Off With The Lights!

The blog was looking a little plain, so I put this header together. It's kind of big, but I like myself, a lot. So, It works. A lot.

I was reading my nephews blog about how his dad, my brother, had offered him money to bring his blood-glucose levels down. (My nephew has Diabetes.) It got me thinking about an early experience I had with temporal incentives...*

From my earliest days, I was impressed with the knowledge that money doesn't grow on trees. Finances in our home were a little tight (not surprising with eight kids in the family), but we always had food on the table and a roof over our heads. Despite our relatively thin resources, we enjoyed all of the modern middle-class amenities including a NES system complete with Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt. Brand New. When it was still the new thing. That was one christmas present that completely blew me away. I mean, those things are something like $100.

In my early childhood, $100 was a ridiculous amount of money. Lavish. It was precisely $100 that was the subject of a memorable lecture given by my father, Mr. Leon, to us children. He explained to us numerous instances during the past few months where he had entered a room where the lights and t.v. were on and no one was to be found. He then reminded us that he had asked us repeatedly to turn off the lights and t.v. when we leave a room. "Turn OFF the lights! Turn OFF the television!" T.V. is not a right, it is a privilege. Pretty standard stuff. I think half of us were sleeping.

Then, he brought down the house. He started by telling us how much he had been paying for electricity. It was a lot, way over $100. Alarms started going off in my head, I had no idea we were spending a fortune every month just to have the lights and t.v. turn on when we flipped the switches. While I was still reeling from this astonishing information, Dad acknowledged that his continual pleas for our compliance would not be enough in these extreme circumstances. He said he would make a deal with us kids. He said that if we brought down next month's electric bill below $100, we would all go out to eat... to the Sizzler! I may have lost consciousness for a second. My head was spinning in a mixture of euphoria, anticipation, and responsibility.

For those of you of the younger generation, in suburbia in the mid to late 1980's it didn't get much better than Sizzler. It wasn't much different than heaven. I had heard a lot about it. I had never actually been, but everything I heard sounded amazing. The Crowley's did not go out to eat. In addition to the aforementioned financial issues we faced, there was the problem of seating a family of our size, keeping the youngsters from punching each other, tipping the annoyed waitress, etc.

Needless to say, the declaration was monumental and unprecedented. It coincided with a wave of optimism and determination to change. Dad reassured us that the goal was certainly within reach and that it was up to all of us to monitor and take responsibility.

The new opportunity loomed over my every action. "Turn OFF the lights! Turn OFF the television!" I heard his voice like Pavlov's bell every time I left a room. I found myself touring the house hunting for wasted electricity, and snuffing it out every time it reared its ugly head.

As I remember, it took us two months to bring the bill down, but we did it. The wait was almost unbearable, but the day finally arrived. Accomplishment, pride, reward, valor, and an all you can eat salad bar: all for the price of a few flipped switches.

What's your parental incentive story?

*I invite my siblings who were a little older at the time to clarify or correct details of this story.


Not Much Jazzy About Utah

So, I can't say I'm a big Jazz fun, but I do enjoy watching the occasional game. The team name still kills me. If you had a National survey of which states had the most ties to Jazz music or reminded you most of Jazz music, where would Utah rank?

Let me climb off of my soapbox for a minute to talk about last night's playoff loss to the Rockets. It was a late game, but it kept me up and kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end. Both teams fought hard, and it could have easily gone either way. That's what makes the playoffs great, the players actually play really hard. During the regular season, it seems like everyone is on cruise control. I just have 3 thoughts to share. I was only able to catch the fourth quarter, so they all relate to that.

1. There were 3 or 4 really horrible foul calls against us within a 30 second span at the beginning of the 4th quarter that put us in the penalty with about 9 minutes to go. The free throws added up and contributed to our losing the contest. The call against Harpring was especially puzzling due to the fact that Battier pushed off and then threw his forearm into Harpring's face.

2. Deron Williams last second shot should have been a pass. He made a great drive down the lane and drew two Rocket defenders with him. This left Carlos Boozer wide open on the other side of the basket. It would have been tough to get him the ball from where Williams was, but we've all seen him do things like that. Fake a shot then scoop it underneath to Boozer for an easy dunk. Instead, he went for a fade away layup that was blocked. He at least could have attacked the basket and drawn a foul with a chance to win on free throws. That being said, he played a great game, and hind sight is always 20-20.

3. Can we not find a better color commentator than Ron Boone? He's had 15 years or so to get acclimated to his job, and I think it's clear he's not improving. Everything that came out of his mouth was either extremely obvious or completely wrong. "The Jazz need a stop here," Boone says as the Rockets bring the ball upcourt with a 4 point lead and 38 seconds on the clock. Ya think? Ron, your job is to tell us how the Jazz should tactically go about getting the stop that everybody knows we need. After the Jazz lose, "This gives the Rockets home court advantage." No it doesn't. The Jazz won two games in Houston, meaning that if the Jazz win their remaining two home games, they win the series. Houston will have to win another game in Utah as well as both their games at home to win the series. So, let's review - who has home court advantage for the remainder of the series? Surely there's a former player or coach that we can convince to take part in our broadcasts that can add some real insight, isn't there?



I looked at my knees the other day for the first time in a long time. Let's just say 18 years of soccer have left the skin on my knees nothing more than a mass of scar tissue. As ugly as my knees are, I can honestly say I don't regret a single scar.



What is the ultimate "Goal," in life for you (no, not soccer)?
For myself, my family, friends and loved ones to be truly happy.

How did you know Natalie was the one for you?
She compliments me, her strengths help compensate where I fall short and vise-versa. When I'm around her, I want to be a better person.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure band/artist?
This depends on who I'm with. At work, it's Billy Joel. At home DRI or the like. With certain friends (I won't name names), Boston.

What was the favorite time period in your life and why? Can't say mission, marriage or baby...those are all givens for bests.
It's hard to just say one, so using your guidelines and in chronological order:
1. Sophomore year of high school: This is when James and I became really close. He really was way cool to let his little brother hang out with him and all his friends. I made a lot of life long friends in the process. Sometimes hanging out with them felt like I was living in a Seinfeld episode, there was constant and hilarious witty banter.
2. Junior year of high school: camping, Old School Crew, girls volleyball matches, basketball games, football games, BBQ VIP's. Another great group of life long friends.
3. First semester of college: I got good grades, but 80-90% of my time and focus was dedicated to fun. Living on my own for the first time was amazing. Coed intramural soccer (go Slayer!), kickball, ramen, totino's pizza, foursquare, Dr. Mario, and just hanging out. Another hilarious group of friends. Sadly, I haven't kept in contact with a lot of that group, but it still remains one of my greatest times in life.
4. The Crap House: what can I say. It was such an interesting time in life for all of us. Once again, a majority of time and focus was on having fun. Halloween party was amazing, Halo, nephews visit, trying to date girls, Dr. Mario tournament, $2 tuesdays roller skating, 30 Life Code, BBQ's, awesome messages on the whiteboard, working at Wendy's, and hitting an all time low.

Briefly describe the best failed pick up attempt for a girl you ever had.
When I worked at Wendy's there was a really cute manager who I had a little crush on. She broke her leg shortly after I started, so I didn't ever really see her much at all before I realized that I would be more successful at making money by trying to grow it on trees (or working at Convergys). Anyway, a few months after quitting, I went to Wendy's to get some food with my friend Tyson. I saw that she was working, and when we left I told Tyson how I regretted never asking her to hang out. I along with Tyson convinced myself it would be a good idea to leave a note on her car explaining why she should hang out with me. It was pretty awesome. If any of you have ever receive a long, entertaining phone message from me it was probably along those lines. Needless to say, she never called, and it was pretty akward when my friend and roommate Heath brought her over to hang out. He made sure to remind her who I was.

Does anyone ever call you Bad Dawg anymore?
You (Brad) and Jeremy Reitz, and sometimes Brady.

Was it during your mission that people stopped calling you Bad Dawg?
I think so. I remember getting quite a few letters addressed to Elder Bad Dawg Crowley, so I think it gradually wore off during and after.

Deep down did you like or dislike being called Bad Dawg?
Deep down I appriciated the irony. I'm so not a Bad Dawg. I also that it was great to have a bunch of friends with great (and ridiculous) nicknames: Dr. J, Dog Bone, Loc Dogg, B-Rad, Fatty-J, Jimbo, Bad Dawg, etc.

How far into your realationship with Natalie did she find out about you being called Bad Dawg?
It was months. We might have even been engaged at that point.

Did she believe you?
I think someone called me it, and it was one of those moments... "Bad Dawg?"

What was the best/worst part of being the baby of the family?
Best: I think Mom and Dad were pretty mellow by the time I came through.
Worst: Not getting to live with my older siblings for very long.

Your favorite college class (and why)?
Advanced Graphic Interface Design. It was a Flash class. I had a great professor, good friends, did well on my projects, learned a lot every time, and knew that what I was learning was making me a much more valuable employee. Honorable mentions: any Alan Hashimoto, Chris Terry, or Professor Henemann class.

How do you feel about your diaper changing skills?
A little shaky, but it's like riding a bike, right?

When you write songs, do you write the music first, or the lyrics, or do they come together?
Usually, the basic musical idea comes first. Then, I try to write lyrics and put the song structure together at the same time.

If you had to name your greatest musical inspiration, who would it be?
Johnny Cash.

How long does it generally take people to find out how funny you are?
Apparently for you Tiff, 26 years. Just kidding. I remember last summer at dinner with Natalie's family, her brother set himself for a joke about 3 times and nobody was taking it. I took a swing and hit a home run. When the laughter died down he chuckled and said, "Welcome to the family, Jesse."

You have to choose between signing a major record deal or a MLS contract. Which do you choose?
A really tough one. I think I'd take the record deal just because there's something tangible at the end to take away from it. Some guys get an MLS contract and get hurt or never really play.

How did you manage to keep the mission rule and not sneak into Old Trafford for at least one match? You did keep the mission rule didn't you?
It was hard when you would come home and hear the crowd singing and chanting. I think the fact of constantly having a companion makes things like that easier. I did take a tour of the stadium on p-day and somehow bumped into their legendary coach, Sir Alex Ferguson. I got his autograph. I guess you could say I was blessed for keeping the rule of not attending any matches.

Favorite food that's green?
Guacamole. Or if this counts, Mom's spinach lasagna.

Why is it that so many of the great creative artists of our time lead such tragic lives?
That's a good question, and it has made me think about it for the last couple of days. Ultimately, art is about communication, about making a connection with the viewer or hearer. I think some of the most talented artists are so ahead of their time, that people have a hard time connecting with their work. I think that would wear on an artist, being totally driven to communicate to people who don't want to listen.

Favorite mixed taped you've made?
Top 3:
1. February 14th. Probably my best mix tape work ever. The songs flow really well from one to the other without being repetitive. A great road trip mix.
2. Love, The Ups and the Downs. Self explainitory.
3. Can't Remember the Name. A mix I made for my first girlfriend in college, Katie Olsen.

Dream automible?
Cadillac CTS - such amazing lines. Classy and sporty. In black please.

When did the "Frozen Buritto" health fix start or come about?
It just sounded good after all those Fat Boys, it was inspired I suppose.

How do you make such incredible face expressions at extended-family-nights?
I guess you could say I was being a Jim to Dad's Michael Scott.

What was your favorite part about growing up in the Crowley Family?
Being a part of a family that played hard, worked hard, and was committed to living the gospel.

How do you feel about Christiano Ronaldo upon his "closet exiting"?
You'll have to fill me in on that.

Favorite soccer player of all time and eternity?
This is really hard. Can't say just one:
Diego Maradona. He put a team on his back and carried them to a World Cup.
Pele'. Burst on to the scene at 17 by scoring 3 goals in semis and 2 in the final of the World Cup.
Jurgen Klinsmann. Won 1990 World Cup. One of the deadliest, most clinical strikers to ever play.
Christiano Ronaldo. Needs to win a Champions League or World Cup, but has potential to be a top 5 all time player.

Pirates vs. Vikings. Even numbers even weapons. Who wins in battle?
A very good question. It would be a good battle, the Pirates would get some cheap shots in, but the Vikings would win. They are simply more battle tested and organized.

Rodent fur on arms or creepy seal laugh?
Another great question. I would take the seal laugh. It would catch on, and I would be the funny seal laugh guy.


Ask Me, Ask Me, Ask Me

I've really enjoyed reading my family and friends' versions of this post, so go ahead ask me any question you wish. I will answer to the best of my ability. I guess I'm unoriginal, but you'll just have to deal with it. Bonus points for questions that make me laugh out loud.



The wait is over, and we now know the gender of our little humanoid offspring. I was thinking it would be a boy, but I couldn't be happier. She is so cute, and I think she has my chin. Look how sharp and pointy that sucker is. The doctor and ultrasound tech said everything looks perfect. She's got a strong little heart and weighs one pound. She looks really uncomfortable in there, but she probably doesn't know the difference. Well, that's it that's the big news for the next litte while. This is a profile shot, and to me it looks like she's smiling.