Westward Invasion Complete. Commencing Overthrow of L.A.

Not to get too militaresque here.

This is just a quick update for all those who follow this blog and want to know where I am at. I hope this answers a few questions.

The road trip was a success. Katherine and I had a complete ball exploring the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and most important, the people of these United States. We slept and spent time in a total of seven cities: Wichita, Dallas, Las Cruces, Tucson, Tempe, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. We made day excursions to White Sands, the Saguaro National Forest, and Sedona. Katherine’s journey is still on, but my move is complete.

Wichita: We spent one night here. Our hosts were young professional classical musicians, and together constituted the very best first CouchSurfing.org experience I could possible have asked for.

Dallas: Five nights here. Our host Ramano is an ER doctor and fitness buff with a very active social life. He and his friends showed Katherine and me a Dallas that we could never have experienced without such insider knowledge as has Ramano. We hung out at some beautiful restaurants and partook of two restaurant promotions in which we were served free Italian food and pizza. We visited the Sixth Floor Museum, where the alleged lone assassin shot JFK and lounged upon the grassy knoll. I attended a play called Hunter Gatherers, which was a perfect 10.

Las Cruces: Our hosts David and Jessica were very sweet. Katherine and I were their second couch surfers ever. They took us out to a local joint for southwestern food. We had a great time joking and opining about the State of Things.

Tucson: If I can pick favorites (I can’t), Tucson was my favorite city. Our host Kisani, a medical doctor training to become a psychiatrist, was lovely. She handed us party masks upon our arrival and pointed us to a warehouse masquerade ball full of dance performances, aerial acrobatics, feats of self-mutilation, great live music, and hundreds of Tucson denizens dressed in their finest masked attire. Katherine and I spent much of our time in Tucson frequenting the coffee shops in the area, two or three of which are 24-hour joints. I walked around downtown and along 4th Avenue a lot, taking in the artistic vagrant hippie atmosphere.

Phoenix/Tempe: We spent one night here. I hung out on the Arizona State University campus a bit, working and blogging, while Katherine was out on one of her many research meetings. We stayed with a group of guys in Tempe that were just really cool. One works for an airline, another is a political science major, and the third is a Finish immigrant exploring American culture. We all hung out over beer at their house.

Las Vegas: Katherine and I didn’t stay on a CouchSurfing person’s couch. Instead we stayed at the home of Ajay and Allison, who are friends of a friend of Katherine’s. Now we are all just friends, without the “friend of a” prefix. I like when that happens.

L.A.: I took a Chinatown Bus from Vegas to my new home here, while Katherine stayed back a week in Vegas to do some more research for her long-term book project. My roommates/hosts/landlords/friends Paula and Aaron are great to hang with. Katherine will be staying on a couch here in my new nest for five days starting this evening.

That’s the history of Westward Invasion. Currently I am working on catching up with finances, as the road trip tore my wallet limb from limb. After I am caught up I intend to explore L.A., as well as the West at large. Concurrently I will be creating things. I will write, shoot and edit video of things, find out where the hip hop and poetry open mics are in the area, maybe hit up a few auditions for plays and films, whatever comes to mind.

I look forward to finding out how I can contribute to the arts and cultural scene of Los Angeles. As Emma, a friend and collaborator, and I say, “We’re going to rock this little hamlet to its knees.”

Headed to L.A. Early: TODAY. Dispatch within…

I am taking a Chinatown Bus from Las Vegas to Los Angeles at 2:45 p.m. today. It’s a five-hour ride. Chinatown Bus is cheap: $30. Better than Greyhound. Megabus no longer exists for that route, otherwise I would have taken that for like a dollar. Seriously.

This adventure is not over, not drawing to a close – but unfolding into the next unknown, which I face squarely. I now walk into the future. We all do.

There is so much to write about. It will have to be a reflective series of after-thoughts, rather than a series of real-time dispatches.

I spend my first night in L.A. tonight. I am excited.

Vegas is cool. I did the Strip last night, just drove down it with hosts Ajay and Allison, who know Katherine from way back, in Minneapolis. Had a great dinner with them and a handful of other great peeps last night at an Indian restaurant called Gandhi.

The moon was big and yellow and low on the horizon last night around 8:00 p.m. Unbelievable.

Thoughts are a storm. A good, warm storm.