yoooooo guys.

i moved the majority of my blogulation over to http://myeyeswontfocus.tumblr.com
check it. i love you.


Baz at 100 around the crests of Mt. Pleasant

Christchurch looks like ants.

Eru, Baz, & Karati


Such are the wonders of man,
that grandfather and new generations
can delve into nature and play in the sand.

Such are the wonders of nature,
that sea growth and conifers
architect infinitely more definite than man.

Half-scale fingers and hands,
build cities and structures
renewable to the land.

While elder minds in the declination of their time,
build with detrimental effects
and remains rotting past their prime.

Drop everything, start a band, write some music...

Don't you hate band names that try to be clever.

the Yukon Duet
the Not You, It's Me's (first album would be - the Not You, It's Muesli)
the Pair Ennials

the Willow Threes
Trés-ing Dinosaurs
Firepolice and the Ambulans

Antarctica and TaumatawhakatangihangakoauauoTamateaturipukakapiki maungahoro nukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu

I had a telephone call with someone in Antarctica and found a place I should visit called TaumatawhakatangihangakoauauoTamateaturipukakapiki
maungahoro nukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. Not much else to say.

Dr. Peter Wardle died while tramping across Waimakariri River near Klondyke Corner in Arthur's Pass. I cannot be positive, but fairly sure he was a customer at Macpac earlier this week, "just having a browse with the wife". He was a brilliant botanist. My sincerest condolences to his family and widow.

A Sunday in the City

After a Sunday spent working at macpac (tramping, camping, and alpine... not burgers), I talked with a devout, slightly absentminded, conservative christian today. We conversed for an hour and a half rejecting, reflecting, and explaining ideologies. It was a damning and judgmental God against an all-loving and appreciative Creator in the center of a shopping strip sitting under the Arch of Remembrance. A series of disagreements and we both split after our final says on homosexuality.
I sat with a hippie for a bit after that. He played his classical guitar with blues riffs out of the southside of Chicago and a bit of jam band influence. Duct-taped shoes and recollections of trucking from Christchurch to Kaikoura, eased my tensions from the fire and brimstone fearing christian with auto-tint glasses, you know the ones that shade as you go into the sun. A quick walk around the corner and I hopped on the number three bus towards Sumner. I found a wallet skimming over the flats of the downward escalator. It was full of credit cards, but I did not check for cash. A walk with the folded leather above my head through the rows of asian tourists and I handed it over to the only RedBus employee on duty. The bus ride was interesting. I took a seat towards the back, on the raised level of the bus, french tourists on my right and a man with a yellow Pak n' Save bag took a seat in front of me. We traveled a bit and then the man in front removed his shirt, moving as if he were switching to a shirt from the bag. Not thinking much of it, I focused on the passing houses and trees. They rushed pass, not bothering to look back. He had a rough tattoo on his back, not rough in what it was, for I could not quite read it, but rather rough like it was done by hand. He seemed amped up and pretty angry, rocking back in forth in his seat, rolling a cigarette. He looked like a washed up Val Kilmer, "researching" his next roll based on a script that has yet to be written. As he yelled at the bus driver to let him off the bus, his tattoo read "100% white pride". I was shocked, but not surprised, if that makes any sense. My eyes scanned to the door as he left and back across the bus as he left. A group of asian tourists sat chatting a few rows up, oblivious to the hate from the seat in front of me.
For the life of me I could not think why these two people had pushed me out of my comfort zone, why they had the views they did, or why they were in my life today. Walking the two km up the hill, I felt the wind blow against my arms and face. The taste of wild tomatoes and the smell of roadside jasmine tingled my senses as my muscles started talking. I marveled at our ability to sense. The red leaves on a trimmed hedge seemed brighter and the air fresher. Finally the reason for the preceding events materialized. They are who I am not, therefore I can be. They are them so I can be me. And so my life in New Zealand continues.

Electricity, Elections, and Executions

I am sitting in another power outage in the Legion/Padma region, waiting in anticipation of the news from the freeworld. I cast my vote, now I wait. Children are laughing in the distance, surely enthralled by the change of electricity in their homes and in the air. Cigarettes, incense, and angered hands replace multiple fans in keeping skin absent of mosquitos. Candles are lit on front porches and the locals just wait. Westerners on the other hand grow impatient in the lack of all that is western. I run to Bintang supermarket, kept on life support by a series of generators, to grab some antacid and a croissant. The streets are bustling. I park my motorbike next the ATM's and a heavily built, security guard, armed with an AK-47. I try to look as least intimidating as possibly, pretty easy task when you are maneuvering a flower stickered scooter while wearing a pair of yellow mid-length boardshorts. At least I know my bike is being looked after quite adequately.

As of late, I have been trying to be, not do. Usually wakened by the increase in temperature or sun shining through the lace curtains that dress my windows, I rely on an alarm that is not consistent by any means, but quite pleasant. Books serve as my morning coffee, now that I have no hot water. I ration my refrigerators contents and have some bread, a little milk, a carrot and some raisins for breakfast before heading to the ocean. The parking attendants at the beach know me, do not expect me to pay to park, but I go through the ritual and spend to ten cents to say hello and start my day off with some regularity. Most days I will visit with my friends and linger around their work before and after surfing. Dedik and I agreed that is good to have a westerner around to help attract others to take surf lessons. In return, I get to see my friends and leave my boards at the school. Post surf meals are delicious, cheap, and easy access seeing that all of it is catered around on the back of motorbikes. We stay until dusk, sometimes surfing more, other times just being and enjoying the company of each other.

The mood here is different. The execution of the main "bali bomber" was supposed to be this week, with threats of retaliation made. My news has been given second hand, but supposedly they have intercepted bombs and bombs have gone off. As of my knowledge, no one was hurt yet. The newest "ticker", my friend Ketut, tells me that the execution could be postponed until after the new year. Aussies are in a tizzy, not going out at night, but daily activities seem normal.

The Balinese love Obama. They call me Barack Obama in the lineup, rolling the "r" heavily, always asking who is ahead, not quite realizing the brevity of the actual election. We hope to celebrate by having a barbeque of mahimahi, sambal, vegetables, and rice, followed by the usual drink of local spirit and soda. The guys can tell I am anxious, I feel anxious. I will likely wake up at dawn to check election coverage.

I only have a few more days here, but I am loving it.

Gah, finances, new apartment, some luck, plus some reading make for one weak blog entry.

Current balance $xxx.xx- let's see if I can live off 10$/day

Trying to calculate my monetary situation, I choose my text carefully and try to compensate for the small balance in my account. Edwardian Script is too advantageous. Times New Roman is making ends meet, but unfulfilled at his nine to five. Webdings has trouble keeping up and Wingdings has lost his mind trying to pay bills. Zapfino foots the bill. It is buying an anniversary dinner at the upscale resort because his wife deserves it. He knows when to conserve and when to splurge. He writes the shopping list and marks the sale items for his Christmas dinner at home. He writes the invitations on recycled paper and does it with style. Yet, Zapfino is a lie to my finances. Mistral is more appropriate, rough and almost illegible.

Uma Drupadi apartment in Seminyak- 250,000 rp/night (roughly 25$
Bhuwana Cottages in Padma- 80,000 rp/night (roughly 8$)

My apartment raised their rates. I paid for the last night and went on a quick scurry to find a slightly more economical roof. It did not take long. Through my social circle here, about six different abodes were presented as potential new homes. The first place I checked was just what I was looking for. It is inexpensive, quiet, and a quick jog to the beach. Moved in that night after stuffing my boardbag full of shoes, clothes... everything. I am rather fond of my new apartment. It has all the traditional aspects of the houses here - white glossy tile along every square inch of flooring including the front porch and balcony, fans and no air-conditioning, cold showers which are a godsend, and a mosquito net to keep the mosquitos off my sensitive north american skin.

Erik and I tried to find a temple I had heard about along the beach. We were sidetracked when I found an unusually symmetrical stone. I broke the rock into bits and discovered a coin beneath the ancient coral and sediment. Continuing our walk, we found at least a hundred other coins. It was incredible to be finding these pieces of history in a foreign land, let alone on a beautiful beach with my brother. They are old chinese coins called Pis Bolong that have been used in bali for at least the past 1,100 years. Probably not as valuable as we were hoping at the time, but searching the beach and having an overwhelming feeling of luck with my brother was treasure enough. If you want to find out a little more about Pis Bolong (also known as Uang Kepeng) I would highly recommend reading a dissertation by Stephen DeMeulenaere of the Strohalm Foundation for Integrated Economics entitled, "Revaluing Uang Kepeng as a Medium of Local Exchange in Bali." Anyways, Erik left for Chicago with half and I am soaking the others in extra virgin olive oil to try and loosen some of the sediment.
Other than cleaning ancient asian currency, I have been reading quite a bit. At the moment, "Conversations with God" is picking away at the theologies of the world and my understanding of them. I would rather not summarize a book in a sentence, but if I were going to, this book would be "God is a loving creator, who has given us free will and wants us to fully experience this world, ourselves, Him (I Am) by creating, loving, and figuring out just Who You Are." Some would call it blasphemous. I myself have read, reread, and questioned the writing with the utmost intensity, but it has helped my spirituality to do so. I would recommend it to anyone who is religious, or spiritual, or atheistic, and/or sick and tired of the troubles religion seems to bring to the world. Other than that, I have been reading the two John Steinbeck novels that I have carried over the seas, Travels with Charley and Tortilla Flat, repeatedly. Both are phenomenal, both are absolutely classics for anyone who enjoys americana, wine & spirits, camaraderie, and/or excellent prose.

I think I have given enough homework for tonight. Now I must fill my ballot and vote to reclaim the patriotism that was stripped away so long ago. I will look for a bottle of wine (perhaps a 4 dollar bottle if I can swing it) to celebrate, or in the other case - drown my sorrows before looking for residency abroad.

Enough - foreign illness thoroughly experienced.

Each layer of sleep grew more intense and each awakening increasingly heated. Had I baked in the sun? My body was dry and warm, a chill ran across each pore. Sleep beckoned relentlessly. I shoveled the Sahara and moved it to the depths of the sea. I was now drenched in saltwater. Uncovered, I watched the broke-down fan perform rickety pirouette after pirouette. Sleep cures all. Surely, I could sleep it off. My head pounded and I was enslaved under the covers. The frigid blast of transformed and monumental fan blades guarded me with an Alcatrazian eye.

The water was out. I contemplated. The water was only three steps outside my door. I contemplated to no avail.

My stomach finally rushed me out of bed. Now, much closer to the door, I decided water could do me some good. Bones aching and muscles weak, I woke my friend, the nightguard, from a nap. The cup of water was harder to drink than I had thought.

"Hospital," he insisted. I did not give in.
"Water and rest," my stubborn disposition refused.

He ran down the street and bought me a new bottle of water and some food for my stomach. I drank what I could, perhaps a quarter of a cup at most and went for a bite of food. Nausea empowered my weakened legs and launched me towards the bathroom.

The desert and sea cursed me for their forced, yet dreamt consolidation. Onslaughts of seawater and sober Saharan winds took turns abusing my body into a state dilapidation.

This continual cycle gave birth to a new exhaustion. I could not wake up for a wave of fire, water, nor cold. Nausea was overtaken by rapid eye movement. I was out.

This time, I woke with alarm. None of my symptoms had worsened. I felt almost coherent and intact, but my subconscious knew that I needed medical attention. Fifteen minutes later, Jeremy walked in, home from Jakarta. He called a taxi. Another fifteen minutes and a few more temperature alternations, I limited my communication to my pointer finger, holding it up to signify the need of another minute. One more minute to collect myself, to feel nauseous again, and to sweat out some more precious water. A lull arrived and I wrapped the sheet around myself, clinging to my chest.

The taxi driver was lost. This is a common occurrence in Bali, but an unwelcome occurrence in such a situation.

We arrived at a small medical clinic, which was marked 24/7, but also had its internal lights out. Jeremy knocked on the door. I leaned onto the back of the driver's vinyl head rest. My forehead stuck and my vision started to fade as I peeled my face away from the foul plastic. Muffled voices came from the left of the cab. Sightless, I needed significant assistance. Jeremy thought I was dying. That is his favorite part of the story. At least now that I am alive, that is his favorite part.

A few inconclusive tests at the clinic and the ambulance drove me away. Kasih Ibu Hospital. Kasih ibu means "thanks mom".

The first stay lasted four days. After some extensive testing and plenty of veins tapped, the diagnosis was typhoid fever and acute appendicitis.

I was not quite sure how things were going to go for me. During this uncertainty, I wrote out a will. Not exactly on my to do list, but it was therapeutic and helped me think about life and its end.

I went for the conservative treatment of antibiotics and seemed to successfully avoid surgery in a foreign country. The details of the hospital are like any other hospital. It smelled like a hospital, the food was average at best, and I was hooked up to an IV. The recovery seemed to be going well and I started being out of patient mode and back into transient mode in Bali.

The checkup at Thanks Mom was not as smooth as I would have liked. My white blood cell count was still high and they needed to do another ultrasound later that night. I knew that my appendix was inflamed once again. Seeing that I had half a days worth of fasting to do before my next appointment, I went home and had a meal of Nasi Campur. I figured that in the worst case scenario, I would have to have surgery. I went for a surf.

I went back that night at 7 o'clock. More blood was drawn. The ultrasound was done. A little more fasting and I was under the knife before 10:30 p.m.

The operating room was terribly cold and the green tile muddled the lights. They injected anesthetic into my spine, extraordinarily painful in itself. My eyes started to blink heavily and my lower two-thirds lie paralyzed.

I awoke once at the end of the surgery to an overly enthusiastic nurse showing me my appendix in a bottle. I woke up again when they moved me from ICU to my bed. That was unpleasant enough. The third time I woke, I was in great pain. My insides burned with an acidic, cancerous fire and my back felt hinged at the point of injection. Rest was a big part of the day, but two final obstacles revealed themselves. My temperature had risen once again and an allergic reaction to one of my medications restricted my breathing a bit more than I like.

Now that I am out of the hospital, I am taking it easy. My insides do not feel quite right yet, but I know that will get better. How many more organs can I lose?

Things have worked out though. I have gained more than I have lost here. Travel insurance is a godsend, appendixes are useless, the time to think was well-needed, my brother flew over to see me, and now I get to extend my visa for another week. Things could definitely be much worse. I have much to be thankful for and some new and rediscovered appreciation for my life back home.

Balinese Spirits or Sleep Paralysis

I awoke suddenly. Nothing was there. The room was clear. I pulled the comforter over my chilled face. The air conditioning was excessive and unnecessary. My toes begged me to get up, but the rest of my body countered, warm and tired. The door tried to open, but the handle turned as if it already had been. It was locked and I knew it. I also knew something had just entered- a spirit, a state of REM, perhaps a thousand pillows. I could not be sure, but whatever it was crept over my body. Gently, silently, and evenly it rest down on my chest. Then slowly it pushed with power and ease, complete balance of the two, equilibrium in excess. My life lie at its mercy. Paralyzed, I stared at the blanket. Would this be the demise of the author? Such a lame and horrible demise it would be. Silent, I could not scream. I could not breathe. My mind raced and millions of pillows now filled the room. My still eyes blinked. I kicked decisively from the quadriplegia. A few minutes after, I looked at the clock. 4:24, it blinked. It had been nearly an hour since I was awakened by the door handle. I had been paralyzed and fully conscious. I think I was conscious at least.

Cure All, or Larutan or Else

This is a drink I found. It is mild, delicious, and has a rhinoceros on the can. Here is what the can reads...

Larutan Penyegan - kaki tinga
Indications & Uses- The preparation is a traditional medicine which gives a cooling effect in body heatness, flu, gingivitis, sore throat, constipation.

Recommended Consumption:
For treatment purposes-
Adults - consume 1/2 can 1-3 times daily
Children - consume 1/4 can 1-3 times daily
For precaution purpose-
Adults - consume 1 can daily
Children - consume 1/2 can daily

Lighthouse Keeper and an Odd Dream

The jobs I would like to do are dead or dying. The traditional lighthouse keeper is dead. His fortress stands alone, abandoned, but running. Electronic and dehumanized, the towers are on life support. The pulse beats and the organs live, but the soul has left the body. I would like to be him, watching the approach of dusk, glorious and timeless. I would man the candle and ignite the coast. In the sleeping and deviant hours of the land, my friend would be a cup of coffee, warm and reliable. Twilight would be the flag to freedom, dim light sprints into a burst of dawn. What more could reward the soul than something so epic and predictable. Alas, the romance is gone and the keeper dead.

I had an odd dream while in the hospital. It was beautiful as well. It took place in Southwest America, among the cactus and coyotes. I found an old friend's house there, out of place, but there. Walking in past the stairs, I could see they were sleeping and did not want to break the sweet content of slumber. Kicking the doorway as I turned, my true klutzy nature was revealed and my friend woke. He was as warm as ever and the same as I once knew. Only now he was wearing ridiculously thick glasses. He was still the same though. After a visit, dusk was approaching and I had no light home. Neon phosphorescent wildlife welcomed me, a psychedelic western. Luckily, as with any good dream, just what you need falls into your hands. A camera to capture this wonderful oddity materialized. Snap! "Don't fuck it up Jason." How could I fuck up? "Well I better focus anyhow." Steady hands... steady... glowing coyote... steady hands.

Where Is My Home?

When I return, where is my home?
Will it be found beneath tent of trees
or will that house be gone and I alone?
Can one come home once he leaves?
Perhaps the ghosts of past nights, past friends
will have long since come to their inevitable ends.

Surely the fog rolls with thunder-less roar,
breathable calm and humid relaxation in hand.
Will I find my friends on the expanse of shore,
or will they be buried in a timeless sand.
I fear to return from a world so distant
into old place of youth, now so different.