the traffic diaries: 2

I have this dream.

(Once you read the nonsense below, you’ll understand why I found it disrespectful to quote Dr. Martin Luther King directly.)

I’ll be stuck on the on-ramp, the one that takes me south. I’ll be sitting on the overpass above the fancy shopping center waiting to merge, like I am every day. It will be an especially congested day, and I’ll be waiting to merge for 17 minutes instead of the usual 13. I’ll be struggling to stay awake. 

And then “Call Me Maybe” will come on. A shot of caffeine directly to my veins.

I’ll look over at the driver next to me. She’ll hear it, too. We will look at each other as if to say are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’ll look in front of me, and behind me. All of the drivers, stuck on this on-ramp, will be nodding in support. They will all know this has to happen.

In unison, our windows will roll down.

And we’ll all start singing. 

Those of us with sunroofs will break into the choreographed dance that we all just happen to know. 

Suddenly, traffic will be fun.

twin cities pride, lutefisk, and more!

A lot of you are probably thinking, “So you moved to Minneapolis. Big freaking deal.” And you’re right — I read blogs every day about people who move across the world and have to adjust to new languages and new social norms. All I did was move north a few states, I didn’t even change time zones.

But trust me when I say the culture is at least a little different up here. First of all, they eat something slimy and Scandinavian called lutefisk. We won’t even go there. More to my point: a few weeks ago I went to the Twin Cities Pride Parade, which was like nothing you would ever see in my former home of Shreveport, Louisiana. 

Politicians, churches, and large corporations like General Mills marched in support of the LGBT community. The governor marched. I was amazed — in a good way — over and over again. In Louisiana, I get the sense that even if a company or religious group supported gay rights, they would never be so open about it.  

And that poster above — the one that asks Do you know your law firm’s family values? – the bottom of the poster reads Representing the legal needs of ALL Minnesotans. Where I come from, the phrase “family values” has an entirely different meaning. When Louisiana politicians fight to protect “family values”, they are promoting “traditional marriage” and fighting attempts to “weaken” it. 

Do I even need to say that I prefer Minneapolis’s definition more?

Anyway, Pride happened to be Y’s first day of residency. So while he was getting the hang of writing prescriptions and answering his pager every other minute (technology is cyclical!), I was drinking sangria at 9 am and dancing on a rooftop with my new blog friend, Lauren (from Our Crazy Ever After). She’s pretty funny, guys.  

That first day of being a (disclaimer: I hate this term) residency widow really set the bar high. There have been no more rooftops. Just… laundry. 

the traffic diaries

This is what I stare at for about an hour and a half every day:

It’s not ideal, but you guys are going to benefit. You know how most people get their great ideas in the shower? I have my best moments in the car, while listening to terrible pop songs and singing at the top of my lungs (if you’re on 394W between 5 and 6 pm, that was probably me jamming to One Direction). 

Just to prep you for what you can expect on this blog now that I have a ridiculous commute, here are some musings from a recent 3.5 hour road trip. Yes, I did record my thoughts. Literally. With my phone. If you don’t want to be my friend anymore, I understand.

0:00 The first thing I do when I get in my car is check at least three times to make sure there is no recording device in my car. A comeback of the VH1 show “Motormouth” (where a hidden camera is placed in someone’s car to catch them singing)  is a constant fear of mine. 

0:15 I pass one of those giant trucks carrying hundreds of logs.  Hasn’t the log transportation industry seen the first scene in Final Destination 2? WHY haven’t they figured out a better way to transport logs??

0:30 Jay Z needs to write a follow up to “99 Problems” because I am really concerned about whether or not the canines came and found drugs in his locked trunk. From his tone it sounds like he DID have drugs in the back of his car. But Jay Z is a smart guy! He should know he shouldn’t carry drugs around! I mean, what would Beyonce think? What would Blue Ivy think? On that note, how do rappers explain half the stuff they rap about to their children?

0:45 There’s a line in a Taylor Swift song that says there is nothing I do better than revenge. I don’t know if I believe that. Like, what would revenge from Taylor Swift look like? Replacing my puppy with an even cuter puppy? Mwahahaha. You really got me that time, T Swizzle. 

1:00 Hey look, a hitchhiker. Do hitchhikers’ thumbs get tired? I’m going to stick my thumb up and see how long I can hold it before it gets tired.

1:15 A string of Glee songs just came on, and I was able to partake in my favorite solo road trip activity: identifying which member of an ensemble is singing. This game also works well with boy bands and sibling duets (the Duffs, the Simpsons).

1:30 I just sounded JUST like Rachel Berry in my head.

2:00 In my early mid twenties when “Tik Tok” by Kesha came on I got excited for a night out of fun and debauchery with friends. Now, in my late mid twenties, it makes me excited to go dance by myself to Just Dance for Wii. 

2:15 CRAP. I forgot to hold my thumb pose.

2:30 When I hear Nicki Minaj, I picture her crazy curvy body, her ridiculous clothes… and Sophia Grace’s head. Do you think that’s what Sophia Grace’s parents wanted?

3:00 My second favorite solo road trip game is trying to perfect my rapping skills. The current song of choice is “N*ggas in Paris”, and I’ve replayed the first 30 seconds about 25 times so far, trying to learn Jay Z’s part (his raps are much more difficult to learn than Kanye’s –I know this from experience). It occurred to me that I should invent some kind of contraption that will project the lyrics to whatever song I’m listening to while driving, on the sky in front of me, similar to Panem projecting the dead tributes’ heads during the Hunger Games. Why doesn’t this exist??

3:15 Just passed a DeLorean. This car has been sitting on the side of this highway without moving for approximately 6 years.  Each time I pass it, my mind starts to wander. Of course I wonder what would happen if I went back in time and intercepted my parents’ first date, and they married other people, and they had other children. I wonder if these other children would know things like exactly which N Sync member is singing at every moment in every song. Probably not. We can’t all be perfect.

ike’s struggles

A lot of people have asked me how Ike is adapting to our move. In fact, more people have asked me about Ike than have asked me how Y is adapting to having a real life job where he works 14.5 hour days and is partially responsible for people’s lives.

But I digress. Back to the interesting member of my family.

Ike’s biggest challenge has been finding that perfect spot on our new couch. Please keep him in your thoughts as he continues on his journey. 

The other thing Ike’s been getting used to is a smaller yard. The other day he ran into our fence while chasing a ball. I’ll admit, I teared up when he yelped in pain as his snout scraped the wood.

I’ll also admit that I laugh every.single.time the cut on his snout causes him to sneeze eight times in a row.


Recently I was standing in Target, livid because my phone was taking a whole 30 seconds to take and send the above photo. Our friends back in Louisiana needed to know immediately that our neighborhood Target sold this pastry. It’s a long story. Anyway, I was pissed.

But then it hit me that not so long ago — in my relatively short lifetime, in fact — if I wanted to send someone a picture of something, I would not only have to wind up my disposable camera and not only have to hold down that button and listen to the high pitched whine as the flash warmed up and not only drive to my local 1 hour photo and wait one hour for my pictures (doubles, please!) to be developed… but then I would have to put the picture in the mail and wait 2-4 days for it to be delivered. Was I really getting angry because my phone was so slow that it couldn’t do this same task in less than 20 seconds? 

That really puts things in perspective, right?

My new lease on life lasted about 15 seconds, until I noticed that my f@!#king picture still hadn’t sent. The moral of this story is that I need a new iPhone. 

I hope you learned something here today.