September 19, 2004
11:28 AM

I'm currently heading north on some highway towards Seattle. I should know the name, but I'm riding on a friggin tour bus like a real rock star. Sitting in the rear of the bus, I can only see the plush bling bling of the back lounge. If I was riding in a van, I'd be looking at the atlas learning about the country's highways.

Very blessed and lucky is how I feel. The boys in ANTI-FLAG have allowed me to ride with them on their bus, so I have no travel costs, just the plush comfort of this bus. AHHHHHHHHHHH....... Last night was day 1 of the tour and we rocked a city called Portland, Or.. Heard of it? Anyways, I played first, which will be the case on the entire tour, but first ain't so bad. I like being done early. The rest of the night I can just enjoy the show and hang out.

I arrived at the Portland airport at around 2 PM. A very nice and sweet woman named Vanessa answered my plea for a ride from the airport. Friends and aquaintances find it incredible that I always rely on strangers for help with rides, places to stay, etc.. What if they're crazy they ask? These are total strangers.....You're crazy! Just get a cab..These are some of the comments I get, but nobody is more crazy than me and I'm to cheap to take a cab. Plus, I enjoy meeting new people and you know they're going to be nice, since they are offering to help with a ride in the first place. Ya know what I'm saying?

Well, Vanessa was an art student going to Portland St. University (I believe....) And she was nice enough to take me on a few errands. I wanted to buy a digital camera in Portland because there's no sales tax. I got this mini cannon digital camera. 3.2MP, rechargable lithium battery, digital zoom, and more stuff that I have no idea how to use. And then we went to Home Depot to get some last minute diddies that were needed for the tour. A last stop at the dollar tree brought me some good stuff for ummmm....A DOLLAR!! and then I got dropped off at the ROSELAND where the rock show was happening.

Since this was day one, it meant meeting a lot of new people. 30 or so people are rolling with the tour, which makes for a hard time remembering names. I can't remember names. I know faces, but that's it. I'm gonna go buy a pad of paper and write down everybodys name and try to figure out names so I can say "Hey John...Howzit going?" Instead of "Hey dude, what's up". Or "Hey man....Great show tonight".

I only got a ten minute set, so I tried to talk as little as possible, but I like to talk so that was a bit difficult. Anyways, I managed to still play 6 songs by playing faster than ever. I even broke a string which has only happened once before in my life. Oh well, at least it was on the last song. Kids were super nice. I sold 14 cd's and got lots of smiles. I've got lots of responsibilities on this tour as I'm in charge of punkvoter, music for america, and plea for peace. I've got to set up early and sell stuff throughout the entire night. I haven't done that in a long time. Doing everything by myself, but it's only for 3 weeks. I'll be fine.

My shirt was soaked through from the sweat of the crowd. I had salt stains on my shirt from all the perspiration. I felt yucky and wanted to take a shower. Luckily they had showers at the venue and I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately there were no towels, but they did have the hand blower so I finished my shower and put my body in as many different positions to get as dry as I could possibly get. After ten minutes of trying this, I was no more dry than when I started. So I just put on my clothes and went to the bus.

I ended up eating the singer for ANTI FLAG'S hummus. I didn't know, but he's allergic to many things and needs a special diet. The kicker is that I ate it right in front of him. And he said "Hey that's my hummus, I bought it specially for me because I'm allergic to most kinds of hummus." I think I said yeah right. And just kept eating. The reason for this is because TITO the road manager had said that there was hospitality on the bus and hummus is totally the type of food you get on hospitality so i just assumed. ARGGHH!! I felt dumb and bad. I'm gonna buy Justin a bunch of goodies when I get home tomorrow. DOH!!

Well, I'm sick of writing and I'm sure you're sick of reading, so i'm gonna stop. Be well. Enjoy your day.

Peace always, Mike Park