the everyday adventures of sabrina

i'm happy, hope you're happy too

Bye-Bye Mississippi

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while this morning’s hotel breakfast confirmed for me that $70 hotel rooms are, in fact, worth the price of admission — fresh grits, biscuits and gravy, a whole thermos of coffee to myself at my table that the dining-room attendant brought for me when she saw me get up to get a refill, and many other fine things had i wanted them — and that $30 hotel rooms are not, it’s time to blow this popsicle stand and get the fuck out of mississippi.

this morning, my clock radio alarm woke me at 7AM to the sounds of the (i swear i am not making this up; i’d google a link for it except i’m too lazy) Joe Bob and Billy show on a local meridian station, which i had selected last night on the basis of Queen’s “We Are The Champions.” one of the fine gentlemen was off on a tangent, spending a good two minutes discussing the meaning of the verb “to ruminate,” and how it seems like a cow chewing her cud in a pasture… just sort of hanging out and considering. then he went on for a while on how cities will name streets after people, but no sooner is the body cold than the streets renamed to new people. and then he digressed a moment on the topic of streets named after the reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and his feeling that — and although my personal feeling about the sentiment he then expressed may color my recollection of his words, i’ll try to transcribe them as best i recall them — when you get to such a street in such a town, that’s a sign to just turn around. one should do a one-eighty and get out of there.

i generally try not to be hypersensitive, but try as i might (and i have been trying), i’m really not able to find another meaning, a lighter one, than “when you see MLK Jr. Drive, get out of there, because that’s the black part of town, and you don’t want to be there,” or the slightly less-charitable “any town that would name a street after such detestable and loathsome scum as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is no place i want to be.”

and the thing is, that my interpretation of this remark is going to determine my feelings about the entire state of mississippi for the rest of my life. or at least until i grow old and senile, and the only thing that remains constant from this part of my life is my love of shiny things. from this point on, i will think of mississippi as a pretty place but i wouldn’t want to live there, because they’re all racist fuckheads.

the racist fuckhead contention is supported by the fact that at my holiday inn here, nice as it is, the desk personnel are all white, and the apparent manager or day-manager that i saw in the breakfast room was a white man in a nice shirt and tie, whereas the cooking and cleaning staff have all been black. these are the things i notice when i’m staying places. i’m generally reassured when i notice some sort of diversity in the cleaning staff of various establishments. i suppose i’m willing to forgive some propensity for hiring latinos who speak poor English for these positions, because a bad command of the common language does not prepare one for a rewarding job while it does not prevent one from making beds, but i just find it completely mystifying when i find an entire cleaning staff of kind, polite, and well-spoken black people when the “customer-facing” staff are all white. i mean really, are you telling me that the woman who thoughtfully brought me a coffee thermos, unbidden, and with whom i chatted briefly and found to be very pleasant, is somehow less qualified to sit at the desk and tell me they do, in fact, have a non-smoking single available?

maybe i’m biased by my politics to find racism where it doesn’t exist — and i’m certainly prejudiced by prior experience to find racism in the south in general — but, that said, this sort of thing still just bugs the shit out of me.

so, congratulations, Joe Bob or Billy, or whoever that kindly-sounding gentleman on the FM radio was, for making yet one more northerner think yet more badly of the south. you may be just another lame-ass shock jock who no one takes seriously, or you may be the rush limbaugh of your local broadcast area from whom everyone takes their daily wisdom. it doesn’t really matter to me, because i’m leaving, and i’ll never hear you again. rest assured that your words have made a difference. every time i think that things are getting better, someone has to fuck me up with reality again. i find this irritating. i’d much rather live in my happy star trek world where everyone’s kind and everyone can do anything they want and no one has to be ashamed of who they are, but you people keep fucking it up for me because you can’t get over it.

well, it’s nearly ten and i still have yet to pack up my hotel room — not that i really unpacked, but, you know, put the laptop away (sniff, bye fast network … i’ll miss you) and put the shampoo back in my suitcase and stuff. then back on I-20 to get the hell out of this pretty but racist-fuckheaded place.

made it to manchester by around five, CST, today, after leaving brunswick at about 8:30 EST. the average speed according to my car’s trip computer was around 68 mph, but i later discovered that it’s off by a couple of mph — the gps unit showed me moving roughly three mph slower than the car’s speedometer. oh well. around 570 miles in 9.5 hours, including stops. 417 miles on 12.6 gallons of gas, and many hilly miles at that. and, bully for me, only one diversion from the goal, a local winery a little north of nashville called something that i’ll link to after i unpack the bottles when i get home and figure out the winery’s name again. they produced a decent port — nothing really special, but tasty enough, and only $18 a bottle — and some interesting wines, so i ended up with a couple of bottles of cabernet sauvignon and one of their ‘sumner queen,’ a sweet white dessert wine… well, they called it semi-sweet and didn’t say anything about dessert, but that’s what i’m figuring it for, because it was sweet. so there.)

bored now. john hasn’t emailed or called me back, so i checked into a ramada (“truckers welcome!” … it’s clean enough, but the bra i’m wearing cost more than the room for the night — and it’s not from the Angels collection) off US 41 (also known as lake shore drive, in northerlier climes). i’m going to go hunt down some food here before much longer. kill some time at the wal-mart or something, i dunno.

i’m so going to kick his ass if i leave tennessee without catching up with him.

called mom. she’s only got wednesday and thursday off work, so that pretty much means my choices are:

  1. Drive 770 miles tomorrow, attempting to get to Rusk relatively close to when she gets off work at 11ish pm Tuesday;
  2. Screw around while driving 770 miles in two days, visiting the Jack Daniels distillery (conveniently close to Manchester) and anything else that catches my eye, arriving relatively close to when she gets off work at 11ish pm Tuesday.

i don’t know which one i’d prefer. the first would be a pain in the ass, but at least i wouldn’t have to pay for a second hotel room. and i could always spend tuesday working on mom’s computer or something. otoh, making it a real two-day trip would make it more vacationy. and i like vacationy. vacationy is better than stressful. but then there’s the sad reality that one can only look through so many antique malls or kitschy roadside whatevers before one’s head explodes. oh well. whatever. i’ll figure it out.

dammit john, you better call me.

blosxom progress

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annoyingly, it *is* the blox plugin — which provides my


tags so that i don’t have to type them manually — which is eating the slashes out of my A tag links. maybe i’ll look at the code later and see if i can figure out how to fix it. for now, i turned on its special markup language option, which at least allows me to generate links that work, in entries such as this.

i do need to check and see if one already exists, and if not, write my own plugin for my own markup language, to shortcut commonly-linked to URIs, e.g. people whom i often credit for links of the day, etc. probably something does exist already and i just didn’t see it yet. and then i need to finish playing with the citysearch plugin, which i modified (ohhhhh so difficult; i added a variable: GASP!) to make it work with the american citysearch cites, vs. the .au site it was originally coded for (i want to make it work with both, not either, then submit my changes back to the original author, but i’ve really only done the two minutes of work to make it work with so far).

i might also be able to find a better/different plugin than blox to do the simple paragraph markup. i haven’t really been happy with blox, anyways. i still have to mark up single linebreaks with
, so it’s of questionable use to me.

or i could just learn to type


blosxom progress redux.

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well, i disabled blox and added

tags where necessary. i need to get something back in there to serve the same function, however, if i hope to ever import all my livejournal entries over to blosxom … there’s no way i’m going to retroactively mark up three years’ worth of entries.


Elections Are Important

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Elections Are Important