Thursday, November 13, 2014

Business school classes love to talk about opportunity cost. Though it's definitely worth it (so far... I think... I hope,) I've been thinking a lot lately about what I'm missing in exchange for Saturday electives and Sunday study sessions. Spurts of reading over breaks are wonderful and welcome, but it's harder to really focus on the things that bring me joy (other than learning.)

Which brings me to this: It's been over a year since I've been on a legit hike. It's been way too long since I've been on any hike. So, in honor of what I'm told the kids call "Throwback Thursday," a throwback to the most legit hike I've ever done. 

My dad hiked the Deadman Canyon loop in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks a few years ago with some friends (guy stuff), and it seemed like as soon as he got back he was planning his next hike. Dad loves hiking, and not just that -- he is really smart about it. He knows what he and the group needs, and while he tracks his gear and food inventory, striving to knock off one more ounce like a golfer working on his score, he has little interest in yuppie backpacker nonsense (my characterization -- of course not his) like $700 sleeping bags. He truly and fully enjoys the journey but never loses sight of how many miles to the next campsite and hours until dusk. The things that make my dad great in hiking also make him great in life -- I could write a whole post about dadisms learned while hiking.

There's a map here of the Deadman Canyon Loop, which is basically what we did -- we deviated on our last day to cut off a few miles, but for the most part, this is the route.

Twin Lakes (above) was our second campsite. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen (until the next day... then again the next day, then...) It was a fairly short distance from our camp the night before (I want to say 2.2 miles?), but it is a pretty solid elevation gain (2700 ft) for so early in the journey, so we stayed to avoid altitude sickness.

My pack, complete with duct tape patch and solar panel. High and low tech, people; it is the total PACKage. I'll show myself out.

Heaven. Elizabeth Pass is in the distance, which was kind of like hell. Beautiful, strenuous, hell.

This is the view from a section of the High Sierra Trail, and it is also ridiculous.

More ridiculous scenery.

Sometime after May 2015, I'll have another adventure. Until then, I will lament in my shoddy history education and try to understand how the ef the EU works.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's officially 2pm snack attack time when...

You are distracted by an article you think is entitled "Favorite All-Natural Vegan Doughnuts"

...only to realize it is actually "Favorite All-Natural Vegan Deodorants"

I guess that's cool, too.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

workout plan

1. Take a couple weeks off from the gym due to... let's go with "extenuating circumstances." (read: work events, study sessions, plague of happy hours, and a comfy couch. Wait, forget those last two.)

2. Finally get back to the gym. Make it count.

3. Too much counting; proceed to be sore for about a week.

4. Take some time off to heal. Take some extra time off because... well, you know.

5. Repeat.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"I put you down for the vegan meal. Let me know if that's OK."

The deadline to RSVP to a wedding of a friend of a friend recently passed. She and I are not super close, but we casually keep in touch.

It was kind of a late-notice invitation, so instead of immediately saying YESYESYES (which is my natural response... because weddings are the best), I had to think about it for a minute.

It was pretty easy to refute all the cons (Must buy present? -- that is why I have an "other" budget. Flying solo? -- since when has not having a date stopped you from doing anything. Do I really need to be there? -- if you're important enough to invite, you're important enough to be there.)

But the easiest hesitation to dismiss: Will there be anything to eat? And, you know, I was a little mad at myself for a moment for even going there.

This is a lifestyle that's totally compatible with any and all special moments (provided the special moment isn't, I don't know, a pig roast. But maybe you could even make that work)
It is not a lifestyle of restriction and denial, it is a lifestyle of mindful abundance.

Anyway, so put me down for one more in 2014. Next weekend, to be exact. So, that makes three this year.
Who's next? Do I hear a fourth?

After making a mental note to eat before leaving and to pack a couple snacks, and before popping the card in the mail, I text to let her know I'm coming RSVP (Emily Post would not approve, but pragmatism wins when you're 2 weeks out from the event).

"I put you down for the vegan meal. Let me know if that's OK."

What the kale??? How great is this gal? How great are weddings?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"The Street"

So, school is hard.

Well... work is hard. and school. and working out (erm... not working out but feeling guilty and lazy and tired for it.) and tending to the fur babies. and keeping up with Netflix. You know. Important stuff.

Anyway, we've covered how sometimes people say funny things in the MBA. Sometimes people make a comment about how it's important to consider a company's "performance on the street," as it is impacted by financial decision making and reporting and etc.
"performance on the street."
Um... do you mean the much more straightforward term "stock price"? All in attendance nod knowingly, and I'm like... did you say what I think you said? It's not that bad, it just makes me feel like I feel when people use the words "exquisite" and "exhilarating" in non-ironic, casual conversation. I think I just have weird word triggers. Evidently that is one.

Also, I picture a corporate fat cat doing a jig in a top hat and red thigh-high, high-heeled boots. Wait, the top hat is on the sidewalk collecting tuppence. Wait, the corporate fat cat is an actual cat.

Is that a normal thing to say: "the street"? I know with websites and wonks it ain't no thang, but for a human in real life? Is it just me? Is "exhilarating" a normal thing for a human IRL to say? "tuppence"? "ain't no thang"?

Monday, August 11, 2014

MBA jokes

The countdown to Year 2 continues.

Q: What did 2 Chainz study in b school?
A: Supply CHAINZ

Q: What did the two economists talk about in the cold pool?
A: Shrinkage in the private sector.

This is the part I look forward to.
No, I'm... I'm being serious.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cold, Cruel Reality

It happened last night.

I was lounging on my couch, peacefully watching an episode of The Wire with the man after returning home from a weeknight friend dinner date, when a terrible realization disturbed my idyll.

School officially starts* in 10 days.

Sad beep is right, R2-D2.

I've been working out regularly, reading interesting/fun books, sleeping 8 hours, keeping up with my laundry (!!!) for the last month...

It's like I'm a normal, functioning adult.

But the party's over (almost.)

I'll miss you, summer.

Then I realized -- all is not lost. Week-long vacation starts in 14 days, my first class isn't for another 26 days, then graduation is in... I don't know, like 250 days or so.

It's going to be OK.

*Classes start on the 21st. Pre-coursework opens on the 15th. This is homework before classes even begin. I find this unjust.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review - The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller

I signed up for a Coursera course in Comic Books and Graphic Novels, and I have been working my way through the recommended reading list. This was in the top 3 books. Apparently it's a big deal?

OK. I liked it. I did. I can see how it's probably visionary and a masterpiece and stuff... but... I did not love it.

I'm not really into superhero comics, so that sort of put me at a disadvantage for appreciating this. It's not a typical superhero comic, so that helps. This was also my first Batman comic, so I didn't go into it knowing the history and relevance of this piece. I felt like I must have missed something upon finishing, so I poked around online to read others' reviews and learn more about the Batman arc. That's helped guide my hindsight.

The bad:

There were too many panels per page for my taste. I didn't love the art - I get that it's supposed to be dark, but I'm saying some drawings were literally so dark that my eyes couldn't decipher shapes or actions.
jk, this isn't a real panel, but you get the idea.

A minor thing in the grand scheme, but one of the first groups of villains the book introduces -- the "Mutant Gang" -- was just... too much. I really can't decide if they are an 80s fluorescent vinyl nightmare or if I should just love and embrace the camp. Come to think of it, the same clownish look goes for all the villains, really... but I couldn't take them seriously.

The good:

Carrie Kelley as Robin is awesome. Because I'm not familiar with the Batman stories in comic form, I've only seen baby-faced young men like Chris O'Donnell and Joseph Gordon Levitt in the role of Robin. Where my ladies at, Bruce Wayne? It was cool to see a 13-year-old girl leave her neglectful family and take on this role. Since finishing the book, she is seriously everywhere -- on a hipster's shirt at the hipster coffee shop, the object of several San Diego Comic Con cosplays... I am way behind the curve.

Dat hair.

did like the overall premise. Existential crises. Fate of humanity in the balance. Even super heroes grow old. To that effect, though, I found myself drawing comparisons to Watchmen, which I read first... and liked more.

I think it's like this: Pulp Fiction was this really groundbreaking, influential film, right? If you don't see Pulp Fiction until, say 20 years after it was released, but you've been watching other movies which were influenced by Pulp Fiction, when you finally see Pulp Fiction, it's like... "so?" Maybe that's not the normal reaction, but that was my reaction when I finally saw Pulp Fiction. My reaction was indifference and "you know, this kind of reminds me of Kill Bill..." OF COURSE IT DOES.

I give it a "meh," but it is a "meh" of great respect.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review - Acacia: The War With the Mein, by David Anthony Durham

I probably don't need to tell you that the Game of Thrones TV series is a big deal. I also probably don't need to tell you that HBO's very HBOey series is an adaptation of the Song of Ice and Fire book series originally envisioned by notorious protagonist-murderer and nerd-overlord George R. R. Martin. While I cannot claim to be one of the visionaries who read the series right from the beginning (mostly because I was too busy being 9 and reading a bazillion-installment series about heroic talking rodents... whatever), after bingeing on the entire first season of the TV show, I was hooked.
The next season wasn't due out for another, like, 6 months, but... but... there are books!
So I read those until there were no more.
Then I felt empty.

Somewhere, someone on the internet recommended the Acacia series by David Anthony Durham as a sort of methadone for GRRM addiction, so I picked it up from the clinic library.

Acacia is a trilogy, the first book of which is The War With the Mein. The Akaran family has ruled the Known World (which looks, on the map illustration, suspiciously like ASOIAF's Westeros) for generations. The book focuses on the four Akaran children, who begin content and comfortable. Outside the castle, of course, there is simmering unrest, and the peasants live short and miserable lives. The reader learns pretty early on are some super shady dealings between the ruling dynasty and The League, which controls "trade" (um... kind of like the mafia provides "security") between the Known World and the Other Lands. One ethnic minority is particularly pissed off, revolution ensues, and the remaining 2/3 of the book picks up nine years later with the four Akaran children, now scattered separately throughout the Known World. Things happen - some surprising, and some predicted (the last 1/4 or so of the book is where the real action is) - and this installment closes in a time of calm on the surface... but the reader remains conflicted and a bit wary of what's to come.


I will say that the story did get off to a slow start. When everything is rosy, the book doesn't hold the reader's interest as it does after the shit hits the fan. The first 1/4 of the book took me about as long to read as the last 3/4.

I couldn't help but draw comparison to ASOIAF - but that's what I wanted, wasn't it? Acacia has enough interesting twists on its own to set it apart from ASOIAF - but not by much. I loved that it followed so many of the ASOIAF conventions which make that series so compelling, but I was also a bit uncomfortable with all the similarities.

Just as in ASOIAF, the chapters jump between multiple narrative perspectives, so the reader hears what's going on in each of the major characters' corners of the world, one chapter at a time. For me, this structure kept me interested and on my toes, but I've talked to others who find it distracting and disjointed.

It's a fantasy world, but the fantastic/magical elements kind of exist alongside the action rather than dominate it. There are no dwarves or elves or outright wizards (yet?)

Even the four Akaran children and their sibling dynamics, to me, were reticent of the Stark litter. Eldest brother with a sort of hero complex. Eldest sister with a beauty complex (thankfully not as much of a doormat as Sansa... get it together, girl). Youngest brother who is coming into his own and living in the elder's shadow. Youngest sister who is... just... a complete badass.

Their relationships -- the way they think about each other, care for each other, and complement each other -- make these characters easy to root for, while just enough human flaws remain to make the reader ambivalent toward them as outright heroes.

This is my favorite. Also like ASOIAF, the story itself (and I can only speak for the first book) isn't centered around a heroic quest but instead on the familial dynamics and, more notably, political corruption and struggle - more House of Cards than Lord of the Rings. Sci-fi/fantasy at its best offers an imaginative escape with commentary on our own lives and our own world. Acacia puts issues of slavery, drug addiction, war, ethnic prejudice, and economic inequality at the forefront of the action. Compared to the "bad guys", were the "good guys" really that much better?

I will enjoy reading the rest of this series... but when GRRM finishes Winds of Winter, I'll be ready.

By the way...
"George R. R. Martin is what?..."
"...He's not our bitch."

"Sorry, Neil Gaiman."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vegan redux

About four years ago, I decided to stop eating meat. I won't pretend I haven't eaten a scrap of meat since April 2010 or so, especially during that first year or two. My first Thanksgiving with my family was tough. My first St. Paddy's with my family was tough (corned beef and cabbage. seriously.)

I think that's OK. It's important to revisit and reassess essential beliefs, making sure they still fit in the big picture. Each time I did eat meat, it was clear that meat still didn't fit in my big picture. I now haven't eaten meat (knowingly, ugh) in about a year.


For all the reasons I stopped eating meat, I thought I'd try to eat vegan. I wrote a little bit about it. It started as a 60 day challenge, and think it lasted a little longer. Like... maybe 70 days? Guys, not eating cheese is hard, and I am weak. 

Regardless, I became more and more lax. But there's always the tiny little voice...
"This doesn't fit in my big picture." 
"But cheese."

My job is also a lot of lunches and events where the takeaway needs to be my cause -- which has nothing to do with animals or the environment. Even when I'm eating eggs and dairy, my eating habits easily become a distraction from the subject at hand -- a distraction I've learned to manage, but a distraction nonetheless. Awkward conversations at work are part of the package. I get it. I've had those awkward conversations with coworkers, and they've been productive. For me, however, conversations with the external stakeholders (funders, specifically) are far more challenging. Those conversations are different. I have gotten really skilled at managing this and redirecting the awkward, and I am kind of proud of myself for it (pat on the back, self.) Still, it's a glimpse into my personal life I am not comfortable allowing.


Fast forward another few years of tiny voice stubbornly hanging on while big cheese voice does the same. This super lovely person started work at my organization, and she is vegan. We talk about cute animals and the pig sanctuary and favorite delicious vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. She's long since moved on to another department, but I've thought of her poignant and completely nonjudgmental insight frequently.

"This doesn't fit in my big picture."

So, once again, for all the reasons I stopped eating meat, and on as much of a whim, I'm going to try this vegan thing again. Since last Thursday (one misstep... Kraft Mac and Cheese aka orange crack. It wasn't worth it, and I repent.) Maybe I need a new self-improvement challenge? I won't pretend I'm going to be perfect... but I'm going to try.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Result of the 6-month shopping fast

So, I set out to save some dough and de-clutter my life in the first half of 2014.

When I started referring to our second bedroom as "the closet," I knew the problem was real. Here are my wearables purchases from January-June...

  • Tank on clearance (from Target) - I had a day full of meetings around town, with one last really important one to go... but I felt smelly. Sometimes you feel smelly and need to buy a new shirt. (I acknowledge the ridiculousness of that statement)
    • January
    • $2
  • Dr. Dog (concert) t-shirt - Dr. Dog is one of my favorite live bands at the moment. I feel like this falls more into the "souvenir" category than the "clothes" category, thus only kind of counts... but in the interest of full disclosure, it's here.
    • February
    • $25
  • Accessory box (from Wantable) (nautical earrings, statement necklace, scarf) - This was right on the cusp of my deciding not to shop. I am a huge fan of Birchbox, so a monthly box of surprise accessories sounded like even more fun. It was... just OK.
    • February
    • $36
  • Work shirt (from Goodwill) - I am a Target fashion connoisseur. I know exactly which "fancy" designer collaboration it came from, and in exactly which season... but even when I'm loose in the wallet, $40 is too much to spend on a top at Target. When I saw one in perfect condition at Goodwill, I went for it. I have no regrets.
    • May
    • $7
  • Coral necklace (from Buffalo Exchange) - I have no excuse. My bestie was in town, and secondhand treasure troves are my weakness. It could have been worse?
    • June
    • $9
The result? Less than $100 spent, 5 items added (and about 10 paper grocery bags stuffed with items purged from my closet,) and some lessons in perspective on how my external appearance shapes (or doesn't) my internal self-perception.

I held off an entire day before I dropped in on My Sister's Closet... but that's outside the bounds of this experiment.

I'm pretty pleased with this as a self-improvement experiment.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

(almost) 6 months of (almost) no shopping

It all started with a January spending freeze to recover from a brutal holiday budget hangover. The experience was super positive and empowering. In addition to being kind of astonished by how much extra dough I had at the beginning of February, it allowed me to really hone in on the categories that were my biggest money sucks.

Aside from car and food, my guiltiest pleasure apparently is shopping... specifically for clothing and accessories. I am a huge secondhand and bargain shopper, but despite that, it's death from 1,000 small cuts. $50 here and $100 there add up in no time.


I also realized the extent to which I was suffering from another unfortunate side effect of this habit: the accumulation of stuff... a LOT of stuff. My historic home's tiny closet was overflowing with clothes I hadn't worn in months (or ever) because I realized I didn't like wearing them that much or they had just gotten hidden among all the other stuff. It was ridiculous.

I didn't really set out to go on a wearables shopping fast in 2014... Around mid-February, I just realized that I had stepped outside my regular routine of shopping out of boredom and decided to keep it up. I have found these tenets to be very helpful in keeping me (mostly) on track:

Don't go "window shopping." There will come a time when this is a realistic expectation and a pleasurable experience, but it took me a few months of purging the habit of shopping from my system. I have a weird pull to online browsing... and sometimes I just need to step away, slowly and calmly, from the Rue La La.

Don't get caught up in the details. OK... so, I bought stuff. More on that later. I'm still counting it a huge success.

Share the love. I've been so impressed by the support of my friends and family when I casually share that I've only bought 3 4 5 items in 2014. Everyone thinks it's great. Nobody thinks I'm weird. At least not any weirder.

Get a buddy. If anyone is crazy enough to come along for the ride, it's super helpful to have that extra level of support.

Feeling encouraged and empowered, I came across this very timely article last week from the Denver Post: "Minimalist clothing challenge spurs closet clean-outs". Maybe I'll try Project 333 next...

Friday, June 13, 2014

things I've learned as a liberal arts undergrad in an MBA program

Not too long ago, I decided I needed to stop bingeing on Netflix when I get home from work and think instead about being productive. After about a year of thinking about it (while bingeing on Netflix... multitasking), I applied to an evening MBA program, was accepted, and embarked on this adventure.

I work at a nonprofit, so I sometimes feel like a bit of an odd duck in a sea of engineers, accountants, project managers, business analysists...

But I'm enjoying it, meeting different people, and learning a lot through formal coursework and beyond.

Compound interest. Seriously, guys, this is something that, if you were a foolish awesome undergraduate English major like me, you need to get a handle on before you even think about it. Not for the sake of your Finance requirements; for your own well-being. Because it is not a cheap undertaking, and student loans are no joke.

Shark Tank. It's a thing. Everyone is talking about it. MBAs and aspiring MBAs love Shark Tank like middle-aged ladies love Dancing with the Stars.
By the way, it airs on ABC on Friday nights. Nerds.*
Until a few months ago, I thought everybody was talking about Shark Week. It turns out, the two are unrelated.

What "supply chain management" means. I sometimes wonder what this area has been previously called, and how it came to be known in its current iteration. There has to be something better to call it.
Got it.
Got it.
"Supply Chain"?
The other day, I learned there's a debate over the difference between "supply chain" and "operations" management. I didn't realize that was a thing either, but it all hurts my brain.

"Triple bottom line" is a fancy way of saying you have retained your humanity. People, planet, profit.

Speak up. Be the alternative voice. Surprise: you're well-rounded and smart. But... don't get crazy. You also don't win any friends or change any minds when you try to discuss how McDonalds' sustainability efforts are a farce because it is the U.S.'s largest consumer of industrial beef, which is really bad for the environment.
Easy, tiger.

"Networking" and "work" can be fun if you enjoy the company you are in. It can also be miserable if you do not, but you gotta take the good with the bad, ya dig?

Don't talk about taxes. Unless you are talking about the injustice of them.

Free food. On the first day of a quarter, a free** dinner, no matter how mediocre or lukewarm, brings me life-affirming joy.

Probably to be continued...

*My latest Netflix binge is Star Trek: TNG, so there's that.

**Considering the program fees, these are really more like the most expensive meals I've ever eaten... But they just feel so right.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

OGs, NBD, and Wedding in SD

This past weekend in San Diego, I had the great honor and pleasure of attending the wedding of one of my "Original Gs"... That's "Original Girlfriends," of course, from the friendship-bracelet-making, awkward elementary school years. It was an intimate, personal, so special ceremony and celebration. We don't see each other often, because our lives have made us different people than we were 20 years ago - as they should have - but despite that, we have shared some memorable events in the years since third grade.

Anyway, so the bridal shower was a few weeks ago, and another OG looks at my right knee and says (in an appropriate way; it's cool), "I can't believe you still have that scar!"

I didn't learn to ride a bike until college, really, and even then I never got confident enough to not fall off and gash my knee open to the point of needing several stitches... a few weeks before a trip to Vegas we had planned in honor of OG #2's university graduation... in May.

Blood. Loss of consciousness. Dad and brother freaking out. It was not a pretty sight.

Even after I was patched up and bandaged, I was so embarrassed by my war wound that I insisted on long pants to hide and almost bailed on the trip. I didn't, (looking back, it mustn't have been THAT bad) but it was MAY in VEGAS. So I got sick of sweltering in jeans and finally embraced my frankenleg.

Back to the bridal shower: I begin to affirm that yes, I do, and yes it was atrocious, and yes it's still pretty bad... when she says "You ROCKED those stitches!"

Um, what's that you say? Because all I remember is the shame.


Anyway, the moral is: Rock the stitches and the bandage and the scar that follows. It's not a big deal. Or maybe it is, but honestly who cares, let alone in six years.

Or the moral is: Teach your kids to ride bikes when they're young. Even if they're stubbornly resistant and hopelessly clumsy.


Ps. It should be noted that we rented and rode bikes all around Pacific/Mission Beach on Saturday. I did not crash once.
Like. A. Boss.
Pps. What an awesome couple and beautiful wedding. I'm still shining from the gratitude and joy at having been included in such a special occasion.

Are you serious with this view, cocktail hour?
"We go together like..."
Cute details abound.
We clean up OK.
Bonus: I managed to spend a weekend in San Diego without completely blowing my budget, so... great success.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I still exist!

Hey there!

I still exist!

Meh, these things happen. It's the circle of life, and it moves us all... away from our constructive internet endeavors and onto Buzzfeed or whatever.

Inspired in large part by a couple friends who are carving out time in their days to create conversation on the internet, I am going to try to update this more often. For now...


So much.

First, a recap: when I haven't been looking at gifs of the cutest animal bffs or other top (#) lists of the (superlative) (adjective) (category), I have been working my way halfway through an MBA program. I'm already halfway there! Because I hate myself love to learn, I'm taking summer school, just for funsies. But seriously, a supply chain elective popped up over the summer: Sustainability and Social Responsibility, and I couldn't pass that up. So...

1. a bunch of HBR cases.
2. just finished volume one of Saga. Volume two is on hold at the library. Since I started this MBA program, it's been hard to get into and finish novels. I've found that this sporadic and unpredictable time is a great opportunity to pick up graphic novels and comic series I've been meaning to look into but always take a back seat to the mile-long list of novels I want to read. Though by no means superficial or childish, they're easier for me to digest (#3 below is an exception...), and the lengths of chapters are more standardized than novels' chapters. I can read a novel and finish a 5-page chapter, then unwittingly commit to a 35-page chapter. I know what I'm getting into here.
3. just finished The Watchmen. I can now believe the hype. Super complex and overlapping story lines, really poignant and interesting social insights delivered and philosophical questions raised. My only complaint is that the female characters are a) few and far between and b) kind of one-dimensional.
4. Lean In. I multitask books pretty hard.
5. the first book in a fantasy series on one of the aforementioned "# superlative adjective category" lists of what I should read while waiting for the next A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones book. Acacia: the War with the Mein. Which reminds me: GRRM, I'm talking to you:


Smoothies for breakfast every day this week. Thank you, beautiful bf.


The Mind of a Chef (aforementioned beautiful bf's fault). It's (pretty intentionally and unabashedly) a younger version of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations; it's even narrated by Mr. Bourdain. I enjoy the travel and culture aspect, but they cut up a lot of meat on camera, of which I can only take so much.

Props to...

The Phoenix Public Library system for having everything I want and keeping this town on the map in this area with the best of them. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about Phoenix's library system. A major reason I live where I live is because of proximity to the central branch, which is awesome.

Can't wait for...

San Diego so soon for a wedding, a long weekend (!!!), and maybe even a surfing session. My arms hurt just thinking about it.