Tag Archives: missoula montana

THE WANDERING JEW

So I had intended to drive up to Missoula Montana, where my blog Road To Nowhere had left off, and continue my journey of self-discovery and storytelling from all over this great country of ours. But I have paved many paths with intentions that quite often differ from my deeds. I’m back in LA now, I wrote nothing about my trip from the road, although I did write about smashwords / ebooks and the Los Angeles Book Festival…Maybe we should explore a different voice as I now reflect on my most recent expedition. Perhaps sentences, which are short stories unto themselves—a marathon of sprints, if you will. Yes, a marathon of sprints, because isn’t that how one might best describe a robust life.

As I have done so often in the past I departed from my home in my hometown of Montebello. Round midnight the black beast (a 1996 Suburban) beckoned to me from the curb, “Come it is time to go.”

Sunrise breakfast at a diner a half hour south of Pebble Beach, the owner was nice, his business was failing—neglectful ways.

Stopped at Pebble Beach, the U.S Open was about to open, but I wasn’t so impressed by any of it at all.

I drove through the mountains, there was a blizzard, I passed the Donner Pass, poor people had to eat each other, I thought to myself.

The bright lights of Reno made me smile, I had never been there before and I felt like staying. I’ll go back to Reno one day…

I slept at a friend’s house a few miles outside of Boise Idaho, Eagle Idaho I believe it’s called, I hadn’t seen her in twenty-three years—she’s married to a nice guy and has two kids.

The drive from Eagle to Missoula was a wondrous; winter snowscape that wound along the Little Salmon River amongst many rivers and I never for a moment stopped wishing that everyone could one day see such beauty!

Missoula Montana is one of my favorite places, so I stayed for a while. Most people would and should experience all there is to do outdoors there—I sat at Break Espresso and wrote, chatted with Matt the barista, he’s the type that will never fully trust someone like me, but that aside he’s going to be a big success one day. I met a girl named Emma, I feel really good about her because something about her made me feel good about my day. I met a girl named Kelsi who I love because she needs me to. And I mean love in the Godly sense.

I caught wind of a story about a company in North Carolina that had been embezzled by its employees. Continue reading

SMASHWORDS.COM

Foreword by Stan Lerner: as I sit here at Break Espresso in Missoula Montana preparing once again to travel on the “Road To Nowhere” I can’t help, but to write about smashwords.com because much like I wrote of in my blog post “Go Buy A Kindle” it is the invention of websites such as smashwords, which afford me the luxury to be so not tethered to my home base in Los Angeles. And I will tell you now dear readers, that I will in the course of this blog post solicit your support of this site, not only because my own book titles are sold there, but because the success of smashwords.com will ultimately be all of our success.

What is smashwords.com? Herein lies our story. But first the simple answer: smashwords.com is a website that sells ebooks only and it sells them in every format, for every device on the market. Now that I’ve completed these most creative and literary sentences, let me expand to the wider aspect and explain how I came to not only discover smashwords.com, but became one of its advocates.

Regular readers of my work will recollect that I spent the waning months of 2009 in Las Vegas working on posts for blogsincity and my eventually to be released novella “Lerner’s Las Vegas”. A few particularly observant readers noticed that I did not post any new work during the month of December and the first two weeks of January and commented on such.

So as I cohabitated with a variety of things to write before the end of the decade (blogs, scripts, books and a business plan) in Las Vegas I took to the task of posting the downtownster.com Ten Best Blogs of the year. One of the Ten Best Blogs of the year, just so happened to be my blog post “Go Buy A Kindle”. This blog once reposted generated still greater readership and several more comments. But it was one particular comment that determined that the month of December would take a very unexpected turn. The comment, of which I speak, was one of concern that in my post about Kindle I did not mention the Sony eReader.

I commented back that I was not advocating one device over another, but I personally preferred Amazon Kindle over Sony eReader because of it’s 3G WiFi connectivity. This very smart reader then pointed out that Sony eReader, like Amazon Kindle, had WiFi and that perhaps I was confused or on drugs. Continue reading

ROAD TO NOWHERE

Foreword by Stan Lerner: the numbers came in last week “Road To Nowhere” was downtownster’s most read blog in September 2009, which at least to this author merits a reposting on the homepage. New readers enjoy! Longtime readers, enjoy again!!!

“If anybody would like to join the first downtownster road to nowhere road trip I’ll be leaving Thursday or Friday,” I said to the meeting of the Marketing Round Table. “I don’t know where we’re going or when we’ll get there, but that’s the idea. And uh, you could get on or off the trip at any time or place—providing that there is an airport of course.” NO TAKERS

Friday morning 4:30 a.m. the 1996, black, Chevy Suburban docked at the curb of my childhood home in Montebello, CA—Montebello is Italian for beautiful hills. And it is from this very spot, that I have departed for many an adventure. I am fortunate to, over an excessively well-lived lifetime, have developed a number of friends who are willing to embark on such journeys. And I should be careful to mention here that some of these individuals were mere acquaintances or even less familiar at the time of departures, but traveling and adventure make for far greater bonds than the songs of fraternity boys in their beer soaked homes.

This particular morning it was to be my old high school buddy Mike Munoz picking me up. Although he went to West Point and achieved the rank of Colonel I still refer to him as my Mexican—I find this term of endearment more special than he does.

“The 15?” he asked.

“Sure. Let’s grab breakfast in Vegas and see if Andy wants to come with…No his mom is visiting…Let’s grab breakfast in Vegas and stop by to see Andy anyway. Maybe he can meet up with us later… How many miles do you have on this thing?”

“One hundred and eighty-six thousand. Where do you want to eat in Vegas?” asked Mike, seemingly settled into our trip within minutes. Twenty-five years ago a trip in his yellow, convertible corvette took us from coast to coast…

“All these years I’ve been going to Vegas, working in Vegas, living in Vegas, and I’ve never eaten at The Egg and I. Have you?”

He shook his head. “No. Where is it?”

“On Sahara. Let’s go there.”

Forty minutes of good conversation ensued until…  “Hey that’s the 15,” I said pointing at the exit. The Suburban swung across five lanes of traffic as can only be accomplished at such an early hour on the 10 Freeway. We could have wound up in Palm Springs or Arizona for that matter, but that’s the point, it really didn’t matter.

“Hey, let’s pull off in Barstow I like the new Starbucks there—cute girl baristas.”

Mike shrugged. “Okay.”

ROAD TO NOWHERE PART II

The black Suburban rolled down the highway with the mean rumble of a venerated work vehicle. I raised the cappuccino, which I held in my hand, to my lips and took the first soothing sip. Given the distinctly not stylish clothing being warn by Mike and myself and the rugged “Road Warrior” appearance of our vehicle my choice of a cappuccino, as my early morning sustenance seemed a strange juxtaposition—black coffee would have been the appropriate beverage of such a portrait. Continue reading

ROAD TO NOWHERE — BEGINNING TO NO END

“If anybody would like to join the first downtownster road to nowhere road trip I’ll be leaving Thursday or Friday,” I said to the meeting of the Marketing Round Table. “I don’t know where we’re going or when we’ll get there, but that’s the idea. And uh, you could get on or off the trip at any time or place—providing that there is an airport of course.” NO TAKERS

Friday morning 4:30 a.m. the 1996, black, Chevy Suburban docked at the curb of my childhood home in Montebello, CA—Montebello is Italian for beautiful hills. And it is from this very spot, that I have departed for many an adventure. I am fortunate to, over an excessively well-lived lifetime, have developed a number of friends who are willing to embark on such journeys. And I should be careful to mention here that some of these individuals were mere acquaintances or even less familiar at the time of departures, but traveling and adventure make for far greater bonds than the songs of fraternity boys in their beer soaked homes.

This particular morning it was to be my old high school buddy Mike Munoz picking me up. Although he went to West Point and achieved the rank of Colonel I still refer to him as my Mexican—I find this term of endearment more special than he does.

“The 15?” he asked.

“Sure. Let’s grab breakfast in Vegas and see if Andy wants to come with…No his mom is visiting…Let’s grab breakfast in Vegas and stop by to see Andy anyway. Maybe he can meet up with us later… How many miles do you have on this thing?”

“One hundred and eighty-six thousand. Where do you want to eat in Vegas?” asked Mike, seemingly settled into our trip within minutes. Twenty-five years ago a trip in his yellow, convertible corvette took us from coast to coast…

“All these years I’ve been going to Vegas, working in Vegas, living in Vegas, and I’ve never eaten at The Egg and I. Have you?”

He shook his head. “No. Where is it?”

“On Sahara. Let’s go there.”

Forty minutes of good conversation ensued until…  “Hey that’s the 15,” I said pointing at the exit. The Suburban swung across five lanes of traffic as can only be accomplished at such an early hour on the 10 Freeway. We could have wound up in Palm Springs or Arizona for that matter, but that’s the point, it really didn’t matter.

“Hey, let’s pull off in Barstow I like the new Starbucks there—cute girl baristas.”

Mike shrugged. “Okay.”

ROAD TO NOWHERE PART II

The black Suburban rolled down the highway with the mean rumble of a venerated work vehicle. I raised the cappuccino, which I held in my hand, to my lips and took the first soothing sip. Given the distinctly not stylish clothing being warn by Mike and myself and the rugged “Road Warrior” appearance of our vehicle my choice of a cappuccino, as my early morning sustenance seemed a strange juxtaposition—black coffee would have been the appropriate beverage of such a portrait. Continue reading

ROAD TO NOWHERE PART V

I slept in the belly of the black beast, the moonlit field aglow all around—Mike slept on top of the trailer next to his blower motors, which had been loaded with a forklift and crew whose requested remuneration was a half-rack. Because the request was so little for such a large favor I urged Mike to buy a full- rack and he did. And not to worry, Mike did not know that a half-rack meant a half-case of beer either, for those readers pondering what all this means. But once the trailer was loaded electrical problems curtailed any idea of a night journey. Good news, as I had required some time to myself to deal with the problem of the old woman and her soon to be foreclosed upon home.

As I pulled my jacket snug around me, Driggs Idaho gets chilly at night, I fought fiercely the desire to withdraw my trusty MacBook Pro and begin penning this part of the tale, but something about this felt wrong—very wrong. It seemed the Road To Nowhere needed to pause for me there, in the dirt driveway of the defunct Bergmeyer furniture factory, next to the expansive field growing something. I reclined in the front passenger seat and thought about why this might be. “Simple,” I thought. “There must be at least one mourner for what had once been.” And then terrified I contemplated my reason for existence. “I write about life. I want to write about life…Have I become a eulogist? Please let not my reason for breathing be to tell the story of a dying land…” And as stated previously I drifted off with these thoughts in the belly of the black beast, ironically called a Suburban, in the driveway of a place once called industrial—now a wilderness at the edge of a field…

A few hours passed and before the sun came up I relieved myself in the field, picked up a stick, and gave the sleeping bag heap a good whack. “Get up little girl it’s time to go.”

There was a moan then some rustling. “Why are you always lashing out? It’s your own fault that you don’t have a wife and kids…”

“Maybe so,” I said getting into the beast and closing the door. “Maybe so,” I said to myself before Mike opened the door and slid into the driver’s seat.

The drive from Driggs Idaho to Missoula Montana is as beautiful as one could possibly ask for. Continue reading