People

The people of Boston : David


So I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Boston this week during a conference for work. There is never quite enough time to actually see the city when you’re at a conference but we were afforded some breaks. On one of my breaks I walked down Boylston St. to the place I had read about so much online.

Bolyston St
I sat on the side of a public library merely steps away from where the Boston marathon finish line is etched in the ground (fun fact, this library is the first publicly supported municipal library in the United States). As I watched people walk by I tried to get a feel for the city and Bostonians. I wondered if I took away the landmarks, the buildings, would I still be able to tell this was Boston.

There are some obvious things. Boston Red Sox hats are literally everywhere. Really Boston swag in general. This is a city of sports fans if I’ve ever seen one. The other obvious thing was the abundance of amazing runners. Just fantastic form everywhere you looked and you don’t see that a lot.

But hats and running shoes don’t define a people.

So what really makes a Bostonian?

Sitting on the side of this building next to me were a couple of guys. I mustered up the courage to ask one of them if he was from here.

“Sowta, I was born in Provincetown but I’eh been heea fo’ a while. Why are you lookin’ for somethin’?”

I can still here the thick Bostonian accent, although I can’t do it justice. But it was beautiful. It was also incredibly kind and refreshing of him to ask if I needed help. Even before I said anything else he offered to help. Not everyone does that.

I asked him what made a Bostonian. What characteristics made up the people here?

David was his name. He opened his eyes wide and backed up against the wall a bit furrowing his brow and thinking. He had the clearest, brightest blue eyes I have ever seen. I was a bit entranced by them. So blue, you could see the lines of almost white mingled in. Clear and so reminiscent of ice cold water, I swear I felt a chill when I looked into them.

“You know it’s really diffwent eveewhere, east side, west side, south side. They’re all diffwent.”

But he finally decided on an answer –generosity.

“I’m homeless and I’eh been t’rough some things, but you’ll neva go hungry in this city. Bostonians are incwedibly generous. More than in any other city I’eh been.”

The man sitting next to him, who I assumed was his friend by the way they were talking and walked up together, nodded in agreement. His eyebrows raised and his palms open as if to say, “Of course, I should have thought of that.”

“I just got cleaned up last week and so I’ve been asking people for dolla’s. You know I need to make appointments and cleaning up is hawd because you don’t want to get caught up you know, skipping the twain. But it’s hawd, you need money for that.”

I wasn’t sure what David meant by cleaned up, but I could understand needing money to get around and get things done. It reminded me of how my father always gave money to people asking for it and how my mother always told him they were probably just going to buy booze with it.

“That’s not on me, it’s on them,” he would say. I feel like David was showing me what we all really hope is happening when we give someone in need some spare change.

“And you know I read an article in the newspapa the otha day that said Bostonians were not nice people. I don’t know where they got that from.

“Anotha thing is pride. Bostonians have a lot of pride, even before the whole marathon thing,” he said pointing to the finish line just feet away.

“Yea so that’s what I would say.”

I have to admit I didn’t have the greatest first impression of Boston and Bostonians. The cab driver I had from the airport was cold and angry which was terrifying. He wouldn’t talk to me and I’m pretty sure he screwed me on the fare. But maybe he just wasn’t from Boston.

I’m glad I got to talk to David. I’m glad I took a walk down Bolyston St. even with all the madness of the conference. And I’m glad he convinced me Bostonians are nice people.

David

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Travel

Things you’ll learn during an excursion


1) Always check to make sure the places you want to go are open.

I like being spontaneous. But I’m also impatient and I devastate easily. Biking my heart out to find a locked gate isn’t as much fun. But it was a good lesson to learn. 

2) Sometimes things look soft and harmless but they are really spiky, ninja weeds that will fuck your legs up.

I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a kid inside. While that sounds whimsical and fun, it’s also very stupid. Like when I hypothesized about breaking into the botanic gardens in town and hiked up the side of the hill to check for holes in the fence and ended up being pierced by a billion tiny thorns. Picture below.

3) Not all U-locks will save your bike. Watch this jerk open one with a pen. If you care about your bike, take the time to find a good lock for it.

I don’t actually have one. But I’ve seen bikes get stolen and I figured now was the time to make my public service announcement. Thank you.

4) Always bring water. Even if you don’t use it, it’s just better to have it. Especially if you don’t adhere to rule number one.

5) Bobby pins will keep your cap in place. Especially when you’re using someone else’s cap because you’re too lazy to buy your own.

Keep in mind the bobby pins will also try to pull the skin off of your skull when you’re biking down hill. Worth it.

6) Any bag has the potential to be a back pack. Just keep sticking your arms through the straps until one way works.

Make sure it closes well enough or people will assume you’re santa claus gifting your belongings to random passersby. 

7) Try to use your phone as little as possible when you’re on your excursion.

When you realize how incredibly hard this is, invest in a wrist watch that has a compass.

8) At every place you go, take in as much as you can. Even if it’s how much you hate the place.

9) Learn to not be bothered by bugs.

Almost every human being on the planet is a predator of bugs. There’s a whole industry dedicated to their demise. If they were going to disappear, they would be on their way to extinction by now.

10) Some items are invaluable such as paper towels, clothespins, and pockets.

11) Most mean people are teenagers.

Those teenagers are mean to adults and that’s how you get mean adults.

12) At the end of every good excursion there should be a nice, cold beer. And maybe a shower.

photo (5)

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People, Travel

The people and city of Los Angeles


This past weekend I was in Los Angeles cheering on a great man in the LA Marathon. To see blubbering photos of said man go here.

We  biked around a lot of  downtown Los Angeles. It made me miss home. There’s just something about a big city that makes me deeply happy.

cold pop man

hot dog vendor

banana

train

waiting

pinata

food trucker

girl

brb

tree and birds

night art

last

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About life and driving, and which one needs better maps


When you’re on the road, you find you have a lot of time to think.

You have a lot of time to think when you’re on a trail, too.

You might even find that you have a lot of time to think when you’re taking the trash out.

You don’t have as much time to think when you’re avoiding rocks in the road.

Or when you’re avoiding sharp spikes.

You don’t have as much time to think when you’re trying to figure out how to climb over something.

And sometimes there is something interesting in your way that causes your mind to be led astray by imagination and you find there is time to think after all.

But beautiful things can be distracting. So you have to find your way on the road again.

You think about a lot of things as you go down this road.

The beauty and wonder of life.

And maybe how fragile it is and how quickly it can be taken away.

I get lost a lot when I’m driving. But there always seems to be a map or a sign letting me know where I’m headed.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t come with maps. So you just kinda have to keep going. Until you run into something so great, you don’t have to think about it.

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Walking with Orbison part four


I like like things together.

Alliteration gets me giddy.

Symmetry makes me smile.

And I think  know I’m obvious about it.

el lado coca cola de la vida

Coke is everywhere

This was taken in Nuevo Laredo while I was visiting my mother’s sister’s family. These things are an inch and a half tall.

You can look, but you can't touch

This is the second year I see these at Soriana. They’re four inches tall. I always touch them, I can’t handle the urge.

J.J.'s All Night Party Palace

Yea, I’m sure you’ve gathered this isn’t another walk with Orbison. But the photos I took while I was out with him today go well with these other one’s so here they are.

The Yellow Rose of Texas

I also like solid colors.

where do people buy cones?

I heard in the newsroom you can’t actually purchase these anywhere. I’ve owned a lot of cones.

we were so unprepared

Nugget

I don’t get people who don’t like the color green. It reminds me of life.

ORANGE.

I like to climb trees. Climbing things in general actually. Sometimes even elephants.

Texas Mountain Laurel

nopales

Cactus flores

My mother likes to eat these. She always points them out. I can’t help but notice them now, too.

Arriba!

Speedy?

Random taco truck I passed by. Sylvester and Tweety were on the other side. I want their tacos.

RED.

It’s weird how only some of the leaves get to turn red.

I miss my gazebo

the plaza

..

So dapperly dressed

What a dashing young pooch

There are those times when nothing in the world is greater than spending the day with your dog.

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Another new year’s resolution blog and this past year in pictures


Every day, I want to do something I’ve never done before.

I know this might sound ambitious, and it is, but it will surely lead to some interesting places.

Did you notice how incredibly vague this resolution is? I’m not a fan of boundaries.

That being said here are some of the things I want to do:

  • Travel to a place I’ve never been
  • Build something out of wood
  • Climb something I haven’t climbed yet
  • Corn Maze!
  • “Borrow” someone’s trampoline for the night
  • Make sushi
  • Dye my hair
  • Take photos of a whole bunch of fire extinguishers
  • Have that talk with dad
  • Build the glass terrariums
  • Jump in Hamilton Pool
  • Institute bring your dog to work day

It’s going to be harder every day so if you have any suggestions, please don’t be shy.

Here are some pictures of things I did this year I had never done before. Feel free to share your adventures and random experiences with me!

First front page byline
Met Clark freakin’ Gracie. And learned how to break people’s arms.

Random 2 a.m. adventure

I like to climb on things. And who puts a tractor in the middle of downtown?

Tried home made potato candies for the first time

Dyed someone's hair periwinkle. I have never dyed hair before.

Did a Reddit gift exchange for the first time. Can you tell how excited I was

I'm pretty sure this is the closest I have ever been to a helicopter

This year, I committed Monkicide.

More love please

This year, I climbed a Texas mountain

Deer, deer everywhere

Goofing off in a peacock cage

Les Givral's Kahve. Where they kitchen and bar are open until 3 a.m. and the bartender makes mini crème brûlée.

Panda cookie. Nuff said.

Starting off the new year in downtown Houston

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Travel, Uncategorized

Walking with Orbison part three


finally

The leaves finally changed.

This was actually at the Arboretum in Houston but I felt like it set the mood of this walk with Orbison.

evidence of rain

It also finally rained.

It’s been raining all week. Orbison hates showers. He acts like I’m trying to stick him in a boiling cauldron and maneuvers himself so forcefully into the crevasse of the wall.

But he loves the rain. He runs and runs and runs.

ಠ_ಠ

I was really impressed with this trunk face. I don’t know how they managed to get it to look like it grew into the tree. The lights looked out of place. I imagined how annoying it would be to have lights wrapped around my face.

No bueno.

helicóptero

Orbi finds the coolest stuff.

I’ve seen this one around town several times. Turns out it belongs to the medical center. It’s pretty.

fly

This is my favorite picture from the walk. I saw all these birds perched on the branches by the boat. Orbison was off smelling things so he wasn’t scaring them. I knew I only had a matter of seconds to get the shot. I was also wearing boots so I had to tip-toe in boots. This is not an easy task. There are at least 3 boats in this neighborhood.

I love my walks with Orbison.

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Travel

Paper airplanes


Paper airplanes are the most unreliable, inaccurate, unstable and unpredictable three dimensional object one could possibly construct out of paper.

The best looking airplanes are usually the worst. Maybe it’s the deceit.

I remember the first time I crafted one. I would have been unsurprised if you had asked me how long I’d been an engineer. Clearly I knew what I was doing.

20111214-223014.jpg

It was magnificent and symmetrical. I could already see it soaring. I also pictured it coming back to me like a boomerang. Those were good days.

But as you cast more paper airplanes the aspirations and hope you had so carefully creased into the blades begins to fade.

This isn’t at all like you pictured it. They don’t do any of the things you expected them too.

Now don’t get me wrong. Some of those airplanes are fun. They’ll have you chasing them around giggling your ass off because they slightly hover over your hands while simultaneously gaining more momentum and gliding farther. Then you run faster. You jump, you slide, you stare up at the sky so much you almost fall backwards.

And then you get tired of course and forget the paper airplanes.

Until that day, where there isn’t anything to do. Humming around your apartment you see a solid object waving at you as if trying to get your attention. It is then that you feel that wind in your heart and a twirl in your hands again.This is the perfect paper for a paper airplane.

Some airplanes fly straight.

Perhaps not at first try but after some practice and adjustments, you can combine the flick of a wrist and the weight of shape in your hands to produce equilibrium and height.

Lately I’ve been wondering what to do with a paper plane I think would be wonderful. See there isn’t any room where I am. It is such a shame to waste what appears to be a good paper plane. Planes were made to fly. If you can’t fly them should you just forget them until you can? Or should you just find a way to fly them anyway?

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Victoria Christmas light parade


In another world.

JJ

 

cheeks

 

La vuelta la plaza

 

 

 

curly

Reminds me of the neighborhood parades and dad waking me up early to go. He was always more excited than we were.

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I want to be a Redneck


Hear me out.

I just spent five days in Deer Park, MD and it was glorious.

You know when you go home for the holidays and after the forced interactions with distant relatives or worse, your mom’s friends, you feel more exhausted then when you got there? That is what I was trying to avoid. So I ran away to hide in the mountains of Maryland.

Mother Nature truly reigns over Maryland from what I could see. I am an outdoors person and being able to see the river in full force brings all sorts of adjectives to mind. Powerful, majestic, intimidating, charming, raging and mind-blowing.

Thinking about it reminds me of air fresheners. They say things like “breath happy” and try our new scent inspired by New Zealand’s South Island where springs feed glacier-carved streams and verdant vistas. It might as well say breath in our starch based compound that swallows odor and will likely deteriorate your lungs from the inside over the next few years. Breath of fresh air my ass. Standing on the boulders silhouetting the river I breathed like I had never breathed before. My lungs deliriously gorged on the wind and the smell of the trees.

*My blog deleted itself and left an earlier version. I’m just going to post the pictures. Why technology? After all I do for you. You coy bitch.

*I do need to add one thing. The people I met in Maryland are unlike any other people. They enjoy life, they enjoy nature and beauty. They grow the best corn. They cook the best food. They laugh all the time. They smile at each other. Really. They’re wise. They hug, they cry. They care and no one needs to say it. Life isn’t necessarily slow it is just understanding. And when it isn’t, someone is there to catch you.

So comfortable
In yo face

Jared is gorgeous.

slippery boulders

.

Lady Macbeth AKA Mac

Gun shop in Hancock

Store in Hancock. Still not sure what they were selling? People?

Last sunset before I left

Driving with Jared's parents. They literally stop so I can gawk. I don't even have to ask.

Homemade potato candies we bought from Amish people

after dinner pose

shrooms

river

spring water

goodbye love

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