Friday, August 27, 2004

Deep in the heart of Texas

I was planning my trip to Texas and D made a suggestion: "How about if I send S out to ATL to ride with you to Texas?" Of course I was all about that! S and I had not had any time alone in YEARS, so it would be cool to get to have 2 days together on the highway. D, who is the premier internet research expert, found a fare and booked it in no time flat.

S flew in and I picked her up from the airport on Thursday night. We went back to Casa de Joan and stayed up entirely too late. The next day, Jef came over and he and S went off on their own adventure for the day.

I was so proud of myself because I went to bed early and planned to get up early so that I would be at Jef's house at 10am on Saturday morning. I did get up early. I was a really productive little human being until I sat down to check my email and blog one last time. I wasn't going to be near a computer for about 5 days, for goodness sake!

Something was wrong with my computer. Something was horribly wrong. I could not get on the internet and when I did it was slower than a 14.4 modem!!! My email wouldn't download!!! I couldn't get on the web. OH. MY. GOD!!! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO??? So I furiously began to do all the little things that I knew to do. I ran my virus software. Nothing. I did a disk clean up. No change. I defragged. No change.

In the midst of all of this, am I getting up and doing stuff while the computer is defragging or the viruses are being scanned? No! I have to witness it all with my own eyes! (Yes, I know. I am a freak.)

I called Jef's house at around 9am and told him to tell S to sleep in a bit because I wasn't going to be there until 11. I continued to obsessively try to do what I could to figure out why I was having so much trouble. Finally, I pushed away from the computer desk, closed my eyes, took 3 cleansing breaths and shut down my computer. I slowly got up and walked away from my desk. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I know I heard my computer whispering, "Don't leave me Mommy - I'm sick!"

However, I still was not done packing and I had the most important part of packing left to do: The picking out of the CD's to take on the trip!!! I think in the end I took at least 100 CD's with me. I maybe listened to 1/5 of them, but if I didn't have the other 4/5, I would have missed them! I know I would!

Finally, I was on my way to Jef's to pick S up at 11:30. I had made the requisite stop at the Quick Trip and picked up a 49 cent 32 oz. Diet Coke for S and I, and ice for the cooler. By the time I got to Jef's house, it was noon. S was peeved and rightly so. I was very sincerely apologetic. I knew I was being a freak, but I just wasn't being able to help myself. It wasn't until after we stopped at Arby's to get some lunch for the road and I just blurted out, "Are you still annoyed with me?" that she admitted that she wasn't anymore and we were fine for the rest of the trip.

We were motoring along the freeway and passed a fire in the median. It looked as if someone may have thrown a cigarette out and hit some dry grass or something. I called 911 on my trusty cell phone and was promptly put on hold. I finally hung up after 5 minutes on hold. I'm hopeful that someone else called and didn't get put on hold and the fire was taken care of. I figured if that wasn't the case, then I would call again if the fire was still raging when I came back through on my way back to ATL.

We stopped for the night in Jackson, Mississippi. First of all, I'd like to say that I'm very fond of spelling Mississippi. S chuckled a little the first 5 or 10 times I spelled it, then she was pleading with me to stop.

As we were driving in Mississippi, I kept seeing signs that said, "Miss Highway Patrol - Next Right" or "Miss Museum of Country Music - Next Exit" and I was thinking to myself, "Do they have a pageant for Miss Highway Patrol or Miss Museum of Country Music?" I decided to ask S what she thought and the question was about half way out of my mouth when it dawned on me: Miss = Mississippi and no pageants were involved. S looked up from her "Real Simple" magazine and shook her head at me.

We stayed at a lovely La Quinta Inn, courtesy of the lovely A. We had a wonderful meal at the Macaroni Grill. We got back to the room and there was quite a brou-ha-ha over when we were leaving the next morning. A wanted us to leave at 7:00am so I could be at her house early. We finally agreed on 8:30am but A was not very happy and made me give the phone to S to insure that S would not let me stay any longer than that. I bitched and moaned about how early that was, and then set my alarm for 6:00am. Ha! That would show them!

Despite this, we still did not hit the road until 8am. That was fine, though because we had to stop at the Jackson, MS Save Rite for some Peach Nehi for S's mother. It seems to be the only place in the world that sells it. I sat in the car and watched as people came and went. One woman came out to her truck and loaded about 10 bushels of collard greens. I salivated thinking of how good they were going to taste around supper time.

We made it to Shreveport by lunch time. We stopped at a casino for lunch. Casino's have the best buffet's, you know! We went into the casino and found the nickel slots. S sat down and fed the machine $4.00 and played for a good 30-45 mins. I put $10.00 in and played for about 5 mins. I hate slot machines. Take me to the horse races any day, man!

4 hours later we pulled into S & D's drive way. We unloaded all of S's stuff under the watchful eye of their neighbor who was "hiding" behind a tree. S & D affectionately call him "Bobo." I asked why, and D referred to the part of the body that a "bobo" is. Ahh! I understand now!

I pulled away from there and drove toward A's house.

(To be continued!)



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