August, 28th, 2011
Huricane Irene hit the east coast last night around 21:00 last night and I wouldn't have known to save my life if I didn't work in a theatre.
That’s not true; I probably would have figured it out wherever I worked because of the state of emergency and something about it being illegal to work today or some nonsense like that.
And the facebook updates.
Anyhow, everyone was buying up water bottles, candles, batteries, and dry foods like it was Y2K all over again.
People are so prone to panic.
We, at Olympus (the official name of the house that me, Mallory Anderson, and Ariel Greninger are staying at. Mallory is Athena. Ariel is Aphrodite. Me? Dionysus, baby. Our rooms are named appropriately), prepared by setting aside a bit of water, closing the windows, and we put some things off the ground.
Then we decided on the night of the hurricane we would drink champagne and eat cheeses, fruits, and other fancy things, including Oreo knock offs and chips and salsa. After our champagne we decided it would be a good idea to get more booze.
So we did.
Spiced rum, mandarin vodka, Spanish wine, and some mixers.
Me and Chance, who drove with Ariel up here not too long ago, mixed up a crazy icy-rum and vodka drink with pineapple juice and some other random bits.
It wasn't good.
It also wasn't bad.
The alcohol however, was not easy to taste.
After having a fair share of vodka, rum, and citrusy things, we decided it would be a good idea to go swimming in the nearby swimming hole.
In the middle of a goddamn hurricane.
So we did.
Ariel, Chance, and I all dipped in while Mallory stayed sentinel.
We swam out, laughing our heads off to the floating slide.
We slid down the slide, in the middle of a goddamn hurricane, and then went back to shore.
We laughed about this, and then went home.
A dumb but fun little romp.
We then proceeded to drink more drinks, and watch a movie.
In the middle of watching Forgetting Sarah Marshal, Chance and I decided it would be a good idea to go swimming again.
So we did again.
Apparently there was lightning.
This was clearly an awesome idea, so we went down the floating water slide twice.
The second time face first.
I know this is the part of the story you've been waiting for.
You've been thinking “When’s cosmic justice going to slap this idiot in the face?”
And now must be the time!
But it wasn't.
And it didn't.
After swimming we went back home, drank more, and Ariel and I argued over the attractiveness of a few boys, while I immaturely put my own foam boobs on Mallory’s sleeping head.
And then I went to bed.
How did I prepare for Hurricane Irene?
I placed my electronics on my top shelf.
I drank a bunch of booze.
I went swimming.
I watched a movie.
I went swimming, again.
I argued about cute boys.
I put foam boobs on Mallory's head.
And then I went to sleep.
Wake up call
I wake up to BAM BAM BAM.
“Mwuh” I half heartedly mumble.
“Wake up. The house has flooded.”
“What?” I ask, as I, for not believing the ridiculosity of the situation, swing my hand down to the ground clumsily.
I know what you’re thinking.
“No you don’t”
Yes, yes I do. You’re thinking “Cosmic Justice is Served!”
Admit it, you totally were.
Well you’re either wrong, or cosmic justice is a weak and insecure character, probably written by Tennessee Williams.
Our house flooded with 1 finger heights of water.
We lost 2 warranted laptops, and a phone that was at the end of its contract that will be replaced easily. Later on I lost a 12 dollar shelf, but that was much later in the day.
$12 and a bit of work to have swam not once, but twice, in the middle of a goddamn hurricane?
Pithy yet weak cosmic justice if you ask me.
After the rude awakening and cursing myself for shucking my pants off by the side of my bed before sleeping, I began hanging up my dirty laundry and the few clothing articles I had left on the floor.
Thank Reb Anderson’s gun that I had recently bought a small bookshelf to put my clothes in.
Until said bookshelf was purchased, I had been leaving them in neat piles inside my two suitcases on the floor.
And then I began to bail water.
And by “I,” I mean the whole house.
Looks like a water table flood, or at least that’s what Ariel tells me, and it makes sense.
Joisy had twice the rain it normally has in August this go around, and then it rain 2-3 inches a goddamn hour during Ms. Irene’s fit.
So we got buckets, and trash cans, and plastic bins, and began bailing water off the floor into bigger trashcans to be taken to the bathroom.
We did this a lot and for a long time.
There was much coffee.
We tried really hard to get a wet-vac, but the roads around town had been really badly flooded.
We contacted out landlord’s daughter, as that our landlord, who resides above us in the same house, is currently in England.
She tried to be helpful, but floods prevented her from showing up.
Mallory’s Mom, a thousand blessings upon her, called up the local Mormons to come help us.
And they would have, except for the flooded roads.
Power was off and on a lot, but it was never off for more than 5 minutes.
So that was nice.
In the mean time we bailed water, and made food.
Scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Grilled cheese for lunch.
Home-made barbeque chicken pizza for dinner (which I am currently eating, be jealous).
Around noonish Mallory and Chance left to get a wet-vac from the theatre we work at, so Ariel and I decided to do some mold busting.
We had SO MUCH MOLD.
How much mold?
There was also a lot of wet dust.
So we bleached the ever loving bodhi out of it.
We’re going to need new dry wall and paint in several places.
After a while, we seemed to be making progress, which meant water wasn't leaking in anymore.
PANIC! (Not at the disco)
As I cleaned out the unfinished room behind the Lounge Dionysian, that’d be my room if you couldn't put that together, I noticed a bit of paper.
Then the bit of paper got stuck in the wet-vac.
Then I saw what was on the paper.
And then I shrieked.
I shrieked like a little terrified girl.
I shrieked so shrill and loud that Ariel and Mallory rushed to see if I had managed to lop of a limb or become an electrocuted pile of twitch.
It was worse than that.
So much worse.
How much worse?
SO MUCH worse.
There was a spider the size of a mouse on the paper.
How did I know it was the size of a mouse?
There was a mouse beside it.
It was dead.
They were dead.
But the spider was yellow and black. (Argiope aurantia: Garden Spider)
It was yellow and black and the size of a goddamn mouse!
And it was in the room behind my goddamn room!
Arthropods scare the dharma protecting demons out of me
Because they cheat, that’s why.
You don’t get to wear motherloving full plate armor, and get to be really good at sneaking!
Not at earth’s level cap!
There must be motherfuckery of some sort going on, there simply must be!
Anyhow it took me a healthy bit of nervous ticking and curling into the fetal position and weeping like a terrified baby that hasn't been changed recently enough to get over the situation, and it was back on to vacuuming up water from our carpets and floors.
That's when my shelf broke. It went "smoosh" as I tried to move it.
No big deal; I recently bought a wardrobe to put my stuff in, so I’ll use the broken shelf for a few days, and deal.
All in all we’re doing pretty good, but it’s been a stressful day, and we’re all a little cranky, and the coffee can only do so much, and work is going to be some serious dukkha tomorrow, and I really like run on sentences.
Luckily for us, Ariel made some baller (ball•er n An expert Juggler Shakespeare) snickerdoodles.
I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "What happened there Kishpike? One day you were telling silly stories about getting lost in Italy, and then suddenly no more Diary entries? Where have you been? What have you been doing?"
So Freaking much.
Towards the end of my Spanish adventure I was so busy between teaching/directing a theatre class, my own studies, drinking & eating, preparing/working in an international theatre convention, and getting into trouble with ladies that I really just didn't get around to uploading any photos, or blogging.
After that I returned home, where I was washed over with a culture shock of boredom.
For the month or so that I was home, I really didn't do anything much exciting.
Swing Dancing, a brief journey to Coeur d'alene, a lot of Fall Out: New Vegas, and a little bit of work.
Where am I now?
Because I'm a young director who wants to be where the theatre people are.
I have scored a "day-job" working as a Box Office Associate in The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. My goal? Put together a theatre company aimed at socially engaged theatre.
Maybe, but that's what I've got to try for.
So I am.
But enough of the boring stuff.
On to the crazy stories.
72 Hour Bus ride.
10:30 AM I board a bus to Boise.
Everything goes nicely, except for the "Chili-Burger" I order in some trucker stop.
This chili, I'm fairly certain, was made from old truck tires.
SIX. HOUR. LAYOVER. Boise.
So I think to myself, "Hey you! Layover's suck!"
From that point on my trip becomes a giant blur.
Every bus I got on after that was anywhere from 40 to 80 minutes late.
All of my "layovers" became "run-over-to-the-next-buses."
I didn't miss one bus though, so that was good.
Somewhere on the second day of traveling, during the night bus, I had the good fortune of sitting in front an interesting fellow.
This fellow had the voice of a 70 year old, the blond hair of a 40 year old, and the mentality of a six year old. I swear someone replaced his mouth with a puttery old motorcycle, because it just kept on chugging along, on and on and on, with the same rise and fall like a somewhat unreliable machine.
The things this fellow was saying? Anywhere between inane and violent, mostly childlike, but it wasn't speech so much to communicate as it was to talk. And he just kept talking, and talking, and talking...
And my Mp3 player was on the fritz.
So I made use of my Laptop.
When he finally got off my bus I thought, "Finally, I'll be able to rest in silence."
My next bus(es) for the next 24 hours would have the most, forgive the inappropriate use of a serious mental struggle, but as I was saying, the most Bi-polar relationship to ever be shouted at one another for 24 hours on a greyhound bus.
A rather large woman that rather resembled a mildly deflated eggplant and her string-bean scraggly chin fuzz boyfriend (Big words coming from a wire-of-a-weasel-kishpike, but this guy made me look like a bodybuilding cold-war Russian in full beard.)
This "couple" spent the entirety of 24 hours yelling at each-other.
Snapping, fighting, and shouting.
Not a soul said a word.
I contemplated it, but the last thing I wanted was their Ire to be turned on me.
I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
I think there may have even been physical violence.
I don't know.
What I do know is that these people had no care for their fellow passengers, at all.
The fighting could be boiled down to a few simple observations.
The "couple" was not exclusive, and not gracefully so.
The female seemed to be in multiple relationships, yet incredibly insecure about the male's friend (who happened to be female.) The female was insistent about picking fights about the tinniest detail, so that once within the fight, she could reveal her true insecurities. (Boiled further down, she doubted this person who she constantly threatened to hit truly loved her.)
The male, was too busy arguing and standing his ground to realize the female's tactic, and when she would reveal her insecurity, he did not pick up on it, but rather continued arguing the original point. (Hardly blamable, if not rather stupid in his word choice. She seemed to make the revelation an argument in itself. )
The breakdown in communication was amusing for the first 5 hours.
So at some point in the 24 hour hell, I began futzing with my Mp3 player.
An hour later I was sleeping while Blue October, stuck on repeat, sang all the songs I loaded up for the journey.
To be honest I could have slept to my System of a Down music or really anything at that point that wasn't rednecks yelling at each other.
After that little incident my travels were calm for however long I had left.
I think I ate too much truck-stop & Mcdonald's food.
Way too much.
But I did drink a pants-ton of water, so I'm feeling pretty good.
No telling if I keep this blog up, but it seemed actually kind of popular (weird), so we'll see what happens.
Until next time!
March 3rd - March 10th 2010
Swinging through Madrid on my way to Venice I met with Ariyana, a Peruvian-American screenwriter to discuss some ideas for scripts that she was working on, to see if any could stand up on the stage. We wound up talking until the bar threw us out, and continued talking in her house. She was kind enough to let me crash on her couch which was nice, this time I took her up on it.
Learning to say yes. Yes.
There was a bit of awkwardness (that’s a word? Really? English is so weird) because none of her friends knew that I was staying the night, I mean it just sort of happened.
I tried to creep out early in the morning, but… you see a common thing in Spain is that doors lock from both sides.
Fortunately Ariyana woke up before most anyone else did, and let me out without any crazy incidents like you’d expect to see Rowan Atkinson involved with.
After my smooth escape I decided to finally get my damn pictures.
I did. They are awesome. See below.
And! I wasn’t even close to mugged.
So that’s a good story.
These are 14 statues in the big park where the Fountain of the fallen angel is, and the videogamer inside me wonders why there are about 11 scrolls (1 hidden in a shield), 6 stands with wreaths, and a missing statue...
How many times have I been in Madrid now, 4? 5?
I’m bad at trains.
Flipped through Pisa and bought my train ticket, I had to make a transition so it gave me two tickets. I was looking for my departure time and found it to be 11:00. It was 8:00.
Cool I’ve got time to go eat some pasta.
After pasta and goofing about, around 9:40 or so I realize that my ticket is not departing from Pisa at 11:00pm, it departs from the other station then. I bust pants to get the next train, and wound up buying another ticket in Florence.
Another night in Florence! Whooo. But it was Friday before carnival so it must have been awesome and alive right?
Italians do not party like Spaniards. Ever. It seems.
9 hours behind schedule my train pulls into Venice.
It’s breath taking.
Like I walked in, and a man at a toll desk, stopped me, reached into my throat, and pulled out all my breath.
I think this is the first time in my life I have not been let down at all by arriving to one of those ‘magical cities.’
Venice was everything I was hoping for and more.
I could gush for hours, but let’s skip that, I’ll post like a bajillion photos and share some stories.
I didn’t check out many of the Venetian isles, but Murano was pretty tight.
See they have a glass factory or something there, check Wikipedia if you want a history lesson, I’m here for the travel experiences. Some of the glass things here were amazing!
Gondola, the First.
Second day out and about, or so, I heard there was a 50 cent Gondella ride.
They take you from one side of the Grand Canal to the other, 50 cents.
But! I wasn’t too wealthy in the travel companion department and didn’t want to split an 80 euro gondola ride between me, myself, and Tourette syndrome. So I opted for the 50 cent-ride.
A whole 5 minutes in the crappiest gondola ever, and the gondolier didn’t even wear the silly hat.
Venice, the Show.
So there was a play, with some fantastic advertising, that I decided to go to.
This was an amazing show.
I haven’t seen theatre this good since I left the states.
This was amazing. They had liquid scenery that worked!
They made liquid scenery work!
That is projected move-stuff over theatre stuff!
Do you have any idea how hard it is to please me with that sort of gimmicky shit?
There were so many seamless transitions!
It was a brief history lesson, while remaining very entertaining, and keeping all of the characters very real!
It was also very dell'arte based!
Oh it was fantastic!
It’s a living.
So my outfit wasn’t meant to be Rorschach I just thought dressing up nice with a handkerchief over my face would make for a tight outfit. Still people seemed to like it, and I got a lot of photos snapped of me. Friday night was the big crazy party, not Tuesday like you’d think. But I was sitting in a little window of an old-timey building looking out at the public getting flashes every few seconds.
Feed my ego!
Anyhow I got lost a bunch of times wandering around Venice, so I’d pause, and open my map.
I soon noticed people would be very entertained to see me standing still trying to read my map.
So I went about playing as a Living Statue as I tried to find my way.
Little did many of those people know that I was actually trying to read the damn thing.
Still, it was fun to be a part of the entertainment.
Wandering about (moving) I felt someone grab at my feather (pheasant feather in a fedora I was wearing), I touched it at the brim, and it was still there.
No pasa nada.
Then I felt it again.
Again still there.
Again, this time gone.
I turned around with some idea that there’d be some jerk laughing or something.
A baby had stolen my feather!
The baby’s mother was very entertained, and I have to admit, so was I.
I did take the feather back, gently of course, because what is a baby going to do with a long gross old feather? Put it in its mouth, no doubt. Babies shouldn’t put feathers in their mouths!
I also wanted my feather back.
But I wasn’t mean about it!
Besides, she probably didn’t even have object permanence yet.
So to start the day of sin off (Carnivale means Goodbye Meat, btw) a bunch of us from the hostel decided pancakes were the way to do it.
It being a thing, according to the Aussie who was with us.
After about 15 minutes looking for pancakes we settled on crepes, which are like pancakes anyway.
I ordered the most ridiculous candy-nutella crepe, and gelato to go on top.
But, that wasn’t enough to get my sin on.
I needed an Irish Coffee.
So I asked for one.
The kindly woman behind the counter didn’t know what it was, so I made the mistake of explaining it using American terms.
“It’s coffee with a shot of whiskey.”
I don’t know if you know, but now I do know, that “coffee” in Italy is not like “coffee” in America. Obviously.
Neither is it like “coffee” in Spain.
It is a shot of espresso.
I was given half a shot of espresso and a shot of whiskey in an espresso cup.
What a way to start Carnivale!
After Crepes we decided to split a gondola. It was pretty cool.
Here are some shots of that!
I got very drunk, from a steady buzz I had been working all day.
I also managed to take my pants off and get lost several times.
There were two bottles of champagne, warm sangria, and a group of Italians who taught me the word in Italian for “blow job” telling me it was imperative to share this knowledge with the world. I have, of course, forgotten the word.
I also slept in the next morning, missed my train, then missed my plane by 1 minute, because I hopped a taxi to the wrong airport, and wound up a day later in my bed in Carmen’s house than I had suspected.
Of course, school the next day wasn’t important because I was auditing the only class that I had, and there was a test. What a trip!
So I met some crazy people.
Here are some things about them, and maybe a story or two.
D-Nasty (who I kept calling Dynasty) and Jenkins.
I don’t know their real names, and I’m sure they cannot mine either. Regardless they were quite fun to roll with my first night in town. D-nasty has a fantastic picture of my costume. I wonder if I should ever see it?
She wanted a picture of confetti. I shot a picture of the confetti on the ground.
Now I don’t know what to do with it.
3 Colombian Girls.
I don’t remember too much about them, but I do recall that I may have irritated them with my drunk-Spanish. Which was pretty bad on Tuesday night. Because I was very drunk on Tuesday night…
I don’t think as long as I live that I will ever forget about Rex.
For this reason I will also never feel safe flying in the U.S.A.
He is a pilot. And maybe you don’t need to learn a lot of cultural things, or non-piloty things to be a pilot. But his level of… shall we say… uhm… well to be polite, he wasn’t exactly keen on picking up hints (or women either, no matter how he tried). Yet still he was part of the gondola and crepe crew.
Kevin seemed pretty cool. Pretty laid back, he was part of the gondola and crepe crew. He managed to break his belt somehow when we were out wandering, and had to buy a new one. I got to keep the scrap leather they cut off of it to re-size it for him.
Zach is a very quite sort of loner type young Canadian seeing the world before University. It took some prying but we got, and by “we” I should say “Ellie” got him to roll with us on Tuesday night. I may have peer-pressured him into tasting a cappuccino even though he doesn’t like coffee, but, you can’t go to Italy and not have a cappuccino!
I have no idea how to spell her name, but she’s the Aussie who seemed to know what’s up, having traveled a lot before, and traveling again until the money runs dry. She wasn’t a fan of pink, nor doctors, but she did like pancakes, and talking with our group. She was pretty cool too. She rocked the crepes and gondolas with us as well.
Ah, my American Pee-Buddy. Ellie is a fantastic Smart-kid double major who, to avoid the hostel life, tried using couch-surfing to get a room for the night. It turns out the person who lent her a couch was a hostel owner who lived in his hostel. Late one night we went to the Jewish Ghetto with Rex and Kevin, I had packed some food that was left to me by some of the people from Saturday night, and we found it hilarious when Ellie (who is Jewish) was eating stale bread in the Jewish Quarter. There was also the baby sangria we shared, you see it was half mine and half hers, making it our baby. It was funnier and more clever when I was drunk. But you see, the thing was that before I really knew Ellie to well, we were dedicated pee-buddies. Sunday, or perhaps Monday night, we were at a club, I think, and there was an emergency, as there is want to be when alcohol is imbibed. We darted down an ally-way, and found a secure place. She took care of her business, and I set about to distracting passers-by by peeing in the Grand Canal.
Anyhow, here’s some pictures for all of ya’ll!
All in all it was a wild and fantastic trip.
Of course there were a bazillion more photos than posted here, so go check my facebook!
So, below you will find a giant photo-dump, some have captions, some no.
They are horribly out of order.
These are simply a few of 829 photos that I kept from the trip.
It was amazing!
Of course, I couldn't take any photos after that obviously looks like a priest guy stabbed me and killed me.
Don't worry, I got better!