1. After a great, long, and draining weekend, I don’t have it in me to write anything of my own. So here’s photos I took, along with Conner’s words below, taken from our travel blog

    Day 100 November 27
    100 miles 14.5 hours


    In the morning the weather cleared up and we were prepared to barge it hard. Our whole morning was spent going through the New Orleans metropolitan area.

    There were a bunch of rubberneckers in New Orleans staring and waving at us from the shore. We were having fun yelling at them from our boat. We wanted to get more rubberneckers so I steered us closer to the bank. We yelled at them again “EY!”… then we got stuck! Now they really had a reason to rubberneck. We pushed our boat for about 15 minutes while crowds of people gathered. It was pretty frustrating seeing paddlewheelers and barges parked just 30 meters from where we were and then we still run aground. I guess gino did warn us about those sandbars though.

    Its especially surprising because the stretch of river from NOLA to the gulf the water is over 100 feet deep. People warned us about bull sharks that come in from the ocean and live in the river… Bull shark? More like bull shit!! 
    Once we passed New Orleans most of the traffic died. Now it is exclusively ships with small tows here and there. Gino recommended a spot for us to stay for the night, but this was our last stretch and with 50 miles left. The current picked up, the river straightened out, a tailwind started blowing… we decided to barge. 

    It was some seriously great sailing. Tailwind, on a run, and with a straight shot down river we didn’t have to trim the sails too much. 

    At about 5:30 the sun went down and it started to get dark—really dark. Once the sun completely set it was pitch black. There was no moon and not many other lights. The only thing we had were flashing channel markers which were each miles apart. 

    It was really starting to play with our minds a bit. All we could see were random dots of light in the distance. We would see some lights and wouldn’t realize what it was until it was up right next to us. “Oh, its a ship”. We couldn’t tell what it was or how large it was. We couldn’t even tell if it was moving or not, and if it was moving in what direction or how fast. 
    We wanted to just stay by the shoreline, but we got out of the channel and got stuck on a sandbar once, plus there were random obstacles sticking out of the water near the shore. 

    Four hours of darkness later, we finally made it to our final destination: Venice! Not only did we complete the trip, we also broke the 100-mile-in-a-day mark that we’ve been trying to do the whole trip. 100 miles on day #100, how ironic. Our new favorite number: one-hundred! Because Venice is the last city on the river it has earned the nickname “The end of the world” 
    From Venice there is still another 10 miles of river down to the “Head of Passes”. The Head of Passes is the 0-mile point of the Lower Mississippi and where the main stem of the river branches off into three directions at its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico. 
    We could have gone the last 10 miles, but the last accessible road and sign of civilization is in Venice. What were we going to do, float out into the ocean? Then what? We heard how people go down then can’t get back up because of the current and have to get rescued. Besides my dad was already there waiting for us with the boat trailer.
    We each shot off a flare for celebration… just like we told the Quad-Cities media we would do. 

    Someone spotted our flare and began talking about us on the VHF radio, we told them everything was alright and continued into the marina.  Just as we entered a coast guard boat showed up to see what the emergency was. We told them “we were lost”. They seemed to think nothing of it and proceeded to inspect our boat for violations. They noticed that our navigation lights weren’t working. We thought they were on the whole time but the only one working was the stern light. We successfully just navigated the last 40 mile stretch of river at night with NO lights on our boat. Whatever, the skies were clear and the stars were beautiful.
    My dad welcomed us at the marina to find us being towed in by the coast guard. Luckily the coast guard didn’t give us any tickets and congratulated us on our journey instead. When we got back to the lodge my dad booked for us we shotgunned 32oz “giant cans” of Colt 45, then puked them up… for celebration! 

     

  2. Yesterday.

     

  3. drawing from 5th grade, Gohan, colored pencil, 2001

     


  4. YESTERDAY

    • listened to Death Church on vinyl
    • got a free muffin eating at a diner with 10 other people
    • went to the desert and watched a bunch of babes shoot guns 
    • felt really funny all day (as in comical, not weird)
    • witnessed Tyler renegade a beer for the first time
    • threw a rock across a canyon and it hit a VHS copy of “Blacula” out of a tree (2nd try)
    • front flipped into a freezing cold lake
    • told a girl that I loved her 
    • had one of those “I’m having the best time of my life” moments riding in the back of a van listening to Roky Erickson with people that I didn’t know a year ago
    • listened to Choking Victim on a bar jukebox
    • cried two seperate times (happy tears)
    • fell asleep at like 9 pm and woke up when everyone got home from the bar and sat by a fire in the backyard and talked and laughed until 5 am
     

  5. illatheart:

    The people we meet

    A photo set of a few polaroids of various people i’ve met and enjoyed being around

    Dylan, my roommate and best friend

    TB, a badass punk and great writer with some of the most bizarre stories

    Dylan, a local Oceanside resident and nostalgic reminder of my youth and love for skateboarding

    Hayley, one the most beautiful and caring people i’ll probably ever meet and her writing is phenomonal

    Hey guys, go ahead and give my friend Chance a follow. 

     

  6. beer box poem, 2010

     

  7. How do I tell the girl that works at Starbucks that I love her - a memoir

    Today I showed up at the walk-up window in the same pants I’ve been wearing all week, the black shirt I wore two days ago, my blue flannel I’ve had since sixth grade that was handed down from my father, and my blue Royals hat also handed down from my father that I’m only wearing because they are going to the World Series (I keep calling it the Super Bowl by accident) and I think that’s exciting. 

    The guy with the beard mimed shooting a rubber band at me (I think) and really confused the hell out of me until he said “I think we’re gonna win it!” and I realized he was talking about my hat and the Royals. Which reminded me of when I delivered pizza as a kid and would wear the same hat and strangers at the door would say “Man, we got our asses kicked!” and I wouldn’t know what the fuck they were talking about until I got in my car and looked in the rear-view and saw my hat. 

    I noticed her hair. How could I not? I see her everyday. We have a relationship that doesn’t actually exist: the clerk-customer relationship. But her smiles and questions that cross the line between what she’s required to do and what she wants to do make me think maybe there could be something more (like when she asked me what gauge my septum is and I was so dumbstruck that I couldn’t produce words). Or maybe I just fall in love with every girl that’s nice to me. But today I felt brave and I decided to say something.

    "You dyed your hair." 

    "Yeah!"

    "It looks good." 

    "Thank you." 

    She smiled. So did I. She said something else but I honestly couldn’t understand what she said but I smiled and mumbled like Jerry and Elaine did when they had to converse with that low-talker that Kramer dated. And then it was at this point the thought came to me that perhaps she could smell the booze on my breath leftover from last night. 

    So I took my coffee and ran as fast as I could back home. 

     


  8. I’m more comfortable on a skateboard than I am in my own skin.

     

  9. When I was 18 I wanted to get the Bodom scythes tattooed in the middle of my chest, but my girlfriend at the time wouldn’t let me. She told me to wait a year and if I still wanted to get it a year later, then it would be okay. Well, she was right. I never got it.

    But now I look in the mirror and wonder what it would look like. And you know what? I think I just might still do it. I don’t care what Tori thinks. 

     


  10. It fucks me up when someone tells me that my writing made them cry. Two people in one week have told me this. I mean, it’s good to hear that my words on paper make someone have such strong emotions. But I don’t want to contribute to anyone’s pain. I don’t know what to make of it.

     

  11. tannerballengee:

    Lawrence homies.

    I just realized that Alec is holding an imaginary beer. 

    (Source: tb-photographs)

     

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  13. In regards to traversing the Mississippi River, past Baton Rouge is absolute hell. We received multiple, stern warnings to not go past Baton Rouge, no matter what, because it’s the most dangerous part of the river. Of course we did anyway, because neither of us knew what was so dangerous about it as opposed to the rest of the river. But we were quick to find out why.

    There’s a bridge in Baton Rouge that is two low for the ocean liner ships (as seen above) to pass under. So we had the benefit of not having to encounter these monstrous beasts until after that bridge. And I say “monstrous beasts” because these things were fucking mammoth and terrifying. They made our boat look like a canoe—so I can’t even imagine actually being in a canoe around one of these ships.  Those Paddle Forward girls are fearless. 

    Conner, who always woke up before I did, got the pleasure of seeing an ocean ship first, early one morning. Not knowing what to do around such a big vessel, he used the marine radio to talk to the captain:

    "Uh…sailboat to…giant ship." 

    "This is the giant ship."

    The amount of traffic practically triples past Baton Rouge. Tows with over 35 barges (I forget the biggest ones we saw, perhaps in the 70s?), ocean liners, etc. It was absolutely fucked, and terrifying. And it seemed like it hit us all at once—we went around a bend and BAM instant congestion. And it’s not like we can just stop and wait. The river keeps moving, no matter what. And so do the barges and ships. When we first started the trip people would tell us, “The barges don’t care about you. They will run you right over.” We called bullshit because we didn’t think all tow captains were homicidal maniacs. But what we didn’t realize was the further down the river, they literally cannot stop. If a large vessel is southbound, it takes it at least an hour just to slow down. 

    I felt like we were in a video game. Some kind of fucked marine version of Frogger. And this was the last level of the game. This was Bowser’s castle. All the fuckers that kill you were twice the size as normal. It was everything we had already been through except bigger, faster, and more dangerous. And like a video game, if you get hit, you die. And we didn’t have any extra lives saved up. 

    Somehow, someway, we met some lifesavers. A tow captain whose name I can’t remember guided us along part of the river, and a ocean liner captain named Gino gave us advice and tips that most likely are the reason why Conner and I are still alive, places to dock, attempted to give us free gas and pizza, and even delivered beers to our boat. I’ll never forget the last time I saw Gino, honking the loud  foghorn of his ship hauling ass down the river, standing on the deck waving both arms erratically yelling, “Hey guys!” 

     

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  15. Tears are cheaper than beer,
    but maybe I’m wrong.