Monday, June 30, 2008

Uhhh... Brooklyn?

I don't even want to say much about this. I'm still sitting around, still kinda want my money - but not really needing it or counting on it. Mostly just sitting around. I was over in Washington Square Park in Manhattan for several hours, and I had some fun taking the subway. That's about it. While Matt was finishing up working, I was standing around back in Brooklyn. Looks like his relationships around here are even more strained, and I pretty much knew that was going to leave me without an option to sleep inside. That's half of the reason I started chipping away at about ten pints of beer. The other half is that I just like drinking tons of beer.

At 7:21pm I was talking to Frank at the bar. It starts getting a little fuzzy around that point. I appreciated the round of beer - and I do remember that Frank struck me as a good guy.

I was up long enough to waste money on pot, and buy pizza. I slept in Matt's minivan. I was up at 5am with an absolute need for as much water as possible. I went and bought that, then slept again until the van got too hot. Very ready to move on.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Brooklyn

People are selling all kinds of shit on the street. It's a big floppy yard sale. I bought a big Barney head. Like a mascot costume - high quality shit. Barney the dinosaur. $5. I need more flair. We'll see how this unfolds. At this moment - 4:28pm on June 29th - I am happy. I don't know what is next, but I'm here right now, and I am happy.

An aside, an observation: this section of Brooklyn, at this point in time, is the location of an astounding number of beautiful tattooed females of my approximate age. I'm paralyzed. Cheeseburger tattoo? Really? Milkshake? Dude. Please talk to me. My guts are exploding. I don't feel like I'm tortured by loneliness, but that phrase was the first to come to mind - so while being less than accurate, it may hold some truth. I could use some love. Learning how to speak is right near the top of my to-do list.

This day gets even better. Matt has zero bucks, and I'm not trying to be a big spender. I'm in the mood to scavenge. We walked in the direction of somewhere else, and ended up going through McCarren Park. We heard live music. This is where they have the big pool concerts - I saw all kinds of Les Savy Fav footage on YouTube from here. We walked towards the music, and stopped off at some pizza boxes that were sitting beside a trash can. Fucking score. Free and very reasonably fresh slices of pizza. Salad pizza. Salad topping. Delicious. Free soda. Walking around to the entrance to the pool, where the shows are: apparently free show. A joy to watch. After the show I walked around looking for free booze. Found at least a shot of Jameson, and many many free beers.

At 7:21, we were sitting on a wall and I was a little drunk. Matt recognized the guy next to us as Ryan Dunn from Jackass. Notable, but I don't know that guy.

We wandered further toward sunset. There is a beautiful little park right on the water. It's fenced in and under slight construction, but there was a big gap in the fence and, at my count, 23 people. We sat on a bench. The cops showed up. We got free tickets to go to court. Motherfucking cops. My bad. Motherfuckers. They were the nice kind of cops. I'm not happy, but fair is fair.

It's a big hassle wondering if I can sleep inside. I'm ready to move on, surely. I need to write up a cue sheet to get me back to the ECGW. I want my money. It could take a minute to get my ass back on the path.

Ending in Brooklyn

I got up with the sun around 5am. I packed up, crawled out of my hiding spot, and took stock. It was a shitty place to sleep, but truly well hidden. I used to be proud of my kick the can and sardines hiding skills. This was the ultimate test of stealth and bivy sackability. A tent wouldn't cut it. I hope I don't need to test this again.

I don't want to say much about this day. My knee hurt - but the fabric on the knee brace rubbing the skin behind my knee hurt more. I pedaled slowly and had difficulty with the slightest inclines. I was grumpy. I was cussing. I didn't eat enough. I was tired. I had difficulty following the cue sheets, and got annoyed and confused. I began to lose sight of the romance of my convoluted Quixotic adventure. I limped into Penn Station in Newark NJ in mid-afternoon. Took a train to Manhattan. Met up with Matt Klopp.

Matt is working in New York as an assistant on some photo shoots. I wanted food. Beer. Shower. Sleep. I came to find that Matt's situation here is tenuous. He's staying for free at the home of a wealthy friend of his narcissistic boss. His relationship with his boss (friend?) is on shaky ground, because he is not getting paid regularly or on time at all. He is often literally penniless and hungry. He's owed over a thousand bucks. Matt owes me money. Matt's boss-pal does not respond well to being asked for money. As I said, he is literally a narcissist, and responds very poorly indeed. Matt will soon move on - but this is his current situation. It wasn't clear if I would be sleeping inside.

I took a long walking tour off Matt's neighborhood, a few short blocks from the mega hip-ass Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Food happened first. Huge burrito. That evening, beer happened. Matt was broke, aside from a personal check for $600 which he currently has no way to cash. No bank account. I ran up a sizable bill, making sure to buy enough rounds to achieve sure satisfaction. We smoked a blunt with a couple of Matt's friends who have lived in the neighborhood for their entire lives. I listened to a description of what it was like here before white people poured in. Better? Now this is a hyperactive hip-ass whitey white area, for certain. Matt's friends seem like good people aside from talking a little tough and being mildly racist. I won't marry them. But I'll talk and smoke a blunt. It was a good time.

Not ready to see the situation at home, Matt and I went into the hub of Williamsburg for pizza. The area was bursting at the seams with hip activity. I haven't seen anything like this. Maybe compare it to Old City Philadelphia at 2am on a Saturday night - but all hipsters. Thoroughly pale - thoroughly tattooed - covered in bicycles. Bicycles parked on every post, four deep. Hip bikes, shit bikes. I like that aspect. This is a good place to see. I don't know if this place grabs my heart, but it definitely grabs my attention. I slept in Matt's room after an exceptional and welcome shower. The air conditioning was frigid, and I was ensconced in goose feathers. Down mattress topper, down comforter, down pillow. The house is worth millions. My sleep was worth millions.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ending in New Brunswick inside a tree

I started the day at Rite-Aid buying a knee brace. It's a fabric sleeve that squeezes a knee and tries to keep it from shimmying around all over the place. I connected with the East Coast Greenway and followed reasonable roads all the way to Trenton New Jersey. Fuck Trenton. What's good there? Beats me. Bad vibes. I was hot and tired, but still in a hurry to move on. From Trenton to New Brunswick the ECGW follows a canal tow path almost exclusively. Some of this is great. But for long sections with freshly dumped gravel, bicycling kinda sucked. My tires dug in and sunk into the medium-diameter deep gravel. I'm not convinced this is entirely reasonable, considering that I have relatively wide (26x1.50) tires. I wouldn't want to attempt this with anything skinnier than 37c (my tires' nominal width). I was wishing for super fat tires. My touring bicycle tires are only going to get fatter with time. I'm just not seeing the drawback. Slower? My ass.

Later in the day my knee started feeling ok, and I got my typical late afternoon energy burst. I cruised at a good clip for a long distance - considering the terrain. I took a break where the tow path crosses the driveway leading to Sommerset Christian College. There was activity - some sort of Vacation Bible school. At 7:21 I was trying to convince the drinking fountain in the Gymnasium to squirt some water into my bottles. Beep, beep. Not happening. I used the sink in the bathroom. All the gravel-cruising got me covered in grit. I tried to wash off a little bit with some paper towels, but that wasn't helping too much. Continuing.

When the path ended in "New Brunswick" or whatever that was, I had gone 70 miles. This is further than I intended, but I felt a strong urge to get to the end of my current cue sheet. So I did. It was getting dark. Traffic was heavy, and I didn't know where to go next. Find a bar to sit for awhile? Fuck this area. I decided to follow the next cue sheet while looking for a place to sleep as quickly as possible. The sun had set, and the light was disappearing fast. It was a pseudo urban shitty area, for sure. I poked and prodded some trees and some areas, but it was all far from ideal. I found a "natural plant habitat" with what I'll call a bubble tree because I don't know what kind of tree it was. It was one of those trees with thick greenery and branches that poof out and go all the way to the ground. I rammed my bicycle right through the branches, and followed it in. It was like a fort in there. It was big enough to stand and move around a little bit. Big enough to camp. What a location though. I was very close to a big road - indeed a literal underhanded stone's float to a bus stop. I was in very close proximity to a nasty-stank embarrassment of a river. I was in viewing distance of a train bridge over said river. I was not ready to cycle further, so this was it. It was hot and stinky. I was gritty. It was 9:45. I was tired - but far from passing right out. I crawled in the bivy sack. It was too hot for full bivy coverage, so I just laid there half out.

The stink from the river was intense. I'm from Kennett Square. Kennett Square is the proud "mushroom capital of the world" - a small town so notorious for smelling that it was featured in a segment on The Daily Show, Craig Kilborn era. I've lived there, I've shoveled horse shit for a job. I say: this river stank unforgivably. It makes me sad to see how disgusting we've made our rivers. Getting worse daily. Solutions? I hope I can share reports on the conditions of rivers at the upper latitudes I'm aiming my bicycle at. Last I checked, the water was pure clear and beautiful there.

I laid there hot and full of thoughts. A cop pulled someone over, and boomed his voice over the PA system. His lights lit up my tree-dome like a disco. I brushed off the intermittent mosquito or crawler. I didn't sleep much.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shrooms, dude

I started out reading Harper's magazine and laying around all day. I was lazy and unready to move. I kinda knew this wasn't going to be the day that I continued on this trip in earnest. I felt like I might be ready to move around 3pm. But I didn't. I still had the somewhat worrisome knee pain, and wanted to waste more of the day. I called Jonas around 6. It was clear that I wasn't going anywhere. Jonas had previously mentioned having shrooms. I asked. He still had them. Mushrooms can be a little bit of an endeavor, but I was plenty ready. I ate the typical normal prescribed dosage, and by 7:21pm I was sitting with Jonas in his back yard and feeling funny. Which is great. Mushrooms can have an effect similar to acid, but overall they are much more reasonable. Where LSD leaves you wide awake into the next day and feeling a little warped, shrooms just gradually lose intensity until you're back to normal, ready to sleep. I've tried shrooms at least a dozen times, acid only twice - one tab each time. I prefer shrooms because I don't have the feeling that my brain is being zapped quite so furiously. I like that shrooms, when respected, can give you perspective on your current self which, for me, usually ends up being very positive.

Examples: Shelly decided to quit eating meat, Nat realized he should build his family the computer that they needed. I gave up meat for two years, which is the only reason I'm open to so many foods today. I didn't eat well before. I barely touched fruits and veggies. My food preferences changed drastically in those years. I am better for life.

Well, I sat around watching objects shift and listening to some Baltic music for a bit over at Nat's. I couldn't fathom the idea of this epic bicycle journey - but I wasn't surprised that the concept seemed so abstract while tripping. Let me summarize what I learned. I've been having this wish that everyone would speak more freely and openly and honestly. I want to see a shift toward everyone being more approachable and friendly. Yet: I'm not good at presenting these characteristics myself. It's pointless for me to wish for everyone to magically change. I need to change myself, if possible, and work with whatever that gives me. Another epiphany: Nat said "why don't you get a knee brace?" This suggestion seemed so obvious, but it hadn't occurred to me.

As the shrooms were leaving me back in calm peace, I sat on the roof on Howard Street with Nat and Mark talking and enjoying the Philadelphia skyline, and the view of the elevated rail a block away. The El. I was ready to resume my journey. Even a little bit excited. What else am I doing? Notably, it also occurred to me that if I get sick of riding I can always hop on a bus to wherever I want. Burlington Vermont. Matagami Quebec at the head of the James Bay Road. (Fast Forward). I was reminded that unlimited options exist, and I don't have to be compelled by my mild fucking neurosis to follow strict rules that nobody set but me.

Day 1? Philly

I'm writing this with a hangover.

I left around 10:30am yesterday, and got to Philly (Nat's house) at 2:30. The bicycle is great, the amount of gear is incredibly easy to manage, and I started having some pain in my right knee. I know: whine, whine, whine. It's not like that. Honestly, I'd prefer not to mention it, but I also want that to be the against the rules here. For example, if I get egg on my face, I want to freely admit that and then move on. The pain is like this: who fucking cares. But it's there, so boom. The deal is I did my first century (100miles) ride a few years ago without any kind of proper preparation or training or whatever. Now my knee hurts sometimes when I ride my bicycle. Moving on.

It was a pretty good ride. Nice roads, not-bad traffic. I'm pretty comfortable in traffic, and I know where to be on the road and not get pushed around or care. But that said, it still wasn't bad and I picked a good route. From here, I'll be following the East Coast Greenway's current cue sheets - and I really want to see what that's all about.

I knew I was going to end up drinking last night, and I still don't care except that I feel like it's an admission rather than a fact. I had three enormous expensive margaritas with Nielle, and that fuckin rocked.

I've got something like $1,400 in my bank account, and I estimate that I can spend something like $17 per day on food and still be fine. That's doing a lot of fudgy estimation on distances and days. I tried to work a bus ticket in there.

As of right now, I have a hangover and I think I'm going to sit around in Philadelphia reading back issues of Harper's magazine for a long time. At 7:21pm last night I was reading an article about a modern day raft journey down the Mississippi that was "punk as fuck" in design and motive. I'm going to go finish that now, and drink about a gallon of water.

I will resume adventuring as soon as I am ready. Promise.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kennett Square to Nemaska

At 7:21 I'm taking pictures in the driveway. I've been packing and preparing for my bicycle trip throughout the day. I'm leaving tomorrow, probably before noon. This blog is going to temporarily transform into the bicycle trip blog, possibly without much 7:21 pretense.

The Plan:
My plan is to leave from Kennett Square, and connect to the East Coast Greenway, meandering all the way up through Maine. The ECGW is a work in progress. The goal is to connect all of the major cities on the east coast between Calais Maine and Key West Florida with a multi-use car-free trail. Projects like this one fill me with hope and excitement. The greenway is far from finished, and has many gaps - but cue sheets (bicycle directions) have recently been released, and that's what I'm following all the way up through Maine.

After Maine, I'm going to cross into New Brunswick at Madawaska. I'm using cue sheets which I made by scrolling around on Google Maps to get over to Quebec. Once in Quebec, I have some more cue sheets and maps and shit. I'll be traveling across Quebec toward Val D'or, where I ended my bicycle trip last June, arriving from a different route. After Val D'or, I will go to Matagami, which is at the beginning of the James Bay Road, an intensely sparse highway that was built for large trucks and equipment to get to the far reaches of northern Quebec where there are enormous hydroelectric power plants. At this point, I will be 3-4 days from towns and supplies. Time to meditate or something. There are some emergency phones, but not much else. It's plain wilderness, no people. From the James Bay Road, I will take the Route du Nord, a gravel road, the remainder of the way to a Cree village of about 700. Nemaska. There's a hotel, gas station, and some normal stuff there. Internet, electricity, stuff like that. I did a somewhat shoddy job of mapping all this out, but I believe that I'll be fine, and I can work shit out as I go.

Why Nemaska?
I discovered the existence of a place called Nemaska about a year and a half ago. I was scrolling around on Google Maps trying to see what existed if you scrolled and scrolled and scrolled as far north as roads went. Roads go a little bit further north than Nemaska - but not much. Much further, and you'll be needing a plane. After researching some of these places that are as far north as possible, I got interested in Nemaska specifically. What's it like there? I want to witness this first hand, and I want to roll into town on a bicycle. I want to experience at least a little bit of the way of life there. I want to be blown away that I actually got there on a bicycle. Consider: people have had crazier adventures, and the mileage is less than half of a trans-USA cycle trip.

The Bicycle:
I'm using my City Bike, turned Touring Bicycle. This is an 80's Diamondback mountain bicycle rebuilt from the frame up. The frame uses cheap hi-tensile tubes that are extra fat. It's a cheap frame, and plenty of snobs would love to put it down. It cost me $20 in it's original incarnation as a complete bicycle. I've ridden it as my main bicycle in Philadelphia, and Key West - and it accompanied me on my longest one-day ride ever: 120 miles. This bicycle is tested and ready. I rode it fully loaded, and the fat over-built tubes don't flex or flop one bit even with all that weight on the back. The tires absorb plenty of shock. It's strong and smooth. I am thoroughly comfortable with this bicycle, and excited to finally tour with something I believe in. If you look at bicycle touring books and websites and forums, there is a lot of talk about the bicycle and equipment that you need to tour. Take the bullshit with a grain of salt. Notable features of this version of the City Bike include high northroad handlebars with bar end shifters. I want to sit up and look where I'm going. I always use friction shifting. I want to be ultra-comfortable. Boom. I want to cover about 60ish miles per day. This setup is perfect. The wheels are new. Zac19 rims laced to very basic Shimano Parallax hubs - 8spd cassette on the rear. Don't think for a second that you need better hubs than these cheapys. I'm using 26x1.50 (37-559) Panaracer Pasela Tourguard tires. The saddle is a Brooks sprung Flyer, always with the rain cover - turned inside out so it doesn't look very sexy. I'm using Ortlieb waterproof panniers that I spent too much money on years ago, but now I still have'em. I have a Nashbar trunk bag. Let me express my love for this bicycle. Done.

I've learned from past bicycle trips how to pack way too much. I started to get the hang of packing on my Quebec odyssey last June. I sent a lot of stuff home, and acquired some cool replacement shit like my bivy sack, and a more packable sleeping bag. Living in a van taught me about a good basic camping stove. The $20 one burner Coleman propane one. It's way too big, and way to heavy, but I like cooking on it - so it's coming with me. I plan to cook a lot. You can get the 16.4oz propane cylinders anywhere. Ease of mind is a big deal for me. So, I'm bringing this (scroll down when bored):
Outdoor Research Deluxe Bivy Sack (<2lb tent!)
Lafuma 40 degree sleeping bag (<2lbs)
Backpacking air mattress, 1.5" thick (<2lbs)
XO Laptop (OLPC)
Digital Camera
Coleman 1 burner propane stove
Small cooking pot - random thrift store cheap shit
Small plastic colander - for noodle straining
Spoon - taken from Cheesecake Factory
Toothbrush, deodorant (rarely worn), TP...
Bicycle Toolz - & chain lube!
Croc knockoffs
Victory Brewing cap
Bathing suit
Boxers (4)
Wool socks (3pr)
2 sporty shirts, 1 thin wool blend shirt
Sporty shorts
Northface fleecy pullover
Winterish jacket
Winter warm hat
Mosquito netting suit
Rain pants
Rain PVC jacket - clear, shitty, bulky
Secret all-spice (spicy spices)
Chargers for electronics
Maps and cue sheets

I don't know how to describe this part, and it's the part that I want to describe the most accurately and thoroughly. I just rode my fully loaded bicycle uptown in Kennett to return a book and a CD to Hailey, who lives up there. The test ride was pure success. Everything is very secure, and the weight doesn't even approach a sketchy or unreasonable level - as I've experienced, and witnessed many times on loaded touring cycles. I've tried several times to describe my feelings about setting off, and I'm not sure I can nail it all down. There is apprehension, and a knowledge that once I'm out there I might not be in the mood to continue. I bailed out on my first two tours after one day. After getting to Montreal last June - when Nat's bicycle was stolen and I continued - I experienced similar feelings. Being all on my own gave me anxiety. It made me sad and lonely and I wanted to quit. But I was so invested, I continued. I saw beautiful things. But ultimately, I bailed out after another week. I pushed myself with too many miles, and didn't take nearly enough time to sit around doing nothing. I got to Val D'or, and my legs were whipped. My ass was killing me. I felt isolated, exhausted, and not at all ready to continue. I hopped on a bus that day, and fucked around in Burlington Vermont with friends before eventually getting a ride home with my friend's visiting girlfriend. It was a pseudo successful solo cycle stint. It taught me a lot. I learned to pack less stuff, and slow the pace to a crawl. Also: Brooks saddles.

This time it's another super grand adventure attempt. It's kinda like I'm personally incapable of biting off something that I can definitely chew. All my ideas seem to be over-blown and over-romanticized. Still, I'm a realistic person. I know how I've felt on past bicycle tours, and I can't help but think this one could make me freak out a little bit too.

All of that shit said, I'm also optimistic. I want to focus on how I want this trip to turn out. So: optimism. I love this bicycle more than any other. I have learned from past tours and tour attempts. I have learned from my experience of living in a van in Key West and being a lone soldier, fish out of water. I don't really know what else to do right now. I'm a little nervous - but I think I'm ready to smash into one hell of an adventure. I sincerely hope - and realize the possibility - that I am building this all up way too much.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Packing a bowl

I'm sitting on the ottoman that goes with the comfy bowl-shaped chair at Danielle's place. Gary isn't home yet - but when he gets here, it's time for burritos and chimichangas. Right now it's time to smoke. I have enough left to get several people stoned several times. I'm not bringing it with me, so I'm happily depleting my supply now. I'm poking little chunks in Danielle's bowl right as my watch beeps. We've been talking heartily, and watching some television. Dave is coming over in a little bit. This is my opportunity to say goodbye before I leave for awhile. I probably won't see these guys again before I go. No booze. I actually drive back to Kennett.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Standing in van in Philly

My van is parked on N. Howard Street, right at the intersection with Girard Avenue. I'm standing in the van with the doors open, stuffing my u-lock and my long sleeve tie dye shirt into my backpack. I've got my race-y KHS bicycle leaned outside my doors, and I'm preparing to swing my backpack onto my shoulders and scorch over to the Fire - a bar where Jonas is working.

My purpose in Philadelphia is several-fold. Reason number one is that the comedy troupe 'Meg and Rob' is having a benefit show for themselves to raise money to perform in Minneapolis. They're performing for over an hour, and I probably wouldn't be missing it tonight even if they were doing just two sketches. Meg Favreau. Rob Baniewicz. Highly likable people. Hilarious.

Reason number two: I'm selling some bicycles. I finally took parts off of what I wanted parts from, and I threw away what I didn't want to deal with. The salable remainder is in my van - 3 bicycles which will all be sold by the time I leave tomorrow. It only took a few hours to hack off the roots that seemed so firmly planted outside of my van.

I was happy to spend an enjoyable night in Philadelphia without alcohol. I even rode through a long strip of tunnel down Locust St. with Nat and Caroline. Never knew about that before. I realized once again that I'm a jittery and hyper person, and without booze I come precariously close to shaking right off of a chair. Unless I consciously keep it in check. This is an observation, and is in no way a negative deal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sleeping in the big house

I'm dead asleep. (See yesterday.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Waiting for LSD

At 7:21pm, I'm sitting around on the porch over in Avondale. Where Rachel lives. There's a big blowout party tonight with fire and music and drugs. I have an order in for LSD, which should have arrived a couple hours ago. I would have liked to take it early with some sunlight still up so I could see the party materialize. Others started drinking beer early, and I'm not one to sit around when others are drinking, so I had a beer. I'm also not one to have just one beer, so I got another. I'm also one to drink fast and keep going, so I've had seven. The party started before the acid actually arrived. I'd quit drinking hours earlier, and wasn't really drunk when I took a tab and ate it at 9:30. This party would not have made nearly as much sense if Shawn wasn't there, also taking LSD. There were a few others tripping too, and the rest of the party was a fucking mess.

This was strictly an outdoor party. Talk of 100-150 people was heard beforehand, and even then I had an inkling that this figure was outrageously high. It ended up being fifty people max, and those who showed up seemed to be the worst possible. It was as though you took the fifty worst people from a party of 150. This is my perception. What I expected, and what I saw. I was very satisfied. When shit got wacky or uncomfortable, I stood back and watched from afar. When shit cleared up, I'd wander back to friends. I only knew a handful of people, and only got positive energy or had respect for about half a handful. Shawn's friends Ian and Tom stopped by. I got a great sense of calm from Ian. In the approximate five minutes I talked to him I was able to re-re-confirm that I think he is great. His presence was a grounding force of the whole party for me. That's what I told Shawn when he brought it up, and that's how I felt. It's not clear who all these party people were, or if anybody really knew who they were. It looked like a fucking mess with a strobe light to remind you. Someone tripped over an extension cord and the strobe light and music went out. It never came back on either. I'm not sure what that was all about, but I was completely happy about it.

I can't express how comforting it was to have my van parked around the front of the house. I knew the whole time that if I got uncomfortable, or dissatisfied in any way, at any time, I could just go home and listen to music or sit with the doors open and look out over a field or at some trees. I took advantage of my van's water supply, I dropped off my spectacles (unnecessary when trees are moving and faces look satanic either way), and I changed into my favorite long sleeve t-shirt. I had my house there for backup, and it made me feel like the luckiest person alive. But I didn't need to hide.

I was awake and around the fire long after the party died. The other LSD people either left or went inside, and the party drinking/drugs crowd all went home. Eventually it was just me and Shawn and Larkin around the fire all night long, and well into the morning. Larkin doesn't do anything that makes him hallucinate. He's jobless and on unemployment and has a critical drinking problem. He lives in a tent in his parent's backyard, and kind of just wanders the area. He's difficult to communicate with, and makes a lot more sense when I'm on acid. Seriously. I was glad to have these guys to sit around with. There were long comfortable silences punctuated by ideas and uproarious laughter. Then the sun came up for real. Shawn went home around 8, and I went to my van to hide in my blankets.

I'd been coming back to reality for a couple hours, but was still far from normal. I didn't sleep, but I laid down and rest-thought. I sat up around 10am and wanted to communicate with people who I like. I turned my phone on and called Danielle to see if she was relaxing for her whole Saturday. Then I had a brief and awesome explosion of tears because I'm glad that I know Gary and Danielle. I didn't feel like I was ready to look and act normal back at the big house. Danielle didn't answer, but I did get a txt message from my Mom, who never sends txt messages ever. "Aunt Beth's birthday picnic today, be home by 1." I don't like shit getting sprung on me, and I still didn't have any sleep yet. This did not seem very realistic. I was ready to drive by this point, but not at all ready to communicate or act like I was normal. I went home.

I tried slightly to weasel out. I was going to be honest about the facts, but my Dad has a tendency to be a little snippy which makes it easy to just shut the fuck up and go away. However, I know that aside from these circumstances I want to go to family events and know who my family is. I don't know them, and recently there has been increased opportunity to change that. I want to at least show up. At 1pm I was feeling like part of the world again, and I knew it would be fine. I went to the picnic. When I heard anyone talk about being hungry or tired, I couldn't help smiling to myself. I'd been up for nearly 30 hours, and hadn't eaten anything since early the previous day. Sandwiches, broccoli, and cheese n' crackers were perfect. Lemonade. I was ok enough to talk to people and be about as normal as I get. When we got home at 5, I went upstairs to the inside bed, shut the drapes, and didn't get up for 16 hours.

I thought that LSD might teach me something about myself and my current situation. It may have a little bit. What it really did was emphasize what I already know. I don't belong here. I definitely don't belong at Rachel's house. All that happens there is people get really fucked up all the time. It's her parents house, and her mom gets really fucked up with everyone too. Her mom doesn't like the 'F' word, but has no problem smoking weed and having kids drink and smoke and trip acid all over the place. I shouldn't really be hanging out with Rachel either. She can be fun to be around, but my interest in her as a person is purely sexual, and with getting crazy drunk that got kinda ruined too. Plus we can't communicate on any but the most intensely superficial level. If there was a venn diagram of our personalities and every intricacy and detail of who we are and what we stand for - it would look very much like the number 8. When I'm peaking on acid and she's walking around with glow sticks swinging all over her sexy body, I can almost forget the facts. The good thing is I'm not so sure she likes me very much either.

In addition to thinking about spending time at Rachel's, I also thought about being in Kennett in general. I know it's not the best idea. I made a big mistake by getting all of those bicycles over here. What I did was plant roots where I don't want to be. Anything that exists outside of my van is a root in the ground. I planted roots exactly where I don't need to be. I have possessions outside of my van, and I need to seriously work toward the cessation of that. I need to get rid of everything I own. The positive side of this realization is that I already own a van, and I already know what makes me happy. For those who don't live in a van, but who want to - the transition is quite a hurdle. They aren't sure they'll be able to cope with the lifestyle. They've already invested money in furniture and knick-knacky shit to fill enormous spaces. I'm lucky because I don't have all that. I'm happier in a van, and I need to move further to solidify that as the only thing I have to deal with. I need to purify my simplicity.

So - I learned to stay away from Avondale and not plant roots outside my van. I also learned that I am drinking way too much. Of course, I already knew that, and I didn't do anything about it on purpose because it's easier that way. I might still fuck that up - because I usually end up drinking. But I know I shouldn't. It's fun, and often I even feel pretty boasty about it, but overall I feel somewhat ashamed of the excess. Why would I do something so unhealthy - mentally and physically - that makes me feel ashamed? I don't know. I never have.

While I was thinking, I also considered this blog. Ever since I've been turning it less into a 7:21 project, and expanding it to include detailed context of my whole life, I've found some barriers. I want to tell the absolute truth and get to the closest descriptions of my feelings, actions and reality that I possibly can. One snag with this is that there are characters interacting with me, and they might not want their details to be shared. This could be unethical. Or at least uncool. I'm sharing thoughts that I wouldn't even say in person to the person who I'm thinking the thoughts about. That's the same thing as talking about people behind their backs. I hate this kind of gossip. So - I try to focus on my feelings and perceptions instead of making slanderous statements. I'm still not sure people need their business talked about though. That isn't the only reason why the path of full disclosure is difficult. Consider: my parents will read that I was taking LSD, and they might not know anything about LSD. How can the lines of communication be so shut down for 25 years, and now I just open this goofy portal of personal info that we can't even really discuss? How? A blog.

I'll go further and say that I don't believe in God, I'm not sold on organized religion being a very good idea at all, I always wondered why we never talked about God ever outside of church, and my computer screen still looks a little funny from that LSD that I took. So does my cellphone screen.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Homegrown" in Newark

I'm riding in the back of a car with Rachel and a dude, Alex, up front. I'm in the back seat and we're stopping off at guy's house so he can take a shower before we all go over to a bar on Main Street in Newark. That's 7:21. I managed to avoid drinking 100 beers. Just two. Fortunately, Nat's bro gave me some whiskey before I left for the bar, and everyone smokes weed always. On the way out of the bar, I ran into Mike's ex-girl Laura. During my time sitting at the bar, some lady came up and grabbed my shoulders because I have a black fluffy mohawk, and she knows someone else with a similar looking head.

It was an early night for me. I've been seeing the sun come up a lot, and I was back at headquarters before midnight.

I need to find some friendly people who don't give a fuck about general typical topics, and want to sit around all night long. I'm a crazy nice non-elitist who can get out of my brain long enough to banter to a conclusion when called for. If you are a person who is generally upbeat and non dramatic, and you think sitting around with no specific plans is not only un-weird, but simply the way things should work sometimes: call me up. By email.

I think I'm almost ready to be leaving Kennett Square. Really.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sleeping forever

I'm still sleeping at 7:07. I know 7:21 is coming up, so I sit up and open the van doors. Time to get moving. I'm turning into a sleep professional. The air was cool enough today for me to sleep with my van's doors closed, and still be comfortable with a blanket. I kept the little sliding window open. It's a little screened in conversion van window, and my head is right next to it when I sleep. I laid around all day feeling dazed, feeling distant. I woke up intermittently to watch some passing rain or roll over. I want to have a better understanding of life and reality - but the only thing I feel certain of is that any understanding is just an illusion. There can't be a point to this, and if there was - how would anybody know? Then what? There's just a brain, and some observable shit going on. I need to break away from getting wrapped up in these thoughts, but I don't want to disguise what I see right in front of me just to attempt to make everything easier. I can't make myself just shut up and shop. I can't get excited about making money. I can't watch much television. I can sleep and think. And drink. And read. I could actually use some company. I made some calls. Now it's 9:10pm and I have the entire night sitting in front of me. With as much as I slept, I'll probably be seeing the sun before my next nap.

Shelly stayed over. Hanging out in my van is fantastic. There's limo lighting in the back, and you're surrounded by speakers and soft walls. When music, drinking and conversation are the entire agenda, I doubt I could find a better setting. I haven't done anything to the decor except throw the back seats in a dumpster - and I'm thinking it really might be perfect how I have it. I still want a deep cycle battery, but that's about it. Shelly was nice enough to stay up pretty late. We rode bicycles up town for last call. I ordered her a beer, but then had to drink it 'cause she wasn't up for it. Drunk cycling through town on a nice night is the best. Then smoke weed. Then sit in my chair quietly listening to music until I think I can finally convince my body to fall asleep. I got a gazillion albums and songs from Shelly's hard drive, then I fixed her bicycle. I did not try to have sex. Just conversation about that and everything else.

Yes: I do realize that I should probably getthefuckoutta here pretty soon. Sticking around here is like not being able to wake up when you know you're dreaming. I'm having Kennett Square REM sleep - having a really tripped out dream - and I'm not waking up until I leave. I want to watch how this all unfolds, but I also need to get back to reality. Soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trans Canada Highway?

I'm screwing around on google maps trying to figure out the best way for me to get from New Brunswick into Quebec. It looks like most of the small roads quit at the border. That has me wondering if I can just ride a short stretch of the Trans Canada Highway, until I can sneak back onto smaller roads again in Quebec. According to a website, this is legal and possible.

I managed to kill most of the day without accomplishing much. I'm fine with that. I read some of a new book: "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior." In spite of the fact that I'm not crazy about the way it's written, or the author's ideas about what's funny, I still think it's an engaging read. Don't like the wording of the interactions, but some of the concepts make it worth reading.

I managed to take multiple naps today. On a day as beautiful as this, I could relax in my van for a very long time. And I did.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Parking in Center City

At 7:21pm I'm in Center City on Pine St, or Locust, or Lombard, or Spruce, or one of the 20-somethings. It definitely takes a lot of time and work to find a place to park. I'm happy that I've mellowed out enough to be able to keep my cool. I'm cussing and muttering shit about suicide and murder, but at the base of it, I'm still reasonable. I'm relaxed. I end up parking medium-far away, and not in a great spot. I've learned this lesson too many times. "Park really far away in a great spot, and ride a bicycle." Well - no cycle this time. So I park and shut up.

I'm here to see Mike Bradley, who I don't see too often when he's dating. Mi amigo, mi amor! I'm excited to see him, and glad that he txt'd me to come over. Mike dates regularly and for long periods of time. He lives in Philly with a cool girl that he deserves, so that makes this trip about catching up as much as hanging out. I drank a lot, then we got a veggie burger. Beautiful night in the city. Warm and breezy. We talked. I slept in my van on some random hairy corner. In spite of traffic and motherfuckers, I slept fine. I got up at 8 and put on some Jack Johnson. I drove back to Kennett Square while everyone else was getting to work.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Preparation, limitation, spillage

I'm making preparations to get going on this bicycle trip. I'm still dragging my feet, and I still don't care that much. I took the milk crate off of my bicycle rack, because you can't put panniers (bags) on the rack with the milk crate sticking over the sides. I'd love to ride with a milk crate full of shit, but logistically I hit a snag. I don't know a good way to use panniers and the crate, so for now, the crate is out. I stuffed all my sleeping gear into one pannier with room to spare, and that makes me happy.

I tried to have really awesome sex with a super model. I had a great time, and fucked and fooled around a bit, but in the end I think maybe Vodka doesn't work like Viagra. Not in huge doses. So now I'm thinking about that. Trying to figure out why I wasn't solid as a rock pressed against her extremely sexy body. I'm confused by this, but I don't make judgments about myself. Who knows? My thoughts are that I hope not coming isn't an insult. Is it insulting to suck a lazy dick? I have limited experience with sex. I don't know if I'd rather come fast, or just try every tactic to bring her to an orgasm. Actually, I do know. The latter is probably my favorite thing ever. Hopefully that's enough to get invited over, and we can see about whatever else.

Maybe that was all about vodka drinks, probably not completely. I'm not running lab experiments. I guess I'm glad that I don't take anything very seriously. "I guess" meaning that I'm not sure what's truly best for me, but I suspect that taking too much stuff seriously can be a downer. So maybe I dodged a bullet. Maybe I was born lucky knowing this, or maybe I thought myself into adopting this mentality when I was still tiny. Now it looks like fact. Furthermore as I see the big picture, getting a life and a certain upbringing and mentality is kind of a one-shot dice roll. Completely random. I don't want to waste whatever it is that I got. You can waste some - everyone spills a little bit, and that's part of the deal. But don't fucking sit there watching the whole thing spill out onto the carpet. I'm trying not to do that. If I do, I at least want to laugh, and rub it in with my foot.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vanning toward Philadelphia

After managing to sleep throughout large portions of the entire day, I'm finally moving. A thunderstorm was looking like it was about to kick in, and at the same time Nat Google chatted me that maybe I should head to Philadelphia. So that's what I'm up to. I'm listening to music off my newly reorganized iPod. The random tracks keep on being what I need to hear. Random Face to Face from some 7" included. My watch is beeping from the back of the van. It's not on my person, cause I jumped in a pool over at Shawn's last night, and my watch is still sitting around with all my wet clothes threatening to stink up the back. I've been getting very friendly with sharing my bud, so that's dwindling pretty quick. Lightning fast. I'm thinking I won't need it on my bicycle tour - and sharing is friendly. 40oz to Freedom played on random, and I felt like much less of a geek this time around. My van is big and boss, and I'm having a good time cruising to Philly.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Complacent, lazy, amazing

I am an absolutely amazing human being. I can't make myself do anything. Anything at all. My day picks up around 11pm or something. I sit around and barely do anything until then. Then I basically just start drinking or something like that. I stay up as late as possible. I sleep out in my van, which is absolutely fantastic. The sun starts to heat up the van, and I open the doors and lay around until 11 or 12. I start moving around noon, and waste the entire day with a laptop or something like that. I have at least a dozen bicycles that need to get worked on or thrown out, and I just don't feel like it. I want to have $1000, and leave on this bicycle trip. That should be soon. And I'm very ready. Though I could leave in a few days if I took some action, I still sit here getting no closer to moving. At 7:21 - I'm on my laptop looking at sketches of Philadelphia characters. I'm getting kinda used to Kennett Square again. I like my parking spot, and I like crawling inside when the sun is too hot, and sitting around the big house. I take naps. I haven't driven the van anywhere in a week except to get whiskey.

I'm truly excited about this bicycle trip. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll wake up and take action soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Editing. And winning.

I'm editing complicated thoughts, and I eventually delete everything and quit.

(Since 7:21 wasn't interesting, here's something that happened about seven hours later.)

I'm gonna get her. (Shit! the chase is on). I'm two turns into my post-uptown-drinking bicycle loop. I'm on Cypress Street after leaning a hard turn to cut across from State St (the main drag). The streets are empty, and I fly down the middle taking all the space I want. I didn't slow much at all through the second turn, and leaned as far as 8 pints and an iPod playing Dredg would take me. I kept momentum as Cypress Street takes the form of a long incline heading back into town. Right after Wawa, I got some company. A big furry mass cut into the road ahead of me. A young deer with a spring in it's step, looking like it needed to be somewhere fast. When a cycler in spandex pulls a fancy move like this in front of me, I feel compelled to respond with speed. I goose it up a step. When this crazy agile deer appeared on the scene, my reaction was no different. She was running right up the middle of the street. With no further thought, I instinctively scooched into a good low-zippy gear and hit my pedals hard. It was directly after this that my mind was able to soak in the big picture. I'm chasing a mad fast deer up Cypress St. And gaining! We both sped up, but I was able to close the gap by at least ten feet. Given just a little bit more time, I'd be even. That's when the deer decided it was best to bow out. She cut into someones front yard, and stared at me as a rode away. Narrowly avoiding a flank slap and, as I imagine it, confused. It was nice to have some friendly competition on the street at around 2:15am. The burst took a lot out of me, and I used the rest of the incline to recover in a slightly lower gear.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Relaxing in the van w/ Shelly

I'm laying down in my van, post dinner, parked in the same spot in my parents' driveway. Shelly is here too, and we're talking. It's a perfect beautiful day, and the doors are open wide to the trees and grass. It's like hanging out on your bed outside in the shade. We talk, and manage to catch up on details. We were dating for something crazy like 9 years. I proposed, but it didn't keep. We split up almost a year ago. I'm relieved that neither one of us cooked up any resentment, drama, or ill will. Catching up on details was fun.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

1-95, Pinback

I'm listening to Pinback's "Blue Screen Life" on my iPod. I've been deprived of this album for a long time, because CDs turned into mp3s, and shit fell through the cracks. It reminds me of a pretty long time ago, and it's not a very upbeat album. I like hearing it, because it's one of my favorites - but part of me realizes that I keep listening to the same CDs over and over, and they're not necessarily the best choices. I have so many memories wrapped up in music, and my collection is very tired. All my favorite albums are slathered with inextricable personal context and meaning. Sublime's "40oz to Freedom" is one of the best CDs ever, but I don't need to be listening to it while driving toward Philly in a borrowed minivan that I'm driving because somehow a mild case of depression prevented me from taking care of my crapped out van battery. This dichotomy of lyrics, feelings, and situations makes me feel like a doofus. This is the kind of self psychology that is self deprecating - I admit that I question myself and my standing in life - and might be better tucked into the pages of a personal journal rather than a blog. I'm not trying to be funny. I'm really just trying to explain.

I'm not anxious. I'm not depressed. I'm not witnessing myself from another place. I'm listening to this CD, and taking intermittent calls about bicycles that I've already sold (which is badass). It's hot outside. The heat is a description which thankfully is difficult to mince. Let me try again about myself: I feel void and brainfucked. Does that sound scary? It's not like that. I'm driving along, listening to an album I love, and I'm living the one life which I relish the hell out of because it's the only one I know.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sales, touring, boozy situations

I'm selling a red Panasonic bicycle that I got for free when I worked with 1-800-Got-Junk. I got several free bicycles, and I'm finally getting around to selling this one. All I had to do was inflate the tires, and adjust the front brake - and I got $80.

Right at 7:21, I was standing on the corner of 16th and Chestnut.

Minutes previous, I was headed into the city with a load of bicycles that I'd advertised on Craigslist earlier in the day. On the way in, I got a call from a girl who lived at 16th and Chestnut, and wanted to check one of them out. To more easily close the sale, I said I'd just drop it right off. As I was standing there, she called me from the opposite corner. I said "I'm the dude with the mohawk," and we waved. She brought her boyfriend, and we all chatted for several minutes, mostly about bicycle trips. Selling bicycles in Philadelphia is a good way to meet cool people. I never forged any lasting friendships, regrettably. Opportunity was surely presented. When selling a bicycle, it's nice to have something to instantly talk about. Bicycles. They need a bicycle, or need to know about one. I can handle that conversation all day. That's one thing I sorta miss about the full time Philly based bicycle business I was running for a time. It feels great to sell a bicycle. Every time I sell one, I get a significant profit. Motivation is the key factor in keeping me from getting more money and having real success at this. I have little motivation to get the bicycles and fix'em.

This moment, the sale and chat, is a turning point toward a highly enjoyable evening in contrast to the honestly kinda depressing day. Not anxiety - I was actually kinda depressed. I'm feeling more ready to start the bicycle journey now. This is good. I still haven't set a leaving date, but I'm wrapping things up around this area. Can't be too long. Bolted cranks onto the touring bicycle. I still need some last minute logistical stuff. I need to get all loaded up and look at my gear. Few more errands. Hopefully I'll feel some relief when I set out, along with the uncertainty that I know will be present. For now, I've given up coffee and soda (except in whiskey). Not buying and consuming this stuff is saving me money now - will save money on my tour - and will make me drink much more water, which is important. I didn't stop swilling booze. Booze always levels out when I just quit for a month or something like that. How and why I start drinking again is a little confusing. I quit for a month, and everything manages to get healthy and happy. Then, at some point, my mission is accomplished and I drink again. It goes back and forth. I'd "quit" for the bicycle tour, but I don't think that rule is necessary. I suspect consumption will just naturally dwindle from lack of convenience and interest. It's nice to seek out and participate in random boozy social situations, but I don't think I'm gonna get five random pints before looking for a place to lay my bivy sack.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

3 speed / internetting

I've been really not doing anything. That includes lots more internetting. Right at 7:21, I searched for "Bee Thousand" which is a Guided by Voices album that I don't have. It was referenced in an article at Phawker, which was linked to from Meg's blog. Glad she linked to that. Now I'm keeping an eye on it.

I finished that bicycle that I was going on and on about on May 21. It took just shy of two hours to build this thing up from the frame. I consider that to be pretty good when you factor in replacing cottered bottom bracket spindles, and pulling all kinds of random parts out of the woodwork. If it's really enjoyable to ride and I feel like upgrading anything - the cranks are outta there first. Then the brakes. But I won't get to that any time soon if ever. This is the flashiest and most mechanically wacky bicycle I have ever made. I'm really happy that everything worked and I didn't hit any dead ends.

Here's a picture of that bicycle. I don't know why it's blurry, but maybe dusk has something to do with it. It still beats a thousand more boring ass words.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cow pies, pizza pies

I'm taking the biggest nap possible. But when my watch beeps, that's about all I can fit in. I got only a couple hours of sleep, 'cause I was up drinking all night at Shawn's party. I assed out in my van for about two hours before I had to get up and go to work at 11. The sun was way up by the time I laid down. It was a damn good night. Brief and mild flirting got us invited along to pet enormous cows. That was a fucking masterpiece. As the sun is just asking to come up, we're tromping around with grocery bags tied to our feet, and getting introduced to holsteins on university property by girls in sexy shorts. And flipflops. Yikes on the flipflops, cause you could not take a shit-free step. There was a hose though, so fine.

This was my last day serving slices at the pizza job. I wasn't all there.
boss "Why is there no phone number or time on this delivery order." (oops?)
me "I checked Google. The number's listed." (okay?)
boss "Why didn't you take the number and time?" (blah blah blah)
me "Cause I'm super fucked up and tired." ('drop this right now' tone)

I really did leave on good terms. It really is a very easy job. It really does pay shit and isn't worth it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Anxious, remembering Mexico

I'm sitting around the table on the deck with my parents. Dinner time. We had subs. I've got that same general uncertain feeling. Like I took a deep breath, and I just keep holding it in. I've been constantly going from that shitty feeling to being so happy I just start laughing. Laughing in the vein of "how can things be so good?" Borderline anxiety to pure satisfaction. Same day.

We're sitting around this table, and I'm telling my folks about when I was in Mexico. They didn't know about this. Me and Nat and Shelly were there - not far from the border, driving just south of it, headed west. There was a big empty lake with dirt path access. No water, but mud as far as I could see, bordered by enough hard packed dirt to get a head start. Nat plowed right in, and entertained all of us by seeing how far he could skid sideways into the mud. Much wheel cutting, spinning and jackassery was achieved. That was a good time.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Family time

"Would you like another Flying Fish?"
"Please.." I responded. I said it like "of course."
"beep! beep!" my belt alarm sounded.

When it's something like that, I smile. A random moment - a definite thing - is captured. Not amazing itself, but an otherwise easily forgotten snapshot exists, and context surrounds it.

I was sitting at the head of a figure 8 of two huge tables in a private room at a restaurant called the "Elephant and Castle" in New Jersey. This is a big family get together, and the cast is more complete than I have seen in years. My uncle is visiting from England, and that completes the set of four siblings including my mom. Three sisters and a little brother - my uncle - who is in the states to see his daughter graduate from high school. Cousins are here too. Three out of three sisters who are the daughters of my aunt. Both out of both of the married cousins husbands were also there. And all four of their kids - a boy and a girl for each cousin-husband team. The kids are running batshit, and this is a private room, and that's great. This is nice. Stories are told, and overall it feels pretty solid. Some characters couldn't attend, but this is an impressive little reunion.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Smoking on a porch

Honestly, my watch broke on Sunday. I was plastered, and all kinds of stuff was going on. The little pin that holds the band in place disappeared. So I didn't have any 7:21 beeping for a couple days. Now the watch is attached to my belt with what remains of the band. I don't really like that, but I don't dislike it enough to buy a new watch. I'm just not that guy. So - 7:21, I'm pretty sure I'm hanging out on Rachel's porch. Shawn called me while I was at work - second to final day at pizza job - and asked what was up. I left work early since people don't eat pizza at 3pm anyway. There was a teacher party/meeting at my house. A brief explanation follows:

My parents are teachers, my sister is a teacher, my aunts and uncle teach, my cousins are teachers. It's a real serious teacher family that I'm in. This house sometimes has a gathering of teachers who eat chips and drink a little beer. It's always been that way, and many times the teachers were teachers who taught me. This time there were a lot of new faces. I found out that some of the new faces were younger than my face. Is that funny? I'm going to file that under the ambiguous heading of 'notable.' I noted it. I ate some cheese cubes and broccoli, and was a nice guy.

Shawn picked me up pretty fast, and we went up to the Half Moon Saloon: too early, but fuck it. That's the bar that I've spent too much money at several times very recently. True again, I had five pints and we left without ordering any of the food that was talked about. I wanted some pot. At 7:21, I'm pretty sure I was sitting on Rachel's porch smoking pot.

My mind has been pretty scattered. I wouldn't mind talking about it, but this blog really isn't the time or place. Here's an issue. I started out writing just about what was happening at 7:21. Then I wanted to pour a lot more words out of my fingers, so I did that. I want to be able to describe my thoughts, and explain myself. It's therapeutic for me, and I think there's a value for me to be able to look back at the very specific details of my own life. All that is facts. Sometimes I might we writing about trees without explaining that I'm in the woods. Just remember that everyone is always in the fucking woods, and sometimes trees don't look that interesting when your face is up in the bark. That said, sometimes I'll give you a description of bark.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

At Danielle's

Two days ago at 7:21pm, I was at Danielle's. I probably owe her a bottle of Old Crow. Had a good time, naturally.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Full of thoughts

But maybe talking about so many thoughts is just a random weave of nonsense. Let me know who's reading this shit. People tell me they are. I don't know that I make it very easy to follow or care about. I try to be interesting, but I sure don't go out of my way. I don't want to ask everyone to comment and tell me who you are. But I'm curious, so if you want to... you can comment and let me know who you are.

My thoughts definitely seem to keep me from getting bored any more. I can't remember the last time I was really bored. For a guy who does a whole lot of sitting and staring off into space, that's pretty good. I call it 'meditating.' Maybe it is, maybe it's not - but who's going to tell a guy he's meditating wrong?

I was really excited to see a fox a few nights ago. It walked past my open van doors. I've seen foxes, and there seem to be more in the area - but this was special because it was only a few feet in front of me, and had no clue I was there. I was very impressed with myself for being silent and still long enough for that to occur. I was proud that the fox didn't see me. I've had a cat visit my van too. And one morning a little bird flew in. And while I'm listing dinner guests, I had a huge scary bee that sounded like an airplane. That was the same morning as the bird. Busy day.

7:21pm, I'm hung over still and my stomach feels wobbly. My chest feels something akin to what I [probably falsely] believe to be a symptom of anxiety. I'm txting Rachel back. My laptop is on my lap.

I kept a personal journal as a kid, and updated it constantly. Almost hourly updates sometimes. It was on again off again, but I still have journals and journals and journals with tons of shit I can barely look back at. Crazy how I used to see everything for exactly how it is when I was still a tiny kid, but I'm still putting it all together to see where I fit in right now. Lifetime of thinking. It's all about perspective. That's becoming my favorite word. I was a seriously white nerdy little weirdo. I'm glad I've learned how to hide that now. Right?

I love my van, and love living in a van. So much. Even if it's looking dangerously similar to bumming around at my parents house at age 25. Fuck it. It's not only the practical and sustainable aspect that I like so much - its that it feels so right and natural. And I feel blessed and lucky that I'm not looking to own a big house. If you don't aspire to be a house-haver, you've just saved yourself a big headache. Wonder how I'll feel about that in the future.

These are good times. I really feel that way. I'm completely failing at finding a way to describe this in a meaningful way. I'm fresh out of analogies. It's like when there's a tree... and .... a frog... and .. FUCK IT. I'm smiling, baby.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Nap time. Key West sleepy map.

I'm napping in my van. It was a late night, and early morning. I've been feeling the effects. So I crawled in my van and went to sleep. One positive thing about a good parking spot (ie: parents driveway) is that you can sleep with the side doors wide open. You get the benefits of sleeping outside, but you also get your own bed. I left the curtain up. I napped the same way in Key West in my #1 spot. That spot had a constant strong breeze, so even on a very hot day napping was not only possible, but highly enjoyable. Outside, in a bed-nest. That's fine sleeping. I slept for hours today.

The following is extremely valuable top secret information. This is where the cruise ships park near by, there's a porta potti, people fish, and I borrowed electricity to angle-grind my back seat out. It's a big gravel lot. Van dwelling golden map.