Issue #92 – “Going Places” – July 10th, 2006

-In the past five years, I’ve visited twenty-three states and six foreign countries.  It’s ironic then to admit that I absolutely cannot stand traveling.  I hate hotels.  I hate everything about airports and airplanes.  And I especially hate when people say to me, “So Karo, looks like you’re really racking up the frequent flier miles!”  What the fuck is that supposed to mean, huh?  Shut the fuck up!  OK, sorry, that may have been a little out of line.  But just the thought of packing a suitcase makes my blood pressure rise.  Sure, performing stand-up across the country and vacationing in exotic locales sounds fun in theory.  In reality, I think I’d prefer not to leave my apartment.  These days, though, it seems like I’m always going places…

-I’m not a big sightseer.  My rule of thumb is that if a plaque or monument cannot be read in the time it takes me to walk past it, it’s just not worth it.  I also prefer to go to museums by myself.  That way I can plow through all the cool and weird stuff without wasting time on extraneous shit like exhibits about birds and jewelry.

-Interesting Travel Tidbit #1: People always believe that their state has the worst drivers.

-Why do I put on sunscreen before walking around a foreign city yet never put on sunscreen in any American city that’s just as hot?

-I was at a resort in Spain last month that had a lending library where vacationers could leave the books they’d read behind for other travelers.  I made the point that the last people who need free books are resort-goers in Spain and that the books should probably instead be donated to underprivileged, illiterate children or something.  Unfortunately, my high school Spanish is a little rusty and the bartender I was talking to thought I ordered a pitcher of sangria.  After I housed it, I totally felt better about those kids.

-Interesting Travel Tidbit #2:  In London, they pay in pounds and drink in milliliters.  However, bra cup sizes are exactly equivalent to the American system.

-How come I can travel thousands of miles on a transcontinental flight in a state-of-the-art 747, but some teenager in a golf cart has to tow us the final ten feet to the gate?

-Why, when we finally get to the gate, does the captain always come on the loudspeaker and announce that everyone must remain seated until he turns the seat belt sign off – and then he turns it off two seconds later?  What, is he trying to be a dick or something?

-Interesting Travel Tidbit #3:  Flight attendants do not know how to fly or land the plane in an emergency.  I always wanted to know this, so I asked a flight attendant on my way to O’Hare a few months ago.  She told me that not only are they not trained, but that she’s terrified of flying and will be “praying harder than anyone” when we make our final approach.  In addition, she also said that no, I could not have another bag of mixed nuts.

-In the end, for me the horrors of travel are more than made up for by the people I’ve met along the way.  From large-breasted British chicks to drunken, rowdy fans in Chicago, I’ve always been welcomed with open arms.  They say life is a journey, not a destination.  But really it’s the destinations, not the journeys, that you remember most.  Or, like me, you can knock back a few thousand milliliters of cold beer and not remember anything at all.  Now that’s going places.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-It is impossible to walk out of Bed Bath & Beyond without spending five times as much money as you originally intended.  I went in there the other day to buy some stuff for my new apartment and ended up with several gadgets I didn’t even know existed.  In order not to blow my savings next time, I think I’m gonna have to put on blinders like an unruly racehorse so I won’t be distracted by shiny objects I have no use for.  All I needed last time was a plunger.  I ended up buying a mouse pad with memory foam and some sort of salt and pepper shaker set so complicated it came with a manual.

-I was driving up Fairfax the other day and a car in front of me kept drifting into my lane.  I honked like crazy, then noticed that it was a decrepit old lady who could barely see over the steering wheel.  This got me even more pissed off because there’s no way this fossil should be operating a motor vehicle.  I pull up next to her at the next light, look over, and – I swear to God – she pulls out a RAZR and starts sending a text message.  Fucking California.

-I’m a hardcore Bluetooth headset lover.  However, I only use the thing in two situations:  When I’m driving (so I don’t crash into text-messaging grandmothers), and when I’m on the phone in my home office (so that I can simultaneously Google the buzzwords my agents use because I have no clue what they’re talking about).  But I really don’t understand why people wear their headsets at the mall.  Seriously dude, the guy you’re ordering from at Panda Express in the food court doesn’t give a shit that you’re Bluetooth-enabled.

-I am honestly considering just buying a new George Foreman instead of cleaning it.

-Last July, the first 7-Eleven in Manhattan opened on Park Avenue South.  I was still living in New York at the time and went to the store with the Triplets on opening night.  I’m proud to say that I performed the first-ever slurpee kegstand in New York City history.  And then got thrown out.  The next week, on July 11th (7/11, get it?), they gave out free slurpees all day and kids came from miles around to join in the fun.  You know how in old movies they show little kids opening up fire hydrants in the streets of New York on hot summer days and frolicking in the water?  Yeah, it was nothing like that and they ran out of slurpee mix in like 45 minutes.

-And, finally, one of the stranger things I’ve noticed since moving to California is that when I go back to New York, I feel like I’m only visiting, but then when I return to Los Angeles…I also feel like I’m only visiting.  You know when you go on vacation and land in Florida or Mexico or whatever and you feel that warm breeze and smell the ocean when you first walk outside the airport and it kind of puts you in that vacation mood?  That’s what it feels like when I land back in Los Angeles after being away.  Plus, my new apartment has a pretty sweet pool and when I walk in lugging a suitcase and see a bunch of gourmet chicks laying out, it’s hard to remember if my vacation is over or just beginning.  But I’m usually snapped back to reality by a dirty look from a girl in a bikini.  Turns out I should treat chicks like I do museums and monuments – take a quick glance as I walk by, but never stop and stare.  Fuck me.