as of the middle of june, our little family will boast a total of zero steady jobs, unless you count whatever it is that steve does. joe realized a few weeks back that he needed to stop spending three hours a day getting to and from his office in the bronx, that we should reap the benefits of having been employed and childless before we are too old to really appreciate said benefits, and, oh yeah, that we should stick with the plan of picking up the old car we were going to buy from his parents (to streamline the process of getting to and from the bronx) and we should drive it across the country. i agreed to all of that, he put in his notice, and now we're planning a month-long road trip? customary catsitter, please reconfirm for me that you're able to feed and water the dudes in our absence (this is, predictably, one of the most stressful parts of what's happening, for me).

frequently and/or fictitiously asked questions

Q: what will joe do now?

A: we don't know. something in the same field, probably. an important part of the job-leaving experience is the lack of a job on the other side, he tells me, so i made sure we were up to date on the sort of things you need comparatively fancy health insurance to tackle, and that was that.

Q: where will you go?

the car is in phoenix, so we're starting there; after visiting with his parents for several days, we'll drive to los angeles and see some of my family, see showgirls, and start heading east.

Q: how are you addressing the fact that since matty hides from strangers, no one is going to see him for a whole month?

A: a wi-fi pet camera to catch him when he sneaks out for food, sort of the yuppie version of the planet earth tech used to film the elusive snow leopard? i'm still working on this.

Q: is benjamin black's the black-eyed blonde a worthy successor to raymond chandler's novels?

A: no, unfortunately. that times review i linked in the title made me laugh, as i too read "cancer stick" and promptly checked to see if the term would be anachronistic for a chandler character (it probably is). in my case i wasn't jumping on black because i thought he was too good; i think he chokes the reader with (often subpar) chandlerisms, and i really hated his zillion clumsy references to the long goodbye (for my money, chandler's best work). the black-eyed blonde is worth reading as a chandler-nerd talking point, but it belongs in the canon like a pearl onion on a banana split.

Q: what does the old car look like?

A: this, more or less.

Q: are you going to write about the trip?

A: we've made plans to stay in a '55 spartan imperial mansion in west texas and at the mississippi crossroads where robert johnson sold his soul to the devil so he could play the blues. what do you think?


Anonymous said...

Can you come to Nashville in ye old car? xo, Naurnie

lauren said...

yes! we're trying to swing down that way sometime between the 13th (when we're leaving chicago) and the 19th of july.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm here then and more than happy to show y'all around.

lauren said...

Huzzah! I may or may not have planned that part of the trip in hopes of seeing you and the family. :)


Anonymous said...


LPC said...

Of course if you came here for any reason I would love to see both of you. But, I expect SF is not your destination, and I will see you in NYC some time this fall.

As for the motion-activated camera, you might look at Dropcam, which requires someone surrender their iPhone, but that's all it requires.

I can't wait to read anything you choose to say, as always.

cara said...

I'm beyond excited for you guys. Quitting is for winners.

Tom said...

Whoa. Chicago? Would my presence be required someplace? And if so, YAY!

Anonymous said...

jacob said...

i was hoping against hope that the car photo was going to be of joe's old porsche. man i liked that car.

congrats on the adventure! of course you're always welcome in baltimore!

lauren said...

@Tom: I believe it will. I'll check in with you as we continue to plan!

@jacob: joe would have loved that as well, even though i don't drive stick and he would have had to chauffeur me across the country. RIP, little porsche.

Anonymous said...

It IS just like my '89 635csi, though. Such a beautiful body style. I'm jealous!

lauren said...

perhaps we can drive it back the other way for you? unclear on what we'll do with it once it gets to new york, as the waiting list for a parking space in our building is still something like twenty years long. maybe we can hide it under the bridge and cast a cloaking spell or something.