Recently in travelogues Category

the george washington memorial parkway

To get from Bethesda, Maryland, where I was staying, to Dulles Airport, where I was departing, one drives along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Yes, the Memorial Parkway, in case anyone wasn't sure if this five-lane highway was built while Washington was still alive.

I imagine the descendants of Washington attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony and getting choked up.

"George would have loved that off-ramp."
"They chopped down an entire orchard of cherry trees to clear space for this overpass."
"Once when George's wooden teeth broke, they were replaced by a set made out of asphalt. So this is perfect"

Contrary to what you might expect, the George Washington Memorial Parkway does not cross the Delaware.

The George Washington Parkway has some notable features. The Articles of Confederation are the supreme law of the road from Leesburg Pike to Bailey's Crossroads. The Bott's Dots are made out of wood, not plastic. And drivers are honest when they get pulled over:

"Do you know how fast you were going?"
"Officer, I cannot tell a lie. 77 in a 65 zone. Also, there's weed in the glove box."

Doesn't Washington have enough stuff already? On my trip to the East Coast, I saw the George Washington Bridge, George Washington University, the Washington Monument, the George Washington Memorial Parkway and got a handful of dollar coins, on which George Washington had replaced Sacagawea. True, the dollar coin is the most infuriating coin that exists, but does Washington really need to be pictured on a second coin, when he's also on the dollar bill?

Who should be on the dollar coin instead? Sacagawea or good ol' Susan B. would be fine, but I'd be happy with:

1. Someone who's not already on a different coin.
2. Someone who didn't own a whole bunch of slaves.

Is that so much to ask? (Yes.)

Maybe I am underestimating the power of the George Washington lobby inside the Beltway. I did find it suspicious that Congress authorized a $5 million bailout for the powdered wig industry. However, there's a provision that, should they violate willingly or knowingly the injunctions attached to said bailout, they will be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony. So that's something.

what i learned in arizona


A couple of weeks ago, I spent almost 48 hours in Arizona. As always, it was educational. Here's what I learned:


"Tem-pee" is how you say the name of the city where Arizona State is located. "Tem-pay" is a high-protein, soybean-based cake. I had to be corrected a few times.

Technically, "Tem-pay" follows normal Spanish pronunciation more accurately than "Tem-pee". However, I am not a prescriptivist when it comes to pronunciation. For example, Ike's Place is at 16th and SAN-chez, not Sohn-chez, and, despite what my father says, the all-girls Catholic school in Concord, Carondelet, does not rhyme with "Chevrolet".

Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake is an artificial lake in the bed of the Salt River, near Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. It has large rubber barriers which are coated with sunscreen during the summer so they don't crack in the 110-degree heat. The water quality is so bad that triathletes regularly get sick after competing in events there. Tempe plans to use water from a sewage treatment plant to fill the lake, and most people agree that it will be significantly cleaner.

My correspondent in Arizona tells me that the water smells like sewage already, particularly in the summer. Owners of the expensive homes that border Tempe Town Lake are particularly vexed by the stink. My correspondent says it serves them right for buying waterfront property in the middle of the desert. It didn't work for Lex Luthor and it's not going to work for you, nouveau riche of Tempe.

The Giants are going to be bad this year


voted best blog about tahoe

| 1 Comment

I visited Lake Tahoe last week, in hopes that by the end of the weekend, the Keane family would be completely legitimate. Here are some observations:

Donner Summit: When you go to Lake Tahoe, you have to drive over the mountains, climbing Donner Summit, to get to Tahoe proper. Donner Summmit is named after the Donner Party, the ill-fated band of emigrants that got trapped at the pass on their way to California. They were trapped for months, half the party died, and many of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. And if that doesn't say, "Welcome, travelers!", I don't know what does.

They decided to name the summit in memory of the most disturbing thing to ever happen in the Lake Tahoe area. There's a reason there isn't a Kamikaze Heights on Oahu, Koresh Creek in Waco, or Limp Bizkit Point just outside of Jacksonville. At least they don't have Fredo Beach somewhere along the lake.

The real beneficiary of this name is the guy who charges drivers to put on their snow chains in the winter. "Yup, Donner Summit," he can say to a driver who isn't quite convinced he needs the extra traction. "The Donner Party thought their wheels were fine for going over the summit, too. But I'm sure you and your Toyota Corolla will be fine."

Tenis: Some people play tennis. In the Keane family, we have neither the skills nor the athleticism to rally consistently. So we played what Molly dubbed "tenis". The rules of Tenis are simple: You hit the ball and return it to the other team if at all possible. It doesn't matter if the ball has bounced more than once, or landed well outside the lines, or already been struck by your partner (Tenis works better in the doubles format). Roger Federer may be the world's greatest tennis player, but I believe he would be vulnerable in a tournament of Tenis, especially if we could play on clay.

Note: Substituting Tenis for tennis is no guarantee that you'll remain injury-free. Tenis is easier on the knees, but the body is still vulnerable to strains and sprains, particularly if one's lack of athleticism drove one to a game like Tenis in the first place.

Jiffy's Pizza: Jiffy's Pizza in Tahoe City has a large banner outside that declares "VOTED BEST PIZZA". The banner provides no context whatsoever for this bold claim. Is it the best pizza in Tahoe City? The best pizza in that block? And who voted? We didn't go into Jiffy's, but Kelly and I speculated what it was like inside. I pictured the proprietor clad in a WORLD'S BEST GRANDPA t-shirt and drinking a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. And in my imagination, he was eating ice cream from the Log Cabin Cafe, because that place claims to have been "NAMED BEST ICE CREAM".

Other superlatives from our trip:

The bat that flew around the cabin one night: ACCLAIMED SCARIEST MAMMAL

vegas, baby, vegas

| 1 Comment

(This travelogue dates back from the fall of 2001 and originally appeared in e-mail form)

Last week, I went to Las Vegas for the first time. My roommate Aaron was already in Vegas for a day trading seminar, and he invited me to come out to gamble with him and exploit his luxurious lodgings at the Golden Nugget hotel and casino. So I booked a flight on Aloha Airlines and flew out Wednesday night.

It doesn't take long for the Vegas experience to begin, since the slot machines are right there in the terminal. During my time in Vegas, I also encountered slot machines in hotel lobbies, convenience stores, and one memorable occasion, next to a urinal. Any kind of vice is encouraged and enabled, as long as it's at least vaguely regulated. Smoking is allowed and prevalent in casinos, which are located next to topless bars, which sit across from restaurants offering enormous portions of fried meat at discount rates. Drinks are free in the casinos and pornography is handed out outside of them. If only you could sniff glue at the tables, the degenerate experience would be complete.

I wasn't having any of that, however. Armed with Lawrence Revere's How To Play Blackjack As A Business, I was going to clean up in the casinos. And according to Mr. Revere's rules, you don't drink while you play blackjack. You follow a strict set of decision procedures, and, if you're being ambitious, count cards to the best of your ability. I was primed to make back the cost of my trip, and more.

Unfortunately, for the first two days of the trip, I found myself Playing Blackjack As An E-Business instead. That is, I made large profits right off the bat, my confidence soared. Riding the blackjack boom, I put more money into my gambling, only to have the bottom fall out in an incredible 45-minute losing streak that wiped out my capital gains and left me with just $40. I trudged back upstairs feeling like the CEO of Yahoo, circa April, 2001.

The next day was my last in Vegas, and I woke with the foul taste of defeat and cheap whiskey in my mouth. Taped to the door of the hotel room next door was a note that read, in its entirety, "Thanx 4 the worst birthday ever. It's over." I wandered downstairs, and headed out to the famous Las Vegas Strip with Aaron's girlfriend, Kristina. In the elevator, we were treated to the strains of Paula Abdul's "Blowing Kisses in the Wind," which continued playing as we stepped out into the lobby. And then continued playing as we stepped outside onto the street. Yes, the Golden Nugget had gone through great trouble and expense to see that we could hear some of the worst music in human history, uninterrupted, all the way from the 32nd floor out to our cab. (This moment was equaled only by a blackjack dealer singing along to Air Supply's "All Out Of Love" at the tables earlier in the week.)

Caesar's Palace exhibited more of the same. Intricate architecture, elaborately costumed faux-Romans, all there to convince people to pull slot machine levers, or shop in the Caesar's Palace mall. As Kristina put it, "Vegas is really beautiful and ornate, as well as completely trashy and sad."

That got me thinking: Las Vegas is the municipal embodiment of America. Kristina's quote could apply to our country just as well as it could to Vegas. Almost everyone you encounter is middle-aged and overweight - again, just like America. America is the home of capitalism, and every single thing you see in Vegas is designed to pry money from your wallet. America has ripped off its culture from countless other nations, just as I have ripped off this Vegas-as-America metaphor from countless other, much more talented writers.

Later in the evening, Aaron rejoined us, and we returned to the casinos. I abandoned Revere's instructions, and purchased a 52-ounce plastic football full of daiquiri goodness. Thanks to a run of luck and the ineptitude of blackjack dealer/ recovering cocaine addict "KT," we all swiftly turned a tidy gambling profit, though I was almost too drunk to gather my chips by the end of the daiquiri football. It was comforting to know that, though I was carded at every single table I tried to play cards at, no one cared if I drank myself unconscious, gambled away my life savings, or even got married. We were, however, ushered outside by a floor manager for taking pictures inside the casino, a situation exacerbated by our then photographing that same floor manager on our way out.

I flew back home on Aloha Airlines a few hours later, exhausted, intoxicated, and up about $100 on the weekend. As we waited on the runway for clearance, my head was buzzing with questions. Why do casinos advertise a 98% return on their slot machines, as if that's a good thing? Is there something going on with those Siegfried and Roy guys? And was it really a good idea to purchase plane tickets on an airline whose name translates to "Goodbye" Airlines? But mostly, I wondered about the people in the hotel room next door. Was there a chance that the magic of Vegas could restore their bad-birthday-wounded love?

Just then, the plane began rolling down the runway, Vegas began to disappear, and I thought to myself, "I wouldn't bet on it."

February 2012
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29      

About This Site

Sean Keane on Tumblr

Sean Keane Comedy Dot Com
Short posts, better name-branding

Backup Blog

Friends and Associates

San Francisco Comedy

Fine Sporting Websites

Local Bands


Sean Keane's Internet Famousness

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the travelogues category.

The Lawrence Hall of Hilarity is the previous category.

Verbal Remedies is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 5.04