Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Heading west

Although I am currently writing this from the Flying Star in Albuquerque, NM, it's been days since I had a chance to really update with pictures. Even now, I have too many pictures still in my camera, which is buried in my car somewhere under the layers of dirty laundry and gummi Life Savers.

I was back in Pittsburgh last weekend, and now I'm not. I was in Pittsburgh to marry my friend Katie and Josh (to each other) and also to visit with everybody and to work as much as humanly possible: I did two master classes, one private lesson, four photo shoots, and probably more, only I can't think of anything.

The wedding was pretty darn fun. I got to say whatever I wanted to, since I am a minister of the Universal Life Church, which ordains you for free and then you can marry whomsoever you please and say whatever you want. In this case, I was very careful to avoid all statements of ownership, any references to God, or the word "forever." But God had the last laugh as we drove through the Mid and South west, where enormous crosses dominate the landscape. ("Have you seen them up close?" my host here in Albuquerque said. "They have lots of little crosses," I said. "And tombstones for aborted fetuses," she said. "I'm going to have an abortion right next to one," I told her. "Better, I'm going to use one to give myself an abortion. They're pointy.")

Driving through Indiana and Texas have been interesting. We're passing in and out of old Route 66, and almost stayed in Clinton, Oklahoma at a rad old motel with a blinking sign, right down the street from the Route 66 museum. Well, one of them.

Instead, we continued to Oklahoma City, where we stopped at a gun store so Justin could buy some bullets for his old gun he bought at auction many years ago. It had a lock on it until recently (he drilled it out for a photo shoot we did with his friend Ramie; he looked up, while drilling, and said, "This is one of the more suspicious looking things I have ever done.") and he wants to fire it once before selling it. It doesn't take standard 9mm ammo, although it's a 9mm gun, so we stopped to ask what he should get instead. Turns out, .380.

But then we saw the firing range. They have lots of options for things you can rent, including things that are illegal in many places, such as an AK-47. Which is, of course, what we rented. It was expensive, but we figured there would be nothing funnier than two hippies firing an assault rifle. I've never fired a gun before, and the very efficient, highly-muscled guy at the counter showed us how to strip down and load the AK andthen handed it and a box of bullets to us and told us to go over to the range. That's it? They don't ask for ID? They don't make sure you know not to point it at small children or store employees, who would almost certainly shoot you with their own "brass" before you could get your finger on the trigger? They don't require you to get a "Semper Fi" tattoo?
Nope. Turns out all they want you to do is Love America and Kill Commies. I hit the ceiling a lot. But it didn't have as much of a kick as I thought it would. The tiny Asian hipster guy carrying a semi-automatic probably would have though the same thing. The overheard conversations were awesome; all "I don't want my rig to go off when the dirt bike rolls" and "It's so hard to keep your Desert Eagle clean." I told Justin to steal something while he was there, but he wouldn't do it for some reason.
You know what else they like in the Southwest? Soda.


MaggieMayDay said...

Claire with a AK-47. The epitome of Hot. Now let us teach you how to shoot a shotgun.

Anonymous said...

Wow - safety hair! 8-)