Monthly Archives: May 2011

May Taught Me

  1. Jumping rope is much more cardiovascular than I realized.
  2. Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
  3. Listening to podcasts while running is my new thing. I have listened to conversations on the following topics: dreadlocks, clouds, homelessness, and Lifestraw, to name a few.
  4. For better or for worse, the paint color on the sample strip never looks the same once it is on the wall.
  5. Using a foam roller on your muscles and joints is intensely painful.
  6. Walking in the sand for four solid days makes your feet hurt, but it is unequivocably worth it.
  7. Watching your cell phone battery plummet six floors to the bottom of an elevator shaft is not awesome, but the five phoneless days that follow are actually quite liberating.
  8. Delta Sky Miles are the coolest.
  9. Sliding (even accidentally) during a kickball game automatically makes you feel like  a better player.
  10. My friend Wadeyo is the most generous and informed source of music I know.
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The Hangout 2011

You just can’t go wrong when combining live music and sandy, white beaches. And this, my friends, is what makes picking my favorite memories from the 2011 edition of The Hangout Beach, Music, and Arts Festival so difficult. But I’ll give it a shot.

Favorite show: Avett Brothers. I love them everywhere, and that includes on the beach. They played some of my favorites just as the sun was setting, and it was lovely. Their encore introduced me to the appropriately titled song, At the Beach, and I have been singing it ever since.

Favorite morning: That would be a tie between the morning of my sunrise run and the morning when my condo-mates and I set out early to play games on the beach before the festival. In the span of a couple hours, we managed to play bean bag toss, volleyball monkey-in-the-middle, frisbee monkey-in-the-middle, and frolic in the ocean.

Favorite ride: In a burst of randomness, my ladies and I decided to hop on one of those amusement ride towers that slowly takes you higher and higher into the sky (stunning view of the ocean, I might add), holds you there until you can’t stand it, and then drops you in a terrifying plummet that makes your stomach fly into your throat. I love that feeling.

Favorite dance party: Girl Talk. As is always the case with Girl Talk, we danced our faces off. Only complaint: we were lucky enough to get inside the tent for the show, but the lack of airflow was nearly suffocating. By the time the traditional closing song came on, we were all ridiculously sweaty messes. Luckily, this was easily remedied by jumping in the pool at our condo and listening to The Black Keys, which was blissfully refreshing.

And that is only scratching the surface. There’s much, much more, and if you are lucky, I may even post about it. The weekend was sheer awesomeness, and I thank all of the people who made it such a blast!

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A Beachside Run

Is there anything more serene than a sunrise run beside the ocean?
 
I ask this rhetorically, because I already know the answer. This past Friday morning, despite arriving in Gulf Shores at 2 a.m.,  I purposefully awoke before all of my condo-mates so that I could steal some solo time on the beach. It was wonderfully peaceful, and happened to be exactly what I needed. As I fell into a steady cadence, appreciating the sand against my bare feet and the rhythmic sound of the waves, I found myself lost in thought. I marveled at the expanse of ocean beside me – its size, its design, its mystery. Despite the fact that I’ve vacationed at the beach every summer of my life, it still amazes me. It’s hard to fully digest the ocean’s vastness, and I can’t help but reflect on what an awesome Creator we have. He sprinkled these incredible gifts across the globe for our enjoyment, giving us just a small glimpse of Heaven’s beauty. It is so easy to take for granted, but oh so rewarding when you take a moment to cherish the loveliness of it all. 
 
My morning run wasn’t particularly far or impressive by man’s standards, but it fed my soul in a much more meaningful way.
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Save Memphis Kickball

Just a bit ago, I received an email from one of my kickball buddies with the following announcement:

“As most of you know, the City of Memphis is having some major budget problems. We’ve just learned that Rec Athletics is on the table as one of the items to potentially be cut. This would eliminate all athletics city-wide… starting with the fall season of Kickball.”

Seeing that I’m a newcomer to the kickball arena and currently playing on my first team, I drafted a little note to the City of Memphis, which I have copied below:

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I have recently been informed that Rec Athletics is in danger of being cut from the City of Memphis’ budget. While I understand there are many items that demand your aid and attention, I would like to heavily advocate for the preservation of city-wide athletic programs.

Maintaining city-wide athletics provides many benefits to the Memphis community. These sports are not just about competitiveness and fun; they are much more than that. They give the citizens of Memphis an outlet for joining together in a constructive and wholesome way that reflects positively on our city. They allow us to participate in activities that are designed to improve our health, foster friendships with others, and encourage unity over something that increases Memphis’ appeal. We are proud that the City of Memphis provides this opportunity.

This is my first year to play in the Memphis Kickball League, and game night is already one of my favorite nights of the week. I enjoy being part of a team and welcome the challenge of learning a new skill (and the chance to laugh with my teammates over my blunders).  I’m not a superstar, but that’s not the point. The point is that playing kickball is emotionally, physically, and corporately rewarding. Please, I implore you, don’t take it away from us.

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For more information, please visit the Memphis Kickball League’s website by clicking on their logo below.

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Filling Sandbags at the Pyramid

As the Mississippi River continues to rise and the threat of flooding becomes more imminent, volunteers are being recruited to help fill sandbags at the Memphis Pyramid. Since I’ve been working from home this past week, my flexible schedule allowed me to get down there Friday afternoon to lend a helping hand.

Immediately upon arrival, my buddy Philip and I were told to find a spot and make ourselves useful. We joined forces with another volunteer and formed an assembly line of sorts. Philip held open the bags, the helper scooped two shovel fulls of sand into each…

…and I tied them off and tossed them into the ever growing pile. The key is to tie the bag near the top so that it will lie flat when put into place. Overfilled bags and bags tied too low leave gaps in the sandbag levee allowing water to seep through, and we can’t have that. This is very methodical stuff, you see.

We developed a steady rhythm and continued filling bags until the pile of sand disappeared, was replenished, and dwindled away again. Henry Ford would have been proud.

The effort was a success, and it felt good to get our hands dirty for the sake of the city.

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April Taught Me

It’s been a busy week, and I forgot to tell you guys what I learned in April! Shame on me for leaving you hanging like that. And now, without further ado – I know you have been waiting patiently – I give you my latest tidbits of knowledge:

  1. The best days to snag moving boxes from the liquor store are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  2. My parents have had a copy machine at their house for over a year, and I’m just now discovering this.
  3. I get a 23% discount off of my cell phone bill thanks to my place of employment.
  4. A double shot of espresso makes me absolutely wild.
  5. If you absent-mindedly drop all the mail you just received into a post office box, it will eventually find its way back to you again.
  6. Apparently I like coconut more than I thought I do.
  7. Watching the Grizzlies win playoff games is the best. I assumed this would be true, but haven’t had the pleasure of confirming so until now.
  8. Mango is an absolutely decadent fruit. Perhaps my new favorite, even.
  9. Mumford and Sons puts on an incredible live show.
  10. Chocolate chip waffles are a necessary part of Easter brunch, and the perfect treat after a 40 day fast from chocolate.
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