Sunday, February 09, 2003

Bah. I’m a bad blogger. I had planned a long, blow-by-blow account of the funny adventures I had encountered n my big drive North, but… now I’m in a holding pattern at my parents’ house in Lancaster as I wait for my worldly possessions to arrive in New York through snowstorms up and down the East Coast. Sigh….

I have been sleeping like it’s my JOB, which frankly, has been very fun. I’ve been really lazy, though; it kind of feels like when I would come home for breaks between semesters and just crash. Still, I just want to get unpack so I can hit the ground running at my new job one week from tomorrow. Eek!

I suppose the highlights of my Road Trip from Hell/Florida include the fact that Fred cried non-stop for the first 133 miles. Non-stop. Almost 3 hours, as I didn’t get on the road until FOUR (!!!) in the afternoon because the movers were late, and they seriously took their sweet ol’ time loading the truck. I knew the trip was off to an (ahem) interesting start when one of the movers asked if he could use my bathroom.

Here’s a moving tip- Never, EVER allow a mover to use your bathroom. He took the biggest, smelliest dump in the history of the world. Oh my god. I was trying to determine whether or not he even flushed, it was so awful. I was moving around cleaning as they were loading the truck, and I was trying to discreetly spray air freshener into the bathroom without gagging. Ew. (Shudder.)

Unfortunately, this was only an omen of things to come, as I reached Northern Florida around 9:00 p.m. on the first day. I decided Fred had been very good since he stopped crying (read; yowling) two hours before, l and he should be able to get out of his carrier and move about the car. Now, Bella sleeps on the passenger side in the front, or else SHE gets carsick every 8 exits, so I thought, “Oh, this will be cute! Fred can come up here with Bella! I am successfully traveling with my pets and my houseplants! It’s working! I am a fabulously avant garde savvy traveler!”

He climbed up front and sat on my lap in fun “Toonsis the Driving Cat” style for exactly two miles before he meanders into the backseat. I had a sudden feeling of Impending Doom, and a moment later, the unmistakable stench of cat poo reaches me in the front seat. Oh, God. I debated the merits of opening the window to keep from dying versus the possibility that Fred would jump out of an open window at 70 mph on I-95.

I decided to split the difference and crack the window until I pulled over to discover that Fred has befouled the same houseplant he “fertilized” two weeks before when Stephen was in town. Kenny Rogers croons, “once, twice, three times a lady” over the gas station loudspeaker while I apologize profusely to the victimized plant. I also noticed that the car really isn’t like a greenhouse, being all sunny and hot, as I had been trying to tell myself. (“I did NOT start schlepping you 1,300 miles for you to WILT, you ungrateful little fern!!!)

Anyway, the trip was fairly straightforward after all that, except when I started laughing really, really hard and had to pull over when I was recounting the story (to Wetzel) of how I was exposed to scabies in college… Oh, and I accidentally got locked out of my room at the HoJo in Smithfield, NC (TWICE!- once with the dog, once without) wearing only pjs, socks and no bra both times. Anyway, I’m still at my parents, but hopefully, my things will be delivered on Tuesday at the latest. Hope you all had a good weekend!

Saturday, February 01, 2003

I have been watching coverage of the space shuttle explosion all day. Amanda called and woke me up to tell me to turn on TV. This is usually the sort of thing that would have had me on the road to Cape Canaveral by 10 a.m. But I'm not working, just packing packing packing, and it's strange to get the news like Non-Journalists- word of mouth, TV, sitting in my personal, quiet space instead of waiting around in chaos for press conferences and family members and cell phone calls from the editors...

Of course, everyone keeps saying this, but it does make me think of the day the Challenger exploded. There was so much hype about it, because of Christa MacCauliffe being the first teacher/civilian in space and everything. One of the 5th grade teachers at E. Pete Elem. was a finalist- in the top ten, I think- so he had spent a lot of time with Christa MacCauliffe and the other finalists.

Everyone went to the auditiorium/gym to watch the shuttle take-off, but the first graders weren't allowed to go. There wasn't enough room or something, this was pre-renovations, so I didn't know what happened. Mrs. P used to drive us all home (because she teaches 3rd grade at E. Pete), and everyone was so quiet. As I jumped out of the car, I casually asked how everyhting had gone with the Challenger. Mrs. P was stunned that I didn't know, because Manda and Brad and everyone else saw it live, and I remember everything standing still when she told me it exploded. I remember staring at my feet on the wet pavement and thinking it just wasn't possible.

A few months later, we went to Florida and toured Kennedy Space Center, and I remember thinking that the memorial was so sad. Sigh...

Sorry to take a brief hiatus and end with such a sad subject. I am almost at the point where I am going to pack up the computer, though.

I will be driving North starting early Monday afternoon, so call my cell phone and keep from going insane. Bella has already started working on being a blast-ended skrewt- sigh- but it could be because I gave her too much rawhide to keep her occupied while I pack because she kept putting her Monkey (chew toy) in every. single. box I started to pack.

I haven't decided yet if I will stop at South of the Border where I fell off the lime green dinosaur in May. Wish us luck! :)