Saturday, June 29, 2002

I stood in the all but abandoned Sanford, Fl railway station.. now more of a deserted stop on a schedule than a functioning station due to budget cuts.

With the peculiar quiet that comes with empty stations far from main roads I wandered around as I waited for a ride, essentially broke, definitely homeless - wondering what in the hell was I doing in Florida instead of California.

As I looked at the glow of the setting dusk sillouhetting a parked CSX freight engine, wishing I had a camera to capture that image, I already knew that I was supposed to be here. Hell, I even wrote it down months before.

But why?

As I get ready to move on, its still not all clear - but I feel somehow better equipped to move on west.

But the story doesnt seem to be over yet.

Now, I get the strong feeling that I am on my way somewhere for the purpose of setting up a home base.

Deep down, I already know why. Ive been expecting this for the last coupla years.


It's still not easy to pack up and go on the move.

I like being Itinerant.

But I dislike being rootless.

Listening to
  • Damn, It Feels Good to be a Gangster - Office Space Soundtrack
  • Friday, June 28, 2002

    Random chit in a New York Minute

    - Found a kitten in the bumper of a Suburban.
    Apparently it crawled up there looking for food and a potential owner. Puvre thing had lost all its baby fat. She inhaled some diluted half and half and a Foreman Grill'd steak patty. The steak was bigger than she was! The Nurses were hoping Id get attached to it so they wouldnt have to take it home.
    No dice.
    She did sleep in my hand after it inhaled my lunch.
    Somehow ended up bedding itself on my shoulder and crook of my neck as I tapped tapped at the computer.
    Fugly little thing.
    The Nurses thought it was cute and wanted me to look after it over the weekend.

    - Washed the car in preparation to giving it back.
    Packing up everything in preparation.
    Thats a lie. I 'avent packed chit yet. I need to take my chit to the laundry. I need to throw out some clothes.
    Particularly those space hogging jackets I have.
    Until MyMuseFred cautions me against it with this quote...

    "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." - Mark Twain


    I HATE packing. *grumble*

    I should throw out some clothes tho.

    - More RTFM on how to use Stella.

    Lot to familiarize myself with before Im on the road. The shots are one chance, one time only, no do-overs as who knows when I'll pass by those ways again.

    One girl that comes with a manual, thank god.

    - Been invited for some home cooked Cuban tomorrow. Menu is Chicken, rice and plantanos. :-)

    They escaped Cuba in 95.

    Gonna put spanish proggies on the ladies puter. They had me give the son a good talking to. Thats my payment.

    They found out I Will Work for Food.

    Heh. I told the boy about some more cool games he could be playing.

    .. (this car) will make bad drivers feel good, good drivers feel like professionals, and make professionals think theyre God.
    - Car and Driver review of the Porsche 928GT, mid 1980's

    The reason why Im partial to german cars, is that no matter how how manhandle them - they will do what you ask, without complaint. And when you treat them right, they will do things very very well. And when you know what youre doing - they will inspire awe.
    Then at that point, you get a glimpse of what they can *really* do.

    And thats when the shit-eatin grin of Joy will slowly start to spread over your face.

    Judy, last night, was telling me how she had just come in out of the stinging, cold rain of Vancouver. Made me wanna go out in the downpour I heard outside and go dancing around in my skivvies in the darkness and pelting rain.

    When I looked outside, I saw the passing clouds and the moon was out, as it was raining.

    Whoa. What a sight.

    I went back in, grabbed the camera, set it to manual and jacked the ISO setting as high as I could. Maybe, just maybe - I thought - I could catch the moon in the rain.

    Stella gave me a lot more than that.

    (Keep in mind, this is almost utter darkness, with the only illumination at 1:30am being the moonlight and the city street lights reflecting off the clouds).

    Yep. This is what I see at night.

    Wow. I never thought Id be able to capture the night sea clouds over South Florida.

    Stella is a thoroughbred.

    I gotta step up my game.
    Man. I am so looking forward to this trip. :-)

    Wednesday, June 26, 2002

    Home is Where...

    Talking to Pam about traveling, seeing places...
    > i'd love to conquer the world :)

    Thats a worthwhile goal. As long as you have somewhere to go home to.

    Oh. Snap. I couldnt have said it better me damned self.

    Hm. :-/

    How Stella Got Her Groove On..

    Taking pictures is an angsty process. Until I get into a flow.. it doesnt feel good. So Im always looking for a serendipitious moment so I can slip into my groove.

    Im good when I See Picture Snap Picture.

    So Im struggling to learn the equipment so I can spend as little time as possible composing the shot.

    See shot. Take shot.

    Its coming along tho.
    Sporadic sunshine, overcast

    Looooooooong telephoto shot of a Dole Banana boat offshore.

    I could fill the frame, but I had to manually focus as the Autofocus couldnt get a fix through the haze.

    Okie, quirk duly noted.

    Using fill flash to get rid of the shadows...

    Long zoom shot of exploding thundercloud off-shore. Nice.

    More fill flash. Damn, the flash works quickly.
    Then I happened upon a lifeguard stand, and Stella started getting her groove on....

    And once Stella the camera got her groove on, I got mine back.

    Yep. SwankCamera 4900Z.. I christen thee "Stella". :-)

    Tuesday, June 25, 2002

    Testing For The Right Stuff

    . Finally got the semi-pro camera Ive been wanting these past 2 years, and Im testing the little beastie to figure out what I can and cant do.

    Gotta read the manual tho. Gah. Its not a simple point and shoot, with a gazillion buttons and nobs.

    JPennant: wow. these are some nice pictures
    McClint: post 'em! :-)
    JPennant: hehe. turns out Ed J just got the very same camera from his girlfriend for his birthday
    JPennant: Magikal Ed: this camera actually ROCKS
    McClint: heheheheh

    Ed's right. This thing actually rocks.

    So with camera on full automatic and the flash set to off. Also, I set the resolution to the lowest setting.

    Overcast, rain, subdued lighting

    Im surprised with the overcast, it even picked up the rain drops on the water. In the old cameras.. that wouldve been a glassy blur.

    Indoor, incandescent lighting, low contrast auto focusing

    The sharpness is pretty damned good, considering it was trying to focus on a white object against a light beige wall with a gold color value.

    In other words, it shouldnt have been able to focus.

    I tried focusing manually, and I couldnt match the sharpness.

    Overcast night, ambient street and security lighting

    The trusty old MX2700 woulda choked on these shots. The pictures wouldve been black.

    Wow. No way I woulda gotten even this with the old camera. No flash.

    The pictures are just test shots - no big woop, but Im amazed that the camera actually got them. No spot metering, manual focusing - nothing.

    The SwankCam looks promising.

    Carpe diem, but wait for the signal...

    Someone and I were having a discussion about the difference between 'synchronicity' and 'serendipity'. My contention is that everything is about timing.

    And sometimes, youve gotta ask permission to ask and reap the benefits of that timing

    JPennant: wont or cant?
    gabz: maybe can't.
    JPennant: Ooh, ooh.. I wanna get metaphysical!! Oooh, ooh me me!!
    JPennant: :-D
    gabz: lol
    gabz: ok ok...
    gabz: tell me
    JPennant: Funny thing about the universe
    JPennant: when you want something
    JPennant: its very picky as to HOW you ask the question
    JPennant: When you say "I want this and this and this"
    JPennant: you very rarely get it
    gabz: i forgot the magic word
    gabz: peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease????
    JPennant: heheh. doesnt quite work that way :-)
    JPennant: How it DOES work Im finding more and more
    JPennant: instead of saying "I want"
    JPennant: you say "let it be"
    JPennant: and oddly - "thank you"
    JPennant: theyre both important. Its like releasing a lock that allows things to happen
    gabz: that makes a lot of sense.
    JPennant: I used to hear elder folk say it all the time

    And thats the thing. Im ready to go forth, seize the day, follow my dreams yaddayaddayadda.
    I get frustrated staying in one place, having to do things I dont want to do.

    My instincts tell me to wait, let things play out. Cuz when its time to move onto the next thing - I'll know it.

    Right now Im chomping at the bit, because I see everything in reach and I wanna go git it.
    I wanna tell people to go screw themselves and do my thing.
    According to UPS, tomorrow comes an article Ive been waiting for two years to acquire, but I have to wait till it gets here..
    Ive been waiting for this ride across country for .. a long time.. and I have to wait to see if Amtrak will be shutting down tomorrow, because adjustments will have to be made to my itinerary.


    I know, I know. I'll be in a better state of mind if I just relax, and let the flow of life take its course. Let it be.

    The universe runs on its own complex sense of time. I have to wait.

    Because when its time, I will know it.

    So, let it be.

    Thank you.

    And please.
    As today's horrorscope puts it...
    Aspects warn that if you take a major risk now, you may regret it around the middle of next week, when Jupiter joins forces with Mars, planet of ego and energy.

    Although Jupiter in your dominant sign gives you a lot of protection, that doesn't mean you can afford to take chances.

    What's the big rush? You've got so much time to play with.

    Time. Synchronicity.

    Yep. Its all timing.

    Sunday, June 23, 2002

    Been humming, listening to
    Cherelle & Alexander O'Neill - Saturday Love

    All weekend.
    Found it while looking for Cherelle's "Didnt Mean To Turn You On".

    Brings back memories of the 80's. Of walking into the rising sun up Washington Street in Evanston, Illinois every morning, blinking the residual sleep out of my eyes, my Walkman Cassette blasting as I walked/ran to the Chicago Avenue El train station to transit downtown to take the CTA #203 bus to school.

    Oddly, thats my most vivd recollections of my morning routine in a new country.

    Saturday Love was in the top 10 charts for a very long time.. so the melody still sticks in my mind 18 years later
    SundaymondaytuesdaywednesdaythursdayfridaySaturdaaayLuv, SundaymondaytuesdaywednesdaythursdayfridaySaturdaayLuv

    Mine ears now cringe at the crashing 80's synth sounds that date the songs, but you cant take away the harmony....
    SUV's. Trucks.

    Lotta trucks with high clearance here in South Florida. I mean, almost every upscale family has one. I do mean every. I no kidding.

    There are a LOT of SUV's and trucks here.

    I tried to figure that out earlier, and I concluded that everyone here tows a boat basically.. so that must be it.

    Silly me.

    I found out why this evening. Coming home in the rainstorm from the theater. Where a downpour dumped massive amounts of water. (We could hear the thunder rattle the movie theater through the sound proofing, as if somebody was stomping on the roof .)

    I waded through thigh-high water to get to the car. (I had learned my lesson from the last time I was there, and avoided leaving the car in the lower parts of the parking lot.)

    Seeing the fuel guage flirt with the letter E, I had no desire to run out of gas in standing water, so I headed to fill er up.

    Umm, power was out in our neighborhood. No power, no pumps, no gas.

    So I headed out west a bit to find a station.

    Long story short. Many,, many cars stranded in deep water. I helped push a few outta the water. I helped a few find the drain plugs on the bottom of their cars (my arm still itches from plunging my arm under dirty water to grope for the rubber plugs that are on every car..)

    None of the stranded were trucks or SUV's.

    I get it now.
    The detrius of a misspent youth in gyms and weightrooms are my wide, large shoulders, large legs, thick neck.

    (LilBro once said: Man, I used to just look at your calves in awe. It looked like you had these *bowling balls* in your legs.. )

    Now, much of it is still evident, just now I got a gut and waist that wont quit.

    Not so evident are my afflictions due to that life.

    A wacked out left knee with torn cartilage. Sore shoulders from too much bench work. And tight, sore Achilles tendons from when I walked/bounced on my toes.

    I dont walk on my toes anymore, but I still have that bounce (I used to be able to backpedal almost as fast as I could run forward, useful for changing directionwithout losing any speed..).

    I demonstrated that bounce high-stepping through the water today.

    Yeah, this big guy can still move.

    And now my achilles are tightening up and killing me. OUCH.

    Sunday Matinee.

    I just saw Lilo and Stitch.

    It was hilarious. I want the video just for the stuff in the background.

    (Business Idea: Give people the option to see the first run movies at home about a week or two after they open SO THAT THE KIDS CAN STAY AT HOME!! SPECIALLY the loud, hyperactive ones. GAH.)

    Where was I..

    Oooh, I loved it when Lilo snapped and bitch-slapped the snotty little .. hee hee hee.

    Or when the social worker comers into the house, and in the background - just to emphasise how unsafe the place is.. are bare wires and scissors.

    I think I was the only one in the theater who laughed out loud at the imagery ..

    It even made me tear up. Right on cue, Disney.

    I doubt I'll hear " Ahona ... err.. Ohana (thanx Sun ;-) means family. And no one gets left behind." and not feel all fuzzy again.

    Subtle as a hammer it was.

    How I love that at this theater I can buy as many tickets as I want at the matinee price (5 bux), as long as I buy them at the matinee time. Wow.

    So, I have a matinee ticket to Minority Report.. and the trailers should be finishing right about now.

    Im off.

    Minority Report.


    They'll be writing books about it, and imitating it for years to come.
    So, Lilo & Stitch

    Only occasionally did they break into pigdin.. (Isnt Tia Carrere hawaiian?)

    Aright Sun, they got to me. Im resuming my Hawaiian lessons so we can go eat on Oahu.

    Todays horrorscope:
    Although tomorrow's lunar eclipse takes place in your fellow earth sign of Capricorn, and therefore won't affect you too badly, you must still be on your guard because there'll be a tendency to waste your energy on things that don't matter.

    Also, wait a few days before finally deciding about your next vacation.

    Aha. Just what I felt/thought.

    Yeah. Everyone wants a date so as to know where I'll be when.

    I can never tell when. I have to wait for synchronicity, and then when the wave comes - catch it and ride it to where I need to go.

    So, I havent even bought tickets yet, because I dont know if (and when) Amtrak will be shutting down.

    Plan B is Greyhound. Joy, Joy.

    Plus, depending on accomodations, I dont know how long I will be at each stop.

    Tentative Itinerary: Jacksonville, NYC, Chicago, Denver, LA, SF. And if I still have cash on me.. a ride up the coast to Seattle and back.

    But I wait.

    Gotta catch the wave at the right time.

    How do I know? Once you feel the pull of an irresistable force....
    You Cant really Go Home Again

    Recently I found a Jamaican bakery. Fresh baked patties, cocoa bread and warm bread.

    I was on a comfort food high. I was home again.

    JPennant: mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    JPennant: patty and cocoa bread. fresh baked
    JPennant: man. it makes miss jamaica
    JPennant: :-D
    k a t e: i have always wanted to go
    k a t e: hopefully next year
    JPennant: you will have fun :-)
    JPennant: Myself, I prefer the mountains to the beaches.. but its all good
    JPennant: When I was a kid we used to drive 4 hours across the mountains from Kingston to my mothers place in Runaway Bay for summer vacations
    k a t e: nice
    JPennant: and after scaring ourselves shitless with the deeeeeeeeeep valleys.. youd see this big FLASH of blue
    JPennant: thats the first sight of the North Coast
    JPennant: oh man
    JPennant: every shade of blue and green there is. Like visual soul food.
    JPennant: then wed plunge back into the mountains, but going downhill
    JPennant: hehehe.. not long after is when Id get roadsick
    JPennant: the other thing in getting the food that made me miss Jamaica
    JPennant: the girl behind the counter is of palestinian descent
    JPennant: the owner is chinese
    JPennant: and we were all speaking jamaican patois
    JPennant: we're just all jamaicans. Little of that racist cultural crap you find outside the caribbean.
    JPennant: man I miss that
    k a t e: :-(
    k a t e: how long has it been
    JPennant: 1982
    k a t e: yikes
    JPennant: yeah
    k a t e: you gotta get back home!
    JPennant: yeah
    JPennant: most of my family and friends moved to the US
    JPennant: my father is back there
    JPennant: I dunno
    k a t e: you'll go back one day!

    I dunno. Although I dont feel particularly rootless It feels as if Ive left a lot behind to become myself.

    Last night, I went to that bakery, but it had closed for the weekend.. but next to it there was a small Roti shop (basically chickpea floured flatbread and spicy stewed meats and vegetables. Often served burrito style, but traditionally served side by side.

    The man at the counter was visibly irritated as I tried to order it the way I thought I remembered it.

    Trying to remember through the murk of decades was the epiphany that I needed that I was trying to connect to strangers, no matter how familiar the accent and faces.

    Even if and when I go back to Jamaica or go to Trinidad.. I'll be an outsider.

    The Roti was better than I remembered. I also remembered I didnt particularly CARE for Roti back as a child.

    But, I enjoyed it anyway. To connect to the home I no longer truly belong to.