3 things not to do in online dating—If you like the girl.

So, this is a different type of post than I normally do, but this has been on my mind lately. I have been doing the online dating thing for two years now, and I have to admit I am getting pretty worn out. It shouldn’t be easy to find someone to spend forever with. I get that. Fellows, there are some consistent problems I’m noticing with your dating style, though. After this little PSA let’s see if we can’t solve that.

1) Stop blowing up the girl’s phone.

Gentleman. We are not new toys. When you text us constantly only to ask stupid questions like, “What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?” You look like a puppy that’s just learned how to play fetch. Not attractive whatsoever. Be patient and very careful about how often you text a girl in the beginning. My recommendation is before you start having texting conversations with a girl ask her if she’s ok with it. From what I’ve seen bonds start to form over texting conversations and I think you all get the wrong idea. Just because we keep texting you back does not mean we are into you. It just means we feel guilty not replying. We will let you know when we are into you.

2) Don’t get mushy.

Never text a girl things like, “I miss you!” “I’m so lucky I found you.” Especially don’t text this to her before you know her last name. You look like a damn fool!!!

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Yes this is what I think of guys who text me that type of nonsense too early.

When you get mushy before you’ve even been dating a month you come off as disingenuous and overly eager. Chances are we will dump your ass because we can see right through the act. You really just want to sex us up and have no real interest in getting to know us.

3) Calm the f**** down!!!

It’s perfectly natural to have the butterflies. Don’t be so nervous that you talk about yourself constantly, though. I went on a date where the guy spent 4 hours with me, never bought me coffee or a meal, and at the end of it new nothing more about me then the mission work I had done in Haiti. Here’s a tip. Particularly with in the first 5 dates, more than 15 minutes is probably too long to spend on one topic. Be ready to change it up, or hell, do what we do, excuse yourself to the bathroom for a few minutes so both of you have time to catch your breath. And most of all guys please remember we are human too, not treasure found in the cave of wonders. I think remembering that might help you to be less nervous.

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April 15th, 1865

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Celebrating 150 years of history!

Dear Mr. Grant,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing you, to inform you of the passing of a great man. and dear friend. Last night, at about half past ten, President Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at the theater. I was hopeful that after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, just days ago, that we had seen an end to this violent and bloody war. The events of last night, though, serve as a brutal reminder that we still have many hurdles to overcome before we can again be one nation under God. I must admit I feel partially responsible for what occurred yesterday. Let me see if I can clarify for you what transpired.

I was informed early on the morning of the fourteenth that Mr. Lincoln would be in attendance that evening. I then informed Mr. Booth, who would be playing the main character, of the attendance of the president. He grunted with disdain. When I asked him of his objection he avoided the question and continued to prepare for the evening. His reaction was odd, but not knowing of his sympathy toward the southern cause, I dismissed his attitude as a nasty hangover. In hindsight I was wish I had known. I might have been able to act.

The day passed quickly into the evening. Mr. Lincoln did not arrive till about half way through the show. This did not bother the ushers or I in the slightest, though. Upon the president’s arrival I heard a young boy from the crowd cry, “Mr. President.” “Hail to the chief,” exclaimed the audience as the orchestra began to play for the President. In that moment there was an energy present in the theater that I had not felt since before the war began. The people finally had hope again. The president graciously smiled and sat.

The show continued as usual, with nothing noticeably different from any other performance. As the closing lines of the show approached I looked back into the wings of the stage and noticed that Booth was gone. I motioned for Jonathon, our head usher, and asked, “Where’s Booth gone to?” “Look he’s heading into the presidential box. The president must have asked to see him.” Moments later the sound of gunshot was heard. Jonathon and I ran to see if we could help. “The doors been barricaded,” one of the president’s security detail informs us.

We finally got the door open and the next thing we saw was Booth jumping from the balcony. He hit the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis.” He then proceeded to run off stage. We can hear a loud standing ovation. The audience still thinks, at this point, this all part of our show. Mrs. Lincoln begins shouting, “Stop him!” This is when the audience realizes what has just occurred.

Chaos ensues in the audience as their standing ovation turns to terrified screams. I try to comfort Mrs. Lincoln. “He’s not going to make it,” she sobs. Jonathon gently turns to her and says, “He could not die in better company.” He was, of course, referring to the picture of George Washington placed on the balcony of the presidential box. This was the president’s favorite touch, as Washington reminded him of the type of leader he aspired to be, courageous and decisive.

The president is immediately rushed out of the building. “Get him to a bed,” one of them says. “There’s a doctor living across the street,” another shouts. I’m not sure of the details after he was taken inside Dr. Petersen’s house. All I know after that is that at about twenty after seven in the morning we were informed by Dr. Pertersen of his passing. “We did all we could to recitate his heart, but the wound proved mortal, going very deep behind his left eye.” We are still stunned. A few days ago a peaceful future seemed so secure, and now who can say.

I know at a time like this words are weak and in vain, but I hope that my account of the details may help you to make sense of what has just occurred. Be careful upon your return, as Mr. Booth is still at large. I understand from whisperings that he may try to meet up with President Davis for one final confederate insurgence. I will look forward to meeting with you upon your return.

Yours truly,

John T. Ford

Reentactment outside Ford's Theater.

Reentactment outside Ford’s Theater.

Thanks for indulging me readers. I Thought I would have a little more fun with this post.

A huge thanks to the wonderful staff at Ford’s theater for a great experience at the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination. If you are interested in visting Ford’s theater check out their website http://www.fordstheatre.org/splash. And don’t miss their run of Freedom Song, May 13-20th.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure (The amazing artist behind Morelan)

On my recent visit to Haiti I had the great fortune of meeting a wonderful woman named Polyana. She runs a real dump of a bed and breakfast….Allow me to me explain the joke. The entire place is constructed out of trash that she has found in the street.

There is no infrastructure in Haiti for trash pick up or recycling. Rather than allow her country to rot from the ground up (quite literally) she has decided to take matters into her own hands and create beauty out of what it rejected and broken. A true inspiration and light onto her country. Check out the property….

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Haitian Diaries pt 2

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m hoping that my photos will do the talking for me in this post. I continue to be amazed inspired by the generosity and hope that exists in the people of Haiti.

Enjoy!

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Jersey shore diaries

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Sept 11 from the Town Square

Avalon.  My home town. A small beautiful oasis located on the Jersey shore. As I have grown up I have truly come to embody the words of Bon Jovi. “Who says you can’t go home. There’s only one place they call me one of their own.” I love going back home where I have family and neighbors who love me. A place where I am not just another face in the crowd. If you are every in Jersey please stop through Avalon for some good old fashioned hospitality. Promise we don’t bite:)

Check out some of our town gems:

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Pirate Island Golf: The unofficial slogan here “C’mon! You know you wanna mini golf with pirates.”

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Kohler’s Bakery: A local favorite that we’re quite proud of. Sadly they are only open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you stop in you absolutely must try the cream filled donuts.

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Isabel’s: Another local bakery that we are also proud of. I personally love their ham and cheese croissants.

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Brian’s Waffle House. Your mornings should definitely begin here. Hands down best waffles on the east coast.

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Our beloved public library

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The Princeton: Local watering hole. If you’re located anywhere on the north side of the island you can walk home from the bar. Just saying’. Be safe!!

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Avalon Seafood Market: Of coarse if you you’re down the shore you’ll need some seafood.

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Wawa: 7-11 who??? If you get that joke we should be bffs.

Haitian Diaries

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Day 1: We were greeted in the airport with the delightful sounds of Caribbean music. I was inspired immediately by the joy the Haitians feel towards life and their ability to celebrate it. We then proceeded to retrieve the dozen or so suitcases we checked. The crowdedness of the baggage claim reminded me of the crowded streets of Delhi at rush hour. In the middle of all the chaos I couldn’t help but notice the eclectic art hanging on the wall us. It was of a harvest festival. The people in the painting looked happy and pleased at what a season of toiling had brought them. A reminder to me to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. We then proceeded down narrow streets that could barely fit a mule, let a lone the 14 seat van we were driving. Boom! We just hit our tenth pot hole. The markets on Saturday are alive with people. I wish I could have photographed it, but the locals have grown weary of the spotlight. We finally arrived at Hope House. An oasis. Our home away from home. This place will protect us as we embark on our journey with our Haitian counter parts, to better help them mold young minds in the coming year. As twilight came we sang songs of worship and broke bread together. Another reminder to me to be thankful each day for the breath of life God has given us. Before laying our heads to rest we prepared 40 teacher gift bags. A true testament to the way humanity can band together when needed. Tomorrow we will attend a Haitian worship service. I am excited to get to worship with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

Day 2: The breakfast bell rang at 6 am. We arose early to see the school where we ill be teaching for the next few days. Upon getting up I was reminded that I was not in Kansas anymore. I shared a frigid shower with a lizard, two mosquitos, and a spider. I say this all in good humor because my hosts have been nothing but gracious. They have made sure that we have everything we want and need. We then went to worship with our Haitian brothers and sisters. Their sense of faith is remarkable. You should see what the earthquake did to a few of the homes across the street. But, by faith and the grace of God this church still stands. Tomorrow we begin our work at the school with out Haitian colleagues.

 

Day 3: We began our first day with out Haitian colleagues. One thing that continues to strike me about this country is their hospitality. Though the earthquake may have physically destroyed this country, it did not destroy its heart and soul. They, a people of very little means, graciously prepared our staff a hot lunch. They are truly a vibrant gracious people. I look forward to coming back tomorrow!

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Day 4: We began our day at the clinic adjacent to the school. When we arrived there were over 75 people lined up to get food and vaccinations for their children. The little girls dressed pink bows and dresses just warms your heart. They dress impeccably here no matter what the occasion. Puts all of us who run out to the grocery store in a bun and sweatpants to shame. They may have very little, but what they do have they care for. We then headed over to the school. I was honored to get to run our small group discussion for the day. At one point I had the teacher role play being in their classroom. It was the finest comedy I have ever seen. Everyone played their part beautifully. Some played the diligent studious type, while other played the class clown. It was great to see the comradery between the staff. I look forward to another day tomorrow. I just wish they all didn’t start at 6 am:)

 

Day 5: Today we had to say goodbye to some of the teachers and translators. I have begun to connect with these people after only a few short days. I will miss them greatly when I return home. All the teachers here have such a wonderful spirit. They believe in a better tomorrow for Haiti. Before they departed we asked the teachers why they went into to teaching. The overwhelming response was because I want to serve my country by shaping tomorrow’s citizens. Think of how greatly we could improve the US education system if we all took this attitude. It is this spirit that I hope to bring back to my colleagues in the US.

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Day 6: We had one last hurray at the school. We called in a small group of elementary teacher to do a small Q&A session. As we had brought no translators with us, I became translator for the day. I think I fell into the role quite nicely, if I do say so myselfJ After eating our picnic lunch in the school’s chapel we took a incredibly scenic drive through the mountains. I could try to describe to you what I saw but a picture is worth a thousand words. “The whole day through, just an old sweet song keeps Haiti on my mind.”

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RIP Paper Peddler

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Next weekend one of my favorite childhood book stores will close. I have so many fond memories of late night Harry Potter book launchings from this quaint unique store. I will truly miss it. Amazon and Ebay are great resources, but this week consider buying a book from a local book store to help them stay in business for future generations.

Hawaiian Diaries

Hello readers!! I’m sorry it took me so long to get this up. Better late than never right??!! Anyway, here is the rest of my adventures on the beautiful island of Maui.

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My departure– The flight out to Maui was one of the most pleasant I have taken. I guess it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re heading to a paradise on Earth.  I met a couple from the Midwest who were celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary on Maui. Best of luck!! May we all be so lucky.

 

Day 1– On my first day I took a gorgeous morning swim in Kihei, right near Kamaole state park. Weather and water could not have been more beautiful. After a few hours of baking in the sun I grew faint and weary for nourishment. The locals recommended Eskimo Candy, so of course that’s where I went. I. Refueled and replenished, I headed back out into the sun and surf. I then went over to Lahaina and watched the sunset. What gorgeous town! It’s a stereotypical Hawaiian town with all the quaint charm. I met a guy named Dan who made me three fish out of a coconut leaves. I then ate dinner at Mick Fleetwood’s restaurant Fleetwood’s. Think the name’s ironic? My Dad would be so proud of my life choices:) The only disappointment was that I wasn’t able to get a picture with Mick. Oh well next time. You can run but you can’t hide Mick!! 🙂

P.S. Meet Dan!

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Day 2– We thought we needed to prepare for Iselle. State parks and schools closed, and the island turned into one big end of the world party. Music, laughter, and “Happy Huricane!” resounded from the beaches. I took a coastal ride early in the morning. I attempted to make it to Honolua Bay, but on the dark wooded trail down to the bay I was met by the landowners dogs, who were the exact opposite temperament of my mongrels at home. I decided to visit some blowholes on the north side of the island instead. Here’s the link if you wanna check out a video of the blowhole blowing.

Day 3– How I spent the day waiting out Iselle. I had breakfast at a wonderful place called Freds. I fell in love with our waiter. He was an incredibly funny and helpful local. He steered me towards a Hawaiian delicacy called moco loco. It was delicious!! I then went into Lahaina to go shopping. To be fair it was raining a bit, but nothing like the hurricane like conditions we were expecting. On my way back I stopped at a local fruit stand and bought some banana bread, Mango bread, and a local favorite…pineapple juice mixed with cane sugar. There is a huge sugar industry here on Maui. Then I went to walk on the Kealia boardwalk, where I promptly dropped my key through the boardwalk. I don’t want to talk about it…

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Day 4- I woke up this morning to the smell of sugar cane being burned. Not as pleasant as you might think. Smelled more like rotting fish than sugar. Apparently it is a very effective retrieval method, though. Then after finishing the whole key ordeal…seriously I don’t want to talk about it… we ate breakfast at Freds…again. I had the most delicious panacakes I think I’ve ever eaten…Don’t tell IHOP. After carbo loading I went on a hike through lava fields with a friend of mine. This hike had some of the most beautiful scenery of Maui’s coast line. For dinner I had the most incredible sushi I have yet to experience. The sushi was fresh and expertly made by the chefs. If your ever in Maui Sunsei is a must.

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 Day 5– We once again ate breakfast at Freds. 3rd day in a row. The waiter is now completely judging me. I had a traditional breakfast of eggs and potatoes before out hike on the Hana highway. The hike was one of the most gorgeous, challenging, but rewarding hikes I have been on. We climbed up a rock, up a ladder, through boulder filled rivers, jumped down and climbed over a waterfall (that was the most fun part) and saw 4 gorgeous and incredible waterfalls. At our fourth waterfall my friend was brave enough to climb up the waterfall and jump off. In her comedic like sense of humor, she began to sing the theme song to lion king from atop the waterfall. We then ate some weird local fruit that grows back in the woods. It was pink a sweet like a grapefruit. The views you have of the waterfalls here could not compete with doing this hike. It was an incredibly rewarding experience at the end of it all. We then went to a black sand beach. It was again another beautiful coastal drive through Maui.

 Day 6– Spent the day at Mckena State Park. I got to lie in the shade under beautiful rainbow tropical trees and read for the day. It was like I died and went to heaven. I then went into Wailea to go shopping. Then I went star gazing. It was an incredible experience. I chased the sunset up the mountain and then watched it set over the clouds. At 10,000 feet up the skies were so clear. The stars shown brighter then I have ever seen them before. The moon was full, and allowed us to peer through the clouds and a beautiful night view of Kahlui. It was an experience I will never forget.

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Day 7– I spent my final hours in Hawaii in the Iao Valley. It is an easy, but an incredibly scenic hike. The entire trail through  the valley is 3/4 of mile. Great to do if you have little ones who are not up to doing a long hike. 

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Aloha!!!

 

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Aloha blogosphere!! I am currently writing to you from Hawaii, as I wait for Iselle to hit the coast of Maui. I have been here 48 hours, and already I am a completely different person. Much more mellow than when I arrived. Sunny skies and clear blue waters will do that to you.

My first day was spectacular. I took a morning swim, ate lunch on the south side of Maui at a local hot spot called Eskimo Candy. This place is known for it’s seafood chowder and ono fish, both I highly recommend.  I then spent the evening over in Lihaina taking in the beautiful scenery that royal Hawaiian families of old used to marvel at.

Stay tuned for trip and hurricane updates!