Previous month:
July 2008
Next month:
September 2008

August 2008

What I'm Craving At This Exact Moment


There's this fantastic little cafe in Ubud, Bali called KAFE.  It's literally one of the most chill spots on earth, and is always chock full of yoga inspired folk, who also happen to be wayyyyy into health food (think organic mulberry pancakes, tofu madness, etc...).

These guys turn out an addictive drink that is like a soy coffee frappe and I became 100% obsessed with them while I explored the hills of Ubud.  I'd stroll in, a sweaty mess from some kind of killer morning hike and they'd come tumbling out of the kitchen with this perfectly whipped, icy cold drink that sports a side vessel full of sticky liquid sugar..and every time I saw it, my eyes just popped.  It's like straight rocket fuel.  This little concoction is exactly what I am craving right at this second.  Make it two.

No trip to Ubud is complete unless you pop into KAFE and for the full health kick, start the AM off with a packed class at the Yoga Barn.  Same owner, smart cookie.





Cantalini's in Playa del Rey and The Best Bar in LA


Yup, after exhausting El Texate...and I mean beating it down to where if I thought about eating there and/or Mexican food again, I got all looped in the head...I finally stopped in Cantalini's in Playa del Rey. 

This old-school Italian restaurant is perched directly on the edge of my favorite strip of road in LA.  Where PCH picks back up and shoots past Dockweiller on the way to Hermosa Beach. I've driven past it a trillion times and last Sunday me and Lis decided to stop in.  Ahhhh, the bliss.  Perfect al dente pasta; icy cold Peroni; the most incredible double grilled, parmesan coated garlic bread; crispy Caesar salad with thumb-sized croutons; and clams linguine that will blow your mind.

I had to drag Chez in there a few nights ago and after we'd shoved down enough noodles to knock an army out, we swarmed the back bar, a dark hole-in-the-wall called, The Harbor Room.  It's now my new fave bar in LA.  Not that I ever had one before this, but still...

We were just settling down and chillin at the bar when I got into this heated convo with a nice fella named Sandy about Baja.  It was pretty incred that he knew of the same places we did--very remote, lawless places deep down the peninsula.  He was even more blown away than us though---to the tune of calling his sister who lives down that way and waking her up to tell her all about meeting us.  He tossed his cell phone my way--keep in mind it was almost the stroke of midnight--and I could have just chatted with his sis all night.  That's what Mexico lovers do--they gab and gab and gab about all their fave places.   

After Sandy the dentist tore out, we practiced our Spanish on the bartender who happens to be from Oaxaca.  A perfect place--and, one where the beers are $4.50.  I like that they aren't $5 bucks.  I swear that 50 cents makes all the difference in the world. 




Yah, But the Indonesian's Do Smile**


You've never seen teeth like those that the Indo's sport; white, perfect, alarming, beautiful.

Sometimes the camera is jarring and they don't smile for "Cheese."  Especially if the photo is taken by one of their own.  But, for me...I usually get the goods.  The damn near perfect goods.

So, for anyone who thinks that the Muslim's are a frowny bunch--trust me--they smile all the time...and when they do, they smile BIG!  It's enough to move mountains.











Hoanh Long Viet Eats {From The Raving Dish}


You'd think that after 30 days of eating nothing but rice in the Indonesian highlands, I'd be a wee bit sick of the little white bullet. Not so. I was no sooner back from a month of Indo bliss (think: volcano trekking, scuba diving and back roads-exploring) than I was jonesing big for rice, rice and more rice. I'd just posted something about Vietnamese food on my foodie/adventure blog,, when a bud of mine laid out some details about his favorite Vietnamese place in the comments section (thanks, Wade!). I happily tucked his nugget of intel into my secret bag of goodies and one afternoon, while cruising around Albany Park and craving something exotic, I remembered Hoanh Long. I cut north on Lincoln Avenue; it was game on.

Once Lisa, my always-up-for-anything eating crony, and I rolled through the front door with a sack full of Tsing Tao, it was clear we were stepping into something golden. Not because of the decor (specials of the day were taped haphazardly on the wall) and certainly not due to the crowd (there was only one other patron in the place), but simply because the vibe was just downright homey. And, for such a funky stretch of Peterson Avenue, it was a shining star in the tangle of name-brand stores. We instantly felt a sense of calm once we sat down.




Continue reading "Hoanh Long Viet Eats {From The Raving Dish}" »

One More Surgery in Indo Complete


So, I just got some photos from Indonesia of little Liana, who just got her surgery done.  Guess things are just moving right along over there~how about the entire family being stunned that a picture was being taken**

Now we just have to wait on Baby Rako to get a little bigger so he can get his surgery and BAM!  Mission accomplished surgery-wise in Sembalun. 

In other news, I just saw the comp for the 4th World Love website and I LOVE it!  It will be up and running in a few weeks, so you will be able to read all about the upcoming 4th World projects and yup, you guessed it, you can even donate if you want to.   

Think:  Time, Money, Energy, Prayers, and/or Love.  It all counts in the end.

El Texate in Santa Monica = My Fave LA Haunt


Earlier this year, I was in LA for about 3 months and I had good Mexican one time.  And, that was due to a late-night getting way lost situation in East LA.  Other than that, everything I put into my mouth that was called Mexican was just a huge waste of bites.

Ahhhh, but now I have discovered a small Oaxacan restaurant just around the corner from where I'm staying in Santa Monica called El Texate.  I love, love, love it.  I've been in town about 5 days and have already eaten there 3x.  The waitress is simply stunned/happy every time me and my pals roll in. 

A few reasons why I adore El Texate:

1.  They toss some candles on the table come dinner time, but during the day the big screen TV's are blaring the Olympics.

2.  The mole is for real mole.  There is nothing jarred about this sauce.

3.  The Dos Equis is frosty cold every single time.  Sometimes they have lime, sometimes they don't.

4.  I can practice my Spanish on the waitstaff.  And, it seems as if I know what I am talking about.

5.  The hulking bowl of chicken soup is bar none one of the best things I've tasted.  So homemade.

6.  There is free parking in the back lot and there is never a wait for a table.  Nothing trendy about Texate.

7.  The menu is pages long and every time, it's so hard to decide.  Chayote?  Tortilla soup?  Chile rellenos?

8.  The chips and salsa are insanely addictive and the salsa is pureed down so much that there isn't a trace of what was used to create it.  You could literally drink the stuff.

9.  All the corn tortillas are tiny and homemade.  I doubt they even have flour tortillas.

10.  Three people can spend $70 bones at lunch or $35 at dinner.  Go figure.  Could be those DE's.








Breakin' it Down 4th World Style, Yo!


So, first up...the 4th World Love train keeps on truckin' even though I am out in LA jammin' away on this new TV show I am working on.  It goes a little something like this...

The photos you see are of the AWESOME little bungalow we've rented in Sembalun, Lombok, Indonesia--it's gonna be the site of the pilot project for 4th World.  We're creating an all access English School/Community Center in the village.  Of course all classes are free and we're gonna spend the next month or so getting the place re-vamped for start of the Fall session of English classes. 

For Phase 1, we're going to paint the EXT. and the INT, plus clean the yard up.  Load in some furniture, get school supplies, know, basically get the joint sorted out.  The gate is about to become a dusty peacock blue and the walls inside are gonna be splashed a brilliant shade of yellow.  It's wild, I've been taking photos of houses in LA (to the stunned face of some owners) and emailing them to my bud Am in Indo--he's helping coordinate this whole big deal.  So exciting and fun and amazing.

It's so funny...when I was there and we were scouting out the bungalow, Am was like, "Oh...great!  We can park our mopeds under the awning!"  and I was like, "Ummm, that's an outdoor terrace my boy!  Movies-in-the-park-style."  I can't wait to see it all come together over the next few months -- it literally makes all the madness in life worth it just to see the excitement flutter about the village.  To know that they know that someone CARES.  Nothing else makes my heart quite that full, you know? 

The website should go live soon, too.  Expect mad updates in the coming weeks as details emerge.  I mean, between this project and the boat, the MST world is straight up bliss.  And, seriously take a look at that view--that's the baby mountain in Sembalun and if you look at the pic of the street, you'll see Mt. Rinjani (remember that volcano I trekked?) kickin' it in the background.

And, for those of you who dig it--we will start accepting short-term and long-term volunteers in the Spring of 09.  Think hard, an expedition like that might just change your life...and you've only got one.



Misty Got a New Boat**


I guess you can never really plan how life is gonna shake down.  I mean, for real.  Here I was trolling the net yesterday before my flight to Chicago--in full obsession about boats--when I laid eyes on this 40' sailboat for sale.  Complete and utter love at first site.  It happened to be close to where my parents lived so before I got on the plane, I called them and said...PLEASE go look at this boat, and if you love it like I already do, then I am buying it.

Well, I landed in LA and guess what message was waiting on me from my Dad?  Yup..Misty is the new owner of this amazing vessel.  Who the hell knew!  This is literally a dream boat and I cannot wait to get to know her. 

Holy moly, I am still in shock that all the stars lined up like they did.  Somebody kissed me big yesterday***



Vintage Travel Trailer, Sailboat, & Not Much Else = Happiness


Small units that move and hold very little.  That is what I am on the ultimate, life-long quest for. 

Now, as many of you know, I already have my little 14' solar trailer down in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  Currently Yatz is on the skids down there--just waiting and waiting on me to return.  When I left her stored in the most perfect trailer park ever, I left her fully turnkey.  All I need to do is show up with my computer and I am right at home!  The lovely view is of a church steeple and every time I pop open the front door I'm hit with the thwak of tennis balls from the neighboring tennis courts.  I've only got an icebox for beer chilling and I'm tapped if I cook much more than a quesadilla, but the wi-fi is mad fast and the neighbors are happy travelers and quirky idea makers and those living the good life in my opinion.  I LOVE being there. 

It's a very homey place, this trailer park...and as I freak out on my place here in Chi right now, getting it ready for me to hit the road for a spell...well, I just realize--once again--how very little I need.  I have just been throwing everything out.  No 2nd guessing, just getting it OUT OF MY SIGHT.  There is just so much stuff everywhere--and for real, I have nothing.  Which is really weird.  I have nothing, yet I have so much freaking stuff!  Full cleanse is going on up in here...

Now, the next perfect living quarters for me is a sailboat.  Since I sold my little 30' C & C in January, I have been on the hunt for anther MST vessel.  I think I have found the ideal 32' sailboat down in Mexico, but...but...but, then I remember the 36' Cabo Rico I checked out in the BVI last Nov. and I think, well maybe I need a 36 to 41 footer instead.  Those extra feet are a major difference and until I have a minute to go big time sailboat hunting, well...who knows what will end up happening.  I just want views like the one below all the live long day.  Guess the concrete gets to me at times. 

All I really know is that I like tiny, itty-bitty places to call home. 

I'm about to head out to LA for a job for bit, then down South to finish it up.  Soon as it's over, well...then I am back to Isla Mujeres for the next PURE Pilate's Retreat and then to San Miguel to check in on Yatz and continue butchering the Spanish language.  Finally, I'm jammin' back over to Indonesia to being Phase 2 of 4th World Love.  I'll lay out some major details of Phase 1 over the coming weeks...just to keep everyone caught up on the good vibes.

I'm sure I'll be posting the whole way, but first, I have got to put the smackdown on this clutter (it's like 3 shirts and a skirt and I'm losing it!).



5 Indo Photos That Make Me Real Happy


1.  This woman's face is one of the most fascinating landscapes I have ever come across.  When I look at this photo, I feel very, very serene and clear-headed and peaceful.  Nothing like the way I feel in my everyday life.  No, in that life, I have no idea what the words serene and clear-headed and peaceful mean.


2.  I was in a friends outhouse and this little triangle was cut into the wall--acting as a window.  I just happened to glance out as I was yanking up my pants--almost pulling a muscle while trying to master the squat toilet.  But, lordy, lordy, what a view.  One day, I even managed to summit that peak.  Almost had a heart attack, but pulled it off nonetheless.


3.  I have a major chapstick, lipgloss, lipstick addiction.  I smear some on every 10 minutes it seems and also manage to chew it off in just as much time.  Last time I was in Indo, the women in the family that I was living with asked if when I came back, I could bring them a tube.  Well, me and my mom did better than that.  My sweet Mom dug through a huge box of goodies--she's more of an addict that I am--and we meticulously chose colors that would match their skin when I went back and rolled up with about 20 lipsticks, these gals were straight delighted!


4.  This little babies name is Ozzy.  He has a mini-mini-mini ponytail (look close).  Ozzy and his baby ponytail make me soooooo happy.  Dunno why.


5.  One day, while cruising around, me and my pal Am ran out of gas about 10 times.  We were just blasting through town on his scooter and BAM.  Dead empty.  I don't know why the tank wouldn't hold gas...but no matter.  As Am was pushing his bike down the road to locate some petrol, I noticed all this corn laying out in the sun.  The color was just so intense, I had to take a photo--and, it seems to go on for miles.