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2005-10-03 @ 11:42 p.m.
moose train


Naturally, not everything that happens in my life ends up in this diary. Only the public stuff. I don’t want to bore people with my whining. That’s “A”s cross to bear....listening to me whine about stuff. Thanks “A”! And also my mom. She gets the brunt of everything, since she talks to me every day. And this last month has been especially bad, with my health problems, my car problems, the loss of my freedom from not having a car at my disposal, the affect its had on my ability to do my job, the feelings of failure I have felt since I can’t just go out and buy a car or just fix mine and put it on a credit card, having to grovel for car rides from people, having to take the bus with the dregs of society, feeling scared when “the bus people” go off and start acting crazy (our driver put off a guy today for screaming “Fuck”, “motherfucker” and “fuck me up the ass” about 26 times at top volume. Its the second time in 2 weeks he’s been put off). I’ve also really missed going to my art class the last three weeks, since its the closest thing I have to a social life. I did briefly see “L” the Hippy Chick running out of an Indian restaurant downtown last week. She literally ran directly into my path, and when she saw me she said, “Your newsletter....looked great” and then continued to catch her bus.

Last week, with all this in mind, my mom suggested that we take a scenic train ride up to the Adirondack Mountains this weekend. She doesn’t have much money, but she said I’ve been so unhappy lately, that she really wanted to do something that would “make me smile.” That made me cry naturally. She is the receptical of a lot of my anger. I felt guilty. So I said yes. She also had asked her friend Alf the Dork if he would come look at my car on Saturday. He only has one weekend off a month and after being without wheels for almost a month, I was thrilled to at least be doing “something” proactive about my car. Alf showed up at my door about 2 p.m. and I melodramatically shrieked, “Its a hippie!” because Alf, who is my age, had let his hair grow since I last saw him and its down his back and its snow white. Why? Because he doesn’t have monthly dates with Miss Clairol like I do.

So he looked at my car and we decided that he would replace my cellanoid (sp), since that was my less than educated guess as to why my car would no longer start. I had thought he knew about cars, but he really didn’t, because he futzed around with things for over 2 1/2 hours, muttering to himself and wiggling underneath my car at least 6-8 times. I actually think he enjoyed sticking his screwdriver between the two screws that hold the cellanoid because tiny little sparks would zap back and forth and it sounded really cool. Unfortunately, it turned out, that wasn’t what was wrong with my car. So that was a wasted $20.

I finally ended up calling AAA to tow me to an auto repair place suggested by a co-worker who gives our company a little discount. Unfortunately, it was beyond my towing mileage allowance, so that was another $30. And then the AAA truck driver, it seems, wanted to take me for a little (cough) ride too. Of course it was entirely my fault since I had wanted to ride in one of those big, macho monster tow trucks because I thought it would be cool. And the guy flirted shamelessly with me all the way over to the garage, including turning up the radio when the song “One is the loneliest number” came on. I mean, how obvious is that? Because rather amazingly, that just happens to be my personal theme song and I really had to suppress myself from singing it out loud and doing my usual synchronized wittykitty choreography that accompanies it, because I certainly didn’t want him to get the wrong impression. Mr. AAA also was concerned about whether my mom and dad (Alf!) could keep up with him on the highway.

When I later told them about the AAA guy asking me if my “parents” could keep up, my mom and alf totally cracked up and I called alf “Dad” the rest of the night. And naturally, as usual, alf had to be wildly inappropriate (he was the guy who put his hands between my legs when I borrowed his car two winters ago), saying, “I can be your dad. I was just trying to “come on” to you.”

Huh?


I didn’t pay him for putting in the cellanoid. I just let him keep his balls intact.

So that night I just stayed at my mom since we needed to get an early start to get to the train the next morning. Naturally my mom fell back to sleep and it was total chaos trying to get her out the door in a mere half hour. Personally I can get ready in like 5.5 minutes. My mom needs about 25-30 minutes. I really can’t figure out why. She’s almost 80. And then half way down there she realized she forgot the directions. Oy! And yes, we did get lost. I had to run into a sheet metal mill and get directions to the train station. And then when we got there, my mom didn’t have time to go into the station and take an elevator, so she had to climb a bunch of stair which of course turned into a major asthma melodrama I’m gonna die event. I just kept yelling at her, “You have to make it. The train is leaving. Move. Move. Move.”

We made it. I’ve only been on a train one other time, and it was just for a brief 15 minute ride, again up in the Adirondacks maybe 10 years ago. But yesterday it was for a leisurely 2+ hour ride up to Old Forge through the Adirondack Mountains on a train built in the 1950’s.

We finally got up to Old Forge a little after noon and found a place to eat. I hadn’t been to Old Forge in about 10 years except for a brief trip through it last summer with Married Guy. Of course it looked a little different that time. We had driven through it about 11 p.m. and it was pouring rain with thunder and lightening. We were just coming back from dropping his parents at a camp site up about another 15 miles up the road and it had been an incredibly stressful day for Married Guy, but he had handled it pretty well, considering how everything had gone wrong. I, of course, was just looking forward to the fact, that we were headed back to his house late at night, and his wife was Down Under for a month and...and...and... What? Nothing happened, except for a kiss in my underwear. Woo! That was the penultimate moment of excitement in our entire relationship. The night he kissed me while I was in my underwear. I actually think it was the beginning of the end.

After lunch we started looking around at all the souvenir shops. And there were many. Many. Did I mention there were many? As in that’s all there was in the entire town? Souvenir shops named after moose, bears and trees. And what did they sell? Postcards of moose, bears and trees, as well as Moose windchimes. Moose drawer pulls. Moose toilet paper holders. Moose baskets. Moose head gear. Books about moose. Maple candy shaped like moose. Bedframes carved like mooseheads. There was even a guy out on main street wielding a chainsaw carving out a, you guessed it....moose. Oh sure, you saw your occasional bear and loon in stores, but by and large, it was mostly moose paraphernalia. And let me tell you, every single one of us well heeled tourists were being whipped into a frenzy, searching for that ultimate moose accessory to go with our existing cat decor.

But what I found really amusing about the town was the fact that inside it was all souvenir shops and outside, it was all Harley Davidsons cruising up and down the streets. I have never seen so many motorcycles in one place in my life. There were Hell’s Angel types everywhere, drinking and laughing out in front of bars and they provided such a strange contrast to all of us pastel wearing tourists from the flatlands.



But we all seemed to coexist all right. My mom was a little slow moving after our first souvenir shop jaunt and I really wanted to breeze through a bunch of shops just to get a feel for the place, so I left her sitting on an Adirondack chair talking to some old Eye-talian guy. Its not that I’m a shop-a-holic, especially at the moment, when I know that my money has to go towards my car, but I did buy some postcards to remember my day by.

We finally headed back to the train about 3:45. On the way back we actually drove by the street where my grandmother grew up. She was raised on the edge of Old Forge next to the railroad tracks and her father, my great grandfather, used to work up at the fire lookout towers in the Adirondacks in the summer. That’s probably where I get my love of the woods and nature. Its genetic.

On the way home, the fall colors looked really spectacular in the setting sun.



And what’s funny, all the way back, people all along the tracks kept waving at the train as we went by. I guess they were happy to see us leave, now that they had all our money for their stupid hand carved moose crap.

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