Dad's Journey, Uncategorized

Navigating a New Way of Life

IMG_4806Things have been a bit stressful these past few months. The day before my birthday we received confirmation that my dad has both frontal lobe dementia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While we all suspected the news was coming, I was in total denial about it and sorta still am in denial about it. The only blessing is that with dad’s dementia, he doesn’t realize that he has ALS.

We learned that dad’s ALS is likely tied to his time in the military. Apparently it’s a growing trend with military veterans being diagnosed with ALS. While dad never served overseas, he did work with many types of chemicals for warfare and whatnot. I don’t know all the specifics about what he did, but I do know that back then they never wore protective gear (masks, gloves, etc). Even with his actual job (post military) he dealt with a vast array of chemicals and of course they never wore protective gear for that as well. It was never a concern back then.

Now we are navigating a new way of life. We’re learning about ALS as well as dementia. Dad is no longer driving (he thinks the doctor told him that because he’s not wearing his hearing aids), but that’s not the case. We’re trying to keep dad happy with continuing with activities that he loves: going to the gym about 6 days a week, going to NC State football games, dinner with friends at his favorite restaurants (42nd Street Oyster Bar and Hayes Barton Cafe) and most recently a trip to the NC State Fair.

I’m going to try to keep this blog regularly updated about dad to eventually share with family and friends on how he’s doing and all the activities he’s still involved in.

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My Bucket List of Bands, Uncategorized

That’s What I Like

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Two words. Bruno Mars.

Can I just talk about how amazing he is live in concert?  But really.

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Here’s my overall review of the show:

  • The opener, Jorja Smith, was kind of a snooze fest.  Her voice sounded just like Nelly Furtado, but her style (fashion) was more Rihanna.  Most of her performance consisted of her standing at the mic.
  • Bruno opened the show with Finesse from his 24K Magic album with some pyrotechnics from the stage.
    • I could have done without the pyrotechnics, every time it went off I screamed. My friends got entertainment out of me being startled every single time.
  • He played most of hits like, 24K Magic, Treasure, Chunky, That’s What I Like, Versace on the Floor, Marry You, Grenade, Just The Way Your Are, Locked Out of Heaven and Uptown Funk.
  • Bruno’s band was the bomb dot com, they provided so much energy to the show that paralleled perfectly with Bruno’s stage presence.
  • He didn’t talk a lot.  Sometimes performers like to talk between sets (which I’m not a fan of), he didn’t do that… so Mr. Mars, I thank you.
  • Shout out to the man in front of me who wore a Chance the Rapper shirt and had his ears plugged the entire night.  Maybe you should have bought ear plugs or purchased seats that was further from the stage. You blocked a lot of my views. #notblessed

It was a stellar night with friends. If you get the chance to see Bruno Mars in concert, DO IT! The man can sing, dance and play the guitar. And let’s not forget he’s easy on the eyes too.

So I Went On a Date

Dating Diaries: Mr. Sensitive Guy

So I recently went out with a guy (twice), that I’ll call Tom that I met off Tinder.

Tom + I met at Trophy Tap + Table in Downtown Raleigh.  When I arrived he was already sitting at the bar.  The conversation was great and we had some laughs.  Towards the end of dinner he tells me he has something to tell me.  I’m thinking to myself, “oh great, I can’t wait to see what confession he has for me.” He proceeds to tell me that he’s not 38 per his info on Tinder, he’s 42.  Am I happy that he lied about his age? No. I try to brush it off.  We then decide to head to Fox Liquor Bar for a drink.  He then tells me has something else to tell me.  Bless America! What else is he going to confess to me about?!

He tells me he walks with a limp.

Ummm… ok.  I’m thinking to myself, ok no big deal and don’t be superficial about it.  I mean there was some chemistry there and I figured I’d give the guy a chance. As we started to walk out of the bar it was a very obvious limp. The only way I can explain it which is going to sound mean (which is not my intent) is that it was like on the episode of Friends where Phoebe goes running with Rachel (but picture walking like that).  See? I knew you’d thought it would sound mean, but that’s the only way to give you a visual.

We get to the bar and he wants to sit in the dark corner. Of course this isn’t going to end well.  Thirty minutes in the bar and we’re making out like we’re two teenagers. Side note: I’m not going to be able to show my face in that bar for quite some time.

When we parted ways we decided to make plans to hang out again.  I figured I would give him another chance to redeem himself for lying to me about his age.

Date rating: 8/10

 

 

 

Around Town

(f)unemployment

And so my (f)unemployment continues!

I’ve been dying to try my hand at embroidery (and no, I’m not 87), but I’ve been intrigued by it since it’s all the rage in fashion this year. My friend and I had a little Sunday Funday action with Craft Habit Raleigh at The Edge of Urge to benefit The Beehive Collective.  Embroidery and bottomless mimosas?! Sign me up!

Upon walking into The Edge of Urge I was enamored with the entire store.  Not only do they carry Capri Blue candles, but they sell unique jewelry, amazingly creative cards and so much more.  Looking back, I wish I had taken photos of the store… but I was too transfixed on the mimosas and wanting to learn how to embroider.  In the two-hour time frame I learned the basics of embroidery and I was hooked.

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As the class wrapped up we weren’t quite ready to head home so we trotted next door to Wine Authorities.  HELLO, new favorite place!  I love the idea of having a Wine Authorities card where you can put money on it and serve yourself at the wine tap.  Can someone please install a wine tap at my house?  And because I’m obsessed with cheese plates/ cheese boards we totally ordered one. #cheeseaddict

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In case you were wondering, I finished my work of art! I stayed up late Wednesday night so I could finish it and I’m pretty sure I found my new hobby.  Perhaps I’ll open an Etsy shop if I don’t find a new job.

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Around Town

Laughter IS the Best Medicine

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Most of March has had me stressed out and anxiety-ridden.  Not knowing where you’ll land next in your career is scary, especially when you have a mortgage to pay and Boo Radley is too busy sleeping to get a job.

With that being said, a few weekends ago I took some time to push my worry/ stress aside for an evening of fun. + laughter.  My friend and I were BEYOND excited to see Chris D’Elia at Goodnights Raleigh.  But first things, first… dinner at Cantina 18!  Sangria + queso is ALWAYS a good idea.

Upon arriving to Goodnights, it was clear the show was sold-out and most of the people in line were college kids.  I was basically right about my theory. When I got to the bathroom the first thing I saw was some girl’s ID, credit card + 2 airplane bottles. #blessherheart. Luckily for her she was still outside the bathroom when I exited and basically jumped me when I returned her belongings.  She also begged me to take a shot from the airplane bottle. After declining her requests, I knew she wouldn’t let it go so down the hatchet it went.  The funny part of it all was that she was 23… I’m 35.  I’m pretty sure she thought we were the same age.

I got back just in time for the opening act, Michael Lenoci. He was a pretty funny dude, so no complaints here.

No spoilers here, but Chris D’Elia was H-I-L-arious! I haven’t laughed that much in quite awhile (especially since my job was recently eliminated).  I had never seen Chris D’Elia’s stand-up before, but his Vine videos (back when Vine was relevant) and Instagram posts made me laugh.  When it was announced he was coming to Raleigh, it was a given that we HAD to go see him.  We might have splurged on VIP tickets and got to meet him.
P.S. he’s a tall MF!

If you want to laugh your face off, go see him if he’s performing in your city.  In the meantime, I’ve got to find myself a job.

Around Town

Hopscotch: The Remix

Hopscotch overtook Downtown Raleigh this weekend and I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t go see any of the shows this year at the festival.  When life doesn’t take you to the music festival, you make your own version of Hopscotch– hopping to various bars in downtown Raleigh.

Before we started “hopping” around town, my friend Natalie + I hit up Dos Taquitos Xoco for dinner for some Mexican nomz.  Now I never thought I’d see the Bud Light gals at Dos Taquitos… I’d expect to see them at the Carolina Ale House or the Hibernian. No, they were trolling Dos Taquitos with their swag, which we obviously HAD to take.  IMG_2553

You’re looking at the proud owner of some Bud Light wayfarer shades! What’s wrong with me? That’s nothing to brag about!

Like any normal early thirty-somethings we ubered to the normal part of downtown Raleigh aka the Wilmington Street area.  Sam, our first uber driver of the evening arrived in his Mitsubishi Outlander Sport + he told us he wanted that five-star rating.  Apparently that five-star rating meant opening the door for us.  I thought it meant getting us from point A to point B in a safely + timely manner along with a tidy car and being polite in order for getting that top shelf rating… but what do I know?

Sam dropped us off at our “old faithful” bar, Landmark Tavern.  While we were sitting at the bar, we encountered Gary, the hilarious and friendly bartender.  He was also in charge of the music which ranged from Glen Campbell to Bryan Adams to Chicago + Tom Jones. We were totally digging the randomness of tunes. I might have attempted to do “the Carlton” while sitting in my chair and Gary shut it down.  Buzzkill.

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Halfway through our first drink, I was approached by an odd little fella who asked me what year I was.  I had to ask him again what he said since I thought I misheard.  Nope.  He was asking me what year I was in school. Once we informed him we were no longer in school + hadn’t been in quite sometime, he then told us we should go get our Masters.  So in the first two to three minutes he’s telling us to go get our Masters.  Don’t worry, it gets better.   My first mistake was asking him if he was wearing a blue leopard shirt.  I was quickly corrected that it was nautical, NOT leopard.  For the record it was dark in the bar, anyone could have made that mistake.  He also had this Navajo-like necklace on from 1992 as well as a faux-leather fanny pack and his e-cigarette.  I mean he did say to us, “I’m from NY, I AM fashion!” In true fashion, I asked him for a photo.  He strictly told me not to tag him on Instagram.  Ummm… yeah ok, you don’t have to worry about that.

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Before we left Landmark that night we saw him again and this time his entire shirt was unbuttoned.  It’s a wonder I didn’t vomit.  I still get the heebie jeebies thinking about it.

During adult beverage #2 at Landmark, I happened to turn around + saw a blast from the past.  It was Drunkasswolf.  That was his screen name back in the college days so I’ve always called him “Drunkasswolf.”  I tend to run into him at the most unusual places.  As of recent it was Slims + my friend’s wedding last summer.  Small world.  Drunkasswolf still looks like a Drunkasswolf, especially with that beard of his.  Super nice guy though.

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While I was catching up with Drunkasswolf, Natalie was getting hit on by some dude from Arkansas.  He was in town visiting his cousin who was also lingering around us.  When we decided to roll up to Raleigh Times, the “cousins” came with us.  Mr. Arkansas bought my friend the nice, luxurious pumpkin beer and gave his cousin + I the disgusting porter.  I took one sip + handed it off.  Ain’t nobody got time for drinking a dark porter beer, especially when they don’t even fancy that.  #Rude.

Hanging outside of Raleigh Times there was a guy standing next to our table + he was in a baby tee that was too small for him.  Needless to say his cigarettes barely fit in the pocket of his tee.  Bless his heart.

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The “cousins” continued to follow us to the next stop, The Busy Bee.  We were treated to the buffalo chicken tater tots, which were “ok.”  I’m not a fan of bleu cheese + eating spicy foods late at night.  That’s just asking for indigestion.  By this point we were ready to bid farewell to the cousins.  Sure it was fun bar-hopping with them, but we had checked out.  If only we could hang like we used to, we would have made it until 2am.  Our stopping point on Friday night was more like 12am.

We summoned Uber and Gerardo  picked us up in his Chrysler 200.  I asked him if he was related to Geraldo Rivera since their names were kind of similar and he did not respond well to that.  Oopsy-daisy.  I guess I should know my audience before I start saying awkward things.

Final Thoughts:

  • Mullets do exist in downtown Raleigh.  I saw one at Landmark Tavern (see the photo below)
  • Know your audience before you start saying m’lord to people.  Not everyone responds well to it.
  • Also know your audience when you tell the male bartender you like his braid.
  • ITB kids love The Raleigh Times.  If only Felson’s was still around.
  • Just because you’re from NY, it doesn’t mean you KNOW fashion.  Silly little man.
  • The sidewalk rule in downtown Raleigh for bars is lame. (This is totally unrelated to my adventures in downtown Raleigh, but it’s totally lame).

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