Saturday, May 31, 2008

Almost gone

Here's the sign that forced me to volunteer with Common Ground. The blue house on the right is where I've been staying. Notice the levee in the background on the left. (This is the east side of the industrial canal.) The extreme left side of the picture is where a barge ended up after destroying most of the houses on the block. The barge just barely missed the house on the left before finally coming to a stop. After flattening a chunk of the neighborhood, it ultimately came to rest between the house and the levee. I saw a picture that shows half of a school bus sticking out from under one side of the barge. --> I'm just about ready to leave; just waiting to get one of my shirts back from someone who I think is still sleeping. (She was out really late last night.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Time to leave

I did my laundry this morning and took it easy for the rest of the day, thinking I'd probably start making my way out of New Orleans tomorrow. Right now I'm feeling pretty certain tomorrow is the right time to leave. I may come back here later on during Aimless 2008 or I may drive down here next January or something, when the weather is not so oppressive and I can devote more time to volunteering without making any sacrifices to a long-term trampin' session.

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867


Some of the Berkeley students made it a point to say goodbye to me this afternoon because they are not going to be around after today. They're still going to be in New Orleans for another two or three weeks, but they'll be working with other organizations, while various other students from their group will be working with Common Ground.

Before they said goodbye, a few of them told me they'd already checked out the Aimless web site, while a couple others asked me for the URL. I hope they continue checking out the web site and reading the blog so maybe I can see them again whenever I end up in the Bay Area, which is very likely to happen because San Francisco is one of three cities I really love. I've never been to Berkeley except when I was riding a train through the city, so maybe they'll give me a good reason to head to Berkeley specifically.

I really liked all the students I worked with and around. They were exceptionally friendly and inquisitive, and they didn't have the I-know-everything attitude that a lot of college students have.

Hey UC Berkeley: If any of you read this, I'd love to hear from you sometime down the road. (Phone number is below.)

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867

More things

Despite how it may have appeared in my previous post, I'm not all that worried about getting to know the ladies at Common Ground. In fact, I think I've actually been somewhat charismatic around them lately. (By the way, a whole new batch of 'em showed up last night.)

In case you wondered: No, the previous post's picture is not from the house I was drywalling. It's from a house in the Lower Ninth Ward. I published a different picture from the same house about a week ago.

The writer from New York's name is Kate Lowenstein. She writes for Time Out New York.

I honestly think I'm probably going to leave Common Ground tomorrow. I only have $13, so I really can't stay much longer without finding some work that pays.

I just read the few most recent comments. They were interesting and funny, especially because I mostly have no idea who wrote them.

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Yup, I'm still at Common Ground. I planted grass in the wetlands yesterday and did more drywall today. --> There is a large group from the University of California that started working with us yesterday. They're all very cool. Some pretty girls, too, of course. --> Kate from the previous post is not alone at Common Ground. She came here with her good friend Sophia, who is also very pretty and personable. Lately I've been imagining a little bit of eye contact and smiles with Sophia. Having talked to both of them a lot since my previous post, I've stopped worrying about eye contact and smiles and shit like that. As long as I remind myself that girls universally don't want me, I can socialize with them pretty well. (I'll probably take a picture of Sophia & Kate and publish it before I leave.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Haven't left yet

I'm still at Common Ground in the Lower Ninth Ward. I just couldn't leave today. I think I'm going to leave tomorrow, but I still don't know for sure.

There seems to be two reasons why I'm having a hard time leaving: 1) I like volunteering here and being around the other volunteers; and 2) An intriguing girl showed up here yesterday afternoon. Her name is Kate and she writes for a weekly paper in NYC, the name of which I can't recall right now. She and I keep making eye contact and smiling at each other. However, there hasn't been much opportunity for us to talk yet. She's really neat.

I did dishes for several hours today, then helped install cabinets in the future kitchen. I lost the screw for the right lens of my glasses tonight. I really need new glasses (and about a hundred other things). I only have $16.

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867

Monday, May 26, 2008

The ice cream man

An ice cream truck just drove through this empty neighborhood playing Music Box Dancer. --> Today I helped lay down a new floor in what will soon be the new Common Ground kitchen (pictured). The existing kitchen must be dismantled and relocated because the homeowners want their home back. --> I think I'm going to leave tomorrow and resume my tramping session.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


My brother called me this morning and told me he has a couple laptops that are available for me if I'd like to use them on the road. They are not the ultralight variety, so I don't know if it will be possible for me to use either of them. Five or six extra pounds of gear is a lot to add, especially when you already carry as much weight as I carry. He said he'll call me again after he weighs them.

Even if I do end up with one of these laptops, I'll still be hoping for someone to donate an ultralight laptop.

One more thing. To anyone who has ever called me ungrateful or selfish: I know you're already making plans to volunteer your valuable time so you can bust your ass to make life a little better for the people of New Orleans. Right?

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867

Web site problems?

Has anyone tried viewing the Aimless front page ( lately? I just tried opening it, but it won't load. However, when I opened, it brought up the front page just like normal. I hope it's just a temporary problem.

I was surprised to see that no one has commented on any of my recent posts or pictures. I guess it's partly because people use the front page as a "gateway" to the blog. I hope I can get everything fixed soon.

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Capitalizing on tragedy

There are numerous "disaster tours" that bring busloads of tourists into the Lower Ninth Ward every day. The buses drive slowly through the mostly unused streets of this lost neighborhood, each with dozens of cameras rolling and clicking behind tinted windows. It's kind of sick that these tours exist, yet it's probably good for people to see how this place looks THREE YEARS LATER. In a way, I was one of these tourists, coming here with no intention of lending a hand, but something made me volunteer, and I feel very good about it, even if it's only for a few days. --> The house we've been helping rebuild is split into three seperate apartments. Its current owner did not own the building until after Katrina. A fellow volunteer told me he'd prefer to work on a house owned by someone who wants to move back into their pre-Katrina home after being displaced by Katrina. I kinda feel the same.
The owner is really nice, but it just doesn't seem right to be helping someone profit off of tragedy.

More drywall

I'm doing more drywall today. --> Here's a picture of the system of communication they used to account for people after the flood. I don't know what the writing means, although I think there's something about it in the Spike Lee film. I'll try to find out something about it before I leave.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Coe College

A group of students (and one teacher/volleyball coach) from Coe College was here volunteering for the last week or so. They were doing drywall at the same house I was at today. One of the guys plays football for the Coe College Kohawks and I think the other guy used to play football there, too. Also, I believe some of the girls play volleyball and maybe basketball. They were all really cool. Five of them were my roommates last night, but I didn't really meet or talk to most of them until today. They took off just after 1:00 today to head back to Iowa, so tonight I have the room all to myself. --> The picture I was looking for in my previous post mysteriously showed up again.


I put up drywall all day today in a house near the Superdome. I don't know if you can see the dust all over me, but it's there. (Actually, the good picture seems to have disappeared from this stupid-ass phone, so I had to send a different one that really sucks.)

Home Part 2

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Home Part 1


Shelley (sp?) and Richard out at the muddy marsh. (There will be a lot more pictures coming. I can only do one at a time.)

Common Ground

Today I kinda hooked up with a relief group called Common Ground Relief. They occupy a few buildings on Deslonde (Street?), adjacent to where the levee broke. After volunteering to help them in any way I could, I ended up planting some marsh grass in a marsh to the northeast of New Orleans. We didn't get much done because a thunderstorm roared in. When we got back to the Ninth Ward, I washed some dishes in their "mess hall." I'll be staying in their building at Deslonde and N. Roman (my brother's name) tonight. --> The pic is of the new levee, where the old one broke. (Looks like my finger got in the way.)

Not coming home

Someone lived here three years ago.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reggie Green, Fireman

I just talked to a really cool fireman named Reggie Green for a while after he let me fill up my water bottles at the Lower Ninth Ward "firehouse," which is actually a trailer in a parking lot. --> The Lower Ninth Ward is not a dangerous place. How could it be? No one lives here anymore or has any reason to be here, particularly north of Claiborne (Avenue?), near the Intracoastal Waterway, where the levee broke. (Check out the satellite images on Google Maps because they are post-Katrina. I checked it out from a library today.) Most of the people you see here are construction workers. Believe me, though: Most of the "houses" don't have anyone working on them. In a lot of places, most of them don't even exist anymore. --> The pictured house was somewhere else before the levee broke. Can you see how it has been forced up against the other house?

A picture

Here's a picture.

Cajun gold conclusion

Before I left JJ's property, JJ gave me some MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat). You know, the things that come in a green package, usually reserved for military folks in the field. I've eaten two of them so far (of five), and they're pretty good. However, they weigh about two lbs each and I find them very awkward and messy. Much of the weight comes from the packaging, but the food itself is heavy, too, because none of it is dehydrated. Also, each one has about three different meal components that require heating, but it's only equipped to heat one. I would think the military could figure out a more efficient way to feed their guys. Or maybe I just need to learn how to use them. I'm glad I finally got a chance to try some MREs, though. Thanks JJ. --> I spent yesterday walking from Metairie into New Orleans. Spent last night near I-10 & St. Bernard, beside the on-ramp to I-10 East, in a
neighborhood where most white folks would be afraid to even drive. --> Right now I'm in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Cajun gold Part 12

When we pulled into Best Buy's parking lot, I realized I'd been there before. It was back in 2005, during my six-week visit with Jeff, when he lived in Hammond. Anyway, the guys went in and looked around while I bought some tapes. Then we all went outside and prepared to say goodbye because this was my last stop with them. It was awkward and difficult for all of us to say goodbye because they all treated me like family during the two days I spent with them. Not just JJ and Luke, but everyone I've mentioned (excluding Kristina and Pete). And that's what I meant when I titled this series of posts 'Struck Cajun gold.' --> It was really hot Monday and I could tell it would be easy to find somewhere to sleep in Metairie, so I chose not to walk very far. I just walked a couple miles toward New Orleans and hung out for a while in the Clearview Mall (where I'd also been with Jeff). The AC was
pumping hard and there was plenty of electricity to charge my phone as I wrote several blog posts...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cajun gold Part 11

JJ took a nap for about 3 or 4 hours. Meanwhile, I watched a DVD of the Stewie Griffin Story (or whatever that's called) twice. When JJ was finished napping, we went back over to Greg's house, where everyone else had a cookout while we were away. There was still a lot of food left, so I filled up a plate after someone gave me the green light. --> That night everyone just hung out and watched TV. Almost everyone went to bed pretty early. I wanted to, as well, but I had to wait for my laundry. So at about 12:30 I went back to the bedroom in the boarding trailer, knowing I'd be riding to New Orleans with JJ in the morning. --> Monday morning I woke up early and got ready to take off. Luke joined JJ and I as we hauled 2 tons of used car batteries to a battery distributor in New Orleans. After delivering the batteries, JJ treated us all to a Chinese buffet for lunch. Then we were off to the
French Quarter, where we cruised around for a while before heading to the Best Buy in Metairie...

Cajun gold Part 10

With Pete out of the picture, I went ahead and opened the door to see what Kristina had to say. She said she was back because the cops had nothing to hold her on. She also kind of apologized and said some other things. I told her, "I didn't want to get either of you in any trouble, but you couldn't have expected me not to call 911 after he threatened to kill me." Then I fucked her. (Just kidding.) That was the last I spoke to her. --> Pete's apparently going to be behind bars for quite a while. (See if you can find anything on the internet about this incident. It happened in Lafourche Parish, just outside of Des Allemands, which is in St. Charles Parish.) --> Sunday was a lazy day for everyone, probably because we were all tired from the previous night's drama. I didn't get up until 11:00. When I got up, JJ took me over to his house, where we ate some leftover pizza from Friday, which
was JJ's 40th birthday. We also had some banana birthday cake and some ice cream cake for dessert...

Cajun gold Part 9

Since I haven't introduced any of the females, I'll do that now: JJ's common-law wife's name is Denise, Greg's wife is Evie, Greg's older daughter is Eve, and Greg's younger daughter is Selena. (I'm not sure if I spelled them all correctly.) Now back to the story. --> I sat on the porch with Luke, Greg, Evie, and Denise until about 4:30 AM; that's when the cops finally left JJ's house and a tow truck left with Pete's pickup. The news by now was: 1) The cops found four quarter bags of weed in Pete's truck; 2) Kristina was taken into custody; and 3) The cops finally found Pete sleeping on a friend's porch about half a mile away. --> JJ had already offered to let me spend the rest of the night as his place, but since Pete and Kristina were both in custody, Luke suggested that I just go back to the room where I had been sleeping. It made sense to me, so that's what I did. --> I heard a
knock on my door at about 7:30 that morning. It was Kristina, who I thought was in jail...

Cajun gold Part 8

After all that shit, all I wanted to do was get out of the trailer and go somewhere safe. So as I packed up my stuff, Luke told me some of what had gone down before the cops showed up at my door. First they'd woken him up as he slept on Greg's couch about 100 feet away, then he escorted the cops over to the trailer I was in. He said Pete and Kristina tried to elude the cops by driving on the back road with their headlights off, but the cops saw them and initiated a chase. Pete pulled into JJ's driveway, about a quarter of a mile from the shop, and ditched his truck, leaving Kristina behind and fleeing on foot. --> When I finished packing up, Luke and I walked to Greg's trailer, where Greg and the women were sitting on the porch, watching the light show in front of JJ's house. Someone told me the cops said Pete had tossed out a bag of crack during the short chase. They all found that
hard to believe because they knew him pretty well. They were all surprised by his behavior that night...

Cajun gold Part 7

I told the men in the hallway that I'd only open the door if they contacted the 911 operator and told her to call me. Instead they gave me a phone number to call. Now feeling confident that the men were who they said they were, I decided not to call the number. Instead I went ahead and opened the door, finding real cops on the other side. --> Very cautious, the cops checked my ID and quickly checked my room to make sure no one else was in there. One of the cops asked me, "Where's Pete!? Where's Pete!?" At this point I still didn't know the tenant's name was Pete, nor was I aware that Pete and Kristina had fled the trailer before the cops arrived, so I was very confused again. Thinking he was looking for someone else, I said, "I don't know who you're talking about." --> By now the cops were satisfied that I was not the bad guy, so I went to the bathroom to take a leak. When I finished
and walked back to the hallway, the cops were gone and Luke was the only other person in the trailer...

Cajun gold Part 6

When I finally remembered that the trailer was behind "JJ's Tire Repair," I told the operator that much. She said, "OK, now I know where you are." --> By now it was pretty quiet in the trailer. I guess my 911 call was an effective counter to Pete's murder threat. So feeling much less threatened and knowing the cops were on their way, I asked the operator if there was any reason for me to stay on the line with her. She said we could end the call if I felt OK about it. She then verified my phone number and we hung up. --> Eventually Kristina came back to my door and asked me, in a friendly-sounding voice, if I would open the door and talk to her. I told her the cops were on their way and I was not opening the door until they arrived. Even with knowledge of my 911 call, she seemed surprised that the cops were coming. She went back toward her room, sounding panicky. --> A long time later,
someone claiming to be the cops knocked on my door. For all I knew, it could've been Pete's friends...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cajun gold Part 5

When Pete came back, he said he had a gun and he was going to kill me. I immediately moved to a different spot on the bed--a spot not directly in front of the door--and I called 911. Busy with the 911 call, I stopped paying attention to whatever was going on outside my room. I was suprisingly calm. --> At some point I remember Kristina saying something to me through the door; Pete had gone somewhere else on the premises by now. Diverting my attention from the 911 operator, I told Kristina I'd called 911. She sounded shocked. Amazed by her shock, I asked her, "What the fuck did you expect me to do? He just said he's gonna kill me!" Sounding distressed, she went back to her room on the other end of the trailer, turning off the hallway light on her way there. --> Unsure of where I even was, it took me a long time to help the 911 operator figure out where to send the cops. That's really not
cool when you're not sure you'll even be alive long enough to think of the right landmark...

Cajun gold Part 4

Unsatisfied with my explanation for why I was in the trailer, Pete went back to his room momentarily. Soon he returned with his girlfriend Kristina. This time he had an aluminum baseball bat. Kristina also had a device that could inflict blunt trauma to the head, but I can't remember exactly what she had because I was only half awake and I was very confused. (I don't know why Pete felt he needed a baseball bat. He is a very muscular guy and I was half inside my sleeping bag, posing absolutely no threat.) This time he said he had some friends on the way and that if I don't want to get seriously fucked up, I better leave. Since he couldn't get ahold of JJ on the phone, he apparently decided threatening me with violence was the only solution. --> When a car pulled up outside, Pete walked away to see who it was. I can only assume it was his "backup." While he looked, I shut the door and
locked it. Now kinda worried, I called JJ, but my call went straight to voicemail. Soon Pete was back...

Cajun gold Part 3

After chowing down on crab Saturday evening, JJ and I joined everyone at Greg's house. JJ eventually took me back to the boarding trailers to show me where I could spend the night. (Between the two trailers, seven of the eight rooms are vacant. An unmarried couple rents a room in one trailer; the other trailer is empty.) --> JJ led me to the only vacant room with a bed. It's in the same trailer the couple lives in. He couldn't introduce me to the couple because they were not around, so he just showed me the room and left me alone for the night. I wrote a blog entry and went to sleep a little bit before midnight. --> At 2:00 I was awakened when someone opened the door to my room, shut it, then knocked very loudly, purposely to wake me up. I answered the door to find a very angry guy named Pete. I told him I was JJ's guest, but he didn't seem to care. For some reason, Pete apparently
believed he had exclusive use of JJ's trailer, even though he only rents one room and rarely pays...

Cajun gold Part 2

To make a long (and interesting) story short (because I don't have a laptop): JJ took me to one of his two boarding trailers so I could shower. After he got some things done at his tire repair shop, we all headed across the street to the lake (Dufrene Ponds?), which JJ's family owns. We were joined by JJ's wife, as well as Greg's wife and two daughters. --> We all got onto the pictured boat and began floating, but the boat flaked out in about three different ways, so Luke ended up pulling the boat a couple hundred feet back to the boat ramp. Back on land, the guys tried to fix the problem, but it just wasn't happening, so JJ took the boat home and zoomed back over on a tiny boat, which we all boarded. We had a nice little cruise on the lake, drinking some beers and having a fun time. --> After the cruise, everyone except me and JJ got off the boat and went to Greg's house. JJ and I then
rode the boat back over to JJ's house, where he cooked up a crab boil just for the two of us...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Struck Cajun gold

I slept behind a Century 21 office in Raceland last night, then started walking toward New Orleans this morning. Tired from 4.5 miles without a break, I went into a small truck stop and found a seat in the dining area. Soon three guys sat near me. Seeing all my gear, one of them asked me (with a distinctly Cajun accent) what I was doing. After I told him a little about my travels, he offered to buy me something to eat. Introducing himself as JJ, he instructed me to order some food, so I ordered a catfish and oyster po-boy and resumed my chat with JJ (looking goofy in pic), Luke (pictured), and Greg. --> I figured the guys would leave when they finished their lunch, but they hung around and kept talking to me. Then, when I finished my kick-ass po-boy, JJ offered me a ride eight miles up the road and said something about going for a ride on a boat. Already getting a feel for JJ's
personality, I thought he may have been bullshitting about the boat ride, but I accepted the lift offer...

Friday, May 16, 2008

I just watched (and taped)

I just watched (and taped) a snake as it committed suicide in the road. Don't know what kind of snake; pretty sure it was not venomous.

Leaving Houma

Jen slept on the other couch at Erik and Aaron's place last night. At about noon Jen treated me to lunch at a KFC/Taco Bell hybrid, then took me to a small truck stop at the Bayou Blue Road exit off US 90 (future I-49). It's raining and otherwise dreary right now, so I'm just hanging out. I figure I'll make my way back to New Orleans before heading west along I-10, but who knows; I might just end up going west from here. --> Happy birthday Jen! --> Thank you Jen, Craig, Tanya, Erik, Aaron, and everyone else. --> I have long since run out of the money I started with, but I have not been in any kind of desperate position yet. Also, I have only used 4.5 tapes so far. I don't know if it's because I haven't been in many interesting situations or because I don't feel like sacrificing the experience of an epic journey. Probably a little of both. --> The combination of mosquitoes, heat, and
humidity will probably force me to leave Louisiana sooner than I really want to. It's almost Texas time.


I got a ride to Houma Wednesday with a really cool guy [from Florida] named Bubba. He dropped me off outside Houma's really awesome library, where I met reference librarian Craig and staffer Jen. After talking to them for a while, Craig said I could camp outside his house and Jen said she could take me most of the way to New Orleans the next morning (yesterday). --> Yesterday morning Jen and her friend Erik picked me up and took me toward New Orleans. After selling his pickup to someone in a parking lot, Erik got into Jen's car and we all went to New Orleans. We stopped on Bourbon Street for a quick slice of pizza, then headed toward the 9th Ward to see the devastation. (Without a computer I can't even begin to describe what that was like.) --> I ended up going back to Houma with them, where we hung out all day at Erik's place with roommate Aaron, cousin Emily, and the sheriff's deputy
from a few doors down. Last night I had a really cool conversation with Aaron, then slept on a couch.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Apparently I just can't stop

Apparently I just can't stop blogging. I just wish I had the right tools to tell the stories how they should (and could) be told.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I'm at the library in Houma, Louisiana and I decided to read some comments. Not all, just some. One stood out: Jay's comment on my Savannah post.

Well, at least I don't need to wonder anymore about how he might react.

Also, I want to respond to Badger's comment sometime:
I'm no genius, but I'm pretty confident that your hair is now history. That's gotta feel good.

How would you compare this adventure to your last one so far? You seem to be in good spirits and less concerned with the making of the documentary and more in it for yourself this time and challenging yourself, which makes sense to me.
...But I can't right now.

Aimless Video Evidence
Call me sometime; I get lonely. 614-738-3867

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

$3.73(.9) for regular unleaded gas

$3.73(.9) for regular unleaded gas (the cheap stuff) in Berwick, Louisiana. Someone please tell me why the revolution has not begun yet.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Can't say what I'd like to say here because I don't have a computer, so here's the stupid, pointless, condensed version. I hope it bores the hell out of you: After walking all the way to Oxford from north of Memphis, I sat on a picnic table in "the grove" on the University of Mississippi campus. My objective was to see the most amazing girl I've ever known. That never happened. --> In the grove, a girl (Courtney) and guy (Josh) stopped to talk to me. Josh let me stay at his place that night. The next night I stayed at Courtney's place, but as a guest of her brother Ryan. Two days ago, as I walked out of Oxford, a guy named Robert offered me a place to sleep for the night. Yesterday Robert took me to Oakland. --> Today I made my way back north to Batesville, thinking I might just go home, then started walking south on I-55. After a few miles, someone stopped. It was Josh and Dorothy. Now
I'm riding to Brookhaven with them. --> This could have been very interesting if I had a laptop.

Monday, May 05, 2008

30-mile conclusion/Goodbye?

Friday morning a trucker from Missouri named Pete set me up with my first shower in 17 days. After the shower I did my laundry and talked to Pete. It poured down rain all day, so I was unable to resume my walk to Oxford until Saturday. --> This is my final post until someone either figures out how to get me an ultralight laptop or donates one. I am tired of wasting hours to write one or two short blog posts with this phone, and I am sick of Verizon intruding and ruining my posts with their propaganda. --> This blog is not for me; it is for the people who read it. I've paid a huge price to create the experiences that make this blog exist. Well, I'm no longer willing to continue making all these sacrifices if no one appreciates them. I'm not quitting Aimless; I'm just not sharing it anymore because it's too much trouble without the right tools. --> If you want this blog and this project
to continue, it's time to start making some sacrifices. It's simple economics. Goodbye.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


The next post (which I will publish sometime tonight or tomorrow) does not apply to every reader of this blog. Some of you have done amazingly kind things for me; you know who you are. Particularly it does not apply to Brad Perkins, who has gone out of his way to help me make something of Aimless. The post is also very incomplete because I cannot say what I need to say with only 1,000 characters, which is precisely the problem. Some people will think I'm a jerk for saying what I have to say; some will probably call me ungrateful. But those people are selfish and have no idea what I put myself through for their entertainment. --> What I do, no one else does. NO ONE! For me to do what I'm trying to do, I need help/funding/sponsorship, just like every business venture needs some kind of funding. The kind of funding I need is tiny compared to even the smallest business, but after two years,
I've received no funding of any kind. Think about that before you call me ungrateful.

30 miles Part 9

Eventually he left again, this time for good. He was a nice guy; it's just that I'm totally sick of dealing with people who have nothing better to do than try to convince rational people to do a 180 and start basing their lives on fantasy. I mean, just go out and have a fucking beer, or stay home and jerk off or something. Or instead of preaching to people and telling them how to oppress themselves, do something nice for them, like the guys I met in Nashville did for me. Just try to make THIS life count for something, because THIS life actually exists. --> Anyway, after a little more walking in circles, I finally hit 30 miles at 11:32 CDT. --> Stats for the day: 30.02 miles; 65,261 steps; 3,227 kilocalories(?) burned. --> Since getting off the train in Nashville, I've walked 233 miles, not including today. Beginning on April 16 in Nashville, here is my daily mileage: 10.5, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5
, 12, 12, 14, 8.5, 14, 13, 15, 17.5, 19, 12, 15, 30, 1 (rained all day), 16...

30 miles Part 8

I got out of the car at about 10:40 and walked right past the Flying J because I still had another mile and a half left to reach 30 miles. Not too far up the road I turned around and headed back to Flying J, where I walked around the perimeter of the lot, scouting for a spot to set up camp. --> Easily finding a good spot, I walked into the truck stop and bought some cookies. After paying for them, another customer asked me where I was going. I just wanted to take off my gear, take a break, and go eat some of my cookies, but I was stuck talking to him for about ten minutes. Finally he left, so I found a bench outside and sat down, still with another 3/4 of a mile left to walk. From out of nowhere he showed up again, this time with a New Testament to save my rotting soul. (Boy am I getting sick of people trying to push their fucking bullshit fairy tales on me! I really want to start being
as inconsiderate to them as they are to me, but I don't think I can do it.) I accepted his gift...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

30 miles Part 7

After walking through the park to the next road with a freeway exit, I began looking for a Flying J sign, but I didn't see one. As I approached the freeway, still no Flying J sign. I walked to the other side of the freeway; there was no Flying J at that exit. So at about 9:40 I took off my gear and sat down at the on-ramp, just 1.7 miles from my perch at the Mississippi park but 27.5 miles from my camp site at the park in Memphis. --> Sitting at the on-ramp, I considered walking along the freeway to the next exit. When my 20 minutes was up, that's exactly what I did. Walking the same direction as traffic, I felt safe because the shoulder was very wide and my backpack now has reflective tape on it. However, when a man stopped to offer me a ride after 7/10 of a mile, I took it. It was a short ride; just two miles to the next exit. The ride left me about a quarter of a mile from Flying J,
but I still had to walk another 1.8 miles to reach my goal of 30 miles in one day...

Fuck you, Verizon!!!

Fuck you, Verizon!!!

30 miles Part 6

I didn't mind all the backtracking, mostly because I anticipated reaching the Flying J at about 27 miles and I intended to spend the night there. If I'd been able to walk straight to the Flying J, I'd end up having to walk around in circles for another 3 miles just to reach 30. I didn't want to do that. --> When I reached the road that ran parallel to the freeway, I wasn't sure if I should take it because it was a park entrance. But there was a lot of traffic coming out of the park, so I asked a driver if the road would take me to the next exit. He said it would take me there, so I walked into the park, where I soon took another break, on a picnic table, having only walked about 1.8 miles since the previous break. By this point, I could only walk about one mile at a time before experiencing intense pain in my feet and left shoulder. --> Like my previous break, my break at the park was
short; only 20 minutes. Once again, I didn't want to get up and walk, but I forced myself to do it...

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30 miles Part 5

I got off the freeway at 8:00, with 24 miles behind me. It was time for a break. --> This is the point where I hit the wall. My break felt short and I didn't feel rested when it was over. Regardless, I picked up my gear and put on my broken glasses so I could see if there was a surface road parallel to the freeway. I couldn't tell, so I walked toward a gas station about a quarter mile to the south. The gas station cashier told me to go back the other way and take the road at the first stop light on the other side of the exit. She said it would take me to the Flying J, which was at the next exit. --> After taking a right at the light, the road only went a couple hundred feet before ending at another road that didn't parallel the freeway. I took another right, back toward the freeway, hoping this road would curve and run alongside the freeway. Instead, it dead-ended at a car dealership,
so I turned around and walked back, eventually reaching a road that did parallel the freeway...

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Friday, May 02, 2008

30 miles Part 4

I've also sent this post to Ron from Part 3, first to thank him again, but also so he can find out something about the stranger he helped yesterday. (Ron, since you don't know what I'm talking about: Follow blog link.) Thanks, Ron. --> I walked across the Mississippi state line at 6:01. That's the first time I've crossed a state line on foot. I've also crossed one state line (Washington) on an Amtrak train and two state lines (Kentucky & Tennessee) on a freight train. All other state lines have been via car or truck. --> There was a very strong wind in my face all day yesterday. Not just a breeze; I'm talking about wind that pushes you around. That makes me feel even better about the 30-mile feat. --> Once in Mississippi, my road turned into a freeway (US 78). With a wide shoulder, I stayed on the freeway for a few miles, getting off at the second exit,
hoping to find a surface road that would take me to the Flying J I knew was up ahead a few more miles...

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30 miles Part 3

At 3:00 yesterday, after 16.5 miles, I walked into a Wendy's, hoping their value menu had something worth buying. It did, so I ate. I also tried to rest as much as I could before 4:00 because I was already past the point where the serious pain begins. --> At about 3:15 a man and his two kids walked in. As the man approached the counter, following his daughter, he said hi to me. I wondered if he thought I was eyeing his daughter; his acknowledgment of my presence kind of seemed to say, "Keep your eyes off my little girl, son." They ordered their food and sat somewhere behind me. --> When they finished eating, I was still trying to rest. They passed in front of me again on their way out. This time, reaching out to shake my hand, the man said to me, "Be safe out there." Feeling paper in his handshake, I thanked him. A few seconds later they were out the door. --> The handshake contained
some cash and the man's business card. He is the owner of Ron's Recovery & Towing in Memphis...

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30 miles Part 2

The old lady snapped out of it and stopped her car a few inches from me. Although she may have been moving pretty slowly out of the parking lot, she was going fast enough to break my leg in a gruesome manner had she stopped only a split second later. I gave her an involuntary WTF look and just kept walking. --> During my midday break, I took off my glasses and set them beside me while attending to my shoes and socks. When I'd finished messing with the shoes and socks, I leaned back to lay down on the concrete. However, I never quite made it because on my way down I heard a crunch. Upon getting back up to see what I'd crunched, I saw my glasses all bent up, with the right lens detached from the frame. Just what I needed. I've never done anything like that before; this is not exactly the best time for a first time. So now my glasses are all screwed up. I was able to put the lens back
into the frame, but I definitely need to get some new glasses. More about that later...

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30 miles Part 1

I spent Wednesday night in a large park on what I guess was the north side of Memphis. Had to get up early Thursday morning (6:30) because that's just how it works at big parks. (Park workers and early-bird park visitors just don't seem to like temporary residents.) After quickly packing up my stuff, I wandered around the park for about 20 minutes, looking for my tent pole sack, which blew away the previous night as I staked down the canopy. While wandering the park, I realized it was a good day to try for 30 again. So at about 7:40, with half a mile already showing on my pedometer, I walked away from the park, heading south. (I never did find the sack.) --> After 3.5 miles I took a break. Another 3.5 miles, another break. Then 4.5 miles and a break, which put me at 11.5 miles by noon. Good start. --> As I walked through Midtown before my second break, I was almost hit by a car driven
by a clueless old lady. She was leaving a gated parking lot, paying no attention to her driving...

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I did it. 30 miles!

I did it. 30 miles! Too tired and sore to elaborate right now. Plenty to say tomorrow.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Today IS the 30-mile day.

Today IS the 30-mile day. I just crept past 20 miles at 5:30 CDT. Oh my god it hurts. A lot more about it later.

I'm sitting outside the Studio

I'm sitting outside the Studio on the Square theater in Midtown Memphis. Two years ago I came here to watch the premiere of the pizza movie!