Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 15: Hollywood!!!!!

Woke up in the a socal suburban hellhole where Brad lives. It was very odd to be there with all these punks in a weird little housing community. But it was nice and plenty of parking for the vans!
Brad took us to a nice vegan restaurant call Native Foods. It was very "California" And delicious. I have to say, as much as southern California really sucks, they have good vegan food everywhere! This was no different. It was actually in a a weird new-age type strip mall called THE CAMP. It had a camping store, massage place, yoga studio, art studios and all sorts of shit like that. WTF? It was across the street from some place called The LAB. Which was called an anti-mall. Which was also actually a strip mall type place with other crap like urban outfitters and other crappy over priced shit for hippie/yuppie types. Not fooling anyone Bro! California!!!!
We eventually made out way up to LAX to pick up the lovely and talented ms Maura Corrigan. Who was joining the tour at this point! The trip to the airport was painless and we head straight to Hollywood to beat traffic and chill out around the neighborhood.
We got to the club, loaded in, and i head out on a mission to get a smoothie. Which i did eventually. I went to Mann's Chinese theater. Where i saw stupid tourist taking pictures with many aspiring actors dressed as super heroes. I laughed and felt better then them!!! Haha, jerks!
Sound check went off well, and i lounged around the club enjoying some of the millions of free drinks they gave us. The first band of the night featured a nice dude named Max, who Jack had known many years earlier from hanging around the lower east side. This kid must have been about 10 when he was hanging out with punks in record stores in the LES. And oddly enough i had met him when he was on tour with his old band and they played together with Witch Hunt ina basement in Milwaukee. Good memory Max!!
Next up was Intro5pect. Our new/old friends. They played a much better set then in Pomona, and the crowd danced and sang and fun things were about!!!
Meanwhile we were visited backstage by some Irish dude who was "friends" with Brad. Well Brad wasn't there yet so we invited him to come on in and have a drink while he waited. WHOOPS!!!!!!! He would be the first in a never ending series of Punisher's that would bombard me for the whole evening. This city is full of them! In case you don't know about Punisher's, let me fill you in. It is a term used to describe the most annoying, enthusiastic, painful people you meet while on tour. Usually they aren't bad people, and they are usually pretty nice. Which makes you not want to be mean to them, but in your head you are wishing death and torture upon them. They usually are found lurking around the bar, van, merch table, or anywhere else you might go to have a moment of peace. But oh no, they have a lot to talk about, and never ever take any subtle hints that you are trying to get out of the conversation with them. The trick is to spot them, before they spot you, or else you could be in for the long haul. I seem to be a magnet for these socially retarded freaks! So i was attacked from all sides in Hollywood. Friend to the friendless indeed!!!
But aside from a few stalkers, emotional super fans and coked up weirdos, the show was great. Totally home town vibe going on there. And much like at home, the Knitting Factory hooked us up and treated us great, Thanks friends!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 14: Sweet sweet little Pomona!!!!

The neighbor whose house i was sleeping in front of told Lucky that we weren't allowed to live in our van in front of his house, and was visibly relieved when we left in the morning. hahaha.
Another healthy vegan brunch feast was had by us this fine morning. Mr. Coe led us there and joined us for some delicious food at the Natural Cafe. It was just what i wanted that morning and any place that has Nutritional Yeast and Bragg's is thumbs up in my book!!!
And yet another scenic and beautiful drive down the coast. I could get used to this routine!!!!
Pomona isn't know for much and there really isn't too much going on in that town. So we set out on an exploratory campaign to map these unchartered terrains. All we came up with was a 12 pack of Pacifico.
But the show was at a cool spot called Glasshouse Records. Which as you may have guessed is a record store. This cool lady by the name of Christina set up the show. She kicks ass, so please say hi if you are ever passing through Pomona!!!
The show featured old buds Doomsday Hour, as well as Intro5pect. Who we have never played with, although we'd been booked together at least 11 times before. But we made it to the show, they made it to the show and history happened! Well sort of. it was a small but enthusiastic crowd and it was good to see old friends as well as make a new friend or 2. And i picked up a copy Maximum Rock N Roll and a Tilly and the Wall CD. The CD is great and i lost the MMR before i even had a chance to read it. Bummer dude!
After the show we hit up the magical Del Taco, who have the decency to stay open 24 hours to serve gross and deliciously regrettable fast food burritos. It was the first visit to DT this trip and long over due!!! And then we drove what seemed to be forever to the OC to stay at Brad's(leftover crack) squat in Huntington Beach.

Day 13: Santa Barbara KCSB

Woke up and went to a super good veggie diner called the Saturn Cafe. Where we got loaded up on giant piles of vegan brunch and mimosas. Which pretty much ruled, as the waiter fellow hooked us up with free drinks and i played a lot of pinball. Not a bad way to start the morning. It was nice to have a nice big brunch with the whole team. Although Lucky was off on some other solo mission. Thanks for the hook up waiter dude.
A beautiful drive down the pacific coast and some cool scenery we eventually made it Santa Barbara. Our old friend Ted Coe has been trying to get us to come play his town for a while now, and the stars finally ended up lining up and we agreed to stop in. My man hooked it up! He got a bunch of sponsors and got the local community radio station KCSB to sponsor the event as well as doing a live broadcast. So we were streamed around the wold on the internet, and all the lazy people in the town could hear the show with out having to leave their houses.
The venue was called La Casa de la Raza. And was a really cool mexican community center, with tons of punk cred. They have been around for ages and all the greats have played there in the past. SO we were stoked to be added on the list with the Ramones, Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendencies, and Black Flag!
There was Thai food and Tecate for dinner and a high energy show with lots of dancing and hippies, as well as a weird opening act featuring ladies dressed as birds dancing around chanting anti-war songs. California!!!
Ted set us up at his place for more cocktails and a good nights sleep in his odd/normal suburban homestead. Thanks duder!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 12: Santa Cruz

The only thing i ever associated with Santa Cruz was skate boarding and burn out hippies. It turns out there isn't that much skating going this day. But the burn outs more then made up for it! They were everywhere stinking the whole place up! We rolled into town pretty early, as there was no real reason to hangout in Fresno any longer then we already had.
We ran into our new/old friends Ian and Dustin on the way to the beach. So we loaded them in the van and hit the beach. Lucky's Tavern provided us with some delicious bloody Marys and we strolled along the beach sipping away happily and basking in the warm California sun.
Oh course the under employed residents we playing volley ball and playing in the surf. In the middle of winter. Life must be hard.
After we tired of hanging on the pier we went up to Josifinas giant house. Also filled with hippies, but the nice sort of punky politically aware variety. And seeing how they were commune loving hippie punks, they were kind enough to create a 4 course vegan feast for us, including pizza,pasta, salad and brownies. The other 347 people that lived there were also very nice and we had some cocktails and then head over the show!
The venue was fucking rad as hell. It was a Bike Church, not too unlike the one we have in Philly. They moved all the gear aside and set the bands up. It quickly filled up with all sorts of weirdos and quickly got hot, crowded and fun. I met punks at the beer store, and drank beer with them. The show went off! It was packed to the walls and the crowd had a super great energy, The positive vibes and Aura were bright and powerful, bro.
The party continued back at the house and we were given gifts as well as parting gifts to make us happy down the line.
But a big shout out to Josifina. When i met her in SF last weekend and show told me how she had never booked a show before, i honestly was kinda nervous, and was afraid it would be one of those nights where i end up doing everything. But i was happily proven way wrong. She did an amazing job on all ends. Great food, great show, fun company and the ever so important: giant box of money at the end of the night!! Glad to have a new friend on the west coast.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Day 11: Blacked out in Fresno!

Another round of Golden Buddha, and then off to pick up the mini van as we have too many people to fit into the mighty Vanowar! The vanowar was having some issues with its bearings so we took it into get new ones. Some how we managed to find a mechanic, get the parts, and get then van fixed in about and hour and a half. Sweet! Fully fixed and after a purge of the enemy of metal, we carried on, carried on to Fresno.
People across the state had asked us why we were going to this town, and told us how crappy it was. Well they were not lying, Fresno, or at least the part we were in was pretty run down. The highlight was Happy's! A very strange hole in the wall liquor store surrounded by addicts and users of a variety of substances. They were entertaining and only mildly aggressive. The proprietor of Happy's, was indeed happy. There were several half filled coolers of beer and malt liquor, and god knows what else. However to get a Tecate, my man had to go to some mysterious back room where he produced 3 very large cans of that delicious Mexican nectar! So i got started on the mission to get to the bottom of those cans asap. We were playing at a really cool spot called C.A.F.E. Fresno, a really cool spot where they do all sorts of cool shit. Needle exchange, food sharing, and lots of great projects. If you are in the area stop by there for sure.
The reason we ended up in this awesome part of the world, is our main man Nate. He had invited us to play in Merced a couple years ago, and it was a fun night. So we come on down here to hang out one more time! The show was going great for about 3 or 4 songs, and then the power went out all over town. Which may have stopped a lot shows from continuing, but not for the Inferno. Grabbing what ever portable gear they could, they head straight outside for a very rowdy acoustic set on the back patio of the warehouse. This was pretty awesome and was a lot more interesting and exciting then a normal set. There was drinking, dancing, sing alongs, "stage" dives, and everything else you could ask for on a Monday night in Fresno rock city. That went on for a while, until the band ran out of songs they could pull off acoustic. And we hung around a bit with Nate and our new friends in Fresno. Then off to Motel 6 for another early evening on the most well behaved W/I tour i can remember!

Day 10: San Fran: Day 2

Slept in the van outside ms Katie hedges nice skull covered apartment. And immediately went on the the search for delicious vegan Vietnamese food. After one failed stop, we ended up at the Golden Buddha restaurant right down the street from Katie's place. Shit was banging! I got an amazing Pho soup and some delicious spring rolls! It was exactly what i needed that fine sunny afternoon. And i enjoyed the rest of the afternoon by taking a nap! And then wandering around golden gate park, drinking a smoothie! And seeing how our drive was only about 10 minutes, we decided to go check out the Pacific Ocean for a little while and catch the sunset. There was dogs, sun, tourists, and fun! The Pacific first sunset of the tour!
We head over to thee parkside, where we would have our final performance of our 2 night stand in SF. The place was pretty cool. Lots of punks working there and the staff was friendly and attentive. Introspect had to cancel due to a flat tire on the way. It seems that we are doomed to never play with them. Last time we had were meant to play with them was on the doomed tour with Leftover Crack and Mischief Brew. World/Inferno had to cancel that whole tour due to a serious hospitalization. Oh well, i guess it was not meant to be. We have 2 more chances to play with them in LA at the end of the week. If these do not work out, we should stop trying!
The show was great, special guest appearances by mike bukowski, and ex-pats denis and paul!! That was fun to see those dudes. Also making an appearance was bay area punk legend Jello Biafra! He raided the merch table and chatted away with Jack and the rest of the band. There's always room for Jello!
Nothing too dramatic going on at the show, and we saw angela and some more of the sacto punks, as well as friends Ian and Dustin from Long Beach! Which was awesome. Then back to Katie's for more van sleeping.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Day 9: Back to the Bay

Well Reno continued to suck the life out of me in the morning. Me and Lucky went to the Pneumatic Diner for breakfast. It does not take much to impress me when it comes to vegetarian restaurants. I usually forgive bad service or lack luster food because i am just generally excited to be at an all veggie place. But this place just didn't cut it. It took over an hour for them to bring us our under cooked bland veggie breakfast burritos. Totally a bummer. So we knew for sure we had to escape this shit hole city that can't even serve decent food to some hungry vegans.
So we got to San Francisco early and fixed our hunger problems with some awesome Tofu Burritos in the mission. Not too shabby! And we some how managed to find a parking spot right in front of the club. Things were looking up for us!!! The club was right on the corner of Haight and Ashbury. The most famous intersection for hippy counter culture. You will be happy to know it is still crowded with culture tourists, victims of the 60's and 70's, and modern day burn out weirdos.
The show was hosted by 2 awesome people who have arranged fun events for us before. Ms Margo and Mr Douglas. It was part of a monthly event they put on called Little Minsky's Burlesque/Variety Show, or something like that. It involves all types of burlesque type activities, including but not limited to Scantly clad women and at times men, singing and dancing in manors you might expect. It is always fun and tonight would be no different. It got really crowded with new and old friends and the show went off! It was great to see tons of familier faces and catch up with old friends.
They had awesome Mojitos and we got crunk!

Day 8: fuck Reno and Bill Nutt

I should have known it was going to be a bad day when the smoothie shop was out of wheat grass. How the fuck am i supposed to live like this? It was indeed a beautiful day and we had plenty of time to kill so we head up to reno a bit early. Got to the hotel and started drinking margaritas and playing nickel slots. Won big($7) and got drunk. That is pretty much where the good luck ended.
We got to the show to be told that we didn't really have a show. Our good "friend" Bill Nutt had only told the club and the promoter the day before that we would be playing, And the money we were promised by our buddy Bill was not there. So we got the old, you can play first and not get paid routine. So being true warriors of the road, we played a quick set to abotu 20 confused snow board jocks and and their confused girlfriends. Not too awesome, so we packed up and tried to make the most of the night(ie gambling all night).
But more on that later. Let's talk about good friend Bill. Not only did he not book the show, told us weeks ago that he had. He skipped town the day of and went to vegas. But the thing that pissed me off the most, is that he texted me that morning to let me know load in times and info like that. At no point did he mention that we would not really have a show, not get paid or a place to stay. If he would have just gave us a heads up, we wouldn't have driven all the way up there and back. Spending a ton of money on gas and hotels. Thanks Bill. You are a good friend indeed.
But shitty dudes aside, we had fun gambling and partying in reno. Our real friends Alec and Angela were in town too, and we hit the floors! Jack won a bunch on money on the slot machines. I was breaking even until my last drunken round of roulette, where i lost $40. Bummer dude! But the Craft was on cable so i fell asleep watching that masterpiece.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Day 7: Day 1 Sacramental

Well the drive is over and the tour begins. Woke up and relaxed around the house and head out to get an oil change. The jiffy lube was no longer there. So we went to the car wash. As we pulled in, there was a nice man in a cowboy hat. He was pissing all over the inside of the car wash. He didn't mind me washing the car, so i guess i didn't mind him pissing all over the place.
So we got the band at the airport, listened to some banging hip hop and RnB. And head to beautiful Sacramento state college. There was a small army of college kids to unload the van, and a nice spread back stage.
Sound check was uneventful and we were rewarded to a nice bar b q over at angelas and alecs place. Then back over the to the show. It was a good crowd in the most giant room ever which kind of killed the vibe, but was still pretty cool. Drank a few more beers and went to sleep.
Uneventful first day of tour. But that is OK with me.
But California is great, the weather is perfect, a nice taste of spring and there are smoothies everywhere. Which is great. Off to Reno tomorrow for fun and excitement. And to see our good friends the Cobra Skulls and the infamous Bill Nutt!!!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day 6: Salt flats and tire trouble!

After waking and shaking the terror the mormons put into my mind while i slept. Margie loaded us up with organic energy drinks and raw food bars. Which Scott Beiben had left at her house on a recent mission. The ironic thing is i live 1 block away from scott. Yet, these energy drinks traveled all the way across the country, just to end up in the van that is parked on his block most of the year. But that was a good start to an exciting day. We drove past the salt lake and listened to spanish disco and were really enjoying the scenery!
Then we saw some really cool shit. The Bonneville salt flats, this where my man broke the world ground speed record in 1970, driving a custom designed car over 600 mph. What the shit? That is fucking fast! It is so fucking cool out here. It is basically the bottom of an evaporated salt lake and is so flat you can see the curve of the earth. And it is made of solid salt for miles and miles and miles. We pulled off and ran around the flats for a bit. I'd never seen anything like this and of course we took dumb photos and acted like fools.
As we headed further into the depths of the desert and crossed into Nevada i noticed that the van was shaking a bit and pulled off into some random DOT lot on the side of the road. Sure enough the right rear tire was bubbling up and part of the tread started to tear off. Luckily we have a great spare tire and we started to change it. Well who ever put that tire on the van last screwed the bolts on so tight that it was impossible to get it off manually. So our new friend from the Nevada DOT called ahead to the next town and got us directions to a Les Schwabb tires place 12 miles down the road. We drove very slowly down the interstate praying and hoping we didn't blow a tire, as after what happened to Hellshock and Bomenallarm last year, i am pretty paranoid about that kind of stuff. But we made it to Wells, NV safely and my man Jim at Les Schwabb hooked us up and fixed everything for free. Nice dude! Christina, the manager of the local food town was also very nice and gave me a free roll of bread for my sandwich and shattered my stereotypes of people living in some 2 horse town in the middle of the desert in northern Nevada, and not only picked up on the fact i was a vegetarian but asked me if i was vegan. Normally when shopping in places like this noone even knows what a vegan and they certainly do not cater to them. But hey, live and learn.
Oh and i was very excited to drive past the town of Winnemucca Nevada. Johnny Cash mentions this place in the opening lines to his version of the classic and epic road dog anthem, I've Been Everywhere. I had always wondered where this place was, and sure as shit. Here we are! The town looks like it sucks by the way. But i was not too surprised to be honest.
Well fed and with a good tire leading us on our mission we head west for the final stretch of our journey. We were hoping to stop in Reno for the night, but our friend was out of town, so we head on to Sacramento.
I immediately regretted our decision to continue, as i had forgotten the drive from Reno to Sacramento is all crazy down hill driving and the roads suck, and trucks are flying out of control everywhere. Not what i wanted to deal with after driving for 10 hours or so. But i masterfully guided us down the mountains safely and we made it to our hosts in time to make some dinner and get some sleep.
Tour will begin the next day and i am stoked to get this shit started!!!!!!!

Day 5: On a mission from god.

Woke up at 7am. Seems the room next to us decided to get up and leave with out turning off the alarm, which buzzed through the wall torturing me for at least an hour. As i lay in bed coming up with master plans of revenge and what not against the world and Ramada hotel chain. Fell back asleep and was then woken up by Konst who judged me for sleeping late all the time.

Or first stop of the day was at Bart's Flea Market, which was conveniently located next door to the hotel. The place was cool as shit. Hundreds of stalls filled with old weird shit, lots of wild west memorabilia and weird cowboy stuff. No smurfs however. The highlight for me, which i will purchase next time i am in Laramie for sure, was the Flo Jo action figure. Flo Jo, R.I.P. sister!
We hit up another Pawn shop but it sucked, all they had was crappy stereo equipment, dumb cassette tapes and lots and lots of GUNS!!!
Off on the good old route 80 west, our home for the week. Not too much going on on west Wyoming, lots of hills, cattle, snow, etc etc. Luckily we made it through the state with out any serious problems. I was a bit concerned, since as you all know Yellowstone National Park located in NW WY is actually the sight of one of the worlds largest super volcanoes. When that shit blows, we are all fucked, I am talking the entire west coast and Midwest being covered with several feet of ash, world weather patterns disrupted, weeks of darkness, earth quakes, hunger, starvation, destruction of the water supply, and on and on and on. This will obviously lead to the deaths of millions and millions of people and perhaps the end of humans on earth. Which might not be a bad thing, but there are some friends i want to see on the west coast first. But instead of the end of the world as we knew it, we had cheap gas prices, friendly locals and an afternoon stop in Rawlings for some Taco Johns.
But the real fun was about to begin. As we approached our destination for the evening, we checked in with our lovely Hostess Ms. Margie. She suggested we check out the Mormon temple downtown. So we did. Konst in obsessed with Mormons for some reason so how could we resist going to ground zero of crazy people land. And how convenient, they are open late and give free tours!!!! So we met up with the 2 sisters who would guide us through the questionable world of the church of laterday saints. These 2 missionaries were super nice in that glassy eyed brainwashed religious freak kind of way. They led us around the grounds, showed us the temple that we weren't allowed to go in. In the auditorium where they showed off the acoustics and bragged about how smart and awesome the original settlers were. Then we went to another hall where there was a giant talking jesus who told us he loved us, etc.
Yeah,a giant fucking talking jesus. How are we supposed to keep a straight face during all of this. Me had a nice long chat at the end of the tour and they answered our questions as best they could, and i felt satisfied that they really believed this shit, and luckily due to their faith they never had to question any of the holes in the story of the prophet Joseph Smith and the book of mormon.
Here is where i respect these sick fucks though. Their polygamy is well known, but get this. As we were led around on our tour we noticed that all of the missionaries giving tours and hanging around the temple were kinda cute college aged girls from all over the world. No joke. SO we asked our guides how they ended up coming to Salt Lake City from Australia and Samoa(where they were born). They answered that once you decide to become a missionary, you don't get to choose where you go or what you do, God decides and the church sends you where his divine intervention guides them. So it just so happens that the place most common for girls aged 18-22 was SALT LAKE CITY!!! Fucking brilliant. A never ending supply of young girls for fucked up mormon dudes to add to the their list of wives. As fucked up as it is to brainwash young girls, convince them its gods will to have them travel halfway around the world to this godforsaken city in fucking UTAH. And them let them know that is also gods will to be one of many in some dudes stable of wives and turn them into incubators for baby mormons. As fucked up as that is, i give these wacked out dudes credit, what a great scam!!!!!
After all of this edification, we went to meet up with the lovely and talented Margie at some organic pizza place. Well, i guess they were giving out crack and/or blow jobs, because there was a couple dozen people in line ahead of us and there was a half an hour wait. So we jumped ship, went to the Vertical Diner for yummy vegan food. Well i actually didn't like what i got, but it was good enough. Went back to the world headquarters of Do it Booking and chatted with our host and then went to sleep. And spent the rest of the night having terrifying dreams about mormons.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 4: Nebraska

Once again we started our day they way any day should begin. With stop at the best website for traveling vegans and vegetarians Happy Cow. This is basically a user generated website where you can search by geographical location for vegetarian restaurants. Which has drastically improved my happiness over the last year or so. They have listings for just abotu everywhere in the world where you might hope to find a place to eat while on the road. Complete with directions, menus, addresses and phone numbers. So we rolled up to Maggie's in Lincoln, NE. Got some awesome soup and a curry tofu wrap. Also had a nice chat with a lovely lady who i believe just might be the namesake of the establishment. We reminisced about the dark ages of interstate travel eating. And then we were on our way.
Nothing too exciting happened along the drive through Nebraska and into Wyoming. We did however listen to a lot of Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash (and johnny cash singing bruce springsteen songs) to keep us in the zone. All was smooth sailing until we got across the border into WY. We met a nice lady at a gas station, we talked about I-80, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. And head off to get to Laramie to stay at the Ramada. We threw on JJ's life story and drove into the darkness. Getting hungry and tired of driving, we were delighted to see the sign indicating that Laramie was only 23 miles away. We would be fed and in bed in no time. But wait, what's this? Fresh powdered snow and wind gusts of up to 48 miles an hour make for total white out conditions. And we had just passed the last safe place to pull over. Luckily there was a truck in front of me, so we could at least just follow what we could see of his tail lights and hope that he was actually still on the road, as we couldn't see anything that separated the lanes from each other, nor the road from the cliff next to it. Sweet! Luckily we did not suffer the same fate as a previous motorist whose misfortune allowed us a dazzling display of lights from several police, fire and emergency vehicles. My top notch training and years of experience allowed us to arrive safely in the friendliest town that i have ever been to whose most famous claim to fame is the torture and murder of a gay dude.
Luckily the locals seemed to have become a bit more tolerant of alternative lifestyles in the 10 years since those 2 rednecks killed matthew shepard for some sick reason. Now it seems the rednecks proudly display their openness for sexual experimentation in the bathrooms of the local taverns, which allowed for some interesting reading in what may have been the sketchiest toilet i have been to all year!!
We got some tasty dinner at Sweet Mellisa's (happy cow wins again!) and went to a bad ass old as shit cowboy bar called the Buckhorn Bar. Which in addition to the bullet holes in the mirror behind the bar, hosts a large collection of heads of animals such as deer, cow, buffalo, jack-a-lopes, and a extra special veal calf who was stuffed and placed into a crate and mounted on the wall. Oh yeah, there was also a 2 headed moose calf sitting on top of the veal box. Awesome. Ironically it was the waitress from the vegetarian restaurant who recommended this place to us. But aside from the odd decorations and the seemingly terrifying clientèle, the drinks were cheap and the staff were super nice and told us all about the bar, and also told us about the laws for publicly displaying nooses around town. I don't know the laws in philly, as i guess I've never encountered needing to know them. But if i want to safely and legally lynch someone in Laramie, i am now fully educated as to the slight nuances of the laws.
Shortly after this chat, and an odd meeting of gentlemen in the aforementioned restroom, we decided to get out while to going is good. Back the Ramada to watch the simpsons and family guy. God bless America, indeed.

Day 3: The fun is over, the real driving begins

We get up, eat another great breakfast at the Flying Saucer. Say our good byes to special guest star Toni, who will spend the day discovering Chicago before flying home on Monday morning. Sad times for me as it will be at few weeks before we are reunited in Texas at SXSW. But i am excited for her to get to see a new city and excited to get down to business and do some serious driving!!
As you may or may not know, the mid west os not known for its scenery, it is known for its corn. If you know anything about farming, geography, and climate. You know there is no corn in the mid west on february, There is tundra, for as far as the eye can see. There is nothing but frozen mud, trucks, wind and snow. It sucks, and is where we will be spending the next few days. But luckily i have a never ending supply of Dr. Pepper and mini pretzels, which are my weapons in the struggle to resist temptation and boredom.
Shortly after we cross into Iowa i see a sign for what seems almost too good to be true. Could it be that we would be lucky enough to get to pay a visit to what the claim is THE WORLDS LARGEST TRUCK STOP. Oh yes, and we just so happen to be running low on fuel. So we head on in. My first reaction was that of sheer dissapointment. It didn't really seem that big. I mean sure they had a Taco Bell AND a Wendys. But the biggest in the world? I don't think so. So i took a piss, and looked at some novelty jesus t-shirts, and some new flavors of Doritos and was ready to leave, cursing myself for falling for yet another empty promise made by a road side billboard. But then, something caught my eye. Did that sign say dentist? Ah, yeah it did. I walked a bit deeper into the rear of the complex and had my mind fucking blown!!! This is where the jems where. I am talking a movie theater, food courts, arcades, a barber, laundromat, yeah a fucking dentist, a full service garage, a custom shop and a store where you could buy just about everything you would need for a life on the road. Look at this shit!!!!! I had a field day. Bought some shit, and engaged in some serious people watching. I will be sure to head back for the Truckers Jamboree 2008 taking place July 10-11. See you there!!!!!
Obviously the day would be nothing but down hill from there, we drove several more hours and eventually ended up at a La Quinta on the outskirts of Omaha. Everything seemed to close about 2 minutes before we go there, so we settled for a Taco Hell and 6 pack. However, since as any educated person knows, La Quinta is Spanish for free wifi, i settled down and watched LOST on the Internet. Which ruled.

Day 2: February 23rd 2008

Get up, and head over to meet up with Corey at Pittsburgh's finest vegetarian lunch spot the Quiet Storm.
Ate some good ass food, said our good byes and headed up to Chicago!
The drive was long and uneventful, my travel partners slept and i drove and listened to chapter one of the John Joseph book on CD, Evolution of a Cro-Magnon.

I haven't read the book, but having that 6 hour collection of stories is absolutely essential on any road trip. There is no better way to kill time on an over night drive then to listen to JJ talk about his crazy fucked up life. It doesn't matter if you like hard core, punk rock or fucking hate it. This shit is off the chain. I can listen to it again and again and it will keep me awake and alter at the wheel, and everyone else in the van transfixed! Find this and drive a million miles, NOW!!!!
Chicago was great, we stayed with yet another handsome and talented punk rock celebrity Mr Noah Legar. I know Noah, from his tours of duty at world/infernos drummer on a few occasions in 2007. You will know him from such bands as Milemarker, Challenger, and most recently Head of Skulls. Always a good time with Noah. To make the good times better, we were graced with an appearance of Dave Song. Who is also a wonderful human being and fun as hell to hang out with!!! Also, cruising around Chicago with Dave is like rolling out with Jay-Z. He has a car that comes from outer space and he is the most generous dude ever. Drinks on the house everywhere we go, everyone in the city knows him and loves him. And if they don't, fuck em.
We went to the Empty Bottle, where low and behold, old friends No Fucker were playing. We missed their set by about 1 minute, which is because they only played for about 12 minutes. It was cool to see those dudes as i only ever run into them is strange far away places. But yeah, the Empty Bottle is a cool bar in Chicago and is the ideal size for a venue. Oh and cheap drinks are the best thing ever!!!!
So needless to say we got all kinds of wasted and stayed up all night listening to records and talking shit!!!! Yes!!! We win.
Well until we wake up and have to be held accountable for our sins.

Day 1: February 22nd 2008

So this next mission will be with BFF's the World/Inferno Friendship Society.
The tour starts next week in Sacramento, CA. But the gear is in NYC. So that leaves me to get it out there safe and sound. So i decide to get the band plane tickets and drive the shit out there myself. Our favorite Ukrainian merch dude, konstantin sergeyev will join me on the coast to coast mission. he has never seen the middle of America, so this should be exciting for him. He is also a top notch photographer, so it can't hurt to have him along.
We have a week to get out to California so we might as well take our time and visit some friends along the way. We also had the special treat of a special guest star, Ms. Toni B!!! This lovely and talented lady had a few days off from work and had never been to Pittsburgh or Chicago, so it was easy to persuade her to hop in the van. This was an extra treat for me, since she is fun, and smart and get to kiss her often!!! Yes! That will ease the loneliness of the road for a couple days!
Anyway our day started with snow and ice covering the city. Fuck yeah, sweet driving weather. We roll out of bed, go get Konst and some disgusting Chinese food and head to my house. Load the van and gear and head out on the highway, blasting Judas Priest and in high spirits.
We get to the Burgh and head straight to D's. This is a weird sports bar that features veggie dogs and a beer cave the is filled with at least a 1000 different beers. Oh hell yeah. We were joined by international playboy, punk rock celebrity and coolest dude ever Corey!!!! We stuffed our selves and then headed to his mansion for rest and relaxation. Then we headed over to grab bff Kristen Dale and head to Gooskies, which is a cool bar in Polish Hill. Kristen needs a new liver due to no fault of her own. So if you have a spare let me know and we will try to get you 2 together. She also needs about 16 trillion dollars for the medical bills, once again, get in touch if you are rich, a doctor or know any health care systems that aren't totally pieces of shit.
It was a quiet night and we headed to sleep shortly after last call. Luckily although Kristen has a bum liver, she does have a nice house and we got to sleep in a bed, in our own room. That fucking rules when on the road!