Archive for the ‘My Life’ Category

First off, I would like to apologize to those kind-hearted souls who enjoyed my blog that I left hanging with blue balls. Secondly, I would like to apologize to the people who don’t like the blog because it will be blowing up your news feeds once again like our Navy Seals blew up Bin Ladens man cave. Go America!

I have been extremely busy the last few months with a slew of things and the blog got put on the back burners. Now, that I am settled with my new job, new apartment, and wedding planning mostly done I will be able to set aside a few minutes a day to bring you what you may or may not want to hear on a weekly basis. I have taken many polls and done hours of extensive research as to how I am going to position the 2.0 version of my blog and have settled on the ever-popular “My Life” format.

I came to the realization that while I thoroughly enjoy sports, my views are often blurred by my emotions rather than my brain. That being said my future as the next Bill Simmons ship has sailed. In my old age I find myself going to bed much earlier and waking up in accordance, so I have had less time for stupid TV shows and things you find next to the gum in the grocery line, so the pop culture category is out the window too.

The most missed aspect of my 1.0 blog, I think will be the Top Tens. The Top Tens were fun because everyone wants to give their feedback and input because we all have our own opinions. My favorite part was the conjuring up of nostalgic 90s culture from our youth. I could talk about Nickelodeon, Nerf, cereal, wrestling, shoes, and mediocre athletes all day long and I will take that with me into the updated version.

My biggest deterrence with the older format was the media. I could crank out a 1,000 words of content in 30 minutes but it was the searching for YouTube videos and pictures that took about an hour per blog. And most of the time I was the only one watching and laughing my ass off at the videos. I like to look at it as my writing was so good that the media couldn’t compare to it, so yous didn’t pay attention to it (for the future, I will use Italics for sarcasm).

Luckily the re-run ratings of my blogs have been able to sustain my motivation to continue writing. Sports, reality TV, and nostalgic culture are still vital parts of my life and they will still be prevalent in my blogs, they just won’t have days dedicated to that category. A lot has happened since my last appearance in my NBA All-Star Weekend blog, and I’d like to catch up a little and bring you up to speed on my life lately.

I recently started a new job as the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Opportunity Village. In laments terms, I handle all the social media and coordinate all the marketing efforts for “Las Vegas’ Favorite Charity.” I have been very blessed to be excited about getting up and going to work every day knowing that your work is not only fun and interesting but it serves a higher purpose. And if you haven’t already please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @OppVillageLV.

Danielle and I just got settled into our new apartment off the 215 and Sunset. If you ask her it’s a townhome because it has a private staircase. We cleaned up at her bridal shower and got pretty much everything we needed to furnish the crib. We even got a little extra that allowed me to return some Tupperware for a Beertender. It has a workout room, movie theatre, 2 grills, a hammock, beach, a partridge in a pear tree, and it is adorable.

The digital wedding clock is also tickin down and is only a month away. We both are super excited and everything is on fast forward right now and flying by. Before we know it, we’ll be goin to the chapel and we’re gonna get married, saying “I do,” movin’ like Bernie at the reception, counting the checks (which can be made out to Jon Mackin) and getting slippery wine drunk in Napa/Sonoma.

I recently have also taken up “old.” I get up earlier than I should, drink my coffee black, drive below the speed limit, read the paper, DVR all my programs, turn the volume down, get the mail several times a week, turn the A/C down, and am looking into wearing Tommy Bahama. There are tons of other things that I do that genuinely anger Danielle, and that sometimes make the doing old that much more fun.

I see this being another potential blogging opportunity for me… 24 year old Las Vegan newlywed acts older than he really is. I think we could have a possible spinoff on our hands at the least but I’ll leave that up to the producers for now. Other things to look out for are me implementing more politics and cooking blurbs because grilling and talk radio make up 8 of my 18 waking hours a day.

As always I encourage feedback, comments, smoke signals, and likes that correlate to your inner-most thoughts so that I can utilize my CRM experience and cater to your reading experience. Thank you for your time and God Bless America!

As little kids we grow up playing house with our “Little Tikes” toysets. Whether it is little boys pretending to drive in the infamous “Fred Flintstone style” red and yellow car or little girls pretending to do the necessary prep work for their tea-party with their Easy Bake Oven, kids grow up wanting to well, grow up. Little Boys wants to be Astronauts and girls grow up wanting to be teachers and housewives when they finally reach that pinnacle of being the “grown-up” it can be somewhat of culture shock to those who haven’t had practice.

Luckily for Danielle and I, we have had the luxury of being able to “play house” before we say “I do.” With her family on the road a lot as of late we have had the chance to be able to not only house-sit, dog-sit, but also be able to practice the day-to-day duties that go into taking care of a home. When you still live at home with your parents or still live like you’re in college, you take the smallest luxuries for granted and when they are stripped from you, you miss them dearly.

Things as simple as having your laundry done, unloading the dishwasher, and taking the dogs out are things that you may not account for them when you check off your “to-do list” before you leave for the day. But these are all things that take a certain amount of time and need to be done. They don’t take as long time like scrubbing the stairs with a toothbrush do but when chores pile up you realize you need to take more time out of your day to complete these simple tasks.

With these responsibilities we have had a crash course in taking care of a home and it has been a great and humbling experience as we make similar preparations for ourselves. Your day starts off earlier than you would like with the blind dog barking so that he can be taken outside to do “his business.” We then would bring him back in for a treat-filled with Glaucoma medicine until he wants fresh water.

Once his duties are done, you can return to your amenities by putting in your contacts, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and showering. Then it is time to make the bed (a chore I despise and find unnecessary unless you’re expecting company), then it is time to rush downstairs to start the coffee so you’re not late to work. Eating breakfast, making lunch, and defrosting dinner are all tasks to be done simultaneously and necessary to have a successful day unless you want to eat Chipotle twice a day, everyday.

When your day is over it is not over, it is only starting. Taking the dogs out (washing and feeding them when necessary as well), getting the mail, taking the trash out, prepping dinner, and cooking dinner, are all small yet forgotten tasks that need to be done everyday before you can sit down and relax to actually eat the dinner you worked so hard on. Then when the short 20 minute snack break is up, it is time to clear the table, wash the dishes, and put the dishes away.

By the time you hit the couch in time to watch TV you realize you have already missed the local news and “American Idol” started 15 minutes ago. You find yourself completing miscellaneous task during commercials now because you were so busy in the morning that you forgot to DVR your programs, so that you could save time by fast forwarding through the commercials. You say you want to go to bed but then you force yourself to stay up for the late edition of “Sports Center” or “Fox 5 News at 10.”

Then as you begin the hike upstairs the thought of waking up in a few hours hits you and subconsciously make you more tired than you actually are. You now begin to walk without picking up your feet and shuffle your socks across the floor because you feel more tired than you really are. Now, it is to wash and repeat again so you can un-make your bed and begin a daily reading, then falling asleep in the middle of your prayers only wake up and do it all over again. It seems like an episode of “The Brady Bunch” only there is no Alice helping you along the way.

This would deter some young couples but luckily it only excites us even more as we look forward to being able to wash our own dishes and make our own bed. And with the wedding day inching closer and faster than ever, making our living quarters decision and deciding where we’ll be residing has hit the top of our “to-do list” right after grocery shopping.

Over the last month or so I have done extensive research on the housing market in Las Vegas. As much as we would like to take advantage of the low economic state and “first time home-buyer discounts” we realize it is smarter to start off our lives debt free (thank you Dave Ramsey) and rent for the first year or so till we have our student loans paid off and some extra “money in the bank, shawty what ya drank”?

O-K-K-K! We set a few rules before house hunting which I highly recommend, because if it were up to Danielle we would live in her casita for the rest of our lives. Set limits regarding price, area of town, freeway access, and proximity of work. With these and other guidelines set, we circumvented a radius on the West Side of town with homes/apartments for rent in the $900-$1,100 monhtly price range. It was about 22 minutes into my search that I realized that renting a home is just as cheap and in most cases cheaper than an apartment.

In some cases we actually found apartments being more expensive than a home in a similar area with 800 more square feet when you take into account security deposits, utilities, and other miscalleneous community uses. Long-story shortened, we shifted our search to strictly rental homes in our respective radius by retaining Real Estate Mogul, Michael deCesare, who is available for all of your real estate needs at http://www.irunlasvegasrealestate.com/.  The future Donald Trump (minus the power tie) took us on a tour, which eventually led to what seems like a perfect little house for us.

It is a 1,400 sq. ft. single family home with 3 bedrooms (dual master), hardwood floors, 2 car garage (with an extra work area big enough for the beer pong table), and a large backyard with covered patio. It is right in our area in “The Lakes,” within walking distance of Robertos, Fresh and Easy (so Danielle can keep me on track) and walking distance from Desert Breeze Park, so I can practice my new dunks on a whole new group of fools, all for the unbelievably low price range of $1,000 a month.

Right now, we are playing the waiting game to make sure everything is in order to make such a small step for man and giant leap for mankind. If for whatever reason it doesn’t work out we know it wasn’t meant to be and in God’s plans for us but we rest assured knowing that “she’ll be coming around the mountain, when she comes” and when she does we’ll be ready with the priceless practice that we’ve had playing house.

I know it is a shock that man of scholarly aptitude such as myself, is only reading his second book at the ripe young age of 24. It just goes to prove that the education system currently in place needs to have a larger emphasis on reading, while I put the emphasis on writing. You are never to young to further your education and that is exactly what I plan on doing with this fine piece of literature.

I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio show for sometime now and have decided become even more of a dedicated listener. Dave Ramsey started out in Real Estate and then became an entrepreneur by opening his own business which has blossomed into a diversified corporation. He has written multiple books, does public speaking, has his own radio show, and he is the founder of Financial Peace University.

Financial Peace University is an accredited 12 step class to help people achieve financial fitness. Dave lays the bricks for any kind of financial situation, from budgeting to dumping debt. This highly acclaimed class has helped millions become debt-free and while saving millions of dollars and has become a staple in church classes around the country due to Dave’s Christian background and influences.

You can become certified either through these classes that are available within many church groups, chambers of commerce, and even complete the course on your own by purchasing the dvd set. After completing the book, I plan on taking the classes so that I too can call into his show and do the official Dave Ramsey “I’m debt-free scream.” Mine may not be as dramatic as the many people who have dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars in fairly short amounts of time but student loans and credit card will be good enough for me.

The 13 chapter, 223 page book, unfortunately for me does not have any illustrations to pad the page count. It is a full 223 pages of text. I’m “notgonnalie,” this scares me a little bit. I want to be proactive and not take a whole year to read the book but also don’t want to bite off more than I can chew by setting a goal, that I will likely break. I also like to live by the conservative speaking motto of “under-promise and over-deliver.”

I will set the realistic goal of reading one chapter a week. I know that seems pretty elementary but when it comes to reading books I am well, elementary. I don’t have the attention span to completely envelop myself in a book, but then again it has never really happened because “kid can’t even read.” But hey, if for some reason I just cannot put the book down I will of course expedite my course and finish earlier than I have originally planned.

I just don’t want to say I’m going to read a chapter a night and try to finish in 2 weeks when my track record would suggest otherwise. We all know that when we set a goal and stray off track a little bit, that we decide to pop all of our tires than to try and push through and finish because we already already screwed up. Thus the “under-promise and over-deliver” approach should successfully correlate to my financial fitness index.

Some of you may be wondering what the book is about, well I am too but I do have a fairly good idea of what to expect. So, I will give you a prelude to some of the tips that I have already learned from “Big Wave” Dave just from listening to his show and then I will write a blog upon the completion of the book and in hopes of helping others, much like how Dave’s influence on me inspired me to help this little gem become debt free.

In just a few short months, a limited and strict spending process has allowed Danielle to rid herself of the looming credit cards inside her Juicy pocketbook. Many of you may have credit cards sitting stagnant with high balances as well and the best way to start paying them off is simple. Make a list of your debts and list them in ascending order, largest to smallest. You then begin to pay of the largest debt first with as much as you fiscally can, while paying the minimum balances on the remaining debts.

There are many rumors of paying of the highest interest debt first is the way to go and if that motivates you then “you can do it, just put your back into it.” However, it has been proven that by paying off the largest first and working your way down the list works faster and more efficiently, ridding yourself of debt in a much faster time frame than you would normally expect.

“Yaaay Yaaaayeee”! You will not attain financial freedom by living an extravagant lifestyle on limited income but if you break down your monthly take home income (after taxes) and list your necessary expenses, you can allocate your funds accordingly, to put yourself on the fast track for success.

I will document my experiences via the blog, so hopefully you too can see that this ish really works. And if anyone has any questions along the way, I would be glad to help. My journey starts today with reading the introduction and I may even get a little crazy by opening into chapter one, but why not I’m not driving. So, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers so I can get through this tough task at hand.

It is that time of year again where bro-has and snow-hos come together to rejoice in their Spy sunglasses, and Energy drink hats with the bill bent upwards. Winter X Games Fifteen starts today and runs through the 30th in “I’ll tell you where. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called Aspen.”

Is it just me or have the X Games lost their sizzle? In the late 90s and early 00s the X Games, both Winter and Summer, were atop of the world and now it feels like they become more of a gimmick with every competition. Maybe it is just me but it seems like there also is less of a buzz for Winter X than there has been in the past.

I used to be an avid snowboarder and now have no real motivation to hit the slopes, unless I am hooked up with a sweet cabin deal and a carpool up to Brianhead. There was a point where I was going every weekend and now I haven’t gone in 2 seasons and I would suck a lot worse than I already did if I were to get back on the bike again. Basically, I miss when the X Games were cool.

To me, Winter X has spread itself to thin. I remember when snowboarding was the newest thing to hit the winter sports world and now it seems like it is old school. X Games has turned into an episode of “Jackass,” where goofy white kids decide to race and jump anything with a motor. That goes for snowmobiles, Subaru cars, and now motorcycles. You and I both know that no one cares to see people riding their dirt bikes in snow anymore than we did on dirt.

It is the same kids going “brap brap” and riding under the influence of Monster as it is in the Summer, just now in the snow. They are not different sports and should be eliminated from the Winter X competition. If I had it my way, Winter X Games would be taken back to its roots, snowboarding and skiing aka “bread and butter.”

I want to see kids that look like skinnier versions of Troy Polamalu going as high and fast as possible on 1 or 2 pieces of graphite strapped to their feet. That means, downhill for speed, slalom, super-pipe, and maybe a big air or something. Everything else is spam that Sal Masekaela has to try to learn about just before he goes on air. Not only is it new to him but new to the whole extreme sports world, and frankly new to the poor soul who is about to jump the Rocky Mountains on a hemi-powered pogo stick.

The Winter X Games ambassador, Shaun White, is all they have left. On the women’s side there is this Gretchen Bleiler character who you may recognize from her ESPN 3D commercial. Other than that, every other name on the set list is French to me and probably the rest of the world because a majority of them are actually French.

I like to write about things that are time relevant and with the competition starting this evening, I felt it was appropriate as a total of 13 of the my readers might be interested, not including myself but o be honest, I am even getting a little frustrated writing about this. I would much rather be talking about other cold weather sports like the Olympics or hockey, so stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog, “The 2011 NHL All-Star Game.” So, I would be not mad if you stopped reading this blog because  I probably would have a long time ago. But please continue for my sake as I am trying to improve my blogging format and material with your input.

I also have been running analyses on the different ways to market my blog as of late. Most of my popular blogs are either about sports (not including this one) and “My Life,” which to be honest is what I prefer writing about as well. So, it makes sense that something I enjoy talking about comes across better to the readers. Obviously, I write for enjoyment but this is not a diary, I write for people to read it. So, I want to cater the blogs to what you want.

Most successful blogs are centered around a particular topic and I am trying to hone down on what that topic is.  I currently post Monday-Friday with 20% of the writing concerning “my life,” 40% of the writing concerning sports (via Top Tens or something else), and another 40% of which I talk about either TV, pop culture, music, or politics. With the latter being so diversified and less centered, I am considering dropping those type of topics and keeping them limited to Facebook statuses and Tweets, which I need to start embedding as well.

However, I would like to solicit the consultation of yous before I do anything drastic. Would you reader prefer more centered topics? Would you want them just as often or would 2/3 times a week be sufficient? I realize that less is more and writing a blog about the friggin X Games that most people don’t care about just to fill a category doesn’t really do much for anyone. I think the length of the blogs is good but if you would like more or less, please let me know also.

I also realize a lot of you subscribe via your cellular devices, in which you don’t always watch the embedded videos (that I think are hilarious and enhance the humor of the blog), so would you prefer less videos and more pictures or less of both? Or are you one of the few who get a kick out of the videos ( like me, which I highly doubt) and would prefer that I change nothing?

I enjoy all the feedback yous have been sending me lately about format, writing style, and frequency and am genuinely seeking more help. I want this ish to be good but can only guess what works so I would really appreciate any and all feedback you could throw my way. If you’re a creeper like me and don’t want to post a comment you can send me a message on The Facebook or email it to mackinjon@yahoo.com. Thank you and God Bless America!

On this My Life Monday, I feel it is only appropriate if I touch on the topic of my birthday. It’s not like it was the most eventful or ragerific birthday ever but I can honestly say it was the best birthday ever. And for that I feel like my birthday is obviously a part of “my life” and therefore allowable to speak upon. I don’t mean for it to come of as conceited at all,l I wll just simply report on the activities that took place and thank all parties involved.

My actually birthday is today but Monday birthdays suck especially in post “Monday Night Football season” so I decided to celebrate the preceding weekend. I kicked off the weekend not with happy hour but with an exhilarating hour of doing what I’m best at… grading Danielle’s 2nd grade spelling tests. The little tikes did great this week and had a class average of 95%, in case anyone was wondering.

Then it was time to kick off the weekend. In years past I have set up extravagant “3 birthday weekends” but this year I felt it was unnecessary and wanted to tone back “hey look at me” factor and celebrate with a fellow birthday mate of mine, Katie Jozsa. Her fiance’/baller, Luke, threw her a surprise party of which activities included Ketchup/Grape Jelly infused meatballs (which were bomb.tv), “Minute To Win It” games, and beer pong. I fell short of being able to complete “Johnny Apple-stack” by stacking 5 apples but did succeed in winning 5 consecutive games of beer pong, which really led me to feel young at heart again because I still got it.

The following morning started right where I left off with a Coors Light before noon at the Red Room before the UNM vs UNLV basketball game. That was a lot of prepositions and I’m not exactly sure about the grammar. For Rick’s Birthday this coming weekend, I let him take me to the breakfast open bar. I had a bunch of bacon to stop the hangover before it had a chance to take over and had 6-8 beers by the time the Rebels could close out the New Mexicans.

Danielle then treated me to my third favorite food, Kobe “All You Can Eat” Sushi. After about 9 Ashley Rolls and 3 Sake Bombs, I was just barely to keep the sushi down long enough to take a power nap and shower for later.

Sorry, if you were one of those people who throw up when they see someone else throw up. However, I apologize more for that horrendous music. Then the festivities continued (late of course because Danielle is never on time, never) at Bilbo’s for a night of $2 Kokanees (or as I like to call them “Canadian Coors Lights), shuffle board, and darts. Thank you to everyone who showed up, especially everyone who made the commute from Hendertucky. I couldn’t win in shuffleboard but was able to nail the bullseye on the last shot as we headed out to Chicago Brewery.

I hate this word but Chicago Brewery was “legendary” because for the first time in my life I was “Buffalo Clubbed” by one Bocephus Dwayne Murphy. It was tough to suck down an ice-cold, thick, 22oz. Amber something or other, and that is where things started to get blurry. One of the last things I remember vividly was trying to run a post route on an ex-UCLA cornerback we met and a discussion of what the politically correct term is for a baby’s private parts. We heard everything from donut, to hoohaa, to niney, to some other special phrases that are too vulgar for my PG-13 blog.

I then needed my Jack In the Box grease with probably some dog-food tacos and a Breakfast Jack. Little did I know however, that I was being documented via video-phone. Unfortunately Danielle’s phone doesn’t exist anymore so I cannot upload the videos but in one scene I was asked to describe my birthday in one sentence, upon which I replied abruptly with “I. Am. The. Real. World.” I guess I felt like I was on “The Real World.” Then what I was most afraid of, happened. I slept walk again. Thankfully I made it to the toilet and didn’t urinate on anyone or anything and everything remained in tact.

After such a sinful night, I needed to repent in church, which along with a coffee and asprin, was a great wa to start off my day. After church we met Danielle’s cousin, Deanna, for my second favorite food, Grimaldi’s pizza, which Deanna treated us too and we are very thankful for. I then cleansed off my palette with a Madagascar Vanilla Bean Gelato from Samabalatte, while Danielle decided to take her phone for a dip in her coffee.

I then let the food coma begin to set in while blobbing on the couch watching the biggest pansy in football, Jay Cutler, throw away the game to affirm my prediction that the Bears are garbage. The Steel Curtain was also just strong enough to hold off the out-spoken Jets as my Super Bowl predictions were correct. Too bad I didn’t bet it. Told ya so.

https://jonmackin.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/nfl-playoff-predictions/

I then decided to close-out my birthday with my family and with my most favorite food of all time, Lucille’s pulled pork. I’m a sucker for suckling and emptied half a bottle of their Memphis BBQ sauce on top that kept me bloated throughout the night. All though I have to say one night of gas and pain was totally worth the 30 minutes of pleasure. I want to thank everyone who contributed to my birthday and for all the nice words on the Facebook streaming in as I type. I am thankful for all of you and am very blessed. Holla.

“Has it sunken in yet”? That is the question we have been getting a lot lately as we are coming down the home stretch of being only months away from the ringing of wedding bells. As every newly engaged couple gets, we get the rundown of questions every time it’s been two weeks since we’ve seen someone at Miller’s Alehouse. conversations usually go something like this: “Hi! How are you? Have you set a date yet? Oh my God, that’s so exciting! How many people are you inviting? Have you picked your theme? Are you ready? Has it sunken it yet”?

Seeing as though it is a “My Life Monday” I felt it was appropriate to answer the many interrogative posed to us as we are turning the corner into marriagehood (not a real word). The 14 month engagement all comes to a close as a new anniversary is born on The Seventeenth Day of June in the Year 2011 (I tried to write it fancy like some people do on their invitations). Danielle andf I both have huge families and lots of mutual friends. However, we set a few rules for ourselves to keep the wedding to people we love and want to be there for us on that day.

One rule we like was that we didn’t want to both be introduced to anyone at the wedding. If after four years we still haven’t met people of supposed importance then there is a good chance that they aren’t “too close” to one of us and therefore, they don’t “need” an invite. Unless of course they have deep pockets and in that case I will disinvite one of my friends my taking him to lunch. Also, with close friends being invited we limited their “+ 1s” to needing a six month dating requirement. There are plenty of people we would love to have at the wedding but can’t invite due to Roman Numerals. We don’t want people bringing “+ 1s” who we could care less about and who are just there to take advantage of the open bar and re-gift us a gift card they’ll never use.

Now, the next most popular thing we are asked is what our theme is. The theme is my favorite part of the wedding. Danielle and I are both very casual people. It is outdoor summer night wedding so it will be cool at night but at the same time we don’t want people wearing gowns and tuxedos with tails and tophats. We want people to be as comfortable as possible (I tried pulling for basketball shorts but the warden shut that down quick) so the mens attire will be light summer suits and “linen shorts so my balls don’t get hot.” (1:16)

I could really care less what the women wear and I don’t think that will be an issue. When we were discussing the kind of wedding we wanted to have it was an easy compromise. We both wanted good people, good music, and good food. Danielle wanted rustic/vintage and I wanted a tailgate/BBQ. So what we both wanted was possible and “we met halfway right at the borderline is where we’re gonna wait for you.”

Right now I’m working on getting beer pong tables signed off on but don’t hold me to it. I’m trying to position them as “cute” beer pong tables that will match the “vintagey” theme of the wedding as it would be fun to watch Grandparents try to play flip cup.

There is no question that both of us are ready but I don’t believe it has really sunken in for us yet. We have made tons of plans, gone through tons of save the dates/invites, booked plenty of transportation, but we haven’t really seen the effects of the planning and picking yet. I think once the house shopping begins and the parties/showers start rolling in over the next few months, that is when it will really begin to feel like we’re getting married.

Only because it’s not like much has really changed in our daily lives as of now. We still reside in our respective residences, we haven’t bought all of the pending furniture yet, and now it is kind of just a waiting game. We both are really excited for all the happenings that will occur over the next few months. Danielle is excited to see it all done and I am excited for all the envelopes and cool appliances because our church pre-marital counselor’s test said “I feel loved when I’m given things.” (cough Tri-Kegerator cough)

Now, that I am conveniently on that topic we are registered at NBA.com, Macy’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, and are opening a Bank of America account to make gift deposits into if anyone would like to get me any birthday presents (only 3 weeks away).

http://store.nba.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10853040&cp=2482948.2806588

http://store.nba.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10813504&cp=3045636.11045252

That pretty much covers the basics as we obviously want to leave some things to the imagination. If you girls are looking for more insight into what the wedding will look like (because us guys don’t really give a shit)  you can go to http://greenweddingshoes.com. That website has been like Danielle’s wedding Bible and she checks it more than she checks her voicemail and/or text messages (which she reluctantly apologizes for).

It’s baaaaaaaack! After a short Christmas vacation I am back and in full effect for 2011. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and got lots of new reading glasses for Christmas because I have a lot of material ready, locked, loaded in my cocking gun, and it is ready to be grouted.

The first blog of 2011 just so happens to be on a snow-covered Monday morning which means (all together now) M-Y! L-I-F-E! M-O-N-D-A-Y! Yaaaaaaay! I didn’t think I would ever resort to a Peewee’s Playhouse delivery, but I couldn’t help myself.

With the new year comes resolutions. We all have them, we all start them the first week of January, and we all give up around Valentine’s Day. I think one of the main reasons we as society don’t always follow through with our resolutions is because we don’t have anyone holding us accountable for our resolutions. If no one knows what you aren’t doing, then there is no one to keep you in check. And it is my hope that by laying my goals out there for all to see, that I too will be less likely to cheat when I know others are creeping via cyberspace.

Thanks to Algebra II Honors, I have been able to develop a successful formula that follows ” y = mx + b” form. I have comprised an algorithm of resolute expressions that would keep my mind, body, and soul in tact for 2011.  Some people only keep one or two of the three in balance and thus there resolutions fall through before Spring Break starts. So, without further a due I give you my New Year’s resolutions for 2011.

Over the last year or so I have become fairly religious and have grown my faith and relationship with God like my boy Justin Bieber. I have made a conscious effort to read my first book ever, “The Holy Bible,” but wasn’t always consistent with my education. So for 2011, it is my first goal of reading my dailies well daily. And with so much going on in 2011 and so many life altering events en que I would hope and pray not stray away I say. “Or I can make things out of clay and lay by the bay, I just may…What do you say”?

Hopefully by keeping my mind and soul balanced I’ll be able to work on the body aspect. I have set many physical goals for 2011 some of which are more fun and some are for strictly aesthetic purposes. The first of which begins today with training for my second half-marathon. I thoroughly enjoyed my first go and would like to continue on that path (again, puns are always intended).

The first college try I just wanted to finish without stopping, walking, or peeing which I successfully accomplished at the average time of 2:19ish. My next challenge is to complete 13.2 miles in under two hours. That would require keeping a pace of about 9 minutes per mile. And with my favorite Christmas gift, the new iPod Nano, watch accessory, and some hot new beats I plan on completing this task by 3/5 or 3/12 in the either the Red Rock Half-Marathon and Six Tunnels Half-Marathon in Boulder City.

After that, I’m going to be fat for a week eating tons of Lucille’s BBQ Pulled Pork and all you can eat sushi before starting P90X. My goals with P90X aren’t really concerned with the completion because I am pretty strong-willed but I am more worried about feeling uncomfortable with the Tae-Bo and Yoga. I am not flexible at all and cannot even sit Indian style (or Native American style for you politically correct readers) so this presents quite a challenge.

Then comes the wedding and honeymoon upon which I will gorge myself with plenty of the beer, wine, and all the thin-crust pizza I can get my hands on for the month of June. Upon my return I will ease myself back into physical activity with Summer softball as the starting second baseman for the “Nine Inch Males” where it is my goal to hit for the cycle. A simple goal which may be more strategic than competitive and realistic, but I’ll give it a whirl.

As of August 1, I will embark on the big boy training for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon. I’ll reload with some new fresh gear which will hopefully give me the motivation to run for a stupid amount of time on 12/4/11. After completing the “half” I had no desire to ever double it but I feel like I am half way there and might as well do it while I am young so I don’t look like this guy when I’m older.

I would also be able to work on some new activities and hobbies this year that aren’t crocheting and building ships in bottles. I’m not sure that this is a resolution with a set goal or not but I would like to become a more well-rounded cook. I would like to think that I am pretty good cook from watching so much Food Network and I love grilling, so I would like to expand be grilling abilities this year beyond salt, pepper, and heat to marinades, experimenting with different wood chips/charcoals, and more rare cuts of meat with help from my new and second favorite Christmas gift…

Grilling is not just a fun hobby but it is a healthy alternative to eating Gummi Colas and drinking real colas. I have always been a fat kid at heart and love my snacks but it is my goal for 2011 to implement a “quality over quantity” plan. I hope to minimize bad carbs because “carbs are the enemy” and maximizing lean proteins. That coupled with having two new vegetables a month should give me the “Marky Mark 10-pack” I am hoping to obtain by next Thursday or so.

Another recent and obvious hobby of mine is blogging. I enjoy writing and would like further this newfound pursuit. I would like to provide better material in a more professional format in hopes of one day taking my talents to South Beach to make some real writing scrilla. Whether that means stepping up my freelance game through more advertising, whoring my bodies of writing out to other prospective customers, or furthering my education in this field of study.

However, I don’t write just to write for myself, I really enjoy criticism both constructive and assholic. So, please keep the comments, likes, messages, and overall feedback a-comin’. Thank you to the thousands of football bloggers who are unwillingly sent to my uniform blogs and especially everyone who reads consistently I wholeheartedly appreciate it, and if you help the spread te good word, I’ll give you a shout-out 1999 “Total Request Live” style.

Well, it has been a long run but the Palace Station is no longer my favorite Las Vegas casino. They’re $.99 22oz bone-in ribeye steaks have been outplayed by the new and swanktastic Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan sits nuzzled in between the monstrosity that is City Center and the Bellagio and directly on top of The Jockey Club, which I bet you didn’t even know was lodged in there.

The newest addition to the infamous Las Vegas Strip has got a lot of attention leading up to its soft opening this week and it is all fairly credited. I did some on-site reporting last night to give you an insider’s take on the new resort and casino. Unfortunately, my press pass for jonmackin.wordpress.com was denied and I was not given my comped suite, meals and New Years Eve concert tickets, (looks like I’m going to have to fire another personal assistant) so Youtube videos and pirated pictures from Google Images will have to suffice.

I will begin by highlighting the overall theme and of this little gem. It is not their aim to attract the whales from Dubai and Macao, instead they would like to focus in on the 25-45, college graduate, with $75K + income. If they wanted more senior citizens playing Bingo and Keno they would have built another MGM Resorts property. OOOOOhhhhhh burn! And President John Unwin definitely knew the type of guest he wanted to attract when this was still in the planning stages.

The overall theme of the property is representative in the decor from the chandeliers throughout the casino to the warm and inviting suites. Planning a wedding, I have come to learn the terms “vintage” and “contemporary,” which would both be applicable on this new classic. It puts a modern twist on traditionally swanky hotels. If you took the casino out you would think you were in some original Hollywood boutique hotel. If you took the hotel out you would think you were in a purple version of the Monte Carlo in Monaco.

That is how they tailor their gaming, suites, and also food and beverage. You can find all of you standard beverages at any of the bars throughout the Cosmopolitan. However, they try to embrace their uniqueness by having customized beverage lists ranging in craft beers, rare wines, and spirits that cannot be found at your local CVS. They have mixologists pouring and shaking up drinks that have never been made before bringing their individuality points up. They even took the typical casino center bar and stretched it across three floors and draped in a giant chandelier.

The dining options are nearly endless. Every high-end casino has about 10 options with cuisine stretching across the whole gamete. They have interesting takes on their steakhouse/lounge STK, buffet, French fusion, and many others. They even have a walk-up Mexican/Chinese take-out spot for all of you late night cravings. It is the little touches like this that really set them apart from other pretentious hotels on the strip.

http://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/taste/restaurant-collection.aspx

The nightlife is run through Marquee Nightcub and Dayclub in the warmer months. “The venue is more than 62,000 square feet, with 50-foot-tall ceilings and an unparalleled multi-million-dollar sound stage designed to cater to any performer’s whim. Coliseum-style seating surrounds a focal dance floor, where one can marvel at the four-story LED screens and projection walls that will display customized light and image shows distinctly tailored for each performance. In addition to the Nightclub space, Marquee will debut its Dayclub in the warmer spring months. Featuring Grand Cabanas with individual infinity pools, the Dayclub also boasts a multitude of three-story Bungalow Lofts, complete with a cabana, living quarters and a party deck on top.

Resident DJ, DJ Vice, will be spinning his Serato with the lastest in hip-hop and fist pumps. The grand poohbah of all parties will be this New Years Eve when the Jiggman hits the stage with Coldplay. Jay-Z and Coldplay cover a demographically sound fan base that makes seeing Kim Kardashian seem like Roseanne Barr. This concert will also be showing on their giant marquee along Las Vegas Blvd. Normally you could not pay me enough to go to the strip for NYE but I might consider this if H.O.V.A. sent me a fruit basket.

I always surprised to find out that they had a little shopping promenade and pretty good shopping at that. I spent all of my time in “CRSVR” trying on UNLV snap-back hats and staring at Air Max 95s but there was a bikini store for the ladies and “AllSaints” which looked like the clothing out of “The 5th Element” and the only good musical ever made “Newsies,” but whatever floats your boat I guess.

Now is the time to seize the day and go pretend to be a tourist and check it out. We even got lucky and were given a guided tour just because we looked like lost Europeans (I think it was either my peacoat or Danielle’s top hat). “The Cosmo” as it will come to be known is bringing Vegas back to some of its old roots by being classy without being gaudy, being fun without having to sacrifice quality, and being “just the right amount of wrong.”

I love me some high-fructose corn syrup and the best way to utilize this sticky sweet is in a carbonated beverage. Right now society is so health conscious using alternative sugars like Aspartame (which is proven to cause cancer is extremely high amounts) and the natural and surprisingly tasty option Astevia.

However, I still am a fat kid that loves soda at heart and there are thousands to choose from. But do not fret as I have done all the dirty work for you as I have made a playlist of my favorite sodas of all time. These icy cold ones are the reason I was “husky” in 6th grade before basketball season and probably the reason I am diving head first into vats of craft beer.

As ushe (that’s “usually” abbreviated, sorry I know it doesn’t roll of the tongue that well) my ten will differ from your ten, your Mom’s ten, the guy she liked in high school’s ten, and his kid who you played soccer with when you were sever years old’s ten. So, please feel free to voice your opinion on the platforms that I may have missed.

10. All Sport: Thank God for this blog! I have gone the last 8 years thinking All Sport was discontinued but thanks to my research I have come to find out it still exists. The last time I had it was in the 9th grade when I drank three bottles prior to basketball intramurals (much different from college intramurals) and puked it all up. But I’ll tell you it was just as good coming up as it was going down. It stands in a class of its own of being a carbonated sports drink that is paired extremely well with CCSD cafeteria chocolate chip cookies.

9. Code Red Mountain Dew: I was never a big fan of original Mountain Dew. I didn’t like the citrusy and grapefruit-like nodes I got when it was swirled in a fine piece of glassware. However, I did like its fruit punch-inspired cousin, Code Red. A Code Red vintage 2004 can be best enjoyed from a Taco Bell accompanied by a Cheesy Gordita Crunch and Beefy Five-Layer Burrito. Pure bliss.

8. Canada Dry Ginger Ale: Made with real bits of panther, I mean ginger, so you know it’s good. This is a mature and sophisticated soft drink that can make a kid look old and an old guy look well.. older. This aromatic drink will leave your taste buds buzzing with excitement even from high altitudes. Which just so happens to be its ideal serving location. Next time you are aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, order a Ginger Ale to wash down your two packs of dry roasted peanuts, it is pairing that will have you truly perturbed if you hit a storm cell or some turbulence causing your drink to swell over its shallow cupholder like a soda tsunami.

7. Club Soda: I know I know. Club Soda is just water with CO2 and sodium. But this chemistry equation is balanced on both sides. Why have water when you can have sparkling water? That’s like choosing a dull diamond over a brilliant one. If there is ever a rare time that I choose to enjoy a nice spirit, I always am sure to cut the bite with fresh soda water straight out of the gun with a lime. It also happens to be the alcoholic drink with the least caloric count, like I’m counting…

6. Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda: This refreshing and sweet treat brings me back to my childhood of frequenting Jewish delicatessens. My Dad was a sucker for a knish and I always went with a Pastrami on Rye. The savoryness of the pastrami was perfectly balanced by the creamy yet subtle sugars of the Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda. Dr. Brown’s can only be found at traditional Jewish delis, so if you can find one I highly suggest you try the Judaic jubilation.

5. Orange Slice: “Who loves orange soda? Kel (and Mackin) loves orange soda.” This is basically candy in a cup. It is highly sweetened and highly delicious. A good friend of mine Chris Dinh, showed me that when used to chase a spiced rum the combination of the two flavors taste just like an orange creamsicle. I actually saw one of these episodes live from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. I was pissed because I wanted to see Mo and the Agro Crag on G.U.T.S. but this was still cool. “Yes, I did I did I did I di-id.”

4. Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper: As if 23 flavors weren’t enough, Dr. Pepper added three more for what would be the most complex flavor profile of all time. It is the only soda that has all categories of the food triangle in one 2-liter bottle. My favorite way to enjoy is with poor-quality delivery pizza. The sub-par pizza really allows the Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper’s flavors to shine through.

3. Surge: This bootleg Moutain Dew was just flat-out a fun drinking experience. It was ridden with sugar and highly caffeineted that had us and the wall ball bouncing off the walls at lunchtime. You have never hit a tetherball so hard as you have after drinking a can of Surge. It was the children’s version of steroids that never really tasted that great but was fun to make fun of your guy friends when they drank it by saying “it lowers your sperm count, it lowers your sperm count.” Like we even knew what that meant at the age of 9.

2. Pepsi: Yep, Pepsi over Coke. I choose to go with more sugar and less carbonation. When drank ice cold, the Pepsi almost burns your tongue a little bit. Pepsi encompasses the next generation. Pepsi is American. To me, it isn’t even a matter of discussion when choosing between Pepsi and Coke. The commericals are ground-breaking and are reminiscent of the holiday season when people are cheery. There are the age-old ads, where Pepsi always wins but here is when you might remember that is my favorite.

1. Sierra Mist: I used to drink be a Sprite drinker but when Sprite signed on Kobe Bryant as their spokesman in the late 1990s I was completely turned off and turned on to a much more viable competitor. The commercials are right in that the only way to accurately describe Sierra Mist is with the phrase “shockingly refreshing.” It leaves little bubbles of goodness dancing on your tongue with joy. The lemon/lime flavor is bold but it doesn’t over power. You can have one a warm Summer’s eve or beside a cozy fireplace in the Winter. Truly balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. Everything a soda should be. Amen!

I come to you all on this “My Life Monday” with a little conundrum that is currently occupying my brain. I have been in a long-term relationship with Verizon for about 10 years now. We have had our ups and downs over the course of our relationship just like any other and I am officially changing our relationship status to “it’s complicated.”

Having the best network for the last decade just isn’t enough anymore. I need Verizon to put just as much into this relationship as I am and I can honestly say “it’s not me, it’s you.” For the last 5 years I have been dumping $140 a month into a little line item in your accounts receivable and I am finally fed up with your shit. If we’re going to make it through these time tough times we’re going to have to do it together.

I’m at the breaking point right now where if Verizon doesn’t make some serious changes I’m going to call it quits and take my business elsewhere. I currently have an offer on the table to take my talents to T-Mobile for the same minutes, unlimited text messaging and data for $89.99 a month. On the real though, there is a lot more to a relationship than a carrier and minutes, there is the “coup de grâce” of a cellular experience, the mobile device.

Over the last four years I have been addicted to the CrackBerry pipe. I have taken what was normally a business phone for boring people and completely rebranded it as the MackBerry. I started off with the World Edition, adopted the black sheep of the Blackberry family, the Storm, and dropped it like it wasnt hot for the Tour which has taken me everywhere and back. I get choked up just at the thought of leaving my BBM and memos behind but I believe I have found greener grass.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side but I do believe as though I have found better options. Danielle has been with T-Mobile for over ten years and they are trying to convert me from the Verizon Red to T-Mobile Pink. The monthly plan is definitely nice but it is Charles Barkley, D-Wade, and Superman and their MyTouches with Android operating systems that are really making me take this life decision seriously.

I have been a huge texter over the course of my cellular career and have always been a huge advocate for real buttons opposed to touchscreens. However, with new “Swype” technology texting has become even easier. It allows you to swipe your fingers across the keyboard from letter to letter without having to pick up your little chicken fingers. It is like playing connect the dots with words.

Cool right? I have not completely given up yet though. Right now, I’m Carmelo Anthony playing for the Denver Nuggets (Verizon) while the New York Knicks (T-Mobile) is really where I want to be but there still are those pesky New Jersey Nets (Sprint) out there in a bidding war for me.

Sprint has some pretty good players that are definitely tempting. The have the EVO, the BlackBerry Style, and a fairly priced plan with a really good network. However, they just don’t have the “it factor” for me. They sponsor NASCAR which goes against everything I believe in and I’m not a big fan of black and yellow color scheme unless it’s being rocked by the Pittsburgh kid, Wiz Khalifa.

Like I said, I have not completely jumped ship yet and am still entertaining offers. That being said, I will not host an hour-long special on ESPN to let the world what service provider I will take my talents to for the next two years. Instead, I would like to surround myself with the right entourage of people who care about me and my interests instead of the people who are hanging on to me just for my BBMs.

This is a big “decision” and I want to make sure I don’t rush into it and choose hastily for the mere approval of my crew and cronies. I would like to solicit for the help and expertise of people who are educated on these subjects. People who can compare both the pros and cons for me so as to assist me in making the right choice, for myself and my lifestyle. If you have any advice for me on this dilemma, insider trading tips, or a cool app to download polyphonic ringtones it would be greatly appreciated.