(the third of three travel blogs)

—"The blue masthead is hideous and the headline font screams typographic antiquity."
—we all think that this is a really big art fag sentence
—you should've used more pee pee doo doo humor

If you're lost, see: Planes and Trains.

In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad's truck passes through border patrol before entering the state of Arizona. Driving from Michigan through Indiana and into Illinois, I realized that American states don't have border patrols. What's sad is that I've actually driven into Arizona from California before.

I should mention that Robert drove the car from metro Detroit to Chicago and back. I was merely a passenger.

I've been on two road trips with Jord and Tony and both times, the two of them would not let me drive. I think Jord thinks that I'm a bad driver because I'm Asian. I'm not that bad of a driver, dammit! Granted, I did drive into a tree trying to make a U-turn in the middle of a four-lane street, but that was when I only had a permit. I have a license now.

I saw a billboard on I-94 that said —We will end bullying. Another advertised vasectomy reversal. One had a photo of a retarded baby and said —Not just another pretty face. I remember this was supposed to promote something completely unrelated, like a car dealership. The strangest billboard I saw had a creepy female face popping out of a plain white background and nothing else. An art installation, perhaps?

Krazy Kaplan must really want to get rid of his fireworks.

I hate it when a semi truck passes another semi truck on a two-lane interstate.

From the unnecessary franchise file, I saw a McDonald's planted between the two sides of the interstate beside a row of toll booths leading in and out of Chicago.

On the drive back from Chicago, the early afternoon Indiana sun shone on (and baked) my side of the car. I asked Robert to turn on the air conditioning and he turned a knob and pressed a button. Minutes later, I was still covered in sweat. I put my hand up against an air vent. Turns out I could have cooled myself more blowing air with my mouth. Apparently, Robert and I have very different conceptions of air conditioning. In my family, when we turn on the air conditioning in a car, the indoor climate soon approximates the dairy section of a supermarket.

My supervisor Manny's father works in the air conditioning business and says that automotive air conditioning systems waste the same amount of energy regardless of chill factor.

Conclusion: Robert is a sadist. I now know what dogs trapped in hot cars feel like.

Back in Michigan, Robert, Danielle, Jram, Kelly, Chow and I went to see Open Water in Birmingham. Before the movie, I was hungry and Robert led me to a nearby Subway (see the previous graf for why).

Jon's rule of travel #56: NO Subway.

Tony, Jord and I road tripped nine hours to Montreal last summer and for dinner, we ate at Subway. Of all the eateries unique to Montreal, we ate at fuckin' Subway. I don't want to slam globalization (that same trip, I shit my pants — literally — and amidst a bunch of foreign department stores in downtown Montreal, I saw a Gap and knew for sure that I could trust its pants) but worldwide food franchise saturation spoils part of the fun of traveling. Man is inherently attracted the familiar.

This is my impression of downtown Birmingham on a Saturday night:

Fifty billion underage teenagers who all shop at Urban Outfitters: We look like we should be at home watching SNICK instead of cruising streets unsupervised for hot Chaldean ass!


Every time I tell someone that I'm going to Michigan, I always receive the same reply.

—Why? What's in Michigan?

I never know how to respond.

—Um…people I met online?

Every place is boring at its core. I am aware of this. However, I'd still rather fly halfway across the country to sit around in someone's basement than spend another day at home.

When I was in Chicago, Jord told me that he might oversee kiosks on this fall's Nintendo Fusion Tour.

I started thinking about what he said.

On the plane flights back from Michigan, on the El trains in Chicago, on the drive east between said two locales, I seriously considered abandoning all my professional aspirations to work a shit job for WWE, assembling the ring or something, simply for the opportunity to be on the road 3/4 of the year, to be in a different city almost every night each week 51 weeks a year.

Can't settle down before I die young.