Konichiwa. I would like to start this rant by giving a shout out to my kiwi and dairy intolerant pal who requested that I write another post for her personal entertainment. I am not able to bring my usual cheeriness to this entry and you will just have to deal with it. The reason for my present discomfort is that I have just returned after a road trip to Northern Maine. Maine’s claim to fame is that it has been deemed ‘Vacationland’ and all of the Maine license plates wear this title with pride. The person who gave Maine such a title was either a) confused, b) a tourist scammer, or c) delirious because, unless you have a particularly intense affinity for trees, Maine does not strike me as the ‘Vacationland’ of the U.S. For the record, 90% of Maine is forest. (Do not get me wrong, Maine is a gorgeous state with tons of wildlife and lobster and fried clams, or as my mom refers to them: tempura style clams, or as I refer to them: clamos fritos. I am merely not in the mood for positivity.) After eight hours of my grandmother’s driving and one nasty tuna sandwich that put the fear of God in me as well as a solid liter of Pepto-Bismol, I have finally arrived home in more or less one piece. (Side note: My grandmother is a very competent driver. I just added that for dramatic effect) Do you know when you get out of a cramped car and you have to re-teach yourself how to move? Anyway, after this trip I vow never to travel ever again. My dear mother had the brilliant idea to bring a cooler full of brie and havarti cheese to munch on during our travels. This was a highly illogical plan because a) who wants to eat cheese in a car during a road trip? and b) because cheese is not the most immortal food in the gastronomic family. The cooler made its home of the in the middle seat in the back of the car, conveniently positioned between me and my sister. After arriving in Maine, the car spent the better part of the trip parked in direct sunlight. Before I continue with this melancholy tale, let me inform you that those stupid blue ice pack thingy’s last approximately -4 seconds before they start to emit blue, melted, chemical-ridden residue into the cooler. Suffice it to say, the cheese was fine and dandy on the car ride up to Maine, but two days later the cheese had aged significantly and was growing a thin mossy film. If this was not appetizing enough, the cheese filled cooler now emitted a rancid odor into the backseats of the car that could only be compared to the smell of a gas station bathroom filled with canned peas. The loaf of banana bread that had been added to the cooler only contributed to the smell. Imagine banana cheese. Let’s just say that I spent the better part of the car ride with my head out the window, hoping that some kind family would pick me up at the next rest stop, adopt me, and take me out of this land of vacation. Let me tell you, vacation is highly overrated, especially if it involves driving long distances with people you are related to and with a cooler full of rotting queso. I don’t know about y’all but, when I’m traveling in a car with my family, iI begin to turn a little bit batty. For one thing, you are trapped behind metal doors and a seatbelt forced to argue over the air conditioning and to talk about things that are completely out of your control. We talked about gun-control, uniforms in school, the not-so-good ‘good old days,’ the price of lobster, evolution, and pretty much all thee above. In my mother’s words: “Evolution does not care if you don’t believe in him/her.” Take that Michele Bachmann. Of course my iphone was on the verge of extinction with 10% battery life, all of which a squandered to call the ‘511’ interstate information line. The pre-recorded fuzzy voice on the line muttered again and again: Expect. Delays. Heading. To. New. Hampshire. Traffic. Congestion. Call. Again. For. More. Information. And, so, That was my trip to Vacationland. Have a festive Sunday evening. A word of caution: never spend your road trip reading the ingredients of cereal fruit bars because a) it never ends, b) none of the ingredients can be found in nature, and d) the ingredients sound eerily similar to the toxic chemicals that you used in your high school chemistry lab. Another word of caution: pudding cups taste odd at car-temperature. A third word of caution: There is nothing friendly about a Friendly’s tuna melt. Peace. Love. Comfort of your own turf.
Happy August. (Sans exclamation points.) Let’s face it: August sucks. It is like the Sunday of the year. You know how on Sunday you just fritter your time away in fearful anticipation of the coming week? Well, that is kind of like the entire month of August. You sit. You mope. You eat some overly ripe watermelon. And you begin anticipating the new school year. What will your classes be like? Will you like your teachers? Who will you friends be? Who will you be? Here is the harsh reality of the situation: You are the same person with the same life. I hope you like yourself. SO really all you are anticipating is NOTHING. Anyway, on a brighter note: STAY OFF THE ROAD. Why? BECAUSE I’M ON IT. That’s right! Hark! I am here, permit in hand ready to take on the gremlins that inhabit the road. Do you know how else I spent my summer? I studied for my SAT’s. I also spent 5 weeks in Spain. During my little visit I ate excessive amounts of ham and pined for my homeland. For all of you travelers out there: the greek yogurt is Spain is a gimmick. As an avid fan of Greek yogurt, I was traumatized to discover that there was nothing Greek about the yogurt that I had bought at the local supermercado. My mom’s friends are coming to town and they have a son that is my age who they are forcing to look at colleges. This is what I hate about being my age: people start caring about you making something of your life. People throw words and terms around like: “potential,” “determination,” “college,” “Ivy,” “League,” “future.” It is like all of sudden everyone and their mother goes nuts about proving that they have something to show for their lives up to this point. People have started asking me, “What do you want to be when you grow up? Who do you want to be when you grow up? What colleges are you going to look at?” I know who I want to be. I want to be friendly. That’s more than your mother can say. So there. Eat that for breakfast. Anyway, I acquired a new outlook on life this afternoon at the post office. The woman who works at the post office has worked there since the beginning of time as far as I’m concerned and is older than my mother and has this electric purple hair that I believe to be radioactive. I was trying to send one of my pals a picture that I had taken in some lame photo camp to prove that I had discovered my artistic voice in an ironically ironic manner. I got one of those large envelopes that costs more than the average heart transplant to send and I stuck the photo in and wrote down the address. When I handed it to the lady she asked me, “Do you want to have this insured?” I said no. A) Because God knows how much that would have cost. B) Because who cares? It’s a lame photo. C) Because my friend is an avid suporter of Ron Paul. There was no way that I was insuring that package. The lady grabbed the package and said to me while kind of scoffing, “That’s right. They are lucky to be getting anything anyway.” I sort of smiled and left. I mulled it over for a few seconds and then realized how right that lady is. That’s right. They are lucky to be getting anything from me anyway. That moment was when I acquired my new outlook on life. The next time some crazed, frazzled, and overly competitive person inquires about my plans for the future I’m going to candidly, but politely, stick it to them and say, “The future will be lucky to get anything from me ANYWAY.”