ok, i'm doing something wrong, i can't get it to boot.
let me start off by saying, yes i checked and the machine i'm using does support booting from USB devices.

now here is what i have done so far:
-i've formated my jump drive to FAT32
-run from the appropriate directory: syslinux /dev/sdc1 #yes the jump drive is the third drive attached and i can see a 'ldinux.sys' file on the drive
-placed on the drive a 'syslinux.cfg' file, i've tried both the root directory and then /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg
and this is what it looks like:
LABEL linux
KERNEL vmlinuz
APPEND ro root=/dev/sda1 initrd=initrd.lz
-i then extracted the contents of an ubuntu live disk and placed the vmlinuz and initrd.lz files onto the root directory of the jump drive

this is the error output i get when trying to boot:
try (hd0,0): FAT32: No GRLDR
try (hd0,1): invalid or null
try (hd0,2): invalid or null
try (hd0,3: invalid or null
try (hd1,0): EXT2:
and it is just an underscore prompt, nothing happens after that.

now i know ubuntu has a live usb maker, but see eventually i wanted to make a multiboot usb, this little project is to learn and understand how to use syslinux. obviously i'm doing something wrong, i just don't know what, i'd be grateful if someone could point out my flaw(s) (^_^)

in the first line of the error output is says 'No GRLDR' and the first thing i think of there is somehow i'm supposed to work GRUB loader into this, but the guide i followed in the syslinux documentation made no mention of GRUB
here is that guide: HowTos - Syslinux Wiki