Friday, June 19, 2009

Fotos finalmente

Saludos from Quito!!

That's the gang. Sadie, Hugo, Maren, y yo in front of the cathedral in Baños!! We just got out of the hot springs! sooooo niceeee

Ayayay...we're takin a 4am bus to the famous Otovalo market this morning. I find myself sitting at a friend's house with a computer and free internet access so I figured I'd upload a few ya go!

This first one is of some kind of catterpillar. Wicked beautiful. The lime green spikes were enough to make us think it might be poisonus.

The grafitti down here is everywhere, not always good, but always colorful. These shots are for my boy Gringo, hahahaha, if only you were here hombrecito...

quicktag in Quitonice wall piece by Hugo's uncle's house. DK for lyfe

"Carga Larga." Loading up at the factory

Over and out.

ps- these take forever to upload here!!!

as my good friend Kyle Baines would say, "another day another dollar"

Thursday, June 18, 2009


So I´ve been here for a week and much has happened. I´ve yet to get sick, but we´ve already fought off a mugger, struggled to sleep on a night bus, and been reminded of just how little time means to most of the people here.

The muggin was pretty funny in retrospect. One dude approaches four of us and demands 5 bucks, which we honestly didn´t have. He proceeds to grab my camera which I toss to Hugo who starts to casually walk away. The suspect pursues, turning an early morning stoll on the beach into a life or death run. He grabs Hugo, we hit him. I smoke him with a nalgene, he backs off. To the guy: what the FUCK were you thinking? Four on one, really? really? I'm not huge on math, but the odds aren´t in your favor, homie. Next time crawl out of your hellhole a bit earlier when its dark out to take advantage of a single gringo. Not four. I do give him credit for running as hard as he did while maniaclly shrieking with laughter. That did manae to scare the shit out of least more than his mugging skills.

We left the beach and got on one of the many busses we´ve gotten accustomed to taking. Three bucks for a seven hour ordeal. A headline in todays paper read, ¨459 killed in six months.¨ Car accidents here are pretty common and its no surprise. The bus drivers haul ass, passing eachother blindly on turns or going downhill, turing two lane roads into three, sometimes four, lanes. We have survived the most deadly streches of Ecuadorean road thus far. From Quito to Riobamba...which brings me to the last paragraph.

Riobamba is a quiet town during the week, known to most gringos as the starting point of the famed Nariz del Diablo train ride. In 1998 Dad and I had one of the best travelers experiences I´ve had to date. I won´t go into it all now, but it involved a local eavesdropper educated at Princeton who invited us, after riding together on the roof of the train, to his ginourmous hacienda. From there we ventured into the hills on horseback to a tiny village having its fiestas patrias (think block party in the andes, complete with agua de fuego and amateur bullfighting). Of course the strangers name has been lost to history. Only Reuben remains. Anyhow, we arrived late in Riobamba to rise early in order to catch the 7am train. I awoke at 5:30 for some breakfast and went to the station around 6 to buy tickets. The train was not in service and wont be for another week. It would have been nice for them to tell us that when we called yesterday :P Classic South American style. The guard at the station was unemotional. ¨It might be working on Monday,¨ he said. ¨Maybe not.¨ At least he was being honest? Hahaha

I will return to Nariz del Diablo to find Reuben. I plan on hopping off the train and hiking until I run into someone who knows of him. Considering he's a pretty big land owner, I am hopeful someone will be able to help me. If not I'll probably just get lost in the hills for a little while. Can't be thaaaaat bad...

Miss you all, thanks for reading :)


ps- pictures are gonna be hard to come by. I'm not a huge fan of internet cafes but I do feel bad. I think I´'ll try to upload some pictures of graffitti for me next entry. ¨Maybe not¨...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Out of this world

I am sitting in an internet cafe I last visited eleven years ago. Incredible. I got into Quito last night at around 9pm, barely. The flight crew was closing the door to the plane when I showed up. Thanks for the directions, random American Airlines stewardess. Either way I'm here. Yay.

Today was spent getting acclimated and hanging out with some of Hugo's Cofán friends here in Quito. We went up to a viewpoint in a really weird gondola. I say weird because the attraction of the gondola was really pretty underrated, but hanks to Hugo's quick thinking, we all got up for half price (the nacionales fee) instead of the 8 dollars charged to most tourists. Que bueno.

Tonight we are going to Felipe Borman's brother's graduation. We're staying in a $15 a night hostal, four to a room, one queen, one twin. It's gonna be fun. The area we're in is really packed with gringos. I can't wait to get into the jungle. What I really can´t wait for is some mountains though. These things are huge over here and theres plenty of little villages to keep me off the beaten path. For now Marin, Sadie, Hugo, and I are sticking together. We're planning on hitting la playa this week. Hopefully I'll get some waves :) After that we're thinkin of heading north for the market at Otovalo (must see for the girls) and then into the oriente.

Sorry there are no photos today. My electronic gear is in a different place right now (Hugo's uncle's place). I'll try to post some soon, la proxima vex. Untill then, saludos!


Monday, June 8, 2009


My cat, one of the most loving animals I've ever encounter in my life, is on her last life.  She's lived a long (16+ years) life of happiness.  It wasn't until December last year that her health started failing, and she's already surpassed the time the vet gave her to live.  Despite everything, she's fought hard to do what she does best:  purrrrrrrrr, and keep people company.  Seriously, this cat has the LOUDEST purr I've ever experienced.  And I say experienced because her entire body vibrates with her purrs leaving whoever's petting her feeling like they've had about eight cups of Starbucks.

So heres where I should get all philosophical.  But I won't.  I just find it funny how we put death aside in western culture, like its some terrible.  How is it that something so frightening can be so easily ignored?  The reality is that if you are reading this you will die.  Death is as much Life, as Life is Death.  Oh, how deep.

I can't seem to find any pictures of Rainbow on my computer (which is a huge disappointment as a photographer, but that's the way it is.)  I do however have a picture of my neighbor in Vancouver, Oliver.  He was my first friend when I moved to Dunbar in September this year.  His owners (a lovely trio of beautiful girls, hey hey hey) were suprised how much I liked their dying dog, but he was new to me and, despite his wonderful smell, he was as loveable and charismatic as any pup.  Oliver died a few days before I graduated.  He is sorely missed, but in a better place.  I hope him and Rainbow hit it off wherever they will be...

She has truly lived her name and I know there'll be a pot of catnip at the end of the Rainbow.


ps- the photo is the first photo I took at 20th and Crown.  Oliver was roaming around the hood lookin' for someone to play with.  I think he liked the camera :))  I'll post a shot or Rainy when I get my hands, errr paws on one...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Salmon Roe

I love living in the moment.  Travel seems to facilitate spontaneity (at least for me).  But right now I'm at home, cleaning out my room, my old life, a lot of memories.  I also had a reunion today at The Evergreen School.  Its a pretty awesome place, full of bright kids and amazing teachers.  I spoke about how we are like salmon, coming from one place and going out into the world to gain experience, only to return to the very place where were from.  While everyone doesn't necessarily come back to where they grew up, I think we return to the ideas that we believe in, often ideas or beliefs that were formed in our younger years.  As for coming back to spawn, I know I'll be hard pressed to leave the perfect state of Washington  :)

Salmon are awesome, they've been a big part of my life.  They are beautiful creatures (like most things here on earth I've found).  They are pretty important here in the Northwest, so I gotta thank my middle school teachers for exposing me, hands-on, to the slimy suckers.  Thanks especially to Janet Charnley, who has worked for years with the Thornton Creek salmon run.

I took some pics today but am too lazy to upload.  Expect some tomorrow.  I uploaded over a hundred on my facebook, for anyone interested...

Keep on swimming,


ps- nice seeing everyone at Evergreen.  Hope we can stay in touch in the future!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bringin the Heat!!

Yesterday I met up with an old buddy from high school.  Amazing to see how people change.  We hung out downtown for a bit before we parted ways at the Space Needle.

I've been swimming at a friends place everyday.  The weather heres been in the 80s for the last week.  Hace calor.  Today I practiced backflips.  I'll have to get some pictures up...

speaking of photos I got a new toy from the padres for graduation: a Nikon Coolpix S620.  I'm taking my dSLR to Ecuador, but a point and shoot is nice to have for impromptu photos or sketchy situations, ya know?  I try to take *at least* five photos a day, so here are 3 pix from yesterday and one from my last trip to Cali (for Ben, again).  First is a nice juxtaposition from San Fran (Berkeley, I believe).  Then we got the needle, my Mercedes-Benz parts dealer's shop (Abe, you rock!), and an espresso truck that got tagged.

Now I shall eat some dinna and then go jump in a lake!!

Stay cool,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breathing Differently

The meeting with Hugo and Sadie last night was awesome.  I can't wait to embark on our adventure.

In the meantime I'm here in Seattle helping out around the house with odd jobs.  I'm bored.  The life I've been living in Vancouver (the dream, let's call it) has come to a screeching halt.  The house here in Brier is a wreck at the moment (with the floors being redone) and stress is high.  Sometimes when you're stuck in a negative headspace all that you need to do is take a step back and reflect on something positive.  A good meal or conversation.  Its easy to forget that there is always a silver lining, even to the darkest of clouds.  For now I'm determined to feel more and think less.  Oh, and to keep breathing...

I'm taking deep breaths :)


ps-some pics :)  1) Ben Whipple going huge in San Fran (this pic is just to tease ya), 2) Hugo and Sadie 3) My drums in my messy room, 4) Angelina, the family guide dog pup

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This took a while.

This is going to be random.  This is going to be human.  There are going to be pictures of people and places you've seen.  There will be ideas in translation for all to interpret.  There will be stories; some real, some lies, still more we have all yet to dream.  There may be bad words, pictures of things you might not want to see, something that might be offensive to you- for this I apologize in advance.  I'm a big fan of freedom of expression.  I am here to be myself  :)  I invite you to come as you are.  In short, there will be much.

I leave for Quito, Ecuador in nine days.  I will be diving into a different world.  I am as excited as any traveller about to embark on an adventure.  With the excitement comes some nervousness.  The unknown  .  Its the only place to explore for me :)  For now my plans are tentative at best but I'll try to update this weekly at the least :?  I'll be back in time for Vancouver 2010..  Can't wait for the the meantime I'll enjoy whatever I got  :)))

I will be keeping anyone who happens to stumble upon this little blogPlanet posted on my whereabouts in the universe from time to time in various forms.

To my friends and family: your love inspires me and keeps me going.

So here goes something, a step in some direction,


ps-  Shoutouts to CANADA, the Honorable Dr. of Law Kyle Baines, Kimo, Berklock Holmes, and the kitty krew; Martini (with his 40oz in hand!!), Vinay Kamat, Ansel Adams and John Muir, Katt Lee and Jay-Z, my brotha mikel bock always rockin to RAGE, Northern California, Alessandra Santos, skateboarding, Whistler Blackcomb, Salmon, Kokopelli Cafe (yeah!!), frisbees, Quindo and the whole Brettler clan, Kieran Doyle-brotha from across the pond, Jorge Luis Borges, Cortázar, y Allende, Saint Edward State Park (or any public park for that matter), Volkl skis, Mt. Rainier, Zapatistas, rock and roll, Nava and NEXUS passes (which I still dont have :P ), powder, Washington State apples and Tillamook cheese, Chase Jarvis, Mercedes Benz (HA!), people, anyone who has ever given me a ride or a dime or a smile and "hi," thanks for everything you given, especially you time. to my whole Vancouver crew, you are the best things ever.  Much love to the homies, especially Compton, Miriam, Aron, Paul, Gaelen, Jerin, you know who you are...WHIPPLE!!!!! you are hilarious.  You are an amazing friend- close confidant and honest critic.  I love America like you do.  Do work.  Y practicar tu español, puta.  Don't get all hollywood on me.  Dipereedoo!!  You keep it real.  I will miss your wit and wisdom.  You have provided me with endless conversation and companionship.  Can't wait to save the earth with you :P  Charles- no words hombre.  We've been through some shit.  I love you like a brother. You've helped me grow as an artist, as a man, as a human being.  I gotta go catch this wave, but I'm not goin' in.  "Be bright, be brave, & believe."  Thanks to all for motivating me to be being honest and compassionate and to believe in myself.  I have forgotten many, so let me know if you want some love :)


Finally, Mark Twain, one of my favorite writers, storytellers, liars, whatever you want to call him, once said,  "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did... So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."