Monday, November 17, 2008

I am sitting in a motel in Morgantown WV (West Virginia for those outside the USA) where I forced myself off the road after too long at the wheel. I had disagreements with Mandy, ended up driving too far in the wrong direction, was driving through blowing snow all day at 75MPH (You Aussies do the maths). A recipe for an accident with monster 18-wheelers and people driving even faster all around. I stopped here at 3PM because I knew I was not going to make it to DC in what passed for daylight. Then I pulled the best trick of the trip: I locked my purse (with phone) and keys in the boot when I took out my suitcase. I phoned Enterprise and talked to a very nice man in St Louis who has friends in Perth (WA) who was diligent in trying to find my rental contract. No go. Fortunately there was a local Enterprise employee willing to drive here and read the VIN off the car to prove it was theirs so they could authorize it to be unlocked. Three hours later, I am safe and warm and typing away while drinking Gonzo Imperial Porter (9.2% alcohol) and trying to feel no pain. May I state categorically that, while the Dodge Avenger is roomy and has an aux-in jack for my iPod, it is underpowered (and therefore guzzles fuel on hilly terrain) and has the mushiest steering I ever have driven. I don't exist because I have an overseas credit card. MasterCard is going to get a very angry letter when I get home. I had this happen repeatedly throughout the US.

The last few days at BFLB's house were quiet. A little more yarn shopping so I now have 5 boxes to ship home, but there are books for an M Bag. Yesterday it snowed spectacularly to little effect, so we stayed inside by the gas fireplace and watched college football. It's spooky that I can remember gridiron tactics and plays when I haven't watched it in 20 years. College ball is more interesting than NFL anyway because people get more excited. Speaking of which I checked on the Swans fixture for 2009 and found a number of weekend day games at the SCG that are possible for Canberrans. I'd love to go back to the SCG for a match, providing it's not raining.

You might have noticed I neglected to mention The Election. I'm just so pleased to be here for this epic moment in American life (and to participate) and to watch a new era begin. I sincerely hope and firmly believe that Obama will get the best people in the country and the country is ready for change. W was apparently quoted as saying "I guess I just had one of those Presidencies" as if the entire world isn't suffering from his idiocy for 8 years. American needs to do serious work on its health care system and financial infrastructure before more people are made unemployed and/or homeless. A friend told me she was much more ready to work on any project offered her to save her job and there are lots of others not so lucky. Another friend faces major surgery without health insurance.

I listened to some good podcasts, including one a rant against a rant against boomers. Gen X etc. don't realize how much of what they take for granted (even a bi-racial President) is the result of boomers. I won't rant but the podcast ended with the Jimi Hendrix opening riff for Purple Rain so I put Jimi on the radio and cranked it up. That got the blood pumping for a while. Also listened to an interesting podcast about mythical beasts with excerpts from a new novel called The Bestiary by Nicholas Christopher. I must buy it. Both podcasts were from International Public Radio's To the best of our knowledge which were very good listening on the road. New to my podcast lists.

Thanks to whomever you are that turned me to over 12,000 hits. I hope I have amused or interested you on my Big Adventure. It's almost over but I may be able to blog from the cruise ship! I am ready to leave snow and driving behind and relax. It has been so super seeing so many old friends and making new ones. I am truly blessed by knowing some really wonderful people and will continue to be torn by loving living in Australia with all my friends there, and the delights of the US marketplace and menu, and all my friends here, the oldest I think so far I've known 48 years.

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