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The Amazing Race for The Amazing Race

On Tynan

Wow. This has got to be one of my all time best stories.

On Wednesday night I was talking to my good friend Jonah and was telling him about the show "<tag>The Amazing Race</tag>", and how I wanted to apply this year. Jonah and I have gone on a lot of trips together and somehow don't grate on each other's nerves at all. I have a lot of respect for him and his abilities, so I thought he'd be a perfect partner for The Amazing Race. For those of you who don't know about this tv-tastic gem, it's basically a race / scavenger hunt around the world.

I meandered to the application site, downloaded the application, and began to check out the requirements. Guess when the due date for the tape was? Friday at 5pm, which meant that we had one day to create a 3 minute video, fill out the two 11 page applications and get some passport sized photos taken. Not one to back down from a <tag>challenge</tag> due to complete lack of time, I convinced Jonah to get on board.

My Three Days at Vipassana

On Tynan

I first heard about Vipassana from Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer for Weezer. He was explaining that despite being a rock star, he was celibate because of Vipassana. Powerful stuff, I guess. He raved about the benefits of it, although I don't remember exactly what he said anymore. It stuck in my mind, and over the years I thought about signing up, but something always seemed to be in the way of me leaving society for ten days to learn how to meditate.

The idea is simple and extreme, both of which appealed to me. You go to a meditation center in the middle of nowhere, agree to be silent and without any contact with the other world for ten days. Then, on a donation only basis, they teach you how to meditate, which you do for ten hours each day.

Finally, after knowing about it for five years, I signed up and went to a course. No notepads were allowed in, so this is reconstructed pretty faithfully from memory.

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