Saturday, December 22, 2007

Truck 4 sale

I'm definitely flying by the seat of my pants down here. Two vehicles, one license plate, nowhere to hide. The good news is I managed to find my misplaced digital camera and thus was able to get Truck House on eBay about a minute ago. If you want to buy Truck House, here's the link:

Also included here is a picture of Truck House showing how it was set up like a squatter cabin. That's how it was. Not uncomfortable, but not very well thought out. In comparison, the van (Van House?) is much more 'open.' I can have the side windows open, and even get a breeze. I have the entire back section curtained off with three $3.50 table cloths from K-Mart which are clipped in place with those clips I got at Staples. This setup is about as near-perfect as I can imagine. The cloth is thin enough that it lets in some light and breeze. I can see shapes of things or people outside, but nobody can see in at all, hands cupped to the window or anything. The curtains are a reasonable match to the color scheme, and go to the inside of the existing curtains and 'window dressing shit.' This results in a thoroughly normal looking vehicle. The built-in ambient lighting, reading lamps, and storage space are all great. It's TV-ready. If I want to start watching movies, I can just plug the components right in. For now, I have underwear and a quasi medicine cabinet instead. I have to do something about the enormous electrically powered fold-out bed. It takes up twice as much space as it should. I'm also carting around an extra captain's chair that I took out of the floor. That's jammed head-first behind the bed. I'm thinking about throwing all that stuff in a dumpster on the fly. But then I won't have it "if I need it." To me this is a highly amusing "stuff" dilemma for someone trying to simplify.

I was talking to Seth yesterday to find out where he said the unlimited french toast was. He is constructing a deck on the roof of his van, which is strap-clamped in place. He built it in the Home Depot parking lot. When I was talking to him he was standing up there putting a canvass 'fence' around it with bamboo posts. He's going to drive into the desert and set up camp, and have a little star gazing setup. Seth was talking to another guy who lives in his pickup truck. This guy told us that he enjoys that the last thing he sees before sleeping is the stars. He said he wasn't trying to be poetic or some shit, but there is so much action up there. Then he asked if I wanted to buy any porno dvds. That reminded me that I think I've seen him before in the K-Mart parking lot, when I was deliriously tired after no-sleep when Truck House was getting worked on. "Nah, man, I don't have a TV anyway." "You sure you don't want to look at what I got?" "Nah - I don't even have electricity." Pause... "I believe you..." Somehow that caused me to burst out laughing. "Alright then."

I ran into Seth again today getting breakfast from Publix. I gave him the Van House tour, and got his strong approval. He was excited to poke around under the hood and start looking at conditions and fluids. He knows I know nothing of this, but we compared engine areas for a few minutes and chatted. He said everything looks great on my end, and showed me where he has some cardboard and shit jammed in his engine compartment keeping that great as well. He paid $500 for his van. Maybe I'll do that some day when I learn how to fix 1979 vans. I like the idea of a fucked up painted beast. He's got a real gem.

I'd like to have something meaningful to say about my feelings concerning Truck House, but I really can't come up with something. It seems that it was just a box truck, and a vessel to get me down here, and a place to sleep. I have no real love or hate for Truck House, but from a practical standpoint I'll be happy to see it go.

Friday, December 21, 2007

1990 GMC Vandura conversion van

I'm sitting in my new van. I made an offer, which was subsequently accepted, for a van on eBay. As I've stated, a van will fill my needs much better than Truck House, and make much more sense overall. As I have not yet stated, but would like to now: this van is awesome. It's a 1990 GMC Vandura conversion van outfitted with the "Explorer" package. The 'Explorer' part is just a description of which company decked out the interior. The van has 91,000-some miles, and drives dreamily. It's quiet, rolls smooth on the highway, is very clean and makes me very happy. It has a CB radio.

After wiring funds for the van on Tuesday, I left yesterday in a rented car on a one-way trip to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater airport. There I met the seller, Don, who took me to my purchase. We gawked and squawked for a few minutes, starting it up and opening the doors and closing them - then he signed over the title. Since I want to register it in Pennsylvania, and this is Florida, and it was already 6pm, I had no tag - temporary or otherwise. I decided to roll without one, and I'm about 50 miles from Key West now where I'll deposit the van in a safe location until a proper tag can arrive. I had a long drive and very little sleep at the point of purchase, and left in my new car pre-exhausted for a night of fun.

Within a couple hours, traveling approximately nowhere due to a couple stops, I parked at a Wal-Mart. I was happy and delirious. I went into Wal-Mart to look for something to use as a curtain (maybe a curtain), and ended up with a reflective windshield shade, a long skinny sandwich, and a 4 pack of tall Miller High Life. It took at least 30 minutes to round up these items. The back of the van (license plate end) was parked into some shrubs, so I thought I was safe for the night. Windshield cover in place, curtains closed and clipped tight, I called it a night. I drank 2.5 of the beers and accomplished the sandwich before passing out. I was pretty well hidden, but a security guard busybody had me beat. Around 3am I got a knock on the side door from a police officer who was looking for clues. I kept my bottom half in my sleeping bag, and answered the door. He asked a few things that I can still remember.
"Have you been drinking?"
- "yes"
"Well I can see it and smell it" (gotcha!)

This exchange amused me. I already admitted it, and he continued with his line anyway. At this point, he wanted to know about the no-plate thing. I told him that I just bought it hours ago, and I pulled over because I couldn't keep my eyes open. I showed him the title and bill of sale. Then he had to take some notes. I liked this exchange.
"Eyes... blue"
- "Blue"
"Tattoo of a turtle on your stomach"
- "yup"

All noted on the police-work tablet. He told me where to get a temporary tag (which would have been the smart thing to do), and he told me about the ordinance against sleeping in vehicles, (but I could sit in the driver's seat). He said not to drive, or something-something consequences. Then he left. When I judged that he'd been gone for about one minute, I got the hell out of there and parked behind a church. Best sleep ever.

After some driving this morning, I went to Waffle House, and on the way out some radio DJs from some show called me. I don't know who or what show, and I wouldn't have answered the call if I knew I'd be on the air, etc. These were the first DJs who were real dull-normal jackasses. Real proponents of the 9-5 work week and having money to buy things to make you happy. I was slightly successful at setting the record straight at a few points, but they were persistently boring and unimaginative. They were pretty mediocre humans. They're the kind of guys who might run over your cat, then trivialize it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

S'not all great

All these posts seem really happy. And I've captured some great moments for myself here. At the heart of it all - my heart - I'm still homesick a lot. Or just looking for another change. I'm not completely wild about the job, and I'm not so wild about the truck either. I've had some great moments, but I have a tendency to screw it up by thinking about what could be better. A van would truly make more sense for me. The interior of Truck House has a huge amount of wasted space. These pedicabs are so mechanically beat that it boggles the mind. This is my complaining post to balance out the ones that make it seem like everything is 100% peachy-awesome. I'm thinking about several things. Hobostripper (aka Tara) who I respect and find to be wise, said if you're not happy, move the fuck on. I'd like to see San Francisco and Portland. I think that feels important. I'm definitely switching to a van, but don't know when. Money rules my mind, and I keep hearing "keep the bike, keep the bike" - the pedicab - because in a week, we'll all be making money. This gives me comfort. But I'm still apprehensive. I'm still parking in my a-list spot, hoping nobody notices or cares. I kinda just want to see how that plays out, cause there is NO other spot on this island 1/10th as good.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Truck's Fixed / Everybody Dances

Truck seems good for now anyway. On Stock Island, $380 will buy you a three night stay at a repair shop, two new batteries (main and backup), and a long and possibly coked-up story about 499 trophies.

I don't have much Truck House specific news, so I'm just going to start sharing moments that give a picture of what it's like here in Key West for me. I do have one specific story that is closely related to vehicle living though. I had my first police encounter.

I had about 4 beers on the beach after work. Two big beers in reality. One bottle one can. (Clap your hand). Then I zipped out to Stock Island, which is the next island up from Key West, to get into Truck House. I was opening the lock and rolling up the back door when a police cruiser pulled in behind me pretty fast. His main concern was to establish that I was a person, and this was my truck. I showed him my ID so he knew I was real. It was clear that I hadn't jimmy'd the lock. Basically it was 4am and he saw me with the city bike (highly suspect bum-machine) and thought I might be breaking in. I told him I live with the brazilian guys who I ride the pedicabs with, but I was crashing here 'cause I didn't want to impose on them tonight. The cop was pretty nice about it, and gave me zero bullshit. He asked to look inside, and I rolled up the door so he could stick his flashlight in there. He even said something like "cool setup." This encounter went as good as possible because I gave short reasonable answers and kept my fucking mouth shut at every opportunity. Then I got in and burned some incense to try to get rid of the wood and paint smell. That's starting to work for me.

Right now, flash forward to truck-is-fixed, I'm parked in my A-list spot with the roll up door halfway up. It's fine. I'm catching a breeze, there are people walking around and parking, nobody cares. I just watched a Key West rain storm - a long one at about 30 minutes. I also got about a two hour nap right here with the back door open and a modest breeze keeping me very comfortable. I'm settling in. I won't let myself be concerned with the police anymore. I'll do what I think is fair and reasonable, because I don't like being sneaky or scared, which I had an initial tendency to feel. Each day I plan like a dog. Sit around at one place until for some reason you get up and move - I roll around endlessly on a cheap bike. All of my time is spent outside, and the truck is there just to sleep in. I haven't had a real (long/hot) shower for 13 days, and I don't care. I haven't had electricity, and I haven't needed it. My little 3 AA battery lantern is on the original batteries, and I'm making enough money to buy whatever I want. Cuban sandwiches. I ate two of the best sandwiches down here. Best ingredients, then they get smooshed flat in a special industrial strength Forman grill. I danced around a little bit on the end of the pier last night. This is a pretty easy place to "put in the time" as Huck Finn put it. "Dog my cats" as Jim might add.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Outrageous aspects

Key West has a huge population of stray cats and roosters. Roosters are literally all over the place just strutting around and making noise. The population of wild homeless folks is also very high. This is the capital of being homeless with flair. There are a lot of drifter-performers and outlandish drunks. There are at least a few ever-present known-drunk-Santas. One is a jerk on a cruiser. I'm developing a shouting relationship with several recognized characters with whom pointless warm greetings are exchanged. In a town with no enforced open beverage laws it turns into a real scene. Key West also has some highly outrageous bicycles. The number of asinine cruisers per capita is way up. Tall-tall handlebars are everywhere. Paint schemes and rust cover bikes on every block. I commented on one, and the paint was reportedly done by Captain Outrageous, who was running for mayor some years ago. Guys in box trucks are cool, but they won't ever make the front page of The Citizen. I met a guy who blows glass in a van. He said he needs to get some gear first, but he'll show me how to blow some pipes - it's easy. He said I'd see him out on the street. I have, and I will. He sells glass, and his friends do various hippie street performer stuff.

Sleeps, peeps and trucks

I'm at the library again. I can tell about a few things. The day before yesterday, I was parked in a great spot and had the roll up door open and I was cooking and having a good time before work. I did a radio interview again - for CBS radio? - and got to tell them I was having a great time and looking out at the water and cooking. That was really nice. I did another radio interview - don and mike? - about 20 mins later. I think that's it for the media. The interviews are pretty damn fun though. I feel like I get to set people straight about some silly points about the way things are and the stuff people need. I get to say how I'm out at 3am taking buck naked showers at the beach, and other fairly random stuff.

So the next morning I was still parked at the hot spot, and Truck House wouldn't start. I had to get towed to Stock Island, just across the bridge. For some reason this didn't even bother me. Typically I'd get all bent up about it, but I didn't feel a thing. I was headed over there anyway to get a safety check when the truck wouldn't start. The 'wrecker' (tow truck for trucks) dropped Truck House off pretty close to the road, US-1. I decided to pack up what I thought I needed and see if I could spend a night without Truck House. After work, I stayed up drinking three tall beers at the beach slowly, and continued to screw around on my bike and at Waffle House until after the sun came up. Eventually I just went to the truck and tried to sleep. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I got zero sleep. The truck was still parked right next to the road, and trucks were whizzing by. Eventually I just got up and tried to manage. By the time work rolled around I was pretty deprived of sanity. I was just thinking everything was funny, and doing a lot of laughing. I didn't work very hard, and I even fell asleep in the back of the cab for a half hour down by the pier. I ran into Seth again, and he suggested we get key lime pie and french fries at a place where he gets half off. At this point, I was ready to throw in the towel. Pies and fries was perfect. We talked about things ideas and places, and I got some perspective. Seth said "Isn't it funny they don't get it at all and we're sitting here having key lime pie in paradise?" I'd told him all this wasn't completely easy for me, but I also agreed completely. Definitely a good guy.

I went from there to a hotel pool. Then I headed for the Truck feeling clean and cold. The Truck was still in the same spot. I slept fine though, since I got about zero hours last night. I woke up to the sound of the hood getting popped open. I got dressed and got out and told them I sleep in the truck. They thought that was pretty normal. I think the battery just died, but I'm waiting for the final report on that and the rattling that the engine does.

Last night my friend Mateos from Brazil (and from work) told me to hold the back of his moped and get pulled with my bike. We went for a little bit, and I said "I can ride faster than this!" He said let's race, and I think he got a kick out of opening the moped all the way up with me still rolling about 5 feet behind. I'm always trying to race a moped on the city bike.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Who I met

I'm in a pretty good mood at this point. I have met some pretty fantastic individuals, and I'm happy to know these people exist. After work on my second night I was walking around the beach paths around 2am or so. I ran into a guy riding a bicycle around and waved. That was Dan from Maryland who drove down here to simplify his life and live outside. My age. We have a lot of the same thoughts and feelings about life and all of the details. Our move down here was similarly motivated, except that he is going to the extreme in his thinking and actions in some ways, where I am striving hard to find a happy sustainable medium toward that side of the spectrum. We discussed this and other ideas until about 6am. He hangs out with others who sleep outside on the beach and island.

Sleeping in the Truck at this point was starting to wear thin. Too much traffic outside, and sleeping late is difficult. That makes it tough when I get off of work at 4am. I had another pretty poor night of sleeping, and left the island when I woke up to find a place to open the roll up door and air it out and cook some food. On my way back I parked about a hundred yards behind what I suspected were other vehicles being lived in. I wanted to talk to another vehicle dweller to learn their experiences with living here. I found the king! I waved at him a little tentatively through his open door, and he put down his book quickly and invited me in with a warm greeting. I asked a few questions, and he showed me a fat file of paperwork about his experiences in Key West as a vehicle dweller. He was taken to court in 1994, and his case was dismissed. He showed me the original article with a headline stating that a 'man proved living in a vehicle is legal.' I gave him a tour of Truck House, and we discussed the pros and cons. Then we picked up his goofy yellow Schwinn with a small front wheel, stopped by where my city bike was parked, and he showed me some good parking areas that I hadn't yet seen. This man is a smart friendly character. He also introduced me to Seth who lives in his van which is painted all shades of radical. I ran into Seth later and found out he was accepted at MIT. Seems like a pretty smart guy.

Last night, my third night of pedicabbing, I saw Nicholi, one of the guys who sleeps outside, and stopped to talk. He was friends with Dan, who introduced us briefly before we went on a walk. Nicholi, in his own words, is chasing the sun. Random guy said "the cops won't mess with you unless you're really fucking up." Nicholi said "yeah, that's the problem, I'm always fucking up and drinking or some kind of shit." He's very vocal, and he's clearly a good person. He introduced me to some others. Then he said Dan packed up his car and left, and he didn't tell anyone. He wished Dan had said something.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's all pretty solid

I did my first night of pedicabbing last night. I got all the paperwork in order, didn't read the handbook (as per my apparent policy), said that I didn't read it, took a lap around the parking lot of a bank, and was set loose. The man in charge, Tate, said the important thing is just to relax and have fun. So I went off down Duval St. ringing the little bell. Pedicab guys always ring the little bell. All night. At first, I was sort of wondering what I got myself into. New jobs always feel very unnatural. But I'm extremely invested down here at this point, so I'm sticking to it. And by the end of the night it was fun.

It's interesting to note that I am the only American person doing this job. The only one. All the guys are from South America, except for the Australian guy (so far as I know). They're students or some such here to make money for a few months. Also interesting to note is the cost of renting a pedicab from the company that has me on the roster. $500 per week. Yikes. I made about $100 last night at a very lukewarm work pace. I can do better... but yikes. That is not adding up to very much money at all. Everybody claims that it's dead right now, and it will pick up exponentially in a few weeks. If I were to drop out, I'd lose my claim to one of the bikes, and I wouldn't be here to make my fortune when the boom comes. I believe the season will definitely pick up, and I hope it's big bucks. I've heard $1000 can be done on New Years, and if I stay through April I can make $10,000. I don't know how accurate that is, but as I said I feel very invested and I'm sticking around for at least some kind of real money. My first night of 'rent' was free since I'd never ridden a pedicab before. My second night is also on the house because of what happened in the next paragraph.

There are five new guys from Argentina starting, and they need to take the test to get a US driver's license. Tate asked what kind of vehicle I have, to see if it could be borrowed. They could rent one, but a couple of the guys aren't 21, and somehow that won't fly too well. Even if someone else rented the car? I don't know why not - but anyway. I told Tate I've got a box truck, and it wouldn't be too good for taking a test, especially parallel parking. He mentioned he'd comp a nights rent. I told him I'd help, but I didn't know if using the box truck would really be helping. Well I met the South American guys at the Sheraton at 11, and showed them all about driving Truck House. Then we went to the DMV. The situation was clearly ridiculous, and we were told for various reasons that the test could not be taken in a big old truck. A guy there said the South Americans could use his car. It took more conversation than that, but that's what was said. Wow. He prepped them in native spoken Spanish, and they were in serious luck. That's a hell of a guy. I called Tate a little later to brief him on this update. I didn't have any assurances that there was something in it for me, but Tate sounds like a standup guy. He thanked me for my effort and comped my rent for tonight. Which I need. Cause I'm not seeing how I'm going to do much more than break even for a couple or a few weeks, and that might be tight.

Flash back to when I was talking to Tate about the possibility of borrowing my truck. He asked if I'd found a place to live. I told him that I had not. He pointed out a couple options - a place he had, a friend with a boat. I told him "you know what I'd really be looking for.... is a nice parking spot." He caught the drift, and with no specific words about living in a truck he told me about a great private lot that should be quiet and legit. I'm somewhat skeptical, or rather I don't want to get my hopes up too much - but he's showing me the spot tonight.

To further type more stuff, I'll say that I have high hopes for the pedicab job. Though it isn't currently lucrative, it's a lot of screwing around on a bike in the middle of a street of chaos. Not bad. I ended up mostly quoting flat rates to people. I made them up, and that's fine. It was slow - you could go an hour with no rides - so I tried to make the rides happen, and by the end of the night was very ready to try for another ten bucks wherever possible. I picked up three drunk girly girls. They weren't sold on a ride, but after a few exchanges we worked out $10 flat rate and no tip. I told them I'd charge $5 with a $5 tip so they wouldn't have to feel cheap about not tipping me. I took them to Sloppy Joe's and on the way we got plenty of applause and hooting. I hooted too, and made some of my typical boisterous noises. One persistent giraffe got a drink order and ran ahead. He was waiting with the drinks. The girls said they'd buy me a drink. The night was pretty much over, and I like drinks, so yeah. I'll flash forward and say that this was a good example of how I am absolutely incapable of putting on the phony-slick even when appropriate, called for, wanted, and easy to pull off. My arm totally got molested by boobs. Then I danced about 75 feet away from a girl while thinking to myself how I was having fun for the wrong reason. It was fun like watching yourself in the circus. I was somewhere up by the ceiling observing this whole scenario, and I was amused. Somebody needs to import some campfires and genuine souls down here. Sloppy Joe's is certainly not my scene. Neither was the strip club that the Brazilian guys went to after I extracted myself from those females. My brain keeps observing my body from afar, and I'd really like to get my feet onto the ground and meet a person. But I'm not too picky. Right now I'll take a situation if I can find myself in it, and be thankful. Even if I'm watching myself from somewhere else.

I was sitting here (right here) in the cab of Truck House in the shade of a hotel, and a couple came up to the window and asked if I was in the paper. They fucking spotted me. I thought that was very impossible, though the possibility has been joked about and mentioned. I was talking to Steve Pugmire on the phone when it actually happened, and he had just mentioned the possibility. I said I hoped it wouldn't happen, and I thought it very unlikely. Well two minutes later, I'm shaking hands with a couple through my window. I gave them a brief tour, and the guy gave me a $20 "donation." You know I'm not turning down money. No how! They were very nice and supportive and made me promise to buy a specific slice of pizza. Goodness me, yo.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Current situation

I found a good internet place. Bought a coffee, and I'm milking it for all it's worth. Apparently living out of a truck is deadly interesting to the media. ABC News, Philly Inquirer, the Bob and Sherri show, and have picked up the whiff of it. Also about a dozen things I haven't called back. I feel like I don't have much to report. Truck House is pretty inhospitable when compared to about a thousand other vehicles decked out for living. And though I like myself pretty well, I don't have the crazy adventure experience of a thousand other folks. I've been sleeping in a truck, and spending time outside. There are a ton of people sleeping in vans and sailboats and on the beach. Now: me too.

My core desire at the moment is awesome parking. So if you're someone who knows someone on Key West who can provide that, please let me know. Seriously. There's tons of parking, and empty lots and unused driveways - but it's the kind of thing you have to clear with someone. I hope to hear from you. If you're down here, and want to hang out, call me. 610-324-6059. For real. Let's watch tv or stare at something. I'm not picky, and I'm not a jerk.

The sleeping has been going fine. There's traffic noise and all that, but it hasn't been too hot at all. It's nice down here. That said, my main concern is trying to weave myself into the fabric down here. I'm going through all the hoops to be a pedicab driver. If not for that situation on the horizon, and the hope of meeting some people, I'd be much worse. THAT said, I had another little anxiety attack yesterday. Those fuckers are getting pesky. All I can do is wait it out. I'm not complaining - I know I get that shit in a pretty mild dose. But in the interest of being thoroughly honest about this little adventure, I'm telling you how it is. When I pulled into the keys and stopped for breakfast on Key Largo I was in love. I said "love" out loud five times in a row. Real nerd-style. I was confident and all but singing. Actually, I was singing. Erykah Badu. I took off my shirt asap, and was punching the air. That's me. A total air puncher. Since then, the best I've felt is:
1) NOT having anxiety (observant, satisfied)
2) Drunk on Steele Reserve

I know full well that I need to find people and projects. I need missions and stuff to do. I think I'm going to start the pedicab job later today, which would be fantastic. I learned a lesson: don't let anxiety keep you from getting stuff done if at all possible. I should have had my ducks in a row within one day of being here. It took about three, and this morning I asked myself what that was all about. Then I responded with something like "that's how stuff rolls with me sometimes."

A lot of people criticized me on for spending $5k on the truck. That's a pretty fair thing to point out. Too much. But it should be noted that it won't decrease in value very quickly, and I'll sell it when I'm done with it. Money's money. It's a pain sometimes, and we all just keep on living anyway.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm living in the Truck now

I've got an internet connection for the minute, so here's what's up. I'm down in Key West. I've spent 2 nights in Truck House, and I'm still adjusting. It smells like wood and paint. I don't know anyone in Key West, which is kinda difficult for a man who's made like me, but I'm dealing. Last night I parked on the north end of the island, and was serenaded by big vehicles going by fast, and planes taking off from the airport right next door. I was absolutely beat from the ride down, and only had about 4 hours of sleep if that. I zonked at 8:30 or so, and managed to get some good solid rest. I'm going to try for some quieter parking tonight.

The weather down here is insanely beautiful. It's the weirdest mix for me between being in love with the weather, and completely tripped out every second of the day from the 'experience' I'm having here.

My thoughts so far about vehicle living are that if you plan to try this, you should think really hard about getting a normal looking van. In my mind, a box truck looked low key to the core. Now that I've been looking at it, it seems like a big white flag with an RV door on the side. I take comfort in what I've always known: nobody notices shit. If you act normal about it, you can do whatever you want. My original plan was to leave Truck House parked in the same spot for weeks in West Chester or Philly. That is no longer my goal. I'd rather have something that takes less gas, has more windows, more ventilation, access from the cab or front (important!), and is more agile and invisible. Life is all about progress. I'm going with Truck House for now. What does the future hold? Maybe a van. Hopefully some eventual land with a BIG version of Truck House including a wood stove, huge skylights and a lot of love. Now you know about my present and my future. My heart is wide open to dreams. Though things are currently strange, I'm looking forward to relishing the present. Right now I'm the kid at the dance leaning on the wall. Better than staying at home, but my heart isn't beating at the proper speed all the time. I hope that doesn't sound to tripped out or silly.

Also: I realize that I was just on the front page of the Philly Inquirer, below the fold. If you're reading this because of that, you can definitely leave comments or send me some email. I like people. Pre-today, this was probably only checked out by about 4 people, hence no comments, etc.