wisdom teeth says...: June 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

super 8 motel, fort stockton, tx

We left Los Angeles around 1pm on Tuesday, getting a late start after a rather nice lunch. After finally figuring out how to get onto I-10 East, we started to really move. Everyone was in a good mood. We were listening to some This American Life podcasts in order to raise the level of conversation in the van just a bit. So we're well and truly on our way, out past Palm Springs/Indio when Greg says to me, "Hey, those trucks in front of us aren't moving." So after nearly hitting an 18 wheeler on the interstate, we end up in a traffic jam in the desert for the next three hours. A semi had caught fire miles ahead of us. They shut down traffic both ways. I read a magazine while slowly driving us forward at 4 mph. We made it just past Tucson that night instead of El Paso or Las Cruces.

OK, next day. Up early with a projected home time of 1am Wednesday night. I'm in the back reading since I drove/sat at the wheel for 12 hours the day before. We're making pretty good time. Sometime around 8pm, Lily is driving and notices that there sure is a lot of smoke coming out of the back of the van. We keep on for a few miles and it just keeps getting worse. We're 5-6 hours from home. Lily takes an exit and we pull over. The smoke isn't coming from the tailpipe, but from the entire underside of the van. Huge clouds of toxic smoke, inside and out. We call AAA. The tow truck arrives in 30-40 minutes ang hauls us 20 mile to Fort Stockton, TX aka the only town between San Antonio and El Paso. We drop off the van at a auto shop and find a motel (after 3-4 tries because apparently there is an oil field boom outside of Fort Stockton and all the workers live in the motels).

Next day. Uh, Thursday. Go over the the mechanic bright and early. Surprise, surprise our transmission is shot. It will cost gobs of money and "You'll be lucky to get out of here tomorrow". We tell him to order the part and then recheck our room. We're going to wait it out.

The strip of road where we're staying is totally desolate. Half the places are overgrown with weeds. One place (that had been closed for a few years) had this painted in the window, "No Hitchhiking Aloud." A Loud. Also, there are no car rental places or U-Hauls etc in town. The pizza delivery place "doesn't like to pick up their phone." That first night after the breakdown, we ate dinner from the Shell station down the road. OK, Thursday was spent whining, sleeping, swimming at the motel, reading and watching HBO. Not really an awful day. Just long and unnecessary.

Friday morning Lily and I walk down to the mechanic's (about 1 mile from the motel) to see what's up. He assures us that the rebuilt transmission will be coming in from Odessa "after lunch." We pleadingly look at him and ask if it will done that afternoon. He tells us it will. He also says he'll call us ASAP if the part doesn't come in. We go back to the motel, shower, sit around and finally check out at 1pm. The nice folks there say we can store our bags while waiting for the van. We sit around in the lobby and read by the pool a bit.

At 2:30 we all decide to walk to get some lunch at a Mexican restaurant down past the shop and to pop in to check out the progress. He pops his head out from under another car and says, "Oh yeah, it's not coming in today. Maybe tomorrow or Monday." We freak out. We're trapped in this goddamn shit town going nuts. Have you seem U-Turn? It's like that but without Claire Danes. First thing I do is ask Lily to call her parents who had offered to drive out and pick us up the day before. They quickly rent a van in Austin and start driving. We're gonna leave the van there for Will to pick up on his way back from LA (him and Ricky are in another car and stayed an extra week).

We trying to figure out what to do with the equipment. The garage closes at 6. Lily's folks won't be there til 9 at the earliest. It's decided to grab the the most expensive guitars and walk back to the motel and leave the rest to chance in the van rather that sit on the side of the road with all that stuff. Greg goes swimming at the motel. I read in the shade by the pool. Lily and Dan sit in the lobby reading/watching TV. The people at the motel could have kicked us out at any time and to their credit they let us hang out for hours. After a rather yummy dinner at K-Bob's Steakhouse, Lily's folks got there around 9:30. We got home at 4am. My room stinks and there's dog poop on the floor. I went straight to bed.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Starting for home tomorrow. Back by wed night. I hope.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Los Angeles is a depressing place. New York is huge and exciting and has an electricity that you can't ignore. LA is mostly just huge with millions of really busy people shuffling around. The only times I've really enjoyed here was when it felt like a small town. I like a couple of the hipster dive bars (even if the bartender warns you about getting rolled on the way to your car). The bookstore down in Long Beach was a pretty big disappointment. It's supposedly the largest used bookstore in California but it was barely larger than the new Half-Price and had way less selection. It had nothing on Strand Books (or probably on Powell's from what I hear).

Maybe I'm just looking for reasons to bitch. I've had a pretty good time out here but, mainly, I just wanna be home. I wouldn't mind as much if we were actually on tour and moving around and playing every night but here it seems like we're just spending most of the time sitting around. Well, at least we're spending the week recording before hitting San Francisco again. Maybe it will feel like we're accomplishing something.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I finally broke down and checked myself into a hotel for a couple of days. I'm pretty good at being smelly and dealing with communal living but I truly needed a break. After living in a warehouse for two weeks and only two showers since I left texas (one of them being at one of those beach shower stalls) I needed a clean bed, a shower, and a moment to myself. Last night I watched television, read, and went to bed at midnight. This is only a temporary fix (three nights) but it'll serve to get my head back on straight (a bit anyway).

Otherwise, things are going ok for us out here. Some good shows, some bad. We're meeting lots of cool and nice people. Went to the beach last week (Zuma, of course). Today I'm going to sit around and perhaps do some laundry, then go to california's largest books store, Acres of Books out in Long Beach, the go catch the Tyde play (also in Long Beach).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This trip has been full of wasted time and boring-ness mixed up with nice people and a few celeb sightings. Since we're all basically staying together for the month and only have one car (our tour van) we've been getting a bit claustrophobic. I may rent a car this weekend to try to get a way a bit.

For the record (I write this only for the morbidly curious) - at our show monday night at spaceland with, uh, juliette lewis and the licks, these people were sighted... pink, karen black, the curly haired guy from that 70's show and michael rappaport.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I'm sitting in the little radio studio right next to Greg Dulli. Goddamn.

at the little radio warehouse/offices in LA. not in much of a blogging mood. I'll write more later, I promise. I was glad to see that amanda survived her fishing trip.