Ten Best Days of 2013

Princess Caribbean Cruise

In January, I boarded a large boat and experienced my first cruise ever. Despite a bit of initial seasickness, the whole experience was a very positive one (even if I did forget my copy of David Foster Wallace’s “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again”).

All in all, we were on the seas for about a week – I’ve posted up a full recap of the cruise, and all the various stops we made along the way.

SpitShake.com Launches!

The idea for this site came about over 7 years ago, when Ben and Chris made a bet about eating 6 Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwiches in an Hour.

The concept for the site involved creating contracts for informal bets, and it was something many of us kicked around off and on. I’m happy to have finally gotten the concept in a tangible form, and am proud about realizing an idea that’s been sitting in the back of my head for many years now.

As a nice bonus, the site got a nod on BoingBoing!

Q&A with Director Cory Welles: 32 Hours, 7 Minutes

Back in 2004, I heard about a cool documentary about the US Express (the successor to the Cannonball Run). Near the end of 2012, I found out that the documentary was going to be released (after nearly 8 years), and ended up getting in touch with the director, Cory Welles.

On seeing the documentary, I was so taken with it that I ended up doing several Q&A’s with those involved. Cory’s interview was a uniquely fun experience, as I got to learn a ton about the documentary and a lot of what happened, behind the scenes.

Liz’s Birthday Roadtrip to Michigan

For her birthday, I ended up taking Liz back to Michigan… where we hit up all manner of antique malls and shops, along Blue Star Highway. We got some great recommendations for places to visit via Katherine, and visited shop after shop… so much so that we were exhausted at the end of each day.

We were there for two days, and it’s now one of our favorite, nearby “getaway” locations.

Jung Family Vacation in Grand Beach, Michigan

I love that our family is now taking more vacations together – each year, it makes my top 10 list. In the past, our family primarily traveled for specific events… but lately, I’ve enjoyed these types of vacations where we simply gather together, and hang out. No real agendas, no real plans… we just rent a house, and enjoy one another’s company for a few days.

The Mystery of the Dry Noguchi Fountain

I subscribe to Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and came across a poem by Helen T. Glenn. Entitled Noguchi’s Fountain, I found myself looking up the reference and discovered one of his fountains was actually nearby – at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Over my lunch break, I ended up exploring the area and finding out a lot more about the piece. It felt like an adventure, and I’m looking forward to going back when the weather’s warmer… and to hopefully capture the fountain in action.

Closing Day – We Just Bought a House!

It’s gettin’ real!

20×2 Chicago: How Could You?

I got invited to participate in 20×2 Chicago, and it was a blast. It’s been a long while since I’ve taken the stage to do any kind of presentation, and I realized after this event how much I’ve missed it.

In preparing for the talk, I ended up trying to interview strangers over my lunch break near Millenium Park. It was a really fun exercise, and I got to hear some great stories.

Cleaning the Basement

It’s hard to summarize all the work involved, but when Bob and I finally cleared out the basement in the new house… it was a monumental accomplishment. I don’t know that the pictures really do the whole process justice, but having the basement finally cleared out was a really, really huge deal.

The Heat is On!

A few days shy of the new year, we finally got the furnace relocated and up and running! Prior to this, we’d been running electric heaters in the kitchen and bathrooms, trying to prevent the pipes from freezing.

While we still need to do things like set a concrete base for the heater, this temporary setup feels like a huge milestone for us. I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to hear the furnace kick on, and to feel the heat start to fill the basement.

Ten Best Days: 2002 – 2013

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