Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Shake em up, Shake em up, shake em up shake em

your thoughts and pour. South America, Pat IV the city, Buenoes Aires.

A few things, 1 Peruvian airport security is a joke, no ticket no problem! Leave your belt on, shoes too, don't take your computer out of the carry on, and please feel free to walk through holding your play station III equipped with the CB 4 right on through to the other side, great if your in a rush, bad if Sep. 11th still gives you the willy's. In any event i think it's great they don't have to be hyper sensitive to the myopic world threats we face everyday in 2011 on the 1 man show tip, the scariest part of the world today, don't need an army, just a couple Dylan and Jacob's to get buck wild on the Dennis Hooper in Speed tip.

A couple things about Buenoes Aires, one TV, on a steady diet of old Friends re-runs with Summer crush. They have a WB and I swear for the whole day all they play is Friends which is always the segway into our adorable afternoon naps on the Garfield tip. Speaking of Segway didn't the inventor just drive one off a cliff in the south of France not that long ago? It's like the Atkins guy dying from a heart attack on his own diet or if it actually happened, Thomas Edison dropping dead from an electrocution. BTW, I call me eyes Edison's sometimes in ryhmes and no one knows what it means, you see, they help me see, like light, get it, two pac's? hahahahaha

ADD is a treat and you can write how you talk if your slick with a pimp tongue and rattle the cage where you never belonged.

OK, Buenoes Aires is an east coast USA type of city, and yes I see much Manhatten in the interior and some flashes of Paris chiseled into the stunning architecture that makes up the downtown. Anyway right now we're living in an area called Palermo Hollywood, and they don't make movies here, so the playful ploy of marketing a neighborhood with the term Hollywood apparently worked like a charm on me as it's really besides the thick dope nature of the "spot" the only reason i reckoned to reach to a hood as such, it's very East Village. I appreciate the cafe's, the endless cafe's, and love the fact most close for an afternoon nap. I love the grafitti, and grit which to me often is greatness like a rose that grew from concrete, but you can tell by the "graph" homies being tagging for a while down here and I stress down. With the clocks having turned back we are now 2 hours off east coast time and already into November.

The Gelato down here is from another universe, it crushes the slinky place in Georgetown and summer says it's even better than Naples Italy! It melts in your mouth and since it's spring down here now, your hand too. The flavors are endless and I make endless sounds like the summer we're chasing, like Bob Wiley at Mrs. M's dinner tables whenever my pallet is wet with the creamy delight of these perfected concoctions. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and picked up two bottles of Malbach (Argentinian red wine), cheese, amazing crackers and CoCo Pops for $36 Pesos. Summer and I have been on a steady diet of Gin Rummy after she didn't take as well as I had hoped to the ganme of Spades, today I think we'll learn hearts, which was always my fathers favorite taste of card gaming, the queen of hearts is a bitch!

Also they serve beers down here in Liters, Summer ordered a Stella last night at dinner at a cute place that was loaded with picnic like tables and had a bevy of board games on hand, are tabled happened to be an antique sewing machine with the wheel underneath I crashed my knee into, fuck! Anyway the beer was twice the size of any bottled beverage in Boyz in the Hood. She had to send it back due to size alone which excicted me for the Igtuana beer I had just ordered, liters, amazing. It's pretty funny to see a girl holding what amounts probably to a fifty ounce of beer over a burger at dinner. Also the steak sandwiches down here are good dude, they are almost always served with egg and smothered in cheese with ham, they knock me out and serve as a wonderful protein for my siesta diet of afternoon napping. There's so much to see in this city and our own ten blocks is so crammed in stimuli that we have yet to venture too far, today we will finally hop the subway and check out a neighborhood called Recoltta closer to the downtown area, it's suppossed to be charming, and was one of the places we looked to live deciding on our long term crib. As for this haunt that I'm penning this from on the type tip, it's plush and pictures to follow.

My Spanish outside of ordering food is not coming along very well, I would've been better served hanging out in the "Dot" a bit more back in the day over the classes in Spanish I slept through, I essentially say Si to everything and sometimes at lunch we know not what is coming and wait with Jaws like dreary anticipation of the platterring of plate and what the hell will be on it, so far no real melt downs and everyone is healthy.

The place next to us, Palermo So HO also jacked from the states is the coolest five city blocks I've every seen, the colors are irrediscent and very Candy Land, the shops are slinky, and special, here is the antedote to franchising on a mass scale, this is individualism and it's inspiring as much as it's delightful, it's cherry.

Summer has been reading a lot off the kindle which i have to plug again as a wonderful device, a great tool for readers. I'm fisnhing up this side of Paradise this afternoon and have enjoyed it througholy. I see the Patriot's lost to the "snitch" and the Steelers won again, ouch. Life moves fast and time alot faster than it did in say 7th grade detention, dam that was slow, in high school detention time couldn't move slow enough as it was typically my favorire block of the day permemently etched into my scedhule with a few other notables I'll always adore.

The markets I watch with one eye brow up but pretty much am aware against some analysts, so called analysts belief that the FED ain't gonna do shit for a while here, they'll leave interest rates at zero until Brett Favre retires, basically scrap the dollar save the econonmy, lose the election, a rock and a hard spot, I also am rooting for Bank of America to fail, Country Wide should've been shipped to the same place where the Cub's blew up the notorious baseball the poor kid snatched at Wrigley hence ruining his and his families life for a few years, anyway send that company which is now part of that bank and let it meet a similar demise.

And why bail out Chrysler if they are owned by Fiat? One lesson Obama has learned is that health Care should've waited, too political, the economny sucked too much and his vaneer was still too shiny new not to be vulnrable in attempting a once in a hundred years overhaul of our nations health care systerm with the second coming of the great depression on his hands. Rememeber what Adam Smith said about economic periods as such when banks are stifled or being run on, credit has frozen and umemployment is rampid. He said even if the goverment hired people to dig ditches and fill them back up it was warrented in the economic conversation of preventing a further erosion and also sparking dollars or whatever currency is native to spend and spark. Anyway the bail out had to be done, but if it's to be, please don't throw BOA another lifeline, that's all. I miss talking about the markets with my client's. Getting Microsoft word on our little Acer down here has proved problematic and prevented some some of my passionate creative work, but we'll take another crack and hack that shit out.

The video's are tough to post but still have seen more footage than I did in the three years prior filming a ton of other stuff. I expect to have many more up here in the short. Finally on the real life a few items, one Chris O'Connell it's been reported has found a match. This is half the battle, and of course we stress half. A major hurdle has been cleared with a ways to go. Nonetheless it was amazing news! And I'll knock on wood and keep the brother in our prayers and foundation. Secondly on a much sadder note a close friend in Summers camp passed away this past week, she was my age, it was a blood clout in her arm, she was in the hospital with hospital like symptons and this wasn't even on the chart. A couple years back we had spent an entire week with her and some friends on the beach in a house with an elevator in it down in North Carolina. This was before Facebook became popular outside of college kids and myspace was the rage, anyway we laced a myspace page for Kelly because you know, everyone had to have one, and was delighted by the mutual affection we both shared for the song Sister Christian which we made her title track to a picture of a fmaily of kids with classic 80's mallets.
It's just that call you dread, the e-mail you wonder if your being punked, a mothers worst fear, and it happened. My heart, and prayers go out to her friends and family that will be celebrating her life today and this whole week in Virginia, our thoughts are with all of you. And as the linings of silver appear may your Edison's be alight with trust.
And if you can see me Kelly, word up friend, you were the shit, and I'll miss you, and all of your many friends miss you so much, they are all so sad, please watch after your little sister, mom dukes and the rest of the pack from the pearly gates you now shine from doll, word fucking up.

And if there is something else to say, I've lost it, it's a fitting way to end for a wonderful person has left us much too short and once again leaves us clamoring to celebrate not only her time here, but the time your afforded, love the ones your surrounded by. I can hear her saying something like that. Peace to YG and the east coast family, R.I.P Kelly your humor, the greatest thing in life, will be missed.

signing off from the BA,


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

From Arequipa to Cordoba and Wine Country AR

Happy Tuesday! Usually I would've said this twenty times already to customers and prospects going through my daily currency call list. Instead I'm writing from Mendoza Argentina, in the thick of wine country in our make shift home for the next couple of days looking at our hand delivered whopping breakfast. This includes fresh the the local bakery (we're staying in a small hamlet 30 minutes outside of downtown Mendoza) of sugary croissants, ham, cheese and buttered sandwiches, fresh coffee, tea, another basket of various breads and who enormous piece of chocolate cake and of course freshly squeezed OJ, holla.

To say our latest crib is re dunk u lis is an understatement, our roofs of rest continue to escalate, I've video'd much of it however due to weak internet signals have been unable to upload and share. In any event a lot has transpired since I last left you on the write so let's get to the business.

Last words on Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. One item I omitted regarding the Colca Canyon in the last entry was day 2, after our hiking expedition we were led to the canyons natural hot springs for a dip. This was indeed a highlight for the kid, natural hot springs seemed just what the doctor ordered and I got down right giddy having not known this was an element attached to our script of day II in the canyon. Also on the bus trip reviewing stunning views we were informed from our guide that the best views were actually from the bottom up. Also that for adventurous travelers the canyons hot springs also had an active zip line built into the landscape. "Should we do it?" And a bubbly summer crush had asked, "Of course!" I replied seeing to it that not so much as one stone be left unturned as we take South America. I assured her that I was a veteran of zip lines from my Hayden days to which she suspiciously acquiesced my confident thread of past zip line triumphs. The Aussie boys were psyched for everything zip line as the older couples contemplated such a feat battling their male genitals keeping face of in the face of other courageous and single i might add males. The older "wives" it seemed were attempting to squelch the visions their husbands zip line aspirations an admission of male potency was bringing about. "Honey your knees, your medications, your arthrightis, your back, your last accident." The voices of reason were summoned from the pulpit of accidents past but not from summer, she was excited and would do it as long as I did and after all, "it's just a zip line." Arriving to the volcano's natural "hot springs" our host pointed to the zip lines first and second post, the line and the where to pay the fee. The older husbands bowed down to their older laddies concerns, "What about the grand kids." And I took one look at the height of the second post as Sky Diver carnival ride anxiety gripped my chest, "No fucking way I'm doing that." I had my own vault of accidents past and rapid falls of personal anxiety related specifically to height induced free falling tasks as such. "But just a second ago." I grinned to bear it, "I know summer, sorry, let's hit the shower." The hot springs, and Pisco Sours were just what the doctor ordered as this was not the Hayden Zip Line, I felt my mothers spirit petting me on the head saying, "that's a good boy." And we enjoyed the 45 minute natural sauna amidst a fairy like setting with deep acoustical merit, the open bar was the cherry on top and we watched the careless crop that chose to zip line have the time of their life threatening the fates of Peruvian safe guards. One thing for sure was that it was quite a zip line, I apologized to Steve Savage in case he happened to be dead and might have been watching. "I'm a sauna guy." I mused to summer after my sip, "you really had me going there for a second." And at the end of the day minus the accidents I would've loved to do it and applaud all that hold that Bransonion spirit.

From the hot springs we retreated back to our retreat in the canyon which reminded me of the great Ben Horn owned Northern Inn from Twin Peaks, we headed back to Alequipa for a night before another days worth of travel would take us through Lima and into Argentina, finally.
ADD strikes back. With only a couple hours left in Arequipa I left Summer at the compound and headed out to buy stamps and rush out our first round of post cards. As we were checking out, I reached for a bank card that wasn't there, I had pulled a dad, ADD was alive and well after a mere two and half weeks on the road. I left my bank card in the ATM a mile down the street. Adding insult to injury this was an area where the restaurant we dined at the night before attached a card to our bill warning warily the customer to allow them to call a cab no matter the distance on account of the many fraudulent cabs and kidnappings that are rampant in Arequipa nightlife. I think blue eyes and a Carolina blue sweater carried a great bounty like an Indian over an outlaw in New Mexico ala Young Guns II. Anyway our cab was soon on it's way and we had to go the the airport, the card was gone and thanks to Summer's request to keep her phone on until we reached Buenos Aires I simply called the bank and had that shit deleted and re-sent.

The Hotel Bill in Arequipa. $230 USD's. This included 3 nights, two dinners, three messages, a lunch and my bar bill by the pool. Their is footage of the place and meticulous sprawling grounds inside the heart of an unbelievable city. Our cab arrived, the driver was vetted for possible terrorist ties and we arrived at the airport a couple hours before our short flight to Lima. Once in Lima we had a six hour lay over before a 1AM flight to Cordoba AR. With anxiety of losing the bank card on top of rushing out on an empty stomach had finally made me sick after an ill fated submission to Mcdonalds at the airport. I felt woozy, we did find some great deals on X-Mas stuff, it's all about baby Alpaca wool in those parts, butter. Our flight to Cordoba felt like I was on a slave ship and lasted all through the night, it was rough as I'm not the best flier but we arrived in Argentina early in the morning on a clear blue skied spring day. I was only hoping that the coffee was administered in one unit as in Peru you added coffee to hot waster ala tea, also the napkins I was praying were a bit thicker to no avail. In Cordoba it felt like a mini Beunoes Aires, a preview and seemed a prefect appetizer before our end destination, after of course some much needed rest.

Our hotels it seemed continued post Cusco to augment the amenities and basic needs i.e. running hot water we could actually brush our teeth with. And for the first night in the heart of another great city we raided the min fridge, stayed in and crashed out to three hours of Jersey Shore which sadly was playing so far away from the states. The next day we set out to tour a couple museums we'd picked out, cop our bus tickets to Mendoza and of course pick the perfect outdoor lunch spot for a customary bottle of wine before siesta. And nothing was opened, the famous strip we'd peeked at bustling the day before was empty, we walked up ten blocks, empty, walked to the museums , empty, nothing. Everything was closed, we learned it was a national holiday, and were lucky to find one illegally opened bakery with a bread line that reminded me of pre-fascist German bread lines, thank god I wasn't there for that. We squirreled a couple of sandwiches of god knew what as even our hotel was shut down devoid of any foods or beverages. And then their president died, on that day and we experienced a city and country in mourning with tributes a week later still going on. I don't know much about the guy except that the stock markets in the US viewed him as anti business. I think he was once the president, and was running again in a bleak environment were many were behind a campaign that I believe was on track to re claim his spot as president. He was a symbol of hope to so many. So the parades I thought originally were gay pride that I filmed had turned out to be be for this country's tall, lanky political hero, sad. And we lost a day in Cordoba.

Cordoba would've been a great place I think if we had more time and it wasn't a national holiday when their president died. It's a college town laced in history and ancient architecture, those Spanish knew how to freak a church I tell you.

OK, quick break our "bicycletes" are ready for some cycling to a few local wineries in the heart of Argentina s grape country ahead of afternoon pool time before the coveted siesta.

OK. I'm back. 7 PM. Post lunch, post Siesta. Summer and I biked approximately 22 Kilometers this afternoon and went to what was described as a five star vineyard for a tour and a taste from a sought after lunch and paired tasting menu from an award winning Vineyard. There was definitely a girl I think from New Jersey that blew her nose motor boat style about half way through our most expensive meal yet. This could have been me! My manner lessons with summer have paid off. I had the lamb (again) and summer had the Black Hake a taste local fish. You get what you pay for as this was ten times the amount of any lunch or dinner we have had to this point, it was to die for.

Anyway en route to Mendoza we really with the holiday and tragedy didn't get to experience to much in Cordoba except a couple young hooligans at one point trying to run up on me, I hit them with the famous Terrence Nolen hallway flinch and that was enough. Little man after I smacked him lightly upside the head even called me a "mutha fucka" it was cute as shit. I was sad due to holiday shut downs we missed the light show in the waterfalls of their modern museum set to a FRreddy Mercury soundtrack, we did as cliche as this might sound watch Evita the day we were trapped inside and it magically appeared. It reminded me of the day days after first meeting summer when I headed to the Tribeca film festival to see our boy GQ's premier, "JUst Another Story." The kid was years away from 30 and Showtime dropped a million dollar budget on the holmes to write, film and star in his own movie, sick. Anyway what was funny was on the Chinese Kamakazi $10 (at the time) bus up there they played, you guessed it, Drumline! It was fitting just like Evita in Cordoba was on a national holiday on the day of a death of a political star. It was freaky Friday for a minute though, and the lack of Spanish thing definitely tried to become a problem in Cordoba as no one spoke English and the charades had to be broken off another level. We missed nightlife, hip museums and shopping but had a great dinner before we jet on an all night bus that took us to, deep breath, Mendoza, my blue heaven.

Mendoza is the jack pot, take back everything I've said up to date, this is where you need to be. It never rains here and there is barely ever a cloud. This afternoon after a hearty bike ride that produced the good sweat that my mineral water calmed faintly trickled down my face and lent a feeling of we deserved this as our Asparagus soup was refreshingly brought out with the expert pairing of just the right wine. A poem popped in my head as summer commented that just because it's seafood or red meat doesn't necessarily mean that white or red is dictated. These wines were light on their feet, they had confidence and dazzled my pallet as I tasted like I'd recently been taught and similar to the rich traders in Chicago I used to poke fun at. That is when I started listening to wine just to parody some of the more outrageous presentations I witnessed some bean traders enact back at the day at top shelf joints I was rocking as a kid in the windy.

Oh Mendoza Mendoza to my heart you breed closure, Mendoza, Mendoza so far from a poser, Mendoza, Mendoza the crops cream, you are but a dream.
Oh Mendoza, Mendoza, raise a glass to your grapes we chose ya, through fate and a fumble you helped a brother get up after a tumble and no longer a dream is deferred.

Hahaha anyway I had to wax an attempt at poetic as the setting, people, fields and dreams of this town are worth an garner. The bus ride was at night and surprisingly I slept tight, snug as a bug Summer asleep to me next the beers that I chugged facilitated the rest, which for this road test was mostly strewn on a dirty one way road, bumpy as all hell and on the top floor of the bus we swooned in the night by big trucks and their two ton might, the driver was scary and when the pelting rain awoke and realized the terrain we were in was no fucking joke, I said to myself, dam, it was better when I was asleep, and slow was the creep past the colored canyons whose souls ran deep, and at the very, very, least we getting out of those egregiously high altitudes that made summer say sleeping next to me in Peru was like sharing a bed with Darth Vadar, oooh! Darth? How could you ever spit such a dark reference to a Son of Liberty like me, it was just a reference to my short of breath sleeping 10 thousand feet above see level, don't take everything so personally, oh I see, a smile and shrug, but not the kind of shoulder move when takes when they smug, or they bug just an acknowledgments of one content mug, sigh. I didn't give a fuck in the best way.

And finally we made it, the trip thus far, mos def A grade it, and we paid it forward to a degree this crazy exchange rate makes one think they filthy, rich that is, and it's not a bad way to feel, but who gives a fuck in the larger picture and time that we scale, no not me my friend, c-rat too loyal and down to the very bitter end. All of which brings me to my next point, mini retirements. I think if you work ten straight years, you should take a year off, I'll fall short of a year but worked for ten straight right out of the college gate, and summers in college and high school I add so with this crazy time off I don't feel that bad. I'm actually starting to feel like the talented Mr. Riply as this thing just goes and goes, need places, non American faces outside of the pathetic Jersey girl that blew her nose in to a five star napkin. Once you get manners it's great to poke fun at those that don't akin to losing your virginity. And she donned a sun dress, and small yellow sweater, well anyway enough about her, as for the couple they looked like they were having a grand old party. Then again if you can't do this in Mendoza especially at this off the ring ding spot from earlier, you might as well sign up for camp in Yemen and stat sewing explosives into your drawers.

We arrived in Mendoza at 8AM, and did not check into 3PM, but once we did, it was worth it, I shagged an executive room which contained mad room, we stretched for the water was clean far away from Cusco when this whole dream, began. I came up with a new theory being out here on the road and all, and it's this. Stay in the 3 star hotel that's adjacent to the five star hotel. For that first night we walked over the to Royal Park Plaza downtown Mendoza sitting on the north face of the celebrated center plaza and crushed a spot called the Q grill. The decor and wood furnishing let you know from jump this place packed heavy fucking knives. I crushed the short ribs and Summer had something I can't now recall (she's siesting) equally formidable. The wine was just right and we stayed always the local stuff, after a long day we decided on a night cap in the 5 star hotel as I noticed a casino (more on that later) and walked upstairs to the exhilarating piano bar where the setting got down right dirty on the martini tip. They had a piano player, guitar guy and a throw back tall, slander, slinky cocktail singer doling out classics of a long forgotten era. We ordered Royal Koral Champagne drinks in flutes with fresh strawberry on top. Now I really felt like Frisco Jones in a far away country taking some time out from the WSB to scope a lounge to sing while Feleicia far away in Port Charles wondered where the hell I, he was, I loved those episodes and felt like Frisco. Plus this lady had pipes and it was a scene, sadly, I would always look for in Boston, DC or NYC and never find. What's great about the clutch places down here is the live throw back music but the clincher is the bomb singer, it's the whole difference and nothing in between.

The next day we toured a couple Vineyards one large and the smaller family run joint was last. This was fun, again pushed on a bus with a bunch of strangers it was interesting that outside of the snot rag next earlier, that tried to front on my Zuchinni soup we hardly ever run into Americans at any of these spots. Mostly (yawn) Canadians, Europeans and of course the travel happy Aussies, it's nice to see the residents of the commodity linked currencies travel abound as their currencies soar! Of course the dollar down here as mentioned and annotated again and again is no slouch. On the second and smaller run Vineyard we got a private tour because everybody spoke Spanish besides us outside of Bueno and Cirvaza, and Mue Bien and it parlayed into a delightful wrinkle. The gal's great Uncle started making wine in Mendoza in 1927, she grew up in Florida and now has lived here for three years. Side Note. Amazing property to be had down here for 150K, players take note. Mendoza is a spot right out of Word Up magazine on the Biggie dream tip.

Anyway this was a pesticide free farm range of grape leaves. They fought off the bugs simply by planting roses everywhere surrounding them, and that successfully fought away the insects that pesticides were drawn up in a toxic lab to alleviate. I copped a quick thought of how this earth always has an inherent antidote for everything. Please protect the amazon local governments. The earth is like math, it always checks out, inherently somewhere if your native enough this is a cause, effect and solution to our eco-balance. I find it fascinating. Anyway we purchased at the first, larger Vineyard a refreshing rose of pears and plums that we corked pool side the next day after realizing it wasn't chilled enough for our planned picnic in the most banging park I'd ever seen! Once again it clocked the hot springs and was so picteresque with the snow capped mountains as a back drop and fresh rivers that zoomed in and out of one amazing place to sit after another. But our Florida host after our tasting pulled our coattails to a wine that was engineered, cultivated and created by her uncle for her cousins, his daughters wedding last year. Only a couple thousand bottles were made, and they had a few left. The corked five hundred at the wedding, and shipped a portion to Europe where they sold for 280 EURO'S, the help at the vineyard also commented happily as we couldn't understand what they were saying rather judging by facial expressions and the always helpful hand signal, it was special. Our price a mere $25 dollars or 80 Pesos. Lastly at the bigger Vineyard it was cool tasting their selection of home grown horses as they didn't sell retail in Argentina or the US, Mendoza was simply too clogged with vineyards and or competition and thier market was Thailand and Japan. I mentioned on the bus ride home how cool the tours at "weed vineyards" will be once we get there. "SIr this is the 1984 neck crank grown locally here in Colorado it's really known for smoking before the theater, that has been it's biggest use. It's paired wonderfully with a light Chardoney and we sell her on the plant for a discounted rate of $225 a half pound."

Anyway that night we went on a long, cheerful and romantic walk down the busy causeways of the pimp streets Mendoza is shouted out for, lined with dozens of restaurants we hit a recommended spot and I crushed a T Bone steak, exhausted from the night we crashed early for our picnic that turned into a park tour and light lunch before retreating back to our hotel room (where we stashed 10 thousand peso's in the safe to pay for our loft in Buenos Aires I got on smash for the next couple, I threw that out in a freestyle to myself) where we uncorked the now mucho freeo bottle of wine we had bought yesterday from the larger of the two Vineyards for what amounted to pennies in American dollars. I taught Summer spades poolside, recorded a rap and later we began what will be a long dual of competitive Gin, later I'll have to refresh my Chicago lessons and remember the exciting manifestation of that, Gin Rummi. Cards rule.

Dinner that night was amazing, it was a place we couldn't get into the night before and quickly we realized why, I thought the host was merely racist against gringo's which didn't bother me but also was not the case. What was great is that instead of traditionally ordering a bottle of wine you march unabated into a large cellar and pull the one you like off the rack! Smashing your face with rhythm on the Grommits tip. After dinner to Summer's dismay and freight I dragged her into a casino merely for the fact that in the states I'd had to travel so far for some black jack!

Janet Jackson's, "Anytimne, anyplace" was playing in the carnival like atmosphere of the five stars hotel we stayed next to, version of Las Vegas, I felt good. We did a Clueless lap before committing to a location, I explained the craps and how I missed shooting them in the C house bathroom with Black KNight aka Kieth Bodden in between haircuts, even back then, LOL. And finally I walked up to an empty black jack table threw a couple hundred in Peso's down for chips as a set of gentlemen took my lead and sat right down hence the game begun. The dealer was sloppy and as a kid from the state of Washington sat next to me citing the same personal reasons I just mentioned from his girlfriend he was telling summer said, "that would never fly in Vegas." The games commenced. Out of the gates it appeared I was going to be down soon, summer not loving the casino's and much vino would contribute to an early exit, and then suddenly I got hot. And soon there were more people betting on other players than the actually six players the table allowed. "This isn't craps." I thought to myself but rolled with it as I was happy as a mutha fucka to be gambling in Mendoza, plus everyone was betting on me!

I looked down and my chips were suddenly chunky and a had at least two portly women with gold teeth betting on me with another dude that had rode this good fortune I wasn't aware of really until summer pointed it out. And then it happened, black jack! 3 times in a row, to many high fives and hugs to the women that bet on me. Summer asked if I was ready, happy I'm sure with the fact I just tripled my investment and I cashed my chips and bought us two first class bus tickets to Buenoes Aires which we'll use tomorrow night. It reminded me of the time Pete Nice called me in DC from Vegas at 8AM with Jeffy driving around the lobby of a casino on an electric scooter they just bought after a similar run of good fortune hailing from the card gods, awesome.

We have another all night, 13 hours to the BA, and saying good by to this pearl of a location Mendoza will be sad but forever, forever, ever, ever, ever on the Outkast tip live in my heart, Titanic. All and all the dream continues, and the days, hours and places we're seeing and experiencing together will make me a BETTER CURRENCY BROKER, writer, freestyle rapper, HUSBAND, SON, FRIEND ALL OF THAT SHIT. it's more than just stories, it's a perspective I never had and am grateful to have clocked. Hopefully I can post some footage, there is an abundance and keep the triple threat of photo's, blog and video alive and well.

Lastly I wanted to mention the terrible news we got this week regarding the cancer of Chris O'Connell, class of 1995 LHS. Chris as those of you that knew him as a friend or teammate defined even as a kid what it meant to be a class act. Please take a second and peep the below link, check out facebook and take the swab test. It's yet another reminder, please say a prayer, looking at his beautiful daughters and knowing the kid, I believe he'll pull through this. These are the moments kindly rally to see if your the chosen one to save another Son of Liberty. YG take notice our boy Chris is in some trouble.


much love, and as always thanks for reading this mess

Monday, October 25, 2010

Puno to Arequipa, altitude and random thoughts

Good Morning America.

It's now been a bakers dozen days on the road for myself and summer, and this morning I write from Arequipa which according to summer reminds her of Southern California and the back yard spot I'm writing this from feels like Hawaii. All in all it's been another sensational few days packed with eye popping canvasses tethered to crazy dreams and solid conversation with my new world community I feel blessed to be apart of and on the road with.

From Puno to Arequipa.

The city of Puno had grit, that it hugs the shores of the fabled Lake Titicaca keep it awash in tourist dollars and veil the underlying issues the common man of Puno must certainly face on the day to day. After a two day stint aptly referenced in my prior post we headed to the Lexington of Peru, Arequipa. Now in all the tourist books and blogs it was denoted that the bus ride from Puno to Arequipa had the highest risk of theft of all passages through Peru and it's mighty history. One reputable travel guide even went so far to suggest we hand cuff our wrists to our luggage on the six hour bus ride. The bus ride was a measly 30 Sol's and we upgraded to 1st class but for an extra fifteen, it was well worth it outside of the loud slasher flicks that played loudly for our entertainment, a film so gory and sadly produced that the entire human population outside of Scott Jacobs (I once had a tailor named Jacobs) could extract any typer of enjoyment out of. I was delighted to see the french man, whom he alone had joined me in the "tre ceveraz" at lunch on the island of Tequile was joining us along with his wife with pink hair on our first class bus route to Arequipa. This guy got it done and again, although there was a complete language barrier, I loved the guy, summer did too and we commenced with proper european good by's once we had endured the 70's horror filmn that fell out of some guys ass years ago.

Jettisoning out of Puno and it's pink sky's and talented six on six concrete soccer games under the lights was charming as we copped that "one last look" at a destination with it's man made lakes and inhabitants that wowed me. And the small city quickly faded to dust and was replaced by the decay which would define the meat of this journey and stamp validation to the inherent dangers of such a trip as noted in travel blogs. And as we entered into the city of Juliaca, the scenery went from ratty to slums to vacant depression. We saw a bus literally flipped over (flashback) and it seemed there was a local celebration surrounding it with hyms and a fire. And as the bus ticked off it's meters the scene from outside my first class bus window grew more and more depressing, I was reading Obamma's wars with the Star Wars soundtrack on repeat via mano(really makes the words in Bob Woodwards must read about our commander and chief and his inherited conflicts jump) on the head phones. This is what Afganhaistan must look like I reckoned or at least a few strips outside of Kabul, it sadly also reminded me of a few strips of real estate in west Baltimore viewable via Amtrack from DC to the Big Apple. It was dark, cold and vacant, wild dogs and hardened city life were bleakly availible if your Edisons bothered to activate and garner some comparison. And it was funny, I thought this would be my favorite part, I love ghetto tours and will look someday before the idea is gone to monetize this concept in the states, ghetto tours, starting in my native Boston Mass. It's like that 1 scene in fight club, sometimes you need your life almost taKEN AWAY TO APPRECIATE THE TIME your afforded. Ghetto tours gives perspective and especially to a white country that doesn't know any better. In Boston I'd start with the Old Colony projects in South Boston review the Bulger brothers before heading to Roxbury (projects), the Orchard Park Projects (new Edition) and into Murderpan and the projects of Warchester. Frokm there we'd franchise NYC, it's five boroughs and the projects and places famous rappers of the day hailed from until we rolled down to Phnilly, and of course Baltimore before crushing that ever glowing and rap crazy Southern market for a different kind of project similar in it's grime and murder rate different in it's twang and modern day rap pay out.

Ironically I looked olut the window of this Peruvian slum and thought it was for the first time, a bad idea, like taking a cruise off the shore of Haiti sipping a martini talking in a real "dial" voice about, "Gee Tom I'm glad we're not them, cheers mate." Republicans might argue the tourist dollars our vital to the recovery but I'd argue you were a chump if you didn't dive off the boat and attempt to help even for a day in anyway deemed appropriate and constructive. So Juilaca was depressing and the book Obamma's wars further erdoing the excitment that has stayed with me through the duration of our raptorous adventures thus far.

Obamma's Wars by Bob Woodward.

A couple things, a must read, beyond health care, guns, tax cuts and stimulus and American President at times faces a war or in this case wars, and this trumps any other issue on any other day. A commander in chiefs cardinal calling above all else is to protect us. I remember as a kid sacred of Russia and the nukes constantly praying to my man J Rock to please protect us from a nuclear assault, it was my worst nightmare. Reading this documentation of the politcs surrounding the ever present Afghanistan strategy I was alarmed. Never before has there ever been such a disjoint in the sacred chain of command of our milatary, our protection and keeper of holy sleepy time. Obamma had a great quote running into one of his many national secruity meetings with his top milatary advisors from the Pentagon, "Sorry guys I'm late" he'd say, "I was just reading about what we're going to do in the Wall St. Journal." Humor always catches me and I think sometimes ironic twists with a toungue and cheek delivery can underscore a point more effectively than the hammer of hard rhetoric and said disappointment in the commanders your suppossed to lean on and trust to make the gravest decisions.

And much of it goes back to the not so distant Bush era, reading this book you get the feeling the miliatray brass at the Pentagon had never been told "no." And they would not accept it, and they would leak, sneak and break the chain of command to get the heavist possible troop and brigade levels trying their damdest to run back vietnam which had been a fear ever since the early days of Iraq. This climaxed in General Mchrsytal getting drunk in Paris, going against his vow and word and comproming our mission in troops in one baby temper rant interview to who else, Rolling Stone magaize. He knew he fucked up and was given his walking papers, and President Obamma still let him walk away with his honor in tact by the words he chose in the speech that had to be called on the heels of an enormous breach in the chain of command, what esstentially makes our military who they are. The star of the book is Obamma, you feel bad for the guy, the smartest 25 people in the room were unable to ever present a 2nd or third option, this wasn't an all in at all costs military go strategy co signed from the former administration, this was to be a thought out, talked about, put all of your cards on the table scenario. I really liked Biden in the book as well, Emuanual kind of a very likeable zilla. But still the politics of war limited what should have been the apple of all discussions.

Flashback, steam ship on Lake Titcaca, on the lower level of the boat seated with all of the tourists from around the globe I was dozing off, it's simply difficult for me to listen to another human speak at length about anything, I was having flashbacks to the head bobs that defined me sitting in class during high school. In any event I flexed, I broke out and jetted to the open air of the top floor of our boat. Putting the head phones on I came alive to the random selection of Prince's "Cream" and started dancing solo, as if I were the the Joker (Jack) in the first Batman on a float headlining a parade I had financed down the main street of Gotham City. I'd seen the movie enough to mirror most of the best moves and stay true to the script. It was fantastic and I was as happy as I had been on this trip outside of my percious hugs with summer on the hour. I was having a personal fiesta before my siesta. I stayed on top of this boat solo until summer came looking for me, I was missing the entire tour and language covering where we were and what the lay of the lake was all about historically and now. And by the time she found me, Biggie's, 'everyday struggle' dazzled my ear lobes, my eyes were red and watering from the wind, close proximity of the sun and altitude. I was jumping, performing and lip syncing my heart out free from everything the world had always conspired to constrain within a sprit as hyper as my own. Wow.

And I must say lastly on war and politics I've during my trip up until this point acquired a greater repsect than hitherto existed for Condaleez Rice. I most enjoyed the passages of her most recent memior I was able to scasmper across, read and register. She spoke of being at the whiter house on 11/9 with George Herbert Bush, a date that is defined as the end of the cold war. And she spoke of the multitude of decades and decisions, policy's and acts that culimated in the cold wars end. The juxtapaosition of course was also being present at the whiter house during 9/11, her point being it's far mnore difficult to be enginerring the "drive" at the beginning of a long conflict than at the end when their is a historical compass and many learing lessons in the rear view to extraplolate your own startegy from. And I get that, it mnakes sense, but doesn't negate the all in strategy of the early days of Irag and the systemic failure of everyone in that office to not see YOU CAN'T CUT TAXES ON A NEO conservative NEVER BEFORE SEEN LEVEL and ERNGAGE FULLY IN TWO WARS.

Forget about the banks for a second, this is why our national debt has been made to suffer to the degree in which it now stands. It's simple logic, and a universal no-no that after 9/11 wigth a 90% apporval rating we were powerless to stop. Half the reason our guy got elected is because he saw the imnperil dangers of Iraq aND RECOGNIZED the true fught and where it lay. Anyway last word on war and politics outside of the instant gratification of the generation that helped steer the right guy into office, it takes time, 8 years of destructive policy, it takes time. Vote left on Nov 4th, the tea party is destructive, traveling has only strengthened my resolve for everything esp. on the war front Obamma is trying to get right. Bush had never left the country before he took office, W that is, that should be a rule akin to being born in the US to hold the highest of office, you have to at least traveled outside of your own country a couple times again just for perspective.

In Cusco we watched a debate between the illustrious Harry Reid and his tea party contender, the orator asked, "Do you think English should be the official language of the United States?" The tea party contender riled her fist for effect and shouted "absolutely" and added this was one of the problems as she saw it. When the same question was posed seconds later to Harry Reid he replied simply, "It is." If the policy's and lack of education surrounding the so many "friend" posts of the Bush years allowed a black man in America to be elected president a hundred years before I thought it was possible (it took a hundred to get a white Catholic in for C sakes) then the tea party is intent on "taking their country back." This blind faith in the free market they trumpet as the cornerstone of their ideology is truly baffling on the heels of the 1929 run back we've just gone through. Gordon Gecko once said "your not naive enough to believe we're living in a democracy our you sport?" And I add on only saying your not naive to believe the free market is free? It's rigged, it's fixed, go watch money never sleeps. More on that in a second.

Anyway in Arequipa. Suffice to say I was zip lined in the Himalaysns scared with the first hour we arrived. The traffic was hellacious, the LABB program mini vans which were the public buses were packed one by one beyond hong kong with heads hanging out the windowns and freely smoking amisdt the claustrophobic cluster. And then at a stop light amidst the chaos we watched a biker cut off by a lowly cab driver, stop traffic, get off his bike and beat the living shit out of the guy, even our cabbie was frightened. Arriving at what's our compound, we have great footage there was a lock on the gate the likes of which I believed belonged on the US embassy in Kabul or the green zone, I was shook. Of course the next day these concerns were allievated by the splendor experiencing this silk city in one of the 300 days year round sunshine it baths deliciously in. There were Pisco sOURS and palm trees. The whole city is made of a white stone cued from the active volcanos that our a staple of this cities history and construction. White volcanic rock used exclsivelky in the construction of caherdeals, 2nd cities and grand municipalites gave a grand flair to an ancient city that rocked all the amemities one looks for in a wonderful afternoon. The bright colors and cache of flowers ushered in fond memories of Pasadena CA for Summer and I. Bottom Line if your ever visiting Peru this is the place to come. It's the LA of Peru, and remind me what that city as well as NYC might have been like in 1985, absolutely crazy, not incredibly safe but magical nonetheless.

Our first night at our hotel we ate dinner at the retaurant on the grounds, and an Aussie man walked in along with an Austrain / swiss german couple were the only patrons left. The Aussie man sat down and began crushing the paino, he kept us up more hours than we expected and I reveled in the dialouge with the three persons 50 / 60 and 70 worldly rememberences and earthy discussions. The Swiss German couple, his wife was Austrian and Rudoplh (I once had a tailor named Jacobs) was swiss german. He recalled his own early training on the ivory consisted soly of the big three, Bach, Mozart aND bEETHOVEN, he recalled the austerity of an Irish chapel warden in which his piano lessons were delivered. The younger Aussie my fathers generation spoke about how his lessons didn't involved the "switch" or stick and hastened itself from the big three to include at a fairly young age the Beatles and the rolling stones. The Aussie man was a hiker, a lone travler and skilled pianist, he soon played inspector gadet as well as Elton John and even some Bach for Rudoplh. I was shocked to learn my boy Chopan was not in the Big 3 which always to me as a kid not playing piano in Boston meant Bird, Mchale and Parish.

We spoke our wars, children, Rudolph and his Austrian wife had two daughters gone through Yale and the different historical rivers that run through Europe. I concluded that this travel will sharpen my Jeporday skills, it was a conversation that much like the realization towards the end of my high school career in which I realized the hollow depths of my knowledge. The swiss german shocked me at one point calling the Dutch historically "cheap." This got him laughing thinking to thy self about just how cheap they are. I was stunned as this was coming from a Swiss german (Otto Ruesch R.I.P) all until shopping outside of the Colcoa Canyon for baby alpaca gloves, scarfs and sweater my dutch counterpart on two occassions ran back to the ATM when the merchant informed him of the 3% discount cash recieved over Visa on an already steapest discount for fine wool I'd ever en countered. And of course lastly re-enforced when he stiffed our two day tour / your guide for a tip after scouring the colcoa canyons on a wonderful sight seeing hiatus.

Many pic's to follow, the canyon was another Whiskey Tango Fox trot moment about two times as deep as the grand canyon we saw a yellow wood pecker and 3 giant condors, vultures the 2nsd biggest bird in all the world soaring unabated in their grandest splendor over a trulky astonishing red, clay and brown canvas. On it's top there was dimished ice, a recent trend that bucked the thousands of years this canyons apex was always frozen. Our international pack laughed at the American tea party suggestion against that of global warming and here was another clear case that threatned the eco system of this ancient enviromental, earthly wonder. Our dutch couple were eying Nov 4th, and everyone on that tour bus threw their hat willingly into our native politics and hoped the house would reatin a mojority it's apperently posed to lose. They all mentioned America as Europe's, Australia's, Canda's most important ally and esp. thoughout this whole trip the european contingent felt that they had lost a friend, sadly and scary of the US during the Bush administration.

Another wildly held and universal point amongst everyone, China is as Coach Farias used to say off it's gord. In the colca Canyon we walked with Lama's, Alpcala, Donkey's (my favporite) piglets and passed grazing cows. And the ride there unabted on an empty five hour strecth of national and recently paved highway is a motorcycles enthuisnats dream I imagined. Today I have a 10 o clock message, one hour for 30 sol's! amazing, a great brunch before, some shopping and our first round of post cards. Tonight we fly to Cordoba and break into Argentinia, last night we had an amzing dinner at a french / Andian retaurant, I had the cray fish, and thinly slices of beef suteed in Lemon with corn and again thinly stripped slices of parmesian cheese.

I did want to cover my random sountrack that quickly downloaded in Burke VA on my mini Nano before embarking but will hold off. There is something to be said about lsienting to the Boys II Men Christmas LP travling through the colca canyon, I had no control of what this thing chose to dowload in the last second of remebernce before the super shuttle was arrtiving, or the Stars wars theme reading Obamma's wars or the Bangles blasting as I strolled through Cuasco. Already picked up some presents for folks, the deals in Peru our the best, Argentinia is aPPERENTLY NOT AS MUCH OF A STEAL.

From Cordoba we head to Mendoza wine country and finally to BA with many a side trip scatterred in between. I'm half way through F. Scott's Fitz's other side of Paridise as summer claws through the MA classic, Moby Dick which I also have never read. I look at these blog's as mix tapes and am excited to finish (finally) the pursuit of my first novel / memior down in the BA which has taken at this point about ten years. It's everything I got, heart, loins, liver and marrow. it's been cathartic and amazing experience. Much love to Jay Campisis for editing the thousands of original pages over all of this time, re-writes in the midst of life, and much love to JQ for never letting me forget to finish and believing in. Big up's to Limerick and B-DaWG, on the nuptials and baby girl and finally for anyone reading this mess, even one person, thank you and I love you fot it.

PS: Altiude spawns wierd dreams they say. This is true. Last night I dreamt that Richard scully played a leading role in the new Wall St, and i met him with the "O" for pizza in Arlington at the awful but much loved spot by me, Il Riddcio's. We had a plethora of questions about M. Douyglass and the rowdy fratastic crew behind us was gawking at summer who had dropped by to say hi and actually allowed the leader of the crew, who was louder, better spoken with higher cheek bones and a more expensive watch than me, kiss her on the lips! A nightmare actually. It ruined me until n woke up and she me reminded me it was just a dream. And the night before I dreamt Pete Nice flew to Washington via Chi for lunch ONLY TO HAVE ME SURPISE him with a flight back to Chicago. Once we landed I was IN A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL HOME ROOM WITH JQ AND THE GUY WHO PLAYED THE HARMONICA ON THIS IS hIOP hOP. i WAS WEARING HEAD GEAR, AND THE TeaCHER WAS TAUNTING ME HIOLDING MY FUN DIP, RUBBING IT LIKE THE eMPEROR WAS RUBBING lUKE sKYWALKERS LIGHT SABER in Return of the Jedi in the apex of the trilogy, egging him on to give into his hate and strike down his father so his journey to the dark side would be complete, weird.

The spring is here in Peru, and the air is silky, Happy Monday, one love to life


Thursday, October 21, 2010

South America with Summer

Awakening. How it all started.

Greetings loved one´s,! I´ve returned to the (gulp) blog world under the auspices of something truly fitting to scribe about, and at the same time keep my mother´s anxiety mitigated as we rip through Peru en route to our new home in Buenes Aires for a couple months. How did we get here? A very common happening when sales guys leave banks and or are lured to other brokerage houses, there is typically sometime on the bench in between gigs. My former employers with it´s golden era in the rear view and on the block to be abosrbed by a mexican bank opened my ears to some other, more stable oppurtunites for self and client´s. This was combined with my new brides exhaustion at her social media gig and in conjunction with us being over the Claredon bugalow where we were living, a place where the heating bills caused my to vomit openly monthly. And that´s it, we placed our stuff in portable storage, moved back in with her parents and waited for her one month notice to run out the clock. And during that time, my former employer went bizerk, and standard lawsuits ensued. I do feel in the absence of evolving the business or doing anything new, client´s should be free to work with whoever they like. And this is only the case i believe when a broker closes them personally out of a phone book, cold calling (the worst) for a place that garnishes the lions share of the revenue for themselves. And at the same time, at one point did the exact same thing to be in the position they are.

Of course as we learned from the financail meltdown the financail rules don´t often make sense. In any event the legal side of my situation soon ran it´s course, and my time on the bench was figured out along with a few sticking points that broke in my favor that allowed all of this to happen, holla!

And so last Wed, a week from today if i knew what day it was we left from Dulles en route to Lima Peru to begin what´s already been an eye opening, cultural experience outside of the grand old USA. Little did we know that Wed, when the Super Shuttle picked us up that we´d be in the same clothes until Sunday but it didn´t really tax us like one would think with the introduction of so many sight´s, smell´s and accent´s. I always wanted to be the minority and in Peru it seemed that I would (outside of Roxbury and the DOT) finally get my chance.

Arriving in Lima after a grueling six hour flight which much to my good fortune I spent 3 quarters of passed out due to a couple a gout pills I had taken pre flight to knock out my mind and any lingering anxieties. And after a short lay over we flew to Cusco, I felt looking out of our window, I was flying to Luke Skywalkers home planet of Tattonine, the texture, color and mountains all conspired to flip the comparison in my noodle. It was the most amazing one hour flight I´d ever been apart of, trumping my beloved 45 minute flights from Oahu to Maui that me and monster were so fond of during our 1995 phony semester abroad in hAWAII. Of course these mountains were teasers as to what was awaiting us.

We found Cusco to be the shit, not really having a radar for this sort of travel it´s hard to stamp a simily, however the exchange rate was definetly a plus, half the reaon we chose this part of the land for an adventure as such. And the lack of Spanish was belied by our charming personalities and CBOT like waving hand signals. I´ll contend if you can´t speak the language in a foreign coutry you must be an aptly endowed player of charades. And even though I´ve come along way since microwave pretzals and fruity pebbles I simply could not eat the local favorite Cuy which was short for Guinea pig, my next store neighbor carolyn >Coppe growing up had a pet Guinea pig and besides they served it on it´s back legs up head and all, sorry fella´s can´t do it. Also we had been scared staright by our glee likecheerleading coach that was the ADMINISTRATOR OF OUR out of the country shots that threw in some free advice, ¨I live by one little rule in life, it´s called i ´ll never got sick in a foreign country, now what does that mean? OK I´ll tell you, no water, no ice, no ceviche in Peru and bug spray lot´s and lot´s of bug spray, because you know what? She´ll find you, oh yeah the one day you don´t bath in deek 40 and your out in about, she´ll find you. And when she does, she bites and you will go down, now Also if you don´t take this pill everyday you will get warts the size of yourkness all over your face, think i´m joking, i´m not. Now number 1 worst diareah on this planet is ceviche in Peru, don´t eat it. Now some people go to Peru just for the ceviche, and I´m telling you not to eat it, you will die. Now next if you don´t take this pill everyday you will get sick, lose your mortage if you have one and with the mediacal bills you´ll face your kids won´t go to school.¨ And it went on, half way through summer and I looked at each other like, ¨What the F our we doing?¨ And she went on and I´ll spare my small audience and family further gruesome dialouge and details, but she even looked the glee coach a bit, who by the way is from the south side of Chicago, one of my favorite spots on the planet that I currently do not miss outside of Maplewood.

And Cusco was poor, but Machu Pichu keeps it alive, one of the most visited shrines on the planet has to be accessed through Cusco which was the center of the entire Incan empire, an empire that spanned an entire continent utilizing the very basics. The Incans were rich in gold and silver but knew little of it´s monetary worth until the Spaniards arrived. It´s truly amazing to look at how vast this emprire stretched, also how they freaked mountains with basic chissels and what not. They were pioneers of irrigation and led a flourishing society which like any place else was not without it´s faults. The people of Cusco were dope, we could´ve stayed an extra two nights over the four we did, finally on Sunday after our machu Pichu visit our luggage meet the paRENTS STYLE ARRIVED. We both reeked of severe body odor but were quick to remindeach other the french women in front of us smeled much worse. The nightlife in Cusco was terrific and the many uphill ally´s unveiled countless gems of cafe´s, hostile´s, history etched into a small corner of the earth i knew nothing about. Alsi it´s worth noting that the original Tupca Amaru who our American hero was named after lives on in named tours, and cafe´s and streets named in his honor. The Spanish with their guns against Incan sticks unraveled 700 years of innovation and culture in less than two. And in it´s shawdow took everything including 25,000 tons of gold and silver, god dam. Tupac had royal lineage and after the Spanish felt they were done eviserating the tombs, cultural centers and society as a whole they had one more battle. Tupca raised one final, fatal overthrow that is worth cheering. I hope all of us in that same moment and position would´ve dared the impossible for their people and died for a cause or principal worth peacing out for. Anyway, this all led to Machu Picchu.

Mach Picchu, OK, i thought the flight from Lima to Cusco was amazing, the train ride from wherever, two hours outside of Cusco to MP was surreal and I guess what traveling is all about. The train was awesome, they played Spanish techo the whole time and the sights and sounds (you couod open a window!) replensihed any life lost through the vigor of changing brokerage houses. We have a ton of footage of the ride, hike and time spent chillen on top of the world that we will share once we figure out the best way to organize and display that shit. MaCHU pICCHU or something like that was a city the spaniards never found, tucked away high in the clouds it was truly a mystical, meta physical cut the imbilical type of experience. I was at a loss for words, how did they do it? A must see for anyone in this lifetime. Our tour guide wore a Busch gARDENS HAT AND HIKINg UP THETRAIL i PASSED of course at least one Red Sox cap, the nATION! gO rANGERS. Summer aNd I had many moments up there, one couldn´t help but think of the wondors of the human spirit, it was analgous to church in a sense giving one a greater perspective, past the menial day to day shit that sometimes in your mind holds such gravity but in the end was nothing you couldn´t rally past. I loved it and counted my blessings and kissed my new wife on multiple occassions.

From there we went back to Cusco crushed the night as much to our delight on return to our hostile which had a fireplace in our room! A real working one! our luggage had finally got to us!! And the next day we took a bus to Puno, on the shores of another mystical sight Lake >Titcaca, it is where this morning I write from. Puno is a bit more gangster than Cusco, which I like and much to my shock, cheaper! I can crush a few beers, have fresh grilled trout, pay for summers drink and cuisine and be out of there for less than 50 Sols, and with the dollar at 3 to 1 almost against that bitch, well you can be delighted by the math. Everything is cheap here in Puno, but how are you going to carry all the stuff one endeavors to buys at such steep discounts against our green back. This would be heaven for mymother on the deAL tip for great stuff.

The bus ride to Puno was adventerous, coming out of our second Inca ruin on the Inca express from Cusco to Puno our Asain driver drove too close to an ancient brick wall and we fel the bus drop. Wait until you see the footage of this mascarade, wow, i´m amazed it didn´t tip, I filmed allot of it, and the Asian driver risked his life proudly to get us out of what looked like at first an impossible situation. A whole tribe of Incan women dressed top to bottom emerged to carry heavey rocks and attempt to rebuild a foundation in the ancient stone wall the buses front tire had just rippled through. The bus was at a slant, it was a mushroom type of two hours, crazy. After two hours and the miracle of god allowing this bus dricver to get himself out of the crazy situation that was before us we stopped for a charming little lunch and continued. This bus ride was crazy, for most of the past couple of days I´ve been close to eye level with many clouds. The bus drive was not for sleepers, I was in awe of nature and promised myself at some point we´ll have to make this an arm or a focus of our fabled YG foundation, but for now we´re fine steering all of our raised funds (RIP Rick Zeoli) towards sports, Metco and inner city children.

Lake Titicaca was crazy we took a six hour boat ride to the island of Tequile, this was memorable footage and again brought back memories of hawaii as far as the stunning views from atop of mountains on islands, of course the culture, history and geography differ immensly. On the way to this sacred and now protected island we stopped at the fabled man made islands were familes today still live on this self made islands created by materials that come naturally from the lake. This was more great footage and a WTF moment w - out a doubt. Summer and I slept ontop of the old steamship that steamed us through our tours passage, it was 65 degree´s in sunny, lake titcaca´s is the worlds highest navigable body of water, it´s a beast, i felt literally on top of the world and gave numerous kitty head bumps to summer that thought maybe the first one was cute. We passed Bolivia to our left in steaming through the waters of Titicaca of Peru, one thinks he needs cocaine in the world captial of cocaine which was availble in several shady store fronmt in Cusco when we´re already this high!

On our tour of the islands of the lake their was a russian couple from Boston that lived in Acton, both enginners he from MIT and She NorthEastern, we had delightful lunch conversion on the island of Tequile, their son currently a freshmen at Worster Poly Tech was at home in Acton tending to their two cats. And in all of their happiness and easter european splendor I couldn´t help think of my dear friend emile Epelmen. Also it is worth noting that the make up of our tour consisted of four Peruvians, two Canadians, a french men, two swiss girls, us and the Russian Boston couple, AND AT LUNCH with beer on the meno the frenchmen was the only cat to follow me in threee cirvaza´s, beers on top of the world.

Today we head to Arequipa spelling is prob off, this is suppossed to be the Lexington of Peru if this were Mass and that was him, hahahaha. It´s a colonial type of city whom the books descirbe the locals holding a superioty complex about their city against it´s other in-coutry rivals for tourist dough, charm and pizazz. I look forward to nicer accomadations but will also miss the gritty splendor and natural wonder of our past two destinations. I´ll never front on anyone for how they make a living or what they make, unless of course it´s a lazy partner of mine in an entraprunarial outpost. OK gotta break, I must make breakfest, then walk, pick a lunch spot (the most important decision of the day) before my siesta and eventual bus to Arequipa, five hours. From there we head finally to Argentinia, Cordoba, which looks like a ridicuously hip city, i hope to get summer on the drink there a bit more SMILE! I like the ideas of electro rock techno blasting out of 15th century churches. After our stay in Cordoba we´ll head to wine country in Argentinia for a few days before eventually mAKING OUR WAY DOWN TO OUR LOCK POST hide out, BUENOES aIRES. Please excuse the spelling errors and grammer, as always. Much love to the fam, we are doing great, and I await everything life has to offer, one story after the next as they pile up. Much love to the YG foundation, Q b rothers, our familes and Coach FARIAS´S BIG NIGHT COMING up in November that unfortunaly due to all of this I will not be able to attend.

Happy someday!

C rat and summer C.