Monday, January 12, 2009

2008 Hotel California #1

#1. Sorry for the pause in announcing our 2008 winner. I had the crying baby with a double ear infection. But, here are we are. Numero uno. Who is it and what happened? Before I mention the winner, I’d like to remind everyone that all opinions and writings are the sole responsibility of Hotel California Top Ten Inc. and are in no way representative of this blog or its affiliates. With that said, number one.

This year we’ve had some terrific events. We’ve seen kids riding surfboards, we’ve honored Jim Rome, and we’ve admired Rich win a Gold Medal. We’ve witnessed Nate and Amy achieve a lifelong pursuit in record time. We’ve had businesses open including a 24-hour gaming facility. We’ve resolved some misperceptions about Dave and his sister, and we’ve celebrated Joe’s life of bliss. We’ve heard huge takes by Dirty B., heralded the Lakers for their tremendous year, discovered Carl’s accumulation of Christmas cards and lent a helping hand to Jonny and Michelle’s relationship. And now number one.

For this year’s number one, we come back to the Lakers and some hotel banter that illuminated this year’s No. 1. In the midst of the NBA Playoffs our number 1 event emerged. The story pretty much tells itself. Have a read. For the sake of time, I may use excerpts from some emails or cut them short. It still may be a bit long, but worth the read.

Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 18:25:10 -0600
Subject: GO LAKES!!
Long overdue email to get some chatter going on the Lakes. After blowing through Coby's dad's team in Denver and, my favorite, beating down the Jazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, we're tightening the noose on the defending Champions. After game 1's HUGE comeback win, I've been stoked. This is going to be a fun game tonight. Lots of us have been texting. Keep 'em coming. And let's fire up the Lake spirit email rants.Jamie

Subject: RE: GO LAKES!!
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 00:41:49 +0000
Si Jamie,I think you should be a Laker Girl. Get us all fired up and Stuff. You really have purple and yellow blood running in your veins. The Laker Girls is just a stepping stone for your future. I mean that is how Paula Abdul launched her career… Yes, I am with Jamie, GO LAKES! Props to Jamie for the support of the Home team. We haven't heard from the Conner since the Suns fell off the playoff map. Conner, you haven't become a Sun's fan have you? Conner if you have drifted come back. There is still time... And don't tell us that your "wife has rules" with whom your allegiance lies.Here we go Lakes!Cam

From: Conrad Morin []
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 11:13 PM
Subject: RE: GO LAKES!!
Any success the Suns will ever enjoy will be from Laker table scraps. The Big Aristotle has now added the moniker of The Big Cactus. I hear Brian Shaw will interview for the head coaching job for the Suns. If the Suns knew what was good for them, they would snatch him up. Also, look for the Suns to trade for Jordan Farmar in the off season. I will continue to feast at the Laker buffet, and nose around the ground for afterthoughts of nourishment in Suns camp so I can keep up with the water cooler banter in the desert. Viva the mighty Lake Show!Conner

From: tedjennings <>
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 09:10:33 -0400
Subject: RE: GO LAKES!!
I will openly admit that I am a Suns fan. How can you not like watching Steve Nash and Amare run up and down the court much like the Lakers of the Showtime era… I like the Suns and I unashamedly admit it. The guys on the team are all great players and good citizens. No murder or rape charges here.I also admit that for a time I liked the Suns more than the Lakers. The reason, Kobe Bryant acting likely an egotistical high school "stud". Since he forced Shaq to leave the Lakers he has been acting like Stephan Marbury or Bonzi Wells. It has only been this 2008 season that he has become a real team player and one that I can root for. I never lost my love for the Lakers, it had only been soured the past few years by a spoiled little kid throwing a tantrum and raping a girl so that he could have some street cred and fit in with the rest of the criminals in the NBA.Teed

On 5/30/08, Jamie Webb <> wrote:
Ha ha. Ted, when you check your email next you'll find that someone, probably Alison, logged onto your account and sent an email from your account. You got E-JACKED! This is the only explanation for what I read below. Because there is no way that you love the Suns more than the Lakes! Just can't be. A couple years baking in the Arizona sun hasn't hallucinated your brain into delusions of Suns greatness over the Lakers. I don't buy it. I almost got fooled, but then in today's paper I read about E-Jacking. It's when your electronic mail or email gets hijacked. If it wasn't Alison then maybe a visiting relative, Dave? Paul?, or an off-chance that it was your oldest son, Luke, but he'd have to be some sort of child genius. Anyway, lesson for everyone else — protect your email accounts, there are E-Jackers out there waiting to prank. Jamie

Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 15:47:18 -0600
Subject: Re: GO LAKES!!
I am so glad that Jamie had an explanation... I have been so worried about Ted since I read the E-jacked message that I was thinking we might have to have an E-intervention and all E-meet in AZ … so Ted, please get some more E-security on your computer. I am not sure I could take another E-scare like this again. GO LAKES!!! Carl

From: cameron hulse []
Sent: Friday, May 30, 2008 3:57 PM
Subject: RE: GO LAKES!!
Oh, that makes sense now. Thanks for the clarification Jamie. I be the next email from Ted (or whoever it is) is going to say that he would rather mountain bike than surf.

Ok, quick pause. You following? Basically rah rah Lakers. And then Cam calls out Conner for defecting. Conner confirms his allegiance to the Lakes. But Ted steps in ruffles some feathers, stirs the pot. And then we realize he was e-jacked. Ok, the story continues.

Subject: RE: GO LAKES!!
Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 16:18:36 -0700
No, I have never really gotten into the mountain bike thing, BUT give me a great day of quail hunting over a crappy day of surf any time.
You can't tell me that you have all been so proud of Kobe's behavior since he forced Shaq to leave (excluding this year). His selfish play, his cocky demeanor, his raping of an innocent hotel hostess. Those are all something we should be proud of? I hope my kid grows up to be just like Kobe Bryant. Cameron, if the Clippers were still in San Diego you'd probably be rooting for them the past few years. And Jamie I know that you have waited outside the Pepsi Center trying to get a glimpse of AI or to get Carmelo's autograph. Carl, I'm sure you've bought season tickets to the Jazz by now. You all just won't admit it. At least I'm willing to admit the fact that Kobe's been a jerk and I have sought my basketball fix with another team…

On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 10:17 PM,
Dear all, I have to agree with one thing Ted said. When you are in a different country you sometimes need that sports fix and since basketball is not played by anyone in India you find Cricket interesting. I never would have thought that I would enjoy watching people use an oversized spatula to hit a ball, but it is really interesting to watch. Especially when it is 20/20 format. Mutch better than a test match on one dayer. You just love to see your favorite team get a wicket and the bowlers in India are great. Also, having argueably the bests batsman ever in Tendulkar, it is amazing how many 4s and 6s he gets. Go Team India. The Asia cup is coming up soon. Ted, that is how absurb you sound rooting for the Suns. Maybe if the cougs have a bad year you may start rooting for the Utes. I agree with Carl, we need to do something before it gets that drastic. Jonny

From: Jamie Webb <>
Date: Sat, May 31, 2008 at 5:32 AM
Subject: Re: GO LAKES!!
OH Snap! Jonny just roasted Ted way better than I could have. Hilarious.

The number one event ladies and gentleman for 2008 – Ted got eaten by Bizarro Ted. Ted’s not a Suns fan, but Bizarro Ted is. Ted wouldn’t rather hunt quail than surf. But Bizarro Ted would. Ted would never accuse Cam of being a Clippers fan, but Bizarro Ted would. Bizarro Ted is doing the exact opposite of everything the real Ted would do. Even in the Jennings family Christmas photo (which you’ll get this week Carl) are wearing gel in their hair. Only Bizarro Ted would allow that. And if that doesn’t convince you, Bizarro Ted sent out this very email to Conner:

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2009 5:28 PM
Subject: Re: Christmas Card
its in my brain (ie blackberry)
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

And the Conner retort: “Now granted, I work a Blackberry these days, so this is not a case of the pot calling the kettle black. But I was a finance major and work at a bank. No surprises there. It raises an interesting question...if Teed, among the most mellow of the entire Hotel California crew, is addicted to a Crackberry, how many of us are not enslaved to a digital taskmaster at this point? We may all be goners and not even know it. Sold out to the man. What started with getting a used cell phone has turned into a complete catastrophe! If Lukaleili has a Blackberry that is a certain sign that the apocalypse is upon us.”

Well, Conrad, whether or not Luke has a blackberry or not is a moot point because we’re not dealing with Ted here. It’s Bizarro Ted.

And so raps up the 2008 Hotel California Top Ten. Congrats Ted for grabbing the number spot and to all that earned honors this year. Have a wonderful 2009.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2008 Hotel California #3

#3. Well we are getting closer and closer. Three remain. The big #3. Ironically, the number 3 person has gone on to win the #1 spot the next year. Could the trend continue next year. Well, first we need to learn who is this year’s #3 winner. This year’s number 3 spot goes to Carl Whittaker.

We all know this past year that Carl had a beautiful daughter Tallin on October 26, 2008. Check it.

From: tc whittaker []
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 8:38 PM
To: John Hash; Kori Hyde; Lezlie Helm; Joe Hillman; Scott & Hallie Hillman; Joel Hinckley; SueLin Hilbert;; Lou Hampton; Sean & Meri Harper; Christy Herndon; Holly Litle; Robby Ingebretsen; Jamie Webb; Jeremiah Long; Kenny Jackman; Jamie Brimhall; Ted Jennings; Jeremy Valentiner; Jjana Valentiner; Nicole Kent; Jonny Nabrotzky; Keri Jones; Kate and Chris Hare; Kari Pearsall; Katharine Seay; Kelly Webb; Kristen Robinson; Kris Woolley; Kristen Wilde; Nicole Kent; Kelli Brew; Lyman Kirkland; Lane Anderson; Luke Moffat; Matthew Lampros; Mary Lampros; Oyvind & Merethe Russ; Steph & Mike Whiting; Sarah Monson; Peter Weir; Madrid, Patricia; Bethann Packer; Matthew Pinegar; David Platt; Rachel Denning; Rachel Smith; Richard Machin; robert macdonald; Robin Tanner; Nancy Wilberg; Nate Woolf; Nathan LonerganSubject: Presenting Tallinn Sofi Whittaker

Hey everyone!!

just wanted to send out a little note to let you all know that our little girl has arrived--she came Aug 26th at 11:35 pm.... brag, brag, brag!!!

her name is Tallinn Sofi Whittaker and she came in at 6 lbs, 5 oz and 19 inches--- not bad considering her gene pool!

both mom and babe are doing fantastically!!

But, what we didn’t know was that Carl was MIA. Missing in Action. On this very blog back in August of 2007, Cam asked:

Monday, August 27, 2007
Where's Litos

Oh where, oh where has our Litos gone?
Oh where, oh where are his cheeks?
Just wondering if anyone has heard from Carlitos? He seems to be missing in action since his wedding. New phone number apparently. Come on Litos, no courtesy call to inform us of your new number? Not even an effortless mass text message? That does not sound like Carl to me. Therefore, I am obligated to presume foul play. Has Carl been turned to a Slave of the Chirelle? Not that it is a bad thing necessarily. Is Carl in Iraq practicing medicine? Or has Carl always been on the cusp of being translated and just needed the final step of marriage and he goes shooting straight up in his fiery chariot? Perplexed we are Litos? Dare we call Trudy and interupt her piano lessons to find out your whereabouts or contact info. I don't know if it has reached that extreme yet.
Posted by Cameron Hulse at
8:57 AM 2 comments

Jamie said...
Carl is unfortunately in brown yard hell. He has become Carl Spackler the groundskeeper. Only his nemesis is not a gopher on a golf course -- oh no! The enemy are brown blades of grass. How often should he water? Twice a week? Morning and night? Can we help a brother?
3:53 PM

Kenny, Linsey and Caleb said...
Seriously, honeymoon is over, way over, come on up for air. Spring 2008 would be a perfect time to come - you could come sooner, but then only Kenny would be around to perform the "hostess" and well, if I were you I wouldn't risk it!
9:54 AM

I, for one, thought, ‘ha ha, we’re having some fun with the whole cliché of the married man going black for a little while.’ But I didn’t know of the seriousness of the situation until I had a recent conversation with Nate Ashcraft this year. The biggest evidence came on December 17th when Nate Ashcraft called me and said:
Nate:Hey do you have Carl’s address.”
Me: “Actually I do normally but my computer crashed and I lost my files and directory. But I’ll call him and get it.”
Nate: “I called him, too, but didn’t hear from him. As a matter of fact the voicemail I left him said, ‘Carl this is Nate, Amy and I have Christmas cards to send out. Can I get your address? In fact, it was about this time last year that I left this same exact message asking for your address. So, if you give me your address I can send you two cards.”
Me: “(Laughing) Well, when I get it I can pass it along.”

This got me wondering. Is this an isolated incident? And being the super sleuth I am, I put 2 and 2 together. Cam is saying Carl is MIA and Nate has dated undelivered Christmas cards. How many undelivered cards does he actually have from Hotel folks? So I made some calls. Well, here is the breakdown. Nate has 2. Brent Stanley 3. Ted has 2. Jonny has 2. Cam has 4. Sean Brown has 1. Trish told me that she and Dave had 5, but threw 2 away. Dirty B has 3. Hillboy has none. Joe has 1. Luke Moffat has none because he emails them. Shane Simpson has 6. Pitzak has 7. Bret has 4. Brian Hulse has 4. That makes 42 and Eric Poole has 2 ½. I don’t know, don’t ask. That makes a total of 44 ½ Christmas cards for Carl just from Hotel California members. If Carl measured currency in Christmas cards he’d be a rich one.

Well, I’m here to give all of you his address and take those cards off your hands. I want to initiate operation Carl Christmas Card.

Step 1: Use the following address: 281 I Street Salt Lake City Utah 84103
Step 2: Before you run outside to the mailbox or run out to the post office, this is very important. Many of you will need to purchase some extra postage. For those with cards older than 1 year, please apply 3, 1-cent stamps. For those older than 2 years, please apply 5, 1-cent stamps or a 5-cent stamp. And for those older than that, please apply a total of 9, 1-cent stamps.
Step3: To help Carl know the correct chronology of the cards, please label each card with the appropriate year. That way Carl will be able to identify which pictures are the most updated of you and your kids.
Step 4: For those of us with last names that begin A-M please send this week. And those with last names N-Z please send next week so as not to overcrowd the post office and jam the machines.

Great. Carl is going to receive his Christmas Cards. Carl, look for those in the mail and congrats on earning the #3 spot. Just 2 left.

2008 Hotel California #2

#2. Occasionally Hotel Californians need each other. We’re like a brotherhood. We need to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. And in some cases we need to step up and help a brother in need. This year’s No. 2 goes out to our boy Jonny and his wife Michelle who need us. Many of us learned back in September of a physical ailment that fought to bring down Jonny. Through faith and prayers Jonny overcame it. And as we learned it was all faith because the health care was subpar and that’s an understatement. But what this experience showed us was the hidden turmoil that he and Michelle are going through. Have a read of Michelle’s update on Jonny’s medical situation that many received on the 31st of August.

From: jonnynabs1@msn.comTo:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Subject: JONNY UPDATE :)

Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 10:43:31 -0600

Hi y'all. Jonny says hello. He either got in a fight with a funky Parasite, a Mean Mosquito, or some other crazy living discusting slime eating organism.

Whatever it was definately won. After 7 amazing days in the hospital of sports, in-room service, and daily fresh linens, Jonny gets to return home. They wanted to finish out the 7 day treatment for 'Whatever it was!'

There were so many blessings, and I think all things being considered, it went really well!

He is feeling quite a bit better. The medicine makes him feel a bit Yuck, but from talking to a million other people who've experienced something similar, that is normal. And they've all made a full recovery and have a really fun story to add to their India adventures.

I am so afraid that any other places in the world that we travel will be such a let down for everyone. Our stories won't be nearly as interresting.

The crank on the bed lowers and raises his head and feet. We had a lot of fun with that!!! 'Ready for another ride DADDY!?WHEEEEEEEE!'

The bandaid on the end of the bed was covering the tetanus infested rusty edge. hee hee. and a few days into the stay, they had to change his mattress because they were having a problem with flees.

We laughed and laughed and laughed. It just doesn't get any better!!!

Love, THe naBroTZky BuNch

On the surface, I would say, everything with their relationship looks on point. But make no mistake they need our help to salvage their marriage. The writing is on the wall and in this email. Michelle writes that a 'crazy living disgusting slime eating organism' attacked Jonny’s body. This really concerns me. Are you made of slime Jonny? Is that what your wife is saying? I believe that is what she's saying. That her husband, our friend Jonny, is slimy. He is a slimy guy. She says so right in this email. Why else would a ‘slime eating organism’ plant itself in his body if not to eat the slime that resides therein. This has the makings of a rocky relationship when one partner believes the other is slimy.

I wouldn’t normally do this, but I’m using the Hotel California Top Ten for good. I’m using it as a call out to all Hotel Californians. Jonny and Michelle need us. They need our help. And all the persons on Michelle’s original email, they need you, too. Geekknocker, we need you. Number 1 snaredrum, you’re role is vital. Pamelamoose and christicrunch our friends need you now more than ever. Let me just be the first to say -- Jonny and Michelle, you guys can work this out. Whatever it is, you can work it out. You’re relationship is worth saving. Nothing can tear you apart. I believe in you guys. Find that love again. Remember when you got married and your honeymoon. Go to that happy place. C’mon everyone. Let’s all help them. We can hopefully make the difference for their long and lasting marriage.

Congrats Jonny for the #2 spot and I don’t think you’re slimy at all.

Friday, January 09, 2009

2008 Hotel California #5

#5. The number 5 event of the year is the Huge Take of the Year. And this year it comes from the one we caught driving dirty, Mr. Dirty B. In Janurary of this past year shortly after the 2007 Top Ten got under way, we received this email from Scott.

Subject: RE: Honorable mention associate
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2008 16:33:12 -0700

Hey What's Up?I hope that everyone is doing well. It is fun to see all of the names on the list some I know and some I don't. There are some great memories here.

Here are a few honorable mentions that I will pass along:

* Hans and I were laughing yesterday about I think it was when Conrad moved into the Hotel California and Hans hopped into the shower the very first day Conrad was in the house or I should say forced into the shower by Conrad. Amy I don't know if your husband should be that excited about the man crush because Conrad used to star in "Big Love" before HBO had the show if you know what I mean.

* Speaking of future members of the Hotel California Hans, Carlos and myself have new boys this last year that are only 7 months apart. Hans and Carlos boys are already bench pressing their cribs. They are big boys.

* I was in Bulgaria on some business this last year and was watching TV one night (great selection of TV) and they were broadcasting the USA Volleyball team against Yugoslavia. Before my eyes was Rich Lambourne. Most of you probably knew that, but he is doing very well right now for Team USA.

* The funniest one of the year has got to be Scott Hillman. I don't know if you know this or not, but Hillman will openly talk how he has the smallest package in the world. One day there were about five different couples over at my house and Hans said we are going to find out. So Hans takes him to the ground and puts him in some kind of submission hold and we all find out that he is not a liar. Good thing that doesn't affect having children, because Hillman could get a rock pregnant. I won't give away any secrets, but you need to ask Hillman how long it takes for him and wife to be intimate after they have a baby. You will die laughing.

* Hans is on the radio right now and he is pretty funny. They have the highest ratings of any sports morning show. He does some pretty funny bets and he has only lost one where he needs to run through the Gateway Mall through their fountain in a speedo. The ones that other people have lost to him are getting a nipple pierced, shave your eye brows and getting Maced.

If any of you are coming to Utah shoot me an email and we will go out and have some fun. Hans, Carlos and I go boating at least twice a week in the summer and you haven't seen anything until you see Hans do a back flip wakeboarding. That is a lot of weight.

Where do I even start? I can’t outdo any of this. It’s just perfect. Hillboy’s small weiner. Hans making people get maced. All the big baby boys having a play date. Great stuff. So, Hillboy, how long does it take for you and your wife to be intimate after you have a baby? Congrats B-Dirt for the huge take of the year and this year’s #5 spot.

2008 Hotel California #4

#4. We’re getting close to that coveted No. 1 spot. And coming in at #4 is our beloved purple and gold from the city of Angels, the Lakers. Showtime is back, and Lakers had one helluva 2008. From a Western Conference Championship to now having the best record in the NBA, the Lakers are the best. Kobe was the league’s MVP and they were awesome.

The best was Christmas Day 2008. The Lakers destroyed the Celtics ending their 19-game win streak. With that win the Lakers stopped the Celtic’s momentum, ripped their hearts out, and brought them to their knees. They wrecked the Celtics’ mojo. The Celtics record since losing that game to the Lakers is 2-6. They’d lost 2 games all year and then the Lakers beat them and then they lose 6 of their next 8. And 5 of those losses came against sub .500 teams. I hate the Celtics. It just reminds me how I loved Magic, Kareem and Worthy showtiming up the Celtics back in the 80s. I loved Magic ripping their hearts out in the 1980 Finals. I loved Kareem sky hooking Bird and McHale’s cheeks. But who cares about the Celtics. They suck.

Lakers!! I’m so excited. Let’s look at some of the headlines. Actually forget it. Let’s just talk about the players. Players are great. But Kobe is the best. Let’s just talk about Kobe. Lakers! I remember back in 2000, 2001, and 2002 when we were winning championships how excited I was and I’m that excited right now. Lakers. They are the greatest team. They should be #1 on our countdown. But, believe it or not, a few things are better than the Lakers this past year. And when you come back tomorrow, you’ll find a couple more. Enjoy your night and your Saturday and we’ll return for more fun. P.S. The Jazz stink, too. And the Lakers already beat them this year. Lakers!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

#7. Our 7th event on the 2008 Hotel California Top Ten goes to our boy Dave Nabrotzky. Congrats Dave. Now let me tell you what he did and how he earned this spot. What was initially thought to be one of the most disturbing emails of the year, actually turned into a dream for Mr. Dave Nabrotzky. It took some digging to uncover, though. Let me explain. Much of the story will be told through pictures. On June, 4th many of us received the following email from Dave Nabrotzky with the following picture attachments.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave Nabrotzky <>
Date: Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 9:57 AM
Subject: Mindy Nabrotzky
I know a few of you knew Mindy well. So I wanted to send you a four pictures of her and her finance, Steve Vandegraf. He is a stud and treats her like a princess! He loves sports, fishing, and most important…soccer! Her wedding is July 26th in Utah. I know you will all get invitations. Enjoy! I can't believe this is my little sister : )

So, as you can see Dave shared his excitement for his sister’s engagement. But what was the real hidden agenda and motive for sending this email? The frontrunning theory was a disturbing one, I must say. I didn’t want to believe it, but the evidence was all there. Dave had a crush on his sister. Admittedly, and ashamedly I entertained this theory. Look at that last line, “I can’t believe this is my little sister.” WITH, the smiley emoticon, :). Those don’t just get thrown around. They’re meaningful. For those of us who discovered it, we knew what to do. We had to shut the door and we swore ourselves to silence. This couldn’t come out. Dave is married. He has a family. A business to run. Sure, he lives in Tennessee, but times have changed and that sort of thing is frowned on now. We had to bury this.

But, i tossed and turned that night, knowing their must be some other explanation. So by the candlelight into the wee hours of the morning, I kept digging. And I soon discovered the emoticon must be a TYPO! See Dave is prone to typos. Take a look at the second line of his email. “So I wanted to send you a four pictures…” I had it. I figured it out. But what kind of typo, I didn’t yet know. I had to do more digging before it was too late. Then, ladies and gentlemen, I stumbled upon an earlier email from Dave that shed some light on the mystery -- and it finally hit me. His cryptic emails, were intended to be diplomatic and kind to his sister, but his true intentions can be read between the lines. Take a read through his email and see if you can see it.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave Nabrotzky <>
Date: Mon, Feb 4, 2008 at 2:05 PM
Subject: Romney pictures
This was cool. We had a chance to have breakfast with Governor Romney this morning in TN. He is so awesome and I hope he gets some momentum on super Tuesday. Remember to vote and get all your friends to vote too! The first pic is Bill Haggerty who is Mitt's National finance campaign manager and is in charge of all his fundraising. He is also a stud and I know he and Mitt would for sure be addicted to Sandy.
Dave J. Nabrotzky

Did you see it? Did you read between the lines. Dave didn’t have a crush on his sister. He wanted her to marry Mitt. It’s all right there in black and white. Clear as day. Take a look at both emails. To whom does Dave refer to as a stud? Mindy’s fiancé, Steve Vandegraf and Bill Haggerty – NOT Mitt Romney. He refers to him as AWESOME! We all know that’s Dave’s word. After his first date with Trish, what did he say when he came home? Awesome! The second piece of evidence is the tone. Dave is wishing Mitt success and asking us to take action, “I hope he gets some momentum…remember to vote…” What does he say about his sister’s engagement? Just facts. Nothing like, “I hope they’ll be happy.” And nothing like, “You gotta go to the wedding.” No, because Dave wanted her to marry Mitt. But, the case-closed solid evidence that utterly convinced me and all the rest of the sister-crush theorists was the last line of the Mitt Romney email. “…Mitt would for sure be addicted to Sandy.” We ALL know that Dave’s one true love in life is Sandy. He gave his approval to Mitt not Steve. Steve got a soccer mention. Yah. Dave loves soccer, but soccer is not Sandy. Not even close.

So, back to the typo. What Dave typed was a :), but what he meant to type was a ;). With a wink. And that cryptic wink was actually a call for help to all recipients of his email. He was saying, “Help me Hotel Californians. Help me sabotage this wedding so that my sister still has a chance with Mitt.” Well, Dave, your dream may be dead. But now we know the truth and that has earned you the #7 spot this year.

2008 Hotel California #6

#6. Each and every year another we Hotel Californians have made great strides in life. We accomplish more than the last year. We elevate our game of life. We strive to better ourselves. We become more professional. More of a leader. And then there’s Joe. This year’s #6 event goes to the Deacon for his extraordinary feat of finding his bliss. He’s already reached that milestone of finding his greatest potential, captured it, bottled it and now is just fine-tuning. Joe has successfully found his groundhog year and is repeating it over and over. I think he’s found bliss. We could all take a page from our boy Joe. How do I know this? Well, I accidentally was included on one his emails sent to the UVCC guys volleyball squad. Somehow I got mixed in with Brad Collins, Steve Vail and boys who received this mature, thought-provoking, pinnacle of life email.

From: Joseph Hillman []
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:43 PM
To: amber t; Brad Collins; candice hillman; Jamie Webb; joe peck; mitch sidowsky; steve Vail
Subject: FW: My Mormon Upbringing
From: Mary Jane Thompson
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 9:41 AM
To: Joseph Hillman; Graydon HendersonSubject: FW: My Mormon Upbringing

As I walked down the busy footpath, knowing I was late for an important meeting, my eye fell upon one of those unfortunate, homeless vagabonds that are found in every city these days. Wearing what can only be described as rags, carrying every worldly possession in two plastic bags, my heart was touched by this person's condition. Some people turned to stare. Others quickly looked away as if the sight would somehow contaminate them. Recalling some long ago Bishop who made an admonition to 'care for the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked,' I was moved by some powerful inner urge to reach out to this unfortunate person. Yes, where some people saw only rags, I saw a hidden beauty. A small voice inside my head called out, 'Reach out, reach out!'

So I did..........

I Won't be at Priesthood this Sunday!!

You know you’ve arrived when this is what you’re doing at 1:43pm on a Thursday. Peak of life. You know you’ve arrived when you can play some volleyball at Kiwanis Beach on Friday afternoon. You’ve hit the highest point. You know you’re arrived when you and the twin brothers Larry and Laurence can grab it bite and hit the nicklecade. You’ve reached your zenith. You know you’ve arrived when you can find an 8th year of eligibility to play for UVCC volleyball. Congrats Joe! All us aspiring Hotel Californians are still climbing. I, for one, try and reach the top by writing all this meaningful, useful, uplifting, Pulitzer Prize winning content in the Hotel California Top Ten. Hours of my day are put to good use right here on this very forum. That is why I will return tomorrow and break down the #5 and #4 events of 2008.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2008 Hotel California #10

#10. As a collective group, we’ve been given a lot of accolades since leaving the Brigham Young University. We’ve won individual awards, honors, and merits. The places we work have won multiple awards and honors. Plaques and certificates heralding our sales awards, advertising awards and sports awards adorn our offices and walls. But we can now add an Olympic GOLD MEDAL to our list. An Olympic Gold.

On August 23rd, 2008 nearing the end of the Beijing Olympics the US Men’s Volleyball team beat Brazil to claim the gold medal. And among the members of the US Men’s Olympic Volleyball team was our very own Hotel Californian, Rich Lambourne. And we want to celebrate his team’s great win, which was bitter sweet as you may recall. The headline read:

From tragedy to triumph: U.S. wins gold
Team USA earns first gold medal in 20 years
By the Associated Press
Posted Saturday, August 23, 2008 8:58 PM ET
BEIJING (AP) -- As the crowd roared and his team exulted in its gold medals, the coach of the U.S. men's volleyball team buried his head in his hands and walked off the court. He had gone from the lowest low to the highest high, and it was all too much.
Hugh McCutcheon needed to be alone.
Just two weeks ago, at the start of the Olympics, his father-in-law had been stabbed to death in Beijing. He stepped away from his job to take care of his family. But his team, stirred by the tragedy, began an incredible run, ending Sunday with a 3-1 victory over defending champion Brazil -- a team that they were never expected to beat.

In that same article, Rich was quoted: “"I'm sure he was overwhelmed by everything, not only what happened on the volleyball court," U.S. libero
Rich Lambourne said. "It's just something he poured his heart and soul into for the last four years."
"But certainly with the tragedy that befell his family at the beginning of these games, I'm so happy he was able to be here and experience this with us," he added. "Because he's a huge, if not the biggest, part of our team."

Certainly, the story of Todd Beckman’s tragic death and the subsequent gold medal for the US Olympic team was one of the largest stories of the Olympics. Taking nothing away from that story we want to celebrate Rich Lambourne and his accomplishments. Check out his accolades during the 8 olympic games.

Clay Stanley, playing the opposite position, was named the tournament MVP and finished as the best scorer with 146 points on 116 kills, 15 blocks and 15 aces. He was also the leading server. Rich Lambourne, from Tustin, Calif., was Team USA’s best digger (1.94 digs/set), best receiver (63.91 success percent), and best libero (60.81 success percent). Lloy Ball was the United States’ best setter (6.30 assists/set), and David Lee, from Alpine, Calif., was its best blocker (1.00 blocks/set).

And following the U.S. Men's gold medal victory at the Olympic Games, Rich appeared on Oprah Winfrey's Olympic show and the Bonnie Hunt Show. He was a star on the Hunt show, as Bonnie flirted it up with him.

Currently, Rich plays for the very famous Polish club team Mlekpol AZS Olsztyn, which is a common household name. He plays alongside a top world superstar, whom you’ve all heard of, Wojciech Grzyb.

Congrats Rich. Super stoked for you. But the question is, was he really a Hotel Californian? He wasn’t home very much, unless he was watching Basic Instinct. But that was because he was focused on his Japanese and volleyball. So, I think he was. I guess the real question is, if he saw any of us, would he say: Oh, yes, the Hotel California! That’s why there is a sort of this technicality in fully claiming the Gold. But, hey, half a gold is better than non at all. Perhaps some of our legal representatives of the Hotel can shed some light on this, Bret? Nate? Shane? Do any escape clauses exist? Any loopholes?

I know. I know. You guys aren’t thinking about that as much as you’re thinking about something else -- more importantly, what is his future with Bonnie Hunt? She’s kind of a hot lady. Growl! She’s the true definition of a supercougar, if you know what I mean. Check out her imdb page.
Go Rich! Doesn’t she have like 12 kids, though? I thought she had something like 12 kids. Anyway, Congrats Rich! We may not have been the closest roommates, but the Hotel is very proud of you.

2008 Hotel California #9

#9. From a gold medal we go to an even bigger accomplishment for the number 9 event. How can that be possible? What is bigger than a gold medal? Nate and Amy are the first couple to accomplish something that typical takes a lifetime. They are the first Hotel California family to do this. The rest of us aren’t even close. Our #9 event of the year goes to Nate Ashcraft and his family for attaining every family’s goal to look exactly like each other.

You've probably seen it before -- two elderly people walking hand in hand down the street or sitting at a café, resembling each other so strongly that they could be siblings. Do these couples actually look alike, and if so, what's caused them to develop this way? It’s not partner identity theft, it’s not copycating, it’s just a natural, morphing into a couple-actualized state.

This phenomenon has been scientifically documented and proven to lift marriage to a higher, elevated state. Don’t confuse this with the theory that dogs tend to look like their owners. That is false and unsubstantiated. A Roy and Christenfeld (2004) study found that, yes, dogs do resemble their owners, but only if they're purebreds - that's the dogs now, not the owners. But a Levine (2005) study, reanalysing the data collected in the first study, said no - there's problems with Roy and Christenfeld's (2004) study, methodology and findings. This means we can't yet be sure purebred dogs resemble their owners.

Would you believe that people who live with each other for 25 years actually develop similar facial features? I don't just mean that people tend to choose partners who resemble them, rather that over time together couple's features actually converge. It's weird, but there's evidence for it. A study carried out by the noted psychologist Robert Zajonc and colleagues found that empathy causes facial similarity between couples to increase over time. This proven theory states people grow to look similar because they are empathising with each other and so copying each other's facial expressions. Over time because of all the empathising they are doing, their faces come to look more similar. For example, if one partner often smiles in a particular way, the other is likely to copy it - so creating similar patterns of wrinkles and furrows on the face.

Not convinced? If you don’t believe that, according to an even more credible source, Cosmopolitan magazine, the longer a couple is together, the more likely the two people may start to look more and more like each other. Nowhere is that phenomenon more evident, they say, than in Hollywood, where romances seem to escalate at lightning speed. Just look at how Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have become twins. In essence, they’ve proven that being famous escalates the time needed to reach twin status with your spouse. Nate and Amy not only did it, but did it in celebrity time.

What’s the benefit? Well, a better marriage, of course. A past study showed that genetically similar people have better marriages. Such families have fewer incidents of child abuse, a lower rate of miscarriages, tend to be more selfless, and shag better, too. A straw poll of people I've talked to about this research reveals a polarised reaction. Some think that growing to look more like your partner is an horrific idea. Others, though, think there's something very sweet and romantic about it. I think I'm in the latter camp. Congrats twins Nate and Amy on the #9 spot. You’ve achieved in 8 years what takes most a lifetime.

2008 Hotel California #8

#8. The number 8 event happened throughout the year. But for certain, 2008 was the Year of the Entrepreneur. Many Hotel Californians became business owners. Take a look at who.
Brent Stanley started his own dental practice in Gilbert, Arizona.
Nate Ashcraft started his own legal firm in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cameron Hulse started his own Orthodontic practice in Carlsbad, California.
Sean Brown bought his own restaurant in Arvada, Colorado.
And my favorite. Shane Simpson started his own 24-hour gaming center in Provo, Utah.
Not taking anything away from the other businesses ventures, I want to focus a bit on Shane’s new start-up Versus. On the 21st of September many of us received this email from Shane (also note his new email address):

Subject: Versus Gaming - Outdoor Event
Provo, Utah just got a little cooler....I opened up a LAN (Local Adult Nerds) Game Center called "Versus" justthis month and its going well. Took about 2 1/2 months to puttogether once everything was lined up and had an event outside topromote the place. The event went out of control. We had about 1,000people at one time and probably 1,500 show up overall! I filled theentire Strip Mall's Parking Lot up. Cops came to shut it down aroundmidnight because it was still growing like crazy. My permit was for200 people. We now have 55 members and around 150 other non-memberswho have come by to play in just the first week!Took some pics of it last Friday for everyone to see. Come by whoeveris around. Hope to see some of ya!

So, being my normal curious self, I typed in the url and browsed the site and came across this: If you have any questions for us reguarding our computers, games, group rates, birthday parties, or events, feel free to call us at (801)377-1751. Or, you can email us at

So, I decided to email the information address and see who would respond and if it would get to Shane at all. I didn’t know if he was the one behind the curtain or if he had all his little minions running around and he was just standing around smoking a pipe swinging his chain watch and counting his money. So I sent this:
On Thu, Sep 25, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Jamie Webb <> wrote:I am inquiring about a birthday party I'd like to throw for a good friend of mine. His name is Brian "the Puppy" "Maddog" Matsen. He LOVES video games and is a bigtime gamer. His avatar is sweet. A black dog biting off the head of a horned toad. I think we'll be a party of 30-40. Are babies welcome? Do you guys have high chairs? Wives will come to watch the kids so me and the boys can dominate the Burning Crusade. By the way, when will you get Wrath of the Lich King? Well, let me know details. Pup and gang are going to celebrate!!!

And lo and behold, here is the response I received pretty immediately.

-----Original Message-----From: Shane Simpson [] Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 12:45 PMTo: Jamie WebbSubject: Re: Birthday Party

Whats up Big Timer? Are you messin with me? Are we really having a
BDay Party for our lil ol' Amigo El Puppy? If we throw a Puppy Party will it be eligible for the Top Ten? I'm looking for ideas as there is only one quarter left. I am still a little perplexed as to why I hadn't made it to number one last year. Seriously, meeting Steve O. and having our pic together! Should I have saved it for a slower year to increase my odds!??!

Hope you and your family are doing well. Miss you Jaime!

How is CO? I actually went there a couple of times this year.

Well, this didn’t make the #1 spot either, but I like the way you think. This did, however earn our #8 spot and huge props for starting a company. I love the Local Adult Nerds. Funny. Next time I’m in Provo, which actually may be next week, I will stop by because I’d love to see the place and I’m addicted to World of Warcraft. And to all the other entrepreneurs Congrats. Especially Sean Brown. Do you guys know the name of the restaurant he bought? Rib City!! Kelly and I can’t wait to go to the Rib City. Genius. By the way, ‘reguarding (regarding)’ is spelled incorrectly on your website, Shane. Just a heads up. Go ahead and flex your muscle and fire whoever made that mistake. Business owners gotta be tough.
Come on back tomorrow for some more of the events that made 2008 special for Hotel California.

The Un-doctored picture

Very cute girl.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2008 Hotel California Cultural Lexicon

There’s a couple new segments in this year’s Hotel California Top Ten. One is called Hotel California Cultural Lexicon, which is a nod to the language that has permanently affixed to our Hotel Californianess. And the second is Hotel California Killer Kid, a celebration of a Hotel California child’s accomplishments or feats in the past year. Mostly it’s centered around a ‘like parent like child’ type criteria. Therefore today you’ll see the CL, KK and Honorable Mention before we get started into the actual Top Ten. These may become sticky and become a permanent feature or they may be a one-time thing. I don’t know. That’s how it works.

Cultural Lexicon: The biggest word to permeate our language and define the Hotel California has got to be ‘Si!’. Si! Look in the mirror when saying it, I guarantee your head shakes in agreement, eyebrows raise moving the forehead along with it and the corners of your mouth drop ever so slightly . Si! It rings in your ears with a tone of assurance and confidence. Si! It’s not just a word, it’s an idea. In fact, it’s a friggin meme. Just as the smile icon :) is a meme, and ‘Gilroy was here’ is a meme. Si is our Hotel California meme. Si! The word originated in the Hotel California house from the beginning of our legendary stay. Richard Kruger, founding member coined the phrase. But it’s not just a product of the house, it’s a cultural property of our very beings. Si! Are Dueno and the Clearfield boys using the word because they lived in the house? Not a chance. Si is about us and defines us. The word is so powerful in its meaning that I could pass by Shane Simpson and he’d just say ‘Si!’ And I knew what he was thinking. To this day, I can call Cam and he’ll say ‘Si!’ and I’ll know exactly what’s up. Si! It’ll live on in our cultural lexicon as THE preeminent word.

2008 Hotel California Killer Kid

Killer Kid. This year’s killer kid award goes to Ivy Moffat for her desire to be like daddy. Ivy loves her daddy so much, she do anything for him. If you ever wondered what a true parent child bond looks like, look no further. On October 7th some of us received this email and attached picture from Luke.

-----Original Message-----From: Luke Moffat [] Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2008 11:32 PMTo: Sean Barney; Paul Christensen; Aaron Facer; Ted Jennings; Dave Owens; Richard Owens; Ivan Reyes; Jamie Webb; Jason Wheeler; Carl Whitaker; Jen FernholzSubject: Ivy's first wave

Daddy is proud of his little girl so thought I'd share this picture with you guys (especially those of you who may have known Ivy as a newborn but haven't seen her in a while). The look on her face says it all....I think she's hooked. Not bad for 18 months!

Si, Luke! The look on her face does say it all. So much for kids showing their love for daddy by flopping around in his big shoes. So much for toddlers showing their love for daddy by drawing their handprint on a homemade card for Father’s Day. So much for little ones showing their love for daddy by making a mess in the kitchen trying to bake a cake. Not in the Moffat household. No sir. The way to be like daddy is to shred and rip it up. Hang loose, Ivy. Your daddy’s proud.

2008 Hotel California Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention: This year’s HM goes out to our boy in the jungle, Van Smack, the Pimp in the Box, of which we’re all clones, Mr. James Phillip Rome. The guy was on this year. Takes flew around the Hotel airwaves. A few of my many favorites from this past year.

“Just when it looked like they were going to pull off the biggest “choke job” in the history of the NFL, my Detroit Lions finished the dream. My dream! They “manned down”, “fell apart late” and “lost to complete the perfect 0-16 season”! And I can’t tell you how proud I am of each and every one of these guys. This is the 4th best day of my life after my marriage and birth of my two sons Jake and Logan. But you knew they’d make me work for it. 0-15, and headed into the fourth quarter tied with Green Bay and I had a horrible feeling about it. You just knew someone was going to do something really stupid to ruin my dream. Someone was going to go completely “brain-dead”, at the worst possible time…and “make a play”. And that sort of garbage is contagious! Next thing you know, other gutless slackers start hustling, showing heart and caring. And then Rod Marinelli is standing over me, and using his “sharp shovel” to “carve my heart right out of my chest”! But luckily, these Lions “are who we thought they were”! And when they absolutely had to have it! In the fourth quarter, they “laid down” to preserve the perfect season.”

“If you’re wondering how O.J. Simpson is adjusting to life on the inside. According to his attorney, Gabriel Grasso, “just fine, thank you”. According to Grasso, ‘Oadge’ is earning respect and cred’ and a “little space in the slam”…by buying it: “…O.J. is actually buying stuff for all of these other guys who can’t have anybody on the outside. Candy bars, soup, chocolate, whatever you can buy at the commissary he’s been actually buying it for them, using his money to buy it for them.” Look, I don’t now much about being on the inside other than what I’ve read and seen in movies, but I always thought you made your “rep in the cooler” by picking the “baddest dude” on your cellblock and throwing with him in the cafeteria, in front of everyone, on day 1. I didn’t know you could just roll in and hook them up with “Snickers Bars” and “Top Ramen”. ‘Oadge’ is like the Morgan Freeman of the Nevada penal system! The guy who can get you things. Memo to the guards working ‘Oadge’s’ wing…if he throws up a Rita Hayworth poster, or pocketing dirt…look out! It means ‘Oadge’ is already halfway to Ziwataneo, Mexico.”

“Over the weekend, the Lady Wildcats of Arizona lost a thrilling…eerrrr embarrassing double overtime game to Oregon State. Apparently Zona only dressed 6 players and finished regulation with 4 on the floor. 2 fouled out. By the end of the second overtime they were down to 2 players. Great job Arizona and Oregon State. Way to bring cred to your sport. Nothing says legitimate sport better than 5 on 2. Nothing says we’re a legit sport than needing to go to double OT to beat a team with only 2 players. When 2 players can take on your entire five, there’s a problem. Memo to all layup and set shot coaches, this is basketball, not dodge ball.”

Easily the best morning sports radio talk show host. No better. None are even close. To all other sports talk show hosts out there, you got nothing. Nothing. If you are one give up now. Concede. Hang it up. If you work in LA, Seattle, even Salt Lake City, time to just call it quits.
Congrats to Romy, Luke and the word Si! Tomorrow the real fun begins.

Monday, January 05, 2009

2008 Hotel California Top Ten Intro

When I started this Top Ten in 2002, the goal was pretty simple. Celebrate the lives of all Hotel Californians. That was the mission. I didn’t write it down at the time, but that was in my head. And our lives includes all things we care about (Lakers, BYU football, Sandy, etc.) I’ve chosen to execute that mission with a Top Ten list every year. If it ever makes sense, I’ll change the way it’s executed -- or someone else will -- but the celebration will continue. Why? Because our lives today are better than when we lived at 530 East 600 North. And the family of Hotel Californians has significantly grown. We may reminisce about old times and I may use those memories as humor tactics in creating the list, but the reason this exists is because our lives today are much better and that is worth celebrating.
So, as always, before we begin the celebration of 2008, we’re going to remind ourselves of all that made the list in 2007. And, I need not remind you, that in no way do I know everything going on with you all. So the list is certainly missing some key things. Feel free to share.

HM: A blast from the past, Amy Nilsson (now Maughan) resurfaced and we recognized Dirty B. and his poster collection for ‘having some kissing’ with that fine young Bakersfield girl.
#10. The Pooleman became a doctor. Eric Poole changed his email address to reflect his professional status
#9. Our Cougars of BYU had themselves a block party in Vegas when they blocked the UCLA field goal with time expiring to win the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl.
#8. All single girls in the world wept and gnashed teeth and stuff because they had no more chances to ride the Hotel California express. The last of the single Hotel Californians got married in 2007, me and Carl.
#7. Within a one-week period Puppy, Cam and I all found out we’re having boys who would be born within a week of each other and the groundwork was laid for future BYU roommates and Hotel California II.
#6. The radio waves were never the same when Hans Olsen began hosting “The Zone” – a morning drive-time radio show on 1280AM in SLC.
#5. In the simplest terms, Puppy Ponied Up. That’s right the miracle happened of Puppy becoming generous and paying for others.
#4. The huge event of the year was when our good friend Shane Simpson met Thane Furrows at a restaurant in Aliso Viejo and discovered that a High Strung sequel may be in the works. Shane shared with the rest of us jealous Hotel Californians picture proof of him and Steve Oederkerk. Steve ranks in the top 5 of Hotel California celebrity favorites.
#3. For three days, until Cam convinced otherwise, Hillboy attempted the Master Cleanse diet of drinking only syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Brave soul.
#2. Carl was cut-off. All the years of parent-sponsored Snapples and car insurance were over.
#1. The Puppy Master Plan of timing so that he could have a baby and still travel with the BYU Cougar football. His brain conjured up the perfect time sequence that uninterruptedly gave him a baby and allowed him full travel and plan that to this day has Harvard grads scratching their heads.
Congrats the Puppy for his 2007 #1. Who is this year’s winner? So many events are newsworthy. Only one will get bragging rights.