Drunk Riding

July 31, 2006

The care and concern for others’ safety that I just exhibited while riding two wheels leads me to believe that all driving should be done under the influence. People are so scared of hitting someone and getting in trouble that they become much better bikers. Also, I miss Jennifer.

It was all about my new computer, which is really a sexually confused mac mini that lives on my bed and makes it a real pain for me to sleep. Sometimes we cuddle becomes I’m too tired to take it off and move it from its spot for fear that the internet will be lost forever. The reason it’s so confused is that it’s hooked up to an old dell monitor, and microsoft keyboard and mouse. There isn’t an apple button on the keyboard, so for shortcuts I have to hit start. I’m also planning on buying it a little 4 inch LCD screen so I can take it with me to the library and knitting shops (it’s so small it really needs a sweater to keep warm).

Back with more of those odd capitalizing beats. Fresh from Beantown with a hot new apartment in Davis Square, and now with a new computer (and an old one I’m desperately trying to keep alive), yesterday’s salad is back to blogging. Full update on the trials and alliterations of the great Dash Hammerskjold to come.

Trip of Errors

July 18, 2006

Chicago and the rest of America are in the midst of a terrible heatwave, but you would never be able to tell from the frozen confines of my bedroom in my parents’ basement. I’m even considering turning on the space heater. I’m about to go to Boston with my dad tomorrow. This trip has been utterly jinxed for the last week or so. We waited until the absolute last minute to book tickets because my parents couldn’t finalize vacation plans (as of this moment they still don’t know what they’re doing. My guess is speaking to each other in annoyed tones, place TBD) and by the time we did, we were priced out of all reasonable flights. We debated flights for a few hours (there was a great deal on flying to Islip!), eventually settling on a flight directly to boston…only for me to realize we booked a flight for the wrong date. Thankfully American cancelled the reservation. It is yet to be seen if they’ve charged us. Then we decided not to fly, that the only option, a 6:00am flight from Milwaukee to Detroit to Boston made no sense. Lo and behold, my dad can’t sleep that night, and we book the flight.

Cut to tonight. I may have made my second major internet gaffe and booked us a smoking room at the hotel. My dad will be pissed if they dont change us. He’s not one to say fuck, grab a pack, and make the best the shitty situation. The problem was the internet listing on AAA.com looked like this “2 DBL Beds Continental Breakfast Smoking Free Wireless Internet Spaghetti” (ok, there was no promise of spaghetti.) It was impossible to tell if the room was Smoking Free or if there was Free Wireless Internet. Probably it should say Non-Smoking, but this is the first time I’ve ever booked a room, so what do I know? I’m so ashamed right now…

That and my parents’ anxiety seems to have rubbed off on me right about now. I’m totally on edged and convinced I won’t be able to find an apartment. I probably wont, knowing my luck this trip, or else I’ll take a shitty studio for way too much money. It’s like I never left New York.

So I need to do something to take the edge off my mind. I decided to come up with theme mix tapes.

Theme 1: Songs about Writing

1. Paperback Writer, the Beatles. The first Beatles’ single not to be a love song, PW was the number one song in America for 2 weeks, before Frank Sinatra bumped them out of the number one spot. What would be the equivalent of this today? Coldplay knocking Gwen Stefani out of the top position? I can’t wait until the rock and roll hall of fame has to vote on these people. Please tell me that ‘NSync reforms and makes the hall.

2. Everyday I write the book, Elvis Costello. I actually used to think this song was “everyday I rock the boat.” In which case, this would be on my sailing mix. Also on my sailing mix: Blue Monday, New Order (“I see a ship in the harbor”); Ship the Majestic Suffix, Danielson; and Rule Britannia, Her Majesty’s Navy (“Britons never never shall be slaves!”)

3. Open Book, Cake. Easily the 5th best song on Fashion Nugget, which was easily the best cake album, and Cake was easily the best alt-country band not featuring Scott McCaughy.

4. This Song is Just Six Words Long, Weird Al Yankovitz. Ok, it’s about writing a song, but meta song lyrics are still about authorial tendencies. And besides, how do you fill three minutes worth of time in a pop-song?

5. My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors, Moxy Fruvous. Benj Kamm’s best contribution to my record collection. Besides, how do you not love a song whose wikipedia description is, “The song tells the story of a man whose girlfriend seems to be more interested in books than in him”?

Theme 2: Down with America

1. America is Not the World, Morrissey. Take that America and your stupid quarry being ass!

2. When the President Talks to God, Bright Eyes. So maybe it’s about criticizing this president and not America. To challenge el presidente and to speak your mind is just plain wrong and un patriotic. For that matter, so is voting democratic, riding a bicycle to save on gas mileage, keeping your home at a reasonable temperature, and employing American citizens. All things you can’t do if you want to be a good citizen.

3. Born in the USA, Bruce Springstein. Do you think if Kerry had used it instead of Reagan, Americans left and right would know it was a protest song? I think not. John Kerry equals obfuscation.

4. I’m Afraid of Americans, David Bowie. When will Bowie bring back his techno phase? I’m just saying, he’s revived everything else.

5. The Theme Song to America’s Funniest Home Videos. For shame America. How could you let that be you?

America

July 11, 2006

Almost a week since my last update. I’m sure my readership has dwindled. I’ll try and get back into a regular groove.  I also finally have something to write about. Last night took me and my friend Alec on an epic trip to find America. The goal: to drive to Iowa, find the great American Diner, and have some real American Apple Pie. It was a moderate success, although there were a few moments that made the night completely worth it.

1) On the way to Iowa it started to rain really badly, and we had to pull over. We went to a gas station roughly 12 miles outside of Dixon, IL, the birthplace of Ronald Regan to wait out the store, and struck up a conversation with the owner of the station, a man named BJ who is the American dream. BJ came here from India 10 years ago, worked hard, and now owns a series of gas stations around Illinois. He hates White Hen Pantry, and sells alot of bait at weird hours of the night. BJ is also very good friends with the owner of the Amsterdam Gentlemen’s Club in Davenport Iowa, a Pakistani (see, America is great; we bring people together). BJ told us to tell Jay, the owner, that he sent us, and that all would be taken care of–unfortunately Alec and I wanted apple pie, not cherry, and continued on our quest without stopping at the Amsterdam gentlemen’s club. He also told us a good story about taking a friend there, only for the friend to find out that one of his ex girlfriends was now a stripper. HAHA.

Speaking of smut, at one point we passed an “Adult Entertainment Spa” that promised “Adult Massages”. The place was basically a trailer with neon lights off the side of the road. That’s not a spa, that’s a whore house.

2) Eventually we got to Walcott, Iowa, the terminus of our trip and the home of the World’s Largest Truck Stop. While the pie was only so-so, the place was real Americana. It’s basically a trucker fashion/supply shopping mall, with anti-Jane Fonda bumper stickers, a movie theater, a TV den, a Barber shop, and a DENTIST’s office. We also met a great trucker whose ex-wife shot him twice—because driving her crazy was the cheapest way to get a divorce. We also encountered a lot of casual racism and fear of black people.

Iowa looked like it would be really pretty. The Mississippi was something to see, even pitch black. There’s also a “Silo and Smoke Stack” historical area, and you can just tell it’s beautiful and flat. I’m probably gonna go back in a few weeks to try and see more of America. Or, at least the hobo museum.