Archive for the ‘Vacation’Category

Tel Aviv-a La Vida

Note: I wrote this article for Kellogg’s student newspaper, The Merger, to document the trip I took to Israel with 40 of my classmates in March. These articles are generally written with lots of inside jokes that only the participants understand, but I thought I’d share it here for everyone to read.

Shalom! Over spring break, 40 2nd-years headed to the middle-eastern desert to visit a country rich in culture and deep in history from ancient civilizations. We sought to witness one of the fastest growing hi-tech economies in the world. We sought to see the sites where ancient civilizations traveled, traded and sometimes battled. Read the rest of this entry →


07 2011

Gettin’ Scrappy in Motown

After I tweeted Thursday’s plea for help out to the Twitter-verse, I was pleasantly surprised to get a few responses back from people who knew their way around midtown Detroit pretty well. Ultimately, David Lingholm from the Detroit Regional News Hub was nice enough to meet on Friday morning and share a little bit about the history and current goings-on of midtown Detroit. (Before I forget let me extend a special thanks to David and the News Hub for helping to set all of this up). Read the rest of this entry →


12 2010

Live from Detroit (a personal plea)

I’m spending a couple of days in Detroit on my way home to DC. (It’s a nice way to catch up with old friends while splitting up a mind-numbing 750 mile drive.)

One of my biggest regrets about my time in Detroit is that I didn’t get to learn the city very well until it was almost time to leave. I’m fairly certain that in my first year here, I made a grand total of 3 trips into the city. I caught up fairly quickly though, and by the end I honestly feel like I knew things about Detroit that friends who’d spent their lives here didn’t know. I learned my lesson from that, though, and I made it a point to embrace Chicago and city life (despite living in Evanston) when I moved last summer. Read the rest of this entry →


12 2010

The almighty golf course ranger and the Cardinal camera

I spent the past weekend in Chicagoland. On Saturday, I played golf with Darren, Bova and Gartley. The course was Crane’s Landing in Lincolnshire. Anyways, as we got ready to tee off the golf course ranger comes up to us and starts explaining the rules of the course. He also tells us that the pace for the course is 2 hours on the front nine and 2:20 on the back nine.

The GPS unit on the golf cart is also nice enough to keep time for you, so it warns you about how you are doing relative to the course pace.

Anyways, we get to the 9th teebox and some guy from a charity accosts us and starts asking us to donate. We listen to his spiel for 5 minutes and finally tee off. As we are standing on the 9th green, the almighty ranger walks up to us and tells us we are running 10 minutes behind.

We explain that half of that time was lost due to the charity guy that the course gave permission to harass on the golf course.

He just shrugged his shoulders.

Anyways, we finish the hole and I’m still walking back to the cart when Darren gets in and yells, “Hey I don’t know where he got 10 minutes. The cart only says we’re 5 minutes behind.”

I yelled back, “Maybe he added our 5 minutes to the other carts 5 to get 10.”

The ranger was standing about 50 feet away. Oops.

Anyways, we teed off on the 10th and another ranger comes by and starts harassing us. We tell him we’ll try to hurry up but mostly ignore him.

We continue to play at the EXACT same pace and at the 11th hole, the first ranger drives up to us and thanks us for hurrying up.

For the record we finished the course 4 minutes ahead of pace.

After the golf course, Darren and I headed to Wrigley for the Cubs-Cardinals game with Tim and Paul. I, of course, was decked out in my Cardinals regalia — jersey and hat. The Cubs won the game and we actually ended up leaving early, in the 8th inning.

On the way out, I wanted a picture of the four of us, so I asked the usher to take one. He tried to take it, but I hadn’t set the time on the camera so it wouldn’t take a picture. The Wrigley crowd started yelling at us, “Who knows if that thing works, dude, it’s a freakin’ Cardinal camera!!!”

True, but I’ll guarantee one thing: It works in October.

Anyways, I came to a big realization on my drive back to Detroit today: The Washington Redskins have won more championships at Wrigley Field than the Chicago Cubs.

December 12, 1937, at Chicago
Wrigley Field, Attendance – 15,870
Washington Redskins
Chicago Bears
Was – Battles 7 run (R. Smith kick)
ChiB – Manders 10 run (Manders kick)
ChiB – Manders 37 pass from Masterson (Manders kick)
Was – Millner 55 pass from Baugh (R. Smith kick)
ChiB – Manske 4 pass from Masterson (Manders kick)
Was – Millner 78 pass from Baugh (R. Smith kick)
Was – Justice 35 pass from Baugh (R. Smith kick)


07 2006


I just came back from six days in California. It was my first realy vacation in years.

On Wednesday I flew into LA. I met Greg, Tim and Sztelle at LAX and we rented out car and headed to Newport Beach.

On Thursday we went to the Tuxedo rental place, and then the beach and finally out to Dave and Busters, where I finally got to meet Krissi (Jupin’s bride-to-be).

Friday, we drove up and down the Pacific Coust Highway, which, as it turns out, is not so scenic when you drive through LA. We got to see the Los Angeles port, Long Beach and some other questionable areas of town. We also got to go to Huntington Beach, which was … well … amazing. Then we headed to the rehearsal dinner and finally home. Strangely enough, we were walking down the pier at Huntington Beach when an armored vehicled pulled up next to us and stopped. The drive opened the door and yelled to me, “Hey can you do me a favor?” I turned to him and then he yelled, “Please burn that shirt, go Buckeyes!” I was wearing a University of Michigan shirt. He was an Ohio State fan. Go figure.

Saturday we went to the beach again, and then the wedding, which was a good time.

Sunday, I dropped everyone to the airport, returned the Tuxedos, drove to San Diego and then returned my rental car. Ninad, Neha and I went out to dinner at a Mexican place in La Jolla called “Su Casa”

Monday, I read and watched TV for most of the day. Monday night, we went out to dinner at a pizza place called BJs and then out in downtown San Diego at a place called “The Yardhouse”

Tuesday, I woke up and caught a plane back to Detroit. *sigh*


07 2006

Stories from Seattle, and a movie recommendation

I went to Seattle, WA last weekend to visit Sameer (friend from high school) for the weekend.

On Saturday we went to the Chateaux Michelle winery and the Redhook brewery.

The brewery tour was fairly interesting. Sameer and I had gone on the brewery tour 4 years earlier but after having worked for Anheuser-Busch for a year, I had a new appreciation for what A-B does.

Red Hook’s yearly output is roughly 220,000 barrels a year. There are 31 gallons in a barrel (which is 2 kegs of beer). To put that in perspective, if each person in America got together with 4 of his/her friends and each group of 5 scarfed down one pint of a Redhook brew, that would come out to 220,000 barrels.

To compare, Anheuser-Busch brews 101 million barrels of beer each year. If each person in America drank 90 pints of Budweiser, the total amount of beer drank would be equal to Anheuser-Busch’s yearly production.

A-B’s flagship brewery in St. Louis, MO produces 14 millions barrels of beer each year. That is 63 times the total production of Redhook.

On Sunday, Sameer and I drove to Vancouver. Our first stop there was the International Buddhist Society, which turned out to just be a Buddhist temple. The lady at the door sensed we were outsiders and showed us around and even tried to teach us some things. Then she kept insisting that we stay for a free lunch and that the lunch was REALLY REALLY good. All in all, a dissapointment (to me at least).

Then we proceeded to the Capilano bridge. Imagine a little wooden walking bridge in the forest. Now imagine it is just over 2 football field long and runs over a river that flows 230 feet below the bridge.

Needless to say, the bridge rocks like crazy and it takes a bit of getting used to, to walk on it. On the other side of the bridge, there is a little parks area with some trails and some educational material about that particular forest.

Sameer and I got home and I started reading about it on Wikipedia. This is what I learned:

The most notable incident happened on September 22, 1999 when a mother, Nadia Hama, dropped her 18 month old child, Kaya, off the bridge. Hama claimed she stumbled accidentally and the child slipped from her grasp. Fortunately, because the child fell in an area with heavy tree cover, the baby was unharmed.

Holy. Crap. Its amazing enough someone could drop their child off the bridge, but that fact that the kid survived … amazing.

Anyways, we out drinking in Seattle with some of Sameer’s friends on Sunday night. At the end of the night, as we left the bar, a car pulled up and the passenger rolled down the windows and starting blasting some techno. Four asian guys were inside and one of them yelled “Lets see you dance, white boys” in a tone that wasn’t particularly friendly. Strangely enough, out of hte 5 of us, 2 weren’t even white.

Anyways, I thought of a few equally racially insensitive things to yell back but thankfully, I didn’t.

OK, on to my movie recommendations. I was taking communication training at work this past week and the instructor showed us a clip from the movie “12 angry men” as an example of persuasive speech. After seeing the clip, I immediately went out and rented the film and it is amazing. My favorite line:

Juror 7: You a Yankee fan?
Juror 5: No … Baltimore
Juror 7: Baltimore? That’s like being hit in the head with a crowbar once a day!


06 2006

What the hell happened yesterday?

Yesterday Trevor and I went to East Lansing to watch the Illinois – MSU basketball game. We got to the arena about half an hour before the game and took our seats.

MSU’s arena is really nice (probably the nicest arena in the Big Ten), but I think their fans have been a little spoiled by the teams recent success. The arena never got particularly loud, except maybe till the 4 minute mark of the 2nd half. Worse yet, whenever the Illini fans in the upper deck started the ILL-INI chant, the MSU fans did nothing to drown us out.

At OSU a couple of weeks ago that was never the case.

I will say, however, that Michigan State fans are the most respectful and knowledgable fans in the Big Ten.

Trevor and I happened to be sitting right next to three other Illini fans, so that just added to the fun.

Anyways, the Illini were trailing by one at halftime, when we got to see the infamous halftime show. Roughly 20 middle aged men with beer guts came out wearing wife beater shirts, small green shorts and holding folding lawn chairs. One other man dressed just the same but wore a hat and yelled out military calls at these 20 men. Together, the men marched single file around the court a few times and did some bizarre motions with their folding chairs, similar to what you’d see a soldier doing with their rifle. This went on for roughly 10-12 minutes and the crowd simply stared at this halftime show in confused amazement. Some comments from the people around us:

  • “Someday I’m going to be 70 years old and I’ll be sitting on my couch with my wife and my mind will wander back to this, and all of a sudden it’ll make sense.” – Me
  • “I’ve been going to Michigan State basketball games for 50 years and I’ve never seen anything this bizarre.” – MSU fan in front of us
  • “They should give the 2 points just for the halftime show.” – Me (Jamar Smith hit a 2-pointer at the end of the first half to give us a 1 point lead. The refs reviewed the play and originally said the basket counted. Later, they decided he didn’t take the shot in time)
  • “No one is going to believe this when I tell them about it. I have to take a picture.” – Illini fan sitting next to us

After doing some research, I found this information about the halftime show:

What could be funnier than a group of Dad’s marching down the street with black socks, American flag boxer shorts and white tank tops? How about barking out cadence like: “She don’t know and I don’t care, I’m wearing yesterday’s underwear.” Or “All our wives say we are lazy, our laying around just drives them crazy”. Many people jump out and hand off a cool malt beverage to our group. We perform twice as hard for those people. Why wouldn’t we?

They have a website at

I guess the embarrassing part of the whole situation is that, as it turns out, these guys are from Illinois.

Anyways, Illinois won the basketball game. After the game Trevor and I were driving around the MSU campus and joking about going to the Triangle house.

Right then, we drove right by the Triangle house, so we decided to pay them a visit. We rang the doorbell and one of the brother’s answered the door. It was their spring break, so the house was pretty empty, but the one brother decided to give us a tour of the house. We saw the main living areas, basement, kitchen and got some information on the house. Then, he decided to show us a room, so he opened up one of the doors and the person inside screamed, “Oh God, Nooooooooo!”

There was a confused silence for just a moment, but then the brother giving us the tour inquired, “Are you looking at porn?”

And the other MSU Triangle brother replied, “Yeah … sorry, I thought the door was locked.”

We closed the door and hurried away and continued on the tour. When we got to the next part of the house on the tour, there was an awkward moment of silence before anyone said anything.

Trevor and I went out to grab some food with 2 of the MSU Triangles. Since these brother’s were so nice to show us campus, we decided to buy pitchers at the bar. The waitress came by and I asked if I could buy a pitcher. But apparently this place doesn’t sell pitchers. They do sell ‘buckets’ of beer. Now, most of the time when you think about buying a bucket of beer, you think of an aluminum pail, with lots of ice and 6 12-oz. bottles.

I asked the woman if I could mix beers in the bucket and she gave me a blank stare. She said I could but that would be kind of wierd. At this point I was confused.

“What’s wrong with mixing beers,” I asked.

“Well nothing, I guess. It’s just I’ve never heard of anyone doing anything like that.”

At this point I am really confused so I just decide to stick with one beer, and I order a bucket of Newcastle.

A few minutes later the woman comes out with our bucket. Imagine a bucket you’d use to wash your car. Now imagine filling that bucket with beer straight from under a tap. Yes … the beer was poured directly into the bucket, like mop water.

Then we also got a pitcher that we used to scoop out the beer, a rag to wipe down the pitcher, and some glasses to pour the beer from the pitcher to the glass.

We drank a bucket of beer.


03 2006

Another weekend in Champaign

Friday: Got to Champaign. Ate dinner at White Horse, went to CO’s. Saw James Augustine. Saw James Augustine get hit on by another guy. Drank Budweiser out of a skunked keg. Went home.

Saturday: Ran 4.5 miles (I actually wanted to run 7). I played golf with Darren and Larry. I watched Carrie back a golf cart into another golf cart (at a fairly high speed). I shot a 136, but I did have 3-4 par putts, which is nice. I watched ‘Hostage’, another Bruce Willis classic. That guy can turn anything into gold. I went to the Office with Byron, and then Legends, and then went to sleep.

Sunday: I woke up, roamed about campus. Ate breakfast at White Horse with Darren and Byron, packed up and left.

Yeah, so there were no plane tickets, to excessively random things involved with this weekend, but that’s a good thing.


06 2005

A night in Chi-town

I was at work yesterday and I’m leaving at 4:30. As I get onto I-170 my phone rings. I answer and its Trevor. He thinks I’m in Chicago for the weekend and he offers me his extra ticket to see the Alkaline Trio at the Riviera. Unfortunately, I’m in St. Louis, so I decline.

I get home and decide to check airline prices on a whim and American wants $1240. Pfffft. Then I go check and They have a 6:45 flight for $200. I call Trevor and he still doesn’t have a taker for his ticket, so I book the flight and go.

The trio were pretty good. They played mostly new stuff, which was ok. I prefer old-school Alkaline Trio music. Then we ate at Dogs on Clark and met up with Korbie and her roommates at Joy Brew (which incidentally has perhaps the worst bartenders I’ve ever seen).

Anyways, it was a pretty random night, and I flew back to St. Louis this morning. With all thats been going with desktop refresh at work, it was a nice getaway.


06 2005

My tour of the midwest

With the entire family out of the country for Thanksgiving, I decided to take a tour of the midwest over the long weekend.
Since I’m too lazy to recite the entire weekend (and most people reading this probably don’t care), Here’s a few observations from the weekend:
  1. Skyline chili … I ate it and I’m still alive
  2. I’ve always wondered if Gary, Indiana was as bad as people said.  Now that I’ve driven through it, my answer is a resounding ‘YES!”
  3. The next time you’re in Chicago, stop by the Leopard Lounge in Bucktown and grab a drink (its near I-90-94 and North Ave.)  Its a nice place to grab a drink.
  4. Be very careful when you’re defrosting your fridge.  Darren was using a hammer and drill bit to chisel out the ice.  The next thing we know, it starts spraying Freon all over his room.  Incidentally Freon is only toxic if you eat it … SO DON’T EAT FREON!!!  On a funnier note, over the summer, a bunch of us defrosted JD’s fridge with a blowtorch (I shit you not), and we managed to not burn/poison/kill/otherwise maim anybody.
  5. If you go to grad school, make sure you have a plan on how you are going to get out (this observation is dedicated to my good friend Matt Sztelle).  Its not just politicians that need an exit strategy.
  6. On Monday night, I went to Grainger to see if my thesis is actually on the shelves, and yes  … it is.  This means that I’m part of the University of Illinois library system for eternity.  If you don’t believe me, go to <a href=””></a> and search for ‘ingale’ (without quotes).
  7. Champaign, IL to Silver Spring, MD — Its a LONG drive.  I don’t know how I did it so many times without going crazy.

But I’m home now, and my room is clean …


12 2004