becoming well-traveled

I think I have no "place" home. Home is people and where you work well. I have homes everywhere and many I have not seen yet. That is perhaps why I am restless. I haven't seen all of my homes. - John Steinbeck

Friday, February 19, 2010

Surely no one is reading, are they?

I just happened to realize that this blog is still active after well over a year since my last post. In fact, I had forgotten I had made any posts that recently. Interesting. But does anyone read anything longer than 140 characters anymore?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

further activities out east

On Friday, I made it to my first Baltimore Orioles game since moving out here. It was a good time, to be certain. The stadium was packed, and the home team scored a rousing come-from-behind victory.

My Saturday was mostly spent hitting the Washington, D.C., museum circuit. Pictures are here.

I started my morning at the National Archives, which is highlighted by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Constitution has been preserved exceptionally well, while the Declaration and Bill of Rights were fairly faded. Seeing them was certainly worth the wait, though.

After that, I checked out the Air and Space Museum. Not being much of a science person, it didn't hold as much pull for me as the Archives. The highlight of that museum and, to be perfectly honest, of the past two or three weeks was riding the interactive flight simulator with the most hilarious kid I've ever met. On this simulator, one person is the pilot and the other is the shooter, and your mission is to shoot down other fighter jets. And when I say flight simulator, I mean you climb into this capsule that can completely roll 360 degrees. It's pretty intense.

So I get randomly paired up with this 10-year-old boy, Malachi, who is certainly one of the most gregarious kids I've met in some time, and we immediately hit it off. He asked if he could be the pilot, and I readily agreed. As the operator closed the door, Malachi looks at me and gives me a half energetic, half nervous giggle and says, "I'm kind of scared."

"Don't worry man," I reply. "Just go nuts."

And he does. We spend most of the 6 minutes rolling over one side to the other, hanging upside down with out legs flailing about and half-blocking our view of the screen. Simultaneously, Malachi provides the soundtrack: "Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! Oh my god! Oh my god!! Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!" When we got out, the operator tells us they could hear Malachi clear across the room. I'm not surprised.

I honestly cannot remember the last time I laughed so incredibly hard. Funny how you can have one brief interaction with a complete stranger, and it's such a memorable experience. I don't think I'll ever forget how hilarious that kid was.

I finished my day with a walk through of the National Museum of the American Indian. I found it intriguing (as well as a little disturbing and certainly heartbreaking) to juxtapose the USA presented in the Archives with the Native American history presented here.

At any rate, I'm back to work this week. We have our final day of rookie camp Wednesday and will have a bit of a lull until training camp begins in late July.

Today, I had the chance to witness one of the reasons I continue to work in sports. Three of our rookies had a photo shoot with a group of about 20-25 kids out on our practice fields for the kids' fan club newsletter. Seeing how much fun those kids had was absolutely great. They just ate up the attention they were getting from these football players.

Even better, though, were the dads. The dads were out there tossing the football around with the kids on the practice field just, you could tell, fantasizing they were out there to get ready for the big game. At one point, our rookie quarterback, Joe Flacco, let loose a few bombs to one of the guys, who caught both passes and hollered back, "Sign me up!"

It's definitely rewarding helping create these memorable experiences for people. Also, standing a few yards away from Flacco as he threw the ball from the sideline at one 5-yard line to the numbers on the opposite 30 -- about 70-75 yards through the air -- was pretty sweet, too.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

a weekend in a new city

I've spent one full week on the job and am drawing a close on my first real weekend out here in the Baltimore area. I experienced a couple new sections of town, enjoyed the perks of working for an NFL team and had some time left over to relax.

On Friday evening, I went out to Red Brick Station on Friday night with a fellow CU grad. It's always good to know there are familiar faces when you're in unfamiliar territory. The microbrews were pretty great, too, particularly their IPA.

The rest of the weekend brought temperatures in the 90s and super-high humidity. That was the setting for Saturday's company-wide family picnic, held on our field at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore. One of the items on the menu was fresh Maryland crabs. It's been awhile since I ate seafood that wasn't fresh fish from the Great Lakes.

At any rate, the event was a good chance to spend some time getting to know coworkers a little better outside of a work context. After the picnic, a few of us hopped over to the Federal Hill area of Baltimore and spent the rest of the evening checking out some of the fine establishments around there.

I followed that up with a classically lazy Sunday, watching a movie and some sports while also reading a healthy chunk of my current selection, The Kite Runner. And yes, I realize that book had its heyday of popularity a year or two ago, but I generally wait to read such widespread smash hits. I don't know why; that's just how I do it.

As for my viewing selections, I started with the men's final of the French Open in which Rafael Nadal captured the title for a record-tying fourth consecutive time. Every time I watch Nadal, he just looks more and more dominant. Will he finally break through and take Wimbledon, too?

I followed that up with some Euro 2008 soccer, starting with Croatia's 1-0 win over host Austria and capped by Germany's 2-0 victory over Poland. Needless to say, I am pulling for Germany to win the tournament.

The evening was topped off with my first viewing of No Country for Old Men. (I guess I was keeping with the theme of experiencing widely-acclaimed media well after initial declarations of greatness.) At any rate, I thought it was cinematically stunning, making me wish I had seen it on the big screen. The story was incredibly well-told with sparse dialogue that wasted hardly a word. All of the acting was superb, but Javier Bardiem, in my opinion, stole the show with his portrayal of villain Anton Chigurh.

And so closes the weekend, as another Monday morning is just around the corner.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

maryland update

I arrived in Hagerstown Tuesday evening at about 7:30 p.m. My brothers and sister-in-law continued the trek to Owings Mills with me on Wednesday morning, and I was moving into my new place at about 10 a.m.

I'm now getting settled into the apartment and preparing to begin work next Monday. I will write more as events dictate and allow.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

this is when i'm going

It appears I'll likely be in Grand Rapids until the day after Memorial Day. Possibly the day after that. I'll be arriving in Maryland at some point throughout the final week of this month. That is, in a word, soon.

Monday, May 05, 2008

the destination has been set

As previously mentioned, my nomadic ways have been tugging at my sleeve. Turns out, that is going to take me in an interesting and somewhat already-traveled direction. I'm going to be working in the PR department of the Baltimore Ravens.

As you may know, I spent a bit over two years of my high school and one college summer living in nearby Walkersville, Maryland. So it'll be fun to be back in the Chesapeake watershed. I'll be headed out soon after Memorial Day.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

now resuming previously scheduled programming

It has been a good long while since I've written anything new. That's because I've been back in Grand Rapids for about 10 months now. As such, I've been nearby most anyone who would read this. I think, however, it's time to fire the old blogspot back up as my wanderlust has kicked in yet again. We'll see where it takes me.