Please me have no regrets...

, Drove back north to Lafayette, Indiana (shithole of a town) and picked up my bus from the Firestone where it was parked. Brought it back to Louisville. After paying for the rental for 3 days, the tow dolly, the gas for my buddy to drive me down there, lunch and miscellaneous expensed related to buying him a tow hitch so he could pull her back home the trip cost me about as much as it would have to have a wrecker tow her to Louisville and with much less stress. Oh well, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.

One last bit of bad luck, we stopped for lunch at Stake and Shake and I dropped my walled on their floor as we walked out of the place. When I realized it and called them I was relieved to hear they had found it. We went and picked it back up but it was $20 lighter than it had been previously. That was all that was missing. Bad karma and curses to that robber.

So now the bus is sitting at the Volksdoctor waiting to be fixed. I'm going to just go ahead and spend what it takes to get her running again (after all as long as the engine isn't totaled, which I don't think it is as it still drives -should only cost 1300-2000$).

Slight compensation is that I was futzing around on ebay tonight and I see that there are tons of these buses for sale for up to 1600$ (so far bidding isn't over). I have hope that I'll be able to sell her for more than $2000 once she's running again and thereby recoup what I'm about to put into her.

I still have to make some new arraignments with my ex-wife, she sold me this money-eater. I have paid her $600 so far and owe her (based on our agreement before the engine blew 3 months into my ownership) another 1500$. This is not going to happen. I will have to spend that just to fix the van. Most likely I will offer to pay her the remaining sum (or lily just 50% of it) later in the year once my nest egg is restored to what it was before the repairs.

I don't mean to suggest that she knowingly sold me a car about to die, but she did know about the anti-freeze leak and said it was a slow leak. That's because she hadn't driven it much the past year... of course once I began to really use the car the problem went from a leaky gasket to a blown one... that's logical. So in a sense she did sell me a van knowing it was problematic, and in sense she didn’t having been assured by her mechanic that the leak wasn't anything serious and the only way to fix it would have been a costly gasket replacement (THE EXACT REPAIR I'M NOW PAYING TO HAVE DONE -she's a crafty one, sell the van and get the new owner to pay for the repair. Only problem is - I'm the father of her son who has just moved into town to take some of the burden of parenthood off of her shoulders.

So I have a tightrope to walk with her, like the fool walking the edge of the cliff... I can't outright yell at her for fucking me over by selling me a van about to explode, nor can I just let her off the hook. There is a middle path and that's one that involves a suspension of payments for the time being while the money that would have once gone to her for the bus goes towards repairs. After all I did her a favor by buying the bus in the first place (just as she did me one by selling it to me on payments so I wouldn’t have to sink a full 2000$ or more into an auto at once - which I'm now forced to do) because she was loath to put it on the open market where 1) she wouldn't get 2K for it and 2) she'd have to scrape the Deadhead stickers off of it and 3) likely pay for the engine repairs herself.

Some of this is just my perception and maybe not the full truth of the matter... but I'm rolling here and I need to get this out.

I hope she doesn't take me to court to try and get the rest of the money from me and that we can come to a friendly agreement over the price of the van considering it's new condition. I pray. If not we're gonna fight for the first time in years and this will set back my plans for a renewed relationship with my son Quinn - which is the only reason I came back to America, moved to Louisville and was in the position to buy the van in the first place.

I only pray her need for the 1500$ under weighs her desire to make good karmically with me and for us to continue having the excellent working relationship that we have.

Ahem. I pray silently now

In other news I have a weeks temp gig with the National Tobacco Company doing some office work. This will be the first work I've done since leaving the graces of RadioShack Corp. on December 23, 2004. I hope it's the beginning of a series of temp jobs that will make me enough money to pay for these repairs a well as put me into a new house here in Louisville.

On that note I'm looking at a room in a 3-bedroom house on Tuesday. The rent will be 450 if we don't find a third roommate and 300$ if we do. I think we will. It sounds like a nice house with front and back porches, wired for high speed Internet, garage parking for the bus and two stories in a nice neighborhood.

Wish me luck on that.

The medium term sees me going up to Chicago on March 13 or 14 and then on to Amsterdam to see my friendClaire on March 16. I'll be in A'dam for about 10 days working on an extensive photo shoot of the coffee house scene there (say 3000 frames of film at 20 different coffee shops over the course of 10 days). I have dreams of publishing a coffee table book of coffee shop photography, history and culture. Then Claire and me are flying to Madrid and going to spend a week in Spain. Then back to Amsterdam, then Chicago and finally back to Louisville by say April 9 at the latest.

Once here it'll be back to work for me and then as spring turns to summer I'll be going to Bonaroo in order to sell all of my accumulated trade goods (some 75 kilograms of clothing, hand made books, lamps, lanterns, hammocks) and my photographs from Thailand and Morocco and tour.

This stash of stuff is worth about 7000$ and should work to rebuild my savings. (I'm quite the planner!)

The best thing about being back in the US in general and in Louisville in particular is that I'll be able to spend time with my son Quinn every week and this is the greatest blessing I have in my life right now. After years of being an absentee father living in Europe pursuing love, career, and adventure I have trumped them all and come to be closer to him. I find this decision extremely rewarding. In fact I'm spending tomorrow afternoon with him!

That's about all... as they say in the comics... 'nuff said.