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Played Basketball on Suns Court

This afternoon I played in a basketball game on the Phoenix Sun’s court at the US Airways center. St. Tim’s set up a full-day with around the Phoenix Suns. It started yesterday at one with a Life Teen v. Edge basketball game. It was pretty ridiculous because all of us in our 20s looked like we hadn’t played since the seventh grade. But the high schoolers on our team ended up carrying out team to a victory.

Suns Fan

I got bored after the first quarter, and I asked if I could do commentary on the arena sound system. It was a lot of fun to bring life to an otherwise pitiful game. I’d harass the handful of people who came to watch the game. I’d pick on the players. It was cool too because this is the arena that I watch on TV all the time, and for one afternoon, I got to play in it and do commentary too.

Candyce and I went to Kevin and Stephanie Day’s art gallery after the game. I’ve been downtown to their gallery a half dozen times since it opened two months ago. I enjoy supporting my friends, but it gets boring cheering for your buddies while they play Xbox. I don’t mind making a trip downtown to support people who are creative and have the courage to show their work at a gallery. It’s okay if not all of my friends are go-getters, but the truth is I like go-getters the most.

Later in the day, Matt Maher and the band played outside. It was pretty cool hearing Matt’s voice echo through downtown Phoenix. Then it was game time. Matt Maher, Tom Booth, and a couple others sang the National Anthem down on the court. That was cool in itself, because it was a sold out game. What was cooler though was Shawn Marion walked over than shook their hands after they were done.

Our seats were in the upper level, but I could still tell what was going on in the game. But I think people in the upper level who are not hardcore fans entertain themselves by making trips to the bathroom and the concession stand. I mean, I must’ve stood up 200 times to let people out. No kidding, this one kid left his seat eight or nine times.

I was excited to see Carmelo Anthony play. Every time he got the ball, he scored. I mean, he has such a high percentage of field goals. It’s almost like watching Tony Parker. House, Marion, Bell, and Nash hit enough threes to keep the crowd rowdy. No night is complete with out Marion leaping above the rest and dunking it at least six times. This time of year is exciting because the Suns are moving towards the playoffs and the fans are more fanatic. It looks like Nash could be the MVP again. Whenever Nash was on the free throw line, the crowd would chant “MVP! MVP! MVP!”

The only other NBA team I watched play was the Hawks when I lived in Atlanta. I don’t remember those games being as entertaining as the Suns. Of course the Suns are better than the Hawks, but the in-between entertainment at; Suns game is almost as good as the game itself. They had the usual things, like a guy from the crowd trying to make a goal and win money. They had cheerleaders and dancers. Then there were things that were just amusing.

But the cooler stuff was an indoor blimp, a team of high-flying gymnast basketball players, and awkward team of dancing dads. Then they had tryouts on the floor where five dads tried to outdance each other to get a chance to be on the dads dance team. The winner’s daughter got a $2500 dancing scholarship. It was just funny. This is all the stuff you don’t get to see when you watch the game on TV.

Candyce has to work at five in the morning, so I dropped her off at her car and told her she should just go straight home and not come over my house. We like each other a lot, and we always find creative ways to keep the night going. But I didn’t want to ruin her Sunday by keeping her up late.

I type this while I’m watching Sports Center on ESPN. It’s fun watching highlights from a game that I was just at. I feel a little stupid because I haven’t followed any of the NCAA tournament. Oh well. Bedtime.

Rediscovering a House

It’s a beautiful Friday night in Arizona. Tonight at 6:00 PM I called each of our summer camp directors; and told them that the camp website is ready to go. There’s some fine-tuning to be done, but the site is ready to go up.

I have all of the subdomains directing to the correct files on the site. This is handy for each camp to market themselves. They don’t have to say, “Go to camps.lifeteen.com, then click on Covecrest”. They can now say, “Go to covecrest.lifeteen.com.” RockyVine is really lucky because I bought a URL for them so there line is simple, “Go to rockyvine.com.” Then that will direct to rockyvine.lifeteen.com. This stuff matters because I’ve spent seven years telling people about my websites in conversations, and I can always see people bail out when I give them too many instructions. That’s why I got nomoho.com. It’s quick, simple, easy to spell, and hard to forget.

Now that the camps site is wrapping up, I’m getting closer to going part-time. I’ve loaded all 1100 journals into the new database for supafly.com, and that’s most of the work to get the new site up. I have to tweak the CSS and I’ll be ready to go. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to add a portfolio until later. It’s just not a priority right now.

Tonight after work I drove around my favorite neighborhoods looking for for sale signs. I found one scrappy ranch house that was backed up to a huge stand of date palms. It had good lines on the house, but it was in rough shape. My guess that it was 2000 square feet with the addition, and I wanted them to ask $475k for it. But I knew they would want something in the high five hundreds. I was thrilled on the drive home because this could be the one. I was so bummed when I got home and went online and saw that it was listed for $690,000.

Not only was I disappointed, I was embarrassed for the owner and the poor Realtor who’s expected to sell that thing. For $690,000, you can get a nice house close to the beach in San Diego. Why the hell would I buy a rundown ranch house next apartments, small homes, and two miles from the ghetto?

So I kept looking online, and I re-discovered a Tempe home in a neighborhood that I really like. I actually walked through the house a few months ago during an open house, but I ignored it because it was way too big for me. Plus, it was two-stories–which I don’t like–and it had a funny look to it. In the months between then and now, I’ve scoured that area for any home for sale. I mean I watch online throughout the week, and I drive through at least once each week to look for a “for sale by owner” sign. They never go up for sale, and when they do, they are too expensive for me. So tonight, I stared at my computer screen at a house I could actually afford in the neighborhood that I like, and I wondered, “What am I waiting for?”

I drove by and saw it tonight before I went to pick up Candyce for dinner. This house has so much potential! It definitely needs a new look on the curbside, but it has good bones. I think people have skipped over it because it does look so out-of-place in the neighborhood. I’m going to go back tomorrow morning in the day for another look.

Some good news this week is that Amare Stoudamire is back after an injury that has kept him off the court for the past six months. The Suns have done quite well even without him, but its good to have a big man as we head into the playoffs. It’s funny because the day after Amare’s first game back, I was so happy that nothing could bring me down. This is proof that I need more diverse interests. Because when I put all my time, talent, and hope into the stuff at work, I run the risk of getting hurt when things don’t work out.

Change in House Remodel

For the past year and a half, one of my biggest goals was to remodel my kitchen to make my house more livable. Over the course of 18 months, that plan changed three times.

First I wanted to take down the cabinets that separated the living room from the kitchen. Before I could get started, I decided I should take down an additional wall and open up the kitchen to the den to give it an open floorplan. Then several months later, I realized it would be better if I took down all kitchen walls, and absorb the dining room into the kitchen. It would be big and easier-to-use. I’d then move the dining room table into the den. So I’d reduce the number of rooms from three to four, but what I lose in numbers I gain in spaciousness. I mean, who wants to live in a house divided into little boxes?

Then yesterday Candyce’s dad suggested to me over the phone that I not do this major kitchen renovation since I’m planning on selling my house. He explained that a job that big might upgrade my house so much that it would be too hard to sell. At first I was discouraged by this, because I thought that my remodel was smart and efficient project, but now I realize he has a valid point. I’d ask more money for the house, and it could sit on the market longer than I am willing to wait.

So now the plan is to put in new cabinets and appliances, tile, carpet, and bathroom fixtures. I’ll pick out some nice paint colors and put up a for-sale sign. Hopefully I can get this done in the first two months of going part-time at work. This puts me in a good place with the real estate market because families generally like to buy and sell during the summer because it doesn’t mess up their kids’ school year.

I am so excited to have a new house to work on. I’m aiming for a higher-end neighborhood where I’ll have more freedom to be creative without losing money in the end. It’s going to be fun. I guess I am ready for a new set of challenges, a new neighborhood, and a new drive to work.

Finally Resting

In the first few months of this year, I feel like I am finally okay with making time to rest and enjoy life. I always get good sleep–that’s not what I’m talking about. Since I’m not leaving Phoenix all the time, I feel like I am finally getting into the rhythm of savoring life. I’m not all jumpy because I have a plane to catch. I can slow down and actually enjoy all the fruits of my labor.

When I lay on my couch and watch “The Office”, I don’t feel lazy or feel like I’m falling behind in the race to get things done. I don’t have to accomplish things in all hours of the day. It’s okay to rest and enjoy life.

My New Refrigerator is Rad

I am working from home today because I my new refrigerator was scheduled to be delivered this afternoon. It was bizarre because at 8:30 AM they were delivering the fridge to me, but it was the wrong one. By 9:00 AM, they had the correct fridge, but nobody to ship it. By 9:45 I they agreed to deliver it today, but I had to settle a commission dispute with their sales staff. Apparently someone claimed they sold it to me the day before. Then it was a string of phone calls from a confused delivery truck driver. After all of that work, it’s finally here!

I know that buying kitchen appliances is something only adults do, and I’m okay with letting go of a what’s left of my youth by openly discussing my appliances. This fridge is that cool. First, it’s stainless steel. I know it’s the trendy thing to have a stainless fridge, but I’ve liked anything that shiny and metal for as long as I could remember. So it’s going to be kind of fun to bring a modern touch to my house with something as practical and useful as a refrigerator.

Function. The top is the fridge part and the bottom is the freezer. The fridge opens like French doors. The bottom freezer is a drawer. This is the first fridge I’ve ever had where it feels like the doors wants to swing shut and seal up. It makes a cool sound when it closes too. I just plugged it in an hour ago, and it’s amazing how quiet it is. This is going to be fun!;

KitchenAide Architect Series