Van is Dying – Uh-oh (Flashback to 2004)

In 2004, I was living in a minivan I bought for $175. I should have stuck to VWs. I called this one Pig and usually had hands black from working on it’s horrid engine. As I re-edit and prepare to launch Rough Living 2013 and Smooth Living: Beyond the Life of a Vagabond, I can tell you…I don’t miss the Rough Life…

An abandoned sugar mill on Maui that worked just about as well as my van, Pig.
An abandoned sugar mill on Maui that worked just about as well as my van, Pig.

Uh oh…..van is dying rapidly…..

Uh oh, the van is dying rapidly. I’ve got work lined up, but it requires that I have transportation. Scary thing with the van is that when I look at how much money the people I bought it from put into it, it makes me worry….can you say money pit?

So now, it just loses all power and the throttle goes dead. It always restarts and after stalling and starting for an hour or so, it begins to run perfectly.

Yesterday, I woke up with one of those hangovers that says “I’m going to give up drinking once and for all” OUCH! I bailed from Waikiki where I was parking next to the zoo and drove around the south shore. Past Hanauma Bay, the van stopped stalling. Words can’t emphasize how shitty I felt. If you’ve been there, you know.

So anyway, I just wanted to find a quiet and uncrowded beach park to make coffee in, set up my hammock, have a swim, and sleep it off. Sundays are crowded. Even at usually uncrowded spots like Wamimanalo and Bellows Beach. So I continued driving up the beach to my old haunt of Punaluu. I picked up a hitchhiker who smoked a bowl with me and then parked and made coffee near Chinamans Hat on the windward side.

Oahu
Long walk around the perimeter of Oahu

I went to Laie, the mormon enclave of Oahu to buy a steak, but everything is closed on Sunday there. Finally found a steak and drove back to Kahana Bay where I napped and then barbecues a steak and some potatos with garlic. Yum. I was starting to feel a bit better.

Night before last I made Hobo Packets….here’s the recipe…

Ingredients
1 pound ground pork
2 medium potatoes skinned and sliced
1 sweet potato, skinned and sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
lots of garlic, peeled and sliced
lemon juice
soy sauce

Directions
Form ground beef into patties and place each on a square of aluminum foil. Divide potatoes, garlic, and onions equally and arrange on top of patties. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place lemon and soy on top of vegetables. Seal foil tightly and place on grill or directly on coals for about 45 minutes to an hour. Can also be cooked in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes. Delicious and easy

That made enough to feed my friend Steve and myself. Plus there was a third packet in case someone came along. I had it for breakfast yesterday.

So anyway, back to Kahana Bay where it began to get dark and I lit a fire. I was just chillin by myself and a Hawaiian guy came along. I invited him to sit. He offered to smoke a joint. Why not. Then he offered me some ice (it’s like crack but made form crystal meth instead of coke) I declined so he smoked some himself. Then he offered me cigarettes (I also declined…almost two months smoke free), candy, and we talked about life. When I told him I was worried about money, he insisted on giving me five bucks. I told him I was okay and he refused to take it back. Crackheads can be really nice people. He was.

None the less, I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping there (ice does strange things to people) so I drove back down to Chinamans Hat and slept until this AM. STill feeling slightly wretched. Now I’m here in the library working on my novel (Slackville Road) and doing a little promotion for Rough Living.

 

Life’s Aspirations

promWhen I was a child – I wanted to be one of those writers that lives an adventurous life, then locks themselves away for a year while writing the perfect novel while communicating with my agent and publisher – I with the internet and ebooks, things stopped working like that – (I also wanted to be an astronaut, but at the time, less than 20/20 vision meant I never could be)

When I was a teen, I wanted to open a funky cafe with comfy couches, books, and board games, but then Starbucks came alone and all the funky cafe’s began closing.

When I was in my 20’s I thought it would be pretty cool to own a bookshop – but ebooks have closed something life 50% of bookshops already.

When I was in my 30’s – I thought it would be incredible to travel the world and write about the places and people I met and share it via the web – to live an exotic life and share it – but the truth is there are so many interesting people doing exactly that, it’s hard to actually catch anyone’s attention – people are drowning in self promoting travel blogs.

In my 40’s – I want to be one of those writers that lives an adventuruous life and then finds a place to hide away and write about the lessons learned, the places seen, the people met. I want to find an agent and publisher to communicate and work with while I take care of my family, garden, write, and maybe even open up a little cafe and vintage bookshop where people can buy cool old books. Maybe I’ll even learn some tradtional book binding and printing and make exclusive editions of my own books.

Life is pretty cool, isn’t it.  I love what I have and I’m looking forward to more.

Life’s Aspirations

promWhen I was a child – I wanted to be one of those writers that lives an adventurous life, then locks themselves away for a year while writing the perfect novel while communicating with my agent and publisher – I with the internet and ebooks, things stopped working like that – (I also wanted to be an astronaut, but at the time, less than 20/20 vision meant I never could be)

When I was a teen, I wanted to open a funky cafe with comfy couches, books, and board games, but then Starbucks came alone and all the funky cafe’s began closing.

When I was in my 20’s I thought it would be pretty cool to own a bookshop – but ebooks have closed something life 50% of bookshops already.

When I was in my 30’s – I thought it would be incredible to travel the world and write about the places and people I met and share it via the web – to live an exotic life and share it – but the truth is there are so many interesting people doing exactly that, it’s hard to actually catch anyone’s attention – people are drowning in self promoting travel blogs.

In my 40’s – I want to be one of those writers that lives an adventuruous life and then finds a place to hide away and write about the lessons learned, the places seen, the people met. I want to find an agent and publisher to communicate and work with while I take care of my family, garden, write, and maybe even open up a little cafe and vintage bookshop where people can buy cool old books. Maybe I’ll even learn some tradtional book binding and printing and make exclusive editions of my own books.

Life is pretty cool, isn’t it.  I love what I have and I’m looking forward to more.

Me and God when I was a Child

I wrote this quite a long while back. I incorporated it into the 2009 version of Slackville Road which you can find here. It hasn’t made the cut in the rewrite that I’m sharing by email as a weekly serial though (you can sign up for that for free here) – but I still liked it, so with a few revisions – I’m posting it here. It’s pretty much the god’s honest truth, whatever that may be.

 

I was a holy kind of kid
Even as a baby, I was spiritually inclined as you can see here where I baptize my older brother circa 1973 or so.

When I was six years old, I learned to read. Like most American kids in the 70’s, my favorite publication was Highlights Magazine which I got to read twice a year at the dentist’s office. You remember Highlights, right? It was filled with those morality lessons that religious people want kids to experience.

I still remember empathizing with Goofus as he got the short end of the stick in his relations with his goody two shoes brother, Gallant. In one story he grabbed the biggest cookie off the plate and it ended up tasting like dog-shit while Gallant’s little cookie ended up tasting like manna from heaven. The moral was that smaller portions taste better. Most of America’s fat asses should have listened to that lesson, though I don’t think Highlights meant anything like a matter of diet. More a matter of moral enforced humility. Leave the bigger pieces for those that deserve them. I figured if there was shit in the batter, it got in all the cookies. I hated Gallant. The first of many uptight, pompous, self righteous Christians I would learn to detest.

Continue reading “Me and God when I was a Child”

Meet the old me….ChrisDamitio.com

I used to be me but me by a different name. Used to be that everyone called me Chris, or Christ, or sometimes Christopher. Some people still do, not many, but a few. I don’t mind. It feels like they are talking to someone else, but when it comes down to it, I’m still Christopher Damitio. It’s the name on my passport. It’s the name I was given at birth.

Anyway, a few years ago, after I met my wife – I had to go back to the United States to get some paperwork and some cash so we could get married. The jobs I had lined up all fell through and at the end of my time there, I really only had one asset that I could sell. My blog.

chris damitio 2006At that time, I was blogging at ChrisDamitio.com – I was attached to it. It was my name and it was the only source of income I had. I’d been earning about $200 a month with it but some changes in the SEO industry caused the text link ad merchant I was working with to drop all of their casino clients. Overnight, my blog stopped earning $200 and was earning closer to $50 per month.

Before that blog, I’d blogged at Fukn.us, Existensis.com, and a few other domains all the way back to 1998 when I was publishing a magazine online at Conchsense.com,  so when someone offered me $1000 for chrisdamitio.com, I counted it as a blessing and took it. Since most people called me Vago by that point anyway, I bought Vagobond.com and made a deal with the buyer that I could move all my travel posts from chrisdamitio.com to Vagobond.com. He also promised not to turn chrisdamitio.com into a porn site and to keep the content I’d produced on it.

I’m pretty sure he managed to get the income up to a few hundred dollars per month again without too much effort. The sale gave me the means to get back to Morocco and the other money I earned gave me the means to marry my pretty little bride. But I always regretted selling my name domain away.

That was back in ’09. I’m sure the guy who bought the domain got his money back from it. A few days ago, though, I sent him an email asking if it was still earning any money. Long story short, I bought it back for $360. My given name belongs to me again. I’m pretty chuffed about it.

If you want to see the kind of kooky blogging stuff I did in the old days, it’s all there stretching back to the Conchsense days in the late 1990’s and all the way into 2009 when my life had changed. There’s some overlap with Vagobond.com where the travel stuff was hijacked too, but it’s a nice walk down memory lane.

As you look at my old blog (which, strangely is now my newest blog) you will notice something. I’m a genius. Or, more likely, you’ll just see that once an prick, always a prick. But a prick genius for sure.

I hope you enjoy it even 1/10th as much as I am.

Some Pictures of Me in Various Places

These are pictures of me on various islands in Hawaii, in China, Indonesia, California, at burning man, after some incredible car moments, in North Carolina, Portland, Bellingham, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Tahiti, Nevada, New York and a few other places. I hope you enjoy looking at me because I’m in each of these pictures.