Second acts.

About 10 years ago, maybe more, Indianapolis Monthly ran a story that was, well, a marvel. Constructed as a profile of a high-flying local CEO and his wife, it was one of those things that walked a line so delicate that at some points it didn’t seem to exist at all. How to tell the story of a 40something CEO and his 20something second wife, a woman he supposedly met when she jumped out of a cake at his son’s bachelor party, without seeming, oh, to be just a little too in love with the details?

And what details they were — there was that cake, of course, and the obvious matter of her last paying job (at a strip club). There was the charm school she happily admitted attending — and sending her mother to — so she could move with the CEO class and know which one was the fish fork. And there was the house, oh, the house. The 23,000-square foot mansion has a name (Le Château Renaissance), along with carved this and gilded that and the murals, so many murals:

Stepping through the massive mahogany double doors and past the neoclassical murals in the marble-floored foyer, visitors to Stephen Hilbert’s Carmel mansion are greeted by a giant likeness of the former chief of Conseco Inc. Hilbert gazes down upon his guests from a domed mural fantasy two floors up. Dressed as a Greco-Roman warrior, Hilbert stands astride a cloud, with a breast-baring queen beside him.

There was also a replica of Indiana University’s Assembly Hall out back, complete with replica NCAA championship banners, where John Mellencamp and Evan Bayh played pickup games with their host.

As someone once said of Bob Greene, it was as though these people had no embarrassment gene. And the marvel about the story was, it was the sort of thing they would read, put down and say, “What a nice story that man wrote about us” and everyone else would read, put down and shudder.

My reaction was: The first wife got the best part of that deal. As I recall, she settled for a big, fat bag of money and the Colorado ski house. She got a new lease on life, a Get Out of Indiana Free card and the perfect place to watch her ex-husband make a fool of himself over a stripper.

Well, as you can imagine, it all ended badly — the business, that is. The CEO and his wife, the ineffably named Tomisue, were forced to leave the murals behind when the corporation sued them for it, and had to move into veritable pauper’s quarters down the road (a mere $2.4 million house). But they’re still married! And Tomisue, anyway, is still swingin’!

She has, she tells, us “a passion for helping others.” And what better way to help others than to launch your own line of handbags: Launching a line of purses and apparel gives me another vehicle to give back to the community. Lending a helping hand to others and my love of design and fashion are both very near and dear to my heart. For this reason, I am so pleased that a portion of all proceeds from my handbag and apparel lines will benefit charitable organizations. Giving back to the community has been, is, and will continue to motivate me in all that I do.

Well, good.

Knock around Tomisue’s site. I especially enjoyed the video clip of Tomisue presenting personalized photo purses to the Denver Broncos cheerleading squad.

You’ve heard of “My TiVo thinks I’m gay”? Welcome to “The iTunes Music Store thinks I’m retarded.” This is the playlist it suggested for me, based on my previous purchases and, I suppose, the evil spies who creep into your room at night and root through your files.

Hey Ya! / OutKast
O-o-h Child / The Five Stairsteps
I’m Too Sexy / Right Said Fred
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long Long Time) / Elton John
The Humpty Dance / Digital Underground
For Your Love / Yardbirds
Cinnamon Girl / Neil Young
Pictures of Matchstick Men / Camper Van Beethoven
Owner of a Lonely Heart / Iowa State University
The Reason / Hoobastank
Lights and Sounds / Yellowcard
America / Neil Diamond
I Will Survive / Gloria Gaynor
Dancing With Myself / Billy Idol
Ride Wit Me / Nelly & City Spud

Who the hell is Yellowcard? And why would I like them?

Posted at 7:18 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

21 responses to “Second acts.”

  1. alex said on February 7, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    I wish the reorganized Conseco luck in liquidating that monstrosity. People with ill-gotten fortunes and bad taste can afford to build to their own specifications, and do it anywhere they please besides the middle of Indiana.

    We could really use Tomisue’s unique aesthetic touch on Indiana’s license plates, by the way.

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  2. Connie said on February 7, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    I get crabby every time I read Indianapolis Monthly. (So why do I?) It’s all about rich people, high end home decorators, expensive houses and plastic surgeons. There are more special sections paid for by home builders and doctors than there are real articles.

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  3. deb said on February 7, 2006 at 10:40 pm

    yellowcard is my 15-year-old’s favorite band, so i’ve been listening to their new CD, “lights and sounds,” ALL. THE. TIME. and i must say, i do like most of it, though i don’t know exactly how to describe what it is. alternative, but with occasional strings (there’s a violinist), some actual musicality, and a truly haunting instrumental opener.

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  4. joodyb said on February 8, 2006 at 1:39 am

    yellowcard is so 2005.

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  5. joodyb said on February 8, 2006 at 1:40 am

    just kiddin.’

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  6. alex said on February 8, 2006 at 7:50 am

    Indianapolis Monthly, Chicago Magazine. It’s all the same. Chicago used to have some good investigative journalism in it–homicidal maniacs seem to abound in Windy City high society–but lately has turned into the Peddler’s Post for facelifts and Lamborghinis and Ten Best lists of various types of surgeons. Dowdy little Fort Wayne’s attempt to do the same is comical. It’s also being given away free.

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  7. basset said on February 8, 2006 at 10:32 am

    for that matter, who or what is Hoobastank?

    and if the Iowa State University marching band, I assume that’s who it is, wants to record Yes music, why don’t they pick something from when Yes was good? “Close to the Edge” could be the whole halftime show

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  8. Danny said on February 8, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    basset, Yes did a symphonic tour in 2002 that was simply amazing. Local symphonies played with them. They released a DVD of their Amsterdam performance that was great.

    Funny, my wife and friends and I were discussing the recent superbowl halftime shows. Last year was Sir Paul, this year was Mick and the “boyz.” Next year? My wife thought Yes. I said, no way. Jon Anderson would be waving his pinkies at faries in another dimension (no kidding, I seen him do this at concerts). I think Zeppelin would be great with Jason Bonham on drums. They have already sold out to Cadillac, I’m sure they could be talked into it.

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  9. Dwight The Troubled Teen said on February 8, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    Ah yes. The salivating schadenfreude the Have Nots share at the fall of the Haves.

    Time and tide. Death and taxes. Irrational loathing for people more successful than ourselves… Sigh. Is this a great country, or WHAT!?!

    “That’ll learn them upitity Coe-nekt-uh-cut Yankee types ta’ stay within their station!”

    Ever strive to understand why folk abroad hate Americans? Just look inward at your own petty jealousies toward the successful. Same deal. Different scale. It’s a big continuum, and somebody is always higher up on the ladder and somebody always has their nose in YOUR ass and hates you for merely existing.

    Frankly, if I had the money and temerity to have a fresco painted… in my own damn mansion… featuring my naked likeness sporting an apocryphal 14 inch weezer and surrounded by fawning naked and nubile nyphettes pulling themselves up from submission by my knee, ala Princess Lea in the original Star Wars poster… I won’t be asking your collective permissions before commissioning Adam Hughes and turning him loose on the scaffolding.

    (You never asked Hilbert’s approval before you bought that awful, garrish, Amish-themed couch, did you?)

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  10. brian stouder said on February 8, 2006 at 2:09 pm

    Well, for a ‘troubled teen’, the idea that Hilbert defrauded investors seems not to trouble you at all.

    I don’t think anyone here envies the guy; but we reserve the right to laugh at him!

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  11. basset said on February 8, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    Jon Anderson does indeed live in another dimension as far as I can tell… I would still pay to see “Olias of Sunhillow” done live, though.

    wasn’t the orchestral tour the one where they had Tom Brislin on keyboards, made him travel with the crew and kept him off to one side of the stage with barely any lights?

    lost interest in Yes’s newer material around “Tormato,” I don’t get all that dance-pop stuff.

    got to see an outstanding Rick Wakeman performance last summer at the Nashville Film Festival – this was in one of the smaller theaters of a mall multiplex, he just played piano and told stories for about an hour. and there weren’t a hundred people in there… too bad, the guy is just hysterically funny on top of all that musical talent.

    the next Super Bowl performance? Sleepy LaBeef.

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  12. Danny said on February 8, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    Yeah, “Olias” would be awesome.

    Brislin was actually center stage, behind Jon, when I saw them in San Diego. But if I remember correctly, he did not particpiate in taking bows at the end with the rest of the group. This was probably by design, but I read somewhere that it only lasted for the first few shows and then he started lining up with the rest of the band.

    The next two tours, Rick was back. I actually got to meet him and everyone but Steve (my hero, who went back to the hotel early because he was tired). I work with a guy who is best friends since childhood with Jon’s oldest brother, Stewart. That’s how I got to meet them.

    Your right about Rick. He is not only talented and funny, but very down to earth. I heard he once said that Jon was the only person he knew who cared so deeply about this planet while living on a completely different one.

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  13. Dwight The Troubled Teen said on February 8, 2006 at 5:52 pm

    But there was nary a mention of fraud in anything Nancy excerpted. The mockary was not at his crime, it was at his success prior to the crime. That excerpted article was pre-crime, right? Nancy’s derision was not of the sin, but of the sinner himself.

    I won’t speak for Nancy’s motivations, but it would seem that she was most offended by a man who would leave his wife for a younger floozy.

    I look forward to all the forthcoming intellectual honesty whereby she derides women who “cash out” of a high-profile marriage for the child support and/or the maintenance. Of course, that so rarely happens, that might be a difficult indignity example to find.

    Besides, channel your inner-liberal, Brian. He was probably just defrauding OTHER rich investors, so that makes it okay. As long as it’s only rich people getting hurt, right? They aren’t really people. They are just soulless icons. Hibert never gives a DIME to charity, right? He just sits in a big vault/room and counts all of his money that he has had converted into blindingly shiny gold bullion coins, ala Scrooge McDuck.

    That bastard. We should tie him to a chair and beat him with a wiffleball bat!

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  14. basset said on February 8, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    >>cared so deeply about this planet while living on a completely different one.

    right, he used that line in Nashville… also told a story about Jon coming to see him on the Isle of Man and staying in a hotel on Douglas harbor, getting a room with a view so he could paint, spending several days on a big canvas with lots of peering out the window and measuring proportions, then turning everything around and proudly showing off a painting of… a flower.

    Rick has been doing some TV host work in England, may even have his own satellite radio show if I remember right.

    “Olias” was released when I was at IU in the mid-70s… and worked real well as what used to be called a “make-out album.” come on up to the room, dear, I’ll pour you a glass of two-dollar wine and we’ll hear about the flight of the Moorglade…

    not that I would know anything about that, of course.

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  15. alex said on February 8, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    Oh, Dwight, oh, Dwight. There’s no amount of money to make up for the ignominy of having fucked much less married such a loser. And, no, his misdeeds ultimately are paid for out of your and my hide. The pleasure of being able to make a mockery–yes that’s mockery–of him is a pyrrhic victory, but better than nothing which is more than what’s in the bag the public is left holding when people like him are running the show. Which is to say both houses of Congress and the White House at the moment.

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  16. Linda said on February 8, 2006 at 8:35 pm

    I believe I read that the mansion of which you speak is going to be the design guild showcase house next year! Interesting background. Seems they weren’t able to use the governor’s mansion this year. I kind of like our Fort Wayne monthly magazine.

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  17. Danny said on February 9, 2006 at 10:49 am

    “Olias�? was released when I was at IU in the mid-70s… and worked real well as what used to be called a “make-out album.�? come on up to the room, dear, I’ll pour you a glass of two-dollar wine and we’ll hear about the flight of the Moorglade…

    It has the opposite effect on my spouse. But, of course we are older and wouldn’t sit around and makeout to Dark Side of the Moon nowadays, either. Yes, sadly, Olias is relegated to headphones only personal enjoyment.

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  18. Ernie Reno said on March 30, 2006 at 4:15 pm


    My understanding is that Tomisue is wife no. 6.



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  19. nancy said on March 30, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    (Marge Gunderson voice) I think I’d have to take exception to your police work there, Ernie. (/voice)

    Unless he was married four times before his 31st birthday, or unless he’s storing them in a newly poured basement, most reputable sources have him on his second go-round.

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  20. yellowcardlover06 said on August 4, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Yellowcard is one of the coolest rock bands ever if u haven’t heard of them u truly don’t have a rock life jk!!

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  21. yellowcardlover06 said on August 4, 2006 at 7:42 pm

    Just playin’

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