Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why Indiana SUCKS, pt. II

OK, this is the real reason Indiana sucks.

We were heading east on I-70. We're just about to get to the Ohio border, and there are signs saying that the left lane is closed ahead for construction. No big deal.

When we get to the next exit, the highway is completely shut down. OK, no problem. We exit. And then look around for several seconds, scanning for "Detour" signs. There are none.

We turn right, heading down U.S. Highway 27 toward Oxford, Ohio. There are no signs for an I-70 detour. After a few miles, we turn around and head back toward I-70. We finally see a very small sign, which is not visible from the exit ramp we were forced to take, that says, "I-70 East Detour"--naturally, it points to the I-70 West entrance ramp. We take it. At the next exit on westbound I-70, there is another very small detour sign. We exit and follow the sign. The next detour sign? It points to the goddamn eastbound I-70 entrance ramp, which we know forces you to exit at the next ramp. ARRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!

It's about 2 or 3 in the morning. Nothing is open. TomTom is useless (it keeps telling us to head north on 27 and enter I-70 eastbound). And, oddly enough, I DON'T HAVE A MAP OF FUCKING RICHMOND, INDIANA WITH ME.

We finally find a convenience store that is open. The guy working there tells us to go to 27, head north, and get on I-70 east. I am waiting in the car, furiously blogging (my first anti-Indiana post in this blog), while my wife explains that the highway is closed there. He gives us alternate directions (on U.S. Highway 40, "National Road") that will eventually get us to I-70 eastbound. Thank you, Hoosier guy with crappy midnight shift convenience store job on Williamsburg Pike. You prevented a middle of the night spree-killing in your shitty state.

Note to the IDOT (hmmmmm, with an acronym like that, I'm not so surprised that they're IDiOTs): When you close a U.S. Interstate Highway, PUT UP MEANINGFUL DETOUR SIGNS, YOU FUCKTARDS! It would have taken just two signs (one on 27 and one more showing the turn on to U.S. 40) to help motorists who don't live in Richmond, IN.

Also, your state motto is: "The Crossroads of America." Really? Crossroads? More like "Dead End so you'll have to spend more money in our crappy state." That should be your motto, assholes of Indiana.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Why Indiana SUCKS, pt. I

Since you are reading this blog, you know why I am driving across country.

So, we leave Milwaukee at 9:30 pm, to avoid Chicago traffic. This part of the plan works great.

We continue traveling, leaving the Land of Lincoln for the Hoosier state. Big mistake.

Never try to make a quick stop in Lafayette, IN, just to gas up and grab a drink. I pull into a gas station/convenience store. The store appears to be closed, but the pumps are on and accepting credit cards. At least I can gas up. While I'm pumping the gas, the clerk emerges from behind (not inside) the store. He smiles at us and then proceeds to smokes a cigarette. As we drive away to the McDonalds next door to get a Coke, he gives us a friendly wave. It is only later that I wonder if he really works there, or has dispatched the real employee, but can't find the keys, thus preventing him from opening the store.

At McDonalds, no one cheerfully greets me at the speaker. Finally, I say, "Hello?". A woman replies, "I'll be with you in a minute."

If only.

When she finally returns to the microphone about an hour later, she asks if she can take my "cash-only order."

"Maybe some other day," I respond as I drive off in a huff. I had cash, but put up a damn sign if you're running the only Luddite McDonalds franchise on the planet.

Up next, part II, wherein I rant about the fucktards who actually run the state.

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Indiana SUCKS!

Fuck this goddamn state and the fucktards who run it!


Monday, April 21, 2008

I Don't Like Mondays

If you work a regular job, Mondays suck. We all know that.

All Mondays suck but some Mondays are more sucky than others.

Today, my brother-in-law's wife had a heart attack. She's in ICU right now. And as far as I know, she's still not conscious.

Somehow, when pulling my car out of the garage to take my daughter to school (as my wife rushed off to the hospital), the garage door started going down. Crunch.

Luckily, it wasn't raining today, so off we drove. It was almost like having a convertible. (Alas--for my poor wallet, anyway--I no longer have a convertible.)

Let's see how many clichés (besides "I Don't Like Mondays") I can come up with to describe today:

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust That Day
When It Rains, It Pours
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Things come in threes

This last one worries me to most. Three? OK, dryer, car, garage. Mom, Jane, ???? Or does two sets mean you square it and get 9 things?

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Road Trip Preparations, pt. I

OK,trip preparation task #1 (of 958) is done!

All our readers will get to experience our road trip vicariously
(Blackberry-induced typos included). Woo-hoo!

What's that in the road ahead?
What's that in the road, a head?

La Condesa: (alarmed) Pooji Dung?
Madeleine: I see the name is familiar.

Road Trip Preparations I

Third time's the charm....

I'm testing my ability to post from my Blackberry.

Keep your fingers crossed....

La Condesa: (alarmed) Pooji Dung?
Madeleine: I see the name is familiar.

Road Trip!

We have decided to take the kids out to see Mom. Given the short time-frame (we want to go this weekend or next weekend at the latest), airfare was astronomical (over $2000 total for a family of four). So, we've decided to do something I have not done in ten years--drive to Virginia.

I really don't like to drive. But last year we drove to Alabama for vacation (Gulf Shores is lovely in April) and I drove to Ohio for a college reunion. It's like I was prepping for the marathon drive to Virginia (although the drive to Alabama was probably further...checking...yes, 200 miles more, according to Google Maps). Still, driving to a vacation is a lot more fun than driving to visit a dying parent.

I think the visit itself will be nice. And I am going to remain optimistic that the drive itself won't be too bad.

I like to listen to audiobooks (the art form formerly known as 'books on tape') on long drives. I tried it on the Alabama trip, but no one else would listen to the books with me. Stupid iPods and PSPs. So the best I can hope for is to make a bunch of annoying CDs and torment my family with them. Ahhhh, good times ahead!

(Alternatively, RedBox allows you to rent movies in one location and return them in a different location--very smart business plan. I wonder how long before Blockbuster tries it. Two years? Three?)

I should set up this blog to accept posts via email; then I can torture blog-readers by posting excruciating details of the drive, like: Just passed mile marker 75! and Gas Prices in eastern Indiana and What was that on the side of the road? and Why we will only eat at Stuckey's on this trip and Should we pick up this hitchhiker--or run him/her/it over? and, finally, Just passed mile marker 78! Wouldn't that be an exciting three miles?

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Anger. Can denial, bargaining, depression, and accceptance be far behind?

OK, so to start with, I'm angry. Here's a few things that have ticked me off.

First, back in the last millennium (i.e., the 1990's), Mom had fibroid tumors on her ovaries. Despite being around 50 years old, despite having had a tubal ligation over two decades earlier, despite the fact that she didn't want to have any more children, the doctors decide to wait to remove them--until menopause was over. Why? I wondered why then and, to this day, I continue to wonder. It made no sense to wait (from my non-medically-trained perspective), but wait they did. Mom had a full hysterectomy a few years later.

And now, about 15 years later, she is dying from endometrial cancer. What is endometrial cancer, you wonder? Why, it's cancer of the uterus. Because that's where the first tumors were (or close enough, if I remember my high school biology correctly--the ovaries are not actually in the uterus itself), so the doctors say she's dying of endometrial cancer. Kind of odd--dying of uterine cancer when you don't have a uterus. Anyway, I'm angry that they didn't just give her a hysterectomy when the tumors first appeared. We don't know that such an operation would have made anything better now, but it wouldn't have hurt anything back then.

Second, the surgeon scheduled to do the surgery today canceled the surgery last Friday afternoon. Have a nice weekend! I understand why, from a logical perspective, but that doesn't diminish my anger.

I'm sure I could think of more things to be angry about, but that's enough to get started.

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Mom has cancer

So, Mom has cancer. Has had it for years. Despite many surgeries and at least two different chemotherapy treatments, things are not looking good.

This is where we will blog about the experience. The good, the bad, and everything in between.

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