Monthly Archives: September 2013

I seriously need to get my head out of my ass and stop doing the loner thing. I’m falling apart emotionally because I have such difficulty forcing myself to go out to social things on my own. I really miss everybody back home, but it’s going to be months before I’m back in the area, so I need to get off my ass and actively do something about this. I’m so socially awkward when there isn’t somebody I know at an event or a party that I tend to shut down and leave quickly after arriving.

It’s time to cut that shit out and actually get out there.

So – because I’m tired of having played out this bullshit, very painful paradigm my entire life, at the urging of my dear friend Jean Abbott, who apparently is the first person in my life that I could actually HEAR this from and consequently apply it in a way that benefits me, I’m going out to do something social today.

So, I went out to the ABQ Pagan Pride event down at Bataan Park. Met a wonderful woman there that made beautiful spirit drums, and got to sit and talk with her a bit about spirituality in general. Good discussion. It’s a nice little event.

I stayed there for an hour or two, wandering around and checking out vendors and people watching.

Road Chronicles

prisonareaI’m reminded of a tense moment during the drive from Redondo Beach, CA out to Albuquerque, NM last weekend. I’m goin’ down the highway, and there hasn’t been a bathroom for quite some time – and I’m getting really close to just pulling over and remedying the situation. Instead, because I don’t want to get bitten on the ass by something in the shadows in the midst of ‘the deed’, I pull over and check to see how close the nearest rest stop is.

12 miles.

Ok. I can hold out for that long. I think.

It takes roughly ONE MILLION YEARS to get there. And? On the way to the exit, I spot the following sign (granted, this is an image of a different sign – this was about 3:30am at night that I’m driving around).

Are you fucking kidding? Oh god, is the rest stop at…?

why yes. It is.

It is *exactly* on the exit that goes directly to the penitentiary down the road – the one that looks like an enormous shiny, razor sharp cube of penal glowyness.

And? The rest stop is closed.

My bladder starts SCREAMING and yelling, and throwing things at this point, but honestly – even if the frickin’ thing was open at that time of night, I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to use it.

I wait until I’m a few miles down the road, and I honestly can’t take it anymore. I pull over, turn all the lights off, then with my enormous fist full of keys, I bravely give fate the finger and ‘take care a bidness’.

It was uneventful, well – other than the ENORMOUS feeling of physical relief.

I have an interesting life.

While I was walking out to the Natural Arch out at El Malpais National Monument earlier this afternoon, a desert fox stopped about 100 feet from me on the trail up ahead, before darting off into the bushes.

Road Chronicles

joshuatree3I arrived at Joshua Tree National Park at around 2am friday night. The entire place was illuminated by the full moon that was just beginning to wane. Got some great shots with the flash, but the non-flash proved difficult without a tripod. Went ahead and picked up a tripod and am now going to do lots more night photography.

Good grief – I just made myself tear up by singing The lyrics to Feed The Birds. That song has always choked me up. #MaryPoppins

Best cab ride home EVER. First, my friend Dan Sturge and I had awesome Shawarama out at Good Frikin’ Chicken – then we get this Indian cabbie that’s apparently been having a rough time finding IT work. He was saying that he has three masters degrees, he’s a US Citizen, and he looked to be in his fifties. Apparently, nobody will give him a job because he’s

a) too old
b) doesn’t need an H1
c) overqualified

He was saying he was heading back to India in a month due to his situation. We started talking about the current shitty status that America affords its poorer citizens, much less it’s older citizens, and then we ended up on the topic of marriage. While we’re hearing about this poor guy’s horror show of an ex-wife situation, the guy explains that the Bollywood song that’s currently playing on the radio is talking about the perils of marriage, and how one should never get married.

Ah, Serendipity.

While my heart goes out to everybody that lost somebody on 9/11 – as well as the first responders that Congress STILL sees fit to deny fucking medical benefits to before they succumb to cancer and die off, I refuse to give the event any sort of patriotic significance. The poisonous false patriotism that’s polluted this nation since is disgusting. It’s caused strife, pain and the sole purpose of it is to root out anything ‘other’ so that we can track it and hold it up as a handy target to direct our anger and ire.

Sowing fear to millions in order to promote sales, sway political votes and public opinion is WRONG.

At this point, having an Alien impregnate me through forced intubation so that a baby alien can pop out of my chest, killing me immediately, would at least give me a sense of purpose.

I walked up to Matilda earlier and found myself saying, “Man, if ONLY enormous Cthonic tentacles would snake out of this frickin fog and snatch me, carrying me off to subject me to horrors beyond imagining – my day would be going SO much better.”

Gratitude

I’m not particularly ambitious. I don’t really have dreams of social or economic grandeur. I like to write, but don’t really consider myself a writer. I don’t do it as a profession. I do it because I love storytelling. If I happen to make money at it, I consider that a bonus.

I’m here to live and love – to BE IN this beautiful/ugly, wonderful/horrible, pleasurable/painful trip through the arc of my human experience here.

I’m coming to the end of my walkabout around the US, at least for now. I’m on a trajectory that’ll take me through the southern states, bringing me back to the MD/VA/DC area, where I first started. I miss everybody back home a great deal, and for all its faults, Facebook has helped me to stay in touch with you all, for which I’m supremely grateful.

I’ve learned a surprising amount about myself, and feel a good deal more confident in who I am, where I’m going and what I want than I did almost two years ago. I’ve met/made new friends and acquired new people that I consider family along the way, as well as rekindling old relationships. I’ve also met fantastic people on the road that I’ll likely never see again, having spent a night drinking and laughing together, or shooting the shit about various socially forbidden subjects. (my favorite!) Wonderful moments in time that I’ll always cherish.

Currently, the plan is to stay down south for most of winter, and then start heading back in time to make it to KatusCon 20 in mid-February.

I want to thank everybody that’s kept up with me throughout my journey, reading my stories and checking out my pictures on my blog:http://waltzingmatildavan.wordpress.com/.

I’m happy that I’ve been able to share these moments. It makes me a little less lonely while I’m out on the road.

Thank you SO MUCH to Dan SturgeDoug HumphreyGrig LarsonChristine LarsonChristopher R. LarsonJeanie RussellJean AbbottStu MarkScottie DevlinHeidi Rausch Anderson (and Laura Kelly), Tansy Otterbeck, Tomas Inskip and Vincent Huckle for giving me places to stay on my way ’round the US. You were truly a godsend, and it was great to spend the amounts of time with you that I did. (I’m sure I’m forgetting SOMEBODY – it’s bound to happen. That doesn’t mean that I love you any less for allowing me into your house as a visitor and letting me set up shop in your homes, it just means that I’m addled and forgetful, for which I deeply apologize.)

Special thanks go out to my family for putting up with me for rather large swaths of time – Tom Miles, Adam Miles, Sydney Miles (and my awesome Niece and Nephews)

I couldn’t have done this without your help and support.

Baths, Spires and Organs – adventures along the San Francisco coast

I’m fairly sure that the headline sounds a great deal saucier than the report below. Still, fun was had!

The ruins of the old Sutro Baths, built back in the late 19th century, once housed a large quantity of swimming pools that the well heeled gentry of the city frequented back in the day. It’s a rather large site, and looking down from the parking lot, you get a good idea how enormous this facility once was in its heyday. There’s a long bike path down to the ruins, as well as a very taxing looking collection of stairs down from the overlook to the ruins and beach beyond…

[more here]