Tag Archives: Friends

Final Thoughts

Happy New Year all y'all
Happy New Year all y’all

So 2014 is nigh. I’ve just finished cleaning up the house, organizing some platters of food, chilling some champagne1, and am about to go shuck some oysters as I await the arrival of some friends who will be ringing in the new year with me. All told, not a bad way to spend the last day of 2013.

Looking back, 2013 has been a crazy amazing year. Despite setbacks with my exercise goals, I’ve had an adventure filled 12 months. Crushing the Goofy Challenge with Mark, wandering New York City twice, learning the true meaning of What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas2, exploring the beauty of Newfoundland and Labrador with Danny, Lee-Jay, and Corey, celebrating the 2nd Annual Big Mountain Challenge with Rick and my brother3, and various other adventures with friends in Ottawa, Toronto, and London; all have reminded me that I am one lucky bastard.

And even though work was as crazy as it was, I have to say that I love my job and had so much fun this year. I was beyond fortunate to work with several amazing students – people who have reminded me again and again that if you give students something real to work on, they can do amazingly awesome things. Their hard work led to Farm-To-Fork.ca, and all of the subsequent and well-deserved attention that it brought. I’ve been spoiled because of their talent, drive, and passion. Because of them, I was invited to speak at several conferences and seminar series. Because of them the Farm To Fork project raised and continues to raise money because so many people understand its importance. Because of them I feel that I have something significant to contribute to the world beyond academic papers. And that dear readers is an amazing feeling.

Beyond all of this, I’ve just been lucky to spend the year with some amazing people. Family and friends who look out for me, take care of me, feed me, and spoil me on a seemingly continuous basis. To all of you, thank you for making this another fantastic year. Thank you for telling me I need to sleep more or eat more or get out more, or that I need to learn to say no. I can’t promise I’ll do any of that in the new year, but it makes me smile to know that you’ll still be worried enough to tell me so.

So raise your glass and toast the year that was. To the ups and downs, the good and the bad. Here’s wishing that 2014 brings with it all the things that make you smile.

Happy New Year everyone.


1 Okay, not Champagne so much as sparkling wine.

2 Curious, aren’t you?

3 I’ve decided this must be an annual event. However, I’ve also decided that we don’t necessarily have to climb a mountain at this point in time, so long as we are doing something adventurous.

Choosing My World

The past week has been, well, thought provoking to say the least.

Earlier in the week I learned that a former office mate was killed in a car accident. While I didn’t know him other than as the always smiling Masters student who shared an office with me, his sudden death was a shock. He was 26 years old, and based on our brief exchanges while we shared office 309A together, and based on the things I have read that his friends and family have posted since his death, he was full of life.

Since learning of his death, I have found my thoughts have often wandered to him – wondering how cruel it seemed that his life had been cut so short, wondering what those he left behind must be going through. I have answers for neither of those things. All I know is that his death has struck a chord in me.

That chord – that still raw nerve that had been struck earlier this week – was struck again today.

This morning I learned news of a friend – someone much younger than me – that took my breath away, quite literally. My heart ached and my stomach turned on news of a terminal illness. Again, I wondered how cruel it seemed that someone so young would have to face their mortality in this way. How was this fair? Knowing this person as I do – so full of life, so amazing, so smart, so positive and happy, and gifted with one of the best smiles possible – the kind of smile that beams from every corner of their face – how could I accept this outcome as anything but cruel and wrong?

Obviously there is no rhyme or reason to disease and death. There is no way to accurately predict where and when our time will come. Sure, we can attempt to evade both as long as we can with pills and diet and exercise and even machines, but there are no guarantees, no sure fire solutions, no magic, no last minute pleas with whatever higher power you might believe in. At least, I don’t think there are. But then again, I don’t really know. I’m not sure anyone knows really.

What I do know is this – our time on this earth is limited. It’s not enough to just wake up and go to work and come home, lather, rinse, and repeat. It’s our responsibility to live every day as best as we can. I’m not suggesting that it’s our individual duty to solve all the problems of the world, but I am suggesting – demanding even – that we at least wake each morning with the goal of making our little worlds better. Smile. Help someone. Be kind. Hug your friends. Bear hug your friends. Tell those you love that you love them. Tell them again. And remind yourself that you too are loved and are capable of amazing things.

We can’t control many things in this world, but we can control how we choose to live in it. This week I was very much reminded of that.

I Am A Spoiled Bastard

Mmm, tuna and avocado on a toasted english muffin - dinner of champions (or lazy cooks)

I am very spoiled. And lucky. Let me explain.

Yesterday, after another very long week I was treated to a most excellent dinner. While I myself rarely cook – unless one considers toasting an English muffin, cracking a can of tuna, slicing some avocado, and assembling said ingredients cooking – I do admire and respect those who do. You see, I wasn’t always the non-cooking person I am today. But after the hernia my diet has changed significantly, and, well, the rest is history.

I digress. Point is, I was spoiled last night with a fantastic meal, and great conversation.

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Dinner at Sushi Rock. YUM.

Today, I was spoiled further. I made my way to Toronto to visit some friends. Of course, this meant dinner out – sushi dinner to be exact. And it was delicious. Even as I write this I am still stuffed with raw fish based tasties. The eve also included the purchase of my February bottle of scotch (a Bowmore – but more on that in another post), followed by discussion about a new adventure that is brewing for July (more on that in another post as well). Clearly, a most awesome evening in Toronto.

But let me be clear. When I wrote that I am spoiled, I am not referring to the food or booze. While those are indeed fantastic, they pale in comparison when I think of the people who I am fortunate enough to get to spend my time with. People who challenge me (in the good kind of way), people who make me look at the world with new eyes, people who amaze me in ways that I can’t put into words.

So yes, while I am blessed to have a lot of stuff in my life, the largest blessing of all is how many amazing people I can share my life with, and who choose to share their lives with me.

Bottom line is – I am one lucky bastard.


525 Thousand Six Hundred Minutes Of Wanderlust

January 2011: This blog was born in a volcano in Hawaii. Okay, it wasn't born in the volcano, but it was born near it.

Wow. Time really flies when you’re having fun.

It’s hard to believe that I wrote my very first blog post here at Consumed By Wanderlust 1 year ago today: January 19, 2011. I won’t say that my re-entry into the blogging world was all that profound; I mean, my first post here was entitled “My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)“. I’d like to believe that things have improved since that initial post. But let’s be honest, anything that followed “My First Post (a.k.a. Worst Blog Title Ever)” had to be an improvement, right?

February 2011: This blog may have partied in NYC three times in the past year.

When I started the blog I had fully intended it to be a place for me to write about my adventures, my academic and health related pursuits, my nerdery, and other such related bric-a-brac. And for the most part, I think I’ve been successful in that respect.

March 2011: This blog saw my family of one become a family of two when Elliot came to rule my world

I also had intended the blog to be a place where I could identify challenges for myself, set goals, measure them in some way, and further keep track of the things that I’ve been fortunate enough to do (as I am rather forgetful). And again, I think for the most part I’ve been successful in this too.

April 2011: This blog saw me conquer the CN Tower and crush my old personal best time by more than 3 minutes!

However, there were also unintended consequences of this blog that I never would have ever foreseen. First and foremost this blog has taught me a lot about myself. That’s not to say that I didn’t often stop to reflect on my life prior to the blog – I did. But having to put into words the things that I have been thinking or feeling has been a great way to evaluate not only where I am and where I want to go, but more importantly who I am and who I want to be.

May 2011: This blog saw me finish my first ever marathon.

A second amazing and unforeseen consequence has been the development of new friendships. The online community has been (and continues to be) amazing. For those Bloggers and Tweeters ┬áthat I’ve been able to meet in real life and get to know outside of the interwebs, I can’t begin to tell you how awesome this past year has been and how awesome all y’all are. You are a group of amazing individuals who are unbelievably active in the community, who are charitable and positive, optimistic about life, health-minded, and never lacking in laughter and smiles. You have and continue to inspire me to be better at everything that I do. Your lust for life is addictive, and I thank you for getting me hooked on it.

June 2011: This blog saw me travel out east for the first time.

Finally, I would also never have foreseen that my blog would be read by so many. To date, this little-old-blog has been viewed almost 40,000 times. It has received over 1500 comments and is followed by over 500 people. I’m not sure where that stands in the grand scheme of blogging, but it’s far beyond what I ever had imagined. Truth is, when I started this adventure I figured I might get a few family and friends reading my posts. The fact that this blog receives over 100 views per day astounds me.

Anyway, here’s to another year of blogging and all the awesome things that it brings.

July 2011: This blog saw me attacked by a 26 foot Marilyn Monroe in Chicago
August 2011: This blog saw me kick my hernia to the curb.
September 2011: This blog saw me hanging in Montreal with Dr. Dixon
October 2011: This blog saw me conquer another mountain with Rick, and celebrate in the manner appropriate of a classy bitch.
November 2011: This blog saw me visiting my brother in the hospital after a nasty car accident.
December 2011: This blog saw me visiting with Arlene (in NYC) - one of the most amazing people I know

Some statistics, because, well, why not?

  • Total posts: 316 since January 19, 2011
  • Total page views: 38257
  • Average daily views in 2011: 103
  • Average daily views in 2012: 127
  • Total followers: 518
  • Total comments: 1516
  • Most common search term that brings people to my blog: sad babies, followed closely by pi