Makin’ Lemonade in Michigan

who brakes for tropical storms? well, i do, or at least i did. the organic blossoming of a road trip into ozark country and crystal bridges museum of american art, a serendipitous year in the making, was canceled at last minute due to flooding and torrential rainfall from tropical storm bill. and so a journey north into michigan seemed a more serene and less-personally-traveled option for myself and this trip’s attorney. this is a simple reminder for how to make lemonade.

the ad campaigns and after party ramblings of the unparalleled beauty of michigan’s coast was always a bit forgettable. lots of places have beauty, how’smichigan any different? well, damn.

we traveled on whim and chatted with everyone- an ever growing game of happenstance all while avoiding the interstate: despite an early blowout and a mid-trip scrap with harmless’ angels

pure michigan.

Autumn and the Order of Seasonal Clarity

as if all of us are water particles, we find each other when we’re in the same cloud. and for that time we’re in it together. sometimes we fall together and stay water particles together but water particles in a stream, or a lake, or a puddle, or a sea. eventually different paths part us. this doesn’t mean we won’t rise to a same cloud again but it does mean we won’t be in the same place as we are now.

autumn was mania. the electric colors of the season with new found health and a love of life and spirit that hasn’t been felt since childhood. a phoenix rising off the grid from the ashes of a memory. a personal best in excess igniting a fire-lit path to the palace of wisdom and clarity. a milestone on the larger quest to find who-knows-what all the while learning that losing control is a winsome way to retrieve it. autumn.

push em to the crux

And The Sun Doesn’t Care

spring in berlin’s a joyous time of year. mr blue sky’s in town for the first time since october and everyone starts waking up from their darkness. we all manage to lose track of a lot of time to a lot of fun.

summer is a lot more work. the initial excitement of nice weather sets in and you work to enjoy all the sun you can, while you can. “let’s go outside and enjoy the day!” it’s taxing. staying in working on “art” while the sun bakes your desk through your open window on one of the weeks that it’s actually hot enough to use the term “bakes” or have an open window but you don’t even want to go outside cause the sun rose at 4am and woke you up and it doesn’t care that you went to bed at 1am, or 2am, or 3am, or that you’re just getting home. it’s out and you’re feeling like Day of The Insomnia Zombie in-between sleep and awake but there’s no way out of it because it only lasts a couple of months and you have to enjoy it while you can

and then there’s need for a jacket in early august and it’s like fuck it! i should have done more when it was nice… now the nice is gone. it’s colder now. fuck it. im going to sleep when i want to sleep. im going to wake up when i want to wake up and im going to work on whatever i want to work on, whenever i want to work on it and it doesn’t matter cause it’s grey outside and this is berlin. it’s grimm brothers fairy tale weather. it’s autumn and the turning leaves are the blanket for our after-summer rest.

 limbs of lost mannequinslimbs of lost mannequins

Ibiza on that Guacamole Fiat

i went to ibiza. it was my first time in ibiza. the plane descended as the sun set on the horizon. i don’t know how to say ibiza correctly but i believe there’s a Th sound in it. luckily i don’t have to say it because this is a written blog. ibiza’s alright. there’s certainly nicer islands but this one has more friends on it.

fellow adventurer, vlada, was one of them. we rented a guacamole-colored fiat and criss-crossed the island eating fish and chasing sunsets. vlada’s a spectacular travel companion. she could have a travel show: gypsy travels with vlada (originally called joints and sunsets). she’d show you where to get the best deals on everything and which cafes have wifi to find that next deal. deals are important because a lot of ibiza’s set up to capture the money of those coming for a taste of its magnetic magic.

IRL is the new RPG’s Ibiza ProTips Vol.1
– the tap water’s salt water
– all the internet’s slow / mcdonalds has free wifi
– because it’s siesta that’s why
Es Vedrà is literature 101 in real life: the sirens almost got odysseus there!
– a lot of people spend in real life looking at screens, all “living it up in #ibiza!” – don’t be afraid to see it without them.

Stadtschnellbahn PDA mit Kicks

sbahncouplethis couple sat in the unoccupied bench across from me on the s-bahn. she took off his glasses and they started kissing. not passionately, just pecks. loud pecks. loud pecks because she loves him so much. for them, the rest of the world ceased to exist. with every twist and turn and flip of her hair, her boots kicked my leg because the rest of the world has ceased to exist: i am the ceased world. i reached into my bag, pulled out my camera, and started taking photos. i whispered, “yes that’s good. yes”. they asked what i was doing, i gave them a closed-tooth smile and took another.

sometimes i hate love so much. other times i’m just jealous. today i didn’t want get kicked by the couple making-out like virgins

A Day to Hannibal

in elementary school history class we were taught about the pony express. the pony express was a horse-powered courier service which delivered messages across the american west from april 1860-october 1861. it failed after 18 months because it was replaced by a better product, the telegraph. sure morse code isn’t as exciting as dodging indians on the back of stallions but if understanding History is about learning from our mistakes then why, year-after-year, were we taught about a failed delivery service?
“the pony express” is a lot of things.

i drove my mom’s car up the illinois side of the mississippi river then across to hannibal, missouri. we went to hannibal a few times as a family. i haven’t been back since. mark twain is from hannibal. the temperature was near 70 and the sun was shining. a cloud hovered just above the water’s surface. it rolled north, much further north than i traveled. on one of our family trips to hannibal we went to lover’s leap. it was the first time i heard the term, was quite heavy. i went back there after taking a photo of a yellow corvette one block from the real becky thatcher’s house. becky is the unattainable aristocratic woman.

i asked a young couple if i could take their picture. they agreed and she added,  “i been livin here my whole live and i’d never seen anything like this” pointing to the cloud riding up the river. they’ve been through a lot. neither of them have had it easy but they’re trying and they found each other (a little laughter too). she’s 17 and lives with him. he works full-time. they’re saving money to move to alaska after she graduates high school in the spring. they’re ready to leave now. they just moved into a new apartment building. the first night he went into the basement. he moved a sweatshirt on the wall and discovered a meth lab. i hope they make it to alaska. we said goodbye, i thought i heard them say “hey…” as i got in the car but maybe i imagined it.

starting in east st louis

meeting the mississippi riverbox

before arriving in hannibal i shot my way around side roads taking an occasional photo. around the bend of a dirt road i found a group of holstein cows. the farmer who’s land i was on came down on his atv to say hello. his dog was in the back. she goes everywhere with him. he took over the farm after he lost his previous one in the flood of 1993. i remember the flood, it was 20 years ago but it’s recent history along the river.

returning to hannibal and lovers leap

i want to do this forever.

Sain’t Louis

st louis. i went home in january. i could wax poetic stl history for days but it still feels like a compromised place. there’s gun toters, there’s abortion clinic bombings, there’s “legitimate rape”, there’s seedy strip clubs, there’s abandoned strip malls, but there’s jesus. in the black neighborhoods where the whites dare not go and want them to stay, there’s a lot of crime but jesus is also there. it’s a melting pot of midwestern simplicity with licks of northern and southern culture. the people and their varying groups, no matter how extreme, are separated by a single colloquialism: ain’t. some use it their Others don’t but they’re all St. Louis.

i hung out with family, i hung out with friends. we hung out with strippers. one stripper is a juggalette with a public sex tape on worldstarhiphop. another has a confederate flag tattoo on her back. her best friend works at the same club; she’s dating a tug boat captain. the bartender at one strip club slide me her number and told me to call her. when i did she texted that she’d have to call me later cause she was at the mall with her kids. she never did. she has four kids and a husband: he keeps things open so she does too

my relationship with this city’s toxic. a lot of bad memories of that whole people being “St. Louis” thing i mentioned before. it’s a bit like an over-confidence of nothing with a kill lust towards everything not same. have you seen winter’s bone? it’s that only urban and a couple hours north. despite my grievances it’s still a relationship. with every visit there’s a moment where i flirt, “maybe it’s time to move back.” but those are just moments. moments don’t last and aint’s like whateva