Tag Archives: dreams

Living for May.

May in Indianapolis. The sun comes out of hibernation and the temperatures (and humidity) rise. We begin taking trips to the lake and grilling out. In my childhood, the end of school became magically imminent. Summer becomes reality.

And all those good May feelings are punctuated by Memorial Day weekend: the Indianapolis 500.

Every year my parents host a huge race weekend party. Their college friends and their children–my friends–travel far and wide to attend the Indianapolis 500.  It’s an all around great tradition. This year, with my parents in their downtown condo, many will be staying with me–a passing of the torch, so to speak.

But perhaps the thing I’m most excited about at this moment–the morning after my Pacers took a 2-1 playoff series lead over the big, bad Miami Heat–is the prospect of a race weekend with both racing and basketball.

In my Reggie Miller-era childhood, this was more an expectation than an exception. I’m not quite counting my chickens before they’re hatched, the prospect alone is enough. And now that the city is waking up to their Pacers again, it’s all the more fun.

Racing. Basketball. Indianapolis in May.

I wrote an IndySpectator article that debuted yesterday morning about the history of the race and what it means to the city. Entitled “State of the Race Address.”

In the same vein, I’d like to re-share my IndySpectator about the Pacers from a little over a month ago, entitled “Meet me at the Fieldhouse.” It was written as the Pacers were beginning their final regular season run leading into the playoffs. It seems appropriate to share in light of last night’s display of #GoldSwagger, proving the fans are back, baby!

No, I refuse to stop smiling.


This blog was built on the foundation of cute puppies, so it is my especially delightful privilege to introduce our own puppy, Leon FutureDog. Born February 5, he is the cutest, smartest, most adorable miniature Australian shepherd in the whole damn world. No doubt about it! Future pictures of the FutureDog (and future doting/bragging) are inevitable, so brace yourselves.

On a less adorable but still exciting note, my very first IndySpectator article comes out tomorrow morning. IndySpectator is a wonderful, free email newsletter about what’s cool around Indy. I suggest you all subscribe – if not for me, do it for your social life.

On point with prints…

Each morning, I drink a cup of coffee and live vicariously through my favorite blogs – theselby.com, archdaily.com, thesartorialist.com, and of course, garancedore.fr/en (the Sartorialist’s fab French girlfriend).

This morning, my coffee and I visited French fashion week and according to Garance Doré, prints are in and I’m delighted. Not because it means I’m fashion forward, but because my bed definitely is. I snapped a few iPhone pics and snagged a couple of Garance’s pics (as well as one from The New York Times Style Magazine‘s Prada fashion week coverage) to prove my point.

Today, Mr. Higgins interviewed Dan Wakefield…

My best friend George’s father is a writer for the Indianapolis Star and he writes the kind of articles that I enjoy most. A recent graduate of the Ernie Pyle School of Journalism, I don’t especially enjoy the parsed-down, strictly facts and no fun method of event coverage that intro journalism classes preach. Will Higgins’ writing has style.

Lately, it’s been breaking laws canoeing the canal, or tweeting coverage of the George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars concert in Broadripple: “Jager tastes like licorice.” Today, Mr. Higgins wrote about literary legend and Indy native, Dan Wakefield – and I’m envious.

My friend George and I consider ourselves ambassadors to the city we’ve grown up in (and our parents grew up in), and honestly, I can’t speak for George, but I’m almost uncomfortable with the recent outpouring of super positive attention the city has garnered following its super successful stint as SuperBowl host. Of course, I love the super recognition, but I’m not surprised. Indy has been overlooked for a long time and honestly, I think it’s part of its underdog appeal.

You have to be a kind of insider to get it. Like reading Dan Wakefield, or his good pal Kurt Vonnegut, and getting it. Sure, people outside of Indianapolis get Wakefield, as two of his novels have been made into Hollywood films (although he approves of only one), and Vonnegut is taught in schools everywhere. But I think when you’re from here, you have a heightened sense of getting it.

Even their books that aren’t based in Indianapolis or even about Indianapolis, you have a certain shared background: you know where they’re coming from, literally. Wakefield’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story “Going All the Way,” however, is based in Indianapolis and being able to identify and locate Sonny and Gunnar’s hangouts is an added treat.

Shortridge High School is Shortley. The Crown Hill Cemetery is Crown Point. Meridian Hills is Meridian Hills. The Melody Inn and the Red Key Taverns probably haven’t changed much at all since, and Binkley’s Kitchen & Bar on 52nd & College is just Binkley’s Pharmacy, which it really was in the 1950’s when “Going All the Way” took place.

Sure, Wakefield and Vonnegut haven’t always painted Indianapolis in the most super of lights, but it’s really just proof of our underdog mentality. Our city isn’t perfect. What city is? And sure, they both left, as did David Letterman, Jane Pauley, John Wooden, etc., but that’s OK. Letterman wouldn’t be Letterman if he’d stayed.

Mr. Higgins’ article is actually about Wakefield’s recent return, at the age of 79, to work on a novel and a collection of Vonneguts’ letters to be published later this year.

“There’s so much Indianapolis” in the correspondence, Wakefield said, “that it just felt right to be here.”

I think the key to Mr. Higgins’ style is in his restrained delivery of the details. He doesn’t explain as much as present. He gets all the best details from his sources and lets them speak for themselves.

He walks past the electronic sculpture “Ann Dancing” practically every evening and is charmed by it. “It’s like a beacon lighting the way home,” he said.

Behind the Scenes: “Clean Streets”

Few things in life (thus far) are more fun than seeing your friends do what they love – and do it well.

Almost a year ago, my longtime pal Charlie Mattingly and his friend Charlie Myers and his other friend Adam Geise made this 5-minute short film, “Clean Streets” for the Campus Movie Fest at Indiana University. They had won “Best Comedy” the year before with the “Alphabet”, so the pressure was on…

The whole thing was shot in three days, and I shot these behind-the-scene photos the first night of filming. Clearly, I couldn’t keep up and I think Lieutenant Lorenzo, as a result of some truly dedicated method acting (drinking), barely survived production (you can see it on his face in the last scene).

Now days Charlie works in Los Angeles, living the dream, doing what he loves – and doing it well. Check out “Clean Streets” so when Charlie’s a big star, you can all feel really cool by a vague association, claiming you knew of him before he hit it big. As for me, we went to senior homecoming together, sooooo… I really am really cool.

“The China Pacers” in action…

Delightful, inexplicable cultural phenomenon: Asians love Reggie Miller.

Always have, always will.

Attending games during the last season of Reggie’s career, there would be huge groups of Asians, all decked out head-to-toe in #31 gear, completing a pilgrimage (or so I imagine) to see Reggie play before his retirement.

Witnessing their excitement and imagining how far they traveled to see Reggie play was really special. To this day, I feel very honored and privileged to have witnessed so much of his career firsthand.

Check out this amazing video montage of “The China Pacers,” reenacting the best moments of the Reggie Miller era, beginning with Reggie’s 8 points in 8.9 seconds to save game one of the 1995 eastern conference semifinals against the evil Knicks.

The classic Slick Leonard/Mark Boyle audio on the Chinese Pacer’s video gives me chills. Literally.


In retrospect… Part II

In retrospect... Part II

I was selling myself short by limiting this academic retrospective to the last four-and-a-half-years… This one goes back all of 12 years. Yes, that’s right, esteemed Mayor of Exchange City, Alex Moosey, awarded me, Chrissy Astbury, proprietor of the Exchange City Sign Shop, “Citizen of the Day.” Undoubtedly one of my proudest academic achievements… And one of the best damn field trips, ever.