Getting Accustomed to My New Life in Myrtle Beach

What an amazing ride it has been! When I last posted I was in Camden, South Carolina. At that time only 120 miles separated me from my final destination. That was on Sunday night. With it now Wednesday I can report to all my readers that I am settled in my new residence in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Upon seeing this sign for the first time I made sure to snap a photo.

Upon seeing this sign for the first time I made sure to snap a photo.

On Monday morning my dad and I rolled into Myrtle Beach. We reported to the U-Haul station and turned in the car dolly. Of course this meant that I could now drive my car. With my dad following me in the U-Haul I drove to my new apartment complex. Let me tell you, my new place is fantastic. It was everything as advertised in my blog post from earlier this month. But we only had a couple minutes to admire my major step up in living quarters because we had moving to do! My dad and I spent a couple very sweaty hours hauling my stuff up three staircases to my unit. By the time we were done our shirts were soaked with perspiration.

After we took the U-Haul truck back to the station, a truck that we used to transport us 2,601 miles across the country, it really hit home that the days of traveling over 600 miles a day had come to an end. The rest of Monday we spent unpacking and getting my apartment “Brent-Ready”.

My dad and I took a celebratory picture after turning in the U-Haul.

My dad and I took a celebratory picture after turning in the U-Haul.

Tuesday I went to campus and became official. I signed payroll paperwork, received my Coastal Carolina I.D. card, picked up my parking decal, and visited the bookstore. We then made a stop at Costco where I bought a brand new television for my living room and of course loaded up on food (I don’t have a Costco card but luckily my dad does!).


It is official! I am a Coastal Carolina University employee.

It is official! I am a Coastal Carolina University employee.


After I met with the maintenance staff of my apartment complex for a standard orientation session my dad and I drove the couple minutes from my place to the beach. We walked on the tier and on the beach itself as we admired the Atlantic Ocean and all the neat activity surrounding us.

My dad and I enjoyed visiting the beach...just a short two minute drive from my apartment.

My dad and I enjoyed visiting the beach…just a short two minute drive from my apartment.

With the beach visit in the books we made a trip to our second Wal-Mart in as many days to just pick up some last minute items to make the move in complete. After hanging out in my apartment for a little bit my dad and I went to Market Common, a gorgeous and sophisticated lifestyle and shopping area in Myrtle Beach. We ate at a restaurant called Nacho Hippo and enjoyed our last night together.

A prominent grocery store chain in the south is Piggly Wiggly. They have a really cool store in Market Common.

A prominent grocery store chain in the south is Piggly Wiggly. They have a really cool store in Market Common.

This morning I dropped my dad off at the airport for his 7 a.m. flight. I had no problem saying goodbye to the people I am leaving behind out west with the exception of my mom and dad. There were tears when I left my mom last week and when I hugged my dad goodbye this morning. Even though I am so ready for this new chapter in my life it is hard to move thousands of miles away from your two biggest supporters. But they both have given me their blessings so I am completely comfortable looking nothing but forward here in South Carolina.

Today I ventured again to campus and got my first workout in at the rec center. Holy cow, that is one nice gym! It seemed even nicer than I remember it when I visited for my interview. The place is state of the art, spotless, and has a great vibe! I am stoked for the many hours to come in that building. When I concluded my exercise I took time to stroll around campus.

As you can probably gather since I am publishing this blog post I now have internet (along with cable) at my apartment. Just another thing to check off the list when it comes to making a move. I look to relax for the rest of today and get ready for the real exciting things to come in the next couple days.

Tomorrow is my first official day at Coastal Carolina University. I will spend it in orientation meetings and on Friday I will report to the office for the first time. Things are coming together and I am so glad I am doing what I am doing. Thanks again for all your support. Don’t Blink.

Hello South Carolina!

I have arrived in my new home state! As I write this blog post I am on South Carolina soil where I will begin the next chapter of my life. The bouncing from state to state that has characterized the past several days is over.

But I am not quite in Myrtle Beach…yet. Although in last night’s blog post I hinted at the possibility of arriving at our ultimate destination a whole day early my dad and I made the call to complete the odyssey tomorrow morning. We didn’t make this decision because we are wimps and couldn’t go on for a couple more hours but rather we did it for practical reasons. My apartment community does not open for business until 10 a.m. tomorrow. Getting settled in my new home is priority number one and since we are both early risers we didn’t want to wait around doing nothing for a few hours. Thus, to help us get in Myrtle Beach right when my apartment becomes available and to allow us to get off the road at a reasonable hour tonight, we pulled off into a town called Camden. We are 120 miles from Myrtle Beach.

My dad and I outside a rest stop in Tennessee today.

My dad and I outside a rest stop in Tennessee today.

While yesterday could be characterized as the most exciting day on the road, today was definitely the most beautiful. I thought that the previous few days all showed great glimpses of beauty but today definitely took the cake. Hills covered in large full green trees that looked to stretch for miles while also seemingly reaching out to our U-Haul on the road dominated the landscape the whole way. Throw in the fact that we drove under blue skies on a brilliantly sunny day and you can see how we were treated to a very scenic 10 hour drive.

Some images from today's drive.

Some images from today’s drive.

We woke up in Paducah, Kentucky, and hit the road at 6:30 a.m. once again. Soon we crossed into Tennessee. We drove past Nashville and I got to see the stadium of the Tennessee Titans, LP Field. We then gassed up in Volunteer Country in Knoxville. Next we crossed the North Carolina border and we navigated through the windy and hilly roads until we got dumped into my new home state. Once in South Carolina we drove south to Columbia before heading east on the road that will pretty much lead us to Myrtle Beach. But the conclusion of that route will come tomorrow. This evening we are at the Holiday Inn of Camden for the evening and we are hungry.

Me at the end of the drive today. Next up...Myrtle Beach.

Me at the end of the drive today. Next up…Myrtle Beach.

Here are the stats from today:

Total Mileage Today: 611 miles

Total Mileage for Trip: 2,475 miles

Number of States Visited Today: 4 – Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina.

Number of Stops Today: 4 – Middle of Nowhere, TN (bathroom break), Knoxville, TN (gas and lunch), Border of SC (bathroom break), Camden, SC (ending point of the day).

Food Consumed During Today’s Drive: Convenient store chicken sandwich, convenient store corn dog, 1 pack of Frito Lay’s Flaming Hot Peanuts, 1 Reese’s Peanut Butter Easter Egg.

Drinks Consumed During Today’s Drive: Nothing.

Tomorrow this fun, expansive, and special road trip will come to an end. Because I won’t have internet set up at my new until at least a couple more days you might not see a blog post. But please follow me on Twitter (@BrentReser) for full updates and don’t be shy to tweet at me using the #BrentCoastToCoast hashtag. Thanks to all of you for keeping tabs on me during my travels, I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you. I just want to offer up one fact with you before I turn this computer off and we go get dinner….my dad is absolutely AWESOME. Don’t Blink.

600 Miles of Beauty

What a day! By a wide margin today provided my dad and I with the best experience so far on our cross country trip to Myrtle Beach. We drove in four states, saw beautiful country, went by major cities, experienced some interesting weather, and knocked out over 600 miles.

My dad and I had a GREAT day on the road going through four states.

My dad and I had a GREAT day on the road going through four states.

We hit the road early this morning as we were cruising in the U-Haul by 6:30 a.m. Reason for leaving so early was twofold: We wanted to end the day earlier than the past two days and frankly we wanted to get out of Iowa as soon as possible (did I really just say that?). It didn’t take long until we entered Missouri, the state where we would spend the majority of the day driving through. The Show Me State was absolutely beautiful as we enjoyed the vibrant green trees lining us on both sides and pristine cut grass dividing the east and west roads. We forgot about the beauty though for about ten minutes as we drove through a torrential downpour. After the rain let up and we could breathe a little easier we admired the ensuing lightning storm that lit up the morning sky.

The highlight of the ride through Missouri for me was going past Kansas City and getting a gorgeous glimpse right inside Kaufmann Stadium. We also stopped in Columbia where we fueled up and then enjoyed lunch at Lee’s Famous Chicken. Ending our tour through the state was a ride by St. Louis where we saw the Gateway Arch and the Edward Jones Dome.

I took this photo of St. Louis from our U-Haul.

I took this photo of St. Louis from our U-Haul.

Right after St. Louis we entered Illinois. The scenic views from Missouri carried into the Prairie State as lush greens continued to dominate the landscape. We mostly drove right through except for a stop at a rest area where my dad and I stretched our legs and strategized on where we would end the day at.

The decision of our mini meeting was to stop in Paducah, Kentucky. Although we flirted with the idea of driving all the way through to Nashville we thought back to our goal at the beginning of the day to try to leave ourselves more time to enjoy the evening. We honored our ambitions and drove the short ninety minutes from the rest stop in Illinois to the Hampton Inn of charming Paducah. As I sit here in our room I am looking forward to a nice dinner at the town’s most popular steakhouse, some relaxation, and then the NBA Playoffs later tonight.

With the sun and high 70's weather in Kentucky please excuse the sunglasses.

With the sun and high 70’s weather in Kentucky please excuse the sunglasses.

Here are today’s stats:

Total Mileage Today: 605 miles

Total Mileage for Trip: 1864 miles

Number of States Visited Today: 4 – Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky

Number of Stops Today: 4 – Outside of Council Bluffs, IA (needed to shut my door harder), Middle of Nowhere, MO (bathroom break), Columbia, MO (gas and lunch), Middle of Nowhere Illinois (strategy meeting and bathroom break), Paducah, KY (ending point of the day).

Food Consumed During Today’s Drive: Lee’s Famous Chicken 5-piece dark chicken box, 1 pack of Planters Heat Peanuts.

Drinks Consumed During Today’s Drive: Can of Xyience Energy Drink (Tangerine Twister flavor).

I had a really nice time today! Can tomorrow top it? We are aiming high as we look to make it all the way to my new home of Myrtle Beach which would put us in town one day early. We will have to drive over 700 miles and deal with losing an hour but we will try to make it happen. Thanks for the interest and support during this cross country extravaganza. Remember that you can follow live updates of my journey via Twitter (@BrentReser) and you can make my day by tweeting at me by utilizing the #BrentCoastToCoast hashtag. I can almost smell the beach from here. Don’t Blink.

Life on the Road Isn’t Always Glamorous: South Dakota and Iowa

If there is one thing I believe after today’s ten hours of driving it is this: South Dakota should present my dad and I with honorary driver’s licenses after we spent almost nine hours driving through its wonderful land. Or, maybe the state should just provide me with a dunce cap after I erroneously stated that I would not spend more time in a single state during this road trip than I did in Montana. Obviously I didn’t look at the map close enough.

So how could it be that my dad and I drove 486 miles in South Dakota? Well, you got to understand that the state by its own right is big. The state is vast from the most western point to the most eastern point, a distance that we pretty much drove. Then throw in that once we got to the east part of the state in Sioux Falls we went directly south all the way through the state’s southeast panhandle (yes, South Dakota does have a panhandle) and you can see how the hours and miles started to add up. By the time we hit Sioux City, Iowa, I had pretty much seen enough of South Dakota.

A look at our second big day on the road.

A look at our second big day on the road.

After we crossed into the Hawkeye state we drove south for about 80 more miles until we hit a city called Council Bluffs, an area that is next door neighbors with Omaha, Nebraska. That is where we parked up shop for the night. If you never have the “opportunity” to visit this town don’t beat yourself up too badly.

Although Council Bluffs is not very fun I was glad that we were off the road for the day.

Although Council Bluffs is not very fun I was glad that we were off the road for the day.

Today can be characterized by a few things: An extraordinary amount of road kill lining the highway, bizarre and random roadside attractions, and lots of flat land. Although not the most scenic drive ever my dad and I had a wonderful time talking with each other, picking up on a couple sports talk local radio shows, and eating terrible gas station food at a joint in Mitchell, South Dakota. Let me give you the vital statistics:

Total Mileage Today: 579 miles

Total Mileage for Trip: 1259 miles

Number of States Visited Today: 2 – South Dakota, Iowa

Number of Stops Today: 4 – Rapid City, SD (U-Haul inspection), Middle of Nowhere, SD (bathroom break), Mitchell, SD (gas and food), Council Bluffs, IA (ending point for the day)

Food Consumed During Today’s Drive: Snickers Peanut Butter Egg, slice of gas station pizza, 1 pack of Planters Heat Peanuts.

Drinks Consumed During Today’s Drive: Can of Xyience Energy Drink (Melon Mayhem flavor).

While we were still in South Dakota we passed this terrible scene of a big truck totally rolled over on the side of the road.

While we were still in South Dakota we passed this terrible scene of a big truck totally rolled over on the side of the road.

From here on out the traffic should get a little heavier and the states a little more frequent. After driving the rest of the way through Iowa we will take on Missouri along with most likely Illinois and Tennessee. It should be a packed Saturday. Make sure to follow me on Twitter (@BrentReser) for live updates and I encourage you to tweet at me using the #BrentCoastToCoast hashtag. The anticipation is building and I am having a very memorable time with my dad. Don’t Blink.

12 Hours of Driving and 680 Miles Later

My dad and I kicked off the first major leg in our trip across the country today in grand fashion. Hitting the road at roughly 7:45 a.m. MT this morning we didn’t stop until 680 miles later when we rolled into Spearfish, South Dakota, at 7:30 p.m. MT.

To be honest, going into today I was a little nervous on how I would take to a full day of driving in a U-Haul having never done so before. But you know what? My nerves were unfounded because I had such an enjoyable day hitting the open road with my dad. Granted we still have three more full days of driving to go and by the end of Sunday night I am sure I will be plenty fatigued but at least I know I can handle life on the road.

Today we drove through three states. The most grueling part of the drive undoubtedly came driving through Montana. You really have no idea how big the state is until you practically drive through the whole thing from the west to the east. But when we went past Billings and made the southern dash for the Montana-Wyoming state border we knew we had probably the most uninteresting part of the drive over with. On a tad bit more somber note it also marked my personal exit from the state of Montana for a long time. Although I have repeatedly said that I am ready to leave Big Sky country I did spend several years of my life in that state. Montana served me well.

We definitely couldn't make it through the huge state of Montana without stopping to get gas.

We definitely couldn’t make it through the huge state of Montana without stopping to get gas.

The red roads of Wyoming greeted us and we made a quick stop in Sheridan for gas. From there we headed south and then went due east where we went through cities such as Gillette, Moorcroft, and Sundance. Having never stepped on Wyoming soil between the both of us it was cool to see another state. We saw plenty of deer and cows while gazing at the hilly green terrain.

I got to visit a couple new states today!

I got to visit a couple new states today!

In last night’s blog post I mentioned that we set our goal at just reaching Wyoming. However, with no traces of tiredness in our bodies and some daylight left we decided to push a little further and make it to South Dakota. After we crossed the border we drove a short distance before taking the Spearfish exit, which brings us to where we are right now. Sitting in the Spearfish Howard Johnson Inn we are pleased with our opening day on this major journey across the country. Some quick stats:

Total Mileage: 680 miles

Number of States Visited: 3 – Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota

Number of Stops: 4 – Three Forks, MT (gas), Middle of Nowhere, MT (bathroom break), Sheridan, WY (gas), Middle of Nowhere, WY (bathroom break), Spearfish, SD (ending point for the day)

Food Consumed During Today’s Drive: King Sized package of Cadbury Mini Eggs, 2 packs of Planters Heat Peanuts.

Drinks Consumed During Today’s Drive: Can of Xyience Energy Drink (Frostberry Blast flavor).

I was happy when we parked our U-Haul in Spearfish, South Dakota, this evening.

I was happy when we parked our U-Haul in Spearfish, South Dakota, this evening.

Tomorrow we will aim to make it to Iowa or Missouri. We put ourselves in great position today and a little bit of the pressure is off. However we still want to have a strong showing tomorrow so we can coast even more come Saturday and Sunday. Please follow me on Twitter (@BrentReser) for complete updates from the road and join the fun by using the hashtag #BrentCoastToCoast. Can’t wait to get back at it tomorrow. Don’t Blink.

Project 2,700: Myrtle Beach

Things have gotten real.

This morning I packed up my belongings from my parents’ house after a very nice week in Spokane and with my mom and dad in tow we made the drive to Missoula for the first and shortest leg of my cross country journey to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Upon arriving in Missoula my dad and I reported to an old beat up gas station and U-Haul center where we picked up my ten foot truck and tow dolly trailer for my car. From there we went to my apartment for the very last time. Although I made sure to have everything packed up and ready to go for this day we still had to physically move everything down a couple flights of stairs and into the U-Haul, not the most enjoyable of propositions. But we got it done and after all the hard work we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Laughing Grizzly.

Me in front of the U-Haul truck with my car in tow behind.

Me in front of the U-Haul truck with my car in tow behind.

Tomorrow morning I will say goodbye to my mom and then my co-captain (my dad) and I will start the real heavy driving. Yep, I got my father on board for this voyage across the country. I don’t think you can devise a bonding experience much more intense or scenic than this one. We will of course switch off driving shifts while doing our best to keep each other sane through the long hours and countless mile markers.

My mom gave me this medal today to keep with me in the U-Haul to keep my dad and myself safe.

My mom gave me this medal today to keep with me in the U-Haul to keep my dad and myself safe.

By the end of Thursday we hope to find ourselves in Wyoming. But in all honesty who knows? We have never driven across the country before and while we can look at the map and divide our days out in an organized manner we are aware that unforeseen circumstances can always pop up. However we are both very determined and stubborn guys so when we say we will be in Wyoming by Thursday night that means we will most likely (barring the most extreme of unforeseen circumstances) be in Wyoming by Thursday night…even if U-Haul says to drive no faster than 55 miles per hour.

My plan is to keep my readers updated throughout this odyssey. An experience like this pretty much mandates that I document the literal and figurative twists and turns of the 2,700 mile journey. So, if whatever random roadside hotel we find ourselves in over the course of the next few nights happens to have internet service you can expect updates from the road. I am praying for safe travels and looking forward to a great time with my dad. Don’t Blink.

Game Plan for Meeting New People in Myrtle Beach: Tinder

The first question I most often get when I tell people I am moving to Myrtle Beach: “Do you know anyone down there!?”

Well no, I don’t.

Many of my friends think I am crazy for going somewhere far across the country where I don’t know a soul. But to be honest, I have a tough time understanding their astonishment. I am a very independent person. I don’t get lonely and I don’t need people around me 24/7. I really enjoy my space.

With that said, I can’t wait to meet new people once I arrive in South Carolina. I have an extremely outgoing side of me that will help me make new friends and establish relationships. I plan to develop my new social circle by traditional means such as getting to know my neighbors, becoming very involved with the Coastal Carolina community, joining groups, finding a church, and making an effort to reach out to every person I come across with in the first couple months of my move. But I also look to employ a savvier way of introducing myself to others as well.

This past weekend my brother convinced me to re-download Tinder. Before I go on, let me in a sentence or two explain what Tinder is: Visualize an app that detects where you are geographically and then matches you with others who are in a given mile radius from where you are standing. Imagine that you can refine this search by selecting gender and an age range. If you like someone’s profile and they like yours, a line of communication is established by the app and a conversation begins…I give you Tinder!

Here is a look at my Tinder profile.

Here is a look at my Tinder profile.

Tinder came out to great fanfare and controversy about a year ago. The younger generation fell in love with it while the older generation decried it as nothing more than a modern day hooking up service. I don’t know if I count as the younger generation or the older generation so I feel like I have a neutral authority when saying that the former generation had it right.

When Tinder exploded a year ago I downloaded the app to try it out. However, due to great demand the service wouldn’t work properly so I deleted it and forgot about it. My brother who is glued to his iPhone 24/7 doing a hundred different things will “Tinder” frequently. He informed me that the bugs were worked out and that I should give it a second chance. Over the past few days I have enjoyed the ease of talking with new, interesting, and likeable people around the greater Spokane area. I quickly became amazed at how many people are on Tinder and how quick and efficient it is to connect with likeminded people. You aren’t BSing with deceptive creeps thousands miles away. Rather you are conversing with well-intentioned and honest folks living in your own community.

This is the screen that pops up when Tinder is looking for people in your area.

This is the screen that pops up when Tinder is looking for people in your area.

As some have labeled it, Tinder is NOT an accelerated online dating service for fulfilling desires. Rather it is a social network for getting to know people who live around your area who you most likely would never have else met. It is efficient, precise, and trustworthy. I am excited for the possibilities it could provide me in getting a great start in developing friendships in Myrtle Beach.

I will have to do a bit more research with the people I “like” on Tinder while in South Carolina. Because Myrtle Beach is a tourist destination hot spot I will no doubt come across countless profiles for folks visiting the area for an amazing vacation. While I do enjoy meeting people from all over the country I am more interested in establishing contacts with the people actually living in the area where I call home. Probably for the better though, it will just help me to be that much more selective when viewing profiles.

If you like to meet new people I recommend downloading Tinder. If you are living in a new area I recommend it that much more. Oh how I love technology! Don’t Blink.

Enjoying My Stint of Unemployment

As I sit here in my parents’ newly remodeled living room I find myself in a rather interesting state: I am unemployed. Not since I was jobless during my freshman year of college have I felt the sting of unemployment. Please don’t feel sorry for me, I greatly over exaggerate. While I might technically be unemployed I am just between jobs and I am feeling no sting at all. With my last day at Grizzly Athletics on Wednesday and my first day at Coastal Carolina on May 1 I have a nice little window to recharge my batteries.

Of course a significant portion of that window will be devoted to making the trip across the country. But that journey to Myrtle Beach won’t start until next Wednesday. Until then I am enjoying precious days in Spokane with my family. Here are five quick things I am doing during my career transition down time:

Getting Ready to Move: Since I made the decision to take the job at Coastal Carolina I have tried to accomplish a few things each day pertinent to my relocation to prevent any sense of overload as the move date gets closer. I started early and got the major items such as housing, U-Haul, and packing taken care of. Now that I am at my parents’ house and completely free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. I have started to do the smaller (yet important) things. In the last two days I have arranged for the delivery of my washer and dryer to my apartment complex, finalized my renter’s insurance, started to review the benefits package I will elect at CCU, taken my car in for inspection/oil change, shopped for new work clothes, looked into buying a new TV, and of course started to really acquaint myself with Coastal Carolina University (as much as I can anyway through electronic means).

I have enjoyed sitting on my parents' new furniture while working on my lap top and making calls.

I have enjoyed sitting on my parents’ new furniture while working on my lap top and making calls.

Pumping Iron With Dad: Once I hit the road for South Carolina I will not have the means to work out until after the cross country drive is completed and I am all settled. That means working out now is imperative to make sure I don’t develop into an out-of-shape slob before May 1 hits. This morning I went along with my dad to his gym to work out. It was cool…I got to see the place he goes each day to exercise, witness his workout regimen, and even have him spot me. Oh yeah, I also got to rise and shine early with him…at 3:45 a.m.! My dad starts his workout at Anytime Fitness at 4 a.m. each morning so I had an early wakeup call. No big deal, I have always loved mornings.

I worked out early this morning at Anytime Fitness in north Spokane.

I worked out early this morning at Anytime Fitness in north Spokane.

Enjoying the Easter Season: I am glad that I get to spend my favorite holiday with my family. I love Easter and I feel fortunate that this transition allows me to spend it in Spokane. Last night I enjoyed attending Holy Thursday mass in the church that I grew up attending, St. Thomas More, and I look forward to attending it again for Good Friday mass tonight and then of course on Easter Sunday for the biggest celebration of the liturgical year. I can’t wait for the Easter feast my mom will prepare and the very nice day we will all enjoy.

My sister and I during Easter 2010.

My sister and I during Easter 2010.

Time With the Bro: I will continue to covet the time I have with my best friend and brother, Glen. When I arrived on Wednesday night we attended trivia at a local wings joint and that was just the start of our plans. Besides doing some training for a race he has in two weeks, playing Nintendo 64, and partaking in some fun evenings I look forward to just hanging out with him around the house and negotiating the dates for the first time he comes and sees me in Myrtle Beach.

I am definitely spending a lot of time with my brother, Glen.

I am definitely spending a lot of time with my brother, Glen.

Enjoying My Mom’s Cooking: I am taking every opportunity to overindulge in everything my mom cooks from now until Wednesday. Up to this point I haven’t enjoyed her cooking since Christmas and after Wednesday I won’t get the opportunity to scarf it down until at least Thanksgiving so I am going a little nuts on what she will put in front of me at the dinner table. Let’s just say I ate a little more than my share of her gnocchi and Italian sausage dish she whipped up last night.

No one can match my mom's cooking!

No one can match my mom’s cooking!


I would like to wish all my readers a very blessed Easter weekend. Enjoy this special time and I hope wherever you are you get to enjoy some decent weather. Don’t Blink.

Making Plates to Mark My Childhood

Growing up in my parents’ house I definitely didn’t eat off a silver platter. Rather, I ate off of plastic plates decorated with sloppy drawings and scribbles. I promise the food my mom prepared on a nightly basis still tasted great though.

Throughout my childhood my parents did a cool thing for us kids. Each year they sat us down at the kitchen table, put a piece of paper in the shape of a sphere in front of us, and with markers in hand we got to go crazy drawing whatever we wanted. Although I should point out that we didn’t exactly go about the task with reckless abandonment. We knew very well that a few months down the road that piece of paper would come back in the form of an actual plate that we would get to eat off of. Because we were making something that we would take pride in for years to come we took the advice of our parents and drew on a couple practice sheets before drawing the real thing on the special paper.

This is just a portion of the plates stored at my parents' house that the three of us kids created throughout the years.

This is just a portion of the plates stored at my parents’ house that the three of us kids created throughout the years.

This annual event was always one of the special evenings of the year for my sister, brother, and I. We looked forward to it and bugged my parents constantly on when the night would come to create that year’s plates. Of course after we created them we then bugged our parents obsessively on when they would arrive in final form through the mail. Yep, our fascination with the plate process lasted at least a good six months out of every year.

Me and my mom with some of these special plates.

Me and my mom with some of these special plates.

But while the anticipation always lasted for the better half of a year the use of them has lasted almost three decades. Like I said, we didn’t create these plates just for souvenirs to look at. We created them so we could eat off of them. And eat off of them we did…every single night. Although we didn’t have the newest gaming system or swimming pool to impress our friends with we did have the coolest dining ware! My buddies always got a kick when they would sit down for dinner with us and they would have a plate staring back at them with artwork created by the Resers.

I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said the plates didn’t cause a couple headaches though. You could always depend on a fight or two breaking out on a weekly basis between us kids on what plate we would eat off of. My mom would set the table on a nightly basis. Although she would try her hardest to satisfy us there were the times when certain dishes were in the wash and we were not happy with what we got. I was never too keen about eating off my sister’s gymnastics themed plate from 1997 just in the same way that my sister preferred not to dine off of my 1988 plate decorated with green, purple, and brown scribbles. Fits were sometimes thrown and attempts to quickly trade out plates while my mom was not looking were orchestrated.

Although I hope most people understand that I wasn't even two yet when I created this, I do realize it is not very appetizing to eat off of.

Although I hope most people understand that I wasn’t even two yet when I created this, I do realize it is not very appetizing to eat off of.

(BONUS: The most coveted plates we wanted to eat off of on any given night? The ones my dad created! Yes, my parents also created plates of their own and my dad is a fantastic artist. His plates always turned out great).

Some of the plates yours truly created (at no time have I ever claimed to have even a speck of artistic ability).

Some of the plates yours truly created (at no time have I ever claimed to have even a speck of artistic ability).

With us kids now grown up my parents use actual nice china most of the time but several of the plates we made are still in circulation in their cupboards. The majority of the plates, however, are boxed up in a storage closet. Here comes the cool part…

My mom’s intention was to always give us the plates we made when we left the house to start our own lives. For whatever reason I never received my allotment while living in Montana. With my move to Myrtle Beach now just less than a week away my mom plans to send my plates with me to the east coast. I might try to nicely halt that transaction though. To be completely honest I was as inept at art back then as I am now. I think I rather eat off of a blank canvas each night rather than endure the constant reminder of my artistic short comings. Plus could you imagine what a date would think if she came over for dinner and saw my very primitive drawings…on her plate no less? Oh well, whether I take them or not my parents definitely provided us kids with a unique way to mark our childhoods by. Don’t Blink.

To Everyone at Grizzly Athletics: THANK YOU

Earlier today I walked out of the Adams Center for the final time, ending an almost five year ride with Grizzly Athletics. I like to think I left a small part of me behind. With the long hours I worked and the contributions I made I hope I left the department better than when I arrived. But this blog post is not about me (By the way, for all I know my employers could have thrown a celebration party after my car drove out of the parking lot). Rather, this post is to say thank you to the people who supported me, helped me, and listened to me. It is to show gratitude to those individuals who believed in me and let me grow. It is to recognize my co-workers and bosses who helped make me look good and who always took my best interests to heart.

First and foremost I want to thank Christie Anderson. She hired me, she believed in me, she mentored me. Without Christie I would not be where I am at today. I learned everything I know about marketing in intercollegiate athletics from her. For over a year before we got more suitable offices I sat behind Christie and observed everything she did. What an awesome learning experience! I have so many memories with Christie whether it be going on trips, working games, or doing things totally unrelated to work such as going to concerts or bowling.

Next up I want to thank Jim O’Day. My first role model in the college athletics world he treated me with so much respect and kindness. He knew about the power of social media long before many other college administrators even knew what the phrase meant and he gave me the green light to take Grizzly Athletics full throttle down the new media avenue. Two years ago on that terrible day when he had the rug pulled out from underneath him I will never forget the address he gave us at the hastily called all-staff meeting. He epitomized class and humility in a very dark moment and that will always stay with me.

I owe so much gratitude to Brynn Molloy. She came into the Marketing Director position and just kicked butt. Definitely one of the most positive people I know I had a wonderful ten months working for her. We had such a solid working relationship based on collaboration and respect. She was there for me and I was there for her. She allowed me to continue to do my thing and always took the time to tell me good job. We came in each morning on fire for Grizzly Athletics and it made for a great work environment. It is no secret why everyone loves Brynn.

I don’t think I had a bigger supporter when it came to getting me to where I wanted to be than Greg Sundberg. Besides being the best leader I know, no one took the time to help me reach my goals more than Greg. He cares so much about his employees and brings the same positivity to the office each day in the same way Brynn does. I said Jim was my first role model in college athletics; after Greg started overseeing all external communications a couple years ago he became my second. “Sunny” played a big role in getting me to where I am now.

Then there is Kent Haslam…the third person I identify as a role model of mine in intercollegiate athletics. I was so happy and relieved when he got hired as our athletic director. You would be hard pressed to find someone with greater integrity than Kent. Over the past couple years he has been a great supporter of mine. Always sending recognition my way and 100% supportive of my decision to go to Coastal Carolina I feel very fortunate that our AD cared so much about me. Grizzly Athletics is in great hands.

Thank you to our sports information staff! I had the opportunity to work very closely with our legendary SID, Dave Guffey. I earned Dave’s respect and he treated me like a son. I will miss him a lot. I also feel like I got a lot from Joel Carlson (Assistant SID). No one writes better than Joel and I had the pleasure of reading award winning material from his desk on a daily basis. I know by paying attention to his techniques and style that it made me a better writer myself. Rounding out the staff is Renee Valley who never ceased to lend a helping hand when it came to making a few more credentials or helping me find something in the archive room.

I owe big thank yous to the people who generated much of the great content that I was able to use on our new media outlets to give our fan base a great experience. Nate Michael (Griz Vision producer) is an extremely talented individual and one of the best guys I know. Todd Goodrich (University of Montana photographer) works magic with the lens and pours a lot of his time into covering athletics. Jerek Wolcott (videographer, now at Idaho State) really started the video tradition at Grizzly Athletics and was a great friend of mine.

Thank you to our genius I.T. man, Aaron Heiner. This guy gave me a new perspective on what it is like to work under pressure. He also bailed me out of numerous situations involving technology on game days. Speaking of smart people, I couldn’t have succeeded at my job without the help of Chuck Maes. That man has a computer for a brain with incredible knowledge on how every device and piece of equipment under the name of Grizzly Athletics works. . Just like with Aaron, Chuck has helped me out many times when I needed quick assistance.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my office mate, Paul Hengel. Paul became a great friend of mine and provided me an example each day of what hard work is all about. No one works harder in the department or has more demanded of him than Mr. Paul. We got along great and our office arrangement couldn’t have worked out any better.

Much appreciation to Heather Alexander (business manager) who showed great patience towards me when I asked stupid questions or accidentally went away from protocol when completing a business transaction. I also am very thankful for how much she has made my transition between jobs easier. Heather, you better make good on your plans to visit Myrtle Beach during the summer of 2015!

Then there are just the people who have supported me so much during my time with Grizzly Athletics. I am talking about people like Janie Haight, Sue DeMers, Cyndi Steigers, and Celine Fisher. They have acted as moms to me and supported me since I have stepped foot in the Adams Center. I was overjoyed when my “Montana Moms” got to meet my real mom at my going-away party late last week.

I don’t want to forget about the coaches. I learned a lot about the crazy lives they live full of pressure, stress, and travel. Take it from me right here: Our “Big Three” head coaches (Robin Selvig, Wayne Tinkle, and Mick Delaney) are absolutely class acts. They are passionate for the Griz and are incredibly kind. Each one of those men took time to congratulate me when I announced that I was moving on. Special shout out to Griz softball coach Jamie Pinkerton who became a good friend of mine. I am sad that I will miss the first pitch in 2015. Also thank you to soccer head coach Mark Plakorus who always took time to talk to me and even attended my going-away party.

Finally, thank you to all the students I had the privilege of working with over the years. From our student-athletes to our Spirit Squad to our team of interns to our mascots I felt so fortunate working a job where I got to interact with young and motivated individuals on a daily basis. In the end my ultimate mission was to serve them and I felt so lucky that I was able to do just that.

The chapter is closed. I now move onto the next stage of my life at Coastal Carolina. However, I will always be indebted to the wonderful people at Grizzly Athletics who gave me my start. Please know I hold all of you in very high regard. THANK YOU. Don’t Blink.