plato caligula lucifersam apollo

Sunday, April 29, 2007

DREAM: Lost on Highway 12

I was by myself driving on "Highway 12" in some unknown state through some unknown towns. I was going through one small town that seemed to be built up like a large city with lots of tunnels and overpasses and the color grey. I was keeping a watch out for highway signs as I went through some very confusing detours, and then I realized I had lost the highway and I was completely disoriented. Then it was like I was not in a car, but a pedestrian, and people, other pedestrians, were passing me by like they were cars through this tunnel/parking garage area. I was trying to ask people where Highway 12 was and everyone ignored me except for some man who started giving me directions that I didn't understand because I wasn't familiar with the area. Fortunately, I woke up. I hate dreams like that.


Saturday, April 28, 2007


I'm ready to throw a shoe at Blogger again. Seems like my blogging client, be it Greymatter or Blogger, seems to act up on schedule every 6 months or so.

The latest is a bit hard to explain, so I won't go into the boring tech stuff, but it seems that Blogger is now publishing Label pages that have spaces in the title with weird characters, plus it's not making updates to those pages with the weird characters. I could go into much more detail about it, but it would only confuse and waste everyone's time. It just started this recently. All I know is that my Route 66 label page, which has a space between the "Route" and "66", is not showing my latest entries, whereas my "Vacation" page (which has no spaces in the title) does.

I want to scream.


DREAM: My Academy Award Nomination

I was at a party with people I didn't know, most of whom were a bit younger than me. It was either at this party or beforehand that I found out that I had been nominated for an academy award for Best Supporting Actress. Unfortunately, I don't know what movie I was in, although I am positive that it was an independent film. I was so much in shock, especially since I'm not an actress, but a visual artist. I didn't want to come across as braggy, but I was telling people at the party about it, and that I was pretty stunned to be nominated, although I was really worried because I didn't have a thing to wear for the event (and that part would definitely be true!).


This is one of the few wild and outlandish dreams that actually has a possible explanation:

I am one of a dozen or so Madison-area artists who will have work up for the grand opening of the Sundance Cinemas 608 here in Madison.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Route 66 Day 6 Photo 6

Hills south of Gila Bend heading toward Organ Pipe National Monument. Do you hear Ennio Morricone music? I think I see The Man with No Name riding on a horse with a wide brimmed hat, cape and cigar.

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Route 66 Day 6 Photo 3-5

April 7, morning, Gila Bend: Space Age Lodge and Restaurant. Here was the space place that was a bit too pricey for us to spend the night...but that didn't prevent us from eating breakfast there the next morning. I look a little funny in the picture because I'm sticking my tongue out at Stan. The restaurant supposedly burned down a few years ago and what you see now is a rebuilt version. I love the blue tile. Next time, I think I will splurge on a room. In fact, I want the whole restaurant as my kitchen.

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DREAM: 1037 Brilliant Street

Stan and I were in a city that was not Madison. It was either Milwaukee or Denver or Boulder. We were lost, and looking for a street named "Brilliant." It was an older part of town with business and residential homes that were two-story and maybe around the age of ours (around 100 or maybe older). We get to an intersection and realize the cross street was "Brilliant." Stan decides to go up to the next cross street to find the address we were looking for (I think it was 1037, but I'm not sure) because he thinks he can get through on it easier, and then take another street back on over to the block we need on Brilliant Street. This other street that runs parallel to Brilliant was creeping me out. It was sort of like an alley because all the houses backs faced to it. The houses all looked very run down and smudgey (that's the only way I can describe it), but one house had the address "1037" on it, so we figured that the house across from it on the alley, which faced Brilliant Street, was the house we wanted. I was there to pick up art or deliver art or something, but I didn't know the name of the woman I needed to talk to, however Stan seemed to know, and called out to "Lorene". I thought it was odd that her name was the same as Stan's mom. We went into the 2-story house which seemed to be subdivided into apartments. We walked up the stairs which were very narrow and shallow and would take forever if one walked up one step at a time, so I tried stepping up two steps at a time, but was a bit freaked because there was no room for even a small adult foot on a step. Lorene was no one I'd ever seen before. She was about 50 or so, dark hair, shorter than me, glasses, pretty average. Her 2nd story apartment was large and carpeted with light, almost white, thick pile carpeting. Stan sat down on a chair, but I couldn't find a chair to sit on, so I grabbed a square-shaped stool with a doily on top, but as I sat down on it I realized this was not something to sit on, but something to have things put on it like small vases, as the legs felt very wobbly beneath me. I realized I made a horrible social faux pas...I forgot what happened in the dream after that.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Canadian Denied Entry to the absurd reason why

I first heard of this incident on "As it Happens" on the radio this morning, so I fished it out on the web.

Simply unbelievable.

LSD is not a narcotic.

The man took these drugs 30 plus years ago (which would exempt George Bush from entering the US, no?)

While the border guards are wasting their time on this professor, who knows what really could be passing under their noses? Maybe nothing, but how would they know taking up their time with him?

I want to go to Canada again some day, but who knows if I'll be able to return if the US border guards google my name and happen to find something they don't like.

It just makes me want to scream.

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DREAM: My Adventures in Flooded Bellevue at the Turn of the Century with Rasputin Guy

I was lying in a bedroom where all the furniture had an old fashioned rustic wooden quality, and the bed had an old handmade quilt. I did not recognize this bedroom as anything I've been in. There was a radio playing an NPR-like talk show but there was a bad cock 'n roll hairfarmer song on the radio, probably being used for a reason as bumper music between segments. Then Bill comes into the bedroom, and I'm so embarrassed to have this song on, worried that he'll think I'm listening to the song because I like it. I forgot where this dream fits into the following dream, pre-, middle, or post-:

I was at my parent's house and my dad was talking to us about places (locally) to drive to. Then I had to use the bathroom while they were talking to me, but the bathroom was distinctly like my own in the hallway near our bedroom, but it was also like my parent's hallway...go figure. Anyway, Stan and I take off and are driving up around Bellevue, but the terrain isn't like it is IRL at all. It is very hilly like Wisconsin or Iowa, but not mountainous like Colorado. It is also very flooded, and reminds me of the reoccurring dream where we drive to the mountains and it's cold and we get out and walk around an area with ponds and frogs and it turns warm. The road is hilly and where there's a hill, there's water rolling down the hill like a waterfall. I cannot believe the car has any traction in this, and eventually we end up parking in this big flooded pond. Stan got out, but I couldn't even push my door open because the water came up so high, so I stayed in the car. I don't know what Stan was doing...taking pictures perhaps. We parked right next to a small old frame house that looked like a boutiquey remodelling job of a genuinely old historic homestead. Then a woman who was maybe in her 50s-60s but very wrinkly came out and told us there was nothing for us here. She had brunette hair that was teased up in a bun sort of Gunsmoke Old West TV style. I think she wore a long dress with a shawl. She was adamant that we leave. But I think we went into another building instead. It was old and rustic and I was on the second floor, but the only way to get down was to climb a ladder made of tree branches. I was scared I would lose my footing. There was a man there who looked like an Eastern Orthodox monk with a long black robe and long Rasputin, except he spoke with a very regular American voice. He was helping me descend the ladder.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Route 66 Day 6 Photo 1-2

April 7, morning, Gila Bend, AZ: This is the Yucca Motel where we stayed the night before, plus a scene of its surrounding area with native plantlife. Now supposedly we stayed here 20 years ago on our big circular trip around the west in late May and early June of 1987, however, that might be disputable, now that some time has passed and I've had time to think. On the other end of the main business drag, there was a motel, now closed down, called "Desert Inn" which also has a pool in front, well, had. When we would've pulled in to Gila Bend late at night back in '87 after a very long drive across the California desert after the very horrible border crossing experience at San Ysidro earlier in the day, the Desert Inn would've been the first motel to greet us traveling east as we entered the main business loop off the interstate. Could it be that we actually stayed at The Desert Inn rather than the Yucca Motel? I didn't keep a journal back then, so there'd be no way to know. Stan says he remembers that it was the Yucca, and I honestly don't know.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

DREAM: Strange Vessels

Stan and I were driving on the CSU campus west on Pitkin Street. We pull off to park at the Clark Building. As we're pulling into the parking lot, I see a strange thing in the sky. At first it looks like a weird helicopter, but on closer inspection it looks like two cars mating in the sky, or maybe a car and a boat. It is slowly drifting towards land, and as it is coming closer, I see that it is a weird ship-like vessel that has tall masts with cables hanging from them but no sails. It is carrying a car, evidently a car that it had rescued in the sky. As it getting closer and closer to land, it starts to tip, and I'm afraid it will crash, all the time I'm thinking, "this is like something weird I'd have in a dream". That is not, however recognizing this is a dream, on the contrary, it felt more like "I can't believe this is actually happening because it is like I'd only dream that happens." It finally lands, not crashes, in another part of the parking lot that we are in. The lot is strangely roomy (not at all like the Clark parking lot). It starts moving towards us as we're getting out of our car, and I'm afraid it will run over us, but the "captain" sees us and lets us pass by.

Later, I'm dreaming that we're traveling to Colorado and I'm constantly packing and unpacking. I'm boarding a bus/streetcar, and everyone is dressed from the 19th century. There is a black soldier from the Union Army from the Civil War that is in line ahead of me, and I wanted to tell him "thank you". Then I start to come to IRL and the radio is on and they're talking about horses on the show "Calling all Pets". Then I realize in the discussion of horses, they were talking about how horses were used in the Civil War, and I realize that somehow shaped my dream.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Route 66 Day 5 Photo 3

April 6, northeast Phoenix, Arizona, late afternoon. A shot from the car window at some interesting rock formations with assorted cactii. We spent this entire day driving all around the Phoenix metropolitan area trying to find greenhouses Stan had tracked down on the web. The first one was the most successful.

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Route 66 Day 5 Photos 1-2

April 6, Rest Stop in Arizona, morning. The previous night we had tried to get a place to stay in Flagstaff, but the prices scared us off. One hotel clerk said they were getting filled up with vacationing Californians. So we headed on down the road to Camp Verde, which was a very nice, and a little less expensive, stay. In the morning we headed south to Phoenix and stopped at this Rest Stop on I-17. (we are not on Route 66 anymore with the remaining photos). This is definitely one of my top 3 rest stops, the other two being the Wisconsin Welcome Center on US-151 before you get to Dubuque, IA--the dogs LOVE this place because there's a big dewey meadow to run around in early in the morning on our trips to Colorado, and the Iowa Welcome Center in Council Bluffs at exit 1B on I-80 which features natural prairie plantings, a zillion crickets and butterflies and WiFi access. This rest stop overlooks a valley filled with plants that are transitional between the hot desert of Phoenix and the northern forests of Flagstaff. Going south past the rest stop on the other side of the hill, the Pines change to Saguaros. Stan had taken a couple pictures of me, but I was squinting, so I decided to use my picture of him instead.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Route 66 Day 4 Photo 14

Here's the cactus Stan mentioned in his comment in the post below--he wanted me to post it. It's smaller than a baseball and bigger than a golfball. It was cute.

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Route 66 Day 4 Photos 10-13

April 5: Meteor Crater, inbetween Winslow and Flagstaff. We got there very late in the afternoon, shortly before they closed. We've been by here before, in 1987 and in 1999. In 1999 it was raining torrents, so that's why we didn't stop then. I'm not sure what was up in 1987--maybe we didn't know about it. We didn't want to miss it this time, despite the late afternoon time. I would've liked to take more time, but that was not to be. The crater was huge, much too big to stand at the viewing dock and get it all in one shot, hence the two small shots on top (not a perfectly seamless panorama, sorry). There were some kinds of scientific instruments at the bottom, which are in the pictures at the left. We bought some space food sticks in the gift shop....very pricey, but yummy. We ate them later at assorted times in assorted hotel rooms.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Route 66 Day 4 Photos 4-9

This is the cheesey part of the trip
This is the trip, the cheesey part
I really cringe
What'd he say?
Yeah, right!
Pretty cheesey, huh
Yeah, I'm embarrassed to be a part of this number

oops...paraphrased wrong LA-based band there...

Allright, how about:

Well, Im a standing on a corner...

In winslow, arizona
And such a fine sight to see

Its a girl, my lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin down to take a look at me

OK, how about...

Well, Im a standing on a corner
In Windblown Arizona
And such a welcome sight to see

Its a dog, my lord, in a flatbed

slowin down to take a look at me

Yes, this was Winslow, Arizona, and they dedicated this corner on Route 66 to that Eagles song. There is no picture of me here so that I couldn't be blackmailed by punks and serious music people from my past, plus, I was having a really bad hair day. Trust me, you don't want to see a picture of me standing next to that skinny bronze sculpture. I hate bronze sculptures...whether they're skinny pseudo rockstars or the multitude of gleeful children in the Fort Collins/Loveland area. Their faces look deformed. Anyway, I much prefer the skinny wooden cowboy when it comes to cheesey Route 66 images, but most of all, I love the bulldog. But what was that about? A bulldog in a flatbed ford? Is it a takeoff on the girl-in-the-ford "window reflection" painting on the side of the building? It was right there, on the side street just a few feet away from starving bronze rockstar dude. There were also a lot of people (tourists) milling around trying to get a picture of themselves with bronzeboy, so fortunately we didn't accidentally shoot anyone...heh.

*paraphrased from The Doors' Soft Parade during one of Jim's stream of conscience ramblings.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Route 66 Day 4 Photos 2-3

These are the red cliffs on the border of New Mexico and Arizona. I had a great dream several years ago about this area, that I was flying down I-40, through these hills. It was a great dream. I've been through here a couple times before this, so it wasn't like it was a psychic dream or anything.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dog Boarding Kennel Mixup--We got the wrong Boston back

Plato was always antagonistic and nippy toward strangers and other dogs. He was never that way toward us or Tim, and once he's around a new person for a day or so he'll be fine. If he knew you, he was great--snuggly and affectionate. In recent years, he'll be fine with our parents after a few minutes reacquainting with them (I think he still doesn't like my dad, but the feeling is mutual), but with unknown people, especially men, we don't trust him. We tried to take him to a Pug Play (people can bring their Pugs' "sibling" dogs even if they're not Pugs themselves...there's another couple at the Pug Play with a Pug and a Boston too, and one of the Pug owners even brought their Labradoodle) but he was just too grrrr and acted too antagonistic. When we went to pick up our dogs at the boarding kennel yesterday, I was a little surprised at what they said...Lucifer Sam was the shy one and Plato was more outgoing. Lucifer Sam did eventually become less shy as the days went on, but they never had any problems with Plato. So we thought that since he had been exposed to other dogs at "Camp" and he did fine and had no problems, that we'd take him to Pug Play that very day...maybe he'd think it was just an extension of camp. He was a little hesitant at first and did have a few nippy episodes that were easily stopped with a verbal correction, but for the most part he was great! He played with the Pugs and ran around with them, and he kept the entire group very active. He had no problems with any of the humans either, even the men. I am impressed with this new dog we have, and we'll have to take him to more play dates in the future.


Route 66 Day 4 Photo 1

Red Cliffs on the mountains in northwestern New Mexico heading west on Route 66 toward Gallup. Not a bad picture considering I shot this through the car window while we were moving about 60 mph!

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Route 66 Day 12-End; DREAMs

The night before last I dreamt I had found a really cool rock with white quartz-like crystals surrounded by thin fibre-like hematite crystals.

I also dreamt there were two children Stan and I were going to adopt because they didn't have anywhere else to go. It wouldn't have cost us anything, except we'd be in debt having to support two children.

Unfortunately, the first dream wasn't true. Fortunately, the last dream wasn't true either.

Yesterday we left the graveyard-like silent hotel (I'm considering using a Super 8 next time rather than this old standby that seems to degenerate each time it changes management and ownership) and got some of the world's most delicious coffee for the road. We stopped at a rest stop in Iowa and tried to call Camp K9 where our animals are being boarded to let them know we'll be picking them up on Saturday. We could not get through...a pre-recorded message came on the phone that said "this line is being checked for trouble". WTF? Naturally, when you're 400 some miles away, the last thing you want to hear is that there's trouble with the place you're trying to get ahold of, where your precious furbabies are. I tried to tell myself that it's just their phone that's having trouble, not the place itself. Nonetheless, I was worried and my stomach was turning somersaults, especially with the huge amount of caffeine I was ingesting that I hadn't experienced the whole trip. Had Madison's late spring snow storm damaged storm lines? What if there was a fire? What if there was some disaster? Finally as we got closer to Des Moines, Stan finally reached them. Yes, it was just the phone lines. Why on earth does the phone company use such language? "This line is being checked for trouble?" Why not problems instead of trouble? That's a less severe sounding word, and problems does sound more like technical issues with the phone line itself whereas trouble sounds more serious, and not necessarily just phone-line/technical issues related.

Anyway, we got our animals back. Persephone, who greeted us when we came home yesterday, wouldn't shut up. She was non-stop catterwauling (sp?) all night long, so much that Stan had to use earplugs. I slept through it, but her wails and cries mutated into shapes in my dozing mind, starfish and swirling stars and anemones, piled on top of eachother like her successive meows.

When we brought the other animals home from camp this morning, she shut up. Maybe the only reason she kept meowing was to tell us the rest of her family was missing.

I have a bunch of work to catch up on now that I'm home, but I'll try to post the rest of the pictures as I have time. This should keep everyone amused for quite a few more days to come, even though the trip is now over.

One last thing...we had the absolute most PERFECT weather the whole time! Maybe a few drops of rain while we were driving for the entire trip, only a couple threatening skies that never did anything. You couldn't have imagined or asked for better weather, especially with all the BAD weather the rest of the country was having! Madison got hammered with a big snowfall this past Wednesday, but when we got home, most of it had melted. Then, parts of the country where we had been--Albuquerque through Kansas--had a stormfront pass through it a day after we left. We were very lucky. I guess it made up for last fall when Stan and I had beautiful weather in Montrose while we had to stay and help his mom after surgery, but after she got more independent and we could take day trips, it rained and got cold.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Route 66 Day 3 Photos 17-19

April 3, morning: Although we actually saw this roadside attraction in Conway, Texas prior to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, I decided to post the other one first since this is a parody of it. This is "Bug Ranch", and the planted cars are VW Beetles.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Route 66, Day 11

We're almost home! Oklahoma's panhandle was cold waking up to, with cloud cover and wet must have rained overnight but I heard nothing. We drove to Liberal, KS, which is the "adopted" home of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (no mention was ever made in the book or movie to exactly *where* she lived other than in SW KS). Although Stan bought me a ruby slippers pin (so I can get out of Kansas and back home to my Emerald City), we didn't do other touristy things there, neither did we in Dodge City, other than take photos of the museum outside made to look like an old western town. Just as well we didn't--it took a long time to drive through KS and up to Lincoln, NE to get the best coffee in the world and a room for the night. I could've used that coffee 10 hours ago. I dozed practically all the way here (no, I was not driving). It's just that...a combination of no caffeine, ibuprofen, and Kansas landscape makes for a somniforous drive.

We stocked up on bags of beans at Panache the coffeehouse and got two big drinks to go. Mine was practically a meal by itself, so I only got a side salad at the Perkins by our hotel. Stan has this weird personality trait I refer to as "food swings". He has this thing against Iceberg lettuce, like serious antagonism toward it. Like, I envision his fantasies of him taking an ancient medieval Japanese sword and chopping airborne heads of iceberg like an angry John Belushi Samurai Chef as they fly past his head. I know it's not the healthiest green you can eat, but it's better for you than, say, a chicken and cheese quesadilla, which is what Stan ordered instead of some large chef's salad because they were out of Romaine lettuce. Whatever.

During dinner, I managed to put a large gash in my lip because my tooth slipped on a crouton. We felt it was a very Seinfeld moment. Elaine, Jerry, George and Kramer are sitting around discussing times when they've accidentally inflicted severe pain on themselves. The guys are describing really macho, painful activities, and Elaine says, "Well one time I was eating a big salad and my tooth slipped on a crouton and it put a huge gash in my lip. It was really painful. I couldn't drink orange juice for days." There's a moment of silence while the guys stare dumfounded at Elaine and make fun of her because that's just not as painful as ways they've hurt themselves. Suddenly, George's face puckers into a mangled expression, and wouldn't you know it, his tooth slipped on the T-bone of his steak and he put a huge gash in his lip. George can't talk properly now, his lip is in pain. He has a job interview scheduled for the next day, which he does go to, but his lip is swollen, it looks like he has an oral herpes, and he's speaking like Kramer on Novocaine. Naturally, George doesn't get the job and Elaine gets the last laugh...until she injures herself in a very macho way.

Tomorrow will be like any day in the fall coming back from a Colorado trip...except it will be spring. We'll stop at Harvey's in Iowa, not that we didn't get enough cactii in Arizona, but this is for the spring garden instead.

And I miss my dogs terribly.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Route 66, Day 10

This morning we headed out to Magdelena, NM (sp?). Supposedly there was a place there where you could pay a fee to enter an area to find rocks. We never did it. The road was 13 miles long, rocky (4WD material) and with no cellphone service. Maybe if we had a 4WD, but we don't. We found a rockshop on the edge of town where we found a few small things anyway. So we headed to Albuquerque. We decided to take the remaining Route 66 that we missed on the way in last Thursday, and we're so glad we did! We found *the* rockshop, Southwestern Minerals located right on that route in Albuquerque, and I finally got my Rainbow Calcite! Not a cut gem (that would've been hugely expensive, no doubt!) but a nice rectangular specimen piece (they cleave in rectangular shapes). We decided on the spur of the moment not to take the interstates 40-44-55-35 back, but to take 40 to Highway 54 in Tucumcari, and head on up to Dodge City, KS tomorrow. We tried staying the night in Dalhart, Texas, but rooms were outrageously expensive for a little town with not much business. Plus one of the desk clerks creeped me out. So we decided to head up the road to Guymon, OK, which is significant because that's where Stan's sister lived for 10-15 years or so. Rooms were a little cheaper than the Super 8 in Dalhart, and definitely worth it to get away from a crusty hotel clerk, but also it gets us further down the highway and a better start on the morning. Texas definitely doesn't want us. Supposedly there's some "Dorothy's House" (Oz) in Liberal, KS, and I've been wanting to see Dodge City (Marshal Dillon! Miss Kitty! Festus!) for quite a while now, even if it is just a little hole in the wall tourist trap like Tombstone. Later, we'll head up to Lincoln, NE so we can get the best coffee in the world. Even somewhat good coffee was sorely lacking on this trip! When all this is over with, we will have driven through 10 states (counting Wisconsin)!

No time to post pictures tonight...we barely got a room and settled in in time for LOST.

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Route 66, Day 10 DREAM: Picker

Stan and I were at an airport and we were either picking up Stan's mom or she was there to pick us up, however I was asking questions that implied that I hadn't taken a flight. The weather was bad and I was saying i didn't want to fly through a snowstorm. Then I had to use the bathroom, but all the stalls could be seen into. Instead of having a large metal door, the door was composed of metal strips, some of which were falling off and askew, so people could see in. I went into a stall anyway, sat down, but didn't pull my pants down because people kept looking in. One of the people who came up to my stall to look in was someone I knew in jr/sr. high school, *e*b*e H*f*e*b*r. I decided to pick my nose while looking her right in the eye, and that got rid of her. Funny that looking at someone sitting on a toilet isn't enough to move on, but bring out the old nose pick, and that'll do the magic. Later the dream progressed to watching kids chasing dogs chasing cats, but that was interrupted by a very weird IRL phone call to our hotel room at 6:15 in the AM.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Route 66, Day 9

Nothing much at all happened today, except for finding a few rocks at a rockshop in Deming, NM. It was very windy on both I-10 and I-25. We decided to take I-25 north up to Socorro rather than going around White Sands again, just because we've never seen that part of the state. Well, next time, we won't. This has got to be some of the most boring parts of New Mexico. Just over the mountain ridge by White Sands and Alamagordo, it's very interesting with nut orchards and varied topography. We got the same hotel, EconoLodge in Socorro, where we stayed at in 2005 coming back from Roswell, and where the wind is still howling like a banshee just like that first night. We ate dinner at the ElCamino next door, my biggest meal so far this trip (Chile Relleno and Cheese Enchilada). Maybe we'll find some place to get rocks tomorrow, maybe not. We've lucked out a little so far in that department.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Route 66 Day 3 Photos 7-16: All Ten Caddies

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Route 66 Day 3 Photo 4-6

April 4, around 2:30 pm, Amarillo, TX:

The famous not-to-be-missed Cadillac Ranch isn't actually on Route 66, but it's not far away. This is an ever-changing exhibit of planted Caddies that would make all my former art professors cringe in horror (yes!) as it changes its colors periodically thanks to anyone armed with a can of paint or a marker. Darn, I forgot to bring my spray can supply on this trip....I guess there's always something you forget to take with you.

The display is located out in a cow pasture, and there's some strange artifacts you can find on the ground other than discarded markers and spray can tops, one of which was a gold spray-painted cowpie. I've always wanted to do that, but with gold leaf.

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Route 66, Day 7-8

File under "Day 5, April 6 morning." I forgot to add this: we kept the window open in the hotel that night, even though most other guests used their air conditioners. I like the feel of natural air, and since we were on the 2nd floor and no one could see in, I also kept the drapes open. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked out at the sky, and again i saw the strange circular formation of stars that I saw in Montrose, CO this past fall. I have no idea what this phenomenon is. Is there really some strange formation in the sky? I think the window in the motel faced east, but in Montrose it faced south. Is it my eyes playing tricks on me? I vote for that one, except wouldn't they play tricks at me at home when I wake up and stare into darkness? It only happens with open windows. Stan says it has something to do with the spirit world getting in touch with me. I don't know.


Sunday: In the morning we went to Colossal Cave which was a little tourist area southeast of Tucson. We got there bright and early to first do some touristy sluicing before an onslaught of brats got there. I'm sure the little packets of rocks you buy are all pre-measured with a good amount of quartz and bits of sodalite and aventurine all pre-planned to make the unknowing think they might get a precious emerald or sapphire. After that, we took the cave tour. This was the first cave where I sweated! All the caves I've seen--Crystal Cave in South Dakota's Badlands, Manitou Cave near Colorado Springs, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Glenwood Cavern in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and Cave of the Mounds in my own backyard, have all been living caves, the stalagtites and stalagmites still in a state of formation, moist with water. They have been cool, 60 degrees or less and have left me with a cold nose. This cave is a dry cave and was a constant 70 degrees, the warmest cave I've ever been in.

After that, we took a drive through Saguaro National Forest on the southeast side of Tucson. Still with some time left in the day, we decided to take a chance on finding the Mineral Museum at the University of Arizona in Tucson. After all, it was a Sunday, Easter, so it might be closed. We were in luck! It was open (but closed on Monday and Tuesday, so this was our only chance!) plus we got to see an interesting Planetarium exhibit as well, although the mineralogical displays were more than worth the price of admission just by themselves. So many beautiful minerals, you could look for days and each time through see something different. But the one thing that will stick in my mind is a gem-cut piece of Calcite. I don't know how many karats, but it was about an inch wide. The remarkable thing about this gem was the way it sparkled. If you've seen iridescent Aurora Borealis coated Cubic Zirconias it was something like that, but it was not man-made. It was Calcite, common but flawless, clear white rainbow Calcite. The way it sparkled was more pastel, but still very rainbow, pinks and greens and purples and yellows. Gorgeous. Why haven't I found any for sale anywhere?

Since it was Easter, the only place to eat was...Denny's. I had a salad. Stan had the cholesterol special.

Monday: Went to Tombstone in the morning. Not much was open, so we got a bite to eat at a local cafe. It said "family restaurant" so I assumed it was a tourist spot, but in fact it was more a locals spot. It was scary. We got stared at. I could only order coffee because I didn't feel like eating under these circumstances, but somehow Stan managed to wolf down his second cholesterol special. While we were getting ready to leave, a tour bus with Oriental calligraphy on the window pulled up to the corner and unloaded Asian tourists. This was one of the oddest sights, all these tourists on a chartered tour from a country far away snapping photos of this rough western town with a facade preserved for tourists. So as a tourist myself, I shot a picture of the tourists shooting pictures. The rock shop we went to Tombstone for was very small, and very closed. So we went on down to Bisbee. The mineral shop we wanted to see, although supposedly open, was also very closed, but I was able to find a couple beautiful and quite inexpensive rings (turquoise and azurite-malachite) at a different rock/jewelry shop. No luck with finding beads with which to *make* jewelry, however, which is really what I wanted to find. We did happen upon a store in a basement of an old town mall which sold beautiful Chinese antiques. Way beyond our price range, of course, and very beautiful.

We had an embarrassing lost tourist moment when we accidentally got on the road to enter Fort Huachuca. It was not clearly marked that civilians could not enter, I mean, after all, the brown highway department signs pointing to Fort Huachuca could be signs pointing to some old historical fort from centuries ago, one of those tourist points of interest, and there was no place to turn around once we realized we were headed the wrong direction. We stopped at the entrance where we had to present our ID for clearance, and when we told them we were lost and wanted to get back on the highway, they stopped traffic the other way for us to turn around and exit and I heard them say "We got a turnaround". They probably get several of those every day. We headed back to Tucson to see the Botanical Gardens. It was not scorching heat, maybe high seventies/low eighties with a partly cloudy sky, so I was able to tolerate being outside to look at all the pretties. Lots of lizards running across the sandy footpaths, and one gave us the time to shoot him, even offering us different poses. But when some nattering chattering clattering older women came by, he quickly knew he was not in friendly territory anymore and skirted under a bush. We ate a good mini lunch at the Gardens' cafe (Stan helped undo his cholesterol madness with a salad), and we stopped at some greenhouses on our way back to Benson. For dinner we actually manage to locate the Beijing Cafe that we couldn't find the previous day and had a small meal (Stan ordered more veggies this time, further reducing the damage of his two previous Heart Attack Special meals).

Tomorrow we leave Arizona for New Mexico for a day or two, and then back home.

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Route 66, Day 8 DREAM: Death

This was quite a disturbing dream. My dad had died. I don't know if he died while I was visiting them, or if he died before I got there. They had agreed (pre-death) to do the cheapskate funeral where they embalm him at home. I guess he's embalmed at this point, and my mom wants me to go see his body. He's wrapped in a bathrobe, not a good suit (which my dad doesn't really have anyway, unless you count an unintentional retro suit from a bygone era a good suit). He will be buried in the bathrobe. My mom is keeping him under the covers in a bedroom. I think that I am supposed to cry, but I don't feel sad at all when I look at him. Then later in the dream it's like he's alive and talking to me about being dead, but he's still dead. Days go by and he's not buried yet, and there's a strange sweet odor coming from the hallway that I suspect is the embalming fluid leaking out. Where there is cupboards at the end of the hallway IRL, there is a blank wall with rust on it. The whole place is freaking me out, especially when I go into the room my dad is buried in and I see leaky fluid on the mattress. I wake up from this dream and feel quite disturbed about the whole thing.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Route 66 Day 3 Photo 3

April 4, morning, McLean, TX: The Cactus Inn. No, we didn't stay there (the motel isn't in the picture), but the sign was photoworthy.

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Route 66, Day 7 DREAM: What were we doing there, looking for Sawyer?

This has to be one of the most WTF?!?!? dreams I've had in maybe forever. I was in a small western town somewhere and went into a small bar/music hall with Stan (as if). Hurley, yes, big Hugo from LOST was there and it was like we knew eachother. But that is not the WTF part of it. See, I *watch* LOST so characters from the show might pop up in a dream or two. The thing is, the only other dream I had with a character on LOST was with HURLEY! Why? I have no clue. Personally, I'd like to have a dream with Desmond because then it would probably be very weird with seeing into the future and weird dejavus and things. Plus, he's from the British Isles. Yet I digress.

So we're sitting there and this typical western southern-styled band is playing, something like you'd hear in one of the Olde Towne saloons in Fort Collins back in the 80s, something that kept Stan and I away from places like that in droves (well, I don't think two people count as a drove, but you get the picture). This guy comes on stage and someone announces something about Dicky Betts and that he had played with the Allman Brothers.

OK, first of all, I know practically nothing about the Allman Brothers, I don't listen to them, I don't hate them, but they're not my kind of music. But Dicky Betts? How did I even KNOW in waking life that Dicky Betts was in the Allman Brothers let alone while dreaming?

So back to the dream, Hurley is sitting in front of us, and I lean over and tap him on the shoulder and say, "Is that Dicky Betts?" Hurley says yes, and we both concur, "what is he doing here, isn't he more well known to be playing some hole in the wall somewhere?"

So then I "wake up" from the dream, but not really, I only wake up in so far as that I wake into another dream, but I think I'm awake, and I'm going online to verify who on earth Dicky Betts is, and if indeed he played for the Allman Brothers. I find pictures online, and yup, sure enough, that's the guy who was in the other dream.

(I also had a dream later that night about my mom being mad at me about something or other.)

Then when I actually truly do wake up from my dream, (I really am awake at this point), I do go online to check out who this Dicky Betts fellow is (thank goodness my hotel has wireless or I'd be puzzling about this for days), and sure enough, that was the guy in my dream, and yes, he did play with the Allman Brothers.

W. T. F.

The only thing I can think of was that I was "lost" in the dream and really it should've been Sawyer in my place because it was like the kind of music he would listen to.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Route 66 Day 3 Photo 1-2

April 4, morning: One of the many iconic images of Route 66, The Conoco building in Shamrock, TX.

I just realized that my camera doesn't give accurate readings of the time these pictures were taken, so I'm just guessing at the general times now.

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Route 66 Day 2 Photo 3

April 3, 3:23 PM: Commerce, OK. A little glimpse at a ice cream stand from a bygone era. The only thing giving it away as "now" are the cars parked out front.

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Route 66, Day 6

I feel a little silly still titling this "Route 66" when we've been off of Route 66 for a couple days now. Nonetheless, the towns we're staying still have some of that older, mid-century charm. And this really was our "Route 66" trip even though much of the destination was far away from it. Sometimes the trip itself is also the destination.

Well, if you can't afford to spend the night there, at least you can eat there. We ate breakfast at the Space Age Restaurant, attached to the Space Age Lodge. I REALLY WANTED THEIR FLATWARE. It was white with cobalt blue trim and a little flying saucer on the rim. It was so me. Unfortunately, they don't sell their flatware, pity, the colors, the theme, and the fact we desparately need a new set of flatware would have been the perfect souvenir item to come home with. We had to settle with some Space Age Restaurant coffee mugs instead.

We spent a short time in Organ Pipe looking at the pretty cactuses. The Occotillos (sp?) were the only large ones in bloom, and they're not a cactus by scientific definition (most people don't know, though). Some smaller species that were planted by the visitor's center were blooming, however.

It was a long drive to Tucson through an Indian Nation, and we did manage to find a really good cactus supplier in Tucson. Stan took a long time buying plants while I wilted in the car away from the scorching arid sun. Although we managed to hit southern Arizona on a cooler day than I thought we would---well, relatively cool for this location, which means in the 80s--it's still a scorcher because the sun is more direct than what I'm used to "back home." It is actually fortunate I do feel so hot and scorched so that I do take cover and not try to spend much time under the sun. Had it been 60 degrees outside, I probably would have a severe burn right now. Birth control pills, my blood pressure medication, rosacea and light skin are not a good combination when mixed with sun. I've always been sensitive to the heat though. One time in 5th grade I almost fainted on "earth day" when our class spent the day at a park. My face turned colors and they took me back to school to the nurse's office. Same thing happened a few years ago at Arches. My face turning pink is a sign to get me into shade ASAP before it turns purple and yellow and white and red and blue and green. Yet I digress.

Go with your gut. Lodging looked grim in Tucson. Overpriced, sleazy, poorly placed near road construction and by the interstate (which was fine in Oklahoma City, but it was different...hard to explain). We decided that even though there are things we still want to see in Tucson, to drive about 30 miles down the interstate to Benson, AZ, a town on the highway. Rooms were cheaper, the setting was prettier, the desk clerk friendlier, and I could hear crickets outside. We'll be here for another day or two, using this as our base instead of Tucson. Sure, there's still things we want to see in the bigger city, but I don't want to stay there. Smaller towns are so much better to spend the night in when you're doing the roadtrip. (Unless they're REALLY small and only have really scary rundown motels). Benson is actually midway between Tucson and Bisbee, which supposedly is THE place to get copper-based rocks like Malachite, Chrysocolla and Turquoise. It's also near Tombstone, where I've always wanted to visit. I've been to Arizona twice before and never got to Tombstone. Third time's a charm, I guess.

Remember earlier when I said we only ate at Denny's the entire length of the trip thus far at that point? I forgot to mention the IHOP we ate at in Springfield, MO. Service there was very good, unlike Denny's, which we ate at again tonight (what's wrong with me?) in Benson. Well, they gave a 10% discount with the hotel we're staying at, plus, it's right next door, so... It keeps pulling me back IN! I feel like such a tourist.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Route 66 Day 2 Photo 1-2

April 3, 3:00 PM: I do feel really stupid now for not having any pictures of the Ozarks from Missouri, esp. the Redbuds blooming on the hillsides. It was just very hard to pull over it seemed, and then when it's gone you don't realize you have nothing from it. Oh well. The irony is that I do have a picture from Kansas, and Route 66 only goes for 13 miles or so through Kansas! It loops around through a small southeast corner, where stands this restored Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge (shown with our van in the first picture for size reference).

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Route 66 Day 1 Photo 4

April 2, 3:39 PM: The "Bel-Air" sign with a bell. Bell Air, get it? Clever modern stuff. All that remains is the sign with a blank, airy message. The motel, or restaurant, is gone. The land is for lease. Soon, there will be a strip mall or some other hideous postmodernstrosity. This is somewhere outside of Saint Louis on the Illinois side, I think. Or was it in Missouri? I'm confused now.

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Route 66, Day 5

It was a hot one today in Phoenix. And road construction was unbearable. We ran into it coming in to town, so we quickly exited and found our way to a non-existent gem and mineral museum (directions put it in a bad part of probably got robbed) and then a cactus greenhouse. Stan filled up on pets and retailers and breeders (pets we keep for us, retailers he resells, and breeders he uses to make seeds/offsets). We tried locating some other was unfindable and the other didn't have what he wanted. At the end of the day, we decided we should find a motel. They're a bit hard to come by, so we decided to head on down to Gila Bend...tomorrow we'll see Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Traffic got horrendously bad on the westbound interstate...totally backed up more than usual, but the eastbound lane was completely empty. Was it some road construction detour? Worse than that--it was an accident. A horrible accident with dead bodies covered up that left such a sad feeling with me...I was holding back tears. Our westbound lane was backed up only because when people stop and stare at an accident, it causes a backlog for hours and miles.

We almost got a $99 room at the Space Age Lodge in Gila Bend. Part of me wishes we would've splurged just to get to spend a night at a funky retro modern landmark, but $99 is an awful lot, especially since this trip is expensive with gas anyway. At least we're saving money eating! We only spent $16 today on a restaurant meal. We ate at an Asian Indian restaurant for late lunch...a couple Dosas and two Lassis cost a little over $16 not counting tip. We are saving money on lodging too...we're spending the night at the Yucca Motel. Not as funky modern, but it is a restored Mom 'n Pop motel, now run by an Asian Indian family (I'm encountering lots of good curry smells today!) And guess what, here's the weird part, 20 years ago, some time in early June of 1987, Ann and Stan spent the night here coming back from California! Now how romantic is that? Plus, it was half the price of the Space Age Lodge. Bill will be disappointed because I think he stayed in Space once and is probably expecting us to, but...$99? That's like Hilton mint on your pillow prices.

Anyway, I've labeled all the Route 66 stuff in its own special category to make re-reading this easier (just click the "Route 66" label). I'm way behind on Photos, yes, I know, I still need to post photos from the past 5 days. It's just that even though the Arizona clock says 8:47 pm, my Wisconsin body say it's 10:47 pm.

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Route 66 Day 5 Weird DREAMs

Weird Dreams from Last Night

Dream 1: Stan and I were talking to Bill and he had to leave. he was in a small import car that might have been electric. As he left us, we saw him exiting an on-ramp to an interstate. The car was not running, so he took it out of gear and let it coast down the incline to the interstate. Somehow this was supposed to charge it to make the motor start, but it didn't work in his case because he only coasted to a stop. I saw his car, stationary at the bottom of the onramp. It looked like a police car came to help him out, but I also walked down to ask him if he was ok and if I could help.

Dream 2: This is really odd one. Stan and I needed to move a dresser or some large piece of furniture that was in my parent's basement. We couldn't do it by ourselves, and we needed someone else to help us. For some reason, in our twisted dream minds, the only person that we knew of who could help us was someone I knew only very briefly from Graduate School, D*v*d K*e*s. He was really reluctant to help us, but he did so anyway, and said something like, "It's always good to help out the homeless". Then I felt bad because he must've thought the looks of my parents basement was so meager that it made us look like homeless people squatting there.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Route 66, Day 4

Not that much to report on today. Left Santa Rosa fairly early and headed toward Albuquerque. We *were* planning on skipping Route 66 in New Mexico's biggest city because of the problem that I described with losing the route easily in big cities, BUT some really awful backed up road construction on the interstate on the east side of Albuquerque had us making an unexpected exit anyway, just to get away from the backlog. This was very fortuitous, as Route 66 is really easy to stay on in this city. There were a lot of mid-century relics along the way on Central Ave throughout. We didn't stop to shoot them (this would've taken forever as there was a lot) but we did pull over to buy Piñon from a roadside vendor. Mmmmm...Piñon. There is something about the kind roasted in the shell found only in New Mexico that is so delicious, but they are high in fat. Oh well, that's pretty much all I ate today. We didn't go to any restaurant at all...just munched stuff in the car. Surprisingly, I didn't stop in Gallup at all, although I thought I would. I really don't need jewelry, what I really need is beads to *make* jewelry*, but I didn't see any stores for that, so maybe I'll try Tucson.

The biggest photo op of the trip is actually a bit embarrassing. It has to do with a certain town in Arizona and a song from the 70s. And I feel like I lost all my indie punk cred for taking such an opportune moment to shoot it (which I probably lost years ago anyway), so maybe this was the nail in the coffin of my cred. I had the worse bad hair day today too...I don't know what I did to it in the shower last night. Maybe it's the dry air straightening it out. All I know was that I was standin' on a corner in Winslow Arid-zona with bad hair, shooting silly statues and street art with Stan, and looking like a total dork.

And thus concludes the Route 66 portion of our travels. Had we stayed on the route, we would've ended up in California. But we have cactus places to see and rock shops to visit in southern Arizona. Pictures to follow, but not yet...I haven't even gotten to Missouri with posting photos! I'm a bit backlogged.

I'm now in Camp Verde, AZ and dealing with a backlog of emails. Hotels were too $$$ in Flagstaff, so we went down the road (literally...steep drop in altitude) a way. Most expensive room I've stayed in (to me, $76 is expensive) but it beats Flagstaff and it beats driving all the way to Phoenix tonight. But it's got two queen size beds...I plan to stretch out a lot. Oh, and the towels are nice...they're an ecru color, not skinny white like most of them.

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Route 66 Day 1 Buncho DREAMs

I had a slew of dreams the first night on the road:

I was with Stan and someone we used to now, let's call him Fred, and Bill. Stan was really leary about being around Fred, but I was reassuring him it was ok. Stan was leary of my positive assessment of Fred, as he should've been. Bill was there too, and I was really glad to see him. He was leaning against a car, and I was hugging him so that he leaned back onto the car. We were all in Fort Collins...there was some strangeness to the town as there usually is in dreams, dealing with vacant houses in the western side of downtown.

I was using my desktop computer, but the monitor was black and white. The hard drive was filled to capacity, and was starting to malfunction because of it. A message came onscreen that said it needed my password and that it was shutting down because there was no more room left. I had to enter my password and then the computer acted really strange and the monitor looked like a non-Mac system from the late 80s or early 90s.

Stan and I were at his mom's. They were talking about how someone had stolen her pictures. I looked on the wall where she had a bunch of framed pictures/paintings (some of which were by Stan and me), and they were all cut out of their frames. There were these bare frames on the wall with no art inside. I couldn't understand why someone would break into someone's house and steal art that way without taking the frame's not like they were bolted to the wall. Weird.

Stan was behaving oddly. He had a hump in his shirt in back, and I figured out he was hiding a book back there. I asked him why he was doing that, and he refused to tell me, which was really weird. I started getting mad at him, and I wake myself up by breathing/fuming heavily.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Route 66 Day 1 Photo 3

April 2, 1:56 PM: I call this one "Meth Lab School."

Stan calls things like this "Scare the Girl Stuff." (Girl = Me) Yes it's creepy, but it's also too bad these architectural relics couldn't be preserved.

This is in Nilwood, IL.

I'm dead tired I'll post more when I have time and internet access. The Cadillac ranch pictures turned out great! (Thanks Stan!)

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Route 66 Day 1 Photo 2

April 2, 11:53 AM: Who could resist Giant Hot Dog Guy? He stands, well, I don't know how tall, but there's a tree and a truck bumper there for comparison. We found him in Atlanta, IL.

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Route 66 Day 1 Photo 1

April 2, 11:42 AM: This was one of the first old "relics" on route 66 that I saw after we got on the route shortly after Normal, IL. It's in McClean, IL, and I don't know what it was. I realized if I photograph every single relic we find, it'd take us about 33 years to get through our trip, so I decided to limit myself quite a bit after this.

P.S. with all these pictures, click on them for a larger view, then use your back button to return to this page.

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Route 66 Day 1-3.1

Forest Gump: Sometimes the only thing to watch on TV is Forest Gump. I believe it was that way when we took our short Wisconsin trip last spring. The first night we spent the night in Hudson, WI. Forest Gump was on TV. And this Monday in Lebanon, MO, that was the ONLY thing on TV (other than veddy veddy bad network TV). Forest Gump. How weird is that? Because I was a basketcase that night because we'd been up since 4:30 am that morning, and I was dead tired and couldn't even function to read maps anymore and was having plenty of stupid moments, Stan said it fit my frame of mind (Yeah, thanks, Stan :-P). But I wasn't so stupid that I didn't realize the connection between Forest Gump and Route 66. Gary Sinese plays Hank's buddy, the amputee Vietnam vet. Sinese was in the movie "Of Mice and Men", the book written by John Steinbeck who also wrote "The Grapes of Wrath," which features "The Mother Road" which the Joads travel out on from Oklahoma to California. Somehow, it made sense.

Car Trouble: It was about 5 pm or so on Tuesday when we pulled into a Walmart (yes, I went into a Walmart in Oklahoma...please don't laugh) because we had to use the facilities really badly. Sometimes when interstate restrooms aren't aplenty (as it has been in Oklahoma, very much unlike the generous facilities along I-80 which I am used to), one has to make due with McDonald's or large discount department stores. Those I prefer to places like gas stations which I will only use it's life or death. Since we needed some Coke anyway, we decided to stop at the first place we saw where we knew would be restrooms: Walmart. (I know, Walmart. But we were desparate) Before Stan got back in the car, he noticed his tire was getting flat and that there was a nail in it. We quickly tried to find a place to take care of us, but it was a small town and daytime was running out. We stopped at a car dealership, but they didn't fix tires. They gave us directions to another place that we couldn't find, but in searching for that place we found an autoparts store about 10 minutes before they closed. We asked there if they knew anyone. The owner gave a call to a mom'n'pop traveling tire repair business, and within half an hour, they were there to fix our tire! It was fortuitous beyond belief. That's why we got into Oklahoma City so late. That, and trying to find the right "hotel row" off the interstate.

Musical Motel Rooms. Strangely, the last time I was in a Super 8 motel before this was in Winterset Iowa (Madison County) when we went to see the covered bridges last April. They had internet access, but in the room they put us in, I could not get it. So they moved us to another room. Dejavu. The same thing happened last night. At a Super 8. Weird.


This morning I woke up at 5, but my blind eyes couldn't see the motel alarm clock too well, and I thought it said 6. So I've been up since way early again. I felt dead as a dog traveling through the remainder of Oklahoma, the Texas panhandle, and eastern New Mexico. But we did manage to stop at the famous "Cadillac Ranch" and "Bug Ranch." Actually, Bug Ranch is sort of a "time to unpimp zee auto*" parody of Cadillac Ranch. Most of Route 66 is on the frontage road in these western states, so much of the way we didn't even bother and just stayed on the interstate. Yes, we took pictures. I still have to unload zee camera.

*VW ad from last year featuring Peter Stormare (Fargo fame) playing a German car engineer. Very funny ad.

We got our motel room (Super 8 again) early tonight in Santa Rosa, NM so we could shower tonight and be hunkered down in time for LOST. I've not eaten much but Denny's salads lately where the service is always lousy, but dependably lousy.

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Route 66 Day 1-3.0

It's 6:33 am on Wednesday morning, and this is the first chance I've gotten to write the whole trip thus far. The only reason I can do it now is because it's still dark outside and I can see the monitor in the car (unlike during the day when the monitor is not viewable). Internet access has not been an easy commodity to come by.

There's also been some strange dejavus and allusions to other trips...Forrest Gump, Car Trouble, and Musical Motel Rooms. I'll get to that later. Or maybe not....looks like the sun is starting to lighten the Oklahoma sky.

One thing before I go...the Ozarks really impressed me. I didn't even realize I would be traveling through the Ozarks on this trip...I guess I'm a bit geographically challenged to that part of the country. This week in April is like the equivalent of mid-May in Madison. Redbuds and lilacs were blooming, but not just in people's yards. Redbuds were WILD blooming along the hillsides. WILD Redbuds! Freerange Redbuds, uncontrolled, unsupervised Redbuds!!! How cool was that? This is such a pretty region of the country, it's just a pity there is such poverty as well. We saw more trailer homes and burned out/collapsed buildings along the roadside than in the past 18 years of living in Wisconsin combined. I guess it would be a good place to retire too, as the standard of living is probably much less than in the north and one could live cheaply. It would be interesting to see the Ozarks in the fall as well, to see if it is just as pretty. Topographically, it is more similar to western Wisconsin with the rolling hills and limestone cliffs. Northern Illinois is boring beyond belief, flat as a pancake. But I already knew that. Southern Illinois is more interesting...Springfield seemed an attractive town. Got lost a bit driving through the outskirts of St. Louis and only glimpsed the arch from the distance. Note to anyone who ever wants to travel route 66 and doesn't have endless time to do it or want to be a purist about it: Skip it in the big'll just get confused and lost. Just take the interstate and bypass the city and catch back up with it again in the country. The country stretches of the route are more fun anyway. We also spent too much time going through Tulsa and getting confused. Too much time wasted with the larger city parts of the Route.

Motel/Hotel rates have been cheap so far, no more than $50 so far per night before tax. Monday night we stayed in a motel in Lebanon, Missouri. She gave us the "Route 66 room" which had photos on the wall. It was quiet, but had no internet access. Last night we got a Super 8 in Oklahoma City. It was amazingly quiet considering all the cars there. That was the first time I was able to check my internet, but considering it was after 10 pm by the time I got to do that, I didn't have any time to post anything. I wasn't able to get many pictures either...sometimes it's hard to pull off or even find a place to pull off. Sometimes it's best to just keep going and leave the image to memory rather than pixels. The few pictures I do have i'll post, but only if I have time.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Route 66 Day 0.1

The dogs and Caligula are now off at camp. Plato is probably barking his head off and Lucifer Sam is probably purcolating alongside him. Caligula is probably freaked out and hiding in his kitty kennel, that is if the boarding people put it in his kitty room. All that is left is Persephone, and she's loving being queen of the castle. Although she gets along fine with other animals, she'd be the only pet of ours that would be perfectly content to be the only pet. She loves being the sole possessor of the house, and last fall when we returned from Colorado, she *stopped* eating for a few days, although she ate fine when we were gone (she put on weight during that time, which is a good thing). Go figure. We're the only people in the world who have a reverse problem like that.

OK, there's probably people reading this wondering why we have 3 of our animals boarded, and 1 not. Here's a little explanation:

First of all, we have to board the dogs, no two ways about it. We will be in hot weather in places where dogs are not allowed with no where to keep them except the car. This is not a dog-friendly trip.

Second of all, ideally we would leave the cats at home with a big dispenser of food and water and have the neighbors check in on them every few days, but this is not possible because Persephone is medicated. She takes medicine for hyperthyroidism, along with Potassium and some stinky fish smelling stuff for her joints. Stan mixes up a prorated batch of this concoction up along with pet food in a blender and pours it into an ice cube tray. Every day we feed her a cube, which contains the equivalent of a day's dose of medication. We do this because, despite her petite size, she is very strong and squirmy and impossible to medicate traditionally, i.e., popping a pill down her throat. Plus, this makes it easy for the neighbors who feed her, all they have to do is give her a cube a day. And since she is medicated, we can't have Caligula eating her cubes, so that's why he's not staying home with her. And, like with the dogs, it would not be a trip we could take him on either.

I am missing the other animals a lot right now. It's sad. I know once I'm on the road I'll get over it since it'll break the routine.

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Route 66, Day 0

It's always so sad to leave the dogs behind when we travel. This time we're also boarding will be the first time he'll be boarded (unless you count leaving him at Stan's mom's in the nice window room for a few days being boarded). Persephone will be taken care of by our neighbors.

We had a tornado warning last night, here, in Madison, when the temperature had hardly gotten above 50 all day. Sort of a WTF weather moment. Tornados mostly go *around* Madison. I think it's a lake effect thing.

Since I'm not a purist or a retropolitan, we won't start our Route 66 tour from Chicago. Who needs that headache or the needless backtracking. After all, we're not going all the way to LA either. We'll take I-39 down to Normal, Illinois, where it meets up with the famous "Mother Road." If we had an extra week and extra money to spare, maybe we'd take the full route.

Stan thought we could leave this past Saturday, but upon checking with the kennel, we found we had made arrangements to bring the dogs in this afternoon. Just as well, had we left yesterday and heard of the tornado warning in Madison, I'd have been a basketcase worrying about our animals. Not that I won't worry about them on the trip anyway.

We will be driving into unchartered territory...Oklahoma and Texas...two of the four western states I've never been in (the others being Nevada and North Dakota). Once we get into New Mexico, especially central and Western New Mexico, I know I'll be a lot less nervous. The four corners area is one of my most favorite spots I've been to, and the area between Arizona and New Mexico, with its red cliffs is the stuff of flying dreams.

Just hope gas prices don't go up so much during this time that we won't be able to get back home to our animals.

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