Thursday, October 27, 2005

Wow! What an amazing experience so far! Sure, there have been euphoric highs and nerve-renting lows that would make cocaine powder blush. Okay, okay---a little too embellished, but not far from reality. Had a couple scares in getting here and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) excitement. But New York City was a great primer in prepping me for the extremes in human nature and error.

I just returned this evening from the Mekong River Delta cycle tour. I've gotten some color and a nice pate of stubble on my face. It was an amazing experience---people use every little means to scrape by and live simply---it's truly amazing. We have a lot to learn about self-sustenance from them. The tributaries are like the lungs of life, providing fish, greens, water, transportation...The Mighty Mekong. It was nice to hear people wax vernacular about existing due to the presence of the river---a familiar tune after being in 'Big River'.

I will be leaving for Hanoi tomorrow morning and be there for two days until I leave for the mountains on the 30th. We will meet and see the indigenous people known as the H'mong, whose fashion sense rings of Mongolian undertones. I cannot wait!

Will make a new entry when I get into Hanoi. All my best, keep reading and spread the word!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hello, all my loved ones. I am so tired, and about to fall over dead in the hotel's office keyboard. But I'm here in one piece after some scares (almost missing a connection, passport visa had the wrong date printed; my boarding pass didnt have the luggage tracing numbers) but all in all, im here safe and on the way to becoming sound...I need to sleep before I start typing like I just took a sleeping pill or something...will take a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) tomorrow....more updates then! Keep the generosity flowing and sharing this website address with others!

lots of love....

Friday, October 21, 2005

Okay...its now 6:30 pm, and I have pretty much wrapped up the bulk of packing. All I need to do is have a nice big salad, take a hot shower, watch the news a bit, and then zip up! Thank you for all your support...I'm very tired, and just got everything I need to get for the trip. I will use a disposable camera until I get to Ho Chi Minh City, and then recharge my brand new digital camera to use for the Mekong River Delta bike tour to begin on tuesday...I will find an internet cafe to make my next entry for this blog....expect a new entry to appear by sometime sunday afternoon or monday morning....

all my best, and farewell---

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Phew. Exhaustion really set in today, but I am handling it well. Was relieved from work early due to slow traffic---so I took advantage of this by doing some errands and prepping a bit more. I looked at Best Buy for some ideas for a camera. The cameras I personally want to buy require recharged batteries, whereas it would be convenient to use the ones that use AA batteries---but I would have to carry copious amounts of heavy metal since they burn out after 30 shots. Please. Like I want to do that. If I decide on the former option---I may have to get two batteries and stretch them out between trek segments. I want to get at least 500 pictures. It's important to capture and document this experienc and share them with my sponsors and those who are inspired. Decisions, for techno gizmos is NOT my idea of a pleasureable activity. High-end fashion is more my forte. Gah!

In the meantime, amid all the stress of my duties, the apartment that me and my wonderful roommate live in, is becoming sublimely beautiful and a source of spiritual homeostasis. Candles really work!

I met with a dear, dear friend for dinner tonight---and this is the person that I specifically mentioned was the driving force for my inspiration to be a part of this project. This person is countering constant challenges; some of them were pretty nail-biting. But I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in Vietnam, living with HIV and not having the support that is available here---both through friends and the medical establishments. The constant need to face fears, and responsibilities associated with this disease brings qualities (or vice versa) in the human spirit that all of us can find inspiring and thought-provoking at the same time.

At the risk of sounding preachy here---(yet the words are poignant) It is so crucial that we help fight this disease with compassion, and support and not with judgment. It's not an easy responsibility---deciding when to start medication protocols, planning for a future that isn't quite clear, how to move forward-simply turning with the world as it turns-being conscious to taking care of oneself while being aware of surrounding others. What about dating? Starting a family? Already have a family to care for? Pre-existing responsibilities make HIV a new and intolerable burden. If all of us took some time (note, I use the word, "some"---a reasonable request---) to focus our energies to ease some of that pressure---so they can---at the simplest form---have a richer human experience while they are still living....

Keep giving---whether its by financial support, or by helping build a bed frame, or shopping for groceries, or negotiating a complex transaction---the possibilities to channel each and every one of your abilities and talents are ENDLESS. Pay it forward.

Good night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

WOW---yeah, it's getting pretty crazy now! Only TWO MORE DAYS until I leave this Friday, the 21st. I'm so excited, nervous, calm, curious all at the same time. Now---for some juicy updates! With the generous help of Kate Breen, we co-hosted a pool tournament fundraiser at Slate Bar in the Chelsea area of Manhattan last Friday, the 14th. It was not an easy feat to pull off; going to work full-time, researching to prepare for a presentation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take place on the SAME evening, and preparing trip logistics with Brad Atwal of World Expeditions. I have a long list of people to thank for this event, as well as some recent donors who have bumped up the total even higher. For recent donations to the website, I want to give a big shout out to the wonderful Carrie Brewer; the longest deaf friendship I've ever had---it's been great to watch her become into a beautiful woman with a sharp mind that makes for witty conversations; Jill Clark---the wonderful ASM who helped out with all the minutiae at Big River while we were on tour---her bubbly persona brightened the gloomiest days; Mr. Eliot Glazer and Mr. Julian Itagorri for their bold, substantial contributions; and lastly, Sue Gilad---an incredible entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and person----she's a Market America representative that has inspired me to pursue my own ideals and goals to create my 'master plan'.

I also want to give a special thanks to all the people who opened their wallets for the pool tournament event, both through the raffle tickets and the actual tourney. I want to congratulate Mr. Darren Frazier for an incredible last game with Jenny Perlis---they gave a real clincher of a performance---as Darren seized the grand prize of a two night stay at the Hyatt Regency in Miami. The other winners from the raffle contest were: 2 one month passes to the David Barton Gym - Joe D and Vicki Liggera; 1 introductory consultation session at SkinKlinic spa - Paul Eddie; 1 $100 off photosession with the great Jeremy Folmer - Steven Alexander; $50 West Elm shopping spree - Mara Zuckerman; $15 spree at Lilac Chocolates - the lucky Vicki Liggera; $20 spree at Billy's Bakery - Cassandra; A consultation and fashion piece from the up and coming fashion designer, Ms. Patricia Ordonez ( - Mike Sorace; Debra Cole's legendary family's Italian cheesecake - Everett Clark; J' Adore Coffee shop certificates - Donna R; and everyone who came to the event received a 20% off one Kenneth Cole item. Thank you for your support and those who provided the prizes: David Barton, Hyatt Regency Miami, Jeremy Folmer, Niesha at West Elm, Patricia Ordonez, Debra Cole and her parents, Kenneth Cole, and J'Adore.

Finally, I want to thank a wonderful person who has helped me organize this event, and offer a shoulder of support when I was countering doubts with this project---Ms. Kate Breen. I'm hoping she will join me next year with the next AMFAR Trek---at a location to be announced...

I will put in more entries in the next couple days prior to my takeoff. To those who have been reading this blog, thank you---please continue to share this with your friends and encourage them to donate at under the participant name, 'Guthrie Nutter'....

now off to bed!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Whoo. I've been sporting a new look lately. Its dark circles under my eyes; no its not a recent fad that's spun off the runways from Fashion Week last month....I've been putting in a lot of 6 hour nights of sleep due to all the minutiae associated with this project and holding my responsibilities at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and West Elm. Albeit the sleep deprivation, I'm doing great! Sincere success comes with hard work and dedication---we've been seeing a lot of success without the latter, so I'm proud of my success---and you should be too---for your support to this project (in whichever form it's in)!

I am hosting a huge fundraiser party in the form of a pool tournament at the Slate Bar ( this friday evening (the 10th) from 8pm onwards. And this is just after my presentation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, titled; "Sculptural Tensions Between Masculinity and Femininity". We will have raffle prizes---such as a hotel stay in Miami, to a free session at the SkinKlinic Spa Center in Manhattan, to two one month passes at David Barton gym, and certificates to my favorite dessert places (to be named soon). If you know anyone who wants to donate a TV, or knows someone who has connections to a store that will be glad to donate a free DVD, Xbox, Ipod, or TV, please DO LET ME KNOW...the more prizes we have, the more people will want to come and win them! These are seriously fun prizes, folks... I also have added to my exciting itinerary. I will be arriving in Ho Chi Minh City on the 23rd, and rest for one day to recover from a 20 plus hour trip. From the 25th to the 27th, I will be cycling a total of about 80 miles throughout the boat villages in the Mekong River Delta in South Vietnam. On the 28th, I will fly into Hanoi, and meet with other fellow trekkers before we leave on the 30th for three days to climb mountains in North Vietnam. Then, we go kayaking for three days among the karst cliff islands that dot the Halong Bay. All said and done, I will be back on November 7th. I plan to take many pictures and stories, and maybe some sketches or two...Even though this all sounds so amazing, and I'm leaving in 10 short days---please share this news with everyone you know, and see if anyone wants to donate anything for a raffle prize or make a fiscal contribution to my website at . Now, I need to get to bed, so I can get a lucky SEVEN hours of sleep....all my warmest....

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Im SO EXCITED, everyone! The big day draws near. I've been talking with the other trekkers on this expedition and they are SO SUPPORTIVE. We are all in this together, and I really can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a strongly emotional journey already....and there will be bigger moments to come. I'm so anxious to share them with you. I will plan to host more events to fundraise ever closer to my goal. The challenges by the other trekkers really inspire me that I am not alone---we are not alone. It's a hard job, but unbelieveably rewarding. I will make another entry very soon---please, continue to give. I can't wait to experience the growth that awaits me in the near future....all my love and warmest energies...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Goodness. What a week. I was starting to prepare for the fact that I wouldn't reach my goal. However, after a suprising round of donations from friends and encouraging emails from Andrew Greene (the fundraiser coach/coordinator), I think I'm mentally on track again.

I will just forge ahead and make a leap of faith and see what happens. Andrew and I will work together to contact a couple of people who would be interested in hosting a dinner table party for some large donations. It's easier than trying to manage a big event with talent involved. If I had two more months, sure---but I pretty much have only 20 days!

Andrew stopped by the store friday, and dropped off a donated backpack, with a lot of extras, including a hydration system! I purchased the hiking and kayaking shoes online, via a deep discount from Merrell shoes. I was about to purchase airline tickets today---but went to the website for the hotel Hong Ngoc. I'm fighting the temptation to arrive a few days prior to the expedition and become acclimatized in a posh room! Deluxe suites are only 35 dollars! I'm going to research today and get some ideas for a wish list and extrapolate that into an itinerary.

Thank you Andrew, for giving me the boost I needed to sprint this last leg into success...

More exciting details to come very, very soon!