July 15, 2003
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

1:14pm. -"Americans must have been sadly alienated from the kitchen for pancake mixes to ever have gained a foothold in the market, for they are ridiculously easy to make." -from HOW to COOK EVERYTHING, by Mark Bittman.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 or 2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted butter or oil

Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat eggs into milk and butter. Stir them all together in one bowl, then pour on griddle or skillet.

I added pecans this time. Raisins, oats, chocolate, or any fruit is good too.

Asian Groove is flowing from the stereo and I dig it cuz it lets me think my own thoughts. The beat is not intrusive and I don't understand the words.

I'm here at Megville-- the home of Meg and Meg-- one "cottage" in a line of eight connected units facing another eight on the other side of a main walkway. It is a friendly neighborhood where people sit on front steps, always say hello in passing or stop to chat. It is interesting how architecture creates a community, or can be isolating though downtown. These boxes we put ourselves in for comfort and protection can be our prisons if we don't find ways to connect with neighbors and nature. In a high-rise apartment complex you can be surrounded yet alone.

It's hot outside during the day. You gotta play at night, or ride up into the mountains where it's cool. Sunday we rode the Spaceship roller-coaster over the Wasatch range to a large reservoir nestled high up. Refreshed by periodic dips into sun-baked snow melt, we sat on the sandy rim in conversation about packaging-- such as the Fuze soda bottle and Styrofoam tray used for ground beef found behind the bushes. What is disposable and responsible?

Jason said he was considering taking a "no waste" vow at the start of the summer, but knew it would be too hard on the road. He talked about visiting houses that didn't have a garbage can, and how some cultures don't have a word for waste or create-- recognizing that everything is just changing form. He is on his way to build a cob house in New Mexico. It is a week-long course he is taking, paying $500 to learning in the process so one day he can do it for himself. Cob is a mortar mixture of naturally found materials; mainly mud, sand, and straw, with some wood used in places such as the roof and floor beams. Tires and bottles thrown in add insulation, structure and style.

Food, homes, neighbors: how are they tied together? The safest and smartest thing to do is to know neighbors and surrounding nature.Imagine growing your house by making hemp hammocks, canvas and rope. Imagine a wide tight knit hammock suspended between four trees. Walk-ways, swings and zip-lines connect a village that rarely touches the ground. Spend your day climbing, swimming, sailing, hiking, and biking. Rain brings you back to the love nest hanging teepee for hot coffee, tea and stew, all in pots suspended on strings. Leave without a trace, except for seeds planted or carefully stored until the time is right, which will spring forth fruit in the fall.

Imagine a migration
Bicycles and sailing ships
Cooperatively owned land trusts to national forests
People not diggin' it in cold or heat
Move when leaves fall
Going where air is clean
Away from headache city roadside toxic inhalation
And mind cluttering images and messages

This movie is about planting seeds. People have been doing it a long time, and now we got the connections to get whatever you want. No body starves when they know where the plants are. All we need is food and a place to rest. Living simply is easy when cooperative and organized. We eliminate packaging by going where it's fresh.

Currently a small net of people share this reality. Imagine a mass exodus for the forest. There's little water in the desert. How long do you think this is going to last? Downtown people are disconnected from natural cycles. Water moves through underground pipes and packaging goes in the bin. Out of site out of mind. Where does it come from? Where does it go? Who knows? Most city folk have no idea how comfortably one can live in the woods and most country folk like it that way.

The Rainbow gathering in Wasatch National Forest on the boarder of Wyoming and Utah brought together a estimated total of 9000 family members of many colors who created kitchens out of sticks and tarps with ovens made of oil drums, stones and mud. The kitchens had names like: Montana Mud, Lovin' ovens, Jesus and Krishna Kitchens, Kickapoo Pizza, Warriors of Light, Yomomma's, crucial Kitchen, The Living sprout, Barf, Graceland, Tea Time, Chai Kitchen, Shady Groove, Green Circus, Jerusalem. Through the collection of food contributions and passing the Magic Hat everyone was fed. We drank from springs and pooped in trenches... all on the fringe of a mountain meadow at 9500ft. Cold nights were warmed by heart songs and dancing around fire pits. It was the place to be. No other tribe like it in the United states. You'll never know unless you go.

The gathering was a huge networking opportunity for me. My FAR OUT castle on clouds needs an organization for a foundation. I know where to put down roots, the challenge is building a culture by making people aware and pooling resources. My mission at the moment is to see what others are doing and find those people with power. A friend just told me that kids here charged with community service are working at the Wasatch Community Gardens. I'm searching for what works and finding out how to do it.

Me, I got issues with the system that are stressing, so I gotta get creative to turn my arts into cash. My credit card is MAXed-out. I've done a lot with that, so I see it as an investment in my education, but gotta pay it back ASAP cuz of interest. My car registration expired and I need a credit card to get it updated online. Yesterday I sent off my Chicken Soup for the Soul Story, for which they are paying me $300, so I'll try to get that to pay Visa and get the car looked after. Things will work out. I just have some lessons to learn.

The following are quotes from conversation overheard in the past few hours. Time for me to call a friend back home, then check out the Phish show parking lot scene. Sharing these experiences with you is my job. Not sure why, I just feel compelled. Take from it what you will.

"It is mother f**king hot. Hotter than a syphilis filled penis. I thought our house was hot till I walked in here."

"Crystal meth... the evilest of evil drug ever. I used to be his friend before. It's so weird, things like this I don't understand. They know I know so they don't want to know me," kara said of a meth dealer and his "tweeker" friends that used to live here in the courts, but got kicked out when crime went up, and is now living next to her in another part of town.

"You guys can smoke pot, I'll do coke and it will all be great"

"They are talking about shrumin' at the Phish show tonight."

"Salt Lake is actually going through a ganja drought."

"I've had a pretty terrible day. I'm gonna get pretty f**king drunk tonight, come what may."
"I may join you in that."

"Your smokes where in the bathroom on the sink. Just so you know."
"Yeah, when I got in my car I was like God damn it...! I need a smoke."

"Immediately upon focusing on something other than myself the gloom lifts. Immediately."

"She is going to dance the night away at a Phish Concert. She needs some release."

"You rolling a cigarette? "
"Someone gave me some rolling tobacco in exchange for something."

"Those drag queens may be a little sensitive about loaning out their clippers," Meg added after she suggested trimming my beard. "They are just a little sensitive in general"

"Quarter pounds of mushrooms are so cheap in Oregon: $250. I made my money back, then cleared two ounces." said a curly long hair who has a friend selling ounces for $120.