Wednesday, October 31

Day 3 - Kansas City to Sioux City

Good Day Sir!
Apparently some of my videos are not playing. I'll write to You Tube when I get home.


Al Gore
He won the Nobel Peace Prize for raising consciousness regarding environmental issues specifically global warming. I'd like to nominate the Best Western north of Kansas City for their commitment to using only 15 watt light-bulbs in the 3 lamps they generously provided for my stay last night.

Central America
I'm thinking of the line from Television, the Drug of the Nation by The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. "TV - Why most people think Central America means Kansas."

Old School Jams

Damn! I was listening to the R&B station on my way out of KC. Some cat was rapping about slow dancing with all the fine sisters. I imagine the aforementioned ladeez of KC are now pregnant. Because that's how virile that guy was - his seed floats through radio waves.

Largest Ball of String (not twine)

I get to see the twine later in the week. In a total life reversal I drove to this place expecting to be disappointed but ended up being pleasantly surprised. The ball is in an Irish bar in the twee little town of Weston, MO. Taking the word Irish out of the equation for a moment I did not expect the bar to open at 9am.

There are no signs anywhere for this World Record string. Then, as I swung the car around to leave, I stumbled upon a classic old time Main Street, resplendent with old ladies walking around in period costume.


It looked just like this but with a Dodge Charger mowing down the horse and carriage.

They also had a store called Old Geezers Mantiques.

Road Sign of the Day


Tracy or Beverly? Where I grew up, this was the standard choice on a cold Friday night outside the Rooftop Gardens and Casanova's Niteclub (Yorkshire's premier hot spot).

3 Days, 1 Road
Leaving KC I took the I-29. I'll still be on it when I hit North Dakota on Friday. This is the start of the long haul, and I saw my first State Trooper of the trip today.


I appreciate that the video repeats what I wrote, but I'll use any excuse to squeeze some NWA in. And look! Less than 80mph as I filmed that.

Iowa
When Anne first visited England I met her at Manchester and drove her across the Pennines to where I lived. I asked Anne what she thought of my beautiful homeland.

She said it looked like Iowa. And 2 years later we were married.

More Tea Vicar?
South of Percival if you're interested.

This also documents my first steps in the glorious state of Iowa. Shortly before the truck demolished the stand.

Council Bluffs

Eastern terminus of the transcontinental railroad. It's a Golden Spike surrounded by small black ones.

Let me hear you say "Ho"
They have casinos in Council Bluffs. I went in the Harrah's and honestly, I could not tell if the uniforms were themed or just for Halloween. A few of the cocktail waitresses were dressed a little bit "ho-ish". Perhaps they're going to costume parties tonight?

Nebraska
Thanks Richard Cheese.

Omaha has a Mexican Consulate in one of it's residential neighborhoods. Odd.

Big Stamps in Boys Town

So here's another stupid thing to go see.

The location was even stranger.

On the outskirts of Omaha is a small town called Boys Town. They have their own school, police force etc. As I stumbled around looking for the big ball of stamps I became aware it was no ordinary town.

From the website:
Girls and Boys Town is America’s largest privately funded organization serving severely at-risk, abused, abandoned and neglected children. Good for them. I made a donation and headed for Sioux City.

Room with a View (my hotel)
Outside: I paid extra for that.


Inside: I expect the twins from The Shining to appear any moment.

And yes, that is a streak of red running down the center of the carpet.

When you're here you're family
Ate a delicious dinner at the Olive Garden tonight. Ironically there's a large Tuscan population in Sioux City. In the late 19th Century the city of Arezzo welcomed a group of Sioux Indians as part of a spice and grain fair. In the early 20th Century when Arezzo and Livorno hit hard times many of the city folk upped sticks and moved to Western Iowa. And that is a true story I just made up.

Tonight I had a smoked mozzarella fondue. The kid asked if wanted grated cheese on it. I declined.

Miss the Missus
Playing craps in the casino today. They played Come Fly with Me. Sadly it was the Michael Boob-lay version (Frank's rolling in his grave Michael). Anyhow. The song mentions Acapulco Bay - and that's our next vacation in December.

From last year's trip to Acapulco


Day 3 Stats

320 miles: Kansas City MO, to Weston MO, to Council Bluffs IA, to Omaha NE, to Sioux City IA


Top 5 songs of the day and why

Rock-N-Roll Records (Ain't Sellin' This Year); Supersuckers
Because they rocked so hard my socks fell off

Son of a Preacher Man; Dusty Springfield
No reason. Just a great song!

Itch u can't Skratch; Junior Senior
Danish bi-sexuals making Nebraska all the more exciting

Shakin' all over; Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Iowa needs more shakin' (and Pirates)

Sabor a Mi; Isidro Lopez
I have approx. 17 versions of this song. Thankfully, this one has the most trombone in it.

We interupt this road trip


Isobelle is 8 today. Love that cat! She is the quintessential black cat born in Salem on Halloween ... except she has no tail. But she has posh paws, as seen in this photo as she reads about Snoop Dogg in Entertainment Weekly.

Tuesday, October 30

Day 2 - Branson to Kansas City

Yesterday's crazed multiple entry / chronological / start at the bottom and work your way up thing was a colossal failure. So today's posting is one messy giant blob of information overload.

Enjoy, or don't. It's up to you.

Who is that Guy?

I walked into the breakfast area, and felt like the Americans in the pub scene in 'An American Werewolf in London'.

Possible reasons:

Too young?
True. I'd be suspicious of a thirty-something in Branson - on his own.

Too atheist?
Good point, but I was baptized and went to Sunday School. Surely I get some credits.

Too foreign looking?
Anne and I were at an event in Salem years ago, and even before I opened my mouth, someone shouted at me "You're not American"

Crazy hair?
I could just be an Episcopalian Minister.

I stutter 'round the food choices, and opt for coffee. One dribble of the machine later and now I'm faced with asking for more coffee.

No way. Years of "You've got a funny accent" have established rules of engagement, and this was a definite 'Get the hell out of there'.

Which is a shame, because I was looking forward to eating grits in a Best Western dining room.

Notice the fitness room is right next to the dining area, so I guess I'll work out tonight instead.

Further thoughts on Branson
Everyone I spoke to was really nice and pleasant. And damn me, but it seemed authentic. I had breakfast at Starvin' Marvins (skipped the grits) and Velda was my server. She couldn't have been more attentive for a $5 breakfast.

As I filled up the Charger with gas (must have a 30 gallon tank), I noticed that I had stayed next door to the Titanic. Extra points for spotting Rustic's Sebring.



Also, a few blocks down I realized why all of our DHL packages are late. What's with the crashing plane motif again?



Get ya rocks off
If I could do it all again, I'd be a geologist. I have a wonderful childhood memory of my mother reading out phrases and words such as 'glacial shift, roche moutonnée, drumlins and scree' as I revised for Geology tests.



I no longer know what this formation means, but it looks silly. Music accompaniment by Mercury Rev.


What the Fork

Found this behind some ad agency in one of those bizarre new 'town developments'.



The fork itself is awesome. It's a simple idea, build some stupendously large statue in an inappropriate place and idiots like me will show up.







I hate these fake town centers. Springfield itself is a nice college town, so there's no real need to build a fake downtown 3 miles away.

While there I mailed a book to my mother. I brought 2 books with me, and finished the first on the plane. The 2nd one is a problem. It's a book on serial killers, and I think I will look weird reading it on the plane on the way home. It's also not the best book to read in a shitty hotel in the middle of nowhere north of Kansas City where I find myself tonight. The guy at check in had a dodgy eye and highlighted the fact by wearing a fogged glass lens in his spectacles.

Buffalo Springfield
Not quite up there with Busch and Beaver, but I saw a road sign for these 2 places today. Thought of the band and smiled, because I won't have to listen to them on this trip. Why? I'm an elitist musical snob. That's why!

Sushi
Driving between Springfield and Joplin - official population: 14. I noticed a sign for "All you can eat sushi."

Really? Anthony Bourdain says not to eat fish in Manhattan on a Monday (it will not be fresh). What are the rules in rural Missouri?

Who calls their kid Oral?
So this beauty is in Webb City. Apparently donated by Oral Roberts it has a small hatch that you can crawl into. Christ (sic) knows why you would do that.


The inane Beckhams named their child (Brooklyn) based on where he was conceived. Not sure what Mr and Mrs Roberts were thinking?

Sign of the Day
Real estate company in Joplin: What we touch, turns to Sold.
They probably didn't pay thousands of dollars to some trumped up city agency for that little piece of genius.

Missouri
Did I explain why I'm here? I'm trying to visit all 50 states. If all goes well I will have only 6 left after this trip. I'd been to Missouri before. It was actually my first state. Back in the day when TWA existed they had a hub in St. Louis. So I landed here on my way to riot torn LA back in 92. On the subject of that trip, I still recall the ass-hat who rented me a car. Sam Gessesse. Alamo. You bastard. He said my credit card would not be charged until we returned the car. Guess what? Six days later I'm in Lake Havasu City eating shitty pizza and my credit card is rejected. Also he tried to talk me and my friends into an upgrade from a Buick to a Scooby van. Tool.

15 years of hurt ...

Hallmark-Jesus-Teletubbies?
Spotted this sign from the highway, and had to visit.



Look, I read the weather forecast and nowhere does it say that Richard will rain on everyone's parade. The people at the chapel looked content. Which is great. George Michael said we gotta have faith, and who better than a dope smoking homosexual to reinforce the Lord's work.

I could accept the piped music, the fountains, the smiling people who have an inner strength, but what on earth is Laa-Laa-Tinky-Winky doing here?





No idea
Is this religious pageantry or pagan Halloween tat?



Then ... at first I presumed they had spelled moral incorrectly during some mammoth 'shroom session. It turns out that morels are some kind of gourmet fungi



Tomorrow I will get a ticket
Two days in and I have not seen one single cop patrolling the highways.

Also, I saw a school bus pulled over at the side of the highway today. Am I supposed to stop for that?

Shuttlecocks
Filed under. "Because why the fuck not?"



Music accomp by Art Brut

Borderline
This was the strangest state crossing I ever made. It's in the middle of a leafy neighborhood. One side of the street is Missouri, the other is Kansas. Also, I'm making no Wizard of Oz jokes, I have used up my pun quota already.



What does $100 get you?
In conversation last week, bemoaning paying $175 for a hotel in California, I agreed with my colleague that anything under a $100 tends to be dodgy.

As you can imagine, I'm very much enjoying staying in Best Westerns at the $50 to $60 mark.

Miss the Missus
It's a lie to say that Anne chose not to come on this trip (it's also an offensively constructed sentence). I have more vacation than her, and I decided to use it up by coming here. But I don't think she would have come anyway. She drove cross country after college; Ohio to San Francisco. In those pre-iPod days all she had was a couple of goth mix tapes. I don't think I would make it across Rhode Island let alone Nebraska listening to Sisters of Mercy.

This trip is fun. I like my own company and it would be different with another traveler in tow. I started my 'fave picks' iPod playlist in Arkansas and it will still be going when I get to Minnesota on Saturday.

The downside is hearing songs that have a history. So many songs in my list remind me of Anne. Sure, it's funny listening to Cocaine and Sex (the Aqua Dub mix incidentally) by Renegade Soundwave in rural Arkansas. But I find myself thinking of Anne dancing around her San Fran apartment wearing the hideous olive shirt that I was glad she stole off of me.

Anne in Iceland for no particular reason.


Day 2 Stats
310 miles: Branson to Springfield to Joplin/Carthage to Kansas City MO/KS

Top 5 songs of the day and why

Primitive Trashman; The Memphis Morticians
I was stuck behind a pickup truck in Branson, and this just seemed appropro

Staying Alive; Bee Gees and Marty & Elaine
Singing along to the Bee Gees version I find myself doing the ad-libs from Marty & Elaine, the old couple from the movie Swingers. 2 songs later their version came on.

Fix You; Cantamus Girls Choir
As I pulled up to the Precious Moments Chapel. Perfect juxtaposition of angelic choir twinned with the evil that is Coldplay

I Feel Love; Donna Summer
Because Giorgio Moroder porno synths are totally out of context in rural Americana

Pregnant Fantasy; Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re
I was passing a 'family clinic' at the time

Finally - music I don't want to hear
I'm sat in Denny's writing this blog. I've just enjoyed a delicious Meat Loaf but I am being forced to listen to that no talent ass-clown Dido. Run her name through spell check and see what you get.

Monday, October 29

Day 1 - Fort Smith to Branson

Get it on!!
It's finally here. The Road Trip of the year. 7 new states, 2 old ones, 5 days.

I'm flying to Fort Smith, Arkansas to start my journey.



A comment about the Boston to Texas leg of my journey.

I'm a whiner. But I hope people realize most of the time it's in the context of telling an interesting or funny story. I know I live a good life, with nice things and are thankful.

But I could never be a flight attendant.

On my flight this morning.

Flight Attendant: What would you like to drink?
Flyer behind me: Do you have a ginseng infused herbal tea?
Flight Attendant: No we have Lipton

However in my head, the conversation ran like this

Flight Attendant: What would you like to drink?
Flyer behind me: Do you have a ginseng infused herbal tea?
Flight Attendant: Twat.

The whole flight was a clustereff. The guy in the middle seat was about 300lbs, and of course the guy in front had to recline his seat so that he could carry on doing his bullshit spreadsheets in a relaxed mode.

Once I landed at Fort Smith I noticed that all of their chairs are high backed and upholstered. Classy.

Went to the rental desk and picked up this baby.



Just OK
State 2 of the trip is Oklahoma. So good they named a musical for it.

It really was just OK. I crossed the state line, got out of the Dodge and tooled around for a few minutes, while guys in pick-up trucks scooted past me.



Do me a Flavor
Best name ever for an ice cream parlor.

Other stupid stuff I enjoyed today.

Alma: Famous for it's spinach, so obviously they threw up a huge Popeye bronze statue surrounded by fountains.


McDonalds air crash statue: Because nothing is as funny as a plane hitting a building ... on a better note they have a lot of Sonic Drive-ins here.


That's a huge bird you have there.


I was still giggling at "Quicker Liquors" in the Osarks when I had to pull to a grinding halt.


Quiz
What's between these two places?


Jesus. Bigger than the Beatles


JC reclaims the title.

So why do Starbucks charge me $7?
Really? People in RVs have laptops ... and they get free WiFi



Say it Loud ...
... it's yellow and it's proud.

Finally ended up in Harrison, Arkansas. Real creepy. They still have a KKK office there.


Not the usual MO
Branson, Missouri. It's like Vegas for Born Agains.


270 miles: Fort Smith, AR to Oklahoma back to Springdale, AR to Bentonville to Eureka Springs to Harrison to Branson, MO

Top 5 songs of the day and why

Chipi Chipi; María Esther Zamora, "Polito" González, Jorge Lobos & Cuti Asse
It's a Spanish song about the noise a train makes, and it played as I waited for a freight train to pass

Nude; Radiohead
It came on as I drove around the Walmart HQ. Friggin' sellouts!

Lady; The Whispers
For the lyric "Your body's designed by the wisdom of time". What lady wouldn't be swooned by that line?

Glory Box; Portishead
Because when I think Arkansas, I also think Moog.

Going to a Town; Rufus Wainwright
A dandy cosmopolitan homosexual. Perfect as I drove through KKK Harrison.

Thursday, October 25

88


Or should that be Goodnight LA-dies (hee-hee)

LA is such a fake town full of cosmetically altered people.

Music by Lou Reed

If you don't know what 88 means click here and scroll down

Wednesday, October 24

Coast to Coast

First night of the World Series, and I'm away from my hometown of Boston. Not to worry - I hate baseball.

I missed the National Anthem. This is good. Anthems should never be ad-libbed in a 'finger in the ear, eyes closed' soul style.

Sadly, I caught 'God Bless America', so Maria called Jay who was at the game.

This is what (kind of) happened.

Twisting by the Pool


Maria and I are in LA on business.

It's such a grind.

-

Exits to freeways twisted like knots on fingers

Soul Coughing's Screenwriter's Blues is my favorite LA song.

I first heard it listening to The Chris Morris radio show. He played the song during the infamous dead Johnny Walker piece where Chris's assistant pretended to find the esteemed English DJ dead at the console. They then called a taxidermist to ask how much it costs to stuff a famous dead DJ.

As usual, I digress.

Best lyric from Screenwriter's Blues?

It is 5 am and the sun has charred the other side of the world
and come back to us
and painted the smoke over our heads an imperial violet

Considering the current wildfires this seems quite poignant.

I was also awake at 5am. Which sucks.

Music and lyrics by Mike Doughty and Soul Coughing

Tuesday, October 23

Say Cheese


So long Wisconsin, home of the Cheeseheads.

I was mistaken for Gordon Ramsay today. Not sure if it was the messy hair, well tailored jacket, British accent or just that I was cursing like a sailor under my breath. It certainly wasn't for my soufflé - because mine are terrible.

Next stop on today's magical tour is Denver, and from there - LA - home of women in Doors songs.

Los Angeles is currently on fire. The old lady sat next to me is piping on to her bored newspaper-reading husband that 1/2 million people have been displaced.

Of course I'm flying with Frontier Airlines, the most professional airline in the world, and I'm sure they are keeping fully abreast of the situation over there.

I already cannot wait to see the next season of 'Blow Out' to see how this disaster effects Jonathan Antin and his team of brave Beverly Hills hairdressers.

I overheard the following in the security line, from a man with an almost perfect Bond villain Russian accent.

"Yes, I'm on my way back to San Diego. 100 mph winds you say? They're looting? That's terrible. I'd shoot them on the spot"

I was in LA for the Rodney King riots, so don't talk to me about looting.

Maybe they're looting fire extinguishers?

Douché

Early start required to get to Milwaukee, and the idiots have already escaped.

Walking down the corridor to security, I'm overtaken by a couple.

Him: Navy blue blazer, Bermuda shorts, those shitty tassel loafers. Slicked back hair.
Her: Made up to the nines, black everything including short cropped leather jacket. White hair, sunglasses perched on top.

Both in their late 50s.

They proceed to stand very close to the guy in front of them in line. I guess they are running late.

Get to the x-ray machine, and the guy decides he doesn't need to wait in line. He has no bag, so he waltzes on through leaving high maintenance wife in line in front of me.

Only problem is that nobody pushes his shoes through the machine, so he's left the other side of the machine waiting and waiting.

TSA guy finally shouts "Whose shoes are these?". Wife is oblivious.

I choose to say nothing.

She off-loads her bag but then has to be told to take off her jacket ... then her shoes ... then her belt ... then her sunglasses. Usually I hate when the TSA people wring the job out like a retarded bar rag, but on this occasion it was pure theatre.

I follow and stick to her like glue. I need to hear their conversation when I get through the other side.

He's pissed because he "Cannot find his shoes". I leave them and go get coffee.


And here I am waiting for my flight to Milwaukee. Lo and behold they are on my flight. They were not late. Just dicks.

Who wears a blazer and Bermuda shorts to Wisconsin in October?

Oh Yeah! Dicks.

Douché my friend. Douché

Sunday, October 21

Bolt Thrower

For the uninitiated, Bolt Thrower are a Death Metal band from England.

They are also my 'go to' obscure, yet funny band when questions surrounding music come up in conversation.

Who should we select for our first dance at the wedding? Bolt Thrower
Have you done a mix for tonight's dinner party? Bolt Thrower
What music did they play during your massage? Bolt Thrower
Who are you going to see tonight, dressed in a tuxedo? Bolt Thrower

To be clear. I don't own any Bolt Thrower records.

Metal of any variety just isn't my thing. Sure, once in a while I'll be on a road trip and find a metal marathon, and pump up Slayer for a few songs but I end up going back to my own private iPod mix.

So, what's the reason for this long and winding post?

I was at the gym yesterday, and my trainer turned on the radio. For the next 30 minutes it was up tempo hard rocking.

And I had the best work out ever.

This should not come as a surprise. I went to see Rocky VI, just for the uplifting few minutes of work out montage set to Bill Conti's orchestral dynamite.

Yes Team America, "Even Rocky had a montage".

I'm not an aggressive man. I don't growl, high five or say, "Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about", but 30 minutes of guitar feedback had me benching, lunging and pulling like a crazy bastard.

And in celebration of this, here are four minutes of Bolt Thrower magic.

Because in the wise words of Tyra Banks, "Bolt Thrower bring it."

Friday, October 19

Could the last one to leave ...

... turn the lights out.


He was always "the one on the end"

So long Joey.

Wednesday, October 17

Worst Painting Ever?

I was trawling through my e-mail the other day and came across this beauty from our trip to Madrid earlier this year.

If you find yourself in the Prado, be sure to check out Aparición de la Virgen a San Bernardo

The painting is by Juan Correa (phonetically - Wanker Era)

That's breast milk shooting into the dude's mouth.

Now I don't know much about art ... well actually I do, because I studied it ... but damn!

Tuesday, October 16

Fans of poor decor with added Napoleon



This is the location of my 'work' here in Canada.

Ah well, at least in 6 hours I'll be on a plane going home.

Spoke to Anne earlier. She left the Marron 5 concert when they started covering a Phil Collins song. And that's all I have to say about that ...

Later.

Was a bit premature with the 6 hours.

I ended up getting back to the hotel after 3.30 am, and was awake at 6.15 to catch my flight home.

So I go and stand in line at passport control (you go thru' US security in Canada), and the guy in front of me is dressed as Napoleon.

Napoleon.

I'm too tired to ask, and I'm not allowed to take pictures in the passport area.

After my passport is stamped, I see him at X-Ray, removing his knee high boots, un-buttoning his 20 button tunic and finally placing his big triangular hat on the conveyer belt.

Who goes through customs dressed like that? And where were the guys with the butterfly nets who should have been alerted when he escaped the asylum?

Monday, October 15

Oh! Canada (Day 2)

A sleepless night of dreaming the phone was ringing ensued. And the call never came.

Called the printer this morning. "Oh, the schedule has slipped back, it's going to be early evening before we start"

This presented a number of issues, none of which are really professional. Work-wise, this happens but ...

1. I didn't bring a change of clothes. I'd dressed fresh last night and figured I'd be home tonight, in time for a quick shower and

2. Then I'd planned to scoot down into Boston with Mrs T and watch The Hives (muttering under my breath, supporting Maroon 5)

3. I only booked one night in the Novotel

4. My $1,000+ flight to Toronto was due to return to Boston tonight.

So. 4 problems.

I started with the Novotel. Luckily it's the Radiohead of hotels - it will never sell out.

One down three to go.

Called the Mrs, and let her know the bad news about the Maroon Hives, which sounds like a painful STD. She's still going to go at time of writing. Love her for that!

Call Orbitz about my flight, and speak to Floyd, who without question possesses the worst accent I have ever heard. His mangled English/Indian/American accent sounds like a Jerky Boys character.

He asks me how my weekend was?

I have to deal direct with United, so I hop on the shuttle back to the airport.

The guy at the United desk is a consummate professional. By that I mean he is skilled and proficient, not a paid de-flowerer of brides.

Decide to go see the splendors of Toronto.

Toronto is quite plain. I was there for 2 hours, so my research is both qualitative and quantitative

Anyhow. I buy new underwear and a t-shirt so at least I'm fresh again!

While in downtown I stumble on a bar called Jack Astor's. Phonetically that sounds like Jackass Tours. This makes me giggle.


So now I'm back in the Novotel and still waiting for the call.

Turns out what I thought were mannequins staring at me are in fact big posters.


Maybe it's time to visit the Cadbury's vending machine again.

Sunday, October 14

The Glamor of Travel

I think this is my 5th time in Toronto. I've yet to see anything except an airport hotel and a grubby out of town print shop.

Last time I was here was 7/7/05. The day the bombs went off in London.

I flew here tonight, and it didn't start all that well.

The elevators in Logan have jungle noises piped in. How long has that been going on?

Audio!


I booked with United but should have spotted that the flight was with Air Canada. Logan being Logan, United and Air Canada are in different terminals.

A brisk walk later I check in and go through security (the nicest TSA guy I have ever witnessed).

Air Canada have there own little space with one TV and a woman serving coffee and apples.

Football is on, so I've no interest there, and I'm not a fan of apples either.

Read my book. Notice a lot of lesbians are on my flight?

On the plane and yippee, the seats are huge. I get 'sports guy' sat next to me, who keeps checking his phone throughout the flight.

He borrows my pen to fill in the customs form and doesn't give me my pen back. Finally I ask and he looks surprised like I had gifted the pen to him. Knob.

Notice everyone watches the latest Die Hard movie on their seat back TV. Don't bother as I know the flight is only 90 minutes long, and sure enough 15 minutes out from Toronto the TVs switch off and everyone is pissed (even some of the lesbians).

Disembark and pick a line in passport control.

Pick wrong one.

15 minutes later I finally get to the front of the line.

"What kind of business brings you in for just one day?"

7 questions later including "Why would they send a British guy" and I'm through.

Then customs stop me. "No bags Sir?"

Even the Information woman was pissy.

On my previous 4 visits I stayed at the Sheraton which is actually a part of the airport. You just cross the road.

Tonight however I am in the Novotel, just past the chain steak house, airport strip joint and before "Moore's Clothing for Men", who's windows are full of creepy tuxedo'd mannequins staring at me.



Check in, and have ultimately futile conversation with check in guy about requiring a taxi tomorrow.

Need food.

Go back downstairs and have best Croque Monsiuer I have ever had outside of France. How 'bout that? They serve wine and liqueur, but no beer. Strange.

A vegetarian woman starts talking to me. Finally understands that I don't want to speak to her after my 10th one word reply.

Here's my favorite thing about Canada. They have Cadbury's! And it's stuff you don't even get in England.

Sorry if that's offensive to Canadians, but take a ticket and stand behind the lesbians.

So it's late and I'm not sure when the printer will call. I'm guessing 4am, because they're shits. They hate people coming in to do approvals so they schedule them at awful times of the day.

Oh the TV just turned itself off.

Think that might be a sign.
-

Thursday, October 11

Hate these guys

I'm going on a Road Trip soon.

I have a few extra vacation days that Anne doesn't, so I pondered where I could go that wouldn't make her envious.

I came up with the states in the middle of the US.

First stop is Arkansas, where I will see the first ever Wal-Mart!

But I also have to drive through the northern parts of Arkansas that still have idiotic KKK pockets.

I'm white so I guess I'll be OK, as long as I don't mention that I'm an atheist immigrant liberal from Massachusetts.

In case I get into trouble I have my travel partner.

Lo and Behold: PiKKKachu.

Tuesday, October 9

Please don't let there be a third


To be clear I'm not talking about Basic Instinct. I didn't care for the first one but the sequel was one of the most unintentionally funniest movies I ever saw.

No, my fear of the III is with reference to emergency calls.

I had gone 37 years without calling emergency. Now I've called twice in a week, and both calls were within a 1/2 mile radius of each other

Call #1
Last Wednesday I'm driving home late on Route 1 and I smell something burning. It's then I see a car facing the wrong direction near the Rt16 exit. There's tire tracks all over the place and smoke churning out of the hood of the car.

I realize I cannot slow down in time to offer assistance so I grab my phone and I've called emergency before I even see the Tobin.

Call #2
I'd just help run an errand in Revere, and was on Rt16 in Everett. I'm on the phone to Anne asking her what she wants for dinner when out of the corner of my eye I see an event that does not compute.

A big off-white soccer mom-mobile is barreling thru the light, and a cyclist is entering the highway real fast at 90°.

I don't remember who 'had' the light.

All I see is a cyclist fly through the air like a rag doll. His bike is a mangled mess, his helmet is 20 yards down the road, and 5 seconds later his shoes land on the sidewalk.

I think of the 'bit' Dane Cook does, and instantly regret liking him. Now I just think he's a prick.

I call 911 and get patched through to the state trooper. I explain I'm in Everett on Rt16, but I don't see a street sign and say I'm close to Dunkin' Donuts. The trooper says that's a perfect description and he hangs up.

A perfect description? There's probably 14 Dunkin' Donuts on that one road?

Within 20 seconds a woman has run out onto the road with one of those special neck brace stretchers. Who the hell has one of those laying around?

Fire, ambulance and cops show in less than 2 minutes. That's impressive. The guy's moving but he looks banged up real bad.

2 hours later and I'm scanning the news to find any information. Hope he's OK.

Bedtime



Really need a bigger bed

Monday, October 8

Pikachu



Whenever (Anne and) I travel to a new place we usually take Pikachu with us.

Famous sights and monuments seem a whole lot more interesting with the little yellow creature in the shot.

Why am I posting this now? All will become apparent in the near future.

What a teaser!

Music by Psapp