Friday, January 25, 2008

Onward, Upward

Check out my new blog, "Onward, Upward." Its basically just an outlet for me to ramble about things I have been doing lately, I am trying to leave the more profound...or at least deeper, stuff for this site. Anyway here's the link:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2007 Review

So as 2007 is at an end, I thought it only appropriate to list some favorites from the past year. (Admittedly, I stole the idea entirely from my friend Nate, but, as they say, emulation is the most sincere form of flattery.) So here it is, may 2008 hold even greater adventures.

Favorite Times (In no particular order)


This summer I spent more time hanging around and sleeping in airports than I ever had before. I found that the best airports to sleep in are O’Hare and Newark, both have seats that you can fit under or in between, and neither seem to care if you are taking up a huge amount of space as you sleep. I took a few red-eye’s, spent hours on layovers, threw up constantly while in Heathrow (London), I spent a lot of time lost in Newark, and barely made it on time to a few connecting flights. All in all, I came to really enjoy being in airports and dread it at the same time because it meant the end of one adventure and the beginning of another.

Getting a tattoo from a shady guy in Budapest

This is one of those experiences I only need to have once. It reads, Ego Sum Via Veritas Et Vita, which, translated from Latin, means “I am the way the truth and the life.” Jesus said it, not me.

Toga Riders for Life!

On a whim, rode around Boston in a Toga for six hours with some new international friends. We made a lot of enemies among the drivers we encountered, but had an unforgettable blast.

Staying in Boston, in New York City, and at NY cabin

Time at these three locations was crazy and amazing. I made friends I never thought I would and saw beauty in so many ways. The wisdom and goodness of people I met was unforgettable and never ceased to amaze me. Everywhere I went I met good people who offered me whatever they had in return for nothing. I remember with particular fondness a great conversation had on the steps of the chapel in the middle of Harvard’s campus, pancake making in the wee hours of the morning, incredible meals and hospitality in New York along with a great few hours spent with an old friend walking the streets of New York and talking about life, and the sweet and perfect serenity of the cabin and lake in the mountains in New York.

Czech Republic

Beautiful country, wonderful people. This trip was one of my all-time favorites.


From surveying the city to cramming in a phone booth with six other people to enjoying a cup of coffee on the street, Budapest was an incredible place with so much to offer. We took a night cruise down the Danube river that was beautiful and unforgettable. Sitting at the rear of the boat watching the lighted city float by and talking with friends about life; that’s about as perfect as it gets.

Sitting, Smoking and Talking on the Fisherman’s Bastion

Also in Budapest, from my perch in the window of one of these spires I could see the entire city of Budapest lit at night, glowing back at me. I would bring my pipe and tobacco to this point every night and quietly smoke while talking with whomever came with me. Again, serene, lasting memories made here.

Living at West Point

Living, eating, sleeping, and talking with the cadets at West Point was an awesome experience. The beauty of the place combined with the awesome combined intellect of the conference participants produced a really interesting time. I had never lived in a castle(ish) place, and had never been around such a beautiful place during the fall. I wish I had better pictures of this, but I lost every one I took due to a camera mix up...

Friday, January 18, 2008


I've been climbing recently. Literally and figuratively, I guess. I once heard someone say that we become the things we do, so, taking that sentiment to heart, I have recently spent some time investing in things that I really want to be a part of my life. I have been painting, songwriting, reading, singing, writing, biking, and now, climbing. Rock climbing is something that I have always wanted to try, but never had the chance to do outside of a gym. So, in the last week I have been twice, once to Queen Creek Canyon and once to the Praying Monk on Camelback Mountain. I will be the first to admit that I have faced easier tasks. Each expedition forced me far from the comfort of my usual thinking chair at home, and each left me with a feeling of elation upon reaching the end of the climb alive. Here are a few pictures of me climbing the cliffs at Queen Creek Canyon:

And here are a couple from the Praying Monk climb:

Sitting atop these peaks its impossible not to marvel at the simple beauty all around. Its strange to think that these rocks have been around for years prior to my existence, and will still be around years after. Every time I reach the top of one such peak, (only three times thus far, I might add) I have a mixed feeling of terror due to the imminent repel back to earth, and freedom at being so high, so untouched by the world and its busyness.

Anyway, life is uncertain. It always has been, but somehow I feel it more now that I am out of school. It's a funny, restless, feeling that I get all the time. Its as if I am itching to leave, to do something that hasn't been done, but at the same time I have so much commitment here, so much holding me to the grindstone. I feel like so much of what I hear is wrong, is unadulterated groupthink, as if it were a traveling salesman asking me to subscribe to some magazine or something. "Just sign on the dotted line and you will get 24 free issues of Status Quo magazine." In other words, I'm afraid that life will become static. The more I am confronted with this the more I realize that my spirit is not conducive to such subverted living.