Monday, October 31, 2005

Why I love Laos 

This picture was taken from the deck of our first guesthouse in Laos (my second trip there). That's the sun setting over the Mekong River. Beautiful, isn't it?

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It's Halloween 

No, I don't have any sort of costume put together, nor am I heading out to any parties tonight. Tho perhaps I should buy some candy goodness in case some little people come by dressed as scary things...

Nor did I go to any parties over the weekend. Instead, B and I hung out, hit the bar down the road (the waitress likes us. And I am sure it's for our minds and bodies and not our money...) and not much else.

Still a bit anti-social, I am. The thought of a large party-type crowd filled with strangers makes me a feel a bit claustrophobic. 'Course I haven't tried it yet so I don't really know how I'd react.


Rumor has it Vail will be charging $80 a DAY to ski there, with other areas not far behind. It really chaps my ass that these resorts are doing their best to force out the 'undesireables' (you know, people that don't make ridiculous amounts of money) and turn the mountains into a playground for the rich. I love to ski. This season (which I HOPE will see me skiing again) marks the 24th year since I learned to ski. I abhor what the sport is becoming. It's becoming a thing to say you did, a place to say you went to, instead of bonding with nature, pitting yourself against the mountains steeps and enjoying the peace of the mountains.

Although at a place like Beaver Creek (VERY hoighty toity) it's a good thing. People go there and sit at the base of the mountain to be seen, without skiing. Most of the people that do ski are not advanced skiers. Which makes it quite easy to find fresh snow on the steeps long after the last snowfall. And shorter lift lines at the lifts that serve the difficult runs, no crowds on the fun (steep) runs....

It's another beautiful Colorado day outside. Sunny, cloudless and cool. Shortly I will get up off my arse and go walk about, perhaps head off to Bocaza (my fave burritos) for some lunch. I need to get there before I leave, doncha know?

Wednesday morning at some point is when my flight heads out to San Fran. Eventually I'll get to Portland and Seattle. Should be fun, as I'll get to see some friends. And I've never seen the northwest. Don't worry, I've been forewarned, and my rain jacket is ready to go

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Mind boggling 

Denver sports drive me nuts. Or should I say, the rabid obsession with them by the people, media, etc.

The local news last night I watched. Unwittingly, for the first time since I've been back. I made it thru the forst two stories and then had to turn the tv off so as not to disturb the neighbors with my cursing.

I understand that local news will focus more on local news and ignore worldy stuff. I pretend to accept that. But when the top two damn stories are about:

1. A Denver Bronco getting into a car wreck and
2. An Avalanche player...doing something,

that is just ridiculous. Is there really nothing of greater importance than these stupid f*cking sports teams? How about this controversial vote coming up in regards to a tax refund/money to the state govt (or something like that. I don't live here right now so I am not paying attention? Or a possible serial rapist? Or ANYthing other than these stupid sports teams!

Seriously, does this seem ludicrous to anyone else? This is worse than the one other time I started watching local news and they spent minutes talking about the upcoming lottery.

My readjustment to life here has been....harsh, to say the least and is far from being close to complete. Seeing topics such as these take top priority on the news makes my head spin. It would be nice if the biggest concerns we had in life were 'issues' such as these. But that's not the case.

I can't wait for the day that John Elway runs for some public office and receives every single vote. My guts will hurt from laughing at the blind absurdity of Broncos fans (some, not all, of course. But a vast majority). (Don't laugh. Ask an impartial observer who lives in Denver about the Elway issue and they'll probably agree)

That is my rant for the day. For now at least.

The first Greyhound back to Denver was full-up (at 830am. I shoulda stayed in bed) so now I'm drinking coffee and sitting on the internet (Steaming Bean Coffee Co. in Silverthorne, CO. Cool place) waiting to head back over to Frisco for the 330pm bus. I hope it's got at least one seat open, and that I get it!

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Quote for the day 

"There was a new feature in Pierre's relations with Wilarski, with the Princess, the doctor, and all the people he met now, which won him general good will. This was his recognition of the impossibility of changing a man's convictions by words, and his acknowledgement of the possibility of every man thinking, feeling, and seeing things his own way. This legitimate individuality of every man's views, which formerly troubled or irritiated Pierre, now became the basis of the sympathy he felt for other people and the interest that he took in them. The difference, sometimes the complete contradiction, between men's opinions and their lives, and between one man and another, pleased him and derw from him a gentle, ironic smile."

-War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Just what I needed 

This post is coming from the library in Silverthorne, CO. I made my way up here yesterday to spend a few days decompressing at my parents' condo.

Boy, did I need this time! Quiet time to myself was more sorely missed than I knew.

Yesterday was a bit rough, and I spent most of the day funked out for reasons I am not willing to get into right now (involving an ache in the chest. From multiple sources this time, only one of which happened to be female).

After a day of quiet and peace, detox tea, healthy food, reading, yoga, and tons of thinking, I ended the day in a great frame of mind. Usually, the first night of the year up here sees me not sleeping. However, last night I slept better than I have in a very long time. Woke up only once or twice in 7 or 8 hours and had pleasant dreams. What a nice change from the last....way too long.

I seem to be realizing more and more about myself and life and the world (as I see it) every day. Which is quite exciting.

The weather has been beautiful up here-sunny and cool and perfect. After my initial doubts about living here again (which hit me as Greyhound trundled me thru the mountains and down into Denver), I'm feeling better and better about this place.

But we shall see.

Lots to ponder, still. Lots to figure out and decide. Fortunately, I feel stronger and more able every day to make these decisions, and make them in a decisive manner. What a nice change!

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Learning for they day 

I've been wanting to check this for a while, and I just questered it out and now I feel better.


Doesn't matter! Interchangeable.

Whew. That's a relief

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Just like old times 

For the first time in quite a while, I actually went out on a Friday night (Saturday night too, but that's a tale for later)! A night out, and not to the grocery! Ah, the good life.

B and I headed to a bar down nearish my old place of work. Not bad, tho I definitely didn't feel dressy enough to be there (Not that I minded). Deciding to move closer to home, we got up and meandered down to Devon's, a local bar within walking distance of my old house, B's current house.

Nothing notable happened at the bar, except for the attractive waitress buying us a shot of something or other (it has not yet been decided if it was my stunning good looks or B's....begging, that earned us the free bevvies. Fortunately we were 'smart' enough to not question the waitress as to her intentions (gee, a bigger tip maybe?)).

It was the walk home that provided us with an entertaining tale for the evening.

Back into a dark corner I propelled myself, to ensure proper irrigation of the weeds and plants hidden therein. B, decided to assist me by grabbing hold of the air hose from the adjacent gas station and attack me with it. Unfortunately for him, I am nimble as a cat and escaped. However, the cop driving by subsequently pulled us over. That's right, we got pulled over while walking!

It was amusing, but I am still confused as to how a 16-year old was knighted as a cop. Honestly, this kid couldn't have been old enough to be a cop. He looked a bit nervous and asked us if we were trying to break into the gas station. Giggling, we explained very briefly about our escapades. Snatching our licenses he ran them thru his little cop machine and returned them once it informed him that we are harmless idiots.

Ah, good times!

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Sort of quote 

"Any job you do without purpose is an empty act."

From the movie "The Razor's Edge", 1984, with Bill Murray

The quote is something like that. I didnm't write it down while watching the movie, just made a note of it.

It's a good flick. A Bill Murray flick that is quite different from most of the stuff I've seen him in.

This version is better than the original, I think.

Check it out. Made me think. And in a way, it's a movie of my life for the last couple of years

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Perhaps I have a chance 

I've been gone a while and for the last months I've kept my head in the sand about politics and the news and the like. So help me out here.

Bush puts up for nomination to the Supreme Court a woman with no experience as a judge. Reading this article about the 'undersecretary of state for public diplomacy' visiting Jakarta (to make the US seem like a nice person), I find myself a tad confused. First, actions speak louder than words, so can one person rambling the world saying nice things about us really make that big a difference (certainly not more of a difference than the US say, not pushing our way of life on countries around the world)?

But I digress

The article states:

Hughes is a close confidante and image-shaper of Bush with no previous experience in foreign diplomacy other than accompanying him abroad during trips in the first years of his presidency.

Is this really the most logical choice to fill the position? Someone with no experience in foreign dimplomacy?

Me thinks I should go hang out in the White House, get buddy-buddy with Dubya, and see what position I can wrangle for myself. As it seems experience isn't the most important qualification...

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Weighed myself 

I was over at a buddy's house last night and weighed myself. Seems those people who keep telling me I look slimmer are right. By my estimates, I'm carrying about 10 or 15 lbs less than I was when I left. Hm.

Too bad that doesn't mean I'm in shape...oh wait. I forgot that I am now after yesterday's blitz of activity! (Did I mention that I was out of the house for almost 5 hours at one stretch, and perhaps 7 or 8 throughout the day? That's a new record!)

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I'm in shape now 

Yesterday was a big day, and today I think I'm in shape. If nothing else, I'm sore.

I began yesterday with a jog, 25 minutes worth, the first time I've run in months.

How did it go? Well. When I go long periods without running, my first time back into it leaves me feeling like a flopping formless goof. This time was no different.

Not only did I feel like I looked silly, but I had the local air to contend with. There ain't much air up here, especially after spending the last year + at sea level. The morning was chilly (to my senses), so what little air there was left my chest hurting a bit.

Then there's my body. Various members of said body took extreme umbrage at my galling efforts to get into shape. And they complained. Quite vociferously. At great length.

Bottom line-I ran, and it hurt. And still aches me.

After missing a bus coming back from lunch I decided to walk home instead of waiting an hour or so for the next one, allowing me to add a couple walking miles to my repertoire for the day.

I gotta be in shape now, right?

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I tried watching the local news the other night
With all the events going on in the world, all the ruckus in our own country, despite all the many newsworthy tidbits to be reported on, they began the half hour by talking about the lottery. A mention of the ridiculous sum being raffled off was not enough. A reporter in the field gave us a talk about....something, I'm not sure. I turned it off.

Unbelievable. Of all things to lead off the news, it had to be money.

Priorities. Skewed

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Let the frustrations begin 

I know the world at large out there is dying to know how I'm handling being back in the States and how bad the culture shock is.

So far, it's not been too bad. Of course I've been hiding out and not being privy to what is going on outside the walls of different houses, but that's ok. I'm working my way up to being in society.

Seeing all these white people is quite odd, but not nearly as strange as being able to understand what everyone around me is saying (understanding the words at least). In a way (right now anyway) I prefer the language barrier and oblivion to the conversations taking place around me. Cars are excessively big, as are many homes. It's cold and way too dry (tropical climate to Denver in late fall is quite a change).

Fortunately for me and those around me, I feel much mellower and less argumentative than I've been in the past. This is subject to change as I emerge from isolation, but for now I have been pretty good at not starting 'discussions' when previously I would have. Sometimes it's easier to get along and not debate.

Of course once I remember how to talk normally (i.e.-not in broken, simple and slowly spoken english) to other people this may change. I'll let you know.

There is one source that has gotten me worked up already, tho only B (my old roommate) has been subject to my greatly shunted rants. And that's the tele, and all the shite that's on it. Last night we flipped around for a long while and I feel so much dumber.

Aren't fads supposed to die out? When will the reality garbage die out? Ugh. Martha Stewert has her own reality show? That's good. Gotta love famous ex-cons being rewarded for misdeeds with their own shows.

Speaking of fads, it irks me (to say the least) that producers of shows have no qualms about taking a fearful subject and beating it to death, keeping it constantly in the limelight, and finding ways to keep people frightened unnecessarily.

Of what do I speak? Terrorism and natural disasters primarily. I swear these are constant topics for way too many shows (granted, my perusal of what's on tv is more than a bit limited. Thank god). Why do so many sources feel it necessary to reinforce fear in us? The govt issuing constant warnings about terror attacks, the workings of all the anti-US sentiment the world over, etc. Tv and the printed media talking about nothing but negative events and ideas and the possibilities of something like a terrorist attack or natural disaster.

There is so much good out there, so much hope, so many reasons not to live your life in constant fear of what might happen. People called me nuts for wanting to go to Pakistan (I will get there one day): "You could get killed! It's too dangerous!" First of all, why do we think it's dangerous? Because news sources tell us that as does our govt. First of all, govts lie. All of them. They issue warnings (not an invaluable service, I'll grant that) to keep us out of harms way (which creates fewer occasions for them to exert themselves to help out their citizens overseas). But how many politicians actually have a feel for these countries? They live in walled and guarded compounds; are ferried around in escorts; perhaps many use translators (I don't know). How many (I would venture to guess very few) have been out in the remoter parts talking to the people of the country? This is why I don't believe most of the shite we're fed anymore. The attitude of the people is not often the same as the attitude of the govt. I've been thru something like 10 countries in the last year, and the anti-American sentiment was negligible (from non-Europeans). Keep in mind that three were communist countries, and at least 2 others were ex-Soviet dictatorish countries. The people were great, and loved us, actually (money makes the world go 'round).

Ramble ramble. As for Pakistan, people go there as tourists. Quite often. And the Middle East. And Cuba, all over central/South America, Africa, etc etc. I swear our govt/society/whatever is trying to scare us into not traveling. Which I guess makes sense, because then all that money is spent elsewhere and not here.....

Hm. I guess I still know how to ramble and rant. Maybe I'll reread this later and clarify it up? Hm.

As for the tv...it's insipid, silly, and unproductive for the most part. Unless you happen to be watching most anything on the BBC (the Brits have the best sense of humor! In our withdrawel from them, when did we lose ours?), the Family Guy or the Daily Show.

Stop watching tv. Read, talk, walk, play the flute.

As for me, I'm going to eat some leftover tofu scramble and skim the newspaper (haven't banged my head on the floor for a while) and try to avoid this computer for at least 20 minutes...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005


This may not come as a surprise to some of you, but I am an adult. For pretty much all of my life I looked at adults as people with jobs, houses, spouses, kids, etc. And that was never me. Despite the fact that I had a 'real' job for over 5 years, owned way too many vehicles and a house and whatever else, I never considered myself grown up. As a result, I never grabbed hold and turned my life in any direction. It was more a "let's see what plays out/falls into my lap next". Pretty crazy, eh? Funny too.

Maybe a week and a half ago as I lay in a bungalow on a Thai beach unable to sleep yet again (three cheers for insomnia!), it finally hit me: I'm an adult. I'll be thirty in a couple months and it's time to stop pretending that I'm not in charge.

Exciting, to say the least. My desire is now to see what I can make happen, what I can do, rather than seeing what happens.

I have a plan for how to make money; this idea is one I've played with for years but never seriously saw it as something I would do because it was a venture for adults. Now that I am grown up, I can take it seriously.

No, it has no connection to engineering. Isn't that awesome?

First though, I need to get some lunch.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Time to break into it 

I've never been one to do things the easy way. Too stubborn and thick-headed, ya know?

After over a year out of the country I am back in the place that was my home (quite literally) for a number of years. I broke back into the swing slowly (for a day) by staying with my cousin and catchign up on sleep before reintroducing myself to society.

Yesterday I came back to the old house to stay with my buddy (who bought the place, bless his beer-sodden soul). Then I headed downtown and met up with R for dinner. Quite strange. After 5 years of dating, 6 months since I last saw her, and a couple months since really talking to her, it was a bit strange to say the least. Great to see her, of course. No more will get said here. I can't blurt out all that is in me for public viewing! Damn voyeurs.

Suffice it to say, she didn't find one of my jokes amusing at all. The one where I said: "I have some uncomfortable news as well. I'm engaged."

Don't worry, I didn't let that one hang any longer than perhaps a second. Surprisingly, she didn't laugh. Huh. At least I think I'm funny.

And today I am heading to my old place of employment to shock and awe; probably myself more than my old co-workers. I can't anymore really imagine what my life there was like way back when, and it should be a bit...something to go there again.

So you see, after pretending to ease back into things, I've decided to turn and try and shock myself as quickly as possible. So far it's...going. Being back is tough for so many reasons, but also quite exciting. A cornucopia of emotions if you will.

What is next? Good question...

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A bit more 

A few more details about the bungalow, if you will allow me such a discourse

The people next to us, I think they had some rooms for rent (they definitely had a bar), drank. All the time. All day long and late into the night. Locals, not tourist types. Well, maybe only from about 10 to 10, and later when various new people showed up. Kind of a riot, except they played the same 2 shitty cds over and over while singing along and yelling, whistling, making noise. Quiet noiseous. The first night it was amusing, but after days of it and the constant construction noise next door it was...still just fine. A bit obnoxious, but a beer and the view of the ocean made up for it.

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For a moment, let's go back to Thailand and the island of Ko Chang and the little beach bungalow that I called home for several days.

Let's go back not only so that I can regale you with amusing anecdotes, but also because I'm damn cold right now and I want to pretend that I am not. Stupid unadjusted body

The aforementioned bungalow was tough to get to. A traipse through a fancy resortish place was necessary, and then an additional 10-15 minute walk along the beach. Our original destination had become a resort since our guidebook had been written, which means that the costs had increased while quality of service diminished (a strange phenomena in parts-as popularity increases, they stop trying. Odd). As a result, we backtracked a minute and began passing some very ramshackle looking places. A Thai man and woman yelled over to us and requested our presence in what we thought was their place. They called a guy over from the place 2 guesthouses away (which was not open and under construction. All 3 places were separated by approximately 20 feet) and he walked us up to the bungalow in the middle.

Let me describe this place from the outside: the land jumped up quite high just off the beach and this particular place had its front side on stilts about 20 feet up. Beneath it was rock, a busted-up cold drink cooler, various wood pieces and assorted trash. And it looked more than a little precariously perched.

Inside, the floor was there, but there were many gaps between the floor boards, threatening any smallish object with ejection to the mess below. The bathroom door would only close if you straddled the toilet (otherwise your person blocked the way), but at least there was a mosquito net. AND, there was a kick-ass porch. A hammock hung along the porch almost over the safety rail; two chairs and a small table sat against the wall.

All this looked westward out over the ocean, whose waters were about 20 feet from the steps when we arrived.

Since we'd been on the road for a long time (almost 2 days) we were more than pleased with the place. Our joy only grew with each successive lazy and slothful day. Because, ya know, it's hard to not be pleased when each sunset is accompanied with a cold beer and watched from the comfort of our porch. Awesome

The ocean. A large body of water. Which likes to encroach and then recede. Whomever built these bungalows felt no need to respect building requirements set forth in the US. The water at high tide lapped against the buildings (Not ours. Remember, it's 20 feet up). And a ditch of sorts had formed in front of our stairs so at high tide it became necessary to wade thru almost knee deep hot stagnant and filthy water to get to our stairs. Nice.

Out in the water, safety was not easy to come by. For a couple days we'd splash about feeling as tho being stung almost constantly, avoiding the jellyfish floating about. Turns out, after further inspection, that the waster was filled with tiny almost microscopic jellyfishes. Annoying bastards, especially when they get up into your lining-less shorts. Poor C had little red bumps all over from them.

What else. The last couple days there high and low tides seemed to be much more obvious than they had been. The first night we saw the water way out thoughts of a tsunami came to mind and we hurried 'home' to be above it all (hopefully). Nothing happened, however. I need to check the news because I was/am convinced that high tide was going to keep getting higher and the island would be over-run. We got out in time, so it's ok, right?

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Will wonders never cease? 

Hello USA!
That's right, I'm back!
Almost exactly 48 hours after getting onto the airport shuttle in Bangkok, I knocked on my cousin's door in Denver and collapsed shortly thereafter
15 hours on assorted planes followed immediately by 22 on a bus. A long day, to say the least
My first stop upon arriving in Denver was to pass by Illegal Pete's and get a gorgeous veggie burrito. The workers got a kick out of my backpacks and my tales, while the people there couldn't have looked more quizzically upon me
I've been hiding out the last couple days, but today I'm coming out and am going to start trying to be social
Readjusting is going to be very tough; my first effort will be to change my attitude and be more positive
Yet vigilant
China Airlines rocks, tho the second plane was uncomfortable as hell
Fremont Street in Vegas at 3am was more dead than I expected. Thank gods
White people scare me, and being able to understand all that is being said around me is disconcerting.
More to come later. For now I am off to the store with my cousin
But I bought a pair of jeans and a quilted flannel from the resale shop yesterday so I have new duds. Exciting
Start emailing me to let me know when/where you want to buy me a beer so I can make a list and prioritize (hehe)
Tomorrow I go by my old place of employment. That is going to be a trip

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The fun starts 

The real traveling now begins. Wish me luck. The crink in my neck has produced some head aches for the last couple days, and I don't know that I'll have time to get a fixing massage before I go. And my back doesn't seem to be seat friendly either so all this upcoming traveling oughta be miserable.

On the other hand, excitement abounds.

Remind me to go into further detail about the beachside bungalow I stayed in last week. It's anecdotally amusing. I have pics too, but that'll have to wait.

Peace out

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Don't follow me around 

Last year, I narrowly (by a very wide margin) missed the tsunami in Thailand. Left an area hit about a month or 2 (I forget and don't feel like thinking all that much) before it hit and my girlfriend at the time planned on heading to one of the worst areas hit a week or 2 after it hit (she did not go).

Now this Pakistan earthquake hits. And the hardest hit areas are places I wanted to go thru/was going to go thru in the coming months, though these plans changed a month ago. Crazy, eh?

Whatever. I am no where close to this recent activity and am not affected at all (personally). But what a horrendous tragedy, no? Those poor people. Hearing all these earthquake stories, people buried in collapsed building stories and the like make me want to sleep in a tent under an open sky (more than I already do). Oof.

On a positive note, this may strengthen ties between India (which also saw much devestation) and Pakistan.

Sad times, to be sure. A bit frightening, no? The ferocity with which natural events have wreaked their havoc this year. An eye opener?

A broken record? Shush

Tomorrow I'll be on a bus out of here on my way to Bangkok. A night there and then I'll grab a train to Chiang Mai, avoid the flooding and fly out. Crazy times! The day of departure is fast approaching and it's still a bit surreal.

On a positive note, my ideas as to what to do with my life are shaping up and the current idea of choice is quite exciting and is something I've kicked around quite a bit the last couple years. The most difficult part of this venture is a common theme...where to find money?

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Getting better 

Whew! For now...

It seems the bastards in my stomach too at least part of the day off. The pancake for breakfast went ok, and the very spicy (and very good) red curry for lunch caused no attacks of any kind. There have been some random weird pains, but no explosive manuevers. I like that in guts.

But it was another day of sitting around, watching the white men and their hookers walk past. This phenomenon is so strange, I tell you what! Of all the couples passing by (many were seen as no movement was to be detected in my bungalow except for the turning of book pages) a VAST majority were white men with Thai hook...girlfriends. It's truly ridiculous. I am on a damn island for vacationing johns and their ladies of the night (or in the case of this place, their ladies of the week)! I don't mean to harp on this, but I do anyway. How the bored looks, incessant pleas for money, lack of talking, spaced walking and absurdity of the situation bypasses these poor galuts is beyond me.

Fine, maybe there is 'love' involved. It's possible, I supposed. It's true that girlfriends cost money, this can not be argued (unless you don't believe in spoiling a woman, instead believe that she should always pay at least half (is this a characteristic of a metrosexual? I think it is...) and are a bit of a sap...). BUT, this doesn't mean you give her a wad of cash to begin your relationship and random other wads of cash to keep it going. That just ain't right

So it be. I'll just recline in the hammock and whoop it up

In less than a week's time I'll be on a plane to the States. Of course the city I'm supposed to fly out of is inundated with typhoon rains and massive flooding....no matter. This time I'm getting out! If worse goes to worst, I'll just call Dubya and tell him that there are terrorists in my packpack and that I need some help getting them out. That oughta get a response...

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

This guy has a sense of humor 

This is awesome. The illustration of the tree, mountain and midget slayed me

And his collection of hate mail is a large collection of people who don't have a sense of humor.

Why is it so hard to laugh at yourself?

People are way too serious

Spread the word. After all, who doesn't want an excuse to dress as a pirate?


Some don't find this amusing but see it as faith-bashing and a way for those without faith to feel better about their lack of faith.

I don't see it like that. I see it as making light of a situation that needs some levity. To me, this should be a non-issue. Creationism is a faith-based explanation of how life came to be. If it weren't, all faiths (atheists included) would hold it in high regard. This isn't the case. And since we pretend to extoll a freedom of religion and the separation of church and state, it shouldn't be taught in PUBLIC schools.

On the other hand, some faiths don't believe in evolution so they don't want it taught.

So what do we do, not teach anything and not piss off anyone?

I say, if you want Creationism, go to a religious school; if that's not required hit up a public school.

But in the least, have a sense of humor about life. While the Spaghetti Monster may seem blashpemous, how many religions consider other accepted faiths as absurd as this one? And how many wars have been fought to 'prove' this? This isn't causing any wars, just a few laughs.

Live shouldn't be as stressful as we seem to want to make it. Love, laugh, and don't take life so seriously. Have faith, by all means (as I've said before, I find myself missing mine at times), but keep it a personal thing. Worship as you see fit, but don't require it of anyone else. (For me this doesn't just pertain only to faith, but to lifestyles/life choices as well).

Damn it all. I'm on a beach, my stomach has calmed down and I am in here instead of in the warm ocean watching white men walk by with their hookers. Where are my priorities??

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Not again.... 

A day ago (I think) the island of Koh Chang witnessed my arrival. This place is...interesting. The Lonely Planet guidebook quoted a forestry official (this is a National Park island. Which in theory, means no building...) as saying that they want to build this island up and make it a place where: "..backpackers won't be welcomed".

They are well on their way. To say I feel/look like a scrub compared to most people here would be accurate. Well, that and most people here are old, young, middle-aged white men on vacation with their young Thai 'girlfriends". What this means is that these guys found a Thai girl (hooker, bar girl, whatever. Semantics) and brought her here on vacation. An expensive way to pick up a hooker to say the least. This is by far the highest concentration of this kind of 'couple' that I've seen anywhere in Asia. It's pretty sad and sick. Most of the time the Thai girl is walking 10-20 feet ahead of the guy, and looking very bored. The guy usually is carrying a backpack and handing her money to buy stuff as she requests it.

If you want a hooker, fine. But why stretch it out over a long weekend? Especially when the girl rarely speaks much english and you both look miserable the entire time? Odd. I don't get it.

On to other things. It seems (with one week left in Asia) that my stomach has decided to take on a little visitor and knock me silly. Have I mentioned how much I love this sort of thing? I spent most of today in bed, curled up and bemoaning my cruel fate. I've got some aches which typically would indicate a fever, but my forehead does not concur with this assessment. Regardless, I don't appreciate this condition. Hopefully tomorrow sees a reversal of this predicament, but the past doesn't make me all that hopeful. Very little food today, but I am quite well hydrated if nothing else.

The place I sat in all day is a ramshackle beach almost hut. It's on stilts, more or less, and looks as though it will collapse at any time. I'll get pics, don't worry. There is a hammock on the deck (and two chairs, but who wants to sit in those when there is a hammock!) and the neighboring bars ewre playing Dr Dre and Snoop earlier. Clapton was jamming when I left.

Peace out, I'm going to head back and curl up now...

No, I have not named this little bug yet. We have to see if he lasts the night before he is worthy of a moniker all his/her own

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Next country, please 

Not that I would prefer to be in Thailand over Laos (just came up with a killer idea for an adventure the next time I come back here. And it involves buying another boat....), but my visa is over and I gots to go (or it's $10US a day, and that's too rich for my unemployed blood).

On this our last morning we ran across a great little coffee shop and a beer garden (we had coffee, but I was made to see that having a beer (draft Beerlao! I've never had it draft-style!!) at 9am is not the healthiest of decisions); it's good to leave on a happy note. All I need to do now is find me a bag of Lao coffee to bring with me. Better do that since our ride to the border leaves in half an hour.

As my time here grows shorter, I am getting more and more excited to get home. The thoughts of what lays ahead makes me happy but some of it also scares the shite out of me. This might help to explain the insanity of my dreams the last week or so. Almost every night I wake up from some nightmarish escapade.

On another random note, eating breakfast this morning was a stressful event. Some chick behind me (working for an NGO) was talking way too intensely and fast and all that for 730am. Besides, her view of working here to "help people" is a bit skewed. Since they don't live here like we do in the western world, she is frustrated by it and by the unwillingness of the people here to really listen and start living "as they should". Hm. God forbid a people be happy living in a way differently than she is used to. Being 'advanced' doesn't necessarily = happy. Oof. I am in a mood today. I'm ready to get into it. My brain feels as though the dormancy it's suffered thru lately has slagged off. And I'm ready....

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Moving on (again) 

Yesterday was a day without travel. Spent on a smaller island down south where the pace of life was quite non-existent. I spent hours sitting on the deck of the guesthouse (second floor, overlooking some houses and fields, and a glimpse of the river beyond)(I was sitting there because it was entirely too hot (approximately 9,000 degree; F or C, doesn't matter) to do anything but) reading my book (Don Quixote. Very amusing and quite enjoyable. Tho also quite heavy) and taking in life.

Barely a soul moved about. No traffic, just the occasional scooter or bicycle. Random school age kids going home, wandering about, some brave souls playing soccer (I thought to join in. Not that I have even one soccer skill, but I am bigger than they all were so thought I might stand a chance. Had a Beerlao instead). It was great and very relaxing. I was even glad a wind or breeze stirred not, as it added to the peace of the place.

That was yesterday. Today began with a ride on a sawngthaew (pick-up type vehicle wqith 3 benches inside and a roof) that was jam packed full of people. My leg was twisted causing my knee much pain. Feet crushed both of mine for much of the ride. It began to rain and since there are no sides, we got wet until they stopped to wrap tarps around. My bladder filled, hunger grew out of the lack of breakfast fooding, and my allergies continued to plague me. But still I smiled and enjoyed the comedy of it all. Besides, at least I wasn't in a cubicle!!

Due to a lack of reliable (cheap) transportation, my last day in Laos will most likely be tomorrow. Don't feel bad for me, however. A beach in Thailand will console me until I get my opportunity to fly away. I plan to get there, and not move from the town until I head off to the airport. And I am looking forward to it after 2 weeks of almost solid travel, and much more to come.

Hot hot hot hot hot

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com