Fact #3

– Caroline Madigan

Fact #2

– Caroline Madigan

The Last Supper

The day before Liollio began to train for his first marathon and begin his subsequent diet, he had his last “no regrets” meal during lunch at Buffalo Brothers in Raleigh. In a meal that could rival the diet of a one Michael Phelps, Liollio consumed:

•    A solid 6” x 6” block of fried mozzarella cheese (meant as an appetizer for 4)
•    A bacon cheddar cheeseburger, fully loaded
•    A side of cheese fries w/ ranch dressing
•    A side of mashed potatoes and gravy
•    And a few cokes to wash it all down

Liollio to get 9 gold medals in London 2012?

– Matt Herring

If I Make This Shot

No matter how bad the coming workday promises to be. I can always count on Liollio to challenge me to some random office sporting event. I can’t remember all the crazy competitions we have had but they most often involve some variation of making a nerf basketball shot, kicking a nerf basketball in a trashcan or throwing a nerf basketball between two file cabinets. In fact, I would guess that in any given work week we spend at least 1-2 hours trying to accomplish various tasks with a nerf basketball. And then there is the inevitable bet that is always attached to one of these seemingly impossible shots.

Below are some of the more interesting bets we’ve made, and they always begin like this:

If I make this shot you have to

• Eat a triple cheeseburger from Wendy’s with double the meat (6 patties)
• Run 3 laps around the office building in 100 degree heat
• Eat lunch outside with the construction workers
• Take two showers a day in the bathrooms downstairs for a week
• Use the women’s bathroom
• Take me out for a nice steak lunch
• Wear a suit to work for a week
• Take a random co-worker that no one likes out to lunch
• Take 3 shots of gin before the dodge ball game after work (Liollio actually did this)
• Drive the 30 mile beltline loop of Raleigh on your lunch break (Liollio I have not forgotten that you still have to do this)
• Drive to the Virginia state line after work
• Drive to New York City after work and photograph yourself in front of the Empire State Building, then drive back and work the following 8-hour day

– Matt Herring

Dancing Machine

One thing about Liollio is that he is not afraid to get down on the dance floor. Some of his better dancing accomplishments that I have been witness to include:

• Freak dancing with a 45 year old woman (who claimed Liollio looked like Johnny Depp) at 42nd St Oyster Bar. All on a $5 bet.

• Dancing with the much older wives of John Deere executives from the corporate Christmas party next door to ours. John Deere is a client of ours, we were specifically asked to be on our best behavior during our Christmas party and do nothing to jeopardize this client relationship.

• Spinning around on the floor at Jessica Padgett’s wedding while encircled by a group of people cheering.

– Matt Herring

246 Miles, 3 Tennis Balls and 1 Peanut Butter Sandwich

It all started on the way back from Asheville coming off a long, cold weekend camping in the mountains of western NC. Liollio and I were both driving full car loads of people and camping gear back to Raleigh. And as with most things that involve Liollio and I, this simple trip home quickly dissolved into a competition. I’m not clear on all the details of how it began but the goal of this particular contest was to get my car in front of Liollio’s Jeep on the highway whereupon my trusty shotgun passenger Justin LaRosa would toss objects back at Liollio through my sunroof. Liollio’s goal was the same. The vehicle that took the most direct hits would be the loser.

It began as soon as we left Asheville, both vehicles jockeying for position in front of the other. And for the most part that opening stretch to Winston was fairly uneventful; we narrowly missed Liollio with two tennis balls that flew to the right. Liollio missed high with one of his tennis balls. It wasn’t until the Winston to Raleigh stretch that business started to pick up. We were out of tennis balls and had only a peanut butter sandwich left to throw. We were sure Liollio, also out of tennis balls, would be forced to resort to leftover food as well. However neither of us were willing to let the other get out in front. I will never forget hitting the I-85 I-40 split doing 100 mph, only to see Liollio, big grin on his face and all, pass me to the right. 15 miles later I witnessed Liollio use the far, far right “breakdown” lane to pass some poor old lady at God knows what speed. At this point I realized it literally might take death to beat Liollio. I had to pull back. We somehow managed to beat Liollio home by taking a shortcut through his neighborhood, surprised him as he pulled into the cul-de-sac and hit him with the peanut butter sandwich. But we both knew that this hardly qualified as victory.

In the end nobody really won and I guess you could say the real victory was that neither of us lost our license, nobody got killed and a trip that normally takes about 4 hours literally felt like 30 minutes.

– Matt Herring

To Infinity and Beyond

It’s no secret that Alex Liollio is knowledgeable in all things having to do with space, injuries to the body, the good man jack, and loud unintelligible voices. Coincidentally, all of these things are also related to the beginning of our relationship.

The Good Man Jack

I first met Alex before I actually met him. Confused? I would be too. You won’t be when I explain that the same night I met him was the weekend of his 23rd birthday and he was already filling out his obligations to Jack Daniel’s. I met Alex for a brief moment at the AIGA Raleigh Casino Night event. However, I use the term “met” loosely because we didn’t actually meet… I was introduced to Alex when all the people around me started yelling, “Happy Birthday Alex, you need another shot”.


Loud Unintelligible Voices

The second time I met Alex was at Players Retreat. I heard stories about this guy with the weird last name and “cosmic” personality and never thought much about it until I was sitting across from him. He was making loud obnoxious voices for a knife shaped like a Peruvian tribal character and laughing at himself while doing so. I felt an urge inside of me to laugh at his silly actions, yet I held it in. He seemed comfortable with his friends but somewhat distant from this new girl sitting across from him. Most of the night had passed before either one of us really said a word to each other.

At this point, Alex comes up to me and introduces himself. I instantly laugh and say, “I have already met you”. The expression on Alex’s face looks like I just told him Santa Claus wasn’t real. I quickly say “at Casino Night”. He laughs and tells me to excuse his actions for that night. We proceed to geek out on several graphic design topics and neither of us seems to mind. At the end of the night Alex said he would like to see me again and we set up our first date.

Injuries to the Body

Our first date happened about a week later. Panera, that was good for me, not too fancy, perfect for a first date. I knew the conversation with Alex would be easy but what I didn’t know was that we would talk about blood for the first 15 minutes of our date. Ok, let me back up here… We had scheduled our first date for dinner after work. I had a giant project at work that needed to be finished before I could leave. I feverishly worked through the day and around 5:00 I realized I was not going to be able to make it to our date. Seriously, who cancels the first date? This girl, I guess. I called Alex to tell him I wouldn’t be able to make it.

We ended up moving the time of our date until later that night. While I was at work trying to finish up mock-ups for this project, my boss cut his finger with an Exacto blade. Luckily, it wasn’t a bad cut. Never the less, something to bring up on the first date… right? Ok, so back to Panera. Alex and I meet up at Panera and I instantly apologized for delaying our date. I proceeded to tell him about the crazy project that kept me late at work and how my boss cut his finger. Now, we all know Alex’s personality and you can only imagine his excitement to talk about injuries. He proceeded to tell me about the plethora of injuries he has obtained over the years while I volley back injuries that my family members had over the years. This goes on for some time when I finally blurt out “We have been talking about blood for 15 minutes on our first date”. We both laugh and I tell one more blood story.

All Things Having to do with Space

After our first date and several phone conversations later, I discovered how Alex geeks out on Outer Space. Of course, being the kind-hearted person that I am, I used this as ammunition to make fun of him. “Do you know how to speak Klingon?’ “I bet you can name all the Star-Trek seasons”, “You know the radius of the Death Star?”… Ok, I made up that last one but you get the picture.

For our second date, I told Alex I wanted him to take me somewhere nice. This was a test. I wanted him to pick a nice place, not to take me wherever I said. He passed. He took me to Red Lobster. He showed up wearing a “Cosmic Alex” t-shirt that he had picked out special for our date. Nice. We sat down for dinner and our crazy waitress loved him. She told me that I had someone special and I should never let him go. That is when I first realized what a great catch I had (no pun intended with the seafood reference) and the rest is history.

Jessica Duensing