Going Mobile: Don’t Take the Brown Acid

Beatrice Olivia SnowSomewhere between Lincoln, Nebraska, and the Colorado state line, I apparently dropped some acid. And not the “pretty colors” kind. The don’t-take-the-brown-acid-Woodstock-warning kind.

I opted to depart Des Moines a day early on account of weather, and after seven hours of iPod-fueled flatness, I hit the Colorado state line. I texted a few people to let them know my whereabouts and within minutes, I went from the cruise control on 82 MPH to whythefuckdidItradeinmyHondaElementforaMiniCooperjeezuschriiii…

The snow was coming at me like I was in some weird vortex, lanes were becoming less of a certainty and more of a concept. I keep staring at the other side of the highway, seeing plow after plow, following them with my eyes like a snooty stewardess who keeps passing me over for the peanuts. After white-knuckling it for a good 10 miles, I pull off the freeway at Sterling, CO and try to check into a hotel, exhausted with the pseudo-hallucinogenic experience.

Yeah. Apparently everyone else had the same idea.

I get back ON the 76 and within a few miles, the blowing snow subsides and I’m back up to 60 MPH. Then there comes the Trans Am.

I’m just going to drop some waaaaaaaay random knowledge here and tell you that if you have a 1980s vintage Trans Am, it’s built for pavement. Or the salvage yard. It’s not built for snow.

And as such is the case, driving it 25 MPH in the only plowed lane of traffic is epic asshattery at its finest. I grew a pair and said to Beatrice Olivia (yes, that is my car’s name), “Darlin’, we’re gonna pass.” I swear I could feel her seat heaters kick into overdrive and with a flick of the turn signal, I passed the Trans Am going (gasp) 40 miles per hour. I was back on my way at 65 MPH.

Approaching Denver (within about 30 miles), the 76 turned into an icy whore. You could give this bitch your money and there wouldn’t even be a reacharound. Sheet ice on the highway. Beatrice whispered something that doesn’t bear repeating under her breath and we slowed to 40 MPH.

Apparently Beatrice was an ice skater in a previous incarnation, as she loves the stuff. Not a slip or slide, my Dynamic Stability Control kicked in and we slithered into the glorious magnesium chloride-lined streets of Denver with a gleam in our collective eyes/headlights. I had two dogs and two cats itching for terra firma.

Fast forward to this morning –  part of the reason I came back to Denver early was to register my car prior to leaving for California. So I log into the County of Denver website to check on payment methods (as it’s something funky like cash or check only, no cards or no debit cards or whateverthefuck), and I see this:

FU denver

So I’m printing it out and bringing it with me on my road trip to proudly display when my temporary tags expire. Fair dinkum.

The snow is still coming down here in Denver and from what I hear, my decision to depart early was a wise one as it’s freezing rain in Des Moines. The last thing I wanted to do was luge across Nebraska.

And so it comes to pass that at 10 A.M. on a New Year’s Eve, a redhead in Denver is watching puppies play in the backyard snow and pounding-out a blog post about yesterday’s drive. The trip to Iowa was a good one. I’m always grateful for time spent with Jason’s family and friends and we even got in an impromptu UNO night at the High Life.  Given I hadn’t played UNO in nearly 20 years, here are some things I learned (and re-learned) about this favorite childhood game:

  • There is no Motorboat card in an UNO deck (as Adam Pirillo would have one believe)
  • Fuck You rules at UNO are harsh and people will lie to you. Lie, lie, lie!
  • It IS possible to do an effective impression of a whale spouting water. In a bar. And NOT get thrown out. While this has nothing per se to do with UNO, it’s important.

There are reasons people come into your life. Maybe we’re not the ones to ask why, how or when, but it’s a real gift when you can be a part of a bigger buzz than the one we constantly feel obligated to create for ourselves. I enjoy being Erika and I enjoy being Redhead Writing. Yet without one, there’s certainly not the other. Like corned beef hash without a side of country gravy (suck it – I’m from the South). I’m awkward. I often say exactly the wrong thing at just the right time. I eat too much, I drink too little water. I’ll cry at the drop of a hat. I like superheroes, stories of the impossible and stupid jokes. I know more than is right and proper about the history of corsets and pattern making and…well, yeah.

It’s the only me I’ve got. And for what it’s worth, that “me” thinks it’s a crying shame there’s not Motorboat card in UNO.

Next stage? Denver to Studio City, California. Departure date? Tomorrow (with any luck). It’s amazing what runs through your mind when you’re driving for ten hours. It’s even more amazing what doesn’t.

18 comments
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MichaelEdits.com
MichaelEdits.com

New Year's Day, I was riding my bicycle along the streets of Hanoi. I was almost creamed by a Mini Cooper and naturally I thought of you.

The Redhead
The Redhead

This warms my cockles.

MichaelEdits.com
MichaelEdits.com

I'm glad to hear it, because I certainly wouldn't want you to have cold cockles.

Cherry Woodburn
Cherry Woodburn

Glad you made it safely. Have a wonderful 2011. Two things: 1. Please don't pass another Trans Am if the other lane is full of snow. XXOO mom/cherry 2. There is too a motorboat card in Uno. and a question. What are your recommendations for easy travel with a cat? I've never done that and would like too. Cherry

LaVonne Ellis
LaVonne Ellis

Yikes, I hope you're taking the southern route around the Rockies, or we'll be lucky to read part 2 of Don't Take the Brown Acid!

Sarah
Sarah

Welcome to California, Erika! After all that snow, you'll get to enjoy the rain: we've had rain *every single day* for over a month now. Beatrice Olivia gets to exercise those wiper blades of hers!

Michelle Mangen
Michelle Mangen

I was in Wisconsin for the holidays so I missed Installment 1.....(which I've now read). Have a wonderful and safe trip out to LA.

Michelle Mangen
Michelle Mangen

Happy New Year, Erika. Glad to have been a part of your life, however small, in 2010. I look forward to reading your upcoming adventure posts.

Raschella
Raschella

Well, crap, what happened to my photo? I had a cute little avatar and it's just...not there. I hate computers.

Raschella
Raschella

Ah, Studio City...the memories. It's where I lived when I moved to California in 1972, just me, the first hubby and a dog in a ratty apartment on Arch Drive, home to every weirdo within a five state area. Jethro (forgot his name, Beverly Hillbillies) would stop by, decked out in his waaay too tight muscle shirts, to visit his girlfriend. The crazy blond kid from New Jersey OD'd next to the pool and had to be dragged into the shower with buckets of ice, and our next door neighbor's favorite trick was diving into the pool from the roof. Oh, and a resident artist painted incredible Egyptian murals on the walls, and above every door (we were writers, so ours was a scribe). Now I live in Northridge and Studio City is unrecognizable, Walmarted and Starbucked to the max, buried under high end real estate, and swarming with Beemers. Our $160 a month apartment is now a two grand a month condo. Best six years of my life. You'll love it - Studio City is still there if you look hard enough. Enjoy, and if you want to stop by Northridge, it's only 20 minutes up the 101...

J
J

I flew home in that Colorado snow. DIA was no problem, but driving for an hour in that ice + snow made me want to pee my pants the entire time.

JoeRayCr8iv
JoeRayCr8iv

For your next UNO adventure: Mezcal can be a good beverage. But make it a point to avoid the $5 bottle stuff, otherwise you'll find yourself waking up 2 days later inside an upholstery shop in a border town surrounded by chickens, torn dictionaries and spent fireworks. You'll know it's panic time when the border town isn't even in Mexico. Good clear indication you've crossed the line. A crooked line at that. However, it'll be an UNO adventure you'll never forget!

D.T. Pennington
D.T. Pennington

That's the beauty of driving in Colorado. You have a primary car, which you use 360 days of the year. Then you essentially need Bigfoot to get you around the other 5. Also, Brown Acid is the shit.

The Redhead
The Redhead

See, I've known this about the brown acid since high school. I don't know who slipped it to me.

Bryce Alan Katz
Bryce Alan Katz

"The last thing I wanted to do was luge across Nebraska." I laughed out loud at this. Glad to hear you made it safely back to Denver. Hope 2011 is a kick-ass year for you!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks, Bryce! A delightful new year to you as well.

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