Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I jumped out of a fucking airplane

On Saturday, my friends and I drove up to Cookstown, and a little place called Skydive Toronto. You might be asking yourself, "Why would you go to a place called Skydive Toronto?" If you did, you're really dense.

Our trip was born out of a pact. A promise between friends that we would experience the feeling of jumping from an airplane before we turned 30. My friend Jay Tse jumped two years ago, and allegedly asked me if I wanted to come. Last year, we put it off, either out of laziness or I-don't-have-moneyness. I don't remember.

But this year, there couldn't be any excuses. That's because Jon (the stupid Korean in the back) turns 30 in November. You can't go back on the pact. So I went back to Jay and asked him where he went. Reserved the date, and put a countdown on my blog. 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Booya! August 18 rolls along, and here we are, harnessed up and ready to do it!

I knew that we'd be asked to sign a waiver, relinquishing our rights to sue in the event of injury and/or death. What we didn't know was that they were going to make us watch a crusty 30 min video from the early 80's. The shit was friggin hilarious! It was hosted by the guy from Idomo, and from the Family Ties dad.

So we suit up, and head out to the airplane. Up to this point, I wasn't nervous at all. the first point I tensed up was when we got into the plane. The shit was held together with duct tape. My estimate was 4 or 5 rolls. If something happens to the plane, at least we have parachutes, right? Well, actually my tandem partner has the parachute, not me. Errr....

The second point of nervousness came at 10,500ft. Thats when the pilot opened the door. I took a peek and could still see the ground. The wind was blowing hard into the cabin. My instructor told me to head for the door, just like we practiced on the ground. I reluctantly moved towards the door, put my hands across my chest in the shape of an X, and waited for him to count us down. "Ready?! ... one ... ". That's when he pushed me. I got pushed out of an airplane!

The first 3 seconds, I think I went numb. We were falling head first. All I remember was seeing the ground. I don't remember hearing anything, I don't remember feeling anything. Only vision. I've never experienced that before.

After that, we stabilized, and I felt like I was a bird, flying in the air. What an awesome feeling. I hammed it up for the camera a bit, probably longer then I should have, because when I first checked my altimeter, we were already at 7000 ft, only 1000 ft from the point when we were supposed to deploy the chute. Damn, we've already been in freefall for about 20 seconds?!

So, while training on the ground, we were taught how to find the parachute ripcord. When I got the signal from my tandem partner, I did what remembered. It should be somewhere just above his hip. My hand was flailing around, but I couldn't find it. Uhhh, this kinda sucks. I hope my tandem partner is going to pull this thing, cuz I'm sorta starting to panic.

The second half of this skydiving experience, the slow flight down under the canopy, was almost as amazing as the freefall. Who the fuck am I kidding, it was nowhere near as amazing! But it was still cool.

When we landed on the ground, the videographer rushed in for my reaction of the dive. I had all this wicked shit planned. I was going to brush the dirt off my shoulder, smirk at the camera, and tell him it "ain't no thang". I was going to tell Shaun that he missed out. It was going to be wicked. But that's not what happened. I was stunned. I was shell shocked. I stuttered and mumbled. I'm actually kinda scared to see my video, I'm probably going to look and sound really stupid.

You can see my pictures here. Thanks to Joe, my tandem partner, Peter, my videographer, and everyone else at Skydive Toronto. TeamID, we did it! Well, except for Shaun and the wife. Y'all missed out! This experience was so sick, I guarantee that I'll be back for another jump. If you haven't been skydiving before, I recommend it!

--- Living is overrated underrated tour 2K7 ---

Monday, August 20, 2007

RIP iPod?

What a great weekend! My skydiving post will come later this week, but the short story goes like this: "I jumped out of a fucking airplane!"

This morning, I want to report some very sad news. My black iPod nano is near death (or possibly dead). I got this message on the left yesterday, and when I got home, followed the instructions on Apple's website in an attempt to save it. Nothing worked. So now, my only option is to see if a repair shop can fix it for a substantially cheaper price than the cost to buy a new one.

I don't know what happened. Maybe too many hours stuck in the car with the sun beating down on it. Or maybe Jon, who was the last person to touch it before it crashed. I don't want to point any fingers (Jon), but what's important (Jon, you're fucking dead) is that I rectify the situation immediately (Jon, I'm coming by to kick your ass).

In the 2+ years I've had my iPod, it's pretty much seen usage every day. I used it on my way to work, at the gym (well, the 2 or 3 times I've been to the gym), in the car, and even at work. It made driving (something that I totally hate) more enjoyable.

I'm going to try and save you, black iPod nano. But if I can't, I'm going to miss you ... until I buy your replacement, a second generation nano in (red), so I can save some kids in Africa. It's all about the kids.

P.S.: Watch your back Jon

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"You missed out" (c) Shaun Sequeira

Dear The Wife and Shaun (pictured left), and Chris (oh yeah, and Kev, Alison, and any other yahoo that ain't skydiving on Saturday):

You guys are missing out.

Let me tell you a story. Back in 2003, I went to Las Vegas with my friends for my bachelor party. I told them, "As long as I don't need to organize the damn thing, it sounds like fun." But, since it's my job to organize stuff, I organized my own fucking stag. I hate you all. Fuckers. Wait, that's not the story I wanted to tell.

Anyways, So my friend Anth was unemployed at the time. The rest of us were still fairly young, and at varying degrees of poorness. But none of us had been to Vegas, so we scoured for the cheapest travel and accommodation rates, and ponied up. But, you can't blame Anth, look at him, he's got zero cashflow.

That all changed the day before the trip. You see, he just got offered a job. So he calls me, and gives me the news, and tells me he wants in on Las Vegas. He's asking about prices and availability and whatnot. This is great, I think to myself. It kinda sucked that he wasn't going.

So I look up rates, and booya! The prices have gone up almost triple for the flight. "C'mon Anth" I told him, "just take the hit now, and pay it off later ... everyone else is going to be there!" He hums, and he hahs, and then tells me that maybe he'll just go to the airport and look for a cheaper flight the next day. Long story short, Anth doesn't show up in the any of the Vegas pics (aka pwn3d).

So what's the point, Aesop? The point is that you don't want to regret missing out on this experience. For some of you, fear is the barrier. Grow some cojones, padre! You don't think that I'm scared? For the rest of you, money is the barrier. But just look at Anth. Look at him! The next time we reminisce about Vegas, look at his face, it looks like he's about to cry. And then he tries to change the subject. You don't want to be that person. You don't want to have that face.

Living is overrated tour 2K7. Just a few more days until Saturday. You know where to reach me if y'all change your mind.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Living is overrated 2K7 (c) Chin and/or Jon

For those that don't know, TeamID is going skydiving in a few weeks. There was a pact in place that we would do this before we turned 30, and here we are, just a few months before Jon's 30th. I'm pumped!

Last night, we were out getting Dairy Queen treats (yo, you missed out Shaun), and Chin says that the Friday before we jump should be called, "The Last Supper." Our plan is to stage a shot that looks like Da Vinci's painting. Sacrilege? Yes. Hilarious? Definitely.

First thing everyone thought of: Shaun will be Judas. I told Shaun about the idea this morning, and the first thing he said: "Yo, I can be Judas!" Fucking TeamID, the only thing that surprises me is that there aren't anymore surprises.

But wait, who will be Jesus? Nobody wanted to test getting struck by lightning (we're already in deep water), so Jon said we'll just photoshop him in. More laughing ensued.

I asked Chin and Jon what kind of reactions they got from their parents (about skydiving, not about or mockery of Da Vinci), and both described the same thing as when I told my mom. It was a state of denial, masked by a false confidence that we were "just joking." My mom said, "No! No, Alex ... no jumping! Don't joke to me!" There's no joking around! We're jumping from an airplane!

So let the countdown begin: Living is overrated tour 2K7 coming to a town near you! Last supper picture will be so hype. Can't wait!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Google Maps Mashup!

Now you can add Google maps to your blog or website! I was experimenting with it, and found this website which also helps you figure out how to add a map to Blogger.

But wait, there's more. You can now overlay your own information on top of the map! Here's my first experiment. I mapped all the homes I lived in as I was growing up. Damn, that's a lot of moving!


Friday, August 03, 2007

My alter ego

I'm a pretty shy, reserved, risk-averse kinda guy. That's how I roll. When I meet new people, I'm usually quiet, and I try not to say anything that'll offend anyone.

My alter ego would be John Legend in his track, "Alright":
Hold up, I know you got a man, but I'm toe up
And I dont even care if he roll up, with something to say
You better tell him he don't want it with me, It's alright
Brash and ballsy. He don't give a fuck! I could just imagine being at a club, and chatting up some hottie (so I could hook her up with one of my friends, of course ... I'm a married man!). Then the hottie's boyfriend walks in and does the slow push off, with his palm right up on my shoulder, trying to angle my body towards him and away from his girl. He's the confrontational type, like me. I'd get that annoyed look on my face, like "WTF?" Size him up and down with my eyes. First to his face, and then his feet, and then back to his face. "This guy ain't got shit on me!" Then I would stare at the girl, and point at his man with my eyes, on some, "You better fix this problem." You know the face I'm talking about? The confused, questioning look ... "Is this guy for real?"

Then she yells at him to leave. He looks at me, and after I take a sip of my drink, I return his stare and shrug my shoulders, with a devilish grin on my face. "What the fuck you want from me?" Then I would shoo him away with my hand like he was my butler. Oh snap!

Stuff like that only happens when I blog. Sigh. In reality, I wouldn't be chatting up the hottie in the first place. I might say something about being excited about a new Star Trek movie, and then she would leave. Sigh. John Legend, son. At least I got Get Lifted, track 4. It's Alright.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Checking in

I'm at my wife's work right now. She's still working. I finished working at 5, and then played a game of Starcraft, and then drove over here, and she's still working. Sigh.

So I thought I would update y'all on what's new and "exciting" in my life.

I watch the Big Lebowski a few weeks ago for the first time. I was thoroughly entertained by the quirky, offbeat humour. I was also amazed at the All-Star cast: Julliane Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Philip Seymour Hoffman, etc. Even the guy from Prison Break (or if you don't watch Prison Break, the guy from the Vee-dub "representing Deutschland" commercials) is in the movie, playing a German! Highly recommended.

I am surprised by the Boston Celtic's science experiment. Mortgage your future for a shot at the NBA title. It could work, except they've got a very small window to get it done. I give them 2-3 years tops. And you gotta find the best scrubs the NBDL and random European country has to offer. Chuck Swirsky says that the Raptors are still the team to beat in the Atlantic, and that we could go for 50 wins! Far be it from me, and my extremely biased perspective, to argue with the Swirsk! Let's go Raps!

RW & Co's summer t-shirts are the right price, but they're all tight fitting, which would expose my belly. Roc-a-wear has the type of shirt that I like to wear, but it's kinda expensive (and I'm getting kinda old to be wearing Roc-a-wear). Why can't RW be more like RW?

I watched Dooch's brother jump from an airplane on Facebook. The video got me friggin pumped! We're skydiving in like 2 weeks son! ooohhhhhhhh snap! The video they make for you after the jump is edited with music, and I hope they throw in some Linkin Park. That would not suck. Would. Not. Suck.

Bourne Ultimatum is this Friday. I'll meet you there. My favourite line from the trailer:
Bourne: "Where are you"
Shady old man: "I'm in my office"
Bourne: "I doubt that"
Shady old man: "Why would you say that?"
Bourne: "If you were in your office, we'd be having this conversation face-to-face"

pwn3d1