GOQUIT

I quit my first GORUCK event over the weekend. 31-1 is the record. Bloody hell. Even with #goquit I had a great weekend! Maybe because of #goquit. Back in March I signed up for Heavy because it’s my favorite event and the best event ever and and it was a city I hadn’t spent any time in, Philadelphia, so hell, let’s go.

Lots of firsts this weekend:

  • Drank my first Zima
  • I did my first event without my main water bladder (MSR Dromedary) 😢
  • I saw us fly over another plane

I got to Philly and met up with VP-best-P who had ordered us roast pork sandwiches from Dinic’s which was an OK sandwich but I didn’t think it was amazing. It wasn’t no falafel or #shawarma from Israel. We checked into the room and napped. Rather, attempted to nap but I was wide awake so I got some water and did my prep for the event. 15:00 – we get in our Uber and ride out to John Michael’s to link up and carpool to the start point at Chadds Ford. We got to meet his lovely family. Also, Mark Witt was there 👀 Then we hopped in the car and after an hour, we roll into the parking lot.

John Michael ready to crush all the things.

Start points are the best. There’s a lot of “hey! We haven’t seen each other in a while!” and “man I know dat ass/boot combination but I forget your name!” Combine lots of chatter, lots of lube, lots of feet taping, interesting smells, some nerves and you’ll get the pre-game jitters of a GORUCK event.

  • Lots of cramping
  • Quitting my first GORUCK
  • Philly cheesesteaks

18:00 – the event kicks off in the parking lot of an elementary school. As people are forming into ranks, I’m scoping out the sun and where the shade is so I can get a comfortable standing spot. There’s probably better ways to spend your time but that’s what I went with. We get formed up into 8 companies, 2 regiments, 1 army. Then we move out, ready to wreck some shit. We wrecked some shit all right, and that was just walking. We advanced all of 100 meters when we pull over to get smoked in a soccer field for being unable to walk together (or cadre just fucking with us, same result). Here we picked up our first event withdrawal where homeboy got a concussion but he was OK later at endex.

Witt in his element…surveying everything GORUCK he’s about to crush.

There’s not much to my GOREV story other than we rucked, Top talked about history, we rucked, learned more history, saw some amazing fireflies along the road, and rucked some more. There were only a few interactions I had that were memorable as all we did was walk with our company of ten people while maintaining columns. I was company commander for Bravo Company during my brief guest appearance at this GOREV Heavy.

The first cool thing I saw was a large football-sized-field that was full of fireflies. There was some mist on the ground and it was like a light show. I just needed some glow sticks, some untz untz untz, and some bass you could feel in your chest to set the mood. Second was that as we walked along the road, we were told to keep a look around to appreciate the scenery. I looked right, saw the rolling hills of this nice neighborhood, and could see why people would love this area. I looked left, and imagined the same thing. All I could see was the bottom of a wall and then a fence. If I was taller I bet that shit looked dope though. The third and best moment for me was someone started talking about snipers and I mentioned “Oh yeah I saw that in The Patriot” when Top turns around, yells at me to never mention The Patriot again, then he runs back and yells “Babs, what’s the first rule of GOREV?” and she answers with “Don’t talk about the Patriot!” lmfao

The end.

Oh wait, there’s that part about me quitting #goquit

We were to do a 12 mile team ruck march after a 20 minute refit break. We all loaded up with water and I chugged a bunch of electrolytes but that didn’t work. At mile 2 I started feeling some cramping in my quads. Here we go!! Then a few miles later it moved to my hamstrings as I adjusted my gait. Then my calves. They weren’t intense like I’ve seen with others but I was behind the curve on that one and I couldn’t get ahead of it. I tried another pack of the Trioral salts and gave it a few miles but that didn’t work for me. I was contemplating quitting from the very beginning (like all events I do) but this was the first time I did it #goquit I felt shitty but I also felt great ’cause I didn’t have to worry about cramping anymore. That Trioral salt didn’t work for me. Lesson learned. I’m going back to Endurolytes.

aftermath aar 2

After getting dropped off at the 12 mile end point, Top (cadre Andy) comes over and asks us why we dropped.

*Top writing down why people dropped*

  • “Hip”
  • “Fainted”
  • “Electrolytes out of whack”

*ignores me*
‘hey Top did you put down that I just quit?’
“…yeah I got that.”

Oh 😨

get in that gross water! …ok

I’ve been thinking about how I feel regarding quitting this event. Initially, disappointment. After a few days, I find I don’t care. I don’t know if that’s ego saying I don’t care or if I truly don’t care. I’m not self-aware enough to know if I can differentiate the two. What I do know is that I like that I get to talk about being a quitter for a long time, at least until the next Heavy I finish.

People have messaged me saying “it’ll be all right” and “you don’t have anything to prove” but hell, I’ve been all right. Failing an event is not the end of the world for me. If it were, I’ve had a very fortunate life. I’m not out there doing this because I’ve got something to prove.  If I was trying to prove something, like finishing an event, that was handled back in #281best28x or #heavy10takeakneedrinkwaterandpullsecurity I’m not saying that because I think I’m a proven commodity or I think I’m cool (note: don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cool but it’s not because of this) I’m saying that just because you’ve done it before, it doesn’t mean you will do it again. My pride was saying I could do events without training for them and thankfully I was proven wrong. Nothing like Life telling you that, hey! you suck and you need to #bebetter if you want to crush it and not be crushed. 

Here’s the deal- I’m out there because I enjoy it. The snarky comments, learning, yelling, becoming a team, not becoming a team, messing up, the smells (actually, I could do without this one tbh. It’s 2017 wear some deodorant you savages), the laughter, the joy of helping out your teammates, and most importantly, the suffering. All of that is what I’m there for.

I flew to Philadelphia, drove another hour, walked 15 miles in just over 9 hours, all to drop out of an event. Would I do it all over again?

Where do I sign up?

day 3

Day 3 started with me falling asleep at 05:00 and then waking up a short while later at 06:30 so we could crush some breakfast. We had to fight the masses there over the kosher breakfast just so we could hurry it up to get to the bus stop for pickup. Today’s itinerary included lots of waiting for a bus that eventually showed up 45 minutes later, bastard.

Waiting crew.

Here’s us, waiting 45 minutes for the bus.

First thing we do is drive to a hill I visited the first time to pick up more peeps. I’m sensing a pattern.

…and we’re off. Cruising east on what I am guessing is Route 1, I’m learning that Israel has all sorts of terrain. From the flat coast, hilly Jerusalem, and then desert to the east and it’s all within like a 2 hour drive. So we dropped off some people at the Dead Sea and then we turned around and went to Jericho. Check out this sweet sign. I asked our other guide later about that and he was like “oh, that’s so people don’t go over there and act dumb and the army would have to bail them out.” He also said something along the lines of, people travel there all the time and have no problems. It’s the government that is causing the problem, not the people. Also, something about different license plates. Bloody hell.

Warning sign!
There’s a faucet on the right that is from the spring where Elisha turned the salty water sweet. It was out of order though.

So at the Dead Sea, we picked up a new passenger who was also a licensed tour guide. He ended up giving us a brief tour and info on the surrounding area. We were also right beside the entrance to Jordan (Allenby/King Hussein Bridge) and all I thought of is that’s where Gabriel Allon crossed over in The Black Widow and they stopped all the traffic for him. But we pass it and end up at the Visitor’s Center in Jericho where we eat some sweet dates and I can’t find a shot glass ’cause they don’t sell them there…makes sense I guess. We also got a local tour guide because that is the law it seems.

Those stones were part of a wall from 10,000 years ago.

At the visitor center, we got to see a camel in the parking lot, peacocks, and some old ass stones. Which is cool initially…but as I’d learn later “oh cool…a stone…a rock.” My friends got to eat some delicious falafel though. They said it was the best one of the whole trip. Not me though, I didn’t eat it ’cause I’m lame.

After about an hour the tour was over and we headed out of there.

Dude was trying to sell fruit by the tree where Zacchaeus climbed up. Free sample. Tasted banana-y.
Cruising by the date tree farm. They’re fed by springs.

Next stop was Qumran where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls and a lot of rocks. Like seriously, all the rocks.

We got to see the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It was hot and we had to watch a 10 minute documentary on it. Kinda cool. Not sure if it was worth 30 shekels or whatever.
I went to the Dead Sea and brought my ruck. That place smells and they ran out of wine.

Followed immediately after by finally visiting the Dead Sea – fun to visit but not something I’d really do again. On entering the smelly water and stepping on painful rocks, you try to lay back and your feet just pop up. I thought I could sink but man it’s pretty neat. Then you rub some mud on yourself and that’s that. 15 minutes later I got out that mofo to try to drink at the bar but due to Passover there was no beer, just sadness (on my end).

So after two hours everyone is pretty eager to leave the Dead Sea and we all get loaded up on the bus. I don’t know about the others but I knocked out and then woke up when we hit Jerusalem again. We thought we were all getting off and skipping the Bethlehem tour (go geography!)but we only dropped off the half tour group there and made our way south to Bethlehem. Picked up a new Palestinian tour guide named Sammy who did a fantastic job of navigating and telling us what everything was. He took us inside the Church of the Nativity but he couldn’t show us certain things as the Greek Orthodox church was having a service (mass?) so we got yelled at by security a couple of times and went around and did more touristy things.

After that we got to eat in the town square. This is the best part of the Bethlehem trip. FALAFEL.

Best falafel I ever had. It was in Bethlehem. My peeps said the one in Jericho was better but I didn’t try it then.
Homeboy making my falafel. He didn’t wash his hands and touched all the money. Maybe that made the falafel better. Now I gotta learn how to make it.

We got back to the hotel and we both knocked out. We woke up at like 20:30 right before the pub crawl and I was hoping Kham would cancel but he’s a stronger man than me and we both dragged ass out of there. I’d talk more about this but I’m black on memories, save for laughter and drinks and deliciousness.

“Dude, you’re outta control!”

“No, you’re outta control!”

Pretty sure that’s not how it works.

Kham booked this pub crawl tour and that seems weird but it’s a cool way to visit another city. We were walking through the Shuk and it was pumping. It was the end of Passover.
A bar on the tour!

Basically, that’s 1,000 words to say that this was a fun day.

day 2

As I came to, I realize it’s day 2 (Thursday) and I’m in freaking Tel Aviv.

I head to the Embassy but the security guards won’t let me in unless I have an appointment so I turn around and walk the 2.5 kilometers to Carmel Market which isn’t the most productive use of my time as I don’t like markets it seems. I basically walked all the way over there just to walk through the market without buying any or all of the things. Bee is dumb.

After I escape the market, I see that I’m about halfway to Old Jaffa and I keep on going. I guess that was my goal for the morning, anyway. I cross all the streets, through a park, and end up on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. This is pretty cool. I’ve read a few books and stories where they are in or on the Mediterranean. Kind of neat to be at the edge of it.

It doesn’t get any more Mediterranean Sea than this.

After walking for a bit on the edge of the Sea, I take a moment to pause and reflect while sitting on a bench, staring out over the Mediterranean, and contemplating life (out of breath to be honest) while enjoying an XL energy drink, just like they did in the olden days. Which is to say it was like ten seconds before I started to look at my phone and sip my energy drink. Just like they did 2,000 years ago.

Powering the Middle East for thousands of years!
I get to Old Jaffa and walk around and after seeing some cool things, I’m black on hydration.

Finally made it.

Cool map depicting distances to various cities/landmarks.
I walk around and around and hit up some sketchy neighborhoods before I pop into a bar of all places and get kinda drunk. Turns out that’s the best way to see new towns. Walk a couple of blocks, pop into a bar. Get on their Internets. Rinse and repeat. Basically, if you never read another blog of mine then that’s what I’m doing on vacation. Unless I can make that 5K in Antarctica happen. Dunno about a half-marathon.

Cadre I’m black on alcohol
BJ Tours-without-the-J is in business!

So after recovering from nearly passing out from being dehydrated (didn’t happen) I walk a brisk mile back to the hotel so I can link up with Stacy  and her friend so we can carpool to Jerusalem. In the car I fall instantly asleep but keep waking up with the car dips forward as homeboy keeps slamming on his brakes. He slams on the brakes one more time and we’re in downtown Jerusalem. Their hotel is not far from Kham’s so I head over there…only to not see Kham there. So I find Kham and we’re drinking beer and get a free Passover shot. Not sure what’s in it but it’s minty. Probably arak.

French fries and arak.
Which is a lot of words for me to say I went to Jerusalem after hanging out in Tel Aviv and Jaffa and then I took a nap. We wake up at 22:00 and are bored so we search for the remote control. No joy. Kham calls the front desk-

“Shalom.”

“Excuse me do you guys have a remote?”

“Yes.”

“*five seconds of awkwardness* oh…uh we can’t find ours, can you bring one up?”

“Yes.”

It was good. That’s all I got.

Deserted as hell. But also, shalom
So we walk around downtown Jerusalem and we see some bars, find a non-kosher pizza place and have a grand ol’ time. Needs some hot sauce though.

Where’d I go?
Also, we’re still waiting on the remote a month later.

Hi Dan.

day-1

So…Kham wakes me up at 0200 after several calls. They don’t mess around like in the US so he had to pay $35 to sleep over for a few hours before his tour to the Sea of Galilee.

Freshly awoken and unable to get back to sleep. We decide to walk around town at 02:00. Normally, I’m not a fan of that anywhere because generally I’m sleeping at those hours but damn, Tel Aviv was a chill town. We couldn’t find an open bar so we just wandered around and eventually ended up at the shawarma place around the corner from my hotel. Shit was fantastic but it needed hot sauce – actually almost all of their food needs hot sauce.

#shawarma

So Thursday morning, I’m chilling in the hotel waiting for the tour company to come pick me up. They’re supposed to be there at 07:15 but they don’t show up until 07:40. Which is a little unnerving but lets me catch up on time wasters like the Facebooks or solitaire.

The company running this tour is Bein Harim tours which I got through www.viator.com and man, they were fantastic. Our guide for the day was Norbert and he was giving us bits of Intel on the way over to Jerusalem. I wasn’t a fan of the idea of a guided tour but man they’re need. You get the history of parts of Israel, access to places, and they know when things will close early or not – like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Calvary

This was a cool experience, just being in Jerusalem. I never thought I’d visit this place ’cause it wasn’t ever on my adventure/bucket list. I’m glad I decided to come though. Once in the city, we were dropped off a couple of blocks from the entrance to the Jaffa gate. It wasn’t too crowded (when I think crowded, I think of the State Fair of Texas) but there were a fair amount of people walking in.

We got in and immediately started snaking our way to the Church. I’m not religious but man that was a pretty cool place to visit. History was made here. Kind of hard to sit back and take it all in and certainly, it would be more meaningful if I had roots in the area. Still, it was a fantastic day seeing everything. Some of those walls are thousands of years old and the center of their Universe – the Western Wall, Mount of Olives, Calvary, Via Dolorosa…pretty trippy stuff!

Dome of the Rock, Western Wall

But the most memorable part of the trip for me was Yad Vashem. I didn’t know what to expect but I certainly didn’t expect to feel all the feelings. You go from seeing the absolute worst of humanity at the beginning of the museum and as you progress through World War II, you start gaining some hope from the Righteous Among the Nations. Which I didn’t know that’s what they were called. That gives me hope that whenever people are in need, other people will rise to the occasion. Then the Hall of Names is where I lost it. This is to remember everyone who was murdered during the Holocaust and to carry on their names as they may not have anyone to remember them. If you are ever in Jerusalem, you’ve gotta visit Yad Vashem. Or maybe not. It’s a difficult thing to see and read about.

View when exiting Yad Vashem

Memorials seem to move me now. Yad Vashem. Oklahoma. 9/11. What was and what could’ve been. Maybe it’s getting older or maybe just developing empathy. Either way, it’s good to feel.

Jaala knows what’s up

Then I went back to my hotel and crushed beers at one bar, crushed shakshuka at Shakshukia and didn’t remember how I got home. Excellent day.

Delicious. Need to up my shakshuka game.

More info:

http://rcf.org.il/~rot/brSite/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82&Itemid=119&lang=en

http://yadvashem.org/

Shalom bitches 

It was a long flight but good in that we took off and landed with no drama (scorpion and drag free). My neighbor on the New Jersey leg in the middle was from Chicago and I didn’t get his name cause that’s what I do (or don’t do?).

10.5 hours of watching movies (The Accountant, Inferno, X-Men) and I eventually squeezed in three one-hour naps only to wake up over the Mediterranean Sea! After that awesomeness, you notice all these white buildings and I guess that’s why they call this The White City. Also, lots of green fields. You don’t get that in DFW!


We landed at 16:20 in the baller ass airport Ben Gurion. Shits like crazy nice. I had to try and hustle through customs cause I booked a shuttle service and I needed to be there by 17:00. Luckily for me it was packed as hell so I spent my 20 minutes in line, using my time productively worrying about not making my scheduled shuttle and then remembering to not worry because that doesn’t help anything. Then worrying for no reason anyway. 


Walking outside, I’m not sure why but I was expecting, hoping, to enjoy some refreshing, sweet Israeli air and I all got was cigarette smoke, body odor, and some pollution. Yeah! 


I like airports. I think they’re cool because everyone walks around lost, happy, sad, or angry. There’s also lots of kids running off making parents chase after them.


Leaving the airport, you hear lots of horns honking and that lights turn yellow right before they turn green and everyone takes off on yellow. 

I get checked in to my hotel and having nothing to better do, I walked a block over to check out the Mediterranean in person. But not really, it’s a no-swimming zone so I just rolled by kept on pursuing to the next block. 


Which ended up being the Illegal Immigration Memorial. I didn’t know it but during World War II, Jews fleeing whatever hellhole they were in were trying to get to Palestine. The monument was where on the shops landed and were fired upon by the British. 


Just a few feet away was this bar called Mike’s Place. Apparently it’s a giant tourist trap but man did it feel like a bar at home. Cheap drinks, 80s music, and cheap drinks! Also anyone you tell that your going to Tel Aviv will let you know to go here.  Feels like an American bar. 


I don’t remember much but I ate some #shawarma from a place open just around the corner. 

babby’s first shawarma

Then I woke up to ten missed phone calls over twenty minutes from Kham and the front desk. Uh….my bad dude. 

Israel pre-trips

Hey I’m going to Israel. I was going for a GORUCK but that was ‘unfortunately’ canceled. Also, it isn’t on my Adventure List but I guess I can still force myself to go. Only thing is I’ll need some shekels and uh…to brush up on Israel’s wiki page and some other lame ass excuses. So many things working against me.

But back to the event. When I signed up for the Heavy there were like, six posts on the event page and most were from the cadre. I figured it had a good chance of being canceled but I booked the trip anyway. A couple of months later I heard it was officially canceled but if you know me, you know that’s actually a good thing. Many, many reasons but the two main great things are that I don’t have to do a GORUCK Heavy (the best event of all time ever) and I get to visit someplace I haven’t been before. Plus, I don’t have to cry about not training…

“Still in the process of linking up with your friend’s cousin? What all do you have planned so far?”

sup
I was waiting for him to get drunk and then book and I’d tag along. That’s how these things usually go.

Ha! He’s played right into my plan. I don’t plan much other than to show up and this is probably not a plan and more of a half-baked, I-hope-he-gets-annoyed-enough-to-go and what do you know, it worked! I knew he was going to Israel because one, it’s a bucket list item of his and two, he kept asking me for details every few days.

But here we are. My friend Kham has all these tours booked and plans to watch processions and the extent of my planning was to tag along with him to the Dead Sea tour.

Apparently during Passover you’re allowed to only drink certain alcohols, consume unleavened grains, and some other dietary restrictions. Who knew? Probably the millions of Jewish people around the world. Good thing this is a trip to get back to my roots. See? 2014 Bee knew what was up.

2014 prep
But back to the present – I booked some tours so hopefully I’ll see cool things. Caeserea, Acre, and Jerusalem? Shit hell yeah I’m excited to see something I ran around while playing Assassin’s Creed. Just like Paris (asscreed 4). Someone told me that these areas were in a book somewhere but I was busy gaming so I don’t remember.

What I’m looking forward to:

  • drinking
  • eating
  • floating in the Dead Sea
  • drinking
  • not drowning in the Mediterranean Sea
  • chance to practice meditation on the longest plane rides of my life

What I’m not looking forward to:

Luckily I got a sweet flight on United…how bad could it be?

Oh.

At least I’ll post some sweet Instagram photos here.

10 days

I spent a cool ten days in March doing GORUCK things, bookend-ed by shadowing a couple of Challenges (“toughs”) and capping it off with winning Silver (first loser, whatever) in Scavenger. Not sure why I did that so much. The first trip to Austin was to just get out of town. It was the weekend after burying my dad but I was planning on going there before he passed. This was just more reason to go. Get away from my family I guess. So I messaged Logan and I had a road trip buddy. We were going to shadow with weight and then 2 miles later when we got back to the van, “let’s dump this dumb weight” and so it was. Hey imagine that, me being a little bitch.

I had eyebrows once.

Have you ever questioned your life during a great GORUCK event? You do the same during a non-great shadowing event. Like, what is my life that I drive 3 hours to walk slowly behind other people walking even more slowly and carrying shit and then stopping every now and then? Cadre I’m black on beer and bored. You should smoke them for reasons. Shit, you should smoke the shadows for being dumb.

After my dad passed, I was asked (twice, first time I didn’t want to do it because I’m only kinda-Buddhist) by my mom to be part of a ceremony to help him move on to the afterlife and as it was told to me, I would temporarily become a novice monk. With that, I had to shave my eyebrows (veto) and shave my hair off (what’s left of it). Which is cool I guess. I won’t knock the culture but man, now I’m walking around like a dumb ass with no eyebrows. I guess the only real difference pre-and-post ceremony is that I don’t have eyebrows. Here’s a cool blog about Laotian death rituals (Nye Noona’s blog).

What store is this?

On the plus side, I’ve been wearing glasses to minimize the missing eyebrows but holy shit, I can see everything clearly. Who knew?

That was a Friday-Saturday. The following Wednesday, Jason McCarthy of GORUCK fame came to Arlington and they had a ruck up that I was fortunate to miss due to having to work and secure the bar ahead of time. Many beers were consumed in the securing of the bar.

Two days later, Friday, I went down to Houston to shadow some St. Patrick’s Day T/L action and it was more of the same. Cadre I’m black on beer and these guys are walking slow as hell. I took a nap at 06:30 when they were paying back exercises for infractions and it was beautiful. I never thought I’d spend many weekends taking a nap on the sidewalk in the middle of park but hell, life!

That challenge finished we all went out afterward for food and drinks and that’s where the best part of the post-event shenanigans is. Just hanging out and chatting with people, about GORUCK, about life. Maybe that’s why I shadow? I mean, aside from the beer.

I do all three!

That night I got to hang out with my bff Jason Gukhool of Belize/Heavy 010 Fame. Which, if you get to hang out with us, means you get to see us race in drinking beers (ciders in my case) and me inevitably losing. Followed up with a chaser of trash talking and slurring. I was able to talk to him about some things that went on with my dad and for that I’m thankful. Next round is on me! And not because you won the drinking game. Also, Case that weekend and David the week after with some sushi and about two dozen beers. Thanks guys!

My friend Case the minister…reverend? Something like that.

I had a good couple of weeks. It’s good to reset. Time to gaze off into the future with a cool photo.

The future is that way and that’s my reaction to it.

bffs or nah

Care to share your thoughts, if any, on this article in the Boston Globe regarding loneliness? Summary- dudes get older, hang out with friends less, loneliness is nearly as dangerous as smoking. I’ve asked a few friends their opinion on it, maybe ’cause I’m kinda experiencing it now. Not the loneliness. Or the smoking. Just the obesity part. But more importantly, I’m not seeing my married/with children friends much lately. Or hell, even seeing my single peeps. Sure, sounds legit. I am always alone because people…are people.


“Alone but not lonely.” I stole it from the Internets way back when. Eric said he heard that in a little known film called Heat. Here’s another thing (article – New York Times article) I got from Eric regarding making friends when you get older. Or how difficult it is to do so. But enough about Eric, let’s talk about me. I’m lucky I joined a cult and have friends (acquaintances, really, if we’re keeping score) through it. Which is all well and good but it’s hard (not impossible) to forge lasting friendships through a brief 4-48 hour window of PT.

Why have friends when you can walk away with a scooter by yourself?

It’s not like you can look into the windows to her soul…you said it right?

 

“You tend to focus on what is most emotionally important to you,” she said, “so you’re not interested in going to that cocktail party, you’re interested in spending time with your kids.”

Here’s a quote from the second article which I think is pretty accurate. The things that used to interest me in my 20s, e.g. getting blackout drunk and napping, definitely don’t interest me anymore. Now? I like to travel and do events and get blackout drunk and nap. See? Look at all of that personal growth and change!

growth in the belly area amirite?

The things I like doing the most, reading while wearing short shorts, infrequently writing blog posts, and traveling/GORUCKing now occupy all my free time. Which has me missing out on chances to hang out with my friends. But this will change. I’m taking a small break from traveling. Not because I realize I’ve been neglecting existing friendships and want to hang out with you more but because I’ve used up most of my vacation this year. So that means more Bee time, more “put on some pants ’cause nobody wants to see those legs” time, and more importantly, let’s drink time!

Here’s what some of my friends and acquaintances do. Not me though. That ruck is glued to my head.

From no friends, to friends, and back to no friends. It’s a seven year cycle and as Stephen King says “Ka is a wheel, its one purpose is to turn.”

Now’s the time to have me all up in your business, right? Every weekend for the rest of 2017!

 

Maybe…maybe not. You’re still you and people are people after all.

the world moves on

To borrow a phrase from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, “the world moves on.”

Post-death, life gets real. Time slows down for a bit during the first few hours afterward but then everything catches up. Bills to pay, people to contact, supplies and equipment to buy for the wake. I can see the allure of shutting down and doing nothing. I did that for a couple of hours when I took a nap. Then I got up to do some shit. But the world doesn’t care and put simply, the world moves on.

Grieving. We all grieve differently. Something amazing I’ve experienced is that people I’ve not talked with in a long time or ever, really, are reaching out talk to you and more importantly, listen. The wake for my dad means that everyone has been coming by to my parent’s house to eat and drink and be merry. Which I reckon is common across all cultures and awesome and helps to heal but dude…this shits been going on since Sunday. I’m tired of eating and drinking every night. Which is a good problem to have. If when I die, I only want y’all to party for 2-3 days because I don’t like you enough to have 6-7 days of fun.

Resupply every day

But back to the talking. Many people have come to me with their story of loss and pain and grief. That helps, in a way. I’m not sure how exactly but grief is grief and who am I to deny them or myself that? Maybe it helps that others have gone through this and are somewhat OK now. Maybe it helps that others will go through this in the future as well? Maybe that is comforting.

Brisket and chicken feet.
Next, the listening. I’ve had offers to talk to friends (in and out of my circle), crash on their couch, and drink all their beer.

Note: the last one was not an actual offer but I’m reading into it what I will. Eat bread, share their salt, drink all their alcohol…uh yeah…omw.

Thank you to each and everyone who has reached out to me, text, calls, and other communication protocols. It means a lot and I can never thank you enough.

One of my concerns was that my dad didn’t live a full life. Not to worry, said my uncle Ray. He told me my dad lived a great life and that he didn’t think my dad worked a hard day in his life. Not that he didn’t work hard, but that things came easily to him. He could walk into any room and be anyone’s friend, could chat up anyone, and was quite the ladies man. So was grandpa, whom I never got to meet. So…2 out of 3 ain’t bad for me, right? Guess which two were passed on to me.

Thank you, my redacted friend.
There’s this quote out there on the Internets by Chief Aupumut or Tecumseh (depending on your source):

When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
I’m not a big post-a-quote-with-cool-pic dude ’cause I’m not a giant dork but I like the quote and the message. I’m frequently asked why I do these seemingly-dumb events and travel every where for it and I couldn’t give an answer I was truly happy with until now- I’m living, bitches.

I lost my dad today

I lost my dad today. I thought that would be hard to write but it wasn’t, actually. I don’t write many things of actual import on this blog because I’m not that kind of dude (serious one) but this is a big thing. Although his death was not unexpected, it still sucks.”Life is a death sentence.”

I was in the room when he passed on early in the morning.

Which is weird but hey, life right? My sister’s kids were born like one wing over in the same hospital. Life and death. I’m glad it was me there and not my mom, my sister, or my brother. I’m not sure if that’s selfish or not. It doesn’t matter. I’m glad everyone was able to come out and see him while he was in the hospital.

Two stories about him which aren’t major but they’re the two I immediately thought of with him.

First story- growing up, before class, we’d sometimes kick the soccer ball out in the front yard before I walked to school. I could never kick it past him. He’d be smoking and looking cool as shit and we’d just kicked the ball back and forth for a few minutes before school.

Random pic cause life isn’t about perfection

Second story- in elementary school they used to have popcorn on, I think, Fridays and it cost a quarter. Well, he gave me two dimes and nickel and my dumb ass was like “no they won’t take it” and after a few minutes of digging around, he found a quarter. I never asked him about it later but I imagine this going on in his head. “I emigrated from Laos and this is the shit I have to deal with? It’s the same amount of money you little bitch.” I never did get that popcorn that day either. Damn it.

Hell, maybe those are major stories in my life.

He was supposed to be 76 in a few weeks and that’s the shit I remember.

I don’t want to end up like him, in a nursing home and unable to move about freely. But I’d definitely want to die like him, surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones. 
It’s weird to write about my dad but writing about him helped. Thanks for reading if you did, thanks to those who’ve reached out, and sorry I didn’t take any calls but maybe later. Life moves on and I will try to be better at living what’s left of my life.