Tour Journal – 2005 – Vol. 1 – Issue. 1

From the cab of a yellow truck.

There's a lot of frickin' snow up in the mountains between Oregon and California. If you receive this, I guess it means we didn't die in some
arctic snow bank. But then again maybe we did, and i'm sending this from the other side of the twilight veil, oooh spooky.

Anyway, we've been driving for five hours and i'm already set to quit the whole tour. Maybe we can find some quaint ski town and live there.

To get you up to date on the last two and a half weeks, we've been planning, packing, traveling, and/or hanging out with our parents. We started by flying out to Detroit on December 13th and spent a week there.

Oh, how to start this part?

My family is crazy.

I'm sure you think your family is crazy, but no, that's because you haven't hung with mine. For some reason it's been important to me that J connect with my family, and i've been planning this trip for months. The logic of this seemed to evaporate as we drew nearer and nearer to Michigan.

On the flight into Detroit i occupied myself writing a depressing story about our plane crashing. I think J wrote some story about unicorns and bunnies. [note from J: Did not – it was about a little girl and a Pegasus!]

I can encapsulate “The Michigan Visit” with two distinct events.

One: My dad revels to J and me that he has diagnosed my mother with Alzheimer's. In truth, as a retired audiologist, dad is unqualified to make such a diagnosis, but i think he brought it up because he's scared (“not scared”, he said when i tried to empathize with him “concerned for your mother.”) I think he figured he'd dump it on me and i'd run and talk to my mom about it (which i did), i imagine he was too afraid, um; i mean concerned to talk to her himself.

Two: A conversation with my mom;

MOM: I won't get too close to J because you don't stay in relationships very long.
ME: But mom J and i have been together for four years
MOM: Your sister has been MARRIED for ten years
ME: Yeah but their relationship is totally on the rocks.
MOM: Your father and i have been MARRIED for forty years
ME: You know J and have been talking about getting married.
MOM: I better be invited!
ME: Um, why would i tell you if i wasn't planning to invite you?
MOM: What does 'talking about it' mean anyway? I'll believe it when i see it.
ME: We've been talking about it for a year now.
MOM: And you haven't told me!

Etc etc etc… Eventually we escaped Detroit and flew down to St. Louis.

J's parents, while not up to my family's high standards of lunacy, are also crazy. I have the theory that J's family are secretly trying to
avoid each other. This theory was reinforced when her brother scheduled his visit to her parents to end the day before we showed up. When J complained that she wasn't going to see him, he bought new tickets… and arrived the day AFTER we left.

Of course on our end, the day we got in from Detroit we hopped into a minivan with J's mom and drove eleven hours out to Iowa to see J's
grandfather. J's dad stayed behind, so we spent christmas with J's mom and grandfather in an assisted living facility. I'm Pagan, so
christmas isn't really my holiday. But still it was a bit weird all the same. We spent most of the time there trying to hook J's grandfather up with someone, “Check her out Ken, she's pretty, and she plays piano.”

As with Detroit, we eventually left Iowa for another eleven hour drive back to St. Louis and left St. Louis for another 12-hour flight back to Eugene. I think the only reason we are even vaguely sane right now is because we got to recuperate at a friend's house for a few days before we started to live in this damn trunk.

So here we are now, trading two hour driving shifts and having enlightening conversations about what name to give our truck; expect a report on Stanford next week.

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