March 05, 2004

Diarrhea of the Mouth: A second by second telling of my jobless life

Technically, I have a job. I've actually had it since August. I just haven't gone to it yet. So, in the meantime, I am here in Seattle with my boyfriend and some great friends doing whatever I want whenever I actually roll out of bed.

Our complete lack of obligation led Jed and I to work very diligently at doing nothing. We quickly grew tired of this and decided that we were in need of a vacation. Thus was born our road trip to California. Jed has done a wonderful job of summarizing the trip but I wanted to post my own version as well. To ensure that this makes sense, I would strongly urge you to read Jed's entry first since this will not only be a recap but a response.

So...first go to

Day 1
Yes, Jed had caught my cold and felt yucky but I really don't think that had we both felt fine that we would have left any earlier. I really have no idea what we were thinking when we thought we could leave before 10am. Oregon is awful. There were a few nice parts, like Portland, but the drive down Route 5 was desolate. It definitely had the feel of a horror movie, though I never watch them because I scare so easily, which is why the television was on all night. It was also in Oregon that I learned of Jed's refusal to ask for directions. In fact, he insisted on driving back and forth for a while before agreeing to let me ask the directions. Note: there was a sign in front of us the whole time indicating the highway we were looking for. What I do love about Jed though, is how much like me he is concerning germs and food. We were pressed for options for dinner and decided that we would give into Taco Bell. After using the bathrooms and being horrified by their conditions, we only cringed at the thought of what their food prep was like. We immediately bolted. We ended up at a pizza place that was odd. It looked kind of like an Elk's Lodge or Town Hall or something but with a big counter to prepare pizza. I wanted spinach on my pizza, thinking it would be steamed and strained and in the pizza. Nope. They just threw whole leaves of raw spinach on the top. West Coast, learn how to make a good pizza damnit! Okay, so the night ended in Yreka, CA because we absolutely refused to get out of the car one more time in
(wh)oregon. My question to you is this...there is already a Eureka, CA closeby so how would you pronounce this place? I called it why-reeka and Jed made fun of me. Someone please help me!

Day 2
Ahhh.....Denny's. Jed has a highly underappreciated talent for the claw machine. The Denny's was right next door to our hotel and so we went in for some greasy breakfast. Jed was eyeing the claw machine from the moment we saw it so, of course, we played. When we saw that there were Care Bears inside, we knew we had to win. I am not sure where the fascination with Care Bears came from but for some reason our little group of friends love them. Jed won me Tenderheart, which we named BC. Then we were off to Calistoga. It was raining so I took a nap. Actually, Jed "felt more comfortable as the driver," so I never had to. It was nice of him but it made me suspicious that he harbours some kind of bad feelings for my driving. Anyway, when I woke up we were on top of a large mountain in the middle of a snow storm. An hour later, we were down the mountain and entering wine country in beautiful sunshine. We traveled through nauseating curve and mountain combinations to get to the remote but quaint village of Calistoga where we indulged in girly things. I had actually purchased this package at Calistoga as a gift for Jed but the more I thought about it, felt like it really was a gift for me. But gifts make me happy, and if I am happy, he is happy. Right darling, sweetiepie? (Insert vomit noise here) However, after reassuring Jed of his everpresent masculinity, we sunk into the mud bath. It was about a million degrees and super squishy. Jed immediately sunk to the bottom while I sort of floated on the top until the attendant threw a bunch of mud on top of me. We rinsed off and then sat in a mineral water jacuzzi and rehydrated with lemon water. Ten minutes later, we were off to our towel wrap which brings our body temperatures safely back down to normal. Our session was for 20 minutes and about 5 minutes in, I no longer heard the sweet lull of the nature music being pumped into the room. Instead, I heard the low snore of my boyfriend, who lay across the room in the deepest sleep of his life. Then we were able to take showers before returning to our room. Calistoga is full of natural hot springs and these spas can tap into those for their water source. The downside to this is that it lets out a very pungent sulfurous smell. The other downside was that, in spite of all the warnings of possible scalding, the water never got very hot. We then went to the store where our cashiers appeared to be arguing over my age. Do I look 17? After eating, we swam in the heated pool where I unintentionally polluted the pool with a rather nasty bloody nose. That is only the second one I have ever had and I don't know why I got it. Aren't you glad I told you? After I clotted, Jed and I returned to our room to bake in the sauna. We had a contest on who could throw the most sweat onto the coals and make the loudest sizzle. I am proud to say that despite my lesser surface area, I won.

Day 3
Room service! I have never before indulged in such a luxury since my father forced us to drink powdered milk growing up because it was cheaper than real milk. Everyone should try room service at least once. I felt rich. Where are you Robin Leach? Jed scored us a room on the 23rd floor which offered us a fantabulous view of downtown San Francisco. Of course, we threw pennies into the pool that was 17 stories below us. Good times. Our friend from high school, Aron came to visit us and he immediately noticed my lip gloss which reminded me why I love him so much. We spent lots of time eating our room service in front of him, making him be quiet while we finished watching our reality television and then catching up on the years since we last saw eachother. It was just like old times.

Day 4
I pigged out on the free breakfast we got as members of the Priority Club and then got really sick. Jed had plans for much of the day, so I just lazed around and planned our evening to meet up with my friend Trina and her boyfriend Geoff for dinner. It was on our way to meet them for dinner that I realized my sense of direction is horrible. Actually, I have known this for a while, but since I used to live in San Francisco, I thought that I could make it. Jed was the one to point out that we were going in the wrong direction on the bus and immediately following that I was yelled at by the correct bus driver by using the back door instead of the front. Oh well. The four of us went to a Senegalese restaurant which was quite yummy. As noted in ne of Jed's pictures, it was on this night that I was convinced I had seen a skewered rat on the sidewalk. I desperately tried to save Trina from its frightening image but she broke free and hysterically informed me that it was a pussywillow. Easy mistake. Could happen to anyone.

Day 5
This was our day of Aron! We didn't get a lot of time with him the night he came over to the hotel so we devoted our whole afternoon to catching up. We thought Jed should see the wharf, so we ventured down there and took a really great boat ride around the bay. It was a very sunny day and we brought the camera that I still don't know how to use. Jed took the time to learn and wouldn't you know, the batteries died after one picture. Sigh. Aron then showed us where he worked. I am blown away and utterly envious. He is a recruiter for Gap, Inc. and works in nothing short of a palace. His "cubicle" is more like a luxury office and he even has a rooftop terrace which overlooks the bay and the Oakland Bay Bridge. Best of all, he gets a kickin discount at all the Gap owned stores. He took us out to a late lunch where he drowned himself in the most humongoid margaritas I have ever seen. I was impressed. Then he bought me a hat. It was a good day. I took Jed out to my favorite little sushi place and on the way, we saw a minor accident involving the door of a taxi being closed inside the door of a bus. Very exciting.

Day 6
Our last day in San Francisco. We drove down Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the world and then went to Baker Beach. I love this beach. It isn't the kind that you can swim at, but it is really beautiful and there are some great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. In fact, many of the really great professional pictures of the bridge are taken from this beach. Then we went to Golden Gate Park, which Jed pointed out is actually nowhere near The Golden Gate Bridge, so why is it named so? Our jaunt through the park was largely based on us getting to the Ben and Jerry's where we got ice cream. I am a huge pig and had three scoops and Jed had one scoop, but that wasn't his fault. He was jipped though I was happy that he refused my offer to share my cone. Our drive back began much like our drive out of Seattle; leaving much later than we intended. Again, the roads were curvy and horribly frightening. Somehow, I believed that we could make it to Fort Bragg in 2 hours. I think it took us 2 hours to go 44 miles. Jed contined to drive and THEN took pictures while driving. I felt useless but I admit that the pictures he took while driving were better than mine at any point. The roads were wierd and desolate. There would be a sign posting the speed limit as 55 and then immediately following that there would be a yellow warning sign indicating curvy roads with a speeding limit of 20. The road was scary enough but off to the left were thick forests where I imagined serial killers make their plans and to the right was a steep drop-off to a raging river that was begging to eat us up. As Jed pointed out in his entry, we both went insane. Simon and Garfunkel was playing and their soft, hypnotic sound pushed us over the edge. Before we reached a point of no return, we made it to Fort Bragg and immediately went to Denny's where the stupid machine denied us our Care Bears, but have no fear...Jed conquered the mighty claw the next morning when we went back for breakfast. This Care Bear was Cheer Bear (the pink one) whom I renamed Boutros Boutros after that guy in politics.

Day 7
The coastal route in the daytime is much prettier. Every time we saw the ocean, we were convinced that it was prettier than the time before. It made the whole saga that was the night before well worth it. We left California and stayed in Grants Pass, OR that night so that I could meet with my friend Jerry the next day.

Last Day
We drove down to Ashland, OR the next day to see my friend Jerry from my days at Shakespeare and Company. Ashland is known for its Shakespeare Festival and the entire town revolves around this. It is really quaint and I liked it a lot, but there is nothing else within billions of miles and Oregon still frightens me. Jerry took us to a cute local restaurant where I ordered a mammoth piece of cake. If you look at the picture, the cake looks bigger than my waist. Of course, not anymore since I added most of that cake directly onto my waist. It was worth it. Note: I wasn't able to finish it all that day, so at about 5am after we returned home, I thought I couldn't live another second without a bite. I was literally just about to put the fork in when I heard "Karen, drop the fork. Put the fork away." I was busted by Jed who is trying to help me get into better shape. Sadly, there is no cure for my sweet tooth. We stopped one last time at Denny's before coming home. We didn't win a Care Bear though. We walked away with a total of 3 but I intend for the collection to grow under the insistence that they must all be won from claw machines. Home felt good, though this is not my home and I am still largely living out a suitcase. After all that travel, Jed and I needed a rest. We are still recovering and sleeping 'till noon with no shame.

Please, look at the pictures Jed posted onto his site. They are fun to me, and it would be cool if you could pretend that they are fun to you too.

Thanks for sticking through this nightmarishly long entry. Remember no job = free time to write unnecessarily long entries.


Posted by karen at March 5, 2004 01:59 AM

yeah that pretty much summed it up. i don't know how i forgot so much in my horribly long post, but you did a great job of filling in the missing details.

hey guess what, you're sitting right next to me... how about i just tell you this rather than type it...

Posted by: jed at March 5, 2004 04:45 AM

Perhaps you could tell me, if you could pull yourself away from the Ronco Rotisserie infomercial...

Posted by: Karen at March 5, 2004 05:00 AM

Thanks for that insightful comment! It makes interesting reading, especially when I need a payday loans .

Posted by: payday loans at November 26, 2004 09:16 AM
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