Antparty United

In 2004, Jack Shepherd, Patrick Resing, and Jan Frel embarked on a journey across America that would change them all forever. Starting in Bethesda, Maryland, the boys trekked through the Southern states on their way to L.A., then turned right around and came back via Utah, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois. Their faithful vehicle, a 1986 red Saab affectionately nicknamed The Saab Story made it all the way with them on their two-month-long Odyssey with a reasonable number of its parts still intact. There are some really quality bits in the middle when they lose their brakes, their sanity, and eventually, Jan.

This is their story.

*For convenience of reading, the posts are laid out in chronological order from top to bottom.


The Trip Begins

3/31--Phil Campbell, AL--Dismals Canyon Camp Ground
+ Unclaimed Baggage, dude!
3/30--Atlanta, GA--with Simon C. of "the Simon Chung Show" fame
+ Five Points Pizza and pinball
3/29--Clemson, SC--with Chad, one week from defending his PhD
+ Pizza and no pinball
3/28--Richmond, VA--Gustavo and his beautiful cat, Samba
+ Standard Richmond stuff


Scottsboro Blues

Scottsboro Blues
Well, I'm shaking like the devil, cuz I aint been eatin'
Yeah, I said I'm shaking like the devil, cuz I haven't been eatin'
Cuz all this benny poppin' is giving my heart a beating.

Well, I won't be drinkin' no milk no more,
Said I won't, won't be drinkin' no milk no more,
Cuz all this hard luck pining ain't gonna open that Scottsboro Store.

I pray that tomorrow I'll have me a pair of new shoes,
Unh huh, I pray that tomorrow I'll have me two shiny shoes,
Because you know that with all this driving I'll have Miss Iss Ippi Blues.

Ider Alabama: Unclaimed Baggage

Day 4: Ider, Alabama.

It's proving difficult to tell whether the quick succession of sun and rain, of florid vistas and Family Discount Warehouses is causing my mood swings, or simply mocking them. Such, presumably, is the nature of road-trips, and of amphetamines. The next stop is "Unclaimed Baggage" in Scottsboro Alabama, where Pat, Jan, and I hope to claim an
We stopped in NC to fill the trunk with fireworks
unclaimed video camera and some vintage T-shirts for a small fee. Last night was Hot-lanta, where the peep-shows are decidedly not $1 a go as advertised, and where the pizza and pinball is sub-par. I don't think we really did Atlanta justice, but we made a surprisingly good time out of it. This is my first trip across this country, borne, like all good voyages, of joblessness, and a lack of direction which has happily reconciled itself into one imperative: West. Or Westish, in our present situation, as we want to see the Southern states on our way over. This particular Southern state has had its moments-- we're crossing the Jackson river as I write, which is a winner. Pat is talking about bare-knuckle boxing, Jan, about boiled peanuts, but they seem to be enjoying themselves. Bea's Bar-B-Q, Coon Creek Outfitters. Will I have a clearer mind when I get back to Washington? Will Graduate school start to seem like a solution instead of a postponement of an indefinite problem? Unclaimed baggage, I guess. H&R Bait and Tackle, Horses for Sale. Across the Jackson again, a windy river. Mad Creek Mini-Storage. In Athens, I spoke to a Professor of Comparative Literature at UGA, who advised me that I should apply to a better program than the one over which he presided, and, as I had feared, that I might be better off doing Classics. Athens, I have decided, is my kind of town. Carob's Chicken Basket, Wright Coin Laundry, Jones Fabricating (?!), Tim Allen rents Sod-Cutters. Scottsboro is not my kind of town. Where the hell am I going to live when I get back to DC? Unclaimed Baggage.

Kent County, AL, is a dry county

April 2: Bolevar Co., Mississippi

I've never known an entire county more in need of a drink than Kent County Alabama. But despite it's being populated by sad, sad, sober Alabamans, we made a fine night of it. Budweisers were procured with difficulty, 20 miles across the border in Florence, and we set up our 2 man tent in Joe Wheeler (apparently a Confederate General) State Park. There being a $10 charge for an extra tent, it was an exceptionally cosy night.
We did a good chunk of Mississippi yesterday, stopping only briefly for a revivifying game of home run derby in a softball field (Jack: 9 runs, Jan:7, Pat: 3-- I took those punks to town). We made it into Lafayette just in time for the 7:30 showing of Dawn of the Dead, a movie which has zombies in it. The State Park we stayed in was presumably also named after some Confederate General, but I forgot to look at the sign. I suck bad at driving stick shift.

Not much to drink, but there is bowling in Kent. We took action shots.

Zombies or Jesus?

Woah there. Alabama to Mississippi. Mostly North.

Alabama was a place that was not a place that I would like to go to often. Full of Walmarts. But, fortunately, also with Joe Wheeler State Park. Which we camped at and had a swell time. Suspicious lack of beer signs on the highway had indicated that this was a dry county. Which was a tv-sitcom camping situation that we thwarted by driving down the highway 20 miles to Florence for beer.

In other news, I really liked Athens, GA. It is a quality locale. Very nice looking and pedestrian (in a good way). Atlanta is almost no comparision. It takes its job as a city way too seriously. All full of big one-way roads and tall buildings. Alabama, I hardly knew you. Good bowling though.

After Alabama, we crossed into Mississipi through the extreme North and due to our lack of maps, we missed the turnoff for Tupelo (the birthplace of Elvis P.). But did manage to stop by Oxford, MS which is the home of Ole Miss. Me and Jan split a delicious BBQ pork sandwhich from Mike and Joe's and a dainty chicken salad sandwhich from a fancy-pants southern place. We did a lot of driving, too, before stopping at Hugh White State park outside of Grenada.

Outside Blue Mountain, MS we stopped to play home run derby on a field outside a churh. Despite Jan's poor pitching, I won 7 runs to 6 for Jan and 2 for Jack.

Which was fun. Jack isn't eating today because it is good Friday, what is up with that? Jan saw the Passion of Christ last night, too. Me and Jack saw Dawn of the Dead.

See you later!

Oh Momma!

Oh momma, I am in the real blues country delta town today.
I said, oh yeah momma, I am driving through delta blues country today,
and what with Bolivar county jammin' I ain't never gonna stay.

Lies, lies, lies!

Oh, and by the way, I won the game: Pat had one point, jack 6 points, Jan 10 points. Two off special balls, two one point fly balls, and three 2point bombs. All the other guys are lying!

It won't get you anywhere, not even on blogs.

Home Run Derby in Mississippi. We broke the first four rules

Trip Recap

----------Trip Recap--------

Day 1--DC to Richmond
+ a night at Buddies and pizza for dinner

Day 2--Richmond to Clemson, SC
+ stopped at a lake in North Carolina, but it was too cold.
+ Pizza and pool in Clemson with Chad.
+ There was a midget

Day 3--Clemson to Atlanta
+ Lunch at Grit in Athens, GA.
+ $3 parking ticket
+ Pinball for hours waiting for Simon at Five Points Pizza in Five Points.
-Monster Bash & Mars Attacks
+ Apoco. Now in Simon's super nice condo

Day 4--Atlanta to Joe Wiley State Park (Alabama)
+ Got boiled peanuts on Sand Mountain
+ Stopped by unclaimed luggage in Scottsboro, AL
-went to three thrift stores also, bought some t-shirts/cassettes
-bowled two games (I won)
-went to the public library for hours to set up the blog
-ate miserable Mexican food
+ the State Park we stopped at was awesome.
-but it was a dry county, so we had to drive 20 miles for beer.
-took a midnight hike around the swamp/lake and challenged ouselves to get
lost, did get lost, and found ourselves.

Day 5--Florence, AL to Grenada, Mississippi
+ I ate a whole Turkey Leg
+ Ate sweet BBQ in Oxford, MS @ Ole Miss
+ Played baseball in Blue Mountain, MS
+ Camped and watched "Dawn of the Dead"

Day 6--Grenada, MS to Yazoo City, MS
+ Stopped by and walked around a large indian burial mound.
+ A day in Greenville, MS where we ate very well at "Eat at Gus's"
+ Picked up a drink with some Blues types in Rolling Fork, MS
+ Brakes broke in Yazoo City, where we spent the night.
An Indian burial mound in Mississippi

Day 7--Yazoo City to New Orleans
+ Harrowing front-brakes only ride to Jackson, continued to New Orleans
+ Mr. Goodyear in Jackson offered a temporary "Vice-Grip on the Brake Line" solution and sent us on our way.
+ Met Tom and Kerri at the Red Rhino in the French Quater for 3-for-1 happy hour
+ Ate chicken burgers at Krystal Burger
+ Went dancing at some point

Day 8--New Orleans
+ Ate donuts with Tom, Kerri, and Chad at Dunkin Donuts
+ Walked 3 miles to the Saab Dealer in New Orleans.
-- Were told that if we strayed from Tulane Ave to the left or right that "we would not last 10 minutes."
+ Ate a roast beef po boy that incapacitated me for two hours.
+ Ate crawfish that were AWESOME
+ Sang "Hey Jealousy" at the Kat's Meow.
-earned $21 dollars from the ladies
+ Met a Minnesota Women's B-Ball player at the Krystal Chicken. Her team had just lost to UCONN in the Final Four. She was bummed, but liked her chicken.

Day 9--New Orleans to Baton Rouge
+ Drove to Gerrylane Saab, got the good news about fixing our brakes.
+ Went to the Capitol building that Huey Long built and was killed in.
+ Played pinball at LSU and looked at their Grad programs
+ Watched the NCAA finals in a movie theater.

Day 10--Baton Rouge to Austin, TX
+ Ate at a place that did not like us called the Bread Basket #2
+ I finished reading John McEnroe's book, "You Cannot be Serious"
+ Ate a shrimp Po Boy, delicious
+ Got pulled over for a broken tail light in Katy City, TX.
+ Got pulled over for a broken tail light on US 10
+ Both cops gave us warnings :-)
+ Rolled into Austin at 2:30 am and talked literature with Andrew Gordon til 5am

Day 11--Austin
+ Ate many, many tacos
+ went to a bunch of awesome thrift/ book stores
+ went swimming at the greatest swimming hole in the world, Barton Springs.
+ saw two very shitty bands at Emo's
+ drank very good coffee at LoveJoy's and played their Terminator 3 pinball game.
+ finished the night at Taco Cabana

Day 12--Austin to Points West
+ Got the oil changed
+ Stopped here in Brady, TX to update Blog
+ Hope to get to Carlsbad, NM tonight.
+ Will see bats tomorrow morning.
+ adios

Monday, April 05, 2004

What the fuck you doin' in Rolling Fork?

April 4, Baton Rouge La.

Muddy Waters was born more than a century ago in Rolling Fork County Mississippi, and the place still has the Blues in a bad way. There is a wrong side of Rolling Fork, where the trailer trash buy busted refrigerators by the dozen at the weekly auction, but we spent most of our time on the other wrong side of town. The two old black guys who gave us a ride there in the back of their pick-up must have known that no one plays live Blues anymore in Rolling Fork, but they didn't stick around to watch their prank unfold.
In retrospect, it's difficult to tell how "Y'all mur-fuckas dun' showed up at the rawng tahm," ever sounded like an invitation to us, but the five fellows, sitting under a tree outside the Juke-Joint drinking whisky and smoking weed, all had big, gold-plated grins on their faces, and Jan was already approaching them, assuming, perhaps, that he had found the modern descendents of Muddy Waters right where he had been expecting them. "Where y'all from?," asked the oldest of the group, who turned out to be a sort of father figure, in the violent, drunken sense of the term.
"Washington DC."
"Then what the fuck you doin' in Rolling Fork?" I gave a number of different answers to variants of this question in the half-hour that followed, none of them creative enough to allay the suspicion that we were Mississippi police officers cleverly disguised as urban hipsters, come to finally put a stop to the miserable whisky party that must have been going on in that very spot for 30 years or so.
"Y'all mur-fuckas dun' showed up at the rawng tahm. Have a Seat."
I did. Jan walked off with one of the guys to check out the Juke Joint, and Pat, inexplicably, went with another one to buy him some beers. The older guy shook my hand, decided my name was John, and started to work up some casual conversation. "If y'all came here when it was dark, we coulda strung you up by y'all necks on this tree here."
His friend chimed in, "Yeah, if Billy was here, he'd take you out back and shoot you with a Uzi. Y'all are cops, aintcha?"
As time went on, the threats began to be mixed somewhat with friendly words of advice and the occasional sip of beer, as well as a lot of talk, apparently untinged with irony, about "good ol' Mis'sippi hospitality." Jan and Pat came back and drank a beer with us, and we returned to the Saab, which ran fine, but didn't have brakes anymore.

We downshifted to a stop at a gas station five miles outside Rolling Fork, and found an auction to check out while the rest of our brake fluid leaked out of the right rear brake line. The auctioneer was a Pro. He wore a cowboy hat and managed to be devastatingly persuasive and utterly incomprehensible all at the same time. " 'Bout twenny plastic cups, different sizes, some red ones, and a nice blue one... Dwaheahwundullahumdullahumdullafiddyhumfiddytoodahhumdah, huuup. Toodahhoodullatoofiddyhumdahumdathrumda, huuup. Soldah sixdulla fiddy cents, numba eighty-two." The gentleman next to us, apparently hypnotized by the unrelenting, feverish rhythm of the humdullahumdullahumdulla, actually bought a rusted frying pan with four big holes in the bottom, for five bucks.

We poured some brake fluid into the empty container under the hood, and made our way, tired and brakeless but plus one broken thermometer (a steal at wundulla even), for Yazoo City.

Jan's Pet Crawfish


It's been a few days since I put finger to key, but I want everyone to know that the pet crawfish that I've been keeping in the glove box is alive and well. It told me the other night that it wanted to roam free in White Sands, but I am not going to let it. It's going with me to the pacific, and then maybe we'll see if it gets a swim or not. It could be that it has only a little time before it takes a bath in Limoon Juice.

The dudey popper sitting next to me is plotting a methlab in a barn with "173 acres of nothing around it." Can't get caught he thinks. well, a quick email to the local brady county DA should take care of that one. I smell fine, but my pants need a changing. Steven King is the MAN. Listening to the audio book made me rethink what a circle was, cus this guy invented a whole new one.


Stoplights, yes. Brakes, no.

Maundy Thursday, Austin Texas.

We bombed in Yazoo. The folk were welcoming enough at the Karaoke bar, but they liked neither Jan's valiant falsetto rendition of Aerosmith's "Dream On", my underwhelming performance of "Help", nor Pat's dynamic, but technically imperfect "These Boots Were Made For Walking". We scored points with "Hard Knock Life" though, and endeared ourselves to the locals by soliciting their advice about our Saab, and losing to them at pool.
Karaoke in Yazoo City. We were not a hit.

The first hotel of the trip lulled us into a lie-in, which was a fairly disastrous error, given the epic struggle that lay ahead of us in the form of fixing a foreign car in the middle of ass-nowhere Mississippi. We set up shop at a payphone outside a KFC and started making calls. The only place that was open Saturday afternoon and took imports was about 40 miles away near Jackson, and AAA were gonna charge us a small fortune to tow the damn thing there. How many stop lights can there be between Yazoo and Jackson anyway?

The Saab Story
The trick to running a stoplight is you have to give it everything you've got. Once it turns red 30 yards in front of you, the time for frantically pumping your useless brakes is long passed, and it's time to get into fifth gear as quickly as possible, while your front passenger honks your horn for you, and the guy in the back shouts "We're all gonna die." With a little help from my strategic honking and Pat's inspired screams, Jan was able to navigate us to the Goodyear auto-shop in Ridgefield, who were open, but who didn't take Saabs. On the advice of the friendly mechanic (who refused to take any of our money), we bought a vice-grip at a nearby Walmart, clamped it onto our rear brake hose in front of the broken line, and headed for Louisiana, where Saab dealerships dot the landscape like some kind of Swedish paradise. To save himself the anxiety of Pat's and my yelps of fear every time we tried to stop, Jan only admitted after we arrived in New Orleans that the vice-grip, while it restored confidence and hope to our battered psyches, only restored a most negligable pressure to the Saab's braking system. Which was shot to shit.

Pat Does Santa Fe Alone

Howdy Y'all,

Jan and Jack just dropped me off in downtown Santa Fe where I will be meeting one Amy Small in a matter of hours. You see, Jan has a job interview in Silver City tomorrow morning at 9am and so him and Jack are driving there as we speak to get a hotel room and whatnot. Now Amy is driving down from Denver to meet us. But, we have to get to Silver City. So, it was decided that we would split up and then reconvene later tonight 285 miles South of Santa Fe at a hotel room of J and J's choosing in the Silver City (which apparently smells, but don't tell Jan that).

Santa Fe has been awesome so far. We drove in two days ago and went immediately to the International Museum of Folk Art. At first it was just dolls from around the world (think "It's a Small World Afterall"), but then we stepped into the Outsider Art exhibition they had going on and things were off the hook. They had paintings by this one Peruvian mental patient who had to secret away all the paper he could find to create these massive canvases which he painted, crayolla'd, and penciled together scenes of his childhood. He created the parchment by attaching the scraps of paper with starchy foods and spit! Also, the art was grand.

Anywho, then we traveled up the mountain to 10,000 waves, which was a hot spring of sorts. Very influenced by the concept of "Japan", but I wouldn't actually call it Japanese. 14 bucks or so for unlimited use of hot bath, cold dip, and sauna. Sweet.

Then last night we stayed with an artist named Louis, who was building a rad house/art studio in the hills outside of Santa Fe. He had just removed the central supporting beam before we arrived and it just sat there diagonally across his living room floor. A large metal beam. Don't worry, there were other supporting beams, but they were "temporary."

Louis kindly offered us glasses of the world's finest single malt scoth (Glenlivet, aged 12 years) and a pleasant dinner of tortillini and olives. We said goodbye to Louis this morning and wished him luck on his endeavors.

. . .

(movie-making is one day away)

Goddamn Texas Cops

I think I'm just going to have to give up catching up on events that occurred between entries, and write about the stuff that's fresh in my mind. I have vague recollections of bringing down the house in New Orleans with my karaoke Hey Jealousy, while Pat stood at the front of the stage and had middle-aged women stuff money down his pants (he made twenty-one dollars). Other memories include being pulled out of a public library by a cop in Baton Rouge, who was powerful suspicious about my beard and my dirty dirty clothes, and the fact that I was sprawled across the desk sleeping the sleep of the just. Like so many others before and after him, he could not understand why we had left DC or why we had come to his hometown, but he turned out to be a good guy.

We got our brakes fixed in Baton Rouge, which cost me more money than I've ever spent on one thing, except perhaps the $540 speeding ticket I got in Manassas in '99. Now our coolant is leaking, but the car still seems to go. Pat lost paper rock scissors and had to drive through Texas at night, which meant he got pulled over twice in the space of about ten minutes and given a warning for having no right rear tail light. The first cops wanted to search our car, which probably would have been more unpleasant for them than for us, which may be why they demurred in the end. Two nights in Austin, with Andrew "Pip" Gordon, who took us to a hardcore show which was good because it was free. Austin is my second favourite town so far. After Austin things get hazy. I think we went to Carlsbad New Mexico next and checked out some caverns, then Santa Fe for two nights, one with this Artist named Lewis who gave us Scotch and made us Pasta, which was very friendly of him. We spent an hour or two in a Japanese Spa called 10,000 waves: Saunas, hot tubs, cold plunges, the occasional naked lady.
At the moment we're right near White Sands, and the delightful Amy Smalls has driven from Colorado to hang out. Jan left his wallet on top of the car and drove off, so he is at the police station cancelling his credit cards and getting an interim driver's license while Pat does his taxes on the internet, and Amy and I sit around. Hopefully there will be camping in White Sands tonight-- last night was a good ol' motel 6, but before that the four of us had a spectacular night of camping near Silver City. That's all I remember at the moment.


Wolf Country!

Here we are, face to face--in Alamogordo, no less--with Jan short a wallet (he put it on top of the car and then drove off, classic) and a car leaking coolant. We are also in the desert. The desert has internet though and brillant coffee.

We made a short filmed titled "Wolf Country" on Super 8 in Gila National Forests. Everyone dies.

We also hiked to a hot spring in Gila. It involved two river crossings there and two back. The river was unexpectedly deep and cold. Also, it had a swift current. Once we got to the hot spring, we discovered it was more of a "Boiling Hot Ankle Spring" as the only part of your body the spring covered was your ankles and the spring was at about 150 degrees. It was free though.

Hot Springs!

In the town of Gila Springs an old man told me and Jack to stop throwing rocks at each other. We listened.

Silver City is possibly Jan's new home. He applied (and interviewed) for a job there. He thought it went very well. Silver City has several fine coffee shops and is the home of Western New Mexico University.

For several days now I have been eating large bowls of Green Chiles and shredded beef. They are absolutely delicious. We drove through Demming, NM which is the largest producer of Green Chiles in the world.

We also went to Rockhound State PArk in an attempt to find geodes. Jan found 3 and Me, Jack, & Amy found none. There is a 15 pound limit per person of geodes you can take with you. We took approximately 9 ounces.

Today we bury Jacob's time capsule in White Sands. Wish you were here!

pat b.

Some Thoughts About Touching

hi. It is heavenly here in Tuscon. Just lovely. We drove into town with a gushgiting radiator, and there was one very excited boy in the car who could not wait to see his GIRL -- Jack. We had big gran daddy maragritas. we ate small cheap tacos. we met the very nice smart micah, his estranging girlfriend from siberia (ANYA) a boring half-asian named ? and of course hillary at Taco Brun.
Yesterday we did a little homer derby (which I won). this was a great park bec. it had short fences and slamming the homer out of the park was the thing to do. we were all great though, victory aside. then we saw real baseball at ARIZONA UNIVERSITY BASEBALL STADIUM. I call the texas pan am U 1b a no legs stick legs, and I got into his head. I told the catcher he had no butt. It felt good, and its part of the game.
I wonder if I would have hecdkled so much if I hadn't won. one of the great mysteries.

Oh! but here is my wisdom that turned crystal and solid and sure. I saw its veins in the recent past, but now I know its true: you don't have to wonder if you are doing well among people in whatever field (be it if you are the pope, goodlooking, or trying to be a great dart thrower); you'll know because people will be touching you. it will be a little gross I think, but you'll see a strange clawing needing desire to touch you from the people standing around. When they are touching you -- patting your back, shaking your hand impertinently -- you are doing well.


Lost in the Desert!

White sands, white sands, white sands. Large white dunes, also a large white sun, which makes for an experience in heat and dehydration. Especially when the hydration of choice for the night is a twelve dollar bottle of tequila. We arrived at the park at about 4:30, parked our car around five and then arrived at our campsite at approximately 7. It took us about two hours to travel the 3/4s of a mile from the campground to the site due to the size of the shifting, ever shifting sands. Also, our complete ignorance of the signage led us immediately in the wrong direction.

Eventually we found our specified inter-dune area (number 4) and collapsed. We could only lie still for so long though before the urge to throw the football across large, white sand dunes overcame us. Several spectacular diving catches were made before the sunset made us rest at the top of the tallest dune and watch the colors. The view in all directions was of peaks of sand and shadowed vales. Also of other scattered campers like ourselves, each at the top of their very own dune, but none closer than 1/2 a mile. Ant size. Isolation and communion, we waved, but they did not wave back.

We made camp and dinner. We walked the dunes under moonlight and got lost shouting "Jan! Jan! JAN! JAN!" only to be greeted with the angry retort of "Whaaaat?!" that led us to camp, but had Jan expecting us to tear him away from his book and sleeping bag to see some inane thing that seemed important to drunks. I finished the bottle of tequila and woke up much later, far away from the others, in a sleeping bag, but not a tent. I could not comprehend what I had done to be exiled from the tent. WHAT HAD I DONE?

Apparently, it was what I would not do. Mainly, when asked to please come inside the tent I refused and insisted that I liked sleeping where I was (which was on the sand, no sleeping bag, away from camp). Waking up was a bitch, too. It gets hot early in the desert, yo.



We left Jack behind in Tuscon and went forth to Riverside, California. Riverside is home of Mothra (pronounced "Muf-phra"), Jan's gradnmother. She got her name after taking one of Jan's relations to see the film "Godzilla Versus Mothra". Every since, she has gone by the moniker "Mothra".

That, and her ability to shoot flames out of her eyes and her propensity for knocking over large buildings. We went to the nursery today and picked out some flowers for her yard and two large bags of manure for her tomato plants.

Today was glorious for other reasons as well. I found a "Dual 8mm/Super 8mm film editor-viewer" in a thrift store for $7. It works, too. California is great. Also, when we got donuts this morning, the donut shop had a pinball machine. Gilligan's Island. Which I played 7 or 8 times.

Tonight we make dinner and I head into LA to party with the rich and famous. Though I don't know how much more famous you can get than Mothra.


Jan and Grandma

5 days with my grandmother was great. She loved all the meals I cooked, and we watched heaps of angels/dodgers games.

I've beeen feeling very satisfied.

Now San Diego reminds me of santamonica/malibu.

I threw a bad pot, threw a goal, played a tune and smirked a smirk

Santa Franta

the first time I went so San Francisco, I knew too little about cities to like it.

Now, I am old enough to know that a Santa Franta means a little law library, a little antics with lawn-lovin' diary writers, and from time to time an A's fan or 2


A lot has transpired since San Diego. We made our way back up to LA for a Dogers game with Nora Lawrence (who knows all the tricks for sneaking into Doger Stadium). When we drove up to the park, the parking attendants were all like "The game's sold out, Dudes, sorry."

But Nora was just like "Whatever, bitch." And we turned around and parked on this random neighborhood street. We were like "Aren't you worried that we are going to get towed?" Nora just looked at us, all steely-eyed.

So we walked up to the gates and Jan asked the ticket lady if there was anyway we could get tickets for tonight. She offered to sell us $45 Club Seats. We balked. Next we went around to a side entrance and this one ticket taker dude was like "Yo, hommies, I'll let you in right here for $20. You won't have seats or anything, but you can get your bobblehead and leave."

We were like "Bobblehead? Whatever."

Next we went around to a gate where people were already starting to leave the game (with their bobbleheads). It was maybe the third inning and people were pretty much just psyched to have their Eric Gagne bobblehead. Apparently, even though it was a tuesday and the Dogers were playing the Expos, Gagne Bobblehead night was the Sixth largest attendance in Doger Stadium history: 56,450 or so. So we got to this exit with people leaving and I was just like "Man this is going to suck, getting to the game and not being able to go in..." when Nora is just like "YOINK!" and darts into one of these closing doors and into the stadium.

Me, Jan, and Jack were just left there standing (outside the stadium). So I go next. I time it perfectly and get in right before the door closes. I look out at Jan and Jack and they are just standing there holding each other and shaking, terrified. I think I see Jan crying. It takes them about 5 minutes to muster up whatever little courage they possess and then they finally make it in, jabbering-bawling-and-caterwauling.

The game was good and we learned about a new drink "Southern Comfort and Pepsi". It was a bleacher seat special. Thank you Los Angeles. Even though you didn't give us a bobble head we will always remember you.


The Republic


I think I must have been quite drunk when I stumbled up to the top of a sand dune at midnight in White Sands to look at the stars and marvel at the expanse of desert, which, if you kept your back to the electric sprawl of Alamagordo in the East, was uninterrupted as far as the horizon. I had been pretending, during the daylight, that the four of us were the last people left alive after a nuclear holocaust, that we had finally emerged from a deep cave after years of hibernation, and were grimly aware of the desperate task that faced us, of picking up the pieces of a shattered world that was all sand and no water, and starting fresh, of creating civilization out of rocks and dry grass and four weary souls unused to the glare of the sun and the sting of the mosquitos and the scorpions. I thought of The Waste Land, and Stephen King's The Stand, and Mad Max: Escape from Thunderdome. But in the wind and the dark, the dunes seemed alien, otherworldly, and when I reached the peak, I was Luke Skywalker, looking up at the twin moons of Tatooine, mourning my aunt and uncle, but at the same time preparing to meet my destiny as hero of the rebel alliance. It occured to me that this was precisely why Plato kicked the poets out of the Republic.

The Biggest Challenge of Our Young Lives

Well. We're driving through Big Sur at the moment, but there are a number of blanks to fill in between White Sands and here. Beginning in Tucson Arizona where we met up with Hillary and saw, among other things, a U of A baseball game, and an Indie Rock band who played covers of 8 bit Nintendo theme tunes. The highlight was the inspirational interlude music from Mike Tyson's Punch Out. Jan and I got briefly mad at each other when he commented on my inability to urinate under pressure just as I was trying to do so, and I claimed that it was precisely these sorts of comments that had contributed to my occasional stage-fright in the first place. My sense of masculinity was not helped much by losing a ping pong game the next day to Hillary, who is crippled and a girl. But I have been able to console myself with a devastating Home Run Derby driumph against Jan, Pat, and Hillary's buddy Micah in Tucson, and more of same a few hours ago in a Little League field outside of Pismo. Jan and Patty split for LA a couple of days after arriving in Tucson, and I stayed to distract Hillary from doing her Med School reading, and occasionally eat her painkillers. The most noteworthy event of the week was an Olde English and Vicadin fueled Trivial Pursuit game where the boys defeated the girls three pies to one (with no little help from Micah's truly inspired dice rolling) and made them sing "You are the champions my friend".

Hillary and I drove to LA at the end of the week, and met up with Pat and Nora at Karaoke night at Shakey's Pizzeria just in time to see a drunk 70 year old lady doing a free-form, beat-poetry inspired rendition of Fastball's mid 90's sugar-pop hit "The Way". I was both impressed and saddened by this. Jan had been MIA for some days by this point, his tragedy of a cell-phone no longer even a placebo to soothe the pain of being hopelessly out of touch in a vast country that is ever more tuned in and turned on. It has been alternately minus batteries, minutes, and a charger since well before New Mexico.

The first night in LA was Pat's birthday, and we celebrated it by making hilarious prank calls to Greg Gomes in San Francisco until he turned his cell-phone off and we had to settle for leaving hilarious messages on his voice-mail.
The second night we were joined by Jay Marietta and Amanda Baber. Amanda very sportingly accepted the necessity of finishing all 18 of the Budweisers I had triumphantly returned with at 2:00 in the morning only to find that most everyone had packed up and gone home or to bed.

Patrick B. Resing. Looking Good.

5\3\04: Big Sur.

After exchanging fond farewells with Hillary, we spent a few days in San Diego with Math genius at large John Farina, his good buddy Jana, and Washington DC urban legend Anthony Schneider. Jan showed up to complete our trifecta, and there were some lazy days of swimming and surfing and frisbee golf, before, without so much as a hint of trouble ahead, Pat and I were subjected to what would turn out to be one of the most physically and mentally demanding trials of our young lives.

It started innocently enough. We returned from Del Mar beach at about five in the P.M., tired and salty, but looking forward to a night out in San Diego which was to include stand-up comedy and pretty girls. Pat idly flicked on the Playstation and loaded up a season of FIFA World Cup Soccer, putting us both on the same 2002 A.S. Roma team that included Gabriel Batistuta and Gianfranco Totti. After three or four games, the room began, at first imperceptibly, to change. The voices belonging to our old and beloved friends became oddly distant, their familiar and comforting tones taking on a tinny, almost disembodied quality, like background radio noise. At the same time, the room itself began to shrink, and the screen in front of us seemed to grow, filling even our peripheral vision and catching at our minds, while the voices of our friends became more and more faint, until they had given way entirely to the exuberant commentary of Ally McCoist, and the deafening roar of a full capacity stadium crowd egging us on to ever greater feats of football prowess. At around 10:00, I have a vague memory of Anthony, Jan, Jana, and John trying to get us to do something, their spectral voices barely reaching us from another place and time, but the notion was absurd, surreal, and by 10:15 the voices stopped entirely, and I heard a faint sound like the slamming of a door. Pat and I were still undefeated, despite some close calls against AC Milan and Juventus, and we seemed to be communicating telepathically, sending impossible through-passes and logic-defying crosses to each other as we hewed our way through the Italian First Division.

At 3:00 A.M., we had finished the regular season and were in the group stages of the final cup tournament. The others must have come back at some point, as my handling of the controller was restricted somewhat by a sleeping Anthony on my right. Our old rivals AC Milan and Juventus had fallen to our sharp-shooting strikers, but Bologna, the only other undefeated team, whom we had narrowly escaped with a 1-1 tie early in the seaon, loomed menacingly in the Cup Final. My back ached from ten hours of sitting in the same position, and my left thumb was bright red and throbbing excruciatingly, but we had to press on. We had come too far.
As the first rays of the morning sun reached out to illuminate our furrowed brows and aching hands, we stepped on to the field, full of fear and anticipation, to battle Bologna for the Cup. Bologna neutralized our strike force in the first half, but our defence held strong, and we entered the fray after half-time in a scoreless tie. With 13 long hours of experience, we were grittily determined to see this through, and within two minutes, Totti had bounced one off the right cross-bar, and Batistuta's strike from mid-field was barely batted away by the outstretched fingers of the Bologna goalkeeper. But we couldn't break them. Time after time, our sallies were rebuffed, and the minutes of the second half ticked by and seeped into the Golden Goal period, as our energy sapped, and our passes grew wild and undisciplined. The room filled with the odour of fear, desperation, and countless days on the road with no showers or laundry, and we approached the first Penalty-Shot Overtime of the Season with sick hearts and numb fingers.

I honestly can't remember where Pat's last penalty shot went, but as it sank into the back of the net, our shrieks of triumph resounded through the room, drawing muffled complaints from the sleeping Anthony, while we wept tears of joy and exhaustion, and the morning sun shone proudly on the glorious culmination of the best spent 13 hours of my life. Then we went to bed.

Crime Wave


The rolling crime wave that is the ANTPARTY EXPRESS creeped into Breckinridge yesterday and the Police were on alert. Obviously their brethren in Reno, Neveda and Salina City, Utah had alerted them to our devious plans. What the podunk officers in Breck [sic] couldn't possibly have been informed of was that we were preparing to change vehicles. That insight on their part was pure detective genius.

So it was: we left the Goat Soup and Whiskey at approximately 10:30pm on Sunday night. Amy was driving her 2004 Toyota Tacoma from the Goat (where she works) to Breck (where she lives) with Me, Jan, and Jack in tow. Jan was riding in the truck bed (for no good reason) and Jack in the back seat. As we entered Breck city limits, we were pulled over for going 58 in a 50.

The officer also informed Amy that she was weaving and asked her why she was weaving. She responded with the immortal words of "Sorry Officer, I am a weaver." Which, apparently, was the right answer because the cop wrote us up a warning and sent us on our way.

Jack Shepherd

Patrick B. Resing
This episode, though not in itself very exciting, capped off a 36 hour strech in which we were pulled over three times in three different states and marks our fifth time being pulled over for the trip. If you include Jack's run-in with John Q. Law in Baton Rouge for sleeping in the library, that is six cop-related interactions. What do we have to show for all this hoopla? 4 warnings and one very superficial "search" of our car for drugs. We were very helpful during that event, pointing out various good places for him to search, though we did get slightly persnickedy when the officer picked up green burrs from the carpet of the car and shout "Eureaka". He was like "I've made over 1300 narcotics arrests, I just have a sixth sense about these things." And Jan was just like "Dude, that's a burr."

Anyway, he sent us on our way with a verbal warning to, uh, well, I don't know exactly what. He pulled us over because Jack made a wide lefthand turn onto the freeway entrance ramp.

Our Reno warning was karmic gold though. The speed limit dropped from 70 to 50 for a construction zone and Jan was immediately pulled over for going twenty miles per hour over the limit in a construction zone. Which would have been some combination of reckless driving ($100) and $15 per mph over the limit. Then the total would have been doubled because it is a contstruction zone. Me and Jack calculated a $400 to $600 ticket. Jan did not want to calculate. When the officer came back with the writen warning, it was pretty sweet. So, even though we might give the cops a hard time in our blogs, our overall rating for them has been A+. Even that narcotics dick in Utah.


Jack's Version of the Bobblehead Story


We're driving through Sacramento as I write, on the way to Reno Nevada, where Pat is going to take his last $100 to a casino and turn it into a small fortune. The Saab Story's radio has finally followed its old friend the Air Conditioning to the great Saab dealership in the sky (may they forever rest in peace) and the Coolant Hose we have come to know and yes, even love, has the sad, existential look of a hose that is not long for this engine.

After San Diego, we headed back to LA, spent some quality time with our friend Andreas, and checked out the Getty Museum with my brother, before meeting up with Nora again. In our Naivete, the four of us thought we could just waltz up to a Dodgers game in the second inning and buy tickets on the night that they were giving away Eric Gagne Bobble-head dolls to every fan, a prize so coveted amongst LA baseball enthusiasts, that the game had the 6th largest attendance in Dodgers history. The scalpers we tried to buy from were arrested just as we were about to close the deal, and we had little hope of getting in as we trudged closer to the stadium.
After some more attempts, we found a sketchy looking doorman and asked him if there was any way to get in with no tickets.
"yeah man, but you gotta do it now before my boss comes back. 20 bucks each and I'll let you through to get the bobble-heads and you can come right back out again."
This was my first and hopefully last experience of the seedy LA underworld of illegal Gagne bobble-head smuggling, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. We walked away shaken and distraught at the depths to which people will sink to store up earthly treasures for themselves, with no thought that even the most beautifully wrought ceramic Eric Gagne doll will not be worth even a cent in the world to come. After some more walking, it became apparent that Jan had disappeared. As we searched around for him amongst the security guards and ticket collectors by the stadium, our eyes fell on a door, temporarily unguarded, creaking slowly back and forth on its hinges. After some moments of panic, I plunged through, trying to look alternately confident and confused, and Pat and Nora followed a few minutes later, with Nora muttering "No! No!, Turn back, Abort mission!," under her breath. We found seats with difficulty, poured contraband Jim Beam and Tequila into our $3 cokes, and settled down to watch the Dodgers trounce the Expos 13-3 in a packed stadium. This was extremely fun.

After LA we headed for Jan's childhood home of Topanga to hang out with his old friend Amanda and her parents Maggie and Rick. We went for a long walk in the hills which culminated in Jan having to go on ahead and bring the car back while Pat and I lay sprawled on the road, very sick of walking. The next morning we filmed a conceptual piece with our Super 8 camera about Jan getting pregnant and ultimately dying in childbirth.
Three Men and a Maybe

Topanga gave way to Pismo Beach, where we discovered the "Target game," which has become our stalwart friend the past 3 or 4 hundred miles, especially now that we have no radio. Our Road Atlas is sponsored by Target Convenience Stores, and it has a chart on the back with every Target location in America. I can say now, without looking, that Wyoming has only 2 Target locations, one in Cheyenne and one in Casper; that Texas' biggest Target accumulations are the 15 in Houston, 5 in Dallas, and 7 in San Antonio; and that California boasts a massive array of Target stores, including 2 in Fresno, 2 in Chino, 1 in Bakersfield, and 4 each in Sacramento and San Diego.
After a day in Santa Cruz (and another HR Derby triumph for me), we hung out with Derek in Oakland, and spent a day in Berkeley, where I had a less than satisfactory interview with a Comp. Lit. professor who felt that I didn't have a narrow enough focus. We took in an A's game and watched them choke in the 7th Inning against the Yankees after A-Rod hit a dazzling homer to tie up the score. Jan left the key on in the Saab overnight, and according to the clock on the dashboard, our poor battery struggled on until 9:30 A.M. before it gave up. AAA fixed us up pretty quick, but the whole ordeal was too much for the radio. The next day was San Francisco with Greg Gomes, who became one in a long line of people to fall to my ferocious batting skills at Home Run Derby. We are currently in grinding traffic on the 80, comically running out of the car to push it every 5 minutes or so when traffic starts again, to forestall overheating the engine. Next stop Reno, the biggest little town in America (1 Target location).



Jan's Manly Baseball; Jack's Gay Sweater

ok friends -- I want to set two records straight. 5 HR deby games played. 5 won by me with crushing margins. 1 one by Gregory gomes.

I am tremendous at this.

Next, we have the car radio and sophisticated tape player. IT GOT FIXED..... by Jack

He read all the paperwork in my car.

he found a peiece of paper I didn't and typed in the right code. See I thought it was 1252
coz that's what my piece of paper said, but no it was 5142.

bam, working stereo. Now all i have to do to secure bliss is throw away the rap mix tape (pat's) and one of three REM tapes (jack's)

jack bought a very girly rainbow hooded dacron zippy sweatshirt. he thought he scored, but I wonder if I could 'score' with such a raging homo within 40 feet of me. you should see how GAYlord it is. i am beginning to wonder, especially with Jacks opting to be the naked guy in a hot tub filled wuth guys who did decide to wear shorts. Don't worry readers, it is probably just the road trip that's turning his head in the directions of the unfair sex -- pat and I are such studs after all.

I want to eat something. I am soo hungry. I think there are some nutritious kahndy bars in the car, but I want to buy some pasta.

A bit of bcktracking, the drive through Nevada was vonderbrot. You gotta take rte 50 across. I'm thinking about somehting, but I won't tell y'all what till the next blo post.

Jan in England

Hi from England

So the Ant party got split by a union. a sad, sad departure happened in Boulder, CO. My stepsister was married last night in Oxford:
1.I got the shaft seatingwise. All through the first course I was planning revenge seating for my stepsister at my wedding. the trick is not to sit her with boring people as she did me, no. The trick is to seat her next tothe biggest asshole(s) that my bride would be froced to invite -- or perhaps just invite a huge asshole to the wedding for the very purpose of inflicting revenge.
2. (second negative thing) this wicked wicked woman would not give me a cigarettte.
it wasn't for me even, it was for my poor stepfather - of the bride - who wanted one smoke; his first in 10 years or something. she didn't give in when i told her who it wasfor. her lamo boyfriend mentioned that it had to do with sayinhg please or something. I was drunk, and I was deserving.
3. Oxofrd, the wedding, my stepsister, the people (on the whole) were great.
I beat a tough hangover out this morning, and I was nice and crazy at breakfast.




We're finally leaving Colorado, on our way to Omaha (via Wyoming so Pat can claim 48 lifetime states). There is no Jan in the backseat, but the miraculously revived radio makes company between us. I am withdrawing from tobacco, but the sweats haven't started yet.
Reno saw the end of our radiator hose. The leak we had been stopping up with electrical tape turned out to be a decoy for a massive rip along the opposite side. Fortunately the part is fairly common, and we were able to find a replacement and fix it at a minimum of cost and effort. With the danger of overheating removed, the plan was to fly through Nevada, Utah, and half of Colorado in just two days, making only the most necessary stops on our way home, as Jan had remembered that he needed to be in DC by the 13th in order to catch a flight to London for his stepsister's wedding. Pat and I kept quiet about the fact that this would be utterly impossible in light of our plans for Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Illinois, and Philadelphia. These things tend to work themselves out.
Meet Ceiling 69: The boy band that Pat, Jack, and Brett spontaneously formed in Boulder.

Jan initiated our mad dash across the Wild West by accelerating to 70 mph in a 50 mph restricted work zone, prompting an immediate reaction from a Nevada state trooper, who stopped by to ask him if he knew how fast he was going. Jan had never had a speeding ticket before, and, to be honest, the signs were confusing, so he was fairly unperturbed when the cop went back to his car to write up the ticket. Pat and I, who have both been struck down by the leprous arm of highway law on a number of occasions, kept our calculations to ourselves. 20 miles over the limit = reckless driving = $150 + $10 for every mile over the limit = $350, X 2 for speeding in a work zone = $700. We were pleased and relieved when the officer came back with our third warning of the trip. Combined with our sundry parking tickets, historians should be able to reconstruct our trip with just DMV records in years to come.

After about 50 or 60 miles, Pat poked his head out from the back seat to ask us if today was "Pat Gets Ridiculously Drunk in the back seat of the car Day". It turned out thatt it was, so we stopped at a 7-11 and bought him a 6 pack. "PGRD in the back seat of the car Day" got off the ground with some inspired readings from Richard Hofstadter's "Great Issues in American History, Vol. III". Pat was able to accurately recreate, in the back of the Saab, the atmosphere on that fateful July afternoon in 1896, when William Jennings Bryan spoke out against the Gold Standard at the Democratic National Party Convention:

"Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: YOU SHALL NOT PRESS DOWN UPON THE BROW OF LABOR THIS CROWN OF THORNS, YOU SHALL NOT CRUCIFY MANKIND UPON A CROSS OF GOLD."

Pat's last words were drowned out by enthusiastic yells of commendation: "Down with Bimetallism!," "Down with the gold standard!," before the Saab was restored to some semblance of order. A few Budweisers later we were treated to a slightly slurred version of Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream". Then I read to them out of "Dubliners", each story the same juxtaposition of false and real epiphany, of desire followed by disillusionment, until "The Dead", where this hitherto clunky formula is employed with such precision and insight, that the story's wrenching climax illuminates the entire book with the brilliance and force of a lightning storm. Unfortunately, we read "The Dead" first, so the other stories were tough to get through, and ultimately degenerated into Pat and I taking the parts of Jimmy Carter and Reagan and re-enacting the 1980 Presidential debates in silly voices.
Every time we stopped, Pat would get himself a tall-boy or two, and then find somewhere to gamble. He was $10 up by the time Jan and I were able to drag him away from the casino the second time. As it grew darker, Pat began to complain bitterly every time we passed a liquor store without stopping, and at some point verbal communication ceased, and the only contact we had from him for a while was through increasingly offensive notes he would pass up to the front seats. By Utah, he was incoherent, and by Midnight he was asleep. By all accounts, "PGRD in the back seat of the car Day" was a tremendous success.

The next morning we woke up early in what turned out to be someone's field just off the highway (route 50-- the loneliest road in America). We ate breakfast in some no account diner that Pat said was exactly the sort of place that would get rave reviews in, like, "Eat Your Way Across America" or something. This proved to have been the case.