Come To My Senses: December 11

  • Sight: Monday night, I finally got to see my favorite UK band, As It Is. I missed the first opener. Then I caught the last few songs from Chapel, who turned out to be really good. Check out Caught Up. Or just wait until I add it to the next section in a few weeks. Then As It Is crushed it. And finally Waterparks. I’d never heard of them but all the little kids were PUMPED to see them. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a crowd prop up a band like that and it was amazing. The lead’s got a silly ADHD Millennial personality but he crushed the songs. It’s fun seeing someone operate who’s just really good at what they do. Lots of respect for them.

    A night out with @chapelusa, @asitisofficial, & @waterparks

    A post shared by Matt (@clemsonnanu) on

  • Sound: BRAND NEW MARIANAS TRENCH MUSIC! Completely dropped in my lap on Thursday night. Everything about this is what I need right now. I wish I could fully convey how excited this makes me.

    Meant to be or maybe just a dangerous fantasy
    But before the fall you were always real to me
    And after me, comes to you so easily, easy
    But loving you just sticks to me

  • Taste: So many places since the last entry. Grabbed some pizza with KB at Librettos last week. Pre-ACC Championship Game dinner with the family was JJ’s Redhots, of course. Lunch Roulette took us to Fran’s Filling Station. And crushed some appetizers with KB at Leroy Fox, where I later regretted not ordering a side of mac & cheese. Because that shit is the best.
  • Feel: Christmas-y. I have my first real tree in years and years. Lucy finally figured out she can drink from the base and nibble on the lower branches. It snowed Saturday morning! Then Saturday afternoon was deemed to be Christmaspalooza 2017. First stop was Charlotte’s Uptown Christmas Village. It was a little sparse though. Next on the list was Olde Meck’s Christmas Market. Way more people and vendors. I almost snagged a David French print for the house but can’t figure out what wall is small enough to make it work. Finally, Carowind’s WinterFest was on the agenda but got scrapped for another time. The pictures remind me of Riverbanks’ Lights Before Christmas, which makes me nostalgic for home.

Almost a month since my last entry? Whoops! It’s been a needed break though. And I’ve got a work trip this Thursday/Friday, so you get an early entry! I’ll let you know how Detroit goes next week.

Posted in Come To My Senses | 3 Comments

Come To My Senses: November 17

  • Sight: My brother has championed the show Sons of Anarchy since it originally aired in 2008. This past weekend, I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s only 7 seasons (92 episodes), so it shouldn’t be that big of an effort to slowly chip away. Currently, I’m through the first season and halfway into the second. The production value seems a little cheesy in spots but it’s entertaining enough. My brother promises the intensity ramps up, so here’s to trusting family!
  • Sound: I REALLY wanted to post the new single from Garth Brooks (Ask Me How I Know… check it out) but it doesn’t look like he posts his songs online (good for him to stick to his guns). So let’s go in the completely opposite direction with All Time Low because catchy pop-punk is in my wheelhouse.

    When it hurts, it hurts.
    You wonder if it’s worth it.
    But when it works, it works.
    When it’s broke, it’s perfect.

  • Taste: Nothing crazy this week. Lunch Roulette took us to Pinky’s Westside Grill. The food’s always decent. And it’s a super eclectic place. But I feel like the service leaves a lot to be desired every time I go.
  • Feel: Broken. I ran my first half marathon last Saturday! It was really hard but incredibly satisfying. The goal was 2:30:00 and I squeaked under in 2:28:48. The only problem is that I’m not sure my body was ready for that kind of pounding. My knee is still giving me fits going up and down stairs (The hypochondriac in me says I’ve torn or badly strained a ligament. The stubborn in me needs to finish my Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving and ACC Mascot 5K on December 2nd before getting it checked out). My foot started hurting late Wednesday night. My thighs and calves are still pretty sore. And yet… I still sort of want to sign up again next year.

I took a break for the big 3-5 birthday. Then another break for my half marathon weekend. But I’m back! Just in time for the last Clemson home game and a short week for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your weekend!

Posted in Come To My Senses | 2 Comments

Come To My Senses: October 27

  • Sight: I read this earlier in the week in the book I’m reading…

    I thought about the times I felt happy because of someone I liked, or more appropriately, lusted after. If that someone seemed to like me, I would be ecstatic. The problem with that paradigm was that if my happiness depended on a man, what happened when the man went away? […] I had been like a rat in a cage who got drugs when she pressed a lever – pleasure, repeat. Pleasure, repeat, until she ignored the food lever entirely and starved to death.

    And it sent me down a rabbit hole. Things I need to change about myself. Things I need to change about relationships I have. Things I need to change about relationships I want. It’s been an introspective week. And a very humbling one.

  • Sound: I leave country music on during the day for the pups. I came home to Lee Brice earlier this week and had forgotten all about this song. Also, shout out to fellow Clemson alumnus!

    I am insensitive
    I have a tendency
    to pay more attention to the things that I need

  • Taste: No lunch roulette this week because of work meetings. It would have been Smashburger, so I’m okay missing that one. Especially with a lunch deuxlette on deck later today for JJ’s Redhots. Nothing too crazy this week though. I’ve fallen back into my “fried egg sandwiches for dinner every night” routine.
  • Feel: Ambitious. I’m absolutely in love with the book I’m reading right now – Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts. I’m a fiction kinda guy. Nonfiction books seem to drag and put me to sleep, no matter the topic. But for some reason, outdoor/hiking memoirs flat out speak to me. Into Thin Air. A Long Trek Home. Hiking Through. Wild. I could go on and on. They’re inspiring to me. They make me want to hike the Appalachian Trail, go on another cross-country trip, branch out, challenge myself. So I’ve been kicking around the idea of outlining a book about my trip around the country in 2010. I just need to get out of my own way and do it.

I’m mentally exhausted. Show yourself out if you don’t mind 🙂

Posted in Come To My Senses | 1 Comment

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!

Posted in Come To My Senses | 5 Comments

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!

Posted in Come To My Senses | 2 Comments

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!

Posted in Come To My Senses | 2 Comments

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 ( and 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!

Posted in Resolutions | 1 Comment