end up being one of the better hundred dollar investments i’ve made in life. so long, future carpal tunnel.
of grad school winds down. feels good to be a student again. in review.
took the rica two saturdays ago, expecting good results.
the day after i found out that i passed the science section of the cset. as you can see the state of california prepares you for your life as an underpaid, overworked teacher by making you cough up lots of money (which is most likely from student loans, and which must be paid back at ridiculous interest rates) to take pointless standardized tests that in no way indicate how well you will perform in the classroom.
gave two final presentations last week. to quote one of my professors regarding our class work (on different facets of los angeles teaching, i.e. gentrification, walkouts, english learners, the arts, etc): “these remind me that LA has as much, if not more, depth than NYC. i needed to be reminded.” and she’s straight up brooklyn. suck on that.
had dinner with some pals at fassica in culver city. ethiopian beer. mmm.
saw busy phillips (kim kelly from freaks and geeks) at the beck/small sins/the little ones show at the echo. she’s actually quite attractive in person. brian was telling me how beck was in their dressing room and this security guard told everyone who walked in, “don’t talk to beck.” afterwards went to tracey’s, ate leftover hot dogs and burgers and played wii bowling til 5 in the morning.
at the standard downtown:
thanks for not being a total asshole like the other 95% of your staff and restaurant patrons. and thanks for asking that douche bag to stop pointing his camera at us. and thanks for hooking me up with a free coke; i was low on gas and the 3.25 you saved me helped me get home. you rule.
before i move out of this craigslist-proclaimed “1920s art-deco charmer” i would very much like to share a beer and cigarette with someone, taking in the all too familiar police sirens and helicopter buzz
the best thing on television right now. ricky gervais and stephen merchant are basically the greatest comedy writers of our time. this show needs to hurry up and be released on dvd; the dsl in my apartment is way too slow, so bittorrent is an afterthought.
and just for fun,
this is a test. i don’t really know what i’m doing yet.
with little to live for, trying my hand at art, thinking that maybe i could save myself. but in my desperation, all my hope would fly away until there was nothing left of me. nothing left to save. and in this nightmare there was a dream of a girl so beautiful beyond compare: the girl of my dreams. so wonderful. so beautiful. and i had her boots. this was so along ago in my idealistic dream, with so many songs. laurie. yes. she inspired 1,000 songs. and then i knew i was an artist.”
at my new place. i know. i feel so disconnected from the world. i’m surprised how i’ve made it this far without gmail, boingboing, and you guys. i don’t watch tv, but am so desperate for companionship that i might buy a television.
the at&t guy is going to install me some dsl this friday (fingers crossed). at the moment i’m at my parents’ house. i found a sweet pair of nikes in the garage that belonged to my uncle and will most likely wear them to class tomorrow.
back to my new apartment. it’s a studio in koreatown. i love it and hate it.
woke up at just in time to make continental breakfast. as we left the lobby for our room an elderly woman in a wheelchair chased after us down the hall and asked if she could purchase some cigarettes from me. ever the enabler, i give her two free. not about to let us go empty-handed, she tells us her schedule for the day, which includes trying to get someplace that happens to be over some hill off in the distance to which she points through the window. she explains that she needs the smokes to make it up the hill. we departed albuquerque shortly, dubbing new mexico ‘worst state of the union’ with hardly anything to substantiate such a claim.
the highlight of the day had to be the big texan steak ranch in amarillo, texas. it’s pronounced a-muh-ri-LOW, not a-muh-REE-OH as we originally suspected. we chose to eat here because it was along the 40 and it has a wikipedia entry. this place embodies the everything’s-bigger-in-texas mentality, hence the name. it’s all about excess: finish the 72 ounce steak and it’s free. the walls are lined by no less than twenty deer heads attached to plaques. the place itself is two stories, and the main area room has an area slightly bigger than that of a ballroom. those bold enough to try and conquer the 72 ouncer sit front and center at a dining table on risers, their crimes of gluttony on display for all to see and, hopefully, applaud, should the four and a half pound slab of beef (plus sides) be consumed before the sixty minute timer goes off. and the dress code for waitresses is best described as ‘sorority girl attends wild west party’–western checked shirt with the top three or so buttons unclasped, short denim skirt, cowboy boots and hat, etc; i can understand that. what i couldn’t understand were the garters they wore. the servers didn’t seem to happy to begin with, and i can imagine the garter being why. ridiculous. we had a pretty late lunch, and the place seemed pretty empty; as we left we considered the possibility that no self-respecting texan eats here. damn tourist traps. i love them.
the drive to oklahoma was pretty easy. outside it was prettier and greener. christian talk radio was more abundant, as were country stations throughout texas. we saw jesus billboards and giant crosses. at the oklahoma border we made our first stop at love’s, and it was here that i feel the trip really began. love’s will always mean cheap gas, friendly faces, and driving around the country with pals for no apparent reason; what sets this trip apart from all the others is that at the end of this one, someone would be staying behind to start a new life 3,000 miles away from where we started.
the road to springfield seemed a little too easy at first, but then the thunderstorms hit. the rain drops were fat and beat down on the van. it was pitch black out and you couldn’t see five feet in front of you save for when the lightning would illuminate the sky purple, like those glass globes with electricity inside that follows your finger, the kind you played with on the 4th grade field trip to the science center. it was very surreal and actually quite beautiful. what made the whole ordeal that much more annoying was the storm’s on-again-off-again temperament; ten minutes of maelstrom followed by ten minutes of calm and so on. so it was like, IT’S OVER, I’M ALIVE then HOLY SHIT I’M GOING TO DIE IN OKLAHOMA. we stopped at a starbucks in tulsa to collect ourselves. this was the first starbucks i’ve been to where the average baristi age was 35. they were very friendly.
this was by far the most difficult night of driving; the storm slowed us down and springfield didn’t seem to be getting any closer. a little after midnight we ate dinner in a quiktrip parking lot. (dear arby’s: if your los angeles locations add onion petals to their menu, i will eat at arby’s.) this was my first time at a quiktrip, and it’s a very clean place. their toilet stall scrawlings made me laugh and weep: not only was there HOT ALL NIGHT LONG BLOWJOB, 12:45AM, AUGUST 29 BY THE FENCE, there was also a SAVE AMERIKKKA! followed by other things that at first glance would confirm every stereotype about the south you’ve ever had. the douche who wrote that shit is probably some teenager who commutes 25 miles everyday to work at the dairy queen.
matt was getting tired during the night shift, so i took over for the last 50 miles or so. i put on abbey road and told myself, before this record plays the whole way through, we will be in springfield. we arrived at the best western about fifteen minutes after paul mccartney’s guitar is cut off on her majesty.