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.

Stuck in Second Gear || Chilling on the Road to Recovery

Chilling on the boat OF COURSE. Contemplating doing some job applications and also checking on the Amazon and Duolingo apps I did like a week ago. Amazon said they would DEFINITELY get back to me, but the only thing I’ve gotten so far is an email asking if I’d like to be contacted about “other jobs.” Is this an extremely oblique, obtuse, tetrahedral way of telling me I didn’t get the first job? Is it because the ad said they explicitly wanted “NATIVE” Spanish speakers and other than having lived in Bogota for three months and knowing a decent deal of Mexican slang I’m not technically a “native” Spanish speaker. What is a “native” Spanish speaker anyway?

I ran a mile in 7:08 this morning. This is my fastest post-LCL injury time. My previous was 8:27 and the fastest before that, though it was at least half a walk, was 10:57. My next goal is to break the seven-minute barrier. The problem is, much like my childhood ’91 Honda Civic, I’m stuck in second gear. I can’t crank it up to third gear because I haven’t cranked it up to third gear since getting hurt. Third gear, in case you’re wondering, is just below fourth gear, which is a sprint. Third gear is more of a canter. Second gear is a trot/jog. First gear is, of course, a walk. I think I probably COULD crank it up to third gear, but I’m afraid the clutch might get stuck or the accelerator might get stuck and next thing I know I’m streaming around Green Lake with my hair on fire and I blow an o-ring. Much of this injury is probably psychological. Today felt like a triumph, but it also felt pretty easy since I was just running straight. It’s the lateral movement that scares me.

Yesterday I went to SBP Poplar and renewed my membership. I hadn’t planned on doing this, but yesterday I had coffee and when I have coffee all bets are off. After coffee I fairly instantly got in my car, made a reservation for the next available climbing slot, drove across town (I wanted to check out Poplar since I hadn’t been there for awhile even though I was right next to the Fremont one), renewed my reservation, and started warming up. I did five minutes on the stationary bike. I hung for bit, doing scapula pull-ups and also the deepest-set crimps they have (my goal by the end of the summer is to be able to do a one-armed pull-up on the shallowest crimps they have). Then I finally started climbing, first a yellow, then a red, then a couple greens, another red, feeling like a red was tough and hating myself for it, and then, at the end, flashing a purple. I was PYSCHED on flashing a purple but it also had no business being a purple. And I wasn’t even going to write about this because “flashing a purple” makes it sound like I can climb again, when the truth is I’m terrified the whole time I’m climbing, I might be messing my knee up, it’s probably not advisable, and I don’t want to get my hopes up. When I climb right now I cannot fall. I have to do climbs I KNOW I can do, and then I have to downclimb these climbs. No heel hooking. No chucking to holds I’m not sure I can make. In a way it’s really good for my climbing because it forces me to be super precise. In the words of Jimmy Chin, “No mistakes today.”

I need someone to come visit me on my boat because when I don’t have visitors it slips into a state of relative squalor. Dishes go unwashed. Detritus piles up on the bench seat across from me.

It’s gloriously sunny (see: partly cloudy) and I’m going to pressure-wash the boat. The most exciting part of this is I get to wear my Xtra Tuffs, which aren’t that tough because after like a year they already had fissures in them. Apparently when they started getting made in China they became “not so tuff.”

Hmmmmmm, what else. God, I don’t want to do these job applications. Writing cover letters is painful. But at the same time I need to do something, I’m destined to do something, I can’t just sit on my boat. And going to the climbing gym for a terror-sesh once every few days isn’t quite cutting it.





I’m Glad I Spent it With You || Chilling on the Boat

Everything seems fairly glorious today, and I’m trying to figure out why.

Hypothesis eins:

Yesterday the last calories entering my mouth was at 5:30pm PST. These calories came in the form of oats. Lightly toasted oats from Trader Joe’s. I was standing in my boat and spooning them into my mouth and groaning slightly. Once in my mouth the saliva from my mouth would mix with the oats to create a mixture not unlike fresh cement. This mixture would then pass into my stomach, where, right now, it ostensibly IS cement. Glorious cement. Glorious, fiber-filled cement.

But the point is that since I ate my last calories at 5:30pm, when I woke up this morning at 7:30am I had already been fasting for (carry the two) 14 hours!!!!!!!!! Which meant if I just held off till 9:30am I would have fasted for 16 hours, which of course I didn’t do, cuz I just got back from Whole Foods where I got a matcha latte, a green Hop Tea, OCTOPUS TENTACLES, and an albacore tuna steak. My friend Cole said the other day that your digestive system is never better than when you’re vegetarian, so for three weeks I’m cutting out foul, pork, and red meat. Octopus tentacles are a vegetarian’s dream. Also is A2/A2 yogurt. Also are eggs. Also is cauliflower.

So that’s hypothesis one. Feeling light, feeling good.

Hypothesis deux:

I’ve got a lot going on today.

Several social functions, which is approximately several more than I usually have planned in a given day. Which means I have tons of stuff to look forward to. Which is a good way to start the day.

Hypothesis kolme:

Today is supposed to be one of the nicest days of the year. Which means we’re all going to have Vitamin D coming out of our ears in about four hours. I intend to sunbathe today, and sunbathe with a vengeance. It’s a LITTLE bit early for swimming season yet. Just a touch. But it’s never too early to sunbathe.

Hypothesis quatre:

Hypothesis four is the most likely hypothesis to be true because it synthesizes all of the previous hypotheses and also adds a wildcard: I’m pressure washing my boat today. That is, I’m taking steps to vastly improve my living situation, transforming it from something out of the movie Waterworld into a gleaming bastion of maritime excellence. So maybe that’s it. Fasting a bit, having stuff planned for the day, starting the day off with my usual routine of gross amounts of green tea, and to top it all off the sun already shining (through a layer of clouds, of course).

The perfect day? Maybe.

A wonderful day? Definitely.

– Wetz

The Island Behind

O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye.

– Traditional Scottish Song

–The word of the Lord.
— Thanks be to God.

– Popular Church Refrain

I’m on the ferry coming back from Bainbridge, where I spent the afternoon/evening at my parents’ house. As I said yesterday, my original plan after physical therapy was to drive to Leavenworth, but then I thought, I don’t want to drive out to Leavenworth. But I do want to get off my boat. So I went to my parents’ house.

The seagulls are preening themselves this morning. They have such brilliant, white feathers. They are perfectly clean. No one is speaking on this ferry. Everyone is quiet. Everyone is wearing a mask. And now there’s a crow next to the seagulls, cawing. It’s just flown away. The seagulls did not bat an eye, so engrossed are they in their self-care. I wish I had a cam with which I could follow these two particular seagulls for the next 24 hours. What would they do? Where would they go? Will they spend most of the day on this piling next to the ferry? Where do they sleep at night?

Two Canadian geese drift into the picture on the water below. The geese have been very active around my boat lately. I don’t know if it’s mating season or what, but they’re always honking ferociously and a fight seems to have always broken out. Meanwhile the heron stand on the pier, in groups of 10-20, impassable. They look like old businessmen hunched over in grey suits. They fight too, and their fighting is hilarious. They rear their necks back but never seem to touch each other. Theirs is an elegant, capoeira style of fighting. And then they go back to being hunched over, looking out at the horizon.

The ferry leaves and the island recedes into the distance. We’ll be in Seattle soon, with all that that brings. The honking, the homeless, people generally seeming stressed out. I’ll get off the ferry and walk the two miles up the waterfront to my car, passing the strange tourists who at 8:30am are out walking the Seattle waterfront. There are always a few. Families. Sometimes masked, sometimes not. You wonder where they’re from. Renton? Yakima? South Dakota? I don’t understand what they’re doing, their thought process. But I prefer not understanding what they’re doing. I’m sure their explanation wouldn’t make sense to me.

The ferry groans slightly as it turns right to leave Eagle Harbor. It begins to shake. Everyone is still preturnaturally quiet, still wearing their masks except for one guy who has his mask off to eat and drink his coffee. Naturally, I despise him for this. Who are you to have your mask off, asshole? How is your coffee drinking somehow more important than the safety of those around you? I am a spectacular hypocrite, of course, because if I had a muffin, if I had an americano with just a little bit of heavy cream, if I had a latte and a scone, if I had a large earl grey tea with just a little bit of heavy crean, if I had a mocha, if I had a green tea, if I had a drip coffee, if I had whatever this guy is drinking, whatever this guy is eating, I’d be doing the exact same thing.

And there, look, he just put his mask on. Maybe he isn’t Satan. Maybe he’s actually a great guy.

Now we’re fully in the sound named after Peter Puget and the island has lost its grip on us. Not that it ever had a grip on us. But it was caressing us, and now the caress of the island is gone, the caress of tranquility, and the city and the skyline and the dirt and the noise spring ever more into view. The ferry is gathering speed now and shaking ferociously. Screws are coming loose. We sound like we’re about to take flight. We must be doing 20 knots now. The wake we’re putting off is tremendous as we round the last buoy and head straight toward Seattle, straight toward the metropolis, straight toward our destinies. What are my fellow ferry riders up to today? Are you all off to work? To visit friends? To conduct business transations? To go shopping? I have no idea. I imagine the first guess is the most accurate. This is, or was, a full-fledged commuter boat. Thousands of people would ride it every morning. The atmosphere then was always lively because anytime you have that many people in an enclosed space the atmosphere becomes lively. Groups of people who ride the boat together everyday, having the same conversations, gossiping. This was their last respite before working 9-5. And then in the evening they’d do it all over again, and when they got to the island everything would be quiet, or at least in comparison to Seattle, and they’d have dinner, and they’d hang out with their families, maybe do a little extra work, watch some TV, go to bed, get up and do it all over again.

But that was then.

I wish I had a coffee.

But I’m done with coffee.

Should I stop by Whole Foods on the way to my boat?

I have therapy at 10am.

Today is Tuesday, the year of Yaweh two thousand and twenty-one, the ninth day of March. Today the sun will set at approximately 6:06pm and there will be civil twilight until 6:36 and then nautical twilight for another half hour after that. At 7pm there will still be some vestiges of sunlight. And then in four days the clocks will change and at 8pm there will be some vestiges of light. This to me is always a bigger marker of spring than the actual day spring starts. Spring to me is a smell in the air. You’re walking one day, maybe in February, maybe in March, and a smell hits your nostrils and you think, That’s spring. That’s when spring arrives. It doesn’t have much to do with the official day.

I see Magnolia off to my right and I long for the island behind me.

After We Read The Order of Time || Chilling on the Boat

I look forward to writing these blogs. I look forward to communing with you, my friends. I also look forward to writing these blogs because it means I get to drink caffeine. Gross amounts of caffeine. Caffeine coursing through my veins. They say now that caffeine makes your brain have more grey matter than white matter. I don’t really know what this means. I think grey matter might be less flexible. Caffeine definitely makes you less creative. More focused = less creative. To be creative your mind needs to be absolutely still. At peace. Wandering. Your mind needs to wonder. Living on a boat alone is a good place for your mind to wander. You feel the boat swaying in the water. You hear the ducks outside. This morning a Canadian goose came swimming into the waters between my boat and my neighbors, honking. I think it wanted food. My neighbor with the devil child sometimes throws food to the seagulls, and the birds know this. The mergansers come. The ducks come. And maybe now the geese are coming, too.

Time to breathe. Always time to breathe after the first paragraph. Big exhale. Come on, Marko. Everything you got.

God this Hop Tea is fucking delicious.

I’m almost done with Free Food for Millionaires. Thank God. I was enchanted by this book at the beginning, but after 500 pages it’s lost some  of its luster. I’m ready to dedicate my attention in full to Desert Solitaire. Why are there so many shitty novels out there? I mean, I guess there can’t only be GOOD novels. There has to be a full gamut. Amazing novels. Mediocre novels. Shitty novels. Good novels. The kind of novel where you think, OK I COULD go on. Like, I could probably finish this, but I don’t really want to. When is someone going to write a good book about climbing? More importantly, when is someone going to write a good book about BOULDERING? Could I write that book? Could I write A book?

Hop Tea.

Woke up this morning and looked at apartments in Leavenworh. There’s a BEAUTIFUL two-bedroom for $1,800. There’s a decent looking two-bedroom for $1,300. There’s a decent looking studio (though it appears to not really have windows) for $1,000. And then of course there are all the Leavenworth Haus apartments. Aka the efficiencies that are only 283 square feet and cost almost a thousand bucks. What redeeming qualities do these apartments have??????????????????????????????????? I ask you: What redeeming qualities do these apartments have. I ask the manager, who changes the price every single fucking ad on Craigslist: What redeeming qualities do these apartments have. And finally I ask myself: When will I be able to gym climb again.

Which reminds me, I need to do my physical therapy.

I’m not looking forward to the drive to Gig Harbor today. I’m going to Gig Harbor to visit my sister. I’m not looking forward to this drive. Who would look forward to a drive down I-5. I’ve done this drive so many times. Past Burien. Past Federal Way. Past ffffff-ffffff-fffffff-ffff. Past fff–ffffff-fff-fffff-ffff. Past FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFFF….Fife. Past Tacoma. Over the Narrows Bridge. And into Gig Harbor. Gig fucking Harbor. I mean, I’m glad they moved away from Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is a prison, though at least it’s a prison located near SBP Poplar. WHICH REMINDS ME!!!! Dear God I need to talk about this. Yesterday I was out with Nate and Hunter and Nate showed me THERE’S A NEW CLIMBING GYM NEAR THE FRED MEYER ON 85th!!!! I repeat: A NEW CLIMBING GYM!!! AND IT LOOKS TERRIBLE!!!! IT LOOKS SO AWFUL!!!!! The walls are too short, there’s no slab, it’s ALL OVERHUNG, and the routesetters look like they randomly just screwed holds into the wall. Anyway, I was not impressed and certainly won’t consider ever climbing there. When it comes to climbing gyms in Seattle you have a couple options. You have SBP, which is far and away the best option. You have Stone Gardens or Momentum, which are probably the next best options. And finally you have Vertical World, the worst option. Why is Vertical World the worst option? Because its bouldering area is the size of my shoe. Why is SBP the best option? Please do not ask such questions.

Please spend this evening reading The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.

After you finish The Order of Time we can read Desert Solitaire together and compare notes for the test.

After we ace the test we can out to Mr West in U-Village for a matcha latte.

After we get a matcha latte we can spend the evening bouldering at SBP. We can power spot each other.

I’m losing steam. I’m going to go to the locks and do my physical therapy. I miss you all and think about you constantly.

– Marko Rovelli