Night Light

What an awesome night tonight turned out to be. Twitter buddies @Airrun, @JHolman23, @jasetrevino and @Marris_Returns came over for wine, bread, cheese, and fun.

It was my first pseudo tweetup since moving back to San Francisco, the first time I had seen Jimmy since he moved here from Missouri and the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Jason or Aaron. We listened to music, watched some hilarious YouTube videos, talked about everything and nothing at the same time.

It was a pretty awesome night. Even Ryan got to join in on the fun which was such a pleasant surprise. Seems any other time we do something like this, his hectic work schedule gets in the way. Now I just can’t wait for the next time I have friends over for wine and a great time.

The photo of the day, way up there, is yet another one from the roof of our apartment shooting into the neighboring backyard. There is something about this particular apartment and their 6000 watt light that shines light pollution across the common grassy space between the buildings that is so romantic to me. It’s what I imagine a Gregory Crewdson photo would look like if he had a crew of one and a budget of none.

Going Away Party and a Road Trip to California

I’m packing up my place today, hoping to put the final touches on tomorrow before my going away party to be held tomorrow (Wednesday, December 15th) night @TopTenWines here in Columbia.

Top Ten Wines has been my “go to” bar here for years. The owner, Paul, and the regular wine lovers have turned this once small wine shop into a bustling bar, music venue and the best wine tasting room in mid Missouri. Saying goodbye to Top Ten Wines is like saying goodbye to one of my friends, many of which I have because of Top Ten Wines. It only seemed fitting that I had my going away party there!

Oh yeah, everyone is invited! So if you are in Columbia and free tomorrow night, stop by Top Ten anytime after 7:00pm. There will be a champagne toast, ping pong, great music and more!

In an attempt to avoid the slick winter roads of Colorado, I’ve decided to take a somewhat southern route to San Francisco. All going as planned, I will depart Columbia Thursday around noon and drive to Amarillo Texas. Sleep there and then drive west to Kingman Arizona. Next stop, San Francisco!

The plan is to leave December 17th 21st and arrive December 21st 24th in San Francisco. But I’ve given myself an extra day to make it so, perhaps it will be the 22nd 25th that I get to the city.

It’s going to be a LONG drive in my rented minivan but I’m hoping to make it fun with awesome music, informative podcasts and interesting audiobooks. If you have any suggestions for traveling music, standup comedy routines, audio books, etc, leave them in the comments!

Also, if I’m driving through your neck of the woods, let me know! I’m sure I’ll need a coffee break (or 90). Leave your suggestions, invitations and whatever else in the comments! Thanks friends!

I’m Moving Back to California

While it might be the worst kept secret, ever, I wanted to give myself time to tell each of my friends (as best I could) the news face to face before posting it here on the web. But, yes, I am moving to back to California, and quite soon. In fact, as of this writing, I have roughly 21 days left of life in Missouri before I head west to the Golden State.

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Sutro Heights Park and Goodbyes

Before heading to the airport, and making our sad goodbyes, Ryan took me to a part of San Francisco I didn’t even know existed. How I never knew about the beautiful Sutro Heights Park I am not sure but I am sure happy that Ryan brought me there for some beautiful vistas, a slow long walk through the trails and a little time before I left for Missouri to talk about our future together.

The Waves from Sutro Heights Park

The thought of leaving Ryan and California for Missouri made me sick. The idea that I was choosing to live two thousand miles away from the person and the place that I love just didn’t make sense. Yet, for some reason, less than 45 minutes after making it to Sutro Heights Park, we were back in the car and heading to the airport.

Golden Gate Bridge from Sutro Heights Park

When I start thinking about how much I miss Ryan and my friends in California I’m reminded that living in Columbia isn’t my permanent future. Someday, hopefully someday soon, I’ll make some dramatic changes in my life and it won’t be long before I’m no longer visitin California and instead, living there.

2010 Missouri State Fair

The Missouri State Fair Colosseum

The Missouri State Fair Colosseum

Three weeks ago, yes, I’ve been bad at updating, Amy, Korrie, Dave and I went to Sedalia Missouri to check out the 2010 Missouri State Fair on its last day. I was partly there for fun and partly there to take pictures and video for work.

Of course we all had our reasons for wanting to go. Amy wanted to experience cheese on  stick, Dave wanted a foot-long corn dog, Korrie wanted to ride the tilt-a-whirl and I… I wanted to observe the people. There are always the most interesting people at fairs and by interesting I mean completely different than me.

And by completely different than me I mean this.

Republicans are Cool

Republicans are cool?

I haven’t been to a fair, carnival or the like where I didn’t feel like I was the only liberal-minded person around. The disparity between the Democrats and the Republicans at these sorts of events is truly remarkable. It reminds me of my participation in the 2004 George W. Bush reelection rally at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

Geoff and I were given tickets to the event through a fraternity brother and were told to do our best to fit in. We were given instructions on what to wear, to carry, how to act. All this so they wouldn’t figure out we were actually Democrats. They made me take off my suit jacket and my oxford, presumably to make sure there wasn’t a “Kerry 2004” t-shirt underneath.

We bumped into a friend who got in without inspection by carrying a bible under his arm. How apropos to Palin’s recent rant.

Fire Pelosi

Fire Pelosi, the perfect disguise

Pretty sure in this election season, a Fire Pelosi sticker could be your ticket into just about any Tea Party or RNC event!

But I digress.

One of the first things I did was check out the Missouri Wine tent. I’m not the biggest fan of Missouri wines but I’m also not really familiar with too many of them. So, what better way to familiarize yourself than to taste a few?

Missouri Wine Tasting

Of the wines I tried, Stone Hill was definitely the best. Missouri wines are typically described as jammy, sweet and a little over-the-top. I tried some from St. James Winery and, while it wasn’t too crazy sweet, you could actually taste the steel from the stainless steel tanks in which it is fermented. This was a bit remarkable since part of the point of stainless steel is that it doesn’t carry a flavor or smell. It’s why they make stainless steel odor removers.

Metallic wine is no good.

Amy and I enjoyed some pretty delicious cheese on a stick, Dave got his giant corn dog and Korrie got to ride her rides.

Ride in the Sky

I love theme park rides, even though they scare the crap out of me. Two years ago, Ryan and I went to Six Flags, or some similar theme park, and rode the rides all day long. It was an absolute blast. However, my better judgement normally tells me traveling carnival rides aren’t for me. I have this vision in my head of a bolt snapping, just as I reach the top of a a ride at full speed, sending me flying into the air. Thought, that’s not the part that scares me. It’s the part where gravity starts to pull me back down and I come crashing into the ground. Ouch.

But you can’t deny the fact that Dave and Korrie were definitely having more fun on the rides than I was sitting on the sidelines.

I do wish we had gone a week or so earlier. I would have liked to have had the full fair experience. By the time we got there most of the stuff was closing up. We didn’t make it to any shows beyond pig races and stunt dogs. There was an exhibit of farm animals which was kind of fun. Pigmy goats are adorable by the way.

Tiny full-grown goats aside, nothing says farm life like a big ol’ red rooster.

The Rooster

The Rooster

Next time around, I’ll go to the fair earlier. I’ll wear sunscreen, I’ll check out some shows, a rodeo perhaps and I’ll ride the rides. In the end though, I think we all had a great time.

Holy cow, I almost forgot to show you the creepy trash receptacles they had all over the fair grounds!

Clown Trash Receptacle

Creepy as All Get Out Clown Trash Receptacle

Felt very weird putting my trash into a clown’s mouth. Just say’n.

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Graduation Day

In the next few hours I’ll be walking across the stage at the Hearnes Center accepting my diploma, which turns out might add up to two or three degrees, oops!  I started this blog my first year at the University of Missouri.  It was my outlet to my friends on what I was thinking and doing hundreds of miles away from them.  However, a few years later it became so much more than a blog about school, fraternity life and travel.

This blog followed just about everything going on in my life in college.  It was sure a wild ride from my freshman year to today.  I’ve transferred to different states, different degree plans, different dorms, different apartments, different friends, different lives entirely.  But today I’m ending the cycle.  I’m finishing what I started and preparing for the rest of my life.

Through all of my hard work, heavy networking and a handful of luck, not only am I graduating today but I’m graduating with a job, something that 80% of my fellow graduates do not have.  The fact that only 19.7% of graduates this time last year had a job by the day they walked the stage is appalling and tells me even more how lucky I am.

I start with Pure full time June 1 as their Manager of Digital Strategy.  I’m incredibly excited about the opportunities that sit in my future with Pure.  An innovative company with an eye to the future that isn’t afraid to try the things no one else has.

So with this, I post my last post as an undergrad.  The next time you see me here I will be a graduate!

Thanks for joining me on the ride, let’s see where we go next together!

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(alleged) Racist MU Students Suspended

Letter from University of Missouri Chancellor, Brady J. Deaton.

To the MU Community:

Related to the Feb. 26 incident where cotton balls were scattered at the Black Culture Center, the MU Police Department has arrested two individuals. My statement to the media that I am releasing is as follows:

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Based on the information available to me, and in accordance with the University of Missouri’s Student Conduct Code (as outlined in the Collected Rules and Regulations, Chapter 200), I have determined it is in the best interest of the university community to temporarily suspend those students, Sean D. Fitzgerald and Zachery E. Tucker, who have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident that occurred on Feb. 26 at the front entrance of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center, pending the outcome of the formal student conduct process. The Boone County Prosecutor will make a determination related to any criminal prosecution.

I commend MUPD Chief Jack Watring and his officers for their rapid and effective response during this difficult time. I also wish to thank the Legion of Black Collegians for the leadership they have demonstrated and to all those who attended and spoke out at LBC’s town hall meeting. My colleagues and I in the MU administration have listened carefully to all that was expressed and join all of you as we work together in support of our Mizzou family.

Brady J. Deaton


A quick search on Facebook didn’t find Sean or Zach’s Facebook profiles.  Not sure why that matters, maybe I feel I want to leave a nice post on their wall congratulating them on their new freedom from an education and on their new digs in jail, though I’m sure they’ve been bailed out by now.

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