Tag: road trips

I think we’re alone now

Children behaaaave- that s what they say when we’re together

I’ve been meaning to post an update for a good long while. At first, I as too busy traveling, but recently it’s been more an issue of general aversion to technology.

Please allow me to squish my last several weeks of adventure into as tiny of a space as I can..

After I left Seattle on Feb 15, I wet up to Bellingham, WA.
After getting off the evil I-5, I got to enjoy this lovely view on Chuckanut Drive

2013-02-15 16.25.082013-02-15 16.25.04

Plus a surprise tea house and zen garden!

2013-02-15 16.13.04
Let me tell you, I freaking LOVED Bellingham! So much that I didn’t want to leave, and after I did.. I went BACK!
I stayed with a really rad chick I had met while volunteering in Peru and her awesome roommates!

2013-02-18 13.34.39
B-ham is a fascinating town that has it’s very own expert in every trade and locally-sourced anything you could possibly want. It’s also small enough to walk around and only a 10 min drive from killer hiking. My stay there was a nice balance of fun, exploring, bonding, and recovering from the previous two weeks of my trip.

Breaking off to travel solo was really liberating. I had no pressure to be anywhere by any time and was able to quietly reflect on the first half of my journey. Basically, I met this tremendously amazing person from Seattle on the M train in Brooklyn, we hung out once, he flew back to his land (MY land now, mwahahaha!), and the second time we hung out was a two-week cross country road trip from NJ to WA. While I was explaining the story to my freind in B-ham, she stared at me in disbelief and blurted, “WAIT- these things don’t actually happen in real life!”

And she was pretty spot on. Being in such close proximity to someone I hardly knew for such a long period of time was different from anything I’ve ever done before. It turned out to be an incredible experience that I’ll cherish forever, but wooooooooo boy, talk about INTENSE! Even moreso because, in the process of getting to know one another (and meeting one another’s families), I realized how he and I were polar opposites in so many ways. I don’t know how/if we would have ever connected had a little voice in my head not been SCREAMING at me to talk to him on the train that day.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we had designed and participated in our very own bizarre experiment that should probebly be turned into a documentary. In conclusion, getting to know someone in this particular fashion is a great way to fry yr freaking brain.

During the last few days of my trip with spooky, i began to feel like the ground could disappear from beneath my feet at any moment. And if it did, I wouldn’t have thought of it as anything out of the ordinary. After all, if nothing is ordinary then isn’t everything, also? Wrap yr noodle around that one..

So, I essentially spent the majority of my first solo day wandering around B-ham, loosely holding onto a thin, 18 foot long strand of thread that acted as the only tether between my body and my head, which floated reluctantly along behind me like a helium balloon. This resulted in my body showing up places before my mind could catch up and caused some diffuculties in social interraction as well as a perpetual state of confusion as to where I was.

But after going for a quick run, I was back on track again and all was hunky dory. The next day, I ended up running a half marathon with one of the girls I was staying with. 13.1 miles was the farthest I’d run in over a year. When she first invited me to join her on the run, I had a fleeting moment of self-doubt. But that doubt fell victim to the “hell yeah” response I knew was pushing through right behind it.

The run was along one of Bellingham’s many gorgeous trails and was definitely challenging- both physically and emotionally. My running partner was a really sweet, badass girl who was particpating in some sort of domestic violence workshop and seemed to be a social worker in training. So in the process of getting to know one another over a 13 mile run, I started revealing things to her that I’d never actually directly told anyone before. Things that had been weighted down with too much shame and fear to ever express. Emotionally intense is the new black, yo.

So I got a free therapy session while declaring my issues to the sweet breeze and everyone running in the park that day. If it was gonna come out some time anyway, I’m glad it did while I was running alongside a bright, compassionate, and very strong young woman.

After pouring so much energy into self-discovery thru establishing deep social bonds at the speed of light, I was about ready for some time REALLY alone. So I slept in the trees of Larrabee State Park an didn’t communicate with a single person for an entire day. It was cold and rainy, but a much needed, nourishing visit with mother nature.

Sweet Jesus, just typing that took a lot out of me. I changed my mind. This will not be a review of my past four weeks. I’ll have to break it all down into manageable chunks. I’m tired and I write too much.

I’m at the farm now and have been for almost two weeks. It’s wonderful to be settled and in the middle of nowhere with lots of free time and hardly any social obligations. I’ll catch up on that another time. Now I’m gonna go serenade my new dog-roommate with my saxophone.

what are dreams for anyway without the guts to live your life that way?

Totally traveling right now, which kind of makes it difficult to publish blog posts, so thanks for being patient. i have been getting a little stressed out by fussing with this tablet i m typing on and the bluetooth keyboard can bite me so please excuse the excessive typos here Still rolling around, but have made it all the way to the northwest so it’s slowed down a lot. Here is a quick overview of where I’ve been the past few weeks… I left on Feb 1 with an amazing friend who lives in Seattle but I met once while i was still living in brooklyn/ the period key is only working when it feels like it, i guess/ traveling across the country with a person i hardly knew but still trusted well enough was a wild adventure of its own that i didn’t really feel the magnitude of until we parted ways/ people have been telling me my life sounds like a movie and I LOVE IT First stop- Pittsburgh, PA/ we went to a fun acoustic show at this house called the pit-bull palace It was full of stellar musicians, including this inclredible dude Robby Lester who fed us pizza and beer and let us crash at his house! He is a great musician and all around sweet dude who i HIGHLY recommend supporting in any which way you can/ link below is for RobbyS bandcamp there were also pitbulls <3 2013-02-02 00.06.42 luvinz From there we drove thru the worst weather of the entire trip to CHICAGO to stay with my friend’s friends who were also super awesome 2013-02-03 13.57.26 this is my travel buddy who i’ve affectionately nicknamed spooky/ just like mulder/ after two days in chicago we stopped in OMAHA, which i have no pics of and it was dark the entire time we were there then we moved on to COLORADO- stopping in Windsor, Denver and Boulder/ we visited my grandparents in Windsor but i neglected to take pics with them or the delicious ravioli they made us for dinner because i am a JERK but here is a marvelous sunset and a nice shot of Boulder that I kind of like 2013-02-05 17.33.09 2013-02-06 14.00.00 Then we took a side trip to SANTA FE, NM simply because we both love it there and it’s the best place i’ve visited so far 2013-02-06 20.27.08 2013-02-07 11.47.24 the photo on the left is a terrible shot, but i needed to document my friend’s ARBYS craving because i knew i would have a hard time believing it/ i’m also a JERK/ so here’s a turtle to make up for it he ate it, too!!! it’s okay, i eat rocks and intestines sometimes then we went to the general Vegas area to visit spooky-family and bought some gas and breakfast for dinner at an alien brothel 2013-02-09 18.17.57 2013-02-07 14.09.21 crust-mobile And then we took a gorgeous drive across northern Cali 20130210_122222 and landed in ARCATA where we stayed with overwhelmingly awesome, fun and lovely friends of a dear sweet friend of mine there is just so much love here <3 2013-02-11 14.24.05 2013-02-11 14.24.13be_gdata_player2013-02-11 14.24.21 2013-02-11 14.25.38 and then we played twat trivia and our team came in DFL 2013-02-11 20.03.07 i blame the dudes for questioning my hymen knowledge and then we made it up to SEATTLE 2013-02-14 11.26.46 this is my face with a huge gigantic wall of colorful gum in seattle my two week of getting to know a stranger/friend within the confines of my car **and anywhere we wanted to take it** ended on VALENTINES day so we decided last minute to get dressed up an go to a vday prom show 2013-02-14 20.55.04 2013-02-14 22.02.04 not pictured are the freakin SWEET cowboy boots spooky inherited during family fun time/ you’re just gonna have to trust me- they rock/ i have some seriously awful hat head goin on here so please tell me I’m pretty ;) Thanks. Well, I think that’s it for now. I just closed down a cafe working on this post so I think I’ll just save my solo leg of the journey for another time. This probably wasn’t the kind of trip review you were expecting,  or maybe it was? Either way, if you want to hear more I’d be happy to go into details over coffee or a phone/skype thing. I’ll be getting to the farm next week and will probably be a lot easier to get a hold of. Love

I cannot deal with inserting a youtube video right now so please go listen to highway kings by the bouncing souls!!

You know her life was saved by rock & roll

A few days ago, I learned (or maybe was reminded) that Peter Buck, the guitarist of R.E.M., released a solo record in 2012.

Those who know me are already aware that R.E.M. has been my absolute favorite band of all time since I was about 10. I’ve even gone so far as to plan a whole road trip around visiting Athens, GA, where I visited the Wuxtry Records shop Peter used to work at, the railroad trestle the cover photo of Murmer was taken, and (of course) Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods:

290_528267236309_3010_n

I’ve always said that, if I had a time machine and could go anywhere in the past, it would be Athens, GA in the early 80’s just to be a part of that scene. Still holds true. (Not that I don’t LOOOOOOOOVE my Jersey music scene.)

My obsession with R.E.M. shaped my entire musical experience. I started listening to the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Patti Smith, Hüsker Dü and the Replacements because members of R.E.M. cited them as influences. I have no idea what kind of garbage normal kids were into at that time. I started listening to Minor Threat because I saw Michael Stipe wearing one of their t-shirts in a photo.

Side story: I remember purchasing my very own Minor Threat t-shirt in Hot Topic several months later. The guy who sold it to me said that I was the first person to buy one. I was 13 years old and paid for it with saved-up lunch money.

That road trip also involved the first (and only) time I ever got to see R.E.M. play live. I cried. It was also the first (and only) time I’ve been bitten by a snake, but I’ll save that for another day.

I never really had a favorite band member (and it was definitely never Stipe), until I saw them live. Watching Peter play guitar on stage reminded me of watching my friends play at Elks lodges and VFW halls for sparse crowds. At a time when his band was clearly churning out crappy albums just to fulfill a record contract, it appeared as if Peter never forgot what made him want to do this in the first place. In short- Peter Buck defines rock & roll to me.

I had to get this freaking record. Not only because I expected it to be great, and because Corin Tucker (of Sleater-Kinney) and Mike Mills (of R.E.M.) are on it, but because this was a vinyl-only release limited to 2000 copies. I’m leaving for the northwest in about a week and am not planning to take my record player with me.

I had to drive about an hour to get to Vintage Vinyl, the nearest record store that had a copy in stock. (oh, Brooklyn, how I miss thee.) I brought some unlikable CDs and old DVDs to exchange for credit, and hunted around the shop for my record. I had to ask for help finding it, and the VV employee and I searched for several minutes before looking up and seeing RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACES. I literally jumped in the air with delight! Might have squealed, too. I also picked up a CD copy of The Odds by The Evens, Ian MacKaye’s latest project (full circles, friends).

After I left the store, I met a friend for a movie and coffee. As much as I loved spending time with her, I couldn’t stop thinking about my new LP, and how badly I wanted to go home and listen to it. It was like a date. I had driven a long way and spent half the money in my wallet to get this record, and I couldn’t enjoy it until I got home and set up my record player. With most bands releasing their tunes in mp3 format available for instant download that you can burn, stream, an listen to anywhere, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so much anticipation for an album. This is the way my parents must have felt when new Yes albums came out.. right?

I was able to listen to my new CD in my car (which has a BOOMIN sound system) on the long ride home, but I was still thinking about Peter Buck. **Also, thinking about how my new Bad Religion record must have been delivered to my brother’s apartment by now and how badly I want to snatch that baby up. Ahem.**

Even though I got home really late, I unpacked my record player and speakers, lit candles in my parents’ basement, and opened a bottle of red wine. I’m guessing that most people don’t think that buying a new record is an occasion that warrants opening a good bottle of wine.

Every day I thank god I’m not one of THEM.

My doubts that this LP would come with a digital dl code was affirmed the minute I looked at the liner notes, which read:

“This is analog music: recorded and mixed on magnetic recording tape… mastered by Rick McMillan onto a half-inch Scully deck at 30 ips; and finally cut to lacquer disc… utilizing a custom-made tape machine that requires no digital conversion.”

There ya go. I sat on the floor, plugged my decent headphones into my crappy speakers (there was no way I was going to listen to even one note on decaying audio equipment), and listened to the whole thing. Occasional pauses were made to take low-res photos of myself to document the event.

VINYL ONLY
VINYL ONLY

<3 <3 <3 Everything about this album supported my belief that this dude just freaking LOVES making music. Except, perhaps, the track titled “Nothing Matters.” That’s just plain bad. I appreciate its placement at the end of side 1 so that it’s nice and easy to skip over from now on. <3 <3 <3

I like this.

2013-01-24 01.04.11

Evidently, I was so awestruck by the record that I forgot to blow out the candles. Mom left me a note this morning.