Thursday, October 29, 2009



The insomnia persists. Every little sound that chimes out of the night’s silence wakes me up in a flash of brilliant blue and white. It is like an electrical storm in my frontal lobe that is accompanied by a pang of adrenaline shooting out of my gut and into my bloodstream. One lucid thought propels itself into a million more, and the next thing that I know I am worrying myself awake into a shallow panic.

Now, while all of this sounds a bit on the painful side, generally I am getting a solid 5 or 6 hours of sleep before these waking episodes have my faculties on high alert. Normally that would be plenty of sleep for me but, well, for some reason I am operating under a condition of constant exhaustion. At any rate, if I said that I wasn’t having the time of my life on the road I would be lying. If one desires to combat all of their fears all-at-once one simply needs to give up his/her normal life and take off for points unknown for a little while (three weeks is recommended). One is sure to find his/her fears illuminated very quickly. While confronting human fears and such might sound kinda shitty, overall it is an amazing experience to know where you need to focus your energies, and actually start doing so. After all, what else do you have to do while driving from city-to-city..? Well, besides sleep and read..?


What to say about the northwest..? Well, it is beautiful… I mean this is the land where the seas-meet-the-trees afterall, and that is a fucking beautiful site. There has been enough of this repetitively beautiful landscape to push me to a drunken bender. I can visualize myself sitting high atop a mountainside in a field of wildflowers, dancing, singing, chanting, and running around naked in such a landscape in some messed up lucid, lack-of-sleep, hippie dream, but enough already. Wherever you might live, living in the mountains just isn’t a reality for a east-coaster with citified tendencies. So, then what..?

The skies…? Yeah, the sky is fucking beautiful. Gray as gray-can-be for 10-minutes, sunny the next 10, snowing lightly 20-minutes later, and then sunny again 5-minutes after that. Sometimes while driving the clouds blend so perfectly in the distance with the Cascade Mountains that it is more than difficult to tell where the mountaintops end and the cloud bottoms begin. It is mind-bending for the most part. Yeah, but it isn’t about living your life looking at clouds either.

The people..? Oh, fuck, the people are all so beautiful. Styled out women and the hippest dudes. Trailer trash side-by-side with urbane fucksters. It is a weird mix. Tons of homeless people. Liberal attitudes butting up against mega conservative mid-western overspill. While the east coast has basically segregated such element, the northwest seems to exist in a state of all-at-one-ness, and I am not sure how well neighbors treat neighbors. It is just weird. I dunno. It all seems so safe for a second, and then there seems to be this undercurrent of danger a second later. Everything human appears to change like the weather here. Guess that makes sense.

The cities..? Ah, the clusters of humanity all trying to make this thing work. Tons and tons of human energy boxed and crated and channeled and deluded. Human energy going straight into keeping up a front. Where you live, who you know, and how you go, just like back home. However, there is a rub here that rubs me the wrong way. I cannot put my finger on it but I am actually happy to be getting out of the northwest in the next few days. A recap of our time in the great NW might shed some light. Allow me to shed.


Rained from the border until I reached an uncharted town where I met a really old guy that told me a rich and vivid history of said town. He knew everybody. I took a lot of pix of seals in the water and of men fishing for salmon with gill nets. He told me that “east is that way” when I thought that it was the other way. I love, LOVE, LOVE being lost and having somebody point me in the right direction. I adore being humbled by my surroundings, which is why I go in search of such adventures more often than not.

Anyway, arriving into Seattle proper and making my way to the Funhouse was like driving to the docks to make a drug deal in a television show or movie about drugs. And then, all of a sudden, poof, the NEEDLE. There is it, a Seattle landmark. And, across the street, the FUNHOUSE.

At the Funhouse I was reacquainted with Stefan and we both had this less-than-encouraging feeling that we were going to end up in a fist fight. While the happy hour crowd was mostly punky-alternative types, it was these types in a gnarley-aggressive attitude. As I remember of Seattle from my last visit, lots of long hair and ratty facial hair (think Alice In Chains, or grunge in general). Once we were finally shooting people, the handful of folks that did make it out on a Monday night were pretty fucking rad. The rest of the place was littered with I-don’t-care types. I dunno. It just didn’t seem all that up-and-up to me. For the first time since we left the coast we couldn’t get anybody to put us up. That alone is a rather strange thing, right, given that is just two of us. Not that the people who couldn’t put us up didn’t have healthy reason why, but we just couldn’t get anybody to put us up.

Then, at the last minute, as we were packing up and ready to drive to Olympia to find cheap beds, two old friends from Detroit showed up and summarily took us to their house for some sleep, but not before taking us to a favorite watering hole for some drinks. As I like to say, my time in the Midwest in the early 90’s yielded some rather awesome, and far-reaching friendships.

After sleep it was off to Olympia, but not before driving to Aberdeen; home of Nirvana and the Melvins, and to see the beaches of the west coast for the first time on the trip.


Dirty, industrial, crack-heads-running-amuk, and free internet at the local grocery store.

The beaches were cold, scary, and beautiful. Waves so angry that they made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Oysters and huge crabs. If Aberdeen wasn’t so dirty and depressing I would move there and make it my surf-and-destroy wonderland.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t “hate” as a rule, but I think that I “hate” Olympia. Hippie kids spare changing. Flakes. Our host was cool, and accommodating, but the person/people that requested that we come to Olympia to photograph their Black Flag tattoos stopped answering emails about two days ago and did not show up to the event. WHAT THE FUCK..? What would you do if the pizza guy didn’t show up after you ordered (and were charged for) a pizza via your phone..? Same shit different perspective. Sorry people. Just not really interested in this brand of childish flakiness. Call me an east-coaster, but shit has got to get done and it doesn’t get done on lip-service. It might start that way but it doesn’t get finished that way. WALK-THE-WALK, people…

Yeah, while I try forcefully not to judge, I don’t think that I will be spending any time in Olympia any time soon, and I am kinda glad that our “friends” didn’t show just so there will be no “Olympia” section in Barred For Life. In fact, the only mention of Olympia that I will make in the book will a be shout-out to our host and venue, and a footnote about how I will never visit Olympia ever again in my long, long fucking lifetime for any reason whatsoever. So sue me for judging. Bummer.


Just got here. I have about three friends here. People are pretty and styling. Lots and lots of bicycles. In a Whole Foods-wannabe grocery store. Prices are a bit higher than WF but I got some pretty awesome Greek Yogurt with fig preserves, which happens to be my favorite amenity to Greek Yogurt. I would like some raw honey and granola to mix into my ambrosial concoction. So, let’s see what tonight brings.

1 comment:

  1. ?! What! I left before Malice showed up?! Damn! It was really nice meeting you guys yesterday. Portland kicks Olympia's ass!