I heard you used to kind of be a hippie

I just met someone who was smiling all big like he had a secret to tell me.

"Do we know each other?" I asked.

"No," he said, "But I heard you used to kind of be a hippie."

"Oh, really? Who told you that?"

"No one," he said, "I just overheard some people talking about it."

Y'all need to get some hobbies. Besides smoking weed.


Ray, downtrodden

This is Ray, killer security guard.

Killer great, not killer like he kills people. Ray does not kill people, except with his sassy wit.

You will notice that Ray is carrying a million bags and looking all bent and tired.

And this is me, WALKING RIGHT ON PAST HIM and blatantly ignoring him. I am blurry in the photo because I'm apparently hurrying past my beloved colleague as quickly as possible so that there's absolutely no chance of stopping and asking him if he needs some help.

Leila just sent me this photo.

I don't know why people are friends with me.


three names in one day

Yesterday I was called, by three different people,




Thank you, mentally ill woman sitting outside the Masonic Temple building in Los Feliz, for number three. I walked past you twice and both times you yelled out that I'm a seahorse. THAT was a new one. I already had numbers one and two covered.


I heart my abs

I'm not going to lie.

Seeing a license plate on the 101 that said "I HEART MY ABS" on the way home from the airport didn't exactly help my image of Los Angeles.

"Oh, Jesus. No," I say.

"What?" Asked Matt.

"I heart my abs," I say, "Right there."

Matt starts suddenly and violently snorting until I say, "I heart stabbing you," and he responds, "I heart hating you."

And we both cackle and continue to not-amuse our driver, who was being kind of a dick anyway.


Contemplative gnome of Philadelphia

The only thing that would come even close to being as cute as a gnome sitting in solitude in the middle of a city garden would be if it were playing with a newborn kitten or a japanese stuffed animal. And that's just not realistic.


15-lb hamburger

Someone is about to throw up in his shoes.

Whereas 15-lb hamburgers from West Virginia just make me look stoned.

Photo credit: Dee Dee McGee


using the toilet in Mempis, high expectations

This sign makes going to bathroom in Memphis look like SO MUCH FUN.

You can imagine how disappointed I was when I opened the door and there were no karaoke machines or dance floors.

There were no singers in bouffants and club-footed stilettos and no one doing the twist. And the whole time I was on the toilet I just sort of wanted someone to bring me a gin and tonic even though that would have been, you know, weird.

Guinness from a sippy cup

Matt and I think that it would be a good idea to have a dictionary on the bus. Our bus has wireless internet and we can Google anything in question but how good does it feel to hold the binding and page through an actual book? To feel weight that is tangible, not virtual? I will tell you: it feels nostalgic.

We sent a runner out and she came back with the Webster's New World Basic Dictionary of American English. I was clear on the fact that I would like to look up Amurrrican words, please. No matter how critical of the U.S. I may get, I am not trying to be British. I don't say mate or bloke or rubbish. I say cool. I say motherfucker. I do not say wanker. Smack me if I say wanker.

On our bus are five American Idols, a chaperone, a driver, a security director, me, Matt and Geoff, who happens to be a very English tour manager (Marmite, gin, impeccable diction, etc). And who, today in the office, was playing music from my last year of high school: Stone Roses, Wonderstuff, and Happy Mondays.

"Thank you," I said to him. "I feel like I'm underage again and drinking bottomless cups of coffee at Perkins all night with the rest of the pissed-off teenagers in Ohio."

Geoff shook his head mournfully at the thought of a world where the drinking age is over 18. "How did you DO it?" he asked.

Well? I didn't know better.

That is until English friends and our exchange student Joanna explained - "whilst" also lecturing me on the superiority of their Queen's English as opposed to my bastardy mumbling - that they'd been going for pints at their local pub since they were about four and a half years old. They hadn't actually gotten the hang of cursive until they'd drank a few pints of Guinness out of a sippy cup.


Three American Gothics

The original lives at the Art Institute of Chicago. Eldon, Iowa. 1930.

High Street, Columbus, Ohio. August, 2007

South Street, Philadelphia. September, 2007


Another day in paradise

I can't remember if I work in the OH NO YOU DIDN'T OFFICE or the NOT AN EFFIN CHANCE OFFICE.


Pennsylvania county fair

Goodbye New York. Goodbye 18th floor hotel room, Times Square lights, sidewalk garbage heaps and guys shaking fliers in my face. Goodbye girls in leggings and tunics and wide 80s belts, with your bored subway faces and your mani-pedis. Goodbye dreadlocked man selling art on Union Square. Goodbye Hasidic Jews.

Hello two days of fairs. Hello county fair in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which, after having walked around a bit seems a lot like a state fair with possibly more "freaks", as the fairs love to advertise. The fairs boast steers and goats and sheep with extra legs and horns and a midget bull with its midget face, none of which I enjoyed staring at because it felt mean. The giant horse - TALLER THAN BIGFOOT! - was in a space way too small for a giant horse and he blinked sad eyes. I'd rather not talk about the world's largest rat because I will have nightmares.

I'll just say that I doubt that 100-lb. rat is very happy to be caged, even if that cage is large. I know that rat was pissed because he was hunched over with his ass to the crowd and wouldn't look at anyone. That rat would definitely have given us all the finger if he could. Like I would if I were on display in a freak show.

Some of the freaks were fake. I'm talking about you, SNAKE GIRL. You are totally not a beautiful head of a girl named Angel with the body of a snake. You are an average-looking dishwater blond wearing Blues Brothers sunglasses, sitting in a box with your head poking up between a ceramic snake. How the fuck do you keep a straight face?