Monthly Archives: October 2012

Car Log-Days 6 & 7: Dixiewood to Dixieland

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Memphis, TN to Crossville, TN to Roanoke, VA

Ok, so I’m super sorry I stopped blogging before the end of the trip. I just got super drunk tired and forgot. Then I drove into Virginia. Saw Melanie and the kids and got all drunk crazy and forgot again. My deepest apologies. Anyhoosies, we left Memphis and that was supposed to be our short day. A mere 4 ½ hours. But for some reason, it seemed to me to be one of the longest days ever. Unfortunately, Mom has the flu, so I did all the driving in this trip except 2 hours in NM. For some reason though, my brain was not into paying attention to the road to Crossville. I swear, it took all my strength not to fall asleep driving. I drank many Red Bulls just to get us across Tennessee. In fact, I cut myself shaving and I actually bled Red Bull.

(What do you mean Red Bull works better without vodka?)

But after working my way through Nashville, we landed in Crossville, TN with little problem. Though Nashville did have much traffic and many interchanging freeways, me and my superior sense of direction made it through just fine. But I did notice from about 100 miles outside of Nashville until our stop that day, I-40 was calling itself “The Music Highway”. And I’ll be honest. I did not hear one note of music the entire trip that day. I’m not a fan of country music but don’t call yourself the Music Highway if you’re not playing music. I’m just saying. And I would have enjoyed that music. You see, Buttons has a serious issue with music. Though I’ve been told my many people in my life that I am a great singer, Buttons completely disagrees. Whenever I’ve had a part in a musical and need to practice at home, she will follow along on my heels and bite at my ankles to make me stop the tortuous noises emitting from my throat. But it’s not just me. She hates almost all music. She will howl and scratch and carry one if we play music in the car. And if I want to sing along…let’s just say, it’s been a very quiet trip. For all our sakes.

(I don’t care if you landed the lead in “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Take it outside.)

So to pass time, Mom and I played a wonderful pre-Civil War game called “The Minister’s Cat”, thanks to the movie “North and South”. We played “I Spy” for about 30 seconds. Mom said, “I spy something green.” and I said, “Is it a tree?” and she said, “Well, yeah but it’s one we passed like ½ mile ago so you didn’t really guess it right. You lose.” I got mad and quit. We also played “20 questions” and “Guess What I’ve Been Scratching.”

(Here’s a hint: It’s “south of the equator”.)

Anyway, what should have been our shortest day took forever! The hotel in Crossville was really nice. A great big green field for Scuppy to poop in. And…there was a Cracker Barrel. Kaloo-Kalay! Some real freakin’ food! I have been subsisting on a breakfast of popcorn, lunch of chips or more popcorn and dinner of fast food or Denny’s. But God bless America, Crossville, TN had a freakin’ Cracker Barrel right down the street from our hotel. I enjoyed a wonderful rib-eye steak along with buying an adorable red cloak on clearance and about $100 in Christmas ornaments that were completely necessary for me to live. Thank you, Cracker Barrel. I really do love you. The next day we drove into Virginia.

(The most green I’ve seen since the “medicinal” pot dispensaries in L.A.)

Virginia truly is God’s country. Green and lush and very beautiful. The leaves are on the edge of turning colors. It was drizzling rain. A wonderful drive home. I thought for sure this would be the longest day ever. Right around 5 hours. I had to pee like 5 times (which is really more of a norm for me than the majority of the trip). The cat howled for food, so we stopped to feed her. Then she peed. Stop again. Dog had to pee. Stop again. And then we were hungry. Stop again. We stopped more on that last day then all of the other days together. And to top it all off, the last hour of the trip, the speed limit dropped to 55mph. Seriously?! Long story short, we made it. And it didn’t seem nearly as bad as I thought it would. Everything is so similar and yet so foreign. I don’t really know how to describe it. The house is so unbelievably beautiful. Scuppy has made fast friends with Melanie and the kids and Buttons has decided to let the three of them live. Obviously, this is all meant to be. The kids have more than made themselves at home and even stayed the night Saturday night. It’s obvious we’re home because no matter what I did, my tv seemed to find it’s way to Nickelodeon instead of Iron Chef America, where I kept putting it.

(Wow. Bobby Flay has really let himself go.)

But at least the time zone is correct now. Thank God for Will, the hot cable guy. He gave me his business card in case I have any questions. Ashton was very kind to shriek at me as he left, “Teetah, you got his digits!” Yeah…thanks, kid. I’m tired. There’s mess everywhere, which you all know is causing my OCD to go into overdrive. But that’s ok. I have all day tomorrow to organize to my drunk crazy little heart’s content. God bless the jacuzzi tub. Even if Mom won’t let me get in it, she spends enough time in there to keep her out of my hair. Lol! Now, I have to make a vet appointment for pup-pup. Her vaccines are due. Get a job. Learn my choir parts for the Christmas dealie. Find a costume for Melinda and Eric’s Halloween party. Get a job. Go see Dad and Janet in Asheville in a couple of weeks. Get both pets groomed. Set up the house. And maybe get a job. Yep. No problem at all. I’m just thankful to be home and out of the car and the endless hotels. Though Scuppy is honest in saying she really misses having her own bed.

(I’m so tense, I couldn’t have traveled an inch further!)

Thank you, God for getting us here safely. Thank you Melanie for all your hard work. Once my car is washed, you totally deserve an afternoon off. Thank you Mom for being my mid-life crisis buddy. There are many adventures to be had and I’m sure I’ll be in touch soon. Especially once the honeymoon is over and I need to “share” my Southern experiences with you. Election is coming up!

 

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Car Log-Day 5: Are We There Yet?

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Chectoah, OK to Memphis, TN

I can tell we’re getting back into the South. I stopped for pee and snacks and the lady who rang me up said, “That all for you, baby?” and when I checked into the hotel, “Three-twen-sebn fer wi-fi, honey.” (Translation:$3.27 for wi-fi) I heard one lady say something about going to MAC-Donald’s. Not McDonald’s, or as you hear in SoCal, Ma-Donna’s. People are starting to talk right! Y’all know how great it is not to be the only person saying y’all? And the country is getting so pretty. Especially as we got closer to Tennessee. It’s all rolly and green. And my windshield is a veritable cemetery for bugs. That makes me very happy. I hate bugs. I know some people like them (like my young friend, Ethan) but I LOVE killing bugs. I hope all the families and friends of all the insect carcasses on my windshield are crying and miserable and understand the example I am making of their loved ones. If you are a bug, do not fuck with me. I will literally smash your thorax so violently that your insides are decimated and and your organs and vital fluids will come bursting out of your body and you will cease to exist.

(What do you mean “anger issues”?)

So this was my last long day driving. 5 ½ hours. The speed limit has gone down from 75 to 70 to a mere 65. I feel like I could’ve gotten out and walked faster. And as we get closer to civilization, there are more cars. Of course, after living in L.A. for 9 years, traffic doesn’t bother me. But I have never had so many pickup trucks so far up my car’s butt. It’s like I was getting a Ford F-150 enema. I was getting very annoyed.

(If you’re going to ride my ass, you better pull my hair.)

We’ve been in the Central time zone for 2 days now and we’ll be in it tomorrow and part of the day Saturday before we drive into Virginia and normal Eastern time. Central time sucks. I don’t know how people live like this. Prime time tv starts at 7pm? WTF? The Simpsons come on at the wrong time. Adult swim starts at 8pm. Jeopardy is on at like 4:30. Is that the same time people eat dinner around here? I really can’t handle it. After finally falling asleep at 11 pm last night, while my brain kept saying, “It’s only 9.” Scuppy decided she needed to go out at 3 am. Yes, at 3 am, she came and kept digging her beak into my armpit until I got up, got dressed, and took her out. She made 3 drops of pee then sauntered back in. Stupid dog.

(Who goes to work while I sleep all day? Yeah. Who’s stupid now?)

So tomorrow is an amazingly short 4 ½ hour day to Crossville, TN and then a little more than 5 hours the next day and we’re home! Less than 10 hours. Wow. As long as this trip has seemed and as tired as I am of driving and eating crappy food, it’s actually gone by very fast. But geez, once I get there, what do I do then???

Car Log-Day 4: The Smell of America

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Amarillo, TX to Checotah, OK

When we were packing up for this trip, Mom asked me if I packed a jacket. I said, of course not. It’s not jacket weather and we’re traveling the southern route through the U. S. of A. But she said, you might need it. Um, no, Mom. I’m 37, ok. I don’t need a jacket. Well, she packed one anyway. So I got up this morning to take the dog out to walk in Amarillo and holy flurking shnit, it was cold! Like 50 degrees cold. I was freezing my fun bags off waiting for the dog to walk in about 42 circles, smelling the same one tree, two bushes and McDonald’s straw while trying to decide whether or not this was a good place to pee. It was good enough last night but maybe today was different. It required a lot of investigation. And sniffing. And thinking. And staring off into space. And sniffing. And watching traffic. Oh, for the love of high school football, just pee dammit! Long story short, I got Mom’s coat. I hate it when she’s right.

(I wouldn’t recommend running with those, son. Seriously.)

Anyway, another long drive, 5 ½ hours. But it sure was a much prettier drive today. The country is starting to get greener and more hilly with copses of trees. I also saw lots and lots of cows. And horses. As I’m driving through Oklahoma I decided, this-this right here is the smell of America. Rural, farm folk with their land and their crops and their American dreams. Hm. I wish we could change the smell of America to Obsession for Men. Then I sang the theme from Oklahoma until Mom threatened to punch me in the neck.

(You’re doing fine Oklahoma! Oklahoma, O-K-L-A-harrghhbfthprt)

I finally took Mom to one of the Indian trading posts so she’d shut the hell up about it. It was a Cherokee one with a giant Indian Chief head carved on the roof and a big cockroach in the bathroom. We got souvenirs for the girls. The moccasins were beautiful but like $50 a pair. Um, NO! I couldn’t find any fire water so I got a very pretty opal and silver ring. Still waiting to see if it gives me super powers. About 4 hours of the drive through Oklahoma it was very windy. It took a lot of concentration and paying attention to keep the car steady. For four hours. I couldn’t scratch in two places at once or anything. By the time we got to the hotel, I felt like Randy from A Christmas Story.

(I can’t put my arms down!)

After we checked into the lovely America’s Best Value Inn, we went to the Mexican restaurant next door. OMG. That was the best Mexican food I’ve had since Casa Vega in Studio City. It was that good. It was awesome. So if you’re in the neighborhood in Checotah, OK, you just have to go to El Jarocho.

Now, it’s time to relax. Only 3 days left. Another long one tomorrow and then a very short one the next day, then just 5 more hours and we’re home! Tomorrow, we’re stopping outside of Memphis. I didn’t want to stay too close to town in case we ended up in the bad part of Memphis which is, you know…Memphis. Au revoir from me, Mom, Buttons and Scuppy.

(If the cat can do it, so can I!)

 

Car Log-Day 3: My Kingdom for Cruise Control

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Grants, NM to Amarillo, TX

What a much better day we all had today. But what a damn boring drive. I drove for over 5 hours and almost 400 miles with only one stop through some of the most bland country. I really wish my car had cruise control because I really could’ve used a nap. And not even one dead armadillo! WTF? I did score some points by calling “Name that Critter…fox.” But that was about it. I thought New Mexico was supposed to be all full of mesas and gulches and grizzled old prospectors. Apparently, once again, tv and movies have lied to me.

(Pictured: Not in New Mexico. Boo!)

We were given rooms upstairs at the hotel. Scuppy stopped and stared at the steps. It took a minute before I realized, she’s never seen stairs before! It was so funny. After much encouragement, she put one giant paw on the bottom step, followed by the other paw on the same step. She took the first 5 steps with both paws on each step at the same time. She kept looking up at me like, “Are you serious about this? Am I doing this right?” It was hysterical. Then when we walked later, she managed to get herself wrapped around a tree. After all this, she required a 3 hour nap rife with snoring which mysteriously stopped every time I tried to record it.

(Amarillo. We have a problem.)

We’ve lost another hour to time zones and I can’t find any decent tv besides endless marathons of Law & Order: SVU. There sure are a lot of gaps in the law and what I’m sure is NYPD policy and procedure. Still, the show is quite mesmerizing. Micha Barton is in this episode as a prostitute. Boy, does she suck. I mean, as an actress, not as a….um, never mind. I digress. Anyway, Amarillo is just as ugly as I remember and I couldn’t find a place to feed me steak to save my life. Stupid Texas. We did order a really yummy pizza though. The hotel is nice and clean despite the questionable décor.

(Nobody looks sexy sleeping in a rust colored bedroom. Nobody.)

Not much else to post tonight. Time for a bath. Some people (Mom) seem to think that last night’s creepy jacuzzi time does not count as bathing. Pffttt, whatever. Why do you think God created chlorine?

(I’d rather drown than be forced to listen to one more minute of their insipid conversation in the car.)

Tomorrow…Chectoah, Oklahoma. Woot?

Car Log-Day 2: College, Creepers and Construction

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Kingman, AZ to Grants, NM

So to start off with the good, there was no barfing or large animals stuck between seats. Also, there was only one highway to drive all day and I ate popcorn for breakfast. I accidentally knocked on the wrong hotel room door and a hot guy opened the door and I said “Oh. You’re not my mom.” He said, “I can be your mom.” Tee-hee. Then, I went to fill up the car and gas prices are $0.53 less than L.A. Halle-freakin-lujah! And that was about it for the good part of the day for a while. To start off with, I got us lost. Somehow, when I exited the 40 to get gas, I wound up on some other freeway juncture and took a wrong exit and ended up at Northern Arizona University. We drove around there for about 20 minutes until we found the highway again. To be honest, I prefer a university with more ivy.

(If you look real close, you can see me crying in that car in the background.)

After that little side trip, we stopped for a potty break and Scuppy decided she wasn’t interested in being a Go-Dog anymore and refused to get in the car. Even with the promise of a bite of leftover chicken fried steak, she wasn’t budging. After cursing, pulling, pushing, threats and cajoling, she finally decided to get in. Truly, if a St. Bernard does not want to be moved, she will not be moved. She only got in because she was tired of standing up. Then after about 30 miles of 35mph construction zones, losing an hour to the time zone change, 312 Indian trading posts that Mom whined to go to (she went to NONE) and 1,537 squished bugs on the windshield, we arrived in Grants, NM. Or, as Mom calls it, Grams.

(Yes, I have an army man hanging from my rear view mirror. Don’t you judge me.)

So we arrive at our hotel and it is GROSS! The air conditioning is not working and it was like 95 degrees. My room smelled like sulfur, Mom had no toilet paper. When we complained about the air not working, the desk clerk said “Open a window.” We had no screens! Not mentioning our animals getting out, if we leave those windows open overnight, we might as well pin $20 to our asses and yell, “Victim here!” So, we moved to the Travelodge across the street. And yes we got a refund from the first place since mom told the desk clerk, “You can give my refund to me or to my lawyer. But I’m getting it back. Your choice.”

So at the new hotel we decided to relax in the hot tub, which was amazingly empty, only to be accosted by a guy calling himself Gabriel Heart. He started telling us his life story and how he was saved by Jesus and did we believe in Jesus and the Mayans are right, the world is ending and if we want to stop by his room (118), he could give us some great literature…and all this time, he’s scooting closer and closer to Mom and all I could think was, I’ve seen enough 48 Hours Mysteries to know about guys like you. You get one inch closer to my mother and you’re going to be talking to Jesus face to face, not just in your delusions.

(I don’t usually bother women who are all alone in a hot tub in Dirtpile, NM…)

Yeah, I totally made Mom come with me to walk the dog later. Anyway, now we’re settled in our rooms with the door locked, fresh towels safely stowed in our luggage, ready to go to sleep and dream of the free continental breakfast in the morning and another 5 hours and 5 minutes of driving fun. Next stop, Amarillo, TX. I’m so psyched for a rousing game of “Call That Dead ‘Dillo!” Buttons is praying night and day for opposable thumbs so she can open her crate and punch me in the face. As for Scuppy…

(We’ve got how many days left of this “adventure”?)

Until tomorrow…