Pages of Euphoria
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
  Pumpkin Party People
I look at the white box on my computer screen like an empty canvas. Waiting to be filled with text of limited color splendor. The cursor blinks in it's robotic repetition...questioning. What are you trying to paint today it asks. And asks. Paint or smear?

It was a pretty fun Sunday night. Marked in interest by featuring a pumpkin carving party that was far from conventional. As in there were a lot of married couples and I was sober. The party was wholesome...people gathering together to enjoy a smorgasbord of good eats, provided in their entirety by one Jamie Sjodin. Not only does she bake up the perfect storm, the kinda storm that would torment storms on Jupiter, she also has blown my traveling resume out of the water (I have a few years to match her). However, good eats were not the focus, as we are finding ourselves in the month of October, the draw of the intimate dozen was to carve pumpkins. The intimate dozen by the way are all friends of my new roommate, Alex. He has been kind enough to introduce me to his circle, as well as invite me to their social gatherings to which I am most thankful. In a word, he has been instrumental.

As always, I am a huge lover of activities that take the partaker back to their youth. As long as those activities are legal, and not involving any kind of proximity to MJ's neverland ranch. But I mean fort building, ninja turtle watching, chubby bunny playing, alcohol pounding and pumpkin carving are all activities that make those list. And it was a blast! Carving pumpkins is so much fun because you get a chance to let your creative juices flow. Creating something artistic and pleasing to oneself is such a wonderful feeling...regardless if it is pleasing to others. An idea strikes you, and seeing it come to fruition is a satisfaction that I want to feel more.

What pumpkin design does one employ when meeting a brand new group of people? Nothing other than an inverted pentagram so as not to confuse those who may think I'm somewhat Jewish. It's Halloween, and I wanted to get into the spooky spirit. So I carved, quite masterfully, one of the symbols adopted by a religion of darkness. When I unveiled it, there came a few wows and nice jobs, and then nobody talked to me for the rest of the night. Just kidding. Alex carved Barack Obama's profile into his pumpkin, creating the most impressive and patriotic pumpkin offering. Unfortunately Barack the pumpkin has already melted and molded. All in all, it was a Sunday of wholesome fun, and I was glad to have the time to bond with these great San Diegans who stay classy. I hope that all of you have also enjoyed taking sharp objects to plump orange vegetation; it's such a great custom. Kinda like voting.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
  Lifestyles of the Incandescent
The place is beautiful, as if carved out of a Bob Ross painting. On every corner there looms palm trees, lazy in their grace, or graceful in their laziness. These plentiful and picturesque palm trees associate with postcards and vacations in my mind, as they clearly carry warm weather and sea breezes with them. That's what it has felt like thus far, like I am living in a postcard. Also adding to the beauty of Pacific Beach, S.D., are the sunsets. I have been watching them now for two weeks and while my camera has finally slowed down, my love for them (like frozen yogurt) is unrelenting.

My oh my these sunsets down here are something to write home about. Right around 630pm at this time of the year, all you have to do is look into what was a flawless blue sky and notice a soft golden curtain creeping up from the horizon. At that point look westward and there it shall be found. Locals flock to the beach or at least a vantage point to behold the feat of incandescence. The sphere of brilliant, retina scalding yellow light slowly descends. As it does, the surrounding sky gets painted with a soft amber, the kinda soft you would liken your pillow to. Attempting to describe the color of the sunsets down here is an exercise in futility, as the colors you see simply surpass ROYGBIV. When the sun finally touches the Pacific, it becomes the scepter of some celestial Creator, and from it spews the waning purity of the day. As in Pacific Beach, with the darkness comes impurity and the freaks come out at night just like Whodini sang.

Thats what I wanted to focus on in this entry, the feel of the people in Pacific Beach, because they have a special feel all their own. The town itself is a complete microcosm to the rest of San Diego, as there are roughly 44,000 people in PB to the estimated 3.3 million in the San Diego county. I have marked PB's location on the map with a small red star below. The median age in PB is right around 30, yet congregating closer to the beach and the main drag of Garnett avenue is a reverberating animal of youth and energy that is several years younger. This crowd of physically beautiful and raucous young people no doubt shaped the nature of Garnett avenue, which is made up almost completely of bars (with personality), tattoo parlors, smoke shops, trendy eating joints, and Halloween costume boutiques. (I am fairly certain they remain costume shops year round). There is even a hookah bar, which I cannot wait to lend my business. However also shaping the feel and the nature of the people here is without a doubt the beach itself. There are never ending waves to be ridden, endless amounts of sunscreen to rub in, UV rays to soak up, and sun kissed beach bodies to rubberneck.

As beautiful as this lifestyle is that I have just described, it is just a little one dimensional. In between the waves, the sun, the sand and the cerveza fria, there isn't much room for any other culture, or cultural awareness. Perhaps it is just that...employing a beach lifestyle and the myriad of activities that it provides just doesn't leave space for more scholarly activity, more depth of thought, mind and emotion. What I do know is that the people here are definitely rock stars in their own rights, living loud and in my face with their thirst for life and extroversion. There is a healthy dose of energy down here, and I am ecstatic to have placed myself in the center of it. This is the segment of my life where I explore domestically in search of the answers to what it all means. Joey G. is out.
Friday, October 10, 2008
  All in a Day
***An introductory disclaimer: please forgive the fact that I am clearly in love with myself and see me for more endearing personality traits.

Early morning surfing was on the agenda. Knowing we had our wetsuits until noon, I set the alarm California early (930am) to be out in the surf at 10am. Waves were shredded in the time allotted and after I almost cut another surfista's arm off with the fin of my board while trying to wash it, we returned our suits.

We fed our ravenous appetites at a wonderful little joint called Taco Surf off of Mission Boulevard. While I shoveled tacos down my throat like a salt water hippo out of water, I mentally prepared for my 3pm engagement: JOB INTERVIEW. All in a California day.

More on the session....still very much (completely) learning the ins and outs to a beautiful, harmonious, yet overbearingly salty sport. I have surfed a handful of times before: on the Washington coast, in Costa Rica, and in my beloved highway town of Mancora in northern Peru. To gain any kind of mastery of the sport, I will have to go no less then 3,000 more times no matter what country I might be practicing in. Where I find myself needing special attention is my judgment of what constitutes a rideable wave. Selecting which wall of water will send me on a fun confidence building ride, or which will deposit my gonads 8 feet under the ocean floor has proved to be a difficult task. Wes, my traveling partner/navigating sidekick brother leaves for Seattle drear tomorrow afternoon, wish him good traveling karma. Hasta las olas locas amigos, PAZ.

Saturday, October 04, 2008
  Road Bites Men
Usually roads are hit by people with travel itches. Not today. I just took rocky knuckles to the chin, the kidney, and had my ear lobe nibbled off by one ruthless Highway 101. My brother and I left Portland, OR and our lovely grandmother at 830am, to arrive at the residence of our family friends the Purkeys, in San Francisco at 1130pm. Of that 15 hour time span, maybe 90 collective minutes were spent not driving. Much of that non-driving time was spent urinating. We both endorse hydration.

However, it was the most grueling 13 or so hours of driving/riding I have ever experienced, this coming from someone who voluntarily rode a bus from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Guichille, Ecuador. Not to mention the relentless downpour of rain that new no ending. It was raining when we left Portland and it was raining on the Golden Gate Bridge when we crossed it. The verb raining itself really did not apply to todays situation, firehosing would be a much more satisfactory fit. All because I chose the scenic HWY 101 which runs along the west coast, and is a hilly, curvy, oscillating boa constrictor of merciless pavement. Interstate 5, which runs from Canada, through the States and even down through Central and South America, should have been the choice.

As light from the wet grey sky wilted away and darkness set in, driving grew difficult. Wes, in his +75 year old style of driving, (a lot of squinting, frequent unnecessary breaking, driving 10 miles under the speed limit) had to be relieved if we wanted to arrive at an almost decent hour. So I took over the reigns with my fleeing suspect of grand larceny driving style (eating a burrito, steering the wheel with my knee cap, going 25 over the limit) and we finally arrived. Our moods were not sour enough to enjoy driving over the Golden Gate Bridge.

I estimate our loss of time at taking 101 to be around 4 hours. So if there ever was a kernel of truth or a morsel of wisdom to be gleaned from one of my entries, it is to just avoid 101 and take I-5. The former fights way too dirty.
Read up on the portion of this life which I have chosen to make accessible to you. Or if it is simpler, just give me a jingle and we can shoot the breeze. Either way, forget about the time, what productivity means or anything that might be pressing and get lost in some thought and imagination.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I come from a small town north of Seattle, WA, where I learned that rain is a magical thing because it turns things green. I have had the chance to go a few places and see a few things of which all I have are pictures, memories and stories. I am currently living and learning about Los Angeles, California, and what it means to be an Angelino.

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