Blog archives

A collection of all the nonsense I've posted to the internet over the past 17 years of my blog life

  • Our trip to Mukul Resort in Nicaragua posted

    As a lot of you know, Kari and I just got back from a pretty rad trip to a resort in Nicaragua... and nearly everyone we've talked to about it asks, "how did you pick Nicaragua?" Well, it kind of started with our friends' Mindy and Ryan's wedding. They had a destination wedding a couple years ago at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort in Mexico. Here, we had our own villa that came with it's own pool - devoid of other people's children and ... well devoid of everyone... read more

  • Our Master Bathroom Remodel posted

    So, after having every single room in our house anywhere from 25-95% done for several months, I finally decided to buck up and finish a room... The master bathroom/closet... and I'm gonna tell you all about it. Our goals were pretty simple. Make it bigger, more modern, more accommodating, and more "spa like" - a phrase thrown around wayyyyy too often during the entire process... read more

  • RIP Miller Bracelet posted

    In 2005, I drove to my buddy, Zach's college town to help celebrate his birthday. As soon as I got into town, another one of our buddies (Aaron, aka Turbo) was passing through, so we decided to meet up and grab a drink at a local bar. It was a typical college town bar, complete with deals on Miller Lite, and sponsored Miller girls walking around, handing out terrible college Miller Lite swag. For some reason, when the girls came up to me, they decided I looked like the kind of dude who could really use an Official Miller "Drinking Glove" ... like, wtf even is a drinking glove??.. read more

  • Picking up an M-series in Germany posted - 2 comments

    First of all, some things I noticed about Germans: no one is staring at phones. Everyone rides bikes - mostly cruisers with kickstands and barely locked up. They are big rule followers. They seem to require very little policing and are generally very respectful people. They love super cheesy t-shirts, especially if the F word is on them... read more

  • Leaving Southeast Rio Drive posted

    Seriously, who in the hell puts an offer on a house when they're 22 years old? ... and then stays in that house for the next 11-12 years? Me, apparently. It was a house on Southeast Rio Drive in Suburban, Ankeny, Iowa, that... read more

  • Oh yea... 2015 was awesome posted

    Three weeks into 2016 and I've finally taken a second to think about last year. A year I visited both coasts, sang for a couple thousand people, celebrated 10 years with Kari, sold a company I helped build, and bought a new house. 2015 really was an amazing year. I travelled to Minnesota for beer, California for meetings, Maine for lobster, Boston for fun, Mayakoba for an amazing wedding, Madison for Shenanigans, the wilderness for disconnecting, and of course a dozen trips to Chicago (for both work and play). The big thing, though, which I haven't really talked much about is the sale of our company, Modest... read more

  • Brooks' Dead End Ranch posted - 3 comments

    After 6+ years of wanting to move out of the suburban house that I bought when I was 24 years old, Kari and I finally found a new home to move into. We must've looked at/walked through 100 potential houses or lots (no exaggeration) over the years, but our picky asses could never find one we liked. Our top 3 priorities were pretty simple: a ranch home, within 5 miles of downtown, and garage space for 3+ cars and a workshop. Our other top priorities were: an open floor plan for entertaining, walk out basement, back yard privacy, an office near main living areas, 3 bedrooms, full master bath, full guest bath, a powder room, and to be near bike trails. Our "nice-to-haves" were: something unique and awesome with garage/shed space in the back yard for hanging out, yard space and windows on the south side for gardens, hops, and herbs, a back yard/porch on the north east side for shady afternoons, and a front yard on south west side to melt the driveway in the winter... read more

  • The Road Rally posted

    Almost every time I talk about participating in the Mid Coast Road Rally event that I do in Iowa, I get asked what exactly it is. I'm sure there are different variations, but the one that Road Rally Charities puts together every year in Iowa goes like this... The event is full of cars ranging from Ford Escorts to Ferraris and on to giant SUVs. Each car has a driver and at least one passenger that acts as a navigator. We all meet at the designated kickoff point... read more

  • Riot Fest 2015 posted

    Kari pretty much ordered us a set of Riot Fest tickets as soon as she saw this year's line-up. There wasn't many current acts, but it was chock full of bands we would've gone to 10+ years ago if we had money... or knew that we liked going to shows. I'd barely seen any of these people play before, but was definitely into a ton of them at least one point in my life. After watching Lollapalooza get a bigger and bigger, molly fueled, EDM crowd over the last 10 years, the crowd at Riot Fest was a much welcomed change... read more

  • BWCA 2015 - The year of the portage posted

    This trip to the boundary waters wound up being the hardest, but also the warmest... actually, it was just straight up, unseasonably hot. We spent a good portion of every day shirtless, in our swimwear, or cooling off in the (very) cool lakes. Our trip started at the southeast corner of the BWCA Wilderness at Kawishiwi Lake and we traveled 30-40 miles northeast to take out at Round Lake along the Gunflint Trail. It was the most lakes I'd ever crossed (21) and the most portaging (carrying all of your packs and canoes across land from one lake to the next) I've ever done in a single trip... read more

  • Lollapalooza 2015 posted

    This was one of the weaker lineups I've seen at Lollapalooza, but out of tradition, we of course still went. On top of a few great shows, we got to hang out with good family and friends, eat some good food, enjoy a few cocktails, and shop on Milwaukee Ave. Here's who we saw... Friday Kari's dad joined us so that he could see Paul McCartney, which was awesome. Father John Misty - I have no idea who this is, but we caught part of this set while waiting for Hot Chip... read more

  • Maine posted

    Over the 4th of July, my wife's extended family from Boston hosted a family reunion at their cabin in Maine... Kari'd never been to the state, and I hadn't been since I was a kid, so ... duh ... we went! I'd forgotten just how beautiful and untouched a lot of Maine is... read more

  • Mayakoba posted

    For years, Kari has been hoping that one of our friends would have a destination wedding. I mean, she loves weddings and she loves tropical/resort vacations... so an excuse to combine the two was obviously something she was interested in. This year, it finally happened. Our friend Mindy invited us to her wedding at a place in Mexico called Mayakoba... read more

  • Becoming Middle Aged posted - 1 comment

    So, my friend Carol has this theory that you truly begin your middle aged life once you become thirty three and a third. She's based this on the idea that if we live to be ~100 years old (yea right), the first third of your life is from 0 to 33.3 years old, the second (middle) third is until you're 66.6 years old, and so on... She totally buys into this thing too. Like she'll even make you a 33.3, middle aged narwhal birthday cake if you're lucky like my buddy, Nick. So anyway, with that said, Carol tells me that today marks my 33.3 year old birthday... read more

  • Lollapalooza 2014 posted

    So when Kari was diagnosed with MS last fall, no joke, one of the first things she asked me (nearly in tears) from her hospital bed was, "what are we going to do about lollapalooza?" Not even lying, she wanted to know that if she wasn't able to walk anymore, I'd be able to get her to the front like the guy we saw at Kendrick Lamar last year. It sounds totally cheesy, but live music is just something we do and it's been a huge part of our relationship. Well, fast forward 10 crazy months and aside from needing an arm through some rough terrain, Lollapalooza was absolutely no thang for Kari. No handicapped pass was needed, we had a blast, saw some amazing shows, walked ~60,000 steps, and hung out with some good friends. As far as music goes, 2014 was loaded with hip hop and great, danceable music... read more

  • Experiences posted

    Anyone who's visited my personal website probably knows that it's pretty much just about telling my life story (filled with a ton of TMI, of course). Every thought I've had for the past 13 years is on here. Nearly every photo I've ever taken is here. Shit, if you want to know how much I slept, walked, or even what I weighed yesterday, it's all here. But over the past couple years, I've been thinking a lot about experiences and contextual stories... read more

  • Walk this way! posted - 1 comment

    Friends! Many of you know that I started a team to walk, grill, and hang out in support of that amazing chick, Kari Brooks on May 17. So we're almost a month out and I just want to make sure you know that we really do want as many of you to join us as possible. All of you! Walk A lot of you have expressed interest in walking with us but haven't registered yet... read more

  • The Dominican Republic posted

    At the risk of forfeiting any future travel with my amazing in-laws, I really need to get this story down in a blog. Last year, Kari, her family, and I started planning a vacation to the caribbean. We'd narrowed it down to a few non-U.S. islands. So needless to say, we all had to make sure our passports were in check... read more

  • Some things that I learned in 2013 posted

    2013 was a roller coaster of a year for me. A roller coaster with some serious business highs, lows, and hardly anything in between. A few of the key happenings were... went to a presidential inauguration and some inaugural balls! ... read more

  • Checking out. Back to the Boundary Waters posted

    One day last year, amidst the shitstorm of a job and life I was living in the city of Chicago, I IM'd my buddy, Josh and told him that I needed another trip to the Boundary Waters. I wanted to check out from technology, humans, the city, insanity, everything. A trip to the Boundary Waters, a complete wilderness area absent of all civilization, modern conveniences, and man made structure seemed like exactly what I needed. This is a place where canoes and feet are the only modes of transportation, paper topographic maps are the only way to navigate, and you only take what you can carry. There are no cell phone towers, electricity, roads, running water, man made structure, and minimal human contact... read more