Monday, October 26, 2009


6-0?!?!  Are you serious?  ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!

Dare I say it?  Dare I say the word, Supe... Super... Superb-b-b...

No.  I can't say it just yet.  Remember, these are the Saints we're talking about.

But I believe.  Oh yes.  I believe.  Those boys are for real.  Who dat?  Howya like us now?


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Shadow Shot Sunday

 This was at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival a few weeks ago.


Nome Sweet Nome, volume 2

If you missed volume one, it’s right here.  Enjoy.

I met Leon my first night in Nome.  I was leaving the B.O.T. (Board of Trade Saloon, for those who don’t know) and about to head down Front St.  There was a dude standing in front of the pull-tab place next door.  He stepped in front of me and blocked my path.

Leon: “Hi!  Who are you?”

Me: “Who are YOU?”

Leon:  “I’m Leon!  Who are you?”

I was in love.

We talked until the wee hours of the morning.  Leon works at the pull-tab place.  He’s also the daytime bartender at the B.O.T.  Go in there and tell him I said hi! This is Leon:


Leon is the best.  We still keep in touch.  Got an email from him last week.

The next night was open mike night at the Bering Sea saloon.  These guys sounded great!


I met Frosty that night.  He’s a great musician, just like I wish I was!  We became friends.  I would say we talked until the sun came up, but the sun never went down.   Frosty is a sweetie.  And a cutie!

We still keep in touch.  Frosty and I had lots of fun together up in Nome!

I met lots of people that night.  I met Rose, bad-ass bartender lady.  I met Tabitha.  Tabitha’s pretty hot.  And she’s lots of fun!  I met lots of nice people whose names I can’t remember.  A sweet girl wanted me to get up and dance with her, but I was shy.  Me, shy?!?!  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe it was all those cute boys up on stage.

 Best of all, I met RoseAnn that night.  My girl!  We met while I was talking to Rose at the bar.  We bonded over a beer, then we watched the band together.  We talked and talked.  I love RoseAnn.  RoseAnn’s daughter lives in Nome too.  Her son lives in Anchorage.  He has a dog named Rufus.  Rufus kicks ass. 


RoseAnn and her whole family migrated down to San Francisco for ten days not too long ago.  Even Rufus.  I got to go pie-rootin around the Bay Area with them.  We had a wonderful time!  I miss Rufus. 

The following day, while wandering down Front St., I came upon an adorable little Eskimo woman, sitting and staring at the sea.  It was a compelling scene, so I asked her if I could take her picture.  She blushed and said she didn’t have any make-up on.  I assured her she looked fine.


I sat next to her and asked her name.  Joyce.  I told Joyce I would mail the pictures to her if she gave me her address.  We got to talking while she was writing it down, and we just couldn’t stop.  This was sometime in the early afternoon.  Joyce and I wound up closing down the bar together.

I write letters to Joyce all the time.  I send her postcards too.  I got a card from her not too long ago.  It had a picture of a musk ox on it.  She knows that they’re my favorite.

You see, the reason there’s no sleeping in Nome is because there’s always someone to talk to.  Someone is always saying hello.  Or you’re trying to go home after you leave the bar and then you wind up sitting on the rocks by the beach and talking and the sun never goes down and then you realize holy shit it’s five in the morning and I need to fucking sleep.  But why sleep?  There’s someone else who wants to talk to you…

Of course, it’s a whole different story in winter.

Leaving Nome nearly broke my heart.  I took the last flight out.  I waited at the B.O.T. as long as I could.  I met even more wonderful people.  I met Rodney.  At first I couldn’t remember his name.  Joyce helped me out, “It’s like Rodney Dangerfield!”  Got it!  Leon was behind the bar, and I got to spend some more time with my favorite girls…


What happened to my Qiviut nachaq, you ask?  Well, nothing, fortunately.  In the midst of mayhem I left it on a table in the hall at the Nugget Inn one evening.  Lucky for me it was still there the next day.  Those things aren’t cheap!

In volume three of Nome Sweet Nome… Why the hell did she come to Nome, anyway?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bitch Be Cool

That’s my room mate, Jesse.  One of the bands he’s in has a show coming up next week.   The other day we were getting some flyers together for it:

The band’s name is Bitch Be Cool.  They’re awesome.  They sound kind of like punked-out Bossa Nova, if you can imagine that.  Sick! 

They’re playing a free show at the Space Gallery on Polk street next Wednesday, Oct. 28th.  Doors open at eight.  Bitch Be Cool goes on around ten.  I don’t know any of the other bands playing, so I can’t vouch for them, but you should go to the show.  I can’t go, I’ll be in Maui.  Go, have a beer for me, tell Jesse I said hi.

OK, Jesse.  Enough with the art projects.  Get your ass to work!

Friday, October 23, 2009


One cannot think well, love well, or sleep well if one has not dined well.  ~Virginia Woolf

Guinea pig.  Peru.  Sort of reminded me of duck.  The  head is the best part.  Mmmm, guinea pig...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

United sucks

I already knew this.

But I had no choice. United was the only airline that could get me to Maui on short notice for a reasonable price.  I should of coughed up the extra six hundred bucks and gone with Continental.

Continental is great.  So are those goofy folks over at Southwest.  I spend a lot of time on Alaska Airlines too.  Love them.

But United can suck last year’s used tampon.

My knee is still broken.   I still can’t walk on it.  When I checked in, they asked if I wanted a wheelchair.  Uh, yes?  That might be nice.  The unhelpful bitch, I mean lady, who showed up was obviously annoyed to have to deal with me. She didn’t say a word to me unless absolutely necessary, and when she did, she said as few as possible.

Once we got to the gate, (LOVE being wheeled to the front of security) she wheeled me down the jet way.  When we got about eight feet from the entrance to the plane, she stopped and stood next to me.  I looked over at her.  She was staring straight ahead silently.  Well, OK, then.  End of the line, I guess. 

There was another bitch, I mean a flight attendant, standing in the entrance to the plane, watching as I struggled to get my backpack on while still seated in the wheelchair.  Not easy.  I asked bitch #1 if she would help carry my bag onto the plane.  “No. I can’t get on the plane. FAA.”  Well, OK.  I can kind of, sort of, understand that, even though you work for the damn airline.  Fine.  “Well, can you ask that flight attendant if SHE will help me get my bag onto the plane?”

“I can’t ask her that.  You have to ask her.”  WHAT?!?!  What the fuck?

So I asked bitch #2. “Sorry.  I can’t get off the plane.  FAA regulations.”    So it’s against FAA regulations to help a crippled girl with her luggage?  And why couldn’t bitch #1 wheel me closer to the plane?  Why eight fucking feet away?  Must be some sort of FAA regulation.

So I sat there and continued to struggle with my bag.  I dropped a crutch on purpose, just to see if she would help me pick it up.  Of course not.  Sadly, I’m not making this up.  You can’t make this shit up.

Finally hefted my bag onto my back and started hobbling down the aisle all the way to seat 34E.  It was one of those huge planes, with five seats in the middle of the plane, so lots of flight attendants wandering around.  Completely oblivious to the gimp on crutches.  Finally, around row 19 or 20, an adorable little flight attendant came up to me and said, “Sweetie, do you want me to help you with your bag?” 

Yes.  Yes I do.  She was a sweetheart.  Her name was Mimi.  United is lucky to have her.

But the rest of them?  Fucking worthless.  Nobody seemed to give a fuck about their job.  The dude pushing the food cart was clearly bored out of his mind.  “Something to eat?”  “Well, what do you have?”  He handed me a menu wordlessly and wandered off.  When he wandered back my way, I flagged him down.  “Oh.  Did you want something?”

Remember bitch #2?  An elderly man three rows in front of me tried to get her attention.  “Miss, could you take this for me?”  She looked aggravated.  “Just hold on a minute, OK?”  I wanted to punch her.  Hard.  Right in the face.

Sorry about that lady.   I’m not allowed to let flight attendants abuse sweet old grandpas.  FAA regulations…

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jungle bound...

As you know, I was pretty enchanted with the Amazon.  It's haunted me since I left.  I have to get back.

Been emailing back and forth with a guy who works here.  Apparently, he thinks I'm a pretty bright young lady.  This is an email I just got from him:
Great to hear from you.  That was a very comprehensive email you sent, you write very well.  I'll respond and give you a bit more information from us too.  Where did you stay when you visited Manu last?

Your social skills - and I presume some Spanish too? - would be of use in the Mestizo communities in the area too, who are in equal danger of losing more of their traditions and cultures.

You can lead your own project under the auspicies of CREES within the local
area.  You would be in charge of managing the project and we would help
you to organise some research assistants from the local area and universities to assist you.

I have attached some information about the volunteering programme
for you, it is a good foundation to build further research on, once you
are established in the region

Best wishes,

Conservation, Research & Education towards Environmental Sustainability.

Sweet! I get to the jungle July 19, 2010.  I'll most likely skip town right after Adriana's wedding in late June, travel around Peru a bit before settling into Manu.  Cuchewato!

Eye Candy

   Sorry y'all.  She's engaged.  Sucks for all of us.  Nice rack, though!

Eye Candy photos are always mine.  Recognize, bitches!


"People ask the question... what's a RocknRolla?
And I tell 'em - it's not about drums, drugs, and hospital drips, oh no. There's more there than that, my friend.
We all like a bit of the good life - some the money, some the drugs, others the sex game, the glamour, or the fame.
But a RocknRolla, oh, he's different.
Because a real RocknRolla wants the fucking lot."

I'm a RocknRolla.  Are you?
        Thanks Jonny Hamachi!

Eye Candy

Manu National Park, Amazon rainforest, Peru.  Now this puts the 'lust' in wanderlust... For the straight girls and the gay boys.


Eye Candy photos are always mine. Recognize, bitches!


I was talking to my father today.  He just got to Maui last night with Vernice.  They're going to be there for two weeks.  I was saying how much I missed them.

Papa Ron: "So come to Maui."

Me: "I'm broke!"

Papa Ron: "I'll buy you a ticket."

Me: "Seriously?"

Papa Ron: "Yes! Take my credit number, go online, and buy yourself a fuckin' ticket!"

Me: "How much is too much to spend?"

Papa Ron: "Whatever it takes!"

Me: "Seriously?"

Papa Ron: "Don't go nuts."

I leave Wednesday morning.  I'm staying until November first.  Aloha!

Legalize it.

I like  this.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Picture this: Fifty or sixty Saints fans on a street corner in San Francisco, all waving white napkins and screaming, "WHO DAT! WHO DAT! WHO DAT SAID DEY GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS! WHO DAT!"

It was a beautiful thing.

If you're in San Francisco and you want to watch a Saints game, the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge is the place to be.  It's on Lombard and Franklin.  Everybody in the room will be from Louisiana.  New Orleans y'at accents everywhere.  It is LITERALLY like being in New Orleans for four hours.  Seriously.  If you've never been to New Orleans and want to know what it's like, go there for a Saints game.  It's the real deal.  It's us being us.  Yeah you right, baby!

Hell of a game yesterday.  48-27.  The Saints killed it.  They're undefeated.  Un-fucking believable.  Bless you boys.

The place was insane by half-time.  Music blaring, Dr. John, Rebirth Brass Band. A cute boy in glasses grabbed me and started twirling me around the dance floor.  Yes.  On one foot.  With a broken knee.  Give me enough Maker's Mark and Abita Amber and anything is possible!

I met Regina, who I love.  She's in a leg brace right now too!  We're going to go dancing when we can walk again.

More hot Louisiana boys. Delicious. Fuck, I miss my southern Louisiana men.  Men who are MEN.  Not these pretty city boys.  When I go out in SF, there are rarely guys worth hitting on. But at the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge during a Saints game? A room full of men I want to fuck. Look at these cutie pies, from Napa:
Yum.  I want them all.  First separately, for a minimum of four hours each.  Then, all four at once.  All night. Yum again.

When our boys were finished thrashing the Giants, the place exploded.  We screamed.  People were dancing on the bar, standing in the windows.  We second-lined down the street.  Yes, even me.  On crutches.

Yeah you right indeed.  Geaux fucking Saints.  WHO DAT!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'll be watching the Saints and the Giants at the Black Magic Voodoo lounge on Lombard and Franklin tomorrow morning.  Where will you be?

Adventures in Peruvian medical care

Or, Las aventuras en el cuidado m├ędico Peruano

First of all, let me say that whatever Peruvians are lacking in technology, they make up for in love.  Especially those ladies at the medi-center on top of the mountain.  There was really nothing they could do for me, so they gave me lots of hugs and kisses.  The nurses at the hospital, very hands on.  Lots of hugging and saying soothing things in Spanish.

It wasn't the horror show you might imagine, although the equipment wasn't exactly new, and things were pretty casual.  When the orthopedic specialist came to see me, he introduced himself by his first name.  Alvaro.  Rosa, the doctor who came with me from Machu Picchu did the same when we met.  Check out the rusty wheels on the x-ray stand.  And what's with those wooden steps!  See the girl in the doorway?  That was the X-ray technician.  She looks like she's on her way to the movies!

And check out Rosa, my doctor!  She's hot!  And she's wearing jeans and a tight top!
I didn't realize they weren't going to give me painkillers until I asked for them.  You're paying for everything out of pocket, and unfortunately, most Peruvians are broke.  Meanwhile, at the ER here in SF, they force-fed me vicodin and morphine the minute I walked in the door.  Well, maybe not FORCE-fed.

Anyway, they even asked me before taking the X-rays!  They were like, "Are you sure? Because it's 60 soles?"  Which is like twenty bucks.  Go ahead.  Take ten.

So, they never offered painkillers and I didn't think to ask.  Once Rosa was gone and I was alone and all the adrenaline wore off, the pain came on.  Hard.

When the nurses came in I was howling in pain.  They finally hooked me up to an I.V. of I don't know what but it knocked me the fuck out.  Which was exactly what I wanted.

After that, things were pretty much fine.  They kept the pain meds coming and let me use the internet to email the exciting news to my ride from the airport and work.  I was even considering having the surgery to fix it right there in Cusco.

Until the apple incident.

I will say, I did notice that they weren't exactly diligent about using rubber gloves.  Which is quite different from the U.S., where they won't come within 50 feet of you without a biohazard suit.  But I was still surprised when a nurse strolled into my room to ask me a question while she was eating an apple.  OK, whatever.  I went with it.  I asked her if someone could unhook the tube from my I.V. needle and help me to the bathroom.  She said sure, and went ahead and did it herself.

With the apple still in her hand.

I wish I were making this up.  And really, what could I say?  Their house, not mine.  Fuck it.

What's that?  You want to slice my knee open and put it back together again?  Well, only if it won't interrupt your lunch...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In defense of Levi

Leave Levi alone.

OK, I'm tired of everyone giving this kid so much shit.  Yes, there are classier ways he could have capitalized on his fifteen minutes, rather than Playgirl and his questionable but hilarious pistachio commercial, but come on!  He's a teenager for fuck's sake!  Let him be, he doesn't know any better.  How smart were YOU when you were that age?  Actually, I think the kid is admirably self-aware.  He knows what's he doing.  He's getting paid.

Although, I will say, I don't like this Tank Jones fellow.  I think he's a bad influence on Levi and taking advantage of him, much like Colonel Parker and Elvis Presley.  Run, Levi!  Run!

Anyway, I can't wait to see the Playgirl.

I know, I know, shame on me.  Dirty old lady.  "But he's just a teenager!  Leave him alone!  Let him be!"

Yeah.  Well.  WhatEVER...

Crabby Jack's

Next time you go to New Orleans, you've got to go to Crabby Jack's.  It's in Jefferson Parish, on the way out towards Harahan.  It's kind of hard to find.  Take Claiborne until it turns into Jefferson Hwy, and it's just past the railroad tracks, right at Knox Rd.  It's very non-descript, easy to miss it, even though there's not much in that area.  If you get to Ochsner Medical Center, you've gone too far.  Go back.

Get the gumbo, first of all.  Don't miss the gumbo.  As far as your po-boy goes, get the duck po-boy.  Seriously.  Do it.  Or the paneed rabbit.  Or the cochon de lait.  Or the oyster.  Maybe you should go in a group and share.  Get it dressed, although I prefer dressed, no pickle, no mayo.  It's up to you.  Make sure to get a fountain soda, it comes in a to-go cup with a cool Crabby Jack's logo on it.  It has a lid, handy for not spilling your cocktail at Mardi Gras parades.

What do you mean, you've never been to New Orleans?  You've got to go.  Now.

I'm going next month.  You should come!

A tale of two sunsets

Manu National Park, Amazon rainforest, Peru

Another beautiful day in the jungle.  Scandalously steamy, millions of creatures all with their voices raised in a deafening cacophony of... peace, believe or not.  I felt nothing but peaceful.

We started at one of those clay licks, where the macaws gather to chow down in the early morning hours:

Then a day on the water:


We climbed to a platform on top of a tree for a bird's eye view:

 A perfectly perfect day.  Heading to the boat that would take us down the Madre de Dios river and back to our lodge, I saw this:



Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, Anchorage, Alaska

My first day in Anchorage is always exciting.  It usually feels like there's a beehive in my belly.  I know good things are about to happen.  Today was no different.  I had just landed, and had over two weeks of wandering to look forward to.  Plus, I was flying up to Nome in the morning!

Gary picked me up and brought me back to his place, where I refreshed myself on the house rules:

Got it.  I think.  No guns on the floor, right?  And check your... wait a minute...

I got to my favorite spot and made myself comfortable.

Gary tossed me the keys to his extra truck and said, "Here! I gotta go back to work!  Have fun!  See ya!"

Gary is awesome.

 I enjoyed the sun for a while, then decided to go pie-rootin.  If you don't know what pie-rootin is, email me for a definition.  wanderlust613(at)  Maybe I'll post one on here someday, for all you non-New Orleanians out there.

So I drove downtown, went here and there, up and down, hither and yon.  Saw this somewhere along the way, which I took as a very good sign:

When it got later in the evening, I decided to go to Earthquake Park.  Being outside is the whole point of going to Alaska, and I wanted to try to spot a moose.  That area is a good place to find one, especially at dusk, or Alaska's version of dusk, anyway.

I love moose.

So I wandered all over Earthquake Park, up and around, in and out.  Found lots of moose tracks, but no moose.  So I decided to walk along the Coastal Trail, maybe I could at least spot a pretty sunset.  I love the Coastal Trail, it's one of my favorites things about Anchorage.  I found this helpful sign:

Thanks Bill!

Walking around a bend, I came across this.  Jackpot.

Heading back to the truck, the bees in my belly were starting to wind down.  The tingle will never completely leave as long as I'm in the state, but it gets drowsy sometimes.  The air smelled like trees and the wind was so quiet.  As I pulled out of the parking lot, look who was having a snack across the street!

As I drove up Northern Lights Blvd., heading to Baxter, the buzzing in my belly was starting again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nome Sweet Nome, volume 1

Finally made it to Nome this past summer.  Why?  Among other reasons, to put a check mark next to another one of my childhood dreams.  Funny how so many of them include Alaska...

Anyway, I've had a burning desire to go to Nome for a very long time.  Lots of reasons why.  So you can imagine the electricity I was feeling when the plane landed.  I was nearly overcome with joy:

I collected my bag from the tiny baggage claim and went to get a taxi.  It was then I realized I had forgotten to go online and find a place to sleep for the next three nights.  Oops.  I just hadn't had time, to be honest.  I was working so much...

Taxi driver: "So, where to?"

Me: "Good question!"

Taxi driver: just sort of looks at me

Me: "Take me to the Visitor's Center!"

So he did.  The kind and pretty young lady gave me a list and I found a room available at the Nome Nugget Inn.  It had a beautiful view.

 I settled in and went to get myself a vehicle.  Nome is remote, really fucking remote.  You can only access it by boat or plane.  But they have about 350 miles of dirt roads that go... nowhere really.  Nowhere and everywhere, all at the same time.

To an abandoned gold dredge:


All the way the fuck out to Teller:

And even to the Safety Roadhouse:

The jeep got pretty dusty:

The electricity that was with me when I landed remained long into the night.  I'm sure the brightness of the night sky helped things along in that department.  This was taken at 2:30 in the morning.

  It never got much darker than that.  Trust me.  I didn't do much sleeping while I was there.

Coming up next in volume 2 of Nome Sweet Nome: Why didn't she sleep?  What did she do?  What happened to her Qiviut nachaq?  The places she went, the people she met, all this and more in volume 2 of Nome Sweet Nome!