113.September 10

London City Hostel and Camden Market

It's Cold, Rainy, Misty, and death to one wearing a T-shirt. This morning I woke up and went to breakfast. I met a German woman named Katja. I said hello bravely, because we had exchanged friendly glances last night. She asked me to eat with her. We talked. I told her about why I was here. She was planning to stay in London and get work, but decided to go home to Germany for a month, and then come back. She had stayed with a family that lived fourty minutes North of London, and now she was staying at the hostel. She said she was going to Camden today. When I said I hadn't been there, she said I must go. I said, "I don't have any plans for today." She invited me to join her. We got ready. She had lost her locker key somewhere, so we looked for it. It was at the front desk, luckily. I brought my camera bag and CD player along.

We took the tube to Camden Town Station. We looked at leathers, for there were many. She bought some great black leather pumps with high plastic rings as heels. We went from store to store looking for clothing. I looked for leather boots. We went to a pub called The Man in the Moon. I had a pint of Old Speckled Hen Bitter. Katja had a Coke. We each smoked a cigarette, which I enjoyed. It was a Marlboro. I played her some music: the Indigo Girls, 10,000 Maniacs, and Gordon Lightfoot's "The Pony Man." She liked them all. She likes Ice T. She likes to talk about movies. It was fun.

The servers were witches where we ate lunch, and all they had to do was heat the food in a microwave. The room was great though. It was tastefully decorated with impressionist portraiture and some modern art. I had a bottle of New Castle Brown Ale. Katja had orange juice. I had vegetarian quiche. Katja had pork stuffed in bread.

We went shopping and looking more. I bought a green plaid flannel for 9.99 pounds. Then I was warm, and felt more comfortable. We walked more in the market. We found a cool metal-working-art-gallery-shop where they played the Cowboy Junkies album, "Wild Horses." In the market, I looked at used books, and fabrics, prints and designs. She asked me to help her find a ring for her boyfriend and herself.

We took the tube back to St. Paul's. I went to my room and started to get my things ready for a shower. I talked a little about my day with a guy from Africa.

A large sixty-one-year-old Texan man, with American and Texan flags sewn on the pockets of his white shirt, started talking to me as he put his belongings away. He had been biking all around Europe with his daughter this summer, and so he gave me travel information and tips. He had been stationed in England during the Vietnam war for a short time. I told him that I was here to study literature and writing. He was very interested in writing. He knew much about economics, and he told me how he planned to write a book that would include his artwork (he was a painter most of the time, that was his job) and would be a way to help people understand what is going on with the economy, because no one has a clue about it. He detailed for me the process that we must go through if we are to become economically sound. I also found out that he was a Vietnam pilot with flight experience in Cambodia. He was sure that no movie portrays and no one knows what went on over there. He had been an extra in the movie "The Doors." He thought it was a bad film because The Doors were more than just a bunch of drunks. We talked about music. He was happy to hear that Gordon Lightfoot was still performing, and was impressed with my autographed CD. Then it was time for me to go. I never got my shower in.

Katja and I met at 20:00, and went to eat at Leicester Square by the tube. We went to an Italian Restaurant. I had pesto with noodles, magnifique! I also had the house wine, blech. We ate and tried to talk. I told her about the Italian Girls. Then nothing much else came about me. I asked so many questions. I wish I knew German.

We walked around Piccadilly Circus, and stopped at a pub to play pinball. That was fun. She did very well, and I did excellently. At least I gained some of her respect at that. We walked more, and then took the tube home. It was a hard evening, because I wanted to talk to her, but there is nothing that we have in common, except an interest in movies and what was happening around us right now.


En Route from Rochester, NY

I’m at Denny’s having 3 buttermilk pancakes. I am on a cantankerous cruise-sade to cross the country in a short night, awake with coffee and the love of song coming radio perfect from my grinder Monte. I’m picking up some good tunes.


I took off work a little early and met Rachel at John's house with Ole and Elyse. We played guitar, I started the grill, Rachel made me a peanut butter sandwich and I took off to do some important things at the house in the garage. We went to the movie "The Other Guys" which was absolutely hilarious. We talked with John again when we stopped back to help him set up the PS3, but talked for a few hours instead.


I rode my motorcycle to work today, and on the way home, I hit a few potholes because the roads are torn up, and discovered that the engine would shut down after hitting the bumps, so I must have a bad connection. I did some research, and I have a bunch of things to look into to find the problem, which many others have had. I had my first Ye Olde Opera House board meeting in 3 years, and became their official treasurer again. After the meeting, I got swept into the Bluff Country Artists Gallery for their Volunteer Appreciation party, to which Rachel had provided baked brie and crackers. I tried nearly all of the desserts available, and then went home and had more brie and cous-cous before bed. Rachel and I watched an action movie before bed after Frida went off to study or sleep.