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2004-01-16

IMPORTANT NEW NOTES FROM JUSTIN:

Wow, I sure have been traveling for a long time. As I post today's installment I looked at my calendar and saw that I've been out here for 151 days! This is the longest I've ever traveled, and by far the most challenging trip I've ever taken. Sometimes I think about calling it quits and heading home—some days I'm just tired of never sleeping in the same bed, some days I'm tired of wondering what happens when the money runs out. I miss my friends and family.

Yet, there is something that compels me to continue. I know I have something great to find out here. And, I know I have something great to give out here. And, I'll know when it's time to go home. But, until then, you'll find me somewhere out there. I'm the one in the red car with the driver's side window that doesn't work anymore, the one with the rust spots all over it that speeds past you. I'm the one taking the pictures of the graffiti, the statue, the strange food.

I've been playing shows every day for the last few days. I played a show this evening, in fact. I even played TWO concerts the other night. I sell my buttons, CDs, and photos at these gigs. And, I've been consistently selling things almost every day. It's very exciting! So, I'm sure as hell not rich, but my finances are looking brighter. I am starting to realize that I can support myself entirely with my art. Onward and upward!

I am still looking for nice, fun people who can put me up for a few nights and really host me. This would involve me staying at your house for a few days, showing me a good time, feeding me from time to time, and leading me into whatever general mischief we can get into. I'll get to learn about your life and write about our times together! I am meeting with people I've never met before and living some life with them. That could be you! 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 in your email to me so I can be in touch!

I am especially looking for places to stay in the southeast USA and everywhere on the East Coast. I will be traveling all over the USA, though, so email me no matter where you are because I will probably come visit! Here are the places I will be in the next few months that I am still looking for a place to stay at:

• Florida
• Alabama
• Tennessee
• North/South Carolina
• Georgia
• Virginia

Please contact me ASAP if you want to hang out!

If you believe in what I am doing and want to help support me, please do so! You can donate money to me using PayPal. Email me for more information! Or, check out my photo sales page! Buying photos from me feeds me and keeps me on the road!



US Tour Day 124: Key West


Street names in Key West are painted in the light posts.

Key West, Florida. Wow. It's like spring break, only without all the...all the...um. Ok, it's like spring break with all the same things that come along with spring break. Basically, it is spring break.

What makes Key West interesting is that it has more than that. Well, sort of. There are locals with bad haircuts, dirty hippies, and street performers, too.


If you think your dad has a bad sense of humor, you're probably not alone. Dads from all around the USA come to Key West to giggle at the names of restaurants like 'Crabby Dicks'. Notice: FREE PARKING IN REAR.

It was like being at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, only replace all the Asian folks with a lot bunch of rednecks.

Driving out to the keys was incredible. First you have to drive through the south of Florida, which is all swampy and awesome. Then all of a sudden you find yourself on these tiny islands connected by an insufficient bridge and road network.

Key points of my day:

1) Woke up at 6:30 AM. This was a bad idea.

2) My car door is totally fucked. I took off the panel and found that some important metal parts had sheared off of some other important parts. Words like welding and expensive and I am an idiot for owning an Italian car came to mind. There was no way I could fix it on my own. I jammed a tree branch under the window mechanism to keep the window from falling down into the car door.

3) Felt nervous around Jen's brother who is, as she explains, a total criminal. Watched all my things and worried he might steal something if I blinked or turned around.

4) Ate many handfuls of peanuts in Jen's car. Worried a little about what this might do to my bowels later. Peanut butter slip–and–slide anus party?.

5) Ate Greek food for lunch. Wondered why I ever eat anything but Greek food.

6) Bought coconut scented sunscreen and put it on. Wondered why I ever smear anything on my body that doesn't smell like coconut.

7) Arrived at our hotel in Key West. There were two big red parrots outside the lobby. Coconut trees lined the parking lot. White sands melted into the explosive blue waters. Schools of fish swam around and jumped out of the water. You could see their every move, since the water was so clear.


Coconuts. Here they grow on trees. Everywhere. Whoa.



8) Ate Greek food again. I should really move to Greece. In Greece, they just call it food. I'd have such a food erection every day.

9) Hung out with tourists. Gave out buttons. Sold some.


The Bull, a local favorite for drinking and living the slow life in Key West.



10) Observed that nobody called me a 'faggot' or tried to start a fight with me. This seemed strange for a place full of drunk, normal American sorts. Not what I expected!


Jen and I are using 'tourist' as a verb in Key West!



11) Hung out with hippies. They're so yucky, but they are SO DAMNED NICE. It's like, they have disgusting clothes and weird hair and smell funny. But, they sure took all that extra energy they could have put into their hygiene and poured it into being friendly. There's something really cool in that.




12) Southernmost point in the USA. I went. I took pictures. Somehow I thought it would feel, oh, I dunno, maybe more southernly or something. But, I didn't. Does anyone else feel cheated by this?




13) Walked forever back to our hotel. Note to self: next time spring for a more expensive hotel closer to downtown!





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