The departed and prodigal son returns.

Test one, test one... Is this thing on?

I'm writing right now from the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, the retro funk hotel where I really started the trip that ended up taking seven months to complete, and led me around the world.

Normally while in Portland I'd be heading out to Devil's Point, to see the sole coterie of exotic dancers whom I respect performing their madness and unleashing their aureole in the dark of a dingy room, but the rain and my reticence conspire to keep me in my hotel room (in blatant violation of one Traveler's Rule or another, I'm sure).

But for some reason, I don't fell like wrapping up my journey exactly the way it started after all. Something tells me that one of the things that's changed is that my desire to find beauty wrapped up in irony has been simplified; beauty itself is what I want, and need, and search for. A love of irony seems like a sort of cowardice, as least tonight.

I'm heading home tomorrow, although 'home' is an approximation at this point. So much is the same yet everything has changed; I now know for sure that a home that I leave behind will keep chugging onward perfectly fine without me, and that the world itself is a huge and wondrous place. I have so much less outside of myself, and a great deal more within me. I know both less about who I am and more than I did when I departed. I'm actually terrified about coming back to the place I left. Of all the things I'm worried about, the threat of inertia looms most forbiddingly on the horizon.

Inertia is the death of motion, and I'm not sure I know how to be mobile-in-place.


I report success! We have escaped Senor Froglandia!

After the Galleria-like horrors of Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, we have rented a beach bungalow in Tulum, about thirty miles south of Playa.

Despite a wee scuffle in the Playa del Carmen bus terminal (we were inexplicably bumped up to first class and then charged for the privilege, with the accompaniment of much hand-waving, weeping, and rapid-fire Spanish), and after being offered drugs, Corona cowboy hats, and cheap silver douche-jewelry about fifty-three more times, we boarded our sumptuous, AC-enabled bus for the short hop to Tulum...

more here

(no subject)

I gave my landlord notice today. I told my work last Friday. I bought my backpack, and a netbook for the road. I am neither homeless or unemployed, but I can see them from here. ;)

So here I am. I have walked the dot-com road of success, and wealth, and security. I partied in Vegas, and bought firearms I will never need, and tiny computers I barely used. And now it's time to move on.

I've walked many roads in my life, and I'm sure I will return to this one, someday. But with the wealth and security and posh living of easy cash came new fears. Fears of failure, fears of loss, fears of futility and inconsequence. As the wise have always said, Everything has a cost.

Fundamentally, I'm leaving because I had an existential crisis the other day; I realized I had just bought a hundred dollars worth of DVDs. My hands were wrapped in plastic bags, and I was weighed down with plastic wrap and packaging. I suddenly realized that I was perilously close to becoming one of those people who spent money because they had nothing better to do. I had a hundred dollars to burn, and the best plan I could come up with was to go back to my bunker, drink alone, and watch movies I had already seen a hundred times before. Ad infinitum, so it goes.

And that was when I decided to leave.

Soon there will be a giant silver gull, an aluminum angel whose sole purpose is to fly me beyond my farthest frontier, to take me beyond where any of my kin or kind has walked for thousands of years. Soon I will hear the old call in my bones, and my feet will pund the stones on the road to Kalighat. Soon my toes will be in golden sand, not a grain of which ever expected to meet them.

For good or for ill, life is moving towards to point of motion again, after years of bitter, choking stasis.

And y'all will just have to read about it, until LiveJournal pulls it's own plug.

'Cause I plan to blog the shit out of this bitch.

(no subject)

Here's a question:

What do you do when your job is stagnant, your relationship is complicated, your apartment is claustrophobic, and your father just died?

Let's add another couple of factors:

You've been saving compulsively for over a year, your tax return is going to be monstrous, and you can work from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection?

I think the answer is pretty much obvious.

You work from home. And you pick a very, very nice home.

I'm going to Disneyland Thailand!

I gave notice to my job an hour ago, and they may even keep me on as a contractor. First world pay in a Thirld world country!

I leave March 15th!

I get back when I'm done.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

For those of you who haven't read it, this is "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas", by Ursula K. LeGuin. It is a thing that should be read.

"With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea..."

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Lawyerly advice?

Speaking of my dad, I was wondering if any of my lawyerly friends might have any feedback on California lease law.

My dad's landlord claims that he has the ability to hold me responsible for the lease on my Dad's house, and is trying to keep the deposit, saying that that will make us square.

Is this true in California, or does the tenant's death invalidate the lease?

If it invalidates the lease, can you point out the state law that specifies that?

In nomine patris...

My father and I saw each other every couple of months or so. More often than not, we'd go driving, and more often than not, we'd end up driving along the levees of the Sacramento delta.

We'd go driving in all seasons, all weather, and at any time of day, but the trips that come to my mind when I recollect those times were the ones that happened in the late afternoon, at the end of summer. The air would be warm and thick, the river chocolate-brown and placid. The light that filled the sky as the sun began it's dying fall would be rich and golden, and the oaks formed cool, dark tunnels for us as we drove, father and son, simply for the pleasure of travel.

We would talk, my father and I, as we drove along the levee's lost and winding paths. Despite (or perhaps because of) his strangeness, my father was quite simply the most knowledgeable man I've ever known. Our conversations would range from political theory, to particle physics; we would careen recklessly from a discussion about Native American rights to an explanation of the forced crystallization of sodium. We would discuss a dozen things in a matter of minutes, and our conversations would last for hours. And never, if my memory serves, was my father unable to answer a question I presented him, if that question had an answer.

I loved those rides, and I loved my father. He was big, and brawny, and boisterous, and he smelled like spice and clean canvas. He was the only person I've ever known with whom I could communicate with purely, directly, without concern for delicate emotions or bruised egos getting in the way. With my father, I could be myself, without the need for caution, and free of fear of judgment.

The drives I took with my Dad were the one time I've known when I could simply relax, speak, and listen. The passenger seat of his car was the one place I could both laugh and think out loud, on forever afternoons with the beautiful world whipping by me. On those days, the levee was made of a tunnel of trees, a wash of sunlight, and flights of terns arcing out above a river flowing slowly to the sea.

I took my last ride by the river with my father last Sunday. He was not big, or brawny, or boisterous. He was quiet, and small enough to hold in my arms, and he weighed no more than I must have weighed on the first day that he brought me home, thirty-five years ago. My father sat quietly in an urn beside me, and the sky was cold; the light was flat and grey.

And I just realized that the last time I drove with my father on the levee was also the first time that I was behind the wheel.

Goodbye, Dad.

I love you.

(no subject)

So tonight, my ex accused me of being the most negative person, ever.

So tonight, I was at the most awesomest party, ever.

So tonight, as the party was ending, one of the boys, drunk as a saint, decided to ride off on his motorcycle.

As he left, there was one man there, collecting cans.

As he left, one of the boys, drunk as a saint, punched that man.

As he left, one of the boys, drunk as a saint, grabbed the man's cans, and rode off like it was a mother fucking rodeo.

He shamed that man, in front of God and everyone.

And as my brother left...

As he left, even his friends, even his brothers, said...

"Dude, WTF".

And as he left, after punching the man, and stealing the man's cans....

And after he left, after punching the man, I ( and only I...) walked up to the man, and I said...

I said...

"I'm sorry, man. I'm sorry my friend, a man, a brother of my tribe, is an asshole. But you have to know that if he treated you like that, he must hate himself more than you or I know."

I said that.

And the man said to me, as a man, a brother of my tribe, an asshole, rode off into the night...

He said...

"One love, brother. One fight."

And so I ask you, all of you...

How negative am I?

And who DO you love?


One love. One fight...

One love, One fight.


(no subject)

Just a random heads-up that I will be in Denver this weekend (Friday-Monday), because I felt an extreme need to get the hell out of here, but I also want to see Skinny Puppy.

Will prolly spend an inordinate amount of time at Paris and Netherworld, as per usual.

Hit me up if you want a hook up.