Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Upcoming weekend

I know it's only Tuesday, but I felt like blogging and I couldn't think of anything to write...so I decided to talk about my upcoming weekend plans.

This Friday night, Oklahoma City will play host to another New Year's Eve with a Thunder game. The Thunder welcome the Atlanta Hawks into the Oklahoma City arena and right after that, the Cox Convention Center will see many of those Thunder fans "change hats" and join in the impossible-to-not-have-fun Flaming Lips concert...I am one of those lucky fans.

Granted, I am not just a Thunder fan and this is the one game a year that I wish I didn't have to do post game interviews so that I would have more time at the concert...but hey, when you have the best part-time job in the world, it makes it difficult to complain.

After my Thunder game duties are complete and I scurry over to see my 6th Flaming Lips concert (photo is Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne and I on Halloween, I dressed up as him), and after the Lips concert heading outside to join the other (anticipated) 75,000 Oklahoma Citians for the midnight countdown, I will head home...to rest up for an even more memorable event the following day.

On Saturday, I am heading up to Green Bay to watch the Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers. If the Packers when on Sunday they will clinch a playoff berth and if they lose...(cue depressing music). I grew up having a very sports-oriented family, one that clung to the Packers for football and the SF Giants for baseball. There was never a "favorited" NBA team constantly rooted for (which is a good thing as it made becoming a Thunder fan an easy transition). So, I became a SF Giants fan by default and ended up going to the 2002 World Series to watch them lose to Anaheim and also went to the 2010 World Series in Texas to see them thump the Rangers. In football, the Packers lure didn't stick. I really didn't even get much into having a favorite team until I graduated high school and went to college (2001) and it was then that I decided I needed to have a favorite NFL team (you know, because that's what 'men' do). At the time, Peyton Manning seemed like the young QB that I felt was worthy of enough of my weekly cheers.

This Sunday, while at Lambeau Field, I will have my iPhone on getting updates on every Colts play as they play host to the Tennessee Titans...I'm not too worried about that game.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Week

This past weekend was jam-packed with Christmas parties and family get-togethers.

It all started last Thursday (Dec 23) when I headed over to my friends' Blake and Holly's where everyone (roughly 30 people) participated in the annual tradition of the game "The 12 Beers of Christmas." This game (run by numerous home brewing fanatics)is where 12 relatively unknown beers represent a line from the famous "12 Days of Christmas" and everyone partakes in a couple ounces from each brand (a couple of the brews were brought from the guests). I stress "a couple ounces" as this functions merely as tasting different beers and not overindulging.

As this goes on, the host and a few guests begin brewing a barrel of beer to be served at the next annual party. Always a great time.

At midnight, we all sang Happy Birthday to Marek as she turned 27 (I figure it's ok to say how old girls are until they reach 30...then it is a repeated 29th birthday, I'm told).

The following day, Dec. 24, we had my family's Christmas get-together (Mom's side) which contained a luncheon at my parents house. yum yum yum. We sang Happy Birthday to Marek and had a birthday cake for her. It was a great time!

We had a total of four children at the Christmas palooza (parents house) ranging from 3-9 yrs old which makes opening presents so much more fun.

We also played a family tradition card game called "Pass the Wienie" in which the lowest card dealt is labeled "the wienie" and you must get rid of it by passing it to another player...very simplistic game that makes for about two hours of fun and the winner gets to take home the trophy until next year (the trophy is a 1989 last place trophy of a horse's butt "won" by my granddad in a golf tournament).

The next morning (CHRISTMAS!!) I headed back over to my parents house (I was the only one on the road) to eat my mom's famous breakfast casserole. SO GOOD! It's a meal I look forward to all year long.

After eating I hopped in the car and headed up to Pawnee, Oklahoma to see Marek and have Christmas with her parents. There were LOTS of people at her grandma's house with lots of food (I need to start exercising).

After numerous conversations with many great people, I said my good-byes and headed back down I-35 to get ready to work at the Thunder game (vs. Nuggets).

Kevin Durant was on his way to a career high in points (47) when he ended the thrd quarter with 40 points...but sitting the first 4 min of the 4th and then taking on double and triple team defenses late in the game limited him to 44 (season high).

I am getting more excited as the calendars pages fall and I plan my next trip.

My last big trip took me to Australia where I went to Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns but this time I think I am headed back over the Atlantic to Europe.

Early thoughts are to buy a round-trip to Madrid and head to south Spain for Sevilla/Granada for a couple days traveling via speed train. Then we are to buy a 3-day round trip to Rome.

While this looks to be the first trip to take me cities that I've already been to, I think it will be nice to show up at a familiar place already knowing what currency and language to expect.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So long 2010

I once read that the most common first line of any personal blog is, "Sorry it's been so long since I last blogged!" and that is exactly how I feel about my blogging experiences.

It's been so long!

Last year I wrote a blog about 2009 (http://bit.ly/eociyv) so I think it is only fitting to start recapping 2010.

I didn't do near as much traveling as I did in 2009 but I still was able to venture out of Oklahoma for a bit.

In March I went down-under to Australia. Australia was a very unique trip. It was definitely a little outside of my comfort zone. The flights were between 15-17 hours at a time and a total of 24 hours getting there which was quite rough on the body, especially when you only have 5 days to spend there and come back to Oklahoma to go throught the jet-lag all over again.
In Australia, I got see a professional Cricket match in Melbourne, watch tons of rugby, try to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef and surf on the coast of Sydney. Australia, I could live there, but for future travels, I think I'll stick north of the equator.

I bought a car this year (nothing fancy, '03 Civic) but it was a huge upgrade from the 17-yr old 190,000 Honda Accord I was driving...how I was able to pick up a girl like Marek in that car is beyond me.

The OKC Thunder finished the 09/10 season with 50 wins...obliterating the season before's 23 wins. As I write this, they are 26 games into the 10/11 season and are 18-8 and on pace for 57 wins. The team is incredible to watch from the stands and I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to transcribe player interviews after the home games. Not only do I get to witness their dominance from the stands but I actually get to see their character "behind the scenes" and these guys are the real deal. Over and over I've witnessed acts of kindness from these players when the cameras are off...great things that just can't be found throughout other teams around the league. We are not only blessed to have a team from the NBA in OKC, we are blessed to have THIS team from the NBA in OKC.

Maps 3 passed in 2009 and we just had the one-year anniversary of the historic date. As coalition teams are being formed and locations/details are being hammered out, one bit of great news has come about...sales projections. The penny sales tax is generating more money then the analysts figured...and that's a good thing considering the haters of Maps 3's complained we wouldn't reach the $775million goal at the end...haters will hate.

Sandridge also began the destruction/construction of their complex:

This has been exciting/depressing to watch. I'm sure the final product will be MUCH better than watching the dilapidated buildings sit there for decades but (as a fan of history and urban development) it was kind of sad to see the buildings get knocked down and not put to use.

Devon is currently constructing their 24th floor (of 50). Cranes are now taller than the Chase Tower (Cotter Ranch) and everyday I get to walk in view of the entire building during my two block walk from the parking garage.
Project 180 started this year, "the three year, $140 million redesign of downtown streets, sidewalks, parks and plazas to improve appearance and make the central core more pedestrian friendly" which has completely put every downtown worker in a frenzy. It seems like every road is torn-up, closed or down to one-lane. Crazy stuff.

On a more personal level, dad was named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine and the World Mayor Project named him the 2nd best mayor in the world...sometimes all the accolades still don't balance out the negatives said by the few online trolls trying to make a name for themselves.

I got my first dog this year! Mr. Bogart Cornett (Bouvier des Flandres). He is spoiling me on owning a dog. Best dog ever.

I am still working at Jones PR and recently got promoted to Account Executive. It was a happy/sad week as getting promoted is great, but the same week my working mentor, THE Sam Sims, moved on to another company...the random Family Guy comments around the office have now sadly stopped.

In world news, the BP oil spill this summer was probably the biggest man-made disaster Mother Earth has had to recover from.

33 Chilean Miners were trapped underground for 69 days.

The SF Giants won their first World Series since 1954 (I got to go to game 4 in Texas and watch Bumgarner dominate).

The Colts lost to the Saints in the Super Bowl. booooooooooo

Facebook surpassed Google as the most popular online site, currently boasting 550,000,000 and company CEO Mark Zuckerberg was named Time Person of the Year.

So long, '10. It's been fun.