Like an Evil Hugh Grant | 30th June 2011 | 15:34 PDT

I was strongly recommended that I should visit a place called Vermont Street by this French lady, she described the place to me as "Incredible, Fresh, Green, Easy going, Boutique shops, Friendly neighbourhood with musicans and... oh, it is JUST amazing you JUST have to go!"

So, here I am, I've JUST arrived to Vermont street from a 2 hour bus ride and I was feeling fresh! (as rigamortis) - I was recommended a restaurant a few blocks up away from my present location and I start to reluctantly walk towards it. thankfully this friendly part of town was incredibly welcoming with its:
  -  Boutique shops (crumbling beige strip malls with dilapidated signs)
  -  Green spaces (from empty weed ridden demolished building lots)
  -  Friendly people (bums shaking their empty change cup at you)
  -  Musicians (bums shaking their few cent full change cup at you)
  -  A tree (that, at least, was half alive with a flower)

I was so engrossed in lapping up the sheer beauty of, what French people thought was an incredible neighbourhood that I didn't notice this obstacle blocking the path. by the time I realised it was too late... this tramp had been trodden on.

Now, in my defence I had no hope of avoiding him as 48% of the path was used by his worldly possessions of packing foam, half a chair, candlestick, concrete slab and the letter C and some other random bits compacted into a shopping trolley, 51% was him sleeping face down in the sun, leaving just 1 measly percent for me to navigate around him.

Imagine this tree is a tramp and you see my problem (via

Honestly, it was like looking at a teenager's bedroom, he was just sprawled out all over the place with no respect to his surroundings, like he was entitled to live there or something.

Stepping back, I try and diffuse any harsh feelings that may have brewed from this incident by sounding as friendly as I can... resulting in sounding like Hugh Grant that has just taken prick pills

"Oh blimey! I'm terribly sorry, I was in a world of my own and didn't notice you"
he burped out a I-am-disgruntled-by- it-but-too-apathetic-to-care type of gargle groan thing.
"Look, sorry, I really am"
I tread around him in that 1% gap between him and his trolley.

My first foot succeeds in this, as it has had a dress rehearsal. My trailing foot hasn't had this luxury and no doubt suffering from stage fright as it forcefully brushes the tramp's body. Not enough to be classed as a "kick" but like a hard stroke, like you would stroking the head of a dog after its done something very good, like, fetching a paper!

As I said, just a little "brush" with my foot (via

Regardless, I instantly lost my nerve and couldn't find the words nor the voice to say anything, all I could feel were his drunken blurry eyes, trying to find focus on to the back of my head to make it explode.

I just grit my teeth and cross the street with bright red i-am-an-idiot embarrassment and hoped he could read my mind about how sorry I really was.

The same?! | 29th June 2011 | 21:13 PDT

Eat fresh. Stay dumb. (via
Popping into my local Subway for a sub, I had the joy of this conversation.
"Oh, you're back! How was your trip?"
"Yeah, incredibly amazing, simply life-changing"
"Wow, that sounds amazing"
"Hmm, it was. Sad to be leaving to Canada next week"
Awkward silence as she makes my sandwich
"Everything from the salad, except jalapeƱos, thanks"
She puts on lettuce... "Anything else?"
"Yes, everything. Tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, everything, except jalapeƱos"
  -  You know, the same selection of salad I have every time I come here
She pipes up away from salad talk, "is the money the same?"
"What, in Canada? No, it's a different country"
"No I know THAT, but on your road trip around the southwest"
"Oh, my road trip around America! Yes, the money is the same"
  -  Yep, this new revelation for her sounded like it blew the boundaries of thought and reason straight out the window into a black hole to create a new universe of wonderment.

Perils of working too hard | 28th June 2011 | 22:44

The last few days I have been consumed with writing about my road trip in my notepad.

At first, the "work" makes my eyes dart open as the bags under my eyes being to thicken, droop and cool off, everything seems fine and manageable at this point.

Uh oh... My throat is closing up, I start develop this undesired, involuntary action of burping and I can't stop it. Any attempt to, results in more burping. I have to lie down as brain reliant functions have ground to a halt.

A tingling sensation runs up and down my throat as these internal sparklers reach my lungs and can feel them dispersing to my skin making the hairs dance a Mexican wave of confused bliss that I'm not staring at a notebook any more. I fall asleep.

Oi, get off my bloody arm! (via
I wake up feeling as fresh as a daisy, yay, with more writing to do!

2482.72 miles short of Hawaii | 27th June 2011 | 13:24 PDT

After being here for such a long time, it felt right considering that I've been staring at it for hours and hours during my time here and it does seem a bit rude of me not to do it sooner. The Pacific Ocean and I shall meet, face to face.

I walk along the beach in an intended slow pace to build up suspense about this meet but, as the sand was a few degrees cooler than an active volcano's crater and I could feel the soles of my feet burning to the bone, I skipped and ran over it like the wimp I am, losing any cool I may have had (even more cool lost, as children were walking across this sandy fire pit with ease). I make the oceans edge and step slowly into the froth of a newly beached wave. I see steam rising from my feet, as they make first contact.

"I've got an itching burning sensation on my foot" - "No wonder man, your foot's on fire" (via

I continue into the water and it creeps up my leg. I'm noticing this unusual sensation setting in, as the water covers the skin for a short amount of time, this weird feeling quickly disappears so I ignore it. I wander further towards Hawaii and it is not until a wave pops up from the big blue and shoots up past my leg to my belly button that I feel this whimsical feeling again but in a violent magnitude, especially in and around my groin.

ARGH! Damn you sun, with you weak heat not penetrating down beneath the surface of this cold-shrink-inducing water!

It was at that point, I would've loved to have ran out the sea screaming like a kindergarten child seeing a tarantula for the first time... by it landing on the kids face. With people observing me, I have no option but to go in further.

In the far off distance, a tubular wave is majestically created from nothing and over revolves itself to tumble and crash at its feet, melting into a bumpy sheet bouncy white foam "Now would you just look at that!" I think "Wow, that's amazing!"

I was mesmerized by this spectacle, the calm looking gentle froth was bounding playfully towards me, but before I knew what's what, this friendly thing turned into tiny white buffalo stampeding towards me. I couldn't react quick enough as it was going too fast and was way to huge to get out the way (not sure how is even do that) - all I could do now is close my eyes and wince.

It felt this big, was in fact, just a ripple (via

The wave washed over me and a feeling identical to being in the darkest and coldest depths of outer space, a sub-zero hyperthermia inhabits my body completely numbing itself from existence.

From then on, as I had nothing left to fear and no more body parts capable of feeling. I had a bloody wonderful time, being fascinated by these perfect waves and being smashed about by the forces of nature. Simply swell, dude!

Turn ticketed entertainment | 26th June 2011 | 21:21 PDT

As I stood there on the edge of Palisades Park looking at the sun falling uncontrollably behind the mountains and sketching a palm tree that looks more like a pipe cleaner with frayed edges, I'm approached by this guy who walks straight by me and overlooks my shoulder.

"Don't mind me...
  -  I will mind you! You're overlooking me
...Just seeing what you're doing, looks amazing, you're talented"
  -  I don't mind you anymore
"Thank you very much, just trying to burn some pages in this notebook and this seemed the only way to do it"
"I'm Tyrone, nice to meet you"
"I'm Rupert, likewise"

This, but with more hair (via
The conversation moved on from sketching to where we're from, he was from a valley near Sacramento, and made the day trip down to Santa Monica with his family to see this side of town, then some of his group appeared from the BBQ happening under the trees, taking interest in my notebook with consequential compliments.

That conversation ended with another person turning up, it felt like they were secretly taking tickets and queueing up to talk to this sideshow event happening in front of them "Come here to TALK to the guy that speaks funny!" - Sharonda was this girl's name, we talk London and travelling abroad that isn't Canada and becoming a doctor.

This, but with my name in lights (via

Another guy from the group approaches me, quickly hiding his ticket, called Winford and we chat back to sketching and how he lost his nerve to sketch when he got intimidated by his brother's talent, in which I reply, "Stop being an idiot and get on with it, it's all subjective and if it makes you happy just do it" - probably a bit harsh seeing as I just met the guy, he seemed to appreciate it as I'm not dead at the foot of the bluffs.

When all the punters, happy after queueing so long in line to come and see with their own eyes and talk with their own voice to this peculiar fellow drawing in the dark, they left without saying goodbye, just disappeared into the dark, well I could still see them as they all migrated back over to their BBQ, and I was left there going... oh ok, bye then... You're welcome!

And I walked off...

But, what I should have done, is walked over there and go "Don't mind me, I'm just curious to how it tastes" then, helped myself to some of their BBQ off their plates. Well, I entertained you guys with my art show and sparkling conversation for about an hour. It's how we do things on our small strange island and it's really only fair!

This (via / Vitaliy Gutnichenko)

Deciphering scribbles | 25th June 2011 | 16:44 PDT

Returning with a mighty depressive crash into the Earth's surface from my amazing life-changing yada yada yada road trip (not helped with my leaving of Santa Monica in a few days) - I needed to move out of my room into the sunshine, keep moving - it wasn't as fast as a car but maybe something interesting will happen that will equally equal the road trip... It didn't happen, but as I was walking down Santa Monica Promenade amongst all the musically talented street performers, there was this one quiet musician off the main strip.

I walk over to him and he starts talking to me and with my sudden close proximity to him, the inspection I do with my eyes and not ears I realise, he had no instrument, ahhh that's probably why he was so quiet for musician! I read the big clear sign it says "Handwriting Analysis (Scientific!)"

I decide to do it. I knew he was legitimate as this Caucasian Texan was wearing a turban and held a shaft with a green "jewel" on it and he makes me sit down and tell me to write this passage "It is not because things are difficult that we don't dare; it is because we don't dare that things are difficult". He takes the paper away from me and starts rubbing it between his fingers flipping it over and over again, paying close attention to the reverse side before going "Aha!"

Yes, I would definitely trust this man with my life (

He continues "See here... you have good margins, your Ts are 7s and your Es are Ls with - in them... To me this means you are terrible at golf, you are a walking time bomb of a constant battle of creativity and logic, you're very astute with the world around you and are often right, but you always think in worst case scenarios and will be your demise, you sleep on the left side of the bed, your right leg is shorter than your left, you have issues with your 8th vertebrae, you hate advise but the main thing is... You're terrible at golf"

Well, I can't say fairer than that - I am pretty bad at golf - I gave him beer money before running off to the beach to practice my swing and prove him wrong the next time our paths cross.