Tuesday, July 29, 2008

open your eyes

On somewhat frequent occasions, I find myself completely overwhelmed by the beauty in the world. maybe its because i live 10 minutes from the beach and get to walk by crashing waves and sailing pelicans every morning on my way to work. Or perhaps it's just my personality, completely engulfed in nature itself and always floored by how stinking amazing the stars are or a jellyfish floating along underwater.

Sometimes it's human compassion which overwhelms me. This happens on much less frequent occasion than the previously mentioned. But it happened this week. I ran out of gas (I was waiting for prices to go back down) and I had my loving family on the way in like 20 minutes. And then, Uncle Neil didn't even need to come because a sweet old man in a Cal-trans truck gave me 1 gallon of free gas AND helped me merge back onto the freeway. It was incredible.

I gonna post a bunch of pictures of the most beautiful places I've been, but I started admiring my photos and and my life when I was looking deciding which ones to put in. Now I'm falling asleep, gotta go. Tomorrow is my flight to Sacramento where Coli-boy is picking me up before we head INTO THE WILD (which happens to be in a raging forest fire right now.)


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

smiles ahead

after a intriguing and stimulating conversation with my prodigy-photographer, blogging-expert brother, Blaine, I was spurred on to love and making a new entry. Too bad I don't have much to say. Actually, I do, but I am too lazy and perfectionist to say it here, which brings me back to my original problem in keeping this blog updated with more than bi-monthly posts.

Anyway, what I am excited about is life in many respects. The first being THE JOHN MUIR TRAIL.

220 miles of pure, heavenly, natural pleasure in the most fundamental forms possible. It's going to be mind-blowing, I'm sure of it. This event is scheduled to take place July 29-August 21, roughly. With none other than my little brother, whom I haven't spent extended amounts of time with since last summer. I'm flying into Sacramento on the 29th, but he wanted me to fly into Redding so we could spend more time together before our 3 weeks of 24 hour togetherness. I love you coliboy.

After this period of prolonged silence and reflection, the elements and elevation change, we'll head a few hundred miles east to the Outsidelands Music Festival in Golden Gate Park. Mindblowing adventure #2. And although I am unexplainably thrilled about the trail, this musical event is as close in terms of excitement as Archie snuggling with Zoe on a cold February Hood River night.

check out the lineup and sleep well.

Monday, March 31, 2008

the road heavily travelled (but still beautiful)

I am reading a book right now called "Eat, Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's an incredible account from many angles and one of those just happens to be the fact that she writes passionately about Italy. More specifically, she writes about experience after experience of eating the most scrumptious pasta, pizza and gelato in the entire world. These three priorities were also on the top of my and Emily's list on our short time in Italy (which happened way too long ago). To say the least, this current read brought to the forefront of my mind all the best things about not only this wonderful country, but traveling in general. Big huge travel plans are moving from the slip-through-your-fingers-sand-stage to a somewhat graspable small pebble stage. More to come on that soon. Enjoy these images in the meantime.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

lame, i know


Okay, so I NEVER do these things, much less post them for everyone to see. But I was reading a friend's blog and one thing led to another, and pretty soon I was taking this pointless quiz. At least this one is semi-educational and anti-ethnocentric. I wish it would have told me what the average is. If you do it, you must comment and tell me how many countries you got!

P.S. I had a 20 second interruption in the middle of my 5 minutes, FYI

Sunday, February 24, 2008

to grandpa Joe

It's been one year exactly today. We miss you, Grandpa. I think you probably enjoyed our visit this morning. We certainly delighted in coming out and seeing you, or at least seeing one of the places we associate with you physically. But actually, since I am living in your house now, a lot of things remind me of you. I am using your raised bed to plant a garden, which I am overly excited about. Thumbing through the Sunset garden book yesterday, I found all the discolored newspaper articles you clipped out and handwritten notes to keep your system a-runnin smoothly. Oh and Christmas time here was great! I don't know if there is anyone else on the planet who draws a full-on blue print, complete with legend and scale, for putting up the Christmas lights. It's these little things that constantly bring a smile to my face and remind me once again what an amazing man you were.

As I was walking among the green grass and white headstones today, some thoughts began to brew. I was thinking how I absolutely loved coming through the door of this old familiar house and how grandpa would always be right there waiting for us. He'd give me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and say in his old, well seasoned voice, "Oooooh  Lindsey, so good to see you. So good to see you. How you doin?" And then we'd sit down and talk. 

Anyway, I was thinking how death enshrines people in a cloud of perfection. For some reason, when one is physically lifted from the grid of the earth, so are all their flaws, their wrong doings, their short comings. Instantly they have graduated to the level of saint, or something like that. But these are the same people who were alive a minute or a day or a year ago. And at that time, their imperfections drove me crazy. Small, insignificant imperfections became a root in my heart which grew into hatred, selfishness and pride. 

I don't really know how to voice my thoughts clearly but I think what I am trying to say is this: I want to see people in their perfection right now. I want to know the people I am surrounded by for the beauty that is inside them. I want to see right over all the insignificant deficiencies and appreciate the real life that comes through. If it is impossible to see over those naturally, I want to learn to look over these by choice, momently. 

People are beautiful and I want to see all as perfect, in imperfection. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

life is good

and the rest of my pictures are up on the following link...


In other news, I have purchased my first very own already beloved guitar. I got it on Sunday and have played it without cease since then. For some reason, the desire to create music has been welling up inside me for the past few months. It's time to let her free. 

The last bit of news is HAPPY BIRTHDAY to pops!!! I am so incredibly blessed to have a dad as caring, devoted, patient, hardworking and studly as you. I love you lots and lots and lots. 

9:50 time to stop playing the guitar and time to go to bed. Good night to the moon. Good night to you. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

imagine this

I tried my best to get back into writing on my blog, but I just don't think its going to work. I prefer writing in my journal these days with good ol' pen and paper. I want to share a few pictures with you, though, so here's for your viewing pleasure. 

O yeah, I am back safe and sound (and wishing I were still traveling) in San Diego. 

Saturday, January 19, 2008

moving along

Vietnam was wonderful and much too fast. The highlight was definitely Halong Bay. We took a 3 day 2 night cruise which included 8 meals, one night lodging on the boat, one in a hotel, kayaking (amazing!), hiking and transportation to and from Hanoi (3 hours away) for $50. It was a wonderful trip because we became great friends with all the other travelers on board.

Two funny occurrences from the trip...

#1 Bethany got attacked by a money. We were halfway through our journey and made a stop at money island. The monkeys were brought to the island a few decades ago and have cheerfully inhabited it since then. We paddled our kayaks up to the shore and got out to take a look around. The monkeys were sitting on the rocks indifferent to the handful of people snapping pictures of them. Some people were getting within a few feet away of them and they didn't seem to care. Then, with an unlucky turn of fate, one decided to go vicious toward Bethany. She wasn't taking pictures or anything, just standing there. It stared her in the eyes for a few second before it came over and attached itself to her leg. She began kicking her leg around to try to get it off. After a few seconds, she finally succeeded and it came off along with her shoe. She wasn't hurt at all but she was definitely scarred by the whole event. We laughed about the incident the entire journey back.

#2 I made an addition to the items on my disgusting food list. Right after we finished kayaking we were hanging out in this little hut on the water waiting for our bus. And then we spotted it. On the wall here about 7 big jars filled with Vietnamese rice wine. This wasn't any rice wine, however. A closer look revealed all sorts of flavor additions to the wine. Rice wine with geckos, rice with with starfish. There was one with sea horses and one with clams. But the one that topped it all off was the rice wine with goat. No kidding... there was a whole baby goat in the bottom of the jar and it had been fermenting there for a year (we were told). As all of us were standing there in awe at the grossness of the fact, the owner of the shack came up and invited me for a shot with him. So, he dipped two glasses in and down they went. The actual wine didn't taste bad. It was kind of sweet and didn't burn at all. But the after taste was wretched...a bit too goaty for my liking.

I'm in Phuket now. This island is a tropical paradise. I've rented a scooter and am going to explore the island today including the orchid farm, monkey rehabilitation center and lots of beaches! AND, tomorrow is the start of my scuba adventure. I can't wait!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the land of velocity

Welcome to Hanoi, city of noodles, city of lakes, city of streets which are better to cross with your eyes closed. This is so because there are such a great number of motorbikes coming your way that you just have to walk across slowly and let them weave around you as you make your way to the other side. Bethany and I usually line up parallel to Blaine so that if a unconscience driver happened to deck us, he'd be the first one to go. Amazingly, that hasn't happened yet!

Other than crossing the street, there is a lot to do here. Yesterday was my first day in the city. (read: more than 36 hours of traveling and I'm still wearing the same thing as when I said good bye to Grandma on the 9th...they lost my luggage.) Actually yesterday we just wandered the streets, stopping and peering in on all things unusual. This occured on average every 3 steps. The petshop was interesting. When I say shop I mean a collection of things for sale which are situated in the same general location a few inches away from the bustling traffic. Pet shop...imagine animals which look like they haven't had a bite to eat since the sad day their mother cut them off. There were strangly cats and dogs. There were lots of birds. Some lovely tropical birds bursting with color in cages by the pair. Then there were cages of small sparrow-like birds which needed a small arbouretum to properly balance the bird to breathing/flying space ratio. These birds were literally standing on top of each other. After the pet shop, we visited the meat market which was just a few convienient steps away. I won't write about this one in detail for the sake of keeping my readership to maximum numbers. :)

The food here is absolutely incredible. And its like a dollar. We've been eating mostly street food and yesterday for lunch we chose a shop which looked safe based on the number of patrons at the tables. We sat down, pausing only for a moment to wonder what we should order. Without saying anything, the waitress/cook/owner brought us each a basket of sticky white rice noodles and a big bowl with various types of greens. We looked around conspicuously to see how exactly we were to make a meal of this. Then she brought us each a bowl of steaming broth with a few meatball type of things in the bottom and a basket of fried spring rolls to share. We looked at her with "instructions please" eyes and she motioned that we were to take the lettuce in our chopsticks and dip it in the broth and the same for the noodles. YUUUUUUMY! It's kind of like Thai food in the respect that they seem to have found perfect harmony among sweet, spice, sour and texture. More to come in this department.

My bag is supposed to come today so I'll try to post some pictures when I am wearing clothes which look like they haven't been adorned for almost a week straight in a 3rd world country.

Until then, peace and love from the east!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

tomorrow is the day

Hello to all my faithful blog readers (87% of whose pictures are included in this posting :)

Just a little post to farewell to YOU

and to you

and even to you!

And after about 24 treacherous hours of sitting in one (or a few) seats and after my big toes have swollen to size of a small frankfurter I will be deboarding the plane, abandoning all cares and saying hello to you two!!!

I'm going to Vietnam!!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

anyone there?

So just because I haven't posted for a year or whatever doesn't mean you had to stop reading my blog...come on now. Just kidding, but I wanted to let you all know that I will ----hopefully----- start posting again. I am going to Vietnam and Thailand to meet up with Blaine and Bethany, so i figured I'd start greasing up the blogging wheels now.

And, a pic for your viewing pleasure. This is my new life as of now and I kinda like it. :)