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.