It’s been a few days since my last post (which was a success). The reason for this is simply school work… and Trials. I had to read a book and write a paper on it in 2 days. I’m not an avid reader of books so this was kind of a struggle for me. The book is 300 pages long and I received my copy via Barnes & Nobles on Monday. I read 20 pages on Monday, 80 pages on Tuesday, and 180 pages yesterday. If you did the math, that’s only 280 pages. Well I wrote the paper anyway and finished by midnight. It’s conference week so I was willing to sacrifice 20 pages of the book to get an extra 20 minutes of sleep.

Regardless, this is easily the fastest I’ve ever actually read an entire book. I’ve skimmed a ton of books before in order to do a write up or whatever but this time I actually read the book in a few days and enjoyed it. It went through a bunch of crazy experiments and explained why humans are very irrational. For example, if my family went to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving or something and at the end of the meal my dad took out his wallet and said “thanks for the meal, how much do I owe you? Here’s a few hundred bucks, thanks again” well this would not be okay. But the idea of coming in with a bottle of wine that cost $100 as a gift is completely acceptable. She may hate wine and the bottle could go to waste whereas she can get whatever she wants with cash, but giving cash just isn’t acceptable and giving a gift is even though it doesn’t make economical sense. Anyway, the book is called Predictably Irrational and I recommend it to anyone who’s interested.

Now that I’m finished with this book/assignment I can focus 100% on conferences. It’s this Saturday which is not good because the projected high is 46 degrees and there’s a chance of snow. I suppose times don’t matter in XC anyway so as long as I place well among the conference, I can walk away happy with a 27:30 assuming I finished in the top 20 or so (that’s kind of my goal). I don’t have class tomorrow so I can sleep in as late as I want which bodes well. I’ve been feeling good lately and I don’t see any reason why I’m not in the best shape of my life right now. I don’t know how realistic my goal of making nationals is but this will be the best indicator so far. The streak is longer than ever but I’ll save all my running bullshit for a separate post.

Chest Hair

The following is a picture of my chest hair.

It’s getting to the point (it’s actually been there for a while) where it doesn’t look that cool to grow my chest hair out. It’s a little too spread out and the hairs are just a little bit too long. Now it’s tough to see in the picture but slowly/surely a connector between the top patch and the happy trail is forming. It will be a good bit of time until the connection is complete but still, it’s coming. Now, I have two examples, my brothers Tom and Jeff. I’m fairly certain Tom cares for his chest hair, i.e. he shaves it. Jeff on the other hand doesn’t try at all to keep it tame and he has much more hair than mine but it’s the same idea. I can’t decide which way is better or which I want to do.

I need to make a move and stick with it for the future. Do I shave it or let it grow out? Obviously until now I’ve let it grow out and I think it’s pretty cool. It’s the same idea with a beard/mustache, if I could grow good facial hair I would let it grow out. A) are facial hair and chest hair in the same catagory and B) does this fall under “good chest hair”? Shaving it really wouldn’t require much effort I don’t think but nonetheless it’s another thing added to my weekly routine. Is it really worth it?

Help me out blog readers, is this a dire situation that needs mending or should I let it grow to be all it can be.

Dustin Tavella

Ursinus sponsored a concert last night. The performer was Dustin Tavella, I’ve never heard of him either. We had no intentions of going but we decided to check out his Youtube videos for kicks and giggles. He had one song that wasn’t terrible called We Got the Summer. I mean, it wasn’t good by any means but when compared to his one other song, it was better. The tune is kind of catchy I suppose but I do hate auto tune. Anyway I could see how people these days would like this song. Here’s the music video. Drowzy and I also noted that the concept of playing underwater like they did is actually kind of cool.

The next song is called Swat and it’s another one of his big ones. I think this song is an absolute joke. I thought it was a parody of something else or a Lonely Island type deal but he might actually be serious with this song. I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t tell what’s worse, the lyrics or his physical appearance. This song rivals Rebecca Black’s Friday if you ask me, I might even prefer Friday over this. I honestly can’t tell if it’s a joke or not. I can’t see any way though that someone would write/perform this and think “this is gonna be a good one.” Without any further ado.

Let me know what you think.

Edward Fortyhands

The drinking started early yesterday. I had a semi-serious bet with John Ryder about who would start drinking first. I shotgunned a Natty Ice at noon to win. Then I was really tired so I took a nap. I woke up at 3 and began casually drinking while playing Guitar Hero with Jatin. I was 4 Natty Ices and a shot of whiskey in when Satch asked me if I wanted to play Edward Fortyhands. I’d never done it before so I figured why not. I was tipsy when I started but all I had been drinking was spread over a long period of time. Me and 6 other dudes went to Rob and Abuds room to start the game. We were all taped up and I had no real strategy. I didn’t know A) how easy it would be to consume that much liquid and B) how drunk I’d be after I finished. There was some debate about what the alcohol content in each forty was. We came up with 3 different answers, 5.9, 7.7, and 9. Either way it’s 6.67 beers worth of liquid and likely a higher content and I was already a little buzzed. I went in assuming black out.

We got started. I finished my first one in 11ish minutes and was winning. Jay and Matt were both relatively close behind but I was feeling pretty good and had a hunch that I was going to win. I finished the second one clear of everybody with a final time of 29 minutes. I was pretty surprised I did that well to be honest but you can tell some days you have it and some days you don’t, I had it yesterday. Jay finished 10ish minutes behind me and Matt was right behind him. Satch, Rob, Abud, and B-Sats were pathetic as I finished both of mine before any of them finished their first one. Their final times were over an hour.

After that I went back to the suite where we were having a rave party. There were black lights and lasers and high lighters out the asshole. I came in and declared victory, Ryder celebrated by taking my shirt off. I was the only one with my shirt off and people, mainly Leah, were drawing all over me with the highlighter. I vaguely remember this. I blacked out soon after. There’s picture evidence of me and a Vicki fighting each other. There’s also pictures of me and other freshman Leah where it looks like we’re best friends. I’ve never actually spoken a word to her in my life but last night was a better ice breaker than anything else I can think of.

Things got bad. I passed out in Mark’s bed relatively early, probably around 11. Mark passed out at his desk and a few people moved him into his bed with me. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning soaked. I feared the worst but didn’t want to admit it. I unfortunately peed Mark’s bed while he was in it with me. I got out and moved up to my bed while Mark went to Wacker’s bed because Wacker went home for the night. We actually woke up around 8:30 and I had to acknowledge what I’d done. I took off all of his sheets, washed them, and put them back on so everything was good as new. Regardless, this is a bad habit to get in and it’s the 2nd time in the past month.

We can’t drink tonight because conferences is next week so we’re attempting to find some sober activities. We’re not doing a good job so far. Next week will be an easy week in terms of work so I can rest up and be as ready as possible for conferences. Again, I’m really pumped and I think this could be the breakthrough race. Only time will tell.

One Last Time

It’s Friday afternoon and I’ve been done classes for 7 hours. Life is good at the moment because I don’t have any major assignments due next week and it’s also conference week. We’re only allowed to drink tonight so to make up for the lack of drinking tomorrow night, as always, we’ll be drinking extra hard tonight. I’m very excited to drink tonight but I’m more excited to race next weekend. I have two more meets to see if my work this summer/season has really paid off or just kind of paid off or not paid off at all. I’m leaning towards the very first one.

I asked myself the question “if you had 2 shitty races at conferences and regionals, would you still consider the season a success?” That’s kind of a tough question to answer but in all honesty, I think I would still say this season was a success. I’ve run 2 out of the 3 fastest 8k’s in my life. Conferences and regionals, even assuming I have bad races, will have to be better than last year and either my I’m still going to be confident and have the same goals for track season. If you think about it, I’ve run 2 out of the 3 fastest 8k’s of my life this season and I STILL have 2 of the fastest races left. There’s no reason I shouldn’t finish this season with my personal #1, #2, #4, and #5, times ever for myself. That would be a helluva season if you ask me. Also, I’ve proved to myself that I can handle high mileage training and even if this season isn’t as amazing as I dreamed of, it shows me that I can likely put together some awesome training in the future and hopefully reach some of the goals I’ve set for myself.

As for tonight, it’s supposed to be our first ‘rave’ party where we have a strobe light and the other lights off and I don’t know exactly what else goes into a rave party but you get the idea. I don’t think ecstasy will be involved but who knows at this point. But really, it should be a fun time like always and I’m looking forward to staying up past 10 o’clock.

Dom Mazzetti vs. The Beatles

The following is a video by recent Youtube sensation Dom Mazzetti. While he’s not a ‘blogger’ exactly, it’s in the same field I would say. Mine is more sharing any idea I feel like whether people will like it or not, he’s more concerned with always providing entertaining material. He’s the ultimate bro and always talks about his college experiences. Obviously I’m going through similar college experiences but I’m not nearly creative or funny enough to do what he’s doing. He’s making money from what he’s doing and I’m making nothing. This honestly reminds of me Tom talking about The Beatles. The Beatles are the best band ever for a large number of reasons but one is because they sing about relevant information that everyone can identify with whether it be love, break ups, drugs, etc. Dom Mazzetti is talking about college experiences like drunk hook-ups, skipping class, and your group of friends. People can all relate to that because everyone has been there and experienced it. As dumb as he appears, he has a purpose with each video and an overall sense of direction as to what videos he makes. That’s what this blog is lacking.

Clearly comparing Dom Mazzetti to The Beatles is a pretty gigantic stretch but you get the point. Anyway, for me personally Dom is pretty hit or miss. Some videos I like a lot and think they’re hilarious but others not so much. This one in particular had me cracking up so here it is if you’d like to watch it.

What a Crazy World

We had a guest speaker in our managerial class the other day. He came in and talked about how he started his own company and why he was successful and what risks he had to take etc. It was actually a very interesting talk but that’s not the point of this post.

At one point during he talk he said some along the lines of “in the fall of 98 Ursinus finally got email on campus”. I could not imagine my life here at school without email. It is easily the most accessible and most used form of communication and it allows everyone to be connected and informed as to what’s going on. Pre-email life would be totally foreign to me and I can’t comprehend how it could be done.

I’m going to take this one step further. As of right now, the IPhone 4S is the hot new phone that everyone is purchasing. These types of phones along with Blackberrys and Droids, among others, are extremely popular and it seems that the world is shifting in that direction. In only a matter of years everyone will have internet access, email access, and god knows what else on their phones. I have what’s known as an NV3 from Verizon. My phone can call, text, take pictures, and even record videos. I have no internet access on my phone and at the moment I have no desire to get internet access. Eventually this shift will occur and I along with everyone else will have a smart phone. 10 years from now I’ll look back and be astonished that my phone didn’t have internet access and my life would be so much different. At this present point in time though I can’t imagine that my life would change that much if I got a fancy phone, just as people probably said while texting was becoming popular, or cell phones, or email, or computers, or anything of that mumbo-jumbo.

I couldn’t imagine life in 9th grade when every text was 10 cents so I pretty much never used it. I couldn’t imagine being in college without a cell phone like Tom was when he first went to Pitt. I couldn’t imagine coming to Ursinus and not knowing anything about current events on campus because we didn’t have email. I couldn’t imagine not knowing anything about anything because computers weren’t around yet.

Imagine life in the 70’s when there were no computers, no internet, no cell phones, no GPS, no nothing. I would be a completely useless person because I couldn’t figure out or do anything on my own. If you asked me to find information on Napolean without the internet, or make the drive to Pittsburgh without a GPS, I just couldn’t do it.

The future is going to bring big changes obviously (as if they haven’t already happened) and it’s going to happen right before our eyes. I’ll be telling my kids how I used to write emails, get 20 MPG on my 98 Dodge Stratus, text using t9-word on my cell phone, watch movies on my normal flat screen T.V.,  and they’ll be laughing at me wondering how we ever made it through these days without the technology that they’ll have access too. It’s a crazy world we live in.

World Overgrown

Fall break has come to a close. It was pretty much what I expected. A lot of sitting around, sleeping, running, guitar, Guster, and a 3.5 hour George Harrison documentary thrown in there courtesy of my dad which I found decently entertaining. I’m not ready to get back to work but I’m okay with it since I don’t have a choice.

While watching the news over break I did find one interesting fact, the world population is expected to hit 7 billion on Halloween. 7,000,000,000 people. That is a crazy high number.  As if 1,000,000 or something wouldn’t make me feel insignificant, 7 billion isn’t even close. How can I be content with anything I do knowing that 6,999,999,950 people don’t care about anything I do in life? I could run 14:00 for a 5k. Not only would there be thousands upon thousands of people faster than me, but absolutely no one outside of the few people I know would care. I’m running 100 miles per week for that?

In 1960 there were only 3 billion. We’ve more than doubled in 50 years. At that rate, before I die the total world population will be 15-20 billion. With all of the medical breakthroughs, surplus of food, increased standard of living, people are just reproducing like always but they can do it without 1 out of every 3 kids dying. Another sad thing is that so many of these people are dirt poor and living in shambles. Why have 15 kids if they’re all going to have a shitty life?

I’m just wondering when will it peak. Realistically, with the given resources on the planet, we can’t just keep growing exponential and expect everything to be peaches and cream. Maybe some giant war will break out due to lack of natural gas and oils and a few billion people will die. Maybe a meteor will take out all of Asia. I don’t know what it’s going to be but at some point the growing will have to decrease due to massive deaths or very little births and I don’t think it will be the latter. It’s honestly kind of exciting. To live in a time period where the only life in the universe as we know it might end, well we’re a very lucky few to see be able to witness that. It’s as prestigious as being the first man in history, well we’re the last people in history. Obviously, what’s the good thing about that if there’s no one around to know about it.

Very Superstitious

I’m making a stand from here on out. I’m abandoning every superstition I’ve ever adopted. Any lucky shirts, pre-race rituals, knocking on wood, anything, I’m done with it. There’s essentially two potential results if you have a special superstition. I’ll use the pre-race thing because a lot of runners have weird things that they do. If you do the thing and the ritual goes as planned, you’re fine. If you fuck up and forget or something, you’re mentally a step behind. If you don’t have a superstition at all, you’re exactly where you would be if you satisfied that superstition. I never wore socks for races in high school. It wasn’t a comfort thing it was a superstition thing. I got a nasty blister on the back of my Achilles and had to wear socks for one race. The whole time I was just thinking this is going to be bad, I’m wearing socks, I never wear socks.

This extends beyond running. If Mark and I are playing Wacker and Pane in beer pong and there’s a naked lap on the line for the loser, I probably wouldn’t say things like “We’re definitely going to win this, I have no doubt, they suck, we’re good, how can we possibly lose this game” because naturally people say “don’t jinx it”. Jinx’s are not real. If I say that Roy Halladay will definitely strike out the next batter, it does not increase the hitters chance of getting a hit. When I say that I never get injured from running (because I never do), it does not increase my chance of injury. If anything, saying these potential jinx lines is a good thing. If I say that we won’t lose in beer pong, I at least have it in my head mentally that we’re going to win. Obviously this doesn’t apply to Halladay getting a strike out because he can’t hear me, but you get the idea.

For so long I followed superstitions religiously. If I didn’t wear my lucky shirt to a meet I might as well not run. Since I’ve been at school I’ve slowly started to abandon these things. That doesn’t mean my lucky shirt has no sentimental value to me because it does, but I just don’t give a shit if I wear it to the meet or not. I’m going to abandon them completely now. No more knocking on wood or holding back ‘jinx’ lines or lucky pre-race songs, it’s all hogwash.

Stage Fright

This problem is becoming worse and worse. I get stage fright while peeing more now than ever before and I don’t know why. I honestly feel like the guy from Waiting who thinks there’s a person outside the stall door saying “I DON’T HEAR ANY PISS!” If I’m completely alone I don’t have a problem but when there’s even a person I know in the bathroom with me, I struggle. Just over the past few weeks have I really started to notice it. It’s the worst at cross country meets. I know I have to go and I just stand at the urinal knowing there’s a line of people behind me thinking “Hurry the fuck up.”

I don’t know if there are any tactical solutions to this. I haven’t experimented with anything but I’d imagine there could be a line you repeat in your head or a song you sing to take your mind off of it. I remember the very first time I really experienced this too. I was Sunday bowling a few summers ago with Tom, Evan, Jordan, and that whole crew. I went to the bathroom to pee and there isn’t a divider between the two stalls. I walked in and was the only one in there. I went about my business as usual and right before blast off a short fat guy came charging in and set up camp at the urinal right next to me. The pee retreated back into my weiner like a scared turtle. I had no idea what was happening but all I knew is that I could not take a piss with this guy right next to me. Since then things have gone downhill. I don’t know why but it’s getting worse and I need to figure it out.