Walking to RDU – Well, Almost

The previous night I stuffed my backpack with items I plan to lug across the country between January and June 2018. And though the contents added up to nearly 30 pounds, they mostly resembled what I’d haul on a two night, no-frills camping trip. The basic essentials including a day’s worth of high-calorie snacks and 6 total liters of water. Turns out one liter of water weighs 2.2 lbs—which means nearly half my pack’s total weight is water. Hopefully, once I get on the road, I never go too long without this much water on my person. I can already…

Carrboro to Hillsborough

Love, Not Hate When I was a kid, I was pissed off. Red-faced most of the time. Anger was my default emotion and served as the stand-in for most other feelings. Frustration, sadness, embarrassment, intimidation, even happiness or appreciation were all expressed through anger in some weird way or another. Safe to say that years of therapy have helped me manage this tendency. Which doesn’t mean I’m ‘fixed’. No way. But I am able to healthily recognize when less-experienced emotions get the shove from the more comfortable feeling of anger or rage. But I’d be lying if I said anger…

Carrboro to Saxapahaw

Today I knocked out a nearly 20-mile walk, following a standard local bike route from my house in Carrboro to the Saxapahaw General Store. I figured it would take a bit more than 5 hours, so to beat the heat I left at 6:45am. Scores of cyclists seemed to have adjusted their Sunday rides for similar reasons. But maybe so many out on a Sunday morning is normal? Last week I learned what not to wear on a long walk in North Carolina humidity. So today I confidently rocked a pair of running shorts, a snap-up cowboy shirt, and a…

Christmas Day 30k

I’ve spent the past few Christmases away from home. In 2015 I was working at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY, and in 2014 I was in Fez, Morocco. Shoot, I might have even been gone in 2013 too but frankly I don’t remember. This year I am in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City. I’m here on a solo writing retreat and have been making the most of time. My flat is a half-mile from one of the bigger parks in the DF, Parque México. During the past month, I’ve become a morning fixture on the paved 1k…

Tour de Espresso

A fellow I know back home in Carrboro owns a kick ass coffee shop called Open Eye Cafe. If you live there, or if you’ve hit it up while passing through, you might refer to it as Carrboro’s “living room.” That’s a high compliment for a business that deals in mostly $2 transactions and a lot of internet poached by kids in Carolina blue sweatshirts. But it’s the living room feel that makes people stick around, and when they stick around they are more likely to spend money. Only a special place can marry atmosphere and product – The Eye nails it….

Art for Art’s Sake

Back in 2008 when I took over a failing running store, I inherited $100k worth of crappy inventory. I advertised a blowout sale and labeled more than 500 pairs of shoes at $10 each. But the sale came and went and barely any sold. A month later I marked them all up to $60 and nearly sold out in a day. Value is a funny thing. Since selling art has never been my impetus for creating it, I’ve always had trouble pricing pieces for gallery shows. Usually I am told by collectors that I am, “selling myself short,” or even…

Eyes Wide Open

I had budgeted yesterday to be a hardcore writing day – and I was forced to modify plans a bit when the snow began to fall.  It’s quite uncommon for snow to hit the Piedmont, but when it does, all hell breaks loose.  The city moves into freak-out mode and institutions begin closing – sometimes even a day before the first flake falls.  I managed to squeeze out a book commentary for my MFA program before I even considered leaving the house.  Then I bundled up, plugged into some music, and joined the fun outside.  When I left I could…