Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Thanks to Angie and Inga, two of the loveliest ladies I know.
"Best memory ever....probably 1987, road trip to Medicine Hat, and the Rides were in town. So dad drops us off, says you be back here at 4. So we set off, Sister, Brother, cousins and myself, to partake in some cotton candy and puke inducing rides. Close to 4, we're pretty done, ready to leave, so we park it under a tree by the meeting location and wait. And wait and wait. It's probably a half hour past so we decided we should go in search of the 'blue van'.
Well, up come Dad in the blue van, thin lipped and looking red in the face...none to happy. When you see this face, you know your in shit. The ride home was a series of yelling and blaming. Even though it turned out he was in the wrong meeting spot. We still took the brunt of the anger.
Second memory: Road trip with husband and kids, we're on our way home after a week away, on our last few dollars, we fill the gas tank, and decide to dish the last few dollars to going to the Calgary Zoo for the kids. Well, it turns out it's a Holiday on this Monday and EVERYONE also had the same plan. We waited in line for over an hour, sweating and whining ever increasing. We finally make it in, are just digging into seeing all the animals, when Lily decides she wants an ice cream. We tell her she can't (literally as we have money for our meal home and no money left for extras!), and this goes on for about half an hour, where she has a complete melt down and loses it. We have no choice but to leave the zoo. Sweating, frustrated and dissappointment - great way to wrap up a holiday."
"When I was 12 my parents loaded up the old mini van with all four kids and drove across the country, from Saskatchewan to Ontario.
My Dad blasted his tunes the whole way which consisted of one tape. It was the Beach Boys, and it's still difficult to hear "Help me Rhonda" without wanting to throw myself out a window.
We tried to get some relief by asking my Dad to at least "put the music in the front" or turn it down...he did the old put your finger on the knob and pretend to turn it trick and alas, we suffered through my Dad's bass voice belting out Barbara Ann for a good week.
Not only did he get his way, but amongst the other treasures of travel with my Dad was the bathroom stop situation. He wouldn't pull over unless you were almost in tears. If you wanted a piece of gum you had to hear "chew the horses's rubber bum" before he split one piece of Trident peppermint between the 4 of us.
Another gem of the trip was when Dad would let one rip and not roll down the window until someone screamed "what's that smell". We never got a confession of the source of the smell, but the embarrased chuckle always gave it away.
I thought we were really cool when we "drove through Chicago" on the way home. This was at the peak of my Micheal Jordan obsession, #23, represent. Sidenote, at this time we lived at 23 O'Neil Crescent in Saskatoon and I always thought this was a sign that MJ and I were somehow connected cosmically.
We were driving in a less than choice area of town in Chicago, as Dad always enjoyed putting his family at risk. We were at a red light when a car pulled up full of gangster looking guys, pumping out some loud hip hop beats.
The music went down and the driver signalled to my Mom to roll the window down. My Dad pressed the automatic window down and I knew that this would go over much better if only the guys could only see my Reebok pumps through the tinted windows in the back seat.
In a mocking tone the guy started saying "hey, we're from Saskatchewan man, where the f^#8 is Saskatchewan man".....my face was heating up and I was mortified. I felt like the ultimate hick. They were all laughing hysterically, then the light turned green and they sped off into the night. My Dad excellerated the old Safari into gear and we rode in silence letting California Girls play us back to our prairie home."
Our theme this week was "Epic Family Vacations!", and we had some great stories from Chad and Aaron. You can read Aaron's story below, but alas not Chad's. I had it on a scrap of paper which I dutifully filed in the pile that I use for important documents. Unfortunately, I mixed that pile up with the "crap you gotta throw out" pile... and lost the story.
"Growing up my family went on this big road trip every year to the mountains. One year when i was about 12 we had been driving most of the day from Lethbridge to KooCanUsa Lake in the Kootneys. Our cousins were camping there too and we were going to go fishing. As always, my dad was driving because he likes to pretend he is a trucker in the econoline van pulling a tent trailer. The campground was on the other side of the lake and we had to drive over a really high and narrow bridge to get there. My dad must have missed the sign that said to wait for oncoming traffic to finish crossing the bridge. But we were too excited and as we crossed the bridge everyone was scanning the water looking for our cousins boat. Suddenly my mom yelled "look out!" and i turned forward to see an oncoming car. My dad swerved and went right up against the guard rail, the other car did that on the other side and both vehicles jammed together. We were all shook up but no one was hurt. We all got out of the car and my brother and sister and i stepped aside. The people in the other car got out and they started to unjam the cars. One guy remained in the other car and said he couldn't help because his leg was broken. We were all really concerned then until he grabbed his crutches and got out of the car. His leg was already broken and was in a cast! I breathed a sigh of relief. The vehicles got unstuck and my dad and the other man exchanged information. We arrived in the campground and my cousins were like, "hey did you hear there was a crash on the bridge?" and my brother and i proudly exclaimed we were in it. But we weren't so happy when my dad had to use our road hocky sticks to pry up the tent trailer which had been damaged in the crash. Just and average vacation day for our family!"
- Aaron Chubb
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thanks to Nicola Ferguson and Cormac O' Reilly, who dug some romantic skeletons out of their closets for us.
"I was into perhaps my second or third cheap korean beer watching a world cup game with three of my soccer teammates including a person from Ghana, America and the good old U.K. in a slightly grimey little bar in S. Korea. The game was going excellent as Ghana was beating team america and were up 1-0 when she walked in.
Did I have an enormous crush on her. Yes of course, did I realize that I was actually in love with her. I don't know. I was a late bloomer by all accounts and had asked every single person I knew to tell me just what the hell it means or what it feels like. They all told me that I'd just know somehow which kind of annoyed me to be honest. I then googled it and it returned the same thing.
Anyways, she came into the bar and I tried very hard not to notice her. This was a little challenging as there were only five people in the bar. I already knew at this point that I really really liked her but for reasons but left unsaid (see shitty boyfriend who she's waiting around for to return) I couldn't really tell her and didn't want to show it. So when she came over to join us, I think I may have squeked a small hello and tried hard not to get lost in her eyes for fear that she'd somehow see that I no longer gave a shit about the world cup game or my other friends. I had grown really close to her over the summer and we had found ourselves in those bubbles where everything else doesn't register on a good couple of occasions by this point.
So she ended up taking residence at the end of the bar four persons away from me. Now, I've never actually told anyone about this before cause it was a fairly special moment for me. The rest of my friends were all watching the game while I couldn't do anything else but think about her. But something happened in the game that drew my attention away from her for a moment as Ghana had scored. So we celebrated and were all up cheering and clinking our glasses except for the American. When we all sat down again though and focused on the screen, I noticed from the corner of my eye that she was just looking at me and just smiling. And she just kept smiling for what seemed like a really long time. I knew at this moment she also liked me. It also gave me permission to finally let all those repressed feelings (due to her having a boyfriend) go wild.
My body felt really weird. I felt like I was hungry, but also full. I felt really high and not in a drug way. I felt like I was literally just high on life and also really drunk. I felt like I had to use to bathroom but not really. My jaw hurt from smiling. Basically, it was pure bliss, nirvana like. I couldn't really move. Love had me."
"A neighbour and a friend of mine, and a crush for sometime. He was cute smart and athletic, and I was a tom boy all to eager to impress. It was early one morning and I was getting ready for the bus, which picked us up at his house. As I am getting ready, he calls and asks me to come over about 10 minutes early for some reason or another. So out of the house I go, not even taking a look in the mirror, just grabbing my bag and going. When I get there, low and behold I had forgotten to rub in the face cream that I had put on my face earlier in my haste to get to the cute boy. He was very nice about telling me, however I felt a nice dark corner or hole would have been nice to hide in just for a little while. We stayed good friends for quite a while and that was about it, but sometimes a friendship is better than nothing at all."
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I got two great stories for this week's show from Kelly, Tanya, and Steph. They were kind enough to share tales of their roadtrips past.
"Like most university students, I spent most of my time in school barely eking out an existence while paying my tuition. As such, in my four years there, whenever reading week came around, I was one of the jealous yearners who watched as my wealthier (or at least better-funded) friends took off to Cancun for the week. In my last year, my good friend Steph and I decided that we'd make our own fun on the few hundred bucks we'd managed to scrounge together from part-time work slinging coffee. And what fun can you have for $400 for a few days? Two words: road trip.
We filled Steph's rusty old Toyota with snacks and some extra clothes, bought a disposable camera to capture the fun, and took off down the road with a map and a sense of adventure. We headed south and made our first stop in Hardisty, where Steph's parents lived, to say hi and get a nice, home-made meal on our way. As we discussed our non-plan for the trip, Steph's dad took out a brochure he'd recently received about visiting all the "big" things across Alberta--the pysanka in Vegreville, the Mundare sausage, etc. Never before had we realized how much huge crap Albertans had erected in their small towns! We found a couple of places on the map that were on our route, and made our way first to Donalda, home of the world's largest lamp. Pulling up to the town's main street, we burst out laughing in realization that the lamp we had envisioned--pull cord, bulb and maybe a fancy shade--wasn't the giant steel oil lamp in front of us. We took photos with it, then trekked down to the Donalda oil lamp museum (yes, a museum dedicated to lamps) which the corner store owner had to go unlock for us, as we were its only visitors that day.
From there, we headed south to Drumheller to run around the giant T-rex (Albertosaurus?), although we were too skinflint to pay to climb him. We stayed the night at a classy Best Western, which turned into a side project to find a place that rented movies, but that's another story for a non PG-rated day.The next day we visited the Royal Tyrrell museum, mucked about with the hoodoos and started driving back home to Edmonton. Along the way, we stopped in abandoned farmhouses, left to rot in the middle of fields, and searched for treasures or at least signs of the lives that were once there.
Back home, I turned in our disposable camera to print off all the photos that we could then show off to all those bozos who thought a trip to Mexico was cool. Unfortunately, we never got the chance, as all our precious photos were lost by the imbecile teenaged photo techie who exposed the film when he opened the camera. But we'll always have the memories."
"So I was on my way to Vancouver to see the White Stripes play with 2 friends. We left Edmonton at midnight, to arrive in Vancouver by early afternoon the next day. By the time daylight was beginning to make its way through the mountains, we were into a full-on delirium. Jokes that aren’t funny were the funniest things we had ever heard. During this point in the trip, I stated to my friend that if a moose comes out on the road, the safest thing to do is to floor it and drive through the moose as fast as possible. This was the worst and most bizarre idea he had ever heard and became a running joke for the next five years. We actually had to pull over the car to the side of the highway because we were laughing so hard that we couldn’t keep the car moving in a straight line. Again – not actually a very funny thing to say now, but at the time it was HILARIOUS.
That’s the thing about road trips – you get so crazy being trapped in that small space that memories and inside jokes are invented all the time.
Like the time I drove to the fiance’s grandparent’s, when I met his brother for the first time and he puked out the side of the car. For Christmas, myself, the fiancé, his Mom and his Brother were driving the 4 hours in -40 through rural Alberta. Now, the day began early and the Brother was recovering from a work Christmas party the night before. “Hi Brad, I’m Stephanie, nice to meet you.” “uhhhh…. Hi…” He fell asleep in the car, only to awake an hour later with the urge to throw up. His mom pulled over the car so that he could let it out. I was still trying to make a good impression, so I didn’t laugh too hard at that point, but inside I as dying it was so hilarious. Nothing like first impressions. And I have totally made fun of him for it since. Nothing is funny like puking in awkward scenarios."
"Hour 30 something finds us somewhere in the backwoods of Ontario, Wawa a few hours in the rearview mirror. A 3:00am stop that left us with a tank full of gas that had better be powerful enough to justify being 25 cents/litre more expensive than anywhere else we’ve stopped since we left Edmonton, and empty pockets from the gas station’s complete lack of ATM and debit machines. A quick drive through the town teases our hankering for a giant cup of coffee with a brightly lit doughnut shop that doesn’t open for another two hours. The Wall has been looping on the tape deck since Winnipeg, and when the boys leave the car for a quick bathroom break, I jimmy the button that breaks the player. Now I can either admit my deceit and turn back on the Pink Floyd, or accept the strange country techno playing on the only radio station we can pick up.
In the passenger seat, my ears are bleeding from the music, my ass is numb from this many hours of driving with only the most necessary of stops, and my brain is numb from a combination of flashing Canadian scenery and heavy duty medication from having my wisdom teeth pulled only five hours before climbing into the car. Nothing pushes you to keep driving like having your ex-boyfriend of two days stretched across the back seat of your ’89 Oldsmobile. Or in this case, pushes you to keep someone else driving.
And then, just as we’re reaching the end of that thinly clutched shiny strand of consciousness, bright yellow waves of salvation peek over the edge of the horizon. Ah, breakfast, bathrooms, and most importantly coffee. Standing at the brightly coloured counter of straws, napkins, and vats of ketchup, I watch as hands rip packet after packet after packet of sugar to dump into the thick, black sludge that, at this point, is an acceptable substitute for caffeine. Climbing back into the car, the sugar buzz begins to kick in. We pull back onto the long stretch of asphalt cutting through the Canadian Shield. From the driver’s seat, my cousin chuckles “That is the ugliest horse I have ever seen.” I lean forward to look around him at the large, brown animal trudging through the ditch. Over the rim of the coffee cup, my eyes shift between his face and the ‘horse’. “Dude, that’s a moose.”"