Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Pulitzer Prize submissions - Summer 2008

It occurred to me that I've not yet linked to anything I've written since starting at Baylor Magazine last summer. (It's been almost a year already!!) With the next issue hitting mailboxes this week, here are my two most recent feature contributions:
  • Concerning the Soul -- Baylor's Department of Spiritual Life provides students with opportunities for corporate worship and inspiration, small group Bible study and discipleship, and outlets for local and international missions.
  • First And Four-most -- Women's tennis ace Zuzana Zemenova is the first Big 12 athlete in any sport to be Player of the Year four times.
I do plenty of other editing and writing of small stuff, not to mention countless tweaking of news stories, but those are the main things I wrote from scratch. Since I haven't linked to any other previous stories, here ya go -- bonus Pulitzer submissions!
  • Growing Season -- A look at the Baylor campus past, present and future. This was the cover story, though it was as much "compiled by" as "written by." (Winter '08)
  • Anticipating What's Next -- A one-page sidebar to the "Growing Season" story. (Winter '08)
  • Big Change, Big Results -- An altered pitching motion turned walk-on Nick Cassavechia into an all-American. (Winter '08)
  • Family Matters -- Homecoming is just the beginning of Baylor's efforts to engage alumni. (Fall '07)
  • Ethics In Action -- Character development is key to preparing Baylor students to enter a culture of relativism and situational ethics. (Fall '07)
  • An International Flavor -- Student-athletes from abroad face unique pressures while searching for success in the classroom and on the court. (Fall '07)
  • True to the call -- A decade after its first graduating class and over a century after its namesake helped save Baylor University, George W. Truett Theological Seminary remains committed to preparing ministers and missionaries for worldwide Christian service. (Summer '07)
  • Putting Actions To Words -- Truett Seminary students don't just hear the Word-they do it. A one-page sidebar to "True to the call." (Summer '07)
  • Early Start Good For Baylor -- Track star named top Big 12 freshman after finishing high school in three years. (Summer '07)
I promise you that all these stories look much nicer in the printed magazine than they do online. If you're not getting Baylor Magazine, you can sign up to get it for free here (click on Subscribe near the top).

Happy reading!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A memorable Astros game on Memorial Day Weekend

Over Memorial Day weekend, we were blessed to be able to attend an Astros game in the best possible seats -- the Diamond Club -- thanks to one of Jeff's college roommates (who, with his wife, also attended the game with us -- thanks guys!).

Here's the view from our seats (click on the picture for a bigger version; that's Lance Berkman at bat there):

Also, video of the view from our seats here. It's pretty amazing -- you get a parking pass with the seats where you park about 25 feet from the door. You go in a special entrance and down some stairs to the Diamond Club restaurant, which has a variety of pretty fancy foods set up buffet-style (steak kabobs, 40-clove chicken, baked potatoes, salad bar, etc.) as well as typical ballpark food (nachos, fried chicken, hot dogs, popcorn, etc.) and a dessert bar (ice cream, cookies, cake and more). Oh, and did I mention it's all included in the price of the ticket? So, we ate with our friends and then went out to the seats for the game. (They also had waitresses out where we sat who came by every 30 minutes or so to see if we needed anything.)

Bethany could not stop raving about the grilled asparagus they had at dinner. She went back for more, turning down the dessert bar for more vegetables. [Bethany says: It was very tasty -- hands down the best asparagus I've ever had. Sorry, Mom.]

We had some pretty good seats in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago, but these were even better than those. Our seats were in the ninth row; Astros owner (and Baylor alum!) Drayton McLane was directly in front of us in the first row.

Oh, and to top off the evening, the Astros won (beating the Phillies, who many of our PA friends root for) 4-3. In the 9th, with the Astros up by one and one out, the Phillies loaded the bases with Shane Victorino up (all-stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on deck). Victorino hit a medium-depth flyball to left field that defensive replacement Darin Erstad caught for the second out. The runner from third, Pedro Feliz, tried to tag up and score, but Erstad's throw to the plate had him dead to rights and he was out to end the game. And we had the best seats in the house to see the play at the plate. (Watch video of the play here.)

So, here's the happy couple after the game:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Man's Poison: 5/14/08

It's been way too long since my last post of this sort to include all the great links I've found, so I'll just include my favorites.

Comparing versions of the Bible to G.I. Joe characters -- this comes from a hilarious site called Stuff Christians Like.

Marital Rating Scale -- Does your wife "fail to sew on buttons or darn regularly?" Are the "seams in her hose often crooked"? Does she "wear red nail polish?" If so, she'd have probably flunked this test from the '50s. Wow.

Working NES controller coffee table -- I have to admit, there's a part of me that really thinks this is cool. Also, this lamp.

What kids are reading these days (PDF) -- Pretty interesting list based on a survey, broken down by grade. I can't imagine reading even the beginning Harry Potter books in 1st grade.

Store Wars -- I don't necessarily buy their message about organic foods, but this Star Wars parody is well done. Darth Tater? Obi-Wan Cannoli? Chewbroccoli? Nice.

Super Mario Bros. theme performed by an RC car on a row of liquid-filled bottles -- I'm a sucker for variations on my favorite video game themes.

Incoming Baylor freshman featured on ABC -- The girl's fighting cancer, and her request from Make-A-Wish was money to start an orphanage in Kenya.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Awesome Song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have to admit, I've become a huge fan of Jessie Daniels. She is from New York (what's not to love about that?), has this great rock sound with a twinge of pop that I really like, and she writes her own songs. Best of all, she incorporates messages of her faith into her music.

One of her songs that I really like and has resonated with me is called "Stand Out". I feel like if I could ever write a song, this is pretty much what I would want to say. Here are the lyrics:

You're staring in the mirror and your looking back at me
Somehow you've replaced yourself and don't like what you see
You've been a slave for far too long to what other people think
So you bend and you break and you lose along the way
What once was beautiful I want to

Stand out
I wanna stand tall
I wanna be myself even if it means
I won't fit in at all
I wanna be real
I wanna be me
Cause everything I am is who I'm meant to be
I was meant to be free

Why are we so quick to hide originality
We try and try to fit inside a false reality
We're all the same when it comes to putting on the face
and its such a shame
Oh its such a waste
Cause what makes us beautiful
Is what makes us


We are we are beautiful
We are we are beautiful

I just flew in and boy, am I tired!

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. It was a really great experience for me to go and talk to lots of people about our product. The best part was meeting some clients in person for the first time who I have long thought of as friends because we have talked for years on the phone. There were three of us there in our booth and we had a good time. Here are some pics (forgive me for the fact that they were taken with the cell phone camera-if you click on the picture, it should enlarge it in a separate window)!!

As I was packing, Orbit decided to stage a sit-in protest...

Which then turned into a sleep-in protest...

Our hotel room in Denver had a great view of the Colorado Rockies Stadium (yes, I am well trained...) and beyond that were the actual Rockies!!!

Mountains at Sunset (just for you Mom & Dad!)...

This was our booth...

And the exhibit hall where we met for the conference...I love the bear trying to get in!!!

So that was a snapshot of my time in Denver!