Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 15... Livin' The Dream


This week, I want to share with you a story about Justin, my oldest son.  A few weeks ago, while writing a story about Shane, my youngest, I stated I had a "Proud Dad" moment for Justin as well and this story is about a "Dream" come true.

Through most of the 80's and pretty much all of the 90's, Justin lived with his Mother and Step-Dad in Austin, Texas.  He graduated from High School in Austin in 1998.  He set his sights on attending Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University, just down the road from Austin.  He had been obsessed with magazine's and following the advice of "Do what you love," he entered College to study Advertising, which, he says, was a great "entry" point into magazines.  Of the three "arms" of Publishing, he says he is not (1) a Writer, does not have the patience (2) for Design, and therefore, naturally fell into (3) Production.  He was able to land an Internship temporarily at Texas Monthly Magazine.  Justin graduated from Southwest Texas State in May of 2003.  

After graduating, Justin spent 3 weeks in Europe with friends.  He then moved back to Austin and landed a job at Rudy's Bar-B-Q and worked there for six months.  He had even "flirted" with cooking while working his way through College and liked that a lot.  Might he become a Chef?  Well, stay tuned!!!  He interviewed for a full time position in Production at Texas Monthly, but did not get the job (he said it was the worst job interview ever).  He then began to seriously contemplate moving to Chicago to pursue his goal of working for a magazine.  And then, New York City became the number one goal when Justin got word that a college buddy had moved there to attend acting school.  Obviously, New York is the place to be in the magazine world.  So, Justin made his big move to New York and he and his buddy "hooked" up and shared an apartment in February of 2004.

While looking for work, Justin interviewed with a Chef for a cooking job and when asked where he had attended school, Justin replied, "Southwest Texas State."  The Chef then replied, "No, I meant what Culinary School?"  And just like that...  Justin's "culinary" dreams were dashed or smashed and he soon landed a job waiting tables for a French Cuisine restaurant, and for the next four months, that's what he did and actually liked it a lot.  As awesome as his first few months in New York were, bigger and better things lie ahead.

In May of 2004, Justin went on what he thought was an interview for Fortune Magazine.  Once there, he was told by Human Resources that the position had been filled, but that there was a "new" opening at Sports Illustrated (Justin is a big sports freak).  He did interview for SI and after three separate rounds of interviews (they must have gone a little better than in Texas), he was offered the job.  Ok, here is the really "Proud Dad" moment...  I knew what was going on and had informed Justin to "keep me posted."  I also knew how BAD he wanted that particular job.  New York City, Sports Illustrated.  Wow!!!  I will never forget one sunny afternoon, I was driving down the freeway on my way to work and my phone rang.  It was Justin.  He told me he had gotten the SI job.  At that exact moment, tears BURST from my eyes.  I was so extremely happy for him and was so proud that he had achieved his goal.  Exactly one year after graduating from College, May 23, 2004, Justin started his new job with Sports Illustrated as an Ad Production Associate.
His 1st "Issue" hangs in my Home Office
The "Credit" Page:  Look above straight line...  3 rows up, 2nd name from right end, under Operations.  You might have to Click on it, but his name is there...  Ha!!!
In the eight years since being hired by Sports Illustrated, Justin has been promoted to various positions, including moving over to the "digital" process at and then to Corporate, under the Time Inc. umbrella.  He has since moved back over to and where his new title is Assistant Ad Operations Manager.  With this most recent move, Justin sent out a mass e-mail to family on March 3, 2012, explaining the promotion.  I will quote one sentence from that e-mail that I saved:  "This is essentially a dream job for me and I can't believe I will be getting paid to work on a website that I spend so much time on already!"  

In 2005, Justin met "Courtney" and they started dating in the Fall of that year.  On New Years Eve, 2008, Justin and Courtney were married in a beautiful ceremony (although it was 4,000 degrees below zero that night) and now live in Brooklyn, New York.  In November of 2011, Justin and Courtney welcomed into this world George Sullivan Sluder.  And now, I hope you can understand why Justin is truly "Livin' the Dream."

Justin, Courtney, & "Little Man" George...  The Family
Ok, here is the kicker...  When I told Justin I wanted to do this story, his only request of me was that HE gets to choose both the Libations and Music spots.  Permission granted.  So, you will see some of his taste's below. 

Recipe's:  This is something Donna and I have tried a few times and it is amazing, in that it is both simple and quick and the taste is absolutely awesome.  It is our version of Bruschetta.  

Very tasty appetizer...  Quick & Easy

Select your choice of Baquette Bread.  Slice it diagonally, and brush a thin coat of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on each slice.  Then slice a tomato and place each slice on the sliced bread.  Salt and Pepper each tomato slice and finally, sprinkle each tomato with shredded Formaggio Trio of Parmesan, Asiago, & Romano cheese.  Pre-heat your oven to broil.  Place bread on a flat baking sheet and in oven for 5 to 6 minutes.  I promise, you will find your smile.  

Libations Anyone???:  Justin is a Beer man...  He sent me a list.  Ha!!!  According to Justin:  Best Beer EVER is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (cold).  The Top 3 IPA's are: 1...  Bear Republic Racer 5, 2...  Lagunitas (on tap), 3...  Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye.  Justin's New Favorite Easy Drinking Beer is Land Shark Island Style Lager. I would suggest that WE give them a taste...

Music:  Justin says his favorite album of 2012 is "Instrumental Mixtape #2" from Clams Casino.  He says he has also been listening to some Hard Rock Bands that claim Texas as home...  You know I put my boys, ZZ Top in his sights.  He also mentioned At The Drive In and Pantera.  Enjoy.  

Market Watch:  This week, Facebook took a slight nosedive, down to 19.09.  Still a "ga-zillion-aire," Mark Zuckerberg can't be happy...  Did I just say that???  Yikes!!!

The End:  As always, Thank You very much for checking in with Slu's World.  I appreciate your time and hope you will come back next week for more.

Be safe, be smart, and always smile...  It's "Happy Friday"



  1. I am so proud of Justin for not giving up on his 'Dream'. He has a wonderful career and a beautiful family. Very blessed......

    1. thanks sis... i thought the title was so apropos for where he is at in his life now and what he has accomplished to get there. take care...

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your son. How many people get to actually "live the dream"? It's wonderful to see the future pan out it just the right way, especially for those who work so hard at it. I love bruschetta AND beer, so this is a great post for to let a dead dog lie...Check out your son's SI cover. BBBBBen Wallace. From where? Um, the Detroit Pistons. Happy Friday, slu :)

    1. Ha!!! it would be the Pistons... every "dog" has his day. appreciate the comments. seriously try the bruschetta: it is awesome. have a great weekend, slu

  3. What an amazing tribute to your son!! He has really come a long way and I also am very proud of him as well!! Thanks for sharing his milestones with us Slu sounds like these are only the beginnings of many more great things!!

    1. Thanks Brenda... i really appreciate it. just an FYI: i really dig your "Beatles" page. don't comment on everyone, but i'm there & lovin' it. keep it up, slu.

  4. Lovely post.
    Justin is an inspiration to young peep.
    Thanks for sharing :).

    1. Thanks so much... I really appreciate it. Take care, Slu

  5. Congratulations to Justin!! He is so very talented and lucky to have found his dream job at such a young age!! You must be beaming with pride--I certainly would! LOVE the new twist on the bruschetta recipe--we make it often here but I'd like to try this out! Thanks for sharing, Slu!

    1. Yes, very proud... Thanks for the kind words. Please try the bruschetta: I think you will love it!!! Take care, Slu

  6. Oh, Grandpa Slu! That Little Man, George is precious. I hope you've managed to get to NY for a squeeze:)

    Lovely post to read - you write so well, and straight from the heart! I love it.
    Josie B

    1. Thanks Josie B... As a matter of fact: We just booked our Condo in Brooklyn for the middle of November, and we will be there for "Little Man's" 1st birthday. And yes, I can't wait to "squeeze" him.

      Your comments are always so sweet... thanks, Slu


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