A Travellerspoint blog

9-Fine-Hawai'ian Tribute

A small note to 9 of you, my Ohana on Oahu. Without you all here, this place would not be paradise.

View Take One: Annabelle + Gabrielle * on Further's travel map.

Since I am leaving the island, and an emotional sap, I wanted to write to a few people who have made all the difference in my time here. They have made my college years (my Hawai'i years) so meaningful to me, and the best chapter of my life thus far. It wasn't until today that it really hit me, how many of you I may never see in front of me again, because you will be doing awesome things with your life when I return! But let me express my overwhelming gratitude for the time I got to share with you, here on this island in the middle of the deep blue sea...

[ Christian Ritchie ]

First friend on the island, Last roommate on the island
How we met:
Ceramics Sculpting class my sophomore year.
My favorite thing about you:
How observant you are. Not many people are aware of your brilliance when they first meet you. It comes out in pieces, and over years, formed this amazingly aware and kind individual.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
When you and I went to Sandy's to watch the sun come up, and a million night visits to UH dorms.

[ Thomas Rugg]

Closest friend on Oahu, one of my many soulmates
How we met:
Through Jesse Austin, right when I first moved here
My favorite thing about you:
The other day we were walking down the street in absolute awe at how happy with are with our lives. This joy has been present in you since the day we met. You light is what motivates me to smile when I think I cant.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
We went to Croms one night my first year here. I don't know if you remember that night, but I do. It was when I knew that given a few months, you would be one of my best friends.

[ Michiko Nagai ]

Ex-roomate from Palolo, the one I run into the most often, the first person I really loved on this island
How we met:
I moved into your house halfway through my sophomore year.
My favorite thing about you:
This one is hard, but I am pretty sure its that you laugh WHENEVER you want to. I have this image in my head of you laughing during entirely inappropriate situations, in people's faces, while you hit a cop car, when we were breaking hearts... you never hold that in. You never should.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
Haha, the day we spent on the boat with Karl and Captain John, who later became a frequent at my bar. You and I got so wasted that we took our clothes off and swam in the ocean outside the Shorebird Restaurant. Also, we rolled a napkin up like a joint and smoked flaming paper products (on video) in the middle of the restaurant.

[ Brendin Brown ]

Cinematic Mate for Life
How we met:
At your old place with Justine. You were wearing a blue shirt and had strange facial hair. I remember almost not remembering you. Haha
My favorite thing about you:
Your face. Yup. I love everything about your face.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
The night that you came over to the Asterisk and discovered Jackie and I lived in the same house.

[ Tim Zapor ]

Adopted Family, High School Classmate
How we met:
Running into each other every year at Love Fest
My favorite thing about you:
You are not afraid of yourself. While you do care what people think of you, it's the right people, and in front of them you are nothing but 200% you. Which is this clumsy, nerdy, yet very sexy man with great hair. Haha
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
Okay, this one I really cant say. Our first two weeks together hanging out every day? My 21st birthday? Watching vampire movies all day in your living room? Getting unbelievable drunk with you like 30 times? Many First Fridays? Wicked? Too much fun to choose one.

[ Jon Fritzler ]

Soul brother, Ex-Roommate, Oracle
How we met:
At an AMP event my first year on Oahu, "If I could tell the world one thing..."
My favorite thing about you:
Your willpower. I can't even begin to explain to you how much you have changed my life. You are the example of sheer manifestation in life, love, and spiritual achievement. You can read my mind, and have helped me get out of bed on mornings I thought I couldn't.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
Actually, your 27th birthday takes the cake on this one. Even with all of our Amp/Asterisk adventures.

[ Hannah Gabrielle Stewart ]

Yin to my Yang
How we met:
In the parking lot at the Asterisk
My favorite thing about you:
The love that literally leaks out of your pores. You love the people in your life so much it actually shines. You love the planet, you love freedom, you love love. You are Love, Gabby.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
(remember, this excludes on the mainland) Your 21st Birthday. Watching you spin fire as the sun came up. I don't think I have ever seen a human being look so ... whole.

[ Genna Daly ]

Ex-roommate, ex-friend, Re-sister
How we met:
At mini garden with Cait and Evan for dinner.
My favorite thing about you:
Your confidence. It even shows through the way you stand and stretch. You attract light, love, and all good things Genna.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
Hahaha. Do I even have to say it? The "Tag Team Charlie" night.

[ Daniel Walker ]

Ex-Boyfriend, The only person I trust to run the world
How we met:
In Michigan at college, he was the one I moved to Hawai'i with
My favorite thing about you:
Your point of view, and the way you are constantly trying to better yourself, your situation, and that of the people you care about.
Best Memory with you on Oahu:
My 19th Birthday, the last time we went to Croms with the guitar, and when I saw you this week and we smoked in the tent in your living room. Those three days, it was so clear, that I want to be doing these things with you until we are old and grey.

So that's it guys. I could go on forever telling all of you how much I love you, how much I am going to miss you, and how much I am donating to the study of teleportation, but there just isn't enough time left. "I've got to keep on moving, stay alive."

Posted by Further 21:04 Archived in USA Tagged hawaii goodbye ohana Comments (0)

Head Above Water

My 6 word memoir: One foot out the door again

I bought my ticket to Australia last week. On December 29, 2012 I will leave Hawai'i, my 16th home, to travel to a country where I know NO ONE. Drum roll. This part of the plan just hit me yesterday. I've spent the last 5 years traveling the world, networking with people from all over so that I would have a hand up for my next move. But, instead of taking advantage of my vast connections throughout the USA, I have decided to go to the one place where I have no resources whatsoever. Come on Annabelle.
Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic about moving. Not only have I always wanted to go to Australia, but I am moving to a place that already speaks my language, and has a culture familiar to Hawaii's. On top of that, everyone I have ever met from Australia is outgoing, friendly, and extremely attractive in that we-make-English-sound-so-much-better kind of way. I am simply noting that there is a small chance my heart may get trampled, where I may then embark on a walkabout, lose all of my clothes, and slip slowly into a heavy case of manic depression. I'm trying to keep a brighter outlook though. Zac seems to have finally succumbed to my voodoo, and I could not be more pleased with the boyfriend beside me. That being said, I just don't know if I've ever been so nervous before.

Since I was a young girl, moving has always excited me. It means a fresh start, a new landscape, and friends I can't wait to fall in deep "like" with. But, the older and more experienced me keeps reminding me that it also means having to start from square one again. It means spreading myself even thinner to those new friends I will make. It means missing everyone from the last place I lived, and not having an "in" anywhere I go. It means lots of nights during the first few months making dinner for myself, sitting at the bar alone, and having no one to talk to who knows the first thing about my life beforehand.

When I was 18 I moved to Hawai'i with a boy named Dan Walker. In retrospect, the two of us are extremely grateful for what that experience gave us. But if we are being honest here, it was also one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. Moving there with him employed a dependency neither one of us foresaw. The stress of not knowing anyone and having to find new jobs in a place we didn't know took a major toll on our relationship, and eventually put an end to what was once the best thing our lives. Back then, I remember feeling so lonely for the 6 months following the split that I didn't know what else to do, except sit at home every night watching movies and eating rice bowls. Loneliness is the thing I fear most in this world, and this trip means new potential for that.

Sandra, my mother, would tell me not to live in fear right now. She would tell me to run at this with open arms and without reservations, because at the end of our lives, we measure life by the risks we took. I'm trying to heed her advice, but I worry people are going to wonder what I'm doing there. I'm afraid my answer isn't as foolproof as I'd like it to be. The truth is, I am moving there because it's the only thing that interests me right now. I don't want to dive into grad school, or learn a new language. I don't want to stay in Hawai'i or go back to Colorado. I don't want to settle for what I have already seen, or join AmeriCorps. I'm making it sound like I chose this from a process of elimination, and I can't really say that isn't true. This isn't the first time I've bet on the unknown. I just don't want to set myself up to hit the ground as hard as I did before.

I'm trying to find a way to be more prepared for this, which is useless since I know nothing about the future, or about Australia. The only thing I know anything about is Zac, and that's frightening as fuck. I don't want to pressure him into feeling responsible for my happiness when I'm down there. A few weeks ago we were talking on my back patio about what this would mean… me coming to Ausland. I could see this fear in his eyes as he told me he doesn't want to disappoint me. It was then that I realized he was feeling the same pressure that I felt with Dan. Dan had moved to Hawai'i to be with me. When our relationship ended, I felt this overwhelming guilt for inviting him to move his entire life just to spend more time together. It took me months to realize that the choice was his, and that he wouldn't have come if it wasn't something he wanted to do in the first place. So, out on the porch, I told Zac just that. This is my decision. I am not his responsibility, and I am not going down there under any false pretenses of a promise. I don't even want a promise. All I want, is to try. Because this is the best relationship I have ever had, and I want to ride it while the ride is good. If it ends, I want to know that it's because of more than just geography.

Besides, Zac doesn't have a clue as to what he is doing with his life either. When we tell each other that, we don't feel like disappointments. We don't feel like children, or bums. I feel really safe in his uncertainty, and I guess I'm just trying to find a way to feel safe in my own.

Posted by Further 00:20 Archived in USA Tagged ghosts courage uncertainty loneliness Comments (0)

Long Drives and Bad Moods

A Taste of some Southern Cynicism

The two of us are driving to Houston right now. We've almost logged another 20 hours on the road, topping our mileage off around 8000. There's something that happens to your body after spending 20 hours sitting in a car seat. This is also the part where I tell you that our 1995 Chevy Astro Van doesn't have adjustable seats. We try to compensate for this by shoving our bed pillows behind our backs to create the illusion of comfort, which only fools us for about an hour. But back to the point, on long drives you spend the entire day listening to music, podcasts, or in our case, Pandora's selection of stand-up comedians. The only food you eat comes straight out of a car cooler that sits between the two front seats. It usually consists of soggy sandwiches, chips that don't require a cooler, and beer we can't drink until we're out of the car. Every now and then, you'll get a mysterious cramp in a muscle you didn't know about, and suddenly the car will swerve as you try to re-adjust from one awkward position to another. As you veer off the side of the road, the wheels run along the grated highway boundaries making a heinously loud sound, and letting the passenger know their driver has officially been spacing out.

Once you have overcome the hump of hour ten, the in-car stomach ache sets in. It's like your body begins to realize that you don't have terminal cancer and is wondering why you haven't moved in two days. I like to distract us from complaints by bringing up political questions that prompt a 20-minute-long discussion which ends in tension and a bad after-taste. Last night, I chose to ask Zac "without pigeon-holing either nationality, what do you think is the biggest difference between the way Americans and Australians live their lives?" 30 minutes later we were both defending our parents' misfortunes and upbringings. Mission accomplished :)

This drive in particular has graced us with a plethora of conservative brainwashing. Pro-life signs line the highways, complete with footnotes explaining that they are sponsored by the whatever local government deems their own political agendas worthy of taxpayer's dollars. We even passed one that said "Please stop porn, and the unborn." To me, stopping the unborn sounds like a warning cry for the to-be mother of the anti-christ. I'm still waiting to see the democratically funded sign that reads "Should have wrapped it before you tapped it," or "Abortion: All the cool kids are doing it." But oh yeah, those don't exist. The democrats are too busy fighting for civil rights and human equality. I wonder when they'll get their priorities straight. Sheesh.

Posted by Further 00:17 Archived in USA Tagged politics cramps Comments (0)

Please, Please, more Whine and Cheese

"I'm just a candle trying to stay lit on this windy night" -Matisyahu

No one tells you that you're going to lose hope sometimes. They don't warn you that at the end of the day, every now and then, you feel wasted and aimless. They don't prepare you for the times when you disappoint yourself, or forget about why you started down this road. Part of growing up is learning to regard these moments as temporary. To know that no matter how dark the sky gets, the sun will always find its way back. If you're lucky, you'll have someone there who reminds you of this. Someone who doesn't join you in suffrage, and remains tall when you are meek.

But if you do find yourself alone, and unconvincing, here is one thing you can depend on. Somehow, every morning, no matter what is going on in your head, your feet will put themselves in front of each other. One after another they will keep going, even without your consent. Because sometimes, it's just about going through the motions of the day. You can't expect everything to be exciting, or to feel good. Life is a spectrum, and living means experiencing both ends of that. Like therapy, over time, the light will find you again, and you will quickly forget what it felt like to be so cynical.

I know I sound like I'm complaining, but I'm not. I'm simply writing within a frame of thought that I usually don't deem worth writing down. I mean, why write something that is just going to depress you later? Moreover, why write a blog that might depress other people? But, sadness is a part of my life. Whether I like it or not, it's there. I don't see much use in hiding these portions, as this record is more for me than anyone else. Even in recent years I have grown to enjoy taking pictures of tattered things, ruins of buildings, pieces of something else that once was. These things are worth noting, and worth acknowledgment, but it's important not to dwell there too long. It's important to try and pull yourself up when you're down, and to try and see the brighter side. You'll usually find what you're looking for, either way.

[ t h e . c o a s t ]

This weekend Zac and I got to say goodbye to Oregon in the best way possible. Maria and her husband, Zach, took us to the beach in Oceanside and rented a cottage for the weekend. The room we slept in was one of the most beautiful ways that I've ever woken up. It had two-story ceilings, white walls, white sheets and pillows, white towels rolled and stacked on white tables. It goes without saying that it's the kind of place you don't drink wine in bed. The side opposite the bed is basically one giant window to the ocean, porch, and beach. The sound of crashing waves and high tide puts you to sleep, and the warmth of the sunrise wakes you up by ten like clockwork. Maria brought us champagne every morning before we even got out from under the covers.

Oceanside is 6 miles out from Tillamook, Oregon; home of the infamous Tillamook cheese and ice cream. Also, home to one of the strangest stenches my nose has ever mulled over. For the first time I took note of how large cows' nostrils are, and I couldn't help but feel badly for them as we drove by in the safety of closed windows. If I lived here, I would cover my house in flowers and sage. I would take aromatherapy baths and burn candles that smelled like pine trees; enough scents to make my mother sick to her stomach. For anyone looking to travel here, I would recommend booking a few miles away from the city center. But if you don't mind smells, the elegance of Oregon's coastal landscape is more than enough to make up for it.

The instant we arrived on Saturday afternoon I watched Zac surf for the first and last time in over a month. I'm not sure who was happier to see him run into the water, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I was far enough away so that I wouldn't see the startled expression of ice cold water on his barenaked feet. If it weren't for that, he would have been grinning as wide as I was. We spent the weekend in the element of retirees who frequent B&Bs together, playing dominos and watching old movies left over from other passerbys. The air was quiet and cold, demanding that we rest our worries and take deeper breaths before we depart from PDX.

"It's had its ups and downs," Zac said this morning, looking over the mountains of pearl white comforter that separated us, "but it can't go up unless it comes down." I fought the urge to disagree with him, because I suppose he's right. In the last few days, I have become overwhelmingly thankful for his patience. This man has seen me in all possible lights, both unflattering and inspiring, and I wouldn't wake up every day half as happy if it weren't for the comfort of knowing that I am not being judged. He allows me to be myself, and demands that I do so. He isn't interested in the facades of appropriateness anymore, we passed that line a long time ago. These days, we know each other so well that it's second nature to recognize when one of us needs cheering up. I spent late September so worried about him, that I forgot to give myself the pep-talk when panic came around. But like the amazing friend he is, his pure enjoyment of every day keeps my chin way up.

I missed Hawai'i a lot this weekend, fighting the urge to get in the water all day. I wouldn't last a minute in there. Another point on my list of "things I don't tolerate" is cold water. It's up there between tags sticking out of shirts and listening to feminist rants. In our last hours on the shore we all drove up to an infamous Fur tree. It stands at a towering 400 feet tall and is over 800 years old. If it could speak I would have asked it if it would like a shoulder massage, and thank it for letting us take family-portrait styled picture on its toes. Later we hiked down the hills to the beaches lined in black rocks and tunneled caves. I took too many pictures and traced pathways in the sand with my feet to scratch the itch of swimming. More than anything, this weekend gave me the room to think about shifting back into transit mode. Here we go again, on the road again. I tried not to think about what could go wrong, but some of our recent luck has left me cautious. This week marked the middle point of our trip, and it's hard to believe this has a lifespan of 100 days. It feels like so much more than just days, and hours. It feels like a new direction.

On the drive back to Portland we listened to The Mountain Goats. A friend of mine once recommended that I download them while I was visiting Colorado, but this was during her oxycontin phase of life, and every chance I've given them has forced to me switch playlists by the middle of song number two. Today though, suddenly, they found their time and place. 22 out of 84 tracks later we began searching for an Oil Can Henrys to have the astro van serviced one final time before our push to Colorado. As of right now, all of the gauges are disconnected, the service engine light keeps winking at us. On long and lonely nights, the engine ticks as it rotates, reminding us of evaded responsibilities.

My job for the next 24 hours is to finish my mural at Refuge, so that Maria can either buy it from me or sell it for me through the venue. I can't believe with 21 days behind me that it's still not done, and I'm far too content to finish it with any organic emotion. I have to stop thinking about it so much. I used to be able to kind of leave my mind and let my body paint for me, but it always happened so naturally. I guess this is why I've never tried to make a business out of art. It's harder for me to give things when they are being asked for. As always, wish me luck.

Posted by Further 10:17 Archived in USA Tagged coast oregon dominos transition support oceanside champagne doubt Comments (0)

Same Track, Different Record

There are two sides to a lot of things: Coins, Doors, Roads, and in this case... Recollections.

We are coming up on our third full week here in Oregon, and I can't believe it's gone by so fast. The stress of arriving without a plan and no one to reach out to threw us immediately into this tunnel, with no light at the end. But slowly, one by one, everything we needed began to come our way. We found a job miraculously, that has helped us not only survive the last few weeks, but also to make $1000.00 to put us back on the road. We've met the most incredible people there; politicians, musicians, artists, PR rockstars, and soooo many more. We have had a house to sleep, shower, and cook in every single day. Our schedule has been so packed that I almost forgot what it was like when we arrived here in the City of Roses.

In his blog entry, Zac wrote about "that night" in Eugene, where he had what can only be described as a paranoia-induced panic attack. I thought it would be worth it to describe a few other details of that night, and a bit of what it looked like from my side of the looking glass.
That morning, we arrived in Oregon by noon and picked up a hitch hiker halfway up the I-5 who had a guitar strapped to his back. He rode with us for two hours talking about music, listening to John Butler, and sharing stories of life on the road. He wasn't like your typical hitch hiker being that he was our age, well dressed, and had recently showered. But I trust anyone who travels with an instrument instead of a bodybag, so he came along all the way from Ashland to Eugene. When we made it to the U of O campus, we let him out of the car and called my friend Ben to let him know we had arrived. What had previously been an excited old friend had quickly turned into a belligerent fool on the phone. Apparently, Ben had indulged in all the luxuries a Duck's tailgate has to offer; free Mexican food, unlimited beer, and all the tequila a twenty-something can afford. By the time we found him in the middle of the street we had made over a dozen full circles between four streets on campus following Ben's slumbering directions. We picked him up and he was able to tell us how to drive to his house from where we were, which turned out to be about 30 yards away (go Ducks). Ben passed out within 5 minutes, so I put away the groceries that we had bought and asked Zac if he wanted to go out to dinner. I had seen a bar up the street next to the frat house that let me use their shower earlier that afternoon. At the time, it seemed like any ordinary dinner, when it suddenly occurred to Zac that this was the second time we had ever been out to dinner together since the first night he spent in Hawai'i. We sat there for about three hours talking about Australia, his friends back home, where they had met, and where they were now. The day before we had made it through a 12 hour drive talking about everything two people could possibly think of. It was one of the longest and best conversations I have ever had. This dinner was somehow a continuance of the same dialogue. There was still so much to say and ask each other. He held my hand across the table the entire time. It really doesn't get more romantic than that over been and nachos. On the walk home from dinner Zac looked over at me like he never had before. His face was so lit up, and if I had known what was coming I would have paid more attention to capturing the feeling between the two of us. Now, he describes this as one of the best nights he has ever had with me, but for me it was something different.
When we returned to Ben's house his roommates had made it back from the tailgate, wondering how Ben got into his bed and who these two strangers were in their house. We explained how I knew Ben, and they invited us in the living room to clear the bong before they ventured out to the bars. We all smoked and started talking about Burning Man, and how it lead us up to Oregon to look for work. The guys couldn't get enough of Zac, his stories, and his accent. Before long they invited us to come out with them, and I went to the van to change into more comfortable shoes. When I came back 5 minutes later, everything had gotten a little silly. Zac started laughing... a lot. He missed the entire conversation where we all agreed to go out together. He got up and headed toward the back lot, telling them we would see them in the morning, and to have a good night. I was confused. Were we not going out with everyone? Why was Zac so nervous? Was I just stoned and missing everything? I followed him to the van and asked him why he didn't want to go. That's where things began to spiral down. Immediately he felt bad for not understanding that I was just changing my shoes. He began apologizing and laughing more, in the way he does when he is nervous. I decided to not make a big deal of it, and changed the subject. I don't know why (and I will forever wish I chose a different topic) but I began asking if he and his family had ever done puzzles together. His eyes grew big.
I asked again, "Have you ever done a puzzle Zac?"
No response.
He opened his mouth and started breathing heavily, his eyes were bigger now and he wasn't blinking at all. He adjusted his seating position frantically and here is a rough paraphrasing of what followed:

Zac: "You have to tell me it!"
Anna: "What? What do you mean?"
Anna: "Zac, what are you talking about? Come on. You're scaring me." [ about 10 seconds in I realized he wasn't trying to be funny ]
Zac: "You know!"
Anna: "I know what?" (Zac grabs my arm, hard, like he's scared too)
[ I immediately began scanning my brain. Bee stings! He's allergic to bees! Maybe he's having a reaction! ]
Anna: "Do you need help? Do you need to go to the hospital?"
Zac: "Yes, you have to tell me it!"
Anna: "Babe, I don't know what you mean. Should I drive you to the hospital?"
[ his breathing was heavy, his eyes were wide open, he looked so freaked out, and his voice was really deep by now ]
Zac: "Yes. YOU KNOW this disease. You know you have to tell me it!"
Anna: "Hold on Zac, I need to find help. Don't leave the car."
Into the Street: "Hello! I need someone's help!"
[ a girl ran outside from the house next to our car ]
Girl: "Is everything okay?"
Anna: "No. My boyfriend's freaking out. He's not drunk, or on drugs. I think he's having a panic attack, but I'm not sure. He's tripping out!"
[ she came up to the car and asked Zac if he was alright ]
[ at this point, he snaped out of it a little bu not completely. Now, he was acting like a little kid, but not freaking out ]
Anna: "Zac, do you need her to help us get you to a hospital?"
[ he shook his head, then tried to calm down. He laid back until he basically stopped mumbling and the girl told me if I needed anything to call out ]
I sat there trying not to cry, trying to process what had just happened out of nowhere. Is he okay? Did someone give him drugs without me knowing?
I have seen people go out on bad trips, but never like this. Never out of touch with reality. Never out of communication. Nothing he was saying made any sense, and I couldn't figure out what could have happened to him that wasn't happening to me. 5 minutes passed and he began tripping out again.
This time there was a girl outside on the phone and I yelled towards her and asked if she would come over here to see this. I wasn't going to be the only one witnessing this trip, especially since we are travelers living in a hippie van... it just doesn't look very credible to anyone.
She stood there while we asked him questions and listened to the responses that didn't make sense.
This went on for hours, during which all 4 girls inside the house came out to talk to him, and talk to me, and make sure we were alright. I don't remember their names, only that they were all pretty drunk, and extremely helpful. After a little over an hour Zac decided he was going to try to sleep and I laid there in the van, eyes wide open, feeling his entire body shake until dawn came. It was single-handedly the scariest moment of my young adult life. I've never felt so ill-equipped to help someone I love who needs me, or who needs anyone that understands.

Whatever romance had themed the evening earlier was covered up pretty hard-core by this episode. He will remember the dinner as the most he has ever been in love with me, and I will remember that dinner as the last time I saw a sign of that. Since that night, we've spent almost every day trying to decompress from what happened. We have had endless discussions with countless people, young and old, that cared to hear the story and give us their input. He has spent four nights in the last three weeks unable to sleep, shaking just like he was in the van. We've started reading books, forums, texts, and psych journals narrowing down what could be going on and what we can do to make sure he never has to be that scared again. I have to say, I am impressed by his open-mindedness of the whole situation. Everything from scizophrenia to sleep apnea, Zac has been eager to learn about them and practice healthy living down to the T. He's off caffeine, off weed, and almost off nicotine completely. He's been following exercises suggested for anxiety, meditating, stretching, and writing it all down. He's doing everything right, and I... well ... I have to learn to deal with the fact that he is not mine to fix. In fact, the fact that Zac doesn't spend his time in monogamous relationships might be a huge contributing factor to these panic attacks, and that's something that keeps me awake at night, writing in this damn blog trying to make sense of what effect my presence might be having on his life.

I might be making it sound worse than it was, though I am convinced I'm under-exaggerating. Zac's doing really well for the most part. He's having fun and living life like always, but there is an undertone that we can't seem to shake off, and it's breaking my heart a little bit every day. Here I am, selfishly and stupidly wanting these last few weeks to be filled with fireworks and adventure, when there might be a much more important journey for Zac internally. He doesn't have room to be a boyfriend right now. Right now, he needs to spend his time finding his footing, feeling grounded again, and coping with the fact that his family is still 7 weeks and thousands of miles away. Either way, we are still having a great time. It's just, adapted a different meaning than before.

We were driving home tonight from Refuge, and as we were crossing the Hawthorne Bridge I realized something small had crept up on me. The quiet, still feeling of normality. Tonight, I feel normal. Tonight, I feel grounded. I realized how much of our time right now is spent chasing this tiny comfort. Maybe as we transition from stationary back to mobile we will get some hindsight on the last few weeks. Being here has put a lot of things to the test, both individually and in our relationship. We both had a day that we wanted to call it quits, and the other one wouldn't let us go. We both had nights full of so much fun and creative stimulation that we couldn't be happier. We've had moments of love, and moments in quarrel. We've even had time to be bored here, to watch TV, to read books for pleasure and listen to an album twice in a row. Portland has shifted the two of us, in different ways. For Zac, its made him face all of the things he never did before. He's investigating, what I can only picture as, years of stiffled sounds and emotions. He's trying to get a feel for what he wants to do with his life after this, what kind of man he wants to be, and what kind of people he wants to be surrounded with. For me, I've realized that no matter how many times I run away to never-never land, something always brings me back. This trip isn't about romance or finding a person I can travel with for the next few years. It's not about a documentary, or an art project. For me, it's now about learning to listen better, to watch more, to see things for what they are, not what they can be.
Wish me luck.

Posted by Further 02:59 Archived in USA Comments (1)

My First Blog, by Zac Tarrant

I'm finally jumping on board with Annabelle's crazy scheme to get famous via blogging (don't think this is gonna help much)

This is the first time I have posted anything on a blog. This is the first time I have written something that other people may actually read. Quite a few insecurities immediately come to light; first of all, I just remembered that I am not a good speller, also that I’m from Australia and will not forfeit my spelling of words like ”mum” or my use of the metric system (a far superior way of measuring things) or my sense of humor which apparently can be offensive, sorry.

Burning Man was the second most incredible experience of my young life (the Kalalau Trail on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai takes the cake). The people, the place, the art, the philosophy, the giving, the parties, everything about my time in Black Rock City, Nevada was beautiful. Annabelle and I also chose this event to experience the wonders of LSD for the first time, and we did it with style. Well, Annabelle did it with style. I spun myself out of control on a merry-go-round atop a double-decker bus as it drove through the desert at 3 in the morning. I got off the spinning wheel, which I thoroughly enjoyed but I couldn’t kick the nausea (due both to the acid and the fact that we were still moving across the desert surrounded by 100,000 lights). I remember a strong humbling feeling as I threw all of my previously consumed, much needed, hydration over the railing of this extremely dangerous contraption. There were a number of burners on bikes following this massive art car, which by the way had a 2-storey LED martini glass on the side which I was hurling straight out of. I did try to apologize to the newly scattered cyclists through my stinging spew nose, but I don’t think they heard me.

That festival changed me. It gave me an incredible faith in the good of people. There, I was surrounded by 60,000 people who have abandoned the society most of us know. The structure which oppresses creativity, pollutes the gift of this planet, and provides us with fashion guidelines. The society that eats at McDonalds. This 60,000 people have been with me, outside the wet paper bag that seems to contain all of western suburbia, but I hadn’t met them until Burning Man.

I want to write. I want to fill this page with all the thoughts in my mind, thoughts of travel and love and fear. Thoughts of pure joy and moments of intense pain. The times when I come to terms with the person I am, and the times I lose my self in my surroundings. I want to write about my experiences, all of the things I accomplish in my life, but this all takes time. It takes time to write about the fun I had in California with all the Aussie boys. It takes time to write about the times I look deep into Annabelle’s eyes and feel completely at home, and even more time to explain the times that I don’t feel that comfort, when all I want to do is scream off a cliff or fly home to Aus and curl up in my room (if I still have one).

I haven’t had the time to write about the experience I had in Eugene where I fully hallucinated without taking any drugs and had the biggest freak out of my entire life. So ill take the time I have right now. Sitting in Dog River Café in Hood River, Oregon

I felt my whole world, and everything I had known, coming to an end. The whole universe turned on me that night; the same universe that had supposedly been protecting me and propelling me though this life. This is what I was relying on to get me through and it abandoned me in Eugene. Well, I believed it had abandoned me and that is what was so scary about it. No one could convince me otherwise.

All I had done was smoke weed, something I had done almost everyday since I arrived in the United States. The mixture of a big glass bong and some stupidly chronic weed, things we just don’t have in Aus. However, it was just weed. Something happened in my mind… a realization. I can recall every detail of the evening, except the thought that took me to that terrifying place. I started shaking. Annabelle’s face became so unfamiliar that she was no longer on my team. I was on my own and I was seemingly going insane. When Annabelle asked me if I needed to go to a hospital I said, “yes” she asked me two more times and I gave her the same answer, I’m glad now that we didn’t go, but I thought I was on my way out.

I think the whole experience came from not having a strong belief in myself. I suppose for the last few years I have believed that there would be a moment, or an experience, that would define who I am. I would be able to remember how I felt at this time, and it would overwhelm me with a sense of comfort. I would know exactly who I am in this moment, all questions would be answered, and I would move on to being an adult. My path would be chosen, I would know exactly which area of my life I would throw all my time and money into. I would feel so strongly about a girl that I would never think of leaving her, never look at another woman, my time consuming life as a single man would end, decisions would be made with ease and I would be happy. This may be a dreamers dream, a childish real-life fairytale moment, a 23yr old man traveling around like a fucking conscious Sleeping Beauty waiting for a kiss.

I am not gonna lie and say I have given up on this dream. I still feel as though there will be moments in my life that will enlighten me, but now I realize it is up to me to define myself. I have to provide myself with a strong sense of my own character, and tell that tiny foreign voice in my head that I’m not crazy, that I do have a past, that I have experienced life and that I am the sum of my own experiences. It wasn’t a nice feeling to have to try and piece myself back together after that night in Eugene, and I don’t know if I will ever be done. I think I might just have to find some new way to fill in the gaps.

I think I have always been a sensitive, emotional person. Simply because I care about the people around me and I have a mind opened as wide as the Columbia River Gorge by the endless possibilities this life has to offer, but like most men I believed emotions were just something too useless to get in the way having fun. I think it’s a combination of blocking them out and simply not feeling them that my keep emotions from surfacing. Over the last few years I’ve been slowly getting over trying to prove I’m a man, it seems the real men in this world are the ones that don’t give a shit about proving it.

I genuinely do want to experience everything in this world, everything I ever seen in a movie, heard about from a friend, read in a book or dreamt of at night. I want to do it all. The only things I don’t feel drawn to are the things I’ve already seen. Of course some of them can be done over and over again, but if I can do them in a different location, then I’d be stoked.

So what I think I’m missing due to growing up as a child nomad, is the ability to stick to anything, find something I like and get attached. So now I feel as though I’m going to have to learn to get attached to things. “Things” meaning a person, a location, a job, a particular lifestyle. How can this be done with the amount of people, places, and things out there to see and meet? It seems a mathematical impossibility that I have already been to the place in the world best suited for who I am, that I’ve met the girl in the world that is most comfortable around my weirdness, or most likely to help me grow into the person I want to be. This kind of thinking will drive you insane. I know this because I have actually been there, on my strange weed-induced acid flashback, and it was not pretty.

So what have I learnt from this experience, where I believed I was going to die in the back of a van on the U of O campus? Not as much as I would have liked. I had no all-encompassing epiphany. I just realized how important it is to stay in the moment (something my mum has been telling me for years). Although ideas of infinite opportunities and possibility can motivate me, what goes up must come down. Acceptance, awareness, and the present moment will keep my feet on the ground.

Posted by Further 12:59 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Double-Dating, the other kind

I don't enjoy going out with other couples, or seeing which pair can dominate at Scattegories. No, no, no. When I say Double-Date, I mean 2 dates, back-to-back, just me and my guy for a marathon of non-stop romantic extravagance!

Two nights ago, after working at Refuge until 6 AM and sleeping in past noon, Zac and I awoke to something we thought we had lost: a day off. We began by sitting on the couch, drinking obscene amounts of coffee, watching comedy selections from the On-Demand menu, and eating breakfast on Lisa's Porch. The spread was amazing. Baby potatoes, sweet yams, broccoli and egg quiche, organic yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, avocado, and soy milk. It was now freezing outside, as Septembers in Portland usually are, so all of us had our heavy jackets on and sat with our legs close to our bodies. I was happy to shiver, and have truly missed chilly mornings. We lounged around the house until the evening rolled around, where we headed to a Portland attraction called Edgefield. It's located 20 miles east of the city, and comes equipped with a golf course, hot spring, vineyard, theater, hotel, restaurant, pub, and the world's cheesiest oil paintings which line the walls of the hotel's main corridor.

Right before we left the house, Zac had perused around their website and saw that it was Oktoberfest at Edgefield, and there was going to be live music all night long. As soon as we got to the grounds and parked the van, we followed our ears. In the back garden of the hotel were white canopies lit with old vintage yellow lights. Under the far tent were home ground sausages and local ales on special. We went for the beer because wine in this part of the country all seems overpriced, and tastes like grape juice. The band that was playing was absolutely fantastic! They called themselves Sassperilla: 4 men and 1 woman, all somewhere in their thirties, and appropriately dressed for playing bluegrass on and old farm. Zac was ecstatic. The last month has revealed a lot of Zac to me, notably his love for jam bands. I could sit here and try to describe the instruments that were being played, but my words would fail any informed musician. So let me say this... if you look around your house for items made of tin and steel, fasten them to a variety of wooden dowels, and clink them rhythmically together, you have what appears to be a good cover of this band. Their set lasted two and half hours, which is a feat for anyone, nonetheless a band who plays at 200 beats a minute. Night fell and their reign ended, where we offered them ten dollars in exchange for one of their recordings. The lead singer heard that Zac was from Australia and gave him a copy of every single one of their albums, asking him to bring it down under. I love our luck that way.

By now, we were starving and went around to the other building which was glowing in the dark, like a circus at its prime. The band playing on the dinner stage was much younger, all male, and each member had hair longer and healthier than mine. We ordered dinner and bought tickets for the late-night showing of The Avengers at a Mcmeniman's theater on the property. For those of you who have never been to Oregon, Mcmenimans theaters allow you to order dinner, drink wine and beer, and usually provide full sized couches for your viewing pleasure. The movies that are shown at these theaters are usually 6 months old, but an enhanced cinematic experience at half the price is something we just cant turn down. It's a must-do for anyone rolling through Portland area. The food was great, the music was awesome, the movie was fantastically Marvel, and it was all-around the best day off I could have imagined. But it didn't stop there

The next day we woke up with two things on our list.
1. Go and see Maria (the owner of Refuge, and a great friend) to get paid and have breakfast
2. Get away from the city today

We got to Maria's a little before 11AM where we stuck our heads in the door and let ourselves in. We sat on her couch for the better half of an hour waiting for her to come out of the shower. Her one-eyed dog named Upgrade kept us company and dragged his butt on the floor while we waited. No one knows quite how Upgrade lost his eye, just that it happened while Maria was out of town, and that it makes him the orignal gangster of Tillamook Drive. After we all ate our overpriced (but ever-delicious) breakfast bagels, Maria handed us a bong, one hundred dollars, a tupperware of weed, and instructions to go to wine country since we got a late start on the coast. We took her advice and began driving east again.

Sixty miles later we found ourselves in a town called Hood River, a couple miles away from Mt. Hood, and smack in the middle of Oregon Wine Country. We spent the day enjoying the sunlight, slipping in an out of ever winery we passed. We walked slow and spoke less, enjoying the over-fruitful flavors of Northwestern vineyards. We bought fresh peaches and plums from the Gorge White House, took pictures of the bridges, rivers, and rusted out wagons on the side of the roads. Zac spoke to all of the women who served us the tasting flights, and I watched him in adornment. In Australia, Zac works for a wine company, and while I don't enjoy the one-upping that usually comes with wine connoisseurs, Zac knew more than most of them and I found it wildly entertaining. I have to say, I was very under-prepared for my first day touring wineries. If I had to do it again I would have worn nice shoes, pulled my hair back into a pretentious bun, and brought scoring cards to rate each wine. They would list as follows:

1- This tastes like blood. Please take it away from me before I break out my garlic.
2- A bearable tart, but leaves me wanting food to accompany (or wash out) the aftertaste.
3- This 40 dollar bottle tastes just as good as the 6 dollar bottle I'm accustomed to, kudos.
4- I will repeat the name of this wine to snobs in my future, as evidence that my pallete has "been places".
5- I would buy this if I could afford it, please give me more for free :D

Around our third tasting, and 15th glass of wine, our stomachs started growling so we went in search of food. We walked into the nearest pub where I looked the host in the eyes and said, "I am a vegetarian. Sell me on this place." Without a moment's hesitation he told me the specific family of each vegetable, and where it was grown in the 10-mile radius of Hood River County. Two "non-GMOs", and three "organics" later, I was sold. We then invested in a full-sized 8 piece truffle pizza, another two pints of local beer, an 18 dollar bottle of Goat Red Cascade wine, two Red-Box DVDs and a slice of Safeway brand carrot cake. Sounds like a party right? It was.

Posted by Further 09:17 Archived in USA Tagged river pubs fruit wine vineyards hood tastings ale bluegrass edgefield Comments (1)

The Only Hard Part

Before I get into what happened three days ago, I guess I should explain something about me. I am NOT a morning person. From the age of three, my mother has called me "Bear". I now answer to this name without even noticing her use it. In fact, I can say with full certainty that my mother hasn't addressed me as "Anna" in about ten years. Side note: I changed my name from Anna to Annabelle when I was 16, due to a sudden desire to have more than 9 letters on my driver's license. Back to my point, I earned the nickname Bear because of my outrageously bad mood upon waking up each morning. Most people wake up and smile, cherishing the gift of another day of life. I have never known that joy. Instead, I wake up wanting to kill all disturbances with an automatic weapon. Over the years I have found remedies for this through a particular routine. I wake up alone, put the coffee in the french press, turn on Desert Dwellers, stretch for 30 minutes, and make some version of eggs and vegetables for breakfast. In the last 3 months, I have had ZERO opportunities to follow this routine. Instead, I wake up squished to the side of the van, peel my hair off my sweat-covered face, try to roll over only to find an Australian taking up 75% of the room, and begin blowing my nose (which is always clogged now due to resonating playa dust that is caked in the car). Additionally, depending on if we drank the night before, this all might be accompanied by a delicious hangover and a stomach so empty it pulsates.

Any man that has dated me for a significant amount of time has learned to wake me up, and run. The problem is, this current lifestyle doesn't give Zac anywhere to go. There is no kitchen, there is no porch, there is usually not even a bathroom for him to escape this reign of terror. For this, I am eternally regretful, and will spend the remaining 2 months trying to change this horrid habit of mine. Until then, let me tell you what this attitude has done to slowly ruin my life.

Zac woke me up three days ago and put a note next to my face. It read something like "I am going to Refuge to work. I'll come back around 1 pm to pick you up. Enjoy your morning. Love, Zac." This was completely normal, and perfectly kind. However, my morning self did not see it this way. I sprung out of bed enraged that he wanted to leave me alone at my aunt's house. I threw my clothes on and pronounced that I was coming with him because I too wanted to work. He timidly agreed and we went out to the car where a 10 minute drive turned into my own personal rant about something so stupid, I literally cant even remember what I was bitching about. I had told him that I needed to find an art store to buy paint so I could work on the mural all day while he did renovations. He asked if I could drop him off and go find the store afterwards, which made more sense, and of course I immediately shot it down. When he pulled off the road and put his face in his hands. At that moment, the real me returned, confused and ashamed at what I had just done. Here was a beautiful morning, and I was single-handedly making it as difficult as possible. Now, you might wonder why I did this. I wondered too, and after several hours of meditation through painting, I realized the answer.

There is a date in the not-so-distant future that I think about constantly. November 30, 2012 . . . the day Zac leaves. I cannot tell the future, but in regards to this day, there are a few certainties I cannot avoid. First, I know it's coming. Second, I know it's out of my control. Third, I know it will be one of the hardest goodbyes I've ever had to say. Zac is such a part of my daily life right now that he doesn't even feel like a separate person. He feels like an extension of myself. He's my constant company, my reason to make better choices, my motivation to run more often, eat better food, and be a kinder person. The thought of waking up and knowing he is halfway across the world puts a lump in my throat that I can't even swallow while writing about it. So, thanks to 4 years of clinical psychology classes and 22 years of therapeutic writing, I have concluded that instead of dealing with the heartbreak of November 30, I have begun a slow and painful self sabotage. I know, its a pretty stupid plan. I didn't think it up consciously, but in retrospect, this is why I have spent the last couple weeks being ridiculously hard to get along with. I'm terrified to get closer and more involved with something that has an eminent end. I should have been more prepared for this.

When he lifted his face up, he announced that he needed to go home. "This isn't working. I don't see us making it to the end of this trip, and I don't want to be here anymore. I'm not excited about anything. I'm not happy, you're not happy. I don't feel the same way about you..." The list went on and I watched all of my fear start to come to fruition. Good job Anna, you pushed him so hard that he actually wants to leave. I listened to him for about ten minutes, where I am sure I engaged in some kind of conversation, but I can't remember anything except the thoughts streaming through my mind...
...this can't be really happening
...10 days ago everything was clear, and perfect
...apologize Annabelle
...beg if you must
...you'll hate yourself forever if you choose pride right now
...tell him how you feel.

I did tell him, and through the tears and the (I'm sure) horrified look on my face, he knew I meant what I was saying. But it didn't make any difference. I had pushed him too far, and now he was in a place where comfort and peace meant getting far away from me. He left me in the car and went inside Refuge. I cried harder than I've cried in 5 years. I pushed out every ounce of sadness and regret and frustration with myself. I wanted all the poison out, because if I was going to go through this day, I needed to do it without falling apart at work. We spent the morning working in separate rooms. I kept thinking that I would cut off a limb to re-do the last week.

About an hour into my painting, a young guy named Joe came up to me and took a photograph while I was painting. He asked me where I was from, and when I told him he pulled his shirt off to reveal a tattoo of Kalalau Valley. To me, this was a sign. A sign that something was going to be okay. For a moment I thought back on the last time I was this sad. It was one of those days where you feel like nothing will ever make you laugh again. I was comforted knowing that each of those days has come and gone without killing me, and I held onto that all morning. Joe put his iPhone behind me to play me a song; "Black as Night" by Nahko Bear. That song is so beautiful, you can't help but be filled with love. It's like a tickle that makes you smile when you're pissed beyond belief. If you haven't heard it, look it up right now. When it had finished, I walked over to Zac and asked him if he wanted to go get some lunch. By then, a few hours had passed and even thought I had no idea what had been on his mind, I knew we needed to talk about this.

A lot was said over that meal. I'm not going to get into the details of it, but by the end, he wanted to stay. Still scared out of my wits, it took me a day to bounce back from what had happened. Or, almost happened, I should say. I'm writing this blog to remind myself of why it's important to act out of love, even in those first minutes every morning. I'm writing it to take responsibility for the downward spiral of last week. I'm writing it so that I realize November 30th isn't something to be scared of, because he could have left that day, and I wouldn't have blamed him.

Anyways, the sun if coming up now. I guess that's my que to sleep. xXx

Posted by Further 05:39 Archived in USA Tagged communication responsibility appreciation moodswings apologies Comments (2)

Sarcasm and a Sobb Story

I wrote this while we were stuck in Salem, Oregon. Which, after visiting, I'd have to say is the perfect place to go if you're the kind of person who likes dead grass and uncomfortable silence.

I drove here today to see Patrick* in the only place I knew I could find him without him running away: Men's Wearhouse. After an hour's drive, I dropped Zac off at Starbucks and parked in front of the store to smoke a cigarette and wait for my hands to stop shaking. As I approached the door I took note of my un-racing heart and steady breath; pleasant surprises. Long story short, he wasn't there and now I've dragged my boyfriend 50 miles south of the city on a wild goose chase. But, something tells me it's not a total waste. We needed to get away from distraction to form our plan of action, and now we are in the middle of nowhere: check.

Zac and I have been fighting a lot in the last couple of days. It's not exactly each other we are fighting with, its the damn situation we are in. Looking for work is ALWAYS a pain in the ass, and even more so when it falls right in the middle of the longest road trip of our lives. I want to help him ease his mind, but all of my questions sound like nagging and all of my support is making him feel even more pressured to come up with a plan. I've never wanted an instruction manual for my life, but every now and then it would be nice to have one to reference. I imagine it would have sub-headings like:

- How to write an "I've Got Chlamydia" email page 80-81
- Ten ways to Flirt with the Elderly page 114-116
- The Best Places to Cry in Public page 171
- What to do when you lose your
keys page 230
cellphone page 231
weed page 232
mind ( see also : Going Mad with Class page 233
- Living with a Faulty Bladder page 256

But no such book exists, so I'm left with this trial-and-multiple-error lifestyle that's keeping my head halfway above the waterline; just enough to see and breathe. I wish this compass on my arm would start spinning. Today I am counting my blessings by what is NOT going wrong. I feel like crawling out of my skin, finding comfort in his distressed expressions that show me I'm not alone in this. Some days are just worse than others, and you've got to accept that you're in a funk for no reason.
Then, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts...
What am I doing today? Drinking Chai and venting to no one
Where am I sleeping tonight? 10 inches from the greatest man I've ever cared about
And hey... the leaves all started changing today. :)

  • Patrick is a very old friend of mine whom I haven't spoken to in almost 4 years. No further significance.

Posted by Further 17:29 Archived in USA Tagged traveling missed connections self-help Comments (1)

Powell's Bookstore, a place to murder Time

sunny 80 °F

September 13, 2012
Location: Aaron Emerson's House, somewhere North of Portland
It took me a long time to get back to this blog. I've been writing everything by hand, and even now am relaying the following from my notebook to cyberworld.

It's really amazing to me how I can be so tired all day and now that it's time for bed I am completely uninterested in sleep.
We woke up here this morning, in Aaron's house. It was 11 AM, and well deserved after a night of champion-drinking whiskey and wine. We all had stomach aches from picking at our Old Chicago leftovers before going to bed fully dressed. It was the kind of hang over that your body can feel even before you wake up. Around 9, my zombie alias dragged me to the kitchen to chug water and then slumped back in be before alertness could kick in. When Aaron opened the door at 10, there was no going back. We drove him to work and GPSed the nearest Qdoba where I ate an entire 1000 calorie order of Queso Nachos* to avoid the oncoming dry heaves. Afterwards, Zac pulled into the nearest place with wifi and I curled up in the back of the Astrovan nursing my fetal food baby. It was too hot too sleep without shade so I called my mother to make the time pass painfully slower. I tried not to move at all, in fear that I had just paid 7.00 for cheap Mexican food that may make another pass. Luckily, I digested quickly.

We drove back across the bridge to the "city" part of Portland. Our eyes were set on a staple in the PDX community called Powell's Book Store. We were told not to pass it up, and declared a nerd day to find the perfect book. We were only slightly motivated by the fact that lately, we ended each day having racked up several periods of 15 minute segments where we didn't partake in filler conversation. At this point in the trip my voice is his voice, and his is mine. Our stories are of the same people, places, and mishaps. We feel the same about unnecessary chatter in the less vibrant parts of long days, and have started to share quality quiet with one another. Thus, the book hunt.

When we got to the bookstore we were overwhelmed with the smell of parchment and printing press. The place is swarming with Oregonians of all sizes, and equal volume tolerance. We spent the first 30 minutes perusing through the New York Times bestseller shelf, reading bits out loud to each other from books we judged by title. My personal favorites were
"My Heart is an Idiot"
"I Can Pee on That, and other Essays by Cats" and
"Go the Fuck to Sleep," an adult bedtime storybook unsuitable for any parent.
We filled the basket with potential choices and booked our afternoon, literally.
Hours passed as we sat in Powell's cafe, reading a few dozen pages out of every book we grabbed. I was relaxing to get away for a second, and get lost in these stories. Like RandomHouse on crack, we must have debated between half a dozen books for 3 hours before deciding. Zac chose a Bill Bryson novel about traveling across small-town America. Great writer, on sale, cant go wrong. I chose Tina Fey's latest book, "Bossypants". Terrible title, terrific book. I will finish it by tomorrow, making it the fourth quickest read of my life.

Posted by Further 20:51 Archived in USA Tagged bookstore portland bill tina bryson powell's hangover fey Comments (0)

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