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Now there she goes again, the dopest ethiopian.

Oh’ great state of Ethiopia, what wonders would you unfold for my eyes to see….

Our main area of focus while we were in Ethiopia was to cover the lives of reformed prostitutes living in healthy environments contrasted against active prostitutes in the red light district of Addis Ababa. It’s right here where I would put some interesting facts about the sex trade in Ethiopia but I just realized I’m writing a story of travels for friends and family, not the scrutinizing subscribers of national geographic.

After a massive breakfast, which is in every hotel in the third world, we headed out to one  of the reformed hooker- homes. Before this trip, I entertained thoughts of driving around in huge, nasty Land Rovers completely caked with mud and surrounded by pitch black africans that had the bodies of olympians but wore aviators and chomped on cigars and betel nut while cradling AR-15’s. I couldn’t of been more wrong. Outside of the grandpa’s basement hotel lobby we were picked up by the most spotless little kia’s you have never been in. The insides looked like they had just arrived from the factory floor and I literally felt bad for putting my well-worn and dusty Merrell’s on the rug. The drivers wore suits and were fairly light skinned (for africa) and all of them were pretty skinny so I couldn’t really tell who the security was from the non-security. We quietly shuttled to the first home, deep in what you would call the projects of Addis Ababa.

Another fun part of these trips is what I call “Stepping Out”. This is when you pull up to some random ass area in a foreign country in these relatively ‘amazing’ cars that are not normally seen in poorer areas. You already get a bunch of rubber neckers driving in a car that was built before the 90’s and clean; especially with a bunch of white faces peering out the windows. Eventually you pull up to a place where children run shoeless and the smells that permeate the air are all at once intriguing, ethnic, disgusting, and gagging yet savory (It’s really indescribable unless you are there for yourself). I, myself, tend to be on what you would call the tall side of things and 6’3″ sticks out in ethiopia like a giant talking q-tip. This trip I learned a trick though, I brought along a bag of dum-dum’s (a lá Jennifer Garner in The Kingdom) to pass out to the kiddies. It totally worked. So instead of seeing a humongous scarecrow stepping out of a nice car that had 15-grand worth of camera gear around his spindly neck (that could be easily beaten down and robbed) i represented a fountain of sucrose-spouting goodness that had a strange yet friendly smile.

Another goal of mine on this trip was to fire a gun from one of the security personnel. The problem was that instead of the colorful guards I had envisioned, we had somewhat quiet government bodyguards with us that would be the equivalent of a state trooper mixed with the secret service. But wouldn’t you know it… the dum-dums worked with them as well and within in seconds i was chatting in broken english with a security guard about what kind of gun he had. The only problem with this was that he wanted my knife in exchange for firing a gun, which was definitely not a rational solution. He envied my knife like it had come from the right hand of God himself so I decided to go back to work, photographing every interviewee and the home they lived in.

Addis, for the fear of sounding like a douche “I’ve been everywhere”  traveler, quickly started to get boring. There wasn’t that much going on and the b-team that I was on was definitely set up for a more chilled schedule…

The Red Light District

(This is as far as I ever blogged about Africa. It has now been a year since and while I can still recall some amazing and beautiful things, I am on another adventure and will have to finish my thoughts on this trip later… hopefully.)


The In-Betweens

I’ve definitely been dealing with a case of the In-Betweens this past month… you know, the time In-Between traveling where you’d much rather be traveling than dealing with real life back home. I guess this sounds a lil’ bit escapist of me but with the nutty few days/weeks leading up to my current travels, I was ready to jet from the 314 back to the land of milch & honig; Germany.

California ended nicely with some lazy beach days and wonderfully long death hike where my San Diegoan compadre, Dr. Josh Boston, kept up in stellar fashion going balls to the wall off the Kway Paay Trail in Mission Trails Park – a glorious freaking park that I wish was in my back yard. The next day was spent wandering around Carlsbad while Dr. Boston was in surgery. Aside from being a long day of seeing everything this town has to offer, it was nice to just sit and chill, letting the california lifestyle and sea air seep into my pores. I envied the kids cruising past on their skateboards with surfboards under their arm for some afternoon surfing. I instantly wished that my youth had been full of skateboarding and surfing after going to a Saved by the Bell school in So. Cal. In fact, I wished this alot of times as I saw kids hanging out on the beach and looking very happy overall and I began to get a little wistful, thinking of what just such a childhood might’ve been like. Then I thought to myself and realized that my youth was pretty damn fun for the most part and that nothing is ever as perfect as you can imagine it to be. (This would be nice if I had arisen to this conclusion by myself but I actually read it in Choke by Chuck Palahniuk at the heighth of my wistfulness). And it’s true, you can dream up all sorts of perfect situations for yourself but reality tends to never meet these expectations (I say ‘tends’ because we’ve all had moments that seem more perfect than you ever expected; I think they happen less as you get older).

After my wanderlusting trysts around the west, St. Louis life was actually a welcome feel to come back too. I say this quite a bit but there is really nothing like stepping off the plane and walking into the (normally humid) St. Louis evening. It just smells so damn much like ‘home’ and is the perfect bookend to a nice trip. I love it and tend to tell people about this feeling quite a bit with them looking at me quizzically. So I had a nice hour of relaxation back in the lou before life got hectic for a good month. My freelance career started to pick up some steam and I was working on branding campaigns in the evening while working downtown at a design firm during the day. It was good for me to do this because it helped me realize why I don’t want to work at a full-time desk job ever again – not that I was having thoughts of wanting to get corporate again.

All in all, may turned out to be a great month 🙂 The radiohead concert was probably one of the best starts to summer in recent memory and completely swept me off my feet. There were definitely a few moments when the music took me places that I would fail at describing. These feelings are one of those times where your expectations are succeeded and you explode with joy. For me, they happen with (in order of most frequent) nature, music, relationships. The curve is quite steep between nature and relationships. I can easily go out into any sort of wooded area and feel real joy just by walking around. It is less easy to find someone with who you connect so well that being with them makes happiness and joy seep out your eyeballs. But, still totally possible. 🙂 Musical elation doesn’t happen to often either – i don’t think most bands/people can capture this elusive joy-giver. But when it does, it connects really hard and transcends you. The last time I felt this way before Radiohead was at the TV on the Radio concert in Columbia, Mo. Before that was !!! at the Duck Room.

So, other than quick work-related trip to Kansas City (which is one of the tidiest cities I’ve ever seen) I’ve been docked at Bay Saint Louis for a solid month accruing all sorts of reasons to leave for a month to the Tuscany region of Italy. I hope my adventures will be worthy to write about (much less read about) and that I don’t imagine anything to be more perfect than it will actually be. This isn’t really hard though being in the surroundings of the hands-down coolest nephew in the world and my sister, who still remains very close to me despite being thousands of miles apart. I hope to get some entries in pretty frequently so I hope everyone out there is still staying bored enough to spend precious minutes reading my writings. If not, and you’re staying so busy that you tap your feet impatiently with the slightest hindrance to your schedule then go take a walk out into some woods and try your damnedest not to think about tomorrow or yesterday. This always helps me.


That’s the noise the internet should have made after I created my blog. Instead my laptop just kept humming along with it’s whisper-quiet fans at 2000 rpm. This is my second attempt at a blog – my first was called Daily Diaper and was located on my personal site,, until MediaTemple changed their servers over. I’m too lazy and technically inept to care or want to change it back over, hence ‘You Must Be Bored.’ (title subject to change). Daily Diaper was boring too. 

I’m creating this now as a travel blog for 2008 and a big online post-it note for any rantings or writings I feel like sharing with the four people who may stumble upon it.

I leave for India on Saturday @ 9 a.m.
Hold on to your butts.