Right outside my hostel there is a place called 3Tipicos which serves typical Colombian food. I was glad to find an option which includes several dishes in smaller portions as I very much like to switch between different tastes. Speaking of taste, I’m still not a fan of arepes, they just don’t have any flavor.
I came across incredibly cheap bottles of Sisi in La Europea. They have several liquors including white rum, dark rum, spiced rum and gin. To give you an idea of the price, at the current exchange rate a one liter bottle costs about 2 USD. I looked online for reviews but couldn’t find anything about the quality so I guess there’s nothing left to do but try it out myself and hope I won’t go blind.
As I’m writing this, I’m on my way home. The past few days have been non-stop traveling, press conferences, interviews and of course, attending Intermodel Star 2014 in Jerez, Zacatecas. The trip started in Guadalajara, a city I’ve been eager to visit for some time now. Although I only spent a day there, it left a good impression. The climate is amazing. It’s sunny and warm, but not to the exhausting extent of summer in Cancún. I wouldn’t mind relocating should I find a suitable agency to work with. I’ll definitely return for a closer look in the near future.
After spending a single night in Guadalajara and meeting up with Javier Vidal, the president of Intermodel, we took a bus to Colima. When we went for dinner, I had incorrectly interpreted “sope de pata” as “sope de pato”. I was quite surprised when instead of duck, I received a pig’s foot for dinner.
After a press conference in Colima we headed back to Guadalajara and then immediately transfered to another bus headed for Aguascalientes. We had an interview with a local TV station and then proceeded to Zacatecas to spend the night. The next day was the first time we had some free time to explore the city. In the afternoon we drove to Jerez where the event was to take place. Intermodel was held at a very beautiful theater which unfortunately didn’t fill up all the way, but that couldn’t stop the show. Rather than further describing events, I’ve uploaded this video of the talent section. I couldn’t film the models because my battery had run out by then:
I only vaguely remember how I felt at the wheel of a supercharged bright red car. I pushed the throttle and accelerated. As I started reach top speed, I noticed another car coming my way and crashing into me from the side. My car rolled over and absolutely mutilated some unlucky nearby pedestrians. They practically exploded by the force of the impact as the blood splatters stained the asphalt. I grinned sadistically.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what made the original Carmageddon so much fun and so addicting. It was released in 1997 when I was I was only ten years old. It’s one of the first video games I remember playing. Around that time I had also been addicted to less violent games such as Jazz Jackrabbit and less sadistic games such as Wolfenstein 3D. In the latter, at least the violence was directed to Nazi’s well-deserving of being shot as one could argue self-defense. However, Carmageddon was a whole new experience. There’s something frighteningly enjoyable about mowing down innocent pedestrians, not excluding grandmothers. I was hooked.
Video games have come a long way since those days. Here is a video showing the evolution of Carmageddon including a preview of Carmageddon Reincarnation.
Almost two years ago while browsing the web I stumbled upon a Kickstarter for Carmageddon Reincarnation. I hadn’t really heard of any releases after the original version and as such have never played them. However, upon seeing the Kickstarter, I felt as excited as I had been almost two decades ago when I first discovered Carmageddon. When I noticed that they were offering to insert people as characters in the game, that seemed like an awesome idea. I could already imagine family and friends playing Carmageddon and running me over in brutal ways. However, this reward tier was no longer available.
I considered the other tiers such as being featured on an in-game holo-ad or billboard, but it just didn’t seem as funny, and cost about 250% of the previous tier. I contacted Nobby from Stainless games through Kickstarter to find out what the options were. A week went by without any response. I’m not one to easily give up when I have an idea, so I sent him another message through Facebook. He replied a few days later:
I’m really sorry – with all these modern methods of communication, and Kickstarter currently keeping me really rather busy, I completely missed your message (the KS message system is a nightmare because our email system keeps blocking the incoming mail as spam and we’re missing out on notifications!). Thanks very much for contacting me, and now I’ll answer your question.
The billboard Reward will see you featured on all of the numerous billboards in the levels, but the ads that feature you will share time with other ads that will be shown in rotation. So you could drive past billboards without being guaranteed to see yourself.
The most prestigious Reward is to get yourself into the game as a driver. We didn’t think that someone being a driver would also really be appropriate as a pedestrian too, however given the level of the Reward, I can’t see any reason why your character shouldn’t also appear as an individual, high value pedestrian in races that their car doesn’t appear in. How does that sound? We know we’ll be featuring Screwie Lewie in his motorized wheelchair in some events, so we could work on a similar cool idea for your driver…
I hope that info helps, Ken. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can clarify for you. Apologies again for the delay responding.
I mailed him back with an idea which would allow the character to be a pedestrian as well, and he replied “That sounds absolutely SPOT-ON! I can already tell we’re going to work together really well!”. That was all I needed to know. Spurred by nostalgia, I decided to sponsor development of the reincarnation of my favorite game with the following reward tier: “HANG ONTO YER HELMET: We’ll fly you from a nearby major international airport to the UK. You will be collected by the 600hp Carmageddon Range Rover. Once here, you will get a once in a lifetime chance to get together with the design team at Stainless and create a new opponent character based on your likeness! You can join in with the team to create a backstory and to customize a vehicle to your liking. You will forever be enshrined in Carmageddon folklore. People will be talking about you in bars all around the world. Governments will debate you, and civilisations will fall. OK, maybe not. But you’ll be DEAD COOL. Literally. Includes flight, all UK travel and 3 nights in a local hotel. Reward is subject to attendees obtaining any necessary Visas. Attendees can bring a guest, but must cover the additional travel & hotel costs themselves. (+Previous Rewards below $750.)”.
A few months later I was on my way to the Isle of Wigth in the United Kingdom. I live in Cancun but since my family lives in Belgium I made a pit-stop there. Unfortunately, whilst hitting the town with my friends from Belgium we were attacked by a group of drunk or drugged guys. I broke my hand punching one of them in the face as my friends and I tried to fend them off. The bad news was that I had to visit the hospital the day after to have a cast put on. The good news was that the creative people at Stainless Games had a blank canvas to express their inner-most emotions. Here’s the result:
As you can see, they’re a very mature bunch, almost to the point of being enlightened. I should mention that this photo was taken before the final night, when we all headed to a bar. In other words, these drawings were made by sober people. Now imagine what these same people drew after about a dozen beers. I don’t know how I made it through airport security with the mental-scarring images on my cast, but somehow I did make it back to Belgium albeit with some strange looks from fellow travelers.
Fast-forward about a year and a half to present-day. I’m downloading the pre-Alpha version of Carmageddon Reincarnation just released today while writing this post. A few days ago I received some renders from the Stainless team to preview the driver and car. Unfortunately the legal team discovered just now that the name Venom already been claimed by another sports car; the Hennessey Venom GT, supposedly the fastest car in the world at the time of writing with an average 0–300 kilometres per hour (0–186 mph) acceleration time of 13.63 seconds. Anyway, without further ado, here are the renders:
The matching driver. They had told me they’d give it cast on one arm since that’s the only way they’ve known me, but judging by the render that was said jokingly:
I also received 10 licenses for Carmageddon Reincarnation today. Some of them I’ll be giving to family and friends, but I’m holding onto a few to give away to readers of my blog. The first one is going to the person who can come up with the best suggestion for a new name for the car. To give you some idea of possible names, Nobby suggested Fangtastic. It’s a good pun, but unfortunately it has been coined by a vampire fiction book already, and we want people to think about snakes upon hearing the name, not vampires. Comment your best name suggestion below and you could win a free license for the new Carmageddon!
Jungle speed and tequila shots. An excellent combination.
I was hired along with 15 other models or so to attend Tulum Fashion 2013 by Runway Management. HMODELS, another well known agency from Cancún also took part. I decided to take my own car so I’d have more options in Tulun. Unfortunately though, my front tire burst within the first 15 minutes. Luckily I wasn’t by myself and within only 10 minutes or so we had already put on the spare and resumed our way.
When we got to Tulum an hour and a half later, the weather suddenly turned sour. It started storming and we were notified that the catwalk for today had been canceled. It was unfortunate, but we tried to make the best of the situation with some tequila shots. I think we did a pretty good job 🙂 We ended up at Papaya Playa where drinks kept flowing freely thanks to sponsorship by Absolut Vodka.
The next morning we had breakfast and soon after headed to Ahua where we waited around for several hours before starting preparations for the catwalk showing off a summer collection for Sears. The clothes looked great but unfortunately the place wasn’t ideal for a catwalk: we had to duck under the roof in order not to hit our heads, which didn’t look very elegant.
In the evening there was another catwalk at the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum. Now that was a hotel. Nothing like Diamante K, the place we were staying at in Tulum, which had a charm of its own but unfortunately didn’t offer much in terms of facilities and installations. These were especially important for the girls since they had to get ready for the catwalks. Unfortunately they had to improvise since they had to do without as much as a mirror or electricity as the generator kept failing.
The second catwalk was far better prepared. The girls showed off a collection by Zamá and jewelry designed by Daniel Espinosa. Music was provided by Samo, Natalia Paris and DJ Marisol Grajales. Although I wouldn’t recognize them since I don’t watch TV, apparently some local celebrities showed up, including Sergio Meyer e Isabela Camil, Leonardo de Lozanne, Erika Honstein and Vanesa Arias.
Considering I’ve basically been doing the same routine for nearly three years now I figure it’s time to switch things up a little. I’m already starting a new nutritional plan to try and trigger glycogen depletion and super-compensation on a weekly basis and I need a revised training schedule to match. My plan is to do two hours of gymnastics from Monday to Wednesday while not eating any carbs. Thursday I’d start doing one hour of gymnastics followed by an hour of strength training as I switch to a high-carb diet. Saturday since there is no gymnastics class in the morning I’ll go to a park to practice parkour and follow that up with an hour in the gym as well. Sundays I rest and ear whatever I feel like to reward myself for a week of dieting and training. I feel having a cheat day or at least a cheat meal is essential in any diet in order to stay motivated and avoid cravings.
Split training schedule
Monday: With plenty of stored glycogen I should get the most physically demanding and explosive exercises done first. For me, that means pommel horse and floor, equating to back, shoulders and legs.
Tuesday: This is the first day of reduced glycogen stores. The first hour of class we usually focus on stretching so that leaves two half hours to practice tumbling track and parallel bars, equating to legs and shoulders again, but less intensely.
Wednesday: Glycogen should be pretty much depleted by now so I’ll focus on high bar and trampoline. High bar mainly works abs, arms and upper back. Trampoline mainly works legs but supposedly it’s one of the only ways to exercise every significant muscle in the body at once. However, it’s not as intense, which is why I usually switch to trampoline when I feel I don’t have a lot of energy or strength.
Thursday: This is the first day that glycogen will be replenished, which means the muscles trained today will likely get the most benefit from the rush of carbs. As such, it’s recommendable to try and train the entire body. During gymnastics this means still rings and some floor work, mainly focusing on vertical jumps. Since I’m only spending an hour to an hour and a half doing gymnastics, these two combined with some stretching should be enough. At the gym I focus on my upper back and shoulders, since the latter is what I feel I need to improve on most.
Friday: My goal during gymnastics on Fridays is learning something new or work on a movement I haven’t mastered earlier this week. In the gym I’ll do my favorite workout: chest and arms.
Saturday: Since there isn’t any gymnastics class on Saturdays, I visit a nearby park where they have some parallel bars, high bars and trees that can be used to warm-up and practice some parkour. Afterwards I hit the gym to work legs and lower back.
Sunday: Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest.
I was invited to participate in a presentation organized by Volkswagen at Hotel Nizuc. The concession holders were all invited, from all over Mexico. They had hired 6 models to form couples: executives, parents and a casual couple on a holiday at the beach. These represented the typical customers of the new Volkswagen being presented. The video was very well edited and I was glad when we revealed the cars exactly on cue. We had only had a few hours the day before to prepare. Today, even though we arrived two hours before the actual event, we couldn’t do any rehearsals since the Volkswagen invitees were already present.
As you can see in the photo they had a ramp and a rotating platform set-up, which according to word of mouth they brought all the way from Mexico City. However, some top level director didn’t like it and they tore everything down. No more rotating cars, they were just parked there and we pulled of the curtains. It’s always painful to see when someone puts in a lot of effort just to have the boss tear it down for whatever reason. I can’t imagine why anyone would prefer stationary cars over them driving up, being spun 360 degrees and driving off again. That would’ve been a lot more impressive.
YK Agency hired me to work at the 2013 anniversary of the Cosmopolitan Magazine hosted in Cancún known as t he Cosmopolitan 2013 Beach Bash. We got some white outfits with the logo of Herbal Essences which was the main sponsor of the event. Unfortunately the pants were all the same size and mine were far too tight. I had to nearly rip them apart in order to get them to fit somewhat decently. We were all given different assignments: some were dolls which girls could dress as they pleased from a rack of clothes, others hosted a game where girls picked out matching bathing suits in order to win them and I was in charge of inviting people to the Herbal Essences stand.
Around 2 pm the event picked up speed, mainly thanks to a concert by Moderatto. There was also a special guest appearance by Belinda Peregrín Schüll but she only stayed for a few minutes to the discontent of many guests there. The event took place at the Moon Palace Hotel which of course meant all-inclusive food and drinks for everyone present. Overall the event was great, but it would’ve been nice if there had been a pool since most people were overheating from the sun but didn’t want to bathe in the sea. Luckily though, there was plenty of alcohol refreshment available at the open bar.
All in all, the event was a huge success. The focus point was when a photo of hundreds of girls in bikini spelling out Cosmopolitan in the sand was taken with the help of a small R/C helicopter. I didn’t mind directing the girls – all dressed in bikinis I might add – to their place on the sand.
Saturday. I woke up at 8:30 and hurried to get dressed since I was supposed to meet with someone. When we finished our business together I had some caffeine and headed off to the gym.
The training went well. For the first time in 3 years I did deadlifts again. I bought some lifting hooks since my left hand is still messed up but the metal thingy kept bending. In the end, actually didn’t feel like I was exhorting myself a lot. I did more exercises than I usually did and felt like I could’ve on but I figured it’s not much use to go overboard either since I won’t get much rest tonight due to the catwalk I’m scheduled to do with Vicino models at LIV in Playa del Carmen.
In the afternoon I went to get a haircut. Afterwards I tried a new Brazilian restaurant that opened nearby which serves unlimited cuts of meat. Of course I stuffed myself to the point of exploding.
By 10 pm I was off to LIV. My former neighbor Ernesto also joined along. Since the check engine light turned on in my car we used his instead. The catwalk was scheduled at 1 but as usual things got delayed and we didn’t go out until 2:20 am. It was a lot of fun. It seemed there were either more women than men at the club or they just make a lot more noise. It’s a nice feeling having the whole club screaming for you, I could get used to it 🙂
We went out three times and the final round I considered doing a back flip but then again without shoes on a wooden floor in a very small space the risk of something going wrong it a bit higher than usual and if something does go wrong then the whole club bears witness so I figured I’ll get some practice jumps in next time while the club is still empty. It fills up really late. There wasn’t a soul when we arrived at 11:30 and by 2 it was quite full.
After finishing the catwalk I was so tired everything appeared blurry and since I still had to drive an hour to get back I figured the after party would be for the next time as well.
Today we were due at the hotel at 11:30 which meant I had time to do an hour of gymnastics in the morning. I arrived 15 minutes before everyone else and alternated between practicing backtucks with full twist, roundoff back somersault with double twist, hand stands on the pommel horse, etc. My shoulder is hardly bothering me anymore, but unfortunately my hand is still quite messed up.
I picked up Ness Plé, a French-Algerian girl, who is playing my wife for the day on the way to the hotel. There we met up with another couple. They were playing our parents. Throughout the day we somehow invented a whole back-story to the photoshoot and had some good laughs. When the shoot was over we celebrated with a few tequila shots before heading back home. Although I enjoyed myself, I was glad to be done since this is the second day we spent shooting almost twelve consecutive hours.
Special thanks to Victor Ozuna, Sebastian Barone, Luna Vandoorne, Hector Gomez,
Laercio Luz, Dave Ouano, Studio Pandora, Moddelus, Christian Vicino,
Runway Management, Jon Williams, Jasmin Sanders, Mark Douglas, Eva Ferriere,
Patrizia Madio, HMODELS
and everyone else who has helped me over the years!