Thursday, July 23, 2009


So I made a slide show with captions and everything, but it looks as though my usual web host is down. So I'm just going to post a few things without captioning because I'm too achy to do so.

At least the Hallmark channel plays Golden Girls all the time.

Guess what!? Amanda doesn't have food poisoning! She's sick! Now I (julie) am too! Whatever truck stop gave us this ailment is going to get a very angry letter....just as soon as the room stops spinning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby's First Tornado!

Well, since Ashley and I last had access to the web, a lot of things have happened and most of them had to do with weather. Except the Corn Palace. That just had to do with Corn.

The night before last, we camped in Badlands National Park, in South Dakota. If you have never been there, all I can say is that it is fierce and unforgiving and really, really beautiful. The badlands are like a moonscape in need of mood stabilizers. They need a decent shrink and some lithium, and maybe, just maybe they'll stop throwing fits. Unlike your average 4 year old, the badlands throw fits of the ancient and vengeful variety. Primarily, they involve lightning, rain, and lots and lots of wind.

From afar this is incredible. Anyone who knows me well knows how seriously I revere thunderstorms. Lately, they seem to mark special occasions even-- which I appreciate immensely. On the prairie you can see so far ahead of you, that you watch storms coming down from miles and miles away. You know they're coming for you and thats ok. The rain is pretty gentle, its just the wind that's wild.

The wind, of course, is how the Great Prairie Tent Battle of July 20th arose. It was us versus the wind. After a lengthy battle, we came out triumphant, with one blue tarp our only semi-casualty.

After romping in the Badlands, we went to Mount Rushmore.
Mount Rushmore is weird, but we did learn some things. Primarily, that most Americans who visit national monuments in the middle of nowhere akin to Mt. Rushmore are a.) fat and b.) don't generally look where they're walking. We ate ice cream in way-too-big portions (let's just call it 'American Sized') and got the hell out of there.

One question though-- why would the ice cream store at Mount Rush. be BASEBALL themed? Don't you think, Oh, I don't know... let's say Presidential, or Patriotic.. would go over just a wee bit better?

In all honesty, for me, the greatest part of the day yesterday was driving through Wyoming... there was lightning on the horizon for hours in the middle of the day, torrential sunshowers, and even a rainbow at one point.

The worst part of Wyoming? Crappy mexican food that gave Amanda food poisoning.
Naturally, this fact was discovered in the middle of, yes... A TORNADO.

Right after we decided to splurge and get a motel, there we were, smack dab in the middle of a tornado. It seemed like the second we put our bags down in the dingy, smoke tinged room, the wind started ripping through the entirety of the strip mall/motels/highway conglomeration at our feet. At the time of course, we just thought it was a really big fuckin' storm. Hail covered the motel parking lot and we lost all electricity as far as the eye could see. But yeah, apparently it was tornado. So, as a result, we're hanging out and taking it easy today. I think we could all use a rest.

(It's easier just to scroll using the arrows at the right)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You gotta punch a lot of babies to get a Grammy.

Today we passed through Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota and are now in Sioux Falls, SD. In case you were wondering, Minnesota is the most boring place on earth, with the exception of the Jolly Green Giant statue. Wisconsin, on the other hand, is dedicated solely to fun. Giant insane-o indoor waterpark, cheese curd, elk jerky, wild and wacky midwestern fun. Minnesota smells mostly like cow poop.

After Ohio


Never have styrofoam cups of lousy machine coffee elicited such a feeling of joy...Ashley is cooing "you're heaven sent" to Amanda now, and its true.
Maybe it's a bad sign that we're only to Illinois and we're already deranged...but maybe, just maybe, this is a necessary insanity. I mean, ok, a certain curly headed someone's fun facts for each state are contributing to the madness. Did you know Howard Taft got stuck in a White House Bathtub? Santa Claus, IN is a place? Something about Dairy Queen, Grandmamas and Grandbabies in Joliet, IL? We do. We also know that Amish Country is everywhere, and that the sun sets differently in every state we ride through.

Despite being at a state of griminess that is making me seriously consider taking a second shower in 10 hours, a nutritional intake of almost nothing but deformed dollar store animal crackers and coffee, and Fiona the GPS' inability to determine "West" on certain roads.... the trip is rightly swell.

Yesterday we spent the day in Milan, OH with my cousin Robert and his family. They are fantastically cool, and made all of us sure that we loved Ohio and all Midwesterners from that point on. After eating homemade (and homegrown) zucchini bread, we walked around their farm. Let it be known, I now want a farm and a donkey. This new aspiration is a natural result of the fact that I met the best donkey ever. His name was Xote (after Don Qui-)and he is my new bestie. Ashley and Amanda bounded across the field in search of ponies, it rained, we climbed around a barn, and then headed into the tiny, adoracute town center of Milan to explore us some family heritage.

We have to go now, so I'll just say this: Seeing pictures of people in museums when you also have the same pictures in your living room at home is surreal as all hell.

Scroll down for Ashley's photos of our day!!

El Dia Segundo

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh- Hi- Oh.

Day one of the great lady road trip is complete. We've made it safely from Philadephia, PA to Milan, OH. It's just before two am and we're crashing out on a back sleeping porch in our (wonderful!) hosts farmhouse. It's late enough that I cannot seem to get anything involving web formatting, paragraphs or html right, but still early enough that poop jokes remain funny....

below are some photos that the lovely miss ashley ross took on the first leg of our journey.
they include but are not limited to-- introducing friends to the power of water ice, truckstop jesus paraphernalia, and deranged roadside behavior.

i'd compose witty captions for each of them, but for christ's sake, its 2am. A girls gotta get her sleep sometime.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Great Lady Itinerary

In order to distract myself from the fact that I've just left some of the people who matter most to me with the fierce hope that I'll be able to create a sustainable and cozy little life for myself, I'm going to post the itinerary for the Great Lady Road Trip.

I'm trying to articulate just how I feel about leaving Greensboro/jumping headfirst into a ridiculous new life and I really can't. Mostly I cry a lot and need a nap. I'm so happy to be moving to a place I absolutely love, with people I absolutely love, with wonder of all wonders-- job opportunities!-- but right now, the leaving is what's taking up space in my brain.

Apparently, a group of friends who bade me farewell folded up my duck dress (a staple article of clothing of mine from approximately 1999-2007) like a flag and laid it solemnly on the chair I had been sitting in.

I'm just glad there were no toasts with allusions to me being "up there" with Biggie. It's happened before. And that person was only in Washington state.

So here it is... the Great Lady Road Trip Itinerary!

You can look at our route on a map! Don't you love technology?

Ostensibly, THIS is where we'll be going.

Day 1-- Philadelphia to Milan, OH to visit my cousin Robert and the Thomas Edison Birthplace. Nothin' like family heritage. Not to mention Robert is the synth player for Pere Ubu. I heart Pere Ubu and I'm so psyched to meet him for the first time since I was a kid!

Day 2-- Milan, OH to Chicago. Ashley and I went to Chicago once before on a roadtrip to see Ammachi, who is a hugging saint. There will probably be no saints this time, but a there's always a whole lotta hugging.

Day 3-- Chicago to Iowa. Ashley is really enamored with the concept of Iowa. I'm enamored with the concept of spending the night in a yurt.

Day 4-- Iowa to The Badlands. For some reason I'm terribly excited about South Dakota. The next day we're also going to Mount Rushmore. Do you have any idea how much creepy presidential heads on a giant rock face thrills me? Well, it does. A lot.

Day 5-- South Dakota to Denver, CO. We're sleeping somewhere here. There will also be mountains.

Day 6-- Denver, CO to Moab, Utah. Arches National Park. I need all the pretty I can get to keep from weeping.

Day 7-- Moab, Utah down the Loooooneliest Road to somewhere in Nevada. This is the part of the trip where we hope we won't be bludgeoned by hardy desert hobos or eaten by coyotes after our car breaks down 100 miles outside of a ghost town. All I want is ghost towns and desolation... accompanied by creepy music, of course.

Day 8-- More ghost town driving, under Lake Tahoe, and then into SF! We'll throw ourselves into the open arms of Emily Hantz and wish like hell this will all pan out.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Prelude to the Great Lady Road Trip of Ought-Nine

This is a blog. Much like a new baby, you can coo at it and speak in semi-degrading baby talk. "Yes it is! Yesss it IS! Can you say 'blog?' Blooooog! What a iddy-widdy bwoggy-woggy!" etc.

It cannot reply to your inane babble by cooing and spitting up its banana puree, but it can (and will) inform you of things including, but not limited to:

a.) my whereabouts and thoughts relating to the quest for a shiny, new life.
b.) musings on how Sarah Palin terrifies me.
c.) the final verdict: is Mount Rushmore as creepy and weird as I expect it to be?

In about a week, the fabulous Miss Ashley Ross and I will be fleeing the East coast for the friendlier pastures of the West. We will be aided and abetted by one Miss Amanda Hollifield.
If we ever have internet, you can read about it here. If we don't, you can just look at the blank screen and imagine us lounging decadently by a pristine lake fending off an angry horde of fire ants. The choice is yours.