Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back Again

I know what you're thinking. The road trip is over, how dare I post again. Well I never got around to posting this final post. (Unless we decide to reunite for a greatest hits tour in a few weeks). So without further ado I present to you the exciting conclusion of Road Trip: The Lost Days.

This time I will use neither bullets, nor numbers but funny symbols.


!- Another great modern stadium where the seats are designed to give you a much better, closer view no matter where you sit. The ushers all wore goofy black hats with the D-backs logo. At Angels stadium they wore those goofy white straw hats with a red sash like old timey steamboat operators.

*- Confusion sets in approaching the stadium because it isn’t visible from a few miles away like most stadiums in America. The reason is because it isn’t so much a baseball stadium as an indoor baseball field that seems like it’s in a small mall. The building is composed of the same boring red brick as every other downtown building. Instead of factories, offices or stores inside there are bright lights, and uniformed men chasing a little white ball. (Butch's note. JJ Jansen's pops confirms this. He is from Arizona and finds it strange as well. Though, he adds, inside it is a wonderful stadium. JJJ is the long snapper for the Panthers. We sat behind poppa Jansen, and the rest of the Jansen clan, sans Cam, at the Giants pre season game. which was awesome. Look for 44 to have a huge impact this year)

Phoenix ---> Tulsa

%- I had another first today, - using cruise control. At first I hated it. It felt like cheating because I wasn’t really driving. My main problem with cruise control was that I couldn’t figure out what to do with my feet. Eventually it grew on me. Great story I know.

#- Isotopes Park, home to the Albuquerque Isotopes, which was actually so named because of the Simpsons episode, was the only stop we made in a full day of driving. I’ll never be like Av but 13 hours was fun. I got a great backhanded compliment from the one guy in the store, who was folding T-shirts the whole time. He told me I wasn’t telling the worst jokes that he had ever heard.

&- We left a little late and forgot about the two hour time change, so my sorrow was great that we drove through OKC and missed the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

+ - I overheard a woman eating breakfast at our motel talking to a Navajo Indian woman say “I love Indians. My son is Creek, and I have another kid that is half Cherokee.” So, what, does this woman troll the country trying to seduce Indian men of various tribes? Is she Playing Native American Baby Bingo?

St Louis

^ -Anheiser-Bush Brewery Tour. The Miller tour was so much cooler than this place. Though this place was way bigger. Staggeringly huge. If not for chilling with Greg this place wouldn’t have been anything too special.

@- Key differences- No video about “Budweiser Time” The gift shop basically just had T-shirts. A backgammon set and a billiards ball set were the only interesting variations. The Miller gift shop was like a branded Ikea. They had couches, and chairs and coffee tables… You could have made your apartment into the coolest bar ever. Until six months later when you realized you were a tool.

*%$- It seems like George W. Bush consulted with the brewery to name the 7 Augustus Bushes that ran the place since 1889. First came “The Originator,” followed closely by his son “The Preserver,” then his son “The Re-organizer.” Next in the alchoholic line of succession was “The Modernizer,” who was also our beer nation’s fattest, shortest, and youngest president. Despite the Bush family’s vast wealth he was also born in a one room log cabin.

(-)-(-) -The arch- If I spent more than ten minutes in and around it I would have more to say. It was a very very cool view from the top to be sure. The three minute tram ride breathing recycled hot air closely resembled the experience of being jettisoned from a space ship in an escape pod.

$- Busch stadium- Now this is a ballpark. This is a tremendous temple to the baseball gods, a place you can see from miles and miles away that dominates the downtown landscape. Since Wrigley and Fenway don’t count in normal stadium conversations I can safely say that this is the nicest ballpark out there. There is no comparison to the view from behind home plate with the Arch in right center. And they love their cards here. Everything is red.

!-Pujols hit it a shot to left so hard that it bounced off the ad of the second deck.

The Last Leg

=-We stopped at a TA outside of Columbus so that I could stop driving and write a draft of this post. Matt from London, OH approached us and asked if we could help him out. You see, unfortunately his truck broke down a few miles down on I-70 E and he needed to get back to it. Well is this a road trip or is this a road trip? So we got to talking, or as Matt preferred to phrase it, “conversatin,” which he preferred to listening to music. Though if he was to listen, he preferred some real good country Like Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, and his favorite, Conway Twitty. You know, any good down home Kentucky Bluegrass. If Matt could stress one thing it would be this. Don't do tons of cocaine

End Notes

* I was 4-0 on the road trip. (Since it was already 4-0 D-backs by the time we got there I can’t in good conscience count that game. Obviously I would have been rooting for the Mets in that game. And I was rooting for the Rangers over the Angels cause F$#% the Angels). Though sadly the walk-off streak ended at two.
* Wal-Mart beat out Target 18-13 on this trip. It wasn’t even close until LA. At that point it was 11-5 for the biggest employer in the world until the big red dot tied it up. But Wal- Mart just could not be beat.
* I wish that I had kept track of McDonalds also. It would have been nice to begin a concluding paragraph/monologue with “All told we drove for 7,250 miles, passed 962 McDonalds, ate 9,400,231 bags of Funyuns and drank 1,490 bottles of Diet Dr. Pepper..."
* We bused through NY, NJ and drove through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and a few miles of West Virginia. 20 states. Not bad.
* Every single state of the Union performs road work on their freeways in the summer, but only New Mexico really had their act together. Everybody else closes lanes randomly and doesn't appear to do much work in the designated zones. Other states- take a lesson from New Mexico.
* Colorado is by far the nicest looking state in our country. Just driving through the Rockies was awe- inspiring.
* Western states have Speed limits as high as 75. Though Ushi goes 90 no matter what, so what's the difference.

* This is the part where I am supposed to say what I learned form the trip. How I will be a better person that leads a more fulfilling life because of the valuable lessons I learned from this trip. I would even use that speech format about McDonalds from earlier. Sadly It's too soon for meaningful perspective. While on the trip I had an uncontrollable ear to ear grin talking about the stops we made, yet when I got back to New York describing my travels seemed hollow and perfunctory. Falling back into old rhythms was shockingly easy. I guess the lesson is to live every day like it is your only day.

Bored again in New York,

'till RD11,


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