Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back in Redlands

When I wrote the previous post, I incorrectly said I'd walked 22.5 miles. I actually had walked 23.5 miles at that point and ended up walking 26.17 miles for the day. Having already walked through Loma Linda less than a week ago, I knew there was an orange grove that would make a good place to sleep, so I walked almost another 3 miles instead of just finding the first decent place to sleep. After another 3.45 miles this morning, I'm back in Redlands, where I caught the ride back to Rancho Cucamonga the other day with a cool young chap named Austin McCleod.

So yesterday was my third longest walking day, having previously done a 30-mile day and a 28-mile day. The difference with this one, as I stated last night, is that I started pretty late in the morning and I didn't really intend to walk so many miles; it just happened. After the long walk, I felt pretty good. (Considering I hurt pretty much all the time, "felt pretty good" means I could move.)

That's all I really have to say right now because you don't really have a lot of interesting experiences when you spend every day walking. That is, of course, unless the cops beat you up.

Aimless Video Evidence

That other thing

Here's what I couldn't remember to say earlier today: I broke down and bought some shaving cream and razors yesterday. I just got sick of dealing with excess facial hair. It sure was fun trying to shave over half an inch of beard with a disposable razor in a Starbuck's bathroom. --> I've walked 22.5 miles today, and I'm not finished yet; probably still another couple miles to go. I didn't even start walking until 9:00 am, after waking up at 6:30, which strangely has been my normal wake-up time for a while now. The reason I didn't start until 9:00 is that I hung around at Starbuck's for a while, mostly writing the previous blog post. Also, with today's mileage, I've walked about 500 miles since mid-August. --> On days when I walk at least 15 miles, I drink about two gallons of water, but I only pee about a quart because I sweat and sweat and sweat. Nowadays it's harder to keep track of
how much I drink because I have a wide-mouth water bottle that I add ice to whenever possible.

Monday, September 29, 2008


I actually had kind of a weekend this past weekend. It was weird; I'd really forgotten about the concept of 'weekend' because I haven't had any real chances to rest since I was riding with Vernon. And even though riding in a truck may not be too physically demanding, it's not exactly the same as a weekend or days off.

Anyway, I spend a good chunk of Saturday at BW3 watching football. At the restaurant I talked to a guy named Ted Theodore Rodriguez. Like Ted from Bill and Ted, Ted is from San Dimas. He was there to watch the Colorado/Florida State game, rooting for Colorado. Although his #1 favorite team is USC--the real USC, not South Carolina--Ted also roots for Colorado because back in the 80s his brother was recruited to play for Colorado. His brother never ended up playing at Colorado, but Ted became a Buffalo fan nonetheless. Ted was cool to talk to; he also bought me a beer.

I spent most of yesterday at a Starbuck's, largely because I could get Supercuts' free wifi from there, but also because it was freaking hot outside, like usual, and I just wanted to chill out for a while. Starbuck's employees are always very cool with me, even though I don't think I've ever bought anything from the stores I've visited with my backpack. I talked to one of the workers quite a bit while I was there; he was pretty interested in my story and my objective. I eventually found out that he was the store manager, which was cool because I never would have guessed. Seeing him sweep the floors and doing all kinds of grunt work, I figured he was just one of the crew. Usually food industry managers just stand around all the time, trying to look important without actually doing anything, so I was impressed. I never got his name, but I think it may be Ben.

Even with the relatively relaxing weekend, I still walked 14 miles (5 Saturday, 9 Sunday).

It seems like there was something else I wanted to say, but I can't remember what it may have been, dammit.

Aimless Video Evidence

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dirty cops in Fontana, California, Part 2

I kinda feel like this post may not convey the whole picture of what happened between me and the Fontana cops. Y'know, my brain is not always in writing mode at the same time that I find access to both free wifi and an electrical outlet. That's one reason why the book will be much better than the collective series of blog posts.

OK, seeing how I was not injured or even bruised by the violence-prone police officer prick, I concede that my takedown-by-cop probably wasn’t full-blown police brutality, but it was not far from it. It definitely was out of line and unnecessary. The cops really didn’t even need to interact with me at all because they could see clearly that I had almost all my stuff packed up and that I was literally a minute from being on my way. But my story has just begun.

After the takedown, it was already evident that these cops were not on the scene to serve or protect anyone. They were there to show some stupid homeless loser who’s boss around Fontana. They kept no secrets about that, which also showed their stupidity because EVERY other cop has figured out pretty easily that I’m not homeless. Even the Florida assholes. Not to imply that their treatment would have been OK if I actually was homeless; I think the longtime readers know where I stand regarding homeless people.

Anyway, these fuckfaces continued to verbally abuse me for a while until finally I said to them, “I have the right to remain silent.” I didn’t stay silent for long, though, I guess because I quickly figured out that these tough guys were actually mega-mega-pussies.

After the initial shock of this episode wore off, I began seeing things more clearly. I could tell that even though these guys were total fucking morons, they probably weren’t stupid enough to do any real damage to me, so I became a little belligerent with them. Y’see, like always, I hadn’t broken any laws, and we Americans have this thing called the United States Constitution, which lets us say whatever the fuck we want to say, as long as our words don’t cause any harm. It’s the same thing that lets them verbally abuse me. Oh wait, no it’s not. They’re actually not allowed to do that.

Anyway, this bullshit went on for at least twenty minutes, probably more like thirty minutes. They told me how the Constitution doesn’t mean anything because every state and city has local laws that override the Constitution. (Of course, 'override' is my word, not theirs.) Yeah, real brilliant guys. They also threatened to throw all my stuff in a dumpster and all kinds of shit like that. And this was all after they’d been informed that I had no outstanding warrants and that I’d never been arrested.

At one point I asked the cops if they had their video camera rolling. One of them told me there was no video but that they were recording all the audio.

When they finally stopped fucking with me and let me finish packing my backpack, I heard one of the assholes make a comment about the long hair I have in my drivers’ license photo. From ten feet away, I responded like a smart-ass, mocking him in a stupid redneck kind of voice. Of course, he didn't do anything except perhaps mock me back because dirty cops can't just do whatever they want to people. At least not to people who don't put up with their shit. The easiest way to be a victim of serious police abuse is to be ignorant of your rights and their limits. There is a very good reason why most bad cops disappear immediately after I show them some intelligence and attitude.

As I walked off, I had all kinds of colorful language for them, including at least one very loud “Fuck you.” Oh, and I know they heard me because they responded. Also, as they drove by me, I very clearly flipped them the bird.

Which should teach you a lesson: Don’t fear cops unless they‘re just too stupid to figure out when they‘ve gone way beyond the limits of reasonable police behavior. If you haven’t done anything, they can’t do anything to you. And don’t get me wrong; these guys went way beyond the limit. It’s just that I deal with cops enough that I have a pretty damn good feel for how far I can take it.

I walked maybe half a mile before finding another grassy spot to try to get some rest. This was about 5:00 am. But before long I decided not to bother trying to get any sleep. I was pissed off enough that I had to find the police station and report their behavior. After a little walking, I was in a commercial area where I was able to ask some people where the police station is. With some vague directions, I headed toward the Fontana police station.


Aimless Video Evidence

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My third sleeping pad flaked

My third sleeping pad flaked out last night, so I got a ride back to REI in Rancho Cucamonga this morning, from Redlands. Been in Rancho all day.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dirty cops in Fontana California Part 1

Yesterday morning at 4:00 I was awakened by a security guard telling me to scram. At 4:20, while stuffing my things into my backpack in compliance, a couple Fontana cops showed up. Shining a bright spotlight at me, they stayed at their cruisers for a minute while I stuffed, giving them plenty of time to figure out, without a doubt, that I was absolutely harmless. With only a few small items left to pack, one of the cops approached me and asked me something. I couldn't hear him, so I said, "What?" Apparently providing the wrong answer to his unintelligible question, he immediately ambushed me, grabbing one of my arms and twisting it behind my back, then quickly twisting the other arm behind my back. He then threw me to the ground, face down, and finally pounced on me with a knee to my back to keep me down. He didn't cuff me, nor did he check me for weapons, nor did he keep me restrained
for more than a few seconds because this was not policework. This was police brutality...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A cop here at the

A cop here at the Fontana police station just told another cop that Louisiana is closer to Florida than Georgia is to FL. Wait for this story...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It just occurred to me

It just occurred to me that I topped 1,000 miles walking this morning. That is, 1,000 miles in 2008. Walked about 1,100 last year.

Rancho Cucamonga. Koookamaaaaahnga. Titikaka. Heh,

Rancho Cucamonga. Koookamaaaaahnga. Titikaka. Heh, heh heh. Oh yeah. Thank you, drive thru.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yesterday at a gas station

Yesterday at a gas station I heard Prince's cover of 'Erotic City.' Today at a gas station, 'No parking on the dance floor.' Rock on.

Apparently underage prostitution is legal in Los Angeles County.

By the way, Go Utes!

By the way, Go Utes!

(That was for Luke because Luke was the captain of the golf team at Utah and Luke is a very cool guy.)


If you watched the Tonight Show last night and heard a bunch of screaming for Dolly Parton, that was mostly GloZell. Shortly after the show let out yesterday, I made my way down to the Universal City subway station and took a train to Union Station in downtown LA, where I transferred to the Gold Line and took it all the way to Pasadena. Yes, that means I'm leaving LA. I probably still have a lot to say about the Tonight Show in general, but I need to tune out for at least a few days. There's too much shit going through my head right now. My brain has been horribly overloaded and I've been kinda geeking out for a long time already because I can't process everything. So I'm going to spend some time walking and trying not to interact with many people. Really I just want so shut myself off for at least a couple weeks, but I can't do that.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yes, I went to the Tonight Show yet again today, with GloZell. I also interviewed her as we waited in line. (Has anyone seen her interview of me yet?) Dane Cook, Kristen Bell, and Hawthorne Heights are on the show. Dane Cook said something about having never had hair as short as it is right now because as a kid he was bitten by a dog on the head, leaving a scar. In a strange parallel, I too have never had hair this short until earlier this year, when I cut off the mop in Georgia. Except I've had either very long or longish hair for almost all my life. Also, I was bitten in the face by a dog when I was like 5, requiring stitches and leaving a scar on my cheek. The dog was at my great grandma's house in Tennessee: Pat the Brat. I'll be going back to the show again tomorrow. Two of the guests will be Brooke Shields and Dolly Parton. I forget who else will be on. I'd like to see next
Friday's show, with Jimmy Kimmel, but I'll probably be long gone by then. Might come back to LA soon, tho.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Round 2

As you may already know, I went to the Tonight Show again today; sat with GloZell this time, unlike yesterday when I was all by myself. John McCain's daughter seemed pretty cool. I could tell she was pretty nervous to be there, which made it very real. I thought the other dude was kind of boring. If you didn't see me on your TV last night, you may be able to this time, when George Clinton goes over to the audience. He was right in front of us and one of the cameras was pointed at us. Also, when Leno said something about living in a dumpster during the monolog, I blurted out something by accident. Maybe that made the audio track. --> Another camera crew interviewed me Saturday, which I haven't mentioned yet. It was Josh Helmuth of palestra.net. Additionally, GloZell kinda interviewed me today. She's going to upload the video to YouTube unedited. I don't know if she'll link to it from her
blog or what. One of the guys from Clinton's band walked by and talked to us while she was taping.

Me & GloZell are the

Me & GloZell are the only ones in line for the Tonight Show right now. We just talked to one of the guys from Parliament Funkadelic. Kick ass.

That guy

There was a guy in the Tonight Show line that I talked to quite a bit as we waited. I didn't get his name, but he was really witty and funny. (He also took the picture of me and GloZell.) After the show, as the crowd filed out, I bumped into him again. He gave me a little wad of cash so I could get something to eat. I thanked him. Without looking at the specific bills, I thought it was about $4, which would get me a nice meal. After he was gone, though, when I transferred the cash from my pocket to my wallet, I saw that there was actually $14, which will get me at least a few nice meals. Although I'm not sure I clearly let him know how thankful I was for his kindness, I did tell this man about my web site. I hope he checks it out so he can see I appreciate his kind act enough to write a post about it. Thanks, man. You're a good guy. (And if you've read this, please leave a comment so I
know.) --> I just got a ticket to tonight's Tonight Show. George Clinton will be in the house. Rock!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I ended up pretty much

I ended up pretty much right in the middle of the Tonight Show audience, in the first elevated row behind the floor chairs. Watch the show 2nite.

After walking east out of Burbank for a little bit, I changed my mind and started walking west so I could take a train to Pasadena. On the way back through Burbank, I walked a different route and ended up outside the Tonight Show theater, talking to the people waiting in line for tonight's show. Long story short: I'm going to the Tonight Show today. The girl in the picture is GloZell Green. She goes to the show every day and blogs about Jay Leno. Here's her blog: http://glozelllovesjayleno.blogspot.com. I might have more to say about this later.


This movie shoot is on a basketball court on the corner of Riverside Drive and Beachwood in Burbank. I'm pretty sure it is a Disney movie because a couple trucks drove up with Buena Vista something or other on the doors. I've only seen two actors so far--a twentysomething man and a 40ish woman--and I have no idea who they are. All I know right now is that the guy's character's name is Sam... I stand corrected. They're not shooting a movie; they're shooting for Ghost Whisperer, a show I've never seen before. One of the crew told me Jennifer Love Hewitt (sp?) is on this show but she's not here. --> Man, I really blew a chance to generate a lot of new traffic to this web site Saturday. Sometime reasonably early in the day, I wrote 'aimlessmovie.com' on my 'extra ticket' sign, but I should've done it much earlier, like Friday. Dozens of people took pictures of me and my sign, while
thousands of other people took notice of it. I'm probably not going to get another opportunity like that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Making movies

I was beginning to make my way out of LA, from Universal City east through Burbank, until I noticed a sign with an arrow pointing the way to "SET." I didn't know for sure if it meant *movie* set, so I took a detour to check it out. There was nothing going on, but the road beside a park was lined with orange cones and 'No Parking' signs. A few of the cones had pieces of paper stuck to them, explaining why you can't park there right now. It said the road will be closed on September 15th and 16th for filming, which will be between early morning and 1:00 pm. Aha! I'm talking about a long stretch of road here, so I suspect they're gonna be bringing some big trucks with lots of costumes and stuff. Also, this street is about a quarter of a mile from Disney Studios, so it stands to reason that it's probably a Disney film. Now that I know about this, I'm going to try to find somewhere to sleep
nearby and check out the movie shoot tomorrow. This should be pretty cool.

Walk of what?

I can't figure out why everyone is so freakin' obsessed with these stars on Hollywood's sidewalks. Everyone's all stopping to take pictures of them and stuff. They're just stupid stars on a sidewalk, people! And there's like two million of them. I've never even heard of half of the names I've read. It's not like you have to be Superman to get one of these things.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


A few days ago I expected to start heading out of LA by about this morning, but I decided to stick around at least a couple more days because a cop at the Exposition Park told me about some things I might want to check out. One place he said I should check out is Pink's (pictured, at La Brea & Melrose), which I've seen on travel and food shows before. He said Tom Hanks is known to hang out there. Considering I am Forrest Gump (according to some guys outside the stadium yesterday) and that I've had unusually intrusive thoughts about Mr. Hanks since I've been in LA, I thought I should stop by Pink's and keep an eye out for him. Haven't seen him yet. (But I haven't really been looking, either.) There is over an hour-long wait just to get in the door of this hot dog stand, which I believe also offers burgers and other kinds of "fast" food. --> Now I'm hungry, but I'm not going to wait over
an hour to eat at Pink's. It probably doesn't fit into my budget, anyway.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What a fucking joke. No,

What a fucking joke. No, I didn't get into the game.

Boeckman, you're fired. Put Pryor

Boeckman, you're fired. Put Pryor in for good, Tressel. Jesus.

My mom called me to

My mom called me to tell me she saw me on channel 4. Apparently they said I walked 6,000 miles to get here. I never said that. You saw my sign.

Very big game tomorrow

If you've been wondering why all these media people have been interviewing me, this picture should give you a pretty good clue. --> Hanging around the LA Coliseum for much of the day, I picked up some inside information about the state of the Buckeyes. Word is that Beanie Wells looks pretty healthy, despite reports that he is doubtful to play. (Some ESPN people seemed a little puzzled about what to report.) Also, having talked to a couple former OSU players, I think tomorrow night will likely be the coming out party for Terrell (sp?) Pryor, the prized quarterback recruit. Don't expect him to start, but expect him to play quite a bit. I think this will be a very good game, and I think the Buckeyes might have a lot of surprises in store for college football fans. I think I have more to say, but I'm really tired. I won't dare make a prediction for this game. All I have to say is Go Bucks!
(Also, I'd say there is a very good chance I'll end up with a ticket to this game.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

I was just interviewed by

I was just interviewed by a couple more reporters: Rob Oller from the Columbus Dispatch and a guy from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Schweeeet!

I was interviewed by the

I was interviewed by the WCMH Channel 4 (Columbus) sports guy a few minutes ago. Showed my sign and told a little bit of my story. More later?

Erin Andrews just walked by

Erin Andrews just walked by me at the Coliseum. I wonder if she remembers me from the Giants game when Barry Bonds broke the home run record.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Found the best donut shop

Found the best donut shop ever on the SE corner of Washington & La Brea in LA. It's called Good Day but the sign says Donuts & Chinese Fast Food.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rodeo Drive

One thing I noticed pretty quickly as I walked along Rodeo Drive was the handful of women who appeared to be masking their identity. Based on the time of day (after 6:00) and the tall buildings blocking the sun to the west of Rodeo Drive, there was really no reason for anyone to need sunglasses, yet I walked by several women wearing sunglasses with really big lenses. That alone didn't make me think they were all famous. The thing that made me suspect they may be famous was all the other common characteristics: 1) They were all knockouts; 2) They were all alone; and 3) They were all dressed really nice. Not like they were having a nice night out on the town; more like they were famous, thus they wear what famous people wear. I don't know; I could be wrong. But there was just something that really made these women stand out from all the tourists and regular poor people. Having decided not
to hang around Santa Monica, I'm working my way back to Rodeo Drive for some more people-watching.

Axel Foley

Not long after the Cake guys drove by, I had a visit from a Beverly Hills cop. Asking me first if I was all right and then asking me why I was sitting on the street corner, Officer Blondi was very cool from the start, mostly because I speak like a living human being. After I told him a little about my travels, he was intrigued. So as he went through the routine I've become so used to, I continued telling him my story. When he was finished doing his job, we talked for maybe another ten minutes. He is yet another person to mention Into the Wild. This was definitely one of my Top 2 cop encounters. --> Expecting to keep walking right on down Santa Monica Boulevard upon reaching a famous road, I surprised myself when I decided to take a left onto Rodeo Drive. I've never seen much reason to walk down a street full of stores I can't even get into, but I actually had a fun time people-watching.
Although I did not recognize anyone, I think I walked by some famous people. More about that later.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Some dudes in a convertible

Some dudes in a convertible just rolled thru the intersection where I sit (Foothill/Elevado), with Cake's cover of I Will Survive blaring. Rock!

Walking around Hollywood and Beverly

Walking around Hollywood and Beverly Hills for a few days, I haven't seen any famous people. I wonder how many famous people have seen me.

I hope y'all realize Whole

I hope y'all realize Whole Foods Market is a total scam... OK, it's not a TOTAL scam, but about 90 percent of it is a scam.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stuff and things

After working the off-ramp yesterday, I got donuts at the same shop as the other day, on Highland at Hollywood. Had my two faves--buttermilk bar & Boston creme--along with a dozen donut holes. The lady working there also gave me half of her breakfast burrito, which was huge. First time I've pigged out in a while. Didn't need to eat the rest of the day. --> Slept at Griffith Park again last night, then walked to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank today to deliver a message to Tony Morgan, the head of security, on behalf of Vernon. Tony's been promoted or something, so my task was more difficult than I expected. No luck at first, but then I talked to a security guy who said he knows Tony. When I gave him a little message on a piece of paper, he said he'd try to get it to him. I thanked him and moved on. Now I'm working my way toward Santa Monica to exchange yet another defective sleeping mat
--> The injury near my rib has improved quite a bit. I think it was a pulled or strained muscle.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Good tramp

After a cheap lunch at a Taco Bell near USC yesterday, I was down to my last $5. Following lunch, I went to a USC library for a few hours to charge up and get some wifi, then began walking toward Warner Bros. Studios, even though I don't plan to go there until tomorrow. Walking up Vermont from Washington to Los Feliz, I figured I'd try to sleep in Griffith Park, but I got stuck in some wealthy neighborhood way up in the hills. Fortunately, after a resident stopped to talk to me, I learned of a way into the park from the neighborhood, so there I slept. --> This morning I tried to find an off-ramp ASAP so I could make some money. The first ramp I found was in Hollywood, at Franklin & Vine. It didn't seem to be a good ramp when I arrived, but in an hour I made $26, holding a sign that says 'PLEASE HELP A HUNGRY TRAVELER - THANK YOU.' I think I made all but one of those dollars in the first
35 minutes. Now it's time for donuts. --> Notice the Capitol Records building in the pic behind me.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Another day at USC

Picture, from left: Gisela, me, Lindy, Jon. --> I watched the USC band practice again yesterday afternoon. They began learning more drill for their Stevie Wonder medley show, working mostly on the song that goes something like 'You are the apple of my eye,' and also learning the very beginning of 'Superstitious.' Early in practice, during warm-up, the band played Tusk. It was so awesome because although it may be Fleetwood Mac's song, it was USC's band that made it a great song, both on the Fleetwood Mac recording and throughout the years at USC sporting events. I love the USC band, especially all the school songs. --> There was a film crew on campus a few nights ago when I first arrived. I didn't know, though, until pretty late in the evening, when I walked by all the trucks and campers. By then it looked like they were wrapping things up for the night, but I guess they were wrapping
for good because everything was gone the next morning. --> I only have $7. Gonna fly a sign soon.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Cambria, California conclusion

Cambria, California, Part 1
Cambria, California, Part 2

When Gisela's tour was over, after I'd spent several hours below Hearst Castle Sunday, we went back into Cambria and ate at the Main Street Grill again. Once again I ate french fries and garlic bread (which had no garlic).

When we went back to the ranch, we watched some TV with Lindy and Leisa in the main house for a couple hours. They all watched TV, anyway; I was paying more attention my computer. Jon was off doing other things.


Woke up.

Monday morning Jon seized another opportunity to cook for guests. This time he whipped up some french toast. Instead of the white bread he would normally use, he used a multi-grain bread for the french toast, I think because it was the only bread in the house. I definitely would like to have tried Jon's standard french toast because the guy knows what he's doing in the kitchen. I suspect Lindy knows her way around the kitchen, too, but I didn't have an opportunity to sample any of her work. By the way, they have an awesome kitchen. It's not awesome because it looks pretty, Mom; it's awesome because it's ridiculously functional, which makes it attractive.

After breakfast we all talked for a while. Jon and I began some college football talk. Jon is a USC Trojan fan, and as we all know, I'm a big Buckeye fan. But Jon is not just a fan; he is a knowledgeable fan, so it was a good talk.

Eventually Gisela decided it was time for us to head on down the road, so we did. We drove toward LA and stopped in Malibu, where Gisela got a very expensive spot in a campground. After setting up her tent, we drove down the PCH into Santa Monica, then took I-10 into LA. From downtown LA we went to Hollywood, where we took Hollywood Boulevard west into Laurel Canyon before taking Sunset back to the coast.

At 1:00 am, as we returned to Malibu, I still had nowhere to sleep, so I asked Gisela to pull over just before we reached her campground. Thinking I recognized the area from when I walked through last year, I suspected I might find a nice place to sleep. If so, that would make it easy for the two of us to meet up again in the morning. (Yes, we could have figured out a way for me to stay at the campground, but I think she was worried about being found out and consequently being charged extra, or something like that.)

After a minute of looking around, I found that the area beside (or below) the campground would make an excellent campsite for me. It was a parking lot near several trailheads into the mountains. So I got my stuff out of the car and set up for the night. Before she left, Gisela said she would stop by in the morning so we could go off and see LA together.

First thing Tuesday, we went to some outlet stores near Oxnard. Gisela wanted to get some Levis before heading back to Germany, where they cost $120 or $130. She also wanted to get some Chuck Taylors for her son, if she could find the kind he asked for. She found the Levis, but no Chuck Taylors. I spent a couple more hours sitting around while she shopped. Fortunately, I was able to spend some of that time working on a blog post.

From the outlet stores, we took the 101 toward Hollywood. She wanted to find a shady place for us to get out of the car and eat some of the food we'd bought the previous night, so I suggested Griffith Park (near the Hollywood sign).

As we exited the 101 on Hollywood Boulevard, I saw a donut shop and said something about it. Gisela had a kind of fascination with donuts because they don't really have many different kinds of donuts in Germany, I guess. She turned into the parking lot, excited because I'd been talking about how good the donuts are in Hollywood, but the donut shop was closed.

To continue to Griffith Park, we needed to make a pretty difficult left turn. Seeing that it might take a while, I told Gisela I knew of another donut shop the other way, near Hollywood and Highland. It wouldn't be too far out of the way, if she wanted to give it a try. That sounded good to her, so she made a right turn on Hollywood and we set off to another donut shop. At Highland we took a right, and after a block we were there.

We each had three donuts. She got a lemon-filled donut with chocolate icing, a maple bar, and a raspberry filled donut. I got a Boston Creme (custard w/chocolate icing), a glazed buttermilk bar, and some kind of bear claw with chocolate icing and chocolate chips. Gisela scarfed her donuts down faster than I could finish half of mine, then she went to the mall across the street to find a memory card thingy for her camera.

After our donut feast, we no longer needed to find a shady place to eat lunch, but we went on to Griffith Park anyway. In the observatory parking lot, I, the designated photographer, noticed Gisela's batteries were about to die. Long story short... I ended up sitting around in the observatory for about an hour or two while she plugged her AA battery charger into an electrical outlet.

From Hollywood we took Santa Monica Boulevard to Santa Monica. As we neared Santa Monica, I thought about Venice Beach and pointed Gisela in the right direction, hoping we could get there in daylight so she could see the wonder that is Venice Beach. I'd never been there at night, so I didn't know what to expect after the sun goes down. Well, by the time we got there, it was getting dark and nearly all of Venice Beach's characters were gone for the night. The stores and shops were nearly all closed or closing, too.

If only we hadn't sat around forever at Griffith Observatory, waiting for the batteries to charge.

So we walked a mile or two of Venice Beach, then we turned around and went back to the road that turns into a pier. When we got back to the road, Gisela asked me if I wanted to get a beer. I said sure. So we went to some upstairs bar that I've actually been to before, about ten years ago with my old Vegas buddy Kyle Johnson. I ordered a Bass and Gisela had a Stella Artois.

Shortly after our arrival, we began talking to our bar neighbor. It was a 26-year-old guy named Pete who is a boat captain. He works out of Marina Del Ray, I think, operating rich people's yachts because they don't know how to do it themselves. Anyway, handsome Pete seemed to be a pretty lonely guy who spends much of his time drowning his sorrows in adult beverages. Hopefully Gisela and I helped raise his spirits for a little while.

Finishing our beers, Gisela and I headed back to Malibu much earlier than we had the previous night, which was good for me because I was tired as hell. She dropped me off in the same spot as before and told me to be ready at 8:00 or 8:30.

The next morning (Wednesday), I rode with Gisela to the car rental place near LAX. After dropping off her Suzuki Forenza, as she waited for her airport shuttle, we hugged and said goodbye. Then she was gone.

Aimless Video Evidence

A Hennessy billboard showing a

A Hennessy billboard showing a white guy with a guitar! What's wrong with this ad? Answer below.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Beat the Buckeyes?

With no football game this weekend, the USC band is getting ready for the Buckeyes. Sounds like they'll be playing some Stevie Wonder at halftime in nine days. With one song they're playing, I think the lyrics go: "You can feel it all over." I know the song; I just don't know what it's called. The other song they've been working on is "Isn't she lovely." When I walked over here, they were working on some Raiders of the Lost Ark. I'd assume that was for a different show because Stevie Wonder and John Williams just don't go together. The football team is practicing on a practice field just west the band's field. I've heard Pete Carroll holds open practices, so I might have to sneak a peek someday soon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cambria, California, Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1 of this post yet, read it here.

After pulling up to the ranch house near Cambria and talking to the two women Saturday, Gisela was away from the car with the women for maybe 15 minutes while I sat in the car. When she finally returned to the car, she let me know what was up, but I had figured it out already: We had a pretty nice place to stay for the night.

Once Gisela relocated her rental car to a spot beside the guest house, I gathered up all my stuff and carried it inside. Soon I took my first shower in 18 days--another new record, by a day. In the shower I watched all the dirt run off my body and down to the drain as I washed myself. Then I washed myself again just to be sure everything was AOK. When you haven’t had a shower in 18 days, you don’t come out until you’re nice and wrinkled like a raisin, first of all because you want to make sure you’ve accomplished your objective, but also because you just want to feel the warm water spray down upon you for as long as possible.

When I got out of the shower, I gathered up all my dirty clothes and took them to the guest house’s laundry area, along with a couple items that Gisela wanted washed. Boy I needed that. I’m not sure I’d even met our hosts at this point.

Eventually I made my way out of the guest house and got to know our hosts. There were three hosts, although only two of them live on the ranch. The ranch owners are a married couple in their late 50s, Jon ("Yon") and Lindy Pedotti. Our other host was Lindy’s sister, Leisa ("Lisa"), who lives in San Luis Obispo. I can’t remember her last name right now.

After our showers, Gisela and I were both hungry, so she asked Lindy where we might get something to eat. Lindy told us the Main Street Grill in Cambria is a pretty good place to eat, so we set off to Cambria. When we arrived, Gisela told me she’d pay for my meal, up to $8, as long as I didn’t order anything with meat. If I ordered any meat, I’d have to pay for it myself.

You have no idea how badly I was craving meat at this point. For several days, my diet had consisted essentially of apples, English muffins, and peanut butter (and not much of any of it). I wanted to pig out, and I wanted to pig out on beef or chicken or just about any kind of meat. But I was screwed. Not just because Gisela wouldn’t let me order meat but because this restaurant’s menu had hardly any items without meat. There were a couple veggie sandwiches and some salads on the menu, but I don’t eat salad and I didn’t want a veggie sandwich. That left me with essentially one option: French fries and garlic bread. So I ordered a basket of fries and some garlic bread, which added up to about $5.

About those fries… The Main Street Grill has two sizes of fries: regular and basket. I figured my basket of fries would be reasonably big, but I had no idea just how big, especially because they were only $3 or so. Anyway, their basket of fries takes up at least as much volume as a bowling ball. I’m talking major shitloads of fries here, y’all.

If you ever pass through Cambria, be sure to visit the Main Street Grill. It’s one of the few restaurants out there that does it right; it’s a well-oiled machine. I’m not saying their food is spectacular or anything like that. It might be, but I don’t know because all I've eaten is their fries. Anyway, this restaurant is happening. It has a wide open kitchen, nice prices, and an efficient flow. No pretentious table service requiring you to tip someone for doing what you'd rather do yourself. It's just one of those special places, like "Ryan’s Pizzeria" would be, if it existed.

I didn't spend much time talking to our hosts Saturday night because bedtime crept up quickly. Gisela slept on the bed and I slept on a couch.

Sunday morning I stepped outside and heard someone call my name from around the corner of the guest house, at the main house. A woman’s voice asked, "Ryan, are you going to come over and have breakfast?" A moment later, Lindy came around the corner and told me they were fixing up breakfast in the kitchen. Breakfast was scrambled eggs fresh from the farm, with a mixture of cooked vegetables and chopped ham, and English muffins. Lindy told me Jon always loves a good excuse to cook up a nice breakfast, and today Gisela and I were the excuse he needed.

After breakfast, we all chatted for a long time in the main house. You have no idea how cool these people are. To welcome total strangers into their home like this, and then to treat us with such hospitality. It was amazing. Really good people.

Early in the afternoon that day, after deciding to hang around the farm for one more night, Gisela and I headed up the road to Hearst Castle, where I ended up sitting around trying to pass time for about four hours. I sure wish I'd taken the laptop, instead of leaving it back at the farm with most of my other stuff.

Aimless Video Evidence


Ah yeah, this is where it all goes down in ten days. The Ohio State Buckeyes versus the University of Southern California Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. #2 vs. #3. A preview of this year's national championship game, perhaps? (I'll tell you one thing right now: Current #1 Georgia won't be playing in the second week of January.) You can bet I'll be back on the premises for the big game. Think I'll get into the game? Well, I'm 2 for 2 so far at OSU road games and I have plenty of time to develop a good strategy. I have some good ideas brewing already. Maybe I'll hang around the USC band practices for several days. Maybe I'll make a sign that says "Hitchhiked 6,000+ miles for your extra ticket." Maybe I'll just have the magic touch. I'll figure out a way to get into this game. Go Bucks!

Correction: Make that #1 vs. #3 and Georgia at #2.

Monday, September 01, 2008


To my friends and acquaintances in Louisiana, I hope you're all right, as I've heard there is another hurricane heading your way. Be careful, y'all, and stay safe. I'm thinking about you.

Aimless Video Evidence

Cambria, California

Friday afternoon I walked out of Carmel toward Big Sur. Many miles down the road, as I walked that evening, I started feeling a pain on the right side of my torso, in the area of my lowest rib. It didn’t bother me too much that night, but the morning would be a different story.

I woke up Saturday morning thinking I might try to walk 20 miles, but my rib had other plans. Even though I hadn’t had any traumatic impacts to the rib, I was beginning to think I’d somehow managed to break it. After only a mile, the pain became pretty intense, so I found a very out-of-place piece of cardboard and decided to hang out in a parking area overlooking the ocean, hoping to get a ride toward LA.

On the cardboard I wrote ‘SOUTH’ and stuck it on my backpack, which was propped up against a guardrail, so the southbound drivers could see my sign. Eventually I wrote ‘(INJURED)’ below SOUTH, but thousands of drivers drove on by anyway. Of the dozens or hundreds of cars that stopped in the parking area right beside me, no one even spoke to me.

After about six hours, finally someone spoke to me. It was a fortysomething woman with a European accent. She introduced herself as Gisela (GEE-suh-luh) and said she was from Germany. Gisela told me she’d been cautioned not to pick up hitchhikers but gave me a ride anyway, saying she was going to Big Sur.

Big Sur came and went, yet still I rode in the black Suzuki with Gisela. Stopping at many roadside parking areas to take pictures of the coast, she gave me the job of telling her not to stop unless it had been at least ten minutes since the previous stop. I didn’t like that job, so I let her stop whenever she wanted.

When I told Gisela about the pain in my rib area, she asked me if I thought it might be something with my kidney. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t considered that already, especially because I’ve had a couple kidney stones this year, with the most recent only a couple weeks ago. It made sense that the pain could have been another kidney stone, or at least something involving the kidney, because I don’t pee a lot when I‘m on the road. Even though I drink up to two gallons of water a day, I sweat most of it out, which means not much fluid makes it to my kidneys. But I guess this pain was a lot different than that of a kidney stone, so I was left stumped and in pain.

As we approached San Simeon, Gisela became more focused on trying to find a campground because she really wanted to see Hearst Castle, but all the campgrounds displayed signs indicating they were fully booked. San Simeon State Park’s campground displayed the same sign, but Gisela drove up to the guard shack anyway, just to see if there were any cancellations. Nope.

The lady at the guard shack gave us a list of the nearest campgrounds, but the closest one was 30 miles down the road and Gisela didn’t want to drive that far, partly because gas is over $5 a gallon along the coast. So she decided to drive away from the ocean on San Simeon Creek Road, where we could look for a nice little spot to camp for free.

A mile or so up the road, we came upon a little house. Gisela stopped and talked to the house’s occupant, seeking some local knowledge, but she came up short. Another mile up the road, she stopped at another house and talked to a taxidermist named Denver in the garage. He said he would gladly let us camp in his yard if he only owned the property, but as a renter he just couldn’t make that decision. However, he told Gisela to go another mile up the road, and after a one-lane bridge, take a right. That’s where the ranch owners live.

So we continued up San Simeon Creek Road for another mile, crossed the one-lane bridge, and took a right into the driveway just beyond. Pulling up to the house, still in daylight, there were two women outside in the garden area. Gisela got out of the car and began talking to them while I stayed in the car. From my vantage point inside the car, the women gave a clearly warm welcome to the German stranger, and within a minute or two, one of the women said, “Well, let me show you the guest house.”

I will continue this story if I get a chance. By the way, my rib area still hurts like hell and I have no idea what’s causing it. I’m starting to worry that it might be something serious.

Aimless Video Evidence