Back in GJ. Uneventful drive, although it was a little dicey going through that one mountain pass that starts around Spanish Fork, UT, and ends…somewhere an hour later. Anyone who’s driven any stretch of snowy, foggy road would probably consider it child’s play, but I’m a tropical/desert/Southern girl! I don’t do snowy roads! Especially if they involve some twisting and turning, and the road is a two-lane, bidirectional one. Hate those.
Still, I enjoyed the chance to just step away from the usual hustle and bustle and just drive, you know? I once drove from Columbia, SC, to Dallas, TX, in one day — a long, 17-hour stretch that started around 4:00 Eastern and ended sometime after 9:00 Central. I’d had about 3 hours of sleep, and I wasn’t a coffee drinker at the time, so my fuel was simply depression, having just broken up with my then-boyfriend of five years. I popped in my favorite CD’s on my ailing Subaru GL, kept my cell phone nearby, and just drove west on I-20 until I got home. I have to say, as bad as I was feeling at the time, it was probably one of the best drives of my life.
Today wasn’t nearly as eventful, although I at least had some caffeine in me, courtesy of a 5:45 am run to Starbucks this morning. I’d started listening to the unabridged audiobook CD “Condaleeza Rice: An American Life” on Sunday afternoon, so I plowed through a few more discs of it today. Fascinating stuff. I especially loved the little — almost throwaway — anecdote where Rice talked about the time her car overheated somewhere in the rural South when she was in graduate school. The white mechanic “brusquely” told her to “put it over there,” and Rice instinctively snapped, “Why?” The man looked at her and said in a meek voice, “‘Cause then it’ll be in the shade and might cool down.” Rice recalls that little incident presumably to illustrate just how sensitive she was — understandably so, given her childhood growing up in the heart (hell?) of the most racist city in America at the time, Birmingham, AL — and how much she needed to give people the benefit of the doubt. It reminds me of me sometimes, and how I can be what some people might think of as overly sensitive when it comes to what I may perceive as a racist or sexist remark. It’s certainly not entirely unwarranted; after all, when you grow up constantly being perceived as “the Other,” as many people of color do in the predominantly white culture of America, it can be difficult to let go of one’s guard, even when the other party may be entirely innocent or not meaning any malicious harm. But it definitely is a reminder that times and people do change, and it’s often the best route to simply assume the best in people. Certainly it makes for a peaceful self, if not a peaceful world.
I haven’t reached today’s NaNoWriMo quota, as I immediately went to KAFM (local community radio station) for an interview right after I got into town. For once I was the one being interviewed, and not the other way around. A funny feeling for a journalist, I have to say, but not entirely unpleasant. As I often find when I do my own interviews, most people love to talk about themselves, especially if you ask the right questions, and apparently I’m no exception. Funny.