Life on the Road, Last Call

Today, my working mini vacation is coming to an end and the last few days have been some of the best days I’ve had in a long time. There’s just something about being out on the road and just going somewhere without a lot of pressure to get where you need to go. There was a deadline on this job and I made it exactly at the time  I was supposed to be in one particular place at one particular time. 

Mission Accomplished. 

The morning was pretty uneventful. I had wanted to go to a beach but time was not working on my side right then. I took a shower but later in the day, I kind of questioned that decision because I forgot how hot and humid it gets in Florida. Anyway, I had to repack my bag with all of my laundry and make space for my tennis shoes because later I was going to be flying and I wanted to wear my flats for that. Even though I wind up at the airport daily, I hadn’t flown in years and I know that you have to take your shoes off at the airport, so it’s just easier in flats; besides that, maybe the TSA would appreciate seeing my pretty pink painted toes.

I checked out of the hotel and got in the truck. I had to find Greg and Kathy’s where I was going which was about 15 miles away. In addition to that, I had to top off the tank  so I returned the truck full. All in all, gas cost me about $280 so I underestimated that cost by about $80…there’s really nothing I could do about that, so I’m not going to complain about it because there’s just no point. Last year I spent over $10,000 on gas; who does that? Apparently, I do.

  

As I’m filling up, this place was cranking island music which caused me to walk over and check it out. It was a really good spicy pulled pork sandwich 

Greg and Kathy were running a little behind, so I had to find a place to park nearby because I couldn’t get into their gated community without them. Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch is a really nice and I noticed a sign for one of the sales centers so I thought I’d check it out. There’s a long running joke with my mom and dad about the 3 of us moving to Florida like old people should. I went I there to grab some literature about the community and the costs involved building a house there.

This area is huge and has something for everyone at various price points. While I didn’t know it, the community that I stopped at was at the highest level and houses there start at $1.2 million; this does not surprise me one bit that I stumbled upon that one. I’m going to enjoy the look on my dads face when I give him the brochure.  I’ll tell you more about how the joke plays out later. 

  

Have I arrived at Phase 3 of Del Boca Vista? Pretty nice place, huh?

Greg hired 2 guys to help me unload the truck which is about 1 guy too many.  I told him all I needed was someone to help and we’d have the truck unloaded in less than an hour but the local moving company that he hired sent 2 guys so I didn’t argue at all. In fact, I just helped with some of the really small stuff, folded the moving pads and let them pretty much do all the rest. 

My job was just about over at this point. All I had to do was find a place to drop off the truck which was close to the airport. After making a call, I went into the bathroom to change clothes for the flight home. 

  
Not the biggest pool but I could deal with this. I’ll add it to my shopping list 

I followed Greg over to UHaul, dropped off the truck and then he drove me to the airport. Like I said, this is last call and the road trip is over. If any of you ever get the chance to drive across country, I highly recommend it. They don’t call it the freedom of the open road for nothing. Since I was driving a box truck, there was no rear view mirror because, well, it would be stupid to have one. 

Usually when driving, I have my GPS right under the rear view mirror and I check them constantly. On this trip those things weren’t present and while it was different, it was really nice too. On this drive I’ve reflected on how my life has progressed and while it’s had some bumps and bruises, all in all, my life is pretty damn good. 

  
My view from the bench at the smoking area where I wrote this. Flight doesn’t leave for a couple hours so my ass has been parked here

Over 1200 miles, several glasses of beer, several gallons of soda and a countless number of cigarettes later, we’ve hit the end of the road. I’m sure life is going to get back to my normally scheduled insanity soon and I’m looking forward to it. When you don’t have a rear view mirror, there’s nothing to look back at and maybe it’s best to leave it that way. It’s time to move forward. Maybe someday I’ll get back down this way again but if that happens it’s going to be a one way trip.


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Life on the Road Part 3

First off, Google maps doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing because I’m not sure how an 8 hour drive turned into an over ten hour drive. Seriously, how does that happen?  I’m not sure how that much of a discrepancy happened because the only time I was out of the truck was twice to fill up and five times at the rest stops. Hell, one of them was closed and I didn’t have to get out of the truck for that one, so you know I saved time there.

  
That’s not any of those 3 things in there. Always have an empty 44 ounce cup in the car for emergency circumstances…tip from a professional driver 

Today was a really long drive; I left at 9:30, thinking that traffic in Atlanta would have died down by then but I was wrong and Georgia 400 is not a NASCAR race. Somehow I made my way towards Macon and was on empty at Warner Robbins so that was fuel stop number one and gas was 1.869 a gallon in case you wanted to know. 

From there it’s a pretty straight shot clear down to Valdosta and the state line. There’s not really much going on in that part of Georgia. Sure there’s some historical site for Jimmy Carter, and lots of peanuts, pecans and billboards . Several of the billboards say “Strippers, Need We Say More?” No, they really don’t but I passed because I’m just not interested in seeing some poor girl who had to resort to dancing naked for a living. I’ve met enough strippers in my day and that’s a job that in the long run, kills the spirit of a once sweet and innocent girl and I hate to see that happen. 

After 4 hours or so, I finally made it to Florida but the trip of the day was only half over at that point. As usual, I stopped at the welcome center to get my free map and take care of personal business. One of the things that I’m very mindful of on this trip is using the bathroom while being transsexual. It shouldn’t be a crime but this is the Bible Belt and the people down here don’t see my kind a whole lot. While I’m pretty good at woodworking, sometimes I still have to question it. Not to long ago, Florida was trying to pass a bathroom bill through the state legislature. At this point it’s just best to pass on through and not draw any extra attention to yourself and I think that’s what I did.

When at the welcome center, I grabbed some literature and coupon books. Since it was close to where I was going and I wanted to see a beach at least once while I was down here, I set my course for Sarasota. 

  
The motel room I stayed in. A few blocks from the water, and not that bad for only $55 a night.

Driving through Florida is fairly easy. I was so glad to see that rest stops are located about every 40 miles, as they should be! It makes sense because a large portion of the state are senior citizens and with being a senior comes incontinance…I totally get it and I’m not even that old yet. After several hundred miles, lots of cigarettes and a few stops, I arrived in Sarasota. 

Publix was across the street from the motel and it reminded me of a Whole Paycheck Foods in Chicago except for the palm trees; but they had beer, so I picked up some Busch Light talls for later…hey, I earned it!  While beer is very filling and full of carbs, I was pretty hungry because I hadn’t eaten all day. While checking in with home (even though I’m 40, I still check in with mom and dad) I was looking for a place to get something to eat. Main Street, Sarasota was only a half mile away and since I was in a box truck, I decided to walk on over and find a place.   

  
I heard the music from a block away and it just called me towards it. Imagine it; a World of Beer in a sleepy Florida town where they roll the sidewalks up about 6:00 pm…if anyone would find this place, you knew it was gonna be me, right?

The music was cranking and the deejay had a British accent; who knew? All I really wanted to do was have a fish dinner near the beach. I guess shrimp tacos a few blocks away from the intercoastals qualifies as close  enough, right? Well that’s the way I feel about it. I’ve got my bathing suit with me and am really hoping to use it. I think I’ve got enough time tomorrow. Check out time is 11:00 and I’m scheduled to meet up with Greg and Kathy about noon. I’m going to unload the truck in record time. 

Y’all want to know something? All of that is in the future and the best laid plans can get snafu’d in an instant, so I’m not really worried about it right now. Tomorrow is going to take care of itself and will most likely go off without a hitch because I said it would and without my word, I’m nothing. I’m not clairvoyant, I just have a unique understanding of the human condition. I’ll always remember this day as the day I had a great time in Sarasota. 

Someday I hope to retire. Maybe this is the place, but then again, who knows where I’ll wind up. It could be here or a few hours south or many hours west. I have yet to answer that question but someday I will and and that will make all the difference.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I took the one less traveled by 

Robert Frost, poet Laureate , Vermont, 1961

It truly has made all of the difference.

See y’all tomorrow! 

Life on the Road Part 2

Today was a really good day!

Sure I woke up at the roach motel without a whole lot of sleep but I checked out of there, got in the truck and set my destination for Atlanta. According to Google, this trip was only supposed to take about 5 hours but somehow it turned into 7 because I simply was taking my time today and sometimes it’s best to take your time every now and then; or so I’ve been told. 

Everything was pretty uneventful in the beginning. After 20 minutes on the road, I entered The Great State of Tennessee. As usual, I stopped at the welcome center to get my free official TDOT map. Shortly after that, I was slowed down due to an overturned semi which is not really news around these parts. I breezed through Nashville and then an hour later came the part I had been most looking forward to; the trip downhill from Monteagle going towards Chattanooga. I shot some video of that but apparently cans upload it here, so I’ll have to figure out how to do that later.

I used to live near Chattanooga in a former life but just passing through brought back a lot of mostly good memories. Just seeing the beauty of the landscape down here brought a few tears to my eyes…it was a good personal moment and being alone in a truck, driving and crying really felt good. Sometimes it’s good to let it all out. 

Shortly afterwards, I entered The Great State of Georgia 

  
A quick stop at the welcome center to grab another map

I lived in Georgia for a while too but the memories from there were far more bitter than sweet than the time spent in Tennessee. Life was pretty perfect, all things considered, in Tennessee but eventually the handwriting was in the wall and my wife and I moved to Georgia as the inevitability of life was about to occur. It’s a long story that someday I’ll tell but the long and short of it is: my wife’s death certificate was issued in Georgia. 

While over 7 years have now passed and I’ve learned to move on, that part of my life will always hurt so it’s of little wonder that I just block it out most of the time. 

Meanwhile, I’ve changed plenty over the years. Throughout them, I have kept in contact with some friends from that time in my life. One of my friends who had moved away too, recently moved back, this time to Alpharetta, so I planned on meeting up with him because I hadn’t seen him in many years. Brook knew me as the old me and we’ve kept in touch over the years. He was one of the first people I came out to and he was one of the first people to accept me. 

While we talk on the phone periodically, he has never seen me as I am today. Tonight, that changed. He picked me up from the hotel and we went to Taco Mac to get dinner and some beers. He had never encountered Cyndi Lou before and we didn’t really talk about how he felt about it. We just had a nice time catching up tonight. For a while, it almost felt like a date but it wasn’t. He was a perfect gentleman and I appreciated that he treated me just like any other woman. 

We closed down the bar then he dropped me off back at the hotel. It was a good night. 

I turned on the television to catch up with the Republican dog and pony show, slipped into something more comfortable and started writing this. I’ll elaborate more on the debate later but for now, I’m signing off for the night. Thanks for reading my story and here’s what you really wanted to see:

  
It’s a really nice bed and it’s all mine for tonight 

Stay tuned and sweet dreams. 

  

 

Life on the Road Part 1

I’m on the road a lot because it’s my job for now. While I like my job, sometimes it’s hard to love it and most of the time that has to do with things that are out of my control like traffic and weather conditions. There’s absolutely nothing you can do when you’re in a traffic jam but wait. Weather conditions are another thing and if you’ve got the drive and confidence in your ability to propel a motor vehicle down the road, the weather becomes just another thing in your towards making progress. 

For the last few years, I’ve been working as a courier, transporting various things to places within 250 mile radius from Chicago. Everything that I transport is time sensitive and the delivery deadlines are tight. Whether it’s a doctor waiting for some special instrument, a company waiting for that one machine part that is preventing them from production, the airline that needs their part go they can get their plane back in the air or even the flower shop that needs their inventory to arrive as fresh as possible, I perform a unique service, doing my part to help keep business and the economy going. 

I’m on the road a lot because it’s just the nature of my business. Ten to twelve hours on the road doesn’t phase me one bit; it’s just a typical day. I guess what keeps me motivated to keep doing this is because no two days are the same and there’s no such thing as typical. When I get a job to do, I’ll drive 200 or more miles to the drop off point then turn around and go right back  home. I don’t stop much, usually only to get gas or use the bathroom. Today was not a typical day, though. 

A few weeks ago, Someone who I do work for, Bob, asked me if I could do a special job. Bob’s neighbors, who are also my neighbors because we all life in the same neighborhood, were moving down to Florida. Bob asked me if I could do this move for them and drive a truck full of their stuff down there. As this was something that neither one of us had done before, he asked me to come up with a price and he’d broker the deal.  I shot him a price and we made the deal. Now that I’m a day into this job, I think I underestimated the fuel cost by a little but it’s not really too much of a concern because I’m still coming out ahead on this job so I’m not going to worry about a small discrepancy. 

I took on this job mostly because it is a departure from the norm and the experience sounded like fun…so far it has been and this is only the first day. The sad fact of it all is, this is the closest thing I’ve come to a vacation in many years because I just don’t take them. There’s no way I could have passed up this deal. Would you pass on a pseudo vacation that you were getting paid for? I wouldn’t think so.

This morning, my day began at 7 AM when I got out of bed, got myself ready, and finished packing a small duffle bag for the next few days. Bob arrived to pick me up at 8:15 to go get the truck from UHaul then drive it back to load it up. I met Kathy and Greg at their condo along with Andrew who is a colleague of sorts who was going to help get the truck loaded up. At the condo, it looked like a lot of stuff, but then again, only a third of the stuff, because all the big stuff was going to be picked up later by one of the national moving companies. 

After surveying the situation, Andrew and I got to work and got the 16 foot rental truck loaded in and hour and fifteen minutes which everyone agreed was pretty damn good. If you’ve ever loaded a truck before, then you know there’s a little bit more to it than simply putting things into it. There’s a thought process that goes on so everything gets packed tightly and will not shift during transport. It’s kind of like putting together a puzzle and if there’s one thing I know, it’s puzzles; years ago, I ran a company that made them…it’s of little wonder why I excel at this type of work. 

Greg and Kathy were very pleased with our work too and since they are the customers, it’s really all about them having a good experience. They were still cleaning our their condo and wanted to show their appreciation, so they gave both me and Andrew a bottle of wine. I’m not much of a wine drinker, not to mention that I was about to hit the road, either way, it was much appreciated because it’s the thought that counts.

  

Just a sign that I saw a few days back…yup, it’s true!

And it is true. I’m not much of a wine drinker, scratch that, connoisseur. I’m no stranger to Al Cohol; he and I go back a long way. Wine is just a little to acidic for me and it makes my heartburn flare up so I avoid it. While I know Al Cohol very well, I also know how bad he is sometimes and that’s why I can only stand him in moderation. He was once a very large part of my life and my wife used to talk to him daily, probably more than she talked to me. My wife and I haven’t spoken to one another in over seven years and I don’t really think we’ll ever speak again…at least not in this lifetime because that’s impossible.

Lately Al has decided to try and get back into my life by affecting others in which I know personally and care about. No matter how hard I try to tell them that hanging out with him might seem fun for a night, I don’t think they listen. 

Anyway, back to the story because there is a point (or maybe not) but I assure you there is one coming, eventually. I stopped at home, ate a turkey sandwich, grabbed my bag and was out the door shortly before 11. No sooner than I started this drive, the rain started and didn’t stop for the whole leg of this trip. I got on the tollway because it’s unavoidable to get out of Chicago. Normally, I use my iPass and don’t worry about it that much but this time I wasn’t in my minivan so I had to use the cash lanes. The object of traffic is to keep moving but tollbooths force you to stop. I talked to two of the tollbooth operators only briefly but used that opportunity to crack a joke and at least bring a smile to their face while they worked their very thankless job. Both times they told me to have a blessed day. 

Less than an hour later, I hit I-65 south in which I’m still on. I just drove, GPS was at home, and I’m following the signs at this point…that and checking paper maps every now and then because I know this part of the trip very well. 

  
Two more for the collection; I collect official  state maps and have done so for years. I really like looking at maps and I believe that it’s becoming another lost artform

I’ve been to Indiana before, he’ll, I used to live there and usually wind up visiting parts of it about every 2 weeks. While I was monitoring the fuel gauge, I thought I had a chance to make it all the way through the state without having to fill up. As I passed through Indianapolis, I set a small goal for myself; see if I could make it all the way through the state from north to south without spending a penny while being in it. Not to screw the Great State of Indiana, I spend enough there considering I find live there anymore; I just wanted to see if it could be done. 

It might have but eventually I stopped to gas up because I was really low and gas was $2.099, the cheapest I’d seen it yet and couldn’t pass it up. I stopped at the Pilot Station somewhere north of Louisville and the next person I really encountered today was as pleasant as could possibly be. Here I’m thinking, this guy works at a gas station in southern Indiana and what’s he so happy about, but then I realized that if you greet someone with a smile, they’ll smile back at you. Sometimes I think we forget that…it was either that or maybe because I dropped about $80 at his gas station…who really knows?

Shortly after gassing up, I hit traffic and got delayed for about 20 minutes to go 2 miles. I crossed over the Ohio River int Kentucky and saw that gas was 10 cents cheaper there; have you ever felt like you just got screwed? In all actuality, I paid about $3.60 more than I could have but running out of gas was a risk I didn’t want to take. 

At this point in time, the sun had already gone down and the trip through Kentucky was uneventful but harder due to the rain. All the while, I was playing it by ear and trying to figure out where to stop for the night. Knowing that I’m not under that big of a time crunch, I set the course for Bowling Green, Kentucky. As far as I know, there’s not much to do in Bowling Green, but I’ve spent a few nights here over the years so the decision was made and I’m glad that I made it. 

I’ve been writing all this from what could possibly be the worst motel room ever. The whole place is under reconstruction, there’s holes in the walls, the shower is terrible and the decor is up to absolutely nobody’s standards, but it’s ok by me. I found the Executive Inn in one of the travel guides and they were the cheapest. I’m sure $10 more could have gotten me a much better place but I think I felt like slumming it for a night.

What brought me here was advertised price. When I checked it, I talked to the guy at the front desk and by that I mean had a conversation. He was listening to some band is never heard before and we talked a little bit of music. There wa another guy sitting in the lobby and he asked me if I was a musician. I actually get this a lot, so I told him I dabble in it. The clerk asked me where I was going and I said around Sarasota. He said he was originally from Bradenton. That’s exactly where I’m heading on this one…small world, huh?

  
Here it is, the worst motel room in Kentucky, but it’s all mine for the night.

I got in the room but then quickly left because I had some other things to do. Got some gas and cigarettes and they were nice. Got some hair color because I was due, they were nice. Got some bourbon because I felt that it was appropriate being in Kentucky, they were nice.

The highlight of my night though was going to get my dinner.  When in the south, where do you go?

Waffle House.

I had the steak and eggs with hash browns that were of course smothered and covered. Again, everyone was friendly. It was just dinner at the Waffle House, not inherently special but somehow it was. As I was eating, I got a chance to listen to some live music. In the corner of the place, there was a guy in a wheelchair because he was missing a leg. He was in a Waffle House, playing his guitar and singing gospel music.

  
Pictures above of is Junior or JR in the process of playing for anyone who would listen.

He played Amazing Grace amongst other Christian music. Despite the fact that he only had one leg, this man was happy knowing that God loves him. I won’t get into my theory on God but I know he and I don’t see eye to eye on that one but I’m not going to argue because he made good music based on his belief system. 

The point of it all is that I question how someone like this can have so much faith while I can have so little. Although I don’t share the same opinion, he entertained and really made my night. I tipped him a couple bucks. Because he deserved it. In the end I guess the moral of the story is that we can have our differences but hopefully those differences aren’t so great that the love can’t show through.

Part 2 coming tomorrow and in the meantime, have a blessed day!

Off and running 

Yesterday I filed Form 2 with the Federal Election Commission declaring my candidacy for the presidential election of 2016.  It’s really that simple.

Let’s just set the record straight that I don’t have a single thing to run from. While I may have run from the past in the past, that’s all it was and I have no power to change that. Anything I’ve said or done and anything that anyone from my past has said about me is absolutely true…or maybe it isn’t because it’s someone else’s past and I’m not him and probably never was but some things we just can’t change. 

In the past few years, I’ve been out and about and have been able to meet with some you. I enjoy these exchanges and look forward to many more. As a citizen of humanity, I have come to know that these moments are to be cherished. There is a simple principle that is always at work and that is to be kind to your fellow man. While differences will happen, most likely they are not a reflection on us personally. There will always be arguments and differences of opinion that are up for debate but eventually we try to and avoid war because does anyone really want to be at war?

War has been happening for about as long as there have been people walking this earth. Sometimes I wonder if it ever gets resolved and usually it doesn’t; only delayed. There’s great value in temporarily conceding defeat only so we can live to fight another day. By definition, every battle must result in a clear winner and a clear loser. After the battle has been won, what happens? Does the loser just go away? Sometimes they do but not always and we see this happening today. Behind every movement there are people and nobody wants to lose so we regroup and live to fight another day…that is the crux of what I’m trying to sell you. I will avoid war at all costs but if it becomes inevitable, I will lead, we will fight and we will win once and for all, regardless of the casualties.

If you are the aggressor and you have resources on your side, I’m happy for you. Please revel in your victory for now. We might play this out 100 times and you may think that you’re winning until that last time in which I win and that is the one win that matters most. Keep beating me down and I’ll keep standing up until that one time that I win and that’s when it’s all over for you. 

I’m standing up to fight for something in which I believe; and that is in the future of this country. With so many things that have gone wrong, there has to be something that goes right for a change. I’ll take full credit for the life someone else led but don’t ever try and tell me who I am because you will lose that debate. If you really wish to try, please contact Leslie King because maybe he’ll give you some answers but I doubt it because he’s been dead for years.  If you can’t find Leslie King, please try and contact Barry Soetoro. Currently, his residential address is:

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

They call it the most lonely job in the world and I’m sure it is but that does not deter me for wanting it. I’m used to loneliness and I thrive on it. So if you think I’m worthy and if you think I can make this world a better place for all of us, I’m looking for your support. If you have a problem in the way I conduct myself, you’re entitled to that opinion but I hope you’re not completely closed-minded not to hear me out because sometimes what we all need comes from the strangest of places. 

Many people inherently have a problem with me but I pay them no mind. At the end of the day when I finally lay down to get some sleep and recharge, I lay down knowing exactly who I am. In recent memory, someone else said the same thing and while I’m not sure she came up with the words herself, she delivered the message with grace and she became the top story. Forget all of the rest of the hoopla and listen to the last minutes of the speech:

I hereby throw my hat in the ring. Whatever you can throw at me, I can take it. I am just one woman who is trying to make this world a better place to live in for all of us. Sometimes, even I feel like this is crazy, but bring it on. Tell me you don’t like my outfit, tell me you don’t like the way I wear my hair but don’t tell me that I’ve got some kind of mental illness and this is all in my head because one day I will deliver that one win when it really counts. You have never met someone with a stronger character than me.
At current, this is a longshot campaign but I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think the time was right and i had just a little shot. The longshots are what truly make history. I am not a “major” candidate and I’m going at this alone. In the true spirit of politics, support needs to be given and if you can spare an extra dollar or two it will be greatly appreciated. I’m also looking for some people to donate some time if they believe in what I’m trying to do. 
Have you ever heard that it only takes 10% to start a movement? If I can just get 10% of you all on board right now, I promise to take us all to place we’ve never been before. In a few days I will provide links to the first Money Bomb for CyndiLou 2016 and I thank you all for your support. 

Disclosure:

I, Cynthia Louise Pryber from Willowbrook, Illinois, am currently campaigning for the office of President of the United States of America with the intention to win said office. I am choosing to go this alone and conduct fundraising activities that will provide no benefit to me personally. Any and all funds donated to CyndiLou 2016 will be used and accounted for the expressed purpose of this campaign and the candidate, Cynthia Louise Pryber has agreed not to use any campaign funds for personal enrichment as per the laws of the United States of America 

The more things change…

The more they stay the same. 

I decided to come on down to check out the newest hotspot for nightlife in Crest Hill tonight. Same location, same crowd, same staff, but there’s a difference and it’s not only the name on the building. What once was utter Chaoz is nor some sort of Abstract concept.

There’s been a little updating going on but the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that the color scheme simply went from blue to red. Blue was nice and comfortable for many years but it was time for change and now that I see it, the red looks so much better. While I’ve been privy to many discussions here over the years, the ones I liked most were political in nature. 

In the past, anyone might have put me solidly in the blue category but as we all evolve, eventually we see that red is really where it’s at and I appreciate it very much. For a few weeks, I wasn’t really sure where I was going to go. I tried out a few different places but they just didn’t seem right. I’m glad to see that this place is really more of the same just a different color which better reflects the crowd we feel most comfortable around. 

Maybe this is just the beginning and eventually we can paint the whole country red as small government with limited involvement and expenditure should be the goal for all of us. That’s a very Abstract concept but I hope it takes off.

The red really looks great!