Sunday, August 29, 2010

Menacing Pickle, Wandering Somewhere Aimlessly Near You?

I’m shutting down the store from September 1 to October 10. Why? I’m hitting the road! Hopefully not in a literal splattering sense. Well, the skies actually. And as it now seems the trains, cars, buses and canyons of our great country. In 2009 Jetblue offered an All You Can Jet Pass, allowing holders to fly unlimited on Jetblue for a designated month. An unconfirmed number of lucky purchasers would be jetsetting during an otherwise slow flying time. I was not one of them. And I regretted it. For a year I discussed with friends what I would have done had I purchased one, the food, the visits, the fun. Well, they offered it again. I knew it would sell out in a matter of hours and had to make a choice. I pulled out the credit card, sucked up my fears and charged. At about 2am (it’s regular Pickle operating time) I became Menacing Pickle JetBlue AYCJ flyer. Holy crap. What have I done???

I have a lot of dreams, a big one being that I would get to see every state in The United States before I turn 35. For those playing at home, I will be missing that goal. I am getting closer though! To both seeing all the states and turning 35. One I’ll deny, the other I am really excited to talk about if you ask me. I hope to lead people in such misdirection about my age that at my death you’ll have to cut me in half and count the rings to disseminate the truth.

If you follow me on twitter or have met me in real life you know I love to read, it’s one of the things that has carried me through my battle with Lupus. I’ll read anything, fiction, non-fiction, horror, history. I don’t promise to like it, but I’ll read it and have an opinion. During times I have been bedridden or just trapped indoors I could always better who I was through someone else’s story, or at least distract myself. I could occupy my thoughts away from however unfortunate I found my own circumstances to be engrossed in other journeys. I’ve followed their heartbreak, their loves, their avoidance of strange creatures on stormy nights, page by page. I imagine their sights and foods, word by word. Some of these sights I had never seen outside google, and I have regrets over that. I want to understand the texts I read on a deeper level and see many of them for myself. When a character in a book drowns her sorrows in a serving of lasagna, I know what it tastes like. I can appreciate the oozing cheese, aromatic basil and carefully baked noodles. The care one takes not to have a bubbling morsel lick your chin when you inhale it before waiting for it to cool. But I don’t know what The Arches in Utah smell like, what the food cart in Portland tastes like, or if the people of Vancouver got to smell David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson. I’m going to know!

2:15AM…complete fear sets in. I have Lupus, and I will be exhausted. I thought “I have given up so much to this disease don’t give up this chance." I also thought “Stay home! Stay home! Stay home!” So many things that have crossed my path, not worth taking a risk on. "Don’t pass up one of the few things that could be worth that risk.” There are no written rules governing how I will travel, that I can’t nap instead of sight seeing. How I’ll choose to proceed from here, however slow or fast as I navigate my way. Yet, I’m scared. I know all too well how disappointing it is to be mid conversation, really hanging on the words of my companion and then distracted by how very tired I am. How much parts of me hurt, and that I have hit my limit for now. How I seem disinterested in them when I am really very interested but conflicted. This trip is both an exploration for me in miles and physically. My logic knows that my life will be stagnant where it is if I don’t push myself outside those boundaries, my body reminds me what happens when I push myself too hard. It’s not pretty. I keep telling myself I can return home, to bed at any time. It’s only a plane ride away, or a bed a hotel room away. I’m really hoping I make it through the whole month both to prove that I can learn to pace myself and because I really, really want this.

I want to meet so many of the people I have had only email and phone contact with regarding our battles of the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act. People I consider close friends who have launched letter campaigns and marched to save our businesses, mine and theirs. Many of us who lost our businesses and nervously began new ventures. I also have such a desire to meet people that are strangers as I write this but know they won’t be as I leave their state. All the people who are characters in their own stories, in books yet to be written.

It motivates and moves me to know the reason a bodega owner emigrated from another country to ours. Why the elderly couple next to me at a national monument made the trip. I look forward to hearing their stories, and yours if you are near somewhere I am landing. If you will be in a Jetblue city and would like to have a meal together or visit an attraction, I’d like to hear your story too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Where In The World is Pickle?

I'm going to be closing up shop for the month of September and part of October and hit the skies with JetBlue. Yup, I got an All You Can Jet Pass. I can hit as many cities Jet Blue flies to as often as I like for a month. This is going to help fulfill a dream of mine, to see every state in the country before I turn 35. I'll be closer, though no where near finished after this trip.

So far I have scheduled; Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Chicago, Wisconsin, San Jose, and of course a repeat trip to Vegas. I love food.

The toughies are going to be Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and either Austin or Houston where I have no contacts. I may have to leave Texas for another trip. I have a lot of folks in Dallas, so that would be easier.

If you live or have traveled in Phoenix or Salt Lake City, please let me know your experiences. Affordable places to stay, what to do and see. I would love to hit things the locals do and any spectacular nature sights like caves, trails, mountains. I would prefer not to rent a car, so public transportation or guided bus rides to them would be fantastic.
Stay tuned here for updates from the skies.