Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Week #30

week30

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sundays I Write Letters


First a couple of responses from older posts:
RE: COMING CLEAN
Dear kathyb,
I apologize for the tardy response. I am glad that you read my blog. I shall start to visit yours. The photo hunt is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, but I’ll keep tryin’.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: I WANT ONE
Dear kim-n-cocoa,
Thank you for your dog suggestion. When I’m ready, I do want to make sure I adopt a dog that is a good match for me. Thank you for pointing out that purebreds aren’t always taken care of. That is one thing I forgot to mention—I did look at a couple of greyhound sites because I remember that breed always being featured on The Price is Right (good ol’ Bob was always concerned about the pooches).

I shall have to check your blog and see Cocoa.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



And now, for this past week:
RE: PROJECT 25
Dear KBezzie,
What don’t you do with M&M’s? Hmm?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
You can make them last a whole hour? That’s insane. Even when I suck ‘em they last me 30 minutes, tops.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #29
Dear KBezzie,
You always knew how to name a piece.

I appreciate your job hunting skillz. That’s right, you’re so good at it I changed that second ‘s’ to a ‘z’. Now, if you can find me the world’s best job, I’ll go ahead and change that first ‘s,’ too. And then you’ll have zkillz.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Ken,
The right side is my “to do” list. On the left is my notes from a seminar. I found taking notes like this kept me quite conscious.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I try to divide my time equally between my planner and blog. Now, if the planner gets more attention, the blog doesn’t really suffer since I post scans from the planner on it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 4-6 WEEKS
Dear KBezzie,
I kid you not. It was indeed the passport.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I do really want to see all of you in Alaska. I miss the people; I miss the state. That said, the only reason why I’ve named the drive-back-to-Alaska-and-live-with-the-‘rents-post-graduation option “Plan Z” is because there aren’t many job opportunities in my chosen field of work and if I did follow through with Plan Z, then without a doubt, I’d move back out of the state. That kind of moving wouldn’t be too much fun.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Chrissy,
I’m not sure if I feel sad when it’s considered unusual to encounter a super-nice person. I think it’s sadder when people aren’t decent human beings and treat and respect each other as fellow human beings. Nice I can live without, decency, now that’s vital.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Tracie,
When I drove here almost two years ago, my Mom and I were able to make it in and out of Canada with just our birth certificates and licenses. The Canadians were extremely nice. They weren’t suspicious at all when I told them in the middle of nowhere, Alaska/Canada that we were on our way to Atlanta. They only asked, “Why are you going there, eh?” Now, I fear they’d be a little harsher. “Where’s your passport, eh?”

Sincerely,
T. Budnik
P.S. In my three days spent in Canada, I didn't hear a single Canadian say, "eh." I added it for effect. I love Canada.



RE: ADVENTURE RACING
Dear Mom,
Um, I’m gonna guarantee that there will not be any bears. Oh, funny story, I had a dream about a cub mauling some people. You were there.

So now it’s Team Mom and Daughter.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
You’re in.

We’ve got Team UAF Chicks and Mom.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Nikbudnik,
We’re gonna need someone to kill the ants, or if we’re in Alaska (remember I never said that I’d for sure do the Alaska race, just some adventure race), the mosquitoes. You’ve already proven to me that you can do that, or at least not be attacked by them.

Team Super-Awesome Chicks.

Sincerely,

T. Budnik



Dear KBezzie,
Good call, but for that smart ass remark, you’re on the team. Oh, you thought you could get out of participating by pointing at someone else. Well, it didn’t work.

Team (Sex-ay) Budnik Ladies.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Readers,
If you haven’t claimed you want to participate yet and now you’re feeling a little hesitant because you’re not a Budnik or, more importantly, a lady, don’t stay quiet. I could choose to do a race in a location where none of these fine women reside or are capable of getting to. If that is the case, I’ll still need team members. Please, if you’re interested, say it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: SOMETIMES WISHES COME TRUE
Dear Kim-n-Cocoa,
Hmmm…have I ever had problems with pointy things. Oh, a couple of weeks ago I cut myself a bit with a pair of scissors. Good call. I will be careful.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Don’t be jealous of my beef jerky-freeing skillz.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sometimes Wishes Come True

Remember my story about the trapped beef jerky on my way back to Atlanta from North Carolina? Do you remember what this incident made me want?

Friday I found this in the mail:

leatherman

It came from my super-cool aunt who I just saw. Seems my uncle (her husband) had a Leatherman for a couple of years but then it disappeared. He finally gave up all hopes of finding it and purchased a replacement. And, so, according to the Laws of the Universe, the old one had to show up. He then had two. The night I had dinner with my aunt, I must have recounted the story of the trapped beef jerky, because she knew I wanted a Leatherman and sent me my uncle's unnecessary replacement. How cool is that?

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Friday, July 27, 2007

Adventure Racing
This past weekend I was reading the latest issue of Trail Runner magazine. I'm somewhat interested in trail running, because I like hiking, but I'm not sure if I really want to turn walking into running.

Anyway, I came across an article about adventure racing. Hello! Put this on my list of things I want to do. One of the races mentioned in the magazine was Bushwak This, a race from Wasilla to Hatchers Pass (right around where I grew up). Teams of 2-6 people hike, bike, and paddle through the course. It appears a bit of orienteering is involved. The great thing about this race is that there are really three races: a 6, 12, and 24 hour race. And, they encourage people to just have fun.

Now, I don't own a bike and I think the extent of my knowledge of orienteering is what I learned in middle school gym class and 9th grade science. I've never paddled. But, there are classes for this. Or, I'm sure you can just learn along the way, like any great adventurer.

I may not race tomorrow, or the next day, or even next year, but, oh yes, I will complete at least one adventure race in my lifetime. Who's with me on this? I'm ready to start pickin' team members.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

4-6 Weeks

passport

I'm graduating soon and have not a clue where I'll end up. I want to keep my options open, so I created Plan Z: drive back to Alaska and stay with the 'rents for awhile. (It's called Plan Z because I'm gonna have to be pretty damn desparate to drive a couple of thousand miles.) To get in and out of Canada and Mexico, you pretty much need a passport. This law rolled out this year or so. Knowing about these passport laws, I decided to get on it.

The post office on Howell Mill Road is probably the best post office I've been to here in Atlanta. When I went there to apply for my passport I was lucky to be helped by the guy who calls the next customer by exclaiming, "How can I help you on this gah-lor-ee-us day?" Seriously, if you don't smile after that even if you've been waiting 30 minutes, you're just soulless. This guy told me that even though I shelled out close to 200 dollars for expedited service, it was still going to take at least 4-6 weeks before my passport arrived.

I applied on July 10th. On July 20th, if I had heard the doorbell ring, I would have had my passport.

Ten days, people. Ten days.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Week #29

week29

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, July 23, 2007

project25low

Update

It's been a full week since I started Project 25. So far, so good. Mom sent me a copy of her meal plan and let me tell you, if I was following that, I'd have some mad cravings.

The week hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be. But, I've done a 100% chocolate-free week before. There haven't been too many temptations. Today a co-worker brought in oatmeal cookies. She wanted me to have some, but I simply explained Project 25. People aren't going to shove cookies down your throat, folks. It's easy to stray away from the temptations because I'm doing this for my Mom and myself. And, a bunch of people know now and can call me on it if I cheat.

So, as far as cheating goes. Honestly, I can't imagine NEVER having a piece of cake larger than 2x2". So, I'm going to say it right now: I probably will cheat in the future. But, not regularly.

M&M eating tip of the week: suck 'em!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: PROJECT 25
Dear KBezzie,
I think I vaguely remember melting M&M’s in my armpit when I was a little kid. Gross.

I think you need to contact the M&M company and share your sugar-free ideas.

Oh, and lay off the 2 extra M&M’s in the picture.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Don’t cry. It was good times. In the future, I’ll have a post about how it feels to be on Project 25.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear JB,
Feel free to join Project 25. And, I’m not better than you, brother.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Nikbudnik,
I’m glad that you’re doing what you can. But, more importantly, you don’t eat chocolate? You should look into that.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Ty,
I’m glad that you understand the “oh” answer. I’d have to say that for me, “mom” and “friend” are not one and the same. And, probably will never be. The relationship with my Mom is way different than any friendship I’ve had. Come on, none of my friends have every bought me a vacuum and a year’s worth of bags.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #28
Dear KBezzie,
Oh geez, you’re not going to tell us why you were practicing your “k?” Fine, I’ll just have to pretend I don’t care.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Mmm…I’d have to say the calligraphy pen is no more fun than the green pen I paid $1.29 for. (I thought the green pen was going to be juicier.)

I’m glad you like the new look of the blog.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: I WANT ONE
Dear Mom,
I know I’m greedy. But, I think it’s more of a lifestyle I’m trying to build than things to acquire. If I was living next to a mountain and being paid to take road trips and write, I wouldn’t want a damn thing in the world.

Your sister and I had a splendid time.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
If you live in a Fairbanks cabin, you will be more Fairbanksian than I ever was. Honestly, to live in a cabin for a year is an experience—a worthy one. And, it’s basically something a lot of people can’t say they’ve done.

Oh, I must let you know that in high school all I ever wanted was to get a shack and live with my late, beloved cat, Shpider. And, I told people that we would get a dog together. Great minds think alike.

Thank you for having plans to make those sad dogs happy again.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I’m going to cross all those bridges once I get there. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I had no idea that you would want a dog in the future. Do you want it or is this a desire of the two men in your life?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear Mom,
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that you would enjoy this one. Yes. I think you would. Just don’t blame me if you don’t enjoy it—like you did when you read The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Takes one to know one.

I don’t know if the novelization of short story collections is a Canadian thing or a marketing scheme. I was told once that short stories don’t get published often, so writers were getting them published as novels.

Let me read some more Canadian authors and I’ll let you know.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Book Review: The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro

viewcastlerock

I picked this book up because Alice Munro is known for her short stories, and, uh, I like short stories. I don't know exactly why I'm okay with this book. It didn't rock my socks, but I didn't want to throw it across the room when I was done with it. (Those are two common reactions I have to books.)

The "collection of stories" fell into the Margaret Atwood Moral Disorder category--sure, each story can stand on it's own, but the collection is more like a novel. The first part of the book focused on the great-greats of Alice Munro's family moving to America. America meaning more than the United States: most of the family lived in Canada. The second part tells the story of her young life and then jumps to the part of her adulthood when she was interested in her great-greats. It's an autobiography or memoir of sorts, but not.

"You could say that such stories pay more attention to the truth of a life than fiction usually does. But not enough to swear on. And the part of this book that might be called family history has expanded into fiction, but always within the outline of a true narrative." That's what she says in the foreword. It's non-fiction.

Probably the most redeeming part of the entire book for me can be found in this little quote. She starts two sentences with "and" and "but." I like doing that. But, all around it was good. I read through the entire thing (and it's not a short book) fairly quickly and enjoyed it. It just didn't move me to rock the socks or throw the book.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Want One

dogadoption

Tuesday night I met my aunt downtown for dinner. She always comes to Atlanta to work the Mart for her company. We've met up four times since I've been here and we were a little sad that this time was probably the last. (I'm hoping to move on to another location after I graduate.)

Here's Aunt Mary B and me through the spy camera:

002

(The beauty of the spy camera is that, even though it is a digital camera, you can't see what you've taken until you download it to the computer. Half-heads are abundant.)

Anyway, while we were eating dinner at Pitty Pat's Porch, I was telling her how I wish I made it out to different trails around Atlanta instead of always hitting up the same two trails. I explained how it's hard for me to go to a new trail because it's hard finding anyone to go with me and I get a little spooked on a trail by myself.

She replied, "On the trails around where I live, I take Bog Dog and the leash. I only use the leash if we come across people."

Ding! For a long time I've thought about getting a pet but have known I wanted to wait until I was a wee bit more settled. I know how to handle cats and I like cats. I've never lived with a dog so I don't know how to really take care of one. So, I figured when I'm ready, I'll just get a cat.

No more, my friends, no more. I think I'm gonna take the time to learn about dogs, find the right dog for me, and make sure it's a hiking and road trip dog. Won't that be great? Drivin' and hikin' with a dog?

And, when I set out to find a dog, none of the purebred puppy crap. I feel sick when I see living creatures with an undeniable personality being sold. Heck no. I'm going to adopt.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

*As a side note, I know this is the third addition to my wish list in a month, but look at what I've wanted: ID bracelet, leatherman, Teva sandals, and a dog. All of these are adventure items.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week #28

week28

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, July 16, 2007

project25low



First, a few words about my Mom. I love my Mom. She's probably the best Mom I've ever had. Here's my absolute favorite picture of me and her together:



theresamom



This was taken a couple of weeks before we headed out on the road to Atlanta. This is our Thelma and Louise picture. After watching that movie, she only agreed to go as far as the silk scarves--and she made me promise not to drive over any cliffs. I explained that Thelma and Louise was about female empowerment, but whatever. By the time I got home for the summer after graduating college, I knew my Mom was going with me on my big road trip. We had a blast the entire summer planning it.



When I told people about our trip, like always, they asked who I was going with. When I told them I was going with my Mom, they said, "Oh." The kind of "oh" that asks, "Is this a good thing or a bad thing?" I didn't know a road trip with a Mom could be a bad thing. I replied that I wanted my Mom to come with me and that we got along well.



For three weeks--two on the road and one in an unfurnished apartment--we spent 100% of our time together. On the first day I told her a story in the morning and she retold it to me in the evening like it was new. On the third day, I was tired and in a rotten mood. We both hoped that this wasn't an indication of what would happen the entire three weeks. It wasn't. We got along swimmingly listening to mix CDs family had made for us, eating chicken strips from A&W's in Canada, getting down on M&M's, and visiting a lot of family.



Getting down on M&M's. Mom was recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Now, it's not the end of the world because she can control it with her diet. A diet that doesn't allow for her to eat a lot of M&M's and sweets. And this sucks. When I learned this, I could only imagine what it would be like. Then, I decided to stop imagining.



This is Project 25. Mom can only eat the equivalent of 25 M&M's of chocolate or sweets a day. And so, I, in support of Mom and my own health, will only eat 25 M&M's a day. I'm not going to tell you how much chocolate/sweets I'd eat a day, but I can't say that it was healthy. This isn't about weight loss--I don't even own a scale.



Project 25 is about supporting a Mom who's the best and taking a wee little step towards healthier living.



Enjoy!

T. Budnik

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: I WANT TWO
Dear KBezzie,

Takes one to know one.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Try to stop me from purchasing my namesake flip flops. I dare you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Barclay,
First, welcome to my blog.

Second, this is the story I tell about my nickname, Mush. I weighed 11 pounds and 2 ounces when I was born. My parents thought I had the likeness of a Marshmallow. In the way that words evolve through baby talk and cooing, “marshmallow” became “Mush.”

By the way, if anyone is interested, the right to call me Mush is reserved for those in the Budnik Family. But, if you ever catch me working in a fabric store, feel free to use the moniker.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #27
Dear KBezzie,
Yes, I believe the chicks dressed as Lady Liberty were sporting foam hats. I noticed that one was wearing a dressier style of flip flops. For 6.2 miles, she must have been in pain.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Oh, I did the race. And I saw all those things. I got the tshirt as proof.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
Yes, water misters are cool. I don’t believe I’ve run through a sprinkler since the days when we would run through the soccer field sprinklers. Ah, good times.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: COMING CLEAN
Dear KBezzie,
I read your blog because I like to let the world know I think you’re a skank. And that’s not a lie.

I fancy myself a blog-link snob. If I don’t like your blog and/or you don’t update regularly, you’re not going on the list. I have standards.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I’ve called like 2-3 times in the last week. You know what I’m up to and then some. You don't have to depend on my blog.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Kim,
I am happy that you don’t think I’m creepy. I like your philosophy about falling off your bike. I’m sure one day when I’m feeling saucy, I’ll feel the need to ride--maybe not race or go long distances--that's the day I’ll purchase a bike (and a helmet).

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: NEW NAME, SAME GREAT WRITIN’
Dear KBezzie,
I can’t believe you were rear ended AGAIN. You need to watch your butt. Seriously. Well, so it was the fourth time. Was it the first time someone admitted to being distracted by your bumper sticker?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Kim,
Thank you for linking my blog. I hope you find my stories and adventures entertaining.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Um, did you not get the shot glass and smooshed penny from South of the Border that I sent you for your birthday? I traipsed across a funky amusement park for that smooshed penny. Geez.

Oh, you should keep your eye on the mail, though. I sent you something on Friday.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


RE: WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD INTERNET?
Dear KBezzie,
You can do it! That is, make your own website. The hosting people I go through have some templates you can use. They probably aren’t particularly pretty, but you take what you can get sometimes.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
Click on the screen shot of my website. It’ll take you to it. Or, go to http://www.tbudnik.com/. That’ll get you there just as quick.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, July 13, 2007

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Internet?

webpage

With graduation looming in the distance, a personal website seems like a smart move. But, my classes at school have not afforded me the opportunity to learn any computer skills whatsoever, unless you count one extremely misguided Introduction to Desktop Publishing class.

But, I'm not afraid of the Big Bad Internet. Wednesday I purchased some webhosting and a domain. Today, I posted an "Under Construction" page, complete with links.

I really couldn't have done it on my own, though. I would like to thank the man who taught my Computer Science 101 class. Sir, I may not remember your name and you may have worn the exact same khaki pants and faded denim blue shirt every Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm, but I learned more from you than how to get a math credit without actually crunching numbers. Mr. Khaki Pants and Blue Shirt Every Day, you taught me to not be afraid of HTML and FTP. You taught me that it can be done and with minimal knowledge. No fancy computer programs were needed and certainly no math. I didn't have to drop an extra $40 on software. Nope. I read the instructions. I made one quick call to tech support and I was on my way.

Now, I just have to get a REAL website designed. And uploaded. And, it wouldn't hurt if I got some actual portfolio pieces done to post. Today I will celebrate my Internet victory knowing that there will be many more challenges and problems in the future. I'll take what I can get.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Name, Same Great Writin'

Dear Readers,
I’m trying to focus my blog just a wee bit more. Hence, a new name. It’s more than just a name, though, it’s a perspective.

Here’s the deal: I was born, raised, and educated in the Last Frontier, Land of the Midnight Sun, Seward’s Folly. Pull out a map: I was born in Anchorage; raised in Palmer; and went to college in Fairbanks. Living in Alaska, you’re surrounded by adventurers. Everyone is from somewhere. Or, if they really are from Alaska, ten to one, they’re Alaskan Native and have an amazing culture. Everyone has a story. Unless, you were me, who had yet to take a life-changing voyage to a new and exciting place.

That’s why I moved. I wanted adventure. So, after graduating college in 2005, I bought a Ford Taurus, packed everything necessary, and headed for the Lower 48 with my Mom (who flew back). For two weeks, I saw things I’d never seen. I heard crickets for the first time. I smelled a skunk. I landed in Atlanta, Georgia--which just may be the exact opposite of Alaska.

The thing is you can’t drive from Alaska to Atlanta 365 days a year. Or backpack across Europe. Or hike the Appalachian Trail. But, you don’t have to in order to have an adventure. I believe in the Everyday Adventure. It’s what happens when you get lost or experience the unexpected. It’s the story of overcoming an obstacle (or not). It’s anything that makes a good story. An adventure is the story you just gotta tell.

I’m living life like an adventure and these are my stories.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Coming Clean

These are blogs I read, but with some of them, I’ve never left comments indicating to the writers that I’m a reader.

First up: Power Love
I stumbled across this one while clicking on the NaBloPoMo Randomizer button. NaBloPoMo was National Blog Posting Month. If you participated, you were supposed to post once a day for the entire month of November. I completed it and even went beyond the month because of a class requirement.

Power Love is one of the few blogs I found that I keep going back to. Why? Because Kim, who doesn’t know me (and just may now think I’m creepy even though I swear I’m not), is a good writer. She’s very fond of bikes and Chicago. Reading her posts about her biking adventures, I think to myself, “Man, I should get a bike,” and then I remember that I fall down on bikes and I don’t have health insurance. That’s how strong her passion is and how good her writing is.


Second: Fussy
This would be the site that sponsored NaBloPoMo. I first started going back to this site to see if I had won any of the prizes. Even though I posted every single day, I didn’t win a damn thing, but I did get a cool web-badge to post on my blog that told the world what a great blogger I’d been.

What keeps me going back to Fussy? I don’t know. I guess it’s the writing again. Good stories are told. And I like stories.


Third: Waterhalo
Your eyes are going to binge on a visual feast. I love Jaime’s collages. I can’t go often because the posts are scarce. But, they're such a delight, I can’t knock it off of my “blogs to visit” list.


Fourth: Where’s Dan Now?
Okay, I haven’t been visiting this one for a long time because I just found it. After discovering Dan Price through Simple Shoes, I read his book Moonlight Chronicles. I liked that book so much, I wrote him. And he responded.

I suggest reading his books, zine, and blog. (And, when I’m rich enough, I’m gonna buy me a pair of Simple Shoes.)

Fifth: Do You Have One of These?
My sister introduced me to this blog. I think pretty much anyone can join. Basically, the folks will post topics and people will try to take pictures of the topic and post them. I’m horrible at keeping up with this one, but soon enough I’ll have some construction photos to post.

Enjoy! (Because I do.)
-T. Budnik

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Week #27

week27

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, July 09, 2007

I Want Two

Okay, not to be greedy, but I want something else. During my daily Internet surfing, I came across these.

tevas


They're MUSH flip flops! Click on the screenshot (it'll take you to the Teva site) and read the description. Come on, they were made for me!

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

PS. For all non-Budnik readers, Mush is my family-given nickname.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: I WANT ONE
Dear Mom,
I am well aware that jerky and nuts are not a healthy lunch. It’s a road lunch.

I did think about this tool before. I was seduced by the shiny, bright colors, but didn’t want to be so superficial as to buy something for its color. Now, if I purchase one I can justify it by my trapped jerky.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Your magical yarn cutter intrigues me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Sincerely,
T .Budnik



RE: WEEK #26
Dear Mom,
I have plans to get photos taken and stand in line at the post office next week. Options. I need options.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
You better believe my day in pictures. No, I have not taken up yoga. I have contemplated it, but, like you, I am lazy and I love walking (walking being my choice of exercise over yoga).

I’m looking forward to our yoga date—whenever it happens. You better not back out, either like the time we were going to go jogging and you gave up. And, do you remember when we found that yoga book and tried it?

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: 4TH OF JULY
Dear Mom,
It took me 1 hour, 36 minutes to complete the 6.2 miles. That’s about a 15 minute mile. I don’t feel so bad about it. The weekend before I saw a lady wearing one of the old race shirts, so I asked her about it. She said it took her 1 hour, 45 minutes to do it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
Yah, that man is about to grab me!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I’m not going to cry you a river about your seven miles, nine months pregnant, in the cold story. I was really impressed and amazed when you first told me you did this, though.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear John,
Really, I don’t know if you’re John or not, because you didn’t sign your name. But, how many people do I know that would do the Musk Ox 5K? If I was there, I would totally do the 5K with you. I probably wouldn’t run it, but I’d power-walk it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear Mom,
I don’t think you should read this one. There are no quilts involved.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik

Friday, July 06, 2007

Book Review: The Odd Number: Thirteen Tales by Guy de Maupassant

oddnum

Back in college, I had to read a couple of stories by Maupassant—in French. I really liked them and even went as far as purchasing a collection of his stories—in French. Well, I haven’t ever gotten around to reading those and even though I learned translations sometimes suck, I picked up this book—all in English.

Maupassant has a weird way of telling stories, or idea of what is a story. Quite a few of these stories start out by someone telling the story. For example, there are some jolly people on a train who decide to tell scary stories. The jolly people don’t really matter; they’re just a reason to tell a story. The stories that are set up this way are not dramatic monologues. We know nothing more about the storytellers in the end than we did at the beginning.

Usually, there are minor details revealed in the end that are “gotchas.” “The Necklace” and “The Piece of String” are examples of this. A necklace that is thought to be expensive is borrowed and lost and 10 years of hard work are spent paying back the money used to buy a replacement. Well, I won’t spoil the end for you, but maybe you can figure out what the surprise is at the end.

There are two things I noticed Maupassant doing. Either the stories exaggerate the drama of an incident—a very small incident is worthy of its own story—or the exact opposite—a very dramatic, very emotional incident is given only a couple-paged story and very understated. I like it. I’ll have to ponder the pros and cons of doing this for a few days, though.

I would say that if you’re not into old-ish French literature, steer clear of this one. But, if you like that “classic-y” stuff they forced you to read in school, pick it up.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

racenumber

I did a first on the fourth: I completed a fun run/walk, the 10K Peachtree Road Race. (I walked.) This race is said to be the world's largest 10K because 55,000 people participate. It's hard to grasp just how many people this is. It's roughtly 11x the size of my hometown of Palmer. That's a helluva lot of people.

The race officially started at 7:30am. But, Peachtree Road closed at 5:30am. Knowing that I'd never get a parking spot at the surrounding malls, I figured I'd take the train. In order to get to said train station, I had to drive on Peachtree. I woke up yesterday at 3:30am and left for the train station at 4:30am, just to be safe. I wasn't the only race participant on the train to the start, either. I got to my line up area, which was several blocks from the actual start, about 5:45am. And I waited.

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Here I am waiting later in the morning. It was dark when I first arrived. Birdie, you talk about the spy camera making everything look like a horror film, check out what the guy behind me is doing.

People trickled in. I got my picture taken. And by the start time, TONS of people were standing up and ready to go. There were 9 time groups in all. I was in the last group. It wasn't until 1 hour after the actual start that we began to stroll to the start line. Finally, we made it and we were off.

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There's the start!

As soon as we passed that line everyone's head started bobbing with their jogging. I moved over to the right because I wasn't going to be a fool and try to run.

The energy was really great. There were a lot of spectators along the road and a bunch of radio stations and live bands playing. Among the throngs of participants, there were a couple of groups.

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Here's a group from a police academy. The entire time they kept doing their cadence thing and everyone around sang along.

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These people weren't liked as much. They all had tshirts that said something like "The Peachtree Pub Crawl" and carried a flag with a beer on it. They all were drinking and chanted, "Water bad. Beer good," or "Beer. Beer. Beer." No one sang along with them.

I also spotted some chicks dressed up like the Statue of Liberty and some guys dressed as Spiderman. Oh, and how can I forget the dogs along the road that were wearing Uncle Sam hats. (I tried to get a picture of that, but it didn't come out.)

After 6.2 miles, the finish.

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That's a really bad photo, but I had to show a "finisher" photo.

After crossing the line, I went to get my "coveted" tshirt. Bastards were all out of mediums like I requested on my entry form. Then, while in line for a small, they ran out. I went to the large line and got an extra large. Oh well. At least I got a tshirt.

Getting back to my original train station wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. There were about a million people trying to get into the midtown station when I got there from the finish. But, a nice employee of Marta announced there was a shuttle to the Lindbergh station (where I was parked) around the corner. I said screw the train and got on the bus. A bonus: the bus was free.

Now, I'm not going to tell stories. I was tired at the end. Tired from being up since 3:30am and tired from walking 6.2 miles. I didn't, however, die. Which I thought may happen in the heat. I sipped on water while I waited for the start, just like they recommended. I drank water along the route and I walked through some water misters. My ankles did kind of ache for the rest of the day, though.

In Atlanta there's a number of places that put on firework shows. While watching the news, I learned that half a million people were expected to show up for the Lenox Square Mall display. Yah, right. I figured that maybe if I walked down the street I could catch a glimpse of those ones since I'm not that far from the mall. So, when I started to hear some noise, I walked outside to see what I could see. It was then that I remembered I live next to a golf course. Yesss. I got a good look at an amateur show. There were probably half a dozen different groups that were setting off fireworks on the course.

I got to participate in the famous race. I saw fireworks. All in all, it was a happy 4th.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Week #26

week26

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Monday, July 02, 2007

I Want One

squirt

This is a North Carolina story I'm pretty sure I haven't blogged. As some of you may know, Nikki sent me some road munchies before my trip which included some beef jerky. On the return trip I planned on a lunch of nuts (Planters nuts, mind you) and beef jerky. A classic road lunch.

At a rest stop I pulled out my beef jerky and started to open it by tearing at that little place they start for you. Dammit, I didn't rip far enough. My preserved meat was still protected by a completely sealed bag. My palms started to sweat. But, no big deal, I told myself. There's one of those little "tear here" spots on the other side. Riiiip! Sweet sassy molassy! I still didn't tear far enough. My jerky was stuck.

My mind raced to the tools I have in my emergency kit. All that's in there are things that are going to help me if my car breaks down, not if I can't open a bag of beef jerky. I frantically tried to open the package like a bag of chips with no success. I tossed the beef jerky in the back seat and hit the road hungry and angry at my lack of tools.

That, my friends, is why I want one of these. Think of all the snacks I could open.

Enjoy!
T. Budnik

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sundays I Write Letters

RE: NORTH CAROLINA TRIP JUNE 2007: DAY 3
Dear Birdie,
Rest assured, I am only super happy in the picture with Nikki. She likes to take drunken skank pictures with people. I am only acting.

I hope you enjoyed the video.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
I’m glad that you now understand the garden situation. Peppers sound tasty.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I don’t know what you’re talking about when you write “blob of dough.” That is all.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Gene,
You’re so funny I forgot to laugh.

Haha! Now that’s funny!

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: NORTH CAROLINA TRIP JUNE 2007: DAY 4
Dear Gene,
Thank you for hosting me and having a super-awesome family.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
You should have stopped at South of the Border. Totally worth it.

Thank you for mentioning the wiener mobile. I want to see the nut and wiener mobiles together so bad now.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I am glad that I have lots of family. They’re good times.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: WEEK #25
Dear Kaye,
No moles died for my planner. It’s only imitation moleskin. Fur is murder. Don’t ever forget that.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Gene,
It is Atlanta Homebrew. Sorry for the confusion. I have to inform you that you can indeed drink Atlanta Homebrew after brushing your teeth. You think it’d be gross, but it’s not too bad. I’ve done it multiple times.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
No comment? Well, I’ve got nothing to say to that.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: FAN MAIL
Dear Birdie,
Cool indeed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
It is exciting to know an author I admire actually read my letter and story. And, it’s pretty sweet to get a free copy of his zine.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear KBezzie,
Wicked jawesome indeed.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: AMICALOLA FALLS THROUGH A SPY CAMERA AND A PEN
Dear KBezzie,
I don’t think I’ve ever seen dead snakes on the side of the road. I think I saw my first dead armadillo when I drove to NC.

I’m glad you digga my new layout. New and exciting webthings should be coming in the near future.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Mom,
I sure didn’t freak out. I’ve thought about this and I think part of the reason I didn’t freak out was because it wasn’t THAT scary. See, I didn’t step on it or anything. I simply saw it and stopped. I’ve encountered moose before—walking 10-15 feet away from them. Now, in my book, a moose is much scarier than a snake. Because if you piss off a moose and decide to boogie, that thing will probably catch up with you and stomp your ass. If you boogie when you see a snake, I’m sure it’s not going to slither fast enough to catch up and bite you.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik


Dear Birdie,
Do you commune with Simon?

The spy camera does lend a creepy look to the pictures. Like not seeing something is more scary than actually seeing it.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik



RE: BOOK REVIEW
Dear Birdie,
I’m glad that you like Roald Dahl. Maybe you should read this book.

Sincerely,
T. Budnik