Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Bang or go home

Posted from Culver City, California at 9:48 am, April 24th, 2011

I was trying to think of where I’ve been on this date for the past several years, and was surprisingly able to nail it down fairly exactly from old journals and emails. This may not be interesting to anyone but me, but IMHO I’ve been lucky to have such a wide range of experiences during the past 14 years:

  • 1998 On April 24 I was in my final year at Case Western, and on this particular weekend I was with the track team in Atlanta for the conference championships where I was running the 10,000 meters in insanely hot conditions. I’d broken up with a girlfriend two weeks prior, was finishing up classes, preparing for the final races of the track season, and planning a six-week trip to Europe for the summer. Life was moving fast.
  • 1999 I was living in Oakland and working at Andersen Consulting’s research group in Palo Alto as the dotcom era was really picking up steam. My car had died a dramatic death during rush hour on the Dumbarton Bridge two days prior, and I was two days away from purchasing the best car ever. Other activities at the time included planning my first trip to the Galapagos Islands for the year’s end.
  • 2000 After a long stint working a job in Phoenix I had been sent to Singapore and was just finishing my first week there. The project was only supposed to be for three weeks, but it ended up being more than a year before I was back in the US full-time.
  • 2001 After two projects in Singapore and a short job in Korea I was assigned to a project in Kuala Lumpur, but due to delays I ended up taking some vacation and going to Cambodia and Indonesia. April 24 found me sunburned while exploring the temple complex of Angkor Wat. Two days later while flying to Indonesia (via Singapore) I got the worst case of food-poisoning in my life and ended up living in the airport for 24 hours, too sick to even move.
  • 2002 After taking my dad to Egypt in March I was back at work in Los Angeles doing a job for Disney. A month later I would get dominated when a co-worker convinced me that I could do the San Diego marathon without training.
  • 2003 After quitting my job at Accenture the previous August I had traveled to Alaska and then taken a contracting gig at Warner Brothers in Burbank where I was spending my lunch hours roaming the movie studio lot. I was running more regularly than at any time since college, and a second trip to the Galapagos was looming in May.
  • 2004 I was back at Warner Brothers for another job after having fulfilled a lifelong dream the previous January by traveling to Antarctica.
  • 2005 A month-long road trip through the Southwest had just concluded, and I returned to my rented room in Lafayette with no concrete plans for the future. April was the mid-point of an eleven month stretch without work that didn’t end until August, when I went back to LA and rented a room from a girl named Audrey.
  • 2006 I moved to Culver City in December and visited the Antarctic again in January, and on this date was just a few weeks away from what would end up being my final trip to the Galapagos. Despite not having worked in a while I traded the car that had shepherded me through the Far North and on many, many road trips for a new model on April 25, a decision that actually led me to get a bit nervous about money and start looking for a job.
  • 2007 April found me five months into a contract with DirecTV, a job I would continue for three years. The previous June saw the creation of JAMWiki, an open source project I’m continuing to work on today.
  • 2008 My brother and I were spending more time together since he had moved to nearby Palmdale, and April saw us on a fishing trip in which he spent the entire voyage curled up in the fetal position barfing while I never ended up putting a hook in the water.
  • 2009 After going to the Dominican Republic with Audrey to snorkel with whales in March, April 24, 2009 was spent flying to Florida for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. The following day was spent at Cape Canaveral looking at spaceships, something I’m known to do from time-to-time, followed by an evening at Disneyworld’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (yes, I am a dork).
  • 2010 After leaving DirecTV in December I took a contracting job at Backcountry.com, but late April found me away from work and hiking through the Grand Canyon with my brother.

1 response to “Bang or go home”

  1. Excellent summary!
    Here are a few things you may want to consider doing in the future.

    – join the peace-corp
    – volunteer to clear mines in 3rd world countries ( i know one :))
    – visit the LA Zoo
    – have a couple of bambinos
    – have a pet named “Cheetah” – cause it just sounds bad ass to have a pet named “Cheetah”. (“I gotta go home to feed Cheetah”)
    – stop eating sugar, it is toxic (or so they say)

    That should keep you busy til 2020. When you do your 2020 summary, I’ll give you another list to carry you through 2030 :)

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