Rotten Tomatoes are Delicious

As I have only been watching TV on Netflix and Amazon Prime, I haven’t seen many commercials recently, if any at all.  I’ve resorted to using Rotten Tomatoes as the place to go for what movies are good.  The past several I’ve watched have been absolutely AMAZING.  The Grey, Goon, Chronicle, and Jeff Who Lives at Home have filled up the past several days.  Some might say it’s anti-social to sit home most of my weekdays and watch movies, but I enjoy doing so as I get to learning more of this city.

Tomorrow I’m taking off work to buy a car and go camping.  I will be meeting Erin and some friends at the Wolf River Campgroundin Wisconsin.  Prior to that, in the morning, I will be flying into O’Hare, and then being brought to Joliet to buy my first NEW car.  I’m quite excited.  You might be asking, “But Joe, why fly out to a dealership over 300 miles away to buy a car?  Aren’t there dealerships much closer to you?”  In fact there are plenty, but none of them have a 2012 Chevrolet Camaro 45th Anniversary Edition in stock.  And that, my friend, is why I’m flying out to Illinois.  Will the gas millage be better than my truck? If I drove it conservatively, yes, but we all know you don’t but a Camaro to drive it conservatively.  Realistically I’ll get worse gas millage, but considering I walk/take the bus to work, I recently have been driving FAR less and only been needing to put gas in my truck about once a month.  I look forward to picking it up, and taking a 4+ hour drive to Wolf River to meet up with my friends.

She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine.

Tubby Tub Tub

“Tubby tub tub” is one of the few things my friends from high school and I say instead of the word “fat”.  While I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself to be a fat individual, I have most definitely gained weight since I graduated college, and I haven’t been doing much to attempt to stay in shape.  I’ve tried several times to get into the habit of working out, but each time it slips away and I once again become comfortable with sitting on the couch eating carbs.  Today I started up another workout cycle, hoping that this one sticks.  Dan B. told me about Endomondo, and we linked up to be friends.  Hopefully he can remind me how lazy I’m being when I don’t work out, which should be great motivation to get off my ass and get running.

I only worked out a little bit today, as I haven’t done so in a while.  Running one mile took the wind out of me, and biking on a stationary afterwards for a mile was a decent cool down.  The “fitness room” here at Eat Street Flats isn’t the biggest.  One weight machine, one treadmill, and one stationary bike.  I guess I shouldn’t complain since it’s free, but I’m looking forward to a nicer workout room once I switch apartments.

On a completely different topic, I unlocked the boot loader on an HTC Vivid today.  One of the positives about the Android platform has always been it’s “open-ness”.  It’s sad to see a good number of hardware manufacturers locking their boot loaders.  I did not realize until today that while HTC locks their boot loaders prior to shipping hardware, they have a website dedicated to allowing end users to unlock the boot loaders on their purchased devices.  HTC has definitely gained my respect with this move.  It’s great to know that the cat-and-mouse game played by Apple and iPhone users is not replicated with HTC.

Another Day, Another Dollar

With a title like that, you would think that today has simply been another day in the life of Joe Pintozzi, when in reality it has been anything but.  I found out earlier today that my grandfather (affectionately called “Papa”) is in the hospital.  He was having chest pains, and from what I’ve been told is in urgent care.  While everything seems to be stable for now, I continue to pray for him to get well.  I ask any of those who believe in a deity of some sort to pray for him, and if you’re the kind who doesn’t believe in any higher power, just cross your fingers that the doctors taking care of him paid attention in med school.

Through it all though, I’m reminded of something my girlfriend said to me, “It’s okay to be happy about good things even if you’re sad about bad things.”  While it’s important to feel your emotions for family members and loved ones, it’s also important to keep on keepin’ on.  I’m baking some stuffed pasta shells in the over, and watching The Grey.  It seems good so far, and I never question anything made by Liam Neeson.

Being fully independent is bitter sweet.  Everything seems to be tied to so much paperwork.  Nothing is easy, but in the same hand it’s all extremely rewarding.  The city is still new to me, so everything is exciting and exhilarating.  I look forward to Erin moving up here for her job, as it’ll be quite nice for us to be close again.

Insurance, Wedding #2, and Mall of America!!

Another weekend in Minnesota has turned out to be another weekend of fun!  Thursday night was fun, as Jim, Karl, Cristina and I had a cookout on my balcony.  It had to be on a charcoal grill as propane ones are not allowed.  While enjoying fine dining on brats and burgers, we watched Beerfest and Goon.

On Friday Erin and I took a nice tour of the Lyric on Friday during my lunch break, and then after work we just walked around Uptown/Downtown to simply get a feel for the area.  It was a lot of fun, and it turned out to also be Pride Weekend!  It really makes me happy to be living in such a progressive and open minded city.  There was a ton of music and liveliness as we walked around, and I look forward to doing it again and again.

Saturday was Matt & Deanna’s wedding.  The ceremony was in a nice church, and it was fantastic to spend time with college friends.  I quite enjoyed the cardboard cutout of Scott (who is currently in seminary school), and if I find a picture of it I will be sure to share.  We partied late into the night, and getting the hotel was a good idea as I was in no condition whatsoever to drive.

Sunday was recoup day, and it was well spent.  Erin and I toured another apartment complex, and then hung at at the Mall of America!  It was definitely huge, and there were a lot of fun stores to check out.

Indoor theme park!
Indoor water ride!

Besides the theme park there were HUGE LEGO structures!

All made of LEGO
Again, all made of LEGO

We ate at Buffalo Wild Wings, a nice reminder of being back in Milwaukee as Erin and I both loved to go to the one on Water Street.  The Mall of America’s closeness to the MSP Airport allowed us to stay there until shortly before Erin’s flight home.  After dropping her off I just continued on transitioning my life up to Minneapolis.  Minor things, like calling Progressive and switching my insurance policy up here.  It was more of a pain than I had hoped, as moving to a new state requires a completely new insurance policy to be written and the old one to be cancelled.  The good part is that I’m one more step to being a true Minnesotan, though as I utter those words I am unsure as to how I feel about it…

Still Getting Settled

I’m still getting settled in here in Minneapolis, and at the same time getting ready for my first guests.  Jim and Karl will be up visiting before Matt’s wedding, and Erin flies in on Friday.  To make sure that everyone is properly welcomed, I went out and bought a grill to put on the balcony.

Baby Grill

The weather has been a little crazy lately.  My usual routine for getting to work now has been to take the bus to work, and then walk home.  The bus gets me to the office in about 15 minutes, compared to the 25 minute walk it would take me, and walking home is a nice way to unwind and enjoy the city.

After work today I checked out a local grocery store, Kowalski’s.  They had a bunch of great food, and reminded me of a nicer version of Metro Market from back in Milwaukee.  The absolute best part though, is that they are open 24/7!  Never again will I crave that frozen pizza and be unable to satisfy my appetite!  Upon returning home from Kowalski’s, I decided to tidy up some more and finish assembling my desktop.  What good is it if it’s not put together?

The answer: no good.

That is actually where I am typing out this blog post from.  So just imagine me sitting there, typing away, and it’s like you’re practically here!

Skyline after the rain

I’m looking forward to seeing many friends this upcoming weekend at the wedding.  It should be fun, and I know lifetime memories will be made.

Lions, Poutine, Border Patrol! Oh My!

Words cannot describe the amount of fun I had this past weekend. I flew out of MSP on Thursday evening to Lansing, MI, where Erin picked me up and brought me to Detroit for Tom Pabst’s (my cousin) wedding. While it was in a hot greenhouse, I had an absolute blast and wouldn’t have changed a single thing about the evening. Dancing, talking, and mingling with my family is something I will always cherish.

The flight out wasn’t without troubles though. To start, the flight was delayed by an hour to start. After that, poor weather conditions and debris on the runway caused us to sit on the runway for over an hour, just waiting for our turn to take off. Instead of landing at 10:10pm, I landed at 12:30am. Thankfully Erin was patient enough and waited for me in Lansing.

The wedding was awesome, and while I may not remember 100% of the evening due to alcohol consumption, there were many highlights. I hope all EMTs now realize they need to bow down to Jeff Campbell, as in his words, “This is what I do.”

After the wedding on Sunday, Erin and I headed over the Canada for lunch. Heading there was no problem, and we had a nice meal at Harvey’s and walked along the lake in a park. Coming back, on the other hand, was a whole different story. We were questioned by border patrol about the vehicle we were driving, why we were not driving a car either of us legally owned (it was Erin’s dad’s Impala), and why us Midwesterners were in Canada. The US guards were rude and would not explain why we were being searched. They forced us to get out of the car and sit in a waiting room while they searched the vehicle, and then finally told us we could continue on our way with no reason.

So here I sit, in the O’Hare airport, waiting for my flight home. Delayed, again. Being Father’s Day, I’m reminded of everything my dad has done for me. He has shaped me into the man I am today, and I can only hope to be the kind of father he is some day. He has taught me patience, the importance of respect, how to be wise but not a smart-ass, and everything I’ve ever needed to know. I can only hope he understands how much I love him, and while I may live over 7 hours away now, I think about him and my mom all the time.

Work Hard, Play Hard

“Word hard, play hard.”  The words I first heard from my father, and I’ve never forgotten them.  I’ve been reminded of them again working my new job at GoKart Labs.  The people I work with are bright, energetic, and personable.  Everyone has been nice enough to introduce themselves, and offer information about what they do in their work position.  They also all have cool interests outside of work, from things like teaching yoga to restoring old motorcycles.  I hope that I can maintain a similar level of awesomeness outside of work moving forward.

In other news, I put up some curtains on the Eastward facing window in my apartment.  They don’t block out the light completely, but it’s definitely better than nothing.  I’m slowly getting more and more comfortable in the apartment, and I’m definitely happy to be in Uptown while I get used to the city.  Tonight Kevin (the guy I’m subletting from) took me out with another friend of his, Andrew.  The three of us stopped by Joe’s Garage to have a few wings, burgers, and beers.

Friday is my cousin Tommy’s wedding.  I’m really looking forward to it, as it’ll be a time to see my whole family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Since I don’t get to see them all the time, I greatly appreciate the time I have with them.  In the end, nothing is more important than family, and I have one of the best ones out there.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Not sure where the title came from, those words are just currently ringing through my head.  After finishing my first day at the new job, I came back to my apartment and just relaxed.  A quick trip to Target allowed me to buy a few groceries, and with them make some spaghetti for dinner.  It seemed fitting, as it was always something my mom would make me, and it was comforting to cook something that reminded me of home.  After eating, I had the pleasure of receiving a phone call from Brad Collins.  For an hour and a half we caught up, shared stories, and reminded of one of the hardest parts about leaving Illinois: leaving my best friends behind.

For those of you who don’t know, Brad and I met in the Fall of 2003, in a computer programming class held at Marian Catholic Central High School.  That is also where I met Dan Borkowski.  The two of them have been my best friends, and two of the closest people I’ve had in my life.  We’ve played video games until the wee hours of the morning more times than I can count.  We supported each other during the dramatic times in school, talked about girls, discussed our plans for our futures, celebrated each other’s 21st birthdays, and to this day rely on each other for advice and support.

Part of my hope with this move is to find new friends, not to replace any existing ones, but to add to the wealth of happiness and friendship that I already have.  I would consider myself extremely lucky to find new friends who are half as good as Brad and Danny are.

As I sit here pondering all of this, I enjoy the evening sky, and the night breeze by sitting on my balcony.  I’ve never had a balcony at any of the places I’ve lived, and it’s pretty awesome.  I enjoy hearing the sounds of Minneapolis, trucks rolling by in the distance, quiet conversations of people walking below, and the trees shuffling in the wind.

Too all my friends back home, I miss you all and plan on visiting as soon as I can!

Minneapolis skyline from my balcony