XO: Glowing @Infected Mushrooms


Best FilingThePapers entry title to date!

Remember that time when Darco and myself found out that we were chilling at the Holiday Inn and enjoying free admission to the American Royal? It was such a good lesson about retweeting contests that I couldn’t stop. A new contest came up, I would hit retweet, because in that case there were only two retweets for the contest. Sometimes marketing ideas don’t stick the first few times.

That doesn’t mean the consumer doesn’t get the enjoy the lack of interaction.

Two nights ago, around 11:00 PM, I was notified on Twitter that I had won two tickets to the Infected Mushrooms concert.

Last night, after the awkward explanation of who Infected Mushrooms is at Bible study, Darco and I took off for downtown. It was a small, outdoor theater (perfect weather). Wood chips, alcohol, and “smoke” everywhere. I actually felt like I was one of the older people at the concert. The group came on, and even out in the open, the bass was so low I thought I was being moved backwards. It was my first “EDM” (Electronic Dance Music) concert that I had ever been to. Glow sticks galore…

We wound up finding a container of unbroken glow sticks next to our feet, and as you can see by the photos below, it got a little out of hand.

Coolest concert I have ever been to though; just phenomenal. Atmosphere was electric the entire night, and I woke up this morning tired like you wouldn’t believe, but knowing it was worth it all.

Especially when I was able to share the experience with my best friend.

-D-

XO: 21


It starts with the number “21″, this represents that amount of people that have ‘endorsed’ me on LinkedIn under the topic of social media.

This message is for them.

I feel like I’ve been a bit in the mist in recent days; not just due to deer hunting and #CornFed13, but because of some personal events that have completely altered the direction of the life of this family.

Last Tuesday, during our tryouts for the Kansas City Shock, I was approached by the parent of one of our players. Instead of talking about soccer, instead he introduced a proposal. A new job opportunity, something that I would excel at, but I wasn’t quite sure.

The world of social media.

It’s no secret that the Kansas City Shock was built off the framing of social media, constant interaction, and slowly but surely understanding the “SEO”, and topics along those lines. Well, I was being offered a job that would take that knowledge and utilize it in a startup company within the Kansas City parameters. Fun stuff, right? In other words, I’d be the SEO Consultant for a company called Dak Investments.

Thursday of last week I had my first interview with the owner of the group, saw the new building, and tried to understand exactly what they were looking for that would require a skill set that I may hold.

Today I had a second meeting, including the request of financial payment, expectations, and the Kansas City Shock.

Tonight, I signed the papers.

Of course, I am now back out of the education realm of life, and straight back into the business world. However, there are a few exciting things that are taking place with this transition:

  • NEW COMPUTER! It’s the company’s, but it’s Windows 8, a touch-face screen, and as we’re currently learning…some amazing speakers.
  • Payment: This just blew Subway out of the water. We haven’t cried together yet, but Darco and I have been in shell shock tonight trying to adjust to reality that we made it; the hard work, the prayers, the struggles, they’re finally starting to pay off monetarily.
  • Flexibility: The owner of Dak wants me to continue to develop the Kansas City Shock, that program is the leading reason that the social media skills of myself were event brought to the front of the conversation to begin with. This means that there’ll be a trip to Philadelphia in January for business, and some other events coming. I’m very blessed to have a supervisor that sees the vision of the organization, and wants me to continue to work on the business in order to build something for the community.

It’s hard to necessarily recognize the excitement in my words [I'm also half asleep currently], but the idea of being paid to utilize social media, travel, and website recognition? That’s a dream come true.

God continues to bless me in ways that I’ll never understand. I would not have ever imagined that I would actually be a beneficiary of the creation of the Kansas City Shock. It’s merely another reminder that I’m on the right path and God is going to continue to take care of us.

On a similar side-note: we’ve got a video coming up soon; Darco and I. In it we have some very exciting news to share with you [it does not include children, let's just get that out of the way].

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Shocking Results


Currently: I’m sitting in a car waiting for Darco to get out of work. My mind is preparing what a “portfolio” looks like for my business life.

Why?

I have an interview tomorrow afternoon. It’s specifically about social media, SEO, and all those fun analytical toys. Naturally, I’d need to use the Kansas City Shock as my example. So, I started finding clippings of the Shock throughout the news world (as of which it turns out there is a lot), and then I did something ‘daring’ in my book.

I put my pride on the line and typed ‘Kansas City Shock’ into Google (quotes omitted), after I signed out of my Google account.

Page one, the Kansas City Shock, in literal context is page one of Google search.

So, hoping to destroy my pride I typed ‘Kansas City women’s soccer’ and searched.

Now follow me here:
The Kansas City Shock first appeared on page two. Page one was dominated by FC Kansas City and the National Women’s Soccer League. Neither of these things surprised me.

Here’s where things get interesting. The National Women’s Soccer League is maintained by the US Soccer Federation; talk about the big guns with unlimited resources with plenty of insight knowledge in their analytics department. Not to mention the media inherently flock to the organization. The same holds true locally with FC Kansas City. It’s no secret the Kansas City Shock is the step-child of women’s soccer in Kansas City. If no one else, the local media (bloggers), have done a great job highlighting that. Understand that the Kansas City Shock has roughly 1200 ‘Likes’, 1200 ‘Followers’, and 450 ‘+1′s’. Unfortunately this is minimum compared to 70K, 80K, and beyond of Facebook.

So why am I excited?

Because our social media strategy is working. We are the little kid on the block, but yet our information can be found halfway through page two on Google with such a broad search.

Are you connecting the dots?

Social media is the great equalizer when creating a ‘reach’ to the public.

One news organization, $10, a website, and a cell phone and yet this program is running with the ‘big kids’.

What is my presentation going to look like tomorrow?

Gentlemen, I’d like to ask you to try something. Open your cell phone browser and type “Kansas City Shock”, I’d like to tell you a story…

-D-

Mobile Minutes: #KC Logo Explained


image

Let’s get down to business.
Last week Mayor Sly James released a new logo for the great Kansas City of the state of Missouri.

It was met with…several opinions.

Today I’m here to spread the truth.
The mayor is a transportation genius and it shows in the new logo.

Take a compass placing north to the right:

The primary line for the “K”: I-70
The top line of the “K”: I-29
The bottom line of the “K”: I-35
The “C”: I-435 (note that it is broken to the “north” to demonstrate that the “loop” is indeed broken, and offset at I-29)

Where do the lines meet? Downtown Kansas City. I-49 isn’t shown in order to highlight the downtown, and I-35 southbound are not placed on the icon in order to demonstrate a centralized Kansas City, Missouri, not the Kansas side.

Well played Mayor James, you sly man. Well played.

If you take this seriously, I’m concerned for you.

-D-

XO: Greed


Brutal world.

It honestly feels like I’ve taken a semi-hiatus from soccer for the past couple days [almost a few weeks]. You can’t move with a program all year long; it’s impossible. You have to take a break, if for no other reason, you’re sanity.

There have been several transitions as of late within the Kansas City Shock world. People have voluntarily left, inventory has been counted, players have gone home to Australia, and the 2014 budget has already been hammered out. Meetings have already started, and dreams have already been realized for what 2014 holds, and trust me…it holds a lot.

Sadly, moments like Le Peep and ideas of how cut throat this industry can be is a daily, daunting actuality. The end of last week proved nothing different to me. I had a meeting with several individuals within the city; talking about expansion, our plans, and where the future will lead the Kansas City Shock. Some of my favorite lines from this meeting included: Continue reading

O: Bells


I always enjoy going back into the archives to see what I was thinking a year ago; entertainingly it is actually the same exact thing as tonight:

Restless.

I’m not 100% sure, but sleep isn’t coming to me very easily tonight. I’ve off on my monthly trip to the middle of…nothing, and I should be asleep, getting prepared for a fascinating day tomorrow. However, the physical tiring just isn’t there yet.

From the very beginning of this site; I made it clear that I would always be 100% honest and transparent with the audience [you, the reader] in times of positive and negative. For example; though I brushed off what went on last week; truth is…I haven’t slept well since last Sunday. No clue why, but even though I wasn’t directly involved or near the events that transpired, just knowing where I was supposed to be, how the scenario could have played out, and by the emotional state of those who are close to me…it actually shook me up. Maybe I’m just getting older, but realistically I was scared until I was back into my apartment back home. That’s the honesty that I’m aiming for; including last weekend’s note about being divorced and living with that realization and the consequences that come with it.

So, along with that ongoing theme, honesty, I’m going to sidetrack from the despair and sorrow, ignore the soccer, and approach a very…very…delicate topic:

Marriage

Realistically that was a term that two years ago I would have never considered speaking again; at least in direct relation to myself. Many pages in this exact website outlined the reasons why I wouldn’t consider it, the pity party, the sorrow, the late nights, and the horrors that really was my past life.

However, part of the unique structure of this website wasn’t just to explore the background of my life, but to also show the present, and think about the future. From our past we’re able to lay a foundation, from the present we explore new identities that will later describe our future. Sometimes I think that I got so wrapped up in the past that I forgot what my own future could hold; outside of just the soccer field and the sandwich store.

Would I ever obtain a new job? Would I advance within the company? Those are questions I’ve never really explored before; my current job is such a blessing I couldn’t think past it, especially with spinning off the Kansas City Shock, but what does lie down the road? I don’t envision cutting checks for myself with the Shock anytime soon. Will I keep my pattern, or change things up? I just find it interesting that up until this past week I hadn’t even considered what else could be out there.

What about the team? Oh my gosh, I have no idea. That Kansas City Shock is a dream…a literal dream. It doesn’t even comprehend with me the absolute amazement of watching that program grow and blossom. There’s so much to do still, but man…what a story so far. Even last week in Boston, talking to the general manager for a National Women’s Soccer League team out there, the commissioner for the league, etc…it’s just insane, and the back story. I mean, come on, a group of individuals with a similar dream striving to succeed with it. People from every walk of life, losing sleep, time, and patience to follow a collective dream. You don’t get too many of those stories anymore. I cannot for the life of me imagine my life without such an incredible plot line; a complete blessing.

Job. Soccer. Life. Church. Change. Seasons. Family? I told my girlfriend, even before we started dating, that I date with the intent to marry; that’s it, no exceptions. She took hold of that notion with a death grip and will not let go. There isn’t enough time or space to type out all of the incredible examples, but there is one word that perfectly describes the overall sensation:

Faithful.

She is faithful, loyal, and forgiving. She tolerates so much from me that it is humbling. There’s constant chatter of marriage, colors, weddings, rings, honeymoons, and everything else under the sun. Make no mistake; those conversations take place on nearly a daily basis. At first, I wasn’t fond of it. Call it aching scars, but I just wasn’t thrilled with the concept. Now though? I can’t imagine anything different. Don’t worry reader; you will get your happy ending to this story…eventually [can't give away all the spoilers, can I]. It’s so refreshing; part of the thing that I love about this relationship is that we see each other nearly every day, and when we don’t [like right now due to business, and last week due to Boston] it hurts. Call me a sap, but it hurts being away from her. We drive each other insane…I mean insane [along with our friends], but man…life without her? Impossible. Even today, now that our TV is up and functioning [give it up for HDMI cables] I invited Jim and MC to our apartment for the Sporting game and dinner. While it is an openly known reality that my girlfriend and I do not live with each other, we’re always in the same apartment [which I just renewed for another nine months...hehe], going over the same paperwork, looking over each others finances, and testing new cooking methods. I trust her 100% with my life, and that is something that I cannot honestly tell you I did with my ex-wife; nothing against her, I was just that prideful. It’s nice being open and honest with my girlfriend; sometimes it’s painfully honest, but the rewarding feeling afterwards is so refreshing. To know that I’m one jacked up soul and yet this precious creature still loves me unconditionally…man…I was missing out! I can’t express to you with enough words the absolute joy of knowing that there is a soul out there…that without them by your side…you’d struggle to exist.

I think I’ll just leave this post like that. There is life outside of soccer, there life outside of work, outside of travel, and most definitely outside of your past.

Sometimes your life is simply written on the side a hot mocha.

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Boston Part IV


Made it.

By the way…did anyone else know that the Boston Marathon was taking place this weekend? I was surrounded by passengers of the running type all the way from St. Louis to Boston. I confess that I did sleep most of the way to Boston; minus the beginning of a new book I’m reading “Heaven: Part III of the Halo Series” (don’t judge). However, after the plane descended past the cloud bank into Boston…I…was…speechless.

1.2 million people is an understatement. Oceans, bays, towers, shorelines, swamps, trees, roads [none of which are in straight lines in Massachusetts it turns out...] there’s everything out here. After getting lost trying to find the rental bus shuttle I was once again [conned] into an upgrade with Avis [they're so good...for only $3 a day more...] and went speeding off into Boston with a Ford Fusion.

I first experienced the toll system…$3.50 at a time. I was fearful that the roads were going to be tolls…NOPE…just the tunnel.

Yes, the tunnel. The ‘big dig’ project from a few years back. I spent the first five to six miles of my drive under water in the tunnel system. It was amazing. I’d never been in a tunnel that long and when I finally came out…oh mama…they knew what they were doing with their designs; you wind up on a massive suspension bridge that would make the new one in KC blush, and it glows blue and you see a massive, breath taking shot of downtown Boston; skyscrapers and all. Then the highway (I-93) is raised above the city, so heading north to my hotel I was able to see everything at night; it was insane.

No getting lost getting to the hotel this time, no snow either. I eventually found a Chinese restaurant with Kenny, a very nice waiter. My hotel is crammed full of runners for the marathon, and my hotel room is massive. I’ve been greeted by the people I’m with tomorrow, and I’m very, very, very blessed to have this opportunity. I’m heading to the field around 2:00 PM EST; game is at 6:30 PM EST. I’m just pumped…that’s the best way to put it. Strangers all around me, a completely different city, and a passion that I love. It is the escape that I’ve been dreaming of…and now I’m living it.

See you tomorrow world!

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Boston Part III


Found St. Louis. Found out there isn’t any free WiFi at St. Louis.

Alas, I shall survive.

The flight was 36 minutes…beat MC on her way home from the airport it turns out (she also stopped for flowers).

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Did find a bagel joint for lunch. I do remember how much I’m not a fan of the airport in St. Louis.

Last time I was here it was my honeymoon, but that isn’t my reason for dislike.

I hear the bickering between KC and St. Louis constantly. Let me settle this; KCI vs St. Louis-Lambert…exactly; even with the old airport KCI wins.

Oh well, another hour delay and I’m on my way to Boston.

I will add this:

While taking off I just leaned back in my head and simply said:

I’m free.

See you in Boston!

-D-

O: Deep Breath


Will someone please tell me how it is already April?

A letter greeted me at my apartment today; a reminder that my lease renewal is up at the end of this month. Fascinating considering that it feels like just yesterday I stepping into this place for the first time. Yes, I will be renewing it for another nine months. While I do find the constant commute to KC a bit annoying at times; being removed the ‘bulls-eye’ of business can at times be very refreshing.

It’s already Sunday, and I’m still awake. I took today and was productive; cleaning up for the past several weeks that I’ve been running all over the place. Kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, and living room were all addressed. I’m still needing to work on the office and bedroom. Got a brief run in, and then took some time at a U-8 Peeps Soccer game. I cooked my own lunch, and had some leftovers.

I lived life.

I looked at my budget and cringed, noted bills, and hung up my recent diploma from Subway. Lit a new candle, and drank some coffee. Had burgers with my girlfriend for dinner, and complained about weight, health, and fitness following.

I guess this is what is called ‘real life’.

Regardless of how you term the notion of what ‘real life’ is, it comes and grabs you whether you’re ready or not. It’s insane to think that just over a month from now the Kansas City Shock will be in full swing. Tickets are being sold, and some very…weighted…topics are on my desk.

I see MC and Jim every-so-often, but living apart [even thirteen miles] has proved to drastically limit our interaction time [and home cooking]. MoVal is churning along after a great Easter weekend last week, and Dur is getting ready for coaching courses in California later this month. Jo is back on Facebook, and my girlfriend talks to her rather frequently.

Snow has melted, proposals have been made, and marriages are on the eve. My monthly magazine from my alma mater greets me with the same news of budget moves, new hiring’s, and expectations for the future. I run when I get the chance, and as of late I’ve really fallen short of my own expectations. I’ve argued with my girlfriend, and as of this evening…came out the humbled loser. I still make mistakes and I dream of getting this website turned into book[s] when the time allows itself.

I try to listen to dub step music just to give life a different age; almost as my way of reaching out to my youth and breaking free of the grips of this new reality. However, even there the melodies and drops start to blend into the next and the next.

I’m not sure what I dream of anymore. A few nights ago I woke up from a dream, and it was disappointing. Very realistically I had become the President of the United States of America, and was able to give the opening address to open up the Summer Olympics [the US had obviously finally found a way to get the Games]. It was a new world, set in a distant times. Magnetic bullet trains, and vast vegetation surrounded my experiences. Phone calls, family, and all around joy brought about by the Games and personally because somehow…I was the President. Compared to the several, consecutive nightmares that have befallen me in the past, this was a nice change of pace. However, as goes with any good dream; sometimes waking up is the worst part. Outside of that though; I dream about the day’s events; meetings, soccer, business, Subway, traveling, cities, etc…

Life is calm. I’m not suggesting that this is a negative aspect, but it is a change of pace from the rapid past three years. I suppose I’m transitioning in a pattern, a cycle, maybe maturing? I wouldn’t safely suggest that idea at this point.

I do not necessarily see all of these adjustments in past weeks as a negative change, but due to the transition of life [and lack of writing] it’s something that has definitely caught my eye as needing to be penciled into the daily accounts of this individual life.

Surrounding suburbs entertain me, and specific greasy spoons in downtown entice me; marriages aren’t forbidden, and the hostility of what once was is nearly non-existent. I still don’t want a two-story house, but that’s because I hate stairs. The white picket fence could be alright; I guess.

Am I losing motivation? Ambition? Passion? I would hope not, but the fear does seep in from time-to-time. I hope I’m not losing my edge, or becoming too old to wear my hat backwards.

With thunderstorms in the forecast tomorrow, in my world the seasons officially change. Boston comes up next weekend; as I head out of town for a few days.

Perhaps I’m just meandering around, but…I hope that in my personal world; a bit of fresh air and some deep breaths can kick me back into high gear.

-D-