First Order of Business

Alright friends, how’s everybody doing today? Good? Great? Amazing? Good, good. I’m glad. Well, I’m not that glad. I don’t really care. But I’m kinda glad. I’m kinda glad you’re doing well but to be honest I’m more focused on myself and don’t really care about you. That’s not to say I feel DISDAIN for you, it’s just that I’m much more important in my world than you are. You don’t take up much of my mental space, whereas my plight, my welfare, are two things that take up a LOT of my mental space.

First order of business today, April 7th, two thousand and twenty-one: Alex Honnold has a podcast.

You of course already knew this, but what you maybe didn’t know is that there are already a couple of episodes out. I’m not going to link to it. Links are so 2018. Just google Climbing Gold Alex Honnold.

Good.

Second order of business. I need to crack a mate.

Third order of business: I had my interview at Seattle Bouldering Project today, and it went….OK.

From an honesty perspective? It went great.

From a, did-I-get-the-job are-we-vibing is this going to be what I dedicate my life to perspective? Not so great.

And that’s because I was honest.

The guy who interviewed me was wonderful. I instantly felt rapport with him. But when he asked me how would you stay motivated after having the same interactions with customers over and over I couldn’t be anything but honest. That was actually my whole goal for the interview: to be honest. So I said something along the lines of (excuse me while I take a sip of my mate) I don’t know how I would stay motivated in that situation. I guess I would have to see.

Terrible answer, right?

Wrong. Honest anwer.

Because in my head I’m thinking: Fuck customer service, fuck the overprotective shitty Seattle moms that have jack fuck to do all day and bring their kids into Seattle Bouldering Project and then are assholes to the employees. Fuck ’em. I don’t have time for them. So if I had to have similar interactions with them over and over? Yeah, I don’t know how I would stay motivated. I probably wouldn’t.

Fuck ’em.

Fourth order of business: Yesterday’s climbing session.

I almost sent my first ever non-stemmy blue. I sent an orange that had been plaguing me since the last session, and made progress on a couple other things that are now “projects.”

I’m hoping that the blue will go tomorrow during tomorrow afternoon’s holy shit sick crew vibes super sesh. I’m confident that it will. I would like to start projecting some blacks, too. And keep projecting oranges. And maybe try some moves that slightly challenge the confidence in my left knee. Nothing crazy heel-hooky, just some stuff that’s not straight up climbing a ladder.

Fifth order of business: There is no fifth order of business. I’m going to drink my mate and wait until I can watch the Chelsea game on Paramout Plus. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do with the rest of the day. Oh god, what am I going to do with the rest of today? Why are you just bringing that up now?????? I hadn’t even thought about it!!! Fuck!!!! I have no plans!!!!!

I’m not climbing, that’s for damn sure. Weather isn’t great. I could go to Bainbridge. Hmmmmmm, what am I going to do.

I’ll figure something out.

Arrivaderci,

Mark Thomas Wetzler I

Waking up on the Boat

My awakening in the morning happens in steps, much like a spiritual awakening probably happens. When I first wake up I’m always a bit confused. Where am? Why am I on this boat? Why am floating?

Then I get my bearings and the first thing I do is open the curtain directly above my head. Let some light in. Look at the mast of my neighbor’s boat. One time I was looking at the mast and a crow landed on one of the spreaders. This had never happened before. What majesty! What glory for one of god’s creatures to alight upon an object made by man and bestow its glory upon it, even if only a “lowly” crow.

After opening this first curtain I eventually, and I’m not exactly sure how this happens, get up and rather quickly open all the other curtains on the boat to let in as much light as possible, and then I do something that lets in TONS of light, i.e. take out all the wooden boards of the hatch — and here I’m exposed to the outside world! geese honking! water rippling! wind blowing! — and replace them with the two plexiglass pieces that turn most of the north side of my boat into a window. Now we’re talking. Now the light is getting in and I’ve gotten out of bed.

But of course I get right back in.

I get right back in, but at least now I’m “up.” I’m not going back to sleep. I look at my phone because I’m not allowed to look at the internet till 8am. So I journal a bit. I look at maps. I think about what I’m going to do that day.

I put on the tea kettle, and this is where things really start to change. I’m now going to INGEST something. Granted, I’m not going to ingest any calories. That happens later. I’m going to ingest tea, and lately it’s been in the form of an herbal tea from Rishi called “Elderberry Healer” that’s got ginger, elderberry, hibiscus and a few other things. I like to NOT start the day with caffeine if I can. That said, I’m currently drinking a yerba mate beverage from Trader Joe’s, but it’s already almost 9am, and I’m well into the morning process. It’s ok to have some caffeine at this point. But I don’t like it to be the first thing that enters my body. I like to awaken somewhat naturally.

While the tea is steeping I’m back in bed and if it’s already 8am I’m checking stocks and checking my email and doing all sorts of stupid stuff on the internet, and if it’s not 8am I’m either journaling more or reading or just kind of lying there, looking out at the world through the hatch. This morning I read A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and I’d like to give you a quote from it just because I found it so beautiful:

(talking about walking his land in the early morning with his dog after listening to the birds)

We sally forth, the dog and I, at random. He has paid scant respect to all these vocals goings-on, for to him the evidence of tenantry is not song, but scent. Any illiterate bundle of feathers, he says, can make a noise in a tree. Now he is going to translate for me the olfactory poems that who-knows-what silent creatures have written in the summer night.

A Sandy County Almanac, 1949

This makes me think of the processions I can watch every day if I’m not too engrossed in watching bouldering videos on YouTube. The geese honking, the mallards paddling, the mergansers diving, the herons sitting on the pier, and at some point the bald eagles will be back, but that probably doesn’t happen till salmon season. But even without the birds there are still things to watch. The ripples on the water. The boats idling into the locks. I derive a bit of satisfaction just from looking at the wood of the dock as it extends out into the cold grey of the lake water.

But enough of that. Now that I’ve interneted and had some tea I’m actually up, and this is where things get crazy, here I actually take all the bedding off my bed, aka the bench seat where I sleep, and now I sit back on it with my legs propped up, leaning back against the bulkhead on the bedding I’ve bunched in the corner. From here I’ll maybe transition into actually sitting up, my computer on the table in front of me. And then I’ve fully woken up. Though let’s be honest, usually this process is interrupted halfway through by me getting into my car and driving to Whole Foods to spend WAY too much on matcha and its derivatives. A matcha bar. A matcha latte with OAT milk. A green hop tea.

And now that this has happened TODAY for example I have to figure out what to do. Or actually I GET to figure out what to do. I thought about driving out to Index today just to look at Chutzpah V10, and then maybe continue on to Leavenworth and Wenatchee and stay the night in Wenatchee. But it’s hard for me to justify all that driving unless I’m going to look at a lot of boulders, or do some hiking and exploring, or stay a couple days. After all, Why should the lord of the country flit about like a fool?

-WW

Oh, Cana….Gold Bar || Road to Enlightenment

Having a little bit a fiesta on the boat over here. I got a wedge of brie and some yerba mate and I’m listening to KEXP. Some kind of DJ. It JUST got fully dark outside, today the sunset after 6pm, all was glorious, I walked to the Locks where I did my physical therapy and hung out with the cormorants a bit.

So today I did the following: This morning I got in my car and drove up to Greenlake. I thought I was gonna go to the Whole Foods on 65th but then I was like fuck it and got on I-5 going north. The plan was to go to Gold Bar and hike up to the boulders and just kinda look at them. Maybe touch them a bit. Maybe just sit there in the forest next to them. Maybe just think about them. Maybe not even make it all the way to the boulders but at least give it my damndest. Then I thought, Screw that, I should drive up to Canada! Well, not all the way to Canada of course, but at least to the Peace Arch Park, where I could at least SEE Canada, where I could go up to the very border, maybe even dip a hand in or a foot in. I’m not sure how they have things set up out there, but from what I understand the American side of the border is open. Who knows when the border will actually open. This is something I check almost every day. I google “US canada border” and check out the results. It’s been a year since the border’s been closed. It’s been OVER a year since I went to Canada. I remember it perfectly. I caught the train after work on a Friday (I think). The train got delayed, because Amtrak is a disaster. I got into Van at midnight. And had a glorious, glorious, weekend. Went swimming at the Mt. Pleasant community center pool with my friend Jeff. Pretty sure I did a gainer.

ANYWAY, I thought about driving up to Canada this morning, even thought about getting a hotel in Bellingham, but at the last second decided to just keep going towards Gold Bar.

(K, had to turn the radio off. And have some more brie. The wedge is gone. I’m gonna have some weird dreams tonight.)

ANYWAY, ok. Where were we. Oh yes, I went to Gold Bar. I debated whether to put the pad on my back for extra exercise but then decided if I could make it all the way up to the boulders, three miles, and back, that would be quite the achievement. Last time I made it probably less than halfway. And keep in mind the steeper parts are towards the end. ALSO keep in mind it looked like it was going to rain. But I pressed on.

After about 10 minutes on the trail I passed a guy walking the opposite way and he didn’t even look at me. Didn’t say hello, didn’t even look at me. There we were, two dudes in the middle of thousands of acres of DNR land, passing on a one-lane dirt road, and home-slice doesn’t even look at me. What a weirdo. What. A. Damn. Weirdo. Or maybe he was a COMPLETELY normal guy. Maybe I’m the weirdo. It’s not like I said hello to him. I just kind of looked at him. And then he passed. And I thought, That guy probably hurts people and enjoys it.

Anyway, I made it up to the boulders. My knee felt pretty good. Just before getting to the boulders it started to rain/snow and I took refuge in the forest, under the BMOC boulder. Not that that really helped, since this boulder isn’t really overhung. But parts of it are kind of overhung, I realized today. This bloc has three lines on it, all of which I’ve done. A great V0, a short but fun V2, and a cool V3 that traverses from the V0 into the V2. Today I just caressed the beginning crimps of BMOC V2 a bit and wondered what it would be like to climb it (again). Thought about where I’d put my feet. Then I took refuge under the rock again.

(It’s officially pouring outside and my boat keeps lurching back and forth and I hate it I hate living on a boat I want to get the fuck off this thing slash I’m going to Leavenworth tomorrow for the love of god).

So yeah, that was the mission.

It was…..pretty awesome.

It was wonderful to be in nature.

And wonderful to touch some boulders.

-Marko

Welcome to Iconik Coffee Roasters || Santa Fe, NM


Hiiiiiiii, welcome to Iconik Coffee Roasters in Santa Fe. My name is Katie, am I going to be administering your colonic today?

I’m sorry, colonic? I just wanted to get some tea. 

Yesssssss, well it’s not actually a colonic, but that’s the way some of our customers feel after seeing our prices. See, what I’m going to do right now is take a few tea leaves, put them in one of those fancy bags that hangs off the side, fill it with water, and then charge you $4.50. So that’s why I call it a colonic, because it makes many of our customers feel that it’s taking something from the very depths of their souls. 

Wait, a tea costs $4.50? 

Yep, let me just go ahead and ring you up. Will you be paying with credit card? Bit Coin? Ethereum? Other alt coin? Perhaps you’d like to do a wire transfer? Also, just so you know, after I run your card I’m going to do that thing where I swivel the screen over to you and it’s going to ask you what kind of exorbitant tip you’d like to leave me. Because you see not only am I charging you an arm and a pancreas for your tea, I think you should tip on top of it, too, cuz like, living wage, right?

Right….

Ok, I’ll just go ahead and get that yerba mate started for you.

Great.

(comes back)

Ok, here you go. I noticed you only left an 18% tip on your tea. Now, that’s “Good,” but you might’ve noticed that 20% was “Great” and anything above that was “Excellent.” Do you want to talk about why you left such a miserable tip? Are you having money problems? Did you recently get laid off. It’s ok, we can talk about it for a second. Just keep your mask on and don’t look me in the eye. 

I think I’m just gonna go.

Have a wonderful day. Come back again soon. 

Thus went my yerba mate-getting experience in Iconik Coffee Roasters here in Santa Fe just a moment ago. Now, I talked about this place yesterday. I went there for a matcha latte. It was delicious. It was one of the finest-crafted matcha lattes I’ve ever had. The almond milk actually tasted like almonds. It was creamy. They did latte art.

But $7 for a matcha latte?

Get the hell out of town.

Today I went back there for a yerba mate cuz I noticed yesterday they had it and I wanted a pick-me-up before hitting the road again today and driving to Moab. And the yerba mate cost $4.50. $4.50 for loose leaf tea. And then they have the gall to swing the the screen over to you making you feel like you need to tip. Please don’t swivel your screen over to me. I don’t want to touch your screen. I don’t want to touch any screen. And please don’t ask for a tip when I’m already paying you a week’s salary (from when I worked, of course) for your damn tea. Swivel the screen back to yourself. Now swivel your little hips around and make the tea. So I can get out of here and drive to Moab.

Anyway. This place really does have good product. But my god the whole vibe is pretentious.  It’s one of those places that has shitty art on the walls and they think that just because they’re asking $800 for a painting it somehow makes the painting good. I’m afraid that’s not how it works. Your painting looks like a troupe of ducks took a crap on a canvas. That actually might be more interesting. I would actually probably pay more for that than that painting. In fact, when I get home to my boat I might actually leave a canvas on the end of the dock for a month and see what happens to it. I’ll call it, “Le Canard.”

God, why do I sound bitter this morning.

I’m not bitter. I’m stoked as fuck. I had a great time in Santa Fe, it’s now one of my favorite cities in the US and I can’t wait to come back to New Mexico, to come here again and also go bouldering in Roy, the weather’s great, the Subi has new tires (well, patched), and we’re ready to hit the road. And I have a yerba mate in my hand right now. And I just took a picture of the chiles hanging outside my window. And I slept well last night. And I got kombucha and mate this morning. And I’m contemplating whether to go to Whole Foods to get cash back so I can leave a tip for the housekeepers in USD or if I should just leave the pesos I have in my wallet.

Plus I sort of did yoga this morning.

Oh! And the best part about this morning? Yesterday I wrote down a list of life changes I want to implement in the upcoming weeks. One is to wake up at the same time everyday. That time, for whatever reason when I’ve done this in the past, has always been 7:30am. Not too early. Not too late. And this morning when I woke up, stretched, fluttered my bleary eyes, and then finally reached over and grabbed my phone and turned it on and looked at the clock guess what time it was?

7:30am.

Mountain time.

And now it’s time to hit the mountains, Iconik mate in hand.

 

 

Santa Fe #2

Southwest kitsch at its finest.

I have never felt so deliciously unmotivated as I feel right now lying on my queen bed here in the Guadalupe Inn in Santa Fe, Mexico. The fireplace is going. The internet is working again. There are a plethora of wonderful cafes just a javelin-throw from the inn, but I don’t want to walk to any of them. I did just walk to one of them, Iconik Coffee Roasters, where with tip I paid $8.00 for a matcha latte. This is now the most I have ever paid for a matcha latte. Which I guess makes it unique in that regard. And it was a good matcha latte, but no matcha latte is worth eight dollars, save maybe the one I got in Monterrey, Mexico a few days ago that was sold by a girl in the running for friendliest girl on the planet and made with fresh peanut milk. And that matcha latte cost $2.50.

Ahhhhhh, the fireplace. With the blue angel wings hanging above it. The clear, blue sky outside. The crisp air. The REI that’s just a five-minute walk away. How can a capital city be so sleepy? Should I move to Santa Fe? What are the drawbacks? The generally arid climate? Does the adobe get old after awhile?

The plan right now is to drive to Moab tomorrow, stay there for a night or two, then drive somewhere north of SLC, then somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, and then back home. I’m not in a HUGE hurry to get home, because I see that a big cold front is coming. I hope the boat is ok. I hope things aren’t freezing on it right now. I’d say I hope my succulent is OK, but our souls are joined now, so that succulent isn’t going anywhere. My soul is also a bit joined with the boat’s, definitely joined with the Subi’s, and inextricably joined with anything involving bouldering. I can’t wait to boulder. I want to boulder so bad. I have a virtual physical therapy appointment on Monday, and then hopefully in-person the following week. The physical therapist I talked to today who will be seeing me is, wait for it….a climber. What luck. He knows what a heel hook is. He knows why I want to heal. He knows that I need to be projecting primo granite blocs and that I need to be doing it as soon as possible. He knows that if you’re sending, you’re not wallowing. And by sending I just mean touching holds. And by touching holds I mean dreaming about the movement.

Getting ready for some life coaching with my friend Jen. Forty five minutes till that, though, so I should probably go for a walk first. Get some mate. I didn’t want mate five minutes ago and now it sounds like a great idea. The sun is shining and two of the Subi tires got fixed today. Both had screws completely puncturing them. One of them has a gash in it. The one with the gash in it has become the spare. The whole escapade cost 45 bucks, and I also decided to tip the mechanic. Now I feel a lot better about the drive home with the Subi. The last 80 miles were pretty disconcerting yesterday.

Ahhhhhh, the sweetness of this bed and this room and this fireplace. The wanton sloth. Sometimes I feel bad about being lazy, but for some reason today I feel great about it. Maybe it’s because sometimes it’s not being lazy. Sometimes it’s just resting, letting your mind rest, letting your mud settle until the water becomes clear.

And then boiling that water and making mate with it.