34-year-old Seattle resident falls victim to blogging craze...
07.14.2008 62 °F
I can't believe I just set up a blog. Ever since their initial appearance in cyberspace I derided blogs as self-gratifying and borderline narcissistic, as if you wanted the entire world to know every minute detail about your life and believed that they actually cared. Well, people do care. I have two sets of friends on global adventures right now (Venisha in China & Thailand and Monica & Kevin in Eastern Europe) who are blogging, and I can't help but log on to their respective pages every day and read about their adventures. Even if I've been to the place they're describing in a post, I still feel like I'm seeing it for the first time through their eyes. So I bit the proverbial bullet and started a travel blog. After all, travel isn't merely a hobby or a favorite pasttime...it's become a part of who I am, what I do, and how I lead my life. Wow, that sounded really canned.
So you may be wondering why I'm calling my blog "Where in the World is Al Sandiego?" It's not like I live in or am from San Diego. My older sister Trish and my brother-in-law Anthony (aka Twan) both lived there for a long time before they even met, but those who know me well shouldn't be surprised that Southern California really isn't my thang. Sorry, T&T. Rather, I've assumed the identity of Carmen Sandiego, a popular cartoon figure from the 1990s who trekked around the globe chasing shadowy figures. She had to solve geographical trivia questions, if I recall correctly, to stay in hot pursuit, and eventually she would catch the thief and put him/her in jail. I saw the show a few times and thought it was very clever, i.e., using the medium of animation to teach viewers (kids, ostensibly) about geography. I also recall that the main character had a mysterious side to her: she always had her large fedora tilted at an angle so you couldn't see both of her eyes. As if she were a secret agent or something. I've always liked James Bond movies and admit fantasizing about being a spy...when I was younger, of course. Mmm hmm.
But I must give credit where credit is due. My former co-worker Ramie, whom I supervised during my last 16 or so months at Alterra and who remains a good friend, used the line "Where in the World is Al Sandiego" for a newsletter title or some such nonsense. The details are hazy - I think I was in Africa at the time - but it stuck, and I could barely leave the basement office (affectionately and dis-affectionately known as "The Lower Mezz") without someone humming that catchy tune. OK, perhaps that was a bit of a stretch, but I secretly liked the idea of adopting that persona. Plus the surname sounds Latino, especially if pronounced correctly, and a small part of me still identifies with the Latin culture...which is why my 13-1/2 month old niece Nina will start calling me "Tio" when she learns how to enunciate the word in the near future. Don't laugh. I'm completely serious.
Anyway, I'm now Al Sandiego, perhaps not tracking criminals but enjoying the adventure just the same. I've taken quite a few domestic trips this year, mostly for work, but I intend to dedicate this blog to the occasions when I get to collect more stamps in my passport. Again, those who have had the fortune (or misfortune) of traveling with me overseas are well-aware that I like to see stamps in my passport, particularly new ones.
Next stop: Beijing, China, for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad!