OK Channing, I'll Do Your Exercise
My homie Channing in Boston tagged me for one of those blogger exercises where you reflect and share a little more about yourself and then tag other bloggers to pay it forward. (Here's the last one I did, in 2005, when I admitted to "dreaming about" Barack Obama. Yikes.)

This time, this is what I have to do:

- List six things that I do for joy
- Pass the award on to 6 more creative bloggers
- Link back to the person who gave me the award
- Link to the people I am passing it on to

1. Experiential escapades, or thinking about an experiential escapade
Hijinks, or being a harmless misfit. This usually includes making fun of situations or strangers without them knowing it. Like the time we put fresh shit in a bag, wrapped it in a gift bag (with tissue) and left it on my downstairs neighbor's door after he let his alarm go off all weekend.

Or the time my fellow misfit blogger friend JL and I made a video poking fun of my poor working conditions in South Carolina.

Or the numerous discussions Stiles and I have had about whether we should try to make meth, since there are so many news stories about how "easy" it is and you can just get instructions online. (We haven't done it and won't since this could lead to serious trouble and that's not something that brings me joy.)

2.) Family Time
The four members of my nuclear family are now spread out on three different continents. Three of us -- Mom, Roger and me are all kind of restless explorer-types and my Dad's retired so he's moving around the planet with mom. Her next diplomatic post is The Hague, The Netherlands. Home of the International Criminal Court.

When I grew up we all ate dinner together every night, so it's strange that we can't spend some holidays together. But precisely because we're so distanced from each other, the three or four times a year we get to be together brings me both great joy and calm.

3.) Eat Fast Food
This includes my number one favorite, chili dog (see below). People give me so much crap for this, but fast food brings me joy and it is cheap. And if you don't like it, don't eat it. I will.

My regulars: the Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell, the Beef 'n Cheddar at Arby's (don't forget the curly fries), the Snack Pack at Culver's (butterburger w/cheese, crinkle cut fries and a drink for just $3.99), anything from Chik-Fil-A, queso from Taco Cabana, the Original Chicken Sandwich from Burger King, the #10 Filet 'O Fish at McDonald's, Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and Biggie Fries at Wendy's, and the Pizza Hut lunch buffet, which I have loved since childhood.

4.) Nurture My Relationships
This kind of goes with Number 2. Because I can't be with family, in my twenties my friends have become a second family. I like to go to bars where we can hear each other talk, spend long lunches catching up, and enjoy keeping in touch with close friends who are far using modern technology. (A lot of time is spent on gtalk.)

Of course by "relationship" I count Mr. Stiles. We like to go to the "eat food, watch movie" place, aka Alamo Drafthouse. We also do a lot of sushi dinners, brunches and random trips to Target. And experiential escapades, of course.

5.) Travel
It pains me that because of the industry I work in, I can't get away very often and don't make enough cheddar to travel as I'd like. But my mom always told us that she'd spend any amount of money to allow us to travel because being in different places, different parts of the world give you an invaluable education. So I grew up flying around with my fam and love it. These past few years I've gotten to wander through emerging Asia since Mom was working in Taiwan. The one international trip with friends (if we don't count the Bahamas or Mexico) was after high school. Seven of us wandered around Europe together for a month; the older I get the more grateful I am for that trip.

6.) Run Outside
I don't consider myself a runner. I've run a marathon once and am currently training for a half in January, but I'm not one of those people who has to do it regularly or needs it to clear my head. I just enjoy being outside and talking to whoever's running beside me as we hit one trail or another. I've always bonded quickly with other people I run with, which is a joyful consequence of the exercise part. I don't have a favorite race or distance, but one thing I remember while running in college: I once discovered a trail near our duplex in which numerous rabbit couples were humping like... jackrabbits, all afternoon. I'll never forget it.

OK so that's that. Now I tag six of my blogger friends to reflect on what brings them joy:

Big Poppa
Sappy Chick
Posted by E
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