journal

"It is in games that many men discover their paradise."
- Robert Wilson Lynd

WRITING:

I have been writing regularly since the third grade. I stick mostly to short fiction, though I also keep a journal. If I'm feeling really adventurous I might mess around with a poem or two, but I generally don't.

I first started writing thanks to an amazing, unbelievably passionate teacher who inspired me in a way that I haven't been since. The students all knew her as Mrs. Bechtold, the lady who jumped on desks and yes, she did. It was she who gave rousing, almost hysterically enthusiastic lectures about the "power of words" and went on to demonstrate that power with books like Bridge to Terabithia and Hatchet.

As a result, writing - as well as reading - has become a very important part of my life and I do it as frequently as I can. Although I have a bad habit of not finishing a lot of my stories - a testament to my laziness - part of me has started to view this as a sort of style or even genre in and of itself. So if you're interested and like to be left hanging, you can read some of my stuff here.

journal

TRAVEL:

For perhaps even longer than I have been writing, I have wanted to travel. I can remember trying to run away from home when I was only about 5 or 6 years old for no reason other than curiosity. I, unfortunately, was unsuccessful. I don't quite know why I've grown up so enamored with the idea of travel, or more specifically, vagabonding. I'm not particularly attracted to five-star resorts or double-decker bus tours. When I say travel I mean the kind of long-term travel that really throws you head-first into a completely different world; shoestring travel, drifting, etc.

As of yet I haven't really been able to go the whole nine with this hobby of mine, but I have been able to visit some pretty incredible places. Two summers ago I backpacked throughout western Europe for a month with a friend of mine. I also go to Chile regularly to visit family. Basically, every opportunity to travel that presents itself, for better or worse, almost always takes precedence over everything else in my life. I just can't seem to find some aspect of the world, its people and its cultures that I am not totally fascinated by. I travel because I like to maintain a childlike sense of wonder and awe for everything our planet has to offer. In the words of Gilbert K. Chesterton: "There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject. There are only uninterested people."

MUSIC:

I've always loved music. Let me illustrate what I mean by "always": My mother tells me that long ago, when I was still just an unborn gooey mess inside of her, if there was music playing anywhere in the general vicinity, I would kick. I would kick so much that after those nine months were up she was convinced I would grow up to be either a famous dancer or musician. Although I'm no Gene Kelly, I do enjoy dancing very much, but even more than moving to the music, I love making it.

I started playing drums when I was about 13 and guitar at 16. Since then I've explored so many musical styles and genres I've lost count. I'll put it this way: I enjoy all music except for country. No, that wasn't suppossed to be funny. I can handle a little bluegrass and maybe some Johnny Cash, but even that's pushing it. I despise country music and the less I have to talk about it the better. Anyway, so throughout high school and the past few years of college I have been in a good handfull of bands. If you really, absolutely, must hear some of the music, then you can check out the following links. But for your own sake, I suggest you don't.

Song 1 - This is a recording of a band I played drums for my sophomore year of high school. We were called Wanda Lee and the Drum Machine. The song is titled "And It Keeps Ticking By."

Song 2 - This is my baby. I wrote this song from top to bottom and played all the instruments. The band was called Nik Nik Goes the Beat and the song is "Whisper Whisper."

bouldering

ROCK CLIMBING:

That's right, I climb rocks. I've only been doing it for about a year, but it has already enriched my life in a million and one ways, and I'm certain it will only continue to do so. Climbing puts me through the most intense and balanced physical and mental stresses of any sport I have ever tried. It has been described by many professionals as "moving meditation," and I only quote them because that term is more beautifully accurate than anything I could come up with. No other sport, that I know of, can force a person to so single-pointedly focus their mind and body.

As a kid I was never the outdoors type. Sure I liked to go to the park and the beach, but when it came to things like camping and hiking, I was oblivious. It's not that I wasn't at all interested in that kind of thing, but I had never really had the opportunity to try it. Furthermore, I can remember driving through parts of Chile and seeing the jaw-dropping scenery from the car. But part of me was so unsatisfied by just looking. I wanted to touch, to feel, to fully experience nature, not just admire it from a distance. I can't think of any better way to do that than climbing. You are interacting with the rock, with nature in a very intimate way. At long last, climbing gave me those outdoors experiences that I feel I lacked as a child, and now all I think about is that next climbing trip.