eating, edging and blowing.After finishing the yard the Panthers had their pre-season opener Saturday night but why go to a football game when you can go to a baby shower?!?! Sure I was disappointed to miss a Panthers home game. It's rare I miss them but the shower was for Jennifer's best friend Erika and her husband Mike(who may or may not have fixed the air conditioner in my truck for less than $250.) It was more of a big assed party with some baby presents at the end. There was a huge deck, a huge grill, tons of cold beer, tons of good food and even beer pong. It was my first baby shower, but I imagine it was better than most. We had a good time. For the record, Jennifer told me to go to the game so I did indeed go to the shower on my own accord. I'm glad I did, and not just because I got to snap this picture.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I turned 29 years old this past Saturday afternoon. That's damn near 30! My next birthday I'll be married and 30. Weird. We started the day off at the Panthers FanFest where we were treated to 95 degree heat and a football practice. I reckon football practice is better than no football. They were serving beer, though. We ate lunch at Tavern and headed home for a two hour nap.
I didn't plan much, a simple dinner at Dish followed by cans of beer at the Thirsty Beaver. Dish is my favorite restaurant but I never get over there to eat. Everything you order comes with a deviled egg and a biscuit. Nothing sucks about that or the shrimp and grits. Jennifer got a veggie sandwich which had some black bean hummus. If you're a vegetarian, chances are you go crazy for anything that features black bean hummus.
We left Dish and headed to the Thirsty Beaver. We walked in and didn't recognize anyone, not even the bartender. We asked her where everyone was and she said The Loose Lugnuts were playing the Comet Grill. We finished our beers and headed to Dilworth to find the Comet was packed with people we knew and a band that actually didn't suck. The Lugnuts have come a long way since they let me play with them for a couple of months a few years ago. Mark and Brian added a bass player a while back who doesn't suck and found a guitar player named Bill Noonan. Noonan's been around Charlotte for years with his own band, but really enjoys playing with the Lugnuts. Word leaked it was my birthday and all of the sudden Shelia had shots for the band and myself. Ya'll know I'm not a liquor drinker, but I damn sure enjoyed the Jim Beam. Once again, I loved it, thus I don't typically drink it.
We did most of our hanging out upstairs where my old college friends Wes and Tiffany came to meet us. I hadn't seen Tiffany in probably seven years when Jennifer and I ran into her at the hospital last year. She asked me if I had Wes' number and they've been dating ever since. Tiffany went to see Journey Saturday night and a few emails and text messages later, they were at the Comet. Despite my High Life and Jim Beam induced drunk, it was great to see them. We need to see them again so I can really catch up instead of hollering over the music and trying to remember what they told me.

With dinner, The Loose Lugnuts, good times, good friends and great oldies, my 29th birthday was one of my better ones. Maybe 30 won't be that bad.

Friday, August 01, 2008

British, Old and Whipping Ass

Several months ago Travers told me Mark Knopfler was coming to town. If the name isn't familiar, the band he fronted for many years is. Dire Straits. Dire Freakin' Straits. I can name a handful of Dire Straits songs and another handful of Mark Knopfler songs and none of them suck. The man can play guitar better than anyone I've heard in person except for Unknown Hinson. Seriously, he's in his 50's and strides up to the microphone in fashionable jeans and a blazer to start whipping ass.
He played some of his old stuff, some of his new stuff, a few Dire Straits classics and some instrumentals that had all of Ovens Auditorium on its feet. Even Jennifer who had never heard of Mark Knopfler thought it whipped ass.

Hey! 40 year old Tim Baier was there, too! I didn't know he was such a big Mark Knopfler fan!