Hey, this is my working actress buddy, Marqui. She went to Walgreens for a halloween costume this year, couldn't find anything, and so decided to be a bag lady. Hee hee.
I was inspired by the cheapo pound of yarn at Michael's. My new project is a fabulous knit blanket, with big red and white squares, made with basket weave. I'm going to connect them with black yarn, and I'm thinking about putting little things in the middle of the squares. I think it'll be dice, but I flirted with the idea of cowboy hats and boots, or little itty bitty skulls. Fun! Here's a picture of me working on it at Rachael's place.
And that's a corner of her new couch you can see. The only problem is, this is a very bulky project, and space is at a premium in little Tachy. I may leave it here, as I do already have 3 projects going. Sigh. I know my sister loves to start projects, and it's all about the journey for her, but for me, it's all about the finished product. I can't start something without wishing it was done and in front of me instantaneously. So it's hard to purposely leave behind a project. I want that blankie!
We are off to cruise the coast, top down in the rain, because ollallaberry pie at Duartes is calling. Yay for mini road trips, especially those with sisters. Happy New Year! Start it well.
Carhenge! Nebraska's finest oddity:
I love the random things you see driving slow down backroads:
A beautiful morning for the first day of hunting season.
This is where the Runestone was found, proving Vikings were in the ole USA over 100 years before Columbus, that sluggard.
The troll tree!
I finally had it clean enough to take a picture, right after putting up my halloween decorations.
I think I already told the story of Little Guy. This is his grave, right near the old railroad tracks.
Mitchell Corn Palace
Tara and Syndija (I'm sorry, I can't remember the correct spelling anymore!), my co-workers at the hostel, getting ready for a birthday party.
Syndija and Zoe, the resident dingo.
Look at those ears!
Yay for pictures! I find it hilarious that I spent about 2 months in Minneapolis, and I only managed to take 2 rolls of pictures. I can take 2 whole rolls at one party in one night! It just goes to show how much I forget about being on a road trip when I am paused for a while.
Okay, now I am really ready to get going. Tach, I'm coming!
A few days ago I met one of Rachael's officers at work. The conversation found its way (naturally!) to my road trip, and we chatted for a while, where've you been, where're you going, that sort of stuff. Finally he asked where I lived. My truck, I said. No, he said, where's your home base? My truck, I said. Where do you call home? My truck!
Later I started re-thinking my answer. As much as I love my little Tach (and I am missing him greatly), San Francisco is my home. It's where all my friends and memories are. I was so comfortable coming back here, I didn't think I would ever want to budge again. After a week or so of sitting around and absorbing the home vibes, I am starting to be ready to move again. After all, I know that California is the best place around, but I should give the rest of those states a chance. Texas and Florida are calling my name, especially. I'll just let California whisper on in the background.
I had a great Christmas with the family. Everything I expected, and more. I thought flying me out was the present, but they still got me some fun stuff. Hand knit socks! That's a luxury I never thought I would have. I love knitting, but spending 8 hours on something beautiful to put on my smelly feet never seemed like something I would do for myself. Now that I have a pair, though, I'm not sure I can go back!
Just cause I'm back, here's a fabulous San Francisco link for you, found by a native Minnesotan, the fabulous Mr. Pickles.
Damn, I wanted to post a link to my friend Marqui's play, but I can't find it. I saw her over the weekend, and now I just have to brag a bit. Have I mentioned I have a friend on a National Theatrical Tour? Yes, she's heading back to NYC soon, only to head out for the rest of her tour. You can catch her, in Saturday Night Fever, coming to your town soon! She is going to send pictures, so I will brag some more later.
Okay, I had totally idealized California in my mind. I was expecting sunshine and light breezes. I just saw the news, and we have had about 4 inches of rain in the last 24 hours, and winds around 50 miles an hour. Sheesh. Should have brought my jacket.
It's so nice to be home. I know I have said that before, but geez it's nice. We had a nice rockin' party with just about everyone I know up here, and it was a blast. Our parties are changing a little. Used to be we would say 7 for a start time, and everyone would come at 10. Now our friends are getting older, so they actually come at 8 or so. Actually, I don't think that has anything to do with how old we are, as the party still goes on until 3 or 4.
Our definitions of a successful party have changed as well. Back in the day, three things had to happen to make it a success. 1) Someone has to throw up (this one still holds), 2) the cops have to come at least once (thank god this one is no longer true), and 3) someone has to hook up. Well, half my friends are married now, or engaged, so the hooking up has slowed down. Actually that's rather a bummer, since as one of the only single gals left, I would just about have to get lucky.
The next day (nauseous and tired, 4 hours after I planned to get going), I visited my buddies Jeff and Jen in their roles at Dickens' Fair. For those not in the know, Dickens' Fair is much like Ren Fair, same crowd, same kind of vendors, but set in Charles Dickens' England, and with characters from his novels all around you that like to act out scenes every once in a while. It's pretty funny. Just the thing for my drama queen of a friend Jeff. He was loving it, playing with all the "normals".
I saw a few fun scenes, browsed a bit (didn't buy anything, thank you very much), ate a meat pie and drank some cider, and then I was just about ready to go. I can't believe people spend all day there! The coolest thing I saw was at the adventurers club. I heard a dramatic reading in a voice that I knew well. Peeking in the door confirmed my ears; it was Lee Press On, as Edgar Allen Poe! Later Lesley Pressley showed up too! Somehow they fit into that scene perfectly.
Have I mentioned I am ecstatic to be back in San Francisco?
Yesterday was a lovely day of sitting on my ass, watching the tube, and knitting. Nothing exciting, just scarves and hats. Happy knitting. I went out to lunch with Rachel and Kira, yummy Ethiopian, and then sat and knitted with the sisters. Nice, laid back day.
Today, it's home for the holidays. Actually, we have to get on the road, like now, so I must say adieu for now. Have a great holiday, folks!
If you're going to San Francisco...
I'm home again! Yay! The plane coming in had to circle low over San Francisco once before it could land, and I nearly cried. I had my nose pressed up against the glass, and I was going, "There's SFSU! There's Park Merced, and Sunset! There's the Park, and Land's End, and the Bridge, and the Presidio," and I went on and on. I know I haven't been gone for that long, but it feels like forever.
Sorry, I have to copy something in here before I get much farther. I have been jumping around on blogs for the last hour (yay for free internet!), and Brainylady pointed out the funniest site. Okay, maybe just funny to me, but I think it's great. You can make a Hollywood screenplay out of your website with the click of a mouse. Check out a bit of mine:
You know, BETHANYRAMBLING, sometimes I think I should give up my independent florist ways and settle down with a decent man who will take care of me.
I explored a bit in the morning, and it was absolutely stunning.
WINONA RYDER nods in thought.
Hmmmm.... I'd never thought of it like that before. Maybe I will keep this flower shop and not fall in love.
Suddenly, TOM HANKS comes into the shop. He is not impressed with the flowers on offer.
Look here, WINONA RYDER. I am not impressed with the flowers on offer here. Your flower shop is stupid.
How incredibly arrogant that TOM HANKS is! I don't like him one bit.
The composting toilets actually had stained glass, and the library dome was soulfully painted.
That's exactly what I was thinking BETHANYRAMBLING. Come on, let's continue our work as florists.
Hee hee. Most of it is silly and doesn't make much sense, but I am infinitely amused.
Anyway. Let's see. When we last left our intrepid explorers, they were in the wilds of Savannah, I believe. Right after we left the library we hit a little silly gifty shop, with a fabulous woman in it that told us all about these old church ruins halfway between Savannah and Charleston. I don't know why I am putting that in here, except maybe to remind myself that I HAVE to see them on my way south. It was too dark when we went through.
I did more driving at night and freeway driving on this trip than I have done in the last 3 months! I'm always kind of laid back and slow, because I know I am out here for the long haul. Sooner or later I will get there, so why rush? But Christy only had 6 days! And so much to see! So we traveled very purposefully.
We wandered a bit more, and saw the Telfair art museum, which had the bird girl from the cover of "the book". Nothing else really impressed me, except for this amazing, huge, two paneled work by an Italian painter. I'm sorry, I am not an art person, so I don't remember who or what it was called. I remember contemporary German artist called the piece something like "Lieftenbrodge", or whatever is actually German and not germanglish for Life Bridge. The first was light and airy, full of women cavorting up a staircase and into a house, aging as they cross. The second was a mirror image, except dark and sad, as the old women come out of the house and are led down the stairs. Pretty nifty.
We had a nice little lunch on the river front, in the type of restaurant that you would find on any water front in the states. Speaking of food... I think it is time for my rhapsody. Ahh, the meals we have had! On the way to the Hostel in the Forest, we stopped in Abbeville for lunch at the Hog Wild.
There were posters in town touting the annual Wild Boar Festival (we just missed it), so we though a place called Hog Wild would be perfect. Plus it was one of only two places in town.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and the place was packed with the after church crowd. They all knew each other, were all dressed up, and they all had the greatest accents! We were sitting next to a table with a baby, and I think every diner in the place stopped by at least to coo and play. Somehow that is even cuter with a southern drawl.
We filled out our little paper order form (is that a southern thing? Mary Mac's Tearoom in Atlanta had it too), and then feasted. I had sweet tea (how could I not?), which somehow tasted miles better than any kind of sweetened tea we have out here. Christy and I kind of ate family style, which just means liberal stealing and sharing. We had ham, fried chicken, collards, sweet potato souffle, broccoli casserole, cornbread, and for desert, banana pudding and blackberry cobbler. It was great! With the people, and the red checked tableclothes, and wood porches and alluminum roofing design on the interior, it almost felt like we were at a church picnic.
At the end of our trip we had a dinner at Mary Mac's Tearoom, a place right across from our hostel that served great soul food. The atmosphere here was much more refined, fanned napkins and cocktails before dinner, but it was the same great food. This time we tried fried green tomatoes and pot likker, which I think was a kind of collard greens soup with bacon. Excellent.
Okay, that's enough about that. I will be back to baked beans and canned Campbell soup soon, so I have to just relish this a little.
But first, Christmas at home! Luminaria, carols, fudge, Lebchuchen, bulging stockings, jumping up on my sister's bed to wake her at 6:59, getting socked by same sister, reconciling with sister over gold coins and stollen. Ahh. This will be a nice vacation.
Ah shoot, I feel done here, but I haven't said anything about Rufus Wainwright or Charleston. They were both great. Grand, beautiful, lavish. Charleston had a little more history than Rufus. Actually, he did have quite a bit, considering he was playing with his sister, and they did one of their father's songs, and Martha did a song that was on their mother's album.
Charleston was much more gentile than Savannah, or at least that was the feeling I got. We did some shopping, and a lot of walking.
Okay, I really am done now. Oh, let's see, knitting news. I ain't done squat, but Christy finished a very nice lacy looking scarf for a Christmas present. I didn't even try to get my needles in my carry-on luggage, and I didn't check anything, so no knitting for me! Now that I can't do it, I'm craving it. I may have to stop at a LYS in a day or two. (Is that the right acronym? I am not a very good knitting blogger.)
Okay, now I'm done.
Except for this quote that I simply have to post, from Ursula LeGuinn:
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
Okay, and while I'm at it, this one from Wallace Stegner:
The driver of an automobile on a lonely road is a set of perceptions mounted in the forehead of a mechanical monster...the only real world is the narrow cabin from which he sees unreal shapes writhe by,
fences and trees and bridge rails, the mouths of culverts jammed with tumbleweed, the snaky road with its parallel-and-then-unparallel lines, the ruts of rainy drivers still unerased and serpentining...
Oh, just read the book. "Big Rock Candy Mountain". It's all good.
All right, I'm really done now.
Nothing could be finer...
Georgia rocks! We are loving it! I never really thought about it, but a great deal of it is fabulous swampland. Great trees, spanish moss, marshy puddles, forests full of great places to stash a dead body...
I'm sorry, I keep thinking that when I am going through pretty areas. Tennessee was excellent, sloping hills with lots of dips, gullies, "hollows", and in some places, completely draped in greenery (or brownery, depending on the time of year). All you could see were strange bush shaped bumps, and tree shaped bumps, and other strangely mysterious bumps. Then I got to the swamps. Fabulous. All I could think was that the mafia has got it all wrong with their silly shallow graves in the desert.
To all those who have yet to meet me: I'm really not scary, just have an overactive imagination. Please don't let this dissuade you from inviting me into your house.
We spent a night in a nice historic hostel in Atlanta, then headed out towards Savannah. We only made it as far as the coast that first night, and stayed at the Hostel in the Forest. Wow. We came in at twilight, and the treehouses and geodesic domes melded in perfectly to their swampy surroundings. After a great communally cooked vegetarian meal and a pre-meal "circle" where we held hands and said what we were thankful for, we spent the night in the Dragon's Lair, a dome set up in the trees, right next to the water. It looked a lot like Myst. And any foresty fantasy novel I have ever read.
I explored a bit in the morning, and it was absolutely stunning. Trails led out to the pond and the lake, with a stop at the hot tub on the way. The composting toilets actually had stained glass, and the library dome was soulfully painted.
Waaaay too hippy dippy for Christy. It was wearing on me by the time we finished our chores in the morning. But it was stunning. And impressively self-sufficient and conscientious. They had about 8 different bins for recycling, and compost heaps Dad would have drooled over. Ooo, that sounds really gross.
Last night we hit Savannah. Not too much happening on a Monday night in winter, but we managed to find a sports bar and get good and blasted. Then a cab back to yet another historic hostel, and a nice pasta dinner shared with a boy from Cape Cod.
Today we have been seeing the city in the daytime. Have I already used "stunning" in this post? Impressively restored townhouses set in the shade of giant oaks covered in Spanish moss and resting on garden squares. All exactly what I expected, and all beautiful. Christy is reading "the book," as they call it around here, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and we are seeing all the book related sights.
We also made a stop at the home of Juliette Gordon Lowe, the founder of the Girl Scouts. Mostly we were hoping for cookies, and one tour book promised us "the corpse and still-beating heart of the girl that sold the most cookies ever". I think they may have been joking. Or we just didn't look in the right corner. It was a lovely historic home tour, but no dead bodies.
And we've come full circle, haven't we? I'm really not looking for dead bodies everywhere. Savannah is just the sort of town to bring this out in me. Chock full of ghosts. They are in the air here. So you can't blame me for thinking gothically.
Tomorrow, Charleston, Athens (and the Return of the King!), on our whirlwind Georgia tour.
Okay, I seriously think it was colder than that. I am going to check that out. The next night I know it was at 18, cause I saw a thermometer, and the first night felt much worse.
Let's see, briefs from my swift trip south. I entered Christian County, in Tennesee, I think, and the first thing I saw was 4H liquor. Better way to earn money than selling cookies, I suppose. That was followed quickly by the Paradise club, and three other liquor stores.
I have a new favorite road. I have driven some fabulous ones on this trip, but none have ever rivaled 35 in California. Well, this one did. Shit, I forgot what road it was. 48, I think, also in Tennesee. It ran by a river for part of the way, along the railroad tracks for another part, passing mansions, and trailers, and shacks with hubcaps and confederate flags. Great trees casting shadows on a perfectly sloped road, with curves that felt great at about 50. I have never wanted a motorcycle worse.
I miss the snow. It flurried across the road, like fog from a giant's perspective, and draped itself over the christmas lights decorating the mansions along Mississippi River Road. And the icicles that dripped from the falls were insane. There was one huge one outside the hostel in Minneapolis that must have been about 5 feet long. I wanted to pose with it, using it like a sword, but I was too slow.
Time is out, and I have no more dollars. More about the south later. Fun, great accents, crazy driving.
On the road again
I no longer have my hostel job (or my hostile job). My last night and morning was nice, and bittersweet. I took advantage of everything I won't have again for a while; bath, TV, computer, conversation, warmth.
I was hoping I would get out of the snow by the first night, but seeing as how it was about noon when I left, I wasn't as far as I hoped when dark came at 4:30. I decided to keep driving for a while. In the next hour, I saw 8 cars and semis abandoned in ditches. I don't think the tow trucks could keep up with the business, so they started to pile up. Just as it was getting dark, in that twilight time when your eyes are just starting to realize they can't see a damn thing, I saw what looked like a massive pillars that the highway went between. Turned out to be a semi, cab on one side, trailer on the other, just barely off the road. I decided to pull off at the next truck stop.
And damn was it cold! I asked the girl in the truckstop the next morning, and she said she thought it got down past 16 degrees in the night. I kept waking up because my nose was cold. Everything else was toasty, thanks to the fabulous sleeping bag the folks got me. The morning was the worst. It took all my strength to leave the toasty, and run to the bathroom. But when I tried to scrape off the ice from my windshield, my fingers just about froze. I had already packed my mittens, see. I'm heading for the sun, what need have I for gloves?
I finally gave up, and grabbed the water bottle from behind my seat. Upended it, and... nothing. Frozen solid. Thank god I'm not.
Gotta go, I had to talk the librarian into letting someone without a card use the net. She's starting to shoot glances, though.
I am sooo drunk.
I finally met up with Matt, a friend of Josh, my one contact in the Twin Cities, who I should have met ages ago. I'm kind of slow. We had a nice dinner with a couple of his friends, and then I hit a bar with a few hostel folk...
I really shouldn't be writing right now.
What I should be doing is meeting my reflection in the bathroom mirror and saying, "dude, I am sooo drunk".
We staggered home and I fell/was pushed into the snow several times, so my butt is just now thawing out. I am strangely reluctant to go to bed. Not so strangely, I suppose, as it is my last night here, and I'm getting a bit maudlin. We reminisced about all the strange characters we had met in my time here. Remind me to tell you about the stark naked businessman.
Bed is sounding awful good. I am resisting.
I am watching After Hours. Hey now.
Now I am just getting silly. You all don't have to read this. It's drunk-dialing in a mass media format. Are you familiar with drunk dialing? It's when you go outside to have a cigarette after much alcohol, and
decide you have to call everyone you know to tell them just how much you love them. I had never experienced this until I finally gave in and got a cell phone. I've worn out several phone batteries drunk-dialing.
The mood is getting ruined. There are a couple of people watching MTV stone cold sober at two in the morning. What is up with that? All right, all right, I'll go to bed already. Tomorrow I am Atlanta bound. Matt and his friends hooked me up with another contact in Atlanta. Now I am going off friends once removed. I'm getting better at this.
I love you, man.
First it was my tooth. Then my Tach's window. Then a tiny bit of plastic fell off my phone, and it turns out it had the vital job of holding the damn flip screen on. The next day I got in my car to drive to work, and when it wouldn't move an inch I discovered that I had a totally flat tire (slashed? I think someone has it out for me; that's easier to believe than this string of bad luck. Someone suggested that whoever broke in to my truck came back, and when they saw I had emptied it out, they got pissed and attacked a tire. Yes, I am obsessively paranoid).
Whatever. As long as my little truckie is still there in the morning. Only 2 more days in the hood.
So I am now $200 dollars more in the whole, and that's before replacing my phone. I may just see if I can hold it on for the year and a half left on my contract.
Okay, new plan. Everyone that reads this should go out and enter me in every sweepstakes and contest they can find. Preferably ones with large cash jackpots. Sigh. Money is such a bother. I should have enough to get me through the holidays and my trip home, if I live frugally. Then I can get another job (sigh) when I get back. Temp jobs, if I can find them. Sigh again.
There is an older man here, just for the night. He is sitting on the couch, "La Bamba" playing in the background, completely engrossed in a Bust magazine. That rocks.
I am almost done with my skinny scarf. It's kinda nice to just knit, 300 stitches long, without thinking or looking at any patterns. I'll go back to my tank soon, I promise.
Pictures are in the mail!
Gosh, where to start. I have been really lazy about blogging. I finally went out and checked out the C.C. Club. I was a little leery, as no one here had been there, and from the outside, it didn't look like anything special.
Turned out to be exactly my kind of bar. A neighborhood bar in a punk neighborhood. Very laid back and relaxed, with the best jukebox ever, from Son Volt to Dropkick Murphys.
And yet I still can't get anyone to go with me. The following night was "girl's night out" at the hostel, and of course we headed downtown to Appleby's. It's hard to compete with two-for-one appetizers and free "mucho"-sizing of your drink. I'm trying to be snide and superior and all "down with corporations!", but the truth is I love it. Their perfect Margarita is to die for. And whoever invented boneless buffalo wings is
We drank, and chatted (mostly about sex), and flirted with the waiter, and drank some more, and chatted (entirely about sex), and drank, and had a grand old time. We staggered on home, after a promise to our nice waiter to be back next week. Next week. My last week. I'm getting a bit teary.
I'm also getting a bit excited. I can't wait to be on the road again! I've been checking out maps, and inputting my weird and wacky destinations, and I am about ready to bust! And Christy's going to be with me to see them! Yay!
The underwater Main street tour is coming up in this next leg of my journey, and something called God's Phonebooth. I wish I had written down what that was.
I have been cleaning out my car, as I never could have slept in it in the state it was in. That's the one thing I am not really looking forward to. I really don't mind sleeping in it, and it's really pretty comfy, but there are so many little comforts here that dear Tach just doesn't have. An accessible toilet first thing in the morning. Central heating. Room to sit up. Cable television.
Ahh, but it's worth it. So I shall head out at least once more. In two weeks my car may die and I might never get to New York, (yes, I am knocking on wood), but I shall make for the open road at least one more time ere then.