Entry #1091
7:21 PM, October 28th 2010:
Why? 'Cause of a picture like this...
As I said in the entry earlier this month when my friend offered this up... the second I thought of the entry, pictures and video? It was simply impossible for me to say no. I am not an adrenaline junkie/seeker - my ideal day is writing a good song and sharing it with people - I just cannot let an opportunity pass that will make this story more fun to follow. And when you see this video? You'll understand completely:
<shakes head> THAT is an awesome video. That is cemented into The Journey forever. And that is the only reason I did this. I have zero interest in crazy shit like this. And honestly? As you saw in that video? I wasn't even that amped. Wasn't scared, was mellow the entire way through. Which is one of the more telling moments of my life.
This video/entry is the most glaring testament to what I've been through the past ten years. Forget just being willing to do it, that's a given. What I'm talking about is the fact that... you're just not gonna phase me now. There is some sadness to this if I'm being completely honest. I am so beaten. I have seen so many things in my life appear wonderful and get ripped away in REMARKABLE fashion, that there's this calm about me that may come off as "balls of steel", but in reality is a form of post-traumatic stress. Now the good news is, I still had fun. I was happy and totally enjoyed the newness of it and will get into all that in a second... but nothing that has happened to me in this entire "journey" has slapped me in the face more than the lack of what happened today. If jumping out of a plane for the first time barely registers a pulse change? (and I swear to you, if it had? No one would have been more open and honest about the emotion than me) There is some damage in my noggin'. I don't know if it's necessarily a bad thing since, as I said, I did experience joy... but my heart should've been racing. At every stage I was baffled at how calm and almost commonplace it seemed. Like I almost didn't care if I died. Zero fear. That can't be healthy, can it? Anyway - the day that was:

First up? The hair.
I did this specifically for the jump because it's the quasi-military cut of that Street FIghter dude... lemme google that:  "Colonel Guile"
Right? It just struck me as funny as balls to look like I was jumping out of a plane while walking TO the plane. I look like a freaking comic book character. It's halloween. Beats bein' spooky...
...ooh but guess what WAS spooky? The weigh-in (as I mentioned in the video). Nathan and I both weighed in at 167.6 with all of our clothes and stuff on. Any idea how ridiculous that is? We were both 160 yesterday (which is bizarre enough), so the 7.6 pounds comes from him eating, me drinking a venti coffee and comes down to the SHOES we chose being within 1/10th of a pound of each others' weight. The guy weighing us had to weigh himself to make sure the scale wasn't broken. Mystifying. And honestly you don't want spooky shit to happen before you jump out of a plane...
You do however want to somehow strike a pose and look this fuckin' smooth...
Now see, if I was really vain, I would post that and act like that's just no big deal - but I'm gonna level with you guys here... I look good in that picture. HA. Like, that is so smooth I would let whoever that dude is bang my wife.
I say this because, I will never feel like that dude in the picture. Oh I can play one on TV, but I see that and I feel like my character Cameron wanting to roll his eyes at Adam mackin' for the camera. That is some kind of smooth that goes right the fuck out the window when I actually talk and goof off. But you better believe I'm making that shit my Facebook profile pic. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.
Now before I get to the jump, I have to talk about Nathan a bit...
Oh I did chop the fuck out of my hair. HA.
I met Nathan in late 2004 at my loan officer gig. I was the top salesman at the time and he was part of my group that I named "The Lifetime Caps" and we all wore the (now) "Cameron Hats" to work having fun with it. In fact I wrote about it 705 entries ago... wow that's also the first time I battle with how to deal with "dating" on The Journey now that Jess is gone. Crazy.
Anyway, we hit it off and I think our time at that company will be remembered most when they moved us for a 2nd time within the building to the VERY back and Nathan came up to me and said "The Titanic is sinking and they're moving us to the back of the boat..." And boy was he right. What a joke of a company. Funny looking back.
We worked together again at the only other loan gig I had... and other than the receptionist being murdered and the place just being AWFUL to work for, Nathan introduced me to the greatest sushi I've ever had (and honestly, even with Japan? That still rings true) at a place that has changed ownership and now sucks. Won't even mention their name. He knew the main sushi chef and we basically got all the sushi we could eat for $15. Seriously - we would eat hundreds of dollars of sushi at a sitting and we'd laugh at the bill we got. It was incredible.
Through all the job changings though we always kept in touch and he and his wife even took me out to dinner a few times when I was down on my professional luck. (insert "when exactly are you up on your professional luck Adam?" joke here). Even made it out to my Comedy Central pilot last year, and yadda yadda - you get the point. A good guy. I'm tellin' you, I am destined to be friends with people 30 years older than me for as long as there are still people 30 years older than me because I have lived about 3 lifetimes and all I can say is? We get along. In a way, I barely can with anyone else. Effortless as if there's so much shared history when he could techincally be my grandfather. Completely bizarre to me and 100% awesome. He is the only reason I did this (fronted me the money until I can pay him back) and even without the money aspect... I still never would've done this had he not given me a call and said why not. Initially he wanted a group of friends closer to his age, but when all else failed? Offer it to Adam - he'll do anything for a Journey Video. :-)
Alright, the jump...
Glee. Too bad that image conjures up a TV show right now, but that's the only word that can describe the feeling of the jump. Again, wasn't even remotely scared, didn't even feel a "high", adrenaline - nothing. It was the way you feel when you're on a swing and you close your eyes and smile and just kick up your feet. Now, before you think my "damage" means I must've been dropped on my head, this is a "Tandem" jump. That really has to make a difference. The normal anxiety of hoping you've remembered everything is really just nonexistent. Other dude takes care of it all. So maybe that had something to do with the fact that it just didn't seem that intense. It was of course, very, very fun. And these pictures show that...
Adam meets The Joker. How cool is that shit. Some have asked what that initial parachute is and from what I can gather it's so you can stay level... which is the only way you can get these amazing shots. 'Cause I was certainly falling at the exact same rate as the videographer who was zippin' all around us.
Now, that "falling feeling" we all know from roller coasters? That lasts about 1 second. What you don't realize about coasters is that they're not JUST falling. They're going really fast and then pushing you UP and then OVER the next arch with SPEED. It's not simply falling. Simply falling? Is just weightlessness. So you feel nothing. It was windy. Really freaking windy. That's the only rush once you're in the fall. And then he pulls that chute...
It feels like you'd expect, kinda jerky, but then you have the ability to move left and right with the handles which he handed me to play with. "You like Rollercoasters?" he screams? Then tells me to lift up on one and pull down on one as hard as I can and we go into this ridiculous spin that is a freaking blast. He's also disconnecting certain things (he says to make you more comfortable) which was a little unnerving because you're all the sudden "slipping" at 5,000 feet. But the chute portion was definitely the most memorable because we were doin' all we could to spin like crazy.
Unfortunately because of the lack of upwinds, we couldn't attempt landing on our feet. I even asked twice. Seems so much more badass than lifting your feet and scooting on your butt, but he said with no wind, you really risk messin' up your ankles in a tandem jump. Fair enough.
Now you'll also notice that the above pic is a video still and not from the professional camera the other shots were. Well, there was a picture malfunction. There should've been over 100 pics in mid-air and something went wrong with her camera. She felt really bad, and we were entitled to a refund but I there was only one thing I wanted:  those raw HD video files. They compress everything to standard definition and then compress it even further by putting it on a DVD and mixing it with advertisements, etc. Man I can't express how badly I wanted those original files in high definition. Leverage her mistake with puppy dog eyes? She let me buy her memory card off her for $22 and make my freaking YEAR. If you didn't watch it in HD? Try the jumping shots again - it's some BREATHTAKING footage, especially when the cameraman first looks down out of the plane. Hell, yes. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lindsay for offering to sell me your memory card. It means more to a video geek like me than you can possibly know. And of course thanks to Adrian, the instructor who kept me from dying - and of course Perris Valley Skydiving for an all around great time. 1-800-SKYDIVE - how awesome is that number? :-)
And of course, thank you again Nathan. This entry is completely because of you and you've created the highlight of the year for me. It was incredibly fun - and I just adore the finished video. Can't believe I even did it looking back.
So, uhm, what's next on your bucket list man?