Thursday, December 14, 2006
I'm soooo ready to be back home with nothing to do but eat, drink and be merry. Holidays Ho!
Monday, December 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
On better news, the house is coming along pretty well, Meghan came up for a weekend visit. Wheras last time she was in Philly, we stayed in almost the whole time due to a blizzard, this weekend we were out and about for much of it. We stopped by Valley Forge National Park, not super awesome fun, but it was nice to get out of Philly for a while. Sunday marked my second foray into Cyclocross racing, and it was a bit less successful than the first round. I entered into the B category, thinking that it'd probably be more fun if I was racing a little stiffer competition. It started off pretty well, and though I began at the back of the pack, I was moving up pretty steadily through the pack and then as I was cruising through a nice corner, I found the the only rock on the course, which washed out my front wheel, crashed, and broke my cool carbon fiber handlebars. Sure they were taken off of a crashed bike before, but they'd held up admirably since then. Fortunately there was a beer tent and all was not lost.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Incidentally, there are 3 Iowans in one of my classes and at least 4 that I know of in the program. Aditionally, of the 15 people I know by name in my program, 2 others are named Aaron (or Aron) and 3 are named Paul. That simplifies my life a bit.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I've still gotta figure out how much time I'll really need to devote to study. I'm still planning on working some at the bike shop, but can't quite figure out how much to do. Jennifer and I have a fair amout to do on the house, I've got something like 10,000 pages to read this semester and a good number of tests thrown in there as well.
Anyway, less bitching, more working. That's how it should be right?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
In other news, I almost blew up the house last night. We've been moving the old stove around a fair amount in the kitchen and have consequently been turning off the gas after we're done using it. This necessitates re-lighting the burners after each use. Normally, I use the blowtorch to do this each time but the other day I found a lighter in my tool box and decided that it would be great to leave that on top of the stove so that I could light the burners more quickly. After using the stove, I just took the lighter and stuck it between the grates of a grill on the back of the stove, not thinking about the fact that those vents were from the oven. This wasn't a problem for a while since we rarely bake, but while shopping at Aldi the other day we decided to purchase some of the "pop" biscuits and baked those yummy guys up. Well, the oven heated up and as I was upstairs in the bathroom I heart this loud CRACK, this was of course the lighter exploding from the heat. Luckily, there were no burners lit on top of the stove or I could have probably made a huge fireball. Anyway, lesson learned. Don't do like Donnie Don't does.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Last weekend was my first shot at the lovely Team Time Trial event. I kind of got wrangled into this thing when a couple of my teammates decided that they were going to do it, and needed a 3rd guy. My reputation of being game for anything made me the lucky duck in this case. The team time trial is run when the team, consisting in this case of four members heads out on a set course with a bazillion dollars worth of disk wheels and aero bars and then we all take turns pedaling till we puke around a 40 kilometer course. It was all going well, I had borrowed an extra 1000 dollars worth of bike shit, had changed my bike all around into some sort of freakazoid TT rig and then soon enough it was race day. My teammate Ted Slack picked me up at the house, about 5:30 in the morning and we were on our way. We registered, met up with the other two guys and started to get ready. What was this!?! I had utterly forgotten my cycling shoes! If you've ever tried to race your bike on clipless pedals while wearing running shoes, you know that this isn't a recipe for success.
So, I did what any self respecting cyclist would do, and I followed the lead of the greats who came before me, namely, Dave Stoller from Breaking Away, and taped my feet to the pedals. As it turned out, it wasn't such a bad idea. We simply rolled to the starting line, and then Ted held me upright while one of the other guys strapped my feet to the pedals with athletic tape. Now that I was trapped on the bike, there was nowhere for me to go but forward, so on we went. As it turned out I was the fastest guy on the course with his feet taped to the pedals, which won me accolades from the Tough Guy department. Additionally, thanks to my burly teammates, we ended up winning the New Jersey Cat 4. Team Time Trial Championships, complete with a great big trophy, some medals and also some schwag.
This weekend Jennifer and I are packing up. We have in our bags 1 tent, 2 sleeping bags, 1 gallon of sake, one hatchet, 4 sets of undies (two each) one small Japanese trinket, and 1 bottle each of sunblock and bug spray.
We fly out of Philadelphia tomorrow at 7:00 AM. Any guesses as to where we'ere headed? I'll fill you in with more details as they materialize.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Internet is back and I'm in business!! After three weeks with Jennifer as my personal secretary, checking my email, alerting me to important notes and writing responses for me, I'm finally able to stand on my own legs and check emails, bike news and blog.
More later, I'll take some pictures and show the progress of the house.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Long live home repair!
Monday, June 26, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
We've spent the past few weekends goofing off in preferation for the upcoming rennovate-athon when we take posession of our new house on FRIDAY JUNE 9TH!!! We do the walk through, check stuff out one last time, then head to the realtor's office and do the dirty deed. It's gonna be awesome not to be dealing with the whole real-estate sales aspect of it and to finally get into the place. It seems like we've been making plans on the house for ever and now we're finally going to be doing something about it. Friday night we'll just poke around in the house, and see how everything goes, then begin the smashing in earnest sometime saturday. The bathroom is the first to go, we'll chop and cut and such, expose the plumbing and try to figure out how to replace the leaky sewer stack, a barrel of laughs for sure. We've got the main goal of getting a workable bathroom by the time that we actually have to move in completely, July 1st. I'll certainly have to post more on the world of home-ownership this weekend. Wish us luck.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Holy shit, my brother graduated from college. I am shocked, not by the fact that he graduated, that was to be expected, but only that it seems that only recently that I was in school there. Crap-ola, I feel old. Just wait until I've graduated from "gradual" school, then we'll see who's ancient! I'm posting some pictures, just so they're preserved for all to see on the internet.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Cycling is great. Except for the crashes. I should really not be posting this anywhere that my mom reads, but knock-on-wood, no crashes for me yet. I keep hearing about these spectacular pileups happening to guys all over the place. Last Saturday, one of my teammates was taken out by a crash in a beginner's race, mangling his front wheel and the guy in front of him at the same time. Then, last night on the local training ride/race there was a pileup big enough to make it onto the local news. My teammates all made it out ok, though one broke his nice carbon Fuji. Shit luck man, that's 1000 bucks down the tubes.
In other news: We're headed home for the weekend, well actually headed up to the Twin Cities. Ian and Kelly are both graduating Macalester. Apparently Ian is super relaxed and is looking forward to the road ahead, whatever that means. Kelly is thinking of chilling a bit, ignoring her debt and forging on with Med school. Good luck on that. It'll be great to see the whole family again, not to mention feel awkward hanging around at Macalester with my family. It still seems like the recent past when I myself graduated from that illustrious institution. "Dear old macalester, ever the same..."
To all of you involved in the whole whirlwind trip of the twin cities, thanks for putting us up, too bad we couldn't have stayed another day or so. Anyway, more catching up will undoubtably be had at Jude and Michelle's wedding in August. I shall certainly drink and debauch at any convenient opportunity.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
A fun, exhausting weekend of bicycle racing is behind me. I love riding my bicycle but sometimes it kicks me in the ass. This past weekend's race was the Tour de Ephrata (pronounced "Eff-ruh-tuh") in Ephrata, PA
home of an early religious settlement, quaint stores and a host of restored hot-rod cars. The race was divided into three stages, the road race on Saturday, then an uphill time trial Sunday morning and a criterium Sunday afternoon. The road race was good, especially exciting was dodging the Amish in their horse buggies and then on subsequent laps, dodging the horse-puckey on the road. I've got a picture from the lovely "Mount Pain Time Trial" an event which indeed lived up to it's name.
The criterium saw a fair amount of skin rubbed off on the pavement, fortunately none of mine did so. I did my normal thing of working too hard early in the race and then sprinting from about twice as far out as I should have. Oh well, I guess that's life. I've just got to manage the "learn" part of the "Love and learn" adage.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
When I'm feeling pissed at the world I'm going to go down into the basement and dig it deeper. That's the plan at least.
Oh yeah, and I wanna build a rooftop deck!!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
If anyone with a strong back is thinking about visiting Philly this summer, let me know.
Monday, April 17, 2006
I spent the last week at Jennifer's uncle's house working on his roof. The project is actually to double the size of his existing house by puttting a substantial addition on the back as well as a de-facto third story on his little house in Bethesda, MD. It was a learning experience. I learned something about putting on a roof, I learned how to effectively use a pneumatic nailer, I learned that safety is a relative term when dealing with construction work and re-learned a fair bit of Spanish. Dave has been using the help of two day laborers, Luis and Noel, great guys who speak nary a word of English. Dave has mastered about 20 Spanish words and uses them in varying combinations to communicate his intentions. An example sentence indicating that a board should be moved, "Luis, esta madera adios!" translates directly as "Luis, this wood bye bye." Fortunately for Dave, the guys don't make fun and they work really hard. I, with my vocabulary closer to 100 words was a substantially better communicator, but had the unfortunate disadvantage of not knowing what the hell I was doing. I did figure it out somewhat over the course of the week, but by that time I was pretty much pooped and my productivity level had already peaked and ebbed. I will not say that I was worthless, but I definitely would have been more help had I actually had some experience. Oh well, next time anyone needs a roof put on, I can help you with some moral support. You may convince me to even pitch in some manual labor, assuming that I've forgotten how much I didn't like this past week.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
On a different front, bike racing is going pretty well. Last week I ended up 5th in my category 3/4 race in Mullica NJ. This weekend was slightly less good, with temps starting at 52 and ending up somewhere in the 45 degree range on a rainy course through Farimont park. In the category 4 race I was only 9th, somewhat worse than I was hoping. My big problem was that while last week I was able to get away in a breakaway early on in the race, today was not quite so conducive to such attempts. The rain and the wind were de-motivating factors for a lot of other riders. My legs were also pretty frozen by the time the sprint finish rolled around, and one thing that we all know, is that Aaron can't sprint. I'm hoping to avenge myself tomorrow and work my way up in the rankings a little bit. I'd really love to win back my entry fee if nothing else.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Ok, time for a little tour of Philadelphia. Well, since we only know a bit about the place, it'll be a tour of my limited knowledge of Philadelphia. But, I'll be you'll all be wowed by my post anyway. Here is a map of philadelphia
If you squint really hard you can make out the numbers on the map. Jennifer and I currently live in section 18, or University City. We're right on the border of University city and the neighborhoods further west which have not had so much rennovation. Several of the houses on our block are in a state I would have to call decrepit.
Click on the neighborhood name for demographic info.
We've been looking for housing in the area marked 8, often called Point Breeze or south of south street. This area suffered a lot of blight in the past decades and is currently on the upswing, due to it's proximity to center city. For those of you who don't know Philly, center city is encompasses the areas marked by numbers 1-6 approximately. Here's a link to a nice PDF map with some bicycling avenues on it. Don't be fooled, just because a street has a bike lane, don't mean shit, it's still a pothole-ridden adventure in motorland. Since we've become disenchanted with our prospects of a nice life in Point Breeze, we've moved our focus a little farther away, more towards the near northeast of the city to areas labelled 39, 46 and 48. These areas are called Fishtown (west Kensington), Kensington and Port Richmond. Though both areas are poor, they tend to be more working class and suffered less depopulation over the past 50 years than other areas of the city. There still exist some cool little shops, restarurants and hipster-friendly hangouts and lofts. Additionally, there is the prospect for a house with a yard in this area, something which tickles my fancy as we're keen on the idea of a little victory garden in the back. I hope this gives a better picture of what we're jabbering on about the housing market here in Philly. Gambattemasho!
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
After my do-gooding, I met up with Jennifer and Dennis (realtor) for a continuing tour of places not to live. Jennifer and I have pretty much given up the ghost on the "short commute, miserable neighborhood" scenario and have phased into the "longer commute, mediocre neigborhood" mode of thinking. If you want a picture of the neighborhoods we were looking at, check out the info available at (website to be put in when computer stops freaking out) Anyway, the place we're considering right now is called "Fishtown" whereas before we were looking in the Point Breeze and South Grad Hospital zones. Fishtown is where it's at, due not only to the proximity to the Yards Brewing Company and their free tours on Saturdays, but also because it does not currently look like Sarajevo circa 1997. Thirdly, we can actually afford housing here.
Friday night we went out for fish tacos with our new best friends (since Lara and Shane no longer live in the same country as us and no longer return our emails, hint hint) Rick and Cully. They're cool. They have a house that's connected to a warehouse and they've got a terra cotta warrior along with a dog that bites people. Sweet. Additionally, they have intimate knowledge of some of the best damn food in the city, as well as the locations of all the good bars. Double Sweet. While walking from Pura Vida, the fish-taco place to some bar, Jennifer spots what appears to be a dollar bill on the street. No, not a dollar bill. A $100 bill!!! Goddam, what a night for money!!! So, as you do when you find a total of TWO HUNDRED AND TEN DOLLARS ON THE STREET we bought beer for our companions and retreated home for a lovely rest.
Honestly, if the weekends keep on like this, we're soooo gonna be living large.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Last Friday we met up with our friends, Cully and Rick. I believe that it is safe to call them friends now that we've hung out on three occasions. We went out to eat some of the best damn burgers I've had in a while. A nice juicy hamburger has been seriously lacking in my diet.
Saturday was stupid nice weather, 70 something with minimal wind. Jennifer and I went for a glorious bike ride. We rode through some of the richest suburbs I've ever been to. Palaces, all of them. We could fit whole city blocks on the estates out in Lower Merion. Funny enough, while riding through the rich-ass suburbs Jennifer and I were jeered at by passing cars and buzzed by harley davidson riders, but while cruising down 52nd street in the heart of West Philly, not a single taunt. Dumbasses don't come from any particular background, they just suck.
Sunday turned out to be about 60 and rainy, perfect weather for my first bicycle race. As I left the house, Jennifer commented that the rain and slippery surfaces would give me incentive to be in the front to avoid crashes. She was right. Though it was a little dicey for a couple of turns, I ended up breaking away with one other guy and eventually won the event. Yay me. The Quaker City Wheelmen list was all a-buzz with congratulations, though honestly, it was a smallish field of Category 5 racers. I was the top of the bottom really.
This week proved long and drawn out, evenings filled with either my new job at the UPenn climbing wall (free access, shitty pay) seeing off my former manager Seth at various going away parties and organizing socks and backpacs for many hours a day at work. Oh, I really hate merchadising things!
Jennifer and I went out for our most recent round of disappointment on Friday with Dennis. We found a sweet house right by the train line with a view of downtown, immaculate floors, 12 foot ceilings and no kitchen. We also found shit-holes in various stages of decrepitude and depressing remodeled grossness. As it stands, we may just suck it up and buy this one house that we like really well that is unfortunately in a neighborhood with a little less charm. C'est la vie.
Who is the patron saint of homebuyers anyway? I'd like to make an offering at the appropriate grotto.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Sunday was also a great day. I went out to a local park called Haycock Mountain about an hour from here to go bouldering. It was a blast. The rocks are like giant dinosaur eggs scattered willy-nilly through the forest. It's kooky, cool to look at and a hell of a lot of fun to climb.
The early part of the week was as to be expected until last night when I got an email from the University of Pennsylvania saying that I have been accepted into the Master of City Planning program. Sweeeeeet! I drank some cheap wine and some cheaper tequila to celebrate as I waited for Jennifer to get home from her field visit in Atlanta, GA.
I'm about to head out for our third installment of, "Cheap-ass homes, Philly STYLE!" with Jennifer and Dennis, our realtor. More pictures to come, especially if we really like one.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
First. Philadelphia must be the home of graft. The second biggest tax on our income taxes is the city of Philadelphia. It follows right after the federal government. What do they do with this money, they sure as hell don't put it into the streets. A month ago a large pothole opened up in front of our house. By large, I mean 1.5 x 2 feet and about 3 feet deep. I'm not kidding, 3 feet deep. This remained for approximately a month, during which time, cars would cruise by, smacking their mufflers as they jolted in and out of the pit. A temporary fix was instituted when the neighbors stuffed a set of tires and a large stuffed bear into the hole. This did not last, however. Then, last week, the public works guys came out to dig a bigger hole. Apparently the water main had some issues and they needed to dig a big-ass trench. They worked from about 6 in the morning to 8 pm, then left after shoving some dirt and asphalt on top. This was not tamped down, nor filled with gravel, just some dirt and tarry sludge on top. They may have been waiting for the work-site to mellow, as you do with a fine wine. Or they may have just buggered off and left it. Either way, the pit was still there last Thursday when it began to rain rather heavily, turning the pothole into a Verdun-like morass. I counted 3 cars that got stuck before I had to go to work. The best was the fuel truck that was in up to its axles. Yay, public works.
Jennifer and I hit up the next wave of the house hunt. While we did meet an anxious pit bull, invade a squatter camp and find the place where dracula must live while vacationing in Philly, we also saw at least 2 promising places. One was nicely redone and in move-in condition, though it was right across from two vacant warehouses. The other was across from a park, had sweet green paint, and some really cool features that make us want to check it out again. I'll post some pictures shortly. At this point, we're thinking about the prospect of a fixer-up-er and exactly how much fix-er-up-ing we can do before our lease runs out here.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
As it stands, we're planning on continuing the search, finding a nicer crap-hole, fixing it up and moving into it sometime over the summer. I guess I should brush up on my carpentry skills. We'll need them if we want to live in an actual house rather than a rat-hole.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
After 2 years of participating primarily in sports and activities that I suck at: downhill skiing, rock climbing, speaking Japanese, I really enjoyed not coming in at the bottom of my chosen activity. It's refreshing to know that I have some modest skill in a form of athletics. I'm really looking forward to joining up with a club here and getting my wheels back, as it were. Viva Philly! May the good times roll!!
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Anyway, just rambling a bit, but the winter olympics are nice to have on TV for a change, though it made me realize, again, that there are no snowy mountain peaks anywhere near here. Dammit.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Anyway, back to this house thing, Jennifer and I want to buy one. It's like the biggest toy you can get, aside from a yacht or a child. I like the idea of fixing up a place and making it work for me. I really want a workshop where I can put all my bicycles, tools, gear etc. It would also be sweet to build my own little rock climbing gym. These things are simply right out for a renter, however. Additionally, I'm getting tired of fixing stuff in this apartment. I'd rather do it for myself, and be able to reap the benefit, rather than turing it over to my landlord at the end of our stay. It's just not worth it to fix your own apartment. Lastly, Jennifer's saved up a heap of cash from Japan and work elsewhere, and I'm totally out of debt, at least until grad school kicks in. Now that I'm working part time, and the "spending moratorium" has been in place for a while, we can work on getting pre-approved for a loan and then checking out some places. The key variable is sketchy neighborhood vs. cost and standard of living. There are some damn cheap houses in Philly. Like 3 bedroom places for $20,000. Of course they're right in the "Little Beirut" neighborhood, so you get what you pay for. Or, you can get a condo close to downtown, 400 square feet for something like $250,000. Take your pick.
Oh yeah, homeowners out there, gimme all your inside advice. I want to come to this hunt armed to the teeth, if you know what I mean. Jesse Ventura in Predator style. Knowledge will be my machine gun! Viva Cuba! Viva mortgage de quatro percento!!
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Jennifer and I passed an enjoyable weekend in DC. Emi was out visiting and Brendan made his usual appearance, hung over as he tends to be whenever we're in town. Friday night was the best as he passed out on the couch, muttering things like, "But...who's gonna put him into the car-seat?" Ahh, good times.
Next, I got some good news from home, Asa is actually going to be able to skip the impending surgery, he's healed up quite nicely. The freaky part was, apparently, pulling out the various tubes that had been embedded in his body to aid his recovery. There was a PICC line from his upper arm into one of his coronary arteries and also a drain for the pus in his side. The doctors yanked those out and the boy is on his way to recovering from a week and a half out of school.
As for me, Jennifer managed to get me a bottle of Sake from the liquor store downtown, and let me tell you what... I am in flavor country! I've been missing my rice-wine something fierce. Not only that, but I made a flippin' awesome fish chowder. Probably the best soup I've ever made, and one of the best soups I've ever eaten. Now, if only I can duplicate it.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
To think that this is the 5th draft is heartbreaking.
“Couldn’t believe it, good 200-bushel-an-acre land under a dang Home Depot parking lot,” my uncle lamented over dinner at the farm. He was relating the story of his trip from
While I have strong sympathies with New Urbanist design ideas, I have some reservations about high-density, transit-oriented developments. There must be some sort of sea-change for New Urbanism to catch on. Though the cost of our sprawling landscape is high, for many, those costs are less tangible than the benefits of the status quo. Without a clear comparison, we are likely to trade the nebulous problem: “less farmland” for the visible benefit: “abundant parking.” Finding ways to compare such disparate variables is an essential part of communicating the need to change our environmentally questionable development style to the public.
I am applying for the Master of City Planning degree at the University of Pennsylvania where I hope to contribute in two main ways. First, I hope to do research on the topic of incentives: specifically, the ways in which planners and policy makers can influence people into making transportation and housing decisions that appropriately weigh the benefits and negative externalities of their actions. I am particularly interested in Professor Keene’s studies on “walkable communities” and farmland preservation. Second, I realize that in order to implement change in a community, one needs the specific skills and know-how to take a project from paper to reality. While my undergraduate education gave me a conceptual understanding of urban landscapes, I realize that I need technical abilities to succeed. I am looking forward to improving my skills with GIS in order to use this powerful tool to communicate my ideas to others. Additionally, I believe that the opportunity to work directly with a client organization in one of the studio sessions will give me an experience unique among the graduate programs I’ve investigated.
After Penn, I intend to take my skills and experience to the workplace. As a firm believer in the necessity of regional planning, my aim is to work for a private firm or regional organization that will allow me to focus on the preservation of natural resources through sound planning. The need for mobility, independence and space are deeply ingrained in the American mind. I respect these needs, but understand that the long-term viability of our cities and country depends on us making better use of our resources. In our country, where space is not infinite, mobility depends on having a car and independence requires gas money, finding an alternative to urban sprawl is not just a good idea, it is imperative.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Coming back home, we spent an afternoon dinking around the house. Then, while sitting in the living room, I noticed some flames licking the inside of windows in the house across the street. Within minutes the fire had begun billowing around and out the second and third story windows. Those two floors were gutted by the time the fire department arrived 5 minutes later. Talk about excitement, the whole neighborhood was out on the street. I quickly got my camera and was about to run outside when Jennifer stopped what was about to be a really insensitive move on my part.
We had also been invited to the upstairs neighbor's apartment in the evening for a housewarming party. It was a nice time, though we were the only people in the room who couldn't speak any German. Karl is a supreme Deutchophile and is a regular participant in the Stamptish meetings of German speakers in Philly. I don't know what Stamptish means, but what the hell, Karl had good weisswurst.
Things were pretty chill until yesterday evening when I got a call from my parents. They were in the Des Moines children's hospital with my youngest brother Asa. For the past month and a half he's been having a lot of trouble with stomach pain. Over the past few weeks he's been in to the gastrointerologist a few times, gotten to chug liters of radioactive liquids and had a probe put where the sun don't shine. The diagnosis is Crohn's disease, and autoimmune disorder affecting the intestine. Imagine arthritis of the bowels. The call last night was because he's been admitted to the hospital due to intense inflammation in his abdomen. Apparently the abscess or abscesses caused by the disease became infected and he had some pretty severe and painful swelling that had to be treated in the hospital. They're pumping him full of fluids, antibiotics and the like and also draining the fluids from the region.
While I'll not say I'm devastated by the news of Asa's illness, I am concerned for him. Crohn's is not fatal, but could potentially degrade his quality of life to a severe degree. For example, he'll have to keep treating his disease throughout his life and it's likely that at some point he'll have to have surgery to remove affected portions of his intestine. Shit man. He's already had to miss a number of days of school and missed finals on Tuesday. That sort of stuff takes a while to recover from. Anyway, my thoughts are with him. Ganbatte Asa.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Anyway, we drove our asses off and then ended up back home in Ames all exhausted and such and were considering the proposition of blasting off for the twin cities the next day, and I have to say, we quailed at the thought of driving up to Saint Paul so soon after returning to the comfort of our families. Anyway, it would have involved some serious car shuffling and making my parents go up to get a car was not really what I had hoped to do. Basically a logistics jam. We were all settled to send our apologies to Katherine, Ben and Marye as well, but then Jennifer got a personal email from Katherine saying how pleased she would be if we showed up. So, due to the autimotive restraints, we couldn't spend any real time in the twin cities, but we borrowed Jennifer's mom's car, drove up Friday night and drove back Friday night. It kind of sucked. The wedding reception was nice, I got to see a couple of highschool friends who had gotten larger over the years and we chatted about life. As we exited the freeway to Ames that night, Jennifer plowed into a skunk with the car. It was a long evening.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Well, for starters, it's like, 2006. Second, I like have a part-time job at an EMS store in Philly. Thirdly, well, New Years was sweet, hung out with Meghan, Brendan and a gang of former Peace Corps volunteers at Meghan's place in DC. The weird thing about newyears is that I met this guy there from Iowa, and I KNEW WHO HE WAS. Those of you who are from smaller or more obscure places know that people always ask you, "Youre from There? Hey, I know someone from There, His name is ____. Do you know him?" To which you always have to respond, "No, no I don't." Even though you're from an out of the way place, it's not like the world is THAT small. Except when it is. This guy walked into the party and introduced himself and instantly I remembered going on a bike ride with him and the make and features of the bike he was riding, all from 8 years ago. Freaked him out, that did. Hah. My bike-remembering skills are second only to my dad's.
Oh yeah, now I'm employed part time at EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) a chain of stores out East here. The pay is decent, part time will keep me just busy enough to be happy, but not too busy as I look for other "career" work and get ready for grad school, in theory. However, we all know that Communism worked in theory, but ask an Albanian what they think of Communism today.
Lastly, my GRE's are finally over. Thank God for that. Even though I'd rather pluck my head bald than take the test again, a small part of me wants to take the test over to see if I can get a better score. Dammit, I know I can! Fortunately, I won't be doing that again, primarily due to the fact that there's no way in hell that I'm going to pay $115 AGAIN to take a stupid test.