Tag Archives: road trip

Was “boring” code for “A sort of fun you will never know”?

You know how when you were a kid, you’d get ideas in your head and you’d try to turn them into reality? Sometimes you could accomplish the goal with your  Lite-Brite set, sometimes you’d have to go out and experiment, and once in awhile, you would have to get your parents involved. Usually through begging.

Some parents help their children make dreams tangible. Other’s give their tykes space and materials to make stuff happen. And then there were my parents. Yes, we were allowed to adopt any animal we brought home (Chris had a minnow named SilverStreak for about 3 years. He had a field mouse our cat caught, too) and we had full reign of the town, from the top of the airy mountain down to the rushy glen. To be fair, we weren’t really held back often; we were like little naturalists exploring our world and that was awesome.

But when we got those ideas, the big ones we couldn’t manifest on our own, the ones that involved asking for help, well, the answer was quite often “No.” And that “No” became very specific when we were pleading to go somewhere.

Backing up: I was reminded of this because  Shana Abe photoposted the giant  May Natural History Museum beetle on Facebook and I was reminded that I have wanted to go there since I was 12. We used to drive past it regularly on our way to our grandparents’ cafe and every time, Chris, Noelle, Bedot and I would wail for mom to stop, STOP! We wanted to visit the bug museum. The answer was always “No.”

We’d cry, “Why? Why can’t we go?”

“It’s boring.”

As it happened, that was also the reason we couldn’t go to Circus Circus in Las Vegas or the La Brea Tar Pits, among other places.

In retrospect, I get that my parents didn’t want to haul our little carcasses along on their grown-up-time Vegas trips but back then, we kept begging to go because our friends said Circus Circus was the coolest place ever. I’m sure Mom had no alternative but to tell us our friends were stupid and the place was, in actuality, boring.

But the Tar Pits?  I learned about them in 3rd grade and was fascinated. In my mind, there were lots of slimy, little pits of boiling black goo and every once in awhile, a mammoth skull would bubble up from the ooze to bob along on top until someone fished it out and cleaned it up. I told Mom I really wanted to go but she told me it was boring, it was just a hole in the ground with some black water, nothing but disappointment and a nasty smell. Of course, the truth was that it would have been an expensive trip, involving several days’ travel in the station wagon, multiple stops for food and bathrooms, plus motel costs, and headaches. So why didn’t Mom just tell us that the Tar Pits were alarmingly expensive? Why did she file them under the Boring category? Because she’s evil. Obviously.

And what was up with the Bug Museum? It was an hour away and it’s not like it cost much to get in. We definitely could have recycled aluminum cans for a summer to cover the entry fees. Hell, Bedot would have gotten in for free. It’s like Mom wanted us to be uneducated and untraveled. This is how white trash stays white trash, people. It’s self-perpetuating.

Once I became an adult with mobility and funds, I went to Las Vegas. I saw Circus Circus. I was thankful Mom verbotened that one because, dude, the place is creepy. I would have been terrified as a child had our parents dumped us off there while they went off and gambled for hours on end. Mom = 1

Last summer, we went to the La Brea Tar Pits while we were in California for Gabe’s birthday. Guess what? It is NOT BORING! She completely lied about that one. Children = 1

La Brea Tar Pits

This is going to be my Christmas card to my mom for the rest of her life. Every year. And inside it will say, “I hope your Christmas is BORING” which is pretty loving, if you think about it. You know, since boring apparently means “awesome”

And that means I need to head down the road to the bug museum. If it is not boring, Mom and I, we’re going to have words. Or, rather, we’re going to define words, one in particular: Boring.

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Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, In someone else's backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My Opinions on STUFF, Out & about or abroad, White trash childhood

I’ve foiled another murder attempt

It’s been snowy here lately which, technically, isn’t unusual because I live in the mountains and it’s winter. However, our winters have been stupidly mild the past few years. I think there were a few days when the temperature hit the 70’s this past January so it’s not surprising we’ve all been lulled into a false sense of Southern Arizonaness. Add to that that February is usually a non-snow month and one can understand how this sudden burst of arctic weather has caught us unawares. It’s the perfect time to plot a murder.

Yesterday, we were supposed to get this little snow squall. In a fickle, weather-like move, it came on early and turned out to be not as little as expected. Gabe started calling me at work, telling me to tell my boss that my mom was buried in snow and that I had to leave to dig her out. I’m not sure why anyone who knows me would buy that; they’d expect me to say that my mom is buried in snow and I need to buy a backhoe so I can pile more on top of her, but whatever. The point is, I didn’t do as Gabe requested and I stalwartly remained at work until 6:00 pm after which I closed down, locked up, bundled myself into warm outer wear and walked out into the night only to slip and slide the minute I hit the parking lot. Penguins were skating by and I think I saw a walrus lounging near a tree. It was freakin’ COLD! And the wind! It was pushing more snow onto my car than I was scraping off! I was already looking forward to a steaming bowl of hot soup and a nice warm fire on the other side of my drive home.

The road was fine as long as no one else was on it. All those other people were sliding and slipping around and that’s always a lot scarier to me than when I slide and slip. The oncoming snow plows making one-lane highways in the drifts were also alarming. And there was this hill that wouldn’t let me up it until I geared down to 2nd and took my foot off the gas. We (my car & I) crawled uphill, both ways…in the snow. But after almost an hour of putting along like a one-legged nonagenarian with a crooked cane, I made it home, ready to eat and cuddle up in my safe, warm abode.

I need to back up a second. We have a rule in our house, one that’s been very hard to put into effect because it is so complicated. The rule goes like this: If snow, then fire. It means that if it is snowing out, a fire must be built in the stove in order to keep the house warm. Granted, there are a few complex sub-rules such as: If cloudy all day for two or more consecutive days, then fire. That means that we have a lot of passive solar heating our house and after two days of no sun, it gets cold and in order to combat the dropping temperatures, one must make a fire. There’s also the If frigid arctic winds are rattling the windows for more than 90 minutes during waking hours, then fire. That means if it’s so cold outside that the cold comes inside, regardless of sun, then a fire must be roaring in the stove post haste. Those sub-rules are very hard for anyone but me to understand and I get that. I know I’m an obsessive control freak who has to have everything just so. That’s why I simplified the rule to: If snow, then fire. I thought that would cover at least one base.
As mentioned above, our winters have been mild. We haven’t needed many fires. Sometimes I build them just to use up the (poorly-stacked) wood. You know, so I can get new wood and stack it poorly, too. Regardless, I do not feel the IStF rule should be forgotten so easily.

I’ll bet you can see where I’m going with this.

I made it home, thanked my brave little trooper of a car (I love my car so much!) and walked through ten foot drifts (they really just came up above my ankles) to get to the front door, weeping because the freezingness was pulling the water out of my eyes. I got inside, took off my coat and realized IT WAS COLD INSIDE MY HOUSE!

The stress from driving bubbled forth and burst out as a loud yell, “IS THERE A FIRE GOING?” and Gabe, briefly looking up from his video game, said, “No. Why? I’m not cold.”

GABE! IF SNOW, THEN FIRE! THERE IS SNOW! WHERE IS THE DAMNED FIRE?

So I stabbed him in the face with an icicle that was conveniently hanging from the kitchen ceiling and my murderous rage is what kept me warm enough to not get hypothermia. Also, a bottle of hard liquor helped, too.

The moral of this story: I will kill you before you are able to kill me by freezing the blood in my veins, jerkface.

My cherry bush is being suffocated

Meet our drift. I had to walk through this to get to the front door. My life is very difficult.

Ok, maybe it's not so bad

I have to admit that while this road was horrifying last night, it sure was a beautiful drive this morning.

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Filed under Adventures, In my backyard, My Dearly Beloveds, My Phenomenal Fake Life

Beware of alligators – and surprise, unscheduled posts!

Sometimes, you just have to get out and go for a drive, especially on lovely days. Today is a lovely day and Gabe had never been to Cripple Creek so I grabbed $25 and we hit the road.
The scenery was breathtaking, as always; it’s why I love the drive.

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And sometimes on these kinds of spontaneous adventures, you see odd things, things you don’t expect to see. Ok, to be fair, I expected to see them but since Gabe’s never been down this way, he didn’t and we had to pull over and take a look.

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I think that’s supposed to be Bigfoot. I am not kidding.

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Worry not! The Flintstones are alive and well in Colorado. They look a bit odd, but, c’mon – give ’em some credit. They’re really old.

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RAAWWWRRR! I HAVE REALLY SKINNY ARMS! RAAWWRRR!!! — oh yeah? that’s nuthin’. look at my terribly thin neck. I’m amazed it can hold my head up. oh, and raahhr.

But even I was surprised and saw something I did not expect to see:

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Terribly grinny mountain gator. Extremely rare. Proceed with caution. Do not touch, do not feed, do not undo the wire that secures it to the fence.

We made it to Cripple Creek, took Daisy May for a walk in the cemetery, had a picnic at the overlook, spent some time at the Heritage Center (pictures are on another camera) and then went into town. We walked up and down the main drag, found candy store and bought candy cigarettes!!! And real Coke with sugar in it. And root beer. And truffles. It was fantastic.
We’re currently sitting in the Double Eagle Hotel & Casino, having won about $7.00, sucking up their free Wi Fi. It’s AWESOME, even if we had to be attacked by a ‘gator to get here.

Just by the by, why do casinos all have crazy carpet?

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Filed under Adventures