August 13th, 2003


I am a tard

So after my last post, from the flying J in Bumfuck PA, we got back on the freeway, Sean put in the Bob Dylan Live CD, and we had a fine time listening to that and discussing the relative merits of various Bob Dylan records, driving through the night on I80 in PA... since I80 through PA is in the middle of nowhere, your only visual cues are the lines on the road, and there aren't even very many exits ...

What I realized finally when I started seeing signs for the Delaware Water Gap, was that I'd gotten on going the wrong direction, and that I was about 30 miles from the New Jersey Border, where we'd been roughly 3 hours before. So I snuck through a State Patrol turnaround (can't even imagine what the PA Patrol would do to you if they caught you doing that) and headed back the other direction. I'd gone about 100 miles the wrong way, adding 3 hours to a 17 hour drive.

Now anyone who has done the I80 run west will tell you that there are two un-fucking-believably long tedious states to pass through -- Pennsylvania and Nebraska. I managed to take the usual 5-plus hour trip and turn it into 8 hours. There is no way to describe how deeply stupid I felt when I started back the right direction -- you'll have to use your powers of imagination.

So Sean and I traded off driving. For an 18 year old he's not a horrible driver; but he does several things that drive me nuts -- 1) veering to the edge of the lane when he's changing CDs 2) React about 5 seconds later than I would when someone in front of him hits the brakes. 3) habitually ride about one car length too close to the car in front of him. Luckily I was too tired to stress on this when he took over at 4AM driving in PA... but on the Taconic Parkway in New York I think I was pegging my pulse rate. The Taconic is a very picturesque ride, but the road itself is made ridiculously hazardous by having a CURB on both sides of the road, and no gravel shoulder. So it's possible to ride one side of the car up over this curb, at which point the wheel hits soft ground. I imagine someone rolls an SUV on that road at least once a week.

Coming into NYC we discovered another benefit of the curbed-roadway: when it rains, the water has to escape the roadway through drains placed every 20 yards or so. Or rather, in a heavy rain, the water pools on the road so that cars put up a gigantic rooster-tail. Some genius in a VW Beetle passed us on the right and for about 5 seconds visibility was zero, always a relaxing experience when you're going 50 mph.

As for my impressions of the event that occasioned this road trip -- my brother Ian's Wedding -- I'll write about it when I think of something of general interest to say about it. Executive Summary: I wish Ian & Tessa all happiness, and I had fun, and being in a suit when it's hot and humid for 7 hours is a nasty experience.

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my birthday

1. The company of my family. Sean came home from his swinging bachelor pad, and Melissa even took my usual walking the dog shift this evening, so I could fart around and write this.

2. Cake. Everyone has to have a favorite birthday 'cake' I like my Mom's traditional,
which was a sort of fake cheesecake made by mixing Jello Lemon Pudding with whipped cream,
turning it into a graham cracker crust, and topped with more whipped cream. If you're a
big fan of 'real' cheesecake it might be a disappointment, but it is quite yummy, and
involves much cream and butter (in the graham cracker crust).

The other one is one my wife and I evolved, a lemon cake with lemon pudding between the
layers (with extra lemon juice for tanginess) frosted with whipped cream. That was on
tonight's menu, and was very good.

3. Presents

Camera is the A60 model, couldn't find a pic of it solo.

The sandals are my favorite -- I completely destroyed one pair and so needed another. Very comfortable, even for all-night rave wear. So they look old-man ass, hell I'm 46 today. If I'm going to hang with the 20-somethings all night on my feet, I need proper footwear.

The MIDIMAN backpack is if anything nicer than I thought it would be -- nicely padded and durable.
It will hold my Oxygen8 keyboard, laptop + AC adaptor, Hammerfall Multiface + AC Adapter, and
mouse. My Dell laptop case just barely fits my Behringer mixer, so those two bags and something to hold my 8 channel snake and I'm fully portable now...

Along with a Prairie
Lights Bookstore
gift certificate, and a Record Collector gift certificate.

Maybe it's materialistic to list this stuff out, but I'm an American. If I don't gloat over my presents The Terrorists Have Already Won.

4. Bi-Bim-Bop and California Maki. I like Tuna and Salmon Maki more usually, but this is a good time of year for avocados, so the California Maki were very good.

Thanks for all the LJ Birthday Greetings.

PS After I banged this out, I went back and re-ordered this. Originally it was 1) Cake 2) Presents 3) Family 4) Dinner. So you can judge for yourself, my 'corrected' order of importance, or the order in which they occurred to me initially.