Thursday, June 19, 2008

Days 103- 107

Day 107
Sunday June 15th

Spent most of the afternoon at the storage unit filming. I was amazed at how long it took to shoot everything by myself, of myself. Craziness! Celts lost game 5 no surprise there, Celts 3-2.

Day 106
Saturday June 14th

Did a quick interview for the doc, or tried to that is. Every single bloody time I pushed record another lawn mower or leaf blower would start up and ruin the audio. I watched Jeopardy! instead and called it a night..., still no stills, too focused on the video for the time being.

Day 105
Friday June 13th

Spent the night shooting video, blog b-roll. No stills tonight.

Day 104
Thursday June 12th

I really didn't give the Celts much hope tonight. In fact I went to diner with Dana instead of watching the game. Driving back to the Vixen's place I turned on the AM radio to at least catch a score. The announcers were talking about this amazing comeback. The Celtics down by 21 at the end of the 1st quarter had fought back and now were battling for the lead. Immediately I pulled U-ey and speed off to the nearest sports bar. Celtics win by 6, capping one of the greatest comebacks in NBA history!
It was grand, and to think I almost missed it...

Day 103
Wednesday June 11th

I have been spending quite a bit of time shooting in the river bottom. It was fun, lonely & dirty, but fun nonetheless. It was good until the crazy amount of bugs drove me away. Clouds and clouds of 'sceters descended on my poor white flesh one night and drove me back to the car lickety-split.
I haven't been back since!

Its a young Coppola or Tarantino in the making..., ummm hmmm.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Days 100, 101, 102

Day 102
Tuesday June 10th

Mossied on over to the Warmer for the game. Made the grisly mistake of wearing Celtics green to a Laker's bar. Oops! Much abuse (and free drinks after the Celts lost) ensued.

Lakers by 6, at least they covered the spread! Celtics up 2-1 in the best of 7 series. Go Boston, beat LA!

Day 101
Monday June 9th

Health has been one thing that has always really been a worry for me since starting this little social experiment. Personal hygiene was up there too, but everyone around these parts already knows me as a dirty hippie and just 'cause I shaved my head doesn't change that perception. So health, yah big concern. I don't have the ability to bike anymore. With gas prices the way the are driving out to the mtns. to climb every day just isn't in the paycheck. I am WAY too fat to run. Roller blading, though I dig it, is as I have been informed a gay holdover from the '90s. All joking aside, not having a consistent place to shower negatively impacts my motivation to do anything that will result in ending up a sweaty mess. Secondly, and more importantly in my worrisome way, my daily caloric intact is so minimal not having a fridge or a real stove that I really just do not have the energy after work to do anything too active.

So I sit and blog and drink way too much and grower fluffier by the day. Obviously that has to change. So I got into this thing where I try to walk as much as possible. I got me a fancy new pedometer (that doesn't really work) and I walk. My goal is 18,000 steps a day. Based on my stride and some fuzzy math that is more or less ten miles for me a day. Here are the numbers so far after a week:

Monday 6852
Tuesday 10674
Wednesday 8425
Thursday 8002
Friday 20832
Saturday 10267
Sunday 3642
Today 8325

I am getting close on some days but need to be much more consistent. Lets face it, the belly hasn't gone anywhere in a week. Time to step it up, quite literally.

I think it says rest and have a beer....

Day 100!
Sunday June 8th

I wish I could say I did something absolutely monumental to celebrate 100 days living outta my car, but I can't. It is odd really. It was just another day for me. For the last 99 days, and admittedly even before that, I had looked at the centennial as a huge milestone-- a right of passage so to speak. Sailors who cross the equator usually get a tattoo or ghonerhea to commemorate the occasion. Don't believe me, seriously check out I never ever thought back in January or February I would be able to say this. I honestly thought I would spend a week or so, okay maybe worst case scenario ten days crashing on the beach before I got a new job and escaped Ventuckey. Obviously the Fates didn't quite weave it that way. So here we are, maybe on day 122 I will break out a bottle of something bubbly. 122 days, that is 1/3 of a year! Now that is something to brag about-- and it is just around the corner, yikes!

Blogging away instead of celebrating?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Days 94- 99

Day 99
Saturday June 7th

I woke up down in the river bottom to the sun gently warming me. I started a good fire early on and went back to sleep for a tad. Lazily I pulled myself away from my comfy sleeping bag to stoke the fire and add a few more logs. I made up some coffee which absolutely hit the spot. Then I started in on breakfast. I tossed everything together-- bacon & eggs, meatballs with asiago cheese and sun-dried tomatoes with an orange infusion, and oatmeal-- and placed it all in the red hot coals. Then I grabbed my stuff and headed down to the river. I lounged around floating here and there rather dreamily for a bit, and by a bit I mean until my fingers looked like prunes and my tummy was growling with abandon. I quickly toweled off and headed back to camp. I got back to the fire just in time, breakfast was perfectly cooked. I brought everything back to the ummm "kitchen" table and dug in. Man talk about hitting the spot! It was grand!

Ahhhhh breakfast, most important meal of the day. And what a grand way to start the day! It sure is a heck of a lot better then under-cooked rattlesnake!

After a lazy morning on the river, nothing says lovin' like a day at the track-- horse track that is. I have never gambled on the ponies, never really had the opportunity or the interest. But with all the hype surrounding Big Brown and the Triple Crown I decided to give it a go. I hooked up with Isabella and off we went to the Derby Club. Derby Club, it sounds fancy right. WRONG! What a crap whole, seriously the place was a dump but having just come from the river bottom I felt right at home. Isabella gave me the lowdown on what all the terminology meant and the basics on placing bets. For the first time in a very very long time I was totally lost, out of my element. It was so bad I could not even BS my way around. Me? Unable to BS, incroyable mon dieu! I placed my bets and it was cool. My very last bet I decided to go with the three horses with the worst odds in the field. Wouldn't you know it, they placed first and tied for third. Rad right! I walked away up $107.49. Not bad for a newbie!

Come on baby, run you damn nag or its off to the glue factory for you...!

Day 98
Friday June 6th

Hung out down in the river bottom again tonight. As the sun set these crazy swallows came out for dinner. Huge flocks of these tiny birds were flying all over the place. It was crazy some of the moves these critters pulled. I sat down and watched in awe. Then I busted out the trusty old notepad and wrote a poem (it is really just plain silliness):

Swallow Tales

Duck, duck, goose bumps bombs
Dive, tuck, bob, weave
Dive, slam, twirl, duck
Dive, twist, tumble, spin
Dive dive dive dive!

Duck, duck, goose bumps bombs
Not goose-- swallow: dive ! Gulp!

Duck, duck, goose bumps bombs
Not goose-- swallow: dive ! Gulp!
Swallow, dive!
Dive bombs gulp!

Poetry in motion, writing about the crazy swallows flying every which way at sunset, some barely missing my head. It was super rad to be a spectator for their aerial escapades.

Day 97
Thursday June 5th

Celtics win game 1, three more to go! Beat LA!!! Got to sleep on the futon in the Surf Shack, it was the first time since last Tuesday I slept in doors. First time too since then I had me a real for real shower. A Celtics win, sleep on a couch AND a shower-- dang life is GOOD!

Day 96
Wednesday June 4th

So I check out my horoscope first thing this morn and got a good chuckle. There are hundreds of thousands of Taurus's all around the world that are reading that thinking "shit I live in the city, aint eva gonna see me no big foot in the concrete jungle." Then they crumple up the morning paper and toss it in the garbage bin never to give it another thought. For me though the way things are right now, being hoodwinked by a lady bigfoot in heat would not be outta the ordinary! My horoscope:

"Woodsman Claims: 'Lady Bigfoot Kept Me as Her Love Slave!'" That was the headline of a report in the Weekly World News. In addition to providing fascinating details about the man's captivity, the article also had a helpful section on the jobs most likely to get someone kidnapped by a female sasquatch. They included lumberjack, surveyor, landscape artist, and ornithologist. In my astrological opinion, that list should be amended, at least for the next few weeks, to note that Taurus lumberjacks, surveyors, landscape artists, and ornithologists are especially susceptible. Why do I say that? Because according to my projections, many of you Tauruses will be swept up in or profoundly influenced by powerful feminine energy."

I looked every where to see if the most likely list included toothless hippies living out of their car. Thankfully we were down well towards the bottom on the probability chart! Good thing I haven't painted in a few months, that would be two strikes against me: landscape artist & toothless hippy. The lady sasquatches could probably smell me a million miles away...

Scouting out the river bottom for potential film locations, ahhh yes hard at work as a film maker!

Filming some ninny shuffling around one pile of rocks to another.

Day 95

Tuesday June 3rd

Today I did a little more scouting of locations, this time focusing on the river bottom. I am getting a little tired of using the same spots over and over again to hang out in. Honestly I am starting to worry a little too using the same spots over and over again. I want to do everything to avoid suspicion when I settle in a spot for the night so no one screws with me. I found the best way to avoid suspicion is to keep my presence at each spot to a minimum. So I am off to scout out new locals, preferably spots I don't have to sleep in the car. I am getting a little cramped after three months of doing so!

After cruising around town I met up w/ Duffy & Cybok for a quick pint. Cybok's brother was in town and Cybok himself is planning on taking off in the spring to hike the AT. It was a pretty relaxing evening smoking and joking. After the bar closed I was a little too tired to try and make it to a camp site for the night. Instead I plopped my sleeping bag down behind a bush above the parking lot. It ended up being one bloody comfortable night, though honestly I only got about 3 hours of sleep.

Forget living in a van down by the river, how about the bushes behind the bar?

Day 94
Monday June 2nd

I did some scouting out of different spots today to find a few more suitable spots to camp. After Sunday's 5-0 scare I want to diversify a little if you will. I also wanted to procrastinate one more day from having to actually start filming.

Instructions to turn on camera (in 17 different languages): push green button to left three clicks, then hold red button in until you hear a beeping sound to initialize lens, then put your left hand on top of your head and with your right hand rub your belly four times while mumbling heybijjee-geebee, heybijjee-geebee, heybijjee-geebee. To think I used to be a technical whiz-kid, not anymore.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Days 91, 92, 93

Day 93
Sunday June 1st

Got busted by the coppers tonight. It was a freakish lapse of judgment on my part. I usually only hang out at the basketball courts for a few hours. I dig it up there because it is quiet and has a great view. Every now and again I can get in on a pick-up game of three-on-three or H-O-R-S-E. I get great cell reception up here too. In fact before cruising up here one day about a month ago I had no idea my cellie had FOUR bars, four(!), totally groovy! So I come up here to read or pay bills or just relax and maybe get in on some hoops action.

Tonight though I was bushed after making a quick meal. I chowed down but could barely keep my eyes open. After I finished I jumped back in the car to decide where next. I was thinking of getting some more night photog in before the moon became too full or maybe heading back to the river bottom to get some cool time lapses. I stick the keys in the ignition and keep debating. I had every intention of clearing out. In the middle of my internal tete-a-tete I just kind of let my head fall back and closed my eyes-- but just for a sec I swear!

The next thing I know the car is engulfed by this bright burning white light. The clock radio said quarter 'til one in the AM. What? It was like waking up in the middle of the scene from Spielberg's Close Encounters.... I had lost four hours of my life and had no memory of it and this burning white light is completing engulfing the car. Gotta be an alien abduction right? Nope, just 5-0 shaking me down. Three cruisers had surrounded my dirty little focus and the officers were pounding on the windows to wake me up. I could barely respond, I was still practically dreaming not quite sure if I was awake or not. After a couple quick questions two of the cruisers took off. The remaining officer ran my info and of course it came back clean (except I had no known address on file-- try explaining how you live out of a P.O. Box!).

After a while the copper and I chattered away for almost an hour. I told him about the documentary project. He was speechless. He could not understand the logic of living out of your car if you have a decent job. In fact it took a little convincing before he actually believed that one. He kept saying "but dude you don't look homeless!" Keep in mind I am still dressed for work and have a pair Von Zippers on my head, my still camera & audio gear & video camera & cell phone are out on the passenger seat. Easy to see the confusion here I imagine. Towards the end of the conversation my friend in blue started giving me tips and pointers for the doc! He was like, "oh you have to go here or go talk to this dude and such and such" It was pretty cool ending, though I would have liked it better had it been aliens. Now there is a story!

Car cuisine at its best-- a little bit of this, little bit of that, just a pinch of je ne sais quoi, stir it all together et voila! we have lobster thermador! Trust me, it ain't your moma's cooking...

Day 92
Saturday May 31st
Sparky & the Mother Hips!

Mr. M'GooGoo first thing in the morning, and when I say "first thing" I mean 6 bloody AM!

Hair cut time in the shaded parking lot of an abandoned warehouse.

After the Mother Hips concert, Santa Barbara Mission's Rose Garden, thats me sleeping next to the 1973 national rose champion.

Day 91
Friday May 30th
(aka Friday Night Lights with Mr. M'GooGoo)

This is what happens when you live with a household of 20 year old psycho virgins, ummm I mean Mormons. From bad to worse, ummm I mean left to right: George enjoying a beer and then a bottle of whiskey, George's blood starts to boil after a sip of the Devil's juice, George as the Devil's juice takes grip, lastly George as he realizes that Joseph Smith probably doesn't love him anymore after drinking a whole bottle of the Devil's juice. (We can only hope Brigham Young and the rest are not bloggers reading this otherwise there is no hope.)

Days 89 & 90

Day 90
Thursday May 29th

Sholly passed this along to me at work today. I thought it was pretty nifty and right up my alley. It made me smile and who doesn't need a smile every now and again. It kinda goes hand in hand with what I was trying to say back on day 81. Sometimes I think I really am lucky living this way and wonder what is wrong with the rest of the world. I mean seriously, I get to go camping on a school night! Super Rad!

A Misunderstanding

He was the richest man
I ever knew.
He didn't have a dime.

He didn't know what he didn't have
He didn't care that he didn't have it.
They didn't know he didn't know
They didn't care that he didn't care.

They thought he was poor
Cause he lived in a tent in the woods.
He thought they were poor
Cause they didn't.

--Merrit Malloy

Tents on the beach, Ventuckey river mouth-- staying up late on a school night.

Day 89
Wednesday May 28th
Celtics game w/ Melanie & Chris (boobies!)

Celtics up by three on the AM radio.

"No Parking Anytime, Fire Zone" Is this considered parking?

Days 81- 88

Day 88
Tuesday May 27th

Lakers clinch the series by squeaking out a 93- 91 victory. Can the Celtics pull it off against Detroit? That would be rad-- Celtics v Lakers in the finals! Just like the good ole' days back when I actually followed b-ball. Man the media will have a hay day if Boston wins and ends up facing LA. We will be so sick of dreamy over-hyped spots showcasing Pat Riley & Red, Bird & Magic, and all the rest. They are cram nostalgia down our throats I bet. That is IF Boston wins...

Day 87
Monday May 26th
Memorial Day

Went for a hike all day, forgot to put a CF card in my camera , spent all hike kicking myself. Slept in the car at the trail head, spent all night kicking myself in my dreams.

Oh sure, I remember to take a photo now...

Day 85 & 86
Sat. & Sun. May 24th & 25th

I went back to the Vixen's place in midtown with the idea that I would spend all day painting. It rained on and off all weekend. I used it as an excuse to watch TV and talk on the phone all weekend long. I went to sleep restless and disappointed in myself on Sunday. I totally blew a whole weekend catching up with my soaps. What the crap...!

Cheers! Where everybody Knows your name...

Day 84
Friday May 23rd
Caught the Laker's game w/ PonyBoy up at the Ojai Adobe. Lakers won by 30! The majority of the game was about as interesting as mud.

Day 83
Thursday May 22nd
Detroit Pistons 101- Boston Celtics 97

Day 82
Wednesday May 21st

I called in sick today, because well I was sick. It is an interesting experience being sick and living in you compact sedan. Think about every thing you do when you are home with the flu-- the routine, the small comforts, the little things you do to help make it through the day. Now imagine trying to do that in the back of a dusty American car. Righto!

Day 81
Tuesday May 20th

After work I met up with Isabella again and headed over to the Bench Warmer to catch the Celitcs- Pistons conference finals hoops match-up. It was a good game, the Celts played hard and walked away with a win. We ended up hanging out and flirting with a rather buxomed bartender with a penchant for handing me free drink creations. Isabella and I had a really cool conversation about the philosophy of happiness and fulfillment. The one thing we kept coming back to, which is kind of a theme for this whole blog, is that no matter what your situation is, it could always be better or worse.

Sometimes it is easy for me to say "Man I wish I had a lop top. Then I could get editing and writing and surfing done whenever I needed. Lugging this desktop and trying to find power & internet access can be a real pain! If I had a lap top I could cruise around and be totally free to do whatever." Or I will find myself saying, "Man if I had a truck with a camper shell or a van, this living thing would be so much easier. I could park any where and have a half-way normal life. This car living is KILLING me! It is so stressful to try and find a place in town where I won't be disturbed, some place where I can get a good night sleep stretched out on the ground instead of cramped in the back of the Focus!" But in all honesty if I had a laptop or lived in a van, there would still be things that would not be ideal. Having a truck or lap top doesn't bring happiness. There are plenty of people all around me that bitch & complain about their lots in life-- and they have a lap top!

In fact over the last few months I have seen that the people with the most toys do the most complaining. Almost all of the bums and drunks I have spent time with the last few months almost never complain about being poor, destitute, or homeless. Most are surprisingly optimistic. I don't want to pain their lifestyle in a romantic Kerouac-sense, it is incredibly hard, worrisome, and at times very sketchy and super dangerous. But these folks never bitch that they're tent has holes or that they haven't showered in weeks. They accept it and move on, or drown themselves in $2 40s of skunked malt liquor. That is my goal for the time being, not the malt liquor part, but rather accepting my situation for what it is and embracing it. Fulfillment is, not to get all zen buddha on you, fulfillment is a state of mind.

I am trying now to embrace the harsh reality I am faced with and rejoice in the fact that I am always presented with the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and challenge my horizons. In a way I am incredibly fortunate in that regard. How often do house-bound professionals get to challenge themselves and experience something totally different? I get to do it ever day. In a way I am lucky!

Oh yah and somewhere in the midst of it all, I turned 31, hmmmm....