Just got the RV fixed – problems with the hydraulic clutch – fun stuff. Recently had dinner in South Central LA, a very good experience. Lining up a few more dinners in the LA area and trying to drum up some cash for this project. Thought of selling advertising space on the RV? That would be really weird though – imagine a huge picture of a piece of beef jerky on the Sunrader?
I’ll get this worked out somehow.
Moving on… I recently received an e-mail from John asking about my intentions with the Dinner Tour. Below is our correspondence, outlining exactly where the tour is:
The e-mail from John:
When I invited you to dinner, I was under the impression your goal was to promote conversation between strangers and perhaps write about it. I thought it artful and a promotion of the need for human interaction. It seems you are turning this into a commercial enterprise. Which is it?
That’s a good question.
The Dinner Tour project is indeed about the importance of conversation between strangers and connecting with one another; that will never change. Before the Dinner Tour I was working on many different projects that dealt with finding the absurdity and humor in banal activities at the same time encompassing community building, conversation, and a “free economy.” The “skits” that I’ve been working on recently are an extension of my earlier work and I’d like to start incorporating them more into the dinner tour. It’s these good-natured jinks, my personality, and non sequitur nature that are the building blocks of all of my work and part of the force behind the tour. I never intend nor desire to use malicious humor directed at any of my dinner hosts, collaborators, or audience – I’m really only making fun of myself and some of the things we do as a collective.
Currently, I’m in LA trying to find some creative ways to fund this project without sacrificing its integrity and genuineness. It definitely has become a much larger project than I had expected and in turn a longer more expensive project to complete; but I am prepared to devout all of my time and energy to make it GO.
The dinner tour is still funded through the sale of my possessions, credit debt, donations, and the sale of merchandise, which is not nearly enough to take on this massive project. I have no grants, no trust fund, and no benefactors. It is a DIY project and that will always be the spirit and drive. If I am to do a TV show or book, that would be to support the project financially and provide a better living for myself and my family.
There really is no glamour living out of an RV. It’s the love of this project and the people involved that keep me going; it’s people’s life stories and communities that will forever be the backbone of the Dinner Tour. Once that is lost, you’re right, it will become a commercial enterprise that mimes every other bit of consumerism that surrounds us and attempts to take advantage of us.
Thanks for your question!
All the best,
So I bought a bag of Baked Doritos today. They claim they are “Naturally Baked” – what the f**k does that mean. So I called (1-800-352-4477) and found out.
Amazingly they picked up the phone in under a minute.
“Yes, hello, I bought a bag of ‘Naturally Baked Doritos’ today, and I’m wondering how something can be naturally baked as opposed to being unnaturally baked,” I asked.
Anna in consumer affairs said this was an “excellent question,” and then there was a slight pause as I heard her fingertips frantically hitting a keyboard. “Ah, ‘Naturally Baked’ refers to the fact that the chip is baked and not fried in bad oils. It is baked in more of a convection oven, baked with air as opposed to direct heat, which provides a crisp light texture,” she claimed, probably without even blinking.
Okay that was too easy, so I asked her who invented the Dorito chip. This elicited a much longer pause with no talking and much more keyboard-finger-tapping. “Yes, who invented the Dorito,” she said, “this took place a long time ago in 1966 and was probably developed by Frito Lay’s research and development team.”
That was sort of anti-climactic. I wanted to hear names and get the full story. I wanted dirt on the person that came up with the idea. I wanted “Yes, well actually, Tina Witherspoon came up with the idea for the Dorito in 1966 after a long trip to India and several serious acid dropping sessions at Frito Lay’s office parties. Once the product went to production in 1967, she moved back in with her parents in Blaine, Minnesota and became a health freak. She is currently living off the royalties and recently racked up a DUI and has spent the last 3 months in jail for causing a scene at a 7-11, where she tackled a ‘Naturally Baked Doritos’ display case and popped every last bag of chips claiming that Doritos are the devil’s food. Tina is a real mess now, but at least she’s rich. Any more questions sir?”
Okay, I thought I’d pull fast one, so I asked Anna, “How many cases of mouth cuts caused by eating Doritos are reported each year?” This time there was no silence, no tapping, just a straight answer, “ Sir, I don’t have access to that type of information.”
I thanked her and she replied by asking me for my zip code.
My quest was done – ‘Naturally Baked’ means not fried but air cooked. That answer still doesn’t really sit well with me. Maybe they use natural gas in the powering their convection ovens?
Do you have any burning questions about food products? I’ll do the research and call, just let me know.
Julia Leonard of San Francisco asked about Orangina – it claims to have 12% real juice and 2% pulp – is the 2% pulp part of the 12% juice? Mmmmmmmmmm… tune in Monday.
p.s. These Naturally Baked Doritos are causing quite a stir. This guy has devoted a whole site to his unrequited love for the product – http://visit.bakeddoritos.com/
Please submit your questions for ?Questions? in the comments section of this posting; I’ll then go out and ask total strangers your questions in subsequent episodes. This’ll be fun as I’m traveling around!
You’ll need Quicktime to view this and the other movies. It’s a free download.
if you have a pc visit http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/win.html to download
and if you have a mac visit http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/mac.html to download
I just received this e-mail. Kind of clever; they almost had me.
I urgently need about $1900.
I will be grateful if you could lend me this amount.
What they don’t know is that I was left this very heartfelt note on my RV this morning. I tried throwing it away, but I saved it from my own hands of death. Typically people living out of RVs don’t have an extra $ 1900 floating about, but it was a valiant effort and should be commended.
Please tune in next week for an all out battle of the world’s greatest painters. Who will advance in the Famous Artist Fights tournament?
Critics are saying that de Goya has a considerable advantage over Van Gogh because of his “amazing precision and unmatched technique.” To further de Goya’s slated victory, rumor has it that Van Gogh has been out of training due to his addiction to absinthe. However, his trainer claims he’s been clean for “a while now.”
Let’s just wait and see!!!
Still in LA and I’ll be here for the next few weeks. I have a few dinners slated while I’m here, but I’d like to open it up. If you’re in or will be around the LA area in the next few weeks please give a call, 510-872-7326, or shoot me an e-mail.
I’d like to have dinner then tag along with you the next day. Come to your office and help make copies, do research for you, meet your friends and family, check out your stamp collections, collaborate on a project, the sky is the limit.
Here’s few things off the top of my head that I’d like to do with some dinner guests while in LA:
1) Hitchhike to an unknown destination
2) Paintball – never done this before, but LA seems like a reasonable place for it
3) Go to a parking lot and try to convince some drivers to perform in an experiment that would basically entail them posting a sign in their side and rear car windows that would read, “Please call me at (xxx)xxx-xxxx if you are bored in this horrid traffic. Let’s talk!” I’d love to have these folks tell me about their experiences after doing this for a few days.
4) Attend an imporv group/ class
5) Visit L. Ron Hubbard’s complex, maybe have a meal at the cafeteria??
6) Use this weird chicken costume I picked up
7) Take a topiary gardening lesson
8) Go surfing
9) Take a really long walk
10) Take the Hollywood Stars Tour
and finally, 11) Meet Kurt Russell
I’d much rather follow your lead though.
It’d be nice to get a few different strangers together at one dinner – Pot luck!!! I ‘m very much looking forward to hearing from you!!!!!
p.s. I’ll give you an amazing tour of the RV, and in return if you could be so kind as to show me a good place to park it – streetside or driveway, I’m used to it all.
I found the top image in an office catalogue, and I made some adjusts to tell more of a real story (below).
What that must be like to have to move your offices temporarily into a junior college gym for the summer. I can see the method to the madness now:
“Well, we were trying to cut down on overhead this summer and put more of our liquid assets towards new equipment purchases. So we decided to temporally move our office. Due to all the education budget cuts, the junior college needed some extra money for their sport’s teams, and the gym was available for the most part, so we set up shop. Office life is good here, other than the noon practice and an occasional mid-day game, we get along.”
Please tune in later next week for the season’s first game.
The whole Texas style BBQ experience prompted a stylish exit, the three-bean catapult.
If it’s getting late and you really want to break up a party, this is the perfect solution. You don’t even need to use it, just setting up is more than enough. The beans can be replaced with just about anything – soup, peas, small pieces of meat, mashed potatoes, unwanted leftovers. And to make it more exciting and challenging, make your self a target.
I love birthdays – Happy Birthday Jonathan!