Monday, July 28, 2008

Days 138- 140

Days 138- 140
Tuesday July 15th- Thursday July 17th

So we had an idea. As far as ideas go it is pretty exciting in its dreamy infancy. I don't want to jinx the manifestation of this certain idea by saying too much. I will say however the idea begins in the tiny river town of Hani i Hoti and ends up eating watermellon somewhere in Vlore and involves mastifs (the mountians not canines) and a circumnavigation (potential) of Corfu. In just a few days time we have come quite a ways in bringing this idea from potential to probable. Needless to say we have spent the last few days researching, sending emails, looking at maps, photos, satellite reports, old magazines, new magazines and virtually anything else we can get our hands on to help give form to this idea. More on this next week once we have something a little more concrete. Hmmmmm...., here is a quick hint as to what we are up to:

From the archives-- Kruje Bazaar, April 1999

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Days 133- 137

Day 137
Monday July 14th

What a day! Fantastique mon frere-- Incroyable! I shaved today under the most majestic 80 foot waterfall. Total eye-candy! Then I shaved my head on a ledge at about 4200 feet overlooking the entire Ojai valley all the way to the Channel Islands at sunset. I got some amazing footage, really breath-taking pictures (including a rattle snake & a HUGEMUNGOUS tarantula)-- you are just gonna have to take my word for it..., yup yup yup.

(*Update 7/15: check out the other Aaron's blog for more pics)

Day 136
Sunday July 13th

Middle Matilija Swim Holes
(or "I needed a shower something fierce")

I look like this because I am a fierce and brooding artist, dark and mysterious, and I can't feel my toes anymore.

Kinda weird angle right?

Aaron-- Nikon shooter but nonetheless still a decent dude.
check out his website for some pretty rad ocean related shots:

Day 135
Saturday July 11th

Pine Mountain Painting

The set up, sweet right?!?!

Yah my ummm studio has lots of natural light...

Post production alpine style.

Light painting.

Day 134
Friday July 10th

Hot Springs & Maker's Mark. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

Day 133
Thursday July 9th

Spent the night hanging around the Target parking lot trying to establish more contact w/ houseless folks. I had no luck.

Days 130- 132

Days 130- 132
Monday July 7th- Wednesday July 8th

It has been a long time since I updated this blogerooni. I decided to take a few days to come in from the cold so to speak and headed back into midtown Ventuckey for a much needed respite. The Vixens were graciously kind (again) to let me set up the computer for a few days of editing, blogging, catching up on emails, writing, more editing, and then some more editing. It is crazy how these pix can accumulate throughout a month if I don't stay on top of it. Trying to piece it all together w/ my journal can be nerve racking. But after about 6 or so hours, at two in the morning somewhere around Tuesday I had finally blogged my way through June and into July. And we are underway yet again, please keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

After two days of editing and taking care of business, Onyt twisted my arm for a little ride on the fixies. She didn't have to twist too too hard. It was rad! We cruised through the fringes of midtown and easily could see why good ole' San Buenaventura could become Ventuckey, Bakersfield by the Sea! Some of the town can slum it with the best of 'em. Eventually we made our way over to the harbour, following the music. No seriously, we heard a band playing somewhere across the water and aimed for it. Finally we found it. Our reward: quarter Coors Lite drafts. NICE! Live tunes on the patio, very gentile waitresses in short skirts, sunset over the harbour, & cheap drinks-- you know where I will be next Wednesday, with a pocket full of change and a Kool-aid grin! Feel free to join me but don't be late.

The Klunker (by Schwinn) circa 1973.

Onyt rockin' the Suburban (by Schwinn) circa 1973.

The fixies and some old toothless dude that kept getting in the way.

We hear the music, we can almost taste the fish tacos!

If Bonnie & Clyde rode single speeds (they never would have been famous...)

Welcome ta tha Ha'bah', Guvnah'.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day 127 & 128

Day 128 & 129
Sunday July 6th- Saturday July 5th

After spending the last few days out in the high desert I was tired hot and dirty. I decided to head over to the Sespe for some shade and cold water. There was virtually no shade or any sign of water in Fillmore so I figured this hike would be a nice change-up. Once I hit the spot I planned on spending the next few nights, I stripped down and plunged in. At first it was freezing, but as my body adjusted to the cool mountain spring, it was pure heaven. A few iced brewskis later and it was pure nirvana. I would highly recommend it for anyone out, just don't come tramping up to my little pool!

There may be more then one way to skin a cat, but only one way to truely chill a Sierra.

103.8 degrees, yah in the shade...

I found hidden pool and spent most of the afternoon lounging around and floating in the pool.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Days 125 & 126

Day 126b
Friday July 4th, evening

After catching our breath from the trek we headed back into town for the 4th o' July festivities. A quick shower, some V8 juice and I was good as new. I headed down to the 'Nard to a BBQ with a handful of other co-workers. We had a lazy evening sampling Cabo Wabo, chit-chatting and watching the fire works. later that night Hadler and I took a lazy stroll down around the canals of the new marina. It is pretty amazing down there, you have no idea you are in the heart of Oxnard! It reminded me a little of the east coast, like Cape May or even Hyannis a tad. It was very pleasant. We even saw hash marks from earlier in the day. I almost fell over laughing when I recognized one hash sign to be an old friend the crazy & infamous Rub Her Dinghy! Right around midnight we came across this party boat, built like a Mississippi river steamer trolling through the canals. We watched in amazement as this big boat tried to make it under a low bridge. The captain must have been drinking. The bridge & smoke stacks on the boat had to be 10 or 11 feet taller then the bridge clearance! The boat had to toss it into reverse full throttle to avoid collision. Funny though the dancing revelers didn't seem to notice.

"Capt'n, I need more powarhhhh!"

Day 126
Friday July 4th, morning

We were up pretty early after an uneventful evening. Now when I say uneventful what I really mean is one more evening under the stars where no one got eaten. There was one time though where being eaten could quite possibly have been a reality. At about 1 or so in the AM we heard these blood-curdling screams that were kinda like half screams half growls. We looked at each other, our hair on the back of our necks standing at attention. Mountain lion we whispered soundlessly to each other. Casey reached for his axe, his other hand gripping the bear mace with white knuckles. We waited. We watched. We waited again, hearts pounding away. After a few seconds Casey thinks out loud, gotta be condors right? Right I say, condors gotta be, crisis averted back to chillaxing. Both of us int he back of our heads are thinking,. man no way that was a bird...! I slept with one eye opened and my sprinting shoes on.

The morning greeted us with soft sunshine and temps in the low 90s. That would not last. Within 20 minutes of waking, just after breakfast, the mercury hit 100.1. Oh joy! Scanning the landscape around us there was not a tree or soda fountain in site. Not wanting to waste much time but not exactly excited to be on our way, we packed up and set out into the hills. After a few hours, and a few hundred pints of perspiration we were back at the trail head. No problemo, easy breezy indeed.

Waking up to this vista is quite fulfilling.

Our two errant explorers

So you think you are good at math? Okay explain this to me; my stride equates to approximately 1800 steps per mile. If the Park Service says the trail is 7.9 miles, and the GPS says we are just shy of 5 miles away from the end, and yet we already walked 14,599 steps (or approximately 8.1 miles), where the crap are we??? That is some phunky arithmetic-- quantum, Boolean, Euclidean or otherwise.

Body by Budweiser, don't be jealous.

Day 125
Thursday July 3rd

With the arrival of the long-ish holiday weekend, it was time for another adventure. My buddy Casey has been telling me about this walk out to the Sespe Hot Springs. We are both big hot springs fans and I was definately into giving it a shot. He did a little research and got the GPS way points for the hot springs and a few trail descriptions of potential approaches. The spring are located in this little patch of wilderness tat can be accessed via Rose Valley to the west, Fillmore to the south, or Gorman to the northeast. After a little debating we decided to come in from Fillmore as it was the shortest distance, only about 7.9 miles. The day before we packed all our gear and took inventory of what to bring. Casey wanted to bring everything under the sun-- saw, hatchet, knife collection, tent, bear mace, silk pajamas, etc.! You could see the disappointment in his eyes when I put my foot down on bringing the kitchen sink...

A quick celebration shot to send us off in fine form & make the Buddha happy.

Once quitting time rolled around today we jetted out lickety split. Despite our best intentions we didn't get to the trail head until about half past 7. The sun was already dipping below the horizon as we saddled up. After more requisite dilly-dallying we finally beat feet at about quarter past 8. 7.9 miles in the dark, here we come. Actually we were both pretty excited not to be hiking in the heat of the day. The trail was a little over grown but didn't present too much of a challenge as we wound up and down, over and across the hilly terrain into the Sespe. Though dark, it was beautiful indeed. It was still pretty warm, especially in a few air pockets where the temps would spike dramatically. We could only imagine what it would be like the next morning hiking under the burning sun.

Casey = Vogue = Pose

After a few steep spots and a couple hours of grunting and grinding we came to a trail intersection in the pitch black. We checked our GPS and started down into the black valley below us. Within a few feet, the nice trail we had been following was swallowed in a tangle of weeds and undergrowth. After a few minutes we had lost the trail entirely. All we knew was that we were going down and that the trail somewhere was going down to. Every now and again we would pick up faint traces of a trail, though as to whether or not it was our trail we had no idea. We pushed down through the clinging foliage into where we had expected to find the stream. When we got to the bottom there was no stream, nope, nothing at all but dust clogging the bright white beams from our head lamps-- no water in sight anywhere.

We pushed on. We would lose the trail, circle around, back track, pick up something we could easily convince ourselves was a trail and move forward again. By this time we were starting to get cold, frustrated and tired. We bushwacked for about 90 minutes over about 2 miles which is a horrible pace. Finally we lost the trail for good in a large meadow. We could barely make out where the trail came into the meadow, finding where it exited was impossible in the pitch black night. In all honesty we knew we were going in the right direction but had no idea how far off course we were. We decided before we got too far further into the night to set up camp in a comfy spot and decide what comes next in the morn'.

You call this a trail sign? Where exactly are we suppose to go?

We first thought of camping on a little mound in the meadow. It was one of the only clear spots around and across the dried creek bed were two tall-ish trees we could hang our food sacks from to keep our breakfast away from the critters. We were slowly settling in when I noticed a bee on my foot, then another one next to my bag, and another on the ground a few inches away. Now not just any old honey bee, but a frikin blood-thirsty yellow jacket scheming to send me into anaphylactic shock while I slept. After a quick survey of the area we found that we were about to set up shop on top of a hornets nest-- and I don't mean that figuratively. We found a hole int he ground where the bees had burrowed out their hive and were coming and going all around us. Without really discussing the options we blazed right on outta there.

We back tracked up the dried stream bed until we came to another meadow. It looked good to both of us, ie. no more bees. Again setting up Casey saw some interesting scat and called me over. Sure enough, lion crap-- you could see pieces of bone and all sorts of hair in it. The closer we looked we slowly began t realize that this pile of crap was not the only one. There was cougar scat EVERYWHERE, piles upon piles upon piles! It looked like we stumbled into the town square of mountain lion-ville. Again we retreated, this time back up the canyon to the last trail intersection we found. We could not go fast enough. Our tired legs were motivated by the thoughts of hundreds of mountain lions eying us through the darkness, licking their chops and waiting. Every little tiny noise would make us hike just a little faster. Finally we hit the intersection and plopped down for the night. No bees, no lion crap, not too much bear crap, a few ants but whatever it would do for the night.

Haven't we seen this sign before?

Ahhhh, camp at last... (and when I say camp, I really mean whiskey)

Days 122, 123 & 124

Day 124
Wednesday July 2nd

I helped Casey pack for tomorrow's trip then retired to the Vixen's love shack for a decent sleep before a weekend of hiking in 100+ temps. We watched Bukowski's Factotum. In a word it was "uhhhhhh..." Not only that but the dang Red Sox were swept for the 2nd time this season by D-Rays! The D-Rays?

Day 123

Tuesday July 1st

I spent 7 hours shooting video tonight-- b roll of Ventuckey, sunset, the pier, beach, etc. When the sun finally set I headed up to an abandoned lot and kept filming. This time I remembered to take a couple quick stills of the night to kinda keep this blog thing rolling. 7 hours, 7 hours, 7 hours, I was drained by the end of it.

Filming me sleeping, in a parking lot, not too much to see here.

And one more time for those of us who enjoy color vision.

Day 122
Monday June 30th

Remember back on day 100 I suggested that 100 days wasn't really a milestone? That perhaps I would wait to celebrate after 22 days? Well tonight I did just that. After work I met up w/ Andrea and Drew (who is a very famous actor, or will be shortly). We hit up the patio at the Chach for happy hour. It was very happy indeed! Later we met up one last time with Bethwards. She decided to take one kick ass internship in Maine of all places and will be driving pell mell across the country in the early morning. I am just a little bummed a bout that to be honest but it is a huge opportunity and summer in Portland, Maine just can't be beat. So we toast to her (strawberry margaritas) and hit up the Cafe for going away burritos-- how SoCal.

The last update from the pedometer:
Tuesday 2047
Wednesday 10045
Thurs 7952
Fri 8147
Sat 13458
Sun 23785
Mon 7249 (June 30th)

I always wondered what other people see as I settle in for the night.

This is what I look like after 4 months of being house-less. I suppose it could be worse...

Day 121

Day 121
Sunday June 29th

Hiking again in Ojai, this time a quick loop off the 33. I gotten eaten a live by horse flies. It was brutal!

If you look close on the right you can see one of those blood thirsty vicious nasties on its way to eat my face!

Kinda trippy right?

Days 108- 120

Day 120
Saturday June 28th

After being rudely awakened by the farmers I headed out of town and hiked around the lower Ojai valley. When my legs were sufficiently stretched I tackled the growing pile of mail and bills collecting in the storage unit. Afterwards I headed back to town and went bowling for Sara's birthday. I rolled a 118, poor poor poor...

Some people check their mail & pay bills in their study, others on the kitchen table, others do it in the office-- me, I do it in the middle of a cool mountain stream with a video camera catching everything.

Day 119
Friday June 27th

Blew some steam off with the boys up and down Main Street. Afterward I crashed in the car (no surprise by now right) only to wake up at flippin 5:24am and whole farmer's market was being built around the Focus. You should have seen some of the looks I got from the day laborers when I popped out of the back seat, into the front seat and drove away. Classic!

Day 118
Thursday June 26th

There is a story here, trust me...

Day 117

Wednesday June 25th

Went down to see Andrea's bro's band The All For Nots play Jimmy Kimmel Live! (I am putting this in bold to accentuate how badass I am that I know someone whose brother played on LIVE television!) It was a rad LA experience. We chilled in the infamous Kimmel green room all night-- totally Hollywood!

(oh and ps. Ms. Maggie Gyllenhaal I love you & you're a doll but this is never going to work out. You're married for goodness sake! Please stop calling me!)

check out their performance here:
and their myspace page here:

Day 116
Tuesday June 24th

Work just plain tuckered me out. After I went down to the beach and read until it was too dark. Then I drove over to my little spot and crashed out. For car sleeping, I slept rather soundly. It looks like I am getting used to all this after all.

The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon (by Richard Zimler)-- interesting to say the least.

Day 115
Monday June 23rd

Went on up the hill to Saron's house for a little birthday BBQ. It was quite chill indeed and a great way to ease into a rather chaotic work week. I got to play with the dogs, all four of them. At the same time-- really that is whats important.

Again for those of you keeping score at home, the dang pedometer stats:

Tuesday 8437
Wednesday 7902
Thurs 11254
Fri 9180
Sat 6265
Sun 22881
Mon 2533 (June 23rd)

I'm surprised I haven't broken this thing yet...

Day 114
Sunday June 22nd

I napped again all day for the most part, in the car, down off the CPH. I had a little sushi cause lets face it, even though I live in my car I still like to be pampered occasionally. I think it was Keri who colored it out perfectly when she said I was a "hedonist extraordinaire, despite your vagabond tendencies." Nihilistic Hedonism or Hedonistic Nihilism, I like the ring to that. I think I will title my next book that, or my next religious cult.

A couple Ginsberg poems, tunes courtesy of Leonard Cohen, sunshinny day at the beach, and raw fish--
don't knock it 'til you try it!

Day 113
Saturday June 21st

MESOA went a little later then I had anticipated. As I really didn't have any where else to go and I was really growing tired of trying to catch Zzzzz's in the back of the car I took action. I found a quiet little spot behind the fire and set up camp. Covered by the reflection of the flames no one suspected a thing. Within minutes I was stretched out in my sleeping bag and in a state of near bliss. That is until the last party-goer cashed out around 3:30 in the AM. Being a gentleman he decided to wake me up to let me know everyone was gone and I could crash on the couch. Dang it! I was so sleeping bro', and comfy too...

The next morning neighbor Lisa came on over asking for a hand with some flowers. PonyBoy and I snapped to and jumped at the opportunity. We spent the rest of the day helping to prepare flower pots for a wedding in Ojai. It was fun and definitely nothing I had ever done before. What a super cool way to start the weekend. Granted it would had been even better if I hadn't pulled something in my shoulder whilst proudly patting myself repeatedly on the back for the dead well done.

We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging around the Surf Shack relaxing and listening to garage bands, purely punk of course. Later in the evening as it cooled a bit I walked down town. It is amazing how much a town livens up as the cool sea breeze sweeps inland and the sun starts to set. Main street was on fire with sun dresses blowing in the breezes. I met up with Andrea & Dana and we took in the business from the patio of the Chach. It was mellow end to a mellow day. It was one of those days were you really accomplish little and feel great about it.

Hugging the shade, trying to pot everything before the sun gets too too hot.

"Gain knowledge of the big but small earth around you
Dig your hands into the dirt, the dirt that made you
Get acquainted with the earth, the earth that eventually will take you
And the world that hopefully will appear to wake you
Children play with Earth!"
-Arrested Development

Day 112
Friday June 20th

MESOA, seriously need I say more.

Day 111
Thursday June 19th

The last time I was hassled by Ventuckey's finest, they pointed me over to the back lot behind Target. The officers hinted that they funnel a lot of the car-bound folks there whenever they come across them. Hoping to make a few decent contacts and to slowly integrate myself into their lives off I went. It was not exactly what I had anticipated.

Target, not much happening, we break out the book and wait.

And wait and wait and wait and wait and, crappola I sense a pattern here.

Day 110
Wednesday June 18th

Car camping filming day 3, take 36701aa-- you know it is funny really. I have yet to be able to find any place within a three hour drive or any place online that carries extended life batteries for this dang video camera. So basically I can film 40 minutes of tape, then spend two hours recharging only to get another 40 minutes of tape. Instead of shooting one night in sleeping in the car I am now on night 3 and my back is none too happy. Thankfully tonight was just filling in spots missed and bad audio from the first two nights.
I think this may be it.

Day 109
Tuesday June 17th

Car camping filming day 2, take 23098x-- oh and in the middle of it all the Celts win game 6 by a frikin landslide 92- 131! Boston brings back the NBA Championship to Beantown! I wish I could celebrate and toss a few down like the rowdies are most certainly doing back home but I gotta stay on task and keep hammering away on this film project. There is always next year, or the World Series, or the Super Bowl...

Day 108
Monday June 16th

Started shooting a piece on how it is to live in the back seat of a small American car. Car camping filming day 1, take 0001a.

And for those keeping score at home, here is the last week's reading from the pedometer:

Tuesday 10101
Wednesday 12832
Thurs 14403
Fri 6670
Sat 2881
Sun 3469
Mon 4335 (today June 16th)