Thanks for joining us dnoll. As the resident uniform expert on RCT, in your opinion what is the great jersey/uniform in sports history?
Whoa, starting off with a tough one. For the sake of diversity, I'll leave off everything KU in this "analysis". I guess that for me, the best uniform of all time belongs to the Montreal Canadians, especially their home red sweaters. The uniforms in that sport, and especially the ones worn by Montreal, are some of the most distinctive in the world. Plus, when you see Montreal, you know exactly what you're looking at. Here are a few other uniforms that I almost always think look awesome: Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, UCLA basketball, Chicago Blackhawks, FC Barcelona, AS Roma. I also really like vintage and throwback uniforms, especially in baseball (Padres, Astros) and basketball (Bucks, Nuggets).
Backing up a bit, tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up? How big was your family? What did your parents do?
I grew up in Prairie Village, KS (suburban KC). I have one younger sister. My parents got divorced when I was eight and I remember being sad about it, but not for long actually. The divorce was pretty amicable and we saw each parent equally. When I realized that I was going to have two birthday parties and two Christmas celebrations, divorce didn't seem too bad. Plus, in 1985, my mom bought Royals playoff tickets for game 6 of the ALCS and then my dad one upped her and we went to game one of the '85 World Series. Pretty sweet. My mom has been a secretary for a small investing firm forever. My dad passed away almost 20 years ago, but was a social security agent who translated for people who only spoke Spanish or Portuguese.
What made you pick KU for college?
I always knew I was going to go to KU. My dad went there and he weaned me on KU basketball and football. Each fall, we'd take a trek over to Lawrence to watch a game. I applied for other places (Minnesota and Miami among others) just to see if I could get in, but I knew I would go to KU.
How and when did you find RCT?
I'm not really sure on this one. I started following on twitter when I first started twittering, but an exact time or date eludes me. In the summer of 2014, I responded to Mikeville's post about new writing recruits, and have been contributing ever since. It was actually perfect timing, as we had just returned from a year in Europe and I was unemployed at the time, so it gave me something to do.
I believe you have mentioned you are a teacher. What grade or subject do you teach? What drew you to the profession?
I've worked at Raytown High School as an English teacher for going on two years now. Currently, I teach juniors and seniors. It's going pretty well. Before we left for Europe, I worked at Oak Park High School for eight years as an English teacher. I mostly taught freshmen and sophomores. I was also the boy's varsity soccer coach there for my final three years. I coached for seven years total, all levels of boy's and girl's soccer. For the varsity boys, we had some great teams...won our conference all three years, and produced some college soccer players. It was fun.
When I first moved to KC from Lawrence and needed a job, I went to a random job fair and got a job as a special education paraprofessional. Once I did that for a while, I realized I could be a better teacher than many I was seeing. So, I went to Avila and got certified in English Language Arts. My (pretty useless) Broadcast Journalism degree from KU helped me avoid taking a ton of ELA classes for my certification, but I still had to take a few more.
You seem to be very well traveled. Where is your favorite place you've visited and where is one place you would like to visit?
My favorite place in the world is Sevilla in Spain. We lived there for four months and I never wanted to leave. The food is delicious (I love Jamon Iberico and Cazon en Adobo the most), the people are warm and welcoming, the lifestyle is amazing, and the city itself is beautiful. We lived in the northern sector of the old city, in the Macarena district, and we had an authentic Spanish experience for the entire time. From the local bars, to the markets, to the under the radar tourist places, to the football teams (My team is Sevilla FC but the city is split between them and Real Betis), Seville is great.
We were lucky and got to visit so many awesome places and I have many that I really enjoyed and would love to go back. Here are some that I'd highly recommend: Toulouse (France), Carvoeiro (Portugal), Krakow (Poland), Istanbul, Marrakech (Morocco), Rovinj (Croatia), Prague, Barcelona, Budapest, Nice (France), Florence.
We're planning on a trip to Europe next summer so I'm up for any suggestions in the comment section. I think we may be leaning toward Sicily, Malta, and Montenegro. We'll see. As for outside of Europe, I really want to go to Thailand and/or Vietnam in Asia and Buenos Aires in South America.
Oh, here's my travel blog (shameless self-promotion!): http://theliveintourist.blogspot.com
Often times we wonder what we would grab from our homes if it were to catch fire. Having been through a house fire, did you have that thought? What did you try and save once you and your loved ones got out?
Yeah, it's crazy. Here's the brief edition of the story. At 3:00 AM on the morning of June 26, my wife and I were woken up by the biggest explosion I'd ever heard. Instinctually, we knew it was lightning that struck our house, and when I popped up from bed, I saw sparks flying out of our outlets in the room across the hall. I immediately got out of bed to check to see if the house was on fire and call the fire department. I was outside in the pouring rain with only a pair of gym shorts checking the perimeter and calling the KCFD. Meanwhile, my wife was getting dressed and she grabbed her purse, my wallet, and the cat. The house was not on fire, but there were smaller fires that had gone out, so my wife and I went back in the house and grabbed our computer (which wasn't plugged in) and a few other things before the KCFD arrived. Luckily, the fire department didn't have to bring hoses into the house, so after they cleared it, we could grab whatever we wanted.
We've been out of the house since then (a hotel for the first ten days and a rental house in the neighborhood since then), and we hope to be totally back by November. The insurance company has been accommodating but slow, and I'm lucky that one of my best friends is my contractor. He's been awesome and I honestly don't think we'd be in as good shape if we had to deal with a stranger. There are just so many details.
That said, we have new wiring, all new appliances and electronics, a new roof, cosmetic upgrades to the exterior, new paint on all the walls, and the floors have been redone. It'll be pretty nice when it's all said and done.
If a RCTer came to visit you, what would you do and where would you take them?
We'd go on a Waldo beer tour. First, we'd start out at Bier Station, the best place in KC to drink beer. They have a great tap selection and rotate regularly. We'll probably have a snack or two (pretzel or charcuterie plate) because some of the beers have a high alcohol content. Next, we'd need some real food so we'd head to the Waldo Pizza Tap Room for the best pizza in KC (I like pepperoni and cream cheese on half and jalapeno bacon and pepperoncini on the other). Luckily, they also have a great beer selection. Lastly, we'll swing over to KC Bier Company for some homemade craft beers, German Style. They have a great outdoor beer garden as well.
What is your biggest success and biggest regret?
I got to take a year off and live in Europe. It was a success, and I'd do it again now if I could. I don't really have many regrets, luckily, but professionally, I would've liked to lead our soccer team to a district championship. We lost in the finals twice.
Anything else we might not know about you.
Well, I like RBI Baseball for the original Nintendo. A lot. A buddy and I have been playing against each other for about 10 years, and have kept stats for win/loss, saves, home runs, and steals. I play with the Twins and he is the Mets. I am proud to say that I won season one with a 92-70 record and am currently leading season two as it hits the home stretch. Kent Hrbek is awesome.
Oh, I also have an awesome wife who really likes sports, especially KU basketball and the Royals. Unfortunately, she likes Arsenal and I am a Tottenham supporter, but if that's the biggest thing we argue about, I'm cool with that. We've been together for 15 years, so she's a keeper. No one's perfect, but she can put up with me, so she's close.
Where do you live Kansas City (Waldo)
Facial hair Not right now
Any pets Not currently
What kind of car do you drive 2007 VW Rabbit 2.5
Corrective lenses Yes
Hair style Mop
Favorite movie Back to the Future
Favorite tv show Seinfeld, Breaking Bad
Favorite beer That's tough. Boulevard The Calling and Bell's Two Hearted are two stand bys.
Favorite band Again, tough. Bad Religion, Beck, and Radiohead make the all-time list for me.
Favorite food Tacos
Favorite non KU team Kansas City Royals, Tottenham Hotspur, Sevilla FC
All time favorite KU player Paul Pierce
First concert Guns N'Roses/Metallica at Arrowhead Stadium. Body Count was the opener.
First w-2 job Sacking groceries at Food Barn
Best athlete seen play live Cristiano Ronaldo
Favorite dinosaur when you were a kid Stegosaurus