what sort of grown man makes his bed with hospital corners before leaving town?

I am grateful for the strangeness in my life. Yesterday I was out in the desert, dingy, busted up, covered in scrapes, bruises, and dirt, camping between an artillery testing range, salvation mountain, and a hard-knuckle death row prison, but I slept in Beverly Hills at an absent ex-lover’s decadently art deco house, wrapped in a familiar yakuta, all soft beds, home baked pumpkin pie, and wonderful hospitality. (Odd to be living here in the space of his absence).

I’ve no idea what today will bring.

to recap

I’m out at the Salton Sea right now, writing from a Slab City art camp, listening to the American Astronaut soundtrack and the Tom Waits my ex played on, (favourites of the guy who owns this camp), a dog named X-Ray at my feet. “hey boys, hey boys, gotta message for you, about a thing called love..” It’s spectacularly weird, just right past Salvation Mountain, all art cars, hubcaps and skulls hanging from trees, and solar power everything. If all of my camping was this comfortable, in a space like this, I might convert.

I’m getting a ride with Claire into L.A. on Friday evening, though I don’t have a place to stay yet, while Lung and Natasha are driving in on Sunday morning.

We’ll be in San Fran as of Monday.

where are my brains

My apprehension is on fire, reaching out to confuse my generally pragmatic self. Tonight I will get home, try to relax with David, have a brief panic, and eventually give in to a clockwork pattern of getting up every five minutes to try and make sure I remembered everything I made a mental note to pack. Then my mother will arrive, slightly late, while I am in the middle of tearing something apart, and drug me into amicability with chocolate. Our things will be put into her van, we may or may not stop somewhere for road food, and then we will go.

Ten blocks will go by before I remember that I have left either my plane ticket or required ID on top of a flat surface somewhere in my room, and another fifteen blocks will go by before I remember that I’ve forgotten something essential to do with either the camera or the laptop. After that, we will be like an arrow, off to Seattle in the dark. At the border we will make jokes about holding on to contraband, while hoping they don’t search the truck and find the Kinder Eggs we’re smuggling for Robin’s party. Around then I will remember that I’ve left Robin’s number at home, right next to where that pesky other thing had been. We will decide it’s probably just in my bag and continue on, but we’ll be wrong.

In Bellingham, it will rain so hard the roads will collapse, and I will miss my plane on Monday, recovering in an American hospital that charges me for the air I breathe.

Nonsense clear in my head, put there solidly by my worried, idiot heart. Nonsense and things that have happened before but are unlikely to ever happen again. I know this trip will completely different then the last time I went to California. It can’t not be. I will not be stranded. I will not be neglected. Nothing will flood. (Related to that, I will not get caught in another mud-slide.) I will not be attacked by yet another damned wild animal while camping. I will not be kidnapped by yet another dangerous religious fanatic. I will not get trapped on the train for seven hours because of a suicide. I will not accidentally walk into Compton on my first day in Los Angeles.

Not only will my trip by fun, it will be fine. This time I have friends there. I am connected. I have a network, a safety net, multiple places to stay. Tonight we will remember everything irreplaceable, get clean across the border, and collapse into our plans/friends in Seattle with joy. On Monday morning, I will be exhausted, but will make my early morning flight. I won’t get off the plane to find myself abandoned by a car crash, Lung and Natasha will meet me there. Vegas will be exotic yet completely familiar from television, terrific and fascinating. When we leave for the Salton Sea, our drive will be all sing-alongs to favourite songs, fruit juice, bad jokes, and photography in the desert. When it is time to go to sleep, we will lie down on the cold ground, miles away from anything, and the stars at night will be so clear as to make me catch my breath.

I’ll have internet while I’m gone

Book about photobooths.

I haven’t gone camping in so long that I’m certain I’ve forgotten to pack some obvious essential more useful even than a toothbrush but smaller than a sleeping bag. It doesn’t help that between this trip and my last, I’ve already lost my duffel bag by “putting it in a safe place”, leaving me to borrow David’s much tinier one, that will not fit either my tripod or bed-roll. If I don’t watch out, I’m going to get stuck with an uncomfortable, awkwardly packed backpack.

In other news, Amy’s moving out, which means there’s going to be a two-bedroom apartment in my building available December 1st for $950/month. Third floor near Commercial Dr, between Venables and Hastings, better views than my apartment, laundry in the basement for a dollar, bike rack in the bottom floor vestibule. Pets aren’t allowed, but we all have them anyway. Landlord is pleasantly neglectful, and tends to only come by for rent.

Man splendidly decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie.

We who are about to sqelch vapidly through squamous tunes where no sanity remains salute you!

Cthulhupalooza, Saturday December 6, the Rio Theatre in Vancouver BC Canada.
Facebook event link

A pulpy, tentacled, and maddening Lovecraft Rockband fundraiser hosted by two brilliant yet malignant modern men of science, my friends Toren and Jay, with partial proceeds to Child’s Play charity, Cthulhupalooza features:

  • A very special performance by the Lovecraftian rock band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets.
  • A Rock Band Competition with prizes from many sponsors including Harmonix and Jones Soda, as well as a chance to sing the exclusive Rock Band track “Shhh….” with The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets.
  • A screening of the silent film adaptation of the classic weird tale “The Call of Cthulhu” as produced by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society, along with other short films to be announced!

    $16 tickets for Cthulhupalooza are now available in Vancouver at: The Rio Theatre, Red Cat Records, Zulu Records, Scratch Records, Scrape Records, Neptoon Records, RX Comics, Elfsar Collection, Strategies Games, High Life, Pulp Fiction.

    Also – starting right now and valid until 11:59pm on Wednesday November 26th, Toren’s offering an unlucky $13 ticket price for Cthulhupalooza if you order through PayPal. PayPal to thickets@uniserve.com with your name and preferred contact info (this can be email or phone) and a ticket will be held for you at the Rio Theatre until you arrive!

    If you haven’t picked up your tickets yet, you should act fast, as they’re going quick! And remember, DON’T FORGET to register your band by emailing cthulhupalooza@gmail.com