25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! 

24 December 2011

Christmas Carding

Alas, it was too late to use any of the Awkward Christmas Photos on my real Christmas card - but I made do. Here's the "much anticipated" 2011 card: sans costumes and weirdo friends, plus one beautiful backdrop, and me. Sorry about that second part.

20 December 2011

Awkward Family Photos

I have amazing friends in Seattle.  They are my second family, and they will be really hard to leave when I move to Boulder.  One of the many reasons I love them so much is our shared enthusiasm for all things ridiculous! - with extra bonus points when we get to wear costumes (as I have discussed here and here)! 

Last week the lovely Miss Allison had the brainchild to go to Sears and take some Awkward Family Photos to go on even more Awkward Christmas Cards.  We took a bunch, which have all been uploaded to THE FACEBOOK, but here are my favourites!

Misery Loves Company
Look, what's that?  Over there?
Yeah, this is absolutely my favourite.
  We took some cute ones too!
Awwe, The Group is so cute when we're all dressed up!

15 December 2011

The Apartment Mascot

I have a new pet!  His name is Stanley.  He's a SPEIDER!  Stanley lives in my bathroom - he moved in about a month ago and has made himself right at home.  For a while he was just chillin' in the corner, but he has become quite the explorer!

Yesterday, he helped me with my makeup, and I'm pretty sure I saw him grooving along to my morning radio fix. Today we took a shower together.  I don't want to rush anything, but things might be getting pretty serious with us, I mean, we do live together!

I'm so excited to have an apartment mascot!
Stanley the Speider

08 December 2011

Things that are FUNNER with an Action Figure

Traveling with an Action Figure Mascot really adds an element of fun to pretty much everything.  For example:

Waiting in line?  Not with a AFM - now you're PLAYING in line:
Peace yo
Taking public transportation? Spread out an enjoy!
Two people wanted to sit here, but Grandpa Max laid the smack down
Grandpa Max rides the subway like a champ
Eating?  Drinking!  No, it's called sharing.  Grandpa Max is a hungry little fella.  Exhibit A: The beer belly.
Glass Noodles in Hong Kong
Reading?  Grandpa Max can help!.  He translated many signs (he is Chinese after all, and thus is bilingual and can read Cantonese).
Beware the Shaft
No Livestock!
Grandpa Max is Elderly, so he needed help on the steep footpath
Going on an adventure?  Grandpa Max also enjoys a good thrill!  Here's his first rollercoaster ride!
Grandpa Max!  Arms INSIDE the car
Sightseeing?  Grandpa Max knows all the best spots:
Little guy in a big, big world
Climbing?  Just ask Grandpa Max for beta.  You should see the boulder problem he's working on right now.
Send it!

Once back in the states, the fun with Grandpa Max continued.  He attended a Husky Game where he showed off his mad band choreography skillz, although he failed to find a new purple shirt to wear in time.  Good thing Christmas is just around the corner!
The best adventure so far, however, has been the trip to Boulder.  In a mad genius moment, Allison made Grandpa Max a special hat.  MoMo also got some new appendeges!
Something smells fishy...
Gross and Awesome. Even the people around us were cracking up at this one
Until our next adventure!
Mountain Man

05 December 2011

The Rules of Obtaining an Action Figure Mascot

After poor Spidey went to the great Spiderweb in the sky, we had a number of other Action Figure Mascots. Specifically, Allison had a few short lived AFMs who were acquired with specific trips in mind. There was G.I. José, or Joselito, who went to Mexico but was captured by the Federales and didn't make it back alive. Then there was Jose Christo, who traveled to Belize to preach and save the natives from their sinful ways. Finally, there was Sailor Moon, or MoMo, who started as a children's toy and was promoted to AFM, only to literally fall apart on us in Boulder.  
Joselito, never to be seen or heard from again
Jamie + Jose Cristo + Allikeeno in Belize = Countless saved souls
No arms.  No Legs.  Good thing she can walk with that hair!

The daunting task of replacing Spidey fell to me as I was about to embark on a grand adventure to Hong Kong. Allison, as President of the newly formed Traveling Action Figure United Coalition, or TAFUC for short, gave me the following assignment.

ATTENTION: Your mission should you choose to accept
You must obtain one action figure deemed worthy of participation on said grand expedition to the city of Hong Kong:
  • Action figure must be acquired before travel or not later than the second day of travel  (i.e. if you don't get little man before leaving you better get one asap in China).
  • Action figure may be of any gender or non-gender
  • Action figure must participate in all activities
  • Action Figure participation must be documented
  • Any behavior or personality traits action figure inspires must be allowed to occur naturally
Don't let us down!

As this was quite serious business, some clarifying questions needed to be asked:
  • Can we have two action figures?  Can we have an action figure posse?
  • What if the posse of action figures was stuck to a skateboard that we pull around by a string behind us?
  • Can we dress as life size action figures?
  • Can we get huge stuffed animals from the fair to be our action figure?
  • What if we paid a Chinese man to be our action figure?

To which the TAFUC provided the following answers.
  • There may be only one action figure otherwise Attention may be diverted and action figure jealousy is a dangerous thing (however, Siamese Twins are appropriate).
  • No skateboards!
  • Life size action figure not acceptable.  
  • No paying to rent action figure, action figure must complete the trip back to the US.

So with mission in hand I departed on a few very long flights!  My first full day in Hong Kong was spent entirely on a search for THE ONE. After a trip to numerous markets with zero results, I was discouraged and despondent. In a last ditch effort which can only be described as miraculous, the search ended at a closing Toys 'R Us store, where, there, on the closeout rack, I met GRANDPA MAX!
Saved from the closeout bins
Grandpa Max where have you been all my life?!?!?
In my next blog, I'll tell you more about the grand adventures of Grandpa Max! He's pretty awesome.

I'll leave you with this, further proof that anyone who is anyone travels with an AFM. Straight from the blog of Mumford & Sons, a photo of their AFM: Pete Roe. See you soon at Deck the Hall Ball M&S!

04 December 2011

Back in the Saddle: The 4-week Update

You've read about the Epic Bike Header of 2011 and the damage it caused to my face and other body parts.  I've been healing well, but I'm sure you can all understand my hesitance to hop right back in the saddle.

Well, today the wait was over: it was a perfectly cold, sunny day and I wanted to get out riding!  Ironically, today is exactly 4-weeks after my accident, and exactly one year ago (plus a day) from the Epic Faceplant of 2010 in Whistler.  For you math nerds, that means I've had a black eye for 16% of the last 52-weeks - 4 weeks for the face plant, and 3 weeks for the header.  I'm not fully healed, I've still got some small scars and bruising on my eye, but as you can see it's getting better!
I just look tired, only on the left side....
Hoping the scars go away!
For the ride, the fantastic Ms. Allison planned a lovely little route.  I met Allison, Karlyn, and Cora at the Big Dawg at Husky Stadium.  We took some fun pictures and then were off, down to Seward Park, around, and back.  Of course we stopped in Leschi for hot cocoa, but it's not our fault, it was FREEZING out there!
The Bike formerly known as Luna
Wait, we're not riding this?
Double the fun!
Stretch those glutes - at Seward Park!
Basking in the sunshine
Beer Socks!!!!  Fun fact - Karlyn's last name is Beer.  No, I'm serious.
What a gorgeous day!

Thanks for the great ride girlies! And no faceplants!!!

02 December 2011

What's with the action figures?

I've gotten a lot of questions about why I always travel with action figures.  The answer is simple really: because toting around an action figure mascot (AFM) makes everything WAY MORE FUN! 

The origin of the action figure dates way back to 2004, when Allison and I were on a band trip to Chicago.  Our other friend and co-trouble-maker, Eric, got a G.I.Joe in his happy meal, and the AFM was BORN!
G.I. Joe started it all
As my heterosexual life partner, Allison and I have spent a lot of time together.  Specifically, we have spent a lot of time on airplanes together.  In 2006, we embarked on a 9-week European backpacking trip sans-AFM.  However, about mid-way through the trip he found us!  SPIDERMAN!  We met him in a bathroom in a Grecian Airport.  Despite our less-than-sparkling first meeting, Spidy (as he came to be affectionately known) traveled with us throughout the rest of the trip, and on many subsequent adventures!
Flying high with Spidey
Food Hog
Spidey Likey Sangria
I am lazy and didn't go through years of pictures to prove it, but Spidey had many great adventures with us.    Spidey ultimately met his end in Maui, where he tried to throw himself from the rental jeep.  I was able to piece him back together, but to be honest he was never the same, and having to put him on suicide watch was emotionally taxing for all of us.
Maui - pre Jeep catapult
Sad Face
Spidey - why would you do this to yourself!?!?!

RIP Spidey.  I will introduce you to some other mascots in a later post, but for now I'll leave you with an image of Spidey doing what he loved best: Climbing!
RIP Spiderman.  A lover of adventure, pizza, and sangria.

29 November 2011

My New Mantra

I saw this saying on a card on my recent trip to Boulder and it "spoke" to me.  So I made my own little photo. You savvy readers will also notice I replaced my header with this new mantra.

24 November 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

Fred Meyer is at it again! Happy Turkey Day everyone!

21 November 2011

Thanks Uvex!

After the accident, henceforth known as the Epic Bike Header of 2011 (not to be confused with the Epic Face Plant of 2010), I posted the photo of my bloodied, scuffed-up sunglasses on the Facebook Page of Uvex Sports.  You see, I was wearing Uvex sunnies when I biffed it and I wanted to thank them for saving my eye! 

I was very surprised and happy to later receive a message from Katrin and the Uvex Cycling Team stating their desire to send me a replacement pair.  I should get the new sunnies in a few weeks!

I want to shout a huge thanks to Uvex for their generosity and awesomeness!  It goes without saying that I would 100% recommend Uvex products - and with this kind of excellent customer service they've made a customer for life! Danke!