Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Hope You Dance

Let me fist confess something about my dancing prowess. I have none. If I had to save every living creature on the planet by dancing, there would be only termites and the flu virus left. Even still, I find something incredibly romantic about dancing.
A few days ago the sidewalk told me to dance. I didn't take it literally at the time, but maybe I should. Sidewalks are often very wise. I think I'd like to learn how to dance. Does the internet teach that kind of thing? Probably not. Oh well, it may take me awhile, as I don't exactly have the funds for dancing lessons currently. But I believe that dancing can be for everyone, even a married couple with four left feet.“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” ~Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where is Home?

Today, while I was buying a cheeseburger to help strengthen my wife's sanity, I heard a whisper from home. It was a confusing whisper, because I didn't know from where it had come. But didn't I just say that it came from home? Well, I don't know where my home is.
No, I'm not suffering from a bout of short term amnesia, this time. For me, home is a feeling of safety and joy. Home is eternally linked with the good ole days. But I've lived so many places and had so many fond memories I no longer know where to call my home. Is my home in Texas where I was born, or Oklahoma & Louisiana where I spent most of my formative childhood years? Perhaps it is in Arizona where I've lived longer than anywhere else or in California where I fell in love twice, met my wife, and got married.
Whenever someone asks me where I'm from, I don't have an answer. I don't have a home, I have many homes. Home is no longer a place for me, it is a feeling I take with me wherever I go. Where do you call home? What are the qualifications of home for you? Let me know if you have the time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Comic Book Day!

I went searching for a Japanese keychain today. It was an unsuccessful quest, but not an unproductive one. Besides discovering that there are no Japanese keychains in the town of Madison I was lucky enough to stumble across this glorious flyer.Those have to be the three best words in the whole English language: Free Comic Book. Every year, for an entire day, every comic book store in this great nation of ours gives away free comic books! It's always the first Saturday in May, which means this year it's May 2nd. Find your local comic book store this Saturday and partake in this glorious event that should be a national holiday.

Comics aren't just for kids, and I don't mean the way Harry Potter's not just for kids. I mean the way that sports aren't just for kids or movies aren't just for kids. There are comics for every taste: horror, politics, super heroes, even religion. Go out, get a free comic book, reap some free bliss, and maybe expand your mind this Saturday. I bet you'll thank me for it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A New Chain for my Keys

Last month I lost something that has served me by my side for more than a decade. My trusted Scooby Doo keychain finally broke free from his chain, never to guard my keys from the pocket monsters again. I lamented this loss online and one of my dear friends decieded to help me.
I received a new keychain from a far away land, South Canada, also known as Minnesota. It was a wonderful gesture and truely apperciated. Unfortunately this almost Canadian keychain which sports a moose and some Canadian geese is too large to fit into many of my pants. Which is too bad because it also happens to be a miniature lunch box, and I love to carry food with me everywhere.I guess I will have to use it only for special occasions. I'll keep it around as my fancy keychain used only for trips to Canada or when I really need to smuggle food into a movie theather or ball game. I've put a lot of thought into what my next "everyday" keychain should be, and I've decieded that it should be something that serves as a daily reminder of my dreams and goals. So I've decieded to find a Japanese themed keychain. My wife and I will be moving to Japan in two years when she graduates from seminary. I've got a lot to do in the next two years, get certified and gain teaching experience in ESL, teach my wife Japanese, find a job in Japan, and get a visa. I can't wait to get started, and hopefully a new keychain will be a small, daily reminder to keep myself focused on that goal.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Even Introverts Need Somebody

As a younger man I wasn't always sure I needed other people deeply involved in my life. I find my voice not from social interaction, but rather from quiet reflection. I enjoy being alone and entertain myself well enough as to never be lonely. So why would I need someone else nearly constantly at my side? But after being married almost 2 years I find that I do function much better as a team rather than alone.
When others are deeply involved in my life they usually hold me accountable to my goals. But when I'm alone I have a tendency to procrastinate and ignore my goals in favor of play. I have a very STRONG urge to play. Yet when I have someone constantly involved in my life, it's much more difficult to hide lack of self improvement.
I need others who are deeply involved in my life. Whether it's through church or or friends I meet on campus, it is others who give me a reason to be a better conversationalist or game player or keep my floor clean. My wife has been a constant source of inspiration, a partner who holds me accountable to myself, and the perfect excuse to go on adventures. I truly am a much better person now than I was before I met her. And while much of that improvement has come from hard work and determination on my side, she was certainly the initial reactionary agent and continuing source of motivation. Thank you my dear, I love you deeply.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Importance of Being Aware

I went to the grocery store again. And as usual I had a great time. Every time I go it seems like there is something new there. That's what I love about the grocery store, it is full of unlimited possibilities for culinary creation. But are they content to merely sit back on their great haunches? No! Every time I go in there, they've got something new! Remember green ketchup? The grocery store is the most amazingly innovative store on the planet.
I've never bought anything from the back of a box before. But now I can finally check that off the list. The only reason I bought these cheese-its was to get that sweet, sweet Captain Kirk T-shirt. Little kid Jeff (and frankly adult Jeff) would be extremely proud of this decision. Man is that thing gonna be awesome! Quick, what's wrong with this picture?
Yeah, Raisin has 2 i's. It's important that you be aware of the world around you. Otherwise you might miss a totally wicked offer for a Captain Kirk T-shirt or accidentally buy Raisin Bran without real raisins. At least the guy who designed the front of the box got it right.

Friday, April 24, 2009

History Just Keeps Getting Bigger

Why do I keep running into relics of the past? Everywhere I go, I seem to run into soldiers of antiquity. Today I got a chance to listen to a bard from the American Revolution sing songs of war and peace.Do patriots in other countries dress up like their founders or war heroes? In France, do they have festivals of the French Revolution or dress up like Joan of Arc for educational performances? I hope this is not just an American eccentricity.It feels great to interact with the past, it usually gives me a chance to examine my present from a different perspective. And who doesn't love to dress up!? I bought a sewing machine a few months ago in the hopes of creating my own garments from the past. But alas, it was made in Europe and will not plug into my American electrical outlets. Someday I'll have my own glorious costume from some romanticized version of history, but for now I'll simply enjoy the labor of others.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Past is Upon Us

While walking through campus today, I heard the (all too familiar) cries of battle. Fearful that the apocalypse might finally be upon us, I rushed in the direction of clanging metal and guttural grunts.
I arrived upon a group of medieval warriors in the midst of a ferocious battle, perhaps with the world at stake. Having previously learned a valuable lesson, I decided to observe the situation first rather than immediately rushing into battle.
Although the initial evidence seemed to point to a breach in space-time that had brought our past back to conquer us, I scanned the area and discovered a revealing sign. If the sign is to be believed then this Saturday will be filled with brave duels, strong mead, and heroism. And these warriors were practicing for our entertainment.
I am very grateful that this tribe of like souls has decided to pursue their passion for history and sharp metal. It takes true bravery to wear attire that ignores the last few centuries of textile advancement and stage battles for the enjoyment of others. And whether or not their fighting skills are to be admired, their kindness and bravery certainly should be. Huzzah for those unafraid to pursue their passions in public whatever those passions may be.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exploring other cultures

I found myself at the local Asian market on a recent quest to purchase sushi ingredients. Walking through aisles filled with live eels, dried Rambutan, and hundreds of other unknown food products reminded me how narrow my culinary experiences have been. And also how easily I get lost.
Luckily someone discovered how to extract the "flavour" from a potato without all those pesky nutrients

I have decided that I should make a more concerted effort to expose myself to other cultures, especially their cuisines. I suppose I could delicately sample strange dishes and foreign flavors. But why try something new in a safe and sane manner when you can do it in a flamboyant and potentially disastrous manner!?
I think it's a good idea to spend an entire week eating only food I've purchased at the Asian market. I'll need a little time to try and research some recipes and convince my wife that this is a good idea, or at least one that won't kill us. But sometime in the future, look forward to "Asian Food Theme Week". In fact, I'd like to try and incorporate more theme weeks into my life. Nothing says adventure like crazy theme weeks. If anyone has ideas for fun theme weeks, please let me know.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


After seven long days of waiting, I received a package in the mail today. Over 600,000 seconds after I purchased a new camera using the magic of the internet, it finally arrived in the mail.
The moment I held the camera in my hands, I felt a tiny piece of my self I didn't know was missing suddenly click into place. It was like the first time you fall in love and realize the world has twice as many colors as it did before. Or when you get married and part of your extremely fuzzy future becomes clear and focused as far as you can see. Or the first time you read The Dark Knight Returns and realize that for the rest of your life, a part of you will desperately want to be Batman. A feeling of completeness washed over me. The world's beauty and sadness and chaos is waiting to be captured, and I will be out there trying my best to capture just some of it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Life's Passions

I always thought graveyards were creepy & depressing and I have generally tried to avoid them. But yesterday in my wanderings I ended up in a graveyard of nuns. Standing there, surrounded by hundreds of former Sisters of Charity I felt an incredible sense of hope and peace.My wife has always been fascinated by graveyards. She has long tried to share this interest with me and has pushed me to explore beyond my comfort zone, and I am grateful she did. Yesterday surrounded by hundreds of monuments dedicated to those who lived a lifetime of service and love I had a beautiful and glorious moment.

I have shared many of my passions with her as well. And though she was originally skeptical about the values of cylon warriors and Bruce Wayne's troubled childhood, she too has embraced many of my passions and come to appreciate the great diversity of joys life holds. It feels great to share your passions with others and to explore their passion with them. If you love something, don't keep it to yourself, share it with others.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Unfinished Paths

Maybe God was trying to tell me something today, because I ran into two different labyrinths unexpectedly. Labyrinths are essentially paths that lead nowhere. Designed as a journey with no destination so that one MUST focus on the meaning of the journey itself. Also important when walking in a labyrinth, unlike a maze, one cannot get lost.
Labyrinths are tools to help us examine our lives. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and is able to quiet the mind. When walking a labyrinth you should examine everything that happens while walking in relation to your life. So if your mind gets distracted and you start walking in the wrong direction, maybe you need to look at what is distracting you and consider how it to resolve it and get back on track.
The first labyrinth was still under construction, like my life. And I realized that even an unfinished road can take us somewhere fantastic. You don't have to plan every second of your journey and wait until the road is finished before you start. Sometimes we have to start our journeys with no idea where they will go.

Even if you have no idea where you're going, I still think it's important to take time to periodically step outside yourself and examine your life and where the road you're on leads. Maybe you don't need a labyrinth, maybe you'd prefer meditation or writing down a five year plan. But it's important to know where you are and where you think you want to go on your journey.

"The unexamined life is not worth living." ~Socrates

Saturday, April 18, 2009

True Romance

Romance is not just an attraction between two people. Romance is a feeling inspired by the possibility of adventure waiting to be shared between people or had in a certain place or time. Friends or lovers can share romance, it can even be had alone. Today was a romantic spring day and I spent it with friends in a romantic city. Flowers were blooming, kids were exploring the unlimited possibilities for play, and the city beamed with pride as millions awed at it's beauty. It's the kind of day that makes you fall in love with the world again.
New York City is full of possibilities. I took a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge today, a place full of romance. It's a truly unique place, unlike anywhere else in the world. But the world is FULL of unique and romantic places. Go out and find some romance in the world, it's everywhere. Don't forget what it feels like to explore something new. The world is always changing and never runs out of new adventure and I find that extremely romantic.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Missed Adventures

I live on a college campus where a lot of strange events take place. I know strange events happen here because I am constantly running into ridiculous signs.

I have no idea where this sign leads, but I decided not to take any chances and headed in the opposite direction. Who knows maybe it was a fascinating lecture, but perhaps it was a room full of aliens sent here to destroy humankind or zombie nazis.

There are a lot of adventures in life and plenty of crazy activities. There's no way anyone can see everything and there's something beautiful in that. Sometimes it's ok to walk away from a crazy sign or stay home and rest instead of going on an adventure. As the great bard said, "If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work." I'll never know what mysterious destination to which this sign lead and that's ok with me. I'm sure someone had fun following this sign, and there will be other adventures for me.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And the Winner is....

Well, it's been two weeks and the results are in! The great and wise internet (although I am starting to considerably doubt the latter) has spoken and decided to reward my wife with a day at the spa. In fact, two-thirds of voters thought that a day at the spa would be the best way to spend our gift certificate.
But there is a snag in the plan. After admittedly voting for herself in the poll, my wife has changed her mind and turned down her prize! What do you do when the winner refuses to accept the prize and chooses to exercise her own will over the wishes of anonymous internet voters!?! Is there some way to give her a day at the spa without her knowing? Can I hire a ninja to secretly give her a pedicure while she's not looking? I'll have to put some serious thought into this before deciding on a course of action.

So what have I learned from this experience? For one, my wife is unpredictable and kind hearted. Although I didn't so much as learn that as much as I was reminded. I've also learned that internet polls almost NEVER go the way one wants them to go. Just ask NASA. I guess one of the true joys of the internet comes from voting in anonymous polls for the poll creator's least favorite outcome. Life needs a little mischief.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Post Secret

As I went to check my mail today I came across a mysterious box imploring me to "Put Secrets Here!!" After my recent run-in with the Freemasons, I initially assumed this must be a poor attempt by the Freemasons to obtain embarrassing information with which to blackmail me.
But after further review, I discovered some group on campus was collecting anonymous secrets to send to the website Post Secret. From their website: "PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard." I'm not sure why people need to tell their secrets to someone, but they do. And apparently it feels good to read other people's secrets, like you're somehow helping them with their therapy and connecting to the human race at the same time. I'm about 90% sure that this is not an elaborate trick by the freemasons and I recommend you check out Post Secret.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nikon D90, Great Success!

I am moving up the food chain. Tonight I transformed all the money I've been saving into a Digital SLR camera. It felt magical.
Our new "piggy" bank

I've been dreaming about this day for quite some time now. When I clicked that "purchase" button, it was a moment of pure bliss. I believe you should always follow your bliss, wherever that may take you. And during the last 2 years, a growing bliss has been burning stronger and stronger with every picture I snap. Taking pictures began as a way to connect with friends and family in far away places, just a way to share a little bit of my life with others. But capturing life's moments and beauty has become an end unto itself, no longer just a means to connect with others.

Before me lies a great deal of learning and undiscovered bliss. There is so much beauty and madness out there in the world, and capturing it on film seems to fulfill something inside me. It feels good to upgrade my hardware, now begins the long, hard task of upgrading my "software".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Haircut-A-Thon and Batman

I have no idea what a HairCut-A-Thon looks like. I imagine it's probably a bunch of people armed with scissors trapped in a room with Bigfoot and no one is allowed to leave until someone wins. But as exciting as a gladiatorial battle between Bigfoot and hair stylists sounds, this was not even the most exciting poster on campus.Who doesn't love comic books AND fashion!?! Everyone who loves comic books is definitely into fashion and the vice versa is even MORE true. Seriously though, how often do the fashion club, the comic book club, and Hillel, the foundation for Jewish campus life, team up?? When they do, you know it's gotta be good!Paul Pope is an inspired comic book writer/artist who draws with a calming madness. Born in some future dystopia, he fortuitously fell through a crack in space-time and now celebrates his freedom by drawing comic books and making jeans and hoodies. Today's advice: READ BATMAN: YEAR 100.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A New Beginning...

Today was Easter, a day of new beginnings and a day of Spring. Yesterday we spent time decorating that most obvious symbol of fertility, The Egg.This year our egg coloring kit came with hats and pipe cleaners. Probably the result of some failed doll line which they repackaged as an Easter egg kit. But it was quite fun populating our refrigerator with Egg citizens. We also designed some traditional eggs as well.I realized Japan has been on my mind a lot as of late. It is calling me to it's shores like the moon calls to the ocean. Perhaps I was a ninja in a former life. Or maybe I've just had so much sushi that I've become Japanese. For whatever reason, I will not feel complete until I one day live in Godzilla's playground.For now I am very happy living on the east coast and exploring the birthplace of America. But there is a new beginning out there waiting for me. There will come an Easter when I will wake up in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Secret Societies

I guess I haven't ever seriously considered becoming a Free Mason. But perhaps I should! I've always wanted to secretly infiltrate some sort of organization. And the Free Masons seem like they're probably either trying to take over the world or destroy it with zombies.

Madison's Masonic Lodge

They had these handy brochures right outside their lodge, and if I joined I'd have a great opportunity to finally use some of my expert ninja skills. Plus I'd be joining the company of Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, and George Washington.

So the Pros would be that I might get a chance to use my crazy spy skills and save the world, while the Cons could include wasting time with old people and getting brainwashed into unleashing a zombie apocalypse. I think this will require more thought. If there are any free masons out there or anti free masons, feel free to help me make up my mind.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I ran into the Easter bunny today, kinda. After seeing a giant, anthropomorphic rabbit I immediately leapt from my car to greet him enthusiastically. Who wouldn't, right? I had initially assumed this must be the Easter bunny of legend. But as our conversation progressed, I began to have my doubts.
For one, he had no candy or chocolate to give to me or anyone else. He also smelled peculiar and kept trying to convince me that I should purchase flowers at the local florist which happened to be directly behind him. So I made the only logical conclusion. This was NOT the Easter bunny. This was most certainly the Easter bunny's crazy uncle Frank.

One doesn't often hear about Frank, because the Easter bunny has a great PR person and the mainstream media are in league with that most famous of bunnies, senior Easter. Luckily I do a lot of internet research. From what I can gather Frank has a sordid past. He's been to prison twice. Once for holding the tooth fairy hostage and demanding all chocolate bunnies be based on his likeness, and the second time was for tax evasion. He's extremely jealous of his famous nephew, power hungry, and a bit of a drunk. It seems like he's always working on some scheme to discredit the Easter bunny and grab the spotlight for himself. But apparently things have been a little rough for him lately and he has been forced to work as a spokesperson for Jane's Flower Emporium to help make ends meet.

Sure Frank is a pest at times. Yes, he once tried to steal the Statue of Liberty's crown and sell it on ebay. But still, everyone deserves some compassion. So I gave him a hug and told him that if he didn't have anywhere to go for Easter, he could have dinner with us. I'm sure my wife will be on board with that. I mean it's only for a couple hours. Anyway, today's lesson is two-fold. 1)Be kind to everyone regardless of their past. 2)Just because you see a giant talking rabbit does not mean it is THE Easter bunny. He's got lots of relatives and friends and such. I mean it's not like giant talking bunnies just appear out of nowhere. There's a whole colony of them hidden out there somewhere.

UPDATE: Check out this video to see the REAL Easter bunny in action:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Washrag of Service

Tonight I was given a washrag. And with this washrag comes responsibility, a responsibility to serve others. I don't exactly know how I'm going to serve others with a washrag.But someone requested I use this rag to serve others and document it. So I'll have to put some thought into my plans and come up with some creative ways to use this washrag to help others. If anyone has any ideas, please leave me a comment and let me know.

For now, I guess I'll just carry around this washrag wherever I go. Hopefully a situation will present itself where I can use it for good. I believe if you start looking for something, chances are you will find it. Off I go into the world armed with a washrag and a desire to do good. Watch out world!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I came across this strangely familiar scene today. I don't know why it struck a chord deep inside me that seemed to echo briefly. But it seemed to me like there was some quiet truth to be learned from this broken record lying in the dirt.
What glorious or haunting tunes were once inscribed on this relic? Who would leave this treasure or this trash here on the ground? Was it broken in a fit of rage? Is it lost? Is someone out there heartbroken or does nobody care? I don't know.... The universe is full of unanswered questions. More so by the day, as entropy takes over the universe.

Enjoy the music while you can. Not everything ends up broken in the dirt. In fact, most things end up in the trash. But you never know where life will take you. Wherever it does hopefully there will be music and lots of unanswered questions.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Ring that Found Me

Four years ago I stumbled across a gold wedding ring in the middle of a forest. With no inscription and no one around for miles I picked it up and carried it with me. A few months later I was engaged.
Perhaps it's because I didn't buy it, but I've never really felt like I owned my wedding ring. It seems to me that the ring found me just when I needed it and has decided to come on a journey with me. In the two years I've been married, I must have misplaced the ring a half dozen times, sometimes for a few days and once for about two months. Every time the ring is lost I wonder if it has finally moved on and found someone else. But so far, every time the ring takes a vacation it has always returned.
It's good to have a little mystery in life. I often wonder what journey the ring took on its way to find me, how long it will stay with me, and what its next step will be. Unfortunately I have not discovered how to communicate with it yet. I may never know everything about the ring around my finger, but this won't stop me from trying...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Car Trouble.

My car didn't start this morning. I rely on my car to be in working condition every single day, and today it failed at that task. It let me down, but that's ok because it lead me on an interesting excursion. My wife and I took it into the repair shop where we began discussing Mark Millar's excellent mini-series American Jesus.

My Car, Sleipnir

It was here among the piles of broken machinery and ruined cars that a former shepard of the lord overheard our conversation and told us his tale of woe. It seems this former pastor had taken a cruise and discovered the excitement of gambling, he became addicted and gambled away his house and much of the church's money. A sad but not unfamiliar tale of fallen role models.

In this age of information, it has become much harder to hide our personal lives. Including our failures and dark days. Our sports heroes take illegal drugs, our politicians solicit bribes, our religious leaders commit frightening sins, and courtesy of 24 hour cable news and the blazing speed of the internet, the whole world hears about every detail. Even our comic book idols are no longer one-sided bastions of pure good, but have been given fatal flaws in the name of realism.

But is it so important that our idols remain perfect in our eyes? Like the first time you beat your father in an arm wrestle and realize that he is not superman, there is a brief whisper of disappointment. Then you realize that if your father is actually human, its possible that someday you could be as great as he. If our idols are not perfect human beings, maybe there is a chance that I too can be great someday. This is not to excuse their mistakes, but I think it is best to know that we are ALL truly equal. Everyone is capable of greatness and worthy of forgiveness. I think it is a very good thing when superheroes and outcasts share the same table.

This story ends happily. My car has been repaired and the shepard is recovering from his addiction. While I learned a little something thanks to a broken car and a former pastor.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Washington, D.C.

Washington stands out from other cities like Shaquille O'Neal at an Oompa-loompa audition. It is tattooed with the past. Washington bleeds patriotic symbols. It is a city where mothers cover their children with the American flag to drive away the cold.Giant Lincolns not only sit on thrones overlooking the National Mall from memorials, but they ride through the city on bikes striking inspiration into the hearts of all who see him. In other cities our presidents and national monuments cover our money, but in Washington they are there along the streets and walking amoung us.Monuments seem rise to from the ground in Washington like grass rises in other cities. Perhaps most surprising, the best sights in the city are free. The Lincoln Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums, the National Zoo, The Capitol, even a ride to the top of the Washington Monument are all free.
World's Tallest Obelisk

Like many others before me, I went to Washington a citizen of the Union and I left a patriot. I highly recommend that everyone take a pilgrimage to DC sometime in their lives. I spent a day walking along the national mall, and I cannot wait to return to this beautiful city.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Spring is a new experience for me and my wife. We spent the last decade (or more) living in the middle of a desert where Spring has a very different meaning. In the desert there is no great surge of life springing forth from the formerly frozen landscape. There is no loss in winter, and so no gain when spring arrives.We spent today exploring spring with every one of our senses at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. Our nation's capitol is beautiful and even more so in spring. I wish I were capable of saying something more than, "nature sure is pretty". But after a day of sensory overload, that's about all I can muster. Hopefully tomorrow I can come up with something semi-clever.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scavenger Hunting for Fun and Profit

Those of you that know me may recognize this photo from last November. I took it shortly after watching the local Christmas parade, which consisted of a few emergency vehicles and trucks with inflatable lawn decorations tied to the back. We stumbled on to the last day of a local scavenger hunt, and ran around town trying to complete it in less than an hour.
The scavenger hunt was more than enough reward in itself, but five months later we received a $50 gift certificate good for just about any shop in our local town. I was having difficulty deciding how to spend the money, so I thought I would ask the great and wise internet what I should do:

How should we spend the money??
Be responsible and use it to buy groceries... or a haircut.
Continue the fun and use it to buy comics or toys!
Return it to the community from whence it came. Use it to build a monument, or buy lots of candy to hand out to the locals.
Get your wife a day at the spa! (no one really has to vote for this one, it's just here so I look considerate in case my wife checks in.)
Ugg Boots

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Why I didn't break a world record today

Today I had the opportunity to help break the world record for most people dressed like Waldo. I was going to head down to Rutgers with my wife and one of our close friends. But after they both had to drop out for academic reasons I was faced with the decision to go dress up as Waldo with hundreds of strangers or stay home and not become a World Record holder. It was a tough decision because I LOVE Waldo and who doesn't want to break a World Record??
One of many secret Waldo's hiding on campus

Ultimately, I realized that while I love doing crazy things, having pointless fun, and breaking World Records, what makes these things fulfilling and worthwhile is doing them WITH someone close. My life is about shared experiences. This may seem obvious to my friends, but it is a realization that I'm only now verbalizing to myself. Most of the value and meaning I find in life comes from sharing experiences and feeling emotions in the company of others. I'm sure this is one of the reasons I started a blog. For me, the journey of life is only great when there are others walking with you. Which is why tonight, I had more fun relaxing with loved ones than breaking a world record with strangers.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What Century Is It?

Tonight was laundry night. After hauling what must have been 230 pounds of dirty clothing down three and a half flights of stairs into the "basement of washing" I realized I had two different options for washing my clothes.
I could wash my clothes in the standard, one dollar per load electric laundry machine. Or I could apparently cast off the last three hundred years of technology, and hand wash my clothes in a rusted out tub and wringer. Ultimately I decided that while I may save some money, I'd end up paying much more in time and elbow grease if I used the "free" washer.

But, for a brief second I realized how much I take for granted in my modern life, made so easy and convenient after centuries of technological advance. Tonight I took full advantage of the billions of minds that have gone before me and created such marvels as the electrical washing machine. But I feel I owe it to myself and my ancestors to one day cast off all modern technology for a week to better appreciate the contributions of our ancestors. I hereby pledge to someday go Amish for a full week.

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