Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why I hate gardening

first let me clarify. it's not the idea of gardening i hate. i love the idea of gardening, the elemental notion of oneness with nature, coaxing life itself from the earth, watching, literally, for the fruits of your toil. i can see the attraction of playing in the dirt, getting muddy, remembering what it was like to be a jobless, worry-free, unmortgaged kid again (though let's be real: i was never that kid). i get that it's sensual: the warmth of the sun, the hose livening in your hands, the gorgeous ache in your muscles at the end of what must be the most honest day's work. i love being out in nature, and i love nature itself, as rendered in a yard, love having tomatoes, herbs, lilacs, trees, and flowers.

but as for gardening itself? i detest it with a passion rare. my hatred is visceral, emotional, and unequivocal. i loathe it with every fibre in my being -- and that's saying something, since when i garden i actually feel every fibre in my being. my knees hurt. my feet cramp. my back aches. my neck hurts from the inevitable sunburn. sweat runs into pools at the bottom of my glasses, which then slide down my nose so i can't see anything. dead branches macerate my legs and splinter my hands, usually right on top of the raking blisters. mosquitos torment me, so add welts the size of a quarter and dirty smears all over to this pretty picture.

but it's not just the physical misery that does me in. gardening is soul-shatteringly dull. i would rather watch golf on TV. in slow motion. sure, you can thrill to the idea of gardening for a little while ("look at me, making things grow!") but when that smug four seconds is over, it's man against the intellectual void. the only thing to keep the mind alive is pure antagonism: to caragana, to crabgrass, to suckers, to ants, to tools that won't stay sharp, to the cultural ethos that says it's "wrong" to spray the whole damn mess with industrial-strength pesticide and head indoors to read a book, antagonism to chicory (chicory? is that what it is? the rhizomatic weed i hate the most?), antagonism to the very activity you're wasting a precious sunday on -- time you can never have back, time you know you will regret on your deathbed because you already regret it now. oh, it's mentally tough, gardening.

and then there's the endlessness of it. you weed and weed and weed and weed and weed and weed and weed and weed and weed -- and then you think, well, that's a job well done, good for me, time for a break: and only three minutes will have passed. no matter how hard you work, the yard is never finished. crabgrass and weeds, apparently fueled by some mysterious antagonism of their own, just keep growing back. ants triumph over doktor doom. plants need fertilizing, or separating, or augmenting, or watering, or composting, or banking, or deadheading, or mulching, or cutting back, or staking, or shaping, or something. the yard never achieves the serenity of a clean room.

year after year i subject myself to the agony of gardening. why? because i believe that gardeners are a higher class of being, and i want to be a better person. homo plantarum is patient, forgiving, and way, way less anal than me. i want to be improved. i want to be zen enough to view weeding as an opportunity for the mind to play. i want to experience childlikeness. i want to welcome the wild, live a life shaped by elemental principles, take lessons from an earthworm.

and i really want a yardboy.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday perfection

it's the very best if you can start your saturday on the night before, playing soccer in the sudden, sodden spring. this means you'll sleep a sleep so untroubled that the only dream you'll remember in the morning is that you started a new tube of toothpaste. you won't even remember that dream until you go to brush your teeth and think: that's odd.

take your coffee back to bed. say good morning to that sleepy person lying next to you. snuggle the cats. leaf through the globe and mail, saving some for sunday. when you get up, tell yourself you have to drive to the farmers' market rather than ride your bike because they'll have bedding plants. then buy a huge hydrangea with eight blue globes: there, you had to drive. run into jen, smiling in the sunshine. run into carmen, who tells you todd is still in the hospital but doing better. carmen herself is doing better, you note. load up the car with hydrangea and go back for an herb garden.

at 11:45 you realize you're going to be late for your lunch date. at the exact moment you text ted to say "i'm running ten minutes late," he texts you to say "i'm running ten minutes late." over vancouver rice bowls at the ARTery, mutual friends trickle in. karen's taking her dog to hip hop in the park. amy's maybe going to check out the office show: me too! the vue writers are staying for the live music, a girl named jill and her ukelele, but we sneak out.

hey, do you want to just park at your place and walk down? i do. the show is ... well, i like blair brennan's shrink-wrapped tools. gerry morita dances. someone sings. alice major reads. it's the office as figured by people on artists' grants. as you walk back out into the sunshine on 124th street, you think how this is ultimately what you'd want, artists on grants thinking about an office rather than artists in offices dreaming about grants.

ted says he'll walk you a bit. then amy runs after. we meander until we're at our place. does anybody want a drink? better: a fudgsicle. we haul mo away from her yard work, sit on the deck drinking ice water in glasses with green palm trees. our grass is greening too.

after ted and amy leave, you do a little solidarity yard work: put the amazing hydrangea into a pot, clear a couple of beds. just when the heat is starting to feel oppressive, you hail your new neighbours in the back alley: lovely liliane, 8 months pregant, and 3-year-old julia, who has a new bike. romanian, edmontonian, downtown dwellers, friends of david and susan's: me too! julia is determined to get herself up on the swingset, then the rings. we women watch her, our chat sweetly empty. the afternoon melts away.

what could make this day better? you grill your food: no cleanup. you get a message from dear friends saying that all is well, meaning they are well, meaning all is well. you put on the etsy dress you bought on impulse, which of course fits perfectly. you walk to the roxy to see darrin's new play buddy. you hold hands.

walking home you catch the scent of night blossom. you can't tell what it is, exactly, and you can't tell where it comes from, but you can't get enough of it. you would lose yourself here if you could. too soon, it evanesces, and you are home.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Starting from the bottom up

it was about a year ago that jo was in the hospital and we didn't know what would become of her. she's settled into the new normal now. she uses her walker, we change her sheets, she concedes to a bath, the druggist blisterpacks her multivitamins and her estrogen (there are some wars we stopped fighting).

yesterday when i stopped by she admired my shoes. "you're such a one for the shoes!," she said. "oh jo," i demurred, thrilled to bits. five minutes later she said, "you don't really bother much with your hair, do you?"

i guess when i'm an old lady, i really will wear a purple hat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Funk city

all of edmonton is in a funk. friends won't return calls. my parents don't want to leave the house. colleagues are absent. nobody knows what to do with all this snow -- and cold! -- in may. while we've often got snow in may, usually it's a literal out-of-the-blue thing, a blip in an otherwise lovely month. this year, it's like winter hasn't ended. as a result, everything is out of kilter. stores are filled with the kind of food you'd normally seek out at this time of year: corn on the cob (such as it is in may), fat portobello mushrooms, cold salads, steaks, and burgers. but my thoughts are tending to roasted squash soup, hearty risotto, spaghetti and meat balls with garlic bread (comin' to your place tonight, jen!). so i wandered around the grocery store yesterday with a cart of ginger, garlic and toilet paper.

it can't last forever. right??

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jiggedy jig

after we've been away in "the little house," so dubbed by darien and laura four years ago, i'm always struck by how very big our "big house" is. it has a room entirely devoted to my computer, for instance. there's another room for sleeping, a choice of indoor bathrooms, a kitchen you can stand up in, and several different reading lairs. how can this place seem so small by february of every endless winter?

so we are back, and it is cold and rainy here, but greening up. we have not missed a thing: not the daffodils, not the tulips, not the crabapple blossoms. all of that is yet to love, and loving it will take all my attention, and i will forget about many of the things that seemed, just hours ago, unforgettable. so in between putting away the camping gear and putting in the laundry and putting out affection for princess and the hen, i want to spend a few minutes putting down some wonders and oddities, the kind of jumble you have in the back of your car and the back of your head at the end of a road trip.

under the heading remarkable campground sights: two blue-rinse ladies in matching mauve sweatsuits walking matching white bichons at 6 AM.

under the heading sounds that make you wonder: the campground that played XM radio "love songs" constantly ... in the bathroom. i shaved to "the first cut is the deepest." billy joel crooned "i love you just the way you are," but i showered anyway. modesty compels me to stop there, but you can imagine other odd pairings.

startling things: all the US national park bumph uses the phrase "geologists say..." to introduce FACTS -- FACTS, people!!! -- concerning natural phenomena. also: the lingua franca of bryce canyon is in fact french. and: nanton alberta is totally gay.

under the heading freeway signs that cause you to wonder:
  • Young Family Living Farm, next exit
  • Action Wood Waterbeds
  • BJ Services, Ltd.
  • Dirty Jo Punsters in Spanish Fork, "spicing things up since 1990"
  • Pot Roast to DRIVE for, 17 miles ahead
things that made my heart glad: the fields of purple crocuses in the blackfeet indian reservation. being buzzed by a black-chinned hummingbird in zion. highway 287. learning that the california condor, having been declining in number since prehistoric times, is making a go of it in monument valley. seeing my favorite alpine flower with the excellent new name "revel paintbrush." mo's Authentic Western Style.

things to covet: trailers by safari condo.

and a random prediction: iceberg lettuce will make a comeback.

there. really home now.

Old lady road trip

i notice my advancing years most starkly when traveling. for one thing, i can't drive like i used to 20 years ago. back then, i would do a 38-hour drive (san francisco to edmonton, for instance) in about 43 hours, stopping on the side of a nevada two-lane for a wee nap or two. now, if i was so foolish as to "nap" on the side of the road, i would fall immediately into a deep yet fitful state complete with snoring and drooling. the state trooper would find it hard to so hard to wake me he'd just leave me there for the next shift to rouse. then, i would spend all day griping about how my back hurts, and my neck is kinked, and i slept funny on my arm.

so when we don't camp, we stay in motels.

but not just any motels. i used to be of "the chaper the better" view where motels are concerned: why overpay? and then there was the kitsch aesthetic. i would thrill to the bedspreads you can slide right off of, the plastic-wrapped plastic cup. now, i think of things like the quality of the mattress. hampton inn is a good chain, we've discovered -- a chain! -- because of their special serta bed. (don't worry, we're not quite going to order one for home yet, though if you want to....)

and what about noise? used to be, i could sleep through anything. now: well, one morning in moab i shushed the frat party next door with a single teacher-look. old lady! back in yakima two years ago, i reached in through the truck window where a younger version of myself was napping and switched the radio right off. we're in room 214 now, but we were first checked into 208. i had us moved somewhere quieter.

the finickiness of old age extends to road food. no longer for me the big greasy spoon breakfast. i will burp all the way to the next town. also, it makes me sleepy. and the last thing i need is an order of hash browns on my hips ... forever.

driving itself is more tiring now, and more stressful. it takes more effort to keep my eyes on the road. my eyes tire faster. my neck cricks and my back aches. i know more than i did two decades ago, know that i make mistakes and that others make mistakes, and that mistakes are always worse at 60 miles an hour. saddest of all -- i will admit this here, once, and then go back to pinning our routes on mo -- i understand the attraction of the interstate.

of course, there are compensating virtues. for one thing, i've woken up at 6am this fine sunday morning, without an alarm. even after blogging i should be able to make it to smitty's for the senior breakfast special.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Ellen Meloy, on Utah desert:

"I am not that presumptuous to think I could speak or paint or write the natural history of my home colors. I know only that they are to blame for intent and motion, for an asymmetrical journey of wonder and of trouble. ... An aesthetic sense, an intuitive link between a chromatic band and emotion can grow as strong as a fingerprint, defying logic and inviting the helpless surrender of a love affair. Intoxication with color, sometimes subliminal, often fierce, may express itself as a profound attachment to landscape. It has been rightly said: color is the first principle of Place."
-- "The Deeds and Sufferings of Light,"
The Anthropology of Turquoise

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Biking thunder mountain

mountain biking is, in a word, fucking awesome. it's fast, it's aggressive, it's technical, it's demanding, and it's dangerous. in other words, perfect.

i wrote those lines before biking thunder mountain. if you don't want to read through the whole story that follows, here's a video of the ride that i made: make sure you don't miss the 3-minute mark.

oh, wait. that's right. i didn't make that video, some 19-year-old boy did. which should have been my first clue. but it wasn't my first clue; my first clue was the witless ranger at red rock canyon visitors' centre. mo and i walked in the other day all eagerness and cute, saying, "tell us everything! we want to mountain bike, and we hear it's good here. 'zat true?" even at the time i didn't think the fat sheriff behind the counter was terribly convincing as a ranger, but he pulled out a trail map and said, "thunder mountain trail's nice." it was clear that that was the end of the conversation. his impassive face left no doubt that i'd have to take up my why-is-the-river-in-zion-so-grey question somewhere else.

even after hiking 10 miles of bryce yesterday, i was curious to see this trail. in fact, i was curious to see a few of them. i figured i'd bike thunder mountain first, then toodle around up in butch cassidy country. losee canyon was supposed to be good, though i noted it was rated "strenuous." something to keep in mind. i double checked the trail guide, which describes the thunder mountain trail, in its entirety, as follows: "The upper section of the trail travels through a ponderosa pine forest, while the lower section features spectacular red rock scenery. Moderate to strenuous."

here's one thing the trail guide might have indicated: the 6-mile, 1200-foot uphill to get to the trailhead is in addition to the 9 miles of single track. but no matter. there's a paved bike trail next to highway 12 for much of it, and i fell into conversation with a guy named dave who's riding across the USA. we talked mileage and muscle groups, regular snacking and the ups and downs of nevada, and the ratio of money to miles ("i can't spend more than one dollar per every two miles," he said, "all in," suggesting that he'd been alone too much of late). why is he riding now? "timing's pretty good," he said, "i just got out of the navy and i'm heading to college in the fall." his business card, which advertises his blog, reads: "we will all die but very few of us live."

we parted ways at the fremont ATV track, and i headed up to the trailhead. by the time i arrived i was feeling limber if a little tired. it had been 65 minutes of uphill since i left the car.

and what's in the trailhead parking lot? a silver lexus. and getting out of it, That Guy: early 60s, short grey moustache, super nice bike, nice wife, and a full kit of high-end, matching gear. his tight black shirt was bulging a little over the too-much-good-living pot belly. he looked like the kind of guy who'd buttonhole you to explain how the economic downturn is actually good. meaning, good for him. meaning, he didn't mind that he'd lost his job as an investment banker because his quality of life was so much better now.

i pedalled on.

and almost straight into a threesome of horses. "afternoon ma'am," said the leader. "hi there!," i said, "party of three?" "yep," said the wrangler, "you a party of one? how'd you manage that?" i smiled. "long ride up from the visitors' centre. turns out that part isn't figured in the 9-mile trail distance." "no ma'am," he said soberly, "it's not."

i pedalled on. this must be the ponderosa pine forest described so fulsomely in the trail guide. the trail is really narrow, maybe a third of a typical hiking trail. i'm wondering how horses can manage such a narrow trail, and i'm wondering how there can be yet more uphill -- when all of a sudden the trail disappears into a sweet moment of downhill relief followed by a sharp turn. somewhere in the middle of that first hairpin turn i discovered what it meant to share a trail with horses.

let me put it this way: if you careen downhill on a narrow path barrelling toward a hairpin turn, and if there is a pile of wet horseshit right at the crucial spot, you will wipe out. and it will not be pretty.

and what's this? more horses. 20 of them, in fact. i pull off the path as i'm told and report that there's one more biker coming. the women in the group are agog. "how often do you do this?," asks one. "oh, every day," i joke. "actually, i'm from canada. if i'd had any idea what this trail was like, i'd never think of trying it." "oh, well, then. that makes more sense," says one rider. the rest of them laugh in agreement. what is that supposed to mean? "are you really doing this alone?" "sure," i say. "isn't it a great day for a ride?" "well, you just go for it!," says a third woman. am i imagining that she shoots a meaningful glance at the rest of the riders?

Investment Man is now beside me. "so!," he says. "yeah," i say. "you been riding this area long?" "oh, not really," i say. "we did a little up in moab, but -- " "yeah, it's hard to find good single track," he says. "if you like sliprock, you should try gooseberry mesa. it's great. it's pretty level, not even an uphill as long as this, but there's a whole bunch of trails up there, about half sliprock. yeah, and i've ridden some moab trails too." there's a minute pause before, "you know, i'm only wearing this safety gear [elbow pads, knee pads] because i spent more time on my elbows and knees than i wanted to, there on gooseberry mesa. that rock isn't too forgiving! so, that's what that's about. where you riding next?," he presses. i tell him we're going home, then, to be polite, ask "you ride solo, mostly?" "yeah," he says. "the wife has a comfort bike, but..." he shrugs. "...but she drops you off at the trailhead in the lexus," i finish, in my mind. i indicate that i'm going to have my lunch, and he should go ahead. "oh okay!," he says eagerly, "that way you can pick up the pieces of me later. heh heh heh."

"single-track," i ponder, "comfort bike."

when i remount i can feel my legs -- the hiking, the uphill -- and start to wonder whether i really will do those other trails today. but no need to decide yet. i still have the best part of an hour on this trail.

make that the best part of three hours. 'cause here's what they don't tell you in the trail guide. the path doesn't just "travel through ponderosa forest," it goes up, and i mean up, the outside of a ravine to a sharp left turn so it can rush downhill into the cleft of the next, hairpin right turn to climb out of that ravine -- and so on.

it does this roughly 142 times over 2 miles.

that's the ponderosa forest bit. so you can imagine my relief to hit the transition to the red rock canyon bit. "this must be the moderate part," i thought.


for one thing, the trail is mostly sand and scree.

for another, it noses precipitously near the edge.

for a third, the uphills and the downhills are really really steep. the hairpins are really really sharp. and the horses, it turns out, aren't bothered by kicking large rocks into the middle of a six-inch "single track." they do just fine. but look closely at these pictures and you'll see that mountain bikers routinely pitch over the edge.

also, the trail is long. like, really really long. way longer than it's supposed to be. way longer than i was expecting. when i saw how far the trail stretched out in front of me i was so gobsmacked i stopped dead -- just stopped pedalling so that i wouldn't run over my own jaw lying slack on the scree. which means that i immediately went ass over tea kettle sideways downslope, until the abrupt and thorough penetration of a petrified branch into my left heel brought me to a halt.

by this point i am walking, dragging, cursing my bike more than i am riding it. i would give anything for a conversation with Investment Man. i wonder whether navy dave has made it to escalante. i can only remember the first part of his motto.

did i mention that the wind howls across the ridges until it's all you can do to keep your balance?

if i'd had any idea what this trail was like, i'd never think of trying it.

walking down a hairpin turn, i lose my footing, lose my bike, and then lose the skin over my knee. i learn another thing: dust helps blood clot.

i round another corner and OH MY GOD IT'S INVESTMENT MAN'S TORSO!

or, wait, maybe it's just a big lump of red rock.

i skip the side trip to inspiration point, since the only thing i would find remotely inspiring at this point is the sight of the jeep.

cross my heart and hope to die, if i make it out of this alive i will never mount a bicycle again as long as i live.

it is pretty, though.

well, i'm keying this blog so you know how the story ends. ever so gingerly i make my way out of the canyon. when it seems that the path is well and truly level, i stop under a tree for a granola bar. two agile 40-somethings happen by. "hey," they ask, "are you okay?" "oh, yeah, sure," i say, "it's just a flesh wound." one of them peers at me more closely. "you're not wearing removable clip shoes, are you?" "nope," i agree, "i'm remarkably ill-equipped for a ride like this." "how was it?," asks the other guy.

"fucking awesome."

Cycling the desert

i'll admit, when mo got the notion we should get a bike rack to carry our bikes down to the desert, i didn't pay much attention. knock yourself out, i thought, it don't matter a whole helluva lot.

boy was i wrong.

having our bikes down here has transformed the trip. you know how it is, you get tired of walking day after day. it's slow, the pack is heavy, your thighs chafe and your feet hurt. you're always hot. if the hike isn't great, the misery is all you can think about after a while. but mix in a little cycling, and it's a whole new experience. there's always a breeze, it's easy to carry extra water, and you use different muscles. best of all, the world unfolds at 15 km/hour. driving has its pleasures, but they are transitory. as soon as you see something you like, it's gone. cycling, on the other hand, is the perfect pace for seeing a canyon wind or watching a river wend.

we rode ten miles up the colorado from moab:

we did some off-road riding at dead horse point:

best of all, we bicycled zion. brilliantly, zion canyon is closed to private vehicle traffic. closed, to private cars. in america! its 1950s two-lane road had become a virtual parking lot by the millennium, so they implemented a free shuttle that goes up and down the canyon every ten minutes and into the village beyond, stopping at each trailhead and leaving the roads of zion free for cyclists.

i'd rave some more, only i have to hop on mister bike right now, to get us some provisions.

Hiking horseshoe canyon

to get to horseshoe canyon from moab, you head back north up the 191. hang a left onto I-70, but before you hit the san rafael swell (say, 30 miles or so), turn south down 24. a couple dozen miles down that two-lane asphalt you'll see a dirt road leading east to hans flat ranger station. now you need the topo maps. after about 30 miles on increasingly rough roads, you hit the five-mile access to horseshoe canyon. wonder whether you should have a vehicle on this road at all. persevere. and park in the overview parking lot that gives nothing away.

the hike is marked with cairns over slickrock, and it goes down down down for 750 feet. you're not surprised to see dinosaur tracks on the path. every step down gets a little bit hotter, until you're down on the breezeless canyon floor. by early afternoon it's about 32 degrees down there, with the sun glinting off desert-varnished rock.

you walk the wash for a few miles, looking at various petroglyphs and pictograms along the way.

finally, you get to the great gallery, with some of the finest rock art in the world. it's a pilgrimmage for many anthropologists, a mecca for art historians. you sit, awed, in the blessed shade, and you're right: you will never forget this feeling.

on the way home, even though it's in the opposite direction, stop at goblin state park. why not?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Desert tripping

it's been hard to write, since mostly we've been too busy hiking

and cycling

and mountain biking

to do any blogging.

we've seen some amazing stuff in our two weeks away: peregrines shrieking over red-rock hoodoos, familiar montane landscape giving way to badlands i couldn't have imagined, natural bridges, trestle bridges, arches and petroglyphs, an entire national park closed to private vehicles, queen victoria figured in sandstone, marriages ending in an RV park (mostly because of the parking), a japanese lady hiking with parasol and kitten heels, a lizard eating a grasshopper. there are things we've felt that can't be captured in words or photographs: the miracle of an apple in desert heat, the coolth of rock that's been in the shade, the feeling you get in front of pictographs painted over 10,000 years ago.

i'm writing this post, and the next few, just outside bryce canyon. it's high desert, 7777 feet, which means it goes down to freezing at night and up to a perfect 24 during the day. there's a big fat robin perched on the tent trailer while its mate scours the ground around my feet. a stellar's jay is sitting in the tree ahead of me. it's just like being in jasper .... until you remember what's down the road.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An unusual sight

of all the remarkable things we saw today -- a vee of white pelicans drifting onto a lake, a wet beaver snuffling through the deep montana snow, billboards for bankruptcy help, billboards for mortgages, rain lashing the great salt lake -- none was more unexpected than the vision of 14 humans falling from the sky outside ogden. it was one of those endless industrial strips next to 4 lanes of the I-15, all billboards and big box stores, except that just off to the right was a baker's dozen of x-shaped human beings, drifting lazily to earth under multi-colored parachutes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Riding with everything but rilke

a few years ago my friend and colleague ted bishop published a great book called riding with rilke. the book is about a lot of things, especially reading and writing, but at its centre is a solo motorcycle ride from edmonton alberta to austin texas. ted's been on my mind today because we're driving some of the same roads, some of my favorite in the world, and i'm powerfully reminded of his descriptions of two-lane blacktop, esso diners and the freedom of the road.

i am amazed how powerful that idea is -- the freedom of the road -- given the reality. okay, maybe in ted's case there's something to it: the wind in your face, the bugs on your faring, a single pair of jeans. he did the trip in something like a week, as i recall, in two saddlebags. he brought a map, a blank journal, a rainsuit and a credit card.

we, on the other hand, are not traveling quite so light. what gives it away, i wonder: the 6-cylinder jeep or the 2000-pound trailer behind it? each of us has a giant plastic bin for our clothes, not including shoes. 7 pairs. (each.) we are also carrying a big box of food, 4 iPods and the donut player, heather's iphone, mo's smartphone, a solar charging unit, 2 laptops, 2 bikes and associated paraphernalia, an extra memory-foam mattress for the king-sized trailer bed, a portable powerpack, several gallons of water, assorted coffee rigs and a pound of beans (you know we're roughing it 'cause the beans are ground), our new yorker backlog, two lawnchairs complete with sunshades, a range of camera options, and at least 22 books: our own books on utah, my parents' books on utah, dianne and katherine's books on utah, novels for heather, novels for mo, the audubon bird book, the trailer journal, hikes in the canadian rockies (oops), the rand mcnally atlas, the national geographic atlas, and bed gadd. don't even ask what's in the actual trailer.

now consider: synthroid for mo, a topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory cream for heather, a giant bottle of advil for the both of us, in consideration of a week of cycling, pepto bismol, cal-mag supplements, glucosamine chondroitin, surgical tubing so i can keep up on my physio, waterproof sunscreen for heather, PABA-free sunscreen for mo, the clinique three-part face-cleansing system, intensive eye serum, regular glasses, reading glasses, prescription sunglasses, nonprescription sunglasses and contact lenses, and it's less rebel without a cause than stop that bus!.

i swear to god, though: you crank the tunes, haul the liberty into 5th, and it's all freedom all the time.