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    Wednesday, November 15, 2006

    Leaving Pennsylvania In The Broad Daylight*

    *Note: Did not actually leave Pennsylvania in broad daylight, but rather under the cover of the night.

    Okay, this weekend was the road trip to Coatesville, Pennsylvania to drop off cats and a dog and pick up a four-year-old. Here are some bullet points from the trip.

    The trip was supposed to be me, three cats, and one dog. However, when I went to Lone Tree to pick up the cats from my friends who were housing them, Sweetie, the oldest female cat, had gone missing. She was hiding in Bob and Von’s basement like Anne Frank in the attic. As a result, only two cats went east. So, if anyone wants a cat, let me know. (She was found over the weekend while I was gone, too late to make the trip.)

    I’m glad I live in a civilized state where we don’t charge people to use the highway. From the far side of Chicago on, the trip was on tollway. Hat tip to the Indiana Tollway for being one of the best maintained roads I’ve ever driven on, for having a 70 mph speed limit, and for being the cheapest. Hat tip to the Ohio Tollway for being three lanes for all but about 50 miles of the 236 mile tollway. Hat tip to the Pennsylvania Tollway for, uhm, not having anywhere near as much construction as people said there would be.

    Heaviest amount of traffic, volume-wise? The stretch of 80 between I-55 near Chicago and Gary. This stretch also had the greatest concentration of billboards for adult-oriented businesses. Six if you count Hooters, and I do; Hooters is an adult-oriented business for people too cowardly to frequent actual adult-oriented businesses. “Oh, I go to Hooters for the food!” Right, and I go to strip clubs for the music.

    Worst congestion? The stretch of Highway 30 from Lancaster, PA to the extremely misnamed Paradise, PA that runs through Pennsylvania Amish country. For my local readers, think the bit of road in Main Amana with all the shops on a Saturday or Sunday, except multiply the stretch of road by five miles, the people by 100, and make the stretch of road a major highway instead of a side street.

    I know it’s judging a book by it’s cover because I didn’t go into either establishment, but I imagine the quality of entertainment at the Amish Musical Dinner Theatre and the quality of the food at Jakob’s Amish Barbeque is not very high. And don’t get me started on the store that referred to itself as America’s Best Southwestern Store. Southwestern what? You had an Indian and cactus on the sign, so I assumed Southwestern United States. Sorry, there’s just no way I am believing that America’s Best Southwestern Store is located in southeastern Pennsylvania.

    Note to hotel owners: If you offer me a complimentary newspaper, I? Will take it. That’s who I am; that’s how I roll. Conversely, if you offer me a lukewarm glass of orange juice and a cold Danish and call it breakfast, I? Will pass. That’s who I am; that’s how I roll.

    I took my mother’s car, because, well, mine sucks and her car is relatively new. It also has a six-cd changer, which makes traveling nicer. Here are some songs I listened to repeatedly.

    Dar Williams

    I've never had a way with women

    But the hills of Iowa make me wish that I could
    And I've never found a way to say I love you
    But if the chance came by, oh I, I would

    But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother
    We never make our passions other people's concern
    And we walk in the world of safe people
    And at night we walk into our houses and burn

    Iowa, oh-oh-oh-oh, Iowa, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-I, Iowa

    How I long to fall just a little bit
    To dance out of the lines and stray from the light
    But I fear that to fall in love with you
    Is to fall from a great and gruesome height

    So I asked a friend about it on a bad day, her husband had just left her
    She sat down in the chair he left behind

    She said, "What is love, where did it get me?
    Whoever thought of love is no friend of mine."

    Iowa, oh-oh-oh-oh, Iowa, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-I, Iowa

    Once I had everything, I gave it up
    For the shoulder of your driveway and the words I never felt
    And so for you, I came this far across the tracks
    Ten miles above the limit and with no seat belt, and I'd do it again

    For tonight I went running through the screen doors of discretion
    For I woke up from a nightmare that I could not stand to see
    You were a-wandering out on the hills of Iowa and
    You were not thinking of me

    Oh-ah-a- ah-a Iowa

    Untouchable Face
    Ani DiFranco

    think i'm going for a walk now
    i feel a little unsteady
    i don't want nobody to follow me
    'cept maybe you
    i could make you happy you know
    if you weren't already
    i could do a lot of things
    and i do

    tell you the truth i prefer
    the worst of you
    too bad you had to have a better half
    she's not really my type
    but i think you two are forever
    and i hate to say it but
    you're perfect together

    so fuck you
    and your untouchable face
    and fuck you
    for existing in the first place
    and who am i
    that i should be vying for your touch
    and who am i
    i bet you can't even tell me that much

    two-thirty in the morning
    and my gas tank will be empty soon
    neon sign on the horizon
    rubbing elbows with the moon
    a safe haven of sleepless
    where the deep fryer's always on
    radio is counting down
    the top 20 country songs
    and out on the porch the fly strip is
    waving like a flag in the wind
    y'know, i don't look forward
    to seeing you again soon
    you'll look like a photograph of yourself
    taken from far far away
    and i won't know what to do
    and i won't know what to say

    except fuck you...
    and your untouchable face
    and fuck you
    for existing in the first place
    and who am i
    that i should be vying for your touch
    and who am i
    i bet you can't even tell me that much

    i see you and i'm so perplexed
    what was i thinking
    what will i think of next
    where can i hide
    in the back room there's a lamp
    that hangs over the pool table
    and when the fan is on it swings
    gently from side to side
    there's a changing constellation
    of balls as we are playing
    i see orion and you say nothing
    the only thing i can think of saying

    is fuck you...
    and your untouchable face
    and fuck you
    for existing in the first place
    and who am i
    that i should be vying for your touch
    and who am i
    i bet you can't even tell me that much

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