Before we begin, I'm throwing up the batsignal for anyone else who wants to do one of these, or if I have already sent you questions, to email me.
Thanks for joining us We're Jayhawkers and Proud of it. Your disdain for ketchup on hot dogs is so strong it's part of your sig. I love ketchup on hot dogs. Tell me, 1.) what makes a perfect hot dog and 2.) is a hot dog a sandwich?
1) At the most basic level for me, mustard and sauerkraut are staples of a good hotdog. I like the Chicago dog (which doesn't contain sauerkraut) but the onions and relish are really good. I don't object to ketchup on hotdogs as long as it's accompanied by mustard and other ingredients. Ketchup by itself on a hotdog is not acceptable, if you are above the age of 5 and eating hotdogs with only ketchup you are a disgrace.
2) Absolutely not a sandwich. (Ed Note, this is a very smart man)
You have mentioned growing up in Alabama. Was that a nice place to spend your childhood? What did your folks do? Family size?
I really enjoyed growing up in Alabama. I grew up in a suburb of Birmingham and spent most of my time outside. I remember having to be checked for ticks on a regular basis by my parents because I spent so much time running around in the woods with my friends as a kid. I've probably had poison oak/ivy more times than I can count. I played wiffle ball and basketball nearly every day after school rain or shine. We'd often call our parents at work to ask them to pick up more wiffle balls on their way home from work if lost or broke the ones we had. I'm an only child so I spent a lot of time with my cousins and neighborhood friends. I was a diehard Braves fan and watched every game I could with my grandfather. I became a Royals fan through my fiancé who is from Kansas City. The Royals run through the playoffs last year coincided with the death of my grandfather and brought up a lot of good memories of the time I spent with him watching the Braves play. It helped a lot to be able to watch the Royals and remember my grandfather at the same time. I plan to continue to be a Royals fan and share that with my children when I have them.
My parents had pretty average blue collar jobs. My dad worked in a steel mill in Birmingham and my mom worked at the corporate office for a local sporting goods company, I would get discounts on sports equipment and leftover t-shirts from the losing teams in the Super Bowl/World Series etc. Their jobs were really just jobs to them not careers but they both emphasized early on that I would go to college. Neither of them went to college but both enjoyed reading and learning, which made me appreciate education and learning. I think they both instilled a strong work ethic in me as well. My father read a lot of history books so I developed an interest in history and politics which led to both my majors in college.
What kind of things were you into as a kid/teenager?
As a teenager I was more into music than sports. My dad had an old vinyl record collection so I listened to a lot of old stuff like Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Band, classic rock and oldies. I didn't play sports in high school and didn't really follow any particular teams at that time. I started to explore music more, go to concerts and shows and made different friends through that. I also started reading more about different political theories and got into philosophy which guided me toward my college majors. I became more introspective as a teenager and thought a lot more about the things I thought I believed in and started to try and determine what my belief system really was. I explored pacifism, anarchism, existentialism and a lot of other philosophies.
You have mentioned working for habitat for humanity in college. How did you get into that? Is it something you are still involved with?
I feel I should explain I went to college twice. First at UAB right after high school 2002-2006 where I got a BA in History and then I joined AmeriCorps and worked for Habitat for Humanity in Dallas from 2006-08. Then I went to school at KU from 2008-2011 and got a BA in Political Science. I started volunteering at UAB, ran the campus chapter and met some AmeriCorps members. It seemed like a fun experience so I joined AmeriCorps for two years. I knew nothing about home construction when I started and learned as I went along. It was a really fun experience, I worked with 9 other Americorps members who were about the same age as me who came from all over the U.S. So it was nice that we had this built in group of friends who were all doing the same thing. We only made about $1200 a month and worked 40-50 hours a week building houses but it was a lot of fun. AmeriCorps was a great experience; I highly recommend it to anyone finishing college who isn't sure what they want to do next. I did some part time work for Habitat for Humanity when I moved to Austin a few years ago but haven't had time to volunteer much lately. I'll go out to volunteer whenever I have the time.
How and when did you find RCT?
I think found it during the summer of 2013. I had a job at a call center at that time and had a lot of time on my hands so I started reading a lot of different blogs and came across RCT. It had a lot of good content on recruiting, player analysis, game analysis and the commenters/writers seemed really knowledgeable so I stuck around.
What do you do for work now? Is it something you find fulfilling?
I'm the Volunteer Manger for a blood donation center. I also write grants in my job. It's rewarding to work with people who want volunteer and give back to their community. I get to meet a lot of different people and learn about their lives. Most volunteers are either older and retired or high school and college aged because they have the most free time. It's interesting to see them experience different things in life, one group has been through everything and has a lot of experience and wisdom while the other is just starting out as adults and still figuring things out. I've pretty much worked for non-profits and with volunteers my whole career and really enjoyed it.
What has been your biggest success and biggest regret?
My biggest success was getting engaged to my fiancé. When we met I was still a little immature and she has made me a better person in so many ways and I think I've done the same for her. It's been great being able to see how much we've been able to grow personally since we've been together.
My biggest regret is not initially going away to college, instead I stayed in my hometown and lived at home. I think I would have benefitted from being out in the world more at that time.
If I came to visit you, what kind of things would we do and where would we go?
In Austin there is a lot to do. We'd probably start off the day with brunch and drinks, there are a lot of great spots for brunch here. If the weather is nice, we could go hang out at Barton Springs pool, it's a natural springs pool. It has a nice grassy area where you can hang out and get some sun and then jump in the pool and cool off for a bit. Then have a late lunch and get some bbq. I'm not big on Texas bbq but there are a lot of great places, Franklin bbq, Stubbs, La Barbecue, Salt Lick. If you want to do more stuff outside there's Lady Bird lake for kayaking/canoeing. Or hang out on one of the patios of the bars downtown and people watch, drink and shoot the shit. I'm big in to trivia so if it's a Saturday night I'd probably go to Geeks Who Drink trivia at Opal Divines which has a nice outdoor deck area or go to the Alamo Drafthouse to catch one of their special Mater Pancake screenings. They have a comedy troupe called Master Pancake screen movies and make fun of them while they're playing (ala Mystery Science Theater 3000). They'll often stop in the middle of the movie and do a sketch that they've made up.
Anything else we might not know about you.
I'm a huge hip hop/rap fan. So if anyone has artists they want to recommend I'm always open to checking out new rappers. And vice versa if you want any recommendations on artists to check out. I've just gotten into doing karaoke and love the challenge of doing rap songs. My go to songs for karaoke are ‘Still Fly' by Big Tymers and ‘Tyrone' by Erykah Badu. I suggest we add ‘Favorite Karaoke Song to sing' to the Lightning Round. I always like to hear what songs people like to sing at karaoke because getting up and singing a song in front of people is different than just having a favorite song you like to listen to.
Age - 32
Height - 5ft 10in
Where do you live - Austin, TX
Facial hair - Clean shaven
Any pets - 3 cats (Oscar, Charlie and Sweet Dee)
What kind of car do you drive - Ford Focus
Corrective lenses - very low prescription glasses
Hair style - high and tight I guess is how you describe it
Favorite movie - Caddy Shack
Favorite tv show - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Favorite beer or thing to drink - Leinenkugel summer shandy
Favorite band - Goodie Mob (a rap group counts as a band right?)
Favorite food - fried cauliflower with hummus
Favorite non KU team - Alabama Crimson Tide
All time favorite KU player - Travis Releford
First concert - Weezer
First w-2 - job, pizza cutter at Chuck E. Cheese
Best athlete seen play live - Jamaal Charles
Favorite dinosaur when you were a kid - Brachiosaurus