Monday, August 18, 2008

Road Trippin': The Lost Stories and Photo

Read this first:
Road Trippin': A Picture Story

Two months ago, my friend T2theZ and I went on a road trip to Minnesota. We had goals we wanted to achieve, like eating at Giordano’s in Chicago. We accomplished that one. We also wanted to eat a “Roethlis-burger,” named after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. I’m sure there are countless variations of this sandwich in the city and some of them must be good. The particular one we declined to eat, however, did not look appealing. It was basically a cheesesteak with several distinctly different ingredients added, like marinara sauce and fries. “Also known as the Heart Attack Special, this succulent sandwich will both harden your arteries and literally put hair on your ass, and you’ll be a better person for it.”

Our complimentary seats for the Pirates game were very close to the field—around 15 rows behind the first base dugout. We joked that if a foul ball was ripped toward us it would be nearly unavoidable. An inning later, an old man two rows ahead with a far worse reaction time than us got pelted on the shoulder. “OUCH!” he screamed an entire second later. He was so old that even his vocal cords had slow reactions. At first I thought how much that had to hurt. Then I wondered, who the hell actually says the word “ouch?”

We were supposed to leave from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis at 3:30 AM with a solid three hours of sleep. The problem was I couldn’t fall asleep, so I got us out earlier instead of wasting my time staring at the ceiling. My only reward, aside from getting hopped up on the energy drink, Nos, was watching my favorite movie, Dumb & Dumber, in the car on T2theZ’s laptop. Of course T2theZ forgot his car adaptor and it shut off with 20 minutes left in the movie. My disappointment was overshadowed by nausea from drinking too much Nos.

We ate dinner at a restaurant where some girls were playing Photo Hunt Erotic and were awful at it. Yet, somehow they had all the top point records. I think that was their MO: suck at Photo Hunt so strapping young men lead them to victory. When T2theZ and I assisted them to the new highest score, I wouldn’t allow them to input their initials like they wanted. We needed our place in history.

We changed our speech to prepare ourselves for Minneapolis. Different pitches of “Ya,” “Oh ya,” and “Ya ya” were common, as well as “Don’t ya know.” We said these phrases so often they became natural. When the lab technician at my clinic said, “It’s a long trip here from Virginia,” I instinctively responded with a very enthusiastic, “Oh yaaa!”

We were told that a message with our names would briefly flash on the jumbo screen in the Metrodome in between the third and fourth innings. We thought we missed it when the birthday and anniversary messages came and went. Luckily we continued to look at the screen in between innings, just in case, and in the sixth it showed it for a full half minute. I really need to meet this Ben Rubenstsein guy.Personal message on Metrodome screen congratulating Ben Rubenstein on cancer-free
We stayed with my friend in Chicago, where just blocks from his apartment, crews were preparing to film Public Enemies with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. Universal Pictures paid stores and restaurants to close so they could transform the street to look like the 1930s. I bumped into Depp and asked if he wanted to get a few beers. He agreed, we got tanked, and he told me all kinds of crazy shit that I’m not supposed to say, although I must share that he called Bale a “Welsh prick who couldn’t fight a pirate even with his bat costume.” But first Depp asked for my autograph. He reads my blog all the time. He loves it.

Joba Chamberlain covered in bugsIt was already dark when we got on line at Cedar Point for Top Thrill Dragster, the roller coaster that shoots you off 120 mph and 420 feet in the air. There were visibly a lot of bugs out, though not as many as Joba Chamberlain saw in the postseason in Cleveland last year. The ride employee kept saying, “Keep your eyes and mouth closed because it’s really buggy up there.” I would eat a swarm of giant cicadas to go on that ride again.

We spent entire segments of the trip searching for specific songs on my XM Radio. By the end of the trip we practically had all the words memorized to Bleeding Love, Pocketful of Sunshine (Remix), and Miley’s See You Again. If you were on the road in late May and saw two 24-year-old males screaming and dancing to Hannah Montana, that was us.