The Fighting Illini Basketball Season is here and the Illini are off to a HOT start! This week, I sat down with Illini Basketball expert and former Orange Krush President, McKennon Biers. We had a great conversation discussing last year's exciting run, key members of this year's roster, success factors and expectations for this season as well as a deep dive into the schedule with some predictions for this year and beyond. For our cocktails, McKennon had a classy, always reliable Bud Light in a commemorative KAMS mug while I enjoyed a Christmas Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Company. For all of the Illini and college basketball fans out there, this is a must-listen episode as this is one of the most anticipated seasons to date and this preview will get you up to speed before the key matchups, including the Top 10 Matchups on 12/2 against Baylor and 12/8 against Duke. Spoiler alert - the Illini are winning the Big Ten and National Championship this year!
In this week's episode, I sat down with my good high school friend, Christy Rolf, for an exciting episode into her career in the world of Interior Design. We touched on multiple aspects of interior design: what the role is, misconceptions on the industry, the need to have an understanding of other disciplines such as construction and architecture and what careers are out there for those interested in the sector. Lastly, Christy gave a very compelling pitch to why it is beneficial to think about hiring an interior designer for your next home or business and she also provided a couple of simple, yet effective tips for any upcoming DIY projects you might have. It's always fun catching up with high school friends and this was even better as I got to learn about a career that quite frankly, I was never exposed to growing up or in my years of education. Most importantly for our cocktails, Christy was enjoying her quarantine-special (Bees Knees) and I was having a glass of cabernet sauvignon from Chateau Ste Michelle. If there is only 1 takeaway from this must-listen conversation, it's the phrase Christy taught me - "More pillows on your bed = everything's good". If you want to check out some of Christy's and her colleagues' work, here is the website: http://johnsonstudio.com/
For the 2.5 billion fans in the world (and for the many billions who are not), this week's episode takes us inside the world of the second most popular sport in the world - Cricket! I was joined by expert Krish Desai and former player turned podcast host, Paarth Joshi, as we discussed the history and basics of the game, the exciting and unpredictability of year's season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and why the sport has not gained in popularity within the United States. Lastly, we rounded out the conversation talking about Paarth's podcast, The Follow On. In each episode, Paarth and his co-hosts bring you the latest news from the pitch and in-depth analyses from all cricket competitions as well as some great opinions, insights and friendly banter. I highly recommend folks to visit the podcast's website (link below) and give the latest episode a listen as I'm sure you will start following the sport of Cricket instantaneously. Here is the link to the website: https://www.followoncricket.com/podcasts and you can listen to each episode on every major podcast listening platform (Apple Pods, Google Pods, Spotify, etc.). Last but not least and on the minds of every listener, all three of us were enjoying some classic, good ol' American beer throughout the episode - check out the Instagram page for Krish and Paarth's attempt to Meet You At the Bottom.
With Election Day just around the corner, I sat down with returning guest Parag Dharmavarapu to address the Presidential race and provide some of our thoughts on this year's election cycle. Don't worry, we're not joining the rest of the talking heads and so-called "pundits" out there in discussing the specific campaigns (and the pros & cons of each candidate), but instead we focused on the key regions (and specifically the key counties) that will decide the election come Tuesday night. Although this was a dense, detailed and maybe boring episode, it was a very educational, interesting and thoughtful discussion on the key demographics of each region, what occurred in the 2016 election and what needs to occur for each candidate this time around so the region tilts in their favor. Lastly and most importantly, for our libations this week, I was enjoying a crisp, refreshing Blue Moon while Parag was getting in touch with his Italian roots by sipping on a Limoncello.
In today's episode, I sat down with my good friend Shanu Mathew for a must-listen conversation. We discussed how he manages his weekly publication, The Balance Newsletter (link below), his foray into creative writing (with a focus on the need to read, write and share more) and lastly, his passion for music, Kobe Bryant and educating folks about climate change. Last but not least, Shanu was enjoying Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's tequila (Teremana) while I was sipping on some Scorpion Mezcal from Mexico. I HIGHLY recommend all listeners to subscribe to his newsletter at https://www.thebalancenewsletter.com/ and follow him at @ShanuMathew93 on Twitter. Shanu is your guy for thought-provoking and educational pieces on the latest political, social, environmental, sports and entertainment news. Hit that subscribe button!
Illinois Football is Back! This week, I sat down with Illini Football experts Lee Brown and John Kratz as we dissected each position unit, discussed key strengths and questions for each position and provided our overall expectations for the Illini ahead of this season. In the second half, we were joined by special guest Joe Allegretti as we went through each game on the schedule, provided our thoughts on the players to watch for the opposition, keys for an Illini victory and most importantly, a final score prediction. For all the Illini fans out there, this is a must-listen episode as this is your Illini Football primer to get up to speed before Friday night's matchup. Spoiler alert - one of us has the Illini in the Big Ten Championship.
On a separate and equally exciting note - John Kratz recently founded a company called Museema. Museema is where artists turn their work into unique apparel. Here is the website and I urge all of you to follow / subscribe / sign up http://www.museema.com/.
We're changing it up this week! Instead of an in-depth discussion on a topic, we're unpacking the life of one of my good friends and birthday boy - Graham Gawthorne (birthday is 10/15). We explore his childhood in Oakland, time at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and his return to the Bay Area. We did the interview at his lovely Pacific Heights apartment and him, his girlfriend and their new puppy Sammy welcomed me with open arms and more importantly, a 6-pack of Pacifico. Enjoy!
Blockchain. Bitcoin. Ethereum. Cryptocurrency. Web 3.0... Join me as I delve into the future with my buddies Nick and Conner. Nick and Conner are experts in this technology and they joined me this week as we discussed the concept of blockchain technology, the practical applications and some of their own personal experiences on the subject. It was a very enlightening and thought-provoking conversation and if anyone has any remote interest in learning more about blockchain, Nick and Conner should be your very first call. Look for both to be back on the pod for multiple episodes on this subject as we only scratched the surface this week. For those curious, Conner was easily taking down a bottle of Rose while Nick was enjoying a crisp, fresh non-alcoholic beer.
This week, I was joined by my good friend and under-the-radar consumer behavior expert Kelly McCarthy as we discussed the pandemic’s implications on consumer purchasing and eating habits. Kelly kept it classy with some red wine and I was trying to relive the summer days with a fresh Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. Hope you enjoy the episode!
I was joined this week by my good friends Parth and Parag as we discussed our reactions to the 1st Presidential "Debate" from Tuesday night. We reviewed our key takeaways, the media coverage of the event and the subsequent implications on the race moving forward. Cocktails enjoyed were Whiteclaws, Nippon Coolers and Bud Lights for Parth, Parag and myself, respectively. Hope you enjoy the episode!
This is a podcast where we dive deep into top of mind topics with a variety of guests while we enjoying our favorite cocktails. If you enjoy entertaining and educational conversations and you enjoy the occasional drink or two, this show is for you. Join us every other week as we discuss the current issues on our minds in this crazy new world of ours.