Saturday, December 14, 2013

Memoirs of a Noob is Live!

Order Memoirs of a Noob

After a lot longer than needed.  Memoirs of a Noob has been published.  Thank you everyone for your help with this project.  Here is a sample Chapter from MoaN...Please enjoy.

When John Lennon sang, “you may say that I’m a dreamer” and then sang, “but I’m not the only one” he wasn’t talking to me cause I wasn’t born yet. He was talking ABOUT me though. I'm a dreamer. I think up plans all of the time. I would say 1 in 600 of the ideas I have actually become a reality. This could either mean that I am a dreamer or I am just terrible at executing ideas. That is for someone else to decide. Someone like God probably. Usually the 1 out of the 600 ideas that do get executed happen because of someone else's initiative.
My friend and current roommate Jordan Roper is my hero when it comes to executing ideas. He has skills, resources, and some other factor that I just don’t have. It’s not drive because I have drive. It’s something else. Usually when my great ideas happen, they happen because I tell Jordan Roper my idea and then he goes to work. Usually these ideas are outrageous. 
Example: A few months ago I told Jordan that I wanted to start quilting. He dragged me to the car right then and there and drove the both of us to “JoAnn’s” which is the friendliest quilting shop I’ve ever been in. Just a warning if you ever go to JoAnn's: Some people (mainly women) get upset when you call it “JoAnn’s” instead of “JoAnn” which is the real name of the store even though it doesn’t make any sense that it would not be called “JoAnn’s”.
 We wandered around JoAnn('s) like a pair of Mormons in a liquor store but we were actually a pair of Mormons in a quilting you would think we felt right at home. 
You are wrong if you think that.
 I told Jordan that we should ask someone for direction, tell them what we wanted to do and see what they had to say. So we did. We walked up to a young store clerk and I said, “, this is our first time here and we were wondering what you would recommend for noobs.” She gave me a confused look which made me correct myself. “Beginners! What would you recommend for beginners?” 
She responded, “Well, a lot of times for your first quilt you can just get a square of fabric and then tie---" Jordan cut her off and raised his voice, “We’ve done the whole thing where you just tie knots on a piece of fleece and that is for LITTLE GIRLS! We want to do some serious, hard-core quilting.” She stared at Jordan to see if he was mocking her and the quilting world.  Jordan starred back at her, stone faced while I bit a hole through my lip trying not to laugh.
 “Follow me,” she muttered and before we could think twice, we broke the rule of never going to a second location.
 I’ll spare you the details of the next 45 minutes we spent wandering around JoAnn(’s). Turns out quilting materials are extremely expensive and we gave up on our idea NOT because Jordan was incapable of executing a plan, but because it just wasn’t worth it.
Rewind five years earlier to a cold night in late February. Jordan and I sat in his dorm kitchen with a few other guys trying to do something besides play Nintendo but what can you do on a Tuesday night at 11pm besides play Nintendo?  
My friend Brady’s mom has this philosophy about guys. The more guys you put in a room, the more irrational the ideas that are suggested and executed. 
Someone (might've even been Brady) suggested that we go rock climbing. It was freezing. Literally, below 32 degrees outside with a bit of snow on the ground. We drove up to Rock Canyon, Jordan with all of his gear, me with my pants on, and we went rock climbing. Other roommates came along as well. 
This was my first time rock climbing at night in freezing temperatures. You can’t really feel your hands which gives you a really weird sensation when you are using your hands to hold the weight of your body. We got back to the apartment around 1 am. My adrenalin was pumping. Testosterone was flowing like Hawaiian punch at a kindergarten picnic. There was no way any of us could fall asleep. So the five of us just crammed into the kitchen talking about how we were not tired and there was no way we could go back to playing Nintendo. 
 The kitchen became hot and we opened the window for a breeze to come in. I stood by our screenless kitchen window with roommate Brady Rice. A few months earlier, Brady had stood in about the same place and yelled, “Tomagatchi!” (yes, the little handheld digital pet keychain things) and punched the window screen that still sat on the grass below the window. As I stared out the the screenless window, something about it seemed good and right. Then, a glorious idea was had. 
I really don’t know whether Brady or I suggested the idea. For all I know we might have come up with the idea at the same time, “Let’s go repelling! Let’s repel, out the window,” said... someone. Brady also comes up with unlikely/awesome ideas that rarely get executed.
 Just then, Jordan walked into the kitchen. “Jordan. Let’s repel out the window!” I said with a little too much excitement. He didn’t respond. He just stared out the screenless window and it was clear he also saw the rightness of the situation. Then, he glanced around the kitchen. He opened the oven door and pulled hard on it. No. That won’t work. Fridge? No. Then, he walked over to the kitchen doorway and stared at the door hinges for a few seconds. He got closer to the hinges, examining them and pulling on them.
 “Yeah. I think we can set an anchor on these hinges,” he said mellowly.
 The next few minutes are a blur. Ropes came out, figure eight knots were tied and I somehow ended up wearing a harness connected to the hinges of our kitchen door walking backward toward the open window. Something you should know about me: I’m not what you would call a “Super Dude”. 
 You know the guys at the rope swing by the lake that aren’t satisfied with just swinging into the air and then falling into the water but instead need to do a triple-backflip-aerial-gainer in order to get a rush? Well, I’m not that guy. But I’m also not the guy who refuses to swing on the rope swing. That night I laid somewhere in between those two extremes of the spectrum yet somehow I was chosen to be the first to go out the top level, dorm window.
 I had repelled before this night once, maybe twice but 1) it had been a few years before and 2) the repelling approach was off a gradual slope that slowly turned into a cliff, something every Boy Scout could easily do by slowly walking backwards. The kitchen window repel approach required climbing up onto a windowsill and no gradual slope; just a 90 degree cinder block dorm wall. I sat on the windowsill, just a few feet away from the door hinges that Jordan determined sturdy enough to hold a full grown man (who had the height and weight of a prepubescent boy). As I was trying to stand up on the windowsill, I slipped, putting myself in a weird, one-foot-dangling-other-foot-barely-touching-the windowsill position.
 “Crap! Guys! I don’t really know how to repel,” I shouted.
 “What? You idiot! Why did you volunteer to go first then?” responded Chris Eppich, another roommate.
 “I don’t know, but please help me,”I pleaded. 
Chris Eppich held onto my arm while Jordan gave advice on where I should place my feet. Then, I pushed off the window, praying the door hinges would hold and that our R.A. wouldn’t see or hear any of this.
 I landed safely. And as the old adage goes, “If a noob can do it. Anyone can do it.”
 My roommates and I spent the next few hours repelling out of the window, then off the fire escape and any other place we could think of. If it were in my hands, the idea of repelling out the window would have remained just that, an idea. That is the difference between me and Jordan Roper.

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