Thursday, May 24, 2007

I'm fine.

Sorry to have scared some of you and thanks for the emails, but I am fine. I'm in Galway. Nothing bad has happened.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Shannon, IE to Ennis, IE

Quick update:
Well I made it! Feel like the walking dead because I am so tired. The 11 hour layover in Newark took a lot out of me along with not really sleeping the night before and then not being able to sleep on the plane. I'm due for 15 hours of sleep. In other news: for some reason my bike computer decieded to break on the plane ride over here. I picked up a new one in Ennis, but from Shannon to Ennis not knowing the milage and the fact that the road names have changed, made for a bit of fun. Everyone was very friendly when I asked for directions. I'll get some pictures up soon. Off to the Cliffs of Moher tomorrow and the West coast of the island.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Going Away Party

IMG_1750, originally uploaded by evithalani.

To all my friends and family: you make it hard to leave. :)

Click here to view the slide show of the going away party. Or
click here to see them non-slide show. Thank you all.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Once again I am toying with pictures.
Click here to see a slide show of animal pics I have taken.

fortune cookie, originally uploaded by evithalani.

From a fortune cookie I recently opened. Coincidence?!? You be the judge.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Update. One Week to Go.

* Officially finished my Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Attended swearing in ceremony and presentation of badge.

Image stolen from this guy

* Successful test of all my gear.

* Received first donation. Thanks Roger and Ginger!

* Eagerly waiting the final Pirates of the Caribbean.

* Need one more shot and one more visit to the dentist.

* Now settled and not freaking out, my dog is living with my parents. Thanks mom and dad.

* Tenants are in and seem happy. I’m sure they will let me know otherwise.

* Need to drop bike off at local bike shop (LBS) for one last look over. Speaking of LBS, a quick shout out to the two that are located in Wilmington, NC: Two Wheeler Dealer and Bike Cycles. You can’t go wrong with either one and both have been absolutely great in helping me out. Go by and see them.

* Five days of work left.

* A couple of Bon voyage gatherings in the works.

* Final gig played opening for John Butler Trio at the House of Blues, Myrtle Beach.

* Waiting…

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Bootleg Article

I love that it's next to the "Sex and the Port City" article. ;)Check out that girl's face in the picture.

Monday, May 7, 2007

To La Finca and Back

La Finca is the name I call my friend's property/farm about 80 km (50Miles) outside of Wilmington, NC.

Total distance: 148 km (92 miles)
Avg speed: 21 kmph (13 mph)

Outbound: Downtown Wilmington, NC 3rd St. to Hwy 421, Route 53, Shaw Hwy, the road the La Finca is on slips my memory.

Inbound: La Finca, Shaw Hwy, Route 53, Hwy 117, N. Kerr Ave, Park Ave, Downtown Wilmington, NC.

Some observations:
To the NCDOT, you suck and have done a horrible job with adding/building shoulders to NC Highways. The only section of road that I traveled that had a nice shoulder was Hwy 421. The rest of the time there was a 1' wide shoulder to ride on and this was true on newly paved roads, such as a major portion on 117. At times, I was riding the white line for miles upon miles. A good note about the drivers on these roads is that, for the most part, they gave me a lot of room. I was a bit surprised and happy about that.

People are not afraid to ask what you are doing when traveling on a fully loaded bike. In the [sarcasm] booming town [/sarcasm] of Burgaw, NC, I stopped at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store to pick up some food for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. As I finished locking my bike to a pole, two elderly ladies came up to me and one said, 'We was watchin' you and that bicycle and we was wonderin' if you were on some sort o' mission.'
I explained to them what I was doing and my plans to travel. They looked at me and at each other as if what I told them was even possible.
'What is your name?'
I told them.
'You should write that down,' one said to the other.
'That's a good idea. We just might see him on the television,' the other one said.
I spelled my name for her.
'Oh my, I'm not even gonna try to say that one.'
'Yeah, it's not so common,' I said.
'Well good luck with your mission and we'll pray for ya.'
I'm not really a religious person so whenever someone tells me that they will pray for me, I'm not sure how to answer. This time, I said thank you as if it were a question and slipped into the air-conditioned Piggly Wiggly.

Someone once said that people talk about the weather when there is nothing else to talk about. I think in the case of traveling by bicycle, this is not true; it's one of the first and most important topic to talk about. So, the entire way out to La Finca the sky looked as if it were on the verge of completely washing out every road in sight, but as it happened, not a drop until I made it to my destination and set up my tent. On the way back to Wilmington, the skies cleared and the wind blew hard. Luckily, I had it at my back for most of the ride which helped me cruise at a nice 26 kph (16 mph) compared to the 20 kph (12 mph) on the way there. Both days the temps bounced anywhere from 18C (64F) to 26C (79F), nice temps for cycling.

I think the most memorable, well there are two, one is the 'Solders' picture but there's nothing I can say about that, that the picture doesn't already say. The other was on the way back to Wilmington, along 117. I was pedaling along and I noticed a run down, white paint peeling off, building with cars parked along side of it. Farmland surrounded it and as I passed by, on the opposite side of the road, I can hear gospel music rumbling out of the cracks of the building, music poured out of the little church. I wanted to stop, but regretfully, I didn't.

Note to self: Next time stop. And take more pictures because you have plenty of time.

Breakfast at the Dixie Grill.

Keeping my eye on the bike.

Hwy 421

Along 421

Taking a rest along Route 53

My friend Rick. He is missed.

Rough sky, but it never rained on me.

The picture speaks volumes on its own.

Entrance to La Finca

The nutty goat at La Finca

Ruby-throated Hummingbird



Ruby-throated Hummingbird Sequence

Hwy 117

Along Hwy 117

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Yellow Fever
Japanese Encephalitis
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B
Polio Booster
Malaria (not until India)
Good times!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

21 Days, but Who’s Counting?

Current status: I feel a little like an anchor that has broken loose, dragging the bottom, until it breaks completely free.

Finished my requirements for graduate school, which means I am the proud owner of a shiny new Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. It still has that “new degree smell.” Over the past weekend, I was able to spend time with a lot of the graduating class and I have to admit, I will miss them (as I do with last year’s class.) As to be expected, some have left town already, some are planning to leave and there are some hanging around Wilmington, I hope keep in touch with a lot of them. (In other words, I may need a couch to crash on. :) ) A little side note: If anyone is thinking about applying to graduate school for Creative Writing, don’t skip over UNCW when deciding where to apply. The MFA program and the community of writers at UNCW are amazing.

The other thing that has been occupying my time is my house, or I guess I should say fixing up my house so the renters can move in by May 1—today. Over the past couple of weeks, I have painted, put down toe molding, and either removed, thrown out or sold everything. Items that, for some reason, I have kept for as long as 25 years include: a wiffle ball bat, notes/letters/postcards from every girlfriend I’ve ever had, my brother’s high school football jersey, various hats, a certificate saying that my old dog and I competed in a Frisbee contest, every cassette tape I ever bought or stole, a splash cymbal, notebooks and notebooks of class notes from my time as an undergraduate, a shark’s tooth, some bad art, a hide away bed from the 70s, Michael Jordan’s autograph, a wall hanging from my parent’s early ‘60s living room set, novelty mustaches and a lot more.

During the time living there (since 1992), I never considered the house my home. It always seems a bit cold or off in some way, but yesterday after I gave the tenants the keys, they left, and I finished a few things, I had a hard time leaving. Closing the door was difficult and I hate to admit it, I had a pang of nostalgia. Who knew? Not to sound too cheesy and it is a bit cliché, but I guess home isn’t the building it’s more than that. Every person that has stepped foot in it had something to do with making it a home. There is no way I can tell every story here, but in time I hope to include at least some. I will miss living there, but it feels good to purge myself of all the clutter. I have a feeling that I just might miss the novelty mustaches the most.