Day 3: The prequel to 4 (which is also on here)

Lets finish this fucker.

Woke up in Denver on day 3. feeling good that I got to sleep in a bed. Considering I've been driving for 2 straight days and slept on the hard hard ground of the Grand Canyon. Spent the morning in bed talking to Kat back in LA about where to go to next. Had a couple of choices but finally decided on something that I had always wanted to see, which is Mt. Rushmore. Little more north and not so much east as I would of hoped but hey what the hell is money for anyway? I can't take it with me. Let's go to Mt. Rushmore.

Drove around downtown Denver for a bit just to check it out and then I was on my way. Honestly, when you spend so much time in the car you really don't even know which direction you're traveling in. It's been three days of drive drive drive. The first couple of days were desert, and then the Rockies and now driving thru Wyoming and into South Carolina. I can't say that I was completely impressed with anything I saw. A lot of fields and plains and such but nothing really to write home about. In fact at this point I'm starting to climb the walls a bit, been by myself for days now. Kat recommended I listen to some interview on NPR. Found a ton of them downloaded them onto my Ipod and I gotta say it really passes the time. Do yourself a favor, listen to Fresh Air on NPR. It has some great interviews with some awesome people. Anyway, the one thing that I loved about my drive to Mt. Rushmore was seeing a sign for probably the smallest town that I'll ever see. Lost Springs, Wyoming. Tiny tiny town with a few buildings, general store and post office. POPULATION 1. Its what the town sign says. I couldn't believe my eyes. Already the drive today was totally worth it if just to see that sign.

Made it to Mt. Rushmore hidden VERY WELL in the middle of the Black Hills. It was not as big as I had expected, but then of course whenever we see it the camera is right up on the faces and not on the ground like the rest of us. How stupid was it of me to never realize that the mountain of rubble at the foot of the monument was from when they constructed the damn thing. How the frick did I never put the two together? The story behind the mountain was actually really interesting, I did a Ranger walk at the foot of the mountain and it was very interesting. The thing that stuck out most in my mind was how the information was presented. Long story short the surrounding area was a reservation for the indians of the area, but once gold was discovered the US govt. just allowed anybody to come in and not uphold the treaty terms which was to keep folks off the reservation. The ranger goes on to say, "and interestingly enough the treaty we signed with the indians was never repealed so were technically trespassing right now. " Oh ok so let me get this straight, you sign a treaty with the indians, give them land, find gold, take the land back, steal the gold and land, carve YOUR presidents into THEIR mountain and then present it as, "hey fun fact, we are trespassing right now". I was a little taken back by this. And frankly a little mad, what the hell?

Although I did have a fun nerdy moment in the gift shop when all of a sudden the guy behind the counter asks, "here's a trivia question, which president served two terms but not consecutively?", well duh gift shop guy, that was of course Grover Cleveland, and he actually responded with, "well pin a rose on your nose young man, thats correct". I love old man sayin's.

I left Mt. Rushmore, feeling good. I'm able to check something else off of my bucket list. Drove down the mountain and just started driving east. I know I gotta end up on the east coast so i just better drive east. I drove for a few more hours that day before I knew it it was like 9 or 10 and I am in the middle of Nowhere, South Dakota. I just pulled of to a random little redneck town and stayed in one of those random little redneck motels (the town had a days inn but I had always wanted to stay in one of those rapey motels). The hotel was called Sioux Motel. Had a huge glowing injun on the neon sign. When I asked if anything was still open for food the lady responded, "um yea try the gas station", mmmmm gas station food. The best part of my room was that when I walked up to it the front door was open, odd? yes but only because there was an extension cord that was plugged into my room and ran back to a jeep parked right in front of my door. Somebody was charging this car, so I couldnt really unplug it. I closed the door and figured, well if they want the cord back they can knock on the door.

Woke up the next morning with the same plan as the day before, "I just gotta keep driving East now". I wish I had a bunch of super interesting things to report about day 4 but no not really, day 4 was really really boring. Driving through South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin. Boring, boring boring. The most interesting thing that happened to me on the 4th day was that at one point while driving the freeway became extremely flooded and I had to drive though it. Eventually that night it was time to stop and I pulled off at some random little town in Wisconsin. This place was a huge tourist traps. The last time that i saw something like this I was in a little town called Pigeon Forge, TN (the home of Dollywood). That's the kind of town that this was, in fact I think some of the dinner theater places in Pigeon Forge were also in this town. I looked for a place to sleep but everything was either booked or extremely expensive. Even this one amusement park/hotel called Mt. Olympus, where the hotel was shaped like the Coliseum. I wanted to stay there so so badly but it was like $200 a night.

Gotta keep pushing on I guess, I'm sure I'll be able to find something down the road. I just kept driving and driving, I wasn't getting tired. Before I knew it it was like 1 or 2 in the morning. And I was on long stretch of road where I knew that I wasn't going to find something. Well at this point there is really only one thing to do. I'm just going to have to sleep on the side of the road. Or at least at a road stop. Which is what I ended up doing, I already had a pillow and a blanket in the car since it was full of all my stuff. So i snuggled up in my passenger seat and called it a night somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin. Not an extremely eventful 4th day.

Day 2: Electric Boogaloo

Woke up in my tent the next morning. Guh, rough night, the wind was howling all night long and just wouldnt let me sleep. Tossing and turning all night, plus had to pee and of course you dont want to get up especially since you gotta go outside. F that. But got my ass up, packed up my car and headed out for the eastern desert point of the canyon, different view for a different day. There are hikes and activities to do all day long but I'm saving that for another trip. I know I'll be coming back, no sense in trying to cram it all into one day.

The thing I hate the most about traveling alone is that you are never in any of your pictures. and its not that im shy but I just hate asking people to take pictures of me. I just dont care for it. but i know im gonna want at least one or two pictures of my self in all these cool places. finally asked this elderly couple standing next to me at the desert view of the canyon. which by the way, amazingly gorgeous. the colorado river (i think) was running thru the bottom of the canyon, it was whisper quiet except for the occasional wind that would howl thru. I asked them to take a picture of me and both had a moment of freak out. "oh boy, we dont know how to work those fancy cameras". fancy? its just a regular digital camera, nothing fancy about it. in fact i think you can find it at the bottom of a crackerjack box, thats how cheap this thing is.  All you gotta do is push the button, I told them, and as he is taking the picture he asks, "do i have to focus?", "no sir it does that by itself". I have this great picture of me in mid-sentence with a bit of a smirk. Took one look at the picture and thought, "PERFECT!!!" couldn't of asked for a better picture. I like to have stories attached to my pictures and this one was perfect.

I sat in my car for about 15 minutes afterwards thinking, " where?" Looked at my map and decided, alright lets point the car towards Denver. My buddy Matt (from the tour I did in April/May) lives in Denver, I'll go visit him. About an hour after leaving the park I realize, holy crap, Im headed towards the 4 corners, never been there. If you don't know what the 4 corners is, its exactly as it sounds. 4 different states (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado) meeting at 1 single point. A national landmark. Ive never seen it, I wanna see it, alright, SIDE TRIP!!! I readjusted the Garmin and headed off. Along the drive I saw a sign that said, "Monument Valley 20 miles". I had heard of monument valley. It was in Southern Utah. and only 20 miles away huh? Well it would be stupid to not go!!! So I readjusted the Garmin AGAIN and off I went.

If youve never gone to Monument Valley, do yourself a favor and take the trip. Located at the Southwest corner of the Utah desert, its where the famous Utah red rock is located. This valley was used by directors like John Ford to create the perfect western backdrop for all those amazing Westerns we all grew up watching and still watch today. This area gave John Wayne the perfect backdrop to become the Duke. I gorgeous view from the look out point at the visitor center but hell thats not enough, what if we created a 17 mile stretch of road that takes you in to the middle of all these giant rock structures, not a paved road but a rock and dirt road thats more like taking your car off-roading. Well how the hell can I pass that up? For the first time ever I thought, "my car is perfect for this". I was tearing up this road, leaving other cars literally in the dust. The whole drive took about an hour  but well worth it, to park my car right next to these giant structures and look out into the desert and just see more desert, no roads or buildings or people, just red desert. Amazing. A fantastic side trip.

Headed towards the 4 corners only to get there and see a huge sign that says "CLOSED UNTIL SEPTEMBER", something that I probably should of checked but oh well, a risk you run when you're blindly making your way across the US. Alright, well that sucks. Shit. Ok, well on to Denver. The drive to Denver turned out to be much longer than anticipated. Maybe because I had to drive thru the Rockies. Again, something I had never done. To go from the desert of Arizona and Utah into the green forest of Colorado. To be at 10, 000 Feet and see snow on the ground in June. All part of why you take trips like these. I love me the city, I am a total city slicker but these type of things are why I travel. To say I've seen this, to say I've done that. Gorgeous views, gorgeous drive. I drove into Denver around 1130pm. My buddy Matt was kind enough to put me up for the night. He lives with what he describes as "2 old queens". Perfect, one night I'm camping at the Grand Canyon, the next I'm sleeping in the guest room of a house full of queens in Colorado. Long day, long drive, and no time to hang out with Matt since he has to work in the AM. Well heres to another day.

The first day is always so so easy isn't it?

I set out very early on Wednesday morning, I had an idea of how far the Grand Canyon was but since I had never been there I certainly did not want to drive around at night. Turns out it was only about a 7/8 hour drive to the Canyon and since i left so early I was going to be coming in to the Grand Canyon at around 4pm, a perfect time. The drive was easy, what else is there to say. I played music, I snacked, I drove. The driving part isn't always the most interesting. Although I love to drive. On all the road trips that I've gone on I have always volunteered up my car and I've volunteered to drive. I drove my friend Erin back from Kansas, I drove my friend Meg all the way to Austin, I drove my friend Tunisia to Arizona. I like to drive, dont ask me why, but I just do. I always say, "I'm willing to drive the entire way as long as you keep me entertained in the car". Even if the person is asleep or as quiet as a mouse I don't care, if someone is there the drive isn't so bad. But alone is a different story, you got nothing but you and your thoughts. This was going to be interesting.

I've camped before but never alone and not in a very long time. I got to the Grand Canyon around 4 or so. Just like my garmin had predicted. So far it looked like your general run of the mill National Park, Trees, roads, animals. Ok so far not being blown away. Headed towards my camp site and set up shop. which took longer than anticipated because of the fact that the wind was howling and was making it ridiculously hard to set up my tent. Had it been two people working in this maybe easier but it was just little ol' me. Took me a while but I got that bastard up. I had picked up some snacks and a sandwich for dinner that night. So I was pretty set to go for the night. Jumped back into my car and headed for the Canyon. It was almost time for the sun to start setting so I figured that would be a hell of a sight. Found my way towards the edge of the canyon and stood there in complete awe. I don't know if have ever actually seen this thing. Its one thing to see it in pictures and movies and think, "wow this thing is huge". Its another thing to be standing on the edge of it. I honestly thought to myself, "taking a picture of this is almost an insult to the canyon". I found a little secluded spot where I could just sit by myself and stare out at the canyon. It was such a breathtaking experience. It feels like youre standing at the edge of the world, like if i jumped off I wouldnt fall I would just float around, it felt like an undiscovered part of the world, untouched by man. Its the reason we hold on to national parks, so people can see what things were like before we built our cities over it.

I could stay here for a week and not see all that this canyon has to offer. I sat there and sat there and moved to another spot and sat some more. I just couldnt get enough of this. So much to take in, so much to see. Suddenly this trip became such a great idea. A spot that ive been wanting to see my whole life and here it was right in front of me. It was getting late and I headed back to my camp site. Started a fire, all by myself, which again never had the chance to do but totally did. Another "man" moment for me. I don't get those a lot but when I do I enjoy them. Sitting at my camp site, I started looking around, saw the fire, saw my tent, my car loaded up with most of my things, looked up at more stars than i had ever seen in my life, and then it all hit me. "holy shit, what am i doing? I'm actually driving cross country right now, im leaving LA and headed who knows where?" At that moment, it all became real, god what a huge undertaking. Hope I'm ready for it because whether I am or not its happening.

The Ever Changing Plan

I know, I know, more than two weeks without a post, what the hell is my problem? And I always said I wouldnt let it go a long time without a post and here I am. I don't even know how many people are actually reading this thing if any at all, but at least I want to get this stuff down for down the line when I look back on all this and wonder, "what was I thinking at the time that all of this happened?".

So my mom's birthday quickly approached and as I was preparing to leave on that Monday the 7th, a very good friend of mine called me up and asked if I would be so kind as to accompany her to a wedding out of state. Turns out that the person she was going to go with wasn't able to go with her anymore and it was a good 7 hour drive to where the wedding was taking place. If there is anything that I love more than a road trip, it is a last minute road trip. Honestly I can't think of a better thing to do. If a conversation starts with, "tomorrow were leaving for a couple of days, wanna come?" then you have a pretty damn good chance of me saying yes. Everything got pushed back a couple of days. But this was my 3rd wedding in 3 weeks. Starting to get a bit of a wedding overload but like i said, i was there more for the trip and the company.

After getting back from Arizona we had my mothers birthday which was great. My family and I don't get together too often. We are all just work horses. We are only happy when we are all buried in work. When I was kid I would enjoy maybe a month of summer and then was ready to get back to work. 3 months seem like such a long time. My sister now, who is 18, says the exact same thing that I did as a child. "yea a break is fine but im so bored, i wanna get back to work". We all work insane hours and love it!!! We are made to work, I hate to perpetuate a stereotype but we are one good working mexican family. So when I get a chance to get my entire family together it is a great feeling. Get to catch up with everybody, joke around with my brother and sister, catch up with my mom and have awkward conversation with my dad. God bless my dad, who works his fingers to the bone for us but really doesnt have much of a deep relationship with my brother and I. My sister is different, shes the girl. I think it all stems from the whole mexican Machismo thing. Were men, we arent friends, were father and son. Whatever, as the years go by things always get better.

Finally Wednesday arrives and I'm ready to leave. Once again I gotta say bye to Kat, Drew, everybody. I managed to really minimize what I was bringing. down to the bare minimum. The day before I pondered where my first stop should be, as I was staring at the map it dawned on me. "Hey youve never been to the Grand Canyon before". Alright, so first stop is going to be the grand canyon. So in addition to everything already in my car I threw in my tent and my sleeping bag. Set a course for adventure and pointed my car towards the Grand Canyon.

Been way too long since I posted last.

Alright well as of right now I am currently still in Los Angeles. Came home after the wedding in Charlotte which was a blast. It felt like a southern wedding down to the segregated black table (I'm sure it wasn't but there was one table with nothing but black people everyone else was white, except for me). It was a fun wedding, got to meet a lot of interesting people, even a woman who I could only really describe as an actual redneck that in her drunken conversation with me called me the N word. Which was then followed by people telling me that it was ok because it was a term of endearment. Hmmmm alright, I guess. Not really sure what to do with that one. Yay the south!!!

It has been extremely nice being home although I feel like keeping a low profile. Have only seen a few people while home and I like keeping it that way. As far as I'm concerned I am still gone out of town, don't really feel like getting roped into any type of work or anything like that. This time is for me and with the jobs that I've been getting lately I really don't need to pick up extra work RIGHT NOW, probably down the line but right now I'm enjoying the fact that I'm doing alright. This would be a smart time to save for the months where there might not be any money. Also I still have to pay off my hospital bills and my credit card so I know that money won't last.

Very excited to hit the road to Philly, not even really sure where I'm going to stop or which way I'm going to go. I kind of just want to get there but I should probably take advantage of the fact that I'm driving cross country and see as much as I can. I don't leave till next monday, I was planning on leaving much sooner but my mom's birthday is the 6th of June, and I planned to leave the 4th. I think I can spend a couple more days at home and hang out with my mom for her birthday, especially since I probably won't be home for Thanksgiving and maybe even Christmas. That one is going to be hard. Since I was born I have never missed Thanksgiving or Christmas with my family. Oh man my mom is going to be pissed this year. It's never even a question of whether were coming or not its more like what time are you getting here. But I feel that in order to get everything I want out of this experience I need to not come home until I'm done. I'm going to be missing a whole bunch of things but I feel like that's what I need to be doing right now.

Last weekend I went to one of my best friends weddings, Danny Ricker and Kelly Crookes. I actually got to be in the wedding which is a first for me. It was fantastic and gorgeous. I've known Danny for years now, and he has been one of my best friends for years now. I was very touched and honored to be asked to be in his wedding party. I mean this guy is like a brother to me so of course I'm gonna stand up there with him. The wedding as a whole was so much fun, everything was perfect. It was a very Danny and Kelly wedding. Seeing the both of them up there was a hell of a thing. He never looked like more of an adult to me than when he was standing up there. The two of them, so in love. Never really got what that was like, but just watching 2 of my best friends get married was enough to give me a pretty damn good idea of what something like that feels like. I couldn't of been happier on that day, just in general. I was in the most amazing mood. Had a fantastic time and the next day just hung out with friends that i hadn't gotten a chance to hang out with in forever so the entire weekend was the best weekend I've had in a very long time. A few more days in LA, my moms birthday, and then I head out for Philly and god knows what.

So much tired

Well again its been like a week since my last post, bleh. Just been running around so much lately that I havent had time to just sit and write a bit.
Headed for Boston, even though it was just for the night I can tell it's a very awesome city. Went to grab some dinner and walked past one of the Cheers bars, not the original, I branch of off that. Still really cool though since I had forgotten that the real one was there. I Honestly don't know too much about Boston so I'm definitely gonna have to go back at some point to explore.

Left Boston the next day and jumped a train to New York. This was so cool. I have only ridden one other train in my life. This was my first alone train trip and it was amazing. Just sat down and relaxed the whole way there. I had to finish up writing my sketches for the week. Which were ridiculously hard to write this time around. Some of the educational points that we have to turn into sketches are so complicated and convoluted that its really hard sometimes to get ideas for something when you don't even know what the hell they are talking about. Sat there the entire 4 hour trip thinking and writing. But also looking out the window and just seeing a part of the country that I had never seen before. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York. All by train, its so easy to cross states on this side of the country, it's like the DaVinci Code of America, nice small states so you feel like you made a nice long trip but you really didn't.

Arrived in New York and met up with Renee, old roommate and one of my best friends. Such an amazing host, gave me everything I needed and then some. Spent most of my New York time just relaxing at her apt. Should of been running around but you know what I've been there before and I just needed time to rest. Plus there is something about relaxing in a New York apt that was very cool to me. Renee was busy with work and studying and such so I spent most of the time finding my own entertaining which is perfectly alright with me. I prefer it that way sometimes, just a bit of a loner I guess. Hit up some great bars, met a lot of really great people. Saw a few shows, I had a few in mind but none of the shows had rush tickets, or Standing room, and I just couldnt afford the ticket prices. But I was able to get a student ticket (with my old 2001 college ID, thank goodness I havent changed a bit, have fun getting old suckers) for the revival of Promises, Promises. Never seen it, never really heard much, I knew it was based on the Billy Wilder movie "The Apartment". I think what sold the show to me was that Sean Hayes and Christin Chinoweth were starring in the show. I think hes hilarious and I have never seen her perform live so what a great opportunity. The show itself isn't amazing but it had some amazing performers in it. Everyone was solid, and once the show started I snuck up to one of the box seats on the side of the stage, so i was elevated and like 10 feet from the stage. It was perfect, had the whole box to myself. Later that night Renee took us to see Avenue Q. Holy Crap!!!! It's shows like these that make me want to perform. So so so funny, I was rolling the whole time. Must be what people think when they see me perform improv, "You get PAID to do that?" And then afterwards in a very New York sort of way, we went out to drink and eat with the cast. Such a great bunch of guys.

There was a few people I got to see while there but not everybody and then it dawns on me. Youre gonna be two hours away from New York why dont you just visit all the time? Alright then....I will. Can't wait to live on this side of the country. So relaxed and so interesting. Is that what people think of my side of the country? I don't know. good question. Maybe the grass is always greener, maybe it sucks that to do what I want to do I have to be in LA with actors, and performers, and pretentious people. Dont get me wrong now, because I love LA (we love it!!) but it's definitely a hard city to live in.

Probably had the worst travel day ever yesterday. Took the subway to JFK. easy as shit. love the subway, love new york. My first flight was delayed for about 20 minutes, ok not a big deal just get a beer while I wait, a delicious 10 dollar beer. Got smooshed between to huge people on my first flight. alright i'll deal because its so stereotypical and funny. Once in Atlanta (I was headed to Charlotte to meet Kat for her best friends wedding, so I flew past Charlotte) I had a 5 hour layover that was ridiculous. I couldn't believe how much bullshit went on. Normally I wouldn't care but I was trying to make a rehearsal dinner and they ruined the day for me. I was livid. Don't know if you've ever seen me mad but I am not a good person when I'm mad. I'm short with people, I'm mean, I'm an ass, now I'm usually all that stuff but i do it in a funny way. When I'm mad the funny goes out the door. It is not a sight that I want people to see but piss me off and you will.

Now I'm in Charlotte for the day and fly back to LA tomorrow morning. The first part of the trip is over, I head home to pack up for my trip out to philly. Should really see about where to stay and go and do on my drive out there. So if anyone has any suggestions then let me know because I am open to all of them.

Now off to my first Southern Wedding.

Random Thought

One of the things that I love about my tattoos and my earring is that all of them were part of some trip that I've taken. My earring was from my trip to Salt Lake City, Utah with one of my best friends, Danny Ricker. We were headed to the wedding of another one of my best friends Natalie. We were walking around a mall and we got my ear pierced at a Claire's. As I'm sitting in the chair a little nervous about what was about to happen, thinking to myself "well if this hurts I can just make as much noise as I want", a mom walks up with her little girl who wants to get her ears pierced. So the mom says, "well sweetie why dont you watch him get his ear pierced and if it looks like it hurts you can just wait ok?" Obviously the mom didn't want her to get them pierced, not yet anyway. So great now I'm stuck here with this little girl watching me, I can't make noise NOW, what am I gonna do? Freak her out? Shit! Of course Danny standing next to me taking pictures and laughing didn't help. So it got pierced, it was a very painful pinch but I didn't flinch at all. The little girl sees that and says, "oh thats easy, im gonna pick out my earrings". I make eye contact with the mom and mouth the phrase, "that really hurt", she mouths back, "i know".

My "Echo en Mexico" tattoo on my left shoulder was from my trip to San Francisco with another tour from the National Theatre for Children. I was with my tour partner Nicole, we were walking around Haight Ashbury and she decides to get something pierced so I decide what the hell, its time to bite the bullet and get this tattoo that i've been thinking about for a year now. Not an amazing story, but the tattoo always makes me think of her and of San Francisco. I love that town, spent two years there at San Francisco State University (GO GATORS!!). Plus Nicole turned out to be a whirlwind romance for about a week or so. One of those, "I wonder if it would of worked out" sort of things. The day after we got back she was moving to Texas so we both knew it was a small fling with someone we really liked. Very cool girl who I still talk to once in a blue moon.

My "Yes, and..." Tattoo is a design of my brothers, I told him what I wanted and he came up with a great design. It's nothing fancy, just the words YES AND on my right arm and the font is the same font from The Back to the Future posters. I don't think I love a trilogy more than I do that specific trilogy. I can watch those movies anytime, I'd go as far as to say they are some of my most favorite movies in the world. Those movies can do no wrong. YES AND of course, the golden rule of improv, and I try to make it my golden rule of life. Try new things, experience as much as you can. Step out of your comfort zone. I try not to think of things as a problem but a deviation from the plan. You'll still get to B from A but now you just have to take a different way. Keeps my life positive. I got that tattoo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the Comedy Sportz World Tournament 2009. It was the 25th year anniversary of CSZ Milwaukee and CSZ in general. So much good energy there. They offered us a discount at a local tattoo place, I went in, I checked it out. Met the coolest dude who did my tattoo. Quoted me a ridiculously great price plus on top of that a discount. So I just said sure what the hell, lets do it. This tattoo makes me think of so much, CSZ, Back to the Future, my brother, and just myself in general. I love this tattoo.

Well right now I'm off traveling the US and started pondering a new tattoo at some point on this trip. Maybe in Philly, maybe in Chicago. I don't know yet. But I've been throwing around the idea of the Viva Luis logo that my buddy Danny designed for me. It started off as a joke but its actually becoming like my calling card. I love that logo. If i ever start some sort of company, maybe production company or something, that might have to be the logo for it. Starting to throw that idea around in my head, any thoughts? Trying to decide if its just a dumb idea or if its very "me" to do that.

I'm Blogging on Sunshine, Woh woh!!

Well its definitely been way too long since I've posted an update, so sorry about that. My third week on tour was definitely a hectic one. But not like the others were. Honestly up the point of the weekend of week 2 I had not stopped to rest at all. Week one was rehearsals and running around Minneapolis, Week 2 was sight seeing and shows, same as week 3. So we finally stopped in Des Moines and had a weekend of pretty much just sitting around our hotel room relaxing, enjoying some beers, finally getting some much deserved rest. Of course as soon as I stop to relax is when everything catches up with me so I got myself a sore throat and a little bit of a cold. So all week was just water, and vitamins, and medicine and shows and trying not to blow my voice out or make my throat even worse than it already was. Still now I got some sniffles but I can tell that some of that is allergies which are actually new to me since I only developed them recently. 

But whatever, that's all ramblings. Currently I am on a plane on my way to Boston, Massachusetts. Going to visit a friend of mine. I was suppose to leave last night but through a series of unfortunate events I was bumped for a flight this morning. Which I could either get really upset about or just say whatever, I get to spend another night in Minneapolis. I was totally ok with that, got to spend some more time with my tour partner Matt. I'm gonna miss that guy, you can't spend 4 weeks attached at the hip and not build a great friendship. Luckily him and I got along really well. He got my sense of humor, and I always say if you get my sense of humor then you get me. I also got to meet two of Matt's friends who lived in Minneapolis, Claire and Amanda. Two of the coolest girls I have met in a really long time. Totally hit it off with them and on top of all that they are moving to Chicago right around the same time that I am so I'll at least have two friends when I get there.

I was really happy with how my entire tour went, to be honest it went by so fast that it doesn't feel like I've been away from home for a month. The whole third week of shows was littered with lightning storms, huge pouring rain, hail, wind that would knock you off your feet. But on our last day the weather was gorgeous. Just beautiful driving through fields and countryside. We finished up our last two shows with a huge bang. Just went balls out and really gave everyone a great show. The last town we went to, Troy Mills, Iowa was so small that my gps system didn't even register as a town. My GPS stated that it could not be found, but we found it (in your face technology, I am your master!!). Finished up strong and headed towards home. On our last couple of days we saved the best sights for last. 

We visited a town called Riverside, Iowa which according to the town is the future birthplace of Captain Kirk. They had a model of the USS Enterprise but because of copyright laws they couldn't call it the Enterprise so they called it the USS Riverside. Supposedly Kirk is conceived under a pool table at some point in the future so a local bar has a plaque underneath a pool table commemorating that moment. And behind a little yellow hair salon stands a huge stone marker, "Riverside Iowa THE FUTURE BIRTHPLACE OF CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK". Now I'm really not a trekkie at all. Never even seen the movies, Matt on the other hand was totally geeking out. I mean I was as well but only because I thought it was so cool to just be there, it of course makes me want to watch the shows and the movies. Just one of those things I'll have to put on my to do list.

On the last day we finished up our last show and headed for Dyersville, Iowa.  A little, tiny town off of a little tiny highway (shouldn't say highway, more like a tiny road). But this town is the home of The Field of Dreams from the movie of the same name. They had the whole thing, the field, the house, the bleachers, everything!!! Since we are technically still in Spring time there wasn't corn surrounding the field, which i think would of made the experience even cooler. But just getting to be there was a very very cool feeling. Matt and I both took turns running the bases and as I'm rounding first on my way to second I realized that I was running the bases on the actual Field of Dreams and I just couldn't stop laughing for the rest of the bases. Had me quite the nerdy moment. It was probably one of the coolest sights of Americana that I've ever seen.

After Dyersville we headed for Minneapolis but with a little stop over at Clear Lake, Iowa. In a little corn field outside of town was the spot where the music died. The spot where the plane carrying The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valenz, and Buddy Holly crash landed. What I think I loved the most about visiting this spot was that it was not being taken advantage of by the town as an attraction for the town. The directions to get to the spot were literally, "follow the dirt road till you hit a fence and walk half a mile down the fence towards the middle of the corn field." And we got those off of a website. The only way to know that you made it to the right corn field was a pair of large buddy holly like glasses that someone put up there. Don't know who, just someone. We walked along the fence for about half a mile till we came to a little metal marker in the shape of a guitar and 3 records. Each record had 2 songs from each artist on it, probably some of their most popular songs and the guitar carried all three names on it with the crash date, February 3rd, 1959 I think. All around this marker were ID's, notes, pens, coins, anything that people might of been carrying at the time. They left it behind to show that they had come to visit this spot.  I don't know why but I felt the need to leave something behind, this just didn't seem like a spot that a lot of people came to and to me it's such an important point in music history. Plus I'm a huge Ritchie Valenz fan. All I had to leave behind was my favorite cap, my Comedy Sportz baseball cap. I wear it all the time, probably the most comfortable hat i have. So I signed it, and so did Matt, we put a date on it and left it behind. I love that my name is on that spot, I love that my comedy sportz hat is on that spot. Feel like I'm part of a little bit of history. Being such a history buff this was probably the best thing we did the entire trip, what an amazing way to finish off my tour of Iowa.

So now I head off to Boston for a night instead of two, in the morning I'm jumping a train for New York, where I get to visit my Friend Renee, and hopefully a bunch of other friends that I have there. My brother out of nowhere is gonna be in New York as well receiving an award for his work on a website (my brother is an extremely talented graphic designer who works on a lot of really big websites, he also designed my YES AND tattoo) so im gonna try to get together with him too, which excites me to no end. Gonna spend the rest of the week in New York before heading out to Charlotte. Gotta find some time to work on my sketches for this week, but I'm not worried It'll get done. Now to enjoy my complimentary airline Biscoff, whatever the hell that is, looks like some sort of wheat cracker.

Nothing like Mother's Day in Iowa

Well Friday turned out to be some of the best shows that we have had yet. It was 4 shows back to back. 2 shows at one school, pack up the sets, drive up to the next school with enough time to set up and do two more shows. A lot of yelling and running around and having to be smarmy to all the middle school kids. It was definitely a tough day but very rewarding. Some of the best shows yet. We even had a teacher come up to us at one point and ask, "were you in Griswold last week? Because my husband came home ranting and raving about a show they saw at school today, and he normally doesn't do that." Oh hey awesome we got a little rep going.

This was going to be our relax weekend because its been three weeks of non-stop running around and driving and yelling and shows. So we got up early to drive over to Pella, Iowa for Tulip Time. It was freezing this morning, just cold and i mean COLD wind all up in ma face. But we made it to town and parked to watch the town go for a Guinness World Record, the most people dancing in wooden shows. This thing was crazy, over 2800 people and clopping up and down the street. They circled the entire city square, they had a huge P.A. system set up so that everyone could hear the music and the announcer. Makes me regret not doing it because it looked like so so much fun. I got a few pictures a couple of videos. I couldn't of asked for a better morning/afternoon. In fact the second we got into town we kept getting side swiped by all these people, "hey werent you the guys who did the show at the middle school the other day?", "hey great job at the show the other day". It was a lot of fun seeing teachers come up to us, kids recognizing us wanting to show us around. It was fun, nice to see that the shows are actually making a bit of a difference.

We came back to our hotel room and just stayed here the rest of the day, nothing to do but sit and chill and have a few beers and watch tv. Hadnt gotten to do that in so so long. Today I got my next writers meeting in a couple of hours which will hopefully go rather quickly because we got a couple of hours drive to our next town. We gotta get ready for the next and final week, after two weeks of tough shows and kids I know that its going to go really well, and then next Friday we head back to Minneapolis so I can fly out to Boston that Saturday.

It only gets weirder from here

Practically done with week 2 of my 3 week tour of Iowa. Last weekend was actually amazingly fun. My tour partner and I decided to take a little side trip out of Iowa for a bit and visit the great city of Chicago. It was only a few hours drive from where we were so why the hell not? Usually when I go visit a city I could not be more of a tourist but since I'm going to be living in Chicago for months later this year I got to just chill and relax. Got to visit my good friend Becky while there. Hadn't gotten to see her in months so of course it was a blast to see her and have her show me around her neighborhood. Got to have a nice little taste of what life was going to be like once I move there. Of course it will be much much colder so we will see how I handle all that.

Once the weekend ended we jumped right back into doing shows all over Iowa. The first week was so much fun and easy, second week definitely got much harder. Maybe cause week 1 doesn't have a whole other week on top of it like week 2 does. I'm so much more tired these days. Turning into so much work. But on the other hand, Matt and I finally seem to have our groove down with the show. Today we had what I think is going to be our hardest shows. We had back to back shows at a middle school in Des Moines. It's the capital and one of the largest cities in Iowa so I knew it was going to be a pain. Just walking around the school during lunch and seeing the kids I could tell, "guh this is going to be some hard shows" and of course they totally were. So much talking, little 12 13 14 year olds who think they are such bad asses, yea sure guy you are such a tough bad ass from Des Moines, Iowa. F YOU. I'm a nerdy dorky mexican from Culver City and I'm tougher than you. The cool part is doing the show, hard at first but by the end we totally won them over. They loved the show, both shows in fact were just fantastic. Its a good feeling when you can get these kids, who try to act all tough, to just be kids. God things just get tougher as you go along, why are you in such a rush to stop being a kid. Hell I spent half my time trying to not be an adult. Today was I think our toughest day, from here on in its all smooth sailing.

Also spent the other half of the week working on my first assignments for the TV show that I'm working on. Man its definitely a type of writing that I am not familiar with. So fast, so quick. In a week we've written 3 episodes. It's not like I had a mountain of work, I had 2 sketches assigned to me. I sat down, jotted down some ideas and wrote out my sketches, turned them in, did a read thru, a rewrite, and finals are due Saturdays. I gotta admit, I'm really loving it, I'm skyping into all the meetings, getting to put in my two cents and THEY LOVED THE SKETCHES I WROTE. So far, I could totally see myself getting into writing. Don't know why I let it scare me for so long, but here I am doing it. Yea, good for you, good for you.

Haven't gotten to see many sights this week, mostly because we are burned out on all the driving around, its practically all we do. Although the other day we were driving to the next town we were staying in and we saw a sign that said, "AMERICAN GOTHIC HOUSE 6 MILES." ....................oh hell yea, were going. We got there with like 10 minutes before the museum closed so the lady gave us a 10 cent tour and told us the short version of the history of the painting. Then she let us borrow a pitchfork so we could take some pictures, had we had more time we could of actually done costumes but oh well take what you can get. It was one of those little side trips that i love because I didn't expect it and frankly if were being honest, I didn't even know it was a real house so excuse me if I get excited when i see a picture of me in front of that house and think, "wow, now I can say that I've seen that place, I've been there, I've seen a piece of history" I love that. Its why i love to travel. Its no longer just a fact on paper to me, now I've put a face with the name.

Settled into our hotel room in Des Moines, Iowa today where we will probably stay for the rest of the week and move on Sunday to Eastern Iowa were our last week will be. This weekend we will be visiting the town of Pella, Iowa (again, we stayed there earlier in the week) because it is TULIP TIME, in fact its the 75th anniversary. Huge dutch celebration that happens every year in this town. Its so big that we weren't able to get a hotel room in that town from Thursday on because they were sold out. "You should of called ahead"..........."Um I didn't even know your town existed until today so that would of been a bit hard." This year the town is going for a world record, the most people dancing in wooden shoes, they said it would be about 2500 people. I would of danced but they said you needed your own wooden shoes and they are about $40. So I'll settle for just watching. Stay tuned for pictures. Alright off to bed cause tomorrow we have our longest day, 4 shows. Sounds like a small amount but a ton of energy goes in to 2 shows so by 4 ill be out like a light.