A mellowing and meandering trip through this American life. Follow the adventures of Jan, Jack, and Patrick as they take you on a whirlwind trip through Washington, DC's seedy underbelly of cut-rate poolhalls, thrift stores, and temp agencies.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Greetings from Central Oregon's Bend Public Library!

I am driving in a zig-zag fashion from California to DC with my friend Jan. We camped last night atop Mount Garfield on Crater Lake. It got a bit cold up there. We forgot our tent so that means we are camping under the stars. I think a bat landed on me last night (which is nice because it meant that the flies and mosquitos had to leave me alone for a bit). And the Lodge at Crater Lake was serving $3 dollar microbrews--which have a devastating effect at 6,000 feet--and made the night hike to the summit all the more tricky. Woke up for sunrise (because of?). Tonight we are headed to Hell's Canyon on the border of Oregon and Idaho to do a little fishing.

Apparently 45,000 people live in Bend, Oregon. They have a mercedes, BMW, and Audi dealership. Also, a sweet public library.

We've gone swimming everyday (to continue the Resing-swimming theme), first at a Orr Springs 200 miles north of San Francisco. Nice place, if a little official and hippy-ish. The road there was certainly much more interesting than the place itself. Fresh Blackberry bushes though.

Next we took the coolest road in all of California, Route 211 out of Humbolt State Park to Ferndale via Petrolia. We tried to find some fish amongst the wild Petrolia River, but were unsuccessful. The road, though, was a crazy one and a half lane affair through Redwood Forest, up-over-and-along the mountain and valley systems, and then a final descent to the Pacific shore. Fun driving.

The next day we headed into Oregon along the Smith River. At one point I saw a neat bridge in the distance, so we headed for it. And went over it. And drove along Craig's Creek for awhile. It looked pretty cool, so we pulled over to take a closer look and realized it was really cool. The water was aquamarine (sort of fake-green looking) and deep and the creek was at the bottom of a rocky gorge through the hillside. After a vaguely-disconcerting decent to water over mossy boulders we hopped in. It was bracingly cold and that combined with the altitude made me feel dizzy for pretty much the rest of the day. But it was fun swimming amongst the boulders.

The trip is pretty much up for grabs after that. There is a chinese place I really like in Butte, Montana. Grand Tetons? A little Northern Utah, too. Then a trudge across the midwest.

Any ideas?

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Monday, October 11, 2004

I'm not short handed of time, but I certainly did forget that this thing existed.

I am in inspiired mode right now. I just went on my balcony for a view of the metropolis -- and had a glass of wine in hand. gazillion dollar view....

I've been editing an article for alternet this evening, and smoking pot. How much trouble? So much trouble in the world.

And now I'm listening to Bob Marley's incredible album Survival.

They don't want us to unite.
they don't want to see us live together.

All they want to do is see us fighting one another.

Wow the first three songs are something else.

where are the ladies in moi life? I'll tell you... they are just around the corner.
And money? ooh lots.

Cred? some.

friends? all middle-aged. that's the bad part.

books? THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by philip roth.

did I mention that this city is like... the fuckin' bomb?
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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

don't be decieved. i'm not patrick. i mean, would pat really misspell "deceived" like that? of course not. the boy is college educated for fuck's sake. pat may be a silly, silly man. but i love him anyway. we were friends once, perhaps good friends. and maybe we'll be friends once again if we find ourselves, magically, in the same place.
for now he's but a collection of pleasant and sundry memories.

like jack.

and jan.

whither gents?


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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

No word from Jack or Jan from their new outposts in Norfolk and San Francisco.

They must be dead.

As for me, I am not dead, but the Capital Children's Museum is almost dead. And I killed it.

Then it killed me.

I'm voting for Marion Barry for President. Say no to the Washington Senators because we don't got any. Washington Expos all the way.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2004

So, last night, I finally won an adversarial confrontation in my neighborhood.

I got out of the bus in front of the Wah Sing chinese restaurant at about 10pm last night and crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to pick-up some beer at the Mom n' Pop store. Unfortunately for me, they were already closed (they had possibly been closed for an hour). Anyway, on my way across the street I noticed a group of kiddies hanging-out in front of the juvie-house nextdoor to the store. I thought it was odd, but my spidey-sense wasn't really tingling. So I turn away from the closed door of the store and start walking up the street towards my house, when my path is blocked by two street toughs. Mini street toughs.

They start in with the, "Yo, man, what'ch you doing in this neighborhood?"

As I had lived in the neighborhood for many years and had never seen these two particular homies before, I naturally responded with "What are you doing here?"

[An aside: I could tell that these were imported hoodrats because anyone worth their salt knows who the fuck I am. I am the stupid-ass whiteboy with all the twin brothers]

Kid: "Didn't scare you did I?" [follows this with a head and shoulder feint]

Me: "No." [simulates a chest-bump]

Kid: "Awww, It's all good, we just messing with you"

Me: "Yo man, that's great. I'm glad we're cool like that."

Kid: "Yeah, but this is our hood." [another feint, this one more of a shadowbox]

As we were speaking, I noticed with my third eye (that's the one in the back of my head) that another hoodie was creeping through the bushes and circling behind me. Well anyway, our sparkling repartee continued:

Me: "Isn't it a little late for you kids?"

Kid 1: "Yo man, give me a dollar."

Kid 2 (a little smaller than the first): "Empty out your pockets and give us all your shit."

At this point, I don't know quite what got into me. Maybe it was the kid in the bushes waiting to jump me or the other five kids in front of the house walking over that I just noticed, but whatever it was, it was kind of intense. My first move was to take a couple steps into the street so that no one other than a manned-vehicle could club me over the back of the head. The next was to start gesticulating wildly with my head and my arms as I said:

"I don't have to give you shit."

And I threw my newspaper in his face.

I can only start to explain this response in regard to my tremendous advantage in stature to these little muggins. I had to have atleast 8 inches and 40 pounds on the biggest one of them. It was a slight oversight on my part I realized, as I backed up into the street and all 10 kids came after me shouting various epitaphs like:

"Jump him!"

"Let's jump that bitch"

"Oh shit!"

"Did you just touch me?" (because I just touched Kid Number One while attempting to diffuse the situation with a high-five)

Now it might look like I was in trouble at this point, but I was in the grips of an insane confidence--a confidence founded on no previous life experience--that I could actually kick some serious ass in this situation. This was my kind of fight. Although out-numberbed, not one of them was older than 13. Which is almost ass-kicking age. Like, give them two years to grow and mature and practice their ass-kicking on the streets and I am a goner. Possibly they continue beating me until I lose consciousness and then they leave me in the street to get run over by cars.

But, that is two years from now. At this point it is me on ten 11-13 year-olds. The youngest of them has already picked up some rocks and commenced to throwing them. So they come at me, about six or seven strong. They keep the rest as a sort-of rearguard. Possibly to serve as archers, whatever. Fortunately I am a giant. I stand tall. They circle. I circle. Why am I circling? There are seven of them? I circle anyway. One of them has gotten larger. The hoodie from the bushes is actually kind of big.

As two or three make their initial run at me

[all I'm thinking is don't get knocked to the ground/ don't get knocked to the ground/ don't get knocked]

the traffic on Pennslyvania starts coming in full force and the ridiculousness of our position becomes apparent. We are dispersed wildly over three lanes of Northbound Pennslyvania Avenue and a half-dozen cars start blaring their horns.

It is as if someone yelled "Car" and we all had to clear the street before we could commence with our street-fight.

I moved to the sidewalk to put a little distance between me and my hoodies, also positioning myself closer to home. I did not relish the prospect of running the three blocks to my house with a blood-thirsty mob at my back. But, just then, there came the old familiar whine of a siren. And the kids bolted.

Except one.

This little fat kid.

Who continued to throw rocks at me.

Me: "Stop throwing rocks, you little bitch." (and I meant it)

Him: [throws one more rock and runs away]

Me: "27th Street Krew iz Bitchez."

Okay, well, I didn't say that last part exactly, but one my way home (with occasional over-the-shoulder glances) I sure as hell thought it: "27th Street Krew iz Bitchez." Yeah.

Anyway, the moral of the story is: Whenever you are getting hassled by people that are smaller than you (even if there are more of them), say cool shit that you might hear in a movie because the next day you will feel alot better about it."

patrick b.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004

My head is melting. My eyes are burning. The office girl is so hot today, but all else is boring. Man she is hot. She is wearing the first outfit that delineates her bunz, and they are as shapely as any man could hope for. I wonder if she gets herself so trim from
riding the cycle, pilates, running (not a likely suspect, since most running thins the ass), nordic trak? I think she's 28, I think. she could be a mere 26. mmm hhmm.
i didn't mention that yestrerday she made some hazelnut and chocolate cookies. good girl. But imagine, if I had retained my popular highschool status from my first bout of 9th grade, or even my second bout of 9th grade and brought it to this office with its perks and requisites, she may well have brought them to me and then sat on my lap.

those were my 9th grades.

On the same floor is Common Cause, one of the big leftwing issues organizations in DC, that 2 years ago I would have traded my left rib cage to work at. Now I look in through their glass doors, and see snobos yacking at nothing, a bunch of perennials yacking around a conference table -- girls, all under 26 -- with plans goin' no whey-ah. Yick.
Imagine the things that go on between those animals.
One time this angry guy stormed out of common cause, sounding like a gravy douche -- or Barney Frank. He told this girl, "Listen, we work together. We've done that for 6 years, working together. Why you messed up our system, and went and talked about me to her, when you knew she couldn't keep her mouth shut, I can not understand."
She said, "blah yap yap blah... seep meeew."
He said, "Oh don't worry, we've known eachother too long for me to get mad at you."
and then it was over.

like that.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

New levels of boredom reached.

I am deliberating over this question:

Can a boring office turn anybody into a bore if enough time passes?

Also I googled myself, and found my name in this link:


but since I am at work, I can't quite check it out.

who wants to for me?

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