SeaTac #1

I’m at SeaTac. I’m drinking an English Breakfast tea with heavy cream. There’s a man across from me with a dog on his lap. I remove my mask, stoop down to sip my tea and put my mask back on. My flight to Puerto Vallarta leaves in an hour and a half. I’m not sure what I’ll do till then. I’ll write this blog. I’ll do some work. I’ll try to meet up with my parents. I’ll rage at people without masks on. I’ll read one of my two books or listen to a podcast.

I don’t like wearing a mask, either. But I do because I’m a good person. Not a bad person like the people with their masks below their noses.

Airports bring out the worst in people. Flying brings out the worst in people. Luckily, I’m flying Alaska and I have an exit row. I have music. I have podcasts. I’ll order a meal when they bring the food cart out. Maybe I’ll talk to the person next to me. Probably not. I’m going to have so much legroom. The people in front of me can’t put their seats back. I can’t put my seat back, but it doesn’t matter. I’m going to have so much legroom. Then I’ll get to Puerto Vallarta and I’ll walk to my hotel. It’ll be hot. People will hound me about taxis. I’ll say no, gracias and keep walking. I’ll get to the Comfort Inn and ask for a room on one of the upper floors. I’ll go to my room and do Yoga with Adriene day 11. At some point I’ll get dinner. I’ll watch TV. I’ll probably watch Netflix. My life will be the same as it is in Seattle except I’ll be in a hotel room in Mexico.

Then tomorrow I’ll fly to Guadalajara. I’m flying on AeroMar, a lesser-known Mexican airline. I was reading their reviews on TripAdvisor and they’re terrible. But who writes airline reviews? People that have had a terrible experience. I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’ll be fine even if it gets delayed. The flight’s an hour long. There was a flight near me here at SeaTac that just left for Wichita. I thought, Who goes to Wichita? The guy with the dog on his lap is now on his phone. The girl across from me left. I could take my mask off to drink my tea and keep it off, but I won’t because I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I doubt I’ll see my parents. I should work now. I’ve found it hard to motivate for work lately. The less work I have the less motivated I am. Everyone here is on their phones. We’re a nation of people on our phones. A world on our phones. I saw a picture of people in line at an ATM in Russia and all of them were on their phones. What a pitiful existence. The lady across from me has her mask below her nose. She’s a bad person. I’m so happy I have an exit row. I can’t wait to order food. I can’t wait to check in to my hotel. It’s going to be hot in Puerto Vallarta. Oh, wow, the high today is only 81. That’s lower than I expected. Lower than Guadalajara. I should’ve gone surfing. Maybe I’ll surf in Chile.

The lady now has her mask off completely and she’s not drinking tea. She has no reason to have her mask off. I see why she’s not married. I can’t stop looking at her, judging her. I think she’s left-handed, at least. She’s talking. Her name is Doris. I can hear every word of her conversation. It’s about health insurance. I won’t repeat personal details here for her safety. I can even almost hear the person on the other line. I understand that Doris has her mask off so she can be heard more clearly. I’m not sure whether or not this is excusable. She still might be a bad person.

I’m tempted to get coffee. I’m going to work for a bit and see if I can get anything done. My plane boards in just over an hour. Can’t forget that. Should probably go to the gate soon.

 

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

Also

I really don’t know what to do with myself today. I can’t climb cuz I climbed yesterday and sort of tweaked my knee. I can’t start drinking cuz it’s too early and I don’t want to do that anyway. I can’t do much outside right now cuz it’s raining. I already worked on the novel (900 words, pretty good, enough). I don’t really want to go for a dip in the water cuz I did that yesterday and it’s kind of traumatizing. I can’t work because there literally is no work (I go to the list where I usually pick tasks from and nothing is there. Supposedly this was going to be remedied at the start of the new year, but it hasn’t happened yet). And so….what should I do?

Maybe I should make some sort of a plan.

Ah! I know what I could do. I could clean up my boat. And then I could walk to the library and take all my books back. And then I could walk to PCC or somewhere else and get more caffeine. And then maybe when I get back I’ll want to jump in the lake (see: ease my body off the dock and promptly freak out). I could also do more push-ups, since I’m trying to do them (almost) every day and have only done one set so far today.

Things are looking up.

OK so here’s the plan (to reiterate and also be extremely specific):

  1. Do another set of pushups (and maybe listen to music and scream while doing them).
  2. Clean up the boat (take out trash and recycling, organize shit, maybe try to clean up some of the water on the floor since it’s been raining for the past 486 hours).
  3. Walk to the Ballard branch of the SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Take back all books and don’t forget to take back that Breathe book I didn’t even read. Don’t check out any more books there. Slash check out the ones that are on hold.
  4. Get a matcha latte from ROOT (or maybe a macchiato).
  5. Attempt to hang out with friends (or anyone, really. Enemies are fine, too).

As far as the bouldering session went yesterday, I’ll fill you in cuz I know you need to know. I had the goal of sending two new oranges OR one new black, and after warming up on yellows and reds and keeping my arms straight, which was a damn revelation, I sent a new black that was a sort of jump start followed by a crimp with a right heel hook. Then I went upstairs and sent two more new oranges, one of which was in the cave. Other than tweaking my knee, I felt pretty damn good about myself.

Also: thanks to those of you who got in touch after the last post, which was on loneliness. I appreciate it. It makes me happy that that post resonated with some people, and also that people are still reading this blog.

Also: I’m probably going to Mexico on Monday. I already have my ticket, but I could cancel it up till 2:04pm today. So I’ll probably just go. To Guadalajara, and then on to Mexico City. And then after that to Bogota and then on to Chile, or just to Chile, or just back to Seattle, or something else entirely.

Also:

 

 

A Swanky Day at 49th Parallel in Vancouver

It snowed probably 8-10 inches last night in Vancouver. I’m at 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters, at least that’s what I think it’s called, I’m not sure if they actually roast their own beans. It’s sunny outside and white. Snow is sliding off the awnings. There’s a Dairy Queen about 50 yards to my right. I’m going to be here until Sunday, and then it’s  back to Seattle. Back to the boat? Oh god, I don’t know if I can do it. All the beautiful people. There’s a shadow hanging over me.

I’m not sure what to do today. Yesterday I went to Squamish and tried to climb Easy in An Easy Chair, a V4 that’s supposedly one of the most popular problems in Squamish. I did not send it. I did not even come close. I could sort of do the first move, though I couldn’t even get to the part where you put your left heel up on the starting hold. I didn’t try Swank Stretch V5, even though it was more or less dry and that’s the problem I’d come there for. I didn’t try Lounge Act V6, the one behind it. I dind’t try any problem other than Easy Chair, and on that problem I pretty much immediately strained my right middle finger, felt my elbow start hurting, and by the end of the session felt like I’d aggravated my left hip flexor. It’s a curious thing, getting older and witnessing your body fail. After the session I went to Nesters in Squamish and got some zero sugar added beef jerky and a yerba mate. And then I drove back to Vancouver, getting tailgated very little on the way. There was traffic getting onto the Lion’s Gate Bridge and on the bridge itself and going through Stanley Park and downtown. And then when I got back I watched about six hours of The Handmaid’s Tale. And got an oat milk latte around 9pm at Aperture Coffee, which probably wasn’t great for me getting to sleep later. As I was falling asleep I had that thing happen to me where you doze off and then think you’re falling and wake yourself up with a jerk, but this time instead of falling I was walking on a trail and a grizzly bear bounded out of the brush to attack me. It was terrifying, so much worse than falling.

Should I get another coffee? No, terrible idea.

Should I get a donut? Ha.

What could I do today?

It’s 10:16. I’ve been ‘fasting’ for just over 13 hours. I say ‘fasting’ because I had a little cream in my coffee, which probably broke the fast. So now it’s a dirty fast. I don’t want to go back to N’s to watch THMT. I could walk down to Whole Foods. I could drive to the store in Port Moody that has the Turkish delight. I could go to Indigo and look at the books, though bleh. Oh, wonderful, there’s also a store in Hamilton, Ontario that has the particular brand of Turkish delight I need to buy.

I could go over to my car and brush the snow off. So it’s ready to drive if I need it. I could shave. I could cook some kind of really healthy breakfast. What I’ll probalby end up doing is walking. Oh, I could go to Whole Foods and get a smoothie. Why not. That sounds fun.

K I need to leave here.

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.