1000

This entry has been a long time coming. And by long time, I mean that I've been thinking about it for about a month now. Without making any progress at all. At first I thought about setting some kind of really meaningful record but choosing between eating two dozen soft shell tacos and riding my bike to Seattle, naked, was just too hard of a choice to make. This entry might continue to evolve as I had pictures and links. Blogs are about stories. Considering the name of my blog, it becomes painfully obvious the mario blog tells my story. Such also raises valid concerns about the issue of egocentrism (a fine word I just learned about on Wikipedia). Oh well. I've lived in a place or two and have learned and forgotten a language or four. Most importantly I've got a story or thousand to tell, all of which will some day put me in serious contention for the Schulzke grandpa of the year award. This 1000th entry will highlight some of those stories, none of which would ever be told without all of you. Life would be rather boring if it was just me in it. So to all of you, I say thank you for being part of my story. Thank you for reading my blog. Click on an ad, will you? Last but not least, I want to thank my wonderful parents who never said no. I love you very much, even though I would never say that. Here we go. Starting 1000 entries ago. 1000 entries ago I was living on house by a river in Missoula, Montana. I was working for a dot.com and spent most of my days walking my boss' dog and fly fishing the river in my backyard. The mario blog got started as a way to launch a global ad agency network called the mario group, which I was attempting to do in my sweat pants. That didn't work. 970 entries ago I moved to Seattle to live on the bedroom floor of a woman named Elisa, who I had never met before. Five years later I recognize that without Elisa's generosity and incredible heart, I would be writing today' s blog entry from my parents' basement in Germany. 942 entries ago I entered the workforce. The plan was to choose the five best companies and try to work for and learn from a senior executive. Microsoft, Nintendo, Cranium, Cole & Weber and I ended up at a place called Wongdoody. Oddly enough, it wasn't that easy to convince Pat Doody that letting me work for free was a good idea. 929 entries ago I was living in the University district and our apartment got broken into. I was so poor that the burglars didn't find anything they liked in my room. 911 entries ago I got the worst hair cut of my life. 901 entries ago I ran my first marathon in Vancouver, BC. Time: 3 hours and 25 minutes. 874 entries ago Wongdoody moved me to Los Angeles to manage the company's business development. This was a time of many changes in my life, most notably the concept of actually being paid. 868 entries ago I was living with a personal trainer/masseur who ran his business out of our living room and whose (usually naked) clients had a hard time with the fact that every once in a while I had to leave my room to get a drink of water. 800 entries ago I learned that being one of 37 out of 10 million people living in Los Angeles who didn't own a car and rode their bike to work put a serious damper on my social life. By choice I didn't have a girlfriend. Sadly, it wasn't my choice. 775 entries ago my host fatherJohn had a heart attack. My host family played a major role in my decision to stay in the US, and without their love and support I most definitely wouldn't be here. Fortunately, John fully recovered and is back to his old self and should be prepared to invite me to many more Thanksgiving dinners. Thank you John, Diane, Rogan, Rob, Shaun and Katie. 743 entries ago I almost got in a fight on a golf course. 728 entries ago I got demoralized by some South African speech coach brought in by WD. He made it very clear that my quirky smile and sarcastic humor had no place in corporate America. Rather than getting rid of my ill sense of humor, I decided to improve it by joining a local improv comedy group. 700 entries ago I performed in my first live improv comedy performance. Its lack of humor inspired me to pursue a career in male modeling. That didn't work either. 650 entries ago Wongdoody sent me back to Seattle for a six month long new business project. Weekly flights back and forth to LA became routine for me, and I earned just enough frequent flier miles that year to make me cry when they expired a year later. 601 entries ago I moved in with my Polish co-worker Mark. We became great friends and quickly built a reputation of excellence when it came to making Schnitzels and Pirogues for breakfast. 580 entries ago I purchased my first car. A 1989 beige colored Toyota Corolla station wagon, with no AC and the radio dial being stuck on Sports Radio. For the record, the license plate read Bozo. Oddly enough, that didn't help my dating life either. 562 entries ago I went on a five hour run in San Diego. 500 entries ago my father passed away. Life can be ugly. Enjoy the time you have with the people you love. Sometimes the clock stops ticking sooner than you'd wish for. 430 entries ago I won a big ad competition, and made a great friend in Evan. 400 entries ago I started teaching Advertising strategy at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. 372 entries ago I made my first experiences of living without a roommate. Such resulted into the leasing of a 240 square foot apartment a few blocks off the beach in Santa Monica. Again, I stayed single by choice folks. 350 entries ago I decided to move to Portland, Oregon. Quitting my job at WD was the hardest decision of my life. 339 entries ago I actually moved to Portland, with the help of a gentleman called Odalis. 300 entries ago I spent a month traveling through China. Thank you Terry for all the awesome experiences, minus the Korean massage parlors. 270 entries ago I got redcarded in an indoor soccer match. 200 entries ago I learned that every bad experience comes with a good opportunity. 150 entries ago Brad, Patrick and I rode our bikes to Tacoma. Team Stupid was founded. 130 entries ago I bought my own four walls. 111 entries ago I gave my first college graduation speech. 101 entries ago I got Otto von Bismarck. 75 entries ago I caught crabs. One entry ago I rode a horse. Today I look back and am thankful for being able to experience each and every one of these 1000 entries. I am thankful for my family, friends and the most beautiful woman in the world who I get to call my lady. Tomorrow I am flying to Jersey for a three-day business trip Next week, I am flying to Kauai for 10 days of backpacking and self-reflection. Life is short. Make it interesting.