Archive for August, 2009

Congrats Joe and Jennifer!

August 26, 2009

Congrats to Joe and Jennifer who are getting married as the sun goes down in Maui tonight.  I wish them all the best and hope that it’s the wedding they both dreamed about.  Definitely wish I could have been there…


Happy Birthday to my Dad

August 18, 2009

IMG_2409Let me get this out of the way really quick, very jealous of how he’s spending this years birthday!  He, my Mom, Chris, and Stacy are off to see the Allman Brothers and the Doobie Brothers at SPAC.  Two bands that can probably still put on a good show and still put out some good music.

Music has been a part of his life for a long time.  Whether driving down the road and playing the “Who Sings This?” game or supporting the family’s musical interests, he’s made sure, that music and performing is something we’re comfortable with.

My dad played in a band called the DeSotos.  At various venues around Troy, he, my Aunt, and my Uncle, along with some of their old friends would get up and entertain a crowd of what was probably a couple hundred people.  As a kid though, those 500 people seemed like thousands.  I can remember being up close at some of these events, turning around, and being amazed by the people and how much fun they were having.  I think those moments, watching the fun he was having and seeing the reaction from the people around him, really shaped who I am today.  It’s probably where I caught this acting, singing, drumming bug…

So thanks Dad for the music, thanks for the smiles, and thanks for keeping me happy through some tough parts of my life.  Happy Birthday!


Jeff Jr.


August 18, 2009

IMG_1023Congrats to my brother Chris and his fiance Stacy who recently got engaged!  Very happy for them both and hope Stacy knows what she’s in for as part of this family!

Tess and Tony’s Wedding- Part 2

August 5, 2009

Congrats to my cousin Tess and Tony on their marriage!  A big thank you to their whole family for getting my dad out there for the weekend!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

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My Dad reading the intentions

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Most of the Manion Women

Some of the women of the Manion family

My Mom and her brothers

My Mom and her brothers

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Pa's still got moves at his age!

Who gave them maracas?

Who gave them maracas?

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Tess & Tony's wedding- 7-18-09 091

Thanks for reading…

Tess and Tony’s Wedding Part 1- The Roadtrip

August 5, 2009

Roadtrips were common in my family growing up.  A couple times during the year, we were packing up the car for some great adventure either to New Hampshire, Michigan, or other locale.  To us kids, the roadtrip was easy.  Sleep, keep your hands to yourself, play with your toys, eat, bathroom, window, and ask stupid questions.  As we got older, it was still pretty easy but some prep work was thrown in.  I can remember the night before getting the car all packed up and trying to claim the right spot with the right book.  The final close of the van’s back hatch or the WHOMP of my dad trying to squeeze everything in to the trunk is a sound that’s ringing in my ears as we speak.

I’m sure you can remember the 20 minutes it took to finally get everything together, get everyone buckled in, and getting on the road.  I’m sure someone in your car did a deep breath sigh as they shifted their weight around to get comfortable, but then suddenly realized, “I forgot to lock the front door”.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if in your experience there wasn’t loud laughter, loud voices, and loud crying at some point along the way.

The last roadtrip didn’t go so bad.  It too involved a wedding.  So I thought, let’s keep the good karma going and do another one of these running commentaries on the trip out to my cousin Tess’s wedding in Michigan.  But as you’ll see, it didn’t go quite as planned because this was all we tracked.  I’ll give it a second to sink in and then we’ll break it down…

  • 917- almost had first accident
  • 921- rock paper sissors mom loves MIA.
  • 956- amy teaches jeff the “roger rabbit dance”… in the car
  • 1250- downpour and first fight breaks out
  • 120- porn discussion

A little perspective before we begin, the only people in the car were myself, my sister, and my mom.  At the end of the trip, we jokingly agreed that this will never happen again for an extended period of time.

  • 917- almost had first accident

Some idiot tried to put two cars in one lane.  That idiot was me.  I kept quiet but my mom had a few comments.  Not for me, but for the other guy.  🙂

  • 921- rock paper sissors mom loves MIA

Who’d have known that my mom loves the MIA song “Paper Planes”?  She a closeted hip hop fan?  She was singing along to Kanye, MIA, and T.I.  Even did some of the dances in the car.

The other funny thing that came up around this time is that my sister and I were walking home from a get-together the night before and were doing Rock Paper Scissors for who was driving first.  Shooting on three, we each threw rock the first time.  Then both threw paper.  Then rock again.  This continues three more times.  Literally six times we each threw the same thing.  Family thing?

  • 956- amy teaches jeff the “roger rabbit dance”… in the car

I had no idea that there was an actual Roger Rabbit dance.  I’ve seen the hustle, the charleston, and have a stylish version of the cabbage patch along with the “snapping fingers close to chest”.  But the Roger Rabbit?  I called shenanigans to Amy’s claim and lo and behold, she started doing it in the car.  Feet going behind each other and everything.  No, we weren’t driving a motor home, it was a Toyota Camry.  And she was in the front seat.

  • 1250- downpour and first fight breaks out

Almost four hours down and we were starting to get a little, um, (get ready for the word of the day) acrimonious.  I’m a proactive person.  I try to head off a problem before it begins however, if you combine this with a little, oh, (looking for a word that says bad tension…ah, got it), irascibility, it tends to come out (easy word) crabby.  I’ll admit it when I’m wrong.  I was getting crabby in the car.  Tempers were rising amongst everyone and up ahead, I could a bad storm forming.  Probably a little too crabbily, I stopped my mom mid sentence and said, “Here’s the deal.  I need to both to shut your mouths.  We’re about to drive through a big storm and all I want to hear is the sound of the rain hitting the windshield and the wipers pushing it away.”

What this timestamp really recorded was my first practice at, “If you kids don’t stop fighting, I’m turning this car around.”

I appreciated that they did both actually keep quiet… until…

  • 120- porn discussion

You gotta love my sister for saying the most random things at the right time.  “Why are there so many sex shop billboards on this highway?”

Most of the time when I hit my head against the table, or smack my palm against my forehead, there’s some effort behind it.  But I tell you honestly, it was like my neck just gave out and my head came down like it was hitting a pillow onto the steering wheel.  It stayed there for a second, and yes, I’m still driving.  It didn’t pick back up until I hear a voice that has helped me through many of the world’s problems that she diligently solves everyday, “You know Amy, I think it’s the economy.”  For the next 10 or 15 minutes, they continued this discussion about the porn industry.  My mom and my sister.

I was doing all I could to keep my neck up straight.

The ride home was punctuated by this picture:

Tess & Tony's wedding- 7-18-09 094Look at that smile on his face.  You know why he’s smiling?  Because in the background, you might be able to pick up that he’s at the airport.  This smug guy is all smiles because he knows for the next two hours he’ll be riding on a plane while one of his sons, his daughter, and his wife are crammed into a car.  This smug guy is all smiles because he’ll be able to ride in peace while we attempt not to kill each other for six hours.

In reality, the ride home was pretty funny and a lot of smiles.  Mainly from comments about that morning’s breakfast and from the shock of the awesomeness of IKEA.

All in all, it was a good trip and worth it to see a lot of family come together again.

Thanks for reading…