Wednesday, November 26, 2008

concentrate on the road ...

chas and i took an early thanksgiving trip to effing roch yesterday, fulfilling our yearly obligation to pacing hwy. 52. we stole out of duluth in mid-afternoon, knowing that without this trip we would spend another six hours with our noses pressed against another season of "weeds." while certainly tempting, the cackles coming from both of us at about the 23-episode mark of our marathon were beginning to sound a little satanic and we both seemed inches from making pop art out of feces and bed sores.

i hate being in cars for a long time. i go completely car crazy. whole stretches of highway will pass and i'll forget i'm driving, only to come to and wonder how long i was unconscious and why it feels like i held sourpatch kids prom on my tongue.

i saw a blue sign alongside the highway at some point that said "concentrate on the road." i read it aloud, then spent 10 minutes wondering if i had really seen that sign or if i was hallucinating.

fact: rochester seems to be a two applebees town.

once in effing roch, we went with my parents to dinner at the redwood room. in the olden days, a playa could bring in their own wine, for a slight corking fee. this was probably aimed toward the hoity toitsters, but with fannie and her retailian coworkers, it was a license to drink 4 dollar wine, eat free bread, and wait for the acoustic guitar player to either get attractive or straight. which ever came first.

i had their spinach salad. this salad is the one time in my strict anti-mushroom diet where i will allow myself to eat a mushroom. cravings for the redwood room's house dressings sometimes wake me in the night, and make me pray for a life where i can have vats of this mess helicoptered to my duluth residence when the whim hits. then chuck and i split this creamy cajun rice dish that tasted so good, but landed in my stomach in a way that suggested i'd been ingesting wrinkle reducing cold cream.

all four of us split white chocolate mousse with raspberry topping that was served at the wrong temperature, and so was like frozen yogurt.

afterward, my mom kept suggesting that we all go back to the house and drink tiramisu martinis. i saw right right through that plan. two chunky alcoholic drinks into the night and we'd be trapped at their house without access to effing roch's sexy night scene. instead we went downtown to a new restaurant/bar that smacked of aces on first, and drank things that cost about the same price as a year-pass for eyebrow waxing.

fact: rochester has a lot of diversity.

we parted ways around 10 p.m., chuck and i stumbling down the street to kathy's pub while the parents pista went home to compare answers to that days sudoku puzzle.
"why, kathy's!" my mom said wide-eyed. "they found a dead body there!" she forgot to mention that this particular crime involved a guy i'd graduated with. also, it didn't happen at kathy's. worst. gossip vessel. ever.

"perfect," chuck said when we walked in. "this place smells like piss."
"i think that's supposed to be popcorn," i said.

my friend beau met up with us. she's recently moved back to effing roch and totally humored our matching delayed circadian rhythm by meeting us at such a late hour on a school night.

we played a few rounds of "where is [name of lourdes high school grad] now," deconstructed "little house on the prairie" and when the time was right, we all went looking for oneniner. why? good question. probably because the zoo was closed. and also because i mentioned his first name and a stranger said "oneniner [last name]? my sister went home with him once."

first stop: rookies. closed early. a friendly waitress named something like moonbeam told us to try gilligan's. i called ahead, ordering a to-go pitcher, claiming i was moonbeam.

we got to gilligan's and oneniner was playing pool. i've always said it only takes two tries to find him in that sleepy town. you just have to look under the right rock.

our meeting was brief. and they hadn't made us a pitcher. moonbeam had squashed that bit'ness the second we left rookies. moonbeam? if you're reading this? fun.sucker.

beau dropped us off at the parents pista's place. we layed on the air mattress eating pepper jack cheese, and then it was off to my separate bedroom an entire floor away. this is okay, this separate beds thing. it's give and take: they don't let me share a surface with my 35 year old live in boyfriend of two plus years and as a payback, i don't give them their much-wanted additional grandchild.

i woke at 10 a.m. with a false, still drunk, awakeness and danced around the house greeting my parents. then i went to check on chuck and took a two hour nap with him on the airmattress. as i drifted off, i imagined doing a stand up routine that would somehow say that sleeping on an air mattress sounds a lot like making balloon animals. [i haven't really honed this yet.]

fact: ma pista doesn't know what an iphone is.

we spent the day looking at pictures of me from when i had a mullet. i broke my dad's computer by uninstalling aol. my mom made me listen to some song about when your little girl grows up from the movie "mama mia!" all while watching my face closely to see if i have a heart. i rolled my eyes and asked her to stop acting like i'm her exboyfriend. we had really good eggs with spinach and feta. my mom went into great detail about her recent trip to italy. great detail. this ended with her calling me an "agnostic." then an "atheist." i prefer to think of myself as a borderline vegetarian.

we drove back to duluth. it took about 40 hours. i made a taco dip for thanksgiving at chuck's sister's house. the last time i made food that was consumed by members of the chuckerstein family, it was spat out into a garbage can. some people don't like rosemary butter cookies. i kind of get that.

fact: on the way back chuck saw the "concentrate on the road" sign.


Beret said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

"and wait for the acoustic guitar player to either get attractive or straight. which ever came first." I dribbled coffee on my pajamas thanksalot. Hee!

Last time I was in effin Roch the Redwood Room was packed and the wait was way too long. I will definitely go there next trip.

I think my parents would still like me and Sean to sleep in separate rooms in their house and we've been married 9 years now.

Amy said...

oh the wedwood woom. oh kathy's. kathy's is haunted you know. we need to go to rochester at the same time someday.

chuck said...

For clarification: When I said "Perfect. This place smells like piss," I wasn't being snarky. I was genuinely happy that it smelled like that. After selecting $12 beers from the "Philosophical" section of a drink menu, I really needed to go to a real bar, or at least Rochester's facsimile thereof.

Anonymous said...

Can you fix this post so that the Charlie Brown music plays in the background?

Kristabella said...

Wow, even my grandma knows what an iPhone is.

I've been to Rochester once. We stayed at a Hampton Inn by the Mayo Clinic, so there were lots of sick people with IVs in the lobby. And we ate at some BBQ place.

Whiskeymarie said...

The first time I cooked for the Mr's family when we were dating, I made homemade bread with parmesan and sundried tomatoes swirled in it. My now brother in-law (Maurey's husband) thought that my mother in-law had made it. He took one look at it and went, "What the hell is THIS?"
The horrified look on his mother's face was priceless. I still occasionally give him a hard time about that one.
For the record- it was damn good bread.

I love that you call it "effen roch" every time you write it.

Lauren said...

By any chance, were the rosemary butter cookies from Vegetarian Times magazine? I'm making VT's lemon rosemary butter cookies for a family cookie/candy-making thing next month and, well, don't want them to spit 'em out. :)

christina said...

yes, they were from vt. i really liked them and so did my friends. i say go forth with them. they're different, but good.

nanners said...

tell your mom to call me about italy. i think i saw her at the TGIF in mantua.

Miss Kate said...

Your life with Chuck closely resembles my life with Dave in one very important way" the waking up and relaxing part. While we usually internet half the day away, we had his mom with us for SIX DAYS and our equilibrium was off - relaxed coffee induced internetting was replaced with Mom-entertaining. So going to effing roch was maybe not such as bad thing as hosting a holiday. (???)

My VERY Catholic FMIL actually out grandchild pressure on me this week. All I kept thinking was "we have to sleep in separate beds when we're in Ely, and we're unmarried, living in sin, and I'm Protestant, yet you want grandbabies? REALLY?"

Miss Kate said...
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