Sunday, September 23, 2007

Update 6: Hey There Delilah

I'm home, finally. I got my truck back yesterday and drove sixteen straight hours to karaoke, where they made me sing. Ugh. As much as I like karaoke, and as much as I really respect these two guys' ability to sing Linkin Park (they're almost as good as the Stevie Nicks guy, but in a totally different way), but a man can't drive a thousand miles and be expected to sing as Eric Cartman at the drop of a hat. ... Okay, I can do it, but I don't necessarily like it. It's like work.

Speaking of which, I have to be at work in seven hours, after two weeks of being away. They only broke one piece of my machine so far, at least as far as I can surmise. Actually better than what I was expecting, and my new boss appears to be doing her job, which makes it so that I don't have to do it anymore, which frees up a bit of time during my week for me to not stress out over things I don't get paid to stress out over.

Yes, I just ended that sentence with a preposition; kiss my ass, Freshman English. One thing they never taught you in proper English classes is that style trumps substance any day of the week that doesn't involve being graded on grammatical propriety.

I saw God again this morning. No, seriously, that's twice in a week. Okay, the first time was with the risotto, and that was touching the face of God (see one of the prior posts), but I actually saw God today. And not in some bearded "Jesus, but like seventy years older and extremely fit" sort of Star Trek VI kind of God. No, I saw God. Not like it'd get me to subscribe to some sort of organized religion or anything like that, and I spent a goodly amount of my time rationalizing what I saw, but if you ever get the chance to take I-470 about two or three miles north of the airport exit outside of Denver at about seven in the morning (yes, this is asking a great deal of most of you), you, too, will see proof of The Almighty.

Take this with a grain of salt, of course, as I initially managed to equate connecting with God to a rice dish.

I'd have taken a picture, but 1) it wouldn't have done it justice through my already dead-moth-soiled windshield; 2) cameras just aren't that good; and 3) it's one of those "Now I Can Die" moments that you get precious few times in your life, which generally happen after really good sex or after you see something you think you might never see again. This was, unfortunately, the latter.

Yeah, so that post about the High Renaissance and the length of a mile, I'm not sure what crack I was smoking that day, but it was probably really good, and I've every intention of finding some way to get employed by the National Lampoon of tour guides. I'd even settle for doing the almanac (or "almanack," as they were in the years before the Great Letter Economization Act, which coincidentally dropped the letter U from words like "color" and "flavor;" this is clearly an American act, as the Canadians have not yet adopted such legislation for themselves).

But, anyway, I think I'd really like to take road trips, get paid for it (this part is very important), and write blatant falsehoods about the things I pass and the places I go through. I think it would be a great deal of fun. ... This is the part where the literary companies are supposed to cough up the dough to get me out of working another season in retail.

See, what set me on this notion is the fact that Route 34 (Interstate 34, Ogden Avenue, whatever the hell you want to call it) ends in Greeley, Colorado. First, I had no idea that it ended so close to Denver, and I probably would have gone to see it and taken pictures, if not for the fact that some broad decided to run into me and Triple-A decided to recommend having my car brought to an auto shop that was run by the mechanic version of Sling Blade. "I reckon we're gonna have to do yer alignment for three days, mm-hm..."

But I digress. I want to see America. You can't see America from I-80. Interstate 34, Interstate 30, Interstate 6, even... Those are America. For the illiterate in the audience who have gotten this far, I assure you that there will be no pictures of Alicia Silverstone naked in her ad for being a vegetarian (read: Google bait), so just move on now. Anyway, there are places in America that you can't see from the main roads. Sometimes you can, and I regret not getting to stop in at the zoo in Omaha, or the geographic center of the United States outside of Lebanon, Kansas, but the best you get while doing eighty miles per hour on Interstate 80 is driving underneath some arch in Kearney, Nebraska, which apparently went over with tourists about as well as the aforementioned geographic center of the United States.

So, yes. If anyone reading this would like to front me the several thousand dollars (make the check payable to "Cash," please) to take a nice road trip and write all manner of slanderous falsehoods about the places I pass through, feel free to leave a comment. I also take money from special-interest groups, such as state boards of tourism, that might like for me to mock other states, so as to prop up interest in whichever state pays me to remain silent. Note to the State of Illinois: There is no amount of money that will prevent me from pointing out the fact that Gibson City constantly reeks of twice-baked soy.

Regardless, I had a very good time in Denver, despite the absurd amount of time I spent there, and I think everyone should go sometime, if at least to personally count the number of obvious prostitutes on the streets of Federal and Colfax (the correct answer is thirty-one, but feel free to audit this fact yourself). I'd tell you all about it, but –again– I have to work in the morning. As such, given the day I've had, I may very well go to sleep after work and consequently miss the weekly Trivial Pursuit game that I do look forward to on a weekly basis (though if I do miss this week's game, the correct answer you are looking for is either 'Saskatchewan' or 'Cal Ripken, Jr.'), and for that I apologize, but I need rest.

Word of the Day: Vegabond. n., A vagrant, often confused at first glance with the run-of-the-mill hobo, who rides the rails from town to town, only leaving the trains to partake of shrubs and/or berries. The vegabond can be discriminated from the run-of-the-mill hobo by his disdain for clothing not made entirely from hemp and his general resistance to that great scourge of nomads and wanderers, which most of us better know as scurvy.

AIM: therbmcc71

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Update 5: Hold Me Now

So while I've been stranded at the house here in Denver, I've been watching a great deal of Top Chef and have been considering making risotto for days. It's a side dish, which we had with these really good steaks in a teriyaki marinade and baked potatoes. I wasn't quite sure how the risotto was going to come out, though, since the guys on Top Chef are always bitching about how the risotto came out. But I made it anyway.

I'm pretty sure I touched the face of God. It was that good.

AIM: therbmcc71

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Update 4: Edge of Seventeen

Okay, so you should have seen this guy at karaoke several nights ago. The guy looked like he should have been the front man for a heavy metal band, and he goes up to the stage, and I hear this guitar riff with a delay on it, so I'm like, "Okay, so is this Floyd?" because "Run Like Hell" and "Another Brick in the Wall" both have this delay effect, and then he starts singing the words, "Just like the white-winged dove..."

Dude sounds just like Stevie Nicks. Best karaoke I've ever seen. Ever. Ever, ever, ever. The guy was even doing those Stevie Nicks dance moves and stuff, which would have been funny if everyone in the audience wasn't totally shocked by his singing.

Anyway, Fiddy Cent says he won't ever record again if Kanye West's new album outsells Fiddy's in their first week of sales. At the moment, it's looking like Kanye west is winning. And there was much rejoicing.

So I'm stuck in Denver for about another week, because that's how long it's going to take to get my new fender, wheel, and bumper, apparently. It's sort of like being on the dark side of the moon (as I think this sort of things would take about three days in Illinois), so I'm going to have to take to doing yard work tomorrow. A man can only watch so many episodes of Top Chef before he goes completely insane.

Denver's a cute little town, though. It's got this miniature skyline that makes me consider Chicago for a moment and go, "Wook at the wittle skywine... it's so pwecious!" Half of the people out here apparently have never seen a real city (as Las Vegas doesn't count). They seem to have most of the standard amenities (McDonalds, Taco Bell, et cetera), a few things that I haven't seen since forever (Winchell's Donuts, Sinclair gas stations), but no fucking Sizzler Steakhouse! I have to go to Utah for that, I guess.

Tonight's plan is apparently to go out to a movie and then hit someplace for food and drinks afterwards. God, I just hope the food doesn't come from Del Taco again.

AIM: therbmcc71

Monday, September 10, 2007

Update 3: Come Pick Me Up

So, about two hours after my last post, I got into a fender-bender in the parking lot of the Denver International Airport, so I haven't been able to get to the local Pantera Bread to keep everyone updated on my vacation. At the moment, I'm quite stuck here, as some broad blew through a stop sign and ran into my front-left quarter-panel and knocked the wheel about ten degrees off of vertical. Thanks, lady. At least I'm having a good time here in town.

Elitch Gardens, the local amusement park, used to be owned by Six Flags; used to because it's like the redheaded stepchild of any of the other amusement parks I've ever been to. For the sake of comparison, Elitch Gardens sits on 28 acres with six roller coasters, by comparison to Six Flags Great America (in scenic Gurnee, Illinois), which occupies 300 acres and has twelve roller coasters. Cedar Point (just off of beautiful Lake Erie, which I'm still waiting to catch on fire again) occupies 364 acres, with 17 roller coasters.

It should also be stated that the rides at Elitch Gardens generally suck. Of course, I only went on one roller coaster, because one of the girls in the group I was with wanted to ride nothing more complex than the tilt-a-whirl, and then would begin moping every time someone mentioned going on, I don't know, an actual roller coaster. When four of us finally actually got on a roller coaster, the thing seemed like it was going to fly apart at any moment, or maybe it was the fact that there was absolutely no padding on the shoulder-harnesses, which would be really good if the park was trying to channel a sort of old-school carny-vibe, which no one ever should, even if they are actual carnies.

I found out, shortly after my last post, that my blog cannot be accessed from Pantera Bread's free wi-fi connection, as they deem my site to feature 'Objectionable content' or some such thing, which is actually the same excuse they give for hardcore pornography. Thankfully, I got the internet up and running at my friend's house, which I was supposed to do several days ago, but didn't have the chance to get around to for several reasons, not the least of which was that awesome Broncos game yesterday, which preceded the giant clusterfuck that was the Bears' season opener.

Now to fix the DVD player's display, which has apparently been quite messed up for a while. I'll leave another message, at the latest, from one of Iowa's fine wi-fi enabled rest stops, which oddly puts Iowa leaps and bounds ahead of other seemingly more technologically savvy states, such as Illinois. I think there's one right before I turn south to go hit the Whitey's Ice Cream in Davenport, which has two notable things to it: 1) It's a place in the twenty-first century that's called Whitey's, and 2) They've apparently got very good ice cream. Pity it's probably not carrot cake ice cream season yet.

AIM: therbmcc71

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Update 2: Nebraska

Nebraska smells. No, seriously, it does. In fact, lengthy sections of my trip reeked of cow, pig, and I think I may have passed a lemming farm along the way, which you'd really have been amused by the sign for. Sadly, I brought no digital camera, which I may very well have to rectify sometime while I'm here in Denver, as we do have Tarzhay stores here. Sure, they're all inconveniently located, not unlike their placing of super-size bottles of laundry detergent on the top shelf.

Anyway, Nebraska stinks. It's a lot easier to tolerate driving through in the dark, as the sheer boredom generated by the scenery isn't quite enough to make one want to drive into the Platte River, which is apparently pronounced "plat" as opposed to the pronunciation rules given me during my days of working at Starbucks, which explains why they were looking at me so funny when I was buying a bottle of Mountain Dew in North Platte.

I'm currently only a short drive from the west end of Route 34, which is, oddly enough, not marked with annoying signs denoting that it is indeed Ogden Avenue. Perhaps the local children are stealing the signs and putting them in their basements next to their black-lit Grateful Dead posters.

I'm typing this across the street from a Renaissance Hotel that looks nothing like something one would expect out of the architecture of the renaissance. I say this because it looks like the Contemporary Resort of Walt Disney World fame. Of course, it's entirely possible that it may be a relic of the renaissance, as I only ever studied the High Renaissance, which was Shakespeare's creative low-period, when he supposedly wrote several now-lost comedies to star Cheech and Chong.

Coincidentally, Denver is known as "the mile-high city." As a point of fact, all of the official information about the city does indeed say that its elevation is 5,280 feet, but it is my firm belief that the mile was originally to be set at precisely 5,000 feet until Denver's powerful and well-funded altitude lobby got to the first continental congress, who wrote that "the length of a mile shall be 5,280 feet on the back of the Declaration of Independence." Watch the movie National Treasure, it's right there. No, go watch it; I'll still be here when you get back.

By contrast, the capital of Nebraska is Lincoln, as we all learned from the "Big Jim Slade scene" in Kentucky Fried Movie, and it is otherwise a completely unnotable city, with neither a clever nickname nor any crime, the latter of which is likely due to the fact that the city recently abolished all of its laws in favor of total anarchy (which is actually preferable to partial anarchy). Something that you won't find on your AAA map: The next city west of Lincoln is indeed Tire Town.

The Denver Airport has a roof that's built to look like the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, or that's what they say. In reality, the roof is actually a casting of the last settlement of an American Indian tribe made up completely of giants, wiped out in the 1930's by rogues from the backwoods of Wyoming. Eventually, the settlement was discovered and moved to Denver after spending a short time as a covering for the world's largest flea market. It was cast out of steel and then painted white to evoke the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, which will be quite the joke in a decade or two.

AIM: therbmcc71

Update 1

Have been in Denver for about two hours now. Am currently at the Apple Store, where I've been for about two hours now. New iPods announced, probably not arriving today. Must leave computer before I am discovered.

AIM: therbmcc71

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

River Road

Well, I'm just about to leave on the Great American Road Trip. No, I'm not going to be seeing all of America, but I'm going to be seeing the most important part of it; the part that isn't made up of tourist destinations and travel resorts. No national parks, no Disneyplaces, just America. Yes, I'm going alone, now stop looking at me like that. I've got 23 hours of music on the iPod, more on my laptop, and so I'll be going out Elizabethtown-style to put together a truly American soundtrack.

Of course, I'll be hitting the Apple Store sometime while I'm in America. I can't be expected to leave civilization entirely behind, now, can I? Anyway, with any luck, I'll let you all know how things are going from out on the road, just as soon as I can find free internet access.

AIM: therbmcc71