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oh my... [Apr. 20th, 2013|05:39 pm]
so, i finally logged into my livejournal after years of inactivity. i wonder who's still around
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Mexico [Jan. 5th, 2008|02:37 am]
i celebrated New Years Eve in Austin, Texas, holding a roman candle and screaming at the top of my lungs as five shots fired into the sky, joined by many others in an orgy of light.

the next day we drove into Mexico. apparently, we didn´t even need passports to get in, just $3 and we´re acroos the border. coming back, however, is another story.

driving in Mexico sucks balls, or, from another perspective, is the most excitement i´ve had in quite a while. imagine cars passing each other going 70 miles per hour on these two lane highways, sometimes with the median barely visible, sometimes barely missing oncoming traffic. on top of that, there´s potholes everywhere, of all shapes and sizes. the major highways also go through all these little towns, guarded by two or three killer speed bumps that rock the shit out of my car. i have no choice but to slow down and stop to avoid those miniature earthquakes.

after two days of driving, going through Monterrey, Tampico, and Veracruz, we finally got our asses down to Las Choapas. it´s a sweet little town with an amusement park in the middle of it - roller coasters, bumper cars and everything, and there´s no tourists besides international hipsters here for the Gathering. we met up with the Rainbow Family right after we got into town. we got invited to a feast where we were welcomed into town by the mayor, or El Presidente, as he is called. i played a Bob Dylan song for them. afterwards there was an info session.

the Gathering is just 3 hours out of town on a country road. unfortunately it´s located on a flood plain, and we´re still in the rainy season. the whole place got flooded two days before we got here. the conditions are pretty harsh - ticks, tarantulas, flooded shitters, lots of people getting sick, the bridge is out, and abuot 60 people from all over the world stranded in the middle of the jungle. on the bright side, the rain seemed to have calmed down a bit and there´s a boat that can get us there.

some people had enough, they´re skipping town. however, we met up with a kid froim Canada named Shelby who wants to go back to the Gathering and help out. we´re gonna bring in some supples. reinforcement is on the way.

and so our brave travelers forge ahead into the unknown. until next time, folks.
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Sushi Tribe is going to Mexico! [Dec. 20th, 2007|07:20 am]
oil change. check. passport. check. still need to get some nori...

bright morning stars cut through snow-laden clouds like knives through pillows. today is an auspicious day to leave Bellingham.

we've been getting ready for this trip for a while, at least since late October. funny how Time catches up to you, taps you on the shoulder, gives you the stare. i stare back, smiling i'm ready.

but first, some goodbyes and farewells to old friends, many whom are traveling with me in spirit. and thanksgiving in advance for friends yet to come.

i'm excited.

let me introduce you to our crew so far. there's Jordan, my roommate for two years, an old friend, a brother, a seeker, a partner in crime. Aaron, a talented guitarist, a brother, my light in times of darkness, and my sister Jimela, who keeps me out of trouble.

Sushi Night was born 3 years ago after our trip to the Gathering in northern Cali. now the child is going home to its mother, who currently resides in Veracruz, Mexico.

this will be a pilgrimage to the very heart of a new world. the Kingdom is already among us, in our hearts, in our dreams. open your eyes to see and your ears to hear.

roger. over and out.
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snow is coming [Nov. 23rd, 2007|10:09 am]
snow is coming, bellingham, so hunker down and stock up on hot cocoa.

and please invite me to your humble abode. i will play guitar for a warm meal.
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disturbing dream [Nov. 22nd, 2007|06:46 am]
i dreamed i was at a friend's house. me and this other lady was dropping her off at her parents. she's a wonderful guitar player. her dad was there. he thanked us, took her to the other room, and started beating the shit out of her. he was very upset that she's been playing guitar instead of doing what he wanted her to do, which was to study hard and become a doctor. i can still remember the smacks. SMACK, SMACK, SMACK, SMACK.. shouting, crying.

my gut reaction was to go in there and stop him, but I stopped. the lady i was with (one of my professors, i think) was confused too. did we have the right to interfere with his Authority?

i woke up, ashamed and confused. of course, the correct action would be to go in to the room right away and stop the abuse. my hesitation disturbs me.
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chilling in the b [Nov. 2nd, 2007|06:53 pm]
Life's pretty awesome, except for the gi-normous load of homework i have to do every week. whatever made me want to take 20 credits my last quarter? stupid, stupid, stupid.

at least i don't have to work any more (grumble)

so... what else is new in the zhang universe?

sabian's gone. right now i happened to be wearing a sweater he let me borrow. which is kinda creepy. can we say attachment issues?

my buddy joay came up last night and we played Tetris Attack well into the wee hours of the morning.

Jeff thinks i'm spending too much time with my homework and not enough time with him. but at least he's got his ho's. he's been pimpin' it with multiple non-committed partners, which clashes pretty rough with my jealous, monogamous worldview. but at least we agree to disagree on what's best for me. he is looking out for me though, and i'm thankful for that.

i've also decided to go to open mic more often cuz goddamn there's a lot of fresh meat there, all flirty and curious... rawrr

some dude almost convinced me to be a raw foodist eating nothing but fruit and leaves. almost. but i gotta have my meat and cocksauce. heheh

oh, i think i'm gonna move out to Diane's farm when i come back from Mexico. more on that later...
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DNA now activated [Sep. 10th, 2007|11:11 am]
yesterday i received a 22-Strand DNA activation, which made me feel woozy and a little nauseous, a sign that my body's going through some pretty heavy detox. today i'm a little sore but otherwise feeling great.

my roommate, zoie, also got her's activated. she's also feeling pretty weird today.

according to the RMMS, most people only have 2 of their 24 strands active. and strands are apparently different from chromosomes (which me have 23 pares). this activation process makes 80% of them active. and its permanent. hoo boy.

if i start growing a tail or something you'll know why
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Orcas Island [Aug. 19th, 2007|06:54 am]
i just spent a week on Orcas Island, where I completed a teaching workshop at Bullock's Permaculture Homestead. It's one of the most beautiful farm's I've ever seen, filled with rare plants and all kinds of wildlife - owls, minks, deer, beavers, and a big yellow dog.

i spent the last of my money on this workshop. now i'm broke and stuck in bellingham. and it's raining. woohoo!
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the Vast Redwoods Empire [Jul. 25th, 2007|08:04 pm]
on my last day in San Francisco, i met some Israeli hipsters in Delores Park. we played some sweet reggae tunes on guitar, flute, and melodika. then me, Spencer, and Anastasia went out for Mexican food at El Barazo on Haight street. instead of hippies, there were people on the sidewalk giving away free samples of Stride, a new gum on the market. "Does it have crack in it?" i asked the candyman. "No, you'll have to add that yourself." he replied with a smile.

we walked across the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of town. Spencer kept looking back, but i pushed forward, eager to get out of the city.

there was a rest stop on the other side of the bridge. we busted out our guitars and started jamming, coming up with soon to be famous tunes such as "I don't wanna get stuck here tonight."

an old couple, wearing "God Bless America" t-shirts stretched over their blubbery bodies, got out of their RV and gave us ham sandwiches and Costco soda. "we'd give you a ride but there's already 7 people in the car." said the man. We thanked them, and they gave us a million dollar bill advertising their church.

"Do you know the million dollar question?"

soon, we got picked up at the rest stop by a young woman named Jessica, who dropped off at a gas station in San Rafael. Spencer used my phone to call his parents. luckily i told my parents i didn't bring a cell phone so they wouldn't get all worried and call me all the time.

i saw this beat up red van pull up to the station. "what a cool car," i thought. "I bet we can get a ride with them."

a handsome guy got out of the car and went inside the store. when he came out i asked "hey man, think you can help us out with a ride?"

"yeah, let me talk to someone first."

he went and talked to the passenger for 5 minutes, then came and told us to get in the back.

their names were Marcus and Lauren, a young couple traveling all the way from Iowa. Lauren was a very gentle spirit. they've spent three days in San Francisco and she loves it. Maybe there's a soft underside to the city i haven't yet discovered.

we got dropped off in Olema, on highway 1. after playing some music on the street corner and sharing a J with the locals, we were invited to crash in a little park behind the bar where we could sleep under the stars.

halfway through the night we got woken up by growls, mean and vicious. spencer freaked, thinking they were wolverines. "Dude, wolverines like to live in cold places. it's probly just raccoons." he didn't buy it, and tried to locate the critters with a flashlight. (we didn't find anything, but the growling soon stopped and we went back to sleep.)

the next day, we hitched up highway 1. it reminded me of going through those small desert towns in Arizona, but it was much more comfortable here along the coast. there was always a cool salty breeze coming from the ocean. but the traffic was slow, so we decided to hitch back to the 101 and head north. we stopped at the Farmer's Market in Windsor, where there was a live band playing Bob Marley covers. we ate some garlic fries and went on our way.

two rides later, we got dropped off at a brewery in Ukiah, where me and Spencer proceeded to sample the local microbrew. i got a dark ale called the Emancipator. before long i was stumbling around in the streets.

Spencer found a sweet spot in the middle of the city to set up camp. it was this tiny wooded area behind a factory, surrounded by fences. the factory's ventilation systems went off every 30 minutes, bothering me at first, but soon i was off to dreamland.

next morning we got picked up by a self-described "blonde with a big heart." she dropped us off at a gas station, where we got picked up by yet another cute couple, Jim and Megan. These kids were traveling from Denver to Portland. they packed us in the back of their truck with their two dogs, Mary and Yoshimi.

Ever since we started hitching, Spencer's been trying to manifest a ride in the back of the truck with fluffly dogs. i was impressed.

they drove us north, through the majestic Redwoods. i felt so at peace and in awe at these giant columns, growing up like cathedrals in a sea of green.

we camped out in the redwoods that night, on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

next day, after breakfast at Denny's, we got dropped off at Cave junction, Oregon.

now let me tell you about Carma La Rue and Norma Sue, our next ride outta town. they stopped their car in front of us. one of them said "get in." "Don't put your stuff in the trunk. We got dead bodies in there. Heeheehee!" the other one cackled, taking delight in making us feel uncomfortable. this was my trippiest ride by far. the twins were overweight, probly due to alcohol consumption. soon after they picked us up, they stopped at a gas station and bought a bottle of hard A, which they proceeded to drink in the front. they talked with a country accent, finishing each other's sentences, and saying stuff like "If you put both of us together, you'll get a complete set of teeth!"

"Remember us forever!" Carma chirped as she dropped us off at a gas station in Wilderville. me and spencer looked at each other and laughed. it was surreal.

We went to a nearby river and swam in it for a while, washing off all the dust and grease from our travels. from there, we got picked up by two girls around our age. they were local musicians trying to make it big. "we saw you jamming, we thought it was really cool." they gave us their myspace info.

when they dropped us off at Grant's Pass. me and Spencer had a talk. he wanted to stick around for a couple of days. but i was tired, and aching for home. i wanted a ride all the way back to Bellingham. I hoped and prayed for it.

from there we got picked up by a cool couple, Deva and Amos. they were into intentional communities and natural building, and really interested in what me and Spencer were doing in Bellingham. we exchanged contact information and promised to visit each other in the future.

we got dropped off at a rest stop in Roseburg, Oregon. by then it was late. we made a sign that said "North," then started jamming on our guitars.

many cars came and left. (one guy gave us bananas and water) we definately didn't want to get stuck at the rest stop, and sang our thoughts into the night.

a mini-van stopped across the way, and a guy got out with his guitar and started jamming with us. it turns out him and his family are traveling back to Vancouver, BC. "we'd take you, but there's no room in the car." "it's alright" i said with a smile, a little disappointed. "thanks for playing music with us."

they got in their car. a minute later the man got out again, and walked towards us. "we changed our minds."

they made room for Spencer in the back. i got to sit in front with their two kids, who hardly spoke a word in English. their mother, Sonya, was French canadian. Dad was a man of middle-eastern descent, goes by Mithra, "like the god."

they dropped Spencer off in Portland, where he went to stay with some friends. then i got a ride all the way back home to Bellingham.

28 days, 6000 miles, 16 states.

and i couldn't have done it without the kindness of strangers.

there's magic in the world, and danger too, but also moments of grace and serenity. i feel blessed to have gone on this exciting adventure, and to come back in one piece.

i felt and saw a great deal of suffering in this country, in particular the indigenous peoples and the migrant populations from Mexico. racism is very much alive, sometimes on the tips of people's tongues, sometimes smoldering in their eyes. but as Morihei Ueshiba would say "If your heart is large enough to envelop your adversaries, you can see right through them and avoid their attacks. And once you envelop them, you will be able to guide them along the path indicated to you by Heaven and Earth."

there is also a great deal of fear. the whole fucking corporate Empire feeds on people's fears and insecurities. but from my experiences, human beings are generally decent and considerate, although they may have a worldview vastly different from my own. with every encounter i strived to free myself from limiting categories, conceptualization, and stereotypes. and i was rewarded.

i encourage everyone to get out and see the rest of this beautiful country. but don't just see it with your eyes. touch it with your hands, feel it with your feet, listen to it with your ears, smell it and taste it. explore it with an open mind, go with your gut instinct, reach out with infant arms, talk to people with sincerity. there's breathtaking moments of beauty, even in the most oppressive, ridiculous places. trust in whatever spiritual power's guiding you. pleasant surprises lurk behind every dark alley, every cactus, every tree.

you will be amazed.
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over the rainbow [Jul. 10th, 2007|08:26 am]
the Ozarks glowed radiant on Love and high vibrations, minus the mud, poison ivy, chiggers, and federal law enforcement. people gathered here from all over the world - Poland, Argentina, Pakistan, Israel, Canada, Mexico, and probly every state in the U.S.

Rainbow Gathering is an experiment in community, similar to Burning Man, except it's totally free. the food is free, the water's free, camping is free, and most of all the love is free. living in such an environment brings out the best in people. everything is done through volunteer work, no one is obligated to do anything, and nothing is left undone. very Tao in that sense.

some people came to have fun, others came to deepen their spiritual awareness. i came for both. all the major religions of the world were represented at the gathering and everyone gets along. there are also many independent seekers, such as myself.

on the 4th of July, the whole camp was silent, except for an occasional bark (a few new comers started talking, but they were quickly reminded about the silent prayer for world peace). i fasted the day before, but it turned out to be not such a hot idea and actually made it harder for me to meditate. at one point i started crying, the energy there was so pure and intense. at noon people gathered around the Peace Pole and the whole camp burst out into a long Om, then kids were brought into the circle. a howl of joy rang through the air, then the party started. Watermelon was distributed to everyone, and people danced around the drum circle.

there is no shortage of pot and psychedelics floating around. pot is smoked freely with everyone. at the Emergency 420 camp, they make it a point to smoke everyone out. alcohol is only consumed at A-camp and shunned everywhere else at the gathering. you usually have to do some volunteer work for psychedelics. my friend chopped up some garlic for a kitchen and got a chocolate mushroom.

oh man, did i mention the kitchens? they are the heart of the Gathering. the bigger camps are all kitchens, serving free food for whoever's there at the right time. i camped out at Warriors of Light, a kitchen that specializes in organic food and zoo-zoos (ganja and non-ganja treats) and conscious music. my other favorite kitchens are the Hare Krishna kitchen (always serving up tasty vegan food), and Pirate Camp (where you can expect anything). i heard good things about the food at Jesus Camp, who also offer free sandal repair. they're right next to Faerie Camp, where the LGBT community hangs out. there is also Kiddie Village, for people with little kids, 2 other Christian camps, a Bahai camp, 2 yoga camps, Tea kitchens, Main supply (where food is distributed to all the kitchens and garbage is collected), Montana Mud (where there's mud and drum circles), Music camp (my other hangout), Rainbow Zion (hosting a rabbi from Israel), Nic and Night (distributing free tobacco), and Granola Funk (where they have a huge stage shaped like a castle). all in all there's probly 40 kitchens and 100 smaller camps.

there was always something to do and cool people to meet. I met a bunch of kids from Austin and got offered a job working for a housing co-op. i also met a breatharian, a rasta, travelers from israel, quite a few shamanic healers, and many, many musicians.

i stayed til the 6th. now i'm making my way from Home to home. i crammed into a van with 6 other rainbow kids. Sabian hooked me up with this ride. i met him in Bellingham before we left for the gathering. i got to know him pretty well on this trip (he's straight but cute and sure likes to snuggle) We already made plans to kick it when we get back in town.

We booked it across the country, making stops in Kansas and Colorado to check out the local anarchist-punk-co-op scene. keeping with the spirit of the Gathering, we shared everything we had with each other - cigarettes, ganja, food, water, books. Graham, Natti, and Eviva dumpstered a lot of awesome food, while the spoiled brats (me, sabian, and jason) bought food to share.

although we only travelled together for 4 days, we formed a tight little group. yesterday, after getting everyone's info, we parted ways in Salt Lake City. from there I hitched down to Moab to visit the lovely Miss Carilynn. Utah is fucking beautiful, and the people here are downright friendly. i'll probly chill here for a few days.

i'm thinking about going down to Prescott, Arizona, then cross over through Nevada to Cali and go up the west coast back to Bellingham. if i had more time i would've gone to Austin, Texas, but i gotta go home soon. my garden's probly dead from lack of care, and i gotta move into my new pad before august. darn.

I hope everyone's having a great summer. see y'all soon!
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