Archive for the Waxing Idiotic Category

Back on the road

Posted in CovertFishing, Makin' moves, Waxing Idiotic on February 20, 2017 by robdc

I get mad at myself for not sitting down and documenting my travels any more so I’ve decided to get back on the horse. It’s not that I haven’t done anything in the past two years, it’s really just that life kinda caught up with me and finding the time to record my thoughts has been incredibly difficult. Not to bore anyone with the excuses, lets get caught up real quick!

Towards the end of 2015 we finally took advantage of living this far north and did some skiing at Whitetail Resort.

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As you can tell it was unseasonably warm but the snow stuck around so we kept at it.

Shortly after that, at the beginning of 2016 Melissa and I were lucky enough to attend ‘A Night for Justice’ for Adnan Syed. If you’ve been listening to Serial like we have this would have been just as exciting for you as it was for us. The thing is that when we started listening to Serial we lived in Florida and all the places and things that they were talking about were alien to us and far away. Now that we live in MD, everything they mention in the podcast is not only more real, but it’s close! So when they mentioned that there was going to be a gala event in Baltimore, a mere 45 min drive from our home, we jumped at the chance.

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That panel is everyone from Undisclosed and the Truth and Justice podcasts. And that’s Susan Simpson from Undisclosed in the picture with us.

During the dinner, Adnan actually called Rabia’s cell phone and took questions from the audience. It was pretty nuts.

I went down to Fl a few times for various celebrations.

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We were lucky enough to attend a few weddings. Namely the Tombler wedding and my oldest friend Rich’s wedding where I was honored to be the best man.

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Then I finally got the chance to do some fishing up here, it took a while but everything finally lined up. The good people of the Lexianna took us out with Jason of the Sapphire Lounge in Bethesda and a few others for a good time on the water.

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There are some other things coming but I feel like they deserver their own posts so I’ll leave them for that.

It’s good to be back.

Cojelo,

Rob

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Little lessons make big differences

Posted in Makin' moves, Tiempo en el sur, Waxing Idiotic with tags , , on October 15, 2014 by robdc

How to blend in in a South American airport:

1. Erase any idea of urgency or the fact that anyone on earth has to be any place at any specific time. If you’ve ever had to be anywhere, forget what that felt like.

2. Make sudden erratic vector changes as you walk, constantly. Sometimes you may even want to stop and walk in the direction you just came from, almost like you forgot why you got out of bed that day.

3. Do you have kids? awesome, bring them, ALL OF THEM. Do you have nieces and nephews? Bring them along too! Hell, just pick some kids up off the street, it looks like that’s what everyone here does. Apparently they make great travel accessories.

4. Carry obscenely large luggage and plenty of it. Everyone here is carrying bags so large that they border on the ridiculous, 2 or three bodies could easily fit in each bag. It looks like the same effect as when a really large person picks up one of those tiny beers and it makes them look like even bigger giants but in this case the people are the tiny beers.

5. Let the larger your party and the more luggage you have both effect the speed at which you do anything inversely, so if you have 11 kids and 25 human sized bags, a snails pace is the accurate speed to shoot for.

OK, now that I got that out… We have landed in Rio! The beach is beautiful and the beach town feel is very much lingering in the air.

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We spent the first morning talking about different stuff we had read or heard about how to move through this city without problems. Places not to go, what not to wear and how not to get gotten.

Much to Dave’s delight, immediately after this long and drawn out conversation as we are walking down the beach something hits my foot, it’s a cartoony green goo. It looked like ectoplasm. Knowing that no earthly bird secretes anything like this and the perfectly clear and bird-less sky immediately above me, I kept walking but asked Dave “did you happen to see where that came from?” to which he replies “I did, just keep walking.” So I did and then through a combination of hand signals and quick looks we were both very much aware of the man who was tracking us. He had expertly squirted this gunk on my show then waited for me to flip out about it, at which point he would conveniently come out of the crowd, brush and gunk antidote in hand. Unfortunately for him, no flip out came. We just kept walking and he kept tracking. Then, thinking that I hadn’t seen it yet, he comes out of the crow and points at my foot saying “aw, look at what the birds did, need some help?” Brush and paper towels in hand. The idea is that I stop, he helps me get the crap off my shoe then the demands for money start. I kept going and he got nothing but anyone coming to Rio should be aware that this type of thing is lurking around every corner here.

While at a bar I left Dave alone for 2 minutes and in very Dave way, when I returned there was a new member to our party. The guy was nice enough and soon his wife joined us. Drinks were had and before too long we ended up making plans with them for the next day. Dinner and drinks with the Patels was a damn good time and we ran around Rio for the evening.

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The next day Dave and I headed up into the mountains to see Christ the redeemer overlooking the city. It had been pretty foggy but we took a chance anyway. After getting to the national park we paid for our tickets up to the top we were put on a bus, a girl in the back gets scolded for eating Doritos on the bus so she puts them away. half way up to the top, she has a mini rebellion about the food and chooses expulsion as her form of protest… She barfs all over the bus, not missing Dave or I’s legs… of course. Luckily everyone else manages to keep it together.

Finally we reach the top and it’s stunning… for a few seconds out of every minute when the clouds clear. We still managed to take in the whole scene and it was pretty breathtaking.

GOPR6059_tonemappedAll in all it has been an astonishing stay here in Rio and I can’t wait to run around here for the next few days.

Ceje lo,

Rob

Oh you fancy… Brando Calrissian’s Bachelor Bash

Posted in 'MURCA!, Makin' moves, Waxing Idiotic on October 9, 2014 by robdc

Brando and Natalia are finally getting hitched! Of course, that means that we must have the obligatory bachelor/bachelorette parties. So small groups of good friends migrate to DC with the expressed intent of celebrating two of the best people we know and having a damn good time.  I’d say this sums up the start of the trip pretty well:

IMG_5035Since Brando is my gastronomical consigliore I knew the focus of the trip was going to be good food and drink but I had no idea what we were in for. We did the stuff we knew was good like Toki which I don’t mean to down play, because it’s blow your pants off good, but we had been there already. We went back to the pug and shenanigans but the real treat was on Saturday. We started off at Founding Farmers where the candied bacon was the star. 

IMG_5030Sorry for the blur but I hate being the person taking pictures of their food, it weighs heavier on my soul with every passing day so food pictures may become more rare in my photo library. The idea of sugary bacon is the stuff of dreams though, and if you ever find yourself in DC, do yourself a favor and try it. 

The main event was, of course, the Saturday party event night. Christian, as best man, had a pretty high bar set for him but I have to say that he pulled it off in spades. We were told to dress “pretty nice” so when we got to the first spot of the night and it was just a normal bar, I was containing my initial feeling of “what the hell?!” Christian walked us to what I thought was the bathroom and a small waiting nook where we were greeted with champagne and told that our seats would be ready in just a minute. After our short wait we were escorted into the Columbia room which only had 10 seats and required reservations for quite some time. We had apparently been set up for a 3 drink menu which consisted of some delectable concoctions, the elements of which we were encouraged to try on their own. So each drink was accompanied by a shot or two of it’s main elements, this was heaven.

We stuck around for a round after our tasting menu, I asked for something rum based that didn’t have the citrus-lime flavor that is so popular with present day mixologists, I was greeted with a delightful concoction and a shot of it’s main ingredient.

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Also Brando really loved his Fru-Fru drink…

IMG_5052Then we went to the Russia House. This place had a real authentic feel to it. The door guys had all stabbed at least 2 people with ice picks and all the servers probably had some idea of what the inside of a shipping container looked like. I’m pretty sure Viggo Mortensen was sitting at the bar by the entrance. Either way, the food was damn good and their Moscow mule is unrivaled in my memory. Brando got a little roudy and smashed a triangle drink all over himself but I’m sure that has nothing to do with what the Columbia room did to us.

IMG_5048Then we met up with the girls at the Mambo room and the dancers danced while the rest of us enjoyed our drinks and made fun of them.

IMG_5058The weekend was full of laughing to snorts and good times but we even managed to get some culture in. I didn’t know the Smithsonian had a second air and space museum outside of town by Dulles airport, it houses some of the larger aircraft that would have, undoubtedly, been more than difficult to get into the heart of DC. This is also where I was able to get some of the better pictures of the trip.

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F-22 Raptor, the Enola Gay, Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the god damned Concord Fox-Alpha!!!

The two things in this giant hangar that I really never thought I would get to see with mine own eyes and the absolute standouts were, hands down:

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SR-71 Blackbird and the space shuttle Discovery!!! What an awesome way to end such a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who made it out and contributed to such a good time. See you all next month at the “wedding.”

Robbo

Back into the swing of things

Posted in Makin' moves, Waxing Idiotic with tags , , , , , on June 30, 2014 by robdc

It’s been a couple of months since I took the time to sit down and record anything that’s been going on so before getting into where I happen to be situated at the moment, lets have a quick recap.

After NY I had lots of stuff to do in Florida, family issues had accumulated and I had some reality to return to. The up side, of course, is that I got to spend some time with my friends and family all over the state. First Miami of course:

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Then Ft. Myers and Sanibel for Eric and Rachel’s wedding:

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Then, back to my half life home of Gainesville:

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Then, I finally organized the trip to spread my Dad’s ashes. After a long series of careful considerations I decided on St. Thomas. His instructions were that if Cuba was no longer communist to Spread his ashes there but since that’s not the case his instructions said the “Caribbean sea” was the next best location.

My Mom and Cousin Lolo came with me to handle my Dad’s last wishes. The trip came together better than anything I could have imagined and all the aspects of the trip were perfect. I found a very nice spot to spend our time in the American Virgin Islands and I really felt like if my Dad had been able to see it we would have really made him proud. We lucked out and found a charter even at the end of the season. Lolo had a Pandora station he had made just for when he hung out with my Dad which played Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck as we said our last goodbyes to Roberto de Cespedes into the sunset.

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When I got back to Miami my buddy Ralph suggested that we take his boat out. I, stupidly, thought he would have his boat kept in the city he lived in but we found ourselves in key largo where I was pleasantly surprised to be swimming in John Pennekamp national park, a place I hadn’t been since my childhood.

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I think that catches everything up, next time I write anything down I should be in DC visiting the Segermeisters.

Cojelo,

Rob

Insomnia, a curse but it sure gives you time to do useless stuff.

Posted in Makin' moves, Waxing Idiotic with tags , , , , on April 10, 2014 by robdc

Life is a funny thing. When you’re young you are completely self involved. You only understand the world as it relates to you. Every mishap, every toy you don’t get is a fucking tragedy. I remember being a kid and praying (yes that’s how twisted years of catholic school were that I thought god might help me get a toy I wanted. He was a magical man in the sky, after all, if he couldn’t get the boss toys, what hope was there?!) for a nerf gun. That may sound dumb and it absolutely was but it’s what tiny me wanted.

Over time, you live your single scratch off ticket of a life and hopefully you grow a bit. In that growing, if you’ve got a combo of decent people giving you good advise and a royal shitload of luck, you start to realize that the world as we know it and the “people” living on it are a mathematical one in a novemoctogingillion shot, and you start becoming better at living in it. When you take into consideration the age of this rock, then the universe, things like how humans can really  only exist in a very specific range of atmospheric conditions and temperatures, then you consider the teeny amount of other giant space rocks hurtling through our known universe that we could possibly survive on, it starts to set in. Then you realize that you don’t get to come back if an anvil falls on you or a coyote with skates on and a rocket strapped to it’s back mistakes you for a roadrunner.

That all being said, I’ve come to love a much larger number of people than I ever thought possible on this wet spaceship of solar traverse that we’re all riding and that brings a special warmth to my heart. In my reflections, I realized that my attempts at moving around have been almost feeble if my goal is to truly get to know our shared home. This map made me proud when I first set eyes on it.

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It covers most of the cities I’ve been to, from what I can remember at the moment. But, once I did the math, if you add up the areas of the cities I visited (I am hardly claiming that I’ve seen even large portions of the cities I’ve been to but it’s the only stat that’s easily uncovered and compiled at this mental state and impending exhaustion) it only adds up to %10 of the non liquid or iced over surface of our great planet.

Challenge accepted.

Time to go do more stuff and see more junk, and especially to meet and interact with some more amazing people.

My Father.

Posted in Waxing Idiotic on March 14, 2014 by robdc

One is not defined by a single aspect of their life. Sure there are insanely important moments, bombastic events, but no one makes a man (or woman). I owe who I am and the way I do things to many people and things throughout the years. A couple of near death experiences, some heart shaping (and shredding) relationships, hurricane Andrew, skydiving, all these things provided years of personality in a single moment but none of them had the impact of my parents.

5 months ago, I lost my father. Our relationship was complicated but I think I’m finally getting a grasp on why it was the way it was.

Much to the surprise of anyone who knows me now, I was a rather pleasant child. My parents would tell you that I wasn’t much of a crier and as I developed, one of the bigger problems they faced was me interacting with random people all the time. I would often wander off and quiz total strangers on ridiculous things just to see what they were about. I was personable, as a complete contrast to my adult self.

I was active in sports and so was my Dad. He never liked sitting on the sidelines idly, so whatever sport I was playing, you could bet he was the coach of the team. I took well to American football, although I was the smallest person on the team, I somehow wound up playing center. According to my father that was because of my energy and presence. He also coined the nick name “Mighty Mite” for me.  I’ll go with the fact that it was flag football and I couldn’t get leveled by any of the bigger kids but why split hairs at this point.

He was an athlete to the core. There are scores of medals and plaques sitting in boxes of his various achievements in sport. In his younger years he was a swimmer but as the years went on he found his passion in running.

I used to think that I was a result of my surroundings. Key Biscayne was a very strange place to grow up. There was an odd juxtaposition of social orders which led to a wide variety of mentalities interacting which wouldn’t normally do so. Mainly those who sought to have and those who had too much. The mixing of those two groups ended up creating what I consider some of the closest things to criminal masterminds that my generation will get to deal with and incarcerate, or elect senator. I now know that my surroundings were only so effective in shaping me and could only do so within the boundaries set by my parents. Those boundaries were set very clearly and let me expand without destroying myself, sure I tested the limits every now and then but I was quickly brought back down to earth every time.

When I was younger I’d mention a place on earth and he’d say “oh yea, I had an apartment there” or “I was on business there for a few months” and I would remark “you haven’t lived long enough to have done all that stuff Dad!” Now, I hear myself talk shit at bars and realize, not only, that he could have, but that he did.

I recently had the good fortune of meeting up with my cousin Adolfo, who was just 10 years younger than my father and grew up seeing him as an older brother in Chattahoochee when the family came over from Cuba. There was one very humorous moment when he started to say “your Granddad always said ‘a real man is measured from here up’” while pointing to right between the eyebrows and then up. “The motto of a clan of short men who have no recourse but to rely on their intellects” I thought. But all three de Cespedes men at the table, Adolfo, his son and I, pointed to our foreheads then up at the same time as to say, pretty definitely, that his is a thing we’ve all heard for our entire lives. Passed down by generations, the motto of not too tall men who have needed to use their brains to survive. 

Something happened in my adolescence where I didn’t look up to my father as an idol anymore, I saw him as a rival. I wanted to beat him in everything and that probably led to our issues over the years. I didn’t just want to be good at something, I wanted to be better, faster, stronger than him and to anyone who knew my father, that’s a pretty high bar for some things.

My cousin told me of a time when he lived with my Grandparents and my father would come to visit. He said my Dad was the fun one who always brought a good time but inevitably he’d get into an argument with my Granddad about his hair or the clothes he wore (my Dad was big in the anti war movement when he got back from Vietnam) and would storm off. This hit so close to home considering that the greatest battles I ever had with my Dad were over my tattoos and how I chose to look. The fact that this man could endure years of warfare with his father over this subject then continue the cycle with his own son for years says a lot to the stubbornness of this family.

I left in January, not really too sure of where I was going but knowing that I needed to move to clear my head. The way things happened I wasn’t granted the peace or solitude to mourn and take in all that was going on around me. This trip was mainly to deflate, to do away with the day to day and reflect, consider and absorb. I’ve done a great deal of thinking while on the road and have come to some conclusions.

My father was not an easy man. He was one of the greatest people I’ve had the good fortune of knowing. Thanks to him I am who I am. I owe my wanderlust to him as he always spoke of distant places and the life treasures that they held. I know now that he sacrificed our friendship to be a disciplinarian because anyone can be a  friend, but it takes real strength to tell someone you love when they’re fucking up.

I love you dad, rest in power.

A new set of eyes

Posted in Waxing Idiotic on February 6, 2014 by robdc

After returning from Venice we have been doing a good amount of the usual: running around to the more highly recommended restaurants and trying to see Firenze from different angles to really appreciate it. Today I think we accomplished that. We ran around finding unique vantage points and I think I was able to capture a good amount of the effect.

The day finally cleared up:

IMG_6487_tonemapped We found a rooftop cafe and had some Campari orange and Belinis

IMG_6508_tonemappedIt offered a new look at Il Duomo:

IMG_6506_tonemappedThen Kerry suggested a place she had heard about but never actually been to, a rooftop bar hidden away in a hotel on the river. If we could find it, we’d be in for some spectacular views. We fumbled around the Ponte Vecchio for a while then finally stumbled into this place where apparently this suits as an elevator:

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I’ve lived in apartments more poorly appointed than that elevator, which only moved one floor by the way. Extravagance at it’s very best.

Once we ran around the hotel for a while, without anyone even asking a single question, oddly enough, we found the legendary spot.

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Dusk is quickly becoming my favorite time to shoot, at least in Florence.

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That little bottle simply sais “CUBA” on it, it contains some rum chocolate drink and I picked it up at a bodega earlier in the day, I have no idea why I felt that it was just what this picture needed.

Ponte Vecchio was fantastic from up here. I love that the bridge was originally occupied by mostly butchers but the Medici got tired of the smell every time they took their private walkway from the offices to the palace so they decreed that only jewelry was to be sold there, so it stays a bastion of exorbitantly priced precious stones and bent metals to this very day.

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Then we messed around in the elevators for a bit…

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IMG_6550_tonemappedI still can’t believe that no one asked us for a room key or why the hell we were running around this lavish ass place. Elevator rooms?!

Ok well, that’s it for today although there are many things I’d like to remember like nutella in bed (definitely a high point in my life) and some other highlights, I’m running low on time and we leave to Tuscany tomorrow, can’t wait to see what car we get after booking the “special mini” category. Gotta go!

Cojelo,

Robo

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