Archive for April, 2012

April Shit Showers Bring May Adventure Flowers

April 26, 2012

Remember when I was so psyched about March? Well that has obviously come and gone and if you follow ‘Summer of One Thousand Bullshit’ then you might have noticed in my last post that things since the Final Four have been glamorless and squalor-y in the motel in which I find myself residing. The news isn’t all bad though! All this April bullshit has left my checking account pretty swollen in a below-the-poverty line sort of way. Not, like, encephalitic levels of swelling, but definitely spider bite swelling. Not a bad spider bite that will kill you, but a pretty gnarly one that itches like a bitch. To clarify that analogy, let me summarize: if my normal financial state is smooth, unblemished skin, my current state contains some venom and has a bump on it? A money bump. Or the venom is the money? I have really made a pig’s ear of this shit. Let’s forget the whole thing. Just remember that I am low-stakes rich, and stoked about it.

So all the air mattressing, leaky showering, semi-insane screaming neighboring, it’s all been worth it because now I can leave Tahoe in style (read: with a cooler full of dope sandwiches and a 12-pack of Low Carb Monster Energy Drinks) and pursue National Park Passport stamps to my heart’s content for almost the entire month of May. For those of you who don’t know me well, understand that the pursuit of National Park Passport stamps is second only to my friends and family on the list of things that maximum elate me. Visiting National Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites is what I was put on this glorious Earth to do. There are some 1500-odd stamps (including bonuses) of which I have collected 234 since acquiring my first stamp January 1st, 2007 (Point Reyes National Seashore). Collecting the rest isn’t on my ‘bucket list’, it is my ‘bucket list’. Some of you might think that this hobby is for 7 year-olds. The prominent placement of the passport stamps among the Junior Ranger souvenirs in visitor centers across our fucking sweet land lends credence to your theory; but I’d like to see a 7 year-old take 3 weeks off from work to drive to Topeka to visit the Brown vs. The Board of Education NHS. Swish.

All told, my road trip from South Lake Tahoe, California to Damascus, Virginia (via South Point, Ohio) should land me a healthy 30 stamps, ranging in color from the vibrant orange of the Mid-West region to the distinctive baby shit yellow of the Rocky Mountain region. About this, I am beyond stoked.

The stamps aren’t even the only terrific shit coming my way in May! At the end of this trip I’m going to be sipping whiskey and smelling foul on the Appalachian Trail, surrounded by my beardedest buds at Camp Riff Raff, where in the past we have partied heartily enough to garner the sponsorship of Miller-Coors, who will be giving us a metric shit-ton of beer. Also pretty much the whole time I’m going to be dressed old-westily, which is going to be a damn blast. My old West attire will come in handy when I am Maid of Honoring the shit out of my dear friend’s Cowboys & Indians themed wedding at this Trailapalooza. Fucking yes.

Damascus is still many pop tarts from now, though. What other awesome shit am I going to be doing until then, you ask? Well for starters, I’m going to finally get to see this fucking thing in person:

There are straight up 17 NPS stamps within a 10 minute radius of this beast.

Also I’m fixing to see this m’rf’cker as I cruise through Denver will my sun roof open and my left arm getting painfully charred from prolonged dangling out the window:

Photo (used without permission) courtesy of the incomparable Ashley Cunningham

Hopefully when we recreate this photo, I will be less hammered on Peach Schnapps. Or, rather, I hope that I will be able to hide it even a little bit better.

Other highlights of May include, but are not limited to: leaving this horrible, horrible motel, leaving the jerkwater Chili’s I work for in Carson City, Nevada (oh btw, Carson City is the biggest podunk crap heap of a city I’ve ever seen. Lots of ignorance, not a lot of good Indian food–> worst of both worlds) and returning happily to my home Chili’s in Barboursville, West Virginia, where I belong, among friends, slinging queso to hill people. If I’m ever asked to define irony, I’m going to cite the several months my co-workers in Nevada made fun of me for being a redneck (quick background on me: I was born in San Francisco and received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in New York City. I’m about as redneck as an interracial gay couple driving a Prius) when they themselves lived in Carson City, Nevada. Irony, folks! Also, I realize but don’t care if any of that made me sound pretentious. Normally I go to great pains to avoid sounding pretentious, because I’m actually pretty fucking all right, but in this case I don’t give two shits. Carson City is a complete butthole and I do not care who knows it. I guess we could add ‘never going back to Carson City’ to the list of great things about May 2012!

Other May highlights include the weather, which will probably be temperate and awesome, the release of the 12th Sookie Stackhouse book which I am going to shamefully devour in private, Mother’s Day (I’m not gonna get to spend this with my Mama, but hopefully you all will. Unless you and your mama don’t get along? If that’s the case then I’m sorry and I hope you guys can work it out), the potential for me to attend some West Virginia Power minor league baseball games, which I will do with gusto despite their being a farm team for the Pirates (yark).

Four more days of this hellish April shit show and May Magic kicks off! Can I get a fuck yeah?


My Sweet Digs

April 18, 2012

In my last post I made mention of my incredibly sweet living situation in this really delightful motel that I just can’t get enough of being inside of. The internet connectivity there is sort of a pipe dream, so I’m here at my local library, surfing the web, trying not to imagine how much nicer it would be to live here at the library, and subconsciously planning to hide in the bathroom before they close and start a new life living here, amongst the periodicals (the YA fiction section has comfier looking chairs, but there’s a huge tapestry of Robert Pattinson that is just incredibly distracting and creepy and I don’t want it in my new room).

You may think that I’m being a prima donna about this (motel life, not the tapestry. I think I’m being pretty reasonable about the tapestry), so I’m going to take you on a virtual tour of some of the things that make my digs so sweet. Also, you should know that up until yesterday, there were four full grown adults and one puppy living in this room with all their worldly goods. Two of the adults have since been killed by fellow members of a tontine in which they were participating embarked on  a hitchhiking race across the country. They took the puppy with them.

So without further adieu, let’s begin this tour! I’m going to focus on the little things that I think make this room really special. Like the inside of the closet door:


There’s no door knob, but if you need to lock yourself inside, there’s a super convenient deadbolt! Obviously, someone has been murdered in this closet. Probably he or she fled into the room, locked him or herself in the closet, but were immediately spotted by the murderer, through the giant gaping hole left by the abscense of a knob. Probably, the murderer toyed with the poor closet refugee by putting his sinister eye up to the hole and looking around goofily like Jack Torrance. Maybe the victim tried to rake their fingernails across that eye, but the deadbolt got in the way (I can’t imagine another way for paint chips to be so ferociously absent from that spot) and they were so disheartened by their poor aim that they just didn’t even bother trying again. At that point, obviously, the murderer inserted his gun and/or poison dart-loaded bamboo chute into the knob hole and the motel guest got got. There’s a chance this never happened, but I just can’t imagine that that’s the case.

Another really fun thing is the bathroom door stop!


The rubber stopper piece (which some might say is the linchpin of the whole doorstop operation) has vanished, leaving this rusty bolt to bear the brunt of the work (the work being not damaging the wall). Don’t tell the bolt this, but I do not think it is qualified for this job. Luckily (!) someone thought of that and made this:


This beautiful, mocha plastic baseboard is a really elegant way to protect the cinder block walls from any harm the rusty bolt doorstop might engender.

Let’s take a trip outside real quick and take a peek at the Lone Pine’s venerable facade:


I found this vintage 2008 photograph here on the internet, but I assure you nothing has changed in the past four years. I’d like to address the name ‘Lone Pine Lodge’. I’d put a quick estimate of the number of pines in the vicinity of the lodge at eight hundred thousand. Even in this picture there is evidence of, like, nine pines. What I’m getting at is that I think the lodge has a stupid name. If you could see behind the lodge, you might be surprised, as I was, to find that I have, by no slim margin, the least luxurious car in the lot. My stylish, gold 1997 Volvo 960 wagon looks like a real pig in lipstick compared to its neighbors, a Saab convertible, an older but no less stately Mercedes, a newish Mustang, and my roommate’s 2008 Nissan Sentra. Other than the Sentra, I have no idea to whom these vehicles belong. I guess my imagination just can’t conjure the image of any of my neighbors taking time out of their busy days of sitting outside in sweatpants of varying degrees of shabbiness, discussing the varying severity of their various illnesses in voices of various volumes, smoking their various off-brand cigarettes–to visit a car dealership and leave with these cars.

Let’s head back inside! Obviously, according to Dateline, one should always black light test a prospective hotel room. I don’t have a black light, but this is what I imagine a test would reveal:


Let me walk you through this. That’s a picture of our whole room. The whole thing is glowing because there’s semen on everything. Some places (the brightest spot) have more semen than others, but rest assured, there is no shortage of semen on everything here at the Lone Pine!

Somewhere I have a picture of a cockroach that we found in a water bottle, but I can’t find it on my roommate’s phone, so just try to picture it! It’s one of those little pissant type of cockroaches, not the full-on trilobite kind which cannot be killed by conventional weapons. Here’s a fun fact, I’m allergic to three things– one is cats, one is an antidepressant called Wellbutrin, and one is Madagascar hissing cockroaches. They secrete some kind of oil when threatened, and it gave me a terrible rash in the summer of 1996. I hated it.

So that’s my home for the next one and a half fortnights! I hope you don’t want to come visit because there’s no room for you anywhere! I could give you some discount Easter candy that I got, I guess, but that’s it.

Hey, Here’s an Idea

April 6, 2012

It’s not an excellent idea, but I think it’s okay. It’s for a game show called ‘Bestie or Beastie?’ where you have to guess if the thing in front of you is your best friend or some kind of, like, fucking monster or something that ate up your best friend and is wearing his or her skin as a disguise. If it’s a beastie, and you guess bestie, then you get carted off by the ghoul to his lair where he’ll make merry with your insides! But if it’s your BFF and you guess correctly then you guys get to go on such a fun cruise!! If it’s your bestie and you guess beastie, though, your punishment is that you probably won’t be friends anymore, because now your friend knows that you think they look like some kind of runcible hellion. If it’s a beastie and you guess beastie, you get to go on the cruise but you have to do it alone because that monster totally ogred your bro. Also there’s no guarantee that the beastie won’t fuck you up anyway. It’s a damn monster. Who even knows what kind of shit it gets up to? The show will be hosted by Rick Moranis. Gotta find some monsters, first, though. Also gotta find Rick Moranis. He’s probably just at a hockey game or something, though. Shouldn’t be so hard. Not as hard as the monsters anyway.

That’s pretty much my whole idea, so for the next 600 words or so I’m going to talk about all kinds of cool shit that I have. Partly because I always forget to reflect on things I’m grateful for around T’giving, so I’m going to do it at Easter instead, and partly because I am temporarily living in a pretty horrible residence motel to save dollars for my triumphant return to the East coast, and reminding myself of all my sweet shit will make me feel better about having to fraternize with my horrible neighbors.

1. Cruise Control in my station wagon

I’ve run through four automobiles in the past three year and this dope wagon is the only one that has its shit together in the cruise control department. The monster truck I drove from 2009-2010 was all cruise, no control. For serious, shit had no brakes. Also if you were to pantomime driving that truck in a straight line, and milking a cow, you would be miming the same damn thing. The steering was peculiar at best. The Volvo sedan I parted with in June 2011 rolled of the assembly line with (presumably) working CC but by the time it got to me (after 13 New England winters and probably some other mental New Hampshire-type shit, like a witch or something) it was pretty shot. It would engage occasionally by itself, but when it did I always thought the accelerator had gotten stuck and I’d panic and hit the brakes, totally wasting my chance to enjoy driving while fully extending my knee off to the side of the pedals. The Subaru that I had for a month might have had cruise control, but hell if I found it in the short time that whip was on the road.

2. A watered-down fast food soda in my station wagon

Possibly this list will just be about things that I’m thankful for that are in my car? I hadn’t intended it as such at the outset, but that’s what it’s looking like. You might not think that soda situation is that awesome, but let me explain that I fucking love the taste of watered down, old, flat, fountain soda. Sound gross? Probably is. But my favorite thing about getting food from a drive-through is leaving the ice and, like, a quarter inch of soda in the cup holder to melt for a couple days. Then, after a cold night when it’s had a chance to reach its optimal temp, I drink it on my way to different places, some times while eating an off-brand pop tart. Something like this:

Except it would be cherry flavored, because cherry is fucking better than strawberry, end of discussion. Right now most of the off-brand toaster pastry wrappers in my car (I should probably clean them up, but I don’t really give a shit. Also it’s better than having a car full of toaster pastry Rappers, who would be insufferable), are actually mixed berry (also better than strawberry), and some times the sun will reflect off their shiny foil surfaces and temporarily blind me and other drivers. Nineteen dead so far. Just kidding?!

3. All the extra cargo space the spare tire compartment affords!

If you’re like me, you have tons of shit. I, for example, have 16 books of Lawrence Ferlighetti’s poetry, and half of a non-op Barbie walkie talkie set that is basically a pink Zach Morris phone with a dope purple antenna. Also a few stuffed Fraggles and most of Friday Night Lights on DVD. All these precious possessions have been weighing heavily on my mind of late, what with my super fun move to this horrific motel,my imminent move back to West Virginia, and my eventual move back to New York. ‘How will I get all these things across our lovely country, and Nebraska?’ I ask myself. Then I found the answer! Cramming a bunch of shit in with the spare tire is working wonders! You might think that’s stupid. What if I get a flat tire? Won’t I have to dig through all that shit? To you I say this: If I get a flat tire driving cross country  with the wagon loaded down with about 1300 extra pounds of pots, pans, books, records, Fraggles, and sweatshirts from colleges that I didn’t attend, I will not be throwing the spare on that shit. It would probably explode as soon as I hit the rumble strips coming back onto the road after putting in on there. If I pop a tire on this drive, I will probably abandon the car, hitchhike to the nearest podunk wasteland, pretend to be a shaman, and spend the remaining decades of my life in relative comfort and a shroud of mystery. If this happens, please divide up all my incredible, awesome stuff amongst yourselves.

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