Contrary to public opinion, I am very much alive. I had some…Business to attend to in Kosovo, but now that that’s all said and done, I’m here and willing to share that which isn’t classified government information. Ok, so I’m really really bad at keeping up with this thing. I’ve got so much to share, but limited time. But enquiring minds want to know…So sorry I’ve been lax and let me start to make it up to you by starting from the beginning like I promised…Last month. Tomorrow I’ll do day two and maybe three of..The Trip and we’ll go from there into what I’ve been doing in Austin as I’ve got quite a few pictures to share I’ve been meaning to get on here but I keep procrastinating on.
EDIT: I’ll also see about bigger pictures too.
Ok, so the trip down…Well the first day I drove out of Buffalo…A bit of nostalgia hit me, but not as much as I had expected. I hit Pennsylvania quickly enough. Not much to see there since I was only hitting that Western nub that stood between me and Ohio. On the same route I took when I drove to Rag the last few years, so nothing really to see, but I took a picture at the rest stop anyways, just because.
Once I drove through a little of PA, I hit Ohio, second major stretch of driving I had to do after New York. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really bad with long road trips. I get bored out of my mind, and I get sleepy within 2-3 hours. I had 23 1/2 to make. So I decided to grab one of those little “Energy Booster” drinks that come in the little bottles for like $2. Here’s a bit of advice you can hold onto: never, under any circumstances, drink one of those with a soft drink. I drunk HALF of one because I was concerned about how well they work and had a Sprite from a drive-thru. I had to stop every 20-30 minutes to pee, no joke. Puts your metabolism into over-drive. I hit Cleveland first, then as I drove out I finished the second half two hours later as some light snow started to fall. Halfway to Columbus snow started to fall…It was around 8:30 or so, so I thought I might as well turn in for the night…I’m not quite as close as I wanted to be to Columbus but I can make it up in the morning. So I pulled into a rest stop, grabbed a blanket and pillow and tried to sleep…So I slept…And I woke up and thought “huh, I feel so refreshed, what is it, 11, 12?” Clock says 8:52. Aw fuck. Back to sleep. Wake up. 9:15. Back to sleep. Wake up. 9:45. This went on till about 10:30 or so, then I finally decided “y’know, I might as well use this wakefullness to drive more. SO back on the road, and I drove on, to Columbus, through Columbus, and at around 1 a.m. I felt the very tips of sleep’s gentle fingers caressing my brain , so I decided to find a hotel and crash for the night in comfort. What a mistake that turned out to be.
So I pull off the road, and sleep’s finally starting to kick in. Through the murk of dark and light snow I find three motels near the highway, the cheapest a budget hole in the wall. Well I only need a bed, not room service and an oil bath, so I decide to check it out. As I pull up the curving slope of a driveway, I hear a crunching sound under my tires. My brain registers “oh, gravel,” and I push onwards towards the motel. Turns out that crunch was frozen grass. And at the end of that frozen grass? A curb that I didn’t register until after I went over it in my low to the ground car.
MmmmrrrOOOOOOAAARRRRR…..Says Betsy. And she doesn’t stop.
Well, I’m in the parking lot. GUESS I’M SLEEPING HERE TONIGHT. I toy with the car for about 10 minutes, decide I don’t know what’s going on, I’m cold and I’ll figure it out in the morning, check in, and get one room out of maybe 10 in the entire motel. Interestingly, the room I got was the one I parked in front of. I swear that curb was there on purpose. I considered complaining, but when I saw I cracked the pavement I decided not to say anything lest he decides to charge me for damaging his property and I think I know who would probably win that one in court…
So I’m in bed trying not to think about how my move might have come to a very, very premature end when Mr. Energy Booster comes back for an encore performance. So now I have no choice but to sit there, awake, feeling my heart pulsing with unneccessary vigor and think about how my car might be permanently dead and there might not be a mechanic in this podunk town and even if there is he might be booked for days and how this is so 100% fail and if there was a god he’d grant me the bliss of sleep. So I could wake up tomorrow all rested with that 10 seconds of “Oh, where am I? What’s going on? Oh yeeaaa….Damnit.” There is no god.
Basically that night was a repeat of me trying to sleep at the truck stop. Every 15 minutes to half an hour I was up again for 5-10 minute stretches thinking about my car. Worst. Night. Ever. At 6:15 I decided sleep just wasn’t meant to be and if I get started early I might not have to make any appointments so I might as well bite the bullet and warm up the car. So I get outside, walk over to the truck stop nearby and found out about a mechanic in the area who was quite nearby. So I got the number from some friendly Ohioans, made a phonecall and he said bring it on over and told me how to get there. So I walk back to the motel, fiddled with the battery cuz of the cold, but got her started. Just as noisy as before. Decided now was a good time to make a break for it before the proprietor came outside and saw the skid mark in his grass and cracked curb so I checked out and drove to the mechanic’s. Now he was only 2-3 miles away. That’s a LONG 2-3 miles when you’re worried your car might explode at a moment’s notice. I took it slow.
So I get there and note that 1.) his garage looks like a log cabin, 2.) there’s various animal craniums pasted on his walls and 3.) there’s Jesus slogans on his tow truck. I’m so not in New York anymore. So I get directed by a friendly looking elderly fellow wearing blue overalls to the back area and he takes a look underneath and fiddles with the car. His diagnosis: busted flex pipe, which runs exhaust from the engine to the muffler. Damaged, but hardly fatal, just noisy. He unfortunately doesn’t have the parts for it, but says it’s safe to drive to Cincinnati and I could easily get it fixed there. Well that’s just snappy! Best part is, he didn’t even charge me to look at it since he didn’t have to do much. I’m DEFINITELY not in New York anymore…
And this is the morning of Day 2. So hi, how are you?