203: Don't Tex With Mexas
Good morning, world!!!!!! Billy Bob Thorton here to tell you about my new movie. Its called The Lance Romañce Mailing List. I read through the entire Lance Romañce Mailing List archive on Lance's web site, and decided it would make a wonderful movie. Production has started of this passionate tale of romañce, and will be starring Tony Danza as Walter Cronkite, Walter Cronkite as Debbie Gibson, Debbie Gibson as a young Ben Garber, and Ben Garber as Lance Romañce. This movie is great. It makes me cry. It has all ready been nominated for three acadamey awards, and it hasn't even begun shooting yet. Thats how good it is.

Hi every body. Its you know who again, writing from you know where. Oh, wait. You don't know where. Everybody, buckle your seatbelts, we're going on a journey.

So I traveled accross the country. I left Providence a few weeks ago with my destination set as Portland, Or, where I would be setteling down a little bit, finding a place to call home, and a job to call job. I took the bus to new york city. Took new york city to the train. Took the train to Chicago, and continued my journey to portland on railroad. Ah, the north coast. What a beutiful country it is that we do live on. Trees, cities, wild animals, cities, indian reservations, factories, farms, car dealerships.... I saw it all on a 4 day trip from tip to tip of this great american country. It was breathtaking. Blah, blah, blah, montanna, idaho, washington, oregon.
I arrived at 10am (PST) on a sunday morning. Not only had I not eaten much on the train, I hadn't eaten much in the priorising week to the trip. I set out to find something to eat but had little luck. Well, it is sunday, so things might be closed on Sunday. But why resteraunts??? Sunday is a popular day to go out for breakfast. I found out later that things around here open uninteligentably late. I was able to find a small place that was open in china town. Only half of this particular place was a chinese restaraunt. The other half was a good old american coffee shop. And my reward came for a week of not eating much more than a single muffin. My empty stomach was delighted when I pushed down my esapagus, a lucious, filling, high fat cinamon and honey crepe. This great american coffee shop didn't have much of a menu. After picking up a free paper, and calling some people who were looking for room mates, who turned out to be some of the most unplesent people I've ever had the pleasure of answering ads from (one woman was very obnoxious and agrivating), I was able to find a place to stay here in northwest: A run down hotel. I actually liked that hotel. It was crawling with bugs, it was easy to break into, there wasn't any phone, it was stuffy and sometimes hard to breath, the sheets had holes in them, but it did have cable. Full cable too, not crapy hotel cable. There was also a gay strip club under my window.
$2.50 per slice of cheese was my next adventure. I crappy slice of pizza at an inflated price was representative of what lay ahead. $2.25 was the cheapest slice of pizza in the naborhood. There was a nice book store near by, though. A giganteic book store, 5 or 6 times the size of any barnes and nobel. And, it was filled mostly of used books, often a respectable prices. A book store was the largest book store in the country. I have been going there almost every day, browsing.
On monday, I set out for a job. I got dressed up, hair brushed, face washed, pubic hair shaved.... I found a small coffee shop that over charged me, but let me keep the want ads. I then made coppies of my partly hand written resumé, handed a copy to a hotel, then met a girl. I was walking, looking at the classifieds, when a girl comes out of a building and said "what are you looking for, darling?" I told her, but she wasn't much help. Her named was Candice, and she had just arrived from Denver, CO. I stopped looking for a job, as she took me over the bridge to the Hawthorne naborhood. This was the hippy area. There was even a grateful dead pizza parlor. The pizza here was better and cheaper, but still nothing great. You know, there is no food in portland thats really good. Its either real crappy of mediocer, but nothing that makes you want more. But I ended up hanging out with her insted of looking for a job. All dressed up I was, we hung out for a while, until.... Well, I wented to stop in a store, and she wanted to talk to some body on the street, so we made arrangements to meet up in 10 minutes at another store. Between the store I wanted to go to and the store we were to re-meet at, i found 2 more stores, and probably spent a half hour in both. My incompatance lost me the girl I guess, as she wasn't there when I got there. I guess I accidently stood her up. Woops!!! I couldn't really call her or anything cause she lived in a homeless shelter, and I lived in phoneless hotel. I have not seen her since. She does have a copy of my cd, though. Maybe that will reunite us eventually.
I did call up one job interview. I called some company from the pay phone that claimed to need help rather desperately. I set up an interview for 3:45 on Tuesday, September 11th.
Something happoned tuesday morning. I'm not exactly sure what it was, no one has really explained it to me yet. I guess a couple of plains crashed into a school bus of something??? I don't know exactly. All i know is a lot of necrofeliacs started heading twards new york city.
I believe I left for my 3:45 job interview some time durring the one o'clock hour. On the bus, I over heard a conversation about why spanking children is important, and all these child abuse hotline they have set up these days make it hard to discapline children. There were churches every 5 feet, and they only got closer as I got more out into the suburbs, and nearer to the corperate park i was headed for my job interview with a fortune 500 company. Here is an excerpt from page 119 of my journal:
I left for the interview at one pm. It was to be at 3:45 in the town of Beaverton, which is right outside of Portland. I learned while trying to figure out how to get there that people in this town don't like being helpful, and when I asked simple questions like how to use the machines to pay my trolly fare, or when I asked the bus info people [how to get there] and I didn't know where any thing was, they gave me nasty looks and just weren't plesent about anything.
I finely reached the business park where my interview was to be, but I wasn't there yet. For starters, the street numbers were tottally out of order, and it didn't make any sense at all. There are a lot of things in this town that just aren't at all self-explanitory.
My interview was at 3:45, and even though I left for it at 1pm, I got so lost just walking around trying to find [the right street number], I didn't make it until 4:20.
My interview went pretty well, or so I thought, but I didn't get called back at all. [I had told them to just call the hotel and leave a message.] That's just as well cause it was to be a marketing job, where i would be a business man. It really was depressing me, actually. I felt like a whore. Just the whole idea of having this job made me miserable.
::::: skip to page 150 ::::::
That job interview the otherday was a bust. It was a marketing job where I would be a represntative who would try to get other businesses to place large orders through staples, and sign up for various AT&T services. I got dress up for that interview, and I felt like a moron walking around down town before my interview. With my button down shirt tucked in to a nice pair of pants, I felt like a sell out. These clothes entrapped me, made me feel like a business man. And here I was, trying to get a job in the world of business. Blech. When I got to the interview, I discovered the man interviewing me appeared to be a young man in his late 20s: white button down shirt, fancey tie, shiney shoes... After all the growing up this guy did, he became one of millions. Another tree in the forrest, another fish in the sea. This is what it was. This is why [my parents] wanted me to go college? My family would be so proud if I became one of these. After bullshitting my way through the interview, he bluntly asked me "Now, do you have a tie?" Geez louise. I had two with me [in Portland], so I told him so. But on the way back home, I decided not to take the job. I just couldn't do it, it went against my pricipals. And dressing like that every day would just make me miserable as hell. How could I live with myself? How could I come home at night? ... Well, it didn't really matter because I didn't get the job any way. BUT! I sure did learn a valuable lesson. I don't care if i only get minimum wage, I am sticking strictly with non-yuppie jobs. No business suits for me!
And thats the most important lesson I learned in portland.
Portland is nice place to visit. Its very open, relatively quiet, its VERY clean, there are tons of record stores.... But over all the damn town sucks. The people are obnoxious, and is one of the most concervative towns I've ever been too. They are very environmental, which I think is great, and I've never been any where where they do so much to help the homeless.... But they are simply compassionate conservatives. Even the angry counter-culture underground free paper that has all the local club listings and is available everywhere (the term i use for this sort of paper is "pheonix," as thats the name of the one in providence). The pheonix here in Portland, called the Williamette Week, is lame as hell. Its writers are week and its points are questionable. Posters for concerts hanging up on telephone poles were often a month old, suggesting that the music scene here in Portland isn't all that I heard that it was. The record stores, though often quite impressive selection wise (some even had local Providence bands), they prices were often insanely inflated. Everything in this damn town is hevily inflated, the food sucks, the wether sucks.... It has not rained once through my entire stay, so its not the "rainy northwest" that bothers me. Its the facts that it would be 40 degress in the morning so I would need a jacket, and then suddenly, at about 12:30 or so, it would start to get warm, and by 2, it was 76 degrees. Then, at night time it would go back to 40. I have to keep toggling my jacket on and off and carrying it with me insted of wearing it, which is annoying. Everything here has eerily crappy hours, and the town is pretty much closed and deserted by 7pm. Its very hard to find some place to eat at 8.15, am or pm or something. Whats up with that?? And most places don't even open for BREAKFAST until 10am. Annoying as hell. Don't even get me started on the weekend. Getting around this town is a bitch. When I was planning to come here, people told me the busses were free and that there were bikes every where that you could just take and ride to where you wanted to go. Wrong!!!! The busses are only free in the 10x12 block downtown area. If you are going anywhere outside of down town, which is everywhere, it cost a buck 25. I usually chose the one hour plus walk. I have never seen any town so spred out in my life!!!!! The bike thing is total bull shit. All I've seen are a few bike LOCKERS here and there, where you pay a high price and lock your bike up for the day. I have many more gripes but I forgot what I've written and what I haven't, and I think thats enough for now.
I was able to find a place to live. Its roomey, has two built in desks, ashower/bath, two dead bolts on the door, is on the first floor... And for all of that, I have a lease through the end of July and am paying a whopping a 400 bucks a month. And that includes extended cable!!!! You would think for that price I must be in the ghetto, but I'm not!!! I'm in a FANCY all-college naborhood. This naborhood is made up of fraturnaty houses, sarority houses, and apartments and co-ops that only house students. Here is my phone number so you can call me: 512-481-9847. I do not have long distance yet, so I can't call YOU for a couple of days. Here is my address so you can write me:

Ben Garber
2800 Rio Grande #4
Austin, TX 78705

That's right!!! Austin, TX! You didn't think with all those complaints I have about Portland, I would stay in the damn town, would you??? I was so miserable and bored in portland. There was nothing to do. I wrote in my journal a lot, watched a lot of TV, and called Louise D. more than I could afford. Austin is a great town. You may not think much of Texas, but many Texans disown Texas because it is so wild and crazy. It is the live musical capitol of the world, and there are something like 115 clubs in this town. And thats just clubs. Even the supermarkets here have concerts. Its not what you think of as texas. There are lots of anti-george bush bumper stickers around, and in fact, i understand it that Austin had the highest per-capita number of votes for Ralph Nader than anywhere else in the country. In Texas!!! Its a wild town. My theory is that, every one just says "look, here we are, stuck in the midle of texas. So lets make the best of it." So thats what they do. I have been masivelly enjoying myself. Its been a bit chili this week.... IN THE 70s!!!! This time of year is suposed to be 90 around here i guess. And the food is great too!!! Portland!!! What the fuck was I thinking????

The first letter this week is from Nate D. of Chase, Fox:

ben davis:

so unfortunately i am still in new zealand (where no one jaywalks and
there are fucking rainbows everywhere) so i won't be able to attend
your farewell concert. maybe you could videotape it for me, and i
could watch it on the Television. but anyway i am leaving for new
york city to make my fortune in gold on the 1st, so i will definitely
see you before i go, and maybe we can hang out in the grand central
station mens' room together when you are waiting for your train. so
long, pedagogue. i will call you when i make the switch from
greenblue to redgrey.


Dear Nate,
Nate, don't go back to new york. An airplane crashed into a school bus and every one is really angry. My advise, come to austin, and we will go have some ribs.

The second letter is from Adrienne S. of Carl, S:

dear ben,
I want to buy two Lance Romance tee-shirts from you before you leave for
oregon. one size medium, and one size small. let's meet for lunch sometime.
call me at 401-635-8857, and leave a number where I can get back to you.

fondly, adrienne

Dear Adrienne,
How many times have I told you: I don't HAVE long distance yet. You'll have to call me, sugar plum. Come out to ribs with me and nate.

Write in YOUR letter right now, so I can print it in the next issue.

Well, thats enough for now. This was just a quick mailing list to update you on my current placement in the country. I was very careful in writing that piece to make it sound like I was still in portland, and you wouldn't know until I gave you my address. I'm to lazy to proof read it, so let me know how I did. If theres anything I can improve to make that goal more effective, let me know and maybe I will reprint the piece with a little more sirprise and suspence. Just like in the movies!!

A New Daddy,
Lance Romañce &
Billy Bob Thorton

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