This Week (and Last Week) in Awkwardness

I attended the Sedona St. Patrick’s Day parade & festival (which is apparently a big deal, even though I’ve never seen a single reference to anything Irish anywhere in Arizona before) where I saw this gem of a float, labeled “Flags for Freedom”:

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Book Finished:

Helter Skelter, by Vincent Bugliosi

I was generally aware of the Manson Family murders but had never studied them in depth.  Bugliosi prosecuted Charles Manson & a few of his followers in the trial of their most famous crime spree, the Tate-LaBianca murders, so the book is an in-depth, mostly first person account of one of the most sensational events in recent history.  I didn’t expect to be genuinely creeped out, but the idea of one crazy person so thoroughly controlling his followers is pretty terrifying.

Favorite Quote:

“‘I think historically the easiest way to program someone into murdering is to convince them that they are alien, that they are them and we are us, and that they are different from us.’ [Dr. Joel Hochman, psychiatrist for the defense.]

Krauts.  Japs.  Gooks.  Pigs.”


Crossed Off the Travel Map:

West Fork Trail, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Arizona
West Fork Trail, Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, Arizona

Sedona Heritage Museum, Sedona, Arizona


Added to the Travel Map:

Memphis, Tennessee – just because I’m heading that way I guess.

Mojave National Preserve, Kelso, California – sand dunes & whatnot.

Fort Carroll, Edgemere, Maryland – abandoned, now a bird sanctuary.

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This Week in Awkwardness

I was passed on the highway by a pickup truck with a load of cow skulls.

I went through a Border Patrol Checkpoint coming back up from Tombstone.  They just waved me through, I guess I didn’t look like I’d be harboring illegals.  One of the officers was staring off into the desert with a serious pair of binoculars, which looked like about the most boring job on the planet.  I’m not totally convinced he was actually facing the border.

We got our first little bits of snow up on the mountains here in Sedona, I’m hoping for more but I guess they really didn’t get any last year so who knows.


Book Finished:

The Shining, by Stephen King

I’ve tried to read King before, but just could never get into it until this one.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that was genuinely creepy, unless you count Goosebumps and that was so long ago I don’t remember if they were scary or not.  Anyway I’d already seen the movie (Shelley Duvall runs like a puppet), the TV miniseries, and the episode of Friends where Joey spoils the ending for Rachel so I already had some idea of what was going on but I still enjoyed it.

Favorite Quote:

“He had always disliked the snowmobiles.  They shivered the cathedral silence of winter into a million rattling fragments.  They startled the wildlife.  They sent out huge and pollutive clouds of blue and billowing oilsmoke behind them – cough, cough, gag, gag, let me breathe.  They were perhaps the final grotesque toy of the unwinding fossil fuel age, given to ten-year-olds for Christmas.”


Crossed Off the Travel Map:


Added to the Travel Map:

International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, Maine – because how awesome does that sound?

This Week in Awkwardness

I spent a good chunk of the week retooling my Flickr & Facebook pages to fit better with the blog, although I’m still trying to shake out how they all go together so it might be kind of weird for a while.

Other than that I’ve been pretty boring so please enjoy this stuffed squirrel I found last winter in a resale shop in Florida, and try not to let him haunt your nightmares:

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Added to the Travel Map

The Monkey’s Paw, Toronto, Canada – awesome used book store.

Tombstone, Arizona – lots of Wild West lore.

The Ghan, The Great Southern Railway, Adelaide – Darwin, Australia.