John Fairfax is a badass

I present, Exhibit A:

So this guy crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a rowboat. And then he crossed the Pacific Ocean, also in a rowboat. Decades ago. Just because.

Here are some highlights of John’s life, as detailed in the New York Times:

In 1972, he and his girlfriend, Sylvia Cook, sharing a boat, became the first people to row across the Pacific, a yearlong ordeal during which their craft was thought lost.

On a camping trip when he was 9, John concluded a fight with another boy by filching the scoutmaster’s pistol and shooting up the campsite. No one was injured, but his scouting career was over.

At 13, in thrall to Tarzan, he ran away from home to live in the jungle. He survived there as a trapper with the aid of local peasants, returning to town periodically to sell the jaguar and ocelot skins he had collected.

He later studied literature and philosophy at a university in Buenos Aires and at 20, despondent over a failed love affair, resolved to kill himself by letting a jaguar attack him.

In Panama, he met a pirate, applied for a job as a pirate’s apprentice and was taken on. He spent three years smuggling guns, liquor and cigarettes around the world, becoming captain of one of his boss’s boats, work that gave him superb navigational skills.

[During one sailing venture] Mr. Fairfax was bitten on the arm by a shark, and he and Ms. Cook became trapped in a cyclone, lashing themselves to the boat until it subsided. Unreachable by radio for a time, they were presumed lost.

Mr. Fairfax was often asked why he chose a rowboat to beard two roiling oceans. “Almost anybody with a little bit of know-how can sail, I’m after a battle with nature, primitive and raw.”

Is this the guy in the Dos Equis commercials?

fun.

This is one of the strangest rambles I've ever written. Don't care.

My brother is a music person. My husband is a music person. My colleague Len? A music person. I’ve never been one.

I mean I LOVE music – almost all of it. Who doesn’t. But I’ve never been one to memorize artist facts. I never follow the newest, most popular bands. And I’m hopeless at identifying who sings classic songs…This is The Clash, DUH.

I dig indie bands and I like N’SYNC. I go gangster with Wu-Tang and rock out to Beyonce.

But. If I had to pick my favorite band/singer/song/etc, it all goes to Nate Ruess and his bands.

Beginning in college, The Format became a band I loved. For the first time, I knew every word to every song on an album, and listened to these songs whether I was happy, sad or something in between. Music makes strong associations with memories and stages of life, and if I had to link any melodies to my four years at ASU, The Format wins by a mile. The album I bought in 2003 has never left the CD player in either of the past two cars I’ve owned.

But – like so many good things – the band split a few years ago. Naturally devastated, I donned sweatpants and mourned appropriately. But then I quickly bounced back to euphoria when my step-sister, Sami, told me that Nate had started a new venture, fun. Happydance JOY time.

I’ve followed and come to love this new band, and when I heard their song in a Super Bowl ad this year, it reignited my love for Nate’s music. Time stood still. Angels flew overheard. I got the giddy stomach feeling and completely zoned out. Oh, and this ad? It also featured Rob Drydek – a real life super human and another personal obsession. But that’s for another post.

But I don’t know if it’s even fair to say, “I love this music,” or “I love this band.” It’s not enough and I don’t know what that means. What I do know is that this music ignites something in me. It stirs an energy. It’s comfortable and inspiring.

Tonight things got a little ironic. I went on facebook (we’re not back together, just dating casually) and saw that Heather – a friend and our engagement photographer – had posted a link to one of the band’s videos. Did I mention she’s met him? Sigh. Well I watched, completely enthralled, and got re-lost in the zone described so nauseatingly above. I decided to look at their tour dates, and had a SPASM when I saw they were performing in Chandler TONIGHT.

AHH.

In a mad rush to put my shoes on, I called the venue for directions and found out I MISSED IT.

I missed it, missed it, missed it.

My dogs can attest that there were a few tears and expletives.

But that’s ok. They’re in Tucson next month and in Mesa around my birthday. Going.

In the meantime, enjoy these: