a gathering place for the words, images and momentos of the world of adventures i've adventured, the stories i've wandered through. curriculum bella vita...a resume, of sorts, of the good life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ride's Here

Uhh, maybe it's a bit hard to make out from my MacBook-held-in-reverse picture, but there's a gigantic limo in front of my house right now. My guess is that it's either for me or for Dmitri Medvedev. He's in town, you know.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

my stats

You've probably been staying up late at night what, exactly, it is that draws people to my humble blog. Okay, even if neither of us actually suffer from such an ailment, the kind people at statcounter.com make it ridiculously easy to see what google searches lead viewers to my blog. Of the last 36 search hits, all but one fell into one of these categories:

1. "american collegiate adventure reviews." folks, probably all parents, trying to find out a bit more about about the program i worked at last summer before sending their kids off. (yesterday, for example, i fielded a call from orange county...)

2. "how does a pirate say goodbye." apparently, a lot of people punch this into google. they're directed to some typewriter art and, no doubt, go away uncontented.

3. "how did the states get their shapes." these cybertourists, on the other hand, gets a really good treatment of 19th century state politics re: state boundaries.

Another neat feature? You guessed it. The map shows me where folks are reading my blog from. Wow!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

homework assignment

today in the middle of class, our lovely teacher handed us sheet of paper, said "Do this," then excused herself for five minutes. At first we were confused. Then all of a sudden we were no longer confused.

In fact, I bet even you'd be able to tackle this 7th week of Telugu assignment if you tried hard enough!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Woah! I take a glance at some shiny new pennies, and all of a sudden i realize the world is out of control, they changed the back of the penny! i'm gonna have to head down to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and see what's up!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

DC Urban Adventure: Tubing the Potomac

I've been in the city too long. I hadn't left DC since I got here in February, excepting an overnight to West Virginia for a bit of the 'ole teambuilding. So i figured it was time to break out for back to back weekends. Last weekend it was a bluegrass weekend at BPV's in-laws horse ranch up the Shenandoah. This weekend? Tubing down the Potomac.

Harper's Ferry as quaint as it gets in these parts, an easy one-hour drive or Amtrak ride from DC. Rivers, hills and history converge at a picture confluence.

For $30, Butts Tubing will give you a tube (some with coasters!), haul you two miles upstream and pick you up when you've had your fill. Double meaning, of course, floating coolers are allowed. We were unable to confirm the rumor that the buses will take you back to the starting line as many times as you'd like...instead we squated on some exposed rocks and sunned ourselves for hours.

Note: It is important not to miss your exit. We did. After you pass under two bridges, the river will curve and you'll enter a boulder field. Take that opportunity to get to the right bank. Sooner rather than later. This is not bushwhacking country.

Friday, June 4, 2010


ps. I can now say "I like to play tennis" in Telugu.

నాకు టెన్నిస్ ఆడను ఇష్టం.

game set match

One year ago, I learned how to play tennis. In some ways, it's just another sport, but I've take to the game. Maybe not as a way of life, perhaps, but certainly something more interesting than just a passing hobby.

Mallory taught the game to me from scratch last summer at the ripe ole age of 28, approximately 27 years after a Madden would learn the sport. She beat me repeatedly, as you'd expect a former high school number one single to do. But every once in a while I took pride in taking her to Deuce or even stealing a game. I got so good at losing with grace that my first victory -- Mallory and I wore her parents out -- came as a surprise.

This year, Hyderabadi Andrew is my most frequent cross-court opponent. He claims some genetic proclivity to tennis, so he regularly beats me, too, but i'm getting way more competitive. Seems like half our games go to Deuce, sometimes repeatedly.

In commemoration of a year of tennis, here's a statistical analysis of my performance:

2009 (approximately 4 months of game play)

11 "matches"
19 sets (2 wins, 17 loses)
46-107 game score

2010 (approximately 2 months of game play so far, 5 months remaining)

9 "matches"
19 sets (2 wins, 17 loses)
47-107 game score

So I know what you're saying. "Jeremy," as you roll your eyes,"that's not very impressive improvement. You've improved your game win percentage from 30.07% to 30.52% over the course of a year. That's not even half-a-percentage better. Did you, in fact, get an better?"

Three impressive statistics, though, lay buried in the numbers, as I suppose all good statistics do:

A. Stamina. I play more sets per match this go-round. Last year's "matches" averaged 1.73 sets. This year, I average 2.11 sets before going home. That's a 22% increase in the length of play once I step on a court.

B. Gettin'-on-the-Board. In 2009, I was shut-out 4 times. That's right, Mallory held me without a game in 4 of our sets. This year, though? Andrew's managed the feat only once.

C. Frequency. Last year, I played tennis approximately 2.75 times per month. This year, though, I'm averaging 4.5 - almost double the old rate of play!

But the tennis lessons aren't limited to on-the-court. Some nuggets of tennis wisdom are applicable in the world at large. Among them, a tennis adage I learned playing a random Spanish-only speaking gentleman (probably Nadal's cousin) in Fond du Lac last fall: Broke at love...a bad way to go in tennis and life.