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  • Berton 12:24 am on June 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Adventure #8 – The Transit of Venus 

    Most people that know me well would say that I am a nerd, geek, or some other word associated with that kind of culture.  And they would be spot on.  Not only do I collect comic books, play tons of video games, and have a geeky tattoo, but I also absolutely love outer space.  I use the word stellar as a regular adjective.  I can go stare at the stars for hours on end and be inspired to have the most heart staggering conversations.  I read books by Stephen Hawking for the fun of it.

    However, I can’t remember the last time I looked through a telescope.

    My father has a telescope, and I’m told that when I was younger, we would look through it together.  But these memories are sadly lost to me.  However, as I’ve discovered countless numbers of times over the years, the impression of these events with my father has stuck with me.  So for my adventure, I decided to observe the Transit of Venus through one the largest telescopes available to the public in the Twin Cities, which was at the University of Minnesota.

    I was somehow able to convince three people to join me by saying that looking at a shadow of a planet as it crosses the sun is a fun thing to do (thanks for humoring me).  And I’m glad they came along, because the event was attended by far more people than I was expecting.  The line was over an hour long, and the event itself was only visible for close to three hours from our location.  I won’t lie, I was kind of worried that we wouldn’t make it to the telescope in time.  We were inching forward and racing the sunset.

    But we made it!

    We were able to see the transit maybe twenty minutes before sunset.  And though I was only able to view it for ten seconds, I was absolutely floored.

    My mind has a difficult time grasping such vast notions as space.  The distance between our planet and Venus is staggering, and yet I was able to see it.  And it was only a small dot compared to the vastness of the star that helps to sustain life here on Earth.  And our star is only one of an infinitely large number of stars in this universe

    When I look towards the heavens, I am so humbled.  I am literally able to look back in time just by looking up.  I am able to realize how I am such an infinitesimal cog in the gears of the universe.  Yet, I’d like to think that I have the ability to make large, positive, and shattering contributions to my friends, my family, and the world at large.

    This contrast makes me feel nothing shy of giddy.

     
  • Berton 5:54 pm on June 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Back in the Saddle Again… 

    For the past few weeks, I have missed adventuring.  That isn’t to say that I have been sedentary.  Actually, far from it!  Since my last posts, I have done quite a few things.  I gave up soda for Lent; I went to my first baby shower; I began working out five days a week; I drove to Chicago to help a friend move to Minneapolis.

    However, these were all things that sort of happened naturally.  Yes, they were amazing and enjoyable and I had put forth a great spirit and vibrancy to them.  But the lone fact that I didn’t consider them to be a part of my “Year of 52 Adventures” just didn’t make them feel quite as alive for some reason.

    I am sure this is all a psychological freak out in my head, but it made me want to adventure again.  So here I am!  Attempting to finish what I started just over five months ago.

    I have a lot of catching up to do.  Therefore, this may be the busiest, craziest summer ever.  But I think I can cope with that idea.

    In order to make up for the lost ground, I will have to do multiple adventures during many weeks.  Therefore, from now on, instead of marking my posts based on the week they took place, they will be titled based on which Adventure Number they represent.  Not that you care; just a matter of housekeeping.

    So look forward to Adventure #8, coming soon!

     
  • Berton 5:45 pm on February 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: wine,   

    Week 7 – There’s a Story at the Bottom of This Bottle, and I’m the Pen 

    I am a fan of pop punk music; I can’t lie.  It is my fun, angsty pleasure.  And there is one line that I’ve always loved in the song, “Dear Maria, Count Me In,” by the band All Time Low.  The line is, “There’s a story at the bottom of this bottle, and I’m the pen.”  For those paying attention, you’ll notice that is also the name of this post.  So wow, I’ll be basing this adventure on that quote!  Good power of deduction!

    Now, I’m not one to condone drinking excessively, or requiring it to have a good time.  I’ve seen how destructive it can be to people’s lives.  That said…getting drunk can be fun as hell!

    So when I heard that line a few weeks ago, I happened to also be trying to think of new adventures to have, and boom!  What if I drank a bottle of wine as I started writing a story?  Just sort of see what happens?  Yeah!  Do it!

    This adventure will be good for me for two reasons.  The first is that I’m not a fan of wine.  I have tried countless glasses with friends over the years, and I have never found a wine that I would enjoy drinking, like, at all.  So, by making myself taste an entire bottle, I hopefully will be one small step closer to acquiring a taste for wine.  And if not, maybe the more drunk I get, the less I will care about how disgusting it tastes.

    The second thing is that oftentimes I can come up with great story ideas, great plots, but I never actually sit down and put the pen to paper and write.  But a good friend of mine from college taught me a way to get through writing difficult analytical papers…you take a shot of liquor, then drink beer as you write the paper.  Make sure you do this a day or two before the paper is due so that you have time to edit out possible drunk ramblings, and the many misspellings or dangling modifiers.    So maybe drinking while trying to at least start a story, or create a new one, would be beneficial?  We shall see.

    Now, I am writing this Saturday night (February 18th, 2012).  But I will most likely edit it tomorrow afternoon, throw in the random pictures I may take, and then post it tomorrow night.

    So, without further ado, here we go.

    (More …)

     
    • Kimberly Hula 10:13 am on February 24, 2012 Permalink

      How was your head in the a.m.?! Kudos to you for the writing experiment!

  • Berton 3:53 am on February 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ethiopian cuisine, fasika   

    Week 6 – Fasika 

    One of my goals for this year has been to try new food and hit up restaurants that are off of the beaten path.  Well, thanks to an awesome tip from a friend (thanks again, Whitters!) Jamison and I were able to accomplish both last Saturday!  We went to an Ethiopian restaurant named Fasika near Hamline University’s campus.

    I have never had Ethiopian food.  Hell, I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen seen ANY kind of African cuisine.  Do they base their meals on rice, similar to Asian cultures?  Do they have bread?  Something like the Indian dish naan?  Do they use lots of meats, veggies, spices?  I really had no idea what I was getting myself into.  And to be honest, the outside of the store didn’t make it look terribly impressive…

    Now, the above picture is the street view of Fasika (it is the establishment on the corner if you can’t see the sign well).  What you don’t see is that around the corner (where we parked) is an empty lot full of dead grass and broken bottles.  Not exactly the kind of place you want next door to a raved about food joint.  But once we got inside, my opinion changed IMMEDIATELY (More …)

     
  • Berton 5:51 am on February 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Week 5 – Another Kind of Hunting Adventure 

    The reason why I didn’t post this past week was due to a personal issue.  I lost my job.  Very unforeseen.  It was one of those situations where I wasn’t fired; I was just let go because of financial reasons of the family I worked for.  And they didn’t really forewarn me that it could possibly be coming.  So totally caught me off guard.

    But life is an adventure, right?  That is what I’ve been telling myself so that I don’t overly stress out about it, at any rate.

    So my adventure for this week was been to begin the job hunt.  Not an exciting adventure, or one that I enjoy being on, but it is surely one that I am dedicating all of my time and energy towards.  In the past week, I’ve applied to around twenty-three jobs at colleges alone.  This week I plan to hit the school districts hardcore.  Then will be state / county / city jobs, and if nothing happens after that, go back to the service industry.

     
    • Kimberly Hula 9:41 am on February 7, 2012 Permalink

      Adventure year is the best year for new job options! I wish you the best of luck! Perhaps some fellow adventurers have some leads for you?

  • Berton 5:42 am on February 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charles Schulz, Lucy, , Peanuts, Snoopy   

    Week 4 – Peanuts for Pleasure 

    Not a surprise to people who know me, but I haven’t ever really grown up.  I am still a child at heart, big time.  Though I can be mature and serious, I love having silly moments of fun.  I still try to do things that entertained me when I was in elementary school, because to be honest, they are still WAY fun!  One of the things that I do, along these lines, is read comics.

    Now, I’m not referring to comic books.  I mean, I do still read those.  I have a fairly large comic book collection.  Peter Parker is my best bud.  I am going to name many of my children after X-Men characters.  But no, I am currently referring to comic strips.  Like Dilbert or Calvin and Hobbes.

    Now, fun fact: Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts strip, was born and raised in the Twin Cities.  So to honor him, the city of St. Paul hosted something called “Peanuts on Parade” in 2000.  Originally, a total of 101 statues of Peanuts characters were strewn throughout the city.  However, after 2004, the city auctioned many of them off to support local artistic charities, as well as to commission several permanent bronze statues that would be in St. Paul city parks.  Some of the originals are still around the city.  But because they are now privately owned, there isn’t an official map of their locations anymore, nor a well known number of how many.  So for this adventure, a good friend of mine and I went out to look for the non-bronze ones!

    It was quite the random trip.  We weren’t sure where many were.  We had a few hints from friends, but not many.  So here was our plan of action: we printed off the original map with the statues locations as of 2000 (12 years ago…).  We then went to the local businesses near the original locations and asked if they knew where any had ended up.  Needless to say, many random conversations were had (and almost all of them were awkward too).  But we found a total of eight statues in one Saturday afternoon, which I think was quite the success!  So here is some photo evidence of the achievements and a small description of how we found it:

    The first two statues we tried to find were misses!  There were supposed to be two near the Ford Plant, but alas, none to be found!  However, as we were driving to our next location, we see a Snoopy doghouse on the side of the street next to a bookstore!  Random and awesome!

    (More …)

     
  • Berton 9:48 pm on January 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Week 3 – Habitat for Humanity 

    Something that I feel that I don’t do enough of us community outreach.  I’m fortunate enough to have come from a middle-class family.  Both of my parents have graduate degree, and I’m lucky enough to be in a graduate program now.  I grew up in a small town in Minnesota where I was taught acceptance, trust, and compassion.  I really feel like I could be doing more to help the world around me.  So for this adventure, I decided to walk the walk.

    I am currently working part-time as a barista at Starbucks.  It’s a pretty sweet job for a full-time graduate school student.  I usually work only five hours a day, and get done by 10am.  I can take a nap in the afternoons, then do homework all before my wife gets home from work!    Bonus!

    The Starbucks store that I work for does community work maybe once a month.  This month, some of my co-workers and I worked with Habitat for Humanity for a day.  And it was so awesome!

    We, for the most part, were just painting the interior of a group of town homes that were being built in Northeast Minneapolis.  And the group of people that I was working with was awesome.  I only knew the three people in the picture above with me, but there were maybe 50 people there.  Everyone was very joyous, constantly joking, smiling, chatting.  And all while doing this great thing to help those less fortunate.

    I think I’m going to do more community outreach with my Starbucks.  I’m not sure when, but I think next month or the month after, we are going to be working at a Feed My Starving Children event.  I hopefully can make it!  But since all three of my graduate classes have started, I may be pretty busy.  That won’t stop me from adventuring!  I just hope that the timing and scheduling works out.

    *Fun fact: did you know that every house that Habitat for Humanity builds across the world is all painted the same color on the inside?  Every single house, the same color.  That’s so cool!  Kinda boring, but cool!  It’s mostly because the paint is, for the most part, all donated to them.  And you can’t complain about the color when it’s free!

     
    • Kimberly Hula 9:37 am on January 24, 2012 Permalink

      Dan, what a lovely adventure! You have just inspired my week 3! Keep.it.up!

  • Berton 10:46 pm on January 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Week 2 – Power, Wisdom, and Courage 

    If anyone meets me for five minutes, they will for sure learn that I am a gigantic geek.  And I’m not afraid to admit this.  I will talk about my favorite TV show (Firefly), favorite book (Wizard’s First Rule), favorite movie (Lord of the Rings Trilogy)…basically any kind of favorite has to do with something nerdy.  I even went so far as to get a geek related tattoo.

    For those of you who don’t know what the tattoo is, it is called The Triforce.  The Triforce is a symbol and holy relic in the video game franchise The Legend of Zelda (my favorite one).  Originally when I got this tattoo, I just wanted something that I thought looked sweet.  I told people that it had some meaning behind it, but that wasn’t entirely true.  At least, not at first.

    Now, as I looked back at my first batch of adventures, I was trying to see which ones I attempted and failed, if any.  One that I feel I didn’t fully commit to was my week four adventure, Lifestyle . During that week, I did a lot of self-analysis on how I could improve my life moving forward.  And I feel I did put a lot of thought and effort into it.  But I didn’t have an exact plan, and as such, it wasn’t executed very well.  I didn’t have written, obtainable goals, or the steps I could take to achieve them.

    Which brings me back to my tattoo.

    As I take an honest look at myself, I can’t help but be drawn to my tattoo, to this thing that was meant to stamp myself as a geek.  But now, as I look at it, I realize how I can use this as a constant reminder to better myself.  I can use this metaphor from a video game to inspire and change my life. (More …)

     
    • CalebB 12:53 pm on February 6, 2012 Permalink

      I really hate to tell you this, but your Zelda tattoo is screwed. The colors are definitely wrong. Red should be on top, blue on the left, and green on the right. Sorry for the truth.

  • Berton 9:25 am on January 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Diners Drive-ins and Dives, , Minneapolis   

    Week 1 – Eating at a Dinkytown Landmark 

    Previously, I started adventuring by eating at Matt’s Bar, the Minneapolis landmark, to try their famous Jucy Lucy.  So this year, I began by going to the Dinkytown neighborhood in the University of Minnesota to, for the first time, eat at Al’s Breakfast.

    I started my adventure by arriving here at 6:05 a.m.  For those that don’t know, Al’s Breakfast, which was featured on the Diners Drive-Ins and Dives TV show on the Food Network, is notorious for long lines.  The reason why is that they only are open for breakfast..and there are only fourteen stools in the entire restaurant.  It is one counter top.

    (More …)

     
    • wip78 6:07 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      Awesome!! Grease always makes food taste better. By far, my favorite meal of the day is Breakfast. I shall make one of my adventures to visit a new breakfast/brunch place. Yummers….thanks for the inspiration!

  • Berton 8:49 am on January 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    What Should My FOURTH Adventure Be? 

    Alright party people; I know what my first three adventures are going to be…but you won’t find out until I post about them :)

    However, I want some help choosing my fourth adventure!  This is something I thought I would do to help keep things more random and, well, adventurous!  I will let you decide what I’m going.  Here is a poll of four possible things that I could do.  For the most part, I will follow whatever gets the most votes.  But if someone can leave a very convincing comment as to why I should do one or the other, I may listen.  Out of the possibilities, only two of them may need explanation for people who don’t live in or near the Twin Cities.

    Das Boot is a giant boot shaped beer glass.  Generally, the restaurant requires at least four people be present at a table for one to be ordered because there is a sort of unwritten rule that the glass isn’t allowed to touch the table.  Don’t worry, I will surely have a sober cab on the way home.

    And Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, was from St. Paul.  Because of this, there are many statues of the Peanuts characters strewn about the city and suburbs.  I honestly don’t even know how many there are, or where they all are, but I do know that there is a website where I can find out.

    Anyway, please vote and let me know!

    Not all of the possible answers are terribly exciting.  But I am currently poor and need to save money for adventures, bills, possible road trip, and trying to be my lady’s sugar daddy.  I am failing at that last one.

     
    • wip78 6:10 pm on January 8, 2012 Permalink

      I enjoy free adventures!!!Any of you who are lurking around and have ideas that wouldn’t cost a dime- post them! Friends help friends adventure for free:)

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