Saying Goodbye

It’s always easier said than done, when one must say goodbye. Tomorrow, I will be doing just that. Tomorrow, a friend whom I wish I knew better, yet knew better than I thought, will be in front of me, for the last time. Matthew Adkins passed away Saturday, July 16, 2011. He was the friend who was there for you when you needed someone to speak to, always knowing just what to say.

To say that he fought a long, hard battle to recovery would be a gross understatement. These last few months had not only been miserable to him, but they were the hardest of his life. Constantly going in and out of the hospital, with no recovery actually in site. The man struggled to stay on his feet, and his health was not one to improve. My heart breaks that he fought as long as he did, and suffered so much. The months were not kind to him. His truck was totaled not too long ago, and he loved that truck.

Suffice to say, it is a sad relief to know that he is no longer suffering. Sad as it may be that he didn’t make it through, he did live a good life and his attitude and friendliness showed that. He touched everyone’s mind and soul. Never would you have met a man so outgoing, friendly, and such a fan of Star Trek and Transformers! Strong hearted, and strong willed, his soul seemed nearly unbreakable, and his love for others, untarnished. You could ask him ANYTHING about Pearl Jam, and he could tell you the right answer without hardly a thought.

Strong, kind, caring, intelligent, hilarious, loving, and giving. There are thousands of words that could describe Matty, and we wouldn’t even get the TIP of that iceberg. He’ll always live on in our hearts, mind and soul. I believe that this song is fitting, and I’m sure Matt would approve:

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Vacation!!!!!!!!!!

It’s a bit of a late post, as I’ve been back from vacation for almost a week now, but I figured I would update about it. I took a short trip to Chicago, which turned out to be an absolute blast.

On Monday, the vacation began. Around roughly 11:30 AM, I left for Chicago. Leaving Owensboro, I was invigorated and excited to be driving up to Chicago. About half way in, the thoughts began to creep in.  “Am I crazy?! I’m driving TO CHICAGO!”. It was totally worth it. After arriving in Chicago, I came upon a nice, not-so-little traffic jam. Traffic had been backed up for roughly 2 miles, and it was very stop-and-go. While in the jam, I came to the realization that I needed to be in the left lane to remain on the correct freeway. No sooner than after I turned my signal on and started to watch for a clearing, the driver of the car behind me was kind enough to let me in. Never has that happened in ANY city I have ever driven in. Owensboro, Nashville, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Louisville, etc, etc. I was in complete shock and awe that someone would be kind enough to let someone through.

Finally, my arrival to O’Hare International Airport was a frenzy. I had arrived to pick up Matt and Greyson. Was quite an interesting experience driving through the terminals, just to find your friends. Traffic was nuts, and the taxis were nuttier. However, we quickly managed to get back onto the freeway and on our way to the hotel.

After the hotel check-in, we decided to meander out into the town and find some grub. Consequently, we made the decision to go eat some Chicago-style stuffed-pizza at Giordano’s. Absolutely DELICIOUS! Afterward, we finally headed back to the hotel to drink a few, and pass out.

Morning came early. Too early. Such a brightly cordoned room it was, when the curtains were pulled open. After finally pulling ourselves together, it was time to hit the streets. The three of us meandered around town, and finally found the Rosemont CTA Stop, and decided to take the public train system the rest of the day. $14 for a 3 day pass is incredibly cheap, particularly given the fact that the stops go throughout most of the city. INCREDIBLY CONVENIENT!

Our tour of town eventually led us out toward Lake Michigan, and the Shedd Aquarium. $35 for an aquarium ticket is rather high for me, so we eventually found out that they have an $8 general admission ticket that we took advantage of. All we wanted to do was see some of the fish, not the ‘Dora and Diego 4-D’ feature they have. Sorry, but we aren’t children, and do not have children… yet. It was certainly interesting, some of the fish they have.

Next stop: WILLIS TOWER. It’s not the first time I had been up to the Sky Deck, but it was certainly the most fun and entertaining. Being with my best friend was a bunch of fun. It really made me realize just how much I probably missed last year when he went backpacking across Europe. Originally, the plan had included me on the trip, but I didn’t have the money, nor vacation time. Maybe we can do that in a few years.

After we left Willis Tower, we hopped on the trains and started to head back to the hotel. It was almost time for the big event! Around 6:15, we left for the venue. Arriving roughly around 6:30, I was particularly surprised at two things. One, the entire arena had LONG lines going all the way around it. Two, we managed to find an open door and got in and got to the front row of the floor, quickly.

Before the opening act (Combichrist) took stage, people all around us took the time to get to know one another. It was quite fun, meeting people that traveled near and far for this show. The people in front of us had been waiting in line since 4:30 AM, and they were from Kansas City, MO. The fellows behind us were from Detroit, MI. And the guy directly to my left… well, he was from Paducah, KY. Was particularly surprised to be standing next to someone from a city so close to me.

Finally, the MAIN event. Rammstein took stage, and it couldn’t have been more amazing. Between getting pushed and shoved into the barricade when the crowd would surge toward the stage, and all the flamethrowers the band used, we were literally stuck between a rock and a hot-spot. Their performance was incredible, and they sounded absolutely phenomenal in a live setting. I couldn’t have enjoyed it any more than I did. Perhaps I’ll update this later with a more detailed description of the show.

After the show, we packed it in and went back to the hotel. Drank a few, and crashed out again, only to start a new day as quickly as the last one. I made the decision to return home instead of traverse the city with the guys, as I was tired, and I had to drive back, while they had a flight home scheduled. So at that, I dropped them off at the CTA stop in Rosemont, and took to the road.

So, it was certainly an enjoyable and exhausting mini-vacation, but it was certainly something I needed as well.

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Roadtrippin’ It

In just a little over a month, I’ll be going to Chicago with one of my best friends. I absolutely cannot wait. This time, my trip to Chicago will include true friends, great music, and amazing memories.

My first trip to Chicago involved me, my wonderful friend Katie (who I need to bug more often), several acquaintances, and a former friend. Of course, during this time, I was unemployed and incredibly bored with my life. Enter my former friend: he had a spare ticket that he didn’t want wasted, and offered it to me. The artists in the concert were Dave Matthews Band, and Willie Nelson. My ears perked up when he mentioned Willie Nelson. I could care less for DMB, because although they are great live, I consider them to be rather overproduced and boring, musically.

However, the trip was fun. Went to a concert, which was presented to me as being a free ticket for me, because I was absolutely broke and unemployed. Enjoyed the show, so on and so forth. Within the next month, I finally got a job. Not a week after I was hired on, he started prodding me, wanting me to pay him for the ticket that was, in what was presented to me, as a free ticket. But, of course, I went ahead and recouped his costs, because that’s just how I roll. Should have seen it coming though, because months later, he proved he wasn’t a true friend. Anyway, enough of that story, and lets get back on the Chicago thought.

I absolutely LOVE that city. There’s something absolutely mystifying about Chicago. Is it the atmosphere? The people? The architecture? I don’t know, but I absolutely adore it all. This time around, I’ll be going to see one of my absolute favorite bands. It’s the first time in over a decade that they have toured in the US. The last time they toured, they actually got banned from playing many places IN the US. Also, they are German.

Yes, I’m going to see RAMMSTEIN

Rammstein

Rammstein

I’ve been wanting to see them for years, but they hadn’t played in the US in well over a decade. Finally, they are touring here, and I cannot wait. This trip to Chicago is going to be absolutely amazing. My best friend of almost 10 years, one of his best friends, and I are going to see Rammstein, and just have a blast. I couldn’t ask for much more.

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Sir, We Have Movement

These last several weeks have been incredibly busy. A transition from my office at GRITS, to our central agency is finally under way. Now, I can actually start using my PROMOTION! As of last week, my replacement has been trained in the day-to-day activities that I had continued on with during my time at GRITS. Now that she has been trained, I can truly start focusing on our software upgrade. It’s been a very long process, but yes, it will be done in the next month or so. I’m incredibly excited that my first truly huge project is almost complete.

Many other things have been happening besides just work. I have finally, FINALLY, found a house. I’m about to start the process of purchasing it, and I need to speak to at least two or three more banks. Since I will be a first-time buyer, there are many loan programs available that I would like to learn about before I make my decision on who to go with. At least the search is over, and I know nobody else will buy it out from under me!

Another thing that has really been on my mind is one particular woman. I find her… just incredible. I can’t put words to it, honestly. I don’t know her relatively well, but I really would like to. It’s just odd how I met her, and how I’m getting to know her as a person, and I just lack the absolute ability to describe it. Maybe there’s a reason for all of this?

Anyway, it’s time for me to head to bed. Don’t want to be late on my first day at the (other) office!

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‘Round These Parts

Things have gotten more and more interesting around here as of lately. Word has spread that the Westboro Baptist Church will be in Owensboro this weekend, to picket Blessed Mother Catholic Church because of the poor soul who shot himself in front of the church several weeks ago. Such a sad story, and these sick people want to come and stand on their proverbial high-horse, and condemn others. These people would be better relegated to the back of our consciousness and thoughts. They do not deserve our full attention, or any attention, whatsoever.

Naturally, a few people took a short message I wrote about “gathering” a group for a counter-protest, wrongly. The entire message was meant to instigate thought and to instill value in the fact that ignorance is bliss. I was being quite sarcastic about it, and people obviously do not fully understand some sarcasm. I know a few people mistook it, mostly because they aren’t fully familiar with my sarcasm. It’s okay, though. I won’t hold it against them. I have no plans to counter-protest. It would be a complete waste of my time, and effort. You can’t reason with insane people.

In the wake of the WBC shenanigans that will be happening this weekend, I have been bombarded by texts and Facebook Statuses and Tweets regarding something that is 100% untrue. These people notified me that, supposedly, an American soldier was refused service at a gas station here in Owensboro. What these people failed to realize is that there is no facts to back up this purported refusal. It is simply not true. People need to quit taking people’s word at face value, and learn to do their research and find out for SURE. However, it’s sad that so many people are a lamb, being led to slaughter. It really shows just how gullible, or ignorant, people around here are.

After the rumors started going around, I noticed an incredible amount of racism being demonstrated against those of Arabic/Middle-Eastern descent. That is just purely sickening to me. These people went as far as calling them ‘sand n—ers’ and continually put them down. Is this how we really TREAT people around here, if they are different? It is shameful, sickening, and immoral. What happened to ‘morality’ when it comes to tolerance of those whom are different? Did it suddenly disappear off the face of the earth around here, or did their CHRISTIAN GOD make them better than Arabs/Muslims/etc? I’m sorry, but no, their god didn’t. People need to grow up, get over themselves, and learn to love others REGARDLESS. THEN they can truly say they are a follower of Christ. Until then, they need to get off their ‘The Power of Christ COMPELS YOU’ spiel.

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Valentine’s Day

Alas, probably my least favorite day of the year is upon me. Valentine’s Day has been a day that I have despised probably ALL of my life. But sometimes, I think it’s necessary to look at it in a different light. Valentine’s Day is also a very important anniversary for me.

Two years ago, if it weren’t for the gift I received on Valentine’s Day, I might not have been here today. She has been a blessing, without a doubt. Of course, I have my angry moments with her because she just won’t listen to me. I’ve never known someone to be so demanding, and controlling either. Typically, I do as I’m asked (aka. TOLD). I give her an insane amount of attention compared to other facets of my life. She is currently my closest step to happiness I’ve had in a long time.

She is my wonderful, darling, beautiful cat. She is PIXIE!

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Movin’ On Up

Well, it seems the last few posts were about how interesting life can be, particularly when people try to bring you down. However, this post is NOT about that, and I will not make nary a mention of such herein.

For the last month, I have been incredibly excited. News I’ve withheld from the world (mostly) in the time frame was due to things not being set in stone. Now, I can announce it publicly. As of Friday, I no longer work for GRITS Transportation.

Shocking, isn’t it? It really wasn’t planned. Of course, I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Why is he excited for no longer working for GRITS?” Well, here’s the reason. I’ve been given a lateral promotion (with incentive, of course), so now I will be working at our central office as an IT Support Specialist. I get to do a lot of traveling for the job, which will be a blast.

So yes, I’m incredibly happy. All those naysayers can keep hating on me. I don’t care. They aren’t worth my time, and I’m building things up for ME. Not for them, or anyone else. It’s my turn to be a little selfish. Of course, I still share things, too. 🙂

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The Tribulations of Social Networking

I’ve had a lot of time to contemplate about things within the last year. I’ve figured out something pretty interesting about social networking, particularly in regards to psychological evaluation.

You see, it’s particularly interesting in regards to the fact that Facebook, and Twitter, have had their fair share of betrayal, backstabbing and what-have-you since their inception. This is rather analogous with my life of the past year. Mark Zuckerburg betrayed his friend Eduardo Saverin by cutting his percentage of Facebook ownership from 34% to less than 10%. Jack Dorsey, who initially founded and started the development of Twitter, was betrayed by Evan Williams. After Evan had joined the company on a day-to-day basis, he attempted to have Jack forced out of the board.

It’s situations like these that seem to have become rather commonplace, particularly with people I felt close to. These people only use you to their advantage, and when they have decided that you are of no use to them, they cast you aside and trample you. Now, that’s not to say that EVERYONE on social networking are bad. That would be simply untrue. There are millions of good, loving people on there, but there will always be a few sour grapes.

Another thing I have learned is that people will throw a fit over the tiniest little issue, despite the fact it may not even be an issue. Such a thing happened over the weekend, for me. A former friend assumed somehow that I had attempted to contact him, which couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s why I caution you when it comes to posting an event on Facebook, publicly. What irks me even more is that I know he told someone that I was lying, and claimed that I had said that he had invited to his event. That, itself, is even more untrue, and is slandering me. The world would be a better place if people would grow up, and if there is a problem with each other, to at least talk and explain. Instead, he threatened me, which was absolutely baseless and wrong. If it makes him feel better about himself, then he is worse off than I thought.

I enjoy social networking. Really, I do. It’s a powerful tool to connect people, make new friends, connect with old friends, and create an entirely new type of community. These tools, however, can be used wrongly, as I have witnessed myself. People can use it to spread word about events, no matter how minuscule or epic, and spread rumors faster than a wildfire. Perhaps, one day, these tools will become more useful than they already are, and will provide even new means and avenues of communication and sharing.

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OMG

I have big news coming up, however, I’m not going to elaborate on it just yet. But, I will leave you with an absolutely stunning PANORAMIC VIDEO! And I love the cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ that is in this video. » Continue reading “OMG”

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Christmas at Grandma’s

I know this is a bit late, but I’ve finally had a bit of time to sort through and upload pictures of my family that were at Grandma’s Christmas get-together.

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