Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jerkstores of World Unite!

Every Thursday, JP goes out and plays in a 9 hole match play league. Match play is played in pairs, one team vs. the other. Everyone plays the hole and whatever person shoots the lowest score on the hole wins the hole for their team. The majority of holes won wins the match. My partner, Peters, is a guy I used to work with. We are a great team. We're currently in first place. We've played together for 3 years straight and we've hit a pretty good stride this year. More importantly we beat the team consisting of Jerk1 and Jerk2 both times we met this year!!

Now I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but these guys are just Jerkstores or "Jackholes." We played them last year to a tie both times we met. These guys are Jerkstores because they do and say the freakin' most annoying things when we're playing. Then on top of that we went to a playoff with them for first place last year. That's when they really showed what a$$holes they really were. See, Peters was already going to be gone the week of our match on vacation. I asked if these guys wouldn't mind rescheduling to the following week. Their exact words to me were, "99% of life is showing up, so no we will not reschedule." If I had the JP Slapomatic, both of them would've gotten slapped several times. So I played them without Peters. I almost beat them all by my lonesome too, but I was stupid on the last two holes and ended up losing the match!!!

So this year I was determined not to repeat the mistakes from last year. So the first time we met I destroyed them. I won the match in 8 holes. The second time we met tonight, Peters took it to them and we finished them off on the 9th hole. So Peters and I both were able to right things and everything is right in JP's universe again!!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Remember the 80's

I was watching VH1 the other night and they had an 80's video show on. It was great!!! Sharkey and I watched video's by Peter Cetera (Glory of Love), The Thompson Twins (Hold Me Now), Madness (Our House), and Kajagoogoo (Too Shy).

Man did those videos bring back some memories! I remember watching Friday Night Videos every..., well...., ...Friday!!

It came on after the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Sharkey and I were teenagers in the 80's and we both graduated in 1987. Miami Vice was the #1 show. Everyone had feathered or spiked hair (JP's hair was spiked), except for the girls who had HUGE hair! Parachute pants were in and Top Gun ruled the theaters. Plus you had all the one hit wonder bands like the ones above. The Karate Kid Part II had Mr. Miyagi still teaching Daniel-san not to be such a loser!! We spent endless hours in the arcades playing PacMan and Donkey Kong.

The one drawback to all this nostalgia was that it makes you realize how much time has gone by. The VH1 show was Classic 80's. Man does it ever suck to have your younger years referred to as "classic." It ranks up there when younger people refer to me as Mr. JP and call me "Sir." Geeze!!!!!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Superman Returns

So we all know JP has very child like qualities. I watch Anime. Soozieq has raked me for watching "Transformers." (Ahem...) So it should come as no big surprise that Superman is JP's favorite hero of all time. How convenient that the newest movie, "Superman Returns" is coming out next week, and extremely convenient that Sharkey and I live so close to the King of Prussia iMax theater where it is playing in 3-D!!!! I went to Fandango and bought our tickets for next weekend about oh, let's see, 1 minute ago!! Whoooo hoooooo!!!!!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yeah, I took this one...

My better half Sharkey is quite the photographer. You don't believe me check out her site. So I managed to tear the Nikon D70 away from her and snap this today. See what you think....

Friday, June 16, 2006

Crankin' My Ass!!

OK, so here we are in the great Midwest. Vacation. Relaxation. Time to get in a leisurely round of golf right? WRONG!!!

So I dragged out Character Builder's hubbie for a round of 18 at Boulder Pointe Golf Club. I picked this course nearby because it didn't look too bad on the internet and it is the newest course in the area. It has a lower rating than the golf course I play at in PA. In PA, that means that the course is pretty laid back, because none of the rough has not had a good chance to establish itself, any trees they planted are small enough to chip around and you should be able to get your ball into play easily. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Stupid, stupid, stupid JP. This course was really very difficult. Tight fairways, hazards (i.e. lakes or swampland w/ reeds) on the left and right on every single hole, and trouble, trouble, trouble everywhere. Minnesota is called the land of 10,000 lakes. Well, 5,000 of them are on this freakin' course. I was cranking my ass all day long. I was the epitome of the Robin Williams golf bit.

I have been playing decent this year, well I thought I have been till now, and I have played the last 3 rounds with the same ball, so I brought a total of 6 balls with me to MN. Well after 7 holes I was 5 balls down and made the turn with 1 ball left. Not good. I ran into the proshop and bought 6 more balls. On 18th hole, I had one ball left and pretty much consistent for the round I gave that ball to the lord of the woods to chomp down on. Overall, I had a sucky day and shot 107. But what is it they say, the worst day at the golf course is still better than the best day at work. I just need to keep telling myself that and it'll be all better. Why do we play games that are destined to kill us?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

J.P.'s List of things to do in MN

1. Famous Dave's
2. Big Bowl
3. LeeAnn Chin
4. Timber Lodge
5. Boulder Pointe Golf Course
6. Taco John's
7. DQ
8. Caribou Coffee Company

See any patterns here? Is JP really just about the food? Yes, absolutely JP is totally about the food. It's all about pace.... =)

MidWest ROCKS!

So Sharkey and I flew MidWest Airlines today. It was totally awesome!! I would definitely recommend them to anyone. The seats were very comfy and you didn't feel like you were invading someone's personal space or being invaded by someone else. I could see where this could be invaluable, because I am inevitably the one that gets stuck between 300lb sumo wrestling types of individuals on flights when I fly for business. The seats are leather with adjustable headrests.

There were footrests that retracted and there are only 2 seats per row!!! And the absolute best part of the flight is they serve you warm chocolate chip cookies!

Sharkey and I had a connecting flight today to get to MN, so we basked in double chocolate chippy goodness 2x today. It was a very pleasant flight and our luggage made it and we didn't use the normal colorful metaphors to describe the trip; you know things like "suck" and "blows" "bite me airline." I may never fly any other airline from Philly again...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Night Before the Trip...

So Sharkey and I are off to the MidWest tomorrow. It's nice to get away for a bit. I've been burning the candle at both ends. I can totally relate with Soozieq's hectic life she's been living (although I think Soozieq has me beat and may have been burning two candles at the same time while juggling a third in the air). It will definitely be nice to leave the work laptop at home, change the office phone message to, "JP is out of the office and will not return your call for many days, so figure it out your freakin' self!" Yeah, that's not exactly it, but haven't you wanted to say something like that?

I'll be taking the sticks with me. It is "vacation" after all! I plan on dragging out Character Builder's hubbie for 18 holes and maybe I may get a chance to get some range time here and there (as time and Sharkey permit).

Sharkey and I were talking about driving by her old house for some drive by Nikon shots. Lot's of good memories there!! It'll be interesting to see how it has/has not changed in 6 years. She told me she had a dream we bought that place back. Foreshadowing?? Hummm....

Yeah, things have totally changed for sure. Who'd have ever thought we'd go through so much in such a short amount of time. Which leads me to my take on the past 6 years. You've read Sharkey's take, so now it is my turn.

So Sharkey and I were married, settled in PA and were living the good life. We would just sit back at times and just marveled how great we had it and how great our life was and being married to each other was just awesome. Well, after about a year, Sharkey and I decided it was time to start family planning. The funny part was that decision started us down a road neither of us was ever expecting to travel. Sharkey had a found a lump in her right breast and we shortly found out it was invasive breast cancer.

Life just spiraled out of control from there. We went through the whole battery of tests and diagnostics. I can remember thinking how our seemingly perfect life was turned upside down. At no time did we ever catch a break. Well maybe the cancer was contained to a single area? Nope it was not. Maybe none of her lymph nodes were affected? No there were several. Talk about scary. And talk about all the information to get through. I am an analytical guy. I know numbers. I know statistics. I know probabilities. I can also interpret and disseminate loads of technical and medical information. I knew how serious Sharkey's condition was and my job was to act as her buffer. She didn't want to know what the chances were for this or that. In a way that's better for some people. But that's just not my style. I need to know. I always felt that an educated guess is better than shooting in the dark and relying on a physician for the only direction. There are many things I know even today that Sharkey does not know. I think it is better that she didn't know a lot of things and I was/am willing to carry that burden for her. Attitude in a lot of cases like hers is everything. I tried to make sure hers was as positive as I could help her to be. But I don't have to tell you what a trooper Sharkey is. She's as tough as they come.

I did everything I possibly could to support her. It's the only thing I could do. I went with her to all of her appointments. I went with her to all her treatments. I'd make sure she eat, stay hydrated, take her meds on time round the clock, and that everything was kept as clean as I could. Chemo does a job on the immune system, so we had to be careful with infections, foods, crowds for a certain time after her treatments so her body would have time to rebound and regain immunity again. I learned what she'd tolerate as far as foods went after treatment and I found the hard way that aromatic food were OUT after treatments. Surprisingly, milkshakes turned out to be a winner after treatments.

Cancer is an emotional roller coaster. In the beginning we really could not catch a break. It was one bad thing after another. One disappointment after another. One scare after another. The first year was the scariest. After the initial diagnosis, she went through an operation, then treatment of chemo. She had a recurrence 6 months later, while undergoing Chemo, which was absolutely not supposed to happen. Bad news again.

But we made headway. Sharkey's CT scans and bone scans came out negative. After a year they were still negative. And here we are in the 5th year and everything is still negative.

I never talked about my wife's cancer with other guys going through the same thing as me. I never went to any cancer support groups. My faith was my support. Yes, JP believes in God. As analytical and logical as JP is, I know there's more to life than just what we can see, hear, touch, and smell. I remember my church Pastor asking me "How are you doing?" My answer was, "I'm OK, I wish what was happening to Sharkey was happening to me instead, but it's not my call, so I just have to trust God knows what He's doing." I prayed daily for Sharkey. Still do. I never ever had the attitude of thinking I could ever tell God what to do or make God a deal for her life. When you think about it, what can you offer to God that He would want anyway? So I would ask daily if He were willing to please let Sharkey be healed and whole. And when you deal with something as serious as cancer I'm of the mind set that medicine is only part of the real cure. I'm glad that as of late my prayers have turned to ones of thanks instead of ones of need, and I hope that they stay that way for a long time...

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Am So Not Musical

OK, so I realized that when I married Sharkey that we had differences, despite us being pretty similar. I like reading Science Fiction, she likes reading Political Mysteries. I like cherry pie, she likes apple pie. I like regular Pepsi, she likes Diet Pepsi. I am the dreamer, Sharkey is the realist. I like listening to music, she likes playing music. Which leads me to this post I am writing tonight. (As I type this I have the biggest grin on my face mind you). Anyhow, for those of you who do not know, my Sharkey is musical. I mean she is really musical and very talented. She plays a mean clarinet. I mean really plays. I am in awe of her when I listen to her playing. She also plays with a local community concert band. And they are pretty good mind you. I was listening to them play Mars by Holst at their last concert and my jaw just dropped it was that good.

So last night they had their band dinner. It was quite the affair. It was at a local county club that I can only dream of being a member at. And they had a "talent" show for entertainment. There were like 10 acts. I was going cross eyed and comatose after the 6th. And the reason why was because there were references to all things band and musical. So here's JP's top 10 list of observations of band people:

1. Band people do not drink much booze
2. Being able to play in a band does not give one the ability to deliver punch lines
3. Bachtoven is not a real composer. I know, I know, I was so surprised too...
4. Band people do not know how to use microphones.
5. Band people travel in herds
6. Band people talk in a language similar to Klingon.
7. Band people do not party
8. Being able to play an instrument and read music does not grant one the ability to sing
9. Speeches at fun events should be fun, inspiring, and congratulatory and not cause band members to leave crying and jumping off local bridges...
10. JP will consume a minimum of 4 Capt. Morgan/Coke at all future band functions...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Once a Carnie Always a Carnie!

Well one of my favorite times of the year has come, Fair Season!!! Fair season is where all the small towns have their carnivals. There are art fairs going on, craft fairs going on, and local festivals to celebrate produce. Case in point, about 1/2 a mile away from our house is the Strawberry Festival. This local festival brings in rides and the best part Carnie food!! Things that you can eat on sticks, deep fried everything, and fresh strawberry shortcake!! It is a cholesterol fest! You get a free tablet of Crestor or Zocor when you walk through the gate. I was doing the first pass through the fair tonight with my neighbor and saw a deep fried cheesecake with strawberry puree. YUM!!! I think I'll have to try it tomorrow!