Hot for Teacher

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Jul 8th, 2010
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Day 4: Washington, DC
Temperature: 102
Likelihood of heat-induced brain trauma: 75%
Likelihood of me fanning my T-shirt so vigorously that I inadvertantly flash a senator’s aide during his lunch: 90%

I’m feeling not funny today, so this post is likely to be full of suckage. But whatev. I’m committed to finishing this thing. I jotted down a few notes yesterday, so the chances of this being mildly coherent are up slightly. So at least there’s that.

So, where was I? Oh yeah, Capitol Building. We parked there and died. Not really, but now that we were no longer moving, the air seemed stifling. (Gah, I need spellcheck. Is that right? Stifling? Doesn’t seem right.) Looking around the Mall, we personafied typical tourists, all gape-mouthed and whatnot. As we stumbled towards the big fancy buildings, this approached us.

This is Dave. Everybody say hi, Dave! Dave is a high school science teacher and may have saved our lives. He kindly offered to pedal our sweaty asses around the Mall for an undetermined amount of money. Dave drives a Pedi-cab when he’s not teaching science to adolescents and works for tips. Since we have cash and looming heat-strokes, we take him up on his offer.

I’m quite sure that Dave is the hot teacher at his high school and all the girls giggle whenever he talks about positive ion attraction and big bang theories. He is a fountain of information and told us more about the area and buildings than we could have gotten from any tourist-y booklets. Since he knew we were in town for only a few hours, he filled us in on which places were best and which would not be worth our time.

I have lots of pictures like this. I didn’t want to lean too far out of my seat and take a chance on swaying the Pedi-cab rickshaw thingy, thus causing Dave to get irritated and throw me out, leaving me to die along the street.

After pedaling 2/3’s of the way around, we disembarked, paid the cute teacher and started to head into the first of many Smithsonian biuldings. This is when we overheard Dave the Cute Teacher negotiating with his next client. He offered to take the couple HALF the distance we had just ridden, for well OVER the price we had just paid. Clearly, we are cheap and he is re-thinking the whole “working for tips” thing. But in our defense, he told us to just pay whatever we thought was fair. Meh. I hate being cheap. I also hate being guilted into paying more. FAK!

We loaded up our guilt and plowed into the first building, surrounded by middle schoolers on field trips and Griswold family vacationers. First up, the Air and Space Building.

Then the Museum of Natural History


RAWR!

I think this one looks sneaky. I suspect that dinosaurs were assholes like that.

And that’s when it happened. You know how you can go somewhere, somewhere far away, somewhere no one ever goes and then you see someone you know? Well there he was. My Ex. The Milkdud himself.


Hi, Asshat.

After that, it was time to change buildings and hope The Milkdud wouldn’t find us. The Museum of American History. (My apologies for the poor quality of pics, it’s really dark in there and my camera is ashamed of the fact that it is smarter than me.)


You can almost smell the napalm and weed.

I have oodles more pictures, but I’m afraid this is turning into a slideshow at Aunt Liz’s house of their trip to Bumfuckville while eating crappy appetizers and inhaling Uncle Raymond’s second-hand cigar smoke and beer farts.

A few more buildings later, as our blood reached the temperature of lava, we headed back to Chesapeake Bay and comfy beds and air conditioning.

Stop back by tomorrow, there will be bears, hikers and funeral processions. Not neccesarily in that order.

Bye Dave! You’ll always be my Capitol Crush!

A New Bright Shiny Day

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Jul 3rd, 2010
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After spending the night fearing for my health and safety, not to mention dousing my entire body in 38 gallons of Purell, we headed out for rounds of antibiotics…I mean a hearty breakfast. Making our way eastward we proceeded towards the coast, with our only planned stop for the day being York, Pennsylvania.

Now you may ask what is in York that would attract two happy vacationers? Why it was the birthplace of Christine. Are you still puzzled? Christine is the name that The Man has given to his motorcycle and York is the home of the Harley-Davidson factory where it, I mean she, was born.

We arrived there that afternoon and signed in for a factory tour. We were only allowed a limited tour since the factory was currently making the 2011 models and they had not released them to the public yet. We browsed around the lobby until the tour was ready to begin and after a short introductory movie, we were fitted with protective eyewear and earpieces so that we could hear our tour guide.

Let me be the first to say that this may not be a girly-girl place. But on a coolness scale, this place still rates pretty high. The large machinery, the cool robotic technology, the brawny men walking around in tight shirts……wait. Where was I? Oh yeah, the gorgeous paint colors, the acres of bright shiny chrome…it was still enough to hold this girl’s attention.

No cameras or recording devices were allowed inside the factory, but I have a few pictures from the lobby that show the process.

Pieces and parts

Frame (This factory only makes the larger touring bikes.)

The Man gets a look in his eye when he’s surrounded by this much chrome. It’s the same look I get when I walk in a designer shoe store.

It’s starting to look like….something?

What I find completely amazing about this whole thing, is that it only takes them two hours to build one of these beautiful pieces of machinery. No matter what paint color, no matter what emission stardards (different countries have different requirements), no matter what bells and whistles you require, it’s still two hours and out the door. Hell, I can barely get ready to go out in two hours! But then again, I’m an older model and they don’t even make some parts for me anymore.

After again succumbing to the lure of the gift shop, we loaded up (I pushed The Man kicking and screaming) and headed back out on the road. Rural Pennsylvania is actually quite pretty and I enjoyed the scenery until we crossed into Baltimore.

Word of warning: Do not announce that you are from Indiana while in Baltimore. Especially if you are wearing a Colts shirt. They are apparently still quite bitter.

We tossed a coin, or followed a tractor, or came to some conclusion that we should head south. Another hour of so of wandering around found us here:

We did it! We made it all the way to the coast! We were on Chesapeake Bay and there we would stay for the night. In a real room, with clean sheets and hot water and eveything! Room service! Soap! Down-filled duvet on a king-sized bed!

Edited to add: Mileage totals Day 3: 853 miles
Condition of hind-quarters on a 1-10 scale: 6.5
Median Outdoor Temp: 418 degrees Farhenheit (estimate)
Number of poor meal choices: 3

Tomorrow – The Beach

Ohio Sucks…Except for Cleveland. I heart Cleveland.

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Jul 1st, 2010
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Vacation Day 1. Better known as the day we get the hell outta Dodge. Both The Man and I are suffering from serious burnout by the time vacation comes around every year. We are cranky-pants and short-tempered. I was not my usual ray of sunshine. *snort* But Joy! Elation! Happy-happy! Vacation has arrived.

The plan was to roll out at seven a.m., bound for parts unknown. Or Ohio. But what happens when we make plans? Chaos and mayhem, that’s what. I was awakened at 4 a.m. by a horrific thunderstorm. And I’m pretty sure I could hear laughing in the background somewhere. We both laid awake until 6 o’clock listening to the storm, until we could bear it no longer and turned to the weather channel to see how bad it was going to be. We got lucky and the rain quit by 8:30 and we were able to hit the road by 9. Freedom was ours. With a wary eye on the gray clouds, we proceeded to Cincinnati. Which I believe is also known as the armpit of the Midwest. From Cincinnati we turned north and made our way through Ohio.

A little background for you. My dad used to pave roads for a living. He was an asphalt man. I understand the concept of road repair and construction. But Ohio, you shouldn’t really tear the fresh hell out of a road and leave the speed limit at 70. It causes people to believe that they can drive at least seventy. Or ninety. Crimeny, there were Nascar wannabes racing for the finish line all over the goddamn state. And near me. Which made me feel stabby. I don’t want to feel stabby on
vacation.

I don’t have many pictures from that first day because as I said before, Ohio sucks. But rolling into Cleveland that evening was divine. The architecture is amazing and the peoples are friendly to a fault. Lake Erie and the pier were a refreshing sight and we took an enjoyable stroll down the pier on our first evening away.

After a wonderful walk, we went in search of lodging for the evening. We got a reasonable room with all the normal amenities and cleanliness. I trotted down the the restaurant and ordered a pizza to munch on while Dave unpacked our gear and found his favorite channels on the tv. I thought a barbecued chicken pizza with some monterrey cheddar and red onions sounded nice, but the smallish Vietnamese gentleman has trouble understanding what I wanted. After pointing my way through the menu, and determining that I did not want a smalleeeee, but a lahgeeee, he kindly offered to bring up my food to the room when it was ready. Wonderful!

Thirty minutes later, our food arrived. Now, most everyone I know has eaten at at least one Chinese buffet in their lives. You know that very red-colored barbequed chicken they serve? The one with the unnatural color? Imagine that laying on a puddle of pizza sauce and sprinkled with some cheese. Run that through an Easy Bake oven and throw some raw onions on top. Kinda reminds me of the crap we invented in our kitchen in college from things leftover in everyone’s fridge. Either we were really tired and hungry, or just didn’t care becuase we were on vacation. Yup, we ate it. And didn’t care. This was about the time that I noticed something about our room. Something different. Something out of place. Something that didn’t belong.

In case you didn’t spot it, here’s a closer look.

I promise this was a nice place. Marble floors in the lobby and leather club chairs. And pine tree air fresheners.

Spoiler alert: Day 2 was so cool, that we are now way cooler just by default. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

Vacation Totals Day One: Miles ridden- 373
Condition of ass from riding on a 1-10 scale – 9
Number of times I lost, misplaced, or forgot something – 2
Number of times I cared that I lost, or forgot something – 0

Stay tuned, it gets way better.

My kind of church

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May 23rd, 2010
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It seems as though our schedules these days only allow for free time on Sundays. Work, home, responsibility, sheesh…buzz kill. But Sunday, glorious Sunday. If the planets align, and someone remembers to send out a text message, we all get to ride. (And by “all” I mean our merry band of bikers, totaling 5-7 people.)

Today I realized that these Sunday rides have become like church for me. Since I don’t have a bike and simply ride on back of The Man’s, it allows me a freedom to reflect, absorb, and think. My ipod holds my songs of hope and love and serenades me down the road.

The trees and sky have become my sanctuary.

“Took a look down a westbound road, right away I made my choice. Headed out to my big two-wheeler, I was tired of my own voice” ~Bob Seger

I can contemplate my place in the world.

“All this time I can’t believe I couldn’t see, Kept in the dark but you were there in front of me” ~Evanescense

I travel through this day with those I love, while their minds also turn to greater thoughts.

“Fly the ocean in a silver plane, see the jungle when it’s wet with rain, just remember till your home again, you belong to me” ~Jason Wade

At the day’s end, I feel renewed and refreshed. My spirit has been healed of its bruises and bumps and I can face a new week with a strong heart again. This may not be for every one. It may not be the stereo-typical service on bended knee. There may not be prayers recited by rote, but there are prayers.

Picture Day!

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Jan 20th, 2010
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Here’s a little taste of what I stare at all day at work.

And to the kind, portly gentleman who chatted me up today: No sir, I do not want to see your “Stimulus Package”. And now my brain needs a some electricity jolted thru it to remove the image. Thanks for that.

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