|You know that sinking feeling when you reach for your phone in your pocket and it's not there? Imagine that feeling, but while being in a foreign country where you rely on said phone for not getting lost, figuring out what it is you're eating, and getting access to your plane tickets. Not to be overdramatic, but it can be a bit of a heart stopper. It was exactly this feeling I had yesterday as Della and I hustled off the crowded public bus in Puerto Vallarta on our way to see a two-bit (but still very enjoyable) Mexican circus*.
"Maybe I left it in the room..." [Nervous two hours of trying to ignore possibility of phone loss, search room top to bottom, ask hotel staff where bus lost and found is, enjoy staff's laughter at this concept, lose hope]
"Didn't I hear a podcast about an online way that can help you track where your phone is?" [Google "find my phone", log in, see blinking red dot a map nearby(!), hustle out on the street, get lost finding intersection, find intersection, don't find phone, return to hotel]
"Oh hey, the blinking dot moved!" [Internet sleuth everything possible about new blinking dot location, grow disheartened by very rural location, enlist friends' help to call phone, remotely lock down phone and prepare my goodbyes, search for phone replacement costs]
"The dot moved again!!" [Put on Sherlock hat, start spreadsheet of GPS coords with time of observation, frantically refresh website until bedtime, sleep fitfully]
"I think the phone is still on the bus!!" [Continue to track route, convert spreadsheet of GPS coords into map, develop a plan to find this bus out of the 100s of public Puerto Vallarta buses.]
"The buses seem to be laying over in this abandoned field. We should go there and search every bus we find!" [Jump through hoops to get internet on Della's phone, hop a bus that looks like it's going that direction, hop off bus once it diverts, see intermittently updated blinking dot pass us, furiously speculate, hop on new bus, bounce our way to the "station"]
"Yesterday he/she/it lose thing phone in bus please us look for"* [Start searching buses, try to connect via Della's phone to make it ring, no ringing, see dancing Della with phone in her hand, jump for joy, many self congratuations]
With a successful completion of the mission, we felt like badasses. From the get go, we felt like our chances were slim. But for a few pesos for bus fare and international data charges and a bit of ingenuity and persistance, we triumphed. In fact, it was a better adventure than the overpriced omni-present snorkeling excursions the resort keeps trying to pitch us. Adventure, badassery, frugality: that's the way we roll!
|Thursday March 7 2019||File under: travel, mexico|
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|Today, I am exactly half as old as my dad. Or, in other words, I am the age now that my dad was when I was born. This fun milestone was discovered as I was visiting him in Zipolite, Mexico. What an interesting perspective it can give about where I am in my life. But mostly, it was just a fun tidbit to toast over chiliquilis and fresh squeezed orange juice on the beach!
Della and I are on a bit of a Mexico adventure and Zipolite proved the perfect places to start it out: a mile long picturesque beach on which we found a circus hotel for next to nothing price-wise. We played in the surf, we juggled for locals while dad played accordion, and we ate really well for very cheap. As far as a place to relax a bit after a winter of back-to-back-to-back* housesitting and an intense run of Valentine's day circus shows, it can't be beat.
My dad and I have good travel history together. This trip is the third Mexico adventure together (San Cristobal 9 years ago, and San Miguelle de Allende 15 years ago (pre-BdW(!))). While "adventure" might apply less on this trip than it did to the others, easy time over crosswords and good food is an experience I can get behind just as much. I can only hope that when I'm his age, I'll be living as great a life!
|Wednesday February 27 2019||File under: travel, mexico|
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|I wish Della and I were on it enough to put out an end of the year letter to send to friends and family every year. We love it when we receive updates from others (even if we have gotten bits and pieces from social media.) We put one out back in 2013 and again in 2015. Well, we got it together enough to do it again for 2018! Most of the info is probably old news, but not everybody is so good about staying updated on BdW* as you! Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
|Tuesday January 15 2019||File under: misc|
|Twas the night before Christmas
At the house on the lake
It's gone from raucous to quiet
Now I'm barely awake
It's been a full day
Filled with of all sorts of good
Good food and good people
Just like a holiday should
We played in the pool
We pet the horse and the goat
We ate grilled oysters with butter
But I don't try to gloat
Homemade duck pate
Smoked salmon that Sam caught
Dates stuffed with cream cheese
And a spaghetti filled pot
It felt like a whirlwind
But of the best kind
Now that everyone's gone
We begin to unwind
It's just me and Della
For where now we call home
Next month we'll be elsewhere
As we tend to roam
It's a big part of our life
Bouncing from place to place
Different housesitting and travel
Rarely in our home base
This year is a rarity
That we're here and not there
So we were happy to host
This Christmas affair
Next year who can say
Where I'll be writing this post
Maybe an island in Thailand
Or in a van on the coast
But next year is next year
And this ode's about now
But since it's getting quite long
I think it's time to say ciao
Thanks for reading my rhyme
(The tenth that I've done!?!)
I hope that your Christmas is merry
Full of food, folks, and fun
My last words for the night
Before I click send
Is Merry Christmas to you all
My family and friends
|Tuesday December 25 2018||File under: holidays, poetry|
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|Progress on the old be-an-extra-in-a-movie life goal proceeds at a slower than hoped for pace, but that doesn't mean it isn't progressing. I've posted here before about various extra/background stuff I've done, but I've finally gotten it together to put it all together in one place. I introduce to you my TV/Film Resume! It has screen shots, links, dates, and more!
Despite the slowness of progress on said goal, it is nice to see the resume start to build up. In just about all cases, you can barely see me for a split second here and there (hence the screenshots), but some respectable names are represented (SyFy Networks, Adult Swim, MTV, Netflix) which has gotta mean something. It will also be a place where I post future film related appearances, so feel free to check back on it every now and again. I even added it to the header!!
Chances are I've already mentioned it to you in person, but in case I haven't, I'm serious about pursuing this dream. If you have connections or hear about anything that might get little old me on TV or in a movie, please let me know! I'll fly to Spain* if I have to.
Otherwise, it's a neat little list* that you might enjoy taking a peek at. I'm not saying I'm famous, but...
|Thursday December 6 2018||File under: extra, video|
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|Bellingham Circus Guild's second annual* Beastly, Frightful, Unbelievably Spooky Circus of Doom was a rip roaring success. Della and I had a great time being a part. Through sheer persistance of will*, we created a brand spanking new act, one that we both like very much (despite it being incredibly difficult).
In addition to some awesome video (courtesy of Bellingham Access TV), we got some really fun photo booth shots. And, as a super fun surprise, I ran across a video of myself doing some pre-show fire juggling to entertain the crowd on Instagram! With all the video, pictures, and more, it's like you are there in person! Enjoy!
|Thursday November 15 2018||File under: circus, juggling|
|Thursday November 1 2018||File under: juggling, circus|
|For the past 2 or so years, I've been directing much of my manifesting energy* at trying to achieve a life goal of being an extra in a big budget movie. While that hasn't happened yet, I'm slowly building a resume and having some neat experiences along the way.
This spring, I was able to be an extra on the Netflix show American Vandal (a pretty neat show if you're looking for something to add to your queue). The taping day was 14+ hours long, I had to take an uber to location (since public transit didn't run that early), and I only ended up with about 3-4 seconds of screen time. But even so, I'm pretty stoked on the experience. Seeing how TV is made is very interesting; you meet some fun people, get a free lunch, and even get paid!
Here are the screenshots (with episode and timestamp in case you want to see me in all my glory!). Hover on images to highlight me in the background.
Season 2 * Episode 2 * 19:04-ish
Season 2 * Episode 3 * 00:49-ish
Here are a few other clips of other projects I've been involved in
|Sunday September 30 2018||File under: extra, video|
|It's that time of year again, time for me to take stock of my life through numbers: it's Sleeping Around Round-Up time!! As I'm sure you all know, I track where I sleep every night and post it for the world to see. Then, every year, I dive into the number to see what it can tell me. Being that this year's data is year 10, perhaps a little extra analysis is warranted.
Firstly, as compared to last year and much of the year before, things are a bit skewed. Comparatively, housesitting is way down. But this due to the "Mansion effect", i.e. no longer having the longtime Bellingham stint (posted about here). Looking back to pre-Mansion time, housesitting is up and travel is a bit down, but not too far from normal all around.
As always, I encourage you to examine the data yourself and to look back at previous years' posts (which can easily be found from the archive page.)
Just for funsies, I did a bit of a 10 year analysis as well. The numbers are remarkably...well, predictable. I guess it turns out that I lead a pretty regular life in some senses. Sure there are spikes in travel or housesitting various years, but afterward, it seems to return to a steady average.
A few interesting facts pop out at me, like I've spent 261 nights in a car in the past 10 years and almost a year outside of the country. And some trend emerge, like downward slide in travel and the aforementioned lack of nights in tent. But overall, this data is becoming what data sometimes has a tendency to do: boring. But even thought it may be predictable and/or boring, I still find it incredibly informative. And I hope to have a second 10 years' worth of data to compare to this first decade down the road.
(I originally did this graphic with in-state, domestic, and international travel all separate, but the graph was a bit unwieldy (though still informative))
|Monday August 20 2018||File under: stats|
|Last month, I had my second New York Times crossword puzzle published! It was a Tuesday with what I thought was a quite clever theme. I promptly and proudly added it to my crossword wall of fame. And while the wall continues to get filled, getting an NYT is always a thrill!
The thrill of this NYT, however, was a bit tempered. On its publication day, I immediately checked out the reviews (#2). They were not good. I comforted myself with the fact that the puzzle wasn't geared for hardcore cruciverbalists, but instead, as Tuesdays should be, it was more for the beginner. The occasional review comment did step to my defense, but overall, the wind was a bit out of my sail. On the upside, some of the criticism was fair and I trust that it will help me make better puzzles in the future.
If you want a chance to make up your own decision, the puzzles runs in syndication today, so it can be found in papers across the country (and world!). Or, if you're happening upon this post days* later, here's a PDF copy*.
As kind of a neat coincidence, it just so happened that I had a puzzle in the USA Today that very same day! It makes my 6th or so USA Today puzzle, so the thrill is a little less, but neat all the same. Three cheers for being a published crossword constructor!
|Tuesday May 22 2018||File under: crossword|
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