keepin' it crunk, from my hood to the trunk.
March 8th, 12:30 AM
Jared and I have already been driving for 8.5 hours when we decide we might do well to get some grub, just to maintain energy through the long drive ahead. "Man," I said, "There's gotta be an IHOP or a Waffle House around here somewhere." We rolled on in towards Little Rock. "This is Arkansas," Jared said. "Didn't they practically invent the Waffle House?"
Sure enough, we spy that beautiful gold-squared beacon on the horizon, and pull off of Route 30 onto Scott Hamilton Drive
. For real. The place is cozy, and we're pleased to see that ZZ Top is already seated inside. We plop down in a booth, and look around. One of the good old boys at the counter give us a light. I order a BLT, and Jared drowns his waffle in maple syrup. We tried hard not to stare at the freak dykey waitress with the bad untoned bleached-blond Fraggle femullet with the sides slicked back.
This 55 year-old Chong-looking Soggy-Bottom skinny feller with the scraggly beard and wrap around eyeglasses and tiny gray ponytail approaches the booth next to us. I nod hello to him; he nods back, then turns and mumbles something to the freak waitress, who snubs him and walks back behind to counter. He turns over to us and explains, "I was trying my hand at this line, with her, but it didn't work." He says. "This guy who I work with told me this joke.What would you do If you woke up some morning with a used rubber stickin' outta your ass? Would you tell anybody?"
I told him probably not. And he replied with a question: "You wanna go campin?"
We laughed our asses off at that, for all the right reasons. Someone put Dave Mathews on the jukebox. I held up my coffee cup, and together Jared and I toasted America.
In thirty minutes, Alison
and I we leave for my second SXSW
festival Austin. I can't wait to see everyone. +
I'd followed the sunset across all of Indiana, and across most of Illinois. Mullets and Budwiser. After visiting Jill for a night in Springfield (her sweet-smelling apartment, two dogs, chicken-tortilla soup, a giant chalice of beer, long conversation that grew personal and nearly morbid) we hit Mell-O Creme donuts and I headed back east towards the University of Illinois and met up with Jared
at the house here shares just off campus with 5 other guys.
Jered's room, with its well-organized shelves of books and CDs, is not like the rest of the house. Stairways and floors, scuffed. Boxes piled up, dishes tossed about the sink, the dust-bunnied carpet, '70s wall paneling. A renegade bottle of mustard perched on a dresser. Rooms newspaper strewn, glasses and bottles on coffee tables. A fully-stocked fridge in the hallway, adjacent to the walk-through pantry leading to the impossible checkered linoleum kitchen. In the basement, just outside the video game bar room, near the laundry room featuring the only shower in the house I am short enough to fit into, I spied a small chess set waiting on a ledge.
I've plunged into the college atmosphere once again. Quite estute, the campus, with its giant quad and classic brick buildings. Warm enough for frisbee. Last night at a bar called The Office, I joked around with Jared and friends at a table, within the sea of sipping college students. Jukebox and billiards. But I kept glancing over at the bar, where a 55 year old man with a short gray ponytail sat motionless in the young crowd, holding his empty beer glass. +
I shot like a rusty hunting rifle across the PA turnpike, through the tunnels of the Appalachians, and across all but the last few miles of Ohio. I love wheeling, West Virginia - a tiny town piled into the mountains along the highway like Swiss homes sprinkled through the Alps. Mountain hamlet after hamlet. For the traveler, Ohio exists primarily as a capitalist experiement, a statewide competition for airspace, roadside adspace. The main participants of this experiment are Cracker Barrel, Pilot Gas, and The Red Roof Inn. Who can build the tallest billboard.
In Airport, Ohio, I stopped for gas at an Exxon Station. I hate Exxon. The convenience store was also a Subway was also a deli was also a drive-thru liquor store. And you don't just drive up to the window, like you would a McDonalds; you drive THROUGH the building, along aisles of beer fridges. Too much of a thing. Also, with all due respect to the BBoys, I'll take Dunkin' Donuts over Krispy Kreme any day. Ditto for White Castle.
Beautiful, Oxford. I'm visiting Jim Klosterman, a friend of my father from the Navy days, as well as my godfather. The world here is much more casually paced and wholesome than Back East. I much prefer it, actually. "Wait 'till you get to L.A.," Jim says. Uh oh. +
The drive from Washington to Harrisburg is quite nice. It's incredible what nice land you could purchase in the 1680s for a sack of shiny shells and a dozen pox-ridden blankets. People forget that, early on, the land now known as the Keystone State was actually two separate colonies, one known as Pennsylvania and the other as Tellerglade. Eventually, William Penn assimilated Tellerglade into his own colony without much of a fight, because the funder of the other just refused to speak up.
It's been nice, visiting Dickinson College for a couple of hours. I lived here with Jonas for two months of his senior year, and we really packed the days in with beautiful autumn memories. I still miss those days. Thanks to Allie for giving me a taste of the old life with a big cafeteria lunch here in the student union. And bye now, for route 70 calls me westward. We aint east-coast no mo'.
When you send a message directly to my cell phone, (and you will), keep it under 150 characters. If I reply from my phone, (and I wont), so will I. +
sunday march three
by ryan d. pants
capitol hill: so fresh and so clean. overcast spring, today. multi-colored houses, packed side-to-side. brick fronts painted apple-red. canary-yellow. cool, spring-wedding sage. victorian chic. gardens in front of each three-story building. people walkign dogs, chatting. post-revolution, the american cradle of representation--organic evolution of the geometric (from the air, a plane bearing down on the country, dc is 10 miles square cut up into scalenes and trapezoids, perfect circles and quadrilaterals by streets a to z, avenues 1 to 50, pennsylvania ave and massachusetts ave and other diagonals fromt he young union.
After brunch this afternoon, Bonnie and Jarrod and I went to market. I rediscovered that it's much more satisfying to buy dinner ingredients in a high-ceilinged open foodforum. Fresh-baked breads, cut meats, produce purchased one vendor at a time. "Shallots?" the man said, "We have shallots, yes! How many would you like?" He threw in a banana at no charge and gave us two inches of ginger root for 20 cents.
Love is chemical, they say. A stupid girl still stuck in your seratonin. DC will do that to you. And Afterwords Cafe, in Dupont Circle's Kramerbooks, still has the world's best key lime pie. +
March 3rd 2K2
by bonnie bacon
Rye Gye blew into Washington, DC with our first rainstorm in weeks Saturday night.
He found our funny little basement apartment, met our funny little dog, Muggins, and peed in his funny little way. Then we began to eat.
First we went to our neighborhood pub, Capitol Lounge, for gigantic hot sandwiches, fries and salad liberally coated with gin'n tonics and beer. Then we went home for vodka tonics, Girl Scout cookies and Trivial Pursuit (Genus 5, Jarrod won) and a surprisingly funny episode of SNL with 4th place Olympian Johnny Mosley and Outkast. Sunday morning we got up and had coffee and discussed going to see a Carr/Kahlo/O'Keefe exhibit at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. We did not see this exhibit because we were eating. We went over to Eastern Market which is an indoor/outdoor farmers market that pleased Ryan immensely. (Mostly because the produce guy gave him a free banana.) But before we did that we ate brunch at Tunicliff Tavern - fruit plate, home fries, bacon, Medditerranian omelett, and pancakes. And more coffee. Then we went and bought fixins at the market to make dinner in the evening. We went back home where we decided to go to Dupont Circle so we could go to Afterwords bookstore and cafe for intellectual stimulation and pie. Jarrod bought a Tom Waits book which was discussed over two key lime pies and a carrot cake. And more coffee. The highlight was learning that the Muppets character Rolph was based on Tom Waits. We headed back home to watch Ghost World and did not eat for at least an hour and a half. We stopped the movie in order to go to Xando to try to meet Jamie, where we had more coffee. Then we went home and started making what turned out to be a highly-satisfying dinner - pork tenderloin stuffed with almonds and shallots and topped with peaches and ginger, snowpeas, and roasted white potatoes. And wine. Then there was apple pie a la mode. Then we watched The Anniversary Party.
Monday morning we all woke up in Hell because some asshole had turned us in as gluttons, but it sure was good to see Ryan. +
The NJ Turnpike to 95 to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to New York Ave to downtown DC, rain picking up as the night grew darker. It's hard enough to drive the Land Shark without these extra variables. The wind blows and the boat decides it wants to change lanes. I'm gonna crash this thing.
About two-thirds of the way down the Jersey Turnpike, I actually passed a rest stop/gas station called THE WALT WHITMAN SERVICE AREA. Truly sad and disturbing. Was Whitman eve from Jersey? I should probably know that. But the sign did spark several amusing thoughts: imgaine Whitman looking fondly down upon the rest stop bearing his name... gasoline and Denny's - our modern car-cultured Leaves of Grass. I pictured myself driving into the service area, beckoned towards the Sunoco station by a giant animatronic version of the bearded, crazy-toothed madman, waving at me with one hand while the other rubs the head of a small animatronic boy.
And who can forget this classic American quotable? "Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.... of fuel, snacks, burgers and clean urinals. " +
Driving since Feb 24th
Read all about it.
Copyright 2002 by Ryan D. Pants and friends.