Seven Years In The City

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This post has been on my mind for a long time. A really, really long time. I moved to San Francisco in February of 2007. With that rusty old Jeep Cherokee packed with all my worldly possessions, I can vividly remember charging over the bay bridge on a sunny winter’s morning. With equal parts enthusiasm and anxiety, I sprinted towards my new life. I had no job, had just returned from the Peace Corps, wasn’t totally sure what I was doing with my career, and on top of all that was moving to a real city for the first time. I never could have imagined how my life would unfold so many years into the future. Diana. Pixar. Software engineering. New friends. Old friends. New family. Old family. The amount of life that has filled my cup since I came to the city by the bay – whew – it’s amazing when I try and fathom how much has happened from 25 to 32.

And now, nearly seven years to the day after that memorable trip over the bridge, your blogger found himself again in a packed car, traveling to a new life. But this time it was a bit different. Sure, the change was huge. Sure, I was anxious. But this time I was moving to a new place with a partner – My great Love, my fellow blogger.

And now, a few months later, I find myself sitting on my couch, finally getting around to punching out my thoughts on this keyboard, and full of a contentment I didn’t think was possible. Moving in with Di has been one of the greatest joys of my life. And Oakland. I hella love it here.

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Life is just beyond radical these days.

We live near a lake, tons of bar and cafes, my work, and even a Whole Foods!

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Okay … Let’s get to the adventures.

It has been months since I rocked a post, so there are a million things to write about. But, I’ve opened a nice bottle of wine (thanks Danch!), built a fire in the fireplace (thanks Dad!), turned on some Pandora through the new sound system (thanks Aki!), and am ready to let this flow.

This is gonna be part chronological, part whatever. We’ve got weddings, triathlons, birthdays, bike trips, and a few other assorted excursions on the agenda for this evening’s post.

Let’s start in February. Jesse and Allison’s wedding.

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Here Come The Murrays!

Two of the most kind, generous, and downright good looking people we know. It was fitting that on my last night in SF, I spent it celebrating their wedding. Jesse has been a mentor and a friend to me since my first few weeks in the city. I remember so well that day he stayed late at work to teach me how to load a .dat file into a Concordance database. Jesse took me under his wing, and gave me a priceless education. There are very, very few people to whom I am more professionally indebted. Jesse – you are the man.

And the wedding!!!

Dudes! What a collection of characters.

This guy was there.

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As was this man.

JZB.

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Hello to the C’s!

🙂

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I had the honor of accompanying Jesse’s mom down the aisle.

The first time in my life I was an usher!

So unbelievably awesome.

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Now back to this side of the bay.

On literally the exact same weekend the Pontz moved over to oak town as well!

And, the absurdly, incredibly, undeniably rad Jane moved over here also.

We couldn’t be more stoked to have such a lovely pair of neighbors.

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Have been riding a decent amount these days.

Went on a nice century down the coast a few weeks back.

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Coastal California, in all the glory of an early Spring, is as close to paradise as I can imagine.

With our poppies in bloom, a fresh ocean breeze blanketing our ride, and open roads abounding, cruising down to Santa Cruz gets my soul in a good place.

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And once I got to SC, I met up with Mikey Siegel.

Dudes was give a Tedx talk! WHAAAAAT! He’s my first close friend to have the honor, and we couldn’t be more proud.

The talk was as fascinating as it was heartwarming.

Mikey – you do great things.

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Back to Oakland.

We’ve got another wedding on tap!

This time it’s Raph and Pixie. Congrats you two!

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On a warm, sunny, vibrant Oakland afternoon we gathered up in the hills and celebrated truly joyous occasion. Their wedding was spiritual, touching, and awesomely Hebrew!

Also, there were homeys in attendance.

And life felt right.

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A reunion – A party – A night of joy!

Seb and Celine. Hello you dashing pair.

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Did someone order silly?

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So we have this new place and it is great.

Our friends and family have been most excellent and are visiting and partying with us quite frequently!

Big bro and the Seiders are around!

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As is this motley crew.

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Heck! We even chill with little dudes!

🙂

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On a lazy Sunday afternoon we explored the parks in the Oakland hills with Sebastian, Celine, Pontz, and Jane.

Literally a handful of miles up the road from my house, we get this awesomeness.

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Seriously!

Are you kidding me!

Oakland – wow.

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In March we had a birthday to celebrate.

This woman – my moon, my life.

Indeed, she’s the greatest thing that has ever happened to me – my Di Won.

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At the end of March, strapped the bike on the car and rolled down South.

Dave and Di were cruising with me to the race of my life.

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The Oceanside Half Ironman.

70.3 miles of pain, views, and fun beyond words.

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Also, got to spend a weekend in the home town.

Caught up with some old friends, and some new friends.

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Dude.

Beasted out a friggin race that was more gnar than I predicted. Swim great. Had a blast on the bike. But the run … The run put me on my ass like nothing else.

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Seconds after crossing the finish line got to meet Andy Potts though!

I was so nuked. And he asked me about the race. Andy Potts! Friggin world champ! I wish I could have mustered a better, more inspired answer. But all I could do was grumble. And the man – like a total champ would – responded with a pep talk I will never forget. We do this for the exact feeling I had at that finish line. It’s hard. That’s why we are there.

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Now … Let’s hop back in the car and roll up the coast homeward.

More friends, more fun, more happiness.

These characters came by the other night.

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Oh … DUUUUDE!

So here I am going through this cache of old pics, and I literally just hit a vein of pure gold. It was mid winter, the team was Corrigan, Seider, Rocci, and me. The mission was Samuel P. Taylor. The transportation was bikes!

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With all our gear we charged over the bridge and into the north.

There’s something so legit about watching your buddies, saddled with all our equipment, beasting it northward for the adventure.

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Winding Sir Francis Drake into the redwoods, the cool shade of the forest combined with the vibrant stoke of our team, brought me to a level of happiness that is hard to state in words.

Friends, tents, bikes … We had every single thing in life that a man needs for a decent weekend.

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This is a photo of athletes.

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And of course …

The morning after …

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Now … Let’s hop back in the car and roll over the mountain.

Five years ago I was blessed with my first nephew.

Reed. The day you were born I remember sitting in the hospital with my family so well. And for the past five years you’ve filled our hearts with so much joy. We love you, little dude!

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Momachka.

You are the rock on which all of us anchor our happiness.

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Okay … Here we are … Nearing the finish line.

On Sunday I returned to the Silicon Valley International Triathlon.

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Carpooling down with Ween – my great racing buddy – I met up with Tom and Plamtree, my fellow relay team race members.

The exuberance and joy and nerves and all the awesomeness that is a pre race tri vibe were on display.

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The water was cold and scary.

Somewhere in the mid to high 50’s, the ocean looked foreboding and cleansing and gnarly and exhilarating.

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But the day was as glorious as my compatriots.

The level of support and enthusiasm amongst this group of athletes inspires me to no end.

I love racing so much for this sense of camaraderie.

🙂 🙂

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Our team was a collection of beasts.

Seriously! Look at this raw studliness!

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Stoked.

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And to cap it all off, we defended our title.

Top of the podium in 2013, we claimed first in 2014 as well.

This is getting absurd. How long can this streak last?

So friggin rad. You dudes rock!

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So … That’s that.

Those are my thoughts, adventures, meanderings.

Between the move and work and life, it’s been tough to blog.

And then the backlog of all this stuff just piled up and I couldn’t motivate myself to write.

But this post – this post has been cathartic. It feels so good to share my pictures and my loved ones and my joy with you all. Life has been good, and I am indebted to so many excellent souls out there who have made these days so golden.

And Oakland. My new home. So stoked.

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