5.16.2009

RIGID ANTITHESIS TO POSSIBILITY





















(photos from a day-n-night on the build)

Goodbye Slovenia, hello open water:

- Returning to camp in Slovenia to be greeted by a film crew shooting on the build site.
- Breaking down camp and moving everything to the end of a jetty where the boats were docked.
- Having the boast inspected by a serious but friendly guy from the Slovenian Harbor Master.
- Then having to delay our departure by an extra day because the head Harbor Master lost our papers.
- Setting sail for the first time.
- Meeting some street musicians in Trieste and inviting them to come visit the rafts. Six of them show up later that night and play traditional Italian folk songs for us on the pier.
- Leaving Trieste at dawn to make the 21 mile sea crossing.
- Crossing the rolling Adriatic Sea for over eight hours, and having two rafts (out of three) break down during the trip.
- Crapping off the side of a rocking moving raft isn't as hard as you would think. Although it does lack for dignity.
- Having some nervous moments tying two rafts together to exchange tools in 2.5' high swells.
- The waves getting bigger throughout the day, causing some seasickness.
- Landing on a muddy beach with tons of little crabs everywhere, which turns out to be nesting grounds for some endangered birds.
- Exploring the beach in the rain.
- Passing out in the afternoon, waking up the next morning at 9am.
- Overheard from a crew member: "I was so drunk I did the dishes!"
- Riding a bike on a small road alongside a canal, scattering wild pheasants on the way.
- Exploring some abandoned buildings, one of which was full of swallows that kept buzzing your head.
- Spider and Dead Eye Dave joining us for a couple of days on their European bike tour, and then taking Ben Mortimer with them.
- Some of my friends trying to send a very drunk n' rowdy Spider over into my tent one night. He shows up on the rafts the next morning rowing over to them standing up in the canoe wearing nothing but a t-shirt and pink leg warmers.
- Entering the canals on a Sunday = lots of pleasure boat gawkers.
- Meeting some friendly Italians on the water who invite us to their island in the lagoon for champagne and fresh-picked cherries.
- While traveling in the afternoon, the wind picks up enough to slow us to walking-speed.
- Tying up to a channel marker for the night. The only thing around is an old family-run restaurant on an island, where the Austrian film crew's money buys us all a dinner of grilled fish and fried calamari/whole shrimp/grass fish/hermit crabs/tiny starfish.
- Later we explore some abandoned buildings (that some crew had been considering sleeping in) and find scorpions and mating millipedes and bring them back to the rafts with us.
- The next morning we receive a visit from the Carabineri (Italian Military Police).
- Tobacco-scented air freshener in the bathrooms.
- While navigating some tight channels, our lead raft got stuck in the mud. The next two rafts followed suit exactly and duplicated the first raft's mistake. The debacle culminated with an attempt to throw a line around a channel marker, only to discover that the other end of it was not attached to anything.
- No love lost among some crew members: "If he was on fire, I MIGHT piss on him."
- Making stand-up-female-piss-assist devices out of coke bottles.
- Bouncing around from handling lines and poles, to driving, to manning the engines, to trying to photograph everything definitely keeps it from getting monotonous.
- Seeing adult comics sitting on a bottom shelf next to Yu-gi-oh and other kid comics in a stationary store.
- The nice mayor of Marano opening up the soccer field locker room showers for us.
- A bunch of little kids coming to visit the rafts and sing a song to us on a field trip. They then went back and drew pictures of us and the boats which they gave us.
- Camping on the outside grounds of a graveyard.
- Riding bicycles down a dark road lined on either sides with open fields full of fireflies.

Learn Itialian
"Mi kazzo รจ un razzo pazzo." = My cock is a crazy rocket.



MP3:

• Doo-Rag - Bullhorn

A band's place in myspace.

5.12.2009

INTO THE ASSHOLE OF THE WHALE








(photos from days of traveling by dinghy along the coast)

From Slovenia to scouting our route to Venice along the Adriatic coast:

- Italy is winning for the cutest old people.
- When using your shirt as a pillow, make sure you take all the drywall screws out of your pocket first.
- Gelato and big moustaches don't go well together. Neither do moustaches and puking.
- Gianni the friendly fisherman in Grato tipping us off to great spots to go in the lagoon.
- Overheard from one of the crew: "It can't sink, it's a boat!"
- When campgrounds sound luxurious.
- Squat toilets and I just don't get along.
- Puking and driving a skiff at the same time is difficult.
- The friendly brothers of the Da Mira restaurant letting me sleep in their parking lot during the day while recovering from my attack of sun-sickness.
- Almost sleeping at the end of a pier with a lighthouse, but opting for some cement behind a shed at a kayak place because it was a lot closer.
- Vacation beaches completely covered with umbrella tables and lawn chairs.
- The guy walking all the way down a dock with a dog biting him in the ankle.
- An old man in a campground teaching us how to cook and eat the flowers from a tree he was picking.
- Climbing all over an old bridge and lock with our tape measure.
- Navigating the canals after nightfall in our tiny boat by searchlight.
- Sleeping on some raw scrubby beach and being awoken by a guy on a dirt bike who took off with Arielle's ID.
- Meeting an old man living in an old traditional thatched fisherman's hut on the canal. His family had built the shack and had lived there for 100 years. He fed us fish, bread, wine and coffee and told us stories of WWII.
- Meeting the nice manager of a campsite in Caorle (who is in the hard rock band Wonder) and talking Italian politics.
- Being mistaken for the pony-tailed gardener at the campground (if you know what I look like, you'll understand why this is funny).
- After scouting in a bathtub-sized boat for days along the canals and Adriatic shores of the Friuli and Veneto regoins of Italy, our ride back to Slovenia and the rafts cancels after they put diesel fuel in a van that only runs on benzine.
- Showering and changing some clothes for the first time in seven days really does make you feel like a new man.

You can follow our progress on our spankin' new Flickr account that I have been managing/contributing to.

Learn some Italian:
Ciao (chow) = Hello/goodbye
Grazi = Thanks
Scuzi = Excuse me
Prego = Please/you're welcome
Non parlo Italiano = I don't speak Itialian
Perfecto = Perfect
Dove il negozio di ferramenti? = Where is the hardware store?
Barca = Boat
Zatera = Raft
Bagnolo = Tiny bathtub
Orrmeggiare = To dock
Vietato = Not allowed
Pescatore = Fisherman
Isola = Island
Spiaggia = Beach
Oro = Gold
Ponte = Bridge
Acqua = Water
Marea = Tide
Benzine = Gas
Bambini = Baby
Bellisima = Most pretty



MP3:

• Liquid Drip - I'm That Type Of Guy (LL Cool J)

Buried in the halls of the interweb.

5.03.2009

YOU'D LOOK GOOD WITH FACE TATTOOS









(photos from the May 1st celebration in Slovenia and raft-in-progress)

Slovenia continues. . .

- Breathing fireballs of "grappa" (homemade liquor) into the fire drum.
- Snails in your tent.
- Shark steak, black wine and elderberry tea.
- "Crowd Control" = chocolate wafer cookies dipped in grappa, lit on fire, then consumed as dessert.
- Almost stepping on a leaking squid lying on the dock at night.
- Tony Bones making a flying dive off of his moving bike to capture a hedgehog in his hat.
- May 1st is big a national holiday in Slovenia, marked by giant bonfires the night before. It apparently has something to do with warding off bad spirits and the end of winter.
- Hanging out at a giant bonfire on the edge of the sea, meeting friendly locals and talking about black metal.
- Trying to sneak in to shower at the nearby campground with Doyle on a tall bike. His chain pops off just as we are passing in front of the guards at the main gate, who look at this six+ foot guy riding the six foot tall bike. . . and choose to say nothing.
- A friendly Italian gentleman stopping by on his bike tour to Greece and making turkish coffee and asparagus omelets for us.
- Planning our future Slovenian presentation.
- Booty-bass dancing on the soccer bleachers.
- The soccer field clubhouse next to us BLASTING cheezy dance music till early in the morning. Who knew the town of Ankaran had it's own theme song?
- Our little inflatable dinghy is named "Regardless."
- Spiders in your tent.
- Frannie of the Cutthroats dropping by on her European bike tour.
- Exploring the gypsy dump and finding some new clothes along with a female torso cast.
- Getting 30 liters of wine in a giant glass bottle from a gas pump dispenser.
- Having dinner in the middle of Old Hickory under red light.



MP3:

• 13th Floor Elevators - Baby Blue

A band's place in myspace.