Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mixing in broccoli

I'm in my [life is] easy chair sitting in the van at the spot near White Street pier here a group of van people hang out. I'm stirring steamed broccoli into a Lipton (paper pouch $1) meal of chicken flavored rice etc. I'm thinking about this girl I went to a bar with and wondering what would have happened if i said i lived in a van. Not that i liked her - I even just quit talking to her. She'd mentioned going to Harvard and she was a conch and stuff. Would van ideals have weirded her out? Either way it would at least have been conversation. That's my thoughts as I mix in the broccoli.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paradise Cafe w/ xo

I'm sitting at the Paradise Cafe drinking a buchi and playing with my new XO laptop. A buchi is a strong Cuban espresso. A double is $.75. There's wifi here, and this is my test ride for this awesome little computer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chain line check

I'm at Eaton Bikes after work with my left eye closed and I'm squinting up the third highest cog on a French mixte deciding that yes - this cog has the best chain line with the chain ring.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Talking to Eddie

More bicycle geek talk with Eddie - and also learning more about the awesome shit he's been up to for the past years. It's like Indiana Jones without the whip. Sort of. He lived on a boat, lived in remote Alaska on a bus, and now he's a daddy who rides a big tricycle for employment.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chillin' at Eddie's

I called Eddie to see if I could stop by for a real proper shower. I ran into him at the library yesterday, and he offered that option to me. He knows I'm living in a van, and he's done that too. I took my shower awhile ago, and now we're just sitting around.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Looking at beers in CVS

I'm taking way too long to make a simple decision. What beer am I going to get? ...Foster's fat can.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I have my pedicab pulled over near American Apparel. The front window is empty, but brightly lit up. There's a guy working on stuff. He has a ladder, and he's in fix-it mode. There's a mannequin in the front window. Then it might have moved slightly. It is dressed in a very form-showing but highly casual manner. Then it moves for real, and my watch beeps. My watch is beeping and I'm checking out a really hot girl on display in the mostly empty window of American Apparel. Now that she is moving and bending over and such, pedestrians are stopping and double-taking. That's enough for me: It's time to take a lady from New Hampshire to where she's staying right next to Eaton Bikes for $15.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

At Steve's place

I'm sitting in Steve's apartment. $225/week. Includes bed, sink, chair. Bathroom is shared between four such rooms. Free condom wrapper on floor as a welcome gift. Amazing location right off Front Street near Mallory Square. Real pain in the ass neighbor who is a loudmouth fuck and likes to complain. I'm trying to get Steve moving toward the movies if he wants to go. This is an actual process. I even jumped and clapped a little bit so far, but he's still oozing around a bit.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

With Shelly at The Cafe

I'm sitting with Shelly at The Cafe on Southard. We're eating dinner and splitting things, which is always a good idea. I haven't seen her in awhile now, and finally it is a little more comfortable. This is a case where worlds collide, but it's lightly surreal and positive. She came down here with Dreamane, who I also haven't seen in awhile. Dreamane is eating at Mr. Z's with Steve next door. I'm glad I got to be alone with Shelly for dinner. The Cafe is nice, and it gives us a chance to actually talk about general things.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In van with Steve Klopp

Steve Klopp is in my van, and we're cooking. I'm parked in the same area. Steve just got here today. He was fairly homeless in West Chester, sleeping in a basement. Now he sold his car and got a plane ticket to be homeless down here. Somewhat at my encouragement. [ed note: on 1/22 Steve sleeps on floor of van to make a worrisome claustrophobic situation for me. Next day he gets apartment which makes relieved Chris Harne happy.]

Monday, January 21, 2008

At Eddie's

I'm sitting on the couch at Eddie's place. He lives with his wife Melanie and new baby Milo. When he invited me over I was reading in the van and it was cold and windy and it even kinda wanted to rain a little. Eddie's idea for me to be over there with pedicabbers Tom and Anthony for dinner was much better. I was, by a decade or more, the young guy there - but I was so happy to be in a house with friends having dinner that it warmed my heart. These guys have a lot of stories from living a lot of different places, and pedicabbing and bike riding and traveling for many years. I'm just getting started, so I have less to say. Babies crawling around are great, but I don't know how to interact. Poke'em? Say stuff? Eating dinner and relaxing is much easier for me. I didn't say much, but I had a good time and stayed reasonably late.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I'm at Fausto's buying some bullshit to eat because I have no plans about what to do. [ed note: since I'm writing this a week later, I'll tell you how it turned out AFTER 7:21, even though that ruins the format somewhat. I got a small thing of roast pork, since Fausto's is a cuban place and cubans tear it up on stuff like pork. Then I got a 6 pack of Yuengling at CVS for $5. Then I went and sat on a wall by the ocean in a little park area. Eddie stopped by because he had a ride over there. After all that beer, I decided it was time to bike up to Winn Dixie for some grocery shopping. If my watch beeped while I was sitting on the wall, that would have been perfect.]

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Talking to Kevin again

I just got Kevin a slice of pepperoni pizza at "Big Un's" which is a sports bar. He's working at the info booth across the street, so I went and got it for him. I would be working, but instead I sold my pedicab shift. I did work at Eaton Bikes though. I went by to see if my check was there and Steven, the owner, asked if I was busy - could I stick around? Absolutely. It is never hectic, buy always lucrative. Yes. I put in two hours, and even got to catch up with the computer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

J&B, Feist, Van

I'm sitting in my van listening to Feist on my iPod. I'm also flipping through the J&B catalog. J&B is a bicycle wholesaler. They have bikes and parts, and I get wholesale pricing. Since I'm a bicycle nerd, I can somehow look at this catalog even though I know what's in it and how much it costs. If I have a project in mind, I flip through for ideas to feed future daydreams. Right now is much greater than just that. I'm mellow, the side doors are open, and the entire universe is my living room. This is a situation where vans are not cramped. If you open the doors, they are extremely vast.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Dollar beer

I'm doing the tilted cup slow beer pour outside the $1 beer shop. I just gave a beer to someone else, so I replaced it with one from this shop. It's a Milwaukee's Best. Plan: walk around.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Driving on Flemming

I'm driving my van on Flemming Street toward Kevin's house to help his friend / boyfriend / surfer-type, model, coast guard, dude, guy get a bottom bracket un-stuck from a frame that he found. I'm the bicycle guy always. Note: the bottom bracket did not come out, but we gave it a good try.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Long pedicab ride for cheap.

A guy told me he had $20 including tip to take him and his girlfriend as far as that was good for. I took him for about a $45 ride 'cause we were talking and I didn't really mind. I'm always looking for karma. I think about it every day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cooking in van again

I'm cooking up some Tereyaki Noodles in the same spot I was yesterday. It's a Lipton Meal. About $1.29, filling, and a really great idea for camping. I got that suggestion from a book about bicycle camping written in 1984. I have another whisky and coke. I'm killing time before I go out to see another movie: Juno. I'm going to the Tropic Cinema, which is a block off of Duval on Eaton St. I just got a membership, so tickets are only $6. It's a nice theater, and the tickets are cheaper than they are up in New Town by Publix. Hmm.

I'm very happy. I'm thinking how nice this is, and how this is exactly what I want. Relaxed in a van, cooking with the doors open. If this wasn't something where you had to be worried about police once in awhile, it would be the ideal lifestyle. Ideal. And right now, I love it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Drinking, eating, sitting, watching, thinking

I'm parked in my favorite spot with the side doors of the van open, and dinner cooling down on the camp stove. I can see the football game on the big screen TV that's on the cruise ship parked down here. I can barely see it, but I can hear the commentary. I'm not paying attention - but it's good background. I'm daydreaming, and thinking about how nice living in a van can be. I'm happy. I'm a little sweaty. Dinner is macaroni noodles and pasta sauce. I have a plastic camping mug of whisky and coke.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just cooked / Feelin' great

I just turned onto Duval St from Southard. My van is parked up there, and I had a little pedicab cookout with my new stove. Cooked right on the back seat. I heated up some Campell's Chunky soup with a bagel broken up into it. That's a good meal right there.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Circle K

Coffee and muffin in front of Circle K. Talking to yet another Brazillian guy who works crazy hours at a booth on Duval. Raphael. Lives on Duck Ave, just like a million other Brazil guys.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Boil in a bag

I'm cutting open a bag of rice that I just cooked with my new stove. I'm using my pocket knife. I'm parked in a great spot that is inhabited by other van people during the day. But you can't park here from 11pm - 7am. This is a parking spot where you can open the side doors, sit in your old chair and relax while reading a book in the breeze. You can also cook in your van, and have a nice time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Greyhound - Truck House sold

I'm in a great mood. I'm sitting in the front seat of the Greyhound bus headed south on Florida's Turnpike. I'm listening to a song that I like - my iPod is in shuffle mode. Truck House was sold earlier, and now I'm headed back to Key West.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Kevin / stolen bike / new job? / soup

I'm always slacking off when 7:21 hits. I'm at Angela and Duval talking to Kevin at his info booth again. I'm apprehensive. Someone stole my City Bike. I'm going to drive up to Lantana, FL tonight to sell Truck House. Kevin said I might be able to park in front of his house. It'd be nice to add a sanctioned spot to my bag of parking spots. He said I could even plug in... but no need. I don't really need electricity. I haven't missed it very much, surprisingly. I'd rather just have a spot to kick open the side doors and cook. My new $19.99 propane camp stove is great.

My anxiety is keeping me from having the will to work. I know I'll be quitting very early. The anxiety isn't very bad though. It's mild, and it's aimed at my stolen bike and the impending road trip. I'll be calm once I'm rolling. I'm looking into a mechanic job at a shop to substitute for some of my pedicab days. If it's good, I'll get $15/hr cash, and work on customer repairs. I'll do pedicab just on weekends. Pretty sweet setup if it works.

I'm sorta sharing Kevin's soup. Like potato soup with shrimp. Good.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Coasting up Whitehead St.

I'm taking it easy. Too many hours on this job. So I'm going to make it a point to not work all of them. I'm about to take a break to get on the internet and cut my hair. I just found some really nice sunglasses. In the urinal at The Green Parrot. I know that's pretty disgusting, but I washed them off thoroughly. I've been waiting for some good sunglasses to turn up. They always show up for free - I just expected that they'd be on the ground. Oh well. They're clean now. "don't look a gift horse in the mouth." Right?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

$130 / Duval and Front

I'm basically just riding the pedicab, and it's a pretty good night for money. I had the worst customer ever about 20 mins ago. A couple - one super drunk guy, and his pissed off wife or girlfriend. First thing he did was grab my ass cheek. Not polite. He could barely talk, and he even fell down pretty hard at one point. 20 minute ride. That's $30. In spite of saying how well he'd tip about a dozen times, he only had $28 and ended up telling me "don't be like that, man." I wish he landed on his face when he fell. Regardless, I'm making good money.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I'm coasting past Truman Ave headed south. I'm nodding hello to my Serbian friend Demonya, whose name I could never begin to spell correctly. He's holding a coffee from Circle K. I'm trying to cut out buying so much crap food. Coffee included. I got Life cereal and Publix brand nutra grain bars. Anthony, the experienced Australian pedicab guy, eats Life cereal with Nutra Grain bars broken up in it almost exclusively. I don't know how good or bad that is, but it's probably a hell of a lot better than my diet of bullshit. It's good and easy too. So that's entering my regular diet. I was looking at milk options, since I have no refrigeration in the van. Then the obvious solution occurred to me. Apple juice, duh. Delicious.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Talking to Mateos and Kevin

I'm talking to Mateos and Kevin outside of Red Fish Blue Fish on Front St. It's a slow night, and I only made $10 so far.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winn Dixie

My watch beeps and I feel like I got caught, and in a way I did, but it's funny. I'm in Winn Dixie trying to figure out what to get in addition to some Steel Reserve. I just picked up a thin little pack of sliced chicken. Then beeping, like a little burglar alarm - caught buying processed chicken for $.59. I'm going to put it on Triscuits that I got yesterday. Beer, and chicken-Trisuits. I love how I'm living down here. Love it. I'm going to get a new stove, and start eating actual food at some point. I have a stove but it sucks really bad, so I never use it. Don't get a Coleman 533 Dual Fuel. Go with propane or something. I should get a 12v skillet like Tara HoboStripper has. I think she's a lot smarter than I am about things like this.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Using Kevo's Laptop

I'm using my pal Kevin's laptop inside the info / tourist booth attached to the Denny's at Duval St. and Route 1. It's my night off, and I'm seeing what movies are playing at the Regal next to Publix on the north side of the island. My plan: get drunk at the movies. It is strangely cold and windy, and I'm wearing two sweatshirts and jeans.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thinking of Ashland, OR

I'm at the southernmost point in the USA, and I'm seriously considering Key West. Ashland Oregon comes to mind. I was there for 2 weeks learning how to build a bicycle frame, and at the time I thought that maybe I shouldn't leave. Here I think maybe I should. I'm a little tired of the pedicab. [ed note: got happy and satisfied again hours later]