Saturday, June 28, 2008

You might be a redneck if....

You love your $8 Wal-Mart blow-up baby pool so much, you spend the whole day in it. Oh yeah...
It's been a hot, sticky summer in Indiana, and Grace wishes she could shed the fur coat. Since we can't bear to buzz our pup, we have "invested" in a pool-- it's orange and I blew it up myself. When the temps began hitting 90+ today, we went out with G for a dip after a wild game of fetch, and it turned into swim suits, sun screen, and several hours of lazy conversation. Redneck yacht club, I know.... But it was seriously fun. Basement is coming along great-- walls were painted last night, and I got most of the floor done this morning. The fumes nearly gassed me to death, not to mention a run in with a spider nest (in an old paint can) and large slug that I'm pretty sure rolled over and asked me for a sandwich and a cigarette. Yes, I was dizzy, but he was straight out of Blue Planet; antennae and all.
Stay tuned for picts…. Happy swimming.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sports Rant

Mandy and I had a great time at Beth and Mike's wedding last weekend. It was an epic experience to be sure: Golf, multiple meals, parties, hotel rooms, etc. In fact, there was a period of 36 hours where Mandy and I only saw each other for about 90 minutes. Ah, being the husband of a bridesmaid! We should have pictures and other details up here soon.

We've also embarked on tackling the new look of our basement. Paint is being chipped, re-primed and our new colors and layout should be complete soon after Independence Day. Mandy also has some shots of that.

But, not the reason I am writing today... It's been quite some time since I wrote a blog dedicated to sports, so here it goes: Tonight is one of those nights in sports where I will invest a lot of time leading up and during, for no apparent reason. It's the NBA Draft. What is it about drafts that creates so much excitement? Our entire country is fascinated by potential. It's a word we throw out there all the time. Somebody could be awesome at something (proven), but somebody else could have the "potential" to be much more awesomer (yes, it's a word!) so he/she gets more love. What ever happened to doing something before getting paid or praised.

I mean, who can forget Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Dude never really played a lot of basketball in Europe, but apparently was a phenomenal player when he was guarded by 50-year old men with padding or a folding chair, so he got a lot of money. What did he do with it? Nothing. Got traded a few times, flamed out of the league and is on a beach somewhere living the good life as a millionaire. Someday, I hope to be hitting golf balls on a range, have a great practice session, and the scout for the PGA Tour sees me and says, "Wow, you could win a lot of big tournaments with those shots. Here's $5 million in advance." Sound silly? It is, but our major sports leagues do it more often than investing in proven players.

But that's why we love it. We want our teams to succeed so much that we put all of our hopes on the back of this next potential superstar. I don't even like to watch the NBA very often, outside of a Pacers game or two. But the NBA Draft is awesome. There is so much hype, you think the room will explode. If David Stern walks out and says, "we have a trade to announce," you can hear champagne popping from Lay-Z-Boys around the country. Most times, it's a team trading the rights to an 18-year old Turkish player with two left hands for cash considerations, a 2019 2nd round pick and a bag of lentils. But we love it because it was suddent, unexpected and potentially brilliant.

I also like to watch to see where some of those good college players end up. Where the over-hyped become millionaires, while the acclaimed get nothing. It's an unexact and crazy science. Butler has a chance to have a player drafted tonight for the first time, I think, ever. If Mike Green has his name called, there will be a beer opened in the Haskett household.

And then there's the Pacers: They traded Jermaine O'Neal overnight (well, actually, he can't legally be traded until July 9th - That's weird. What if I got fired from my job and given a new job at another company, but had to stay as an "employee" for another few weeks. Um, awkward.) Seriously though, I've never seen many trades that make so much sense for both sides, so I was thrilled to see it go through. O'Neal wasn't a great leader, but he was a great person. Good in the community, decent with the media and fine player when healthy. He deserved better than the circus in Indy over the past few years. Now, he gets paired with some nice talent in Toronto, and will make a fierce front line.

Meanwhile, the Pacers finally have a roster you can start to build around. They get TJ Ford, who is a nasty point guard on offense (his D could use a bit of work) but can run the show and get people excited about the team. They get Rasho Nesterovic, who is big and (more importantly) has an expiring contract, which means the Pacers will have money to spend in a year. But, most importantly, they get another first-round draft pick! Young players to continue building a new team for the future. So, at #11 and #17 the Pacers are picking! I hope they get somebody with a lot of potential! :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kickin' Back

Well, the flood waters have been out of our basement for almost two weeks now. We could not have done it without the great help of our family, who also have some experience in household water removal. And, after the initial shock of the damage had left, we realized just how fortunate we were. The stories coming from Iowa and other states about the floods are nothing compared to our tiny little drain backup thanks to the Indianapolis Department of Public Works.

So, Mandy and I are quickly putting our focus back on the more important things, like enjoying our summertime! Yep, we even golfed together (see right - more on that later)

It was also my Beloved's birthday this past weekend, she still doesn't look a day over 21! No, seriously, how many times does she get carded at restaurants or confused as a minor? 27-years-old. We probably met for the first time at age 7 or so, making it two decades of knowing each other. And I love her even more today (well, girls were sooooo gross back in 1st grade, remember.)

So, to celebrate the big 2-7, we went to Lafayette to party with Mandy's good friend Beth, and her fiancee, Mike. Coincidentally, we'll be back up in Purdue country this weekend for their wedding. The girls have a favorite piano bar, which is a part of a much larger country dance club called the Neon Cactus.

We sang... (badly)

We drank a little. (C'mon, one shot of tequilla can't hurt you, right?)

And somehow, we managed to wake up in time to play a little golf and come home for the icing on the cake, a Rascal Flatts concert at Deer Creek "don't ever call me Verizon" Music Center...

(I promise, there was a band there too)

I am not a big country fan, but it was a good time. Lots of fun people and a gorgeous night to be outside. In fact, after a roller-coaster of weather this past month or so, we've settled into an ideal week here in Indiana. Grace has her own pool in the backyard. Mandy and I can guilt ourselves into running again (hahaha) since it isn't a steam bath outside. We even are getting some yard work done.

It's what summer should be!

Monday, June 9, 2008


Will and I had a great weekend. We managed to cram in tons of fun stuff, and we both have the sunburn to prove it. Ouch. Mr. Will is playing in the Butler Golf Outing today (rough), and I'm getting a chance to catch up a the office (finally). Indiana summer is in full swing-- it's hot, sticky and humid, and the agency is starting to quiet down a bit with summer breakers out. Only four more weeks until my supervisor is back and I can take a vacation too!

Last week, we took a long walk up the Monon over the White River, and veered off to stroll the gardens at the Art Center and get Gracie extra muddy. We found a fun sculpture there called Twisted House, which Grace and I explored (left).

Hoping to get home in time for some more exploring this afternoon....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Just Keep Swimming..."

As sung by Dori, the blue fish in Finding Nemo, this meoldy has been creeping into my mind quite a bit these last few days, and if you have a look at this picture, you'll know why.

Our nice neighbors, who we call the Tony's because we can never remember their last names, have lived next door in our neighborhood for more than 30 years. Tony and "Mrs. Tony" tell us that they haven't seen storms/flooding like this since one of the very first years they lived in their home-- 28 years ago!
Something's up....

We had our second flood in 4 days last night, and had another long night/early morning cleaning up what we in Indiana call "day-bree"-- debris for you out-of-towners. Snapped some more picts as the water went down. My super husband rolled up his sleeves, and waded into the muck to unclog the storm sewer with some of our neighbor friends around 6am, just in time for an empty Buick to float by…. The owner later came swimming after it, but that’s another story. Here are some shots; I’m off to bed. Please JESUS no more rain! :)

Below-- the Marathon station in B-Ripple rocked by winds; our driveway-- see the little pumps working overtime?; video taken as the water went down

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Anybody got an Ark?

Back from the flood!

We had some major storms roll through Friday night that completely flooded our yard, street and basement! After a date with my mom to see Sex and the City (Will was out of town), I returned home to my new lake house!

Mom and I pep talked ourselves into a plan (which involved lots of laughter and an umbrella), and I breast-stroked my way to the front door, wondering why I had taken that instant-Dingy out of my purse! :) There was a car floating down the street (no joke), and I saw another one lift up and actually start floating as well. I felt like I was in a movie! After getting inside, and seeing that my car (tires underwater) was fine, my second-worst fears were realized. Water was shooting out of every crack in the basement walls and our storm-drain-turned-geyser was spraying tons of water wildly into our already flooding basement. I had about 35 minutes to grab everything I could, get it up high or upstairs before the power went out—about this time, I was up to my knees in water, and couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. Talk about creepy…. I don’t like being in my dry well-lit basement alone! Shortly thereafter, water begin pouring in around our fuse box so I got out of there immediately and spent the next couple hours watching the water rise helplessly, and listening to the sirens outside. Ugh.

I wish Will could have seen it.

Thanks to our great families, we had plenty of help all day yesterday getting the water out and slowly putting the pieces back together. Most of our major appliances are in big trouble, and we had a big tree down, but we are immensely grateful that we are both safe, and that we still have a roof, and now have power back on! Our neighbors were all our commiserating yesterday morning—the gal two doors down had water in her car’s cup holders!!!! It will be weeks before all is back to normal, but we are trudging through.

I shot a couple super quick picts when I got home. Hard to see much, but gives you an idea. The shot out my front door—you can see my porch steps covered in water and the lake that stretched over my yard, across the street and up to my neighbor’s door. The second pic is our driveway— note the neighbor’s large tree and all you can see is a bit of trunk sticking out.