mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

infrequent flyer...

When I was 5 or so, my family went to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Unlike most families traveling there from NJ, however, we didn't go by plane. Instead, we drove. 3 days each way in a 1978 Dodge Aspen (white, with fake woodgrain and vinyl upholstery) , towing a U-Haul trailer and crammed with my mom, dad, brother, and aunt, plus little madanthony.

The reason- my dad hates flying. He's not one of those people who is scared to fly, he just doesn't like it. As a kid, I never really understood it - I mean, you get there way faster than when you drive, plus they serve you coffee.

As a result of this, I've flown a grand total of three times in my life - twice in high school (marching band trip and a debate competition) and once in college (honors program conference). I haven't been on a plane in about 7 years.

And I guess as one gets older, one grows more like their parents, and not just in terms of weight gain and hair loss. Yesterday, I found out that I was going to be going to training for a new application delivery product that we are going to be using where I work, and that has become the responsibility of our group. As a result, I'm going to be going to Indianapolis for training. When we were discussing this, my boss said "you know, they will pay for you to fly out there" and I replied, without really thinking, "no, I'd rather drive".

When I've told my coworkers about this, they've responded as if I'd told them I enjoyed carnal relations with sheep or that I thought human flesh was tasty. They think I'm crazy for wanting to drive.

But I think it will be fun, an adventure. No dealing with airport security, or having to stick to an airline schedule. No hassle of getting to the airport, getting into an uncomfortable seat next to someone I don't want to talk to, dealing with rental cars, or the other hassles of travel. Just hop in my truck, point it west, and be there 10 hours or so later.

I like driving. It lets you see America - the real America, the places where people live lives that are similar to yours, but in a totally different place. Where things are a lot like where you are from, but a little different. I think that the truck stop and the gas station with convenience store are some of the most brilliant inventions of American ingenuity - places where you can get a cup of decent coffee and a hot dog for less than $2, and gas up your vehicle and be on your way in minutes.

Unlike many people, I like suburban sprawl - give me a couple shopping malls with a Target and an Office Depot and a Staples, and I feel at home (especially if they have good clearance sections). I think it's a positive that I can be plopped anywhere in the country and still be able to find decent food and places where I can buy whatever I need.

My insistance on driving may cost me a few bucks - my work will only pay up to what it would have cost for them to fly me out there, although that includes flight, car rental, and transportation to/from the airport - but I think it's worth it. I've always wanted to do the cross-country drive thing, but haven't had the time, money, or motivation. I figure this will be good practice if I ever get around to it, plus a good experience, and a chance for someone to get to pay for most of it.

The open road, a throaty 207hp V-6 engine, a tom-tom one, a couple cd-r's full of bootleg Rhymesayers rappers, and a cupholder waiting to hold cups of gas-station coffee... what more could I want?


At 4:58 PM, Blogger tralatrala said...

i can't scoop cat poop now, so you're going to have to be nice to bsom for awhile.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger mad anthony said...

I'm always nice to bsom. And I do appreciate you guys looking after my little furball.


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