Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gone To Look for America

As I sat there staring blankly at the pasty-face red head who was giving this useless power point presentation, my mind began to drift to Simon and Garfunkle. Well not exactly to them but to their song “Gone to Look for America”.

let us be lovers we’ll marry our fortunes together
I’ve got some real estate here in my bag
So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner pies
And we walked off to look for America

Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I wish I would’ve done that when I was young and sitting through yet another meaningless meeting wherein nothing is ventured or gained, it feels like such a pointless existence. After reading “On the Road” when I was 18, my plans were set. I was absolutely going to break these bonds like “Thundarr the Barbarian” and hitchhike across the country. I was going to see it all.

To this day the furthest west I’ve been is Illinois.

"Kathy, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America"

But here I sit. Wasting an hour and a half at a presentation hosted by a medical insurance company that is just to inform its participating providers that its name has changed to “SuperMed”. That’s all. Nothing else.

First of all "Super Med" is the dumbest fucking name I've ever heard of and they are probably paying “crimson crotch” 75 grand a year to power-point me to this miraculous epiphany. Not only that, 40 lunches were purchased and I was paid throughout my time there. Their fucking name changed. An email would’ve sufficed.

I’m hearing so much about how this new healthcare bill is going to be the shit because it will force providers to become more efficient. Yeah…o.k. The docs I work for see on average 32 patients a day because the reimbursements continue to be lowered. Under the new plan there will be even deeper cuts so that they will have to see 40 patients a day. That’s not efficient. That’s the DMV.

"Laughing on the bus
Playing games with the faces
She said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy
I said be careful his bowtie is really a camera"

Wouldn’t it make more sense to force the insurance companies to stop wasting money on bullshit like these jag-off initiatives so that they could lower their premiums and make insurance more affordable? I mean other than the name change this ginger bitch rambled on about how the company updates her screensaver all the time to cool sports stars and if you log in and tell them that you “worked out” for and hour today or that you don’t smoke that you’ll earn points that you can redeem for gift cards.

Shut the fuck up. I have to pinch myself so I don’t say it.

"Toss me a cigarette, I think there’s one in my raincoat
we smoked the last one an hour ago
As I looked at the scenery, she read her magazine
And the moon rose over an open field"

There’s a line in “Gladiator” I think where Richard Harris says “There once was a dream called Rome.” When I was 18 there was a dream called America. At least that’s how I thought of it then. This vast place where anything was possible. No where in that dream was a board room in a hospital with a bunch of ape-faced old bitches complaining about fee schedules and warm chicken salad sandwiches.

"Kathy, I’m lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping
I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike
They’ve all gone to look for America
All gone to look for America
All gone to look for America"


  1. The NJ Turnpike was my starting point for all of my drives across America. It's well worth seeing, and even while driving through Illinois cornfields, it sure beats Powerpoint presentations.

    I've seen about 35 states, give or take, and few of them truly sucked. Ohio was about as bad as it got, although I'll tell you, folks in Toledo can be very helpful when you need a tire changed (at least when you're paying for the privilege).

  2. Agreed. Ohio IS Michigan's taint.In my limited travels of the East coast, Suckeye country always seemed to be the lamest.

    I'm dying to go to Oregon,The Dakota's, Montana, Colorado.....shit...just West. Preferrably off the beaten path with low population #'s.

    What's your top 3 fav states you've been to?

  3. First, I want to make it clear that AMERICA is well worth seeing. Not the NJ Turnpike. The Turnpike is absolute toilet. Most roads with the word "Turnpike" in the name are that way (yes Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, I'm talking to you).

    Top 3? Arkansas, believe it or not. Lived there for 4 years while attending the U of A. Well, the Ozarks are nice anyway. Beautiful scenic roads, friendly people, great food (if you like everything fried), etc.

    Wisconsin is another one. You can see the Northern Lights. In the northern part of the state, the sky is absolutely huge, and the stars are countless. As the son of an astronomer, I love that.

    The third is tough. I'm partial to the Appalachians over the Rockies, otherwise I'd pick something out west. Believe it or not, Jersey has a lot to offer. Mountains, beaches, cities, country, history. The only thing NJ lacks is a passion for college sports other than Penn State and Notre Dame. The SEC is non-existent there.

    Georgia would become #3, but only when they allow Sunday alcohol sales.

  4. I was going to defend my NJ Turnpike but can't.

    Especially the Northern stretch, pretty factory-ridden (makes sense, Newark is the armpit of the state. Camden is the bowels of NJ, and Atlantic City is the bunion-covered feet).

    But we've got (some) nice beaches, and you're right, moutnains (go way north, toward the Water Gap - amazing up there).

    Would love to check out the Western US though.

  5. Steve-My boss is from Arkansas and always raves about how gorgeouse Hot Springs is.

    I'll take your word for Jersey since I doubt I'll ever venture there. But as far as the Appalachians, I totally agree. I spent a good portion of my life growing up in Harts Creek, W.V. and those mountains are in my blood. As well as the inbreeding. My dad's a coal miner btw.

    Patrick- Hey I read enough of your page to see that you just submitted a screen play for a contest. Is it posted on your blog anywhere?

  6. That's the worst misspelling of "gorgeous" like....ever.

  7. For a second, I thought you were speaking French and getting high-brow on us. But then I realized, "oh wait, West Virginia." Kidding. WV is a beautiful state. Backward, sure, but beautiful.

    I spent most of my time in NW Arkansas, 1 hour south of the Missouri border, 1 hour east of Oklahoma. There's a huge Corps of Engineers lake, similar to Lanier, that my grandparents lived on, on a cliff overlooking the lake. You had God's country, you had a great job market (Wal-Mart, Tyson and JB Hunt all located right there), and you had the good University crowd (read: intellectual, yet free-flowing alcohol). I've been near Hot Springs, but never in, but I've heard it's great there.

    As for NJ, the northern part of the Shore has a bad reputation, because the way the currents go, any garbage dropped off the tip of Manhattan will end up on the Jersey Shore, so we suffered because of someone else's garbage. The further south you go, the nicer the beaches. And if you go north of Trenton, you can go tubing down the Delaware River on a relaxing pace.

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  9. You could avoid NJ if you took I-81 all the way up to I-90 in upstate NY and then went east to Boston, but you gain a certain appreciation for the rest of the US if you see Irvington NJ at least once before you die (my brother's car died on the exit ramp for Irvington, which is pretty much the worst place possible in NJ for a white guy's car to break down...he was slightly less racist about it than Paulie in Rocky III, when they were in LA).

    And the only time I ever drove through New England was in February, for a conference (way too cold) one year and in April of my senior year in high school, to visit the University of Rhode Island.

    I can say with certainty, the fall is a horrible time to drive through Illinois. There is no "fall foliage," just hundreds of square miles of rotting corn stalks.

  10. Hahaha...Paulie in Rocky III! Nice. Oh how I love a good movie reference.