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This trip sponsored by McDonald's iced coffee.

After my travels to the taxing hellhole that is Massachusetts, I had to get more liberty and freedom, so I drove to Texas.

A continuation of my previous diary.

Inside: I destroy a racist hat.



On Wednesday, I got back from Boston. My brother-in-law, in Texas, was getting married on Friday evening. Rather than fly some more (it's more expensive), we decided to drive the almost-exactly 1000 miles to Texas on Thursday. It's about 14 hours of driving - less to the suburb we were going to for the wedding.

Hoo boy!

So we rolled out the door at 6:21am and arrived at the hotel at like 10:15pm. We stopped several times. The drive was fairly uneventful except that, from Oklahoma to the final destination, the car was not really capable of beating back the 95+ heat plus driving directly into the sun. The AC cooled us off, sure, but it was still quite warm. Quite. We also stopped several times for iced coffee along the way - need caffeine, need cold.

When we arrived in Texas, of course, we were obligated by law to convert all of our currency to gold and acquire a gun.

We hit Dallas at around 6 or something and I was hit by how ugly and terrible the sprawl is. I've been there before on business, of course, but there's no getting around it. The constant admonition of the GPS to "keep left!" as we passed through town struck as us heresy.

Once at the hotel, we were sharing a room with the wife's youngest brother and sister. [FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

Anyway, there are seven total kids, ranging in age from 18 to somewhere in the 30s, the one getting married is the most "normal" of the lot and has also managed to be the most independent from all the rest. The youngest ones - the college-age ones - really seem to, uh, need to be more independent of their mother but have little choice in the matter at the moment. The younger brother has fled to TAXACHUSETTS (why would anybody ever leave Texas? it's sad how far they've gone, given that liberty was STARTED there) and it seems, after some discussion with me, that he may at least be able to get out of his mother having any sort of involvement with health care, given that I pointed out it seems he should be eligible for Medicaid. The mother, she's very into "natural" stuff, is anti-vaccine, and takes it quite personally when the people she cares for aren't. This sometimes has consequences, like when people go to college and need shots.

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

The wedding was pretty all right: wedding itself was fairly minimal and traditional, though we arrived quite early for pictures that happened 1.5 hours after we arrived. The car ride was not much cooler than the 100 degree temperatures outdoors. I should not have gotten dressed in advance of the drive. FAMILY DRAMA was avoided by avoiding the rest of the family until pictures. The reception was fine. I'm pretty sure even the bread had meat in it. This was fine for me, but certain younger siblings were kind of hungry. Their fault for being in Texas. There was a photo booth with a variety of hats, including a rather, uh, orientalist Chinese-style hat, so while waiting in line, I kind of hid the hat. However, it made an appearance later, so I destroyed it and hid the remains.

I also made a pact with the guy the mother-in-law is dating that we'd dance the next time we're at some shindig since neither of us dances. Seems like a nice guy, much more sane than [FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED], though he's into Deepak Chopra stuff.

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

Anyway, on Saturday, after some [FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED], we took the little brother to the airport so he could fly back to the prison that is MA (they probably only let their citizens leave for a short period of time). It also became apparent that I was dying of a cold. And then it turned out that the flight got delayed and the connecting flight would be missed and the next one is at 6am, so the brother returned. Thanks Obamacare.

On Sunday, we were going to go to some Greek church, but I was still dying and the wifing unit was incapable of being awake. C'est la vie. So we sat around all day with me dying and stuff. Then we had dinner with some friend of wifing unit's. I was a little better by the evening.

Now, here's the epic part: we were driving back from down by NASA/Nassau all the way to $SOMEPLACE_FAR_NORTH. So, what time do we have to leave in order to beat traffic? We got out the door at 5:40 and it seemed to work well. By 7:15 we were past the Big Dead White Guy statue (Sam Houston Statue). There were a couple points where we slowed down, but nothing too bad.

One lesson we learned in Dallas: in rural areas, nearly every exit has a gas station and a McDonald's, and in urban areas, it's all civilization, but in the ring around a city, there may be a dead spot. We were going to switch drivers so I would drive through Dallas (she did it on the way down and it was time to switch anyway), so we were like, eh, there should be something at this exit, let's go. First sign we see: DON'T PICK PEOPLE UP: PRISON AREA. Or something to that effect. Get back on the highway, next exit, GPS seems to say there's something there: desolate urban industrial area, nothing there. Screw it, we're switching in a parking lot, at least it's not a prison.

When we got to Kansas, we started to get a little loopy, but it's also the home stretch. However, we kind of got a second wind once it got dark. We rolled back into town at like 11:15 pm. Part of the difference is that we started further south this time, we also stopped a little longer.

It's good to be home.

Conclusion: don't mess with Texas.

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

[FAMILY DRAMA REDACTED].

< Broke in Taxachusetts: a travel diary | Serious question >
Keep Left: a Texas Chronicle | 29 comments (29 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
iced coffee: by gzt (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 02:27:12 PM EST
while driving back, many more iced coffee stops. had to keep alive.

also, kansas turnpike is a nice road and the rest stops are decent.

more: by gzt (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 02:32:48 PM EST
the urban sprawl of dallas and houston is much like my idea of hell. Unplanned, dependent on cars, unaesthetic, impossible to ever walk anywhere, much less ride public transit... In Chicago, even the mayor rides the train on occasion.

That is the Chicago way by georgeha (4.00 / 5) #3 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 02:42:29 PM EST
Patriotic Americans being forced out of their cars by jack booted brown shirted thugs, and then forced onto trains heading to concentration camps.


[ Parent ]
so that's what those skyscrapers are by gzt (4.00 / 2) #4 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 02:49:44 PM EST
it all makes sense now

[ Parent ]
Houston is completely unplanned by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 09:01:38 AM EST
Dallas is not, it's just not planned around you.

[ Parent ]
Can a hat be racist? by gmd (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 03:46:06 PM EST
 I mean I realise that in this day and age, all sorts of things are considered racist. But a hat?

Are you sure you're not guilty of projection?


--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
Quibble seconded: by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 12:45:49 PM EST
An object, by definition, cannot be racist.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Her majesty by gmd (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 01:26:32 PM EST
 Begs to differ.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
He was convicted of breach of peace. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 03:56:52 AM EST
I note that the vehicle is not what was accused of being racist, but the action of the man. QED.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Sophistry. by gmd (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 08:40:29 AM EST
 It's like the TV licence (tax) in the uk. You cannot in theory be imprisined for not paying it, but plenty of people are in prison as a result of not paying it.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
So you advocate by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 10:15:53 AM EST
that there shouldn't be any punishment involved when people don't pay their bills - at the same time I'm assuming that you don't want to grade bills into some that you are (legally) allowed to ignore and some you have to pay?

I might disagree with the prices charged by my plumber, but it isn't up to me to not pay at all if I've entered into a contract for his services...
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
If a plumber turned up at my house by gmd (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:40:18 PM EST
 And demanded payment for some plumbing services I did not ask for and do not want, I think I am morally able to tell him to fuck off and don't come back.
its the same with the TV tax.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Well, lose the TV by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 04:50:35 PM EST
Lose the tax.

Was that so hard?
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
In point of fact that's what I do by gmd (2.00 / 0) #18 Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:39:44 PM EST
 But it still seems incredibly stupid to force people on low incomes to pay for a luxury they do not want, ie the bbc when they would be quite happy with sky.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
but I'm forced to pay for by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:24:36 AM EST
your roads whilst I don't even own a car.

(assuming you have a car, but you get the gist of the argument).
-- The revolution will not be televised.

[ Parent ]
Slightly different by gmd (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:33:46 AM EST
 Since you probably benefit from roads by having stuff delivered etc. but I agree, roads should be privately funded and paid for by those who use them.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
so what shouldn't be privately funded? -nt by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:35:16 AM EST

-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Well since public funding by gmd (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 03:36:41 AM EST
 Via taxation is essentially coercion, and an initiation of force, I'd have to say "nothing".

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
good to know. by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 04:37:49 AM EST
BTW what and how much does your health insurance cover?
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
I don't know, specifically by gmd (2.00 / 0) #24 Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 04:08:42 AM EST
 But it's fairly comprehensive.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
does it also by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #25 Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:48:00 AM EST
pay for maintaining competence and capacity in the health care system while you're healthy?
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
I would assume it does. by gmd (2.00 / 0) #26 Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:06:29 AM EST
 I'm paying for it when I'm healthy.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
oh, okay then. by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #27 Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 11:53:27 AM EST
that totally convinced me.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Do you have a point to make? by gmd (2.00 / 0) #28 Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 12:22:03 PM EST
 Assume I'm dense and spell it out to me.

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
nope. No point. by bobdole (2.00 / 0) #29 Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 01:49:53 AM EST
Just testing the water.
-- The revolution will not be televised.
[ Parent ]
Your B-I-L by clock (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 06:34:03 PM EST
Is a good man. I'll vouch for him. But as I understand it, the rest of the [REDACTED] are [REDACTED].

Tell me both of his dogs are still alive and well. Please?  Well, Freya at least. She's special to me.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

yes, he's a great guy by gzt (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:45:34 PM EST
the thing about wedding and drama surrounding it is that generally the couple isn't involved. they have their own bubble. but, needless to say, certain of the siblings might not be back in TX for a while.

It's not all the rest of the [REDACTED], it's just that there's so many of the [REDACTED] to talk about and some of them are definitely [REDACTED]. And all of them are [DRAMA].

As far as I know, the dogs are still around. I just saw a picture on facebook from the guy who's dogsitting them (they looked very happy). Though I can't identify the exact dogs. I presume Freya is still one of them.

[ Parent ]
There are worse places than Dallas by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 07:04:38 AM EST
Beaumont, for example. But Houston isn't much better. San Antonio is OK. Austin is nice half the year, and a hot hellhole the other half.

Driving from Dallas to Duncan Oklahoma through the Texas countryside and back roads is pleasant. Every little town has a local version of Dairy Queen and a barbecue place.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I wish we could have made it to the wedding by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 09:04:54 AM EST
Kid is all growd up now *sniffle*

it sounds like you didn't stop at Texas Burger during your drive, which proves you are an ignorant asshat who does not deserve happiness.  or something.

god, i miss warm weather.  this summer has been so f'n cold.  some time in the upper 90s would make me feel so much better.

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