Monday, November 20, 2017

1999: More Confidence and Enthusiasm

As I continue to grieve my friend Chris Farmer and come off of another great WU Homecoming, I think of the memories and people that made my WU experience, and 1999, so great. 

Farmer may be the subject of focus and the springboard. However, many great things continued to happen after that great summer of 1999.

My confidence with the ladies was finally growing. I was in a better place where I could filter the BS and be around those that always showed me love. The music and movies were great during that time also. It seemed to be a great time of unity, perhaps because many folks were concerned about Y2K.

I remember when Farmer and I were both RAs and we had to be on a committee together.  He called me with enthusiasm when I got to be on the Dining Services Advisory Board (yeah I didn't play about food then either).

Going to meetings with him were life. He would made serious suggestions but would be so comical in his delivery. It was honestly such easy work since we had meetings during lunch and no outside work was required. 

I also saw him frequently as he would come over to Richardson Hall and see me and other RAs he was friends with. It's still funny to this day the reaction he gave when his then girlfriend (future wife) became an RA and got her hall assignment. She was assigned to Margaret Nance, the all women's hall that didn't allow any type of male visitation.  Me: Well Farmer you do have your own room man. Farmer: Yeah Drew but my room gets old!

My enthusiastic and comical side came to the forefront that year. WU fam, you can thank Farmer for that.

It was good to have such a memorable year, and share it with a memorable guy.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

1999: When I Learned How To Be A Friend

Make no mistake I had friends and had quite a journey leading to 1999. There's more on But meeting/hearing a special dude next door changed it all. 

This was actually in 1997 when Chris Farmer was my next door neighbor in Richardson Hall.  I never thought he would become one of my best friends. He was the type that grows on you and I'm so grateful he did. 

Most things about 1999 revolve around Farmer: music,  movies,  and the like.  We worked Summer SWARM together at the WU and he was my suitemate.  He respected my space but there were times he would come in like Kramer from Seinfeld.  That may have been the most fun summer of my life.  We worked hard but played harder.  You just knew then he was destined for great things. Fraternity life, a new girlfriend (eventual wife),  and more Residence Life involvement never changed Farmer.  He was always the same, and so uplifting.  He would do anything he could to help you,  and was always there to listen and help.  He was one in a million.

1999 can be defined by American Pie,  The Blair Witch Project,  the end of punk rock and the emergence of alternative music,  the newest Star Wars and my senior year.  However,  Farmer was in the center of it all.  He was simply the ex-factor,  the cherry on the sundae,  the oxygen in your life.  That year was good for me,  but he made it great.

I will always have great memories of this year thanks to Chris Farmer.  I returned to my last full year of college more determined and relaxed from knowing him. Get you a Chris Farmer if you don't have one and thank me later.

Monday, November 6, 2017

1999: Final Series For This Year

I have had some great years in my life.  No doubt  the best and most coming of age year was 1999. I am wrapping up my 2018 writing season with a series dedicated to this year,  and someone I became close to in this year.

I was midway through college but hadn't quite hit my groove. That is until the Spring semester. After a lackluster Fall that felt worse than my freshman year,  I knew I had to bring stronger focus in all areas of my life. I even wrote myself a contract of all the things I charged myself to do,  as well as a list of goals. I ended up accomplishing many of my own expectations,  and even exceeding them. 

Things were finally falling into place for me in the social and friend realm,  Residence Life,  academically and with my family. This was the year I started going home less on weekends and breaks and even stayed all summer to work (more on that later.) I was learning my worth,  making memories and got to the point where I knew I had jealous haters.  That was no nevermind as many loved me also.  I loved the place I was in life. 

Life got better for me then and forever when one of my funny, loud , next door neighbors got more involved in Residence Life.  We really became close friends that year.  When one mentions 1999, they think of Prince's classic song.  I think of it as the year I bonded with a certain person. 

Also,  my cousin/nephew turned 21 yesterday.  Ironic as this was also the year I turned 21. Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

For Her

This is a combo of prose and poetry, thinking of that special one, even if we're only friends because she's taken. Don't worry, I don't steal girlfriends, I'm only a lover.


I can't stop thinking of you
Your face, smile and eyes too
They're in my mind
You're always too kind
The type of lady to be by my side
Can chill like a homie, just sit back and ride
Not trying to make this a classic piece
Just showing feelings, that's what I have, like a lease
I wanna buy, what's the down payment
I run to you so hard I tear up the pavement
You are my dear, my heart, didn't know I could feel this way
This is like the movies, I hope it ends like a warm summer day
I just wanna chill like Musiq, we can be cool
Nothing required on your end, I won't even drool
You can be a homie, lover, girlfriend, whatever
Please stay in my life, don't go
I'll fall back, we'll let things happen
History won't repeat itself, I won't swear you.
My friends are tired of seeing my face and hearing my voice
Maybe I should talk to you more
What's next? Let's check the calendar
Be prepared for questions, I just wanna be ya homie, I'm good at it, I promise.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Uber/Lyft from my perspective

After having to buy a new car and always in need of good side money, I decided back in the Spring of this year to give Uber and Lyft a try. It has honestly been up and down. I have to travel mostly to Greenville to get rides and requests  (pings). I have picked up some good tips and really been able to make some grown folks money some nights. Here are some of my quick tips.

1. Drive at times where you are in most demand and traffic is the heaviest, while parking is scarce. These include Friday and Saturday nights when the bars and clubs close, holidays, early morning and late evening rush hour, and huge events  (see #2). You want to maximize the most of your driving and not just sit around for hours with maybe one or two requests.

2. I cannot stress the importance of doing big events and days. These include college and pro sporting events, festivals and community events, concerts, and anything that draws a crowd to a small place.

3. Have a game plan in place for each time you drive. Arrive early and plan on late pings. Timing is everything and you want to be online the minute the surge in Uber is red or when you can hit your max on Lyft. Following YouTube tutorials, blogs and podcasts from folks such as Harry Campbell  (the Rideshare Guy) and UberMan can really increase your earnings and minimize your miles and drive time.

4. Record any and all mileage using one of the many apps available and/or by hand. Also, keep receipts of everytime you gas up, any purchases you make regarding your trips or for the business (this includes car detailing, your meal while you drive). This can help get you a good tax cut in February.

5. Don't camp out all day at the airport. This is a common mistake by rookies. If you want a couple of quick airport pickups, camp out close to the airport (not in their parking) so you don't get into their queue. Don't think it works. I actually got an airport ping last night from 10 miles out when the queue was empty. Therefore, focus your time elsewhere.

6. In your game planning, know your area well. This includes which streets are blocked off and harder to travel. The better you can get around your city, the faster you can pickup and drop off.  Drive in the city on slow times to learn it before you test it at peak times.

7. Have snacks, drinks and even gum for your passengers and you. Yes you. You may be in the car for a couple of hours straight and get a quick dry mouth and empty stomach from talking and such. Stay hydrated and focused.

Well the holiday season is upon us and I look forward to driving more. Use my code if you wanna drive also ANDREWL27734UI on Uber and ANDREW24287 on Lyft. I highly recommend it!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 miles: WOW!

It still hasn't kicked in.

Many of you know by now that I am an active runner. I am training for 3 huge upcoming races currently. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to set a goal to run/walk at least 1,000 miles. Then a challenge came up to do 2,017 miles in 12 months.

Now I do run but I also do other physical activities so I didn't know how possible even a thousand would be. That is until I did the math for 365 days. I knew especially once I got into my marathon training, 2017 and more was realistic. So I bought a $12 pedometer and went to work.

I not only record my runs, but my walks and steps and convert them into miles. I work for Amazon, which entails a lot of walking just being in there for 40 hours/week. I also do a lot of walking outside of work and fitness and yardwork. Add all of that up and some weeks I was logging 60-70 miles of running and walking. I checked and they will allow either one.

I wanted to do it right and keep myself tight. However stress and an off diet added some fluff in areas I didn't want. But I am getting that under control and adding more activities to mix all of that up. Either way I have achieved 2,017 miles for the year and I haven't even ran my final two races left.

These are many people to thank, including God of course. I am not going to name everyone as I don't want to omit anyone. I simply want to thank all that were part of the journey and process. Whether you walked and ran some with me, or you cheered me on, every one of you mattered and helped me. Thanks to all!

I love victories like this. The ultimate victories are completing runs, walks and races at my goal pace, and staying fit and healthy. I always feel I am closer to this.

Until then, I await my medals for both 1,000 and 2,017. They will go nicely with my overall collection of bling.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Now This Is How You Boycott

Ok now folks are starting to get the message on how to effectively boycott. Perhaps even too much.

Dove soap made a huge misstep in their misguided racist ad. It has several people of color wanting to blacklist the famous soap and its products.

This is hitting them where it hurts: the pockets. People don't buy Dove or if they can't appeal to a large demographic, they're in trouble, period. This is boycotting and protesting with more action and greater meaning.

People are doing to same to ESPN in the wake of the Jemele Hill suspension. Now she may have truth to what she is saying. However she has been warned once before and now is paying the price. She is putting ESPN on notice as being hypocritical and overly political and biased. However, she is smearing her own career. Think if we just carried on any type of way on social media regarding specific topics. We would also be fired or suspended. I remember that being a topic of discussion during orientation of my current job.

I have been boycotting and blacklisting causes, products and businesses for years. Add my former doctors office to that list. I needed to get records faxed and had to stop by and sign for them, thinking it was going to be that day (sending a fax doesn't take long at all). I received a phone call from a rude receptionist saying it would be a week since they have a specific person that only deals with that once/week. After her and I went back and forth for about 5 minutes , I ask to speak to her manager. She hangs on me. Yep, that's right. I was hotter than a bottle rocket in July. I gave myself a while to cool down, then called back and asked for the manager. She was very apologetic and assured me they would fax the records soon. Come to find out, they faxed them that same day. Not only were they rude, but they lied and were lazy. I was already done with the doctor, I am trying to get done with the office. I pray I don't need to return there.

Now here's the next thing: how long will folks boycott the NFL, Dove Soap, ESPN, etc. People still eat at Wild Wings, Denny's and Cracker Barrell and wear Adidas sneakers. There seems to be a shelf life on the hurt and anger.

Either way, continue to blacklist and boycott with purpose.