Before I continue with the South Dakota saga, a word or two – knowing me, it’s more likely to lean towards the two- about my travel companion, McAdams. We met several years ago when she came to my school, an enthusiastic and over-educated new teacher, excited to implement innovation, fling open the doors of opportunity, and make students’ dreams become realities. As this fresh-faced approach had already grown tiresome to me, I ignored her until she insinuated herself at the lunch table I share with my partner in gloom and defeatism, a man whose real identity I will obscure by making him Asian and giving him the name Chi Toh. Chi loved her instantly, as he is drawn to blonde women with open smiles and a nice rack. Or really any women who will sit at his table. Anyhoo, she came, she sat, she ate, and one day, a few months later, we discovered that we had both been chosen to go to Arizona with our principal and some other teachers for a boring educational conference. We decided to room together, and the rest is history.
Bell Rock, Sedona, Arizona. Painting by Steve Simon http://fineartamerica.com/featured/bell-rock–sedona-steve-simon.html
The Sedona trip became our first adventure together, and it was complete with unexpected drug trips (we got dosed by our principal), rampant nudity (it’s awful hot in Arizona), a precedent-setting hiking excursion that culminated in McAdams proving her willingness to carry me down scary, steep, rocky switchbacks, and an almost total disregard for the agendas of others. (It’s hard to focus on a boring educational conference when you are busy focusing on the way your thumb can be used to totally block someone’s head out of your field of vision. Did I mention that I did not intentionally ingest the drugs? Well, at least not the first time, anyway.)
Traveling with McAdams is great, unless she is hot or hungry. Then she’s cranky and bearish, like a grizz, not a Berenstain.
Most of the time she’s pleasant, easy-going, and willing, which is perhaps my favorite attribute about anybody, ever. She wakes up in the morning, does her thing, and makes me coffee. She tunes in to the Today show, because she likes to watch Kathy Lee Gifford get drunk in the a.m., and then it’s off to whatever the day has in store. She’s game for just about anything, unless it involves people – not much of a fan of humans, that one – but once we have a plan, she likes to stick to it. She will accept almost any challenge, and is STUB-BORN once she makes up her mind to do something. Whereas I like to consider myself “adaptable to alternate and less demanding options,” she is not what she would term “a quitter.” She sees beauty everywhere, but hates being duped by hype, like when we saw the Space Needle in Seattle. “That’s it?” she cried, dismayed. “It’s tiny; nowhere near space!”
Oh yeah, and she’s hilarious.
Lots of time she doesn’t speak, so I obligingly fill in any gaps with an almost constant and never-ending commentary on anything of import; what we are looking at, how I feel about modern geopolitical theory as it relates to post WWII literature, TV shows I’ve seen, songs that have the word “moon” in them, the fullness of my belly or bladder, how I slept the night before, how I think I may be falling out of love with Paul Rudd and more in love with Jason Bateman, and how one time I thought I was in love with Justine Bateman, back when she was Mallory Keating…you know, things like that. Every once in awhile, McAdams breaks in, and when she does, often she cracks me up. The following is a sampler of things she said during our recent South Dakota journey:
On packing: “All I need is this fishing shirt, some underwear, this bag of chips, and some green hummus. That’s it. Priority. And this salad dressing.”
On liberty: “If you’re not free, man…bummer.” (Deep, right? Sometimes, and for several reasons, travelling with McAdams is like traveling* with Matthew McConaughey. Alright, alright, alright.)
On being entertained in the car: “We went through a drive-through wildlife park once. There was a lot of screaming, crying, and flooring the gas. Man, those emus get pissed!”
On passing a sign for Round Up Weed and Grass Killer: “Mmmmmm, weed.”
Going past large rock formations in Custer State Park: “Those rocks look like dicks. Our forefathers’ dicks. Our forefathers’ foreskins.There’s Jefferson’s dick…”
“Oh, deceiving blue sky!” This was sorrowfully whispered to the windshield during a brief rainstorm.
“Remember that move? ‘Foggy Chimp Mountain’? Oh yeah, right. It was ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.”
On being stalked by a mountain lion: “What can you do, but laugh and walk a little bit faster?” (I suggested we not walk at dinner, Northern Mountain Lion Time)
And finally, the last word on a decade of American music classics: “Ooh, Fifties music! I hate it! So scary and creepy, right? Let’s get outta here!”
I just love McAdams. She is a true friend. I hope we road trip together forever.
* I hereby exert my right to spell travelling with either one or two L’s! Who’s gonna stop me, huh?
QUIZ: Who do you think would win in a fight to the death for my affections, McAdams or Mallory? McAdams is big and relentless, but Mallory is a scrappy little badass….
BONUS: New words! When you blog incessantly and narcissistically about yourself, just to hear yourself blog, it’s bloggerbation. Reading bloggerbation can lead to blogravation. Conversely, when you have nothing to blog about, you are suffering from blogstipation.
You’re welcome for the free of cost vocabulary increase.