Southeast Asia

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

So I’m crossing off one of those places on my bucket list of sorts:

Asia.

At least parts of it.

My friends Chris and Dan are fantastic travelers and planners. They planted the seed for this trip earlier in the year and I said, “Heck yeah!”

Now it’s September and, along with a good fella named Adam, we’re winding our way around Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

We’re not even halfway into it, but it’s already been a marathon of incredible sights, pushy souvenir vendors, crazy road rules, food galore (some great, some “eh”), hotel rooms for a night or two, drinks that have umbrellas and good ol’ beer, washing clothes in the tub, exhaustion at night, early mornings, and heat—lots of humid, drenching heat.

It’s been awesome.

Just got into Luang Prabang in Laos this evening… haven’t even seen the place in the daylight. But if I can stop freaking out about mosquito bites and malaria, I think I’m going to love it here.

Enough typing for now, it’s bedtime! Until my next infrequent update, there are naturally some photos so far:

PhotosView photos from the trip, so far!

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Hello Brooklyn

When I say “Hello Brooklyn,” in my mind, I hear some Beastie Boys beats immediately drop afterward

I got here to New York yesterday and it’s been go! go! go! ever since.

This is why I live in Ohio because otherwise I’d be dead from sheer exhaustion.

Heck, I should be sleeping now.

Last night? The Long Count opened, which is part of the reason I’m here. I had no idea what to expect from this visual and musical collaboration and I found it to be weird and wonderful and exhilarating. I’m not good with words, Brooklyn Vegan puts them together real good (and has a sample MP3) as bonus.

Today? Woke up way early and made it down to the chock-full-of-awesome-people Studio 612a where I finally, after years of online fawning, met The Swiss Miss live and in person.

First words? “Oh my you’re tall!”

A bit of chat, gushing, 30 questions, some of the most excellent coffee one can make without a barista on hand, then it was time to get down to survey the possibilities with FictiveKin.

Not sure exactly what will be packed in the next few days, but I am reminded that any trip to New York is too short.

Current music: The Long Count “Bull Run” (featuring Kelley Deal)

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All Tomorrow’s Parties

In the UK

So somehow I ended up on a plane and a train and a bus, and now I’m in Minehead which is in Somerset I think, which is most definitely in the UK.

This marks my first time to this country.

Exciting.

I should be out experiencing things, but I thought I’d pop on and say howdy.

Hope to enjoy lots of the bands performing at this edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties.

I’ll be posting photos here through the weekend: PhotosUK Trip photos

mustache on a stick

at the Curiosity Shoppe

Spent the last afternoon in the city wandering around the Mission with a mighty fine fella and designer, Geoff. (If you’re in the area and like diners, hit up St Francis Fountain & Candy on 24th street)

We walked around because I was told that if I didn’t keep walking, the pain in my calves would double. All the planets were in alignment and every time we needed direction or destination, a sign appeared. Could I pick up a Birchville Cat Motel album for Tom? Aqaurius Records was across the street.

Pitch perfect weather, all good fun, and an excellent way to close out the short trip.

I arrived back in Ohio at midnight after squeezing my abnormally tall frame into three airplanes where I had to make the same decision three times: roasted peanuts, biscotti cookies, or peanut butter crackers. I chose the latter.

LINKS OF SHOPPING INTEREST from the trip:
The Curiosity Shoppe
The Pirate Shop at 826 Valencia
Aquarius Records
Little Otsu
– Bonus link, current music: Sonseed “Jesus is a Friend of Mine”

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Where we last left off…

The view from the dog patch, San Francisco

I left Ohio and we still hadn’t had power for days. (Ugh)

Didn’t like the thought of leaving my fella alone in all that darkness, but there was a job-gig-thing out in California, and it was for a good cause. (More on that another day…)

The work week wrapped up with great success and I found myself on a train to Berkeley to see My Morning Jacket. (Maybe I saw you there.)

Though my dogs were barking, and it was spitting rain, the show was excellent. (Really excellent. Kanye could learn a thing or two from these boys)

Doubly good was receiving a text during the show that power was back on at our place in Ohio. I will note: our neighbors still don’t have electricity. (For those counting, that makes a full week.)

I’m closing out the trip helping my friends move. The network is iffy in their new joint and they keep blaming me for destroying their electronics. (It totally was not me.)

As I leave tomorrow I’m reminded that a trip to California is always energizing and never long enough. (And if I lived here, I bet I would have awesome calves.)

Current music: My Morning Jacket “I’m Amazed”

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LES GIRLS

My initial pronunciation, “Less girls”

Got back from San Diego on Monday.

Stayed an extra day because it was so darn lovely.

Haven’t had more than three minutes in a row to reflect.

Just thought I’d pop in and say hi.

Above? A picture from our last day in the Golden State.

I need to clean my lens.

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One last look at Vegas

80 or so pictures, and a little video

I’ve finally scoured through the memory cards to pick several handfuls of images from the long weekend that was Vegas. And if it wasn’t for the girl who’s birthday was the impetus for this trip, I likely wouldn’t have gotten this finished so quickly.

(I haven’t even finished pulling together snapshots from last summer’s super-brief trip to the west.)

So click the link below to see slot machines, some neon lights, some brushes with wax celebrity, and some images that might be questionable in taste.

PhotosThis was Vegas

And if you don’t like all that clicking, here’s a little video:

Current music: The Transcenders “Animal Instincts”

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And then we flew home

Somewhere between Nevada and Missouri

The big Vegas trip ended with a tasty breakfast (egg whites, basil, tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, toast), one last whiff of the Venetian signature scent (urinal puck) and a leisurely cab ride to the airport. Our driver was happy to receive a few of the Coca-Colas we had been chilling in our room. Better down his gullet than in the trash-bins by security.

I had a window seat on both legs of the return, stealing views between chapters of Armistead Maupin’s “Michael Tolliver Lives.” And though it apparently wasn’t a Tales of the City book, any story that goes near Barbary Lane is a welcome stroll and dandy vacation read.

I read the last pages with watery eyes and closed the book in time to snap the photo above.

Seeing these snow-capped mountains provided a small sense of okay-ness with the world (at large, not the fictitious one I’d just left).

Sometimes when everything seems so crammed together and haywire, such grandeur and expanse puts it all back in place.

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The King and I

at Madame Tussauds

Trip almost over, the long process of sorting through photos begins.

I didn’t get a sunburn or blisters on the feet, so I feel like this vacation was a success.

Current soundtrack: Airport terminal banter

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Still in Vegas

Flamingo

For our last full day we bandied funds together to get 24 hours of Internet in the room. (This does not mean we’ll be spending oodles of time online, but at least everyone can reply to urgent emails.)

Ticket pushers have been trying to get us to see Toni Braxton’s “Revealed” at the Flamingo. What’s “Revealed”? An intimate look at the heart and soul of Toni Braxton, her music, her life and her loves.

We decided to see the sexy Cirque show called “Zumanity” at the due-for-a-major-remodel New York, New York. The show was fun, even though it was breast-centric. Nice costumes, live music, acrobatics and some comedic bits. No wiener.

My personal goal today? Besides some pool time; a buffet.

Total gambling loss thus far: $12.00

Current music: The Breeders “Istanbul”

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