Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I've been blessed to do a lot of cool stuff in my life.
But today is the 10 year anniversary of the coolest thing I've ever done (HOW CAN IT BE TEN YEARS ALREADY??).
On October 28, 1999 at 9:00 p.m., I stepped out onto a dark stage to the roar of a packed crowd - and with absolutely NO exaggeration - my life changed forever.
I think that's what puts it over the top. While I've certainly do a lot of other cool things, nothing has so impacted the rest of my existence the way that it did that night.
One thing still jumps out at me about the whole process:
The absolute confidence/arrogance we had to pull it off.
My buddy Jon and I started that semester of college off with a game plan. We were both sophomores who had transferred into Christopher Newport University from other colleges, so we didn't really know anything about the school or anyone other than our buddy Matt (from high school) and his buddy Jesse.
I think it was during the first week of classes that we walked into the Student Life office and requested to speak with someone, anyone, in charge.
Phyllis Ayers took us into her office and we just straight out told her we wanted to do a Saturday Night Live type of comedy show on campus.
The one thing I'll never figure out is why she believed in us immediately.
But she did.
She said the school couldn't help us fund it or advertise for it, but she would put us in touch with scheduling and we could even request the University's main auditorium (at the time) if the times worked out.
That was all we needed. We just needed that one person in charge to believe in us and we were set.
From there Jon, Jesse, Matt and I started writing sketches and Matt started introducing us to everyone he knew so that Jon and I could find our cast.
We never held one audition, we just started talking to people. Our two main criteria was (1) who was naturally funny and (2) who was popular (so they would be an instant draw for an audience).
To this day, I've never been that sociable.
The cast fell together pretty easy, the scripts were actually pretty good, we just needed to get people to the show.
Phyllis had told us in that first meeting that since CNU was still pretty much a commuter school, that students really didn't come out for events. She told us to expect 50 people at most. The auditorium held 300. 50 people in a 300 seat auditorium would have been murder for a comedy show. We knew we had to pack it out.
I still think the advertising scheme Jon and I came up with is the best I've ever seen.
About a month out from the show, we started hanging neon orange fliers and posters ALL OVER CAMPUS. Each one had a different joke or witty phrase (basically just bumper sticker humor) and then we had the date 10.28.99 on the bottom of the poster.
Each week, we would hang a different batch of jokes and add a little more information. I think the 2nd week, we had the time and the date, the third week we had the time, date, and place, and then the week of we just advertised it as the show, "CNU TONIGHT, Gaines Theater, 9:00 p.m., 10.28.99."
The night before the show, Jon and I went to EVERY DORM room in Santaro Hall (there was only one dorm at CNU at the time) and hung up a neon orange post-it note on every door in the building with the show information on it.
We had no idea if it was going to work, but we knew we had to try it.
We were all back stage and hear a lot of people, but we just didn't know how many. The first sketch started with me walking out and setting up the skit and when I walked out, I couldn't see because of the lights shining down on me.
For the rest of me life, I will get chills when I think about the sound I heard (I'm getting them now as I type).
Just a roar of applause and cheers and laughs - and I hadn't said a word.
As my eyes adjusted, I could see the place was packed. Not only was every seat filled, but people were sitting in the aisles and standing along the back and side walls.
It was SO LOUD, I literally couldn't speak and hear myself for three full minutes. I even stopped trying for a while and looked to Jon who was standing out of sight on the side and we just laughed at each other.
We knew we had done it.
The show ended and the dean of students stopped up as asked us to meet her in the office the next day. She wanted to book us for two more shows in the spring semester.
We all know where it goes from there.
Jon and I started the Campus Activity Board, I got to do the Letterman internship, and I even moved out the Los Angeles for a day to be a TV writer.
But it's not those things that are the direct result from doing CNU Tonight that I'm proud of.
It's the attitude that I now know that I can do anything I really work towards.
It gave me the push to do Letterman, drive to L.A., drive home, go back to school, try the magazine, move to Denver without a job, get married, etc., etc., etc.
I've now failed more times than I've succeeded, but here's the catch: I'm not afraid to fail. THAT'S what I got from doing that little show in Newport News, Virginia.
That's what makes it the coolest thing I've ever done. It changed who I am in a way nothing else has or could.
Special credit needs to go out to:
- Colin Castelow, who served as a mentor and advisor during our run with the show, AND originally had the idea when I was a senior in high school. When he brought up that day, I never could get it out of my head.
- Chris Rice who we handed the show over and kept it going for the rest of his time at CNU. If we didn't have him, the show would have died immediately (I don't know if the show is still going now - I know it was as recent as two years ago, but I can't find anything about it now on the CNU website).
- That original cast. I've lost touch with most of them, but Jesse, Matt, Jon and I are still solid friends. It really was a great blend of different personalities that brought so much to the table. I always appreciated their devotion and commitment. That's what got the plane off the ground for sure.
- Obviously Phyllis in Student Life made our lives so easy and gave us whatever we wanted (within reason of course) and Ryan in scheduling. Those were our girls!
- My dad. I still love the logo he designed (featured at the top of this post) and the t-shirts he helped me create. I saw one of those of t-shirts in downtown Norfolk about four years ago and it was a pretty cool feeling that something we had come up with together was still being worn. In fact, I'm wearing my show t-shirt right now.
- And of course Jon. I've had other really, really good friends in the time since, but I've never had a BEST friend since him in the CNU Tonight days. He's married with two kids in Maine (my gosh, when did we get old enough to have two kids) and I'm married out here in Colorardo. We don't talk nearly enough and life has certainly taken us in different directions. We've talked about it many times, but for some reason Jon never got enough of the credit in regards to the show or even the CAB transition. He knows I know this: NONE OF IT would have ever happened without him.
I called him this morning and wished him a happy anniversary. I don't know what he - or the rest of the original cast - have going on today or if they even remember what we did 10 years ago.
But I do know that I'll be seeing you tonight...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I'm going to give you a list of common phrases below and you have ANY thoughts or educated guesses on how they might have gotten started (and no cheating!), feel free to let me know. Answer on any or all of them.
Also, if you do/don't want me to use your name in a potential column, let me know that as well...
Thanks! Can't wait to hear your answers (feel free to comment below are send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org).
- STEAL SOMEONE'S THUNDER
- CAUGHT RED-HANDED
- HAVE A SCREW LOOSE
- I'VE GOT A FROG IN MY THROAT
- MEET A DEADLINE
- SECOND STRING
- PULL SOMEONE'S LEG
- RAINING CATS AND DOGS
Monday, October 26, 2009
(I know what you’re thinking: “What? Really? I waited all weekend for denim drama?” But just hear me out and I’ll make it worth your while or we’ll give you your money back. Guaranteed.)
I’ve been told that when most human beings need a new pair jeans they are just able to go out a store and buy them and then wear them.
For as long as I can remember, jean shopping somehow always turns into an elaborate, painful process for yours truly. What makes buying a new pair of jeans so difficult for me (or, the reason I make buying a new pair of jeans so difficult) is that I’m both very picky about the style and the fit as well as being very cost conscious.
You can have your cake, I want my jeans to be cheap and to and fit right too.
My reasoning was justified the process this past spring when I found the perfect pair at a local department store. They fit better than I could have ever imagined and only cost $30 (and you thought that introduction column was just a throw-away. All part of the plan, my friends. All part of the plan).
But a funny thing has happened ever since I got married and have had delicious home cooked meals prepared for me every night: my jeans have starting shrinking. I can’t figure it out, but it is getting harder and harder to get into my favorite jeans now.
Must have something to do with the altitude, right?
Last week I stopped by the same department store to pick up a pair of the same jeans, just in a slightly larger size, but was not ready for what I was about to encounter. For some inexplicable reason that will forever escape my comprehension, stores always think they have to get cute and “upgrade” everything. In this case, the particular brand of jeans that I had originally bought – and fallen in love with – has now been replaced by a Premium collection.
So it’s the same brand, but it supposedly better.
But here’s the catch: it’s not.
I reluctantly tried on the new style, thinking it couldn’t be too much different than the original.
I’m really hoping this is just a temporary fad, but in case you haven’t noticed, men’s jeans are really tight these days. I felt like I was trying on a pair of women’s jeans because there just wasn’t enough… uh… room. And these were supposedly a larger size than the ones I already own.
I raced home from the store and immediately drew up a battle plan. I knew there had to be a remaining pair of my jeans at one of this store’s many convenient area locations, so I literally mapped out every branch of the store within a 20 mile radius of my house and lied in wait for the weekend.
This past Saturday morning, my Wife and I woke up early and packed snacks, blankets, and bottles of water for the search because we had no idea how long we’d be gone. We were in it for the long haul.
We got to the first location on our map and began digging through their racks and racks and stacks and stacks of jeans. Do you have any idea how many different types of jeans there are now?
As far as styles go, there is bootcut, cargo, carpenter, loose, low rise, loose-low rise, relaxed, slim and straight.Just to name a few.
Once you’ve chosen your style, you have to select your color and wash. You can have an acid washed blue or a tinted dark blue. If that doesn’t suit you, what about a vintage medium or blue or whisker washed black?
At this point I just wanted to find a pair of regular, blue jeans, but now realize that I have no concept of what that would even begin to look like.
And sure we definitely found a few remaining pair of my jeans at most of the stores, but they were always the right width but wrong length or wrong width and right length. My Wife even almost talked me into a similar brand that almost fit the same. We got as far as the check-out line before I finally came to my senses.
I couldn’t settle for a consolation pair of jeans. I would resent them every time I put them on. Once you’ve tasted steak, it’s hard to go back to bologna.
Despondent and dejected, I limped home and crashed into bed; ready to give up on the night. Like Michael Corleone at the end of "Godfather: Part II", I stared off into space, slowly accepting my new cruel reality: for the rest of my life, I was doomed to either wear my jeans that no longer fit or settle for an inferior product.
In that moment, my Wife sat down next to me, opened up her laptop, went to the store’s website, found the right jeans in the right size and style and placed the order.
Well… sure, anyone can do it the easy way.
Later my style-conscious buddy Paulie was laughing at my trials and tribulation and asked why I can’t just go to an actual jean store and spend a little more for an actual brand of jeans. I asked him how he can live with himself spending more on a pair of jeans than most people spend on rent.
“One of us obviously has a problem,” he said. “I’m just not sure who.”
*Check out a new column every Monday morning here and at INDenverTimes.com
Friday, October 23, 2009
My Wife had some unexpected car troubles last night and the whole situation served as a not-so-gentle reminder to me about how dependent on automobiles we truly are. On that note, I went back to the archives and found the following column – the first I wrote after moving to Colorado – about the one friend that has been with me during my entire experience moving out west.
PS – Happy 60th birthday wishes to my mother today. Love you mom!
Editor’s Note: Josh has been frustrated that he hasn’t gotten to write much – OK, at all – since he’s been in Colorado but trying to find employment so that he can stay in Colorado has been his top priority. So while Josh continues to search the job listings, his car, “The Camel”, would like to take this opportunity to address Josh’s loyal readers.
Yo. It’s The Camel here.
Actually I’m Josh’s 2003 Mazda Protégé, but he and his friends thought “The Camel” was a cute little nickname on our recent cross-country drive out to Denver. I mean, I get it: I’m beige and it looked like I had a camel hump with the ridiculous car top carrier that Josh and his dad strapped on the top of me before we left Virginia.
But beyond that, I’ve got another bone to pick with everyone.
Everyone keeps asking how Josh is doing out here in Colorado but NO ONE has bothered to ask how I’m doing, how my life has changed. Yeah, yeah, poor Josh. He doesn’t have a job, doesn’t have any money, doesn’t know a soul but trust me, he’s fine. He loves it out here. He loves the big city, he loves being on his own and trying to make it on his own, and most importantly, he LOVES the mountains.
Me? Not so much.
You gotta understand, I’m used to tooling around the Hampton Roads area of Virginia where it’s flatter than Kate Hudson.
Just a few weeks ago, my life was simple. Josh would drive me five minutes to work every morning, five minutes back home every afternoon and a couple nights of the week we went to downtown Norfolk to visit his Girlfriend and hang out at his favorite sports bar, the Monarch.
Then out of nowhere one Saturday morning, he packed me to the gills with all of his stuff, picked up a couple of his buddies and then just started driving… and driving… and driving until we finally got to Denver (Josh thinks that it was the “wind” that blew off that stupid car top carrier while we were driving through Kansas but I had been trying to wiggle that thing loose ever since West Virginia).
I do have to admit that it is absolutely gorgeous out here. There’s certainly no scenery like this back home; the sky is so big and the mountains really are majestic. But now, Josh takes me in a new direction every day. North, South, East, West – we’ve done it all already and every day he tries to find a new place we haven’t been and see if he can find his way back.
Yeah, that’s fun.
The direction Josh likes to go the most, however, is straight UP. He tries to go up into the mountains every chance he can get. Believe me, I’m very secure in who I am and what I can do, but sorry champ, rock climbing is not my strong suit.
There are stretches of road that are so steep up in the Rockies that there’s been times when Josh has the gas pedal all the way down on the floor and the best I can do is strain to get it up to about 50-55 mph. But don’t worry, going downhill on the way back, he can push the brake pedal through the floor board and we are still going 60 mph.
A couple of weeks ago Josh drove a couple hours west into the mountains so it was dark outside when we were coming back home; only he didn’t anticipate a couple of things. When it snows (like it does in the Rockies during the winter – imagine that), the roads get dirty so it’s hard to see the lines on the pavement. Combine that with the fact there’s no lights on the side of the road and we were basically driving blind on the side of a mountain for over an hour. I seriously made peace with my Mazda maker as my life flashed before my headlights.
I have to give Josh credit though. He has done his best to take care of me and has really learned a lot more about car maintenance the past few weeks. With it snowing so often, it is impossible to keep me clean longer than a few days, but he’s run me through a car wash and regularly stops to wash off my windows. He got me some new windshield washer blades, an oil change and even front end brakes since we’ve been out here so he’s making an effort.
Whew. OK, I feel better. Thanks for letting me get that off my hood.
Well, I should probably go. Josh is walking towards me and he’s got that goofy look in his eyes like he’s excited about going somewhere new today.
And we’re off again...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This past weekend was amazing.
True to my word, I did not leave the couch all day Saturday and Sunday. We saw some great college games (USC-Notre Dame, Florida-Arkansas, and Texas-Oklahoma were all competitive), an extra inning ALCS game on Saturday night, some good pro games on Sunday, and the cherry on the top - the Phillies rout of the Dodgers on Sunday night.
Thank you, October!
Next week looks to be just as good (with the World Series and NBA season starting - I'm fully expecting my brain to just explode from all of the excitement) but this week looks like a bit of a lull.
Not a lot of ranked college teams playing each other, not a lot of top NFL teams playing each other, and both MLB series could be wrapped up by the weekend (here's hoping!).
So, here's my advice: use this weekend to make up for last weekend and next weekend (you know, give a little to get a little... or in this case, a lot). Get stuff done around the house, run those errands, and/or take your best girl out to dinner and a show.
DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO, because you don't want to miss out on a potential EPIC weekend next week that will include college and pro football, pro basketball, AND the World Series.
Merry Christmas to me.
Regardless of how you want to handle it, here's this week's Sports Schedule (all times EST):
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20
- Yankees @ Angels (7:57PM, FOX)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21
- Dodgers @ Phillies (8:07PM, TBS)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22
- Yankees @ Angels (7:57PM, FOX)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23
- Phillies @ Dodgers (8:07PM, TBS) * If necessary
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24
- Angels @ Yankees (4:13PM, FOX) * If necessary
- Phillies @ Dodgers (8:07PM, TBS) * If necessary
- #3 Texas @ Missouri (8:00PM, ABC)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25
- Vikings @ Steelers (1:00PM, FOX)
- Angels @ Yankees (8:20PM, FOX) * If necessary
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26
- Eagles @ Redskins (8:30PM, ESPN)
Monday, October 19, 2009
I know I’ve only been writing here at INDenverTimes for like a week and a half, but I’ve been pleased with the connection we’ve established already; so I’m legitimately nervous that this confession might torpedo the momentum that we’ve got going.
Regardless, here goes…
Good people of Denver, I am a Philadelphia sports fan.
OK, OK, before you contact the editor or grab your pitchforks and torches, let me quickly defend myself with a couple key facts.
FACT 1: My dad and his family are from Philadelphia. This is how I was raised, so I come by it naturally.
FACT 2: My Wife and I love living in Colorado. When we were thinking about leaving Virginia, Denver was the first and only option on our list. I’ve lived in a lot of different states and never thought I would find a place where I could see myself living and dying, but I think I finally have.
FACT 3: After a trip to Seattle this spring, I wrote an extensive love letter to Denver and immediately bought a Rockies hat after the trip as a peace offering to the city for my dalliances.
FACT 4: My favorite football player of all time is safety Brian Dawkins and even he followed me out to Denver this year (and I even swallowed my pride and bought my wife a Dawkins' Broncos jersey as a wedding present).
FACT 5: After he led me to my first fantasy football championship a couple of years ago, My Wife (Girlfriend at the time) bought a Brandon Marshall jersey. The first as such in my collection that was not from a Philadelphia sports team.
And if all of that is still not good enough, here’s what life for Denver sports fans has been like since my presence has been in the city this year: the Nuggets went to the Western Conference Finals, the Rockies turned their season around and made the playoffs, the Broncos are off to a very surprising 5-0 start (hopefully 6-0 after tonight) and the Avalanche are off to a blazing start after a disappointing season last year.
You’re welcome, Denver.
The Bull and I went to a bunch of Rockies games this summer, my Wife and I were at Invesco last week rooting on the Broncos in their overtime win against New England, and I even locked down a 10 game pack of Nuggets tickets for their upcoming season (I love pro basketball); so we really are trying to be good residents and get ourselves immersed in the local sports culture.
That said, my worst fears were realized last week as the Phillies faced the Rockies in the first round of baseball’s playoffs.
Really baseball gods?
It was a stressful week for me and it all started at the beginning of the series when a local mechanic called me out for wearing a Phillies t-shirt while I was getting my oil changed. That led into the first two games of the series, which of course had to be scheduled as day games, when I, of course, had to be at work with my co-workers, who are of course Rockies fans.
Tempering my excitement for the Phillies win in Game 1 was almost as much fun as living through their excitement when the Rockies won Game 2.
You have to understand that I come from a small town in Virginia that doesn’t have its own professional sports team, so you can always feel free to root for whoever you want. I know Denver has a lot of out-of-towners living here now, but the Tidewater area is made up of mostly military families, so NO ONE is actually from there.
If you walk into a local sports bar on a Sunday afternoon in Norfolk, you would see a NFL bouillabaisse of Redskins, Cowboys, Steelers, and Dolphins jerseys and apparel.
So, it’s taking me some time to get used to everyone out here supporting the sports teams from just one city.
To be perfectly honest though, I kind of like it.
As I mentioned last week, too much of my own self-worth comes from the success of the Philly teams that I follow – and that’s just how it works in Philly. They live and die on every pitch, every pass, every slapshot, and ever three pointer.
I love that intensity; but at least for me, it gets exhausting.
Denver fans seems passionate, knowledgeable, and completely into every game, but they also seem to have this strange ability to enjoy the games as well.
A concept foreign to me.
After the Phillies clinched on Monday, I was expecting a lot of cold shoulders at work on Tuesday, but people actually stopped by my desk to congratulate me.
A concept completely foreign to me.
Maybe that’s what I need in my life right now: a solid example of fanaticism yet fun in regards to the teams we follow and the games we watch.
Just another reason why I’m happy to living here.
A couple of days ago, my buddy Gray asked me if we stay here and have kids, would I let them choose to be Denver fans instead of rooting for Philly teams.
Of course I would let a child choose!
I would let them choose between being a Philly fan or having a roof over their head and food on their plate.
Let’s not get crazy.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Fortunately both stadiums are close by in downtown Denver and I was actually pretty proud of myself for how I mapped it all out and got us around pretty quickly.
It was a great day for us and the teams we were pulling for (Broncs upset the Pats in OT and the Phils edged the Rock Stars in a tight one) and being able to do a day like this was a big reason why I wanted to live here.
Here are some pics from the day (you can click on the picture to view a larger version):
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
My favorite month of the year.
There is so much going on in sports in the coming weeks, I thought I would try to help everyone out and provide a week-by-week sports calendar for each week the rest of the month.
I've only listed the biggest matchups - there are obviously plenty of other games going on, but these are the big ones and all listings include time (all times are Eastern. Ugh) and TV network.
(Saturday and Sunday are just ridiculous this week. I will NOT be leaving the couch).
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15
- Phillies @ Dodgers (8:07PM, TBS)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16
- Phillies @ Dodgers (4:07PM, TBS)
- Angels @ Yankees (7:57PM, FOX)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17
- Oklahoma vs. Texas (12:00PM, ABC)
- USC @ Notre Dame (3:30PM, NBC)
- South Carolina @ Alabama (7:45PM, ESPN)
- Angels @ Yankees (7:57PM, FOX)
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18
- NY Giants @ Saints (1:00PM, FOX)
- Ravens @ Vikings (1:00PM, CBS)
- Dodgers @ Phillies (8:07PM, TBS)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 19
- Yankees @ Angels (4:13PM, FOX)
- Dodgers @ Phillies (8:07PM, TBS)
- Broncos @ Chargers (8:30PM, ESPN)
Monday, October 12, 2009
I’ve never really cared for introductions, exposition, or pilot episodes.
I typically flip to chapter three of a new book, I will go get the popcorn during the first 10 minutes of any movie, and I will start watching a new sit-com on its second episode. Why? Because introducing new characters is often stilted and awkward. The writers and actors don’t even know who they are yet, so how can the audience possibly have a clue as to what is going on?
With that in mind, I really wanted to avoid introducing myself in this space, here at INDenverTimes.com.
My favorite stories are the ones that you just jump right into and learn what you need as you go. I was dead set to employ that device but then I got to thinking. Since I’ve been writing for the past couple years on my own website, I’ve developed kind of a shorthand that my current readers and I have grown comfortable with.
So instead of having to stop and explain something along the way, I thought I would just go ahead and use this first column on a quick introduction.
Let’s see, where to begin? I just moved to Denver from the Tidewater area of Virginia this past January (most people have at least heard of Norfolk or Virginia Beach. I lived in Chesapeake. Not by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, but the city of Chesapeake). I brought my Wife out here after we got married this past August and…
You know what? This is boring.
How about this? A lifetime ago, I did a semester internship at “The Late Show with David Letterman”; so in that spirit, here are the Top 10 things you need to know about Josh Mahler (or, the Top 10 Reasons, it took me 29 years to move out of my parents’ house):
10. I value personal relationships more than I will ever admit. Speaking of, here is a quick cast of characters that you should know as we move forward because I will reference them frequently: my Wife, my mom and dad, my cousin Jake, Paulie, Chris, Moochie, Gray, Jesse, Jonny S., The Bull, and Dan/Shareef (to read more about the Legend of Shareef, click here).
9. Too much of my own self worth comes from the success of my favorite pro sports teams (more on that next week).
8. It turns me off when something I like gets too popular.
7. I hate technology (but I guess you already knew that).
6. I refuse to spend more than $30 on jeans. $35 if I'm rolling in the dough.
5. For my money, Roy Hobbs is the greatest baseball player to ever live.
4. I wish I liked sushi. I love the idea of sushi.
3. I'm fine with the fact that I will never be a good golfer. I'd rather be bad at golfing than good at anything else.
2. I wish Tom Hanks would do another comedy.
Drum roll please!
And the number one thing that you need to know about Josh Mahler (or the number one reason it took me 29 years to move out of my parents’ house)
1. Self awareness is the one attribute I try to constantly remain aware of. Lack of self awareness is my biggest pet peeve. That, and when people say “cent” when it’s supposed to be “cents”. Sorry, I don't have “25 cent” for you to borrow. I do have a quarter, which is 25 CENTS, but I'm not going to give it to you.
That should do it for now. Hopefully you can use those notes as a foundation for understanding me a little bit better in the coming weeks (because trust me, you’re going to need it).
I’m looking forward to getting to know the new readers as well – always feel free to comment below. I guess with that, let’s get this thing started! I’ll be back with something new every Monday morning (and I might even occasionally sneak a few things in here and there throughout the week if I’m feeling frisky).
Hope you have a great week and it is nice to meet you.
*Check out a new column every Monday morning here and at INDenverTimes.com