Posted by: ericvithalani | January 3, 2011

“No one will really know what Brian was thinking or feeling.”

So today, while on a 5 hour drive from point A to point B, I scanned through radio stations as I tend to do when zipping down the highway at 76mph. Every now and then, admittedly, I stop on Sweet Home Alabama or Dancing Queen and jam out for a bit. Today I by-passed my favorite southern-disco-metal-hip-hop songs and found the local NPR station. This American Life was on. I caught the beginning of a new series called ‘Say Anything.’ I listened. I was blown away by the first act: ‘How To Write a Note.’ It’s an uncompromising, power story.

From This American Life:
This story wasn’t originally made to broadcast on a radio show. It’s a tape made by a guy named Jake Warga, who’d never put anything together for radio. He made it to give to his friend Brian, who wanted to kill himself. After Brian tried to overdose, Jake took him out to a park bench to talk, and brought along a recorder. Later, Jake decided to edit the conversation down and give it to Brian as a gift, hoping that if Brian heard what he was saying, if he heard how he sounded, it might stop him from trying again.

Listen to the story here.
24 minute run time.
I suggest not clicking on the link below because there is a spoiler to the story.
Original web post is linked here.

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Posted by: ericvithalani | December 31, 2010

Family History

This day, New Years Eve in 1944, my grandfather, who was German and fought for the Germans during WWII, was shot and killed on the Eastern front. He was 36 years old and had three daughters. I was named after him, although the ‘h’ was dropped off.

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Posted by: ericvithalani | December 31, 2010

I hate end of year lists,

so here are a couple.

2010 Recap:
1. Sold my house
2. Quit my jobs
3. Rode a bicycle from coastal North Carolina to Western Kentucky
4. Traveled to India
5. Finished a poetry manuscript and sent it out. (continues in the new year)
6. Quit the Facebooks
7. Conquered my irrational fear of Oprah
8. A bunch of other stuff.

Little video of my time in India

2011 Possibilities:
1. New college teaching gig
2. Live oceanfront
3. Write a new novel
4. Surf a lot more (see number 2)
5. South America trip
6. Publish the poetry book
7. Bicycle
8. Blog makeover and more posts
9. Establish an irrational fear of Oprah’s new network
10. A bunch of other stuff

Happy New Year

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 28, 2010

I hesitate to write about this

I hesitate to write about this because no one will believe it, but aliens abducted me. Ok, that’s not true, I really fell in love with a Kentucky farm girl and we are now married and I am the stepfather of 8 children and have a meth lab in a trailer on our 50-acre property. Ok, ok that isn’t true either.

The boring truth: I’m back in North Carolina. No worries, nothing bad has happened. After 30+ days and 1100+ miles in 95+F weather through the South (NC, SC, GA, TN, KY), I decided to take a little break from traveling. It came down to the brutal heat and that it started to wear me down. Even after taking rest days and meeting up with other cyclists, it felt a little like torture. I will bike tour again, but right now, I’m not. A little burned out, I guess (Pun intended). I feel good about my decision and no worries; I am not doing anything crazy like getting a job anytime soon. My travels will continue.

Plans: I have two and a half months before I take a one-way flight to India, so I’m trying to figure out how I want to spend that time. Finding somewhere outside of my hometown to hole up until then, without spending a ton of money on accommodations, would be ideal and I have a couple of things in the works. 1. Spend some time in Gainsville, FL with some friends who have generously offered their guest room to me. 2. I’ve also contacted a handful of hostels within a day’s drive from here to work for room and board. Still waiting to here from them. 3. Meet a farm girl with a lot of land and a trailer and start a meth lab. Number 3 probably isn’t the best idea. Anyway, I am open for suggestions if you have one.

As far as going to India is concerned, I am flying out the same time with my dad (he’s from India if you didn’t know) and plan on spending a month with him seeing family. After he flies back to the states, I will explore more of the country on my own. I have no idea how long I will be there, but I my guess: 3 or 4 months. After that, I am not sure where I’ll go. Maybe South East Asia? I will figure that out later.

So, thanks for following along and like I said, this is far from over. I will update as I decide what’s happening or if I really do get abducted by creatures from space.

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 22, 2010

Kentucky: state number 5

altimatum

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 18, 2010

Day 29 Update – 1480km (920 mi/es) cyc/ed

quick update:
*got computer prob/ems & getting them phixed in a phew days (keyboard is messed up)

*meeting up with 4 other touring cyc/ists in a coupe o days – /ooking phorward to the company

some pictures – Tennessee – descriptions & edits to come – c/ick 4
Slide Show of Tennessee or Link to Tennessee set

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 11, 2010

State #4: Tennessee.

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 10, 2010

Days 19 & 20 – Total Miles Cycled: 1059km (658 miles)

Marietta, GA to Rome, GA – 120 km (75 miles)

Toughest day so far. Crazy heat. Horrible Atlanta and Northern GA traffic. Dogs. Asshole drivers. At one point, I turned down the wrong road and once I figured out what I had done, I’d ridden nearly 8 miles. It may not sound like a lot, but considering the day, it felt like 800 miles.

I’m not going to lie, I questioned why I was doing this several times near the end of the day. 75 miles is a respectable distance, I think, but add the other pieces into the puzzle and it nearly broke me.

But the shining bit of the day was cycling the Silver-Comet Trail. Link below in another post.

There is some ridiculous property in and around Atlanta.

The Atlanta trafiic hell.

Along the Silver-Comet Trail near Smyma, GA

Biked with a local guy named Bob. He offered to take my pic. Thanks, man.

Sprawl along the trail

At least 15 degrees cooler in the tunnel. I hung out in it for 30 mins.

Bridges near Rockmart, GA where I left the trail. Kids playing in the water (left corner of pic)

I didn’t take an pictures near the end of the day. Just wanted to get it over with.

Rome, Ga to LaFayette, Ga – 80km (50 miles)

Oh what a difference a day makes. Pretty fun day all together. Still hot, but the roads were nice (mostly 4-lane with wide shoulders and little traffic). Climbed the biggest hill of the trip so far when I rode through the Chattahoochee National Forest. All morning as I cycled closer to the mountain, I imagined it as big as Everest: snow covered peaks and wind blowing clouds over jagged cliffs. In reality, it wasn’t bad at all. Rather fun to climb and even more fun to ride down. I feel more confident with any climbs coming up and feel that my sea level lungs will be up for the challenge. Not a bad day over all.

A look at what's to come. Just north of Rome, Ga.

About half way up the climb. Chattahoochee National Forest

View from the top. Worth the effort.

Another view from the top.

Your fearless leader.

Your fearless leader's ride.

Summerville, Ga

Local Summervillians in front of Pop's

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 9, 2010

Chattahoochee National Forest

Posted by: ericvithalani | July 8, 2010

The Silver Comet Trail

If it’s possible to fall in love with a multi-use trail, I think I just have. Total of 60 miles and I’m doing about 40 of it on my way to Rome, Ga. The website: http://www.silvercometga.com/ Brilliant.

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