Thursday, April 30, 2009

some things you should know

i prefer sleeping in a sleeping bag rather than in a bed.  for the past week i have been sleeping in a sleeping bag.  i did laundry on monday so i have clean sheets and all.  my bed is even made up.  i just don't really like sleeping in it.  i went down to the storage area, pulled out my sleeping bag, and for a split second thought "am i really going to sleep like this?"  that answer was yes.  i've been sleeping that way for a week now and i am sleeping better and waking up more refreshed.  i'm a bit paranoid about what a girl might think of it but then i remember that i don't really care.  well, not enough to do any thing different anyways.    

Oh, and also, i am easily frustrated with laces that are obviously too long.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday BBQ's with strangers

And the conversation was all about how to hunt and quarter a boar.


This is what I want to be for halloween..hell, for life.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pandora, what are you talking about?

Screenshot from my pandora window i have open.  So i get that radiohead's fake plastic trees may be on the clueless soundtrack, but really, that's what it's siting as the source.  Pandora couldn't actually take it from the actual album that the song was recorded on?  I'm confused.  I think pandora might be too.

Song for the day.


I don't want to take and baby I don't want to break and baby I don't want to try and make you anyway
I just want to lie down, tell my crazy brains to lie down
And then fall away
I won't be alone I won't be waiting by the phone
I won't be dreaming of you dreaming of me anyway
Tell me where you've been and I will tell you where I've been
It will be all ok
I don't have a home it's not a chain it's not a throne
It's just a picture of a picture tossed and torn away
Of anger on your face still not as strange and not as brave
As when you turned away
I won't be the one when all is said and all is done
I won't be breathing like you breathe into the light of day
I'll be in the yard still taking pictures in the dark
Of all our torn up praise
Leave me not alone I won't be chased I won't be thrown
I won't be bleeding for you bleeding for me everyday
Tell me where you've been and I will tell you where I've been
It will be all ok

More on the Princess TaiPing

11 in crew escape death on high seas
A Chinese junk with five Hawaii residents aboard is sliced in half

By Gary T. Kubota

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 27, 2009

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In what one survivor described as a "miracle," 11 sailors aboard a traditional Chinese sailing vessel that left Oahu in February were plucked from the Pacific hours after a freighter struck their vessel, slicing it in half.

The crew, which clung to the wreckage for more than three hours, included five Hawaii residents.

The Princess TaiPing, a 53-foot replica of a Ming Dynasty wooden sailboat, capsized at 2:40 a.m. yesterday (8:40 a.m. Saturday, Hawaii time) about 35 miles from Taiwan, its destination, said Jessica Lee, an official with the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Honolulu.

Hawaii crew members Jason Arnold, Larz Stewart, John Hunter, Elizabeth Zeiger and Jack Durham were safe and discharged from a hospital, Lee said. The only person seriously hurt was Okinawa resident Thomas William Cook, who had neck and head injuries, according to Zeiger, of Oahu.

Zeiger said she was on watch when a huge ship suddenly changed course and headed toward the TaiPing.

"We didn't have enough time to change course," she told her mother via e-mail.

Zeiger said crew members shined their flashlights at the sails, but the freighter continued on a collision course.

She said the freighter ripped through the center of the vessel.

"There was this enormous cracking and shredding of the wood," she said. "We literally watched the entire ship get demolished. It was an absolute miracle that we all 11 made it out of there alive."

Zeiger said the crew thought the freighter would send a rescue boat, but it never did.

John Hunter II, whose son was a crew member, said he wants a thorough investigation.

"They failed to stop and render aid," Hunter said.

Helicopters operated by Taiwan's coast guard rescued the crew and carried them to hospitals in Taipei.

All five Hawaii residents were staying at a hotel on Taiwan yesterday. They were recruited for the voyage when the TaiPing made a stopover in Honolulu on its return voyage to the Far East.

The TaiPing, launched in January 2008 after six years of research and development, sailed from Taiwan to Okinawa and Japan, then crossed 5,100 miles of ocean to Northern California, sailing down to San Diego before coming to Hawaii. The vessel arrived in Hawaii from San Diego on Dec. 22 and left Honolulu on Feb. 16.

Liu said the mission of the voyage was to quiet critics who had doubts about historical accounts of ancient Chinese vessels making long Pacific journeys. The Princess TaiPing received support from the local Chinese community, and some of its crew sailed with the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule'a along Oahu's South Shore.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Think good thoughts.

A friend and inspiration of mine just made contact with me after his ship sank off the coast of Taiwan. The article is below along with a link to a short video of the wreck and rescue. Please keep Hugh in your thoughts.

The Ming dynasty-style Princess Taiping was trying to prove that China's greatest admiral, Zheng He, could have reached North America 600 years ago.
After surviving several storms during its 10-month voyage, the junk broke in two and sank after it was rammed by a freighter just off Taiwan's coast.
All 11 crew members were rescued after being found adrift on the wreckage.
"We have worked so hard for so many years, but we failed at the last minute, I'm really ashamed," said Taiwanese captain Liu Ningsheng after being rescued by the coast guard.
The 54ft-long (16.5m) Princess Taiping, powered only by cotton sails on three masts, was designed according to ancient specifications.
It set sail last June and called at several ports on the US west coast, including San Francisco, and at Honolulu, after riding out several storms.
It sank 30 miles (48km) off the island's north-eastern port of Suao, just hours shy of completing its record-breaking Pacific crossing.
Capt Liu's crew included six Americans, two Japanese, one Taiwanese and a Chinese national.
Several were treated for hypothermia or light injuries, but later released.
Some historians argue that the Chinese discovered America, citing anchors and various other Chinese artefacts found scattered on the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Updated Monday, April 27, 2009 9:41 am TWN, By David Young,The China Post
Princess Taiping rammed by unknown vessel

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- “We all but made it,” Nelson Liu bemoaned yesterday.

He skippered his Ming war junk Princess Taiping through an unprecedented trans-Pacific voyage, which came to an abrupt end only a stone's throw away from its destination at 2:40 a.m.

An unidentified freighter rammed the replica of a three-masted Chinese war junk, cutting it into two halves off Suao, a fishing port on northeastern Taiwan.

The Princess Taiping was expected to berth at Keelung this morning after a 14,000-mile voyage across the Pacific in ten months.

Liu and his 10-member crew, thrown into the seas in the hit-and-run accident at the 11th hour of their ambitious record-making voyage, were saved by Taiwan's air force and coast guard rescue team.

With head and leg injuries, Liu was helped aboard a National Coast Guard Administration cutter three hours after the Hong Kong-registered Princess Taiping was hit in the middle of night.

“We had earned 99 marks (out of 100),” said 62-year-old Liu, resting at the Veterans General Hospital at Suao where he was taken after the cutter docked at 10:00 a.m where he was later released.

“It's a pity that we couldn't earn the last one mark,” Liu lamented. “No word can describe how sorry I am.”

The skipper was asleep when a crew member woke him up and warned of an unknown freighter coming too close to the Princess Taiping.

“I contacted the freighter by radio,” Liu went on. “We talked in English and I was told to keep my ship to the starboard side of the freighter,” he added.

Liu obeyed. Two minutes later, however, the freighter split his vessel.

“The only identification I have of the freighter is its christened name, Champion Express,” Liu recalled.

The Coast Gguard confirmed the Champion Express was off Suao. But it did not stop to look for those thrown overboard, they said.

“As a matter of fact,” a coast guard lieutenant said, “the Champion Express, which was heading north, stopped only a few minutes, and then continued to sail northwards.”

Alerted by the call for help from the Princess Taiping, the air force search and rescue center dispatched helicopters, which located the shipwreck at 5:16 a.m.

Masao Kinjo, a Japanese crew member, was rescued first. The other nine — including Elizabeth Zeiger, John Hunter and Hugh Morrow of the United States — were lifted off the seas less than half an hour later.

Jason Arnold, Larz Stwewart, William Cook Thomas, Jack L. Durham and Yoji Mori formed the rest of the crew.
Adrift in the sea for more than three hours, all crew members suffered hypothermia or subnormal body temperature. Two of them had minor injuries. They were taken to the Military Hospital at Songshan and the Armed Forces General Hospital at Neihu for treatment.

All crew members save Thomas were released after treatment.

Launched at Amoy or Xiamen in January last year, the Princess Taiping, which was 45 feet wide at the beam, was an exact copy of a war junk of Koxinga's navy.

Koxinga, a loyal general of the Ming Dynasty (1369-1644), drove the Dutch out of Taiwan and claimed the island for China in 1572. He tried in vain to restore Ming rule to China, overrun by the Manchu, who set up China's last imperial dynasty.

War junks of Koxinga fought and defeated the much better-equipped Dutch fleet in 1671 and his Chinese troops landed successfully to besiege Zeelandia, present-day Anping near Tainan.

Last June 26, the Princess Taiping, which means Peace in Chinese, left Keelung on the trans-Pacific voyage. Captain Liu, a yachtsman, was the first Taiwan mariner to accomplish a round-the-world voyage by yacht in 2001. It took 877 days to make the record.

After crossing the ocean, the handcrafted junk was supposed to end up in Vancouver after a 69-day motor-less voyage from Japan. But a tropical storm drove it to Eureka, California, instead. It then sailed to San Francisco on October 14.

Then the Princess Taiping crossed the Pacific again to reach Saipan, where American crew members and Angela Chao, a writer and painter from Johannesburg, South Africa, were interviewed.

Chao had every faith in the skipper. “Scared,” Chao said, “No, our captain is very reliable. He has sailed around the world. He's very experienced.”

Zeiger, a newly graduated agriculture student from the University of Hawaii, said she would never forget her “lifetime experience.”

Hunter said it felt like they were cast members of the famed reality TV show, “Survivor,” while Monroe pointed out he and his shipmates want “to preserve Chinese shipping culture and create awareness about Chinese sailing history.”

From Saipan, the ship sailed for Naha. The mishap occurred on its way back to Taiwan from Okinawa. They tried, and almost succeeded.

The Princess Taiping was also a replica of one of the great Chinese war junks Zheng He, the eunuch admiral under the third Ming emperor, led to pacify all Southeast Asia, and reached as far as North Africa.

At the time of Zheng He, China had the world's most powerful navy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Band of the Day

King Khan & The Shrines

Come watch them with me at The Great American Music Hall on May 28th, 15 bones aint bad.

This is where I'll be come Sunday

The North Fork of the Yuba River:

Or the North Fork of the American River:

I'm volunteering for a little organization called Project GO!  The go stands for Great Outdoors, sneaky huh?  Anyway,  I figured if I can't work as a guide professionally any more, you know, because of the whole 'real job' thing, then I might as well volunteer for a worthy organization.  Check out their website to see what they're all about.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My afternoon Bike Ride

This is where I was at lunch.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today I am sick.  
Today I am sneezy.
Today I have ten cotton balls shoved in every hole in my face.
Today I wondered why they make that last, bottom button slit sideways instead of vertical.
Today I listened to my coworkers talk about American Idol and thought nothing.
Today I feel good about where the weather is going.
Today I miss my female friends.
Today I miss my boy friends.
Today I will ride my bike on my usual path.
Today I will sit in the park and not drink a beer.
Today I will cuddle up with strangers.
Today I will share.
Today I will love my neighbor like myself.
Today I miss New York.
Today I miss Concod.
Today I miss Coloma.
Today I miss climbing.
Today I miss rafting.
Today I will think good thoughts about my health.
Today I miss my family.
Today I am glad I know of all these things to miss.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Last night at the Independent.

Last night was the first night that I got to see Dempsey in like, I don't know, ages.  So when he called I knew it was going to be he and I for a bit.  We walked around the hood, from Divis to Lower Haight and back again.  We talked about ex's and our futures and how to be happy.  We drank some really delicious beer and smiled.  It was good to be in his presence again.  Anyway, so we are walking along Divis and I look up at the Independent marquee.  Devendra Banhart, one of my favorite musicians is playing tonight.  Oh shoot!  I say we gotta try to get tickets knowing full well that they'd be sold out.  Anyway, no tickets.  So we go to Mini Bar and have a Pliney and chat.  On our way back down Divis. we stop in front of the Independent and this guy walks up and starts chatting.  Says he's got an extra ticket and his girl does too.  I say we gotta do it hoping Dempsey would be down.  You see I'm broke, or was broke until today.  Payday.  I had $33 in my account.  That's the lowest I've ever been.  Not fun.  Anyway, since Dempsey is such a great friend he says he'll pay for all my drinks and the tickets and everything and tops it off with a genuine "welcome back, bud."  Gotta love Dempsey.  So anyway, we make a dash for the atm and snap up the tickets and boom, we're in.  So here are a couple of my favorite songs from the big DB.  

Our First night in Buenos Aires.

I think it was the only night of the whole trip that I didn't feel like I was a part of some sort of crazy adventure race. After zipping around the city and I mean serious zipping, like, keep your arms and hands inside the vehicle at all times zipping, we arrived at a hostel. We booked ourselves a room for some unreasonably cheap price and began to unwind. Sterl went straight for the bed. Oh yeah, before I forget to mention, Sterling almost died on the plane. He was unconscious and convulsing and not breathing and was 1000 degrees and his heart was racing. I was asleep for it so I didn't actually see it but Scott apparently had to keep beating the crap out of him to keep him awake and breathing.
So Sterl's out. Scott and I head down to town to get a beer and a bite. After much walking around we find a place that has a big open window and a huge wood burning grill. Above the flames are several huge spits with a half cow, pic, lamb, goat etc. on each. We sit and order a bit of everything, which apparently comes with a dozen different dipping sauces and salsas and mixes. So good. So good. We eat, we drink. We drink, we eat. I then proceeded to buy a flannel shirt, a shirt I would wear for the next four days or so.
Back at the hostel, we all fix up to go out for a few more drinks. Sterl's def. alive and well, not great but alive. So we head out for drinks. We stop at every pub, bar and restaurant getting what I have found to be a new fav. South American beverage. Quilmes Roja.  So good.Anyway, so we drink and drink and decide to get some tall boys of Quilmes and head back to the hostel to meet some folks...and by folks I mean girls.  We do.  We meet...shoot, I forget their names but they are def. Australian.  One actually worked on the Survivor show in Fiji when I took the contestants down the Upper Navua Gorge.  These girls had a nice room.  More like an apartment, separate from the rest of the hostel.  We have a few drinks, a few laughs, talk some trash and then head out to the discotech.  
We get inside and it's some mega club playing some not god awful house music.  We hang out there for way too long and I meet way too many gay guys before decided to head back to he hostel.  We end up back in our room drinking with these girls until the wee hours of the night.  I think we got to bed a little after five or so and by bed I mean bed.  No hanky panky, bed, got it.  Mind you, we have to wake up at 8 or so to drive 20 hours or so to Bariloche.  
So that was it.  Our intro to Argentina.  Meat, shopping, beer, beautiful women everywhere (even foreign ones), clubs, dancing, friends and very, very little sleep.  This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the trip. 

Song for the day.

Ok, so it's songs for they day but I think they are both kinda rad and so does Argentina and Chile.  They were on the radio and tv everyday.

In Santiago...

While in Santiago Sterling, Scott and I stopped into a Cuban restaurant to grab a bite.  They had a kick ass band playing some amazing salsa music and everyone was dancing.  It looked like the perfect place to spend out last night in South America.  However, we almost walked out because the only table available was one in the back, away from all the music and dancing and people.  I'm so glad we decided to stay and a table right up front opened shortly anyway.  So we are sitting right up front admiring all the beautiful women and really, really amazing dancing and tossing piscolas down our throats when an older woman comes over to our table with a couple of beautiful young women and asks if we'd like to dance with them.  We all turned red and giggled like school girls, smooth right, and declined thankfully.  The woman turned out to be Damaris Leyva P. the owner of the restaurant Damaris.  After our food and being invited I decided that if I pass up the opportunity to learn salsa from one of these beauties I'd never forgive myself.  So more piscola's please.  Finally, right when I finish my last one, the one that counted, this beautiful blonde walks up to me and extends her hand.  Now let me tell you, this girl is wearing a charcoal dress that is cut so high on the bottom and so low on the top and pretty much non existent on the sides.  Needless to say, I'm terrified.  It didn't help that we were the only people on the dance floor for this song and that the band was playing just for us and that everyone in the restaurant was looking at us.  So she shows me how to shake my hips, how to spin her, how to hold her, how to step and turn and shake and dance.  She keeps saying to me "Flex it.  Flex it."  while grabbing my thighs and butt and hips.  We dance for a few minutes and the song ends.  I thank her, kiss her on the cheek and slink away to my table where the boys are now sitting with the owner and some of her friends and family.  Later, I find out that the girl I had been dancing with is a very famous actress in Chile names Lola Melnick, that she is all over tv.  I almost lose my shit.  I'm completely blown away.  Anyway, there are a couple of videos of her below and some pics.  Sorry mom for the gratuitous butt shots but hey...everyone else, enjoy.

So anyway, we end up staying at this restaurant way past close.  It's now just the owner, her son, and a really pretty, but really quite girl with black hair.  We are drinking piscola's and jack and cokes and talking and laughing and having a grand old time when Scott, out of no where, invites them back to our hotel.  Now, he said it very quite and at a time when everyone was laughing so I thought it went unnoticed.  However, about five minutes later, Damaris says that they'd all love to come over.  Next thing you know, we are in the back of a car (they woke her other son up, the good son, to come drive us drunkards around) and at the door of our hotel.  We go up and proceed to drink fantastic amounts of wine.  Damaris has also given us a bottle but says that we must save it.  She says to take it to a party and to bring it out in front of people and watch at how amazed they are at what a great bottle of wine we have brought, or something like that.  Anyway, we are all terribly drunk and listening to music and laughing and dancing around and hugging when we remember that we forgot to cut Scott's hair the other night.  We had this big plan to get drunk and cut Scott's hair while camping and then burn it.  So we remember that we need to do this and ask if Damaris would like to have the honor of first cut.  She ends up cutting all of his hair, chunks of it on the bathroom floor, in the shower, in the hallway.  She does a pretty decent job which isn't as satisfying as it would have been to see the job Sterl and I would have done but whatever.  Soon enough we are all drunk enough and tired enough, it's about six in the morning at this time, and so we say good night.  I fall asleep in the window sill with my clothes still on.  About an hour later we are up and headed to the airport for our long flight home.