Thursday, January 24, 2008

So much for that "opportunity"

Well, I don't see the pizzeria thing happening. I most certainly want to do it, but apparently my only location option would be the second floor, above the bar/club.

A second-floor location may not seem like a big deal to you, but it's a killer. First of all, it would add at least two minutes to every delivery run that leaves the building (round trip). That is, every time a driver leaves the building, he would be slowed down by the elevator on his way out, then again on his way back into the store.

Oh, two minutes is nothing, you may be thinking.


Under those circumstances, if one driver leaves the building ten times during a shift, that adds up to a minimum of 20 completely nonproductive minutes from EVERY DRIVER during EVERY SHIFT. There's nothing I can do to fix that. NOTHING! So to make up for that inefficiency, I'd often have to schedule an extra driver, which comes out of my paycheck.

Meanwhile, after each night's shift, every driver thinks to himself: "Man, if I didn't have to jump all those hurdles between the kitchen and my car, I could have left the building at least one more time tonight, delivering 2 or 3 additional orders, which would have added another $5 or $10 to my pocket with no extra effort. Hell, even if I was making that extra $5 or $10, I'm still totally sick of jumping through all the hoops... Hmmm... I wouldn't have to deal with these constant obstacles if I worked at Pizza Hut or Papa John's... Sorry dude, I gotta quit."

So if I want to keep my drivers, I need to pay them better, even though I'd probably already be paying them better than my competition pays their drivers.

Where does that money come from? It comes from my paycheck.

Quick recap: Having a location on the second floor forces me to schedule more labor than I should need, and it also forces me to pay all my drivers unusually high wages.

So what about the customers?

There most certainly will be times when the "second-floor slowdown" causes delivery orders to arrive ONE MINUTE later than what the customer considers acceptable. And every time that happens, there are two possible outcomes: 1) I lose a customer, or 2) I make a huge sacrifice to keep that customer happy. In that circumstance, I'd probably be more inclined to chop off a big chunk of the price, but if necessary, I'd make it a freebie.

My response to that situation may save a customer, but it still costs me money that I shouldn't have to give up. And I can't blame my driver or anyone else. The only person I can blame is myself because I made the choice to open a pizzeria in the stupidest possible location.

And that is just one of many money-munching setbacks I'll have to deal with every single day if I choose to open a pizzeria on the second floor of this building.

The bar owner wants to include "southern-style" cuisine to accompany the alcohol and live music (music on weekends, anyway). However, to the best of my knowledge, he knows as much as I know about southern-style food: Nothing.

So how do you serve southern-style food if you don't know anything about southern-style food? And do beer-drinking, live-blues-music-listening customers even want southern-style food? I'd say probably not. It's not a restaurant with a bar; it's a live music club with a kitchen.

If I knew anything about southern-style food, I'd love to help him in that department, but I don't know shit about southern-style food. I am simply not the right guy for that, nor do I expect him to find "the right guy" for that. However, I am one of very few people who really understands what it takes to operate a successful independent pizzeria. No bullshit. Not just a successful pizzeria, but the most successful pizzeria. The kind of pizzeria that will bring people into his bar to buy beer, which is especially relevant if live music and sports fail to do it alone.

I'm pretty sure I could operate a profitable pizzeria on the second floor of this place, but I would be absolutely stupid to even try. Regardless of location, I'm already prepared to bust my ass at least 80 hours a week in "my" pizzeria. But if I was on the second floor of this building (or any other building), that 80-hour workweek instantly becomes 100, probably more. That's an absolute waste of money and energy, and I won't do it.

Ah, but my dad thinks this is the right opportunity. No, dad, it could be the right opportunity, given the right circumstances, but it is absolutely not the right opportunity with the current circumstances.

Y'see, Dad, you already walked away from the right opportunity two years ago. And if I change my mind and decide I want to open something on the second floor this time (which would be totally retarded), you'll end up walking away from this one, too.

I'm never going to be able to do what I can do better than almost everyone.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Monday, January 21, 2008

You make the call

I have a very important question for everyone: When you hear the term "southern-style food," what comes to your mind? --> What kinds of entrees and sides? How is the food seasoned? Whatever you can think of. Just tell me what "southern-style food" is to you.


Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cock rock

As I drove to and from Germantown (near Dayton) yesterday, I heard a couple songs on the radio that really caught my attention. The first one stood out for a few reasons. However, having just looked up the song's lyrics, I've concluded I must have misinterpreted it when I heard it, so I'll say nothing more about it here.

(Wow, you missed a great inaccurate critique.)

The other song played as I passed through downtown Dayton on the way home. It's a song I've probably heard at least a few times before, but for some reason it really stuck out this time.

It was a Nickelback song. It went something like this:

Boy I shor do like havin my cock sucked
Oh yeah I shor do like havin my cock sucked, baby
I want the world to know I shor do like havin my cock SAAAHHCKED,

And I'll tell y'all right now in this fake-ass deep voice
That I'm a man, yeah, I'm a MAAAAAY-AAAAAAAWN
And I'll have you know that I don't put no cocks in my mouth
I ain't no closet homo, BAY-BAAAAAAH
No, I get MY cocked sucked, yeah yeah yeah
By women, yeah yeah yeah

Suck my cock, oh yeah, suck my cock,
Cuz I do love it when you, who are female, suck my cock

(Repeat and fade)

When that song was over, they played another Nickelback song. I swear it was the same freak-uckin' song, except it didn't sound exactly the same and about three of the words were different. The second song went something like: "I like your pants around your feet and I'm certainly not a queer and don't you EVER try to imply that I take it up the ass ever again cuz I'm Nickelback, BAY-BAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!"

Do people actually buy this stuff?!? Obviously they buy the albums, but do they buy into the ridiculous tough-guy crap?

Is our society really this stupid?

This is a perfect example of why Idiocracy is one of the most brilliant movies ever made. If you have not seen Idiocracy, go rent it now or come over to my house because I recorded it on the new DVR a couple nights ago.

How old are you, Nickelback? My guess is 12.

Guess what, Nickelback. Pretty much all men enjoy having their cocks sucked by women. However, most of us don't have to tell the world over and over and over just how frequently we think about pussy. In case you missed the article in the Penthouse you stole from your dad's drawer (to make him believe you're into chicks), it's been pretty well established that heterosexual men think about pussy non-stop, OK. You're not special. Constantly thinking about pussy is what keeps our species alive.

In fact, I think about pussy so much, it has taken me 15 hours to write this post. But that's the last you'll hear me talk about how frequently I think about pussy (which I do all the time, by the way) because I don't need to prove to myself or anyone else that I'm a man.


I'm gonna shut up now because I have to think about pussy for a while.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Correspondence, Part II

Aimless Web Site Visitor wrote:

Thank You for taking the time to answer my questions. I would like to do something similar to what you have done in the past, with a few minor variations. One is use of a bike for greater mobility. This would allow me to use country roads versus interstates. Another problem I want to avoid is police encounter. It only takes one cop with an attitude to destroy your dreams. You were very lucky in Naples. Could you imagine what would happen if you were arrested for beating that person?

With my military background, I know how to survive off the land. Going hungry is not a big concern. I do not have a drug or drinking problem, so my dependency on town support is reduced. I just want my freedom. Without our freedom, we become puppets of the government.

How often did you take showers or a bath? Where did you take them? Keeping clean is a big concern of mine. I do not want to stand out in a crowd because of my appearance. What are your plans in the future? Are you going to hit the road or go to work with your relatives?

Again Thank You for your response. Hope to hear from you in the near future.

Aimless Web Site Visitor

And I replied:

That's cool, man. It sounds like you're planning to hit the road with essentially no money and no access to money. Does that sound right? I think that's the way to do it, even if you have plenty of money in the bank. My travels just wouldn't have been the same if I had hit the road with a big wad of cash and a credit card. In fact, I think it would have been mostly stupid, boring, and pointless.

Apparently you watched the cop encounter video. It sounds like you, as a viewer, felt like I faced potential danger from those cops. Is that how you saw it? It's hard for me to see it from the perspective of someone who wasn't there, but I never felt like I was in any kind of danger. Those guys were cool, especially the one I joked with. They were just doing their job, making sure I wasn't a perp making a run for it.

I'm squeaky clean, so I never feel like I have anything to worry about with cops. Even on the rare occasions that cops have fucked with me, I haven't felt any kind of real danger. In fact, I've been a total smart-ass with a couple of them because I know my rights and I know their limits. Bad cops only fuck with people they assume are idiots. As soon as they realize they're dealing with someone with a brain, they take off. From a distance, I fit their profile of an easy target: a drug addict or alcoholic or general loser. But when I speak (or reach for my camera), they figure out pretty quickly that they've made a poor assessment of my character, and they take off ASAP. Bad cops prey on easy targets, but they know there will be hell to pay if they fuck with the wrong person.

If there is one thing I want to you remember, it's this: You really don't need to fear cops, man, especially if you are the kind of person I envision. The bike is a big bonus for you, too. It'll give you "cred" with people, just like my decent-quality gear gives me "cred" in certain people's eyes. Even if you're out there "bumming" or tramping, the bike will give you the appearance of legitimacy/respectability. And the articulation of your communication will also protect you from predators (like bad cops) and judgmental assholes in general. Seriously, if you have nothing to hide, you'll have no problem with cops. (Plus you have no reason to hang out beside on-ramps, which seriously decreases the likelihood that you'll deal with cops at all.)

Regarding bathing:

On average I probably showered about once a week. I think the longest I went between showers was 14 days. It's not as horrible as it may sound, though. Y'see, after about a week of constant sweating and rehydration, you will have flushed out all the crap inside you that makes you stink and feel nasty. I smelled horrible after the first four days and I expected to smell horrible pretty much all the time, but after that first week or so, I could go days and days without a shower and I wouldn't stink. No bullshit. I mean, I could be a week beyond my most recent shower and I seriously would not have to worry about stinking up someone's car, because I didn't stink. It kind of freaked me out at first when I stopped stinking.

After my first week on the road, the only real hygiene issue I had was with my hair. (You may have noticed I have a lot of it.) Whenever I hadn't showered for several days, my hair would get kind of greasy and my head would start to itch. Even then, it wasn't very bad. If you have short hair or no hair, it should be very easy to keep yourself presentable.

Also, I keep a nice supply of Wet Ones or other wet wipes in my backpack. I prefer them over sanitizing gel for washing my hands because sanitizing gel leaves a strong, annoying smell. But wet wipes are also an awesome tool for keeping up hygiene when you can't get a shower. It's this simple: If you keep your armpits reasonably fresh, then you've pretty much won the hygiene battle. And you can slay both pits with just one wet wipe.

Eventually, however, you stop caring about petty things like whether or not you feel absolutely fresh. Staying alive and experiencing life is more important. Your perspective on a lot of things will change, I think for the better. You mentioned freedom... When you haven't had a shower in a week and you don't give a shit, that's freedom. One component of freedom, anyway.

To finish answering your question... Oh shit, I'm not sure I can answer it fully. Where did I get my showers? I guess usually I'd get showers when people would invite me into their homes for a night or two. Once I took a "shower" on the beach right beside the Santa Monica Pier. When you're on the road like I was, all you have to do is talk to people. And you really don't even have to do that because they'll initiate conversation with you. Your aura and your gear tells quite a story all by itself, but a lot of people want to know more about your story than they can figure out just by looking at you. So they'll ask you, and they'll listen in awe as you tell them your incredible and unique story. Some of them will ask you if you need money or food. Then, even after you've told them you don't need money or food, they'll slip you a 20 or take you somewhere for a nice meal. Others will damn near force you to stay a night or two in their home.

On the truck stop circuit, showers are easy. Truckers get one free shower for every 50 gallons of fuel they purchase. (I think most truckers burn about 200 gallons every day.) In other words, they all have more showers on their frequent fueler account than they will ever need. I think Flying J's shower system is easier than the other kinds of truck stop because it's all done through a kiosk, out of sight from most of the employees. So if you really need a shower and you see a truck stop (especially a Flying J), just go to the driver lounge and ask a few truckers if they can spare a shower. The exact terminology will vary from truck stop to truck stop. At Flying J, say something like, "By any chance do you have an extra shower on your card?" ("On your card" is the operative phrase with Flying J.) If that doesn't work, it never hurts to ask the people working there. Some of them will happily set you up with a shower.

Truckers, in general, are pretty good guys (although many of them are major assholes). A lot of them will go out of their way to help someone in need. Even the assholes will do nice things for the "right" people. (Let's just say my white skin sometimes equals "cred" at truck stops.) It really bothers me when truckers treat me kindly while at the same time spewing hateful rhetoric about "niggers" and "wetbacks" and whatnot, as if it's understood that I share their views just because I'm white. Well, I don't share their views.

Regarding my future with Aimless: I expected to be gone a day or two ago, but now things are on hold indefinitely. Man, there is nothing I want more than to operate my own pizzeria, but now that such an opportunity may be on the horizon, all I want to do is get back on the road and resume my life as a bum with a camera, even though I know it'll probably never make me any money. I have a lot of thinking to do right now.

Oh yeah, check out this blog. I met James in South Carolina. He passed me on his bike as he pedaled from New Jersey to Cape Canaveral. We talked a while, then he let me stay in his motel room that night. James is an awesome guy. I can't find his e-mail address right now, but I'm sure I have it somewhere, in case you want to contact him. He'd probably be glad to share some of his insight with you, regarding touring the country on a bike.

One more thing to consider: My lack of mobility often created the best moments of my six months on the road. When you're walking instead of driving (or biking), you see everything and you have a chance to take it all in. Like when I walked up the Pacific Coast Highway from Venice to Ventura. During that walk I witnessed my first and only live rattlesnake in the wild, only because I heard it moving. I most certainly would not have seen the snake if I'd been driving, and I probably would not have seen it if I'd been on a bike. The scenery, too. There's just so much sensory information to experience in places like the PCH. I'm just saying you might want to think about finding a place to store your bike every once in while, then hoofing it a little.

(Jeez, you're helping me write a book here. Rock on!)


Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.


Yesterday I received an Aimless-related e-mail from a guy named "Aimless Web Site Visitor." A simple message, he asked, "How many police encounters did you have? Could you have avoided them? How did you survive?"

I wrote a reasonably long response to Aimless Web Site Visitor last night and received a response from him this morning, to which I recently provided another long response. After thinking about it for a minute, I figured my responses to Aimless Web Site Visitor might be interesting to a few other people out there, so here is my response to Aimless Web Site Visitor's original message:

Hi Aimless Web Site Visitor,

First off, I want to thank you for showing interest in Aimless. I've put an unbelieveable amount of work into it so far, so I really appreciate when people take the time to ask questions or just comment about things.

To answer your questions:

I've had LOTS and LOTS of police encounters. I really have no idea how many, but I'd guess at least 100; probably more. Don't get the wrong idea, though; they are almost always very cool with me.

Most of the encounters occur beside on-ramps, when I'm trying to get a ride on an interstate. Sometimes cops will stop just to check out what I'm doing and to make sure I'm not running from the law or anything. Other times they stop to tell me I can't be beyond the 'No Pedestrians' sign. Every once in a LONG while, though, a cop will harass me (or "fuck with" me), probably to demonstrate his perceived power over someone he assumes is a worthless bum. But that almost never happens.

Probably the second most common type of encounter occurs in the mornings, when the sun is up and so is my tent. Early on in my travels, whenever I couldn't find a nice hidden spot to set up camp, I'd find spots where I was pretty much invisible at night but very visible in the morning. To avoid any trouble, I would force myself to get up very early and be gone before anyone had a chance to see me. After a while, though, I realized whenever someone spotted my tent in the morning, the worst thing that happened is a cop would show up and respectfully tell me to scram. Consequently, I stopped forcing myself to get up at 6:00. After I stopped worrying about it, I found that usually no one bothers me, anyway, even if I am somewhere really obvious. A few times the cops have shown up outside my tent, asked me what I was doing there, and ended up telling me I didn't have to leave.

Again, almost all cops are very cool to me. I have nothing to hide from them, and I think they tend to figure that out pretty quickly. But most of them drive right past me, anyway.

I suppose I could have avoided cops by staying away from interstate on-ramps. But usually when I choose to hitchhike by an on-ramp, it's because I don't have any other options. Whenever I'm trying to get somewhere specific and distant, I prefer to walk along the road that goes there. In those cases, usually someone will stop and offer a ride before too long. But sometimes the only road available is an interstate, so I just have to stand and wait.

Also, I have never put up my thumb to indicate I am hitchhiking. I like to think my objective is usually pretty obvious. Plus, as I learned from a Lake Mary Police officer: If my thumb is not up, the law says I'm not hitchhiking. So I can stand right beside a 'No Hitchhiking' sign and do my thing for as long as I want. They could probably get me for loitering or something, but most cops realize there's really no point.

How did I survive? I'm guessing you mean in terms of money, right?

I never ask people for money (or anything else, for that matter). But there are some really awesome, caring people out there. Usually whenever I'm out of money and food, it somehow comes to me. Some people slip me bills because they think what I'm doing is cool. Others seem to sense when I'm in need. Sometimes I go hungry for a few days. That kind of drought is rare, but it happens.

Also, there have been a couple times when I was able to work for some cash. In Florida I helped someone paint a house. And I helped a trucker unload his truck in Phoenix and LA. I have no problem working to make some cash when I'm on the road, but the opportunity rarely presents itself. (Actually, it would probably be pretty easy for me to get work lumping for truckers, but usually when I'm with truckers it's because I'm trying to get a long way in a short time.)

There have been a couple occasions when I have flown signs saying something to the effect of: "Please help a hungry traveler get some food." Yeah, I know I just said I never ask for money, and it's almost entirely true. Even though I know people will help if you only ask, it's very hard for me to beg. However, when you haven't eaten for a couple days, something motivates you to find a piece of cardboard and beg beg beg, no matter how uncomfortable it seems.

Hey, I hope that answers your questions. I could probably elaborate on some of it. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Thanks again,

I'll post his response and my response to his response later or tomorrow.

By the way, I met with Mike last night about the pizza stuff. Mike's a good guy; a no-bullshit kind of guy. He already owns the building and has some pretty clear plans for his bar. I'd say the prognosis looks good, but damn I wish I could just postpone my involvement until next fall (instead of, say, right now). I really want to hit the road right now, just to be on the road. I really miss being on the road, even the constant hunger and other shitty parts of it.

Well, we'll see how it goes.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

One pretty goal

If you have not seen the goal Rick Nash scored Thursday night in Phoenix, you really need to watch the video below. It's way better on an HD TV, but this tiny clip is pretty good, too.

Context: The Blue Jackets led 3-2 with a little over 2 minutes remaining in the 3rd period when Nash went to the penalty box for high-sticking. In a do-or-die situation, Phoenix pulled the goalie to create a 6 on 4, then scored with about 1:30 remaining, tying the game at 3-3. As the clock wound down under a minute, it appeared that overtime was imminent. But with 30 seconds left in the period, Nash caused Phoenix to make an errant pass and...

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wolf-crying ping pong ball

That's me. I'm a wolf-crying ping pong ball. Something like that, anyway. Let me explain.

Monday night my dad gave me 24 hours to get the fuck out of his house, which I obviously disregarded...

[Non-sequitur moment coming up. Now flash forward to this morning.]

This morning, with me only hours from hitting the road forever, sans parental goodbye, I found a printout of an e-mail placed strategically atop my toilet. It said something about my uncle's buddy Mike and how he's going to open a bar/restaurant in Dayton. It also said something about pizza and me, but I didn't read it for any longer than it took me to piss.

So I go downstairs and drink a glass of water. My dad, who I've mostly avoided since Christmas, asks me if I'd read the printed e-mail. In a move that surprised me, I actually answered him, instead of just going to another room without a word.

I answered, "No," and quickly went to another room.

A moment later he came into the living room and started telling me about how he and Mom have been considering teaming up with my uncle's friend Mike, and that this might be my chance to enter the pizza business.

I didn't want to hear it. I've heard it all before. So many times they have built me up and made me believe they're my serious allies. Each time, believing they're serious about it, I've proceded to put my heart and soul into writing business plans and marketing plans, designing logos, creating accurate financial statement projections, and doing all the things you need to do when planning to open a SUCCESSFUL pizzeria. (A few of them actually exist.) But every time it gets to the point where they have to make a serious decision, they've always ended up chicken-shitting out. Basically it's been like them crying 'Wolf.'

Now, I love roller coasters, but I don't like this roller coaster kind of life. I don't like being a fucking ping pong ball.

I no longer trust my parents. Whenever they cry 'Wolf' now, I don't believe them; I ignore them.

Is the wolf really there this time? I don't know. It sounds like this might be a good opportunity, but so did all the other opportunities, at least until my parents just walked away from them, leaving me with metaphoric blue balls each time.

Anyway, I don't like the timing of this. I wanted leave right freaking now, but I don't want to just walk away from what MIGHT be the best opportunity I've ever had to begin a real life.

I have a lot of thinking to do right now.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Did ya catch it?

I suspect some readers may be unaware that I uploaded a new video the other day, mostly because the newest video's title is very similar to the previous video's title. Just wanted to let you know, in case you didn't catch it. Also, for those of you who cannot watch QuickTime movies, all Aimless videos (except the blog exclusive, which I just remembered) are now on YouTube. (My YouTube profile.)

I've only been able to watch a couple of the YouTube videos so far, so I don't know if they all survived YouTube's processing. From what I've seen, though, they appear to be in decent shape. Still, I prefer that people watch the QuickTime movies, if possible.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Word explosion

Attention: Before reading this post, read this post, unless you have already read it. In that case, do whatever you want.

OK, now that you've read the other post, let me continue...

Direction for the Aimless One
I had an idea today. (Actually I had lots of ideas today.)

I would like to offer my services to people who need to transport automobiles to various parts of the United States. It could be a good way for me to make some money (which I desperately need just so I can get some of the most basic gear and clothing). Also, it could help keep this Aimless thing fresh by constantly changing the scenery. To the best of my knowledge, most of the prospective clients would be snowbirds moving to and from warm climates.

If you're thinking, "Yeah, right. No one pays people to relocate their car from one region to another," stop thinking that. I've met people who do it for a living and I've met people who have done it as a one-time thing. For example, the girl who gave me a ride from Eugene to Bend decided to stay in Oregon after driving someone else's car to the Pacific Northwest from the east coast.

Anyway, the opportunity exists, especially with the snowbirds heading back home in the coming months. It could be a really great opportunity for me. Here's why:
  1. I am a very safe driver with a very good driving record;
  2. My schedule is totally flexible;
  3. As things stand right now, I NEVER need to be anywhere specific, so the cars' owners would usually not have to pay the costs of getting me to the pick-up point and back home from the delivery point;
  4. I could offer to do it for a lot less money than the people who do it for a living, yet it would still be like hitting the jackpot for the Aimless version of me.
There are probably some other good reasons, but I'm too sleep deprived to think of them right now.

The problem is: I don't have time right now to put out the word. So I ask for your help. If anyone can put out the word for me, I'd happily pay you a percentage of what I make from jobs you get me. My immediate thought would be something in the neighborhood of 25%, but I haven't given it any real thought yet.

Basically all I'm hoping is that someone will post ads for me on specific web sites--like Craig's List, I guess--where car owners might look to find vehicle transporters. I just can't do it myself right now. I wouldn't even know where to start.

I don't really expect anything to materialize from this idea, but it would certainly be awesome if y'all could help me try.

On the Road
My brother and his wife gave me a copy of On the Road for Christmas. I've already tried reading that book a couple times over the last fifteen years, but each time I couldn't make it past about halfway through because it just became boring. Doesn't sound right, does it: Aimless Ryan bored by On the Road? It should be one of the major inspirations for something like Aimless, right?

Well, not so. Not even a bit.

Anyway, I decided to start reading my new copy today at Dino's in Yellow Springs, and some things stood out. (Did I catch ya with the 'Yellow Springs,' Jafabrit?) These things stood out to Aimless Ryan, but never would have stood out to 1995 Ryan.

Early in the book, only a few days into the protagonist Sal's hitchhiking career, he gets a ride with a trucker. He describes the driver: "...a great big tough truckdriver with popping eyes and a hoarse raspy voice who just slammed and kicked at everything and got his rig under way and paid hardly any attention to me."

But it was what he says next that really caught my attention.

So I could rest my tired soul a little, for one of the biggest troubles hitchhiking is having to talk to innumerable people, make them feel that they didn't make a mistake picking you up, even entertain them almost, all of which is a great strain when you're going all the way and don't plan to sleep in hotels.
Immediately after reading that passage, I had a huge grin on my face. See, you just cannot possibly understand what those words really mean unless you've been there and done that. (It's like that when someone invites you into their home, too.) This does not mean either Jack Kerouac or myself has ever been the slightest bit ungrateful or unappreciative when someone offered a ride. I'm just saying hitchhiking requires an intense amount of labor; physical labor and unrelenting mental labor. You rarely get a chance to turn your brain's master knob to anything below 11.

So after several seconds of grinning big, my eyes welled up a little and I got back to the book.

Not long after his ride with the trucker, Sal got another ride.

"Where you going?"
"Well, I can take you a hundred miles up the line."
"Grand, grand, you saved my life."
"I used to hitchhike myself, that's why I always pick up a fellow."
Now, that is probably the one thing I hear most frequently from people who pick me up because hitchhiking changes you. It frees your mind in many ways. I haven't had an opportunity to pick anyone up yet, but it most certainly will happen.

This sentence also stuck out to me: "[He was] a traveling epic Hassel, crossing and recrossing the country every year, south in the winter and north in the summer, and only because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars, generally the Western stars."

There are some other things I'd like to mention here, but I'm freakin' tired. I have to get up early, too. I hope my stuff comes tomorrow because I really want to get the hell out of here. There's nowhere to go but everywhere.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The boy who cried 'Wolf'

I want to apologize for what may have seemed like another punk-ass bitch move on my part.

Yeah, I know you're sick of reading every couple months that I'm quitting. Some of you probably think I'm a little brat who throws a fit every time things don't go my way. And maybe you're right.

Please allow me to explain my recent outburst:

It had nothing to do with Aimless or the apparently universal lack of interest in Aimless. It had nothing to do with you, the readers of this blog. Mostly it had to do with the fact that my parents have always treated me like I'm the stupidest motherfucker on the planet, coupled with the realization that they will always see me that way, regardless of what I accomplish.

Fuck them for that. I will not apologize for how I feel about them. I'm just sorry I have to feel that way. No one should have to feel that way about their parents.

This is not a sob story; I'm not crying about it. It's simply a matter of fact. It pisses me off that my parents have fucked with my head my entire life, and sometimes that anger builds to the point where I can't help but release it, perhaps inappropriately.

If that bothers you, I hope you'll accept my apology. I'll try to keep that kind of stuff to myself in the future. (But don't count on it.)

Regarding the future of Aimless:

I will be back on the road within a couple days because 1) I'm no longer welcome here, and 2) I don't care if I ever see my parents again. (The only reason I'm still here is because I'm awaiting the shipment of a sleeping bag.)

HOWEVER, I still don't know if I'll bother taking a camcorder this time, nor am I sure if I'll take my phone. I'm starting to think I probably will take them, but I may choose not to. I don't know. And even if I do take the phone, my service may be discontinued next week anyway.

This isn't about appealing to people's emotions; it's about learning how to stay alive out there for real. (Not to suggest that it wasn't real before.) From now on, there won't be a home for me to go back to whenever I need to recover. There will only be more trying to stay alive.

All this stuff presents some questions I need to answer really damn quickly: 1) Should I complicate things further by taking a camcorder, which would demand tons of extra energy to gather footage for a movie that will probably never exist? 2) If so, what the hell am I supposed to do with the eventual accumulation of tapes?

I want to continue Aimless with 100% effort, but if I keep trying to do it all by myself, especially considering the new circumstances, I'll be dead within months. Maybe I'm better off that way.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Join the Hobos video comment page

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

Don't just meet them

New video in a minute. This shit is probably over. I'm going to hit the road again, but I'm just going to disappear this time, without a camera and without a phone. And it might begin sooner than planned (like before you even see this).


Sunday, January 13, 2008

An update and an introspective rant

I've fixed up the latest video. Cut over 20 seconds and improved the quality. It has the same file name as before, but here's a new link anyway.

It's going to be a little tougher for me to make the upcoming videos in a timely manner. First of all, the footage is tougher to edit than the stuff I've already done. Also, my dad is a total prickwad asshole whose #1 goal in life has been to keep me from achieving anything, so it's probably going to be difficult for me to access the computer in the coming days (or weeks?).

Y'know, I have absolutely NO training or job experience in ANY of the things I've done on this web site, including web design, graphic design, photography, videography, pizza making, pizza formulation, video editing, writing, and a shitload of other things. Furthermore, I've done it all without anyone's help (excluding the aid I've received from people on the road, which I certainly appreciate, despite what some people claim). I'm not trying to pretend I'm a master of any of these things, but I think I've done a pretty damn good job so far. There are probably only a handful of people on this planet who could do what I've already done, yet it still doesn't seem to mean anything.

God damn, I don't even care if people ever know who I am. I don't want to fuck movie stars. I just want to be able to live in my own place someday and maybe take a nice girl out on a date. I just want to do some kind of work that's valuable to someone else, whether it's my boss, my customers, or my viewers. All I want is to get paid what I'm worth. Nothing more, nothing less.

I've worked thousands and thousands of hours on this project over the last 18+ months without earning a single cent. To this day there is no guarantee that I will ever make a single cent. Additionally, I have suffered what seems to be permanent nerve damage in my left arm/hand from carrying a heavy-ass backpack for six straight months.

Who else does that?

And my parents have always believed I'm a worthless idiot. No evidence to the contrary will ever change that. By the way, my parents are fucking pieces of shit who could have capitalized big-time on this worthless idiot's talents if they weren't so fucking stupid. That's all I have to say about them right now because I didn't intend for this to be a bitchfest.

Anyway, I spend a lot of time on the edge of tears. I've given my heart, my soul, and some of the feeling in my left hand in an effort to do something great, and apparently all I can do is hope I'll get something back from it.

To the people who have supported me: Thank you. (I know who you are and you know who you are.) I hope you realize how much I appreciate your support.

To the people who are more inclined to call me ungrateful and twist my words into shit I never said: It would be a waste of energy to say 'Fuck you.'


Oh yeah, and I bowled my first 300 four years ago today. (No one taught me how to do that, either.)

I probably had other shit to say, too.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Meet the Hobos video comment page

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

The people you meet

I'm uploading a new video as I write this. By the time anyone reads this, it should be fully uploaded, so here's the link.

I still plan to make some minor changes, but mostly I think this video is already presentable. It's hard for me to tell how presentable it is right now, though, because I did the whole thing over the last 8 or 10 hours. One thing that's really bugging me is that the camera lens was visibly dirty throughout most of this stuff. More about it soon.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bo & Hobos

Oh my god, the train-hopping footage is freakin' INCREDIBLE!!! I haven't even watched all of it yet, but the hour and 45 minutes I have watched is amazing. I mean, this stuff could almost be a movie in itself.

From what I've watched so far, I don't know if I'll be able to cut it to less than half an hour. This is going to take a lot of work, but it should be fun.

So don't expect to see it in the next couple days or anything. Assuming I am able to use the computer when I want to use it, I estimate it will be at least a week before I'm ready to upload any of this stuff. But who knows? Keep an eye out.

About the title of this post: If you watched and listened to the cop encounter video, you may know my childhood/teenage nickname was Bo. Every once in a while someone still calls me Bo, but it's very infrequent.

Aimless Video Evidence
You can contact me at 614-738-3867.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Championship game

No prediction from me this time.

Go Bucks!

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

Blog Exclusive: Crazy Ryan

I probably won't put this short video on the video page. It's from the Naples on-ramp where I lived for a few days. It's in the same place as the cop encounter, but two days later.

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

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Back to Florida?

Right now it's looking like I'll probably wait until mid or late February to hit the road again. That'll give me more time to work on posting as much video as possible, plus it should mean I'll be able to stay on the road for 4 months, rather than just 2 months.

I was thinking about heading toward southern California/Arizona next, but I'm starting to consider going back to Florida, partly to see if I can handle Florida now that I'm a little more experienced at this stuff. The one thing I know for sure is that I'll be going south for winter/spring 2008.

It's starting to frustrate me that I've been unable to attract any collaborators/sponsors. Not because I need them to make me feel important or anything like that, but because I know how much incredible footage would exist right now if I only had a crew around every once in a while (in addition to higher quality equipment).

In all honestly, I know Aimless would be 100 times more entertaining than most of the crap on TV if only I had some backing. I don't even want anyone to make it easier for me when things get unbearably tough. I just want someone to recognize the potential of this project and assist me in achieving that potential.

All I know is that if HBO or A&E or the Travel Channel had come up with this idea, it would already be on TV and it would be making them a lot of money, assuming they could actually find someone with enough balls to do what I do.

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

Friday, January 04, 2008

Escape from The F Word (Florida) comment page

If you arrived here by following the link from the Aimless video page, please leave a comment about the Escape from The F Word (Florida) video.

Escape from The F Word (Florida) teaser

I'm finished cutting and editing the next video, but it's not quite ready to upload yet because I'm having trouble creating a decent-quality movie without a huge file size. It's really pissing me off because it takes a lot of trial and error and each error costs about an hour.

Anyway, I really like what I have with this one, even though it makes me look like a GIANT asshole (because I am a giant asshole). It's about nine and a half minutes, and I hope I can get it up here sometime tonight.

Jeff and Brad: Thanks for the comments on the previous video. Would you mind copying and pasting your comments onto the Impressions and Comments page? And Jeff, you were a couple days late on the "Happy Birthday." (That's OK, though, because you have to give me at least a week's margin of error when your birthday comes.) Thanks, Jeff.

Update: Here's Escape from The F Word.

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

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Post-Naples stuff

All right, most of the interesting Florida footage (post-Naples) is now in the computer. It looks like there's just under 15 minutes of raw footage to start with, so maybe I'll manage to cut it down to 8 minutes or less. (I don't know, though; this one might be 10 minutes or longer.)

Most of this stuff is me talking to the camera. It's a lot different than the stuff I've already uploaded. I like it. Hopefully I'll feel the same about it when I'm done cutting it.

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

Hail to the victors

Congrats to the University of Michigan Wolverines for beating the Florida Gators yesterday in what should have been at least a 20-point win.

I made a couple cracks about Michigan in September, following their losses at home to Appalachian State and Oregon (as required by Buckeye law), but I actually root for Michigan most of the time. Considering the circumstances, though, it was impossible not to say anything about Michigan's ultra-pathetic start.

Anyway, good job Michigan. Way to win a big one for your outgoing coach. (I guess that one was for Bo, too, because y'ain't done shit in the thirteen-and-a-half months since he died.)

Go Bucks!

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