Silliness & Sundaries, Seasonal & Sappy.
After offering some further tips on planning long-form DIY vacations, we offer some tips on what not to play at a wedding (and why its important), discuss the first season of The Flash, and then offer some further excerpts from our travelogue, “The Great American Roadtrip Colon Southwest Edition.”
Part I: DIY Road Trip Tips
In spite of a poorly hidden burp on Marla’s part, this episode is brought to you by Talking Rain (Lemon Lime flavor), as well as Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Beer, which is only available seasonally, but is available at The Grocery Outlet for a steal.
As this was the longest trip we’d ever taken together, we definitely learned a few things traveling in the way that we did. (For example, Marla thinks that there is a state of Southern California, apparently.) However, in traveling almost 3,500 miles in two weeks, we have picked up a few tips here and there. As we present more of our Honeymoon trip, we’ll do our best to offer some of the advice we learned from doing it the hard way. We also hint at the idea that Cody might learn to drive, and all of our listeners suddenly got scared to be on the road.
First off, we address the recording of the “roadkill” incident from last episode, which led us to discuss the insane amount of roadkill we saw during the entire trip. (I did not take any pictures, but it was a recurring theme the entire trip.) This leads to an anecdote from Marla about an incident while driving while in High School that Diana might know more about.
Here are some Tips that we came up with for people who are planning an extended vacation:
1.) You Will Need One More Day Than You Think You Do To Get Ready, So Plan For It. It seems that every trip I ever take is somewhat ill-prepared, and that I could benefited from one more day of preparation. To that end, I recommend that you plan for one full day more than you think you will need to get ready. I usually try to over-compensate when it comes to time, only because I know I hate feeling rushed, and vacations are about the opposite of being rushed. So add a day to all of your estimates. You’ll feel better in the end.
2.) Plan For Things To Not Work Out, And Other Means of Navigating When That Happens. No matter how meticulous you might plan your trip in advance (like Marla did), certain things will happen during a trip that are only compounded by the previous thing not working out right. With this in mind, we recommend that you plan a few alternate ideas for destinations if the first place does not work out. (Which happened to us a few times.) This does require extra planning, but it reduces stress when you arrive at a place you can’t stay.
3.) Shorten The Intervals You Think You Can Drive By An Couple Hours. If you think you can drive straight through for eight hours and not stop, you’re just not being realistic. You’ll run late for one reason or another, and this isn’t a race, anyway. If you’re camping like we were, you need time before the sun goes down to set up camp, make dinner, and enjoy the day, so consider that when planning for drive times.
4.) Emergency Googling. Consider keeping a device with you – even if you are not navigating with it – so you can research other locations if things don’t work out. Battery packs are cheap, a lot of places (even in small towns) have free wireless, and you can pull into a gas station, do a few quick searches, jot down some directions, and be back on the road fairly quickly. At least, quicker than driving around hoping to find something else that might work.
5.) Practice Packing Your Car. No matter how silly it seems, pack your car a few times before you pack it for real. It pays to practice, not only because you’ll know where everything is, but you’ll find mis-uses of space the second time through that you can improve with a re-shuffle. If you are camping (like we were), then you will be loading and unloading a lot. Practice will really pay off if you are in a hurry to leave.
6.) Chairs. Marla pines for the REI chairs again, but no matter what you bring, chairs take up a lot of space, and can be a problem. You will always want to sit, but finding a good way to pack them is difficult. Our tip is, no matter what you bring, consider chairs before you leave.
We also offer a Roof Carrier User Review. As we mentioned, it fits less than you think. Once you get it arranged, it works very well though, and it kept our stuff dry in the rain. It also allows for you to have a consistent place to keep all your stuff, which make’s packing a lot easier. In the last episode we offered purchasing information, so check that out if you want to get the one we got. We recommend it if you need more space and your trip isn’t too long.
Just prior to recording this episode, Marla and I were setting up our Halloween decorations. We will talk about it a little more extensively in the next episode, but here’s a snap of the initial set-up we did the day we recorded. More to come. I will add that we did not, actually, carve our pumpkins.
For our wedding we had our good friend DJ Victrola, a DJ at KPSU, handle the music, and I was so incredibly happy that she did. Not only is she such an incredible professional that she continued DJing in spite of getting stung by a bee, but she really nailed it in terms of making our wedding fun. I should mention that her show, The Guitar Shop is every Wednesday, 4 PM to 6 PM on KPSU, and has been on the air for almost 20 years now. Her show is also available for free in iTunes, as well as in your podcatcher of choice. If you like Guitar Nerdery and virtuoso performers, then this is the show for you. She was so flexible that she even played, “What Is Love” for our niece, Lilith. Since it is somewhat relevant, I will ad that we had a bit of a KPSU Alumni photo-op at the party, where Ranger Mike, Skot, and Jonathan Boober were all present, which is always nice.
We wanted music for the entire time, but we had specific music planned for parts of the night. For the milling about / drinking / having fun part, we wanted some cool music that wasn’t going to blow. With that in mind, we gave Victrola the first two Nuggets Boxed Sets to play. (Vol 1 & Vol 2.) My request was that she just mix up all her favorite tracks from those eight discs, and that it was guaranteed to be a good playlist for the afternoon. And, it was. I still contend that this is some of the best music that’s ever been made in any era, and I was very happy to have it at the wedding. This music is no bullshit, and a lot cooler than what you usually hear, hands down.
During the dancing part of the evening, Marla and I each made playlists, and Victrola mixed from those until we shut the party down. Our strategy was to make assorted playlists that we liked everything from, but had not specific order to the way we wanted to hear them. That way, it was a bit of a surprise when something came up. As promised, here are links to the three-volume-wedding-playlist from Marla (Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3), and the one-volume wedding playlist from me (here). As Marla mentions, it is good for getting a beehive done, and I think it all sounds pretty good.
1.) Pick Someone Who Follows Instructions. The best part about asking DJ Victrola to handle the music is that the #1 quality you want in a wedding DJ is that they will do exactly what you ask them to do, and nothing else. I knew Victrola would have played some excellent tunes anyway if left to her own devices, and there’s no way that our wedding would have sucked with her on the gear. But asking her directly to play this song or that song at specific times made it so much easier to make sure everyone was having a good time, and we organized the day into music for certain times to reduce any room for errors. Just make sure your DJ is not inclined to go off on a tangent, or brings crates and crates of their own stuff, and you’ll be fine.
2.) Make a List of Songs You Both Hate. This is, sometimes, easier than making a list of stuff you like, because you can often go down a road of being wishy washy. (“I don’t know. Whatever you want to hear is fine, too.”) So, if you have to confront the very-real possibility that your partner (or the DJ) might pick some real crap that you cannot stand to hear on the most important day of your life, you have to be up front about what you cannot stand to hear, and start making lists. With that in mind, we had a talk about what we did not want to hear. Under no circumstances were any of the following allowed at our function:
Twisted Sister (in general)
Or “General” ’80’s Dance Pop
Wedding Singer Soundtrack
We fared very well, as our friends are pretty hip anyway, so it was unlikely that there would be any dancing mishaps, or left-field requests. Still, we cannot stress how useful it was to know up front what we did not what to hear.
It took us long enough, but Captain No-Binge (Cody) and Miss Current-On-All-Her-Shows (Marla) finally sat down and watched all of the first Season of The Flash. We talk about the show a bit, discuss the cast and what we liked, and how you don’t need to be watching Arrow to like it or follow it, but it can’t hurt if you like to see Stephen Amell shirtless a whole bunch.
Now, here’s a video (as mentioned in the show) of the cast members from The Flash singing the theme song to Firefly, because that’s how cool these guys are.
Part 4: The Great American Roadtrip Colon Southwest Edition Part II
This part of the audio journal covers our pit stop in Eugene, our cruise through Oakridge on HWY 58, our stop in Paisley to adjust our plans, and finally settling in at Cave Lake Campground in the Northeastern corner of California (sort of near Alturas) for dinner and staying the night. In the morning we cooked breakfast, then packed, and headed out to our next destination, only be be plagued by (what seemed like) car troubles. Soon enough, we were back on the road, and on the way to our next destination. This photo album contains all the video and pictures we shot during this part of the trip.
I grew up in Oakridge as a child (from second to seventh grade), and I lived in Eugene for six years as an adult, so I have a fair amount of nostalgia for these places. In this animated gif seen here, you can view The Sportsman Cafe, a place my mother used to work at, but is now closed. There’s another animation that shows the bowling alley where my mother also worked, and where me and my siblings had a bowling team, The Rich Kids. There’s probably more video in this photo album than there should be, but I was getting some serious flashbacks of what it was like growing up there. We lived up on High Prairie Loop, a house on Dennison Lane, and Fields, what a small group of railroad houses were called that were WAY outside of town, up a mountain.
I mention spending New Year’s Eve 2000 at John Henry’s, which I believe is now closed, too, along with Icky’s Teahouse, which I also mention. The band I mention – Cathead – played at both of these places when I lived there, and it is weird to realize that those places are gone. The Whiteaker Neighborhood, in those days, was very run down, and it was there that I saw my first jukies, street urchins, and fucked-up housing. These days, there are fancy restaurants, breweries, and a “hip” scene. The times they are a-changin’.
We stopped in Paisley (“Because, when you’re in Paisley, Why not?”) when we realized that we were not actually going to make it to Winnamuca, and that it was better to stop somewhere else, which we decided was going to be Lakeview, OR. However, Lakeview was having a fair, and the place we thought we could stay was full. After some panicing, we settled on Cave Lake Campground, which was across the border in California, and was only six miles away, though our directions said it was 45 Minutes away. When we found the six miles of dirt road leading up a mountain, we realized why it was a 45 minute drive.
We had a lovely time at the camp site, even if it was very, very cold that night. (High 30’s due to the elevation.) But the bathrooms were lovely, the site was free, it had a great view and beautiful scenery, and when you got past the fact that the drive was up a dirt road on the side of a mountain, it was breathtaking. There was only one other set of folks there that night, making the stay very quiet and intimate. The stars were ridiculous. I completely recommend staying there.
That’s it for us this week. You can find us on the usualy sites (Marlarp is on Instagram, I’m @blasphuphmus, and I also blog at acronyminc.org, and Marla quite recommends the entry on Tarantula Ghoul, a Portland, OR horror host from the late ’50’s.
You can find us together at thecapitalcouple.wordpress.com. If you want to subscribe to our program, you can do so at: bit.ly/CapitalCouplePodcast. That link will work in iTunes or any other Podcasting device, but you have to manually add it to your feed catchers.
I also host a podcast called WTBC Radio, which you can find at anywhereanywhen.com, and I urge you to check out my recent shows, in particular the #HalloweenSpooktacular2015, which included a month of shows every week day, new and old.
Thanks again for listening! See ya next time.