Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Finally the city is attempting to do something at one of the most notoriously dangerous intersections for pedestrians and cyclists.

By the way

Did I mention that the mangosteen is one of my new favorite fruits. Emma and I ate about a dozen in the airplane and airports on the way down.


This morning I awoke to the sound of the sea and to the sun breaking over the hills. 
Yesterday, while dining at Cafe Bahia we were advised to go snorkeling with Mimi's husband Rojelio or Rollilio or something.  At the time we only knew him as Gordo, fat, which he wasn't.  He was a little guy with a handsome mullet and an even handsomer mustache. 
I got up just a bit before Emma and made us some breakfast that consisted of banana, mango, banana bread fresh from the Maira's bakery, some fish fajitas and ceviche, also from Maira's restaurant.  After satisfying our tummy's we made our way down to Isabel's beach where we had made plans to meet with 'Gordo' in his boat and to go out snorkeling.
It was about a 45 min. boat ride out to Las Tres Marietas Islands.  Along the way we saw about a dozen or so fifteen foot manta rays doing their mating rituals, a giant sea turtle doing exactly what you'd expect a giant sea turtle to be doing, nothing, and dolphins and numerous fish.  
When we arrived at the islands the first thing we noticed were the Blue Footed Boobies.  Actually, we noticed their smell first, poop.  And then we noticed the gull looking birds with bright blue feet.  We putted around in the boat for a bit before we actually pulled up to a nice spot to hop in the water an see some fish.  The water was a bit murky but we got to see several different kinds of colorful fish.  We swam around the edge of the island for a bit before deciding it was time to explore a bit further.  There was a cave that lead to a private little beach.  Swimming through the dark waters kinda had me spooked, especially after seeing whatever those long, sharp, black fish were at the bottom that were snapping up other smaller fish.  I even saw fish parts floating nearby.  We hung out on the beach for a bit before going back in the water.  Everyone was in a rush to get to the other side of the cave.  Not me, I stuck with Gordo.  We dove down to the floor and there, in the shadows were giant red snapper.  There were three or four of them.   Some almost as big as my torso.  
The rest of the trip went just like this: swim/snorkel, beach/shell hunt, swim/beach, eat ceviche (amazing by the way) and then more swimming and hanging out in the sun and water.  It was a perfect little trip.  
We left at around 9:00 a.m. and returned just after 3:00 p.m.  A good day for sure.


In the Mexico City airport.  We are approaching 6:00 a.m.  Emma and I are about to sit down to our first meal outside of the States.  I wish I had brushed up on my Spanish.  I can already tell I am going to be relying on Emma for a lot on this trip.  Oh, and by the way, it's warm.  Hot even.  I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

We've arrived in Yelapa.  Getting here from the airport was almost too easy.  We took a half hour cab ride through down town PV.  It reminded me all too much of Fiji with its white washed walls and tropical plants growing in the oddest of places.  There was about a twenty minute wait at Los Muertos Pier for the next water taxi.  Emma and I waited in silence, watching the strange faces pass by.  The best face goes to a man, who was either very Japanese or very Mexican.  He was either very happy or very drunk.  His face was beet red, grinning from ear to ear and his come over was beginning to shine with sweat.  He wore a beautiful black suit and a nicely pressed shirt.  His feet though, were bare.  He walked along the pier, chatting with the boatmen and fishermen until I lost sight of him and began looking around at the shuffling crowd again.  More and more tourists surrounded us.  Now there were only a few tanned faces among all the white and red ones.  
About 30 of us hobbled onto the bouncing boat and were soon flying across the bay.  Along the way we dropped some people at different docks, boats, and beaches.  Each getting off as though they had done it a hundred times, not like the rest of us.  We drove for about an hour in that boat, through crowds of snorkelers, through islands and through heavy wake.   
When we arrived in Yelapa's bay we pulled up to the pier at Hotel Lagunita and dropped everyone off except Emma, myself, and three silent Mexicans sitting in the back.  We helped everyone get off the boat safely and then heading to where the Mexican trio had specified.  It was just a spot along the beach.  We surfed a wave up to dry land and then they hobbled to the front carrying their boxes and climbed down to the sand.  It wasn't until then that I realized that they were carrying boxes of beer, probably for their restaurant. 
It was now just Emma and I.  We told them to take us to Isabel's beach on the far side of the village.  We hopped onto the sand and looked at what lay ahead of us.  We smiled.  
A short description of our place:
Casa De Isabel is tucked into the hillside and covered in jungle foliage.  There is a tiny stone trail leading up the hillside with palapa's along the side of it.  Our palapa, Casa Yolocalli, was about half way up the hill, maybe 30 or so meters above sea level.  Our palapa was absolutely amazing.  I was afraid it might be too rough for Emma but she said it was just what she was hoping for.  There is one wall that is, at most, six feet long and eight feet height.  It stands alone and, in this environment even seems excessive.  It sits on a stone slab, painted yellow, that protrudes from the hillside.  For shelter there are 40' long bamboo stalks that are covered in palm leaves.  In the back corner sits a tiny little kitchen.  There is a swinging couch with its back facing a beautiful creek canyon.  A spare bed.  A hammock swings over looking the ocean.  And just below this is a porch that has been built into the tree with a table and chairs and a fire pit.  Behind the kitchen there is a doorway made of bamboo.  A serong acts as a door.  Behind it you will find a toilet built into the rocks.  To call it a bathROOM would be a mistake.  It is more...I don't know, just a nice place to do you business, over looking a canyon.  It seemed right to me.  Just to the right of this is the shower, also open air, and a staircase made of bent branches.  In the 'loft' area is our bed which hangs from the bamboo.  It was like being rocked to sleep in your mothers bosom again.  In front of the bed is a swinging chair and another little porch built into the trees.  All of this, by the way, looks over the ocean.  The only sounds to be heard are the oceans sweet lapping, the breeze through the leaves, the birds singing their wonderful songs and the occasion child shouting for their mother in Spanish.  Perfect.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Back to the Grind

Morning weight:  196 lbs.

Well, this is my first day back in windy, foggy, chilly, San Francisco and I must say, my body doesn't like it.  I woke up today and looked at my closet and thought to myself 'Do I really have to put on all these clothes??'.  For the last week I have been living out of my shorts, flip flops, sun glasses and a straw hat.  Nothing more but often times less, much less.  I put on pants and a shirt yesterday for the first time.  I hated every constricted second of it.  Damn it!!!  I need to live some where tropical.  
I now have the opportunity to entertain myself with the task of finding ways not to loose my tan, and how to keep fit for my upcoming trip to the Mother land, Greece.
Journal entries will be arriving shortly.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yelapa, Mexico: Pre Trip

Morning weight:  194 lbs.
I guess I didn't really stick to my plan or my work outs so I can't complain about not being under 190 lbs. for my Mexican adventure.

Anyway, I am packed and all set to go.  I will be walking out of my office in approx. one hour.  I have my shorts, my flip flops, some shirts, toiletries, goggles, fins, snorkel, and some band aids, and most importantly, my straw beach hat.  Me, a tourist!??  No, never.  I think I am all set.  
So anyway, tonight is going to be a long night.  I leave the ground at approximately 8:30 pm and then touch down again once in Los Angeles, just before 10:00pm, once in Mexico City, just before 6:00 am, and then at our final destination of Puerto Vallarta.  From here we will need to find a taxi to take us to Los Muertos Pier where we will need to find our way on to one of several water taxi's. 
Where we get dropped of is apparently a little ways down the beach from the dock and I have been informed that we wont have the luxury of a dock.  No, we will be going directly from the boat, into the water, onto the beach, waving goodbye and thanks, and walking into the jungle to our accommodations.
I packed a journal, several magazines, and a book.  Hopefully I will have time to record the happenings each evening.  I am imagining a wonderfully relaxing vacation filled with hikes, swimming holes, waterfalls, snorkeling, maybe some surfing and hopefully some sailing.  This is based on what I have heard at least.   
I'll see you when I get back, hopefully I'll be a little browner, a little more rested, focused and refreshed.  Keep the Bay Area warm for me. 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Morning weight: 194.2 lbs.

Last night was a complete disaster. First off, my parents were out of town and my brother and I are house sitting. We decide to have some folks over to BBQ and swim and drink some beer and enjoy the sunshine. Some how a bunch of strange guys come over and start hanging out. They seem cool enough so we think nothing of it. As the day progresses these guys start wandering around the property and through out the house. There actions are starting to resemble that of insects, you know, scurrying about, changing direction randomly.
Anyway, a couple of them were inside the house alone for just a little too long so I decide to go and see what they are up to. As I am walking up stairs I see them going through my Mom's jewelry and my Dad's drawers. I charge at them, not knowing what else to do. One guy has bracelets and necklaces and all kinds of jewelry dangling from the whole length of his forearm. He drops his hands and everything comes sliding off in a big clatter. I grab him and pound him into the wall. His buddy pulls out a long knife, so I drop the guy I've been pounding through the wall and run back down stairs.
Everyone scatters and now it's just me and my brother. Then all of a sudden there are about a dozen of these guys coming up the driveway, over the fence, from the neighbors yards....we are surrounded.
Now this is a part of the story that might sound made up, but I assure you it's true.
Luckily my Brother is really into martial arts weaponry, and luckily our Mom was cool enough to buy him all kinds of stars, swards, knives, bo's, nunchucku, and a friend of his even gave him a grenade for his birthday once.
Anyway, we both seem to realize that there are drawers full of this stuff in his room upstairs and make a dash inside. We pull the drawers right out of his dresser so fast that knives and grenades come flying onto our laps. I grab the grenade and give him a look like, 'shit, this will get them all in one blow', but quickly realise that we would then have to explain to our parents why there is now a ditch where the kitchen once was.
Instead I grab a big machete, like the ones they carry in Fiji (this is my friend Bosilio's machete) and a short sward, my brother grabs a Katana sward.
Geared up and ready, we run back down stairs and meet these guys. I got one fat one in the ping pong room. I ducked under his swing and caught him in the gut with the machete and then in the back, six or seven times, with the short sward once he was slumped over. My brother and I hack our way through these guys leaving the hallway and kitchen splattered in blood. The whole time I felt like I was carving pork. I think I would have been sick had I not tricked myself into thinking this way.
Leaning against the hallway wall, exhausted, I slid down and sit on the floor. Legs extended in front of me. Blood starting to stiffen in the hairs. I must have fallen asleep.

Hours later. It's dark now. I remember that we have plans with our sister, Dempsey, and a gaggle of other folks. There is some show playing on a mountain somewhere. My brother and I rinse ourselves in the pool, turning it from a tranquil blue to a hazy, opaque pink/burgundy. There are so many of us that we have to pile into three cars, and even then it's cramped. Anyway, I drive my truck out to the mountains and along a dirt road for, what seemed to me about a four hour trip. To be honest, I don't even remember the show. The whole time I was thinking about what happened back home. I could tell my brother was the same. The show ended and we made our way back to the massive dirt parking lots. We decided to wait until the lines of cars to leave had shortened before we all crammed ourselves into my truck again. Along the way there was some miscommunication though, because my sister, who was supposed to ride with me, was missing. We searched and searched and searched. We looked until the last of the cars were long gone, and then we searched some more, all the while awful things were running through my head about what could have possibly happened to her. Eventually we find her and head home. My windshield is so dusty and my wipers aren't doing a thing. I can barely see the road ten feet in front of my truck and besides, I can barely keep my eyes from falling shut. I pull over to the side of the road and tell everyone that we are going to have to sleep in the truck. No one seems to inconvenienced by this and soon enough we are all huddled together for warmth and trying to speed the passing of the day.
Needless to say, I woke up in a less than ecstatic mood today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kirsty Alley

Morning weight:  197 lbs.

This morning I saw an ad in Prevention Magazine.  It had an older photo showing Kirsty Alley all fatted up and in a jump suit and then next to that was the Kirsty of today in some awards show gown.  It was, of coarse, a Jenny Craig ad.  I was thinking that I can't remember the last time Kirsty Alley did something worth while.  Did she do anything post Cheers that is actually worthy of a paycheck??  Anyway, I feel like Kirsty Alley is now making tons of cash by being a professional yo-yo dieter....and I hate her guts for it, literally.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Morning Weight:  Oh My God....199.2 lbs.

Today I had four pieces of sushi for breakfast, a acai shake for a snack and some Hawaiian pork, 1/2 cup white rice, and sesame string beans for lunch.  

I need to get this under control quick.  No more big meals, damn it.  It sucks extra because my ribs are hurting more and more.  I must have  been drunk dancing really, really hard.  Anyway, I haven't been able to go into training since last Wednesday due to busting my foot on a guys elbow and now my ribs.  I plan on eating a lot of fruit real soon.  Oh, and my new favorite thing that I want to start making is.....CEVICHE!!!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Still here.

I am still at work. It is now 9:30 pm and things don't look like they are going to be letting up any time soon. I don't mind it. I just haven't been outside since 9:00 am. I need my vitamin B mang.

Lets see. Today, since it was a busy day, we've had Chinese food ordered for the whole office. And you know me, if there is free food around I am definitely going back for seconds....and thirds. Oh, and then for dinner we ordered 50 lbs of sushi. So today, I have eaten like, ten meals. Tomorrow is going to be a fasting day for sure. What else?? Oh, if you guess my correct 'morning wight' after this feeding frenzy then you get a hug....from me. My guess is I'll be 196.4.

Update: It is now 11:16 pm and still, no signs of letting up.

Update 2: I didn't get out of the office until around just before 2:00 am.

These days...

Morning wight: 195.2 lbs.

I didn't go into training again last night. My ribs have been sore and I don't know why. Maybe too much drunken dancing.

This morning my chain slipped and I had to stop myself by propping my right foot on my seat stays and pressing down on my rear wheel. It was not fun, but less frightening than I had imagined it would be. I didn't feel safe riding my bike to work after that so I walked home and Emma gave me a ride. I really want to get my new build going...soon. I'll probably have to wait until I get back from Greece though.

Food: Breakfast was delicious. I had a two egg omelet with feta, thyme and turmeric. It was delicious. I also chopped up some pork ribs this morning. I think it was a rack of like fourteen or so. I chopped them up into sets of four or five. I heavily seasoned them with a few different kinds of peppers, coarse salt, garlic, and chili flakes. The house smelled damn good when I was summer good. I felt like a butcher. I can't wait to get a place with a nice kitchen.
For lunch today I'll probably have the same as yesterday, Hawaiian BBQ with sticky rice. I need to eat more fruit. It is too expensive right now...actually, I take that back. I work near China Town and nothing is expensive in China Town. I just need to make it a habit and convince myself it is ok to spend money of my health, even when I am trying to save money like crazy.

That reminds me, a friend of Emma's just emailed me an awesome excel spreadsheet that will help me track my spending. I am looking forward to tracking my expenses and spending and seeing where I can save, invest and have some play money.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 14, 2008

All this yo-yo'ing...

Morning weight: 197 lbs.

Well, I'm right back where I started from. This is really frustrating. Well, not all that frustrating since I haven't really, really put myself into it. But anyway, I'm not happy being at this weight, I feel heavy, sluggish, and clumsy.

Food for the day:
I started today out with some Zola, a juice/smoothie drink made from the acai berry. I think it had something like 125 calories, 22g of sugar and 29g of carbs in it.

For lunch I went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered some sticky rice (it only costs $0.60 for a large container, holy crap). Anyway, I topped that off with some Hawaiian BBQ.

My post lunch snack was another bottle of acai juice, but this time I had the Bossa Nova brand. It is supposed to be lower in calories (only about 100) and lower in sugar content (18g) and carbs (21g).

Lately I have been drinking a lot of acai juices (Bom Dia, Zola, Sambazon, Bossa Nova, Fruita Vida, Amazon Thunder, etc....also ad to the list POM). I like all of the acai juices and haven't chosen a favorite just yet. I think this is partly because I am used to having acai in a bowl not a bottle. When I was in Bahia in Salvador I ate this refreshing bowl of frozen acai blended with banana, and topped with nuts and granola.

Oh man, it was perfect. I gotta say, it is probably one of my favorite things to eat on a hot day.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The way to eat rice

Utensil: Your favorite small spoon.

Big heaping mouthfuls. Squeeze the rice between your tongue and the roof of your mouth as hard as you can.
I also like to take spoonfuls and, with the spoon, press them on the side of the bowl making little rice balls.

Now, as for the way to eat a chicken. I say whole, and with your bare hands.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I've said it before and I'll say it again...

Everyone, should read this book by William McDonough & Michael Braungart . Check it out, ask to borrow it, go to the library, anything, just check it out.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Things I wish I didn't have to put up with...

Socks. I absolutely hate socks.
Shoes. I just kinda, sorta dislike shoes. The are more helpful than socks though.
Undies. Not gonna do it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

MW and IF

Morning Weight: 193 lbs.

Intermittent Fasting: Yesterday was the first day that I tried this technique --read more about it here

I decided to skip breakfast and only eat between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. I was fine all day until after training when I am usually starving. I did good though and fought off all my temptations to eat everything in sight and went to bed hungry. This morning I woke up, surprisingly satisfied. I made a breakfast of 1/2 turkey burger patty, 2 scrambled eggs, feta and herbs at 7 a.m. Wolfed that down while doing my Greek lessons and then made my way to work. I have a pretty hefty lunch of lamb and veggies and tonight I am having a nice home made dinner with Emma and her new roommate and his gf.
I think tomorrow I am going to try to do the same think with fasting and only eat between 1 and 4.

I am happy.