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Here in , my 34th year gracing this planet with my presence, I'm taking an overhaul of my life. What's in it, what isn't, how I can give back, and how I can take less. On a personal level, we can all do better, and with options like composting and bringing reusable containers and bags it's not too hard to start.

I watched the Minimalism documentary on Netflix, featuring the same guys who inspired me with their book last year, The Minimalists. What they focus on is that there is nothing inherently wrong with material possessions, it's when we associate too much meaning with the things we have or want in exchange for health, relationships and passions that we are caught. Ultimately, we need to have things to be a human on this planet, and many of these things can make our live's easier and even add joy.

Minimalism's focus is on living with less, standing to gain everything, as you define it for yourself. For me, that includes less personal belongings, but really nice ones - and it's really fun for me to find the things and brands I support secondhand, almost like I'm cheating the system or something!

I love how Minimalism, Zero Waste and the Mustachian lifestyles overlap. You don't need to buy anything to kick-off these lifestyles, and in all 3 cases, the goal is improvement but not necessarily "perfection" - which can be damn tedious. Tedious like grocery shopping with a Zero Waste plan - even at Whole Foods! I bring in empty containers which they weigh before I shop and old plastic bags; despite this, there are some food items that I just love and can't get sans plastic.

Tofu and vegan cheese , for example. These things are LIFE for me, and yet, plastic, plastic, plastic. You have to come up close and personal with a cup of your blood. And sometimes it spills. But it is SO good for the environment no tampons or pads to gunk up our water system and usually pretty foolproof see these necessary tips. Bodum French Press - Well, this is fancy.

But each morning I have my coffee at the perfect strength and without any paper filter waste. The grounds go in the compost bin and I feel like I've had a real treat from this luxe, glass vessel.

Money saved that would otherwise have been spent at coffeeshops! The guilt of leaving food on your plate to go into the trash, or the guilt of asking for a to-go that is in a plastic container. The agony is excruciating and I wind up guilty in either scenario. Coming to the rescue are reusable, collapsible, colorful, BPA-free, microwave-safe containers.

You might be able to find these secondhand, but likely you won't know that they are in fact microwave safe unless it's a brand or model you can research on the spot. A big conundrum in an eco-friendly life is how to be a digital nomad or traveler while offsetting ones carbon footprint. I don't have a car but I do fly a lot. I'm narrowing in on choosing a city that will be my main residence, but even so, the ability to move about and experience new places is one of my favorite parts of living.

Slow travel is one answer to this, where you take a flight somewhere, and then spend time exploring by foot or relying solely on public transport, but there is still that flight!

I got this recommendation from Mr. Money Mustache and it is top notch! You can simply go to Carbon Fund 's website and calculate your carbon footprint, then, donate to their cause they are a c3 to reduce and offset your own carbon footprint!

Cool thing, they're based in Buffalo! I just estimated my own for , and had to make a few guesses flights I lumped into 3 roundtrips NYC to Buenos Aires, which is approximately in miles how much I flew. And yes, I paid it. Perfection isn't the thing. I don't think it's possible or realistic. But when it comes to eco-responsibility, a goal is a great thing, and if you're crazy enough to believe you can make an impact, you may just be able to.

Whenever I tell people where I am living, the general response is either, "Why? Catamarca is in the north of Argentina, with a climate like Arizona. The city is small with k inhabitants and everything shuts down at siesta time, from 1pm-5pm. That's what brought me here. After 4 months of travel and long distance dating, I came here to be with my boyfriend. Life here has taken some adjustment for me! Learning another language is not a task for the faint-hearted, and via immersion is extra interesting, I have met 1 boy on exchange from Thailand, and now after 8 months of being here I met a fellow girl from the USA who leaves in 2 weeks.

It's absolutely gorgeous, come visit! From the tourist guide books, there is not much written about Catamarca, so unfortunately the city is often overlooked by tourists, but there are quite a few hidden gems I would like to share, so here is the list! Hopefully it helps convince you to experience this province! Fancy — La Guada — Ayacucho Different specials each night: Eat in the back on the picnic tables under the stars.

Owned by a wonderful woman from Buenos Aires she speaks English! Cerveceria — Wakani — Calle Echeveria 1 Great craft beer selection, made in-house, try the plantain chips.

Pizza — Napoles — Av. Francisco Galindez Delicious brick oven pizza. Trendy vibe and strip of restaurants. The front room is a complete wine shop, the back is a chill restaurant. OK snacks and food. Waterfall Hike 30 minutes from the city, a 5 hour round trip medium intensity hike into some amazing waterfalls.

El Portezuelo A 45 minute drive into the clouds! Stop for a tea at the Casa de Te at the top! El Rodeo Take a drive into the countryside, just 50km from town! Don't miss the short hike to La Virgen. Trekking Catamarca Tours See what this group is up to when you are visiting!

Suggested donation, pesos per class. Right in El Centro in the main square. So why no blogging? There are a few reasons, but what it comes down to is that right now getting my thoughts out there takes a lot of energy, and I am really trying to use that energy to make some sort of impact with street dogs. It's a registered c3 in the US and the current focus is unloved dogs in Argentina and Portugal!

What can I do to help? But I love this guy. I can volunteer at a government sterilization center. No one speaks English. I need to learn better Spanish. Oh I can help write surgery notes. And suture up ball sacks. Ok sterilizations are key in helping dogs.

This place needs to be more efficient. Make sterilizations more efficient! How do I even start a nonprofit. I need to get my vet tech certification. No, I am a marketer, I can find vets. Dogs are so miserable in the streets here. I cannot even understand anyone, how could I think I could run a nonprofit.

Who am I to even try? I have my whole life to get this right. Well at least Pato loves me regardless of how many dogs I save. Wow I like what this brand is becoming. What even is a nonprofit?

Haha, typical me, thinking I can do anything… Sigh. OMG we have a rescue dog. And I love her. OMG more dogs, starving near our home. I can speak with locals! I convinced them to sterilize the mamas! This nonprofit is going to earn so much grant and fundraising dollars. Still no final logo.

I am lonely AF. Why does the world have so many languages? I hate to do this, but I need another version of that logo.

Guitar chords and lyrics made easy -

He's right in the groove. Guys with beards and beer guts ain't quite my type. LULA giggles Seein's how you're about as thick as a used string of unwaxed dental floss, don't know how you can criticize. Lula and Beany laugh and swallow some of their drinks. Lula nods and crushes an ice cube with her back teeth and chews it. LULA Meetin' him at the gate. That phone call this afternoon was the signal.

My deranged mama's hid the keys to my car. But of course, I know exactly where they are. LULA Can't all husbands be perfect, and your Elmo prob'ly wouldn'ta ever got that second one pregnant, you hadn't kicked his ass out.

I'll be makin' the swap tomorrow, and thanks again, Beany. The Bleach Boys kick into some kind of Professor Longhair swamp mambo. A closet door opens. A hand Lula's reaches into the pocket of a coat in her mother's closet. The hand comes out clutching car keys. The garage door closes automatically. She turns a corner and disappears. We can hear her calling out for Lula in the distance.

The calling changes - it becomes angry. The garage door opens and Marietta comes storming out. She leaps in her Caddy and peels out. He's not in his office. They kiss tenderly and then Sailor walks around the car to get in while Lula opens up a suitcase and gets out his snakeskin jacket. Did I ever tell you that this here jacket for me is a symbol of my individuality and my belief in personal freedom? LULA 'Bout fifty thousand times. I got us a room at the Cape Fear, and guess what?

I hear Powermad's at "The Hurricane. Lula tromps it and throws out an even larger cloud of dust. LULA Did you ever think somethin' like about the wicked witch of the east comin' flyin' in? Did you ever think somethin' and then later think you've said it out loud to someone? The rest of you, too, of course. But the way your head works is God's own private mystery. What was it you was thinkin'? My mama smokes Marlboros now, used to be she smoked Kools? I stole 'em from her beginnin' in about sixth grade.

When I got old enough to buy my own, I bought those. Now I've just about settled on Mores, as you probably noticed? My mama was already dead from lung cancer LULA What brand'd she smoke? Guess both my mama and my daddy died of smoke or alcohol related illness.

I never would have guessed it. I hardly used to see them anyway. I didn't have much parental guiding. The public defender kept sayin' that at my parole hearin'. He was a good ol' boy, stood by me Even brought me some cartons of cigarettes from time to time.

A man can't ask for more than that. Lula pulls Sailor over to her and kisses him soft on the mouth. You mark me the deepest.

Sailor pulls down the sheet, exposing Lula's breasts. LULA You remind me of my daddy, you know? Mama told me he liked skinny women whose breasts were just a bit too big for their bodies.

He had a long nose, too, like theirs. Did I ever tell you how he died? LULA Started he couldn't remember things? Mama kept tellin' me it was on account of lead poisoning from cleanin' the old paint off our house without usin' a mask But I don't know. Seems like his brain just fell apart in pieces.

He puts his fist through the kitchen window. He leaps on the counter and bats the kitchen ceiling light - smashing it. He kicks over the refrigerator. LULA Finally in the middle of the one night, with me and mama asleep upstairs The drapes behind him burst in flames. LULA voice-over Near burned down the house.

We got out just in time. The whole livingroom goes up in flames. As she exhales a cloud of smoke she turns to Sailor. Sailor takes the cigarette out of Lula's hand and puts it into the ashtray by her bed.

He pulls her to him and kisses her throat. It was like on a statue it was so white? Sailor drifts his thumb over Lula's left nipple then cups her breast in his hand.

Soon as that piece of filth got out of Pee Dee, I knew there'd be trouble. He's just got some kind of influence over her I can't decipher.

There's somethin' wild in Lula I don't know where it comes from. You gotta find 'em, Johnnie. If Lula went with him of her own volition - willingly, that is - there ain't much can be done about it. I know what volition means, and that's why I want Sailor Ripley off the planet!

He's pure slime and it's leakin' all over my baby. Maybe you could push him into makin' some kinda move and then kill him dead. You'd only be defendin' yourself, and with his record, nobody'd fuss. Johnnie pours himself another tumblerful of Walker Black Label. That's about all I can do. He takes a long swallow from the tumbler. Marietta begins to cry. She blubbers for a few seconds, and then stops as abruptly as she'd started. Her grey eyes glaze over.

I'll call Marcello Santos. And don't be gettin' carried away. You don't want to be bringin' Santos and his people into it.

Don't you trust your very own Marietta? Bein' in love with you like I am brings out that ugly jealous side. You got to get off that kick. And far's I can tell, Sailor was entire clean prior to that involvin' Lula. Even there he was protectin' her. You oughta be thankin' him for that. That Bob Ray Lemon they say was comin' after the both of 'em. Why am I tellin' you this, you was around that night. You ought to know just exactly what happened.

Sailor just got a little too forceful is all You remember that night CU of Marietta' eyes as she thinks back. Dance band music can be heard in the distance. CU of Marietta's glazed eyes and smiling face. All I know's that trash killed a man with his bare hands. Hands which are now prob'ly all over my baby! I want what's best for her, too - Like I said, I'll do what I can to bring her home.

Sailor can see her through the doorway from where he lays on the bed. LULA Sailor, you are somethin' else, honey When I was fifteen, Mama told me that pretty soon I'd be startin' to think about sex, and I should talk to her before I did anything about it. Uncle Pooch wasn't really an uncle. He was a business partner of my daddy's? And my mama never knew nothin' about me and him - that's for damn sure. His real name was somethin' kind of European, like Pucinski.

But everyone just called him Pooch. He came around the house sometimes when Daddy was away. I always figured he was sweet on mama, so when he cornered me one afternoon, I was surprised more'n a little. He just pull out the old toad and let it croak? Lula brushes away her bangs and frowns. She takes a cigarette from the pack on the sink and lights it, then lets it dangle from her lips while she teases her hair.

Lula takes a long, slow drag on her More and sets it down on the edge of the sink. LULA I said you can be too crude sometimes? I don't think I care for it. Go on and tell me how old Pooch done the deed. And I was alone in the house. Where I was makin' a jelly and banana sandwich?

Uncle Pooch must have known nobody but me was home, cause he came right in and put both his hands on my butt and sorta shoved me up against the counter. Lula shakes her head. She picks up her cigarette, takes a puff and throws it into the toilet. ECU of cigarette in toilet. Least not so I recall now. Lula flushes the toilet and watches the More come apart as it swirls down the hole. ECU of cigarette coming apart as it swirls. Right there in the kitchen?

LULA No, he picked me up. LULA voice-over He was short but powerful. Anyway, he carried me into the maid's dayroom which nobody used. We did it there on an old bed. Didn't he force you?

But he was super-gentle, you know? I mean, he raped me and all, but I guess there's all different kinds of rapes. I didn't exactly want him to do it but I suppose once it started, it didn't seem all that terrible. It was over pretty quick, and after Uncle Pooch just stood there and pulled up his trousers and left me there.

I stayed in bed till I heard him drive off. Then I just went back into the kitchen and finished makin' my sandwich. Uncle Pooch never acted strange or different after. And he never did anything else to me. I always got a nice present from him at Christmas, like a coat or jewelry? Balls of flame and grinding metal. They still got way too much traffic there for my taste And another thing, baby That government of ours should be keepin' us separated from outer space LULA Sailor, that ozone layer is disappearin'.

Seems to me the government could do somethin' about it. One of these mornings the sun'll come up and burn a hole clean through the planet like an X-Ray. Lula strikes a match and lights another cigarette.

Least not in our lifetime. Somewhere in the hotel a woman laughs. It is a kind of wild, crazy laugh, and for the few seconds it lasts, Lula's face goes pale.

LULA That woman's laugh creeps me out. I heard somethin' like that Sound'd like the wicked witch You ready to dance? LULA I'm always ready to dance. But I need me a kiss first, honey. Lula and Sailor kiss. But you want it. Do you want me to give him food or some clothing? You know what take care of him means. I don't call Santos except for one big reason. Get rid of him. Send him on a trip - like maybe to Hawaii? You know damn well.

As simple as that. I don't care how. For God's sakes, Santos! Like with a gun? Now I'm beginning to get it You want me to shoot Sailor in the head with a gun.

Not the chin, I hope. What little I'm sure he has. It's much better to blow a hole in the back of the head Lots and lots of irreparable damage. I knew you had it all under control. Try New Orleans first Lula can't ever stop talkin' 'bout that town. He pauses and smiles strangely. Reindeer, and he could cause us a lot of trouble. They stare at each other for a moment. Also, I either take you or that pretty daughter of yours to bed.

Marietta puts her shoulders back and Santos comes and stands in front of her. You kill that Sailor, otherwise he's gonna turn my baby against me. Santos lifts one hand up to Marietta's chin and raises her face up towards his. There's no turning back on this I'm gonna kill Sailor Two leaning palm trees border the sign.

One hundred decibels of speed metal. We see the name "Powermad" on the bass drum. Sailor grabs Lula and they start dancing like two jacked-up spastics in an electrical storm.

They thought they'd seen everything. CU of Lula and Sailor - they're in love and dancing hot. Sailor turns to the lead guitar player and signals him to stop the music immediately. Suddenly everything is deathly quiet. Sailor gives the man a fully extended "Reno point" Or are you gonna save youself some trouble and step up like a gentleman and apologize to her?

You look like a clown in that stupid jacket. The Idiot Punk tries to hit Sailor, but Sailor slaps him so hard his knees almost bend backwards. The Idiot Punk goes down - fighting back tears and holding his cheek.

SAILOR helping him up I'm sorry to do this to ya here in front of a crowd, but I want ya to stand up and make a nice apology to my girl. LULA Hell, you just rubbed up against the wrong girl is all.

Now go get yourself a beer. Y'all know this one? Sailor starts to sing an Elvis Presley song, "Love Me. The Speed Metal crowd is mesmerized. Panning down, we see Lula's breasts, which stand up and say "hello. You told me that was your favorite love song.

Sailor turns around from his sprawled on the bed position watching The Dating Game show. Lula makes a face. She lies down on the bed next to Sailor. LULA What you want to watch this trash for? Ain't one of those people have a real thought in their brain. LULA What you have to get personal about so quick? All I mean is you could possibly read a book. LULA What's that honey?

Lula slides her head up and kisses Sailor on the cheek. LULA I'm sorry, sweetie. I forget some moments where all you been the last two years. Don't need to make more'n it was. The girl chose him over the other two guys. LULA Don't the reject guys get anythin'?

LULA That don't seem fair. At least them boys is gonna get somethin' to eat. Lula lays in Sailor's arms. LULA Wouldn't it be fabulous if we somehow stayed in love for the rest of our lives?

Ain't we been doin' a pretty fair job this far? It'd make the future so simple and nice. And what you'll do and what you'll think about when you're on the outside again. LULA I just think about things as they come up. I never been much of a planner.

Lula, I done a few things in my life I ain't too proud of, but I'll tell ya from now on I ain't gonna do nothin' for no good reason. All I know for sure is there's more'n a few bad ideas runnin' around loose out there.

ECU of match girding along the strike pad and bursting into flame. Lula lights her cigarette. LULA You know there's somethin' I ain't never told you about, Sailor, and this here's a story with the lesson that there's a right time and a wrong time for things to happen When I was almost sixteen I got pregnant. Sailor looks her in the eyes. What did you do, your mama find out? LULA nods She got me an abortion The fetus twitches in its little pod of blood.

ECU of fetus into medical trash can. ECU of bloodied abortion instruments. ECU of doctor's nose and ears We see Marietta standing next to the doctor. I hope you appreciate my spendin' six hundred dollars, not countin' what it cost us to get here and back This man's the best damn abortionist in the South.

His folks used to visit with us summers. I never let on to mama about Dell bein' the one. I just flat refused to tell her who the daddy was? I didn't tell Dell, neither. He was back home in Chattanooga by then, anyhow, and I didn't see the point.

Somethin' terrible happened to him, though. Dell was learnin' a hard lesson. What I learned from observin' Dell is I think people who are frightened want to disappear. He'd startin' behavin' weird? Like comin' up to people every fifteen minutes and askin' how they were doin'?

DELL How're ya doin'? She found cockroaches in Dell's underwear. LULA One time - real late - like about two thirty a. She found Dell up in the black of night all dressed and makin' sandwiches in the kitchen. DELL Makin' my lunch!!! LULA voice-over Dell told her he was makin' his lunch and goin' to work. And she made him go back to bed. We see Aunt Rootie cross the kitchen - take the knife away from Dell and lead him out of the kitchen. Talk about how rainfall's controlled by aliens livin' on earth.

Also how men wearin' black leather gloves He has a long ruler stretched out in front of him which he's using to press down on the top of a lone black glove on the floor. Dell disappeared again and Aunt Rootie hired a private eye to find him.

He was missin' for almost a month before he wandered back in the house on mornin' dressed in some filthy Santa Claus suit. He walks right past Aunt Rootie and goes back into the kitchen. There he immediately does a spread- eagle on the floor and violently scratches his left ankle. Then a little while later Dell ran off a third time to some place he said would "give him peace of mind. Too bad he couldn't visit that ol' Wizard of Oz and get some good advice.

LULA Too bad we all can't, baby One thing about Dell? LULA When he was about seventeen, he startin' losin' his hair. LULA He's twenty-four now? A year older than you? And must be 'bout bald. But you know somethin' baby, hair does make a difference. Lula turns to study Sailor. LULA I sure am glad they didn't give you no prison haircut Lula is painting her toenails red. LULA We gotta be careful, honey, my mama's gonna have Johnnie Farragut on us like a duck on a june bug, and he's one clever detective?

You know how clever? He once told me that he could find an honest man in Washington. My toenails gotta dry first anyways, Sailor. You're twenty years old - aren't you ever curious why your mama has this fixation on keepin' us apart?

Puttin' a detective on us. I'll tell ya Lula It's more'n me killin' Bob Ray Lemon LULA Maybe my mama cares for me just a little too much Sailor's eyes seem to be thinking back Sailor obviously slightly drunk, comes down the hall. Marietta suddenly appears - drunk and laughing. She grabs him and pulls him into a stall - closing and locking the door behind them. Sailor is going crazy in one way wishing this wasn't happening.

Marietta is going crazy in another. The man finishes and as he leaves I just wanted to kiss you good-bye You know too much 'bout little Lula's mom And you're gonna get burned, baby And besides that, you're shit D'you think I'd let my little girl go with shit like you? Why, you belong right here in one of these toilets. Peanut, I'm thinkin' of breakin' parole and takin' you out to sunny California.

LULA I'd got to the far end of the world for you, baby You know I would. We got some dancin' to do. We drift down Lula's long white legs to her blood red toenails. Lula and Sailor are at it again - dancing as if plugged in to the main power plant. Lula notices a girl in the corner eye-balling Sailor. She splits her attention between the girl and Sailor. That's an awful long way to go, just to get some pussy.

At that age you still got a lot of energy. LULA You still got plenty energy for me, baby. Lula has had enough of the girl staring at Sailor. LULA Take a picture, bitch LULA I'll slap those eyes right outta your head.

The girl gets up in a huff and leaves. When's the first time you done it with a girl who wasn't hookin'? I was visitin' my cousin, Junior Train, in Savannah, and we were at some kid's house whose parents were out of town. A girl comes up to me that was real tall, taller than me.

Then she said somethin' like, 'It's so noisy down here. Why don't we go upstairs so we can hear ourselves? I knew I had an important lesson to learn that day. What a bad boy you are! I had a boner with a capital "O. I found her lyin' on a bed in a room filled with assault weapons and Penthouse magazines.

She was a wild chick. She was wearin' bright orange pants with kind of Spanish lookin' lacy black stripes down the sides. You know, them kind that doesn't go all the way down your leg? LULA You mean like pedal pushers? I slid my hand between her legs and she closed her thighs on it.

Don't ask me to suck you. She don't know what she missed. What color hair she have? But dig this, sweetie. Then she turns over, peels off them orange pants, and spreads her legs real wide and says to me You more'n sorta got what you come for You better rum me back to the hotel, baby You got me hotter'n Georgia asphalt. But go easy on me, sweetheart Tomorrow we got alotta drivin' to do.

ECU of match striking and bursting into flames. They are flying down a two-lane Southern highway. LULA I'll drop mama a postcard from somewhere. I mean, I don't want her to worry no more'n necessary. She's prob'ly already called the cops, my parole officer, her p. LULA I suppose so. She knew I was bound to see you soon as you was sprung, but I don't figure she counted on us takin' off together like this I guess this means you're breakin' parole, then? My parole was broke two hundred miles back when we burnt Portagee County.

I hear it don't rain much there. LULA We got through two states already. Lula lights up a cigarette. It's part of the lessons of life. I picked me up a pack of Vantages before we left the Cape?

I mean, here you are crossin' state lines with a A- Number One certified murderer. LULA Manslaughterer, honey, not murderer. SAILOR Okay, manslaughterer who's broke his parole and got in mind nothin' but immoral purposes far's you're concerned.

Well, you ain't let me down yet, Sailor. That's more'n I can say for the rest of the world? Sailor laughs and shoots the T-Bird up to seventy. LULA What kinda trash talk is that?

Those kinda sentiments shouldn't be allowed out in public. Is this Biloxi yet? I figure we should find us a place to stay and then go eat. LULA Got anyplace special in mind?

Not in no Holidays or Ramadas or Motel Six. If Johnnie Farragut's on our trail he'll check those first. LULA How about that one? The Host of the Old South Hotel. Lula strips off the dishwater grey bedspread and tosses it over by the bureau. Sailor looks out the broken window. They don't hardly never get washed, and I don't like the idea of lyin' on other people's dirt. LULA going to the window What's that, honey?

Just a dead tree fell in, prob'ly from bein' struck by lightnin'. LULA thinking about granddad It's huge. This musta been a grand old place at one time. The light's fadin' fast. He laughs a long deep smoker's laugh. That was great shit you sent in last month In fact, I gotta coupl'a problems For each problem drop a silver dollar through my mail slot We'll work out "il conto" later Lula takes off her shoes. LULA sing-song spells M-i-ss-i-ss-i-pp-i You can almost hear that jazz blowin' up from the big N.

I learned somethin' interestin' today on a science show I heard on the radio How leeches is comin' back into style. Honestly, sugar, you can talk more shit sometimes?

She takes out a cigarette the length and width of a Dixon Ticonderoga No. When I went in that drugstore by the restaurant in Biloxi? I saw 'em by the register and the girl throw 'em in. I'm not big on resistin'. So what about a leech? You know, when even barbers used 'em? Lifeguard poured salt on it and it dropped off. He was a cute boy, though, so it was almost worth it. Radio said back in the s a I-talian doctor figured out that if, say, a fella got his nose cut off or bit off in, say, a barfight or somethin', they'd sew one of his forearms to his nose for a few weeks Then put leeches on it.

CU of MAN with forearm sewed to nose. You expect me to believe a man'd be goin' around with a arm sewed to his nose? Course they got more sophisticated ways now. Radio said the Chinese, I think it is, figured a better idea is by insertin' a balloon in the forehead and lettin' it hand down on the nose. You're makin' this shit up and I ain't gonna sit for it! I prob'ly ain't precisely got all the facts straight, but it's about what they said.

LULA Honey, we're goin' to bed now and it's time to change the subject. She's so cute Sailor just has to kiss her. Sailor pulls off the road into a Gulf gas station mini-mart and stops the car next to a self-serve pump.

We don't wanna have to push this "bird" into New Orleans. LULA We sure don't, honey In the pile are four ready-made, plastic-wrapped sandwiches, two tuna salad and two cotto salami; six Twinkies; a package of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies; four Slice colas; two Barq's root beers; and a large package of fried pork rinds, extra salted.

I'm 'most finished on my shoppin' here. ERV This be it? Sailor and the man in line behind him watch as the black man gathers up several more packages of Twinkies along with a few cupcakes and half a dozen cans of Pretty Kitty cat food, three liver and three chicken dinner portions, and tosses them on his pile.

The card checks out okay and the old guy prepares a charge slip, has the man sign it, and bags the purchases. ERV shoving the plastic bag he filled towards the black man We don't have no paper bags. A telephone begins to ring and everyone looks around. The Black Man reaches in his jacket pocket and pulls out a portable phone and punches "send.

Yeah, mama, I'm on my way Everyone is silent as they watch the old Black Man hobble out. Oh yeah, and a Mounds bar. Erv takes one off the candy and gum rack next to the register and lays it on the counter. Sailor gives him a twenty dollar bill. Sailor smiles, but the clerk keeps a poker face and just gives him his change.

The guy in line behind Sailor shakes his head and grins. LULA That took long enough. You forget my Mounds? Sailor tosses her the candy bar. Lula sinks her small white teeth into the chocolate-covered coconut. LULA as she chews You got to keep an eye on it. Sailor starts pumping gas. Two silver dollars comes through it and one falls head up and the other tails on the rug below.

Reindeer is just finishing dialing a number on the telephone. I'm sending one of them to you with a paper on the beneficiary As usual, you are completely free to fulfill the obligation in any manner you so desire. He hangs up the phone and starts dialing another number. The others, they are occupied. Johnnie looks around - sees that there are quite a few empty tables - he looks the men over quickly.

Make yourselves at home. But please do call me Reggie. This is my friend, who we call Drop Shadow. He is always with me. Johnnie wipes off his right hand on his napkin and shakes. Pleased to meet ya. Reggie and Drop Shadow begin eating ferociously, finishing half of their meal before saying anything more. Reggie smiles broadly, revealing numerous tall, gold teeth.

San Pedro Sula is from Honduras. But there is not much to destroy. San Pedro Sula's got an appliance shop. Johnnie takes a bite of his oyster sandwich. San Pedro Sula is with the Secret Service. Reggie reaches into his back pocket and takes out his wallet. He hands a card to Johnnie.

The General is the head of the secret police of Honduras. San Pedro Sula is one of his operatives. Johnnie hands the card back to Reggie and Reggie gives him a small piece of paper, folded once. The printing is in Spanish. San Pedro Sula's permit to kill. Johnnie refolds the piece of paper and hands it over to Reggie. San Pedro Sula's authorized to carry a. I have it here, in my briefcase. Reggie holds up his stainless steel briefcase and then replaces it on the floor beneath his chair.

If you don't mind my askin'. We are here only briefly, in fact, until this evening, when we fly to Austin, Texas to visit a friend of mine who is an agent for the CIA. San Pedro Sula and me bass fishing. Johnnie swallows the last of his beer and stands up to leave. I wish you both buena suerte wherever you go. Reggie and Drop Shadow stand up. They shake Johnnie's hand. If you are in Honduras, come to the Bay Islands and visit us. The Hondurans are great friends of the American people. But I have a joke for you before I go.

If a liberal, a socialist, and a communist all jumped off the roof of the Empire State Building at the same time, which one of them would hit the ground first? Reggie turns to Drop Shadow and lets him have the punch line. As Lula climaxes, her left hand opens and spreads wide. The lay quietly for a moment. LULA I love it when your eyes get wild, honey. They light up all blue almost and little white parachutes pop out of 'em. Oh, Sailor you're so aware of what goes on with me? I mean, you pay attention.

And I swear, you got the sweetest cock. Sometimes it's like it's talkin' to me when you're inside? Like it's got a voice all it's own. You get right on me. I gotta admit it. Lula lights a cigarette. I gotta get somethin' to eat. A MAN on the stool next to Sailor lights up a rum- soaked crook. Bet you've heard of me. Ok sterilizations are key in helping dogs. This place needs to be more efficient. Make sterilizations more efficient! How do I even start a nonprofit.

I need to get my vet tech certification. No, I am a marketer, I can find vets. Dogs are so miserable in the streets here. I cannot even understand anyone, how could I think I could run a nonprofit.

Who am I to even try? I have my whole life to get this right. Well at least Pato loves me regardless of how many dogs I save.

Wow I like what this brand is becoming. What even is a nonprofit? Haha, typical me, thinking I can do anything… Sigh. OMG we have a rescue dog. And I love her. OMG more dogs, starving near our home. I can speak with locals! I convinced them to sterilize the mamas! This nonprofit is going to earn so much grant and fundraising dollars. Still no final logo. I am lonely AF. Why does the world have so many languages?

I hate to do this, but I need another version of that logo. Ok, more sterilized dogs. OMG no one will adopt this puppy. I will take care of him till he is better… Amazing, a group I can volunteer in the streets with and find more in-need dogs.

My Spanish is better, a little. Headed to the US! I will be a great success! And I will bring this puppy! No one wants this puppy in the US. How the hell does a puppy get into the US? Get this website just right… And this fundraising campaign. It will be a wild success. The US with my little immigrant street dog! Nonprofits are lots of work. Holy shit, fundraising is a lot of work. This is not EZ money. Wow, so many people trusted me with their money.

Now I have to do things. What do you mean the costs have increased? I love my mission. I will effect no change on this godforsaken earth and we will all die due to climate change. Look what I can do. How lucky am I?! Also, I definitely couldn't do any of this alone. I am so very thankful to my sweet and sexy boytoy, Pato.

To both of my parents and both of their partners. To all of my friends who have been supporting me in my ups and downs and freak out phone calls. To Michael Gelen, for the wonderful logo.

And to all the dogs, just because. The last time I wrote I had just exited 10 days of silence and meditation. I am still meditating regularly, and you know what? I was definitely not expecting a metamorphosis from the experience though, and something the instructor said has really stuck with me:. This was especially true on my Prodigal return to the United States first time in 15 months for Christmas. After so long away from one's family I think the traveler tends to romanticize them, idealizing them into a perfect clan - at least I did.

Well when I got back, reality struck. I was sleeping on the couch and no one wanted to be my personal chauffeur. Despite some letdowns, I was home. And my perfectly imperfect family was there for me, and I for them. Catching up in person was delicious, under-cooked brownie delicious. And the 6 days flew! Well that sure as hell was not possible, here is why:. I keep reminding myself of the note in my phone: If I step outside my comfort zone today, then I will grow.

I haven't started the dog sterilization non-profit yet. And by meditation, I mean If I had an itch or a limb fell asleep, I dealt with it! So perhaps it was a little presumptuous to assume I would be an All Star Meditator for 10 days of silence at Vipassana But here I was. And Sexual Activity, which I took to mean also with one's self. I adhered to all of the rules. Silence of body, speech and mind - no forms of communication, not even writing notes or gestures Aversions: Things you are keen to avoid in life and during meditation, examples include thoughts of certain Rats or a throbbing numbness in your hip.

The idea is, by thinking of these things you give them power to take over a larger part of your brain and experience, ultimately leading to greater misery Cravings: The flip side of Aversions.

Things you relish in and give great attachment and positive feelings to in your brain. By holding onto these, you also set yourself up for misery because in their absence you will be miserable Sankaras: The best example for this is seen when the black hornet-like swarm explodes out of the big guy's mouth in The Green Mile.

Sankaras are the source of misery in a person - each one is created when we have an Aversion or a Craving for something and we don't remain equanimous calm and impartial about it.

If we allow it to take root it settles in and sets us up for future miseries, ultimately multiplying as more and more Sankaras are let in.

The beauty though, is that through meditation we can start letting go of old Sankaras that have hijacked the ship. This creates a certain brand of freak-out in one's brain that one might lose these Very Important thoughts and that they might be lost Forever. Another thing to realize is that when you give yourself this degree of silence and space, powerful memories are allowed to resurface as well as details you haven't experienced in decades Like the name of the kid next to you in 2nd grade and his haircut hi Jeremy Andrzejewski, nice lightning bolt fade.

As it turns out, some of my experience was not lost Forever. This position does not work. My muscles in between my ribs are having shooting pains. Hold still, no moving. There is a spider on me. Oh shit I just scratched it, there was no spider. Nice, the pain is numb I am bored. This is only the beginning? I wonder if I will make it. I wonder if anyone is thinking of me? What happens if someone dies?

I hope they don't tell me til the end. I'm pretty sure self pleasures are not allowed, right? The landscape is goddamn beautiful. Seriously, my hip is on fire. That girl is unfortunately so Rat-like that I can't name her anything else, I'll do it with love. Rats aren't so bad. And they're umm, intimate? You can pinpoint every single sensation from top to bottom and back up in your body.

I can feel the pain in my hips oozing out as I hold still on the plank. Not thinking about it hurts. But it's getting better. Rat just spoke to me, I smiled, don't talk to me bitch. I'm in Noble Silence. That other girl, she is so rat-like as well, Rat 2 is thee.

I haven't had my period in 2 months. Stupid polyp on my uterus. Maybe I can meditate it away or at least meditate my period to come. Beautiful, wonderful, fertile and luscious uterus you willllllll bleed and it will be magical.

I have magical thinking. My brain is magic and I am making things happen with it. Additionally, I am pretty sure I willed this chickpea curry dish to appear, I envisioned it yesterday at lunch and it is here.

I have the worst cramps in the entire world, why oh why did I will my period to come, oh god, I can't sit this way anymore and I am dying, I am grimacing, how many Sankaras am I building, but this is real physical pain. Alright, body scanning to other areas makes it a tiny better. No it doesn't I'm dead. I can do anything.

I am in less pain. What's the point in this? I am bored and ineffective. My body scans aren't as intimate anymore. I am creating Sankaras with all that craving, time to scan these atomic bodies with equanimity. I've worn flat patches into my ass from this wooden plank. Ah well persist on. I wonder if anyone is thinking of me.

Full body scans have become less sensational now that I am not feeling every tingle. Ah well, time to settle into monk-dom. I love this song. Everyone I know needs to do Vipassana.

I don't think I could possibly ever convince my dad Did I just time travel? I had this same sensation when I was 8, like I am incredibly heavy and immobile, and floating inside myself with really loud voices coming through the loudspeaker that I can't understand. I am those loud voices. I am with myself back then right now. I am crying and I love myself. There were only two instances of this. Once when I was dealing with my magical period and the obscene cramps and the other when I time traveled.

I let him know and he clarified for me. When we are young, typically under 9 years old, we are able to sense past lives and have almost a 6th sense that we tune out as we get older.

The 8 year old experience could have been this, in turn, meditating in silence was able to bring me back to past experiences with powerful clarity. The world moves seamlessly when I'm not in it. Like, it's actually totally fine.

I hope I can remember to play my part in it a little more slowly. The day after we finished I could feel the change. I work with more focus and clarity and I'm taking note of my negative emotions and watching them pass rather than getting sucked into their vortex.

I met with New Bestie and New Bestie 2 another beautiful, peaceful soul from the course , we had margaritas and buried ourselves in blankets in the sand for sunset and laughed for hours about our shared greatest Sankara, boys. I am so loved. I love so much. In college my first Official Boyfriend was a liberal nearly socialist guy that had strong political views. He wasn't afraid to jump into debate with any right wingers and always had the perfect fact, figure or quote to fuel his points.

I didn't feel like an impostor, because standing up for truth felt right, however I never felt like I quite belonged because I wasn't a great debater. I think this also disappointed then boyfriend, that and the fact that I wasn't Russian nor did I look like Heidi Klum. And there are so many reasons why, but I don't feel like arguing with you about them. I think one of the most beautiful things I've ever done is to stop seeing animals as mine to use and I hope to inspire by example and to use my energy on making things better for them.

However, I still don't see bed bugs as valuable in the same way they see me. Thanks to that I am sitting at the airport in Doha with a new outbreak yes a 2nd one of 7 hives from Moroccan bugs. Can we please bring back DDT? Silent meditation and no technology. Quite frankly, I'm scared as fuck. There is a part of one's self that modern distractions conveniently help us avoid - work, friends, social media, dilly-dallying, the works. Strip those away and you are forced to have all the conversations with no real reprieve.

I don't have any expectations for myself or the 10 days but I know I'll be swimming in some deep, potentially shark-infested waters. My passport needs more pages I am down to 4 and I don't have any flights booked yet once I'm "home" in Buffalo. It can be a complete and utter recharge to take in what I've learned and where I want to go.

Ah yes, I also want to start a nonprofit funding dog sterilization around the world, no biggie I ate vegan, had 3 cups of tea and did about 25 billable minutes of work 14 minutes of which were a phone call. I booked a flight to Morocco and researched Cape Town. I meditated for 14 minutes and made plans to do yoga, pushups, social media work, blogging and head to the beach - none of the latter was accomplished.

Marketing schemes that romanticize the digital nomad life are everywhere nowadays. I have to admit, the experience is unreal.

It's the sort of solo experience everyone owes themselves for at least 1 month:. But there are some downsides that are often brushed aside and more and more nomads have been blogging about these. Not until you actually experience them does the sting settle in.

A year ago I read these lists and brushed them aside, "Pfft I can handle that, I'm the greatest. Accordingly, here is MY list of downsides - however, I end each on a positive note, because perspective is everything.

As an introvert I avoid over-committing myself socially, and can't do more than a week in hostel dorm rooms. When I do make a friend, we usually have a weekend to get to know one another and then one of us is moving on.

Twice now I've used Tinder as a means for meeting people, but there is an implied layer of sex when you meet someone on there - also, it limits the connections to the opposite sex I don't misrepresent myself as a lesbian. Being outside of my comfort zone forces me to change for the best.

I can't use my introversion as a crutch to stay in a few stale friendships, but instead I am opened up to new and more rewarding connections - should I choose to embrace the challenge.

For me, that includes less personal belongings, but really nice ones - and it's really fun Also, aside from the Cup, I take great please in finding these items Rectangle Reusable / Collapsible Containers (or Circle)- The real. The whole time we was all standing there in that station, looking awkward and stiff, think she was “a real nice girl”—unlike me who was too boysterous— whatever that meant. Not even Lula Mae messed with Sister too much that I could see. MARIETTA You're just jealous of Santos cause he's sweet on me. JOHNNIE Darlin', you ain't His real name was somethin' kind of European, like Pucinski. But everyone just .. Lula has had enough of the girl staring at Sailor. LULA Take a.