picture of Amelia
the Great never look back

[something clever and obscure here]

The chronicles of Amelia's post road trip adventures

Friday, July 30


I'm in a sports bar (b-dubs) watching college Ultimate nationals on tv. TV! I really don't think that I could be any happier right now.

was that a compliment? 

"You're only just a few voice lessons away from being a decent karoke singer."

When it seems like the whole world is against you, fault doesn't always lie with the world. -me

Wednesday, July 28

still waiting... 

So now I'm in the second waiting room, ya know the one where they call you back and you think, "Yes!" and then they prick your finger and check your blood pressure and then ask you to wait some more. "But, but... I'm done with that waiting stuff. I've become quite the expert." My pleas are ignored.


I'm at the doctor's office for a yearly check-up. I've read the paper and Newsweek magazines, but I'm now officially bored (and hungry). What I need is a dictionary, because George F. Will uses enfilading and parlous. He succeeded in making me feel dumb in the first 3 sentences.

Tuesday, July 27

the worst thing about growing up 

[Not that I'm claiming to be grown-up, or to ever grow up, let's just get that straight at the very beginning :)]

The worst thing about growing up is realizing that a lot of people don't. Why is it so hard for people to act like mature, responsible adults? Now, you might be laughing at me right now, because at the moment, I'm job-free (virtually) and child-free and I'm gallivanting around the globe like I don't have a care in the world, which is almost true. What could I possibly know about being mature and responsible? I admit that I have had lapses lately into teen-like irresponsibility, but my capricious actions only affect me. Showing up at the latest possible minute for flights or waiting until the last minute to pay my bills or not keeping tabs on how much is in my checking account (thank god for overdraft accounts), are all uncharacteristic (if you'd known me two years ago) and irresponsible actions of mine lately, BUT they only affect me. I know I'm far from perfect, but I try to follow the Golden Rule when interacting with others. As unsure as I am about what is right and wrong in the world, I don't think that you can go wrong when you treat others the way you'd wish to be treated. One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of maturity is "having attained a final or desired state." In my mind, treating others well is the desired state, and although it's a simple enough concept for a child to understand, actually living that way marks one's maturity.


Monday, July 26

Texas! (Yes, Texas is from America! But she's a very cunning linguist!)- Willkommen, from the Cabaret soundtrack

I haven't written since Friday. I'm kind of busy, and not much internet access. After going out with Abi and Brandon for the second night in a row on Friday, and listening to a band that covered tons of my favorite radio hits, I was ready for a relaxing weekend. I went to the beach for the day on Saturday: to Galveston with Harlan (I'm in Texas, again, by the way). I got back, worn out from the sun and finding hermit crabs, and took a nap around 6:30pm. Woke up at 11:30, determined that the night was shot anyway, and went back to sleep. I awakened on Sunday, naturally well-rested and rejuvenated, and drove down to the park to run around and do plyos. I was in poor shape, and the weather was already becoming stifling, but it felt good to be working out. Harlan and I caught the Bourne Supremacy matinee, while a huge storm hit, and that was pretty much the weekend.

At the moment, I'm working on a website for a micro-managing client. I can get along with anyone, especially if they're paying me, but, on a rare occasion, the hassle isn't worth the money. Yes, I understand that it's extremely unprofessional to be complaining about my clients (in such an open format), so we'll just pretend that my alter-ego, Evilena, wrote this.

Friday, July 23

Stephanie, today's your birthday, isn't it? It's been bugging me since yesterday. I knew I knew someone who's birthday was today and it just dawned on me that it's you. Well, Happy Birthday, girly-girl.

Yesterday, I took apart my laptop.

It all started with my curiosity about the built-in wifi card and how the antennas were connected. Then, somehow, in an amazing feat of procrastination, the computer ended up in many, many pieces. It made me realize that women are much better suited for computer repair, because of our small hands.

and the best part: when I put it back together, it still worked!

Thursday, July 22

I want access! (to flash movies) 

I hate having patchy internet access when I travel. How am I supposed to be expected to get anything done when I've got to hunt for connectivity? I can't wait until Nextel's wireless broadband is nationwide. I spent hours in coffee shops with free wireless, but I don't want to feel like I have to buy something to be there. Libraries are nice, but the latest one that I've found has these godawful restrictions on access. They're only allowing HTTP access. I can't SSH or FTP to any computers. Most likely, I can usurp the restrictions, with a little bit of work. I'll let you know how I do it.

At the moment, I'm posting from the car, sitting outside a nice person's house and borrowing their bandwidth. This is a highly inelegant solution, and not conducive to all the work I need to do today. Another option I'm looking into is building an antenna for my computer. At least then, I'll be able to find more networks with less moving around. One obstacle in this case is that the wifi is built-in on this laptop and I don't know if it will be easy to connect an antenna. So I'm going to open her up and see. I don't have time to be taking things apart or browsing Radioshack right now, though, because I've got another website to be working on.

So, in short, sorry for the lack of content on this site lately. I haven't updated the photos in months, and there are at least a thousand pics that need to go up. The obstacle there is webspace for all of that, but eventually that will all fall into place. I'm expecting to get it set up this weekend, so starting next week, look for a new set of photos everyday. EVERYDAY! how could your life get any better?

I've also got a crazy stream-of-consciousness post that I wrote on the last plane I was on. At present, I can't lay my hands on it, but I'll put that up as soon as I do. In the MEANTIME, pleasure yourself with this link:

at jibjab.com, Bush and Kerry inspire patriotism

Wednesday, July 21

get out of drug R&D 

India's going to start honoring patents next year, and drug companies are going to be outsourcing their R&D. I read this yesterday, and I can't remember where!!! Oh, yeah, Scientific American, which happens to be my favorite magazine. It was the August 2004 issue [that bothers me, because it's not yet August].

Tuesday, July 20

It's Tuesday morning, and I'm looking for a ride to the airport. Heaven forbid I live in a city with decent public transportation. Well, I don't actually live in a city, so that could be the problem.

Nothing much of interest has been happening lately. I've kind of been on vacation [which is different from other days how exactly?]. Yesterday, I continued to spend quality summertime with the nieces: looking for a henna tattoo kit, getting my car insurance switched, rummaging through old and vintage clothing of mine, and throwing away gobs of liberal junk mail that had been accumulating on my desk. I haven't sent any money to Kerry/Edwards, though I'm pleased that there is a fellow North Carolinian and UNC alum on the ticket (not sure what else we have in common). I've sent a note to the Million Moms telling them I don't support their cause and not to waste their money sending me anything else. Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, EngenderHealth, and the ACLU have all been asking for my money. There's really not a lot of that valuable resource to go around, but maybe you'll visit one of these sites and choose to donate.

Sunday, July 18

last week 

I'm hanging out with my nieces at the beach. They gave me a pedicure this morning. I could get used to pedicures and maybe I will.

So last week was pretty jam packed. I flew into San Francisco and wrote this while on the plane:

I'm at 35,000 feet. My brain is busy, and I wish I could download it all on this page. I'm very content [I'd like to say "as usual"].

I'm reading The Feast of Love, by Charles Baxter. That's most certainly a psuedonym. I can't imagine that his name is really Charles Baxter. I'm feeling mild guilt that I'm reading this book, when I've got other books to read that have been waiting patiently for longer, but that is how things happen. My new book is Buzz Lightyear, and the Velveteen Rabbit is Empire Falls, which Luke gave me for my birthday. There are other Velveteen Rabbits, too, waiting in queue as this new book gets all of my attention.

All of my attention. That is an inside joke which I share with myself. I'm especially goldfish-like today, a single thing holds my attention for all of 2 minutes, and that's only if it's exceptionally interesting.

I did it again this morning. I pushed the limits of getting to the airport at the last possible minute and fell off the edge. When John and I would travel together, or go anywhere at all together, this was always an issue. He plays it safe, and we'd get to where we needed to go with time to spare. Well, we would if I didn't have anything to do with it. There are many explanations for why this happens. Though I claim to not have a passive-aggressive bone in my body, when it's time to go and I'm not ready, I'm exhibiting control over the situation. We'll leave when *I'm* ready, dammit, I'm the center of the universe. It's extremely immature and inconsiderate. I realize on some level, and "knowing" may be half the battle, but I'm still struggling. I know I've frustrated Jason with this behavior, and I would hope that there is an end in sight. I *can* be responsible, though, when I have to be. When others are depending on me to lead, I can do that, but for some reason, with certain individuals [such as Luke, for whom I've never, ever, been on time] I revert to this childlike irresponsibility.

I have no explanation for what motivated me to try my damnedest to miss my flight this morning. It's a fun game I'm playing, a gamble: just how late can I be and still make my flight. On the last flight, as I think I mentioned, when I got to the airport I had less than a half an hour before take-off, and I scurried through security and made it on my plane just in time. Granted, I'd had a tough time getting to the airport even though I felt like I'd given myself plenty of time to conquer San Francisco's public transportation. Today, however, there was no reason why I should be late, all I had to do was drive myself to the airport. I knew that traffic would be bad, though I didn't realize how bad. I didn't stress out on my way there, because I felt like I had plenty of time. I still believe that I could have made it, except Delta closed the flight as I was checking in on those little electronic kiosks. They refused to let me on, even though I could have gotten to the gate in time to board with the other passengers [or at least right behind them]. I was pissed off, until I realized that I was only going to be arriving in San Francisco a half hour later than I'd been scheduled to. Then I was ok. It was better, even, than making my flight, because I had time to organize my luggage and make some important phone calls.

Then Jason and I went to a winery in Napa Valley and tasted some wine and bought some wine. We drove north through the redwoods and drove endlessly through Oregon. I slept and Jason drove until the sun came up. That's when I wrote the "up for 24 hours" post.

We slept at a rest stop and drove through Idaho. We were on our way to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park. We spent the night in a hotel in Idaho Falls after eating delicious gyros at a restaurant called Tom's. That would be the last hotel of our trip (and my last shower).

Construction slow-downs at the national parks plagued us and got us a bit off schedule. We caught Old Faithful and made our way to Mt. Rushmore. It would be my second time driving through South Dakota this year. We were trying to get there while it was still light so we could see the mountain sculpture and get on our way. However, because we sat in construction traffic until our faces turned red, we didn't get to Rushmore until close to two in the morning. We pulled off to the side of the road and decided to nap for a couple of hours until the sun rose. It wasn't the sun that woke us, though, but a big maglite shining in our faces. A nice policeman said we couldn't take naps on the side of the road, and directed us to a campground. We parked, instead, in the parking lot of a lodge, and slept for about 45 more minutes. The sky was lightening and we decided to check out the stoned presidents and drive east.

[I must mention here that Jason kindly let me drive into Montana between Yellowstone and Rushmore (it was 25 minutes out of our way) so I could add that state to my list of ones I'd been in this year. Compromise was the key to our happiness on this trip. and Patience.]

Mount Rushmore was the last thing on the list of "definitely see." Jason and I were eager to get home. I felt that we needed something to energize the end of our trip, so we decided to drive home in a ridiculously short amount of time. I wanted to add more states to the trip, and Jason wanted to get home as quickly as possible, so fortunately the quickest way home took us through states I hadn't been in this year, because Jason was not going to be flexible and let us go out of our way for my silly requests.

I was slightly distressed at having been away from the internet for all of my trip. I tried to post some from my phone, but kept getting an error. I could sometimes check email, but not very often. Fortunately, I didn't have any reason to truly need to be connected, but it was a trying time for me nonetheless.

Here's the lowdown of the last 24 hours of the trip. Minnesota, I start driving near Madison, Wisconsin (stop in and give Genya a hug and meet her dad), get stuck in Chicago traffic, drive to Indianapolis, at around 4-something in the morning let Jason drive, he's been sleeping for many hours and now it's my turn. I sleep and Jason drives through Cincinnati and Lexington and I take over again somewhere in West Virginia. I drive us through Virginia, stopping in Wytheville to leave flowers on Harlan's mom's porch. Anyway, we get home without incident: 36 hours with only a few quick stops.

Friday, July 16


yes, I'm home. North Carolina.
I was in San Francisco on Monday afternoon and South Dakota yesterday morning, but now I'm home. Jason and I drove through 9 states in an 18 hour period.
And I've finally got internet access!!!!
I haven't been able to post in days! My super-tech-phone wouldn't even pull through for me.
I'm going to sleep now, because the only sleeping I've done in the last few days has been in a car, and most of the time it was moving. Bathing is a priority as well, because the last shower I had was in Idaho, and that was 12 states ago!
I'll tell you all the groovy details when I am fully refreshed.

Tuesday, July 13

sleep is for the weak, but ... 

I'm so tired! I've been awake for nearly 24 hours, (not true, because i've taken some cat naps) because jason is crazy and he won't stop driving. Objectively, i can tell you that's not a fair assessment, but i'm too tired to care. And hungry. And cranky. Can you tell i'm cranky? ...and a bit loopy

Monday, July 12

back to the left coast 

I bought a book today, a bargain book from Border's. A Feast of Love or something, anyway, it sounded like an intriguing novel, so I'll let you know what I think of it.

My road trip is starting back. I'll be in Napa Valley tasting wines by this time tomorrow.

I'm rejoining Jason who has apparently been having a fantastic time with a lovely lady in Canada. He's been keeping up a website of our roadtrip, too. It might be an interesting cross-refence for my readers.

Saturday, July 10

Heather's wedding prep 

It's Brian's wedding, too, I guess.

Heather's doing just fine this morning. Just fine.

Thursday, July 8

fantasia lights 

They're so pretty, you almost forget you're killing yourself!

I just haven't had much to say lately. My cousin is pregnant and I visited her this week. One of my college roommates is getting married on Saturday, and that will be fun reunion time. So many babies and weddings! I'm shielding my Clock from all of the outside influences, but it still screams at me every once in a while. Maybe that's why I travel so much. I'm afraid that if I stay too long in one location, I might find myself married with kids before I realize it. Not that that's a bad thing, but...

I've been one poor correspondent, and I've been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind
-America "Sister Golden Hair"
I've been horrible at responding to emails and voice messages this week, so if you still want to talk to me, you're probably better off just trying again.

Wednesday, July 7

waves of philosophy 

I'm at the beach now, pondering the futility of life, but not in a depressing way. I've been busy filling my time lately with activities, such as kayaking, putt-putt, and Spiderman 2 (and the World Series of Poker), but I've managed to squeeze in time to think about the Bigger picture, with my "big mind" as Suzuki, Jon H., or David D. would tell me to do.

I'll try to expound on that later, when it's more developed. Now I'm going to go play with my five-year-old mind, and jump over some waves.

Monday, July 5

My nephew's birthday is today. He is 9, I think. Yes, most definitely, he is 9.

I spent the Fourth of July in the small town of Wytheville Virginia. On my way up here, I drove passed a car accident that had happened only minutes before I got there. I believe that everyone was ok. I tried to mentally reconstruct the accident, but I couldn't figure out how this one car ended up upside-down. Accidents happen everyday, and even more often during the holidays, so be careful. You can find fatality statistics at the Department of Transportation when you're feeling morbid.

I watched a great fireworks show last night in this small town. I like holidays where communities get together, when people realize they aren't islands. Maybe I mean, when I realize I'm not an island.

I've got to go hike the Blue Ridge now. later.

I've been having rare moments of cell phone reception, in case you've tried to contact me. I'm checking my email, though, so get in touch with me that way.

Saturday, July 3

more gmail 

I've got more Gmail invitations to give away and you don't even have to be cute, clever, or courting me. Contact me if you want one.

who needs news? 

Marlon Brando died.

The Lakers offered Coach K 8 million dollars for a year.

What is the world coming to? (or for you English majors: to what is the world coming?)

pro-life web sites and poor spelling (slight rant alert) 

I think that we should create a culture of life. I hate that any woman ever has to have an abortion. BUT, I also think we should create a culture where women are treated fairly, where women feel like they can say no, where they aren't pressured to have sex, where they feel like they can ask a man to put on a condom, where they don't feel like they have to choose between buying food for their family and buying birth control pills, because they aren't fully covered by their insurance. Let's do that first, ok?

whew. This rant was inspired by my reading of a pro-life website that makes sculptures of fetuses for women who have had miscarriages. It also inspired an oral rant about poor spelling and grammar. I have a real pet peeve about poor spelling. If you ever see that I've misspelled a word on this site, please let me know. You'll be my friend. I am a bit more carefree about the grammar, as this is an informal medium, but there is no excuse for bad spelling. The National Park Service's Alcatraz movie that I saw this week had at least two grammar mistakes in it: using "to" for "too" and using apostrophe-S for a plural noun (not a possessive one). That is not acceptable.

Everybody has to have pet peeves. Just don't spell the word "definitely" with an "a" and we'll get along just fine.

the wonderful ironic thing that just happened: I was double-checking my spelling on this post for obvious reasons, and I'd misspelled the word "mispelled"...now that's funny.

my hero for today 

I've told you about my dearest friend, Nikie. Well, today she's my hero. Let me tell you why.

Nikie calls me today to tell me that she quit her job. "Wow," I say. "Congratulations." She tells me why. It turns out that she is in Washington, DC, and had a chance to meet with the President today. THE President, the real deal. The only thing keeping her from getting into those doors was being properly identified as a journalist from her paper (which will remain nameless, for the moment). Her publisher needed to fax the White House Press office some proof of her employment or whatever, just something saying Nikie was indeed supposed to be there covering a story. She called her editor and he said, basically, that her publisher couldn't really be bothered with that right now. So, Nikie, had to stand outside and watch helplessly as GWB did whatever it is that he does. Needless to say, I believe Nikie's response to her editor was, "if he doesn't have time for this, then he doesn't have time for me..." or something like that.

It's scary to quit your job, and Nikie was feeling a bit less confident and shell-shocked when I talked to her several hours later, but I'm very proud of her for standing up like she did. She missed a tremendous opportunity, because her publisher couldn't be bothered, and that's ridiculous. I guess it may be hard for you to understand, because I'm not giving you all of the background information here, but she's an accomplished writer, and she's working for a small-time paper, and she's missed out on meeting the President today, because of her small-time boss, which is freakin' ridiculous. Oh, I've said that already.

I told her it was cool, it's not like she was going to go hungry or anything, that she had other job offers, etc. And she's meeting with her publisher on Tuesday, to find out what was going on. Maybe he'll grovel and pay her twice her salary to come back. Maybe.

Friday, July 2

jetlagged, but still a dodo 

Home is nice for about 5 minutes. It's nice to have broadband, and it's nice to have a mom who makes you breakfast. I don't have so much to say this morning, but I'm going to try.

I nearly missed my flight from San Francisco. They had to unlock the gate doors to let me on, though I still had at least 10 minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off. It was a nightmare of public transportation, and it didn't matter that I had built loads of extra time into my scheduling. I think it all started with me taking the bus in the wrong direction.

[Amelia's life lesson #5: Do not take yourself too seriously. Being able to laugh at yourself is a finely-honed skill that will improve your demeanor. It also makes it much easier to handle when other people laugh at you.]

Do you want to hear the other foolish things I've done lately? I was at Coit Tower, which offers an excellent view of the city of San Francisco. I was jumping up on a small concrete wall and the toe of my sandal caught on the edge and I went sprawling. I wish I could have seen how silly I looked, because the laugh would have made up for the pain. I knocked my knee good, and I've got an impressive bruise to remind me of my gracefulness. My phone landed in three pieces and I broke three fingernails on my left hand. I was worried I'd broken another phone, but I managed to coax into working again.

Another dumb thing I've done is try to eat the paper wrapper off of my tamale when I was in Memphis two weeks ago. It was covered in grease and I'd never had a tamale before, so I didn't know that it wasn't edible. I quickly figured that out, though.

I also nearly flushed my passport down the toilet, within one week of living in the UK.

There are thousands of other moments just like these. Unfortunately for my career in comedy, I forget these moments pretty quickly after they happen. When people ask me my most embarrasing moment, I can never really say. It's a self-preservation mechanism. If I constantly remembered what an idiot I was, then I might be afraid to leave the house, lest I make a larger fool of myself.

I hope that I have made you smile this morning, and maybe you won't take it so hard the next time you do something moronic. Feel free to send me one of your foolish stories.

Thursday, July 1


Gemini, you have little to show after weeks of struggle. Not all achievements are self-evident. Trust that you have planted the seeds for a future triumph. Aries, stay the course and you'll eventually be vindicated.
I've got Violent Femmes in my head: "standin' on a corner, waitin' for a bus..."

flight of fancy 

I'm flying home today. Weird, huh? I'm on a road trip and I'm flying home and then in a week or so, I'm going to fly back to San Francisco and drive some more. Why? I've got a wedding to attend and I'm taking a break from living large on the left coast to do the same on the east. I think it's just as well.

The sun is rising, it's beautiful, and I've got to finish packing and master the public transportation 'round here, all before 6AM.

In other news, that post yesterday had two lines in it that didn't get printed. It should have said: "we're visiting the rock today" and "text me jokes." The rock being Alcatraz. All I have to say about Alcatraz this morning is my first impression of it: it smells. More about that later. Have a great, great day.

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