Category Archives: Adventures

A Valentine (Again)

Four years ago today, I posted a short entry to express affection for a man who’d been making himself a little home within my heart.

At the time we’d been dating for about six months. I teased him regularly that the shelf life on most of my relationships was less than eight months, and as he approached that mark and then surpassed it, he often joked that he was running out of time on my attention span and he’d lose me soon.

Early in our relationship, he shared his lack of fondness for Valentine’s Day. He’d avoided it every year, even when seeing someone, he told me. Women knew he wasn’t going to make plans with them that day, and that was that.

So when our first Valentine’s Day approached, in 2013, I assumed his personal tradition would hold true. I was living in Las Vegas, he was in Los Angeles. I wasn’t disappointed about it — I knew what to expect because he told me what he was like.

The day before Valentine’s Day was a Wednesday, and he sent me this adorable picture of the two of us, and told me he wished he could spend the day with me. I asked if he was serious.

He said yes, but he was leaving to shoot 2013’s International Students for Liberty Conference on Friday, so he’d be flying out at 8am the morning of the 15th.

He said if I could get to him for Valentine’s Day, he’d buy my return ticket home. So, at 5:30pm on the 13th, he purchased a ticket for me from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, same time as his flight to DC.

Last minute flights were a bit out of my price range, so I befriended a random German tourist who had decided to rent a Ford Mustang and drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on Thursday morning.

I’m not kidding. I met the German dude on Craigslist. He was 25ish, having his “American road trip” experience and was happy to drive me to LA for free just for the company for the 4.5 hour drive.

Thursday morning I hopped into the car of my new German friend, with just a backpack and my heart on my sleeve.

I arrived at his house mid-afternoon, bid good-bye to my chauffeur, and we spent the day and evening together – we made dinner and watched the movie Ted. We stayed up all night talking (and not talking), and in the morning we headed to LAX for our respective flights.

It was a perfect Valentine’s Day that neither of us expected.

I drew this for him on 2/14/2013.

Right before Valentine’s Day two years ago, we decided, very amicably and mutually, to break up. We wrote loving testimonials to each other and meant every word. The response from friends and followers was enormous and loving, and we were so grateful that our communities that we were both so involved in did not have to “choose sides”. We stayed close afterwards, and over time the lines we’d drawn eventually blurred between us.

Now he’s my Valentine again this year. Whether this lasts another 6 months or 6 years or a lifetime… I love our story and these adventures we have.

I’ll admit, I see us both as people who see the world and what we get from it as something within our control and ability. Like: I’m this way, and so this is how I react, this is how I want this interaction to go, this is what I do, and this is what I expect to happen.

I think when it comes to love, we’ve both let go of a number of our assumptions, because engaging in this story together as it unfolds is new, challenging, exciting, and unlike anything either of us has really done before.

Maybe it’s just a kiss, frozen in time, echoing back over four and a half years of very influential memories that keep us coming back to one another. But it’s special and it’s real.

I can’t say if it’ll last. I’ve never been out this deep before.

But I love that he’s my Valentine.

The Avens-Approved Burning Man Supply List

So, you’ve decided to go to Burning Man. You found a ticket & have read the 10 Principles of Burning Man. You even read the Survival Guide.

You may or may not have friends you are going with, but you’ve requested that vacation time & you are determined to make it to Black Rock City & see what everybody keeps talking about.

Make sure you’re well acquainted with the guides that BM provides. Make sure you have a car pass for the vehicle you are traveling in (they want to encourage carpooling, you will not get in without your car having a car pass). The next thing you do is you end up asking one of your friends who has been going if they have a recommended supply list.

There are so many out there on the web & all of them are pretty awesome. Mine is a decent, every-growing production that has served numerous friends of mine in the past, particularly as I add colorful contextual commentary. However, there are definitely more comprehensive lists out there, I promise you that if you follow my list you won’t forget anything essential. You just might miss some of the treasures Mama’s dug up.

For the following list, I have included Amazon.com links that go through my affiliate program, so if you feel like buying “through” me, I appreciate the support. Thanks! Continue reading The Avens-Approved Burning Man Supply List

See Me

I have a lot of passions, some of which I advocate very strongly for. I think we all have things we care tremendously about, whether it is a way of life, or religion, politics or a particular hobby.

I hate to call myself an activist, I feel like it’s not the appropriate term for me, despite my level of political involvement. I would call myself a political writer, but I think I already explained in another post how I feel more like an “interpreter”. Mostly, I just live the life I wish to have – trying to be a positive example of the things I invest my time in. Continue reading See Me

The State of the Avens

Judd & I at the Tesla event. I was so excited I could barely handle it.
Judd & I at the Tesla event. I was so excited I could barely handle it.

I turned 27 this past Friday. The night before, I had the good fortune to attend the unveiling of the new Tesla Model D. Friday night, a small group of incredible people I am so grateful to call friends gathered for dinner to celebrate my birthday. On Saturday, I went to the premiere of a new documentary called The Culture High (which I recommend highly). On Sunday, I spent the better part of a day playing with my adorable little niece-of-the-heart. It was an amazing weekend. I am tremendously lucky for all the incredible events and people in my life.

I haven’t done a formal update about my life in quite a while. I guess now is as good a time as any. I’m calling it The State of the Avens, because we all know I’m a little too obsessed with politics and nerdy references. Continue reading The State of the Avens

International Judd Weiss Appreciation Day

So, on Monday, Jeffrey Tucker & Steve Horwitz declared Wednesday, April 23rd to be “International Judd Weiss Appreciation Day”:

Jeffrey and Steve's Plan

When I saw the annoucement, I quickly bought the domain name:
http://www.juddweissisawesome.com

Originally I was going to make a blog post here and point the domain to it, but I decided the effort needed it’s own website, so it was my little project last night. We debuted it last night and started inviting people today. Continue reading International Judd Weiss Appreciation Day

Count It All Joy

Many years ago, a woman named Eileen sat on her front porch and looked over the chain-link fence at my strange family and our friends, all dancing around a Beltaine Maypole in a nice suburban neighborhood of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Despite our peculiar activities, I suspect it was the smell of delicious food on the grill that finally convinced her to wander over and inquire as to the reason for our celebration. She got a bit of an education on Druidism that afternoon, and made fast friends with our group.

Eileen became a frequent visitor to our home, a close friend of my mother’s, and even the emergency babysitter if my family needed someone to watch me. She was the perfect example of a good neighbor. She and Mum both loved flowers, and the space between our yards became gardens in the spring & summer of irises, lilies and roses. Continue reading Count It All Joy

The Lucky Ones

I am tremendously lucky in my life. I’ve had some amazing loves. I’ve been passionately kissed under fireworks and under stars, I’ve been the center of somebody’s world before, and I’ve felt the smile of my lover like the sun in the sky. If I was never loved again in my life, I think the amount of love I’ve felt and given is probably more than many get to experience in their lives.

I am phenomenally fortunate. Continue reading The Lucky Ones

Baring More with Peter Paradise

Long before I became the subject of hundreds of photographs by Judd Weiss, I modeled for Peter Paradise of Boston. I posted a few shots of our work together in the past, but as both of our birthdays approach, I wanted to share some of our story, and some of the best work I feel we ever did together.

The next few photographs will include some semi-nudes, so those who would be offended or disinclined to see these (hello, family!) should probably do themselves a favor and not look any further. Spare me the lectures, too. Continue reading Baring More with Peter Paradise

The Bear & The Bird

I’m kinda-sorta-maybe-a-lot-in-love right about now. I would claim I don’t know how I got here, but I do, and this is where I’ll tell you, if you stay to read. This entry was harder to write than most simply because it’s a currently evolving story, not a finished chapter from my past. I hope I do this present experience justice.

It was just another Wednesday in June of 2012 when I spotted a clever post on Facebook credited to an online friend. The original poster was some cocky-looking guy named “Judd Weiss” who’d tagged my acquaintance. After some banter back and forth in the comments I explored Judd’s profile, pictures, and website (Hustlebear.com) and found we had mutual interests and mutual friends, so I sent him a friend request.

Over the next year I’ve certainly gotten to know him (I’d dare say more than most) – I met him in person a few weeks later at Freedom Fest in July. I brought a couple of people up to a little get-together in his hotel room, and next thing I knew I had seven people following me to a great little restaurant in Las Vegas. He sat beside me, and somehow as I drank glass after glass of Sangria, I missed the fact that I was sitting next to the next great love of my life. Continue reading The Bear & The Bird