Lessons learned

Phoenix is too far to drive to.
Grandma is still a crazy abusive racist and we always forget about it until we’re there.
Mountain biking in Phoenix is still amazingly fun.
I am really out of practice on the trails.
Hannah knows where the cool shit is.
Nipples also knows where the cool shit is.
Justin doesn’t know where the cool shit is, but he’ll pound back beers with you and listen to you insult people.
There is cool shit in central Phoenix now, for some reason.
Tempe is dead.
My sister is a bad traveler.
My sister and I think about things almost identically. We had a long conversation about “words we like” and another about “how sometimes we think about things way too in depth and imagine ourselves being hurt or killed and how it would affect other people”. We also had a long talk about our family history, which was kind of fun.
Grandma is a bit of a shopping addict.
Religious or no, funerals and cemeteries provoke an emotional response. Sami had a bad reaction to the double-wide monuments with just one name. I had a bad reaction to the single headstones with no flowers.
It is hot in Arizona, and dusty. It only took three days there to give me pimples and bloody noses.
Mauna puas are still good but not quite as heavenly as I remember.
Phoenix is now solid houses and Wal-Marts from fucking Avondale to Coolidge. There are enough empty homes there to house everyone in the entire state, and possibly all the Utahns.
Grandma feeds her dog nothing but cuts of roast beef from the deli case. The dog is about 400% too fat.
There is still a certain joy in sitting in the cool of the desert morning, watching the sun turn the sky sapphire.
It still sucks when an hour later the sun is still coming up more and turns the sapphire to pale dusty blue.
I am not good at holding a line on a trail.
I am not good at choosing a line on a trail.
When presented with two lines, my brain farts and I pick the middle, which usually involves some foot high drop onto sand or broken shale.
I am overgood at lightening the front tire.
I am undergood at lightening the rear.
I want a 29’er real bad.
A nonsmoking room in California still just means “a room that you choose not to smoke in but there are ashtrays and shit”.
My sister likes the word “Brick” and reflexive verbs in spanish.
I dream a lot more when I am under stress, or at least I remember them a lot more.
California is sexier at night.
Caffeine is super important if you are sick and usually have some caffeine. You will feel way worse if you are going through withdrawl and a cold at the same time.
Don’t take cold pills on an empty stomach.
If you’re going to drive straight through the night, commit. That five hours of fitful sleep you are gonna get isn’t gonna be worth it.
Apparently, my cousins are both hot as fuck now.
My grandma thinks that I give a shit about my uncle and his wife.
My grandma liked Sarah Palin so much, she was going to vote for McCain (she hated McCain). I believe her alternative plan was to vote for Mitt Romney, or write in Pat Buchanan.
The internet slows WAAAY down on spring break.
Nipples has a little oddball lesbian living with him.
Nipples has a little oddball relationship with Sam. (this is, by the way, HILARIOUS)
My grandma is lonely.
My grandma goes to visit my dad’s parents at the cemetery, and talks to them. And then she tries to steal vases from other headstones to put on theirs, and then speaks poorly of the “jews” in the other part of the cemetery (she mentioned that it was funny that her husband Tom hated jews so much in life but is now right next to them for all eternity).
I can put up with my grandma for exactly five hours at a stretch. Beyond that I start to fantasize about driving into oncoming traffic or off a cliff.
My sister and I both had similar experiences with my dad re: his discussion of our burgeoning sexuality.
My grandma has breast implants (this was a weird one).
Upon arriving in Phoenix, I noticed that the rampant speeding was way down all across the board, it turns out this is because of speed cams on the freeway. I found this out after speeding across town several times. Hopefully I won’t get a ticket.
I saw five highway patrolmen through the entire trip. California’s budget is so fucked I guess they’ve given up on enforcement between cities.
My car is a little trooper, but it lacks the power and aerodynamics to be an effective touring car.
You know when you’ve hit southern California because of the orange bug splatters on your windshield.
Pumping your own gas is easy to get back into but hard to remember to stop when you get back. There was a tense stare off when I got back to Eugene, while a man tried to hypnotically suggest I open my gas tank for him. I eventually realized he was an employee and not a panhandler.

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