A Couple Fun Days on Tap

I always say that June is one of the best months of the year and it looks like 2013 will be no disappointment. Over the next couple of days I will get to enjoy a couple of fun events, some travel, and, if the forecast holds up, plenty of sun. June is here and the good times are just getting started!

Tomorrow the fundraising organization of our athletic department holds the Conoco Grizzly Golf Classic. Held at Canyon River Golf Course, this is definitely one of my favorite days on the work calendar. Starting early in the morning, many of our coaches, prominent community members, and diehard Griz supporters will tee up and play a round of golf on the beautiful course. The golfers won’t be alone. Many of our staff members, myself included, will help out throughout the whole day to make sure all participants have a great experience.

There are plenty of hot dogs served at the tournament (picture with Stacey from last year).

There are plenty of hot dogs served at the tournament (picture with Stacey from last year).

But it is just not the golfers that have a great experience…us volunteers do too! Getting to enjoy a day out of the office around co-workers in a fun and relaxed setting is the best. Getting to see the amount of Griz Pride that our community members and supporters have is pretty cool too. This year my main job will be to shuttle golfers from the third hole to the fourth hole. Worried about my golf cart driving skills? Don’t be. Today a group of us drove four carts from campus to the golf course, a roughly six mile trek over bridges, through a supermarket parking lot, and down a highway. Call me a pro if you please.

Just like last year I will be driving  the golf cart again.

Just like last year I will be driving the golf cart again.

After a tasty Outback catered lunch to conclude the golf tournament, I will get in my car and hit the road for Spokane. The Reser Family hotel will be open as I crash at my parents’ house for the night. Then in the morning, my sister and I will pile in my folks’ CRV and we will travel even further west to Ellensburg, Washington, for my brother’s college graduation.

My brother is graduating from Central Washington University with a degree in recreational tourism. The ceremony will take place in the Wildcats’ football stadium under what are supposed to be sunny skies. After it becomes official that day at 2 p.m. that my bro is a college graduate we will turn back around and return to Spokane. I will return for the night while my brother will return for the summer as he begins an internship with the Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation Department. But before that important internship starts, there will be some celebrating in order that evening. It should definitely be a fun time to commemorate by brother’s achievement.

Glen is graduating from Central Washington where he played baseball.

Glen is graduating from Central Washington where he played baseball.

Golf and Graduation, doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Throw in the sunshine that the weatherman has promised and I am pumped up for an awesome weekend. I hope that all of you have a great weekend as well and thanks again for taking the time to read my blog. Don’t Blink.

That Awkward Moment When…

Although some might disagree, I don’t consider myself an awkward person. Even so, that doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally find myself in awkward situations, whether it is others committing the awkward act or if the blame falls squarely on my shoulders.

Recently, a few situations have managed to come up more frequently than usual in my everyday life. Since I am having trouble sleeping tonight and because I just love to share with you all how awkward my life is, I thought I would reveal and dissect these less than comfortable situations that have seemed to pop up more often than not lately.

You Go This Way, I Go That Way: Out of the three situations I am sharing, this is the most prevalent one that I find myself in on almost a daily basis. You are walking somewhere in one direction and another person is walking in the opposite direction and your paths cross. It just so happens that there is not a lot of space between the two of you so both must make a calculated move one way or the other. Instead of you moving to one side and the other person moving to the other, you decide to go right and the other decides to go left making it so you block each other. After that awkward snafu it just gets worse as both you and the other person immediately move in the same direction again, once again impeding each other’s progress. After doing the dance a couple more times, you finally break apart and embarrassingly go on your merry way.

I have to pat myself on the back and say that this is one awkward situation that I never create myself. In my opinion, it is common knowledge that you ALWAYS walk to the right…always. If everyone followed the simple role to just stay right there would never be any awkward bumps, delays, or brushes when crossing paths with someone. I find myself dealing with violators of this basic rule at the gym all the time. Pathways are narrow and people are always walking in opposite directions. I get it that people get tired while working out but don’t use fatigue as an excuse to forgo simple etiquette. Awkward moments are bad but they are even worse when they happen up close with complete strangers. Remember, just always walk to the right!

Let’s Both Talk At Once: This is one situation where I find myself guilty of from time to time. You approach someone and start to say something to him or her only to realize that the person you are talking to is also in the middle of saying something. After the one or two second cacophony of both people talking at once there comes that awkward silence when both people immediately stop talking in hopes that the other person would continue talking. After both people realize that the other person is waiting for them to continue it never fails that once again, both people start talking at the same time again! This results in one of the people, sometimes both, saying “sorry, go ahead.”

Besides in face-to-face communication, this regrettable pattern happens all the time during phone conversations. Obviously without any nonverbal cues to go off of, this is something that can easily happen. Although maybe more acceptable, it is still awkward and still requires some apologizing and reiterating.

Talking right when someone else talks is something that we can all get better at (I definitely can), especially in face-to-face conversations. We just need to be more mindful of someone’s nonverbal language and evaluate for that split second whether or not they are going to say something. At times it is better just to have a strategy where you say “Okay, no matter what, I am letting this person open the conversation and will continue to let him/her do most of the talking throughout our talk.” When it comes to phone conversations, the key is to just anticipate when the other person is going to pipe up and to make sure to leave a couple seconds of silence just in case the person feels like adding anything. When both people talk at once during a conversation it is not only awkward but it just takes away from what the two people have going and makes the communication less impactful.

Oops, That Text Was Not Meant For You: This one has happened to everyone and it can perhaps be the most awkward and embarrassing moment of them all. Nothing is worse than when you type out a text message and then send it to the wrong person. Even an innocent text that went the wrong way is humiliating enough but many people have experienced the ultimate horror of writing a text message that criticizes someone and instead of sending that text to someone else that text actually gets sent to the person you were criticizing! Oh yes, serves the person right for attempting to talk behind someone’s back!

I have sent inadvertent texts before but I haven’t made such a gaffe for a long time now. I understand the consequences and confusion that can result from such hastiness and I avoid it at all times. My mom on the other hand still finds herself sending text messages to the wrong people, especially her kids. Quite frequently I will receive texts from my mom that were meant for my brother or sister. I can’t help but laugh when this happens and I try to play along with her, acting like I am my brother or sister until she figures out what she did.

The key to avoiding this situation is to just take care when sending text messages. Always take a second to double check who you are sending the message to before pressing that button that will transmit the text. Keep in mind the situations where you are most vulnerable to send inadvertent messages and then crack down on it.

Everyone loves a “That awkward moment when…” story; except when it centers on ourselves. To avoid these types of situations we just need to plan things out more and really evaluate our own tendencies. Becoming “cool as a cucumber” takes some practice, even when it comes to the most basic social interactions. Don’t Blink.

2013 NBA Finals: The Lesser of Two Evils

So I suppose that once the conference finals were set, this was probably the most attractive NBA Finals matchup that could have occurred but I can’t lie, I am disappointed. Out of all the teams in the Western Conference I dislike the Spurs the most and out of all the teams in the Eastern Conference, check that…in the whole league, I hate the Heat the most. But I know I should shut up, this series will be “good for the league” and ratings will likely soar.

I am just having a tough time coming to terms with the reality that I will have to watch Manu Ginoboli flop and King James whine and cry for at least four more games. I cringe that I have to watch San Antonio’s style of play and Miami’s arrogance for one more series. I get depressed that I have to watch Greg Popovic pace the sidelines and Chris “Birdman” Andersen be himself for several more days. Sorry not sorry, I am not excited for Thursday.

On a lighter note, I really have no other reason to hate the Spurs than what I just highlighted above. The Miami Heat? That’s a whole different story. I threw the remote at the TV (well not at the TV but at the chair across from me) last night when Miami pulled away from Indiana in Game 7. I just can’t stand watching them play…or warm up….or conduct press conferences.

I just still have a lot of bitterness towards Lebron James over The Decision. I know by this time most of that venom should have worn off, and some of it has, but I still have a majority of it built up. I look at Lebron as the ultimate egotistical self-centered spoiled athlete. What he did three years ago on that stage across from Jim Gray, shamelessly trying to disguise it as an “act of charity”, will always stay with me. But as time goes on and people mature, feelings start to change. However, whenever it seems like I am warming up to Lebron it seems like something happens that turns me back the other way. I will watch a game in disbelief as he gets every single call humanely possible. Or I will watch a game in which a single call goes against him and he throws a king-sized fit or he decides to sprint down to the other end of the floor while the play is dead. Or I will watch a press conference and he will spout off that he had to “Go back to the Cleveland days.” All of these things rub me the wrong way.

Most of you can sense it, the main reason why I dislike the Heat is because of Lebron James. Well, Birdman is another big reason too. I want the Heat to lose 35% because of Lebron, 30% because of Birdman, 10% because of that rally that Lebron, Bosh, and Wade held three years ago, 10% because of the cockiness of the whole team, 5% because of that assistant coach who also got a technical foul when Lebron went on his full court sprint, 5% because I usually always root against the Eastern Conference, 2.5% because I hate the chants the Heat fans do during the game, 1.5% because my buddy Shaun Rainey likes Lebron, and 1% because the Heat logo is hideous.

If I had it my way, the Spurs would sweep the Heat 4-0. The series would be a bloodbath with San Antonio wiping the floor with Miami over the course of four games. I would stomach watching Ginobli hop around the court in pure glee in exchange for Lebron and his gang getting royally rejected. I would feel good about seeing the Heat players going to the post game press conferences dressed up in their ridiculous costumes answering questions about why they sucked so bad and how they couldn’t hang with the aging Spurs.

But gosh dang it, I have to be realistic. I think the Miami Heat will go back-to-back. They are younger, they are faster, and they are deeper. They have home court advantage. They also have the referee advantage. Anything close, especially anything close for King James, will go the way of the Heat. I believe the Heat will win both games to open the series at home, take one of the next three games in San Antonio, and then close it out in Game 6 in Miami.

**Hold it right there though…I am absolutely awful in predicting the NBA Finals. Check out my blog posts from the 2011 Finals and the 2012 Finals. Pretty embarrassing if you ask me!**

Even if I won’t be, I hope everyone else enjoys the NBA Finals. Congrats to David Stern on a great run as commissioner. Don’t Blink.

Paige and Brent Take Las Vegas

Last week my girlfriend Paige and I took advantage of the Memorial Day Weekend and stretched it into a little vacation down in my favorite spot, Las Vegas. After pretty much every delay you could think of, we checked into our hotel room at the Flamingo at about 11 p.m. Sunday night and departed Wednesday afternoon. Throughout our short trip we had a fabulous time scoping out the city and enjoying some time “away from it all.” As I usually do with my trip recaps, I am going to pinpoint the five things I will truly remember about my most recent time in Sin City and then follow it up with some odds and ends.

Paige and I had a wonderful vacation in Las Vegas.

Paige and I had a wonderful vacation in Las Vegas.

Paige’s First Time: Though she technically spent a few hours there about ten years ago, Paige had never really experienced Las Vegas before, at least not Las Vegas in its current state. I relished the chance of taking her around and showing her the one-of-a-kind city. Although we didn’t get to nearly all I wanted to show her (how could you though?) I think I gave her a pretty good representation of what the city is all about. I took her to the luxurious hotels, the dirtiest dives, the Freemont Experience, the even further off downtown district, and everything in between. She got to gamble, she got to club, she got to sunbathe, and she even got to ride public transportation…not too bad!

Paige had a great time in Las Vegas.

Paige had a great time in Las Vegas.

Pool/Weather: In every summertime Vegas recap post I will always mention the pool just because it is always such a highlight. This time around it was definitely no exception. All three mornings we were there, Paige and I were at the Flamingo poolside at 8 a.m. soaking in the sun rays and loving life. After spending time lounging in the chairs we would get in the water and explore around the huge pool complex. We had such a great time waddling around and meeting new people that it was hard to get on with the day. But while we couldn’t take the pool with us as we ventured onto the Vegas strip, we could definitely take the weather. The temperature averaged 90 degrees each day we were there and it felt wonderful! Although I probably could have taken about five more degrees of warmth I couldn’t complain much considering back in Missoula it was rainy, cold, and gray.

Paige and I loved our pool mornings.

Paige and I loved our pool mornings.

Amazing Dining Experience: While in Vegas I wanted to make sure to take Paige out to a nice, five star restaurant. After doing some research, I ended up taking the advice of a guy I work with and on Monday night Paige and I had 8 p.m. reservations at Emeril Lagasse’s Delmonico Steakhouse inside the Venetian. Wow. That’s all I have to say about that meal. First off, the service was impeccable. They use a team of about five different servers to wait on your table. This was the type of restaurant where they pull the chair out for you to sit down and then place the napkin on your lap. This was the type of restaurant where once you take a sip out of your water glass someone comes behind you and refills it. This was the type of restaurant where the wait staff is truly at your service.

Oh, and the food? I had never had a better steak in my life. Paige and I both got the filet mignon and it was absolutely heavenly. I took one bite and the way it melted in my mouth and engulfed my senses with the best steak flavor I had ever tasted made me know that I was getting every cent worth of what I was paying. We got a potato chip appetizer drenched in oils that tasted fantastic and I got a twice baked potato and Paige got the potatoes au gratin. We shared as both sides were served in huge portions and just like everything else, tasted just splendidly. When we had concluded the meal and the wait staff came and cleared off all the dishes and excess silverware around us, we knew we had shared a special meal.

A look at our food at Delmonico Steakhouse.

A look at our food at Delmonico Steakhouse.

Club Crawl!: The last night we were in town, Paige and I experienced a little bit of Vegas nightlife. The day prior I had bought “Club Crawl” passes from one of those promoters on the street. I talked him down to giving both Paige and I passes for $100 total. I showed him the cash and he bit. Just like that, we had a night all planned out where we would go to five different places.

The night of the crawl we showed up at the meeting point, Blondies. With about 50 other people on the tour with us, we knew things might get a little crazy. We went from Blondies to D.B.’s Pong and Pool to PBR Rock Bar to KOI to Pure. We had a good time going through the rotation and definitely came out with a couple stories. Paige was awesome and met a bunch of new girlfriends who we hung out with the whole night including a couple of Australians. I definitely liked the last club the best…Pure in Caesar’s Palace. It was cool just to go inside a big name club like that and Paige and I had a blast dancing the night away. To go to five different places, not wait in line, and get free drinks it was definitely worth the $100.

Meeting New People: Of course I would be totally remiss if I didn’t take time to mention the incredible people we met in Las Vegas! Luckily I was with Paige who can strike up a conversation with anyone so I guess it was only natural that we would leave Vegas with new friends.

We met a fabulous group from Iowa down at the pool who we spent time with all three days we were there….Carissa: Paige and I will always remember how fun you were and how you could look so different with your hair up and your hair down. Great times at the pool and at Stage Door. / We met two of the nicest and prettiest girls from Canada you will ever meet who we talked to each day at the pool….Chelsea and Katherine: You two were so nice, down to earth, and genuine. Thanks for talking to us! Keep hash tagging like crazy! / We met the craziest party girl from Georgia…Josie: You were nuts and absolutely crazy. / Thanks to Paige we met five girls on the club crawl who we hung out with most of the time…Tara, Jordan (and I forget your other names): Thanks for making the club crawl so much fun and hanging out with us in between KOI and Pure. / We met a great group of people at the tables at El Cortez in downtown Vegas where Paige gambled for the first time…To All of You: Thanks for being so chill and low key. Even though we lost all of our money it was a lot of fun!


Random Notes:

– It was almost like we were in Montana. While in Vegas we visited two country western style bars…Gilly’s in Treasure Island and PBR Rock Bar in Planet Hollywood. Both places had mechanical bulls, country music, and a Montana feel!

– I slept three hours the entire trip with all three of those hours coming the third night.

– On Monday during the afternoon, Paige and I wore Montana trucker hats up and down the strip, causing a few people to stop and ask us about them.

– When we went downtown on Monday night there was some type of punk rock convention going on that definitely made for very interesting people watching.

– The Flamingo pool had happy hour morning specials…although it didn’t include the $25 drink that Paige bought.

– Got to hang out with a couple of Montana friends the first night we were there (Melissa and Cleo) who happened to be in Vegas for a bachelorette party.

– Paige loved the Venetian. She got to look at some great art, visit an awesome candy store, listen to a little bit of a concert that was going on, and watch the boats in the Venice replica canal.

– After this past experience, I will make sure to always fly direct in and out of Vegas.

– We ate like rock stars. Besides our nice meal at Delmonico and a decent meal at a Mexican place called Cabo Wabo, we managed to scarf down hot dogs, cheesesteaks, chili dogs, fries, pizza, and stromboli.

– We had an amazing view of the strip from our room.


What a great time Paige and I had down in Las Vegas. It always takes some adjusting when you come back from down there, especially when the weather is so depressing here in Montana. Oh well, summer is just beginning and pretty soon the temperature will rise. Until then, Paige and I will hang onto some of that sunshine we bottled up in Vegas and look back fondly on the time we spent together. Don’t Blink.