Archive for the 'Siblings' Category

The Bri Blog

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011


My dad got some amazing tickets to a Bulls game for my brother Brian’s birthday.  I guess our company was part of his present, which works out well for me.

Brian’s always been pretty obsessed with sports.  My dad famously taught him math using Bears players.  A branch of mathematics my dad dubbed “Brithmatic.”  For example, Jay Hilgenberg + Jim McMah0n = The Fridge  (63 + 9 = 72).

Around his birthday, Brian decided to start The Bri Blog.  In his words:

Just for kicks I started a new blog: It’s mostly dedicated to comparing and contrasting the geothermal implications of potential trans-atlantic heat waves leading to…..just kidding. it’s about sports.

UPDATE: How embarrassing!  I had the math wrong. Not the football players, the actual math.  It’s fixed.

The Noble Puifin

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

I painted my brother a housewarming present.  He went through a puffin phase as a kid, which was rekindled in Ireland when we learned that puffin is spelled puifin in Irish.  He also went through a Notre Dame phase, but I don’t think I could paint Touchdown Jesus.


The Best Hands

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

My brothers used to play a game they called “Hands.”  It involved throwing a foam ball — the “Hands” ball — at each other as hard as possible and seeing who could catch it.  Whoever dropped it the least would declare that they have “The best hands in the family.”

I didn’t play the game much.  I often dropped the ball.

This weekend my family was at a swimming pool and we ended up playing yet another stupid game.  One person would jump in the pool while four others threw an assortment of balls at them.  The goal was to catch one mid-jump.  Mostly, I was just trying to protect the face.

On my turn, a basketball bounced off my pinkie leaving it freakishly dislocated.  While my parents’ friend popped it back into place I joked about how I should have caught the ball, mentioning that I certainly don’t have the best hands in the family.

Driving home that night, I got a call from my dad to see how my pinkie was healing and while we were talking I once again mentioned my lackluster coordination.

Dad: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Evan: I’m not.  I’m just saying I don’t have the best hands in the family.
Dad: Well… you don’t.  I do.

Matching Scars

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009


About two years ago I wrote about my brother Brian taking a softball in the face after it took a bad hop. Well, like brother, like brother. I’m now the proud owner of three stitches aftera similar incident.  On this trip to the emergency room, however, Brian wasn’t the patient, he was the doctor. Well, actually he was working in pediatrics and didn’t do the stitches himself as I hoped he would, but he came down and ushered me through the ER.  Handy!

By the way, along with my stitches, I’m also the proud owner of a really stupid looking moustache/mutton chops amalgam.


“Damn, I’m Gonna Get a Hot Dog When I Get There”

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

I drove my brother Brian up to Evanston last night to get his bike out of my parents’ garage.  Afterwords we started heading back to the city when Brian asked if I was hungry.  “Mustard’s?”  I suggested.

Mustard’s Last Stand is an Evanston institution that was two blocks from where we grew up and adjacent to Northwestern’s football stadium.  Our family ate there a lot — so much that Brian developed a friendship with the grillman, Keith.  Keith seems to know everyone in Evanston and the two of them could talk sports indefinitely.

Neither of us had been to Mustard’s for probably 10 years, but Keith recognized Brian immediately, recalling his baseball days in high school, his back injury, and of course his infatuation with Notre Dame.

As we were leaving, Keith asked Brian to bring in a photo.

Keith: We’ll put it up on the wall.
Me: (Pointing to a photo of Michael Jordan mid-layup) Maybe you can replace this guy.
Keith: You know, we have the only photo in the world of Michael Jordan not dunking.

To truly appreciate Keith’s wit and sense of humor, read this article he had in the Sun Times last year.

If Only It Were In The Olympics

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I’ve been too lazy to write something new so I went through the “unpublished” archives and found this. For some reason I never posted it.

My brother Aric mentioned a game we used to play when we were little in his comment on a previous post. It was called “Football With Your Socks Tied Together,” often abbreviated as “Football With Socks.” I have two brothers, so it was always 2 on 1. (Hey parents… thanks a lot! Couldn’t you have given us even teams?) We’d loosen our socks to the point where we could tie them together while still keeping them on our feet. Then we’d play football in the bedroom Aric and I shared. I, as the least athletic, often had to block for my younger brother as he drove down our 5 yard carpeted field. (We only had one play: run up the middle.)

It was a good game, but it wasn’t a great game. Fall Down The Stairs was a great game. This is a game in which I truly excelled. Tempest was the only video game I could dominate my brother at (most likely because he thought it sucked) and Fall Down The Stairs was the only sport (yes, sport) about which I could honestly say I was the best in our family.

In case you want to play, here’s how it works:

  1. Gather all the blankets and pillows you can find in the house and place them at the bottom of a good, straight staircase.
  2. Each of the three players places a sleeping bag over his (or her!) head and sits at the top of the stairs.
  3. Everyone falls down the stairs.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Whoever gets hurt first loses.

Actually, everyone loses. Especially our mom. She hated that game.

I’d Guess No

Friday, November 23rd, 2007

Last weekend I was watching the Bears game with my brothers as I often do.  After so many disappointing games this season there’s not much left to talk about.  I mean, how many times can someone criticize Cedric Benson?   As Rex Grossman fumbled his way to another Bears loss, my brother Brian tried to spark some conversation:

Brian: Do you think the coaches take showers after the games?

No, Really, How’s it Going?

Friday, September 14th, 2007

I never know what to do when I’m asked, “How’s it going?” Like many, I usually offer a cursory, “fine” in response, regardless of how “it” is actually going. Sometimes the inaccuracy of that response is a little too obvious. I recently ran into my neighbors in the stairwell of our building.

Neighbor: How’s it going?
Me: Fine
Neighbor (Noticing that I’m holding a parking ticket): You got a ticket? That sucks.
Me: Yeah
Neighbor (Noticing that I’m also holding jumper cables): And jumper cables?
Me: Well, maybe “fine” wasn’t the best response.

My neighbors were nice enough to give my brother’s car a jump — the car I borrowed just long enough to break and get two parking tickets.

Google Just Don’t Understand

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

My softball team, Ben Felt and His Traveling All-Stars, is in the second round of the playoffs. (This isn’t the Jellyvision team, but rather a team I’m on with my brothers and some other folks.) Next week we’re going to be playing the team that ended our season last year. The final play was a weak grounder that hit a rock, and subsequently, my brother’s face. The winning run scored, they went on to the next round of the playoffs, and we went to the emergency room.

Bri, after taking a ball to the face.

None of us want that to happen again — especially Brian — so we’re going to hit up the batting cages this weekend. There are several batting cages in and around Chicago, but my favorites are at Novelty Golf on Devon Avenue in Lincolnwood. Not only do they have batting cages, but they have mini-golf and a wonderful arcade. There’s an ice cream stand next-door called The Bunny Hutch. It’s technically a separate business, but people often refer to the whole Novelty Golf complex as “The Bunny Hutch.” It is, after all, a superior name. Plus there’s this freaky dude:

So naturally when I went to look up the address in Google, I typed in “bunny hutch devon.” This surprisingly accurate result was one of the top hits:

“Housing headache for giant bunny.”

Pretty Pictures

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I’ve seen two great photography projects on the Internet and they were both done by the same person:

3 Years 3 Minutes


I find “3 Years 3 Minutes” especially brilliant. Something about it gets to me, like that commercial with the elephant or the end of A League of Their Own when the ladies are all old.

It’s hard to take a step back and look at three years of your life when you’re busy living it. Even though the movie shows someone else’s life, I can’t help but see how much my life has changed in the last three years: love lost, friends found, houses bought, fires set. What can I say? It gets to me… like when siblings give speeches at weddings or when Farmer Hoggett says, “That’ll do, Pig.”

I’m The Best… Around.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

Speaking of unexpected victories and 30th birthdays, I was at Joanie’s 30th birthday the other day. Her husband Jon has a ping pong table in the garage and he gets really excited when folks come over to play.

I have an unfortunate ping pong history. More often than I would prefer, I accidentally hit the ball off of my knuckle. Also, I have an uncanny ability to swing at a ball and, defying all laws of physics, propel it backwards. I’m also known for a powerful backhand that lands in play approximately 3% of the time. When it does, though, it has never been successfully returned.

My main complaint with ping pong, however, is that I’ve never beaten my brother Aric. Never. Ever. There are times I’ve gotten close, but I’m pretty sure he was toying with me.

I’ve never beaten him, that is, until this weekend. On the 26th day of May in the year 2007, Evan beat Aric 21-19 in Jon and Joanie’s garage.

Here’s some bootleg video of the match someone captured: