Posted by: Mark | August 30, 2009

The Weekend of One Thousand Awesomes

When I sang for a ska-punk band in college (oh yeah, that’s right, I used to rock and roll), we would often times come out of concerts talking about the various “Awesomes” that we experienced in the show. One particularly epic night our guitarist very memorably said that it was the Night of One Thousand Awesomes, and I’ve loved the phrase ever since. (Mind you, at the time, we were strongly toying with the idea of calling our newest album “Our Lady of Perpetual Awesome.”)

This weekend deserves such a huge distinction as carrying a tremendous amount of Awesome in it. Let me count the ways.


1. We bought bikes. This is huge. Bigger than huge. It’s monumental. Life-changing. I’m calling it the purchase of 2009. (The purchase of 2008, obviously, was our dog Augustus.) We went down to the Ocean Cyclery near City College and had a ball, baby. I have been wanting to be a bike-rider for about 5 years, and so to pull the trigger and finally do it feels amazing. Since purchasing the bike, I have: biked home from the bike shop with my wife (we jogged there, which is another Awesome), biked around Lake Merced, biked to the Beach twice (once to check the surf, once to bodysurf–more on that later), biked to a friend’s house to watch the Giants (more on that later), and biked a big 17 mile loop around SF with my wife. Gadzooks that’s a lot of Awesome.

2. The weather was incredible on Friday and Saturday, which is extremely rare for San Francisco in late Augustu. It’s usually really foggy and cold with no surf, but instead we had hot sunny weather and good surf. Awesome.

3. The waves were pretty good. Not great, but pretty good, definitely good enough to surf. On Friday night I surfed, yet the highlight was not the waves, but the sea life. I have encountered a lot of living creatures in the ocean, but never in such density as Friday night. I saw dozens of seals playfully ride waves, about 10 different pods of dolphins doing full breaches out of the water within spitting distance, whales blowing water out of their blowholes about 300 yards offshore, pelicans dive-bombing like madmen. It was incredible. A lot of Awesome. The only slight non-Awesome was the fact that I more than once found myself thinking of that Other Big Creature of the Pacific Ocean, and that he couldn’t be too far away.  No sign of the Man in Black. Whew.

4. On Saturday, for the first time, I bodysurfed at Ocean Beach. This was a really cool experience. I love to bodysurf (for non-surfers, that basically means riding waves without any board…just swimming into them and sliding down the face of the wave), but had never done it at OB, fearing it was too dangerous. Throwing all hesitations to the wind, I strapped on some swim fins and swam out with a good buddy and had a blast. It was much less worrisome than I had imagined–the fins make a huge difference, even without having a board to float on when you’re tired–and I had some pretty righteous rides. Very much felt like being a kid again, splashing around in the ocean with the warm sun on your face. Awesome.

5. Friday and Saturday night afforded me the chance to get some really good time with two of my closest friends in the city. Let’s just say there was a lot of enjoyable chilling out on couches with excellent conversation.

6. On Friday I ate a burrito from my favorite tacqueria for dinner. On Saturday, it was pizza (to clarify, not from the tacqueria). In other words, I had back-to-back nights eating food out (extremely rare), and scored my two favorite meals. Hot damn that’s a lot of Awesome in my belly.

7. If you’re not a baseball fan, you can skip this one. If you are, you probably know what I’m going to say. The SF Giants swept the Rockies and are now tied in the Wild Card Race. Holy crap people this is huge. I feel the need to re-visit my old post about baseball, in which I called the Giants a team “not worth running to,” because they were basically out of the playoffs. Well, that was 5 wins ago, with the last 3 coming off of the Rockies, the team that was knocking them out of the playoffs. How sweet it was. Lincecum got his shut-out win on Friday. Zito pitched one helluva game on Saturday, almost going the whole 9 innings scoreless. And Sunday, good God, Sunday. Maybe the most rewarding baseball game I’ve ever seen. A week before, the Giants lost on a grand-slam in the bottom of the 14th. Well, today Edgar Renteria, the current biggest let-down of the team, blasted a Grand Slam in the 7th inning that put the Giants ahead, where the stayed, to win the game. (Notice that a Rockies grand-slam is uncapitalized and hyphenated, a Giants Grand Slam is capitalized and un-hyphenated.) There was even a Giants offensive rally in the 8th for added “Up Yours” emphasis to the Rockies. My boy Brian Wilson had 3 saves over the 3 games. It was glorious, beautiful justice to sweep the Rockies at this point in the season. There’s so much Awesome going on in Giants baseball this weekend that I could basically just focus this whole post on that if I wanted to. But I won’t. I will just say that as of August 30, with a month left of the season, the Giants have 72 wins…as many as they did last year in the entire season.

8. I had excellent phone conversations with two of my siblings this weekend, who are both in excellent places in their lives. It is so Awesome to connect with family and to know that all is well. In fact, my sister just got a plane ticket to come out here in October. Yes.

9. We went to Costco this weekend, which is usually a huge, fat Non-Awesome, but it had been a very long time since we went so it was great to purchase one thing in particular: Nutella. I haven’t had Nutella since the road trip ended, and I am currently feeling the wonderful afterglow of a belly perfectly filled with a nutella-on-whole-wheat-toast-sandwich as my dessert.

10. I don’t usually talk about my wife on this blog, but I think I need to go public and say she was Awesome this weekend. I’m going to leave it vague, but it’s definitely worth pointing out that she’s an Awesome wife. It’s great to have a partner who is so flexible, courageous, and willing to put effort into our relationship. Very fulfilling to say and feel that, exactly three years, one month, and one day after marrying her.

I’ll leave it at that, 1/100 of the Awesomes that I claimed, but I guarantee you, there were so many glorious moments this past weekend that One Thousand might be an understatement. It was wonderful to have so much good packed into such a short amount of time. And it was the weekend after my first week back to school–a weekend you desperately need after being pretty tired from the week back, but also a weekend you greatly enjoy because you finally have school on your mind, and if you’re a teacher like me, you like having school on your mind.

To anyone who might read this: go out and try and pack as much goodness into your weekend as you can, like I did these past two days. I feel like this is how life should be lived. We can make choices to go and experience what we want, and live how we desire, and it’s so incredibly worth-it to make the right choices that keep you happily breathing your next breath with a huge smile on your face.

I saw this sign on the way into Church this morning. Seems to sum things up pretty nicely. Awesome.



  1. We’re all in this awesomeness together.

  2. stoked to meet the sis. there is a bountiful season of awesomeness ahead, i can feel it.

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