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January 2008 Archives

January 18, 2008

What are you, my mother?

Yes, yes! I'm going to start blogging regularly again by Monday 1/21/08.
(Guess I kinda just did, though, huh?)
I hereby give my Royal Oath that I shall blog at least twice per week.

January 20, 2008

On The Road, Again... Bus Conversion Style

Tim's idea of nirvana is to be at the helm of a powerful engine. Mine is to ride on that engine in first class. (Quit petting the cat - both hands on the wheel!)

We are officially on the road again. Headed to Crescent City, CA. Tim’s doing some locum tenens there. More on why in a future entry. For now:

Our first day out from Boulder provided a rather nostalgic look back at our meltdown cruise of June 2004 – our very first trip in our bus. This time, we actually did get an early start, as all our electronics were in working order, thanks to Frank at Eagle Sat. It also helped that it didn’t pour rain or hail. And, even better yet, the bus door didn’t fly open at 60 mph – three times – nearly sucking me out.

Passing by the Flying J in Rock Springs, WY (the highway still under construction, just as it had been the first day of that meltdown cruise. Since we went to the 49th state later on in our bus year, I just have to ask: How come it took less than eight months to complete the nearly fifteen-hundred-mile Alaska Highway, while this considerably less footage of interstate... ?) We saluted Western Wyoming Community College which gave us refuge that first, awful night. Fortunately, no pet peed in our bed out of terror (or anything else) this time.

West of Salt Lake City, we passed a motel where Tim pulled over on Day Two of our historic (or in my case, hysteric) meltdown cruise, when he let the brakes cool down after they nearly caught fire on the treacherous mountain passes. Today, more than three years later, he finally fessed up he hadn’t actually stopped back then because he wanted a donut. Blog%20entry%202.JPG

This cell tower was on the Salt Flats to the west of SLC. Tim said they were attempting to "disguise" it into a work of art. Us both being shrinks, we agreed it screams of sexual repression. Sometimes a cigar really isn't just a cigar.

January 24, 2008

Battle Mountain: Half-Way to Everywhere

That's what the sign said. Really. I wish I had been quick enough to take a picture of it as we whizzed by on I-80.
But, all I got was this one.

Ever since we first drove by (well pre-bus), on one of our trips to see Tim’s family in Reno, I’ve been fascinated with the place, largely because it epitomized what I saw as the idiocy of the Western custom to brand their peaks, no matter how peak-ed. I never saw this phenomenon in the East, but out west it seemed that any town with even a pimple of a hill felt the compulsion to slap a large letter on it. Why? Did they fear the mount would wander into a rival town’s pasture? So, it’s become a sort of tradition every time we pass Battle Mountain, that I take a picture of…


Battle Mountain was once crowned the “Armpit of America” by the Washington Post. See the article by Gene Weingarten here. It’s one of the funniest things I've ever read. Made me spill more Diet Coke out of my nose ruining my keyboard than Morty ever has walking on my desk. If that isn't enough incentive for you, you'll find out everything you've ever wanted to know about Battle Mountain - and so much more.

When we read Jeannette Walls wonderful bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle, in our book group, I was so tickled to learn she and her family spent a year there during her crazy childhood. I became the maven in our group for all things BM. Quite an honor. Even for a Queen.

January 26, 2008

Opposites Attract, But Why Should I Suffer?

My fabulous website designer, Steve Bennett of AuthorBytes forwarded this article to me. It's full of exclamation and other silly points about how, even if a couple consists of polar opposites (like Tim and me), they can still enjoy vacationing together at certain resorts with spas, cooking classes and wine for her, but golf, fishing and beer for him.

How lovely for these mythical couples. For us, on the other hand…

Queen: Honey, let’s go to Cabo! I can take a conch cooking lesson [yeah, I know, WTF? But it’s in that stupid article], picnic with tame iguanas [ditto] and you can go deep sea fishing and work on your golf swing!

Consort: I don’t like fishing and I don’t have a golf swing.

Q: Well, I don’t like cooking and I hate bugs.

C: Iguanas aren’t bugs.

Q: Close enough.

C: So, why should we go to Cabo?

Q: What else will we do on vacation?

C: Live on the bus.

Q: That’s why we should go to Cabo.

As an aside, this does remind me that when we were in Death Valley during our bus year, we actually saw a woman taking her iguana for a hike: death%20valley%20iguana%20%28Small%29%20border.JPG I stayed far away from that bug.

January 30, 2008

A Global Mid-Life Crisis?

Last night on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Dr. Nancy Snyderman reported on an interesting phenomenon: that no matter where you live in the world, it seems that your happiness takes a dip in mid-life. Apparently, if you make it through this downturn, your happiness then zooms up again to equal what it was in your younger years. A global mid-life crisis. Then, this morning, FOX News' Sheppard Smith reported on the same study. Apparently, in the U.S. this dip occurs for women in their mid-40s, while for men a little later, around 50. But, in general, this is, indeed, a global phenomenon.

It is a small world, after all.

Interesting that they could study this. It has seemed to me that in mid-life, there's a natural tendency to ask, "Is this all there is?" And, if you're dissatisfied with the answer, a drop in happiness ensues for several years, until you can figure it all out.

Tim and I experienced this (both in our 40s - he's always been rather precocious). It's why we did the "bus thing" in the first place. Like many people, until we reached our late 30s, we had gone through life feeling rather invincible. Not only was it inconceivable that something bad could ever happen to us, even our very mortality seemed suspect. When we hit our 40s, this changed, as our contemporaries experienced sudden, unexpected tragedies: A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. A colleague died of a heart attack in his sleep. Both of us, for the first time, could feel creaks and aches in bones we hadn’t thought about since anatomy class. Over the years, as psychiatrists, we each had treated people in our practices who had looked forward to all they planned to do in retirement, but when the time came, were too ill to travel or too devastated by the death of a spouse to live out their dreams.

Those lessons started hitting home as we officially breached middle age. We knew we were fortunate in that we would always have jobs; neurosis is a growth industry, after all. We could afford to do the "bus thing" now and go back to work later.

Unfortunately, it seems Tim has taken this now scientific phenomenon as "proof" he should buy a Corvette. Since he just turned 50, he figures maybe the bus thing wasn't really his mid-life crisis after all, but if he gets the sports car of his dreams, he can forestall the Big Dip.

It was really pathetic to watch a grown man stare at the TV during Dr. Snyderman's story and plaintively whine, "Corvette... Corvette... Corvette... "

Even more pathetic when he's pining away for his new toy while inside his hugely powerful old one - a 40,000 bus.

January 31, 2008

This Bus Is Trying To Kill Me, Again

Alfred E. Newman has nothing on me.

Today, I had to venture out of the bus (I know you're shocked, but Tim wasn't home) to get something from the bay (since it relates to cat pee, I'll spare you the details).

Understand that when you open the bay doors, they don't just open, but sort of extend upward and swing out. Contrary to what you may think, in spite of my royal status, over the years I've opened them many times (three constitutes "many," right?) So, why I was unprepared for this, I have no idea. Anyway, the door smacked me in the mouth - hard. Hard enough to chip my front tooth. In my designer duds and fetching new grin, this Princess looks like Eva Gabor must have felt on Green Acres. (Oh, great. In addition to looking really weird, I've now totally dated myself. So, why not go for the gusto and debase myself even more? Fine. I'm such a vidiot, I can even tell you the name of little hamlet their farm was in. Ready? Hooterville. Yup.)

I found a dentist, the fabulous Dr. Gerber, to see me right away and he filed it. (He didn't even charge me. I guess he was star struck having royalty in his chair and all.) It's actually not so bad. I can say that now that it's after 5 pm. While I absolutely adhere to "it's always 5 o'clock somewhere," it's just a little harder to justify while we're on the west coast - although not today. (Today though, it's purely medicinal, of course.)

I'm such a klutz. I always have bruises all over my body I have no recollection of getting. With all my black and blue, I'm afraid people will think I'm a battered woman.

I'm not paranoid. Really. I'm not. It's just that, after so many disasters in this bus, so many times of nearly getting killed, not to mention terribly inconvenienced and potentially humiliated (the nudist RV park comes to mind), I really can't be blamed for feeling this rig has it in for me. Maybe it wants Tim all for it - or her - self. After what he said to me after surveying the damage (to his precious bus, not me), she can have him:

"You know, after you chipped your tooth, you didn't actually shut the cargo door. Instead, you forced the latch back down, so now it's bent. Next time make sure the cargo bay door is actually closed before you close the latch." As I've said before about my psychiatrist husband, "He gave at the office." His current retort to that brilliant observation?

"Well, this bus has over 200,000 miles on it, yet it's only when you interacted with them that anything's happened to the bay doors."

Like I said.

Today did remind me, however, of something a bit more compassionate Tim said to me on our trip (this, during a hike in Death Valley, when I became hysterical at the sight of a bug* so disgusting, I still don't know how it can stand itself): "I always say you should get out more, but maybe that's not such a good idea."

I'll drink to that!

*I had originally "mistyped" "bus" instead of "bug." Ya don't need to be a shrink to figure that one out.

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About January 2008

This page contains all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in January 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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