Friday, November 26, 2004

Turkey Day Part 1: The Drive From HELL

So, normally it's a fairly decent (and often beautiful if the weather is clear) 6 1/2 hour drive from the TVPNM to my parents home. Last year it was much longer on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but because I refuse to learn from my mistakes (hello Husband #2) I decided to drive again this year, on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Mistake. Big big mistake.

I started out happy and optimistic. I skipped my final class in order to leave a little early because I had heard traffic was already getting heavy, and I wanted to get a headstart. I put on Jimmy Buffett: Boats and headed out on the road. And realized the gas was 3/4 empty. Apparently rental car companies no longer feel the need to give you a full tank. Good to know. So, not wanting to let anything mar my chipper mood I pulled off the freeway, filled up the tank, picked up a peanut butter Twix and a Diet Coke, and headed back out. Restarted the CD for good measure.

Everything was fine until I hit the slightly more southern TVPNM, we'll call it TVPNM Annex, which was INSANE. I put in Maroon 5 and tried to relax. It took me two hours to get the 30 or so miles from TVPNM Annex to TVPN State Capital. Maroon 5 was replaced with a mix CD aptly named (by me) "Not Mellow Stuff."

Hour four found me still almost 100 miles from the next nearest huge city, normally a little over three hours away. More Jimmy Buffett to try to get through, this time Bars and Ballads.

After hitting next major city in roughly twice the time it normally takes, I was ready for more Diet Coke and more food, so when it seemed like traffic might be thinning out I stopped for Burger King and a HUGE Diet Coke. Listened to James Taylor's Greatest Hits and a CD I made a long time ago for a boy I liked called "Mood Music." Thought about all manners of depressing things about my life. Gave up and ate more french fries that one would think humanly possible.

Hours six through eight taught me that you should never assume traffic is thinning out. Big accident plus crappy 55 MPH highways plus two lanes equals me sitting on my ass in the car for two hours and moving approximately 25 feet.

Hour nine was what I fondly remember as the "Hour of Hardcore Gangsta Rap." Pimphomio and Julieho are now among my dearest friends. And a shoutout to M.'s fiance K. for making me a kickass CD (named, by one or both of them, "Pimps Up, Ho's Down") that I would truly be ashamed for my mother to ever find out I had handled without gloves, let alone listened to. She would box my ears for sure.

Hour ten. Sweet hour ten. The second hour of going over the mountains, in the pitch black (since there are NO cities out here), in the rain, wondering if it's cold enough to be frozen yet, thinking about what people will say if I die after flying off the road on black ice, especially since I didn't get the extra insurance on the car and I'll certainly be leaving enough student loans and credit card bills to really screw up my parents retirement. "Law student, twice-divorced, massively in debt, cavities, trunk full of 72.4 pounds of dirty laundry, looking pretty shitty actually, died in a single car collision as she reached for her Diet Coke and flew off a mountain pass on black ice. She leaves behind a rather sad looking fish named Beefstick or something like that and a legacy of general crankiness." Couldn't find the CD case because it had gone under the seat and so was stuck listening to a DIFFERENT James Taylor CD which only has three songs I like for almost an hour.

Got home, put in some laundry, told my parents funny anecdotes about the new plunger and Beefy and then went to sleep around midnight, only to be woken up at 5:30 by my dad getting ready for his morning bike ride. And thus started Thanksgiving day, a day which will go down in Spatula family history as the "Day the Hope of Leftovers Died." If I have time I'll be bringing you that story later this weekend.

Tomorrow is Costco, dinner out (my mom is traumatized and doesn't want to cook), and hopefully some homework since I can feel my guts twisting every time I think of how far behind I am. Good news of the day is that my mom and dad are going to get a new bigscreen TV as soon as (insert some techo-mumbo-jumbo about HDTV here) happens and I'm going to inherit their current kickass bigscreen TV. It's HUGE! Yay!
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