Come To My Senses: October 20

  • Sight: I got my girl back! The trainers all loved her and were sad to see her go. She rocked her obedience training and my walk through when I picked her up. She’s been near perfect on the several walks we’ve taken since bringing her home. But it ain’t all good news…
  • Sound: Who doesn’t love a good early 90’s pop song? I almost went with the New Found Glory cover because I’m a fan of the tempo (and pop punk, of course). But let’s go with the OG version.

    I don’t need to fall at your feet
    just ’cause you cut me to the bone.
    And I won’t miss the way that you kiss me.
    We were never carved in stone.

  • Taste: I skipped a Chick Fil A breakfast before the Clemson game because it was Friday. They lost. Call it superstitious but I’m eating CFA before every Clemson game from here on out. Lunch Roulette was Leroy Fox at the new location in South End. I love that place. In a rare display of domestication, I decided to try my hand at Blue Apron’s Fried Chicken & Kale Slaw recipe. It turned out really well, aside from the frustration of taking 45+ minutes to fix and less than 5 minutes to eat. This is why sandwiches are the best single guy meal. Our nerd gaming club crew hit up Blaze Pizza Thursday for our monthly lunch.
  • Feel: Confused. The bad news about Lucy is that the trainer told me to keep a close eye on her interactions with Harper because she was leery about who’s being the aggressor. Sure enough… Lucy has been tense around Harper and Harper has been aggressive about not backing down. So I don’t know what to do. I plan on asking the trainers about solutions. But I’m also worried that this just may be their dynamic, which would break my heart. I’m confused about feelings about a couple of girls… which is a pretty clear sign I need to take a step back and steer clear for the time being. Dating in 2017 is the worst.

I took today off, so the blog’s a little late. No Clemson game this weekend. But I’m also a little leery about going anywhere until I get the dog’s dynamic straightened out. So just me, the tense pups, and the TV all weekend. Have a good one!

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Come To My Senses: October 13

  • Sight: I was bored last Sunday night. I had played plenty of Destiny 2 and Cuphead earlier in the day, so I wasn’t feeling the video game itch. I’ve never been an NFL fan, even after living in the Panthers’ hometown the last 5 years, so I don’t pay much attention to football on Sundays. But I noticed that Houston was playing the night game and thought “why not?” Deshaun Watson (Clemson’s QB the last couple of years) has taken over their starting job and he’s blown up in the last couple of weeks. They lost the game but he went off and threw for 261 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and 31 rushing yards. A nice little side perk too is that 3 of the touchdowns were to Deandre Hopkins, another Clemson guy. Am I becoming a Houston Texans’ fan?
  • Sound: Last year, I saw Kacey Musgraves on Record Store Day at Lunchbox Records with… 200?… other people before seeing her that night on tour at Amos’ Southend. She’s sort of bucked the country music machine, socially, while being truer to the country genre than a lot of current day artists. This is my favorite song of hers. Because who doesn’t love a good “eff you” song?

    You heard from your friends
    that I’m doing okay
    And you’re thinking
    that maybe you made a mistake
    And you want me to know
    but I don’t wanna know
    how you’re feeling


  • Taste: Another Saturday, another Chick Fil A breakfast to will another Clemson win. And a stop at Cook Out for dinner to celebrate another win! I had a lunch date on Sunday at Paco’s Tacos. I wanted to try something new, so I originally went with a wood grilled chicken taco and an al pastor taco. But they let me know they changed their chicken tacos to dark meat instead of white meat. Uh. No thanks. The ol’ reliable chicken fried steak taco it is! Lunch Roulette was Green’s Lunch, so I actually got to walk there from the office. And… that’s it this week!
  • Feel: Somber. I like having a quieter house, as does Harper. And it’s good to see her back to being a little more playful. But I also miss the puppy-ness of Lucy bouncing around the house. Luckily, I get her back in a week. And hopefully, she’ll listen a bit better and calm down a little around Harper. But I’m ready for my pup to be home.

I get a weird Friday night Clemson game tonight against Syracuse. My brother and his family are crashing here tonight too, which will be fun. Outside of that? Nada. But I ain’t complaining about a quiet weekend. Saturday will be spent in front of the TV all. day. long. watching football!

P.S. Go Vols! And Cavs!

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Come To My Senses: October 6

  • Sight: I dropped Lucy off on Tuesday to go through obedience training in hopes it will help her calm down around Harper. On Wednesday, I started getting updates from the trainer’s Facebook page. It’s super cool to see her doing well but there’s also something really foreign about watching her progress, several miles down the road, without having anything to do with it. It made me feel good about the training I had tried doing on my own when I saw the update below though.
  • Sound: This song came up in my Spotify Time Capsule playlist this week and it just hit the right spot. I stand by the opinion that the 70’s is the best decade music’s ever had because of simple, great songs like this.

    Ooh-oo child
    Things are gonna get easier
    Ooh-oo child
    Things’ll get brighter


  • Taste: Had to hit up Chick Fil A on Saturday morning for my superstitious gameday breakfast meal (it worked. Clemson wrecked Virginia Tech). Sunday evening was Cook Out because I was over the dogs for the weekend. Lunch Roulette called an audible from Pike’s to Midwood Smokehouse. And I’m never passing up an opportunity for their bacon-wrapped jalapenos. Wednesday, I grabbed dinner with the neighbor at Mod Pizza. Let’s just say the service left a lot to be desired. But the pizza was decent. Thursday night was dinner in but I wanted to give a shout out to the steaks I made for Harper’s 7th birthday on Wednesday! It’s the Grand Chawhee’s birthday!
  • Feel: Disappointed. My 5K went well on Saturday (despite the course being 0.3 miles or so short). But my upper leg started feeling a little off. Then on Tuesday, I hopped on a treadmill for my 4.5 mile run and I definitely forced my way through it. And finally, last night, I skipped my 4.5 mile run altogether because inclines are super uncomfortable. So it’s time to give the body a little rest, cross my fingers that nothing’s wrong or hurt, and try to pick back up half marathon training in a week or so. I’m not missing my race in November!

The house has been quiet without Lucy. But hopefully everything works out in the long run. It’s homecoming weekend in Clemson, so you know where I’ll be! Enjoy your fall weekend!

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3rd Quarter Report – 2017

What a quarter it’s been…

I got a second dog. I started a new weekly blog format. I signed up for a half marathon. Football started. The second dog has gone crazy and is going to a 17-day obedience program on Tuesday.

Yet it feels like I was just sitting here, typing up last quarter’s entry. So how’d things go?

  • 15 Books:
    • 3Q projection – 11.25
    • 3Q actual – 10
    • It’s been a slow quarter, reading-wise. I read my momma’s Edisto Stranger and reread the first two books in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three. My momma’s book was good and interesting to watch her navigate the previous book’s twist. The Gunslinger was weird to read again after years and years. It’s not a very good book as a stand-alone story but sets up the rest of the books well. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to read it before the rest were out. It’ll be tricky to get through five books this quarter. I took a break from King and I’m about 100 pages into The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne. I stole it from my momma’s pile of books and she liked it but I can’t quite figure out if I do yet.
  • 365 Miles:
    • 3Q projection – 273.75
    • 3Q actual – 144.80
    • Whoa. I still may not get this one wrapped up since I’m still a good ways back from my projection. But I have killed this. I more than doubled my total miles at the half year mark. I guess signing up for a half marathon will do that for your motivation. I put in exactly 80 miles this quarter. I still have 107.2 miles in my training schedule, a 5K at Thanksgiving, and a 5K for the ACC Championship game. I need to average 2.45 miles a day from here until the end of the year to get to 365. So let’s see what I’ve got…
  • 4 House Projects:
    • 3Q projection – 3
    • 3Q actual – 4-ish
    • All posters are officially hung. I’ve decorated the stairway with my cross-country, Africa, Alaska, and Hawaii pictures. I picked out an entertainment center, successfully put it together, and moved my old TV stand upstairs. And finally, with my grandparents moving into an assisted living facility, I rescued the two twin beds my brother and I used to sleep in for one of my spare bedrooms when the nephews come visit. So let’s lump all of those into one house project. Also, if Lucy comes back obedient, calm, and controlled, I’m absolutely counting that as a project to improve my house given the fact that she just chewed the inside of a door on Friday night.
  • 83% LTV:
    • 3Q projection – 83.5%
    • 3Q actual – 82.0%
    • First, the good news. I’ve officially gone past my goal. If I stay on this pace, I should be down to 80.5% after my December payment, which gets me close to finally getting rid of my mortgage insurance. I should also have my bedroom and living room furniture paid off by December, which will be a nice chunk of change to get back every month. But the bad news is that this quarter has been an uphill climb to being a financial nightmare of a fourth quarter. I’ve added the bill for the entertainment center (12 month, 0% financing is a blessing, kids!). I will have a HUGE bill for Lucy’s training starting Tuesday (that’s fortunately spread over six months). I have my IPTAY dues in November (#firstworldproblems). And that doesn’t even count the bookshelf I want, the million fall birthdays in our family, and the income-suck that is Christmas. Sod for the backyard? Paint and supplies to paint my walls? A huge Charlotte skyline print for my living room? All pipe dreams at this point. I’ll have money again one day…
  • 1 Website:
    • 3Q projection – Who even knows at this point…
    • 3Q actual – … nope
    • Let’s put this one out if its misery. But with our football pool growing again this year, it needs to make its way online at some point. Both of my domains (jerdanfantasysports.com and tigerarchives.net) get renewed on 12/11 this year. So the dream is still alive.
  • 12,000 Gamerscore:
    • 3Q projection – 9,000
    • 3Q actual – 2,460
    • With the dog issues, I haven’t had time to just sit down and focus on a game with both of them out in the house. The structured running and football schedule get in the way too. But I have added 420 from Destiny 2. When Lucy’s gone, I’ll have to work with Harper every day, but it’ll also give me some time to finally sit down and play. But at this point, 3,000 is a realistic goal. Maybe. It’s ironic that the older you get, the more disposable income you seem to have access to, but the less time you have to actually enjoy it.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of this quarter. I met my house projects goal. I cleared my financial goal. I made an unscheduled HUGE dent into my running deficit. Now I just need to get through a couple more books and I’ll be good to go.

Hope your goals are still within reach for the year! This time next go ’round, we’ll be planning for a new year’s batch of goals!

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Come To My Senses: September 29

I’ve got a neighborhood 5K tomorrow, so it’ll be good to see how helpful my half-marathon training has been. Then I’m staying put in Charlotte for the first weekend in awhile, which will be nice. My boys are in Blacksburg this weekend, so Go Tigers! A Hokie isn’t even a real thing.

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Come To My Senses: September 22

  • Sight: We watched Clemson D.E.S.T.R.O.Y. Louisville this past weekend. Like… it wasn’t even close. It was 33-7 going into the 4th quarter when Clemson bailed on the starters. I had no idea our team had this in them this year. It may be time to start saving for another playoff run? I’ve never been to New Orleans or Pasadena!
  • Sound: Was on a big Paramore kick this week at work on the iPod. Riot! came at both a good and sad time in my life back in 2007 [which it just hit me… was 10 years ago?!?]. So my mind’s been there lately…

    And when it rains…
    Will you always find an escape?
    Just running away…
    From all of the ones who love you.
    From everything.

  • Taste: Friday lunch was Green’s Lunch since I was running late and didn’t have time to fix lunch. So cheeseburger, hot dog, fries, and a Cheerwine it was! Friday night was Marko’s with the brother. It was really good to just chat with him about life since we don’t do that nearly enough. Saturday was FJ’s 4th birthday party. And what do middle class white people love eating at large gatherings? That’s right. A Chick Fil A tray! Sunday was Mac’s Speed Shop with the mom and step dad since they helped bring some furniture up for a spare bedroom. Lunch Roulette was Pollo Royal since the original spin of the wheel landed on a restaurant that’s closed. Wednesday dinner was McDonalds because I simply didn’t give AF. I feel like I’ve actually done fairly well this week, compared to most others.
  • Feel: Desperate and exhausted. Lucy isn’t the same dog anymore. My cuddly puppy who liked to do her morning stretches across my chest is gone. Something happened Sunday that caused her to snap and she’s been constantly attacking Harper. Like… hackles raised, snarling teeth, and biting. It’s been at least a couple of times a day, every day. You can cut the tension with a knife in my house this week. And it’s incredibly tiring. The worst part is that I can’t narrow down what it is. Fortunately, last night was a pretty good night [knock on wood] and I only had to pull them apart once. I’ve got an in-home consultation with a trainer on Sunday afternoon. I’ve got another consultation on the phone with another trainer on Monday. And another in-home consultation with another trainer scheduled for 10/3 because God forbid you need to expedite some training. They’re all insane amounts of money. But I’m also tired of Harper feeling like she can’t move around the house and Lucy randomly flying off the handle. I just want my sweet, playful puppy back 😦

Heading to Clemson for the game this weekend. Then back to get in a 6 mile run (this is getting daunting…) on Sunday. And finally, I’m hoping I get some good news with a trainer in the afternoon. Enjoy your weekend, Internet people.

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Come To My Senses: September 15

  • Sight: This weekend, I got to see my favorite fake cousin! I spent the afternoon in Clemson at my dad’s place. I got to visit with the faker, her husband, my nephews (what up, FJ & DJ! Even though you’re too young to read this), my dad, and step mom. We had chatted, had lunch, and played outside with the kids because the weather was perfect. Then the cousin, the husband, and I met up with S&T on campus for the Clemson/Auburn game. It wasn’t pretty but fortunately, Clemson pulled out the win 14-6. Such a great day!
  • Sound: This week calls for a trip way back to 2001 in my pop punk archives

    So is that what you call a getaway?
    Tell me what you got away with.
    ‘Cause I’ve seen more spine in jellyfish.
    I’ve seen more guts in eleven-year-old kids.
    Have another drink and drive yourself home.
    I hope there’s ice on all the roads.
    And you can think of me when you forget your seatbelt,
    and again when your head goes through the windshield.

  • Taste: I was doing well over the weekend until the Auburn game put me on the road and I didn’t get home until 3am Sunday morning. So I stopped at Wendy’s to not crash and die in the wee hours of the morning. Spicy chicken sandwich, all day son! Monday’s lunch was two pepperoni slices at Mellow Mushroom with the neighbor/coworker. Lunch Roulette on Tuesday was Kickstand Burger. I gave the Fender Bender burger a shot. And any place with tater tots is okay in my book! Wednesday dinner was the regular Cook Out run because it was a shitty day and I was giving the middle finger to the world. Thursday, I hopped back on the “make what I eat” bandwagon.
  • Feel: Lonely about covers it. After the good Saturday, things kind of spiraled out of control. The crush hit a seemingly final dead end after being pretty crummy in an earlier conversation. A disagreement with a good friend got out of hand and ended on a bad note. Another friend tried to lend a hand but it was pushing the wrong buttons so it didn’t help. I didn’t get a chance to take either pup to the park because it was rainy Monday and I wasted time arguing Wednesday. Even both of my weekday 3.5 mile runs were tough. It’s just been a tricky week to navigate solo.

I get a break from the trips to Clemson this weekend but I’m still on the road. This time, to Chapin for FJ the nephew’s 4th birthday party. Lucy will be pumped for all the new people she’ll get to try and become friends with.

  • Go Tigers (of the Clemson variety, of course)!
  • Go Wildcats!
  • Go Monarchs (At this point, I immaturely and unrealistically hope North Carolina loses every game they play this season)!
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