Monday, January 17, 2011

Kids These Days....

In the company of  twelve, ten and eight year old kids I cannot help but feel "old"--which may baffle some considering that I, myself, am only twenty years of age. Strange as it may seem though, this feeling has been a re-occurring theme since I moved in with my cousin Julie, her husband, Andrew, and their three kids here in Saratoga, CA. As kind of a repayment for letting me live here, I have promised to help with various domestic chores such as making dinner, cleaning dishes, laundry and helping take care of the kids. It is with the latter of these duties that I have stumbled upon this "senior" dilemma. Now obviously my paranoid perception of age is grossly exaggerated and it should go without saying that my new found "crisis" should be viewed more in a joking manner rather than a matter of seriousness. Therefore, take the following words with a grain of salt. That being said, I'm getting old.

I find it funny how, even though these kids are a few generations removed from my own, there are still many mannerism which we--and probably all people who were once kids--share. For instance, I can vividly remember being a kid and LOVING video games, almost to the point of addiction. To count the hours my friend Jonny and I spent playing Goldeneye or Zelda on Nintendo 64 would require a team of MIT scientists and some advanced form of computing software. Kids these days however would only reply with a blank stare if I tried to explain to them what N64 even was or how Zelda Ocarina of Times was the GREATEST game ever conceived by the human race. As a rebuttal, they would probably disagree with my statement and instead make the assertion some other crap game is better. They however, would be wrong. After are stupid.

Having not played video games on a regular basis for almost a decade now, my re-introduction to the world of gaming could not have been more of an epic fail. For starters, what is up with game controllers these days? Where are the wires? The toggle stick? Why are there sooo many buttons!? Why is it so fast? WHAT IS GOING ON!!! After only ten minutes of playing some crazy Wii dancing game it dawned on me the manner in which these kids are explaining how to play this thing is akin to me explaining to my grandmother how to use E-mail....except in this case, I'm playing the role of grandma. Like I said, I'm getting old.

Even the Saturday morning cartoons these kids watch differs greatly from those of my childhood. I remember waking up early to shows such as Rocko's Modern Life or Dragon Ball Z. Nowadays, these epic shows of the past however have been replaced by wannabe pre-teen dramas with phony laugh tracks with stars like Miley Cyrus. If anything, these shows are more like "Sex and the City" than Spongebob Squarepants and--in my humble opinion--are corrupting America's youth. Okay, okay...maybe that's a bit much--but seriously, they suck.

All these things aside though, my new found role as "nanny" has been pretty fun. Obviously, it's a learning process and I'm sure many mistakes will be made along the way, but it's the least I can do given that Julie and Andrew are putting me up for free. TO this point, it's been relatively easy since the kids are pretty adept at taking care of themselves. I have the feeling though that it's only a matter of time before it gets difficult and I'm called upon to answer the hard hitting questions such as; "who would win in a fight, a deer with laser beam antlers or a pack of wolves?" Whatever, as long as it's not the "Birds and the Bees" speech, I'm fine with it.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Airplane Etiquette

Sitting in Logan Airport, I find it amazing that people are already standing around waiting to board the plane twenty minutes before schedule. Think about it, these people are frantically pushing and shoving so they can be first in line to sit in a tin can for five hours. Amazing.

Due to a woefully inaccurate guesstimation of how long it would take to get to the airport, I arrived at my gate an hour and a half before departure. Left with little options for killing time, I alternate between searching the web or scanning the room in for people I don't want to sit next to. Obviously the criteria for such a "competition" is overwhelmingly superficial, but I don't feel bad admitting guilt to such things since--I know for a fact--you do them too. (I swear, I'm not anti-social....promise!) Generally though, regardless of who you sit next to, the flight goes off smoothly and you barely notice the person next to you.

That is, unless, said individual starts talking to and doesn't stop.

Now, I can handle a short conversation here or there over the span of a long flight. Most times, the person has an interesting story or two to share and maybe you even have something in common. That being said, I find it bothersome when people feel that, just because you're sitting next to them, you want to talk THE ENTIRE FLIGHT! In most cases, such individuals are easy to spot since they try to strike up a conversation as soon as you either sit down or immediately after take-off. In such instances, an Ipod or book comes in handy but unfortunately, electronic devices are only allowed once the flight reaches 20,000' and books don't muffle out noise.

To protect yourself from any potential talk-a-thon it's good to establish yourself as an individual who would make either a horrible conversationalist or crazy. This can easily be accomplished with such responses as "You can see me!?", "You smell nice" or connecting ever aspect of the conversation back to Star Wars.

About to get on the plane.

Until next time,


Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: Year in Review

I've never really been one to go crazy for the whole New Year celebration thing. In fact, off the top of my head there are really only two years that come to mind in which I actually bothered to stay up until midnight. Sorry for those of you which actually celebrate Jan 1st but personally, I can't think of a more anticlimactic "holiday" that New Years. However, who am I to each their own I guess.

Anyway, below are a collection of photos which I think best describe my 2010. Weird to think of all the stuff that has happened over the last 365 days. Makes you wonder what 2011 has in store.

For 2010 I returned to the University of Colorado Boulder. Not many highlights from my time there except this epic hike my roommate Doug Cushnie and I did in the early fall in Rocky Mountain National Park. In the span of one day we managed to hike fifteen miles, ascend/descend a total of 10,000ft and wrestle a bear into submission. Ok, Ok. Only two of those accomplishments are true. In all honesty I think the hike was only thirteen  miles.

This year, like 2009, I was once again racing for the (now re-named) Team Ora p/b Independent Fabrication.
To date, this is summer was probably the most fun I had riding my bike--though with such a great group of people to share the experience with that shouldn't be a surprise. Bummed that I won't be seeing that much of these guys in 2011. Keep an eye out for these colors at the races next summer. They will probably be beating you.

 It was hard to find one photo which could sum up my entire experience in Italy. This once was selected merely because it was taken in one of the cooler towns I went to--L'Aquila. Studying abroad was definitely an experience which I will never forget and definitely helped bring about many of my 2010 highlights. One day I will return.....maybe 2011? 

While it is impossible to say what 2011 will hold, I can only hope it can live up to the memories of 2010. I like to think that each successive year of my life will be better than the last. Wishful thinking perhaps, but harmless none the less.

Happy New Year Everyone!