Stuck in Baltimore for one more day. I wouldn't mind a bit if this day hadn't included getting up at 4:30am - wait- not only getting up at 4:30am but, rallying up a non-morning person friend at 4:30am as well (Thereby using a valuable favor) to take me to the airport only to find that my flight is delayed and I have to wait in line for a boarding pass because the self-check kiosk is blitzed out from storms and delays and whatevers. While waiting three hours in line I miss a flight and my other flight gets delayed to kingdom come. Meanwhile truly angry passengers that actually have someplace to go unlike the rest of us taking a vacation in the Delta Airlines Check-in line are cutting in front. And the two people at the counter couldn't give a crap. It was pandemonium. It still is. I'm nervous to go back. I have a reissued ticket for a United flight that connects in Chicago but I don't believe it.

Baltimore will be a fine place to set up my new homestead anyway.It's just that I have an awesome ticket to the Dodgers game tomorrowm

Yesterday we went to DC. It was an incredible day and a true test of travelogy toughness. We walked six thousand miles in pouring down rain dressed in plastic smithsonian ponchos and saw every war memorial known to man. We saw the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot.It is a national historical site so there were a couple NPS rangers there. One gave a talk on stage in the theater that was so moving, so impassioned, I was brought to tears. I was also very inspired to visit the house right across the street where Lincoln died. It was a crowded exhibit and they were only letting a few people in at a time and this meat head raddad in front of us was taking forever to read this sign that said 'Lincoln Died In This Room' and he was completely ignoring his fat litterbuggin' child and it was really pissing Nat off so she eventually shoved him out the door of the very place when Lincoln took his last breath. She actually pushed a grown man and hit him with the door. She said Lincoln would not only understand but would be proud.

Maybe, maybe he would.


I'm waiting for the rest of my writing group posse to show up. Here's another lesson for you: Don't put your apples in the freezer. Not even for fifteen minutes to make them cold and crisp. They won't be crisp. They will actually get a bit shrively. Just yuck.

I kind of take back my tirade from yesterday I smoothed everything out with my most earnest girl voice on the phone today. Looks like we'll be able to get a tour and an interview after all. I don't retract my advice to never ask for permission. That's a bunch of negatives but I think it works. It's negative Wednesday, like Backwards Friday!

I'm outta here again tomorrow. I need some guest writers that live in LA to email me weather descriptions for 80 and Sunny. Let me know if you are up to the task.


B Bonds is on base. What an awful state of anticipation, he's been walked like a hundred times tonight. I am sure none of these pitchers wanna be the guy that had a perfectly fine career until Barry Bonds hit his record smashing home run off one of their pitches.

I write tonight to teach everyone a lesson I have learned time and time again but I often forget to take heed. I would put the lesson in a fable but I can't come up with two animals other than a horses ass and a donkey's ass and that's just not reader friendly.

So the lesson is - in today's suspicious times, do not try to plan ahead for any sort of radical media project. Do not try to ask ahead of time if its ok to stop by or shoot here or there or to talk to so and so or look at this or that. I got an email today canceling my interview with some of the Harper's Ferry National Park people. They said they needed more time and the director wanted to be involved with the interview and maybe some of the drafts and what are my credentials?

I sent the poor secretary/go-betweener a lengthy email that started off with my credentials as a baddass and ended up in a thinly veiled battle cry for the first amendment. I said something like if your director wants to look at a draft he can hire me otherwise, I will continue to follow the tradition of all radical media artists and writers throughout history and just write free! Create free! What a dumbass. Why did I press send? I should have spent the night going through my draft box to finally send out those tearfully composed emails to ex-boyfriends. That would have been better.

I might be on some federal list now. I hope they don't take away my national park passport book. The big thing that irks me is that I could have just walked up in the joint and casually talked to some workers. Instead I have been working with this lady on the phone for a while and now she's had enough time to freak out and hide behind some unspoken September 11th statute. All anyone has to say is, well we need more information because, you know, security issues with the government.

But seriously, we have reached an era when you can't even check out federal printing facilities just because you said you were going to write something. It's not like they are printing hundred dollar bills or shiny pennies or copies of the patriot act.

Ehnrenreich doesn't fucking tell Merry Maids shes infiltrating. She just takes a job there and scrubs some floors and makes friends with sad women and then writes the facts later.

God!! Lesson learned.

Game is over. No homers. Nothing for the grand roundtripper tonight. Seems the pen has been mightier than the bat, for once, sniff..sniff.

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Lor and I went to Catalina this week. It's a 70 minute boat ride and I wanted to throw up about ten minutes in. I've never been sea sick before but I never took a go-fast boat across the Pacific so I guess there's a new experience in every day.

L is a great travel companion because she likes the same dorky business that I do. We went on a bus tour narrated by a cranky old resident. She didn't give us a lick of historical information about the island other than that the Cubs used to spring train there. Then we got on a special tourist boat that has seats set in about six feet under water with individual bench seats and windows so you can see the fish swimming by. The tour guides toss disgusting slimy suction-cupped squid limbs into the water so the fish will snack out near the windows. It's really great actually. It is like scuba diving without any effort and you don't have to touch slimy kelp. This boat made L want to throw up.

The best thing for motion sickness is Heineken beer. So we got some of that and then walked around the beach area to the place they call the "Casino" which isn't actually a gambling facility but an old fashioned name for a social gathering place. Kind of like a 'salon'. It's a gorgeous art deco building, at least that's what I gathered from the outside because it was locked up. They show movies there on the weekend evenings. They also have boat tours in the evening that take you up close with flying fish and I mean wouldn't you rather see flying fish. You can catch a movie on the mainland any time.

I tried to outsmart the seasickness for the ride back so I downed some dramamine right before I got on the boat. I made sure to tell the teen working at the soda stand near the dock that I never get seasick so this is all very new to me. I am sure that she was so totally interested. I don't know why we have these conversations with retail people. I remember working retail and so many people just dishing out TMI all over the place.

I felt sick the whole boat ride back but my pain was instantly erased when we got to San Pedro near the Vincent Thomas Bridge. I flipping love the robot machinery on those docks. I really think I should apply for a job operating a crane. I wonder if I could listen to books on tape and take pinhole camera photos.



Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

On our way to the beach in Palos Verdes Am and I discovered the Wayfarers Chapel. Well, it might have already been discovered because it had a visitors center. It is a holy place built with wood, glass, and local rocks with genuine sea animal fossils. When you are inside you feel like you are outside (except there are pews) because the walls are lined with plants and the walls and ceiling are all glass with wood frames. The building was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of you know who. It is divine.
We drove around for a good while because Am neglected to tell me that she didn’t actually know where a good beach was and that the last time she was in the area she was on a private beach. It seems silly but I have often been driving right next to the ol’ pond we call the Pacific and not been able to just get there. To just 'get in the water' is not as easy as it seems. Thank the gods of Wayfarer that there is federal land otherwise all the hedge fund a-holes would make the whole west coast a private beach.

The drive did give me some insight to Palos Verdes though. It seems that The Wayfarers Chapel is only one of a number of places of worship. With rocky cliffs and trees as varied as the selection at TJ Maxx, what else can you do with such a coast line but build places of worship? There were more churches than condos. I’m not even exaggerating.

Whenever I am at the beach I sit and think the exact same thing I have always thought since I was just a little gal, “I could stay here forever and I just might.” But I always leave.



Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

Last night we went to the Hammer for the Zineland exhibit. We got our picture taken reading the constitution. I think it was because B’s orange fingernail polish and Am’s hat were precise visual representations of the first amendment.

Four people were on stage for the zine discussion panel. All of them were in their mid-thirties so they have been around since before the world wide web. Much of their discussion centered around the end of zines. Independent publications have been around since stone carving so it was slightly annoying to see indie rockers presenting themselves as historical determinants of alternative publications. Their experience was changing so it must be the end. I think the people sitting at the tables with their handmade booklets and poetry scrolls would disagree that the end of zines is upon us. I saw a ton of good stuff, most of which was Xeroxed on newsprint, and I felt some pressure to buy – that’s what happens when the author is watching you look over their stuff. Good sales technique.

We had a deadline to get back to Echo Park before the fireworks started at the Lotus Festival. Traveling cross-town in LA is a true crapshoot but the 10 was clear and we were able to watch the fireworks on the walk from our parking spot (possible the last one on the entire east side) to Echo Park Lake. We stood by the lake for exactly one minute and three seconds of the grand finale so technically we made it back in time.

Besides the two kind of people in this world that believe that there is or isn’t two kinds of people, there are a second two kinds of people; those that love the Lotus Festival and those that avoid it. The way N talked about it I thought it would be a giant clusterf@*k.
But minus the immediate post-fireworks foot traffic, it was pleasant. The festival is set up all around the lake and the water has a calming effect. During the day there are swans in that lake. I doubt they stuck around for the fireworks though. I ran around with Am who was on a hunt for an old lady making papaya salad for a bit before we settled at Masa to eat meatloaf.


Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

B told me that I have hidden guy parts because I like cars, fireworks, and baseball. Totally inaccurate. I am a patriot and you don't have to be a dude to be a patriot any more. This isn't the first gulf war ya know? Times have changed. You just have to love federal land, civic duties, and your right to explosive as well as contemplative pastimes.

Celebrate Good Times

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.


What is going on at The Encounter?

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

I got back to LA yesterday. I was greeted by the blistering (ooh - that’s good, I will use that for 80 and Sunny) sun and a nice early evening traffic jam. There is nothing like sitting in traffic a few miles from home when you have been traveling for days. That is why I love living in Los Angeles and not in Mid-Michigan where you drive your car from point A to point B without any kind of build-up or appreciation for your destination.

I also love The Encounter restaurant and noticed from my view coming out of the Northwest Terminal that it is under some kind of construction. I can't help but wonder if anyone else noticed or if this is another alien mandated construction project. The scaffolding tells me this may be the case.


Dino Bones

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

A few days ago we visited the Museum of Natural History in Ann Arbor. I had an intense urge to look at dino bones. You don't get to see real dino bones tho, just casts of dino bones. The museum smelled like your average older library and bone casting material. It was very cozy. After we toured the four floors we went and had some deep dish pizza served by a real U of M student.

I'm supposed to be packing to get back to LA. My timing is good since the heat wave is headed straight for Mich. It's going to be almost a hundred here tomorrow and combined with Great Lakes humidity that will feel like one hundred million degrees.

I'm going to miss talking about the weather. It's the midwesterner's favorite topic of conversation. People out west rarely talk about it. There isn't much to say. Well, until now. This trip has inspired me to start a separate blog, called 80andsunny. This blog will document the weather in Los Angeles everyday for a full year. It will be a true writing challenge since the weather is the same everyday. How many ways can someone describe a sunny day? Just you wait.


Sleeping Bear, Restless Tourist

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.

It's just splendid to be back around the Great Lakes even if everything, everywhere is damp. My forearms are sticking to the table I'm writing on as a matter of fact.

P and I took an official Great Lakes Circle Tour around Lake Michigan (with a detour up to Pictured Rocks - deets later). There seemed to be some confusion when I would talk to other people about this because they would ask, "What parts did you see?" and "Did you go on the Wisconsin side?"

I would have to explain that a driving circle tour follows the same principals of geometric circumference. Meaning, "all the way around." Much like geometry's precious circle, the driving tour circles, encases, completes, meets back up, covers the complete surrounding area... You get the idea.

So we saw all of that damn great lake, starting in Chicago and driving up through Wisconsin and around to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (which still has a strong back country militia secede-y air about it) and down through the Mackinaw Bridge and into the lower part of Michigan and then back into a traffic jam 10 miles outside of Chicago.

Lake Michigan is the pretty boy of the five lakes. It is the perfect color of blue for the stripes in fudge shop awnings. It has occasional non-threatening whip-cream-peak waves and gentle winds that encourage recreational sailing without disrupting hair-dos or sailor fashion. The westward wind builds up impressive dunes and makes the Michigan side more romantic and expensive. It is a good lake to start with if you have a lifelong goal of driving all around the great lakes. If you started with Erie or Huron you might get the idea that this is still an industrial world or that Canada is friendly.

I could go on about the fantastic five but I have to leave to attend a (damp and most likely buggy) BBQ so until I can get back to business I leave you with a list.

A few things about the Great Lakes states; pop, fatties, Vernors, pasties, yooper pride, bugs, broad-leaf forests, birch, thistle, dunes, stay-in-the-car-oil-changes in Michigan, liquor-at-gas-stations Wisconsin, and traffic-in-your-A Illinois.

National Park Graffiti

Originally uploaded by kayekilla.