Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pasadena

Yesterday was easy. I woke up and tore down, then found a spot beside the interstate by 9:00. By 9:30 I was riding in a big truck with a Canadian lady named Timi ("Timmy"). At 2:00 I was in Pasadena. Walking around Pasadena and the Rose Bowl, so far it seems as if we Buckeye fans are vastly outnumbered by Ducks fans. That's unusual; maybe the OSU fans are just somewhere else right now. --> I just did another interview with Clay Hall, right outside the stadium. I imagine it will probably make it to the air this time because, I mean, come on. So keep an eye on Channel 6's Rose Bowl coverage if you're in Columbus. GO BUCKS!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Primm

Thanks, Luke, Brad and Stanish, for your text greetings. --> I've been out here in Primm, Nevada for a couple days now. Got a ride all the way from Las Cruces with a dude named Rodger on the 26th thru 28th. (He sleeps under his truck cap while traveling.) Although it made sense for me to get out in Quartzsite, I decided to extend the ride beyond Quartzsite, through places I've never been, then get a cheap room in Primm, where I'd probably end up blowing all my money on nickel keno. I almost did blow it all, but now I have more money than I did when I arrived, even after paying for a room and some food. Tonight I'm sleeping outside, though, across the state line, in California. Although it's cold out here, it's also cheaper and more comfortable than a room, and it'll motivate me to get up early and try to get a ride toward SoCal so I can make it to the Rose Bowl. Besides, I had a good
shower this morning, so that should keep me good for a couple weeks.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This doesn't even begin to describe what I just went through

Sunday, instead of getting out in Monahans, I went on south with Gil to Ft. Stockton. Sometimes ya just do that because the hours fly by when someone cool picks you up. When I arrived late in the afternoon, Ft. Stockton seemed to have all the right characteristics for getting a quick, long ride: 1) It was easy for drivers to see me; 2) There was plenty of room to pull over at the on-ramps; 3) I was stuck in the middle of the desert. And so on. Yes, it can be good to be stuck in a shitty place when hitchhiking. When you're stuck in a small desert town as Christmas approaches, people more easily find the kindness centers within their hearts... Not in Texas they don't. --> I finally got out of town today, after a miserable wait in some nasty weather (with something sharp stuck in my foot). Thankfully, a father and daughter made room for me in their pickup by moving a bunch of their stuff
from the crew cab to the truck bed. They brought me to El Paso. I'm so glad to be out of Ft. Stockton.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Heading west in a hurry

The movie they were filming in Shreveport will be called "Super." Shortly after I sent the previous post, I found out that "they" don't want people knowing Kevin Bacon is a cast member. Oops. --> I got a ride from Shreveport to Abilene Fri-Sat with an older guy named Marty. No luck getting out of Abilene yesterday, but it didn't take long today. Waiting by the on-ramp at about noon, a pickup truck stopped near me on the frontage road to offer a ride. As I prepared to load my pack into the back seat, a trucker pulled over behind the pickup. The Latino truck driver approached me to offer me a ride, figuring he might be able to take me farther than the pickup's driver could. But Gil (Guillermo), the pickup driver, was actually going farther than the trucker. So I stayed with Gil, who could take me to Monahans, TX. Down the road, as we passed the trucker, the truck pulled over again,
apparently to offer assistance to another driver (minivan) who seemed in need of help. What an awesome guy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Moving

After a slow start to this new journey, yesterday I got a ride with a guy named Todd, who was on his way home to Bossier City, Louisiana (from Pennsylvania). Todd picked me up at an on-ramp in northern Kentucky, just outside Cincinnati, and took me all the way to Bossier City, where he also set me up with a motel room for the night. I'm pretty sure this ride is by far the longest ride I've ever received from anyone not driving a big truck. --> On I-30, somewhere near Hope, Arkansas, the traffic in front of us suddenly swerved and parted, revealing a pair of headlights coming straight at us. With only a few seconds to react, Todd was able to slow down and avoid hitting the moron, who didn't seem very concerned with the prospective consequences of driving on the wrong side of the interstate. (More..) --> Tonight, in downtown Shreveport, I've stumbled upon yet another movie shoot. This one
stars Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon. I haven't seen them (perhaps because the crew is still setting up).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the road again

Since today marks the first of three projected days of halfway decent weather in central Ohio, it's time to hit the road again. (And by "halfway decent weather," I mean the low temps are supposed to be around 30 degrees, rather than 10-20 degrees.) This "decent" weather will buy me a little time to work my way south, where it should be a little warmer.

Once I get far enough south, I intend to follow I-10 to California, partly because I want to be around for the Rose Bowl, but also because I intend to walk from Santa Monica to Coney Island (NYC), beginning sometime in February.

I won't have a computer this time, and I don't know how much I'll blog from my phone while I'm on the road. If I do end up blogging regularly, I'm guessing I'll end up saying a lot of things that piss people off. Not because I want to piss people off, but instead because this kind of life messes with your head and creates a new reality that's impossible to understand unless you are the person living it. (Or maybe I really am a total prick.)

If I end up saying things that piss you off, I encourage you to leave comments that will piss me off, which will probably lead me to say even more things that will piss you off. (If you haven't already figured it out, that's just the way it works around here.) I realize there are only a handful of people who really care what I have to say here, and I'm sure that's not going to change.

So off I go...

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Is that the best you can do?

Tonight, about half an hour after I buried my best little buddy, some guy left me a voice mail message:
"Hey Ryan Powell, if you're still in Florida, why don't you leave. You're a loser. Just saw your video on YouTube. You're a loser."
The call came from this number: 239-269-9575. I assume the message was in response to the Naples cop video because:
  1. In that video I told the cops my real phone number when they asked for it.
  2. I doubt that the dude went digging through the Aimless web site to find my phone number.
  3. The call came from area code 239 (Naples).
If he was referring to the cop video, the guy is an idiot. I don't know why so many people interpret that video as if I'm trying to make some kind of negative statement, because there is almost nothing negative about it.

Since I no longer have any reason to be here in Ohio, I figure I'll hit the road again within the next week. Maybe I should go to Florida. Or maybe I should call that guy back and tell him I'm on my way to Florida. Just to be a dick.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Goodbye, my beautiful boy

My little man Twerky died peacefully this morning as I slept beside him on the floor. Only three and a half years old, he was a very special guy, and it's going to take me a long time to heal.

T-werk, you were my best little buddy. When Pinky died, and then when Homer died, you stepped up like a pro and helped ease my pain. Just by being pure goodness and sweetness, you warmed my heart and made me feel loved when I needed it most. I love you more than anyone or anything, and I sure hope you've always known how much I love you. I also hope my love made your final days a little easier.

It's not right that you had to go, my little Bubbly Ubbly, because you so clearly loved being alive, even with only three legs to keep you hoppin'. You were so strong and you didn't take shit from anyone; I thought we'd have at least another 10 or 12 years together. But I guess things don't always work out how they're supposed to.

I love you so much, Twerky, and I already miss you more than I can say. The tears rolling down my cheeks will be replaced by more tears and yet more tears after that. But at least you don't hurt anymore, and I'm glad you didn't appear to suffer as I selfishly kept your failing body alive. If you did suffer, please forgive me. And please come to see me in my dreams now and again, will ya?

Goodbye, my beautiful man. I love you with every bit of my heart and I will never forget you or the joy you brought to my life.

[Twerk with four legs]

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Maybe I'm a prick

Things I say on this blog often come out wrong. Between the stress of living like a bum and everything that goes along with it, a blog is the worst possible way to share a story like Aimless.

You have no idea how much work it takes just to stay alive on the road. I want to tell you everything, good and bad. I want to show you videos of all the things that happen to me and around me. I want to GIVE you something that no one else on this planet can give you because I know it would absolutely blow your mind. But it's impossible for me to give you everything I want to give you because one person can only do so much.

Life on the road usually is not very fun. Mostly it's lonely; a kind of loneliness you cannot understand unless you've spent several consecutive months living outside, among millions of people you'll never know, usually far from anyone you do know. People come in and out of your life as frequently as air enters and exits your lungs. It's cold and it's hot. It's painful and incredibly stressful. In short, it sucks most of the time. However, in between all the things that tear you down and beat you up, there are great moments and great people that make it worth all the pain and discomfort to keep doing what I do.

Now that I'm pretty sure nothing is ever going to become of Aimless, I have to start protecting my own health and sanity a little better. One way I intend to do that is by getting rid of the major sources of stress in my Aimless life, beginning with this blog. I probably won't stop blogging entirely, but I'm not going to make any extra effort to keep cranking out posts that don't say what I really want to say.

With all the time I've spent on the road these last few years, I have an incredible story to tell. I can tell you countless amazing stories that no one else can tell you because no one else has the balls to do what I've done; because no one else is as honest as I am.

Aimless really should be a TV series, and it almost certainly will be a book (or ten) someday. But Aimless is not going to be a regularly updated blog anymore because I'm sick of killing myself to entertain people, many of whom do not appreciate the sacrifices I make for their FREE entertainment. (And if you think I'm being an asshole here, you're one of the people I'm talking about.)

As you probably already know, I've recently taken an unplanned departure from the road because I need to spend as much time as possible with my beautiful and special cat, who is probably going to die soon, after only three and a half short years of life. For the first several months of Twerky's life, I was the only person he would allow to come near him. To this day, less than a handful of people have ever managed to touch him without me holding him. This cat means more to me than anyone or anything because, unlike any human being, he loves me and is completely honest with me. (Most people could learn something very valuable from him.)

I intend to hit the road again after my little man leaves me. However, with a promising new feline leukemia treatment available (which he'll begin in two days), I hope I can instead leave once he starts feeling better. So I don't really know when I might hit the road again. All I know is that I want to be in Santa Monica no later than early February to begin the coast-to-coast walk I've mentioned here once or twice.

Why, you may ask, do I want to do this coast-to-coast walk?

Answer: Because I can. Because I can do anything I tell you I can do. Because if there is something I can't do, I won't hesitate to admit I can't do it.

Here are a couple other things I can do (that almost no one else can do):
  1. Operate a ridiculously successful and profitable independent pizzeria;
  2. Create and host one of the most interesting and insightful television shows in the history of TV.

Oh yeah, and the production costs of such a TV show would be only a fraction of just about every other show out there, mostly because I bust my ass and lead by example.

Of course, for either of those things to happen, I first need to meet a wise investor who actually has money to invest. Unfortunately, I live in the United States of America, where most people, especially those with any power, are full of shit and incompetent at doing their jobs.

This is precisely why the economy is so fucked up. It's because we, as a nation, have created an impatient, uninsightful culture of dishonesty and we don't use our resources wisely. (I know 'uninsightful' is not a word. It should be.)

Bullshit should no longer be in demand, now that we've let the best bullshitters ruin us. For reasons I'll never understand, though, we keep craving the bullshit while ignoring those with true insight, and we never learn. That's why we're all hurting.

We don't even know how to learn the hard way anymore. When we fuck everything up--when we do all the things that should teach us a valuable lesson on how not to do things--we just keep doing everything the same way we did it before.

Wake up.

Or call me negative and pretend I'm responsible for your misery.

Just remember: I could be the guy who gives you the best job you'll ever have. That is, in a functional economy governed by supply and demand instead of bullshit, I could be the guy who gives you the best job you'll ever have. Or maybe you could be the person who gives me the best job I'll ever have, which might possibly be the best hire you'll ever make.

If this didn't come out how I wanted it to come out, I don't care. I have no reason to care.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Miss it yet?

Partly thanks to an unexpected ride from Tara (who I mentioned a few weeks ago after seeing her outside Ohio Stadium), I made it "home" to my cat Sunday afternoon. I've spent a lot of time the last couple days searching the internet for information regarding natural treatments for feline leukemia. My boy is doing sorta not really OK right now, but I intend to bring him back and make him healthy again, even though he's been given a quick death sentence by his vet.

I don't have much interest in writing about my travel experiences anymore. I may upload one more video soon, though, which will probably blow your mind. (I don't know; I haven't watched the footage yet.)

I can't tell you even a fraction of this story, and I can show you even less because my unpaid job requires at least ten times as much work as any other job. You don't know what you've been missing, but it's better than all the shit you haven't been missing on TV.

You had the chance to help me make something out of this, but you chose not to. If I never hit the road again or write another blog post here, you'll miss it more than I'll miss it.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I pulled out the camera

I pulled out the camera tonight while a stupid Lansing, Illinois cop was fucking with me. This footage should be really good; probably hilarious.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sorry I've been so bitchy

Sorry I've been so bitchy and grouchy lately. Things are really tough sometimes, and the last week has been one of the toughest (yet greatest?).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fuck it all

My computer is worthless. I can do absolutely nothing with it. Literally, I cannot do ANYTHING with it. If I could do anything with it, I wouldn't be using my phone to write this post. I have added nothing to the computer since the day I took it out of the box, yet it keeps telling me "Low Disk Space." Then when I follow the directions to free up some space, it won't let me do it. What the fuck!?! --> I'm at the Starbuck's where I met Meredyth, hoping she'll show up and provide some good company because she made it a point to let me know she comes here a lot. I came here last night, too, for the same reason, but no sign of her. Understandably, I don't expect to see her tonight, either, specifically because I really want to see her. That's my biggest problem: sometimes I want things. If I didn't want anything, my life would be perfect. I'll be leaving Chicago tomorrow, so whatever.

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizonwireless.com/picture.

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I know you're laughing at me

I met a girl tonight. Her name is Meredyth. (I think I spelled it right.) We talked for a few hours before she left Starbuck's. I didn't want her to leave. Either that or I wanted her to take me with her. She will read this. She should call me.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Loco

Feel crazy today.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

GloZell Booby Betty Emmy

Brian and Jacob: I think I told you about this picture. It's Betty White staring at GloZell's booby while GloZell holds her friend Mary's new Emmy. Some of y'all may remember me meeting GloZell at the Tonight Show a little over a year ago. GloZell and Mary rule (and they had better become fans of Aimless pretty soon, too).

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Chaotic

I'm all messed up right now. Clay Hall from channel 6 called me yesterday several hours before I received the bad news about my sweet, beautiful, special cat. Clay and I are figuring on meeting at Purdue next Friday or Saturday, I suppose to do a live segment in conjunction with the stuff they taped last week.

I don't know if I should stay out here for another week or head back to Ohio ASAP to be with my sweet little bubbly ubbly so I can show him how much I love him. I feel like if I don't head back right away, I might end up regretting it. Even though he seemed very healthy when I left a couple weeks ago, it was so hard for me to just walk away from him. Man, this is so wrong.

A few caring individuals stopped by my tent this morning at 6:30 to give me a sack of food. The two women and one man were making the rounds to feed homeless people after a very cold night. In my sack there's a ham (or salami) sandwich, Ruffles, Rice Krispies Treat, apple sauce, pudding, a cookie, and a Kool-Aid Jammer (cherry). I wish I'd been alert enough to tell them to google 'Aimless' or something so they might find their way here and find out how much I appreciate their selfless act of kindness.

I'm really confused right now; having a hard time holding back the tears. I want so badly for there to be some kind of life after death so I can someday be with all my dear feline buddies who were (or will be) taken between the ages of 2 and 4: T-werk, Pinky, Homer, the Sammys, Skipper, and so many others. I love them all so much, and as much as I want to believe in some kind of life after death sometimes, I just can't see it being real.

I don't know. I admit it often seems as if there may be some kind of plan for me, even though I've pretty much never received anything I want from life (particularly love). Even though some of you certainly think I'm a major prick, an eerily high percentage of the people I meet tell me straight out that they feel like I was delivered into their lives to inspire them in one way or another. And I mean every day, too. From hopeless junkies to, well, every kind of person there is. Not just people I meet, either. I get e-mails from people who have watched my videos and read this blog. All these things are so overwhelming, and I don't know if I can take much more of it. I feel like I'm gonna pop, or that it's all gonna end soon. Like when that car almost ran me over; maybe that was just to prepare me for the real thing.

As big-headed as this may seem, the things that happen to me every day are all starting to make me wonder if I'm some kind of chosen healer or something. In fact, these thoughts, as well as the actions that create them, are really beginning to freak me out because I don't want them. But it's every day; many times a day. Constantly.

I mean, y'all know I'm as honest as they come (or, at least, you should realize that by now). Whenever I write something here, even as wild as some things may seem, you should know I never lie or even stretch the truth. Even when I know my words will make me look like a major asshole in the eyes of many, I still tell it like it is because I believe strongly that total honesty is the one thing that might be able to save this wrecked civilization. (Honestly, though, I think we're fucked. Our collective selfishness and lack of integrity is so far out of control that we all seem to think it's the normal and right way to behave. We all want to fuck everyone else over before they fuck us over, and that's what's fucking us all over.)

I just don't get it. I've always felt so unworthy and unwanted. Now, many years after high school, in addition to all the feedback I receive from people I inspire, I've also come to realize that a lot of girls in high school were very interested in being someone special to me. But I never knew then. And now I see it every day while I'm on the road from women I encounter. Even dressed as a bum, I can tell there are plenty of women out there who see me as someone who could be someone special in their lives. Yet over the span of my life, every time I've ever tried to ask out a girl, I've been shot down in flames big-time. So I just don't get it. And nowadays, after so much repeated failure throughout, I have very little motivation to try anymore.

Is this going anywhere, or am I just ranting incoherently? Look, I already told you I'm confused.

Anyway, if there are any ladies out there who honestly wonder within your own heart if maybe I could become someone special in your life, and/or that you could become someone special in my life, either for a while or forever, call me. We all put up so many bullshit barriers of fear which keep us from living our lives how we should live them, and this love/intimacy barrier seems to be one of a few barriers I just can't break through. But I'm ready to meet someone special, and I guess this is my first attempt to break down the very thick wall I've built around myself. I know there is at least one person out there reading this who would like to find out if I might be "the one," or even just a great friend, so do it.

Even with all the seemingly hostile and negative things I write sometimes, I wonder: Have I found a way to touch your heart a little bit? If so, reach out and touch mine because I really need that right now. It might just turn out to be the best investment you'll ever make.

Yeah, I know it doesn't seem right to be talking about some of this stuff while I prematurely mourn the loss of a great friend, but that's just how my brain works right now. If you were out here doing this, you'd understand.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Friday, October 09, 2009

When the shit hits the fan

So now I just found out that my 3-year-old tripod cat has leukemia and may be dead in a month, even though he used to test negative; even though he stays isolated from other cats.

What the fuck kind of cruel joke is this?!? Everything I love dies or just goes away without an explanation. Every fucking time.

I may have to go "home" now to spend some time with my best little buddy while I still can.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Happy thoughts

Man, I have so much to say about Chicago, but I probably won't find the time. There are at least a couple pics on deck to publish, but who knows if I'll ever text the words to go with the pics.

Everything was going great until I read those comments yesterday. Obviously it really pissed me off. It actually ruined my day and spun me and my vibe 180 degrees. And no, I won't regret saying what I said in that post; I'll just regret that I had to say it. I already do. But I'm not just going to pretend shit like that doesn't happen. It may be easy for the other people involved to pretend it never happened, but I can't because I'm a real person with real emotions and real, marketable, valuable talents and skills.

Anyway, it's time to move on and start sharing happy thoughts again. The things I want to write about include: Wrigley Field, Terry (a homeless heroin addict who's been my neighbor the last couple nights), a guy named Tom who I bumped into in two different Starbuck's[es] several miles apart, and probably more stuff I can't think of right now.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

That Starbucks

Hey Jacob and Brian,

That Starbuck's I was trying to find is at the southwest corner of Lake & La Salle. It's really big and comfortable (and dry).

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Home

To the anonymous commenter who keeps telling me to come "home" for new glasses and boots and shit:

As you may recall, Anonymous, I went "home" a few weeks ago, walking 19 miles one day when I was only in shape to walk about 12. Two hours after my arrival, ridiculously tired and sore, I found myself handcuffed in the back of a sheriff's cruiser, just because someone at "home" is a total fucking prick who can't mind his own business, is unable to peacefully resolve the conflicts he starts, and lies to cops specifically in an effort to have his own son thrown in jail.

Talk about a sick fucking mind...

I'll go blind before I accept any more charity from you. I don't want glasses that have been paid for with your money, just like I didn't want the $100 you left on the desk. Additionally, I left my boots behind because I wear sandals now.

I could have made you rich by now, fuckers, because I am THE BEST at what I do. (I'm not talking about Aimless, either, even though I also do this better than anyone else out here.)

Do you remember how fast the 33 lbs of pizza I made at your party disappeared? (Yeah, and I was drunk as hell when I made the last six pies.) Even if I'd been able to make another twenty 16" pizzas, it still wouldn't have been enough.

And have you figured out yet why that wouldn't have been enough? Yeah, well it's because I am the best at what I do, even with mega inadequate equipment and ingredients. It's because I possess a set of skills that only another handful of people on this planet possess. It's a set of skills that's in demand big-time, in an age where there isn't anyone out there who can do it, which makes it worth a lot of money to anyone who understands the law of supply and demand. Unfortunately, there are also only a handful of people who both understand supply & demand and have money to invest.

As is evidenced by this global recession, we have officially entered the "Really Fucking Retarded Age" of human history.

You told me you were on my side, but you lied. You must be the two stupidest people on the face of the earth because, as you may remember, I immediately backed us out of the business "opportunity" that, as we all know now, would have broken you. If you haven't figured it out yet, it's because I understand the market; I understand what makes some businesses fail and others succeed. And it really doesn't take a fucking genius to figure this shit out.

You made me believe you intended to invest in my unique and valuable talents. But whenever it came time for you to put up or shut up, you neither put up nor shut up. You have lied to me too many times for me to ever trust you again. But the kicker is that you tried to have me put in jail when you saw me for the first time in two months.

Fuck you.

You can't just undo that, and that's the one act for which you most definitely will never be forgiven, Claudia. As I stood there, tired, crying, begging you to show your son you have a heart, you just stood there and let them cuff me. You just stood there and let them abuse me.

That's your house, bitch, and they can't do that shit in your house without your consent. But you let them do it, and now you have to face the consequences.

Larry and Claudia Powell: You decided before I was 5 years old that I was a fucking worthless piece of shit. Well, you were really god-damn wrong, and it's your loss, OK. So don't comment on my blog anymore, acting like we're kin because we're not kin. And don't call me. And shut off my phone if you want because I don't want anything more to do with you. The only reasons I even stayed "home" for a week were 1) I love my cat, and 2) you were gone.

Don't even think about commenting on this one, people, because you have no fucking clue. That especially includes you, Jay.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Jacob & Brian

Jacob (right) and Brian are followers of Aimless. They live in northwest suburban Chicago and came into the city yesterday to meet me. Very cool. (I think Luke is the only other 'fan' I'd made a coordinated effort to meet on the road prior to this.) I met up with these guys downtown in mid afternoon, following some pretty crappy weather (cold rain). They felt like friends right away, as we talked below an el structure. Soon we went to a Starbuck's and talked for a while, before heading to Lou Malnatti's for some real Chicago deep dish pizza, where we ordered a 14" sausage pizza. I'm not usually much of a sausage fan, but this was good stuff. This was my first time eating real Chicago pizza, and I have to say it was damn good. I can't really compare it to New York pizza, though, because the two styles are entirely different animals. Hope to have some more before I leave Chicago, which
won't happen for at least a week because I bought a 7-day transit pass today. Thanks, guys!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Not meeting a Focker

I could totally fit the Sears Tower in my backpack if I wanted to. I always thought that thing looked smaller than they say it is. It certainly was built in a very forgettable era of architecture, eh. Soldier Field (where I took this pic) will be a fine place to sleep for a few nights. I should actually be able to enjoy some things in Chicago that cost money because I received a big donation Friday from Nick, who gave me a ride from Martinsville to Bloomington. --> Ha! I just happened upon an interesting sight. They're shooting 'Little Fockers' here in Grant Park right now. (I didn't know they were making another Focker movie.) The security dude told me DeNiro is here on the set, but I can't see shit. For all I know, he might be right in front of me. They have a much bigger security perimeter here than I think they would have if this was LA. --> I'm really glad I finally made it to Chicago. Fortunately the weather has been nice so far.

Slept downtown beside the Chicago

Slept downtown beside the Chicago River, near Columbus Dr. No one bothered me, which is good because I really needed the rest. Feet are torn up.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I'm in Chicago, but I

I'm in Chicago, but I can't see it because I have no glasses. Chicago people, call me if you want to meet.

Hoosiers

Sorry about the false alarm (for anyone who may have prepared to record me on channel 6). I thought Clay was planning to do a live interview, but they ended up taping it, possibly to air in a week or two. (He just called and told me he'll let me know when it airs.) During the interview, I felt really relaxed and almost unaware that there was a camera in my face. Nice feeling. Anyway, Indiana's fans are kick-ass tailgaters. The way they party, you'd think IU had a football program with a winning tradition. It was a slow start, but I met some really cool folks today, particularly Forest and his crew. Hanging out at these football games is very tiresome, though; I'm beat. --> Things have been going really good lately. It's been fun again, despite the constant pain you feel when you push your body so far beyond its limits. I think I actually enjoy the pain of sore muscles and hunger. And I
like people, too. Maybe I'll head toward Chicago now. There are some "fans" there I'd like to meet.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I'll probably be on WSYX

I'll probably be on WSYX channel 6 (Columbus) sometime around 3:00 today, with Clay Hall. If anyone can record it or DVR it, you rock.

Friday, October 02, 2009

From IU's Memorial Stadium in fewer than 1 001 characters

The temp was in the 40s near Dayton two nights ago. My face was cold as I walked, yet my sandaled feet were very warm. From Dayton I got a ride yesterday to the Indiana state line with a 64-year-old ex-trucker who likes to bang chicks. After waiting at the Richmond on-ramp for a couple hours, I got a ride with a 50ish professional guy named John. When I mentioned to him that I'd taken some geology classes in college, I saw him light up in an instant. Y'see, it turned out that John is a geologist who was on his way to Terre Haute to check out the stability of the ground surrounding a dam. He let me out on the south side of Indy, at Rte 37, so I could head toward Bloomington, where the Buckeyes play tomorrow. A cop gave me a ride a few miles because a driver called 911 to report that another pedestrian was stalking me in the darkness. I found out that my rain gear is awesome in heavy rain
when used properly. I've walked more miles in the last week than I did the previous two months.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leaving Columbus

Last Friday I wanted to hit the road at 2:00, but I didn't leave until 4:30. Before I left, I thought I was going to walk to the truck stops near London, but since there was a Buckeye game the next day I ended up heading toward Ohio Stadium.

Walking up Norton Road, which has no shoulder and a steep slope off to the side, five miles closer to Columbus I rolled my ankle and ate gravel for the first time since December 2006. My spill may have something to do with the fact that I walk in hiking sandals now, instead of boots with plenty of ankle support. I don't know, but I probably said "God dammit!" shortly after tasting earth.

Half an hour later, only 20 feet from the end of the bad part of Norton Road, I rolled my ankle yet again and hit my head in the gravel on the side of the road. It felt like I dislocated the ankle this time, but I don't think that happened because I didn't hear a pop and the ankle was not horribly swollen. When you fall down while carrying a huge backpack, you end up on your back like a turtle on its shell, unable to get up until you unclip all the straps that keep the pack attached to you. It's probably a pretty funny sight, but it's not fun.

After about 11 miles, a dude name Jim stopped on West Broad Street and gave me a ride the last seven or eight miles to Ohio Stadium. That was cool because it was pretty late and I would've had to walk most of that distance in the morning. Instead, I camped out next to the regular site of Kropkogate.

Saturday was wet. During a break in the rain, as I sat outside the west side of Ohio Stadium, my friend Tara saw me as she walked by with her sister, who was there to sign (not sing) the national anthem. I ended up talking to Tara for probably almost an hour.

Until about March of this year, I hadn't seen Tara since high school. She and I "went together" for about a week just before our freshman year of high school. Even though we've only seen each other twice now after all this time, I feel really close to Tara. She is a special friend to me, and I feel like a special friend to her. (Don't even think about it; she's married and has two kids.) Boy was I stupid for not trying to keep her. Also, I wish I had thought to take a picture of her or us to post here.

After Tara went into the stadium, I walked back to Kropkogate. It rained lightly, and it looked like the weather might be all right until the game started. Then it just poured for the whole first half. Fortunately I had shelter at Kropkogate, but most of the people in the stadium must have been miserable. Regardless, the Buckeyes won 30-0.

Sunday when I got up, I thought I might head for the truck stops, but then I decided I'd walk toward Yellow Springs instead. Walking south on Riverside drive, I rolled my ankle again. This time I didn't fall. Nevertheless, I decided to take a short break because the near-fall caused my ankle to become yet a little more damaged than the first two spills (as if the fall that tore my ligament three years ago wasn't already enough to deal with).

I guess you could say my left knee and ankle are totally fucked up right now, and they probably will be forever.

I made it to West Jefferson late Sunday night, but on the way, as you may already have read, I was nearly hit by a car as I walked north on Amity Road, toward Dellinger. I've had a lot of close calls with cars before, but this one left me nearly in tears because as the car approached me, I literally wasn't sure if I'd be alive five seconds later.

The next night I made it to South Charleston, then last night I arrived in Yellow Springs. I've had lots of crappy weather and wind to deal with, so I feel pretty good about walking almost 60 miles in three days.

I might try to make it to Bloomington, Indiana in the next couple days. This much is sure: It's time to get the hell out of the midwest. Summer is over and winter is coming.

There's probably more interesting shit to say, but I can barely type on this thing, especially with several of the keys out of order. Don't expect many more blog posts because this is just too much trouble.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Some stupid motherfucker just missed

Some stupid motherfucker just missed running me over by literally a few inches, even with my flashing headlamp that everyone else sees just fine.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Trying to leave

I intended to walk outta here over an hour ago, but after realizing a few keys don't work on my tiny Asus netbook-type thing, I've been trying to fix it, with no luck. It's the 7,8,0, and Delete keys; maybe a couple others as well. The main reason I'm taking it with me is to use a spreadsheet to keep track of my walking mileage, but I won't be able to do that very well without functional number keys.

Add that to the fact that I have no eyeglasses and you may understand why I'm very frustrated right now. Why do I put myself through this shit?

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Missed opportunity

When I just checked my voice mail, I was surprised to hear a message from Clay Hall, the sports guy on WSYX channel 6 (Columbus). I talked to him for a while the night before the USC/OSU game two weeks ago, and I guess he called me the day of the game, saying maybe we could do an interview. Unfortunately I never even knew he had called me, so that's a bit of a bummer.

Now that I've hung around Clay and Jerod Smalley (from channel 4) quite a bit, I have tons of respect for what they do. They really bust ass, and they always have to be sharp and attentive, especially when they're doing live reports.

Well, after a short break, it's time to hit the road again.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Walk, Forrest!

Right now all I want to do is begin that coast-to-coast walk I've been thinking about. I just want to be alone for real for a while, instead of being alone with everyone. Unfortunately it's the wrong time of year to begin such a journey, regardless of where I start. For example, if I was to start from LA right now, I'd be in mountains and high elevations in late fall or early winter. But if I was to start from New York right now, I'd be in northern latitudes for a few months (where it's gonna get cold soon), then I'll hit the mountains and high elevations in late winter. Either way it doesn't work.

In all likelihood, I'll start from the Santa Monica Pier in January or February. That'll put me in the desert at the best possible time of year, then it will put me at the higher elevations in spring. After that it's all downhill (for 2,000 miles).

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Dead end

It just occurred to me why Aimless will never become a TV series: No network or production company is going to invest in a show that likely cannot last more than a couple seasons.

Am I willing to do this for another five or ten years? I doubt it. And networks already know it.

So there you have it; the Aimless guy admits his brilliant idea is worthless. Or is it?

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Break time

I walked 20 miles "home" from Ohio Stadium last Sunday, and I'll be staying here until about next Friday, only because my parents will be gone for the next week.

When I leave again to who-knows-where, I'm not going to take this laptop with me because it's getting beat up and it's awkward to carry. Although it's nice to have with me on the road, I simply cannot use it enough to justify keeping it with me. Instead, I'm going to take the tiny netbook I had with me last year (even though it's not very useful). Since I can easily fit the netbook in my pack, I'll no longer need to carry a large laptop case, which has performed double duty as a camera bag for the last two months.

I can handle the laptop's weight just fine, especially when I keep it in my backpack instead of inside the carrying case. But keeping it in my backpack is what's beating it up so much. However, when I carry it in its case, along with my camcorder, tapes, and other stuff, the case ends up weighing about 13 pounds. This 13-pound case then dangles from my fingers and swings with my arm as I walk, creating a very awkward weight distribution that throws off my balance and makes every step a chore. Fortunately, now that I'll be carrying the netbook inside my pack as well as trading the computer case for a much lighter camera bag, I won't have to waste so much effort when I walk. (But I won't have a very useful computer, either.)

* * *

It appears as if I'm not going to hear from Ashley, the girl I met at a tailgate party near Ohio Stadium last week. I'm disappointed because she initiated our groovy chat, using my backpack as a conversation starter as I sat on the pack, tired from a long day of carrying it around outside the stadium. I felt like our conversation really could have led somewhere. Friendship? Definitely. Courtship? Possibly. Maybe she just forgot the word I told her to google ('Aimless'). Guess I'll never know.

* * *

After writing this, I realized I've already said this in another post, but yes, I did make it on TV last week in a sequel to last year's interview with Jerod Smalley of WCMH channel 4. Actually I was on TV twice last weekend. The first appearance was live on the news Friday evening and the other part was recorded for the game special that aired Saturday evening. It looks like I'm never going to see either part, though, because no one at "home" recorded them (or even watched them).

* * *

Now that I've had the opportunity to watch a little TV for the first time in a while, I've mostly opted not to watch it. Whenever I flip through the 8,000 listings on the on-screen channel guide, looking for something remotely interesting, I find nothing. And it just leaves me scratching my head, wondering why there isn't a crew out there following me, meeting the people I meet and seeing the things I see.

* * *

I apparently have no eyeglasses anymore, which is freaking wonderful. And no, I didn't lose them, nor did I break them. (It's a long story that I don't feel like telling here.) It would be pretty cool if I could somehow end up with some new glasses because it helps to see when you're out looking for something.

So I guess the unintended message of this post is that almost everything still seems not to be going my way. I'm not complaining, though; just telling you what's up and what's on my mind. I'm not necessarily even unhappy about this kind of stuff anymore because I'm so used to it.

If only you knew the whole story.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ashley & Kropkogate

I met Ashley at Kropkogate last Saturday. I met Kropkogate (Scott Kropko) at USC last year. Ashley, if you've found your way to this blog, I want you to know I really enjoyed talking to you. You felt like a friend to me, and I like that feeling. Call me so we can pick up where we left off.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bittersweet

Well, the Buckeyes managed to lose yet another big game they should have won. During the game, I spent a couple hours talking to a very sweet girl named Ashley. She had to leave without much notice from her friends, so we were unable to exchange numbers or e-mail. As she left, though, I told her to google 'Aimless.' So Ashley, if you see this, I'd really like to talk to you again. 614-738-3867. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I was just interviewed by

I was just interviewed by WCMH channel 4 again, outside Ohio Stadium. Think I was already on the news (live), but will be on game special, too.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Time to go

OK dude, it's time for you to wake up and leave. I'm trying to get a ride, and you're making it very difficult for me by illegally occupying all the ramp space and confusing the drivers who might otherwise stop to offer me a ride. It's well after 11:00 and you've been here long enough (at least three hours). There are five large truck stops in the area, so you have no excuse for this thoughtless act of laziness. Now get your ass up and go because there's a big football game coming up this weekend and I want to make it to Columbus by Friday (from Dandridge, Tennessee) so I might be interviewed by TV crews again. Go Bucks!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Rain and Roldan

Long story short...

While thousands and thousands of people drove on by during my time of need, as a miserable downpour created new rivers eight days ago in Atlanta, only Roldan Smith stopped to give me a hand. With the relentlessly cold rain bringing me ever so close to tears, Roldan got me out of the rain and took me to Stone Mountain, where his family was celebrating his dad and brother's birthdays.

Roldan, his immediate family, and his brother's in-laws welcomed me to their family gathering as if I actually belonged there. They fed me well and left me with food to go. I told them some of my stories and they told me some of theirs. It was one of those magical days in which misery leads directly to joy and all-around good stuff.

I could have made this story more than a few pages long, and I will. Read about it when my book gets published.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Citation

So here's a citation I received from a DeKalb County Police officer (just outside Atlanta) a few days ago.

 

Oh boy, where do I start?

OK, first of all, I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't flying a sign for a ride, nor was I flying a sign for money, nor was I displaying my thumb to passersby. All I was doing was sitting on a guardrail near an on-ramp (I-85 northbound exit from US 23) with my backpack on my back (about 20 feet from a bus stop).

Like always, most of the on-duty cops drove right by me, not at all worried about the harmless, clean traveler who just wanted to make his way up the road. But one cop, seizing an opportunity to make a huge positive impact, stopped to hassle me.

After asking me what I was doing there, the cop told me I wasn't allowed to be there and I wasn't allowed to solicit. Cool enough; I'm used to being told to leave spots like that. But as I prepared to leave my spot, I wanted to make sure she knew I was not doing everything she implied I was doing. I told her, "I understand if you're going to tell me to leave, but I'm not soliciting."

She didn't like that.

"Yes, you are soliciting. You already told me you're trying to get a ride."

"No, I'm hoping to get a ride. If I was soliciting, I'd be holding up my thumb or a sign, or I'd be talking to people. But I'm not doing that; I'm just sitting here, and sitting here is not soliciting."

After a few rounds of disputing my claim, with me maintaining my stance, she got pretty pissed, I guess because some people just know they're right about everything, even when they are 100 percent wrong. (Or, most likely, it was a case of "You must respect my authoritah!)

Steaming, she turned around and stomped back to her cruiser. Sitting in the driver's seat, she kicked the inside of the door a few times to make it spring back and close. (I guess it's too difficult for some people to just pull the door shut.) Inside the car, she wrote up the citation. After giving me the citation, she continued throwing her fit, then sped off, simply because I dared challenge her authoritah.

And that's the only reason why she wrote up the ticket. It wasn't about me breaking the law (because I wasn't breaking ANY laws); it was about her authoritah and her fragile ego. She's one of those people who just wants to go out an bust people she deems unworthy of sharing this planet with her. And instead of taking the time to learn from someone who knows her job responsibilities better than she does, she felt compelled to show me who's boss by writing a bullshit ticket for something that never happened.

To support my point here, I've included a picture of the citation in this post. If you are able to zoom in close enough on the picture, you might take notice of my alleged offense: "Solicitation in Right Away." I guess that is similar to "Solicitation in right-of-way," but I think it's probably just the gibberish of an ignorant, power-mad cop who doesn't know how to do her job.

Although I'm supposed to be back in DeKalb County for court on October 27, I will not be there unless I just happen to be near Atlanta at the time. Instead, I plan to write a letter to the court, in an attempt to get this bullshit citation thrown out.

Here's one of my main arguments for having the citation thrown out: Since the officer doesn't even know the name of the law I allegedly broke, doesn't it kinda make sense that maybe she also doesn't know what the law means? There is a huge difference between the meanings of "right-of-way" and "right away." If the officer doesn't know the difference, there's a good chance she also doesn't know how to do her job.



In the United States of America, when accused of committing any crime, the law says you are innocent until proven guilty. It's not "innocent until proven guilty (unless you don't show up for court when there is no evidence showing you did anything illegal)."

If I was doing anything illegal (however petty and victimless), I was loitering, not soliciting. But the police officer did not write me a citation for loitering; she wrote a citation for soliciting, which I simply was not doing. It's this simple: Hoping to get a ride is not solicitation, nor is it in any way illegal, even when you admit you were hoping to get a ride.

I'm not going to pay a fine for something I didn't do, even if the court refuses to throw out the citation. Living in a free country means not having to prove your innocence when bad cops make up new rules and cite you for breaking laws you didn't break. But we don't live in a free country anymore, and killing thousands and thousands of mostly-harmless brown people is not going to change that.

As Americans, our freedom is not threatened by foreigners. Our freedom is threatened by our own government and our complacency. You can keep letting them take away your freedom if you want, but I'm out here fighting for it, even if you can't figure out what I mean by that.

What puzzles me most about this episode is that the cop was a black woman. Why does that puzzle me? Partly because I usually get along very well with black women. Also, I would expect her, like most black Americans, to have a very strong sense of empathy for the little guy (or the underdog or the poor). But she was just a powermad bitch who's probably going to end up finding out the hard way that her badge doesn't mean shit.

If you're lucky, maybe I'll write about some of the other stuff that's happened recently. I probably won't, but it's some interesting stuff.

Now I'm in Mount Carmel, Tennessee, staying with my great aunt and uncle Allan and Ann for a few days. It's nice to get a break with some good people.

Happy birthday, Luke.


Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 24, 2009

What a waste?

These last five weeks have felt like a total waste. Anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. For example, I couldn't get to Minnesota, then I couldn't get to Indianapolis. Having wasted a week trying to get to those two places, my travel options became seriously limited because I ended up having to take any ride offer I received, just to get somewhere else. Then, thinking I already had a ride lined up, that ride ditched me after I'd wasted another two days not trying to get a ride. As a result, I've ended up stuck in Texas and Florida, which are the last two places I wanted to be, mostly because summer only lasts a few months throughout the rest of the country.

I've essentially spent most of the last five weeks sitting around in truck stops, bored out of my mind. By the time I make it to any of the places I can only go in summer, summer will be over and I'll be trying to get out of those places.

Now I'm basically trying to make my way back home, either for a short break or to quit doing this forever. (I still haven't decided if I'm going to continue, although I'm leaning toward more time on the road, and maybe even walking from LA to New York next year.) I've been stuck at a truck stop in Vero Beach, Florida since Friday because Norman (my current ride) hasn't been able to get a load out of here. We'll be leaving tomorrow morning, though, to pick up a load in Georgia and take it to Shreveport.

Looking at the bright side, I do have a lot of new stories to tell. Unfortunately it's been extremely boring and tiresome. Additionally, I've only walked 20 miles, which is normally less than two days' worth of walking (and sometimes less than one day). So even though I don't feel like I've eaten well, I probably weigh more than I did when I hit the road this time. That's a change. (Of course, I only weighed 140 or 145 when I left this time, which is about what I usually weigh when I return from several months on the road.)

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Here's Nathan

Just to prove we were in Louisiana, Nathan insisted on holding up a postcard from his home state. As I said before: If you're ever in the Mandeville Waffle House on a Friday or Saturday night, keep an eye out for this guy. Very cool dude.

Be safe out there, Nathan.

 


Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hey Nate

I also want to say hey to a very cool dude named Nathan. I met Nathan in the restaurant of the Lafayette, Louisiana TA truck stop [dump]. Hey Nathan!

If you're ever in Mandeville, LA on a Friday or Saturday night, stop by the Waffle House near the Causeway Bridge and look for Nathan. (I'll probably upload a pic of him whenever I get a better chance.)

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Some pics and stuff

I wrote most of this post when I was still at the Bosselman’s truck stop in Altoona, Iowa, but I couldn’t publish it until now because I haven’t had internet access. Even when I did have internet access, I could barely get anything done because every time I would try to write something, someone would start talking to me or distract me in some other way. With all the distractions, it takes a lot of work for me to write these posts. It keeps me from getting anything else done, too, so don’t expect many (or any) more blog posts, either from my laptop or my phone. Sorry, but that’s just how it has to be.



Pic 1: Tanya from Bosselman's fuel desk is freaking cool. In fact, everyone at Bosselman's is awesome. Unlike almost every other truck stop I've been to, even the management at Bosselman's did not have a problem with me trying to get a ride out of the place, as long as I didn't bother the drivers, which I never do. Even after ten days, they were still cool with me.

Bosselman's rules.



 

Pic 2: Courtany (I think that's how she spells her name) from Bosselman's had an interesting story to tell. I don't think she would mind if I tell her whole story, but I'm not sure, so I should probably skip most of the details. At age 19, after a pretty messed-up childhood, including meth addiction, she has three kids (one of them is 6), yet she really seems to have her shit together.



 

Pic 3: Ryan (left, age 33) and Josh (age 17).

Ryan dates Josh's mom. Along with another roommate, the three of them were moving from Binghamptom, New York to the San Francisco Bay Area. Mom and the roommate took Greyhound to the west coast, but Ryan and Josh hitchhiked.

On a Saturday the three of us met a trucker named Doug, who offered us a ride. Leaving from Altoona on Monday morning, Doug's next load was going to Medicine Hat, Alberta. From there he would be going to Seattle, then probably LA. On Sunday night we all watched The Stewie Griffin Story in his truck, then I got out to sleep in my normal spot because there really was only enough room for one person to sleep in the truck. Before I got out of the truck, Doug told me to be back by 6:00 the next morning, so I woke up at 5:30 and made it to the truck at 6:01.

Doug was going to drop off his three passengers somewhere in Montana before entering Canada (because none of us has a passport). After delivering and picking up in Medicine Hat, he would then pick us up again where he left us. Then we would continue merrily on to Seattle and California.

The next morning, though, there was a problem: When I walked out to the truck at 6:01, the truck was gone.

I had Ryan's phone number, so I called him to find out if they were still around, at the fuel islands or something. No answer.

That really pissed me off. Since I’d already had a ride lined up on Saturday with Doug, I spent the next two days chilling out, not trying to get a ride. And let me make this really clear: No one owes me a ride or money or anything. But ditching me like that was a really shitty thing to do, especially considering the circumstances. The least they could have done was call me or walk out to my tent to tell me I was no longer welcome along for the ride. I mean, is it really so hard to be honest with people?

Fortunately I found another ride by about 11:20 Monday morning with a dude named Steve. As I’ve said so many times already, I love Bosselman's, but ten days at one truck stop is ridiculous, so I was way past ready to leave.



 

Pic 4: Steve and that dude who says 'fuck' a lot.

Steve (the long-haired dude in the pic) has some gear in his truck that allows him to make simple graphics (mostly text) for other people’s trucks. Whenever he has spare time at a truck stop, he uses his radio to offer his services to truckers who may be looking for some new graphics. Offering the graphics (and application of the graphics) at ridiculously cheap prices, he only makes enough money to cover the cost of materials, even when he has help from someone like me. Consequently, even though I spent several hours helping him with this hobby of his, I didn’t make a cent.

In the picture, you can see the graphics we did for some dude who says ‘fuck’ about every third word (“SPECIAL K TRUCKING INC”). He was cool, but damn he says ‘fuck’ a lot.

After I took this picture, we ended up making a couple more graphics to put just below the windows on each door of the truck. For the driver-side door we made a graphic that said ‘Triple Threat,’ which is the dude’s handle. For the passenger-side door we made one that said ‘Keebler,’ which is the driver’s girlfriend’s handle. (She was not riding with him at the time.)

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's too bad there isn't

It's too bad there isn't a camera crew out here with me because you could learn a lot by listening to some of these truck stop conversations.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There's also no milepost for

There's also no milepost for mile 666 on I-10 East between San Antonio and Houston. Apparently someone stole 'em. I hope it wasn't a Jesus freak.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Broke

I'm hungry. I'm tired. It's 100 degrees. I'm sick of waiting for a ride to somewhere with decent weather. I'm down to my last two bucks, but I have no interest in flying a sign for cash. I wrote most of a long blog post with four pics at least a week ago but can't publish it because I have no available wifi. By the time I'm finally able to publish that post, it will be very old news. In all honesty, I just want to cry for a while in the arms of someone special, but I don't have anyone like that. --> This is no fun anymore. I have nothing more to prove without a TV crew following me. I've been planning to stop at home for a few days in mid-September, then hit the road again for a few more months, but I don't think I'm going to hit the road again because there is no point. I think instead I'll go out and get a stupid, crappy job and become an overworked, underpaid zombie like the rest of
you. This could have (and should have) become something really great, but all it has become is old.

Boy I tell ya it

Boy I tell ya it sure is fun to have ants biting your nut sack all night.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just before you enter Emporia,

Just before you enter Emporia, Kansas on I-35 South, there's a gorgeous house beside a lake off to the right of the interstate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I finally got a ride

I finally got a ride out of Altoona. Long story; maybe I can tell the story someday. We're Nebraska-bound.

Assistance

I don't have time to tell you this story as it's happening, nor can I capture even a fraction of the story on tape by myself. It's hard enough just keeping myself alive, y'know. You have no idea how much I have to tell you and show you, but I can't do it by myself and I'm sick of killing myself by trying. All I can say is that if my life on the road was a TV show, you'd watch every episode because it's more interesting than everything else on TV. So if you want that, it's time for you to contact NBC Universal Peacock Productions or some other production company and tell them you want Aimless, because that's the only way you're ever gonna get it. I don't mean to sound bitchy or pissy, but that's just how it is. I appreciate your assistance.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Another mystery caller

I received another call from a stranger about an hour ago. It was a Naples native named Daniel who randomly stumbled onto my cop encounter video on YouTube. Now a 31-year-old freshman at Marshall University, he will be taking some kind of journalism class in the upcoming quarter or semester. During this class, he anticipates that there will be an assignment in which he has to interview someone off the street (or something like that), and he asked if I'd be game for that interview.

Yes, I am game.

Actually, we talked about a lot of stuff before he asked me if I'd be willing to do the interview. It was really cool. He even said he kinda expected my phone number to be bogus, so he was a little shocked that 1) someone answered, and 2) that it was me.

So this is weird. I mean, I was getting all geeked out because I'm still stuck at this truck stop, but cool things keep happening here. First the call about being a regular guest on the internet radio show, and now a similar call about being an interview subject, which I think he said could even end up in the school paper. (I'm not sure if that's what he meant when he mentioned the school paper, though.)

Even the truck stop management doesn't care that I'm hanging around. Unlike pretty much every other truck stop I've ever been to, the management here understands that I'm not bugging the drivers or being any kind of nuisance. The people here at Bosselman's in Altoona are so freaking cool, it blows my mind. And these calls I'm getting... Jesus, I'm starting to feel somewhat important.

But that's not even half of the story. Shit, if I don't watch out, I might get another call from NBC, even though I don't really care about that anymore.

Man, I just need to get a ride to Indy now. I'm almost out of time.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

This is frustrating

I'm on my fourth day at the Bosselman's truck stop in Altoona, Iowa. I was trying to get to St. Paul until last night, but I've changed my destination to Indianapolis, where there will be a gathering Saturday with a bunch of people I haven't seen in years. Of course, had I been trying to get to Indy when I arrived here, I would have been gone days ago.

It's hot and humid outside, and it's not easy to find a comfortable hitching post, regardless of whether I hang out near the fuel islands, near the truck exit, or inside the truck stop. Additionally, all the time I've spent using the computer has probably cost me ride opportunities because I'm not as approachable when I'm focused on my computer.

There was a driver here for a couple days who, as I found out after the fact, would have given me a ride to Chicago this morning. He even looked for me in a few different places before he left. If he just would have told me last night that he was willing to give me a ride, we could have coordinated a time and place to meet. Instead, I was sleeping soundly in my tent, essentially right beside I-80. (There is no fence or divider between the truck stop and the interstate. That's weird. Check it out on Google Maps; Exit 142 in Altoona, Iowa.)

I really, really, really want to leave here right now. Fortunately the staff and management at Bosselman's have been awesome to me. I've been here once before, but only for a few minutes. It was the end of a ride from Madison two years ago. I didn't have to stay that time, though, because I had a ride to Omaha (ultimately California) lined up before I even got out of the truck that brought me here.

Well, at least I have four days to make it to Indy for the gathering.

 


Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 03, 2009

Front yard

Here's a view through the door of my tent during my second night on the road, in Decatur, Illinois.

Don't get used to this rapid-fire sequence of blogging. Once I get out of this truck stop, free wifi will be scarce.

 


Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

What do you see here?

Click on the thumbnail below and look at the FULL SIZE pic so you can see the details, then leave a comment telling me what kind of mysterious image you see hidden in this picture. It should not be very difficult.

 


Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

1 days

I couldn't help noticing this sign in the truck stop's restaurant yesterday. I don't think I've ever even seen this kind of sign in a restaurant before; it's something I'd expect to see at a construction site. But when you have such a proud record of safety as they do, I guess you have to show it off.

 

If I haven't mentioned it here yet, I've been trying to get to St. Paul, Minnesota to see my good friend Jackie, with whom I had lost contact for well over ten years (until early this year, when I joined Facebook). I've had plenty of ride offers over the last 50 hours, but nobody's going that way.

If I don't get a ride to Minnesota today, I'm just gonna have to start trying to get to Indy, where I plan to attend a gathering Saturday with a lot of people I haven't seen in years. Also there is a good chance Jeff will be passing through Indy at the same time, on his way to DC and Maine. So if Jeff and I both make it to Indy, it looks like I'll be going with him for at least a few days.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Paul

OK, since that worked, here's a picture of Paul. Story coming soon, maybe.

 

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Test

I'm just trying something I've never done before. Did it work?



[No, it didn't. This is frustrating.]

OK, yes it did... maybe. As you can see, I may have been in Green Bay recently.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Altoona, Iowa

I have so much to say, I'll never be able to say even half of it. Let's start here: I got a very interesting phone call today. It was from a guy named Jason Spurlock. (Google his name to find out who he is. I haven't Googled his name yet, so all I know is what he told me.)

Oh yeah, so I'm at a truck stop in Iowa and I am no longer riding with Paul. I'll have tons to say about him whenever I can or someday maybe.

So this dude Jason has an internet radio show, and he asked me if I'd be interested in contributing stories from the road and stuff. But whoa, it's just way beyond that. The dude is a bundle of energy and he gets it.

Like always, I'm extremely tired. I need to find somewhere to sleep now, even though I would like to sit here and type a few pages for you to read. Hey, I'm trying, but this is so much more work than you can imagine. Maybe with Jason's collaboration, one of my jobs can become a little easier.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm still alive

I've been riding with Paul for about ten days. We're between Milwaukee and Madison right now, on the way to Denver. I think I'll get out in Des Moines, though, so I can try to hit the Twin Cities to see my dear friend Jackie, whom I have not seen in nearly 15 years. Also, I don't want to venture too far west right now because I want to attend a gathering in Indy next Saturday. I have a lot to say about Paul, but I'll have to wait until I find some free wifi. I also have a camera this time; I'll try to figure out how to edit and upload some of the pics I take. There are a couple decent ones already. Well, I just wanted to post a short update from my phone because it's been a while. Hopefully I'll be able to say more soon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Joined in progress

In case you’ve wondered: Yes, I am on the road again. I just haven’t found any free wifi access until now, nor have I had much opportunity to write anything. (I’m really sleep-deprived right now, too, so I hope this all makes sense.)

Last Sunday, after a three-day family reunion near Dayton, Ohio, my parents followed me to a truck stop near London, where I unloaded my travel gear from the car and handed my keys to Mom. Considering it was already evening when we arrived, I didn’t even try to get a ride. Instead, I found a nice place to sleep so I could get up early the next morning and put myself in position to get a ride to anywhere.

At about 9:00 AM on Monday morning, I found my way to a familiar hitchhiking spot near the fuel islands of the Pilot truck stop, only a few feet from where I met Vernon last year. Never knowing how long it might take to get a ride at a truck stop, I hoped I wouldn’t end up stuck there for the next two or three days. Fortunately I didn’t even have to wait half an hour for someone to offer me a ride. Just before 9:30, we were off.

This ride was much different than the rides I usually get when I hang out at truck stops. This time the vehicle was neither a truck nor a car; it was an over-the-road coach. The 50-year-old New Jersey native, Brian, who normally chauffeurs chartered tourists, was delivering a brand new bus from Canada to Dallas, where it will soon become a new addition to the Lone Star fleet. As a pit stop on his way to Dallas, though, he intended to take a slight detour to Decatur, Illinois to visit his in-laws. This meant I'd be getting out in Decatur.

On the way to central Illinois, as I sat uncomfortably atop the steps beside the driver’s seat, Brian expressed a strong passion for cooking. An amateur food scientist of Italian descent, Brian said he often experiments in the kitchen, sharing his creations with family and friends. Taking pride in the fact that his results tend to be beyond satisfactory, he expressed interest in opening his own restaurant someday. However, I couldn’t help thinking he will probably never pursue his restaurant dreams. Although Brian seemed very confident in his culinary skills, something told me he lacks the courage to invest in himself. He showed a lot of passion and conviction regarding food, but he just seemed like a deer in the headlights of his own dreams. Hopefully someday he will realize his hi-beams are not a threat; they are merely beckoning him to take control of his destiny. All he needs to do is take the wheel, press the gas pedal, keep the car between the lines, and stay focused on his objectives.

With each of us hoping to own a restaurant someday, Brian and I shared our philosophies regarding cooking and restaurant operations. Soon, though, we were in Decatur and it was time to split. Brian dropped me off at a Pilot truck stop outside Decatur, where I grabbed a cheap lunch at a fast food joint. After eating, I headed out to the fuel islands to look for another ride to anywhere (except Ohio).

I spent about 24 hours at the Pilot station in Decatur before getting a ride with a very cool trucker named Paul. Paul and I stopped in somewhere in Oklahoma last night, then delivered his load in Dallas earlier today. Now we’re at a truck stop on the south side of Dallas, where we'll stay overnight before picking up a load bound for Florida. (No, I won’t be getting out in Florida.)

I will surely have plenty to say about Paul whenever I get another chance. He’s a real character. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to find free wifi, especially on the truck stop circuit. It’s also hard to find time to write, but I’ll try my best to keep it coming.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bleached

I don't know if I ever mentioned the four nights I stayed in a hotel/casino in Primm, Nevada last December as I made my way back to southern California from Vegas. Yeah, well I stayed in a hotel for four nights last December as I made my way back to southern California from Vegas. The first night was free because someone gave me a voucher for a free room, but the other nights were only $22 per night, which I was able to afford because I turned a nickel into $100 on a keno machine. (That's just a small part of the story, so don't go thinkin' I'm Mr. Lucky.)

While I stayed at the hotel, taking a well-deserved vacation, I spent a good bit of time sitting in the hot tub, especially late at night when it was really cold. I can't help it; I love the feeling of standing outside in freezing temperatures, soaked and almost naked yet not affected by the cold because my body is so thoroughly warm from the hot water.

One thing I didn't consider, though, as I sat in the hot tub with the legs of my convertible pants zipped off, is that the hot tub was bleaching my shorts. Consequently, I ended up with multi-colored pants--light green shorts with darker green legs--which looked pretty goofy. By this time of year, even in Vegas and southern California, it was cold enough to necessitate wearing pants, so I had no choice but to look goofy every day following my mini-vacation, as that was my only pair of pants.

Before I hit the road again, I need to try to bleach the legs of those pants to make them the same color as the shorts. That'll be fun.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence

Monday, July 06, 2009

It ain't over

If anyone still reads this: I plan to hit the road again soon.

I can't wait to get outta here in a couple weeks. I have too much time right now to think about shit I don't need to be thinking about, and it's not doing me any good.

On the road there's no time to process thoughts, and it eventually makes you really crazy. Considering how much time I've already spent on the road, though, and how much time I've had to reflect and learn, I think I can handle it better this time. But at less than 140 lbs already, will my body be able to take the punishment?

I don't have any more bullshit to worry about, so I think this trek will be much better than the previous adventures have turned out. Also, I think it will be better for the people who put up with the things I write here.

What will be different this time?

Well, for example, I really don't care anymore if I ever hear back from NBC, so no more bitching about that. Yes, I want to hear from them and I know I'm money in their bank, but I'm not the slightest bit worried about it anymore.

Also, that girl Missy who's been in my head for almost five years. I finally realized yesterday that she simply is not a good person. For so long I refused to believe it, and all I did was make myself look crazy in her eyes by trying to reach her. But now I know the truth, and unfortunately she's just not a good person. I think deep down in her heart she is a beautiful person, but she doesn't listen to her heart (or the voice of reason), so I can't continue hurting myself by wishing she would.

Anyway, that's a big weight lifted from my back right there. It's just one of many things that should make the next trek more enjoyable to the three people who read this blog. Another thing that should make it better is that I don't expect to update very frequently. I've put too much pressure on myself in the past by trying to do too much and trying to share too much. I'm gonna be selfish this time and try to enjoy the experience a little more, and that should help you enjoy it a little more, too.

But who knows if I'll stick to my plan once I hit the road?

P.S. - I hope you see this, Missy Green, because... Originally I was going to say I want you to see it so you can misinterpret even more of my words and perpetuate the lie in your head, but that's not why I want you to see it. I want you to see it because I still hope you and I can forgive each other someday and become friends or whatever. I just don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive you now.

Update (7/16/09): Forget that; there will be no more forgiveness.

Become a fan of Aimless on Facebook.

--
Aimless
Aimless Video Evidence