Like Cutting Off My Arm...

Chris and I left Minneapolis at 4PM on Thursday and drove home, arriving in the stifling humidity of STL just before 2AM. We stopped several times for gas, food at the Clear Lake, Iowa Bennigan's (where a hoosier in Harley gear pontificated racist, homophobic, sexist ramblings so the entire restaurant could hear), Red Bulls, and bathrooms to accomodate my pea-sized bladder.

I threw a tiny hissy when I found out them internets weren't working. I NEED INTERNETS! Chris spent half the day on the phone with SBC, who claimed several times that they either needed to fix something on their end OR come out and do something to some wires outside. Long story short, this motherfucker rolls up in here this morning at 8:30 AM only to tell us that, yeah, the office needs to fix it, so it can't be done until Monday, even though they could have done that yesterday. No internet until Monday? Huh? Um, what am I supposed to do? I guess sit here at Hartford after visiting the farmers market and try to cram in all I need to do in one sitting. Ain't happening. Just catching up on Twitter takes too long.

So, I spent yesterday pissed about the internet, napping, watching "Super High Me" (which is funny. Seriously, it's really funny--Doug Benson smokes no pot for 30 days, then smokes constantly for 30 days. Sounds lame, but is hilarious), then drinking cheap beer at Harry's with my friends, whom I missed immensely.

If I get the net fixed, I will be started MAJOR! BLOG! OVERHAUL! next week. I'm a big girl now. Also, will more than likely be attending the St Louis Bloggers Guild meetup tonight at Atomic Cowboy with this bitch. Okay, I must sign off before I'm here all day. Gotta pick up some things to eat at Local Harvest. Then I'm going to READ FOR FUN! What is that? I don't know for sure, but I think it involves David Sedaris and this month's Paste.

See you when my shit gets fixed.


Intellectual Adventures

Well, my goal to post frequently while I'm here in the Twin Cities has not been fulfilled, as after five hours of critical theory every day, I'm intellectually exhausted. All I really seem to be able to do is check Twitter feeds, watch Iron Chef, and stare at the reading I have to do and pretend that I'm actually comprehending it.

Class has been really great, and hopefully I'll write about that later. I had a great meal with friends from school last night at this delicious restaurant located in the very cool Uptown neighborhood, which Chris and I will be exploring next week with cameras in tow. My fortune cookie said, "You're going to meet someone new and interesting.Unfortunately, he'll be your new meth dealer." Really? I can't say I'm sad to be out of the St Louis heat; the weather here really hasn't been over 80, and people are out and about everywhere in this great city.

Speaking of, Chris is on his way up tomorrow, and I can't wait. Really, seriously, sappily, I don't sleep well at all unless he is next to me, and he's my partner in crime, so things are much more fun when he is around. We've plans to camp Saturday and Sunday and bike a bunch, assuming the bikes don't fall off the car between here and the Lou. Then, more class next week and bumming around the city before and after.

Ooh, I missed something exciting, but sad, last night at home. Our neighbor across the street's house burned down (yes, that neighbor, if you were at last year's Trivia Night). Well, it didn't burn down, per se, but the entire inside burned up and it's all boarded up. That sucks pretty hard.

Also, while I've been here I've been posting to this Flickr group called "A Day In The Life", started by Dana. Here's two of my photos. One is my crap spread out on my guest bedroom bed. The other is Elijah, my host's dog, who looks like Sprocket from Fraggle Rock. Check out everyone else's pix if you so desire.


Adventures! The Sequel!

I am sitting in a Panera (what people outside of STL call Bread Co, unless you are my mom, who calls in "Paneras") in downtown Minneapolis, catching up on e-mail, news, Twitter, etc. I feel dirty and I'm sore all over, which could either be from playing tennis and riding bikes yesterday or spending 16 hours on two buses last night. I mean, either or.

Let me say this about Megabus: it got me here safely, cheaply, and probably much quicker than Amtrak ever could. As previously mentioned, it cost me $50 from St Louis to Minneapolis by way of Chicago, and I didn't get my tickets until a few days before I left. Had this been my plan all along, it very well may have been cheaper. And, although the first bus from Chicago arrived about 20 minutes late, and my bus to Minneapolis departed over an hour late, I only arrived in Minneapolis about 30 minutes behind schedule. As anyone who has traveled Amtrak west of New York knows, that's not bad compared to the train, whose schedule depends on freight trains on the rails, who have priority over passenger trains. A train ticket would have cost $180, and a plane ticket was going to be $500. Screw that, I'm about to be unemployed (Hire me!). Megabus it is.

So, I boarded the first bus right outside of Union Station in Missouri. All you do is stow your luggage in the luggage compartment, then show your reservation number to the bus driver. No ID, no boarding pass. The seats are about the size of airline seats, with no overhead compartments. This is where Megabus lags behind Amtrak. Amtrak is much more comfortable, with seats with foot rests and room to maneuver. I was wedged next to a pasty guy reading a book on trivia. Surprisingly, I was able to read the entire Sunday Times without infringing on his personal space. There was one half-hour stop, where I stretched my legs, bought some coffee, and called Chris. I felt uncomfortable using my phone on the bus, because the sound acoustics made it seem really annoying, although the college girl talking about absolutely nothing, really loudly, for two hours didn't seem to mind. My iPod did me a solid and didn't run out of batteries the entire time, despite the fact I was playing Solitaire. The bus was clean, too. Did I mention the buses are double-decker? The best seat in the house has to be in front of the top deck, with a panoramic view of the road, but those seats go to the first in line, which, alas, was not me.

I was hoping that the overnight Megabus from Chicago to Minneapolis would be less crowded, so I could have two seats to myself so I could sleep. I generally have good luck with these arrangements. Once, when flying home from Germany, I had TWO empty seats next to me. Took two Benadryl and was assed out until the flight attendant woke with with hot moist towlettes (which sound dirtier than they are. They're actually quite refreshing). As the pushing hordes of people can attest, this bus was sold out. As in, no empty seats whatsoever and people pushing their way on like it's Mumbai or something. I ended up sitting at one of those table seats, where two rows face each other with a table in between. This was incredibly uncomfortable, and I had the shortest legs of anyone at my table. I probably got five hours of sleep (thanks, Tylenol PM!) which will inevitably hit me a hour into my first class, alienating me from my classmates and professor. Oh, wait, probably my disheveled appearance, musty smell, and furry teeth will alienate me. Anyway, I swear on my life some motherfucker was smoking pot on the bus. First I thought it was a skunk. Then I realized it was skunk. That's some bold shit right there. There was also a screaming baby and a dude snoring worse than my Grandma Best, and she can saw some logs. Again, thanks to iPod, I listened to a This American Life about proms and Drive By Truckers until I woke up in the morning.

All in all, I would recommend Megabus to anyone with time on their hands who wants to save money. Would I do it with kids? Not on a sold-out bus. But if you want to get somewhere for cheap in a relatively timely fashion, it's worth it. St Louisians--I would highly recommend this option over taking the train to Chicago. Cheaper and faster. You sacrifice comfort, but what do you expect for $50?

I also took pictures, but only with my Holga, because it seemed appropriate, so you won't see them for a long, long time.

Okay, I'm going to finish some reading of the internets, then go to campus and clean up, because I'm not trying to spend my entire first class paranoid that my lady parts are not-so-fresh or my breath is stank.

Oh yeah, read this. Those darn homosexuals, tarnishing the sanctity of marriage. My ass. We should all pray that any couple that makes it 55 years together should be allowed to publicly and legally be allowed to commit to each other. As long as the Britney Spears and Pamela Andersons of the world are getting married and divorced with the seasons, don't talk to me about the "sanctity" of marriage.


Adventures! Part One

In three hours, I will be on a bus to Chicago. Then a bus to Minneapolis. I'll get there at 6:30 tomorrow morning. All for the bargain price of $50. You can't buy a tank of gas for that noise. Should be a little adventure, considering I'll be bumming around Minneapolis with my backpacking backpack in the wee hours and who knows what kind of characters I'll encounter on an overnight bus. I've got two cameras, digital and Holga, to document the sitch. Hopefully digital updates tomorrow after my class.

The class I'm taking is the first in my critical pegagogy sequence, which is my second collateral area or "major" in my program. The other is public policy, which I've already taken one class and will take another when we go to DC in July. It's pretty radical, literally, not in the Ninja Turtles usage.

I'll leave you with the mental image of Chris and I locking ourself out of the house yesterday and Chris coaxing Asher (95 pounds of black lab) to unlock the back door deadbolt. Swear it happened. I saw it with my own two eyes. My dog is a genius.


This Week's Sign That The Apocalypse Is Upon Us...

Oh for fuck's sake...

I'm not drinking right now, so I don't have the time to tell you why all this is wrong. Maybe after this paper is done and I slam two Pale Ales.

Motherfuckers. Keep lowering the standards of discourse and the the IQs of Americans, Faux News.

These Days...

...I'm procrastinating writing my three summaries that are due today for my critical pedagogy class that starts Monday in Minneapolis. I will be in the Twin Cities for the next two weeks. Should be a nice little radical adventure, as the class is about as leftist in theory as you can get, and I'm taking the overnight Megabus to get there. For $50, I ain't complaining. That's one mofo tank of gas these days. Should be able to blog a lot from up there, probably about what I'm reading, which should at best inspire discussion and at worst piss some people off.

So, I'm at Hartford bumming their free WiFi, drinking an iced coffee, working on the second of nine pages, and listening to this awesome song that I heard live twice this week. It's Mates of State covering Nico's "These Days". Did you know Kori Gardner is a mother who blogs? Her recent entry is about being on Yo Gabba Gabba. I heart her as she is totally adorable and kickass.


What A Long Strange Trip...

I am back and showered from the Wakarusa Music Festival, held annually outside of Lawrence, KS. This was our second year going, and I really enjoy myself there for
several reasons.

One: The bands. In two days, we caught sets by Mates of State, Arrested Development, Pete Francis (of Dispatch), Blackalicious, The Flaming Lips, State Radio, Brett Dennen, the Old '97s, and Ben Folds. I have few complaints about any of them. Mates of State were so good that I went to the Bluebird to see them last night with two of my gal pals. Flaming Lips put on an unbelievably entertaining show. Wolverine entertained himself by committing to keeping balloons aloft. Hearing Arrested Development play "Everday" took me back to 8th grade. Brett Dennen made fun of really dirty hippies without them realizing it, solidifying his awesomeness.

Two: I'm nowhere near the dirtiest hippie there. Really, I've got nothing on most of these people. Which, if you can ignore the stench of patchouli (which I only smelled three or so times, exponentially less than the smell of vomit and weed) is awesome because it means you can wear whatever the hell you want and you will probably not be anything out of the ordinary. My hair, after not showering for a few days in the hot sun, looked like Felicia from Friday, but no worries. Slap on a bandanna and my hair still looks better than a balding man with shitlocks. I debated taking the plunge and buying a straight-up hippie dress (yeah, THOSE dresses in the window at Sunshine Daydream) but thought better. So serious, we saw dozens and dozens of people dressed exactly like our front-porch mannequin. See all those girls just walking around all day in bikinis? Yeah, well, at least they have a top, which is more than I can say for the lady with her boobies painted like fairy wings sitting behind us last night.

Three: Proximity to awesomeness. We had several encounters with musicians--Chris got his picture taken with my hair twin, Chad from State Radio, and we saw many artists checking out other sets. We were also able to stand fairly close if we wanted to, or set up chairs and chill at a reasonable distance.

Four: Wakarusa is the perfect size: big enough to attract big names, but small enough to minimize the hordes of assholes. I couldn't deal with a biggest festival. I'd have a panic attack but no one would know because I'd probably look just like numerous shroom-takers or other nutsos freaking out.

Five: The weather was really good, considering it was Kansas in June. They cancelled the shows on Thursday night and advised campers to leave the campgrounds because of a tornado warning, but Friday was all sunshine and high 70s. Saturday was hot, but really, really windy and partially cloudy, which mitigated the heat, although I got a crispy burn around my neck and face. I put on sunscreen, but since I got my face rocked off, it didn't work, I guess. We had a fat little camping set up, complete with cabana and sleeping tent, which kept us comfortable while we played dominoes and pontificated on the shows.

Six: People watching. Sweet Jesus, it's awesome. First of all, you've got to estimate that approximately 25% of all patrons of music festivals are downright weirdos. Easily. Couple that with the fact that 75% are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and you're bound to see some awesomeness. One of my favorite things to watch is white guys dancing. Because they don't very often, in my realm of existence, and they do in mass numbers here. It is usually Advanced.

My favorite person I saw the whole weekend was a middle-aged dude in acid-washed jeans, a tye-dyed Chiefs t-shirt, and a fat mustache that made me ask, "Developmentally delayed, or just on meth?" No joke, this guy danced like a four-year-old girl in a field of puppies and unicorns. It was so great. I also like to watch People In Bands I Don't Know, who are wearing jeans, a turtleneck, and a stocking hat in June, in Kansas. Or Chicks With Bands I Don't Know, who wear stiletto heels. At a festival. Where it rained for the previous two days. Hey look! It's Guy Who Sells Polished Crystals! Over there! It's Girl Panhandling Money For A Ride Back To Maryland! (How the fuck did you get here?) Oh, snap, it's my nemesis: Dude With An Earth Tattoo Who Can't Be Bothered To Recycle His Pilfered High Life Can . I also saw several Dudes Carrying Around Skateboards, even though we're IN A FIELD SURROUNDED BY GRAVEL ROADS. Seriously, there's one main paved road, and cars and golf carts pretty much have the monopoly on that.

Seven (and this is really just for like, two people who read this. You know who you are.): Guess who I saw at Wakarusa and had to walk really fast in the other direction on the off chance that this person recognized me? Sterling Brown, AKA Big Sterl. Seriously, I almost called Hawaii to tell Missy that I saw her ex.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures from the festival. Chris took most of them.


Start Your Morning Right

You mean, everyone else didn't just get up at 9:45? My bad.

Here's a video of David Sedaris's appearance on The Daily Show. Oh, to have his acerbic wit. I had a picture of him on my bulletin board over my desk because I heart him.

Hopefully, a post about trivia later.



After a long weekend of drinking and celebrating the arrival of summer, five girls (and one guy) set off to see a movie about four friends (and many guys). Like almost all girls who were in college or in their 20s in the early part of the century, we'd all seen every episode, many times, usually while battling a hangover on lazy college Sundays when the only energy you can muster is to go get a Gatorade and a Totinos. While waiting for Sex and the City to start, I asked myself, "After four years, have my feelings towards these gals changed, since I myself am not the same?"

Really, I didn't ask myself that. I just wanted to start this post off with a stupid rhetorical question in honor of Carrie Bradshaw.

However, I did go catch the flick on Sunday after spending much of the day in the Tower Grove sun for the SKA Tournament of Champions. We did crappy, winning our first game but losing our second. Anyway, we headed to the Chase at around 7, but it was sold out. You would not believe the amount of dressed up ladies in heels and cocktail dresses out to see this movie. It was like Laguna Beach Prom, 2005. We ended up driving to Frontenac and getting in there.

I could say a lot of bad things about SATC. I could talk about how there's seldom any characters of color (although Jennifer Hudson was lovely in the movie) and how these woman have a crazy amount of disposable income and are incredibly materialistic, how most of us would have kicked Big to the curb long ago, etc., etc., etc. But do people ever deconstruct male-oriented summer blockbusters? Nobody said shit about the ridonkulousness of the mere existence of Indy 4. So, I'm not going to talk about what's culturally wrong with SATC and instead, talk about why I did like it.

Well, first of all, I must say it was nice to revisit characters that I spent a lot of time with when I was coming of age. There were several nice shout-outs for those who have seen every episode several times over--they didn't forget the canon already established, which I can appreciate. Also, I think women of a certain age all relate to the women of the show in one way or the other (although, everyone thinks they're Carrie. Let me tell you something: you probably aren't). And the movie was funny. I definitely laughed out loud several times, including at the full peen shot. But mostly, what I liked about this movie is that it's a movie about friendships. Despite the Manhattan lifestyle that my friends and I can't relate to, at its core, this is a movie about women who are fiercely loyal to each other, and that is something to celebrate.

I spent the weekend with my best friends having really, really wonderful times, times that reaffirm why you are friends with people. Christine threw Shannon an amazing backyard barbeque on Thursday with delicious food (it's awesome to have a friend in culinary school) and lots of wine, and we ate, drank, toasted, and laughed until the wee hours. Here's my lady friends and me. We might wear Chucks instead of Manolos, but our friendship is just as priceless.