I Flashed a Pink || R2V6

I thought yesterday’s cup of tea was an anomaly, that I was off caffeine for good. But today, as if in a trance, I found myself putting the kettle on, pulling the teabag out of the box, putting it in the cup, waiting for the familiar gurgle (or ALMOST gurgle since I never let the water boil), and then pouring the steaming hot liquid onto the tea leaves  — and even glancing at my clock to see what time it was so I don’t let it steep too long!

This could easily snowball into my caffeine consumption from before, basically going from grocery store to grocery, cafe to cafe, all day buying caffeinated products.

And I don’t want that to happen.

WE don’t want that to happen.

You’re probably wondering about the title of this post.

“Ha, good one Mark. Nice clickbait,” you may have said.

But no, yesterday at SEATTLE BOULDERING PROJECT POPLAR, I actually flashed a pink. This means that I established on the starting holds and then maneuvered my way up to the boulder to the top, where I delicately placed both hands on the finishing hold, held them for the requisite time, and then delicately climbed back down.

I am not a liar.

Here’s the thing, though: I didn’t get THAT much satisfaction from it. I didn’t put any work into it. I didn’t suss out the beta a bunch beforehand. I didn’t look at the moves. I just got on it and climbed, and it happened to be exactly my style (aka a stemmy problems where you basically don’t need arms) and then a few seconds later found myself at the top. Sure, I was STOKED, I mean obviously — but it didn’t give me the satisfaction that a black I’d been working on for the past half hour before and wasn’t sure if I was gonna get gave me. Because you see the black I actually had to work for, whereas the pink was a proverbial stem in the park/bouldering gym.

Anyway, other than that I don’t have much to report, but I’m going to keep talking for a bit anyway, as I’m wont to do.

What else could I talk about.

It’s sunny here today in Seattle, so that’s nice.

I just shaved my beard and so feel like a spring hen.

After this I think I’m gonna go to Whole Foods and get a matcha bar, and then MAYBE run the Howe stair climb.

I really wish I had some honey for this black tea.

I literally check the status of my Nexus application every day. It’s so dumb. It could be another two months before they process it, and yet I check every day.

Slash am I going to Pembina, North Dakota?

I do actually want to do a bit of traveling this summer. Here are the destinations I’d like to visit, in order of how badly I’d like to visit them:

  1. Alaska — I’m yearning to go back. Haven’t been back in a long time.
  2. Quebec — I’m yearning to go back. And to boulder in Les Laurentides. And talk to monolingual French speakers.
  3. Sweden — I mean, how awesome would it be to spend midsummer in Scandinavia jumping over a fire with some kind of crown of woven sweetgrass braided into your hair?
  4. German/Europe — I kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda wanna go to Europe. But, like, not that bad. So I probably won’t. Not too high on the list. So freaking far.

And then of course there’s Squamish. I hope to spend a LOT of time in Squamish this year. Like, a decent amount. Like, a little bit. Like, I hope to get up there at least a couple times.

My reading material last night as I lay in bed was the Squamish Bouldering guidebook, by Marc Bourdon. It’s not exactly Dostoyevsky, but it it moves me in the same way and drives me to contemplate life. There are so many quality problems there I want to get on, and I’m convinced in the next couple weeks the weather’s gonna turn and it’s gonna be scorching hot in Leavy and even too hot in Gold Bar and everyone’s gonna flock to Squamish and I’m gonna be there, happy as a damn razor clam, alternating between sleeping in my car/tent and commuting back to my cottage on the border in Blaine. It’s going to be wonderful, and I hope to see you there. We’ll climb V0’s — we’ll climb V2’s! Hell, we may even climb a V5. And by V5 I of course mean V6, since that’s the title of this series (for now!). In fact, I already have figured out the V6 we’re going to climb. It’s called Lounge Act, and it’s in the Easy Chair area. And I better see you there. And you better try it with me. And then afterward we’ll go celebrate with a cup of tea.

– Wetz

Drinking Raw Milk in Le Mans

July 9th. July 9th. My first sip of caffeine in over two weeks. Hopefully the white matter in my brain that had been converted to grey matter got a chance to go back to being white matter again. I can see my open window from where I’m sitting. The comfortable bed. The weather outside is finally nice, finally kind of like summer. Does France not have summer? It’s July and there hasn’t been one sunny day since I’ve been here. Clouds and rain and humidity. And raw milk. Yesterday I had unpasteurized milk and afterward felt like Paul Bunyan. I thought we didn’t sell it in the States but turns out we do it’s just hard to find and I’m sure expensive as hell. Here you can get a liter of organic, grass fed, unpasteurized milk — in other words milk in its most simple form exactly as you’re supposed to drink it — for a euro. Why is the US so messed up? Of course, it’s micro filtered. You know the filters you use for backpacking? They use something like that to filter the milk so it doesn’t have a bunch of bacteria in it. But it’s not pasteurized. Continue reading Drinking Raw Milk in Le Mans

Writing Them Down

“If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space.”

– The cheesy movie I’m watching right now















Worked at Kenai Princess Lodge in Cooper’s Landing, AK.

Studied in Quebec.

Studied in Finland.

Taught in Oaxaca.

Lived in San Jose.

Worked in New Zealand.

Worked in Colombia.

Worked in Chile.

Lived in Spain. Worked remotely. Did decent nollie flips. Did one perfect tre flip.

Worked as a tour guide for El Camino. Guided two tours in Nicaragua and one tour in Cartagena. Stayed in Rivas that one time. Surfed Playa Maderas. Did yoga for the first time.

Rated Google ads.

Worked in Guadalajara.

Met Marcela and Pablo.

Wrote a book.

Went to Ushuaia.

Wrote a novella.

Bought a boat and lived on it in Seattle.

Started bouldering.

Went to Norway and Vietnam.

Taught Spanish. Taught English. Worked as an interpreter.

Worked at NorthWest Student Exchange.

Sorry just having one of those moments where you’re trying to figure out what you did for the last 13 years of your life.

Lived in Seattle’s Bryant neighborhood.

Went to Uruguay. Went to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (a couple times), France, England, Germany, Austria, Italy, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Graded a bunch of essays and a bunch of homework. Learned a little Finnish.

Broke my wrist.


And today finally stopped receiving unemployment. And went to Gasworks and sat on the grass and looked out at the lake and the city behind it. And thought about life. And then went to PCC and got a bar and some black tea.


I kinda wanna drink black tea right now. But it’s a little late for that. But who cares? Why not have some black tea right now.

Why not have some black tea right now.

Why not have some black tea right now.

Por que no tomar un te negro ahorita?

Pour quoi pas boire un the noir en ce moment?

Warum nicht gerade ‘nen Schwarztee trinken?

Hyvaa ruokahalua.

Czy pani cze-gosz sie na pic?

My knee feels a bit sore but it felt great earlier today. The weather today was gorgeous.

2009 Kenai Princess Lodge.

2010 master’s program and study in Quebec? Then the next year Finland? Yes because then I dropped out of the program thinking I was gonna take the trans-Siberian railroad and write a book about it or make a home for myself in Siberia or….what was I thinking, again?


American Island.

Floor hockey.

Sama laita!

Bo and I tried to walk to the Russian border and the Finnish cops picked us up and said, “Did you know you’re very close to the Russian border right now?” And we said, “Really?” And then they brought us to the border and we could see the Russian flag waving in the distance.



Los Remedios.

Visita Bea.

Morocco so many times.

Oye, es que me gustas.


Me gustas.

Estas hablando en serio?


Tengo novio.

I’m tired now and it’s 10:04pm and I’ve just put CBD cream on my knee and I’m going to boil water for some black tea even though it might keep me up. One sec.

I used the word “disconnect.” I’d literally never used the word disconnect before up to that point.

A flight to Toronto with some dudes going to Germany to do Oktoberfest. No, no, that was the flight to Frankfurt. I drank a Heineken.

Meeting Christian and….what was his friend’s name, in Waikiki? Matt?

Staying on Christian’s floor in Berlin and then him making me sleep in the kitchen cuz I was snoring too loud. God. What a night. What a fucking night.

What a night in Berlin.

Next to Volkspark with the snow falling softly, living in hotels for two weeks, trying to figure out what to do. Getting that fruitcake in the Aldi or whatever that grocery store was, no it was way nicer than Aldi, and since it was after the holidays it was only like 25 cents for a whole fruitcake, and that’s more or less what I lived on for a day stay in a hotel that only cost 25 euros a night and had a wonderful view of the courtyard with the snow falling, the snow falling, the white courtyard, the snow falling, my warm room, the sheets, the blankets, not wanting the next day to come because then I’d have to find a new place to stay and lug my three bags and surfboard to a new hotel or guesthouse.

Nocturne in C Sharp Minor at my parent’s house.

Nocturne in C Sharp Minor for her mom.

The years slipping by. Slipping by. Slipping by. Just slipping by. And we can never get them back.

Gravity acting on some of us more than others. Acting on those closer to ground more than those who are in the air, and so time passes more slowly for those at high elevation. Go into space and it passes even more slowly. Come back and all your friends are old and you’re still young. There is no universal present.

Coffee late at night the first night I got into Lviv.

Dancing at the club till four in the morning.

That stupid underground bar with that stupid American dude who thought he was so awesome.


The gypsy girl at the train station who I gave socks to and I said teach me Ukrainian and she started teaching me Russian.

Playa Guiones.

Bocas del Toro.

Ciudad de Panama.

Puerto Obladia.



La Gran Isla de Chiloe.

Puerto Montt.


Las Lajas.

I’m writing them down so I don’t forget. All the places I’ve been. Arica Buenos Aires Ushuaia Bogota Cuba France Paris Seignosse San Marino Foligno Brno Litomysl Prague Helsinki Savonlinna it a;asdjfa;kldsjf;lakdsjf;lkadsjf;aldksjfad;klsfjad;lskfjadslk;fjad;slkfjadsl;kfjadsl;kfjdaskl;fjad;slkjfad;lskfja;dlskfjl;adskfjd;lsakfjaldk;sjf;dalskjfd;alskfj