Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 89: Start A Fire! (From Scratch)

     Yup, I made fire, but not just any fire. I made fire without using matches or a lighter. I didn't do that two-stick-rubbing-thing either. I used this thing called a magnesium fire starter that is sold at most any out-doorsy kind of store. Its this chunk of metal thats about the size and shape of a lighter. Its silver except for one side, where it is black. Mouse had read the instructions before I threw the packaging away, so he reminded me that I was supposed to chop off little a bunch of  the silver pieces and then use a knife to strike down on the black side. I guess that the silver side was the flammable stuff, and the black side was the thing that created the spark. Flammable things + sparks = hot fiery things, simple. Needless to say, it was not simple at all. We tried starting a small fire in a couple places but the wind proved to be a pain in the butt. We took shelter under a gazebo at in a park but a cop car came and scared us off (I guess we did look a little sketchy, starting fires and all). We found our way to my house were I came up with the idea of shaving the silver scraps into the pouch of a paper hat. The hat acted like a pocket, holding the extremely flammable powder. Then I stoked the spark spitting side of the starter, hoping for some flames. We were both losing hope, but then I gave one last wack at the spark. One giant spark flew towards the bottom of the paper pouch, instantly igniting the entire hat. We both screamed in excitement (and because we were holding a fireball in the middle of the kitchen of my house. We ran the hat to the fire pit in my back yard and carefully placed it in. It took some tending to, but eventually, we had ourselves a roaring fire. I was ecstatic about the whole thing, and to celebrate, I decided to roast some salami over our fire. Mouse (being a vegetarian) roasted a slice of cheddar cheese. Eventually, I busted out a can of raviolis and started to warm them up one by one. It was a good time, it was a real good time indeed.

Day 88: Make A Stove

Detailed illustration 
     There's two ways you as a reader may take this. You might either think this is the coolest challenge ever, or the lamest one yet. For me, I think it was awesome. Basically, I finally did something that I've joked about doing at work since the beginning of my employment there, cook my dinner on the waffle cone griddle. The griddle is what cooks the waffle cone batter to crisp, sugary perfection. I used two cups stacked on top of each other with a bit of water in between them to get some heat going. Then I plopped the soup into the top cup and stirred as the waffle cone maker heated up the water, which in turn would heat up the soup. The cups were paper and so I was hesitant of having them on the griddle, but the laminate on the bottom of them kept them from melting at all. That's impressive considering how freaking hot that griddle gets. My co-worker was making cones one day when someone asked her something and distracted her. Apparently she had rested her forearm on the top of the griddle and didn't notice till the person she was talking to (with wide eyes and a slacked jaw), quickly informed her of her burning flesh. That's when I assume the pain became quite noticeable and the skin began to blister. Hot stuff. Her skin was no match for these paper cups, they didn't have the hint of melting. I helped customers and stirred my loaded baked potato soup simultaneously. The soup was done cooking and I enjoyed my warm meal in the back room. I am thoroughly pumped on how this particular challenge went.

Day 87: Write A Song

     Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Its not that I hadn't had time or anything. Its just that my computer is freaking out and wont let me upload anything. That's why I am typing this from an old Dell netbook. So I downloaded this garageband ripoff thing and wanted to make my own song. I don't have much experience in music playing (Day 62: Ukulele is pretty much it) so my song didn't turn out that great. Instead of me going on some tangent about the song, I'll just let you listen. Here you go:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 86: Learn How To Roll A Cigarette

     I don't smoke. I just want to start this entry by stating that and getting it out of the way. I've never gotten the appeal of smoking. So many of my friends have, but I've gone happily sucking oxygen by my lonesome. I was with Mouse, back at Mac's apartment, admiring his new tattoo. Again, it was late. And again, I had yet to complete my project. I still had homework and I really should have been at home doing it but I had to get my new thing in. I thought to myself "What better way to end spring break then with a really terrible decision!?". Thus, the roll-your-own-cigarette-idea-was-born. We headed out to acquire the necessary supplies to get this challenge done. Because neither I nor Mouse or Mac smoke, we had to pick up all the supplies. I learned a couple things about smoking that night. Most of all I learned that I know absolutely nothing about smoking. We walked into a Walgreens and I asked the lady at checkout if I could buy "those sheet thingys that you use to smoke out of". She gave me a puzzled look and asked "Papers?". "Yes!" I said excitedly. She informed me that they don't sell those, but I could probably find them at a 7-eleven. So we rushed over there and I told the large tattooed man behind the counter what the Walgreens lady told me. He grabbed me a pack of papers. I asked him what I need to buy to put in the papers so I could roll a cigarette. He said that they only have chewing tobacco and that I shouldn't use that. I'm still not sure why I shouldn't use it (I mean, other than tobacco being totally nasty and terrible for you), but I chose not to try it. The tattooed attendant told me that Walmart has what I'm looking for. He said to go there and ask for some "Blue Boy". So, off we went again. We arrived at the superstore and walked straight to the tobacco sales station. The lady and I said hi, and I asked "BLUE BOY?". It was clear that she had no idea what I was talking about because she replied "Sorry, he just left with pink girl". After some back story explanation, she said that she had never heard of Blue Boy. She directed me to a blue package of smoking tobacco that said Bugler on it. We got it and got the hell out of there. Back at Mac's house, we failed time and time again at rolling the papers. The project kind of sucked, and it only got worse once we successfully rolled a couple cigarettes. Together we made like 7 stoogies and took them onto the back porch to try them out. They were terrible, they sucked so bad and I smelled afterwards. To recap, I drove to 4 convience stores, to spend too much money on something that isn't good for me, is super hard to roll, makes me smell terribly, and forces me to put off doing my homework even more then I already had. Yeah, that sucked.

Day 85: Give Somebody A Tattoo

     So yeah. I was over at Mac's apartment the other day, and we were trying to figure out what new thing I could do (that happens a lot). It was already like 11 pm so nothing was open and I was getting desperate. I looked over and saw his tattoo kit (the one that he had tatted me with about a week before), and said that he should let me give him a tattoo. And with absolutely no hesitation, he agreed. I liked how gung-ho he was about the idea, but his willingness gave me the impression that he thought that I was confident also. I defiantly was not confident in my ability to permanently modify my friends skin. We decided to ink a little star on his big toe so that on the ample chance that I did screw up, it would be easy to cover up (use a sock). He gave me the run down and walked me through how to tat. My lesson was about 30 seconds long and he said was "Don't spill the ink and don't fuck up" . His kind words guided me as I carefully traced the star. I tried to use even strokes and I made sure to wipe the end of the needle after I dipped it in the ink. I can say with confidence that I kept up my end of the "Don't spill the ink" promise, but I can't say the same about the "Don't fuck up" part. I had just dipped the needle in the ink as was about to press the needle to his skin when I took a second to think about my approach. The squirming expression on Mac's face let me know that the needle was rapid-firing into the same point in his toe. I quickly pulled the gun away and saw the dark spot I had left on one of the points of the star. So besides that little hiccup, the tattoo was finished, and it didn't look too bad. He took the gun and finished coloring in the star and it was complete. My first victim. I bet if I asked him again, he'd probably hesitate for a second or two.
Before I started tatting, I forgot to take the after pic

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 84: Register To Vote

     Yup. I registered to vote today. Pretty boring, pretty boring indeed. It may not be as exciting as some of the other challenges, but everyone thats older than me swears that voting is super important and whatnot. I'm not saying whether or not I believe that, just that its boring. So I printed out this application form online from this site , I filled out the paper and mailed it in. It was that simple and now I can be one of those obnoxious freaks that gets in your face about politics. I still haven't voted, but I haven't come across an election to do so. What ev's. 

Day 83: Make Cakes

They sure are adorable

Stockin' up

     It would appear that I have been discreetly promoted to cake maker at Baskin Robbins. I have worked there for a total of about 2 years and 3 months, and I have never, ever, ever, ever, made a cake. I've happily gone those years without ever dealing with the cake end of the business, well till today. I opened the store and was expecting an easy day ahead of me. It was cloudy and windy, and nobody wants ice cream at noon, I thought. I went through the opening routine (its a lot like closing, only in reverse). After I had everything up and running, I checked out the notebook where my boss jots down all the crap I need to do. This is when I found out about the promotion; the page was filled with chores and tasks for me to do. I was asked (cough*demanded* ahem) to make clown cones, stock up on waffle cones and to build 12 ice cream cakes of various sizes and flavors. I was expected to get all this crap done when I would usually just fart around, this is sounding more like a demotion to me. I mean its not like I'm getting any extra pay or even a cool new name tag or anything, just more responsibilities. Whatever, enough of that talk. So I got to work with the clown cones and knocked them out in no time. It was the cakes that I was worried about. I had seen people make them before. Becky, my boss's mom, was a friendly old woman who used to play the role of "cake maker" the first time I worked there. She was really sweet and made some damn good looking cakes. She retired and is off doing grandma things, which means it was up to me to make these cakes. I found the BR dessert book and looked up the instructions for each cake. Long and super-duper boring story short: it took a long time to complete, and some of the cakes did not look up to par (one or two of them turned out way too small), but I did it. I made the cakes, which is a first in my book. I ended the day off with a couple of games at the ol bowling alley. My inability to get a strike throughout the first game earned me the nickname Nine Pin Kyle. I found that I'm really good at getting exactly nine pins every time, but I suck at getting strikes. I'd like to think of the games as practice for a potential bowling team I may or may not have my hand in. Who knows?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 82: Try Sweet Potato Chips

     Sweet potatoes. I've had them once before, back when I was a sophomore in high school. We made sweet potato French fries in my cooking class with my teacher, Mrs. Rice (fem-nazi). She was a stern woman that had a bitter aftertaste with boys. I don't know why exactly, she just did. We deep fried the fries and salted them. I didn't like how ours turned out so I distracted myself with doodles. Mrs. Rice caught me yelled at me for not eating the food. Long (uninteresting) story short, I didn't like the fries and Mrs. Rice made me eat way too many of them. I ended up puking my brains that night at work. I got someone to cover the rest of my shift and as I drove home I began to feel queezy again. I was stopped in the far left lane of an intersection, waiting for my turn to go when the sweat potatoes started to make their appearance. I struggled as I tried to contain the vomit at that red light. I considered barfing out of the window, hopefully being able to aim around any cars. Just when I thought I was going to spew all over my dashboard, the light turned green and I gunned it into the neighborhood. I pulled over onto a street where a bunch of kids were playing street hockey. I opened the door and threw up onto the asphalt. The kids were a bit freaked out and starred as I barfed on their court again. After that, I went home and had one of the most painful-sleep deprived nights of my life. It was terrible and I vowed to never eat a sweet potato again. I broke that vow today when my mom bought a bag of sweet potato chips "just for me". She knew about the story and either wanted to help me concur my fear, or watch me barf all over the place. For whatever reason she got the bag, and she made me try some. I was honestly scared to try it, but I did. The good news is, I have yet to puke. The chip actually didn't really taste that much like a sweet potato, so that helped. So I broke my vow, and had my fist ever sweet potato chip, great success!

Day 81: Have Business Cards Made

     Its official, I'm expanding my empire. I decided to help me get my name out there by getting a hold of some business cards. I used this site called to design them. The cards were advertised for the affordable price of free, but the laminating costs and the shipping and handling charges brought my tab up to 15 bucks. Its still pretty reasonable for professional looking cards. I choose the "slow" shipping option to save money, so I should be expecting to get the cards within the next 21 days. Time is money, but money cant buy time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 80: Video Camera

     You guys might think that this is another lame challenge, but its totally not. When I started this project, I wrote down as many "new thing" ideas I could think of in this little notebook of mine. One of those challenges, was to buy my own video camera. I had a camera that was my friends. I got it a couple years ago, but it was the biggest piece of garbage. It would eat the tapes of film and the lens was literally fixed to the camera with shoe goo. Needless to say, I treated it like poop and I didn't use it. Since then, I have been saving up my moneys in hopes of someday buying my own camera. I want to make skate videos and random shorts and really anything. I went to the Ultimate Electronics store which happens to be having a huge sale because they are going out of business. I browsed their selection and found the one I wanted. It was a JVC everio for a little more than $600. With the on-sale-discount it came to about $385. Now thats a deal! After some serious thought about the purchase, I decided to get it. I tracked down a really unenthusiastic saleslady (I assume its because they all know that they will be getting shit-canned in a matter of days) and asked her to ring me up. She took the camera up to the register and told me my total. "358 dollars" she said. I was confused about why the price was even lower than what the discount advertised, but I wasn't about to ask any questions. So I walked out of there with a camera that cost me around 40% less then the original price. Score! I filmed a couple of tricks at the skatepark later that day but I'm still in the process of editing the footage. In the meantime, feel free to watch some of these super old videos of mine, or checkout my youtube account:

Day 79: Learn How To Wheelie


     I went on a bike ride with my little brother (Sean) after spending a good chunk of the day skating around. We biked to my work so I could pick up my check and we enjoyed a complementary scoop of ice cream. Sean got the icing on the cake flavor and I went with an old favorite, Jamoca Oreo. We biked around for a while behind the strip mall where I work. I've always wanted to be able to wheelie on a bike but have never came close. So, thats what I spent the next 30 minutes trying. I determined the rules beforehand; I would try to wheelie for two parking spaces, only my back tire could be in contact with the ground and my front tire had to be airborne before the first parking space and I had to keep it off the ground till after the last parking space line. I decided to use the bike that Sean was on cause it was way smaller and would be easier to lift off the ground. I tried to balance through the parking lot long enough to break a sweat. Its surprisingly hard to get past the first parking space, and it takes a considerable amount of strength and balance to keep that wheelie going strong. Eventually I got it. I just barely got past that last yellow line and it sure wasn't pretty, but I got it. My foot flung off the pedal but never touched the ground, so I count it. Yeah I know, this is another lame challenge. All I can say is that it was too beautiful of a day to be stressing over this project.
Just hangin around

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 78: Get A Basement Tattoo

A skateboarding gnarwhal 
      Anybody remember day 7( I do. I remember I was one week deep into the project and I wanted to commemorate my 7-day-streak with a good ol' stick n' poke tattoo. Since then, I've done a whole heap load of new things. I've done anything from donate blood to make guacamole. And so, I guess I thought it was time to revisit the stick n' poke challenge, but in a new way. Thats right, I let my friend Mac (who is in no way a professional tattoo artist) ink me. He had bought a tattoo starter kit off amazon a couple days earlier and has been messing with it since. Being the trustworthy friend that I am, I let him tattoo a little skateboard along the outside edge of  my right foot. He's a talented artist and has an eye for detail, so I trusted him. Before me, he had done only one other tattoo, and that was on himself. He embedded the image of something called a "gnarwhal" on his thigh a few days before. To get the idea of what a gnarwhal looks like, just imagine an bloated aquatic unicorn-cow hybrid. I don't really get the fascination with these sea cow things but, to each his own. His tat looked good and so it was my turn to go under the needle.

Mindless Rant, Reading is Optional

 I came up with the idea of having the board on my foot so I could always be able to think of my self as being on my skateboard, regardless of how corny that sounds. I like it. I like to be able to think of myself skating, even when I'm not. Skateboarding is probably the one aspect in my life that I consider to be truly mine. Its my thing, no matter how mainstream it gets. I'm free to go where I want and try what I want. Theres no rules, there is no right way in skating. Its one of those things where I've tried countless times to express how I feel about skating to people that don't skate, and they just don't get it. And I understand, really I do. Why should someone believe me when I tell them that some of the best days of my life were simply days where I wondered around town by myself on my board? Why should they take notice of kids like me jumping down stairs and risking major testicular injury when skating a rail? That OK, I don't expect you to get it. I try to explain to people that skateboarding changes you, it gives you a new way to look at things. I think it keeps you a kid. The world is a playground, but adults, for one reason or another, choose to forget that. Skating has given me the ability to see opportunities in things that others don't even register. When I get kicked out of spots or ticketed for skating, the authority figure usually says something along the lines of, "Why?". As if they are offended that someone like me would waste so much time and energy to throw my life away for doing a couple kickflips. They ask why cause they're confused, they don't get it. Thats the beautiful thing about skating, theres nothing to get. Its all yours, you decide everything. And to answer the authority figures question, "Why not?". I feel that skateboarding is as much of an art form (if not more than) as painting or sculpture. I'll rant about this to anyone who will listen, and I get shit for it every time I do. Simply put, skateboarding is an art because: You do whatever the hell you want. If you feel like skating in the middle of a cornfield in the middle of Kansas, you can. If you feel like you want to ollie off the top of the grand canyon (its been done), you can. If you feel like you want to skate without wheels, you can. All I'm trying to say is, skateboarding is as free and unrestrained as any other art form, and I'll argue that point till I'm blue in the face.

OK, back to the story
I'm on my skateboard!

     I'll make this quick cause I doubt any of you are actually reading all of this rambling. So I got the tat on the foot and it wasn't the greatest feeling in the world. Unfortunately, the tat ended up kind of on the bottom of my foot so its not very visible and it will probably wear off in like six months, but I like it anyways. Ummm, any more random blurbs I could throw into this extremely long blog? I guess the fact that gnarwhals look like bloated sea uni-cows and that skateboarding is the funnest thing I have ever done would have summed it up.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 77: Learn How To Change A Tire

     Remember that thing I said about me knowing just about nothing when it comes to cars? Well, that kind of translates into bicycles. I guess I'm just mechanically inclined. And that sucks because (unlike cars) I really enjoy ridding my bike. I wish I was one of those guys that could tinker with the moving parts without fear of demolishing my bike. I've tried to do some pretty basic renovations to a couple bikes, like painting it or changing the handlebars, putting a new chain on or messing with the sensitivity of the brakes. It seems like each time I screwed with any part of the bike, it turns straight to poop. My basement is littered with the carcases of old bike projects that never really took off. I hope that it's only a matter of time before I actually learn a thing or two about bikes because I'm around them quite a lot. So my front tire was flat the other day and I watched my friend Mac change out the tire tub in a matter of minutes. He made it look easy, like, real easy. He unscrewed the bolts that held the tire in place, plopped the tire off of the rim with the slicing of some nifty lil' tool, he placed the new tube in place and inflated it just a little before putting it back on the rim. It looked so easy in fact, that I thought that when I needed to change my back tire today, that it would be too easy of a challenge to count. My mindset was like, "OK, just switch these tires right quick and think about what new thing you could do before work". It would have been like that if I knew what I was doing.
      I went to Walmart to acquire the tube, but I couldn't remember what size my bike was. So I texted Mac and asked him. I was waiting for his reply while browsing the different sizes and shapes of tubes. After a while I suspected that he wouldn't get to reply because he was at work. Thats when I took my best guestament about what size I needed and just picked one and bought it. I wasn't very sure it would fit but I didn't think I had any other options. I was walking to the car in the parking lot when I got the reply from Mac, and of course, my shot-in-the-dark of a guess was completely wrong. Apparently I needed 700x25c. So, I walked back inside and explained to the greeter lady that I suck with bikes. She let me exchange the tube for the right one and sent me on my way. So now I had gotten the easy part out of the way. I gathered my tool box and set up camp in the garage. Basically, I tried to imitate, step-by-step, how Mac remedied the situation before. I got to the part where he used that nifty lil' tool to get the tire off when I realized that I didn't own one, which isn't nifty at all. I fumbled with it for way too long and ended up using two flat head screwdrivers to pop the tire off. Changing out the tubes wasn't hard, but getting the tire back on was about as much fun as my jazz midterm. I fumbled with it with the use of my thumbs and the screwdrivers until satisfied. Then it was time to pump that baby up. After I filled it up, I took it for a test ride and noticed a large bulge in one spot on the tire. It felt like I was ridding over a prairie dog (a pretty small one) with my back tire every other second. So it took a good 3 or 4 attempts of me deflating and re-inflating the tire to get the bulge to go away. For the most part, that was it. I rode it to work and to my friends house that night to test the integrity of my patch job. I made it there and back so I'd say it was a success. My tire changing skills are pretty bad compared to Mac's pit crew speed, but at least I got it done. Ah yea!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 76: Invest In The Stock Market

OK. Check this out. I'm going to attempt to post this blog entry by texting it through my phone. I'm sitting here, making waffle cones at work and updating my blog at the same time, isn't technology just awesome?!  And whats even more impressive is that i am not going to count cell phone blogging as my new thing, man im cool! So I'm going to apologize for all the typos and what not beforehand. I'm terrible with touch screens but ill do my best.
     So I has a meeting with this guy dick jones the other day. It was a meeting to discuss getting my dad and I into the stock market. My grandpa has been investing into stocks for a while now And has been eager to get us set up. So we talked about the market and how that whole tsunami in Japan will affect prices and stock world wide. I thought it was kind of like a potentially high risk game where you take an analysis of the world around you and plan your investment strategy accordingly. It can definitely be risky, but also rewarding. We had that meeting two days ago and today was when I officially got into the market. I out some moneys into a certain stock that I'm not sure if I should say the name of. Let's just say that I put x amount of money into x-stock. So that was my new thing for the day. A potentially life changing new thing.
     I'm getting the feeling that this post might suck. I'm trying to type an entry onto a touch screen the size of a deck of cards, people keep coming in for ice cream, waffle cones are getting burnt and my thumbs are too fat for this keyboard, oh well.
     Oh and I did a mini new thing earlier today.  I revised my resume with the help of my mom, and let me tell you. It looks goooood. I might post it on here once I'm off work. But that's about it. My thumbs are actually getting sore so I'm going to call it quits. Later!

Day 75: NCAA Bracket

     If you looked at my super bowl challenge, 'sports betting', you would know that I don't know much about anything when it comes to sports or gambling. I decided to not learn from my mistakes by filling out a bracket for the NCAA final four tournament. I doubt that I have ever sat through an entire college basketball game and I have no knowledge about what teams are good and what teams are duds. I bet my friend one dollar that I would come closer than he would to getting my bracket right. I picked Nortre Dame to win it cause I dig the funky name. To make things interesting, we filled out another bracket by flipping a coin. We did this cause I think its safe to say that I am not going to get many right and I'll probably end up paying that dollar to Joey. But if I can do better than the "chance bracket", then I can say that I have some skills in the betting game (which I defiantly do not). So the best case scenario is that I beat bot Joey's bracket and the chance bracket, but we'll have to see about that.

Day 74: Try Lobster

a little too close
     I've just been going buck wild with these food challenges lately haven't I? I basically never ever eat any sea food (day 6 was my first taste of sushi), so I guess theres 'plenty of fish in the sea' when it comes to new culinary experiences (pun). So yeah, my dad cooked lobster tails and ribeyes for dinner, which is awesome. I'm certainly going to miss the quality and quantity of food I get pampered with once I move out. I learned how to cook some basics with this challenge but nothing in the same league as lobster. So I came home later on that evening and the food was already stored in the fridge. My dad was excited to get my opinion on the meal he described as "The best meal I have ever had. That would be my death row meal.".  I began to nuke the plate of dinner in the microwave as my dad explained how to eat lobster. The lobster was done cooking and so I heated up a cup of butter and lemon juice. I began to do as my father told me and savagely tear the carcass to bits. I poured the butter all over the place and dug in. It was hard as hell to get the meat out with a fork and it totally looked just like brains but it was good. It didn't really have that fishy aftertaste that I despise, so that was good. I worked my way through the course and enjoyed myself the entire time.

Day 73: Eat A Duck

     So I was working the other night and was in the mood for some old fissioned Chinese take-out. It just so happens that Heaven Dragon (famous for serving the likes of president Bush) is in the same strip mall as my work. Kevin and I were browsing through the menu and decided to go with the duck. I was inspired to try it cause apparently thats what president Bush gets every time. Actually, he gets the peking duck, which is like 30 bucks. So we went with the economy duck, a half serving of the roasted and a half of the smoked. We got the food and chowed down as much as possible whenever we weren't serving fat people. Heaven Dragon threw in some rice and fortune cookies. I defiantly preferred one of the ducks over the other, the only problem was, I had no idea which one was which. The sauce was delicious and so was the noodles. All around good meal and at a moderately affordable price. Good stuff!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 72: Drink Coconut Milk

good stuff
manikin butts
     Early on in the project I said that watching a lacrosse game was probably the most entertainment you could buy with five bucks. I still think that its true, but I also think that the flea market is about as eventful, but for two dollars less. I went to the mile high flea market to do some serious people watching and bargain hunting. For those of you that have never experienced the greatness that is a flea market, let me explain. Its basically a chaotic shit-show littered with complete garbage. Well, thats what most people see in a flea market. I, on the other hand, see grade-A entertainment at an affordable cost. For three bucks you can spend the afternoon strolling through the isles where you are consumed in the banter of amateur salesmen. You are submersed in a sea of potential treasures (but lets be honest, most of it is crap). And the people, oh man the people, thats what makes the three dollars worth every penny. Whether it be chit chatting with some woman that was trying to slang some African Shea Butter (She said that the nut that the butter comes from can weigh more than 75 pounds and takes 400 years to grow), or the guy that was trying to sell a mounted deer head that had not been cleaned in any sort of way (It looked like someone fastened the skull of some poor road kill animal onto a piece of scrap wood with an old belt. The head was still covered in fur and its jaw was contorted at a considerably uncomfortable angle). The eyes looked like they had been replaced with moldy marbles. Or more likely, those were it's original eyes that had been decomposing in it's sockets for who knows how long. It was disgusting, but someone was probably going to buy it. So the flea market is an interesting place with an interesting atmosphere and interesting people selling interesting things.
Butter saleslady 
     I found myself in the middle of a transaction at a food market stand when I saw a girl walking and holding a coconut with a straw in it. I decided

that I
needed it. I asked the lady that I was buying the apple from if I could add a coconut to my tab and she said yes. I didn't know if me asking her if she could drill a hole in it so I could drink out of it was a stupid question, so I asked timidly. She said yes again and handed me a coconut with a fresh puncture hole. I stuck a straw in it and had no idea what to expect cause I've never had coconut milk before. My conclusion: its damn tasty. Like a tropical twist on milk. Finally, a food challenge that ends well. No stomach aches or violent diarrhea. It was just me, calmly drinking some tropi-milk (ya like that nick name?) out of a coconut. I ended up spending $5.25 total for the day and I'd say it was comparable to the lacrosse game as far as entertainment goes.
Evil road kill head

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 71: Learn How To Lay Bricks

     For some strange reason, people that know me very well seem to always make the mistake of thinking that I know absolutely anything about cars. I can't stress enough that cars and I are kind of like domesticated elephants; its just not gonna happen. I'm totally stupid when it comes to cars, and I'm alright with that. They don't interest me, but I do have to admit that they do get me places in a jiffy. But anyways, kyle+cars=poop. Today I was supposed to do an oil change on my car and that was supposed to count as my new thing, but as it turns out; my car is in such bad shape that doing an oil change is probably not even worth the effort. Its my fault too and I completely concur. I am not good with cars. I haven't gotten the necessary check ups and fluids for Earl (the car) to have a long and well traveled life. I'm sorry about that, but what can I say. Everybody's got that thing that they find completely uninteresting in every way. For most people, its things like the consistency of peanut butter and what is really in their chicken Mcnuggets. For me, its things like cars, the Jersey Shore show, the well being of Charlie Sheen, and any Nicholas Cage movie (Except the Rock, that movie was good.). I just can't care about those things no matter how much I seem to try. So I couldn't count the oil change as my new thing even though I did a fair bit of tinkering with the engine and I filled that baby up with like four quarts of oil. I went on the prowl for a better challenge to do. I saw that my mom was doing some brick laying yard work and thought that I could join in and get some project points. The plan was to level the ground out, lay some weed block down, and lay some bricks on top of that. It was simple, but boring. I helped out for a while. I hauled bricks around and pulled weeds for a lil bit but then it became apparent that yard work was another thing I could add to my ever growing list of "things I cant care about no matter how much I seem to try". Yard work is so boring, I cant take it. I tried to be a good person and help out with the backyard chores but as soon as I grabbed the shovel, I could feel time slow down and gravity start to pull at my eyelids. I found myself yawning every thirty seconds out of pure lethargicism. that sucked, and I don't want any part of it. Thats why I'm going to count my two crappy-half-assed  challenges as one decent challenge. Screw that weed pulling business.

Day 70: Pho Big-Bowl-Challenge

Add caption
nom nom nom
     For those of you that don't know what pho is, its a delicious Vietnamese soup sold in strip malls across the country. Its hot water with some veggies and noodles and the meat of your choosing. I went to get some pho with my mom and decided that it was time for me to attempt the big bowl challenge. The challenge originated from the first time I went to pho and humiliatingly couldn't even get close to finishing my bowl (the sad part was that it was a small). I went back to that pho to redeem myself and I finished a medium sized bowl in the process. Now it was time to take it to the big leagues. Basically, I needed to finish a the largest sized bowl of pho (broth and all) to prove to myself how awesome I was. I ordered the steak and flank bowl and went to town on it instantly. It was way too hot so I burnt the roof of my mouth within the first bites. The fact that I am too white to use chopsticks but also too stubborn to ask for a spoon made me even more of a slow eater. I worked my way around floating flank and broth soaked noodles to victory. I took full advantage of the variety of flavor enhancers that the restaurant provided and found that pho was tastier than I had remembered. My mom had finished most of her (small) bowl and I kept slurping along. She watched in disgust as I lifted the bowl up and tilted back towards the back of my throat. As I chugged gargantuan amounts of liquid out of a basket ball sized bowl, I couldn't help but think of day 56: gallon challenge. My stomach was getting that same "what the hell are you doing to me" sort of vibe. I had to keep going. I can't keep failing these stupid food challenges. So I manned up and chugged for a good while. Slowly but surely, I took down the last of the soup and was impressed and embarrassed about my ability to eat way too much. Needless to say, jumping was not an option for the next hour.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 69: Break The Thornton Speed Record (Bike)

     Let me start this blog off by stating that I failed this challenge. Don't go on reading and thinking that I did something cool today. I just want to soften the blow and let you all know that I tried, and I failed. But thats O.K. thats what this project is about. Its about trying, not necessarily succeeding. I wanted to break my old speed record on my bike. My record is 32 miles an hour, or so says the light up speed control sign that you see in neighborhoods. I've wanting to beat that record for a while but I have yet to do so. So, after work last night, I rode my bike to death hill (I just made that name up) with Jared. He rode his old Target issued moutain bike with rusty shocks and I took the stealthy Shwinn intersection. We took turns trying to beat the the record. My highest speed was 29 miles an hour and Jared's was 24. I was hallin' balls and breaking a sweat but I was still a solid 4 miles short of my goal. I saw a car speed through the street and the sign registered a "Slow Down" message instead of the actual speed of the car. Thats when I figured that this particular sign only went up to 29 miles before telling you that your speed is just reckless. That was a bit of a set back. Finding out that the sweat I just broke was for nothing is never fun. So I failed the challenge, but it wasn't all that bad. I got to ride my bike, and I'm getting in the riding condition for summer. And you know what summer means, a whole mess of bike ridding challenges. Can't wait.

Day 68: Use A Public Library

     I was at the library with my friend Mac so he could print out a couple tax forms and I realized that I had never actually used a public library. I mean I've been to a library and I've rented books from them, but those were always for school assignments. I have never rented a book out of shier interest in reading the book. And I find that weird considering how much time I spend reading and writing. I buy books and whatnot, but I have never rented them, so thats what I did. I browsed the mothball scented isles of the library and found the dinosaur section, bingo. Dinosaurs are so much cooler then almost anything in my book. I skimmed the section and picked out Dinosaurs: the complete guide to dinosaurs. I figure, any self respecting dino-connoisseur wouldn't be caught dead without it. So I got that, then I headed over to the outer space area, another interest of mine that is so much cooler than most other things. I picked up this book Far Out, the vivid pictures look promising for a good book. I've been glancing through them and have decided that the shamosaurus is the coolest dino ever, and orion's belt is pretty awe inspiring. The books are awesome and library is pretty swell aswell.

Day 67: Birthday at the hot springs

In route
     Sooooo, its my birthday today. Well, it was my birthday like 3 days ago but I've been too busy to update the blog, so we'e going to pretend that its still the 8th of March. So anyways, its my birthday and I'm now 20 years old. I got a pretty sweet mini fridge and some new sheets which I'm throughly siked about. I went up to Glenwood Springs with my mom  and grandparents for a day of relaxation in the hot springs. It was like a three hour drive up there but I passed the time by studying for my midterm for jazz class. We got there, paid, undressed in the locker room full of naked old people (shivers), and stepped into the giant pool. Basically, it was two massive hot tubs that reeked of sulfur. I tiptoed around the pool, dodging other pool-goers and exploring the perimeter of the springs. I kept thinking I was swimming through spots were other people peed because the temperature of water would shift a lot. That took some getting used too. It was amazing to think that this huge body of water was naturally warmed. Here we were, swimming in March. Not only that, we were swimming in the mountains, while it was snowing out. I had made the mistake of dunking my head under water and now my hair had frozen over and my ears were throbbing with pain. The frozen face thing and the sulfur smell kind of sucked, but if they fixed that, they would totally have a five star resort vibe going on. Some other events of notice: the bubble machine was awesome (this underwater chair that was coin operated to give you a soothing bubble massage), and there was this crazy lady that was arguing with herself as she swam by (I checked to see if she was on a blue-tooth cause I've been fooled before. But no, she was textbook crazy. I'm not saying that talking to yourself makes you crazy, it's when your arguing with yourself, and your losing. Then your crazy.). Other than that, not much else happened. We swam around, talked, used the bubble machine again, then got some Qdoba. The Qdoba didn't offer any bubbles or crazy people, but it was still pretty good. We drove home and I had some lasagna at home and then went to Walmart with Mouse to pick up a couple things for the new mini fridge. Great success!
Dryin off

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 66: Cook Grilled Classics

     Today, I was going to make a monte cristo sandwich for my project. I was going to, but I was really hungry and I didn't want to waste precious time measuring out ingredients and all that jazz. I wanted a sandwich and I wanted it now. Thats when I looked up simple sandwich recipes on Google. That brought me to the recipe for a classic sandwich...with a tiny twist. Grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yeah, I know right?. I have no idea why or how I have never thought of it. I have been the creator of many taste-tacular sandwiches in my day. I have experimented with everything from salsa to whip cream, but never have I grilled an old favorite. This was groundbreaking stuff. I finally had the chance to taste the meal that I have probably eaten more than any other meal in a different way. I honestly think that p.b and j. sandwiches have made up the better part (or at least a huge chunk) of my diet. The grilling aspect would finally be able to mix things up for me. So I whipped up a couple classics (p.b. and j. for you newbies) and buttered the outside slices. I got the grill going and flopped the sammies on. By following the literal recipe; I let the classics sit on the grill for approximately minutes before flipping. The sandwiches were done cooking and ready for eating. I quickly took a bite and as unexpectedly pleased. It was good! It was good enough for me to keep eating even after burning my tongue on a fiery peanut. The grilled butter soaked into the bread and the rest of the sandwich took on a whole new flavor. I could defiantly see myself trying this meal again sometime. It was a simple goal with substantial flavor. But you might not want to take my word for it. After all, I did used to experiment with whipped cream.

Day 65: P90X Plyometrics

     I have heard from several credible sources that the P90X plyometrics workout is one of the most grueling, physically demanding 90 minutes you can find. I decided to find out the hard way, that this in fact, totally true. This workout was a lot like Day 57's :Mostly Womens Workout challenge, only it involved more jumping around and no weights. I spent my 90 minutes attempting to keep up with the uncomfortably energetic host. I imitated him as he violently powered through sets of squats and repeatedly hucked his legs over a chair (the chair exercise sucked cause I kept kicking my chair on accident). I had gotten a decent sweat going early on and developed a cramp soon after. I know it should be common sense, but I ate two sandwiches about a half an hour before starting the workout. I figured that 30 minutes would be a long enough rest time to settle my stomach, but all that jumping around proved me wrong. I completed the session as best as I could (not very well) and went off to work. The next day was some expected soreness and lack of ambition (at least towards doing another P90X workout). It was tiring and it kind of sucked. Dang.

Day 64: Make Homemade Hamburgers

     Ah, hamburgers (or as I like to refer to them as, "happiness on a bun"). The convenient and delicious way to eat slow animals. This challenge was pretty spur of the moment but it turned out to be quite fulfilling. I was dropping my brother off at my mom's house and found that she was getting ready for a BBQ. She asked if I wanted to help make some french fries and I said yes. As it turns out, fries are way too easy to make. All I did was thinly sliced up some potatoes, threw them in a pot of hot oil, and fry them till they were golden brown. I had been awarded a simple, yet dangerous task. Every time I would dump a batch of cold potatoes into the pot, the oil would erupt in a violent uproar. I had a couple of close calls with the magma-like cooking oil, but escaped unharmed for the most part. My mom on the other hand was not as lucky (I blame her agility). She got hit by a stray dew drop of boiling oil, but I think she'll pull through. So the fries were a cake walk, now it was time for the hamburgers. Following my mom's instructions, I cracked two eggs into a bowl, added a whole bunch shredded cheese, jalapeƱos, and ground beef and began to mush them together. It was way to cold and pretty damn slimy, but I slowly churned the ingredients into a meat stew. The next step was to grab golf ball sized chunks of meat to be squished into patties. We placed the meat-balls onto this little platform and compressed them into familiar looking hamburger patties. My mom continued the whole shebang by grilling them and whatnot but I couldn't stay for that part. I don't know how well the burgers turned out, but I do know that I made them (and thats all I really care about).