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Effortlessly Average

Sort of half-heartedly leading the charge into mediocrity since, oh, let's say around 1987 or so.

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Location: Roaming (additional charges may apply), Argentina

Proof that with internet access and a powerful laxative, even insipid people will blog; the place where your excellence and my mediocrity collide; where my Karma whips ass on your dogma.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Event of a Lifetime, (so far)

And we're back! Welcome to 2008 everybody, welcome to January. I am your host, the interweb's Effortlessly Average. I'm in a fabulously optimistic mood today. I know I've been absent lately and while I'd love to claim sloth as my excuse, the reality is that the writer's strike has a broad, broad reach. I mean, if it affected the Golden Globes, one would expect it would touch this site as well. We can't all bribe our writers with pickle juice and lubricated bananas. Besides, I had been working on growing a beard, but I had to shave it off. Maybe next time I'll try to grow one on my face. Still, we have so much to talk about I don't even know where to begin.

I've been watching endless hours of TV, waiting for the infomercial rerun of the 20th anniversary Sweatin' to the Oldies. Several weeks or days or months ago -I don't do time well- I was sitting at my desk focusing on growing my beard when in the corner of my brain I thought I caught the faint lure of a bunch of fat chicks bustin' a move with some gay white dude with an afro, but I didn't look up in time and missed it. Oh, I suppose I could have probably found it online, but hey, if I order it during the infomercial I get a bonus DVD of Richard Simmons' gayest moments. And we all know no one wants to miss those. I mean c'mon people, Sweatin' to the Oldies has been unavailable for years, and now it's back! Just like me! That makes it like a collectors item! Also just like me! Two hours of fat people boosting their blood pressure to America's most overplayed hits. Just like me! And there was no way I was going to miss the chance to order my very own pair of striped shorts and sequined tank top!

Oh hey; good news. I've been asked to be a contributor on Burt's Stache. I'm the Day 19 guy. I've been trying to figure out what to write for my first foray into a broader world. I want it to be good. As I sat pondering which way to go, I thought to myself "hey, what's that smell?" Then I thought, "hey, maybe I should go to EA's greatest hits for a first entry!"

Perusing the vast archives of EA greatness mediocrity it occurred to me that I've been writing this blog for nearly two years! Two years people! It seems like only yesterday a young man with stars in his eyes and a belief that he was actually funny logged into EA for the first time, intent on changing the internet world with his wit and wisdom, convinced the people would flock to his site to read his every word. And I remember telling that boy, "Get me a latte, boy! and don't go overboard with the foam!"

You know what this means, don't you? It means this blog has lasted longer than 50% of my marriages! And involves about as much sex, too. And I didn't even realize it had been that long, so I guess you could say I've been withholding sex from myself, which is really surprising because normally I can't keep my hands off myself. In the end, I found the entry I'm going to use and it's a beaut. As far as this space's longevity, well I'm already engaged in an attempt to grow massive breasts that I can talk about endlessly in an effort to boost my hit counter. I'll let you know how it goes.

Also in an effort to avoid sitting down to write, I went cow tipping for the first time. I have to admit that's just a stupid activity. I mean, what exactly are the cows going to do with the extra money, anyway? And why did it take me four cows to figure that out? Oh, I tried to get my money back, but the cows get a little bitchy when you ask them to return the tip. Happy cows my ass. Anyone want another steak?

The next day found me pensive. As you know, I've been doing a lot of introspecting (new word!, new word!) this last couple months and as I mentioned before that I need a change. A change of something more substantial than underwear style. There may be many varieties out there, but low-rise mesh will always be EA. Anyway, during the course of my introspection I've come to the realization that my life needs adventure. I have a long list of things I've always wanted to do and let's face it, EA ain't getting any younger. Besides, I'm tired of surviving under the cloud of "it only hurts when I live." Frankly I'm tired of the pain. It doesn't do me any good anyway. I used to have dreams people. Aspirations. Goals. Sex. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but I used to have sex. Not that the drought will end any time soon, but the point is I want to begin checking things off my list.

So with the coming of a new year I'm going to violate the one invio...-uh-...lateable rule of all that is Effortlessly Average: I'm going to make some resolutions. I know! Shocking much?

In order to understand why this is monumental, you have to buy into the whole philosophy of EA. Being EA is like being vanilla: it just is, without fanfare or preamble. I'm synonymous with ho-hum; steeped in the mundane. My name is synonymous with all that is mediocre and easily obtained. It also happens to rhyme with "belly" but that's neither here nor there. And like vanilla, EA is wrinkled and crusty on the outside, but contains a lot of aromatic goodness inside if you're willing to scrape it free with the flat edge of a knife. Ew, this kinda took a creepy turn, didn't it?

Resolutions, however, suggest change. Resolutions hint at improvement. They point bravely into the future with a look of resolve and determination, crying to the cold expanse of the unknown "I refuse to eat generic peanut butter for one more day!" Or something like that. When living in the realm of resolution, the air carries with it the clean, fresh scent of progress, not unlike the new air freshener I put in the EA-mobile this weekend.

So you see my problem here. How do I resolve to change when the mere thought violates that which makes me so effortlessly average? Well, the answer lies in what I intend to change. Clearly some things will remain the same. For example, I fully intend to continue to apply footwear using the sock, shoe, sock, shoe methodology. I'll likely still mix darks with colors. And I also plan to continue to be the best father and man I can possibly be, excepting that I'm going to trip up from time to time and I don't have to make excuses for being hurt when my heart's broken.

Along those lines, I have several resolutions on which I plan to focus in 2008, although I think it might be more appropriate to call them "goals" as opposed to "resolutions." I've really hated feeling the way I have been this last several months. It's not me and I could feel it slowly bleeding me to death emotionally. The way I see it is I have a choice to focus on that which I may have lost, or toward that which I have to gain.

This is an entry about those goals.

You know, people often ask me why I choose to be a contractor when the pay is only about 75% of what I used to make and my experience dictates positions of far greater responsibility and potential. Of course the term "contractor" is so much less sexy than "EA, Danger Accountant." I'd have to say that my reasons for not going permanent are broad, like Rosie's backside but less hairy and dimpled. Don't ask me how I know. Besides the fact that I'm not an accountant, I'm a finance, uh, guy, I'd have to say the biggest answer is "flexibility." Being a contractor allows me the freedom to explore the world as I see fit without having to go through the interview, hire, work, quit process repeatedly.

For years now it's been a fervent dream of mine to travel more. I had intended to do with with Mrs. EA, but I've decided I'm still going to do it even if she wants no part of it or decides to do it with someone else. I have no doubt that there will be times when I'm standing on some mountain overlooking something beautiful or remarkable somewhere in the world and I'll look to my left, where she always used to stand, not see her there, and feel a pang of regret and sorrow. But I'm going anyway. And I've decided where the first "there" will be.

Some little while ago I eluded to an "event" toward which I was working. Here's where I tell you all about it. I sat at my computer a couple months ago and thought about what I was going to do going forward. I decided I needed to do something big; something that would remind me that I've got so much more to achieve in life than convincing anyone that I'm worth being around of commiserating over the less enjoyable parts of my life.

As I sat there trolling the interweb I had a thought: why not ride my bicycle from Washington state to the state of Maine! Yeah, that would would be exciting! I checked with all manner of resources, both online and in person and sure enough, it seemed to fit the bill. It would be a challenge. It would be an adventure. it would give me time to think about the past, present and future. But I had one glaring problem: I wasn't going to be sleeping on the roadside every night, so unless I intended to have about a bazillion dollars for accommodations, I'd need a chase crew. But I struggled to find anyone who could/would take that kind of time to help me achieve a goal like this. As the weeks progressed it started to look less and less likely.

Back to the internet!

Where I found Plan B, which quickly became Plan A.

Where am I going? Here:
And what is there, you might be asking? This:

And what would I be doing there? This:

And this:

And this:

You got it friends. I'm going to Patagonia on an adventure trip of a lifetime. Well, of my lifetime so far, anyway. 17 days of trekking, climbing, rafting, zip lining, rappelling, and horesback riding across the wilderness of South America.

Along the way I'll be sleeping in places like this:

And kayaking in place like this:

And the most exciting part, navigating rivers like this:

But this ain't no pleasure cruise, people. The info I've read states very clearly that this trip is NOT for the out of shape or faint of heart. There are no hotels or other apparent conveniences, like bathrooms or doctors. In order to prepare, I'm going to have to take a multi-pronged aproach. One that involves training in mountain climbing and repelling, rafting, and horseback riding. I suppose I could include trekking, but frankly I've been walking for years so I don't think I need much more training in that area.

The hard part is the trip extensions. Part of the trip allows adventurers to take one of five side trips to surrounding areas. I could take a five-hour flight to Easter Island where I could explore the hundreds of giant Moai statues, pink sand beaches, petrogliphs, and archaeological digs.

Or I could take in Torres del Paine National Park for days of trekking through what's called one of the most visually stunning natinal parks in the world.

Or travel the back roads of the Chilean Lake District to climb an active, smoking volcano

Or take a float plane into the lakes of Pategonia to sea kyak and hike calving glaciers

Or finally, take a trip into Santiago. I guess this would be for your shopping crowd.

I leave November 29th. I'd planned to go sooner, but as the whole earth is round thing is working against me, it will be winter down there when it is summer up here. So the only time to go is when between november and April. Since there's no way in hell I'll be ready by April, I guess November it is!
And you know what? I'm so jazzed about it that I totally should offer up a contest to take someone will me. I accept all manner of bribes and showings of undying devotion and adoration. Even if my breasts aren't coming in really well so far.

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