Saturday, August 30, 2008

What's With The Mustache?

I suppose I have some explaining to do. See, I've seen your eyes rolling when I talk about growing out my mustache and I'm tired of it. You just don't get it, do you?

I think the best way to deal with this is with a fake Q&A session. I'll ask the questions and I'll give the answers. Here we go.

Q: What's with The Mustache, man? I mean, it's 2008 not 1908.
A: 1908 was a great year, man. The Grand Canyon was first set aside as a National Monument (later into a National Park), Teddy Roosevelt was still President of the U.S., and Mothers Day was first (publicly) celebrated in 1908 (Very Official Source: wikipedia). I might add that TR sported a mustache as well...I bet you wouldn't be making fun of him to his face.

Q: But don't you think it looks a little ridiculous?
A: Perhaps, but don't you think that wearing gloves filled with toxic, stinging ants for 10 minutes is ridiculous as well? My point here is that growing a mustache is a rite of passage for the modern man. Rites of passage have been an important part of human civilization for a long, long time and should be embraced, not ridiculed.

Q: So are you admitting that you haven't entered manhood yet? I'm not stating an opinion here, just following your logic.
A: I quit.

Q: So when can we expect to get our first glimpse of this thing?
A: When the time is right, a picture will be posted. In the meantime, you'll just have to be patient (and judging by the rate of growth so far, patience will be very, very important).

Q: Last question: Are you guys ever going to travel? You've been posting about mustaches for two weeks. This isn't what I signed up for.
A: Funny. We're leaving tomorrow to hike the Juan de Fuca Trail on the southwestern side of Vancouver Island, BC. We'll be leisurely hiking for five days with our friends from MN, Erica and Josh. We're very excited to officially be moving out of our apartment and beginning our travels.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What Else?

Did we remember to pack the yo-yo so we don't get bored? Did we remember to pack the travel ice-cream maker so that we can have ice-cream on the road? What?? You didn't pack either? Oh, you packed both!

Note: we do NOT have a travel ice cream maker...or a yo-yo

I think we've got just about everything we need, but there's still something missing. Something huge. Something that will lead us when our focus begins to waiver. That something is a motto. A mantra. A guiding light for me, Mary, and my mustache, transcribed into a single sentence of purpose.

Fortunately, I had a three hour plane ride yesterday to brainstorm. Unfortunately, I came up with too many and I can't decide which one to choose. Please help me choose our motto by voting on the poll on the right-hand side of the page:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In The Spirit of The Olympic Games

I admit it. I'm mad at the 2008 Olympic Games. I'm angry that there are 10 year olds competing on the Chinese gymnastics team. I'm upset that I haven't slept for more than 5 and a half hours in a single night over the past week...Thanks NBC! I'm annoyed that I have more important things to do than watch the Olympics, like packing for the next year of my life.

So what am I going to do about it? I'm gonna get pumped about growing a mustache! To accomplish this (and in the spirit of the Olympic Games), I'd like to salute some of my favorite mustaches that the summer games have given us:

Zdeslav Vrdoljak - Croatia

On a team loaded with talent (they are ranked #1 in this year's Olympics), Vrdoljak is their captain. The Croatian water polo team's decision to sport mustaches throughout the games to boost team unity is, in my opinion, the greatest idea in Olympic history. Better than Kerri Strug's decision to vault on a hurt leg to win a team gold; better than forming a bobsled team from Jamaica.

Some day, I will travel to Croatia where I am sure to annoy even the most hospitable Croats with my incessant mustache praise. I will be looking for a team photo at the end of the Olympics, when the growth will be at its best.

Bela Karolyi - Romania/USA

Legendary gymnastics coach for both Romania and the USA, in his later years, who also happens to have a very thick mustache. Among the notable gymnasts he has trained at some point are Nadia Comaneci (Romania), Mary Lou Retton (USA), Kerri Strug (USA) and Dominique Moceanu (USA).

Karolyi is a character though. I can't imagine thinking about US Gymnastics without thinking of him.

Daley Thompson - Great Britain

Decathletes really impress me. Decathletes with mustaches REALLY impress me. Daley Thompson was a world record holder in the Decathlon for most of 1980-1992, before Dan O'Brien finally broke Thompson's world record score of 8,847 points that had stood for eight years. He is very highly regarded and is one of the best decathletes of all time.

On top of his domination in the 80's, Daley had a rivalry with a monster West German, J├╝rgen Hingsen (who ALSO happened to have an incredible mustache). Great storyline; better 'staches.

Steve Prefontaine - USA

He didn't medal in the 1972 5k and his career and life were cut short after a tragic accident. He did, however, have a great passion for running and a beautiful mustache.

Mark Spitz - USA

Kudos to Michael Phelps for breaking his record this year. But the best part of the whole Phelps saga isn't that he beat the record, it's the thrusting of Mark Spitz back into the popular eye.

I'll end with a quote to inspire my future mustache growing, from the #1, Mark Spitz, himself:
"When I went to the Olympics, I had every intention of shaving the mustache off, but I realized I was getting so many comments about it - and everybody was talking about it - that I decided to keep it. "
-Mark Spitz

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Chair

Today I sold my green recliner.

As I mentioned in my last post, we're trying to downsize so we don't have to store a lot of stuff, but man I wasn't prepared for what happened after I sold it. I cried. Seriously?! Yes. Does that make me less of a man? Maybe, but at least I cried about a recliner instead of, say, the ending of Atonement. Ok, I might have cried at the ending of Atonement too. You have to understand though! Me and that chair go way back, back to high school when it was in my mom's house, then onto college with me at UCLA, and then onto Seattle with me. Now it's in someone else's house with someone else's feet on it. That hits deep.

Oh, I failed to mention that the guy I sold it to was named Eric too. Weird huh?! I did like him during the 3 minutes we exchanged pleasantries and cash, so at least I can feel like it went to a good home. Plus, the whole Eric thing makes me feel like I'm still connected in a way.

Back to my feelings.

As Eric's truck pulled away, the memories started pouring through my head. Fisher, asleep on the recliner. Myself, asleep on the recliner. Mike, asleep on the recliner. Alex, asleep on the recliner. It was powerful. So many memories I just couldn't take it. I think part of it was that it symbolized that we're actually moving on. It was the first big item to leave the apartment and it started to sink in that this is actually happening. We're really going to travel...and I guess it wasn't as easy as I thought it'd be.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Preparations are officially underway for our travels around the west. We've been going through our stuff and sorting, wrapping, packing, selling, giving away...and even buying a few things. Ultimately, our goal is to be light and nimble travelers so that we don't have to worry about anything being lost, stolen, underused or redundant. We do want to be prepared though, so a lot of thought has gone into what we need and don't need.

Take the case of our underpants. A vital garment by anyone's standards, but how many pairs should we bring so that our light and nimble goal reconciles with what we've actually brought with us? The solution: Ex Officio underpants.

Product Details:

* Air-dries within hours so you can wash as you go and pack fewer pairs
* Extremely breathable, moisture-wicking, odor resistant finish keeps you comfortable
* Terry elastic back and functional fly for ease

Wash as you go, pack fewer pairs, odor resistant, easy...that's what I'm talking about! We each have two pairs for the hundreds of miles of hiking and gallons of sweating that awaits us.

light and nimble?

I think so.