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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Latest Cross-Country Trek

A few days ago, I flew back to Denver to visit with friends and family, load up some straggling odds and ends, and drive my old BattleWagon 2 back to the Great Wet North. The ominous circumstances that surrounded this trip began early.

For example, in making a trip to pick up some stuff from someone who I've had a sort of falling-out with, I managed to destroy my alternator. It didn't simply stop working as they often do. I destroyed it. My brother and I heard the serpentine belt come off. Then we smelled the burnt, greasy metal. When we pulled over to investigate, smoke seeped out of the engine compartment. Once the hood was unlatched, we noticed flames coming from the molten-metal hole where the alternator used to exist. The core was resting on a hose that belonged to the power steering pump system. It was in disrepair, to say the least. What did I do about it? Walked over to the local general store/cafe and bought myself a beer, of course. It was a nut brown, and it struck me as bitter and hoppy, but it had alcohol and carbonation, which worked for me.

Thanks to the good graces of very noble and generous family members, it was taken care of, reanimated from the realm of junk-yard living spaces for the homeless. I left the next day.

What followed was a whrilwind of friends, meals, video games, chores, playing with my "nephew", holding my "neice -or- future daughter-in-law", calling everyone who wanted a ride somewhere up north, and finally settling on picking up a hitch-hiker as a last ditch effort for some company.

That plan was solid gold. Met an interesting young man named Vincent, a starving 24-year-old artist who spends time wherever he lands. His mission was to get from Boulder to Olympia to see about a girl. He gave me some money and one of his water-colors, called me "wise" after a theological/political/state-of-the-world/late-night-on-caffiene conversation.

The radio was dead, so I listened to several choice items from my phone's tiny database of music, including Radiohead, Caspian, Band of Horses, and The Helium Arch, a one-man band built by Bob Niles, my former production manager at my last straight job before SignPro. Maybe that contributed to my afore-mentioned "wisdom". I don't really know.

Don't drive on sidewalks on college campuses. They have a habit of making you think they're actually roads.  They're not.

I left Denver at 10:15ish yesterday morning, but I mentally checked out the night before in my head to find ride buddies on craigslist. Because of that, I missed tacos with a good friend of mine. Because I had to leave yesterday, I missed a get-together with another good friend of mine.

I got here around 9:00 this morning. That's 15 minutes shy of 24 hours to drive amost 2,000 miles. Last time it took me 21 hours before I passed out, and I still had almost 300 miles to go. I think I established myself as a D.P.B.A.: Driver, Pretty Bad-Ass.

Attention people of Seattle: the left lane is for passing cars in the right lane. In order to pass (or overtake, as some call it), one must drive their car FASTER than the opposing car. Seriously, I drove for miles behind some jerk in an '81 Corvette because he couldn't slow down or speed up for two seconds to move over. All he did was give a thumbs-up to some other guy in a '68 Camaro... at least the Camaro driver was in the slow lane. Sigh.

What else do I have to rant about? Let me think. Oh! People of craigslist: if you commit to going on a trip to Seattle with a stranger, even to the point of spelling out how you're going to pay for your share, asking what beers would help best to ease tensions, saying you're excited for the adveture with a new buddy, maybe... I don't know... DO IT!

Last, but certainly not least, attention all douche-bag kids: you know exactly who you are, and that's what makes you a punk. You parents, while sometimes they may just blow it at parents, they don't suck. They will wind up bailing your tough-guy self into your thirties and then. Some, apparently. Just because they let you take your time in figuring your shit out doesn't mean you have to. Get off your ass and do something hat doesn't involve how awesome you think you are (douche-bag), and when you're done, try, I don't know, maybe letting your parents know that the things they've done for you were noted, appreciated, and returned whe they need to be bailed out...


...unless, of course, your parents are douche-bags, too. Then screw them, prove to them that you're better you OR they thought you ever would be.

Wow, what a tangent. Boat times coming up. "It was more of an exposure."