Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your countdowns!!!

Todays Music: The Kooks – Stormy Weather
Days Til Spring: 90

It was harder than usual to wait for today to post this. It’s felt like winter here in NYC for a while now (though tomorrow is supposed to hit 60 F). And Autumn is just too early to start this particular countdown, because I’d go (even) batty(er) with the extra waiting.
So, as I do, on the first day of winter, I post the list of Winter Stupid, and the countdown clock til Spring, over there on your right.

The dichotomy is killing me.

The dichotomy is killing me.

For those who are wondering, or forgot, or blotted it out of your memory, winter and spring start off with the list of stupid things I hope to do that season. So without further ado, I am proud to present
The Winter Stupid:
Ski. I’ve already gotten a couple of days in, but apparently the new thing is that the mountains set up a huge ramp, and an airbag in the landing zone. Laugh at gravity and have a safe landing? Where do I sign?
Ice Skate. This also shows up on the Spring/Summer Stupid list, but why wait?
Experience Canada in mid-winter. Ok, I already have tickets to see John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett together (acoustic). But sometimes it’s nice to add something to a list that you know you’ll be able to cross off.
Surf. As stated before, I plan to be out 1 Jan. Hopefully the weather will agree.
Drinking hot chocolate while watching snow fall. With my arm around my wife, obviously.

Spring is my favorite season, but I’m looking forward to enjoying this Winter.
Anything you’re looking forward to over the next 90 days?

An Adventure Philosophy Post: Being and Doing

Today’s Music: Cab Calloway – (Hep hep) The Jumpin Jive

I’m a skier. Put me in a pair of boots that fit, drop me on skis (rentals are fine), and I’m all set.

El Guapo surveying his domain...

El Guapo surveying his domain…

I’m a rock climber. despite being in terrible shape, I can belay with the best of them, and keep your tail from hitting the ground if you come off the cliff. At the same time, I can find some way up the face and warn you if I’m not going to make it.
I’m a scuba diver. despite a depressingly low overall amount of time spent underwater, I’m conscientious with checking and donning my gear. I know how to not panic (trust me, it’s a hard won skill), and I pay close attention to where I am underwater.

Sadly, I’m not a surfer. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love surfing. I’m planning on putting on my wetsuit, strapping my board to the roof and diving in on 1 Jan, unless the weather is just horrible.
But when I get on a board, I’m just awful. I have no idea what to look for when catching a wave, and no feel for when to stand up on the board. The majority of my rides end with the nose of the board plowing into the water, and me shooting over it like Wile E Coyote in too many cartoons.
That’s fine. It’s still fun.

The pros got nothin on me.

The pros got nothin on me.

But that line – the difference between just doing something, and being something – is an important one for me. It’s about going beyond being a random participant, and breathing in everything you can about whatever it is.

When I learned to scuba dive, I read everything I could get my hands on. I would go into shops and handle equipment, studying different mounting options, handling features, options and tools. I would play with my depth tables (because some things are too important to leave to a computer), and occasionally wander around the house in flippers (Oh, like I’m the only one who does that).
Under water, I’ve gotten into some odd situations, and remembered that as long as I could breathe, I was still ok. Then, calmly, I figured out how to get out of them.
Scuba diving is also one of the few sports I’ve done where the training actually is helpful.
And thank god for that.

But a new year is right around the corner. And I plan to be in the water on the first, on my board. Maybe I’ll even graduate from a guy who has a surfboard to a full fledged surfer!

An Annual List

Today’s Music: Bronze Radio Return – Shake, Shake, Shake

Once again, my wife (The Most Wonderful Girl In The Universe) asked me what I’d like for my birthday.
– World Peace.
– More common sense. For everyone.
(She thinks empathy should be added in, I think “common sense” implies empathy.)
– Empathy.
(What? When TMWGITU asks you for something, you do it.)
– A new bike.
– The ability to play guitar.
– More time to sleep.
– More hours in the day.
– The ability to understand stupid people.
– Fewer stupid people.
– A winning lottery ticket.
– The next season of Dr Who.
– A long weekend with TMWGITU, spent entirely in bed.

In a few days, I’ll wake up a whole year older.
And as long as I’ve got my girl beside me, the rest of the stuff on that list can wait.