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2003-10-12

Hi again! I am traveling around the US and writing about it, and there seems to be no end in sight.

I am looking for nice, fun people who can put me up for a few nights and feed me and pay my way (since I am broke) and show me a good time (since I like good times). If you think it might be fun to host me for a day or two or three, email me at justingrace AT mac DOT com. Please make sure to include your address and phone number. I am especially looking for places to stay in the southeast USA and the East Coast.

I will be traveling all over the USA, though, so email me no matter what! Here are the places I will be in the next few weeks that I am still looking for a place to stay at:

• Texas: Between Austin, TX and Louisiana
• Louisiana
• Mississippi
• Alabama
• Florida
• Tennessee
• North/South Carolina
• Georgia


I am in Austin. It is both rad and cool. Please contact me ASAP if you are in or around Austin and want to hang out!

Thanks in advance for your help! And now, on with the show...



US Tour Day 23-26: Camping

Camping. I hate camping. Well, I guess that it isn't really the camping itself that I hate. I just really hate getting dirty—including but not limited to contact with mud, dust, and nature's many sticky plants—sleeping in tents, being woken up by the sun, carrying things in my pockets or on my back, cooking food, being bitten by insects, and campfires—especially that smell of smoke that impregnates everything I own. Being out in nature is not a problem, but those other things definitely are. And, this keeps me from camping.

I can't tell what it is exactly. Maybe my memory sort of lapses and I forget just how much I dislike these camping–related things. Or, maybe it's that I wonder if perhaps my tastes have changed since my last camping experience. It's like I need to test the waters to see if I still feel the same. And so, every few years I decide to try camping again.

Each time I do this I am sorely disappointed. In fact, I find that I hate the camping experience more and more each time I do it. But, years pass, I forget, and I get myself into the whole mess again.

I went camping at Recreation Plantation, a private campground in Dripping Springs, Texas. Four days of rain and mud and mosquitoes and sleeping on rocks that hurt my back. And, this was the place where Andie and I met and fell in love, so there were so many ghosts of our love flying around. With the dismal weather and the sad memories and my general anti–camping hatred, it was hard to not feel defeated after the weekend.

Sure, I had some great times, too—who can really complain about partying with friends? The event was put on by a bunch of Burning Man folks, so I knew many of them. And, the ones I didn't yet know immediately accepted me like extended family.

But, sometimes partying feels empty for me. How much sex, drugs, and rock and roll can one person take? I want something more than that. I want to be out talking with people about love and helping the world and making art and creating things to make this world I live in a more beautiful place. Partying can feel like consumption to me. Some consumption is ok, but I want a life where the consumption is balanced by creativity and production.

At the same time, though, I need to remember that all work and no play makes Justin a dull boy—the sort of dullness I was starting to feel during the seemingly endless slavery of my forty–hours–a–week day job at the computer company that fired me for thinking a little too different.


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