Monday, April 30, 2007

SkillsUSA Weekend

weekend, I attended the Michigan SkillsUSA State Championship Conference. (Wow that's a mouthful!) As I had mentioned earlier, my students compete in SkillsUSA. In January, I held the local competition on a Saturday, then I made them square off again in February for a regional competition, that all led to the State Championship this past weekend in Lansing.

So Friday morning we boarded a bus and headed to Lansing with 48 students and 12 chaperons. For me it was exciting because I know the potential my students have, but it was also stressful because I was in charge of booking the hotel and the registration. Once we got settled in the hotel on Friday night it was time for opening ceremonies. In the past opening ceremonies were well dry, boring and had a tendency to drag on and on. This year however that was not the case at all. The opening ceremonies was finished in record time, it moved, it was fun (there was a dj), light show and everything. It was dare I say: kinda cool. Then we headed back upstairs and let the kids unwind a little. The next thing you know we were putting them to bed, because they all had an early Saturday morning.

Saturday is the big competition day, we rise in the 5am hour and head off to the Lansing Community College Campus. Kids competed in everything from auto to welding. My students did, well television production. This year I was my second year as a member of the technical committee. The technical committee organizes the competition, everything from the design of the problem to finding judges. I tend to get too involved and then stress myself out. Oh well. It's not about me, it's about making a great competition for the students, I know what you are thinking, super cheesy and yes it is, but it's true. And you should know by now I am cheesy.

So when we got to the site, the students set up their computers, took a video production test and then headed out for two hours to get video of the state competition. The kids were assigned a one minute promotional video on the SkillsUSA state competition. Then we took a short break for lunch. After lunch is when the pressure cooker starts. The students have 2 hours to edit. They are all piled into two classrooms and after about 15 minutes you can cut the stress and tension with a knife. The students have to work through all kinds of problems, including computer and equipment failure. The worst part is when I give them the 15 minute call. That's when you see the panic and fear in their eyes. The students got 2 points off for every minute they were late. It can cause major anxiety, how do I know this, well I was feeling it up there just checking in the tapes. I wanted everyone, not just my teams to get their tapes in, after all they had been working so hard.

My teams did well, not without some tribulation. One team turned in a tape only to be disqualified because we could not find anything on the physical tape. Another team was 14 minutes late, which meant they started off with a -28. I had one team that had little problems. But I am proud of them all, they finished with integrity and professionalism. More on how they did at the award ceremony.

I sat through the judging, I must thank the judges because they really treated this like a big deal, which it is, but they are professionals in the business that took their Saturday to come out and judge more than 20 videos and 3 plus hours of their day was swallowed up by this. But they gave each video very thoughtful consideration. So thanks again... you guys are great.

I came back to the hotel after dinner on Saturday night, my students had been calling me every 10 minutes asking me to come back and hurry, that they had something for me. Low and behold, when I got back they had a card of appreciation and cookies for me. It touched me so much that I cried. I know I am a sap but truly it was awesome. It's one of those moments in my life that I will tuck away and look back. It just made me feel so good especially after a really really long day. I have great students.

So back to the results, being there while the judging took place, I actually knew where my students finished. They finished in FIRST PLACE. Yes at that moment I could have jumped out of my chair I was so excited, it took away some of the excitement from the actual awards ceremony, but it was still great. However, I did have to try to keep it a secret, which for those of you who know me, know that I am not great at that skill. I got a chance to call the Megan's parents, who I was pretty sure weren't planning on coming, I left the message saying, I thought that if they didn't have plans they might want to consider driving the two hours to Lansing. I was pretty sure Erik's parents were coming.

At the awards ceremony, I felt the excitement all over again. To see how excited they were, it was truly amazing. Also their classmates were so proud of them. When they called second place we just stood up and cheered because that put them on top. (and remember the rest of them were surprised) I am so proud of them all of them. But now Megan & Erik head to Kansas City in June (with me) for the National Competition. They will be representing the state of Michigan. It is so cool.

Also on a side note, Bruce's students who were in the same competition placed 3rd. Which was really cool considering that they didn't study video this year. I am really happy for him too.

Today, I must admit I was completely exhausted it is 7:40 pm and I am about to call it a night. Getting up this morning for work was a struggle, but when they kids came in (more so in the afternoon) they were so excited. I just wished I could bottle that energy for next year when I talk about joining SkillsUSA. They talked about the fun they had, the new friends they made, I could have cried all over again, but I didn't come people I may be a sap but I know when to hold it together. Even during break they branched out and sat with their new friends from the other classes that they spent the weekend with at SkillsUSA. It was cool experience.

On a side note, my team was not the only team to do well, in fact we swept two competitions, computer maintenance (way to go Dave, two years in a row to nationals and now a sweep, pretty sweet.) and metal machining (good job Duane even though you will never read this.)
Also we have one team of crime scene investigators going and one student for criminal justice (all taught by the talented Richard.) It will be a great time in KC.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Attica Trifecta

Tonight I had a rare but special visit from my folks. Yes Ma & Pa Sahakian don't make it up to Attica that much so we rolled out the red carpet. We grilled steaks for dinner at the Lake Pleasant Estate. (OK my Dad ended up manning the grill while watching the dogs outside, but we supplied the meat.) We also took a walk into downtown Attica to see the latest and greatest. Yes the booming Township of Attica has just had two new business (technically three but only two for me which means only three with food) making it a Trifecta. You have the Attica Mall a.k.a Rowley's Grocery Store and the newest additions are the Pleasant Soul Cafe', a coffee shop and eatery, and the Chilly Cow which serves ice cream which is udderly fantastic. (ha ha, yes I have fallen in line with their marketing.) Daisy got to hang out with Nina and they had fun chasing each other around the yard. (Daisy is my dog, Nina belongs to my folks.) We had ice cream for dessert and the dogs even got their own free cones. So I am going to constantly promote these shops so that they stay in business and I may in fact get free ice cream and coffee... Really when it comes to me what could be better, I love coffee and I love ice cream.

So what inspired this rare Thursday night visit. They were generously dropping off their mini-van from Bruce to drive it to SkillsUSA in Lansing this weekend. Yes Bruce and I are both going to the SkillsUSA competition. His students actually compete against mine. It's a friendly rivalry. However I do joke that I tell my kids, "Just do your best and BEAT Lapeer!" However, it is a joke. I swear, I am not competitive, really. This year Bruce and I were both on the technical committee for Television Production. I have put a lot of time into the contest and did my best to try to find prizes for our competition, I thought I had failed, but Specs Howard is coming through with some swag. Why prizes? Well in all the other competitions the kids that win first prize walk away with full tool sets, scholarships, and more. Our kids get well a medal, which is great but I wanted more for them. I was really trying to get Video Ipods however apparently I don't know who to ask and how to ask them. So if anyone has suggestions for next year they would be very welcome.

Being on the technical committee along with trying to get prizes I was also in charge of judges. I convinced two great friends from Local 4 to sacrifice their Saturday to be judges. The talented and fabulous Olive and John. (Can you tell I am sucking up to them, because I am.) Thank you, thank you, thank you: SO MUCH. I owe you, yes I will pay in cocktails if necessary. And the high school rep from Specs Howard is coming to judge on very short notice I had her out to talk with my class last week and mentioned something and she committed on the spot to serving as a judge. How fantastic is that?

On top of being on the technical committee and being advisor to my students, I am also the co-coordinator for the entire schools, which meant, I was booking the hotel, making sure that permission slips went out, making sure kids paid, getting transportation, getting the shirts for everyone, which I wanted to get in pink and sea-foam green, but due to the fact that there are 8 women and 50-some-odd men, I got black with red and white lettering. However, I did tell them it was pink for the last three weeks just to scare them, the advisors were relieved when they saw the shirts today. But really what would have been better than welders, metal machinist, auto technicians and construction students all in pink. I should have done it that would have actually secured me not being allowed to be a coordinator again. I would have gotten my PINK slip. Can you tell this has been a stressful ordeal? I am just actually excited to go and I think I will be more excited when I am back home on Sunday with everything a success (cross your fingers!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

America's Next Top Model Recaps
& T-1 Day until SkillsUSA
First things first, ANTM. It was the mid-season recap show. Helping those without TiVo catch up on the season. I on the other hand enjoy the new footage that is shown only during this show. It can be very revealing to the different dynamics on the show. This was one of the better show, but really in a way I feel that it is cheating and I am looking forward to next week when we have another elimination! I still don't have a good feeling about who the winner will be, hmmmm. Stay tuned. This has been a very busy week, with not much time for TiVo, too be honest, I skipped the gym tonight to catch up with good ole TiVo and because I am freaking tired.

Why have I been so busy? Well SkillsUSA is the answer to that question. I am heading to Lansing this weekend with 48 students from St. Clair TEC for the
SkillsUSA state competition, these 11th & 12th graders will be competing in everything from auto body, automotive technology to television production (my students) and welding. It's a lot of fun and its a great to see the students take their skills to the next level. The winners of the state competition head to nationals in Lansing this June. Last year was my first experience I have a lot of fun, it gives you a chance to see the kids outside of the classroom and we teachers can let our hair down a little.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Max & the Three Bears

Of course he is shy for the camera, but I am working on getting my actors (Max & Sophie) more comfortable in front of the camera. Give me time.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

High on Fun - Packed with Calories

Well this weekend started out with tub of popcorn at the movies and ended with a pizza at my in-laws. And what happened in the middle tasted better, had more calories and was just as much fun. On Friday night, Bruce had to work at Local 4, so I headed to the movies to see, "In the Land of Women." Which is a total chick flick and I was pretty sure that no man would want to see it, so I went to the Lapeer Cinema's by myself, I got a tub of popcorn and a coke, that was well my dinner and enjoyed the show. It was funny because the guy moves from LA to his grandmother's home in Michigan of all places, however it was not Michigan just somewhere else with a lot of Michigan license plates. Also I noticed that most of the cars they used where not American cars and I was thinking that is funny, because in this state more than any other state people are more likely to by American and it felt like the majority of cars with the Michigan license plates well were not. But hey, its funny they didn't call me to be the "Michigan Consultant" on the project. The overall movie was ok, not great, but I didn't leave wanting to ask for a refund.

Then Saturday we woke up early and headed to Greenfield Village to meet my mom, dad, sister, niece and nephew for "A Day Out with Thomas." For all of you who were like me a couple of years ago, Thomas is Thomas the Tank Engine. He is the main character in a series of children's books and television shows. And the kids go crazy for him, and some one is making huge money off that. Yes, they bring in a full-sized Thomas that travels across country stopping a railroads to give kids a ride. This weekend (and next) Thomas is at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. If you have never been to a Thomas event you will quickly see that the median age is 7, it's that high because the 2 -5 year-olds can't drive themselves, they need their parents to get them there. So we were at Greenfield Village with about 10,000 2- 5 year-olds who were in 7th heaven because they got to go on Thomas.

Max and Sophie were also very excited to see Thomas. When it actually came to riding him, Sophie seemed to enjoy it much more that her brother. Max liked it for the first 5 minutes and then said he was ready to go to the "brown house" which is code for Grandma and Grandpa's house. However, it's funny as the day went on, he seemed to have more and more fun with Thomas. After we had our ride on Thomas (that sounds wrong) we went to meet his friend the life sized "Sir Topham Hat" we all agree that he resembles Mr. Peanut. Well he stood under a tent and got his picture taken with the kiddies. Max was sooooo excited when he saw Sir Topham Hat, so excited that he wanted to cut in line to get closer. We reigned him in, however when it was his turn, he was not all about Sir Topham Hat. Sophie was but Max started to freak out, which you can clearly see in these photographs.

Then we headed over to the carousel for fun. However it turns out that when there are nearly a million toddlers in Greenfield Village who only get to ride on Thomas (I know wrong right) once they immediately head to the carousel. Which meant we waited for what seemed like FOREVER to ride the world's longest carousel ride, but the kids liked it, then we hit the Thomas Gift Shop, where you could have bought pretty much anything with Thomas on it, however they didn't make shirts in my size, ridiculous... We got away cheap they kids just wanted a Thomas Balloon, when I say cheap that was just $12, we could probably spent a lot more. Then we high tailed it out of there, the troops were getting restless.

We headed home and we were hungry. Max requested that: "we stop at the french fry store and get some chicken nuggets and a turtle, please." The turtle is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys that Mickey D's was given out. Well how can you say, no to that. You don't so we stopped at McDonald's for lunch. Then we headed home to Manchester. We played outside, the kids helped Grandpa with his shoveling. Then we packed up the minivan again, this time we headed west to Jackson for an All-Star Dairy (aka the parlour) dinner. Yes, that is ice cream I am talking about. So for those of you keeping track we had McDonald's then ice cream.

Sophie and Grandma were the only ones able to finish. Mainly because well Grandma got a junior sundae. Krista and I went with the full almond combo which is made with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel and almonds. Grandma had the same as us, but only the junior so that meant it was smaller. Max and Sophie went with chocolate ice cream and sprinkles. At the end Sophie was drinking what was left from her bowl, it was well amazing. On the way home we sang the best of Sesame Street tunes in the car. Here is some video, but I want to preface that I was in the back seat trying to shoot video of what was in front of me while staying buckled in - safety first. Then we went home, the kids had baths and Grandma made homemade popcorn on the stove.

This morning Grandpa made us breakfast and then Aunt Jennie painted Sophie's nails and toe nails again . Then it was time for me to head back north. It was a great weekend. I love hanging out with the fam. Max and Sophie are so talkative and they say the funniest things, like for instance when Sophie told Grandpa that he shouldn't come to the ice cream store because he did not stop Nina (the dog) from chasing them. Or when Max talked about his Day Out with Thomas or when he would read you the Three Bears story with the voices.

However, I did make a point of running at the park when I got home. I put in a good three miles. I needed to work off something from the weekend and it was too gorgeous not to be outside.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TiVO Changed My Life Breaking NEWS ALERT!
Michigan Jael.... GONE FROM ANTM

And American Idol loses Sanjaya

Some American Idol fans I am sure are thinking it's about time. However, people like me were enjoying the nonsense that is Sanjaya. Why? Well I have never been an avid American Idoler, but the sabotage of the website (Vote for the worst-dot-com) and the King of All Media Howard Stern jumped on the Sanjaya wagon. Unfortunately, the rest of the fans weren't having it and finally after weeks of everyone wondering what he was still doing there on the show (me loving ever minute of the endless complaining) he was voted off tonight. So what does this mean for me, well I go back to no longer giving a crap about American Idol. It was fun while it lasted.

As for our favorite ANTM, Jael just couldn't survive the Cover Girl commercial challenge. This is not surprising consider how she is at panel week after week. I know some of it is the magic of editing, but some of it was well her. It was between here and Brittany who played her I have no short term memory I was hit by a car card this week. Natasha the sassy Russian appears to be taking the lead. I am not willing to commit to a winner yet. Loyal watchers anyone have their thoughts?
A New Cell Phone

It was that time in my cell phone contract when I could upgrade to a new phone. I was actually excited about this idea, usually I am so in love with my cell phone by the time it comes due that I reject the new phone, because I have to get used to it and it doesn’t work like my old phone. But this time I was actually excited, why, well the new phone will have a better camera, which means better mo-blogging. Yes, I am always thinking about the TiVo Changed My Life audience. Plus it flips open two ways and well it makes me look cool (it’s a great optical illusion.)

However, the process in which I got the phone was frustrating. Here’s what happened, the story starts a couple months ago, Bruce got his new Motorola Q. When we were there the customer service informed me that I was eligible for my new cell phone on April 14th.

So on April 14th, which was Saturday, I excitably went to the Verizon Store in Uttica, to get my new phone.
When I arrived, they punched my name and number into their computer and I was put in line. Then salesman Dave approached me. He was a young seemingly friendly guy, but that soon changed.

The first thing he said was, “who’s Bruce?”
I replied, Bruce is my husband.

Well Dave tells me that Bruce must be there in order to get the phone, but I am more than welcome to buy it at full price. (Oh yes, Dave, that’s what I want to do instead of getting the renewal price, I want to pay 4 times as much. You read my mind) He then says I can only renew my line if I am an authorized user. I said that is funny because they would let me order it no problem online. I then ask if we can we call Bruce. He says no. Then after some pressing he says that Bruce can call Verizon customer service and make me an “authorized user.”
So I call Bruce, but as I wait around,

Dave approaches again to tell me that I should just go ahead and go home and order it online.

I said, “why my husband is calling customer service right now.”

Dave says, “oh well I will have to charge you $20 more to get it here at the store.”


“Yes, because you aren’t the main line we charge an extra $20 to get your phone in the store.”
“Why didn’t they let me know that when they told me to come back to this store to get it?”
“Well that’s the policy..”

“Can’t there be an exception, I have driven 40 minutes from my house to get there?”

“But there is no information anywhere on the website indicating this, no one told me last time.”


There was some more banter with me trying to get him to even ask a manager to see. His answers: “No, No, No, No No and again just get it on the internet.
I will have to come back here to get all my numbers transferred.”
“Yes we will be happy to do that for free, but you have to come back.”

I got so frustrated I left; I called Bruce on my way out to vent. He asked had I left yet, I said, yes. He told me to turn around. Then he called customer service again. And they did exactly what Dave refused to do, made an exception, however they said it was odd, because they don’t usually charge the $20 fee. Hmmmm. I am starting to feel that Dave wasn’t interested in helping me at all.

I went back, under duress. I wanted to say that’s it with Verizon Wireless. However, since I had convinced my entire family to use verizon wireless, I could not very well switch now. So I went back, this time they sent me to customer service, which I quickly learned is where I should have been in the first place.

Here we introduce Brandy, super customer service rep. She was so nice and get this HELPFUL. Dave could learn a few, well everything from her.
It turns out Dave works on commission and probably didn’t see me as $$, but I am just wondering why in the hell he didn’t send me there in the first place.

Brandy was able to hook my up with my snazzy new phone, with get this not charging me the $20 additional fee. She was so helpful and she even listened to me vent about my earlier experience. She made me feel that I wasn’t being unreasonable at all. So if you are ever going to the Verizon wireless store in Utica, Michigan on Hall Road, make sure you ask for Brandy and steer clear of the least helpful sales person ever: Dave.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is a good laugh...
I got this from Todd, but I keep re-watching it because well it makes me smile and laugh out loud.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I am sitting here watching all the news coverage surrounding the Virginia Tech shootings. I am trying to think of something to write that would be profound and provocative, but I can't. Crime like this just doesn't make sense to me. I am not saying that crime makes sense in general, but crimes of passion, robberies and things like that are easy for me to comprehend. This I just can't understand.

I am sitting here watching television, in tears of course, watching the University's press conference. It's hard to watch, and I just got home and turned on the TV. These press conference turn quickly from what they can tell you, to the reporters finger pointing, you shoulda, coulda. It will only be a matter of time before I have to force myself to turn it off. I am sure the students, parents and people there wish it was that easy, just turning off the news.

More G. Love and Steve the Travelin' Blues Man

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I am not sure if this picture does the message on this sign justice, but if you need help reading it, it reads:


I am just curious who are these Dips and do the Dips know Dan & Lisa Cheese Pretzel?

And here's some more G. Love and The Travelin' Blues Man From Detroit at the HOB in Cleveland.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Kickin' It in Lapeer Co.

Well it's Friday night, Bruce is on his way to Vegas, G. Love and Special Sauce are playing in Madison, Wisconsin and I am kickin' it in Lapeer Co. Yes, I like to keep it real you know, I am currently fighting with you tube which doesn't want me to post anymore G. Love videos (maybe it is trying to tell me something.)

This morning I spent my last day of my spring break at the Lapeer County Ed-Tech Center meeting Bruce's students, it was fun seeing his classroom and how he interacts with his students. I came home sent Bruce to the airport and headed to the gym! Yes I am attempting to get my running legs back. This winter has been an on and off struggle for my running. I had a good October and November, but once the holidays hit into the new year, my three days a week running, became two. In March, I was lucky to get in one day a week. So I am trying to get back into the groove and it's a slow groove.

The treadmill is my winter friend, because well it's hard enough to get out there when it gets dark so early and its so freaking cold. I used to hate the treadmill, but now I find it a good way to rate my speed. However, it also becomes my arch Nemesis when I am trying to get my groove back, because I feel like it's yelling at me when I go slow. I look at that number and I know it could and should be higher, but my feet can't go faster. I also run to time on a treadmill not distance, and I find myself making deals, if I make it to 15 minutes left , I can walk a minute, then if I make it to 10 I can walk 30 seconds. The next thing you know I am just walking regardless of time.

I am also frustrated with this treadmill because I feel like at this time in April I should be able to get out at least once a week and run outside. I am getting gym fever. It's spring, I need to be sprung. But with all the snow and freezing rain, I am sticking to the treadmill.

After seeing my NBB at Lapeer Ed-Tech and talking with one of Bruce's Bosses Kathy an amazing woman who's lost 110 pounds... yes the woman has lost another human being... and talking about running, I am thinking along with NBB (Marina) joining a Crim Training group. My Aunt Val was a leader last year. I have never run the 10 mile Crim, however the Crim is on of my favorite road races, I usually just run the 5k or 8k, this year it might be a good year to run the 10 mile.

A short G. Love Break...
Ok this blog has been a little G.L.A.S.S. obsessed as of late. So here is a little Easter Break with the adorable Sophia and Max Deth, aka my niece and nephew.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Steve the Travelin' Blues Man & G. Love in Cleveland

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

G Love Has Been Met

And he did not disappoint at all, for all you naysayers, I am still a huge fan. Bruce look away... Oh my God he is soooo hot and talented. And like after every concert I have ever been, I am currently experiencing the G Love after glow.

Here's the break down of events (written with much help from Olive.) These events strictly relate to the meeting of G. Love there will be more posts on the entire trip later:

We arrived in Cleveland at 3:30ish... I will write more about the whole adventure later, but this post sticks to serious issues... which are G. Love and some Special Sauce. The event started at 5:30 but we arrived about 10 minutes early to get tickets and coat check. When we checked in, Olive said, the tickets should be under Holladay... the reply, "Jennie Holladay. The Jennie Holladay? From Michigan?" It was like we were famous, the TiVo Changed My Life Blog, can make you famous, who knew. We met Bob Winovich (brother of Barry, who started the foundation) and Todd (the poster/Angel who led me to Mecca aka this Cleveland concert.)

We talked with them, we enjoyed a drink, a slider (enjoyed by only me) and little tiny sp
inach pies (enjoyed by both Olive and I.) We sat for a while, Olive spent most of that time trying to calm me down and get me to speak in coherent sentences. Soon a photo-journalist from WEWS Channel 5 News came to the event. Why was he there, well great Public Relations by Olive and yours truly. Really it was the fact that we told our friend Todd that he had to send a photographer, but more on that later. Todd pulled through and the photographer got video of the event, unfortunately G. Love's plane was late so he didn't get to videotape the one song promised, despite my efforts telling him to blow off all other assignments for this, mainly so I could get the raw footage.

So after about two hours of waiting, me with my heart racing at warp speed the whole time, it was like working out without doing any thing but thinking of G. Love, hmmmm that sounds like an infomerical. I am going to have to think about this. Eventually I force Olive out of her comfortable seated position, to go stand dead center in front of the stage, yes we stood there for an hour, but we didn't come to Cleveland to eat spinach pies and see him from 10 feet away instead of reaching out to touch his knee at the one foot away. Did I mention that the room we were in had only about 100 people? Yes, it was like having our own personal concert with about 100 of our new Cleveland Friends.

So he arrives.
G. Love's attire is casual, but polish. He is wearing a jean jacket with motorcycle collar, jeans and a blue graphic t-shirt, and basketball sneakers. He sits down and apologizes because it was the airlines fault. He gets his box of harmonicas ready, tunes his guitar. He starts playing, we are quickly informed that we can't take video just still pictures. The first song, well at that moment we were both have out-of-body-experiences and neither of us can really remember. However, you can rest assured it was fabulous. There were some kids (when I say kids, picture elementary schoolers) to the right that were screaming Back of the Bus, and he said,"you have to make the kids happy." So he played an acoustic version of that song.

He played Sara's Song and then his political song, that we don't know the title, but we agree with. Then that ended his set. It looked like he was about to slip away, when Olive made the move, because certainly I was in no condition to be brave. I had brought my CD and a sharpie (which I borrowed from Todd.) G Love signed the CD with his name and he also opened it up to sign the sticker and ticket stub that was inside, without prompting by us. Then everyone else wanted autographs.

He came back to us for a moment and I asked him to sign to Jennie (with the ie) on the cd and h
e did, Olive said, "you made her life."
She then said, "We came up from Detroit."
He responded, "Did you see the Blues man when we were in Detroit a couple week
s ago?" Olive says (yes I am silent with a huge smile through most of this) "Yeah, Steve, the Traveling Blues Man right."
GLove, "yeah, yeah right, he's great. I actually am bringing him up again tonight."

Here's my big moment, I said, "I did a little video and put it up on you tube."
GLove, "cool, we are going to video tape him tonight."

Then Olive was given a camera by some girl to take a picture, which of course made her think, we need a picture. So she told me, who was in a haze and could not think for myself. Get out your camera. I did this, then we got our picture taken with G. Love for posterity. Therefore G. Love has been met. And was very nice and cool. Of course after he was swept off the stage, I was kind of standing there, just wishing I would have said more, but glad I didn't because Lord knows more would have been me making a fool of myself. I will be calmer and more prepared next time. Yes, next time. After this meet and greet I feel that I can still show myself at concerts. Here's the picture that Olive took of me after I meet G. Love. That smile you see hasn't come off my face since, last night my cheeks literally hurt from too much smiling. And I am sure you are noticing my "fly" t-shirt that I bought off ebay, yes I-76 is my favorite song, so I thought it would be fun to wear a Philly 76'ers t-shirt. I am sure I looked a little foolish.
The Rest of the Trip

Well as you know the G. Love Meet & Greet was just a small (HUGE) portion of Olive and my trip to Cleveland. Here's the rest of the story. We left for Cleveland at about 11:30 ish, which got us there early about 3pm. So what to do for two hours. We called Todd, our Todd who is the Supervising, Top, Head, Senior, Very Important, Chief, Stud Muffin Producer at
WEWS Channel 5 in Cleveland. Todd, Olive and I all meet while working at Local Four in Detroit. We were hired all by one man, Stan, who is the Assistant News Director at WEWS. So we had a chance to see him too, Stan told us he would try to come to the G.Love concert and use our extra tickets but he stood us up, it's alright, I am over it, it's his loss. It was really nice to see Stan again. I enjoyed working for him and was sad when he left Detroit.

gave us the 50 cent tour of the station, turns out he had to produce the 11 pm or something and needed to have an afternoon meeting or something. But while we were there I told him that he should send a crew to cover the Brighter Side of the Road, G. Love event. And Todd pulled through, giving Olive and I much street cred with our new Cleveland friends. Also apparently we were on the news in Cleveland. Yes, not only the event made the television, but so did we.

Then we headed to Flannery's Pub at the suggestion of Todd. We
had a couple drinks and enjoyed the Channel 5 news at 5. Then we headed to the meet and greet. You can read all about it here.

However, let me talk a little about my new Cleveland friends. They were so great, starting with Todd, pictured here. I would thank them all but there are so
many that I can't remember all their names, I am sorry, I was excited, I hope they forgive me. They made us feel so welcome, to be honest, I would not have known or probably gone to this event without G. Love, however since then I have learned a lot more, I have spent a lot of time on their website and we talked a lot to them while we are waiting. Along with being really nice and great people, they has such a great attitude about life. ALS also know as Lou Gehrig's Disease.It strikes with no warning and doctors still don't know who and why it will be affected. The disease is debilitating and there is no cure. Also the number of people that have ALS is around 30,000 but that isn't enough to get a lot research money. So the Brighter Side of the Road foundation is working to raise money for research and education. That being said, I would definitely go to another event, even without G. Love. They are going to have another event in Chicago on April 27th. So if you are looking for a great time with a great crowd of people don't hesitate to get a ticket and go!

Back to Cleveland, Olive and I were able to watch the concert from above... yes we couldn't get our usual front row spots due to the meet and greet. But our new Cleveland friends got us passes to the upper level so we were close and up above. They were good sits they gave me a different view than I have ever had. It was fun, I got to watch House Man do his thing, usually I can't see much of him.
G Love also brought up Steve the Travelin' Blues Man from Detroit on stage again. I must admit that it seemed like Detroit loved Steve more, but Cleveland showed him love too. It was great concert. I was a little disappointed because my favorite song wasn't on the play list I-76, hence my cool shirt. However, G.L.A.S.S never disappoints. That's why I have been such a fan.

After the concert, we met Todd at Flannery's. Then Todd gave us the driving tour of Cleveland. I wanted to come back with Bruce, but come back in the summer. Cleveland too has had snow recently, however they got 5 inches when we got 1.5. Yes, I was not thrilled to see all that snow on SPRING BREAK 2007. But G. Love, House Man, Jimmy Jazz and Marc (the newest sauce member) warmed my heart. We stayed the night at Chez Todd in Avon Lake a suburb to the west of Cleveland. Todd has a very nice apartment, however, I am with his friends from Cleveland. Move downtown, it suits you!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Heading South to Ohio..

In less than 24 hours Olive and I will be heading into Ohio to Cleveland for the G. Love and Special Show. However the big highlight will be the meet and greet at the House of Blues ahead of time, let's cross our fingers that I don't completely make a fool of myself at the meet and greet. I do worry a little that this meet and greet may mean that we won't get our usual spots in the front row for the concert. Hopefully we can do both. Stay tuned for details.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Getting Ready for the Hunt..

the Easter Egg Hunt. We stopped at the resale shop and found two baskets for the hunt. Sophie seemed disappointed that all the eggs we found were hardboiled, none were chocolate. She's got a point.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Tommy the Italian

So of course preparing for my big trip to Cleveland, I must look my best. However, I needed my hair trimmed and wouldn't get a chance to see Jay in Sandusky before I left. So I went with Bruce who needed to get his hair cut too to the Aveda Training Salon in Ann Arbor. Yes it's a beauty school, but you can't go wrong with a $15 hair trim, unless you are Bruce, he didn't have the most confident hair stylist, but you win some and lose some. The haircut he got wasn't awful, she just didn't cut a lot of his hair.

Well I had the most interesting hair stylist: Tommy the Italian, I call him that because well I don't remember his last name, however it was Italian. Why did I enjoy Tommy the Italian so much? Well first things first, he knew G. Love and Special Sauce. So of course that gave him huge points. (however, this man needs a TiVo, he had no knowledge about any of our top shows, like ANTM) But he seemed to be amused with my stories. Plus he also was very energetic and fun, he convinced me to get a "swoope," instead of cut straight across. I must admit it looked nice when he did it, however in the three days since the cut, it hasn't looked the same. But if you are ever in Ann Arbor and you head to Douglas J, ask for Tommy, he will be there until July.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Spring Snow?

Yes that is a blanket of snow covering my front yard. I woke up this morning to an 1.5 inches on my car and a very slow commute, which almost put me late to work because well I was not expecting it. Sure the weather man said it was possible, but I clearly heard dusting in all the reports, this is NOT a dusting.

I really thought it was spring. At least I am not in Marquette, which got 24 inches of the white stuff yesterday.

However, it is SPRING BREAK 2007 and I am not going to let this bring me down, when I will be enjoying G. Love and Cleveland in just a few short days.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Melrose Returns...
and the *mess* that is Jael

Wow this could be the most star studded ANTM. This week the girl headed to the party tonight with 50 cent, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and of Tyra's agent Benny Medina. Jael goes overboard and ends up being pushed into the pool by Fifty.

The girls went into the party with their new names. Like Melissa Rose aka Melrose. Jael and Jazlene kept their names. Whitney became Whitelle. The winner was Wholahay aka Dione. Sarah was Moe. Wholahay won the competition, I like her more and more.

I am wondering if Jael is on the outs... because we have seen a lot of her. She keeps representing Detroit. And frankly I think I need her to stop.

Then we had a little Tyra time, where Tyra took a little time to mend the tension in the house. Mainly between Renee & the rest of the house. It's part of the recipe for a good season of America's Next Top Model.

Jael did well in the photo shoot. Whittelle struggled again. Sarah struggled. The panel nixed the Wholahay name... instead they changed it to brown. During the deliberation...
the judges don't like Renee, Whittelle, Jazlene, Moe, who will leave: my guess is Moe aka Sarah, the photographer. And the bottom two are Whitney & Sarah... This week... Sarah is gone.

On another note... there is too much of the S-word outside. Again, this must stop.

This is unacceptable, this is S-word that has accumulated on our car. As I am looking out the window right now there is much of that unacceptable white stuff falling at a rapid speed. Someone better do something about this quick. I mean it because I can't take sitting through lunch tomorrow listening to all the guys talk about their trips to Florida and South Carolina, I may lose my lunch.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Then there were 6...

6 DAYS until Olive and I head to Cleveland for G.L.A.S.S.

Monday, April 02, 2007


It's just one week until Olive and I will be in Cleveland for the G. Love & Special Sauce concert and of course SPRING BREAK 2007. Bruce is on spring break this week, in honor we went to Cancun (also known as the Mexican Restaurant in Lapeer, Michigan.) Yes, I treat my man right.

There is also big things happening here at home, in Attica. Currently, a house is being converted into a coffee shop! It's called Pleasant Soul Cafe, the sign is up and they are working feverishly, however the sign just says, "coming soon." Also there is a discount flooring place going in the old fire station and next to that, which is next to the post office is a ice cream place, called the Chilly Cow. Well the Chilly Cow hung a sign today promoting its opening on April 16th. See all you naysayers.... Attica is huge, and we are in the center of all the action. Oh Yeah, Baby - ATTICA!