y o u ' r e g o i n g
letting go.
i originally watched a map for saturday about a year and a half ago. my roommate ordered it on amazon and we were both amazed by the story. in a nutshell, a high brow television producer living in manhattan gives up everything... his job, his posh lifestyle, his apartment to travel the world for a year. risk and reward... it's a gentle balance, but without risk one would be stuck living the routine, day in and day out. 

it begs the question: what's better, a secure job with all the perks and benefits, paired with the 50 hour work week, and a cushy lifestyle OR a journeyman that finds enjoyment in the people they meet on the road, hostel hopping, and living life like everyday is the weekend? 

to me... the answer is unequivocally the latter.
i and many of my roommates would bust my ass for years to give myself the freedom to explore and enjoy the travel life as a backpacker, not in the 5 star hotels with catered meals. it's just the type of people that we are.  

i've seen a map for saturday probably 10 times. each additional time, i usually share the film with a friend or companion. inevitably, my friends look at me after 15 minutes and say, "no way!  he did this?" i grin and usually say, "wait, it gets better." 

with each viewing, my passion to travel is revved. i can't fully grasp the emotions of the daily traveller, but i understand the concept. i had previously never been anywhere and when i travelled the west coast last fall, my eyes were opened. i realized my place in society. i realized that my actions have the potential to affect the people around me, whether i knew these people or not. i realized that, in seeing the world, you see more than just landmarks, buildings, or people... you see something much greater and much more challenging to define. 

my passion to travel is immense and it continues after i've travelled more places during the past 365 days than i have in the entirety of my life leading up to this day in 2009. my roommate has planted a seed to explore haiti, a friend i met abroad has invited me to visit germany, another has asked for us to visit her as she teaches in south korea, and a camp alum has opened her home in wyoming to us.  

so, as i make this movie recommendation to you, i invite you on my journey. join me as a travel companion or as a host for my exploration. i live with a bunch of guys and we're moving into a new apartment come june and it is our hope to have a huge map of the world on our wall. color coded thumbtacks will track our travels and will also indicate our friends that are interested in hosting us during our travels. let me know if you're game to host a band of my favorite ruffians and us your city.  
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"people say, 'oh, you're so lucky.'
it's not lucky, it's about attitude."
rhiamnon: 27, wales

when the time is right, will you be ready to let go?

the edge. 05/06/2010
p u s h t h e l i m i t s .
man can fly.
this video, this short little clip from a documentary that you have to see, invokes an immense amount of emotion from me. people that live on the edge are incredibly inspiring. they are the people that push the limits, take chances, and put their lives on the line... i hope that one day i can step out on a ledge and fly.  

the film is called seven sunny days and is on my list of queue of films to watch.

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what sort of extremes are you willing to pursue?  

surfwise. 04/26/2010
r e j e c t n o r m a l
recently, i discovered that i truly value family time.

this was not always the case...
the majority of my adolescence and high school experience was spent within the family homes of my friends. this was a time in my life when my family suffered through the hardships of separation and divorce, so i sought refuge in my friends and their families.

8 years later, i'm still dealing with the ripple of my parents' messy divorce. my father has distanced himself from his siblings and his oldest three children, which has been challenging over the years; however, my relationship with my mother has drastically improved. 

my mother loves family time. i realize this more, now than ever. 

it was a week before easter sunday when i began comtemplating making a trip home for a holiday visit. i made a couple of phone calls and found out that my sister, allyssa was spending the weekend with her boyfriend, my sister, taylor was at her mom's house, the younger three children were spending easter with my dad, and my brother, jesse was likely going to be the lone child for the weekend. i thought about trying to set up a carpool, then i decided just to stick around la crosse for the weekend.

i had coffee with my camp friend, cassie on the friday before easter and she offered me a saturday - sunday ride to madison. i took advantage of the offer and made the spontaneous trip home for easter.

i walked into the house and found only ryan, my mom's fiance, sitting in the living room. he and i chatted for a bit as the 5 children (except for taylor) and my mom entered the house with armfuls of groceries. to my surprise, the entire family was home. allyssa opted to spend the holiday in madison and the younger children were at my mom's for another hour before leaving to spend easter with my dad. 

once the kiddies departed, the 21 and over crowd and grabbed dinner and drinks at the great dane pub, in fitchburg. it was a fun meal with outstanding and memorable conversation. the time i spent at home was wonderful and it was sad to leave. 

i arrived back in la crosse and received a phone call from ryan on monday. he basically thanked me for making the secret easter trip home and revealed something very special about my mom. he told me that there is nothing more fulfilling to my mother than having all of her children under one roof. i held back tears as i realized that my mother lives for her children and that family time is more important to her than anything else. 

surfwise is unbelievable.
it's the most unique family upbringing that i've ever seen... i don't want to spoil it for you, so please check it out on netflix instant queue.

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this is the final quotation from the movie surfwise... 
what are your thoughts on doc's perspective?

It is easier to die when you have lived than it is to die when you haven't. so, i say to all young people, 'go make memories, beautiful memories, and when time comes for you to go, you will not go alone.' 
- dorian "doc" paskowitz

lemonade. 04/23/2010
m a k e l e m o n a d e
when life gives you lemons...
your work, your income, your stability is unexpectedly pulled out from under you. 

what now?

your day-to-day life is drastically changed and your "free." free to initiate self exploration and free to do whatever you want. this short documentary looks into the lives of the people who took advantage of the liberation from the "normal" 9 to 5. 

their pursuits are their passions and they love their new path. 

here's a link to watch it online:

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how would your life change if you woke up tomorrow and you had nothing but a blank page?

dancing guy. 04/21/2010
a l i t t l e b i t s o f t e r n o w . . .
the things that inspire.
i was sitting in my office doing some random camp work on the computer when a new e-mail appeared in my inbox. 

the subject line read, "be the dancing guy."

i opened it up and clicked on the attached youtube link and waited. as the video was loading, i realized that this message was sent from nancy, one of our office managers at camp. she and her office manager counterpart have worked for camp before i started in 2003, and will likely be there after i leave. so, it's fair to say that they're rooted in our camp's history. 

on a number of occasions i've received inspirational websites, links, and videos from nancy. in the heat of the summer, she always finds ways to brighten our days and the original "dancing guy" video did just that (fyi - the original was the video's raw footage, without the voice over). 

this youtube video hit the internet after the 2009 sasquatch music festival, in washington. i remember sitting and analyzing the 3 minute clip over and over. i guess i was surprised that it was actually captured on film, because 99 out of 100 times, this experience doesn't get documented... but, to my enjoyment, this sequence was captured from the beginning to the end. it incorporates everything from group dynamics, leadership, followers, support, trust, passion, to love.

it made me rethink the importance of leaders, ideas, and followers.
without an idea, nothing will happen.  
without leaders, nothing will happen.
most importantly, without followers/supporters ideas will never become reality.

i recently came across a remix to the original "dancing guy" video that i viewed last summer (i've posted it below). derek sivers, author and inventor, spent time dissecting the video and he turns the raw footage into a lesson on leadership. 

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take a moment to experience the power of one, some, and then many more...
has your passion ever started a movement?

spontaneity. 04/16/2010
leaving a mark.
I was first introduced to banksy, the internationally renowned british street artist, back in september. his work is powerful and is produced for the masses to see. he takes the things we see everyday and modifies the norm into something spectacular. 

I recommend visiting his website and exploring banksy's works (http://www.banksy.co.uk/).

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how are you leaving your mark?

b o o k s t o l i b r a r y .
words to sentences.
sentences to stories.
i recently read a blog entry by acclaimed author, seth godin about books.

he writes:
if you read a book that tries to change you for the better and it fails or doesn't resonate, then it's a self-help book.

if you read a book that actually succeeds in changing you for the better, then the label changes from self-help book to great book.

i'm not an avid reader... i spend more time watching documentaries and listening to music. although, i value a good book recommendation from a friend.

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so, what are you book recos?

h a l f b a k e d .
i like killing flies.
i saw this film about a year ago and it ranks as one of my favorite documentaries. produced in 2004, it received a nod at sundance and was screened in select cities. the cinematography isn't great, but the content is unbelievable. i like killing flies is more than a camera following a restaurant owner... it's a story about about a man, his family, his passion for cooking, and his half-baked philosophy on everything.  

don't bother searching for a trailer or trying to read a review, neither will be able to due it justice. you just have to take my word for it. 

it's available now on netflix instant queue.

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if you had a restaurant... what would you name it?

this day. 03/30/2010
t r u t h
jimmy v.
jimmy valvano, ncaa basketball championship coach, was awarded the arthur ashe humanitarian and courage award at the inaugural 1993 espy awards. jimmy v was diagnosed with bone cancer and presented an inspiring speech while accepting the award. he passed eight weeks after the espy's, however the jimmy v foundation lives on and continues to search for a cure for cancer.

below is an excerpt of his espy speech.   

"to me, there are three things we all should do every day. we should do this every day of our lives. 
number one is laugh. you should laugh every day. 
number two is think. you should spend some time in thought. 
number three, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. 
but think about it. if you laugh, think, and you cry, that's a full day. 
that's a heck of a day.
you do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
-jimmy v

1983 ncaa championship game - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l5N2eKdvL4
1993 espy full speech - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuoVM9nm42E

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how will you make the most of this day?
other.Notes 03/29/2010
don't mind if i do. 

this may be a hit or a flop. either way, i hope to eventually use this portion of the blog to get get feedback from the readers. this will undoubtedly be a huge task to take on, but i think it's an attainable goal.  

1) readers
2) readers interested in sharing their perspective
3) worthwhile/thought provoking content that may spark a response
4) time

i'll keep this portion of the blog on the back burner until i feel like the time is right... but be ready to share your thoughts and perspective.