Monday, June 30, 2008

A Whirlwind Summer!

I know I've been gone a lot lately but here's why...I've been having soooo much fun. Here's my dad fishing a couple weeks back when we rented a boat and fished Lake Kapowsin out in the relative Puget Sound Boonies.

Shortly after the fishing trip I got to go hiking up at the Carbon River Glacier Entrance to the Mount Rainier National Park with my awesome friend Katie. Here she is standing under one of the many fallen trees that extended the hike to the Glacier to a blistering 17.5 miles roundtrip. We didn't make this hike, instead going to two waterfalls and a Green Lake which were side hikes that didn't disappoint.

The Hike to Green lake included some snow crossing and a lake that lived up to its simple name. Yes it was really green. I later slipped and fell in and got one shoe soaking wet. I got to enjoy the 5 plus mile walk back tot the car with one wet shoe and one dry shoe.

There were also some extremely huge trees and equally huge smiles to go along with them. What an amazing day.

After that can you believe it? But then I went up to Seattle for the Fremont Solstice Parade to see the freaks and weirdos as well as catch some great food, see FLOWMOTION at the Rocket Stage and then later on to the Showbox to enjoy a wonderful night with Railroad Earth. Yet another very awesome day with Stephie, my brother, Leslie, Sam, Sharon, Matt, Derek, Rachel, and a whole host of other wonderful festival friends.

With my trip to Los Angeles and Rosorito Mexico Looming in the future you'd think I'd take it easy and just relax but NO WAY I snuck down to Olympia to take my friend Randall Skimboarding at the Ocean. He's lived in Washington his whole life and never been all the way to the Washington coast to see the mighty Pacific. We had a great day of skimboarding, jetty walking, and laughing our asses off cracking jokes and bumping old school hip hop records.

The next day I got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles where I was picked up by my friend Mason. We enjoyed some dinner out in Venice Beach and Santa Monica. The next day we got up and drove town to Rosorito with Reese and Brianna (sp? one n or two?)

Mexico/Rosorito was such a vivid and exotic experience that I'm not exactly sure how much of it I would like to include in the very modest blog. Due to student readership and other circumstances I will choose to leave out many of the details of this incredible adventure. Either way it will take longer to sum up the experience than I have now. My next blog post will undoubtedly be yet another attempt to catch up on documenting and reporting on my unbelievable life.

SOON TO COME: The Rosorito Experiment.

Needless to say, I love being on vacation and can't imagine my life being anything else other than a constant pursuit of leisure. I'm glad I worked so long and hard this winter to be able to have the longest vacation of my short life.

Much love to all my friends and family that have let me be a part of their lives. I'll report again soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Return to the Heart of memory

So the lack of posts has a reason. I've been fishing. I returned to the great homeland of my youth Omak, Okanogan, and Conconully for a reminiscent weekend of fishing with my brother Hal. We navigated mostly by memory and were able to find all these special places of our youth.

We went and visited Dave and Fran the owners of the apple orchard our grandparents lived at overlooking Omak. All these memories came flooding back as if I was a child again. Hal and I both agreed that we were high on life and proud to be who we are and where we are from.

After visiting with Fran and Dave we drove up into the hills to the tiny resort community of Conconully. We quickly set up camp at the state park in the middle of town and were off for dinner and karaoke at the Tamarack. It was really really funny to hang out with the locals who took to us fondly after discovering we used to live there.

The next day we fished all day long. We returned to Whitestone Lake outside of Tonasket because we had really good luck there once 12 years ago. Unfortunately the blue gill have taken over the lake and made any sort of respectable fishing impossible. It was fun, beautiful, and a nice swim.

We then moved on to a pond at the end of the Upper Conconully Lake. After some treacherous footing and bad luck we moved down the reservoir and fished along the rocks for bass. After more bad luck my brother spotted a very protective fish along the banks that was pretty big. He couldn't get it to bite on anything but it would always chase fish away. I put on a crappie jig and basically reeled it and hit him in the head. This seemed to piss him off and hit bit it! I reeled him in but he was so big he snapped the 4 lb. leader. I got away jig still in his mouth.

But, then he returned. I put on another jig, hit him in the head again and he bit it again. This time I got him out of the water on the shore before the line snapped again. Without hesitation I leaped into the water and grabbed him with my bare hands. I threw him up the bank immediately to my brother. The look on his face as this monster bass was flying through the air towards him was priceless.

We fished a few other places too but after that we were done. It was the only keeper fish we caught all day. I joked with Hal that if you added up all the gas money, gear, camping fees, food and fun expenses, this was atleast a $300 fish.

The next day we fished a little, visited the top of the hill and our old home. We just couldn't get over the feeling that this place is real, we are from here and we are proud to be who we are. We made a pact to come back and do the trip every summer, if only for a weekend. Hopefully our parents will be able to join us next time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What the Hell Is Going On

Upon awakening for class today, my brother felt the need to awaken me from my warm and lonely slumber to inform me that something remarkable was taking place outside. I was thinking in my head "What is it snowing or something?"

Then he said, "Dude its a freaking white out snow blizzard!" ...or something like that I can't remember I just woke up.

Dude indeed, he was right, I peered through the blinds out the window and this is what I saw!
Thats right, call it climate change, call it coincedence, call it a freak of nature or call it a miracle but don't call it normal, SNOW IN MID JUNE IN PULLMAN is absolutely unbelievable, no, its ludicrous, no its unacceptable.

Normally I would be ever so excited to go frolic out in the summer winterland, theres just one problem...I JUST FREAKING CAME FROM THERE. I don't want snow. I don't want to see it for 3 months. I want 90 degree heat, sunshine, armpit and ass so hot you have to lay in a kiddy pool hot summer weather, I need it actually, want has nothing to do with it. But it looks like that dirty bastard Mr. Winter has followed me to the barren desert of the Washington Columbia Valley.

What if this continues? What if everywhere I go it snows? What if global warming and subsequent ice age just started just for m and there will never be summer again? What if I never feel heat again? What if, nay, Oh MY GOD (thats not there) what if I never get to go swimming in a lake in the sweltering eve of a July evening again. Oh lord (I don't believe in) you have smited me oh mighty smiter why oh why oh why have you done this. What did I do to deserve eternal winter? Fine but don't expect any witty banter or angelic poetry from me in the afterlife, just send me straight to hell, at least there its HOT!

That last photo is taken from downtown Pullman, I'm currently enjoying a triple 16 oz. Irish Creme Latte at the Daily Grind coffee shop. I had a breakfast burrito too and they gave me a fruit cup to go with. I'm not really a fan of canned fruit but I guess I should eat it, there are starving people in Africa that would if they could. I have to say though at there its warm (Ok enough snow bashing).

What else has been going on lately? I've been doing some fishing down at the snake river with my brother (no pics in the moment). I caught a nice little large mouth bass yesterday but we weren't very successful the rest of the day so I let him go (till next time). I think fishing in Alaska spoiled me, I'm used to going to a river, with no skill, and pulling out 5-10 giant trout and then going home. So far all we've caught is 3-4 smallish large mouth bass, a few tiny small mouth bass, a squaw fish, and a couple baby steel heads. Pathetic.

I read some poetry at open mic night last night. I wrote this one poem last year in Tacoma and read it and everyone laughed so hard. It was about love and had a bunch of metaphors and similes and I was very sad when I wrote it. But last night, in my ornery state, it was incredibly funny. Everyone was laughing and enjoying the tragedy that was my view on love. I delivered it in my best Mitch Hedberg styling and it totally killed! I've posted it before I think, but I let everyone have another go of it.

November 5th, 2007

A loves end comes dirty and ashamed like a child fallen in mud.
Or sometimes, like a rabbit jumping into a burrow.
Other times it goes out like a fire in a raining morning.
Love leaves us and we leave it like a little brother on a Saturday night.
Love scares us like a car accident, inevitable, calm and shocking.
Love wanders out of our lives as the elderly wander aisle to aisle in a store.
Love warns us like a beacon lighthouse off the shore of rocky oblivion.
Love staggers us like a punch in the gut.
Love lifts us above its head and says "Who's my special boy?"
Love takes hostages and tortures them endlessly.
Love sweeps us into a dustpan.
It can begin in a shore break crashing the beach and then ebb away glimmering in the sand.
Scars as permanent as bullet holes it leaves behind.
Love embeds itself in our shattered marrow.
Love is empty like the cup that I drink from.
Love is a game where nobody wins and somebody loses.
Unbalanced love, the worst kind, tips the scales in pricey directions.
Love knows your faults and eats them for breakfast.
Love strings you out on a clothes line.
Love is warm like an old blanket.
Love is cold like and empty home.
Love is strenuous like an uphill climb.
Love is easy like a water slide.
Love is a place you love to go but seldom do.
Love is where you grew up.
Love is where you grow old.
Love is massive and twinkling.
Love is scrawny and weak.
Love is an embarrassment to the family.
Love is unacceptable and expected.
Love is somewhere in Antarctica.
Love is a crater on the moon.
Love, oh love, is sweet in the cupcake sort of way.
Love thinks cupcakes are disgusting.
Love is a cheater like that friend who always tries to look at your cards.
Love is the end of a French film, confusing and unsatisfying.
Love doesn't have subtitles.
Love and the wind cry Mary.
In the dark night in a jungle of love, oh how the kookaburras sing.

So yeah, I don't know if I feel like that exactly anymore, but hey, maybe neither does love.

On to other things (in case you haven't noticed I'm trying to make it up to you my faithful readers for the lack of posting) I'm feeling very somber lately. It seems that summer comes at a price. Not a monetary price so much (although my bank account has noticed) but a price of the mind. I frequently have the same cycle of thoughts running through my head.

The first being all the crap I need to do to get ready for class this fall. Why am I thinking about school, I'm not even home 3 weeks and already I'm thinking of Alaska. Then I think about how I don't even know if I really want to go back to Alaska right now. I mean I am going back, I signed the contract, my crap is still there, but I don't know if I really want to go back for another winter. I've met so many cool people already, and spent time with them and family, and they just seem so much more important to me then the good people of bush Alaska. I'm not talking down on them, I'm just realizing that I took the Washington people for granted. Then I think well dude, you are going back so you better enjoy it here and stop thinking about all that stuff. And then I think well crap, there are so many people to see and so much stuff to do before I go back that I better make sure I do it all and see everyone. And then that builds into more pressure in my mind thinking that the only thought that kept me going all winter long was this peaceful easy existence of leisurely enjoying a summer free of responsibility only to find that it is completely overgrown by a different kind of responsibility, a responsibility to people. Then I think, you know what, I worked my ass off all summer so I could be a leaf in the wind this summer, and I need to stop telling people where I'm going to be and doing all the planning. If I'm going to live in the moment and be summer rambler then I need to tell people to keep me updated on what they're doing in life. Then I'll pick what I WANT to do instead of stretching my life and mind thin trying to please other people. I know this all sounds very un Radiate Warmth but seriously, I can't do any good, or give any love if I'm always stressed out trying to make sure I see everyone and equal amount of time so that no one feels left out. Its stupid. So I say, "If I'm with you right now, we're together, where we should be, and if not, then enjoy where you're at and we'll get where we're supposed to be ok?"

And with that I guess I'll leaf it (bah dum psh).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wednesday in Pullman, Washington.

After 3 long days of moving we are almost done. I hate moving. I hate it. Yes its fun to set up a new pad, go grocery shopping for new condiments, and drink out of plastic pizza pipeline cups for a couple of days but after a while you just want to come home. Me and my brothers lives have been in shambles for 3 days making this transition. Now we are finally all moved in (and its not even my place).

I have moved so much crap in and out of this town. Moved here and back home once every year for college. Moved in the middle of the year twice (Australia and house changes). Moved to Tacoma at the end. Thats twelve moves in 6 years ECH! I just hate the fact that it won't get done unless you do it, and if you half ass it, you'll pay for it in the end when it takes longer because of laziness.

But there is so much crap that goes along with moving; cleaning, painting; poster taking up and downing, scrubbing, banging your hands on wall while carrying crap, cutting yourself on stuff, awkward positions trying to geometrically figure out how to get a love seat into a covered patio, and figuring out how to plug in all your crap with hardly any outlets. That' life though. Moving on from one place to another. I just wish it were simple like the cave men used to do. You just wake up, scratch your ass and start walking.

We got so much SHIT these days and every time you move you just move your crap from one place to another. Crap you don't even need, but its yours, you must have it, because on this endless expanse of Earth you just have to know that you HAVE something.

"Oh yeah thats mine" or "Yep, thats mine right there, I OWN IT"

These possessions, we don't own them, they own us. Thats what I say.

My brother is taking a nap right now. And I am gonna settle on in for a big post. I don't know where its gonna go but I feel like I've neglected you fair readers with all my adventures and lack of writing.

I'm sitting on this back porch treefort thing my brother has in the back of his house. And I'm just listening to the world. The sounds that make me happy. I can hear a myriad of birds. Small little chirps and whistles that remind me that I am in eastern Washington. The birds have a sound here that reminds of my child hood and of college. The birds in Alaska sound foreign to me and there aren't many of them around sometimes. But now, there are soooo many little guys out there. Bustling around from branch to phone line and back again. Looking for a mate, feeding their babies, or maybe, just maybe, simply calling up to the universe to remind it that they are still here.

I hear machines too. Cars and trucks and buses. Accelerating and braking, the sound of tires running across sewer grates and garbage. People, like birds, back and forth from location to location. Thats what we do I guess, move around. We rarely stay still unless we're sleeping.

Time is flying by already. Its funny how much I looked forward to "summer." All the things I would get to do, all the people I would get to visit. And now, here I am, in the moments that kept me sane through a cold desolate isolated winter of nothingness and solitude. I think of my students from time to time (But not that often to be honest). I think about the fact that I still don't know who my new principal is. I think of my dwindling bank account due to a phenomenon I can only describe as "Its been so long" What I mean is that everything I eat, drink, do or visit is something I feel like I haven't done in SO LONG. So I don't care how much it costs I just have to do it.

That is one good thing about Alaska, they have nothing, so when you finally get out of it everything has been revirginized in your mind. Its like I'm living life for the first time again. The only thing that I can't shake is that I'm going back up there for some reason. I really don't know why at the moment. Hopefully when summer is over I'll feel more excited about returning to my island in the Bering Sea. Right now I wish I would have started looking for a new teaching job. I'm afraid I'll get stuck up there. I'm afraid that if I teach there too long I'll lose my ability to teach 5 classes of 30 students. I'm afraid if I go back I'll return again someday but look, act, and feel even weirder than I already do, what if I get too weird? (I think its too late)

Another thing that is bothering me is how much pressure I'm putting on myself to see people. I have so many people right now that I want to hang out with that I'm feeling spread very thin. I have to find time for family, friends, romance, and new acquaintances. A day here and a day there isn't fair. I don't like being that guy that just pops in and hangs out then leaves again. I think all this visiting people has made me realize I don't want to live up in Alaska for much longer. I want to find a home. A home that I like, that I want to be in so that I can be around my people, people who don't have a name for me that means WHITE GUY. If I lived here I could spend time with people and it wouldn't carry so much goddamn weight.

My mom tells me this story, one that I kind of remember, about how upset I would get every summer when our family would go to Banks Lake to camp for a week. I inevitably would make fast friends with some kids my age from around the campground and then when they had to leave after a couple of days of bike riding and sand cave digging I would just sit in my tent and cry all day because I'd never see them again. Thats still how I kind of feel today. I love people so much that when I'm not around them it makes me really sad, like I'm missing out on all the good times we could be having together.

Oh life, why must you be so awesome?

I'll write again tomorrow, good bye peoples.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My New Life...The Pursuit of Leisure

Well, I am in my old stomping grounds of Pullman Washington at WSU for a couple of weeks. I frequented all my old local establishments and realized there is no one left that I know. That is a weird feeling, to know how college is truly a place of dynamic change, and switching of people. A few townies still exist but not a single "friend" that stayed. The structures are the same, the buildings, houses, apartment complexes, but the people are different, younger, and this is important.

Its been a year and half since I set foot in this town (maybe longer). When I left I kind of felt like saying "Go Fuck Yourself" to this place (school is out I'm gonna swear a little more...sorry deal with it). Pullman wore me out, tired my soul. I left battered and bruised and heartless. It took me a long time to gain back what this place took away. And now I'm back here after all this time, sitting in my favorite chair at my favorite coffee shop, typing on my laptop and it is for pleasure and reflection, not for class, it is a symbol of how everything is different now.

I'm here, I'm back in town, I'm old comparatively to all these fresh faced young bucks and lassies, but I feel young. I looked at myself in the mirror today, and I felt good about me. Not in a "I think I'm good looking" way, but just that I appreciate how I'm getting older, I like my wrinkles and my style and I like being me. I don't want to be anyone else. I can honestly say that the last time I was in this town that wasn't the case. So that is something important I think.

On to other notes, It is sooooooo nice to have no job. I mean, never in my entire life have I just been able to do whatever I want. This certainly is the first real vacation from responsibility I've had in my entire life. Its really a quite incredible feeling. When I lived in Australia it was similar, but I was broke all the time. But now, To have the funds, the time, the peace of mind to simply pursue things that make me happy. I think I know why it might be nice to be rich someday. Not having anything that you are required to do is addicting. Its like "What do I want to do today? Hmmm I want to go to a movie, or I want to go fishing, or I want to go to a coffee shop and blog about how I have nothing to do" and then you just freaking do it. Awesome, simply awesome. But, you know what? I paid for this right, I paid dearly. An entire winter, isolated and alone, working my ass off for a bunch of people who don't even necessarily like me or want me there, going home every night to cook for myself alone and cry myself to sleep in an empty bed (hehehe so dramatic) but seriously, I paid for this shit. Thats why I'm going back up to the AK for another year. If you want to have 3 months of unedited leisure and pursuit of relaxation then you have to work for it, you gotta pay your dues and sing your blues if you wanna get into a situation like this.

So The rest of the week. I'm helping my brother move into his new spot, going fishing, strolling leisurely through the streets of my youth, and right now, on the stereo at the Daily Grind coffee shop "FREEBIRD" is playing, Jesus, it couldn't be more fitting if it tried.
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