Monday, November 26, 2012


For Halloween Stella and I dressed up and handed out candy/put the fear of Halloween back into the trick-or-treaters expecting free candy for nothing. Gotta get those little hearts pumping!

Rainbow Kids


While on our usual daily trip to Lowes, I was talking to the 50-something cashier while Stella ran back to check the price on a fitting. The cashier was making small talk about how she'll miss the place when she leaves and I asked if she was planning on leaving soon, and she said no, that she just felt like people didn't act the same anymore. When I asked about that, she said that she felt that her parents' generation had it all figured out (manners and moral direction-wise) and that she felt that her generation had helped to corrupt the youth of today with selfish behavior, and prolific drug use. I told her that I knew what she was talking about and that I had met some of those kinds of corrupted youth while I was traveling this last year. She was very curious about that, so I started to tell her about my experiences, (mostly with transient kids following rainbow gatherings) but all I could get out was "yeah, rainbow kids are just really selfish.." when Stella came back to the register. The woman was wide-eyed! "what are you guys talking about." said Stella."oh, I was just talking about rainbow kids." I said. "oh yeah, rainbow kids don't care about anything but themselves." Stella said. The cashier was aghast. "you've travelled and seen them too!?!?" . "oh yeah, just a bunch of young kids doing drugs." said Stella. "there just a bunch of young kids that don't have any good role models." I said as we finished up our transaction and walked for the door. visibly shaken by hearing about "rainbow kids", she wished us a happy thanksgiving and a "god  bless!". I had to laugh a little bit because I felt bad not being able to fully describe the context of what the heck I was talking about to the cashier since she seemed a bit freaked out. Later on, at the bus, after Stella told me about her run-ins with rainbow kids, I googled "rainbow kids" to try and find more stories. The first hit on google is adoption website! Stella and I crumpled to the floor laughing so hard we were crying thinking about the conversation. Every thing we said was unintentionally applicable to this website that this poor cashier was going to inevitably google. When she does search for "rainbow kids", she'll see this site filled with pictures of cute kids..."who don't care about anybody but themselves, with no role models, doin a bunch of drugs."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Third Busketeer

Dan sent me this excellently eloquent recounting of his journey on the bus:

I, The Third Busketeer
by Daniel Evans Tinsley

What can I say?
There was once a musical sensation that formed in the hollow of that big green bus. Of this pop collective, I was third of the Three Busketeers. My name is Dantagnion, and I joined Petethos and Arimos in the early months of two-thousand-and-twelve. The home of Athens is where they met me. We were introduced by the fairy spirit, Gretchen, who sings to animals. She called us into her pow wow pot luck, and the universe shall never forget that instance of acquaintance. Afterward, we went to the apartment of Jake, the great keeper of WiFi to watch Dr. Who.
My chapters of journey initiated with the visitation of that fairy spirit Gretchen in her waffle castle to say goodbyes with juke box medleys heralding our sure adventures. And the rumbling of that bus hoisted us away away.
I dare not delve too intricately into the details of my recollections-- lest those bright triumphs inflate this blog entry into a novella. But with the great enjoyment of brevity, I shall present only a montage of events in this florid writing style:
The vessel had just been tailored to perform with the peculiar fuel of dumpster grease. And while Pete the pilot steered at the helm, Ari and I manned the new oil boilers. It was a pirate crew like none the Highway 7C (seven seas) had ever been privy to. When the barrels became dry, the ship set port in safety and we scouted for fuel to pillage. Docking in Savannah, our eyes found no great grease, but was here that we first tried our talent as bards of the street.
Musicians we became, whose tunes did rap along the cobblestone streets of that curious city, St. Augustine. In league with ghosts, tricksters, dancers, drunks, popcorn vendors, jewelry craftsmen, polite police, and bonfire magicians, our eyes did wander and wonder through the haze of ocean mist that permeated that haunted town.
An oasis of peace came as we ventured out to West Palm Beach, where there was Kate. She maintained a calm abode. Cats and Eastern European roommates entertained us as we laundered our oil-soaked clothes. Kate let us borrow her dinghy to tarry at the beach and to siphon oil in the night.
Welcomed by a junkyard friend, we jumped the peninsula to St. Petersburg. There we swam in the open Gulf and gulped down tasty waffles. From there we headed to a haven in Jackson. But bus troubles befell this leg of our journey. At Mendenhall those great Samaritans had compassion rewarded with satiated curiosities. We witnessed the auctioning of tarnished treasures.
Onward to Jackson! Amongst the most hospitable of damsels we stayed within that rag-tag city. So enchanted with our performances, they entreated that we stay and play in the night cafe of a university. Games were had here, kicking in jest a cracked water vessel. Rubbish pizza over sirens' callings, what silly whims possessed us?
The damsel Rose accompanied our departure to the great Creole capital, New Orleans. We pioneered that DIY RV wharf, Bustopia. Twas our home beside the banging beasts, that clattered and clanged at every hour. Joining our new colony were the German honeymooners, the Frenchman from New Amsterdam, and free-spirited family of Ray, Felicia, and little 2-year-old Bowie (Bowie the Bada$$).
This city of celebration had every sort of people: tree-house people, tall-bicycle people, jungle camoflage people, projection people, fire swinging people, musical people, 4-square people, square dance people, pedal-cab people, water-supplying people, street artist people, plastic bead people, and gypsy people.
Pete bartered off his goods at the French Market. Ari departed on an expedition to the far-north tribal territory. I mostly looked, in vain, for labor.
Bustopia was bombed by tragedy one fatal night. There is no exaggeration of the human language which can heighten the terror of this event to its true proportions. This night, a vessel of gypsys were welcomed at our encampment. One among them aroused anger from a local gang of violent hoodlums. The whole mob stormed into our once peaceful village, demanding barbaric justice. Glass was broken, captives taken, an innocent girl was stomped in the face.
Before this event, I had felt compelled to return to my debts in Athens. Now I had an opportunity for a free-ride back to my home with a bus of circus jugglers, the Safety Third team. As glass still lay shattered on that asphalt pier, I said my goodbyes, and departed. But, twas not the ultimate segment of my great adventures as the third Busketeer!
Wait...for part II.



Monday, October 29, 2012

Maiden voyage wrap-up and new ADVENTURE!

Hi everyone!!!

So, in a nutshell slathered with massive paraphrasing, this is the LONG overdue blogging of the conclusion to the maiden voyage of the 2011-2012 art bus adventure:

From Indiana where we were visiting Brent, Charlotte and their dog Zoey, we drove down to Louisville (pronounced "lulvull"!!!!) to visit my friends Paul and Shane and their dog Scrappy! Ari and I stayed there for a few days before collecting some more veggie and heading back down to Berea to meet back up with Stella and Celeste. Ari and I parked back in our spot in front of The Black Feather, while Stella and Celeste completed the tail end of their school work. Ari got a ride back towards VT with Celeste, and I stayed in Berea with Stella. Stella had about a month before her summer job at Mammoth Cave started, so she invited me to come with her and two of her friends, Bethany and Leandra, on a backpacking trip (my first!!). We hiked the Sheltowee Trace/ Daniel Boone trail for 60 miles over 9 days. We took it easy, stopping for coffee breaks and reading aloud sessions at least twice a day. Three trees tried to kill/maim us, leaving us with scars. We all got foot related knick names like: "walks with blisters", "pokey toes", "boots aflame" and "chip kicker". We saw two rattlesnakes, an aggressive turkey, many signs of non-committal beavers, a huge male Dobson Fly (look it up! Scary!!) we nicknamed Gilgamesh, and a live baby deer in a backpack....

After hiking, Stella and I drove to Vermont, the final destination of the bus's maiden voyage!!! After visiting with Celeste in Montpelier and checking out Vermont for a couple days, Stella took a megabus back to KY to start her summer job at Mammoth Cave in KY.

This summer Christian and Franzie visited Montpelier for a week before selling their truck and traveling back to Germany. Then, Dan visited Montpelier from Georgia and he, Ari and I had a Busketeers reunion at Bagitos in Montpelier. People loved it, and it was tons of fun! During the summer,I worked as a teacher for the TW Wood Art Camp (so much fun!!) and then I visited Stella at Mammoth Cave for three weeks! The cave is 392 known miles long!!! Everyone should go there at least once. It was an excellent visit, but far too short. I took a megabus back to VT (36 hours) and worked in Montpelier at a book store and on the bus for a month, trying to get it back in inspect able shape (it was sitting for about 3 months at that point). Then I took off for KY, passing through NY to drop off friends. I visited Felicia and Bowie in NY, but missed out on visiting with ray as he was working on a movie set with Russell Crowe. I forgive him. Then I drove from NY to KY to meet up with Stella while she finished her bat research job. That was a little over a month ago, and we've been working on remodeling the bus ever since. LOTS of photos to come of our bus transformation! We're about to head out to Santa Fe New Mexico in two days, to meet up with Laura Fritz for her birthday! 1,230 miles here we come!


Bits of conversation between Stella and I the first time we went dumpstering :

"i hope my bike pedal doesn't scrape the cambium layer off the tree"
"I think there's a recall on peanut butter, here let me check my iphone"
"there's some blue mold on this cheese, do you think it's ok?""whatever, I'll eat it, I went to college!"


We got a tomato thrown at the bus in a walmart parking lot while making fresh pesto.

Friday, April 27, 2012

 Since Pace Bend Park, stuff has happened!

We made our way back to Austin, TX for a few days to visit with our friend Natalie and collect veggie oil in town. While there, we saw a parade with a bunch of awesome marching bands and a huge bone-cobra multi-person bike...thing (see video). Later on that evening we saw a street show with a few marching bands from the earlier parade. They rocked, big time. Emporor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, and Titanium Sporkestra had excellent enthusiasm and their music ranged from old-world, to Dead Kennedy covers, to haunted carnivale sideshow, to barter-town reminiscent raw energy, to jazzy waltzy fun.

That same night we met...Trey.

The stories of Trey:

We were sitting outside the bus when a man and a dog came ambling over. After pleasantries, he says "I consider myself a true Austinite. I've traveled, but I grew up here and I've been on the street here for 33, going on 39 years." He then talked about:
--How a car battery exploding is 1/8th the power of a nuke.
--The sentient drug-running talking car named "Kara" that he co-invented,
 ...and talked to through his PSP
--The movie Stand By Me was based on him and his friends. Also, "Thing" from the Adams Family movie was based on his friends detached hand that crawled "four miles....or 4/4ths of a mile anyway"

After the marching bands, Natalie picked us up on the way to a H.P. Love-Crafty night. Crafting and the (extremely bad movie) "Dagon", mutated evil fishy-people and elder gods and such...and you screw that up??!?!?? How??

The next day, we collected veggie and took off towards Lafayette. We stopped in a Home Depot parking lot to pick up some supplies and a couple, Jamie and Cosmos, stopped to talk to Ari about the bus and their small farm that was just outside of town. They offered a place to park the bus for a visit. We arrived in Lafayette fully expecting to be bombarded with zydeco and tasty Cajun home style cooking...unfortunately it was a Tuesday. We only planned to be in town for a day or two and all of the music was almost a week away, and all of the authentic food was out of town and extremely expensive....or not open on Tuesday nights. Our timing was terrible. We did some laundry at a coin-op a mile or so walk from the difficult-to-find bus parking spot. We walked around the town, which closed down almost earlier than Montpelier, and with heads hung, we walked back to the bus defeated. but we wouldn't let that get us down permanently! We took off to play some music at an open mic at Artmosphere a local bar/venue. There were a bunch of amazing pianists and we made friends with one named Liam Catchings. Later that evening, Pete went out for a late night veggie harvest. The next day we decided to check out some shops while they were open, novel idea, huh? We ventured into the Sans Souci Fine Craft Gallery that was filled incredible local art. Many of the artists used materials that were reclaimed from Katrina-damaged houses like wood, window screens, glass and metal. We also checked out the local farmers market and bought some great produce, bread and brownies. We decided to head out and visit with Cosmos and Jamie and their two children, Aspyn and Coa. Their farmstead is GORGEOUS. They are excellent people and we are so glad to know them! We ate crayfish in huge piles on garbage bags (traditional style), ate fresh berries in as many handfuls as we could shove in our faces, bounced ourselves silly and provided human-horse-back rides on their trampoline and helped to set up a fence for their misbehavin' goats and sheep. After spending three more days there than we expected, (they rock, and they are obsessed with Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon series) with good reason!!!) we headed back toward New Orleans to meet up with Ray and Felicia. I was glad to be back in New Orleans to be able to check out the WWII museum, the many art galleries and sights and friends that I wanted to say goodbye to...unfortunately my body had other ideas. Sick as a dog for the next week, all I cold really do was spend hours in public bathrooms, or watch Battlestar Galactica...that part wasn't too bad. The temperature was rising quickly and the humidity was catching up. Our minds were loosing grip. Ray and Felicia left to visit Jilly, and her husband at her bayou home in Prairieville, LA. We stayed for a night while we collected over 100 gallons of veggie from the most beautiful dumpster we've ever come across. Full TO THE BRIM with amazing oil. There was probably over 300 gallons. We met up with Jilly and her husband Victor and lil' un the next night, joining Ray and Felicia. We had met Jilly during Bustopia at the Green Project. They had just gotten a school bus but had not been able to make much progress due to having to juggle baby and work schedules, so we all helped them work on preparing their metal floor and subfloor. They lived right on the bayou and their stilt house had an amazing amount of calm to it...when the crazy neighbor wasn't calling the cops on them for having chickens. Which the police officer admitted was a ridiculous reason for calling them. After a couple days there, we all headed in our separate directons. Ray and Felicia took off back to New Orleans to work as bike-taxi drivers for Jazz Fest. We took off back towards Jackson, Mississippi! A few hours later, we pulled back into the same parking spot we had stayed in months ago, and stayed with the same friends. Rose and Claire! We had a great second time in Jackson, dumpstering pizza, tons of doughnuts, trying to break into a pool, limbo dancing, and watching Cabin In The Woods (which was a fantastic movie). After vegging out, watching a ton of Doll House, Dr. Who, and Battlestar, we said farewell and drove almost 12 hours straight from Jackson, MS, to a rest stop in TN. Phew! We met a trucker, James who told us how much truckers make (I'm in the wrong profession) and about a little oven thing the size of a lunch box that you can plug into your cigarette lighter and bake bread in, or warm up lunches. It costs $20. Awesome! Once on the road again, we tried to find a roadside attraction before heading too far north away from the incredibly ridiculous tourist traps like dinner mysteries, and lost sea dinosaur-adventure tours. It was unfortunately the off season for crazy. A few more hours and we arrived at 11:30pm in Berea, KY at our friend Celeste and Stella's apartment. We quickly learned that their house was a hop, skip and a jump from everywhere cool in Berea. It was a crazy first day as we woke up, walked 10ft to The Black Feather Cafe and had breakfast, went caving with Celeste and some new friends, saw a Balinese puppet show and ate amazing free food, and attended a fantastic percussion performance with electronic xylophone, and many others of the standard non-electronic variety. We stayed in Berea for a few days, and then realized that we were probably distracting our friends from their school work more than they could afford. So we decided to take that time to go visit our friends Brent living in Indiana from East Montpelier, and Paul living in Louisville, KY from Vermont too. We're currently in Brent's living room, finishing up the last of season three of Battlestar and working on this post. In a few hours we'll be in Louisville!

Our friend Ben Passmore, rad comic writer/artist.

Sans Souci Fine Craft Gallery, Lafayette LA. Amazing local art!

Farmers market, Lafayette.

Cosmos and Jamie's house/farm in Lafayette. Gorgeous!
Watering our new basil plants!

Mulberry trees! Delicious.

Flying lessons.

Ari had a hard time at first...
But he eventually found inner calm.

Obligatory kitty photos!


Hey! You're not a kitty!!!

There we go.
The farm.

Yep. Poison Ivy TREE.

Coa, and his signature "Meeeeee?" face.

Cosmos and Jamie.
Jamie and Aspyn.

CORTEZ!!! A local in New Orleans. His curiosity about the bus brought him by almost daily.


"The Gerf."

Jackson, MS. Dumpster "diven" doughnuts. 30 seconds of work = 30 days of working out.

It's like Inception...but bubbles.

James, a trucker that we met at a rest stop in TN. He gave us trucker tips about food.

Eutaw, Alabama! Home of many Old Crow Medicine Show songs.
Celeste Beyer! Montpelier friend living in Berea, KY.
Stella, Celeste's roommate. They both rock.
Stella's inadvertent attempt at Coa's "Meeee?" face.
Fudge head. Extremely disturbing, yet delicious.
Adorable child.
Fantastic drum performance!


Inside a ceramic telescope in an art gallery on Berea campus.
Bluegrass ensemble!!
Another Francois's piano recital...amazing and hilarious with the periodic interjection of Bach, Mozart, and many others as played by his brother.

Blind Portraits are fun! Here are some that Pete did of Brent, Charlotte,  their dog Zoey, and Ari, and one that Ari did of Pete.