Saturday, December 27, 2008

The lions in their cages roar at the memory of fight. (Day 23

Right now I'm anxious.

I'm anxious in wondering if theres even a point to try and become an established writer. I constantly second guess myself, and to be quite truthful...I'm scared. I'm scared to put myself out there and fail at the one thing I've always felt most happy doing.

If I somehow got published, this book of short stories I've been working on, would anyone buy it? Would anyone care?

I want to be so much more than an unemployed 23 year old wasting his life reading comic books and watching movies and just going through the motions. I wish I knew the next step to take, but unfortunately I just have no idea.

My entire youth I always wondered what I would be when I grew up. I always assumed I'd make something of myself, but now I'm here, now I'm an adult and I'm still wondering what it is I will do with myself.

I always seem to get so close to winning or overcoming, and then just fall short a fingertips reach away from that final rung. I just want to taste one victory, something to assure me all of this isn't for nothing; that theres a possibility I can succeed at something. To stand head and shoulders above others, and point proudly and happily at what I do and proclaim, "Thats mine."

It's so hard to find self-worth these days.

Why should I when every night its the same routine with no variation and nothing promising looming in the future.

I want to throw myself into my goals, and do everything while I'm still somewhat young and healthy. To leave my stamp on humanity and be able to look back it years later and smile.

I wish I was in a position where I could look back and ponder what else there was left to prove, and continue to do so.

But I'm so worried on so many spectrum's:

I could fail. Either I get published and no one ever notices it, and then I just wind up being nothing more than failed. Everything I've worked so hard for, everything I've put myself into...gone down the drain.

Or I could succeed.

I could succeed and lose touch with everyone and everything that makes me happy, and get sucked into a place where theres no one left to trust, to know, to believe in.

I don't want to be one of those sad old fuckers drinking themselves to oblivion in a bar each and every night wondering where it all went and what exactly went wrong in the process.

And whats almost worse is the idea of becoming something and finding out that what I'd worked for wasn't what I wanted when I got it.

"I'm like a dog chasing a car. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it."

The future scares the living shit out of me. Entirely. The thought of waking up one day, and not having the unity I have no with the people I love the most is like a nightmare. The only thing is, one day it's going to happen. One by one, each and every person will fade, and whats left are memories that too will eventually blur away.

Making new friends is hard on so many levels. Meeting someone, connecting with them, clicking and knowing that connection and click could very well last for the rest of our lives...the next thought I always have is...thats one more funeral I'll have to go too: thats one more broken heart that just might not mend.

With the New Year looming, I know things have to change for the better rapidly. I'm getting to old to be stuck in this young of a mindset, and its just not cute anymore.

But the next step is the hardest, and its one I wish I didn't have to take alone.

I've never felt the need to not jump both feet into the deepest end, because I know how to swim. But right now it feels like I'm falling head first into the shallow end, and I need to figure out how to twist my body properly to take the fall so it doesn't kill me.

How much longer can I put off school? How much longer can I live in worry about being rejected by the thing I've worked the hardest for?

It's going to be a long night.

Until tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I hope you got all you wanted, I want you to know I took all I can take. (Day 22)

It is cold right now. According to Google Weather, it's colder in Arizona than it is in Toronto.

Dear Neighbors to the North: This is your fault. You might be jealous of us, but thats no reason to freeze us out. It's cold here because you left the door open.

Please close it.

Thank you.

-Aaron Hale, Days Gone By/Piss And Vinegar/ Rac...oh, wait. Nevermind that last part.

Okay, this wasn't really all that early. In my defense I was out watching the new Brad Pitt movie: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I highly suggest checking it out, especially if you've read the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby) They tie in Hurricane Katrina, which I'm not sure how I feel about yet, but overall it's a really good movie.

I've noticed a slight bit of a shift so far with the Lamictals. My moods tend to be staying a lot longer. For instance, if I were feeling bad about something or just generally depressed it never really dips much lower or bounced between elation back to depression as it usually does. I've been able to focus a lot more, and I kind of like that. I usually have a lot of big ideas and plans, but I just lose steam on them due to either just general apathy, or getting distracted by shiny things.

This year a lot of things have switched on their heads. And while a staggering amount of things that've happened have been leaning towards a more negative aspect; it just makes the positives stand out all the more.

I lost a lot of people who were close to me this year. My good friend Leory Van Verth for instance. Up until that point, I'd always know that humanity could be such a dark place, but I'd never witnessed it first hand and I lost so much faith. Not only in humanity as a whole, but myself as well.

I almost lost my Father to cancer. And as much faith as I lost in myself, and I realized that humans are in fact capable of so much more than just sucumbing to something with so many overwhelming odds against you.

A lot of relationships went down by the wayside. Some I'm sorry to've seen go (to an extent) and others...not so much.

There was a girl who I'd known for years. And in knowing her, I'd believed so much in her until the day came when things became soured.

I'd like to say I can fall back on fond memories of our friendship but...I just can't Certain people put you through Hell, bring you back and take you there again. But I loved her, too, dearly. Unquestionably, and while it hurt to cut ties was for the best.

If she comes across this...I hope she's found what she was looking for. Wherever that may be. But there hasn't been a moment where I didn't feel where this fallout wasn't for the best.

But this isn't about all the shitty things that happened this year.

I've had support from a lot of great people. While it's been a difficult road this year, the support from them has been so amazing. And staggering. I've never had support like this before, and truthfully, it's made me feel very awkward throughout it all.

But one person in particular has been there for me in so many ways, and she probably doesn't even realize it.

Her name is Velvet. Her blog is constantly linked on here, not because of our friendship, but because she has a talent and way about her that I feel the entire world is missing out on right now. (Her father Curt is also an amazing photographer).

While we'd talked online a few times and have a few mutual friends, I'd never met her face to face until earlier this year.

She's intelligent, funny, brave and beautiful. She's triumphed over adversity this year that would bring most people to their knees.

It's amazing how inspirational she truly is, and I'm lucky to know her. I can honestly say that without her in my corner this year, I'm not sure I would have been able to keep my head up.

I've known a lot of girls, and I can honestly say that while there might be other fish in the sea. The only problem is...most of those fish are exactly the same. But as soon as you come across something enigmatic like a Basslet, you just can't toss it back and expect another to fall into your net.

In a crowd of similarities, and just plain Jane dull, she stands apart. You see it with her photos, with the way she writes, with her personality.

I want the best for her. I drive her insane on a consistent basis, and I truly know she deserves to not have to put up with the steamboat of piping hot crazy that is me.

Thank you, Velvet. And thank you Velvet's dad for having such an awesome daughter. She's truly one of a kind. I say that sincerally.

The following photo was taken by Velvet's father, Curt. It's really a tremendous photo. He's got a portfolio that would knock you on your ass, so really why don't you go an just check out his Flickr (as linked above for your convinence!) but this is one of my favorites. There isn't anything that doesn't just leap off the page with this picture, and everytime I look at it I find something new and amazing about it.

The second photograph is done by Velvet. It's the current background on my other computer, and it ranks up there as one of my all time favorite pictures because while the SF Golden Gate Bridge has been photographed countless times, I don't think it's ever been shown in this light.

What I love about it is that it's almost the footnote in this picture, choosing to focus more on the rusted fence. I think it's a perfect symbol of technology. Everything can look new and strong, but eventually mother nature has the final say.

Make sure to go check out her blog and comment her pictures frequently. She's very deserving of it.

On a side note, earlier tonight a friend and I (before watching the Curious Case of Benjamin Button) were driving to get me some food. I failed to mention how awesome it was that she got me Season One of Scrubs on divid for Christmas after I sung JJ Beet's praises (rightfully so!) As she brought this up, she stopped paying attention to the road (which isn't uncommon for her to do in the least) and lost control of her vehicle just enough to switch lanes without even realizing it. After I realized it wasn't an intentional lane-change (and the subsequent death-bed repetence) she said, "BOO YAH, PUT THAT IN YOUR BLOG!"

People like this are a hazard to society when behind the wheel. I sanction myself being a passenger with her because a) I finally have health insurance, and b) her favorite (and everyone else's, apparently) new joke about me is to joke about my mental health. I'm crazy, I don't know any better.

That's all I've got for tonight. If the owners of the two pictures posted here would like their works taken down, please feel free to let me know and I apologize in advance if it bothers you. It'd bother me. I suck.

Until tomorrow!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I won't be home for Christmas. (Day 21)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Winter-een-mas, Kwanzaa, and...Feliz Navidad? I don't know. Happy Holidays I guess sums it up more appropriately.

Tonights update will be fairly short. I hope everyone got to spend the Holiday with someone(s) they loved, got lots of swag and filled up on Turkey, or whatever food o' choice you indulge in on this, the birthday of Infant Jesus, eyes full of wonderment and diaper filled with poop.

I hope it isn't about all the cool materialistic stuff this season carries with it, because those connotations rob of whats important: gingerbread cookies.

And family/friends, too. I guess.

Thats all for tonight. Expect an early (and longer) update tomorry. Not just here, but possibly for Piss and Vinegar as well.

P.S: Go check out a piece my buddy Tom did over at The War Effort. It's great! Make sure to comment him, and check out the War Effort often!

Until tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's just the blues, Mary the blues...(Day 20)

By the time anyone reads this, I'm pretty sure it will be a little bit after Christmas. So I hope everyone had a good one!

This post is the very first post from my very new computer my friend built for me. It was completely unexpected, and without a doubt is one of the most generous things that's ever happened to me. I wish I knew how to express gratitude more in depth, but really...I appreciate this act of generosity so very much. Please, go download his album and maybe toss him a few bucks for it.

I've been very fortunate to cross paths with so many amazing people this year, and I wish I could come up with a more literate way of saying I wouldn't trade a moment of what has happened this year because of it.

A few years ago I cut ties with a lot of people because I felt they were poisonous. It got really lonely for a while, but then I got involved with a girl and I kind of just stopped thinking about it. But when she left, I kind of realized how hard it is to make friends the older you get.

The last night in town for me, before I moved to Albany was fueled by alcohol and no sleep. I really felt like the world was ending, and I just didn't care anymore. To say I was running from a broken heart is a bit of an understatement: I was flat out going to fly away from it.

There was a layover in Chicago.

I'll never forget sitting in the airport. It was so cold, so cloudy and rainy and it might've been one of the most beautiful moments I can ever recall.

In airports they tell you not to leave your luggage unattended. I wanted to get out and explore since I'd be there a while and they don't have lockers anymore.

I feel kinda bad about this, but not too much. There was a blind guy sleeping in the chair next to mine, so I quietly slid the luggage I had with me under his chair and took off. I saw his ticket was the same departure as mine, so I'm pretty sure I was okay.

Chicago is an amazing city. The architecture, the people...every bit of it is a story ready to be told if you're willing to listen. It has a spirit to it a lot of other places just lack for whatever reason.

Sitting outside of a coffee shop drinking tea and eating a sandwich I managed to steal from the airport (come on, I only had 25 bucks to my name and airport food is more expensive than imported cheese). I sat and ate it, still very, very drunk.

And I thought about how the city looked in the 20's. A young Al Capone making a break for it, shooting at the law with a Tommy Gun standing on the ledge of a Model T nearly tipping over and cash spilling out of the window. I imagined him skirting the law and running alcohol during prohibition.

I imagined people staring in shock at the headlines of the St. Valentines Day Massacre, and wondered how they dealt with the turning of histories page: One of a Nations morality falling on it's knees to profit. I wonder if anyone truly felt organized crime was the distortion of the American Dream. No one wants to die broke, no one wants to live poor...and by God you do what you have to do.

I imagined the streets coming alive in celebration when Michael Jordan brought home the Bulls first title with him, and how he seemed so super-human.

A few hours I boarded the plane. I got a little bit more drunk with a Chinese guy sitting next to me on Airplane wine, which...believe me isn't exactly quality vino, but it will getcha where you need to go when you're three-thousand miles above and beyond the past you're trying desperately to disappear from.

That's all for tonight. I hope everyone has a great (safe!) Christmas. Drink lots of nog, eat some gingerbread cookies and sleep in!

Until tomorrow!

I imagined people spilling out into the street on October 10th, 1871 as their town burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire. I imagined mothers wailing and men yelling in confusion and grief for neighbors and loved ones less fortunate to find the cobblestone outside.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dean Martin god rest his soul, Talkin' to me from the cereal bowl. (Day 19)

My friend told me tonight that he wishes to go off of his Lamictal. It's a strange thing, for me, because now I have no one who's close to me thats taking the same kind of medication, and once again I'm left feeling alone. I am an island.

A few years ago, my pal Austin and I used to work at Burger King. On a rare occasion, he and I wound up getting three days off in a row, so after work one night we were at his apartment with his brother and some other friends. We wound up drinking a little bit, and watching Anchorman. Somehow during the night, we made up our minds that we must go to San Diego immediately, completely and 100% influenced by the line, "Whales Vagina".

The trip itself, when we got to San Diego was relatively uneventful. Stopped in a couple of random tea shops, for some reason a porn shop. We got lost a lot, and finally wound up in a hotel.

But getting there was a lot more fun. At one point we stopped at a Pizza Hut, and in keeping with the theme of Anchorman, I may or may not have allegedly said how much I would like to slather "Barbecue Sauce all over her behind" about a waitress, who I'm pretty sure spit in our food. Whatever, it's like we made out.

The next morning we left and headed back home. We stopped at a casino, I won 50 bucks...I don't think Austin fared as well as I did, though.

But the ability to just up and leave, and be able to come back in the short of a time revamped my perspective on how lucky I was to be able to do something like that.

Life feels so trapping sometime, and I think we all lose sight of how menial and trivial some things are. When you experience a shotgun trip like that, things get put into perspective: This worlds gonna keep turning long after your dead, rest assured. But while your still here, you might as well try to turn with it.

A few years later Austin had moved to California, and I stayed in Arizona. I'd just started what would be my most serious relationship to date, when Austin revealed he wanted to move back.

We hatched a plan: I'd take the greyhound out to Anaheim, meet him at the bus station and we'd drive back the next morning.

If you've ever taken a Greyhound bus anywhere, you know flat out that a better way to get anywhere would be to put a shotgun in your mouth and squeeze the trigger until it stops tickling. As I sat in the bus depot in Phoenix, I went to go wash my hands (because everything in the bus station is riddled with Chlamydiae, Herpes and broken dreams) when lo and behold...a toilet literally exploded. It was a festive shower of water and, well...I didn't stick around to see what else.

Walking out of the bathroom unscathed, dry, and un-fecal-ized it was time to load on the bus.

When I go on long trips like these, I usually want to sleep. I like flying in planes, and I like trains, but buses just make me hate everything.

Right around Yuma, we made a forty-five minute pitstop/dinner break. One of the very few times I've ever enjoyed Taco Bell, honestly. I wound up sharing my meal with a homeless guy from Virginia, and we talked about Vietnam. As with so many homeless males, he wound up serving his country (despite the politics of it all) and now he was only thanked with a Burrito Supreme and a crunchy taco.

Loading back on the bus was quite a hassle. The bus driver decided he didn't like me too much, and almost left me in Yuma. Somehow I smooth talked him into letting me back on (I literally did nothing to him to begin with) and away we went.

Right around San Bernardino a go-go dancer and I wound up talking. She told me how rich jerks loved to throw money around to girls in short-shorts and roller blades shaking their asses to bad R&B, but how she loved her job and was addicted to money. That even though as a little girl she wanted to be a doctor, right now all she could think about is how lucky she was to be able to "party for a living."

She wound up letting me use her cell phone. I needed to contact Austin, but I didn't have his number so my girlfriend at the time took care of that.

We had a transfer. She went left, and I went right. But I'll never forget her name, Mona. And I'm not sure if go-go dancers change their names like strippers do, if Mona is the go-go dancer equivalent of Cherry in stripper land. But then again, I didn't even know go-go dancers still existed, either.

Before she left, we sat outside of the bus station. The waiting can either kill you, or make you stronger in the cold night air in a foreign town.

She chain smoked, and chewed through a big pack of gum. Nervous habits are gonna be the death of humanity.

She told me about her Dad and Mom. Her mom was a flight attendant (she'd become one after her parents divorced) and her dad was probably a drifter. It struck me then thats why she had a need to not set down roots.

See, I guess her go-go troupe, I guess they actually don't have a place to live because they are constantly on the move. Living out of those apartments with low rates that rent by the week, etc.

Mona could draw though. She showed me all these sketches of skylines of cities she'd been too. I've always loved skylines. My favorite was of Toronto, and Portland.

In the Portland skyline, there were bumps where you could tell that someone had obviously shed tears over.

"His name was Arnold. We lived together for about a year. We had a cat, and lived down in the Pearl District. I'm pretty sure he's the only person I've ever really loved. We broke up. Not because of anything overtly dramatic, nothing like that. We broke up because for the first time in our lives, I wanted to stay...he wanted to go. I heard he lives in Tennessee now. He still has the cat."

She went left, and I went right.

I sat there on that bench for about an hour. It felt like it was going to rain, and I really didn't care enough to get to any shelter.

I'll never forget how blisteringly quiet it was, and for a second I really thought I might be the last sentient being on the planet.

"Final call..." came blaring over the PA like the Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet.

I got back on the bus, and part of me felt defeated, but another part of me felt accomplished and I'm not quite sure why. I hope one day I do, because I think about it often.

When I finally arrived at the final bus station, I really had had my fill of that whole scene. Luckily, fate had saved me the seediest station for last. O rapture!

It wasn't very well lit, to say the least, and I'm pretty sure some guys were planning on mugging me by the way they kept eying me.

Then boom. Boom, Boom, Boom.

See, apparently this bus station was right next to Disney. I'd never been before, and for some reason they love shooting fireworks every night. Whodda thunk it?

About 45 minutes later Austin and his friend were there.

When we got to our motel (which was right across the street from Knottsberry Farm) we wound up getting really drunk really, really fast.

The rest of the night is kind of a blur. There was a guy who wound up trying to sell us some coke which we declined. There were other events and...really, its just a haze of inebriation. I remember he and I walking through some dark parking lot in desperate search of a Denny's and some girls tried to buy meth off of us, and...neither one of us do anything remotely close to meth (nor do we deal in dealing it). Right around then I think we settled for chips and salsa, and passing out in the hotel room.

The next morning Austin went to go get the remainder of his stuff, and his car.

Around eleven am, most hotels want you to either pay for another day or get your shit and get out of their room. It takes a while for the maids to clean the rooms, etc.

Unfortunately, after a quick assessment of the damage done to the room, Austin and I decided it'd probably be better to just...not check out at all, but book it back to Arizona.

There were beer bottles everywhere, several questionable...remnants if you will, turned over chairs...basically, it looked like Fallujah post-Ramadan.

As we were pulling out of the drive way, there came the dilemma of if we should return the remote control or not, as discreetly as possible and then flee the scene post-haste. It was about then I glanced up to see the owner knocking on the room that was ours.

He knocked a few times, and eventually started talking very loudly. At which point he opened the door, and let out a sound I can only describe as...guttural. That solved the remote control issue right-quick.

Somewhere down I-10 in Arizona I chucked the remote out the window and watched it bounce down the road a bit. I kinda wish I would have kept it. Something tangible to remember.

Still trying to shake away the haze of the night prior, and realizing the car radio didn't work worth dick we sand Alkaline Trio songs, and caught up. He asked about my girl, I asked about how life had been outside of the confines of Casa Grande.

Theres an area, as you leave (or enter, depends on which way you're heading) thats a vast stretch of nothingness for miles, upon miles. Racing to beat the sun from falling from the sky, we began to notice his car was running hot. Now, when I say hot, I don't mean it was a little bit above the middle area it needs to be, but actually tripping past the little 'H' on the meter. Now, I'm no mechanic but I was fairly certain that this...this wasn't good.

We pulled over at the nearest Flying J/Hotel and filled his radiator with water.

This was actually one of my favorite parts of the trip. See, I love basketball, and I love playing it. For some strange reason there was a rogue hoop in the parking lot, and we just happened to have a ball. So we shot baskets for a few, and really it was just nice. Thats the best way to describe it.

And all I could think about was her. Her sitting at home, and how much I missed her.

After a while, we got back in the car. Hours and hours of driving, getting darker and darker. Road fatigue for me setting in, pulling this trip in such a whirlwind type of a way. Yet as tired as I was, I don't know if prior to that I'd ever felt more alive. I had a reason to come back, and I had a reason to leave and altogether it felt overwhelming that for once I could feel that sense of well-being; that sense of a need for adventure, and a hint of longing.

I may never find a real home. I always feel drawn somewhere else, and I want to be in a million places at the same time.

The car kept over heating, and neither of us had a cell phone so really...we were dancing on with Lady Luck, and we kept stepping on her toes. Fortunately she let it slide this one time.

I bring up Austin because he's really my closest friend, and I'm lucky to've been able to travel with him a bit. Throughout high school, he's been the one constant and I truly love him like a brother. It's been an amazing friendship, one I'm truly thankful for every single day.

Coming down I-10 after a million miles of headlights followed by darkness, followed by wayfaring truck drivers with too heavy of loads, it loomed in the distance: the Phoenix Skyline.

Skylines are powerful, powerful things. While mankind can never achieve what Nature does so seemingly effortlessly, Skylines are our temples, our beacons, our achievements. Our way of showing, if God is there and in case he's forgotten about us come nightfall that we still exist, in some shape or form, in the way of neon headlights and skyscrapers fighting to scratch the surface of the sky.

Phoenix is by far one of my favorite cities ever. I feel like it's mine. Not that I own it, per se, but that its mine for inspiration. Mine for retribution and salvation if I so choose to scurry its depths and breathe in what it has to offer. It's the oasis to the seemingly vast and endless deserts of Arizona. While every other major city in America seems to be out of its ass insane, I can turn to Phoenix and be thankful that it's just not that way. Plus, we have the Suns.

But what the name Phoenix resembles is something beautiful to me. A bird rising from the ashes. LA is the City of Angels, Chicago is the Windy City, Seattle is the Emerald City, and New York City is the windy We have the plausibility to rise from the ashes if we so find the strength.

And there it was, the skyline of Phoenix looming in the distance. This trip nearly over.

It's been three years and some change since that trip took place, December 8th, 2005. A lots happened since then.

I don't want to forget that.

A few months before I met her, before the trip I had a breakdown which I've touched on in an earlier blog. I still tried my damnedest to try and shake that numb feeling after that, but in the end it took taking me out of my element to shake away the cobwebs I couldn't reach.

I still think about Mona a lot. If she's still go-go dancing. I wonder if those guys outside of the bus station in Anaheim were going to mug me, and if so if they still pursue that line of work. I wonder why the bus driver hated me, and I wonder if the homeless guy at Taco Bell even remembers I existed for a fraction of a second in his life. I wonder if the hotel owner still remember the room we trashed and if he trusts 20 year old kids anymore. I wonder if those girls still look for meth. I wonder if any of them are still alive. I wonder if any of them remember me the way I remember them.

I have this half-brained theory that even I don't totally buy, but I'm gonna share it anyway.

Deja Vu. We've all had it. My theory is this:

We've all lived a hundred times before. Along the way we run into our Doppelgänger, and for a second everything seems to have happened before. If this is true, I think we all live and die in the same day, and are reborn when we wake up and re-live the next chapter. That maybe there is no beginning and end to time, but rather life on a loop. Maybe in that sense, we never really die outside of our realm of existence, who knows? It's probably poppycock, but it's no less harebrained than a virgin conception.

Thats all for tonight. Remember to go check out Josh Sullivans' 52 Friends project here, and help him if possible. After all it's his journey thats inspired these recent arc of updates.

Until tomorrow!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I was born to be a fiddler in an old-time string band. (Day 18)

I have a friend, a new friend I've made this year. His name is Josh Sullivan, and he's an artist with a bunch of side jobs: He sings in a ska band, he maintains an online comic-strip, he sells awesome art work ( is Christmas and Chanukah, why not buy a few of his works? You support something independent, and the artwork is really good.)

But this update isn't just a commercial for an independent artist from Florida that I'm pals with.

Josh is doing something I've always dreamed of, but have never it for reasons of courage lacking, or life getting in the way. But Josh is throwing caution to the wind, and in a truly Kerouac-ian fashion, will be traversing the amber waves of grain that sustain this country of America.

During this project, he will be spending a week at each stop. Ideally, this project is called 52-friends. Taken straight from 52 Friends MySpace, Josh explains:

52 Friends!

Fifty-Two Friends is a new 'zine in the works by Josh Sullivan, an artist living in St. Petersburg, FL. The goal of the 52 Friends project is to travel all over the United States and stay with a different person each week. During that time period, a full issue of a 'zine will be completed and 52 issues will be done over the course of the year. There will be interviews, comics, photos, and anything else that can be crammed into a lovely little self-published book.
I think this is an amazing act of the human spirit.

One of my deepest desires in life is to write a road novel. To be able to experience first how days and nights in towns I've only heard of in passing, or seeing on ID cards when I used to be a Desk Clerk at a hotel.

It's interesting. Part of me actually loved working in hotels late at night. To have the world come to me, to hear a story and to see it first hand.

I wish so much I could join him, even for a little bit of this trip. Just to do something not many people would ever fathom of doing.

It's not for everyone. It's something ingrained in a certain persons blood. Some people are born to live in the confines of a small town, or even a big city and be okay enough to call that home because...well, learning new street names is hard, and change in super scary. To them, traveling is synonymous with 'being a tourist.

But some people are born-wayfarers aching for the chance to step abroad, and taste the fresh air in a different time zone. That wanton desire, that need and yearning to take life by the horns for everything this bull has to offer--thats the most inspirational thing I can ever think of.

And heres this guy Josh, who's throwing caution to the wind for 52 weeks. Thats the better part of a year being gone, being absent, discovering every crack and crevice, every nuance and subtlety the Land of the Free has to offer: Call this Manifest Destiny. And for us, traveling is synonymous with being a explorer; a traveler.

If you don't understand the difference...perhaps you weren't meant too. Theres nothing wrong with seeing all the sites, I'd love to as well, but the real city, the real destination that exists in the bricks and stones of every journey lays within the side streets, bars, venues and people--not in gift shops and luxury resorts.

He plans on releasing a zine from every leg of the trip, and I really hope an intermediate explorers at spirit will subscribe. And if you can help him with a couch to sleep on, or a ride to the next leg of his trip...please, email him at:

I hope to do something like this soon, too. I hope someone else is as inspired by this journey as I am.

Somewhere along the lines of things, we've lost our will to travel, and that kills me. Humans, at the core of everything are Nomadic. Roots are an insult to evolution.

This could be Revival; this could be the worst decision ever made. One thing is for absolute certain: despite the outcome, this may be a once in a lifetime act. Before we're old, before we're dead, I pray at least one of our dreams are realized at the most opportune times: when you're young enough to do something so proverbially stupid, and young enough to still celebrate this kind of accomplishment and adventure.

Adventure is a powerful word that gets taken for granted. It becomes flooded by the tragedies of becoming 'more responsible'. It's the most depressing thing I've ever heard.

My Dad used to be a truck driver. I used to love, and still do, listening to him tell stories for hours. When I was younger, for a few summers I got to travel to Colorado sitting on a bed in the back of an eighteen-wheelers cab, while he and his friend Francis sat up front. To this day, it's nearly impossible for me to think of anytime that was better in my life.

The last time it happened, was 1996. I remember it was like yesterday.

It was 2am in the morning, and we slipped out into the chilly night air; it'd been raining so even though it was the middle of Spring (in Arizona which is like...the hottest place in America.) and you could see your breath still.

And climbing into the truck, you could feel the vibration of the truck matching the beating of your heart. And you slink into the back of the truck, and sit. The only thing you can do for those first few moments is just sit, and think because talking isn't all that logical. It's too loud while the trucks engine warms up. You have to get used to the sound before you can even begin to shut out that sound.

The diesel engine sings to you, and every verse is met with a chorus thats inter-changing with every mile markers as you race towards the slowly rising sun.

The biggest test of traveling in a big rig for the first time is how that very first pit stop hits you.

For me it was four am, as dark as it really ever could be before the sun rises to wash it all away. There was a problem with the guys truck, and we would be at the truck stop for quite a while.

Truck stops are fascinating places. It isn't just for truck drivers spun on over-the-counter speed and energy drinks mixed with coffee. It's almost a temple for those meandering when the rest of the world is deeply embedded in REM-sleep.

It was the first night I'd ever slept in a truck stop, and one of the few times I've ever slept in a public place (it's this...fear-type thing I have of waking up with someone stealing things from me, and killing people).

This particular truck stop had a lobby that reminds me so much of a waiting room for the ER. The only difference is that it was carpeted, and you know...people weren't bleeding to death.

Every single person in that room looked as though they'd never slept before. Every highway they ever drove on was etched into their faces like battle scars of fatigue, worn proudly and graciously.

Truck drivers are the ultimate description road warriors. Every single truck driver I've ever met has a steel-trap of a memory. They could tell you what junction connects where without even peeking at a map (seriously); Which highway troopers will give you the most hassle if you're carrying any extra weight (New Mexico). They all know each other, in one way or another even if they've never met face to face.

All they've got is 180 miles of dead stretch highway, a gut filled with the greasiest food I think you're legally allowed to feed a human being, and one thermos for coffee, one bottle to piss in (they call these trucker bombs).

And while I could never be a truck driver, I have a respect for them thats unparalleled, I think. Mostly because behind the wheel of every Kentworth is a person that knows what it's like to have your heart broken in Raleigh, North Carolina and to find salvation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

They say that the Mississippi river is the life line of America; it's veins. If thats true, then truck drivers are the capillaries. Every bit of anything that gets accomplished in the world of commerce is because these guys fudge their travel logs to make a shipment on time.

But it's the stories they all hold.

And I want to be able to see America, and the world. Every bit of it. I can't imagine what the use of life is sitting in a cubicle every day, day dreaming about going home and doing that again.

The temptation to get up an go is seductive.

I want to meet Sal Paradise sitting in the back of a flat-bed pissing over the side rail somewhere in the dark night of Montana, and shake his god-damned hand (preferably pre-urination). I want to find Henry Chinaski falling off his stool drunk in Los Angeles, hitting on the first person he sees with a vagina and a mouth, and buy him a shot. I want to meet Holden Caufield, and figure out where the ducks go in the winter. Were they picked up by some guy in a truck?

I have so many friends who've been able to see as much as they can, who take every opportunity by the throat and squeeze until theres nothing left to choke, and then squeeze some more. I'm proud to know these people. They inspire me.

52 friends starts very shortly after the New Year. Email Josh if you can help him out at all, or just talk with him; he's a great person.

To Josh personally, this is inspirational, and I wish you safe journeys if we don't talk until you get near my neck of the woods.

The next few updates will touch a bit on trips I've been lucky enough to take. Please, make sure to leave a comment (tell me your stories of traversing the globe!) and spread the word.

I'm going to leave you with a cover song. It's a video taken from a show during the 'Revival Tour' that featured musicians such as: Austin Lucas, Jon Snodgrass, Tim Barry, Chris McCaughan, Frank Turner, Tom Gabel, Ben Nichols and Chuck Ragan. All of them have made their claim to fame in some awesome bands. Hot Water Music, Against Me! and the Lawrence Arms to name a few.

Instead of long set up times between sets like a regular show, the concept was to continuously have performers interchange with each other. No rock stars, everyone was the top billing, and artists would cover each other.

This summer they all got together with a concept of playing acoustic sets across America, a resurrection of folk and blue-grass influenced music. This is a video of a cover song, originally done by Old Crow Medicine Show, called "Wagon Wheel".

Wagon Wheel was co-written by Bob Dylan, but thats not the best part of the song. Every lyric is drenched in this feeling of Americana; a want to explore every alleyway and avenue, each country road. I think it was the perfect choice for them to all play.

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

As the cadence carries me, I almost drift away (Day[s] 16 and 17)

Yesterday I hung out with a good friend of mine. It was nice, we rarely get to hang out because of the distance.

It sucks, too.

It's hard for me to relate with people, but when I times where everything seems to taste pretty sour, theres at least a bright light.

I learned a few things:

I learned Austin is invincible with the Suns on 2k9, and somehow out of nowhere will get a thirty point lead after I'd just been up by ten. Rigged is what I think.

I learned his dog Collin really, really wants to hump my arm. Or leg. Or anything involving me.

Quizno's is pretty good; Subway will always be better.

Earlier tonight we went and saw Slumdog Millionaire, the newest film from director Danny Boyle (28 Days Late/Weeks Later franchise.)

It's probably the best movie I've seen in a very, very long time, in terms of adept storytelling. The cinematography was absolutely engaging, and I think it gave the fairest representation of India one could truly do.

Each character was engaging. I just can't say enough about it. It's the sleeper of all sleepers this year, and I really hope people wake up to this one.

But being out and about, getting to spend time with my friend and watch a movie, play video games...all of it made me realize how much is really lacking in my life.

I think it's time for a lot of major changes in my life.

And tackling my mental health is the first (and a pretty big) step in the right direction, I hope.

I'm finding more and more every day that I probably needn't be too worried about these medications. Or at least, as far as my big fear of losing myself. I'm beginning to think this might actually spit shine the turd that is me.

I made this decision, and I want to work on others to get where I want to be a year from now.

So for now, this blog and this medication will continue. At least for the sake of living in spite.

I'm really grateful to have friends like Ryan, Austin, and Velvet. I love them all a lot.

The distance thing sucks. Countries, Counties and California separate me from being able to bother them as much as I'd love too. In the case of one of them in particular...thats probably a good thing.

Thats all for tonight...comin' real is the next episode!

Until Tomorrow.