Friday, October 1, 2010

katie vs. the open road, part I

[recommended music: #179, "nothing better" by the postal service. because i really dig it.]

location: draper, utah (yes, somewhere besides my bed in az-town)

what i see: two other people on macbooks

current adventure: journey to utah for conference. so excited i could just wiggle and shout.

the truth is, i really don't like doing things by myself. i tend to be near other people ... always. there are a couple rare exceptions that i can enjoy equally by myself or with others. the first is shopping. i truly don't mind clothes shopping alone. the second is road-tripping. true, it's nice to have a buddy ... but it's also nice to pick my own music, listen to a cheesy book on CD, pile the passenger seat with food, or just ponder in silence because i darn well please. it's also nice to alternate between these activities every 20 min without anyone complaining about my mood swings.

but let's cut straight to the chase. because i'm going this adventure alone, i haven't had anyone to share all my joyous discoveries with. and what's a road trip without some delightful sightings along the way ...

first, i forgot to eat lunch before i left work to hit the highway. so, necessity called for stopping for a legit meal. and what came across my path first? mcdonalds. let me point out: i have a strong aversion to greasy fast food. but i thought i could pick something safe. (i.e. i chose "chicken selects" over "chicken nuggets." something about the word NUGGET anywhere in a food description fills me with the squeams. (as in, makes me squeamish.) the point is, my taste buds delighted at the taste of fried food (it'd been a LONG time) ... but as soon as that stuff passed my esophagus, i'm pretty sure my tummy swore at me. (i've been trying to teach it better habits, but for obvious reasons i'm reluctant to wash it out with soap.)
luckily, the golden arches made it up to me later on when i later saw one with a burnt-out sign that simply read, "nalds." something about that really made me giggle ... and i decided mickey-d's and i could put our differences behind us and agree to disagree.

but i've really got to stop rambling or this post will be much too lengthy. so moving on.

the man with socks and flip flops at the gas station. classy. can't say i haven't done employed this method on more than one occasion.

Furr's Family Dining. whoever decided the word "furr" is okay in a restaurant name needs to hire a new PR manager.

when i drove thru the city of surprise, a.z., i thought to myself, "i didn't know this city was right here." and then i laughed at the irony.

the license plate that said GUNFITR. i thought, "gun fitter? what?" ... then i got it. then the driver (ol' gun fitter himself) opened the door of his truck at a stoplight and puked on the road. my thoughts on this:

in other news. i've never figured out why they put the wrong way sign in the median. how are you supposed to know which side of the road it's talking to? bad move, street makers.

speaking of street makers. i kept seeing those adopt-a-highway signs, and a couple simply said, "available." i'm glad no one makes me wear a sign when i'm single.

blessing the rains at the nevada state line (thank you toto). took this pic for my friends rustin and tyson ... who always drive to nevada ... and always bless the rains. this was right before i hit the dam traffic at the dam checkpoint. which i was okay with, because it gave me an excuse to text some dam jokes to people. (which is probably only funny if you don't normally swear. so yeah, it was funny.)

driving thru wickenburg. the billboards made me all kinds of promises: "small town, big museum." "where memories are made." "where the west is still wild." i mean really, w.burg, which is it? don't fiddle with my heart strings.

the house in the middle of nowhere with a playground set with a huge, handmade banner on it that said "wilson for justice." i don't know who wilson is, but i absolutely want to vote for him. i'm writing him in on the next presidential ballot.

the sign in the middle of nowhere that had an arrow pointing into the desert and the words: "pick your own apples." that's a terrible lure, desert thieves. terribly transparent.

my salvation on this trip (plus a bag of whole-wheat english muffins). mmmboy.

the trailer park in the middle of nowhere with one large billboard: "free dental implants." um, pass.

the rocket ship outside of wikieup with snoopy riding on it. (snoopy, if i lived in wikieup, i'd be calling shotgun.)

finally arriving in the ol' den of sin:

negating the "den of sin" idea with a visit to the (gorgeous, i must say) Las Vegas Temple:

(recognize that yellow dress?) also, that bodacious blonde babe is my friend katie (yes, another katie. k-rob.) this morning she made me this:

i knew i liked her. she also packed me snacks for the next leg of my trip. including:
(that's a fish of the swedish variety, if you can't tell.)

paid a much-needed visit to my home-away-from-home, the CC, aka cedar city. dear heavens i miss and adore this little town. i saw two mulleted men in a pickup truck and almost got teary-eyed. okay fine, i DID get teary-eyed. i stopped for a couple hours to visit old friends, including justin (bff from freshman year) and emily (who's convinced that i will marry justin and adopt her.) i agreed to the deal if i got to rename her rainbow fuzzypants. she didn't argue. anyway, we indulged her with a couple family photos. don't we look dignified? (and neon?)

i also saw miss katie lewis/hunter (yes, yet another katie). unfortunately no pics with her. but she looked all adorable in her apron and played me one of her amazing songs on her guitar. it was about autumn. and she should be famous. that's all.

then off on the next portion of my epic northward journey. i forgot how absolutely beautiful utah can be when it's not frozen over. i really, really miss this:

and after finally arriving at my destination, i capped off the night with fro yo, painting my nails silver and a round of "mystery date" with miss katie lee (um yeah, another katie. i'm out of control.)
(don't ask about the game. just embrace it, accept that sometimes i am still a 13-yr-old girl, and know that i utterly lost and won zero imaginary dates with beach-tanned hotties. sigh.)

my (tom?) cruise control decided to just up and quit on me. that got old after about 30 min of constantly keeping my foot on the gas pedal. less awesome. ima blame scientology.



Mindi+Otto said...

"Vivian bound him with duct tape!" haha hoped you jammed to some Michelle for me on your trip!

Katie said...

Haha you make me happy. Glad you're having fun!

Unknown said...

Hi Katie,

Couldnt find your email address so thought id leave a message right here :)

Just read your article about burqa ban and wanted to give you two thumbs up :)!
As a Muslim woman who covers, I know the irritating feeling of someone 'oppressing' me by banning what I FEEL is right. I hope more people can open their eyes and 'minds' to see that Islam is NOT an oppressive religion towards women, and that those women truly engage in practising Islam and covering up, do it themselves.

Thanks once again and hope to read more eye-opening articles from you,

Take care,
Anila H.

The Ballard Family said...

Okay, like you, I always feel like I have a ton to comment on and then forget. But nalds will forever make me laugh. I can't get over that. And your face when that guys puked. I will probably purposely hold on to that mental image because it amuses me.
I am so glad you had so much fun. And congrats on your awesome (again) Huffington Post article. I will say again, you are an example of the believers!