Author Archives: jdm

All Is Not Lost

I’ve been doing a paid internship for the city of Middletown and made decent scratch from it. My last day is friday, august 7. My parents are going to Cape Cod the following day, and I’ve finally got their permission to do my own thing while they’re away. (I’m only 22, after all). So during the two weeks they’re away, I plan to meet up with Anne Marie wherever she might be. I’ll probably wait a week so I can deposit my last paycheck. Also, Peter is coming home around that time for R.A. training (re-training, technically) so I’ll hang out with him for awhile before I go.

Txt Msgs 4m Home

Thank god I don’t actually text like that.

I’ve been a little reluctant to follow the tour videos so far, mostly for fear it would send me into a depressive frenzy of shopping, playing video games, and resisting my left-over homework. (Long story). But really, that’s what I’ve been doing anyway. So I just caught myself up. Things are good. I liked when John and Ali updated us from inside somebody’s house or someplace about the scenery and locations they’d passed, it was a nice way to include us vicarious riders. I’d appreciate more pictures and videos of that kind of thing, though.

For people who feel similarly, don’t forget to keep up with the Flickr photo album. It gives you a little bit more. I like the pictures of Xaq juggling in DC, though it annoys me when people don’t rotate their sideways photos.

I’ve been in contact with John a few times via text messages. This is a transcript of that communication:

Me (16:40 Thu, Jun 11): If you ever get another free domain, you should use it to revive the Monkey Shakespeare Simulator.
John (16:40): It died?
Me (16:42): Years ago. Nobody has an official record what the last “longest match” was. This must be fixed.

Me (18:45 Sun, Jun 14): How/where did you get the gas price ticker for your computer?
John: Osx widget.

Me (18:00 Tue, Jun 16): Comedy Central signed on (or is talking about it) Futurama for a new season. Family Guy comeback, eat your heart out.
John (18:01): Heard rumors about that, anything solid?
Me (18:03): It was on the news this mroing. (read: in the paper a few days ago that comcen/fox (same thing?) was talking about it.)

Me (23:39 Fri, Jun 19): Sam’s Comics != True

Scintillating, I know.

Actual Futurama news: it’s true!

Manifesto

I blew it. I spent all my money and can’t afford to go it “alone” this summer. So I’m not going to be on the bus, but I’ll still be following the trip through this site, maybe posting responses.

I still think it’s very important to say what this trip meant to me. What it still means to me. I think there are two reasons I yearned for the journey. First, to see as much as I could of this country. Even just on that superficial level of observation, to see it. There is a lot more on this earth than most of us will ever see first-hand, and so long as I have the chance to explore the depths and heights of it I see no reason not to. Life is short, and we might only do it once, so I believe in learning and experiencing as much of it as we can.

It’s not the same thing to see pictures or hear stories. I went to Ireland for ten days last summer. I’ve seen plenty of videos and photographs of the country, but the moment I saw the mountains for myself I was changed. It was unlike any previous experience. It was literally breathtaking to look out the window of my room in the morning and see the sparkling water of the loch under the bluest sky, or the palpable mist hovering about the grassy mountaintop. You have not seen Ireland until you stand there and look at it.

But perhaps more important to me: I want to find something. Anything uniquely valuable about the experience. I have felt for most of my life that I was missing something, and have made some guesses at how to feel more complete, or simply how to be happier with my life. But for these past few years I have struggled to find a place for myself in the world, or even a place without the world, or alongside it. I don’t expect a road-trip to California and back, even if we covered every inch of the country, would bring an answer to such a monumental question. I would probably find no answers, but many more questions. But I expect, and I think many of us do, that undertaking this journey will teach me something that I can’t even imagine before I see it.

In the poem “Dover Beach,” Matthew Arnold writes:

And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight

For three months of travel, I expect at least one instant of discovery, one minute piece of experience that lends the least bit of light to this darkness. Not that I will understand the world any clearer, but that I will return knowing something new. I will be changed, as changed I was by the Irish mountains.

Resolve

I’ve waited for this too long to stay home.

Eight-Ball Says…

I’m almost out of money, and almost entirely due to stupid spending habits. Really just one habit: spending. Over the past year, Mom gave me over $900, in addition to whatever I had and whatever I earned. She and Dad also supplied me with grocery money and gas money while in school, and continue to do so. And yet I have under $200.

If I want to go on this trip, I need to come by some money. A miracle would be nice. I suppose I could fit a part-time job into my schedule, though most of my free time is in the morning and I’m not very effective before 11 am. eBay has panned out poorly.

Outlook not good. My two most likely options at this time are not going, or making living out of a bus for a summer on a hundred dollars or less yet another of the feats of this journey.