Monday, March 30, 2009

Two days to Argentina

Oddly enough I'm neither nervous nor excited.  I have a very calm and collected feeling about the turn out of this trip.  I'm headed down there with two very level headed boys who both want to get into the back country of Patagonia as much as possible while spending as little as possible.  It seems that we all have the same goal, the same budget, the same idea, and the same realistic expectations.  
We will be in the air on Wednesday around 2:oo pm.  We will be headed into Buenos Aires with no plan, well, very little plan.  I think that's the way to go.  We will move when we want to, go where we want to.   I feel like I'm already on 'river time'.  Things have slowed way, way down.  I feel like sleeping in a hammock, eating dinner at 11 at night, drinking tequila and wine in the afternoon and going through cycles of being dirty to just showered.  

Friday, March 27, 2009

Scoring at work

We are cleaning out the library at work and I just scored a few interesting read from work.
1- Little Herb Gardens by Brennan and Luebbermann (yes, there are two b's)
2- Toast, 60 Ways to Butter Your Bread & Then Some by Ziff Cool
3- Eat Better Feel Better by Donovan
4- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Kuhn
5- Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book by Shel Silverstein
6- What's Happening to Me by Peter Mayle

Life is filling up fast

Argentina & Chile on Wednesday. I'll be home on the 13th. I need to be out of this country like, now.

The weekend after I get back is my friend's birthday down in some beach town about a half hour away.

Then on the 25th, 26th & 27th is Yukihiro's birthday rafting trip on the....I forget which river we are running, somewhere in the shasta area.

On the 1st, 2nd & 3rd I am headed south to run the Kern with a bunch of OARS folks. It's gonna be a blast. Big class IV and V water. I'm super stoked on that.

On the 8th, 9th & 10th I have to get re-certified for swift water rescue. I'll be doing that on the Merced river in Yosemite.

I think the following weekend has yet to be filled.

The weekend after that is the greek festival in fun and so much good food.

From here on out it's parties and trips and summery goodness.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things I eat...

Tonight's dinner will consist of:
Mini feta stuffed turkey burger patties topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms. On the side will be sliced tomatoes topped with crumbled feta, oregano, and drizzled with olive oil.

Where the Wild Things Are

Cannot. Freaking. Wait.

This, I miss this.

Rucka Chuki Falls, Middle Fork American River
The jump.  Well, this I don't miss.  Actually I hated doing the jump.  It's time consuming, scary, and unnecessary.  Anyway, here are a few videos of what the jump entails and why I hated doing it.  

This is nuts.  There is an undercut rock right where he jumps.  I'd just hang.  The water will do it's thing and the boat will come eventually.  

By the way, in this next video you can see the name of the raft company on the boat,  All Outdoors.  We used to have a joke and call this company All Day Long because they were so slow down the river and especially at this portage.  When ever we'd run this river it was always our goal to get to the Chuck before them.

Here you get a better view of the jump one of these guides did right in front of that under cut rock.  You can see the water gushing into that rock wall where the rock slants downward.  Right where he jumps.  To hell with that.  

This is what I miss.   This is the biggest rapid I've ever run.  This is what I'll do if I ever get to go back to guiding professionally on the Middle Fork.  I've only gotten to huck the chuck once, that was on one of my last trips down the Middle Fork (MoFo) as a professional guide.  

This. I miss this.

This used to be a daily routine.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Do you flush public toilets using your foot?  

You should.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Song for the day...

This is the soundtrack that played while I grubbed at the all-you-can-eat Indian food place.  I was dancing in my seat, partly because food makes me dance and partly because Bollywood soundtracks freaking rock.  The movie is called Taare Zameen Par and this song is Bum Bum Bole, it's a song for children.

Friday, March 20, 2009


From Teddy...

"Hey! You gonna be in California in May and September? Rafting trips must be done, and you're the best guide I got...How you been buddy?"

Thursday, March 19, 2009


"Dear dipshit who yelled "Go Back to the Marina!" at me and my girl friend, unprovoked, as we were crossing Geary Street on St. Patrick's Night:

You're a jackass in so many ways. I've come to realize that in hipster twat-speak, "Marina" can be roughly translated into standard English as "conventionally attractive and appears to bathe regularly." That said, I was born and raised in this city, OK? And no, not even in the Marina. In the Haight. And you, where are you from? Oh, Orange County you say? "Just outside of New York?" That must have been awesome. So now you moved to the Tenderloin in search of some authentic life experience in the form of ogling homeless people and drinking Pabst, and now you consider yourself very "street", right, very gritty, and feel entitled to yell at random passers-by who you feel are douching up your hood--correct?

Actually, it is you who is douching up MY city. Go home. Please. I was here WAY before you were. I grew up less than two miles from the very spot where you notified me and my friend (94118 born and raised) that we were not welcome. My entire family lives here. I would be delighted if you, on the other hand, would go back to whatever douche breeding ground from whence you and your kind came. You're the reason that San Francisco natives resent assholes who come here, drive up rents and contribute only raging, appalling douchebaggery to the local culture.

Thanks for reading. I feel better now.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Nai Khanom Tom Day

Because today is what is known in Thailand as Boxing Day, or Nai Khanom Tom Day I wanted to post a pic of my current trainer Bunkerd Faphamai.  So here' to you Bunkerd, the only man who has ever made me pee blood.

Today I ate...

I started my day out with my regular morning smoothie (1 banana, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 cup oj).  
For a snack I had 1 apple, sliced with peanut butter.
For lunch I finished up the left overs from an amazing corned beef, carrots, cabbage, onions and potatoes dinner from the other night.  For reals Irish.  Tonight, for dinner, I'll probably have a sausage or something.   

I've been meaning to go shopping.  I need to get some tomatoes, bananas, broccoli, asparagus, apples, other assorted items from China town.  I also need to go to the market for eggs and meats.  Hmm.  I'm trying to put this off until I get back from Argentina but I don't think I can, not the produce at least.  Anyway, I feel like I'm typing just to keep from working now so I guess I'll go.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

The weekend in review

Friday night was a big one.  Started drinking pretty early.  
The evening began at Truman's house where we hastily finished off our beers and headed into the streets of Soma looking for the Independent Porn Film Festival opening party.  We didn't find it.  Though we did find the worlds smallest theater made out of some construction paper and ply wood on an Minna and 7th or 8th, across from Bossa Nova.  It was $2 to go in.  I was the first.  It was a phone booth sized box with a window looking onto a stage.   A young man and women soon appeared with a picnic basket.  From the basket they pulled a cupcake and proceeded to top it with frosting, whip cream, sprinkles and a cherry.  All the time making eye contact with me and trying not to laugh.  When the cup cake was all topped and pretty they guy stands up, unbuckled his pants, turns around and puts his hands on the wall.  The girl then looks at me, winks and shoves the cup cake in his butt.  I was pretty drunk so I was laughing my ass off.  Out pops a head and says, "For $20 more you can see her eat it out of his crack."  I politely decline and step out of the theater thinking I've just seen the best thing I will see all month.  Truman and Pat go next while Steve, Erik and I go to Bossa Nova for a drink.  
After this we eventually find the porn party, which is actually a really lame discussion/panel thing type of event.  So we go back to Truman's for more beer.  Eventually 1:30 rolls around and we decide to go to a warehouse party where we dance and drink and talk to a bunch of strangers and drink and dance and run around like idiots.  We end up at Justin's house at around 7am and watch the worst movie ever, the new Indiana Jones.  I wake up on the couch, head home for a shower and then hop in my truck and head off to my parents house where we played a gay, Italian verson of scrabble.  Seriously, the letters I kept getting spelled things like sex, il homo, or oil him.  My mom used sex on the board and it was funny.  
I slept on the floor and ate pancakes in the morning and then drove back to the city with my brother.  Fixed my bike,  ate more food, and watched an episode of The Mighty Boosh.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Things I'm paranoid about...

That my mom is the only person who comments on here.

in the hood...

Britt's older sister is in town for the weekend.  Britt, in an effort to show her sister how great our city is and, in essence, get her to move her butt up here, organized a little dinner.   The plan was to meet at Little Star Pizzeria at 8:30 for a pie and some suds.  I sat on my front stoop reading Among the Elephants and drinking a couple cans of Tecate waiting for 8:30 to roll around.   Eventually I got a bit bored and decided to call up Steve.  Arrangements were made that we'd meet at Bean Bag for a beer or two or three to pass the time.  Due to a ridiculous crowd at Bean Bag and only outside sitting, it was freezing last night, we decided to move it over to Mini Bar.  They have pretty decent beer list.  I ordered a Damnation and Steve had a Pliney the Elder.  Not long after we sat down Brenda, Steve's girl joined us.  Soon Ozan walked by and joined us for an ethics debate which was promptly interrupted by the sighting of the rest of the gang across the street.  
Britt's sister knew more about each of us than I think I'm comfortable with.  Well, I guess that the upside is that there was nothing left to be embarrassed about.   We drank more beer, laughed like children, hugged a lot, yelled jokes across the table and smiled like we had nothing in our teeth.  We stuffed our faces with pie and beer.  We even left one slice on the table after paying our bill, which for me, is crazy.  
We moved along down the street for Madrone, which, I believe, is under new ownership and has been improved immensely (still has a way to go though before it becomes a hoody staple).  I ended up having to leave early, work, blegh.  I headed home, eyeballing the cuties who were just heading out.  None of them eyeballed back.  

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the 16th hour

Dempsey and I had been talking about it for a little while.  I know I had been thinking about it for years, half of my life probably.  Get up and go.  Doesn't matter how.  Doesn't matter where.  Just go.  Well, this past Friday, 6.March.2009, we decided to test out how well this would work.  Dempsey worked on Friday night until around 11.  When he got home I was a little drunk and nicely settled into the couch.  We were polar opposites.  I was praying he would say 'nah, forget it.' but he was amped, I could tell.  Reluctantly I stood up, trying to get my juices flowing.  It worked.  I said 'to hell with it.  let's do it.'  I mean, it'd be a shame to have packed and then have to unpack all this gear for nothing.  
We hopped on our bikes at around 12:30 a.m. and headed for the Presidio only stopping to grab a couple more bottles of wine at a corner store.  While coasting down through the Presidio we half joked that they wouldn't let pedestrians and bicyclists across after dark.  Sure enough, when we got there the gate was closed.  There were plenty of signs to read at the gate when all of a sudden Dempsey said 'what's that one say, behind you?'  I swear to you, that sign had a halo around it as we both mouthed the words "Bicyclists press button to open gate."  And there, below the sign, was beautiful, bright red button.  It almost looked too cartoonish to be real.  After pressing it, we could hear the motor gearing up, and then came the sound.  It was as if there had been a major breach at Area 51 or a prison break.  WAH UHH!  WAH UHH!  WAH UHH!  Dempsey and I were grinning ear to ear as we rode, alone, across the Golden Gate Bridge.  
Dempsey had more of an idea of where we were going than I did and led the way through Sausalito and up towards Mt. Tamalpais and Stinson Beach.  Now, mind you, I'm doing this whole thing on a fixed gear so I'm sweating bullets.  I am proud to say that I was not dragging ass.  I was leading a lot of the up hill.  We get to the fork where left takes you to Stinson and right takes you to Muir Wood/Beach.  We head left and cruise down hill a couple of miles.  Dempsey thinks he recognizes a trail head.  
We pick up our bikes and start walking.  Only a few meters in the trail starts to turn to muck and mud.  We had been riding for about an hour and a half so it's probably a little after 2 a.m. and it's freezing.  We've both got snot in our mustaches and numb fingers and ears and we are trudging through the much.  Our shoes and socks are soaked.  We're slipping and sliding and both praying that there's no poison oak around.  
We eventually find a huge boulder over looking an amazing canyon lit by a huge moon.  We decided this was probably the best spot we'd find to open one of those bottles of wine.  We scramble up, pop the cork and so begins the male bonding.  We talked about girls, about life, the stars, education, money, fighting, adventures.  All the essential man stuff and it was great.  We also did a whole lot of listening, observing, and being still.  Eventually we started to hear a bunch of howling a ways off in the distance.  We thought that was pretty cool until about a half an hour later we hear more howling.  This time it was only about 30 meters or so away.  We could even see the silhouette of one of the coyotes on a hill not too far off.  Then the irrationality started to settle in.  Coyotes don't eat humans, do they?  Anyway, we started talking and coughing and laughing really loud to try to scare them away, not sure if it worked, but we were drunk enough to have our confidence back so....
After we finished the bottle of wine and had frozen enough, it's probably around 4 a.m. or so by now, we decided it was time to look for a place to sleep.  We hike about a mile in one direction and end up thinking that where we were was probably the best spot we'd find that night.  We made a make shift camp tucked into the shrubs by laying out a thin layer between us and the dirt and climbed into our sleeping bags.  I lost consciousness faster than I thought.  
In the morning I tossed and turned as dew dripped from my bag onto my face.  My toes and ears were numb again and I couldn't breath through my nose.  Funny enough, I was happy to be there.  I looked over at Dempsey sleeping sound and lay back down as the sun had not yet risen.  I slept for maybe another half hour and then woke with a start.  As I sat up I heard Dempsey's whistle and looked over.  He was perched on the rock that we had been sitting earlier that night.  I crawled out of my bag, reluctantly tugged on my soaked shoes and climbed up there with him.  We sat for a while, looking over the canyon and bits of the ocean where the horizon dipped down far enough.  
As we were packing up a few joggers passed us by.  We wished them a good morning much to their confusion.  We got a couple of Kashi bars in us and headed along the path the same way that we'd been going the night before.  We walked for two or three miles and ended up at Muir Beach.  It was a beautiful morning.  The sun bright and warmed the sand and breeze perfectly.  We built a little sitting area out of some drift logs and again, fell so fast asleep.  We slept for probably an hour and a half and when we woke and looked at the clock it was still before noon.  Perfect.
It felt like the rest of the world was finally waking up as we hopped back on our bikes and hit the pavement.  It was a pretty decent climb up from the coast and back inland.  Along the way I used a lycra clad cyclist far ahead as my motivation.  "Catch the bitch.  Catch the bitch.  Catch the bitch."  repeated in my head.   That is until I finally got close enough to catch her, then the mantra was "Pass the bitch.  Pass the bitch.  Pass the bitch."  And that I did.  I flew up the last leg where almost collapsed.  
On the ride down I kept my pace, not too fast, not too slow.  Skidding about every hundred meters to slow my momentum.  Dempsey flew by and out of sight.  About five minutes after he disappeared I came around a bend to find him in the middle of the street waving his arms like a mad man.  I skid for about 20 yards and stop just past him.  He tells me that his rear wheel has exploded and that he barely escaped...well, he's still standing, so we'll leave it at that.  We start walking  what was turning out to be a long and ridiculous walk when I started sticking out my thumb.  Not three minutes later a white pick up truck pulls up.  We toss our bikes and gear in the back and climb in.  After some small talk we arrange for him to drop us near the Larkspur ferry, and by near I mean at the front door of the Marin Brewing Company.  This couldn't have worked out better.
We sit down in the sun and order some red beer and begin to get drunk.  We end up ordering lunch and lots of beers.  By the time we leave I am pleasantly stuffed and even more pleasantly drunk.  We walk our bikes over to the ferry terminal only to find that they are closed until 3:40, it's now only 2:30.  Luckily we had bought some very high percentage 22 oz. beers from MBC.  We sat on some sort of raised walkway and talked trash, laughed and basked in a cocktail of sunlight, drunkenness, and glory.  We also played a game with a tennis ball we found where you had to nock over the other persons beer from about 2o feet.  If you hit it the other person had to catch it then chug.  I finished my beer pretty fast.
Once the ferry terminal was open we hopped on the boat, popped another bottle of wine and started up a conversation with a couple of gentlemen behind us.  We talked about prison, city living (both NYC and SF) and other nonsense I can't remember.  
Back on Market street Dempsey and I were ear to ear grins.  We simply could not believe how amazing the past 16 hours had been.  

Things I'm paranoid about...

Taking time off work.
Leaving my fly open.
Having buggers.  Both the eye and nose kind.
My belly.
Stinky feet.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Song of the day.

Things I eat...

Last night after my two egg and sausage dinner I got around to cooking my lunch for the rest of the week.  I took some ground turkey that I defrosted the night before and mixed it with some garlic, herbs and corn.  I've never done this but I like corn and I like burgers, how bad could it be?  Next I cut up a whole onion and caramelized it with some balsamic vinegar.  I set that aside, trying not to nibble at it too much.  Then I formed the patties with my own two hands (that's right, you don't need one of those patty forming gizmos from Bate and Cradle) and tossed them on my Foreman grill.  While they were cooking I mixed together the rest of the corn and some black beans and tossed in a bit of spicy seasoning and some smokey sauce.  I think I'll buy a couple of avocados from China Town and slice that up and throw it on top.  Sound good?  Good.  Thanks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Today I ate...

Fruit Smoothie:
2 cups oj
1 cup mixed frozen fuit
3 tablespoons yogurt
1 banana

Chicken Legs:
2 of 'em...whole.

a bunch of strawberries
lots of raisins 
4 oatmeal cranberry cookies

For dinner I'll probably have a sausage and two eggs.  Brinner.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"I have seen the future and it doesn't work"

I think we've got a Sunday movie and pancakes winner on our hands.

Things I'm paranoid about doing...

Leaving business voice mails in front of other people.  
Forgetting my dress shirt for work and having to wear a t-shirt.
Clearing my throat too much. 
etc. etc.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Divisadero Art Walk

Capricorn Framing 1335 divisadero
Art reception: Wayne David Hand 20% discount on custom frame orders

Frankee Uno Salon & Gallery 1221 divisadero
6-8pm Art of Hilary Williams Local: Screen prints and handmade dolls; 10-40% off Jason Torgerson's painting, multimedia and prints

Blue Jay Café 919 divisadero
6-10pm Live music, art
$1 off draft beer all night

Big Umbrella Studio 9061/2 divisadero
6-11pm "Neighborhood Night" art preview

B's BBQ 855 divisadero
15% discount between 5-8pm

Mini Bar 837 divisadero
5pm-midnight Art reception featuring four neighborhood artists
Happy Hour all night

Bar 821 821 divisadero
$3 Champagne cocktails

Candy Bar 1335 fulton st
6-10pm Art reception
Drink specials all night

Fly Bar 762 divisadero
7pm-2am "Pearls Before Swine" multimedia works by Claire Nicole
$2 off wine / $1 off appetizers

Perish Trust 728 divisadero
6-9pm Art opening

Lake Gallery 661 divisadero (entrance on grove)
Order | Chaos | Light - Jet Martinez

Mojo Bicycle Café 639 divisadero
8-11pm Art reception

Community Gallery 537 divisadero
6-9pm "Making Space" D5 Artists Jeff McElroy, J. Morris, Peter Max Lawrence

Ziryab Grill
528 divisadero
6-10pm Specials all night

Madrone Art Bar
500 divisadero
4pm-2am Art reception and drink specials

Verde SF
1265 fell st (in front of bank of america)
6-8pm Hair pieces ranging from $5-15. Boutonnieres for guys. Artist: David Petrelli

Country Cheese Co.
415 divisadero
5-8pm 10% off and free tastings

Five Star Truffles
411 divisadero
7:30-9pm Buy one coffee drink and get a free truffle

On the Corner
359 divisadero
6-10pm New local art installation
$2.50 Beers / $3 Sangria / $2 Champagne

Backspace 351
6-9pm Trunk show by Venus Superstar (in person); 10% off all clothing

Black Nose Trading Co.
342 divisadero
Photo Exhibition: Dogs in Their Environment

Yoga Loft
321 divisadero
15% discount on clothing and yoga props, and 1 neighborhood yoga class for $10

Metro Kathmandu
311 divisadero
5:30-10pm Happy Hour until 7pm and dessert specials

The Page
298 divisadero
5pm-2am Happy Hour prices until 10pm for art walkers

Little Chihuahua
292 divisadero
5-11pm $3 Tacos / $2 Pints

Swankety Swank
289 divisadero
7-10pm Artist reception

Yoga Garden
286 divisadero
6-7:30pm Sign up for a future class for only $5 (save $14) and get a free Chico Bag ($5 value)

CC Rider
260 divisadero
6-10pm Art opening

Yeah, um, so I love my neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


This Sunday I'll be in the North Bay with my cousin Manoli.  He's been a member of the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club for a few years now.  This sunday they are having an open house of sorts.  Should be fun, especially with the weather we've been having.  Hopefully there'll be some decent swells to battle.  

Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009

The Volvo Ocean Race is thought to be one of the toughest, if not the toughest sail race out there.  It is a 37,000 mile race around the world with stops in 11 ports and takes approximately nine months.  Looks pretty intense.  This years race started back in October of '08 out of Alicante, Spain and will finish in St. Petersberg, Russia in June.  Good luck and be safe.

Lumpini Warriors

This just gets me amped.  It reminds me of where my trainers came from.  The work that they put in to get to where they are.  They came from nothing.  A Lumpini Stadium title is one of the highest honors for a fighter.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pop quize hot shot.

1-If I were an animal what would I be?  What do you envision yourself as?

2-Use three words to describe my voice.  

3-I have so many favorite parts of a roasted chicken, what are yours?

4-Of all the animals I've eaten so far lamb and pork are my favorites, what are yours?

5-Do you think I am a good friend?  What areas could I improve on?
Disclaimer:  i reserve the right not to change a damn thing.

6-Which version of my head do you like best?
A- Shaved head & no beard
B- Shaved head w/ beard
C- Scruffy hair & no beard
D- Scruffy hair w/ beard
E- Longer hair & no beard
F- Longer hair w/ beard

7- "Yippee ki-ay motherfucker." might be my favorite movie quote ever, what's yours?

8- If I had to survive in the woods with only one weapon I think I'd choose a bow and arrow, what would you choose?

9- Barefoot or shoes?  Pants or shorts?  

10- I'm not sure which I like best, a river or the ocean, but I would choose either over a lake any day.  In what order do you prefer these bodies of water?

Bonus Question
11- What best describes how you feel about people who lisp?
A- Sexy as hell
B- Gay
C- Childish
D- Just a friend
E- Annoying
F- Adorable
G- Other ___________