I’ll keep this post short, as it’s after midnight and I’m writing from the comfort of a hotel room in Marion, Illinois. Such is the glamorous life of a graduate student on vacation. I’ve been on the road for about eight hours now, and my brain is already turning to mush. I thought this road trip would give me the opportunity to evaluate my life and gain some kind of inner peace. Here are some actual thoughts I have had so far:
There should be sommeliers for non-alcoholic beverages, and I’d like to nominate myself as the first of the profession. How could this be useful, you ask? Let me explain. You know what goes better with a steak and baked potato than any wine or beer? A glass of milk. Do you know the perfect liquid refreshment to pair with a sodium-laced McDonald’s double cheeseburger and fries? Sprite. When you’re snacking on Spicy Nacho Doritos in the wee hours of the night, what is the best beverage, palette-wise, for removing those little chunks of corn chip from between your teeth? Dr. Pepper. Enjoying a turkey sandwich? Cherry Coke. Also accepted: you guessed it, a nice glass of milk. Yea, I thought this through.
Indiana is the worst state. I’ve thought about this (OK, a lot) before, but I can’t help thinking it when I’m driving through. If I had to compare it to another state, it would be Arkansas, only with worse highways and slightly fewer bugs. Oh, and with no hot springs, no Ozarks, and no beauty of any sort. Even Indianapolis, which should and may very well be a cool city, is plagued by endless construction. Also, they only sell warm beer at convenience stores. That’s a fact. It’s a statewide effort to curb drinking and driving, which makes no sense when you consider that no one who really wants to drink and drive is going to be deterred by warm beer. You won’t find an alcoholic saying, “Damn, I was gonna pop one of these road sodas open, but I guess I’ll have to take them home and wait for them to cool down.” Good job Indiana.
My friend (and frequent contributor) Kayla suggested that I stop at a rest area and sleep in my car to avoid the cost of a hotel. I was astonished that she suggested this, HAS DONE THIS, and says that other people do this too. I know that that’s technically what rest areas are for and everything, but I’ve seen horror movies. You’re not going to convince me that that’s a good idea. And even if no one tried to kill me, the thought of some trucker beating off while watching me sleep through my driver’s side window is equally terrifying.
So anyway, before all these thoughts polluted my brain and made me dumber, I was leaving East Lansing to return home to Texas, and I was listening to music. I started with the latest from Japandroids (Celebration Rock). Without elaborating too much, it’s very good. The single from the album is “The House That Heaven Built,” a no-nonsense rocker full of “ooh ooh oohs,” frenetic guitars, and ragged-in-a-good-way vocals. “And if they try to slow you down, tell ‘em all to go to hell…” Wise words when entering Indiana. See you next week…