Monday, April 11, 2011

Moab 1/2 Marathon

On March 18th, my wife Ally, our good friend Steve Z., and I took our talents to Moab for the 36th annual canyonlands half marathon race; a 13.1 mile trek through the canyon that runs alongside the Colorado River on Highway 119.

We arrived in Moab tired and stiff from the 6 hour drive, ready to do anything but sit.  After checking into our hotel and picking up our pre-race packets, we went straight to Pasta Jay’s for our pre-race meal, the carbo-load special as its known; and luckily enough for Ally, they had gluten free pasta!  Dinner was followed by all of us quickly falling into a post meal coma and immediately going to bed to get as much sleep as possible.

Race Day:
5:30 am is early no matter how many hours of sleep you get.  We all woke and stumbled around as we got ready.  By 8:30 we were bussed 11 miles up the canyon and greeted with cocoa, coffee, port-o-potties, and an hour and half to kill until the 10am start time.  The clouds gently covered the sun all morning and around 9:30, our good friend the wind decided to show up.  With no sun and a cold wind bearing down on us we huddled together, a giant mass of runners, trying to block each other from the wind without touching a stranger, it sort of worked.  At 10am, the gun sounded, and we were off.  As we descended down the canyon the wind became less and less of a factor and our bodies started to heat up from all the running.  The run was beautiful; every turn of the river produced a new view of dark red canyon with steep and jagged edges; I consistently had to remind myself to look up and really soak in the beauty of where I was running.  We all finished in one piece, Ally set a new half marathon PR time, Steve Z, the racing veteran of the group finished as smoothly as a gazelle, and I also managed to set a new PR time by default as it was my first half marathon.  The race set up was very well done, there were stations with water and Gatorade every 2 miles, Clif Bar shots at mile 6, and a lovely finish at the city park with free food and pictures for all participants. 

After the race, we went out and claimed our campsite.

After a little bit of well deserved rest and a public shower we headed over to Arches National Park for a nice slow, stiff, and painful hike.

We finished the night with a delicious meal at the Moab Brewery (great beer and great food).
And proceeded to have some of the best camp sleep in the history of mankind.

We ended our time in Moab with a quick stop in Canyonlands National Park.

I have a feeling we will be seeing you again Moab!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hipster is not a Dirty Word

After many years of trying to fly under the radar as a hipster, and by this I mean hiding my secret yearning to be hip by pretending to simply not care about anything, I am coming clean.... I love the Hipster! Let me ask you something, who wouldn't want to hang out with this????????
I know I do!
The irony in all of this, is that now hipster has become the ultimate insult. If you want to get a group of white people riled up, just drop the H-bomb and bear witness to the indignation that occurs. I now once again have found my timing to be impeccable. My next trick will be joining twitter in twenty years.

But for now, enjoy this preview of the sequal to STUFF WHITE PEOPLE LIKE, it is delicious.

Friday, November 5, 2010


My wife and I and friends took the trek down to Denver this past Tuesday to enjoy the loveliness that is Sufjan Stevens. He played at the Paramount, a small cozy seated theatre in Denver in the heart of the 16th street mall. The excitement and beards were in the air and good old Sufjan did not disappoint. He appeared on stage with his shiny moon pants, angel wings, tape on his arms, and kicked right into a kick drum, electric guitar laced version of seven swans. The band consisted of two drummers, 2 keyboards, horns, guitars, and 2 back up dancers dressed in alien atire (awesome!).

From then on, it was all songs from the new albums. I wasn't quite sure what the new songs were going to sound like live, or how they would even be performed, but HOLY CRAP as soon as he broke into Too Much I was hooked. The new songs just straight up rock live, they are fun, upbeat, and cause your head to uncontrollably bob along with your feet. It appeared that Sufjan had been freed, and it was infectious, you could feel it in the air and in everything he did. He danced with reckless abandon, like he was drunk at a wedding, he explained what he was thinking with this new album and the freedom he felt from throwing away his old shtick. The Highlight was the 30 minute rendition of Impossible Soul, that included Autotuning (which was so incredibly cool live), The entire crowd standing up and dancing, and Sufjan finishing it off dancing with a costume monkey head.
So All of that to say, the concert was amazing, Go See him now!

I've been thinking a lot about music and how intertwined it is to our memories, how everyone person has unique experiences tied to specific songs, and hearing those songs takes you back to them. Well Sufjan has now been around long enough for this to occur to me. I stumbled upon Michigan during a bit of a rough patch, a confused, slightly angry, and very emo college kid. 6 years ago, my friends and I piled into a van and drove straight to Denver to see Sufjan at the bluebird theatre. It was a trip laced with aderol and completely random and ridiculous conversations while driving at 5 o clock in the morning.

Later I met my wife, and we passed back and forth mix cd's filled with Sufjan as we got to know each other. We danced in the car with him, and later got to see him in Austin. Eventually we got married, and my wife walked down the aisle to Vito's Ordination. And now, 5 years later, I got to see him again in Denver, coming full circle as it were. And it's really cool to look back 5 years and see that much in music.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Memory Lane

This morning, I was doing my usual get ready for the day stuff while listening to my shuffle when I had an old break up song come on. And I literally went back in time a few years.... To a simpler time; when I drove a gas leaking jeep, sold out and cut my hair, and was a lost confused guy (that last one may still hold true). It was amazing how one song by a certain Third Eye Blind could have so much associated with it. Oh the power of the break up song, are there any songs that hold more memories and weight?? I'm not sure. Irregardless, it's always good when you can look back and laugh at yourself, is there anything more ridiculous than emo Julian?
And so all of this got me thinking about break up songs and albums and how everyone has one song or one particular album that's an audio time portal. Mine easily is Third Eye Blind's self titled CD, holy crap its a break up album on steroids..... So without further ado it's time for some depressing break up songs from youtube!

The song that got this whole thing rolling...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Daily News

I am tired today. I almost fell asleep in a meeting, I think my laptop computer screen is giving my face a fluorescent tan, and I have spent the last week drinking water out of a plastic keg cup because I am too lazy to find my nalgene. Needless to say, It's an ugly state of affairs over here, although I am wearing a polo shirt at the moment, which is fairly classy......... So now I will leave you with a few interesting news articles and a great Simpsons quote....."How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"

American Religion Test:
This didn't strike me as too surprising.

A Boy and A Bicycle:
By far my favorite read, very very cool stuff.

And Finally, you can stream Sufjan's new album on NPR here
I haven't been able to give it as good a listen as I would like, but from what I've heard so far it is quite lovely!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Little Things

Life is never easy right? There are a million forces pulling you in a million different directions; There's work and salary, and making a living; paying for things, iphones, facebook, fantasy football, life decisions, dinner dates, lunches, God and the list goes on and on. And if you're not careful, you lose yourself in all of it and lose sight of nothing other than your circumstances. And that is where last week found me. I am a frustrated graduate that is looking for work in a career that I have fallen out of love with, and so with all of the job searching/career change searching everything else was lost and I got sucked into the void that is feeling sorry for yourself.... I became Eeeyore. Which is not good. When your circumstances take over, you're not really living anymore, just sort of wallowing through life, and you lose all of those little things that make life so good. This is what I did all
week, and it was awful. But not this week my friends! This is the week of gratitude.

For Chagall and love

Long Bike Rides

Foggy Cold Mornings

And Warm Coffee in the morning!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Journal Entry

Deep deep down; inside our rhythmic beat we have to feel that we are right and ok. We play in the grey, and draw a line to make sure we're ok. We talk ourselves into it and toe the line. Anything to make our means justified, anything so that we can sleep at night and carry on. Because deep down we know what's wrong, and we know we shouldn't; but if we are right, life carries on. And I think every person believes they are doing the right thing; we will always justify ourselves until reality intervenes.