Monday, October 17, 2011

Plate Family Niagara Falls Roadtrip

Friday Evening:
In the explorative spirit of Columbus, the Plate family heads west on the Pike. The official observation of Yom Kippur is tomorrow, but I am fasting today instead. I am famished. Religion is treated too much as a perscription: do X in a certain way at a specific time. Being generally un-religious I’m free to pick and choose the customs as I see fit, and fasting/soul searching for YK seems worth doing. Six years ago I almost applied early to Colgate University. Perhaps I might've been a Turning Stone regular but now there’s a restaurant where I thought there was a poker room. The casino, which seemed gaudy large when I was 19, is underwhelming at 24. The new poker room at TStone is large and has faux-ornate decorations that can’t cover its listlisness. The recent economic hardships resonate in NY and fill the room. Only half the tables are running and most people are buying in for the minimum. 

Saturday AM:
Travel 101-The drive from Turning Stone to Niagara goes by quickly when you put Joshua Radin on your iPod and nap for 80% of the ride. The American Falls are a rocky and jagged, the Horseshoe falls calmly surround. We ride the “Maid of the Mist”  though bubbly white water.  
We are soaking wet but is record heat for October. We cross the border and head to our hotel which has a view of the falls. The US side is “I heart Niagara” t-shirts, Canada is hotels and bird sanctuary.
Saturday PM: 
Note to self- you can call your name in to avoid the one hour wait at the Casino Niagara poker room. Instead of waiting I walk back to the US and play at Seneca for a short session during which I befriend a few Buffalonians. Ray (a bartender at the Fridays across the street) tells me that Niagara is a holy place for Indians so they’re supposed to visit during their lives. Makes sense, they were everywhere. The poker is very passive. One very obnoxious person at the table says he’s going to the ATM and we all independently decide not to hear him. His seat gets filled and he throws a fit at having to put his name back on the list. #peoplemaketheirownkarma

Saturday Evening:
I meet my parents at the Hard Rock Cafe 40th aniversary concert. A bus full of Hard Rock’s most famous memrobelia is touring the country to benefit breast cancer research: Handwritten lyrics of Imagine, Elvis’ guitar, Beiber’s skateboard (wish I was kidding) Steven Page from the Barenaked ladies plays an acoustic set. His lyrics are funny and his voice doesn’t match his look. 
I call in a reservation to the Niagara poker room and re-cross the border. The Casino Niagara poker-room has a modern, amusement park vibe. The dealers are friendly and jovial. I go up big quickly, but then proceed to not win a hand for 3 hours and book a small loss. The table is uproarious. A 34 year old 300lb man named Teddy keeps bluffing and telling people that if they are call him he will take of his shirt and rub his nipples. He has ~$750 in red and white chips that he fashions into a (direct quote) “weiner”. A woman at our table asks him if it is as big as he claims. He says that he hasn’t seen it in years but that she can check. We lose our minds laughing. Canadiens are funny. 

Sunday AM: Had I not studied abroad, NF may have been the most interesting place I’ve ever gone for a run. The “wow thats cool” appeal of the falls doesn’t pass. The enormity and constant lulling sound didn’t ever become usual or ordinary. I ran upstream until the water wasn’t rushing, paused to stretch and thought you have no idea whats ahead. I think I was talking to the water. 
Sunday PM: The Sunday afternoon game at Casino Niagara is full of regulars. The dealers knowing everyone else’s name is a dead give away that they play all the time. Nonetheless, they are terrible- making stacksize relative mistakes and lightly calling three/four bets out of position. I lose a few big hands and never get the cards to take advantage of some spots but turn a small profit on the day nonetheless. The entire casino seems to have money on the Bills and they erupt as Vick sinks my fantasy matchup with Febo Brenton. Sigh.
Sunday Evening: On a recommendation from my friend Swati, we head to Edgewater Tap and Grill. As the name implies, there were some very decent views. We eat then head to Clifton Hills, which was evidently dreamed up by a 9 year about to OD on speed and gushers. It’s an adult playground: museums (Ripleys Believe it or Not, the Famous Criminals Wax Hall of Fame), fine dining (fudge and candy and pizza), classy hotels (travelodge), entertainment (lazer tag, night clubs.) 
Mama Plate conquers her fear of heights on the ferris wheel and we roll to cash out our winning football bet. Only one thing left to do: teach my parents how to play sic bo. Good way to end a trip. At one point we bet $1 on double 3’s, $1 on 3/4, and $1 on the under. It came 3-3-4, Ship it.
Niagara Falls is strange and beautiful and full of Indians. Plate family 1, Sic Bo 0. Good mini adventure, easy ride home, back to work, full of introspective thoughts. Sorry Nick, no big buck...yet.

Monday, September 12, 2011

R.I.P. Spartacus

Recently I was engaged in a conversation about the purpose of film in the 2011 media landscape. Films can be made as:
1- Expressions of Art (designed to make the viewer feel)
2- Entertainment (to distract the viewer)
3- Social/Political Critiques (to make the viewer think)
4- Commercial Units (to get the viewer's money)

Films rarely fall into a single category, but they trend. A type 1 film is rarely a type 4 film and a type 2 film is rarely a type 3 etc.
The same ideas hold for TV. Over the past several years there are way too many crap shows (type 2) pulling huge ratings and making piles of money. "Blah" TV is on the rise (defining "success" as high ratings/printing $) some of today's most successful shows are Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, Two and a Half Men. Among other things, this speaks to a lack of depth in America's leisure. Do people feel passionate about 2.5 men? Probably not.
While recent broadcast programming has fallen off a very vapid cliff, there has been experimental cable content. The success of Breaking Bad and Rescue Me reflects a small but diehard audience embracing a dark powerful show.
When was the last time you really felt something watching TV? For me (cue the haters)  it was Starz' adaptation of Spartacus. It reeled me in with its guyisms- violency and nudity- but turned out to be a show about justice/truth/how much suffering a man can take before he loses himself.
I cried, hard SPOILER ALERT at one point:
Spartacus is taken from his wife and home, sold into slavery and forced to be a gladiator. He forms a friendship that gets him through the hell that has become his life. This friendship grows and grows, and late in season 1, the son of an aristocrat (an 10 year old child) forces him to kill his brother for no reason in particular. Spartacus realizes that the veil of hope he has been sold is a lie. He is a slave and has lost all control over his life.
The character goes off the deep end after that, and so did I (just ask Becca and Nick who happened to hang out with me right after I saw the episode.)

Having not blogged in a few months, this post may seem random, but I heard this morning that Andy Whitfield-the lead actor from the show- lost his battle with cancer. The second season (which wasn't very good) was a prequel to give Whitfield time to undergo chemo. He was declared cancer free last year and Starz began filming a true second season. Whitfield's cancer returned, and got the best of him.
Good type 1 TV- the kind of story that can inspire a viewer- suffered a big loss. Of course the death of a man is more important than the loss of an actor, but as someone who devoted himself to art he succeeded.

If you're a non-squeamish guy, Spartacus season 1 is on Netflix. The first few episodes are pretty bad, but it really grows on you after that.

Next blog won't be so serious, I can't let Nick ( out-random me, so there will be a boatload of weird coming this blog's way.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nerdin' Out on the Batman Trailer

For anyone who watched the Batman DKR trailer today (available here: and is wondering WTF that thing was Batman's about to fight, allow me to nerd it up...

DKR will be battling against two interesting shifts in the film industry:
-Movies come out on DVD/Bluray/ondemand more quickly than they used to. Coupled with the affordability of HDTVs, this has created "wait to see it" attitudes.
-Imdb/Apple put trailers out much further in advance than they did a few years ago. While youtube views of trailers are free, the paid advertising budgets that support a film release have risen. A lot of movies (caugh GreenLantern) fail as financial investments.

DKR is immune to these concerns, but has much higher financial expectations.
HP7p2 just broke the Batman record for the highest grossing opening movie. HP is out of content, so the Batman conclusion has a final chance to win it back.

Nolan is re-macking with his Inception playboy Tom Hardy as Bane.
Remember playing video games back in the day and you beat a level but have to face a boss that's unbeatable? Kind of like Bane who has a backstory of "uber-brilliant evil guy gets some super-roids so that he's bigger stronger etc than everyone else and can also anticipate their every move"

Summer movies 2012>Summer movies 2011. Already.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Speaking of Mid-Year

Hey All,
Mid-way through '11, life is good.
Sorry I've been lame about blogging, a few people have called me out on it recently so here goes (in no particular order):
1)- The Texas trip was great. Austin is vibrant and full of life. I've very impressed with the progress Tyler and Trey have made launching their company (check them out here: which brings me to...
2)- Just want to put it out there how amazing/baller some of the recent changes my friends have been making are: new jobs, potential new jobs, jetsetting, deciding to move across the country. You continue to evolve into incredible young people and it reflects very well upon everyone surrounding your life.
3)- Other than the lack of "Haters Gonna Hate" schwag in the 3rd floor landing, we're all settled into Davis. If you haven't visited yet, please do.

4)- Summertime is: finally getting back to golf, a trip to peaks, a yoga retreat, hopping between Cape Cod and the city, getting past chapter 3. Speaking of that last part...

5)- I've finally committed to making some significant editing progress. More on that soon, but if you're interested ghost-reading the first few chapters of my book please let me know. Speaking of making progress...

6)- Anyone involved in any kind of poker scene is going to look back at this year and realize how politically wild it has been. For MA, the live scene has had highs: multiple casino bills almost making it, the rise of "charity" rooms and lows-Raynham Park being sketchy and putting the scene back a few years. A bill was passed in 2005 declaring that playing online poker is legal, but it is illegal for banks to process payments. In April, this was enforced recently with the indictment of the CFOs of poker sites and payment processors.
Between the death of FTP, Pokerstars, UB and a terrible night in February- I took a few months of poker and more or less abandoned my 2011 goals. It was a good break, and with a clear head I got back to playing again and its gone well. In 4 June sessions, I posted 2 very decent wins, 1 break even night, and 1 minor loss. While I think my poker original goals aren't going to happen, I've had a much more balanced approach which can be easily attributed to yoga- interesting overlap between hobbies.

Happy independence day, stay free y'all.

4 day weekend. Booya.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring is a Muddy Turtle and a Bacon Man

Oh hey there internet- sorry I've been neglecting you lately. It got warm and spring started flirting. Our office window has the squirrel and birds to prove it. A tree was brown last week and stands red today.

I half-wrote a few of these blog things with such un-clervity as he was wearing a suit but spoke degenerate and her name is Hope, both of which will show up at some point this fall (hopefully) but alas, here's a Spring blog post which I mow-down in quick list-like fashion: pun intended.

1) Is it possible to have a meta-allergy (i.e. be allergic to allergies)? This would leave you impervious to allergens? Work on this doctors, what are we paying you for?

2) Airborne Toxic Event Wednesday night. Booya.

3) Two weeks from now I'll be in Texas with this crazy slice of Bacon:

I'm putting together a "Things I want to do in Texas" list that includes:
 "Texas Two Step Two Texans" and "Buy a cowboy hat" Suggestions are encouraged/needed

4) Wrote it and deleted it.

5) Thanks to everyone who helped with the 24 hour film race. We need to have more creative outpourings as a group. I will upload the film next time (it's on a Somerville computer and I'm in Plymouth, sorry)

6) Tough Mudder was yesterday. For the record, it was Bob's idea.

Before and after:

Some sick person thought "I'll cover a mountain with mud and make a bunch of misery-in-the-pooper obstacles and people will come and give me money." 
His smart friends must have laughed at this terrible idea, but he did it anyway.
Cue the adventurous (and masochistic?) people like Bob and I, it sold out well in advance. 

Advertising/sponsorship props for the giant picture of the Dos Equis guy that read "If you have to sign a death waiver, it's probably worth doing" right next to the death waiver table at registration.

I was ready to run up and down a mountain and climb whatever they put in the way, so the first 3 or four miles was really enjoyable.  Basking in Spring afternoon, the first climb up Mount Snow was rewarded with views of Dover and it was great to have some quality time with a friend I haven't seen nearly enough thusfar in '11. 

The first kiss of water was a swift kick in the attitudes. 
The afternoon, suddenly overcast, wasn't any help in drying or warming us from the freezing (literally full of ice) water. 
I was especially not ready to get out of an ice bath and try to monkybar across a lake.  Lacking feeling in my hands, my attempt ended quickly and awkwardly.

There are three Bobby Schroeder faces I still have fresh in my mind from yesterday:
-The face on miles 1-3 greeted me with "It's great to see you buddy, thanks for pushing me to do this
-2-6 said "Distract me so this passes quickly"
-There was a specific moment right before what they called the Gauntlet where it turned dark and angry. To his credit- Bob's a badass and there was no way he wasn't going to finish.

If anyone didn't already know: Bob Schroeder is man-crush worthy, but sorry ladies- he's spoken for.

Maybe what stood to be learned from Tough Mudder is that everyone has a point of misery and unhappiness that justifies screams and tears and stressful thoughts. But in an instant the moment's over and you are yourself again. 
I can't quite articulate my point here- some of the Mount Snow dirt I'm still pulling out of my ear seeped into my brain- but that breaking point never tangibly existed. 
Is enlightment a state where everything unimportant just passes by? 
Are Tough Mudders supposed to laugh and embrace such a moment with a hug? 
Are the bad times really just tests or good times in disguise?

Note: a very similar lesson can be learned from Yoga.  

Sorry for the long one- but c'mon, it's been a month.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've covered some miles in the Scion (which I still haven't named evidently: suggestions please) the past 10 days: Maine, Vermont, several Boston/Cape back-forths. I'm withering slightly under the miles and time they take up. With the drive time, I've been thinking lately about the difference between objectivity and relativity.

The most compelling objective questions from this week:
1) What's a lot of money? The other interesting question here is what is money, but table that for next time.
2) How much is a long time?

The tendency is to answer either question based on an assumed object: How much X is a lot for Y?
Without a Y the answers have ranged from:
1) $10 to $10 million
2) 1 week to 5 years

Remember being in Westwood and saying the other side of town (2 miles) was too far? Or being in Manhattan and not wanting to go to a party/restaurant/park in Brooklyn?
It costs $40 in busfare to do a roundtrip night between Boston and NY. This keeps all things and people NYU feeling very close by. Despite piles of technology that let you see pictures of your friends and feel connected to their lives, a certain lug couldn't feel further away.

Blogsaver Time: (Credit to Kelsey, awesome video):
Notice the clock in the background- Cool ideas and projects take time, stay the course.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Halfway Home

I've half written a lot of blogs lately: one about Charlie Sheen's stranglehold on America's attention span, another about Japan, a third about problems with local government attitudes towards public schools and music programs. Too much (too often) gets started and put aside.
Intentions are usually born in a flurry of motivation and energy which soon dwindles takes progress with it. Now that daylight savings has passed there's a buzz of excitement for Spring, and everyone's planning what they want to do this summer. Camping anyone? Skydiving? I have some bold plans for golf too.

There's a line in Amelie that translates roughly to "It's a hard world out there for dreamers." But on the other hand it's an easy world out there for the person who start projects and finishes the ones that are important to him/her. On this note, quick update on some things I'm in the middle of:

1) Almost finished editing (finally) the first chapter of the book. I'll post a page or two here, email me if you're interested in becoming a (cough: unpaid) editor.
2) Two weeks into guitar lessons and I'm very glad I signed up for them. A few of the people who (I think) will read this have mentioned wanting to get into dance or music this year. Go do it, really.
3) Getting ready for Tough Mudder with Bobby. I told him I'd tell people he says hi, so Bob says "hi".
4) Team Greenstorm has filled out lease paperwork for an apartment (location below) for which we're waiting on a thumbs up. Cross your fingers it works out. I'm excited for the fun/happy/fulfilling year that I'm sure we would have together.

(Thanks Google Maps. Notice the spitting distance to JD's brunch)

NY People: I'll be down on 3/26 and would love to see everyone who's around.

Have a good Tuesday,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Artist vs. Businessman FTW

If I haven't bothered you about it yet, the question of the week has been the following: Would you rather be a businessman or an artist?
(your answer dictates the follow up question)

The most common answer is to consider oneself a hybrid of the two. Great, but this is the obvious stance and doesn't answer or advance the question. Obviously businessmen aren't necessarally philistines and art doesn't require bohemianism. Your uncle knows a painter who runs a hedgefund?
After remaining uncomittal for a day or two, I am firmly saying artist. Perhaps this is a due to a weird past few weeks at work, getting crushed at poker last week, seeing Ira Glass speak, or finding out that the Haters Gif was made by a 25 year old. And course it's grey, and I'll continue reading the Ben Graham Intelligent Investor book I've been carrying around for the past month. But if I have to pick; it's artist. A lot of people imagine"creativity" as an explosive idea that hits a person. One says "I'm not creative" meaning that he/she hasn't had a moment of brilliance where a cranial lightning bolt results in a unique idea. But creativity is more about mine than it is difference or originality. The original question hints at an integrity that comes with making something (it can be anything!)

A few implications to the list:
1) I'm taking a few months off poker. I'll use this time to (hopefully) write and work on editing A.W.
2) Saturday morning guitar lessons starting 3/5 (if anyone wants to get in on this there's a good deal on Gilt Boston)
3) also keeping a continued eye out for dates of the Boston film race, expected to go in late March.

Quick Boring Update: Lot of yoga lately, also applied to Birthright via NYU's group. I feel mildly like an ass for having to ditch some people (we  had talked over the trip, but I needed to take a me-centric approach and just try to get in.)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Progress, Winter Experiments in Gravity

A) Is fading. Temps this week in the 40's
B) Has taken a toll on the city of Boston (potholes, cars hit by plows on most every street)
C) Is made for snowtubing parties
D) Hasn't started until there's a hot chocolate and schapps party

Saw Ira Glass (host of This American Life for you non-nerds) this weekend at Harvard. He had a lot of good nuggets about stories, the state of news/the radio, being Jewish. It got me pumped to work on the book (update soon).
-Other list updates: Me and Bobby registered for Tough Mudder (cue dear in headlights look)
-Birthright registration starts next week

Thought on the Superbowl:
Weak ads. The owner of an advertising agency told me today that his favorite was the Chevy ad with Eminem. I told him it was a Chrysler ad. As annoying as the Budwiser Frogs and Wassup guys were, they were iconic and fun.
Ok game. If not for a few dropped passes it would have been a game of Aaron Rodgers shredding the Steelers. As played it's the game that ended anyone caring about Brett Favre.

Tubing on Friday, Snowboarding Saturday, Further experiments with gravity Sunday

Monday, January 31, 2011

Snow, Communication, Bacon, NY

-Snow (i): Have you ever driven too close to a sand/salt truck right before a snow storm? The salt crystals that blanket the road don't fall out of the truck, they dance. The bounce to the side and then hop back, they flip and bump each other they spin one way and then dart the other before they rest on the road and keep the driving conditions reasonable. 
-Snow (ii): There was a convention of snow plows at the grocery store tonight, maybe 50 of them splitting up Plymouth and Bourne. I wish I knew what they were talking about; overtime pay? labor laws? the super bowl? charlie sheen?
-Bacon: Bacon should be furious about Turkey Bacon. Not even close to the same thing.
-NYC-Trip: The city itself was underwhelming, but I'm proud (and hope it reflects well) that a lot of the NY people in my life are doing very interesting things with their lives and are turning into great adult-ish people. I apologize if we tried to make plans and I didn't get to see you, I will be back soon.
-The Internet: I was feeling nostalgic today (Nostalgia ) when I thought about how I haven't seen some of my favorite people face-to-face in a month. With a busy February, this is unlikely to change. As great as it is that people haven't given up on this blog yet, and we can g-chat and feel connected it isn't the same as sharing adventures together and pushing each other to be better. If I call you one afternoon after work it's only because I want to be part of your day-to-day. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

It Be Cold, It Be Listed

Stay warm this week everybody. Something like -5 in Boston, Bob says it's -25 in Maine.

In the face of my upcoming year review from work I've been thinking about what I want this year/next year/the 5 years after so I've been hesitant to post my 2011 list that will dictate the future of this blog. Once it's published I'll be accountable for actually doing everything on it, and that's daunting to commit to. But after some soul searching I realize I need to do a much better job of making sure my days of full of things I want to do (or meta-want for myself.)

In 2011 I will:

1) Visit three new cities on overnight trips.
2) Make 5 trips to New York: Big fail on this in 2010, I'm coming down this weekend (1/29)
3) Take a road trip to Niagra Falls. People have expressed interest in joining me June-Julyish.
4) Go on Birthright (SJ and Jana seem to be down) to Israel this summer. I spelled Israel wrong when I first typed this.
5) Visit DC to see Jana/Walsh: another big 2010 fail here.
6) Go camping for a weekend without bringing ANY technology
7) Weekend yoga retreat with Derek
8) Organize a summertime Saco river trip for Greenstorm. About time somebody Atlas'd this one.

Do More/Do Better:
9) Sky Dive, booya.
10) Beef up my dance moves
11) Film Loave 2 (probably at 24 hour film fest in March) Laura/Jon mark your calendars. We can have a Loave screening party to get pumped.
12) Become a Big Brother mentor (Thanks Kelsey, I'm looking forward to this)
13) Try 25 new wines or whiskeys.
14) Accept any dare that Bianco gives me. He must be sober for it to qualify. I'd like to call that it was garbage to challenge me to accept a challenge, but we'll lug it.
15) The Phil challenge: Apologize to someone I've wronged, and confront someone who wronged me. Phil you're the man, look at your facebook status-you're out of control. If you don't know Phil, he looks like a not-tough Bruce Lee, currently lives in Asia and takes sweet pictures:

Aside: It is very wrong to link a blog and not give a holler to my blog mentors Alex and Craig who have the kind of solid life outlooks that everyone should steal nuggets from:

16) Do yoga 100times
17) Run a lap of the Cape Cod bridges (Bourne-canal-Sagamore-canal)
18) Complete Tough Mudder in Vermont with Bob: May 7th.

Challenge my brainium:
19) Read a tbd book list (Swati: c'mon already and send it to me or I'm deleting this line)
20) Edit a draft of my book. Working progress will be posted in this blog.
21) Read a poem at a Poetry Slam (B-Ross will come witness)
22) Take 10 guitar lessons
23) Play with Sims at an open mic night

Work on my poker game:
24) Write 1,000 2p2 posts.
25) Run my bankroll up to $X (withheld here, but I have a specific number in mind).
26) Play in a big buy in live tournament.

27) An overarching to-do will depend on my work review, but my living situation will be more solid at the end of 2011. As much as I enjoy both places I "live" right now it's easy to get lost between them. I look forward to having a no-doubt-where-I-call-home place to live. It won't be either of the two current places, and depends on a few extraneous factors, but it's fun to daydream about where it might end up being and who it will be with.
28) Almost forgot, I told Nick I would rock a sweet moustache for a week at this year. Creepy's fun sometimes.

If I forgot something I said we'd do together let me know. Time to get to work on all this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bumpin' Birthday

First- I am so lucky to have friends like all of you that came to Foxwoods.

A quick birthday recap for those who couldn't make it:

12pm: Arrive at Foxwoods, put in a mildly productive afternoon poker session.
4pm: The Boston guys arrive with open minds, energy and several more ingredients to making a good night.
5pm: We check into the MGM rooms (very nice) other cars of fun loving people start to arrive.
5-9pm: Light gambling and drinking.
9pm: Aries somehow gets us a table for 18 at Hard Rock. If this dinner was all I did for my birthday it would have been a top 3 birthday. Have I mentioned yet that I love my friends?
(Thanks to Anna Springer for the pic!)

11pm: More gambling (sic bo!) and rocking out to cover bands.
12am: Dance party at Scorpion Bar, and it's not an FC Greenstorm dance party unless Nick Sims drinks a 5 hour energy before hand.
3am: Nightcap in room 15115.
630am: Lug time: The phone of room 15129 rings. I'm woken to a slap of the early morning sun, the wavy brown hair of a beautiful girl, and the ugly grey area between a party and a hangover. I am 24 years old.
Sorry to bother you sir, we have someone in the lobby who says their staying in your room. I ask "who" but already knew the answer. Foxwoods security tells me that my friend has been found sleeping in a nightclub of which all the doors were locked and there is no way he could have gotten in. And he must be escorted back to the room. My buddy is apparently a ninja. Two security guards, one in a slick charcoal suit, the other in a faux sheriff uniform bring none other than a very disheveled Big Lug up to the room.
It was kind of like this:          

Awesome way to start being 24, and proof that the best people in the right frame of mind can't fail, or at least 99% of the time it works every time.

Full list of challenges coming up soon,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Slush Day

When I woke up this morning to hissing, I worried that a pipe had frozen and started leaking.
I shoveled snow and slush off the driveway. When it gets cold after these warm wet winter storms a blanket of snow can hide an inch of ice; If you're driving today be careful.
Outside, the hissing revealed itself as waves from the storm. If you haven't been to Plymouth, you can't normally hear the ocean from our house, so this was something of a revelation. I walked over to the end of the street where the wind was swirling up from the beach. 
From the bluff, the sky/ground/ocean are all the same shade of grey.

(yeah, that's from the porch- wasn't taking my computer to the bluff)

Challenge update: I got two very different ones this week that are simultaneously exciting and terrifying:
1) Read a poem I've written at a poetry slam (c/o B-Ross)
2) Apologize to someone I've wronged, and confront someone who has wronged me in the past 10 years (from Phil)

I'll be accepting the challenges until my birthday (Foxwoods on Saturday, all are welcome)
Full list and birthday "trip report" will be posted on MLK day.

Don't let the storm get you down,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Won't you join me on this adventure?

Does 2011 mean we '09ers can't keep telling people we just graduated college? A year ago some of us were boiling over the stress of finding a job while others, lucky enough to have a steady income were trying to make sense out of being caught between real adulthood and a teenage world that would no longer have us. Collegiate life had been clearly defined; there was a natural rhythm of registration/move in/classes/break and a very familiar care-free repetition. But all of a sudden there wasn't a schedule or path laid out across the void that had once been college. We searched for meaning in this new world, a place that looked the same as it had before but felt and tasted very different.
The author of this blog (I realizes I will be using a lot of I's in here but think it appropriate to refer to a former-self in the third person) had just gone through a break up, finished a job and moved back to Boston where his family had just moved out of the house where he grew up. He made a to-do list for 2010.  The author was keeping score and would like to brag that he went 10/12 on a list that included: writing 50,000 words of fiction during November, breaking 4 hours in the marathon, saving up X amount of money, reading a french novel. In times of confusion the author turned to the next thing on the list and following it led him to a productive year; but it certainly wasn't the most fun.

2010 closed in a much different place than it began. There's comfort in job security, but with winter came boredom and I started crafting a to-do-list to guide 2011 into more exciting waters.
This list has started to take a much different form than last years. V2 features travel (Road trip to Niagra Falls, new cities, more trips to NY) and new experiences ( sky diving, a yoga retreat, big buy in poker tournament) 
I think the new year will be more fulfilling if the people who read this blog (presumably all close friends: hi guys- you're the best) joined in on these adventures. The list is open to challenges that I will accept until my birthday. The final list will be posted on MLK day.

The most interesting thing about the challenges has been what they reveal about the challenger. Lighthearted people have suggested sillier exploits. Badasses have suggested insane grinds. Bookworms have suggested intellectual ventures. And selfless people have suggested charity. I respect everyone who has pushed me towards something that they think will be fun, fulfilling, or eye opening to me.

So far I've accepted the following:
Rock a moustache for a week (sims)
Perform at an open mic night with Nick and Jon B
Film and screen Loave 2 (Credit to Craig, but this was suggested several times)
Tough Mudder Vermont (turtle)
Read a tbd book list (Swati)
Become "Big Brother" mentor for the year (Kelsey)
Run a loop of the cape cod bridges/canal and go into nature/a mountain for a day w/out cell phone (dad)
Catch Patch Adams- the cat that lurks outside our window at work (Jon)
Do hot yoga 5 times with Alex and Craig, followed by mandatory conversations regarding the value of yoga (A/C)

Please call/text/email/facebook me your challenges. Preference given to things you'll do with me.

Quick blogsaver from the hipster puppy site:

Also, as I revise the draft of my book (Atlantic Wanting) I will post sections of it in this blog. Please follow along and let me know if you want to come on any 2011 adventures with me. 
Thanks for checking out the blog.
Much Love,