TravelBlogue:  An All-I'mErican Journey









Thursday, March 30, 2000
Call me the Queen of the Procrasti nation, but I'm still in New York and will be until at least early morning. Glad I stayed and not just because of packing. This way, I'll be able to see a few friends again before leaving. Today I also got to keep a promise to myself that I nearly forgot in all the insanity. After getting my first tattoo in San Francisco in 1997, I decided I'd get one everywhere I lived and anyplace really great I visited (Amsterdam...someday). It's a sunflower in the form of a woman's symbol with "NYC" above and "3.30.00" underneath. Pretty much finalizes things. My next post should be on the road...where she stops, nobody knows. link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/30/2000 6:37:42 PM


Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Received this email from my college roomie and #1 supporter D today:

>From: "D" <********>
>Subject: Re: Cell number and web log
>Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 14:52:37 PST

She kills me. I can waste more time than almost anyone I know. I called her from the UN and talked for half an hour, after already having killed over an hour -- all without taking the tour. As always, I got around to it eventually.

As for packing, I did get off to a good start. In fact, I haven't gone to bed yet. Some people see this tendancy as a fault, but there is something in me that needs deadlines, needs pressure. I work best, whether at writing or organizing or packing when the clock is ticking away, usually at 3 in the morning.

I'm not done yet. I packed four 30+ pound boxes of clothes (who knew clothes could weigh so much?), the bags I'm taking with me (too many, carrying too much crap) and five boxes of books, software, CDs and journals. I have 12 journals! Good goddess. The last two weren't finished for whatever reason, but I am still amazed that I could write so much in the four years since I started journalling (when I moved into my own place and had complete privacy for the first time).

Granted, I still have to pack, measure and weigh all the boxes in my storage space or else UPS won't touch them. Luckily, most of the stuff in storage is already in boxes, though some may need to go into bigger, stronger ones. I also have preprinted labels that I'm saving for the storage space, so it will go much faster than at home. I'm also throwing out about 1/3 of what's in there, at the very least.

The funniest part is that I just fell asleep in front of the monitor. Time to nap until the alarm goes off at 8:30 link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/29/2000 6:59:39 AM


Tuesday, March 28, 2000

I'm going to start packing now. Really. I swear. Somebody smack me! I bought myself an extra day and still threw it away. I guess I love the challenge. Silly though, I've had an entire week free. Well, sort of...I had errands to run each day. There is something about packing for me that must be done in a crazy rush, that somehow makes my organizational ability kick in. At any rate, the hours are ticking away and tonight is supposed to be my going away party. I'll either delay it or be one drunken packer. Fun. link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/28/2000 5:43:00 PM


OK, no more procrastinating. It's nearly 3 pm, I was supposed to leave tomorrow (but have conveniently rescheduled for Thursday) and have yet to pack. No more joking. No more slacking. No more updating the damn blogue! link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/28/2000 3:08:47 PM


OK, I'm not getting stupider. Blogger wasn't refreshing, so I was getting last night's error message again and again. All this time, I've been publishing, but I didn't think I was. Weird. Now on to tackle the big things. Like packing all my shit, washing the clothes I'm taking along and getting a W-2 for that job I pretty nearly forgot I had at Kozmo last year. Whoops. link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/28/2000 11:08:02 AM


OK, serious denial sets in. I did something this morning I've never had to resort to before. I'm staying a day past my deadline. I've made arrangements to stay at the hotel for another day. It will only cost me $26, so it's probably worth it. Still, I have so many places to go, so much to see, I'm not sure I can justify spending an extra day in New York because I've been dragging my ass about packing. Actually, part of the reason I haven't packed is there isn't room for both me and the boxes. It's kind of a me or them situation in this tiny cell. I shouldn't be such a pack rat, I'll never learn. I can't help that I love books, CDs and clothes so much.

Called UPS last night and the panic began. I remembered from shipping things from San Francisco to here that they told me it would've been much easier if I'd had a credit card, so they could bill the amount when calculated, instead of me estimating and probably overpaying. With that in mind, I thought, "Great, this should be a snap now that I have a Visa."

Unfortunately, that was a matter of shipping four boxes via air, the faster and more expensive route. I will now likely have 15 boxes at home and 15-20 from my storage space. It would be ridiculously expensive to ship all of that by air, so ground is preferable. Totally different head man, totally. They do not take credit cards for ground shipment, unless you bring it directly into UPS. So, I can either take several cabs in the rain with boxes (which defeats the purpose, I called UPS because they pick up) or get a tape measure and scale tonight, so I can figure out the weights and measurements of all my boxes. I guess I could estimate, but I'm afraid I'll overestimate and cost myself a lot of needless money.

Money, there's another worry. It's going out at an alarming rate. I have not tried to be all Ghetto Fabulous, but I did buy a cell phone because there is no other way for friends and family to get in touch with me if they need to while I'm away. I won't know where I'm staying in advance, because I'm winging it. Then there was the camera. It cost twice what I was thinking. I guess I don't know anything about cameras. At the same time, it would be a shame to make this once-in-a-lifetime trip, only to discover the Grand Canyon looks like the ho-hum hole, because my current camera is worthless. It's OK for taking pictures with your pals, but forget landscapes and far-away objects (more than 15 feet), let alone anything wondrous.

At any rate, I don't know if I'm just rationalizing, but I really felt those expenses were necessary or at least recommended for the trip. I'm not really into giving up many of my worldly possessions this time around, either. I know I shouldn't be materialistic, but everytime I think of all the books I left behind in San Francisco, or my nice, big, comfy Queen-sized bed, or my fabulous VCR...I think I don't want to toss out a ton of my things ever again. I guess I shouldn't accumulate so much in the first place, but it really creeps up on you. I also thought I'd eventually get an apartment here in NY and stay at least five years.

Now, suddenly, I'm having trouble with Blogger, which worked fine last week and last night. It won't publish, it can't find an ftp directory I know is there, because I'm looking at the destination file in my browser.

I'm losing my mind. When I called my college roomie Dorothy from the UN yesterday and gave her a progress report, she said, "Somehow it always works out for you, Erica." I'm the queen of Hail Mary saves of mine own ass. Still it's probably time I relied more on pluck than luck. Long past time I grew up, too. If much of this trip is about facing my fears and meeting challenges, surely I can't let a little shipping problem slow me down. link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/28/2000 11:00:11 AM


Monday, March 27, 2000

I'm in complete denial that I leave NY in less than 40 hours. I have packed but one box in my storage space and none at home. Tonight begins the packing marathon before I have to call UPS at midnight for a pick up.

Great friends have I. James took me out last night and gave me the most gorgeous journal and a book called Blue Highways about a man who took a similar cross-country journey via the minor or "blue" highways, as they were colored on old roadmaps (major highways were red). He went to places like Nameless, Tennessee and Why, Arizona. Ya gotta love it. Started watching the Oscars with James in one of his favorite haunts and finished off hours later back at the hotel. Thought those weren't until April. Great night, great guy.

Saturday, the posse at the hotel took me out. The person planning neglected to tell me until after 7 on Saturday and had planned a movie I had no interest in seeing ("Boiler Room"), followed by coffee, which I don't drink. She was kind of irked when I vetoed the plan. I'd rather not spend my last night seeing my compatriots just staring at a screen, anyway. We went to the White Horse Tavern in the West Village instead, which figured prominently in my first trip to New York.

ACHTUNG! I digress...I had taken the red eye from San Francisco, only with a stopover, so I'd hardly slept, there was terrible turbulence, I puked what little I ate and so landed in New York in the most bizarre state. Fell asleep in the subway, slumped over my suitcase, but somehow made it to the hostel. Good sense told me to take a nap, but I didn't want to miss anything. I got off the subway with no particular destination in mind.

I wandered about aimlessly and found myself hungry, lost in that point in the West Village where 12th inexplicably meets 4th and I had to go to the bathroom like you don't want to know. Oddly enough, three people, one a bus driver, asked me for directions. Finally, I happened upon the White Horse, coincidentally the namesake of the tavern at the hotel in SF I worked at, so it was a beacon of hope. I peed, I drank a beer and had a fabulous burger. Gregory Hines happened by even. [/digression]

Later, we dropped off the early birds and two Brits and I drank into the wee hours at the local pub, so we could crawl home in a stupor. They thanked me for showing them not one, but two places they'd surely return. Sooner it shall be, as the final going away party, drink-til-you-drop will be at that pub tomorrow night.

Friday, which seems already so long ago, Heartless Bitch Tavia took me for dinner and brought me 16 rolls of film (it was the only thing I could think of that I needed). But SIXTEEN! After dinner, because I mentioned I had bought some rolls of black and white to take before leaving New York, she took me to buy four rolls of black and white as well. That's 20 in all, plus I picked up two more black and white, 3 Polaroid 600 and 1 Polaroid 500 today. Insanity. How am I going to schlep all of this across America?

Ay Dios.

But the going out really started Thursday with Kim. She was at SXSW when I left and sent me a sweet email expressing her shock that I was gone when she returned. She took me out Thursday night. What a sweetie. I think you really find out who your friends are when you leave some place. People have been so generous and supportive and encouraging. Sometimes I think certain others are more excited about this trip I'm taking than I am. When I'm the first fat female rocker, I want Kim to be my agent. I was totally digging on her enthusiasm.

One of the great things about moving around alot, which I hope will be true for travelling as well, is that you meet such genuinely wonderful people that you would not have otherwise. I don't regret any place I've ever lived, because each has added to my eclectic collection of friends. It's times like these that remind me how blessed I am. link
posted by Erica Jackson 3/27/2000 7:21:52 PM


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