November 12, 2004
4:41 AM

It's happening again. I'm wide awake!! After fighting so hard to keep from falling asleep during the day, only to be wide awake a few hours later. What is this phenomenon called Jet lag? Yesrteday morning is being re-lived right now, but I was able to fall back asleep (yesterday) and that's a promising thing to look forward to.

My day started (or re-started) yesterday at 9:30 AM with our host (Buz) waking us up. We were taking the train to Gatwick airport to pick up Grant Olney. Grant is a friend from Austin, Tx. that will be playing these shows with me whilst in England. Definitely in a daze, I tried to pull it together and make strides towards the front door. Grant was getting in at 10 AM and we figured about 30 minutes for him to make it through immigration and customs. Our train left at 10:34 and we finally got in at around 11 AM. After a few twists and turns at the airport, we found Mr. Grant Olney sitting calmy reading a book outside of arrivals. It looks as if his plane was an hour early. He had been waiting nearly 2 hours for somebody to pick him up. Poor guy, but he wasn't worried. Reverse the roles and I would have been stressed out of my mind that nobody was gonna come.

Anyways, we grab his stuff and we are off to Brighton. Grant has a jumbo size piece of luggage and his guitar. We make a left out of Gatwick and we are suddenly in the train station, but Grant is ticketless and we don't see a ticket booth. We play naive and just hop on the train thinking we can buy one in Brighton or better yet the ride will be free. After a few stops, a conductor comes through for proof of tickets. Grant tells him the story and the conductor is very nice, but grant ends up paying a fine which makes his 30 minute train ride a whopping $26 dollars US. YIKES!! Not a good way to start off the trip, but alas we are in England and the sun is shining bright with only a few scarce clouds. Just my luck bringing California weather to the UK.

Arriving in Brighton, we make the short walk back towards Buz's home and drop off Grant's luggage. With some proper introductions between Grant and Buz and Buz's girlfriend EM (I re-learned her name), we headed off for some food. Buz's shop is smack dab middle in the heart of Brighton's shopping distrinct. It kind of reminds of the Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. Lots of cool shops, all independently owned and tons of people milling about. We decide to start of with a snack at a bakery. Onion, potato, and cheese pastry. Yummm...but not that yummmm.... Super greasy, but I was hungry and it went down pretty easily for me. Monica didn't like hers and Grant got a sausage roll type of deal that looked kind of gross, but also kind of good. Hmmmm.....

We headed towards a music store to buy some strings for Grant. It ended up costing him 5.50 pounds which is about 10 times the amount he would have paid for them in the states. DOH!! Strike 2 on his first day in England. But again, we were in England, all was good. We really wanted to eat Fish and Chips. The proper English meal, so we started a journey to find the perfect place. We headed towards the coast thinking that would be the place they would have good fish and chips. The traffic moves in the opposite direction in England and after a few life ending close calls of walking in front of a moving bus, I quickly became more aware of my surroundings. We came up to this one pub/cafe that had a sign for a fish/chips/peas lunch special 4.95 pounds. So we went for it. A beautiful table next to the window with the ocean next to us gave us quite the ambience. Success on the meal. We all smiled plentiful and I even got to eat Monicas left overs. WIN WIN for me.

Grant was fading fast as his lack of sleep was kicking in. He had been up for nearly 24 hours. We headed back to Buz's house and Grant took a nap while me and Monica went to an internet cafe. A cute place next to the train station. We had a couple cups of coffee and 4 bars of wireless service on the internet for fast speed connection! A few hours of emails and mindless web surfing and we headed back to Buz's. Grant was still out and we couldn't wake him up so we left without him and headed out for some dinner. We went to this amazing vegeterian restaurant. I had nachos for some odd reason and Monica and Buz both had these amazing looking dishes. I don't know what I was thinking. I lost on that one though the nachos were quite delicious. Perhaps I didn't lose after all. And then it was back to Buz's where we watched HELLBOY. I fought so hard to stay awake during the movie, thinking I would sleep a solid 8 hours. But here I am again lying face down in a small room with Monica and now Grant sleeping within feet of me. And Grant is fast asleep even though he took a 5 hour nap. Argghhhhh!!! Wish me luck y'all as I am gonna try to back asleep. It's now 5:28 AM.

PS-it's now 7 AM and I still can't sleep. I've been lying in the dark thinking and trying to sleep, but it's not happening for me. I'm having back pain. That's another factor to my lack of sleep. I'm ready to get moving and start my day, but everyone is sleeping and I actually am locked inside the store. I don't have a key, so I can't just get up and leave. This is a frightening realization that I'm just kind of trapped here. What to do?
Peace always,
Mike Park