Monday, March 07, 2011

Things on Wheels

I've come to the realization that things on wheels are way cooler than things that are stationary.  Let me explain.

I love books.  I always have.  In fact, today I once again fell victim to a ridiculous habit that I've kept for years now--I finished a book, and to celebrate, I rewarded myself by buying 3 new books.  Fail.  Anyways, when I was a child, the only thing more exciting than my weekly trip to the library to pick up the latest addition to The Saddle Club series or a Boxcar Children mystery, was when the Bookmobile made its rounds in my neighborhood.  The only thing cooler than books?  Books on wheels.  If you were not fortunate enough to experience the little slice of Heaven that was the Bookmobile as a child, then I feel sorry for you, because that's equivalent to a childhood without candy or puppies.

Scratch out "Kentucky" and pencil in "Virginia," and this is what my Bookmobile looked like.
Photo-cred to Lewis County Library

What I'm going to pretend my Bookmobile looked like, because it's way better.
Photo-cred to Magnet Reps
Sure, it was hot and cramped, and things may have gotten a little cut-throat while scavenging through the Bookmobile's 6 shelves to find the perfect book before some other kid with a ripped library card, (he was clearly less dedicated to the cause than I was) snagged it.  But the Bookmobile was genius and way ahead of its time.

As if I need more proof about why things on wheels are cooler, let me tell you what happened when I was in my hometown, Roanoke, this past summer.  I was driving downtown to loiter at all the usual places, when a man wearing a cowboy hat and cruising down the sidewalk caught my eye.  However, he wasn't riding a bike or anything that I could identify as ever having seen before.  He appeared to be riding a cooler, mounted onto a Razor scooter.  I didn't understand. Naturally, I pulled along side of him and took a frantic picture with my cell phone before speeding off:

Obviously it didn't turn out too well, but you get the idea.  I contemplated feeling awkward about doing this, but then quickly decided that if he was going to ride around on a COOLER, than he should expect to have people gawking and taking pictures.  After doing my research, I discovered that Cruzin Cooler, as it's officially called, is a phenomenon!  Please check this out.  Some of my favorite amenities include: 13 mph top speed, aluminum rims, spring-loaded foot pegs, 24+ can capacity, and a trailer hitch.  So from what I gather, the beauty of the Cruzin Cooler is that you can ride at a leisurely pace of 13 mph for about 20 miles before the cooler runs out of gas/electricity (so many options!), where you will then be stuck with 24 cans of soda/beer (at least they're cold, right?!)  Congratulations to the makers of Cruzin Cooler, who made coolers so hilarious that they're cool.

My latest craze on wheels is called Last Call Dogs (we pronounce it "Dewgs," but you may say it however you like).  It's a bright yellow truck that drives around the Charlottesville area on the weekends, selling hotdogs from 10pm-2am.  Last Call Dogs always magically appears at the best times.  When we emerge from dancing at 90s night, there's Last Call Dogs, waiting in front of the bar, ready to sustain us with delicious cuisine.

There's a lot of late-night food competition on The Corner in Charlottesville (ie: Christian's pizza, Gus burgers from the White Spot...Qdoba's even getting in on the action and now stays open until 3!)  Even though it doesn't get much better than a slice of Christian's, Last Call Dogs wins...because it's on wheels.  You really can't beat a traveling hotdog stand.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Wig It

When the weather is nice, one of my favorite things to do around Charlottesville is to go wine-tasting.  My vineyard of choice is called Veritas:

I've spent a few fun afternoons at Veritas, but the trip I took with my friend, Chad, this past fall, remains the most absurd.  It all began as soon as we got in the car.

Me: "It smells weird in here."
Chad: "It smells like poop."
Me: "You're right!! It really does!!"
Chad: "It smells like a lot of poop!"
Me:   "Seriously, WHAT is THAT?!  This is getting out of control."
Chad: "I feel like I'm rolling around in poop."

At this point we started to frantically search the car.  I heard Chad scream and my eyes darted to the floorboard on the Driver's side, where he was staring in horror.  There was dog poop everywhere.  

"AAHH I must have stepped in it in the yard!!! It's EVERYWHERE! What do we do?!!"  

Panicked, I started screaming and threw myself against the window.  I was panting on the glass, gasping for any hint of untainted air.  I pulled at the door handle and fell out onto the asphalt.  Meanwhile, Chad had gone through a similar process and was now running around looking for a natural equivalent to a paper-towel; a leaf, a stick, a wad of grass, a stray paper bag.  Chad cleaned up his shoes and placemat as best as he could, and we pressed on; riding to Veritas with the windows down.

We stopped at this cute grocer that is on the way to the vineyard, called Greenwood Grocery.  The wrap-around porch was overflowing with lawn decorations, pumpkins, and colorful gourds.  We bought a box of crackers and a wedge of my favorite cheese, Midnight Moon, to take with us.  

Once at Veritas, we unpacked our cheese and crackers and uncorked a bottle of Red Star, setting up our picnic on one of the tables on the porch.  We were having a great time, when I noticed the baby at the table next to us.  It had A LOT of hair.  It was tiny, weighing maybe 10 pounds, with its squinty eyes poking out beneath this dark mop of hair.  I'm pretty sure the hair weighed more than the baby.

"Psst, Chad!"
"Look at that baby behind you.  Do you think that's its real hair?"
Chad turned around. "Oh my god!!"
"I think it's wearing a wig!!  There's no way that's real!"

Just then, two women walked up to the couple with the wiggin' baby.  "Look at that full head of hair!!"  This was painfully obvious to me.  The mother passed the baby over to the father, allowing me to get a full view of the haircut.  This baby had layers in the back and sweeping bangs across-the-forehead!!  To make matters worse, I realized that the baby had the exact same haircut as its dad, who was sporting a mid-20s hipster 'do.  I needed documentation and to consult back-up, but all I had was my cell phone.  I made Chad pose as if I was taking a picture of him, but really focused my phone's camera on the baby.  I couldn't zoom in far enough, and, just like that, Operation Sneaky Picture was a failure.

I couldn't bare it any longer.  "We need to figure this out.  Maybe I'll walk by and tug on the hair...see if it comes off."
Chad: "Let's be more subtle about this.  I'll just walk up to the mom and say 'Great haircut! Where do you get it done?' and when she thanks me and starts talking about her own hairdresser, I'll cut her off and say 'Oh no no, your baby's!'"

PS:  In case anyone was wondering...yes, this did happen once: