Listen. Love. Donate.

Today is about my friend, Ryan M. Brewer. The best friend my husband will ever have and the biggest pain in my ass there ever will be. One of the most talented songwriters I know. For those of you reading who don’t know Ryan, he describes himself as follows:

“my name is ryan. i play music quite well. i write catchy melodies upon which i float clever lyrics, and am rarely tolerable otherwise.”

Most would find this statement true. Ryan is the guy who will not hesitate to piss you off for the sake of comedy, argue for the sake of argument or tell you at your wedding (in which he is the best man) that he “guesses he has to love you now…you know because [you’re] marrying his best friend”. Ryan is the guy who doesn’t use capital letters and once fought a professor to the death over the principal that letter capitalization was mere preference. Ryan will never hesitate to eat your leftovers and leave your toilet seat up.

But, my friends, what you might not know is that Ryan is the most loyal friend my husband has ever had and he has a heart of gold (okay, maybe gold-plated brass…but he tries 😉 ). Some of you may be thinking at this point that this post is a bit strange. Why and how would I know so much about this fella? Well, he’s not only my husband’s best friend…he’s been my dear friend since I was 15 years old. You know, when we were wearing trucker hats, quoting Homestar Runner and Strongbad and having what we deemed as deep conversation in the field at church camp.

I could continue…but I don’t want to embarrass or taint Mr. Brewer’s reputation. So, I will get to the real point of this blog. Today, really isn’t about Ryan M. Brewer (sorry buddy!), but it is about the song he wrote for the victims of the Indianapolis State Fair. The song that he wrote in coordination with Alan Johnson at the Static Shack studios in the heart of Indy. The song that’s proceeds will be 100% donated to the victims and their families.

Today, dear readers, is the day I ask you to please have a listen, make a donation and create a little hope for these families. Below I have posted the song, its lyrics and direct buy/download button.

“we all prayed for rain and we all waited
but we weren’t ready the night it came.
the clouds they opened wide and
the rage of thunder filled the sky…
we stood hopeless with fearful eyes.

as you rode the clouds away.

we all prayed for faith and we all waited
but we just couldn’t make you stay.
the clouds they opened wide and
a flash of lightning filled the sky…
we stood watching with tearful eyes.

as you rode the clouds away…
as you rode the clouds away.

my heart, it skipped a beat.
desperation filled the streets,
but i watched strangers running back.
these heroes sprang to their feet,
helped the wounded up from their knees,
it was beauty and it was humanity…
but it was hard to go on breathing knowing

you rode the clouds away.
and you rode the clouds away…”

Thank you and as always…Until We Meet Again,

Arin

Utilities

Music. I don’t know about you, but it’s definitely something I turn to. Whether it be to escape, grab inspiration or remember how to feel. That last one is big for me. And, in light of the recent Indiana State Fair tragedy, I can’t tell you how often I fall into my routine, my day in day out just to look in the mirror and see a robot. Music tends to bring me back to that place where I feel again.

Today, friends, I feel inspired to share the lyrics below as they have been creeping in and out of my subconscious for the past week and I just can’t shake ’em.

I know I’m not perfect, but I tend to try pretty damn hard to be sometimes. And if your like me, it can be exhausting. Well thank you, Utilities, for reminding me that all I want is to be something somebody can use.  What inspires you? How do you pull yourself back to reality?

Utilities by The Weakerthans

got this feeling that today doesn’t like me
oh, the air tastes like flowers and paint.
there’s a sink full of bottles and cutlery
and the car has got a list of complaints.
i just wish i were a toothbrush or a solder gun
make me something somebody can use.
we can wish on the pop of a lightbulb
or those photos lying yellowed and curled.
lose some boxes near abandoned electronics
in the corners of the basements of the world.
guess our wishes don’t do dishes or break repairs
make them something somebody can use.

got a face full of ominous weather
smirking smile of a high pressure ridge
got more faults than the state of california
and the heart is a badly built bridge
seems the most i have to offer
doesn’t offer much
make it something somebody can use.
make this
something somebody
can use.

That’s all from me today, folks. Be inspired. And remember:

Don’t stop dreaming

Remember to think

and Dare to create something beautiful this week!

 

And to all you unsung State Fair heroes, thank you for being something somebody could use. Thank you.

 

Until We Meet Again,

Arin

 

Indiana.

The Indiana State Fair. What does it mean to you? For me, it has always meant driving with my Mom and older sister to the fairgrounds to see if our 4-H projects got the coveted blue ribbon. It meant gorging on elephant ears and lemon shake-ups. It meant sticking my fingers between the poles of the animals cages to, hopefully, pat the nose of the prize-winning steer. It meant summer was about to end, school was about to start and days at the fair were my last “hoorah” to have fun, be a kid and try not to throw-up on the Scrambler (which I never was able to do…I always got sick.)

In light of the recent tragedy that happened at the Indiana State Fair, it breaks my heart to relive the awful moments of the rigging being swept away by that powerful gust of wind. I will never be able to watch that footage without a tug in my heart and a gasp in my mouth. I have been avoiding the local news coverage and the finger pointing to keep my mind clear and remember what happened is less about “the fault of another” and more about honoring those innocent lives that were lost at my dear state fair.

Tragedies happen. They are never pretty and they are often the notion that keep us awake at night and reminds us to hold our friends and family closer than ever before. However, what isn’t tragic and is amazingly beautiful about what happened Saturday is the amount of people, without a second thought, who came running to aid those trapped and in desperate need of a helping hand.

Is this the Hoosier way? Definitely. Is it something I am proud of? Absolutely. Am I surprised? Absolutely not.

Many out-of-state people scoff at the notion of Indiana. Born and raised in this state, I will always embrace my Indiana roots. I know what all four H’s of 4H are (if you don’t know…look it up). My family comes from a long line of farmers and I have spent many summers shucking corn and snapping beans. I know all the words to “Back Home Again in Indiana.” I went to Purdue and the IU rivalry runs deep in my heart. I miss the corn in July if it isn’t around me. I have experienced tornadoes in January and droughts in August. I love the excitement of May and have been to every Indianapolis 500 (except for a couple) since I was in elementary school. I know what “Hoosier Hospitality” means and I try to live up to that notion every day of my life.

Whether you were born in Indiana or are a brand new resident, whether you have been here for 50 years or a a few months, I think one thing is very obvious to the nation and to everyone that knows the pleasure of living in this great state/city… Hoosiers are about helping and holding up the community when tragedy strikes.

Let’s keep this in mind and remember to honor those that are no longer with us. Stop the finger pointing and keep their memories alive…it’s the Hoosier way.

Until next time,

 

 

 

 

 

Erin

Business Buzzzzzz

By now you have realized that Erin and I like to be champions…of ourselves, our friends and the things we believe in. Today, I want to take a minute to champion you, my fellow social media marketers and friends. What do you think you could learn from the people in your network if you just asked? What exciting things should we be championing for each other? How can we help you? How can you help us? This is just a small reminder: Don’t forget to ask. Don’t forget to listen. And most of all, don’t forget to nurture the relationships you build.

Here at E=A(rin)² we are about to officially launch the Friday Business Buzz! Hope you are ready for this enhanced “follow friday” of sorts.

How it works

Every Friday we will release a post summing up the things we learn from our friends in the twitterverse that week. So be sure to tell us what you have going on! New employee? Let us know! New business? Tell us! Exciting client project you want to share? Hit us up! New job? You know what to do.

We are firm believers in the power of supporting each other through word of mouth (or type of finger in this case) so give us all you got!

Do we mean you?

Duh. Of course we do! Nothing is too big or too small for us. Whether  you want to get the word out about a fundraising benefit or tell the world about your new promotion- This is your chance!

When do we need your info?

We will take and scout info until 10 am Friday morning. After that all kick ass news will have to wait until the next week.

How do we want your info?

Message us! DM us! Email us! Whatever you prefer! All contact information is on our new contact page!

Ready…go!

And now to kick things off this week…

Did you know?

Elizabeth Lenzi (@happyfish103) has started a new company, Marachino Events (@MaraschinoEvent). The company focuses on events for & involving local Indy businesses.

Drew Larison (@MrDrewLarison) is working with a new start-up in Indy that makes Mobile sites and apps. Drew tells me they are really focusing on mixing social with mobile for companies.

 

Have a great weekend everyone and remember we can’t wait to hear from you!

Arin

A 3 year old could run your marketing department.

Now, don’t be offended by the title. I’m sure your marketing department is just fine…I’m sure they have mad skills. This post is simply to explain something that’s been on my mind as I’ve watched my three year old step daughter interact with the world.

First, to explain where I’m coming from let’s look at the definition of marketing (because well, there’s nothing like going back to the basics):

Marketing:

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (Approved October 2007)

I’ve pulled from this definition what I believe to be the most important words in today’s marketing environment.

  • Creating
  • Communication
  • Delivering
  • Exchanging

    Imagination Mateys.

  • Value

So what can a three year old teach us about the five words above?

Creating

Anyone who has, knows or has ever been around a small child knows they have wild imaginations. Something we lose as adults when the analytical side

of our brains kick in. But the next time your around a kid, just sit back and watch them. Watch them create things with their minds that we can’t even

fathom. Watch as they draw a picture of what looks like scribbles and dots but to them is a creation of inexplicable wonder. Watch as they play with those action figures and

build magical worlds of heroes and heroines. Listen as they talk about what they want to be and where they want to go, as it is an expression of the endless possibilities they see in life. So the next time you lose inspiration on a project or hit a creative block- take note from a kid. Think outside the box. Never lose your imagination. Take a risk. Don’t take the power of creation for granted. What have you created lately that you’re proud of?

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible” – Arthur C Clarke, Author & Inventor

Communication

Work and play makes for fun all day!

Have you ever had a problem knowing exactly what a three year old wants, when, where, how and why? Me either.  Watching a kid communicate can be fascinating. As frustrating as the stubborn, nearly narcissistic behavior can be, we always now what they are thinking. They want juice, not milk because milk comes from cows and they don’t want to take all the cow’s milk away. They fell down and now are “wounded” …you know like Mulan. They can’t take a bath right now because Dora isn’t over (but 30 seconds later when the credits roll it’s okay). They want to read 2 books at bedtime…by

themselves. Whatever it may be and whatever crazy explanation is behind it- we always know what they want. What about you? Does your audience know exactly what you’re pitching,

Who's the boss?

when, where, how and why?

Delivering

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you that a three year old’s delivery is better than yours…I’ll let you make that decision for yourself. Despite the episodes of raging fits or innate need to yell “Mommy” or “Daddy” at the top of their lungs just so you can turn their light on, kids have impeccable delivery. Think about it. “I love you so much, Arin…We can have chocolate?” Notice this wasn’t phrased a question. It was more like butter me up and politely suggest in a questioning voice that we can have chocolate. Or how about “Spongebob’s on!” Notice the subtle excitement

about letting me know her favorite show is on. Or my personal favorite after doing something she’s not supposed to or causing an accident: “I’m so sorry, I’m not in trouble.” Kids know, or at least they think they know, exactly how to deliver what they are communicating to get what they want from us. Again, there is a degree of narcissism we can leave out as adults. But, when’s the last time you thought about the delivery of your message?

Exchanging

Exchange: To give and receive reciprocally. Who better to know the power of exchanging than a three year old, who, thus far in life, has built relationships on reward systems and give and take.  Eat half of your peas and you get a piece of candy. Go potty all day an

Smile. It will make someone's day.

d get a cupcake. Be good all year and get sweet presents from Santa. Kids know what they are doing when it comes to exchange. Have you ever seen a three year old perk up when negotiating exchange? The excitement they get out of getting that toy for helping daddy clean the yard or that piece of candy for eating all their veggies, is unmatched by us as adults. Do we really believe what we have is worth the exchange? If so, what would happen if we got as excited about landing that client as a three year old does about candy?

Value

Recently, my step daughter slammed an entire cup of milk. Not a big deal for most three year olds except she swears she doesn’t like milk. So why did she drink it? She saw the value. After drinking it in maybe three huge gulps (undoubtedly to get through it as quickly and painlessly as possible), she says “Now I will get big and I will be a big girl.” Now, did she really know that what they mean is that milk will gradually build your bones and keep you healthy as you grow up? No. She more than likely thought she would wake up in the morning two feet taller and in school already. But that’s beside the point. Children see value in the most miniscule of things we take for granted daily. Whether it be milk making them big and strong, pushing the bubble mower across the lawn to help daddy keep it nice and neat or keeping lights off to save “nergi” (that’s energy for those of you who don’t speak three year old), kids are very aware of the value of what they do on a daily basis. Do we? Are we sitting back and making sure what we do is of value to our clients, company’s, and networks?

I hope you found value in the little reminders I provided here. And remember, the next time your around a child, pay attention. You just might learn something.

Until we meet again,

Arin

Unsung rockstar

“…you now must find your passion and pursue it with gusto! What makes you happy? What wakes you up in the morning with the feeling that you can’t wait to get started? Pursue your dreams with a single mindedness and uncompromising faith in yourself. Go forward in life with faith in yourself and the knowledge that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to…”‑Rick Couch, my dad.

My dad grew up in Greenfield, Indiana. He was the eldest of four in a blue collar family that worked with their hands and souls to get food on the table and to keep the lights on in the house. My dad was also the first in his family to go to college; surprisingly against my grandparents’ wishes who felt working at the local foundry would make a better life for him.

Rick Couch

My dad...the long lost Allman Brother

My dad paid for his books and tuition by working in a factory and bar-tending up until he graduated at ISU.

My father is my hero and as with many other phenomenal, hardworking dads out there, he will never receive the notoriety other “dads” may get. My dad may not be on stage with a guitar in his hands, rocking out to millions of people screaming his name…but he is my own personal rockstar. For that I will always be grateful and indebted to the man with a heart of a lion that has always listened to my worries, held my hand when I was scared, was smart enough to lead me when I needed to be led and brave enough to let me stumble into the path of “life’s hard educational lessons.”

So to sum things up and to go along with Arin’s fantastic post about her father, here is my Soundtrack of Rick Couch and the memories that fall along with these epic songs.

The Allman Brothers “Jessica”

If you couldn’t tell from the first picture above, my dad was a little bit of a rocker.  “Jessica” will always remind me of being crammed in the backseat of my parents Berretta and traveling up to northern Indiana to my grandparent’s farm. My dad is famously tone deaf and he would always hum along, off-key and off-rhythm while banging his fingers against the steering wheel to the main hook of  “Jessica.”

Eric Clapton “White Room”

Yes, I have air-guitared with my dad and it was to this song. Eric Clapton, Derek and the Dominos, Cream…were on a constant rotation growing up, but this song…this song is what will always remind me of my dad. I can almost picture him now, knee up on the ottoman, head bent, eyes closed and fingers strumming the air to one of the best guitar riffs in rock n’ roll.

Billy Joel “The Downeaster Alexa”

My dad used to sing this to me when I was little before I went to bed. I will always hear this song and be comforted, immediately.

Mark Knopfler “Darling Pretty”

When I was in middle school I was suddenly very ill and a lot of times I had to be picked up from school and taken home. It was a very rough time on my whole family and my dad would always put this song on when he’d tuck me into bed before going back to work.

Joe Cocker “You Are So Beautiful”

Rick Couch and O

Dad with my niece...that's a whole 'lotta love, right there.

We aren’t a very sentimental family and we normally stay away from conversations that would ultimately lead to happy tears and smiles. But one summer at a family reunion up at a lodge in northern Indiana, only a few miles down the road from my mom’s family farm, we were sitting outside on the porch,  smacking mosquitoes, drinking beer and listening to music. This song came on and my dad, placed his beer down, took a long hard puff of his cigar and said that one day he hopes to dance with me on my wedding day to this song. Cue happy tears and smiles.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Father’s Day. Next post is covering my favorite boozy cupcake recipes, new music you MUST listen to and the best deals in Indianapolis.

Peace out rockstars!

Erin

Music, Moments & My dad.

By now you have realized that music is the utmost passion of my soul. If you didn’t know, you haven’t been paying very close attention or you’re new around here. So I’ll say it again. Music is the utmost passion of my soul. My parents swear I started singing before I could talk, I asked for a piano before a Barbie and a new guitar instead of a car. I was in my first musical at age 5 (the teddy bear brigade in the Anderson Mainstage Theater production of Teddy & Alice.). I started singing in a professionally trained choir when I was 7 (Anderson Area Childrens Choir). I was the president of my show choir in high school. I studied jazz & popular music at the University of Hull in England while in college. Now, I could go on and on about my musical accomplishments and how kick ass I am- but then you would wonder why this post is called “Music, Moments & My dad” so I’ll restrain it for now.

For those of you that think you are smart and can predict where I’m going with this- “My dad was the biggest inspiration of my musical life and I wouldn’t have music without him, blah blah blah.”

Wrong.

I would have music without my dad because music is the utmost passion of MY SOUL, not his. However, my dad did teach me at a young age to find that passion, whatever it may be, and never let it go. So this post is a tribute to my dad- in song. Those top 20 bands, songs and musical moments that have reminded me of him throughout my life. I love you, dad- mullet and all. 🙂

In no particular order:

Alvin & the Chipmunks – Yes, I listened to this on vinyl record as a child. My dad sang the Christmas song in his best chipmunk voice every year.

Shirly Temple – As if it wasnt bad enough that I was obsessed as a child, my dad sat through every 2 hour movie I owned with me…at least 5 times.

Amazing Grace – This was alway my dads favorite song to hear me sing when I was young, even though I always tried to sing like Leanne Rimes.

Grease – One of my favorite musicals growing up. I can still see dad mocking the scene in the auto garage…smooth like Grease Lightnin.

Foreigner– The first cassette tape my dad ever gave me.

The Spice Girls– My first concert. Yes my dad took me. Yes he danced.

Elton John, Crocodile Rock. – This was one of the first songs I learned on my keyboard as a kid. The keys lit up which notes to play. My dad always sang along.

REO Speedwagon – I still remember the day my dad told me boy bands have always been around. “REO was our version of that whiny sh*t they put out there now”

Michael Bolton – My dad always rolled his eyes and left the room when my mom would blare Mr. Bolton during spring cleaning.

James Taylor – One of the best things my dad ever did for me.

ZZ Top– My dad liked to play a game in the car when we were kids. He would turn up a song real loud on Q95 and when it was over he would turn it off and ask us who is was. It wasnt until later in life I realized that 99% of the time it was ZZ Top.

The Commitments Soundtrack– A good portion of my early 90’s musical influence. Mustang Sally, Try a Little Tenderness…I’ll stop here for fear of embarrassing the old, er…young, man.

Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin, & Heart – The three female acts my dad always loved. I guess there is a reason I started smoking cigars in college to try and make my voice sound more like Janis Joplin. Don’t worry dad, no one blames you 😉

Motley Crue, Smokin in the Boys Room – The day I realized this may have been my dad’s theme song in high school.

Johnny Cash, A Boy Named Sue – There was a good chunk of my middle school years where this was constantly playing in the car.

Ray Stevens – My dad showed my brother and I this video compilation of his when we were kids. We watched it so much it stopped working. “oh yeah they called him the streak…”

Joe Cocker– Dad just loves Joe. The father/daughter dance at my wedding was to his version of “You are so beautiful”.

Any country music from the 1990’s – I was a shy and awkward elementary student…my dad would line dance in my living room when I would have friends over to loosen me, and everyone else, up. Talk about sacrifice.

The Other Side of Grace – My first album. Yes I recorded an album. I was 18, it was terrible, but my dad was so proud.

ACDC– Simply one of my dad’s all time favs and for good reason. Also, when I was a kid I had no idea what they said in “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”. I would always say “Dirty Deeds” really loud and trail off with made up words so my dad would think I was cool.

So there you have it. Me, my dad and our musical journey through life…so far.  Thank you, dad, for showing me passion, excepting mine in music and encouraging me to pursue it with all my heart.

Have a happy Fathers Day, stop reading this and go spend some time with your family! 🙂

Cheers,

Arin