when heathens travel
last friday i flew to birmingham for my first trip to the 'bam and the 'ham. i spent the entire two hour flight convinced i was going to die. as ive gotten older, ive become less and less comfortable flying; not only is it unnatural to be suspended 35,000 feet above ground, but, it seems unnecessary to have to sit so close to a complete stranger that i can smell what she ate for lunch. thankfully, i did not die. however my aisle-mate was kind enough to point out that in her experience the pilots who fly the route "arent very good. and these small planes make you feel everything. and they arent good in weather [of which, we were in the middle of having]."
big red picked me up in the 'ham for my first ever in airport, waiting by the gate pick-up. it was all very exciting. the only thing that would have made it better was if dave grohl were picking me up, but, big red is a close second.
between my trip to austin and my trip to alabama, ive eaten more bbq than i thought i would consume in my entire life. apparently there is a huge southern rivalry about what qualifies as bbq. according to a friend from memphis, what they serve in austin is "grilled beef" and sure its good, but it aint bbq. after having experienced the heaven that is dreamland bbq, im inclined to agree.
our bellies full to the point of sickness, big red and i continued to the griffin house show at workplay. not only was the show great, but griffin house is quite a muffin.
after our trip to dreamland, i never thought i would need to eat again. thankfully i was wrong, and we had the best breakfast imaginable though i resisted trying the "yeasty" buckwheat pancakes (im not sure how, sounds so appetizing, doesnt it)?
i was in bama for an engagement party in gurley about an hour and half from the 'ham and the real fun was the drive up. its hard to say what was more fun: 1) figuring out that my cell phone will read me my text messages and the subsequent sending of perverted messages to my cell phone for our enjoyment ("i wa-nt to kees your sweeeet creamy teets"), or 2) the ave maria grotto. the grotto has given my life meaning; it is literally a monument - a shrine - to crap. the grotto calls itself "jerusalem in miniature" and is four acres of miniature reproductions of religious sites. nothing prepared me for the joy that the grotto has brought into my life.
i still havent found the words to talk about the grotto so instead im going to let these pictures speak for themselves. without them, you may think i was too harsh.
the actual engagement party was also mind blowing. we arrived at the house where we five men were hired to direct parking, and where golf carts drove you to the door. while we were in the limo driving to the party one of the party guests asked what was manufactured in gurley; i resisted my natural urge to say "blonds." though i did chortle when my friend said she was taking bible study.
the party was literally awesome. i guess if you grow up in a house that looks like southfork ranch, you wouldnt think much of this place, but it looked more like versailles than versailles does. and, out of 250 people, there were only two brunettes, and *gasp* we were also both democrats.
unfortunately, i had to leave early on sunday to get back to dc for work. whereas on the flight to birmingham i was afraid i was going to die, on my way back from huntsville i decided crash landing would actually be preferable to listening to the men seated behind me continue to debate abortion and praise dubya bush as the smartest man alive.
overheard at the engagement party:
"my favorite evangelist is from your town!"