Saturday, March 10, 2007

Introducing ZAK - first video blog

It has been a few days since I have posted, but that has nothing to do with a lack of things to comment on. We have been quite busy with events, driving, more driving, oh yeah and did I mention that we have been doing a lot of driving?. Finishing up Southern California tour stops, we headed east on I-10 to Phoenix. 6 hours in the car with Zak, oh wait, I have not properly introduced Zak. Zak is my intern, travel companion, and quite possibly the clumsiest person I have ever met, which is not exactly a characteristic you should look for when searching for an Airstream driver, BUT, Zak is entertaining�.and when you are picking someone to spend 3 months with in a 28 foot travel trailer, your best bet is to go with entertaining.

This is Zak (yes he wears a pancho most days)


Zak was a summer intern at TOMS when we started in June. He left us in August and headed back to CU Boulder to finish school. Not being a big advocate of formal education myself (I dropped out of SMU after 2 years), I called Zak back in October with a proposition. The deal was simple: He would put school on hold and become captain of the ship (or in our case, Airstream) His responsibilities would include driving 100% of the time, keeping all major Airstream facilities working (including all dumping of waste), and basically everything in between to keep the tour running smoothly.

He would be paid 500 dollars a month, but all his living expenses would be covered while on tour. Besides drive time, he would only be required to work � days, and I would let him pick which half he wanted to work, any 12 hours a day would be fine with me.

Zak accepted my offer without any hesitation and thankfully his parents blessed the decision shortly thereafter.

Ok, so back to our first long stretch of open road, we decided to set some ground rules�.first was we would no longer use the toilet in the Airstream unless it was absolutely necessary, we would BOTH be required to shower once every 48 hours (but no longer than 3 minutes due to small hot water tank), and each day had to begin with brushing of the teeth�.yes most of our first rules dealt with smells or trying to avoid them, but that seemed to be the most logical place to start.


Blake abiding by rule 3

Now being on the road causes you to reflect, the open road, setting sun, it all makes you wander what, if anything, is my life lacking, or how could I improve myself, and during our first long stretch a few shortcomings became evident. First Zak cusses really bad. I would say it is a result of a lack of vocabulary, but he insists it is �college life��regardless; it had to be dealt with. Next, I bite my fingernails when I am bored or nervous. This bothers some people more than others, but having ugly hands is probably not good when you sell shoes for a living (I bet Al Bundy had regular manicures)�so, in hopes of ridding ourselves of these bad habits, we created a little game to pass the time.

Each time Zak cusses and I call him out on it, he pays me 5 dollars. Each time he catches me biting my nails, I pay him 5 dollars. And, if either of us brings up our ex-girlfriend in any context whatsoever, we pay the other person 20 dollars. To date, Zak owes me 60 dollars (I will not say where the bulk of winnings come from, but let�s just say Zak likes to talk when he has a few beers).

So, we arrived in Phoenix around 10 and found a spot to park in an open lot. The only other vehicle was a �tour bus� and we could hear loud music coming from down the street, so naturally we followed it. The cover was 10 dollars a person, but when Zak told the bouncer about the kids, we got � price�truth be told he does not even explain what TOMS does, but every time we get in a bind, he just starts saying �the kids��but so far, I has worked so go figure�As soon as we stepped in the bar, I could have sworn we were on the set of a VH1 back to the 80�s special. We were the youngest people by at least 10 years�every dude had a headband and/or rat tale and 3 out of 5 girls a perm�seriously, and they all were rocking out, lighters in the air and all.

The Band was Winger, and if anyone reading this blog owns their cd (or more likely album), I must say you are a lucky son of a b*&@^ (don�t want to lose 5 dollars to zak)�.well these guys absolutely rocked�by the end of the second set, Zak was crowd surfing and hitting on women who also drove large vehicles for a living�at least they had something to talk about.


After Winger�s second encore, we headed over to this super swanky bar with a lot yuppies, girls in tight outfits, and expensive drinks�.personally I preferred the perms and 2 dollar beer. About 10 minutes after sitting down at a table, Zak turns to me and says, �see that girl over there�, inconspicuously pointing to a really cute girl in all black, �she keeps on starring at me, what should I do?� I told him to hang tight, play it cool, but he persisted, �seriously, she keeps looking at me like she wants my attention, she is totally in to me, I knew my sweater vest look would work here in AZ� Just as I was about to tell him that he was nuts, she started walking over. Zak, just winked at me and pulled over an extra chair motioning for her to take a seat. Instead she pushed it to the side, and said, � What can I get you to drink?� Zak, still not realizing that she was our cocktail waitress kind of stuttered so I ordered a bud light and gave her my card to open a tab�it was going to be long night

ALSO, very important, we have our first (or should I say kick off video...which working title is TOMS Tour Chronicle, episode 1) here for your viewing pleasure

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