May 2009 Archives
It is hard to be a mom.
All the lugging and diapers and strollers and STUFF you have to cart around. Then there is the actual KID you have to cart around! How is it possible to do things like shop, eat, or even pee when you have a baby or a toddler?!
Koala Bear Kare has made great strides in helping the weary mom by offering changing tables and baby safety seats in many bathrooms, so you can free your head and your mind when doing your business.
Thankfully, this rest area in Pennsylvania has taken this safety concern to heart:
Thanks, PA. I can rest easy knowing that my kid is safe and sound snuggled up to that trash can.
I've written before about my opinions on Books of Southern Wit, and I have a little bit more to say about them. I recently have read two books of Southern Wit (and listened to a third), and now I am just frustrated. I am determined to get to the bottom of this, and then do something about it.
I just finished Being Dead is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral, which I had high high hopes for, and it was just meh. I think it has an identity crisis as to what it is: is it a book of Southern humor, or is it a cookbook? I have complained before about how every damn book of Southern Wit (lets call those BSWs) feels like it needs to have gobs and gobs of recipes in it. Hooo, boy! We Southerners love to EAT! Get it?! Hey Yankee! You know what we do real good? We cook fattening foods! Ooohweeee, we sure do love fat and lard--wanna make some recipes at home?
First of all, the majority of people of reading BSW are people from the South themselves, and we already know how to make these things. Or if not these things, our own things which are just as good if not better. We grew up cooking just like you did and eating the same things. Being Dead is No Excuse is about HALF recipes, most of which for gross things like aspic and mayonnaise. Ugh. So anyways, I am reading this book, reading the stories, skipping the recipes and BOOM! It just stops. Index! There is no afterward or "in summary." Just the Index. DONE! O-K.
What also bugs me about this book is that it spends half the time referencing other things in the book. I get, authors--you like your damn homemade mayo in everything and you are all prim and proper and yes, I am familiar with your slick ham and mayo concept, and no, I don't need a page number to refer back to your mayo or your pantry list for the third time. Ugh. With a few exceptions (ok, I love cheese straws and chocolate cake) I wouldn't want to eat anything that they are bringing to this funeral. And maybe the Delta is different than Central MS, but everything they mention is so dainty. They even say that nobody wants BBQ at a funeral and not to serve big biscuits cause no one in the South likes big food. Wha? The people who brought Goldies to our house after Dad died were my heroes and no "big food?!" Come on.
I know that it is a BSW, but there is absolutely no mention of actually being sad or grieving the loss of a loved one--everything is written as if you are going to a big party and you should act totally normal and be totally ok except for maybe getting tipsy (but not too tipsy) over a cocktail. These must be the same people who think it is ok to ask advice about digital cameras a mere hour after you've buried your father. (true story).
Ok, so maybe I am being to hard on the book. Maybe I had too high of expectations. Maybe my new career needs to be writing the 20/30 something's guide to dealing with a funeral and how to cope and move forward. I guarantee I can be more realistic than this.
I am also noticing a trend that I find to be true in Southern Women, too--there is lots and lots of hemming and hawing and alluding to things, without ever just coming out and saying them. Who on earth wants to read a book of vague hints to other things? Just be bold and be unafraid--you'll be a lot happier and clearer if you do.
The other book I read recently was the Sweet Potato Queens Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit. Though I don't think it was the best of the SPQ books, I laughed so hard I cried at points and I still think that Jill Conner Browne is the best at what she does (for example, she curses like a sailor and is NEVER afraid to say exactly what she is meaning). I just found out that there is a new book, American Thighs that I am going to have to read. And I am going to attempt to finish the other blah book I started, that Suck Your Stomach in book, and after that I guess I need to delve more into Mom's friend Celia Rivenbark's books, since she is a total sweetheart. (That pic on her site makes her look like she has an arm tattoo, though--I am sad that she doesn't).
Sigh. All in the name of research, right?
Sidenote--I am still checking books off my list!
Aside from a rainy Thursday night, the weather in Baltimore was perfect. Our hotel was a nice brisk walk from the Harbor and it was convenient to a lot of nice restaurants and things to see. So we saw!
For years and years Fuzzy has been promising to take me to Maryland to eat crabs, and here we are finally making that dream a reality. Thanks, Obrycki's!
Fuzzy and Erica, how do feel about that meal?
We ate 11 of 12 crabs, and named the survivor Jerry. Here is a sad scene of Jerry realizing the destruction that surrounds him (pretend the camera swings upward, to film him from above...the table was cleared before we were able to reshoot. Where was my Production Assistant?!)
The next day, on our way out of town, we were total geeks and went and took pictures outside Charm City Cakes, the bakery from the Food Network reality show (and one of our favorites) Ace of Cakes. I got so nervous, especially when someone walked out of the building, but we were able to get a peek of the familiar blue walls.
On our way out of town, we went to a different Columbia-- Columbia, MD (has anyone else noticed that we visited three Columbias on this trip?). Fuzzy moved around a lot as an Air Force kid, but he spent a good chunk of years in Columbia, MD, so we went to his childhood home! Lord knows, he has spent way too much time in my hometown, so it was great being in his and seeing where he used to play, read, shop, etc.
After spending a few hours at the mall there, we headed on down the road and made a stop for the night in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. I have always wondered about the "h" in "burgh," since I am from a "burg" with no "h." Anyways, while there, the power went out in the whole stretch of highway, and it was super creepy. You know, that is how horror movies start--the power goes off at the motel on the side of the highway and then the murders begin. If it weren't for text messages from Ken and deadbolts on the door, I might not have gotten to sleep. Just kidding, I can almost always sleep.
The drive home the next day was fairly relaxing, and after a stop for a fish sandwich in Sandusky, OH, we passed a local winery. I had never really been to a winery before (does the Biltmore count, if you went when you were little and didn't care about tastings or the glories of wine? Hmm...posting that, I am reminded of the extra "e" in Asheville. What is up, extra letters?) Fuzzy turned the car around, and soon after we left with half a case of delicious Hermes wine.
All in all, it was an amazing vacation and a total success. It seemed very daunting and ambitious when it was all in my head and unknown, but we pulled it off like pros! Now more than ever I realize the importance of getting away, seeing and experiencing things you never have before and just having fun!! Thanks for reading!
Because Cutie Bumblesnatch will never truly retire, I am happy to announce that she will be back next month for ONE SHOW ONLY!
Yes, Don't Spit the Water! is going to be a part of the upcoming TBS Just for Laugh's Festival, on June 20th! There will be 2 shows--the
8:00 show will feature yours truly and 2 other classic DSTW comedians, and the 10:30 show is our all-star show, featuring TJ Miller, Jared Logan, and Nick Vatterott, 3 of the funniest folks I have ever met. UPDATE! TJ will now be in the 8pm show and I will be in the 10:30pm show! Tickets are $15, the show is at the Playground Theater, and you can buy tickets here!
Who Farted? Is what I wonder...
(in no particular order)
Fix the muffler on the car.
Do some writing.
Go to a fitness dance class.
Get an oil change (for the car).
Not get drunk.
Be thankful for my many blessings. (ongoing)
Format Papaw book and send to the printer.
Develop some personal style. (ongoing)
Do some reading.
Pet the kitties.
Write and send some letters.
Get rid of stuff. (ongoing)
Figure out life. (ongoing)
Edited to add:
Light the pilot light in the oven.
Log and edit some Goof Gang footage.
Get phone fixed.
Do some editing of family photos.
When we arrived in Baltimore, we decided to go to Washington, DC first thing the next morning, so that we can get the walking out of the way and avoid the crowds that a Friday or Saturday would bring. Plus, I was getting antsy about wanting to meet President Lincoln. We hopped on a train and headed into town.
We went to the Native American museum at the Smithsonian to see an exhibit about cartooning. It was really cool.
We also went to the National Archives, and we saw the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I could have stayed there all day! When the day was done, and we were walking to the train station, there were suddenly a bunch of police cars with their sirens ablaze and a number of black SUVs. I, of course, looked really hard into each one that passed, and there was one with darkened windows and a familiar looking silhouette...
God Bless America.
On our drive up to Maryland from South Carolina, on I-95, we noticed a billboard with a stereotypical racist drawing of a Mexican and some sort of slogan like "Eat at Pedro's at South of the Border." I made a comment to Fuzzy like "Gee, that's racist" and didn't think much else about it. A few minutes later, there was another one, with a picture of a giraffe saying something like "The sky's the limit at South of the Border!" We were curious. They continued: "Hats around the world!" "Shalom!" "You never SAUSAGE a place!" Soon there were billboards every .2 miles and we were amazed, confused, and interested. At one point, we noticed that South of the Border was at exit 1, and we were at exit 95--That's a lot of miles of billboards! Suddenly, there was a giant sombrero floating in the sky, and we immediately took the exit.
South of the Border is a "highway oasis" at the South/ North Carolina border, that started as a beer and fireworks stand in the 50s and developed over the years to be a mile long tourist trap complete with a campground, motel, a million cheesy kitsch stores, fireworks, gas stations, amusement parks, pools and more. You can read more about it here and here.
It was no-man's land. I can imagine that it probably gets a brisk business in the summer when families are on vacation and school is out, but when we were there, there was nobody there, yet everything was open.
It was amazing. Glorious even! I don't know how long we stayed there, but it was like all time had stopped and we were in a different dimension or decade or world completely. We couldn't stop laughing, and we bought our fair share of cheesy magnets, hats, and coloring books.
To get a better feel for the place, here is the trailer for a new documentary made about South of the Border (S.O.B.) called S.O.B. and the Legend of Alan Schafer. I hope to see this whole documentary some day:
Christopher and Katie gave me these amazing slippers:
So, things like this happened the whole time:
Late Sunday night on May 10, we rolled into Columbia, SC to visit with my brother and his wife for a few days. He graduated that weekend with a Masters in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Congrats, big bro! Mom was there for the festivities, so I had a good half a day to visit with her, too.
C&K are amazing for many many reasons, but one of the coolest new things they are doing is raising bees! We were beekeepers! It was SO amazing and fascinating to learn about the bees and how they live and work. Plus, we got to don sexy little outfits.
These roses were sent to us in MS from the Blewt crew after Dad died. They are so pretty and still going strong!
On Tuesday, Katie took the day off work, and we spent the whole day playing. Fuzzy made an amazing breakfast, we did some shopping at Five Points and then went to Frankie's Fun Park for some laser tag and mini golf! It was a blast!
That night, we got some groceries and Christopher started a fire in the pit. We grilled, made s'mores, drank wine and smoked cigars. It was amazing just hanging outside with family. I miss having a yard, and the fire was reminiscent of the grand bonfires we used to have in Vicksburg growing up. Christopher is now carrying the torch, so to speak.
I was sad to leave them the next day. That was the first visit I had had with Christopher that didn't involve a hospital in 2 1/2 years. It was nice to just sort of commiserate and detox from the last couple of years together. Plus, he and Katie are damn hilarious. And their cats are ridiculously precious. I hope to see them again soon.
After that, we started the trek up to Baltimore!
The first portion of our trip was to the coast of Mississippi for my step-second-cousin's wedding, of which I was the officiant. We did the drive down in 2 parts, since my shingles were still really bad at that point and I tired easily. We made it to Biloxi late Thursday night, May 7th.
This is our friend Polly, who road tripped with us:
When we realized we were in Gulfport, we called my longtime friend Laura, and had a wonderful visit with her and her baby, Gus. Here, I think Gus is sad that we were going to have to leave. That or he was sad he was faced away from his quilt. That is probably more accurate.
We loved Gus and wanted to take him home with us. He and Fuzzy became BFFs.
After seeing Laura, we met up with Chad and Elizabeth and hung out for a while, before heading back to the beach for some Jet Skiing. I hadn't jetskied in about 10 years, the last time being when Erica, Andrew and I went to Florida to visit Topher back when he lived there. Fuzzy had never been, so it was an adventure! We don't have any photos of that, but I am so glad we went--it was so much fun!
I was a damn idiot that day and only put sunscreen on my right arm to protect my tattoo, and I didn't put any on the other side. Yep, you guessed it--I got an awful sunburn on my other side, which was super painful and looked a mess. And I had the perfect outfit, too! Note the tan, er, "burn" lines.
The wedding was short and sweet and very them. I got a lot of wonderful compliments after the ceremony from both sides of the family, so that was good. I hope the newlyweds are happy with it. We watched the video later, and I could have talked a little slower, but ah well. They can always watch the footage in slow motion.
It was a lot of fun relaxing at the casino, eating good food and catching up with friends and family I hadn't seen in years. Lovely. The day after the wedding, we hopped in the car and headed north to South Carolina.
Fuzzy and I stayed at a Super 8 Motel in Matoon, IL. I had such an experience there, I decided to write them some new jingles!
You're Welcome, Super 8!
I don't need to point out the awesomeness, but here is a list:
*Obama is Superman
*Obama is Michael Jordan
*The time on the clock is 1:20:09
*The Neal Armstrong Quote
*Note the quality of screenprinting
*Note John McCain wearing the Obama shirt in the front row
*His number is 44
When we were buying it, the seller kept saying "Dunkey Shoot" which sounded like "Donkey Shoot." It was so awesome and now I can't stop saying it.
You are welcome, America.
EDITED TO ADD: Oh yes! As Fuzzy reminded me, this gem was only $10! We were prepared to pay as much as $25 for it, cause as I walked away from the first vendor, I realized I wanted it more and more. After we found out it was only, $10, we went and bought one for Fuzzy, too! SCORE!
Happy Birthday to my oldest friend in the whole world, the sweet and wonderful Melissa Dixon!
Happy birthday! I love you!
Below is a comprehensive list of all the meals that we ate on our vacation. We shared a lot of what we ate, so I am just listing everything together. Prepare to drool.
Dinner: Geovantis Bar and Grill, Champaign, IL
Giant chicken fingers, french fries, spinach salad
Breakfast: McDonalds, Matoon, IL
Sausage biscuit, bacon egg and cheese biscuit, hash browns, coffee
Lunch: Rendezvous Ribs, Memphis, TN
BBQ smoked ribs, baked beans, cole slaw
Dinner: Wintzell's Oyster House, Hattiesburg, MS
Oyster Poy Boy, Gumbo, grilled oysters
Breakfast: Waffle House, Biloxi, MS
Waffle, grits, bacon, toast, eggs, coffee
Lunch: Calypso's Buffet, Isle of Capri Casino, Biloxi, MS
Buffet food. There was a lot of it.
Dinner: Farraddays's Restaurant, Isle of Capri Casino, Biloxi, MS
Ribeye steak, sirloin steak, lump crab meat, roasted garlic, ceasar salad, wine and gin and tonic
Brunch: Ole Biloxi Schooner, Biloxi, MS
Fried shrimp and oyster poyboy, hush puppies
Dinner: Wedding food! At Elizabeth's parents house in Biloxi. Food included: curried chicken salad, pasta salad, shrimp salad, home-smoked turkey, ham and pork loin, all prepared by Elizabeth's father and brother.
Breakfast: Waffle House, Ocean Springs, MS
Similar to above, only I had a sausage egg and cheese sandwich
Dinner: The Vortex Bar and Grill, Atlanta, GA
Bacon cheddar burger, Ragin' Cajun Burger, Sweetwater Blueberry Wheat Beer (local brewery)
Breakfast: Krispy Kreme Donuts, coffee, Columbia, SC
Dinner: Purchased from Rosewood Market, Columbia, SC
African peanut soup, wild rice salad, homemade by Katie tabouleh, grape leaves, salad, pickled okra
Breakfast: Homemade by Fuzzy dutch baby with strawberries
Lunch: Pita Pit, Columbia, SC
Chicken ceaser wrap, chicken club wrap, chips
Dinner: Christopher and Katie's back yard
Olive stuffed cheese biscuits, habenero and green chili chicken and turkey sausage on hoagie rolls, salad, s'mores with gourmet chocolate, sparkling shiraz, and a nice cigar
Breakfast: Cafe Strudel, Columbia, SC
Famous Hangover Hash Browns, bacon egg and cheese croissant, iced coffee
Lunch: Cape Fear BBQ, Fayetteville, NC
Carolina pulled pork, baked beans, slaw, fried chicken, potato salad
[Note: this was probably the meal that we enjoyed the least, and not for the quality of the restaurant. Turns out, we don't like NC BBQ.]
Snack: Chick-fil-A, somewhere in Virginia
Chicken nuggets, waffle fries, lemonade, Ice Dream
Dinner: Mickey O'Shea's, Baltimore, MD
Maryland crab cakes, fries, Guiness steamed shrimp, ceasar salad, lots of beer
Breakfast: Cafe Sweet Melon, Baltimore, MD
Ham Breakfast sandwich, Bacon breakfast sandwich
Lunch: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Cafeteria, Washington, DC
Corn Masa with cheese and cabbage slaw, yucca fries, pulled pork empanadas, hazelnut blueberry stuffing
Dinner: M&S Grill, Baltimore, MD
Alaskan king crab legs, corn, green beans, fried shrimp, vegetable crab soup, creme brulee
Brunch: Phillips Seafood Express, Baltimore, MD
Crab pretzel, crab spring rolls, beer battered fish, mini crabcakes, fried shrimp, Baltimore coffee
Dinner: Obrycki's Crab House, Baltimore, MD
Steamed Baltimore Crabs, corn, rolls, Obrycki's Lager
Dessert: Sotto Sopra, Baltimore, MD
Liquid center chocolate cake with coffee gelato, Brulee cheesecake with blackberry, lemon and coffee sauce, coffee, Marolo Liqueur with Grappa and Camomile (amazing), Alexander Aqua di Vita Grappa
Brunch: Miss Shirley's Cafe, Baltimore, MD
Lump crab "benedict" with poached eggs, roasted red pepper hollandaise, and lump crab on fried green tomatoes with sweet corn and red pepper hash, Seafood trio omelette with crab, lobster and shrimp, savory grits with bacon, biscuit
Dinner: Weaver's Restaurant and Bakery, Hancock, MD
Pork chops, green beans, mashed potatoes, baked potato with cheese and broccoli, wildberry pie ala mode, blueberry pie
Breakfast: Pittsburgh Bagel Factory, Pittsburgh, PA
Vegetable bagel with garlic herb cream cheese, Challah french toast, side of bacon
Coffee Tree Roasters Coffee
Lunch: New Sandusky Fish Company, Sandusky, OH
Fried Perch sandwich, Fried Catfish sandwich, hush puppies, onion rings
Dinner: Turnpike Plaza somewhere in Indiana
Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza, KFC Twister (yeah, not the best meal to end on, but we were hungry and tired.)
There you have it! So many wonderful meals, so many great experiences. I could eat seafood every day, and I am happy that on this trip, I did! Probably the most memorable meal of the trip was at Obrycki's, since the whole cracking crab concept was what compelled us to go to Maryland. They were so good and we were exhausted afterwards. That takes a lot of work! We ate 11 large crabs, leaving one behind that we named Jerry. Later, I bought a stuffed blue crab that we also named Jerry, and he became a mascot of our trip. Also of note, we bought some caramels with Old Bay seasoning. Yum! Those Marylanders love their Old Bay.
We are back in Chicago, safe and sound. We made it into town last night at 8 or 9--I have no idea and my time zones were all messed up. It was great to get back to our sweet kitties and our own bed, but I am amazed and thrilled as to how much Fuzzy and I were able to relax and let go during this trip. At first, we were email and blog checkers and asking for pics of our kitties from the folks looking after them, and concerned with this that and the other. I think when we got near the week mark of being gone, we just sort of let it all go. Stopped worrying. Stopped fretting. Fuzzy stopped checking work email. It was so very freeing. As Margaret said about her recent trip to Thailand, it is so important to see things outside of your own world so that you can get a better view of the world and life and what is important and what isn't. While the Eastern USA is no Thailand, I certainly felt that feeling. In retrospect, I feel more enlightened and zen than ever, and I want to make that continue into my life in Chicago. Each day, Fuzzy and I did something fun and out of the ordinary--we made constant memories. It was just him and me and the road--we had no schedule (after that first weekend) and we just went with the flow. We road trip really well together, and if you need any proof that you are meant to be with someone, spend every waking hour with them for 11 1/2 days. Fuzzy and I got closer as the trip went on, and I am more in love with him now than ever. We also realized the importance of getting away and taking a real vacation. It is good for the body, mind, and soul.
Well, almost good for the body. I think I gained 10 pounds while we were gone. Damn that food was good!
Here is a list of the states that we visited/ drove through:
Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
Here are some other observations about the trip:
*It is incredibly hard to find non-chain restaurants when you are roadtripping. Sometimes we would have to drive a half hour just to eat somewhere unique or not McDonalds.
*America loves Kelly Clarkson. In fact, America loves American Idol in general--all the Top 40 stations played Kelly Clarkson (a lot of her), Carrie Underwood, David Cook, David Archuleta, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Hudson.
*When you don't have a time schedule, sitting in a car for 10 hours at a time isn't that bad. It allows you to do things like turn around and go to that Winery you passed in Ohio.
*Now that my tattoo is all healed and it is warm, I am able to show it off with tank tops. And people love to comment on it. I have gotten lots of wonderful compliments, including this one guy at the Truck-Stop-That-Only-Sold-Pepsi-Products who asked "What is that on your arm? It looks like a bird." But mostly they have been really nice compliments.
*I don't drink a lot of sodas, but roadtripping makes me drink them like my life's blood.
*Being with my brother and Katie for a few days and then going to DC made me wonder what my purpose is in life these days. I used to be all about comedy and performing, but I have lost a lot of that drive. What am I doing to make the world a better place? What am I supposed to do with my life? Right now, all I can say is that I am a good friend to some people, but that is about all I have. I need to work on this one and figure out what is next. It isn't enough to just exist.
*As with everything I do, I wonder what Dad would think about things that I do. I bet he would have loved to hear about my DC trip. I bet he would have been happy that we saw so much countryside that we did. Consequently, why do I get so sad when I see families out with their Dads?
*It is easier to be free when there isn't anyone you know around. Imagine how much happier we would all be if we stopped caring what people thought or said and just did what our hearts compelled us to do. Life won't be there forever--don't half-ass it, especially because of anyone else.
*Laughter and adventure might be the best feelings in the world. In fact, I know they are.
*Sometimes you just need to smell nature.
Pics and stories to come this week. I am a happy little clam.
More vacations, please.
When I was a kid, I used to daydream about going to 2 places: Hawaii and Washington DC. Today, one of those dreams came true.
I loved DC. Everything about it. Fascinating. Inspiring. Emotional. I am exhausted yet exhilerated.
I can't wait to write longer thoughts and post pictures from this trip. Today, I saw the Constitution and the monuments and I am pretty sure I saw President Obama's sillouette in a black SUV in a police convoy. At least, I will think that I will.
We bought the most sweet-ass Obama tshirt today- so sweet that only a photo will do it justice. So so sweet that after we bought one for me, we bought one for Fuzzy.
Now we and our tired feet are on the train to Baltimore for a crab dinner and a king size bed.
We are driving through North Carolina, and we just saw a billboard that replaced the Twin Towers with the Ten Commandments tablets.
I don't even know what we are supposed to think about that.
Gah! We just saw a really scary billboard. Get me out of here!
Hello from Columbia, South Carolina!
We are on stop #2 of our trip, visiting my brother and his sweet wife. The wedding on Saturday was gorgeous and fun-- Elizabeth was gorgeous in her dress and Chad was so sweet. Then we drove all day Sunday, stopping for dinner at Little 5 Points in Atlanta. We got to see Mom for a little while yesterday before she headed home, and today Christopher, Katie, Fuzzy are going to pal around and play. Tomorrow we head to Baltimore!
So Fuzzy and I have had our first full day on the MS coast, and it was wonderful. We walked along the beach, ate at a Waffle House, went to the George Ohr Museum (the "Mad Potter of Biloxi"), and then went to Gulfport to see Laura Sue and meet the precious wonderful Gus! It was wonderful to see her--we hadn't seen each other since we graduated from highschool. Fuzzy and Gus became best friends, too.
Then we headed back to our hotel, met up with Chad and Elizabeth and then--wait for it-- WE WENT JETSKIIING!! It was awesome. 40 minutes in the salty water; it was such a blast. I am loving this vacation. We are about to have dinner at a steakhouse, then back to the room to hang out with everyone here for the wedding. Lovely.
It is bizarre to see so many abandoned lots that once held beautiful houses and resorts and gift shops. Though a lot of the coast is rebuilt, they still have a ways to go.
I also have to give a shoutout to my brilliant brother who graduates from Grad School tomorrow!! I am so proud of you, Christopher, and I can't wait to see you on Sunday.
Hello from beautiful Biloxi, MS! We made the first leg of our trip, and now we get to relax here for 3 nights. Fancy! I can't wait to walk on the beach. Our hotel room is precious, too. And most exciting- Elizabeth and Chad are about to be married!
Fun tidbit- Rendezvous was closed when we got there, but they still seated and served us! Classy!
Rendezvous ribs, here we come!!
Welcome to Arkansas!
Welcome to Missouri!
Good morning! I write from a Super 8 in Mattoon, IL that isn't really all that super. After a restless night of painful shingles and a crappy bed, we are about to hit the road. We have about 11 hours of driving in front of us, I think. So far, the trip has been great-- we ran into the Schafenfreude guys and Delahoyde on the way out of town last night, and it was a great way to start off the trip. We stopped in Champaign at 10:30 last night for dinner where we had to deal with massive amounts of super drunk college kids, including a huge brigade of dudes in tiny shorts and ladies tops (one of whom casually showboated his weiner to his friends and I, very sadly, unfortunately happened to look up right when it happened. Oh, children.) Also of note is that we listened to Alice Cooper's radio show, which ruled, but brought up the question: 'Does Alice Cooper dj in eyeliner? How about leatherpants?' But I learned that I did in fact want to hear it loud, right between the eyes.
Here we go!
...and I have officially overpacked.
As it stands now, I am set to wear about 3.4 outfits a day for the next 11 days.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
I love everything I am packing--it is just all about OPTIONS.
God, when did I become such a girl?
...and I whined and bitched about it for days.
So, I have these shingles, and they suck. It started Saturday night, with really bad pain in my right upper leg (right in the leg fold). I thought maybe I had pulled a muscle or something, and thought that it would be better in the morning when I woke up. I had a hard time getting comfortable and sleeping, and the pain was even worse the next day. Also, I noticed that a rash had popped up around my thigh and onto my butt. Fearing that it might be the staph infection back, I just ignored it and the pain and went about my day. After hours and hours of really bad pain, I finally told some friends that I was with and one of them brilliantly suggested that it might be shingles. Of course! Pain then rash--that is exactly what happened with Dad, only that poor guy had them on his face. I got in to a doctor Monday morning (thanks, walk-in hours) and got the official diagnosis and tons of bright blue horse pills and pain patches.
It sucks. It hurts really badly and the pain gets worse as the day goes on. I can't wear pants, cause it would rub up against the rash too much. I get really tired and loopy and there is constant pain, pain that comes and goes and then the burning sensation from the rash.
All day Monday people loved to tell me that it could be worse. Well, true--anything could be worse. I am very grateful that it isn't somewhere visable or more painful. But I still wish that it wasn't there.
The timing is terrible. I have been looking forward to our trip and being on the road for so long, and now the thought of doing anything but sleep is daunting. Walking hurts. I am pissed that it has taken away the excitement of the trip. That I can't go swimming. That I was finally doing SO GOOD and FEELING GREAT but yet again I have something else to overcome. And I am especially pissed that I can't call Dad and tell him that I know how he felt when he had them.
I cried all day Monday, from start to finish. I could not stop for anything. Fortunately, I kept it together in the doctors office, but the rest of the day was miserable. Work was hard, I was sad and worn down and having a giant pity party that I couldn't shake. To add insult to injury--literally--the nurse at the doctors office couldn't believe that I weighed as much as I do and insisted that her scale is broken. I had to reassure her that the weight on the scale was in fact accurate. Jeez.
So, Fuzzy and I decided that instead of doing the 15 hour drive to Biloxi in one day, that we should take our time and rest as much as we need to, so we are leaving this evening. We are going to drive as far as we can, and then knock out the rest tomorrow. Then we'll be on the coast! The wedding! Family! Then Christopher and Katie then crabcakes! So life isn't bad, I just need to suck it up.
I probably won't be blogging too much while we are gone, but I will when I can.
And now, I am going back to sleep.
I have fucking shingles.
GD fucking shingles.
I am not happy.