Sunday, December 27, 2009


As some of you might know, I'm a big fan of Euchre. For me, it is the king of all card games. As you also might know, I get the crazy eye at the very mention of the game. Over the last few family gatherings, it has become a tradition that my cousin, uncle, dad and I will play a round when we get together. Usually a best two-out-of three thing. Friday, my family was all over at my aunt's house celebrating Christmas. A few hours in to it, someone brought it up. My heart started to race instantly. After a couple of games, my brother came in to the dining room and jokingly said "gambling at a family function? You guys should be ashamed." I told him we weren't gambling, but then I started to think. I actually was gambling - gambling my happiness. When I lose a game of euchre, my night is pretty much shot. I get so sad that I just want to go to bed. On the other hand, when I win, I am the happiest man on earth. The feeling is indescribable.

For example, Friday night, my cousin and were on a team playing against my dad and uncle. There is a pretty solid amount of smack talk coming from every corner of the table. My cousin and I win game one, and I'm feeling good. My dad and uncle make quick work of kicking our ass in game two. This is when I started getting nervous. I knew that my mood for the rest of the night depended on what happened in the next fifteen minutes. My cousin and I won 13 to one (I went alone when we were in the barn just to turn the screws a little). I was on top of the world. I didn't say much. Just smiled big and shook their hands. But, on the inside, I was absolutely ecstatic. My dad was planing on leaving after that game, but my uncle, not wanting to finish on such a sour note, talked him in to staying for one more. Nervous again. My cousin and I agreed, but only after we made it clear that we had won the "official game." They came out strong, but after an amazing comeback, my cousin and I emerged victorious once again. Ecstatic.

Am I nuts? How do I get so worked up over a card game? As high as I am when I when, I am equally as low when I lose. Is it worth it? I would have to say yes. I can handle the lows (plenty of practice being a Bengals fan) for a chance at the highs. I'll tell you this, while there might not be any money at stake, when I sit down to play euchre, I am definitely gambling.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pain in the Neck...

So Emily, Lucy and I were in a car accidnet a week ago today. Nothing major. A girl wasn't paying attention and ran in to the back of our Jeep. Her mom was following her, and she said that she was looking in her rear view mirror to see if she was still behind her. When she looked back ahead, traffic was stopped and it was too late. If I had to guess, I would say she was going about 20-25 mph when she hit us. Neither of us saw it coming. The worst thing that happened at the time was Lucy slammed in to the back of my seat. The Jeep didn't have a scratch, but the girl's hood was mangled.

The weird thing is that we are still feeling the effects. I felt stiffness in my neck almost immediately. It took Em about two days to feel anything. Sunday, she could barely turn her head, and I have had a dull, annoying headache basically non-stop since the wreck. We can't get in to our family doctor until Monday, so I'm not sure what to do. Might be a waste of time by then.

Anywho, I suppose the morals of this story are to put your dog in a seat belt, and drive a Jeep. You may have to replace the radiator from time to time, but it will beat a Civic in a collision any day of the week.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gift Time, Once Again

I know I'm not alone, but Christmas stresses me out. I love visiting family, and I enjoy buying and giving gifts. My problem is, I hate having to tell people what I want. My family is all about gifts. Every year, right around turkey day, people start thinking about presents. I can't talk to someone in my family without being asked "what do you want for Christmas?" or "what does Em want?" Terrible problem to have, huh? Everyone wants to give me gifts, and here I am complaining about it.

The thing is, I don't need anything. I have everything I need to get through the day, and I have a stack of stuff up in the attic. Not only do I not need anything, but I don't have room for anything else. If you have ever seen Emily's and my living space, it is not very big and there is no room to spare.

The reason this is on my mind right now is because I just found myself surfing around on looking for stuff to tell people I want. Nothing in mind, just searching for stuff to want. This can't be right. Last year, I tried telling my family I didn't want anything. It didn't last long. It got awkward when I had to ask people what they wanted. I felt like I was making them feel bad for telling me.

I love Christmas, and I respect the origin off gift giving. I just wish that there was an easy way to transfer my gifts to people who really need them without disrespecting the people so generously gave them to me.

Monday, August 24, 2009


This is what it would probably look like if Wise and Fuller ever got in a fight (and Day jumped in at the end and teamed up with Wise).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Little Getaway

Em and I had a sweet little three-day getaway recently. Unfortunately, it ended in tragedy.

We met up with Em's bro and his wife in the Smokies on Sunday. They live in Raleigh, so its about halfway. We did a fairly rough 11-mile hike, then set up camp and had some dinner and drinks. The next day, we headed to Asheville, NC. We all shared a room at the HoJo, and spent time checking out the town. I had been told Asheville was cool, but it was better than I imagined. The streets were lined with little shops and privately owned restaurants and bars. Street performers played bluegrass on the major corners, and I was shocked to see how many people had their dogs with them. There is definitely a "hippy" vibe going on in that town. On our second night there, Em and I went to The Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company. Basically, its a brewery that serves amazing pizza and shows recent movies on theater size screens. It was three bucks to get in to the theater, and there was a bar in the back where you placed your orders. It was super layed back and relaxing.

There's nothing like a weekend getaway to revive your...wait a minute! I forgot to tell you about the tragedy. Lets back up a minute.

I mentioned being in the Smokies. The day after we camped, we decided to do one more short hike up to a waterfall before we headed to Asheville. I saw a gas station that had a huge Slush Puppy sign out front. I decided that we needed to stop in and get some, so we did. I had a Cherry/Blue Raspberry. It wasn't as good as Slush Puppies I remembered from my childhood. I drank about half of it and sat the cup in my cup holder, where it was promptly forgotten.

Two nights later, Em and I are headed back to our hotel after the movie/pizza/beer thing. I'm messing around with my phone when I drop it, it bounces of my chest, then my leg, and lands right in my two-day-old Slush Puppy. I couldn't have done it again if I tried. A sad ending to an otherwise wonderful trip.

Actually, I'm just kidding. Its not sad at all. that phone was a piece of junk, and I'm glad I have an excuse to get a new one. The real point to this story is that if your reading this, I need your number. All of my contacts are shot. And, if you have tried to text me in the last couple of days and I haven't responded, well, now you know why.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Circle of Life

Well, I am now officially an uncle. As many of you know, Chad and Nicole had a beautiful baby girl, Phoebe, on Monday night after about 24 hours in the hospital. I was on my way home from dropping my other brother-in-law, Brent, off at the airport when I got the news that it was a girl and everyone was healthy. Obviously, I couldn't have been happier.

While driving home, I couldn't stop thinking about family, the miracle of birth and how huge of a life change a child is for a young couple. I thanked God for this special gift.

So, I'm feeling pretty high off of this good news when I walk in my front door and what do I see? My algae eater, Colonel Suckie Britches, had passed away.

He lay there lifeless on the bottom of the aquarium, and all I could do was stand there in shock. Now I know what they mean when they say that the good Lord giveth, and the good Lord taketh away.

Well, I guess its not a bad trade. I mean, the colonel was a fine fish and he did a great job at keeping my aquarium clean, but I think that Phoebe is probably going to be a little more fun to have around.

Congratulations Chad, Nicole and Phoebe!!!

We'll miss you, Colonel Suckie Britches.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This is getting ridiculous!!!

How many celebrity deaths are we expected to deal with in one month!?!? Billy Mays, Walter Cronkite, the chick from Charlie's Angels and that pop singer have all met their maker in what has seemed to be the blink of an eye. Just when I thought I couldn't take any more, I look on Yahoo News and learn of maybe the most alarming celebrity death of all.

Gidget, the Taco Bell chihuahua, has gone to a better place. It seems that Gidget suffered a stroke today while watching TV with her trainer. She died at the ripe old age of 15 (yep, that's 105, folks). I can't stop thinking about that one commercial where Gidget, who pulled of being a male chihuahua flawlessly, was trying to catch Godzilla in that homemade trap made out of a little box. "Here lizard lizard lizard." Epic.

So, goodbye Gidget. Thanks for the memories. Your commercials were amazing, and you were pretty good in Legally Blonde 2, as well. You will be missed.

Oh yeah, and God, if you're reading this, yo quiero a break from the pain.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I wish Cirque had a time machine.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hoveround Mania!!

So, the other day, I'm about to jump in the shower when I get a text from my boy Michael that reads "come outside in two minutes." I thought about telling him I was getting in the shower, but I had a feeling something awesome was going on. I get dressed and go outside just as Michael and a buddy of ours, Rick, were pulling up. They were all fired up and said that they needed my opinion on something. Rick said, "this is serious." They quickly explained that a couple of "hillbillies" around the corner were trying to sell two Hoverounds (you know, the little scooters for the elderly and fat people at Wal-Mart) for $300. They wanted to know if I thought it would be a good investment. Michael thought not only would it be sweet to ride them around to bars downtown, but he could also probably sell them for more on Craig's List. I really didn't have much of an opinion, but I did tell them that it would be sweet to take them to the Grand Canyon like the old ladies in the commercial. Rick asked me directly, "can you tell us one reason why we shouldn't buy the things?" I told him that I could not. They thanked me for my help and drove off. So, did they buy them.............

Of course they did!! I got a call later telling me that they were downtown on the scooters and headed to a bar. Nice work gentlemen. When do we leave for Arizona?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Inglouroius Basterds

Has anyone seen the trailer for the new Quentin Taranteno movie starring Brad Pitt? I'm pretty excited about it. I can't imagine how gory this thing is going to be.

There is another trailer that I like even more, but YouTube wont let me embed it. Check out the link.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

East Brady/Phish Vacation

Here are a few pics and tales from our East Brady and Phish tour vacation.

Em's Grandma lives in East Brady, which is a very small town seated along the Allegheny River in eastern Pennsylvania. This is a shot from The Narrows; a popular overlook high above the town and the river.

Em and Grandma Lois at The Narrows.

We spent two nights in East Brady. We mostly just chilled with Emily's grandma, aunt, uncle and two cousins. We ate amazing food that only a grandma can cook, and visited the local (and only) bar on the second night. "All-Stars" was fully stocked with interesting characters and every piece of Steelers gear that you could imagine. Clearly, I avoided any and all sports conversation.

After a couple of nights at Grandma's, it was time for some some Phish. We left East Brady and headed west. Our first show was at Deer Creek Amphitheater in Noblesville, Indiana (just north of Indy).

We arrived at our campsite the day before the first show. We set up camp, made some drinks, threw some Frisbee and played some Cornhole with a couple of guys from the 'Nati camped next to us. The "campground" was basically a field, a little patch of woods, a few port-a-potties and some booths of "vendors" selling glass jewelry and pot cookies.

The show at Deer Creek was amazing. We made our way the 2.5 miles to the venue via hitchhiking. We made it to the parking lot around 3:30. The parking lot at a Phish show is an impossible thing to describe. Phish tour is basically a traveling society/economy. There are thousands of people buying and selling any and everything that you could imagine. This is exactly where you want to be if you happen to be looking for extra tickets/burritos/cold beer/grilled cheese/t-shirts/any drug under the sun/jewelry/various glass pieces/skirts/stickers.....the list could go on and on.

Moving on to the weather. IT WAS HOT! I feel like it had to be teetering on 100 degrees that afternoon. After a few hours of hanging out in the lot, everyone was pretty much sun-kissed and fired up for some Phish. We got in to the venue ahead of the crowd and secured a pretty nice spot on the lawn. Phish came out and played an awesome first set (including a personal favorite, Fluffhead) under a lightning filled sky. Huge bolts filled the sky, flashing horizontally over the the crowd and invoking cheers and screams. The band seemed to feed off of the nervous energy and play harder. The crowd fed off of the band and screamed louder. It was a perfect example of the reciprocal energy that make a Phish show so amazing.

After the first set, Page (the pianist) addressed the crowd. He said that the lightning storm should pass by 11:00 pm, so they were going to take a break until then. He gave instructions to stay put if you were seated in the pavilion and to go wait in your car if you were in the lawn. Unfortunately, Em and I didn't have a car there, so we just bunkered down and waited. The lawn cleared out quite a bit, and I figured that a lot of people wouldn't come back. I was wrong. when 11:00 rolled around, the lawn was packed with thousands of people who took the opportunity to go back to their car and slam a bunch of their own beers and do whatever else. Not to mention, there was no way to check people's tickets upon re-entry, so tons of ticketless people outside took the opportunity to head in a catch the second set.

By the time the band came back out, the crowd seemed rabid with anticipation. They played an awesome second set as the rain began to get nuts. By the time the show was over, it was coming down in in sheets. It wasn't worth even attempting to stay dry. We made it back to the lot, grabbed a couple of grillies and headed back to camp. Instead of catching the shuttle, we decided to hoof it. It was a long, wet walk, but, for some reason, we didn't seem to care. By the time we made it back, we were soaked to the bone. I couldn't have been more wet if I had swam in my clothes. Our tent underwent minimal water damage, so we cleaned things up and crashed. We woke up around 7:00 am the next day, packed up and headed north.

Next stop, Alpine Valley Amphitheater in East Troy, Wisconsin. We had a bag full of wet clothes, minor head aches and two more shows to go.

This post is long enough, so I'll continue later.

Set-list. June 19, 2009

Set One
Backwards Down the Number Line
Limb By Limb
The Moma Dance
Water In The Sky
Split Open and Melt
Lawn Boy
The Wedge
Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
The Connection

Set Two
A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing >
Drowned >
Let Me Lie
Tweezer >
2001 >
Suzy Greenberg >

Sleeping Monkey >
Tweezer Reprise

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An action packed couple of weeks

To the thousands (or five) of my faithful readers, I would like to apologize for the lack of posts lately. In the midst of a pretty hectic last couple of weeks of school, Emily and I had the pleasure of hosting a young man from Colombia for about two and a half weeks. When I wasn't studying and writing papers, I was doing my best to entertain him. For those who didn't get to meet him, Gabe is a sixteen year old who recently graduated from high school and is traveling the U.S. (on his own), visiting friends and family. I met Gabe and his mom when I was spending last summer in Colombia, and it was an honor to accommodate him. We did our best to show him all that the 'Nati has to offer, including a sweet Reds/Cubs game with a bunch of friends and family.

On top of all that, Em and I took Gabe to the Red River Gorge with a few other friends. We took him to some of our favorite spots and spent some quality time sitting around the camp fire chatting and playing Catch-Phrase.

A Few days ago, Emily and I joined some of our closest friends (Brad, Leah, Jana, Justin, Liz and Fuller) on a brief trip to Rocky Fork Lake. We had a great time chillin' in the Shaw (Brad Wise's Family) lake house. We played some mind-blowing games of Texas Horseshoes, drank some beers and cruised around the lake on the pontoon boat.

Tomorrow, Em and I are hitting the road once again. We are going to East Brady, Pennsylvania to visit her grandma, then we are heading to Deer Creek and Alpine Valley to hit a few Phish shows. Going to Phish shows has long been one of my favorite things to do, and I can't wait for Em to experience it with me.

I promise some sweet pictures and stories from the shows when we get back next week.

Until then, I will be out of the office. Gone Phishin'. I hope everyone is doing great, and I'll talk to you soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Shin Kicking

I was listening to The Jim Rome Show the other day when he started going off about shin kicking contests. Apparently, these are pretty big in the U.K. Rumor has it that wealthy land owners used to settle disputes by kicking each other in the shins. The first one to fall down lost. Now, it has evolved in to a, uh, dare I say, sport? I'm pretty sure that these days the competitions are pretty much just huge drunk-fests where guys can blow off a little steam, get loaded and kick each other. Sounds sweet, as long as you make sure to stuff your pants with the an ample amount of protective straw. Oh yeah, and you have to wear a lab coat.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Total Eclipse

My buddy Bosken showed this video to me last night. It gets kind of dumb around the 3 minute mark, but hang in there. It finishes strong.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Peace out, Jay

Did anyone catch Jay Leno's final episode last night? Conan takes his place on The Tonight Show starting Monday.

I remember when I was a kid and Johnny Carson handed over the show to Jay. It seemed like such a big deal. I remember everyone talking about it. My whole family even hung out and watched the final episode. I'm wondering if that was really a bigger deal than Jay leaving, if it just seemed like it to me because my dad was a huge Johnny fan or if Jay leaving actually is a big deal but I just haven't been paying attention.

Personally, I'm pretty excited for the switch. It's not like I can't stand Jay Leno, but I'm not a big fan. Conan, on the other hand, cracks me up. Some people claim that The Late Show will loose a lot of older viewers because they wont get Conan's humor. I think more people will watch now that Conan is in the earlier spot. I know I'll tune in a lot more. I rarely watch Jay, and I'm usually in bed before Conan comes on.

Anyway, I'm wondering how you guys feel about it. Happy? Sad? Couldn't care less?

I tried to find a good Leno video to put up here as a bit of a farewell tribute, but I honestly couldn't find anything that I thought was funny. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The losing streak is finally over

A few days ago, Professor Fuller wrote a blog post titled Connected. It was about the small decisions (or fluke accidents) we make in life that lead to something much bigger. For example, a few years ago, I accidentally signed up for the wrong church small group on a website, ended up at a new church, met a bunch of new friends and even the woman who would later become my wife. That one mistake completely changed my life forever.

Fuller, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to expand on that thought a little bit today to explain what events may have occurred to stop my Red's game losing streak.

1.) The tighty whities. Back in the fall, I joined Emily, her brothers and her brothers wives on a trip to West Palm Beach for a wedding. The afternoon before the wedding, we all went to the beach and swam in the ocean. I swam in my shorts and underwear. Later, while getting ready for the wedding, I realized that I forgot to pack any clean undies, and my only pair were soaked with salt water. We had to leave for the wedding in only a few minutes, so there was no time to go out for a new pair. I called Em's bro, Chad, in his room and told him the situation. Without haste, he grabbed an extra pair of clean tighty whities form his suit case and hand delivered them to my room. I wore them to the wedding and have never worn them since.

Yesterday, while getting ready for the Red's game, I saw that Chad's underwear were the only pair left in my drawer. I didn't think twice about grabbing them and throwing them on.

Stay with me here. This is where it gets nuts. If Jana hadn't found Fuller's blog from Sean's blog, she wouldn't have found D'vine (our church). If she hadn't have found D'vine, I wouldn't have accidentally started going to her small group, which means I wouldn't have found D'vine. If I hadn't found D'vine, I wouldn't have met Emily, which means I wouldn't have gone to West Palm Beach, which means I would have had absolutely no reason to borrow a pair of tighty whities from her brother.

2.) The Brad. For the first time in history, I went to a Red's game with Brad Wise last night. My lack of Brad might have been my problem all along. Thinking back to all of the things that had to occur in order for me to find this precious lucky charm of mine blows my freaking mind! If Jana hadn't found Fuller's blog from Sean's blog, she wouldn't have found D'vine. If she hadn't have found D'vine, I wouldn't have accidentally started going to her small group, which means I wouldn't have become her friend. Being Jana's friend led to me becoming friends with her boyfriend, Justin. Without Justin, the odds are pretty slim that I would have became friends with his sister & brother in law. Yep, you guessed it. That "brother in law" just happens to be my new rabbits foot, Brad Wise.

3.) The Shoes. It hit me like a brick yesterday that I had an old pair of New Balance that I hadn't worn to a game yet. I threw them on and thought I had finally figured it out. I think I completely owe this one to my feet. If I didn't have my feet, I wouldn't have shoes. Also, if I didn't have feet, I probably wouldn't have been walking around the mall that day, several years back, where I stumbled upon these very shoes on clearance at The Finish Line. Thanks feet. Actually, I'm sure if we all thought really hard about this one, we could somehow tie these shoes back to Sean Michael Murphy, too.

So, that's how it went down. I'm not sure if it was the tighty whities, the Brad or the Shoes. The bottom line is the Reds won!! I'm 1-5, and things are looking up. I will be trying various combinations of these three things to see which one is really the lucky charm. One game, I'll take Brad, wear the undies and go barefoot. Another game, I might wear the shoes, go with Brad all while rockin' out commando style.

Stay tuned for updates, and keep an eye on those Reds. We're 1.5 games out of first and lookin' good.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I love me some Marty

If you know me, you probably know that I love the Reds. You might also know that I HATE the Cubs. The Cubs are my Steelers of the baseball world. The thing is, I have issues with the Cubs and the Steelers for different reasons. When it comes to the Steelers, its the team I don't like. I don't like the players, the coaches or the dirty style of play that they have adopted over the years. I'll even admit that there is probably a little Super Bowl envy sprinkled in there, mixed with memories of seeing Carson's knee bend backwards as a result of a dirty hit by Kimo von Oelhoffen. With the Cubs, on the other hand, it is the fans that make me hate the team. Cubs fans tend to be the most rude and arrogant fans in baseball. They haven't won a World Series in over 100 years (the last one was 1908), but to talk to a Cubs fan you would think that they had won every series since 1908.

As you may know, there is a tradition at Wrigley Field of throwing home run balls back that were hit by the opposing team. I've heard from a few Cubs fans that this tradition is actually tainted. Over the years, fans in the bleacher seats have actually started bringing baseballs to games. They keep them in their pocket and switch out the ball if they catch a home run so that they can keep the real one. WEAK!

Let me get to my point. I was looking around on Youtube and stumbled across an audio clip that cracked me up. I guess at a recent Reds/Cubs game at Wrigley, a bunch of fans thought it would be funny if they all threw their backup baseballs on to the field when a Reds player hit a homer. Apparently, Marty Brennaman wasn't amused. I grew up listening to Marty calling Reds games, and him and Joe Nuxhall will always have a very special place in my heart. Marty was already my favorite announcer in baseball, but, after hearing this, I love him even more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Streak Continues

I mentioned a few days ago that the Reds were 0-4 in games I have attended this year (compared to 10-0 last year). Well, I'm sad to say that my losing streak continues. A few buddies of mine and I went to the game last night for our regular Tuesday night "man night." The weather was perfect, and we had a great time. We got some good heckling in on the Phillie's right fielder (you SUCK Jason Werth) and saw a guy wearing quad-focals.

The Reds kept it pretty interesting, but, in the end, our boys succumbed the Phills by a score of 4-3.

So, 0-5 it is. I feel like Tony Micelli in that episode of Who's The Boss where Jonathan lost every game he showed up at (that episode never really happened).

This, on the other hand, is not a joke. As I type these last words, I can hear the fireworks from Great American Ballbark. The Reds just beat the Phillies 5-1. That's my boys!! You can thank me later for staying home tonight.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Road Trippin'

As you might know, I worked at a Ford motor Company transmission plant for about seven years. The bulk of that was spent working about seventy hours a week on the afternoon shift (3:30 pm - midnight). Basically, work was my life, and I was miserable.

One thing I always had to look forward to was our summer shut-down. The majority of the American auto industry shuts their plants down for the first two weeks of July so they they can change things over for the new models. This meant the I was guaranteed to be off (with vacation pay)for those two weeks, no matter what.

Like I said, other than some long weekend getaways here and there, I spent most of my time in the plant. When July rolled around, I was ready to get out of town and go nuts. I started taking road trips, and I fell in love with the road. Sometimes I would start driving from home, and sometimes I would fly in to one city, rent a car one-way, then fly home from another city. Some trips would revolve around the tour-stops of my favorite bands, while others were just to random places I wanted to see. When I started working at Ford, I had seen around five of the United States. When I left, I was up to forty-six.

While my time at Ford is a thing of the past (thank God), my passion for road trips remains. I love just getting behind the wheel and going. The only rule is that there are no rules. I never plan where I'll stay, or how long I will be in one place. The feeling I get when I take these trips has become a bit of an addiction. At the first hint of spring, my mind starts racing about where I'm going that summer. Some of my favorite places I've seen in the States are the Grand Tetons, Northern California, the Rockies and basically all of Utah. I've been dying to go out there and share those places with Em, and I will soon get my chance.

We decided take a road trip out west this fall. I was looking around online, and I found round-trip tickets to Denver for $107 each (isn't that crazy?). We are going to fly there, rent a car and make a huge circle around the west, rolling through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Utah and New Mexico. The only plan is when we will fly in and out of Denver.

I can't wait to get back on the road, but, even more so, I can't wait to do it with Emily. I can't imagine how many road trip stories of mine she has heard, and I'm looking forward to making some new stories with her.

Now comes the part where I sit and stare at my atlas for hours, daydreaming about the upcoming trip. September seems like a long way off!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Trial Run...

I'm trying to figue out how to post videos on the blog, so here it goes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Olan Mills stylie....

My friend, Chris , linked a website on his blog recently called It's filled with, well, I'm sure you can figure it out. A famous friend of mine and I were sitting in our favorite window seat at Arlin's last night and cracking up at the pictures on this site. The whole thing inspired me to share a picture that a buddy and I got taken of ourselves at Olan Mills a while back. We came up with the idea one day when we were joking around about old school Olan Mills pics, and we needed to get some taken for the ole' family photo album. My friend in the picture, Michael, was my best man, and we ultimately ended up using the picture as the invite for my Cosby Sweater Bachelor Party. Enjoy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A streak of Boog luck....

Last season, I made it to 10 Red's games, and they were 10-0 in the games I attended. This year, on the other hand, my record at Red's games is already 0-4. This is not good.

For those who don't know, baseball is an extremely superstitious sport. I played baseball from age 5 to age 16, and I learned the myths early on. Over the years, I had various "lucky" coins/balls/gloves/rocks. Basically, whatever I had on me when I did something sweet stayed on me until I did something stupid. I never stepped on the foul line when I was running on to the field. If my team won, I wouldn't wash my socks until we lost and I never, ever talked about the chance of a pitcher throwing a no-no when he was still going strong in the 5th (I had to run laps once for doing that).

Some years have passed, but I haven't let those superstitions go. Last season, I wore the exact same clothes to every game. If the Reds were winning, why take a chance on changing something? This year, I have mixed things up every game, but I still can't get it right. I've worn a different shirt, shorts/pants and even different shoes to all four games. Em and I took our moms to the game yesterday, and I realized I was running out of options! I'm starting to think I need to just watch games from the house for the rest of the season. I'm feeling pretty guilty.

This might seem a little crazy to some people, but ask a true baseball fan, and I'm sure they will know exactly what I am talking about. Now, does anyone have any red t-shirts I can borrow?

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Weekend in OtR

Every time I think about what to blog about, my mind goes back to what I am about to do this weekend.

I'm taking a class this quarter called Intercultural Communication. It focuses on, well, intercultural communication. Basically, what goes on when someone enters a culture other than their own. The theories we look at try to pin down causes for and ways to decrease anxiety when entering a strange culture, social construction and understanding of speech codes and other things of this nature. I find most of it pretty interesting, mostly because I spent a couple of months in Colombia last summer, and I can really relate to a lot of the stuff we talk about.

Anyway, we have spent some time talking about the "homeless" community in Cincinnati and the fact that it is clearly a culture of its own. Students who are interested can take part in the "36 Hour Homeless Experience," where basically they take a bunch of steps to put themselves in the shoes (literally and figuratively) of homeless people. I decided to give it a shot. I'll be spending the weekend at The City Gospel Mission in OtR and running around doing a bunch of challenges in an attempt to get a better understanding of the homeless culture in Cincinnati. The bigger picture, I suppose, is to get a feel for what it is like to enter a foreign culture.

The reason I am going to do it is because I really like Over the Rhine, and I enjoy being around the people we will be hanging out with this weekend. Emily and I used to spend a lot of time at City Gospel Mission. They have a thing every Saturday morning called The Outlet, where people from the area who are down on their luck can go to hang out, get some coffee and shoot some pool or play cards (they have Twister sitting on the game table, but I've never seen anyone play it). We used to go most Saturdays and play Euchre. We made a lot of friends and heard some amazing stories. While some of the students who are going this weekend are freaking out, I'm really not nervous at all. I know the lay out and basically know what to expect, so it's no big deal. I don't need any help with knowing what it's like to go to a different culture. I was pretty much drop kicked in to one when I rolled solo in to Colombia. I just want to go this weekend because I like it. I used to spend a lot of time with the down-and-out in OtR, but lately I haven't. I'm hoping this weekend will spark some flames that seem to have died out over the last few months.

I'm catching a bus down to the mission this evening at 5:00 and will be back home Sunday morning. I'm not sure what I will be doing the whole time, as most of the details have been kept secret. I'll have some details posted for everyone early next week. Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Em and the Pig

I am amazed by my wife, once again.

A few months ago, Emily and a few of her friends from work decided to do the half Flying Pig Marathon. She asked me to join them, and I graciously declined. As the race grew near, her Pig partners starting dropping like flies. I believe that sore knees where the prominent culprits in their decisions not to run. Well, that and the realization that the race began at 6:30 a.m.

Emily stood strong.

She decided to go ahead and do it anyway. Again, she asked me to join. Some friends of mine and I discussed doing the four-person relay, but that idea didn't last long. I chickened out on six or seven miles, while Emily is preparing for thirteen.

So, yesterday morning, our alarm went off at around 5:00, and I immediately noticed that it was raining. Em was not phased. She got up, put on her sweet spandex gear, asked me if it looked dumb, I said "yes, but in a cute way," she accepted this answer and we were out the door. Most of central downtown was blocked of, so I dropped her off around 8th street. From there, she walked down to the starting line. I drove back home and hopped on my motorcycle. I figured the bike would be easier to navigate the road closures. I rode to Victory Parkway and waited for her there. I was right by the eight mile mark, and it was the end of a long, up hill trek on Gilbert and through Eden Park. Em said that she was planning on walking the race and might run here and there. I know her well enough to know that she would run more than a little.

I was at that spot from the time that the guy in first place ran past until Emily made it there. The guy in first made it to mile eight in just under 40 minutes. Freak. The first 100 or so runners were nuts. They made it up that hill and to that spot in less than 50 minutes. The next group were the fairly hard-core runners, but not robots. That group brought thousands of people. Then came the joggers and power walkers. It was an absolute sea of people. For and hour, Victory Parkway was completely filled will spandex, and somewhere in there was my wife. Em and I found each other, I gave her a kiss and a granola bar and she was on her way.

I rode downtown to the finish line, and watched people limp off the course. I was amazed to see what people will put their bodies through to achieve their goals. Some of the people that were finishing the full marathon looked like they needed wheelchairs or stretchers. My back and legs were killing me from standing around watching.

I received a courtesy Flying Pig text message that Emily had finished in 3 hours and a few seconds. We spotted each other in the crowd and started walking toward the bike. She asked me if I would go get it and pick her up at the corner we were approaching. She was going to stretch and rest. I jogged a couple blocks to the bike, and I was exhausted. We went home, both took naps, and I headed out with a friend to enjoy the Sabbath with a nice game of Frisbee golf.

Today, Em is feeling good. She is stretching as I write this. Maybe next year I'll grow a pair and run with her. As for this year, I'll just bask in husbandly pride, and probably wear her medal to class so people think I did more yesterday than just stand around and look sweet in my motorcycle jacket.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 step (or follower).

GREAT NEWS!!! Less than one day on the interweb, and I already have a following! It might only be one person, but its a start. I heard that Microsoft started with a young Billy Gates selling lemonade and word processors in front of his mom's Seattle bi-level home when he was ten.

So, here I come world, and I'm bringin' my crew...........

You're my man, Mr. Day. You are my Numero Uno. It takes guts to do what you did, and, for that, you should be rewarded. So here it is, Chris. A thank you haiku:

Cults begin with one

Then members start flooding in

Did you keep that wig?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A journey of a thousand miles begins with.....

I've been kicking around the idea of blogging for a while. The problem is, I have no clue where to begin. What do I want to write about? Who cares what I have to say?

I have a few friends that are really into it. "Master Bloggers," if you will. They're funny, creative and great writers. I like the idea of being a part of their little "blog community," but I'm not sure if I can stack up with these guys. They've been at it for a while, and they know what they're doin'.

Another thing that has kept me from getting started is the fact that I'm not sure what kind of blog I want to have. I'm already involved with a burger tasting crew known as Cirque du Savory, and we have a blog. That blog has a purpose; helping the world find the best place to get a burger in the Greater Cincinnati area. That's no joke! My buddy Fuller is visiting 52 churches in 52 weeks and blogging about it. His blog has a nice following, and people are growing from reading it. Another good friend of mine, Brad, has a sweet blog that is, as he puts it, "about sharing a healthy amount of randomness." This blog has stories from trips to Nigeria, clips from the amazing cartoon Talespin, and, possibly the best video ever made, Tuba Wolf. Speaking of Tuba Wolf, I can't talk about good bloggers without mentioning its co-star (along side of Brad), Chris. This guy's blog is swinging around a triple edged sword of genius, hilarity and insanity.

Anyway, now that I have given you enough links that you can avoid my blog for months, let me get to my point. I look at these blogs every couple of days, and they are really good. These guys not only know what to post, but they know how to make it look good. I, on the other hand, have no idea how to do any of this stuff. I don't know how to post videos or make my header look sweet. I only learned how to turn words in to links (see entire above paragraph) about ten minutes ago.

So, I guess that's the point. I'm never going to learn if I don't get started. I've got a head full of thoughts and a bunch of great teachers. I'm going to give it a shot and learn as I go. The way I see it, I'll probably have close to a million views in a matter of months, so I'll be working hard to make this thing as sweet as possible as fast as I can.