After 11 months of anticipation I finally got to try out snowboarding! Ryan has been snowboarding since high school and he’s a pro at it so he took me to Ober-Gatlinburg (where the snow is German) and spent the entire day patiently coaxing me down a big mountain. Our friend Mike who has been boarding for a few years came with us and he decided that the best way for me to learn would be to use trickery and take me up to the double black onyx diamond trail.
Apparently accidentally going to the top of the mountain is a rite of passage or something.
We spent about 90 minutes getting down the first time with probably about 20 of that just being Ryan teaching me how to stand up. Naturally I took a quite a few falls on the way down. At one point I took a relatively nasty fall which earned me a stalker. (I.E. a lady that came up to me two separate times to tell me I really should get my head checked out)
We took a break to eat some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or in Mike’s case some chilli dogs with fake cheese. Also, we rented a supa sexy helmet for the low low price of $5.00 (pictured below).
We went down the medium slope once before taking off but this time it only took about 30 minutes and with significantly less falling.The ride home was long and exhausting and the next day was very slow going. I believe we ate some pancakes and watched a million episodes of How I Met Your Mother to recuperate.
It was exhausting, difficult, and terrifying but I can’t wait to do it again next weekend! It was definitely worth the wait and despite how hard it was I’m glad I went and really enjoyed it. This will definitely be a learning season but next season…. look out [insert famous snowboarder here]
I’m currently accepting sponsors for the next winter olympics.
“Don’t video me!”
I remember sitting in my editing room setting up this blog just over a year ago. I feel like I live in an entirely different world now but it’s really only been a year since my first post. I’ve said it before and it won’t be the last time I say it but I despise New Years Resolutions. I believe if something in your life needs to change, you should do it as soon as possible. That’s why I set annual goals instead. This isn’t a list of bad habits to kick or good habits to create (though those are both great things). This is a list of adventures for the upcoming year.
I’m ecstatic to begin my second year as a curious adventure seeking documentarian. That’s a word right? It is now.
A few of my adventure goals were sadly forgotten last year so this year I’ve decided to fight the out-of-sight-out-of-mind phenomenon and create a board to keep my goals in my face every day.
2013 Adventures Goals!
- Build a Peep Diorama
- Throw 5 Parties
- Watch 10 Movies from the Friend Vs. Film List
- Eat at 8 Nashville Originals
- Build Something Awesome With Legos
- Get 10 People to Commit To Their Own Adventure
- Read 10 More books from the 100 Book List
- Listen to 1 new song every day for the entire year
- Incorporate stress prevention and reduction (i.e., a balanced lifestyle)
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Go skydiving
- Build a better family relationship
- Learn more about my religion/Get baptized
- Continue working towards a job I love
- Help get 500 volunteer hours
- Be happy and confident with myself
- Go Geo-caching
- Go paragliding
- Pay Off My Student Loans
- Race a Dragonboat
- Finish my 1,000+ piece puzzle
- Learn Grandma’s Potatoe Ball Recipe
As always, I love company
A lot of adventures were had this year. Some planned, others…not so much. A lot more happened this year than I expected. I like to believe part of that is because this project has given me an outlet for my curiosity. This project keeps me grounded in my quest for good stories and even better memories.
This year has been difficult and amazing. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
- (#44) Read 10 books on the 100 Books List- I read 11 books this year (plus 75% of about 5 others). The truth is if I could find a weekend to finish off all of my 75% books my total would be 16 for the year. Alas, 75% is not the entire pie. It turns out I don’t enjoy fiction very much anymore. Maybe I’m just not reading the right books. Next year I’d like to get a better ratio of fiction to self-improvement books on the list. My thoughts on my 2012 bookshere.
- (#29, Have a Job I Love) I didn’t complete this goal but I took some big steps and conquered some fears in the process. I’m carrying this one over for next year.
- (#17, Be Happy With Myself) Lose 30 Pounds- I lost 10 pounds this year. I was actually quite shocked to look back and realize that’s all. Especially considering that amounted to 3 inch smaller jeans and two dress sizes. I’m not complaining though. I lost that simply by creating an active life for myself. Going even stronger in 2013. I’ve also grown a lot emotionally this year and worked through a lot of things I was afraid of before. I like myself, but I do have some more wrinkles to iron out.
- (#8) Go Snowboarding- CHECK! Tons of fun and a really great experience. Blog to follow.
- (#43) Throw 4 of the 100 Parties - Blew this one out of the water! I organized/co-organized 7 parties this year bringing the grand total to 9! I’m using the word “party” a bit loosely. Only 91 more parties to go!
- (#44) Organize all of my photos into albums – I’m going to count this one as completed because I’m finishing up the 2012 album this week. Post to come sooooooon!
- (#60, What I Believe) Start figuring out what I believe – I went to church more this year than I have in the past decade. That was definitely a hole in my life that I didn’t realize I was trying to fill. The goal for this year was just to start getting more comfortable with Christianity again and I’ve definitely done that.
- (#11) Volunteer
- (#28) Get in the habit of grand and loving gestures
- (#31) Be emotionally available
- (#33) Zipline in a jungle/forrest
- (#61) Play paintball
- (#71) Ride a horse
- (#81) Run a half-marathon
- (#86) Go geo-caching
- (#45) Listen to 25 albums on the 100 Albums List
- (#13, Be a Good Cook) Learn a new recipe every two weeks for the entire year.
- (#29, Have a Job I Love) Book 5 Photography Clients
- (#7) Go Skydiving
- (#35) Complete the Build Something Project
- (#46) Write a book of letters to leave to my friends
- (#58) Put together a 1,000 piece or more puzzle
The goal for this year was to read 10 of the 100 books. Success! I managed 11 full books and half of six others.
It turns out about 70% of what I read is “self-improvement” books. Perhaps that’s just where I am in my life at the moment. Unfortunately, I don’t find that I tend to enjoy many fiction novels that often anymore. I’d love suggestions. (My favorites are Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Hitchhikers Guide, etc).
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel by Rolf Potts
- Train Your Brain to Get Happy
- 5. & 6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsI know.
7. Love Is A Choice: I’ve given away several copies of this book. I’ve also read it multiple times myself, which is the biggest endorsement anyone can give. Unlike most “self-help” books Love Is A Choice was written by two legitimate counselors. Both co-authors of this book are actual practicing doctors and have over 7 degrees between the two of them. Everything you know about codependency is wrong. General public perception would have you believe that codependency is easy to spot and easy to fix. In reality, a fair amount of unhappiness people experience in their lives and relationships can be traced back to codependency. (A need to gain fulfillment/validation for yourself as a person through an external source) Even more terrifying is the fact that codependency presents itself in a lot of sneaky different ways. This book explains codependency and provides a lot of great insight in very straight forward terms.
Bottom line: I recommend this book for pretty much everyone. Even if you don’t have these issues , you most likely care for someone that does.
8. Your Playlist Can Change Your Life: I read this book very quickly. Mostly because it’s about 80% filler. The other 20% is really interesting information about using music to manipulate your emotional state. The book explains how to use music to relieve anxiety, be more productive, and improve your mood. However, I found the instructions to be pretty much the same for all three which left authors repeating themselves. The book would have been better laid out with each chapter explaining the science behind the different ways to use music with one detailed chapter on best approaches for developing your best playlists. However, the information in the book is already spread a little thin so I suspect it was written this way on purpose. I enjoyed this book but found myself skimming a lot of sections. The information is very interesting and I’m excited to use what I learned. I really feel the authors would have been better off writing less and selling it in e-format or combining the information with another music related topic.
Bottom line: It was worth the quick read for the good information but I was left feeling a little jipped on the overall content.
My friends are doctors, lawyers, engineers, and soldiers. My friends are accountants, violinists, software developers, and photographers. My friends are music licensing officers, managers at hustler hollywood, and videographers. My friends are hilarious, inappropriate, and geeky. My friends are my mirror and my future.
January: Rock Climbing. Laser Tag. Met Abbas, Blake, Carly, Heather, and Joe.
July: Fourth of July Shenanigans
This is just the cliff notes from my 2012, this isn’t even my adventure list recap. You’ll notice there’s no December pictures. Honestly, because I’ve run out of time and I have one last party to hit up this year.
Adios 2012. No regrets.
Your 20′s are an awkward and important time. These are the years where you set the stage for the rest of your life. This is where you make your life-long long friends. If your life was a movie the first 24-ish years are just a montage behind the opening credits. Your 20′s are where the story gets set and the important people are introduced.
Which also makes the holidays a little extra awkward. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day aren’t quite as exciting now that your gifts don’t usually breathe or shoot lasers. (Usually) Work schedules get in the way of the holidays and you don’t really have your own place to be yet.
I still wanted to make the most of the holidays so I chose to spend Christmas Eve with the people that mean the most to me; my friends. Blake and I decided to host Christmas Eve for any of our friends that didn’t have anywhere else to be. A lot of our friends are from half-way across the country so being with family isn’t always an option. We’ve unwittingly created our own little family in Nashville.
It was an awesome night! We ate, watched movies, and played twister at one point. It was a really nice Christmas Eve. Joe cooked poached halibut for dinner and it was amazing. For all of his “fuck you”‘s I’m pretty sure cooking is the way Joe says I Love You.
We love you too Joe.
That night definitely reinforced that I’m doing something right. Right now I’m building friendships that will last forever. Some of these people will move away and lose touch. They won’t all always be involved with my day to day nonsense, but for the most part these are the people that are going to be a part of my life in some way forever. These are the people that are going to be around for all of the important stuff, hopefully for the rest of my life. These are the people I will get to be happy for when they get married or, more importantly, find a really good deal on groupon. (Or when their car doesn’t get stolen.) These are the people I will cry for eventually. These are the people that will help shape my life and my memories.
These are the people that give me hope for the world.
My friend Pringles wanted to get a bunch of people together to run a half marathon in the mountains dressed like Santa. I kid you not, that’s a legit thing. Then Ryan had the awesome idea of making it a running/snowboarding trip and thus Hustlin’ and Boardin’ in the Smokies was born.
Sadly, the weather destroyed all hope for any snowboarding this time around. (Le sadness) No complaints here though, that left us the entire weekend for board games, movies , go-karting, mini-golfing, hot-tubbing, and general hang times.(How To Train You Dragon officially added to Top 10 favorite cartoons)
The race was sponsored by Toys for Tots, which is a charity that collects toys to give children at Christmas who wouldn’t have otherwise had anything Christmas morning. I was very proud of everyone that came on the trip for so generously agreeing to let part of the cabin money go towards buying gifts for this charity. We forgot to snap a pic of all of the toys, but it was more than an entire cart-full! Shopping for the toys was a lot of fun too. We picked out teddy bears, memory games, hot wheels, kitchen sets, doctor sets, and a lot of other good stuff.
At one point during the trip, this guy pranked this guy in pretty epic fashion. I wasn’t even there to witness it first-hand but just hearing about it is pretty amazing. I’m not going to attempt to re-tell it but let’s just say we now know exactly how much bears scare Mr. Oliver.
Our 5k’ers all looked pretty snazzy dressed as Santa. They all got awesome times too!
Our half-marathoners pretty much killed it. Annais pretty much a professional runner but she ran the course with Pringles. This was his first half. He trained really hard for this and it showed since his finish was under 2 hours and 20 minutes!!! Brian pretty much destroyed it too. It was his first half and he did it in 02:07. Ridiculous. For months leading up to the race he told me he was skipping his long runs for candy and cigars but I’m pretty sure with a time like that we can count him as our Ringer. (Brian not pictured…he was too fast)
It turns out that Pringles ditched Anna at the finish, despite her loyalty to him for the previous 13 miles. I have no doubt there will be payback.
Next year, we tackle this bad boy.
Fourth of July post…in December? I wasn’t kidding when I said I was super behind on blogs. I’m not one to use the word super all nimminy bimmminy.
On July 2nd I decided to throw a Fourth of July shindig. A few things that played into this last minute decision:
- My parents have a super sweet set up for party times. No joke.
- My parents informed me they would be out of town.
So we had a laid back Fourth eating chilli, jello-cake, playing chicken in the pool, card games, and a pretty epic game of CHUBBY BUNNY!
We drove to see the fireworks but didn’t make it in time and pulled over on the side of the highway to watch. It felt very 80′s movie closing credits. If John Hughes had directed that day the takeaway would have been that we should never be afraid to go for a mouth full of quadruple sized marshmallows. No regrets.
This year I participated in Hands On Nashville day with a group of friends. One day every fall, Hands on Nashville coordinates thousands of volunteers to complete hundreds of one day school improvement projects. It helps the school system by saving over six figures in labor costs by everyone pitching in and doing the work for free.
I was a Project Coordinator this year, and really enjoyed that role. Typically Project Coordinators don’t do any of the dirty work, but one of the projects was rejected so we were a little short on work to be done.
So, on a very pretty Saturday morning we built a rain garden for an elementary school. Rain gardens are good for the environment in ways I won’t bore you with here, but the Cumberland River Society has been working to plant rain gardens all over Nashville to help improve the quality of the water in the area.
I was very impressed with how quickly everything went down. We had to dig a hole about 8 inches deep (about 4 foot by 4 foot wide). Then we dug about 14 holes another 8 inches deep, planted a variety of plants, filled the area with mulch, and built an embankment about six inches tall around the whole thing on three sides. We did all of that in under four hours!
I’m not a fan of yard work, but it was good to spend a Saturday morning doing something for someone else.