Thursday, December 20, 2007

Season's Greetings Joey Style (2007)

Ho Ho Holy Shit! Can you believe that 2007 is over?! This has been one hell of year (can you believe I actually thought about that intro for two days…its lame, but you have to go with your gut). To say that this year was one for the personal history books would be an understatement and it has been framed by two big events: At the beginning of the year I got engaged and at the end, we purchased a house.

In an attempt to not repeat myself this year, I was thinking of a way to thank my parents without saying "Thanks for putting up with me" again. I ended up making fun of my dad (which I am fine with), but I forgot to wish my Mom a Merry Christmas. So Merry Christmas Di! Don't worry, I may be moving out, but I am not that far away.

The theme of this year has been expansion: Growth of families, greater understanding, and an increase of debt (just kidding…sorta), and of course my father’s expanding gout issues (here is hoping Mean Joe is on his feet this Christmas Eve). Before we start, I must say that Allison has made this year extra wonderful for me – it takes a special kind of woman to find my antics amusing day in and out and I am sure glad she does for some odd reason. With that, I also want to thank the extended Delmonte family for welcoming me into the fold and say that I am darn glad to know you all. I want to congratulate Matt & Karena and Mike & Suzy on their nuptials. Also, for the second year in a row, the baby boom (or expanding the family franchise) has brought more souls into world: Merry Christmas Antonio, Marcus, Jackson, Xander, and Adam.

When you undertake large projects like buying a house or getting married, that is usually the time when people step up and offer advice and warnings. I want to take a moment to single out my sister and my brother-in-law for helping out with the mortgage, answering housing questions, offering suggestions for the wedding (even when I get annoyed). Adriana and Steve really stepped up and helped me this year even when I wasn’t listening. Thanks guys. I’d also like to thank both Anthony Lombardis for offering advice and suggesting (or booking) workers for the house. You made this process a lot easier on me. I can’t mention the house without thanking Mr. Brad Forman – the hardest working realtor this side of a Phish concert. Thanks for sticking with me buddy; it was a long fucking road.

The point of the last three paragraphs is to illustrate how important family & friends are in my life. I usually say I am going to try to see everyone on this list in the coming year, but you know what… I am going to do what I can do, and I am sure you people are out there being beautiful and that is the important part. For those I see regularly, thanks for making yourself available. If I don’t see you often, I hope you are out there enjoying your life and sharing it with people who are important to you. I am over the guilt; I am just going to focus on enjoying the time I have instead of feeling bad that I haven’t seen you in so long. For those friends and family that may have fallen out of touch or aren’t returning phone calls… it hurts people’s feelings, but that’s cool – we are going to be right here when the frenzy has faded – because that is what family does (just don’t expect sugarcoating, because family sure-as-shit doesn’t do that).

It wouldn’t be a real reflection of the year if the good wasn’t mixed with sadness. I am not going to call out people’s personal tragedies in this letter, but I want to say that in every case that I was involved with this year, I think that it will be better with time and by working at what the root of the problem was/is (and that might just mean coming to terms with what happened and moving on with your life). Friends are here to help you during the rough times, let them– it may be hard to ask for help sometimes, but it is usually worth it.

*** SOAPBOX ALERT ***

During this holiday season as I read articles about the war, people losing their homes due to the sub-prime mess, and Philadelphia’s murder rate rising (wow, I am full of cheer this year) – I want to bring attention to the “Xmas Commercialism” that I think we all fall prey to. I was going to type up some rant about people putting energy in the wrong places, but I will just say this: instead of giving someone a tired gift certificate that is going to sit in their desk drawer for a year, make a donation in their name to a good cause.

Here is one that is near and dear to my heart:
MUSIC RISING






*** SOAPBOX ALERT OVER ***


During this time of year, people like to take stock of their lives; I say leave your livestock alone. While it is important to reflect on the year, it is equally important not to dwell on what can’t be changed. I am sure the future will present both triumphs and loses, but I really want to see Mr. Wagner trashing an all night food store again! Who doesn't want to see Tee turn white with laughter? Who doesn’t want to hear about Bert sleeping through his son’s first steps (and through his first year of college)? Who doesn’t want to hear Anthony making random Dom Deluise references? Who doesn’t want to hear Allison say “Yam!”? I want to see it all and I want more damn it!

I am walking into 2008 a very content and happy person, please feel free to walk with me; I think we could all use the exercise.

Happy Holidays!
Love,
Joey

PS: I normally end these messages with something very crass. This year, I wanted something more "wholesome":



(No, I don't know who Scotty is in case you were wondering)

Click here for the 2006 Greeting

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Housing Services

Now that I am a home owner and have done some home improvement activities, I wanted to share some contact information of some of these service guys.

Please note that these vendors work the Philadelphia Tri-state area (there may be some exceptions)

Granite Counters
Kol Marble and Granite
www.kolgranite.com
Phone: 856-857-1430

They did a great job and have very excellent pricing. Unlike Home Depot - they will remove you existing counters at no additional charge, offers a variety of rounding and edging at no additional cost (5-15 dollars per sq ft at the depot), and they can do the job within a week of measurement (HD - up to 5 weeks)

A+ Hardwood
732-877-7576
Ask for Danielle Silva

They can come out on 48 hours notice in most situations (I gave them a week, because of my schedule). They charge by the Square Foot, not by the hour, so they are really fast (I got 800 Sq ft of hardwood, plus 200 linear ft of shoe molding done in 6 hours). As of today, they install the wood at $1.00 per square foot. Try to beat that.

Palladium Home Loans
http://palladiumhomeloans.com
1.888.843.7851
I have to give a special shout out to Palladium. I did not use them because my brother in law owns the company and he asked me to use someone else, but I would have. Steve guided me through everything and watched my back. He really knows what he is doing. If you are buying a home, I suggest you use Steve, he won't let you ruin yourself.

Wells-Fargo
I have to see if Vince wants the shout out... will get back to you on this.

I also have to see if Brad wants a plug as well (Long & Foster)

I will post a video of the before and after stuff soon.