Left turn at the highway

>> Friday, July 03, 2009

So I think I managed to get a little sunburned anyway.

But that's really somewhere in the middle of things, isn't it? You're looking for context, and of course that's missing if I start there. To start more properly: I stopped by Scott and Rose's for a few minutes today. My laptop was in the bug's trunk, because I was thinking when I got home I'd pull it out of the trunk and walk up to Smelly Cat instead of going upstairs to get my stuff and then walk to Smelly Cat--you can call that lazy, if you want, whatever, I call it thinking ahead. So, anyway, there I am driving back from Scott and Rose's, top down, iPod plugged in, and I'm about to get on I77, and I think:

I could go north on I77.

Wait--most of you are still missing context. Most of you don't know that what I'd have done if I wanted to go home is, I would have gotten on I77 South to head into Charlotte.

I could go north on I77, take it up to 421, and go to Boone for a few hours.

Boone, NC is up in the Appalachian Mountains, for those who don't know, and it was my hometown for about two years when I was in college at Appalachian State University. There are a couple of ways you can get there from Charlotte, but the two that are most-used are to take I85 to 321 or take I77 to 421. And so there I am, about to get onto I77, and I have a choice, I can stay in the lane I'm in and turn right or I can go up to the next light and turn left.

So I went up to the next light, and I turned left.

I'm sitting here at Grateful Grounds in Boone, just kind of hanging out for a little bit. I probably should have gone to the Beanstalk up the street, which has been around since I was in college, but I kind of liked the parking better up here. Okay, maybe I am lazy, I could have walked another block and all, but anyway, this is where I ended up with a latte and a muffin, just kind of chilling on my day off. I don't have my camera here, or maybe you'd get pictures; or maybe not--either Blogger or my browser is acting funny about uploading images right now. In maybe another hour I'll head down the mountain.

When I was a kid in high school, my buddy Vardell would drive all of us up here in his white VW bus. His folks had an old family homestead in Blowing Rock. And then I roomed with him for a year during college, after which I guess we weren't really friends anymore. Anyway, it was kind of funny coming into town in a much smaller VW, and the iPod (set on shuffle and perhaps responding to some psychic vibe) brought up "Pretty Persuasion"; R.E.M. was practically obligatory driving music in the '80s, as anyone who was there might well imagine. And then it dealt up "Apeman," which I have to admit was never one of my favorite Kinks tunes, and I think is probably my least favorite cut off of Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround but it was a favorite of Vardell's in college and he'd crank it coming up or down the mountain. Believers in Fate would make something of it, but I have to confess there was a P.J. Harvey track that came up between R.E.M. and The Kinks, and she wasn't around when we were in high school and I don't think any of our crowd were listening to her in college in the early '90s, either (I wasn't, and I was maybe the cutting-edgingest, musically speaking, in my set); I left that out because it was slightly more interesting to, what with the two tracks around the P.J.H. having a personal significance in this particular geographic locale. We're our soundtracks as much as we're anything, I suspect--who we are at any given time might be deducible from what we were listening to. (Since the music playing when I drove into town was between eleven and thirty-nine years old, and the track from my youth was twenty-five years old, I'm afraid one thing that can be deduced is that I am getting old. And the fact that this observation strikes me as better than the alternative only tends to confirm that, eh?)

Oh, the sunburn. I stopped on my way out of Charlotte and actually bought some sunscreen. Apparently not very well, which I can attribute to the broken wrist.

Anyway, what did you do today? Anything special?


Wendy Friday, July 3, 2009 at 10:57:00 PM EDT  

Well, I too had the day off. Woot!

Decided that since it's been hotter then hell the last 17 days, thought I'd leave the house at my normal time and run errands in the AM before it got to hot to breathe. I mean, several days I've been sweat-soaked just walking the 3 blocks from the train station to the office at 8:30AM because the temp is already in the mid 80's.
So off I went.

I get into midtown, get to Home Despot to get a few things, and cross the parking lot to grab a caffiene shot at Starbucks. Decide to sit out side in a shady place. Nice view of the growing Buckhead skyline. Very breezy. Very cool.

What? at 10:00AM on the 3rd of July in Hot'lanta?? What?

It turned out to be a lovely day. Clear bright blue sky with no air quality issues. With a breeze. With low humidity.

I had carefully plotted my travels so that stores I was visiting were in morning shade. Which was lovely. By the time I reached home, having finished my errands, gotten back to my neighborhood and stopped for groceries, the temp on my back porch was only 80F. At 1:30PM. So I sat out there to eat my lunch and read. I could have gone to the pool, but the screamers were out there by then.

But day like this in July is a rare treat and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Tomorow, Downtown fireworks viewed from the roof deck of a nearby loft complex. Above the sea of humanity packed into Centennial Olympic Park. And we'll have tasty adult beverages and a POOL!!

Have a great 4th everyone!


Jeri Friday, July 3, 2009 at 11:59:00 PM EDT  

As mentioned otherwise, with my Irish, vaguely redheaded complexion I require SPF "vampires and zombies" to prevent sunburn. A convertible is not perhaps my brightest idea ever. Still, I indulge in topless driving whenver I can. ;)

What a great side trip, so glad you got the chance to follow impulse and enjoy the journey.

I have a new ultracompact point and shoot - since I'm going to leave the heavy lifting of arty DSLR shots to the son - so I can take a decent camera with me wherever I go. (The BlackBerry cam is fairly useless.)

Happy 4th to you!

MWT Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 4:21:00 AM EDT  

I drove through a bunch of mild temperature on July 2. Ran into it shortly after leaving Georgia. It was probably on its way to help Wendy with her errands on July 3. ;)

John the Scientist Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 7:35:00 AM EDT  

"We're our soundtracks as much as we're anything, I suspect--who we are at any given time might be deducible from what we were listening to."

I went from Jim Croce and Paul Simon in High School to Heavy Metal in college, to nothing really in Grad school. That much math compresses the musical part of my brain. It's Country today because the adult to teenybopper subject matter ratio is better there than anywhere else save Classical. Though I am alarmed at the increasing popularity of Taylor Swift.

I had the day off, too. We went to the local beach for three hours, bought some new fish, and had a great dinner. The kids had a ball and we decompressed.

Wendy Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 3:27:00 PM EDT  

MWT, thank you for pointing the kind weather in my direction. It's a little warmer today, but started off mild like yesterday. Right this minute a couple puffy clouds are skooting about. Tomorrow we will pay apparently, we're supposed have thunderstorms starting any time after noonish.

Real test will be how toasty it is when I head over to the fireworks feast in a few hours.


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