The trip down went surprisingly well. Five days total, thanks to stopping off to see friends.
Scranton is a modest city trying to build up. The brand spanking new Medical School (of which our friend Moses is faculty) is a step in the right direction. It's located spitting distance from the newly renovated City Hall central plaza, in the grounds of an old Religious School, methinks (the door we entered through had BOYS over the top). We got a tour of the facilities, heard the pluses and minuses, and otherwise had a chance to catch up with Moses.
He's purchased a townhouse outside the city limits, in what appears to be a sleeper community. Nice space, and his washing machine/drier combo (a pair of front loaders atop pedastals) were particularly nifty (especially when he referred to them as "German War Machines").
Pittsburgh has no zombies, and for that I am grateful. :) What it does have is mattiflap and her family living in a lovely house on a cul de sac. Lines of maples (?) hide it from immediate view, but we found it eventually.
A lovely time spent catching up (though one of these visits, we'll have to time it right so we can actually see hubby Scot for longer than an hour!) and the next morning's breakfast (at the decidedly oddly named Eat and Park restaurant; when said really fast, "Eet'n Park", it brings to my mind a quaint spot of green in a fictional London-style metropolitan sprawl; perhaps it might be the smaller, less known sibling to Hyde Park) was carb-a-licious joy.
Columbus, OH offered plenty of fine fun times with haceldama and las. In addition to talking to two decidedly well informed people about books (Nick Mamatas' new collection sounds pretty kewl), publishing (las's first novel Spellbent is up for preorder at amazon! Do you like Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, and Simon R. Green's Nightside books but wish they offered a little something more in terms of gripping story? Try out Spellbent. I've read it in manuscript form, and it's a real treat), and movies (after listening to the raves, William Friedkin's Sorcerer makes my Netflix list).
Drag Me to Hell has a damned good title. Alas, it is ultimately a none too original story, but it still offers goofy fun in that classic Universal Monster Movie meets Sam Raimi's Evil Dead sort of way. haceldama says it makes Spider Man 3 look good, but alas I have a different opinion (due, no doubt, to the fact that I've never seen SM3). What DMTH is not is why I enjoyed it: it is not a dead teenager flick. It is not a remake of a Japanese/Chinese/Korean horror flick (though parts of it are certainly informed by Raimi's participation in The Grudge remake). For my dollars, the seance set piece is worth the price of admission.
From Columbus, the long drive south.
We stopped off outside of Memphis (and while this may have gotten the song "Walking in Memphis" stuck in a normal person's head, I got a version of "Walking After Midnight" replacing Midnight with Memphis; me = weird), did not stay in the area long and decided to make the beeeeg push into Texas the next day.
Loooong days, but T and I did not kill each other.
This was thanks to mix CDs (Buck 65's Wicked and Weird is a damned catchy number) and an I-Trip knockoff.
What followed was arrival at The Dump End, the arrivial of "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)", and a visit to The Greatest Library Evar (okay, maybe not) . . .
(to be continued in Part 2)