Friday, September 24, 2010

First Dates and the cars that take us there

To say that I love cars is a complete understatement of a real, verifiable fact. I dream of finding that rare, vintage hot rod that only needs a little wrench time and some paint (because who wants to love someone else's color) to be the last truly awesome ride I will ever need. The reality of the situation is simple though: I (more than likely) have many years of car buying and selling ahead of me.

I have had a sick amount of vehicles in my day. My very first ride was a 1972 Chevelle Malibu. I remember her as a sleek sexy ride. She was obviously old when my Grand Father gave her to me in 1992 with the instruction that I had a few years before I was going to be driving and I should use that time to restore her. 2007 (that would be 15 years later) saw me finally selling her, unrestored, since I didn't want to leave her in storage while I spent my time over seas.

I actually let the Malibu go very cheap. I had offers over the years while the old girl was running that ranged from insulting to outrageous. I sold her to a man and his son who planned to rebuild her together. Somehow it felt right. One day I will either find her again or another big bottomed lady like her and I will let the Chevelle ride again.

I  had a three or four vehicles before I really fell in love with a car again. My uncle sold me a truck as I was going through my divorce. My little brown 84 F150 was a total beater. I didn't ever really plan to fix it up, but I certainly drove the tires off of it. I loved the truck and so too did my father. So much so that when I found a bright yellow 83 F150 I bought it for him. A year or so later my brown truck died and I scrapped it. Old Yellar is still kicking around, though the time has finally come that I have to decide if I will sell it or fix it up. Dad put it to thought and decided to buy himself another old truck instead of working on the truck. I have to admit getting 10 years out of a $700 investment is probably more than my money's worth.

I loved the trucks enough that I bought two more of them.

The Bronco was my dream car. It had a 351 Windsor that could pull an ornery elephant around. It was fast and powerful. It had performance exhaust and sounded amazing. I could sum up it's best feature in two words: Convertible truck! Had it only got more than 6 miles to the gallon I might have kept it.

I bought the F150 as an attempt at NOT fixing up the older trucks. It had a built 302 and thanks to my lead foot I found out the bad boy was super quick. I loved it until I had a fender bender and had to sell it to pay off the damages.I still miss those two trucks.

The Bronco did give me something wonderful: a 1994 Izusu Trooper. She has given me about 7 years of good service up until recently when the seals have all started leaking. My spark plugs have all fouled out and my cute, sporty SUV that got nearly 30 miles to the gallon now barely sputters out 10 mpg. Which is why I found myself in great internal debate on the fix it up or sell it front.

I priced an engine overhaul kit. I have looked for rebuilt engines. Ultimately the price of fixing up the mechanical portions of the engine is almost worth more than the Trooper. So I have found myself in a very unhappy position of trying to figure out what to do with my truck. So I talked to my Mom. I talked to my Dad. I talked to my old boss from the parts store. I even passed the time chatting with a few of my customers about my ordeal.

Riding along with my wife I finally blurted out all my anguish about my dying Trooper. I laid out all my confusion and all the alternatives that I saw. I tried to lay out all the logical reasons to do one thing or another. Half way through my rambling the wife gets this cute almost shy little smile. So I asked her what I should do and  she smiled and replied,"Baby we went on our first date in that Trooper. We have to keep it!"

That gave me my answer. While we really didn't go out for the first time in the Trooper we did take it for our first real date. The fact that my old truck is special to my wife makes it worth keeping.

The first time we "went out" wasn't in my Trooper. Ashley has just bought her new Hyundai and even though she was with her ex at the time she took me for a spin in it. We left the store and had a really nice ride (one of the few times I haven't driven) and after 15 minutes or so we ended up back at work. We sat in the car and chatted for a few. I got out as she ran inside to buy something (probably cigarettes). She left with her boyfriend (who had shown up while we were gone) and I was left thinking about the really nice girl with the cute little car.

Our first "date" we ended up meeting up at O'Charley's. I was actually so nervous I couldn't manage to eat. After she ate and I fumbled to look like I was eating we sat for a while in the Trooper and talked until I attempted a horribly awkward first kiss. It was brief and fleeting. It also gave me cold chills. We talked for a good while and then did the whole kiss thing right.

On our first "real" date I picked her up in the Trooper and we took off to find something to do. We hit Broadway and almost immediately got pulled over. I had a headlight out. I got a nice ticket and we laughed as we struggled to figure out what to do next. I hadn't bought the Monte Carlo yet. After a little talk we ended up playing Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe for most of the rest of the night.

The Trooper did play a huge role in the beginning of our relationship. I guess the old girl is due repair. If nothing else it will make me smile turning the wrench and thinking of the good times the wife and I have had in the Trooper.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gift Giving

My wife's birthday is a month after our wedding anniversary to the day. For her birthday I came up with a jewelry box made of some very nice mahogany inlaid metal carved doors. The gift was based on the fact that for the last year my gifts of jewelry has been rather... generous. 

For her birthday the year we met I bought her a Jane Seymour Open Heart pendant and necklace. Since then the necklace has not really been off her neck except for the one time that the clasp broke and we had to send it in for repair. I think she has really loved that necklace. I've bought her earrings and three rings from the set since then.

When this birthday rolled around she very specifically forbade me from buying jewelry. She none too subtle hint at what present to buy was," Don't buy me anymore jewelry. I don't have anywhere to keep it." How can a good husband resist a sales pitch with that much directness so unsubtle in its delivery? 

Come to find out there is a formula to use when buying a woman you love a gift. In the case of the engagement ring, though I claim this is made up, the formula is simple. The engagement ring should cost three times as much as you make in a month. For all the guys out there objecting, I feel you. This is just the rule I was quoted... and followed. I sure wish I made less money monthly. Still I am rather proud of Ashley's rock. 

For Valentine's day I believe in a simple theme. You buy candy, a card, flowers, and jewelry. I haven't always followed my formula. It has caused me trouble in the past when I haven't done things right. For the record, being a sour bastard and having hated Valentine's Day for years isn't a good excuse when you love a woman.

The jewelry box was a rather proud purchase. I knew she wanted it. It goes along with all the other things I have bought her. It all went well even with the pink wrapping paper... until my parents brought in their gift of a puppy Saint Bernard.

Buddy is adorable. He is  a joy to have around. We have spent most of our days since her birthday feeding, walking, petting, and just plain loving her present.

Which is all just to show there is always something to be learned about giving gifts. Always go with the cuddly, furry gift!.... just no more at my house!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In a Chevy in a hurry in the pouring down rain.

Every couple, successful and failed, has moments along the way that really cement their feelings (good and bad) for one another. Ashley and I had a night rather early on in our "budding" relationship that made things a lot more clear. We both relive it every time it rains. I have been really considering moving somewhere in the U.S. where it rains more as a result!
When Ashley and I met she had a boyfriend. I would have only been frightened if she hadn't had one. I wasn't really looking to date. I hadn't been looking for that for quite some time. Just like anything of true value though (from God to a life path) its much easier to find love and a relationship when you aren't really looking.
 Just a note to all you single guys out there: If the girl you are talking to says she is single with absolutely no attachments be super suspicious. From my experience there is no woman on this planet that has passed the threshold of legal adult age that does not have some relationship entanglement. This is just a fact of life. A boyfriend, ex boyfriend, husband, ex husband, best friend, ex best friend, stalker, creepy co worker, ex girlfriend, girlfriend, wife, ex wife, or some other form of romantic entanglement is just to be expected. Accept the "significant other" as stated fact and relax. If the girl is talking to you and showing real interest then she isn't really "his" anyway. Thank God I had this attitude when I met Ashley.
She and her man had been on the outs for a while. She was on the verge of kicking him out when we started chatting as friends. I was probably a good outlet  since I was her boss. A lesson is probably in there somewhere, but ultimately it was easy for her to tell her boyfriend that we were talking about work. It still pissed him off to no end and still does even though she and I are married.
There were even other guys chasing Ashley. Once again I was nonplussed by this. Women of any quality are a bit like a big gold nugget. Most everyone that sees them wants them on some level. Luckily for all us loser guys out there the girl picks her guy. Ashley dumped her guy. She had a date with another guy not long after that which prompted me to step up and throw my hat in the ring and confess that I really liked her. According to her even though she still went out with the guy, she spent that night trying to decide if I was serious which ultimately led to her realizing she really liked me too.
See guys, another dude isn't the worse thing in the world. Anyway...
So after a few very sweet and innocent outings ( i was so nervous the first time we went out I couldn't even eat my supper) Ashley and I had sort of become an item. I had lost my normal laid back confidence at first, due to thinking that Ash was way out of my league. It came back, but not before she went to dump me.
I was working 90 hour weeks. Ashley was getting a lot of pressure from the ex boyfriend to let him move back home. I have never been a controlling douche bag so I did my best not to trash talk the guy and just have faith in the idea she picked me. That isn't very easy when you know he is spending his every waking moment begging and pleading, but I did a pretty fair job of being relaxed about it. I did once whip out a pistol and cock it with him there, but that is a total different story and no where near as threatening and illegal as it sounds.
So I come home about six one evening and get a phone call from Ashley basically breaking things off. She was crying which is very unlike her. On that front, she didn't cry when I proposed. She didn't cry at the wedding. She didn't cry when she got her puppy. I am still working on tears of joy damn it!
After a couple of botched explanations on her part I finally asked if I could come out. If i was getting dumped she was going to dump me to my face! So I jumped in my car and absolutely drove like a maniac to B.F.E. Her new roommate let me in and I found Ashley rather weepy and unresponsive in bed. After an hour or so of talking and me rubbing her back she admitted she didn't want to dump me she just couldn't handle all the pressure from her ex and all the stress she was under.
We all have stress. It sucks. If you get a chance to help someone out help them with their stress level. Decrease stress and increase happiness and that person will love you forever. Ashley's best friend and her best friend's son were there. They didn't have much in the way of food. Ashley was the only one working and providing and paying all the bills. That's not a fun position for anyone!
So I persuaded everyone to load up in my car and we went out for burgers. We talked. We ate. We chatted about all the stressful stuff going on there, which is when I figured out they were out of gas in their one vehicle. Its a very very bad thing to be broke, out of gas, and living way the hell out in the country. All that kicked in my chivalry circuit and I swung through the Kmart, bought a gas can, ran to Weigel's and pumped 5 gallons in the can, and started out towards Ashley's house.
Which is when the heavens burst open and the floods started. We drove home at a crawl. My thoughts were more on taking care of everybody getting home safe than how much I really liked the girl in my passenger's seat. We did make the trip finally and found that to make her bad night worse the windows of her car were down. I jumped out and rolled them up and got soaked all the way to my skin.
Already dripping I just shrugged, grabbed the can out of the trunk, and stood in the storm and  filled her gas tank. Even with my specs dripping I could see the look on Ashley's face. I realized that I didn't mind being wet as long as it made her happy.
Ashley was probably the first girl I hadn't said," I would do anything for you" to , but I realized that I felt that way, and I think at the same time she realized it was true. I wasn't willing to see her go without. At the same time she spent the whole night trying to get me to not spend money on her. It was only by not telling her what I was doing at the Kmart and also topping up my already full tank that I was able to buy her gas. Even though she is my wife now, she still really won't let me buy her things or pay "her" bills.
That is a big part of what amazes me about her. I am used to being used. Ashley was too, and she wouldn't even accept help without me just forcing it on her (even though I was always sweet and careful about it). Her independent streak is wider even than mine. That day though with then rain pouring and me standing in it watching her while I fumbled with a full 5 gallon gas can I could tell she really appreciated me, not for what I was doing, but for the fact I cared enough to do it.
It was still a long time before we said those three little words, but I think we both knew it in our hearts all along. I remember it every minute of everyday, but I think about it in a special way when it rains.

Playstation Plus vs. XBOX Live

Most blog posts are pure opinion. I like opinion much better than fact slanted journalism. So before I delve too deep into the battle between Microsoft and Sony for my video gaming dollars let me be absolutely frank in saying I am probably not unbiased in my opinion
I have had a PS3 since Christmas of 2008 where I have only had my 360 since my birthday of this year. In another embodiment of my blog I had posted how impressed I was with the 360. Knowing some of the things I know now I am not certain I would have requested a 360. That isn’t to say I don’t love my Xbox. It is simply a challenge to be fully invested in both systems.
I am laboring in this blog under the delusion that I am an average gamer. I am middle class (ish) and have finite dollars to spend on gaming. I like most games with the exception of sports games like Madden. RPGs, shooters, fighting games, and pure platformers like Mario are my meat and potatoes in the gaming world. I used to be a Final Fantasy purist, following that series from one platform to the next. I have drawn that line since I have had a mild disappointment with the last few entries in the series.
I have found myself down graded from hardcore gamer to simply a gamer. If my opinion in this blog is put out there to do anything it is simply to weigh in on a realistic consumer dollar driven perspective of the two “online” services out by the big two.
I will quickly note that I do have a Wii. I am so disenchanted with the Wii at this point that it has become something of a novelty that is only used when me and the kiddo really want to smack each other around with swords in Wii Sports Resorts or when I want to teach school in Wii Bowling!
This is my basic setup. The Xbox takes the left side because I am rocking 1 HDMI connection and the PS3 is running on the longer (and much cheaper) component cables. Lots of folks will dog me for not having the PS3 on HDMI as well. Quite frankly as blind as I am I don’t really see a big difference. The PS3 still rocks amazing graphics as it is set up now. I love my plasma screen
This shot is a basically to give a bit of an idea of my gaming library. I used to have a much bigger selection of PS3 games that I traded in once I got the 360. I was very caught up in getting my gamerscore all buffed up with achievement points until I realized it was a bit like bragging like bragging about wang size
As far as system exclusive content goes Xbox gives me Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Those games alone were worth getting the 360. My wife and I have spent countless hours killing zombies and loving it. My PS3 library is greatly reduced from its former glory. An interesting side note though, I still am running a ps2 in the living room with my Wii. My Ps2 library is almost as formidable as all the games shown put together! I just wish the Ps3 had been backwards compatible, but that it is a disappointment to bitch about for another day. My PS3 exclusive title is summed up in three words: GOD OF WAR! Kratos makes it all worth while on the disc based side.
Down to the real subject of the blog: Xbox Live Gold vs. Playstation Plus I have both accounts which means in addition to all the cash I pony out each year on disc based fun I am spilling about $100.00 a year in network memberships. You can still get on the Playstation Network for free, as I have done up and to this point. You can play in network games multiplayer ( I mostly played Warhawk) for free on PSN. Xbox Live does have an amazing matchmaking service. Most everything I have played lets you voice chat with your friends while you are playing. Still to connect to XBL in any form or fashion you have to pay a fee. Otherwise you can be content to sit at home and play your games without your achievements going towards your gamerscore, which as far as I can tell is the video game equivalent of who has the biggest penis. Just like in real life that isn’t really a game I want to get into, win or lose you have to deal with a bunch of dicks.
I have bought a few games online via Xbox Live. I broke down and bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time (available on PSN too), Magic the Gathering, and Fable. I paid full price for the games, and for the most part I got what I paid for. I loved the first two but hated Fable
Without too much research I signed up for Playstation Plus. I am a sucker that way.In a similar theme I am a Netflix member. I love Netflix. I get a DVD at a time in the mail.I stream netflix on all my gaming systems plus my wife and I both watch a lot on our netbooks. Still loving Netflix, I gave Hulu Plus a try. I was much less impressed. There are way too many ads and not nearly enough content. So unless you really need to stream all the episodes of Family Guy (which you can do on Netflix as well) don’t waste your $9.95 per month
Anyway, I signed up for Playstation Plus without any forethought or expectation. I have bought several games on the PSN ( Rtypes, Wild Arms, Medievil, Castlevania : Symphony  of the Night, Syphon Filter, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot, Castlevania Chronicles, Warhawk Psone, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Final Fantasy VII, VII & IX, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Tetris Darkstaler Chronicle,Dracula Undead Awakening, The Terminator, Super Stardust HD, Mortal Kombat II, Rampage, Warhawk, Joust, Qbert, Lemmings, Street Fighter II HD Remix, Rag Doll Kung Fu, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Zombie Apocalypse, Burn Zombie Burn Frogger Returns, Final Fight Double Impact, and Echochrome). I am happy with the price points as can be seen by the size of my digital library.
Since I got my Playstation Plus account though I have gotten several free games:Rally Cross, 2 Xtreme, Rampart, Mushroom wars, Vempire, Critter Cruncher, Aero Racer, Kahoots, Fieldrunners, and Age of Zombies. That is 9 games included in the price of my membership in only the past 2 months! At this rate the membership more than pays for itself. Even if the above games were only 5 bucks  each I only lack one more game of having my $50 back.
I am playing a lot of games I wouldn’t ordinarily touch. My PSP has gotten so much playtime on the miniS games like Fieldrunners and Age of Zombies I am starting to really see it as a worthwhile investment again.I say Playstation Plus walks all over Xbox Live Gold. I would love to hear other opinions though.

Just think, I do all this gaming and I am still married to a beautiful, sexy woman! Life is so good. That is double true when I think that she games with me sometimes too!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Playstation Plus vs. XBOX Live

Most blog posts are pure opinion. I like opinion much better than fact slanted journalism. So before I delve too deep into the battle between Microsoft and Sony for my video gaming dollars let me be absolutely frank in saying I am probably not unbiased in my opinion. 

I have had a PS3 since Christmas of 2008 where I have only had my 360 since my birthday of this year. In another embodiment of my blog I had posted how impressed I was with the 360. Knowing some of the things I know now I am not certain I would have requested a 360. That isn't to say I don't love my Xbox. It is simply a challenge to be fully invested in both systems. 

I am laboring in this blog under the delusion that I am an average gamer. I am middle class (ish) and have finite dollars to spend on gaming. I like most games with the exception of sports games like Madden. RPGs, shooters, fighting games, and pure platformers like Mario are my meat and potatoes in the gaming world. I used to be a Final Fantasy purist, following that series from one platform to the next. I have drawn that line since I have had a mild disappointment with the last few entries in the series. 

I have found myself down graded from hardcore gamer to simply a gamer. If my opinion in this blog is put out there to do anything it is simply to weigh in on a realistic consumer dollar driven perspective of the two "online" services out by the big two.

I will quickly note that I do have a Wii. I am so disenchanted with the Wii at this point that it has become something of a novelty that is only used when me and the kiddo really want to smack each other around with swords in Wii Sports Resorts or when I want to teach school in Wii Bowling!


This is my basic setup. The Xbox takes the left side because I am rocking 1 HDMI connection and the PS3 is running on the longer (and much cheaper) component cables. Lots of folks will dog me for not having the PS3 on HDMI as well. Quite frankly as blind as I am I don't really see a big difference. The PS3 still rocks amazing graphics as it is set up now. I love my plasma screen. 





This shot is a basically to give a bit of an idea of my gaming library. I used to have a much bigger selection of PS3 games that I traded in once I got the 360. I was very caught up in getting my gamerscore all buffed up with achievement points until I realized it was a bit like bragging like bragging about wang size. 

As far as system exclusive content goes Xbox gives  me Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Those games alone were worth getting the 360. My wife and I have spent countless hours killing zombies and loving it. 

My PS3 library is greatly reduced from its former glory. An interesting side note though, I still am running a ps2 in the living room with my Wii. My Ps2 library  is almost as formidable as all the games shown put together! I just wish the Ps3 had been backwards compatible, but that it is a disappointment to bitch about for another day. My PS3 exclusive title is summed up in three words: GOD OF WAR! Kratos makes it all worth while on the disc based side.

Down to the real subject of the blog: Xbox Live Gold vs. Playstation Plus

I have both accounts which means in addition to all the cash I pony out each year on disc based fun I am spilling about $100.00 a year in network memberships. You can still get on the Playstation Network for free, as I have done up and to this point. You can play in network games multiplayer ( I mostly played Warhawk) for free on PSN. 

Xbox Live does have an amazing matchmaking service. Most everything I have played lets you voice chat with your friends while you are playing. Still to connect to XBL in any form or fashion you have to pay a fee. Otherwise you can be content to sit at home and play your games without your achievements going towards your gamerscore, which as far as I can tell is the video game equivalent of who has the biggest penis. Just like in real life bthat isn't really a game I want to get into, win or lose you have to deal with a bunch of dicks.

I have bought a few games online via Xbox Live. I broke down and bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time (available on PSN too), Magic the Gathering, and Fable. I paid full price for the games, and for the most part I got what I paid for. I loved the first two but hated Fable. 

Without too much research I signed up for Playstation Plus. I am a sucker that way. 

In a similar theme I am a Netflix member. I love Netflix. I get a DVD at a time in the mail.I stream netflix on all my gaming systems plus my wife and I both watch a lot on our netbooks. Still loving Netflix, I gave Hulu Plus a try. I was much less impressed. There are way too many ads and not nearly enough content. So unless you really need to stream all the episodes of Family Guy (which you can do on Netflix as well) don't waste your $9.95 per month.

Anyway, I signed up for Playstation Plus without any forethought or expectation. I have bought several games on the PSN ( Rtypes, Wild Arms, Medievil, Castlevania : Symphony  of the Night, Syphon Filter, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot, Castlevania Chronicles, Warhawk Psone, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Final Fantasy VII, VII & IX, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Tetris Darkstaler Chronicle,Dracula Undead Awakening, The Terminator, Super Stardust HD, Mortal Kombat II, Rampage, Warhawk, Joust, Qbert, Lemmings, Street Fighter II HD Remix, Rag Doll Kung Fu, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Zombie Apocalypse, Burn Zombie Burn Frogger Returns, Final Fight Double Impact, and Echochrome). I am happy with the price points as can be seen by the size of my digital library. 

Since I got my Playstation Plus account though I have gotten several free games:Rally Cross, 2 Xtreme, Rampart, Mushroom wars, Vempire, Critter Cruncher, Aero Racer, Kahoots, Fieldrunners, and Age of Zombies. That is 9 games included in the price of my membership in only the past 2 months! At this rate the membership more than pays for itself. Even if the above games were only 5 bucks  each I only lack one more game of having my $50 back. 

I am playing a lot of games I wouldn't ordinarily touch. My PSP has gotten so much playtime on the miniS games like Fieldrunners and Age of Zombies I am starting to really see it as a worthwhile investment again. 

I say Playstation Plus walks all over Xbox Live Gold. I would love to hear other opinions though.

Just think, I do all this gaming and I am still married to a beautiful, sexy woman! Life is so good. That is double true when I think that she games with me sometimes too!


In a Chevy in a hurry in the pouring down rain.

Every couple, successful and failed, has moments along the way that really cement their feelings (good and bad) for one another. Ashley and I had a night rather early on in our "budding" relationship that made things a lot more clear. We both relive it every time it rains. I have been really considering moving somewhere in the U.S. where it rains more as a result!

When Ashley and I met she had a boyfriend. I would have only been frightened if she hadn't had one. I wasn't really looking to date. I hadn't been looking for that for quite some time. Just like anything of true value though (from God to a life path) its much easier to find love and a relationship when you aren't really looking.

 Just a note to all you single guys out there: If the girl you are talking to says she is single with absolutely no attachments be super suspicious. From my experience there is no woman on this planet that has passed the threshold of legal adult age that does not have some relationship entanglement. This is just a fact of life. A boyfriend, ex boyfriend, husband, ex husband, best friend, ex best friend, stalker, creepy co worker, ex girlfriend, girlfriend, wife, ex wife, or some other form of romantic entanglement is just to be expected. Accept the "significant other" as stated fact and relax. If the girl is talking to you and showing real interest then she isn't really "his" anyway. Thank God I had this attitude when I met Ashley.

She and her man had been on the outs for a while. She was on the verge of kicking him out when we started chatting as friends. I was probably a good outlet  since I was her boss. A lesson is probably in there somewhere, but ultimately it was easy for her to tell her boyfriend that we were talking about work. It still pissed him off to no end and still does even though she and I are married.

There were even other guys chasing Ashley. Once again I was nonplussed by this. Women of any quality are a bit like a big gold nugget. Most everyone that sees them wants them on some level. Luckily for all us loser guys out there the girl picks her guy. Ashley dumped her guy. She had a date with another guy not long after that which prompted me to step up and throw my hat in the ring and confess that I really liked her. According to her even though she still went out with the guy, she spent that night trying to decide if I was serious which ultimately led to her realizing she really liked me too.

See guys, another dude isn't the worse thing in the world. Anyway...

So after a few very sweet and innocent outings ( i was so nervous the first time we went out I couldn't even eat my supper) Ashley and I had sort of become an item. I had lost my normal laid back confidence at first, due to thinking that Ash was way out of my league. It came back, but not before she went to dump me.

I was working 90 hour weeks. Ashley was getting a lot of pressure from the ex boyfriend to let him move back home. I have never been a controlling douche bag so I did my best not to trash talk the guy and just have faith in the idea she picked me. That isn't very easy when you know he is spending his every waking moment begging and pleading, but I did a pretty fair job of being relaxed about it. I did once whip out a pistol and cock it with him there, but that is a total different story and no where near as threatening and illegal as it sounds.

So I come home about six one evening and get a phone call from Ashley basically breaking things off. She was crying which is very unlike her. On that front, she didn't cry when I proposed. She didn't cry at the wedding. She didn't cry when she got her puppy. I am still working on tears of joy damn it!

After a couple of botched explanations on her part I finally asked if I could come out. If i was getting dumped she was going to dump me to my face! So I jumped in my car and absolutely drove like a maniac to B.F.E. Her new roommate let me in and I found Ashley rather weepy and unresponsive in bed. After an hour or so of talking and me rubbing her back she admitted she didn't want to dump me she just couldn't handle all the pressure from her ex and all the stress she was under.

We all have stress. It sucks. If you get a chance to help someone out help them with their stress level. Decrease stress and increase happiness and that person will love you forever. Ashley's best friend and her best friend's son were there. They didn't have much in the way of food. Ashley was the only one working and providing and paying all the bills. That's not a fun position for anyone!

So I persuaded everyone to load up in my car and we went out for burgers. We talked. We ate. We chatted about all the stressful stuff going on there, which is when I figured out they were out of gas in their one vehicle. Its a very very bad thing to be broke, out of gas, and living way the hell out in the country. All that kicked in my chivalry circuit and I swung through the Kmart, bought a gas can, ran to Weigel's and pumped 5 gallons in the can, and started out towards Ashley's house.

Which is when the heavens burst open and the floods started. We drove home at a crawl. My thoughts were more on taking care of everybody getting home safe than how much I really liked the girl in my passenger's seat. We did make the trip finally and found that to make her bad night worse the windows of her car were down. I jumped out and rolled them up and got soaked all the way to my skin.

Already dripping I just shrugged, grabbed the can out of the trunk, and stood in the storm and  filled her gas tank. Even with my specs dripping I could see the look on Ashley's face. I realized that I didn't mind being wet as long as it made her happy.

Ashley was probably the first girl I hadn't said," I would do anything for you" to , but I realized that I felt that way, and I think at the same time she realized it was true. I wasn't willing to see her go without. At the same time she spent the whole night trying to get me to not spend money on her. It was only by not telling her what I was doing at the Kmart and also topping up my already full tank that I was able to buy her gas. Even though she is my wife now, she still really won't let me buy her things or pay "her" bills.

That is a big part of what amazes me about her. I am used to being used. Ashley was too, and she wouldn't even accept help without me just forcing it on her (even though I was always sweet and careful about it). Her independent streak is wider even than mine. That day though with then rain pouring and me standing in it watching her while I fumbled with a full 5 gallon gas can I could tell she really appreciated me, not for what I was doing, but for the fact I cared enough to do it.

It was still a long time before we said those three little words, but I think we both knew it in our hearts all along. I remember it every minute of everyday, but I think about it in a special way when it rains.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wedding Bells

For those of you who don't know me, I am the big guy in the middle. The people to my left are my new wife and her parents. To my right is my daughter and my parents. Basically, this picture has all the most important people in my life in it. 
 
For those of you who do know me though, it may be kind of strange to see me getting married. I have to admit the last year or so has been a whirlwind. So much has changed with me, and by extension I am so much happier than I have ever been before. 
 
Me being happily married is just a 180 degree turn around from where most everyone has known me to be for the last decade. Lots of people from mine and my wife's respective pasts are astounded. Many of the people I know don't even know about it. 
 
I figured I might start blogging again and telling a little of our story. I doubt it will make for very interesting reading, but it is a fun experience for me. I figure some of the more tender pieces might win me cool points with my new Wife too.
 
We have been married for a month now, and honestly I still feel like we are on the honeymoon. She is the most wonderful and understanding woman I have ever known. I truly feel blessed. 
 
Don't worry more information will follow. 

Wedding Bells

For those of you who don't know me, I am the big guy in the middle. The people to my left are my new wife and her parents. To my right is my daughter and my parents. Basically, this picture has all the most important people in my life in it. 

For those of you who do know me though, it may be kind of strange to see me getting married. I have to admit the last year or so has been a whirlwind. So much has changed with me, and by extension I am so much happier than I have ever been before. 

Me being happily married is just a 180 degree turn around from where most everyone has known me to be for the last decade. Lots of people from mine and my wife's respective pasts are astounded. Many of the people I know don't even know about it. 

I figured I might start blogging again and telling a little of our story. I doubt it will make for very interesting reading, but it is a fun experience for me. I figure some of the more tender pieces might win me cool points with my new Wife too.

We have been married for a month now, and honestly I still feel like we are on the honeymoon. She is the most wonderful and understanding woman I have ever known. I truly feel blessed. 

Don't worry more information will follow.