As you know, most of our blogs have been serious, thought-provoking pieces. This time we decided to up the ante a little and give you our most serious blog yet. With a little bit of fiction added in to increase the drama, we give you Part 2 of our road trip.
[Shakes] If you recall, our last blog post detailed the strenuous training that we endured in order to prepare for our “Dancing With Tristan Tour - 2012” which is how we like to refer to our anticipated road trip to Florida, Minnesota, LA, and wherever we need to go. (Yes, we realize Florida and Minnesota are past events, but consider this the prequel). Of course, after the training came the packing, which as every woman knows, is crucial to the success of any mission, um, trip. What do we need to pack for our "Learn To Dance With Tristan" road trip? Different climates require different items in the luggage, and therein lies problem #1. My car is known as a “puddle jumper”; it’s cute, but it barely fits me, one other person, and 3 or 4 bags from Target. Once I passed the required minivan stage a few years ago, I swore I would go small in transportation. That might be a bit of a problem now since we don’t know exactly how long our journey will take, but SWAT is just going to have to deal with it; besides her car is smaller than mine so that’s not going to help.
[SWAT] Might I just say that Shakes was above taking my little two door Hyundai Accent, aka
The Upholstered Rollerskate, which by the way can somehow fit, two adults, two crazy kids, and about 10 pounds of car seat crumbs in it along with luggage in the hatchback. It's almost like one of those clown cars where you can just keep piling stuff in it and it never gets completely full. But nooooo, the "Control Commodore” had to take her car which is slightly bigger, yet has that “Upholstered Baby Bootie” thing going on, but whatever, I'm game for just about anything. I live for spontaneous road trips after all. Especially ones where the destination includes a sexy Irish ballroom dancer!
Disclaimer from Shakes: I had no clue why she called my car the Upholstered Baby Bootie so I asked for an explanation. Her car is the Upholstered Rollerskate and because mine is smaller it becomes the Upholstered Baby Bootie. There is some deep stuff going on in her head that I will never, ever begin to understand.
[Shakes] There’s no sunroof, moon roof, or Pluto roof on this baby, so SWAT can just lean out the passenger window if she wants to belt out a little Air Supply to any and all passers-by. There’s another teensy little problem, however. I’m old school and don’t think I need a GPS. Mapquest will do fine, and so will my excellent sense of navigation. I should have realized there might potentially be navigational issues when I suddenly recalled the time many years ago when I was driving around downtown Indianapolis in mindless pursuit of the interstate, got lost, and drove over a hundred miles trying to get there.
[SWAT] So you know how you drive past a car and there's a dog with its head sticking out of the window, and its tongue is hanging out of its mouth, and you can tell that the dog is in complete bliss at that moment? You even find yourself going “Awwwww” because there's nothing cuter than a goofy looking dog with googly eyes, and super flappy doggy tongue smile. If you can believe it, it's not quite as cute when you've got a middle-aged chick with tornado convertible hair hanging out of a car window and trying not to swallow a bug. It just doesn't give you those warm fuzzies that a dog does - even with me singing Air Supply, which isn't my first choice of music by the way, but hey, I'm a team player, and Shakes was pretty insistent that it had to be Air Supply. I also don't have a GPS and basically have made my way across this beautiful country various times with my trusty Mapquest printout in hand. I told Shakes that I would be her navigator, but it was kind of hard to communicate with her while I was hanging shamelessly out of the window. Somehow though, even after hearing Shake's Indianapolis “500 miles of lost” story, I had no reservations about us getting from point A to point B in a timely manner. And by “timely” I mean that Shakes also drives like she's a ringer for the Indianapolis 500 winner which makes me think that we will get to our destination that much faster - if we don't die first.
Disclaimer from Shakes: It wasn’t 500 miles of lost in Indy. It was 100 miles of lost. Big difference.
[Shakes] SWAT thinks I drive like I’m in the Indy 500, but let me tell you, I’ve been to the Indy 500 (once),and Helio and the boys (and Danica) drive like old ladies compared to me in my souped up puddle jumper. I’m older now, more confident in my abilities, and I am street savvy. I am no longer afraid of driving anywhere. The only thing that scares me is the idea of SWAT’s hair becoming a receptacle for the insects that smack into the windshield and end up tangled up in the over-sized bouffant that her hair has become. The 3 gallons of hairspray she used to “secure it” made the damn beehive/bouffant a haven for critters. It is actually terrifying. She sent me a picture of the preferred hairstyle for dancing with Tristan, and I think that if she accidentally slipped, leaned forward, or breathed, her hair might seriously hurt him. Then there’s another potential problem. She’s already something like 5'8" but her hair is so big and intimidating that she’s going to tower over Tristan. by at least a foot. (Think Marge Simpson hair but not in blue. Keep reading). She finally confessed that she was going to go for the Katy Perry Grammy Awards Show look - remember the blue beehive that matched her dress? Well SWAT wants to go fuchsia. Fashionable? More like scary. I guess I’ll see how bad it is when I pick her up. Let’s just hope we don’t get pulled over for carrying excessive amounts of hairspray in the form of aerosol cans. She probably already destroyed half of the ozone layer anyway.
Anyway, back to the packing. Like everything else in my life, I approached it logically and methodically. Ask anybody. I always have a plan, so plan I did. I went with clothes that flatter my figure, which meant tons of black. I threw in my Dr. Scholl’s sandals because they are, after all, a fashionable zebra print and with their wooden soles, Tristan and anybody else in the Northern Hemisphere could hear me coming from miles and miles away (just in case they might want to run and hide). Just imagine the stir I would create with my fashionable ensemble. Oh yeah. I also packed my new bathing suit – it’s just like the one worn on the cover of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. I will look awesome. Or I will scare everybody away. Probably the latter, but the good news is that can carry a good part of my wardrobe in my left pocket with plenty of room to spare and thus, there is more room for SWAT’s crap.
[SWAT] Shakes' Sports Illustrated swimsuit was a bold move. There's nothing like making a statement at the workshop, and if pulled off correctly, it could result in more one-on-one time with the Tristanator (or perhaps prison). I told Shakes to start speaking Portuguese (she can speak every other language known to man) and tell Tristan that she's originally from Brazil and this is how people dress when they attend Samba workshops. If only she would have agreed to pair her cover model Sports Illustrated bathing suit with my hot pink legwarmers - now THAT would have been both classy and sexy!
[Shakes] Back to SWAT’s big plans. She really thinks big hot pink hair is going to impress Tristan. But forget her hair, and let’s get back to my new bathing suit. I decided to go bold bold bold. For those of you who haven’t seen this particular swimwear, google it. The issue just came out a couple of days ago, and for some stupid reason, I am the sports junkie in my family – not my husband or my son – and I am the one who subscribes to SI. Now the swimsuit Issue usually goes right into the recycling, but this time I saw the swimsuit and decided I HAD to have it because it is definitely me. You have to see it to believe it.
So as I hit the road and headed south on I-95 while dreaming of the impression SWAT and I would make in this workshop, I realized that I should stop by and get Ripley because she has a sun roof and we can hang out of it while singing the Air Supply songs (instead of SWAT just hanging out the window of the puddle jumper.) Just imagine my gorgeous voice blending with SWAT’s for real gorgeous voice in a rousing rendition of “All Out of Love” and “Making Love Out of Nothing At All”. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as planned because I got lost. Why, you ask? It's simple. A road moved to where it wasn’t supposed to be. I don’t need a GPS because the road somehow managed to actually move from where Mapquest said it would be, and I ended up halfway to Minnesota before I realized I was supposed to be heading south to enjoy a dance lesson or 12 with Tristan. I was also supposed to detour to pick up our bail bondsman, Scoop, just in case of the unlikely event that we might get in trouble, but I got lost again. How, you ask? Sigh. It’s a long, complicated story. I heard some guy speaking in brogue on the radio and thought it was Tristan speaking to me which meant this whole trip was our destiny. Then I saw a big billboard advertising a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake which just sealed our fate. I had to stop. I sat down and enjoyed a burger and a Shamrock Shake at McDonalds - an inevitable combination. The shake called to me from the billboard, and just ask SWAT about me and burgers. When a burger calls my name, I answer immediately. Hamburgers are my favorite food. Forget caviar, champagne, and chateaubriand. I’ll take a burger any day. But I digress (I know you’re surprised). After the burger and Shamrock Shake, you can forget about the idea of any small percentage of me fitting into that bathing suit. Of course, I probably would have been arrested anyway if I’d put it on and have to call Scoop to bail me out of jail. Maybe I’ll use it as dental floss. It’s about that size. By the way, the Shamrock Shake became our downfall, as you will soon see.
Back in the puddle jumper, I continue south, determination etched on my face as I try to find wherever it is in North Carolina, Kentucky, or Southeast Louisiana that SWAT lives. But then I discover that those 3 places are nowhere near each other so I drove around in circles until I found SWAT standing on the curb wearing a hot pink tutu and her pink legwarmers with all that hair (sprayed with aerosol hairspray and eating up the ozone layer as we speak) and causing a ruckus because some birds thought it was their nesting place. There was a more immediate problem, however, than the birds. What’s up with the tutu? We’re not going to ballet class. We’re going to learn us some Tango or Rumba or Salsa or Samba. So she promised to ditch the tutu when we got to Florida if I didn't jump out of the car first. All that pink is turning my stomach. Or maybe it’s the hairspray. I’m not sure.
[SWAT] Might I say for the record, that if Shakes gets to wear her Heidi Klum/Kate Upton Whoever Supermodel Bathing Suit, then I get to wear my hot pink tutu. There is nothing sexier than a grown woman donning a giant piece of tulle that not only shows how serious she is about ballet, but also accentuates her already voluptuous rump ( Hey-it sounds nicer than saying “fat arse”) by adding more fluff to it. I may not be able to speak Portuguese and pretend like I'm from anywhere exotic but I'm hoping that by wearing the tutu, it might add that amount of childlike whimsy that only a mother of two in a tutu can convey. The pink legwarmers are there to act as super leg bling, that is unless I loan them to Shakes to go with her HK/KU swimsuit, because she'd look superfly in that ensemble.
[Shakes] I’m not sure what she means by superfly and I’m fairly sure I could never be any such thing, but I’ll let that go because I thought her voluptuous rump comment was pretty funny, and I give bonus points for comedy. Anyway, we continue on our merry way, GPS-less, because I don’t need one. It took forever because we had to stop so many times because the tulle of Swat’s tutu kept making her itch, and she was whining incessantly. Finally she crawled into the back seat to change (nearly taking out my right eyeball when her hair smacked me – I mean that combination of hair and gallons of aerosol-propelled hairspray is lethal). Maintaining dignity at all times, she squirmed out of the tutu and tossed it out the window where it settled in proudly on my car antenna like an oversized blob of cotton candy. Fortunately, she changed into more appropriate travel wear before she got back into front seat – a fuchsia leotard to match her hair (which clashes with her hot pink legwarmers). Sigh. She just doesn’t get it. This isn’t ballet class we’re going to. On top of all that, she refused to part with the leg warmers because she was positive that Tristan would think she was just like Edyta if she wore them. I tried to tell her that leg warmers won’t make an impression, but her hair might.
[SWAT] Y’all will figure out real quickly that distractions are a big problem with Shakes and me. After the Tristan distractions - our number one distraction of choice - our second biggest distractions always have something to do with food. Exhibit A: The hypnotic, and almighty “Shamrock Shake”. This minty green bad boy comes around just once a year around the time of St. Patrick’s Day. Shakes and I saw a giant billboard for one when we were about to make our turn off of I-40 and get back onto I-95 which would have taken us straight down to the Sunshine State. We didn't make it back onto I-95 though because not only were Shakes and I looking for an exit to stop and get a Shamrock Shake, but Shakes and I were also talking about some super important stuff, like how we bet Tristan's kisses taste like a Shamrock Shake (uh oh, she was supposed to delete that part). She went on and on about the shake she had indulged in the previous day, but she was also being a brat and not taking my advice to dress up as a giant shamrock on St. Patty's day so she could really be a “Shamrock SHAKE”. Get it? She is Shakes....She's dressed like a Shamrock....She's a Shamrock Shake! Okay, well it sounded like a brilliant idea at the time, and I thought she might want to show up for our lesson with Tristan dressed like that, but she insisted on the Samba supermodel suit which was no way going to cover anything if she didn’t stop inhaling those Shamrock Shakes. But the point now is that we are somewhere in Georgia now, and lost to boot.
SWAT's note to self: The supermodel-swimsuit-made-of-miniature-bandanda-triangles-and-dental-floss-will be next to dangle from the antenna.
[Shakes] Florida – Here we Come.
[SWAT] Still lost in Georgia, we still are!! I swear, y’all, I’m ready to jump out the window and take my chances as roadkill because Shakes won’t stop belting out Air Supply followed by every song every written and recorded by the BeeGees. Now, I love me some BeeGees but hearing Shakes screech, I mean sing, trying to do a Barry Gibb falsetto is the single most painful experience of my life. I’m sure she blew out my left eardrum when showcasing her talents. Finally, I stopped being tactful and threatened to duct tape her mouth shut if I heard one more Air Supply or Bee Gees song. So what does she do as we make yet another wrong turn? She pulls out a cd and starts trying to rap along with Vanilla Ice to that cult classic. Yep. You’ve got it. Ice Ice Baby. I thought I had heard everything until she busted into “Stop, collaborate and listen!....” Oh boy. This is going to be a long trip.
[Shakes] SWAT is just jealous because I have the better outfit and shoes for our lessons, my hair is a frizzy mess of curls but at least it's not a nesting place for critters. Anyway, there’s something about being on the road and driving in circles that makes me hungry. SWAT and I are always talking food (true story) and during the course of a yahoo conversation a few nights ago when we were plotting out the blog and talking about important world political and economic issues, we ended up talking about Twitter. As you have probably noticed by now, we tend to go off-topic a lot. Anyway, I mentioned how Arby’s was recommended for me to follow on Twitter, which I found kind of funny – all these dancers, sports figures, writers, and Arby’s. And then it dawned on me. Arby’s! As usual, we blurted out simultaneously (it’s kind of creepy how we think the same things at the same time), “I WANT A BEEF AND CHEDDAR WITH ONE ARBY’S SAUCE AND ONE HORSERADISH SAUCE.” Yep. That’s what happened. So do you see where this is going?
[SWAT] Here we go again with the food distractions, but this pit stop at Arby's was vital. It's true, Shakes and I share a common brain stem and therefore this anomaly of us liking our Beef and Cheddar sandwiches exactly that same way was the morale booster we needed to get back on track. So what if we had gone 300 miles in a complete circle, staying the entire time in Georgia? So what if we had a few mere hours to get to the dance workshop where I would undoubtedly meet my secret Irish boyfriend, at least we had a savory Beef & Cheddar Sandwich with 1 and 1. And that was what was going to fuel us to get back in the right direction. Well maybe....
[Shakes] Oh crap. After our delicious sandwich indulgence, I remembered we were supposed to swing over to Arizona to pick up our research assistant, Azline Dancer. That’s close, right? SWAT made a few calls, and we discovered Arizona is nowhere near Florida or Georgia. Uh oh. So we’ll swing by and get her on the next leg of our trip. What’s the big deal? At least we were in Florida, and how long could it take to get from where we were in Florida to where Tristan was teaching classes? Florida isn't that big, is it? Then things got interesting. Somewhere along the way, SWAT changed into something that made her look like Carmen Miranda. She insisted on showing me up in her custom-designed Samba gear, and when I asked where it came from, she said she knew it would never fit into my car because it was like 3 feet tall, so she got inflatable fruit and I had to sit and watch her blow the darn thing up. Now this fruit monstrosity on her head looked ridiculous, but this Samba dress (if you can call it that) she insisted on wearing was enough to blind anybody – lime green, neon orange, and the yellowist yellow you can ever imagine. And the feathers? I didn’t know how many living creatures gave their lives to make that outfit, but I was sure several species were endangered. I felt a little better after she said that she would never harm a living thing so she had bought the feathers at Wal-mart and then super-glued them to make her costume. It got worse when she inflated some coconuts to make her coconut bra. Good grief. When I asked why, she said she couldn’t help but remember the Foxtrot and the coconuts and Sir Spamalot. I decided to humor her because I knew I was going to steal the show and be the one getting all the attention because I wasn’t afraid to show a little skin while she was covering up everything. In theory, anyway. I don't think that head + Marge Simpson hair in fuchsia + inflatable fruit is even going to make it in the door.
I still had lots of problems with the coconuts, and I tried to be logical with SWAT. I stared at her in disbelief when I should have been driving. She glared at me and snapped, “WHAT? I just wanna be in character.”
“What character?” I asked. “What if you’re dressed up as an inflatable Carmen Miranda and you don’t dance the Samba? You can’t Tango in coconuts – you do and you’re gonna pop them and then where will you be? Jail. That’s where. And your bailbondsman, Scoop, isn’t here to save you, and I'm not bailing you out!"
She yelled, “Well, you threw out my tutu!! What else am I going to wear?” Patience. Give me patience.
But things got even more weird. When I took my eyes off the road to yell at her about inflatable coconuts, we missed an exit, and when we pulled up in front of the studio where Tristan was supposed to be teaching, it wasn't the studio where Tristan was supposed to be teaching, SWAT smacked me in the head, and started screeching at me. Again. We had turned left instead of right and were now back in Georgia. Uh oh. Well, that’s okay. There is still Minnesota. Isn’t that somewhere near Arizona or Michigan? I am not getting a GPS.
Stay tuned for our GPS-less Road Trip Part 3 coming soon to a blog near you.