Books, Bouldering, Beverages

I’m not watching any videos today. No climbing videos, no bouldering videos, no Saturday Night Live videos, no videos about how the universe works or how the world works or how dating works or how the human body works. Most days I spend an inordinate amount of time watching videos. Probably several hours each day. And it’s not that I necessarily want to be more productive, it’s just that watching so many videos, scrolling and scrolling trying to find the next dopamine hit, makes me feel kinda bad.

Slash, I went climbing yesterday, and it was glorious.

I went with Barry and Adi, and we climbed first at Upper Walls and then made our way over to Fremont Main, where we didn’t climb. The reason we didn’t climb at Fremont Main was because it was crowded as balls and getting food/beer sounded like a better idea. I remarked as we left Fremont Main that it felt like we had just climbed there, too. The feeling was the same, exiting out into the night air, backpack full of climbing stuff on, chattering away. And I’m glad we didn’t climb at Fremont Main, because after Saturday’s sesh at SBP Poplar my body was absolutely wrecked. Today is a hard rest day. Tomorrow will either be a rest day or an outside day but the high for tomorrow in Index, where I’d like to go to work Leggo My Ego V6, my current mega-proj, is 89 degrees Fahrenheit. Which means it’s supposed to be 78 by 11am. NOT EXACTLY SEND TEMPS (aka send temps).

In other news, I had a matcha bar this morning, a green hop tea, and now I’m having a Four Sigmatic matcha latte with lion’s mane (20mg caffeine, in case you were wondering [do I wish it had more caffeine? probably. I think like 30 or 40mg would be more appropriate, in this case. but hey, beggars can’t be systems engineers]). Also in other news, I’m currently reading the books Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari, and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. I got the Proust book the other day at Elliott Bay Books. I got Sapiens from the Bainbridge library, and I think it might be due quite soon. The annoying thing about Sapiens is it’s sort of like a graphic, glossy-page version, which means it ways (sic) about six kilos. When I’m tired af after a climbing session and I want something to put me to sleep there’s no better book than Sapiens; the only problem is it weighs a ton. Fourth world problems.

In still other news, I had collagen yesterday. And sort of cleaned the boat. And hung out with my friend Pat. And had some mate (it really annoys me when brands spell mate “maté.” like, I know why they’re doing it, they want to differentiate between the English word “mate,” as in “friend,” but it still annoys the shit out of me.) I also went for a run yesterday, at Queen Anne Bowl, and it was kind of amazing except I also think it kind of strained my left hip flexor. I’ve had problems with my hip flexor ever since I hurt it in May thrutching on the V5 dyno that is Alcove Right in Leavenworth. It’s been healing — slowly but surely — and yesterday was the first time I tried to run on it for any considerable distance.

Slash.

The seagulls are cawing outside my boat. I’ve just finished the matcha latte. I have no more caffeine on the boat. I do have some chia pudding, which I will most likely consume presently. Current plan: head north to BC on FRIDAY. Will I actually do this? Seriously, will I actually do this??? I have no idea. The only thing I do know is I want to get the hell up there before they close the border again. Because numbers are on the rise, as they say, numbers are always on the rise, and we have so many variants going around we can’t even keep track of them (aka like one variant, aka the delta variant). So who knows when I’ll actually get up to Canada. Who knows when I’ll get back to Leavenworth. I proposed to a friend that we go to Leavy on Friday and boulder in the 104 degree heat, but she mentioned something about heat stroke. I mentioned something about jumping in the Wenatchee River. She mentioned something about cryptocurrency and treasury bonds and how her mother used to wait tables in Illinois and we promptly reached an impasse. For some reason the whole interaction reminded me of the one time I went to Nashville, sharing the elevator with a guy who was on his way to a Garth Brooks concert, or on his way home from a Garth Brooks concert, or possibly just wearing cowboy boots. For some reason I found the guy tremendously wholesome because he had on cowboy boots and because of his accent and because he was in town for a Garth Brooks concert and staying at the Best Western or whatever the hell it was. But for all I know he beats his wife and emotionally abuses his children. Why should I have assumed he was a wholesome guy?

Aka chia pudding.

Yesterday I meditated twice.

I need new climbing shoes.

I wish I had more matcha.

Or mate.

Or maté.

The best book ever written is called On Man and God, by Ralph Waldo Emerson. It’s 61 pages long and was published in 1961 by the Peter Pauper Press. It is currently one of my most prized possessions despite not being my possession. Why does the title Reading Lolita in Tehran make me want to punch myself? Or the title Waiting for Snow in Havana? Why can’t you just name your book something not cute? My dad just handed me a copy of the book The Intelligent Asset Allocator. Now there’s a book title, if I’ve ever seen one. The only way it could be better is if it were The Girl Who Allocated Assets, or something like that. Then  it could be sold all over town.

Waiting for Assets in Bolivia.

Now we’re talking.

 

 

Setting Two | Chilling on the Boat

There is spring water on my boat I got the other day at Whole Foods. My new heater is on setting “2” which is the highest setting. It’s been working–

My stomach hurts.

I went to Whole Foods to get a matcha latte and some young coconut meat and a Hoplark Hop Tea. I didn’t realize the brand wasn’t “Hop Tea.” I thought it was Hop Tea but it’s actually Hoplark. Hope Tea is a way cooler name and much more straightforward. They have Hoplark printed vertically on the side (?) of the can and it doesn’t exactly catch your attention. Of all the Hoplark teas I prefer the green right now because of the taste and also because it might be slightly easier to drink on an empty stomach.

I injected BPC-157 into my knee this morning about an hour after waking up. I’m getting good at injecting it really close to the LCL. I like the ritual. Grab the little party pack out of the bow with the syringes and alcohol swabs. Get the BPC-157 out of the fridge and set everything up on the table. Get my knee ready, pull my pants or long underwear down and pinch the skin to find a suitable injection site but first palpitate the tendon a bit to see where it’s sore; that’s where I want to inject. Swab the top of the container holding the BPC-157 and also the part of my knee where I’m going to inject. Swab it good. Then pull the safeties off either end of the syringe and pull the white plunger part out till it’s at about 20 then turn the BPC-157 vial upside down and with my left hand try to puncture the membrane of the vial right in the middle of the little circle. Draw it out till it’s past 20, watching it fill, then push it in till it’s no more than 20 but no less than 15. Pinch the skin in my right hand and then insert the needle and slowly push the plunger until all the liquid is in me, and then pull the needle out, grab the swab and apply pressure where the needle went in. After 15 seconds or so throw the swab in the garbage, put the caps back on the syringe and put it in a little ziplock bag for used syringes. When I was on the ferry the other day I disposed of all my old used syringes in the sharps container. I felt a big strange doing it. I would’ve felt weird if anyone walked in. It was a lot of syringes. But no one walked in and afterward I washed my hands.

Last night when I got back from Nate’s I made myself some yogurt with mango and oats. First I got the mango, which wasn’t quite ripe, an ataulfo mango, and using a knife sliced all the skin off. Then I cut strips of it off the side until most of the meat was gone, and then using my hands ate the rest of the meat that was still attached to the seed. This is my favorite part, sinking my teeth into this flesh. Then I got the yogurt out and put some of the chunks in and poured some lightly-toasted oats on top. It was way too late to be eating and probably why I feel like shit today. I don’t feel like shit today, but my digestive system could be better. Then I sat on the bench seat with this yogurt mixture and ate all the good stuff out, and then put more mango and oats in, repeating the process till all the mango was gone. And then I didn’t watch YouTube videos because I’m only allowed to watch YouTube videos till 10pm. I’m only allowed to use the internet till 11pm, at which point I can journal or read or just go to sleep but usually I journal for a little bit then read and within 15 or so minutes I’m pretty tired. I get up for one last pee and then unplug the LED string lights, then turn off the portside LED dome light, and then finally the starboard LED dome light. Then I get in bed. Of course before this I’ve already put the wooden hatch boards in and also wedged the boat hook in between the the lip of the deck and part of the sliding part of the roof so if someone were to come on the boat they either wouldn’t be able to open the hatch, or they MIGHT be able to open the hatch with a lot of force but it would be really loud and I’d quickly spring over to the galley and grab my knife. That’s the plan. There are a lot of tweakers where I live.

We sang songs at Nate’s. Nate and Hunter played guitar and I sang. They sang too. We sang Beatles songs and Nirvana and Tom Petty. Buddy was on the ground and can’t really move cuz he got vaccines injected into his hind legs yesterday and now they’re all stiff.

My knee felt sore this morning and I’m not really sure why. I didn’t really take any falls climbing yesterday. I didn’t really do any knee intensive moves. I didn’t really climb hard yesterday. Maybe it’s all the BPC injections. Maybe I AM kind of doing like a poor man’s PRP. Either way the region where my LCL inserts into the fibula is a bit sore. I’ve also become completely dependent on my knee sleeve. It feels really weird not to wear it. I feel really unstable. And I can’t find the black knee sleeve I usually wear at night.

Now I’m drinking my hop tea and I have no plans for today. I don’t know if I’m realistically going to do any job applications. Or volunteer applications. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Maybe I’ll go to my parents’. I was thinking about driving to Wenatchee to stay there but that’s like three hours driving there, three hours driving back. I don’t need to do that. Plus then I spend money on a hotel. I don’t need to do that. I’d rather (I think I’d rather, at least) take walks around here and hopefully hang out with someone in the evening.

You Can’t Cheat || At Home on the Boat

Numbers, numbers, numbers, numbers. My goal for traffic for this blog for February was 300 views, and since it’s surpassed that I feel like I can take a bit of a break. Or breathe easier. The goal for March will also be 300 view. Eventually I will raise that goal to 500. Eventually to 1,000. My friend the other day raised the question of at some point doing online ads for the blog. But that will have to wait. That just seems ridiculous right now. Right now the only two goals are: 1) enjoy writing, and 2) have SOME readership.

Like, even two people a day and I’m happy. But zero? Might as well be journaling. Which I also like.

I’m on the boat drinking the Om Mushroom Master Blend. It’s got every kind of mushroom you could think of. I got it with my stimulus a few days ago and expected to be superhuman sometime by the end of the week. Which didn’t happen. If anything I just had digestive problems, though I doubt it was from the mushroom powder. Probably from the Vitamin D. Or the turmeric on an empty stomach. Or actually probably from all the keto crap I was eating last week, all the stuff with chicory root and all this other stuff they put in keto foods to make it taste better or have more fiber but that your stomach can’t digest AT ALL. So it wrecks your digestive system. Look: With fasting, with keto, with Whole 30, with any of these diets, you can’t cheat. That’s the end of the story. If you try to “cheat” with coffee on a fast you’re screwed. Insulin levels through the roof. If you try to “cheat” on keto with all kinds of sugar alcohols and chicory root fiber you’re screwed. Your stomach will be a disaster. When will we (see: I) learn that it’s all super simple, that you just eat a diet that’s mostly plant-based, having meat on special occasions, and keeping things like gluten and dairy and sugar in check but not feeling the need to cut them out completely? It’s so simple. And yet I don’t learn. Rice, vegetables, water. Maybe some tea. Maybe a ham hock on Thanksgiving. But that’s it!!! Don’t complicate things!!!

The market is in the shitter today and it’s got me pretty bummed out.  But also kinda stoked for the rebound.

The other day going to SBP was one of the most heart-wrenching things I’ve ever done. But I will not start climbing just to climb. I will wait until my body is at least somewhat ready.

I finally found a good book. I ditched The Overstory. If you’re thinking of reading this book, please don’t. It’s so pretentious. It’s MFA Shit Lit. It’s so horrible. It’s right up there with Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest. Two books that convinced so many people, FOOLED so many people, and yet I guarantee there’s a deeper consciousness out there that knows just how terrible these books are. They’re an affront to literature and everything that’s pure and holy in this world. And the thing is either the authors are so delusional they think their books are good because everyone’s always telling them so, or even they, somewhere deep down, know that they’ve written a steaming pile of shit.

Anyway, the GOOD book I got is called Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee. The line that convinced me to buy it came on page 2 and was, “At that moment, Casey would’ve bartered her body for a cigarette.” Done. Went to the checkout counter at Amazon Books (I know!), bought it, said, “Hell no I don’t have a Prime membership,” and walked away happy. Didn’t go to Chipotle. Walked back to my car via Ravenna Park.

Which reminds me. The Subi really needs to go to the shop.

Anyway. Hope you all are well today. Trust in your natural responses.

– Wetz

Western Washington Bouldering by Pablo Zuleta

Yesterday I got the book Western Washington Bouldering by Pablo Zuleta. It’s very possible that this book will change my life. In November of 2019 I tried bouldering for the first time at Seattle Bouldering Project. Then in December I became hooked. By February I had even taken a class, three sad guys on Valentine’s day with the teacher who had us trying an orange on a slab that I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do and both of the other guys did and then I finally sent it. Then we tried a purple and all of us failed miserably. My obsession with bouldering became such that before the lockdown I would go to the new SBP in Fremont, Upper Walls, and just sit in the upper viewing area with my notebook writing down beta. Left hand and left foot on sloper, right hand on pinch thing, right foot dangling below left hand. Slowly reach left hand up to pinch/sloper thing, match, reach up with left hand….etc. Back before the lockdown I had successfully done one V5 indoors, though the only reason I was able to do it is because it didn’t require much technique, only a lot of leg strength. I said back then that my goal before the summer was over was to do a V7, outdoors. That’s still my goal. I think I’ve found the problem. It’s called “Naughty Corner” and it’s located in the Index area. It looks gorgeous.  A bit crimpy, and with a dyno to finish. Dynos are my specialty, since they require athleticism more than anything. My technique with bouldering is subpar. But I’m good at jumping and grabbing shit.

Western Washington Bouldering has also shown me my dream problem: “Midnite.” Midnite is a V9 also located in the Index area. It’s gorgeous. It’s a clean face that might be slightly overhanging, crimpy line up to another dyno. The dyno looks sick. Right hand up to a sloper, then top out. My goal this summer is not to do it, but maybe just to get some of the moves down. Maybe to just be able to do the first 2-3 moves. Then again, the whole problem is only like five moves. And the dyno, like I said, looks siiiiiick. But you want more than just one pad to do this problem. Which means I either need to get more pads or go with friends. Either way I’ve already got my hopes up, like I’m going to be able to send this problem by fall or something. Which is a bit unrealistic. You don’t go from barely climbing V5 indoors to suddenly sending V9 outdoors.

Lately I’ve been bouldering a bit on a boulder in Port Gamble Heritage Park in the middle of a clear cut field (could there be a more depressing place to boulder?), and this is officially the first place I’ve ever bouldered outside. The rock is not great. There are no defined problems. But it’s still good to feel the rock against your skin. There is one sloper hold that I’m a bit obsessed with. I think sloper holds will be my next love. I think one day I will grow to love crimps, but for now I despise them because I’m terrible at them. I find that bouldering somehow has a lot to do with playing the piano. You chop boulders up into doable segments, learning a couple moves at a time, and then stringing the whole thing together. Same with piano. You learn little bits of the song with the hopes of stringing it all together in the end. And ultimately the whole allure with both bouldering and piano is learning one relatively small thing but doing it so that you completely master it, so that you can make it look easy, graceful. Becoming obsessed with one tiny little thing. Memorizing the moves. Exactly where you place your fingers. How your body feels when you do it. In my opinion bouldering is like solving a Rubik’s cube, but with your entire being. The ultimate goal is to disappear into the moves.

There was a purple at Seattle Bouldering Project that I was obssesed with. It involved grabbing a slopey ledge and somehow not barn-dooring, matching on the ledge and then powering to the top. I tried it for like three weeks. I finally got some beta on how to do the “crux,” which involved a mini right heel hook that kept you from barn dooring. So then I could grab the ledge, and even match, but by that point I was too pumped to finish it. But then one day I showed up, walked up to it and just sent it. The heel hook felt incredible. A move that had stymied me so many times I now loved. I loved grabbing the ledge, matching, grabbing the next hold with my right hand, and then moving the right hand further to grab the next hold, repositioning the feet, and reaching for the top. It’s still the most satisfying boulder problem I’ve ever done. And it was probably V3.

So that’s the deal: send a V7 by the end of this summer. Why not? It’s going to require bouldering a lot, eating somewhat healthy to keep inflammation under control, and most of all, having fun. That’s one other reason I associate bouldering with playing the piano. I never force myself to play the piano. I only play when I want to. I never force myself to practice. In this way it remains pure for me. I don’t do it to get better, or impress people. I only do it because it feeds my soul and it’s fun. I’ve decided to do the same with bouldering. If I ever get sick of it, I’ll just stop. If I decide tomorrow that I’m over bouldering, I’ll just stop and never do it again. I’m not going to force myself to do it. I’m not going to do it for other people. I want to do a V7 because I want to do it. Because I like grades and pushing myself. Because I like having clearly-defined goals. But it’s just for me. It’s a way to rise above the shackles of everyday life, naked and free.

-Wetz