Monday, May 31, 2010

Hangin' Out in Texarkana

It was exactly a week ago today that I embarked on yet another Odyssey odyssey.....jumped in the van and hauled a trailer and 7 teenagers to Michigan State University so they could compete in the Odyssey of the Mind World Tournament. And today? I am sitting in a hotel in Texarkana (Texas side) where I shall sleep like a dead person until approximately 5:00 am and then get up and kick the teenagers repeatedly until they sleepwalk to the van so we can drive HOME! Woot! The other carload of us kept on driving today - they will be home in the middle of the night. I think they tired of our endless pee stops and souvenir spoon-buying stops and our stopping to appreciate the awesome variety of vending machine retail goods on display in truck stop bathrooms. We can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to hang around with us for like more day? Wimps.

So I would love to tell you about the tournament and how the kids did but that would entail pictures and way more energy than I have at the moment. Let me just say that they did GREAT even though they are not technically world champions and even though their vehicle did technically break down during the competition. I CAN finally tell you what their human-powered vehicle was like, though. I wasn't allowed to talk about it before the competition but I am now totally Free to Discuss the Vehicle. Which was powered by a rocking awesome homemade sit-n-spin, by the way. I know! Way cool! A sit-n-spin. Joel was the driver because he was the only one who was strong enough to spin who wasn't prone to motion sickness. Anyway - tons of fun - tons of camaraderie - tons of lovely nice wonderful people from all over the freaking world (our buddy team was from Singapore), and with the exception of the women in the pink capes who refused to move when we pointed out that they were in our seats at the awards ceremony, it was just a very group-love type of a weeklong event.

It was hot in Michigan. Hot like Texas hot only IN TEXAS WE HAVE AIR CONDITIONING. Geeze. I walked around Michigan very tired, very hot and sweaty and red in the face with curly hair because Ellie kept stealing the flat iron even though she doesn't use it to actually straighten her already pretty much straight hair, but rather, she just likes to get the wrinkles out. Also? My feet swelled. I mean they really swelled. This was unusual. This was uncomfortable. This was concerning. But the silver lining is that my big gordita feet attracted attention and then people would invariably say, "Wow! What a pretty tattoo! Is it real?" And I would say, "Why, yes it is! Thank you!" while wagging my five little vienna sausage-like appendages in front of their admiring eyes. I am still swollen. I think it is a combination of my being fat and old. I think if I were merely fat, or merely old, I would be okay. It is the combination of the two that is doing me in. Something about riding in a car for a zillion and a half hours and then walking in the heat for more zillions of hours and then riding in a car for another zillion and a half hours.....I gotta lose weight and get younger. No problem.

No time for all that, though. A Total World Tournament Story will follow when I get home. A picture of the sit-n-spin human-powered vehicle with the crane and front-end loader will be posted later. For now? I have to unload about LOST. What was up with that???? God. I stayed up late the night before I had to freaking drive to Michigan just to watch it and FOR WHAT?

You know, the entire time I was a LOST fan I had a little sneaking idea in the back of my mind that it was all going to end up being like a Haruki Murakami novel. Haruki Murakami is my favorite Japanese novelist. I read his books over and over again. They are awesome. They are page-turners. They have beautiful, quirky characters who stay with me for years. And they make no freaking sense whatsoever. Every time I read one I'm like, "this will start to be explained in the next chapter." Then I say it after the next chapter. And then eventually I notice that there are like totally way more pages on the left side of the book than the right, kind of like sands in an hour glass; and I suspect that maybe, just maybe, Haruki's gonna do it to me again and I'm not going to get any kind of explanation as to the previous 400 or so pages. Dang. I hate it when that happens.

Anyway, it turns out I was right. LOST was winding down with very little chance of a satisfactory ending - I was getting kind of nervous - and then it happened. It totally effing happened (by the way - that reminds me - on our trip we stopped for a potty break in Effingham) and I was like WHAT? Dudes, the Sixth Sense thing worked with the Sixth Sense because we didn't see it coming. This time? It was just a cheap trick. Also? When did they die? On the island? Was the plane in the ocean really full of their dead bodies and then the island was some kind of Purgatory? Or did they die later? If the island was supposedly real - then NOTHING WAS EXPLAINED. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I am totally mad about this.

I'm going to go to bed. I'm going to sleep well for two reasons. One: I am so exhausted that I am already pretty much asleep. Two: I know that while I am sleeping you will be feverishly typing out your LOST explanations. I REALLY NEED to understand LOST so I can put the endless hours I wasted while watching it into some kind of perspective.

Signing Off as the Sardine Mama With Trail Dust on her Puffy Feet


  1. I tried to watch Lost to see what everyone was raving about.

    I still don't know. Couldn't get through the episode.

    Maybe THAT'S the secret... don't get sucked into the vortex.

    Hope you have a safe trip home and that your feet start shrinking.

    Can't wait to see the pics and read the story.

  2. The wimps have arrived safely. Sorry we won't be peeing and looking for spoons with you tomorrow. Thanks for an amazing adventure.

  3. Sorry, there is no explanation. The whole thing sucked. I wasted several years of my life hoping for something huge and, nothing. I was also very disappointed. There were so many unanswered questions. I've talked about this on some other blogs and as a whole, most are not happy with that ending.
    On a lighter note, there are numerous websites out there where you could make money by pouring food over your swollen feet. I'm not saying that I visit those sites, I just know that they exist. Happy Searching.
    Your Friend, m.