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    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Labor Day Weekend

    I’m driving to Bakersfield today to see a friend who was supposed to be coming to LA, but got sidetracked for “Logistical” reasons. Of course Bakersfield is in the middle of a heat advisory, so it should be 110+ degrees there. It should be a fun drive over the most dangerous stretch of the 405, better known as The Grapevine. My tires have odd wear on them and actually need to be replaced, but I don’t currently have the funds. Hopefully nothing will blow as I travel north into what most people in LA believe to be an actual Hell dimension. Nothing like spending Labor Day weekend sweating in an air-conditioned car with one eye on the road and another on the temperature gauge for the engine. Ever since I had work done on the car, long drives elicit a small burning of radiator fluid, which exits from under the hood on the drivers side as white smoke.

    10:30 AM – I arrive in Bakersfield having survived the road and did a bit of shopping at Target. I then went across the street and walked around in the mall to keep cool. I called my friend to check on progress of the Volunteers Cruisin’ crew who are riding motorcycles from Berkeley, CA to Knoxville TN in a fund raising effort in support of Breast Cancer research. As of noon, all she could say was that they were hours away but had no idea beyond that. She suggested I go see a movie, which wasn’t a good sign.

    Luckily for me there was a theater behind the mall so I caught the 1:15 TRANSFORMERS. The film was actually enjoyable before the Transformers began to talk. For some reason the screen writers though that at that point the movie should diverge from action film to an action film geared toward 12 year olds. I’m an old fan of the original cartoons, but there was no reason this movie could not have been dead serious. There’s a scene where all of the Autobots huddle outside the protagonist's house while he retrieves the “important object”. The thought of putting a robot driven slapstick scene into this movie made me cringe. But, at least the air conditioning was working in the theater.

    After the film I called to check on their progress, but had to leave a message. I called three more times over the next two hours, but to no avail. I was starting to get a bit worried. I drove to the hotel where we would be staying but they weren’t there so I parked my car in the shopping center lot in front of the hotel and sat sweating for another forty-five minutes or so.

    At 5:15 PM I gave up and went into the BLACK ANGUS restaurant in the lot of the shopping center and left one last message warning that I was beginning to drink and they’d better arrive soon. About a hour later she finally called and told me there’d been no cell range. I was greatly relieved and it took the edge off the building anger that I’d wasted an entire day, 8 hours at this point, in a place I had no reason to be.

    They finally arrive around 8:30 PM, which put me about five beers in. I got some dinner and then finally had about 5 hours to catch up and talk before going to bed around 1:40 AM. Woke up this morning with the wake-up call at 5:45 and then finally dragged myself into something resembling alive around 7:30 AM and joined the crew outside as they geared up for their second day of cross country travels.

    I got back to LA around 10:30AM this morning and that was pretty much my Labor Day.


    nancy said...

    i know the target you are referring to. i have been there twice. once a year ago while traveling to sequoia natl forest. the second, about 2 wks ago while driving up to monterey.

    Fabricationist said...

    Are you stationed in CA now, or were you just doing dry runs lighting up targets?

    nancy said...

    no not stationed there.i've been sentenced to the altus federal correctional facility in oklahoma. delightfully located at the corner of no and where. just by chance we hit that place this time around. instead of being in the action back in england, i now teach yunguns how to do the job.

    Fabricationist said...

    The 'ol 97th Air Mobility Wing. Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plane. It can't be that bad, you just had the yearly cattle drive. YeeHaw.

    nancy said...

    how the hell do you know about this place and the cattle drive?? are you that bored as a writer or just internet savvy enough to google search this god-forsaken place?
    thankfully I was in monterey (wine tasting that day to be exact)during the legendary cattle drive. and let's not forget the rattlesnake roundup. these people really know how to have fun.

    Fabricationist said...

    It took less than 30 seconds to find the base's site. It's full of all sorts of family friendly information for the excitement that can be had. It was more that I was bored at work.