People Don’t Forget

27 12 2009

This is one of my favorite lines from Superbad…when Seth/Jonah Hill gives a fellow classmate a simple reminder…that “people don’t forget.”

This clip is yes, hilarious, but it has an unbelievable amount of truth to it. And for me, I probably am guilty of not forgetting things that I should probably move on from…maybe a grudge against a classmate, or, as my sister thinks I should forget, a phenomenal youtube video:

But, I know that it is important to not forget about the other important things in life like your friends, family, health, employment, etc. I guess it would be best summed up in a little get together last night among some of my great high school friends. We relived some of our embarrassing moments, but also the moments that maybe made us all better friends. Bottom line, none of us really seemed to forget about a lot of those times.

So, thanks for not forgetting about Halforhalf, I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

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The Moines

22 10 2009

Had to start with this song…give it a listen as you read. It’s what I have been listening to constantly over the past week.

Well I’m closing up my year back here in Des Moines. I can’t even put into words how excited I am about my new opportunity in Chicago, but it is a bit bittersweet to leave Iowa’s capital. I’ll miss these shirts:

DeMo

I grew up a lot here in Des Moines and I’ll never forget the times that I had here, the people I met or the food I ate. Stay in touch Des Moines…I won’t forget that it was here I learned Iowa is more than a big cornfield.





Full

12 10 2009

The glass is full for me. The punchbowl is full for me. The keg is full for me. Today will be a day that I won’t soon forget. I landed a job with the Worldwide Leader in Sports, ESPN. I have long wanted to write that sentence. It was definitely something that has been at the forefront of my mind since I interned at ESPN in NYC two summers ago. With that, I learned a lot along the way that will help me be a bigger contributor to this company. It wasn’t the easiest of roads, but it is all the more worth it now because it wasn’t a gimmie.

I will be coming home to Chicago. I have been waiting a while to say that as well. Des Moines was great for me, but I am happy that this perfect opportunity is in The Chi. I’ll miss the friends and the family that I have in Des Moines, but they know that they have someone they’ll need to visit a state over, and I’ll have plenty of reasons to come back and see them. I have definitely missed my friends and family back in the Chicagoland area though, and I’m looking forward to seeing all of them on a regular basis.

I learned that patience and persistence are vital traits to have when going after your dreams. But the most important ‘P’ is people. Networking was something I began to learn about the first day I walked into Drake University a few years ago. This lesson taught me a lot and building genuine relationships definitely contributed to me landing this job. I have had a lot of people pitching their support my way…a recommendation from someone I worked for or with…a couch to crash on before an interview…a car to borrow because mine was broken…constant encouragement even when the stars didn’t seem like they would align…congratulatory texts, calls and emails…

These have all made me feel full. I’m a study in having great friends and family and I can’t thank you all enough today. Thank you for your support. Thank you for putting a smile back on my face when I needed it. Thanks for everything.

Now, I look forward to pouring the glass/punchbowl/keg of me into this job. I have a lot to be thankful for as we approach November, and I am sure if you are reading this post, it includes you. Friends and Family…that’s my favorite Trik Turner song…

Cause every moment counts from the good times to the bad
I don’t have time to envy those that got things I’ve never had
Cause the one thing most important is the one we take for granted
And until your life is on that line I think it’s the way god had planned it
To open up your eyes and make you realize
That to some life is money
But what’s money without life
Cause all’s I need is the air that I breathe
And my friends and family to believe in me

Cheers,
bRad





A PERFECT Opening

27 09 2009

Fast forward to 2:00, unless you want to hear a bunch of screaming…and please excuse the horrible fan singing…I’m well aware now that we’re a little tone deaf here in Des Moines.

There it is. It was perfect. If I could go back in time to one concert, it would be The Central Park Concert on September 24, 2003. They opened with Don’t Drink the Water there, and almost exactly 6 years later, they did the same at Principal Park in Des Moines. The Dave Matthews Band’s 2009 DSM stop was definitely a solid show. While nothing will quite compare to the experience the thousands had on 9/24/03, the atmosphere was still second to none this past Friday.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band also had an impressive performance to lead off the show. The amount of fun that they have playing makes the audience’s experience that much better. They jam and improvise like champs. When the curtain fell for Dave, I was in the masses, a little more than an NFL first down away from the stage. The rest of their setlist included a mix of songs from their latest album (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King), as well as favorites from Under the Table and Dreaming, Crash and Before These Crowded Streets. Check out the setlist:

Don’t Drink the Water (Between These Crowded Streets)
So Damn Lucky (with extended improv, Some Devil)
Seven (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
Funny the Way It Is (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
Shake Me Like A Monkey (Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King)
You Might Die Trying (Stand Up)
Stay Or Leave (Some Devil)
Why I Am (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
Lying In the Hands of God (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
Crash (Crash)
Crush (Before These Crowded Streets)
Alligator Pie (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
Improv with Robert Randolph
Rhyme And Reason (Under the Table and Dreaming)
Burning Down The House (Talking Heads cover)
You and Me (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
So Much To Say (Crash)
Riffs from Anyone Seen the Bridge, Too Much
Ants Marching (Under the Table and Dreaming)

ENCORE
Baby Blue (Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King)
The Maker (Daniel Lanois cover)
Panatala Naga Pampa/Rapunzel (Before These Crowded Streets)

Now regardless of whether you are a Dave Matthews fan or not, I don’t think one can deny the fact that DMB knows how to put on an unparalleled live performance. I recently went to Blink 182, Weezer and Taking Back Sunday, and while I had a blast and enjoyed every minute of that, it just isn’t the same as hearing Crash Into Me, Why I Am, and Ants Marching. People at that show are pushing and shoving and kicking you in the head as the crowd surf by you. At Dave, while people are pushy there is an atmosphere of respect for others enjoying the event. People are sharing doobies with people that they don’t know, making friends with those around you to protect your area in the crowd and fans singing along to meaningful lyrics, word for word.

Speaking of meaningful, I can’t help but think back to my friends in Naperville at a DMB show. I decided well before this concert that I wasn’t going to act on my urge to pull out my phone and call someone the minute I heard a Dave song that made a person come to mind…I was going to eat up every second of this show instead. But I want all y’all at home in the Thrill to know I miss the hell out of you and I was wishing I could have been rubbing elbows with you all at this concert. With that, I did enjoy this concert with some great friends from my Drake years, and I feel lucky to be surrounded by great people like Tim, Carter, Sarah and Connor here in Des Moines.

So I guess DMB makes me get all “emotional sissy-like.” I start thinking about things other than music when I’m at their show…and for a live performance to be able to evoke those kind of feelings is truly special. This concert definitely makes me look at the glass as overflowing.

davep-206x300

Sweet like candy to my soul,
Sweet you rock and, Sweet you roll…
-bRad





Big Dale

22 09 2009

I went from a post regarding a small laptop to a man of big proportions. Not his size, but big when talking about the impact he has had on my life. Big Dale. You’ve probably heard me talk about my dad at some point or seen me call him on the phone for a reason that isn’t very important (like Fred Funk arriving on the green at a Champions Tour event). This picture probably best represents us…laughing at something probably stupid or inappropriately funny.

dadbradedit

I have learned a lot from my dad. He’s the man, point blank. He taught me that immature is more fun than mature…that the Packers are better than the Bears…that cheese is actually all white and the yellow/orange is coloring added later…how to check the fluids in my ’96 Taurus…that AC/DC rules…etc…

He also has taught me to take pride in my work…the true meaning behind the word appreciation…to take things in stride and not to worry about things I can’t control…

He always gave me plenty of opportunities as a kid. Dad brought me to Packer, Badger and Brewer games just like he promised when I pledged as a young-in to be a fan of Wisconsin sports and not of the hometown Chicago teams. I tell my dad everything…almost everything…from my synopsis of how the Packers played to getting drunk and falling in love on spring break. Bottom line, my dad is not only my dad, but my best friend. Both my mom and him are the most influential people in my life, and all I want to do is make them proud, because I am more than proud to be their son.

So I leave you with a clip that I know Dale will enjoy watching on his birthday…Anyone that knows us can attest to the fact that we quote movie lines in a sometimes obsessive manner. “So dad, can I tell you something with out you getting angry? I love you…yeah, you big guy.”

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you man.





Smaller is better

20 09 2009

Did a little upgrading with my laptop situation and moved away from my Dell Inspiron dinosaur to an Asus Eee. It’s a netbook that came recommended by a fellow friend and Eee user. So far, I’m enjoying a lot of aspects of having one. I originally thought that something this small would be disadvantageous, but I am definitely an advocate for these little guys now. It’s a PC, not a Mac, which brings me to what I want to talk about…Arrogant Mac users. Macs are good computers, and I have a great deal of respect for the Apple brand on the whole. BUT, I can’t stand the vibe some people give off just because they own a freaking Mac computer.  Now if you’re sitting there compiling reasons why Macs are better than PCs, there’s a chance that you are one of these arrogant individuals.  Again, I have used Macs, they’re great computers, but I have used PCs as a personal computer for years, and I have been satisfied. See, even gorgeous blonde girls use Asus computers on the beach…

asus_eeepc_2

I think the best way to go about this would be to look at the marketing campaign battle between Mac and PC. Windows goes with the slogan “I’m a PC” being said by various individuals. I mean Eva Longoria apparently uses a PC, how much more convincing does one need?!

When you watch this commercial, the focus is on PCs and their user’s endorsements. It’s clever and gives off a positive vibe.

THEN we have the Mac commercials which are alluded to at the beginning of the PC commercial just shown above. These commercials are on the same level as political television advertisements. Political ads that spend the 30 seconds ripping on why John McCain or Barack Obama would be a terrible choice for President. The focus is on the opponent’s alleged flaws rather than pointing out the positives in voting for the guy/gal that actually pays for the advertisement. Mac has the same strategy. In this commercial the focus is on PC. Not once do I hear a reason for why I should buy a Mac. You can say that it is implied that Macs do not have the problems pointed out in the commercial, but if that is the goal of the advertisement, why not put the focus on your product’s positives rather than your opponent’s negatives?

The attitude of these commercials is represented in everyday life with some Mac users that I have come in to contact with. Since buying PCs I have heard “Why would you buy a PC?” from Mac advocates. NOT, “Why wouldn’t you buy a Mac?” The focus is always on PCs, which, if Apple continues to obsess about keeping the focus on PC flaws, then I guess we’ll never figure out why Macs are apparently superior.

I applaud Windows for keeping the focus on their product. I hate being sold on the negatives of others. This was a key factor in my college decision of Drake University. I will never forget my “Mac” college visit experience at Eastern Illinois University. EIU is a great school, and I would have further considered it had it not been for the individual that I spoke with in the admissions office. He was extremely interested in where else I was looking at going to school. I said, well Drake University…he quickly countered with “too expensive.” I said Northern Illinois University…he responded with “too close to home.” I also mentioned the University of Wisconsin and his two cents were “too big and too much money.” Yes he did talk about EIU, but it really turned me off that his strategy was to rip on these other schools. When I went to Drake on a college visit, they took the PC approach and kept the focus on why Drake would fit me. Case and point, I chose Drake, and I choose PCs when investing money in a personal laptop.





Let’s make this last forever

8 09 2009

Wow, killer Blink 182/Weezer/Taking Back Sunday concert this past weekend. I went down to Kansas City with a couple friends, picked up another bromontana and headed to Sandstone Ampitheatre in Bonner Springs to see a fanfreakingtastic musical trifecta. I won’t lie, I’m not a diehard Taking Back Sunday fan, but I did enjoy hearing them play a couple of songs that I listened to while I drove around in a ’96 Dodge Stratus in high school. I was definitely stoked for the following two performances with Weezer and Blink 182. Weezer was phenomenal. The clip below isn’t from KC, rather about a couple of weeks earlier, but the stage was pretty similar. ***UPDATE: Was able to find footage of the Weezer KC Troublemaker rendition*** There are plenty of great bands out there that flat out suck live…Weezer is not one of them. Good crowd interaction, clear and toneful lyrics and they play a great setlist:

1. War Pigs (Black Sabbath Cover) > Hash Pipe
2. Troublemaker
3. Undone – The Sweater Song
4. Surf Wax America
5. Perfect Situation
6. (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
7. Say It Ain’t So
8. My Name Is Jonas
9. Island In The Sun
10. Why Bother?
11. Pork and Beans
12. Beverly Hills
13. Buddy Holly
14. Should I Stay Or Should I Go (The Clash cover)

I always am stoked to hear Buddy Holly…it’s a song that’ll make it on my 20 song greatest hits CD when I’m 65. I called my dad during the musical experience as it is one of Big Dale’s favorites as well. Not that I can see him crowd surfing and what not, but I can see him enjoying it and singing along for sure. At one point during the earlier part of Weezer’s set, I realized that we had lost one member of our foursome. 14 seconds after that realization, I saw him crowd surfing to the front in his neon green shirt.

After Weezer and a couple more $7 Bud Lights, we moved in from the right side (stage left) of the front general admission area and proceeded to see the curtain fall and Blink began with Dumpweed, which I swear is a song made for leading off in a setlist.

Mark and Tom made their usual R rated comments throughout the night, but they made sure to move forward with the music. Travis Barker, wow. The guy is incredible to watch on drums. I have to throw a shout out to a fellow Naperthriller, Bobby Loesch, since I can’t think of a bigger Travis Barker fan on the face of this place we call Earth.

1. Dumpweed
2. Feeling This
3. The Rock Show
4. What’s My Age Again?
5. Obvious
6. I Miss You
7. Stay Together For The Kids
8. Down
9. Always
10. Stockholm Syndrome
11. First Date
12. Man Overboard
13. Going Away To College
14. Not Now
15. All The Small Things
16. Reckless Abandon
17. Josie
18. Anthem Part II
encore
19. Carousel
20. Dammit

Around ‘I Miss You’ I pushed my way to the stage left front. I found this video on Youtube and I was probably a tad bit in front of this guy. I was planning on acting like an over the hill 23 year old when the show started, but I felt like I was 16 when I was out there, and 16 year old Brad would push his way to the front. I mean I was wearing a polo….a polo shirt to a Blink 182 concert….what the heck was wrong with me? Just made me look more out of place. Proper attire to a show like this is definitely a ratty t-shirt and shorts.

From there I pushed my way up a bit further, saw my friend crowd surf to the front another couple of times in his neon green shirt, sang along like I was back in middle school, etc. Since I knew they were usually ending things off with the Anthem Pt. II, I made a couple of new friends that were willing to hoist me up, and crowd surfed to the front during the last song of their main set.

I enjoyed Dammit from afar with a little more breathing room than I had crammed in the front. Shirt soaking wet from my sweat and that of hundreds of others I eventually met up with the others in my wolfpack and drove off to that wonderful post-concert ear ringing.

WORK SUCKS, I know,
-bRad