Saturday, December 31, 2016
Thursday, December 29, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016
We are currently driving near Savannah, Georgia.
Yesterday's drive was not without adventure. When we stopped in Cambridge, Ohio for a restroom and food break, we discovered that the electrical cord--that connects the trailer lights to the vehicle--had broken off and for God knows how long we had been driving without tail lights on the trailer. I tried calling U-Haul roadside assistance and was on hold for what seemed like an eternity. Meanwhile, the rest of the family had gone in McDonald's and found out there was a U-Haul location in Cambridge. After a little adventure finding the place, the people there were kind enough to fix it free of charge. Special shoutout to the young 20s-ish guy in a Chicago Bears cap who did a great job getting us back on the road.
We survived many maniac drivers on I-95 in Florida, and a couple torrential rainstorms, but we made it to Cape Canaveral.
Florida is such a strange state. Rarely does a place combine beauty, sophistication with equal elements of ugliness and sheer redneckery in such close proximity. Florida is a continuous contradiction.
Next stop: cruise ship in two hours.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
I'm not good with vacations involving travel and preparation. I'm not good getting out of my comfort zone, which would be at home in my daily routine. This is either due to a natural reticence or undiagnosed Asperger's, which I suspect I may have.
So I am writing to you south of Dundee, Michigan. We are heading towards our first day destination of North Carolina.
I spent a good deal of last night tossing and turning. Will we get everything ready and packed? Will I be able to back the van out of our long-ass driveway (with the attached U-Haul trailer) without backing into a snow bank? (Almost. My wife, who is better at such things, relieved me and had slightly more luck. She made it out with just enough clearance).
So now I try to maintain calm as much as possible. It can be difficult with six family members crammed in close quarters for so long. But I survived our 2013 Disney trip, so I should be able to do this.
Signing off for now.
Friday, December 16, 2016
Though I am not experiencing the full-on depression of that time, I'm still extremely anxious. With every bizarre Donald Trump cabinet appointee, I find myself cursing and wincing. I find myself constantly bombarded with news stories involving our president-elect that make me feel like someone is constantly jabbing me with a knitting needle: Russians hacking the election, Trump not attending security briefings, Ben Carson as secretary of HUD, Betsy DeVoss--a person who would love to chuck the entire public school system, as secretary of education, a secretary of state appointee (Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson) with business interests with Russia.
...and this is just scraping the surface.
For several weeks I'd wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning in a cold sweat with an overwhelming sense of despair.
The "bubble" concept: I may live in a bubble. I'm sure I live in a bubble, seeing as how I live in an upper middle-class (verging on upper class) suburb of Michigan's capital (and the largest public university in the state). It is a community largely populated by doctors, lawyers, and college professors, and though it does have an Asian population near 6 percent, Meridian Township is still by-and-large an enclave of liberal whites. As a whole, my county (Ingham) voted for Hillary Clinton by a 2-1 margin.
When we drove up to Tuscola County, seeing how the Trump signs outnumbered the Clinton signs by about 20-1 was the first inkling I had that Trump could win the election and it (almost) "burst my bubble." There was still a part of me that was in denial, but in the week leading up the election, punctuated by a desperate text message to my brother-in-law, I had a sense that Trump just might...gulp...win.
Well, on that note, I'm gonna wrap up this particular post. I hope to be back soon with a year-end wrap-up in which I discuss stuff like my favorite TV shows, music, and the few books I read.