Five for Friday: Running, Camping, Drinking, and Chris Hardwick Envying

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Five for Friday is a weekly series (and at the rate I’m blogging…pretty much the only posts these days it seems, LOL) about the five new things I learned each week. It could be anything from a new recipe, new skills, or a new life lesson.

Fireball Whiskey

When I go to USC football games, I hang out at Psychogate, the official tailgate of Roy “USC Psycho” with whom I’ve been friends since college. While Jagermeister has been the alcohol of choice, this week, we were introduced to Fireball Whiskey.

I feel like calling this sweet cinnamon awesomeness a whiskey is a misnomer. It tastes like a sweeter and smoother Goldschläger, and NOTHING of whiskey.

Oh, and that was the dangerous thing. It’s so tasty, you didn’t think it would kick your ass. I had 2 little shots of those and a Jager, chased by my cider. I almost didn’t make it across campus to the other tailgate…

…where my Trojan brother was waiting to get me drunk on his famous Mai Tai.

Thanks to 2 spam musubis I scored along the way, somehow I managed to survive the day and wake up really early the next morning for my friend Amy.

Importance of Just Showing Up

Disneyland’s Half Marathon was Gridiron Goddess Amy’s first race. Her friend Sigrid from Canada and my cousin Nick were also running.

Considering that I live 15 minutes away from Disneyland, that USC’s first home game was the day before, and that the race was starting at 5:45 a.m., I KNEW I would be the only person who would show up to support Amy on the route.

That Sunday morning, I could’ve slept in. I could’ve just posted on Amy’s page to cheer her on. I could’ve joined her other friends up in LA later on in the day for celebratory lunch.

But instead at 7:30 a.m., I was in the Angel Stadium parking lot in my USC Dr. Seuss hat with signs on my windshield, waiting for the email notification from Sigrid, Nick, and Amy of their respective arrival at the 15K mark inside the Stadium.

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When they came around the corner, I screamed their names, waved the sign about, and jogged along side them as far as I could go.

All of them told me just seeing a familiar face there was the boost they needed to get through the last few miles.

Sometimes, all you have to do is just show up.

Couch to 5K…with a Water Belt

While we’re talking about running.

My goal with the running is so that I can run to/from the Los Alamitos Joint Training Base. That comes out to be about 3.5 miles…and that’s pretty much 5K. So guess who is on the 2nd week of Couch to 5K training schedule now? Can you believe it?

The reason why I almost died trying last week was because I remembered the interval wrong. Run 90 seconds and walk 2 minutes for 20 minutes. I was running 2 minutes and walking for 90 seconds. No wonder why I couldn’t catch my breath!  Now that I got that figured out, training has been more manageable.

So, I was going to be all macho and ran with just my music and a watch, but Brandon insisted I take water with me.  (And thank GOD he did!) I don’t like running with stuff in my hands so I bought this Cambelback Delaney Fit water belt. Now, I can take my phone with MapMyRun with me.

Yesterday, I put $10 in the pouch and set my eyes on the local McDonald’s as my stopping point. Brandon was very grateful for the surprise breakfast in bed.

I want Chris Hardwick’s Life

A day in your bowling shoes, man…

Dude’s living a nerd’s dream! Especially this nerd. I should’ve stolen his life when I met him on the set of Attack of the Show! 2 years ago. Gorram missed opportunity…

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Comfort Camping

Brandon and I got out of a town for a few days earlier this week. We wanted to go camping and had picked some fantastic destinations like Sequoia National Park and even Redwood National Park. But being a vacation, Brandon decided that a long road trip wasn’t what he wanted.  We also settled to car camp instead of hike-in to keep things stress-free.

We ended up almost glamour camping just outside of Santa Barbara at Ocean Mesa Campground and RV Park.  Super clean and well-lit bathrooms and hot showers. Pool and hot tub. Free wi-fi. A convenience store. Massage service.  And if you don’t want to cook, you can hike down to the real glamour camping sister site’s general store which has a restaurant in it.

Tent campsites are steps away from all the convenience but far enough that you still feel like you’re actually camping. Except your neighbors are kind of close by and there are not a lot of bushes to separate you or trees to provide shades. And you’re right on the road in and out of the place so you’d hear folks coming and going.

However, we were there during the weekdays so the place was pretty much empty except a few of groups of European tourists and a couple of RVs. Squirrels rule the place but we also spotted quails, bluejays, hawks, and even a couple of condors circling nearby.

We also got to pretend we were REALLY camping, using Swedish fire steel to light our fire pit and firing up the awesome BioLite camp stove to cook some of the dinner AND charge our phones.  Brandon proclaimed my “Tandoori” chicken (got the char from the campfire then finish in the pan over BioLite’s tornado of flames!) with basmati rice and carrots the best camp food ever.  We crawled into our tent well lit by a VERY bright moon.  An hour or so later, we got sprinkled on, and that kept up on and off throughout the night.

The next day, we explored Solvang and Los Olivos before wrapping up with a bowl of Andersen’s split pea soup as a part of our tradition.  A few more hours in the pool and before we had to start thinking about dinner, we decided to just go home.  At this point we did all we wanted to do. And it was effing hot and there was no place to hide at the tent camping site.  Sure, we lost our the fee for the day which we wouldn’t have if we had decided on that before check-out time at noon. But we were done.

We found that we love going completely rugged or being completely spoiled. It didn’t satisfy either of that love when it’s half and half.  We did what we needed which was to get out of town and out of reach for a few days. It was time to go home.

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