Americaphiles

The Story Of My Fucking Life

One-twenty-two: Tour Diary volume seven

Posted by ilbebe on June 6, 2012

Wednesday, January 10, 2001. Wedding Time! Me, R and G slept well. O and the K’s did not. We trudge out of Motel Six at noon and head to Snoqualmie Falls to revel in Twin Peaks fan nerdiness. G and I are to remain relatively clueless and underwhelmed for most of the day. [For those unaware, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks was filmed almost entirely on location in North Bend, WA. Snoqualmie Falls is not a town, but a falls on the Snoqualmie River nearby, where the lodge known in the show as The Great Northern sits. Beautiful waterfall, but shit, for someone who was at the time completely unfamiliar with Twin Peaks, I could not for the life of me fathom why we spent a whole fucking afternoon driving in circles around a little town of like 5,00o people, when the day’s later agenda involved visiting a foreign country that would sell my nineteen-year-old ass beer. Harrumph]

First stop: The “Great Northern”. The falls are cool, but soda at the gift store is two bucks. Bunk. Go to the observation point for O and K’s marriage! R=priest [R had become an internet minister just for the occasion], G=best man, K2=maid of honor, me=ringbearer/photographer. Ceremony is short, peppered with “uh”s and nonchalance. G reads from Gideon’s bible about subjugation of women. Kiss and move on.

On to North Bend, about five miles away. See some Twin Peaks locales, including the Double R, then go to Safeway for bread. Mmm bread. [The financial woes we were facing due to incompetent planning/bad luck had me eating primarily bread and soda, so as to eat for two bucks a day. Depressing, and when you consider I still hadn’t showered, slept in a bed, or jerked off in a week, you are only beginning to understand my mental state. I really wanted to get Canada.] Track down a gift shop where the over-zealous proprietors hook it up with a map of Twin Peaks places and grossly overpriced coffee mugs. More confusion ensues when we cruise around town trying to find the locales specified on the map, such as the Sheriff’s station, which is actually the HQ of a lumber company. Underwhelming to a TP non-believer like me.

Finally hit the fucking road to the frozen North at 4:15. Rush hour aggravation is downplayed by some deft use of carpool lanes. K proves she truly is from LA with super aggro driving. We get off the freeway in Mt. Vernon, WA for food. Our experience is analogous to earlier Leggett/Maxwell ventures. [These are two towns in CA that do not have gas stations where I had wasted precious fuel in the fruitless pursuit of more in the past. However, it turns out that Mt. Vernon is one of those towns where the first exit is at the far south end of town, where there is nothing, you just have to keep the faith and find the middle of town to find services.] We pull over at a food mart where K explains the sitch and her crucial need to pee, and christens the town East Buttfuck, WA, a name we will soon come to regret. It’s non-violence week at the high school. [According to the marquee out in front of it.]

Then Ryan’s car won’t start. A lady loans us cables almost immediately, and we return the favor w/a Datura Blues sticker. She is tickled pink. Get back on the freeway only to get off at the next exit, which is still Mt. Vernon, only a more developed and bathroom-having part. Food at Taco Time. Mt. Vernon is actually full of freakishly nice people. Graffiti in Taco Time bathroom: “Hi” “How’s it going?” “Life is good.” The cashier gives us free food when the food takes longer than three minutes, even though we weren’t at all complaining. I use an ATM for a $1 charge. Marx was right. [This may have been the first time I ever paid a service fee at an ATM. I was fucking pissed.]

Hit the border and spirits are high. Our border check lady is harsh, and sends us over to the main border office for more questioning. O and K have no papers for K2, we all look and smell like ne’er-do-wells, and when R’s ID is run, an uncleared DUI from Arcata pops up. An elderly agent jokes lightheartedly about us “gun-totin’ Americans” on the other side, and tells O and K to get some documents for their kid while R is questioned about his DUI. He explains it was dismissed, and in fact, he recently got a job at an elementary school. [Both of these facts are true, but to have seen our crew, you wouldn’t have believed a word.] All is cool. We enter Surrey, BC, Canada, w/o further mishap. We stop at a Chevron for a logistics meeting, and the first Canadian we meet is American. [That would be the dude working at the Chevron.] I tell him I plan on littering in Vancouver, he is indifferent to this information.

We tune into 550AM, Christian radio. “It’s hard to baptize a man when he’s got a lit cigarette in his mouth and a flask of bourbon in his baptismal robe!” [Quote from the radio] We begin “raging” Vancouver around 9. [We had been use the term “rage/raging” sarcastically the entire trip after encountering a dude on our last night before leaving who was wasted on a whole host of hallucinogens and couldn’t stop using the word. Another key quote of his was “Direct the movie of your life,” which turned to be a String Cheese Incident lyric.] The pedestrian crossing are weird. Christian radio tells a tale that occurs in Imaginaryland. We do the drive around aimlessly routine we have been quite accustomed to over the past few days. Stop at a Travelodge to get a quote, and we try to comprehend the exchange rate. I litter. U-S-A!!

We eventually check into Bowman’s Motor Lodge, where I impersonate a duffel bag in order to get a good deal. [In other words, unlike the Motel 6 the night before, the clerk here was counting heads, so G got in the trunk and I was buried under baggage and clothes in the back seat.] O is irked that R, G, and I feel the need to shower [It had been a fucking week!], but we do so in quick succession. O/G head to the lounge downstairs to get the ball rolling. R and I catch up, admire, the velvet portrait of Monica Lewinsky hanging behind the bar, then we split. We roll through the gay district in search of a casa de cambio, G and I dropping “California”s liberally. [A friend of ours had just been to Canada for the first time over New Year’s, and came back reporting that “Chicks there love Californians. Just mention you’re from California, and you’re in. Spoiler: this did not work for us.] Exchange rate is approximately 1:1.5. We get some funny money and point our radar towards the Yale, a “dirty blues club” recommended to us by a homeless guy. Along the way, we hit our first slice of bargain pizza, 2$ Canadian. Pesto. Not bad.

The Yale is not dirty at all. Yale Ale: $4.75, pretty good beer, though I’m not thrilled about the price. [This was the first time I had ever been in a bar, not counting drinking a poolside beer with my Dad in Mexico when I was 15. I had no idea that drinking at a bar was more expensive than drinking at home. I was a damn idiot, and in many ways, I still am.] Shoot some pool, R spanks me. Molson’s is not any cheaper than Yale, goddammit, I’m on a budget here. The band starts up, I deem them blues for the corporate executive, i.e. completely soulless. We bounce. Stop at a porno shop- not too interesting. I find some coins on the street, one is of indeterminate Nordic origin. Strange. Back to hotel after playing  the split-up game. I read a gay newspaper on the street for fifteen minutes. [This was all because G and I were not registered to our room, so we didn’t all want to walk in together.]

Sleepytime – we resolve that tomorrow will be an orgy of booze, porn, and dollar pizza. Yee-haw.

**Notes from end of preceding day’s entry:

Mt. Vernon: Bony Pony Western Wear/Chuckanut Drive/Gay 90’s barber shop w sign in window: “Kids in the back seat cause accidents. Accidents in the back seat cause kids”

Contents of my pockets upon arriving at Bowman’s Motor Hotel: cassette tape, pen, copper bracelet, 4 packets sugar, two picks, one washer, earplugs, delusional dream diatribe from evening of 1/9, paper w/phone #s, K records keychain, my dorm keys, take-out menu from Indian restaurant, Ahisma magnet, mini application for Fife Taco Bell, yellow papers spray-painted blue (these were intended to become album covers for the copies of our new demo we never duplicated). And a healthy dose of rock and roll attitude. [This last line makes me cringe.]

**Notes at the end of 1/10’s entry:

– K’s remark to R right before starting the wedding ceremony: “Do you think it’s weird that you’ve made out with both of us?”

-G, on Canada: “Where do they get these stupid names?”

-R, to me, while checking in: “Shut up, duffel bag.”

-Drunk guy from the Vista, oft-quoted: “Woooooooo!” [This was the same dude I described earlier as having added “rage/raging” to our vocabulary for the week. We met him outside the Vista in Eureka.]

-North Bend had big mysterious building w/Nintendo logo on it [This is Nintendo USA’s main manufacturing facility, but at the time we wanted to think there was something far stranger going on there.]

-G sez I’m a walking Mad Lib

-Three best musical moments of tour so far: TASOH, Residual, D Blues show in Oly that I didn’t play in

-Fingers of the Sound [This was the beginning of a poem I was writing based on my first night in Oly. Couldn’t tell ya if I ever finished it.]

-New “Sidewheelers”: Boy Scout leader, porn theatre, Wal-Mart greeter, hummingbird feeder, first Marxist reader, handlebar streamer, non-dairy creamer, pipe dreamer, broken femur, Mary, Paul and Peter, misdemeanor, flaccid weiner, Charlie Sheener, chicken caesar, cake eater, pant pleater, vodka litre

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