Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Epic, Estrogen-Fueled Road Trip

Where do I even begin?

After a couple weeks or so of planning, myself & 3 of my girl friends hit the road on the adventure of a lifetime.  We made a 1 day trip to Portland to meet the Bloggess.  (Seriously, if you don't know her, you need to get w/ the program!)  She was doing a book signing at Powell's books yesterday at 7pm, so we decided to make a day of it.  We drove to Portland where we met up w/ our 5th partner-in-crime and embarked on a day we will never ever ever forget.

I spent the 5 hour drive to Portland working on a cross-stitch (aka crotch-stitch) gift for the Bloggess.  I totally over-estimated my skills, thinking I could finish it up during the drive & still have time to spare.  Yeah, not so much.  Before I knew it, we were in Portland & I still had quite a bit of stitching left to do.

That's me working on the words & Chrysi doing the horn
Our first stop was Courtney's house to visit, make a game plan, pee, and steal her away from her kids for the day.  We hung out for a little while while I furiously stitched, trying to finish the gift.  Once we were ready to go, we decided to head to the mall for lunch.  Once again, rather than really interacting w/ these 4 bad-ass broads in the big city, I kept myself buried in DMC floss, wishing to hell I would have had more time to work on it at home so I could fully enjoy the day.  Courtney, Chrissie & Chrysi were super-gluing googly eyes to banisters & cell phones, making mustache puns galore, and blowing bubbles at unsuspecting mall patrons while I halfway paid attention to the world around me in my desperate attempt to complete this damn gift.  My very sweet besty picked up a spare needle & helped w/ some stitching before we decided to leave the mall.

The Validator: making insecure people
feel good about themselves every day.
From the mall, 4 of us decided to ride the Max to get the "full Portland experience".  This is where shit got weird.  Courtney got hit on by some random stranger while waiting for the Max. (Which, by the way, we established is a "Trus"...that is, a combination of train & bus.)  We found a machine that validated us and since Portland is a magical  land where it's perpetually the 1990's, we decided that there is no sodomy in the 90's & shirtless men like to hop around in the park.  Our first stop was VooDoo Donuts, where I happily munched the business end of a vegan Cock N Balls.  At this point, the 4 of us Max riders decided that although it made more sense to hop in the car & ride w/ Unique to the bookstore, we were going to make good use of our Max day-pass & ride it instead.

So once again we were on the Trus and once again, I was working on that gift.  (I should point out that in the '90s, people don't look at you funny even if you are under the age of 80 & cross-stitching in public.)  There was more discussion about the Trus, arrival times, and whether you are supposed to hold your breath when you drive through a tunnel or if you are supposed to honk your horn in the tunnel & hold your breath on a bridge.  Chrissie & Chrysi decided to hold their breath in the tunnel, completely disregarding the fact that this particular tunnel is miles long.  After a few seconds, they let their breath out.  Chrysi did so in a burst of saliva that splattered all over my face & all over the lady behind me, which would have gotten her shanked in the 2000s, but in the 90s it only got her a dirty look or five.

After some debate on whether it was the right stop or not, we found ourselves completely unsure of where the hell we were.  Chrissie was trying to use her phone to navigate us, but at this point it was less than half an hour until the Bloggess' book signing was scheduled to start & Unique was already fighting off rabid fans as she was saving seats for all of us.  (Oh yeah, did I mention that she got there a full hour before us?  It's clear to see who the smart person in our group was!)  We all decided to ride in one of the cabs that were sitting in the parking lot near where we got off the Max.  As we started walking up to the first cab, we noticed it had magnetic signs on it, which didn't give us a high level of comfort as to it's business legitimacy since they clearly couldn't even commit to permanent decals on their vehicle.  That cabbie could barely speak English to tell us whether or not he knew where Powell's bookstore was, so we wandered up to the next cab.  No sooner had Chrissie, Chrysi, and Courtney gotten up to the window of that cab did they see that this particular car was equipped with one of those breathalyzer machines that they give to people who have had too many DUIs.  Chrysi just said "No way, never mind, we're fucking walking!", which, again, in the 2000s would have gotten us gunned down, but in the 90s people are more accepting of loud-mouthed tourists so we didn't even garner a second thought from the alcoholic cabby.

Finally done!!!
Out of options & desperate to make it to the signing before Unique got trampled by the hoard of fellow Bloggess lovers eye-balling our saved seats, we started walking.  Unsure whether to trust the GPS on Chrissie's phone, we gave in to it's authoritative manner & hoofed it through some random neighboorhood, across a parking lot or two, and through a little park.  (I should mention, I was still cross-stitching this whole time.  And still no one looked at me like I was crazy.  Kind of disappointing, really.)  At this point, we had the choice to go left or right. GPS told us right, so that's what we did, celebrating the fact that GPS told us we only had another 13 minutes of walking before we got to our destination.  5 minutes later, we were cursing GPS b/c it suddenly changed its mind & said we were going the wrong way.  We should have gone left instead of right.  We back-tracked, cursing, sweating, and in my case, stitching the whole way.  With urgent texts from Unique telling us that it was about to start, we plodded onward in million degree temperatures, across traffic, and through parking lots, making it to Powell's books just as the crowd started clapping & screaming to welcome the Bloggess.   We made it through the crowd huddled at the entryway of the bookstore & claimed our seats, which Unique had miraculously kept saved for us.  In another stroke of miraculouslness (which is probably not a real word, but fuck you, I'm making it one), I finished the last 3 stitches on the gift right as I sat my sweaty, fat ass in my seat.

Courtney, her book, and the
lightning-fast hand that won it.
Our homegirl Jenny (aka the Bloggess) read a chapter from her book & did some Q&A.  Afterwards, they started allowing people to get books signed, calling us up row-by-row so that there wouldn't be a mob of fans trampling our dear, heavily-medicated heroine.  We all had copies of Jenny's book, except Courtney b/c someone stole the money she had been saving so that she could buy a copy.  Our friend Chrissie was going to buy her a copy, but they were sold out.  Chrissie, being the amazing friend she is, gave Courtney her copy & said she'd just ask to have her spatula signed instead.  (Yes, she brought a spatula.  There is a story behind that, but if you don't already know it, you're not a good Bloggess fan & should probably be ashamed.)  No sooner had Courtney thanked Chrissie for her awesomness, a bookstore employee announced that they were going to give away 1 copy of the book to the first person who raised their hand.  Courtney's hand shot up with a swiftness that is unrivaled by any other human in the history of the world.  She won the book, so all 5 of us were in possession of our very own copy of Let's Pretend This Never Happened.

That's right, bitches!
As we stood in line waiting for our turn to meet Jenny, we were told that we needed to write our names on a post-it note so that she would know how to spell them.  Ever the humble girl, I wrote "Trish, Queen of Awesome" on my post-it, and nervously second-guessed the gift I had made, thinking it might be lame.  Finally our turn came to meet Jenny.  My friends, being cool-as-all-hell, let me be the first of our group to meet her & give her the finished cross-stitch gift I had made.  According to Courtney, Jenny said it was "bad ass".  I was in such a daze, I don't know for sure what either of us said.  I do remember telling her the tale of the 5 hour marathon stitching I did in the car & the half an hour of walking & stitching I did on the way there from the Max.  I also remember Jenny saying she was going to pin it up at home, which may or may not have caused me to tinkle ever-so-slightly in my panties.  She signed my book exactly as I had written on my post-it, and smiled graciously while a bookstore employee snapped our picture.

Around 9pm or so, it was time to drop Courtney off so the 4 of us could make the 5 hour drive back home.  We had all been awake for too damn long.  We stopped & had a bite to eat, played highway games, and talked the whole way home.  When I finally crawled into my bed, I had been awake for over 24 hours.

The hellish heat, the sleep deprivation, the painful sore where my flip-flops rubbed & subsequently ripped a blister between my toes, the Carpal Tunnel syndrome I will be getting from the crazy stitching, and the many near-shanking experiences were all suddenly minor inconveniences in the grand scheme of things.  I met the Bloggess, a woman who is hilarious and anxiety-ridden and magical.  A woman who inspires us to wear our flaws with pride, rather than hiding them in shame b/c we're all fucked up in our own special ways.  Yesterday, I went on a wild adventure with 4 ridiculously rad bitches.  We now have our own inside jokes (I don't like oreos), shared stories, and photographic evidence of an experience that no one else has ever had.  It's OUR story and it's fucking EPIC.

Thank you, Jenny Lawson, Courtney, Unique, Chrissie & Chrysi for one of the greatest days I've ever had!

I just wanted to share my cohort Courtney's blog post about our adventure.  Enjoy!


  1. You're so freaking cute I almost want to puke :D

  2. I love that our blogs are almost word for word the same, as far as what happened. So if there is ever any question, and we get hauled in for least we'll know, our stories collaborate! Thanks again for the memories yesterday, that was totally awesome, and worth the 80 year old body I feel like I have today thanks to that 3 miles walk ( I was curious and did the math, thanks to google maps, who could've been lying to me again)



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