Nothing Special, Really

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Speaking of Being Dead…

Just because my last post was about death doesn’t mean this blog is dead. Barely breathing? Perhaps. But not dead.

Lots has happened since I last wrote and, at the same time, nothing has happened. Anyway, let’s just write again and see what happens.


We got back from our yearly trip to Bend, OR on Sunday. I’ve written about this at least once. I didn’t write about last year’s trip because it wasn’t nearly as epic, especially considering Saturday was wasted by going to urgent care because of chest pains which turned out to be just heartburn.

Given how last year unfolded, this year was probably the most relaxed trip of the three. The first year was an all-out drinking binge. The second year started that way out for me until I ended up in the hospital. This year, Wac and I made a more conscious effort to do more around the city and not spend as much time getting hammered. There was certainly enough beer to go around – we were staying at a hotel/pub, but we didn’t make the trip to be about getting drunk all the time. We did a fair share of drinking on Thursday and even more on Friday when did our own bicycle tour of the 7 breweries in the city. It wasn’t a sober trip by any means.

Saturday was definitely a lazy day. Breakfast didn’t happen until around noon, and we didn’t really do much until 3:30 when a group of us decided to rent some tubes and float the river that runs through the city. Being the de facto group organizer finally got to me right around this time as we experienced some difficulties coordinating the tube rentals. We weren’t sure how we were going to get the tubes to the river nor how we were going to get back to our cars once we were done. Part of the group wanted to just figure it out later, part of the group was OK with postponing the float until Sunday. I was already frustrated by having to transport our own tubes, which put me in an easily combustible mood. All sorts of suggestions were being made but not any decisions, and I felt everyone’s eyes on me to be the decision maker. I refused and instead walked off to let everyone else figure it out. They decided to float since we were there and already had the tubes, and it worked out in the end. I was calm and in a good mood by the time I met them up at the beach, and the float was what everyone needed at that point.

Tangent: I have to say, if you’re in Bend and you want to float the river, I highly recommend renting through Sun Country Tours. The tube rentals were some of the cheaper prices we found but, more importantly, one guy in particular really bent over backwards to help us coordinate the float. There’s no way we would have figured it all out if hadn’t helped us out so much.

Anyway, it was another successful Bend weekend. However, I’m wondering how much more I have it in me in terms of making it a group trip. It’s sort of become tradition at this point but organizing the trip each year is becoming less and less enjoyable. It was our idea three years ago so we’ve been the group coordinators each year, meaning we’re the ones who make the reservation. We’re the ones who try to round up people each year. We’re the ones who have to collect money from everyone for the hotel and sometimes the food and beer runs. When it comes to activities, often times the group follows our lead. Part of this is due to being the common bond between a bunch of strangers in the group, part of this is just my natural tendency to plan and prepare for these kind of trips, part of this is my willingness/ability to make decisions when others do not. The group dynamic is an issue too – everyone for the most part gets along, but the group itself isn’t closely knit. Factions of the group will break off and do their own thing, which for the most part is great. But I’m wondering if the group aspect is really necessary. If there’s 14 of us, but we’re hanging out in clusters of 4 or 6, does it really need to be a group of 14?

We’ll see what next year holds. It’s always a blast and it’s pretty much a tradition at this point, and I’m not interested in NOT going. I don’t want the tradition to fall apart if we don’t organize it, but I’m afraid that’s exactly what might happen.


Speaking of trips, we’ve got a big one coming up in October: either Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina. Neither city was high on my list of places to see (through no fault of their own) but when an opportunity like this presents itself, you kind of have to take it.

One of our good friends, Simon, has spent the year traveling through Central and South America to do some volunteer work originally planned for Santiago. He’ll get there sometime in the next month or so and spend the rest of the year working. So this trip kind of kills a couple birds at once. We get to travel to an awesome place on another continent, we get to spend a week exploring this place with a close friend, and we get to see said close friend for the first time in 10 months. As an wonderful added bonus, our friend James is heading down there to visit for the whole month of October as well. I’m sure we’ll have some stories to share from that trip by the time we’re done.

The only thing up for debate at this point is where we’re going. Simon is contemplating, and it sounds like at this point he’s leaning towards, spending his time in Buenos Aires instead. I’m down for either. Santiago looks incredible and lends itself to some awesome day trips to the western coast of the country; Buenos Aires look amazing as well and lends itself to Argentina steakhouses and a day trip to Montevideo, Uruguay if we want. Wherever we end up doesn’t matter to me; I can’t wait either way. Even though it’s three months away, I still check ticket prices and/or read up on either city on Wikipedia every day.


I’m trying to run another half marathon in little over a month. This time, it’s the Disneyland Half in Anaheim.

Like the race in Phoenix last year, I’ll be woefully unprepared for the run. I’m only up to three miles right now (maybe four, depending on how successful my run tonight is). I’ll be running 3-4 times that amount in less than a month. I’ll take solace in the fact that I completed the race last year despite never running greater than 5 miles, a distance I plan to surpass in my training this time. But it’s still a crash course in half marathon training.

The race should be pretty awesome. The first four miles of the course go through Disneyland, you run through Angels Stadium between miles 9 and 10, and you finish back at Disneyland. What won’t be fun is that the race STARTS at 5am, meaning we’ll need to be there by 4:30, meaning a very early morning. I really hope I don’t have the same sleeping problems I had before the Phoenix half marathon. At least this time we’ll be flying in Friday night vs. 6am the day before the race.


That’s it for know. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to keep this blog going at the same pace I was writing when I was unemployed. But maybe this will be a kick start to writing a bit more often. We’ll just see.


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