Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Moose in the Road Trip

Over the course of six days I drove 2591.3 miles and visited eleven states. That's more than 20% of all 50 United States. Here's what I did:

  1. Left Illinois.

  2. Drove the entire width of Indiana.

  3. Spent the night in a cheap motel in Ohio. (A few days later I got an email from Priceline: Please tell us about your stay in Vandalia, OH. My answer: it was short. There was a bed and a shower, which was the only reason I stopped.)

  4. Traveled 12 miles through a sliver of West Virginia.

  5. Traversed the entire length of the Keystone State on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, which cost $18.05, cash only please. Got stuck in Philadelphia rush hour.

  6. Had a picnic in a rest area in New York State. It was the only rest area I've ever seen that had a parking garage. (And mused that New York is probably the only state where they have to add the word "state" on official highway signs, otherwise people think you mean the city.)

  7. Vermont! Spent four days/three nights there:

    Custom-made granola bars for the trip

    • Had maple chicken, maple salad dressing, maple candy, a sandwich with maple sauce, maple cheese, maple sausage, and of course, maple syrup.
    • Hiked a gorge in Quechee.

    • Played tourist at the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury.

    • Visited a maple and cheese farm in Woodstock. Saw a chipmunk, a bunny, goats, a calf, horse butts, and cows.

    • Sampled lots of cheese.
    • Climbed to top of a mountain and saw an amazing view.

    • Ate at a farmer's diner that only served locally-grown food.

    • Visited a bread shop and farmer's market in Norwich.
    • Bought lots of souvenirs.

    Karen and Monty the Vermont moose

    • Took lots of pictures.

    wooden moose, stuffed moose, Karen, Tim

  8. Took four trips over the river to New Hampshire (only one was intentional, the other three times we were lost.) Saw a gaggle of VT high school students having a prom on the campus of Dartmouth in Hanover.

  9. Had grilled cheese and an ice cream cone in Western Massachusetts. Also browsed a quirky dollar store where they sold, among other things, random baby doll parts.

  10. Karen, doll parts

  11. Shopped at a Target in Connecticut.
  12. Got pizza in an Italian restaurant in New Jersey. Also had my gas pumped for me, since state law allows full-service refueling only.

It was the best 2591.3 miles I've ever spent.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Things That Are Doing It

Let me preface this completely juvenile post with the following insight: Human beings are pattern-seeking animals. Organizing non-identical shapes into patterns and symbols helps us to speak, understand, read, and write. It helped our ancestors to identify dangers in the wild.

This propensity for pattern-seeking has some interesting side effects, though, like when we see a family of ducklings in a cloud or a pineapple in a Rorschach test. Some times it gets downright wacky, and people who think about Jesus all day become convinced they've seen him in a pancake.

With that in mind, here's a website I stumbled upon recently: Things That Are Doing It.

The site has all kinds of fun pictures that, if you are a 12-year-old boy like me, you think are dirty. Some of them are not in any way intended to be dirty, but if you have "doing it" on the brain, you start seeing it everywhere. Like, for example, this Russian graph:

Oh, yeah, that blue line totally wants it bad.

There are a whole lot of pics of everyday things that resemble naughty bits:

Some of them are obviously designed to be dirty:

And some of them, it's just puzzling what the hell they were intended to be:

My favorites are the unintentionally inappropriate ones:

And my very favorite one of all? Jesus "enlightens" the little children:

It's really hard to fathom how the designer of this light switch could have been so naive. I have to believe it was someone so blissfully awash in thoughts of The Lord that they couldn't conceive of Jesus even having a penis, much less sharing it with the beautiful children. Someone who lived in a world far, far removed from priest molestation scandals, or things that do it in public.