on the road

LaCrosse, WI: Oh my GOD!

Ah, LaCrosse. I hadn't been there in damned near 10 years, and for teeka it was more like 11 or 12. In fact, the whole gonzoroadtrip concept started with "Well, shit, I'm turning 30, wouldn't it be cool to go to LaCrosse, see simon and 23percent again, and for that matter abuse my liver like I'm still 21??"

So after a week on the road and many adventures, teeka and I finally pulled into LaCrosse.

I wish I could say we did something socially redeeming while we were there, but we didn't. We showed up at simon's house with moonshine (bootlegged across 8 state lines and an international border, booya!) and I started drinking.

People showed up, including 23percent. I hadn't seen him in 10 years and what does the guy say when he arrives? "Oh my GOD!" Sheesh.

Eventually, the party adjourned to Yesterday's, which is where simon and khephra used to sneak me in when I was a wee leetle underaged girlie with my long hair dyed black and combat boots on my feetses.


There I am, at the same damned table, even. That's Justin with his eyes closed.


simon demonstrates that even though he's old and has grey hair, he can still get chicks!


A rare picture of our dedicated photojournalist, teeka, with Justin doing his weird scrunchy faced thing.


Yeah. I don't know WHAT'S up with that scrunchy faced thing. But he has nice biceps.


Nothing like getting drunk and attempting to armwrestle some guy who will kill you on the leverage front every time.


There's quite a few pictures of me giving teeka and her camera the finger from this roadtrip. Here's another one.

After the lights came back on at the Daze, we headed back to simon's place. It was, I would like to state for the record, FUCKING COLD.

Luckily, simon was able to provide me with a sleeping bag and a woolly military blanket, and Justin, well, he was just in the chair I wanted...



simon being a damnyankee and used to the climate, opted for a different dress code:


And finally, more moonshine was consumed!


I think I was asleep by that point... I had this habit of falling asleep once I got warm and horizontal (and the fact that I'd started drinking with simon at around 1700 and it was 0400ish by then didn't hurt, either).

My liver has survived, I am happy to report.

I think I'm finally over the hangover.

There's a couple other people I think teeka has pics of, we'll see if we can't get her to toss 'em online.

And finally, next time all of y'all can just come visit ME.

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink
on the road

Home, home on the range...

Right. So I'm home.

teeka was supposed to update y'all with the LaCrosse stuff, but, um... Don't see it.

So as soon as I collapse and get 12 hours of sleep and find out what, if anything, she did with the pics, I'll update.

But the collapsy thing is WAY more important.

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink

on the road

Kalamazoo, MI: So nice to see *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

Where were we...

Right! We had loaded up the car in Toronto and were cruising down the Canadian highways while attempting to not get run over by the Canadian drivers, who apparently feel that the speed limit is a suggested minimum if you're not feeling very artful that day. After dropping James in London, we went zipping back to the highway with only a brief pause to wonder what one sells at a store like this:



Remember, consistency is key in good grammar. If you're listing wigs because you sell them, well, then the assumption is that you sell the items AFTER the conjunction as well.

Just a little way down the road from London, relatively speaking (we were already 1,000 miles down the road from Charlotte!) is the bridge to the US. Apparently there is also a tunnel, but teeka has this thing for bridges, so over the bridge we went.



The US border guard was much more brusque and rude than the Canadian one we'd met a couple days before, but then again he was also an ex-Marine and I'd just handed him an active duty Navy ID. He also failed to ask me for proof of citizenship. An active duty military ID does not, contrary to popular belief, indicate you're a citizen of the US, it just generally indicates that you have a right to live and work there. If, that is, the military was on the ball the day you got processed, and insisted on seeing proof of a work permit.

But anyway, we finally got away from Mr. I'm Disgruntled About This Job and even managed to find I-94 westbound toward nataswollof's house. Also, it rained.



It has rained on us every single day since our departure, ever since we crossed west of the Appalachians. Obviously I am meant to stay in the coastal southeast. But regardless of rain and weather, we managed to make it to nataswollof, w00t! I've talked to the guy for something like 10 years online and never laid eyes on him. So of course once we all got inside, the first thing I did was hand him moonshine.



After chatting and walking dogs and Beowulf bonding with nataswollof (Beowulf has loved every guy he's met OTHER than agentorrange), I passed out, still worn out from Buffalo. nataswollof had mentioned something about Strip Night featuring Chocolate Thunder down at the local gay bar, but even that temptation was not enough to get me out from under the fleecy Power Puff Girls blanket that nataswollof thoughtfully provided.



If anything else happened, teeka will have to tell y'all about it, because I curled up with Beowulf and after that knew no more until the next morning.

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink
on the road

Toronto, ON: Beowulf attempts to defect, Tink discovers scary guitars!

When last we left our intrepid pair of heroines, they were asleep in a hotel room in Buffalo, NY for three hours of happy unconsciousness before getting on the road again and making a break for the Canadian border. We rejoin them, one of them coherent, the other hung right the fuck over, as they cross into Soviet Canuckistan in search of a bigass waterfall...



I would like to point out that it was overcast, approximately 30 degrees below zero, and I was hung over like a motherfucker from the night before. teeka, who had been the designated driver, was so chipper I was tempted to kill her and eat her corpse. The Canadian border guard guy was really nice but thought we were crazy. The conversation with him went something like this:

CBG: So, where are you guys from?
Us: Charlotte, North Carolina.
CBG: Where you headed?
Us: Toronto.
CBG: How long will you two be staying?
Us: A day.
CBG: o.O
CBG: You drove all the way from Charlotte, North Carolina to stay in Toronto for a day?
Us: Yep.
CBG: Have a nice trip.

So anyway, off we went to find Niagara Falls. You would think it would be easy to find a pair of bigass waterfalls but no. Sixteen miles off the highway, behind some construction and after the world's ugliest floral clock (see picture), we finally found Niagara Falls. After two U-turns and stopping for directions.



See? I told you it was ugly.

So we finally found the Falls. It was cold. It was raining. It was misty from the bigass waterfalls. I refused to leave the car. The car has heat. teeka attempted to kill me with hypothermia by turning the car off and walking away with her set of keys, but I foiled that plan by getting in the driver's seat with my own set. HA! Of course, this meant leaving the vehicle, which meant frostbite, but I was able to recover with no loss of extremities. Another dastardly plan thwarted.



There's teeka, communing with nature. Fucking cold, wet, miserable nature. If man were meant to commune with that sort of thing, God would not have provided central heating. But being as teeka is a good-hearted soul with a sense of humor, she did pick me up a small piece of Canadiana, which became the mascot for the rest of the road trip.



Thus accompanied by a moose, however small, we managed to find our way back to the highway from the Falls, only mildly confounded by a damned traffic circle in the middle of nowhere. What the hell is wrong with a simple four way stop, I'd like to know...



Toronto, here we come. w00t!

I must pause at this point to point out that the roads approaching Toronto are a veritable godawful mess of weird connections, swervings to left and right, and random mergings. This meant that at one point, we somehow ended up going west towards London while attempting to go east toward Toronto. WTF, Canada?!

But we managed to find our hotel and call peddie_p3z and get the car unloaded and even grab a small nap before he got there, which given my vicious state of hungoverness was quite all right by me. Then we rendezvous'd, and peddie_p3z was able to navigate us to a most excellent restaurant for a low-key sort of dinner. I was actually beginning to feel human again, for that matter.

Afterwards, we ducked back to the hotel so that peddie_p3z could meet the pups. This might have been a minor stop, except that peddie_p3z is a Dog Charmer of the first degree. Even Beowulf, traumatized and wary after agentorrange tried to kill him in Buffalo, warmed up and settled down and decided that he would be staying in Canada just as long as peddie_p3z would sit there and pet his head.



Tink was also enjoying scritchins, but she also spent a good ten minutes absolutely fascinated by the fact that peddie_p3z has no hair. He accepted the head snufflings and ear licking with good humor, which of course endeared him to me no end.



I don't think that the dogs had actually ever seen a white guy with a shaven head before, so Tink's fascination is perhaps excuseable. The ears, though, that's quite the normal thing for her.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: Midget tossing is legal at a bar in Ontario. No clue where in Ontario, but all teeka and I can say is "Goddamit, we didn't get to see midget tossing!" I now return you to your regularly scheduled update.

We then headed to downtown Toronto (we were actually staying in Mississauga) to collect James (another one who insists on not having a LiveJournal). Thank God for peddie_p3z, because without him we would never have made it. James suffered ear snuffling from Tink with grace (Beowulf refused to leave peddie_p3z and his magic fingers) before establishing that the only thing that will keep Tink away from a new set of ears to lick is a 12 string guitar.



Tink was OK with fingerpicking, but any chord that was even mildly vigorous caused her to leap back about six inches and stare. Even Beowulf paused in his shameless sucking up to peddie_p3z long enough to have a stare at the guitar.



You can also see the Magic Cooler Full of Truffles in that picture. Together with moonshine, the Magic Cooler Full of Truffles has ensured us a warm welcome in ... anywhere, really.

So, yes, Toronto: laid-back, lounging, recovery from Buffalo. Beowulf deciding that he'd really rather go home with peddie_p3z and get scritchins than continue the roadtrip with me and teeka. Tinkerbell deciding that while James has fascinating ears, that guitar was just too scary to be borne. It was a late night but a good'n.

The next day dawned way too damned early (can't we keep the curtains drawn?) but it was on the way to Michigan, nonetheless. James holds the distinction of being the only person to join us for a portion of the roadtrip, since we gave him a lift down the road to London, ON. He held up well even in the face of music specifically designed to make passengers commit suicide (I'm evil like that). But first, we...or should I say "I" had to load the roof of the car...



James was helpful (you can see his arm) but teeka as usual was taking pictures. Well, and holding the dogs. Eventually my dire mutterings scared even James away, though, and I was left to perch atop the vehicle and argue with lines and luggage on my own.



teeka might have gotten a picture of me crouched on top of the CRV like a gargoyle, except that since the guitar was back out she had her hands full with Tink, who still regarded it as an instrument of torture and mayhem.

Regardless, we were on our way by noon, headed for Michigan and nataswollof!

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink

P.S. By the way, boredgunny, NO MAIMING OCCURED. I hate it when my better nature overcomes my baser one.
on the road

Buffalo, NY: A constant state of *facepalm*

Right, so, at some point on Saturday the 13th, teeka and I decided that we weren't going to be sleeping any time soon, and there was no point in, say, wasting time that could be spent driving northward. So I finished up a couple loads of laundry, we tossed some bags in the car, strapped the dogs' crates to the top, and started heading for Buffalo, wherein we were to rendezvous with agentorrange and his crew of miscreants.

The weather troubles that were to plague us for the remainder of the trip began as soon as we got into the Appalachians, where we got thunderstormed, big time. Lightning, pouring rain, the whole shebang. teeka attempted to take pictures of it. She attempted to take pictures of lots of things while we were driving. She's funny like that.

Where was I? Oh, right. Driving. And driving. It's about 12 hours from Charlotte, NC to Buffalo, NY. Something might have happened on that drive that was worth recording for posterity, but if so, fatigue has wiped it from my brain. The adventure REALLY started when we got closer to Buffalo...

At 79 miles to Buffalo, we called agentorrange and left a message.

At 75 miles to Buffalo, we called agentorrange and left a message.

At 70 miles to Buffalo, agentorrange FINALLY woke up and called us back, just as we were preparing to call him and leave another message. "Please for the love of God," we pled in the strained voices of women who have been trapped in a car for 12 hours with two young, energetic dogs, "tell us you have a fenced back yard!"



Happily, agentorrange does, indeedy, have a fenced back yard, so we got directions to his house. Then we called him back in a bit for clarification, only to have him declare that we'd gone too far and we must turn around RIGHT NOW!! RIGHT NOW!!! and take this route through neighborhoods that made me wish that teeka had let me bring my gun but OH NO, I'm never allowed to bring my gun when there's a chance I might need to shoot someone, so here we are, wandering the 'hoods in Buffalo with a cell phone call to agentorrange our only hope... and as it turns out, we simply hadn't gone far ENOUGH to get to the original, much easier exit. That's the last time we trust some guy on the phone instead of MapQuest.



Right. We make it to agentorrange's house, one way or another. We turn the dogs loose in the back yard. agentorrange decides to play chase with the dogs, which they enjoyed greatly right up until Beowulf, fleeing in panic from the strange guy chasing him, managed to nearly knock himself unconscious on the fence. Whoops. smokingghost also made his first appearance at this point, and stunned us all with his amazing athletic ability. I believe the appropriate quote here was "Charlie! You're not athletic at ALL! How are you DOING this!?"

We finally decided to kill the time before check-in at the hotel by actually eating some lunch, packed the hounds back in the car and headed for a small Italian place somewhere in Buffalo. Normally I can get a sense of a town in the process of driving around it, but for some reason Buffalo remains an engima, wrapped in a mystery. Perhaps this is because I was having to concentrate too hard on following agentorrange, who apparently regards being followed by someone from out-of-town as a challenge to which he must rise: how many red lights will this woman run just to keep up with me? I believe the highest count in one trip was three.

After lunch we checked in at ye olde hotel and adjourned to Jerry and Jamie (we think it was Jamie)'s house and brought out the Slow Death By Liver Failure.



This made agentorrange reeeeeeaaaaaaaallllllly happy. Like, nearly brought him to tears.



Unfortunately, after a 12 hour drive, teeka and I were pretty damned loopy. We called it an early night after teeka passed out in the comfy chair with the squishy pillow. She swore she wasn't asleep but since she doesn't normally snore while awake, I am skeptical.

ANYHOO.

Day two kicked off with what might be roughly described as breakfast at the civilized hour of noon. I was still quite groggy, but do remember the following exchange:
slave2tehtink: We really need to kidnap someone and cut their arms and legs off.
agentorrange: Yeah, we really do.

There was probably some context there that would make that more meaningful and perhaps less scary, but what the hell. Brunch was also where I discovered that despite agentorrange's many charms, he is in fact a philistine, a heretic, an apostate of the highest order who does not eat onion rings. I mean, really. Who doesn't eat onion rings?! Other than him.

At some point we wound up back at the hotel with agentorrange, smokingghost, and Travis (who apparently has no LJ). This is where it became apparent that despite the fact that he does not eat onion rings, agentorrange gets ALL the bitches:



Tink is such a good dog. teeka isn't in the lap because she is a much nicer person than I am, and thus does not qualify as a bitch. But she's working on it.

That evening becomes something of a blur. There was a bar involved which those of you who play cybersphere would have recognized as The Syndrome. There was alcohol involved which explains the blurring. There was a dart game involved, which occasioned the line "If you miss this next shot, I'll let you do me in the ass." Don't ask, wasn't me that said it. I don't play darts because I'm not allowed to kill anyone when I'm not in uniform.

Post-bar we adjourned to Tim and Jackie's place for further consumption of consumables, including mooooooonshine.

Here's agentorrange, in a shot that proves just what a godawful geek the boy is. He has a drunk redhead in his lap, and he's more interested in the fact that she's writing MOO code.



And THIS, friends and neighbors, is what happens to nice young men who drink what I hand them:



At any rate, not too long after torturing smokingghost by braiding his hair full of pretty ribbons, teeka and I wandered back to the hotel to crash for 3 hours before heading on our way to Niagara Falls and Toronto. w00t.

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink
on the road

These so-called vacations will soon be my death!

See, this is why I hate planning. Because Plan A never, EVER works. Then one has to come up with Plan B, and at this point, I think I'm on Plan B-1.1.

SO.

The revised Plan, pending contact from the man in Buffalo:

Skip Pittsburgh.
Drive 12 hours with two young dogs in car (AHAHAHAHAHA!) and hit up Buffalo late on Sunday.
Strangle dogs unconscious, get sleep.
Eat something. Acquire extra companions.
Hit up Niagara Falls from both this side, and the Moose-Infested side.
Kidnap Canadian citizen.
Pry teeka away from communing with Niagara Falls or whatever it is she's planning on doing, and go eat something again. And then involve alcohol in my life in a big way.

Sleeping will possibly occur here somewhere as well.

Proceed to Toronto on Tuesday, as outlined in previous posts, but WE ALL KNOW HOW WELL THIS PLANNING THING WORKS NOW DON'T WE.

Hah.

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink
on the road

May 15, Buffalo, NY

Comfort Inn University
1 Flint Road
Buffalo, NY 14226

I understand that there are grievous festivities planned. If you're in the area, show up!

EDIT FOR FURTHER INFO: Arrival time in Buffalo is in the vicinity of 1300. We'll be snagging a third member of the travelling party at 1430ish and then checking into the hotel, after which it's on.
on the road

May 14, Vicinity of Pittsburgh, PA, and May 16, Toronto, CA

We will be at:

PENNSYLVANIA (May 14)
Best Western University Inn
1545 Wayne Ave
Indiana, PA

TORONTO (May 16)
Novotel Toronto Mississauga
3670 Hurontario Street
L5B 1P3 MISSISSAUGA
CANADA
(these guys are so utterly cool. I mentioned I'd be bringing the dogs, and they took down their names, too, so they can give them a welcome package!)

ETA for both spots is check-in time for the hotel, which is 1500 for each of 'em. Drop me a line if you're in either area.

AND IF YOU ARE IN BUFFALO, LOOK ME UP CAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT AREA TO GET A HOTEL IN.
on the road

Shopping List

Tea (English Breakfast & Earl Grey)
Sugar
Instant Coffee (hey, sometimes you can't get water hot enough for tea!)
Cooler
Dog Food Bin
Pink Ribbons (don't ask, don't tell)
Prozyme (for dogs)
CD Case

Edit to add:
Moose repellant (we are, after all, going through Canada)
Long underwear (ditto)
Batteries for GPS device
Road Atlas
More Moose Repellant (you can never have enough)
Rope
Bungee cords
Duct Tape
Jumper Cables
First Aid Kit
Remi 870 Slug Gun Express
100ct 12ga slugs
(you never know about moose)

To pack:
Neck pillow, fuzzy blanket, eye cover (passenger kit) (possibly ear plugs, too)


Whoops. Time to work.
on the road

Gonzo Roadtrip, the 2nd Half

teeka won't be along, but hey...

22-24 May
Chicago, IL and vicinity (family time)

25-28 May
Paducah, KY and vicinity (more family)

29 May
Atlanta, GA and vicinity

30 May
Charlotte, NC

If you're in any of these exotic locales, or on the route between two of 'em, lemme know.

*MWAH*
slave2tehtink