Brain Scans, Billboards, Boxing: My Insane First Year In Amarillo
When I moved to Amarillo, everyone told me how boring it was. Nothing ever happens here. There isn't much to do. When I asked around, the only thing it seemed that people did for fun was "go muddin'."
Nothing could be further from the truth. Amarillo is a fascinating place with its own unique culture separate from anything remotely close geographically.
Here is a look back at one year's worth of adventures in Amarillo:
I wasn't abducted by aliens, but I did get my brain scanned at Wolflin Village while watching "Peewee's Big Adventure" on Netflix.
They reached out to me via Instagram and let me take their oath. Then they told me to send them $250 via Western Union to South Africa. I sent them pictures of corgis instead. We're no longer friends.
I joined up with a local group of paranormal investigators to go research reported cases of haunting. Pretty spooky stuff if you're into that kind of thing. I still have yet to see dead people.
One of my earliest articles quickly became the butt of jokes, and the trolls had their way with me. I chalk this up to a proper online "Amarillo-Hazing" and I now feel like we're family.
I not only turned my eyebrows into festive abominations in the "Christmas Tree Eyebrows Challenge," but I also made my own pair of thong jeans to show off around town. I still feel bad for the ladies at Plato's Closet.
I went to a spa and received what is known in antiquity as sensory deprivation. They call it a "float pod" so it doesn't scare off soccer moms. They put you in a capsule and let you float in salt water. No light. No sound. Just your own tormented mind to keep you company. I slept.
I received a salt based therapy where they infuse the air with a very specific blend of salt. They kept using the word "Himalayan." It was very relaxing. I slept.
I was in bad shape when I rode into town. I weighed 119lbs standing 6ft even. I was emaciated. I started fight training at Nick's Fight Club. I'm up 30lbs and in the best shape of my life. Plus, my daughter gets a kick out of playing with my boxing gloves.
I learned about the history of Amarillo by playing trivia where the punishment for a wrong answer was eating a handful of Bean Boozled beans. A bag-and-a-half later, and I still don't know much about how we all got here.
I also drove past Floating Mound. I apparently am an uncultured swine who doesn't appreciate expertly placed litter.
The highlight of my year was finding Keeno and his mom. The mysterious billboard on the Boulevard led me to a heart warming, tear jerking tale of a family that has been through hell and back to beat the odds. Love them both.
Still digging into the Johnny Frank Garrett case, and the trails I'm being led down are dark and sinister. There is more to this story than what anyone is willing to admit. I've lost sleep over it. I'll be filling you in soon.
He hates beer. He hates liquor. He loves Jesus. He also protested at Beerfest and isn't very keen on accepting the free tickets and water we offered him.
Over The Edge was an awesome event, and they raised a lot of money for a cause that was very deserving. I, however, did not meet my fundraising goal. I was not allowed to "Spiderman" my way down the Santa Fe building.
One of the more touching moments of the year was the CMN Radiothon. We raised an incredible amount of money for Children's Miracle Network here in Amarillo and if anyone deserves a pat on the back, it's you Amarillo. Thank you for making that day special for a lot of people, me included.
I was told it's a rite of passage. My sunburn said it was more like a bad decision that I shouldn't make next time I go.
I rode in the elevator with security and played an impromptu song about riding the elevator on guitar. I even added harmonica. They're not music lovers.
Sipping my orange juice infused beer, I was exposed to slam poetry. And that's exactly what it felt like...an exposure. I've never been so enthralled, curious, and terrified in my life.
There's a group of people in Amarillo that meet every other Saturday to practice giving speeches. I went just to see what this was all about, and wound up having to give a speech. My grammar and verbiage were on point, so said the verbiage man.
I also attended my first art walk in Amarillo. There were a lot of pictures of cows and wide open spaces. I also played board games at Fudrucker's with a group of "enthusiasts" who gather there every other week to play.