Travel Plans

The sun is barreling forward in its attempts to climb higher in the sky and I feel pretty good about things. There’s a bit of resignation, to be fair, but what if instead of fighting to be the person I want to be, as Clara suggested, I fought to accept the person I am? Would that work? It certainly seems easier. It’s not like I won’t still be trying to improve myself, because that’s somewhat natural (at least in American culture) and there’s certainly a time and place for that, but when I try to improve myself or make drastic changes at the wrong time it usually seems to backfire.

These things in mind, I feel pretty good about my trip to Mexico tomorrow. I’m flying to Puerto Vallarta nonstop on Alaska Airlines, staying a night at the Comfort Inn near the airport, and then flying to Guadalajara the next day on Aeromar, everyone’s sixth favorite Mexican national airline. Then, I’ll meet up with my friend Darren, we’ll chill in GDL a few days, and then we’ll begin our inexorable march towards Mexico City via Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, and some other small towns on the way. And then five days in Mexico City. Or so. And from there, who knows? Maybe Belize. Maybe El Salvador. Maybe Bogota. Maybe Chile. Maybe all of those places or maybe some place different entirely like French Guyana or Suriname.

My succulents are stoked right now cuz they’re getting direct sun. I’m a bit anxious right now because I haven’t done much work today and also because of my trip tomorrow. Luckily, I don’t have to do much. I have to pack (easy). I have to maybe clean up the boat a little bit (fairly easy). And I have to not drink too much caffeine (potentially hard). It’s also OK if I don’t do much work today, since I can definitely get some done at the airport tomorrow, and tomorrow night at the Comfort Inn in Puerto Vallarta, everyone’s fourth favorite airport hotel, I have nothing to do and so could potentially work. Also, my work with Booking.com hasn’t fully picked up again since dropping off right before the holidays. I have about a day and a half of work this week, which is better than zero, but still not enough to be super stressful (or pay the bills). Basically what I’m trying to say is that my anxieties are somewhat unfounded, as they usually are. Everything will be fine, as it usually is, and if for some reason it’s not fine I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I enjoy crossing bridges. I don’t enjoy looking down when I cross bridges, however, because I feel a strange impulse to jump.

ANYWAY.

Not sure what else to talk about. It’s March 1st. There’s a kingfisher on the boathouse across from me and a massive flock of crows just alighted on the tree on shore and are having a loud conversation. I climbed yesterday at SBP Fremont, and it was fairly great. Flashed some oranges. Didn’t send any blacks or blues but didn’t try a bunch either. I won’t climb for a month now, and I’m ready to let my body heal. That’s part of the reason for this trip — to take a break from climbing. I love climbing, but there’s nothing like a break to make you love it more. Last year when I couldn’t climb for two months because of my LCL I came back more motivated than ever and in many ways climbing better than ever. When you take a long break sometimes you unlearn bad habits, and if you watch videos of the pros, you learn new ones that you can implement when you start climbing again. And if anything hopefully my back is just happy.

Is it time to go to Whole Foods?

No, I’m going to keep writing until I get to 1000 words.

Is anyone still there?

What am I going to do in Guadalajara, you might be wondering? What do I do when I travel? Well, I don’t do a ton. I mostly go to cafes and walk around. Which is more or less exactly what I do in Seattle, though when you’re doing it in a place you don’t really know speaking a language that’s not your native language it feels a little more special. Also, I lived in Guadalajara five years ago, teaching English at a place called Vancouver Language Centre and Spanish at the American consulate. I’ve only kept in touch with one person from my time there, so I hope to see her. But mostly I just hope to walk around and visit some of my old haunts and enjoy the ridiculously sunny, warm, temperatures, and enjoy our ridiculously chic AirBnb, and hang out with Darren. I don’t know how much drinking will be involved. I hope not too much. I was talking with my therapist today about how not all epiphanies are created equal, and how the epiphanies from drinking don’t measure up to those of a three or even one day fast. And I believe this wholeheartedly. When you fast your hierarchy of needs gets completely revamped, and so things that might’ve competed for attention in consciousness when you had nothing else to worry about just sort of fade away, and some other things that are actually quite important drift to the forefront. Last time I fasted moving to Leavenworth came up again, for example. And how it’s a good idea. How basically not living in Seattle is a good idea.

OK, that’s about it for now. I think it’s time to go to Whole Foods. I think I want some more caffeine and I would maim for an Urban Remedy matcha bar right now. Urban Remedy, will you sponsor me? Or employ me? Probably not.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. I look forward to blogging from Puerto Vallarta tomorrow, aka the Comfort Inn, everyone’s sixteenth favorite airport hotel.

– Wetz

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Today I’m writing at the dreaded 3pm time. Usually no good comes of this. Writing blog posts at 3pm is not a good idea. Which is why I’m implementing two things to make it go better: 1) I won’t post this until after proofreading it tomorrow, and 2) I’m just going to do a little stream of consciousness. No editing. No going back and reading what I’ve already written.

I’m on the boat, as you might’ve guessed, since usually when I’m writing I’m on the boat. I don’t usually write in cafes, because if I’m in a cafe with my computer it means I’m working. And lately there hasn’t been any work. So I haven’t been going to cafes. One of my supervisors said work was supposed to be picking up soon but then it just….doesn’t. I don’t know when “soon” is. Maybe “soon” for her is 2024. Today I accepted one task, for a tour somewhere in India. Tomorrow I’ll complete the task, and then Wednesday I’ll submit it. Good start to the work week.

Slash.

I’m not doing keto today. I did keto for about a week, and I felt great albeit hungry af, but today I’m not doing keto, partly because I wanted to be able to get a more fun cafe beverage with the person I just met up with, and partly because when you do keto you just slowly starve, and partly because I have some tortilla chips on the boat I need to eat. I mean, today won’t be a CRAZY carb day. I’m going to try to have my “crazy” carb  days still be quite healthy. But eat two servings of chips and you’re at like 70g of carbs, so, like, you’re not doing keto.

I did just have some MCT oil. Which will probably rip a hole in my stomach.

I don’t know what to do this evening. I could work on the novel or the novella. I worked on the novella a bit this morning. I CAN’T climb, absolutely can’t climb, cuz my elbow feels effed from going really hard a couple sessions last week. Tendonitis. So frustrating. Medial epycondilitis. Why doesn’t the spellcheck work on WordPress. Why do I have to pay $4.88 a month for wordpress. It’s so dumb. Stream of consciousness. Typing. Elbow. Coffee. Whole Foods. Tortilla chips. Kraken. Blackhawks. YouTube. Bouldering. Cell phone. Green sludge. Keto.

I should do a cold plunge, but there’s not way I’m doing a cold plunge.

It’s so silent at the boat right now. I can hear the ducks and the geese outside and that’s it. Can’t hear my neighbors. Don’t hear any boats going by. Don’t hear any planes. I hear a car in the distance, some kind of souped up Honda or something, probably crossing the ballard bridge. I hear a crow cawing. Again, a duck or a goose flapping its wings against the water. A crow cawing again. The sound of my fingers typing. The boat sways gently side to side. I could clean the boat, clean my car, maybe that’s what I’ll do. I need to drop off a bunch of books at the little lending libraries. I have too many books. And I’m not reading them, so they’re not getting used, just taking up space in a place where space is limited.

I could clean out the bilge compartment.

I could do yoga.

I could take a long walk.

I could take a nap.

 

The Geese

After more than two and a half years of living on a boat on the freshwater side of the Ballard Locks I’ve become better acquainted with the local bird species. Many I recognize and know the names of but there are also plenty i dont know the names of too. There are mallards and mergansers and herons and canadian geese. There are what I think are loons. There are these little black duck-like things that I think are pretty good divers and are much more skittish than the mallards and also have stunted beaks. There are the kingfishers with their trademark call. And the seagulls, of course, oh the seagulls. I can hear one screaming right now. Usually the birds aren’t TOO loud, but lately the geese have been having some 3am or 4am skirmishes, though of course I can’t be sure of the time because I don’t actually stir enough to check my clock, just to get mildly annoyed and go back to sleep.

Oh, and there are cormorants, too. How could I forget the cormorants. I love cormorants. And more in the summer there are bald eagles, usually when the salmon are running.

Weirdly, the species I’ve come to love the most over the two and half years are the canadian geese. At the beginning I wasn’t super fond of them because all they seem to do is poop and get pissed at you when you get near their young. But the more time I’ve spent around them the more I’ve developed a tender spot for them. How do I describe how this tender spot came about? Well, they’re so….dumb. And it’s not like i like dumb things. I usually kind of abhor dumb things. But in the case of the geese with the dumbness comes a certain kind of innocence, a certain earnestness. The mallards are a bit dumb too but I’ve seen them be vicious, the males trying to drown each other. And I guess now that I think about it the reason I like the geese is that even though they’re dumb and scared of humans they can also be quite curious, too. today for example I opened the curtains of my boat upon waking up and there was a pair of geese just staring at me through the window. I opened the hatch and said hello and they continued to stare, and then started making honking noises, and i did my best to make honking noises and we had a bit of a honking match. Then there was the night I got home late from being out on the town and I walked (as I sometimes do) to the end of the dock before getting on my boat to appreciate the stillness. And there chilling at the end of the dock, like little ghost fowl in the water, but a troupe of Canadian geese, looking like little grey shrouded sentinels. What they were up to I have no idea. They’re a weird bird, and that’s why i love them more and more.

I would probably love the more exotic birds too, the loons and the mergansers, but they never get close enough to hang out. The only ones that really get close are the mallards and the geese.

And so that’s what I was thinking about this morning, as I try to decide what to do today. I made a resolution yesterday to get off the boat, but I don’t know where that’ll take me. Maybe I’ll just go over to my parents’ house, or maybe I’ll drive to Portland and then Bend. Maybe I’ll go out to the Olympic Peninsula.

No need to rush. In the event I can’t decide maybe I’ll just look at the geese for awhile, for though they are dumb they’re also somehow wise.

Or actually maybe just dumb.

Vilificare

I have officially watched six YouTube videos today. This is good for me. Usually I waste an absurd amount of time every day watching YouTube videos. YouTube is vile. Spending your day streaming videos is vile. And yet I do it a lot.

Vile.

I have a candle burning. I’m listening to KEXP. My heater is on and the radio is playing which means I can’t hear any of the outside world. Earlier I was lying on the floor of my boat, no heater on, just listening to the world. I called my mom and told her I could hear seagulls cawing in the distance. I could hear the sound of the water lapping against the hull, the creak of the lines and the bumpers. From time to time I could hear the mallards.

I have to get a COVID test the afternoon of the 24th so I can (hopefully) get into Canada the afternoon of the 27th. Tomorrow I’m only going to eat fish unless a social situation tempts me to do otherwise. I don’t think I can write with this music on. It’s freezing outside.

I just took a sip of Carina peach sour by Ecliptic Brewing, out of Portland, Oregon and that too was somewhat vile. Let me take another sip. Yes, still somewhat vile. Vile comes of the Latin word ‘villis,’ mean ‘of low value.’ It has to do with the word villify, which means it must have to do with the word ‘villain.’ Nothing but snow in the forecast for Squamish. Even if I do get a clear day when I’m there there won’t be much on offer to boulder. Unless I can find a nice cave. It’s always nice to find a cave.

Vilificare.

It’s going to get cold in Seattle. Luckily, I’m getting off the boat just in time. I check the weather forecast for Gold Bar. If I wanted to go for broke, I could try to send Ryan’s Problem in the morning. Oh, but my video meeting. And then physical therapy. I’ll probably climb tomorrow, but it’ll probably be in the gym. Luckily, this peach sour is getting better with every sip. I mean, it’s still disgusting, but it’s getting better. And now the only thing I want to do is stream something. Sit back, turn my brain off, and just watch a screen.

And that’s probably what I’ll do, even though I should read Ishmael or just lie on the ground and listen to music. Oh, the despair of living alone on a boat in the winter.

The Duck Pond (and other thoughts)

Five days ago since I wrote the last post, and I’ve made a couple attempts to write posts since then. The problem is usually I start too late in the day, and for me to be even remotely successful at writing blog posts I have to start in the morning. Take now, for example. It’s 1:53pm. I just boiled water for mate. I’m sitting at my computer. Things are quiet and I feel a bit tired. I don’t have much to talk about. After this paragraph whatever enthusiasm I’d garnered will probably peter out, and I’ll be left just staring at a computer screen, wondering if I should go in the next room and watch YouTube videos. I know it sounds a bit depressing. It sort of is. But in November in the Puget Sound region when you should be working and can’t climb, there’s not much else to do.

I did got to Victoria this weekend. Victoria, British Columbia, to be exact. There I stayed in the James Bay Inn and saw some old friends, wandered around the city a bit, and went to the local bouldering gym. Probably my favorite part of the trip — apart from seeing friends — was hanging out around the duck ponds in Beacon Hill Park. I love watching ducks interact with each other. I often watch them by my boat where I live in Seattle. I love the seriousness with which they go about their tasks. Life is a serious thing to them. Predators are a serious threat. Finding a mate is not a trifling matter. Conversely, in our species, life is a serious matter. Getting a job is serious. Finding a mate is serious. We do all of these things as if they have some kind of inherent meaning.

When I was in the park I couldn’t help but think about Eckhart Tolle, and how after his supposed enlightment he spent a couple years sitting on park benches. It made me think about how the contents of our brains are probably generated by the stimuli that goes into them, and if you were to sit on a park bench for a couple years, contemplating the ducks, your life would probably be as serene and carefree as the scene is when you stop to watch it for two minutes. However, when you start exposing yourself to the ‘real’ world, to busy streets and deadlines and people yelling at each other, the contents of your brain start to resemble that. I’m not saying we should all go sit on park benches for the next couple years, but I am saying a couple of us should. Maybe I should step up and take the plunge. Maybe you should. Some of us have the responsibility to be the keepers of a tranquility that the rest of us will never know.

Taking the ferry back to Port Angeles, the Olympics were bathed in celestial light. On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of seeing my therapist in person. I’ve been talking to her for a year, and I’d still never met her in person, mostly because she’s far away. I wondered how doing a session in person would be different from doing a video session. And it turns out it was different. It was more intense. I somehow felt inhibited by being around a real, actual person, instead of just a face on a screen. However, when we started getting into the nitty gritty, I also felt the intensity of the atmosphere, the intensity of her words, so much more than if I were sitting at home on my boat by myself. In fact, throughout the rest of the day, I felt lighter, empowered, in a way that I’ve felt after few sessions with her.

Maybe it’s finally time to sell my boat.

And now I’m going to try to work. I say try because this week it’s felt like an immense struggle. All I’m doing today is writing two blurbs. That’s it. Two blurbs. And yet it feels like I’m trying to move mountains. I’m compensating with mate. I’m trying to get my diet right. Figure out how to have more energy. But it’s a slow process. You can’t give up, and basically since July I’ve given up on trying to be healthy, thinking it didn’t matter that much. And now I feel worse than I’ve ever felt in my life, body health wise. So I’m going to claw myself out of this hole, one intermittent fast at a time, one 24-hour fast at a time, one less carb at a time, one more cup of mate at a time.