Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summer Luvin'

Back in April I was excited for the approaching summer break, but was a little curious as to how I would spend two months without work or school obligations and stay somewhat productive (and not just turn into a 2009 version of Waffles). Fast forward a few months and I've now finished a summer cohort for science teachers which took up an entire month of my summer break. I've got one more month left, and I feel like I've spent more than enough time being productive--now I just get to kick back and enjoy myself with no qualms about being sloth-like.

I'm just finishing up my first full week of summer break, and here was my schedule for week 1:

Friday: Finish class at UW, lie around the house and play Fifa 2011 with housemate and a friend in town until we get called by another friend, saying he's at a mansion in Capitol Hill with his buddy and two Austrian girls in a hot tub, and that we should come over. We waffle on it for a bit, wondering why they would invite us over if they've already got themselves two Austrian girls and a mansion, but turns out there are other ladies over as well, and they want to get some gender equality going on. We're sold and stay up until 3am drinking in a hot tub that cascades down into a lap-sized pool, surrounded by girls in bikinis. A good start.

Saturday: Wake up in the p.m., go to a going away party for an ultimate friend of mine who is moving to Switzerland.

Sunday: Day of motorcycle riding up to Anacortes to visit Mount Erie and do some rock climbing.

Monday: wake up at noon, drive sister and her friend to the airport for their flight back home (she was visiting for a wedding and mom's bday). Go to trivia night and rock a few categories. Meet up with Brandon for his "acceptance to the Air Force" party at Die Bierstube, where many of his friends have already congregated and I witness about four boots passed around, Brandon starting and finishing three.

Tuesday: Sleep in, play lots of video games, then an ultimate frisbee game in the evening.

Wednesday: Sleep in, motorcycle up to parents' cabin near Darrington, begin the arduous task of killing weeds from their old garden. I have visions of grandeur of getting the garden up and running again, but the problem is my parents rarely visit the cabin anymore (due to some health concerns with pop), and whatever I plant this year will likely just die come winter. Getting it prepped for next year is a goal, though. So I spend about three hours bush-whacking my way through 8ft-tall weeds. I borrow a neighbor's weed whacker, which I promptly kill the string in about ten minutes on the tree-like weeds. I take a three-pronged hoe (without gloves) and begin hacking at the weeds, and quickly lose the three-pronged head into the dense mass of weeds. I continue to whack away at the weeds and actually knock the weeds down to shin-high using the baseball-bat like stick. It was a workout and a stress reliever, but I got some nasty blisters on my hands, which weren't helpful for...

Thursday: with Erin! I convinced her to take it easy on me this time, both due to her crushing me by 13 strokes last time, and the fact that my hands were all blistered up. We played best ball for the full 18, which I had never tried before, but was a lot of fun. Both shoot a tee shot, take the best tee shot and both shoot from there, rinse and repeat. We parred the first few holes and then tail-spinned a bit to finish the front side +9... I was hoping to shoot around even par, but somehow we managed to triple-bogey a hole when we both hit out of bounds tee shots and some poor subsequent shots on a par 3. We did better on the backside (+3?), making a few birdies and no triple bogeys, finishing with a 79 on a short par 67 course. No three putts between the two of us, thank god!

Friday #2: Packed for overnight backpacking trip to Goldmyer Hot Springs:

The picture only shows the two small pools outside of the cave, but the cave itself is amazing and goes back 25ft, where the initial flow is 117 degrees!

Made a two hour trip to the pool in Seattle with Erin to lounge in the sun before heading out backpacking with Andy and Leah. Nothing quite like lounging by the pool with a fellow teacher at 1pm on a Friday. She even snuck in a beer in a nalgene for me--a great friend.

Afterwards, I picked up Andy and Leah and we made our way out to the Goldmyer trailhead and hiked in the easy 4.5 miles (on a closed road) to the hot springs. I was content to spend the evening relaxing in an isolated hot springs in peace and quite, but two young ridiculously attractive ladies in bikinis joined Andy, Leah and I... rats. A fitting end to the first week.

Just before bed we walked out to the nearest bridge and stared up at the stars, and witnessed one of the coolest night skies I have ever seen. So many stars it was almost impossible to make out constellations, a handful of speedy shooting stars, and at one point I counted five different satellites moving across the sky simultaneously.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Witchcraft and Wizardy

Not a spoiler!

Just got back from watching the final Harry Potter movie (7B?), and really enjoyed it. As I was leaving the theater, I needed to head to the grocery store to pick up some things for my final day of summer class tomorrow, so I reached into my pocket to check and make sure my ID and credit card were still in my pocket. Nope.

I was only a few steps outside of theater #7, so I went back to my seat and looked around for my cards. I found the credit card underneath the back of my seat (in the spot where all the popcorn and soda stick together). Pretty sure the credit card and ID fell out when I checked my phone after the movie, as they get caught in the nook in the back of my Droid often.

I kept searching for my driver's license, but couldn't find it anywhere--I checked the ground all around and behind my chair and the chairs around mine; I checked the row behind and in front; I checked the seats themselves and the arm rests, all this in a dark theater with the light of my cell phone, mind you. I thought maybe the ID fell out before the movie when I put my credit card and ID card back into my pocket from buying the ticket, but before I left theater #7 I made one more sweep of my chair area. And found it.

The ID card somehow fell into a small nook underneath the armrest between the seats and was held elevated above the ground. It took me another few minutes to figure out how to get the ID card out from the secret nook. I almost destroyed the driver's license with a snake fang on the spot, damn hidden whore cruxes!

One thing I really liked about the Harry Potter series is how JK Rowling's characters are all such a piece of her. I often envision myself as an old man sitting on a mountain top. Not that I have all the wisdom in the universe, but it sure would be fun to have people come to me and ask advice, and usually just shoot the question back at them and see them discover their answer on their epic journey to me or from me.

"Damn crazy kook up there on the mountain! What does he know?... oh wait, maybe I should stop blaming other people and start figuring things out for myself *gong*"

Almost all of Dumbledore's speeches are JK Rowling's voice of reason, and for some reason it carries more weight coming from a great and aged wizard than it does from a single, poor mom. Adding in faults to Dumbledore in the movie was a great touch, too.

Having only read the first book, I wasn't sure how the movie would end, but it ended exactly how I hoped.