Thursday, April 29, 2010

#67 Family Road Trip

Last Sunday I took a road trip with my family. My dad’s cousin’s wife passed away and we drove to Sheridan, Indiana, for the viewing. Jack and Helen sat in front. We three kids rode in the back, just like the old days (pre-SUV). We are all “big kids”, with David being 6’, Paul 6’4” and myself 6’6”. We also weigh a bit more than we did when we were kids but we managed to squeeze into the back seat of my parent’s Buick LeSabre. It’s about a 45-minute drive to Sheridan. I wouldn’t want to drive any farther like that. I sat in the middle with my knees under my chin in the tuck position.

One of the most memorable family road trips was the Godby Family Vacation of 1977, when we drove to California. Yes, that’s right, we DROVE to California in a 4-door Chevrolet SEDAN. Not even a station wagon! The three of us were crammed in the back seat for three weeks. And to top it off, I had broken my arm and was in a cast. We had no iPod, iPhone, or even a Walkman. We may have had a transistor radio with one of those one-ear pieces. We passed the time by playing “I see something you don’t see,” the alphabet sign game (go through the alphabet by finding signs that begin with certain letters) and the license plate game (spot a license plate from every state). Or we slept. I would pretend to sleep and then let my arm drop on one of my brother’s legs. He would nudge it off. Then I would slump over them and they would nudge me off. I loved driving them crazy!

I also passed the time by looking out the window and just…thinking. Imagine that! A 9-year old child thinking! I would make up stories in my head. I would sometimes pretend that I had switched places with my long-lost twin (a la The Parent Trap and The Prince and The Pauper) and was with a family I knew nothing about. (Maybe I would have been better off with an iPod…)

We would also TALK. Sure, we’d have lots of silent driving, but we would talk about where we were going or what we had seen, instead of having our noses glued to an electronic device.

Nowadays kids have too many things to occupy their time on road trips – DVD players and the aforementioned iPods and iPhones. I fear that they are losing the ability to imagine, to make up stories, just to “be”. Kids get bored too easily these days. I would get bored, then I would think of something to do on my own (road trip or not). Read, play backgammon against myself (yes, I actually did this), practice my recorder (loved the recorder!), or go outside. One of my favorite things to do in the summer was to combine reading and the outdoors and climb one of the huge maple trees in our front yard and read. I felt like a spy in the neighborhood. I could see everything and no one could see me. I would wait for my dad to come home from work and surprise him. I did this for a few years until I realized that bugs lived in trees (agh!!) and that was the end of that.

But I digress. Even though last Sunday’s road trip was under sad circumstances, it was nice to be together as an immediate family again, even for a short time. Hopefully next time someone will have a larger car.

Monday, April 26, 2010

#66 Indiana Downs/Live!

After the pre-prom festivities, I traveled down I-74 to Indiana Downs, which is a horse racing track in Shelbyville, Indiana. A friend of a friend threw his wife a 40th birthday party in one of the suites. I have never been to a horse track and it was quite the education. An employee came in and gave us a quick tutorial on how to read the book and what to look for. I bet on three races. I picked the name I liked and then looked at the jockey and their history. The first horse was “Shouting Hallelujah”, with 20-1 odds. Krista and I both bet on that horse to win. I told her if we won I was going to run down the hallway literally shouting “Hallelujah!!” The horse led most of the way but petered out down the stretch and finished third. My second race was Lee Ann’s race (the birthday girl). Lee Ann’s Fabulous 40th Race or something. My horse in that race led most of the way as well and lost at the very end coming in second. The third race was almost guaranteed by the track employee and most everyone bet on that horse. I should have bet more (was doing the $2 minimum) because that horse won. I won $5.60! So after putting in $6 I was only down 40 cents.

After the races we walked over to Indiana Live!, which is the casino. I’ve been in a few casinos in my day but am not a big gambler and don’t know that I have ever played any games. At the track we received $5 coupons to play slots. When I signed up to play and got my card, I received another $5 so couldn’t resist playing with $10 free money. I hit the 25 cent slots for a while and eventually won $21. I immediately cashed out, then played slot poker with the remaining $2.50 I had on my card. That didn’t last long. It is a smoking establishment and I found myself coughing every now and then, so when my free money was up, I left. All-in-all, a fun night!

As a side-note, watching the horse races reminded me of the Halloween that I dressed up like a jockey. It is still one of my favorite costumes - it just cracks me up! A 6'6" jockey! I did go out with this costume on and I don't know that many people got the joke. I should have made a sign, "Will work for food."

#65 New Palestine Prom

Saturday night was New Palestine’s prom. Both Aaron and Megan went to the prom (not together!) and a group of their friends came over before prom to have pictures taken. The photographer was Cheryl Weldon from Fishers ( who also took Aaron’s graduation pictures (which turned out awesome!). It was fun to see everyone look so nice and be so excited for a dress-up night. Well, at least the girls were excited.

Seeing all the kids brought back memories of my own prom. I was determined to go and had a dress made even before I had a date! I knew I wouldn't be able to buy a dress off the rack that was long enough. I enlisted the talents of my grandma's friend who was a seamstress. I was a senior and went with a junior who was in one of my classes and was a swimmer.

Some people say prom is overrated. If you think of it as a fun night out with your friends playing dress up, it can be a really fun night. I had a good time at my prom and am glad I went.

Friday, April 23, 2010

#64 Poofers

My friend Tammy from Florida sent me an e-mail recently that described the "poofer", which is a guy who "poofs" out of your life. I had never heard of this term but LOVE it. Tammy's e-mail was very timely, seeing as I went on a date last month and then after a few texts, "poof" I never heard from him again. I was on the fence (I seem to be there a lot after going on dates) about him - I liked him enough to go out with him again, but wasn't super excited about him. So when I didn't hear from him I didn't feel like putting forth the effort to contact him. Luckily I've never experienced a poofer whom I've dated for any period of time. My experience has been one (or two) and done, so I feel lucky that I've not put too much time or effort into them. Tammy's e-mail included the following paragraph:

"In conclusion, you’ll notice a common theme throughout this explanation of poofers. If a guy poofs on you, CONSIDER IT A BLESSING! It’s the best gift you could have ever received, like your birthday and Christmas all rolled up together. Imagine pursuing a relationship with one of these men. Will the Emotional Midget be there to hold you when you’ve had a bad day? Will the Pretender be a trustworthy relationship partner? Will the Player have his eyes focused on you in the restaurant?"

In conclusion, my advice to any man (or woman-women can poof too!) is to just be honest! If you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it. I read somewhere that a good thing to say is something along the lines of, "I don't feel that indescribable 'something' when I'm with you". Most people will understand what you're talking about. It's not easy to do, but it's the right thing to do.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

#64 Jay Bilas

As I reflect back on this year's Final Four, another one of my harmless crushes comes to mind - Jay Bilas. You will notice that, unlike Jim Harbaugh or Zachary Levi, Jay needs no "rule." That is because he hits the mark in most every category - he is 6'10", 46, handsome, smart and athletic. The one category where he misses is that he's married.

I have seen him at the past three Final Fours - Atlanta, San Antonio and Detroit. The above photo was taken in Atlanta at Hoop City (now Bracket Town). In all three cities, I passed him randomly while walking around. My string ended this year and I didn't see him at all in Indy. The thing about having the Final Four at home is that I really am not out and about like I would be if I were staying at a city hotel. Oh well, maybe next year!

#63 Bee Salad

I stopped at Marsh yesterday on my way home from work to buy romaine lettuce. When I opened the bag to take the lettuce out, a BEE was sitting at the top of the leaves and flew out into my kitchen! AGH!!!!! I was able to kill it, but how strange!

#62 Final Two

So tonight was the night of the final showdown - Butler vs. Duke. David vs. Goliath.

After a looong day at work I met Aaron at my house and we headed downtown. We stopped at a couple hotels to people watch but didn't' see anyone major. There was a Scottie Pippin sighting at the Westin but he left before we arrived. Aaron and I met Lori and Megan at the mall after they finished with clogging. Luckily the torrential downpour stopped by the time we walked to Lucas Oil.

What a great game! I can honestly say I have never watched Final Four games (semis or final) more intently than this year. The best Final Four game-wise that I've been to, despite the end score of the final game. I didn't know the guy to my right, but when Hayward's shot rimmed out he grabbed my shoulders for a second (we had both turned to our left to watch the shot). I have no idea what he would've done if the shot had gone in!

Monday, April 12, 2010

#61 Happy Easter!

I spent Easter with the family for most of the day. I drove downtown in the afternoon to meet one of my favorite couples, Kelly and Mary, at the Mass Avenue Pub. They were in town for the Final Four and are great about setting up a meeting spot to visit with friends. It was great to see them (and some others I hadn't seen in a while) again!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

#60 Saturday Bracket Town/Concerts/Semifinals

Saturday was a big day. Megan and I started at Bracket Town. We wandered around there a while (so much to do!) eating our free peanuts. We got Matt Painter's autograph at the AT&T area. Paul and Lori are Purdue grads and Megan is a big Purdue fan as well. She was excited to have him sign her Purdue t-shirt. We also had our picture taken with the Duke team. :-)

After Bracket Town we walked to the concerts in the White River State Park. Luckily the rain had stopped. We saw Darius Rucker and Daughtry. Paul, Lori and Aaron met us at the concerts. Paul went home, while Lori and the kids accompanied me to the semifinals.

We were all rooting for the hometown Butler Bulldogs and they did not disappoint with an exciting first game. The first game was so intense that by the time the second game started I didn't really pay much attention to it for the first 10 minutes. I was hoping that West Virginia could top Duke. We saw Matt Painter again next to our section at Lucas Oil. Also saw Gene Keady after the game on his way to the men's room. We wanted to wait for him to come out so he could sign Megan's t-shirt but felt weird about it.

#59 Friday Practices/All Star Game

I met Krista, Kenny, Julie, her nephew Max, Paul, and Michelle at Lucas Oil for the free Friday practices. I worked half a day so they snagged me a great seat. All I really cared about was Butler, so after their practice Krista, Paul, Michelle and I had lunch at the Claddagh Irish Pub. It was nice to sit outside and people watch. Who knew it would be 80 degrees in Indy in April?

We made our way back to the stadium for the all-star game. Lori and Megan met us there. Megan’s goal was to get Chris Kramer’s autograph. She did see him at the 3-point contest Thursday night but didn’t get a very good picture. Matt Painter was one of the all-star assistant coaches. We saw him on the concourse before the game and had some photo ops.

Krista, Kenny and I met Krista’s friend Nora and her boyfriend Steve at the Ram for dinner. We swung by the Hyatt to see some coaches, as it was the NABC headquarters hotel. We saw a few people, but not like past years. On our walk back to the car we passed Tom Crean and Jim Boeheim, and Krista got her picture with Sam Perkins. He was outside the Jackson Street tent wearing a suit. Big Smooth was looking dapper, but what were you doing at Jackson Street??

#58 Salute Presentation

Thursday, April 1 was the NCAA Salute Presentation. Jim Nantz is the host of a night that brings together the Final Four teams and coaches. All four teams are introduced (separately) on stage and then there is a short interview session with all four coaches. Pretty cool.

A reception takes place after the Salute where you can mix and mingle and take part in some good food and libations. The place was packed so we had to make do with what we could find behind the concierge podium. Nice work, Kenny!

Krista, Kenny, Julie and I enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones (Mr. & Mrs. Norville in particular. Fun couple!!)

#57 It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year...

The NCAA Final Four is one of my most favorite times of the year! I will give you a day-by-day recap of the fun and festivities my family, friends and I experienced.