Dallas


 

Introducing our first family dog, Ruby.  She’s a 1.5-year-old Basset Hound/Beagle mix (a “Bagel”) about knee-high and 35 lbs.  She’s awesome.  We picked her up at the McKinney pound last Tuesday (referenced in the pic above), and it’s already like she’s at home with us.  Her many talents already include joining me on my 3-mile runs, relieving herself outside and an amazing stop-drop-and-roll for belly rubs.

More pictures and stories to come in this pet adventure.

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We hit 100 degrees this week, and it’s not even June.  We’re in for a long, hot summer.  To prepare, Erin installed a new fan (seen in the background), and I had to amend the volume of hair on my head and face with a summer cut and a shave.  Not a complete shave, mind you.  My friends at TPN and I started a tradition last year around this time of “Creepy Mustache Day” – so I pay tribute with my 2008 version.  No offense to any fans of the upper lip hair; all mustaches look creepy on me.  That’s all I’m saying.  Don’t you agree?

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Went to see Radiohead at the legendary Starplex in Fair Park.  It’s not called that anymore, thanks to corporate branding (for which this marketer can’t really complain too much).  But it did bring back some memories of that outdoor amphitheater at which I saw some good shows growing up.

I used to sit back there (left), in the grass with the rest of general admission. Cheaper.

I guess I’ve matured with age, because we found ourselves in the seats this time (right)… my first time. (Thanks Mike)

Radiohead is one of my all-time favorite bands, and they hadn’t been to Dallas in 10 years.  That’s a long time.  So there was quite the frenzy around the whole Sunday night gig.  And they didn’t disappoint.  The stage set was incredible, with countless tubes surrounding the band and reflecting light.  Even the digital projection of the band was cooler than usual, a duotone of interesting camera angles and cropped-in drama.  And the music… fantastic!  As expected, the band played every song from their new album, In Rainbows.  To my surprise, they played some golden cuts from earlier albums, OK Computer and The Bends.  Check out one of my favorite songs ever, “Fake Plastic Trees”

This gives you a better impression of the stage set-up. I swear this segment may have been filmed from our row as I recognize the angle and some arm dancing sillouettes.

 

 

Wigs and Wine – Erin and Michael, originally uploaded by espeedy123.

We were recently invited to a themed dinner party hosted by Nathan and Misty at their home in south Dallas. “Wigs and Wine” were shared by 12 of us over a tasty meal.

We have several other photos on Flickr from the occasion. We got our inspiration from John Adams, as we have been trying to finish the recent HBO mini series. Erin rented them from a local costume and stage prop shop, and little she know, the renter is also a history buff. My white revolutionary era hair piece would be more indicative of a wig later in John Adams’ life. Who knew? My question: Could John Adams ever pull off that stunning bearded gaze and Kohl’s shirt?

Erin rocked the party with her seriously cool Marie Antionette look, including make-up and fashion mole.

I like me a good wig party, or as was mentioned several times in reference to me, the “Whig” party. The Dungo’s, our friends in Chicago, threw some serious wig parties at bars to celebrate birthdays. Good times. It’s low-commitment, but with the creative fun of a costume party.

What’s your wig of choice?

How do you surprise a spouse on her special birthday? Well, why not deliver something she least expects – simple, right?The idea came to me pretty quick as most good ideas should. Once the thought entered my head, I couldn’t think of anything Erin would like more… or expect less.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?!
Though I tried to brainstorm something better and get myself off the hook, I presented Erin with 5 weeks of beginner ballroom dance lessons.

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Even better: Latin ballroom dance

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Erin likes to ask me to dance at weddings and other formal occasions. I oblige of course with a head nod and toe tap to the music while cozied up to the bar. Doesn’t really do it for her.

Dancing is a tough sell for me now that I’m married and don’t have to in order to woo Erin.
The route of my hesitation?
– I’m 6’4″ and a little awkward… ok, maybe a lot awkward.
– I’m not a big fan at being really bad at something in public.
– Once trained, I’d have no excuse to do my cozy-up-to-bar trick at weddings.

But, hey, if Ian Ziering can do it…
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So, for anyone with a similar fate, here are some things you should know going in.

First rule of dance class: You do not talk about dance class
– Well, so much for that. This blog must be my public cry for help. Your guys friends will make fun of you, and rightfully so.

Second rule of dance class: If it is your first night of dance class, you must dance!
– But don’t plan on sharing your embarrassment with your one trusted ally for all 60 minutes of musical mayhem. That’s right, you rotate among the whole group, dancing with one and all. Be prepared; shared misery makes the heart grow fonder. (Good news – everyone is too preoccupied with themselves to concentrate on what you’re doing or why you continually step on the big toe.)

Third rule of dance class: Bring a sweat rag
– Dudes like me sweat as the slightest physical exertion in a still room. Strangers don’t like to touch sweaty strangers. Is it just coincidence that one female has yet to return after witnessing droplets of sweat dangle and fall off my ear lobe as we hacked through some Rumba? Honestly, I didn’t want to return either.

Fourth rule of dance class: Hold the onion
– Please watch the lunch, people. We’re breathing the same air here.

Fifth rule of dance class: Don’t watch yourself in the mirror
– You only thought you were confused with the steps until you looked up and followed the guy in the mirror. Blind can’t lead the blind, pal.

Sixth rule of dance class: Bribe yourself
– If I go back to dance class we can walk across the street for some Blue Goose brisket tacos and margaritas. Works every time.

Seventh rule of dance class: Stick with it
– You know, week one tested my will. I was really dreading round 2. But once we rolled in a couple of strange things happened. 1. Several people dropped out from week 1, making me an immediate champion. Score! 2. The steps seemed to go better together the second time. And even better the third.

I’m no Travolta yet, but at this pace…
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Seriously though, I’m finding myself having fun with it. Erin and I are having laughing all the way through – what better birthday present is there than quality time and new adventures. Life’s a Trip, you know.

Well, my first week on my own is behind me.  It was a strange sensation.  Exciting. Scary.  And a little out of sorts, honestly.  We were plenty busy in week 1, and for that I count my lucky stars.  I hope it continues as we move into our new office shortly. (Blog tour to come).   In the meantime, I look back on my time with TPN very fondly.  The last couple of weeks were very difficult.  I’ve never been good at goodbye; perhaps that’s a reason I don’t say it very often. I never wrote much about work on this blog, but anyone that knows me knows TPN was a big part of my life for more than 8 years.  It all has to do with the people, who were each inspiring and special in his/her own way.  All of the teams at TPN were very special to me. I consider myself lucky to have friends across the country.  2232285986_339febe44c.jpg  The people really made it for me.  Everything from the after-work happy hours like the one above…  to daily lunches in office… 2246851551_0f762f7e6e.jpg to those fun and creative brainstorms… 2246852003_3d0bac7b1c.jpgto making marketing magic happen night in and night out.  (check out that view from the Dallas office).2189846419_047d179227_m.jpg  Hopefully Tripp and I can create a dynamic atmosphere of our own over time with Ignite Studios.  We know it takes balls.  I’m hoping for a little luck, too.2231493485_ef69e1c8ff.jpg 

Well, Super Bowl Sunday is back again. I’m usually pretty into it. And being in the marketing industry, it’s a must-see whether the Patriots win by 40+ or not. (FYI: For those that care, I predict a closer game – Pats by 7).

It’s all about the commercials. I found this great illustration on Adrants.

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It really is true, not just of marketers, but viewers in general. The last few parties I recall silence during commercials and bathroom breaks during the game.

I personally like all parts and wait for my personal missions at halftime. Tom Petty may keep me interested, especially with the possibility of a wardrobe malfunction.

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