On the Road

On the road again

I’m surprised that driving long distances still doesn’t bother me. I really like it, actually. It took around fourteen hours to drive from Pocola, Oklahoma to Minneapolis. I’m still kind of wired, so I thought I would just jot down some thoughts.

I’m amazed just how much I hate Missouri. Every time I drive through it, I say to myself “If I lived here, I’d move” (apologies to any Missouri readers). I just find it really depressing, and it goes on forever. One of the most interesting things as I made progress northward was the way that the corn got shorter. It was around five or six feet tall in Missouri, but by the time I hit the upper part of Iowa, it was barely a foot or two in stature. I’d never been to Iowa before, and it all seems rather pastoral. It’s hard to explain the difference in “feel” between Missouri and Iowa. I know it’s irrational, but for some reason it seemed like the “children of the corn” were lurking between the stalks in Missouri, while in Iowa it just seemed like people were scary friendly. Too many years in California, I guess. Excessively friendly people make me nervous. I’ve never adjusted to that part of living in the South either.

When I crossed the border into Minnesota, the air just seemed better to me. In Arkansas, the temperatures are approaching the nineties with 80 percent humidity or so. I turned the air conditioning off after I crossed the border, and never had to turn it on again. The weather was just, well, pleasant. I can hardly remember the last time I thought weather was pleasant. I think I was on the California coast. The year-round humidity of Arkansas has started to bother me more as I’ve gotten older. I’ve lived with heat my whole life, too. I’m really looking forward to the change. I actually like cold. Everyone seems sure that the arctic temperatures up here will make me change my mind. I don’t think so, but I’ll soon find out.

There is so much I’ve got to get done in the next few weeks. I’ve been deluding myself, blogging along and continuing my research. It is very hard for me to stop researching things. But now, there is the matter of getting a mailing address— I can’t buy any more books until I get a new one. That’s what I drove up here to do. If I can manage that, then I get to drive back and finish packing stuff up. Then I get to drive up here again a few more times. I’m pretty sure I’m going to love Minnesota— good thing, since I’ve committed myself to being here for a while.

The only weird thing about traveling so long (from Little Rock to Ft. Smith yesterday, and then to Minneapolis today) is the feeling of being disconnected. I’m very glad I bought the little apple. It’s relaxing to get caught up a little (thanks to wifi) and unwind. I was particularly glad to find Raymon’s link to the piece on Ed Rucha. It’s funny, but I was thinking about him when I drove past the Spam Museum just south of here. I always liked his huge painting of the Spam can at the LA County Museum. His 70s picture books were a big influence on me too. Rucha was a true innovator in the realm of word-pictures.