I measured my days and metered my years, my fears and muscles tensions.*

Just a quick warning. A lot of the following I have already posted to Twitter. So if you're following me over there, you might want to just scan the rest of this post. If you're not that hip, read away. This is my best attempt to recount the last few weeks of my life and adventures while in .nz and .au. 1

The past few weeks I've been on holiday in .nz and .au from .sea.wa.us via .la.ca.us 2. I decided to take this trip at all and at this time, because a handful of my friends were in Antarctica for the past 4-5 months and just got off the ice and into .nz. So way back when they were making plans to go, I was considering going with them, but for a multitude of reasons I stayed behind. I decided however to meet some of them for a bit of traveling with them in Middle Earth. I later got this new full time job, told them during my interview about the month of travel down the road, and because they're awesome, they were cool with it.

As it got closer to go time, Nate and I decided to do a few weeks in .nz, then stop by .hi.us 3 on the way home. But you can't fly direct from .nz to .hi.us; you have to go through .au. So we added that to our itinerary.

Four days before I was to leave, Nate (my best friend, also known as "Captain Fall down and Get Hurt") sprained his ankle on his last day on the ice. So all of the sudden my month long journey with my best friend turned into a solo adventure. And it goes a little something like this:

I took the shuttle to the airport in the morning of my first day arriving too many hours early, because of the scheduling of the shuttle. When I walked into the checkin desk area, the line for Southwest (the airline that I was flying on) was seriously over 200 people long while all of the airlines were totally empty. Hmm... I turned right around and checked in from the curb which took about 30 seconds. Score. When I went back in I tried to tell people about the quicker way of checking in, but they just looked at me like I was speaking Klingon or telling them that god is dead.

One person did head my advice, Ericka. She was this cute girl from Spokane, WA wearing a t-shirt with a turkey on it that read "Save A Turkey. Eat Tofu." Awesome. After we both checked in, turns out that our gates right next to. We sat together for a few hours and chit chatted about stuff. She was by far the coolest airport friend I've ever made. She's vegetarian, just got back from touring with a band as the merch girl and is moving to LA to pursue a modeling career. (Good luck with that, homegirl.)

Then on my first flight from Seattle to San Jose, I got the aisle seat in the first row next to a couple in their 80's that has been married for 60+ years. He was pretty deaf, so we didn't talk much. But she was quite the awesome lady. She was born and grew up in the Panama Canal Zone back when it was land stolen by the United States. Her dad worked in the locks which meant she got to run around on ships and different military areas. She had all kinds of really interesting stories. I'm trying to get her to write up some of those stories, even if just in an email to me.

Next up was Lu and his cute baby girl. She was a darling little angel. Not a peep from her the whole flight. I told him my sob story about not having a place to stay because my few LA friends were out of town. He gave me a ride to the LA Union Station where I proceeded to call everyone in my phone that might know someone in LA that would let me stay on the couch. No dice. I also decided to chuck all of my travel books (4 about .nz, .au and .hi.us) and all of my novels (3 Asimov Foundation paperbacks) to drop some weight and space.

The hour was getting late and still didn't have a place to sleep. I figured going to Venice Beach would be better than being downtown LA. As I was walking toward the area to catch that bus, a boy in an Earth Crisis / Animal Liberation walked the opposite direction. Without thinking I just sort of blurted out "Earth Crisis hoodie!" He didn't react at all. So I chased him down

* - Yes, I twittered this exact line a few days ago. Yes, it's possible that you already read it, because you follow my tweetstream (or whatever you call that shit). No, that doesn't really bother me. I hope you don't get that hung up on it either, because seriously, there are worse things in the world... like capitalism, slavery, genocide, sitcoms, marker felt, guns, war, pollution, addiction, nafta, thigh-master, hobo (the typeface, if you can call it that, not the dude down by the railroad tracks), styrofoam, dams, broken hearts, excessively long footnotes and php. Just to name a few.

  • New Zealand and Australia, for both of you non-nerds. ^
  • Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California. ^
  • Hawaii. ^