Friday, June 09, 2006

TGIF--melbourne to Los Angeles

well, well...time passes, skies fly, lorakeets galore...and still i am in melbourne. but not for long.
a return trip back to CALIFORNIA on june 17th is in store.

helped my friend tawnya crew her first student film last weekend. some of it in my new house (hadn't moved in). was fun. lots of work. film-shooting is no joke. no sleep. no time to relax. go go go!! but definitely a good experience!!

just moved to a new house with 5star. new address is in north melbourne (273A flemington rd, north melbourne VIC 3051). moved in this past week...and what a change of pace it is!!

work's been crazy busy. we are down to 2 people in the restaurant due to management and staff issues. it's the same wherever you go, isn't??? mis-management and all kinds of bullshit that comes with dealing with human beings and egos.

reading "power vs. force" at the moment. trying to find "my zen"...

just bought tix to go see DJ shadow. missed out on the first show...due to work obligations. but i will go on the 25th of july. psyched about that.

but yeah...will be leaving melbourne for three weeks. very excited about the whole prospect of visiting my father and getting in some summer weather.
though melbourne is rapidly approaching its winter season, i can't say the cold is that striking! i had a laugh when my boss (grant--actually his real name is Paul, but i call him grant cuz then he has no idea who i'm talking about!!) came in shivering today at 11am. i stepped out and it was nothing cold to "freezing" as he said, and he's a pommie. well, a pommie's whose been in australia for far too long!!

in any case, i am doing well. a bit under-exercised and a bit un-settled due to my life being back in bags at the moment. but nothing to worry about. it will all come back together in some way, shape or form.

can't wait to see my dad, brian carlson+jenn+triplets, buddha, arturo, ryan and O-dawg!!!


love, fuj

Saturday, May 13, 2006

OH MY GAWD--I may be back!!!

it's quite amazing how time flies.

in just two days, i will have quit my job at PFE for a whole year ALREADY. in just two days, i will have left RI (but most importantly, i left CT) for a whole year already and began my journey across the US to arrive onto the edge of the north american stare, to wonder and to fantasize about the distant lands beyond the horizons. and with one long breathe, i caught wind of a dream, guided by the blazing trails of the sun. i just hung on. and on. and on...and on as far as it would take me. and once i felt like i had reached the other side, i let go. i drifted. i floated. i came to. i came to. and it became clear. i had reached the far side. the south side. welcome to AUSTRALIA!

what a fabulous idea it was! what a fabulous idea it still remains! and what a glorious experience it has been!

it's like being a teenager again. but this time, i know things. i can talk about things. i'm not just a scared and inexperienced human being. i know what i like. i know who i am. and i love so many parts of everything and everyone and most importantly, i like ME...and that makes a tremendous difference in being "open" and "free".

yes, yes, it's cliche...but it's like a re-birth...and everything i encounter is challenging in its own right, but i have no fears about things. i just believe in me. and i believe i can follow my dreams.

Man on the Train: Hey, are you a dreamer?

Wiley: Yeah.

Man on the Train: I haven't seen too many around lately. Things have been tough lately for dreamers. They say dreaming is dead, no one does it anymore. It's not dead it's just that it's been forgotten, removed from our language. Nobody teaches it so nobody knows it exists. The dreamer is banished to obscurity. Well, I'm trying to change all that, and I hope you are too. By dreaming, every day. Dreaming with our hands and dreaming with our minds. Our planet is facing the greatest problems it's ever faced, ever. So whatever you do, don't be bored, this is absolutely the most exciting time we could have possibly hoped to be alive. And things are just starting.

From "Waking Life"

what have i been up to in the last 6 months?

well...i've been in melbourne VIC for the last 6 months where i've been looking for jobs, where i've been applying to schools, where i've been going to shows, meeting people, making friends, having hilarious nights out, dancing, laughing, crying...but ultimately learning about things that make me tick and smile.

i've been living with Matt and AJ for the last 6 months in a neighborhood called BRUNSWICK (6km or 4 miles from downtown--or 20 min by bike). they are good guys though we are more housemates than super good friends.

the last two months, i've been working as floor staff in a fine-dining restaurant and wine bar called the Wine House Brasserie in South Melbourne. they just opened two months ago, so we are struggling a little as a new restaurant...but it's ok. it's slow...we haven't been making great tips...but the team is small and FUN!! and best of all, we do amazing food and great wines!! it's a great place for me to fully polish up my wine knowledge...

and well, right now, i'm aiming to get a degree in Wine Technology and Management with the hopes to make it BIG into the wine industry at some point in the future!! YEAH! REALLY!! SERIOUSLY!???!

so my plans in the near term, are to enroll in school and stay in OZ for another couple of years. Melbourne, music, music, dance GALORE!!!! i'm in heaven ^_^

and, i'm currently involved with the making of my friend tawnya's short film. she's making her 1st student film at the VCA and i get to be her assistant!! getting my feet wet in the whole world of film!! FANTASTIC!!!

oh...and i'm moving to north melbourne in a month!! moving in with 5-star!! wow. it's really happening. it's AWESOME.

so that's the skinny.

what do you think?


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

this is only a QUICK UPDATE

hello mates,

i am back in melbourne.

96 Melville Rd
Brunswick, VIC 3056


unfortunetely this blog has had to be postponed in the last month due to the lack of internet facilities and the jam-packed schedule i've been on ever since arriving in Perth.

i am finally "settled" into a home and i have 2 wonderful housemates: AJ & Matt (photos will follow). 5-star also has been living with me for the last 2 weeks. it's a bit nuts and my head is still spinning from the non-stop "living".

i am now looking for a job and ready to resume a "normal" life--whatever that may be.

but i've got some alarming emails lately as i have disappeared for a little while. but not entirely "lost"...just a bit out-of-the-electronic-loop.

my housemates are video/animation i have no fears of losing track of the modern paced world. i just needed to be "away" for a little while.

peace, FUJ

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Indian Ocean in all of its glory: Broome

Our westward journey came to a screeching halt when we arrived in Broome, WA.

Along the way and as always, we came across another sign that caught my attention:

Stray Animals--gotta watchout for those as they are "everywhere":

And as promised, I mentioned before that I would eventually explain a bit about the BOAB tree. So here’s the story: I first saw a boab tree in Western Queensland as we were headed to Carnavron National Park. At that time, I thought it was the same BAOBAB tree that Antoine St Exupery describes in his book: The Little Prince, and I was terribly excited that I had finally encountered one in real life! But when I went to the stockman’s museum in LongReach QLD a few days later, I found out that it was actually called a BOAB tree. So sadly, I resigned myself to the fact that I would probably have to go ALL THE WAY TO AFRICA to see a real BAOBAB tree.

Well low and behold, on our way out of Derby (NT), we visited the BOAB PRISON TREE (where aboriginals were kept in captivity earlier in the 20th century) and it turns out that as per usual, the Aussies who love to shorten every word or name, had indeed decided to apply their “shortening” principle to the BOAB tree. So, the BAOBAB tree became known as the BOAB tree and my prior state of excitement was without reason, the first time I saw one here!!


But anyway, after this quick stop, we made our way to Broome!! Oh…Broome!!!

Originally, we planned on spending about 5 nights in Broome with 3 nights at the town beach campervan site and perhaps another 2 nights at a beach town a few kms North of the town (Cable Beach).
But once we got to our campsite, I was witness to such an amazing visual experience, I honestly thought I had died and gone to Indian-Ocean-heaven!!!!

A campsite with a view:

An aerial view of our campsite:

And, after seeing my first sunrise right outside my tent,

I said to myself: How could we possibly even consider going anywhere else??? So as soon as Laurie and I were both “awake” enough that morning around 6:40am to have a conversation, I said: do we really need to go anywhere else? And, we both decided that we should stay “just where we were” for 5 nights (which turned into 6 nights because the last “stairwell to the moon” was happening on 18th of October at 6:42pm—the last of its kind for the year before the “wet” season began).

Stairwell to the moon is a natural phenomenon that happens during the “dry” season a few days after each full-moon. At this time of the year, the tide is very low at moon-rise and the reflection of the moon over the mud-flats creates an illusionary staircase to the moon. Very cool…

So with my amazing luck in Australia so far, on this beautiful day of October 19th, I decided to go for a quick dip into my swimming pool (ie: the ocean) with a bikini (rather than a full swimsuit) and no more than 15 minutes was I in the water before I got stung by a jellyfish.
Once again, the sting did not swell up for about 12 hours and then when it finally took on its full-fledged form, I also got attacked by a million sandflies…and for the next 5 days I was an absolute crazy mess, popping antihistamines, lathering the cortisone cream, scratching myself to a bloody pulp and nearly tearing my skin off (I even had to trim my fingernails down to the skin to stop murderously tearing myself to shreds)!!!!

Another jellyfish sting:

The attack of the Sand-fly (a total of 139 visible bites!!! HOLY SHIT!!!):

But aside from these natural upsets (which most Aussies laugh about--while I whimper and cry for sympathy), while we were in Broome, Laurie and I went on an amazing sea-plane ride over the Dampier Peninsula, the Buccaneer Archipelagos and to the Horizontal Falls in the West-Kimberleys.

WHAT A DAY!!! I felt like I was going to Fantasy Island and that Mr. Rourke and Tatoo were going to greet me when I got off the sea-plane with: WELCOME! WELCOME TO FANTASY ISLAND!

I took over 200 photos that day…and here are some of the amazing highlights:

Our Plane:

Two roads meet in the Outback:

Western Coastline:

Rugged Coastline:

Aerial of the Second Fall at Horizontal Falls (a tidal water way between two inlets of seawater, solely controlled by the tides—thence “horizontal” falls. The direction of the water-flow changes of course 3 times a day!! Freaky!!!):

The First fall (we actually sped-through this channel!!):

Aerials of the Buccaneer Archipelagos:

Crocodile-shaped Island:

Hey guys, I think I finally found “my” island!!!:

Here’s barely an island:

And who ever said that water was simple…check out the crazy path that this little river has paved for itself—it almost looks like a snake got drunk and tried to find its way home…

Cape Leveque:

I had it in my head that I really wanted to go to the tip of Dampier Peninsula—being Cape Leveque…I was psyched to fly into it and get to swim in the very northern tips!!!

And what a great way to finish off a tremendous visual day, but with a sunset over the clouds…

More to come!!! More to come...I have about 3 or 4 more BLOGS to update in the next week that I am a bit "sedantary", here in Perth.

How are you all? And what were you for Halloween?? Here, they celebrated the Melbourne CUP on November 2nd and I guess it's quite the celebration--but yeah, no costumes. Oh well, gotta start getting used to the different celebrations, I suppose!!! So, yah...wonderwoman will have to wait for another year. *sigh*

Cheers, FUJ

Friday, November 04, 2005

Kununurra to Broome: the ocean, the ocean!!! here i come!!!

Through Western Australia, we drove through quite a few un-controlled bush-fires that honestly just burn wildly and right up to the road. In some places, it almost looks like the road is the only thing that keeps the fire from spreading…

No firetrucks, no brouhaha about putting out the fires…they just burn, baby…BURN!!!

and the termite mounds were starting to go from little grave-stone like mounds to now something I call: smurf-dwellings:

Once in Kununurra, we decided to stay 2 nights in this town, as Laurie wanted to go for a “flight over Purnululu National Park and surrounding areas, and I was trying to get a 4WD tour to take me on an overnight tour of the same area (unfortunately because of the low-season—the wet season is about a month away—I was not able to book a tour that suited my own travel-calendar so I had to give up the idea which just made me say: I’ll just come back and do it “next time”—see were my thinking is going these days?? Ha ha).

Next to our fabulous campervan park, there was Mirama National Park—a small but beautiful park to exlore in our “backyard”. The first tree to greet me at the entrance of this park was a most beautiful and grandiose BOAB tree:

and as I trekked in the early morning heat into the park, I must have been hallucinating as I saw something move in the grass and thought it was some kind of diabolical, long-legged creature when really, it was just a gnarled up tree branch—can you see what I mean?? It’s looks like a long-legged something-or-rather, trying to ambush me!

The park I was hiking through is called Hidden Valley and consists of sandstones that were formed from sediments deposited by creeks and wind-blown sand during the Devonian period 360 million years ago!!

Looking carefully at the incredible intricate layering of sediment, slashed into the most amazing design truly struck (my dehydrated body) and my delusional imagination—leading me very slowly to a series of thoughts on the origins of aboriginal art-style: some being very intricate dotted-style use of color for art paintings (so-called-post-modernist-style):

and finally, here’s me…just horsin’around in one of little rock-worn holes in the side of a wall in the park—visibly: I am having a very “out-there” kind of day while Laurie was on his “flight” across the lands:

From Kununurra, we proceeded on a long day of driving bringing us to Fitzroy Crossing. Here, I visited Geikie Gorge the following day (soon to be re-named: Danggu Gorge—another “re-claiming the land” steps for the Aborigines). I had started to sprain my left wrist in Darwin and had to ride up to the gorge to catch an 8am boat-tour (that Laurie was not interested in joining)…and unfortunately, I chose to ride up an un-sealed (un-paved) road which of course did “wonders” to my already pained-wrist.

I arrived at 2 minutes til 8am and they almost turned me away but seeing that I had just biked 22 miles, I begged using the excuse that the park-receptionist said that the trip was “only 18km” when it turned out to actually be 22km long (true story!)!! I had planned on a 45-minute ride…but it actually took me a full-hour! So in full-sweat, I plopped myself down in a seat in the tour-boat…catching my breath as the tour began in full swing! And what a great little tour it was!!!

Geikie Gorge:

Masked Lapwing Birds:

YES!!! A croc!!!

Picturesque photos:

Rock-face on the gorge:

Amazing faces of the gorge:



well folks (i know most of you don't even really read this blog anymore...for many reasons but some being: we don't care anymore, we don't have time to read your shiat, and just that you have better things to do!!!), i am now in Perth (WA) where my major travels through OZ and my campervan trip have come to an end.

i'm quite behind again on my blog as most of WA does not have high-speed internet access or the cost is a bit i've just been waiting to get back to a city environment to kinda wrap things up.

strangely enough, i was apprehensive to come back to civilization after being in the outback and louging around in the sun, snorkeling on prestine beaches and just taking in the natural beauty of the WA coastline. but perth announces itself to be a very cool and chill city, so i plan to stick around here for 2 weeks or so.

things with my travel companion (laurie) turned a bit sour in the last two weeks (though the discord began about 4 weeks ago): something to do with male-female interactions, emotions, stubbornness, close-minded-obstinent-behavior and who-knows-what-else. we had a bit of a blow-up at a wonderful resort by the name of monkey mia (with morning visits by dolphins).

so i decided to jump off in perth and laurie and i parted today without even a hug--barely a smile. just a most disingenuous: "have a good life" kinda exchange.

my feelings are still a bit raw from the whole experience and the stress has taken its toll as i have caught a cold in the last two days and need to put myself to bed very shortly this evening (even though it's my first FRIDAY night in perth!! DAMN!!).

but so life goes...and we humans, as bullheaded and incensed as we can be at times, we pick ourselves up and we move on--and so i do.

i am hoping to spend the next few days, just chillin' and catchin'up on some sleep, some bloggin' and fully explore this beautiful WA-city!!

hope all is well in your worlds.

P---z, FUJ

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Litchfield to Kununurra (goodbye NT, hello WA)

Western Australia, here we come!!!

We left Darwin on Friday the 7th. Laurie drove me to Litchfield and I was the most comatose passenger he could have ever wished to have…I had had very late nights in Darwin with 5-star and had gone out a little too hard on the last night (dancing with aborigines at the Casino and at then after at some semi-nightclub-gurl-dancing-club). I woke up with my head somewhere other than on my head…and so, we went to Wangi falls where I had only enough energy to take a dip into the water and swim to the falls and let it pound some life back into me (dear vodka, dear me):

but I did manage to take a great photo of a goanna in full action:

And then we made our way to Tjuwaliyn (Douglas Springs) where we spent the night, and I got to spend the most wonderful morning just soaking in the thermal hot springs that flowed into the Douglas river!!! Oh…I could not have asked for anything more to try and get my body and mind back from the debaucherous behavior in Darwin…

From here, we made it towards Western Australia, leaving the Stuart Highway and beginning our westward journey again:

Somewhere along the way, we crossed paths with the most hard-core traveler: a single Japanese motorcycle-chick with camping gear and spare gas-container strapped to her bike!!! I was completely mesmerized by even the thought of traveling alone on a motorcycle across the OZ outback, with the intention of camping along the way!! THAT’S HARDCORE!!!

And on this drive, we also met Peter, a deutsch relief-teacher/substitute teacher (working in an aboriginal community off the Victoria River in the Gregory National Park). He was super-friendly, approaching us in the dead middle of the scortching day at a rest-stop. I thought was it was so ironic that Laurie meet Peter as Laurie’s students in Yeppoon call him: Mr Happy and Peter calls himself DR SMILES: (Suicide, Mental ILlness and Education). They are both teachers that love their students and pour their heart and souls into inspiring the next generation! What an inspiration in it of itself!!!

We traveled quite a long distance that day (700Km—a long day for us) and we made our way to Timber Creek (where we met some german travelers that we have continuously run into for the last 2 weeks). Here's just the road to:

And along the way, we saw incredible numbers of these really amazing BOAB trees (I will say more about these after we enter into WA):

And finally, we arrived to: WESTERN AUSTRALIA

where you must discard your fruit, honey and vegetables prior to entering:

oh, and I must not forget to tell the story about “how Laurie tried to kill me” that day before we entered WA!!! . As per usual, I left ahead of the van but being that I was still a bit on the tail-end of my recovery-from-a-bad-hangover-after-Darwin, I was going for my real bike-ride…and told Laurie that I was going for about 20Km and that I would meet him around 10am (about 1 hour) and that I wasn’t brining my camel-back—that I was just with 1L of water for this trip. Well, Laurie was just “doing his own thing” and lost track of time. By 10:30am, I was panicking as the sun was seriously beating down on me, I was down to the last dregs of water in my bottle, there was NO SHADE to be found, I was nearing 40Km and terribly worried that if I stopped, I would just get shrivel up and eaten by some unknown beast in the outback!! So when the van showed up at 10:40am, I had a few words to say like: where the f—- have you been and what the f—-are you trying to do to me?

We laugh about it now…but I sure as hell wasn’t too pleased at the time…

So yeah, if you stop hearing from me all together, just check in with laurie, he might just shrug his shoulders and say: I dunno, mate. She just took off one day and never came back?! She left me a camera, a few good CDs, her computer and a whole lot of her junk…have you heard from her on your end?

Yeah, the outback may just be recycling me back to my original form! (Speaking of which, I just picked up Bill Bryson’s: A brief history of everything for A$4—it’s a rather thick paperback that covers everything about everything about science…and, well, quite frankly I was stunned to find it in a tourist office in the middle of NOWHERE! But having heard from Brian&Jenn that it is a most wonderful Bryson read, I’m stoked!!!).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

KAKA-U??? No, mate. It's KAKADU!!!!

After our wonderful day at Nitmiluk, we headed east towards Katherine where we stopped in for a few essentials (food, alcohol, camping gear, internet, civilization???) and again, we began our journey northward. Our next destination was Kakadu National Park (200Km east of Darwin) and I was incredibly stoked to experience this park as soooo many people I had met so far on my travels, had spoken about it with high regards. But truthfully, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than the great aboriginal rock-art (yay!!! I love EVERYTHING aborigine!!!!).

Plus, from a completely different perspective of appreciation for a National Park, I had it in my head (or in my legs) that I was going to cycle a great deal through this park if the hills didn’t kill me first…and it turns out, it was the GREATEST place on earth to cycle as it was flat-as-flat-can-be (with a few bouts with head-winds but nothing to keep me from moving forward, albeit slowly)!! So during the 3 days we spent in the park, I cycled about 30-40Km every morning between the hours of 7-10am (the increasing temperatures as we moved further and further north, were really starting to dictate our traveling/activity schedules)…and I was LOVING IT!!!

[on a side note: for a brief 7 days, I was having the worst of luck with my bike and my clip-in shoes. I fell 4 days in a row, three times at a stand-still while one-shoe was still half-clipped in and once I seriously crashed into a curb because I was completely sleep-deprived and not paying attention to the nonsensical curb right before a round-about and ended up breaking my head-light, scratching up the bike, flying over the handle-bars and landing somehow on my two-hands and two feet??!?! and soon-thereafter, with an ENORMOUS bruise on my thigh that lasted almost a full-week and looked like I was getting a “good-beating back at the house”!! So then for a few days, Laurie and I were on a no-fall-for-FUJ campaign which seems to have taken effect quite nicely—knock on ROCK???]

In any case, this blog is going to consist mostly of photos as I have soooooo many to share of KAKADU NATIONAL PARK. The first series will be of overall picturesque and note-worthy photos: HIGHLIGHTS, the second will be of aboriginal rock-art (as I am totally fascinated by rock-art and the whole aboriginal culture): Dreamtime, and finally, the last series will be of sunset at Ubirr—an incredible section of the park which is impassable after the wet-season begins as all the road flood (most of Northern Australia is impassable after the “build-up” and all the torrential rainfall): sunset at Ubirr.

But before I begin, I’d just like to give a little more meaning to some of the photos by sharing some of my understandings of the aboriginal core belief-systems and their history. Kakadu National Park has been named a World Heritage area for its outstanding cultural and natural treasures. The name Kakadu is based on the Gagadju aboriginal language that is commonly spoken by the area aborigines who own the land and lease it back to the Government for National Park use. The park itself includes one of the finest and most extensive collections of rock art in the world, attesting to the Aboriginal people’s long association with the land. It embraces some amazing scenery from rugged sandstone escarpments, to woodlands, to vast wetlands, a large tropical river and some really incredible examples of the diverse habitats that allow for the amazing wild life that abounds in the “Top End” of this continent. Aside from the beauty of the park itself, what is most striking about the rock-art that is found in so many places around the park, is that some of it is over 6-7 thousand years old and yet still remains clearly visible on the walls of some of these rock-walls. The art depicts aboriginal history, storytelling, philosophies and a clear record of life and life-style as written language has mostly been non-existent in this culture.
What I find so intriguing about the richness of their history and belief-system, although it varies of course between tribes and across regions and there is no one single-belief-system whatsoever, but that there is a pervasive theme across the aboriginal cultures which accepts a story about “life” and how it cycles and that there is something called the dreamtime which depicts a “way in which the world came about” and how humans have a part in this dreamtime and that there is good and not-so-good behavior that affects the rhythm and dynamics of the dreamtime. And though I am only giving you a very rough sketch of this “story” as I understand it (so very little still), it really paints a beautiful picture which begins with the Rainbow Serpent—one of the most powerful ancestors of the Dreamtime that first visited the world after the “First people” created the landscape and all that it contains.
In the enormous numbers of rock-art that I saw (and took photos of), there were countless representations of the Rainbow Serpent as well as other significant spirits that played a part in the aboriginal way-of-life, from “laws” of the dreamtime to daily activities, to successful-hunts, to food menus, to celebrations, to erotic art and animals and dancing…the rock-art was beautiful and stunning!!! And on many levels, a much better way to communicate amongst themselves and between tribes rather than through the use of written language where there always comes a point of debate based on semantics or proper use of words and/or style. Here, things just are, and that’s how it was…



Beware of the Crocodile…

Anbangbang (also known as Nourlangie Rock)

Termite mounds speckling graveyard fields

Kakadu landscape (with controlled bush-fires at a distance):


The rainbow serpent:

Here are the aboriginal laws:

They love their wallabies (and they eat them too!):

Here fishies fishies fishies fishies:

They love their fish: Barramundi art

Erotic Art:

They love to dance!!!


The lightning man:


On this particular day, controlled bush-fires were being conducted and so the sunset was particularly stunning for its unusual colors and filtering of the sun as it set over the horizon…

A beautiful landscape captured a most unique end-of-the-day scenery:

Stunning…absolutely stunning!!!

And finally, the grande finale for my pictures of KAKADU!!! How amazing is this photo??? I can’t even think of it being taken here on this planet!!!