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Seattle, WA
Miles Today: 0
Total Miles: 14,795
Days on the Road: 284
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» The Next Contestant

» This American Strife


Finally, someone wrote to us and accused us of being horrible people. Anthony replied, and a series of hilarious judgements and insults followed. Presented for your amusement, The Jerk Files.

Things we're not really doing anymore:

1. Keeping track of the miles we drive.
2. Keeping track of anything else, really.
3. Eating factory-farmed meat, if we can help it.
4. Listening to Hotel California.
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We Need a New Banner
N 47°36.372 W 122°19.922
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - Day 284


There is much to discuss.

If you take the blue pill, you will wake up back in your bed, refreshed, and remember none of this. If you take the red pill.. Oh, we're just kidding. No Matrix parodies. We just felt like Morpheus for a second there with the "There is much to discuss" line. Sorry.

First, the car. Let's talk about the Badunkadunk. This site is called travelinvan, and even though we're sick to death of the frickin' car, we must satisfy the teeming hordes of Vanagon owners, and our own propaganda and sense of mission. So, the car, as it happens, is running as well as it has in many months. The issue in Los Angeles was a faulty head temperature sensor, dang it. As we arrived in Portland, our brakes were almost completely gone. Those have been fixed. Then there was a massive brake fluid leak, unrelated to the worn rotors in the front. Also fixed. Now, except for a terrible terrible noise which comes from the entire engine being a little bit loose, she's running like a charm. The bidding starts at $100.

For a day or two, we had decided we would live in Seattle. We made the three hour drive north, arriving at Rich and Christy's house last Saturday evening. We were tearfully reunited with Roo, our long-lost cat, and all was well. On Sunday we drove around looking at houses, and that's when the trouble started. You see, though the economy is generally shit and the rental market is about 20% vacant, houses in Seattle are still, to put it gently, outrageously expensive. We were depressed.

At some point it dawned on us that we should maybe get jobs before we buy a house. An odd thought, we know, but bare with us here. Our logic was that if we spent a few months somewhere, Seattle for example, we would have a better idea of what kind of income we could generate and therefore be in a better position to take on a mortgage. Sounds crazy right?

Yeah, totally crazy. So then we thought maybe we should live in Vietnam, where we could sit on the beach and write for 6 months or 6 years with the money we would spend here on Sushi. We're looking into this option.

We're also applying for all kinds of fellowships, grants, and other types of free-money-and-prestige deals. If anyone out there has something like that, please email it to us.

We've also been discussing the future of this here web site. At present, we're not really traveling, let alone travelin'. We still drive the van, but mostly to the movie theater or auto shop. Our minds are focused almost entirely on the complete opposite of this site, i.e. staying still and working. But it doesn't feel right just to let it go. We have a fantasy that people come to the site and actually read about our lives and are entertained. Every now and then we get an email to that effect. We don't want to lose this hard-won audience, because really, you're the only ones likely to buy the book.

For now, we've decided to keep the site going at least until we have something resembling a permanent address. That will signal the end of this trip, and the beginning of whatever's next. When we feel comfortable subscribing to a magazine, when we fetch and hook up the Tivo (how we miss it), then the Travelin' Van saga will likely end. But for now, we hope you enjoy our new focus, that of figuring out what the hell to do with our lives.

Suggestions, as always, are welcomed.

Roo likes nothing more than a good, clean foot.

Roo's new dog, Goose.

Piper: Not as smart as he looks.
more photos in the archives »

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