Let's start off by saying that I don't hate small towns. I mean we all know I am lying at this point but let's say it anyway. I think small towns are terribly boring and I just don't understand the urge to live in them. People say things to me when I say this, like: it's a great place to raise kids, you know your neighbors, it's safer, and small town charm (which means what to me exactly, when I find small towns neither charming nor inviting). I wasn't born in a small town and maybe that is why I don't get it. I was born in a city with a crime problem, a drug problem and all the other problems cities have. I don't focus on that though what I see something different. I think of lots of options of things to do, places to go, new experiences to try out, an art scene, an airport, malls, big mega movie theaters, sushi bars (notice a lot of these things are plural very important to have multiple things) and a lot more. I figure my core group of friends are just as tight as any small town group could be. Even if we are spread out all over the country at this point. I think maybe the city life has one major take away and that is not learning how to make my own entertainment. I am working on that though with the guitar, my art, writing and this silly blog. Now that my perspective has been laid out I figure I will tell you about my trip down to Hanford, CA.
My dad and I started out early Thursday morning. The trip took 11 hours but we hit two In-N-Out Burgers joints on the way, around brunch and lupper times (yes I said lupper). We saw about a million highway patrol on the road so we were not pushing our luck and neither was the rest of the traffic. Which mainly consisted of truckers clogging the right lane, then jumping into the left lane to pass another truck just as you attempted to pass them. I have dubbed this behavior 'leapfrogging' because I honestly think they wait until about 6 cars are coming up to pass to make the move and to do so in such a manner that they net cars in the double digits before the pass is completed. Yes I said it, trucks pass only to block regular traffic, they form groups and take turns passing each other all the way until they reach their destination. Which seems very similar to the game of leapfrog and therefore the name is applied to the behavior. Anyway it was early evening when we arrived and we hit the apricot trees like birds smacking into the phone booth in that scene from that Alfred Hitchcock movie about birds.... what was it called??? Why couldn't he have just called it The Birds, just think how simple that would have been to remember. It was probably called "flying rats of doom" or something like that (hehe). After we had gorged ourselves on fresh tasty fruit and various vegetables we headed in to talk about stuff and catch up. Grandpa was doing pretty good and Uncle David seemed in good shape as well. Although Grandpa was having a touch of the porcelain thrown sit downs and we teased him about eating too much fruit. Remember these words folks: Poking fun can sometimes lead to a turn about. MY UPPANCE WILL COME!
The four of us headed to Denny's for a big breakfast the next morning and the remains went to the two dogs at home. Then we headed to see Grandma at the nursing home. She has lost a lot of weight since I saw her last (4 years ago almost) but I understand she has not lost any weight in the last 30 days which is good. We ran some errands and then went to Grandpa's pad for a while. Then headed out to Applebee's for a father's day meal for grandpa. I am not sure but this might have been the place of my impending intestinal downfall. We headed home and I gobbled roasted almonds like someone was trying to deprive me of them. This is probably my favorite pass time at grandpa's, the constant flow of food I hardly ever eat. We finished the night off with a bacon and fresh tomato, from grandpa's garden, sandwich. We watched some TV and then called it a night.
I woke up feeling ill. I couldn't handle the smells of breakfast cooking so I dared not eat. I was glad when they offered to leave me behind that morning since I had already had prolonged conversations with the porcelain throne. I sat at home chewing Tums and wondering if I should attempt to eat. I decided to have a bowl of cereal and a glass of milk. It stayed down for a little while but soon I was back in the bathroom making comedy style noises and just wishing I was in the third installment of "Dumb and Dumbererer er" and that my best friend had slipped me some laxatives and it would pass as soon as the medicine wore out for stealing his lady he was too afraid to talk to. For some odd reason my nether regions started giving it a rest as grandpa's started acting up again. I had been watching TV while they were off running about and grandpa decided to complain about the TV and the fact we were watching it nearly the second he and my dad got back. About that time my dad wanted to head over to see Grandma again so I managed to go along without pushing an old lady off the pot so I could have a turn. Then we headed to Starbucks (where I dared a coffee drink), when I turned to my pop and said "I go to Mexico and eat at every dive taco stand I came across, the more flies around the place the better it was and I don't get sick but one day in Hanford and I end up with a wrecked digestive track." We then headed to Target to pick up chew-able Maalox, I chewed those dang things all evening, including during dinner. We had a great spread: steak, fresh red potatoes from the garden, a salad (fresh tomatoes), a squash dish (fresh)and homemade ice cream. The dinner was fun but should have been a lot more fun for a few reasons I don't feel like addressing in the blog. The good thing was my body appeared to be cooperating and it even seemed to be doing so as we started heading home the next day.
The drive home. We hit In-N-Out Burger in Redding and the next stop I was reading graffiti in the restroom stall. It had nothing to do with the burger because first of all food poisoning does not work that fast and second of all I had been burping all day just like the day before and nothing was relieving the bloated feeling. Needless to say it was a miserable ride the rest of the way. I felt bad for my pop who drove with me sleeping most of the day and asking to stop again the rest of the day. I ended up calling in sick on Monday so I could finish getting over it and ended up sleeping a lot once it started to pass for good.
So you are thinking about my opening and my anti-small town nonsense and thinking what does this have to do with a trip that involved a whole lot of bathroom breaks? Well Hanford is not a big city, it is not a teeny town either I guess it is a kinda medium town, I have no idea the population or the definitions of town sizes I am just guessing, basically to me Hanford is too small. I have visited several times and I have been ok but this time I was bouncing off the walls. I needed something to do but I hadn't packed art supplies or a book and I did not feel like writing and I had not brought fresh batteries for the camera and it was too blasted hot outside anyway. So I turned on the TV because I can only talk prices for so long and my dad can only talk prices for about an hour. However I think grandpa was disappointed that we did not sit around talking all day and night. I felt bad about that and I felt bad that I couldn't figure out what to do but being outside reminded me why I ran away to Portland in the first place. I couldn't do manual labor out there in the heat I have never functioned that well in the heat so gardening was out. I remember it was Mother's day in 2003 and Becky, Maryann, John and family had I had went in on some rose bushes for my mom. We were planting them and I was drenched in sweat by just glancing at the shovel. I do not like the heat and was not built to endure it with any hint of grace. I get all hot, irritated and feel ready to murder people. I figure by being in a cooler climate I reduce other people's risk of death, some may even call me a humanitarian. I am way off course here, my point is that without an obvious thing to do I have a hard time finding something to do. So I turned on the satellite TV and vege'd out.
I guess the real bottom line was it was a good trip but I need to ensure a smoother and more successful time in the future. Even if that means dragging sources of entertainment with me. The paint stuff, the drawing, the book making stuff, the guitar and a few books. Oh and a few batteries for my camera. People with kids do it all the time why not pamper myself every once in a while? And I don't mean putting on diapers you sickos! (even if crazy Nasa chicks do it during a cross country drive to kidnap a rival for a boys affection) I had a great time seeing Grandpa and Uncle David. I was glad I got to see Grandma. I wish I had not gotten sick but what can you do?