cptntiller: (THP - New Default)
[Be warned. I have not edited this post. If you think it's because I am lazy, you are correct!]



I departed the Hein/Darke abode, and was on my way across Texas! WHEEE! It was a 10 hour driving day, and I finally hit the Hostel in the wee hours of the night. I was grateful to be done, and as I carried stuff into the N'awlins Hostel, which is, by the way a really awesome and really cheap place to stay in New Orleans, I passed 4 guys on the porch with a 40 of beer. It was one of the initial weekends of Mardi Gras, and I had picked up some french fries at a local place as I rolled in to the city, so I offered them some fries. Politely they declined, but instead they offered me some beer. I told them I'd be back, dropped my stuff off on my bunk, and came back to the porch, where I happily downed their beer.

New Orleans


We hung out on the porch for a bit, where I learned their life stories. They were visiting from Pittsburgh, had already been out the night before, and were planning on getting royally shitfaced. And, they quickly informed me: "So are you." Who am I to deny the request of four complete strangers on a porch in Louisiana?

Exactly!

We sat and talked for a bit, amusing ourselves with discussion of King Cake and the drunken ladies who continued to flirt with me as I repeatedly told them I was gay. It was a good evening. Soon, we were out the door and headed towards Bourbon Street, where I was informed "my mind would be blown."

Two promises!

We arrived at Bourbon Street around 12:45 a.m. and. Well. It was blown. Have any of you seen Season 2 of True Blood? You know when MaryAnn is in the town, and she basically causes this orgy and everyone basically just starts fucking in the street partially or completely naked and completely drunk or stoned out of their minds? Ok. That is the closest I can come to describe this experience. Except that there were police horses. And there was no *ACTUAL* fucking. I think.

New Orleans


It was vaguely incredible, but as someone with space and crowd issues - intensely overwhelming. I followed my hosts to a bar where they supplied me with grain alcohol. [!!??!!] and we wandered the street aimlessly.

One of my compatriots found a packet of pamphlets intended to convert the heathens of the affair to Christians lightly trampled in the gutter and took it upon himself to begin distributing them himself. I admit that I found it quite hilarious, but as I mentioned above, I found the entire experience enjoyable, but a bit too overwhelming, so after an hour I bid good evening to my compatriots, and made my way back to the hostel for a night of sleep. Sleep was great! I highly recommend it.

New Orleans


The next morning, surprisingly, did not come too early, though I was the first in the hostel awake at about 7:30, and I quietly showered and prepared for the day. I had gotten accustomed to traveling now, and I was enjoying the rhythm I'd created. I burst out of the hostel with my camera bag on, enjoying the crisp but fairly warm day and determined to wander aimlessly for hours. Success, kids.

I walked down to the waters edge, and made my way to the Cafe Du Monde, where I was informed I was to try their Beignets.

terry got beignets!


Guys.

Have you had beignets?

'Cause.

Um.

They're pretty amazing.

I arrived to a line stretching a good quarter of a mile, no exaggeration, and I wandered down to an area behind the restaurant to get a better look, attempting to decide if I actually had intentions of waiting in this line. There I noticed a man in a wonderful striped uniform, wandering. I smiled at him, and he came over and asked me how many Beignets I would like. I felt like I had just discovered a cheat code. I asked for a bag, and gave him the money needed. Two minutes later, he came back with the Beignets. SUCCESS. This is the best system ever.

New Orleans


I walked a bit further as I destroyed what had become the new best-thing-ever-to-eat-ever and hopped on a trolley which would take me to the main drag. I had done my research and discovered the N'awlins bear group was meeting along one of the parade routes that day to drink beers, talk, and watch the parade. Scary though this was to me as a shy-folk, I decided it would be a good thing to do, so I wandered my way to where the watching was occurring.

Everyone was really friendly as I've come to discover is the norm in the south. I encountered two LJ folk, though I didn't really get to interact with either, as I didn't know one was an LJ user [[livejournal.com profile] lightthewayhome] and I wasn't yet friends with one of them [[livejournal.com profile] charliebearnj]. The parade was a hoot, too. I was glad to have found people I could hang out with in the city again, though I had enjoyed wandering aimlessly on my own, it's always more fun to do things with others. We sat and talked and watched the world walk by, and soon it was late afternoon and I was invited to a super bowl gathering at a bar called John Paul's.

New Orleans


Did I mention I was in New Orleans during the Super Bowl? Oh. I was in New Orleans during the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl that the Saints won. OH my. Do you want to talk about an amazing experience? That was unbelievable. I was really glad to be in a bar with locals, far away from Bourbon Street. Sharing in their genuine joy and spirit of the game was unbelievable. I keep using the word unbelievable, which is probably getting redundant. It was infectious, and I, who have never once gave one shit who won the Super Bowl, found myself caring deeply, and getting into the game. What a community.



And the saints won, dudes. And the city EXPLODED in fire, light, and joy. I was away from the downtown and I could hear it from where I was. It was an unrepeatable, irrefutably amazing moment, that I will certainly not forget within my lifetime. I stayed with them and celebrated in an incredibly welcomed way for a good many further hours before attempting to drive back to my hostel. I made it in tact, and snuggled into my bunk for my last slumber in New Orleans.

The next morning found me awake early again, so I did not have to fight for the shower once again. Joy! I threw my every belonging in my bag with a few beads as souvenirs, and said goodbye to my hostel.

terry and i are departing the hostel


Drove downtown for one last walk-about before my long drive to Atlanta. After parking, I made my way to Cafe Du Monde again, this time getting two bags of Beignets because I had already become an addict. I found my new best friend in a striped uniform again, and he hooked me up in the most subtle way possible. Is this what doing a drug deal feels like? Are beignets drugs? Why aren't there beignets in Boston? When can I have them again? I think I have a problem.

I had one goal in New Orleans when I began the trip, and that was to find the Ignatius Reilly statue I had heard rumors of. I have read A Confederacy of Dunces a large number of times, and in fact, it is one of my three favorite books of all time. I love it. It was thrilling to be in the city it was based in, and even more so to discover I loved this city [I would like to live there some day - a fact that makes my sister stare at me like I'm vaguely insane, and my mother quiver] I am not sure where they are hiding this statue. I tried hard to find it, and failed. Thankfully, I found this hot dog cart on my journey, and I was getting close to the time I had to leave by, so I counted it as a close second ACOD reference.

New Orleans


And then I wandered to my car, sadly, wishing I had far more time to explore the city. I turned my keys, cranked the stereo, and enjoyed the final bits of neighborhood as I made my way towards my one night stay in Atlanta.

New Orleans
cptntiller: (PANDA?)


I awoke in Austin, fresh-eyed and all that stuff. Powered on the computer and got a note from my next hosts telling me I could come over whenever. So I did! I hopped in the car and pointed towards San Antonio. Can we talk about how wonderful it is to only have to drive an hour and a half? After many days of intense hourage, it was amazing. It also ended up being my first sunny day since Chicago, and for me, it was quite warm. [Matt and Alex feel differently]



Before I knew it, I had arrived at the door of my gracious hosts [livejournal.com profile] chibi_masshuu and [livejournal.com profile] darke. I was especially excited about this stop, as I've become very good friends with Matt [[livejournal.com profile] chibi_masshuu] over the past months, and we talk most days. He and Alex are both excellent people.

Anywhozle, so I blooped the doorbell, and then waited nervously on the porch, 'til the door opened. and it was all uphill from there [for me]. We sat in the living room for a bit and talked, and I had a grand old time. From there, Matt and I made our way out for a bit of adventuring. We began with lunch at a Mexican restaurant nearby, which was thoroughly delicious, and from there we worked our way towards the Alamo.



Oh, the Alamo. We've all heard stories about this fort, right? Well. I'm a bit of a geek, and so when asked what I wanted to do in San Antonio, I had obviously suggested seeing this. Wow. What a large error in judgement. Do you see this picture of the Alamo? Congratulations. I've just saved you 30 minutes of time in San Antonio. Regardless, we had a good time making fun of how ridiculous the Alamo was, and then we wandered over to the Riverwalk, which was very pretty, and littered with live cajun style jazz. We enjoyed a nice walk-a-bout and chit chatted before heading back towards the car. Matt is very camera-aware, so I didn't take too many photos. [I was trying to be subtle and shoot from the side.. as you can tell, he was very aware of the camera.]





Truth be told I didn't take many photos because I was just enjoying the company and the time, and I chose to focus on that. We hopped in the car and talked back and forth about this, that and the other. He showed me where he worked and we just kinda talked. It was nice.

Soon enough we arrived at the chibi/darke residence and settled into the couch to correct the fact that I had never seen Enchanted, even though I know Amy Adams. We had a grand time. Luckily Matt had already seen it so my talking about it throughout didn't [seem to] bother him. When the movie was finished we went out and got Thai. I had never had Thai food before [holy crap pad thai is awesome kids.] and it was a good chance to converse whilst enjoying new noms and crossing something off my 101. Also, I got to know Alex better, which was fun. We bonded over a similar liking of the musical the-ate-er among other things.

Home again afterwards to change into trunks and enjoy their heated pool. I hadn't been swimming since the summer, and it felt damn good to be in water again. Not to mention it led to relaxing and conversating. It was a nice nightcap to the day, and we all retired to bed shortly after.

Sleep was wonderful - their guest bed was superbly comfortable and it was nice to be in a real bed for the first time in several days.

And when I woke up, I learned that everything is bigger in Texas. For shiz. We went to a local breakfast joint called Lulu's which had chicken fried steak.

Ok.

so.

First of all, I had never heard of Chicken Fried Steak and zomg is it delicious.

Second of all. This is how big Matt's Chicken Fried Steak was. FOR REAL LIFE, PEOPLE.




Matt and Alex, both!


Alex had talked Matt into getting the super ginormous sized one to show off Texas' sized things. They shared it, so it all worked out fine fine. Hell, I couldn't finish mine and it was like a quarter the size. Did I mention they had cinnamon rolls at this place the size of my very literal torso. MY ACTUAL TORSO, PEOPLE.

I was sad when food was over, because it meant time was coming to a close. We made a few stops on the way home, and then procrastinated by watching various and sundry youtube clips on their TV for a bit. Sadly, eventually I had to get on the road [I had a 10 hour drive ahead of me] and I had to say goodbye and hit the road.

Not nearly enough time in San Antonio. The one downside of meeting people you're friends with from the interwebs in real life is when you leave you're like "damnitt. We would totally be awesome in life friends, and now I don't get to see them 'til god knows when." As a result I drove away with a bit of sadness, but also excitement as my next stop was one I was greatly looking forward to: N'awlins!

Matt's account of this adventure be here, y'all: click click

Holy crap dudes. I don't post for eons, and then you get this loquacious post. Almost done with wedding photos, and working through a backlog the size of georgia - all the while shooting 2 rolls of film a week!
cptntiller: (THP - New Default)


The next morning came early! Around 5 or so. Maybe earlier [jerry?] We awoke, and Jerry prepared us Breakfast. Jerry is a member of the crossfit program, and in addition, a casual follower of the paleolithic diet. If you google it you can find more. It's a neat concept. So for breakfast we had smoked salmon with poached eggs and cheddar cheese:



It was appropriately tasty, and filling. That done, we headed off to Crossfit, where I was to experience the most intense work-out yet. We started the day with some hot yoga, an hour class which was really amazing. Yoga is without a doubt something I am going to pursue at some point. And then crossfit happened. Let me tell you. If ever there was a compelling program for fitness, it is crossfit. Basically it is a [reasonably] short, in-tense workout using basic methods that really pull everything out of you. It was exhilarating and amazing. After a warmup that included a number of physical activities I won't bother listing, we entered the main workout, which was 2 sets of the following: 2 minutes as many pullups as you can do, 2 minutes as many situps as you can do, 2 minutes as many double-unders as you can do, 2 minutes as many air squats as you can do. Twice without stopping. It was intense and amazing. I will consider pursuing crossfit, too at some point.

From there, Jerry my gracious host, gave me his house keys, and he drove off to work, while I went to his apartment. I crashed for a bit longer on his extremely comfortable couch, and then took a shower in his outstanding shower. NEITHER of those are exaggerations. They were both heavenly. From there, I hopped in the car and departed for Austin! It was a short 3.5 hour drive, in the still cold and rainy Texas. Texas refused to be Texas. Having arrived in Austin, I made my way to the Hostel. I was a bit uncomfortable, never having been in one before, but I soon settled into the space, and took a little bit of time to relax and chat online before heading in to the city for the night.

This was my first stay by myself where I knew no-one, and I was a bit home-sick and lonely, but my camera and the extremely friendly southern folk were of great help in that process, and I had a wonderful night wandering a very large amount of the city, and stopping in at various clubs and venues.







cptntiller: (DUG)


Today I got up at an abhorrently early hour, and drove to Texas. Just short of a 12 hour drive. I managed to amuse myself pretty heavily with billboards, twitter and my camera. Let me tell you a little something about Missouri! There are about ninety billion billboards for Meramec Caverns. That is not even a horribly large exaggeration. In fact, I counted at some point, and within 1 minute, I went past 15. Also high on my enjoyment list was going past a billboard for the Precious Moments headquarters, that advertised it as the "Sistine Chapel of the U.S." If only I'd had time to stop and visit this no doubt miraculous and frightening gift to the American public. Not just that, but I passed the Vacuum Museum. And a sign that offered Bulls For Rent! [anyone want to go halfsies!?]

Oklahoma was not nearly as boring as I'd imagined. They have gas stations that have dinosaurs on them: Sinclair. And the speed limit is 75. It probably helps that I got terrifyingly lost for the first time. No maps and my gps was failing. So I drove amongst the corn fields as my gas approached empty 'til I somehow found a gas station and the highway. Terry helped pump the gas. The Texas Border Came! and with it a nice round of rain and cold - immediately shattering every image of Texas I had. This was saved by a billboard for sporting goods, gifts, and christian supplies. [Yes. Really.]

I landed at Jerry's! Some of you may remember him from his LJ days, when he ruled the interwebs as [livejournal.com profile] dinoadventures. We've been pretty well in touch the entire time, talking pretty much every day, and it was nice to meet up with him again. I no sooner touched base than we were OFF with a night of awesome planned.

First, we went to his rock gym! We both climb alot, so it just made sense to go together. These photos are by Jerry, and I haven't asked permission yet.




From there, he took me to a Texas Burger place, where I quickly learned what a horrible job we do making burgers in the north east. Holy Crap you guys. Hollly Crap. They are wide instead of thick, and they taste like awesome. Just kinda blew my head away.




Destroyed.


After this, we traveled our way to The Flying Saucer home of tons and tons of beer. Here, Jerry introduced me to all kind's of local beer I couldn't have tried in cambridge-land before we retired to his 'partment to sleep and prepare for the next morning!
cptntiller: (Default)


The morning came! We awoke from our slumber, and stumbled into the world. With terry in Proper Exploring Position we made our way to the bus system, and began the public transit route to the arch. I don't know much about the tourist attractions of St. Louis, but I know that the arch is there, and that it is supposed to be both cool and a National Park. It is, in fact, both.



The arch is actually bigger than I think I imagined. It towers over the city with it's archy self, and I wandered inside with no clue what to expect.

Having purchased my tickets, I made my way to the elevators, and then. Then is when I came to the realization that the Arch is not a friendly tourist attraction. Oh no, the arch is a devil-being. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the view from the top, and I enjoyed the exhibit's at the bottom. It is the process in between that is the devil.

I am not a claustrophobic person. Neither [any more] am I afraid of heights. But these cars that take you from the bottom to the top had me claustrophobic easily. How they expect to fit 5 people is beyond me. I heard the woman in the next car screaming.



Terry fit fine, of course. And the view from the top more than made up for it. St. Louis is by no means a beautiful city [sorry St. Louisians] but it has a lot of character, and it is fun to look over from above. Plus I got to see the cardinals stadium.



Safely restored to the bottom, I found my way to the museum, guarded by a large and fierce bear, and meandered through the exhibits. It was really interesting, to me, because I am a dork. a big one. More interesting though, for me, was the animated figurines in the process of repairs:


I mean, really. How often do you see that? Not often.

It was nearing the end-time of Chris' school duties so I toddled out, having had my fill of Archy goodness, and got on the train and rode back to SLU to meet Chris.
cptntiller: (PANDA?)


A nice relaxed morning with Joe and house, talking and relaxing and just generally enjoying the downtime and company. After a nap, noon found me saying good-bye to the friends I could now say I actually knew, and heading into the car with Terry, my trusty terrier.



This was a day of driving I could get behind. Only 5 or so hours of driving. I pretty much got on the road, and just headed down. I saw a hawk pick up a mouse and eat it. Illinois! I saw not one but TWO Wooden Elephants!. ILLINOIS!

And just like that, the arch was in sight!


I called my St. Louis host, Chris Weiss [[livejournal.com profile] xxfalling_outxx] and he directed me towards a parking lot on his SLU campus. We met up, and, after dropping off my crap in his apartment, set off in quest of food. Pizza following through, Chris brought me to a sub/deli place called Jimmy Johns that he was shocked I had never heard of. It was quite tasty! I rather enjoyed it. It was now dark out and he had homeworks to do, so we went back to his room and shot the shit, while I figured out my plans for while he was in class the next day.
cptntiller: (Schnauzer)

The morning came early, but for the most part with great rest! We were up and at 'em, ready for battle and exploration. Joe, my gracious host, is a UU minister-in-training, and it was time for my first ever UU Service. As Joe was playing a part in the process, we got to service a bit early, and I got to explore the beautiful church. I was particularly taken with a display of paper cranes. And I then shot them for far too long. Now I will bore you with those photos:









I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the service, having been raised upon loads and loads of catholic services, loaded with boredom. I'd label my UU experience a good one. A very friendly, welcoming crew of people. Interesting service too.

From service, we maneuvered towards a loverly lunch with Joes friend and former Housemate. Kyohei was a lovely person to meet, and we had a grand luncheon before Joe was shackled off to work near Hyde Park, leaving me free to explore and examine the area, which was a lot of fun. I wandered across the park area to stare at the frozen lake:


and then made my way around, wandering through the open exhibits at the museum of science and industry, and then just kind've exploring the neighborhoods. I love doing this. I learned that Chicago's nickname of The Windy City is CERTAINLY well earned, but I greatly enjoyed wandering and exploring.

When Joe finished work, we traveled into the suburbs to meet the friend of Joe and another one of my friends, Ben. We gathered pizza at Giordano's before I was brought to karaoke at a gay bar nearby. I don't often involve myself in karaoke, but I ended up having a great time, met alot of fun people, and even sang. [Sodomy from HAIR, Papa Loved Mama by Garth Brooks, Mr. Cellophane from Chicago] No one died from my singing, which is a miracle of science, and we made our way home having enjoyed the day.

A bit of relaxing and talking at Joe's casa was the nightcap to a wonderful day in Chicago, and we headed off to sleep-land.
cptntiller: (PANDA?)

The morning came to early on day 2, but my alarm roused me, and after a scrub-a-dub-dub in Jim and Alan's shower, I was dressed and on the road, exactly at 8 AM - which was the exact time I had hoped to depart at.

Thus began the longest day of driving in the trip. Between Albany and Chicago is 817 miles, about 13 hours of driving. So I slammed the radio in high gear, and set on my way, traveling 90, pretty much the entire route.

During the day I passed through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Ohio. Oh, Ohio. Ohio is officially my least favorite state of all time. It is 5 hours of Nothing. There are rarely even trees. Even Cleveland was a disappointment. It was a 5 minute long city, the highlight of which was a building with whales. Maybe it's a better drive in the summer, I don't know. All I can say is that to drive through in January, it is made of suck. Indiana was a little more interesting. It had the Museum of RV's and Mobile Homes.

The list of things I saw that I cannot make up on this trip is unreal. A museum for RV's and motor homes? I mean. Really. Does that need a museum? Apparently.

I cannot describe the length of saturday. Driving that length of time is incredibly draining. A couple of LONG phone calls to the pooch and a few other people helped. But I finally made it.

Somewhere around 7:30 middle america time, I made it to [livejournal.com profile] killerjoe and [livejournal.com profile] tamingblue's casa. I was the guest of Joe, and it turned out I got to meet some other people I'd interacted with too, like Jason and his boyfriend Chris. I no more than arrived, and threw my bags on the floor, and we turned and drove to chinatown for real chinese food. It was delicious! I rather enjoyed my orange chicken, and I followed it with my first bubble tea. It was tasty, albeit a bit odd. I don't know how to respond to the bubbles. But fun.

We made it home, and after a short bout of video games, crashed for the night. Sleep was a welcome guest. Oh, sleep. Thank you for your wonderfulness.
cptntiller: (DUG)

Albany!

What a great start to the trip. After lunch with [livejournal.com profile] bix02138 I bolted to my car and got on 90, where I rocked my way to Albany. I had my travel buddy, Terry in the car, with instructions and the desire to take photos of him wherever I went. For this I used my schfancy cell phones flickr connectivity. Introducing Terry:
terry, my traveling terrier companion


The ride to Albany was uneventful, only a few hours, and 90 through beautiful western mass and upstate new york the entire way. I did pass a rather amusing completely unmarked van spouting political advice. Well. I found it amusing anyway- I get all my opinions from the backs of unmarked vans.

I was welcomed into Jim and Alan's home, and after some chatting, we got tasty dinner at a delicious asian restaurant whose name I don't remember. I had a noodle dish which I quite enjoy, and was encouraged to try the [quite delicious] monkey roll. Om nom nom. Afterwards, Jim settled in at home, and Alan and I bounced into his jeep to roll down to Northern Lights for a Between The Buried and Me concert [photos coming in a post literally seconds after this]. Northern Lights is an interesting venue - it is in an abandoned storefront of a strip mall. Quite possibly the best use for that space I've ever seen. The ambience is just right, and it works well for both concerts I've seen there.

Alan knows the lighting designer for the show, and managed to get us photo passes, something which fulfills one of my 101's, and which I've always wanted. I was thoroughly excited. When we walked through the door, the woman working informed us we didn't have them. It was heavily disheartening, until after confirming with his source we walked back and asked again- this time she noticed the "1"'s she had glazed over before and apologetically gave us our passes. I was glowing.

The opening bands finished up and we walked to the side of the stage [there was no room between the barricade and the stage]. And in what felt like seconds, Between the Buried and Me was on the stage and my face was being melted away with awesome. They are an amazing group of artists, and they SHOW it live. Just as strong as on any album. Unbelievable, really. And having a photo pass was icing. I shot through the entire thing, and think I got some pretty good results [like I said. post in literally seconds. It's all ready to go.]

We got home around 12:30 and chatted with Jim some more, then a bit of late night TV - watching Groundhog Day. Around 2:00 I declared myself dead, knowing I needed to wake up at 7:20 or so the next morning to get out at 8:00 am for my drive to Chicago.

A wonderful stay in Albany, indeed. Great great people.
cptntiller: (Baloo!)
Hey Interwebs !

So. Big news. Two weeks ago tomorrow I gave my two weeks notice. As many who have gotten to hear me bitch in real life know, this is exciting. I am not in love with my current job. Equally exciting is the fact that I will be, on February 16th, returning to my former position at CIDC in Cambridge. I was laid off from there March 31st, got this job May 7th, and have been missing them ever since. Long story short I was told if I wanted to go back I'd be able to. I did, and now I am! Hooray!

And now you're thinking. Todd! There are two whole weeks plus a few random days in between January 27th and February 16th! What are you going to do with that stretch of time? Hopefully something reckless and awesome?

YES, Interwebs ! I AM doing something reckless and Awesome. Introducing the Tour de THP '10!



Yes ! in that time period I am drivin' all aboot the U.S. in the fashion shown above, on the following schedule based on where I will be on which night:
January:
  • 29: Albany
  • 30, 31: Chicago
February
  • 1, 2: St. Louis
  • 3: Dallas
  • 4: Austin
  • 5: San Antonio
  • 6, 7: New Orleans
  • 8: Atlanta
  • 9: Raleigh / Durham, N.C.
  • 10: Washington, D.C.
  • 11: Baltimore
  • 12: Philadelphia, PA
  • 13: NYC ?Still in decision mode?

I am looking forward to meeting / Re-meeting a bunch of lj folks along the way. It should be awesome. I know the schedule's aggressive - but so am I. Well. No. That's not true. But I am enthusiastic and determined!

I'm going to connect my high-falutin' phone to my flickr account over this time and post the occasional from - the-road photo and video. I may upload a photo or two from my real camera, but most likely that will wait 'til I return.

If you think I'm so excited I am doing a total dance right now. You are absolutely correct. This is three bits of effing awesome news.

Lock and load, LJ. Get ready, country.
cptntiller: (101 in 1001)
#5: Meet 10 LJ/flickr folk : Part 1
All 101 Posts
All Posts Related to this goal
Overall Progress

This Sunday found Lewis and myself traveling northwards to meet [livejournal.com profile] girlfagpnw in Ogunquit, Maine. We headed up with the expectation that it would be simply a brunch, after which we would mosey our way southbound, taking our time. Little did we know, after a truly delicious brunch, we would spend a fantastic day walking the beach, sitting by the waves, in my case swimming, and simply enjoying the company, conversation, and sounds of the shore. It was a wonderful day, and one of the most lovely I’ve experienced in a great deal of time. Marie is a truly lovely person, and I'm really glad to have made her acquaintance.


3 more REALLY large images. Which I'm pretty fond of. So. Click here, eh? )
cptntiller: (Solemn)


Born: sometime in june 2001, some Honda Factory
Died: August 23, 2009 - Cross-Bronx Expressway

Chavalah was a good car, mild-mannered and fairly efficient with gas. She first resided in Connecticut, providing me my first independent ride over the Q to my high school, and many weekend and summer evening drives to Hamden and New Haven to interact with my high school friends before I left for College. From there she boldly moved to Rhode Island to reside on the Providence College Campus, willingly suffering scratches and dents from bored drunk college students [not me]. Many trips to CT and back, she familiarized both 95 and 6 to her wheels lovingly and well. Suffered hours of geek talk as she carried me and my friends to programming competitions in Rochester, NY and Edison, NJ. Suffered long drives to random concert venues to see my favorite bands play, brought me to get my first legal beers, my first real date, and carried me to and from my internship and job interviews. We learned the ins and outs of Providence's streets, and those of the surrounding areas. From there she carried me and most of my life to the Boston area, commuting me to my first full-time [post-college] job, from my first very own apartment. She traversed my first drive across a border to bring my friends and I to montreal this winter, and revolutionized traffic on Brandon's and my trip to and from Philadelphia. She taught me how to change tires in dress clothes. She took me to New York on a few occasions, happily and willingly. She let me tie 6 pieces of plywood to the top of her car, and fill her up with 2x4's while I was building sets, and never complained about how dirty she got.

She lived a good, 8 year, 154,000 mile life. She drove fast and slow at all the correct times, and stayed steady through my first ticket. She provided music to scream along too as driving from route to route, a roof to lie on and stare upwards, and made many many more life experiences a possibility. And in her last moments as a car shaped object, she ejected her airbags and kept me safe in a car accident.

She was a good little car, and she will have a happy after-life, recycled for parts, or smushed into a cube at a landfill.

Goodbye, Chavalah. Rest well, little car.
cptntiller: (365)
Day 246/365 [Year 2]

A quick day trip to New York today to see the performance of The Happy Sad at the Summer Play Festival at The Public. It was really great, and especially awesome to see how it had changed in the time between the reading we had seen last year, and this performance. An awesome experience, and a really good show.

07/25/09





cptntiller: (365)
Day 242/365 [Year 2]

My last day in Chicago! Sad. Started off by going to the convention center to attend a brunch in which they present the stonewall book award. Which was pretty neat. There were some terribly impactive moments, and I learned about a plethora of books I probably never would have. A little more wandering of the exhibition hall, and we found ourselves walking up the lake from the center to the Planetarium. A lovely sunny walk, and another chance to simply enjoy Chicago and relax. By the time we had wandered back it was just about time to pick up our bags and head off - Lewis to dinner with a friend, then Joanne's house, and I to the airport for my ride home. It was a wonderful trip.

7/13/09



3 MORE )
cptntiller: (365)
Day 241/365 [Year 2]

Today began with a bagel and a bus zooming past me - as a result, I went to the field museum instead of the museum of industry and science. Never to fear, I am very much intending on a return visit to Chicago in my future. The field museum was great!
A little kid-crowded, but some fun exhibits, and honestly I didn't care about some of them, but holy crap the dinosaurs were awesome, as was an exhibit on photography from the civil rights movement. Those two alone made the museum admission worthwhile. After finishing I wandered out and looked at the line for the aquarium. I've heard phenomenal things about it - but I wasn't about to wait 45 minutes just to get in, plus I really prefer to just wander and explore cities without an agenda, rather than tourist it up. So I did that. I wandered up the lake aimlessly - took a little nap in the sun along the way - and enjoyed the sun, buildings, water, and people. When I realized I was near the hancock building, I decided to wander to that and go up it, having heard it's view is better than the newly ledge-enabled sears tower. The view was beautiful, and it was awesome that they had screen windows on one side. I swear you guys - I fell in love with Chicago this weekend. After this I toddled [see what I did there?] back down and walked my way back to the hotel through the city. I had missed the ability to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] mikiedoggie during the day, but he joined Lewis, myself, and a few of Lewis' friends at [dinner place name?], and I'm glad we got to meet - he's a swell fella! A bit of wandering and [our third]/a dose of DQ and we parted ways, and went to sleep. Thanks for coming out, Mikie!

7/12/09


Sue: The world's most complete T-Rex skeleton!


Velociraptor


The hancock center
cptntiller: (365)
Day 240/365 [Year 2]

Day 3 in Chicago. Today Lewis' conference really began, so I tagged along and wandered the various exhibits. Let me tell you. There are a LOT of them. I've officially been through them many times, but it took a long time. It was really interesting for a "civilian", if you will, to see all the many technologies, and indie publishers for books. And given the nature of the conference, some of the ones I saw there surprised me. [Wizards of the Coast strike anyone as library material?] I also collected a plethora of free, often signed books, along with other random tools of various device. Got to see George Watsky do a reading as well... he's a pretty awesome slam poet that I've seen before at PC. I pretty much spent the day maneuvering stacks. Had a great time too. WHOA forgot stuff. We arrived back and tried Lou Malnati's pizza, which we both decided does not compare to giordano's. Then got into a reception at the EDIT: Art Institute of Chicago. Which was beautiful, and I got to see alot of artwork I'd heard of but never seen in person. The famous seurat, of course, and many others. It was a great experience. I'll need to re-visit it sometime.

7/11/09


One of the booths was giving away free beer. This is the best booth give-a-way, ever.


George Watsky
cptntiller: (365)
Day 239/365 [Year 2]

Day 2 in Chicago!

Today involved a brunch at a local place called Blackie's, which proved to be rather tasty. From there a day of wandering and adventure. Hopped on the train and made our way north to boystown [the gaybourhood], and explored the various shops. Saw Wrigley's from the behind on our way, and walked. It started out drizzling, but turned into a very nice day for wandering. Stopped at an Ann Sathers to try their much-talked-about Cinnamon Rolls, then hopped on the El and made our way back down. After this we got together with one of Lewis' old friends Joanne, and headed into town to grab food and see a show at Steppenwolfe, both of which were tasty. The food involved tasting a local brewery's work, and the Steppenwolfe show was a presentation of 500 Clown's performance The Elephant Deal. I think Lewis penned it best by saying that he really enjoyed it, although he is not entirely sure he understood it.

7/10/09





2 MORE HERE )
cptntiller: (365)
Day 238/365 [Year 2]

Lewis had a conference in Chicago, and I got to tag along.

My first time ever to Chicago, and it was a wonderful trip. I still can't quite believe how beautiful Chicago is. I look forward to another visit before too long. The company was pretty good too, of course.

On the first day we wandered, had Giordano's stuffed pizza, then wandered through Millenium Park, exploring our way back to the hotel. Later, we wandered to the Chase building to attend a taping of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. It was a lot of fun, much longer than the program - but in a good way!

7/9/09







Many many many more )
cptntiller: (365)
Day 234/365 [Year 2]

Went to NY Pride with [livejournal.com profile] bix02138.

It was quite the experience, that parade is HUGE. Had a great time, and a great experience. Plus got to meet some great people from here at a brunch at A.O.C. in the village, which is RATHER delicious, if I do say so myself. A truly great weekend!

6/28/09

I'll start with brunch with some LJ-folks, and work through the rest of the day, eh?


[livejournal.com profile] little_buddha52


[livejournal.com profile] little_buddha52


[livejournal.com profile] cheechinnyc

Several more. Gays on the prowl! )
cptntiller: (365)
Day 233/365 [Year 2]

[livejournal.com profile] bix02138 and I traveled to NYC for this years pride.

While wandering about the day prior, we stumbled upon this art exhibit... it was pretty awesome. Dizzying, though.

Also, if you're in new york, and you have not yet encountered the New York NeoFuturists, DO SO. They are phenomenal.

6/27/09





3 more, including a shot of Guiser1 )

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