Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lessons learned

From this trip:

1. The GPS is not always right or reliable.

2. Wyoming is beautiful and it never ends.

3. South Dakota is boring and never ends.

4. Don't plan to stop in the Twin Cities when you don't leave Rapid City until after 10am--it's impossible. We crashed after 11 hours of driving in Rochester and it was too late to have seen anyone.

5. Bugs in the west have a death wish. Many, many of them committed suicide on our bumper, ski rack and side reflectors. So many that by Ohio, live flies started becoming attracted to our car because the dead bugs were so crusty. We were going to take a picture but it rained in upstate New York and washed it all away.

6. Road food is novel and enjoyable for roughly two days and then it becomes vile.

7. The state troopers in Wyoming and South Dakota are the nicest police officers ever. They are so nice that it feels like they're doing you a favor when they pull you over for speeding. Somehow Lunchboy got away with a warning and I got the $150 ticket for doing 91 in a 75 mph zone. YOU try not speeding in Wyoming.

8. I hate hate hate hate Howard Stern.

9. Even satellite radio repeats the same 10 artists and 15 songs over and over. We should have invested in a few books on CD. Bligh, your mix rocked--thank you!

10. There's no place like home.

Kill the headlights and put it in neutral

Day 1: San Francisco to Mammoth Lakes, CA

Day 2: Mammoth Lakes, CA to Salt Lake City, Utah

Day 3: Salt Lake City, Utah to Rapid City, South Dakota

Day 4: Rapid City, South Dakota to Rochester, Minnesota

Day 5: Rochester, Minnesota to Ashtabula, Ohio

Day 6: Ashtabula, Ohio to Somerville, Massachusetts

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Eastward bound

We're in Salt Lake City at the moment, trying to wake up and get ready for today's leg of the drive, which is to Rapid City, South Dakota. But we can't stop sticking our heads out the sliding doors of our hotel room because the view of the city is just so amazing. The mountains are amazing. This is what I love about the west--all the wide open space, the great sunlight, and the mountains.

We flew into San Francisco on Wednesday night, then drove to Yosemite on Thursday. It was lovely but very crowded. It seems like a nice place to take a family for a week in the summer. Then we drove out the Tioga Pass to Mammoth Lakes and stayed there overnight. Gas in Mammoth Lakes = $4.99/gallon. Doing a trip like this when gas prices are at their highest levels ever definitely feels screwed up--we didn't see prices under $4 until South Dakota and then they hovered around $3.96. It's crazy.

Yesterday we drove from Mammoth to Salt Lake. Reno? Not so pretty. But as soon as we hit Utah, things got beautiful. The salt flats were just so cool.

More soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


It was a fun show, but the pixelated screens behind the stage made Michael Stipe look a lot like Nosferatu.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I actually had things I wanted to write about, but then it got skin-meltingly hot and all coherent thought got baked out of my brain. That was ok with me. The heat and humidity seemed to have almost everyone on their knees begging for mercy, but I loved every second of it.

Heat creates a striking dichotomy in our house. Being a heat-lover, I am a fan of fans, of open windows and fresh air, of going for walks and enjoying the fact that it is not -10 degrees outside. Lunchboy, on the other hand, loathes the heat. It enervates him and he uses the first day of heat as an excuse to bring out and install our window AC units, which he then cranks on high for days on end. My only problem with this is that the AC is so loud that, even with ear plugs, it keeps me awake at night. We've found a good middle ground on AC vs. fan, but the funny part is seeing how our differences extend to the felines in the house. Like me, Scully LOVES the heat. She spent all four days of the recent heat wave either sitting in the windows soaking up the sun or rolling around on the patio, absorbing sun and radiant heat from the sidewalk. Griffin and Cringer, on the other hand? Lumps. They slept and whined and moved as little as possible, usually only to stretch out on the wood floors in a valiant attempt to become as horizontal as possible. When the AC was on, they got a little less whiny and a little more mobile.

Speaking of windows and fresh air. This morning I decided to open one of our bedroom windows to get a breeze. But since it's been really humid for the past few days and our windows are ancient, the wood was stuck. When I tried to bang on the sill to get it to move, I accidentally hit one of the panes and *smash*, half the window caved in. Looking for a brilliant way to start the morning? I recommend breaking windows that are a giant pain in the ass to fix. Oh well!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Decisions and revisions

I haven't done much work on the garden lately. There isn't a lot I can do until that dratted window gets enlarged and that probably won't be until July. But things seem to be growing (mostly), so fertilizer +1, black thumb 0.

The big rhododendron, in full bloom:

Tonight I have to choose between going to my last pottery class of the session and attending a meditation initiation that one of my yoga teachers invited me to. I don't know what to do! I would love a way to build a more structured meditation practice into my life, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the dogmatic parts of Tibetan Buddhism. Or with an "initiation." But I don't want to miss out on what could be a really cool experience because of my uncertainty.

Today I am really frustrated with doctors. I have health insurance, so I really have no right to bitch, but I am fed up with going to health care providers who have no people skills whatsoever. With a very few exceptions, most doctors, technicians, etc. are so burnt out on seeing an endless parade of patients that they end up being cold, impersonal, and cruel (though probably unintentionally). When you go to the doctor, you want to feel taken care of! I don't think that's too much to ask. I am tired of seeing providers who end up making me feel small, stupid, and like a hypochondriac because I take my health seriously. Especially when I'm doing what the doctor told me to!