Thursday, April 21, 2011

8 weeks, 8 screws, 1 plate and 1 surgery later

I realized the following:

1) I have an amazing wife.  She was so patient throughout this whole debacle.  For the first few weeks I was laid up, she did everything.  She was responsible for the cooking, cleaning, dog, laundry, shopping, etc.  She was simply amazing.  And I felt awful that she did everything.  Today, she stayed home sick and I feel terrible that she doesn't feel good.  I wanted to stay home and take care of her but I figured that I would just end up annoying her more than anything.  Not only did she take care of me but she also; worked out everyday, trained someone twice a week, helped plan a wedding shower and bachelorette party, and worked full time.  She is simply amazing and I feel like I don't tell her that enough.

2)  Dogs really are Man's Best Friend.  Peyton, my dog, absolutely loved the fact that I was home, on the couch, for 3 weeks.  He was by my side everyday, watching TV and taking naps.  He is a good friend.  I never thought I would like a little lap dog, but he is just so awesome that I can't help but love him.

3)  I miss running.  Yes, I said it.  I actually miss running.  Before I broke my leg, I was running on the treadmill a few times a week.  I bought new running shoes the week before I got hurt and they have sat in my room for 2 months now.  I never thought I would like running, at all.  I always saw running as a punishment, so I avoided it like the plague.  Now, I actually enjoy throwing a movie on and running for a little while.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not running marathons, but I have found that it breaks up the repetitiveness of weight training.  Soon enough, I will be back on.

4) I miss walking.  Em and I used to go on walks, almost every night, taking Peyton with us.  We used to go for short walks in the winter and longer walks in the summer.  Can't wait to do that again.  Em has expressed the same feeling!

I might realize more later, and I will post it when it happens....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is happening to America?

One of my favorite blogs,, recently posted an interestingly titled article regarding the current health of the youth of America.  In his article, he posted a video about about a 13 year old kid (from Detroit, I think) that got in trouble in school.

According to the video, the kid was running in the halls and slamming lockers.  He got caught and had the choice to either receive detention or do pushups.  The principle stated that he did approximately 60 pushes, completing 3 sets of 20.  His mother states that he did 100.  Either way, in my opinion, that's not a big deal.  Especially given the fact that he did 3 sets, not 60 straight.

After doing the pushups, apprently the kid started to experience pain in his arm and he was hospitalized with Rhabdomyolysis, or the breakdown of muscles due to over-exhaustion.  Sure, I feel bad that the kid is in the hospital, but this is ridiculous.  60 pushups and you end up in the hospital.  I am with Zach on this one, I think the youth of America is in serious trouble.

I do remember, towards the end of high school, gym slowly becoming a joke, with most of us seniors uninterested in getting sweaty during the day.  But I remember gym as a child being the best part of any day.  Dodgeball, pin dodge, running, floor hockey.  We never danced.  We did the Presidentail Fitness Test every year, sometimes embarassing, but we still did it. 

Today, kids don't throw balls at each other.  They don't play tag because someone got slapped to hard.  Parents are complaining that their children are tired from running in class.  Here's an idea:  Shut Off the PS3 and send the kids outside.

I bet half these kids don't even have "play clothes".  Remember those?

Watch this video: and let me know what you think.

The mother is so upset by the fact that her son had to do this.  He's 13, he should be able to do pushups.  If not, guess what, it's your fault!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Little East?

Humble Pie Anyone??? All year long, I have believed that the Big East is, far and away, the best conference in college basketball today.  But after the first 2 rounds of the Big Dance, I am truly eating humble pie.  With 11 teams going into the Dance and only 2 going to the Sweet 16, I am left wondering if all season was "hype" or if the 9 (elimintated) teams ran into bad matchups???

At this point in the tourney, the Moutain West has just as many teams left as the Little East does.  Luckily, Marquette played Syracuse in the round of 32, or we could be looking at one Little East team left in the Sweet 16.  How could this happen?

Well let's look at some of the matchups.  First round, Nova vs. George Mason.  George Mason was a Cinderella team a few years ago, and hales from the Colonial Athletic Association, which features teams like VCU ('Rella team of this year?) and Old Dominion (bubble team).  Nova was tanking toward the end of the season (see post below) and seemed to be losing the steam that they had gained during great Big East regular season play.

West Virginia vs. Kentucky.  Ok, so Kentucky was a Final Four team last year (I know, WV was also) with a great coach in Calipari.  West Virginia was the 6th ranked BE team going in to the tourney at the Garden and they got a 4 seed in the tourney.  This was a great game, but I think everyone knew, going into this game, that Kentucky was the better team.

G'Town vs. VCU.  VCU is the 'Rella team this year, hands down.  The CAA is an overlooked conference that causes matchup problems, and most of the time, teams overlook these smaller, "inferior" schools.  George Mason, Old Dominion and, now, VCU would argue against that "inferior" lable.  VCU loses in the Elite 8 against a strong Kansas team and validates a great season.

UCONN vs. Cincy....Much like Cuse vs. Marquette, it's a good thing that 2 Big East teams played each other here, or we might be looking at 1 BE team in the Sweet 16.  Or could we?  More on that later.  Not much to say here.  UCONN was hot going in and Cincy was cold.  UCONN in the Final Four and could possibly upset Duke (hopefully) to get into the 'Ship.

Pitt vs. Butler.  Ok, Butler was one shot away from an OT session in the 'Ship last year.  Nough said.

St. John's vs. Zaga.  This one surprised me.  St. John's was playing great and everyone said that they would be a tough matchup.  But why, oh why, did I not see Zaga winning.  They always play great in the tourney.  Every year.  I guess I was blinded by the hype.

Louisville vs. Moorehead St.  To the Mountain West conference, congratulations are in order.  Moorehead St had one of the best big men in the tourney (by far the best rebounder) and you could see that in the Richmond game.  Faried had 12 points and 17  rebounds against 'Ville, giving Moorehead a 6 bound advantage, overall in that game.  A 1 point game with a 6 rebound advantage.  I'll take the rebounding edge all day to win.

Notre Dame vs. Florida State.  Another shocker, but a lot of people were saying, before the tourney, that Florida State was going to cause problems for a lot of teams.  St. shot 72%, 18-25, from the stripe and enjoyed a slight edge on the boards (3).  Pair that with 12-19 from the strip for ND and 30% shooting from the field and you can see that St. just outplayed ND.  Notre Dame also shot too much from the outside and was a putrid 23.3% from 3 point land.  Suprising?  Look at the stats.
Cuse vs. Marquette.  We let that one slip.  Jardine was non-existent, (weird) but so was Jackson.  That part shocked me.  Final game of a good career (I think he may get drafted in the 2nd round) and you aren't calling for the ball every possession in the second half?  Dion Waters played great.  But in order for us to take that next step, we need Triche to step up, Jardine to dish more and shoot less and Melo is going to have to come a long way before next year, because we are losing a very good big man in Jackson.  Oh well, another disappointment for Cuse fans this year.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What a great trip (Pun intended...)

Cuse 69/Nova 64....

What a great game.....what a great trip....

AJ and I traveled down to Philly a couple of weekends ago to watch Cuse play Nova on Big Monday on ESPN....We stayed with a buddy of mine for a couple of nights and had a blast.  The game was great.  Cuse lead most of the game and squeaked out a W with some clutch foul shooting and some big shots, even by Scoop Jardine, who I still dislike.  The best part about the game was watching Mike cringe as his alma mater lost another Big East game.  So much fun. 
Happy Cuse Fan
Sad Nova Fan!!!

So after the game, we all went out to a local place that was in the Philly sports complex to celebrate the victory.  That place was awesome.  And let me tell you, Cuse fans dominated it.  We were everywhere.  I got to chat with some guy that played cuse football with Donovan and Marvin Harrison, which was pretty cool.  Then the dance off started between Mike and Josh.  Best thing I have seen at the bar in a long time.  It was straight out of a movie.  The crowd circled around the two like it was "Step Up 4: The Battle for Big East Supremacy" with Josh repping Cuse and Mike repping Nova.  Cuse dominated that performance as well, considering Mike fell a few times, but you can't boo the effort.

Then the craziness started happening.  We left and tried finding a cab and it started snowing bad.  So we braved the weather and made our way to Chicken and Pete (or whatever it's called).  Cab company said it would take an hour due to the weather (grow up people).  Soooo we hoofed it to another place and I decided that waiting the hour would be fine.  Except I saw a cab coming down the road and decided to go out and get it. little slip off the curb and broke my fibula and dislocated my ankle.  I mean really, it was sideways.  Like 90 degrees in the wrong direction. 

Yeah, my shin is straight in this pic, but as you can see, the foot is a little sideways. 

So after the doc reset the ankle and put a splint on, we went home.  AJ and I got up the next morning and went home and I scheduled an appointment to have an orthopedist look at my leg.

Surgery was the answer.  A plate and a couple of screws later and here I am.  Laid up for a couple of weeks before I get a walking boot and return to work.

What a great trip.  Would I do it again?  Without the broken leg I would in a heartbeat.   Still was a blast

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


....we all yelled as Emily slowly walked in the door of our apartment, with Peyton jumping at her feet saying Hello.  Emily was surprised but seemed to be more in a daze by all the people and food that was now in our apartment...

3 weeks earlier...
I came up with the brilliant idea of throwing Emily a surprise party for her birthday on February 11th.  I thought it might be fun to do a theme party and decided on the idea of "Casino Night".  Games, food, friends...sounds like a great time.

Let me tell you one thing.  Planning a surprise party is HARD WORK!!!  Don't get me wrong, I had a blast doing it, but it was tough. 

So I started planning, looking on sites for decorations and theme party ideas.  I found great stuff, but I wanted to keep the budget under control.  So I found a blackjack mat, craps mat and a bunch of wall decorations to use throughout the apartment.  Very cool.  We didn't use the craps mat (lack of tables) but it is something I will keep for the future.  I also found some cool party favors, including $ sign beaded necklaces, poker chip keychains and giant bling $ sign chains for Emily and myself.  Of course, all of this stuff had to be delivered to a co-workers house, so Emily did not suspect anything. 

Another point....It is hard to plan a surprise party at your house when the person DOES NOT LEAVE!!!

Oh well.  I started working on things at work, including the welcome sign, fabricated to look like the Welcome to Las Vegas sign...turned out pretty cool.  Then I started to create the guest list and steal phone numbers from Emily's phone when she wasn't looking.  All in all, we had about 25 people there, including family and friends who we have not hung out with in awhile.

Day Of...
So I took a half day on Friday, the 11th, to prep the apartment for the party.  Little did I know that I wouldn't sit down until 11 pm.  I was exhausted.  So I left work and immediately went to several stores to get the needed supplies.  I got home about 1 o'clock and started cleaning the house.  I moved most of the stuff to the basement or in our room so we looked somewhat civilized.  Then Timmy showed up around 3 and helped me move the big stuff around.  Em's dad and aunt showed up and helped me even more, which I really needed (apparently, haha). 

About 5 o'clock, I decided I better start cooking.  I made quesadillas, mini paninis, taco dip, pizza, cheese and crackers, etc.  The paninis and quesadillas took forever, but I will say that our George Foreman was worth it's weight in gold.  I finally finished cleaning the kitchen and cooking around 6:50.  Finally showered and ready, I took a step back and looked around and realized....Wow, I did it!!!  Not to mention that the food was delicious and everything was hot at the same time (very tough to do).

Party was great.  Lot of fun playing blackjack and pong.  Betting chips and necklaces and Macy's cards (pong game that was High Roller).  People had a blast (so they told me, might be lying).  Everyone left by 1 and I was beat.  So much fun though and Em had a blast.

I want to thank:
-Jenn for the cake
-Tim, Tom and Auntie for helping set up
-Don and Chese for artichoke dip (great!!!)
-Margaret for fruit)
-Everyone for coming

Here's some pics:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Thoughts

Ok, so the Super Bowl is over, meaning that football is over for the season.  Yes, wives, you get your husband's back for 7 more months, so update that Honey Do list.  But don't fret gentlemen, the Draft is in stay tuned...

My thoughts on the Super Bowl.  And these are thoughts on the day, not just the game.

1)  The Steelers LOST!!!!  The last couple of years have been tough to watch, with my Colts losing last year and the Steelers winnning the year before.  I have come to realize that I truly dislike the Steelers.  There is just something about that team.  I can't tell if it is Roethlisberger or the fact that they always seem to be good, or the fact that they always manage to beat my Colts.  I was very happy after that 4th down incompletion yesterday.  With 2 minutes left, Roethlisberger is one of the best in the game, and all I could think was "Packers 31-Steelers 32".  They always seem to manage to pull out those games and that is what makes them a great team.  But not last night.  The Packers defense played great throughout the game, defining the old addage "Bend, Don't Break". Congrats to the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.  There is a 41 year old, bitter Brett Favre sitting in Mississippi cursing the Packers.  HAHA!

2)  I eat way to much food on Super Bowl Sunday.  We went to a friends house last night and the food was delicious, but MAN!  They had chips, dips, pizza, cookies, chili, veggies (thank goodness), cheese, crackers.  What a great spread, but wow, was I feeling a little tired and stuffed on the ride home last night.  They always say moderation is the key to healthy living, but Super Bowl Sunday defines glutony.  Maybe I am getting old, but I just can't eat like I used to.

3)  Speaking of getting old, I have come to realize that I may not be the most social Super Bowl Sunday person out there.  I think I would much rather sit in my own house and watch the game in my sweats with my dog.  Not that I didn't have fun last night at our friend's house, but driving home, I just kept thinking "Can't wait to get home".  The game is Sunday evening, lasts until at least 10 and you feel like you can't leave the TV just in case of a legendary commercial or some sort of wardrobe malfunction.  That's a lot of pressure.  You can't miss history.  Can you?  Also, I love my wife.  I love the fact that she puts in the effort to care about the Super Bowl, because she knows that she canNOT watch anything else on the TV with me in the room for those 4 hours.  Bless her heart, she fell asleep last night in the 4th quarter and woke up to see the Packers win and said "Oh they won, good for them!"  How great is she?  So, with that said, I may never leave my home again on Super Bowl Sunday.  Feel free to come over.  That is an open invitation.

So, that's what I think.....Go Colts, Go Bills

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Looking Back at '10

Looking back at 2010, I can only say "Wow".  That had to be the fastest year of my life.  So much happened and it actually was the most important year of my life, thus far, but it just seemed to fly by.  Emily finally finished school and we got married in September.  Tim and Laura had a baby and Mel and Cliff are finally getting ready to move back to New York and be closer to the family.  We had great times with friends and family.  So what did you do Jon, you might ask?  Well sit right down and let's go for a little ride through 2010:
March 2010:  Disney World!!! Our First Vacation Together!
The whole Stalica crew (all 8 of us) decided to go to the wonderful, magical world of Disney in March, thinking, maybe, it would be nice out.  YEAH RIGHT!!!  It didn't get over 65 the whole week.  Not that I am complaining or anything, but really???
We decided that week that we would do all the parks, which in hindsight, may have been a mistake, because we were all exhausted by the end.  When we arrived, we fell in love with the complex (thanks Mel and Cliff).  It was huge, with big rooms, a lake, several hot tubs and a golf course.  Our plan was to do Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, in that order.
Animal Kingdom:  I really appreciated Animal Kingdom, as I have always wanted to go on a Safari.  That is, by far, the coolest part of the park.  You ride around in a truck and see all these live animals in a "natural" habitat.  The ride was pretty long too, at least 45 minutes.  There were lions, giraffes, elephants, basically all the cool animals you always want to see.
Epcot: Some of the best rides in the Disney complex.  The virtual stuff was awesome.  There was the virtual space shuttle launch, which pushes your chest through your back, which is AWESOME!!  You can also design your own rollercoaster and ride it in this virtual reality machine.  Those were very cool.  We did ride space mountain, which was pretty cool, but there are better coasters out there.  Then it was on to Beers of the World.  Of course that ended up with some dancing in the streets and some beret wearing.  And also a movie starring Martin Short.  Crazy right?
Hollywood Studios: Best coasters of the complex.  The Tower of Terror was excellent, and we lucked out because there were very few people so we could do the ride, then go get right back in line.  Longest wait was probably 10 minutes.  The Aerosmith ride had the best take off and was very cool.  There are some great pics of Karen and Mel during take off.  HAHA!!  The family also watched a very cool stunt show that involved drifting cars and different action sequences.  I think that scene was portrayed in the movie Knight and Day.  Pretty cool.  I would have to say that Hollywood Studios was the best park, overall.
Magic Kingdom: For kids.  Definitely for kids.  Some cool rides, but it was the busiest park with the fewest attractions for grown ups.  Still pretty cool to see all that stuff I remember from when I was a kid.
Overall: What a great vacation!!!  We had a lot of fun and we were busy throughout the entire week.  By the end, we were all exhausted and ready to come home and relax a little bit.  I would go back to Disney when I have a family, but I will probably skip it on the next few vacations.

July 2010: Brad Paisley Concert
I have determined that Emily and I are concert goers.  That is our thing.  Some people like to hike, some like to play tennis, some like to go antiquing.  We are concert goers.  We have been to several.  This year, we went to see Brad Paisley as a wedding present from Emily's friend.  Usually, we sit in the lawn seats of Darien but this time we were under the awning.  What an experience!  I never thought it would make a big difference but with Brad Paisley, the show is just so much more entertaining up close.  At one point, he walked down into the crowd and played on a make shift stage with people crowded around him, about 2 rows from us.  Very cool.  That has to be the best concert I have ever been too.

July 2010: Baby Becca is born!
What a beautiful baby girl!! 

August 2010: Picton Party
Very low key this year.  Emily and I took it a little bit easier than we have in past years.  We still had a blast.  I will post pics soon.  I would say there was probably 300 people there throughout the day.  We rode over on Chris' boat with him and Missy.  Shaggy rocked out as usual.  I guess we might be getting old, or maybe it's because we didn't bring any friends this year.  Maybe 2011 will be different????

August 2010: Emily finished school!!!! She also got a great job!!!  We are growing up!!!

September 2010: Our Big Day!
See my various posts on this!

November/December 2010: Emily passed her test!  Chris also proposed to Missy!!!

As you can see, 2010 was a big year for Emily and I.  A lot of other things happened throughout the year, but I hit the big ones.  I can't wait to see what 2011 brings me.  So far we have 3 weddings (I'm in all 3), we are going to buy a house and I will be traveling for work.  Should be an interesting year!!!