So here I've gathered some of the wonderful photographs that were taken throughout the first days of our latest wanderings, and given them some written context so some of my fellow generation of non-reading ADHD excused you-tubers- might actually read a little bit (since theres an image involved and all).
Theres a plethora of NEW material, and even more bountiful a stash of "yet-to-be-posted" CHARACTER PROFILES, Stories, HOW-TO's, PHOTOGRAPHY, and MUCH MUCH MORE- from my/our previous travels. Keep reading, keep supporting, and you can bet your ass that I'll keep working for you fine people.
Another quick self-indulgent note: you will all be pleased to hear that I finally got paid for my first piece of writing. It was an EMBARRASSINGLY low amount, and for a giant website that provides "HOW TO" guides on various things. EITHER WAY, it is a small success in getting to the bottom step of the ladder, and since I have been taken in on their little "tech writing team," I do have the opportunity to work up the ladder slowly, and at least begin making a small side income that can work towards me NOT having to punch into an even more meaningless job to get by.
The page I wrote was on "Finding Nightlife While Traveling," the link is here- http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-find-nightlife-while-traveling
Well heres what we're working with- a Honda Accord that was acquired by B.O. for 300 dollars. He put another 350 into fixing it up (he replaced the front fender, core support, hood, radiator, bumper and lights), and now, we have a great car to travel the country in- this puppy gets something around 28 miles to the gallon, and our entire ride from Milwaukee WI, to picking up our ride share-ers in Wynona MN, and then driving them down to Albuquerque New Mexico, cost us only 180 dollars! Since I negotiated a 250 dollar flat fee for us to get them to Albuquerque from Winona, we actually made 70 bucks!
I'll discuss a bit more on the end of traveler ethics in another section here, because obviously we aren't looking to screw anyone over or be shady- but ride-share can serve several purposes ranging from service and convenience, to mutual interests or destinations. The key factor, is that a deal is achieved where everyone gets what they need out of each other in the long run. Traveling is an experience showcasing great diversity, and entails as wide a variety of individuals, needs, and expectations; as there are destinations. Bad experiences only occur from a person allowing them to occur- proper negotiation should always determine the appropriateness of your traveling decisions.
Heres a picture of one of our poor ride-sharers, "Timothy of Beikoku", being asked to don the great gladiator mask that Brian found in the car when he bought it. After all the fun we've had with it in this short of a time already, I'm not sure if I could do without it- how we made it this far without a decent gladiator helmet, is a mystery to me.
Whats particularly funny here, is that we asked him to wear this thing for us within the first half hour of the trip, so with good reason, Timothy has quite the look of confusion and maybe even a bit of shame (I'm pretty sure that after the duration of the trip, Timothy was a proud fellow gladiator- it just takes some warming up). Needless to say, this quickly became a candid classic for our archives of character portraits.
Nothing very exhilarating about the Mid-west's flat, snowy, farm fields- at least by my consideration- but I do enjoy all the crazy windmill fields you get to see when driving through Iowa. Just looking at the landscape in this photo, in comparison to where we've been in New Mexico lately- is a mind trip!
WARNING: Gorgeous Sunrise's in the mirror might be closer then they appear! Aren't I just too damn funny to handle sometimes?
I took on the graveyard driving shift since I like to drive at night, and after making it through the panhandle of Texas, and Amarillo- I was driving in almost absolute blackness. I don't think I've ever seen a night so dark in all honesty. When the sun finally did rise, as we were making our way into the eastern portion of New Mexico- a pastel sunset that can only be described with one of my favorite words, magnanimous- came up in our rear view mirror to reveal a landscape that was an entirely new world to us. It was absolutely marvelous.
Every journey needs some kind of mascot or something, right? Well, since me and Brian are pretty much always so busy wreaking of manliness, we figured it would be a good idea to have some female accompaniment with us in the car. We don't have time to be wasting on yucky girls anyhow- at least I don't- so our lovely little pin-up pal also works to keep our minds on the road where they belong.
I got the photo out of the inside book of some terribly girlie type CD that was left in the car when B.O. bought it, and if you don't think the picture is glamor packed enough for you- then you must not be seeing the enormous Beer that was added to the composition and vaguely labeled "GOOD BEER."
HA HA, I like my women, like I like my coffee- with alcohol, and from the mid-west!
Heres a photo of the wonderfully bashful "Kay Kawaii," or "KAY," a Japanese foreign exchange student who was traveling with Timothy of Beikoku," or "TIMOTHY." They were both students of cultural studies and foreign language at Winona's University. I won't say much more, as CHARACTER PROFILES of both of our new friends will soon be posted.
Heres "Timothy of Beikoku," after our lengthy drive from Wisconsin to New Mexico.
As is typical in much of my photography, I enjoy capturing the sensation of movement, and the vibrancy of light- this photo is taken from the very top of the main drag in Albuquerque, Central St. It's such an amazing experience to be able to see for so many miles into the night, and desert cities like Albuquerque have such an amazing view when they're all lit up at night (Albuquerque is considered a "high dessert," as it stands around 9000 ft above sea level! This picture is obviously abstracted by the shutter speed, but I liked the way it turned out.
This is a picture of me excitedly driving through our new urban playground, ALBQ, absorbing the night life. I was finally beginning to catch up with B.O., who had been more drunk and juiced up then I had seen him in a long time. We ended up going to an awesome little bar after consulting with the locals, and of course, checking their "weekly" newspaper that confirmed that the "Cosmic Cantina," was definitely the place to be in AlBQ.
There were tons of happenin' cats at this place, and we managed to catch a most excellent rockabilly show that featured some real lively and jivin' type folks, and even some people swing dancing! It was a total throwback, and me and B.O. enjoyed jamming out to this amazing upright bass player that was just out of this world, and a real groovy soul that sang his heart out on the mic. If you only had one night to spend in the city, I would strongly recommend the Cosmic Cantina- PBR's were 2.00, which is more than I like to pay- but the hobo's guide to city nightlife entails avid practice of the pre-gaming philosophy; a.k.a. slam a ton of beer before you go to the place!
Our ride-sharer, Timothy of Beikoku, was a double major something or another involving cultural studies of Japan, and Japanese foreign language. He was meeting up with his 2 old American roommates whom he had lived in Japan with, and a handful of Japanese foreign exchange students from the University of N.M.
After spending some good time getting wasted in the city, and then going to the rockabilly show- me and B.O. made our staggering (literally) appearance at Jonathan's friends house, where they were playing a Japanese drinking game that put me on the floor finally. They would pour a beer, or a half beer into a pint glass, float a shot glass in the center, and everyone would take turns passing a bottle of liquor around the circle, and everyone had to pour a little bit of liquor in the floating shot glass. Whoever sunk the shot glass, had to drink the whole cup. You should have seen their faces when they saw me take down a whole pint in about 2 seconds flat! I sunk the shot glass trying to screw whoever was next to me, like 3 times haha! Rest assured, a small handful of Japanese students will go back to their homeland telling great stories of "the great drinking beast from Milwaukee."
So heres a spiffy little picture of a handful of the few dozen new friends we made in ALBQ. through our ride-share pals, "Timothy of Beikuko," and "Kay Kawaii." We had an amazing night, and it was such a cool experience to finish off our fun, hanging out with such a swell group of people. It was infinitely fascinating to get their feedback on the vague notion of the "American Dream," that I have been exploring, and to embrace the interesting collage of Japanese culture that we found ourselves greeted with. Thanks so much guys!
They were quite good sports about me passing out face first on their floor too, and I can always appreciate that.
The next day, we drove north to Santa Fe, and found our way to the highest point in the city, where a great white cross had been placed. It made for some very intriguing photography, and the semblance of the cross was appropriate considering the inspiring view overlooking Santa Fe.
In my efforts of better knowing God, I have found much acceptance in the process of searching, and felt less inclined to seek a futile sense of knowing. This is by no means my own adage, but allow me to quote the anonymous in saying, "not all who wander are lost."
I won't get any thicker in my spiritual questioning here on the blog, but rest assured, the novel will unveil an entirely different evolution of my efforts and thoughts on spiritual understanding.
Santa Fe was abundant in its appeal to native american art, crafts, and jewelry. The tribal population in the entire region is overwhelming, and certainly contributes greatly to the uniqueness that flourishes in New Mexico. Here, was a little strip in the city where all of the Indian traders come to lay their products out for sale- It was fun to see, but it definitely appealed much more to the tourist looking to buy some "quaint" souvenirs. In many ways actually, I found it to be a bleak commotion alluding to much of the history of oppression that runs strong in New Mexico's longstanding history.
Santa Fe in general was very catered to the typical tourist, and although it was very rich in history, architecture, and New Mexico's culture in general- I can still say I prefer Albuquerque.
Ok, so as seems to be customary with my recent posting habits, I will open up our reading, with my apologies for having been so busy as of late. I have really hammered a good bit of writing out for the novel since my very recent return to Milwaukee, and I am very pleased about this. It's been good being so productive, and of course, seeing all my friends and family again.
My efforts in trying to track down some random freelance writing work have been interesting, but fruitless none the less.As a bit of GOOD NEWS, for a change, I have been communicating with a new
Art/Writing publication working out of TX, called "THE 1580 Review-"(a quarterly art, poetry, and writing type gig). "THE 1580," has selected to feature me as their visual artist, so that's a step forward in my visual art pursuit. YAY!
If you wanna check out some of my visual art, my other blog is pretty stacked with photos and writing about my various array of mediums and pieces- check it out, and PLEASE FOLLOW! WWW.JOSEPHreeves.BLOGSPOT.COM
If you want to check out the art that is being featured on "The 1580," you should do so, it will be posted very soon. It can be seen at www.THE1580.COM
ANYHOW, I have been putting off getting a job as I reallllllly don't want to get one that isn't art or writing focused, but as I have known for quite some time, it would EVENTUALLY come down to me having to grab myself a restaurant job, so I can scrape together some money to make it out west.
That was just what I was intending to start doing- today in fact, EXCEPT, Well...
THE GREAT B.O or, Brian Olsen- My fellow traveling partner from Florida and more, called me a few hours ago with a proposition, or maybe it was an offer- I won't get into the semantics of the thing- ANYHOW...
Apparently Brian has 300-something dollars, and a Honda that gets 35 miles to the gallon, and, well, he's sick of working on cars in Minnesota. To put it in its simplest essence, and in regard to his nature- Brian has shiny ball syndrome. I absolutely love this term, and I consider myself to be of a similar breed, although ultimately- Bryan claims the title on this one. Shiny ball syndrome isn't anything more than the name that describes it. Just imagine a kid who is playing with a ball intently, and the next moment, a different shiny ball bounces past the child- OF COURSE the kid's going to chase down the next shiny ball in gleeful pursuit, probably forgetting the first one altogether, and probably only entertained by the short duration between his catching the ball, and his pursuit of the next one that bounces past.
I strongly believe that if a person is willing to pursue that shiny ball his whole life, even completely ignoring whatever outcomes are resultant from any of the catches- good or bad- that person will have never once fallen short in the unrequited goal that fully living ones life should be. I believe Good 'ol B.O. has an imponderable spirituality within his soul concerning this essence, and I find myself closer to reality (a truly difficult state to achieve in our modern lives) whenever in his company- what the implications of such a statement mean to you, I cannot be sure, but if its a matter of higher regards, spiritually or otherwise, then let it simply settle upon you that it is one of the many glimpses of oblivious god-knowing that I feel Brian has shown me.
Enough about shiny balls and spirituality for a moment though, I was trying to make this a quick status update on my latest improvisational adventures. As I was saying, I WOULD HAVE gotten myself a job here if the -all-too-convenient "shiny ball" offer Brian threw past me, wasn't so sweet. I Spent 260 Dollars on my entire Texas excursion, admittedly that's without including my bail-out plane ride home, 100 bucks- but I don't care, that's DAMN good anyhow. For the past two weeks, I have lived off that remaining 40 dollars for cheap beer, ramen, and bus fare- and now I'm sitting here, 6 months from my original departure to Minnesota with Dylan, Brian, and my old camper- completely drained (financially) aside from 6 dollars that's left from the original 1100, AND SUDDENLY, I get a call from The Great B.O., asking me to take a trip with him and see where his Honda and 300 dollars can get us. I couldn't in good conscience say no to such an interesting proposal.There is simply no choice for me but to go with him as far as I see it. End of story.
Brian will pick me up tomorrow, and I will be entirely grateful that my bag, La Sienda, was never unpacked in my return. We will leave Wednesday morning, and all we know, is we will head west- probably not Cali, but who knows. Any suggestions?
Until we meet again...
Joseph R. Reeves Esq.