Monday, August 25, 2008

Blog moving?

I've decided to jump on the WordPress bandwagon and am in the process of transferring everything from here over there. You can check out the site here...we'll call it the beta version. So in the future, direct your readers over that way. You can also subscribe to that feed here.

Things to do with Athens-area free time

My tennis PE class got canceled today. I have had nothing to do all day. So I took a run this morning from my place (it's actually lime sherbet, not blue) to downtown (it's scary running down MLK without any sidewalks), watched (am watching) multiple episodes of Entourage with our sweet On Demand in the living room and basically puttered around the cottage.

And, as usual, it got me thinking. What is there around here to do with my free time? As my last post pointed out, I finished my pleasure reading book recently, so I figured the first thing that I wanna do around Athens is find a hole-in-the-wall bookshop. Anyone know of any?

Feel free to comment below with any suggestions for other things to expand my knowledge of Athens in bits and pieces...I'm pretty much up for anything I guess, the more adventurous the better.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sitting on my futon pretending I wasn't

I just spent three hours finishing up John Grisham's Playing for Pizza, a book that was surprisingly engaging and non-lawyerly. It was delightful really. Basic synopsis: a washed-up NFL quarterback lands himself reluctantly in Parma, Italy and plays a season for the hometown Panthers who literally play the game of football americano for pizza and pride. Great book. Even a great shoutout for all the lovely UGA girls -- and AXO specifically.

And the book reaffirmed the fire that I feel for traveling. I don't think I've ever been pulled as much to do something with my life as I am being pulled to travel in the near future. I want to see Italy. I want to "spread my wings" as the saying goes. I want to feel out of place. I want to step off a train in Europe with a map, a couple Euros and no plans whatsoever. I think I'd need clothes as well, but those can always be acquired on the way.

In short, I'm inspired. It's weird. I should be excited for senior year football season here (face it, who isn't in Athens?). But I'm honestly more excited for what the world holds for me afterward. Where will it take me for Christmas break even? Then May after commencement? Will I actually intern in Australia? So many questions...we'll just have to wait and see.

For now, below is a copy of the email I sent my family. Since they're usually the only ones reading my blog anyway, this will be a rehash. Oh well. It's a lot of rambling, I know.

First off I want to apologize for stalking both of you so doggedly today on my roommates' phones, but it was a stressful day not being attached to my own phone. I think the AT&T support lady summed it up beautifully this way when I spoke with her: "I can see how your buttons not working would be a problem." I thought that qualified as a massive understatement.

I just finished off Playing for Pizza, that John Grisham book that y'all had at home -- I took the liberty of stealing (borrowing) it because I didn't have anything else to read. And with my phone playing dead for the day, I decided that today was as good as any to spend time reading. For lack of a better word, the book was delightful. All about Italy, football, finding yourself somewhere else and generally meandering through and enjoying life. Oddly enough the girl who enters the book 2/3 of the way through it as the sort of heroine rescuing our wandering, washed-up quarterback with her "miles of tanned legs," her insatiable curiosity, her enthusiasm and her youth is a UGA girl on an extended study abroad trip with some of her Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters. I laughed and decided that it's definitely good PR for UGA and it's gorgeous "scenery." Just made the book that much more enjoyable. And also made any personal excursion over that way seem that much more plausible.

Are we still planning on/trying to go to Italy in May? Because if anything, the book has made me want to spread my wings over the country even more. It all just seems so romantic (in several senses I guess). I know it probably isn't nearly as I'm picturing it, but if any place would be, I have a feeling it'd be Italy. So regardless of whether we decide to make a family trip of it, I want to finagle my way over there somehow sometime soon. Maybe Christmas? That's probably much too soon though. Just thinking (typing) aloud (without restraint). I'm sitting barefoot out on our porch right now with my new favorite (linen) shirt, my iPod speakers playing some Counting Crows -- they were playing a little calmer Amos Lee while I was reading -- with my propped-up legs supporting my oh-so-hip(pie) Apple laptop. I'm trying to imagine that my futon is instead some cafe on the corner of some Italian intersection, my cup of water instead a glass of local wine and my iPod tunes instead the soft arias of some opera in the background. Or maybe the music would still be coming from my iPod. Either way. I think I could pull off the traveling-American-attempting-
to-blend-into-the-local-scenery part fairly well.

I thought the free time on every day but Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester (and probably next) would be a great time to catch up, work out, run, whatever. But it seems that it gives my mind a lot more idle time to think about the near-term future. Near-term as in I'm applying to be a Terry Ambassador this week, but also near-term in the fact that I can't get over the traveling bug that seems to have bitten me (and hung on for dear life). The stress and constant going of life in college/America gets tiresome...and I know that rings fairly hollow when you're working an 8 - 6 full-time job. But I'm beginning to feel the press of the end of school even these several months away, and I want to do something radically different to broaden my mind. Instead of being engaged in a textbook in Athens, Georgia in the US of A, I want to see if I can't apply whatever I've learned in a different setting. Something to keep me on my toes. Maybe literally. I don't know. The idle ramblings of someone deprived of sleep and overwhelmed with the reality that life decisions happen in my own life and not just others'.

I'll sign off now to let y'all return to whatever you were doing before I ambushed you electronically. Just a few thoughts I guess. I had no real point in writing this.


PS: What are your thoughts about Barack-Biden '08?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Senior Project

I've decided that my newfound interest in photography and my lack of time on UGA's campus create a perfect storm for a sort of senior project. I've decided that I'll be taking a single picture each Tuesday and each Thursday -- the only days of my classes on campus -- at the exact same spot on North Campus at the (relatively) exact same time until the end of next semester. Then I'll compile all the pictures, shrink them down and put them all in a frame as a sort of chronological mosaic of my senior year.

The catch: I haven't yet decided the place or the time. It'll have to be between 9:30am and 3:15pm because that's my class time, but I'm flexible (as long as it's during class change). And I have no idea about the location...the Arch has been overdone, the bell wouldn't bring in any nature, etc.

Any suggestions?

Pictures should begin next week, as I have to get my camera replaced at Best Buy today.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Matt Stafford...all growed up

Chris Low over at ESPN has an SEC blog going on that's worth a look or dozen. He recently sat down with our quarterback for a two-part interview (Part 1...Part 2). And I've gotta say, it's quotes like this...
"I talked to the guys last night and told them, 'From here on out, it's just football 24-7.' We're locked up in the dorm and the hotel now, and it's 100 percent X's and O's all the time, and we're out there working hard. Everybody was on the same page when we talked about it. We had a walk-through this morning, and it was the same thing."
...that give me confidence for the upcoming season.

It'll be a good one, Dawg fans.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A few thoughts from Philadelphia International

We're sitting in Philadelphia International with a flight delayed an hour (so far), and I figured I'd share a few thoughts on what's going through my head nowadays:
  • I really want to go to Tuscany, Italy. Or Napa Valley. It needs to happen.
  • Philly Int'l is the most unorganized airport I think I've ever been in, and I've even flown into and out of African airports. At least people there smile at you. "City of Brotherly Love"? I don't think so.
  • Funny how you can feel out of place at a family reunion. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast. But it's difficult to socialize when the only cousins close to your age don't seem to give you the time of day. I'm ready to get back to Atlanta now.
  • I have a Florida Gator fan in my family! And he didn't even go there. And he probably will never go there. He's going to a community college near Panama City. Oh well.
  • My sunburn is successfully peeling its way off my body.
  • I finally got a linen shirt yesterday -- we were all looking for them in Africa, but nobody seemed to be selling them. It's incredibly comfortable, and I feel so relaxed and laid-back.
  • There was a really hot girl in line at security right behind my mom, but we all got split up for a minute and she was gone. Unfortunate. She was the prettiest girl I've seen in this, I miss Athens.
And that's all for now. I'm gonna go enjoy the free wireless here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tanzania: In pictures and in thoughts

So I finally put some of my Tanzania pictures up for all the world to see -- and not just for you Facebookers now. I put some of my favorites into slides using Keynote and put in some of my own text and some borrowed, but you'll see that for yourself. Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Frontloading this week's fun

This is a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" (watch the original's weird) that Dave and the boys performed this past Monday. AND I WAS THERE!!!!!111!!1!1 The concert was mindblowing. I got emotional and was on the verge of tears during the encore (I blame it on the heat and the dancing). It was an intense cardio workout.

LeRoi, the sax player, was injured earlier this summer in an ATV accident and is still in a Virginia hospital, so Jeff Coffin from Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (and a lot of guest DMB spots) was filling in. Dave got the whole crowd to chant "We love Roi" for the cameras, so maybe this show will make it to DVD sometime. It was great.

There's a bunch of YouTube clips from the Lakewood Amphitheatre show here, and a bunch more from the tour itself here.

Things to accomplish in my life

My previous post got me thinking on I topic I've actually given a lot of thought to lately (follow that?). It's one that I'm shamelessly taking from the phenomenal Morgangster, but it's also one that would be useful for everyone I think.

So here we go. My I-don't-know-how-many-items-long-and-ever-expanding list of things I want to accomplish in my life, great or (more likely) small. Call it my bucket list if you will.

1. Compose elevator music
2. Ride an elevator more than 100 stories tall
3. Attend the TED Talks
4. Give a TED Talk
5. Taste the local wines in Tuscany
6. Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
7. See a James Taylor concert
8. Play guitar with JT
9. Run the bases at the current Yankee Stadium
10. Run the bases at the new Yankee Stadium if I don't make it in time
11. Walk to work
12. Get a dog
13. Learn Swahili
14. Bench 300 pounds
15. Run a 6-minute mile
16. Lose ten pounds
17. Own a vineyard
18. Raise a family (wife and kids...just a dog doesn't count)
19. Meet Dave Matthews
20. Not faint or cry when I meet Dave Matthews
21. Balance my checkbook
22. Get a credit card
23. By a Ferrari...with cash
24. Go on a mission trip for longer than a week
25. See a UGA football national championship
26. Meet the Gym Dawgs
27. Catch a pass from Matt Stafford and/or tackle Knowshon
28. Be on ESPN's top 10 plays
29. See the world (whatever that means)
30. Read the whole Bible
31. Sing
32. Laugh
33. Do stand-up comedy (and get booed off stage)
34. Have someone actually read my blog
35. Be humble
36. Not settle
37. Graduate
38. Appreciate sushi more
39. Be good at photography
40. Complete a triathlon on my own
41. Be like my dad
42. Be like my grampa
43. Be someone's Best Man
44. Meet "the one" and know it
45. Drive a motorcycle
46. Get LASIK
47. Spend a summer hiking the Appalachian Trail
48. Learn to play golf
49. Figure out what to do with the rest of my life
50. Go back to Tanzania for an extended period of time with the locals