I had a comically misadventurous day that I think should be chronicled for posterity.

  • I hate butterflies. Those little fuckers creep me out. Today, as I was wandering about, one dive-bombed my face, bounced off, and then got caught in my hair.
  • I normally wander around trying to get lost so I can find fun new things, but sometimes I’m actually going somewhere specific. Even less frequently, I’m trying to go somewhere specific by a certain time. Today (after wandering) I was trying to go somewhere specific by a certain time. I managed to get turned around and confidently strutted off in the wrong direction for long enough to make me late.
  • I don’t often buy soda. I save up all those random dollars I used to spend on soda and spend it on things like books and video games instead. Occasionally, I’ll treat myself to a Cherry Coke, but in addition to squirreling away a decent chunk of change every month, I also drink more water–which is allegedly better for you. I, in fact, always have a bottle of water in my bag. So handy. Today I decided to treat myself to a Cherry Coke. I put my $2 (the only change I had on me) in the vending machine, punched in the code, and proceeded to stare in horror as the little drink elevator contraption-thing went right by my Cherry Coke and stopped on…a bottle of fucking water.
  • Part two of the soda story: For whatever reason, I accidentally dropped a nickel with my eight quarters into the vending machine. After I pulled the offending bottled water out of HAL, I retrieved my nickel to find 3 shiny dollar coins. Yes, I got my damn Cherry Coke and was still $1 up…but I feel like I stole $3.
  • Then, as I finally decided I needed to wander home to nurse my guilt I started nic-fitting. I am a casual smoker so I don’t usually have (or want) cigarettes. I unfortunately started nic-fitting as I was waiting to cross at a particularly long traffic light. This particular corner with this particularly long traffic light has a corner store on it. That store sells cigarettes. As I decided to cave, the signal changed, saving me from myself (it doesn’t take much). Then, as I was walking across the street, Tweet’s Smoking Cigarettes came on. It did not help.
  • And as I was typing all this up, I dribbled wine on my favorite shirt. There’s no preface/explanation to that one. I’m confident everyone understands why that fucking sucks.

And so: Here I am, smoking a cigarette in my wine stained shirt, laughing about my day.

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Hello again! I did that thing where I gapped so long I forget how to write. Let’s see how long a roughly 15-minute post takes me. Aaaaaand: start the timer.

Today I woke up (as I’ll occasionally do). After being sufficiently awake, I checked my notifications to find I’d been tasked with writing about happiness in my week. And so, though I adore ranting about all the things that do my head in, here is proof (and in writing, no less) that I don’t actually hate everything.

Working backwards through my week, happy #1 is the tweet prompting this post.

Friday Happy: Last night I decided to stop farting around trying to get 100% completion on Breath of the Wild and finally gave that poopy Ganon what for. In addition to saving all of Hyrule, I helped save 3 real lives by donating blood. Cookies were also involved.

Thursday Happy: Hording more games and a pretty decent picnic spot.

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Wednesday Happy: Summer solstice! I finished up the graphic novel We Stand On Guard–which is a fantastic way for Brian K. Vaughan fans to bide time while we’re all awaiting the next Saga.

Tuesday Happy: Getting my hold notifications from the library always feels like a special event to me.

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Monday Happy: I spent my morning contrasting how I used to spend Monday mornings before I retired from my career with now…over a lazy cuppa and a brunch of caviar scrambled eggs. Sunday brunches are all well and good, but a Monday brunch, by yourself, while you watch the beginning of everyone else’s frenetic week is pretty damn luxurious.

Sunday Happy: I went to see a horrible movie, but this isn’t a post about how dreadfully horrible some movies are. On the way home I bought a pile of snacks (of which I’m happily still munching towards the bottom).

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And that, folks, was my week. For those keeping track at home, this 15-minute post took exactly 90-minutes to write. Most of that was a break I took to make and eat brekkies, so I’m not too horribly embarrassed.

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If she started now, maybe she’d be able to finish in time.

She half-heartedly clacked a few words on her computer, deleted the file, and grabbed a notepad instead. If she was going to do this, she was going to do this the old-fashioned way; no, not with a typewriter, that would be too hipster–with a pen (or twelve) and a stack of notepads. And maybe, just maybe, she’d be able to finish. And maybe (just maybe) it wouldn’t be peppered (heavily peppered) with too many adjectives. And maybe, just maybe it would make sense when she was finished with it. But she daren’t hope it would be good. That would be asking for too much.

Her hands began to cramp as she finished her first paragraph. She pressed so hard with the pen (too hard) that her bicep and trapezius started to burn. She briefly wondered if she should describe where the two muscles are–not everyone is fluent in human musculature–then abandoned the idea. You’re just trying to up your word count, she chided herself before putting down her pen and going to make breakfast. When she was done with her eggs and toast she would come back, figure her average words per line (the extra work of hand-writing this thing), and calculate how many pages needed to fly under her soon-to-be calloused hand per day so she could be Done.

After eating, she counted and averaged and figured. And at the end, she found she was one line shy of her word count for the day. She quickly scribbled this last bit of description onto her notepad and put her pen down. Four more lines. It will be a head start for tomorrow, she thought as she got up from her desk.

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A micro-tale for your Friday afternoon.

Despite the bus driver pulling a Stephen Slater en route (and dispatched police and bus evacuation ensuing) I still had a surreal bus ride this afternoon.

bus-44132_960_720After the bus driver somewhat abruptly stopped the bus, grabbed his backpack and what looked to be his lunch, and left (he did at least pull over), but before the evacuation, I thought I recognized someone I have passing acquaintance with, so I decided I’d say hello. I thought it kind of odd that he works and lives about 30 miles south in the direction opposite which we were traveling, so I opened the conversation with, “Small world.” He replied, “Not really. I saw you walking by so I followed you.”

I got off at the next stop.

I transferred to a bus on another route. As I got on the bus, I again recognized someone whom I wouldn’t presume to see in that context. He looked up, smiled and waved like he was expecting me.

I’m going to have to re-think how much I care about my carbon footprint.

 

Why, yes; I’m recovering nicely from a weekend of just a little too much bourbon and cigarettes, thank you for asking.

I think I’ve procrastinated enough with some grocery shopping and laundry and a solo dance party in my kitchen…cleaning off my desk (I am the poster child for cluttered desk/cluttered mind), getting distracted with 3 of the books on my desk and flipping through them for a couple hours, a wee freelance project since I just spent a chunk of change and I just remembered I need to do my nails.

But now, NOW I’m ready. NOW I can try and type up the Boston travelogue. Right after I get myself a snack and another cuppa.

Okay. Now.

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The biggest recovery involves realizing how much of a hetero-normative stickler one of my friends is and how exhausting it is being around that. And that’s as a cis woman. I don’t know how my trans friends even put up with the rest of us. I am here to advocate that it is possible to have short hair, identify femme and also have a vagina.

Speaking of clams, Boston, yours are HUGE. No, seriously though. Actual clams. My travel buddy ordered steamers and they were gigantic and frankly terrifying. The oysters I ordered were larger than expected, but at least they still looked like oysters. I love clams, but watching my friend go through those steamers has traumatized me. I had to pretend it was a bowl of miniature geoducks just to get through lunch.

After wandering along the Freedom Trail, we followed a newly made friend to Harvard Square (mostly to drink beers and make fun of Ben Affleck).

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The next day, I met with friends (of the non-newly made variety) to take in the Cleveland/Boston game at Fenway and maybe 1 or 7 bourbons and a couple beers. I might have been slightly inebriated. I’m pretty sure when Mookie Betts brought in a grand slam (by the way, this, seconds after I drunkenly proclaimed that I would not be going home unless the Red Sox scored a grand slam) I asked at least a half-dozen of the surrounding fans to marry me. None of them actually did, but a couple did share their Cheetos popcorn.

All-in-all, it was a weekend of copious talking to strangers, karaoke, and nothing horribly misadventurous. Oh, wait. I did lose my phone for about 17 seconds. Twice. Shit; at this rate I’m going to have to change the name of this blog. I’ll do my best to get into misadventures next time.

I’ve written about Portland on enough occasions that when I go there for a brief excursion now, I can hardly bring myself to even post a glib one-liner. This continues to hold true, but 1) I need to write something because it’s been so long that, for all practical purposes, I’ve forgotten how to type, and 2) the sock thing really deserves more than the 140-characters it got for me to fit it into a tweet.

Last-minute weekends in Portland require the obligatory round of texting friends and letting them know I’ll be in town so they can all drop what they’re doing and cater to my diva whims. This, of course, results in me only seeing 1 or 2 friends because—well—I only have 1 or 2 friends.

As usual, I drive down and make all the compulsory stops along I-5 (like finally getting a [blurry] picture of Mattress Ranch), get in town and do some pinball binging and comic shopping, Untitled.pngthen spend the night karaoke-ing. After comic shopping, but before karaoke, I’m walking along in the pouring, grody rain (happily full on a phở-rench dip sandwich, by the way) when I spy a muddy glob of what may or may not be a lone sock with a hipster mustache print. I stop walking and kick at it with my boot to determine details of this socky find. It indeed is a lone mustache-printed sock. I manage to not throw up as I gingerly pick it up and drop it into a plastic bag (yes, I carry a plastic bag in my bag for just such emergencies). Although I did not throw-up, gagging was definitely involved.

It stayed in the cold confines of that plastic bag until I brought it home, wherein it stayed a little longer while I summoned the courage to pull the damp, slimy, muddy sock, probably teeming with disease (and maybe a slug or two) from its protective covering. I didn’t actually end up summoning the courage, and instead, dumped the bag out into the sink, running hot water over it until I thought it sufficiently un-slimed. Then, (and still gagging) I somehow managed to fling the thing into the washing machine, trying to convince myself that it wasn’t somehow contaminating the entire load of laundry.

After the subsequent tumble in the dryer, out came a fluffy lost-then-found sock with a hipster mustache motif. And this, as anyone who has ever been to Portland, Oregon surely knows, is the quintessential Portland souvenir.

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That Time I Spent A Lot Of Money On Gas Part 14: Houston to Moab And The Part Where I Finally Drive Home

Start at the beginning.

I’m on the last line of the song. But I’m on the last part of the story, so that works out well.

So there I am, sweating profusely, wondering if it’s going to ebb enough for me to bother changing clothes before meeting an acquaintance’s girlfriend who was nice enough to offer up this stranger her couch. Her and her beau happened to be walking through the garage at that exact moment, so it appreciably truncated my decision making process. I was leaning over my open trunk when I spotted them and briefly considered jumping in the trunk and hoping they’d walk past. I probably would have done it, but they spied me as I weighed the options of head- or feet-first. As they approached me, I did my best to pretend I wasn’t still running with sweat. It went something like this: Hi! I’m running with sweat! They were about as gracious and charming as two people can be and I spent the next 23 hours drinking water non-stop before I was even able to pee again.

After an additional day of recovery, I was ready to hit the road again. Since I lucked out with camping in a hobo town, the hitchhiker, the heat exhaustion, and the potentially exploding car, I was going to skip Juarez, Mexico figuring even I can only handle so much death potential on one trip. It also cut half a day’s worth of driving, and by this time, I was itching to sleep in my own bed.

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No editing or framing; that’s what I opened my eyes to in Moab.

Off I sped, north, skirting Dallas and then Oklahoma’s border (where the wind comes sweeping down the plain) until scooting along west on Historic Route 66. I did not get any kicks. I did get caught in a doozy of a thunderstorm through New Mexico, but everyone was pulling off to wait out the storm so I kept going since there wasn’t anyone left on the road to crash into. Smart, I know. I camped out in Moab. Not on purpose; the timing was lovely with that one. I was just zooming along in the dark, found a rest stop and the next morning saw how gorgeous everything was. I took 3 or 4 whole minutes to let it sink in and then continued zooming along northwest through Utah and across Idaho. I had my eyes peeled for hot springs in Idaho (because I guess I wanted to smell like rotten eggs on the rest of the way back), but all I saw were dust devils. Smelling like rotten eggs is one thing, but I draw the line at dusty rotten eggs, so I kept driving. As I passed into central eastern Oregon, I was somewhat chagrined to find after driving roughly 7,400 miles, that the most breathtaking place in the continental U.S. was only 400 miles away. As I continued northwest, I was jealously wondering why eastern Oregon is so damn pretty until I hit Washington. Southeastern Washington is damn pretty too. Also the speed limit’s higher, so if a tie-breaker is to be had, that’s it. About 20-minutes from home, I was elated to get into the Seattle-area only to be greeted with a traffic jam. At 11:30 on a Sunday night. I hadn’t seen a traffic jam since St. Louis, and that was mid-week at 6:00 p.m. when you’d expect to see a traffic jam. As much as I missed my bed, I did not miss Seattle traffic.

The road trip took about half as long as I expected. Writing about it took about twice. I’ve been riding the bus a lot since then. I think I’m ready for my next road trip.

That Time I Spent A Lot Of Money On Gas Part 13: New Orleans to Houston and Trying Not To Explode—Literally, This Time.

Thoroughly mosquito bitten I headed out at noon the following day. Leaving at noon was a baaaaad idea. What I didn’t know, since I’d been starting my days around dawn with the AC already full-on, was that my car gets over-heated very easily. By noon, it was a toasty 97 degrees. My car’s dash went dead almost immediately. In addition to little things like not being able to see if I have enough gas or know how fast I’m going, my dead dash meant no AC. No big deal, right? It’s only 5 hours to Houston, how bad could it get, right? About 3 hours later, I was sweating balls and getting the worst case of bridge jibblies ever. The Rainbow Bridge, about a half-hour outside Beaumont, Texas, just keeps going up and up and up to outer space. That is not hyperbole. Fact: You can drive to the moon on the Rainbow Bridge. I’m not even sure why I was going that way. In looking at a map, I should have been happily putting along I-10 all the way to Houston. My GPS must have been playing a hilarious prank on me. My phone did go into hibernation because of the heat (did you know they did that?), so it could have been trying to re-route me to Mexico…or Antarctica.

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A completely un-doctored screenshot.

Shortly after driving to the moon and back I had to (HAD TO!) stop and try to cool down. By this point I was sweating rivulets, my clothes soaked completely through. I stepped out of my car onto 97 degree blacktop and it felt cool. That’s how hot it was inside my car. I drank a liter of water, ate some lunch and got ready to head the last hour to Houston. I was (questionably) ready, but my car was not. As I turned the key in the ignition nothing happened. I don’t mean “nothing” like, the car didn’t start or “nothing” like it made little coughing noises and refused to turn-over. I mean nothing. Having fully prepared myself mentally for this possibility, I was ready to call for a taxi to take me to the closest airport for a direct flight back to Seattle. I gave it one hour (and some engine tinkering). At the end of the hour, I tried the ignition again and after a bit more tinkering, got it more or less running.

The last hour into Houston made the previous 3 seem balmy. I was officially miserable and starting to become very concerned about the ticking coming from my dash. I was pretty convinced (and frankly, still am) that my car was going to explode. So I kept driving. At 2 minutes out, I finally decided I would stop and give up. I looked at my GPS and saw I was a whopping 2 minutes from my destination and decided to test that meme about most car crashes (and explosions) occurring within 2 minutes of your destination. I didn’t actually think I’d crash, but I would wager if I exploded it might have resulted in other people crashing around me.

I got to my destination in one unexploded piece, pulled into a parking spot and tried to will myself to stop sweating.

Start at the beginning.

Part 14

That Time I Spent A Lot Of Money On Gas Part 12: New Orleans And The Very Hungry Mosquitos

“You’re spending the night in a freight container with someone you don’t know!?”
“I know her! I had sushi with her once!”

After dropping off my hitchhiker, I picked up my period. So that was awesome. I was startled awake by the horrible suspicion I killed my friend’s mattress. After shooting out of bed, I saw I had only killed my leggings and had left my friend’s bedding unaccosted. After cleaning up and a quick change in a public restroom, I putted around town for a couple hours and then decided I needed a hotel. With a bathroom. With a shower.

After proper cleaning up and a nap, I felt much less disgusting and proceeded to spend the rest of the day with one of my favorite people. Since this was my first trip back to NOLA since Katrina, the first thing on my to-do list was to devour an oyster po’ boy. This is where a picture of said po’ boy would be had I not been too busy devouring it.

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Since I don’t have any pictures, here’s the bourbon soaked bung I swiped from Kentucky. Best smelling thing ever to come out of a bung hole.

Aside from leaving my sweaty ass-print on a handful of park benches, I don’t have much to impart. I hung out all day and all night at City Park drinking beer. In public. Between the two of us, we went through at least three packs of smokes, a dozen or so beignets, and unfortunately, none of the bug spray I brought with me. The next morning I counted thirty-two mosquito bites.

Start at the beginning.

Part 13

That Time I Spent A Lot Of Money On Gas Part 11: Tennessee to Louisiana and the—Oh, It’s Totally Safe—Hitchhiker

After the disabled motorist told me his sob story, I went into the gas station to ask the attendant if he had ever seen the guy before. He said he hadn’t and then repeated back the sob story I had just been told, followed by, “You’re not thinkin’ of givin’ him a ride. I wouldn’t. You should pro’ly let him be.”

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I dunno, he looked normal to me.

I came back out and announced to the disabled motorist, “You’ve got a ride on a few conditions. If I get tired, I’m going to pull over and take a nap. You have no say in this. If I pull over to take a nap, you’re getting out of the car. You have no say in this either.” And finally, “Gimme your ID.” I then proceeded to take a picture of his ID and send it to the person who had been helping make sure I’d arrive back home in one piece.

The drive through Alabama and Mississippi was very uneventful. Mr. Hitchhiker bought me dinner, so at least I got a free burger out of it.  He talked non-stop for the first hour which started making me regret my decision to pick him up when he blessedly fell asleep for the rest of the drive.

As we were crossing the bridge into New Orleans 6 hours later, I nudged him awake. Here is where things get a little weird. For being in his home town, he didn’t know where he was. Then he asked me to drop him off at a place that doesn’t exist. Then when I went to the general area of his imaginary building, I had to explain again where we were and then give him directions on what is the main thruway of downtown New Orleans. In thinking about it afterwards, his story didn’t quite match up with the timeline and I’m probably very lucky to have not been hacked into teeny pieces. But I did get a burger out of it; don’t forget that.

Start at the beginning.

Part 12

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