Tour Journal – 2005 – Vol. 2 – Issue. 1

From the cab of a white moving truck – 699 miles traveled

The cab smells like cigarette smoke. We’ve sprinkled lavender leaves all over the cab. J and I are currently zipping through the forested mountains of the panhandle Idaho, in about 70 minutes we’ll be in Missoula, Montana buying hippie food. Then we go further east.

We both spent the last 4 days desperately trying to get ready for this trip. I kept myself busy primarily with packing and fretting. I like to get in a good fret or two before we hit the road. Part of the desperation was due to my long-standing policy of never preparing for any trip till the very absolute possible last minute. J ascribes to the same life philosophy. [ J note: This is a lie, plain and simple.] She has this clever technique. Every time she finishes an item on her to-do list, she adds two more items. [J note: This, however, is not a lie. It is, in fact, the cornerstone of our relationship.] These kinds of dysfunctions are the cornerstone of our relationship.

In my defense I also had to take care of lots of other stuff too. I had lots of Coop work to finish, two web clients and, oh yeah, I threw a dance party / concert out at Lost Valley Educational center.

The concert didn’t start the way I envisioned it at all. I was thinking that at the strike of 8 pm EVERY person I invited would appear at the lodge, cheering, and virtually begging for my music. I would dazzle them with my dazzling introduction, start the first track, and bask in the pulsing vibe of getting-downidness. Maybe occasionally pausing to give in to the demands of zealous groupies.

Instead, the strike of 8 pm was followed by the strike of 8:15 pm, and the deafening silence of 8:30 pm. Then my opening band started playing. It hadn’t occurred to me that I’d have an opening band, but I did. It was a sort of improvisational group, which consisted of every child at lost valley. Most of their songs consisted of them beating arhythmically, as loud as they possibly could, on the drums lying around the lodge. Meanwhile one of them would run in circles screaming, “Stop playing! Stop! Stop!” It was all very edgy.

The only audience for this performance was the screaming children themselves, and of coarse, me. As delightful as this was, by 9 pm I told the kids that it was time to start my concert, the grown-up concert, the featured event, me. By 9:00 pm I was rocking the house, slamming my compositions of eclectic techno music into the audience of small screaming children.

Well, ok, eventually a bunch of adult type people did show up, the kids all went to bed, and I managed to keep the dance floor mostly full for the next 2 and a half hours. Wow, people dancing, to MY music, wow.

Anyway, back to now. Like I said, J an’ I are crossing Montana heading towards North Dakota. We bought some natural hippie enzyme stuff that is going to eat all the cigarette smell all bio-warfare style.

I think the truck is trying to kill us. J scolded it earlier in the trip, and it’s getting back at us by self adjusting its mirrors in un-useful ways. Within minutes of setting the side mirrors, I’ll look to see if a big semi is barreling down on us, only to see nothing but my own terrified face. Thanks truck. Yet even amongst all this stress and drama, J and I are managing to stay emotionally connected. Knock on plastic. We’ll have to see how we’re doing in a month and a half. I’m feeling confident because our communication has improved greatly since the last trip (Texas).

A typical interaction on the Texas tour (a dramatization),

J: “Ninety! You are going ninety miles per hour!”
Me: “I am not! I’m only, um, going like 88 tops.”
J: “You’re going to kill us!”
Me: “We’re in a desert! There’s nothing to even run into out here!”
J: [crying] “I should just drive for the rest of the tour”
Me: “Shut up, jerkface”

The new updated enlightened us,

J: “I am uncomfortable with the speed you are driving”
Me: “I hear you. I notice that we’re going 5 miles under the speed limit.”
J: “And yet, still I feel uncomfortable”
Me: “Ah ha! Well then let me remedy that situation with great haste.”
J: “Thank you”
Me: “You’re welcome…' …'jerkface.” [Jai note: This is the mildest dramatization you will ever read on these pages.]

We just stopped at a “Discount Food Store”. Maybe it should have been called the Ghetto Food Store. It had a bunch of beat up looking food that was at least a year old. It’s essentially like dumpster diving, except that you pay for it. I was mocking J because she said that she was “ravenous” and would “eat anything”, yet one bite into the ghetto cereal we bought, she turned up her nose and is now searching for food that is less than a year old. Wimp.

Anyway, we’re doing pretty well. That’s it for now. In two days we’ll be in Fargo North Dakota (yes, where the movie was made)

More later…'.

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