Archive for the ‘ Life ’ Category

Thanks to your votes…we are now Cleveland’s Most Interesting Couple!

We hadn’t heard anything all week about the results, and my heart jumped into my throat every time I went on Metromix. After a busy and crazy but great day, we checked Metromix on a whim just to see if the results were announced.

And they were!

I looked down at the small pics of the couples, and we were first. I didn’t know the order in which they announced it, so I figured that the folks who received the least votes could have been first. Finishing last would have been a bummer!

Throwing all caution to the wind, I clicked the “next” button, and there we were, with the word “WINNERS” prominently displayed next to our picture!

Sheila is thrilled and overjoyed, and I know I will be in a few days…but right now, I’m mostly in shock. While I thought we had a good chance of winning, I thought for sure that the couple who finished in second place was going to win the whole thing. On a side note, the fact that many of the couples in the contest live in Tremont is really cool. I love our neighborhood!

But more than that, I’m grateful. Money has been super tight for us in recent months and we haven’t been on a getaway in awhile. Now we’re able to go! I’ve never had a massage and am looking forward to enjoying a couples massage. Also, I’ve never been to a Lake Erie Monsters game.

I’m also grateful for everyone’s votes. These days, everyone wants everyone else to sign petitions for all sorts of worthy causes, vote for this or that, “like” their page, and do all of the many other things that make the Internet a place that brings people together. The fact that so many people took the time to vote for us really means a lot.

We had all sorts of people from all over voting for us. We had people whom we’ve known for years voting for us every day and we had friends of my family whom we’ve never met voting for us. There were folks we know who are far from tech-savvy who bothered to log on and navigate through the complex voting system just so that we could have a chance at a nice evening together. I’m sure, too, that there were completely unaffiliated people who voted for us who read what we wrote and liked it. I am also sure that we probably got a few votes because of Butters, so we probably should make sure to buy him a new marrow bone before we head out on our getaway! Every vote meant a lot, because in the end, we won by three votes.

I’m pretty humbled too. As I wrote before, this city is full of cool couples. There are couples out there who are busting their butts every day to make this city a great place to live and to improve the quality of life for all citizens. Sure, we love this city, but so do a lot of other people, which is why I was so shocked that we made it into the final 10 couples, let alone winning the whole contest.

Anyhow, thank you again for all of your votes! Lord willing, this will be the first of many elections that Sheila and\or I will win in Cleveland. We’ll definitely post pictures as we use our prizes so that you can share in our celebration!

If you’re in our social circle and connected to us on various social networks, you’re probably sick and tired of seeing us post about this contest.

So what’s the best thing to do?

Click here, scroll through all of the couples, and vote for us in Cleveland Metromix’s Cleveland’s Most Interesting Couple contest…because if we win, we’ll get a one-night getaway at a bed and breakfast and you’ll get at least one night away from our constant self-promotion because I won’t be able to encourage all of you to vote for Butters in the Greenies Next Pet Star Contest!

Seriously, both of us love Cleveland a lot, and we still would have done this if our only prize would have been the honor of winning. This town is full of interesting couples, and I’m honored to be among the 12 or so couples selected to be finalists in this contest. We’ve met scores of interesting couples on our walks around Tremont, there are so many great couples at church who have blessed us immeasurably, and I haven’t even mentioned the numerous great couples throughout our various circles of friends.

Voting closes at 5:00PM on Tuesday, October 17, so please get your votes in before then. You can from as many different devices as you can obtain, so crank up those old laptops that are in storage and dust off that old desktop and please cast a vote for The Frolicking Fells!

Thanks in advance for all of your votes! We’re grateful for the time that you take to help us in this contest, and we will be sure to thank you all if we win.

Here’s the long-awaited news…one day late! (If we did things on time, I think many of you would probably think someone else took over this blog.)

We were selected by Metromix Cleveland to participate in Cleveland’s Most Interesting Couple Contest!

From Drop Box

If we win, we’ll win a much-needed night at a local bed breakfast, a fancy dinner, and other fun goodies.

I’m pretty honored to even have been selected to participate, given that there are so many interesting couples in the Cleveland area. However, I’d be even more honored if we won the whole thing. I think that Sheila and I would represent Cleveland very well.

To win, though, we need your votes!

So…please vote early and vote often. To vote, you’ll first have to scroll through all of the couples’ profiles. The ballot itself is at the end. Don’t worry–you won’t have to enter your email address or any personal information in. Best of all, you can vote once per day…and you can also vote from multiple devices! This means that our smartphone readership can vote twice per day–once from their phone and once from their computer!

Plus, you know that we’ll probably throw a party if we win. What’s better than one of Sheila’s parties?

Thank you in advance for supporting us!

Stay Tuned For Some Big News!

I don’t like it when a blogger doesn’t post for a long time and then puts up a two sentence post. (Or a post talking about how busy they’ve been without elaborating specifically upon what they have been doing instead of updating!)

But in our defense, we have been incredibly busy. I plan to post about all that has gone on, because it’s been awesome and God has blessed us a lot in the past few weeks.

When will I do it? Maybe this Sunday afternoon, because the Browns are on a bye week this week.

We probably should have gone on our annual trip to Niagara Falls this weekend, but we have an exciting party to attend on Saturday! Sure, we have DVR, and that’s what I used last year.

However, just because we’re in another country doesn’t mean that I’m free from the tentacle-like grasp of NFL football! Last year, some well-meaning Canadian at a winery learned we were from Cleveland and decided to start telling us the score after barely asking us if we wanted to know. Sheila thought I was out of earshot, but I was actually in the bathroom right next to where they were standing. Just as he started saying it, I burst out of the bathroom to scream “NO!!!!” and almost took both of them out with the swinging door in the process. I’m glad he didn’t tell us, because the Browns won that game!

OK, this has been a lot longer than 2 sentences. Brevity has never been my strong suit!

Anyhow, we just found out some pretty cool news. No, Sheila is not pregnant, so don’t run out and buy us a Cleveland Browns onesie just yet. And c’mon now…pregnancy is not the only big news that a married couple can or should have! ;)

We should be able to share the news on Monday, so check back then!

Way back in 1995, my mom asked me if I wanted to with her to see R.E.M. at Gund Arena. I’ll be honest–I didn’t like them at first. I thought Losing My Religion was extremely overplayed, and I never really got into anything from Automatic For The People back then either. Nevertheless, I agreed to go.

A ticket stub I found online...I wish my ticket stub collection had survived all of my various moves over the years.

 

I’m glad I did, because it was a heckuva show. (While searching for a picture from that show, I just stumbled upon a bootleg from that show–something for which I’ve been searching for over a decade.) Although we actually sat behind the stage, the show rocked harder than most of the shows I’ve seen since then.

And on June 11, 1995, my love affair with R.E.M. was born.

For much of the next 16 years, I followed R.E.M. with only slightly less enthusiasm than teenage girls follow Justin Bieber these days. Maybe that’s why it makes me happy to see girls going nuts over him and crying when they see him in person…

On at least one occasion, I drew the blue question mark on my hand that Michael Stipe has tattooed on his hand. I bought every CD on the day on which they came out. My mom and I joined the R.E.M. Fan Club and looked forward to our monthly newsletter.

Most notably, my mom and I saw them six times in person! Those shows are some of the best memories that I have with my mom. I’ll never forget when she picked me up from my dad’s house in the morning during my freshman year of high school and told me to open the glove compartment and I saw two tickets to R.E.M.’s show in Buffalo waiting there for me. We traveled to Buffalo in 1995 to see them and to this day I think about how great that show was every year when Sheila and I make our annual pilgrimage to Niagara Falls and drive through Buffalo.

For much of my life, their music was the soundtrack to many big events.

I listened to Walk Unafraid repeatedly during my senior year of college and I felt incredibly uncertain and hopeless about my life. I think my mom even wrote the lyrics to that song on a note that she left for me one evening at home when I was struggling majorly with my college choice. I used to listen to Daysleeper when I would stay up far into the night studying, and I can’t tell you how many times I listened to Strange Currencies when I was wondering how various girls felt about me. And when I did karaoke for the first time at Bo Loong during my freshman year of college, I sang four R.E.M. songs.

I came home today and Sheila had some wonderful, unexpected news about one of our cases that came totally out of the blue. After celebrating, I loaded up cleveland.com, which delivered some equally unexpected news that was a complete 180 on the happiness scale: R.E.M. had decided to break up.

Needless to say, I’m pretty sad. As you can tell from what I’ve written, their music had been a constant of sorts in my life and the band had been a constant presence in my life from the tail end of 8th grade until graduation from law school, and to know that I’ll never hear any new music from them again is a big downer.

One of the things about which I’m saddest is the fact that Sheila never got to enjoy a R.E.M. show with my mom and me. My mom and I last saw them early in November 2004, a few weeks after Sheila and I started dating. As I dropped her off at Glaser House on a cold Saturday evening and kissed her goodnight, I told her that I was really sad she couldn’t come with us to see the show. I still remember the exact words of what she told me in response: “Don’t worry. We’re going to be together for a long time.” And we have been!

There are some great quotes on the R.E.M. web page about their decision, and it sounds like it was amiable amongst all involved. This makes me glad. Check them out at the link above if you’re interested.

I like to think that they decided to split up in a manner just like this...smiles on their faces, good feelings amongst all involved, and a sense of accomplishment for the great music they had made over the years.

Nothing good lasts forever, and I should have known that this day was going to come eventually. Fortunately, they have a legacy of 15 near-flawless studio albums and several live albums, and I’m sure that any future kids of ours will become very familiar with them.

I am not really sure how to end this post, because nothing that I could write seems fitting or appropriate. So…I’ll just sign off by thanking the four friends from Athens, Georgia who called themselves R.E.M. for all of the great memories and music that I’ve cherished over the past 16 years!

I have the t-shirt that Michael Stipe is wearing. It's from 1995. Maybe I'll wear it tomorrow...

Fright Night!

I don’t really enjoy watching movies at home. There’s simply too many distractions!

My ability to get distracted by the smallest thing is a shame, because our landlord generously left his high-quality sound system in our house when we took possession last September (Have we been here for almost a year? Crazy!). It really enhances the viewing experience for horror films, and if I can figure out how to get it set up to play television audio as well, the Browns’ many victories this fall are going to sound even sweeter!

Unfortunately, the surround sound makes Mr. Butters anxious, and he tends to pace anxiously around the living room when we’re watching a movie. The only way to stop him from doing this is to cage him…and any dog owner will attest that it’s hard to unnecessarily cage their pup!

Poor guy already spent too much time in a cage before we got him!

 

There’s something about losing oneself in the viewing experience of a movie theater for a few hours that I find extremely enjoyable…no phones (well, I turn my phone off, anyway…I have no idea why people spend money on a movie only to sit and text during it!), no e-mail, just a dark, air conditioned theater and a great movie!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to work during this past summer since I was studying for the bar exam, and money was a bit tight. As it turned out, I never got to see The Tree of Life, which was the only movie I desperately wanted to see this summer. Oh well!

Needless to say, I jump at the chance when the opportunity to see a movie in the theater for free arises. I’ve been signing up for Metromix Cleveland’s free movie pass giveaways, and we finally won a pair of tickets for a sneak preview of Fright Night! Both Sheila and I love horror movies, and we were pretty pumped about the chance to see a horror film in the theater for free!

Great candidate for a Christmas card picture, don't you agree?

 

We’ve watched a string of relatively disappointing horror films in recent weeks–The Rite and Insidious among them–and we were pleasantly surprised by the fact that Fright Night was a very scary, yet very funny, horror film. Truth be told, Fright Night was one of the most enjoyable horror films that we’ve seen in a long time! I think both of us spent equal amounts of time laughing at the abundant humor in the film and tensely gripping our seats in anticipation of what was going to happen next.

Colin Farrell steals the movie as a vampire who spends as much joking with his victims as he does sucking their blood. I thought his performance was darn near perfect! The other characters were pretty good too.

If you’re looking for a good scare or to beat the heat this weekend, check out Fright Night. I think you’ll like it!

As for us, we’ll be checking out a movie at the cheap theater on Saturday night…should we see The Hangover 2 or Mr. Popper’s Penguins?

 

We’re Off To See The Wizard!

I’ve never seen Jaws. I’ve never seen 2\3 of the original Star Wars trilogy, and the 1\3 that I’ve seen was interrupted several times by sleep. I’ve also never seen Gone With The Wind, and I don’t remember much of The Godfather either.

However, as of this afternoon, I have finally seen The Wizard of Oz!

The fact that I haven’t ever seen The Wizard of Oz has turned into something of a joke amidst my family and friends. It’s not that I didn’t want to see it, but I just never had the opportunity to watch it. (However, I have managed to carve out the time to watch acclaimed and historically important firms such as Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, On Deadly Ground, and When a Stranger Calls.) Sheila and I have rented it several times, but we’ve never watched it.

Sheila and her mom went shopping this afternoon, and Sheila’s sister asked I wanted to watch The Wizard Of Oz. I’m pretty caught up on our legal work and board-related work, so I figured that I should take advantage of a rare free afternoon and watch a movie that I’ve been watching to see for…30 years?

After a few technical snafus, we got the movie up and rolling. It was great! To be honest, the entire experience was more like a lesson in American history than watching a movie. I knew that the movie had a pervasive influence on American life and culture, but its influence really didn’t dawn on me until I watched the film in its entirety.

One thing I particularly liked about the film was its sincerity and innocence. Sure, I love character development and multifaceted characters with rich, intricate personalities. However, I think there’s something to be said for a simple, enjoyable film every now and then, right?

I’m glad I had the chance to watch this film. Now that law school is over, hopefully I’ll have the time to chip away at the long list of historically important films that I’ve still yet to see! Feel free to leave any suggestions for films that I should see in the comments!

Pre-Bar Exam Thoughts

The bar exam is almost here…earlier in the summer, I knew that the exam was coming up, but it still seemed far off into the distance. However, as we’ve been doing all of the last-minute preparations for the trip and I’ve been cramming as many last-minute facts into my head as possible, the fact that the exam is imminent has hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s always good to head into in an exam knowing that you’ve studied hard and done your best, and that’s how I honestly feel heading into Tuesday. Sure, maybe I could have done more essays or practice multiple choice questions, or perhaps I could have done a better job of refining the finer points of some subjects. Having said that, I do feel that I’ve done a good job of preparing for the exam.

I’m really excited to be done. Right before posting this, I saw the commercial from the Humane Society of the United States that contains various animals in different stages of abuse, and the picture of the quivering dog with the caption “When will they stop beating me?” breaks my heart every time. Sheila’s started volunteering at the Animal Protective League, and I’d love to get involved there too. I’m also excited about getting involved more at church–I’ve felt really blessed in recent months by my church, and I’m looking forward to having the time to help out and bless others. Also, I’m excited about having free time to blog, write sports articles, and play some fantasy football!

Sure, I hope that I pass. I’ll be sad if I don’t. I’m excited about getting licensed, practicing law, and helping my future clients. However, I know there are many people praying for me, and I know that God has always been good to me. There are many worse things that could happen that make failing an exam that I can retake seem like a mere hurdle in comparison. Many people my age have lost one or more parents, and I’m blessed to have all of mine in good health. There are millions of people who have never had the chance to go to college; I’ve been fortunate enough not only go to college, but law school as well. Life may not always turn out like we want or expect, but as I look back, the life I have has been very blessed and I have no reason to complain. Regardless of what happens this week, I’m confident that God still has great things in store for me as an individual and Sheila and me as a couple, and I’m excited to get this over with and move onto the next phase of my life! If you’re a praying person, please lift up a few prayers for me over these next few days–I know that I’ll need them in order to succeed!