Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughts from Tripping on the Road

Baby took a road trip last weekend to visit her grandparents for Easter and to have her first check up. Everything went well. She had her fluids checked and changed, tires balanced, and a couple of things checked that had drawn her mama’s attention. She was given a good bill of health, which pleased us all.

Needless to say … being out on the highway where she and I could open her up and let her go was a happy time for both Baby and her mama. With the sun shining down on us, the sunroof open, the windows down, and some awesome classic rock flowing from the speakers, we traveled the highway to and from with smiles and speed. (I would like to point out that while Baby is a speedy little girl, she was held tightly by the cruise control to the posted speed limits.)

Of course, I have been making this journey several times a year for the last 18 years, so there were moments of boredom. Normally, driving and traveling are great fun for me, getting out on the road is time to myself to plan, to dream, or to simply wander in my thoughts. This trip is no exception however this trip is more about “getting there” and then “getting home”. This trip is about spending time with my parents and then returning to my little home.

Yet, once on the road with my hair blowing and the music rocking, I couldn’t help but have a few thoughts, particularly on the drive homeward. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have much time for personal thoughts on the drive northward as I spent the better time of the three and a half hours on the cell phone chatting with a couple of friends. Cell phones are awesome for times like that and, as long as the battery is charged (note to self: need to get car charger for cell phone) and friends are home. Of course, there are drawbacks. Getting involved in a conversation can lead a person to missing their intended exit, causing them to drive an extra couple miles before turning around and going back.

The way I look at it … my life is so full of detours, what’s one more when the conversation is that good? Detours are the spice in life that keep us from becoming complacent. Goodness knows, my life is anything but complacent!

The drive homeward, though, was full of music and sunshine and wandering thoughts.

I made a new CD mix for the trip and got the opportunity to fully enjoy it on the way home. I am now full-on committed to my friend Rap’s delight in the music of Steve Carlson. Awesome, AWESOME stuff! Thank you, Rap, my Rap! Talk about an artist that can make you smile … let’s just say that he sounded really good in Baby’s speakers ... can't wait to hear him live and in person. (No Rap ... it's not June yet.)

Also sounding really good … Three Dog Night’s “Shambala”. There’s something about that song that just makes me smile … always has, even before I was given the mental picture of the Metallicar being worked on by a sweaty Dean. Yep. The song just has that kind of mood attached to it.

During our wanderings ( excursion), Mom helped me pick out a new pair of sunglasses. I don’t wear them often – only when I am wearing my contacts which I did on Sunday driving homeward, which means the car was pointed towards the west. Did I mention the fact that I left my parents house at 5:30pm? Despite the fact I had on polarized sunglasses, a tinted top part of my windshield and the visor down as far as I could get it and still be able to see the vehicles in front of me, I STILL felt as though my eyeballs were still being branded with bright circles. I can only imagine the plight I would have had if I had simply worn my regular glasses.

I’ve decided that truckers have put way, way, WAY too many orange lights on their trucks. Used to be there was a light at the top and one on each side, in addition to the regular brake lights in the back. In the front it used to be a light at the top in each corner, and then, of course, the headlights that fill your entire rear window causing blindness of a different type. As the sun went down Sunday evening and the lights began to come on, it was as though there were houses of orange Christmas lights barreling down the turnpike. Seriously, do they truly need to outline the ENTIRE FRAMEWORK of the truck, the cab, the windows, the back door, the side doors, etc? One thing is certain … you can’t say that you don’t see them as they swoop down upon you making you feel as though you are a snail on the sidewalk, even when you are doing 75 mph on a turnpike. Bigger isn’t always better. Bigger can simply mean obnoxious. But that is simply my opinion.

Fire is very interesting as you are driving down a highway after dark. The glow of it up ahead, filling the night sky has you wondering what you are coming up on. Seeing as I’ve driven this highway once or twice, I knew right off the bat that it wasn’t a small town or rest stop. There’s nothing on this stretch except pastures dotted with the occasional house. Finally reaching the actual area of flames, it was a grass fire on the other side of the road. Spanning a good couple miles of the road, it was a bit eerie to drive by. It wasn’t one complete line of fire, but rather continuous pockets of flames reaching upward. What’s truly amazing is the fact that I was able to capture it on my little cell phone camera without braking the cruise control or moving from my lane of traffic. What was lucky was the fact that at this point I was driving southward and the wind was coming from the northwest, therefore it was blowing away from the highway instead of over it. What was interesting was that instead of fire trucks being on hand, there were only a couple of highway patrol cruisers on each end of the blazing area, keeping an eye on things.

I stopped to pick up something to eat on the way. I’ve been avoiding the hamburgers and fries from fast food stops lately, but let’s face it … eating a baked potato or a salad is simply not something that can be accomplished while driving. Since I wouldn’t be arriving home until late, I didn’t want to wait to eat and the chex mix I had with me wasn’t satisfying. So I stopped and got a burger and some fries – but no pop, I stuck to my water. Now … my oldest girlie is now working for a fast food chain and here is the thought that I came away with after I gave my order, paid my money, and was given my food: I pray that my girlie never looses her politeness towards people. As the voice over the box and the person who takes the money, I am pleased to report that she is pleasant, has a smile in her voice and is polite … atleast as far as I have witnessed. When placing my order on Sunday I was told three times to “hold on” … never once with a please, thank you for waiting, or apology for interrupting. When giving my money, the entire transaction consisted of being told $6.42 and the young woman took my money and gave my change without anything further … such as a thank you. When arriving to the window to pick up my food the bag was thrust through the window with a “here’s your meal” and another thrust through the window with a “here’s your water”. The young girl then turned around to talk to a friend. There was no thank you. There was no have a nice day. There was nothing. I’ll be honest, such blatant rudeness has a way of not just grating a nerve but also causes me to have to say something … usually something snide. So, I waited. When the girl returned to the window, it was with surprise to find me still there, yet did she ask if she could help me? Did she wonder if she had forgotten something? Did she question if there was something further I needed? No. She simply asked “What?” which sent me to the edge. I looked her steadily in the eye and said “You’re welcome, I WILL have a nice day, and I would like to speak to your manager about the quality of his help.” Yes. I did. I held up the drive thru line as the manager came to the window and I advised that as a national chain that purports in having such friendly people, he might want to rethink the placement of the people at his drive through windows. I then told him that next time, I’ll drive the extra mile to get my dinner from his competitor. I thanked him and I departed.

Let’s just say, I’m glad my girlie works for Wendy’s and not “the other place”. Like our Sammy, I suddenly don’t care for clowns.

I won’t go into my other thoughts … for they were many and varied and probably will only make sense to me, and my Baby of course. Now, if you’ll excuse me … I need to find a highway … CCR’s “Run Through the Jungle” is fixing to come on and it truly sounds best with the sunroof open, the wind blowing, and the stereo blaring as Baby and I travel down the road.

Oh … by the way … thank you for stopping by and have a nice day … you’re always welcome here!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Writer's Block or E.D.S. - You Decide

It's been awhile since I've written anything.


With the exception of a blogparty I threw on TVGuide on March 1st, and the subsequent "answers" post, I haven't posted anything new in over a month.

I can't give a really reason as to why ... it's not as though I've been sick, traveling, extremely busy at work, bailing water from my living room after flooding waters, or anything like that. Actually, I seem to write just fine as I make my way through those chaotic parts of my life. Were things too calm? Nope. That wasn't it either.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I think I came down with a case of "Writer's Block" and let me tell you, it sucks.


I write all day long for work. What is so difficult about this? This should be easy ... it's personal. It's fun. There's no pressure and it's not like I don't get ideas all through the day ... I now have a folder and a notebook that I keep jotting little ideas down in, planning to write. I come home eager ... tonight will be the night I will break the block and get back to the business of putting thought to words in a co-herent and hopefully pleasing manner.

Car pulls into driveway and I'm out. Thoughts are rambling through my head. I'm ready.

Computer boots up while I check out the kitchen to forage for something edible to curb the appetite.

AVG runs it's scans, AIM tries unsuccessfully to log me in, and Messenger logs me in and tells me whether my friends are online and how much mail has accumulated during the day. Meanwhile, I'm in the back of the house not listening to my computer as I change my clothes and once again give praise for the comfort of sweats and t-shirts and try to locate a pair of socks that no longer have a hole in them.

Back to the computer, I close all these little informative windows and pull up the internet, checking email and responding to the messages that have come into my mailbox during the last couple hours. Then I check my "junk mail" in case something has been caught in my filters besides the various TVG playrooms, alerting me to the hi-jinx of the inmates who wander about there. When I open the junkmail to over 100 messages from these playrooms, all from the one day, I figure it wouldn't be a bad thing to run over and see what is now burning down, or being blasted by fireworks. (And if this sentence makes no sense whatsoever, I invite you over to my sanitarium at TVGuide. People laugh and think I'm kidding when I talk about my inmates and their mischief.)

Worn out from reading the insanity in my sanitarium, I feel the need to wander back to my kitchen and warm some water for a little pot of tea to calm my nerves, to help me compose myself to write.

Back I come to the computer with my grandmother's pot full of some evening tea. I'm ready. I have thoughts brimming. I am good to go.

Oh. Look. The remote. Is there something on television that I feel the need to watch? I better check ... heaven forbid I miss something. There might be a game show or a reality show that I need to flip the channel past. There might be an episode of David Caruso posing with hand on hip as he pulls off his sunglasses and utters "Ma'm ... Ma'm, here's what we're going to do, Ma'm" while the producers of this highly rated monstrosity let it spin off into yet another montage of speedboats and other actors wasting their talents by posing in ridiculously expensive clothing.

Nope. I'm not bitter about this waste of airtime being lauded and the fact that Supernatural has to fight for every fan it gains when it has more talent, good writing, and overall production quality in 10 minutes than the other show has in a month of episodes. Nope. Not bitter at all. Huh-uh.

What was I talking about?

Oh. Yeah. Writer's block.

Well, it's getting late but I'm in the mood to write. I'm wanting to write. I have words that are ready to burst out. I pull up a new sheet of Word, I begin to get started. I've typed a sentence. Woohoo! Oh, wait. That sentence isn't how I wanted to start this. I'm sure that I can do better.

Let me think on it.

Is that the book I was looking for last week sitting underneath the table by the couch?

It is! I've been looking for that. I wonder what happens next? Hmm. Maybe I could read for just a bit and then I'll be ready to do a bit of writing. Though not as much as I'd planned, but still ... a little is better than nothing, right?

... 2 hours later ...

Crap! I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago! But wait! I'm having an epiphany. Let me just get these dishes washed up and I'll just sacrifice some sleep and get this thought written down. Who messed up all these dishes? *sigh* I should go ahead and fix my lunch for tomorrow, otherwise I'll be running late in the morning again. Then I'm going to finish a bit of computer time.

Open up document again. Erase starting line. Compose another one. No ... that doesn't sound right. Maybe I'm just not in the right mood tonight. Guess I'll try again tomorrow night.

Writer's block.

I don't think I have writer's block. I have EDS ... Easily Distracted Syndrome.

Does anyone know if there's a medication for this? I'd contact my doctor about it, but I'm afraid she's going to want me to write down the symptoms and who knows where that could lead.