Guest Post - A Phil's Life

July 27, 2012
This Friday's guest blogger is my friend Phil from, A Phil's Life.  Phil and I have a common love for food... specifically shady restaurants who bang out delicious delicacies from hole-in-the-wall establishments.  Phil's blog is full of witty and smart posts about the sports he loves, recipes he has made and his life from California to Colorado.  I am lucky to also have Phil around as he is more computer savvy than I ever could be; he has helped me design my blog buttons and help with the functionality of my blog over the past few months.  Please check out Phil's blog and enjoy today's post...

Who are you? I'm a relatively-new California transplant living in the wonderful state of Colorado now. I moved out here about two years ago to pursue my masters degree at the University of Denver, from where I have since graduated. Coming from a state with overwhelmingly fair weather, I had a lot of trepidation about living somewhere that had actual winters and seasons. And truth be told, the two winters I've lived through have been terrible. I may tell you otherwise in person in order to maintain my street cred, but the snow and cold are awful. Call me a California Wuss and I'd be perfectly okay with that, but who honestly enjoys walking around in 10-degree weather, slipping on black ice, scraping the ice off their windshields and dealing with severe-weather compounded traffic (apparently caused by 'all Californians/Texans who can't drive in the snow' if you ask a "Colorado native.")?

But besides the winter months of me being pretty miserable, I have absolutely embraced Denver and the active-oriented lifestyle that most of the city seems to live. I've found that most people enjoy (or at least claim to enjoy) things like running, cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing and backpacking. But I also really like how the Denver metro area is actually relatively small! Although time-wise due to traffic it takes time to get across from where I live to downtown, it actually isn't that far as the crow flies. I quickly forgot how conditioned I was in the LA-metro area to spend 45+ minutes to go to eat at certain restaurants. Now 20 minutes to get across the city doesn't seem so bad.  

Weather complaints notwithstanding, I enjoy running, road cycling, shooting photography, tennis, cooking, keeping up with tech stuff, video games and reading. I'm gearing up for my first triathlon in a few weeks back in Santa Cruz, California, formerly Surf City USA. Running and cycling wise, I'm ready. I can do the distances and I can do them back to back. Swimming on the other hand will be an issue. I'm banking on the fact that my altitude-adjusted lungs will help me finish the swim portion of the race.

When did you start blogging and why?  I've blogged for much longer than I care to admit. I think I started my first website when I was in 8th or 9th grade, which was wow, ~17 years ago. I was a little introverted back then, so I guess blogging was my creative outlet and the easiest way for me to express myself. When I started my undergrad at UC Santa Cruz circa 2001, the era of Xanga had begun. Nearly all of my friends in school blogged on Xanga, and it became a way to keep in touch and to "show off" who we were hanging out with and what we were doing. 

But as Friendster, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter all increased in popularity, Xanga and other blogs began to see a simultaneous decrease in popularity. My theory is that the rise in micro-blogging directly led to the fall of personal blogging. If someone can convey his/her feelings in a status update, why bother spending all that time and coherent creating an engaging, coherent blog? 

I still enjoy blogging as a creative outlet when I'm not feeling lazy, so I continue to stand with Jaime and a handful of other friends that still blog, the vanguards of the bastions that refuse to completely succumb to the instant gratification of microblogging.

How has blogging changed who you are?  Or has it?  Once I started blogging more seriously in college, it changed my approach to how I would approach destinations, places and events. Taking on a "blogger" mindset requires thinking critically about the places you've gone, remembering crucial details that you want to relate to readers and doing additional research to provide background for your readers. On the photographic side, you need to think about taking important pictures that convey emotion and help provide a visual-aid to your story. Hopefully no professional journalists reading this will be offended by this comparison, but the way I see it, blogging is a similar approach as a journalist's mindset. 

What is something most people don't know about you?  Hmmm...that's a tough one. To be honest, I'm pretty open about myself on my website/blog, social media and in person. I don't really hide anything from anyone, which is probably an actual character trait that I should work on. Example: I should probably not bring up Battlestar: Galactica on a first date again.

So I guess here's a fun fact? I've owed Jaime this blog post for quite a while now, so out of guilt, I've stopped blogging on my own site until I finally send this one out to her. Oops... 

As you know, I love food so what is your favorite thing to eat?  Another toughie! Like Jaime, I also enjoy experiencing different types of cuisine, whether it be high-end haute cuisine or eating from a shady-looking street cart. For my graduation, my parents took me to Kelly Liken (on Jaime's recommendation!) for a 3-course prix fixe dinner + wine pairings; just the other day, I grabbed some tacos from a restaurant on Federal Ave., whose sanitary conditions would surely cause Gordon Ramsey (Kitchen Nightmares) or Robert Irvine (Dinner: Impossible) to have an immediate aneurysm. I can unequivocally say I enjoyed those meals equally.

But my favorite thing to eat? I guess I'd have to go with fried potatoes: french fries, steak fries, curly fries, skinny fries, potato wedges, fat fries and tater tots; I don't think I could live without them. They're the perfect accompaniment to a burger, steak or sandwich but they can also stand on their own if you add some chili and cheese. And I'm assuming most of Jaime's readers aren't familiar with carne asada fries, which seem to be a Southern California regional "speciality." It's french fries covered with beans (optional), guacamole, salsa picante, onion, cheese, sour cream and of course carne asada (or another choice of meat, pollo asada and lengua are both good options too.) Delightful. Absolutely delightful.


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- Jaime