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October 2008 Archives

October 3, 2008

Make Mine a Double

A little while back (oh, who am I kidding? Quite a while, actually - I'm hopelessly behind) the Brookfield Library (in Brookfield, natch - that's Connecticut, people), chose Queen of the Road as that month's (I'm embarrassed to say which) book club pick. They have two groups that meet on the same day, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I'm not sure which picture goes with which group, but we did have two lovely discussions.


Adele Brudnicki, Carolyn Nuzzi, Elena Goletz, and Jan Furlong smile for the camera with their copies of Queen of the Road!


From left to right, Library Director Anita Barney, Wendy Youngblood, Kathleen Olivieri, Judith Fisher, Ann Dupree, and Norma Fogarty pose with copies of Doreen's book.

(You can see several more pictures of the lovely ladies and their discussion on the library's flicker page.)

October 11, 2008

On the Road Again (Again)

Ah, the romance of the road:

Spending the night before we leave in the warehouse where the bus is stored, so we can get one of our patented "early starts." Right. (Well, it always sounds like a good plan.) It's also where Tim has an office. (Anyone know any other shrinks that office in a warehouse? Wonder why anyone would go see him there? There's a psychiatrist shortage, people. Well, OK. He's also really, really good.)


Filling up at the scenic diesel station:


Making sure the glasses in the wine rack don't break. (Yes, those are socks. And yes, if Tim doesn't give me enough time to break out clean sock condoms, I grab them from the laundry bin in the cabinet right across the aisle, thus giving new meaning to the term, "dirty martini." What do you want from me?)


Trying to get WiFi in the campground in the morning after our first day on the road. The office wasn't open yet and it was sunny (and, yes, the sign does say, "West Wendover" - don't ask)...


Yet another scenic spot: Battle Mountain, NV, designated the Armpit of America by the Washington Post. (When you have a few minutes, click on that link to read the article. You'll thank me - it's hysterical.)


And for those of you who can make out the "BM" in this photo, I'm not sayin' Tim's a doo-doo head. Geez.


More on our rather quick, get-out-of-town departure, later. But, what "romance of the road" have you experienced?

October 13, 2008

More Romance of the Road

We did manage to get a fairly early start (like 8 am) out of Reno. This was largely accomplished by Tim getting up at the crack of 6:30, leaving me snoozing in the bedroom, coming back in at 7:55 am and announcing, "We're leaving in 5 minutes." Well, he knows I hate it when he wakes me by starting up the engine. Can you blame me? It's directly under our bed.

Since I had 5 minutes to get ready, I can assure you it was not going to be spent getting dressed. It's not like I was going anywhere... sort of.

And, yes, even though Tim likes to frequently inform me that, "Decent people get dressed in the morning," my response is that decent people must be idiots. I just don't see why that is considered "normal," but apparently, it is. Like the time Tim was working on another house and the plumber he hired came to our house by mistake at 1 pm. I answered the door (I think I was in my pink, flannel, poodle PJs) and gave him the correct address, thinking nothing more of it. The plumber fell over himself apologizing when he did show up, saying, “I’m so, so sorry to have bothered your wife, seeing how she was sick and all.” Tim said he wanted to make the poor man feel better by assuring him I was not ill, but that would have been too mortifying for my long-suffering husband. His problem, no?

When we stopped for diesel hours later outside Medford, I sat up front while Tim filled up - still in my nightgown. It’s just a grey flannel Eddie Bauer and I couldn’t understand why several truckers were grinning as they looked through our windshield. Had they really been on the road so long they thought grey flannel was sexy?

“You’re quite a sight,” Tim clarified.

I see.

Since pumping diesel into a 179 gallon tank can take a while, I opened my laptop to see if there was any free WiFi to be had. There was. Obviously, one of the truck stop's neighbors did not appreciate having his WiFi purloined all the time. He named his connection, "I'M WATCHING GAY PORNO." Works for me.

Later, Tim stopped for lunch on a highway turnout. He said it would be warmer outside and he wanted to eat sitting in the forest. My husband, the environmentalist. So, I layered:


Note the grey, flannel nightgown, which I hastily threw pink velour sweat pants under (those pine needles are pointy!), my fuzzy, anti-slip socks (our bus has laminate floors), which I even mnore hastily threw slippers over to go outside. All this spiffily topped off by yet another Eddie Bauer accoutrement - a flannel vest I got at a used clothing store. Look, it's gauche mixing designers.

“I’ve seen homeless better dressed than you.” Tim clarified, again. But, this time, I wasn't asking, was I?

All was not lost in terms of road romance, as we got a glimpse Mt. Shasta:


But, then, we hit the dreaded Hwy 199. I had forgotten how - well, here is what I wrote in QUEEN OF THE ROAD about it:

The hairpin turns up Highway 199 from California almost did me in. On the plus side, the drive substantially enhanced my clinical skills as it made me understand why psychotics engage in what therapists term “self-quieting behavior” (rocking, word repetition, twirling hair, etc.). This psychiatrist’s mantra as we twisted over Highway 199 became the rather unimaginative but still evocative, “Kill me kill me kill me kill me.” The words somehow making their way to my lips before I was even aware they’d formed in my brain.

Minutes went by before I even realized what I was saying. The error was immediately apparent. I’m not afraid of dying. I’m afraid of dying like this. My newest new mantra then became, “Kill me, but not like this . . . kill me, but not like this . . .”

The sign for 199 said, "Crescent City
Ocean Beaches"

I asked Tim, "Why not something really useful like, 'Horribly windey road – better tranquilize wife'" But, as always, he had his own suggestion, "Or, better yet, 'Stuff a Rag In Her Mouth.'"

What a guy.

The two-lane road is so windy, he really could not take his eyes off it. And, even with his careful driving, we were nearly creamed by some idiot who just HAD TO pass us on a tight turn, causing Tim to hit the brakes (remember, this is a 40,000 lb bus, towing a car, people), so none of us would collide with an oncoming car.

Tim is fond of saying I'm concrete as a sidewalk. I don't disagree, especially after what happened next: Due to his now really not wanting to take his eyes off the road, he asked me to look on the dashboard and "press the light bulb."

What do you think I did?


If you guessed, "She's concrete as a sidewalk. She must have pressed the actual bulb on the right, not the light bulb insignia on the left that actually does something," we have a winner!

What do you want from me?

October 21, 2008

There Goes The Neighborhood

Can you blame us for high-tailin' it out of Boulder for the winter? This is what we have to put up with:

Congested traffic...



Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


Peeping Chip (or Dale).

Really, can you blame us?

Next, Why I sent my husband to prison (this time).

October 26, 2008

Tim's in the Big House! (Again)

I had Tim sent to prison. He hates when I say that. So...

Tim's in prison!
Tim's in prison!
Tim's in prison!

Just like last year.

Alene called up, said she had a job opening for at least two months and within a week, we hit the road. Our goal when we get back is to do a final push (fine - for Tim to do a final push), get the house on the market by spring and sell that sucker so we can full time in the bus.

Yes, I know our timing couldn't be better with the way housing prices are, but hey - diesel prices are definitely declining (for now).

Since Alene doesn't do much internet, I'll repeat here what I said about her in QUEEN OF THE ROAD:

Alene is one of my best friends from residency. We’re about as different as friends can be: She was never interested in private practice. She had no patience for patients with “issues.” She wanted to go where the need was greatest, to treat the sickest of the sick, so she became the first female psychiatrist to work on San Quentin’s death row. Now she’s chief of psychiatry at Pelican Bay State Prison, which houses some of California’s most dangerous inmates. And we’re still about as different as friends can be: I wear designer duds. She wears a slash-proof vest. I go to Mr. Lai for tailoring. She gets her fittings at the armory. When I’m interviewed for a new contract, it’s on the phone in the safety and comfort of my own home. When she interviews for a job, she must first sign a waiver acknowledging the “no hostage policy” (and this after passing the sign helpfully informing all comers “NO WARNING SHOTS FIRED.”) She always laughed at me for my sheltered life. I always told her, “Thank God for sheltered.” After the bus thing, I bet she thinks my life is less sheltered. Then again, maybe not.

We spent an afternoon with Alene and her partner, Debra, at their lovely home near San Luis Obispo. As a dog person (who is also allergic to cats, but has acclimated to ours over the years), Tim could not understand their living with eight felines (they also had one very understanding terrier). I promptly informed him that if I were living alone, I’d probably have twice that number. He wasn’t so much impressed as horrified. Debra, ever the caring hostess, laid out towels for us and offered that we use their shower and other indoor plumbing, thinking that surely living in a bus for a year meant we’d been roughing it. As I said, it’s Alene and I who have been close.

We're staying at the same RV Park as last year - the exact same spot, as a matter-of-fact (let's just say they're not real busy during what's supposed to be the rainy season), right on the beach:


Although, it can get crowded at times:


The guy would be certifiable, if I could catch him to do the evaluation. Not that I tried - or would want to. It's probably best to keep one's distance from a guy who's idea of a good time is to fly sitting in a glorified lawn chair with a leaf blower attached to the back. Just 'cause he's a bit off, why should I suffer?

Finally... just a quick word about dearreader.com. It's a free and utterly fabulous site for book lovers. I've been a "subscriber" (remember, it's free) for years. You can sign up for books in any genre, then every week, Monday through Friday, Suzanne Beecher sends you an email with an excerpt. By Friday, you've read the entire first chapter. It's a great way to be exposed to a lot of books so you can decide what you then want to buy or check out of a library. I'm mentioning it now, because QUEEN OF THE ROAD is going to be the nonfiction selection for the week of November 3rd. We're also including an author chat, so I encourage you all to sign up and head on over.

You and your democracies. Return to the monarchy, subjects - all is forgiven!

October 28, 2008

I Felt the Earth... Move... Under My Bus

I was minding my own business, wide awake in bed the other night at 2:30 am (don't ask) when I felt our bus shake. We haven't moved from that large campground in Crescent City, and are still right on the ocean. I knew there was no wind. I got up and peered out all the windows into the dark, to see if there was a prowler/prankster/town drunk/giant pelican.


The next day, I got this email from someone who has read QUEEN OF THE ROAD (obviously, a woman of impeccable taste) and now keeps up with our travels: Heard there was an earthquake south of Eureka...did the queen get shaken out of her berth?

Thing is, Annette's traveling in Cambodia (and you think I move around, alot), yet she knew there was a 5.1 at 2:30 am and I didn't.

I think I have to start reading the local papers, or something. Isn't there some kind of election next week? You and your silly democracies. Come back to the monarchy, subjects! All is forgiven!

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About October 2008

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

September 2008 is the previous archive.

November 2008 is the next archive.

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