Party Barge & Car Surfing In Daytona Beach (Memoir)

It was 1986. I was a senior in High School, and somehow I ended up with a group of guys at school sanding down an old short school bus. Two of them (brothers) had gotten the bus as a Spring Break present from their Dad. We gutted the thing, painted it black, and I painted, “Party Barge” on the sides. I also painted “Party Barge” on the little flip-out stop sign. It was no longer the iconic red and white flashing stop sign; it was now the solid black with gold Def Leppard-esque lettering “Party Barge” on it.

SO cool.

Surprisingly, my parents said I could go. However, like all the times before when I really wanted to do something, the night before they said I couldn’t go. They got mad because the boy’s father wanted them to sign a liability waiver for me to be in the Party Barge during spring break.

I don’t remember having a fit, but I do remember being incredibly angry. My parents relented at the last-minute (there is a lot to be written about that at a later date) and the next day the “Party Barge” crew headed to Pensacola.

Pensacola was boring. We thought MTV was there. They weren’t. However, we quickly traveled a million more miles to Daytona Beach where the MTV Spring Fest was actually happening.

It was wild.

I will never forget pulling up on the beach where there were practically naked young adults and crazy old people … EVERYWHERE! I was mesmerized.

My parents weren’t. I called them … eventually … to tell them we left Pensacola and were now in Daytona. To describe them as “not happy” is an understatement.

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Exciting New Book Projects (Updates and Personal Announcement)

Lately I have helped other friends with their books and that has sparked a new personal book project! I have been so excited it has been hard to sleep the past couple of nights. :)

If you are someone I am connected with on social media, you might have seen various posts lately about how I have the honor of working with Dr. Kathy Koch as she writes her new book “Screens And Teens: Connecting With Our Kids In A Wireless World.” So far I have done background research and given feedback on what she is writing as she writes it.

So fun.

This comes on the heels of doing the same type of content/writing feedback for another friend’s memoir, Jennifer Allison (aka The Rambunctious Kid.)

Seriously, I am loving these kind of projects.  While I haven’t been a part of his writing process, I am of course very excited for Alan Chambers who has worked very hard on his new book that is due out next year.

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Over 50 Pounds Down And No Looking Back! (Health & Fitness Update)

Over 50 pounds down! I am so excited … had to do a video. :)

 

Father’s Day 2014

This morning I posted a status update that sums up my feelings for Father’s Day this year pretty well, and I embed that here in the post below. I also had a fun time hanging out with Alan, Leslie, Nate, Sarah, DJ, Leslie’s Mom Sue, all the kiddos. It was a fun cookout and of course everything was delicious; lots of good stories and laughing. I hope you had a great day too.

Birthday Bloat BeGone! 6 Lbs. Down! (H & F Update)

As of today I weighed in for Weight Watchers (WW) at 232.2:

  • May 14, 2013: Was at 270 … total net loss to date, 37.8 pounds
  • Feb. 22, 2014: Weighed 228.4 after being on WW for six months and quitting after that weigh-in … today I am up 3.8 lbs
  • May 17, 2014 (Rejoined WW ): Weighed 238.2lost this week, 6 pounds!

I am so seriously stoked! Birthday Bloat BeGone! This is a great start to my “fresh start” with Weight Watchers.

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Health & Fitness Update: Burn, Burn, … BURN!

My weight is exactly the same this week as it was last week. Not surprising because I ate like a #HeftaRanda Wednesday. I should know better. Actually I do know better, and did it anyway. I needed carb therapy so I bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream. Within the day … completely gone.

*poof* goes the Ben & Jerry’s.

Ok… I lied about the “within a day” part. It was within an hour 30 minutes. Honestly, it barely made it home. It wouldn’t have made it home if I had a spoon in the car. It definitely didn’t make it into a bowl once I got home. It was a direct from the carton shoveling action. I am spending a lot of time on this aren’t I? ::: raising my plump righteous fist of anger ::: Ben & Jerry’s!!! Why can’t I quit you!?

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Mike Had Big Hair & Heels, I Miss That Guy

This is the house I lived in for about 18 months. I rented a couch, not a room, for $40 a week most of that time. I was there from the Spring of 1988 till the fall of 1989 and most of it was a blur.

I waited tables to earn enough money to party, partied till I was out of money, slept in someone else’s bed or on my $40 a week couch … mostly the couch, Then I would wake up in time to go back to waiting tables and repeat the cycle for a year and a half.

During that time I drank 5 out of 7 days a week, did more drugs than I ever thought I would. Especially after I pledged to never do any drugs my freshman year in high school. I was also involved in a very abusive relationship.

It was during that time I did my share of terrible things to make ends meet, to get drugs … to be a part, to appease my partner … it wasn’t just a blur … it was a dark blur.

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A Father’s Dance, A Son’s Joy

This kid is cute. I mean … just cute as a button. His name is Jude. He has sandy blond hair and he loves worship time.

Jude and his parents always sat up front at church because Jude loves to dance around or jump in place. Of course, as little boys are want to do, he likes to run around a bit too. Jude has also been seen with his toy guitar in tow to play along with the band on a few occasions.

I told you … the kid is cute!

The cool thing about Jude is he likes to mix it up … he’s a squirmer. Tina is very good at giving Jude some freedom but is quite the Jude wrangler sometimes. She loves her son. You can tell.

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A Bride’s Song, A Bridegroom’s Love

marriageforever12She is a petite blond with an incredible singing voice. I’ve known her for about eight years and have been in a life-group at church with her and her husband almost that whole time.

They are a wonderful, and oftentimes hilarious, couple.

Yesterday at church she led out on one of the songs in the worship set. As a friend, I was blessed to see her step up to the plate and knock it out of the park! She doesn’t lead out on songs often so it was fun to see her “soar” with the music.

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