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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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They turned on the internet today!

I can now say I’ve seen Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California.

I was most impressed with the green and pretty Pennsylvania, with the beautiful Kentucky countryside and I was stunned to discover that Lawrence, KS is like Berkeley, CA except on a much, much smaller scale (little bungalows, leafy streets, cafes, bars, general funk and university vibe.) I think if TA’s brother lived there instead of a lame suburb of KC, his wife might actually be less miserable. I feel her pain, but at this point, they’ve been in Kansas for almost 9 years and it’s sort of like, “Ok, you’re not going anywhere for at least the next 6, you’ve got two nearly teenage kids, you might want to find a silver lining someplace.” I think she might need some lessons in wanting what she has. That, or she needs to really think about where she wants to be, and just go there. Miserable is as much a choice as anything else.

I know that’s funny coming from someone who complains incessantly about CT, but the truth is: I’ve found ways to be happy where I am. New Haven is not as exciting as I’d like it to be, and we don’t have nearly enough friends, but our life there is not so bad: TA and I own our apartment and the way we’ve redesigned it totally RULES, my studio is big enough for my work and art with lots of space left over for TA and his projects, I have great yoga teachers, our neighbors are getting awesomer every month (seriously, I can’t even begin to count the ways that I love the newest ones, I think they will be Friends For Life,) my doctors are brainiac researchers at Yale and there’s a really good French restaurant not 3 blocks away.

Plus, and probably most importantly, we are not as broke as we were in LA. We’re not Rockefeller or anything, but for the first time in a few years, we are not living hand-to-mouth. No more digging through the Trooper for loose change just to be able to buy a dozen pita from the Fairfax grocer. No more going to the Dime and waiting for someone to buy us a drink. No more eating at Hollywood events like it’s the end of the world.

So CT’s fine, but I still prefer California. Liquor, beer AND wine at Trader Joe’s! In the 5 days we’ve been here, we’ve eaten freshly grilled Bulgogi, delicious monster Super burritos, sweet and refreshing horchata, and perfectly ripe avocadoes with Dungeness crab. Yesterday, I walked by a salon and had my eyebrows expertly groomed, and even bought 2 Yonka products on sale. I borrowed wire cutters from the nice guy at the paint store down the street, and walked over to my friend’s house for an impromptu get-together. I wandered into a store off Burlingame Ave., and the salesgirl did me up Lindsay Lohan-style: super Sienna/Kate skinny tight dark jeans tucked into semi-Pirate slouchy boots with a flouncy layered T on top. Me! The girl who is always working her little 50s/60s/San Francisco punkskatescooter Look, all gussied up like an US Weekly 20-something celebutard tramp! Me! It was hilarious (and I was totally tempted by the jeans, but I really need new sunglasses first.)

OK, so back to the trip.

The Midwest? It’s the Midwest! It’s mostly flat! People are gigantic-er, portions are enormous-er and there doesn’t seem to be a meal that exists in which biscuits and gravy are inappropriate. I was working away in my little hotel room, considering ordering room service, when a ping from Mr Bingo interrupted me.

Me: Should I order a BLT or a Monte Cristo?

Mr Bingo: Are you sure it’s not a Monte Crisco? It is the Midwest after all. Go with the BLT.

There were a lot of cliches (an entire Mullet-ed family partying in the back, kids like Baby Huey, a couple of “y’alls” and “right nice”) and a lot of wonderful surprises (free Bourbon Vanilla milkshakes, funny little old ladies with amazing senses of humor, the Neiman Marcus outlet in Golden CO, the surly barista in Moab.)

TA got terrible food poisoning the day we were supposed to drive from UT to Carson City, NV. He was so ill—writhing on the bed, and pale from expelling every last drop of hydration from his body. I felt so sad for him. I pumped him full of imodium, bought him a Sprite and stuck him in the car. Then drove for 12 hours. It was crazy.

We drove Highway 50, also known as The Loneliest Highway, all the way through Nevada. It was cool.

But driving into the SF fog was even better.

10:15 a.m. - 2006-06-21

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