Context > Content

I’m not going to lie, I like Taylor Swift. I know she doesn’t have the greatest public image, and not everyone is a fan of hers, but I like her. The theme of her music is repetitive, but I’m fascinated by her voice, and to be honest, I find her really attractive. I can bypass her other things and say “I like her” which is more than I can say for most pop stars today.

Love Story

Love Story was incredibly popular when I was a senior in high school. In particular, it was popular when I was semi-dating my high school girlfriend, Emily. Emily and I had a multi-month period where I was extremely awkward because I’d never had a girlfriend before (or even kissed a girl). This was being played every day during that time.

Eventually Emily and I became a full-time couple and we were normal. However, to this day, when I hear Love Story, it reminds me of the time period where I was awkward and just hearing makes me cringe slightly. I like the song, but I would try to avoid it if possible because of the times it reminds me of.

My Favorite Song of All Time

There are people who read that headline and know what song I’m talking about. I once wrote a blog about how “favorite this” and “favorite that” are stupid, because there’s so much to choose from and it can vary from day to day. With that said, I can 100% say that Beast of Burden is my favorite song. I love Beast of Burden for the very reason that I dislike Love Story, what I associate the song with.

The last ~2 weeks of my time at Ursinus were filled with Natty Ice, Tortilla Gold/Silver, and irresponsible decisions. Beast of Burden (and to a lesser extent, Under the Bridge), was the theme of everything. I basically recall Slade and I getting really drunk all day every day, joined by Drew and occasionally Wacker, and just having an amazing time. I had no responsibilities and each day was better than the next, ultimately building up to graduation night, which was incredible.

I always think of this two week stretch when I hear that opening riff from Beast of Burden. It instantly makes me happy, because those were some of the best days of my life, and that song brings me back.

Long story short – the context is largely more important than content.

The Results Are In!

The poll was actually useful! People don’t want the same thing, they want something new.

For that reason, I know the next challenge I’m going to do. It’s not something I or anyone I know have done. But I know people, who know people, who have both failed and succeeded.

deal with itFortunately for me, I think I’m pretty well suited for this, and look forward to doing it.

I know you’re all thinking, “well what is it?!”. And I’m not going to tell you. Not because I want to build suspense or anything, but because I don’t want to tell you, then not be able to do it, and have it be a let down.

So instead, I’m going to announce it very close to my actual attempt date (it will be a weekend).

Thanks for the feedback!

What Should I Do Next?

With the ALS Ice Bucket challenge flying around, I realized, it’s been a while since I’ve done a challenge. So help me out blog, what should I do?

In my head, there are three that stand out that I’ve already done, but am confident I could improve upon; the 6-12-18-24, the Capri Sun Challenge, and the beer mile.

But, I’m open to new ideas, and will look around for other things as well.

I’ve also just started using these polls, so lets hope I get some response.

[socialpoll id=”2215478″]



8/8 – 8/10 Weekend


Friday began poorly. Five miles in 40 minutes before work. The day flew by and when I got home for run #2, my knee finally said enough. The fall at the Bayou last Thursday took it’s toll and after 13 miles on it, it threw in the towel. I jogged home slowly from a half mile out and then cracked open a beer.

Gourlay came over and we spent $30 each on dinner which was more than we wanted, but we’re grown ass men with real ass jobs. We met up with Paul then headed back to my house to pregame. Dan, Stolz, and Kurt joined the party and we were getting ready for the night. The highlight was probably talking to the girls from the house below us from our deck. We hadn’t met them before but there are four girls who graduated college this spring right beneath us which is convenient. We went out to Brew Pub, had a few drinks, ordered some pizza, and called it a night.


Saturday began equally poorly. I tried to run but failed because of my knee. I then went to brunch with my mom which was pleasant. After two hours of COD and some core work on the back deck, I tried yet again to run, but got no more than 45 seconds away before realizing I was an idiot, and turned back. Alex, Dan, and I hung out all day playing FIFA and slowly drinking. Alex went to a PCOM party while Dan and I remained at the house.

We upped our drinking and continued playing FIFA while trying to figure out what to do. After another game or so, we decided to head down to Main Street to meet up with Kitty, Marie, and some of Dan’s other friends from school. We stayed out really late then headed back to the house. Things are fuzzy but if I recall correctly, we were all still up in the kitchen at 5:30 talking.


As the hours ticked by, the hangover increased. I felt great at 9, average by 11, and was puking in the toilet by 1. I then proceeded to nap for 3 hours on the rug in the family room, KO’d.

Overall another successful weekend.

Ode to Wawa

Wawa may be the single most important establishment in my life.

Why, you ask?

  • If you got rid of Acme, I could do my food shopping at ShopRite.
  • If you got rid of Apple, I could use a Droid phone and some music playing device
  • If you got rid of TGIFridays, I could grab a meal and a beer at Ruby Tuesday’s.
  • If you got rid of LA Fitness, I wouldn’t care because I never go to the gym, but there are other options.

But what would happen if you got rid of Wawa? Let’s see.

  • Say you need Advil, okay, you can go to a convenience store instead of Wawa.
  • Say you need gas, okay, you can get gas at a BP or Sunoco instead of Wawa.
  • Say you need a hoagie, okay, there are plenty of hoagie places instead of Wawa.
  • Say you need all three of these things at once, you go to Wawa.
  • Say you need all three of these things 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, you go to Wawa. 

It’s doesn’t make the best hoagies, but it gets the job done. It’s not the most diverse convenience store, but it gets the job done. It doesn’t have the cheapest gas, but it gets the job done. If I was able to pick one establishment which would guarantee NEVER go out of business, I’d choose Wawa.

But believe it or not, there are people who have never heard of Wawa.

I was listening to Howard Stern interview Bradley Cooper (he’s from Philly), and Cooper mentions Wawa, then asks Howard if he knows what it is. Howard simply says “No.”

Wat. I always assumed that everyone knew what Wawa was.

Ho-Ho-Hoagiefest is back!

My next door neighbor is from New York and moved to Philly a month ago. We were talking last night about where to go for drunk food, and I said Wawa, to which she replied something like “What exactly is Wawa? I’ve heard of it but I don’t really know what it is.”. I asked her what she thought it was, and she said “A convenience store / gas station?”. The way she said that made it seem so rotten and low-class, and in my mind, Wawa couldn’t be further from that. She then asked me to clarify and I said “Well, basically yes, but you can also order hoagies. I know that doesn’t sound awesome, but Wawa is awesome.”. 

I realized there was no good way to describe the value and uniqueness of Wawa other than visiting first hand and being exposed to it when you need it most.

So if you’re one of the people who have had the good fortunate to grow up with Wawa around, take a second to appreciate how great it actually is. I went to Wawa today, and it was spectacular.

I realized after I wrote this whole thing that Tom also shares the same feelings.


Yesterday – Great or Terrible?

Reasons Why Yesterday Was Great

  • BayouI ran 8 miles with Paul who I haven’t seen in a month or two. Catching up is nice.
  • Josh and Dan came by to go out to trivia at the Bayou.
  • We went out to the Bayou and had dollar beers.
  • I bumped into Scott, former track coach at Ursinus, and we talked for half an hour.
  • Paul came out with us and brought along Destef who I haven’t seen in years.
  • We hung out with the next door neighbors. They’re girls our age, like to drink, and a lot of fun.
  • We came back and had a great time jamming out to songs and doing yoga (specifically flipping our dog. Gourlay, it is difficult.)
  • Hanging out and drinking with friends is pretty much always great.

Reasons Why Yesterday Was Terrible

  • LaptopI took a total digger right in the middle of the Bayou. Literally the entire bar saw.
  • I was running on five hours of sleep today which is something I rarely do on weekdays.
  • I was mildly hungover for the first hour or two of the day.
  • My knee is a bit busted from the fall, and although I ran 8 miles today, I could feel it on every step.
  • There is a massive crack in the screen of my one month old, $650 laptop. The touchscreen is also broken. Oopsies.
  • I insisted I didn’t need the warranty for said laptop. Oopsies

Overall it looks like there are more bullet points for Great versus Terrible. However, the crack in the laptop is likely a multi-hundred dollar accident. For the record, I don’t know how it happened. It was on the ground when 10 of us were in the living room jamming out and dancing, so I imagine someone stepped on it. Accidents happen.

Would I take yesterday back if I could and redo it? Yeah, probably. But did I still have a great time? Abso-lutely.[divider type=”white|thin|thick|short|dotted|dashed” spacing=”10″]


The Circle of Life

The Stortz family cat history is relatively well known. Even Gourlay points out in his most recent blog post that we love cats. Way back in August of 2001 (or 2002 or 2003?), our lovely cat Midget gave birth to a litter of five (eventually down to three after a week). The Stortz house hold was already at full capacity – roaming into the high teens for total cats – and we decided to give two of the cats away, and keep the last one.

One cat that was given away went no more than 200 feet down the street to the Channick’s house. This orange kitty was named Oliver and I’ve been able to see him over at the Channick’s house ever so often. His brother, the one we kept, is none other than the king of all Stortz cat’s, Trooper (AKA Mr. Noops).

Kurt informed me today that Oliver has passed away. It made me genuinely sad. The passing of a family pet is always difficult, and with Oliver being a direct blood relative to Trooper, it carries some extra weight.

TrooperIt’s no secret that Trooper’s health is declining. He’s become skinnier over the past few years as cats tend to do when they get older. He’s a little less energetic and simply put, has lost a step, but he’s still the king that we all know and love.

The news today about Oliver was a bit of a reality check. I know Trooper is in the fourth quarter. Likely in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Along with Sneezy, I would put Trooper in a different class of cat. I try not to pick favorites, but it’s a natural thing. Although I’ve been through ~20 pet deaths, Trooper dying will likely be the hardest one to deal with (somehow Sneezy is like 13 and healthy as can be).

Me and NoopsThe question is, with this little wake-up call, do I do anything differently? I see Trooper once a day – at lunch time. Generally he’s a pest, and gets his face right up in my food. I usually give him and Sneezy a little piece of turkey, and pour Noops a little bowl of milk, because he actually loves milk. What else am I supposed to do?

As we learned years and years ago, it’s all part of the circle of life. I know a year after Trooper dies, I’ll be totally fine, but it’s going to suck when it happens. In the mean time, I’m going to enjoy each lunch, and try not to get mad when he gets in my food.

Running Update – For Those Who Care

Why am I going to write about my running when nobody cares? Because it’s my blog and I want to.

Running hasn’t gone this well for me in nearly three years.. That’s not to say I’m in my best shape over the past three years, but things are going splendidly.

I’m slowly building towards the marathon, and am beginning to enter my actual base phase.

What I’ve Done
50-55 miles a week for the past month or so. I haven’t really done any workouts, which is good, because I still have 16 weeks until the race. Yesterday was probably the best run of the bunch. I did 11 miles with the first four easy at 7:15 pace, the next four at 6:45 pace, then the last three hard at about 6:12 pace with the last mile being a 6:10 with a significant uphill. I got carried away the last mile, and was working too hard to run that, but whatever. The fastest mile I’ve run in the past 300 or so has been 5:56.

What I’m Going To Do
In the coming weeks/months I plan to up my mileage. I don’t know by how much, but I can’t see myself getting above 75. I’d like to hold 60-70, with maybe a down week every now and then for safety reasons. I’ll start doing tempos in a week or two and that will really gauge my fitness. If I can hold that into October, then start easing off, I’d be happy.

This is the most important piece of the puzzle. I’m healthy right now. My back hasn’t felt this good since I was injured. For example, I ran 11 fast yesterday and it feels totally normal today. I can always tell that the fracture is still there, but after running 200 miles the last month, it hasn’t gotten any worse at all. If anything it’s gotten better. This is why I’m optimistic about the whole thing.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Sleep: I’m averaging right around 8 hours a night. It’s hard to go to bed early when Call of Duty and FIFA are always an option.
  • Diet: I eat like two vegetables a week since I’ve moved out.
  • Doubling: It’s a pain in the ass to wake up at 6:30-7:00 to run in the morning, especially when I’m not going to bed early.
  • A Plan: I’m just kind of winging it now. Granted it’s still early, but it wouldn’t hurt to hammer out some details on training.


Things are going really well, and barring injury, they will continue to do so. I know it’s still really early, but it seems like things are going as well as I could have planned. I’ll run a few races in September/October for fun, but for the next month+ I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing.

Rounding Out Concert Weekend

So you’re probably wondering how the rest of my weekend went.

After a physical Friday night, Brett, Wacker, and I slept for about six hours before heading to Stortz Tools to do it all over again. I had five beers by 12:30 and we headed to the Radio 104.5 free concert. The buzz was solid but nothing major. The concert itself was average in my opinion. I only knew Bleachers’ I Wanna Get Better (click to see Brett’s footage of the actual concert) and that was the highlight of the concert, because it was awesome. The crowd was packed and not that into it outside of that song. Also, the amount of high school kids (girls) is incredible. It definitely makes me feel a little bit old when I go to something like that and I’m somehow one of the older people at 22.

Post concert, Brett and I headed back to Manayunk to regroup for Slightly Stoopid. After a meal and some hydration, we went to Stortz Tools one last time to pregame. We headed to the concert around 7:00 and neither of us were drunk. I don’t know much Slightly Stoopid, and I only knew one song that they played. However, it was still a really good time. We had a few drinks and then the concert was underway. The crowd was what I expected – a lot of attractive girls with some older couples there and weed/cigs literally everywhere. I can’t even really describe how many people were smoking. After a few hours of jamming out, we headed back and called it a night.

Overall the weekend was great. I had a bit more energy than expected by the end which made for a good experience. I don’t think I’d intentionally plan to do three concerts on the same weekend in the future, but I wouldn’t take it back. Thanks to Brett for getting the tickets to both Saturday shows.

TafferSunday consisted of 30 games of COD and four consecutive hour-long episodes of Bar Rescue. Jon Taffer is freakishly addicting to watch.

A7X – What Actually Happened

What actually happened last night:

  • There’s one working toilet at Stortz Tools, and Wacker decided to make #2 in one of the non-working ones.
  • I’d classify everyone there as sober and insane, or way too fucked up on drugs or alcohol.
  • The mosh pit formed literally right next to us. We were the first layer of defense for the girls on the rail. Not ideal.
  • We didn’t mosh until we were hammered, then Wacker and I took the shirts off and the moshing begun.
  • We befriended a massive guy in the mosh who picked Wacker and I up at the same time at one point.
  • Brett filmed the entire concert.
  • We almost got in a fight with a guy because I spilled a beer on his back.
  • I spent $30 on two 24 oz 9% beers.
  • The guy next to Brett in the stall was puking.
  • A little kid ran into the mosh pit and almost got killed.
  • Brett complained that he wasn’t drunk enough, yet he had only had two sips of his massive beer.
  • That same little kid ended up getting picked up and was TM for about 5 minutes.
  • Every girl was either a 10 or a 1. Either smokin’ hot or complete degenerates.
  • A long-haired badass was the absolute man of the mosh, we made friends with him too.
  • I knew the words to one song (Afterlife) and none of the others.
  • We asked a guy on a motorcycle for a ride back after the concert, he said no.
  • We got in a cab and asked how much it was to get across the bridge. He said $30, and we said stop the cab, we’re getting out.
  • I almost missed the bus home because I insisted we could find a good cab.