September 26, 2010 - 9:48 AM
They say that summer is the weekend of the year. If that's the case then this weekend was effectively the last weekend of the last weekend of my life. After today I'll begin my senior year of college, followed by graduation in the spring and entrance into the "real" world where apparently they don't believe in summer breaks, or so I've heard.
These sorts of realizations bring new meaning to an old, favorite movie quote of mine:
My friends and I are never ones to dwell on the dull side of life, so we've been spending the past few days celebrating rather than sulking and waiting for classes to start. Thankfully the sunshine came out for once last taste of summer this weekend.
Friday, after our semi-failed camping excursion, Winston, Steven and I squeezed in one last quick trip to the Westmoreland disc golf course on 18th Street. Despite not playing much over the summer I managed to shoot +2 with a birdie on the 9th hole. Makes me wish that I put a wager down on the round. Loser buys the winner an Arizona Iced Tea?
Then we headed to Washington Park for an afternoon of field sports with the girls. Tossing around the Frisbee, heaving the Vortex and then playing some two-on-two touch football. The guys are starting an intramural flag football team in the fall, and after throwing the ball around on Friday we realized that we need a lot more practice if we're going to make an impact on our Men's D-3 (non-competitive) league.
Yesterday we felt ambitious enough to drive over to the Triangle Lake rock slides in the afternoon. It was probably 10° cooler than I'd have like it, but it certainly was a refreshing way to spend the afternoon. You might not be able to see from the picture above but the rockslides are tucked away beneath a tall forest, which means that the sun doesn't always shines through to slides. We managed to find a few rocks in the sun and huddled together for warmth.
Then, we hustled back in time to see the Beavers lose and the Ducks win. It wasn't the most graceful wins we've had this year but it's still a victory. Now we're gearing up for next Saturday's showdown versus Stanford at Autzen Stadium. I'm stoked! And apparently the Pac-10 is turning some heads across the football nation. ESPN GameDay will be back at Autzen on Saturday morning. I think it's safe to say that this will be the best game we see in Eugene this season.
Speaking of Oregon football, I need to answer the question of the week from last week's GameDay post. After the Ducks' offense scored 69 points on eleven scoring drives, the Duck pumped out 422 pushups.
That'll do, duck. That'll do.
September 23, 2010 - 8:33 PM
Well, I succeeded at getting some time off work to go camping. I could only get one day off due to a meeting on Friday morning, but it wasn't the worst that could have happened considering the circumstances of our outdoor excursion.
Long story short, this might have been the most failed camping trip I've ever been on. Allow me to elaborate.
To begin, Boo rented out a cabin for us at Silver Falls State Park outside of Silverton, Oregon. She supposedly reserved a two-room cabin for 8-10 people with electric outlets and a fridge, which would be more than enough to accommodate our party of six. We quickly discovered that we didn't exactly get what we paid for.
The cabin was barely a full-sized room. It was about 10' long by 10' wide, there was no refrigerator, leaving us with one tiny travel cooler to keep all our food, a small table in the corner, and two beds that comfortably fit two persons.
Technically one of the beds was a fold out futon and to be fair the other was a bunk bed. The catch was that only the bottom bunk had a mattress while the top bunk had a sign that read "recommended for storage, not sleeping." Obviously, a sign wasn't going to stop Ross, but he understood its purpose when he woke up the next morning with an extremely sore back.
Our next folly had to do with our food for the evening. Someone in our party, who shall remain nameless, happened to forget the grill she'd promised to bring. If you're keeping track we were without any way of cooking or keeping any of our food fresh for the evening.
Luckily the campsite manager had firewood and ice for sale, which kept us alive for one night. It may have taken us two hours to start a fire with damp logs on a humid night, but I've never eaten a bratwurst that tasted that delicious. It tasted like victory with ketchup and mustard on top.
Our streak of bad luck didn't end there though. A family of raccoons raided the fruit we left sitting on ice outside in the middle of the night. That left us with bagels and cream cheese for the breakfast and one bag of potato chips.
On Thursday morning, we all woke up around 9 o'clock, ate our bagels and looked outside to see a dreary, overcast sky looming overhead.
"Well, should we hike around for a little while?" someone posed to the group.
We looked around at each other's droopy eyes, bodies weary and aching from a less-than-restful night's sleep and with very few words spoken, we all fell back asleep and didn't roll out of bed until 1 o'clock in the afternoon.
The highlight of our trip was hiking through the canyon trails and underneath the token waterfalls on a guided tour. Our tour guide, Earl, led us down through the valley, teaching us little fun facts about the local flora and fun stories about the history of the area. He was exactly what we were hoping for, and it made me sad that I won't be able to volunteer at Mount Pisgah this year. I recognized at least half of the stories and anecdotes he told us from training.
Earlier tonight Katelin and I drove back to Eugene. We both have meetings tomorrow unfortunately, but at least we had someone to share our disappointment with. It was a nice trip, but we'll be sure to plan everything out more than a day in advance next time.
September 19, 2010 - 5:12 PM
I was talking to my dad about the blog last Friday when he brought up a crazy idea that had been bouncing around his head for a while. He suggested that after I graduate (and no longer blog for UO) I should think about compiling all my posts from last year and next and turn them into a book. Nothing crazy, and certainly nothing that I'd want to sell. It would just be a written record of my Junior and Senior years at Oregon.
"I assume you're keeping all the blogs you posted, right?" he asked me in an email.
"Absolutely," I responded, "about two per week for almost a year now. I bet I'm pretty close to one hundred posts."
Well, that original guesstimation sparked my curious to figure out out exactly how many posts I'd amassed since last September. Upon tallying them all up, sure enough, I was at ninety-eight posts. So, included last Saturday's gameday post (Ducks Win Again!), I'm up to my centennial blog on student life at Oregon!
I was brainstorming about what to say to celebrate this semi-momentous occasion. My dad suggested that I blog about blogging. A meta-blog? Well, I'm sort of doing that already so we'll just go ahead and check that one off the list. I could throw curveball at you and step down from my throne of blog-dom by making this my final post! But I feel like Annual Giving wouldn't appreciate the sudden departure.
There's really only one thing that seems appropriate in this situation. After a year of writing about my college endeavors, the tragedies of loosing the Rose Bowl and the triumphs of comeback victories in Intramural Softball, it only feels right to show my appreciation to all those that made this blog possible.
First of all, thank you to UO Annual Giving for giving me the opportunity to share my experiences on the web. I may just be one of your ploys for enticing donors, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy the challenge. Whether or not I take my father's advice and compile these posts in print, I look forward to reading all posts five years, ten years and maybe even fifty years from now and reminiscing on these fond memories.
Thank you to the University of Oregon for giving me something to write about. Without the UO there wouldn't be any Environmental Leadership Program or Saturdays at Autzen Stadium or ASUO Street Faire. I can't believe I'm saying this but without Oregon I, for better or worse, could never have been "the guy on the UO homepage."
Thank you to my friends here at school who have been with me to eat Colossus Pizzas for Jack Bauer and to say farewell to McArthur Court. And a special thanks to those that occasionally tune into this blog, although for the life of my I can't understand why you do it. I mean, you're just reading about what you've already done.
Thank you to my friends and family back home for your continued support and reader loyalty.
And, finally, thank you to all the prospective students, families, and anyone else that might have stumbled across my written ramblings. If it weren't for you I wouldn't have had this opportunity, and I hope that I've portrayed the life of a typical Oregon student adequately.
When I began blogging, I never thought I'd enjoy it so much. It was just a goofy opportunity to stay involved in campus activities and make some extra spending money. But now, when I'm thinking about my weekly schedule every Sunday night, I always try to plan out at least two activities that could be blog-worthy. I'm a little hooked, I admit it.
Thanks again for tuning in. Until next time....good night, and go Ducks.
September 18, 2010 - 6:39 PM
Dang it felt good to be back at Autzen Stadium! Too bad we didn't have much a game to watch though.
Oregon proved once again today why we're the #5 ranked football team in the nation with a 69-0 rout of the Portland State Vikings. I know it was against a team from the FCS Big Sky Conference, but still it takes some talent to put up 69 points regardless of what team you're playing.
For those of you keeping track that puts the Ducks up to an NCAA best 63.0 points scored per game. When you consider that there are only 60 minutes in a game you realize that Oregon is averaging more than a point per minute. In our three games so far this season we've outscored our opponents 189-13. Not too shabby.
We knew it was going to be a long day for Portland State when the Ducks scored with ease on their first three drives. First, LaMichael James ran untouched for 66 yards to the end zone on his third carry of the game. On the next drive Chip Kelly decided to go for the first down on 4th and 5, which ended up in a 47-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Maehl. Not long after, Portland State fumbled on their own 7-yard line, which quickly led to another touchdown pass from Darron Thomas to Jeff Maehl. At that point I looked up at the scoreboard to see that there was 10 minutes and 15 seconds left in the first quarter. We had just scored three touchdowns in under five minutes. Nice.
On a side note, I'v embedded a video of the Oregon Duck that aired on ESPN Gameday this morning. The background for the story is that the DUck has to do pushups for every point scored by the offense every time they score. For today first touchdown the Duck ran to the endzone in front of the student section and did seven pushups. For the second touchdown the Duck had to do fourteen more. And thus by the time the clock read 10:15, the Duck had already completed forty-two pushups. If anyone wants to guess how many pushups the Duck did against Portland State, send me a comment to answer the riddle at the bottom of the post. I'll include the answer in one of my posts next week.
Like I said earlier, it still felt good to be back at Autzen. Back eating hotdogs and brats at the Loftessness tailgater. Back walking through campus and across the Willamette footbridge. The walk was especially refreshing due in part to the scattered showers throughout the afternoon. Every Oregon fan knows that "It never rains on Autzen Stadium!" Apparently that rule did not apply today.
More and more friends are trickling back into town. The old MacAlister crowd was just about back in full form, and we weren't the only ones taking in the sights and sounds of Eugene. Fall classes start a week from Monday and there was a noticeable influx of students and families in Eugene this weekend.
Summer break is winding down. Hopefully I can get a little time off work to enjoy the last few days of freedom. Our friends are trying to organize a camping excursion or a trip to the coast at the end of next week. It's been a most enjoyable summer, or summers if you think of it as my California summer and my Oregon summer, but I'm ready to get hit the books again.
One more season of football. One last year of undergrad. One final hurrah at the University of Oregon.
Question of the Week: How many pushups did the Duck do during our 69-0 victory against Portland State?
September 12, 2010 - 6:57 PM
In case you want to skip the reading, I'll summarize the weekend's stories in one simple equation:
Yesterday the original MacAlister crew was in action in Portland to celebrate the 21st Birthday of our good friend, Brianna "Boo" Gehring.
Our day started with an afternoon tour of the Widmer Brothers Brewery in downtown Portland. First we sampled a few different beers, included their flagship brew - the Widmer Hefewiezen; the only catch was that we had to learn the proper pronunciation before being awarded a taste test. In case you're wondering, it's pronounced "hay-fuh-veyt-sssenn." Our tour guide would say "hay-fa" for short, but she allowed us to say "heff" just as long as we knew that we were saying it the American way and not the original German way.
Then we walked across the street to the actual factory where we walked past bag after bag of malted wheat and hops and then between several thousand-gallon silos of fermenting brew (pictured above with [left to right] Dana, Kate & Lydia). Next we stepped into the warehouse to find palettes stacked to the roof with pony kegs ready to be shipped to pubs around the nation. It was a sight that would bring a tear to the eye of any average college kid, but to be honest it just made me want to start my own brewing operation. Something to live up to, I guess.
After the tour was over we were tantalized by Widmer's Oktoberfest, which they were just setting up for outside the Gasthaus Pub. Sadly, yet not so sadly, we had a date to watch the Ducks' football game at Boo's parents' house in Oregon City.
There couldn't have been a better way to spend the rest of our afternoon, too. Lunch and dinner courtesy of Boo's parents, Phil and Betty Jo, while watching the Ducks overpower the Tennessee Volunteers. Add the catnap several of us shared on the couches during the lightning delay, and it was darn near perfect.
Of course, we were a little scared for our season when we went into halftime with a 13-13 tie, but all we needed was a LaMichael James 72-yard touchdown run to put our offense back on track. That was just the beginning of Oregon's 35 unanswered points scored in the second half. It may not have been the prettiest of wins, but I'm pretty sure the Ducks are still averaging 60 points per game so far this season. It's getting me pumped up for Portland State next weekend, which reminds me that I need to log to get my student ticket soon.
We had a taste of Portland nightlife. Ducks are ranked #5 in the AP Poll. And Boo turned 21 years old...finally.
Another successful weekend in Oregon. Only two left before classes start on September 27th. Summer is winding down, and friends are slowly trickling back to Eugene. We'd better make these next two weeks count because after this it's the beginning of the end...of college, that is.