Tag Archives: driving

Betsy


I was 15 years old, and all I talked about was getting my license. The days of bus rides to school would be my past, and I would have the opportunity to adorn my rear view mirror with whatever fuzzy items I pleased. I had all these fancy plans of road trips and independent living. I would go anywhere I wanted! I would be so cool! Too bad that my parents weren’t about to buy me a new car. BUT I struck gold with an old family friend and for just 200 dollars, I had my baby.

Betsy was an ’82 Dodge 400. White with a red stripe along the side, red leather interior, and above all – a convertible. She was just the right kind of awesome you could ever want in a first car. She was stylish, no one had a car like her, and she had these awesome “additional features.” For example, she would only start up if you slammed the gas pedal to the floor. You had to commit to driving before you drove Betsy. She also had a mysteriously low idle and would die at every other intersection’s red light, proving an over-achiever with her “easy”  automatic transmission. She also had a built-in weather gauge, as it would both rain and snow inside the car, with the multitude of holes in the canvass top. She was absolutely perfect, and I loved everything about her.

As with most females, if you take off her top – people think she’s more fascinating. Once I let Betsy’s top down for a cruise around town everyone would stare. The old men would wonder what I had done to get my own convertible, the boys would swoon for a drive, and I would ride cloud nine all the way to the 24-hour Walmart for fun times. I have really good memories in that car! A first kiss was made possible by that car. I sang to many early 2000’s pop music in that car. I stuffed inordinate amounts of teenagers in that car in the name of corn mazes and pumpkin ice cream. I also had stupidly spiky hair in that time… maybe that isn’t such a good memory. Anyway, Betsy and I lived the good life.

But that life was cut short. After only a year, I lost Betsy. She didn’t die in a normal way, though. No, Betsy was always the over-achiever. I was driving down the highway, trucking along at Betsy’ maximum of 55 mph, and suddenly I wasn’t going anymore. I steered the car over the side of the road and began to see smoke coming from the dashboard and the front of the car. I quickly took my belongings out of the back and walked to a safe distance, watching Betsy catch fire and eventually incite a small explosion.

My friends were nice enough to attend a humble funeral in her honor, to remember and mourn her grizzly death. A few psalms were read, rewritten with the appropriate terminology of course. I even made the mandated creepy slide show of pictures of Betsy in our life and left it on a mysterious loop in the room for the entire ceremony. After my friend concluded the service with an original tune, we ate cookies and went to marching band practice. Betsy would have it no other way. We had to keep marching through life, with or without her.

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Canada O Canada


The Man recently went on a whining kick. Apparently, we have been “doing winter break wrong.” One should sleep all day, refuse to do anything productive, and one should never have to deal with inordinate numbers of family members or with graduate applications. Therefore the vacation he took from his real, adult-like job did not count. He declared a redo was necessary, and we prepared to leave for Lake George, NY for a weekend of “real break.” He had a list of demands: no cell phones, no laptops, no alarm clocks, and please… no driving and driving and driving. We were going to relax…. OR ELSE! (I think he was a little broken at this point.)

Aligning with our tradition of vacationing in resort towns or visiting attractions in the off-season, Lake George seemed like a perfect candidate! As we drove into town we started to understand just how off-season this was.

Everything was closed! And when I say everything… I mean everything. Mc-ubiqui-Donald’s was even amidst the masses of businesses that decided the winter wasn’t worth their time. My universe went off kilter, just a bit, at the site of that sign. (I must say… Lake George in the off-season with very little to offer STILL is more functional than The Man’s incredibly-tiny-town that he calls home. At least we could find a bar!)

Due to the lack of anything whatsoever to do, we were forced to comply with The Man’s rules. We could do nothing but dine at the local dive bar and then return to the hotel for happy-go-jump-on-the-big-bed time and also enjoyed watching TV ad nauseam. We began with a bit of the Travel Channel and then the Food Channel. Then we got sucked in to the point of rooting for questionable characters on a show called Winter Wipeouts. (Japanese game show spin off. People run through snow and water on foam-covered obstacle courses of hilarity and inevitable doom.) We then decided to be entirely socially-acceptable and watch the Republican Debate. We added a drinking game JUST TO BE SAFE and not lose our young people cards for all of eternity due to a moment of indulgent, morbid interest. The TV stare was in full swing, and I thought we had finally “done break right.” The next morning we even traveled to a restaurant that provided us with a gluttonous breakfast experience fit for the gods. No, seriously. I ate an omelette in the morning and could not fathom eating another meal ever again. It was THAT good.

After the obligatory 45 min of ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the culinary experience that just rocked both of our worlds, we set out for the day. Rather than go directly home, The Man got a strange look in his eye. It should have made me stop in terror, but I went with it. THE SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE! We were quickly speeding to the highway to go on a random road trip up, up, up, to the tip-top of NY State. We decided we were going to Plattsburgh for absolutely no reason at all! Come to think of it… we’re known for making those random road trips far too often for either of us to claim temporary insanity.

As we neared Plattsburgh, The Man turned and asked if I would like to wave at the Canadians. This seemed harmless enough, and we decided to pursue the US/Canadian border with nothing but glee and wanderlust to guide us.

As The Man passed the Last US Exit, I pointed out that we did not have our passports. He kept going, though. For a moment, I believed him when he told me he could sweet talk our way through the check point just to say we had put both feet in Canada. Having had some extensive experience with customs all over the world (none all that good), I was a tad worried — but it’s Canada after all…

As we pulled up to the check point, we handed over drivers licenses. That’s when I started to panic. Not because I am a terrorist hoping to annihilate Montreal or even because I have a history as a political extremist. It’s because I don’t know my own address due to my life being a “cray cray” excuse for an existence. Just to give you a brief account… My driver’s license says that my permanent address is in Indiana (where I lived before college), but my parent’s just moved a week a half ago to Maryland. Therefore on every application my address is now Maryland. But if you want to mail me something, you need to send it to New Jersey. Even more, though, if you need to send me something around the holidays you should really send the mail to Massachusetts. So that’s… 4 addresses to keep straight in my head, let alone a customs agent’s head. And to make matters even dicier… how on earth could we answer why we were where we were?? We were at least 2 hours out of the way of our vacation… let alone The Man’s Massachusetts home and about 18 hours from my license’s Indiana address.

Needless to say, the customs agent was not entirely pleased with our faces when we explained that we really only drove up there to see Canada and could we just go home now.

The first lady delivered a very pleasant speech about being “at” Canada rather than “in” Canada and forwarded us to immigration to plead our case. The Man is an avid proponent of Quebecois French and could only be a shade of giddy when the agent began to speak with the iconic accent, since he was terrified at this point that he had crossed international lines of doom and despair. I could only giggle because we were able to be apprehended by Canadian customs for being ridiculous.

Never to fear, though. Canada is free to be kind and happy with their maple leaves and any and all aggression focused into hockey matches. The agent informed us that it is actually perfectly legal to enter Canada without a passport or even a birth certificate.

So basically we were free to enter Canada, take a multitude of pictures, and we could even grab lunch! The issue was whether or not our own government would let us return. That’s when we decided that though we had sought adventure, perhaps being prohibited from US-reentry was enough adventure and we could skip the lunch. We then asked to go right back to New York, please and thank you. A half hour later, a background check, and some giggles from the 5 US agents that had to deal with us — we were set to drive the 6 hours back home.

We got to do exactly what The Man wanted… we even got to be in Canada for a whole 10 minutes!

The moral of the story… You can never “do break right.” You’re bound to randomly drive to Canada when you actively attempt to do nothing.

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Showered in Brilliance?


Everyone has their place where their best thinking occurs. These are the places where great ideas happen. Where revelations occur. Where global movements begin!

There are quite noble places for these things to happen.

While driving.

While walking.


While discussing things with a close friend.

I have these moments in the shower. Yes – THIS is the place where I have all my bright moments. (warning: this causes a lot of questions as to whether or not one has washed hair already or not. I run out of shampoo rather quickly in streaks of brilliance.)

Anyway I had one of those moments today while washing my hair (for the first time).

My grand thought? Wedding Planning is really Modern Day Slave Trade.

Yes.

The Man and I have been engaged (horrible pun intended) in wedding plans for a little less than a month now, and themes are already coming up.

Common Utterances:

“That really costs that much???”

“But I don’t even like that person!”

“I thought this day was supposed to be about us…”

Little did we know that engagement meant entering into an experience that was not about us at all but everybody else. In fact! By even beginning to compile a guest list for the occasion we traveled through time… to a land of social cast — and slave trading.

EACH person sits in a venue, sits in a reception, insists on eating receptiony food, and even has the nerve to drink receptiony drinks. Yep. Each person has a price over their head.

Now that would be all be unfortunate, BUT the couple of the day are judged. All the time. Judged by their decisions. Judged by how the day looks. But most of all — judged by how many people they can afford to buy for the day.

So now all these wedding guests are like modern day slaves – no wages – just paying for them to take up space and eat all this expensive food all in the name of social cast and acceptance.

Yeah… I just went there.

Now here’s the deal. The Man and I vow today to usher in a GREAT EMANCIPATION!

We shall get the tiniest venue possible and invite only a few people! Less wedding slaves!

🙂 Isn’t this the kind of thing you think about while in the shower?

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Patterns


I recently got a new key, and it makes the car go forwards and backwards.


It’s quite the powerful key.


Anyway, I have noticed a pattern in my reaction to this key.

I drive along in the car belting out Herman’s Hermits or whatever else is playing on the 2 radio stations this not-as-tiny-as-the-last-town tiny town…


…and panic sets in.

WHERE ARE MY KEYS???!!!!


The world begins to make less sense without something so normal in my hand. To continue this break down to hysteria, I begin to grapple for anything familiar. My wallet.

Now here’s the actual situation:

Are you seeing where I am going here? Without someone else in the car to point out that I am simply daft, this downward spiral into self-pitying, straight-jacket-worthy insanity has nothing to do but escalate until FINALLY a moment occurs that I check the ignition.

Then this happens:

And don’t even get me started on where my cell phone goes off to while I am talking to someone on the phone.

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The Holy Grail: Taco Bell


I believe it is very important to appreciate the ridiculous journey I have taken part in for months. Love, you ask? Yes. I have a very very intense love that can only be satiated by…Taco Bell’s Fruitista Freezes. I know what you are thinking. “Taylor, you have a man. What makes you this daft?” And I say… NOTHING and I mean NOTHING beats the amazing power of those tiny icy circles of mango and strawberry happiness.

They are better than…………chocolate, flowers, sunshine, doughnuts, and that look on a puppy’s face when you finally reveal that YES you are going for a walk!

Anyway when I have a craving these are what I crave. Sometimes I have a hankering in my very SOUL for a Fruitista Freeze.

Now I must tell you my other love of my life – The Man – lives in a part of the United States that isn’t used to housing very many people. I mean… I increased this town’s population by .0006%. One person should not be able to add that much! So by this town and area being confused by becoming that much larger, it is understandable (only if you cock your head and squint really hard) that they would not have something as mundane and necessary as a Taco Bell.

That’s right. There is NO Taco Bell in the immediate area. Feel free to be shocked and standing silently in horror for approximately 1 minute.

This stunning realization that I may not experience a Fruitista Freeze in months and months and months led to some intense research. You know – Google.

Within this county… all 47 miles of this county… there is but ONE Taco Bell. It was rumored to have a tiny plot of land in the not-so-tiny-but-still-small town about 45 minutes away. It was official. I had found the Holy Grail: the only Taco Bell.

I began to dream of the Taco Bell and speak of it lovingly to The Man. He could see the passion that welled within at the mention of the Taco Bell and the icy, fruity that it offered. It became our quest – our couple’s quest – to locate this Taco Bell.

And then we began to drive around aimlessly…

Around and around and around.

We could not find the Holy Grail! Like so many trailblazers before us – it was just out of our reach. We knew, oh yes to the power of Google, we knew it was there. Alas… I would go home each time without having tasted the mango of heaven’s lips yet again.

Finally there was a day that felt different. The Man turned to me and said “GET UP we are going for a drive.” We do this on the regular you know. We greatly enjoy random road trips to nowhere, somewhere, and everywhere in between. Today – it happened to be in pursuit of our quest’s fair maiden: Taco Bell’s offering of a Fruitista Freeze…..and tacos.

After yet another hour of aimless driving I gave up. I could see no hope and demanded we turn around and go home. I turned at the next opportunity so that I could do so, and…THERE IT WAS. I began to tear up in elation. We had found it… albeit on complete accident. BUT IT WAS THERE.

We skipped into the place with declarations of happiness and fortitude – and as I finished the last sip of the Fruitista I realized:

Those were the best freakin’ chalupas I have ever had!



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