Journal Entry # 38 - Road Entry#28 (Memphis, TN to Hattiesburg, MS - 3:11pm - September 21, 2010)

One week left before flying back to Los Angeles. The beginning of my life on the road within Los Angeles. I figure that my life on the road will continue back in the greater city area in which I grew up in because I haven't explored the entire LA basin. I also have been gone for so long that I have forgotten most of the areas in which I was so familiar. There will be a bunch of rediscovering in Los Angeles as I am back there. I will be fortunate to be so close to my family, a fortune I haven't had in the previous 6 years living in Oregon and traveling the world.

The current chapter of my adventure has me traveling with Manon Scraggs down from Memphis to Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I will write about this portion of the journey later in my journal because I am 3 weeks behind in my writing.

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Dental Hygiene.

It's Wednesday August 25th, 2010 and I am back at my new dentist's office. I have a teeth cleaning appointment today after yesterday's dental examination of teeth health, gum health, and procedural x-rays. The dentist and dental hygienist inform me that I have good-looking and healthy teeth this year with no cavities. I was proud of myself after going through my last dental visit with three fillings.

I came back to mom's house to find breakfast on the table ready to eat quickly before heading out the door to the beach. Mom and I were planning on having a day together because it had been 5 months since we spent an quality time together. Mom and I got in the car to head down to Santa Monica because she had a meeting with another PhD student from her Fielding Course. I left Mom with her intellectual colleague because I was on a mission to find a new bathing suit that fit me. I found a Salvation Army store online before heading down to Santa Monica, so I went to the on right by the 10 freeway.

I got there to find a great selection of swim-wear in the men's clothing section. Most suits were priced in the 2-4 dollar range, something I was excited about. I got ecstatic when I found a brand new bathing suit with it's tags still on. I didn't care that it was an O'Neil bathing suit with pink, blue, and tiger stripes - it was a brand new suit for $3 dollars! I jumped all over that purchase and made it out the door satisfied. Completely satisfied.

I back to the area in which mom was eating lunch with her friend - the time in which I decided to get some of my own food. I chose the Kreation Kafe a couple blocks down from where mom was. I ordered a delicious veggie salad and hummus plate. I was completely stuffed when I got a call from mom to pick her up from her location.

As I drove to pick up mom, I called Griff Goins to see if he was available to meet up. Griff and I lived in the same dorm hall, freshman year of college in Oregon. I left a message for Griff on his cell right as I pulled into a spot on the street in front of the restaurant. I definitely wanted to see a familiar Oregon face because I was missing some usual and comfortable faces from my Oregon days after traveling for so long - and I knew Griff had been living in Santa Monica for some time now.

Mom and I left the restaurant area towards the Pacific Ocean. We both drove down the Pacific Coast Highway before making a decision to go to a beach close to Laura Owen's house in the Pacific Palisades. Mom and I scavenged around the car and her purse to get the $8 for parking on the beach. He set up our towels, chairs, and goods on the sand by one of the life-guard towers. It was a beautiful day at the beach. We sat there after applying sun-block lotion and talked for an hour or so. I then decided it would be a good idea to take a run on the beach.

I left the lifeguard tower in Pacific Palisades and started running towards Santa Monica pier. I ran barefoot all the way to the Santa Monica pier and back to the life-guard tower. I was gone for about an hour or so - running the sand and smiling at the repeated women crossing my line-of-sight. It was a great run - I felt amazing! I felt so good that I even said "Wow! You're beautiful!" to one of the striking bikini beauties along the 'skim-water'.

I got back to the towels, chairs, and mom with fat blisters on the bottom of my feet - running that long on the sand is tough! You can build up a resistance and callouses on your feet from multiple attempts on the sand - just the first time is pretty rough.

I went into the water for a quick dip before coming out, drying off, and getting ready to leave for Laura's house. We were visiting Laura and Alec Owen at their place in Pacific Palisades. Alec is my age and we grew up as childhood friends because Laura and my mom are best friends. Laura is my godmother. As we were getting ready to leave the beach, mom asked my opinion of tattoos and what I thought of women with tattoos. I told her I was indifferent because it is a self-expression statement. Personally I alter between the idea of having one and not having one. I respect people that have the courage to permanently mark their body with art or a commemorative piece. What I don't understand is when people get tattoos just for "coolness".

Mom and I drove less than a mile from our parking spot to the driveway of Laura's house in Pacific Palisades. She and Alec were there with refreshments and appetizers, awaiting our arrival. It was a pleasure to see them this Wednesday afternoon. I caught up with Alec and we all had a great time on the couch together. The Dodger game provided conversational relief in the background, but we all had a lot to talk about.

Alec is working part-time jobs in the LA area and is actually working at a restaurant in Pasadena. Laura still runs and owns the Gioia Clothing Store in Santa Monica. I was so happy to be there with them! It had been a long time since we had all been in the same room together - probably 5+ years. The last time being a christmas carol singing session the Owen's annually held in their home. We spent more time talking about the activities that have been or will be consuming our lives in the next weeks and month. It led me to describing an idea of what I wanted to on the road after Charlotte and the wedding. I was telling Laura and Alec that I was planning on going to Nashville and Memphis after hitting up Knoxville in Tennessee.

Laura then enthusiastically mentioned that I should stay with her friend Kate Dunigan in Memphis. I guess Kate and Laura are as good as friends as Laura and my mom. They know each other well and have known each other for 25+ years. Laura emphatically suggested that I stay with them, after she got in touch with them of course. She made sure to e-mail Kate and me right after mom and I left back to La Canada. It was a great time in the Owen's home. I am sure that Alec and I will get together when I am back in Los Angeles, especially because he is working in Pasadena.

I got back to Mom's house before turning out in less than an hour to go hang with Ben Tucker. I had a quick snack of mom's delicious leftovers before leaving for Ben, Aaron, and Kevin's place in Silver Lake. I got there after getting turned around on the freeway for a second and kicked it with them for a while. They were just watching some Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report. It was nice to be with them and in their presence. Ben and Aaron called it a night near midnight because of work the next morning. I was satisfied just sharing some quality time together and a bit of conversation, but not much.

I drove back to La Canada to go to bed.

The End for Now.

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