Monday, October 31, 2011

All Hallow's Eve

Tonight the veils are the thinnest between this world and the next. A fire was lit, but her heart wasn't in it. Everything has lost its meaning and dimmed since he has transitioned. To watch her struggle it seems as if death in the face of love is the one true test of faith. Life is unrelenting in its march into the ether.  Yeah, it'd be nice to be raging somewhere but it is also good to reflect. I still believe this is all one glorious crap shoot, and it really does not mean anything. People think that is such a nihilistic point of view, but it's not. It is just an acknowledgment that life will continue no matter what.  Sometimes that's cool, and one is into it. Other times its the most soul destroying thing one has got to face as long as one draws a breath.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Realtalk.com

So I finally got a chance to speak frankly with my host about everything that had gone down last week. She owned the fact that she has not been present in the day to day workings of her place, and that she has got ALOT going with her son's life falling the fuck apart and her trying to pick up the pieces of her own life.  I told her that it would be incredibly helpful to have a plan A, plan B, and plan C, when it comes to things to do during the course of a day. There is nothing worse than make work.

I also realized that part of the issue for me was the group of people that were here. They weren't doing much of shit in the way of passing the baton or work in general. They were also young, kind of cliquey, and lazy. I felt 8x better after they split. Apparently some of the group was getting annoyed with me because I was working too hard. Fuck em. I'm not here to get laid and drunk, I'm here to work and enjoy the sites.  It was also nice to get my host to open up (after a glass of wine or two) about struggling with her grief as a woman who by her own words said she lost the love of her life. It was just nice to talk about grown up stuff relating to life and the farm.

Speaking of life, I had a dream about M again but this time it was a good dream. Weird but good. We were hugging and kissing, and she said that she had broken up with her lover. I remember being like why is this happening in the dream. I asked my host about the dream as she's a shaman, and she said that M symbolizes something that I have made my peace with. What that is I don't know, but lord knows I've got plenty of time to figure it out.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Not all that glitters is gold

So in my last blog I was being a little vague on the situation here in the Pyrenes. Yes, the mountains are beautiful, but so far my experience here has been kind of wack. My first two nights here we had to deal with our host's psychotic son making sexist and racist comments, and for realsy threatening to kill a wwoofer because he thought she broke the guitar strings on the guitar. He also apparently roughed up his mom last Friday night. That was day one. Day two apparently threatened rape on one of the wwoofers he was attracted to. Thankfully, the law got involved and he was taken to the hospital for psychiatric treatment, but that does not negate the supreme irresponsiblity on the part of our host for exposing us to this. Then there's the issue that nothing is really explained or organized. Like don't crawl up my ass with a flash light about how many hours I am obligated to work when all you've offered in the way of permaculture and vegan education is a list of house chores scrawled on the back of a advert and our meals. This isn't my first fucking rodeo.

I said I would commit to three weeks when we corresponded back in August, but I might be leaving sooner than that. I'm seriously not feeling her bullshit. Katie and my mom are like just get the hell out of there, you don't owe this woman anything. The way I figure it, if she insist on running this like some sort of glorified hostel with no inclination to discuss or share then fuck it. I'll get all Cool Hand Luke about the shit and make my own work. If you're gonna abscond to your office or bedroom every night then I too shall do the same. I've spent all week trying to be cool and make nice with the other wwoofers, and for the most they are ok, but when you start talking shit about the US, but you've never been there, then you can go get fucked. Because at that point in the conversation you're attacking me.

Oh and there is no French spoken in this house. None. Zip. Zilch. That also chaps my ass to no end.

If the rain has stopped I'm gonna try to pop into town after dinner. I don't even want to see these people's grills.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New York...I've met someone else...

And her name is Paris. We met once when I was a little girl, and I thought she was strange because her cheeseburgers tasted like brocolli to me. But now that we've met again, and I am woman. I love you. I love you. I love you. Admittedly, we've only hung out twice and her Saturday nights are kind of janky, but her Sundays are magical. You and I said goodnight from the terrace of one of the rooms at Hotel El Dorado in Pigalle. We were quiet and still sharing a joint and a 15 year old Calvados, savoring the wee small hours until it was time for us to say goodbye again in the morning. Paris is a ever changing mystery the same way you were once to me New York. I needed you once, but now I think I need Paris and her effortless elegance and sensuality. Your diamantine hardness was seductive once, but you've cut me to the quick one too many times. 



When I left on Monday morning, I was definitely sad. I had hoped the Perpignan and the country side to the south would counter that sense of longing, but no...France to southwest is kind of busted from the seat of a train. Don't get it twisted the bad architecture of the 70s and general industrial waste of the 80s has absolutely touched France. That said, these Pyrénées  mountains are pretty potent. Today there were shrouded in clouds, and brooding on the horizon.

So I've arrived at my next WWOOF destination Mas Al Quinta. Again, I managed just as it was time to eat. That's always nice. Remember how I was telling y'all about the human kitty litter? Well that's a fact. I've seen it, it's real. You're not allowed to pee in said human kitty litter. Where do you pee then, you're asking? Funny you should ask...you actually pee outside. Yep. Just outside. It's like camping!

Holy hell...

kidding! I told myself I wanted adventure and I am getting it by the barrel full. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Back in Paris

So I'm back in Paris! I must say what an outstanding first WWOOF experience! Luc and Nicole are great people, and are doubly so for opening their life to people the world over to exchange, learn, laugh, and live! Normandy at twilight is magical. I recommend Normandy for anyone in search of peace, clarity and purple light.

Apparently it's Fela day here in Paris, so tonight we're gonna hit the streets in his honour. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Khadafi c'est mort

So they got ol freak Khadafi yesterday. I must say it is supremely surreal to hear major news when you are far from home. Today over lunch Luc, Nicole, and I were discussing the implications of his death what'll it'll mean for Libya. Luc was saying that after the French Revolution it took France 100 years to stabilize and flourish. I don't think Libya has got that kind of time. Do any of the nations of the Arab spring have that kind of time? Back when France (and Europe) was in its throes of breaking free from monarchical rule there was no internet, no quibbling over oil, etc. Perhaps the one thing they have in common is the gnashing desire to be in a new century with new ideas and visions. Godspeed to the arab spring, may it have all the time it needs to do right by its people.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Peace at last

This week I've fallen in rhythm with the life on this here farm, and it's been great. I get up around 8:40, and am downstairs eating breakfast around 9:15. Breakfast consists of bread with butter and jam with tea. By 9:30 or so I've slipped on my work boots and get crackin' pickin apples. We work until 12:30 or so, and then break for lunch. The other day Nicole's mom brought over homemade paté for giggles. We cook, we eat, and then nap for 1/2 an hour. Then it's back to work until 5:30 or so. There's this practice in France called le gouter (I think). Basically, it's an afternoon snack that's traditionally for kids, but given the nature of the work it's a nice bridge between lunch and dinner. Again Nicole's mom hooks it up with bombass apple tarts.

The work is hard, but utterly satisfying.  The work is not satisfying because I'm trying to please a boss, meet a deadline, or pull a paycheck. The work is satisfying because it feels good to be out under a dramatic sky, thinking, sorting, being apart of something that has fuck all to do with work as I've understood it in my adult life.  I come back to the maison tired and dirty from the day but not like before. This routine is not one to be dreaded or scorned it is simply what must be done.

When I am out there picking out all the soft and rotted apples I think alot about what my life will look like when I get back to the States. Do I really want another gig like the previous? In some ways, yes. In most ways, hell NO. Mostly, I don't want to work for anyone like RLS ever again and I want to cultivate THIS sensation but toward my own endeavors. I also think about what I will take back with me. And when I say what, I don't mean things (other than an Adidas track suit), I mean what of these experiences will I bring back with me. For sure le gouter.... :P




Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Whole World Is Watching!

The Whole World Is Watching! Let Everybody Know!

This is fucking shameful! Ten years! Ten years we've been at war. Ten years we've been broke. Ten years of watching a this fucking democracy crumble under the weight of greed and warmongering. I was gonna bitch about a moment I had with my host, but fuck it. I'm only here for another week.

Before I left I NY I went down to Occupy Wall Street myself to see for myself what was going on, and document what I saw. My photos and videos are on this blog. I too got shoved by some cunt cop. They are trying to provoke people!!

What a shitty way to kick off a century. America,  I may be bloated and sick off of your apple sauce and crushed pears also known as the propaganda you're cramming down my throat every fucking day, every where I go, everytime I look into another poor bastard's eyes, but I can still call bullshit! We want our fucking democractic nation back where there is room for everyone!  Shame on you Bush and your whole fucking complicit ass family. Your peeps did business with the Nazis and you did business with Bin Laden. SHAME! SHAME! Traitorous shame! Your cronies are sucking the very life essence of this nation!

Your filth will come out in the wash, it always does. You had just better hope that you and your ilk are dead and buried lest you suffer the blistering vilification that will forever blacken the names of Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Halliburton, Bin Laden, and Murdoch. I personally, hope that I see your supposed legacies crumble in my lifetime.

I am angry. I am angry that this is the world that has been left to me. Screw the conjecture and the conspiracies. I smell a motherfucking rat and now the rest of America does too. But can America part with some parts of American life? Like would it be so bad if we all gave up our cars, designed our cities on a human scale, ate better, worked less, engaged more, and had some good ol' fashioned private time with America? Got to know one another again?

I mean I feel so estranged from the rest of America culturally, but I know I'm not. I'm as American as you can get. En plus, I'm from Texas. But my values...my values set me apart. What are your values, would be a very valid logical next question. I couldn't tell you in succint or even articulate way. I just KNOW. It has alot to do with not acting (or not acting) out of fear.

Have no fear of fear. --Charles Bukowski

Fear is the mind killer. --That dude from Arrakis othewise known as Dune.

We are everywhere, we are the 99%. Let's become our own myths and legends for a new America.

I may not be down there with you physically on Wall Street, but I am with you. THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Je suis Americain. Please cook my steak again.

I always thought Ben Folds was taking the piss out of Paris when he sang that line, but now that I've had a "very well done burger" in France turns out he's right. Next I will tell no pink. hehehe...

Ahem anyways, Paris was amazing. The food was whatever. However the food in Normandie is dope.

Admittedly I've only had Nicole's home cooking but what can I tell you, it's delicious! So far it's been pretty amazing out here in the country save for this bum ass cold. I literally just got sent to bed with a hot glass of calvados, honey, lemon, and hot water. Nicole said I pushed myself too hard these last few days what with the change in every damn thing. Language. Food. Circadian rhythm. Labor intensive days. That's how I roll. I did the same thing in Amsterdam. I do the same thing everywhere. I like gettin after what ever it is I am up to. Now I am laid up in a wonderfully warm and super old barn/house sick as a dog. Merde!

I also have only just now manage to score wifi here, so I never got a chance to talk about how amazing and special Paris is. That said, I will let a quote from Paul Bowles sum it up:

It is there, along the banks of the river and among the bridges, that you can touch the spirit of Paris, and while that spirit is not a tragic one, surely it has little to do with gaiety. Rather, it bears witness to an essential consciousness of the need in life for beauty, and to an understanding of the use of proportion and harmony in the achievement of beauty . It provides the artis with heartening, ever present proof that man made beauty is attainable, and does so in such a natural fashion that when one thinks of the banks of the Seine one thinks simultaneously of artists, for the two belong together. 







Sunday, October 9, 2011

Citizen M over all gets a B+

I loved my hotel room. I liked the 24hr mini bar, but they could do with a little more attention to detail. In my case, I called those fools in the wee small hours asking about the cost of a taxi and whether or not they accept credit cards. The ambassadors said they couldn't give me the cost but the taxi would indeed accept credit cards, for a minimum of 25 euros! Pinche cabrones!

That is exactly the sort of shit a foreign tourist needs to know. They could also do with an ATM somewhere on the premises. Other than the fact that they are not nearly as central as advertised, it was a great experience. Mostly because of that giant ass bed and the rain shower! Getting off a haul of traveling, those amenities were definitely what's up.

Yesterday I spent the whole day on a bus traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. While I still don't know how to say "Please stop the bus I have to pee. It's an emergency!" in French, I CAN ask "where is the bathroom for women", and "how do you say 15 minutes". I am totally going to speak French by the end of this.

I am actually kind of glad I took the bus from Amsterdam to Paris save for that squawking 3 year old. It's been super cool seeing the European countryside, little Dutch towns, and Brussels! Independent of my bladder's recent disdain for long rides, I have always enjoyed long car/bus rides. I like looking at all the different cars, and the people in them. Ditto for the land off the highways.  Come Monday I'll be in the countryside of France good and proper.

The size of these windmills was terrifying!


Later I'll tell y'all about my first night out in Paris last night! A bien tot!




Friday, October 7, 2011

Biutiful

No deep revelations today. Just enjoying being alive somewhere else. Yeah, it's the same planet, but this is certainly a different universe.

I returned the bike today and hopped on the tram. I may or may not have been by the Centraal Station. I got off once things started looking interesting.

Today's afternoon jaunt has been brought to you by White Dolphin. A supremely mediocre sativa, sold at a supremely mediocre coffee shop. This was the first super touristy spot I stumbled upon, and it was kind of obnoxious. But whatever it was raining and I wanted to dry off. I however, love the 80's throwback videos.

Watching these videos makes me think about how much I (and the world) love playing with IMovie. My generation grew up on these mini films called music videos. Speaking of, I am gonna make a video about every city I visit. Now the question is what would the soundtrack for Amsterdam be? I kinda want it to be the Woolite commercial music.

More stumbling, fumbing, and bumbling until I found Dampkring. Now that place was happening. The cannabis wasn't as good as what I've scored in the outer rings of Amsterdam, but the vibe was way more festive. The music has been the best here by far. And there was a 13 yo cat chillin there!  Check out my Youtube channel for the video of my time there.

Leave it to Lady Gaga to demonstrate the potential merits of a 3some. That was what I learned hanging out at some lesbian bar in what I think was Rembrandtsquare. I wouldn't have gotten there without Jerry...

I met my guide Jerry at yet another coffeeshop by Centraal Station. He was an old Dutch stoner had a magical four months in California when he was 20. I was asking for direction to the street where the lesbian bar was, but I had horribly misspelled the street name. Jerry was picking up what I was putting down, and proceeded to explain to me that Amsterdam was like a giant spider web, and that I could get anywhere if I followed the canals. He graciously walked me to the street I was looking for, and on the way he pointed out churches, how to cross the street Dutch stylee, bought me a Looza, lamented all the cars in Amsterdam, and generally showed me his town.

Jerry lost his job driving a flower truck, but despite all that he was in good spirits and counted his blessings as we walked. I had been hoping to link up with some locals through couchsurfing, but either the people I reached out to were sick or had other obligations. This Jerry dude filled in admirable. We parted ways with a handshake.

That's what's up.



Tomorrow. Bus ride to Paris!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Half a day into the future brought to you by Blue Cheese

I think it's hilarious that save for when I've got a camera strapped to my neck, Amsterdamers totally think I'm Dutch. That said, I am really going to need a phrase book for France!

I fared a little easier bike riding today, but I was woefully underdressed. No surprise there. I am always under dressed for cold weather. I rinsed and repeated the route I took yesterday, and then took it a little further. I've decided to only hit coffeeshops that I randomly stumble upon. So far that's meant one crazy per shop, but whatever! I am totally diggin the local flavor of each spot. Today I tried the blue cheese and some sort of creamy hashish. Super smooth, and way more chill! Yesterday's Amnesia Haze was bananas!

The other thing I am really loving about Amsterdam is how much more space there is for EVERYONE. And when I say 'space' I mean socially/culturally/class/race etc. I am sure shit is really fucked on some level I can not see as I am just passing through, but just watching life go by at that particular shop, life is pretty good for everybody.

The streets are clean, the self medicating mentally ill have a place to chill, dogs aren't on a leash, there is precious little dog poo, old ladies buy cannabis, old ladies ride bikes, and babies chill on their parental unit's bike entertaining themselves with the bell.  It's all happening on a scale that is very palatable. It's on a human scale. Hell everything is on a human scale here. There are no sky scrapers to speak of, there are speed bumps every where, and the grocery stores smell fresh and delicious. Quality of life here is real. The US trippin about its understanding of the good life.

Maybe I am still jet lagged because I still feel kind of out of it, and this crick in my neck will not go away! Oh and Dutch coffee is retard strong.  I think I will go with tea tomorrow morning.



Occupy Fox! #OccupyWallStreet talks to Fox News and CRUSHES THEM #Global...



HOUSED!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

What's there to say?! I'm in freaking Amsterdam! Upon arriving in Amsterdam the train station was more confusing than I thought, but it was easy to score change for the train fare. Apparently there are two Amsterdam Zuids. En plus, next time I ask for directions, I will be way more precise. Anyways, I finally made it to CitizenM Hotel off of Beehetovenstraat.  CitizenM is a boutique hotel that gets down to brass tacks in terms of layout. The room itself packed with everything a weary traveler will need. Namely, a GIANT ass bed and a "rain" shower head. Mind you, the toilet sitch is VERY intimate. Like if indeed this is a hotel for two, someone needs to leave the room if you're gonna drop a deuce, or y'all need to be co-dependent in love.

Alright so my shit is dropped off, and I immediately hit the streets looking for a bike rental spot. After a 15 minute walk I came up on loot, a bike shop. I rented a sturdy dutch bike for 3 days to the tune of $45 euros. And by sturdy I mean supremely heavy and unwieldy. I totally miss the Puch! Anyways, I hit the road, and damn near killed myself and like 8 others. It's like the grand prix of bikes out here. Can you say high stakes!?

That said, I love it that this is a city for bikers. The urban planning is obviously not with out its issues I am sure, but to the lay person it is the dopeness. There's enough space on the road for pedestrians, bikes/scooters, and compact cars. That's right tiny little funny looking cars. The largest car I've seen on the road is a Land Rover.

Once I got my bearings on the bike I headed out to get lost. As I am brand spanking new to the city of Amsterdam, I have no idea where I decided to stop, but stop I did once I came across my first coffeeshop. Hell I don't even remember the name, I was just so thrilled to be partaking in a way that was totally n'importe quoi. I ordered a Looza, some White Widow flower, and Caramello hashish. I grab some papers and made my way to the smoking lounge. The reggae was hold down a rag tag band of smokers. The pensive North African dude, some lanky old dude from Curacao, and pock marked man of nebulous ethnicity. Everything was gravy,  until the seemingly nice I'm-having-a-smoke-after work lady from Surinam started getting all bite your face off crazy. Admittedly, I am half deaf and don't speak Dutch, but there was a point in the conversation where it dawned on me that once again my chatty cathy ass is in a clang association half conversation with a mad woman. Balls! I promptly finished my spliff, put hat back on, and split.

Afterwards when I was walking around a bazaar, I realized that that is what a stoner dive bar looks like. Note to self: bring something to write with/on next time you hit a spot like this.

Anyways, the bazaar was cool. One can really begin to see where NYC get so much of its street culture. I also noticed alot of black people. Well enough black people to know that I can get a decent hair cut before I leave here and buy some hair products. Bumass TSA took my lotion and hair pommade. Pinche Cabrones.

After yesterday's hijinx and dinner with Edwin (an old friend from NYC) I sufficiently tuckered myself out to break on through the jet lag. It's 9am here. Time to go see how the Dutch do breakfast!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oh what a night!

Man alive what a great night last night! I was super anxious before the night got started because it was another marker that my time here is coming to a close. It was so awesome to have all these parts of my life coming together one last time.


Yesterday I received an email from my host family in Lisieux! They seem very nice and warm. I did a little internet stalking, and it looks like Luc is something of a gentleman farmer. He's the veep of some Normandie farmer's association.  Here's a stock photo of him pressing apples.






Svpply List