31 October 2006


Imagine this conversation:

Customer: What is the Tuscan Style Breakfast?

Me: It is sauteed kale, topped with poached eggs and sprinkled with a bread crumb and hard cheese topping.

Customer: Sauteed cow?! What is that?

Me: No...Sauteed kale.

Customer: Cow?

Me: No, Kay-ail...sauteed...

Customer: Ahhh....Kale....

All day this conversation occurred. LIterally, not a single customer understood the way that I pronounced "kale".
And so, I figured, "Well, this is just a Southern/Northern thing", and in this way did I describe the confusion to the customers.

And it worked, and made sense.

Until I came across two ladies. one young, one middle aged, both hailing from New York. One was from New York, the other lived in Brooklyn, I tried out my usual line, unaware of their lineage.

And they looked at me oddly, saying, "But we're from New York."

Imagine another convesation:

A table sits quietly They are praying, saying grace before enjoying the lovely meal which I have just put before them. They finish with their prayer and I approach.

"is everything okay?' I ask.

"Yes," they tell me, and ask where I am from, sure that I am from Ireland. I assure them that I am from Jersey.

NEW Jersey.

And then imagine, TONIGHT:

I meet a guy from Jersey-- a young lady introduces us, exclaiming, "You're both from Jersey!"

"Where are you from," I ask him.

"Jersey," he replies. "But the new one. NEW Jersey."

"Me too," I tell him.

"But you're from where?' he asks. "South Africa?"

What is going on?

30 October 2006



I never quite made it out for Halloween weekend. The reasons:

1. Early morning work shifts.

2. Plans foiled (last night) by terrible Mexican food and the resultant lethargy and nausea. The restaurant had seemed so convincingly ugly...We really thought that the food would be delicious. But no, we were fooled, and the restaurant was of the typical "one burrito-one enchilada-one taco"-type combinations.

And they all sucked. Thousands of possible combinations written in thousands of ways on a million page menu, and they all sucked.

Oh well. At least I know why the holiday is called Halloween:

"c. 1745, Scottish shortening of Allhallow-even "Eve of All Saints, last night of October" (1556), the last night of the year in the old Celtic calendar, where it was Old Year's Night, a night for witches. Another pagan holiday given a cursory baptism and sent on its way. Hallowmas "All-saints" is first attested 1389. "

(source: Online Etymology Dictionary)

29 October 2006

A Waiter


Well, I am a waiter now. A real, honest to goodness, wine-opening, food-describing, dessert-recommending waiter.

Pretty crazy.

The restaurant gets insane at nearly all meals. The "rush" is an hour or more of constant entry, constant movement, a flurry of waiters rushing back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room. Customers chomp and gnaw and sip. Waiters wipe and carry and serve. Water is drank, refilled and then emptied again. The kitchen flames and sizzles and smokes.

I like it--it is a good job at a damn fine restaurant, but jeez--it sure is stressful. There is a constant chance of failure, a constant need to deal with customers expecting good service. There is the everpresent tension between kitchen and dining room, a need to balance the requests of customers with the always possible ire of those doing the cooking.

Again though, it is quite fun, and exciting. The hours fly by like in no other job. There is a moment of slowness, a build up, the calm before the storm, and then, --BAM!--the dining room is packed and you are running. The next time you look at the clock or have a moment to really breathe, hours have passed and the shift is nearly over.

And that is pretty much it lately, as I get into the swing of things here, there is little time for anything else. Finally though, after today's shift, I will be enjoying two whole days off--quite a beautiful thing after so much work in recent days.

Thanks for stopping by. More soon.

24 October 2006


New to Me: "Hippies" are not all lazy potheads that do nothing with their life.

I'll be honest, I was a bit worried about the famed hippie quotient of Asheville. I had been warned, and had briefly witnessed myself, that Asheville has a particularly large number of hippies per capita. There are a lot of dreadlocks here. I do smell patchoulli more often than I am accustomed to. People do tend to talk quite a bit about being "grounded" and do occasionally say things like "far out".

That's okay though, because people here are doing things--exciting and interesting things. I have met people that are starting new and ecologically friendly communities, people that are playing beautiful music, people that are well-traveled and well-spoken and intelligent. I have met people that live in the woods and wear animal skins. Most of all, I have met friendly people, people around whom I don't feel immediately judged, sized up and discarded, as is often the case in New York.

Some are weirdos, perhaps, at least to the eyes of certain people, but they are weirdos with a cause and a drive and a dedication to doing things in a manner that they find to be ethical, true, and good. People can be truly inspiring.

And so, LEAF was a great time. There was lots of great music, friendly people, great food (and good prices, and at a festival nonetheless), a huge bonfire/drum circle at night, and beatiful nights sleeping in the tent.

Xavi, Avani and I performed at a few points during the festival, setting up in well-traveled sections of the fair, playing music while Avani danced (she is a belly dancer). At one point I opened my eyes (I often sing with them closed) and found a group of thirty or forty people listening and watching. When we finished, they gave us a great applause.

And then I choked, because I couldn't think of what else to play, suddenly feeling the pressure of sixty eyes and ears watching and listening to me

We had a great time too just screwing around in the camping area, as you can see in this video, in which Xavi and I discovered the joys of running inside a windblown tent. The video takes a bit of time to load, and unfortunately nobody caught the moment in which the tent blew out of control and I almost ran over an occupied, standing tent as I was blown along. Still, you'll get the idea.

After the weekend was over, I came home and prepared myself for my new job, at the previously mentioned restaurant, Table. I went out shopping and bought the cheapest clothes that I could find (not an easy thing really) and steeled myself for the inevitable need to wear the restaurant uniform.

Which is a pink shirt.

I feel like a some guy that has just stepped off his boat in Martha's Vineyard, sipping a cocktail and talking about tennis. It is not a good feeling, let me assure you.

Regardless, the job seems like it should be good. The people are good, the food is delicious, the chef feeds us a staff meal before we work. All in all, in seems like a good gig, and I hope that it works out.

And, while I'm talking about the restaurant, perhaps I should mention that I will unfortunately not be able to reveal many interesting, riveting, or high-jinx tales of the restaurant, as my lawyer (Sturd) has informed me that there have been a slew of recent cases in which people have been fired for talking bad on their bosses in a blog or blog-like forum.

And I really need the cash.

19 October 2006

Asheville, NC: Settling In

I got a job today.

Well, actually, I got four jobs today, but only accepted one of them. While I was truly quite tempted to take a job with a "green" insulation firm (solid schedule, weekends off), I ultimately decided to go to work at Table, a fairly new local restaurant.

Table seems like it will be an interesting place to work. The food looks delicious, and they put a great deal of emphasis on farmers' market produce and local foods. You can see something about them at their website.

After working out the whole job situation, Xavi and I headed out to Dillsboro (about an hour away) for some white-water kayaking. Luckily, I was able to borrow all of the gear from Xavi and friends, and therefore had no need to rent any cheesy equipment or anything of the sort.

I had never before ridden a kayak of this type. They are extremely unstable (until you've gotten accustomed to them), and seemingly quite flimsy. And yet, once I got my balance, and learned a bit about how the boat works, the ride was incredible. The rapids were only Class 2 (perfect for a beginner), so I was able to experience the thrill of the rapids without assuring myself of an early death.

I tipped over a total of four times--one of those times, interestingly enough, I wasn't even moving, but rather attempting to get out of the boat to get some feeling back in my foot. I stood up, knocked my lifeless foot against the kayak, and fell straight into the ground. It was really quite graceful

After riding the river for a bit, we headed out to eat ribs in a town called Maggie Valley. Now, this town was quite an interesting place. Apparently there was once a tourist attraction nearby known as "Ghost Town." The place was a typical tourist trap--Old West gunfights, kitschy shops and a old-time train rides were some of the main attractions. This place is currently, however, closed.

Sadly, a huge swath of land near the site of the Ghost Town had already erupted in a huge Urban / Kitsch spraw. I imagine that most of the local business must have completely depended on the draw of the spooky gunfights for the business. Needless to say, the whole place is now sort of sad--filled with places like the "Mountain Museum" and the local Magic Shop that seemed, to my untrained and ignorant eyes, to be living through a local depression.

Nonetheless, the famous "Bar-B-Q Shak and Restaurant" continues to pump out delicious, smoky Babyback Ribs (which, interestingly enough, are imported from Denmark). Xavi is on very good terms with the woman that owns the place, as he has been a customer since the late 80's and always returns with new people. The ribs were delicious, as were the beans, slaw, hush puppies and french fried potatoes that accompanied them. The place, of course, was filled with the requisite amount of kitsch and crap, including myriad statues of pigs.

Which, by the way, is always a funny thing to see. Barbeque places always seem to decorate their premises with pictures of cute, cuddly, pink piglets. Oftentimes they've also got strange pictures of cartoon pigs wearing chef's gear. Sort of a cannabalistic, fetishist type of thing, really.

Anyway, that's all for now. More soon.

Mrs. Anette Breeze

The 1997 Chevy Venture now has a proper name:

Mrs. Anette Breeze.

Thank you to all who offered up names for the vehicle.

I finally settled on the current name after much deliberation. Mrs. Anette Breeze was formerly the librarian and fourth grade teacher of a small private school in Conway, SC. Xavi Ferdon, a former student of the original Mrs. Breeze, had this to say:

"She was really a very good librarian."

Mrs. Breeze (the vehicle) is unfortunately quite ill at the moment, and needs to hit the shop tomorrow for a bit of work that all who know her had guessed would be necessary. Besides this small problem, she is doing well, and all information points to a speedy recovery and a long life.

In other news, here are the job prospects that are looking hopeful at the moment:

1. Waiter at a fancy restaurant called "Table" (mentioned in an earlier post).

2. Insulation installer with a "green" insulation company. This seems to be quite an Asheville phenomenon, this whole "green" contracting revolution, and I would be willing to bet that there are few insulation-related workers outside here that close their emails with the phrase, "Much Peace"

3. Waiter at a somewhat snooty cafe in the area. Xavi has told me that if I end up working there, I must promise to find out if it is company policy to be rude and slow, or if this is just a coincidentally shared characteristic of many of the workers.

In other other news, I will be heading off this weekend to attend LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival), a local-area festival that will feature music, workshops, etc. We'll be camping out there, and it should be a great time.

More soon.

16 October 2006

Getting Down to Business

And so the weekend ends, and the reality of the job search begins to set in.

I finished off the weekend with a beautiful hike with Xavi and Avani (Xavi's girlfriend) on a beautiful trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail was called Knobbled Gardens or Craggy Gardens or something like that, and it wasn't hard to see why. The trees along the path were knobbed and craggy creatures, and looked something like the oversized hands of a wizened old witch. The views along the way were beautiful, and hiking with the dogs, which required some extra watchfullness and a keen whistle, was really quite nice.

Today I began the job search in earnest, heading out into town armed with addresses, phone numbers and copies of my resume. My first stop was a place called "Labor Something or Other" -- "Labor Works" or "Labor Jobs" -- and is basically an official equivalent of the groups of immigrants one often finds on street corners in cities and towns around the country. The business is a temporary employment agency--workers must register with them and then show up early in the morning (any morning one wishes) and hope for work.

As one can imagine, the scene was grim. The office was small and grimy. The walls were lined with dirty and broken plastic patio furniture and squeaky tables. In a somewhat pathetic attempt to cheer things up, a white board hung on the wall, with the words, "Every day is National Safety Day" and "Quote of the Day". The quote was by Hellen Keller, and somewhat oddly, seemed to advocate taking risks and not playing things too safe.

There I was made to fill out a number of forms and then take a short personality test of sorts. The test booklet was contained in a grubby binder, and I was given a credit card keypad, of the sort used in restaurants and mini-marts, on which to input my answers.

I dutifully complied, and read through and completed such questions as:

1. How much money have you stolen from your previous three jobs?

a. Five to ten dollars
b. Ten to fifty dollars
c. Fifty to two hundred dollars
d. More than two hundred dollars
e. None at all.

More questions like this followed and were repeated ad infinitum, with such interesting variations as:

2. What have you stolen from your previous jobs?

I was also asked a number of questions regarding drugs, alcohol and violence, and answered each repetetive question as it appeared. Over five times did I reply that I did not take drugs, and verified at least ten times that I do not hit people when I am angry.

In all, it was a rather amusing, yet sad (and perhaps a bit fear-inspiring) experience. When I had completed the test, I handed it back to the manager, who plugged in the machine and informed me that I had passed. I could indeed work for "Labor Boys" or whatever the place is called.

You cannot imagine the pride and elation that I felt.

I was told to return tomorrow morning, early, if I wished to work. "How early?" I asked.

"I wouldn't come any later than 6," came the answer from the other side of the desk.

It remains to be seen if I will return. Perhaps I'll wait and see what else comes up.

From there, I headed off to Adecco Staffing. The woman in the office asked me to have a seat, and began to look over my resume. Her eyes registered confusion, and she looked from my resume to me.

"What kind of work is it that you're looking for?" she asked, seemingly unable to understand why an experienced teacher with a graduate-level education was in her office.

"Pretty much anything," I told her, "just not data entry. I won't do data entry."

"Well," she replied, "we mostly deal with clerical, administrative work, as well as light industrial work."

"Light industrial!" I told her. Again, her face clouded with confusion. I guess it's not easy to see why a Cambridge graduate would be interested in lifting heavy boxes and driving a forklift, but it makes perfect sense to me.

"Okay...." she told me. "We do have something. It pays 10.65 an hour--second shift--and would be Monday to Saturday. The hours would be 3 to midnight on those days...."

Have I moved to Asheville just to work disgusting hours in hard (albeit interesting to me) labor? Couldn't I at least find some hard labor with nice, cushy hours?

Not yet.

I told her to keep me in mind, but informed her that my schedule would not permit such horrid hours. I thanked her for her time and continued on my way.

Downtown, I pounded the pavement, handing out resumes at cafes and bars and restaurants, filling out one silly application form after another, answering on the spot questions like "What do you know about wine?"

"Huh?" I had responded to that one. "Like, what do you want to know?"

"Well, can you name some kinds of wine?" the woman had asked me.

"Uh...well, there's Merlot and Shiraz and Syrah (but that's basically the same thing, I said) and Cabernet and Rioja and Montepulciano and Sauvigon and...Is that enough?"

I put my best accent on all the names, trilling the "R" in Rioja with mastery, speaking through my nose on the French names, and waving my arms when I said "Montepulciano".

Still, I didn't even impress myself all that much.

Amusingly, I have received one call so far regarding these applications, and it is for this very same restaurant. Perhaps they liked the way that I pronounced "Sauvignon".

Maybe they found my Italian inflection on "Montepulciano" charming.

Who knows.

And so we shall see what the fates will provide. Until then, I'm hard at work and study here in my new North Carolina home, among friends and a number of dogs.

More soon, with pictures if Blogger and my computer cooperate.

14 October 2006

Asheville, NC

Well, there certainly are a lot of hippies here.

I arrived in Asheville, NC yesterday afternoon, after having spent the night in Charlottesville, VA with a friend. The drive was nice, through rural areas and up into the mountains of Western North Carolina.

I've moved here to live with an old friend Xavi, with whom I played music when living in South Carolina. Xavi has lived here for a few years now, and has thus set up quite a nice network of friends, activities and the like. This being the case, I arrived to find the night already planned for me. We would enjoy a concert and then head on to a party hosted by a local musician and friend of Xavi.

We went to the show, and saw the Toubab Krewe, an instrumental group specializing in African rythms. They were good--the music was lively and well played, and the melodies were interesting. The crowd, packed with a dreadlocks and flowing dresses, smelled heavily of patchoulli oil. People danced to the sounds of the drums and guitars, waving their arms, closing their eyes, and immersing themselves in drugged trances.

We lasted through the first set and then, by common consensus, decided to go. The performance had been good, but enough was enough. At least that was my opinion.

And so we moved to the party, just a short drive from the venue. We entered into a nice, spacioius house. The lights were low and a fire burned quietly in the fireplace. A girl approached us, holding out a hat filled with small slips of paper, and invited us to put our names into the "kissing hat". I did so, signing Pancho (my Asheville sobriquet) and within a few minutes I heard a masculine voice asking, "Who's Pancho?"

I hid in the couch, and continued in my conversation with the young lady to whom I had been speaking.

The crowd was quite mixed, and not at first sight made up of a the archetypical Asheville hippie, for which I was grateful. They were, however, quite an interesting bunch, and the strange antics of the night made for quite an amusing time.

A few of the highlights:

1. While waiting on line for the bathroom, I happened to glance into the nearest bedroom. Inside, a massage table was set up. Candles burned and incense smoke waved through the air. A girl lay on the table, face down, naked but for her underwear. Around her, a group of people in varied states of dress massaged her entire body. Their twelve oily hands worked together as she lay silently. I looked at the guy next to me, asking, "Have you seen this?", thinking that he would be as surprised as me at the situation. He looked in, apparently unsurprised, and commented, "Oh, I want in on that."

2. Later in the evening, coming in from outside, where I had been playing music with the host, a rather talented guitarist and vocalist, I noticed an attentive group in the main room. I stepped in to see what held their interest. A girl sat in a chair before everyone, wearing a short dress and no underwear. She read strange poetry from a paper she held in front of her, her voice rising and falling, at times whispering and at times exclaiming in ecstatic fashion. The crowd watched in awe, making little "oooh" noises whenever they liked a particular line. Feeling strange, I escaped quickly.

3. After the poetry reading had finished, another girl came into the room, dancing strangely and looking quite happily drugged. She lay on the ground and two guys (previously seen in the massage parlor) lay next to her. Around the room, people chatted while sipping beers. Others danced or sat in couches.

The huddled, supine group of three began to undulate on the ground. One guy started to massage the girl and kiss her lips. The other kissed her stomach and massaged her legs and chest.

Everyone continued to chat as if nothing were happening. I sat there transfixed and wondering where the hell I was. Had I wandered inadvertently into a sex party? What was going on?

Soon enough, their show ended, the one guy stood up, unstraddling the girl, the other wandered away. Everything continued just as it had in the room, and I seemed to be the only person thinking that anything strange had happened.

All in all, quite an odd party, although thankfully I did meet some rather interesting, quite "normal" people that seemed perfectly happy to chat without engaging in spontaneous massage, poetic mutterings, or disrobing.

This morning began the job search, so things have got to get "serious" now. We'll see how it goes.

More soon.

10 October 2006

My New Wheels

Nomadic living has hit the new age, and is no longer dependent on shoddy US public transportation!

I am now the proud owner of a 1997 Chevy Venture (extended version). As luck would have it, the previous owner was a kind and conscientious librarian, who cared for the vehicle in way rarely seen. The exterior glistens, the interior shines with cleanliness.

The only issue that now remains is to secure a proper name for the conveyance. Names of my previous vehicles include "Monroe" and "Hilarious, The Sweet Chariot". I will happily take any suggestions for the van, which may be emailed directly or placed on this site in the form of a comment. I appreciate all of your help.

Note: Picture is a generic shot of the same make and model, procured on the World Wide Web.

09 October 2006

Back In Jersey

Well I've made it back to Jersey in generally good health. Granted, I'm itchy as hell and constantly scratching phantom rashes caused by insulation, and I've got a strange hole in my foot and a pain in my arm from a tetanus shot, but I can't really complain.

I decided to leave Burlington with a bang, and so I stepped on a nail. The nail was sharp, and sped through my boot and sock and lodged in my foot. My cursing could be heard for miles.

And so I took a trip to the nice Burlington hospital for a tetanus shot that, true to the nurse's warning, hurt like hell the next day. It is always fun to take a trip to a "foreign" hospital, and this was no exception to teh rule. David and I hung out in the waiting room for ages, reading magazines and discussing Brazilian hospitals with a Brazilian guy (oddly, not only do I have firsthand experience with Brazilian hospitals, but I also seem to have met the only Brazilian in all of Burlington).

Once we got to to the hospital room (where we had to wait some more), I passed the time playing with the strange and curious tools (oxygen valves, "hospital air" valves, and the incredibly fun motorized chair) and flirting with the nurse.

Yesterday's trip back to the area was uneventful, and I made it in time to celebrate my birthday (which I strangely share with my middle brother) with my family in New Brunswick, before heading off to see my brother play a show in nearby Trenton, NJ.

I'll be heading down to Asheville, NC in a few days, to search for work and hopefully stay for a few months. Until then, I'll be around, visiting with friends and family. More soon.

06 October 2006

Camp Fire and Tou(w)rist

A collection of silly puns begins this post.

Please excuse them.

Today I headed out to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory with my friend Ally Z, a former student of mine from my time in Cadiz, Spain.

Unfortunately I have no photographs of the tour, due to a lack of connection cord, but we had a great time learning how ice cream is made, laughing at the terribly cheesy tour guide, and eating way too much ice cream.

That done, we drove around the area a bit and then headed down to Church St, the main pedestrian drag in downtown Burlington.

And then I got a new tattoo, reflective of my recent genealogical findings, which have revealed that my last name should not, in fact, be Bond, but rather Romero. It would seem that my great-Grandfather, Hiriberto Romero, changed his name at some point to Herbert Bond. This new tattoo illustrates the unveiling of this hidden history:

Later in the afternoon, I headed off with David, Tara and Trevor out to the new house. We got a late start, and by the time we on the highway there, the sun was setting and the sky was aglow with glorious pink and purple hues. The light quickly faded and the moon, round and bright, came into view.

Sometime between these two separate and wholly different lights, Trevor remarked from the back of the car, "Wow, I see a lot of smoke."

We all spoke to him, explaining that in the countryside, people will often burn their garbage and other refuse. Fires, we told him, were quite common. We soon enough, however, arrived upon the scene of the flames, and found a huge blaze emananting from a two story wood building. A man stood by, uselessly leaning against a pickup truck. We approached, asking him what had happened. He explained that he had started a brush fire that had quickly gotten out of control, the flames leaping onto his "camp" (name given to generally, though not always rustic country homes).

The man was obviously something of a numbskull, for the source of the fire could not have been far at all from the house, judging by the area in which the house had stood and the total diameter of the fire. Regardless of the wisdom of his actions, it was obvious that things had gotten out of control. The fire blazed, huge and hot. The timbers burned and crashed to the ground. Massive sheets of sparks flew into the air, the surrounding ground steamed and smoked.

We made to leave, watching as the fire seemed to spread and the man did nothing. We commented on the fact that the fire department was not present, and Tara remarked that "perhaps now" was the time for "concerned citizens to make a move."

We did so, and called Emergency Services. And, in a conversation presumably reflective of rural Vermont, they completely blew us off, explaining that the "brush fire" was "completely under control." Perhaps they had failed to note that their "brush fire" was in fact a raging inferno threatening to burn down the entire surrounding countryside.


And so we left the burning embers and their owners to the fates, continuing on in our own journey, down our own path onto the island. By the time we passed by again, about an hour later, the fire had burned down quite a bit and the area around seemed safe enough. I guess the "brush fire" was under control after all.

05 October 2006

Domestic Destruction

Here are some photos of the demolition project currently underway.

Yesterday we headed into the attic to see what was up there. Cautiously I climbed the ladder and entered the trapdoor, half-expecting to find supernaturally large rats or mice in the dark environs.

Luckily, I found nothing of the sort, but we did stumble upon a whole load of trash, moldy blankets, old books, and a fascinating family photo album. Inside were pictures of some of the original inhabitants of the house, French Canadians from the early part of last century. There were some wonderful photos, yellowed with age, showing people returning from a hunt, sitting around the house, working out of doors. One even seemed (although we can't be sure) to show a man in a dress smoking a cigarette.

It is a strange thing to stumble upon the family memories of another, to find a hidden treasures not meant for you, but still fascinating nonetheless.

Below are some pictures of us working, and some (not so clear) pictures of the areas that we've been working on and the archeological finds of the attic. I will update soon with better photos of the house and the grounds.

04 October 2006

Still in Burlington, VT

We headed back out to the house last night for another night of ripping and hammering and destroying. The work is sufficiently destructive to be really exciting, possibly even more exciting and satisfying than actually construction.

Using our implements of destruction, we tore down huge chunks of plaster from the ceiling, ripped nails from the walls, tore out wood slats, and attacked rogue colonies of flies.

The only downside to all of this work is the incredible amount of dust that we create. Our faces, clothes, and presumably, lungs, are attacked by a nonstop cloud of dust that blankets everything. Our faces change colors rapidly, first being coated with a fine, white dust, then slowly blackening as we dig further into the different levels of the walls. The ceiling's insulation, disturbed by our hammerings, sprinkles gently on our skin, providing us with itchy rashes that remain until we have the opportunity to bathe.

But, it sure is fun.

Yesterday, David bought a radio, since our face masks and the noxious air prevent any real communication between us as we work. Amazingly, the cheap boom-box that we found had a "audio in" connection, which allowed us to work to the beats contained in my iPod library.

And so the time flew by, and before we knew it, the sun had gone down, the shadows ran deep, and our construction-style lights became a true necessity. We finished up late, bought some burgers and fries, and headed home to vegetate on the couch and rest up for today.

Tomorrow I plan to investigate a few more potential fishing spots, but today I have mostly worked to try and find employment for my upcoming journey to Asheville, NC. So far I have written to llama farms, backwoods cabin renters, landscaping companies, and myriad other places.

We'll see what turns up. That's all for now.

03 October 2006


I arrived in Burlington yesterday afternoon, after a 6 hour drive from New Jersey.

As I drove north, the leaves steadily returned to the colors to which I am accustomed. Green melted away slowly, giving way to a dizzying prism of natural hues. The colors are still more muted than those that I saw in Maine, but are well on their way to full color.

I arrived at the home of my cousin David in South Burlington around three o'clock. Within minutes, we left the condo and headed out in his car to see his new home.

I will be here for one week, and the main purpose of the trip is to help David in the demolition and reconstruction of his recently acquired property on Isle Le Motte, a small island about 45 minutes outside of Burlington. The house itself is a wreck--a crumbling, water damaged, stained place that the previous residents had obviously let go with reckless abandon.

Nonetheless, the potential of the home is obvious. It is a comfortably-sized home, two floors, with a huge kitchen. The views from nearly every room are breathtaking. Out the back windows, one sees rolling fields of wheat over which the afternoon sun pours. David and Tara, his wife, own five acres of land around the house. The land appears to be incredibly fertile and just begs to be filled with fruit trees and gardens. There is enough room for them to eventually even have some animals if they wish--perhaps a few chickens and and some sheep or something--and the somewhat decrepit outbuildings will serve well as homes for such animals.

I will post pictures later today or tomorrow of the house. The pictures you see already here were taken after two hours of hard labor with mallets, hammers and pry bars. Using these varied implements of destruction, we engaged in a full-frontal attack on the upstairs ceiling.

We appear to be winning the battle, although we have not escaped without wounds that display our domestic bellicosity.

Today I head into Burlington, where I hope to find some nice fishing spots on the lake or one of the local streams. I hope that all are well. More soon.

01 October 2006

Back in Jersey

Well--All my promises of more Maine cultural insight have gone up in a puff of smoke.

That's all folks. Maine was amazing--a beautiful, wonderful place, the scene of many great adventures, but it is over.

I arrived in Jersey this afternoon after an 8 hour car ride. Luckily, two of the guests at the Pond happened to be New Yorkers, and happened to be heading back to New York this morning. They kindly agreed to take me with them (although I'm not sure that they were all that excited about it at first).

We left at three-fifteen in the morning and pulled into the Upper West Side around noon.

New York was pretty loud, but it was nice to see the City after so long in the woods.

Tomorrow I head back up to New England for a week or so to visit my cousin David, his wife Tara, and son Trevor. They've just bought a new house on Lake Champlain, and I'll be hanging out in Burlington with them, helping out around the new house, eating delicious ice cream, and hopefully fishing.

More soon.