evany's extended cake mix
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Thursday, Aug. 26, 2004 | link
Jill and I started out our epic journey with a trip-plotting kickoff session over and through large piles of eggs, potatoes, and cheese at Levon's scenic St. Francis. After perusing Jill's detailed and superstar cross-referenced notes, maps, and charts, I nodded sagely, yes I see, yes, and we yelled "break!" and rolled into the car and onto the road.
I took the first shift and got us as far as Nevada state capital Carson City, home to loose poker slots (Jill: "but I don't even know her") and a disappointing selection of sunglasses. Along the way, we sang Toto's "Africa," Tommy TuTone's "867-5309," Christopher Cross's "Ride Like the Wind," and "Oh Sandy" (a premonition, perhaps?) from Grease (there are a freakish number of billboards for Grease The Musical along The 80 ... Also Targets, so many Targets). We'll also ate triple chocolate chip cookies fresh-baked by Jill's one and only roommate, Colleen (owner and operator of my very favorite "Horses: (n) See 'awesome'." bumper sticker).
Then Jill took over the pilotting and ... traffic. Hours of stop-and-stop traffic. We thought the state-wide fires might have been the culprit, what with the horizon filled with apocalyptic brown clouding, etc., but the whole hold-up turned out to be ... a stop sign? Maybe? It was all very unclear, something I think we'll be experiencing a lot of this trip.
Me: "I wonder what that sweeping beam of light is all about. Look, you see that? How it turns from green to white? What is that, some sort of desert light-house thing?" Jill: "I don't know." Me: "Yeah. Huh."
Me: "What's up with the squares of meshing filled up with rocks, just standing there by the side of the road?" Jill: "Weird." Me: "So many secrets."
We also: saw a DARWIN fish getting eaten by a TRUTH fish; drove down a stretch of road we think may have been the setting of Lois's earthquake death which Superman had to spin the planet backwards to undo; consciously noticed for the first time that Smokey the Bear is totally topless; and came up with a short list of names for tire stores:
- Tire consequences
Just before sunset we came upon the magnificent and completely alien Sand Mountain, which is this towering series of fine, fine sand dunes, plop, right in the middle of nowhere (no, wait, right in the middle of the stretch between Fallon and Austin).
When we got to the bottom, where the land is firm and the air still and not trying to tear your skin open, it felt like we'd returned from some sort of space-time travel. We also came back with six pounds each of sand in our shoes, ears, cuffs, pockets, cracks, and HEARTS. "Jesus Christ," I was all, "what just happened?"
And then Jill drove us through the still, black, featureless night to Austin (Nevada) and we had dinner and milkshakes (thick and good, with little frozen hunks, vanilla much better than chocolate) at the Toiyabe Cafe, and now we're showered and de-sanded and ready for sugarplummy dreams of Grease and sand and open road.