October 5, 2001
Dana lives with her husband and their son in
Puyallup, Washington, which is about an hour
outside of Seattle. It seems that for nearly
a week I have had Feng Shui on my brain so nearly
every conversation I have has a mention of the
practice. Dana and joked about the Chain of
Chi connected to the James Bond record that
she bought and gave to her father. Bekah gave
me the Record a few years ago, I sent it to
Dana, she gave it to her father who intern gave
it to Dana's sister. I'd be surprised if the
record still played with all of that Chi on
Joking aside, we talked about two quilts that
she received from her family when her son was
born. One was made by a relative who is quite
proper and conservative, the quilt is well constructed
but kind of startchy and corse, the other was
made by Dana's mother who says that she puts
her love into every single stitch. Dana thinks
that the "love" that her mom put into her son's
favorite soft quilt is comparable to "Chi" and
I whole heartledly agree
October 4, 2001
Jane tried to buy the book of guest
checks that I sold at the end of my sale,
she soon learned how cut-throat the Ebay world
is. She was continually out bid on the $3 item
and had contacted the guy who was bidding against
her and told him to back off, b/c she was trying
to get me to visit her in Seattle. Well he indeed
backed off but at the last minute another bidder
swooped up the item that Jane assumed she'd win.
Well she learned a valuable Ebay lesson.. Always
watch the end of your auctions.
I told her that she didn't need to buy something
from me in order to invite me to visit. I'll visit
anyone. She works at Helly Hansen, who was one
of the sponsors of Kris's film "The
Flying Circus" So when I came to visit her
at work she scheduled an office premier of the
film.. And even though all I do is the Graphic
Design for Wind-Up Films I was there to answer
questions about the project. It was cool to see
a bunch of the folks at Helly
Hansen wearing sweatshirts that I designed.
Wednesday, October 3, 2001
Tonight I hung out with Jena and her friends. The
small world vibe was in full effect, one of her
friends was from Fayetteville, New York, just outside
of my hometown, and the other attended the Writer's
Workshop at the University of Iowa. So the conversation
flowed from upstate NY, to the Foxhead
bar in Iowa City, and it was a few minutes before
I even had a chance to talk to Jena, who was the
one who invited me to visit Seatle.
Jena was the high bidder on a tin from the top
of my dresser. I'm wasn't even sure what was in
the tin, but when we got back to here house she
showed me where the tin was and we opened it up.
There were assorted coins, some slides from the
Mae Weems presentation that I made a year or
so ago, and keys to my old apartment in Iowa City,
a skeleton key to my folks camp in the 1000 islands
and a valet key to my little white Honda now parked
in front of Jena's house.
Sending someone a key to you car 2000 miles away
from your house might seem harmless, unless you
plan on visiting her in Seattle. Jena took the key
out to my car, opened the locked door and started
the little hoopty up. For the rest of my stay in
Seatle I half expected to find my car missing with
a note where it was that Jena took it for a spin.
No need to worry, Jena is a artist who works in
a Seattle Gallery,
her work was recently featured in an Art Forum article.
(The big leagues)
Tuesday, October 2, 2001
I woke up this morning at Cheryl's
house and had a few cups of coffee before I got
on the road. She comes from a family of Farmers in
rural Idaho and sent me on my way with a variety of
apples from Shurtleff Orchards. She also showed me
a mail art project that she organized four of five
years ago where she sent of vials to some famous and
not so famous artist and asked them to fill the vial
with something from their studio space. She received
a hundred or so back from people and displayed them
at part of an exhibition at Boise State. She gave
me one to, but I haven't filled it yet.
I got on the road rather early and prepared myself
for another 9 hour drive, I took I-84 which took me
west towards Portland and then connected to I-82 north
which meets up with I-90. I-90 runs all the way to
Boston my last stop on the East Coast on September
11, 2001. I stopped in Oregon somewhere to get some
gas and get my oil changed (9,000 miles on this trip
thus far). The kind people at the Quick Lube place
cleaned my windows and vacuumed my recently Feng Shui'd
car. While I was waiting I received a call from my
friend Noah who said that I could stay at his house
in Seattle for as long as I liked.
When I got back on the road I notice that the Tibetan
Coin that was in the three-legged toads mouth was
missing, it must have been vacuumed up, What should
I do? What does that do to my Chi? I almost turned
around but then imagined trying to explain to the
Quick Lube folks why I needed them to root through
the muck filled vacuum canister. I imagined the puzzled
looks when I told them about my three legged-toad
and my Feng Shui and the coins effect on my Chi.
I arrived in Seattle by 4 pm and I cooked dinner
for Noah and
Shannon who were recently married. So recently in
fact that I was the first unexpected out of town guest
since their marriage, and Noah's
invitation was "for as long as I liked". I wonder
how many more open ended invitations he will be allowed
At dinner I explained the harrowing experience of
having my Chi all fucked up by the nice people at
the Quick Lube. Shannon used to be a white water river
guide in the upper plateau of Utah. She asked what
the Tibetan coin looked like and told me a story about
a similar coin that a friend of her gave her a few
years ago. She kept it in the pocket of her river
shorts and never took it out for years, even when
she washed them. That coin had traveled every navigable
inch of the rivers in Utah and had been washed in
nearly every coin laundry in the eastern Utah plateau.
She went up stairs and returned with a pair of nylon
shorts with Velcro pockets, opened the left rear flap
and produced a smoothly polished shinny bronze Tibetan
coin with a square hole in it. That coin now sits
in the mouth of my three-legged toad which is now
Velcro'ed to my dash board as to avoid any additional
Quick Lube vacuum incidents.
October 1, 2001
Talk Boise State
Shurtleff contacted me at some point in my project
and was trying to find out how she could purchase
stamp from AMLFS. At that point Maya had already had
the stamp for two
months so there was no hope for Cheryl
to get it, but she didn't mind and we continued to
e-mail back a forth for a little while.
teaches Drawing and Art History at Boise
State University and when she saw that I was coming
to Boise to visit theWhites, she invited me to do
an informal artist talk for a "few of her students"
Well this is second talk that I have given on this
trip, but the last one was on September 11, so I hoped
that this one would go a little better.
I spent the morning in the BSU
student center and found an Ethernet port to plug
into where I was finally able to post some of the
video clips that I have been taking along the way.
and I had lunch and we walked over to meet with her
students. May plan was to just go through the AMLFS
web site and then talk a little about my current travelogue
We walked into a huge natural light painting studio
and found about 60 students and faculty waiting for
me to arrive.. What? No video projector? A few Students?
Well next thing you know I've talked for nearly an
hour, and ended up taking question for another 30
minutes. The talk ended with a live auction of the
shirt off my back where the bids were a mish mash
of money, and barter items, including family artwork,
an artificial recitation mask, a six pack of Newcastle
brown ale and a bar of soap. The final bid was a collective
$21 which bought the shirt on the condition that Cheryl
be required to wear the bright orange shirt for the
following week (She has only worn black for the last
20 years or so)
She looks great in my Great Jones shirt. I was glad
to let it go b/c I bought the shirt new at the Great
Jones Caf in NYC when I was there. At the end
of my AMLFS sale I made a commitment to buy only second
hand clothes and within a month I had already started
buying new stuff.. Well now Cheryl
has it and I have bought nothing new yet.
October 1, 2001
Lake City to Boise Idaho
So today was kind of busy day for sure. Last night
I drove in from Salt Lake City, which I originally
thought, was a five to six hour drive. Well even
when things are supposed to take six hours, I've
found that everything out west takes 9 hours to
get too. At one point last night I reached into
my camera bag to take a photograph and realized
that when I repacked my car according to Feng Shui
Principles I left my digital camera on the front
porch of the house I was staying in.
Kris picked the camera up on his motorcycle and
we raced towards each other on I-15 saving me an
extra hour or so of backtrack driving. I arrived
and Wendy's place in the suburbs of Boise at round
10 O'clock. Moments after, a pepperoni pizza and
a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi arrived and dinner was
I felt pretty bad about arriving so late but they
were really understanding. Wendy bought a polyester
shirt from me for her husband Shawn,
who recently graduated from a pharmacy program and
started working for a major supermarket in Boise.
Although he hadn't really worn polyester since it
went out of style in the late 70's, he looks pretty
good in my shirt and says the when Wendy fixes the
hole in the shoulder he will start wearing it around.
Maybe under his required White Lab Coat that he
wears to work every day.
I arrived too late to meet their son Josh who was
already in bed when I arrived. There is always a
strange moment in my visits where the people ask
me where I am planning on staying tonight? "WellÉÉ.
I was going to stay in my tent out by the road or
in your back yard if you don't mind?" I don't think
knew that Wendy had invited me to visit until earlier
that day so it there were a few moments of silence
where I was trying to gauge where I should plan
At one point in the conversation I decided that
I would stay at a hotel for the night so that I
could get some work done and that I didn't further
impose myself on their family. But as soon as I
said that I was leaving, Shawn
said that they were planning on having me stay at
their house that night. So it all worked out, and
I have still not stayed in a hotel in on this entire
two-month trip. (Except for the night in Omaha but
that was staying at Sasha's Hotel)
Sunday, September 30, 2001
I have known Jen Mijangos for almost ten years. She
has lived in Salt Lake City since we graduated from
college together. She recently became a Feng
Shui practitioner and when I had dinner with he
on Thursday she offered to provide me with a Feng
Shui consultation on my car.
Now I know little to nothing about Feng
Shui but what I do know it that it is highly unusual
to apply the practice to a Honda Civic. But in my
specific case I guess it is applicable case I have
no other possessions which to organize.
My basic understanding is that Feng
Shui is rooted in Tibetan Buddhism and a study
of our relationship with our surroundings. One of
the first things that Jen tells her clients is that
they have to spend some time evaluating their relationship
to the objects around them. I guess I may have already
done that with my online project Allmylifeforsale.
In preparation for the consultation I took everything
that was in my car and placed it out onto the driveway.
Then Jen and I talked about various things that I
had in my possession and ways in which I could re-pack
the car according to the principles of Feng Shui.
Jen told me that I should try to keep the center
of the car as clutter free as possible. That is where
I keep my road trip cooler that my cousin bought.
She said that it was fine to keep the cooler there
as long as I kept it as clutter free as possible.
"No Trash in Cooler!" She went through the eight sections
of the Pa Kua nine including the Center and talked
about how each related to me and my health and wellbeing.
Then she helped me re-pack according to Feng Shui
Principles, amazingly we put many of the things back
into the place that I originally had them. Except
for my 2 gallon water tank which was originally positioned
in such a way that it would weaken the Metal section
of the Pa Kua, so now it is off to the side of where
And the end of the consultation Jen gave me a wooden
sculpture of a three-legged toad, which she said,
would act at a harbinger, she put a Tibetan coin in
its mouth and set it to the Yang side for the remainder
of my trip. When I get back home she told me that
I should flip the coin to the Yin side to try and
maintain the energy that I gathered during this adventure.
Here is a real audio recording of the consultation
if you would like to listen in.
Here to listen
September 29, 2001
Search of the Spiral Jetty,
Near West Desert, Utah
When I told Krisi that I was going to meet Molly in
Logan, Utah (1 1/2 Hour North of Salt Lake) she said
that it was kind of near Robert Simthson's "Spiral Jetty"
and that the water level is unusually low right now
so there might be a chance of us actually seeing it.
So I called Molly, who bought my Better Homes and Gardens
book and my cherished Patsy Cline record, and asked
her if she wanted to go on a little adventure. She had
never heard of "The
Spiral Jetty" before but by the time that she returned
my phone call she had detailed directions to the site
and could list four or five other important land art
pieces from the 70's. (a great example for the research
potential of the internet, as opposed to spending your
time reading some guys travelogue)
We met Molly at a Gas Station in Brigham City, Utah.
The station was packed with cars and I walked around
for about 10 minutes before I called her cell # to discover
her parked directly in front of me. She had her dog
Billy Pilgrim and a piece of paper with directions to
the Spiral Jetty that were right down to the tenth of
If you have never heard of Simthson's "Spiral
Jetty" it was a celebrated environment art piece
that stretched out into the Great Salt Lake in the form
of a giant spiral. It was built at the edge of the Lake
in the middle of what's called the west desert. To get
there you have to drive by this huge military contractor's
city, that when I just looked on the map to name for
you its not even listed.. There is a small town of buildings
and hangers and apparently they make rocket technology
but that's all I know.
took us by the Golden Spike Memorial, where the intercontinental
railroad finally met up. Each of the railroads were
compensated by the federal government for the # of miles
of track that each laid, and as a result both companies
built 200 mile of parallel tracks 50 mile apart from
each other, Ooops.. The directions took us on country
maintained dirt roads and then read as follows;
"Continue 2.3 miles south-southwest to a combination
fence, cattle guard #4, iron-pipe gate - and a sign
declaring the property behind the fence to be that of
the "Rafter S. Ranch". Here too, is a "No Trespassing"
sign. If you choose to continue south for another 2.3
miles, and around the East Side of Rozel Point."
We choose to go further and even though the water level
was supposed to be the lowest in years we could not
find and sign of Simthson's Spiral Jetty. We kept thinking
that we'd find it around the next corner to no avail.
Molly's dog Billy Pilgrim was so excited to go swimming
unitl he found out that this was the Great Salt Lake
and the water that he was sipping was so thick in salt
that he could nearly walk on it.
I explained to Molly that on my previous road
trips Trey and I had made a point to swim in every
significant body of water and she dared me to swim in
the bright pink sour smelling soup that her dog just
vomited from drinking out of. 30 second later we were
both wading out into the salty sea which never seemed
to get deeper than my knees.
Molly was the first to "dive in" which is kind of a
joke b/c the water is so thick with salt that even in
a foot and a half of water you float with out touching
the bottom. It was one of the strangest feelings I have
ever had. And it only gets better b/c when you get out
of the water you start to feel the Salt crystallize
on you body in a thick and creamy paste at first and
then it starts to harden like crusty bread.
Guess what? When you "choose" to trespass on Rafter
S. Ranch there isn't a little fresh water shower to
clean the salt of with, no I got to drive back to Salt
Lake (approx 2 hrs) with the feeling of pins and needles
wherever my clothing pushed against the salt crystals..