Tag Archives: road trip

home sweet motel.


another day at the office/motel room/two day south dakota home.


math is motherfucking hard. (jenn)

(last midnight in milwaukee, on harmonie’s bedroom floor, post-ethiopian wine/feast drowsy)

[reason i love harmonie #1:

her bookshelf: Female Rage next to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich next to yoga cards next to Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean.]

hi friends.

we’re leaving milwaukee in the morning. where are we going, you might ask? it is something i myself would like to know. perhaps someone can tell me where we’re going. and by someone, i mean HAWAIIAN RYAN MOTTS-MATSUMOTO.

woman needs direction. woman needs to know what city to type into GPS in AM. woman needs to know how many organic noodle bowls she should pick up at Whole Foods before family ends up in bumfuckwherethehell, south dakota, where there may or may not be any organic noodle bowls. woman needs to know where she’s sleeping tomorrow night. woman. needs. to. know.

it’s supposed to snow in the midwest on tuesday. today we just had freezing rain. (i don’t know why blogging brings out the weather in me.)

i wonder if we’re ever going to use the tent we bought at target.

i wonder what gave us the impression that we were gangsta enough to camp, when all last winter ryan kept the apartment at temperatures that made hawaii seem cool and temperate.

i wonder if ryan knows i cleaned out his bellybutton while he was sleeping, and vomited a little in my mouth, because i think i found some umbilical up in that shit.

[reason i love harmonie #2:

she’ll call a restaurant to make reservations and say, “yes. four for dinner. under chad. that’s chad with two ‘d’s’.”]

i swear, i thought dealing with orphan drama in bulgaria had taught me the zennest level of patience and flexibility. but in bulgaria i had a phat pad to go home to at the end of a stressful day, where i could blast some patty griffin on my iPod and sing off tune, yet passionately while i made homemade corn chowder, followed by a relaxing sunset on my balcony, as i watched the mountains do their mountain thing. now, i’ll admit, i freak the fuck out every once in a while. okay, every other hour—(semantics, whatever)–when ryan says: “oh, we’ll just wake up tomorrow morning, get in the car and know where to go.” why can’t we psychologically get in our metaphorical car TONIGHT and pick a direction so that i can rest my insomnia-prone head on harmonie’s memory foam pillow and dream of:

(a) shooting long and fast all the way to rapid city, south dakota, to check out the badlands and surrounding cool rock shit that ryan is about [this] excited about. gets us further west, where it is warm, so that we may pitch our tent in the yards of our many friends who live on the west coast.

rapid city: chance of snow–low. chance of spousal homicide during 13 hour drive– possible, fucking possible.

(to clarify: chance of spousal homicide would be high because i am SUPER bitchy.)

(to clarify my clarification: ryan made me clarify that or he wasn’t going to give me my Whole Foods organic lentil salad rations for tomorrow and was going to make me eat at McDonalds.)

(i’m really spoiled.)

(but i’d like to think i make up for my bitchiness and neurotic panic attacks by being really, really good in bed.)

(b) head north, shack up with poor, unsuspecting canadian relatives until one of us finishes something that can bring us $. or $$. oh hell, if ryan could finish one goddamn novel it’d probably be $$$$$. i guess i could finish a novel too, but i’m less prolific, remember?

(c) turn around, back through the husk-covered ground formerly known as cornfields in indiana/ohio. shack up with poor, suspecting mike in new jersey. go to amsterdam as planned. after january 1st, re-start road trip, part deux.

new jersey: it’s the most logical stepping stone to amsterdam. –state motto

(d) teleport back to hawaii in the murano. win lottery. get married.

i think it’s really sweet that ryan thinks i’m someone who can “live on the edge,” but in reality, i live in the nose bleed section of the nose bleed section.

(i’m invisible to the naked eye.)

i know what you’re thinking—what the fuck is wrong with these two? they are unemployed and mooching off friends across the country, and have the vagina balls to go to amsterdam? yea, we’re assholes. but assholes who bought these tickets pre-joblessness. assholes who think the $460.00—FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS—cancellation fee on their tickets is a bit, how do you say it? RIDICULOUS! we won’t even get our money back. we’ll get credit on us airways. last time i checked, you couldn’t buy organic noodle bowls OR lentil salad with credit on us airways. also–how do you do the cost benefit analysis on a trip that involves some of your best friends from hawaii flying to amsterdam for what will without question be a historic, inspiring christmas?

see–math is motherfucking hard.

of course we can settle down (emphasis on the word SETTLE) and get jobs anywhere. we’re just trying to give our art a chance to breathe, first. should it suffocate, starve, die, and god forbid, eat at McDonald’s–well, then we’ll start our phase two blog: choose our own barista gig at starbucks dot com.

[reason i love harmonie #3:

because once her motorcycle was stolen from her garage and a few hours after it was stolen she saw some kids riding it, so she jumped out of her car, ran them down, shoved them off her bike, and killed them.]

[just kidding.]

[she didn’t kill them.]

milwaukee memories: a photo recollection which may lead you to believe we still haven’t purchased a new camera.


this is sand on lake michigan.


this is me and ryan with oily heads and peaceful expressions following our abhyanga at the most amazing clinic in the whole fucking world


this is me rolling my third eye.


this is a satellite photo of milwaukee, which is actually a very small drawing that chad did with a blue pen, showing us Where Not To Go. and the nearest Whole Foods.


this is a zoomed out photo of our car as we cross a freeway crossing another freeway. each stretch and curve are grey letters spelling out the name of our next destination.

Secret Lovers


dull prick. [ryan]



I used to think I was a thorn in society’s side, pricking it for it’s own good, to keep it awake, to keep it from swerving off the road because it’s driving drunk, and with no license. or registration. and definitely without insurance. for anything. I used to think this.

but now, I realize, I have just been a prick.

not even that sharp. a dull prick.

It’s not that society has been rejecting me this whole time– it just didn’t know I was here.

[this is an excerpt from a recent conversation between Jenn and Ryan where Ryan finally uncovers the truth of why he’s never been considered a writer: because he never writes.]

milawaukee, before coffee

jenn hee hits the road with that asian guy (jenn)


hi friends!!!

who wants to buy me a macbook?

see–the problem with trying to do a joint writing project with your boyfriend on his laptop is that you have to use legal pads that, while vaguely romantic and retro-cool, slow me down when i’m trying to pen my life for the masses. also, i donated my laptop to an NGO for the futherment of gypsies in bulgaria. that’s something. therefore, i feel someone whose wallet runneth over should just buy me a macbook in exchange for my writing. i give, you give.

i also want a digital SLR.

and, um, a job?

hm. while i’m at it, clear skin, ani difranco’s canon, an IUD, and new climbing shoes.

actually, all i really need is a job, and then i suppose i could GET all of the above wish list items for myself. unfortunately all i really want to do is exactly what i’m doing, which is wander and write with my bitch mutt and ryan.

yesterday was super bonus awesome rad because i saw that jason genegabus blogged about us for the honolulu star bulletin! the timing couldn’t have been better, because we spent half the drive from cleveland to milwaukee brainstorming ways we could get people interested in our writing–one idea being that i write a column for the star bulletin. the other half of the drive we spent worrying if this road trip and blog are even the best ways to be directing our time, limited funds, and energy. fortunately, we love the whole process of this site–we love writing, love making you tube videos, and love taking 500 photos of the sky from inside the car. so you can imagine how fucking awesome it felt to have jason write that not only were we interesting, but that we could write too! yeaaaaa! it’s like we gave birth to a little baby and jason was the first person to say it was cute, as opposed to boring and nondescript. so thanks jason! may our baby reach puberty unscathed!


ryan may have his road trip hair, which is growing to einsteinian proportions, but i have my road trip mustache, which ryan insists is imaginary. still, i would really prefer a waxing. i actually never waxed my upper lip my entire life until i moved to bulgaria and some woman told me it was extremely ugly, my mustache. actually, she might have said, “you need to eat more cheese.” at any rate, i am easily traumatized by commentary on my physical imperfections and amnesiac when it comes to praise. i mold my self-image out of every shitty thing anyone (of the ex-boyfriend genre) has ever said to me.

“rugged arms.” – ex-high school boyfriend
“diagnosis man legs.” – ex-doctor boyfriend
“too much ass, your honor.”– hypothetical ex-lawyer boyfriend

i forget what i was saying.

oh yea–road trip mustache. so ever since bulgaria i’ve waxed la moustache (sounds sexier in french), which has always ended up with me getting a painful and unsightly scabby burn streaking across my upper lip because i have sensitive skin and use various medications. it makes no sense that i choose the scarface look over peach fuzz.

at least the burn says: i’m trying.

i like to use up my brain space on worthless things like road trip mustache to distract myself about things i ought to be worrying about, like impending poverty. or whatever.

(i have other stories involving bulgaria and waxings-gone-mortifying, but i am trying to keep this blog family-friendly.)

so far i love milwaukee. there is something charming about a city with a disproportionate amount of billboards advertising McRib sandwiches. or maybe it’s just that i love harmonie and chad, and so does ryan, who is not so secretly obsessed with them being awesome. for example, today harmonie scheduled us ayurvedic massages at the kanyakumari center where she works. ah yes, as hot oil was being rubbed into my head to the sounds of indian chanting, all i could think was, “i want to rough it until i die.”



you are particles too. (jenn)


you drive hundreds of miles by thousands of homes. (ohio. indiana. illinois. wisconsin.) you wonder how people do it. how they stay in one place, with one person. find enough room in cold basements to store all their dissatisfactions. distract themselves with soccer practices and bathroom renovations. you wonder if they dream. you wonder what makes them all choose the same templates. you genuinely want to know. you feel foreign with your short-attention span and impending sense of doom. also, you are a split lip victim of domestic dog-abuse.


where’s my ability to love someone longer than a few years? where’s my overpriced golden retriever who appreciates my affection?

i need someone to teach me the game of simple functioning–someone who’ll be a coach/father figure, who’ll cheer me on by saying go get ’em hee, play for life! tackle that lack of commitment to employment and/or men! go long! go long!

just kidding. really i just want a big sports mvp award for sitting on the bench with my favorite books, abnormal values, and pleasant expression.


you’re on a beach in milwaukee. you think about hawaii, your home. you wish you could be quantum-sized, in two places at once. why can’t you? you are particles too. but you exist here and only here, in milwaukee, on a beach. you wonder why there are no dogs running on the beach. you turn your head and see a sign that says no dogs allowed. you wished all your questions were answered just like that. why can’t i get a real job? why can’t i ask strangers for directions? why do i keep switching from second to first to third person? i turn my head but instead of signs with succinct answers, there is only ryan. and he’s doing that thing where he’s sleeping and makes noises like he’s choking on air about to die, but he doesn’t, and keeps breathing. i think it’s sleep apnea. he’s definitely dying this time.


this time.


and you wonder why you can’t turn off the iolani in you that wants to attack his brain with a red pen every time he defies all grammar rules known to keables in his blogs. you wish you too could embrace schizophrenic capitalization.


you’re in harmonie’s bedroom and you don’t know where to go next. head towards fargo, go and go and settle in california? isolate and write in small town canada? go home? finally. go home. or turn around. drive back to jersey. stay with a friend and wait until december 14th, when we have tickets from philly to amsterdam—the trip of a lifetime, a christmas present to ourselves before ryan got fired. you wish the computer was a fortune cookie. you want to be told something ambiguous such as “go to amsterdam” so that you can interpret it to mean exactly what you want it to, which is go to amsterdam and forget that you’re two unemployed bloggers with a dog mouth to feed and all your life possessions in a murano.

you do not make the best decisions. prom dresses, 7th glass of wine, bulgaria. you decide to pick up a book, turn to a random page, and read the first sentence you see. usually you prefer magic plath 8 ball, but harmonie only has the gulag archipelago on her floor. you grab. you open. you read:

“thus a person could disappear from the face of the earth with the help of the OSO even more reliably than under the terms of some primitive court sentence.”

amsterdam it is!

I was fat elvis on pills [ryan]

milwaukee, harmonie and chad’s apartment


ryan’s eye, jenn, harmonie and chad (jenn’s peace corps friends).


left cleveland yesterday. it was emotional. got attached so fast. finally got to see what Cleveland was like from inside a motel all day. It was beautiful. there was a Mcdonalds nearby. lots o’ gas stations. other stuff. ahh, cleveland. we toured the whole inside of that Cleveland motel room like we were at the rock and roll hall of fame, which was actually right down the street. but who wants to travel hundreds of miles to a destination only to feel like what you really want is right down the street? rock and roll hall of fame, fsst. motel bed became graceland, and I was fat elvis on pills. right down the street became HBO, became reading more Chuck Palahniuck in my underwear, became spooning my dog just a hair shy of beastiality, became peanut butter sandwich dinner with chips from the vending machine.


who’d of thunk it? Cleveland? wow. It’s like. you get your own plastic key. there’s a tv. you get complimentary breakfast compliments of you paying for a room which is slightly more expensive in order to include complimentary breakfast. the shower head is powerful like anti-racism. You pelt your dirty head with a million man march and merge your body into everything that is quintessential Cleveland.

then we slept. Cleveland style. I don’t know what that means.

then we drove.



through Indiana, through Chicago.


20 minutes til Milwaukee. it’s been 7 hours of driving. I start to make that noise that your laptop does when you’ve been on it too long. I am ice cream running down your fingers faster than you can lick, I am neon sign flickering.

I am Scott Baio’s career, post Charles in Charge.

my heart is pumping sigur ros beats dipped in fudge, I am slowly becoming slowly.

and then it happened.
the mistake.
the mistake i swore i would never make.
I still replay this next scene in my head over and over again against my own will.


to be continued…