May 2002

31 May 2002 04:15 pm


31 May 2002 03:49 pm

Here we go. I actually have some time to sit down and write a bunch of stuff down. First I must attend to the blog so that the readers won’t get too antsy. I drove from Richmond to Atlanta. Little traffic, easy construction, and the awesome 70 mph speed limit on Southern highways made for an easy trip. The nine hours wasn’t so bad. Despite the application and reapplication of sunblock, my right upper arm and shoulder got nicely burned. Oooow. Good think I had the aloe gel with lidocaine in my trunk. Mmmm.

I told Chris about my sunburn and he immediatly said, “As bad as when you got sunburned through the window at Burger King?”

Damn him, I’d FORGOTTEN about that!

At Sara’s, she looks at me and says, “You are the whitest person I know.”

Her brother Grant, who is as white as me and who Sara said could be MY brother we look so much alike, said, “We come from the land of ice and snow.”

Stupid ice and snow!

Driving through the South makes me remember how large the states are down here. In New England, you can go through six states in five hours. Down here, it takes five hours to get across ONE state. I miss the DC radio stations, too. Down here it’s country and radio preaching. NPR is a constant and can keep me awake with their updates on Israel and Palestine. Another show was about Title IX. Problem with Southern radio is that it’s filled with radio preachers and preaching. About half of them sound JUST like NPR announcers until you hear “..and then God can save you, if you just open up your arms…”

My finger reflexively hits the scan button when I hear it. An NPR program mentioned something about lacrosse and it’s American Indian origins…another idea to look at for a story. If Dan Forbes is reading this (though I doubt it, he STILL hadn’t looked at the site when I left NH) then there’s a book he should pick up. It’s called “Go Girl” and is about girls’ sports today. 1) Dan has 3 daughers 2) Dan coaches girls sports teams 3) Dan has a penchant for saying “go girl” and embarassing the person he says it to if they’re over the age of 10.

A license plate I saw read: MCPOPE. Oh man. The nuances of that…the Catholic Church and McDonalds are in cahoots! You know what that means about Ronald McDonald…I was always suspect.

As I get further into the South and drive toward Atlanta to see Leanne and Chris and Ben, I think about Evan (not Brackie). He’s the one who introduced me to Orson Scott Card. He and Lauren were my best friends for a long time. A lot of things in my life I have associated with them. Now it’s like they’re tainted. How to untaint them? There must be a way.

No matter where you go, at least it seems in the US, when the windows are open and you’re bored driving on a highway, you’ll put your arm and hand out of the window and catch the air. When you’re driving at high speeds, the air is almost solid, like you can grab it. I see people in front of me doing that all the time, and I know that I do that all the time too. A universal wave of sorts, we’re all fascinated by some of the same tactile things.

Oglethorpe, the father of Georgia. In my 10th grade US History course, Coach Stokes used to ask Faith this every day. “Who’s the father of georgia?” Why? because she didn’t know the first time and EVERY Georgian should know that Oglethorpe is the father of georgia.

Who’s the father of Georgia?

30 May 2002 01:53 am

Nine hours o’ driving. The filled out driving notes I kept will be typed in tomorrow. Until then, look at some photos while I rest. :o)

28 May 2002 12:15 pm

Sooooo tired. Just look at the photos.

27 May 2002 02:28 am

…driving to Richmond, VA…

Driving in a lightning storm has got to be one of the neatest things ever. The sky kept lighting up entirely, or crooked streaks would reach out across the sky in front of me, trying to clothesline my car.

I’ve also decided that the Baltimore-Washington area has the best radio stations so far. None of that constant scan for one good song every 30 minutes. I got 4 REM songs in a ROW! Everybody Hurts, Losing My Religion, Stand, and the tail end of another that I couldn’t remember the title to.

Everybody hurts reminds me of Seeing the Gray

Exit 152, the FIRST WAFFLE HOUSE SIGHTING! I passed into Spotsylvania County. Made me think of the book and miniseries Roots. Excellent, both. I can read the book over and over. Sometimes I want to do something like that in researching my family, but how can 4 generations of stonecutters compare to going back to African roots? There could be some interesting stuff, though. I know that my great great grandfather, Joseph W. Taylor came to Central Falls, RI from Scotland in his 20s. They owned Taylor Monuments (or something) right across from Massacissic Cemetery in the same town. My grandfather learned to drive in that cemetery. One time he broke a headstone on a sharp curve and my great grandfather had to make a new one. Weird stuff started going on at some point, but no one really talks about it much. My grandfather doesn’t speak to his sister and both his parents are dead now. My grandmother said that his mother Mabel used to control his father Joseph with alcohol. Said that she also hated me and treated his sister like a princess and made him sleep in the basement.


After exit 152 I got passed by two Porshes. Cool.

Saw a sign for St. Barnabas Rd. Definately a name I need to use for something.

Billie told me a story about one of her friends earlier today on the way to Arundel Mills. Said friend had a hobby of stealing roadsigns, had a basement full of them. Driving on a rural highway, he got stopped for speeding. He remembered that he’d stolen the speed limit sign on that road.

“Do you realize you were speeding?” asked the cop.

“No, sir,” her friend said.

“There’s a speed limit sign right back there. You just passed it.”

“Sir, I have no idea what the limit is. I didn’t see any signs at all.”

“You just didn’t see it. There’s a sign.”

“Sir, I didn’t see one.”

So they went looking for the sign and turned out, there was no sign.

Cop let him go.

Yeah, it’s a real story. Weird how true stories can sound so unreal, as Billie commented.

So I got off on an exit to Route 1 to refill the gas tank. At the Texaco the automatic shut-off didn’t work and gas bubbed up and out of the tank and all over my hand. Had to go into the sketchy gas station bathrooms with an unflushed toilet, random stuff on the tile floor, and a smell that…ugh. Washed my hands but they still smell like gas. Got back into Rt 1, heading for 95 south again…

Flashing lights ahead. Hmm, someone must’ve gotten into an accident. Nope. Cones, flashlights, loads of cops.

Argh. Roadblock. Had to pull into a slot and have a cop check my car for alcohol.

“You been drinking?” he asked.
“Um, water.” I held up my water bottle. “See?”
He nodded. “Where you headed?”
“Richmond, Virginia.”
He studied my license and registration intently. “You just get off 95?”
“Yes, sir. Heading to 95 South again.”
“You’re okay. Take a left out of the plaza and another left and that will put you back on Rt. 1.” He walked off.

Hmm. I followed his directions and it put me back on Rt 1 NORTH and onto 95 NORTH. Dang it. Had to turn around at the next exit.

Right before I got off Sara’s exit, I saw a roadsign for “Powhite Parkway”

Does anyone else see the ethnic slur behind that name?! Wow. Po’ white trash highway. Only in Virginia…

26 May 2002 07:34 pm


Billie and I went to a temple of consumerism today (read: Mall). Enormous place, but an amazingly tasteful mall. It’s so pretty I just like being there. Imagine that. The movie place astounds me. I’m fascinated by ancient Egypt, so a theatre that’s built like it BELONGS there is a place I could spend way too much time in, gawking like a tourist. Though, my ready excuse on this trip is “I’m a photojournalist.” :o)

We ate lunch at this place called Chevy’s, a mexican restaurant in the mall.


I know I compare every mexican restaurant to La Carreta, but this place was gross. Of course we were presented with hot chips and some salsa, but the salsa had this really strange taste, and it wasn’t hot at ALL. The chips were fine. Chips are chips. I ordered a chicken quesadilla (to make the comparison fair, since I always get a chicken quesadilla ranchero at La Carreta).

Fifteen minutes later I was presented with a chicken quesadilla. The plate had the same shredded lettuce and sour cream on the side, but the quesadilla itself is another story. The tortilla was orange and not grilled. The cheese wasn’t hot anymore. Those I could stand. However, they’d put barbecue sauce on my chicken inside the tortilla.


Other than that, the temple of consumerism was great. That mall is large and tasteful enough to be fun, with comfortable seats, good stores, and nice enough people.

The Bass Pro Shops store had a climbing wall (woo!) and a HUGE tank with HUGE fish (edible fish too…striped bass and largemouth bass…mmmm). I got fishing-twitchy just watching them.

At ten thirty tonight I head down towards Richmond, Va. This should be fun. It’s only a 2.5 hours jaunt compared to the 10 hour marathon of friday.

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