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I'm doing my new years post a few days early this year. I have a post coming out on the first and I want to give this one a few days at the top.
So first, let's get to last year's goals.
#1... Failed completely. I gained a lot of insight, though. A few things here...
I finally arrived at the Manchester, New Hampshire airport around nine at night. We fly in there because it takes less time to get to my grandparents house in a Boston suburb from Manchester than it does from the Boston airport. Traffic and all that.
We were supposed to get there at five, but there was so much snow in Manchester that we had to divert to Boston, wait for the snow to pass, and then return to Manchester.
I actually like the delay, though. I love everything about traveling, including being stuck on a plane doing nothing. There's something very pleasant about being totally isolated from the rest of the world.
I'd driven by dozens of times and never noticed it. Tucked away from the main parking lot, vines had begun to cover the corners of the building. Pieces of sheet metal were hanging from what once might have been a modern looking building.
A Wheel of Fortune aficionado may have been able to make sense of the remaining letters on the marquee. It probably said "Home Alone", "Kindergarten Cop", and "House Party" or some other movies from 1990.
That's when the movie theater was shut down. It was built on the edge of a hill, and half of it was now a few inches down that hill. The building had cracked apart and been condemned.
I have two weeks left in Austin and ten days in Boston. When we first decided to go on the trip six months ago it seemed like it would take forever. Now every day seems to fly by before I can make any progress on my list of stuff-I-must-do-before-I-go.
Of course, the one thing I've had no problem doing is buying the gear necessary to leave. I'll post a complete list of every single thing I'm bringing with me... some of which will probably surprise people.
We still haven't found anywhere to live in Panama yet. I send e-mails to people on Craigslist in Panama, but nothing good has surfaced yet.
So... we ate Miracle Berries.
I know that sounds like I'm either a druggie or a hippie, but I swear I'm not.
Miracle Berries are this crazy fruit from West Africa. They're bright red, have a large pit in them, and taste a bit like a weak grape. So why eat them? Because they have a protein in them called miraculin (seriously) that binds to the sour receptors on your tongue and makes sour things taste sweet for half an hour.
Last year on Thanksgiving I made a big list of everyone I knew and thanked them each for something. I was going to do this again, but almost all of them would be the same as last year.
Instead I'm going to talk about my parents a little bit, since they've surely had a bigger influence on me than anyone else.
A lot of the good habits I have today, which essentially define who I am, come directly from my parents. They managed to steer me away from TV, drugs, and alcohol in such a way that I never considered rebelling by indulging in these things.
What? Two posts that aren't over a week apart?! Believe it...
A lot of exciting stuff going on over here.
First - I have seroiusly neglected my friends and my desire to have fun for the past few months because I've been working on an awesome project (Sorry guys, I love you and miss hanging out). I haven't been this excited about working on something until I wrote my book (yeah... the marketing part of the book isn't so fun).
Ok, not really. BUT... there's a big article about me in the Austin newspaper, the Austin American Statesman. I'm on the front of the XLent section, which is the weekend entertainment section. If you're not in Austin, you can read it here : XLent.
I did the interview last May but it kept getting pushed back. Finally I got a call from the art director from the Statesman asking when I could do a photo shoot. That was a couple weeks ago and today, Thursday, the article comes out.
If you FOUND my site because of the article, here are some of my best posts for you to read :
Today I donated money to a politician for the first time in my life. It was only $100, but I expect that I will donate the maximum $2300 soon. Who was the lucky recipient of my somewhat-hard-earned-cash?
Ron Paul, of course.
Ron Paul is amazing. Unlike every other modern politician I've ever heard of, he is principled in a way that reminds me of the founding fathers. He has his positions and he sticks to them no matter WHAT. He is probably the ONLY person in Congress who has always voted consistently every time.
I told this story the other day and then immediately thought, "Man... that's a good one for the blog."
As I wrote about in my converted school bus story, my friends and I used to have a school bus. We went on a lot of fantastic trips in it, but those stories will have to be for another day.
Our very last trip took us to Las Vegas. It wasn't meant to be our last trip, of course. It was just a short little jaunt to Vegas. Of the six passengers on the bus, half were part owners of the bus and half were just friends.