Today we drove from Tucson across the remainder of Arizona, through the southwest corner of New Mexico, to El Paso. I-10 travels directly along the border with Mexico for dozens of miles after leaving El Paso. On parts, we could see to the right the shanties covering the hills of Juarez, and to the left the more modern building of El Paso. It was a very industrial city for the most part, though. With the exception of El Paso, western New Mexico and Texas were very empty. We drove for hundreds of miles, passing 2 or 3 gas stations and not much else. No lights on the horizon, no sounds save for passing cars, which were themselves quite few. We are now moving into central Texas as we approach Dallas. Here the population is more akin to the eastern U.S. — lights are always visible somewhere on the horizon, and every 30 or 40 miles a small town with gas stations and restaurants may be found. A few select photos are on Flickr. Even with EDGE, uploading takes a good while from a speeding (not illegally, of course) car.
We are definitely on it. Brett flew out a few days ago to help me pack. We left San Jose this morning at 7am. We stopped for lunch with Geoff and Kat in Los Angeles. We are now speeding across the southern California desert on I-10, rapidly approaching Arizona. The mountains around Los Angeles are much bigger than those in the Bay area. The drive so far has been very beautiful. More later. Oh and for those that were not yet aware, I am moving back to Birmingham for a few months. So say hello if you happen to come through town.
One of my secret pleasures is sitting next to the window in the food court of Concourse B at Hartsfield International watching the sun rise, all the while sipping some variegated fru-fru coffee drink from the Seattle’s Best above the escalator that goes down to the tram. The employees at this Seattle’s Best always have a lot of soul, and it reminds me of the one aspect of the South that I miss, and I smile. On mornings when I am feeling excessively extravagant, such as this one, I also have pastry — cinnamon roll today. I think I also love the sense of aloneness that can only be provided by a crowd.
In another interesting observation, someone’s iTunes shares are showing up in my iTunes source list. Bonjour in public places is fun.
p.s. — Don’t tell anyone that I like fru-fru coffee drinks. That just wouldn’t do, now would it?
The Lower Roof
The bittersweet holidays have drawn to a close. Back to normal. But first, a quick recap. Perhaps you have caught on before, but my town, or at least neighborhood, takes holidays, or at least decorating for them, very seriously. So much so, that between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are actually horse drawn carriage rides down my street for sightseers. The clip clop of the horse hooves on the concrete is actually very nice when dampened by the wall of my house. The best part is the giant 12 foot tall reindeer (more specifically, I suppose the red nose makes it Rudolph) but there is also the huge redwood in the park downtown that gets lights. See Flickr for these. The week before Christmas was balmy but the omnipresent fog continued. I was able to journey back home for the week between Christmas and New Years. For Christmas I was given a nice new phone (Nokia 6230i), a landscapes calendar, and let my people go surfing, by Yvon Chouinard, among other sundry (in a good way) items. Most of my time was spent at my parents’ house, but New Years Eve I did venture out to Rojo where some old Auburn guys’ band was playing. They were surprisingly good. I was supposed to get a CD from them, in the mail, but that has yet to pan out so far, otherwise I would tell you their name. Not that I am being spiteful, I simply have no memory of the name. After Rojo we went over to Sean’s loft in downtown Birmingham. I have to say that it was pretty sweet. I hope the downtown loft scene can really catch on. The old building it was in had awesome old brick exterior walls and vast paned windows. We took some pictures of the illustrious financial district skyline from the roof, one of which you see above (or perhaps to the side or even below, depending on your browser’s mood).