But before we begin, let's take care of today's political business:
And take a few minutes to watch this. I love watching politicians getting hung by their own petards:
And now, onto today's blog.
For reasons that had nothing to do with my friends, this was a terrible weekend to travel to Baltimore.
I stopped at Chesapeake House (a rest stop on the Interstate with gas, Starbucks, a half-dozen fast food joints, a souvenir shop and a couple of restrooms) en route from New Jersey to my friends' house in the B'more B'urbs. I thought I'd wandered into a casting call for a summer theater production of "Guys and Dolls", there were so many cheezy track types (and their molls) hanging around the place. It was only when I was back in my car, with the radio now tuned to a Baltimore station, that I realized that Saturday afternoon was the running of The Preakness. And every denizen of Damon Runyonland seemed to be heading to Pimlico to watch the race.
I eventually got to my friends' place and we had a lovely afternoon and evening. We played a couple of games of Scrabble (and I even won one of them), had wonderful conversations and a couple of wonderful meals. I got to say "goodbye" to my friends' dog, who will probably have to be put down in the next couple of weeks (kidney failure). I left yesterday around 12:30 p.m. for what usually is a 3 hour drive.
It took 4. All those characters who'd headed south on Saturday were heading north on Sunday.
In a driving storm, windshield wipers going full-blast, still only able to see about 20 feet in front of the car, bumper to bumper, at about 35 miles per hour.
I had originally told my sister, who lives in Newark, Delaware, that I would "drop by" on my way home on Sunday. I called her as we crept across the bridge that spans the delta of the Susquehanna River as it empties into the top of the Chesapeake Bay. The winds were blowing sideways at about 30 miles per hour.
I told her that I was sorry, but that she wouldn't be seeing my @ss that day. She understood.
Rather than taking the NJ Turnpike, I started out taking I-295 after crossing the Delaware River, but I only got as far as Exit 3 before I had to hop off in order to find a gas station to refuel (KA-CHING!!! ANOTHER 40 BUCKS.) I made the mistake of getting on the turnpike instead of going back to 295. I continued to creep along the last 40 miles or so home and eventually got there around 4:15.
I collapsed. My patellas were killing me. I had to piss like a horse. I popped a couple of Indomethicin's, ate a giant salad, collapsed in the COMFY CHAIR and turned on the Giant HDTV.
And speaking of horses.... doesn't it look like Big Brown just might do it?