Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend Re-cap

I guess I was in a mood to watch movies this weekend. I ended up seeing Da Vinci Code, X-men III, and rented Lord of War. Da Vinci Code was great. I have not read the book and found the movie very good. I was surprised by a few things and liked how the movie took me along for the ride of the mystery, without giving it all away. X-men was a bit of a disappointment. I am a big fan of the cartoon and loved the first two movies. The third deviated from the cartoon (I am unsure about the comic books) and the turn of events were disappointing, although surprising. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high for this film. Finally, Lord of War was great. Based on actual events, Nicholas Cage plays an illegal arms dealer. It was good stuff.

The rest of the weekend...I got in a bike ride, mowed the lawn, BBQ'd with some friends, napped, read a book and finished Quiz 2 of my Excel exercises for grad school.

I am paying my last rent in DC this week. The end feels near and I am anxious, just as many of my classmates seem to be. When I see people, I make sure to give them a healthy good-bye, since I know that I will not see them for a little while. Fortunately, I am a traveler by nature, so I usually see people again.

This morning I got up early and went for nice run. It has been getting pretty warm, so it felt great outside around 6:30-7:00. Every time I go running now, I think of the new Nike + Ipod that is coming out soon. I can't wait! I will be getting the device and trying to insert it into my New Balance shoes. What a wonderful device.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

YMSB Tonight

It was a big day yesterday for my girlfriend, Cindy. She just got back from London and found out all the family news that she had missed over the past week...Marriage problems with the brother, health issues with mom, and now there will be only three people at her graduation, instead of the 7+ that were anticipated. The silver lining is that now the two sides of the family won't have to see each other at her graduation tomorrow, but I know she really wanted everyone there.

So, hopefully tonight will take her mind off things for a few moments. I am going to make dinner, pasta puttanesca, and then we are going to see Yonder Mountain String Band (YMSB). YMSB will be tearing it up in Baltimore at the Ram's Head Live venue on the waterfront. I really like this venue. They only serve micro-brew from a brewery in Delaware, called The Fordham Brewery and it is small and cozy inside. I saw Institute (Gavin Rosdale's new band, former lead singer of Bush) a few months ago.

In other news, my roommate's house guests have been visiting for about 10 days now. When you have four people that live in a four bedroom house, things can be great if you all get along ok. When you throw in two more people that sleep on the couch and never leave the house (night or day) and do not clean up after themselves, then things get a bit frustrating. There are other issues, such as the fact they are hooking up, when one of them is married. I don't like this behavior going on where I live. I know one of them is leaving Sat. and that day can't get here fast enough. I am not sure when the other one is leaving, since I was never even told that we were going to have visitors. Ugghh! Well, it is not worth putting up a fight or saying anything, since I will be leaving in 30 days.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You're Better Off by Bike

That is the slogan that is being used in London on Billboards, bus stops, magazines, etc. The ad has the website posted on it. Unfortunately, a quick google search did not bring up an example of the ad or the web address. I will try to get a copy of the ad and post it soon.

So, why are we "better off by bike". I am slightly biased, since I bike often and walk to work. But, I will list a few reasons...

1. Cycling is often quicker than other forms of transport, especially in congested urban area such as DC (where I live).

2. It is an inexpensive form of transport. With the cost of gas, maintenance, insurance, and the pills to calm you down after a morning commute, it is much cheaper to bike. You will arrive with a smile on your face from the endorphins.

3. Cycling is healthy and enjoyable. Regular cycling can help improve your strength, stamina and posture, and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease among other benefits.

4. You will make a positive contribution to your community's environment by reducing congestion, air and noise pollution.

5. The spandex is cool!

Ok, so maybe the last point isn't true. But once you start biking to and from work, you will ask yourself...where else can I bike too? Then you will start adding little errands, taking weekend rides for fun, and before you know it you could be on an awesome journey across the US or World on you bicycle. But first, why don't you give commuting a try. I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy it.

I have made it point over the last couple of years to always live near my work and school. I have done this to avoid long commutes. While I love to drive, I hate to sit in traffic. When I start school in July, I will be commuting on my bike and on foot everyday...rain or shine.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Machine

The Machine is a Pink Floyd tribute band. I am normally not a fan of cover/tribute bands, but this band is officially recognized and approved by the real Pink Floyd. I saw them on Saturday and they really do sound just like Pink Floyd. Their voices and instruments might even be better than the real deal. My friend joked to me they probably have played more Pink Floyd than Pink Floyd. Whoa! Don't think to hard on that one:)

Anyway, I enjoyed it. I ran into a "show" friend there as well. Friday I caught MI3 at the theater. I thought this one was better than the last two. It wasn't as cheesy as the others and had great action, like they all do. I thought the plot leaves it open for his wife to join the Mission Impossible team. Don't worry, I did not just ruin the movie for you by saying that. Saturday, I made up a new route on my bike ride. It had less traffic than I normally deal with. Also, I had a funeral procession that I was riding next to for several miles and that allowed me to run several lights and stop signs. Sunday was spent sleeping, cleaning, cooking, reading, and relaxing.

I have had great luck with Craigslist.org in finding things I need for my house when I move to a new area. When I moved to DC, I was able to furnish my bedroom for about $225. That included bed, dresser, nightstand, desk, and desk chair. In Colorado, I found a few things from the website. I have never sold anything on craigslist. I have always been able to give my furniture away to friends when I leave an area. However, I am thinking of bringing my bed with me, instead of finding a new one. It is really comfortable and I would have a difficult time finding such a great deal anywhere else. Bringing the bed with me would mean that it would travel 500 miles on top of my Honda Accord, which would be interesting. I think if I keep it around 60-65 mph, then I will be ok. I will need some good clamps or rope. If the thing falls off it would be a bit funny, as long as it doesn't cause an accident. We will see...

Friday, May 19, 2006

The BFC was in full force today...And some sad news

The Barbecue Friday Club (BFC) came over to my house again today for lunch. We had chips and dip, burgers with all the fixings, hotdogs, corn on the cob, and Bananas Fosters for dessert. It was wonderful! This was our second week and it looks like it will be taking place most Fridays.

This weekend looks like it will be a pleasant one. I will be hanging out with Sean tonight and Jen, a friend whom recently moved from Pittsburgh, tomorrow. I am sure there will be a good long bike ride in there somewhere. I will be working on my exciting Excel quizzes this weekend, that are required for my grad school. Perhaps I will even start my resumes too.

Unfortunately, I learned some sad news this afternoon. Once again a Yale Rider, Alex Capelluto, has been struck by a vehicle and killed. Last year, during my ride across the US, Ramie was hit by a car. See previous post.

You can read this article for the most recent occurrence of a 20 yr. old from Yale. I hope that they continue this ride, in spite of this tragedy. It is a wonderful experience for everyone involved. It has been almost a year since I had started my ride and their is hardly a day that goes by without me talking or thinking about the wonderful experiences I had.

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Anxious

I have been feeling anxious lately. When I was in school, I always had something to do. I was usually so busy with school, work, and a business that I had no idea how I would get it all done. Everyday required so much energy and effort and by the end of the day, I would collapse.

Before I started my undergrad I took two years off from school. During that time, I moved to CO and gained residency, worked, partied, and traveled. I had a wonderful time doing all of those things. It was what I needed to do, at that time.

Now, I have been out of school for a year. I took a six month vacation until I moved to DC and found a job. I have always found that a 40 hr per week job is never enough to fill the day or week for me. How people wake up, go to work, work for 8-10 hours, come home, and repeat this day after day is amazing to me. I have never been satisfied with this. I have almost always had a job with great flexibility. Sometimes this has meant taking a less prestigious job or a job with less pay, but I always have seen it as worth it too me.

Sorry for the rambling.

So, why have I been anxious? I am tired after six months of working. I fill my day with all sorts of activities. I work out almost daily, I volunteer regularly, I vacation as much as possible, I cook the old-fashioned way several times a week, I visit and hang out with friends, I read books for hours at a time, I talk on my phone, and so many other things. However, during this time I feel like I have been going no where. My workplace loves me, but I am not challenged.

I guess I longing for the sleepless nights, the constant tiredness, the frustration of a difficult problem or task, and wondering how I will get it all done before the due date.

SCHOOL...you can't start soon enough!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Shenandoah Nat'l Park

This past weekend Cindy and I went camping. Below are some pictures from our trip. Click on the collage to see them all.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Slow, Dreary Day

It has been raining off and on all day here in DC. It seems to put a damper on the activity in and out of the building that I work in.

Today, I went out to lunch with a friend in the building next to mine. We tried a new restaurant, just like we do every week. It was called Mandalay Cafe and it was very good. They had Burmese food. I had the special, which was chicken cooked in some type of lemon curry sauce with jasmin rice and onions. I ordered it hot. I definitely enjoyed it.

I keep smiling every time I think about leaving and heading down to SC. Its not like there are things, or rather people, that I will miss in DC. But I just love the thought about getting out of the big city and into a quiet little town, that has its own agenda and politics. At lunch I was thinking that I only have five more restaurants to try with my friend Andrew. After that I will be on my way!

So, this weekend I am off to go camping. I have bought almost all the food I want. I think I still need corn and some deli meat. The weather should be nice. There are a few chances for afternoon thunderstorms, but I am hoping that they hold off. Either way, I will have a blast sitting by the fire, sipping on some local brews, and checking out the night sky.

Saturday we will go hiking for a while. I learned that this weekend is Wildflower Weekend. So, we might join a hike with a ranger and learn about the local flora, if they are convenient.

Just 6 weeks from tomorrow till I am off to Columbia!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Trying to Go Camping

Since March I have wanted to go camping. This is no easy task in a state that I am unfamiliar with and requires you to travel long distances to reach the camping areas. In Colorado, I would travel 10 miles from home and be able to find a place to camp. I could have probably driven just about anywhere and run across a camping sign, however, that is not how they seem to do things on the east coast. Wilderness is something that is seen to be "over there" and the city is where everything else is.

So, I want to go see Shanendoah Nat'l Park. It is supposed to be gorgeous. And this time of year, it should still be nice and cool during the day; maybe even chilly in the morning.

Got to run...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

So, What's New!

After several months of your day-to-day grind, I feel that I should start my blog back up. Why? Because I am starting a NEW journey. And that is what my blog is about...my journeys.

So, you may be asking yourself what the new journey is. I am going to tell you, but first let me give you a re-cap of the last few months. Hmmmm, it has been so long...so much to tell...ok, I will start there.

On a side note...I just had everything typed out and lost it due to a power failure at work. AARRRGGGHHHH! (that is how the pirates say it)

Now you will really get the abbreviated version. Here we go...

January:
I lost my job due to budget cuts (that is the life of a gov't contractor). So, I went to New Orleans and helped clean up. I went to South Carolina and checked out the MBA program and school. I went to CO to hang with friend and ski.

February:
I started a new job, two blocks from home, and I love it. I am working on the Head Start program, through Danya International, Inc. I became an Uncle!! That was the coolest thing by far. Thanks Wendy! His name is Asher and he is a little bitty thing.

March and April:
Participated in a relay-triathlon race. We got third place (first in the coed team category).

The biggest news that I wanted to tell you is that I got into Grad School! I will be attending the Univ. of South Carolina Moore Business School in the International MBA (IMBA) program. I start in July!! I went down there last weekend and found a place to live and met about a third of my classmates.

Last few tidbits...I have continued to volunteer regularly for various projects; I even organized one of them. I have been dating a wonderful woman since my New Orleans trip and we have had some great adventures. I moved into a new house. And that is most of everything.

Welcome back!