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:

Travel:
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: http://philippeteston.wordpress.com/




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:
http://alexinhighdef.blogspot.com/
http://craigbyer.blogspot.com/

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.
-Jess

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,
Jess

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,
Jesse

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,
Jesse