Saturday, June 07, 2008
What I Learned In 1200 Miles
Yesterday, I dragged my life and a U-Haul 1200 miles from Orlando to Bristol, Connecticut. As you know, Bristol is famous for the world-renowned Pequabuck Golf Club. It's also home to a large row of satellites and some large sports television network. The following are some of the things I picked up on my odyssey from exotic and secluded Central Florida to the bustling metropolis that is my new home.
1. Never over-fill a U-Haul
I rented a U-Haul to drag behind THE Silverado, and elected to go with one that was the same size as the one I rented when I moved to Florida. As it turns out, I underestimated the amount of crap I purchased while living in Orlando, and bought a U-Haul trailer that was a size or two too small. This was no matter to a longtime veteran of the back room at Foot Locker, where I became thoroughly experienced in the art of cramming boxes into spaces where they should not fit. When I got to Bristol, however, this became a bit of an issue, when I was unable to get the back gate open of the U-Haul. In all my brilliance, I did not anticipate the contents inside shifting and rendering the opening of the back gate impossible. I then tried the following methods to get the gate open:
1. Pull on handle repetitively
2. Kick back door in frustration
3. Try to accelerate truck, slam on brakes trying to shift content
5. Kick back door in frustration
6. Borrow crow bar from apartment complex
7. Use crow bar to try and pry gate open
9. Kick back door in frustration
10. Call U-Haul hotline, where they offered to send someone out there, per my expense, to try and open gate with crow bar.
11. Tell U-Haul guy what I thought of his idea.
12. Detach U-Haul from trailer hitch in an attempt to move stuff forward
14. Kick door in frustration
15. Get back at it with crow bar
16. Work back gate open, millimeter by millimeter
17. *Time elapse = roughly 30 minutes*
18. OPEN BACK GATE! FREEDOM! SWEET FREEDOM!
The lesson here, children: never over-fill a U-Haul. That, or hire a moving service. Also, never give in to your own stupidity or the suggestions of help line operators.
2. Dragging a U-Haul up the east coast is PRICEY
When I started my journey, I had 70 in cash in my wallet. When I arrived in Bristol, I had 4. I didn't pay cash for anything along the way EXCEPT TOLLS. At one point, I spent 29 dollars in 30 minutes paying for the NJ turnpike and the George Washington Bridge. I'm convinced the booth operators saw my Texas plates and made up a number. I'd also like to thank Google maps for the expedient, affordable route they provided.
3. New Jersey is Depressing/Confusing
I've driven through New Jersey twice now, and maybe it's because a slow drizzle and yellow/gray sky has been the backdrop each time, but I really can't imagine living there and not needing a Prozac IV. That, or a lot of whiskey. Why is everything so rusted there? Maybe someone can help me out with this.
Also, this is the only place I have ever been that I've seen nothing but full service gas stations. I had never even seen a gas station with an attendant in my life before I drove through there last summer. I thought this was so bizarre, I told the dude that he didn't need to pump my gas and I did it myself. I explained to him that I was from Texas and had never seen a full service gas station before. He responded in a jumbled lexicon I was unable to distinguish and waddled away.
What is the fucking point of Delaware? Have you ever met anyone from Delaware? No, of course not. This is because nobody lives there. The woman in the toll booth who charged me 10 dollars for driving through their county (ed. note: state) actually lives in Pennsylvania. Because of this egregious toll I was subjected to, I will always hate Joe Flacco.
If this was a publication of significance (another ed. note: a publication at all) I would now have 2 states that would hate me.
5. Wale's new mixtape > Tha Carter 3
I had only heard Wale in bits and pieces before I put "The Mixtape About Nothing" on my IPod the other day (his feature on the new Roots joint, "Nike Boots," sporadic listens on HipHopGame.com, etc.). Maybe it's because he might like Seinfeld as much as I do, but dude's new mixtape is really, really good.
His assessment of how fans shoulder the blame for hip-hop's declining health was smart and refreshing. His metaphors are subtle and rolling, harder to detect but smarter than the blatant verbal presentation of most emcees today. He also has a keen ear for beats, something that distinguishes young emcees from their peers and can lead one to superstardom. The format of the mixtape was creative and brilliantly executed, and I liked the intermittent clips from "Seinfeld." I give it a solid A-.
Don't get me wrong, I LIKED Carter 3. I'll probably be playing several of the tracks all summer, if not off and on for years to come. I think it's remarkable that he had this many gems in the bank after the epidemic of net leakage that the project suffered (which was either brilliant modern marketing or just incidental). The singles are singles - the Babyface feature is the obvious next of which (I'm guessing the T-Pain track is already on radio, 'Lollipop' and 'A Millie' leaked months ago... I wouldn't know, I haven't listened to mainstream radio willingly in years.
'Mr. Carter' is unmistakably dope, but it's obvious to me that Wayne was so geeked about having his idol on the album that he put on 2 extra verses that really didn't need to be there. 'Tie My Hands' was unexpectedly my favorite song on the album. The Fab and Juelz feature song was thankfully remastered, and thumps quite well. 'Mrs. Officer' has good replay value, and '3-Peat' is a near-perfect opening number. I give it a B overall, and a B+ if you factor in the watered-down, Adderall-needed crappiness of this current era of hip-hop.
So that's what's good with my venture to the WWL. I drove through Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, circumvented DC, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and finally Connecticut. I start work Monday.