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California

Where’s Charles Atlas When You Need Him?

Hey Team,

OMG SANDBOARDING FTW LOL JK! (Um…I have NO idea what that means. Let’s try again.)

A very long time ago I promised some friends I would be back in California this weekend (on account of one of my best friends has a birthday just a few days before mine and we usually do something biggish for the birthday weekend i.e. THIS weekend) not knowing what may be in store. The only info I had going for me was that I knew it involved the list so it could only be one of 26 activities. But even if I had known EXACTLY what we were going to do today I still would have been blown away!

Check this out!

Awesome. Just awesome. Period. (Do I have to write out period or does the period count as “period?” Oh well, more emphasis can’t hurt.)

Nate, Saadia, Cody, Rebecca and Erica all MADE their own sandboards PLUS one for me(!) and slapped the Amtrekker logo across all six!!!

And that’s just where it started. We went to Sand City, CA (I was blindfolded for the better part of the morning despite my repeated complaints of boredom.)

during an absolutely beautiful day and then spent the first several hours More >

Other People’s Adventures

Hey Team,

The coal mine escapade didn’t work out for one reason or another so I bailed out of Louisville (Lawll-ooll?) and headed west again. There are only a couple of times a year where I really like to make an effort to be near friends and this is one of those weekends. My friend Nate and I have birthdays only a few days apart so it’s always fun to have an adventure around this time (not that it’s not fun to have an adventure all the time).

This year, because of my…unique situation, Nate and his wife (Saadia) have planned some sort of list related adventure set to begin Saturday morning at 9am. Beyond that they refuse to tell me what’s going on and since I dig surprises…I’m pretty excited.

So that’s what brought me back to California…but within a couple hours of landing, there was another little surprise. A VERY little surprise in fact. John-Michael, for those of you who have been paying close attention for awhile now he’s the friend I came back to California for in July to be his Best Man, had a little baby girl (well, his wife did anyway, but you get the point)!

It was the More >

More Christmas Jeer

Hey Team,

I just made the trek up to Northern California to meet with a couple people before deciding on New Years plans (of course I suddenly realize the new year is closing in fast). But let’s take a quick step backwards to Christmas.

It was good to see the family again, even if it was in such an untraditional setting (not that my family relies very heavily on tradition). I can always count on them to keep me grounded. (That statement can be taken very literally regarding my childhood. I realize memories are inherently flawed but I have NO idea how I managed to be in trouble as often as I was back then.) I said it before, but I’ll say it again anyway:

My family is incredibly supportive of everything I’m doing and they all understand what it’s like to be trapped in the 8 to 5 and never have the chance to get out and see the world. That being said, it’s a tough thing to be in a house full of my family members and not spend the entire evening dodging jokes made at your expense and countering with slander. (That’s what makes family FUN!)

I thought in my next More >

Ka-COW!

Hey Team,

I learned another very important lesson today. No matter how dopey and stupid and slow cows look…they’re not. It’s just a scam perpetrated by the entire species to lull us into a false sense of superiority. Unfortunately for me, every once in a while one of these little critters decides to show it’s true colors.

Enter Cue Ball, an unassuming cow-shaped cow that doesn’t appear to be particularly bright or large but nonetheless managed to make me look like a complete idiot in short order.

My date with Cue Ball started out innocently enough: tied to a hitching post with a brush in my hand Cue Ball managed to seem pretty calm. Scratching under the chin elicited a response not unlike your average puppy even.

After a good thorough “getting to know you” period, Cue Ball was led out into a nice soft field with plenty of open space to run and I was handed the harness rope.

“Okay, good luck.” The smile on my Aunt’s face was less than comforting.

“Okay, new friend, I’m not looking forward to this anymore than you are.” I tried to bond with the cow. “It’s okay, I don’t want to hurt you and you don’t want to More >

Udderly Strange Christmas

Hey Team,

This might be the strangest Christmas I have had the opportunity to live though. Bare in mind, that’s saying quite a bit. My family isn’t one that is necessarily steeped in tradition and as such I’ve seen Christmas’s celebrated out of suitcases packed with fake Christmas trees come and go, with carols being sung in Florida, Southern California…and maybe even Vegas.

But I think Popamtrekker said it best when he said something along the lines of, “Next year I want to have our own Christmas. I don’t want to have to borrow everyone else’s.”

I don’t want to get too deep into Christmas right now, maybe later; this post is really just here for two reasons.

1. To let you guys know I’m going to go see what I can do about riding a cow as soon as I finish writing this.

And

2. To ask the question: What should I be doing for New Years this year? I’ve had a few cool invitations that I would LOVE to go take part in but I’m not sure how far I’m going to be able to travel in the next several days. Shout it out and I’ll see what I can do though!

Okay, time to More >

Home Is Where the Headache Is

Hey Team,

So, let’s try to answer that “home question” today. Home has become such a nebulous concept for me lately…especially since technically, I don’t have one. I’ve always said, “I’m not going home until EVERYTHING is crossed off the list.” And of course, I don’t intend to, but after being away from home for so long already “home” has come to encompass something more along the lines of a comfort zone than an actual residence.

I’ll try to explain. I left home to embark on this Amtrekker adventure. Things got very uncomfortable very quickly. I didn’t feel like I was at home. Now I’ve gotten very good at being uncomfortable and as a result, relatively speaking, LOTS of places that I NEVER would have considered calling home before leaving on this trip suddenly start feeling a lot more like home.

I’ve even found myself slipping on a number of occasions after a couple days with particularly cool couch surfers and saying things like, “That was fun but I think after this I’m ready to just go home.” Of course on the surface I mean THEIR home…but I don’t think I’d phrase it like that if I weren’t super comfortable in my surroundings.

After More >

California Bum

Hey Team,

I’ve had a great few days in Southern California! The weather has been pretty nice and I’ve had some consistently good company to kill time with as I wait for my parents to make the trip down. As far as I know the current plan is for my folks to pick me up and take me to the wonderful world of Kerman, CA for Christmas with the family without going home (Which again begs the question…what’s home? I’ll try to do a better job of answering that question in the next day or two.)

But for the last few days I’ve managed to stay entertained if not busy crossing things off the list. The first half of the week (as opposed to the one day I said it would be…sorry) was spent with my friend, Dan, an accomplished commercial director and fellow podcaster who taught me a ton about editing and reintroduced me to the glory of video games. I seriously couldn’t thank him enough for all the help he offered.

Mostly though I just feel like a shmuck for tooling around California without a plan for the next few days. Especially since any work I’ve been doing has been behind More >

The Totally Rad Experience

Hey Team,

Being back in California almost feels like cheating. No, I’m still not going home until everything is crossed off the list (which is reeking havoc on my family’s holiday plans) but I feel so comfortable here that sometimes I wonder what home really means. (Pretty deep, I know. We better save that particular pondering for a day in the near future when I have a little more time to write.)

California or not I’ve still been spending my time riding couches and yesterday I spent the entire day watching the Totally Rad Show guys do their thing. It was interesting to watch people fighting with some of the same problems I run into pretty regularly (and handling them better than I do). Putting out free entertainment to the masses is no easy job and these guys have a much better system in place than I do. I have to admit, I was a little jealous.

Even though they felt the need to constantly point out how low budget they are it must be nice to not have to carry your entire production in a backpack. (I wonder what I’m going to do when this trip is over?) Regardless, they do an awesome More >


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