Tag Archives: chicago

13 Things You Can Count on While Roadtripping from Chicago to Nashville

imageLife is confusing. Sometimes you don’t know where to go or what decisions to make. Very frequently, it’s impossible to foresee the outcome of certain paths or situations, and you live in the fog of the unknown. Thank goodness there are some things in life that we can count on, like these things that are guaranteed to happen on the drive from Chicago to Nashville.

1. There will always be a Cracker Barrel every 10 miles. If you’re ever uncertain of where you should exit to get to the nearest one, go ahead and exit. There’s probably one close to you.

2. In these Cracker Barrels, there will absolutely be women named Jean and Barb wearing jeans that go above their belly button with hair dos that the coasts haven’t seen for at least a century, if ever.

3. You will stop and eat at a Cracker Barrel, be really excited about going to an old favorite place, and then realize that it’s actually a little overpriced and not that good. Also, you’ll eat too much.

4. You will enter gas station shopping centers that are complete with clothing options, 24 hour dining, a casino, an arcade and convenience food options. The only thing missing is an apartment complex to attach to it.

5. You will see billboards that say things like “Hell is Real,” or “One Day You Will Meet Thy God,” which will make you wonder who is paying for this and shouldn’t they change their marketing strategy just a little bit. I mean, if I walked up to someone who didn’t believe in Santa Claus and told her that Santa was going to give her 1 million dollars if she filled out an online form, do you think she’d do it? Or would she call the police because there was a stranger hiding in her closet. Exactly.

6. Cars will also start to get preachy, with decals and entire paintings displaying ardor for the Christ.

7. Roadside attractions, like the World’s Most Awesome Flea Market and Dinosaur land, will tempt you from the side of the road. You’ll always wonder what would have happened if you’d taken the leap and exited.

8. You will eat too many snacks in the car and feel a little guilty about it but not really. I mean, what else are you going to do.

9. You will take tons of photos and maybe even videos on the trip that are ultimately unusable.

10. At some point, you will either get lost or notice you have a huge zit on your face.

11. You will keep on waiting for the countryside to change but nothing really happens except Tennessee is a little bit hillier than Indiana.

12. You will realize that you actually didn’t have a very good idea of where Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Illinois were in relation to one another.

13. You will decide you need to pack up and move to the countryside where life moves a little bit slower

14. You will almost instantly decide that that’s a terrible idea and you’d rather eat your own cardigan than move to the countryside.

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Guess Who Has 2 Thumbs, a High Platelet Count, and Doesn’t Get Carsick from Reading Anymore

Bachelorette Party was held in surprise location. Sister was thrown under a blanket.

Well, I’m home (points for those who recognized this as a LOTR reference. Negative points for those who don’t know what LOTR stands for–please get a life) and there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that I can now read in the car without vomiting and the bad news is that no one noticed my haircut. I literally had to point it out to everyone before they would even compliment me. On the bright side, because of my reading-in-the-car-abilities, I laughed my way through Bossypants (by Tina Fey) and didn’t think about ralphing even once.

I just arrived back in OKC from five days with people who elongate their o’s just slightly, are too polite to comment on the fact I wore the same dress two days in a row, and say things like, “I just love her!” to my sisters seconds after meeting me. Some of them said slightly culturally inappropriate things like, “Oh! Your cowgirl boots and dress are so cute! It’s so different from the way we dress up here!” or “It was just so nice to meet you people!” And then I wondered if maybe in Chicagoland the phrases “you people” and “different” have positive connotations, because in Boston I learned that those terms tend to define what we call “the other.”

At any rate, the attendees at both the bachelorette party and bridal shower were sweet, down-to-earth Midwesterners who bequeathed my sister with a mountain of gifts that any thief would be lucky to steal. Though many of the women at her bridal shower were complete strangers to my sister, they were all extremely kind and watched with great attention and wonderful oooo’s as the bride-to-be tore an entire forest of wrapping paper off of her presents, revealing all kinds of variations on kitchenware, home decorations, and headlamps.

The bachelorette party was particularly fun, if tame by societal standards. One of the raunchiest highlights was when we played “pin the kiss on the hunk” and someone (gasp!) didn’t aim for the mouth. Can you even do that? The bridal shower was equally tame, though well catered, and held in a home that prioritized the use of the words “faith, love, and hope” in its decoration. There was, however, a question about how many kids the husband wanted to have that caused some minor blushing. Apparently he wants a baker’s dozen, but it’s okay because babies are brought to the chimney by a monster that lives in neighborhood ponds.

Through this experience, I learned that there some things associated with my co-maid of honor position that I am not good at. One of them is wearing above-the-knee-dresses. Another is decorating anything. However, with a crockpot and a recipe in my hands, I become Martha Stewart herself, minus the prison sentence. The same goes with a telephone and a list of strangers to call. These are my fortes, in addition to having a high platelet count, and I look forward to implementing them in the coming 3.5 weeks of wedding preparation.

Coming up this week: a review of my year in Cairo, my one-year blog anniversary, and a job-finding celebration (hopefully.)

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Maid of Honor’s Daily Drudge Report

This is before it started raining on our morale.

I’m currently in Chicagoland doing a mediocre job of handling wedding mania and a better job of eating restaurant food. The wedding still doesn’t seem real to me yet, but then again neither does the whole of the United States of America. This is what happens when you live in Cairo for a year. My apologies for erratic blogging and comment responding.

It turns out that all the time I thought I would have this week for innovative and fun blog concepts has been absorbed by family and soon-to-be-family. It’s not a nightmare, but it would be if I didn’t have internet at all. I look forward to being able to update everyone—or not—next week. It depends on where my whimsical flights of fancy fly me.

Sometimes at night I have visions of strange animals. I remember one night in Ethiopia I saw a bat that had the mouth appendages of a cricket or a spider. If there is anyone who would like to interpret this in a positive manner for me, please shoot me an email and address it “Your Wondrous Vision and the Miraculous Signs it Portends.”

Tomorrow is the bachelorette party. This town has never heard so many sassy bachelorette giggles. We’re doing a bunch of secret things for my sister and I think I’m going to wear my new cowgirl boots, which are cowboy boots for girls.

Recently I’ve been thinking that “Supper” would make a fetching girl’s name. I have fond memories of the word supper and think that the syllabalic structure is quite appealing. Speaking of words, did you watch the National Spelling Bee semi-finals tonight? How much would it cost to get one of those kids to babysit me?

I’m listening to the rain on the roof here in Chicagoland and realizing it’s a sound I haven’t heard in a long time. All things considered, rain isn’t that bad. This hotel music, however, is another story, as well as body odor, and eating while you have to go to the bathroom.

That’s the report for tonight. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to update tomorrow after the bacheloretocalypse, but if I don’t, you can count on something for next Monday.

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