The Answer Man

You ask the questions. I give the answers.

First up, my friend and former colleague Fritz:

Q. Are you working with the horses this weekend?

A. Here’s visual proof.

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Yup. Not only are those THE Budweiser Clydesdales, but that’s, um, me atop the wagon.

And here’s one more just for good measure.

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They were in town for a parade this weekend. And, they stayed where I work. I was the project coordinator. Tons of work and effort — but with amazing results. And, the driver (on the left) rewarded me with the trip of a lifetime.

OK, next up is Stephanie:

Q. I just want to know everything…so spill something!

A. Hmmm. Open-ended. I have no idea why I just thought about this, but I did. And it shows history of my nerd side. Yeah, senior year of high school, one person in my class of 190 had perfect attendance. That would be me.

Pessimistic Redhead is up next, with a deep question:

Q.  What is the biggest compromise you and your wife each make in order to make your relationship work so very well?

A. Well, first of all, thank you for the compliment. It does work well. And apparently my writing here shows that. To answer your question, I’m bringing in a special guest. Yup, these words are from Renee:

“You are involved in many extra activities. You also attend a few concerts here and there with others. I guess the extra time you are away I feel like I pick up a little more. But, I don’t feel there are many compromises. We work together well. Besides, if one is compromising too much in a relationship, then something is not right.”

And that is why I married her.

My former college housemate John is up next.

Q. Where is the love?

A. It’s coming, John. I promise.

I first started reading Tortious because we share a lot of the same taste in music. So, I suppose it serves me right that she asked the following:

Q. If you had to choose only three albums to listen to for the rest of your days, which would they be?

A. First of all, that she said albums rocks. Love that. Secondly, I’m not good at questions like these because my answers tend to change over time. But, for right now, I’ll go with: U2, the Best of 1980-1990; Bon Jovi, Cross Road and Matchbox Twenty, Yourself or Someone Like You.

U2 and Bon Jovi are kind of expected. But, there’s just something about MB20’s debut album that I love.

JenBun asks two questions, so she’ll get two answers. Well, kind of.

Q1. If you had one day to completely do whatever you wanted to do and money and plausability were no object, what would you be doing?

A1. Hmmm. Following Bon Jovi for an entire tour? I’ve always wanted to follow an artist for 10 or 15 (or more) shows in a row. Could be fun.

Q2. Oooh…and who is this blog crush to whom you so sneakily alluded to?

A2. Spill my secret crushes? Not here! Though, I will say, for the record, that I’ve had four blog crushes. Not really ‘crushing’ on anyone now, however.

My sister, doubling as Bret, says:

Q. Will you continue to stay in this blog, possibly in those skinny pants, and continue to rock my world?

A. I will…and I hope to wow you with even skinnier pants once the elliptical arrives and is set up!

The last question comes from Chelle.

Q. If you could have a super power, what would it be?

A. To leap tall blogs in a single bound?!

If you didn’t get the chance to ask a question, I’m happy to answer. Just post it in the comments.

What else? I got nothin’.

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Don’t Just Take My Word for It

Well, kids. My blog is excellent.

At least my friend thinks so. And, as far as I’m concerned, if an Irish woman who loves the Red Sox thinks I’m excellent, then, well, who am I to argue?

And, because she thinks I’m excellent, she won’t mind if I still an idea from her. At least she shouldn’t, considering she stole it from someone else.

The floor today, loyal readers, is yours.

Tell me what you want to know. Fire away. Any question will be answered. Well, maybe.

But, bring it on. Tell me what you’re dying to know about life here at I Got Nothin’.

It’s a simple game. You ask. I answer.

Let’s do it.


Forty by When?

One of the challenges with this whole Forty by Forty thing was starting it in November — as in, right before Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, I did OK.

The other challenge? This past weekend. Easter, as in, delicous ham and assorted other goodies — including Renee’s homemade to-die-for rolls. Oh, and did I mention the candy?

But, Easter is gone — well, except for the leftovers.

And now I’m hoping to get back on track. In all of the madness of getting out of the house this morning, I forgot to pack my lunch (featuring a Lean Cuisine entree). So, I’m headed down the street in a few minutes for a salad.

The one goal I haven’t met yet is the exercise thing. I had hoped to be in a better routine about that before now. However, I’m not.

But that’s changing.

Because, on Saturday night, I ordered an elliptical machine. Yup, it’s true. It’s always been my favorite gym machine. And when I was at my brother’s, he had one. I tried it and liked it. Went online, saw it on sale for half-price plus free shipping and pulled the trigger.

So, not sure when it’ll arrive, but it’ll take some time to assemble, too. Once it’s together though, look out! Finding the time to go to the gym was going to be impossible. So, this is just going to be the best solution. I hope. I’m actually looking forward to getting it. The goal, once I do have it, will be at least 30 minutes a day.

That’s the point when I’ll probably get on the scale, too. I haven’t been on since I started. But, I have a rough enough idea of where I started. The reason for waiting to get on the scale was mostly because I knew that I’d be at my peak once the eating and exercising was going together.

The results so far are down a full size in pants and noticeable changes in face and gut. Even my smaller pants are already baggy and falling off, so who knows. If I had to guess, I’d say it is probably 15 pounds so far.

And, what’s my other trick? Well, here it is. I love me some of these. Delicious and only 100 calories. Buy some fat free cool whip, heat these in the microwave and then put the cool whip on top? There’s a word for that. Heaven.

I think that’s it. What else? I got nothin’.


Name Game

So I was talking to Erin this morning. Erin meaning the person who works for me. Not Erin my daughter. I mean, well, I talked to her this morning, but you know what I mean…

We got talking about names. And I have this thing about names. Call it a pet peeve, of sorts. I showed her a flyer of an event we’ll be going to for work next week and there’s a picture of the presenter on there.

Erin commented that it looked like one of her professors, Joel Smith. Smith isn’t his last name, but Joel is his first name. We’re protecting the innocent here at I Got Nothin’.

My first comment was that I have a hard time thinking of a professor named Joel. To me, Joel is a great name for a guy — up until about 23 or so. Then it should automatically go to just Joe.

Or, think of it this way. Imagine all the girls that were born with names like Brittany, Amber, or, heck, even Destiny.

“Um, hi, I’d like you to meet my grandmother Amber.” It just doesn’t fit.

If you give a kid a name like that, I think it’s fine. Until they are about 18. Then, by law, their name should change. Ambers and Brittanys should become something else, I don’t know, Donna or Ann.

And, the reverse is true. Want to name your daughter in an older fashion like Harriett. Knock yourself out. But give her another name for the first 21 years of her life. Name her Destiny/Harriett.

Same goes with guys. Don’t name your newborn son Harold. Give him that when he’s 45 or older. Maybe for the first part of his life he could be Chip.

And then the opposite applies. Want to name him Zach or Logan? I’m good with that, as long as he becomes Michael or John when he’s 30.

I don’t know. Those are my thoughts. With apologies to those of you that have named your offspring one of the above!

What else? I got nothin’.


The Pressure to, Um, Perform

So, now I’ve done it. Well, Molly’s done it, actually.

Thanks to her link yesterday, hundreds more of you have made your way to my little corner of cyberspace. And I appreciate you coming by. I really do.

The pictures of my kids drew more than five times my normal visitors on Monday. And, so far, already today (and I’m writing this at 2:45 a.m….don’t ask), I’ve already received double my usual traffic. And that’s because, according to WordPress, I had a ‘top post’ yesterday and I’m on the list of ‘growing blogs.’

Great stuff. Honest.

But scary, too. Well, OK, scary’s a bit strong. But you know what I mean.

This happened one other time. And I feel like I’ve got to perform now. This is where the thoughts enter my head like, “Hmmm, more people came yesterday. What great post can I put up today in order to keep them if they come back for another look?”

Well, here it is. Because this issue brings up the dilemma I think all bloggers face.

I love the traffic. It’s validation that people at least have some interest in what I’m saying. There’s something incredibly rewarding about that — knowing that you came here to see what I had to say. Or, OK, you came to see more pics of the kids.

Whatever it is, you’re here.

But, then, at the same point, I shouldn’t feel pressure to deliver for you. That’s not why I started this. (Or is it?)

No, I started this for me. My thoughts. My outlet. It shouldn’t matter how many people read it.

Then why does it? Why do I get excited and nervous at the same time? Why do I wonder, ‘hmmm, will they like me and what I have to say, or do they just like the kids? Will they come back, or is this a one shot deal?’

I guess the bottom line is that this space is mine. Sometimes I think it’s very good, from a writing perspective. And sometimes it’s crap from a writing perspective. But it’s my good, and it’s my crap. It wasn’t meant for you — at least not originally.

But, things change.

The fact is, I’m glad you’re here. I really am. (I think.)

Pull up a chair. Take a look around. You might just like what’s here. And if you don’t, that’s fine, too.


Picture Day

It’s Picture Day here at I Got Nothin’.

My brother Tom is a self-taught photographer. He’s never really done much with portraits, but he’s actually got an assignment next month, so he’s doing as much as he can, as fast as he can. That meant free pics of the kids (and more).

So Sunday afternoon was spent in front of the camera. And, because I still feel like I need to make it up to you for a) being absent and b)  being in a funk, you are the beneficiary.

These haven’t been touched up at all. And, the lighting was a challenge. Tom was thinking he was just shooting individuals, but we decided, heck, we’ve got everyone here, let’s do a variety of things. I think most of them look great, but he was concerned about the lighting.

We  haven’t done enough ‘formal’ shots with the kids, so the goal was to get a few good ones. You be the judge.

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Yeah, not the best start.

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Now we’re getting there.

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Getting better!

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Ah, there it is!

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Aidan wasn’t the only one a bit nervous.

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But it didn’t take long for that to change!

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You can tell who wanted the spotlight!

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Mom’s boy.

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Daddy’s girl.

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My truly better half.

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An attempt at a family shot.

So, there you have it. Some good. Some great. All fun.

What else? I got nothin’.

OK, wait. I do have one more thing. Here’s proof that Forty by Forty is going pretty well.

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Don’t you think?


I’m Baaaaaaack.

Loyal readers, I have returned.

That sound you’ve heard lately? It was probably me. Swearing. Sighing. Or just making a variety of other noises while dealing with your wet basement. Yeah. Not fun. At all. We’ve had basement issues since we’ve been in the house, which is going on eight years. To make a long story short, we don’t always get water, which is what makes this frustrating. But, we get it enough where now we’re actually going to do something about it.

The only problem with that? The “doing something about it” is going to cost a significant chunk of change. But, you know what? It’s peace of mind more than anything. It’s to the point where we could be somewhere on vacation, see a rainy forecast for back home and wonder what we’re going to find when we get there.

So, when I meet with water guy tomorrow, hopefully we’ll be one step closer.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll welcome me back into your blogging life. Not only have I not slept a lot in the last few days, but I’ve barely read any of my favorites. I promise I’ll be catching up with you over the next few days. Because, well, I can admit this, I actually have missed you.

And, if the water thing wasn’t going on, there’s always work. But, see, I’m in a funk. I love what I do. And love where I do it. There’s just a ton going on and I’m in a bit of a rut, thanks mostly to, well, leadership. I hate that I’m this way, but I am. The question is, figuring the best way out of it.

I suppose I could think of Bon Jovi. What a show on Friday night. Amazing as always. And, to top it off, when he came out in the audience to sing in the crowd, he was, yeah, 20 feet from us. Pretty incredible. I didn’t have a camera, but I did give my email to a woman in front of me who had one. No email yet though. I can only hope.

And, to win you back, to help keep you with me, because I do want that, I’ll leave you with two new Aidanisms.

The first was with me.

I was sitting, well, on the toilet. He was sitting at the table finishing his breakfast. Renee had already dropped Erin off, so it was just us guys in the house. And, well, I know you enough to say that when it’s just us and I’m in the bathroom, I leave the door open so we can still talk and stuff.

But, at this point, I was also desperately trying to finish a book I was reading — Angels and Demons (which, by the way, I think is better than DaVinci Code).

“Dad, what are you doing?”

“I’m reading, A.”

“How can you be reading, Dad, I don’t hear you saying any words.”

I love that.

The second one was with Renee, as they were driving by a local restaurant.

“Mom, do we rest at a restaurant?”

I love this kid. And hopefully pics of both of them coming soon.

Thanks for taking me back, readers. You’re the best.