Monday, October 29, 2007

The Road to Hell was mapped by Mapquest

My daughter and I spent the weekend in the cities so that she could do a Manga drawing demonstration at the Oakdale Library. This means we drove to the cities as our family teleporter has been broken for awhile and as usual, my husband has NOT FIXED IT.

Now, contrary to all popular neuroscience research (and as you may have guessed, I have read them all), I do not believe the human mind is infinite, I do not believe you can teach an old dog new tricks (sorry Mythbusters), and I do believe that every time I learn something new, an old fact crawls out through my ear canal and takes a swan dive to the pavement below. This means I do not want to clutter my mind with things that are transient. If I only need to know it for a few days, forget it. I can’t afford to lose possibly essential information if I try to cram my brain full of stupid things like driving directions and detour routes.

Of course, all popular research says to keep your mind active in order to fend off Alzheimer’s but my long term goal is to wear adult diapers and be a burden on society so DON’T TELL ME TRIVIAL SHIT!!!

When planning our little excursion to the cities, I used Mapquest to plot our route from MCAD (buying art supplies for my female wee beastie), to the Rosedale shopping mall where I would meet up with a friend who had 100 chocolate bars to donate to our Stuff a Stocking project. (She works for Caribou Coffee and might I say this here and now, SHE AND THEY ROCK!) My directions from MCAD to the Rosedale Mall mentioned at the top of the page that due to the bridge collapse, there would be alterations. I thought this meant that the alterations were factored in to the directions because, you know, I’m mentally retarded.

The directions said it would take 9 miles and 15 minutes to get there. An hour and a half later, we arrived full of stress, annoyance, and a plethora of swear words. The signs on the highway are meant for people who live down there. They are not meant for people who do not already know their way around. If my directions say to take a specific exit number and the detour signs say the highway ends at 4th street with no mention of an exit number, people like me have a tendency to BE VERY CONFUSED. And in a confused state, they try to go to the end of the highway only to find that 4th street is before their exit. So they need to get off and turn around and wander the streets and become haggard and hopeless and beat their breasts in frustration. The cities do not have the homeless population that they might appear to. Those folks standing by the side of the road? They were once out of towners that tried to follow the detour routes but eventually ran out of gas, abandoned their cars, and are now living rough.

So, we finally found the mall, got the chocolate bars, and continued on to our next destination, Crafty Planet. I love it there and bought much cool fabric of which I am going to make crayon caddies for out Stocking project. Who doesn’t love retro robots?
And we then met up with our guides for the rest of the weekend and from that point on, we just had to follow…not think. Thank GOD! It was the one time in my life that the phrase “Think for yourself” was not welcome.

It is now Monday.
I am exhausted.
And now, I will curl up under my desk and take a nap.

Billy Collins, of course, will expound upon my neuroscience theories:


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.


Amy said...

I hate Mapquest. They've screwed me up badly a couple of times. I usually use Yahoo maps.

amyroz said...

Your post explains why I have stayed "up north" for most of my unexciting life!

sweetisu said...

I recently moved away from The Cities (yes same one you're talking about, with the mega mall and IKEA), only, I Went South instead of Up North ;) I do miss some things about the cities, but traffic is one thing I do not miss at all. is almost perfect. I say almost because even google gets it wrong.. but IMO it is far superior than the other ones.

Btw, I came here via the randomizer.