Monday, June 28th, 2010
On Saturday during the drive to West Virginia, Craig and I got into a very deep meaningful conversation about men’s underwear. That’s how we roll on the weekends – we discuss the meaning of life, nuclear disarmament and the intricacies of undies.
I can be rather picky when it comes to what’s going on in the underwear department, both for myself and for Craig. For him I like ‘em tight. Solid colored boxer briefs so snug I can barely take them off. Yes, he may have to sacrifice breathing or walking like a normal human being, but isn’t it worth it?
As we glided towards the Maryland/West Virginia border, Craig started laughing like a crazed country boy, remembering a story from his Leigh, Nebraska days. ”Are you sure you want to hear this,” he kept asking while cackling down the highway? “Are you really sure?” At this point I was frothing at the mouth, ready to drown myself in the Shenandoah River if he didn’t start talking.
“Well, when I was 15, 16 I used to wear leopard print briefs. You know, to impress the ladies. All the guys did!” All the guys did? Impress the ladies? My oh my what is going on under those overalls in small town America? “You mean Michelle?” I asked referring to his high school girlfriend. “And by all the guys, you mean the whole Leigh High School football team was roaming around in leopard print?” Craig laughed still zooming down the highway. “Well, Chad had a pair! So did Mark, but we called him Boog. And he was a bigger guy too.” By this point I’m laughing so hard I think I might asphyxiate myself from the hysterics. But Craig just keeps going. “This one night when I was 15, I got so drunk that I ended up on my front lawn in nothing but those leopards. And I could barely walk. I think I was crawling.”
As I reflect back on all the underwear I have owned in my life, I just don’t think I have anything to match the ridiculousness of Craig’s leopard briefs. But there is always next weekend.
This is kind of what I imagine Craig looked like in that underwear. Man oh man I wish he had pictures.
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
Today my coworker Kelly sent me a really funny blog that I am now totally obsessed with called Hyperbole and a Half. Allie Brosh, who writes the blog, most recently wrote about a big NCAA track meet she ran in Texas when she had a temp of 104 and actually stuffed ice down that heinous little bathing suit thing you have to wear when running competitive track. Her hilarious post brought back sooooo many memories of having panic attack after panic attack before running races in high school. I was a sprinter and mostly ran the 200, 300 and 400 meter dashes, the latter being the most hellish race ever invented by a human being, save perhaps the marathon. And of course, being the hoarder that I am, I still have the shoes I wore to run all those races. That’s right! More than a decade later I have those Nikes sitting in a prime little box in my closet.
My memory sneakers, as I like to call them, are perhaps the smelliest shoes that exist in America today. If you peed in your shoes and left them in your room for a year, they wouldn’t smell this bad. I think the problem with the shoes is that I tried to cover up the lovely odor with a wide array of household goods over the last couple years.
I have doused them in Febreeze, baking soda, overpriced perfume, Clorox bleach, etc.. I even burned sage leaves like this Native American shaman once did on my outward bound program. But nothing. It just smells like several small rodents have used them as their home for several generations. Like since the dawn of time. But I love them still. I even unearthed them for a road trip I took in Romania because they fold up really small.
While in Romania I wore them to do other very smelly activities, like milking a cow and feeding a small goat. The stench did not get any better. But still I held on! These are the shoes of a warrior! I ran myself a silver medal in the bad boys, and while I have no idea where the medal is, I still have the shoes.
Here they are!!
A picture drawn by Allie Brosh for her blog. This is pretty much what you want to have happen when you're about to run.
Sadly this was more of her reality. Ice down the pants and a fever. Got to hand it to her for trying though!
Sunday, January 3rd, 2010
There are few things I love more than a road trip. Yes, there was an interesting blend of vodka and anything featured in a rap song that I drank in my high school years giving me a similar high, but now that I’m older and wiser, road trips and unthought out adventures are my stimulants. My favorite place to put the pedal to the metal and click away on my camera is New England. I love it all – the historical walking tours, the leaves, the snow, the boats, and the bed and breakfasts. The towns are small and charming but still incredibly bourgeois happily selling things like crab mallets instead of trucker hats.
This week long escape to Southern Vermont, guided by my trusty Frommer’s manual, is a beautiful dose of much needed seclusion. I’m wearing ugly waterproof clothing, eating snow, and avoiding all things having to do with my job’s mantra of “luxury lifestyle living – power, philanthropy, and society.” I have seen more cows than people and that’s just fine. Craig, being from Nebraska is the cow whisperer and is thrilled to sing them Midwestern lullabies and massage their temples, but I’m happy to just sit back and observe.
Being from Washington, I probably could never live in a small town year round, but for a little while, I love a place where high society means taking a shower every now and again. I’m quite honestly not ready to head back home and start real life again. Maybe I’ll have to head to work in overalls and slop boots on Monday in my own quiet rebellion.
I've been cruising the East Coast with the same Frommer's edition for seven years. Oh the history and B&B joy it has brought me.
Picture perfect red barn at the Putney school in southern Vermont. What I'll miss most about winter here is snow everyday. It's beautiful perfect movie set snow and I've had a blast hurling myself into it while covered in head to toe Gore-tex.
Monday, December 28th, 2009
As I write this from the car, Craig and I just battled three hours of traffic to get around New York City and are in hour nine of our drive to Vermont. Craig, the even-keeled Nebraskan, almost lost his mind in the New York traffic and I coolly took the wheel for about 15 minutes until I went mentally insane and ate an entire bag of chocolate goo balls with lard frosting that his grandmother sent from Nebraska and nearly crashed into a median. But now we are cruising towards the Connecticut/Massachusetts border happy as clams.
There is so much stuff in the car that I suggested we stop at a weigh station or two to avoid paying a fine, but the Nebraskan brushed me off with some ridiculous Midwestern wisdom about sheep and patience.
I think the car is so heavy because I’m toting about 15 pounds of stationary up to New England. I have an entire suitcase packed with my computer, my amazing beloved scanner, pens, envelopes, stamps I stole from the office, past blog entries I have to mail, etc. etc. It’s like the pony express in here.
I have a vision of Vermonters being very benevolent people so I imagine I will have a heck of a lot of thank you notes to write and scan in while in the idyllic state. First I will have to write to the maple syrup people, then the folks who sell me charming sweaters with pictures of cows on them, then the guy who maintains the covered bridge, the chief foliage tracker, the lad that drives the Zamboni, and then of course the doctor who patches Craig and I up after we break all our limbs snowboarding. Vermont is going to give me carpel tunnel with all its charm. Only 111.5 miles to go!
With my precious CanoScan at a gas station in Connecticut. I was surprisingly the only person carrying a scanner while refueling. So un-tech savvy up here.