There definitely won't be a problem finding things to write about in this edition. The problem will be condensing it into one post without going crazy long. I could easily make 3 or 4 posts out of this if I wanted to. I'll do my best to get the interesting stories out there from the recent trip to the ATL. There will be things I'm sure I'll miss in my writings, but I think I'll be able to get a nice batch of randomness, that's what I do. A quick preview of what is to come? Waffle House, bad driving, drunken chaos and presentation of "The Award", sweating more than I ever have in my entire life, and much more. This is going to be the longest blog I've ever written more than likely, so I'm warning people now, try to stay with me. Freak is calling it The Madhouse XXL.
As you guessed it, this entire blog will be about the journey to Atlanta. I always get a kick out of the variety of people who read this thing from a random bum in the middle of nowhere in Shinnston. People from as old as 60 years old or more to as low as teenagers, we cover all levels. I try not to get too crazy in here, but I'm sure some of the things I write are over the top for some. I think overall it's laid back though, so I'll keep my style as I always have. A bunch of my family always gets a kick out of it, so that makes it fun to write every week or so and then tons of my people online since I'm ate up with that. Two paragraphs and I'm still not even into the trip. Enough of the small talk, buckle up and let's go..
A quick thing on the road trip. We saved an hour this time by going a different direction. Two years ago, we went through Huntington, WV and cut into KY, TN, and then GA. This year, we went through Bluefield, WV, cut into VA, TN, and then GA. 9 hours total and I surprised myself again by doing all of the driving. I never consider myself a good driver, I'm actually probably horrible, but I came back with my car in one piece, mission accomplished. I like this drive because most of it is straight up in the middle of nowhere. Tennessee is nothing but Waffle House (more on this later) and firework shops. I like it there, but not much action. Makes for an easy drive though. Along the ride with me was Cousin Ozzie and his chick Maria for those keeping track at home. On the way down, Maria found a great Chinese place. She used her phone and searched the area we were in. We found a few in Marion, VA so we figured might as well try it. Ozzie called for directions and that was an interesting call. I knew it'd be a mess, so that's part of why we wanted to call just to see what they'd say. Great Wall in Marion, VA, you just got a free plug in the blog. Excellent food.
One of the big things the guys were interested in was hitting up a baseball game. We did that on Friday night as we saw the Braves get beat down by the Rockies, 9-2. Turner Field is an awesome stadium, I like it there a lot. Ozzie and Matty Cakes were the only ones of our crew of 11 who stayed at the house that went to the game. Our seats were pretty good. We were about 10 rows up in the right field homer seats. We got them off scalpers who told us they were near the dugout, but they weren't. We saw the section number and knew it was down low, so we didn't bother with that after bargaining him down to a lower price. I know I complain about heat too much, but Ozzie and Cakes can back me up on this for sure. The hottest I've ever been in my life. Everyone was miserable at the game and the quote of sweating your nads off was definitely true in Atlanta, every time we were outside. A funny, but disturbing thing we talked about at the game was how dirty everyone was, us included. I asked them what percentage of the crowd of 37,000 that would get a shower after the game. Ozzie guessed at least 25,000 wouldn't, that's horrible. Gotta stay clean, I don't care if I have to get 3 showers some days, I hate being dirty. This was beyond dirty though, 37,000 people dripping sweat right on top of each other. We must really love baseball to know it'd be that bad before we were going, but well worth it. And of course, I had to get a shower immediately after getting back to the house.
A quick story from the game and I'll get onto something else. We had this little girl about 3 years old in front of us. I saw her get this huge blue slushie. I said no way would she finish that thing. A few minutes later, she drops the slushie, it lands on the seat and the top comes flying off. In the process, me and Ozzie got drenched with it, the chick's Mom got it all over her, the chick had it all over her face and legs, etc. Then this woman behind us had a nice white top on and it was ruined with this blue slushie juice on it. Me and Ozzie didn't care since we were already dirty and just wiped it off, but the Mom didn't even bother to apologize to the chick whose shirt got mangled. I liked it, cracked me up. I'm not a Braves guy one way or the other, but it never gets old seeing the Tomahawk Chop in person being done by everybody in the stadium.
So the interstate down and back wasn't too big of a deal to navigate on. For a guy that can't drive well, I did fine on that part. Atlanta is a totally different story. I'm not a fan of driving downtown at all there. Before the game, at one point, we were on section that had 7 lanes going in one direction. 7! That's right, one way had more roads going in the same direction than anywhere in West Virginia has on both sides combined. You're talking to a dude whose town has 2 stoplights in it and here I am driving like a madman in these lanes and people just zooming by. What I don't get, in these big cities, how is there not a ton of fender benders? There's like 1 centimeter between every car in this section, it's nuts to me. Then on the way back from the game, we were about a half mile or less from our intended exit. We about missed it. I was 4 lanes over and needed to get off the exit. Luckily, these people seem to be used to out of state bums like myself not having a clue in changing lanes and will let anyone in. So I guess the moral of the story is to go 20 miles over the speed limit, drive like a maniac and you'll fit right in. Big city driving, not for me one bit. I was a big time nervous mess doing that, but I did it at least.
Saturday rolls around and it's off to lunch with the whole crew and then mall action. We hit up The Cheesecake Factory, can't go wrong with their food and who can pass up cheesecake? I went with Cousin Angie's recommendation as me and her rock it out eating the sweets. I went with White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. Go get that bad boy, it's well worth the purchase. Me and Angie wouldn't steer you in the wrong direction when it comes to that. Angie, slow that car down by the way, hah. Just picking on ya, but you know it's true, I gotta mess with people. After that, we hit up one of the big malls down there for a few hours and then some. We got in one store and Cakes checked to see if anything was near West Virginia. Of course, the idiot store worker started asking things like, "Oh! I see Fairfax. You near there?" Then she pulls out Arlington. Come on you pile of garbage, we're a state of our own, yet nobody seems to notice that. Then Ozzie jumps in and gets fired up and asks if anything is near Pittsburgh since we're fairly close to that. She looks in a coma at us, then Ozzie had to say Pennsylvania to get her out of being cracked out. I know my state isn't much, but come on people. We're not Virginia, give us just a tiny bit of respect. The good thing at the mall though was that I loaded up on a real nice Larry Bird jersey I don't have in my collection. Like I need anymore Bird stuff, oh well, I could be buying worse. Worse would be the crack that the jewelry store chick who didn't know WV was a state was smoking that day. This one is a Dream Team Nike jersey. The inside is lined in gold and has the results and of the team's wins from 1992 in there. The outside is the traditional red, white, and blue Olympic jersey, #7 from the Basketball Jesus. Quality purchase, it's solid.
Saturday night and Cousin Jill and Gayle's place was about to turn into a real life version of the movie Animal House tied in with a mixture of a Real World episode gone way wrong. You think I'm kidding, huh? By the way, new Real World season starts on Wednesday night! As the saying goes, you think you know, but you have no idea. However, it was some good action, and overall I think the night was a success. Before I get into that mess, I gotta thank Jill and Gayle for letting a zillion people stay at their place and them not wanting to kill us by the time Sunday came around. I'm in love with their house too, a real nice setup, lots of room and it worked out great. Gayle seemed low key and not a lot bothered him this week, so he gets props from me on that. I'm not sure I've ever seen Gayle get mad and he didn't get too involved with the madness that was about to ensue that night, always a nice guy.
My Uncle Bill joked that I was sleeping from place to place. Not sleeping around, get your mind out of the gutters, no dirty chicks in Atlanta for me on this trip if you're keeping track, hah. All of Jill's buddies that showed up were either married chicks (one looked good I thought) or lesbians, so I was out on both, can't mess with that drama. :) I'd slept in a little bed the first night and then the next two nights I slept on the couch and would then go upstairs in a bigger bed and switch off when people would wake up. 7:00 one morning, I heard steps and talking coming from upstairs. That's when I knew it was Cousin Ashton and Cousin Ashley gearing up for cartoons and toys in the room I was at. I open my eyes and Big Ashton is standing there in front of my face just staring at me as I woke up, not saying a word. That got me going good, the kids were funny and great all weekend. This coming from a guy who can't handle screaming and whining kids, but zero of that this week, I had fun with them.
Ashton's 2nd birthday party was starting at 5:00 that evening. Before that, Uncle Bill took me, Cousin Kari, and Cakes out driving around to the rich boy section. These places were just ridiculous to us bums from WV anyways. One of the places was where Elton John used to live and you had fountains with statues in front, pillars, a huge area of land, etc. These weren't houses, they were basically castles. I was saying how great it'd be to have a picture superimposed to where our houses were inserted next to these places. I'm a slacker with my camera, so I'm borrowing some of the ones that Ozzie took, they turned out nice, thanks a bunch man.
I'm guessing there were about 30-35 people there for the party. After Ashton opened his presents, around 7:00, the madness was about to start. When our family is together, it seems like someone gets so trashed that they become the life of the party. This got us started a few years ago to "The Award". What's that you ask? It's given to the drunkest of the night or the person who makes the biggest fool of themselves. I don't drink at all, so it was me, my Aunt Susie, and some pregnant chick that wasn't drinking of the entire crew. Nothing wrong with that, just setting the story up here for those reading along. Around 9:00, things started to get rowdy in the kitchen. By this time, it was just family for the most part. At that time, I heard the music start to crank and then karaoke and dancing ensued. I go to the kitchen to do my duty of hanging around the madness for a bit and then had to roll out and get a shower to get away from that. I'm weird, I can't be around everyone else drinking for a long period of time, just not my idea of fun one bit, but I'll hang for a few. I've always been that way. It's a big reason I'm not a fan of bars. That makes me boring, I know, but I do my own thing. How fun is it for me to stand in a packed place, with a bunch of drunks, smoke blowing in your eyes (we didn't have smokers on this trip though, a huge plus there), and music so loud that you have to literally scream to a person 2 feet in front of you for them to hear you talking. I don't get it.
I head downstairs to watch some of the NFL Hall of Fame Induction with Cakes. He's a hardcore Bills fan and we were interested in what Thurman Thomas had to say. Plus, that gave me an excuse to stretch out and take control of Gayle's laptop. I always asked everyone before using it, so I guess they would've spoken up if they really wanted it bad enough. That's the good thing about our family, most of us just tell it how it is and are honest about it. Hopefully I didn't hog the computer too much, but it seemed like everyone was having fun doing their thing, I might as well do my addiction as well. Around 10:00, the party was moved to the downstairs section, much cooler down there and we didn't have to sweat our nads off.
Shortly after that, I see Maria sitting up and her head is falling on Ozzie's back. Uh oh, we have a candidate here. Not long after that, she's laying face down on the floor and in a coma. Jill does her job of getting the cam all up in her face and started interviewing her for "The Award". I asked Gayle if we had an official name for it. He said "The Award" is what will work and I'm rolling with that. Late in the night and into the next morning when we woke up, there was debate over who would get this award. According to Maria, she only had two drinks and mentioned she's not much of a drinker at all. Apparently not, because she was out of it, but she was a good sport about it the next day. Me and Gayle discussed that since she's a rookie and a newer addition to the family, she automatically gets the award. How'd the others do in the race for fame?
Kari could very well have been given the award. Since she holds the biggest win so far on Christmas Eve 2005, we figured we'd give it to someone else. Plus, Maria was on the floor way early and Ozzie had to carry her up the steps and to bed. Well, to the toilet to where she supposedly wasn't puking, but was falling asleep on the toilet. That's some true lovin' right there and Kari always brings that up around Ozzie and Maria, good stuff. Anyways, Kari is like me and will say what's on her mind when she's not drinking. When she gets her party on, it gets to be even more entertaining. She was the puking casualty of the night, but woke up the next morning like a champ. I gotta give it to Kari and Cakes (who was also tuned in pretty well, but he handles his drinking better than most it seems) for that next morning, they were ready to rock and not feeling any effects. Angie, her man Will, Jill, and Gayle did fine, they didn't make fools of theirselves this time, hah. That kinda rhymed, we had a Bill, Jill, and Will all in the house. That's confusing enough, even for a sober person.
Late in the night when we had people passing out, puking, and whatever was going down through the house (believe me, there was tons more, but I don't have enough space to get in everything), it calmed down a bit after 11:30 or so. Cousin Zack is in Qutar and we got to talk to him on the computer with the webcam and that was an experience. He was loving to hear the stories of how the party was going and just getting caught up with the family. We got to talk to him everyday, so he was filled in on the melee. I have a lot of pressure in writing this blog from Zack (uh oh, I better deliver, hah), so I hope it's a good read for him. Would've liked to have ya over here for the visit, but at least we all got to talk and see what was going on.
The rock of the whole house? Easily my Aunt Susie. She's total nonstop from when she wakes up till when she goes to bed. Just like her sisters, that's all they know. I helped her clean the downstairs part of the house around midnight, but not like I did anything near what she did. She was cleaning, putting the kiddies to sleep, cooking, holding a puke bucket for Kari, dumping Kari's puke bucket out into the toilet and bringing it back fresh, talking to Zack while all of this was going on, getting fired up (always funny to me) at Uncle Bill for taking some shots late in the night when pretty much everyone else was down for the count, washing clothes, getting towels and washcloths ready for everyone (we used half of Atlanta's water suppply that weekend, Gayle is going to be pissed at that water bill), doing dishes, and all around making sure the house was running in top shape. To that, I was definitely impressed. Even with her running around and busy 24/7, I think she had an awesome time on the trip. Not too many people get a paragraph of their own in here, but when you do all of that, it doesn't go unnoticed.
Whew.. That took a lot of remembering for what went down on Saturday night. There was a ton of stories that I didn't even write down, but I wanted to give the background and feel of the night. I wake up at 9:00 the next morning and our plan is to leave at 10:00. For breakfast, I had a nice combo of toast and the cheesecake Angie told me to get along with orange juice. I wonder if that combo has been done before. At 10:10 AM, we were on the road back to WV. Another 9 hours awaited, but I was in a great mood and ready to start the day out right. Don't worry, we're getting near the end of this thing, just be patient if you've stayed around this long.
We had to stop at a gas station in TN on the way home. Ozzie had to wizz so he goes into the bathroom. He comes out immediately and says it's so dirty that he can't go in there. Understandable. So what does he do? He runs across 4 lanes of the highway to a hotel on the other side. He goes in their lobby, hits up the bathroom, and comes back over. Now that's a good move right there. Also at this gas station, I got a warm Yoo-Hoo, that was a mistake. It seemed like their entire cooler wasn't keeping anything cold at all.
I know you're all wondering. A road trip, especially down south, with no trips to Waffle House? You know me better than that. On the way home, we stop off at an exit in Knoxville, TN. From the outside, it's an older one that looks dirty. Those are always the greatest, I never argue that. I walk in and the place is jammed packed, nowhere to sit. Imagine that. So we only do what was reasonable. We go to the very next exit and lo and behold, it's another Waffle House. We saw a sign in Knoxville that said in the city alone, there were 10 of them. Nuts. We finally get seated and this was Maria's first trip ever, so she was about to live it up. I have just as much fun eating at these dirty places than I would eating a good steak dinner. I didn't get much sweet tea on this trip, but this Waffle House had stuff that was off the charts. Cheesesteak omelette, covered hash browns, toast, and bacon, yum yum yummy. Also inside, the chicks working (mangled teeth, tats all over their bodies, and in rough shape) delivered. They had the accent and were about as dirty as the food and just as ugly. That's when you know you get some true southern niceness and hospitality. Sure, it's fun going out to a place to eat with some girl falling out of her top and being fake by acting like she wants you, but give me the filthy crackhead southern worker doing her thing for minimum wage that seems like she enjoys being there any day of the week. Like that analogy? That's what I'm here for. While eating, one chick was sweeping the floor and I had to lift my legs up. Then another came by to mop and I had to lift my legs up then too, not bad. One said under my table, "Ugh.. it's dirty under there!" Yep, we picked a good Waffle House indeed, no complaints.
The rest of the drive back? I'm not sure why we didn't do it on the way down, but we had to count up state license plates. I don't care how old I am, this never gets tiring. Me and Ozzie were big on this and we dominated. Out of 50 states, we ended up finding 38 of them if I remember right. Correct me if I'm wrong Ozzie. The ones we were missing were Hawaii, Alaska, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Kansas, and North Dakota. Candy always has to be loaded up on road trips too. We had Airheads, Nerds, Bubble Tape, Laffy Taffy, M&Ms, Nestle Crunch, Blow Pops, and that's just the start of things. An excellent spot that Ozzie had came from a trucker. While driving on the interstate, we saw this guy flossing his teeth. I can't make this stuff up. The life of a trucker. I'm sure they've seen a lot of glory holes, a popular topic once I got into the ATL as half of us knew what it was, while the other half didn't have a clue. Those were funny conversations for sure.
I don't even have room to get any other topics in here outside of the road trip, so we'll cover those next time. We'll be back to the regular grind next week, but I like switching things up. Last week on the comments, what's up Coop? You straight brought it with that one, long and quality. Hit me up with a message on Lobstah or shoot off an email, haven't chatted with ya in a while.
Bird's Dirty Thug Ho of the Week: Jasmine, I gave ya a chance earlier to pick out a beauty for us, but didn't see ya get back on. No biggie, you'll pick out some quality stuff soon enough I'm sure. http://www.myspace.com/SexMuffinMaura
Bird's Video Moment of the Week: This has to be one of the funniest clips I've seen. The_Freak showed me this gem and I knew right away it had to be posted. Anyone seen the gay weatherman and the cockroach? If you haven't, you definitely need to check this to get a great laugh. If you've already seen it, just watch it again, over and over: http://youtube.com/watch?v=3TPc4p7uxEs
3 Quick Thangs:
1. Let's try some birthdays for Wednesday, August 8th. I don't have an age, but this is from a request from a good friend and fellow blog reader in WV. Shell, tell Momma Shell I said to have a good one, hah. Tark The Shark, Jerry Tarkanian, he's now 77, wow. One of my favorite coaches to watch because you never knew what he'd do next. The Edge of U2 fame, he's now 46. Bruce Matthews, who went into the NFL Hall of Fame over the weekend, he's also 46. Rapper Kool Moe Dee, 45. Actress Patricia Arquette, she's doing it for her 39th. The best tennis player going today and some say the best ever, Roger Federer, he's dominating people for his 26th.
2. Fun Fact #1: Einstein couldn't speak fluently when he was nine. His parents thought he might be retarded.
3. Fun Fact #2: About a third of all Americans flush the toilet while they're still sitting on it.