A day of white water

Nefarious, Dave, and I went white water rafting today — on the Balsa River (I was wrong about yesterday, which was actually on the River Blanca) — for my and Nefarious’s first time, so I think the choice of class three rapids was about right. It was plenty bumpy with the occasional risk of falling overboard into the river or flipping the raft altogether, and lots of slides down mini-waterfalls with big crashes at the bottom with violent waves splashing over the side, and the more-than-occasional crashes into boulders in our path. The ride itself took two and a half hours and Nefarious did great, not just holding on tight, but listening to all the instructions from our guide on when to shift her weight around. She — and all of us — had lots of fun, and were completely drenched by the end of it. Well, not by the end of it. By the first five minutes, and then again, over and over and over! It sure was nice coming back to shore with fresh pineapple and watermellons waiting for us, and then a hot meal of rice, fish, veggies, beans, plantain, and goat cheese. Not that it was the focus, but on the smoother class two stretches we had time for some sightseeing, not just of egrets, herons, eagles, kingfishers, vultures, and other birds, but also the many bright green lizards skittering over the rocks along the shoreline. All in all a super adventure that I will remember fondly and I hope is one of Nefarious’s childhood highlights.

Also on the ride (split across two rafts, as well as a rescue guy with stretched lobes sans-jewelry in the rescue raft) were a couple of adventure travel dudes from Hawaii, and some Bush-loving Christian Republicans from North Carolina, accent and all. We were talking to the guide about Costa Rica, and he was proudly speaking about how self-sufficient it is, with massive exports of all kinds including renewable power (they have wind, water, and geothermal generation, as well as lots of biofuels, with a real emphasis on sustainability and long-term health of the nation and environment) and food of all sorts, and how they have great free education and healthcare, and so on… He really started losing them when he talked about how in Costa Rica, people look not to the person who’s richer than them (and then live a life of envy and greed as they try and get rich themselves) but to the one who is poorer (both to remind them of the riches of the simple and stable life they already have, and to show them that they need to help those around them), but when he talked about how Costa Rica was a nearly two century old democracy that had dissolved their military sixty years ago, they couldn’t get it at all, blurting out, “but what will you do when you get invaded?!?!?”

As if!!!

He tried to explain to them that Costa Rica aims to spread peace, and that their nation’s leaders travel extensively throughout the world encouraging other nations to stop being so warlike, but they thought it was completely bizarre. I was about to get in an argument with them about healthcare — even though the guy’s job was in the bankruptcy industry and he agreed that healthcare (or as he put it, “it’s not the insurance companies fault, it’s just bad luck”) was the biggest cause of bankruptcy, he thought the current for-profit US system was the best they could get — but decided it wasn’t how I wanted to spend my day, so I had an interesting chat on the ride with his wife, who homeschools their four children. Now, I like homeschooling because I’m into unschooling and freerange kids, whereas I guess they have a problem with queer teachers and evolution, but still, we found plenty in common and avoided black eyes and it was quite pleasant chatting with people who are fairly alien to me in their life views.

And RIP to WWF surface piercing pioneer Captain Lou Albano, who almost always wore rubber bands through a piercing on the surface of his cheek, making him arguably the inventor of flexible jewelry (predating by a decade things like Tygon)… I wrote about him ages ago on BME at my friend Saira’s suggestion. I see these notes about how BME is looking for someone to take over running it and want to put up my hand and say “I’ll do it!” because I’d love to be blogging about bodmod again, but I’m quite certain that it wouldn’t be worth jumping through the legal hoops to achieve. I suppose I’ve had my turn, and am in a different line these days. But what good memories, even if I can’t turn back time!

Tomorrow morning it’s off to the sloth rescue!


  1. Elizabeth wrote:

    Whitewater rafting (or more fun, canoeing) has to be my all time favorite outdoors activity and the only thing nature wise that I miss living down at the beach. Funny that the couple is from North Carolina and bothered to go seeing as N.C. has super fun rivers of their own. The last time we went I thought a Class 3 would be too much for the kids so we settled for a class 2 and it was pretty dull. Next time the Nantahala!!! Been down the “Lesser Wesser” twice, both times in canoe, next time I’m going down the “Worser Wesser”, tales of that Summer’s demises nothwithstanding. :D Much weee.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Elizabeth wrote:

    I really should proofread before submitting. “outdoor’s”. :P

    Oh and on body modification, I guess you dont think the person stepping down from running BME would hire you? Gee, you’re plenty qualified! *ahem*

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
  3. wintermute wrote:

    nice: “but still, we found plenty in common and avoided black eyes “

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:00 am | Permalink
  4. starbadger wrote:

    well done well said

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 11:37 am | Permalink
  5. Twwly wrote:

    Putting in my request for gratuitous sloth pictures okay.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  6. Joan wrote:

    sloth pics please, I second the motion :)
    And even though you are more then qualified to run the company you created and built up, I would avoid that simply because you, Caitllin and Ari have a great, happy and somewhat peaceful life, why open yourself up to that drama again?

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  7. Sporko wrote:

    not all of us North Carolina folk have accents and love Bush..but a lot of them do. They most have been from the western part of the state

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
  8. Elizabeth wrote:

    hah, that’s akin to sayin’ that not all of us Alabamians have accents. Degrees af accent sure, but c’mon.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
  9. Elizabeth wrote:

    hah, that’s akin to sayin’ that not all of us Alabamians have accents. Degrees of accent sure, but c’mon.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Permalink
  10. Anselm wrote:

    I dunno, man. Part of me says “Screw BME! They fucked you over, now leave ’em in the lurch!” and part of me says “That’d be awesome! Maybe I could respect BME again, and maybe they’d start doing quality stuff again, instead of the distinctly sub-par stuff that’s been coming out on ModBlog!”

    But sloths sound fun!

    Friday, October 16, 2009 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  11. Shannon wrote:

    Yeah, ModBlog has been hard to bother checking on lately… hardly any posts, and few of much interest to me. I’d gladly take it over, or blog elsewhere on the subject, if I was legally permitted. I sometimes fantasize about how I’d rebuild things… definitely I’d go very co-op, with distributed/community ownership and so on to avoid some of the issues that happened the first time around. But I suspect all that will stay fantasy.

    Friday, October 16, 2009 at 11:06 am | Permalink
  12. Elizabeth wrote:

    Like the co op compound, a nice fantasy.

    Friday, October 16, 2009 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  13. starbadger wrote:

    may dreams become truths

    Friday, October 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  14. Jill wrote:

    I’d absolutely get back on bme if you were running it again! :)

    Saturday, October 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  15. Ron Garza wrote:

    The catalyst i say … The catalyst!

    Sunday, October 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  16. Jon P wrote:

    I wouldn’t go back to BME if you went back to it, Shannon. I feel in many ways my life is similar to yours since your involvement in BME was trampled. I have a family now, and I’m very much dedicated to them. I wouldn’t have the impetus to support BME in the ways that I used to and I’m actually very proud to have grown and moved on from internet social networking.

    Monday, October 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  17. Shannon wrote:

    I can definitely relate to Jon P’s comment… My life has really changed over the last two years and I’ve done a lot of growing up. Not that I wasn’t doing interesting and vibrant things before, but the borders of my life are much broader now, and I could not have achieved that if I was still doing it all. Nonetheless, I do miss being able to publicly talk about the subject, interview people for the purpose of web posts, and so on… I really enjoy sharing my passions as broadly as possible.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  18. Elizabeth wrote:

    Unlike Jon P I was a extremely dedicated parent well before finding iam.bmezine in Nivember of 2000 and being able to connect with like-minded people on the internet certainly did not detract from my being able to be a wholly committed Mother.
    I still enjoy social networking via the internet but do it the same as I did with iam, I only use it to keep up with people online and dont use it as a genuinely social connection, ie: no real-life involvement.
    I sorely miss being able to discuss some aspects of my life that are entirely not facebook friendly and read about other’s. :(

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 11:32 am | Permalink
  19. HJP wrote:

    I could rant quite a bit about BME but I won’t – I will say I miss your presense there and froze my account when you left due to issues that weren’t resolved. As Elizabeth said, I too miss hanging out with people I don’t have to censor myself with, or edit for ‘facebook friendly’ sites. As my symptoms of Aspberger’s become more apparant I found the internet is an escape for me – I can be social at my own pace and I don’t feel stressed so much, a lot of thanks goes to Shannon and BME because it was my ‘warm fuzzy’ for a long time to see people like me online that were modified – and even meet one in my area from BME.
    As for the vacation, I would love to travel but can’t afford it – please include some photos – it sounds wonderful to be able to see other culture/countries and know there is more out there that isn’t so depressing.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 5:25 am | Permalink
  20. Elizabeth wrote:

    Yes, iam.bmezine was PERFECT for someone who’s a bit Aspbergery. People can be so damn clingly on other sites, it’s almost like real life interaction. Ack. But whatever, a done bun cant be undone.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 8:31 am | Permalink
  21. MissJanet wrote:

    I don’t need or want BME anymore, but I miss those interesting interviews with fascinating people that Shannon did all the time. He just asked all the right questions. You just “got it” however far fetched the reasoning for some modification or lifestyles seemed before. And I loved that aspect – the broadening of my pow.

    Hope this makes sense, my english is lousy today, sorry.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  22. troyo wrote:

    Just for our own info shannan, if you can, explain why you cant talk about Body Mods at all? surely you have a right to talk about anything you want? You cant start a new site at all?

    Friday, October 23, 2009 at 3:24 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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