I just got back from Colorado, and after spending over 18 hours in the car, I’ve come to a conclusion: Driving in the Midwest is mind-numbingly dull. I don’t like to just whine about problems without offering a solution, however, so I’ve come up with a handy list of ways to entertain oneself when trapped in a moving vehicle (even if you’re the driver). They are as follows:

images1. Books on tape. Think about it. You’ve been meaning to read War & Peace anyway, right? Here’s your perfect opportunity. You can even get them free from your library, or hit up Cracker Barrel. You have to pay for them, but you get most of it back if you return them. Trust me, it’s worth it–the time flies.

images-112. Radio Karaoke Contest: This is simple, hilarious, and great for entertaining groups. It’s like that awful game show, “Do you know the words of this song” or whatever it was called. Choose an order you’ll all perform in, then each person has to lip-sync (or sing, if you’re so inclined) whatever song comes up on their turn. Whoever does the best wins a soda at the next rest stop. (Sidenote: Don’t stare at the word “karaoke” for too long. It starts to look¬† like a fake word if you do. Especially if you’re trying to figure out if you spelled it right.)

s34002698_30806349_47413. Photo Adventure: Even if your camera was stolen, you can still have great success with this game if you can get your hands on a nifty disposable camera. You can either turn it into a scavenger hunt (each person gets a list of things they need to get a photo of along the way; the winner gets shotgun on the way home) or you can break up the trip by stopping at bizarre tourist traps and scenic spots for a brief photo shoot (think World’s Largest Ant Farm or a pretty lake.)

Of course, there are always classic car games (Slug Bug, The License Plate Game, etc.), so feel free to get creative with those. Happy trails!

Even though it seems like I’ve done nothing but lay around today watching Made/It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia/Million Dollar Baby (I have eclectic tastes), I actually got a lot accomplished. Here’s a quick play-by-play of how I spent December 25th:

1. Made a nutritious breakfast.

2. Dyed my hair.

3. Did laundry.

4. Cleaned bathroom/kitchen, including bleaching the disgustingly stained grout on the kitchen table.

5. Packed for my trip to Colorado tomorrow.

So see? Even though I spent the better part of the afternoon/evening lounging, I was not lazy today. Now I should probably rest up for my 12-hour car ride with the parents tomorrow. Joy.

Here are things that bother me:

RIP

1. My camera is still stolen. I was trying to be optimistic about this (someone probably took it by ACCIDENT!), but with each passing day, it becomes clearer and clearer that my beautiful baby camera has been abducted, and I just need to accept it and move on. But rest assured, my lovely Powershot, you will be avenged!

2. It snowed again. You know what 07-car-buried-in-snowI’m really happy about? I’m so happy that it snowed four inches last night. I’m just thrilled that I paid $20 for about seven hours of clear driveway. I’m simply ecstatic that I had to dig my car out AGAIN using only the brush side of my heavy-duty ice scraper. Seriously, it rules.

You may have won the battle, Winter, but you will never win the war.

no-money-23. I’m poor. Ok, ok, I KNOW. EVERYONE is poor. But it’s another thing that annoys me, so it goes on the list. It would just be great if the stock market could go back up, ok? And this isn’t just me being selfish–I’m thinking of everyone. Is there anyone who would be hurt by the stock market recovering? No. So this is me thinking of everyone, got it?

4. I don’t own this: aaaeihmjiinoaagi(http://www.pinkmascara.com/pinkmascara/product.asp?dept_id=3289&pf_id=AAAEIHMJIINOAAGI&ad_id=froogle&key_id=FreelookRoseGoldWatch.) Ok, THAT’S me being selfish.

I think that’s enough blogging at work. Safe travels to everyone braving the snow! Remember, when you’re sliding on the ice, don’t break and don’t overcorrect!

*Not actually my car

*Not actually my car

Well, it’s official. Winter and I are at war.

I was going to play nice. I was going to smile as I tugged on my boots, dug out my mittens, and wrapped a scarf an infinite number of times around my neck. But winter doesn’t play nice–winter fights dirty.

It started this weekend when my friend Susan and I slid off the interstate after a snow storm. I mean, sure, it actually wasn’t as harrowing as it sounds; we were fine, the car was fine. I didn’t even take it personally. LOADS of cars slide off the interstate, right?

Then today hit a little too close to home. I got stuck in the snow IN MY DRIVEWAY. After a humiliating display of driving in reverse, then forward, then reverse, then forward–resulting only in digging myself deeper into the mud–a friendly (sketchy) neighbor man offered to plow my driveway and push me out for $20. I readily agreed, even though he looked like the sort of person who might mug me for booze money.

When he came by later to pick up his fee (I don’t carry cash normally, ok?), he actually handed me a cleverly worded business card for snow removal. So I stand corrected on his sketchiness.

Moral of the story: Don’t judge a book by its cover. And get your snow tires put on the FIRST time your dad tells you to.