Friday, March 30, 2007

Trip to Nashville, Book 2: The Only Ten I See

The reason for going to Nashville at such a random time of the year was for my cousin's wedding. Actually, would he be a cousin? He's the son of my dad's cousin. So what's that? 3rd cousin? 2nd cousin something removed? I don't know. It was my cousin David's wedding.

Anyway, the ceremony took place in a gorgeous cathedral. I'm not Catholic, so I don't get to witness too many of these buildings. But the Catholic cathedrals I've been to... wow. I'm just amazed at the intricacy of all the art and icons. I sat next to my cousin, Jamey, who is also a single guy. And he's a first cousin, so I'm pretty clear on that one.

We sat there during the wedding and looked around the sanctuary, in full Wedding Crashers mode. Okay, maybe not full Wedding Crashers mode. Semi-Wedding Crashers mode. I'm just not that kind of guy. But the point is, I was looking around and noticing the large number of very attractive young women. As I looked, I made the comment that there were a lot more hot girls on the bride's side. The more I thought about that, I became even more relieved. 'Cause it was then that I realized, if they were sitting on the groom's side, that greatly increased the chances that we were related somehow. It's Tennessee... not Kentucky...

Two girls in particular struck my fancy. The first I noticed was the guest book girl, who we'll call "The Greeter" since I never got her name. Absolutely gorgeous. But she was there with a boyfriend. That one was over before it ever began. And please, if The Greeter had been there alone, I still wouldn't have gotten her name. Try to remember who you're reading about here.

The second will be known only as "Candy Striper." I call her that because she was wearing a dress with pink and white vertical stripes. Looked like a candy striper to me. I first saw her at the reception when I went out to the hallway to check my voicemail. She was on the phone having a heated conversation with, what I can only assume was, a significant other. I mean, she's yelling and in tears. Remember that I had recently viewed Wedding Crashers in preparation for such an occasion. Immediately I'm flashing in my mind to me with my arm around her consoling her while she cries on my shoulder. And then I cleared my mind of that non-event and went back to the party. Good times.

So the moral? Acting like the guys from Wedding Crashers will never happen for me, no matter how much I may pretend I want to.

In reality it was a good time. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Peck.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Trip to Nashville, Book 1: Lots of Driving

Welcome to the first of my reports on a recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee. My sister and I both went there for our cousin's wedding. In this installment, I will discuss the worst part of the trip: driving alone, with only my thoughts to keep me company.

When I was a kid, I remember it taking 8-plus hours to drive from Roanoke to Nashville. I made the drive in roughly 6 and a half. But as I think about this, it makes sense. Back then, it was a family of four with two small children in the backseat. This time it was just me. I stopped for gas once and a seperate bathroom break one other time. It was a decent drive.

You know what's bad about long trips though? Bad drivers. They're all over the place. People who are just inconsiderate, rude, vulgar. Take, for instance, a guy in a gold Ford Taurus. He was a dealership owner, 'cause he had those independent dealer tags on his car. He would speed up, ride someone's bumper for about 15 minutes, and then finally decide to pass. And then he would repeat the process over and over again. I watched this happen over the course of about 100 miles. I lost him somewhere just past Knoxville, and then regained him about an hour before I got to Nashville.

Have you ever made this drive? The drive between K-town and Nash Vegas? There is a spot on I-40 where you can see these ginormous smoke stacks. When I was a kid, they seemed bigger. I think they get smaller each time I make the trip.

The drive back? I did the radio the whole way back. I hit scan 'til I found a station playing a song I liked and left it there 'til I lost the signal, then repeated the process as needed. Doing this, I heard Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" four times between Nashville and Roanoke. FOUR TIMES! I used to like that song. Stay tuned for future blogs regarding a great restaurant, and a beautiful wedding.

Monday, March 26, 2007


First of all, what the heck is up with everyone getting engaged? It's like the people I knew during my time at Bluefield College have all gotten some sort of mailer that says it's the "in" thing to do. They must have lost my address, 'cause I didn't get that memo.

I joke. I'm very happy for all my friends who have been lucky enough to find that one person that they can spend the rest of their lives with. I, myself, just added a 4th wedding to my 2007 calendar. The first that I knew about will happen on October 20. In this wedding, I am a groomsman for Andy Berry. The 2nd wedding I knew of is happening in December. This is the wedding in which I am best man #1 (yeah, that's right, I said it!). Next, but actually happening soonest, is the October 6th wedding of Hollie Harmon, in which I will be singing. And as I said, I found out today that Cassie Godfrey is engaged. And the wedding? October 20th. BUM BUM BUUUUUMMMM!!!!

Two weddings in the same day. Happening about 400 miles apart. Can it be done? My sister said to book a flight. Problem solved. No, I'm in Andy's wedding, meaning I'll have to be there for the prewedding events, the reception, the decorating of the car.

I ran into the same problem last summer. Ryan getting married in Roanoke, Meghan getting married in Bluefield. That situation wasn't as bad though: I wasn't in either wedding, and it was only a 2 hour car trip. My solution: I attended Meghan's wedding, then drove to Roanoke for Ryan's reception. Problem solved.

I'll be looking for some creative solutions if anyone out there has any. Obviously, my priority will be Andy's wedding. And I know that going to both weddings will be impossible, but I'd like to at least say that I tried to find a way.

Maybe I could call Cassie and convince her to postpone things a bit. I see the conversation going something like this:

Me: "Hey Cassandra, I know the world doesn't revolve around me, but let's pretend for a minute that it does. I'm in Andy's wedding on the same day as yours. Could you move yours to, say, October 27th?"
Cassandra: "Why yes, Aaron, I'd be more than happy to accomodate your needs on my most special day. Your friendship means the world to me and I would hate to think you weren't there on that day of days."
Me: "That's such a relief to hear."

The end. Hey, it's my mind that's creating the conversation. It may not exactly like that, but you never know.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eleven Herbs & Spices

I've discovered recently that I am addicted to the Kentucky Fried Chicken bowl. A lot of people I know think they're gross, what with the huge mix of foods. For some reason they freak out when seperate foods touch. It's people like that who invented the divided plates.

Personally, I think these bowls are great. Mashed potatoes, gravy, popcorn chicken, shredded cheese. Mmmm boy. It comes with corn too, but I get them to take that out. Not a fan of the corn.

Anyway, I truly think this is an addiction. I can go months without eating at KFC, but then on a whim I drive through and grab a bowl, and the next day I want another one. Just thinking about it right now... the mouth is watering... my knee is bouncing just a little. I was kidding about that last part.

But really, I think the Colonel's recipe must include crack.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

What happened to 26?

I turned 27 today. I turned 27 and had a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese's.

I don't see anything wrong with that at all. In fact, I had a great time. And I may be overstepping my bounds, but I'm fairly certain everyone had a pretty good time. I mean, what's not fun about pizza and skee ball?

It didn't start out that great though. I mean, mom took me out for breakfast, which was nice. And we went to see The Number 23 this afternoon, which was also nice. But coming out of the theater, my car wouldn't start. No power at all. This is very bad, especially since I just bought a battery for the thing last summer. So, I'm thinking, "Happy birthday to me..." in a sarcastic kind of way. Turns out it wasn't a big deal. We got it towed, got it fixed, and everything was ship shape.

Why is it that whenever you have a birthday, there are inevitably people who ask, "Do you feel any older?" My answer is always no. I mean, I feel pretty much the same as I did yesterday. Do I feel older than, say, 4 or 5? Absolutely. Am I grasping for that level of immaturity by partying with a 6 foot rat? I guess that's possible. I didn't take the time to examine the psychological ramifications of turing 27 at a restaurant where a kid can be a kid.

I did like the reaction that a friend had to hearing I was having a birthday at Chuck E. Cheese. "That is classic Aaron Peck." I don't mind that at all. And she meant it in a good way. The way I see it, why not make each birthday a little memorable? I hear a lot of people say of their birthday, "it's just another day." Why should it be that way? Do it up right folks! Do something fun, something that you'll enjoy doing. Involve your friends. This year was Chuck E. Cheese, but it doesn't have to be a restaurant to be special. Last year I was with a few friends in Richmond, hanging out in an apartment eating tacos and dang quesadillas. Next year, I'm thinking roller skating. If I decide, when the time comes, that my knees can handle it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

A Better Best Man

Not long ago, Brandon asked me to be a best man in his wedding. I say "a" best man because he's having two. Standing up there with the groom will be myself and mutual friend Mark.

So I asked Brandon, "If we were being listed in movie credits, who would be Best Man #1?"

He said not to make him choose. So it's between me and Mark. For awhile we had a back and forth competition to see who is the true Best Man #1. In Mark's column, he's known Brandon longer, they were roommates for 2 full years. For me, I live closer these days, we hang out a lot since we're both in town, we go to the same church, and I'm listed before him on his MySpace top 8. I think that says a lot right there.

All joking aside, I'm honored to be considered a best man. And I'm honored to be in the same category as Mark. So, raise your glasses... To the happy couple!

Friday, March 02, 2007

So Easy A Caveman Can Do It!

I need to say something about this.

I just read an article on Yahoo saying that the Geico Cavemen may have their own sitcom coming to a television near you. That's right, ABC has ordered a pilot based on the Geico Cavemen. Don't believe me? See for yourself:

Now, I know that not all pilots are picked up as series. In fact, most pilots that are shot fall by the wayside. But just to know that these down on their luck Cavemen are finally getting a break in our society is a great thing.

I personally look forward to every new Caveman commercial. But the first one is still the best. Who saw that coming, right? "So easy, a caveman can do it!" And then the caveman operating the boom mic... well, you know what happens. I still laugh.

Now, do I actually believe that this show (if it is developed into a series) will make it? Absolutely not. I mean really, how many episodes can you get out of three cavemen trying to make it in the 21st century? I've tried, but it just doesn't stop being funny for me.

Playing Catch Up

Hey kids. I know... It's been a long time. Too long. Almost two years now. Wow, where does the time go?

Wanna play catch up? Let's do it!

I guess since the title of this blog is "The Single Guy," I should address the question "Am I still single?" Of course I am. That status hasn't changed even a little bit. Sure, other friends have gotten married over the course of the past 20 months. And just within the past two months, several have gotten engaged. But don't you worry. I'm stayin' strong.

I'm in a holding pattern right now. I'll begin my seminary years this fall. But in the meantime I'll be living here in Roanoke working a part-time temporary job, which will be good. Because I need a little stress as possible these days.

Now, what follows are some key passages from the place I've been blogging recently:

Originally posted 10/11/2006:

As some of you may or may not know, my dad passed away last Friday night. He was 53 years old.

Dad was a quiet, soft-spoken man. If you saw him in a crowd, it was probably from across the room and he was keeping to himself, especially if he didn't know a lot of people in that crowd. But if you really knew him, you knew him as a generous, caring, talented, and funny man.

Dad always had a way of making people smile. His sense of humor was unique to say the least. Growing up, he was always able to make me laugh, no matter how bad I was feeling. I could have been in the middle of crying about something awful and he would have me cracking up with tears streaming down my cheeks.

He was always helping other people out. He was ready at the drop of a hat to do anything he could to make someone else feel better. That's the kind of friend he was.

For the last few years of his life, his health was deteriorating, but he never missed a step. Though a weak heart caused him to retire early, he still remained active in his church. Though he was tethered to an oxygen tank 24/7 for nearly 3 years, he still sang with his choir, and performed solos, and led worship. He had a heart that sought to do the will of God, and he knew that God could still use him.

That was Dad. He loved his family and his friends. Most of all he loved God and had an amazing relationship with Him. Dad isn't here with us anymore, but I have no doubt about where he is. I have no doubt that Christ was able to say to Dad, "Well done my good and faithful servant." I'm sure he's still singing, probably showing the angelic chorus a thing or two.

I hope and pray that I will be a man like him: with even a tenth of his integrity, compassion, wisdom, and love. He will be missed by so many, but none of us will lack fond memories of Grayson Lee Peck.

Originally posted 1/18/07:

I like Grey's Anatomy. I think it's a pretty good show. But tonight's episode really hit home. It hit home hard. Almost like being slammed by a freight train.

If you haven't seen the episode and don't want the plot to be spoiled, then stop reading right now. I mean it, 'cause I'm gonna tell what happened.

George O'Malley's father has been a patient at Seattle Grace for the last several episodes, dealing with heart problems and cancer. Though his surgeries had been successful in prior episodes, his body couldn't handle the stress. Tonight, Dr. O'Malley and his family made the difficult decision to let him go instead of prolonging his suffering. I told you I was gonna reveal key plot points. You were warned, so don't get mad at me.

Dad has been gone for a little more than three months. But his absense still hurts. It's like this constant ache that never goes away. And some times, it's a sharp pain. Tonight was one of those times. I realize that the circumstances of my father's death and the death of a fictional television character were different, but I couldn't help but notice certain similarities.

I think George summed it up pretty well at the end of the show when he said, "I just can't imagine existing in a world where my dad doesn't." To which Christina responded, "That doesn't go away."

So now the tears have stopped and I am once again able to breathe. I miss him so much every day. Sometimes I feel like I'm just going to wake up from this horrible dream. I just keep waiting for someone to come along and pinch me.

I know those are somewhat depressing. But that's what life has been of late. And that's what people blog about. Life. So if you've been keeping up with me on MySpace, then you're up to date. Keep in touch kids.