December 25, 2007

Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad, since it's x-mas and I'm south of the border. Crazy dance party last night at the campground, let me tell you, mexico rave 2007, playing picken up the peso, picken up the peso.

But yesterday was a good climbing day, so there was reason to celebrate apart from this halmark holiday. Edgardo and I climbed this sick monolith next to the police station in town, making a quick getaway to avoid any third-world consequences.

I also sent this bouldery thing, Crawling King Snake (13d). The bottom moves are a pain in the ass, thank god for kneepads. I don't know what I would do if I actually had to climb these things - I'm more of a rock crawler. That wall, Culo de Gato, is full of phenomenal climbs, so while it's not exactly aesthetic, it's worth checking out. Except for that dust, some fine fine dust, that poofs up with every step and coats your soul with filth.

I leave this place today, flying south for a while. Just as I'm getting into shape. That's how it goes, life isn't fair, full of disappointment and broken promises. Look at that - I think my calling in life is to be a 14 year old journal entry writer, circa pretty hate machine.

UPDATE: John won some climbing mag photo comp with this shot of some monster on Thriller (V10) in yosemite. What does he win? I bet it's shitty.

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December 23, 2007


Look at Jesse, being all third world hip with his graffiti. Now he is gone, off to mexico city, so I'm stuck in El Portrero Chico alone.

My endurance is coming back, slowly. It is really too bad that I won't be able to stay here longer, but a volcano is waiting - Pico de Orizaba, the tallest volcano in north america. I'm flying down to mexico city on christmas to climb it. Meeting Jesse down there, we are going to learn how to self arrest at 16,000 ft. We may even make an instructional video, let's see how our heads are pounding.

I went climbing with these two goobers a few days ago. Check out that 80s style. Hot. Yesterday I soloed some 5.10 up a badass spire, although this self-portrait doesn't really do it justice. Those guys on the other spire took some photos looking across, so hopefully I'll get those in a couple days.

Then I met up with some mexican climbers from Monterrey, a huge city, I had no idea. I hopped on some 13c and fell a few times, then blew on the onsight of Hombre de Rifle (13a), no good excuse, just fucked it up. The rock here definitely isn't the greatest limestone out there, even for north america. But in the winter, your options are limited on this continent, so I suppose it is about as good as it gets. El Salto is supposed to be better for the hard stuff, but it is a few hours away and not as road trip friendly without a car. I mean, how could I give up my wi-fi in the tent?

Finishing up a paper still, sleeping in a tent, rock climbing a bunch, this isn't too bad. Anyone know the season for mexican wrestling? I really think I need to go see a match when I'm in the city. Do they even have seasons for mexican wrestling?

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December 20, 2007

Jesse Is Funny

It looks like Jesse has a sense of humor. The sign was only up for three hours before it was taken down. The bunny was left for six weeks.



So the climbing is feeling a little better. I went to a new wall with Edgardo (love the hair), Culo de Gato, which was better than a cat's ass or whatever it translates as. By the way, there is this little kitten at the camp ground that is cute as fuck, purring as it gouges out chunks of flesh from your arm.

But the climbing was good, I'm getting into shape. I flashed Virasana (13a) without too much trouble. Either the camera is crooked or the moon's gravity was really strong that day, tilting the earth like the deck of a ship. Then I got incredibly close on Crawling King Snake, an interesting 13d with a dino and a stemming dihedral. I think I like climbing rocks like this, I was a little unsure about it at first.

A new plan is brewing, something in the works involving volcanoes, but I don't want to jinx it so that is all I'm going to say right now.

By the way, amna is amazing. Here she is, the mystery girl, hiding behind the hand. We are going surfing in hawaii in a few weeks, I'm excited. Never been to hawaii, never been surfing. Never been surfing in hawaii with amna. Just look at all these firsts! This girl I'll keep.

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December 18, 2007

El Potrero Chico

Here's the plan. Finish papers, finish grading, drive to the border, walk across, fly from tijuana to monterrey, climb in el portrero chico. Not sure how is happened, but I didn't finish one paper, was forced to bring 60 exams with me to grade, and missed my flight. I don't really have good excuses, it was just me being me. And insofar as I wholeheartedly accept myself, I guess I've got to be satisfied with all my fuckups.

But maybe I can blame it on grad school being hard and all these distractions, like this and this. How can I be expected to focus with a girl like this around?

So I had to spend a night in a shitty hotel in tijuana. I've never been in a room with carpet that was this dirty, I wouldn't walk around without my shoes on. I slept with my clothes to shield myself from dirty needles.

I made it eventually, look at that photo, camping at the base of the mountain. I met a good crew here, Jesse with the cemetery, Val and the purple stuff, Mandi or however you spell it, and Dave.

I went climbing yesterday, did some mediocre 11s and then an awesome 12d/13a called Job Disgraced. I'm out of shape from the studies, and I messed up sequence, and I'm lame, and I smell bad. So it took me two tries, but like I said, the climb was brilliant.

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December 10, 2007

My Friend...

I'm still friendless here in the R-side, I'll find out if they can salvage my data tomorrow morning. I don't see why they couldn't, but the thought still makes my heart ache. Like getting an STD test. I mean, I know I don't have aids...but what if I did? Then you get the good news and it makes your day, hurray! Like this.

Check out my spam e-mail account. I signed up for some list serve when I was in san diego two years ago, and haven't really used the account since. That's a lot of e-mails in my in-box, eh. I think it means I'm popular. Really popular. I've got over 20,000 friends, and they all sent me one and only one e-mail.

December 09, 2007


I learned something on friday, my laptop isn't a witch. It didn't float when I tried drowning it in a thermos full of tea in my seminar, so at least I don't have to worry about a witch-laptop. But now I've got a new problem, my computer is dead, I've lost an old friend.

My files from the last month are gone it looks like, but let's see what the computer guys say. I'm using a loner laptop, an old mac of Amna's, and every time it takes a few extra seconds to load I kind of die inside.

Worst part, I've lost my work from the last two weeks, so I won't be turning in those papers on time. That's for sure. Let's see how much I can recover from my memory, and I'll be careful not to spill tea on my brain.

December 07, 2007


This year I'm forgoing christmas in favor of Hanukkah. Let me think, one day of presents - or eight? Humm...that's a tough call there. It's like, would I rather have one hot girl on my arm, or eight? Actually, maybe that isn't the best analogy, I'm not sure I'm capable of handling one. Or maybe it is?

I'll be in Mexico over christmas, so skipping it is no big loss. Besides, I'm in SoCal over Hanukkah, so it wins the holiday war. Actually, Jake and I have been celebrating Car-nukkah, since we always seem to be on the move at sundown. Check out my awesome hat, Jake gave it to me in a Crown Royal sack. It's a "Jew in a Bag," just add water since that's like 90% of what we're made of. Following Isaac Brock, the other 10% is shit.


December 06, 2007

La Boheme

Yesterday I went to the opera like a proper academic should, making up I hope for some of the non-academic stuff I do, like I don't know, maybe this. That's right, wait for it to load. As John pointed out, I'm not even Latin. Or having friends like this. Some opera was definitely needed.

Who went - surprises: Jake, Amna, and I. We saw La Boheme in downtown LA, and it was pretty much badass. They weren't so much people as enchanting nymphs. People don't make noises like that and people tend to speak english, so I leave the inference to you. You can see a clip here.

Then after teaching at 7:00 fucking AM I got sucked into a picket line for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The union represents the service employees for the UC system, thats janitors, cooks, security guards, bus drivers, groundskeepers, etc. They're on a one day strike over contract negotiations with the UC Regents, what do you know, the regents bargaining in bad faith. So I carried a picket sign for an hour until reinforcements came and I could abscond back to my philosophy.

Look what business ethics does, it makes me care about the workers or something. I've learned that life is generally better when one has few cares, so this whole business ethics thing might be bad for my well-being. We'll see.

December 03, 2007


I think I've become a nocturnal climber somehow, not sure what led to this, but it appears to be the case. With the quarter coming to an end, this is the only time I seem to find to get outside. An entire day is out of the question. Don't get me wrong, you can't climb for shit at night without a head torch, but it's excitement, and I live life to the maxx.

So Jake, Amna and I headed out to Rubidoux for some bouldering. Just as it passes midnight, Amna's birthday began! Then she sprained her ankle. She got what some might consider the world's longest piggy back down. What a lucky girl.

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December 02, 2007

Late Night Quarry

After our last night quarry debacle, Jake and I opted to forgo the headlamps this time, climbing by the eerie glow of the LA lights. These lights have stolen the very stars from the sky, so I put them back in, with nebulas and shit.

And I've just got to say, what a stuck up prick Europe is. It tarnishes the aesthetics of ending the english names for the continents with the female latin ending 'a'. I call bullshit - if the Americas, Antarctica, Africa, Asia, and Austrialia are all female, why does Europe have to be such a fucking contrarian? Besides, Europe was named after a princess...guess her name...Europa. So what the fuck?

Was Europe feeling vulnerable, merely stating its individuality like the goth dude wearing a black dress and eyeliner in junior high? Or is Europe sexist, positioning itself as the patriarchical leader of the world just as the father is the head of the household? I lean towards viewing Europe as a douche bag asshole, but then again, that's kind of my default stance towards everything.

By the way, check out page 44 of this issue of Urban Climber. I'd forgotten that photos even came on paper, I though you could only view them on computer screens. But I've got to say, there's something about print that gives this photo so much more substance. Old fashioned?