the categorical days: Travel

September 18, 2010

Southeast Asia

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

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


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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October 30, 2009

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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May 15, 2009

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.


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

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September 23, 2008

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.

- 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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September 21, 2008

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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August 20, 2008


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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June 02, 2008

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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May 19, 2008

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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May 18, 2008

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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May 17, 2008

Still in Vegas


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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October 08, 2007

36 hours in Chicago


In semi-order of appearance:

3 Musketeers, Coudal (too quick a pitstop), Fat Tire Beer, F-LIST Art Show - organized perfectly by Mike Segawa and Mike Vesper, Woofer (who took this photo of me standing in front of Thor's tongue), Bebe, Jason, Charles, Lloyd, Randy, Lula Cafe, Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, Threadless, Hopleaf, Naz, and Andrew.

I'm pleasantly exhausted (we left sadly before bear night out at the bar), but man was this a good trip to Chicago. I believe I lost 5 pounds from the flopsweat alone. (Mental note: start rocking head and wrist bands to sop it up).

Special thanks to Mike for having me in the show, Meredith for the place to crash (and David for the coffee and neighborhood tips).

I met a lot of fine people, but in lieu of writing it all out, there are snapshots:

Photos36 hours in 47 photos

Current music: Kanye West "Homecoming"

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October 05, 2007

on the road

first time stretching out the odometer on the Rabbit

Going to rock out with a few new albums along the way:

Animal Collective "Strawberry Jam" - upon strong recommendation from Garrison

The New Pornographers "Challengers" - cause I like harmony

Black Francis "Bluefinger" - initial impression is positive

Iron & Wine "Shepherd's Dog" - first two spins, it sounds like a "grower" Potentially good.

Tegan & Sara "The Con" - Because Ray and Sheila made it sound great in SF

St. Vincent "Marry Me" - Tom keeps playing it at the studio, I like.

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August 27, 2007

The far view fades away

My guess? Lake Powell [ + zoom ]

I am home.

The trip? Too short.

People I didn't get to see. Burritos I did not get to eat. Pictures I wish I had taken.

On the flipside—I did see wonderful things, met and revisited folks, all dear.

And though I want to capture every moment, sort through photos, and savor the memories right this second - for now I must return to the here and now, the inbox overflowing, and a few projects requiring attention.

Before I hunker down, a big thank you to everyone along the way.

Current music: Steve Manuel "Giving In"

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August 23, 2007

Muir Woods


San Francisco was dense with goodness.

Looped up through Muir Woods on the way out.

Man those trees got perspective.

Can't type more, headed to Phoenix.

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August 18, 2007

vacation has begun

watermelon margaritas being served

Arrived in California after a long jaunt through Indy and Denver.

Greeted with hugs, wagging tails, and good spirits (like the ones pictured above) in Grass Valley.

I should now mention I'm the worst vacation planner ever, keeping things by the seat of the pants. A few loose ends workwise I need to wrap up, then it's off to 'Frisco for a few quick days, then back on a plane to the cool weather of Arizona for another handful.

Will be posting photos up in this set as they happen.

Current music: Kanye West "Stronger"

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June 29, 2007

2 nights only

Sunset on Lake Michigan

My workmates took their family up to Saugatuck for a much needed vacation. They asked if Dan and I would like to steal away for a few days last minute and we said heck yeah.

Aside from being a neat word, Saugatuck is a fine destination.

We didn't spend too much time exploring the town proper (there seemed to be an unusual amount of ice cream parlors) - but we did spend a fair piece looking out across the lake, enjoying the beach, reading books, playing with kids, eating yummy food, and getting perhaps a bit too much sun.

When the day rolled around that we needed to head home, it was hard, I'll admit. But work beckoned.

So aside from all the other stuff going on, that's one reason why it's been so quiet around here.

Current music: M.I.A. "Hit That"

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March 25, 2007

our only souvenir

a bowl filled with sand, shells and drink umbrella

Flew back into Indy and made the drive home on Thursday. It's cheaper to fly out of airports that are not in southern Ohio for some reason.

I'm not sure when airlines decided that sitting on the runway makes us a captive audience for credit card pitches, but that could hardly hamper what was a flawless day of travel.

I know the trip was great because we would go back to Ft. Lauderdale without hesitation. The Schubert Resort (warning, men in tight fitting swimsuits) was —to go with their retro theme— a swell place to spend our days and nights. We did venture away to visit beaches and restaurants, and had the pleasure of spending a slice of time with Bill who should really consider being a professional tour guide.

For my friends that know (Big Wave) Dave, a few drinks with him over pizza revealed he's alive and well. The ocean life suits him.

We could've used a bit more sun, and I'm remiss I didn't get to catch Onajídé in his element, but I've only fond memories for this short spring break. Now to get back into the Ohio groove.

Current music: The Hidden Cameras "I Believe In The Good Life"

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March 22, 2007

drinks with umbrellas

Thanks kindly for the photo Bill

Sitting at Ocean Alley overlooking Hollywood Beach, having drinks with umbrellas.

Current music: Modest Mouse "Beach Side Property"

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March 18, 2007

spring break ’07

view of the St. Patrick's Day sunset from the seat of a plane headed to Florida

Posting will be sparse these next few days.

At some point I might write a diatribe of why most travel sites are awful, or the awesomeness that is Trip Advisor customer hotel reviews, complete with appropriate snark and honesty.

Until then, a pool and an ocean are calling our names.

Current music: Ratatat "Breaking Away"

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June 16, 2006

Miss Liberty

A quick update

Having an excellent time in NYC.

No time to write.

But I've thrown up a slew of photos on Flickr for the moment.

A few fuzzy (video) clips of Rufus.

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June 14, 2006

NYC: The June Oh Six Trip

Heading to the N train

Arrived safely in NYC yesterday with nary a hiccup in the transfer from car to plane to bus to train. A place to crash in Hell's Kitchen up 6 flights of steps provided introduction to a most wonderful host.

Tonight, Rufus, recreating the 1961 Judy Garland performance at Carnegie Hall.

Random thoughts:

Watching people on the Subway never fails to entertain. I could skip any tourist destination and be satisfied with this experience alone.

Crocs may be ugly, but they are hands down the most comfortable shoe to beat down the pavement (apart from those white nurse shoes with the thick soles.)

My eyes are dry, likely from fine dust in the air.

The weather is mild and nice.

Posting will be sporadic, but lots of photos are being crammed into the memory card.

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May 11, 2006


Cramming the days together

It's almost the weekend again and I've not caught up from the last one.

PhotosSome extra photos from St. Louis

In other news:

Work continues to be a combination of tending to existing projects and finding time to work on the big to-do list of new things.

Having the TV without any sort of broadcast signal has been super helpful to that regard.

I can't breathe through my nostrils and although this is not the worst thing that could happen, it certainly is annoying.

So many folks getting married or having babies. A good friend called to say she stopped drinking, and immediately I knew she was pregnant. Both (future) parents are really awesome people and I'm thrilled.

I was hoping for more excitement from E3 announcements, but more than anything, I just vacillate between being over and underwhelmed. I'll admit I'm a Nintendo fanboy, but waving a controller in the air sorta freaks me out.

A highlight of the week was renting The Family Stone from the videostore up the street. It was free because I've rented so many movies. The downfall? It was a flimsy shod of a movie. Two thumbs down, minus 3.5 stars.

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May 09, 2006


fun for all ages

I drove back from St. Louis yesterday, just in time to miss Gomez at WOXY. Which was sad, but not as sad as the machine-gun-like attack of sneezing and congestion that came on during the drive. Allergies? Perhaps.

The rodeo, St. Louis, was great. Good times all around with a weekend capping meal that will live forever in the memory of my taste buds.

Not too many photos from the rodeo... I forgot my battery pack at the 3 bears' house. So this one form Jim's stunning Nikon will have to do until I can post more tidbits later this evening.

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May 05, 2006

St. Louis

the burbs

Arrived safely and ahead of schedule, beating my hosts who are currently attending a Cinco de Mayo party.

That's okay, I can leech their wireless network from the carport.

Tomorrow, rodeo!

If you come out, be sure to look for the tall guy in the camouflage cap wielding a camera, and say howdy.

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January 23, 2006

Lexington, KY

A rack at Jonk

Semi-spur-of-the-moment trip down to Lexington Sat. night for dinner, and oh what a meal it was. Best. Lasagna. Ever.

You know, you say things like that and think it's exaggeration, but no, it's true.

A formidable hat tip to the hosts / chefs.

Colorful company, a round of Mall Madness by Milton Bradley, brunch the next day and some thrift store scavenging. I'd go into detail, but work is busy.

PhotosSome extra photos will have to do

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January 06, 2006

looking back

Another photo from the road

I thought I'd throw this out to balance the Photoshop geekery (below). It's an image I can't quite figure, as it has not been manipulated.

Just a shot of the rear-view mirror and an overpass in Louisville.

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January 03, 2006


Along the way

Taking I-64 along southern Illinois and Indiana through Louisville is a profoundly more interesting drive to get from St. Louis to Cincinnati. I dunno why I go any other way. Save for some impressive thunderstorms at the tail end of the trip giving me white knuckles, I was pleasantly reminded I can go a fair piece on one tank of gas.

Caught Brokeback Mountain at the Tivoli (which is a dang nice theater in STL) before leaving. I'm still a bit miffed it wasn't filmed in Wyoming, but it seemed a faithful translation of the text. Even with all the media attention however, it was better than Cats and I'd buy a Ennis and Jake lunchbox if they made 'em.

Aside from the flick, there was lots of food, a nifty massage technique with rolling pin, a trip to Ben Franklin (craft store), and a reminder to never play MarioKart with the boys and hope to win.

Always hard leaving my friends there. There's never enough time.

Hopefully 2006 will bring more opportunities to break bread.

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August 29, 2005

Super 8

Cost: $55.00

At a motel on the outskirts of Chicago, HBO is free. There is no alarm clock and the box spring has questionable stains.

It was a fine enough place to stay within spittin’ distance from a rodeo, but to make it fancy—staying at the event's official hotel might make economical sense, and parking sense.

Or not. I've heard said, it all looks the same in the dark.

More photos later.

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August 17, 2005

The tail end of California

Right photo by Brent (for scale)

Back in Ohio after a long day of travel yesterday, and I still feel like I'm on Pacific Daylight Time.

Inevitably, trips have little fragments that escape recollection. Between the piles of things that stack up while away, my mind occasionally lapses to something I forgot.

The last day started with green eggs and ham (really). Then we loaded up backpacks for a hike down to the Yuba River. I escaped injury as determined by scale that ended with "recipe for disaster."

Some random thoughts from the week:

  • I need better shoes. Desperately. Something good for hiking in and out of water.
  • Mindy Smith has a lovely voice, I especially dig the acoustic version of One Moment More (skip the download if you're not into sap)
  • Paste Magazine has great supplemental DVDs even if Billy Corgan is on the cover.
  • Extra special hat tip to Robbie for stopping by outta the way. Way too short a time to listen to that sweet Irish lilt.
  • If you can't find your car keys, check the fridge.
  • Whenever I travel west, I get this inexplicable feeling that stirs my spirit.
  • Lots of photos from waterproof cameras on the rafting trip are posted.
  • I need to incorporate steel cut oats with flax oil in my daily regimine.
  • Chicken lady loves life.

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August 16, 2005


Looking out from the Northwest terminal

I took exactly one photo on the trip back.

This is it.

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August 15, 2005


The perfect pool

I mentioned the Yuba River in the next post, but I figured I'd backtrack here and post one of the photos I took while hiking down.

Pretty hard to capture how wonderful it is.

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August 14, 2005

Monster Trucks


Couple trips to the Nevada County Fair today. The first was for animals, but had the bonus of arm wrestling. The second trip was all about the monster trucks and fried food. Typical fair fare, but made sweeter under cover of tall redwoods.

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August 12, 2005

Walkin the dogs

Preventing stir crazy

Why go all the way out to California and not go to the big cities or tourist attractions? Well, I look at hanging out in one place and getting to know the day to day provides a rewarding experience, much like traveling abroad and going to school.

There's a quiet rhythm to the day that emerges when you're staying at a place that has no HBO.

Highlights include deciding which porch to sit on as the sun moves across the property, and walking the dogs.

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August 08, 2005

Done rafted

Thank you, waterproof disposable cameras

It was hot—like over a hundred degrees hot. But the water was 59° so it balanced everything out. Two days of fun on the American River, framed by our rafting guides serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I survived without any broken bones but maybe a few bruises. You really can't see them because they are internal. There's a rock on that river I have some stern words for next time.

Injuries were worth it though, with amicable fellas flying in from lots of faraway states— filling up the camp site and boats with grins, hotness and a little bit of mayhem.

More pictures later.

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August 06, 2005

Ditching work

Overhead shot

On Friday, I borrowed an Echo (looking on Toyota's site, it seems it is no longer made), got lost on the backroads on the way to the grocery store. Used the mobile phone to call back for clarification on the list—like 10 times.

Got back to the ranch and gerbil spa to find new guests had arrived. Everyone was down in the ditch, sitting in the water on foldable camping chairs sipping beers and mix drinks.

We ended the night relatively before too much damage was done, as the rafting trip would require an early rise and lots of energy.

I slept soundly in a hammock.

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