Monday, July 11, 2005

a jacuzzi in kentucky

I am in a Ramada hotel in Catlettsburg, KY, just a few miles from the border with West Virginia. I am on day five of my road trip and expect to be home tomorrow. It took forever to find a room tonight. The guy at the front desk of this place almost told me that there were no rooms because the only rooms available were the "expensive" ones with jacuzzis in the room. I was willing to pay the extra rate (I have no idea what a standard room cost) just to get the f*ck off the highway. Plus, I had a bubble bath. Despite the enormous mirrors surrounding the tub that made me feel like a low rent porn star, it was pleasant.

Anyway, it's been a few days since I last filled you in on my trip. I spent Sunday in Little Rock, checking out the Clinton Library, like I said I would, and traipsing about the city's seemingly newly redeveloped River Market District. I spent the night in Hurricane Mills, TN at the Holiday Inn Express next door to Loretta Lynn's Kitchen (Skip it. I ate breakfast there today and I don't think I will ever be the same.) I spent most of today driving through Kentucky, visiting Abraham Lincoln's birthplace and boyhood home and visiting Lexington before hitting the highway and ending up here.

I have a pad filled with scribbled thoughts and observations, most written down while barreling down the highway at 80 miles per hour. Here they are for your perusal:

I love MTV. On Sunday morning, I saw Jeffrey Sachs interviewed on MTV in connection with the Live 8 concert, talking about forgiving African country's debt in a polo shirt. I bet he never wore a polo shirt when he taught at Harvard, but there's something about appearing on MTV that brings out the "cool guy" in everyone. I'm guessing his wife gave him advice on what to wear that morning. Also, Laguna Beach is going to have a season two. If you didn't watch it last year, watch it this time. The kids are hot and you can spend ridiculous amounts of time talking to your friends about whether or not it's real.

Back in the day: I wept more than once while strolling through the Clinton Library. There was a time when I thought the guy in the White House had my back (most of the time). It ended five years ago and I want it back.

Unfortunate coincidence: The Clinton Foundation raised money for the Library, in part, by enabling donors to get their names put on "paver stones" in the walk in front of the building. One of the stones reads "Muhammad Atta", the name of the one of the suicide bombers who died in the 9/11 attacks. I know, it's probably also the name of a few other thousand guys, but it came across like a bad joke. Made by a Republican.

Remember when they released Bush's ipod playlist?: I can't remember. Did it include Mariah Carey, Celine Dion or, um, Red Buttons? All three made Clinton's CD collection and are on display as part of the "A World of Music" exhibit at the Library. Mariah and Celine suck and Red Buttons is just weird.

The woman who said in USA Today this weekend that the chicks in Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" are shown in their "unretouched glory" was lying. The backs of Stacy's thighs have cellulite. I'd put money on it.

Hootie and the Blowfish
can manage to sound REALLY good when there's nothing else on but Christian radio and the Ipod has gone haywire and you just don't want to listen to the same damn six CD's one more f*cking time. But only then.

I can not get enough of Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizuni flowing locks. He is such a rock star.

Best sign by the side of the road: "Used cows for sale."

Worst sign by the side of the road: "Hell is Real."

License Plate that I am still trying to figure out: "Fish don't walk and Jesus still lives."

Saddest thing I heard: At Abraham Lincoln's birthplace, the tour guide explained to a group of visitors that the log cabin on display is likely to be a recreation, although it was originally believed to be the real thing. However, he said, it still served the purpose of illustrating how a person can come from humble origins and still achieve greatness. "Well, maybe not today," he said. "But that was once the case."

It's still the case.

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