Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Settled Back In

I took one look at the title I just wrote for this blogpost and realized how horrible of a lie that is. There's nothing settled in about now and the next month or so that's left of school. Projects abound. Traveling back to Lansing probably every weekend. Finding an internship (I've got a line on one at the Canton Public Library). The insanity will ensue, and will keep me from finishing my novel before the end of the semester, and I am very angry about that. Now...a breakdown of things missed:


Los Angeles:

By far one of the best and most busy weeks I've spent in the city of angels yet.

Early flight out of Detroit to Minneapolis. Then straight out to Los Angeles. Spent day 1 in Burbank. That town or neighborhood, or whatever you want to call it, was one giant mall more or less, but it was fun meeting everyone Kate worked with. Day 2 I was able to hook up with my friend Sam for lunch and then hiking Griffith Park up near the Hollywood sign, though I didn't see it. Day 3 was a walk out to the La Brea tar pits and Page Museum. Day 4 was intended to be a mad dash out to Las Vegas with Kate, but Ben, Kate's husband, put the kebosh on that (tee hee). Instead we drove down to San Diego and the wineries out there, finished off with a stop at Stone Brewery. That night was a joke made into a party called St. Nathan's Day (it was Ben's idea). Day 5 was mostly loafing around the house in La Mirada. Day 6 was out to Santa Monica with lunch at an "authentic" british pub. Day 7 was a failed attempt at homework. Day 8 was a walk out to Hollywood, followed by a ridiculous short film festival. And then on day 9 it was an early flight to Atlanta and then up to Detroit.

I got back to Michigan and spent Thursday and Friday in Ann Arbor before swinging home for the weekend to see my family and friends, and The Watchmen (which I didn't enjoy very much).

Back to school for a few days, and then last friday, went to Kalamazoo, and then to Chicago Saturday morning, back to Lansing sunday night, and back to Ann Arbor monday afternoon.

Now it's Wednesday. I'm in Ann Arbor until Friday and then it's up to Lansing for a spaghetti dinner with my buddy Duke and some other folk.

I tell this timeline to people and they look at me like I'm insane, but really this is the one thing keeping me sane.


In terms of writing I heard back from GUD, another dud (I'm a poet and I don't know it). I've put maybe a couple hundred more words on the novel, but that's it...It's really frustrating, but we can't do everything I suppose. I keep trying to remember to go look for a short story I'd written a while back that no longer exists on my harddrive but every time I'm home it's usually long enough to do homework and pass out before waking up and hitting the ground running again.

That's all I've got for now. Next post will definitely be the House on the Rock post of the American Gods roadtrip

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Travels and Travails

I've been on a near constant move since Spring Break (between Los Angeles, Lansing Ann Arbor, and Chicago this weekend). A full post is coming soon with pictures and thoughts and all, and then a post on The House on the Rock, continuing my American Gods Road Trip planning. Until then I leave you with a little snippet I started writing on the flight back from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Dunno what it's going to become.


You put on your toothy customer-service smile and while the prerecorded voice dispenses advice that no one listens to, you go through the motions that no one watches. Point to the exits. Two to the side. Two to the rear. Fasten the mock safety belt, tighten it down. Always smiling. Put on the mock oxygen mask and give it one good, bag-swelling breath for show. Then the captain, who always souds like a failed radio personality assures everyone about the weather, the plane and the arrival time. Then you take your seat with all electronic devices off and seats and trays in their upright and locked positions for take off. Always smiling.

The girls like to talk. About their kids, always just in college. About their husbands. About some prime time TV show, or the new Oprah Book Club book. Not me. I sit and read. Mysteries, sometimes classics, maybe some science fiction. Anything I can get my hands on between flights. Mostly I keep to myself.

Home is a duffel bag with some casual clothes and an extra set of work clothes. If pressed about where I'm from I'll say I pay state taxes in Illinois, but the last time I was there was a stopover in Chicago before a redeye to Portland.

I live in a constant state of limbo. Shifting time zones and perpetual jetlag. Everything at a distance. The ground far beow me. The people at arms length. Always smiling. It's the closest thing to living off the grid without having to exert any real effort to hide. If I'm not flying I get a hotel to get me through the night, and if I have a couple day's layover--something they force on me from timme to time--I go for long walks.

It's not much of a life, but it passes the time.


And with that I'm going back to paying attention in class, and trying to catch up on homework. Real post soon.