Seattle? OK, Maybe Portland Instead

I used to play Dance Dance Revolution (the arcade game where you jump on a mat with arrows in sync with the screen) a lot. I played at least 3 times a week for 1-2 hours on very high difficulty, so I was jumping all over the place and sweating a ton—it’s actually an incredibly good cardio workout while being fun at the same time. I used to be on DDR forums on the internet, and while conversing with others, I discovered that there was a competition going on in the near future (mid November) in Seattle, Washington. I decided that I would participate.

I practiced the songs that would be in the competition and was able to beat almost all of them with AA or AAA scores, which is phenomenal. After weeks of practicing, the time had arrived.

The competition was to be held on Saturday. My plan was to drive up to Seattle from Jackson, Wyoming on Friday, which I took the day off for. I would find some motel or something when I got there, go to the competition on Saturday, and then drive back on Sunday. I left on Friday morning in my Jeep with my DDR mat in the back and hope in my heart. Continue reading

Forgetting Your Passport – A Cautionary Tale


The night before my friends and I went to Sweden, a holiday was taking place in Cologne where everyone goes out drinking. We had an early flight, about 8am if I recall correctly, but I still wanted to go out with some friends for a while. So we went out drinking, but I knew I couldn’t drink too much or stay out too late. I went home around 9 or so, although I still couldn’t fall asleep until midnight.

My alarm went off at around 5 or so, and I groggily dragged myself out of bed. I had not previously packed, but I was only going for a few nights, so it wasn’t like I needed much. I made sure I had my tickets, I packed some clothes and toiletries and a thicker jacket. I then considered checking my “to pack” list which I keep on the computer (something I will post about later—it’s incredibly helpful).

I figured that I was only going for a couple days, so what could I really forget that was so important? I opted to not check my list and instead left my house. I met up with my friends on the train and we proceeded to travel to the airport in Düsseldorf. About halfway to the airport, it suddenly struck me that I had not packed my passport. I casually brought it up to my friends, and they seemed to think I was joking at first, but I had to stress to them that I was serious. Continue reading