Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"I like to picture my Jesus in a tuxedo T-shirt...

...cuz it says, Hey I'm formal, but I like to party."
-Talladega Nights

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


I walked into the office today only to realize that I had been away from my desk for exactly one week. Aren't you supposed to feel rested after taking a week's vacation. The trip to Albuquerque went well, but the weather was crazy. 87 degrees when I got there, with a 30-40 mph wind that gusted above 60 a few times. It was so windy that the NCAA suspended play for the day. I had never seen a golf tournament suspended for wind before. The ladies who were playing would, literally, hit a ball on the green and then the wind would blow it off. Crazy!
The 3rd and 4th rounds were wet, periodically stopped for storms, and the temps never got out of the low 50's. It was cold! The weather was so crazy (random hail too) that it was the top story on the local news. Never really got a chance to explore the city, but I really liked the golf course:

As for the webcast, apparently it went really well. I can be a little hard on myself at times, so it was difficult to feel great after talking for 16 hours+ about the same two holes. But, the farther I get away from it, the better the experience rests in my mind. However, I don't have much time to worry. This Friday and Saturday, you can catch my call of the Men's Division 1 Golf Championships from Purdue's Kampen Course. Head to or for the webcast. My partner is the founder of GolfStat, Mark Laesch. The man knows college golf! Times for the stream (weather permitting) are 10-2 / 3-7 EDT on Friday and 9-4 on Sunday.

Coming home from NM was a chore, with two layovers and a total of 12 hours in airports or on planes. But, I made it home in time to get barely enough sleep to wake up for the Indy 500 on Sunday. I wish Mandy could have pulled the double, but I hear a bachelorette party and 500 tailgate = trouble for those of us in the 26-and-older crowd. Weather was perfect and the group had a good time. While my outfit was good by my standards (see the blog post below), Kyle once again was the big winner in terms of finding something that was both funny and strangely appropriate all at the same time.
So, how did I spend my Memorial Day? Well, for the most part, Mandy and I slept all day. It was glorious. We did find time to tidy up a few things around the house and do some nature park exploring with the dog, but napping was the activity du jour. In fact, I think I am still too tired today even after having a "week" off from work. Since when did vacations become draining?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Wknd

Feeling like an old fart....
One of my best girlfriends will be getting married this summer, and as a good bridesmaid, I make the trek up to Lafayette to throw her one last “fling before the ring,” or so her Coozie said.
We had a cheering, jeering time singing along with Bruce in the Piano Bar, dancing for hours, and ended the night with a little Taco Bell since the bar that gives out free hots dogs (my personal heaven) was closed. Anywhoozer, we finally made it back for a couple hours of sleep before the sun came up, and now I feel like I did push ups all night long. I am sore, exhausted, and have some nasty really-cute-shoes blisters. Uff.

Hence, I am enjoying a little snuggle time with big Grace (who has been super lazy today), while Will parties down at the 500, and cleaning a little.

I don’t usually get evangelical about cleaning products, but lately I have been thinking about how much I love what I’m using now. It’s called Shaklee. It’s non-toxic and super safe for the environment—inside and outside the house!

About a year ago, Grace stuck her head in a bucket of Mr. Clean, and after her eyes swelled completely shut, and we spent an evening at the puppy EV getting her some doggie drugs, I began thinking about the little chemical cocktails we cook up in our houses just trying to keep things clean! Bleach on the tub, bleach on our clothes, and that acidy Easy-off you spray on the inside of the oven that almost took my eyelashes off the first and last time I used it….these things can’t be safe.

I love knowing know that Grace can lick the wet kitchen floor after I’ve mopped it (and she will), and be just fine.

The even cooler thing about the products is that they send you one bottle of basic H2 (one bottle is 16 oz and makes 48 GALLONS of cleaner) and several empty bottles for you to mix/create your own combos based on what you’re cleaning. Genius! This cuts down on the bottles that you would otherwise toss into our growing landfills, and lets us recycle and reuse for our own purposes.

In addition to how much I love this concept, I love that this stuff really cleans. I have some of my mommy friends hooked on the stain removers, and the “scour off” is gentle on your skin (and your eyelashes) and gets the grit off the oven just a well. I am a big fan. No more rubber gloves when I clean, no more putting Grace in her kennel, no more poisoning the people I love!

Okay, getting off the sop box now. If you’re interested, though, visit for a starter kit. Happy Memorial Day everybody!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Off for the side job

Well friends, it's time again for me to dust off the cheesy vocal cords and hit the road for some broadcast work. Everybody knows how much I love sports broadcasting and sometime wonder why I don't do it full time. Don't get me wrong, with the right gig I would jump back into it full time with no hesitation. But in the meantime, having several freelance opportunities throughout the year is the best "hobby" I could have ever asked for.

As many of you know, I've been doing more and more freelance work for the NCAA and their championships. The best thing about it is that it gives me exposure in a lot of different (some might call them unique) sports. I've done more and more volleyball lately and now the time has come for a new broadcast endeavor: GOLF!

Yeah, it's hard to believe that somebody who has been so involved in every aspect of the game, I have never actually broadcast a single round of golf. Well, over the next two weeks, I will get a whole lot of it. So, check me out for both the 2008 NCAA Men's and Women's Division-1 Golf Championships.

Starting on Thursday, you can watch the women's action from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Broadcast times are 10:00-2:00 & 3:00-7:00 Mountain Time. Same schedule on Friday. That's 16 hours of golf coverage. Everything can be seen on

I am not sure about the exact times, but you'll get the same coverage next weekend for the men's championships from Lafayette (Purdue's home course). We will be broadcasting on Friday and Saturday. I hope you can spare a few moments to log on and see some of the action. I would appreciate any feedback. Since I am terrible about taking pictures, I hope somebody will snap a few while I am out there and I'll throw them up here when I get back.

Coming home on Saturday just in time for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing... which, with our ever-growing group of race attendees, has become the greatest spectacle in bad outfits. Here's a preview of coming attractions for Sunday. I'm sure more embarassing photos will surface after the weekend:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Life according to Grace: Stop and smell/pee on the bushes

I know what you're thinking... I am obsessed with this fuzzy girl. Grace got a hold of the paper towel roll today and gave it a growling, pawing chow down. It was adorable. What joy she brings us-- when a paper towel roll can entertain you for more than 30 minutes or until someone pries it from your furry grasp, I can’t help but think, ‘There's a lesson to be learned for us all.’ No, don’t start chewing on your trash, yet….
As I get older and busier, I sometimes find that my attention span is shot. It’s a frustrating problem to have—just ask Will. :) I always laugh the hardest when Ellen DeGeneres talks (in her Here and Now sketch) about how we need help keeping up with the pace of things (“so we put a coffee shop here, and a coffee shop here, and a coffee shop here”), don’t have time to make conversation, and have “TBD-- Too Busy Disorder.” We give it an acronym, she says, because we are too busy to say the whole name. So true. Here’s a little clip if you feel like chuckling:

On Saturdays with Grace, though, there’s never any hurry. We stop to sniff every shrub at the park, we (and by we I mean she) stops to pee on every rock. We stroll along and slow it down, and look for familiar faces on the Monon to actually chat with. We watch the kayakers row down the river from the bridge on the Monon Trail, bark at the ducks (again, Grace, not me), and we take the long way home.

What a great reminder that life’s greatest pleasures can be found in the smallest, most organic things—things we miss when we (and by we I mean me) are on our second double latte, 11th hour of email, 3rd stress-induced zit of the week, and tearing up the carpet doing wind-sprints to/from the printer.

Lucky for me, I get to hang up my heels and spend my evenings with an 87 lb puppy who is able to teach me about the finer things in life….

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just say...Ahhhh!

Spring is alive and well in our neighborhood. Here are a few picts from our garden and surrounding sights.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Golf and Travel

Two of my favorite things and it's that time of year for both of them on my schedule. And while Mandy doesn't like the time it might take me away from home (damn those slow golfers and airport security lines!), I am excited about getting into my element in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, I am off to New York City for the 2nd time this year. It's what I like to call a "quickie" in terms of business trips. I'll actually be in the city for less than 24 hours. Fly in, change clothes, spread the good word, chat over a cocktail with alumni, sleep, fly home. I actually enjoy these trips the most. You feel like you're out working and gone, but the time away from home is minimal. Not to mention that I love visiting NYC, but not staying for an extended period of time.

And, next week, I can cross another state of my USA travel accomplishments, as I will be in New Mexico, broadcasting the Division-1 women's golf championships. You'll be able to watch them online at I am really excited about the opportunity.

Speaking of golf, I have been trying to play a bit more competitively this year, joining a couple of low-impact leagues, but it still puts you with strangers and some expectations to perform. And today, I put my hat in the ring for the Indiana State Amateur. I'd have to qualify during the first week of June, but hopefully I can get on the big stage and see where my game is compared to the studs around the state.

I'll be sure to keep everybody posted on if I make the field or not.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Will and I are coming off of a super rough week, and feeling incredibly blessed to be coming through the storm together-- healthy and strong.
My friend/co-worker had her child's funeral today, which was heart-wrenching, and through blurry eyes, I drove home after the service to give my "G" a hug. Although I have no children of my own to truly experience the pain a mother would, I feel very much a mommy to Gracie. And today in that church, I kept thinking of her. We got her when she was just 6 weeks old, and have raised her from a fluffy little pup. I love watching her personality shine through. I love how she snuggles first thing in the morning under the covers with us. I love how she sits on my lap even though she's 87 pounds. I love the expressions on her face. I love watching her learn and drool and rollover. I love her. She brings us pure joy. Here are a couple quick pics of our snuggle monkey.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recovery Week

So I just got on our blog after a few days away and realized that Mandy and I really painted a depressing picture over the past few days, so it's time to turn things around and be happier, right?!?!
First off, a day late, but... Happy Cinco de Mayo. The holiday that, like most good things from the Mexican culture, we have stolen and made our own in America. In fact, I bet if you polled 100 people in this country, at least 80 couldn't even tell you what Cinco de Mayo is in celebration of (including Mandy and I last night; thank you Google!). Either way, we put work aside after a hard day yesterday and braved the crowds to our favorite Mexican restaurant and lost our voices trying to have a casual conversation. It was a perfect Monday! Made even more perfect by my good friend...

And today is Election Day for the state of Indiana. And who would have ever thought that our lazy-butt primary would have an impact nationally. As two registered democrats (don't boo, you all still love us), it has been an interesting build-up for the past few months. Mandy and I have enjoyed becoming a bit more politically aware about issues outside of our own personal passions. I do think that this process has been good for the country and has people excited again in the democratic process. However, I have become more disenfranchised with the system at the same time. Who spends more on advertising? Who can dig up the most dirt on the other? Who can spin the other's words the best? I think it's frightening that both Hilary and Barack are extremely similar in terms of beliefs, but because the process is so drawn out, there is no debate over the issues any more, just mud slinging.

Does anybody else find the "momentum" word to be funny in all of this? Hilary had a double-digit lead at one point. Barack closed the gap and then took a big lead. Now, Hilary is back in reach. How can anybody say who is the best candidate based on today? The opinion of American flip-flops each week.

We really don't like putting our political viewpoints out there because we respect the individual right to make your own choice. We know people supporting all sides, but why have a blog if you won't post your opinions, right? Mandy and I both cast our vote today for Barack Obama. I won't speak for her opinion on him and why he would be such a great leader, but I've become more convinced that he is the right man for the job. I do not trust our government one bit. There is too much lobbying, influence from a small minority and politicking that goes on. I firmly believe he will break down a lot of those barriers. I also am big on effective communicators, and the man is brilliant when it comes to conversation and public speaking. I think it's shameful that our current President is despised in so mnay places around the world that diplomacy isn't even an option. I believe Obama can change that.

We'll see how it all plays out. I feel bad for every candidate involved because of the work that has gone into everything, and how much they lay on the line just to try and win votes. For every article talking about Obama's opinion on the gas tax (btw, I agree with him. I need the extra money, but cutting the gas tax for 3 months doesn't solve the oil crisis, which tons of people in my state apparently are too dumb to realize), there are twice as many articles about something his pastor said. You know what, I am associated with a lot of people who have said controversial things in their lives, and the last time I checked, people knew that I was a man of my own beliefs.

Hopefully the campaigning can end soon, so we can finally put the focus back on what it deserves to be on: helping our country and the rest of the world become a more civil, vital and successful place for us to live in.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Mess

To reference Will’s post, this week has been filled with the “real work” of life for us. There’s work: 8-5, bring home the bacon, get your reports filed on time work; and then there’s “real work:” big picture, getting news that rocks you to your core, gaining a new sense of perspective, change your life work.

As bad news, some superstitious folks say, often come in threes; we experienced no exception this week. We received news that another beloved member of the Butler family passed only a day after Mike. And just last night, a friend and co-worker’s newborn baby boy passed after emergency surgery around 2:30AM. I am reminded more than ever today that only by the Grace of God go we….

This morning at church, the pastor wrapped up our most recent series, “How the World Sees Church” and in doing so, began speaking about the messiness of life. As he spoke, I thought-- I am not a messy gal—I like folded, buttoned up, freshly bleached and I love to help those in need as long as (I confess) I don’t have to get involved in the mess…. (Insert spiritual bonk on the head) This really woke me up today. How does someone like me come to understand that serving to a level that is messy and often uncomfortable is the right kind of service? That sacrificing my comfort can mean lending to a greater good?

In the Song of Solomon, Jesus says, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent... and now open the door.” This is a tough one for a lot of us—wouldn’t it be nice, said the pastor, if it said, “Those whom I love will be free of pain, and not have to deal with any hard stuff, and will have a super cushy, mess-free life?” Instead we are so loved that we are righted when we do wrong, that our bad choices and mistakes are made known to us, and we are disciplined to be better representatives of our selves, our families, our churches…. Believing that the path which lies ahead of us is leading Home, is for me, not always without fear of the pain I’ll suffer along the way. This is a big lesson for me.

Today, I am immensely grateful for the lives and love that surround me and for the opportunity I have. Even in all of life’s mess, we know that we are so loved, and this gives us strength for the rest.

Friday, May 2, 2008

One of those days you'd like to forget

Will's turn... Blogs are supposed to be therapeutic, right? Well, I am going to take advantage of the shrinking world to just let it all out there.

Yesterday was one of those days where staying in bed, turning off the phones and the TV would probably have been a better idea. I woke up with the junk, you know, that stuff that takes over your head when you have a cold/sinus infection. One day it's a sore throat, the next day your nose is a faucet. Well, yesterday was the day where all of that was happening plus the body aches and lack of hearing out of my ears at random times. I eventually went to the doctor who ruled out worse ailments, but said that the viruses are getting stronger each year, so now the common cold takes on flu-like characteristics. Great! :-(

But, I toughed it out and went to work in the morning because I had some things due. And that's when the bomb got dropped on me. On Wednesday night, April 30, 2008, one of my dear friends passed away in his home in New Jersey. Mike Asher (Butler class of '71) was my favorite Butler alumnus. When I was working at Butler, it always felt like I was being paid to be friends with so many alumni around the country, but with Mike it was always different. His love for Butler basketball was unmatched by any person I know, so you know how easy it was for us to be close! I racked up big cell phone calls every season breaking down every aspect of the games with him, many times being his eyes for games he couldn't experience from a distance. If I saw a Butler basketball rumor circulating on the web, I could count down the seconds until my phone would ring.

Away from Butler hoops his love for life in general was amazing. He spent most of his career working multiple successful jobs, but most of it was as a special-ed teacher, one of the most caring jobs there is. He and his wife, Gail, were the best possible combination of people. Always smiling with big, thick New Jersey accents combined with a Midwestern sense of family and compassion. Mandy and I could only take advantage of the few times our travel to NYC (or theirs to Indy) allowed us to get together, but each time felt like a joyous reunion. Mike was to receive a Butler award this Saturday for his service as a volunteer. Mandy and I will be there to honor his life along with the countless other people he touched.

Mike was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago and just this week got promising news that it had not spread and treatment options were available. Privately, I have come to learn that he was growing weaker by the day, but when we talked last (about a week ago) his voice was still strong with confidence, optimism, happiness and (as always) a great love for Butler and everything about it. I like to think that during portions of my day, I find a way to support my alma mater for what it has given me. Mike Asher didn't have to think about it. Butler was his passion, as were the people associated with it. For him, it was a 24-7-365 commitment. We can only hope to comprehend that type of passion at some point in our life. Mike, you will be missed; more than anybody can understand.
Needless to say, it was a hard day to keep focussed, and after writing everything above, I am almost ashamed to include the following, but I am sticking to my theme here. I love sports for many reasons, but I think the greatest thing about it is the escape it provides from everything else in the world. You can get caught up in supporting your team and use their success to carry you above anything that brings you down in your own life. In fact, I know that Mike and I shared that trait when it came to Butler hoops, living vicariously through the success and failures of the team.
So, when everything had me down yesterday, I took the afternoon off and turned my sadness over to my beloved Chicago Cubs, still playing decent baseball. Good pitchers duel and the Cubs had a solid 3-1 lead entering the top of the ninth. Enter my personal stress jumper: The Cubs trying to close a tight game. Sure enough, Kerry Wood plunks a guy, gets rocked for 3, and the Cubs lose a heartbreaker 4-3. Kick me in the stomach some more, will ya.
No worries, it's a 162-game season. At least I have my favorite college basketball teams enjoying great post-season mojo. Oh wait, another IU player quit the team last night, broke a pot in anger while talking to the coach and the police got called. Seriously, can it get any worse in Bloomington?
I understand that those two last pieces were trivial, but it added up to one emotional mess of a day. Don't worry, there is a happy ending. Mandy got home last night and we did our best vegetable impersonation on the couch until bedtime, but it provided me with a great escape. We joked about our cute dog sleeping (you'll have to see these pictures later), poked around on the internet for a while (I can't use this blog to post some of the funny things, but it was hilarious) and just talked about a whole lot of nothing. And right before I fell asleep last night, I realized just how lucky I am to have what I have. To be able to take a half day from work and seek a doctor's advice. To have known an incredible man like Mike Asher and call him my friend. To experience the ups and downs of my favorite sports teams. To come home every night to a loving (sometimes drooling) family. So instead of forgetting yesterday, I simply welcomed FRIDAY!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Here are a couple shots from our night out in Nashville after the race....