Category Archives: Uncategorized

New blog- I don’t update here anymore


I know this doesn’t have anything to do with travel…

But I love it so much I have to put it everywhere. Check out my engagement photo- doesn’t this look just like an ad? For something snooty, like Abercrombie, or maybe BCBG.

How did I end up here??


Hard to believe, but some people feel that way

OK, so maybe I am known for being in random places at strange times. This time was another gig that I acquired in a means that was round-about, through-some-people-who-know-some-other-people, and besides I can really use the money so anyone who offers to pay me usually piques my interest.

It was posed to me as a “last-minute, can you come down here tomorrow?” way to make a little extra money selling flags. No problem, I can do that. I’ve sold wine, train trips, and food before. Flags will be easy. Little did I know that I would end up in the middle of a conservative rally, one which schooled me on the validity, nay the GODLINESS of what they report on Fox News.

I agree, in theory, that government spending will not fix the national debt. That most government-run programs are inefficient, spend too much money, and result in poorer service. But NOT having healthcare is also not an option that’s working too well for us. Obama has to do something, and I don’t know if what’s he’s working on is the best solution…but come on people, Obama is the devil? And seriously, you STILL don’t believe in global warming?? I thought people like this were a joke of a stereotype, unfortunately not so. I heard “We watch Fox News, we’re smart!” “NOBAMA!” and various other surprising rallying calls from a supposedly bipartisanship effort- this Tea Party Express Tour that’s been going from coast-to-coast spreading the word. About thugs in Congress, and how Obama sucks, and stuff. And I was right in the middle selling conservative buttons, which included “Stop Global Whining” the old “Obama as the Joker” image and other hilarious sayings. They sold pretty well. I felt like a turncoat, even though I wouldn’t describe myself as a liberal or a conservative. I feel too strongly about too many issues on the opposite sides of these parties to lump myself with the rest. I have to go Independent, because I really think the death penalty is a good thing, like to carry a gun, and wholeheartedly believe in a woman’s right to choose on abortion and that we have to do something about our oil consumption. Besides, I didn’t hear a great solution besides “hand these thieves a pink slip,” and they never mentioned the fact that these ousted politicians would only be replaced by more politicians just like them. Doesn’t sound like a fix to me.

Anyway. I skulked among the “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, took surreptitous photos, and generally marvelled. It was my birthday, and I was glad to be in a spot I never expected. If I ask for anything on my birthday, it’s for the unexpected and memorable. Thanks for supporting the effort! (This was the least  hypocritical thing I could say to the button purchasers, so I’ll sign off with that line.)

Being From

I read a good book recently that I snagged off another writer’s “good books” list. White Teeth by Zadie Smith is the kind of book that makes me feel like a failure as a writer. Insightful, deep, epic…and written by a 24 year old Cambridge graduate. One of the main themes throughout was about how where you’re from impacts who you are now, about how roots and culture affect your actions and your future. It made me wonder if there are big chunks of me missing because I don’t have a culture, or a hometown, or a place to be “from.” I never felt like it was missing, but as I get older I wonder. Is there some essential part of my character that just never formed? I have made my own traditions, but they sprang from nowhere, or are borrowed from other people’s lives. I guess I can look at it as being more free, unfettered by the “ties that bind.” Or disjointed, and unsure.

Either way, the book’s worth a read. The writer’s humor is a blend of sarcasm and old-before-her time nostalgia. Her point about how we can map our own lives…no matter what…struck home.

The road is calling

Today, there is a red undercurrent of motion, flowing around me at my stagnant desk. It’s the Road, and it’s here to remind me that it’s time for us to meet. Soon. I’ll be heading to Burning Man, Black Rock City, 1800 miles across the bosom of the smiling West. The West is my home, the whole big chunk of it, and I always feel as if its arms are open to me no matter where I go. When I was a kid we’d migrate farther north when it got hot, sometimes, looking for rain in Oregon or just another empty space in Nevada where it was easier to live without air conditioning. But we usually stayed West, away from the strange stilted expressions of people in the East, away from crowded cities or the endless flat plains of the Midwest.

I grew up like children on farms in the 40s or 50s, according to one friend from Iowa. No lights,  just oil lamps, no phone- if a boy asked for my number, which never happened, I had none to give. We dug holes and crapped in the desert, or the woods. Sometimes we took showers at truck stops. I read books all the time instead of watching TV.

I never spend time explaining this because I am tired of the incredulity on people’s faces, or it will just take too long to talk about. I don’t think I’d live like that again, but it made my life one of consistent motion. Even when it slows down, it is always moving, always changing, always looking around the next curve ahead. I can’t wait to get on the Road.

The grass is always greener…on the other car?

Austin makes me laugh. As you can see, this guy has really gotten creative with his car. That’s one way to travel greener.grassy car

High-tech luxuries for the travelin’ folks

One of the best parts of a road trip is the music. Music sets the mood, helps you focus, or just lets you let loose and sing at the top of your lungs in the comfort of the inside of your own car. That’s why I invested a few years ago in satellite radio. No commercials, reception all over the the U.S…it’s a godsend and I never listen to regular radio anymore. I was disappointed when XM and Sirius merged, and I worry about the future of satellite…especially with the advent of broadband everywhere and iPhones that have internet radio apps…really I just don’t want to have to buy any new equipment any time soon. Plus, the bastards took away the free online subscription that I used to listen to all day at work! I’m not paying for that shit, so now I listen to free AOL radio all day.

For those XM users, the one problem occurs when you’re taking long trips and frequently move out of range of the available radio frequency. Hot tip: Before you leave, map out a few major cities that you’ll be near and find out their free FM radio stations…this site is very helpful.

Of course, mobile broadband is the answer for roving techies.  When I hit the road semi-permanently, someday soon, that’s first on my list. Unless by then we can just beam the internet directly into our skulls, which will be much easier. I wish they’d hurry up with that.