Thursday, October 22, 2009

Face to Face

I'm saving up the words to say I love you. I've waited months to hear your voice and now it grows near. Are you an illusion? Do you mean what you say? I'd love to take you up on anything you offer. I'd love to stay the night. I'd love to love you as you wish. I love to hear you say you love me. I love to know you mean it. I'd love to have a dance with you. I'd love you feel your energy.

I'm cold you're radiating. I can feel the vibes. In the coldest of winter, melt my snow. Make me feel like summer time.

Can't wait to see you Face to Face



Monday, October 19, 2009

Medling around in Montevideo

I felt like Scooby Doo the other day. We snuck into the old train station. Pretty sweet place. Would be an awesome concert venue. Maybe someday I'll buy it...

Here are some photos from around the world and a song to go with it...

Alejandro, Gaucho extraordinaire.

The day I showed up at the house to new windows. It looks nothing like that now...

Some of the homies. From L-R: Sam, Seba (back with cup), MariaƱita, Anthony, and Noelia.

Victor grindin heard to first place at the Pocitos skate comp. 16 year old skating phenom.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Muck fe I got robbed

Who wouldn't want tickets to the biggest futbol game this year? An epic matchup between arch rivals Argentina and Uruguay, played here in Montevideo tonight at 8pm. So I was walking along the Rambla towards Pocitos on a wonderfully sunny day with a new friend when a man who I'd met a couple weeks ago noticed we were speaking English and piped in. We had just passed a sign inviting Montevideans to be nice to tourists. The sign reads "1 turista, 1 amigo." The guy's wearing gold rimmed sunglasses and doesn't take them off. He somehow seems friendly enough, but I should have known from his New York Yankees hat that he couldn't be trusted. He speaks English and Italian, my friend does too. Everything seemed cool. He mentions casually that he's on his way to buy tickets to the big game. I thought the tickets were sold out and he confirms this. Abitab (the legit seller of tickets) is out and he's on his way to his buddy's house to pick up some tickets for himself. I ask if his buddy has anymore and he says he'll call. He tell his friend that his brother (me) and sister (Irene) just came in from Buenos Aires and want tickets and after some banter we seem to be getting some numbered seats for the game. We get to the the building and he tells us to wait outside. He has to go into the office for a second and since reselling tix is illegal he thinks its best for us to chill outside. Now I don't know this dude's name, don't have his phone, no nothing. I am used to having good luck and encoutering friendly people, such as this guy, so I have no qualms handing over 1,000 pesos for two tickets. Irene thinks different but we still let him wander into the building. "Two minutes," he says.


Two hours later. Our eyes had been on the door the entire time. Eventually Irene had to go to work so Sam came to give me some backup and we go looking for this shady fucker. Of course the building has a million exits. He probably went in one door and out another.

Knowing how small Montevideo is and that I've already run into him at least once before I have full confidence that this dude's time will come. Like next time I spot him I am going to follow him until I can properly attack him and take my shit back. Hopefully Sam will be there so we can pin him down and leave him with nothing but his shoelaces holding his hand behind his back, his pants on his head, and his belt in his mouth. I hate being tricked. I hate feeling like an idiot. But an idiot I am for this one.

All in all I must say karma is a wonderful cycle. Remember that thousand pesos I found on the floor of the hot dog stand a week back? Ya, I put that back into circulation. I figure you gotta give back somehow...


Monday, October 12, 2009

I am 22

As of today I am a new number. I woke up this morning after a very fun party last night and felt nothing. Not cold. Not hungover. Not old. Not like I needed to brush my teeth (even though I did). Not like anything except well rested and satisfied with my life thus far.

It is fun to be where I am. It is more fun to be going places. I don't know where, but they all seem alright right now. And I can go anywhere. Anywhere will work.

I thoroughly enjoy all the kind words and well wishes today on the 12th of October. Thank you to all my friends :)) I love and miss you all. I will be home sooner than you think.


ps- I've always found it ironic that I was born on Columbus day. Here in South America the 12th is la Dia de La Raza! A day to acknowledge all the indigenous people white people like Columbus put an end to. A day for me, as an anthropologist, to reflect on my confused discipline. All the people here find it hilarious that I studied anthropology and was born on la Dia de la Raza. I find it fitting. As a Libra it reminds me of some kind of balance in my life.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Magical Montevideo

Some more photos. We'll see where from.

Less talking more pictures :)

The mural in the main room. Done by ALFALFA, a street artist here in Montevideo. His real name's Nico and he's a very rad dood. I think he's going to paint the middle of the beast you see. It needs some more spots or lines or polka dots.

Sebastian by a vendor of used junk at Mercado Tristan Narvaja. The market takes place on Sundays when the streets are closed to traffic and pedestrians take over. A solid five square blocks make up the market where you can find literally anything. Broken windows, projectors, bicycles, books, shoelaces, tarantulas, turles, motorcycles, fruit and veg, empanadas, doorknobs, compact discs, underwear, babies (okay maybe no babies). But seriously. Literally anything. Here Sebastian debates the price of a box of old slides.

One of the four consecutive streets full of books at Tristan Narvaja.

A neon shoelace vendor at Tristan Narvaja. Pretty bright.

A view of just a slice of Pocitios. Its one of the nicer neighborhoods in Montevideo. The rambla continues all around the city and the other day I rode nearly the entire thing. Beautiful, right along the river, and super sunny.

This is a really beautiful color. I really like it. The car is pretty sweet too. It's got a little bit of woody action on the sides and the back. People come to the rambla to show off their cars and bump their sound systems. I wish I had my Benz to show off too :P

Sunset at the Pocitos skate park. Wicked competition and sunset to boot! :)

All of these were from Montevideo. I'll post some older ones tomorrow :)))

Peas and luv,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sunny Day Bike Ride

Today it is sunny out. Summer is (almost) here. It is enough for me though the Montevideans say otherwise, noting the other night´s rainstorm and the chilly breeze that keeps the heat from penetrating their warm skin. They love the sun here. I can´t wait to get some snow.

I took a step towards you today. I think you took a step away to tease me. Like when we almost kiss, lips glancing and then a subtle laugh as the air embraces them with emptiness. I think you like to do that. I know I do.

The sun warmed me, woke me up, inviting me to enjoy its company today at a normal hour. I wanted to keep dreaming. We were on a balcony without a railing and you pushed me in a playful way. I nearly fell but you grabbed me by the collar and held me, feet on the tiled landing, head hanging over the sidewalk below, in perfect control. Like had you given me a nudge I would have surely fallen into uncertainty. But you pulled me close and whispered something I agreed with and we both smiled and the wind disrupted the unequal equilibrium and brought my body back to its upright position. When we went to walk inside the doors were closed so I punched a hole in the glass and wiped my bloody hand through my hair and later on your face and you tasted my blood and you loved it. Somehow we managed to squeeze through the tiny window and onto the couch in the living room and into one another and out again to the balcony later when I awoke.

The pigeons outside my room shat all over the passersby below on the side of the street and cooed so pleasantly that I forgot about their shit and the passersby too. I woke up to this and ate some peanuts and drank some coffee and waited for the day to begin and then for it to pass so night could come and we could be together again somewhere new. I walked up the stairs to the kitchen and then back down to the store to buy milk and then back up again to put milk in the coffee and then further towards the sky to the roof where I watched time pass in the shape of cars and trucks and people on errands. And I pretended to be a bird by calling out to the people below for no reason. And I contemplated jumping, thinking that today is a good day to learn how to fly. Then it occured to me that today would not be a good day to die. So I sat on the edge of the roof and continued my careless cooing like the pigeons only with less feathers and less shit.

I listened to Thom Yorke whine as I finished my coffee and played around on the piano desperately trying to find the right chords for a song I´ve had stuck in my head for a month. I found them. They are the most boring chords one can find. Now I have no desire to write the song. I dissapointed myself but at the same time I was proud that I failed such a beautiful song. Failure is at the heart of art. Often I find out of a thousand photos maybe ten are worth a look. Of a million words I pick a single line and discard the rest into a forgotten history of failure. That´s a lie, I can´t forget them, sometimes they haunt me. When I find I have written the same thing twice I feel as though I´ve somehow cheated. Like two photos of the same thing; one horizontal and one vertical. What is the point? Not that you know. Not that I know, I still do it after all.

Today it is sunny out. I think I´ll go for a bike ride.


update: here's some photos. more exciting than words :P

Seba working on the mural in the lime room. Pretty cool style. Lots of colored dots on an old wall that we chipped the paint off of. Undernearth the white wall was blue, then green, and finally tan. This chipped paint wall serves as the base of the mural and looks a bit like a map of the world. I think its cool.

Typical Sunday on Calle Andes. Asado (BBQ) in the middle of the street with everyone in the house and our friends. Traffic is super slow, a random taxi every now and then or a hungry cop salivating behind bulletproof glass. I usually feed strangers and make friends easily with good meat. I love this city.

Dancers at the Dia de Patrimonio parade. These older folks always followed the bikini girls dancing candombe. The old men did the silliest dance and the women all fanned themselves and danced a kind of samba/candombe. Beautiful dresses, beautiful women, and goofy old men. Que bueno.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I found a thousand pesos on the ground in a hot dog stand yesterday. This was after the skate competition I got to photograph where one of my new friends got second place. And after meeting some crazy people in the skateboarding scene here in Montevideo (which is pretty strong, surprisingly enough). See if I can't get some photos published...

Sam has gotten me sick. I haven't been sick in a long time. I really don't think about getting sick and so I never am sick. Well now I am sick and it sucks. It's kind of a nice relief not to crave beer or cigarettes for a short respite. My throat burns and I'm all congested.

There was a huge thunderstorm last night in Montevideo. The lightening lit my room up and the booming thunder shook the glass in the windows. It was crazy. It rained so hard I was afraid there would be a pool on the roof in the morning and I hoped I had shut the hatch when I left the roof earlier on in the day when the sun had been so hot I sweat myself to sleep for a nice siesta.

This morning I helped Pepe and Seba move demolition rubbish in dumpsters around the city. Then Sebastian and I bought some CD's. Best of Radiohead and Is This It by the Strokes. I told Sebastian about how I just convinced myself to stay in Montevideo until late December after wanting so badly to go home. Well I got more on that.

I got an email from the Vancouver Olympic people about my volunteer position for the Paraolympics. Apparently training is in early November. So home might be closer than I thought. After having convinced myself to stay here I feel like a fool for wanting to go home knowing what is to come in the next few months here. If I can't move the training around, then it looks like I'll be couchsurfing Vancouver starting November.

I got a job at a hostel the other day. A night shift Thursday to Sunday, 8pm-1am. Play music for the guests, cook frozen pizza, and do dishes. I'll get paid for how much beer I sell (believe me, I can sell beer) on top of my wage, whatever that is. Now that I'm all thinkin of home, I have no idea what to tell my potential boss. "Yeah, I might just drop off the side of the earth here in the next couple weeks. That's cool, right? Like, you'll still pay me?"

After finding a thousand pesos on the ground the last thing I really want to do is work. My luck usually works out in the end anyways.

Wow, hope than interested all you die hard readers.


ps- I feel like shit :) more soon

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Oh the days just pass

The days are flying by here in Montevideo. I spen most of my time still working around the hostel, planning parties (good business), and trying to find that elusive job. This journal entry is from a few days back but I like it...

Today the twentysixth of September, 2009

Today was la Dia de Patrimonio here in Montevideo. The sun was shining and you could feel summer teasing you as the last of the winter winds blew futily. There was a three hour parade of candombe drums, falg wavers, and hardly dressed dancers along the 18 de Julio (the main drag) and traffic was diverted for the second night in a row. Yesterday I enjoyed the Marcha de Diversidad (Gay Parade) with Isabel and Chelsea who flew in on a whim from Chile, escaping studies and a rainy weekend in Santiago for the nicest weekend (and weather) I´m so far seen in my month in Montevideo. This place is spectacular.

Through all of this preperations for the party tomorrow (Sunday 27th) have been ongoing for nearly a week. Pepe installed a new water tank that promises to deliver more than the piss stream of warm water I´m grown to call a shower. But it is already out of order thanks to a water main burst that happened the night after I lost my key in a car full of drunk strangers. Later that night I left Emil in the street with a bum as I scaled the balcony and up into my room. I saved Emil and he and I tried to push the bum out of the house: literally pushing him as he fought back trying to get in the house. The bum had some steep demands. First Emil´s cell phone (no go) then, in obvious desperation, "cien pesos" (100 pesos). Well "no tengo cien pesos, amigo, lo siento." (Seriously, I had no money.) "Cien pesos, cien pesos, cien pesos..." After a thirty minute standoff he reluctantly fucked off, leaving me worried still that he might climb up like I had and try his hand at revenge. I sleep within an arms reach of my gaucho knife, so that helped put me to sleep.

Anyhow, back to the party prep. We have a new mural, courtesy of Alfalfa, one of the more reknowned street artists here in Montevideo. Black and white line drawing on an orange wall in the living room. Looks sick. At present a doyen new photos hang on the black stripe of the lime striked dining/family room and some paintings, and there are blacklights and plastic fruit on the wall and white stripes on the ceiling and the balcony doors are open to the fresh air and the slow traffic on the street below. And the people down there know us and I hope they like us or at least don´t give a shit. Today, the night before the Piedras de Afilar domingo fiesta, the weather is warm and the women wonderful. Today I just found the world worth wandering.

I´ve neglected you, dear journal, yet again for too long. But the days go by with so little sometimes, aside from a good meal or human touch, I hardly feel like wasting words in the present. Instead I wait to reiterate in past tense WHAT HAS GONE ON. That´s it, the shit I was there for. Now I´m on the couch by the balcony listening to some artist called Bebe with two beautifuly giggly girls who are in a most "artful" state.

(Page of inappropriate poetry in Spanish written by Eugenia who is more giggly that beautiful right now)

Eugenia, la loca poeta, writing something nice? Yes nice. Like most the people here. Like Nico the muralist and Adi the guitarest/ex-stranger on the street, no my friend. And Mariana, and Sam and the faux Canadians on load from Chile and half the German crew and more. Of course there´s always more. So when you fin yourself with a ten person dinner party with more than a few different flags at the "table," you don´t think anything of it here at home. And strangers, passersby, bums, they have all been known to frequent our humble abode.

And I do mean humble. Even before the water main burst water was an on and off issue. Like sometimes it was on and the toilets flushed. Or sometimes it was off and you conveniently couldn´t do dishes for what can only be called "un rato." Un rato, what a great word to reflect the Latin AMerican sense of time. The bus is always coming in un rato. I always nap for un rato. Appointments are sometimes held up for many a rato until you are waiting at a coffee shop about to close, hours after the agreed upon time. "When is he coming, when are we going?" "Un rato."

So it´s a house full of good guys. When something doesn´t work we fix it. When something´s dirty, though not often, you fall drunkenly to sleep only to wake not soon before noon to random girlfriends of roomates cleaning your kitchen. In less words: shit works but it aint always pretty. Except our walls of course. That I suppose is the curse of an artist´s residence.

The photos next to our room are less scandalous than those in the lime room. The black and white walled nook is the best place for pictures in the house, imho, and it´s nice to wake up and ponder them in the mornings. I often wonder when everything will come down. When new things will go up. Sebastian wants me to put up some photos I´ve taken so I´ve got to go print some and then cook some food.

Seeing the UBCers makes me wanna go back. I heard Charles was on skype and that I missed him. I always do. It looks like I still have no idea when I´m going home but it probably won´t be soon. Christmas, New Years, something like that. In the meantime here´s my address for all who care to send me a letter or a CD or something. I do miss rock and roll so hook it up. I´m bummed I won´t be back for my birthday or Dip´s or Kaely´s (yay October babies!!) but I´ll be back sooner than you know it...

Sean Mullany
Calle Andes 1261
11100 Montevideo

Hasta pronto,