Category Archives: roadtrip

Steve Martin Has to Leave

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Archives for Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic

Seeing as it is December I am going to shut this blog off.

I plan on leaving this blog as is so that it can be a record of both the trip — and the research and preparation i did to take the roadtrip down south. that part of the blog, the prep, was actually just as enjoyable an experience as the roadtrip itself. not shocking, but wanted to mention that. just sort of looking back, am coming to these realizations.

Thankful to have had the opportunity to spend time with some lovely folks along the journey — Amy and Marian and Ian et al. — as well as fellow Postcarders at Wigginstock 2012 and beyond. Also nice to spend my first Korean-American Thanksgiving in the boozum of the fam at my sister’s in Aurora.

But like Steve Martin, above, I have really enjoyed the process of blogging. I don’t want to leave. So I decided to continue at a new blog HERE, if you are interested in following along, please join me.

Happy Holidays, 2012!

Ice sculpture at Time Warner Center

Ice sculpture at Time Warner Center

drip...

drip… drip… dripping…

Erika
erika_herzog@yahoo.com

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fall trip wrap-up

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although i’ve been home for a bit i didn’t blog the last bit of my roadtrip. so i wanted to do that now.

and i’m going on a little trip this week to denver for thanksgiving with the family so i will probably do at least one blog of that trip.

so in the meantime, when i should be moving yet more furniture around and sorting my laundry, packing, and doing dishes / cleaning the hovel chez moi, i thought i’d finish blogging my last trip. i mean, what better time than now?!? all that stuff can wait. right? ha!

pittsburgh to new jersey to points beyond

the  music of this last part i remember being the soothing continued sounds of the new Sun Kil Moon record, which is fabulous.

something comforting and just 100% suited to the end of my trip about this record.

Mark Kozelek really outdid himself. is it the strings? something warmer about the production, more melody? from the outside you’d never think that he has been nothing but consistent in releasing music that is very similar — really great but often more than a lot just samey. but for some reason this record stands out to me in how strong it is, how personal it is, how melodic it is, especially compared to other releases i’ve bought of his recently. yes, he’s one of those auto-purchase artists i’m a long-time fan of. the list is not long but it is deep. oy.

kings restaurant in pennsylvania

in trying to reconstruct the last few days of my trip, the photos were shamefully sparse. i think once i got to ohio the driving became more pressurized — i wasn’t in ohio or pennsylvania to see stuff really, but was really more focused on getting home.

once i left Columbus, Ohio and continued on I-70 towards Pennsylvania the driving got increasingly difficult. you can’t really tell it from the maps but eastern Ohio is freaking hilly as shit, and i don’t really enjoy the feeling of driving on the top of what i consider to be super high hills where there seems to be huge drop offs to the left and right, with not a lot of places to stop to rest. i actually don’t remember many rest stops (if any), or i know i would have stopped at them and chilled out a bit.

my northern route through Ohio and Pennsylvania was an effort to avoid areas that i knew had bad weather from Storm Sandy. i didn’t want to go through West Virginia because they got at least a foot of snow in many areas. and i didn’t want to go through Virginia up through New Jersey (the route i came when i started my trip) because i know that the Jersey shore was hit pretty hard. so i was staying north.

i was a bit shocked that when you go across on I-70 from Ohio to Pennsylvania there’s a little bit of West Virginia up there that you have to drive through. Wheeling, West Virginia. hilly as shit? check. grim dark stormy weather? check. freaking tunnel and bridge in an area known for traffic accidents? heck yeah! check.

Wheeling, West Virginia — huge tunnel and a bridge

i remember that i was driving a long day driving into Pittsburgh to see the wonderful Ian. it was dark and as anyone who has been to western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh knows, that is some seriously hilly country. i will say this over and over again but my maps app on my iPhone 5 — as disparaged as it has been in the press with this new phone release — saved me. i was white-knuckling it getting to Ian’s house in Pittsburgh, exhausted from the hills, the drive, the dark, stressed to get home. and the map app got me there. i loved the iPhone 5 map turn by turn navigation. i would not have been able to drive my trip the way i did as easily as i did. so thankful and grateful to have this tool.

after leaving Pittsburgh i stopped a lot more. i was really tired, an accumulated tiredness that i just couldn’t shake. i had a snack at a King’s Restaurant in Somerset, PA. Frownie indeed (see below). a very very depressing stop. probably one of the more dicey areas i visited. was pretty glad to leave.

King’s Restaurant (Somerset, PA)

i really hope this is not the same chain as the King’s Restaurant in Omaha on Leavenworth i grew up with. Don & Millie’s (owned by Bob Kerrey i think) on Farnam Street in Omaha continues to make the amazing Cheese Frenchee sandwich of my childhood. hope this is a totally different chain.

Cheese Frenchee (Don & Millie’s in Omaha, NE). yum.

Pennsylvania Turnpike – expensive and grim

and then once you get to Pennsylvania i was on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with all these tolls and weird tunnels and stuff. not enjoyable driving at all – winding mountainous roads with what seemed to be crazy drivers who pass much closer than they did in the south and would tailgate and/or not move into the passing lane.

i think after the warm family feeling of visiting Ian in Pittsburgh, then leaving that to face the unknown of what i was returning to — my hurt New York City post-Sandy — and the very daunting future of life post-Credit Suisse, i was a lot more stressed out and just worried. i really wanted to get home, make sure i had groceries and supplies if there was no power or utilities in my apartment, and get back to the reality of my life i had been able to sort of suspend with this vacation / roadtrip.

another stop in penna

so i stopped after only about 6 hours of driving. again having a hard time staying awake and just feeling exhausted. though the hills sort of stopped feeling quite so hellacious east of Pittsburgh. or maybe i just got inured to the hills hills hills and driving high speeds on said hills.

i stopped in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to sleep and got grub at the surprisingly solid Middlesex Diner.

Middlesex Diner (Carlisle, PA)

it wasn’t the fanciest food of my trip but it was a solid diner and the prices were reasonable for the food i got. i remember a grilled cheese sandwich and coke (comfort food combo extraordinaire). and a salad with chicken. i was hungry, tired, and stressed. i think i ate dinner and just passed out.

Funck’s, blessed Funck’s

secretaries always have that sign that says something like: “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine” and it really describes my journey from this point on. i wasn’t very prepared for this part of my journey.

i also was sad the roadtrip was ending.

one last gasp stop — at the amazing and wonderful Funck’s Restaurant in Annville, PA.

i really hadn’t driven that far. but i was stalling. and was concerned how bad New Jersey was going to be. so i stopped.

Funck’s Restaurant (Annville, PA)

am i glad i stopped. the place is odd. a lot of stone work inside and out. and it feels like it has been there forever. serves a lot of regulars and a lot of military personnel i think. but the food — and the service — was amazing. i think it was the best wait service i’ve ever had in my life, actually. not to overstate it or anything but i needed comfort and sustenance and this hit the sweet spot 100%.

Chicken Corn Rivel Soup, Funck’s Restaurant

i had no freaking idea what the Rivel was. it’s like a Pennsylvania Dutch dumpling. so good. and it was a cold dreary day. just really what i needed.

Fish Sandwich, Funck’s Restuarant

after all the pork and meat of the south, i wanted a hot sandwich but wasn’t really up for a burger. so i asked the waitress and she recommended the Fish Sandwich, which she said was “a nice pice of fish.” Tilapia. she wasn’t kidding — i’m not a huge fish fan but this was really good. it was hot, light, and just every bite delicious.it usually comes with fries but she let me have the soup instead.

and i wanted dessert — yeah stalling — so when we talked about that she did something amazing. she gave me a sample to try of the pumpkin pie. it was delicious. and so smart. i don’t know why restaurants don’t do that more. i totally got the pie because of that. ate it on the road and it was divine.

so if you are in this part of Pennsylvania this is a solid, good place to stop. i enjoyed this last bit of my roadtrip.

onward New Jersey

had the bright idea to try and stop at a Whole Foods outside the storm radius in New Jersey. or so i thought. planned to stop for groceries and gas in Milburn-Union / Vauxhall, NJ, though the signs when i got there said Marlborough, NJ.

rude shock. traffic lights not working. gas stations had tape roping them off because they were all closed. and although i called earlier to make sure they were open, i should have pushed more when the woman i spoke with said they were open until 6 pm. they were open until 6 pm because they were running on generator power!

so i was able to stop and get groceries but it was pretty freaky. a bit apocalyptic even. Whole Foods had food, luckily, but it was very weird — half lit cases and some of the aisles were pretty cleared out. i was able to get what i wanted / needed no problem, but still needed gas.

i knew it was going to be a problem as i started tracing my steps back on I-78 and saw signs for no gas. or the weird odd-even license plate thing (which i had no idea about). there was a TravelCenters of America sign a while back i had seen, so eventually i ended up calling them to see if they had gas. they did but i could only get $40. which was fine / enough. thankfully. so i drove back 45 miles, which seemed to take a good hour. got the gas from the TCA, and headed home. all very surreal.

bye bye rental

drove into my hurt New York City, saw my UPS guy delivering packages (hi Frank!) and so knew all was pretty much okay in the world. dropped off all my crap and groceries, had a few semi-asthma attacks getting it up into my apartment (my poor neighbors in my brownstone is all i can say about that). then off to LaGuardia Enterprise rental to return the car.

car rental (apologies for the blurry pic — was freezing)

this is a pic of my car. it was a Buick and had a weird model name. but was a great little car. got good gas mileage i think. was 4 clicks up in terms of model type. and the woman who gave it to me initially did me a solid, as it only had about 3,000 miles on it — was basically a brand new car. great car rental experience.

mileage counter on my trip: 3,324 miles

so i took a quick snap of the mileage (sorry these are such bad pictures i was freezing and a little exhausted / stressed to be back). i drove 3,324 miles in 2 weeks. essentially New York City to New Orleans and back.

took the M60 bus home — who knew?!?

to chez hovel moi. yeah there was power, just no one home.

chez hovel moi

Denver

so tomorrow i go to Denver for a few days to see the fam. first time going to my sister’s house — she’s lived in Aurora for a long time and i’m a bit embarrassed / ashamed of that fact.

believe it or not, i don’t travel much. and don’t really like traveling. it might be due to the fact that when i was young we took the bus every weekend for 10 years (from 1971 to 1981, when i was around 4 years old to about 13 years old) to see my dad in Omaha. the Lincoln to Omaha trip every weekend was not something i had a lot of choice about and while it was semi-defining as a development of my life — and is pretty representative of my childhood — i think i’m just not innately a traveler.

crabby traveler

so i was born on July 21. at night. it’s the cusp of the Cancer sign, astrologically. my chart is sort of whack.

my very unbalanced astrological chart

astrological charts aren’t usually so concentrated in one area — but mine is all sort of in the bottom right section. which explains a lot about me i think. and as i get older i sort of accept and know this about myself. there’s also something about a deep connection to the mother and if the mother isn’t present basically i’m screwed (uh oh) but i won’t dwell on that now.

made me think about this film from my childhood, l’argent de poche by Francois Truffaut.

l’argent de poche (Small Change) by Francois Truffaut

it sort of explains why i’m as odd as i am, i think. the 1970s were pretty crazy.

oh 1970s filmmaking

anyway, i’m a weird Cancer / crab and just don’t innately like to travel. so prepping for trips and forcing myself (which i typically have to do) to travel is a bit of an ordeal. and tomorrow i go away for a few nights. to the boozum of my family, as it were. big pluses are having all four of my awesome nieces in one place. so i’m looking forward to catching up with them, and seeing a bit of Colorado.

there are rumors of shrimp scampi (my bro-in-law Chuck is a great cook), if time allows. and my sister is an amazing cook, remembers a lot of our childhood recipes. our mom was a truly gifted cook and many of the recipes of my childhood haunt me / have given me a pretty high baseline of what i consider good food. so Claud may be able to make some of them.

so i may post a few posts of that trip here. not sure if i will continue this blog or let it sit and be my roadtrip blog. sort of a shame to let it go but i’ll see how it feels.

Pittsburgh

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more Pittsburgh

so i had the chance to spend the night with a good family friend from Lincoln — another treat of this trip. Ian lives on this crazy steep hill / cliffside. i have loved Pittsburgh so much, ever since a summer program i did at Carnegie-Mellon University during high school. it’s what got me on the path to going to Michigan, in a weird but very roundabout way, which leads me to where i am today.

plus it’s so freaking green and pretty. i just love that about Pittsburgh.

Ian and Katy have a nice backyard. i loved this sculpture. Katy is an artist so there’s a lot of cool stuff all over their house.

cool sculpture at Ian and Katy’s house in Pittsburgh

hot ginge alert!

we stayed up late (late for me now is past midnight!) to see the without parallel brilliance that is Louis CK on Saturday Night Live. let’s just say that Louis did a GREAT job, i laughed more than i’ve laughed at SNL in a long long time, and actually watched every skit. the music (Fun) was painful, as usual. yuck. but Louis was great…..

Louis CK on Saturday Night Live, November 3, 2012

there was a great spoof of his TV show. i’m already over this dumb Abraham Lincoln craze (?). Spielberg yet again over-scores his films and makes me want to take a nap. he may be a proficient but he drives. every. point. home. so deliberately it just telegraphs everything as it happens. yucky filmmaking.

anyway….  Louis at Abe. read something about how when they were filming this the village was still without power / completely dark. which freaked him out a lot. because the village is not supposed to be like that.

Louis CK as Lincoln on SNL

this was a gross but awesome bit. the myth of the last people left at the bar hooking up. which seems like a rule or something.

slurp!

this was pretty on point, given the election and everyone being so afraid to admit it’s a lot about race.

“but i don’t have any black friends…”

dawg

this was how Indian, the dog, likes to sit. i fell in love with him. he’s not really a dog. he’s more of a person. 100%.

dawg named Indian (he likes to hide)

fud for brunch

this morning (Sunday) we had a great brunch. i whipped out the addictive okra chips from Mississippi. this is a better picture than i’ve gotten previously.

a better picture of the okra chips

these come from Katy’s garden. such interesting shapes. since Katy is very much from the south it was great to have southern-influenced food as my last gasp of this trip. i’m going to miss all of this stuff i’ve been experiencing — the food, the people, the landscapes. just all of it….

green tomatoes from Katy’s garden

these were dipped in yoghurt and egg and then rolled in falafel mix. very light healthy.

fried green tomatoes (baked once)

this batch was double baked i think, so they were more crunchy. they were yummy!

fried green tomatoes (well, baked)

and this is a blurry (sorry) picture of how Katy was making hers. it looked so good….

fried green tomatoes with cream cheese and a little bit of Sriracha

fell in love with Indian. he let me pet him and i was in heaven.

Indian

in the backyard “harvesting” the green tomatoes. apparently they have a hedgehog problem so not a lot of crops from the garden survive.

picking the tomatoes

music

music has been the new Mark Kozelek / Sun Kil Moon, which for two days now i can’t seem to quit. i got the deluxe version and haven’t had the chance to sample the bonus tracks. this is a long, delicious sip of gorgeous storytelling and soothing melodic riffs. i think it’s my fall discovery. highly highly recommend.

to continue the underlying theme of suicide that has unwaveringly threaded itself through this journey, my favorite track is this one:

Song For Richard Collopy”  (Spotify link, sorry it doesn’t look like it’s on video yet)

“Elaine” is also wonderful — once it hits the 2 minute mark there’s a riff that played loud is beyond sublime….

next steps

i was literally falling asleep from accumulated exhaustion driving through these somewhat traumatizing winding highways of Penna so i decided to err on the side of safety and get a hotel for the last night. and make the final attempt tomorrow.

am going to try (if i’m not too stressed and can figure it out) to bring in a donation to either Staten Island or Brooklyn or Queens. i also need to make sure to bring in some groceries as i have no idea what that situation is going to be like in the city, if the trucks can’t get in because gas is so hard to come by.

oh my poor city.

ohio

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from Louisville last night to tonight in Pittsburgh it feels like i’ve come a million miles.

going to be a short post tonight because i’m beat and have stayed up past my new bedtime to watch Louis CK on SNL

Graeter’s — Cincinnati, OH

Graeter’s — Cincinnati, OH
got toffee chip and coffee chip

Skyline Chili — hotdog

rest stop bench

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sad to leave Mississippi but not without a Trace…

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so long Mississippi (hello Tennessee)

Natchez Trace Parkway — Tennessee River

Natchez Trace Parkway — up the hill from the Tennessee River

Natchez Trace Parkway — Colbert’s Stand

could not wrap my head about the correct pronunciation of this place. kept using the Colbert Report pronunciation…. Damn him!

this was definitely cool. i’m glad i took the 5 minutes to check this out….

Natchez Trace Parkway — trees

Natchez Trace Parkway — one of the scene views

Natchez Trace Parkway — Information Center just north of Tupelo

spent the night in Tupelo — god i love saying the names of these towns — and then headed down the Natchez Trace Parkway towards the “quad cities” (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield, Alabama).

Alabama

Alabama cotton fields

i was supposed to go back onto the Trace and head up to Nashville that way but after a bit of frustrating dithering around in Florence where i hit at lunchtime and it was a madhouse where i wanted to eat so i got the now gross to me junk food, i decided to scrap that and hustle up to Nashville.

when i crossed into Tennessee i was definitely a bit heartsick. i have gotten to see many nooks and crannies of Mississippi and it has been a good thing.

Grimey’s

stickers!

yeah yeah yeah. impulse control. blah blah blah. just bought a bunch of CDs yesterday. i know….

but this is Grimey’s — a store i’ve heard about for what seems like forever. and the guy who owns it, i’ve seen him play with Bobby Bare Jr. a bunch of times. it was the only reason i even dipped into Nashville on this leg of the trip. so i’m okay with it, though it was probably one of the last record buying splurges i’ll have in a very long time. when i get home the reality of a new job / career shift is going to make this look like the fantasyland that it is.

Grimey’s — Nashville, TN

so this is what i picked up. i truly needed more rocking — less mellow and flowy — music than what i got at Oxford. not that there’s anything wrong with that of course. but i was a bit horrified to realize i was almost falling asleep at the wheel this morning driving the Trace because i needed coffee, didn’t get enough sleep, and the music wasn’t energizing me. so i feel like i’m going to just accept this as part of my trip and move on.

  • Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Now Here’s My Plan
  • Divine Fits, A Thing Called Divine Fits
  • Dwight Yoakam, 3 Pears
  • Father John Misty, Fear Fun
  • JD McPherson, Signs & Signifiers
  • JEFF The Brotherhood, Hypnotic Nights
  • Kelly Hogan, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain
  • Menahan Street Band, The Crossing
  • Shuggie Otis, Inspiration Information
  • The Sugarman 3, What The World Needs Now
  • Sun Kil Moon, Among the Leaves (deluxe)
  • Waco Brothers & Paul Burch, Great Chicago Fire

the scene of the crime

i got help and awesome recommendations from a couple people at the store, but i ended up chatting with Noah Uman, a recent NYC (well Jersey City) transplant to Nashville. loved talking with him. much thanks for the kind conversation and geeking out about music. that was fun!

Noah Uman, former WFMU deejay (Coffee Break for Heroes and Villains) and really smart guy

Yo La Tengo promo material at Grimey’s. love this

Kopecky Family Band – in store at Grimey’s

when i was picking out my CDs all of a sudden these people started bringing equipment into the store with a purpose. turns out Kopecky Family Band was doing an in-store. yeah, more serendipitous timing / experiences. i stayed for this. they were really enjoyable. beautiful harmonies and you can tell they are really doing

Fud: Edley’s BBQ

grateful thanks to Clay Wallace, Nashville postcarder extraordinaire, for the recommendation of the closest bbq that did not suck.

Edley’s — Nashville, TN

Edley’s BBQ — Nashville, TN
Shrimp po boy with a bunch of sides

Kentucky

so now i’m holed up outside of Louisville, KY. onwards and upwards towards home.

Kentucky. yeah, that’s where i’m at!

a little bit of Oxford and the beginnings of the Trace at Tupelo

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apocalypse now

“…one look at you and i know it’s going to be hot”

while i appreciated the camp — a word i like about as much as the word “edgy” — of the Shack Up Inn specifically i already know it was not the highlight of this roadtrip. and the environs of Clarksdale, well i was pretty much sick as a dog and didn’t have the energy or enthusiasm to go delve into the museums and blues clubs like i should have and/or would have if i had been healthy. i have such a love affair for Mississippi at this point that i’m almost 100% certain i will be back, so i hope that i will be able to do a more thorough visit to these places at then.

Clarksdale is this somewhat large (comparatively) and sprawling metropolis in the middle of what i can only describe as a post-apocalyptic flatland hell. the arid cotton fields were some of the grimmest looking scenery of my trip thus far. and i forgot to mention that driving in from the south i saw at least three dead dogs on the side of the road (among other assorted roadkill). and to top that off, there were at least a handful of very skinny looking dogs wandering around the side of the road as i zoomed on by, thankfully only going 55 mph. at first i was like, “what the hell?!?” but then it seemed to make sense for where i was. this part of Mississippi has got to be a challenging place to survive in environmentally. living here seems difficult. it made me a little blue, no pun intended.

music for this leg: Elmore James, morphing into Centro-matic’s Candidate Waltz

very important t-shirt update™: Duquette Johnston‘s Club Duquette in olive with black type

Oxford!

so after more than a few cough-filled nights i am thrilled to be back on the road, albeit baby steps. not going to do a lot of long hauls but needed to get out of that temporary rut and mosey slowly north to see what awaits me in my messed up, molested by the storm, home of New York City.

Memphis was part of the original plan — and was not far from Clarksdale — but i’m pretty sure i’m still contagious / sick so a museum would knock me right back into bed so i’m going to conserve strength and cancel that leg. i’m sorry i won’t be able to meet up with a good family friend there but it sounds like the timing isn’t meant to be for either of us, so i’ll let the guilt go, as much as possible.

that’s one thing that i have noticed on this trip. i’ve had some real serendipitous happenings on this roadtrip from the start. not to jinx things or anything but i’m feeling truly blessed at some of the things i’ve seen and places i’ve been and people i’ve been able to spend time with. i’m very thankful. from Wigginstock 2012 on down to being where i am tonight it’s all feeling very connected and meant to be. don’t want to belabor this too much but it has been at the forefront of my mind when i’ve been making decisions about where to go and what to see. i find it comforting.

Oxford serendipity 1: Big Bad Breakfast food

Big Bad Breakfast — Oxford, MS

when reviews on Yelp say “trust me” and talk about the bacon being infused with yummy things they pretty much had me. if anything i think the reviews were a bit modest. some of the best breakfast i’ve had on this trip — and i’ve had a lot of breakfast.

BIG BAD BREAKFAST PLATE
Two eggs cooked to order and choice of bacon, patty sausage, chicken sausage, andouille, or country ham; grits or home fries; gravy (red eye, sausage, or tomato); and toast or biscuit.
Big Bad Breakfast — Oxford, MS

i got the red eye gravy (three types of gravy!!!), which the waitress said has a bunch of cool stuff, including Coke, in it. it was amazing.

since i knew i was just going to drive a little today and then crash / rest up for tomorrow, i got THE LAST GENTLEMAN (two piece plate of Coca‐cola brined fried chicken with potato salad and cole slaw) for dinner, plus a side of fruit salad. i’m very much looking forward to that later on.

wanted to mention that i’ve not heard so much laughter and what sounded like happiness (yeah, THAT) coming out of a kitchen before. i think that sinks into the food.

Oxford serendipity 2: The End of All Music record store

since this leg of the trip has been extended as i drag my feet up towards whatever havoc exists in New York City, i decided that it was okay to stock up on some supplies (i.e., music).

The End of All Music (sticker!)– Oxford, MS

supremely happy to have stumbled upon The End of All Music, a small but mighty record store in Oxford, MS. they sell mostly vinyl but their CD selection was robust enough to get me into a medium flop sweat.

my retail flop sweats — especially those reserved for record stores — are legendary (at least to me). while listening to the sweet sounds of Will Oldham‘s new EP, i tried to be surgical in my choices. this is what i picked up.

  • A.A. Bondy – American Hearts
  • A.A. Bondy – Believers
  • Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
  • Chris Knox – Seizure*
  • Dent May – Do Things*
  • Destroyer – Kaputt (dang it i have this already oh well)
  • Grizzly Bear – Shields
  • J Dilla – Jay Dee Donuts
  • Lee Baines III & The Glory Fires – There is a Bomb in Gilead (embarrassingly late on this one)
  • Phantom Limb – S/T*
  • Reigning Sound – Live at Goner Records 6.26.05
  • Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

the guy at the store helped me choose some of these, which i think are local*. which i’m always happy for, as i’ve discovered cool music via record store expert recommendations in the past. i have a good feeling about this stuff.

booty

in addition to the sticker i got this cool tote with my purchase. happiness!

cool tote from The End of All Music — Oxford, MS

as i look into the prospective job market, the fact that i fell for a town like Oxford, MS — home of the University of Mississippi — was super reassuring. it’s likely i will need to relocate for my first few library science jobs. if it’s a place like Oxford with great food, awesome record stores, and nice folks, well i’m happy to leave the bubble that is New York City. at least for a little while….

next steps

going to trip on up the Natchez Trace Parkway a bit, then dip into Alabama maybe, then head on up to Nashville, Louisville, and maybe Pittsburgh before hustling to vote in New York City next Tuesday. that’s my only deadline.

Natchez Trace Parkway

returning the car rental to LaGuardia looks like it’s going to be a challenge. plus i want to bring back groceries and supplies as it looks like those are not easy to find right now — and i left my cupboards pretty bare.

Clarksdale, MS

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so i’m crashed here in Clarksdale, MS for a little while recuperating from a nasty cold / sore throat. seeing as where i am staying is much larger than my apartment in New York City — and has a full kitchen — it feels like luxe digs.

still feels bizarre to not be home during this crazy storm. glad everyone i know of so far came out relatively unscathed.

Shack Up Inn artwork

Shack Up Inn artwork

Shack Up Inn artwork

Shack Up Inn bottles

i was hungry but it was sort of hard to find the same yummy victuals that i easily found in New Orleans and Wiggins (heck yeah) so i followed some kind recommendations and got food from this Lebanese-Italian (?!?) place called Rest Haven Inn in Clarksdale.

Rest Haven Restaurant — Clarksdale, MS

i still don’t get grits. too much of a northerner maybe? is Nebraska northern? i don’t know. but thank god everyone has potatoes / hash browns.

Clarksdale, MS

more Shack Up Inn artwork

happier than words can express to go to the HUGE (to me) Kroger’s and stock up on some much needed supplies like bottled water, cold medicine, throat lozenges, soup, tea, vitamins, and fruit. they had like 4 aisles of frozen food. so much food in this world it’s almost ridiculous how we take this bounty for granted.

almost went through some gross drive-thru but was strong and held out for Abe’s BBQ. so glad i did that. the woman who helped me choose what to get was so nice and i have been driving by Abe’s every day so am so happy to have had the iconic Abe’s finally….

Pork BBQ sandwich from Abe’s BBQ

unlike other BBQ i’ve had, this had super vinegary cole slaw on the sandwich. i liked that — and the meat was pretty freaking great — but it was definitely a tang i wasn’t expecting. the sandwich was hot and delicious and surprisingly light for BBQ. highly recommend.

tamales at Abe’s BBQ

these were spicy as all get out. whoo! but very good.

not sure of the correlation between BBQ and tamales. i’m used to tamales only being served by Spanish-themed restaurants in New York City. but i’m a fan of tamales from my time in Los Angeles pre-riots so i always try them if i can. spicy, like i said. the woman helping me suggested having chili and cheese on top, smothering them, but i think it would’ve been too much for me. i like my tamales dry i think.

the best tamales i ever had — my gold standard as it were — were the tamales from the Von’s right down the street from my apartment on Bimini Place. the Von’s at 3rd and Vermont that got burned down during the Los Angeles Riots. they were amazing. oh man…. just thinking about them. yum.

medicine is working and honestly, i am giving myself a day or so more and then am hitting the road, sick or not. i want to get home soon and see my city that has been hurt so badly. start back up on my life and get things going there.

thanks to anyone still following me on my journeys…

and a look back at what got me here…

Centro-matic’s encore at Wigginstock 2012. “Love Has Found Me Somehow” with Will Johnson demonstrating the dance that is sweeping Denton, Texas, and the world: The Trash Compacter.