I’m not sure where it spun from with Diane. I think there was always this weird common ground between her and I. She was never into me, so far as I could tell, and my feelings were never that strong due to her better-than-average good looks and her status in the social rungs of high school. Diane was always holding her snubbed thumbs in clenched fists, drying out the knuckle and making them that much more noticeable. I found her fear and weakness to be admirable. She was in my classes in Middle School so there was familiarity as we aged.

Diane and I went out on our first real date on Valentine’s Day the same year I ended up with a car. Her and I ended up talking in class one day, in our after-lesson work time the teacher had provided. She was busy complaining about her dateless Valentine’s Day to the girl behind her, and I on helping the moose in front of me with his algebra. I waited for my time to jump in and said that “I’d take you out.” Something I thought was nonchalant, but I’m sure came out terrifyingly awkward. As a kid in high school, I existed in the frail state of between social circles, I was never sure of myself (a consistent aliment), and never knew if I should be honest or underhanded. A back and forth between her and I sprouted. It ended with me saying that I’d pick her up for dinner and joking that she better not stand me up.

We were going as friends.

Dinner was at Maggiano’s, a chain Italian restaurant with dark lighting and big booths – a high school equivalent to fine dining. Conversation was awkward and even our clothes were unsure if we were seriously considering this as a date. I had on my standard attire at the time – pleated kakis, beat up gym shoes, and some childish graphic t – with a collard shirt to dress it up a bit. She wore a pair of nice jeans and a dressy top, something she might wear to a nice party – the kind I was never invited to nor even knew about.

Our relationship had previously only existed on a level where we were surrounded by peers, in a loud hallway or a hushed classroom. This was new for both of us and we weren’t sure how to act. We were unsure if we were ready to become adults. Our date went surprising well after the initial jitters. So much so, that for the rest of the semester together and even when we’d see each other in the random splay that was the towns we lived in, she would mention how that had been her favorite date.

We stayed acquaintances for a long time, even without corresponding classes or social circles, during those couple of last years before graduation. I even took her to prom because her boyfriend didn’t want to shell out the cash. Which became the only dance and post-prom I had a good time at. All of the following dances were like Sophomore year in college where you return to only attempt to relive those moments you remember.

Speaking of college: on the first week there, I get a phone message from a number I don’t recognize. It’s Diane and she is at the same college. We meet up at her dorm and she takes me on a tour of her discombobulated floor structure, meeting all the fresh faces, and her room. Her wall held a cork board with the good times she was already having. I had only had two beers in my new collegiate life. Diane had concluded that she was, in fact, quite tired and laid down. I got into bed with her and she drew me close trying to remember something that was really never there. Unsure, overwhelmed, maybe missing all of the signs, I fell asleep. The afternoon faded away with us laying there reaching for memories of what was left of our awkward growth into adulthood.

Her roommate came back from wherever she had gone, making our transition from alone in bed to my departure that much easier. Words of calling me about a party or getting together again were passed but seemed forced. It was the last time I saw Diane.

I have been struggling with what to write but I know I should. I also have been thinking about crating some kind of focus to this blog instead of parsing beer, emotionally driven muck, and convoluted/misguided advice about putting crap away in your home. Maybe though that is what I’m about. Spreading myself around like not enough butter on toast. Sure, there is that corner with a bit more salty fatty goodness, but there are huge gaping holes without any at all. Maybe this is more or less a journal and I need to treat it as such. Or it’s a blog about some dumb guy who is trying to figure it all out and in some weird way I’m reaching out through these internet tubes to hopefully catch a person’s eye. Whatever it is, it needs attention. For the rest of this month I’ll be attempting to write something, anything – fiction, journal entry, rant, how-to – just to get in the habit of writing.

One page. A single page a day can help me turn this all around and focus. Tomorrow – I plan on writing about a woman (women?) who’s relationship with yours truly ended in social devastation. A character sketch of myself, by building up the follies and missteps innate in me reflected by the horrid twisted faces of those who I try to seduce.

As fair warning some of the next entires may be graphic, horrifyingly awkward, and/or something you’d rather not know about me. Considered yourself warned. Until tomorrow readers.


The world around me is aging, my own body softer and more fragile by the day. Inside, the image of myself, is stuck. I used to say it seemed as though I was still 16, but I am not my age in here. Like a large stone stuck on a beach of sand, I feel like I am the only one the passage of time has no effect on. The people I know are picking up keys and becoming adults while I’m back throwing rocks in lakes.

I’ve stopped waiting to feel older. An elephant stands on my shoulders as I scoop ice cream for sub-living wage. There is someone else in the mirror and there are questions about what the hell is going on. Embarrassment floods the river of shame and I’m left with a sore neck and sticky sugar-milk hands.

Ordered more beer ingredients. Clarity in practice as well as routines. More soon.

I’ve spent my first two months under the thumb of someone who doesn’t know what compassion is. This naw place seems like right down my ally.

I’m in Boston for the weekend, taking next week off and starting at the new place come next Monday. I will finally get to know the town I’ve been living in. Seeing the library, looking for new apartments and planning my next brew are all things I plan on doing with my time off. I think its high time to resalvage my sanity.

I’ve got to make furniture my metaphor for how I’m feeling about Maine. When it first sits in your living room its all clean and nice and sure there are little strange bits that maybe could have been better off, but it’s new. A new great piece of furniture that, well, is great. Then a few weeks pass and you wonder if you should have waited a bit and gotten the nicer one, or if it was really the right thing for your living room at this time. You push it around in your head to different sections of the room making sure that, it is indeed in the right spot. Maybe that is the problem with it, you think. Maybe if I push things around so it’s less ‘maze-like.’ As if that is the problem. You give up and get used to it. You bought it, now live with it. It becomes soft or brused and it gains your affection. Eventually you learn to love it and you can’t believe you ever lived without it.

The newness has worn thin and I’m starting to struggle.

If you don’t know me, or have ever spoken to me for an extended period of time – you may not know that I was sort of raised by television. This means I’ve build my relationships with people is strange ways and fall back on my knowledge of back catalogue of horrible television that only people vaguely remember. This leads me to a short conversation about Star Trek.

But this isn’t just any Star Trek. This is The Next Generation. The most perfectly quirky, enchanting, technological, and well written sci-fi series ever created. Between Data’s busy jaw, Riker’s smug sexuality, and Wesley Crusher being one of the chosen extra brilliant super humans  – it’s hard to turn away. This series pushed the forth wall in clever and new ways and eases tensions in the story line.

There are, of course, the cheesy and obvious story lines or overtly corny tags. But the show’s brilliance pushed through.

But part of my love for the show comes from somewhere else. I can’t place where we lived at the time – Warrenville? Might have been before that even. Let me start this story by saying that my mother worked full time in retail. For those without parents doing this job, it forces the person to pull shit hours, rarely home for dinner or too tired to be awake for breakfast. It’s not like a parent with an office job where they come home for dinner in a bad mood – you eat cereal alone in a dimly lit kitchen or in front of the TV. I’m not saying my mother was never there, but it was an increasingly rare occasion as I grew older.

That said – TNG was time that we could spend together. Watching the show again is like I’m rolling back the clock to where I sit with my back against the couch my mother popped into. Time with the TV is time we’d spend together, and this prime was during the seven seasons.

Yes, the show is great – impeccable even – but to me it’s a bit more. Thanks for the memories Star Trek.

I’m working and doing a bit of web work when the memory of my time in Narbonne, France comes flooding back and splashes it self into my worried mind. It was like some strange dream walking around that city. There are times when I’m on vacation that I’m waiting for it seem real. My entire time in Narbonne seemed this way. Walking around a half finished church, snaking our way though a farmers market, eating one of the best meals of my life, stumbling across a fashion show, even the french hobos plowing their way through cases of beer seems surreal to me.

I’m not sure if I miss these places or I like them to be just out of reach and I’m forced to remember the sweet souvenir that I can take with me wherever I go.

I’ve got to preface this story by saying I was an annoying jerk when I was young.

This story starts in the passing summers of my middle school years where we (my sister, brother, and I) would split the hot days of our youth at my father’s place. During this stretch we’d spend time in a tiny budding town in Missouri sandwiched between a handful of houses and farm.

My dad yelled at me during dinner. I cannot pull the reason why out of the depths of my consciousness but I know he made me cry. This wasn’t an extraordinary thing in my younger years – I was crying or getting hot and bothered if the wind blew wrong. This was different though for one reason or another and that is pretty much all I can recall on reasoning. The following moments will dictate my father and I’s relationship for the rest of my life and that is why this tale is important.

I was called outside to the front of the house where for the first (and last) time I was talked to like a son. Terms were explained – why he was mad, what I could do to improve – not be a idiot, a sort of talk that I have come to learn as normal in other’s parental relationships. Of course I cried again during our talk saying I was sorry and I’m fairly sure a couple of tears shined in setting sun that evening in his eyes as well. There it was a fleeting moment where we bonded and grew together – where he wasn’t trying to make things better with gifts or yelling at me to “sit the fuck down.” We chatted a bit more and I was still feeling sour about the being yelled at but moving on to the point where I was feeling closer and happier about it all.

Then he suggested getting fireworks and lighting them off on the edge of this sink hole he called a pond. Now for those who don’t know, Missouri has almost no laws covering fireworks, or so it seems, and any man-child can buy face exploding boom-sticks at low low prices, 12-for-the-price-of-1 prices. But I wasn’t interested. I said that I didn’t really want to and was fine with just getting back inside and trying to even my keel.

Of course he pushed. He said I’d like it, went in grabbed his keys and trotted back out. My brother somehow caught wind of my father’s intentions and popped his head out looking to drag himself into our clunky father-son time. He was told no from dear old dad, and that just me and him were going to go and he was going to be forced to watch from the attached back patio.

We drove in near silence and the black cat labeled shop was no different. I was pressed on what type I wanted and became meek. This is not what I wanted. We were so close to something, a new level or respect – and it was blown apart my a buy one get one sale on mortars.

As the dirt settled around the red truck near the pod, I could hear my brother clamoring to go and be apart of our show – but was told to stay put. We lit a handful of bright popping shells using a cigarette that seemed to eternally rest between my father’s lips or hands. It still wasn’t resolved, I had a big dumb fearful grin on my face from the near by bombs and crackles but the unresolved issue lay like an undercooked brownie in my stomach.

I was glad once our awkward laughs and forced congratulations were interrupted by my sibling, who then lit a couple and made things seem normal again

So I thought before I started packing and even actually sit and write a reflection on the day each day and even from the road somehow I’d shoehorn time into to talk about how the drive was going and if I thought a particular state was more interesting to drive though than others.

As you can see this didn’t happen.

So where does that leave us? Well, first off the truck drove like a battering ram. The seats and cabin was fine, even having a stereo jack to the radio for ipod listening was great. I put on a long as fuck playlist and let the metal shoe box roll – or in our case rev up and soak up gas. Here is a state by state breakdown of what I thought:

Indiana – Been here uncountable times – the highway we took was al kinds of tore up and it was the closest we got to tipping over.

Ohio – Never thought we’d get through it, very long feeling state. Beautiful though in the countryside: lots of small rolling hills and old tree forests. Plenty of rivers and lake crossings to keep the driver interested.

Pennsylvania – Even the 1h or so we spent driving though it kind of seemed like it was from a post card someone picked up at a swap meet put on by men in tall black hats.

New York – Spent the most time driving through. Hills and orange cones. Must be a factory in New York churning them out at the rate the DOT was using them. Their roads were abysmal.

Massachusetts – Pretty. Steeper hills than elsewhere. Most of the driving was spent with my foot to the ground or waiting for the speedometer to reach lower than 75 so I could gas it again for the upcoming climb.

New Hampshire – Red Booze barns.

Maine – Thank god we’re here finally – get me out of the truck. Oh wait, we’ve got to empty it. Ugh.

I’m not sure I’d want to change anything about the drive. I sort of feel bad for my riding parter, liz’s brother – Evan, who sat in the truck the whole time in between consciousness and a mild head bob. I was so beat at points the ride was dead silent save for road noise. Just hope he didn’t get the impression I didn’t appreciate the help.

Got settled, thanks to Liz’s mom and “aunt” mostly. Ate a couple of lobsters, well three, but my first two whole ones at a dinner. Started my new job. Not too overwhelming, but enough to push me. It’s interesting and look forward to see how it pans out. The 40min bike ride is fine, the hills here are brutal though.

More updates to come.


So the time that we’re leaving is very close. Thursday morning we’re driving at the sunrise toward our changed life. Nearly ever person I’ve mentioned this to always asks . if I’m existed or scared. Yes, I tell them, to both. I’m allowing myself to become enthralled with the move, as well as being caught in it’s terror. But there is another thing a handful of people say to me when I tell them about our impending move.

“I’ve always wanted to do that.”

I can only nod, agreeing. “Yeah, me too.” I tell them. This is entire reason for even looking East in the first place. To fulfill that “I’ve always wanted” part of our lives. I’ve spend all twenty five and half years of my life cooped up in the midwest, and more accurately in the state of Illinois. I’ve never known a life outside of the tumbling corruption of our politicians, that you can always drive east and eventually hit the lake and regain your bearings, that spring is as abbreviated as our autumns, and summer means driving through construction. I was shocked when I visited California to see road work being done in January – I even remember asking my uncle what the hell they were doing. Immediately, I knew it was a silly question, but my life existed sandwiched between the carved out Mississippi River and the divot of Lake Michigan. The midwest is a great place. But it is time for me to go.

I can’t help but think this is the last part of getting away, becoming my own person. I’ve gone to college – grew, lived in the big city – became jaded, and now it’s time to do something else. Some ties were cut that had to be cut and now I feel free enough to not feel that I have unfinished business.

By Friday next week, I’ll be laying in my bed 50′ from a section of the North Atlantic – and that is pretty damn awesome.