Tag Archives: pets

Car Log-Day 5: Are We There Yet?


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


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


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


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…

Car Log-Day 1: @%$#&*^!@#


Los Angeles, CA to Kingman, AZ

Getting out of L.A. was a pain in the fucking ass. Even though after the first 100 miles, we get on I-40 which goes straight across the country, as usual, Los Angeles made sure I had to change freeways about 6 damn times before I got to the 40. I saw sand, rocks and about 4 trillion scrubby bushes. The Mojave (pronounced Mo-Jayve) is hot as ever loving hell. I got a freaking sunburn while inside the car. Buttons was pretty good after the first hour, but that first hour, she managed to projectile vomit outside her crate and all over both laptop cases, the trip notebook and my Pirates of the Caribbean hat.

(Mom, I don’t feel so good.)

Now there’s a smell you don’t forget in hot car. I would like to take a moment to thank Scups for not farting in the car at all today. It was a real blessing. Also, that first hour, Scuppy managed to get her giant self stuck in the back seat floor and then again got her head stuck between the seats. Thankfully, God made her pretty so she doesn’t have to be smart. We missed lunch. I only peed twice. Before we even got out of California, Mom asked if we were in Nevada yet. No, Mom. We’re not even going to Nevada. Again, at least she’s pretty.

(My favorite color is clear.)

But once we got rolling on the 40, it was all good. At the end of the day, I can say both my girls were very well behaved in the car. Scuppy got her very first taste of toilet water at the hotel. Um, thanks for taking the lid off the potty, Motel 6. I got 2 $0.99 mimosas at the restaurant next door to the hotel. Then, when I took the dog out to walk later, the restaurant was surrounded by cop cars and fire engines. Oh well. They still make a fine mimosa. Everybody is now safely tucked away in their rented beds with the primary colored fishing and boating bedspreads.

(My own bed. Swanky!)

Tomorrow is one of our longer days, 396 miles to Grant, NM. At least it’s all on one freeway. Tune in tomorrow for our next adventure!

Bust a Move


So I am leaving the bright lights and unending heat and traffic of Los Angeles to move back to my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. There are a lot of reasons why, which I won’t get into here because honestly, they’re just not that entertaining to anyone but me. And my stalker. We all know moving is a royal pain in the ass and moving cross-country in 5 weeks is even more so. But I don’t want to talk about the moving process of going through your shit, packing shit, trashing shit, selling shit, donating shit and so forth and shit. I want to talk more along the lines of the stuff you don’t put on your moving list. And at the end of the day, Johnny Depp needs to understand that if this relationship is going to work, he’s going to have to do his part and chase me a little. He knows where Virginia is. He can come after me for once.

(I thought we agreed it would be me in the car and the dog in the box.)

Old Gray Mare, She Ain’t What She Used to Be

I hurt. Seriously. My muscles and bones ache like you can’t even imagine. My mom and I have gone through and packed 9 ½ years of our lives and that stuff is heavy! We’re not hoarders. Never have been but still it’s a ton of stuff. My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my shoulders ache, my back is killing me, I can’t hardly sleep. This is a lot of activity for a 37 year old, legal desk jockey who’s most recent idea of exercise was getting up to change the tv channel when the remote didn’t work right.

(I’m in shape. Round is a shape.)

Now, I’m toting and hauling and heaving like I’m some kind of ant trying to drag a cheese doodle 537 times my size across the driveway. I even sweat! And I don’t sweat. Or stink. I’m currently doing both of those things on a daily basis. Despite numerous Icy/Hot patches, bubble baths, flasks of vodka and bottles of aspirin, my body is just not handling this well at all. I keep trying to tell myself, “Come on, self! We can do this. We’re still young and incredibly sexy. One more car load to Goodwill. You can do it. I believe in you.” Then my body looks at my bed and says, “Eh. I don’t think so.” Thankfully, the bed’s being picked up tomorrow and will no longer pose such a temptation. Then again, that floor does look kinda comfy even without any carpet…Anyway, this whole thing smacks of effort. And we all know how I feel about effort.

Concentra…oooo, Shiny

My concentration is shot all to hell. I don’t know how they expect me to continue working at work when (a) I never really cared in the first place and (b) I have so many other things on my mind. Things like “Will the cat be good in the car on the trip?” and “Will the dog like her new yard?” and “Will Mom start chasing deer again?” and “How can I best embarrass my nieces in public?” Not to mention all the thoughts of turning utilities on and off, what’re we taking in the car, how much money can we save, how long until Johnny finds me, packing and unpacking, where’s the nearest liquor store to the new house, I need to get a job, etc. And on top of all this, the firm still wants me to be a productive legal assistant?! Isn’t that asking a bit much? Also, all this crap overloading my brain has been keeping me from blogging! I know you’re all very sad about this. I haven’t meant to neglect you. But it’s hard to be creative when I’m thinking about my new life and still having to spend most of my day pretending I give a damn about the 3 millimeter crack defect in the construction of a bazillionaire’s pool!

(Dear God! How am I supposed to live in this hovel?)

So I putter through my days. I take 2 hours to do something that used to take me 20 minutes. And I hate to say it but I really don’t care. I’m so excited about moving home and I’m so focused on that, I’m just taking up space at work until I get can get my last check. Oh, and I’m collecting a lot of free lunches, too.

Dealing with Idiots

Obviously, when you’re moving, you have to deal with a lot of idiots. And not just your everyday garden variety idiot. These are extra special idiots set up in different moving in/moving out utility companies that are hired with the highest expectation of keeping you on hold eternally as well as making your utility changes as long, complicated and miserable as possible. The exception being Britney at Highland Propane-I love you, boo! Seriously though, here is an actual exchange between me and a Verizon representative regarding returning my cable and internet boxes:

Me: We’re moving cross-country in a couple of days and haven’t gotten our labels to return our equipment yet.
Verizon: Let me check on that. You’re moving to another country?
Me: No. I said across the country. This country.
Verizon: So will you still be in the United States?
Me: <banging head on desk>

(Do they speak Virginian over there or English?)

The water company in Virginia:

Rep: You can just stop by anytime today to drop off your application.

Me: I’m still in California.

Rep: So that means…um…what? You want to come by tomorrow?

Me: No. I’ll still be in California. Can I email it to you?

Rep: Oh no, honey. I don’t do “the email”.

Me: <banging head on desk>

This has gone on for two solid weeks now.

Al’s My Pal

My room is haunted. My landlord’s father died in the room I am currently sleeping in about 6 months before I moved in. He’s not mean or anything. Just annoying. He turns the tv on in the middle of the night and sometimes closes the bathroom door, stuff like that. He started up two nights ago, which is the first I’ve heard from him in months. I think he’s going to miss me but seriously, I said to him out loud “I’m trying to sleep, Al. Stop fucking with the tv and leave me alone.” We’ll see tonight if he was listening. The first time he did this, it freaked me out. I asked my landlord about it and said something like, “But it’s not him, right? He’s in heaven with your mom.” To which landlord said “Do you change clothes in that room? Then yes, he’s there. Watching girls change clothes is his heaven.” Ew. You’re a dirty old man, Al.

(Not tonight, Al. I have a headache.)

But I’ll miss you just the same. Be nice to the new people. Unless they suck. Then you have my full support is scaring the everliving shit out of them.

Road Trip!

Sunday morning we (Mom, me, Buttons and Scuppy) will be piling in the car and heading east. We’re taking our time and taking a whole week so we can relax and enjoy ourselves. I offered to tie Mom to the roof of the car for the journey so she and the dog would both have more room to stretch out but for some stupid reason she’s refusing. Just to be contrary, I’m sure. I will be posting mini-blogs each day of our trip so you can experience crossing the country (America) with us. I’ll have pictures and stories about our beautiful country, how much fun the dog is having, how dismissive the cat is about the whole thing, how many time Mom asks “What state is this again?” and how many times I have to stop and pee.

(This is Tennessee, right? We’re almost there!)

 Look out, Star City of the South. Here we come!