All posts in my nephew

twenty nine and 2190 days

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well, thanks, little nephew of mine.

it’s been a helluva year, since my last birthday…

let’s see:

– Josie and I spent my 34th cruising on Absurdity in the South of England, if you learn to sail, you can have her [boat].

– after that, I went to go see Nico [he’ll be a quasi-uncle to you] in Paris and had the time in Paris that everyone wants.

– but I got into a little bit of trouble with the U.K. government, and had 30 days to leave.

– so, naturally, I dragged Josie to Vietnam. to live.

– we stayed there for a few months, but ended up going our separate ways. she to Australia to work. me to Oregon to finish a book.

– a few months into my stay in Bend, I finally got to meet you. and that very day, I started writing another book.

– a month of so after that, I flew to Perth to see Josie for her birthday. we took a campervan around wine country. it was fun.

– a few months later, I left Bend for a month in Oklahoma and the promotional run of the book would be released. it sold out.

– a few weeks after that, I got the call that I never thought I’d get – I was about to take a job in New York fuckin City! I’ve now been here a little more than 4 months and it’s been amazing. I’ve been sending you little postcards and stuff, hopefully one day you’ll be able to check them out.

– my birthday was spent with a lot of friends. which, considering how short I’ve been here, should tell you how lucky I am.

… so there you go, nephew – it’s been a fun 34th year. you just started walking and by the time my 36th [ugh] rolls around, you might even be able to talk with me on the phone a little bit. a lot of your and my birthdays will be spent on the phone, but I’ll try and make that up to you.

so, thanks for the card and the cheeky little grin. I showed this to a lot of people here and they all thought you were amazing.

and I think so too.

love,

Uncle Aric

and so it goes.

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I’m on a bus headed to the Hamptons. and last week, I moved to New York City. it’s all gone a little bit silly. the other night I had to stop and walk into a tattoo parlor and get a new one. it was one of those moments when I wanted to remember. walking with friends, through Brooklyn. I had just moved to New York City. for a good job – and I hate writing that for many reasons. how long I had wanted no part of it. one of my bosses reads this sometimes, so admitting that I walked into the most amazing opportunity means negotiating for more money won’t ever happen. but that’s okay, ’cause I’m being given a very good salary and every day I cross that wonderful bridge and see Manhattan. now maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you or maybe it does – but there’s a magic that happens every morning when I see that skyline. I write like no one has ever said this about New York City before.

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I’m late for meeting friends cause I’m too busy taking photos. that’s what this was about, an apology for bein’ away and then I’d point you to my daily little shots from around this town. I’m done posting the diaries – if you want to watch ’em, they can be found here. they’ll help the book make sense. I wrote a book as well. I wrote a book and then I moved to New York City. today my nephew turns 1 year old and I can’t wait to tell him about his first birthday I’ll be celebrating up in a gorgeous house. you won’t believe this house, brother. I didn’t believe I was moving here. last year I got a little tipsy when he was born. my nephew, that is. he turns me to mush. this town makes me say the f-word a lot. and a few times I found myself sayin’ ‘hey, I’m pretty fucking [see] happy about right now’.

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there’s a really pretty girl who’s far away and I wish she could see all of this stuff, but then again, I might want to fix up the basement before she comes. oh yes, I’m moving into a basement tomorrow when I’m back from the Hamptons.I moved to New York City and now I’m headed to the Hamptons and then I’ll come back and move into a basement of a cool house and then I’ll wake up on Monday and go to work, a work I like and then that night, I’m going to have a launch party for the book I just wrote.

ain’t that a kick in the pants.

extractions

look, we’ve all played Operationâ„¢, but how many of us have ever stopped to take a look at this poor bastard’s face? we’re too busy going for the easy Wish Bone and laughing at our sister’s inability to remove the Broken Heart to notice something about our patient here…

he’s worried.

sure, a lot of that might stem from being the most unlucky person to ever live, but I’m sure if you asked him, he’d admit to feeling really vulnerable right now. I mean – my man is naked for the entire time you, and loads of other friends, hover over him, while he sits there in his one dimensional existence, being either killed, or laughed at.

I’m kind of going through that these past few days, as it’s been the first time I’ve sent the first proof of the book to a certain few people.

namely, Josie.

see, as you can probably tell, I was anything but a good egg during my 5-year stay in China. there were a lot of drugs and a lot of girls and I was a bit of a douche and was slightly up my own ass. and that’s putting it lightly. so, I get out of Shanghai and decide to pen my memoirs [again, what dick writes his fucking memoirs at 31 years of age? seriously], but, told myself that if I was going to do it, then I was going to have to be 100% honest. and I wasn’t, for the first 3 or 4 drafts, but in the end, had to just lay it all out there and hope it made sense.

so, yes, I’m handed this first proof over to the one person I care most about – imagine that! you’re in love with someone and, as a gift, as a treat!, you give them a pretty raw account of your… ways.

now, it should be said how cool she’s been about all of this. I still want to beat up her 4th grade boyfriend simply for being a previous boyfriend. but it can’t be easy, reading all of this, so yes – send Hero Cookies to Perth. she deserves them.

but this isn’t about her – she has her own blog. this about me. [wha? an asshole – this guy?]

yes, this is about me and how scary it is putting yourself, your true self, naked… in print. not a blog, blogs can be erased, but this – this is going to be in print. chapters of my life, with my name on the front of it. Josie’s going to read it, my friends are going to read it, people I hurt are going to read it. people I hurt and didn’t know I was hurting them are going to read it. my parents are going to read [a Sharpie-edited version of] it. my nephew will someday read it.

and, lemme stop you know if you’re thinking ‘but I’m sure it ends well!’; not really. it ends. I get out and don’t die [yet – a list of possibles is already being made in case I turn up missing]. but I also don’t have a massive breakthrough and end it with apologies to everyone.

it’s scary, man. and I used to think it’d be scary if it doesn’t sell, but I’m past that. it wasn’t about selling it, it was about writing it. but, 3 years later, it’s about surviving it. cause, while some folks might admire the honesty, they’re not going to want to stick around.

‘to thine own self be true’, right Bill? easy for you to say; you aren’t on Facebook.

oh man.

just go easy with the Adam’s Apple, okay? my voice might be the only thing I have going for me after this.

2027

uncle aric and gaige

if you’ve ever wanted to drive me nuts – I mean, nuts – say something like ‘remind me to tell you something later’. I’m serious, that phrase alone, or one like it, does my head. I go crazy trying to figure out what it was, or what I’ve done wrong. same goes for me, I can’t keep my own secrets – even at Christmas, my parents have to buy presents for everyone else from me, less I end up telling them early what’s in the box.

it’s bad.

in fact, it’s so bad that I can’t even not come clean about the book I’ve started.

the other one is almost done, due early April, so please buy it – my self-validation is still dangerously in the balance.

but this one, this is one I kind of feel I was meant to write – as upmyownass as that might sound. but it’s true and I can’t keep a secret any more.

see, the birth of my nephew affected me so profoundly, I knew something special was happening. and then, this past Christmas, where I finally got to see him in real life, well, it became very, very clear to what my magnum opus was to be.

it’s called ‘dear nephew’ and, due to a certain amount of adult content, it’ll be given to him on his 18th birthday. with each place that I travel, with each fascinating person I meet, with every experience that shapes me and with each mistake I make, I’m writing it down in letter form to him. and, a quick look back on my first year of his first year on this earth will tell you I’m not with lack of content – be it for destinations or screw-ups.

and the best part is that I’m writing it to him and only him. in this last book, I wrote to an audience of friends, but this one is simply uncle-to-nephew… and I’ve never been more excited to write something. granted, I get to spend most of the chapter talking about myself, but in all honesty, ‘me’ is probably the only thing that will hold my written-attention for the next two decades.

and who knows? maybe that’s why I’m here – not just to live it, but to write it down for someone I love.

it’s somethin’ to help me cut back on the whiskey nights and chemical sunrises, that’s for sure.

an early year in review

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I had a rather exciting year.

and, as of last Sunday, have spent this past 12 months literally around-the-world.

if this is your first time here, I feel the need to preface this with sure, from the surface, I might come across as an adventurer, which is great – no one hates being called an adventurer… and I do love a good adventure, but if you’ll take the time to read the stories and not just look at the pictures, you’ll see how surrounded I am with very generous, very kind and very tall people who let me stand on their shoulders to see The Big Show…even if that means that they’ll miss it.

and therein lies my gold.

but yeah, 2010…

sheesh.

14 countries.

32, 168 miles.

and many more highlights that I’m sure are being forgotten.

it was a good year, as was the last. and the one before that.

but, as stated, if you look closely, you’ll see that I had very, very little to do with it.

trippin’

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I have lots to catch-up on. lots, I tell ya. stories of Venice. stories of England. loads of interviews for the friday cinco. life. grubcrawling™. the-girl-with-the-great-name. and how I managed to lose a boat.

but all I can think about is the big trip. if I believed in writing in capital letters, the big trip would be capitalized. it’s going to be a very, very big trip.

now, yes. any scan through this little site of my hopes-and-dreams and what happens when I plan will tell you it ain’t gonna end up like this – but keep in mind, that was before. I was young. misguided. unaware. without direction. and without boat.

at least now I have a boat.

see, this time next year, I’ll be a few months into the big trip [seriously, feel free to capitalize it in your mind]. and brother, what a trip it will be.

can I at least list the highlights?

thanks.

may-ish, we take off – I say ‘we’ because I’ll be following Mel-and-Nick’s journey. pretty much crashing their party. but hey, when you squat in their homes for the better part of a decade, what’s one more annoyance? they did front me the money for the boat – it’s the least I can do to thank them.

okay, yes – the path. the plan. the Bi… ah, see how excited I am? damn near went against all of my grammatical beliefs there.

the big trip.

[may-ish. but I’ve said that. I’m on fire.]

– leave the UK for France [Mt. St. Michel – maybe?! have been trying for years]; spend a month or so making our way down the coast to…

– the Bay of Biscay; hopefully stopping in/around San Sebastian, which is one of my favorite cities in the world.

– from there, it’s down around to Portugal, where hopefully someone can tell me what my tattoo means.

– and then across to The Azores. I’d never even heard of these islands before, but the fact that a large number of ‘scholars’ think it to be part of Atlantis is enough for me. and they’re gorgeous.

– then, the second-to-longest stretch, down to The Canaries. have a peek. good stuff.

– Mel and Nick will stay here for a few months, I’m going to grab a flight [not a sail, mind you – have been warned] to Morocco for a month or so.

– …and then. the Atlantic Crossing. 40+ days at sea*. just me and my little red boat.

– ending up in The Caribbean. not sure exactly where, but I’m not fussy when it comes to The Caribbean.

… and that’s it, the big trip. the very big trip. should be about 13-15 months in total. a lot needs to be done by then, saving some pennies [shockingly cheap, when you consider everything – 6 grand for the whole year], fixing up the boat [she’s getting prettier by the day. except for the day when I had her tied up against a big stone wall and a storm came and slapped her around. but we’re not talking about my negligent parenting right now]. and oh yeah, learning how to properly sail. I’m slowly getting better at that as well… slowly.

so – I leave the U.K. around the middle of September. head home for a few weeks to see the fam and my brand-new nephew. and then back to Oregon, as I miss my closest friends, the O’Sisneys. and they’re going to speak to the entire city about finding me some work. this is also the time when the book will be completed [tired of hearing that? me too. thus – a real deadline. more on that in a bit]. I’ll stay there until late winter/early spring, when I’ll come back here and have a few months to work on Absurdity and then…

well…

away we go.

*I could talk ad nauseum about how much a 40-day solo voyage excites me. in all seriousness, there’s not a lot of sailing, per say, going on. the Trade Winds blow you and, funnily enough, the people I’ve spoken to who’ve done the trip say ‘boredom’ is the biggest challenge. that, and having to wake up every 15 minutes to check the horizon. but I’ll be taking no booze, no ciggies, no Facebook [!], no music, no one. on a very tiny boat. they psychology of this entire thing fascinates me. of course, I say this, but have never been alone for so long, not to mention with no vices. might get out there and find some stuff out I don’t want to. which would be funny… in time. but I want to do stuff – fish. read. shoot off messages in bottles with my information and then promise to visit whoever finds it. and find the humor in making twosies in a bucket. etc.

[I’m also going to try and find a sponsor who’ll foot the bill for a satellite phone so I can send little Twitter updates along the way – I think that’d be a good read.]

so, you know. stuff like this.

adventure is out there!

or… so I hear.

the days of your.

I can’t tell you how much I love this shot – it was sent to me today, after talking with the few friends still left in China.

Don Yap, photographer, named it ‘The Last Supper?’ and you can kind of see why.

this was every night.

of every day.

there will be a time when I hope my nephew asks ‘what was it like?’ and I’ll show him this.

it was like this, nephew; drinks and smokes and sex surrounded by writers and producers and thinkers and cocktails… movie-makers and musicians that could talk backwards, artists and dancers with food piled high, high, high. we had no tomorrow, I can’t seem to remember one. late-nights were the nights, nephew, I didn’t see all that much of the a.m., and that probably is what kept us somewhat sane. there were no consequences, or so we all told ourselves, none there, at least – maybe later on. and there was love… maybe not the real kind, but it was there anyway. people were doing, people were doing – it’s something I think we all miss, the people who do. this magazine and that fashion line and this recipe – some failed, some didn’t, but that didn’t matter, because we were doing.

it might have all been too much, nephew – but this shot seems to sum it up.

we were there, before it all went crazy.

when they wanted us in.

and let us do what we wanted.

this was Shanghai, circa 2006.

and nephew-of-mine, someday I’ll tell you all a few of the stories.

’cause this, this…

was our sixties.

hi.

8 pounds heavy.

20 inches long.

1 day old.

…and he can already tell that his Dad is a hero.

dear new nephew.

happy birthday.

I’m Aric, your Uncle.

you came into this world while I was drunk in another country, far away from where you arrived. this will most likely be a reoccurring theme, but trust that most of the pints were for you. see, as you can probably tell from my discussing alcohol with a 1 day year-old, I might not be the best parent. I might never be a parent – and that’s okay, because, well, I have you now.

when I woke up this morning and ran downstairs to see what you looked like, I expected the joy to leap from your blurry photo, a photo of you looking blurry – and it did, that joy. it leaped. but I was soon hit with a wave of terror – see, your little expression and fingers scared the shit me and having to cross that bad word out is why. you might someday look up to me and I don’t want you using words like that – it’s the lowest form of expression and hints at a lack of creativity, so… use them sparingly.

I do want you to know that I will work hardest at being the coolest Uncle you have. I know that you have AJ on the other side of the family who will be vying for this award, but he seems to be a nice fella and hopefully we’ll get him married-off and boring soon… that’s usually what happens to people when they settle down, but don’t tell your parents I said that.

in fact, while on the subject of secrets, I hope you know I’ll keep all of yours. even the bad ones. now, having said that, you might tell me something someday and I’ll tell you that ‘you need to tell your Dad about this’, but trust me when I tell you that it would have to be a very serious situation for me to do that. but things like girls, school, bullies, etc – I’m your man. even things like drinking and drugs. but I’ll warn you, if you’re thinking about those things, I’ll be telling you some stories that might scare the… that might scare you.

the one thing your parents and I might not agree on is travel – I’ll be in my late-forties by the time they let me send you a plane ticket to meet me somewhere that’s hard to pronounce, and I’ll do everything I can to talk you into staying longer. you’ll ultimately be the decider of what you do with your life and where, but at least let me show you a few things before that.

I want to apologize now for all of the times I won’t be there, but I also hope you don’t mind sitting down every once and a while and writing me a letter – by that time they might have some amazing machine that reads your mind and prints out whatever you were thinking, but humor an old guy and let me know about your life…

and know that even though I won’t be around, I’m always with you. and will do anything for you. see, the life and the lifestyle I’ve chosen means that I very well might not have one of you for myself – which, to be honest, I kind of like. what that means though, is that you’re going to sort of be a son to me.

I hope you think I’m cool – as, of this very morning, something funny happened…

you’re now the only person I care about thinking so.

love,

Uncle Aric

my favorite prefix

it’s not often you’ll find me saying ‘I wish I had a phone’.

cause, see, for almost 11 weeks now, I’ve made it through life without one.

it’s quite nice.

last night, I really wanted a phone.

’cause, as timing would have it, I get an email from my baby brother Alex.

call me asap. it’s important, was what I had in front of me.

I can’t, I have no phone.

and then nothing back.

well, now, I freaked.

lost the plot.

emailed my mom, dad, sister.

even googled the worst things imaginable.

but would have never of guessed.

that I could have spent all of that time.

thinking of what to buy.

where to take.

the reason for his urgency.

’cause coming this May.

to a sister-in-law near me.

is someone who will call me

uncle.

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