Sunday, July 15, 2007

North Carolina is cool

I'm visiting an old friend for a weekend in Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina. Both places are way cool. Asheville is a majorly bohemian town that is far more liberal and hippie than even New York City. I can't believe I'm in the South. There are a lot of folks in need of a bath. The mountains are gorgeous. There are lots of outdoor sports and great restaurants. I was supposed to go rafting, which would have been great, but it fell through. Asheville isn't too hot, it isn't too cool, it's some damn good porridge. I can see myself here.

Charlotte is a bit more urban and less progressive, but still pretty nice. I went to Carowinds and rode a lot of roller coasters, which I haven't done in a while. Carowinds has a massive number of coasters, including one you lay down on. I felt like Superman on mushrooms. It was weird. I got to eat at Waffle House twice, which always kicks ass. They have some killer chicken sandwiches, and of course, the waffles are king. I always miss the House. I had a brick oven pizza in Charlotte with fresh mozzarella at a place called Bricks that was fantastic.

While in Charlotte I saw Michael Moore's Sicko. It was a staggering work where MM slays all the boogeymen: hatred of the French, Cuba, the "evils" of socialized medicine et al. I love the man's balls, not literally, and there is scant material to coherently argue with in the movie. The backlash will doubtlessly be "Michael Moore hates America" or "Michael Moore wants socialism" woooo boooo raaah monster ahead or some other not very good scare tactic masquerading as argument. The state of American health care is sad. Last year I had Pacificare and was going to pay out of pocket to see a gastro last summer, and an initial consultation was $500. Thanks for that. This movie shows how and why and where health care is better. People like my man Bruce Bateman will have a heart attack at the ideas in this movie, but Bruce probably has a good medical plan post heart attack. Many don't.

I saw a guy in the airport as I was waiting to come here, and he was doing yoga and sticking his head between his legs doing all kinds of crazy stretching exercises. I had two thoughts: First I'd prefer not to see someone that in touch with himself at the airport. Second, it is a good thing I never did yoga or got that limber as a teenager. I might not have left the house.

I'm going back to Chicago tomorrow to see my sister in law, and I'll be going to Wrigley Field on Monday. I miss my family terribly.

Also, reading the local papers has me very depressed about what I expect to be a rough year in Saipan with the state of the economy.


marianas life said...

i almost applied to unc ashville. i went to the evergreen state college in my home town instead. put the blog roll up again:0 sorry you felt demoted:)

Jeff said...

us old time bloggers need some kind of leg up.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

My Dad keeps a summer house in the thriving metropolis of Laurel Springs NC, Jeff. He is a reverse snowbird, lives in Florida and goes north to cool off for the summer. Laurel Springs, and that whole Blue Ridge area is a wonderful haven for nature lovers, or any kind of lovers for that matter.

Hiking trails abound, small two lane winding roads vie between back woods mountain passes and flowery meadows.

All that changes, of course, when the snow begins to fly, but it's sure beautiful and refreshing when summer comes to visit. Fall is spectacular.

Jeff said...

As long as it isn't politics, I think you and I agree on a lot, Bruce. That area is fantastic. I loved it. I've been gone 3.5 weeks and I am ready to be back in Saipan.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

See you here.

As soon as you have stoked up on family love, give me a call and we'll go diving.