Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I was driving down Mockingbird Lane yesterday around lunch time and I came up behind a hybrid Toyota Camry and I thought, oh, how nice. She's saving the world.
Then, I got closer and saw that she was just hanging her arm out of the window. Cigarette attached.
Then, I thought, oh, she's saving the world and killing herself. How completely selfless.
Monday, October 13, 2008
ecuador: the hike
How could you not look forward to something when this is the beginning? Breathtaking. Absolutely. I started off in high spirits. Giddy almost.
I found a stick because I thought it'd help, but the stick did nothing to get oxygen into my lungs. My lungs felt like they were going to collapse, my legs felt like jello and all I wanted to do was have someone, anyone, come get me. I was stuck. I threw the stick down, then my hiking companions had a little talk and decided one of the guides should take my backpack away from me. Defeat. At its finest. Things only got worse as the last hour of the hike was straight up an 11,000 foot mountain in the Andes.
ecuador: biking down an active volcano.
Before we could even get to the volcano, we had to make several stops. These stops ended up being a series of firsts for me. First time to use a restroom and pay for toilet paper, first time to buy a roll of toilet paper and carry it around to make sure I'd always have some, first time to see cows, pigs and horses roped up in yards and of course, my first time to set foot on top of a volcano.
Marking my first stop at an Ecuadorian gas station with a quick photo op. This is prime time Ecuadorian countryside.
Britta just stretching it out a bit at the pit stop. This was right after we were chased down for 5 cents to pay for the toilet paper. I gave her a 50 piece.
We could not get to the top without stopping again and of course seeing some stray dogs.
At times, the excitement was over-whelming, even for us.
Finally, we reached the top. It was freezing, it was snowing/sleeting, there was a solid two inches of snow on the ground and our biking guide told us several horror stories about biking down Cotopaxi. He pretty much made it seem like if I didn't die while doing it, I would at least fall several times and break one, if not 12 bones.
We decided to take this photo at the top in case we did actually die.
I made it half-way down the mountain and had to stop to let all of the other bikers know that I am, in fact, numero uno.
Like I said, not the best for my figure, but then again...those pants weren't really helping either.
Brittain and I thought we were having a pretty good time on the trip prior to meeting this little gem, but we quickly learned that we didn't know what a good time was until we had our rendezvous with Kathy and some of her Continental Airlines crew.
The ride ended with some brownies and wine in the back of a mini-bus drinking wine out of a used water bottle (provided by Kathy). And I thought, this is the life.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
ecuador, in many parts.
My 25th birthday was spent exploring the city of Quito and generally mocking tourists. I could not have dreamed of a better way to spend the day. We ventured to some artisan markets, visited some historic sites (see self-time photo above) and then ate some pizza. I have had pizza every year on my birthday for as long as I can remember.
- It is a city of mass chaos. There are stray dogs everywhere. Traffic flow is impossible to figure out. The bus system is scary.
- It's cheap. And by cheap, I mean, dollar general cheap.
- It is dirty and by dirty I mean, junior high school bathroom dirty.
- You cannot flush toilet paper down the toilet. Yes, you read that right. So, you sit on the toilet, clean yourself up and then throw the TP in the trash. It's like that all over Ecuador. Apparently the sewer system is bad.
- It is beautiful. And by beautiful, I mean, like, a freakin' postcard. Coming from the concrete mecca of the world and flying into this place was seriously awesome.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
soy una americana.
- For the first time ever, I decided to try out the facilities on the airplane. What a bad decision. Even after "locking" the door, a lady opened it up on me. I was so asleep and confused that I could only muster up an, "Oooohhh, no!" I quickly closed it and then was certain she was staring at me throughout the remainder of our time in the air over Central America.
- Panama City, Panama-- Teddy Roosevelt and spring break come to mind. This is not Teddy's airport and I am nowhere near Destin. I am guessing there are 36 other passengers here with me today (that's a rough estimate, there could easily only be 12 or 13). I've seen two planes leave in the last 2 hours. Tourism must be down at the Canal.
- I just had my first experience with a native. She asked about 12 questions and I mustered up a "No se." She then said, "Oh, you don't understand?" I was thinking, what gave it away? My look of confusion or the fact that I have American written all over my forehead?
- This airport has nothing to offer me. No McDonald's, no coffee, no televisions. So much for imperialism. I really think TR had more in mind for this place when he got that whole Canal thing underway.
- The native has been staring at me for the better part of 3 hours. She looks like someone off of MTV's Made. Maybe she likes my American attire, or is curious about Palin-- either way she and I have made eye contact a solid 12 times in 9 minutes.
- I got up to go to my actual departure gate and the native looked so scared and confused, like I was leaving her. She followed me within six minutes. She's really feeling a connection. Maybe she thinks I'm her Made coach?
- I wish I could do marketing for the country of Panama. I have thought of so many phrases that include things like: Catch the Panamania or I'm a Panamaniac!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
according to John.
That is the final verse in the Gospel according to John, the one who Jesus loved. The more I read that verse the more jealous I am of John. Jealous because John got to spend three years with Jesus. He walked beside Him, he followed Him, he listened to Him. They shared meals, wine and miracles. They were best friends.
What a profound verse. At first, I just think, Jesus did so many other things that John saw. But, then, I wonder was John foreshadowing? Was John alluding to the fact that Jesus was going to do so many more things even after he ascended into Heaven?
And then, I go back to the simplicity of it. What if John really did mean, Jesus did many other things as well. Maybe Jesus was a bad-a basketball player. Maybe Jesus could play the trumpet. Maybe Jesus could walk and chew gum at the same time. Maybe, one time, Jesus got a bad haircut. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus was talented with water colors. Maybe Jesus tripped in front of a crowd once. He was human after all, right?
I don't what John meant to say, but I know what he accomplished.
He got me to want to know Jesus. On a much deeper level, maybe even the way he knew Him.
And I'm fairly certain Jesus never got a bad haircut.