Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I really like the song Payphone by Maroon 5. But as much as I like it, there are a few fundamental flaws that I just can't get past.

Let's take the chorus, which goes, "I'm on a payphone trying to call home, all of my change I've spent on you."

For starters, I don't believe that Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5), nor anyone else for that matter, would be on a payphone trying to call anyone at any time. My reasoning is simple: Nobody uses payphones anymore, because no phone companies are producing payphones anymore. Even the payphones outside of the old Piccadilly in Lafayette are gone. You know it's bad for payphones when the best place for single seniors to meet at 4:30 pm (Early Bird special!) no longer has payphones available.

As for using all of his change on a payphone, well, that's crazy talk. Nobody carries change around. (Except my wife - she has exact change for everything.)

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that Adam Levine did find a payphone, had to use it for some reason - such as his cellphone died because he was playing Angry Bird Star Wars or Fruit Ninja and his battery died - and then he did use all of his change on a payphone. Why not call Collect? Problem solved. You'd think the singer of a very famous band would know all of this.

Next, let's talk about him calling home. Instead of phoning home, why not call his lady-friend's cell phone? He could have been repeatedly calling home, only to find that his girl was out for Lady's Night. Using all of his change to call a single number seems like a bad plan. He could have also called another friend, his agent or even his mom.

For nostalgic purposes, I'll allow for this song to take place in Adam Levine's distant past when cellphones were not ubiquitous. And despite this song hitting the wall against 21st century technology, I still really like it.

I can't wait to hear the rest of Maroon 5's album, which probably has songs about beepers and rotary phones!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day, Betty! Since today is Valentine's Day, and since Valentine's Day (like Virginia!) is for lovers, I thought I'd tell you why I love you so much. And it's not just because you're awesome and beautiful. It's also because...

You're a super mom!

[Picture: Love at first super-power x-ray sight!]

You're stylish!

[Picture: Couldn't have done it better myself!]

You're the only one(sie) for me!

[Picture: You're the Only Onesie for Me!]

You always makes me feel like I just met a giant pizza!

[Picture: Pizza is my favorite food, after all]

And lots more that won't fit on a single blog post!

We've been together for almost 12.5 years - 4,521 days, to be exact! And every day has been better than the last. From our first date (LSU football game, I went to the wrong door at Graham hall and had to run through to meet you, and got chased by a large lady security guard) to our last parade at Mardi Gras (where I flashed my cow teets for beads), you've made everything so much better than I ever imagined it could be. I don't know how I lucked out, but I did. I just hope that I've made your life half as great as you've made mine.

Hey, any guy can buy flowers and chocolate... but only one guy can Photoshop those for you the night before Valentine's Day! (And by Photoshop I mean badly cropped in MS Paint!)

[Picture: Happy Valentine's Day!]

Happy Valentine's, Beebles. I love you!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Lessons Learned from the Move

I learned a few things about moving - some the hard way. I'd like to share those with you now.

1. Don't buy boxes. Boxes are expensive. If you haven't moved in a while, you may be shocked to find out that a single box - which presumably you will packing your stuff in - costs anywhere from $2 - $20 depending on the size. Just buying enough boxes to pack all your stuff in could cost upwards of $400.

But have no fear! For you have friends that just moved and want to get all those empty boxes out of their new house. You also have a workplace that is littered with empty boxes. You think all those toilet paper rolls just rolled themselves in on their own? No! They came in a giant box which is now folded up alongside the outer wall of your office, along with tens of other empty boxes. Take them... take them all. Take more than you can possibly imagine that you'll need. You'll use all of them, and more. Just make sure to give them away to the next needy person.

Oh, and make sure to label your boxes in several places. Labeling your boxes on the top doesn't work well if you stack another box on top, ya dig?

2. Pay for movers. Instead of paying for boxes, use that money for movers. We used Two Men and a Truck and I've never been happier to watch someone else move all my stuff out of one house and into another. My back feels great, too!

I just cackled when the movers lifted our heavy couch, followed by our heavy dresser, followed by our next twenty progressively heavier objects. That could have been me doing that! How stupid would I have looked! Paying someone else to hurt their backs moving that stuff around was one of the best things I did.

3. Buy your cables in advance. Are you mounting a TV on the fireplace? Good for you! Before you get too excited, go buy some CL2 or CL3 rated "in-wall" HDMI cables right away. You see, you can't run regular wires through the wall - they may cause a fire if they get too hot due to virtually no insulation within the walls. This is even more important when you mount a TV on your fireplace. And even if the wires don't cause a fire, if your house does catch fire, your insurance company will point to your non-insulated wires as a potential flaw and deny your insurance claim. Same for speaker wire. Buy everything you need in advance, because if you don't, the Geek Squad guy will refuse to mount your TV and you won't have your TV up in time to watch the next big event - Super Bowl, Puppy Bowl, whatever floats your boat.

4. Get your Homestead on. If you live in Louisiana, file for Homestead Exemption. It's free, and once you file, you are exempt from paying property taxes on the first $75K of your house's worth. I filed for homestead exemption the week after moving in. It took literally 10 minutes, including the drive to the tax assessor's office.

And last, but not least...

5. Get more than one estimate. Don't worry that it costs money to just get the guy out there to give you an estimate on whatever needs estimating. Get more than one, especially if the first estimate seems too high. Also do research on the company before you hire them. We had a need for an electrician and a plumber, and found a single company that did work in both areas - but got burned on the electrician's costs. We didn't do enough research up front on what it would cost to install an outlet on our fireplace, and paid way more than we should have. Our harsh lesson is your lesson learned - pay for an additional estimate if the original seems too high.

I have other tidbits of life lessons, such as, "Don't let the overzealous caulking scare you away," but that's a blog post for another day.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Goodbye, Prairieville!

Goodbye, Prairieville! Thank you for 8.5 great years!

We've been in our new house in Baton Rouge for two weeks now, and we love it. But we're going to miss Prairieville.

I still remember walking into our house in Prairieville for the first time. It was during a showing. Betty and I had first searched for homes in Baton Rouge, then started looking in Prairieville as a safety net. We fell in love with the house the instant we walked in. We knew that was our home! And when I drove there the first night we owned the place, I remember just standing in the kitchen with the door open at my back, staring into the empty living room, amazed and proud that we now owned the place. It was an incredible feeling.

I'll miss more than just our house, though. I'll miss the spray park on the corner of 42 and 73. Annie called it "her park" one day, so it'll always be Annie's Park to us.

I'll miss the LeBlanc's on the corner of 42 and 929. We had a lot of good times together, LeBlanc's. I even didn't mind that you showed up on my bank statements as Payless. Your staff is friendly, courteous and helpful, and you were always there for me when Abita Strawberry was in season. I won't forget you.

To Frank's in Prairieville... you haven't seen the last of us. We're going to beat your claw game one of these days, damned if I won't put $100 into that thing one day to do it. Your food is too good (It's All Good, right?) for us to not drive out there. Plus I want to buy some Mayhaw jelly there. Why didn't I buy it the last time we were there?!? Maybe it was so that I could go back for it.

I would say, "I won't miss the drive to work!" but that's not true. Every morning the kids and I would listen to an entire CD on the way to school. Whether it was The Princess and the Frog, Veggie Tales or Neon Trees, the kids rocked out to it. I loved singing and rocking out with them. But now that I live 2.5 miles from work, we have time for one or maybe two songs.

Did I say 2.5 miles?! Yes, we're that much closer in. If I just drove to and from work, I would only have to fill up my car with gas 4 times a year. Bringing the kids to school only adds 3 more trips to the gas station for me. This is my way of giving the finger to my siblings, who both work in the oil and gas industry.

Our new house has some things that our old house didn't, such as a garage door. You'd think that the garage door was our kids' favorite toy over the way they fight over who gets to push the button to open or close it whenever we go anywhere! We also have a screened-in porch in the back. It's the perfect place to put my outside TV, which Betty promised me (over the course of 8 years) that I could have "at my next house." That time is now, baby!

I'll post more about our house, the move, and what we loved (and hated) about our house over the course of the next few weeks. And of course I'll post some pictures, right after we finish unloading those remaining 872 boxes.