entry uploaded 06.04.09 - video uploaded 06.12.09
5:54 PM, Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009:
Damn... had to write one more entry in London. Well technically I'm on my way to Amsterdam, but I'm not making another entr-bar template. Those are a bitch. So many random stories and I'm sure there'll be a ton more - so I gotta get 'em out now. I'll start with the video - which is a nice little rapid-fire piece of fun of all the little random things I've seen so far...
If your computer can handle it (meaning it doesn't stutter once it's loaded) click the "HQ" button
...which is also a nice segue into the first random. 'Cause that song owns me right now.
1) Floating like a mofo
In my life, I've never written a more personally engrossing song. I'm listening to the mp3 on a loop right now - and it's like the anthem of this trip. Hell it's the anthem of everything that's happened in the past week.

It's gone well past catchy into this nearly religious mantra that repeats ad infinitum. I feel it in my bones. It was initially a song about Paradigm becoming dependent on Comedy Central, and now it's just the Journey song. And in 2 entries you'll finally understand why that's so important. I've been waiting for 3 months to let this one out of the bag - and there's no better place than Africa. Well, there probably is -- ha -- but it's as random a place as I could choose to announce this. Can't wait.

2) Alom the Mirror
So the guy I was staying with, Alom, became quite a friend in the short time we spent together. So many similar views and just an all-around likeable guy. However, what was just overwhelming was how I saw myself when I was around him. If ya wanna play stereotypes (and clearly I do right now), there is a reserved attitude of the british and Alom is actually an exception to that rule. He's blazingly intelligent and very outspoken...but compared to me, his jaw might as well have been wired shut. We really hit it off because he seems like he's busting at the seams to get around more outspoken and like-minded people... but the entire time I kept looking at how I must look to him in almost amazement. I really am strange. Not just strange in London, but an anomally the more I compare myself and my outlook to others. It's honestly a product of this project and how it forces you to put it all out there. I just have no walls. I don't know anyone who has no walls. This will all be a book someday, I'm sure...

As will teaching brothas the absolute "how-not-tos" when trying to impress a lady. This man ordered the fruitiest coconut drink and asked her 3 times to be sure to make it non-alcoholic. Then just raved about how good it was. It tasted like a children's drink you'd get at a 7-11. Then he proceeds to give her a 5 pound ('bout $9) tip. I just shoot my head, drank my pint, and wanted to hug the poor bastard. I'll be back in London at the end of this trip, we may make an instructional video and go back to that bar for round 2.

And it will be a how-not-to mind you, not a how-to because I don't go to bars. Lemme think about this... no, I have never in my entire life picked up a woman at a bar. That's an incredible statement. But it's just 'cause bars bore me. My favorite thing to do with a woman (honestly) is talk -- with something else being a close 2nd -- and usually you can't do that at bars. So my best attribute (and my 2nd best - LOL) -- they go right out the window. All that considered, you don't order a drink like that and then pull the "outrageously high tip" move. 'Cause now she just thinks you're a RICH gay guy. And I know Alom is not gay. He didn't want to cuddle after sex.
3) Go is Coming
So in London they caution you before you GO with a double light of Red/Yellow...

So when you see red/yellow you take your foot off the break and hit the gas as it turns green. It's a great idea, that would be a disaster in the States. The difference in London is that the stop lights are very congested and there's little room to run a light. Back home the intersections are just so damn big, that there's all this subjective timing on if you can make it or not. For some reason it just doesn't feel that way in London. Then again, maybe we'll be seeing red/yellow lights soon. It certainly would make traffic move a bit quicker.

4) Goofy American
Double-decker buses are fun. They're like riding an amusement ride. To anyone living in London, they're where you have to go if the first deck is full.

Alom humored me a few times, but it never got old. How can you not think that's fun as hell bein' that high up and watching the world below? I even set-up the videophone to show peeps the view outside my window which apparently is Double-decker bus central. We all giggled. It's worthless to act like we're not all a little goofy about things like that. Differences are fun. The dude yesterday yelling out "Right-O" and not trying to make fun of the British accent is just fun. :-)

5) Bathroom Technology RULES
Am I the only one enamored with all things bathroom when I'm in a different place? And just new bathroom technology in general is a source of great amusement for me. The first time I entered and left a public bathroom having touched nothing but my dick and some toilet paper just blew my mind. I know there's a classier way to say that but I'm exhausted on an airplane and hey, I talk like that.

But seriously - automatic soap, automatic water and automatic dryer. But nothing as cool as this thing. It jets hot-air completely around your hands and I swear your hands are dry in 3 seconds.
It was like I was in Back to the Future 2 or some shit. I mean, clearly I was impressed I took freaking video of it. But I'm always 10 years old when it comes to technology. That's why I'll always be Cameron. So fun.
You know what else is fun? Free beer on an airplane. You may have a Coke, or you may have a Heineken. The last thing I needed in my already exhausted state was alcohol, but for free? LOL. Hopefully I get to the point in my life where I don't feel like I'm wasting something if I don't accept every gift that comes my way... but I'm certainly not there now. And if you're handing out free Heinekens on an airplane, I'm not picking a Diet Coke. I've never had a beer on a plane in my life. Fun. Then again, it is Amsterdam, I guess giving away alcohol is the least they could do. I wonder what Kenyan Air will have?
That answers that question. It all tastes like beer to me. Which is to say it bores the hell out of me. But when in Rome...
7) Speaking of Rome...
I still haven't the slightest idea what happens after Paris. I really love that about travelling and did the exact same thing when I went to Japan in '05. Just kind of roam around and find your way. I've connected with a few people on couchsurfing.com but am leaning towards Venice only because it's closer and, well, I just don't care about the tourist attractions. Is that strange? I mean, the things that you have to see? I don't have to. Abbey Road meant something to me. Big Ben doesn't. Other than it was the best part of European Vacation:  "Look kids! Big Ben". I know I'm all the way out here, and I should see all of these things before I die but... I've always hated the big sites. Tours? Shoot me. I want to envelop myself in another culture and just live like I always live. I haven't the slightest idea why the hell I'm so anti-tourist attractions. Maybe because it's already been done before? If it's what everyone does? I'm automatically turned off. Repeating anything annoys me for some reason. I'm sure there's some psycho-analysis to be had somewhere within this paragraph, but I'm too tired to care.
8) Air France
Yeah, I saw it. I know that my chances of survival just went through the roof when I fly Air France next week, but it doesn't make it any more disheartening. Like a lightening bolt knows what happened the week previous.
Shittiest picture ever - but that was in Holland and it "Jet disappeared"
I just hated hearing it because it foreshadowed what my friends/family would hear/see if anything happened. I'm pretty empathetic to how on edge some people are about this trip, especially with the unbelieveable good fortunes of last week. Everyone really wants to see things unfold and as I mentioned in the last entry from LA - there's a poetic foreboding feeling about making it on that level, then getting eaten by a lion or some shit. Simply put, I never would've planned this after Thursday. I will be very, very happy to be safe at home on July 2nd.
...and then I will die in a car crash on the 405. LOL. So why even think about it. Live this life for now. :-)
9) Seven Pounds of Shit
What the hell did I just witness. That was a collassal waste of time... one I've not experienced in -- you know, with the advent of the internet and rotten tomatoes? I cannot remember the last time I saw a horrible movie. but make no mistake, Seven Pounds is a horrible movie. You literally have no idea what's going on for 2 hours, and then you find out what was going on the previous 2 hours -- and it's completely unbelieveable. And that all takes about 5 minutes. The entire movie you're wondering why the fuck anything is happening. I gotta say, I'm personally sick of this whole writing technique that has swept movies and tvs in the "double-0s". This "Lost" type of storytelling where you just leave out information repeatedly for... YEARS? Fuck me. Any other writers out there tired of it? Any professional writers that write a good story, and are then forced to take out information to put it back in at the end? Like - that's fine for one act... but all 3 until the final moments? Enough. Seriously, Seven Pounds was excruciating. What a waste of good acting.
10) Journey Gods pick LA
It is absolutely ridiculous what's about to happen. For newcomers to The Journey, in 2007 4 of the 5 sports teams I follow made it to the respective championships, and then lost. The chances of this are absolutely astronomical. Chicago Bears, Ohio State Buckeyes in both football and basketball and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bittersweet. My career? Best of my life, got offered Up & Adam and then lost it. Had CBS, and then Friedman got fired. Hard to not make the connection. 2008? 2 of the 5 teams got to the championship (Buckeyes Football and Lakers)... and also lost. So in 2 years there were 6 chances to actually win a championship, and nothing. Career-wise, a myriad of close-calls - but nothing. Clearly wasn't my year. And this year? Just 1 - The Lakers. BET YOUR LIFE on the LAKERS. After the events of Thursday, I don't think there's a better bet. First of all - I just can't believe this is even happening. Do you know how long you usually wait as a sports fan for your team to get to the championships? Even when you follow 5 teams, that's across 4 different sports. Incredible. Anyway, bet your house on the Lakers. And can I just say - thank GODDDDDDDDDDDD LeBron didn't make it? I mean, I want to see that match-up worse than any match-up EVER, and I will be in Africa during the Finals. I was bummin' hard. Now at least I'm just missing one team in the Finals. Just crazy.
11) Surfing the Cushions
And speaking of crazy, this site is unbelieveable. To everyone who thinks they can't afford a trip - just read this site. Read the stories, see what people are doing. It's this community of people that live the philosophy of offering their couches to travellers and helping them out, tellin' them the places to go -- and even going with them if they can... sharing their city. It's set-up kinda like ebay in that the feedback is uber-important. When someone agrees to host you, you both have the ability to write on the person's profile -- so it's in everyone's best interest for things to go well. Once you've gotten vouched for (someone who has been vouched for by 3 people on the site can vouch for you), it sets up another level of trust. Linda and I are using it in Nairobi and I have one set-up in Venice. It's just amazing. What I find so incredible is... I actually prefer staying at someone's house. When I was in Japan I was so excited when I found the ryokans which were basically just people's houses. That's how you want to see a country - the hotels are boring. I want to live like the locals, and I actually mean that. So this site is an absolute dream to me - and it opens up the world. You can literally travel the world for the price of a ticket and food. So exciting.
12) I'm Blessed.
And finally, I know that I constantly try and inspire people and say "You can do anything!!!". The truth is however, I am very lucky to have the opportunities I do and although several of them have taken a lot of sacrifice and courage... I am fortunate. Several of you reading could not follow in my footsteps no matter how much you "believe". Now, I have 2 mortgages and am doing all of this on credit believing it will bring more. That's a risk for sure... but I don't have a wife or kids and I was fortunate to cash-out my home equity line when I did. Oh, and I own a house. Now I have killed myself to keep it and I cut financial corners in ways the majority of people wouldn't, but I am very fortunate. I say all of this because I'm sure many of you read the inspirational stuff and have to think: "Will this single fucker with no kids shut up already?" So although I hope to push people past their fears, I just want you to know - I get it. Hopefully through this site you can experience what it's like to sacrifice everything for your dream... from the comfort of your home.
Welcome to The Journey. And now I'll see you in Africa.
PS - no internet access made those last 4 randoms boring as hell 'cause I can't google pics. Sorry about that. :-)