07/04/04: road trippin' (across the universe)

Was in Philly last night with Alisa to get some Thai and to talk about the status of of the world. We were gonna see Spiderman 2, but instead we decided the evening was too beautiful, so we walked around the city for a while and found ourselves making late-night s'mores. David Byrne was on la musique, food and libations were tasty, we had the window seat for two with the very comfy chairs, and all was good in the world. On the long walk back to the car, we got stopped by a homeless guy (Tom Harris and his very good dog Queenie) with whom we yakked for a 1/2 hour. The guy rocked, so we gave him our leftovers and a few bucks and I gave him a hug. We're all in this together, folks.

The night before, the HAG and I went to Philly to grab some brie goodness and to see Fahrenheit 9/11 at The Ritz. Dood, I just love seeing movies there; sooo goooood. It was also good to catch up with him, though, as usual, the evening ended with weapons of mass discussion starting at 2:30am which didn't yield any motion whatsoever. Frustration abounds, self-inflicted guilt and pressure are high.

In other news, I lost almost 10 pounds and as of this morning I'm at 135. Very excited about this, but also wary... visions of "Auschwitz Jill" circa January 2003 echo in my head. I mean, losing 10 pounds in a week probably isn't the best thing.

To do: I've gotta catch up with Elam before he leaves for Phoenix to go to video game design school. I have a list of my peeps out there he can call and rely upon; they are aces and Elam is probably the most beautiful human being I know, so it'll be a love-fest to be sure.

Getting psyched for the mini-roadtrip with Rob. He leaves Phoenix today and will be picking me up in Casper, Wyoming on Wednesday around lunchtime. I'm so giddy to see my favorite stuff as well as nerdy wonk geography goodies: the US Center Point, a million tripoints as well as The Cosmos (Uber-wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!). We're gonna be camping (this is very good), but we're not forbidding the crashing in a totally cheezy teepee-shaped 1950s motel or something.

So here's the itinerary, a la Rob (can you tell that he is a geographer/cartographer?)
Wednesday 7/7 - drive from Evanston to Lusk, WY - come 'n' get Jillo at the Casper, WY Airport at noontime(?) perhaps try and find the SD-WY-NE tri-point that evening, depending on light. Camp in Newcastle or Four Corners (unclear as to the namesake there), WY, or Lead, SD.

Thursday 7/8 - go up to Belle Fourche in the morning, see the US Center Point and the MT-SD-WY tri-point. Find the Cosmos. Spend a good part of the afternoon at the Cosmos and environs (Badlands? Mt. Rushmore? Crazy Horse monument?). Drive east until dusk and pitch tent or motel (depending on mood and weather) in central SD somewhere - I'll have to do some research for campgrounds around Pierre (have to sleep in SD to check it off my list).

Friday, 7/9 - check out the Corn Palace of Mitchell, SD (and/or other roadside oddities in SD that have yet to be researched), and then proceed to Sioux Falls to the tri-point of MN-SD-IA. Then south along the Sioux River to Sioux City, IA, to (try to) find the tri-point there, though that'd be my first in the middle of a river. There looks to me a multi-use path along the Missouri-Sioux Rivers there in the city (and a nearby city park), so we'll see what we can see. Stay (motel?) in the general vicinity of Sioux City, though we might be able to get a little further along in Iowa that night (Fort Dodge is about 2 hours along from SC).

Saturday, 7/10 - Des Moines, drop off The Jill at the airport for noontime-early afternoon flight out. Proceed east toward Chicago via either Dubuque or Keokuk, depending, perhaps, on minor league baseball opportunities (I've already checked the Sioux City and Sioux Falls teams on the 9th - both out of town. :(

So that's that.

Late last night, more Burning Man research, which yielded my friend Avocado Tom's site and very insightful thoughts on his first burn. Sums up all of my thoughts, expectations, fears... very glad to have found this. Tommy Tarka is da MAN.

Today: Hanging by the pool, grilling some meaty goodness, watching American Splendor, fireworks later.

In a final, brief moment of perspective: Very odd turn of events in the last few months. Planned this huge road trip with Rob since last year, but when we broke up it was no longer discussed and logically assumed to be called off. I decided to go on the trip alone to clear my head and do some very much needed self-evaluation. Enter John, new utilitarian (and fun and magical) roadtrip is taken with him; then Rob and I decide to jump in the car together anyway to see The Cosmos just like we originally planned last year.   :-)   Of course this time, with neither pank nor hank.   Again, if you told me 6 months ago that Rob and I would still be taking this roadtrip (let alone even being this chummy), I'd have smacked you in the head. I'm very glad things worked out the way they did. It's nice being a grown up sometimes. F grudges; life is too short.