Sunday, July 30, 2006

Earth Angel...

Earth Angel, won't you be mine. My darling dear, love you all the time, Because I'm just a fool, a fool in love with you.

Embarrassment.

I don't think most people can know the full scope of embarrassment; till during a highschool graduation party, Your parents walk out on stage as the band. But that was the past. When my father cut off our phone call earlier tonight because he was in a rush to get to a "gig." It got me thinking about where did it all start, where did the obscession come from. I know full well my mother and father will be reading this, so I'll just start out by saying that Stuck in The 50's is a great doo wop band and I commend my father and the other fathers on making the decision that embarrassment for their children was a small price to pay for happiness. Only now I realize that I had nothing to be embarrassed about, now I can appreciate that having parents that live life is way better then having parents who don't know how to live.

It all began ages ago when a number of families from a small suburb on the west side of Chicago attended a summer camp together. Camp Brosius, the small but peaceful camp located in Elkhart Lake Wisconsin, is like no other summer camp in the world because it is meant for families. Grandmas, Grandpas, Moms, Dads, Uncles, Aunts, and kids of all ages and size would spend one week up at this camp each summer, playing in the sun at tournaments and games or just relaxing. But even though during the day the kids were sent off to group activites at night everyone would be back together in their cabin for some good ole time with the family. A unique experience to say the least.

As years passed these families from the west side of Chicago became a well known group of campers, an elite group. But what the people of Camp Brosius didn't know is that every year on tuesday night of camp all these families would sit around Rose End(the biggest cabin at Camp Brosius) and play a game called "Encore." This is a game where the group would split into teams, usually of two. Then a card would be pulled and a word would be announced. Then back and forth across the table each group would have to sing at least eight words to a song that contained said word. These families were extremely musical, so rounds would go on for 10 minutes sometimes. There were many controversies like in all games, such as Frank, who was one of the fathers, had knowledge of so many songs from the 40's and 50's that most times none of us could tell if he was making them up or singing something real. But it was fun, always fun.

Then one year when I was about 10, they themed the end of camp as a doo wop night. When we recieved the letter in the mail before camp had started, I could see my father's brain turning. Little did I know that this is where the Brosius Family Singers would be born. The last day of camp came and with my Mother at the Keyboard, everyone decked out in poodle skirts, lether jackets, doo rags; The Schwerin's, The Stickler's, and The Schwartz's all got up and sang the night away for the people of camp. Hits such as Rock Around the Clock, In the still of the Night, Sixteen Candles, and well Earth Angel. The Brosius Family Singers only had one performance, but I believe that this was the beginning of Stuck in the 50's at least in my memory.

So now that I'm grown up a little, not embarrassed by my parents(at least not all the time), I want everyone to know about Stuck in the 50's. So if your ever in the Chicago area, go see them perform. If your from the era it will be a great blast from the past, if not then you'll have more fun then you've had in a long time with your parents. So to Mom, Dad, Frank, Steve, Don, Peggy, Michael, John, Bill, and Bill keep on rockin the night away and know that us kids miss it even though we never say it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Conclusion of "The Best Europe Story Ever"


To begin if you did not read the last post click here first and then come back and read the rest of the story!

So you all are pissed I didn't finish my tale! Well now you know how I felt for 2 months not knowing what was going to happen when I returned home. Many people along the way asked me, isn't someone collecting your mail? Couldn't you call home and ask? Let me ask you this, would you call home and ask your roommates to check if an envelope with Ten Thousand Pounds in it came to the house? Yeah I didn't think so.

So when I arrived home after my flight, I burst through the front door to see my roommate "Costume Girl" sitting at her desk. I said, "Costume Girl where is my mail?"

She replied, "What no Hi, how are you? or Hug hello?"

I gave her a hug and told her the story. She informed me that my other roommate "Tattoo Guy" had been keeping my mail for me and she had no idea where it was. But he would be home in about 4 hours. So we sat on the back porch drinking beers and I told her about my trip.

When Tattoo Guy walked into the house I ran up to him and said, "Where is my mail?!" He looked at me and just like Costume Girl asked, "What no hug hello?" We are all very close!

Anyways I sat him down and told him the story. At the end he said, "I can't believe you just told me that whole story before going through the mail!" I said that was because I didn't know where it was. So Tattoo Guy took me over to a drawer in our dining room where he had been putting all the mail. I lifted out the large stack and both of us hurridly went through the multitudes of junk mail. Unfortunatly there was no letter at first glance.

But then somthing unusual caught my eye. It was a Post Card that had a picture of London on the front of it. I picked it up, flipped it over, and read:

Hello Stickler,

Greeting from London to you and your beautiful family.

Edward sends his best wishes!

Love Diana and Edward


I was stunned, I read it over and over again. But there was nothing else to it, no return address, nothing, no money stapled to the outside. So you all may be wondering, who is Diana? Well that is a secret for Edward and I. And even though I never got the money I wouldn't betray his trust by telling that inconsiquential story that he releated to me while walking to Buckingham palace. So in the end, it was the most anticlimatic conclusion to the tale, but the post card gave me hope. Edward knew I wasn't going to be home for 2 months, so maybe, just maybe that letter is still destined to find its way to my home. Becuase if not, I just told the story of how I got conned out of two hundred dollars in London.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Best Europe Story You Will Ever Read!


It wasn't the beginning, but it was the one event that will always stick out in my mind as the beginning. I had been in London for less then 24 hours and I was on my way to Buckingham Palace. Now Buckingham Palace is rather large and their is a rather long walk up a street with a grassy median to get there. They call this area "the mall". When royalty or nobles would come to visit the King and Queen, the mall would be lined with crowds of people and trumpets cheering on the coaches as they traveled the kilometer to the gate.

I was at the beginning of the one kilometer walk down the mall to the palace when an old man hobbled up next to me. He asked in a thick Australian accent, "Excuse me is this the way to Buckingham Palace?" and he motioned in the way we were walking with his cane. I looked at him and noticed he was wearing a Fedora, a brown trench coat, and clasped an old cane in his right hand.

I then said, "Yep, It's straight forward about a kilometer."

He smiled and said, "Your not British, where are you from?"

"The U.S."

"Well you look British, why aren't you from England?" he asked.

"Because I'm not." I said.

"Well my name is Edward and I am from Melbourne Australia!"
He then went on to talk about how he was an antiques dealer and started asking me questions about what I did for a living, why i was in europe, about my family? and in return I asked of him the same. I found out he was going to be traveling to Los Angeles soon, so I gave him some advice on where to go and what to see.

We were about half way down the length of the mall by this point and Edward changed the subject to world politics. He asked me, "So your president he is in office for 5 years, correct?"

"No,"I said,"He is in office for 4 years"

"Really, you think so?"

"Yes, it is 4 years, I'm positive!"

"Well In Australia it is 5 years and I could have sworn yours was 5 years as well."

"No it is definitly 4 years, because I can't wait to vote for a new president!"
Then he said something odd, "Really, you think so. Do you want to make a wager?"
I replied, "No, I don't want to make a wager, I don't want to take your money. It is definitly 4 years."

"Oh, Ok."he says and then changes the subject to something else that is going on in the world. For the rest of our conversation about the world, the economy of countries, etc.. whenever I would disagree with him about something he would ask,

"Really, you think so. Do you want to make a wager?" and each time I replied, "No I don't want to make a wager."

Eventually we came to Buckingham Palace and Edward asked me his final question, "So how many people do you think live in the United States?"

I said, "About two hundred and fifty million."

"Really that is alot of people, are you sure there are that many? Because in Australia there are only nineteen million people and Australia has to be close to the same size as the U.S."

I said, "No I don't think it is close to the same size, there are definitly somewhere around two hundred and fifty million people living in the U.S."

"Really," he says, "that seems like an awfully big number."

"Well, there are at least nine million living in Los Angeles alone, so I'm pretty sure it is around two hundred and fifty million."

Then he says, "Well do you want to make a wager?"

I replied, "No I do not want to make a wager, but why do you keep asking me if I want to make a wager?" And then this happened.

Out of his back pocket he pulled one hundred thousand pounds in bills wrapped ina rubber band. He related to me how for the last week he had been staying at a casino and every night he would go the casino and win money, which brought his grand total in winnings to one hundred thousand pounds. I told him to put the money away before someone robbed him and he agreed and shoved it back into his pocket. Then he explained how tonight was his last night in London and he needed to lose a bet or he would go back to the casino and gamble away his fortune. And what a better person to lose money to then a young man who had spent the morning talking and walking with him.

I stared at him awestruck and said, "I'm a poor backpacker, I don't have a one hundred thousand pounds to gamble with."

He laughed and said, "No not for one hundred thousand pounds, for something much smaller like two hundred pounds."

Again I said, "No, I can't that is like four hundred U.S. Dollars and I am at the beginning of my trip, I can't afford to lose that much."

"Ok, Ok." He says, "I'll make a deal with you. If you win I'll pay you two hundred pounds, but if I win you only have to pay me one hundred pounds."

I looked at him and said, "What is the wager?"

He says, "Two Hundred and Fifty million, Do you think higher or lower living in the U.S.?"

So I took the bet. I chose lower because I totally second guessed myself and shook his hand. We then spent the next forty five minutes wandering around London asking every police officer and taxi driver we came across where we could find a book store. We eventually found one and I walked inside and picked up a 2006 almanac. Before I could open it, Edward stopped me and said, "Wait, Look up Australia first." So I looked up Australia and their are ninteen million three hundred and thiry thousand people living there. Then I flipped it open to the U.S. and read that there are two hundred and ninty three million people living there. I was forty three million people off and I had lost.

I said, "I can't believe I lost"

Edward said, "Your not suppossed to lose, your suppossed to win, now I'm going to go to the casino tonight and gamble my money away."

"Well,"I said,"I guess I owe you one hundred pounds."

"Yes, you do!"

"Well,I don't carry that kind of money on me, so we have to find an ATM." With that Edward and I walked down the street about one block till we came to an ATM.

I said, "Wait here and I am going to go stand in the queue and get your money."

Edward, motioning to a bench said, "Ok, I'll be sitting over there on a bench." I then stood in the queue for the ATM and got his money. When I turned around, Edward was not sitting on the bench where he had motioned before, instead he had crossed a street and a small park and was sitting far away waving his arms in the air to get my attention. So, frustrated that I had to walk so far, I trudged across the street and the park till I came upon him sitting on the bench. He says, "What are you doing here? Why didn't you run away? I walked all the way over here hoping you would just run away"

I stared at him and said, "That would have been a good idea, I wish I had thought of it, but I lost a bet, so here is your one hundred pounds." and I held th emoney out to him.

He then said, "Wow, Stickler that is so honerable of you, no one would come over here and actuelly pay the money. Your going to come out of this better then if you had won the bet."

And then this happened, and I still can't believe that this happened. Out of his briefcase he pulled an envelope and asked me to write my name and address on it. So i did, then he asked me to put the one hundred pounds in the envelope. So I did. Then from his back pocket he pulled out the giant wad of quid and pulled off ten thousand pounds and shoved it into the envelope. He then says to me, "When you get home expect to find this surprise in the mail, today you made an old mans day because no one ever pays attention to an old man." He then asked when my next Holiday was and I told him next May, he then tells me that he is going to send me a plane ticket for Melbourne, Australia to be his guest so I can start my backpacking trip next year. And with that he stood up, shook my hand, thanked me for a wonderful morning and walked off.

Throughout my travels I told everyone I met along the way this story, everyone has there own theory of what I would find in the mail when I returned home. Be it nothing to everything I would want to find. So Ladies and Gentleman what do you all think I found in the mail two months later when I returned to the states? But regardless of the outcome it is a just a great story!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Rain in California?

This morning I awoke at 4:00AM to go to work. I thought my alarm had been the culprit of the jarring beginning to my day, but there was no music playing. I looked outside to see multiple bright streaks in the sky. Yep folks, Lighting. Now in the midwest we call it heat lightning, but you never see lightning out west during the dead heat of summer. We live in a desert, duh! So imagine my surprise when not only was there lightning, but it started pouring down rain! The weather is royally screwed up if were getting rain in California during July.

Today was uneventful, except my last posting finally went up at Rivalfish.com for the Worldcup. It took them long enough! So click here and enjoy. I'm proud of this one! ALso since returning I have made some site modifications i think everyone will find interesting. First there is a new picture on the side bar of my brother and I drunk in Barcelona. Remember that night little Bro? Also I have included links at the bottom of the sidebar for all the Stickler's World of Euro Yodeling Stories that appeared on Rivalfish.com. And last but not least I have added some new blogs that people should check out to the sidebar! And don't worry I didn't forget about the story, tomorrow I have the day off, so I will write it while I am doing laundry. It's a Doozy!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What not to do when your jet lagged


Work...Yes, Ladies and Gentleman I made a huge mistake and the day after I returned to the states I went straight back to work. I have to make back all that money that I have been spending friviously for the last 2 months.

But it was a little too soon and I pretty much exhausted myself to the point where this weekend became a sleepfest. Well that would have been nice, but then I had to help my two best friends move all day saturday into their new apartment. So what does one do when they work themselves silly for two days straight, well he wakes up early and goes surfing.

Thats right, this morning for the first time this summer I took my board and ventured back to my old haunt in Santa Monica. I got to the water at about 6:30 AM and the breaks looked so clean. The beach was empty which meant they were all mine. I rode the waves, splashed around with my dolphin pals from the summer before and was out of there before the walls of water started to roll in about 9:00 AM. Then in an extrodinary move, I used the rest of my savings and bought an XBOX 360. SO that leaves me with a 5:00AM call time tomorrow and too many e-mails still to write to alert the people I met along the way that I have pictures up from the trip. So if you feel like looking at some amazing pictures from my europe trip click here. If not go see "You, Me, And Dupree" and try to find my cameo! Till next time when I'm going to tell the mother of all stories because I won't be tired.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm Back

After the most amazing adventure of my life I am back. Unfortuantly I have had to go straight back to work because of an urgent call that was made to me yesterday. So until the weekend when I cna properly e-mail everyone i met along the way here is the link for the pictures of my trip. Just click on the side where it says Europe 06 after clicking on this link. I had a blast and I want to thank everyone I met along the way for making it an experience I will never forget!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Á long long time ago when I could still remember....

SO yeah, it´s been awhile since last i posted on my site. It seems that life has really taken off right from under me. Well, if you have been reading the postings at Rival Fish.com, then you all know part of the story. Currently I ´m getting close to the tailend of my trip which means soon I´ll be back in the good ole USA, surfing and singing kareoke on the weekends like I had never left. But for now, I´ve got a couple things to write about.

One, I finally made it to Germany. It has been amazing because i met the coolest Germans in Vienna, Austria who happen to live in Muncih and have been showing me a great time! But right now I´m kind of bummed, I went and toured a concentration camp today and it really has kind of affeted me. Just the stillness of everything and how cold it felt. I really don´t know how to explain it better then that right now, but it has put me currently in a state of depression. Hopefully once the first World Cup game is over today i´ll be inebriated enough to pas throguh this funk.

Which brings me number 2. Yep here we go, It´s world cup time. Ever since my Australian Dark Horses got their butts whipped by a call that made the whole wrold sigh in despair, I´ve been rooting for germany. And let me tell you, being in Germany when the germans win a huge game really makes it worth it. So with that i leave to watch the england game, eat some wings, drink some beer, and hopefully forget for a little while what i saw today!