On the 7th day, I rested (just like God)
Uneventful day today. Talked to my folks, finally, after a couple days of phone tag. They drive to Tampa tomorrow and spend the night before a 7am check-in at the hospital on Tues for my mother’s lumpectomy. She’ll have a local anesthetic and stay in the hospital for one night and then she gets to go home. I’ll call them tomorrow while they’re on the road to check in and touch base, and then my dad said he’d call after the procedure is done. I’ll be on the road for most of both days, so I’m hoping to actually talk to them rather than leaving or getting messages. They both sound like they’re taking it in stride. And then the radiation starts in a couple weeks.
Let’s see. Going to the laundromat is probably about as exciting to read about as it is to do. Suffice it to say that, to paraphrase Homer Simpson, clean clothes get seven thumbs up. Then I hung out at a St. Louis Bread Company for lunch and free wireless. Talked to Natasha for a while too, and then went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Meh. Johnny Depp is great, and the special effects are fun, but it was long and I have the attention span of a small child. Plus, I was hungry.
Tomorrow I go back to SLBC for breakfast and more free wireless, and then I hit the road. I’ll get to Manhattan, KS, by 4pm or so, which gives me time to find the academy, Combative Sport Center, and scout out a hotel before class at 6. Jon from Rodrigo’s school knows the guys who run that school and very nicely called ahead to let them know I’m coming. He also very nicely steered me away from some places in Kansas City with a very high steakhead and McDojo factor. I had a feeling this would happen: that the longer I’m on the road, the more I’ll get assistance from people who know people, etc. It’s more of that BJJ connection. I also have to remember to say hello from Big Joe when I get to Amal Easton’s academy in Boulder.
My “training” today consisted of sleeping late and then sitting on my keister a lot and eating Hershey’s miniatures, which are partially melted b/c it’s hot in the trunk of my car. But I think my body needed a break, so I’m not begrudging myself the down time OR the candy. I also had a huge glass of iced tea, and I’m wondering whether the caffeine will keep me awake. I also got a chance to let some of my mat burn heal. Here is a picture of it. It doesn’t look like much, but it hurts like hell. And right under the mat burn on my toe is some healed over mat burn. Oh, and my big toenail tore too, from training. BJJ is not pretty.
A propos of candy and iced tea, I’ve been able to eat fairly well since I’ve been gone. It was easy with Darin and Linh—Linh is an excellent and healthy cook—but it’s more of a challenge when it’s just me. We took a trip to SAM’s club (which is a wonderful store) before my trip so I have snacks in the car, like Kashi granola bars (which seem to have more whole grains and decent stuff for you than other kinds), trail mix, and whole wheat crackers and pretzels, and those are better than chips or cookies. I also have a huge bag of dried fruit, but have recently remembered that it upsets my stomach; maybe it’s the preservative in it. So getting fruits and vegetables is more of a challenge, and all of those snacks have lots of sugar. It’s something to watch, and whenever I can, I grab fruit at the free hotel breakfasts and go for the spinach salad instead of lettuce. I guess it’s another thing I’ll get good at as I spend more time on the road.
Yes, it is a fascinating life I lead! Well, here’s something; I’m staying in a motel with some character; the rooms look like little houses, and there are garages for each of the rooms. So here is my home these past two days.
It’s right down the street from the bar where we watched the UFC, and the movie theater I went to tonight, so that was handy. (I’m finding that it’s easier to scope out the school I’m going to in a given place and then find a hotel nearby.) Of course, it wasn’t so great to hear people fighting late last night (“Fuck you!” “No, fuck YOU!”), but I never felt unsafe. It reminded me of the first night I spent in my condo/cash cow over 3 years ago. My friends Shane and Mark were in town for work and stayed with me. I must have been exhausted from moving because I didn’t wake up for this, but Shane and Mark were treated to one side of a drunken cell phone argument between some girl and her boyfriend; the girl was right outside on the street below. According to Shane and Mark, the exchange went like this:
“I’m not a slut. I am NOT a slut!”
“I’m not THAT big a slut.”
It’s part of city living, or life on the road. And there are some nice characters here, including the lady who thought I smelled good (she was downwind from me, not inappropriately close) and the guy who had what looked like a portable cooler slung on a strap on his shoulder. I will be a little sad to say goodbye. Well, not sad exactly. I think it’s more a matter of establishing familiarity and then going someplace else that’s entirely foreign. It’s fine and good for me, but sometimes it feels like it takes a lot of effort. Maybe that’s why I like driving so much; it’s relatively straightforward and doesn’t require me to shore up my confidence, just to pay attention to the road.
Speaking of which, tomorrow is an early morning and then about 6 hours in the car to Manhattan, KS. I’m excited to get on the road again! I think the travel bug has finally sunk its teeth in, and I’m ready to get a move on. I started listening to On the Road on DVD, and it seems like this particular drive will be conducive to me paying attention, something I’m not the best at when it comes to audiobooks. Wish me luck.