Thursday, February 25, 2010

Around Town: NorCal

You already know that I'm fortunate enough to travel for my job and you also know I'm in Northern California for the first part of this week.

What you don't know is since I swam in college, and the girls on the team came from all over... that usually when I travel I get to see people. That I don't usually see! And it's exciting!

Especially when I see people like Carlene who is so on the same page with me when it comes to food, art, books, and on and on. She took me out in San Jose last night to the best place ever... Santana Row!

It has a ton of great shops (hello my dear Crate & Barrel and Container Store!) and a ton of great places to eat... all in one place. It also has a CineArts Theatre-- which I am just starting to get into-- all the movies that get big awards but don't necessarily go mainstream. So if you are in San Jose... I highly suggest you check the place out.

For dinner we went to the Left Bank Brasserie. Which I highly, highly recommend. It was sort of pricey... but not outrageous at all. And totally worth it for the artwork we got to eat! We ordered a delicious fondue of brie and blue cheese. And then we each ordered a salad and a tarte. We thought these tarts were going to be nice and petite. But as Carlene put it, "these are like a personal pan pizza!" So we definitely had too much food, but it was great.

Then today work brought me further north to Sacramento, and en route back to San Jose we took a little detour to San Francisco. Which was adorable and I can't wait to make a trip back there to actually enjoy the city! But I did manage to snap a couple shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. Such a tourist I know, but I couldn't help myself!

Tonight takes me to SoCal... where I'll be working through Monday-- including a weekend show, but I hope to get some "Around Town" time, too! Any maybe the weather gods will bless me with some sunshine! Please?


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Saw the Clouds Kiss the Mountains Today

Right now I am in San Jose. As of 7 AM this morning I was Indianapolis. I have also been in Denver, San Diego and Palo Alto. Basically it's been a long day.

I knew it would be a long day when I woke up this morning at 4A.M. It's always a long day waking up early and traveling from East to West.

Which is why I thought the travel gods were rewarding me with a whole row to myself on my first flight. But then my connection got canceled and I needed two more flights to get to my final destination. Too much plane.

But when I landed in San Diego (not my final destination) it was bright and sunny and beautiful and totally worth the long trip, seeing as how it was snowing in Indy when I left this morning. But when I got to San Jose it was rainy and gross. Seriously? I came across the country for gross weather?

But then I was driving along the highway... and you know what? Even when it rains here it's beautiful. Everything is so green (it probably seems greener to me since I haven't seen green for months.) And the clouds also seem to kiss the mountains, and basically I'm in love.

So yeah, just to reiterate if you are in California and want to hire Rambo. Please let me know. I'm totally open to moving here. And I promise I won't ever complain when it rains.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Passion Trumps Logic

Swimming consumed my life for, well basically my entire life. So now that I'm retired it makes sense that it consumes my life for a few days every year. This weekend encompasses a few of those days. I become a Psycho-Swim-Alumni (traits I learned from a Psycho-Swim-Dad) just in time for the Big Ten Conference. This year at Purdue!

If you follow me on Twitter, or are a friend of mine of Facebook you know. EVERYTHING has been about swimming and the Boilermaker Swimmin' Women for the past couple of days. I just can't get enough. What I wouldn't give to put my blood, sweat and tears on the line-- to leave it all in the pool-- again.

And the Purdue Team is swimming AMAZING. Better than they ever have. I watched the meet online tonight, and through the poor quality video I could see that Purdue has something none of the other teams have in the Big Ten. When someone swims great, everyone runs to their lane to hug them after a race. The Boilermakers are serious, but they smile and laugh. It's great to watch, and I can't wait to see it live tomorrow and Saturday. I can't wait to see what the great swims these women have left. I can't wait.

One of the girls on the team had this quote up on her facebook page. I don't know where it came from, and I don't mean to plagiarize but I want to share it:

"The other guy may in fact be the favorite. The odds may be stacked against you. Fair enough, but what the odds don't know is this isn't a math test. This is a completely different kind of test, one where passion has a funny way of trumping logic."

I found the above image from the Purdue website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: P2S Edition

This weekend Purdue plays host to the Women's Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships. And though the Purdue team is bound to have amazing swims, and perhaps place higher than they ever have before, the picture above is what it's really about.

Believing in one another and being there for each other at the wall-- whether it's to celebrate an amazing swim, to encourage each other during a five-second rest or just to laugh so hard it hurts. The camaraderie is what makes this sport so amazing.

Boiler Up ladies. Leave your heart in the pool in the pool this week, I can't wait to see what you can do together!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quote It

"That's why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can't control life, but at least you can control your version."
-Chuck Palahniuk

"When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true."
-Paulo Coelho

These are just two quotes from a couple of my favorite authors-- two very, very different authors. But I think they both have truly great ideas that need to be shared. It's the differences in opinion that makes life interesting after all.

Who are your favorite authors? What is your favorite quote of his or hers?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Is it tacky to write a birthday post for yourself?

It may be tacky to write a birthday post for yourself, but this is my blog and it's my birthday, so I can write whatever I want right?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Now what should one write in a blog post about themselves on their 24th birthday? 24 things about me of course! It's my day after all!

1. I share my birthday with YouTube. Which is a coincidence because I just got a Flip Mino HD, so my relationship with YouTube will strengthen in the coming year.
2. I will be celebrating my birthday at El Rodeo tonight with a margarita as big as my head and lots of friends. Because I'm classy like that.
3. Turning 24 is not that exciting. Though I may have a slight breakdown when I hit a quarter of a century next year.
4. Facebook makes a birthday SO MUCH more exciting. At the time of this post I had more than 60 Happy Birthday posts. Thanks for all the well wishes.
5. My birthday usually coincides with Women's Swimming Big Tens. Which is awesome. And I can't wait to watch the Purdue girls rock it this weekend on home turf!
6. This year my birthday also falls on President's Day. Which makes me the natural choice for the first female president. I'd do great things in office. Like redecorate.
7. King has yet to wish me a happy birthday today. But he has been really good today, so I guess I'll take what I can get.
8. I was up at 4A.M. this morning. Which may very well make this year the longest birthday of my life.
9. The only events of note I could find on my birthdate (February 15, 1986) was the largest NBA crowd to date (Philadelphia at Detroit) and that Ferdinand Marcos won the rigged Philippines presidential election (how is that a feat? It was rigged!) Which may make my birth the most exciting thing that happened that day (perhaps I'm a little biased.)
10. I couldn't find anyone of note who died on my birthday or the day before. Making the chances of me being a reincarnated famous person somewhat slim.
11. If I Google "Lauren Hyman" and hit "I'm feeling lucky" the first thing that pops up is a Lauren Hyman who is a Gynecologist. Really? Your last name is Hyman and you went on to be a gynecologist? How original.
12. When I was born gas cost 89 cents.
13. In 1986 smoking was banned in public transport systems. Probably because everyone realized how precious my baby lungs were.
14. Perhaps as a result, the Nicotine patch was also created in 1986.
15. Billy Joel was a popular artist (and he still rules my heart!)
16. I also share my birthday with Galileo. Basically I'm destined for greatness.
17. I was born less than an hour after Valentine's Day. Apparently Cupid didn't want to share his big day with me.
18. I was born with my legs crossed. Because you know, I'm a lady.
19. In ten years I want lots of babies to sing happy birthday to me. Well not babies, exactly but kids. And I want 34 candles on my cake.
20. Speaking of which, when I turn 100 I better have 100 lit candles on my cake to blow out. I don't care if this requires the fire truck to show up.
21. Writing 24 things about myself and my birthday is harder than I thought it would be.
22. Mark did REALLY good on birthday and Valentine's day shopping this year. I told him he has set the standards high the the rest of our lives and I could see by the look on his face that he didn't necessarily consider that before.
23. I'm thankful I got to celebrate my birthday with my family this weekend, and will continue the celebration with lots of friends tonight.
24. Have FUN today! It's my day so I want everyone to have a great day. Just don't do anything to eclipse my birthday, okay? :) Unless it's to invent junk food that is fat and calorie free and tastes exactly like real junk food. That would be totally alright.

Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, this weekend was spent planning our wedding. And when I say planning our wedding, I mean my Mom and I went to the first dress fitting, found and interviewed the officiant who will marry us, found and interviewed the DJ and found some decor options for the wedding and maybe even a shower. (Sigh of relief that some of these big things are FINALLY done.)

Rambo went ice-fishing. So I guess aliens didn't take over his body after all. But as if to punish him, Cupid ensured that Rambo didn't catch any fish while he sat there in the cold for a few hours.

In all honesty though it's perfectly fine that Rambo's role in the wedding is basically to show up and say, "I do." But as I've told him before, if the day is 100% girly, he is not allowed to complain. And as far as I know he is perfectly at peace with this fact (Hallelujah!)

In addition to wedding planning and ice fishing (which by the way was up at my parent's house) we also got to spend the weekend with family and friends to celebrate Valentine's Day as well as a little pre-birthday celebration for moi (yay for a new FlipMinoHD... you can expect a little more video on the blog now!) It was a great dinner last night with family, and then we saw the movie Valentine's Day, which I was pleasantly surprised by... it was adorable and I highly recommend it.

AND in the spirit of love, I just found out my cousin Kassy got engaged which is really exciting, and I wish her and Brandon all the best!

I hope everyone has a wonderful and love-filled Valentine's Day and may Cupid hit you square in the heart!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another word for Sweet Potato

You know that Google Commercial that was on during the SuperBowl? The one where you follow the guys life through his Google searches? Well I think that monitoring a person's Google searches would give you VERY good insight into a person's life. And last night my google search went a little something like "impressive side dish for tacos."

So, what does that say about me?

We had friends over, and I wanted to impress them.

Anyways from such a search I found this delicious recipe that is really easy. In Mexico and Central America, the sweet potato is called by the Nahuatl-derived name: Camote, so that's what this recipe is going to be called. (Don't say I've never taught you anything, and you can thank Wikipedia for the above knowledge.) And no, I don't know how to pronounce it. But I've been saying KAH-MOH-TEE because I think it sounds cool. Feel free to correct me, but I'll probably just keep calling it the same thing.

What you'll need:
3 large sweet potatoes (cut up into 1-inch pieces)
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of butter
A few dashes of cinnamon

Let's get cooking:
Put the cut up sweet potatoes into a buttered, oven-safe dish. Go ahead and take a few thin slices of your 1/2 cup of butter and put them over the top of the sweet potatoes. (NOTE: not all the butter!) Cover with foil and back at 375 for 45 minutes.

After this is done pull them out, slice up the remaining butter and spread over the top. Pour in the honey and mix this up until the butter is melted. I know it seems like a lot of butter, but you won't actually be eating it all... it's just for the potatoes to soak in.

Add a few dashes of cinnamon and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Pull out and toss and return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Check to make sure they are done!

And enjoy! Next to your super-classy tacos and rice!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Around Town: Toronto

I was in Toronto a few weeks ago for work, and luckily my friend Kat lives up there, too so I had someone to show me around town.

This was my first trip to Toronto, but I LOVED it... such it's such a trendy big city, but it's just so cute at the same time. We rode the subway (which, I don't know but I LOVE the subway, probably because I've never lived in a subway that actually uses one.)

We walked around downtown a bit and went to the AGO (Art Gallery or Ontario) They have a great collection of works, and one particular room I loved where contrasting styles all hung side by side in big, beautiful frames.

I also got to meet Kat's new man, Derek. The two of them made fun of my "accent" while we ate pad thai.

I learned a lot about Canada that I didn't know before. But most importantly did you know that they have milk in a bag instead of a carton? I knew Canadians were weird, but milk in a bag? Almost beyond my comprehension. What do you think, eh?


Monday, February 8, 2010

We have a possible alien abduction

Last week Mark brought home a bouquet of flowers for me. Which was totally sweet, and doesn't happen all the time.
Today Mark came home with chocolates and a GIANT used book of Love Poems (I LOVE that it's used... some of the pages are dog-eared... who knows who has read it, and how deep in love they were... so romantic.) Again totally sweet and thoughtful.

He even read me poems from the book.

So, basically I have drawn two possible conclusions:

A. Mark has been abducted and they took Mark out of his body, and inserted an alien soul into it.


B. Mark has bought a huge, expensive boat and is just buttering me up before he tells me.

Does anyone have any other ideas?


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl+Twitter=Awesome

I thought it was a great SuperBowl. A good mix of good commercials, plus a pretty good game. But social media makes things that much more interesting.

And (since I am a Bears fan at heart) even though I would have been happy with a Colts win--living in Indianapolis and all, I'm glad it was the Saints in the end. However Indy is going to be a rather grumpy city tomorrow... and I'm not looking forward to that.

This year I tried to glance at Twitter every so often throughout the game, and let me tell you... there are some pretty clever people out there that can make a great point in 140 characters or less. Here's the highlights of my twitter feed throughout the game:

(@Mental_floss) In case you missed the update at the bottom of that last link, the SB XLIV loser's apparel is being donated to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

(@EvanStrange) Good for NO. Colts are saving up for their home field advantage in 2012 anyway. Great game #sb44

(@chelsaya) fist pumping the lombardi trophy. Take notes cast of jersey shore, you've just been upstaged

(@BrianNeudorff) That is great to see @drewbrees and his son. What a moment. From this colts fan, congrats Saints #sb44

(@ncroal) Never bet against the Kardashians, people.

(@YahooSportsNFL) Unreal: A louisianan (Manning), tried to throw to a Louisianan (Wayne) & it was picked off and returned for TB by a louisianan (Tracy Porter)

(@Genuine) RE: Pepsi. They opted out of Super Bowl in favor of social media/ social good campaign "Refresh Everything"

(@Jojeda RT) @joshlewis: Steph saw Google's ad and said, "He should've hit 'I'm feeling lucky' for one of those searches."

(@BorowitzReport) This is the best thing to happen to New Orleans since, as Barbara Bush pointed out, everybody got brand new houses.

What were some of your favorite tweets?


Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Heaven

So I finished The Lovely Bones last week, and I have to say, I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book, but I didn't love it. I thought it was an easy read, and a page-turner... but I didn't love the ending; It left me feeling unfulfilled.

But what I loved most about the book (really loved) was Sebold's descriptions of heaven-- a sort of place that is different for everyone, but overlaps with the people you love. In a perfect setting that's just right for you. And it made me think... what would my heaven be like?

My heaven would have a little abode that's within walking distance of a big, sandy beach that extends to a beautiful blue and relatively calm ocean. The house wouldn't be anything crazy or extravagant, just a comfy little place with an open floor plan and a wrap-around porch. There's also a ton of beautiful flowers blooming non-stop, different blooms shoot up everyday.

The house would be filled like a beautiful old library-- with those sliding ladders and all. Wall to wall books, filled with all of my favorites and I've got nothing but time to read. There'd be a big fancy chaise, that looks so pretty you'd think it was uncomfortable, but in reality it's the most comfy thing you've ever sat in, and I'd curl up and read for hours. There's also a huge fireplace that's always lit and puts off just the right amount of heat.

Hung throughout the house in chunky mismatched frames would be all my favorite works of art: Baroque, Rococo and anything else that has ever struck my fancy. They'd clash next to each other: a Van Gogh next to a Caravaggio. I'd also have a little art studio of my own that would always be a little messy, but in an artistic genius sort of way.

The house would have a big, open and white kitchen, with endless equipment and ingredients and recipe cards filled with recipes from mothers and aunts and grandmothers from around the world. All of my recipes would be successful and delicious. Every morning I'd start with a big glass of chocolate milk.

The bathroom would have a big claw-footed tub, and one of those showers with ten shower heads. And when I'd shower there'd be this minty scent in the air that you can feel all the way through to your lungs.

My heaven has a big, fluffy, white bed that makes itself every morning after I wake up at 10 o'clock.

My heaven would smell a little like Chlorine (I'll always love that scent,) a little like the salty, ocean air and every once in awhile the breeze blows in a sweet lemony scent.

The temperature in my heaven would be very mild, with a low humidity all the time. The kind of weather where you can wear jeans and a t-shirt and be neither hot nor cold. Except for an hour or two every few days, when it would get nice and hot and I could lay out and feel the sun on my skin, and get goosebumps from the warmth.

I'd be barefoot all the time.

Every couple of weeks or so I would wake up to a big snow, that covered everything in a white powder. The kind of snow where the flakes are really big and fluffy, and the ground sparkles, and you can hear the very faint tink-tink-tink of the snowflakes falling. It would stay all day, and be gone the next morning without any sign that it was ever there.

There'd also be a big thunderstorm every once in awhile at night, with loud thunder and lightning out over the ocean and the pitter-patter of raindrops to fall asleep to...

My heaven would be rather uninhabited, except for frequent visits from family members and good friends. When my family visited that would come from all stages of their life, sometimes old... sometimes young. Many family members come that I hadn't met before, because they lived in a different time. Each visit is always good-natured and I find myself laughing and smiling a lot, and finding the others laughing themselves, sometimes to tears... during our conversations over tea that is never bitter. Through the laughter, each guest always has something very thoughtful or profound to say, and I always find myself thinking of him or her after they've left. I right all of these thinks down into a big, old fashioned journal.

Occasionally a famous person or two stops by: Jack Nicholson, Billy Joel, Chuck Palahniuk, Paulo Coehlo, Quentin Tarantino, Elton John, Bernini, Francois Boucher, Marilyn Monroe, Freud and all the people I've ever found intriguing. We discuss their inspirations, their versions of heaven, etc.

Mark would be there too, except sometimes he wants to watch TV or fish (there's no TV or lure-making in my heaven-- sorry Rambo,) so there are stretches of time where he pays a little visit to his own version of heaven and I am left alone in the peace and quiet. I'm sure my children would be invited, too... but I can't say for sure since they don't exist yet.

The only time there would be a huge group of people in my heaven is once a year in a Thanksgiving Day-like fashion.

When my family and friends aren't visiting, we communicate by hand-written letters, and everyone has unique, but fancy handwriting, and when the letters come they look like they are decades old.

King is in my heaven, but he is an absolute angel. He runs into the water and on the beach, and does that cute doggy-shake thing, but doesn't smell like wet-dog at all. He curls up at the foot of my big, fluffy bed and is a sweetheart. Since I can always leave the front door wide open in my heaven, he let's himself out to relieve himself, and I never, ever, have to see his poop. Sometimes he wakes me up by licking my toes or hands or face... but I love it.

Sometimes when I'm on the beach in my heaven, I hear my favorite songs come floating in quietly with the waves, but they'd come one or two a day, making them rare and therefore precious and special.

Every once in awhile, I'd stroll down the beach and explore a new place on Earth, whether an ancient ruin as it looks presently, or visiting while a relic was at it's peak in history. I get to see all kinds of people, in all sorts of times, and never cease to be fascinated.

That's a long-winded, explanation of my heaven, but I could have gone on. What's your heaven like?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Doggy Day Care

I've been out of town for a couple days for a trade show (at the Gaylord Opryland Resort/Convention Center in Nashville... so awesome!) and yesterday was the first day King had to go to a doggy day care because I obviously wasn't at home, and Mark had class all day, and we didn't want to leave him in his kennel all day long. So far we've had luck leaving him out, alone in the apartment for a few hours at a time, but trusting him for 10 hours is pretty much out of the question.

So as I was driving back from Nashville last night, I called Rambo to see how King did at his first day. Here are some snippets of the conversation... from Mark's end.

"I don't know about that place babe. There's no grass for him to play on... it's just a big concrete area. And you know how he won't go potty on concrete."*

"And when he got in the car he just seemed so happy to see me, like he hadn't been happy all day."

"And when you pay for extra play/take-out sessions, how do you know they actually take him out during those times? You can't know!"

"I don't know if I'll ever be able to leave our children at a day care, how do you know how they really treat your children?"

Rambo squishes spiders with his bare hands. He hangs giants pictures of fish on our walls and gets excited about the Bass Pro Catalog. He likes to go hang out in the garage. He's manly.

But here he is worrying about if our puppy had a good day at day care, and relating that to taking our not-yet-exsistant kids to pre-school. So sweet, yes, but I feel bad for our children who will likely have two ridiculously overprotective parents. I was sort of counting on Rambo to be the easy-going one. Sorry kids.

*I just want to note that I don't think the daycare was bad, I think King was in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people. So it makes sense that he may have been a bit unhappy.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rambo's Resume

Rambo is going to need a job come May 2010. And I have convinced him that social media is the way to get one. And though I pretty much gave him a whole powerpoint presentation on how facebook, twitter and/or blogging could help... I'm not sure he's completely convinced.

So here is my plan. I am going to post his resume. And not his real resume, because I think real resumes are sort of stuck-up. This will be his resume of things that really matter, from my perspective. And if you love me you can pass this resume on to someone you know who works for a construction company, someone who is hiring, or anyone else you think might need to know about Rambo. Here we go:

Name: I call him Rambo because he acts manly and squishes big spiders with his bare hands, but his real name is Mark.

Age: 25

Program: Building Construction Management at Purdue University. I'm not sure on his exact GPA but I know he gets good grades... mostly A's and B's.

Type of Job: Mark's interested in being a Project Manager, or Project Engineer for a construction company or anything along those lines. But he's definitely not limited to those!

Location: We are currently in Indianapolis, but wouldn't mind living somewhere new. Colorado, the east coast, the west coast, Houston, Florida, etc. We are pretty open to moving anywhere. Except, like the middle of North Dakota. But if you are in the middle of North Dakota and think Mark might be perfect... please realize that we may depend on you as a last resort. So all hope is not lost.

Favorite Sports Team: Colts and anything Purdue related. (But don't worry, we aren't both crazy Colts fans... I'm more of a Bears fan. But don't tell anyone, because I'm jumping on the fair-weather fandom of the Superbowl.)

History: After high school he entered the Marines, where he did 3 tours in Iraq. I personally think this is amazing and attests to his loyalty, responsibility and honor. He also achieved rank of Sergeant in those four years of active duty. From there he headed to Purdue. He has also worked two summer internships that have to do with the field he is interested in. One was with Bowen Engineering here in Indianapolis. You can ask him yourself about more of the details...

Family: Me, Lauren his amazing, beautiful, smart and humble fiancée. And King our smart and adorable 6 month old lab. Eventually, they'll be more.

Fishing-especially for muskie (see picture below...) but he's into all of it. Bass-fishing, ice fishing. ALL OF IT. And basically we won't be buying a house until we know where we are living. So until then our apartment is slowly turning into a man-room. So please hire Mark so we can have a house that has a designated man-room. Please hurry, I think he's hanging his fishing poles on the wall this week.
Working on his two trucks which are Fords, but if you are a Dodge or Toyota person, please don't let that offend you. I think he's happy as long as he's driving something big. And loud like his diesel. But, I think if he made like a million dollars a year he would settle on a nice Porche, which to me would be acceptable. So feel free to offer him a huge salary so we can have a Porche. I mean it's totally not necessary but I think it's worth throwing out there.

Building things. Which include but aren't limited to: Two HUGE bars at his fraternity-- Delta Tau Delta, our porch bar, which I'm not technically sure we are allowed to have so don't tell our apartments, his aunt's deck, his mom's patio, a pergola, lures (see fishing, above,) etc.

Outdoors. We love being outside: hiking, backpacking, camping, scuba diving, canoeing, skiing, being on a lake or beach, or in the ocean.

Falling asleep on the couch. Okay so maybe this isn't a hobby but he has been doing this a lot lately. And at first I would get mad, and try to get him to come to bed. But, I'd walk out to the living room and there he is with his feet sticking out from under the blanket and King curled up next to him and it was just so cute. Plus I realized HELLO! I have the whole bed to myself. So I just sort of sneakily turn off all the lights and TV and sneak back to bed. Then in the morning when he's like "Oh man! I fell asleep on the couch!" I just say "Oh man! I slept so well I didn't even notice! Good think you managed to turn of all the lights and the TV before you fell asleep!"

Traits: Focused. Hardworking. Patient. Clean and tidy. Handsome. Thoughtful. Easy-going. Good decision-maker. Good teammate. On-time. Problem-solver (and he makes this really cute face whenever he is thinking really hard. I don't know if you hire based on that, but figured I'd throw it out there.) Committed. Ability to pick a really great future wife. I also think he is great at balancing his life. For example we live in Indy but he still manages to go to school at Purdue (more than an hour away) 5 days a week. But he still makes time for King and I, all our friends, and his hobbies.

Favorite Stores: Cabela's, Bass Pro Shop, Gander Mountain, etc. If you don't have one of these within 2-hours of you, Mark may not be able to work for you. I'm just saying.

Favorite TV Shows: He watches the things I want to watch (which is another good quality... does things to make others happy...) like Grey's Anatomy and the Bachelor. But we have our guilty pleasures like Big Love and Californication. Though if it were up to Mark the TV would be on the fishing channel non-stop.

Favorite Books: The Bass Pro Shop Catalog, Muskie Hunter Magazine and anything by Clive Cussler.

Added Bonuses: If you hire Mark, I will be coming to all of your company outings, and company picnics. Don't have company outings and picnics? No problem, I'll plan them! And I really like to cook, so if you want you can even come over for dinner once a week. It's the least I can do.

So that's Mark in a nutshell. Who wants to hire him? If you have any specific questions about him please leave a comment below or email me at I can even put you in touch with the main man himself. And have him forward you a real resume if you are interested. Please forward the link to this post to anyone looking to hire someone like Mark. We really do appreciate any leads!

P.S. I hope you get my sense of humor. But, if not and you are thinking "Holy cow, this guy sounds perfect but I definitely don't want his fiancée at the company outings..." just give us a chance :)