Autumn is fully in the air! Well, almost fully in the air….a lot of autumn is now on the ground and waiting to be raked up by Miss Sheri’s big rake! Luke and Avery like to help with the raking, mostly so they can tackle each other into the big piles of leaves.
On Sunday, we carved Pumpkins for the annual Cub Scouts Pumpkin Carving contest. Kids and knives are always a fun combination! We try to be especially careful at the Shortarmguy house since spare fingers are really a precious commodity for us.
Luke wanted to create a flying saucer pumpkin this year. I thought it was a great until he said he wanted it to have a big, blue ring and snakes and spiders coming out of it on a ramp. I had to scratch my head at those ideas, but he was so proud of it I just smiled and said I loved it!
Avery also had ambitious plans for his carving. He saw on the internet a pumpkin carved into the shape of a spiral and said that was what he wanted. We thought that would be really neat, but forgot about the effects of gravity on pumpkin flesh. As he cut out large chunks of the pumpkin, it started collapsing in on itself. We tried propping it up with pretty orange thumb tacks, but that didn’t work out so great. Needless to say, neither of our boys won any prizes in the pumpkin carving contest. On the bright side, no one could accuse us of carving the boys’ pumpkins for them!
On Friday night, we went to Fuddruckers to see Miss Sheri’s cousin, Deb, and her husband, Al. They’s good people. I also made the wonderful discovery that Fuddruckers sells bottles of beer for only $1.00 all day, every day! Nobody else was really excited about this, but I felt like I just discovered buried treasure!
On Saturday, we went trick or treating at the zoo. It was so sweet seeing all the little kids dressed up as monkeys, bears, caterpillars, and giraffes. Our boys were dressed up as a deadly ninja and the grim reaper complete with a face dripping blood over it. For some reason, the kids dressed up like animals steered pretty clear of us. Not sure why…
Driving home from the zoo, we saw thick black smoke coming from the vicinity of Downtown Prior Lake. It was pretty scary, especially when we saw this burning house in the distance. We were happy to discover that it was just a training exercise for the fire department, but it was still crazy to witness a house engulfed in a raging inferno like this one was!
On Saturday afternoon, we went to the Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard with our friends, the Hornbuckles. We tasted a wide variety of apples, drank apple cider, went for a wagon ride through the orchard, and visited the horses. It was just absolutely joyous.
Jason was especially excited to go on the wagon ride. He kept bouncing up and down on the bench yelling at the driver “Faster, faster, faster!” When we tried to explain to him that tractors aren’t really built for speed but more for power, he refused to listen. He threw himself on the floor of the wagon with his hands over his ears, kicking and screaming, and shouting as loud as he could “Don’t want power, want speed!!!” We gave him an apple to make him happy which seemed to work pretty good.
Well, it was a bit of a crazy week for Shortarmguy and Miss Sheri as we traveled down to Miami’s South Beach for a wild couple of nights.
Although we didn’t arrive into town until late afternoon on Thursday, we still were able to sneak down to the beach for a couple of hours. Plenty of time for Miss Sheri to find some pretty shells for the boys and for me to gawk at the many topless women gallivanting around the beach! I tried to get Miss Sheri to follow the other ladies lead telling her “When in Rome….” but she just told me to “Rome Off!”
The reason for our trip was to get a tattoo at the Miami Ink Tattoo Parlor and to also possibly be on the TLC Show of the same name. It was such an amazing experience to be part of the production of a popular Reality Television Show!! We met so many incredible people and really enjoyed witnessing how a TV show is made. Based on multiple conversations with the crew, I learned that there’s no guarantee that my story will make it on the air. If it does make the show, it probably won’t be on TV until some time in 2008. But even if we end up on the cutting room floor, the memories we made on Friday will last a lifetime!!
There were three of us getting tattoos this day and the other two girls already had tattoos from previous experiences. I asked Brantley (green shirt) if it was going to hurt and she described it as a 3 hour bee sting. I later asked Natalie (pink dress) the same question and she told me it was like a sewing machine going over and over the same spot of your body. These descriptions made me so excited for what was about to happen!
To get a tattoo on Miami Ink, you have to fill out an application on the TLC Website and then it’s reviewed by the casting crew which includes Ashley, Candera, and Cynthia. Not only were these ladies nice enough to select my application from among the thousand or so they get every week, they also hung out with us for most of the day in the green room which was quite fun!
This is Denise. She’s a story producer and was just so cool. She’s a former news anchor woman and has been producing television for many years. For the show, I had to go into a special interview room to tell my story while Denise asked me questions and helped me find my pace! She gave me a hard time when she discovered I was drinking an espresso drink before we were supposed to shoot telling me I already was too “high energy!” I took that as a compliment!
This is Chris Garver. I was very lucky to have him create my tattoo! He’s literally one of the best tattoo artists in the world!! I gave him a design from my buddy, Jon, and he modified it with his own style. He then needled it into my arm for 3 hours. As you can tell by my expression, it does hurt.
Although I didn’t get too many chances to speak to the owners, Ami James and Chris Nunez, it was really cool spending the day in the shop with them. Before we started with Garver, Ami was screwing around with a spray bottle filled with alcohol and a lighter. He was creating a home made flame thrower and shooting it at the other guys. It was kind of scary! I thought the place was going to be burned down before I had a chance to get my ink!
My tattoo ended up being quite a bit bigger than I was expecting, but I’m very fond of it! The stormy seas represents the challenges my family and I have been through in the past, my hand obviously represents us, and the sunny sky represents hope for the future. I like to think that it shows that no matter how tough the situation has been for us, we’ve always kept a positive outlook and stayed focused on reaching for the sky!
After we were all done, we went out to an Irish Pub called The Playwright with Marvin, Teresa, Eric and some other members of the crew. What a great gang of people! I asked them all a bunch of questions about what it’s like to work on a reality TV show and they gave me the inside skinny. And we drank quite a few beers together which set the stage for a late night for Miss Sheri and I.
About Midnight, we were picked up by a Tattoo Artist named Lydia. She’s a good friend of a good friend of mine. She told us she was going to take us out for a wild night on the town. Mission Accomplished, Lydia!
Lydia took us to Love Hate which is the bar owned by the same guys who own Miami Ink. I was pretty excited to go there until these guys stopped me at the front door. They said I couldn’t come into the club because I was wearing shorts! I showed them my new tattoo from Chris Garver thinking it might make me cool enough to break the rules, but they still said No….
So Miss Sheri and I told Lydia that perhaps we should just go home for the night, but she wouldn’t hear it. Quick thinking, she walked me across the street to a drug store and bought me this pair of pants. I objected at first saying they were too far out there, but she convinced me saying “This is South Beach! You’ll blend right in!” I’m glad she made me do it, because we had the time of our lives at Love Hate!
Right after walking in to the club, we saw Chris Garver. He told me he was just getting ready to leave, but was so classy he bought the three of us a drink instead! It made me all the more proud to be a canvas for a creation from this incredible artist!
This is Tim Hendricks. He’s another Tattoo artist that appears on the show. We hung out with him and Chris for awhile in the club which really made us feel like we were sitting with the cool kids in the cafeteria!
This is Jose. He gave us a ride home from our night of debauchery. It was close to 3 am and we had to leave for a flight early the next day. I was in pretty rough shape by the time this photo was taken, but I do remember Jose whispering something to me before I went back to my hotel. I’m pretty sure it went something like this: “Shortarmguy, you just can’t roll with the Good Folks in South Beach!”
So Miss Sheri and I left the world of Reality Television and flew back to Minnesota to experience our own reality.
Lucky for me, I have a great souvenir which will always remind me of our Miami Ink Experience!!
It was a quiet Autumn week in Shortarmguyville. The warm weather allowed us to spend some time outside on Saturday. Avery is seen here navigating the fallen leaves on his roller blades. And that was about as exciting as things got. The rest of the weekend was all downhill from here.
We did get a little wild and crazy and went to the mall to get an eye exam. I was thinking about trying out contact lenses, but have a real difficult time putting them into my eyes. I just can’t keep my eyes open long enough to stick them in there. I’ve tried everything I can think of except wedging my eyelids open with toothpicks. I plan on trying that tactic soon.
The family joined me for my exam and so I treated them all to a soft pretzel. That’s just the kind of guy I am. Everyone was happy but Avery who was ticked because I made him split one with his brother. I guess you just can’t make everyone happy no matter how hard you try.
Things took a turn for the surreal when we went into a store and found these Luke and Avery mugs sitting right next to each other. We decided there must have been some weird cosmic forces at work for that to happen.
On our way home, we decided to be a little adventuresome and stop by the Prior Lake Fire Department. Coincidentally enough, they were having an open house at the time. We were having a lot of fun until Grandma decided to start doing “Uniform Inspections” on all the handsome firemen. She’d walk up to them, place her hand on the front of their pants, look them in the eyes and exclaim “Cup Check!” We told her she had to wait in the vehicle for the rest of the time we spent there.
We thought this Fire Safety House looked pretty cool, so we all went inside.
Now I always thought Miss Sheri had a preference for guys with little arms, but was shocked when she started cozying up to this buff fireman. She told him she admired how built he was and that some ladies sure are lucky to be rescued by a guy like him.
Next thing I know, she’s making comments about how hot she’s getting and I see smoke start rising up from her pants. The room suddenly filled with smoke and the fireman was shouting instructions for all of us to crawl out of the room which we immediately did.
Suddenly I find myself laying on the ground outside the building and this rescue helicopter is arriving to save us all. Luckily no one was hurt, but I know for sure that this was the last time I’m bringing my wife and mother to the fire department!
I found out this week that my application to get a Tattoo at the Miami Ink Tattoo Studio has been accepted. Yes, this is the same studio where the TLC show, Miami Ink, is filmed. Although there’s no guarantee my tattoo and story will actually make it on to the air, just to have my application accepted and to receive a tattoo from the legendary tattoo artist, Chris Garver, is quite an honor in and of itself!! Of course, I’ll have more details on my site as they become available.
Krazy Kory came to town for a Krazy game of golf. It was cold and windy, so we were pretty much the only ones on the course. It was a good game. I lost $1.25 in skins to him, but then forgot to pay him before he left so I’ll have this debt heavily weighing on my head until our next reunion.
On Sunday, Miss Sheri and I had the pleasure of going to downtown Minneapolis to watch our beloved Vikings take on the hated Green Bay Packers. It’s supposedly a home game for us, but there’s so much dang green and gold in the audience that it makes you a little sick. The Vikings lost the game and then we had to walk 10 blocks back to our van in a heavy rain storm. And we still had a dang good time!
Although we generally enjoy booing him, it was pretty cool witnessing history when Brett Favre broke the record for career passing touchdowns. After his touchdown pass to Greg Jennings, there was a video message from Dan Marino congratulating him on the accomplishment. Pretty much the whole Metrodome took a moment to pay their respects to the man and applauded him. Then we quickly resumed our “Packers Suck!” chants.
On Monday night, Miss Sheri and I had the thrill of hanging out with a bunch of Minnesota Vikings at their annual Taste of the NFL event raising money to feed hungry people in Minnesota. This is Chad Greenway who is our second year linebacker. I was tempted to ask if he wanted me to kiss the boo-boo on his nose to make it feel better, but figured he’d crush me.
It was quite a treat shaking one of the Golden Hands of Wide Receiver, Troy Williamson.
Mewelde Moore gave me a huge smile after I said to him “They should play you more!” He responded “Yes, they should. But I’ll get my time.” Interestingly enough, Moore was the subject of several trade rumors this week so maybe that will come true before we know it.
Legendary running back, Chuck Foreman, was inducted into the Vikings “Ring of Fame” at the Metrodome on Sunday. I really like the purple jacket he received for the honor!
Carl Eller certainly is a friendly chap! I think the couple behind us was excited to be included in the photograph with us as well!
Vikings coach Brad Childress has been under quite a bit of fire around the Twin Cities for the team’s 1 and 3 start. I tried to tell him twice to not listen to the haters, but than realized he was ignoring me. I guess he wasn’t in the mood for a Pep Talk from Shortarmguy!
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is a really nice guy. Plus he’s so rich that he had cash literally falling from his pockets so it was fun to follow him around for awhile.
I was being kind of shy about having my picture taken with the Vikings Cheerleaders, but Miss Sheri insisted and asked the girls for me. I sure do have a pretty good wife!!