Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nap Nightmare

Earlier this afternoon, I decided to take a peaceful weekend nap. Two hours later, I woke up breathing heavy and fearing for my life. Here's what happened in this "dream":

A friend was in town, and she was helping me at work. It seemed that I worked at a grocery store, and was an investigative journalist on the side. However, my friend was really doing all the work - note taking, sleuthing, etc.

Anyways, she was having a beer in the chip aisle, talking about being unemployed in a loud, rude, yet hilarious manner. (Also, weird - this particular friend has a great job.)

The customers start complaining to me about it, so I tell her to take it easy as "corporate settings" are little more sensitive than what she's used to. (WHAT?! Better keep an eye out for Human Resources in the chip aisle.)

This is when I notice Special Agent Dale Cooper from the show Twin Peaks in the Coffee Bean area. He tells us that there's not much time and we need to leave now. He instructs us to meet him somewhere that I didn't write down, so I have my friend text him in the cab.

Once in the cab, I realize we are in some European city - probably Paris. There's a lot of activity going on, like a huge parade. The cab is making it's way through a crowd and I see my old boyfriend dressed in a Spiderman costume with his friend. My friend and I look out and yell at them something like, "I will always love you! Just kidding, totally just kidding." We must be back in America at this point.

I see one of my bosses from work with a megaphone telling everyone to take shelter. Sirens start to ring out.

We get to Agent Cooper's destination, which turns out to be the Third Man Records truck, except it's the size of the store.

People are shopping and Country backup singers are sound checking for an upcoming performance. Somehow we are allowed into the sound check where some of my coworker friends are hanging... Cooper is nowhere to be found. Major bummer, what a babe.

That's when the lights go out, and there's a weird noise. Somebody says, "Something's coming. I don't know what." Everyone looks to the horizon, and there's a flash. A storm of missiles come flying at us.

My friend and I are huddled in a corner, and I call my dad to say I love him. He's talking about all the horror where he is. I hear the Third Man truck start up like we are going to try to drive someplace...

...and then I woke up. What the hell is going on in this head of mine?

Friday, April 8, 2011


"I Turbo Taxed that ass." - A funny little phrase I came up with this morning after receiving an email saying that our e-file was being processed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Bussing It Part 3: The Final 15-Hour Stretch

It could've been worse. Awful Freakin' Story. :(

It's true. The last leg of my bus trip was about 15 hours (maybe longer.) I met some nice peeps in the Dallas station. So at least, I kind of knew the type of person I was sitting next to.

This is the what happens when you "Go Greyhound"'re all in the same boat (or should I say "bus?" - ha! *sigh*), so you talk to complete strangers about everything and anything. I was chatting with a new buddy also traveling from Austin to Nashville about SXSW, my desire to have babies this year, and even bad drivers in Massachusetts.

Next thing I know, this good-looking musician-type turns around and starts talking to us. Turns out, he was in Austin playing with a band and he was traveling all the way to Boston - where he lives. Weird-o-rooni.

So, he gives me his CD, and my other buddy and I get in line for the bus. Sure enough, the good-looking musician is on our bus, which was amusing. I tried to think of single friends I could hook him up with, because apparently, I'm a matchmaker.

PS. If you're single and like hot music boys - do NOT miss SXSW. It's Spring Break without the douchebags. Well, I'm sure some are douchebags, but you can't tell on the surface. Whatever the fuck that's supposed to mean ;).

Later on, I looked up this dude's band. Turns out his band plays a lot of shows with my friend's band; a friend from high school that I reunited with at SXSW! Is your mind blown yet? Mine was. Small World.

Now, we're on our way and as I finally start to fall asleep, the bus pulls over and someone says, "We caught a flat y'all." Luckily, that was a false alarm.

You could tell this driver was not in the mood for any funny business, and we had some "characters" on this ride. It seemed like we were picking up more Sketchy Sketchersons with each stop.

I loved this driver. Mostly because I felt safe with him behind the wheel and I felt like he'd cut a bitch if anyone messed with me. I also liked how he pronounced Arkansas as Are-Kansas(/ɑrˈkænzəs/ ar-KAN-zəs - Thanks Wikipedia!).

The driver left the bus for a minute, and when he came back on, he made an announcement that we'd be stopping in a few minutes for a break. As he said that, he noticed that someone must have smoked in the bathroom while he was gone - big no-no.

"I see one of you couldn't wait. Had to have that cigarette. Let me catch you...Let me catch you." Next, we had to get off at a McDonald's (that's what she said, giggity) and I ended up walking in next to a dude in do-rag who seemed nice enough, but definitely thuggish ruggish.

"Damn, I shoulda sat next to you" he said from behind me. I awkwardly smirked and quickly made my way to the restroom to put on some makeup and attempt to brush my teeth with those WISP things.

A mother with the cutest little chubby son and a precious baby girl changed them on the sink next to me. "Uh, there's a table in the handicap bathroom, you know?," someone said. Mom ignored. Really, is there anything more uncomfortable than someone's child staring at you and trying to grab your hair? Oh yes there is, when that child is naked.

Yeah, it was probably a poor decision to "get ready" after I had just got semi-hit on by Easy-E, but I'm not one to repel compliments. Bring it, homeboy.

Hours later, while pulling into the Memphis station, my fave driver asked everyone to pay attention and started giving details about what was going to happen at the Memphis stop: reboarding, "connections," don't stand up until the bus stops moving, etc, etc. Of course, everyone talked over him, and this did NOT make him happy.

You could see his eyes glaring in the rear view mirror at my Do-rag boyfriend and his bus buddy. As soon the driver was done with his spiel, some lady who I had been observing since Austin (and found quite annoying) starts asking questions that the driver JUST answered.

"If you were listening, you'd know the answer to that," he said. We pulled into the Memphis station, and one of the "bad kids" on the bus stood up, when the driver specifically said to wait. The evil stare crept into the rear-view again, to which the kid responded, "What's he gonna do, kick me off the bus? This is my stop." Bad kid, you're a complete dick. Grow up!

Allllllmost - all we needed was to reboard and I'd be in Nashville in 4 hours or so. In the station, a group of us gathered around a secret outlet to charge our phones. One of the guys I talked to told me to be careful of Do-rag man.

He had befriended him at a stop and Do-rag told him to get his phone so they could exchange numbers or something. When he came back, the iPod that he had been charging was gone. Nobody knew where it went. How could you, Do-Rag?

We reboarded and we got a real gem of a driver to Nashville. She was loud, spunky, and would send "Bubba" to get you if you misbehaved. I thought she was a riot, sizing people up and down, looking for trouble-makers, yelling at that mother from the McDonald's bathroom because her adorable chubby son was getting a bit rambunctious.

"I tried to keep my peace, but you need to quiet those babies down."

Before you knew it, well actually, way after I planned to be, I was back in Nashville. Seeing those highway signs was like seeing DisneyWorld signs on family trips from back in the day. I tracked the minutes to escape using Google Maps, and debarked my sweet vessel.

Do-rag let me out with a "See Ya, Lil' Mama." I like lil' mama. That's hot. I bid farewell to my dear friends, and waited for Guy to come pick me up.

I watched good-looking musician get in line to get on yet another bus (poor fella), and also kept an eye on someone's phone while I waited. Guy showed up, and the guy whose phone I was watching wasn't back yet. Guy had to stand with me at the charging station until he came back. I just couldn't get away.

"God, is that what every station is like?," Guy said. I just looked at him. I didn't have the energy to get into it.

We stopped at Taco Bell on the way home, because I think after going through all of that and not eating for 13 hours, I deserve a freakin' quesadilla! Actually, if you read through this ridiculousness, you deserve one too. (I feel required to give you the nutritional info: 28g of fat, 490 calories - OMG!)

Go Greyhound on your next vacation!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bussing It Part 2: Back to Nash - Well, Not Quite Yet.

The trip back to Nashville was far more "entertaining" than the trip to Austin. I decided to take the 7:00PM bus instead of the 7:00AM departure; so I checked out of my hotel room late, and hung around the lobby for a few hours, sipping on Bloody Marys and trying to get pictures uploaded.

Of course, it slipped my mind that Greyhounds also have to deal with traffic. It didn't take long to realize I was going to miss my bus from Dallas to Nashville.
I'll give the driver credit though. He tried to get us there as fast as possible. Getting off at exits, taking the side streets and merging back onto the highway - then doing it all again.

It gave me the worst headache though, like being in an earthquake for 5 five hours; plus, the DVD menu screen for "The Patriot" pumping through the sound system on repeat for the first hour didn't help any.

Eventually, we were treated to a screening of "Fantastic Four." I'm glad I wasn't paying attention because that shit stopped playing halfway through. S.W.A.T was next on the movie schedule, I straight up cackled on some of the one-liners deliverd by Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J.!

Every couple of hours you get a stretch break on the old Greyhound, but as I learned from my past experiences - stay close to that damn bus or your ass is staying there. At one stop, this driver honestly almost left 5 passengers behind.

As we pulled out of the gas station, people were yelling to the front. "Wait!! Not everyone is on!" Two people would rush on, and then a few other people would scream for the driver to wait as he tried to pull out again.

"I'm not your babysitter! You need to be responsible for yourself!," the driver said.

Yeah, no shit, but I think a little announcement in the store before you ruin somebody's trip is in order. For the love! I can't tell if he was joking or not, but even so, should I have to question his sincerity? I'm a customer, damn it.

At times, going Greyhound is like being on an elementary school field trip during your first week at a new school, except on this one, the driver can kick you off the bus and not suffer any repercussions.

My favorite part of this specific ride, was when the lights and radio turned on around 11:30 PM and the bus started blaring George Clinton's "Atomic Dog." Guess it was time for us to wake up! At least it's a cool jam. I looked around at my fellow passengers, smiling ear-to-ear; I guess nobody else saw the humor. Just a bunch of sourpusses.

Mind you, as all this random stuff is happening, you're trying to conserve the power on your electronic devices (unless you get one of the new buses.) I used one of my much needed battery bars on calling my husband for this funky Greyhound moment (actually it was an "Americanos" bus.) He needed to hear for himself the alternate universe I was living in.

The driver closed the night by apologizing for the bumpy ride out of Austin, and mentioned that although ONE of the customers thought he was tired and driving recklessly, he wasn't. He just wanted to get us there, and the majority of the bus seemed appreciative. He wished us all a blessed life, which made my heart tingle. I did everything I could to resist hugging him as we parted ways in Dallas. I should've hugged him.

Now, I had to wait until 3AM for the next bus that would take me to Nashville. I got to say "Hi" to my favorite employee...the cook in the "café" area, and met some new friends at the Dallas station.

More to come! Stay tuned...