September 01, 2003

Murder at the Kennedy Center

That's the book I listened to for most of the trip. It's by Margaret Truman, daughter of Harry S Truman; she's written a bunch of whodunits set in DC, all of which are quite good, and this one's no exception. What's really wild about this one, though, is that the political sideplot is hauntingly prescient: Ken Ewald is a very liberal Democrat who leapt forward from the back of the pack to lead the crowd in the mid-primary season, but he's receiving dogged opposition from the party leadership and from an opponent who is unrepentantly conservative and openly admits being not much different from the incumbent Republicans.

The book was written in 1989.

Other than that, my trip was pretty uneventful. I stopped for a four-hour nap somewhere in central PA; took a shower in the first Ohio rest area (thank goodness for truckers' lounges in the OH rest areas---driving without A/C in 90 degree weather makes you feel gross); and waited out a blinding sunset in another Ohio rest area. Somewhere in Indiana I finished the book, and started another one---The Last Catholic in America by John Powers, on which is based the musical Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?, which I've seen and been in. So I sort of knew the story, but there's more to the book. At least to the beginning of it; the second tape completely chewed itself up, so I had to abandon it there. I plugged in my iPod for the rest of the trip, which wasn't too bad.

My favourite part of the trip was the end. As I stopped in a deserted Illinois rest area around 1am, I looked at a map and noticed that US-34 seemed to make an awfully straight line from Princeton to Galesburg; I couldn't go as fast as on interstates, but the distance savings might be worth it. Especially late at night, and it'd help me stay awake, too. So I took exit 45 off I-80, which junctions US-34 a few miles south. From the point I exited I-80 to the intersection of I-74 and US-34 just northeast of Galesburg, I had 54 miles (and 57 minutes) of windy little roads and small towns. The interstates would have been upwards of 80 miles, so I'm pretty sure this route is not just shorter, but faster as well. And vastly cooler and more interesting. I can't wait to take it in my Mini. :)

"Have you ever noticed how it's explicitly legal in Illinois to have gay sex, but explicitly illegal to marry someone of the same sex? People don't mind queers as much when they're acting like they're "supposed to"---promiscuous, flaming, singing musical theatre. It's when queers ask to be respectable citizens that people get really up-in-arms." --Jonathan Prykop

Posted by blahedo at 11:49pm on 1 Sep 2003
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