Hi, I’m Manu.

I used to have a blog a couple of years ago. I have to admit that I missed it a little, so I decided to go back at it in 2014. I write about a bunch of different topics.

Why “plothole.net”? As defined on wikipedia,

a plot hole, or plothole is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot, or constitutes a blatant omission of relevant information regarding the plot, sometimes even contradicting itself. These include such things as unlikely behaviour or actions of characters, illogical or impossible events, events happening for no apparent reason, or, statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.

This definition suits my life pretty well.

Here are a couple of links if you want to know more about me:

And last but not least, here is my resume.

Thanks for reading.

N.B. this site has been tested on the most recent versions of Safari and Chrome on Mac OS X, as well as Safari on iOS. If something seems broken on one of those browsers, shoot me an email. If you’re using another browser, I’m sorry. I don’t find fixing browser quirks very interesting, I do enough of it professionnally.

raw

since i came back from the usa last fall, i wanted to publish the story of my roadtrip with alex (aka gr00t). nice layout with pictures, maps and stuff… but i never did it (lame ass!).

so here is the story of our roadtrip, RAW, ugly, but with comments by Alex (in {}s). enjoy :

As always, I’m a little behind schedule. I wanted to write this short roadtrip story right after it ended, and that was two and a half weeks ago! Maybe it’s better this way, because time has distilled my memories so that only the best ones remain. Actually I’ve kept a small messy diary during the trip, just in case. So here it is : Alex’s and Manu’s USA roadtrip 2003 !

Day ZERO - Tuesday 09.09.2003

This was the day before we left for the trip, and also the first day after my arrival in Miami. Alex came up with the (good) idea to drive to the Everglades to see some wildlife. Great idea! Really! If only there was any wildlife! {saw massive mutated crickets/grasshoppers though!!!} It seemed that all the birds and alligators and snakes had decided to leave the place to go i-dunno-where.. hhmmm I was feeling lucky! Eventually we left the (boring) Everglades to have lunch at Keg South near Tamiami airport (I think) {yep, keg south}, where we met Lllliiiiiizzzz and her Dad (who btw paid for all of us. Sweet dude!). Alex then suggested we’d go to Miami Beach whoa! I’ve never seen a sea that’s so warm!.. it also was my first bath in the Atlantic Ocean =)

I tried to call Alessandra for her birthday, but no success.

Day ONE - Wednesday 10.09.2003

500 miles
1.5 fuel tanks

First day of the trip! Before leaving Miami, we made a stop at a Best Buy to get a 128MB Memory Stick for my digital camera. This way I could take more high-res pictures (1600x1200). Nothing exciting happened for the first couple of hundred miles of the trip, except the flood of Yeehaw billboards {if you count all the billboards and get the number right, you win a prize} on the side of the highway. We decided to check out what it was about and realized that it was all hype (see picture). The next stop on our way to Tallahassee was Gainesville (home of Less than Jake), where we had lunch at Wendy’s. Food was ok, and the three lady employees were fun. Gainesville also was the first place where Alex’s phone (GSM) wasn’t working. From Gainesville to Tallahassee, our drive on the highway basically consisted on one hellova massive lovebugs roadkill. We got to Florida State University (FSU, apparently University Miami’s big rivals) in Tallahassee around 4-5pm if I remember well. We met Matt (Alex’s friend) on campus and went to the apartment that he shares with two other dudes, namely Vinny and Manny (nicknames that end in ‘ie’ or ‘i’ or ‘y’ are gay!). Matt had some stuff to do, so meanwhile Alex and I watched “A Bug’s Life” well, I watched it, since Alex fell asleep. When Matt came back from his meeting, we made a guided tour of Tallahassee : Jeb’s (G.W. Bush’s brother) house, cock-shaped {“cock-shaped” doesnt sound good, say ‘dick-shaped’ or something subtle like ‘fallic’} capitol building, election 2k court house, etc. Later, we had dinner at some BBQ place food was good, hyperactive waitress Americans definitely know how to do BBQs! Next was watching a (mediocre) mockumentary {sooo baaaadd}, entitled “A Mighty Wind”, about folk music and shit. Last thing worth mentioning was the sleeping arrangements at Matt’s place.. haha. Alex got the couch and I slept on an armchair with leg extension. It wasn’t very comfortable, but we were tired enough to get some hours of sleep =) {and you told your life story in your sleep =)}

Day TWO - Thursday 11.09.2003

430 miles
1 fuel tank

The plan was to wake up around 7am to drive to the Wakulla Springs and get an early refreshing bath. Unfortunately, like at the Everglades, things didn’t turn out as expected. {did see jumping fish though!} The springs were closed until 9am and since Matt had class before then, we decided to leave and have ‘breakfast’ at a Krispy Kreme donut place (Alex ordered a dozen and I had eaten half of it by the time we got to New Orleans!). Not so long after leaving Tallahassee, we crossed the first state line of our trip, Florida/Alabama, closely followed by the Alabama/Mississippi and Mississippi/Louisiana borders. Some time travelling also took place as we entered the Central Standard Time zone. Alex (a.k.a. the roadtrip planer) wrote down the address of a youth hostel in New Orleans he found on the internet. It’s called the “India House” and is located on Canal St and Saint Lopez. It took us a while to find it, and we had our first nearly-running-outta-fuel experience during the search. But it was worth the effort amazing place. The shower curtains were a little dirty (or should I say alive?), but that’s ok. There were mainly Aussies and Brits sleeping there (haha like in Amsterdam!). We walked around a little bit, mainly in the French Quarter, Bourbon St and the like, and ended up at a Virgin Megastore (uh!) where I bought the latest Pennywise cd. We also spent some time looking for bathrooms (Alex), trying to take decent night pictures of Mississippi Steamboats in the moon light (Manu), finding a place to grub (Alex & Manu), etc.

Day THREE - Friday 12.09.2003

740 miles
2 fuel tanks

We left New Orleans early in the morning, so we could make a stop in Houston and see the Nasa Space Center. After a couple of hours we made a stop at a McDonald’s to have breakfast (Friday tradition!!). ok never again. Everything was gross, from the pancakes to the bagel, to the eggs eeww. The rest of the drive to Houston consisted in digesting junk food. We got caught into a traffic jam and the fact that the fuel tank was close to dry didn’t really help Alex from not getting all hyper {I WASNT HYPER! I HATE TRAFFIC!!!}. As a matter of fact, it became a kind of a tradition to enter big cities with almost empty fuel tanks. Not very surprisingly, by the time we got to the Johnson Space Center, the visitor center was about to close, so we decided to just have a look at the rocket park (free entrance, any time). We had to re-cross Houston to continue our journey through Texas, which meant re-traffic-jam (it turned out that missing the HOV lanes entries wasn’t a good idea). We drove (ok, when I say ‘we drove’, please read ‘Alex drove’) as long as we could and ended up somewhere in a motel (48$) in the desert between San Antonio and El Paso. {OH OH! breakfast!!! at truck stop: “y’all come back soon!”}

Day FOUR - Saturday 13.09.2003

1120 miles
3 fuel tanks

This was the day we did the most miles of the whole trip. Maybe it is due to the fact that for the first few hours we were driving a little {understatement} faster than allowed, until we got a speeding ticket {when we were driving not so fast}. Yeah! Don’t mess with Texas! 87mph instead of 75mph = 175$. Driving fast didn’t hinder us in noticing Texas’ windmill fields, sand tornados, mile long double-decker trains, etc. In El Paso, we crossed the Texas/Arizona {new mexico, dude; theenn arizona} border line and entered the Mountain Standard Time zone. {THE THING!!! cant tell people what it is though… just that we saw THE THING} We had dinner at a supermarket in Phoenix. We got ourselves some microwaved spring rolls. By the time they had entered our digestive apparatus, it became clear that it might not have been the best idea not to eat in a fastfood chain restaurant! Many miles later {after dodging elk on dark dark roads while we were half asleep}, we arrived at the Grand Canyon, longing for a nice warm shower and a soft cosy {cozy} bed. But given it was Sunday at 2am, all hotels and motels were full, leaving us no better option than sleeping in Alex’s car. {sunroof open for aeration, big mistake, freeezing}

Day FIVE - Sunday 14.09.2003

390 miles
1.5 fuel tanks

Considering that the Grand Canyon is at about 7000ft, it gets pretty refreshing during the night, in fact so refreshing that it’s almost impossible to sleep in a car. Consequently we got up around 5:30am and took a walk to admire the view {and get fresh air, heh} (see pictures). It still was windy and cold, so we left for Grand Canyon Village to have breakfast (healthy one for me, cholesterine one for Alex). Took off and drove straight line (literally) to the Hoover Dam. Like for the Niagara Falls, I thought it was bigger. Don’t get me wrong, it IS impressive, just smaller than I imagined. Our next planned stop was Las Vegas, where we arrived at 3pm. The first thing we did there was go to a mall (despite Alex’s repulsion) to get a euro-plug, so I could charge up my camera’s batteries and shoot more pictures. We then took care of sleeping arrangements: Treasure Island, 97$. Not cheap, but you don’t go to Vegas every day! After a shower and some tv channel switching, we were ready to explore a Vegas night’s crazyness. We had “dinner” at a chinese fast food called Panda {express, panda express}. I gambled a whoping 25 cents and bought some aviators sunglasses. Later on, we played “guessing people’s job” in front of the Mirage (I think) {you’re right}.

Day SIX - Monday 15.09.2003

330 miles ?
1 fuel tank ?

Before leaving Las Vegas, we made a quick stop at a Barnes and Noble, so I could get some bmx magazines. I bought RideUK, Dig Mag and Dirt (mtb) and Alex got himself a Calvin & Hobbes book. He was laughing out loud in the store while reading it. t’was fun. We arrived in LA late afternoon and stopped at Venice Beach (that’s after driving through Alex’s old neighborhood{not really, t’was actually neighborhood where my school, was}, which got him all hyped, saying “oh my god”s and “this is weird”s). I’d like to point out that Venice Beach is a joke. In the movies and tv series (like Baywatch) it looks all cool and interesting, but in fact it’s boring {that’s LA in a nutshell… }. We spent the night driving around Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Sunset Blvd, etc. and we had dinner at Pink’s hot dog place (said to be famous). Food was ok. Stéphane, a friend of Alex, let us sleep at his place.

Day SEVEN - Tuesday 16.09.2003

520 miles
1.5 fuel tanks

Driving day: LA to SF along highway one. {exhaled LA smog from our lungs} We made a short break at Pismo Beach so I could touch the Pacific Ocean and another food stop at the Monterey (?) {yep} wharf (french fries once again). We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge at night, took some pictures and crashed at the Fireside Motel (supposedly where a scene of the movie Bandits was shot).

Day EIGHT - Wednesday 17.09.2003

? miles
? fuel tanks

No driving day: we visited San Francisco, i.e. the Fishermen’s Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge (again), Telegraph Hill {coit tower, hehe}, Union Square, little China, cable cars, etc. The cable car episode was cool, the driver was hilarious (like: “next stop is Bush [street]. Who wants Bush? [no one answers] Nobody for Bush?” or “after I’ve left my wife, I got a bumper sticker saying ‘since you’re gone, I’m so miserable. It’s like you were here.’ “). We picked up Charlie at work and drove to his house. Charlie and his family, Piedad, Isabel and Camilla, are friends of Alex’s parents. The girls are very pretty, and the whole family is very interesting, very non american. Some good conversations took place during dinner (well, I wasn’t interacting much).

Day NINE - Thursday 18.09.2003

? miles
? fuel tanks

We drove down to the Electronic Arts (EA) headquarters to visit Serena! I liked it a lot, it was good seeing her again! The plan was to meet her again in the evening, coz she was too busy when we showed up. So we drove back to SF and visited some more. Alex wanted to go back to where he lived 15 years ago. Funny story of the day: we went to a little supermarket to get drinks, and as I was looking for what I was looking for, Alex dashes by, laughing {and says “lets get the hell out of here!”}. I just mind my business, pay for my shit and leave the store. Alex is waiting in the car {with the engine running}, all hyper. I get in (smashing my aviators glasses while sitting down but that’s another story) and Alex tells me what happened to him in the toilet {eh hem… so yea, the toilet in the bathroom um.. “backfired”! then there was this guy waiting outside to use the bathroom. alex warned him not to go in there, but he went anyways. as alex was walking away he simply heard the muffled yell through the door that could only be understood as, “HOLY $%^!!! OH #$%^ !!!”, an employee of the store heads towards the bathroom to see what was going on. haha, alex fled the scene! stopping only to warn his fellow traveler to get the hell out of there}. FFW! Later it turned out that Serena was too tired to go out, so we stayed at Charlie’s house and did laundry.

Day TEN - Friday 19.09.2003

[It’s been over a month since I started writing down this roadtrip story. It’s now November the 9th ! I hate myself for procrastinating everything all the time! #$%&*!!]

610 miles
1.5 fuel tanks

We left San Francisco by the “Sandwich” Bridge {richmond} and drove up north towards Sacramento. The road to Lake Tahoe was very nice, going through mountains and forest, but then we went onto Highway 50, “the loneliest road”. At the beginning, it was fun to be in the middle of nowhere {random sand dune there too}, but then we realized that we could eventually run out of gas. {middleton!!!} Fortunately we hit Austin NV. We were starving and Alex wanted something warm (!) to eat. I think he got himself a microwaved taco.. yeah, and while eating it, he said that he couldn’t tell the difference between the napkin the taco was wrapped into and the taco itself.. nasty! Shortly after Austin we made a stop to watch the stars. Alex kept on seeing shooting stars! I finally saw one too (the first one in my life) while driving later on. The final stop of the day was Ely. We were pretty tired, so we went straight to bed two words: electric arcs! LOL {hahaah, i this will always be an inside joke… but oh man, so funny}

Day ELEVEN - Saturday 20.09.2003

740 miles
2 fuel tanks

Lots of driving! We made a stop (still on Highway 50) in Delta UT where there was a car show taking place. It was hilarious to experience the atmosphere of a typical little American town hahaha.. mullets, everyone looking the same, funny accents, fat people, flags, etc. Another funny thing were the sticky bagels we had there for breakfast =) . From Highway 50, we went onto I-15 and then I-70. We realized while reading the map that we would be driving past Moab UT (another contestant for the funniest-location-name award) {ah ha, im getting a map, writing down the funny place names, and sending it shortly..}, a famous place for mountain biking. True to our very fast decision making abilities, we first drove past the exit to Moab, because we couldn’t decide whether or not we wanted to make the detour. We finally did it. We stopped right before Moab to have a look at the arches national park. We (I ?) didn’t want to pay the entrance for the park, so we parked the car a little further away and started climbing up the rocks, naively thinking we would have a great view from the top. When we got there, we realized our assumptions were wrong, so we hiked a little more. Nothing, still. More hiking. Bingo! We could see one (!) arch in the far distance. The walk back to the car was a lot of fun, getting stuck at the top of 30 feet drops several times. Back in Moab, we tried to look for a Specialized P1 for my cousin, but all the shops that were still open weren’t carrying Specialized bikes. So we left the place by the very bumpy-wavy route 128. Unfortunately, it was night already and we couldn’t enjoy the surroundings. The plan was to drive east to Grand Junction, have food there and find a motel to crash. But like at the Grand Canyon, it was Saturday evening and every single motel was full. We nevertheless made a stop at Taco Bell. Three (!) long hours of driving later, we found a motel 30 miles from Vail CO : AmericInn, 60$, comfortable, clean (!), working remote control, 8h of sleep, breakfast. Cool.

Day TWELVE - Sunday 21.09.2003

760 miles
2 fuel tanks

This was the first day of the boring part of the trip. The drive through Colorado towards Denver CO was very nice, kinda like driving through the Alps. Then came Kansas, worst state ever. We missed the Missouri state sign in Kansas City. Kansas sucks. We slept at the American Inn in Independence MO. How cheesy is that! As usual there was a funny episode in the hotel room. This time : grasshoppers!

Oh! and I almost forgot about the “Royal Pine” thing. hehehe.

Day THIRTEEN - Monday 22.09.2003

800 miles
2 fuel tanks

In order to make the boredom more bearable I bought an FM transmitter for my iPod in Cape Girardeau MO. The town is right at the border with Illinois, so we decided to cross the Mississippi to get a picture of the Illinois welcoming sign, but there wasn’t any. As a revenge we stopped, I took a piss at the side of the road, we turned around and left Illinois. oh well. We first wanted to stop in Memphis TN and visit Graceland, but we thought it would be smarter to just keep on driving so we could have more time in Atlanta GA the following day. We had dinner at Thickburger’s (good (junk) food) and I don’t remember were {where} we slept {motel in alabama, room smelled like smoke, shaving cream attack… retaliation still in planning stages… }.

Day FOURTEEN - Tuesday 23.09.2003

610 miles
1.5 fuel tanks

Atlanta GA, Gainesville FL, Orlando FL.

We spent some time in the Olympic village in Atlanta GA, had lunch at Quiznos sub (great food), visited the souvenir store of the Coca Cola museum (not the museum itself), called Aïsha for her birthday. We stopped in Gainesville again (like on our way west 2 weeks before) and Alex’s friend wasn’t answering her phone, again. Pine thing incident… We slept in Orlando, so we would be ready to hit the Universal Studios the following morning.

Day FIFTEEN - Wednesday 24.09.2003

? miles
? fuel tanks

Last day of the trip, but what a great finale! We’ve been to Universal Studios, and I guess we were pretty lucky, because it was not crowded at all, so no waiting lines =) . The best rides were the 2 Spiderman themed ones, Shrek (CG with 3D glasses) and the dragon thingie… very impressive. On our way to Miami FL, we stopped at the Kennedy Space Center, which was closed of course (like the Johnson SC), at Ron Jon’s in Cocoa Beach FL, where I got me self a cowboy hat and a new pair of aviators, at DaKine Diego’s Insane Burritos to grub (great great place). Alex got kinda lost as we were getting closer to Miami FL, which I think is very ironic.

{COOOL DUDE! i like it =)}

3 liter bottle
3 liter bottle
Alabama
Alabama
Alex
Alex
Alex's Honda Prelude
Alex's Honda Prelude
Alex struggling
Alex struggling
Arches
Arches
Arizona
Arizona
Arkansas
Arkansas
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA
Atlanta, GA
Bored
Bored
Bored
Bored
Burbon St. New Orleans
Burbon St. New Orleans
California
California
Canal St. New Orleans
Canal St. New Orleans
Colorado
Colorado
Da Kine xxx
Da Kine xxx
EA
EA
Fireside Motel in SF
Fireside Motel in SF
Fireside Motel in SF
Fireside Motel in SF
FFireside Motel in SF
FFireside Motel in SF
Florida
Florida
Fooding in Phoenix AZ
Fooding in Phoenix AZ
Georgia
Georgia
Golden Gate
Golden Gate
Golden Gate
Golden Gate
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon
Highway, AL
Highway, AL
Highway, LA
Highway, LA
Highway One, CA
Highway One, CA
Highway One, CA
Highway One, CA
Highway, TX
Highway, TX
Highway, TX
Highway, TX
Highway, UT
Highway, UT
Highway, UT
Highway, UT
Highway, UT
Highway, UT
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Houston skyline
Houston skyline
Houston skyline
Houston skyline
Kansas
Kansas
Large convoy
Large convoy
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Las Vegas
Lonliest road
Lonliest road
Los Angeles skyline
Los Angeles skyline
Los Angeles smog
Los Angeles smog
Louisiana
Louisiana
Alex's house in Miami
Alex's house in Miami
Alex and Sarah in Miami
Alex and Sarah in Miami
Alex and Sarah in Miami
Alex and Sarah in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
CART race in Miami
Sarah and me in Miami
Sarah and me in Miami
Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi in NewOrleans
Mississippi in NewOrleans
Missouri
Missouri
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Moab, UT
Mountain road in CA
Mountain road in CA
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
New Orleans Youth Hostel
Nice pickup
Nice pickup
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Oldies in Delta, UT
Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL
Orlando, FL
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Prison area
Prison area
Rain
Rain
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Rocket park in Houston
Salt Lake
Salt Lake
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
Santa Monica
Steamboat in New Orleans
Steamboat in New Orleans
Tennessee
Tennessee
Texas
Texas
Train in TX
Train in TX
Train in TX
Train in TX
Utah
Utah
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
Venice Beach
Wakulla Springs, FL
Wakulla Springs, FL
Yeehaw Junction, FL
Yeehaw Junction, FL
bumper stickers, LA
bumper stickers, LA
old DCs
old DCs
old DCs
old DCs
you can see through the shoe
you can see through the shoe