Some Randomness

Some random notes: although probably not blog-worthy, just interesting to me.

-Babies R Us is a hoppin' place on a Friday night! I gave in to being "old" and making a trip there with Lynne yesterday, and I was simply stunned by the number of couples at the store at 8:30pm. Good to know that there are lots of other guys in the same boat as me...maybe we should form a support group. However, I did get to regress afterwards by reading graphic novels at Barnes and Noble :)

-Purdue basketball is driving me crazy this year, as usual. The nail-biting games, the screaming at the TV, the tragic recent injuries, the refs, the stifling defense, they're all putting me on edge for each game. Thankfully the Boilers won pretty easily today (at least in the second half). Also, as a way to channel all this thought and emotion, I may have news soon of my involvement in a Purdue/sports blog, so I'll keep you posted!

-Boy do I love grand slam tennis! After getting to watch some late night Australian Open action this week, I'm really pumped for the Federer/Nadal final this morning. Now if only I can sneak away from bed at 3:30am to watch some of it live...at least I have a DVR. I'm looking forward to heading to Birmingham, Alabama in early March to see the US (Roddick, Blake, Bryan brothers) take on Federer and the Swiss in Davis Cup action. I can't communicate how excited I am for those matches!

-Is it a sign I'm getting older that I care less and less about the Super Bowl (unless the Bears are in it)? The only other way I'd care is if Drew Brees makes it there one day.

-In ten weeks I'm going to be a dad...yep, still gradually sinking in.

-Never ever EVER turn a house fan on when your fireplace is filled with ash. It's amazing how quickly your living room can look like volcano fallout.

-At my work retreat this week we had to list our top 5 favorite genres of food, be it a general theme, ethnicity, or ingredient). Mine were: Japanese (specifically sushi, be it maki or nigiri), Thai, Seafood in general (if it lives in water, I'll probably eat it), Cajun, and a really nice steak. Unsurprisingly, those are the exact same foods that I prefer to cook myself, while I let Lynne tackle most of the Indian, Italian, French, Americana, etc.

and finally...

-My favorite professor of my 8 glorious years at Purdue, Bob Lamb, recently won an award for being the best professor in the state of Indiana. His passion, commitment to students, and excitement for teaching literature were what made me (eventually) get a degree in it. When I found out that I could turn my minor in English Lit to a major and take classes from Bob for half of the requirements, it was a literal no-brainer. While he's won every award Purdue and the state could offer, I'm sure he'll win some national award one day, too. Cheers to Bob for bringing out the best in all of his students and for staying focused on inspiring teaching even at a research-centric university.


Baby Furniture - Part I

This morning the baby's crib arrived, and the delivery guys were even tasked with the fun job of assembling the giant piece of furniture. It's quite a gorgeous crib, and we can't thank Marilyn and Stew enough for it. We know that she will love it, and it converts into a great little bed, too! Of course, she's already getting spoiled from her grandma and grandpa, since this is now the nicest piece of furniture in the house :)

This weekend we'll have fun priming and painting her room, moving more furniture, putting some new fabric over some pieces, and (maybe) saying goodbye to my desk as it moves to the basement. Only major thing left to prep for her room will be acquiring a dresser/changing table, so we may have a fun Friday night at Babies R Us.


Sweet Home Chicago

For the last 4 days, I've been up in Chicago for a DonorsChoose.org team retreat, and it was a fantastic time!

Some highlights of the trip include:

-Not one, but two delicious dinners of sushi and sake at Tsunami and Nan's

-Getting to hang out with my awesome coworkers

-Seeing recent Chicago transplant Grant Yost, one of my ATO little bros, for dinner

-Staying up late to watch some live Australian Open tennis (ah, the good ole days of tennis-all-nighters at Purdue)

-Going to Second City with coworkers Natalie and Alicia...every time I go I laugh harder than I have ever laughed before

-Gino's East deep dish pizza

-Excellent thai food

-Team building!

-A 4 star hotel on the magnificent mile, a block from the Hancock, for $70/night

Some not-so-highlights:

-Attending the worst concert that I've ever paid for (at least it was only $8). Since Buddy Guy was sold out, we went to Schuba's, which is just a few blocks from our Chicago office, to see Brian Vanderark. Who, you ask? Why, the former lead singer of 90's band The Verve Pipe and hits such as The Freshman and....ok, that was it. Total one-hit-wonder. He had a decent voice, but his lyrics must have been written by a soul-less frat boy, he played only simple guitar chords, and his backup band was far better musically than him (and a much better jam band). Natalie even said my limited guitar skills were better, and that's saying something!
As the show progressed, all of his songs sounded similar and equally shallow, so we even had to cut out for a few songs to have a conversation instead of listen to Vanderark. But we popped back in in time to hear a couple of the Verve Pipe songs, including The Freshman, which made it mostly worth it. The highlight of this tragic musical experience, however, was our chance to meet Mr. Vanderark. As he came to the back of the hall, I shook his hand and Natalie said, "I really love your song," emphasis on the singular "song" since the rest of them were garbage. He gave a weird smile, and we put it down as the best back-handed compliment possible.

Overall, Schuba's was an awesome venue for a little concert. It was an intimate setting with good acoustics, lots of character, separated from the rest of the bar, and enough space for a small gathering. Apparently it was also the host to Chicago's Mustaches for Kids 'Stache Bash this December that Keecia, my boss, was able to attend. Normally they have some pretty good music, too, but Mr. Vanderark sure didn't fit that bill.

The only other non-highlight was returning to Indiana for 14 inches of snow! I couldn't even get in my driveway, and Indiana plows do a very poor job, even on major roads like Meridian.
Overall, a great trip, and I miss my coworkers already :)


The Belly

So, to say the least it is strange to see your body change and I can't say that I am use to it yet! We have taken a few shots of the belly and for all you people far away here you go.

This was Thanksgiving and we had just found out it was a girl. I was about 19 weeks.

The last two were taken a few days ago at 29 weeks. My belly button has started to become an outie too!



So this is my first attempt to post video to the blog. For Christmas we got an amazing Sony Handycam, and I'm still figuring out all the awesome features. For now, enjoy this footage of Otis wrestling with Wesley just after Christmas.

The Baby is Going to Rock

And by rock, I mean musically, she's going to be pretty cool. We recently discovered an awesome CD series at the library called Rockabye Baby, and it's lullaby versions of songs from a variety of bands. Of course, we have now burned all of them (thanks Marion County!), as opposed to buying them for $10 each at Pottery Barn Kids. Some of the awesome artists she'll be enjoying soon: U2, Coldplay, The Beatles, The Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Radiohead, The Beach Boys, No Doubt, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. The versions are all pretty mellow and done with tons of vibraphone action, but I know I can still get excited amid baby music now!