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2008-07-27 10:30 p.m.

Life happens faster than I can type.

I hate it; I love it.

Do I have to document something in order for it to be special? Perhaps I started a bad habit when I began blogging here in October of 2001? I can't tell.

I'm on another road trip. It's kinda like the one I did in 2003-2004, except this time it's Claire's. And, instead of staying with my blog readers we're staying with her bellydance acquaintances.

On the last road trip I was depressed, sad, dejected, and lonely—yet hiding behind a smiling face. On this road trip I am happier, more confident, and I might even say healing—yet hiding behind a poker face.

I miss Glenn, Maya, Beth, and Dennis. I miss going to work every day with Glenn. I miss my home. I'm having a wonderful time, no doubt. But, I'm so thankful that I love my life at home so much that I can miss it. I think this is the first time I've loved my life that much.

Lots has happened on the trip so far. As can be expected, I ate a lot of bad things at bad places. And took pictures. I had doughnuts at some Canadian chain that somehow leaked over into the northern USA. I had a lunch buffet at place called the Sirloin Stockade in Missouri. Everyone there looked like they were on their breaks from their full-time jobs at

I met my blog-friend Esther for the first time ever in Saint Louis. I've been emailing, messaging, and phoning her since 2001, and our paths finally crossed. She's been a very strange angel for me for many years. She was a confidant for me when I was with Andie, which is strange because Esther was only thirteen years old at the time. Yet, she always had some magical wisdom. She had this way of dealing with life like an aikido master—and I was jealous of it.

Now she's nineteen and living on her own. Claire and I visited. I made her a torch using stuff I got at the Lowe's and taught her how to blow fire—and neither of us even got injured! I taught her some hula-hooping tricks; she taught me some, too. And, I took some portraits of her. It's funny how young people (myself included) always think they look bad in photos instead of noticing the good stuff.

How terrible it must be to look like THIS, right?

Yesterday we took a quick pit stop in Oklahoma City. There we stopped by some giant gun mega-emporium and I took Claire shooting. It was her first time. So, we had to pick the most reasonable firearm for a first time shooter as small as her.

An AK-47.

There's something so awesome about the fact that we could walk into a gun store, rent an AK-47 with a big ol' removable magazine (shooting one would be a felony in California, I believe), buy some bullets, go shoot it, and then leave as if we hadn't just done something wildly strange and unnatural. I mean, as fun as shooting it was and how FUCKING RAD IT WAS, I can't ignore the fact that guns like that are made for one thing and one thing only: killing humans. [I wonder if there are guns designed specifically for killing ponies, miniature horses, or unicorns? That would be something I could get behind with 100% of my soul. I would shoot those all the time. WITH MY PANTS DOWN.]

Amarillo is amazing. The Fina gas station window was painted with AMERICAN PRIDE and USA RULZ. Nearby there was a three-story climbing wall with a huge crucifix on it. Jesus got injured and died on the cross, and NOW YOU WILL, TOO!

A bunch of bull at the Big Texan. Amarillo, TX.

Today we're in Amarillo, Texas. It is The Lord's Day today, so most everything was closed and the city was a ghost town. At the recommendation of a friend in Oregon we ate coconut fudge at the Big Texan roadside steak house/tourist trap.

A young boy spray paints one of the Cadillacs buried in the field.

I also saw some a bunch of Cadillacs buried in a field and experimented with the pinhole-camera attachment for my Canon 5D.

Pinhole camera = soft focus, infinite depth of field, and mostly weird.

I was sad a lot today and almost came home, but Claire talked me out of it.

Right now I am going to feel proud of myself for not eating dessert even though I want to.