Saturday, July 14, 2012

Road Trip Day 3!

This morning, we went to the memorial of the Oklahoma City bombing. Living in Jenny and Donna time, we planned to run by there after breakfast, go see the Capitol building, check out Bricktown, take pics of the milk bottle, and be in Branson by 1:00 (at least five hours away). However, the memorial was stunning. Heart breaking. Profound. It was noon before we left. Following are some pictures that I took at the Murrah Building site. Unfortunately, due to my stupid gene, I am attempting to blog from my phone where the pictures that I downloaded on my computer just show up as goobledy goop computer code. So, I can't comment on individual pictures because .... well, I don't know where they are. So, I'll just make all my comments and let you figure out what pictures go with what comments on your own. Pretend that it's a little game. Of the memorial pictures, I think my favorite one is of the full coffee pot in the middle of the destroyed office. It seemed to symbolize what appeared to be the randomness of the devastation that day. There were numerous stories of survivors in offices where everyone else was killed. They were like the coffee pot. I personally don't believe in randomness or "the luck of the draw". But I can see why some people do hold that belief as true. To change the tone of the day, we did run by the milk bottle on our way out of town. The milk bottle is in top of an itty-bitty Vietnamese restaurant. What a tiny little building it is. Since we had to pick Nina up at 6:00 outside of Branson and we didn't get out of Oklahoma City until nearly 1:00, we had to rush and not make our willy-nilly Americana stops but... I couldn't pass up on the interstate-spanning McDonalds. I mean, if that's not white trash Americana, what is? The trip to Branson was gorgeous. Since our primary and initial destination in Missouri was a rural church camp, our GPS took us on little tiny country roads. I thought everything was amazingly beautiful but, to be honest, I have to say that I'm not used to trees like there are here and they really do make me a bit claustrophobic. While searching the flat plains of Amarillo yesterday, looking for the giant pair of legs, I told Donna that I felt most comfortable where I can see all the way to the horizon. When I am in the flatlands, I feel secure in knowing what's coming. In fact, I was busy yesterday waxing poetic about possible generational memories being handed down to me of shading my eyes with my hand and looking out toward the horizon through the fields, searching for possible dangers. In fact, I was busy giving myself goosebumps with the memories of countless aproned McAuley women before me who passed on their strength of spirit when Donna said, "So now you're saying that instead of being a princess, you're a pioneer? I don't think so.". Poopy-head. She rained on my parade. Anyway, I thought about that again today when the trees seemed to get closer and closer and my chest got tighter and tighter. The highlight of the day was seeing my awesome daughter running down the road to me as we drove out to pick her up. Boy, does it ever feel good to be with her again! After dinner at a Golden Corral that had changed its name and was pretending to be a high falutin' buffet (but wasn't), we checked in to a really wonderful resort. Our dwelling for the next two days has a has fireplace that's really nice if you turn up the air-conditioner real high and pretend that it's not July, a Jacuzzi tub, and (my favorite) - a SCREENED-IN PORCH! It's lovely. Tomorrow, we're riding the ducks in the morning (tour buses that turn into boats), seeing the Titanic museum in the afternoon (I know, we're in Branson, Missouri -I don't know what that has to do with the Titanic either!), and I've already figured out that there's enough kitschy, white trash, redneck, people-of-Walmart-looking Americana stuff in this town to keep me happy for weeks! I've already seen photo-ops for tomorrow including a life size pink gorilla and another really big chicken! Love, WTJ (figure that out and you win the prize)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 2 Of The Kitschy Americana Road Trip!!!

I don't know how long it's supposed to take to get from Amarillo to Oklahoma City. 

Donna and I left the hotel at 10:00 this morning and rolled into Oklahoma City at 7:30 tonight.  But, boy....... did we have fun today looking at the funky and tacky of America!

We started out this morning with the goal of finding "the big pair of legs" that Stanley Marsh built in a field outside of Amarillo. 

I don't know a lot about Stanley Marsh but I do know that he is a wealthy Texan in Amarillo, a recovering alcoholic, he's a prankster, and has a sense of humor that I value and love.  He's the one who built Cadillac Ranch on some of his property.

We read about these tall legs that he built to honor his favorite poem by Percy Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desart. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Not really knowing how to work our GPS system (well, really it was because Donna was leading), we initially ended up out in the middle of nowhere.  Really.  I mean  - we had to stop when the dirt road deadended.  After taking the time to figure out the GPS, we finally found this:

I, of course, wanted to stand next to them.  I'm always looking for big things to stand next to to make myself look skinny. 

So first, I actually thought I could get through this:
Heehee, talk about body dismorphia!

Then I realized that I would have to crawl through the barbed-wire fence:

Then I got an owie ---
 --- and decided that I was too old and too fat to crawl through a barbed-wire fence and go traipsing off through a field.  In my flip-flops.

As I got back in the car, a new beautiful white pickup drove up to us and an old man in a Bing Crosby-looking hat said, "You girls OK?"

I explained that we were trying to get into the field to see the legs up close.  He said "what is that?" and pointed to the marker next to the road that is an example of Stanley Marsh's pranks.  The marker talks about how Percy Shelley and his wife were crossing the plains of Texas and came across the giant legs and that that was when Shelley wrote Ozymandias.  The marker also talks about how the original marker was stolen by students from Lubbock, blah, blah, blah. 

The marker is obviously a joke.

Anyway, when the old man asked what it was, I told him it was a marker.  He said he thought it was a dumpster and was going to dump his trash in it.  He told us to have a good day and drove off.

Later, Donna and I were talking about how nice Texans are.  And how nice it was for that old man to come check on us.  And how it was weird that he lived around there (because, really, it's in the middle of nowhere) and he didn't know about the legs and the marker and he thought it was a dumpster and he didn't have any trash in his pick-up anyway.......

Later as we were looking for Floating Mesa, another Stanley Marsh prank, we googled Stanley Marsh and found a picture of him, taken in May, in a Bing Crosby-looking hat.  IT WAS THE SAME MAN, IN THE SAME HAT, WHO HAD TALKED TO US THAT MORNING BY THE GIANT LEGS!

I was so excited!

After another hour of driving around, we finally found Floating Mesa where Mr. Marsh had a large bluish/white banner put around a mesa to make it look like the top was floating.

Oops, I just deleted the picture of that.  Wasn't too cool anyway.

Then, we went to Cadillac Ranch - a place I have to visit every time I go to Amarillo.  It is such a strange bit of Americana.  Stanley Marsh buried twelve Cadillacs, nose first, in a field.  People from all over flock to the field to spray paint the Cadillacs.  Including us. 
Donna at Cadillac Ranch.

Writing "We Were Here":

I tried to write "Nina" but ran out of paint:

Then, off we went to find the Texas-shaped swimming pool so I could stick my toes in it:

After my yearly stop at the "Jesus Chris Is Our Lord Travel Center" - which I have to go to because I just think it is so w.e.i.r.d. .....

.... We went to the Volkswagen Bug graveyard where five VW bugs are buried.  (Cadillac Ranch copycats!!!!!!)

As we continued to make our way toward Oklahoma in what is beginning to look a lot like a buried car/gas station tour, we stopped at the first Phillips 66 gas station in Texas.  It was TINY and very cute!
See?  I should stand only by big things, not tiny things.  This little house makes me look like a giant.

But, an employed giant.

As we got close to the Texas/Oklahoma border, I started to feel wistful about my state.  So I made sure that the first Texas sign I saw, I kissed!

And then to another gas station - this one a Conoco that was the model for "Ramon's", the garage in the movie, Cars.

Here's the real one.  Isn't the art deco beautiful?  Doesn't my talking about art deco make me sound more sophisticated?  Art deco, art deco, art deco.

And here's a model of the one from Cars.

We ate dinner in El Reno, Oklahoma - the Home of the Fried Onion Burgers.  They are really quite amazing.  I've decided that fried onion burgers are the only way to eat 'em!!!!

I'd like to come back next May 7th for the 25th Annual Fried Onion Burger Festival in El Reno.

And we ended the day in the best swimming pool in the state of Oklahoma - which just happened to be at our Baymont Hotel.  Whodathunkit.

A memorial to POWS in El Reno brought tears to my eyes.

You know, unfortunately I don't have the moolah to take trips to distant countries or ocean voyages.  Hell, I can't even pay for Nina to FLY back to New Mexico from Missouri.

But, I can make the best of a road trip and make it Fun with a capital F. 

We have really cool things here right under our noses.

Traveling Jenny (and Donna)

P.S.  Tomorrow, we're going to see a giant milk bottle!  Can't wait!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm Blogging About Not Blogging

Today, three wonderful people asked me why I wasn't blogging.  

Well, to be honest, I'm not blogging because I'm fucking up.

I'm running around Jennyland having a great summer.  Family reunions, high school reunions, road trips, swimming, playing, barbequing, driving around with friends, drinking, facebooking, reading, laughing, obsessing on Sons Of Anarchy and Breaking Bad, seeing movies about men stripping, doing crossword puzzles, looking at Pinterest, making white trash crafts, staying up late, getting up late, going out to eat, yada, yada, yada......

I'd say I've been screeching around Jennyland with my eyes closed.  Or at least, severely squinted.   I have not been watching myself.  I have not been watching what goes into myself.  This morning, I didn't even get on the scales.

Lots of fun but not much control. 


Yes, there is a however.  Do you think that's the same thing as a rationalization?

However,  I don't feel like I've gone back to old behaviors.  I don't have a "well, screw it" attitude.  I don't feel hopeless.  Or helpless. 

I feel like a commercial.  It's like  an old radio show "Jenny Loses Weight" has been on for the last nine months, and then in mid-June, the announcer said "and now, a word from our sponsor" and, we break for a commercial. 

And then, there is this amazing commercial all about spontaneity and laughter and enjoying life!

But the commercial will soon end and the announcer will say, "and now, we return to (drum roll) Jenny Loses Weight".

Shit.  As I write this, I can hear grown-up Jenn (who's pretty weak, right now) saying, "Oh, give me an effing break!  You are so full of c.a.c.a!" 

And, I guess I am. 

I don't feel comfortable blogging about screwing up because:
1.  I don't want people to feel like they need to give me a pep talk or reassurance.  I am always giving myself a pep talk (otherwise known as a "come to Jesus meeting"). 
2.  I read really wonderful blogs written by successful weight losers.  Anti-Jared, the guy in Ponca City Oklahoma, Lynn........    There blogs are helpful because .... they did it
I'm not in that place right now.  For me to blog while I'm in this place is just drivel.  And not the slobber or drool kind of drivel, but the stupid, childish talk kind of drivel. 

It's not that I'm trying to hide anything.  Y'all should know, I'm not good at that.

Here's the stats:
* I spent weeks weighing 204.
* I weighed 201.5 for two days.
* Yesterday, I weighed 211.
* Tonight when I had my size 16 swimsuit on, I keep experiencing the scary visualization that if someone bumped into me, I would respond like a can of biscuits that has been knocked against a counter.  My swimsuit would POP open with a earsplitting noise and my body would balloon out over the sides!

Oooh.  Gross. 

Here's what I've learned:
Because of what some other people said, I thought I would actually lose MORE weight during the summer.  I know many people who gain during the winter and lose during the summer because they are more active, they eat a more healthy and fresh diet, they are less stressed, they have more time to focus on themselves and their needs.......

That isn't how I roll.  I need the structure of the school year to help me make better choices.

I hate to admit it, but structure grounds me. 

During the school year, I .....
...wake up earlier
...take something healthy to work for breakfast my little Lean Cuisines or bowls of soup for lunch
...drink water while in my office
...exercise on a regular basis through Jazzercize at work or going to the Y with co-workers an early dinner, frequently at Subway
...go to bed earlier

During the summer, I.....
...sleep until some time between 10 and noon
...go out to eat Huevos Rancheros or a big ole Chili Works burrito if I eat any breakfast at all
...don't drink any water (I actually can't remember the last time I drank water right now)
...hang out at the pool and call it exercise
...drink more sodas and more alcohol dinner late in the evening
...stay up late
...and snack

It's like I spend the school year walking on a grid like Pac Man - going straight, turning corners, very predicable and organized.

(For the purpose of this imagery, let's ignore the fact that Pac Man EATS everything in sight.)

And it's like, in the summer, I am Dug, the dog in Up, standing in a flat field full of squirrels, looking around and screaming "SQUIRREL!" before running off in God's knows which direction. 

Ya see the difference?

I really appreciate Deezer and Lorna and Max for saying something to me about blogging.  You are what motivated me to blog tonight. 

I will be back. 
To consciousness.
To the real world.
To blogging.

Thank God I return to work August 7th. 

I love you guys,
Dug Jenn