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OK, I had that stupid factory dream again. I was with some of the New York Rumblers, visiting the same hidden room. This time I wasn't alone, but the ladder that got me down snapped while I was on it, but I wasn't scared and I landed on my feet. It was all too familiar looking, and I was very confident because I remembered how I handled the situation the last time I had the dream. It was the "I've been here before" type of confidence. Hopefully I won't be dreaming of ladders, factories or Rumblers for too much longer…
New Orleans is a GREAT time, can't say that for the guy…had to let Kurt go. After hanging out with him a couple days, it had to be done. The flowers and dinners were wonderful, and he definitely did his job of showing me around the city, but how many times am I supposed to hear the same stories? Plus he obviously thought that I had New York Tourist Info. stamped on my forehead. If I had to answer one more question of what NYC living was like, I was going to stab him in the eye with a crayfish.
I like being here alone, cause I can do cheesy tourist things without feeling stupid! Since I am on a tight budget, I had to pick and chose the attractions I was going to be seeing here. I picked a few that I would never be able to see anywhere else, including the French Quarter Festival, which I doubt I will see since it starts on the tenth, and I have no intention of staying here that long. That's a whole lot of days, and I'm getting more and more bored by the second. Maybe I'll leave early after all…
Most of my day was spent trying to find out of the way places to have some fun. I've learned to go straight to the local tattoo shops for that information. Not here. My search for absurdity turned out to be a lot of dark, dank bars that featured Cajun music, toothless men, and lots of alligator memorabilia. It was actually cool in that "down on my luck" sort of way, but that's about all it had to offer. Although I have to admit, I'm liking the live music. Cajun music is conjoined with swamp music…almost forgot about the swamps…..
OK, today I start my search for the swamp people. After a while of driving around, and a LOT of asking people (saying I am from out of town and looking for my many swamp relatives), I was referred to the southern Louisiana swamp tours. OK, so apparently these are not as remote and concealed as I had hoped. That does not mean that their people have been documented in the style that I have chosen. This swamp tour lead really didn't help me much since the outskirts of New Orleans have no shortage of swamps…almost all the way around.
I figured maybe if I go the opposite way of the tours, I will find the scary breed that holds the swamp name. So, I looked up in the telephone book where the swamp tours seem to trek, (apparently there is a main swamp area) and fully went the opposite way. Not knowing about the infestation of "gators" in the swamp areas, and that there is a reason that people do not normally wander into these areas, I hiked. I found some resistance from the swamp foliage, and even was scared off by noises a few times, but was unharmed.
I finally located a small area that the people were populating. Amazing. I interviewed a few on camera, although I honestly will need a translator (yes, I thought it was a joke). I asked them to tell me the history of how they came to the area, and why they stayed. After 3 hours of testimony, I asked them another easy question…what do you think the world things of your culture. There was silence as they all looked to one another. Apparently none of them had ever pondered this matter, because my new friends just looked at me & shrugged.
I ended up staying overnight at the swamp. I rolled footage until way in the night, and figured I would not be able to find my way out until morning. When offered a bed, I said I could take the floor. That was apparently not the best idea due to the ever-increasing gator population. So, I slept for a couple hours, and in the morning I was off. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, and in desperate need of a shower, I returned to my dive hotel. I cheerfully packed up my belongings, checked out, and headed out to my car.
On the way back to the highway, I had a few stops. I said good-byes at my veggie restaurant, and dropped off the tapes to Wanda, a girl who promised to fully translate them, and send them straight to my editor up in New York-all this for pretty cheap. She said Kurt was asking about how long I was going to stay…I told him I would be here for much longer. When I said my plans have changed, she told me that Kurt's had too. He is planning on hitting the weekender in 8 days, and heading to NYC afterwards.
The whole way down 65 to Baton Rouge (where I decided to spend no more than one day, and to stay away from the guys…) I thought about Kurt living in New York City. All the questions he had asked me, all the horrible things he believed about the big city and what it did to people. Maybe I made it seem like more of a Disneyland than it is? I had to laugh, because I think the city would swallow him whole. I can't help but wonder if I played any part in his quick decision to move…hopefully not.
OK, decided last minute against Baton Rouge. After completely missing an important exit due to day dreaming (nearly 2 hours went by before I noticed) I figured I have seen just about all this state's going to offer me this time around. With 4 days & the near 2,000 miles to Las Vegas, I would rather hit Austin for a couple days…maybe even hit Vegas a bit early. I'm at the point where I am so excited, I don't really care about seeing anything or hitting any other parts of the country until after Viva… like a vacation within one.
Since it was only about 500 miles, I couldn't resist hitting Austin. Even if it was just for a bite to eat at the big Whole Foods, then a quick drink at Emo's, I had to do it. When I arrived into town (after a mere 10 hour ride), I realized I have some time, and should find a hotel room and catch a nap. It was only in that moment that I became conscious of the fact that I haven't really "slept" in a great while. Maybe I will sleep the rest of the day, then go out tonight.
Today was a lot less exciting then I imagined it would be. I pictured Austin just how I had left it. Now, it looks like the same place with a lot more drunks and college kids puking on the street. Well, I guess it had to be the same last time I was here…it wasn't that long ago. I found out that the roller derby we did the photo shoot with has broken up, hopefully not for good, but there is still talk of dismantling the company. I kicked back in my hotel and ate a HUGE Whole Foods meal.
I tried to contact a couple friends here. By noon I was so bored, and in such anticipation for meeting up with my friends in Vegas, I decided to take off. If they ever call back, I will gladly tell them I'll be back in town soon, just had to be in Vegas for now. As soon as I got my stuff in the car and selected some appropriate driving music (the Subhumans), the phone rang. When I saw the 504 area code, I opted not to answer. I couldn't stand a call from Kurt ruining my good driving mood.
Well, today is the day of enlightenment. I have figured out a few things. 1.) It is considered Spring Break in parts of the country. This would explain the rash of college kids puking up the streets of Austin (of course, now I am VERY glad I left New Orleans). 2.) My friends are arriving in Las Vegas today. Since at the moment, I still have about 13 more hours to travel, never mind the sleep I will have to accumulate when I get there…I'm not particularly getting to Viva early at all. Just when I thought I was ahead….
OK…I actually made it. Fell asleep and didn't want to EVER wake up, but I did it. I am here now in the lovely Rio Suites hotel located off the strip with good friends from NYC. I made it. The vacation I couldn't wait for, and there's no one here yet but us four. The actual weekender doesn't start for another 2 days. In reality, this is awesome. I get to spend as much time with my friends that I want before the hot guys start to appear! So far, we have monopolized the pool & people are already scared….
OK, so last night the hotties started rolling in!! So did my friends from New York. It really was one of the best nights of my life. All of us together, guys everywhere, and me so drunk I can barely speak. I think I kept my composure, and I wasn't dangerously drunk, so that's good. At least I stuck to only kissing one boy at the bar…making out with a lot of boys is what the hot tub is for!! While hanging out with one guy at the bar, I met another guy from New Orleans. I HEART LAS VEGAS!!
Apparently Las Vegas' new TV slogan is "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas". Hope that's true!! But I have to say, I actually met a really cool guy from the southwest. We spent most of the night talking, and my friends took a BUNCH of pictures of us together. He told me that he would really like to hang out with me the whole weekend. I don't know about all that….I have a bunch of people to hang with, but it was a nice gesture. He has a car, and said he would show me around Las Vegas tomorrow.
Lounging by the pool, my friend from New Mexico and I were talking about moving to Vegas. She is here regularly with her career, and would do it in a heartbeat. I, on the other hand, don't think I could stay here much longer after my friends leave. I tried that last year, and it was so depressing. Like a ghost town full of memories of good times, and no one is around to make new ones. I couldn't live like that; I would feel trapped with anticipation. Regardless, I might consider starting a life somewhere amongst the palm trees…
OK, so I have met so many guys, I have actually brought on an assistant (a sober one). I love this time of year!! Not only are the guys really cool, but also this event marks the start of spring, when everyone comes out of hiding!! The car show was yesterday, and that was AMAZING. I've always been a little jealous of the west coast where cars can be kept nice and modified. The east coast winters were so hard, and wrenching your car is no fun on 30-degree weather. Not to mention the never-ending battle with my friend rust.
Well, things didn't exactly work out with the guy that was supposed to be occupying my time. My friends got a laugh when I realized this today (2 days late). There was a show with all Seattle bands going on at one of the other hotels, and we checked it out. These guys from Portland invited us. Not bad these bands, but the people weren't friendly. At all. Maybe not stuck up, or bitchy, just none of them looked extremely happy. I met a guy from Seattle with a bottle of 1800 blasting Nelly. Now, HE was friendly AND happy.
I have to state for the record, I miss my CC guys. The Rumblers were not invited this year after an incident at the car show last time. In our hotel room, one of them called, sounding a little down that he was missing the fun. I was almost in tears, and quickly realized that they WERE the fun. They had a hot tub take-over each night, threw cabana parties during the day, and were the lifeblood of the car show. It was nice to not have big brothers watching me this year, but I also miss them very much.
As I was trying to talk to this guy from Arizona today, who comes up to talk to me but Kurt. I saw him poking around the car show the other day, but it was nice to see him talking to girls, and making new friends, so I left him alone. Now I am talking to a great guy (who has the same car as I do), and he comes over. Not wanting to be rude, but not sure how to handle this, I talked to him for a split second introduced them, then went back to talking to Tim.
Well, according to the message left on my hotel voice mail, that was hands down the most bad mannered, uncouth thing I could have done. Whatever. I officially have a Kurt that hates me. And for what? Talking to a guy in Vegas? Oh, and now I have the first southwestern guy trying to talk to me again. This trip's a blast….no matter what happens, I don't ever have to see these guys again. I will, however, try to set things straight with Kurt, because of the odd chance that he will move to New York City… and actually stay.
OK, so I am wrapping up my stay in fabulous Las Vegas. The last of my friends fly out tonight. I am really sad about everyone taking off, and strongly feel like I should be heading back as well. I have been crying for hours, and I've started to wonder why I am doing all this traveling. I'm also starting to realize that all this time on the road has made me pretty lonely. I know it goes against my original plan, but I think I am going to consider settling down for a while somewhere. Time for another margarita.
Not really that much to tell today, I'm still exhausted from the week in Vegas, and still pretty sad. I once read a book with a character that constantly sweated and cried. Although I'm not really one to perspire, I have been constantly crying. The worst part is I don't know why. There are a bunch of little things that have been upsetting me, but nothing major, and I can't figure out what would have affected me so much in Vegas. Was it hanging out with my friends again? Talking to a lot of guys? Whatever it was, I'm miserable.
I found out I am much happier (stop crying) when I am out of the car. So, I called Jen and told her I will be arriving in Tucson in a while, but it might take me longer since I am trying to stop in little towns and take walks. I should be taking this time to see little parts of the country, but I find myself daydreaming and soul searching instead. The beautiful little towns in the southwest are starting to look the same, but within those similarities is something that is, if nothing else, becoming familiar to me.
In my spare/walking/trying to occupy myself time, I am also trying to plan a smaller tour of Arizona. I have to hit Phoenix because there are a few people there I didn't get to see in Vegas (and a couple I apparently have to meet), then I would like to visit a couple people I just meet this weekend that live in a small town on the border. They told me all about the good places to go in Mexico, and how to have a good time in a small southwestern town. Got to check it out….think it'll be fun!
I really am happy to be in Tucson (or at least out of the car). I remember when I planned this trip, I swore I wouldn't spend more than a week in any place I had been before, but I think it'll be a few days before I leave here. Tucson is familiar to me (my third time here). I know where all the good shops/restaurants are, and last time I was here not only did we figure out the bus system, but we also traveled down to Mexico. I have a lot of good memories here…hopefully I'll make more.
I decided that since I have stopped crying, I am going to have as much fun as I possibly can. We went out and got as drunk last night, and I met a lot of people I have been hearing about, saw a bunch I haven't seen in a while & even met up with these two girls I met last year at Viva! I was supposed to meet up with them afterwards back here, but never saw them again. Tomorrow night my friend's band is playing at Hotel Congress! I can't wait. Overall, I am starting to have fun.
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