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Uncomfortable

American_Airlines

Gate 42 to Gate 42: Longest Roundtrip Ever

I think I know where I went wrong. Clearly I’m not greedy enough. Frankly, it’s kind of pathetic how little I’ve learned from Gordon Gecko.

I was on the phone with everyone’s favorite triathlete, @katymoe, making sure the hatches were all battened down (whatever that means…) at the homestead when I hear over the LAX PA system, “Attention passengers of flight 276. Unfortunately we are overbooked by about five passengers on tonight’s flight to Miami. If anyone would be willing to take a redeye through Fort Worth tonight, you’ll leave about two hours later but I’ll also provide you with a $300 American Airlines flight voucher. If anyone would like to volunteer, please come see me at the service desk.”

I practically hung up on Katy. I already had a four-hour layover in Miami so I figured if I have to sit around in airports all night anyway I might as well make a couple Benjamin’s (that’s what the cool kids call hundred dollar bills) off the deal.

“Excuse me, what time does this money plane land in Miami?”

“9:45. Do you have a connecting flight.”

“Yeah, but it doesn’t take off until 10:45.”

“Let me see your ticket. Ahh…it starts boarding at 9:45, that’s cutting More >

Nightmares

Hey Team,

Every since I was very young I’ve had a problem with terrible nightmares. Sometimes it’s not so much that they’re gruesome, or even “scary,” it’s often just a matter of how extraordinarily vivid they are. I can’t exactly remember when this became a problem…as far back as I can recall I would lie awake in bed at night praying that I wouldn’t have a nightmare despite the fact that I’ve never been all that religious.

“Please God, pretty please God, don’t let me have nightmares. Please God, pretty please God, don’t let me have nightmares. Please God, pretty please God, don’t let me have nightmares.”

Obviously, I was at my wit’s end when it came to stopping them and yet one day they were just gone.

Since then they’ve kind of ebbed and flowed with whatever weird stresses wander in and out of my life. I don’t understand and I haven’t been able to find a pattern; I just know some nights I wake up and want nothing more than to stay awake and not have to slide back into that dream world, “just in case.”

So, why would I give everyone such an intensely personal insight into the life and times of More >

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Wholesale Slaughter

Hey Team,

I rode the motorcycle up to Northern California yesterday to meet with a couple of friends I haven’t seen in a very long time. It seemed like a simple enough procedure and in many ways it was…it just wasn’t a very comfortable ride.

Turns out this is also butterfly mating season here in California and along the scenic (and not so scenic) highways butterflies are chasing each other around at high speeds and following unpredictable paths like a bunch of drunken, horny high school seniors after prom night. Except now picture thousands upon thousands of prom nighters all bouncing off my windshield and helmet. (Wait…that analogy broke down somewhere.)

The point is: I was LITERALLY dodging butterflies as I was riding the bike. Bobbing and weaving my head trying not to catch a bug to the face mask that would obstruct my vision and the whole time thinking about that board game “SPLAT!” (I know you know what I’m talking about. It’s like Sorry! but with the added fun of crushing each other’s bug shaped play-dough playing pieces.)

The worst part is that the windshields on motorcycles are only so big. As a result every cute little butterfly that bounces off is More >

The Wonderful World of Greyhound

Hey Team,

I stepped up into the doorway resigned to the upcoming fifty-three hour marathon only to be slapped in the face by a wall of stale air. A quick look around shows only one empty seat; not leaving me the usual option of scouring the bus for the least stained place to plant myself. It’s the front seat. Not a terrible spot. At least not as compared to all of the other terrible spots. Notable drawbacks: No reading light, less leg room (but since the leg room is minimal anyway I go in expecting discomfort), and a little old lady who thinks she can “save me” by convincing me I should settle down and get married, “maybe have a few kids.”

I fold myself into a good book silently throwing out all the social cues I can muster to drive the point home that I don’t want to be having this conversation. The next forty-five minutes only bring me two pages closer to the climax. She needs no prompting to ask the next question and a never-ending string of one-word answers are nothing in the face of her persistence.

“Were you married once already?”

“No.”

“Is there a girl back home?”

“No.”

I think she’s More >

“Food” Stops

Hey Team,

It’s no secret that Greyhound is a long boring ride no matter where you’re going. (And mysteriously, I’m relatively sure, every ride takes about twenty-four hours.) But the problem I ran into yesterday was pretty unique and I’m not sure how much of it Greyhound was to blame for but they always make a handy scapegoat so they’re going to get a healthy dose of the blame too.

Since all of the rides are twenty-four hours long it becomes necessary to make food stops along the way occasionally to prevent mutiny. (Or is that just a boat thing? Can you have a bus mutiny? Butiny?) The rest stop couldn’t have come one second sooner yesterday. In true Amtrekker fashion I had gotten distracted by one thing or another all day and kept forgetting to eat.

Now it was coming up on 8pm and I was getting desperate for food. The bus driver pulls into a large parking lot and wakes me up from an uncomfortable half-sleep with the PA.

“Okay, folks. Time for a food stop. You only have fifteen minutes so don’t straggle.”

Bleary eyed, I stumbled out the bus door to the less than welcome sight of the Golden More >

The Immortal Words of Lewis Carroll

“You can have podcasts tomorrow or podcasts yesterday but never podcasts today.” – Through the Looking Glass

I think that’s how it went. He was a pretty progressive guy.

Point is: I let you guys down. Again. Between long bus rides and car rides and taxes it’s REALLY tough for one guy to make it all happen around here. My best doesn’t seem to be good enough this week but there WILL be a podcast. It’s just not going to be on time.

So keep your eyes peeled, wish me luck and send me a co-worker or eight. Quitting your job and living your dream is hard work!

I’m done.

Brett.

If you can’t provide a co-worker maybe you can find another way to help out…hint hint, wink wink.

Thanks!

Escape from Arkadelphia (updated with pictures!)

Hey Team,

Here’s an adventure story for you. And since it largely happened on the 12th it’s completely expected. (I wont go into why my aversion to the number 12 is literally the ONLY superstition I hold onto. Suffice it to say multiple broken bones are involved.)

After the Crater of Diamonds experience I had Jim drop me off by the side of the road in a town called Arkadelphia (you can’t make these names up) figuring I could catch a ride to Texas or grab a bus. Unfortunately, I quickly learned there was no such thing as buses in Arkadelphia, or trains…or people willing to offer a personable guy a ride.

Five hours later my “TEXAS PLEASE” sign had elicited no rides but it was such a beautiful day I really didn’t mind. In fact I even got a message from Chase in Nashville asking how things were going to which I said, “I’m stuck again but at least it’s a nice night.”

Five minutes later the wind picked up and suddenly my “TEXAS PLEASE” sign was more like an unfurled sail ready to drag me to Texas by whatever means necessary. Slightly inconvenient but not enough to kill my good mood. Cue More >

Quitters Never Prosper

Hey Team,

Anyone know of a hitchhiking 101 course I could crash at a local JC or anything? What is it about hitchhiking and colossal failures in the world of Amtrekker? I JUST got picked up 19 miles outside of Nashville by Chase, one of the guys I’ve been staying with for the last few days, after spending the last SEVEN hours “hitchhiking.”

Yeah, you read that right, NINETEEN miles in SEVEN hours. That’s 2.71 miles per hour…I might as well have started walking to Little Rock.

Bottom line: I’m a quitter. Once it was clear I wasn’t going to be picked up in the dark I called Chase, who earned a gold star by coming to my rescue, and then promptly caved and bought a bus ticket for the 12:40 am bus.

I hate that.

I’m done.

Brett.

Anyone want to help pay for a bus ticket?

You never know, you might get a good pedophile story out of it.


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