late twenty eleven


i’ll shed everything. everything i own – keep only the basics. i’ll buy a car and drive – i’ll set onto this journey to find whatever it is. however long it takes

for the last two years i’ve been in chicago and it doesn’t feel complete – maybe it’s me. maybe it’s not the right time. maybe i failed my shot. sparks of joy on an unpainted carousel playing the replacements over and over and over without speakers. when i close my eyes: i’m on the road. illuminated lines in the night are ahead of me. driving with no end in sight. this is the vision i’ll follow

in real life is the new role-playing game
rock and roll…forever

a young man’s journey of self-discovery below the mason-dixon

excerpt from sent email

“…i bought a 1992 honda accord with 35,000 miles on it. i have a new, old car. it’s cool. i’ve been waiting for my auto insurance cards to arrive. they arrived yesterday. i’m leaving in a couple days. mom’s not excited about aimless direction but she’s trying...

“this isn’t a road trip, it’s a role-playing game of in-real-life experience and change. i hope that when it’s over flowers never bend with the rainfall is less present-personal and more embarrassingly nostalgic. x

j”

listening to tears for fears’ break it down again (1993)

Missoura gave winter a Bone of’r own

first days of journey. i’m in missouri driving i-44 and old route 66. got dried cherries at trading post. eating a lot of dried cherries and listening to a lot of The Feelies.

branson-

arkansas-

the police didn’t seem to mind me stopping to take this photo. i probably could have asked them to take one of me touching the car but i didn’t. no one was hurt. this is kind of how the doors movie started…

listening to the feelies’ away (1988)

OKie but that’s ok

i was in oklahoma for a while. spent a lot of time in the studio and exploring gravel roads. gps is alright- when im driving i can concentrate on important things like texting and song selection instead of stupid paper maps. im getting real good at driving. i barely pay attention now.

tulsa-

oklahoma city- Resident Advisor didn’t have anything for oklahoma. oklahoma doesn’t rank on RA’s top states of 2011. RA hates oklahoma. i googled “hipster” “indie” “okc” and got one result. one. a drag bar with tribal tattoos. i didn’t stay long cause i’m not good at drunk driving yet.

western ok + elk city-

i wanted to hang out in the sunshine a ways from the highway. it was there i met a guy with a huge dog, the biggest dog i’ve ever seen, with a bark to be felt as heard. the guy, jared, grew up ten miles further along the road i was already 10 miles along on when he pulled up to see if i was broke down. i told him I‘m working on it but the car’s fine. i said i’m from missouri and we talked about branson. “it was really a great place. amazing music, i was certainly comfortable there. not like louisville. louisville’s a beautiful place but a little too big.” he graduated high school three years ago in a class of fifteen people. his parents met at the high school. so did his grandparents. he told me about the drought they’re having and what his family did during the dust bowl. i asked if he watched Carnivàle, he said he was unfamiliar with the show then told me which sports teams he likes. louisville’s the furthest he’s traveled.

$40/n butterface motel

listening to: brian jonestown massacre’s whoever you are (1997)

Dallas, TX – Houston, TX

oklahoma got cold. it’s warmer in texas. i’ve never been to texas: this is it – have you ever been to texas? there’s miles and miles of nothing. a lot of nothing. not actual-nothing tho, the no-asphalt or plants-that-matter-to-me nothing.

 

sometimes when you’re driving through nothing you’ll see a barn near the highway. someone built that barn in that spot. now there’s no roof on the barn and it’s filled with actual-nothing. maybe it was a bad spot to build a barn or maybe the barn didn’t have the structure necessary to support the roof, but why take it down? sure it’s missing a roof but a barn was a good idea, not necessarily that barn but a barn was and this site is my barn. you’re standing in my barn, figuratively. i wish i was next to you right now in figurative-barn; i’d dim the lights and talk at you about myself so hard

in dallas i saw the grassy knoll. there’s an x in the road where jfk got it. people stand in front of the x and get their pictures taken. they smile. i didn’t take any photos in dallas. debbie did it there, dw’s sells the proof on the way to houston-

houston and the menil collection with sue // we would have taken more pictures but they got wise to us

listening to tiedye’s remix of rubies feat. feist’s i feel electric (2008)

Beaumont, TX

beaumont is an hour and a half south east of houston and 20 miles from louisiana. it felt like louisiana and texas at the same time. my friends mike and rachel invited me to stay with them but said i had to help rachel’s dad move a loveseat or “no dice”.

one night in Beaumont

mike and rachel took me out on the town. it was really foggy. all the night-life happens on crocket street, downtown. there’s a country bar next to another country bar next to the bar we went to that had a lot of dubstep. the club next-door had people line dancing to songs like footloose and nelly’s ei.

Six Pictures of 649 Miles

i want to continue on route 66, i like it there. we “get” each other. it’s been a lifelong facination that started with the coral courts motel and it being a mile down the road from my father’s office- the trip from beaumont to amarillo is 649 miles i took six pictures – the radio in texas’ so good shazam asked for a break and a glass of water

Amarillo, TX

i got into amarillo late monday night. i checked into the big texan steakhouse ranch and read the city’s wikipedia page. did you know amarillo was the helium capital of the world? or that america’s only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility, the pantex plant, which “maintains the safety and reliability of the nations nuclear weapons stockpile” is the major employer of amarillo?? or that the amarillo livestock auction holds a free-to-the-public cattle auction on tuesdays? – i got into amarillo late monday night.

there was a gift shop and i got a leather-scented candle for about the cost of a shrimp cocktail. mmmm leather candle: i thought it was really cool and different but it’s not as unusual a scent as i thought. it might remind you of ex-lover or that time i got the leather-scented candle at the cattle auction

the big texan steak ranch is a big cinder block tourist stop for bus tours of australians and Americans (capital A). it was on the food show man vs food because they have a 72ounce steak and if you can eat it all it’s free. my room cost about four shrimp cocktails. i watched the man vs food episode which was filmed there. if you’ve never scene the show, this portly jewish fellow, adam richman, goes places and fails eating challenges. it’s like watching dancer in the dark if bjork was laurie metcalf

this post is now about Stanley Marsh 3-
stanley marsh 3’s daddy, stanley marsh, was an oilman. SM3 owns a lot of things in amarillo, texas.  he rebuilt ozymandias. he put hundreds of fake traffic signs up around amarillo and named it “the dynamite museum“. and cadillac ranch? that’s him too
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Ranch

most of the amarillians, (amarillionians?) rolled their eyes when i asked them about him or his projects. stupid small ponders. stanley marsh 3 is the biggest fish of their whole life and they’re none the wiser

next stop: tucumcari

Tucumcari eleison on a highway in the light

tucumcari, new mexico. population 6,000. located two hours west of amarillo. the city’s strip of route 66 is relatively unchanged since the heyday, it’s free of the chains and big box stores and although a building (or ten) have fallen into disrepair, they add to the charm of the place because we like that kind of decay…

citizens of the world travel vast distances to photograph and experience our the mother road, our empire of vintage. and we, as the self-aware, appreciate Americana. often these places were built with care in the efficiency of yesterday when it was looking to tomorrow.

urban decay tourism might become a ten thousand dollar-a-year industry if a travel agent reading this prints some brochures that hail the slums of detroit as the “the ephesus of the industrial world”. but with the knock down of every overgrown drive-in that hasn’t shown a double feature since the 70’s, we move a little closer to tomorrow’s waste-empire of deserted big box shopping centers, that no desirable tourist will ever care about… aka the kind of decay we don’t like

at the border to new mexico the great plains end as the land opens for the mesas

the interstate passed tucumcari just south of town so their strip of route 66 is free of all things new and boxy: it’s a time warp

there’s a quintessential scene 1971’s Two-Lane Blacktop where The Driver (james taylor) and The Mechanic challenge G.T.O to a cross-country race: their small block ’55 chevy to his shiny 1970 gto. it was filmed at a gas station right outside of town.

above: me. right outside of town.

motels-

i’ve been encountering two kinds of motel owner/operators in my travels. those with the awareness Americana and their establishment’s place in it and those who own a motel. i’ve been staying at the latters because no one else does and i can make all the noise i want

the trading post-this is gary; he runs the trading post. rooster (right) works at the shop. they just unloaded a gravity gas pump that they’ll spend the next couple days restoring. that’s a big gun on gary’s hip. there are no recordings of the conversation.

it was five or six pm. he opened the shop up for photos and we hung out till it was dark talking about everything. he’s one of the aware and as a collector who knows other collectors is one of the city leaders trying to bring the official route 66 museum to tucumcari. they need to build a ten-thousand square foot building. gary’s really smart. i could wear all the tank tops and chew all toothpicks in the world to look a little tougher but they won’t help if i’m gonna keep walkin’ like a ninny. “you gotta widen your stance. you walk like a ninny”

mysti has a hurt paw but she still loves catch the most. she’d come running up to drop the tennis ball then go long for a pass.

the pow wow-

there’s a lot of options for motels but this is where i stayed: the pow wow inn. a chinese couple own it. they own a motel. he was out of town so she worked from open to close everyday. the beds were uncomfortable and the heat sucked but the huge room cost two and a half shrimp cocktails a night, they didn’t care about my music or my plundering the complimentary craisens

in conclusion-

i hope this blog turns into an old shopping center. maybe i’ll have some new super-blog where people don’t ask me what IRL means and the banner will be a picture of a pretty fountain instead of some blurry photo i took of my shadow the night before i left. i’ll only walk with wide-stances and nail the auto-timer jump shot (below) every.single.time.

listening to: the stone roses’ your star will shine (1994)