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We’re So Vain – An Anniversary Anthem

 

Departure on the 5:30 AM to Salt Lake City

Today, September 3, 2017 is our 17th wedding anniversary.

Having seen and survived the Great American Eclipse and subsequent Great Apocalyptic Traffic Jam, I am reminded anew why there’s no one else on earth that I’d rather spend my time with than Patrick Bertinelli.

So much so, that I was inspired to write a song about our recent adventure (see below).

But first, a recap: We decided at the last minute (37 days out) to witness the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States in 38 years. Based on factors ranging from our dog sitters being in Oregon for the eclipse to almost all airlines and routes being sold out (plus ridiculous hotel rates), we decided to take the path of adventure: First flight in, last flight out. Take the 5:30 AM to Salt Lake, arrive at 8:05 AM, grab our rental car, drive it like we stole it (which we did) for 217 miles to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and maybe, just maybe, arrive by the 11:33 totality. Then kill an afternoon in the Gem State and fly back to Phoenix on the 8:20 PM.

We agreed to pull off Interstate 15 wherever we could at 11:10, regardless of our bearing on the centerline. The threat of bottleneck traffic made it an adventure, and bonus round: I’d get to cross Idaho off the list of states I’ve visited.

At 11:10, a few miles north of Idaho Falls and well into the path of totality, we pulled onto a country road, drove about a mile, took a right and ended up in front of a freshly mown field, adjacent to three cows.

Moo.

Patrick set up his cameras. We prepared to conduct our scientific observations, and we monitored the moon’s progress across the sun with our special glasses… and then it happened: The moon blocked out the sun. The bucolic landscape descended into a dusky darkness. Stars sparkled the purple sky. Somewhere farmers and their families shouted and shot off firecrackers in the distance.

Photo credit, Patrick Bertinelli – because he is awesome.

Staring gobsmacked at the silvery corona sending its tendrils around the moon, we cheered and embraced and laughed, trying to burn the memory of that magic two minutes on our brains. It was your first kiss, your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon, the birth of your first child… the thrill of all of the magical things we want to cling to and never can quite describe again: Seeing Pat when I walked with my Dad into the chapel with all our friends gathered around to celebrate our union.

When it was over, we got back in the car with an empty afternoon before us. Three miles into our return, we hit traffic in Idaho Falls, spent an hour traversing four miles, and decided to wait out the rush by grabbing lunch. An hour later, we merged back into a six-hour line of bumper-to-bumper bound for Salt Lake City. The miles crawled by as did our hopes of making the return flight. Siri warned us of our dwindling estimated time of arrival — 6:18, 6:43, 7:12, 7:35, 8:02; 8:35. We canceled at 6 PM when we were still two-and-a-half-hours away.

The view never changed. Even when we were inside it.

At 8:35, we rolled into the Luv’s Travel Plaza to fill up. I bought two toothbrushes, a tube of Crest, two liters of water, and a six of Gooseneck IPA. Ten minutes later, we checked into the Mircotel at Salt Lake City International Airport. Exhausted from our seven-plus hour return trip, I didn’t even finish my beer, but we did make the flight at 6:30 the next morning. Thank you, Southwest Airlines app.

Room sweet room. There was a fridge and a microwave. Photo credit, Patrick Bertinelli

The state of Idaho has roughly 1.6 million people in it. Idaho Falls has about 64,000. The Idaho Division of Tourism Development estimated an additional 200,000 people traveled to Eastern Idaho for the eclipse… and they all decided to leave at one time.

The same thing happened to friends in South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oregon. After the forced march back from Idaho, I have come to the conclusion that, in the event of an apocalypse (nuclear, zombie or otherwise), the majority of Americans will likely die in traffic because we are the worst drivers in the world (USE YOUR SIGNAL, BUDDY! TAKE YOUR FEET OFF THE GODDAM DASH, IDIOT! TAKE WATER WITH YOU WHENEVER YOU TRAVEL, MORON – oh, wait).

That said, there is no one that I’d rather be stuck in traffic with than Patrick Bertinelli.

And now, I have commemorated our adventure in song. Please enjoy:

We’re So Vain (with mad respect and due apologies to Carly Simon)

We walked in to the airport
Like we were hunting a big eclipse.
Our map zeroed in on the centerline.
Our time, it was an ellipse…
We had one eye on the stopwatch, as
We watched the miles tick by
And all the while schemed
That we’d be there on time
We’d be there on time, and…

We’re so vain.
Why did we think that we could just do it?
We’re so vain.
We really thought that we could just see it.
Did we?
Did we?

Oh y’all made plans several years ago,
And we waited until too late.
Well, you booked your rooms and got your flights set,
While we dragged ass to the gate.
But we still forgot that traffic sucks,
And now we’re all stuck here.

I had a dream there were clouds in the eclipse,
Clouds in the eclipse and

We’re so vain.
We didn’t think that gridlock could stop us.
We’re so vain. (We’re so vain!)
We sat all day in terrible traffic.
We did.
We did.

We wanted to take a short vacation,
Just out and back for some fun.
So we flew on Southwest and drove to Idaho Falls
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, we made it to the path on time
And when we left, we paused… on Highway 15
in stop-and-go traffic
stop-and-go traffic…

And… missed that plane
‘Cause we were stuck in post-eclipse traffic
Missed that plane (that plane!)
And then we got to stay in a Salt Lake
No-Tell
Motel
No-Tell
Motel!

We’re so vain.
Why did we think that we could just do it?
We’re so vain.
We really thought that we could just see it.
Did we?
Did we?

This is the after photo. Still married.

Too Soon – Hate Bowl

This is not happening. Not today. Not now. It’s September 2, forfuckssake, not January 2.

The football gods are asking me to be in postseason form, when I just discovered that hockey season has finally ended.

I’m talking about Alabama-Florida State. Tonight at 5 PM MST.

It’s a HATE BOWL, and it’s opening day! I haven’t even updated my chart! Are you kidding me?

“Hey, don’t sweat it,” my sweet husband Pat said. “You’re like Larry Fitzgerald. You don’t need to practice. You can go right out and hate like a pro. You got this.”

I don’t think Larry Fitzgerald stumbles out of the gate with his pants this far down around his ankles. A week ago, I made reservations for our anniversary dinner tomorrow night … and I didn’t even bother to check and see that my alma mater, Texas A&M would be playing UCLA on FOX right while I’d be gazing lovingly into Pat’s eyes and throwing back my second glass of cabernet sauvignon.

I changed the reservation, so I can lovingly throw the remote at the TV when Sumlin calls yet another unproductive off-tackle run on first and 10. All I can say is thank the old gods and the new that Game of Thrones ended last week — that would have been a tough call for me.

These are the times that try my hate, and for that, I invented the Hierarchy of Hate: I don’t have to make decisions, I just have to react: Drink heavily, hold my nose and root for Bama, because…

  1. We root for the SEC against nonconference foes (helps in the power-rankings)
  2. We hate all teams from Florida against any non-Floridian team, regardless of the opponent
  3. Nick Satan may be the coach of Alabama, but the Florida State Criminoles are the dingleberries on Lucifer’s buttcheeks: Remember that.

How do I hate thee Florida State? Let me count the ways…

Serial apologists for accused rapist Jameis Winston (FSU settled with the victim for $950,000 — the price of innocence has gone up)… Just since 2010, 28 F-Ass-U football, baseball and softball players have been arrested according to Arrest Nation, the sports criminal database, though to be fair, Alabama has 29 on the tote board… But the good news is that ESPN reported that two-thirds of FSU players arrested never face criminal prosecution!

Crab legs for everyone!

My hatred for Florida State goes back to the early 1990s and their taint-licking succubus of a former head coach / parole officer Bobby Bowden (the Supreme Allied Commander Emeritus of Assholes) And let’s not forget, FSU brought us Lee Corso…

Fucking Lee Corso.

If these aren’t enough reasons to sway your hate, well, you’ll be a lost cause come ESPN’s Samsung Rivalry Week, aka Thanksgiving, and the Capital One Bowl Fortnight, aka Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years.

At least we don’t have Brett Musberger to kick around anymore.

Roll Tide.

Runs

Let this be a lesson for you: Long-distance running and high-fiber diets don’t mix.

Especially after you’ve spent a week-and-a-half ingesting 15 pounds of sausage and schnitzel – that’s 6.8 kilograms for those of you measuring in Germany.

And don’t say I didn’t warn you: Long-distance running and high-fiber diets certainly don’t mix when that 6.8 kilos of pork product have been washed down with 2.5 liters of German beer (which is the metric equivalent of two-thirds of a milk jug). And now, in your old age (39-and-10-months), you really don’t drink much beer anymore because your digestive system doesn’t really tolerate it to0 well.

It gives me gas. Bad gas. Gas of the mouth and ass variety. You have been warned. You can still turn back – and you can still respect me in the morning…

Continue reading Runs

Krewe of Helios-Arizona IX, 03.05.11

Yes, you’re still our friends… and no, you didn’t offend us when you threw up in the gumbo pot… and honestly, you didn’t get blacklisted when you sparked our first-ever police visit for your awesome (illegal) parking job… and it’s OK, really, our friend the paramedic didn’t mind resuscitating you after you licked the hottest substance known to mankind – and hey, at least you didn’t have to go to the emergency room.

So, no, don’t worry: you didn’t miss THE NINTH ANNUAL KREWE OF HELIOS-ARIZONA MARDI GRAS PARADE AND PARTY.

Mardi Gras is late this year – Fat Tuesday is March 8 – which means our annual parade of Louisiana goodness and gluttony rolls at 4 PM on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

Continue reading Krewe of Helios-Arizona IX, 03.05.11

You’re Invited: KREWE OF HELIOS-AZ MARDI GRAS PARTY & PARADE, PART 8

Laissez les bon temps rouler!
KOH2010soffset.jpg
We hope y’all will join us for the Eighth Annual Krewe of Helios-Arizona Mardi Gras Parade and Party:
Saturday, January 30, 2010
4PM-10PM***
Pat and Stacy World Headquarters
24952 N. 74th Place
Scottsdale AZ 85255
As many of you have been here, done this and actually returned home with a T-shirt (and boatloads of authentic Mardi Gras beads), no changes have been made to our parade route or party format – but in case you had one too many hurricanes last year – or the year before that, or the year before that – here it is in a nutshell:
Arrive on time (4 PM) for the parade… bring the kiddos, a friend and a lawn chair, but no four-legged companions… genuflect before our 2010 Parade Queen Tami Simmons… catch the bountiful beads raining down from our cul-de-sac-circumnavigating flotilla of floats (but please, keep your clothes on)… get in line… eat some homemade Cajun goodness (gumbo, red-beans-and-rice, grits, muffalettas)… drink some hurricanes (but not too many)… eat a slice of authentic New Orleans king cake (but don’t choke on the baby) and laissez les bon temps rouler!
For those of you who do not arrive on time (4 PM), don’t whine to us that you are eating the pan-scrapings of cold grits. Do not complain that you have never seen a muffaletta and believe it to be offensive to your Italian heritage. Don’t be upset when you see others wearing cool KREWE OF HELIOS-ARIZONA T-SHIRTS. You have been warned: The time is anointed, so don’t be disappointed. 4 o’clock is the time to rock.
And for those of you late-arriving lackeys that look at your watch at 9:30 PM and think, “Hey, now’s a great time to show up for the party!” THINK AGAIN! Our neighbors are nice people. They tolerate an annual parade on their street. They dig Mardi Gras beads out of their cacti and allow strangers to park in their driveways in exchange for our annual romp through the culinary goodness of the Bayou State. We like them. They tolerate us. They like to sleep (and so do I). The finish time for our party is 10 PM. If you are here at 9:59, expect a gentle serenade of “Turn Out the Lights, the Party’s Over.” If you arrive at 10:05, you will feel the wrath of cranky Stacy. Six hours is plenty of time to party!
So come on out and have some fun – January 30 – yes, it’s early. The actual Fat Tuesday is February 16, but we’ll be at our hometown Mardi Gras and the weekend before that is Super Bowl weekend, ergo, we decided to kick off the parade season… and yes, we are on the national parade calendar… but no, we are not the first parade of the year. So come on out and have some fun!
Krewe of Helios Arizona Mardi Gras Parade
Saturday, January 30, 2010
4PM-10PM
Be there, aloha!
(And for those of you who haven’t been with us before, you can check out our parade etiquette and rules in this delightful 7th edition explanation… or even the 6th edition… or the 4th… you get the picture)