Category Archives: On the Road

Where It’s Thanksgiving Day Everyday

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Me: Do you have anything without turkey?
Waitress: Why would you ever want that?

I think I need a nap.

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Living the Sweet Life in New Hampshire

There are quite a few country stores here in New Hampshire. They pretty much have everything under the sun, including the most common New Hampshire staples, like jars of jalapeno pepper jam, a moose-shaped pancake maker, and no less than 68 different kinds of maple-flavored products. The most prominent display in the country store is almost always the penny candy. These days, penny candy is now up to a whopping two cents a piece, and I can’t help but think they’re taking a loss on some of this stuff. Seeing the penny candy brings back great memories of my childhood, but it also reminds me of just how awful this stuff really is.

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Wax Bottles: Does anyone know what was actually in these? I mean, it must have been something made of pure sugar. Not “pure” in the “all-natural” sense, since it was probably just high-fructose corn syrup and food coloring. Also, how much wax did I accidentally swallow as a child by eating these things? I probably have enough for an entire candle lodged in my stomach, just waiting for a wick.

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Candy Stix: Much like Pepsi, these were the lollipops of a new generation. Hey, you know how a lollipop has a stick? Well, let’s replace the entire stick with candy! Oh, everyone’s fingers will get sticky? Eh, whatever. These things were the biggest choking hazards in modern candy history. Walking and chewing gum? Fine. Walking and eating one of these things? That’s an accident waiting to happen. How were children entrusted with these things, and how are they still on the market? This thing could literally spear the back of a child’s throat. How this never actually happened is beyond my comprehension.

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Rock Candy: Hey, I know! Let’s take something completely unedible, like, say, a rock… but name it after something sweet and edible that kids love! And you know how rocks have jagged, sharp edges? Let’s put those in the candy, too! Oh, this idea is gonna be HUGE!

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Candy Cigarettes: I can’t help but think that somehow, these are partly responsible for hundreds of thousands of cases of lung cancer. I never actually had these, because I was always taught as a child that cigarettes were bad. These things are totally a gateway drug. Much like their nicotine-laced counterparts, I avoided these like the plague. Although judging by my childhood friends’ addictions to them, I would not have been surprised if candy cigarettes were also laced with nicotine.

I should be surprised that all of these products are still being sold, but given the “Live Free and Die” mentality of New Hampshire, I might as well join in the fun, stock up, and schedule a dentist appointment.

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Roughing It

Pros/Cons of being in New Hampshire:

Pro: You can almost taste the fresh mountain air.
Con: You can actually taste the lake water that comes out of the tap.

Pro: You will see wildlife that you would never see in New York City.
Con: You will see a swarm of 50 mosquitoes eyeing your blood at sunset.

Pro: The blueberry pie from the roadside stand is delicious.
Con: Your body hates you for the three pieces of pie you ate last night.

Pro: You are hours away from the tourist swarms in Times Square.
Con: This is the place where the tourists live. Or worse, where they vacation when they’re not visiting New York City.

Pro: The local news in New Hampshire actually feels local and relevant.
Con: The local news in New Hampshire actually calls a one-alarm apartment fire “breaking news.”

Pro: You will save a lot of money on alcohol.
Con: The only bar within walking distance is the wet bar in your neighbor’s basement.
Counter-pro: The beer there is free, and you don’t have to tip.
Counter-con: You will have a massive hangover every morning of your vacation.

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Blogging from a Dock

I don’t know if this is a New York City Blogger first, but I’d just like to point out that I am currently blogging from a dock on a lake in New Hampshire.

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Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. God help me if my MacBook falls into the water.

And yes, I know, I need to shave. I don’t give a crap. I’m on vacation.

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Liveblogging My Journey to New Hampshire

6:02am: I now have to take a cab to Grand Central because I got preoccupied. Who downloads the trial version of iWork ’08 at 5:30 in the morning when he’s supposed to be leaving the house? This guy.

6:23am: Safe and sound on the train. Did you know that trains leaving Grand Central in the morning are considered “peak hour” trains? I sure didn’t. And now the conductor is berating me for not knowing. I paid him the extra $4.50, but if I wasn’t so desperate to leave the city for the first time in weeks, I would have caused a ruckus.

No, I wouldn’t have. I’m half asleep still. And I don’t cause ruckuses even when I’m fully awake.

Is “ruckuses” the plural of ruckus? Ruckii, maybe? No, my spell check says “ruckuses” is a word.

7:15am: I keep dozing off, and this train is moving slower than a Times Square tourist. I might as well walk through Connecticut.

7:43am: Overheard on the train’s loudspeaker:

Conductor 1: Did you know [garbled conductor-speak]?
Conductor 2: No, but I do know that you’re on the PA right now.
Conductor 1: Oops.

8:10am: You know that TV ad for AT&T Wireless that shows a movie ending and then points out a bunch of people turning on their cell phones and making obnoxious beeping noises? Why the hell would you want to associate your company with everything people hate about cell phones? Someone didn’t think that one through.

I don’t know why I just thought of that now; I’m nowhere near a television.

8:20am: Leg 2 of the Journey: a train from New Haven to Old Saybrook. Why? Because I’m a cheap bastard and could never, ever justify ponying up $75 for an equally slow ride on Amtrak.

8:35am: I have the entire car to myself. I could totally fart right now and nobody would be around to care.

8:36am: I just farted.

8:59am: The train was scheduled to pull in at 9:06, and it’s pulling into the station now. It’s early. I didn’t think it was even possible for a train to arrive early. How did this happen? Did the train get a tailwind or something?

9:20am: Leg 3 of the Journey: a car ride with my mom through the rest of Connecticut and into Rhode Island. Have I mentioned that I hate Connecticut drivers? Coincidentally, I also hate the way my mom drives. So this only complicates the drive. She thinks her driving is fine and that I’m totally a backseat driver.

9:37am: My mom keep trying to look at my computer screen when she should be looking at the road. I rest my case.

10:02am: Home in Rhode Island. It’s 10am and I’ve been awake for five hours. The couch in the living room is looking really tempting right now before I continue my journey.

12:50pm: Curses. I fell asleep. Now onto Leg 4 of My Journey: driving up to New Hampshire. With a requisite stop at the New Hampshire State Liquor Store, of course!

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(Yes, that picture is for real.)

(Yes, the liquor store has its own exit off the Interstate.)

(Yes, they have low, low discount prices!)

1:20pm: Leg 4 begins. It’s the final leg. I’ve got a car to myself, and a radio to keep me company.

1:22pm: A dumb radio, apparently. The DJ just introduced “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Sunscreen” by Timbuk 3. She sounds young. I bet she wasn’t even alive when the song came out. But at least she’s sending a good warning about skin cancer prevention.

2:02pm: Four radio towers and a set of high-tension power lines:

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This is just a brain tumor waiting to happen.

2:15pm: The guy in front of me has a license plate with the last three characters “POO.” That’s unfortunate, but accurate, because he drives like poo. Then again, he’s not taking picures on his camera phone while driving.

2:39pm: A quick stop at the mall for a bathroom break and a snack.

2:51pm: Question: If you had to choose between using a mall restroom or a gas station restroom for the rest of your life, which would you choose and why? I would choose a gas station, because I’ve actually seen some clean gas station restrooms. I’ve never seen a clean mall restroom. Plus, there’s probably a glory hole in a mall restroom for all the repressed suburban gay dads.

3:07pm: I’m borrowing my parents’ car. I walked back and forth between the driver’s seat and the gas pump about five times before giving up and calling them to find out how to open the lid on the gas tank.

3:34pm: I’m stuck in traffic on I-93. There was no traffic in Massachusetts, but it was bumper-to-bumper the second I hit the New Hampshire state line. Live free or die? I’d rather die than sit in this for the next 75 miles, thanks.

4:05pm: Did you know New Hampshire is the only state that doesn’t require adults to wear a seatbelt while driving? I’m going to take off my seatbelt!

No, I’m not. I’m not the governor of New Jersey.

Live free or die? More like live free and die.

4:29pm: At long last, my first view of the majestic White Mountains. Oh, and the rear bumper of the car stopped in front of me in this long line of traffic.

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5:26pm: Of my 37 miles in New Hampshire so far, 33 have been in gridlocked traffic. I need to pull off the road. Even the things I’m saying to myself aren’t making any sense anymore. I just said, “this driver from crazy is Texas.” But you know what? That’s not too far off.

6:02pm: I am finally at my destination… my friend’s parents’ house. Hand me a beer. And don’t ask me to take a seat. I’ve been sitting long enough, thanks.

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The “Manpurse” Revealed

All right, dear readers, that’s enough. I’ve put up with enough taunting over a picture of me from yesterday. So, just to clarify once and for all, I WAS NOT CARRYING A MANPURSE.

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That is a firewood carrier. It has about thirty pounds of firewood in it.

But all you “cultured” city folk wouldn’t know what a firewood carrier is, would you?

I rest my case.

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Dirty Minds, Clean Beaches

Amanda and I saw a lot of strange stuff around Montauk last weekend. She took pictures. Among them:

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Either our minds are in the gutter, or the entire Hamlet of Montauk’s minds are in the gutter. That’s for you to decide.

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