Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hanging Up The Spikes

Well, the time has come.  I think I owe it to you all to let you know that you don't need to check in here on a regular basis like you've done since March.  As scintillating as my life is back home in the Bay Area, it just does not live up to the knife-edge adventures that you've come to expect from me.  We are therefore going to say "sayonara" for now.

You can look at my Twitter feed for any super-exciting events or happenings in my life.  You can also always contact me by email, phone, SMS, or whatsapp.  Who knows.....maybe we'll start this venture up again next year from Buenos Aires.  We'll see.

For now, in response to popular demand -- and in case you missed them the first time -- I leave you with my video montage tribute to my time in Roma, and with a tidbit from my last Italian lesson -- recorded evidence of how far I got after studying Italian for 9 months!

I will miss this blogging.  But I know we'll nevertheless stay in touch.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I'm not going to kid you.  Getting adjusted to life back here in the Bay Area is not easy.  Yes, it's wonderful to see some good friends -- I've loved that.  Getting back to the gym feels good.  Catching up on Mad Men numbs the pain somewhat.  But even with all that, it ain't easy.  Everything seems so hollow, so wooden, so flat, so pedestrian.

Seeing some familiar faces from Roma has helped me get through the first 6 days.  Here they are:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Stats Don't Lie

There are lots of things I'm proud of that occurred during this 9-month trip.  Overall, I feel it was a job well done.  But describing the experience to people presents a challenge -- it's hard to distill all the experiences and feelings into manageable soundbites.  Objective statistics can of course help.  They convey unassailable facts about the journey.  Here are some interesting numbers --

The number of page-views this blog received as of this writing.  Thanks to you, we received lots of traffic!

The number of meals I cooked during my anno sabbatico.  That is impressive, si?  This is the figure of which I may be most proud.  An unblemished record.

The number of steps I took (while wearing my Nike fuel band) during the 9 months.  The average American in this period would have taken 1,410,125 steps.  My 4.2 million steps amounted to over 2000 miles.

I went back to my Palo Alto gym today for the first time since March 1.  While there, I weighed in.  I lost 3 pounds.  Given that I ate pasta probably 6 times per week, that I ate gelato or some Italian pastry probably 5 times per week, and that I never once made a home-cooked meal, this number is an eye-opener.  (It is obviously connected to the immediately preceding number.)  I think it also puts an end to the debate over the impact of high-carb diets!  My diet book will publish in February.....