Week 19 – Mt. Hood

#129 Crime Thrillers

08 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

We have a TON of Black Butte Porter leftover after last weekend’s carload. Not that that’s a problem or anything. I really needed this weekend to be a restful one, and that’s exactly what I got. An evening of kicking back to Southeast Asian crime thrillers.

I’m not saying that in another life I would be a Metro Manila gang boss, or anything like that, but have you ever wondered how many random circumstances in yours or your family’s history would need to be changed in order for you to be living a totally different sort of existence? There’s the six-degrees-to-Kevin-Bacon game that reveals how close we are to knowing any given person. I wonder if there’s some sort of game to play that gives us any idea of how close we actually are to being totally different people.

When my family started to leave the Philippines in batches decades ago, the USA was the obvious destination. But if we were all born fifty years later, would that have sent me to Saudi Arabia or Dubai? What if that move never even happened? What if my mom decided to stay in Philadelphia instead of moving to California? What if she went back to Illinois?. I really like the life I have right now, though, so I’m fine with not knowing those answers. I’m content to have these crime thrillers to be the extent of my experience in Southeast Asian cartels.

#130 A Birthday Package

09 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I couldn’t check my mail over the weekend because our apartment office was closed, so I finally got to open my birthday package from my in-laws tonight. Loved it! Especially the socks Deanna’s mom knit me. I think Beignet was jealous.

If I could talk to myself a year ago, I’d let me know that there’s a lot to look forward to over the next 365 days. Don’t rush through them too fast. Most of them are good days. Being married is amazing, and even better than I expected.

Every year around my birthday, I write a blog post listing some of the biggest things I learned over the past year. I’ve done this for five years straight now, and I’ve loved keeping track of the biggest ideas that seem to follow me around for an extended moment in my life. Things like never taking normal for granted. Appreciating the passing of time. Asking yourself how you can help people. 25 has probably taught me more than any other age so far.

#131 Solo Movie Outing

10 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

One of the odd jobs I worked for a really short while was at a movie theatre. I loved the old retired guys who would come in for Tuesday morning matinees, treating themselves to a flick and no self consciousness.

I tried to celebrate getting older last week by doing the same thing, and treating myself to go see Civil War. Plus, I don’t have any superhero lovin’ friends in town to my knowledge, so it was either go alone or wait for the DVD and try to avoid spoilers for months.

I went in totally ready to be on Team Cap. I thought he was kind of a wild card in that movie though, so you are all welcome to join me over on Team T’Challa. Wakanda forever.

#132 Easy Evening

11 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Never take “normal” for granted. You never know when an accident or illness can land someone in the hospital, when you could lose a car or a house or an appendage, when you could suddenly suffer a financial crisis. Heck, sometimes it just takes a really stuffy nose to make you truly miss the times when your nose wasn’t stuffy that you took for granted.

I’m hoping to be a better connoisseur of normal. It clashes with my more adventurous sides, but I’ve learned that these simple, seemingly boring days are also brilliant samples of a life that merits some appreciation. In any given moment that can be overlooked, there are a billion things to not be taken for granted.

#133 Cilantro Pistachio Carrot Top Puree

12 May 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I came across the idea for a pistachio cilantro carrot top puree and had to try it out.

The flavors of these three things are quite distinct, and each is a quirky ingredient in its own right. Cilantro is the mystery herb, intolerable to a random group of people who lost a certain genetic lottery. Pistachios are also in their own little world as the nut that looks constantly underripe. Then there’s carrot top, which is an edible thing, but barely.

I ended up using the puree on a dish of roast carrots, potatoes, and ham steak and it added a lot of lightness to an otherwise heavy meal.

#134 Ben’s First Burgerville

13 May 2016 // Albany, Oregon

Good friends paying you a visit in Oregon and going on hikes and adventures makes for a good weekend.

Good friends don’t mind having to sit through a random presentation you have to give right after picking them up from the airport.

I like to thank my good friends by introducing them to Burgerville.

#135 Mt. Hood

14 May 2016 // Mt. Hood, Oregon

Something about mountains. I have bucket list level hopes to do one of the big ones someday, Kilimanjaro, Fuji, etc. Of course I don’t have the funds or physique for that just yet.

Since the half marathon wasn’t too long ago, I decided to not wait too long and try and climb Mt. Hood while still in decent shape. Plus May is supposed to be the best time.

Didn’t summit, but made it far enough to feel good given my lack of much mountaineering experience.