erie, schmerie


for reasons strange and complicated that i don’t feel like going into here, my boyfriend had to do something in erie, pa this weekend, so i decided to go with him. i needed a roadtrip, plus erie seems kind of magical on the internet. it has cute street names (parade street, sassafrass street, etc) and for some reason it seems really gay and there are these 2 guys riding  around town on a tandem bicycle–they’re a queer couple, they dress wackily and go everywhere on their tandem and live in a beautiful strange house with lovely pictures painted on the outside. i admired their courage and cheerfulness, but now that i’ve actually been to erie i REALLY admire it. it was SO depressing (not to mention bike-unfriendly). the next time i hear someone complain about pgh being a depressing pit i’m gonna recommend they drive 2 hours north. pittsburgh looks like a haven of love and contentment! i am so happy to be home, even with a broken furnace!

but i’m getting ahead of myself. we had one of those good drives up, where you talk about things and it all feels so meaningful, when you feel like you’ve got a good co-captain in your life. the only sour spot was an overpass with “FORNICATION IS A GREVIOUS SIN =)” spray painted on it. the smiley face (which was the right side up, of course) was the creepiest part. i’m glad i don’t live in a condo by the side of the highway where every house is painted beige. why do they do that? because they’re afraid. i’m glad i don’t think fornication is a grevious sin. yeah me too.

pittsburgh on friday was gorgeous, so warm. i found out it was 71 degrees not by checking the weather channel or looking at a website, but by observing a man in front of my job wave his iphone in a woman’s face and yell, “see, i told you! 71 degrees!” the woman responded with an angry, “your FEVER’s gonna be a HUNDRED and 71 degrees when i’m done with you!”

anyway, upstate snow was still on the ground and it was in the 30’s. we rode around presque isle state park, riding straight into the wind and the gray. it was beautiful but sad too. when we got to the lake erie side we were kind of surprised to see it was frozen!

i realize this makes me sound like an idiot, but you gotta understand, i grew up on long island, totally taking the ocean for granted. i’m used to big roaring bodies of water that never ever freeze, no matter how cold it gets. so, we looked out on this body of water and felt appropriately small. the wind sluiced right through our coats and got into our lungs. time to go.

we accidentally went to an anti-choice thrift store after that, and were feeling discouraged and grossed out (didn’t buy anything, thank goddess). driving around feeling dejected, we saw the guys on the bike! and waved to them. “i feel like that’s a good sign,” said ray, and then we found the salvation army, which had not only a waffle iron, but the exact waffle iron i had been dreaming of, for $3.50! it’s the kind that makes waffles that are kind of heart-shaped. i was so excited to see it, i gasped loudly and people looked at me like i was going to fall to the ground. but i didn’t!

okay,, that’s enough. i also saw “jersey shore” for the first time in a long time and i don’t know what to think. why isn’t ronnie kicked off the show for being an abusive asshole? and why, on a show where people talk about shitting (and even show their clogged-up toilet on camera on more than one occasion) is menstruation the last unspeakable taboo? bitch magazine wrote an interesting piece about it a long time ago. oh well. i’m from long island and i grew up with TONS of people just like the jersey shore cast members, and even though they’re total idiots and really annoying and stupid, they’re also funny in this particular way that i miss, that i don’t get out here.

oh, and today the sun came out, so we rode our bikes some more, and then ate some really good sandwiches and met a british woman who said that when i’m in europe i need to drink coffee in a sidewalk cafe and watch life go by, because americans don’t do that enough.

and now we’re home! our furnace broke (?) but who the hell cares, winter is over and i’ve lived in colder houses. drinking ginger tea in my insulated carhartts. hooray.

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