Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sir, You Left Something in the Pool



It's a cold night in Flagstaff, and I'm in the library dreaming of a sunny beach. I am reminded of a tale. It's no mystery that I enjoy a tan. Before you snarl and cast me aside like some orange, sun (bed) worshiping cast member of the Jersey Shore, keep in mind that even though I may lay in the (real) sun from time to time I do so safely (if there's such a thing). The day I'm about to tell you about is when my love affair with sunscreen began.

After a trip through Sonora, Mexico, a group of friends and I ended up in Phoenix for a couple days of R&R at one of their apartments. One afternoon, relaxed and reading by the pool, we were joined by a feeble old man with a wobbly gait. To our fright the old man disrobed revealing an itty bitty black Speedo and bones draped in paper thin skin; skin draped in shoddily placed Band-Aids; Band-Aids almost hiding open, oozing sores.

"No problem," I thought, "I can handle this." Right? Sure I might be a borderline gerontaphobe, germaphobe, agoraphobe, agliophobe, opensoreaphobe, and publicpoolaphobe but I remained composed. Until, that is, he jumped in the pool and at least one Band-Aid crept its way from the old man's hyde into the water. There in the pool bathed the old man, publicly cleansing the ooze from his mystery wounds. And there poolside, me, cringing, sweating, panicking.

Satisfied, the old man retired. Walking toward his lounge chair, he crossed in front of me, stopped, took note of my UV overdose, reattached a loose Band-Aid, and said, "You'd better be careful or you'll end up looking like me."

Terrified and speechless, I stole Kimmy's bottle of CopperTone SPF 70 and finished the thing off.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

ZOMBIE USA

A peak at the First Annual Flagstaff Zombie Flesh Crawl:

 
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Zombie business

Looking for the undead details and updates? Here's the new Flagstaff thread on the official site.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Read Me:

In need of a mind blow? Here it is. Fadiman's ethnographic, historical, and journalistic combo will leave you questioning biomedical practitioners, the significance of ethnomedicine and alternative methods of healing, non-western concepts of health and illness, and the history of the Hmong and their contributions to America. "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" is disturbing, enlightening, and unforgettable. I love medical anthropology.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Flagstaff Zombie Flesh Crawl



EVERY cool city has an annual zombie walk/fest/march/crawl event around Halloween time. To my knowledge Flagstaff is the exception. Until 2010, that is.

Ladies, gentlemen, and zombies,
Let it be know that today marks the birth of the Annual Flagstaff Zombie Flesh Crawl.

WHAT: Zombie walk through Downtown, followed by Zombie Ball in the square/food drive for St. Mary's Food Bank
WHEN: Friday, October 29, 2010 @ 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Heritage Square, Downtown Flagstaff
WHO: All living dead and fans thereof. Individuals, friends, children, families, grandparents, dogs, etc.
WHY: Because Halloween in Flag needs a jump start, everyone needs an excuse to get their zombie on, Flag food banks need community support, and Zombies make life worth living, or not.

If you have any advice, concerns, etc., PLEASE let me know! I need your help.
See you in the square!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Part II

Here they are folks. I apologize for leaving you so long without so much as a glimpse of Trish's beflared orange Crocs. Now you can bask in their glory. You're welcome.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Summer Affair

There is no way I will be able to capture the treasure trough that is my dear friend *Trish, but I simply cannot keep her to myself any longer. I met her in San Diego at the New Roots Farm. Trish lives across the street, has a plot at the farm, and grows a very handsome carrot. Within a week of meeting her I knew we had something special and I told her so. She proposed that we get to know each other on a more intimate level, and I consented. It all happened so fast; butterflies were swarming in my gut when she invited me over to her place, I hopped into bed, took a few deep breaths, and she whispered, "Are you ready?" "Yes", I responded, "I think I am." And so it happened, there was no turning back, my mind was made up. Trish reached her hand under the sheet, tickled me, rubbed me just right, then bluntly asked, "Do you have diarrhea?"

I guess those weren't butterflies.

Never have I revealed the inner workings of my mind and soul and er, bowels so quickly. With Trish however, it all flowed like clockwork, via my feet. You see, Trish is no ordinary woman, she is my foot reflexologist.

It started as an orange glow slowly creeping toward me. The glow steadily took shape and I could see that it wasn't a hovering orb, rather a woman. No, not just any old woman, a rosy-cheeked, stocky, 40-something woman dressed in an orange shirt, orange fleece vest, orange hat, and best of all, bright orange Crocs. She greeted me, I said, "Good morning", she said, "Well it's okay, but I just found out I'm allergic to red and yellow food dyes so I can't eat any of my favorite foods anymore. Isn't it ironic how red and yellow make orange. That means I can't eat cheese or Cheetos. And I am STARVING." From that moment on our relationship blossomed.

During my first foot reflexology session my feet revealed to Trish that I have persistent neck and shoulder pains, childhood trauma, an irritable bowel, anxiety being alone, sinus congestion, a fever, a severe learning disability, and my most favorite ailment of all, an itchy anus. I disagreed to most of what she read but I was constantly reminded that, "Feet don't lie." Lying or not, my feet were definitely talking. So much in fact that my energy was finding its way into Trish's body and releasing itself in the form of burps, sneezes, and "toots." Classy, Trish.

My problems might sound drastic but at least I'm not Trish who confessed to having an even more severe learning disability, stubborn yeast infections, lines consistent with homosexuality, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, back, shoulder, neck and hip pain, teeth and gums "issues", etc., etc.

Speaking of those lines, Trish is "not gay", in fact she recently subscribed to a dating website in hopes of finding Mr. Right. Fair enough, but "feet don't lie", right? Besides, "What's so wrong with taking a bath with your best friend. It'd be a shame to run a whole bath for just one body." Said she. Trust me, I didn't let this one slip by. Forgive my prudence and possible naivete, but bathing with one's bf is not normal, is it?

Trish is one of my favorite people from summer 2010. She knows more about me than I'm comfortable with, but somehow her incessant talking and offering of TMI without any probing on my end is what makes her so darned likable.



*name has been changed

Friday, August 20, 2010

How To Be Alone

Roomie knows I like to see the occasional movie alone so she sent me the link to this video. I like it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Roots

Friends and food at the farm:


Click on collage to enlarge

*Note the photo of the couple sitting on the ground was taken by my friend Ellie Jeffers. She knows what's up in the photo world.

"Man, I Haven't Written in Forever!"



Finding motivation to blog post-India has proved difficult. I don't keep a journal. I'm terrible at it; an unfortunate flaw in an aspiring anthropologist. On a recent trip to visit family and friends in Oregon, I looked through a series of journals that I filled about an eighth of each. It was difficult to read past the first sentence of most entries, they all began the same way: "Man, I haven't written in forever!" or, "I'm sorry I haven't written in so long, I'll try harder!" Sick. My collection of mostly empty lackluster journals make me out to be something comparable to a chronic New Year's resolution failure. Basically I do not want to be remembered by what I unfortunately chose to write-- or didn't. Anyway, this isn't the topic I want to write about tonight, I just want to apologize 'cause, man, I haven't written in forever!

But I do have excuses! I've been busy. And I have had a mostly interesting and somewhat fun summer. I feel like serving you an update in one of those drawn-out Christmas card style lists. Merry Christmas!

-I currently live in San Diego, CA
-Intern at a nonprofit refugee aid organization called the International Rescue Committee
-Work in Food Security and Community Health Department, spend most of my time at an urban farm where 80 refugee families have taken charge of their own food systems
-Though they have taught me everything I know about farming, I get to "help" the farmers care for, harvest, package, market, and sell produce
-Conducting research on food security, diet change, and refugee identity
-Work Monday through Friday 8 to 8
-Growing my own garden with the help of good friend Shelleybot
-I love farming and think my destined route involves the anthropology of food and nutrition
-Discovered my inner carnie while working at the San Diego County Fair selling Mexican food over July 4th weekend, plus a few other days. Nutrition, I learned, does not exist at county fairs. Deep fried butter anyone (yes, the photo is real)? How about chocolate covered bacon?
-Three Disneyland trips
-Two Huntington Beach trips. One to reunite with my long lost baby brother
-A new love for wakeboarding
-Ocean kayaking
-Went home to Oregon for a few days: hiked, ate, saw fam and friends, biked, attended a fantastic wedding and boogied into the night
-Undergoing foot reflexology: "Feet DON'T Lie." Awkward, hilarious, and not life changing (a cache of details to come. Eventually.)
-Bikram Yoga: Life changing. Seriously

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Taj Mania

Changes colors throughout the day:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bollywood Train

Place: Goa Express train. Hour: 19. Hours remaining: 29. Final destination: Agra.

India, a country one-third the size of the United States is home to 1.5 BILLION people. Although we chose the hottest month to visit, a month that sees very few tourists, we failed to realize that May is also India's holiday month. 1.5 billion people very easily fill all of the country's trains and buses every day, let alone during Indian holiday. We very quickly learned an important lesson about domestic travel in India: book ahead.

Even though we were sold tickets aboard the Goa Express, we were not sold confirmed seats. No seats. 48 hours. At this particular hour we were seated--me on a stack of sheets and Kimmy on her backpack--in the toilet compartment between train cars.

Temperature: approximately 115 Fahrenheit. Kimmy: confused and sweaty. Me: tired and sweatier. The smell: dehydrated curry-laced urine. The surroundings: a mustachioed rail employee is shoved and screamed at by a younger, louder, angrier, passenger.

When chaos erupted we played it cool and casually observed the drama, as if it were just another scene from a typical 19-hour Bollywood film. Though I secretly feared for our lives (especially once I noticed that the younger man was packin' heat), I desperately wished I could understand Hindi to follow the juicy details. Unfortunately, the fight did not conclude with a song and dance number, instead the younger man forced his papers into Mustache's face and forced him to look through them and acknowledge his person. The younger man stormed out of the compartment, bags in tote, and that was that. Or so we thought.

Not five minutes had passed when our cozy toilet compartment door swung open and the the same young man burst through. He went for Kimmy first; speaking English he demanded that she get up and follow him. She hesitantly stood, I shot her a worried look and I could sense the desperation and raw fear burning her soul. He opened the compartment door and led her to a bed she could share with another girl. They disappeared into the cool air-conditioned car and I wriggled upon the sheet stack I claimed as my own, sculpting myself some comfort in preparation for the long night ahead. Again however, the door shot open and I was confronted with the young man. He told me to get up, I did. Assured me my "wife" was comfortable on a bed, then told me to follow him back. Reluctantly I grabbed my backpack, and dragging it behind me, I followed the young man. My fuzzy, sleep-deprived mind thought for a moment that I too might be offered a bed, shared or not, it didn't matter, and I was momentarily ecstatic.

The young man came to an abrupt stop and explained that I could share a bed with him, I was his "special guest." He shook my hand and introduced himself as a "very important man", and a "captain in the Indian Army." Then he showed me the bed. It was in a triple-tiered sleeper unit and "his" bed was on top. He took my backpack from me, threw it in the middle of the unit, yelled at a couple other passengers, told me how "ignorant" they were, and hopped up to the top bunk. Then he told me to follow suit. Slightly afraid of El Capitan and in no mood to be fondled on the top bunk of an Indian train at 3:00 a.m. I quickly weighed my options and decided that some sleep on a bed with a strange, obviously unstable man, in an A/C car, and with the possibility of a groping would be better than none behind a squat toilet with an ever-present symphony of flatulence at 115 degrees. So I hopped up.

"Regret" doesn't quite capture my immediate feelings. The bed, approximately 16 inches wide wasn't nearly as bad as its proximity to the train ceiling; I'd say 12 inches at most, and it couldn't have been more than 5 feet long. And Captain didn't hesitate to sprawl out. I might have been his "special guest" but it was his bed and he was set on sleeping. I, at his bare feet, sat hunched, neck bent, hugging my legs, and compacted to the point of cramping. Captain saw this as an opportune time for some pillow talk. I died, more from his B.O. than anything. I was upset about having to talk to him only because it prevented me from attempting a self-induced coma. His topic of choice? Girls. At least I was safe from any fondling.

After a few minutes of chit-chat and giggles his phone rang. His girlfriend (at 3:30 a.m. Curious, I know). My peaceful coma was nearing and he must have been gabbing away for at least 20 minutes before the old lady on the bottom bunk shrieked something that was probably similar to "shut up." And that's how showdown number 2 began.

Old lady's boldness didn't make Captain one bit happy. He jumped down from his bed, she stood up from hers and a yell war erupted. Blessed momentarily with the gift of tongues I was able to decipher that Captain's bed actually belonged to the old lady, and she was fed up. In the midst of the commotion an old man, also in our unit tapped my toe and asked to see my ticket. I handed it over, he gazed at it for a moment then declared, "NOT CONFIRMED", the line we had heard countless times throughout the journey. He shoved my ticket in Captain's face, showed the old lady and the other passengers around us; they were all staring at me. I unfolded my numb body and jumped down from the bed, grabbed my ticket, shook Captain's hand, thanked him for his generosity, claimed my backpack, and booked it back to my toilet compartment for some peace and quiet.

Hours remaining: 27.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tomb

The Taj Mahal was breathtaking. There's not much else I can say.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Faces

India was fantastic. It feels like a dream. I'm almost convinced it didn't really happen. I guess though the proof is in the pictures. Here's a sprinkle of some faces we came across while there. I'll likely be writing about and showing photos of this trip for months to come, be patient with me.

Taj

Watch this video of me and Kimmybot2000 atop a roof in Agra gazing at the Taj Mahal and discussing the important things in life.

video

Monday, May 3, 2010

भारत

Oh. Did I mention I'm leaving for India in four days? भारत!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Belles in my Future

During my senior year of college I participated with a string quartet in a Christmas performance at the Laie, Hawaii LDS Temple Vistor's Center. We were just one of several acts. My favorite act by a mile however, was the Laie Belles, a group of 12 or so decrepit Mormon women. Despite their many stops and starts and inability to actually create music I felt an urge to learn the bells. Needless to say I asked them if there was any chance they'd let a 20-something man join the group, even just unofficially as an honorary member. I recall suggesting they call themselves the Laie Belles and a Gentleman (Ugh. I'll understand if you choose to disown me).

The head Belle laughed at my idea, she clearly didn't take me seriously. My will to learn the bells however, pressed on, an inescapable desire. Not a month later, to my delight a spritely senior missionary couple, the Farley's, who also happened to be former members of the famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir, were assigned to work with my congregation. Naturally, they worked especially close with our own choir and eventually sweet Sister Farley unveiled what might as well have been the holy grail: a box of shining, crisp, seductive bells. Bells fit for a king.

I immediately claimed stake to at least one bell, demanding of course, that it be the bell with charismatic solos; a bell allowing me to perform the bell-playing abilities that I knew I innately possessed. My demand was met and, more carefully than a surgeon, I gloved my hands and took to learning my part. If I couldn't be the Belle's star gentleman I sure as heck would make sure the spotlight found me in this new church choir.

I learned my part and could make my bell sing the sweetest melody. It possessed a timbre so moving it could make even Kate Gosselin cry. My part? One note, one solid ring of the low F#. So maybe I wasn't the star I envisioned, but my note was important. It came on a loud, intense downbeat after a long silent pause.

The big day arrived. I polished my bell and practiced my counts and the big ring. Our group took our places on the risers in front of the entire university and began. The singers and bells blended beautifully. My ring approached and the song became slow motion. I could feel the blood rushing to my head. I felt woozy, nervous, anxious. I forgot the lyrics, stopped singing and lost count. The pause, my cue, came too quickly and I panicked. I gritted my teeth, swallowed hard. Slow motion turned to warp speed but I shook my nerves and managed to completely recompose myself and find my place in the music. Then, with every bit of confidence in the world and with all my strength I lifted the bell over my head, pulled it back for increased momentum and GONNNNnnG!!! I rang that sweet, shining bell. Not one, but two counts too early.

I ruined the choir number and managed to do it in front of my whole school. Better yet, my big moment was captured in the BYU-Hawaii newspaper.

That image is below. I guess I'll never be an honorary Belle.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dearest Housewives:

I washed and dried this pair of red wax lips with my clothes. Fail.



Why couldn't it have been the 'stache of wonders?



Roomie swore up and down that her natural stain remover stick would do the trick. Fail.

After three hot cycles and four days, this morning my laundry sat in the washing machine sad, bestained, and sour.

I got to thinking. Recently I participated in a greasy service project. So greasy in fact, that we relied on a mechanic's orange and pumice hand cleaner to do the trick. Grease on hands? Why not greasy/red wax stains on clothing? BINGO. Success. Thank you Fast Orange with pumice for restoring my clothing to its natural state. Housewives? Get on it, you can thank me later.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

jet

I'm going on a trip and it's almost all I can think about. Also, I am wicked into classic movies right now.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Me Being Serious.

Every now and again I get the urge to be nice. I am a family home evening coordinator at church, (a job, I never realized until now, that takes a lot of time!) and stumbled upon a webite full of ideas. I haven't dissected the site yet, I actually didn't need to because the first idea it led me to was perfect for Monday's lesson. The topic was service, and I wanted to incorporate a quick and easy project into the lesson. The perfect solution? Make A Child Smile, a nonprofit organization that spotlights several terminally ill kids at a time, providing their bios and contact info. and the opportunity to write them a letter. I love this concept.

Our small group wrote and mailed about 10 letters. These kids are living through horrible circumstances, difficult to think about, but hopefully a couple kids will feel better for a minute or two and smile. Take five minutes and try it out for yourself, it feels kind of good.

Friday, March 5, 2010

All the Apparatus

A few of my friends from the BYU-Hawaii days are in this band, All the Apparatus. It may be a biased mild obesssion, but it's a mild obsession nonethless, I really enjoy their stuff. Love this song and its accompanying music video as much as I do, and if you're in Portland go find them on the streets somewhere downtown and hear it live.




Support the cause and buy their album here

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sundayches

I suffer from the Sunday Headache. Right now I have a headache. It has always been a little bit of a joke and I haven't given it much thought until recently. While visiting my family over the break I confessed to my mom one rainy Sunday afternoon that I had an epic head splitting Sundayche. She shot back, "What! Your dad has a headache every Sunday too." "No!" I shrieked. Total truth. This, along with an allergy to the beach, is my all-time favorite genetic inheritance (disorder).

Today I am in Phoenix defrosting and delaying my homework, and finally Googled "I have a headache every sunday". Though I could not find an official medical response I discovered that the Sundayche is not so uncommon. The answer? Precisely what my dear friend Kimmybot hypothesized, weekly shock to my biological clock. I am busy, not overwhelmingly so, but my plate is considerably full Monday through Saturday and when I finally settle down for a day and sleep later than is probably healthy, my mind and body panic.

I like this answer and I'm sticking with it, but a few gaps remain; why did I have a Sundayche while visiting my family in Oregon and far from busy? Am I crazy? Did I expect the pain and bring it upon myself? Do I have any brain doctor friends who might provide me a logical answer? Preferably one living in Reykjavik who also has connections to national tourism councils? Thanks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010

I have a busy year ahead of me. School is set to challenge me even more than it has the last few months, I hope to find a museum internship, and I've decided that I will go to Antarctica.

I am absolutely in love with the beach and I've seen my fair share of them, but my trip to the desert last March gave me a taste of something new. It is well known that Iceland needs me and will eventually come beckoning, but until then I'm taking matters into my own hands and proving that I can handle some cold air.

In other news I have been at my parent's home in Oregon for the last two and a half weeks and weighed in tonight at a staggering 193, exactly 14 pounds heavier than when I arrived. And I can't get my mind off of the seared ahi burger from Bricktops restaurant in Nashville. Salivating at 2:15 in the morning.

Greatest Job in the World II

I'm still waiting for Iceland to contact me...

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's a Sign!

I have been obsessed with visiting Iceland for decades (well half of one, at least) and even more so in the last few months. Today I realized that I got my first hit from Reykjavik(!), a possible coincidence but complete sign. Do you remember a year ago when the Queensland, Australia tourism bureau created such a worldwide frenzy that its "Greatest Job in the World" website and videos went viral and literally shutdown for a while?

Iceland, do you remember? If you don't I'm happy to remind you.

In early 2009 Tourism Queensland, in an effort to promote tourism of the islands in the Great Barrier Reef, had an open call for their the newly created "Island Caretaker" position. Candidates were required to submit 60-second videos about their qualifications and interests. 34,000 videos were submitted but it came down to one fella from England who landed the job that required daily blogging, surfing, diving, snorkeling, "testing" resorts, island hopping, and eating. I can't say I followed his blog regularly, but every now and then over the last year I enviously skimmed through some writings and photos. The result? People around the globe realize that those islands exist; I'd call it a success.

Now, Iceland, I can't imagine your tourism is as bumpin' as it could be or you'd like it to be, despite frequent surprisingly affordable flights from the U.S. You have lots to share with the world, imagine the impact that a "contest" using borrowed ideas from the "Greatest Job in the World" would have. It would excite me, at least. In my humble opinion rigging the gig wouldn't be a terrible idea (I would be honored, thanks!) Also, if you you're not too keen on the contest idea but somewhat interested in increasing visits from the U.S. I am quite willing to negotiate a deal. I would love to spend time in Iceland and blog my heart out about your amazing-ness. Capiche?

Call me.