30 May 2009

The Story Of Stuff

In the morning I usually have some strawberry yogurt poured over some delectable British strawberries (buy local! woo!). While I eat, I head over to Huffington Post or CNN to watch any recent, pertinent videos. This keeps my brain occupied for the 8 minutes it usually takes me to devour said strawberries and yogurt.

Well, a few mornings ago I came across this AMAZING 20-minute short documentary about where "stuff" comes from. That is, how everything you own came to be, and what happens to it when you're done with it. The creator spent TEN YEARS researching everything from raw material extraction right through to landfill dumping. Now, I knew it wasn't the most pleasant tale, but I had no idea just how bad it is - from destroying the Earth to building products that are MADE to break so you have to buy a new one to incinerating trash and poisoning the air.

Before you call me a conspiracy theory cynic take the time to watch and see the truth in it all. More importantly, note that not a single person/company/government official has come forward to attack her research claims. In fact, most of her facts and figures come from Right-Wing or Government sources. All I can say is: STOP SHOPPING SO MUCH! WE'RE KILLING THE EARTH, & WE ONLY GET ONE!

29 May 2009

Dems In Good Shape

So it appears the Democrats are in fairly good shape. Still, never let up!

A few links to more on this:



27 May 2009

Lefty Pride

In celebration of my left-handed super friend Carly's wedding (for which I am traveling from London to LA), I decided to do several things:

1. Post a ridiculously embarrassing photo of her (that highlights her left-handed-ness)
2. Post a gorgeous photo of her (because she's gorgeous)
3. Post the top lefty facts from my "left-fact-a-day calendar" that she gave me.

See as how #1 and #2 were accomplished above, here are those facts:

A. Twisted wire jewelery from Roman times suggests about 10% was made by left-handers, indicating that perhaps this is a "natural" proportion.

B. Experts say the brains of left-handed people develop more freely in utero, allowing the organization to stray more from the standard design. That makes left-handers' brains less predictable than right-handers'. (Obviously true)

C. Kermit the Frog is left-handed, just like his creator, Jim Henso. In fact, all of the banjo playing in the movie is left-handed and most of the other Muppets are lefties as well.

D. A recent British study found that left-handers are significantly better than right-handers at remembering images that involve direction, such as which way the queen is facing on an English pound. This is why lefties are better at using maps.

E. International concert pianist Christopher Seed uses a piano that was built in reverse! He debuted the piece to a standing ovation at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Amazing Lefties:

Albert Einstein
Benjamin Franklin
Leonardo Da Vinci
Alexander Hamilton
Barack Obama
Bill Clinton
George H.W. Bush
Ronald Reagan
Jimmy Carter
Jean-Paul Gaultier
Shirley MacLaine
Carol Burnett
Edward R. Murrow
Greg Louganis (Olympic Diver)
Dorothy Hamill
Bruce Jenner
Mark Spitz (Greatest swimmer that ever lived)
Jim Henson
Sarah Hughes (Olympian)
Frakie Valli
James Brown
Matt Groening (Creator of the Simpsons)
Bart Simpson (courtesy of Matt Groening
Simon Bolivar (who liberated Bolivia, Columbia, Columbia, Ecuardor, Peru & Venezuela from Spanish control)
Carly Slusser

Just to name a few...

Love you Carly!


Kyle Taylor

26 May 2009

Economic Models In Terms Of Cows

I thought this was amazing!

Economic Models explained with Cows - 2008 update

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbor.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...

You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.

You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

You have two cows.
You worship them.

You have two cows.
Both are mad.

Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy....

You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.
You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

You have two cows.
The one on the left looks very attractive.

22 May 2009

What's On The Web

Just a few things around the web over the past few weeks that I've enjoyed! The first two are the big "group dances" that have taken the world by storm. Possibly a reaction to our over-mediated obsession with the internet that has left us craving real human contact? The third is a link to Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent. If you haven't seen it, you should. Finally, an interesting article on "my generation" that is about 2 years behind the amazing work we did at Ashoka's Youth Venture. Come on world, keep up!


Sound of Music:

More T-Mobile:

Susan Boyle On TV:

Article on Young People:

21 May 2009

More Shivering

Since the last one was so wildly successful, I decided to do another. This is just after my 82-minute swim last weekend. I’m totally delirious. So funny!


Kyle Taylor

20 May 2009

Dover Weekend Three: The Stacey and Kyle Show

After an exhausting weekend for John (driving back and forth to Dover TWICE in two days as well as feeding and caring for me) it was agreed that the role of “#1 Supporter” might best be shared by a larger group of folks. Fortunately, I have incredible friends who all volunteered to spend a weekend helping me put my leg through my pants post-swim! The first lucky contestant was Stacey. An speech and language therapist by trade, Stacey and I met at the Laos/Cambodia border last August while enduring a 14-hour bus ride with no air conditioning and no windows. That is, she is a trooper.

Because she’s a real person (as opposed to a student), she has “things.” Thankfully, one of those things was a car. Not quite sure what to expect, she waited with trepidation for me to complete my first of two swims on Saturday. Fortunately, it was the same routine as last weekend - one hour, go away for an hour and come back for another hour. The shivering was about the norm, though I do think it took Stacey by surprise. “Oh my gosh, you really shake, don’t you?” Still, she was phenomenal - pouring cocoa, cheering me on, carrying my towel down to the water...just great!

Sunday’s swim, however, was quite the experience. We were supposed to do two hours or “as long as you can last.” Basically, a max-out swim at peek effort/stamina/ability to be as cold as possible without dying. I lasted 82 minutes, which was longer than some and not as long as others. Why did I come in? To begin with, conditions were miserable. It was windy and raining. Waves were literally CRASHING out at sea. The swells were at least 3 feet, which meant there was quite a bobbing situation. Basically, it was ROUGH. I came in, however, because I could no longer figure out what time it was. That is, I knew I got in the water at 9:55am on my watch and I knew that two hours would be 11:55am. I floated there staring at the current time, 11:17am, but could not for the life of me figure out how long I had been in or how much longer I was supposed to stay in. It felt similar to my post-Dengue, unable to think stage of existence. Unable to compute basic time math I thought to myself, “I should probably get out of the water.” Upon surfacing the grease guy swooped me up and slid on my flip flops while patting me on the back and shouting, “great job! Great job! You knew your body. You knew it was time. Well done!”

I was so confused. Stacey basically carried me to my clothes and within minutes she and the other Channel “Mom” were putting on my shirt and sweatshirt, sticking their arms up the legs of my pants and pulling my feet through and patting me top to bottom asking me simple questions that seemed a little bit difficult at the time. Fortunately, I was fairly cognitive. We raced to the car, where I sipped some cocoa and filmed another rather entertaining video (see tomorrow’s blog) to keep everyone abreast of this whole experience.

The swims aside, we had a lovely weekend trekking along the White Cliffs, wandering through endless fields of rapeseed, stopping off in the tiniest of English villages and dining in genuine country pubs. Oh, and we stayed in the most adorable B&B I’ve ever seen - The Maison Deau. So while the swimming itself is excruciating, the weekly escape from London is a welcome addition to my routine. Plus, the English countryside is DIVINE. Perfect. Wonderful. Just like you’d imagine it in a fairy tale. Onward to week four!


Kyle Taylor

LSE's Swine Flu Advice - Equally Brilliant

As I am sure we're all aware, creepy, scary, frightening [read: blown out of proportion, no stronger than normal flu, media panic] is sweeping across the globe. LSE being LSE, they naturally introduced an entire series of "regulations" for us. While some were obvious (keep track of what's happening - DUH) others were just hilarious. I'd like to draw your attention to this little nugget of joy:

4. Find a flu friend or “buddy”

It would be a good idea for you and a group of your friends to make informal arrangements to agree to assist each other should one of you get the flu and be confined to your room. Your flu friend or "buddy" would then be able to collect any medication that you may require, purchase food and drink for the local shops, etc. Remember that if you do contract the flu virus, then you will almost certainty be confined to your room for 7 days until the symptoms have passed, so it is a good idea to get a buddy system arranged as soon as possible between yourselves.

If you develop swine flu and share a bathroom or kitchen with other students, you will be asked to wear a disposable facemask when you leave your room to use communal facilities(just in case people aren't sufficently scared as-is, those affected will be trotting around in MASKS) to prevent you spreading the virus to other residents. The facemasks will be provided by the School together with instructions on their use and safe disposal.

The School does not intend to issue facemasks to students who are well.

If you are prescribed antivirals, ask your “buddy” to collect them for you. Make sure you complete the full course of medication, even if you are feeling better. Stay in you room until the symptoms have completely subsided.

If you have been unable to find a “buddy” (what if I just don't want a "pig-flu buddy?"), contact the duty warden or a member of reception and they will arrange for someone to collect your medication for you.

So then, who wants to be my buddy if I get infected with pig-flu and am confined to my room for 7 days, only able to open in the door when my buddy leaves rations on the floor just outside? And who wants a mask? I'm buying!


Kyle Taylor

18 May 2009

This Just In From The LSE Exam Board

Just got this from the LSE exam board. Can we talk about LOVING THYSELF? Puh-lease! Note the rest of the sentence that follows the overly articulate use of the word "cachet." Fine, if the University feels this way good for them, but to write it down in an email then send it to the entire student body to "rearticulate" it is just ridiculous, especially when it's completely untrue. Can you tell I'm not a satisfied student?

Important Information for Students about Exams

You don’t need me to remind you that the School’s examinations season is imminent. Naturally I hope that your experience of the exams will be trouble-free and that you will do yourself full justice in them. But the purpose of this note is to remind you of key areas:

Exam cheating:

The School takes a dim view of exam cheating. With potential penalties being so serious, it is simply not worth the risk to cheat.

Exam difficulty:

Please note that examinations are intentionally difficult, and feel more so under the pressure of timed conditions. The cachet of LSE degrees, in the eyes of other universities and employers, is at least in part based on the School's rigorous academic standards. You should not therefore be surprised when your examinations feel more difficult than the previous years' papers from which you have been revising. Examinations might contain questions that surprise you and that are unlike past examination questions. This is intentional: the examiners want to test that you have understood the material well enough to cope with new types of problems. Though challenging and difficult, the exam will also be fair.

Good luck with your exams,

Simeon Underwood
Academic Registrar

14 May 2009

MOVIE: Shivering Like Crazy

So just after my first swim of the day on Saturday John (Rotary Dad extraordinaire) whipped out the video camera and decided to film we shivering like mad. Basically, following an hour in the water (or any length of time, I'm starting to think) my body shakes violently for a solid 40 minutes as it tries to naturally warm itself up. The first 10 minutes are awful - I just can't wait for it to be over. Then I get used to it and just embrace how ridiculous the whole thing is. Enjoy, and if you can, please donate by clicking here:

13 May 2009

Dover Practice Weekend Two: Still Freezing

Without warning it's Saturday again and I'm up at 6am to take the tube to Cockfosters, where my Rotary Dad is picking me up to drive down to Dover. Arguably living Saints, John and Lois have been more than a host family - they've been like legal guardians of my health, well-being and appetite. John has offered to drive me down three of the next six weekends, saving money on the train and ensuring that I have some much-needed support post-swim. Last week I sort-of stumbled to a cafe to warm up and get my bearings. I later realized my shoes were on the wrong foot and I had put my shirt on backwards.

This week, I had a "support team." The father of two, John knew what he was doing. "I've got hot chocolate, coffee, bottled water, bananas, apples, chocolate digestives and chocolate biscuits. I know how you don't like coffee, which is why I packed the cocoa. I've also got two extra towels, a mat you can stand on to change and an extra thermos you can take with you for next weekend." AMAZING.

We arrived a solid thirty minutes before my first swim. Apparently most people were equally eager, as there were at least 20 people on the beach before I decided to make my appearance. "Ok, let's get going," yelled Freda, mother of Ali (my boat pilot who has swam the channel 43 times) and queen of English Channel swimming. What Freda says, goes. "First swim is 50 minutes. Let's get going people. Come on!" I changed, greased, gave John a look of despair and headed down to the water. It was still freezing!

I did the usual and just went for it, acknowledging that the "slow wade" technique only leads to delayed shock, as your head always goes through a thawing phase no matter how long you piddle paddle around on the beach. My head still felt like it was going to explode. The difference, however, was that I knew this time that the pain would subside. That fact alone made this swim - only my second - that much easier to bear.

The 50 minutes went by in no time and I emerged barely alive, teeth chattering. "Cap number," she asked. I had been planning the entire swim how I would answer this question with a frozen jaw, using my fingers to indicate first a one then a three. "Thirteen," she repeated back, giving me a thumbs up. I stumbled toward my sandals, unable to figure out how they actually slide onto my feet. It must have been a good 45 seconds (which felt like an eternity) before one of the guys came over and helped me out. "You a little cold there, junior?" he said, laughing. HA. HA. HA?

By now John realized I was out and was b-lining it down to the water, towel and cocoa in hand. He half-carried me back to my "zone," where I manically tried to change before the shaking started. "Sip this," he told me. I took a gulp of cocoa. It tasted cold. "Is it actually warm," I asked. "It's piping hot! he told me." Oops?

The shakes came as usual and lasted for jsut under 45 minutes, a decrease by 9 minutes from last weekend. John was blown away by how intense they were, noting that the inside of the car - which I scurried to in an effort to escape the "cold weather" (it was about 70 degrees out) - was STIFLING inside.

Ten minutes later we're being called back for the second swim of the day. "Alright, 1 hour. Now get!" Back I went, borderline depressed at the thought of getting back in the water. As I dabbled my toes, however, I realized that my body hadn't actually heated back up completely, which meant the water felt nearly reasonable (such an odd phenomenon). I just sort-of went for it! An hour later, shaking, teeth clattering, slightly dillusional, I dragged myself out, reported my number, got dressed and headed immediately for the car. The shakes lasted 41 minutes this time. Improvement!

We headed back to his place, where he and Lois fed me, hydrated me and allowed me to get a solid night of sleep. On Sunday we drove back down for two one-hour swims. It was a near repeat of Saturday (I even got the same cap number). The only big difference was that this time, they pulled two people out of the water for hypothermia. Needless to say, as John would put it, "this is still an incredibly difficult undertaking, you're just incredibly positive and optimistic about the whole thing." Alas, that's probably the best way to view it. Still not easy, I'm just staying positive. For instance, I only shook for 37 minutes post-swim on Sunday. Now that's progress!

Here are some shots of my "process." Undress, get greased, walk down the big slope, dabble my toes, fiddle with my goggles to put off swimming for just another minute, take the first step in and gasp then just GO FOR IT. If you think my pain and sufffering is worth supporting, please click here and donate to the cause. Thank you thank you thank you!


Kyle Taylor

12 May 2009

A Rather Elite Club

So now that I’m “in this” for the long haul I’ve been doing more research into the personal stories of folks who made it across in years past. Somewhat embarrassingly, lots of the stories get me all teary-eyed. The determination! The emotion! The overcoming fears! It’s just too inspiring. Here is a link to my favorite story so far. I’ll be posting several here and there as I find them.

The real eye-opener, however, is just how small the “Channel Swim” club is. In total, only 841 people have made it across since the first completion in 1875. That’s fewer people than have climbed Everest. Fewer people than have run the 100-mile Ultra Run. In fact, it’s the most elite extreme athletic challenge on the planet. Will I be number 842? You can be darn sure I’m not stopping by choice. If it’s hypothermia then I have no choice. Otherwise, France, here I come.

11 May 2009

Harvey Party!

I had dinner with the Parry family last Sunday just to reconnect and “hang out” before Harvey’s next trip to New York to get his larger set of legs. We had a blast! While he normally doesn’t take to new people (even after several meetings) we seem to get along great! Played hide and seek, tag and “tickle attack,” which is a game I invented that involves tickling in a sort-of “attack” fashion. It’s brilliant. Here are a few more shots of Harvey and I:

Donate Now:

08 May 2009

My First Dover Day - I Can’t Feel My Face Part Two

My first reaction being just knee-deep was “oh, this isn’t so bad. Not as biting cold as I thought it was going to be.” With that sense of confidence building inside, I leaned back and lunged forward, diving head first into the water. My face went immediately numb and the onset of a “brain freeze” headache took just minutes. I had to bring my head above water. It felt like it was going to explode. I pulled at the front of the cap to relieve the pressure. This, of course, did nothing. Fortunately my legs were still moving. I did not know this by feeling but by sight. That is, I looked down at my legs and I saw that they were moving. “Good sign,” I thought. I dunked my head back under in an attempt to “get used to” the water temperature. I could only manage three stroked before the pounding sensation in my head swept over me yet again. I looked at my watch. It had been all of three minutes.

The next nine minutes proceeded exactly the same. I know it was exactly nine more minutes because I was looking at my watch every 30 seconds to gauge how many seconds I thought I might have left to live. “I can’t do this,” I kept thinking. “I’ll give all the money back. I’ll explain it all to everyone and they’ll understand. This is unhuman. This can’t be done.” Regardless, I was determined to at least swim to the wall and back. Exactly 12 minutes in I was able to keep my head in the water for 10 strokes at a time. Another 8 minutes and I had gained a sort-of normal stroke, minus the inability to feel my limps or face. Fortunately, I was at the wall and able to turn around and head back in.

Now that I was able to put my head in the water without wanting to die my confidence levels were soaring. Since my primary fear was no longer drowning I was able to notice the next big hurdle - the most disgusting, unhealthy, toxic-looking water I have ever been in. The scum was sticking to my goggles and even the smallest dribble that made it into my mouth was making feel nauseous. And then the dry-heaving started...and kept going for a solid five minutes. “I can’t swallow water. I can’t swallow water. Close your mouth Kyle. Just close your freaking mouth!”

My other conern was a fear of swimming out to sea and not toward the beach, which left me re-aiming myself every three or four strokes, as if I was going to veer wildly off course in a matter of seconds. This led to a new “rule.” Only look after every 100 strokes. This also gave me something to do - count strokes. At this point it has been 35 minutes and just as the lovely woman in charge had estimated, I was roughly five minutes from shore. Naturally, a new problem was emerging. The tips of my fingers and toes were beginning to feel like they were burning, a common sensation when absolute cold sets in. I could feel every nerve in my body as if it was a rope pulled taut between two points. “Just stroke and it will be over,” I say to myself. “100 more strokes. 50 more strokes. 20 more strikes. BOOM!!!” My hand touches sand. I can stand up. Thank goodness, I made it back alive.

“Cap number please,” the keeper asks. I open my mouth and attempt to say “28” but words do not come out - just an inaudible groaning sound. I can’t move my mouth AT ALL. Since I am me I just start to laugh at how insane this entire situation is. Here I am standing in 51-degree water wearing a speedo and a bright orange cap crawling toward land afer having just survived forty minutes of torture attempting to say the number 28 with zero luck. The keeper is looking at me like I am insane. “Are you alright darling? Fran, I’m not sure if this one is alright. Might want to come have a look.” Another woman approaches and helps me to my sandals, asking me questions to determine if I am comatose. “What day is it?” I reply incoherently, saying the correct day in my head but totally unable to transmit that message to my mouth. She can tell that I know but am struggling and half-laughs with me. “Go get dressed before the shaking sets in.” WHAT?

I dart to my bag feeling oddly fine. Not cold, not warm, not tired, just existing. “You better hurry and dress,” the old wise woman tells me. “You won’t be able to coordinate yourself once the shaking starts. Still weary, I do as they say since - as I said earlier - I have NO IDEA what’s going on. Sure enough, just as I had pulled up my boxers and put on my sweatshirt, the shaking begins. Now, I’ve been trying to think of ways to describe the shaking, and this is the best I can come up with: imagine riding a jackhammer non-stop for an hour while trying to do regular things like put on your pants or drink a cup of hot chocolate. That was the next 60 minutes for me - uncontrollable shaking that was - as they say - a “good sign” because it means I didn’t get hypothermia. Brilliant.

A few of us (there were 40 or so folks down on the beach) went for a cocoa and some lunch before I dragged my now normalized body back to the train station, feeling oddly inspired. As silly as it sounds, I felt like I had really accomplished something and all I wanted to do was get back down to the beach, dive back in and give it another go. Am I mad? I think yes.

All in all, I swam just over a mile in that first session - not too shabby.

After further reading it seems it’s not the distance that stops people but the water temperature. The only recommendation they seem to have is to practice in the ocean more, which means I’ll now be spending the weekends in Dover swimming twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday all in the midst of exam season. Am I crazy? Absolutely. Is it worth it? Hey, if Harvey has a fighting chance, absolutely.

As for photos, I had planned to take heaps but got caught up in trying not to die. Needless to say, the best I could do was a shot of the inside of the train. John Thorpe (the Rotary Dad) is coming with me this weekend, so he’ll take lots of snaps of the entire process from undressing to greasing up to fighting off hypothermia to the brilliant shakes. Get excited!

Also, if you can, please support my swim for Harvey by donating online at http://www.kyletaylor.com. Every dollar makes a difference!

07 May 2009

My First Dover Day - I Can’t Feel My Face Part One

It seems like just yesterday I was planning for the weekend Dover training sessions that would start the first weekend in May. That “yesterday” was late November. Now here I am, May 5th, wondering how on earth I am going to survive this.

I had been given little information [read: no information at all] about these practice sessions, as getting information from my pilot has felt like pulling teeth. For some reason it feels like everyone but me is in the know and I’m sort-of bouncing around on the outside of the huddle screaming “come on guys, let me in!” I did get an email Friday afternoon telling me what to bring with me. The list included an old bath mat to avoid skin tearing on your feet post-swim, vaseline to lubricate areas of the body that chafe and a wool coat to help fend off the violent post-swim shakes. Super.

What time was I supposed to arrive? No clue, as no one told me. Thinking to myself, “hey, it’s England and it’s cold, so I’ll aim to arrive around noon,” I got a 10am train direct from across the street to Dover Priory. Brilliant. A short walk and “boom,” I was standing on the “beach.” This beach, however, had no sand. Just rocks. Lots and lots of big rocks.

There were about forty swimmers in suits, caps and goggles smearing vaseline all over themselves, which meant they were heading in and not out. “Great,” I thought. “Right on time.” Wrong. They were prepping for their SECOND swim of the day. Me being me, I walked up to the woman who appeared to be in charge, asked if she was “Ali’s Mom” (that’s what I was told to say) and said point blank, “I am one of Ali’s swimmers. I have no idea what’s going on. All she said was to come to the beach the first Saturday of May. No time, no details, that’s all. “Well see,” she started, “we begin the first swim at 10am and the second at half 12. We swim every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday. When is your crossing,” she asked. “The first week in July,” I told her, “but I don’t know the exact date.” She seemed a bit shocked. “Well then, we’ve got to get you going. Get changed then find me and I’ll tell you what to do.”

By now I’m feeling a bit flustered and anxious, tearing off my clothes, blotting on some sunscreen and reporting back to this woman in charge. She handed me a cap, directed someone else to put vaseline on “key locations” (armpits, back of neck, collar bones and inner thighs) and pointed to another woman near the beach. “Give her your name and cap number then just swim out to the breaker wall and back.”

Still slightly overwhelmed and just going with the flow, I did exactly as she said, stopping just short of the water to drop off my flip-flops. I decided to sort-of wade in to my knees, splash around a bit then “go for it.”

05 May 2009

A Tribute To Alyson

Because photography is more of an active hobby than just documenting a trip, my travel buddy inevitably becomes my subject for practice. Naturally, after eleven days, I had taken A LOT of pictures of Alyson. So, in tribute to her, here are some of the best. Enjoy!


Kyle Taylor