Tuesday, September 22, 2009
My makes dinner, it's chicken and some kind of pasta and it turns out pretty well. My mom is one of those people that can cook really absurdly well and even though my friends and I are adults now they still ask for my mom's cooking. I settle down to watch some of this crazy tv show that I started watching. It's Grey's Anatomy meets event horizon. Jets start scrambling over head, I wonder if the end is near. I get a phone call from my friend Nick while this is happening. He asks if I can hear the jets too, “it's true I can” I said. Then he makes the proposal that he would be able to give me gin and tonic's at his house but he cannot guarantee anything about doing the same at my parents house. I arrive at his house and we get our gin and tonics. I show him the current status of my travels. Then we start getting into how the job market sucks ass and how we need to get what we can. I tell him about my situation for a little while and he talks about his. I say adieu and we make plans to meet up again after I am done with this trip and once hes done with his boat.
The next stop in my home town journey is to meet up with my friend The One True Sean. I arrive at his abode and tell him of my travels and show him the current state of the blog including the unposted articles. He says the blog meets his 12 year old scotch approval and hands me some. Then he disappears and returns with a box filled with dangerously sharp coke cans. I starts to don them while talking about how he built samurai armor from these things using nothing but coke cans and dental floss. Truly this is a feat to see to believe which is why I have a picture of it. I have to leave because my flight is at 8 am so I need to get some rest.
I return to my parents house unfortunately jet lag will have none of this sleeping thing so I get about two hours during the night.
In the morning generally I am not so happy, I tend to feel nauseous and generally not good whenever I wake up. Today was travel day, thanks to a tip off from my father instead of taking 2 hours and 10 dollars to get to the airport it took $1.75 and 60 minutes. I was having issues with nausea probably leftover waves from the night before. I rode the SamTrans bus from Stanford to SFO but I got nauseous on the way and chewed a quarter of a dremamine tablet. As it turns out dremamine since it's meant to be swallowed I never knew that it was a numbing agent. I got into the terminal and parked near some power to write more about day 4 since it was such a huge day. I don't actually get to finish day 4 because the plane is about to leave to New York. I get on the plane nausea abates fall asleep for a little while. Wake up go to get my backpack for the next dremamine tablet so I don't vomit all over the plane and I can't find my bag. Apparently someone had moved it, a flight attendant helped me find it and handed me my bag. I couldn't find anything interesting on the TV so I fell asleep and woke up to the movie Catch Me If You Can. Which was great, and there were fireworks over new york. The plane landed I got a slice of overpriced $4 pizza the plane to Boston was delayed so it gave me a chance to finish up Day 4 and begin writing Day 5. Right now I'm sitting in JFK realizing that I love traveling more than I did before and this is only feeding my addiction. I need to figure out a way to make this a job, I'll try to figure out how. Maybe this blog can help me out. Another realization is the adventure is not over until you fall asleep for the day. I will finish this post off tomorrow morning.
So I packed up my laptop into my bag because the plane was about to begin boarding and I needed to pee. I walked to the bathroom, nobody else was in it so I started looking for an empty urinal. After about 30 seconds I round the corner and continue to find stalls. I think to myself that it's kinda weird that New York doesn't have any urinals. So I go into a stall do my business and before I leave someone else finishes and goes to wash their hands. I wait a couple seconds before exiting the stall in the mirror in front of me I notice that the person washing their hands is female. At this point I come to the realization why there are no urinals in this bathroom. I say, “goddamnit” and run out of the room. I get back to the gate I have to wait at and I meet up with another person on the all you can jet program. They've been to international regions and are also talking about writing a blog. I tried to friend him on facebook, no dice. It's alright not everyone can be friends. The flight to Boston goes without trouble, my father picks me up we arrive at my parents house and I fall asleep.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The headache gets worse, we pay for the Chinese food and leave. Nausea sets in as we start walking back. The effects I am feeling are only minor at this point. I mention that I need to get painkillers and that my senses are starting to dull. We continue on forward towards the subway station along the way I make it known that I am getting progressively worse and nauseous. Cherie and I try to find a drugstore with a bathroom as we wander the streets. I am no longer aware of Ben at this point. My head is throbbing I am starting to hallucinate slightly and the only direction I can look is forward without a wave of nausea overcoming me. We found a Seven Eleven and asked if they had a bathroom, they said “No go across the street to Loehman's.” Cherie bought Ibuprofen while I stumbled into the store obviously confused and disoriented walls shaking. I navigate to the bathroom and go to work. The walls are blindingly white shuddering in time with the flow of my blood through my veins. I double over and it seems only mushrooms and not fully chewed food comes to the front end. I hear nothing but ringing until I am done. I step back survey the job well done clean up and exit the bathroom. My friends are there waiting Ben has reappeared in my life. Cherie asked me if I had cleaned up, confused and not sure of myself I went back into the bathroom and cleaned up again. They give me water and the Ibuprofen. Things start to get better, the hallucinations slowly abate the nausea disappears and I feel worlds better. Details at this point are hazy, I appear in hot topic there is a woman there waving her fingers at us I'm confused Cherie starts inspecting shirts. Space folds and we arrive in the subway station, the attendant tells us that we need to break our money into ones then use a BART machine to turn those ones into quarters so that we can throw two dollars of change into the machine to get on the MUNI. What an ass backwards system at least Boston's system can break a 5. We get on the train and over time the migraine fully dissipates and everything is hunky dory.
Everyone piles into Ben's car and we head out to the beach to start a campfire with the wood we got from the man on the strange car riddled hill. At the beach we pick up the wood and headed in towards the beach. Clearly we need to burn a small part of California because not enough of it is on fire at this point. I start digging a hole while my friends continue bringing supplies. Cherie attempts to build a fire in the hole I dug while Ben tears up kindling. He manages to accidentally put his foot in the wrong place which submerges the kindling we do have in sand. Squabbling happens I stare ahead feeling out of place and wishing I brought a jacket, it's cold as hell out on the beach at night. They rebuild the fire and make their first attempts to light it, unfortunately Ben had only brought matches. They were unable to get anything going. Some dude walks over and whips out some lighter fluid, and says that we should “Yeaahhh, Drench that shit!”. Which we do and we finally get a controlled fire going. It's pretty great theres about 35 fires all dotting the beach. I notice that about three police cruisers are making their way slowly down the beach parking lot. Since I was still a little out of it I immediately turned into a paranoid little bitch fearing for being put in jail and unable to make my flight tomorrow. This doesn't happen, I am infact a wuss. The police are just ticketing cars because this is apparently a treasure trove for them with all these people on the beach after the public hours. Ben leaves to go move the car before he gets a ticket. Cherie and I are left on the beach staring at the fire. Ben returns to find me in the process of freaking out due to the fear of police action. Our plan at that point was, “No lets let the fire burn down and not throw more wood onto it.” Apparently Cherie who suggested this very idea did not get her own memo and she continued to throw larger logs onto the inferno. A car drives up on the beach, I get paranoid and Ben and Cherie tell me to go for a walk on the beach. I start walking around following a couple walking a dog. Fires start going out, the car drives further down the beach and my assumption was correct it was the police. I wander for about 10-15 minutes and eventually meet back up with my friends. They said that the police were very nice about the whole fire thing because it's a tradition in this area and to try to keep it into the fire rings at the other side of the beach. We walk back to Ben's car which lo and behold has a ticket on it! My friends immediately get upset, at that point I was finally feeling ok again and not a nervous wreck. They were parked somewhere where they should have not been ticketed. So they drive back to the beach to ask the police officers whats up with the ticket. This is the time where I realize these people have balls bigger than their heads. Ben gives up because it will probably take half an hour or more to track down the police on the beach and decides to go back home to bed. The ride back is uneventful and we successfully enter the building and go to sleep. Never again will I think a day or trip will be dull until it happens.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
So I have the preconception that since I have left Vegas the rest of my trip will be pretty uneventful. I mean wandering through a city made of neon lights, alcohol and crazy debauchery of all kinds has to be the tops in excitement for this journey. We wake up, shower, and get ready to head to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). I notice I have a little bit of a head ache. We leave on our journey that will take us there but the first stop is to pick up wood at this guy's house that Ben found over craigslist. About half an hour of countryside,hills, bushes, yellow grass and occasionally trees we arrive at this guys driveway. Cherie starts talking about how she loves horses and needs to pet the biggest one. Ben promises her that she will get to pet them when we come back with the wood. Continuing up the hill to the guys house, there is a barn, a truck, a motorcycle, a old Mercedes and about 10 other classic cars and bikes. When we reach the top of the hill we find a little house with a man standing outside of it. There is a three wheeled hot-rod like car in his driveway. We get our wood and wheel it over to our car. Ben bumps the hot-rod wheel on the way and I manage to kick over a oil tray like a professional. We put our newly acquired wood into the car and continue on our journey to the MOMA. Ben hands Cherie the GPS and asks her to get our destination sorted out. At this point we get back on the highway and Cherie says, “HEY you tricked me I didn't get to pet the horses!”
We get to the train station(MUNI) after driving through a 3 mile strip of road that takes 30 minutes to pass through by car. The MUNI stations look like bus stops but there is a strange concrete island with a bar on it in the middle of the road. The bus shows up while a speaker in the MUNI stop yells at us in a robotic language to let us know whats happening. 35 minutes later the bus decides to start transforming into a subway train and the stairs on the thing shift up to match the new format of the stops which is pretty cool. After a short walk we are at the MOMA which is filled with dickerys from the past, like the urinal. God I hate the urinal so much and they even had an homage to the urinal which was a double urinal. So I start talking about how it would be fitting and possibly considered performance art if someone came in with a sledgehammer and destroyed this thing. The guards were really on the top of their game and they yelled at people and myself all the time. The barriers they constructed at this museum are tiny little bars on the floor these do not work even remotely. I was completely oblivious to these considering sometimes they are only on one side of things. When in a museum I tend to look at the art and not the floor. There was a series of spider creatures like at the national gallery in Ottawa, Canada. Then I saw all I needed to to complete my MOMA experience. On the top floor I notice through a window across the street on the top of a building is a figure in red and white stripes. It was mother naturing Waldo. I found Waldo, hes on a building in San Francisco.
We got some coffee at a Starbucks and start trying to find food. Ben has his heart set on Chinese food which I am not the biggest fan of because it's the same almost anywhere in the US. Cherie and I seem to want to eat anything else and start going in a direction looking for restraunts. Through subterfuge and trickery Ben leads us into Chinatown which we didn't really want to go to. Then I saw the shops selling large carved sculpture made with what looks like scrimshaw. I took a bunch of pictures of mammoth tusks and smaller scale sculptures, it was almost better than the MOMA in my opinion. 20 minutes of being mega tourist later this woman bumps into me and yells, “EXCUSE ME GODDAMNIT!” and then continues on her path of rage. This is when things started to get weird, I start to realize that the head ache I had has gotten worse throughout the day and I'd like to get some painkillers for it, I do not vocalize this yet. We wander down a very sketchy alley for some reason while there is a man yelling at his kid for being loud in a restraunt, which then he does in fact beat his child. Ben and I make it to the end of the alley and we turn around because Cherie isn't behind us shes about 40 meters back staring at the guy. We get her and continue looking for foods, we pick a random Chinese place to go in and eat. We pick out a few dishes they are great and I eat a little too much.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I left the security zone which was a terribad idea. In addition to a lack of seating, lack of anything to do and lack of internet and power jacks the food is overpriced and froo froo. My friend finally picks up his phone about two hours later. At this point he starts describing to me that he can't actually pick me up tells me to get onto the BART to get out to the suburbs in the middle of nowhere. I'm a little apprehensive of this due to not knowing this area of the world much or how their subway system works. I wait about two hours in the airport reading a book before having to leave on to the BART to get to the station in synch with my friend. I get on the train and get off at the stop where I am supposed to change trains. I remember my friend telling me to look at the blinky red signs. These inform me that theres going to be maintenance on the tracks on sept 14th. Awesome, I walk up the stairs wandering around looking for the train I have to go on. I can't seem to find it the only exit is back to where I came from or outside where I have to pay again to get back in. I walk over the the attendant and ask how to get to the correct train line and he points towards the stairs leading down. I go back down and I stare at the blinky red signs for a few more moments before I realize that multiple trains go down the same track. Feeling like a total dumbass I stand and wait for a train with nobody else in the station with me but a mysterious cardboard box hanging out on top of a phone booth. From the clearly non frightening reading material about the BART I had it said that boxes like that are usually filled with explosives and or hypodermic needles.
The train shows up I quickly shuffle on board and take my seat. I get to the end of the line about an hour and a half later with a call from my friend saying its going to be about 45 minutes before he shows up. As it turns out I am unaware of this at the time of the experience. The train stop I got off at is in Oakland CA, which happens to be a gang war-zone. I am puzzled because my friend knows exactly when I will get at the end and he supposedly left in time to get there with a few minutes to spare. I start walking around looking for a place to sit. I ask the attendants again if there is a bench or something around here and they tell me that there are some out side across the street. I wander outside, I'm in a tunnel and I follow the small crowd of people heading to the right because they obviously want to sit on benches too. It's dark, moderately sketchy and the only other people around while I am waiting are angry sounding taxi drivers. I'm sitting there wondering to myself if my friend really just wanted to know if I would actually come to San Francisco and that he never actually intended to pick me up. It would be kind of funny in hindsight if this was true but it would also suck quite a great deal. An hour has passed then it starts to rain, awesome. I leave my stone cylinder that I was perching on and go and hide underneath a structure of some kind. The thought of , “Is this acid rain?” passes through my head when I notice that I am thirsty. I call my friend again leaving a message about how it's raining now. Fifteen minutes pass I am still alone at the station thinking to myself, “Dammit why didn't I stay at the airport at least they had comfortable seats I can sleep on.” Ten minutes later I get a call from my friend explaining about how he got pulled over and he'll be here shortly. My friend shows up stuffs me into the back of his car that is already fully loaded.
So I have two friends here, who happen to be doing the boyfriend girlfriend thing. Ben and Cherie, they are pretty alright fellows if you ask me. We stop at a gas station for we need to not run out of fuel on the side of the road. Cherie and I go into the gas station, I get a pink lemonade. The guy who replenishes the Krispy Kreme supply shows up and Cherie starts talking about how we need to get some. It is mentioned that Ben will eat all the donuts. We only get a couple donuts and then hit the road. I wonder why my side seems a little wet, then I realize the pink lemonade has spilled all over me so now I'm going to be sticky. I end up passing out while holding a donut box for I am a classy gentleman. I wake up as we arrive in Stanford we go inside, I wash up and then we hit the hay.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I awoke at around 8 am bleary, confused and sick from the festivities of the night before. I'm very glad I woke up at this time because I had till about 11 am to vacate the hotel room and I needed that extra time to get ready. I felt nauseous so I did what any red blooded American would do, head to the bathroom to fix this feeling. After re-emerging from the bathroom feeling great I went back to bed to wake up by 10:12 so I can pack up and go. When I re-awaken I wander the hotel room looking for everything just in case I was in a hiding things mood, which I sometimes get when I am in that state of mind. Everything has been accounted for and I vacate the room. At check out I get 10 bucks due to overcharge for resort fees. I have some time to kill so I to to krispy kreme and I post the day 1 posts. I need to get to a point where I can post these the day of. The internet problem should subside when I end up a couple destinations down. My cousin calls me to make sure I am still alive to which I promptly thank him for the experience of last night. He says he'll come pick me up in an hour to get to the airport. I realize that I don't have enough time to go to the Luxor and ride the sideways diagonal elevator which is unfortunate and I may have to make a stop back in Las Vegas just to do that. I for the first time gamble in Las Vegas I throw 5 dollars directly into a slot machine and now I am down 5 dollars, awesome. While wandering towards the area I needed to be for my cousin to pick me up and I found a slot machine I had to play and take pictures of. The village people slot machine, what the hell is this. The icons to match were gem studded shoes, glitter, disco balls, and weird caricatures of the village people themselves.
Cousin comes to pick me up and we head out to the airport, everything goes fine and I end up getting on my flight to long beach without any issues. The flight went without a hitch I watched half of The Matrix 2 and fell asleep. I was woken up by a woman asking me about if I wanted to eat cookies or blue potato chips. I went for the cookies instead of the mutant potato based product. When I got to long beach I was surprised at the state of the airport. It looks like a series of bungalows that just happen to be along side an airstrip. There are none of the normal gates that lead directly to a plane, you have to get off and on using those staircases that you drive. No idea what they are called. After a 10 minute wait I get back on the same plane I arrived on. We hurled back into the air to get to San Francisco. I finish watching the Matrix, I watch some Myth-busters and this time I get the crazy blue potato chips which turned out were not crazy but bland. I've been traveling all day and I didn't return home to re-center myself it feels like these locations are blurring together which makes me feel like I am still in this crazy las Vegas wonderland. I haven't actually left the airport or security zone yet because I'm not sure whats out there in regards to internet, power, and seating. Since I have to wait a few hours for my friend to show up I might as well stay where resources are more plentiful, namely power and seating. The only airport I've been to where the internet hasn't been a pay service because they are jaggofs was McCarran in Las Vegas.
So as of right now I'm not sure what I am doing I'm going to wander around asking about internet, try to find some good places to sit and think about going on to the BART. Under normal circumstances I would go on this BART dealie but I'm carrying a couple bags and they are starting to dig into my shoulders. Alright exploration and then part 2 coming up.
This is where things get fuzzy because I am writing this the day after it happened due to business. Clearly legitimate business. I spent about four hours painting cause I am a sack of crap and not keeping up with my concept art. Something good is really coming out of it though. I went to dinner with my cousin at Dick's Last resort so I can feel like I am at home in this crazy desert world. The bartender was from Worcester, dude, kid so we talked about Boston things. Me and my cousin had a couple drinks, well I may have had more than a couple. The bartender was the only one I ever knew to know what a chocolate cake is.
I had, a 26 oz blue moon, a half shot of tequila, two chocolate cakes, a stupidly large shot of superman. I think a gin and tonic, the worst rum and coke of my life fucker used dry white rum. Somehow I ended up tasting a Washington apple. I had a couple jello shots, my cousin bought me a b52.
During this booze fueled madness I apparently met the “last descendant of the Incas that speaks english” He was pretty cool we high fived a lot and yelled about the Andes. Some girl was sitting next to him and apparently it was important that she somehow was the mom of a girl sitting to the left of her. Something caused cheek kissing I'm not sure what probably alcohol. Then I found my cousin again who was standing next to a couple women I recognized from slightly earlier in the night that were being harassed by the bartender. Somehow we ended up talking and I have no idea how the conversation got there but it turns out one of them was a dental assistant so I started talking about my work experience in the dental field. It was pretty cool not sure what was really going on other than making new friends. We decided to walk about 30 meters over to the next bar which had live music and more alcohol. As we continued talking our conversation went to boobs and penises like they always tend to do.
Then some guys to my left started talking at me for some reason and somehow I found out that they were from Maryland. So I started talking about crab cakes and they changed the subject to their sports team. Which I knew nothing about, and mentioned that nobody knows about your team what the crap is this? Then one of them bought a round of jello shots to clearly make things better in every way. It was green tequila gelatin which is probably the reason Las Vegas was invented in the fever dreams of a cowboy fueled by liquid agave fire. Somehow I mentioned that I attended SMFA and out of the mists the man named Gary(I think) told me that he got accepted to my school for photography but did not go for some reason that I forgot and probably didn't matter. Gary then receded back out of focus and was replaced by his friend blathering at me about how we clearly need another round of jello shots. I stumble up to the bar and purchase three shots of orange flavor which turned out to be some kind of godawful vodka. The wraiths from Maryland mention something about getting 40's and walking to the Monte Carlo to which I shake hands with them before they return to the aether from which they came.
My focus shifts back to the women what we were talking to, it turns out they are both around 38 years old. One of them has 3 teenage daughters which I remember now is why she was talking to me about sex and how she had to do the talk with them. Then she started talking about the facebook and how she wants to be friends over the internet. Which I have confirmed friendship with them. The dental assistant mentioned that there is a lot of crazy things that are trapped in peoples mouths when they go to the dentist, namely pubic hair and fingernails. My cousin decided its time to drink more and bought another round. I called the bartendress a warlock when she layered my drink using nothing but her psychic powers. After the b52 that I had I decided its time to call it quits and drink water for the rest of the night. I asked the replacement bartender who did not use witchcraft for a glass of water and he said, “after 3 am I will only serve beer but for you I will make an exception.” When I returned to my fellows I realized that it was in fact 3:00 am which made me realize I have to go home to my room. The actual impulse to do that did not happen till about an hour later at 4:00 am. People emerged through the haze and fog to tell me that they were going to go to bed and that I should to. I agreed with these nice people and went back to my room, drank some water and then fell asleep.