Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Red Sox won the World Series! Beth bought me a Dustin Pedroia shirt! Hooray! I'm very happy that the Sox won the series, but I'm also very happy that the whole thing is over with. There are lots of other things I want to be doing with my evenings that Red Sox games were preventing me from doing.

Yesterday I went for a phenomenal 5+ mile run. It was pretty cold and dark by the time I got out of the house (6:30pm, I hate the winter) and I was nervous initially that I would be too chilly to enjoy it, but I was wrong. For once in my life I dressed appropriately, so I kept warm the whole time. I ran pretty quickly and I did some experiments with my stride and pacing that helped keep me from getting bored.

Sunday night I made an attempt to cook a salmon steak for Laura and myself. I was nervous because I've never cooked fish before, but it turned out to be one of the most delicious meals I've ever made. The fish was flaky and moist and tasted delicious with the lemon I put on it.

Tonight I have a bunch of climbing on my schedule. I'd also like to try and finish my Wood Elf Archers, since my deadline of November 1st is rapidly approaching. I could finish them on Wednesday, but that is Halloween and there are rumors of Halloween themed fun on Halo that night, so I'd like to check that out.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Last night Spoony and I played a bunch of Halo and drank a lot with Laura; Laura and I were quite hung over this morning. I had big plans to clean my room, paint my Wood Elves, and generally be productive today but most of it didn't happen. I did paint for a little while but mostly I just sat around and played Halo.

Olga and I finally got together tonight. We have been playing phone tag for two or so weeks since she came back to Boston. Since the Red Sox are playing we went downtown to Whiskeys to watch the game, but ended up leaving before the game ended because it was very hot and the people were obnoxious. It was good to catch up with her and I'm really happy she decided to stay in Boston.

Tomorrow night Dar and Lauren (and possibly others) are going to come and hopefully watch the Red Sox win the World Series. I've never had a place that I was excited to show to people, so I need to make sure that I pick up the mountains of clothes in my room and clean up the mess from last night in the living room.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Getting out of bed this morning was very difficult; I forgot all of my climbing gear and clothes, so I don't know how I'm going to help with the promo night at the wall; I am drinking coffee. Apparently today is just not my day.

Monday night saw Laura, Mark, and myself biking downtown to the Roxy to see the Hold Steady. I had never been there before and I was impressed with their large stage, bright, colorful, and useful lighting, loud and clear PA system, and massive main room with a glowing orange bar in the back.

When we got there a band called Art Brut (pronounced Art Brute) had just taken the stage. They sang some good solid rock songs, loved to point at everything, were very British, and seemed to be having a great time up on stage. We were all sold on them.

The Hold Steady came on next and proceeded to rock the house down. Their set was mostly stuff off of Boys and Girls in America, but they played a few other songs I knew from their older albums. The singer's vocal style translated very well to a live setting and I felt like he was telling stories to the audience instead of singing us songs. He was also highly animated and reminded me of a muppet. They played Southtown Girls (which made Laura very happy) and I think the only song I wish they had played but didn't was Chill Out Tent. I can forgive this because there weren't any girls available to sing the female part. Overall it was a fantastic show at a really cool venue.

The other day I ran 6+ miles, which I haven't done in several weeks. I hadn't planned to run that far but I felt really good when I got to my cut off point so I just kept on going. I'm hoping to get a shorter run in today before the Red Sox game.

Yesterday afternoon Tim and I traversed until we couldn't hold the wall anymore. Tim lasted almost an hour on the wall, while I made it for about 20 minutes. I was really surprised at how quickly my arms became fatigued, and it was interesting to note how sloppy my climbing became as my fatigue ramped up. I'm going to try and do this every Tuesday with Tim to get my endurance up.

Due to Halo 3 and the Red Sox being in the playoffs, I have done almost no painting on my Woodelves. I have one Glade Guard test model painted, and four other ones about 75% done. I'd like to have those four done by the end of the week, so I can finish the unit of 10 before my November 1st deadline. I have also been looking at Dreadnoughts and Land Speeders on ebay in an effort to get a solid 1500 points of Blood Ravens.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Despite earlier claims about the end of the climbing season, Tim, Matt Smith, Lissa, and I ventured back up to New Hampshire this weekend for a beautiful day of climbing. The weather was warm, the leaves were fantastic shades of red and yellow, and everyone had a good time. We all warmed up three climbs that were rated somewhere between 5.7 and 5.9, before each moving on to our larger projects.

Tim worked a huge 12c on a big overhang before getting lowered down into open space. Matt was on an 11c with a magic hold, and had some fantastic photographs taken by Lissa. I got on Jolt, a 10b, which is one half of a giant flake (the other half is a 9 called Dolt, which I did earlier in the season). I managed to do it with one rest on the rope; I had hoped to lead it cleanly but I am very happy with my one fall. I did the climb just a bit before sunset, which combined with the colorful leaves in the valley made it an awesome view.

I also did some good climbing with Laura at Metro on Friday night. We both did about two and a half hours of solid bouldering. The highlight of my evening was sending a 2+ (that felt more like a 4) after working it all night.

Also, the Red Sox won both games this weekend to beat the Indians 4-3 in the series. Next stop is the World Series on Wednesday.

Tim being lowered into space.

Matt winning the best photograph of the day award.

Me near the top of a very exposed flake.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Lawrence Arms were very good. I like American Steel (the band that came on before them) but Laura wasn't so much of a fan.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, were somewhat less than good. They're currently down 1-3 in the series, which is a tenuous situation in a best of four series. Hopefully they can pull it off tonight and bring to a more manageable spot, but they need to win three straight.

Tim and I went to Metro last night. We warmed up on three 8's, then I jumped on two 10's, and an 11 (which I sent cleanly) before my arms went to shit. I climbed another 10, a 9, and an 8 but they were all pretty poor showings. Still, nine climbs in less than three hours is a lot of climbing and hopefully I can maintain that pace and get stronger. Tim wants me to focus on my footwork and try to take rests during climbs so I develop good habits.

This man set the world dyno record, but it has been questioned since he took a second jump off the hand hold. I'm pretty sure that he should get more points, and not less, for his second jump, but apparently I am in the minority.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I am pretty sure that I am an athlete. I have been active my whole life (soccer as a youngster, soccer and track in high school, ultimate, casual running, rock climbing, and bicycling in college and beyond) and constantly try to be as fit as I can be. However, since I stopped participating in competitive sports I don't have the constant desire to be better that I had before. My athletic pursuits are more recreational and social at this point, which doesn't give me the same sense of achievement that I had come to expect.

To that end, I have some new athletic goals.

At the end of February, I would like to be confident top-roping 5.11 b/c indoors, and bouldering at least V4 indoors.

I would like to run a 5k under 18:00 minutes on Thanksgiving, and run 1000+ plus miles in 2008. I am also toying with the idea of running the Boston Marathon, but that would be more of a fringe benefit than an actual goal.

The Plan:
I am going to MetroRock on Wednesday with Tim. This is the best gym in New England, and Tim is the best climber that I know. I hope to use this quality resource in conjunction with this quality facility to start focusing my climbing and learning how to improve myself. I'd like to start climbing at Metro once a week, and supplement it with at least one other night climbing at the BU gym.

I plan to start running three days a week, starting today. The idea is to run no less than 4 miles per day and work myself up to 7 miles. This should give me an excellent base for running that 5k, and more than allow me to achieve my goal of 1000 miles. To put that in perspective, I'm going to need to run 2.74 miles per day, or 19.18 miles per week. Running 6 miles per day, three days a week gets me 18 miles per week, so adding another mile and change to one of those days would allow me to hit my mark. If I decide to run 4 days a week, I would only need to run about 5 miles per day.
Laura and I saw the play The 39 Steps on Friday night. It was based off of an Alfred Hitchcock movie and was very entertaining. Even though the tickets were free, I was pretty apprehensive about going, so I was very happy to have been wrong. The play was very well acted and witty, and we had a very good time.

Yesterday Laura, myself, and several of our friends took what will probably be the last trip to Rumney of the season. It was almost too cold to be out at all, so no one was particularly motivated to be climbing very hard. I lead a 5.8+ called Junco, which was the route I had climbed for my second outdoor. This time around it was a lot less terrifying. I also lead one of my favorite climbs, a 5.8 called Bolt Line. The holds are smaller than you want and not particularly obvious and the bolts are a bit run out, but the slabbiness of the climb makes it just right. Our group also took the opportunity to climb (or, perhaps, hike) Clip a Dee Doo Dah, a two pitch 5.3. The view from the top was fantastic and we spend a while sitting at the top enjoying the scenery.

Me actually running up Clip a Dee Doo Dah.

Laura, myself, Cassie, and Marynne at the top of Clip a Dee Doo Dah.

The view.

Some more of the view.

Me on Bolt Line.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Spoony turned 23 last week, and a few days later X turned 24. Spoony's party was on Thursday but I was unable to attend due to illness. Apparently Spoon won his party, despite early reports that Mark had won. X's party was Friday night and even thought I wasn't much healthier I went out anyway. We went to some bars downtown and ended up at some weird, loud, dance club thing. X had fun, I had fun, and I think everyone else had fun so it seems like a successful birthday weekend.

Saturday saw Spoon, X, Laura, and myself finally putting the apartment in order. We moved boxes and bags out of the kitchen and hallways and down to the basement. The place looks much better with all of the open space and it feels more like someone lives there with all of the boxes gone. We bought a bench for the foyer and then instituted a no shoes in the house rule to keep the floors clean.

Laura, Spoon, and I fired up the grill Saturday night. We made beer burgers (and beer veggie burgers for Laura), and grilled peaches and red peppers. The peaches were interesting, but the real winners were the peppers and beer burgers. Both of those experiments turned out to be delicious, and they were even better when combined. After a hurried dinner we rushed over to Kennmore to see the Kingdom, which was a very intense, very good movie.

On Sunday Laura and I went bouldering at Hammond Pond. We didn't do a whole lot of climbing (bouldering outside without a pad is pretty scary) but it was fun to be outside for the afternoon. Afterwards I went home and built a nightstand / cabinet thing and watched football with the roommates.

Also, Halo 3 is phenomenal.