Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nigerian Dwarf Goats For Sale

A lot of ground's been crossed since my last entry, so this will likely end up being a pretty lengthy post.

Our plan to leave NJ on Wednesday evening was tweaked to have us leave NJ Thursday morning. As things worked out, we finally hit the road sometime around 1:00PM Thursday afternoon. Feeling good about finally hitting the road, we confidently began our route as plotted by those helpful computers over at Expedia. The first substantial leg of our journey had us cross most of Pennsylvania on Interstate 78.

Soon after we started our trip we began seeing signs on the side of the highway stating that I78 was closed at PA Rt. 100. No reason was offered. When we entered PA, we stopped at the Welcome Center to ask about the closure. The Welcome Center employee at the desk was not entirely welcoming, and wouldn't tell us why the road was closed, or offer an suggested alternative routes. He could barely be bothered to help us find the maps stacked on the counter somewhere amidst scores of marketing brochures. Eventually I found the maps, took one, and we left.

I tried to devise an alternative route using the PA Highway map. Normally I'm pretty good at this. For whatever reason, I was having a lot of trouble finding a satisfactory east-west route across Pennsylvania last week, using the map I had.

We proceeded very slowly across PA, using very slow-moving two-lane roads. Crossing many rural areas of Pennsylvania on these non-Interstate roads, I was exposed to several entertaining signs. The first I saw was painted on the back of an eighteen-wheeler. I am by no means mockingn the message. In fact, I respect and admire it a little bit: "Life is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God." The messages grew weirder from there. The other messages I saw were:

  • Are you living slightly left to living right? -- this was Jess' favorite.

  • Ye who lives after the flesh shall die. - As opposed to those that don't? This was my favorite, and the most 'mock-worthy' sign we saw.

Finally, a non-religious sign that took the cake for weirdness: Nigerian Dwarf Goats for sale.

After a few hours slogging through the state highways of PA, we returned to I78, where we almost immediately saw a sign stating that the exit to I-81 was closed. I-81 was our next leg, so we exited I-78 and returned to the map, again looking for alternatives. Within about 15 minutes I noticed on the map that weren't close to I-81 yet, and decided we would return to 78 and stay there until we got near 81, and would then worry about how to get to 81 from 78 at the closed exit.

Turns out, the exit wasn't closed when we reached it, and from there the trip proceeded smoothly. More later.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Liftoff delayed.

Sadly, as it turns out we aren't leaving NJ tonight. In a few minutes I'm going to pack the van, and then go to bed.

The new plan is for us to hit the road first thing tomorrow morning.

Still excited to get to N.O., though.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

T-Minus about 24 hours.

Tomorrow evening, about this time, we ought to be pulling out of our driveway and heading for relative warmth, friendly crowds, and mobs of people chanting 'Throw Me Something, Mister!". For the first time since migrating to the hostile Northeast in '98, I'm returning to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

My suitcase is packed. The laptop bag & camcorder are packed and by the front door. Our digital camera batteries are charged.

For the first time since I was a little kid, and truthfully the first time I can even remember, I plan on dressing up for Mardi Gras. A week from today, I will be Anthony, the hungry Wiggle.

Words can't describe how much I want this vacation. I am extremely eager to pack the car and hit the road. My workday tomorrow will seem to progress so slowly it's possible time will flow backwards. But boy, once I hit my hometown, things should be excellent.

There simply isn't enough time for me to do all the things I want to, which really means to eat at all the places I want to eat. There's a CBD grill I discovered last July (don't recall the name) when I went down for my high school reunion. Danny & Clyde's for a good Po' Boy, followed up next door at Casey's for the best snowballs. (Pay no attention to the uptown snobs that swear by Hansen's - Casey's is tops.) Bud's Broiler, for a #4 with Hickory Smoke Sauce and onions. Camellia Grill's Chef Special omellette. Anything from Cafe Paniche. Harbor Seafood. Deanie's. Whatever Al Copeland is doing now. Cooter Brown's Cheese Fries. Daiquiries.

Oh, and then there's King Cakes, almost forgot about them!

I can't wait for Nate and Maren to witness Endymion, or to bring them to daytime parades on Veteran's Ave.

Swingin' at Mid City Rock N' Bowl.

I just can't wait for this trip.

Naturally, I'll have to spend tomorrow morning clearing snow from our sidewalks, driveway, and cars. That's Nature/Fate/God's way of reminding me what the great Northeast is like, lest I forget it while enjoying the mid-50's evenings in New Orleans.

To quote the Animals, "We gotta get outta this place...."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Clever little blog-game.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

[ "Hey Deanie," another Carmen song, hit #7 in 1978, but followups sank. ]

The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll - ISBN# 0-684-81044-1

Found at http://scavgraphics.livejournal.com