Good things come to those who wait

…and wait…and wait…and wait I have.

My level of patience has often been revered. Traffic? No big deal, that’s why I have music and radio. Lines at the grocery store? There are magazines to make fun of, or temptation in the form of chocolate-covered whatevers to consider; that I will inevitably talk myself out of purchasing.

Ferris Bueller may be right when he says that life moves pretty fast, but it doesn’t mean that I have to.

When it comes to my life experience with dating, and even relationships, I’ve certainly wrestled against the frustration when something wouldn’t work out and I’d be left pondering, “Will I ever meet someone who could be a true contender for taking my last name?” (No, this is not a direct quote)

While typically trying to remain optimistic a vast majority of my dating experiences in the past decade often increased the level of doubt to this ever-present question.

That is until I met her almost a year ago:

CaliTrip (10)

No, I didn’t meet her in a subway. This is from a trip we recently took to visit my old home of Los Angeles. In fact, let me briefly entertain you with some pictures from said trip.

Here we have a foggy shot of my home-away-from-home when in LA – the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica:

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We also decided to visit Hollywood:

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The Universal City Walk (near Universal Studios Hollywood):

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There were even a couple of visits to one of my favorite donut places, that have the BEST old fashioned EVER:

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But one particular place we decided to visit was my absolute favorite from this trip. We did a wine tasting in Malibu. I can assure you that during the pictures that follow neither of us were drunk, or really even slightly buzzed.

CaliTrip (5)

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This is also where I ultimately decided to then do this:

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Which resulted in many gestures like this for the remainder of our trip:

CaliTrip (9)

So that’s it.

After 33 years of patience I was finally able to trick some poor woman into accepting the invitation to put up with my crazy shenanigans for the rest of our lives.

This is FAR from the end of the story, and not even really the beginning. You see, we’ve decided to start a blog together where we can share our own personal experiences during the entire wedding planning process. We are stuck on what to call it though, so any suggestions are welcomed with open arms.

Otherwise stay tuned for information on the name, and web address, for the new blog where the fiance and I will share stories…past, present, and future.

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Lost in the City of Angels

Have you heard of 30 Seconds to Mars?

If you watched the Oscars, and saw Jared Leto’s win for Supporting Actor, you have likely become familiar with his band.

I’ve been following this musical group since 2005/2006. However, there is one thing that has sucked me in deep into their fandome…the music videos. They are movies/documentaries all on their own.

This video has been my recent repeat-play lately:


Sort of makes since considering I just recently returned from a vacation to Los Angeles.

This is also another one of those cliché’ posts apologizing for having not written anything lately. Things have been (more or less) busy. I’d lean more towards the more than anything else.

There are dozens of drafts that will hopefully be finished. To find some writing motivation I’m going to begin a 20-30 day writing challenge.

AND…there will be a creation of a new blog. It will be closely related to this blog, but with a few differences that will make it worth reading both.

Stick with me people. Things are about to get a lot more interesting!

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Lessons from an unexpected teacher

Previously on Inside the Nice Guy – The greater the risk, the greater the gain.

Though most of the specifics during the trip through Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, are lost, I’m sure most of my time was spent listening to various music compilations burned to compact disc, guzzling down astoundingly large amounts of carbonated caffeine drinks, and trying to avoid thinking about how bat-shit scared I was.

Sure, I had saved up a decent cushion to help finance part of my move, and enable my ability to provide man’s basic needs for survival. That would only last so long. What would happen if I didn’t find a job before I ran out of money?

When it came to having a place to kick-up my feet at night…well…luck was gracious enough to strike and provide a solution to that particular dilemma.

At the time I knew less than a handful of people in Los Angeles. Of the few I was still in touch with were a couple of girls (sisters), whom I had gone to school with through high school, that had moved out there a few years prior. They referred me to another fellow previous classmate who moved out there for film school.

Coincidentally, the estimated dates I was hoping to move were the very same when his roommate was moving out. It didn’t take long to consider this opportunity and tell him to call off his search.

We were expected to arrive in L.A., mid-morning. Plans had been made so my roommate would meet up with us to let us in, and help unload our vehicles. As we approached the city I gave him a call to let him know we’d probably be outside of the apartment in 15-20 minutes. He was away doing some location scouting for his senior thesis film, but confirmed he would be there not much longer after us. He recommended we wait near the parking garage to the complex, which was underneath an overpass for ‘the 10′ freeway.

Sure enough we beat him to the complex and parked our cars.

If you are not familiar with the city, Los Angeles has a rather large homeless community. A popular location to take shelter is underneath an overpass, where you can sometimes see the construction of “little cities” made of boxes, shopping carts, and anything else stable enough to provide shelter.

Within my first 15 minutes of being a Los Angeleno I experienced two events that stick with me to this very day.

The first was the simple act of a homeless woman getting up from her blanket, walking over to the curb, dropping her pants, squatting, and taking a literal piss on Los Angeles. Though some could say she was making a political statement; I tend to believe she simply needed to pee.

The second event is a little more profound, and perhaps slightly poignant. At the time my father was a smoker. (He no longer is; proud of you Dad) After having lit up a cigarette a homeless gentleman approached him asking if he could get a smoke. As my father handed him one from the pack, this gentleman tried to then exchange it for a quarter.

He was going to pay my father $.25 for the cigarette.

Witnessing this was probably the best thing I could have seen during that particular time in my life. Plus, it made for a much better following-up to the witnessing of the previously mentioned voiding of the bowels.

That quarter could have very well been the only money this guy had. He was willing to part with this for a simple smoke. Some may criticize saying, “Well, there’s the reason he’s homeless/poor/etc.; he doesn’t know how to manage his money.” Blah, blah blah.

That’s one way to look at it, sure.

But here’s what I took away from it.

Up until this point in my life I have been around smokers on a frequent basis. From my experience it’s not rare that when one person lights up another may want to, only to realize they don’t have any on them. This would then result in a complete stranger asking to “bum a smoke.” Smoker #1 then typically hands one over willingly; where Smoker #2 simply says “Thanks.”

In most of those scenarios, I had never seen said stranger offer money in exchange for the cigarette. But here was a man with very little (to our knowledge) still willing to provide some sort of compensation to my dad; a person who has the means to buy his own cigarettes, provide for himself and his family, and help his son move hundreds of miles away from his childhood home.

Maybe it’s my eternally optimistic disposition towards life, but it was that very moment I saw one of the best examples ever that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and that kindness can be found in even the most unexpected of places.

-to be continued-

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


The greater the risk, the greater the gain

Ten years ago, this month, I executed a decision that would not only end up proving to be more substantial than I could have ever imagined, but it was probably the BEST risk I’ve ever taken.

Having graduated college 6 months earlier my life was primed for the next big step. It was time to enter the professional work force and begin building up to my career.

The job search was long, tiring, and a major pain-in-the-ass. What sort of work could a 22-year-old kid with a degree in Broadcast Journalism find in Nebraska that lived up to the dreams and desires that had begun to take form over the last 4 years?

While skimming the Help Wanted ads in the newspaper I came across an ad for a bartending “college” offering a 40-hour crash course for a relatively reasonable price. If figured it couldn’t hurt since I wanted to become more diverse in my skill set since  most of my practical work experience was working in the back stocking room of a department store, and being a cook at KFC.

In no time (or 40-hours if you’re going to be picky) I learned 93 different cocktails, and mixed drinks, passed my practical drink making exam, was the only person in my class to ace the written final, and earned my certification.

While this little bit of extra education helped me secure numerous interviews at establishments, because of my 100% lack in actual serving experience, they were hesitant to hire me.

Finally, I came across a sports bar that was looking for an additional door guy to check IDs most evenings, and during certain special events during the week. After an excellent interview with one of the night managers, I was not only offered $7.50/hour to sit on a bar stool all night checking the IDs of anyone who looked under 35; he also stated that he’d do what he could to get me on as Bar Back after I’d been there a couple of months.

Upon reflection this was the perfect job for that particular moment in my life. Who can argue with a paid gig where your primary duties are to check IDs and take out the trash when the majority of the cans filled up. The rest of the time I was allowed to write, do crossword puzzles, watch football on one of the dozens of flat screens around the restaurant/bar, and being the personable person I was chat with the servers who would come spend the occasional break in the stool next to me.

It was only a few weeks later that I interviewed for a job at a local company the roasted its own coffee beans, produced various flavors of teas/cocoas/cappuccino mixes, and leased various brewing machines to numerous companies and businesses throughout the Midwest.  I was originally hired as a Receiving Specialist, of which I can barely recall the actual duties assigned to me. That position was dissolved within my first month of employment. I was given the choice of being unemployed, or taking a position in the workshop where I would clean, refurbish, and assemble the machines we leased out.

This was a no-brainer.

As the months came and went, I continued to average work weeks of 60-70 hours; practically banking most of my income since my bills were minimal living at my folks house.

Around Halloween I began looking for an apartment to get with a college buddy of mine who lived in the same city. My father, who knew some of my down-the-road plans, basically smacked me with some knowledge saying, “Do it now before you lock yourself in to something here.”

His words obviously hit home because that very night at the sports bar I began writing a detailed list of everything I needed to do if I were take this big of a step in my life.

Rigorous planning began. After about 2 months all of my ducks were in a row and I was ready to take that first giant step.

If memory serves me correctly it was January 4th, 2004 when my father and I packed up the family minivan, along with “my” ’96 Toyota Camry, and began the 3-day trek across roughly 1400 miles of the United States. I was moving.

Destination: Los Angeles.

-to be continued-

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© Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy, 2010-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photos, videos and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew and Inside the Nice Guy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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