Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Road trip!

It's time for my annual Thanksgiving visit to SoCal for fun and frivolity with great friends.

First, I'm off to L.A. for a visit with Kimmy and Guppy. Yes, those are people. Adults, even. Two good friends from high school. I don't remember why we started calling Kim "Kimmy," but once you start, you can't stop. (Hey, her family calls her Bobo.)
And Gup's real name is Anne, but once she told us her father used to call her Guppy, we couldn't help ourselves. (Imagine this scene: a group of 40-year-old women are in various parts of a Las Vegas casino, when one calls out "KIMMY! GUPPY!" to round 'em up. No, we're not freaks or anything.)

You've read about Kimmy before, when she came to visit me during the summer.
I've known the Gupster since 4th grade, but didn't know her well until our People to People High School Student Ambassador Program (yes. i was a "student ambassador." stop laughing.) trip to Europe during the summer before our senior year of high school. My fondest memories of her on that trip involve her stealing my pillow in the dead of night while I was sleeping on it (we often had to share beds on that trip), and spending most of our day in Barcelona searching for the proper Lladro figurines to bring back to her mother. And having a hard time finding the way back to our hotel. Oh, and the singing. How could I forget Guppy's show tunes on the bus? Once we saw "Evita" in London, I think that's all she sang. Good times.

After an evening with them, I'm off to San Diego, which is where I grew up. And a place where I could never live again (more on that in a future post). But there are people there whom I dearly love: my friend Cindy and her family. Cindy was convinced I was going to refer to her clan as the Clampetts here, but that's way off the mark. They're fun, generous and loving people who have graciously allowed me to horn in on their Thanksgiving dinners since my mom moved away several years ago.

I met Cindy at my very first radio job waaaaaay back when. In 1984. (Oh my GOD, I'm old.)
That was before she knew her husband, even. When the stations consolidated staffs and cut several jobs, Cindy and I kept ours, and she was convinced that was because "we both have vaginas." Somehow, I knew then that we'd be friends forever. She's like the sister I've never had, and will be completely embarassed by my mentioning how much she does for other people. She is, by far, the most generous person I know, and a great mother to four children -- one of whom is biologically hers. The others are her nieces and nephew, who are really lucky to have her in their life. As am I. There's probably no one else in the world who could convince me it's a good idea to get up at 4:30 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving to go shopping...but because of her, I'm a veteran now. I can't wait for my free ornament from J.C. Penney!

Some of my friends think I'm nuts for taking this trip by car, but it's a road trip I've made countless times since I moved north for college, and I kinda like it.
"But highway 5 is so BOOOOORING," they say.
Yeah, but in an entertaining kind of way. When else do you get to see the "towns" of Buttonwillow, Mettler, and Arvin? All that's visible from 5 is gas stations and fast food eateries.... so I have no idea if there ARE towns there. Then there's that lovely aroma of massive amounts of cow shit as you drive through Kettleman City. Ooh.
The key is to equip yourself with the proper snacks, and all your favorite CDs, so you can sing at the top of your lungs while dodging the 18-wheelers and deciding which rest stops you'll visit. Trust me, I'll make it fun. And I'll tell you about it after I get back.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!