Monday, December 31, 2007

'The Rick Nash Hat Trick'

1 short-handed goal + 1 power play goal + 1 empty-net goal = "The Rick Nash Hat Trick." I guess it was worth it to go to a hockey game tonight instead of sitting around watching a bunch of crappy bowl games. (Pic: Sweeping the hats off the ice after Rick Nash's 2nd career hat trick.)

Columbus Blue Jackets 4
Edmonton Oilers 2

Irishman video comment page

If you arrived here by following the link from the Aimless video page, please leave a comment about the Irishman on a Dirt Bike video.

Irishman video

Here's a new video. I'll have more to say about it later, and I may make some minor revisions.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Coincidental basketball

This is weird.

Earlier today I noticed that Georgetown and Memphis were playing each other in men's college basketball. I thought that was kind of interesting because Ohio State played both of those teams in the NCAA tournament last season.

Then, five minutes ago, I noticed that Tennessee and Xavier are playing each other, too. That's two more of Ohio State's six NCAA tournament opponents.

By then I was beginning to wonder if Ohio State's other two tournament opponents are also playing each other today, but it quickly occurred to me that Ohio State is playing Florida today in a "rematch" of last season's national championship game, which was probably tipping off at the moment I thought about it.

Not that anyone cares--I don't even care--but that's just kind of weird.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tape 22

It doesn't feel right to go right into this post after writing the previous one, but I'm going to.

I finally got around to watching some more video yesterday. I began by skipping nearly two hours of conversation with Tim Kenneally, the Irishman I met at a gas station near I-75, Exit 101 in Naples, Florida (the last exit before Alligator Alley). Why did I skip that stuff? Because I'm already pretty sure there is a lot of good stuff there, and there is no reason for me to watch all of it, taking notes, since I already know I'm going to watch it all again when I hook up the camcorder to the computer.

Tape 22 begins with Tim riding off toward Miami on the dirtbike he had already ridden from Miami to California and back. Following Tim's dramatic departure, there's some footage of me talking a bunch of nonsense beside the on-ramp, when all of a sudden a white cargo pulls over behind me.

I had forgotten all about that. I am almost never using the camcorder at the exact moment that someone stops to offer me a ride. (I can't think of any other time that has happened right now, but I haven't spent any time thinking about it yet.)

Anyway, the driver of the white cargo van was Lew Graff.

Once I started watching this part of the tape, I began thinking maybe I'd include some footage of Lew in one of the upcoming videos. Since I have mentioned Lew quite a bit, and because Lew has participated regularly on the Aimless Blog, I figured I should kind of introduce him, even if there ended up being no real interesting footage of him.

Strange thing happened, though. Even though I have less than 15 minutes of footage from my ride with Lew, there IS interesting stuff. While riding with him, I had originally hoped to get some good footage of the Everglades on fire, but it appears that the fires were pretty much under control by then. And I suspect the main reason I didn't keep the camera on Lew much is that the van was very loud. Considering this stuff (and a whole bunch of other factors), I'm very glad I ended up with some good Lew stuff. (Hint to Lew: The good stuff is when you were talking about how you used to work in dorm rooms, and how it helped you pick up on the popular trends among college students.)

Tape 22 has a lot of interesting stuff. It was actually fun watching that tape. I want to wrap this up now, but I hope I'll be able to show you some of this stuff very soon. Keep an eye out.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

A grieving friend

I was about to write a post about the current state of things when I turned on the computer today, only to be sidetracked by an e-mail from my friend Jay. Unfortunately, during a recent surgical operation, Jay's mother suffered a stroke, putting her in a deep coma from which she is unlikely to awaken.

Out of respect for Jay's privacy, I will not reveal anything more about this.

I know at least one Aimless Blog reader has gotten to know Jay a little bit, but there may be others I don't know about. If any of you would like to say anything to Jay, I guess you can either leave a comment here or e-mail him at [His Name] AT docrivs.com. If you would like to call him, contact me for his phone number.

Stay strong, Jay. I love you, dude.



--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'm so stupid

There are four tickets to today's Cleveland Browns game sitting right in front of me. My dad was supposed to use them to entertain a potential client or something like that, but they decided not to go yesterday because the forecast called for really bad weather today.

When I found out the tickets were available, I texted someone I thought might be interested in going to the game, but he couldn't go because he had stuff to do today. With him being unavailable, I pretty much decided I'd just stay home, even though I wanted to go, particularly because of the weather.

Now that the game is on TV, I wish I'd gone, even if I'd gone alone. I mean, have you seen the conditions of this game? With the blizzard conditions, this is one of those games that people will remember for decades.

I'm so stupid for not going.

And I'm not even a Browns fan.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Dumpster Diving video comment page

If you arrived here by following the link from the Aimless video page, please leave a comment about the Dumpster Diving video.

Dumpster diving video

If you've ever been curious to see what the dumpster diving footage in the Quasi-Aimless trailer is all about, here you go. Five minutes of more new video for you. (I uploaded a similar version of this video several months ago, but I don't think I told anyone except Brad.)

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cop Encounter video comment page

If you arrived here by following the link from the Aimless video page, please leave a comment about the Collier County Sheriff video.

Collier County Sheriff video

Here's a brand new video. It is still a pretty rough edit, and it will probably remain a rough edit, although there are some things I think I can clean up a little.

This is not the most horribly exciting footage I have. In fact, it's not even close. But it provides a glimpse into one of many cop encounters. This particular cop encounter does have some unusual stuff, which becomes more evident in the last minute or so, but mostly this video provides a good representation of the typical Aimless cop encounter.

You'll probably think the camera is all over the place, but I am actually amazed by how frequently the subject is in the picture. Y'see, I wasn't standing there looking through the camera when I captured this footage. Most of the time I was holding it in one hand or the other, at about waist level, kind of pointing it toward someone or something, having no idea if I was anywhere near my target. Not bad considering.

If you watch this video, I would really appreciate your feedback and criticism. What's good about it? What's bad about it? What do you think should be cut? Yada yada...

Whatever you have to say about it, I'd like to hear. If you are hesitant to criticize because you know me, then comment anonymously.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Duke Fish

This is pretty cool.

Duke Dewey (pic) is a guy I know from Yellow Springs. Before I knew him, he was just a familiar face at Dino's Cappuccinos. I used to see him pretty much every time I went there, and in time we began to acknowledge each other's presence--we'd nod or say hi--whenever our paths crossed.

Eventually Duke initiated a friendly conversation with me, and I learned that he is a drummer. Being a former passionate drummer myself, Duke and I had something in common, so our conversation flowed smoothly. However, in the weeks following that conversation, our weekly interaction devolved back into "Hey, what's up? See ya."

One day several weeks after our conversation, when I popped into Dino's, the tiny room was full of customers, so I had nowhere to sit. Seeing Duke alone at a table for two, I asked him if I could join him. He didn't mind, so I sat across from him and we began a new conversation.

As Duke and I talked drums and drumming, seemingly from out of nowhere he mentioned that he is in the Woodstock movie. Puzzled and curious, I responded, "W-W-Wait a minute... What!?!" I continued, "Are you IN the movie or are you just in the movie?" He then explained that he was the drummer for Country Joe and the Fish. (So he is IN the movie.)

I still didn't know Duke's name at this point, so I asked him. He answered, "Greg, but most people call me Duke." He also told me some of his aliases (or stage names), which include Duke DeGreaze and Dewey DeGreaze.

That was about a year ago.



About a month ago I saw Duke for the first time since passing through Yellow Springs at the end of Aimless Leg 1. Because Country Joe and the Fish is from San Francisco, I asked him if he made it to San Francisco in September for the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love. He said he didn't go, I think because he was not offered enough money. (Don't go thinking that was some kind of greedy rock star response, because it wasn't. Duke may have been borderline famous nearly 40 years ago, but he has to pay the bills just like everyone else.)

On this day at Dino's there was also a woman and her twentysomething daughter. The daughter didn't know who Duke is, but she had a laptop with her, so Duke and the girl's mother suggested that she visit YouTube and search for "Country Joe and the Fish." She did, and one of the search results brought up a western movie featuring Country Joe and the Fish as a saloon house band called The Crackers. I never knew Duke was in any movies other than Woodstock, so it was cool for me to see the YouTube video.

The movie is called Zachariah and I'd never heard of it. (In fact, I just found out the name of it today.) If you watch the video below, the blonde guy in the bar is a young Don Johnson (pre-Miami Vice).

(I didn't even know this exists, but Duke has a web site. It must be relatively new because I never found it when I googled his name after meeting him.)



--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Coppers

Don't everyone jump at once to comment on the revised trailer. Kinda makes me want to spend hours and hours every day editing more video.

Anyway, so far I have cut the cop video down to just over 10 minutes. It requires a lot more editing than I expected, which won't be obvious by watching it. I may be ready to upload it within a day or two, but I'm not making any promises.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's up

Even if you've already watched the Quasi-Aimless trailer, I hope you'll do me a favor and watch Part 1 again (only as far as the "AIMLESS" sign on notebook paper), and then watch my new revision (the whole thing). I'd really appreciate your feedback regarding the new version, even if you are ultra critical of it. Tell me what you think I could do to make it better and stuff like that.

If you have anything to say about it, just leave a comment on this post. I'll provide my own critique in about a week (unless I don't).

Thanks.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Update on video stuff

Since returning home, I've struggled with a severe lack of motivation, which I can't explain. But recently I've managed to get my sorry ass over to my dad's Mac to start working on some video stuff. The Florida cop stuff didn't pull me in very well the other day, so yesterday I decided to make some changes to the Quasi-Aimless trailer.

If you've watched Quasi-Aimless, you probably think the first minute or so of the first video--the part where I tell my story to Jeff--is boring as hell. If you do think it's boring as hell, you are correct. So I've removed all of that stuff and replaced it with just enough text to explain the situation. Also, I've combined Part 1 and Part 2, which is what I originally intended.

Right now I'm trying to convert the Final Cut Express file to a QuickTime movie of high quality but reasonable file size. This is not easy, and it's a hassle because it takes a lot of time to figure out the right settings. I'm on my fifth try right now. The first three attempts each produced unacceptably low quality videos. The fourth attempt produced a fantastic video, but it was 74.3 MB, which is way too big. I think my goal is to end up with something under 40 MB.

I don't know how long it will take me to get it right, but I will upload the new video as soon as I get it all worked out. And when I'm done with that, I'll get my ass working on some new stuff.

Update: At 3:55 EST, I'm almost there. Should be uploaded by tonight sometime.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Evil Peyton Manning

This is really funny, especially if you are familiar with Peyton Manning's public demeanor. I think it is from Saturday Night Live. (Embedding has been disabled for this video, so go here to watch it.)

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Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Redemption?

Beep... Beep... Beep...

Back it on in, Buckeyes!!! All the way to New Orleans.





--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh what fun

I just finished watching Tape 18 and began watching Tape 19. Tape 19 begins on the night of May 20, 2007, with the Everglades on fire.

In case you may have wondered: Yes, most of this video footage is boring as hell. And it's hard to tell when any particular moment of footage may be interesting because watching and listening to videotapes kind of numbs your brain. I'm just trying to take note of the remotely interesting moments and write down each interesting moment's time code.

This is not the slightest bit fun. I hope you--both of you--appreciate how much unfun work goes into the making of something like Aimless.

Update (3:01 PM): The second Collier County Sheriff encounter on the Naples, Florida on-ramp is pretty interesting. You may remember, my first encounter there was when some asshole deputy pulled up and harassed me, saying through his loudspeaker, "What're you doin' on my Interstate, boy?" Unfortunately I did not catch it on tape. But only 15 or 20 minutes later, when another cruiser pulled up, I had the camera running. It's over 15 minutes of pretty good stuff. These guys were cool, even though they stopped because I fit the description of a perp. I may upload most of it unedited.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Intro to Idiocracy

If you have not seen the movie Idiocracy, see it now. There is a whole bunch of stuff I want to say about it, but I'll just quote some stuff from an IMDB message board for now. (You'll probably have to register before you can read any of the boards. It's OK to register; no hassles or fees or anything like that.)

I watched "Idiocracy" on DVD last night, which happened to be Australian election night. Flip-flopping between the DVD and the TV news coverage, the people started to become interchangeable - one set of morons for another. Crowds on the TV were screaming and roaring at the slightest provocation, drowning out commentators, much to their annoyance, and raising the ire of politicians trying to make their points. Any sign of intelligence was sadly missing, and politicians appealing to the lowest common denominator were rewarded by the loudest cheers (and votes).

In addition to stupidity, the film notes how life 500 years from now is preoccupied with sex and violence. What do we see on the TV news every night, and in our newspapers - rapes, internet predators, pedophiles, Paris Hilton, accompanied by pub brawls, neighbourhood brawls, people being glassed, stabbed, bashed.

You're right - sadly, it's already happening.

Mike Judge is brilliant. I want to work with him for free someday. Writing, acting, or anything. I don't care.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

RHCP

From Yahoo News: Red Hot Chili Peppers sue Showtime over series. I haven't read this article, nor do I plan to read it, because... give me a freakin' break.

Showtime has a series called Californication, which you may know is also the title of an RHCP album. Now, I think the Red Hot Chili Peppers are a great band--one of the very few whose music has gotten better as they've aged, particularly the album Californication--but there is no need to go all Lars Ulrich just because some movie channel stole a word you coined.

Titles are not intellectual property. I could call Aimless Californication if I wanted to, and RHCP's lawyers would have no legal beef, nor would Showtime. Conversely, RHCP could make a film called Aimless if they wanted to, and I would have no legal beef.

In all likelihood, Showtime's title-theft has boosted the sales of RHCP's Californication CD. So please get over it, RHCP, and realize that Showtime's continued use of the title Californication is in your best interest because it creates brand recognition.

Don't be a Lars, RHCP.

* * * * *

10 minutes later... I MAY have changed my mind, but only because 'Californication' is a word RHCP created (or at least they were the first to use it commercially). If 'Californication' had already been a word, that would be different.

Still can't say I think they have much of a foundation for a law suit, though.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unplanned sports talk

So Barry Bonds has been indicted and it sounds like there is a good chance he'll end up spending some time in prison.

For what?

For allegedly lying about whether or not he took steroids.

Is it really such a big freakin' deal? How does something so petty and insignificant even make it into the court system? What a waste of American tax dollars!!!

Now don't go thinking I'm some kind of Barry Bonds fan or anything like that. I hate baseball, and as far as I can tell, Barry Bonds is a cheating-ass jerkwad. But being a cheating-ass jerkwad of a baseball player is not a crime.

I can think of another cheating-ass jerkwad who also happens to be a war criminal and an enemy of the American people. He ought to live in the Big House--the pound-me-in-the-ass variety. Instead he lives in the White House.

Why isn't George Bush facing this kind of scrutiny and prosecution?

PS - I've watched some of my footage from the night Bonds broke the home run record, and I think there may be some compelling stuff. Perhaps I'll be able to upload a rough edit of some of that stuff soon.

* * * * *

I read somewhere that a New York Knicks player was fined $180,000 for missing a game the other night. Big deal; he won't miss it.

$180,000 may be chump change for most professional athletes, but you know what I could do with $180,000?

I could open a really nice, well-equipped pizzeria and support myself for the rest of my life. I could create some decent jobs for a handful of people who currently have crappy jobs. I could do a lot of good stuff for myself and my community. Oh yeah, and I could pay it all back, plus interest.

But these guys just throw away $180,000 like it's nothing. What a waste.

* * * * *

One more thing:

Go Bucks!
Beat the shit out of those Michigan pussies!!!


--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Aspiring Pro Golfer Seeks Sponsor

As I've mentioned before, one of this blog's regular readers is a young aspiring professional golfer named Luke Swilor. Luke spent the summer of 2007 playing on the Canadian Tour, which hosts events all over Canada, as well as the western United States and Mexico.

After months of occasional e-communication, Luke and I finally crossed paths this September, meeting at a public house in Portland. He had a long drive back to Salt Lake ahead of him, so he could only hang around for an hour or so, but our short encounter made me a huge Luke Swilor fan.

OK, so what's the point of this post?

I wrote this post to prepare for the remote possibility that a prospective sponsor might stumble here and consider backing Luke's future golf endeavors.

Now, why should you consider sponsoring Luke?

  1. Luke is one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He's easy to like and I have no doubt that you would feel you've done the right thing if you invest in him.

  2. I don't know much about ascending the ranks of the professional golf hierarchy, but something inside tells me Luke is on his way to doing it.

  3. Luke is driven to succeed, both in golf and as a person.

  4. I could extend this list a long way, but I want you to figure out the other reasons for yourself. Start by reading Luke Swilor's Road to the Tour and continue by getting to know the man. You will be impressed and you'll give yourself an opportunity to avoid the rush on Luke Swilor sponsorship.
Go Luke!

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

New e-mail address

For those of you who sometimes communicate with me via e-mail, I have a new personal e-mail address. It's the initials of my first name and my middle name, followed by my entire last name (all one word) @ att.net. If you don't know my first and middle initials, you can find them at the bottom of this post.

Jeff: I tried calling you last week and got a message saying I'd reached a non-working number. What's up with that? Did you move again or something? Are you all right? Let me know what's up, eh.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Classy

Has anyone seen this yet? It's a bunch of asshole Penn State frat boys throwing full beer cans at Ohio State fans last Saturday before the game. From what I've read, the guy with the camera actually uploaded the video for the world to see because he thought their actions were cool. What a dumbfuck fuckface!?!

I saw no behavior like this at either of the Ohio State road games I attended (at Washington and at Purdue).



--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dry-mouth

I haven't said much the last couple weeks because I can't keep up with my brain. So many thoughts. So many distractions. So much pizza to bake.

Whenever I am able, I will spit it out here.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

See Jackie

Remember the girl who gave me the ride to Big Sur? The actress, Jaclyn (Jackie) DeSantis? Well, if you want to see who she is, IMDB says TBS will be airing Road Trip a couple times this weekend:

Sat. Oct. 27 10:10 PM
Sun. Oct. 28 4:15 PM

Jackie's character's name is Heather. I really like Road Trip, but I haven't seen it since a long time before I met Jackie, so it will be interesting to see it again (if I even watch it).

If I remember correctly, Luke told me he actually recognized my picture of Jackie as a character in Road Trip.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trampin' ain't easy

Now is a good time to stray from all the negativity of late, so I'll respond to Lew's comment from the previous post.

First I said:

6) Keeping yourself alive is two full-time jobs in itself--the hardest two jobs you will have ever had.

Then Lew commented:

I wouldn't mind hearing you expound upon this idea. I think there is some juice in there that could be squeezed. I daresay that most people think that homeless people are drugged up and lazy.

* * * * *

I am not a professional tramp; I am merely a tramp in training (but not really). Unlike real tramps and homeless people, I very rarely ask anyone for help or assistance because my objective is not to solicit. My objective is partly to be a catalyst for people to choose, with their own free will, to do something nice for someone out of the kindness of their heart, without expecting anything in return.

Lew, I'd say you are a perfect example of someone who has done exactly that. If I remember correctly, I wasn't even paying attention when you pulled over on the I-75 on-ramp to offer me a ride across Alligator Alley. I just turned around and saw a white van sitting there, so I picked up my stuff and walked to the van to see what was up. Within a few seconds, I was riding with you toward Fort Lauderdale and we quickly established a very friendly conversation. We talked the whole time, about music and beer and whatnot. You also told me about some bar in the Smoky Mountains. Then, when we arrived in Davie, you took me to a restaurant and bought me fish & chips and a beer. You did it out of the kindness of your heart, without provocation and without the expectation of anything in return. (If I'm not mistaken, though, you feel like you did receive something in return from me, and you also know I keep you on the short list of people I hope I can repay someday. Does that sound right?)

Anyway, to answer your question, when I'm out on the road, I spend most of my time walking somewhere or trying to get a ride somewhere. When walking, I lug at least 55 pounds of stuff for 10-20 miles a day (or sometimes 28 miles). That takes a lot of work, as can currently be evidenced by my enlarged calf muscles and shrunken belly.

When not walking, I'm usually beside an on-ramp or at a truck stop. Although neither of those activities requires much physical effort, each requires a lot of mental labor because you can't just sit there with your brain turned off. You have to keep your head up and make eye contact with the drivers passing you on the on-ramp. You have to keep your head up and make eye contact with the truckers walking past you on their way to the fuel desk.

I must also engage in conversation with people so they can size me up. Sometimes, like when I was in the Flying J restaurant in Gary a couple weeks ago, it becomes a four-hour conversation, which may lead to nothing. (In that case, I talked for four hours with a really cool guy named Al Garcia from Brownsville, Texas. He ended up buying me a lunch buffet before he left. I've been meaning to say something about my encounter with Al for a while.) But sometimes that's how you end up with interesting video footage, too, even though I never turned on the camera during my conversation with Al.

When I have money and choose to buy food from a grocery store, first I have to walk to the grocery store, which may be 2-5 miles away. I usually end up walking another mile inside the store because I have to walk down every aisle at least once, then return to certain aisles after I've sorted everything out in my head. (I carry all my gear the whole time.) How much are apples, clam chowder, Chef Boyardee, Pay Day? Any specials I might want to take advantage of for tonight's dinner--something I must eat ASAP or end up throwing away? Do I dare treat myself to something special tonight, like 3/4 of a pound of cold boneless chicken "wings" for $5? Are there any day-old specials, like a dozen of yesterday's donuts for $2 or less? Don't forget to grab some plastic spoons before you leave. Oh yeah, and fill up your water bottles at the water fountain.

And sleepytime isn't always good rest, either. Like last Friday night, my first night back in central Ohio. Friday night was by far the coldest night I've spent outside. Very, very cold, but not freezing. I didn't get much sleep that night, and it took me a long time to pack up in the morning, due to excessive condensation inside the rainfly. I probably would have been fine, in terms of temperature, if I had an appropriate sleeping bag, but I don't have one yet, although I probably have enough $$ remaining on my REI gift card to get one.

There is a lot more to say here. To be continued...

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Comments

OK, I have read all or most of the comments, and I think I "get it" now: Every time I thank someone for their kindness, it actually means I've taken advantage of them. Also, if I tell a story about something negative that happened, then I'm a negative, spoiled brat. Additionally, it doesn't matter what I say or do because no matter what I say, I'm an asshole.

To Mugen and all the other anonymous pussies who have pointed out how negative I am by calling me names and spewing hateful rhetoric: Fuck you. I dare you to try what I've been doing for the last six months. You wouldn't make it because: 1) You're too chickenshit to use your names here; 2) It takes huge balls to even try to do what I've done; 3) You'd be in constant pain; 4) You'd be hungry about 90 percent of the time; 5) You'd have to get up off your asses; 6) Keeping yourself alive is two full-time jobs in itself--the hardest two jobs you will have ever had; 7) Producer/director/cameraman/interviewer/editor is just the beginning of the movie-related jobs you'd have to do all by yourself...

Here's the best one: 8) Unlike the way people helped me, no one would help you because you really are assholes...

I could go on and on.

Yes, I have said a lot of negative things throughout these last six months, and sometimes I am an asshole. I don't like sounding negative, but that's how it really is out there. If you don't like it, then start doing nice things for people. Start giving a shit about people less fortunate than yourself. That's one thing--well, two things--I can say I HAVE done over the last six months, even when I haven't been able to take care of myself. I have been fortunate enough to end up in the presence of some really great people who have helped me stay alive, but I've been around a lot more people who would rather kill me for fun, just because they assume I'm homeless.

You go try it, Mugen & Co. I dare you.

To Brad, Jay, Lew, Jeff, M&D, Stefan, Bend Guy, Luke, and anyone else I may have left out: Thanks for the supportive comments and thanks for the constructive criticism.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Enough

My mom and dad had tickets to the Ohio State football game Saturday, so I planned to meet them sometime after the game and ride home with them. It turned out, though, that Dad didn't really want to go, so I met my mom before the game and went to the game with her. We met Dad after the game and ate at Tommy's Pizza, then we went home. (That means I'm home now.)

I have so much to say, but I don't know if I'll ever say it. I have nearly 70 hours of video footage--some of it really incredible--but I don't know if I'll ever do anything with it. I haven't had a chance to read any blog comments since early September, and I may never read any of them. I may be finished with this project.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer
If you'd like to contact me, call me at 614-738-3867.

Friday, October 12, 2007

People of God Part 1

PART 1: The Springfield PD responded to a call this morning from Southgate Baptist Church ("A Place to grow"). Apparently a disgusting, filthy, worthless bum had taken up permanent residence on the church's property overnight, so someone called the police specifically to run him off. --> As you may have guessed, the bum was me. You probably think I'm going to badmouth the church for calling the cops on me, right? Well, I'm not going to. Their call didn't inconvenience me the slightest bit. In fact, I was already preparing to leave when the cops showed up. --> Instead, I'm going to badmouth the church for being total hypocrites. They choose to subscribe to a religion that doesn't allow them to make judgments, yet they still feel compelled to make completely uninformed judgments at a rate beyond comprehension. First they judged a tent's hidden occupant to be a lower form of human life
than themselves. Then they judged the bum to be unworthy of spending a morning on God's property...

I made it to C-bus

I made it to C-bus early this afternoon. Lots to say about this morning. I'll try to get to all of it sometime today.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm leaving YSO. Gonna camp

I'm leaving YSO. Gonna camp near Springfield tonite, try 2 get 2 OSU tomorrow, then camp outside Ohio Stadium and go home w/ my folks after game.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I finally got out of

I finally got out of the Lebanon Flying J and I'm now walking south on US 68 to Yellow Springs. I hope someone offers a ride within a few miles.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Feast or Washington

I will say more about Washington whenever I get to a computer again, probably when I get home. I don't think I've had access to a computer since I was in Portland. --> I can't believe there is even an ounce of fat left on my body, yet I'm probably much thinner than I realize. I haven't eaten anything today and I ate almost nothing yesterday. I've been in a pretty constant state of hunger for about two weeks. However, when I haven't been hungry, I've usually been very full, thanks to the people who have bought me buffets. This feast-or-famine routine surely has not been a healthy way to live. --> If I didn't have white skin, there is no doubt I'd be in a world of shit, if not dead. Believe whatever you want, but merely having white skin creates a lot of privileges that people of color don't receive in the United States of America. Yeah, I get judged, too, particularly because I have long
hair, but it's nothing compared to the prejudices I'd receive if I had ANY shade of brown skin.

Flying J cares

Last night I figured out one of Flying J's inhumane corporate policies: Throw out tons of perfectly good food every day, ESPECIALLY if there are starving folks on the premises. I'm not just talking about the buffet; I'm also talking about the 60-80 Krispy Kreme donuts they trash every night. I'm also talking about the "deli" items they toss periodically throughout the day and night. I'm also talking about the dozens of pizza slices they regularly dump. Fortunately some of their employees have enough humanity to occasionally disregard the ridiculous policy. Nonetheless, I went hungry yesterday after sitting in the restaurant for 7 hours instead of trying to get to Ohio from just outside Indy. --> I was really starting to like Flying J, particularly because most of them have a restaurant, where I usually end up with a meal if I sit around minding my business for a while. Usually my meals
come from kind truckers who recognize that I'm hungry, but sometimes the waitresses take care of me.

Monday, October 08, 2007

A waitress at this Flying

A waitress at this Flying J tried to lay some kind of God trip on me, then offered nothing when they threw away dozens of lbs of buffet food.

Blackout blowout etc.

For those of you who don't know, "blackout" refers to the idea that Purdue fans were supposed to wear black to the game Saturday night. Most did. Regardless, about 30% of the crowd wore red (from my perspective). "Blowout" refers to what OSU did to Purdue. --> I ate almost nothing Saturday, yet I was given 5 beers. Two of them (Bass!) were courtesy of a guy named Mike, who played linebacker for Purdue in about 1984 (and his friends). --> The reason I didn't get into the game until the 3rd quarter: I had to find a safe place to put my stuff. --> It has been really freakin' hot ever since I arrived in Indiana, even at night. --> There is a very good chance that I will NOT hit the road again after I return home next week. This just isn't much fun anymore and I have too many other valuable skills and talents that are currently being wasted. Furthermore, I don't feel like my efforts are
appreciated by more than a few people. If you wanna make some serious $$, invest in "Ryan's Pizzeria."

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Boiler Blackout; Buckeye blowout

Surely someone has already called me a bigot for what I said about truckers. I don't care; I'm just the messenger. --> I received a ride out of Gary at 2:00 AM Friday night, getting me to the West Lafayette exit at 3:30, which was actually 4:30 because I lost an hour. I put up the tent canopy, sans rainfly, and took an extended nap near the interstate before walking toward town late in the morning. Taking a break almost 2 miles up the road, I asked a young man, as he fetched his mail, how many more miles it was to the stadium. Christian Beaver said it was about 7 or 8 miles. He then gave me a ride. --> I walked around Ross-Ade Stadium all day, talking to both OSU and Purdue fans, telling my story when asked. There was a group of 3 or 4 people who recognized me from Washington; they gave me a beer. Well before the game, I drew up a sign reading: "YOU SHOULD GIVE ME YOUR EXTRA TICKET."
Someone gave me a ticket after the 1st quarter, but I didn't get in until early in the 3rd quarter.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hate

Most white truckers are at least *kinda* bigoted--even those who are otherwise likeable--and I'm really sick of hearing all the hateful rhetoric. They direct most of their senseless hatred toward Mexicans, but anyone who's not white, heterosexual, and male is fair game. Their justification for the blatant, ignorant racism goes something like this: "When our ancestors came here, they at least learned the language and tried to fit in." --> BULLSHIT! The non-English-speaking immigrants of the past DID NOT try to learn English any more diligently than Mexicans try to learn English today. "Our" ancestors stuck with their own kind and held on to their native languages and traditions, just like Mexican immigrants do today. That's why we have so many Little Italys and Chinatowns, etc. --> I encounter lots of hate on the road, though it's rarely directed at me. Most people assume I share their
hate, either because I'm white or American or non-Muslim or whatever, but all bigotry disgusts me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I made it to Gary,

I made it to Gary, Indiana @ 3:00. Got a shower & now I need to find $$ for laundry & food. Too busy to say much now. More whenever I find time.

I'm finally out of Gretna,

I'm finally out of Gretna, but not with the driver I expected; he's still there. I'm camping in Des Moines but will be in NW Indiana tomorrow.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Gretna

I'm still at the Flying J in Gretna, Nebraska. Yesterday morning, when I wasn't really awake yet, I heard someone outside the tent saying my name. When I asked who it was, the answer was "Josh." He stopped by to fuel up and return my hat, although he surely couldn't have known I was still here until he went looking for me. That was very cool of him. I wish I'd been more awake when he showed up because being half asleep really limited my communication skills. I hope he realizes how ungratefully I appreciate his kind acts. --> I don't know what's up with Travis because he has not returned my recent calls. The main reason I'm still here is that I expected to hear from him days ago. I already have a ride set up for tomorrow. I'm going to head toward West Lafayette, Indiana before next weekend; it's another OSU road game I can easily attend. It'll be cool if some traveling Buckeye fans
recognize me from the game in Seattle. Maybe I'll manage to get into the game early this time.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gameday (retro) Part 3

PART 3: At Husky Stadium I learned from Buckeyeman that my Portland buckeye is actually a chestnut. He then gave me a real buckeye. --> Most of the UDub fans were very friendly and hospitable, although there were a few minor a-holes. Overall I give Husky fans an A-. I'm happy to report that I did not see any bad behavior from OSU fans. --> The Husky Stadium experience is totally unlike going to a game at Ohio Stadium, beginning with the free distribution and consumption of adult beverages in the parking lot. You won't see that at the 'Shoe because the Alcohol Nazis don't allow fun. Also, UDub allows re-entry, which means half of the crowd hits the parking lot at halftime to get re-drunk. Not at OSU. --> For whoever may be wondering: Yes, I did get into the game, but not until the 4th quarter. I also ended up accepting 3 beers and one gulp of whiskey, courtesy of UDub fans. --> A couple
hours ago, I decided I may accept a ride to Minneapolis, if offered. OSU plays there tomorrow night.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ping-ponging the west?

You may wonder why Travis is still in Iowa. You thought he was going to Texas a couple days ago, right? Well, his truck broke down right after he left for Texas, so someone else ended up taking that load while Travis waited for his truck to be fixed. That's the last I heard from him (yesterday morning). I left him a message this morning, letting him know I'm in eastern Nebraska; I'm guessing his truck is still in the shop because he hasn't called me back. He's probably pretty pissed off about the delay; it's costing him a lot of money. I hope Travis will be back on the road tomorrow, stopping here and taking me right back through Utah before heading to California and back to Des Moines. --> I've been here since 3:00 this morning and I'll be staying again tonight because I'm not even trying to get a ride. There's a great spot to camp in the back corner of this Flying J. The grass is so
soft there, I didn't even use my Therm-A-Rest last night. --> If no word tomorrow, I'll find a ride.

Free again

I drew up a sign yesterday morning that read: "HE NEEDS TO BE IN RENO ASAP," with an arrow pointing to my right. I planned to fly the sign near Flying J's truck exit, with Chuck standing beside me, but I was offered a ride east before I finished writing it. Neither accepting nor declining the offer, I asked the driver to let me defer my decision until he passed me at the truck exit. I had a tough time deciding whether or not I'd accept the ride if I was unable to get Chuck on the road, but I ended up deciding I would take it. --> 15 or 30 minutes later, my driver approached the exit. I told Chuck I hate to leave him alone but I really wanted to get out of there. Before I left with Josh Lake, I gave Chuck 3 smokes and $5. I hope he found a ride, but I suspect he's still waiting. --> Also before I hit the road, Travis returned my earlier call, telling me he was still in Iowa, so I rode
1,000 miles with Josh to Gretna, NE, instead of Cheyenne. I accidentally left my hat in Josh's truck.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gameday (retro) Part 2

PART 2: As I bobbed and weaved through the maze of cars, RVs, and football fans, a small group of Buckeye supporters planted an OSU window flag on the side of my backpack. Some game-goers stopped to ask me if I walked all the way from Ohio; others asked if I hitchhiked all the way. Lots of each team's fans were intrigued by my story. --> Near the stadium I saw a woman wearing a Todd Denlinger OSU jersey, so I asked her if she is a Denlinger. She said yes. I then told her my mom is a Denlinger. I'd like to have spoken to her longer, but an ESPN cameraman showed up and took her (and her group) away from me for some cutaway footage. I suspect she is Todd Denlinger's mom; we're probably distant relatives. --> Later a Husky fan placed a couple necklaces on me. Each necklace was made up of a bunch of tiny UDub-colored footballs. One had purple (or blue) balls; the other gold. (Due to my
ambiguous display of each team's colors, a drunk guy later said to me, "You confuse people.")

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

We hit SLC y-day. If

We hit SLC y-day. If I'd stayed w/Jo, I'd already be where Travis is heading (Texas). He just found out today, tho. Trying to coordinate w/him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gameday (retro) Part 1

I woke up outside Husky Stadium pretty early on 9/15. There were already a handful of UDub fans setting up their tailgating operations in and around the parking lot. I chatted with the group setting up beside me as I tore down my tent; they were friendly. When I finished packing up, I walked around the parking lot to experience gameday in Seattle. As I encountered folks clad in scarlet & gray Buckeye gear, some would exchange "Go Bucks" greetings with me. Soon a group of tailgating Husky fans invited me to have a seat and hang out. They offered me a beer, too, but I wasn't ready to accept beer from anyone yet. A sign of things to come, these Husky fans were very friendly and hospitable to me. They treated me to some oysters and other tailgating snacks, but eventually it was time for me to move on. I thanked them and began exploring other areas of the hopping parking lot. Carrying my
gear everywhere I walked, I was a bit of an attraction myself, to Husky fans and Buckeye fans alike...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Begin Washington recap

After getting off the train in Seattle on September 14, Dave Treadwell invited me to join him in a cab to his hotel. He probably would have invited me to stay in his room as well, but his reservation was for the floor of a packed room, so that just wasn't an option. When I split from Dave outside his downtown hotel, I began walking toward the University of Washington, even though I had no idea where it is. I started out walking the right direction, but I ended up going the wrong way. Very hungry, I looked for some cheap eats, but I found myself climbing a very large hill in a neverending residential area, ultimately entering commercial civilization somewhere on Queen Anne Ave N. With no cheap eats in sight, I stepped into Pizza Hut to ask if they had any mistake pies that were destined to find a new home in the garbage. They did, and I had 75% of a large lukewarm pepperoni pizza for
dinner. I ended up finding my camp site (Husky Stadium) without too much trouble at 1:00 or 2:00 AM.

Ogden Utah Part 2

PART 2: Early yesterday afternoon I received my first ride offer from a lady trucker, Jo. I immediately told her I was trying to help another guy get a ride, and I asked her if she would consider one of two alternatives: 1) Giving Chuck a ride instead of me, or 2) Letting both of us ride with her. As you probably figured out already, she took both of us to Ogden. Upon reflection, Chuck and I would probably be in a better position if she'd dropped us off east of Salt Lake on I-80. Jo was cool. --> I've been very stressed out the last few days because my primary objective has been to help Chuck get to Reno. He has no money, so I've been sharing my smokes, money, and food with him. He has smoked more of my fags than I have, and I've barely had any money myself. I've put about $11 into him so far, but I only have $7 left, so I can't give him anything else. Additionally, it's tough for me to
find funds when I'm not alone. I expect to meet up with Travis in 2 or 3 days; should make some $$.

Ogden Utah Part 1

We're in Ogden, Utah. We? Yeah, WE are in Ogden. I've been hanging with a guy named Chuck since Friday night. Friday evening I was waiting by an on-ramp when a guy named James called me over across the street. At first I thought he was a trucker from the Boise TA walking his dog, but he turned out to be a tramp drinking a beer. Moments later someone else assumed my post on the on-ramp and quickly got my ride. Sporting a huge wad of cash, James invited me to join him at the Motel 6 down the road. First he called a cab from the TA, where we met Chuck, a clean-cut guy who'd already been trying to get a ride to Reno for a couple days. Before we took the cab, James also invited Chuck to the motel, where he showed up a few hours later. Chuck has never hitchhiked before, and he doesn't look like someone who's trying to get a ride. Long story short: I've been trying to help Chuck get to Reno
because he'd never make it on his own. When I was offered a ride yesterday, I got Chuck aboard, too...

Familiar faces Part 2

PART 2: After I responded, "Insomnia?," my fellow Amtrak passenger countered, "That's it!" He then said he used to frequent Insomnia in the mid-90s with his friend Eric, who dated a girl named Jackie. --> Bingo!!! --> As soon as he said 'Jackie,' it all started coming together for me. Y'see, Jackie Walton was my closest friend in the early/mid-90s, when we were both Insomnia regulars. In fact, Jackie introduced me to Insomnia, so she and I had a lot of common friends and acquaintances at the coffeehouse. --> By this point in our conversation, there was no doubt: Dave Treadwell (pictured) and I definitely knew each other 12-14 years ago. Dave continued to occupy the seat beside me for the remainder of the ride to Seattle. We talked about the old days at Insomnia and the people we'd both known during our time spent at Insomnia. We talked about Buckeye football and a lot of other things,
too. Dave had a ticket to the Ohio State/Washington game the following day at Husky Stadium. I didn't.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Familiar faces

My face looks familiar to a lot of people. I can't tell you how many people have approached me over the years and asked, "Don't I know you?" Or sometimes they say, "Aren't you So-and-so?" Usually I am merely a look-alike, but occasionally I actually am the person they think I may be. --> Halfway between Portland and Seattle, during my ungrateful train ride, it happened again. A gentleman walked by my seat and asked me, "Do I know you?" My immediate thought was that he had probably never seen me before, considering I was about 3,000 miles from home, but I gave it a chance. I said, "Well, I live in Columbus, Ohio." Interestingly, he said he is from Columbus, too, so I started thinking maybe he's onto something. Looking at his face and thinking, 'This guy does seem kinda familiar,' I asked him if he was ever involved in drum corps. He said no, so I examined his face a little more and said,
"Insomnia?" (Insomnia is a long-gone coffeehouse that was located on High St at 13th, near OSU.)...

Conclusion

Now that I've finished my rant, I'll share some related thoughts. First, the broken tent pole was not the reason I almost called it quits. Rather, I nearly quit because I am human, thus I am sensitive to ass-brained criticism. Sometimes I just care too much what people think of me, even when I shouldn't care at all. Some people DON'T think, but I guess my nature is to expect everyone to think. --> I have self-censored this blog a lot over the last couple months because I don't like sounding negative. Well, negative shit happens, and some people are assholes. If you only knew how it feels to do what I'm doing, you'd be amazed by how positive I keep things here. --> Considering I'll probably never make a dime from this project, I have nothing to lose by calling it how I see it, regardless of how negative or profane I may sound sometimes. So no more self-censorship. I'm not out here to
tell the ROSY story; I'm out here to tell the REAL story. If you don't like it, don't read it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Washington stories coming soon

I got a new tent Thursday--the REI Half Dome 2 HC--and it's nice. At 90 inches long, I can actually fit in it. Plus it's like 52 inches wide, so there is also plenty of room for all my stuff. It's heavy, though, at almost 6 lbs. My first night with the tent, I slept at a park near BSU. Shortly after setting up, the sprinkler system started. No big deal, I thought, because the tent has a monster rainfly. Wrong! Y'see, these sprinklers were more like firehoses, at a 30-degree angle from the ground, and one of them just happened to shoot directly at the rainfly's vent, so I got all wet the first time it sprayed in my direction. Even after I closed the vent, the perfect angle and force of the water pried it back open, soaking me yet again. Oh what fun. --> As I charged my phone and wrote blog posts at Starbuck's Friday, I met a very intelligent, pretty girl named Melanie (sp?) after she sat
near me so she could plug in her laptop. She's from Salt Lake but lives in Dallas. Smart is sexy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm so ungrateful Part 6

PART 6: Now that I've suggested that one or two of this blog's readers may be ungrateful for what I've given them, let me make something very clear: I DO NOT consider them ungrateful, nor do I believe there is any reason for them to be grateful to me. They DID NOT ASK for the entertainment I provide, nor do they need it. --> As I've said before, no one owes me anything. (Well, those assholes that ripped me off last year each owe me $350 plus interest, but I wasn't talking about them.) And realistically I don't owe anyone, either, because everything I've received on this journey has been a GIFT, excluding the money I've received as payment for my labor. That doesn't mean I feel no obligation within my own heart to repay the people who have done things for me; it simply means I have not made a deal with anyone that REQUIRES me to pay them back in any way. And when you feel, in your own
heart, that you owe someone, even though their favor was a gift, THAT is gratitude...

I'm so ungrateful Part 5

PART 5: And how about you, "Mugen" (or whatever you call yourself)? A couple months ago you commented about how ungrateful I was after meeting Father Winter. You also said my negativity keeps you from telling friends about Aimless. But you keep reading this blog anyway, presumably because it entertains you. Maybe you don't realize this, but in the real world of supply & demand, this Aimless program would have been canceled a long time ago due to lack of interest and unprofitability. The only reason it's still around is because I'm paying the dues to keep it around. So where's the gratitude? --> When something entertains you, do you not realize why it is in your best interest to promote such entertainment? If no one else gives a shit about it, it goes away. Just think of all the ways you could have strengthened the foundation of Aimless if only you were grateful for what you receive from
Aimless. --> Before anyone else starts yapping about how ungrateful I am, take a look in the mirror.

Football spying

I just read an article in the newspaper about college football coaches being paranoid that people are spying on their practices. An excerpt: "In Miami earlier this season, new Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon dispatched security officers to a parking garage next to the practice fields after allegedly seeing someone with a video camera. People in the program suspected it was a case of spying, since detailed stories about what went on in practice kept showing up on web sites and message boards." --> I think that's kind of funny because I walked by an Oregon Ducks practice when I was in Eugene. They have fences and hedges around the practice field to limit visibility, but you can still see what's going on if you really want to. Near the practice fields, I got out my camcorder to get a shot of Autzen Stadium, but I never pointed it at their practice, specifically because I didn't want them to
suspect me of spying. --> I'm gonna try to get a look at the "smurf turf" at BSU's stadium today.

I'm so ungrateful Part 4

PART 4: The person accusing me of being ungrateful needs to take a look in the mirror. How grateful are you for the entertainment I provide? My life currently consists of living outside, busting my ass, freezing, getting drenched, being hungry, dealing with cops, making a movie, writing blog entries, taking pictures, trying hard to be a good guest, eating foods I dislike, and a million other things, all to entertain you. It might be a small daily dose of entertainment, but it entertains you nonetheless. And how do you thank me? You thank me by telling me I'm ungrateful. Oh, but you didn't ask me to put myself through all that to entertain you, did ya? It doesn't matter because we're using YOUR criteria here, and according to your criteria, I'm ungrateful. Your criteria must also apply to you, right? But you can't say you don't want what I offer. You CHOOSE to read this blog every day,
which shows that you want or need what I offer on this blog, so you must be even more ungrateful...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm at REI in Boise.

I'm at REI in Boise. Parts 4 & 5 should be up later today. So much 2 say about the last week. (Hint: Don't expect any more Aimless visits to WA.)

I'm so ungrateful Part 3

PART 3: Yes, there are a few people who have assisted me during this journey to whom I don't feel grateful: Father Winter, Jan Gee, Mark in Portland, and the asshole who damn near molested me. Although I appreciate what they did "for" me, I am not grateful to any of them; I have no reason to be grateful to them. Their objective was not to help me; they each did whatever they did because they believed it entitled them something FROM me. Well, it entitled them nothing from me, which is exactly what they'll get from me. I have no apologies for feeling this way about them. Conversely, I am extremely grateful for what everyone else has done for me, and I intend to give something back someday because they didn't EXPECT anything from me when they CHOSE to help me. The short list of people to whom I am especially grateful includes Jay, Jeff, Don, Dave, Lew, "Tuna," Galen, Vernon & Jane, Mom &
Dad, Tim, Allan & Ann, Larry & Carolyn, Travis, Jack & Phyl, Luke, Stefan, Betty, Brad, and others...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm so ungrateful Part 2

PART 2: When Kristin offered me a ride to Seattle, I told her right away that someone else had already offered to put me on a train that afternoon. Because I was about 70% sure I'd successfully catch the train that day, I told her I would gladly accept her offer IF I MISSED THE TRAIN. And you know what? She was not upset by my decision to take the train. She didn't feel like I was obligated to accept her offer. She just wanted me to call her before 3:30 to let her know whether I needed the ride or not. She made the offer out of the kindness of her heart, without expecting anything in return, which is a concept some people apparently can't comprehend. --> You (whoever you are) judged me to be ungrateful precisely because I expressed the extent of my gratitude in the original post on this topic. If I hadn't expressed the fact that I felt like I should ride with her, you never would have
thought twice about how grateful I am. Do you have any analytical or critical thinking skills?...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A change of plans

When I said the other day that I'm quitting, I wasn't kidding. I had every intention to go home and stay home, regardless of the supportive comments I've surely received from the true friends of Aimless, urging me to keep going. However, I received a ride and a phone call today that made me rethink my plans, and I've decided to stick with it. As I rode with Ronald Weber, I received a call from a German fellow named Stefan (sp?), who I met last week at the Portland REI. He offered to buy me an REI gift card so I can replace my tent. He just didn't want to see me quit, and he wanted to give me a good reason not to quit. The material offer certainly helped, but his words made the difference. I'm not sure exactly what Stefan said, but he said several things that made me start reconsidering. Once I started reconsidering, though, the friendly chit-chat with Ronald also helped me change my
mind. --> I have A LOT to say about the last few days, but I'll finish the 'Ungrateful' rant first.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My tent just broke. I

My tent just broke. I quit; I'm going home. To the people who think I've been ungrateful, screw you. You have no idea what gratitude is.

I'm so ungrateful Part 1

I haven't been able to read this blog's comments in a while because I've been too busy walking 1,000 miles and generally trying to stay alive, but I've been told someone thinks I'm ungrateful because I accepted one person's transportation offer instead of another person's offer. Well, let me ask you this: If I'd accepted Kristin's ride offer instead of the train offer I received 4 days before I even met Kristin, wouldn't that make me ungrateful to the person who offered me the train ride? Aha! Didn't think about that, did ya? So please tell me how I could've possibly come out of that situation looking grateful. Maybe I'm just incredibly stupid, but I still can't figure out how I could have been in both a car and a train to Seattle at the same time. However, I do know that I could've written that post in a way that would've conveyed the same message without causing anyone to question how
grateful I am. All I had to say was I would've ridden with her if I'd missed the train again...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Onward to Seattle

I debated for a couple hours about what I should do regarding my mode of travel, but I successfully met my contact at Union Station today, and I am now on a train bound for Seattle. I also called Kristin to let her know I won't be needing the ride. I wish I could have taken the train AND ridden with Kristin, but unfortunately I am human, so I could only do one or the other. --> For a few minutes at the train station I spoke with a Buckeye fan who'll be attending the game tomorrow. I probably won't get into the game, but it should be fun anyway. I'll definitely be at the stadium and I think I'll keep an eye out for the Buckeye football coverage teams from the Columbus television stations. It'll be really cool if I run into Dimitrios Stanley, a former OSU wide receiver and current member of WSYX's Buckeye football coverage team, because I went to elementary and middle school with him.
Even though I haven't seen him in 15+ years, he'd probably remember me; he's just that kind of guy.

Train or car?

It looks like I'm in good shape, in terms of making it to Seattle today. I now have a solid backup plan that'll get me there if I somehow miss the train again, thanks to Kristin Van Huysen, who will be leaving Portland for Seattle at about 3:30. She gave me some food and also offered me a ride, which my conscience is telling me I should accept even if I am able to take the train. Even though I don't think she would hold it against me if I take the train, I just feel like accepting her offer is the right thing to do. But I love trains and I rarely have the chance to ride them, so I don't know what I'll do. --> I never met Brian Spangler yesterday at Apizza Scholls, but I did leave him a poorly written note with the Aimless URL and my phone number. He hasn't contacted me, so it looks like I walked 7 or 8 miles--from downtown to 4741 Hawthorne Blvd and back--for nothing. --> I have seen as
many buckeye trees in Portland the last couple days as I have seen in Ohio my entire life.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Report card

I like Portland; it felt like home from the moment I arrived. In saying 'home,' I don't mean the place where my bed is; I mean being here just feels right. In fact, I've met at least three people who came to Oregon just to visit but never left. However, Portland is a little stinky in some places because there are a zillion breweries. (At Laurelwood I smelled hops for the first time; what a wonderful aroma!) The people of Oregon have been very kind to me. Oregon has definitely been a close 2nd on the kindness scale of states (behind South Carolina). It's really hard to compare the two states, though, because I have evolved so much as a traveler since I was in South Carolina. --> It may be a good thing that I didn't catch my train to Seattle yesterday because today I remembered a place I wanted to check out called Apizza Scholls. When I went to Memphis to see the pizza movie, Michael
Dorian told me I'd probably get along well with the owner. I got here at 3:20, but they open at 5:00.

Stuck

I expected to be on a train to Seattle this afternoon, but I'm still in Portland. In order to have gotten on the train, I was supposed to have met someone at a specific time and place earlier today. I was there, but I didn't see him, probably because I was a little confused about where to go and what to do. The offer was good for either today or Friday; I think I now know what to do when Friday comes around. I am a little worried that it could happen again Friday, but I'm going to hang around and try again anyway. If it doesn't work out Friday, it may keep me from getting to Seattle in time for the OSU game vs. Washington. That would really suck. Even if I can't get into the game, I really want to be at the stadium during the game. --> Oh my god, I just walked past a freakin' HUGE buckeye tree near the Willamette River; very close the HUGE Greg Oden jersey that just about drapes the
basketball arena. Buckeyes in Oregon? Sweet. I kept a buckeye as a souvenir.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chance

Yesterday at 4:00 or 5:00 PM, near the downtown Portland library, I turned my head and saw a pretty twentysomething girl walking toward me, looking at me. Making eye contact with her as she approached, I smiled; she smiled back. A moment later she was gone. At 6:00, in about the same place, as I picked up my backpack, she walked past me again in the opposite direction. (I didn't see her this time until she'd already passed.) After securing all the straps and belts on my backpack, I headed the same direction she'd gone. Only 50 feet down the street, as she waited at the light rail station, we made eye contact once again. I smiled; she smiled back. With each of these encounters, it was clear that there was some kind of two-way attraction (or something like that). Naturally, I did nothing about it, partly because I'm a wuss but also because her train showed up. Maybe someday she'll stumble
onto the Aimless web site. Even if she does, though, she'll probably never see this post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm a doofus

I don't like how I behave when I drink, even though I don't get drunk. I now wish I hadn't consumed those 3 beers in the hours before I met Luke yesterday, but at the time I didn't want to waste the additional value of the gift card beyond the cost of my meal. I probably should have just given the bartender/server a ridiculously huge tip instead of having the beers. Luke is a really nice guy. It was a pleasure meeting him. I definitely consider myself a Luke Swilor fan, and I hope y'all will throw a little support his way. He deserves it more than I do. Thanks Luke! --> After spending a couple days in the Hollywood District, I slept under the stars in a park just north of downtown Portland last night. Fortunately it was pretty warm. --> I already have something set up that will get me to Seattle via Amtrak Wednesday afternoon/evening. --> To the couple I spoke to during the Bengals game
(Craig & Suzie?): I'd like you to contact me so I can at least find out your names.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Road to the tour

Luke Swilor is on his way here from Eugene right now (3:45) and should be here within the next half-hour or so, having unfortunately missed the cut earlier today in the Nationwide Tour event (golf). I've been looking forward to meeting Luke, a regular reader of this blog, for several months. Before I left home in April I expected to meet him right away because I originally planned to head toward Louisiana and he was scheduled to play in Baton Rouge (US Professional Golf Tour). That was before the USPGT folded. When the tour was 86ed, Luke set off on the Canadian Tour and I ended up in Florida... I'm a little goofy from this beer now, so please pardon me if I make no sense. Luke got caught in some traffic but made it here. It was really cool meeting him. Visit Luke's blog at http://blog.lukeswilor.com.

Not continued

I don't think I will continue the previous post because it's just too negative-sounding. For the record, I consider myself in debt to everyone who has given to me without expecting anything in return. Conversely, I owe nothing to the few people who have expected something from me, because there is a HUGE difference between a favor and a trade... I had a cool day yesterday; met several really awesome people and had a place to stay. Allison & Bill Wildman gave me a $20 gift certificate to the Laurelwood Public House, which I intended to use last night. But as I sat at the bar, I got into a conversation with Deborah LeBer, who gave me $5 to buy myself a beer. Before I had a chance to purchase that beer, Tim Sheridan bought me a beer. He ended up inviting me to stay at his place, so I ended up not using my gift certificate last night. However, I am at the pub right now, enjoying my second
beer, having finished my calzone already. Two of these beers will damn near get you wasted.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ducks Agree: Wolverine Tastes Like Chicken

I think yesterday was my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad. --> I left Mark's house yesterday because he is one of those people who EXPECTS immediate payback when he does someone a "favor" for which they didn't ask, need, or necessarily want. Yes, I sincerely appreciate what Mark shared with me--food and shelter--but he did it for the wrong reasons and it apparently wasn't out of the kindness of his heart. I planned to stay around another day or two to help him with some household chores until it became clear that he expected me to have read his mind and to have already done things I couldn't possibly have known he wanted me to do. And let's not forget the things I actually did for him that he apparently didn't notice or appreciate: I helped him clean up the mess from the party he hosted before we met; I helped him carry a bunch of artwork from his van to his basement; I provided
companionship that he clearly wanted or needed; I revolved around HIM for two days... To be continued.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Beer & Christ

This just occurred to me (several hours ago): Lew, you would love the Pacific Northwest; there are a million different beers here, many of them local. (Not like South Florida.)... I was walking around at about noon today, going somewhere maybe, when a guy stopped and told me to hop into his car for a tour of Portland. (I wasn't even sure I was in Portland yet.) Mark immediately took me to The Grotto, which I had passed less than an hour earlier. My OH-SHIT!ometer went nuts because The Grotto is some kind of huge religious complex. I thought, "This guy doesn't screw around when it comes to saving the souls of those whose souls don't need saved. How am I gonna get out of this one?" Fortunately Mark was not trying to save my soul; he just thought The Grotto was a cool place--landscape and whatnot--and he wanted me to see it. I admit it was pretty cool, but its coolness has nothing to do
with the organization that occupies the land. I'm staying at Mark's house at least tonight.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Out of danger

I think I'm now in a suburb of Portland; I'm on the edge of Troutdale and Wood Village, OR, a mile or less from Washington. Mom, this phone will not answer for you again until you stop calling me all the time. By the time I sent the previous post, I was already riding in a car toward civilization. If I'd still been where there was no access to water, do you really think I would have had phone coverage? A nice young woman named Rachel (sp?) Dionne stopped for me after I'd left the desert and entered the forest, still on the reservation. Like LJ, who took me to Bend, Rachel was on her way (from Bend) to meet her boyfriend, who, unlike LJ's boyfriend, is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, eh. I still had about a cup of water when she picked me up, but I was out of food and I was very hungry. When we got here, I immediately walked to Safeway and bought literally about 10
lbs of food (boneless wings, chowdah, Boyardee, PB, Pay Day, tortilla chips, apples, donut, yogurt).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 - Got any weed? OK, that's probably not actually the question people ask me most frequently, but it's close. I've been walking through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation since yesterday afternoon. Last evening I was in the middle of a large, flat expanse of desert when all of a sudden there was a bridge across a creek (Mill Creek). The scene was not what you'd expect from my description; the creek was at the bottom of a narrow canyon, which I'd say was about 500 feet deep. It was very pretty. Late in the day there was a huge cloud of smoke in the sky from the wild fires burning near Sisters, Oregon (pictured). There was rain this morning where I camped, but I don't know if Sisters got any rain. I have no food or water, and there ain't none around here, so it would be real if someone stops to offer me a ride pretty soon.

Monday, September 03, 2007

I was just thinking: If

I was just thinking: If the US Constitution doesn't mean anything anymore, then neither do any of our laws. So go break some laws while you can.

Oregon Lottery

(Pictured: Kathy & Frank at The Meet Market.) Upon finishing my salmon & shrimp, I dumped a little cash into one of the 6 Oregon Lottery video slots near the bar, hoping to either make a few bucks or take only a small loss. (I guess there are a handful of these machines in about every bar in Oregon.) Yeah, I know, that was not necessarily a bright move on my part, but gaming machines possess some kind of mysterious attraction. Although I told myself I wouldn't allow myself to lose a bunch of money, I soon found myself with considerably less money than when I entered the bar. Starting to feel like a total idiot, the machine hit a small jackpot and I had all my money back. Of course, I moved to another machine and lost another big chunk of cash. Then it hit and I got most of it back. The next machine did the same thing, except when it hit, it hit again... and again. Soon I was up $55,
which made me happy. I cashed out with $40 more than I'd started with, and I gave the barkeep Josh $10.

The mete market

It's now clear why my backpack has become so burdensome lately: The thing weighs 66 lbs! Well, it did yesterday morning, anyway. Fortunately I was able to unload 4 lbs of stuff at Kathy's house, which she is going to send home for me. My gear ended up about 63 lbs when I left her house because I left out the stove and sternos when I weighed everything. That included 2 18-oz cans of clam chowder, a can of tuna, a can of salmon, 2 apples, and a full supply of water. Unfortunately I was unable to take the sleeping bag because it was just too big to store either on or in my backpack. When I left, Kathy and Frank took me to the north end of Madras, outside a bar/restaurant called The Meet Market. (It used to be a real meat market.) They invited me in for a beer, which became 2 beers. They left before I did. I ended up with a free meal because the cook was bored and experimented with a new
dish. She made salmon and shrimp with an alfredo/garlic sauce, then offered it to me. It was very good.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Madras Oregon

While watching football at The Stag, I began talking to a nice 61-year-old woman named Kathy. She told me about her son Michael, who has traveled all over the world in a manner similar to my travels. Kathy gave me $10 to buy myself dinner and she eventually bought me a beer. Later she bought me another beer and I called my mom so Kathy could talk to her. After talking to my mom, Kathy decided she would adopt me for the night. We left the bar at about 5:30. Upon arriving at Kathy's house, I met her husband Frank. Surprise! The adult beverages kept flowing until Kathy and Frank were both pretty goofy. Sometime before they went to bed, Kathy dug up an unused sleeping bag for me, which she acquired with Marlboro Miles, as well as a small butane camping stove. I don't know the temperature rating of the sleeping bag, but I'm sure it will perform much better than my fleece sleeping bag. My
backpack just keeps getting heavier; it is surely over 60 lbs now. I need to send some things home ASAP.

Hail to the victors!

After several miles of walking Friday, a guy named Geneo ("Gino") pulled up behind me and offered me a ride to Redmond. In Redmond, while resting at a coffee house, I conversed with a man named Jerry. He asked me if I know some dude named Jesus. I said no, so he offered to buy me a bible. I told him it wasn't necessary because I have good reasons for choosing not to subscribe to that way of thinking and because it would just be more weight in an already-very-heavy backpack. Not a pushy man, Jerry seemed to accept my answer. Shortly after we both left, Jerry pulled up beside me and handed me a brand new bible. Yesterday, several miles north of Redmond, three "Rainbow kids" in an old minivan stopped and gave me a ride to Madras. I bought some food at Safeway then realized I'd like to watch some college football, so I found a bar and asked the bartender if it was OK if I hung out and
watched some football. Having spoken to my mom, I already knew Michigan lost to Appalachian State. (Haha.)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Bend over

This is weird: The picture I thought my phone deleted is back. Also, the berries I thought were raspberries are actually blackberries... Jack dropped me off on Rte 97 on the northern edge of Bend at about 1:00 today, so I am now heading north out of Bend. We went to Newberry Volcano and Paulina Peak the other day. The obsidian flow was very cool. It was nice hanging out and getting to know Jack and Phyl, but it's time to move on. I felt kinda sick for at least a few days during my stay; I wonder if it resulted from my rare opportunity for extensive relaxation. Bend is a nice little place. It is pretty; a very green desert. It's mostly flat here, but the trees and landscape provide a natural backdrop that keeps you from feeling like you're in a huge desolate expanse. My new boots feel a little awkward right now, but I'm sure they will feel great once I've had a few days to break them in.
It now feels like a lot of work to carry my pack. Hopefully I'll get used to it pretty quickly.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Non-sequitur

College football begins in 1 hour and 15 minutes! (Of course, after the way Ohio State got destroyed in last year's national championship game, it's hard to give a shit anymore.)

I'll be leaving Jack & Phyl's house tomorrow. I'd planned on leaving yesterday but it just didn't happen. Then I really expected to leave today, but we talked and decided I'll take off tomorrow instead. Jack & Phyl will join the Fish & Chips Club tonight, entering an elite group that so far only has three (actually 5) other members: Lew Graff, Jay Rivers, and Michael Adair & Family.

Having been around a TV (and "The News") lately, I've seen figures that say the US Congress has an approval rating of something like 18 percent. Wow, what a bunch of stupid assholes! I mean, with all the Republican corruption, bigotry, and incompetence leading up to last year's elections, these dipshits (the Democrats) could have set themselves up for at least a decade of power just by doing the right thing for once. Instead, they've tried to appeal to Republican voters who have already turned against Republican politicians. Apparently the Democrats think they can hold on to power by trying to convince the American public that they're tougher than Republicans, that they hate gay people just as much as Republicans do, etc.

I have a few ideas for the dumb-ass Democrats:

  • End the fucking "war," you god-damn idiots;

  • Do something to help Americans get out of poverty;

  • Crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens. (That alone will solve the "problem" of illegal immigration.);

  • Give us ALL some health care;

  • Tell the corporations--aka "Your Daddy"--to fuck off;

  • Punish pharmaceutical companies BIG TIME for pushing dangerous drugs on us;

  • When American corporations leave the United States so they can pay their workers only a few dollars a day, don't let them sell their shit in this country;

  • Create a realistic minimum wage. (I'm talking AT LEAST $10 an hour, and I say that from the perspective of someone who wants nothing more than to be a small business owner.);

  • Stop making the rest of the world hate us!!!

Represent us, you fucking fucks! Do it because you know it's the right thing to do, or do it because you want to keep your job for the next twenty or thirty years. If you just do the right thing, it might be pretty easy to keep that job for a while. Remember, the regular people of the United States of America, collectively, are your real daddy, and we'll prove it if you force us to.

The revolution has begun, whether it seems that way or not. People who have nothing are beginning to realize they have nothing, and they also realize it's not entirely their fault. Sometimes those people pose no threat, but there just keeps being more and more of them, and eventually they're gonna get pretty pissed off about it. That's when the killing begins. That's exactly how this country was born.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, US Government, you're grossly outnumbered and information travels a lot faster today than it did 231 years ago.

If anyone has an extra ticket to the Ohio State football game at Washington, I want it. I can't pay you with money, but I may be able to pay you in some other way; perhaps a better way. Besides, you know you're not going to be able to get rid of a single ticket, so you might as well give it to me.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aimless: The animated series

I can't believe this just came to me last night, but Aimless would make a freakin' awesome cartoon. It could be based on my real experiences and the real characters I've met, but the writing could rely heavily on creative license. I've been thinking all day about some of the situations I've been in, and the writing possibilities blow my mind so far.

Maybe I could get Dave Chappelle interested in doing something like that. Yeah, that would kick ass.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Running on fumes

Sometimes I get tired of trying to update this blog on such a regular basis. Sometimes I get tired of hoping the Aimless word will spread. Sometimes I get so tired of doing all this, I just want to quit. After more than four months on the road, there just doesn't seem to be much interest in Aimless.

Aimless could be huge if only the right people knew about it and invested in it. Originally I envisioned a gradual snowball effect; I expected Aimless to pick up steam as I remained on the road, but it's just not happening. The longer I do this, the more I realize how lonely I am.

I've been thinking a lot about pizza lately. Specifically, I've been thinking about how much I'd like to operate my own pizzeria. That's what I want to do with my life because that's what I do best. Unfortunately I don't have the money to open a pizzeria and no one else recognizes how I could turn their money into more money if only they'd invest in me and my pizzeria.

My talents have been totally wasted in this life. My brain has been totally wasted in this life. I have so much to offer my world and the world, but no one gives a shit. It's very frustrating.

Right now I want to quit Aimless. I plan to remain on the road until early October, but I don't know if I'll continue after I return home for my next pit stop.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Gishin' across America

I can't remember how I found this (especially so soon), but I thought it was pretty cool that someone I don't know had something to say about one of my posts. (I just wanted to write something else here because it looked funny ending the short post with a long link.)

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Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bend, Oregon

Wednesday evening, shortly after I arrived in Bend, Jack Sherman drove downtown to pick me up and begin playing host to me. Jack is a World War II veteran; a highly decorated World War II veteran, from what I understand. (I'll probably reveal more about Jack whenever I get the full scoop.)

I had met Jack a couple times before, when he and his wife Phyllis visited my mom and dad in Ohio, but I really didn't know either Jack or Phyllis (Phyl) when I showed up here. I just remember Jack being very personable, and I remember that the first time I met him was right after I received the award for my first honor score in bowling: a 298 ring. (I shot 300 twice within the next year.)

Like always, I was a little nervous about staying with someone I barely know. If you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty raw, no-bullshit, rough-around-the-edges kinda dude. A lot of people don't like that; that's their problem. I was worried that Jack and Phyl might be a little too squeaky clean to deal with my personality for very long, but I found out pretty quickly that they are VERY down-to-earth. They're pretty much no-bullshit people; I like that.

Soon after my arrival, my mom and dad both called me to bug me about my equipment situation. They wanted me to ask Jack to help me get some of the stuff I need, for which my parents would pay him back. They said it again and again, as if I didn't hear them the first time or the second time or the third time. Frankly, it got pretty aggravating because I'm not 7 years old.

I had no intention to let the Shermans buy me anything significant, but they ended up saying the right words. I can't even remember what they said, but they offered to buy me some new gear, and I felt like they had the right motivation. So we've spent some time looking around at a few sporting goods stores and I already have some new boots from REI. Oh my god, these new boots feel so nice compared to my old ones.

Before we got the boots, on Friday, I sent a letter to REI regarding a potential partnership between myself and them. I hope they respond because I would really like to put out the REI word. I've only known about REI for three or four weeks, but I'm so impressed with the company. Their employees are knowledgeable and their web site is ultra helpful. They have something really good going, and I would love to promote them. Of course, I'm not just going to do it for free. It would be more than worth their while to team up with me. Now can they figure that out?

I've been meaning to say a lot more lately, but it's tough getting computer time without being a bad guest. I'll try to catch up before I leave.

--
Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Your city to burn

A mile or two closer to Bend from Albertson's, a weird thing happened: I guess I heard something that made me think of the beginning of the Smashing Pumpkins album Gish, so I began playing the song I am one in my head. Perhaps due to my background in marching band and drum corps, I also began walking in step to the song (with a left foot lead). It's been years since I've listened to that CD, so it was interesting to see if I could "hear" the song exactly how it sounds on the recording. I think I succeeded.

Anyway, I am one energized me and kinda helped me tune out the pain and discomfort I experience every day as I walk miles and miles. It also helped me tune out the rest of the world, putting me in a state not unlike years ago when I used to put on my Sony studio-quality headphones and play my drums along with Gish. When I listen to that album, I don't hear the songs the same way you would; I mostly only hear the drum parts and feel the motions of playing the drum parts.

Gish has such a kick-ass one-two punch with I am one and Siva, so when I am one ended in my head, Siva began just as if I was hearing the actual CD. It energized me even more. Having almost the same tempo as I am one, it allowed me to keep walking at the same pace, which was a pretty natural walking pace even without the music. Siva just rocks. I'd say that song best captures the energy, dynamics, and songwriting genius of young Billy Corgan. When it was over, I probably had to take a couple deep breaths to prepare for Rhinoceros.

Rhinoceros is a slow ballad, but it's a fast walking song because you have to walk double-time to stay in step with it. It's hard to walk fast enough to keep the song playing at full speed in your head, so I ended up having to slow down the song instead of speeding up my pace.

God I love the transition from Rhinoceros to Bury me. Bury me is one of the most rocking-ass drum songs ever and Jimmy Chamberlin is a freakin' freak. Bury me makes you walk a little faster than your typical pace, but it's a pace that you can actually keep up with because the song gives you some kind of energy that makes you forget all about the 55 lbs on your back.

When I think back about this short stretch of walking, I actually picture myself with headphones on because I was so caught up in Gish, I'd literally tuned out everything else, including traffic. I wasn't concerned with getting a ride, either, but shortly I noticed a late model Volkswagen pulling over a couple hundred feet ahead of me. Pressing pause on my imaginary pumpkins, I made a quick assessment and realized the driver was probably stopping to offer me a ride, so I sped up and approached the car.

The driver--a twentysomething young lady--asked me where I was going. I replied, "Bend, I guess." She was going to Bend, too, so I put my stuff in the car and we introduced ourselves. Her name is LJ Messenger and she is pretty new to Oregon, having grown up in Syracuse, New York. She was so knowledgeable about the mountains and forests and other landmarks we passed, I figured she had been living in Oregon maybe a couple years, but she has only been here for three months.

When we arrived in Bend, she parked in downtown to meet her boyfriend. I had no idea where I needed to be, so downtown was fine for me, too. LJ and I went our seperate ways, then I called my mom to make sure I knew what to say before calling Jack Sherman, the family friend who lives in Bend. I never ended up calling Jack, though, because he was already on the phone with my dad when I called my mom. My mom ended up letting Jack know where I was, and Jack headed my way within a few minutes.

That was Wednesday (three days ago).

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Aimless
The Quasi-Aimless Trailer