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Orme di Antiorario

My failed strategy

From AppleInsider’s post on iTunes LP:

As for the production costs associated with iTunes LP titles, if the $10,000 figure cited is true, it’s hard to imagine how Apple is cranking these out for so little. Authoring any sort of interactive content is expensive. Try to [hire some] expert designers in Silicon Valley [to] do your website for $10,000 and you might get laughed at derisively.

There must be something wrong in my marketing strategy.

My final rush

The nothingness of inner California is reassuring. Well, it’s not reassuring per se, but the idea of being just a sharp turn away from the Pacific coast, and just a few hundred miles from major cities – and what cities! – definitely is.

August 12. We decided not to drive on California Highway 1 – thus avoiding Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey – simply because it would have set us back another night. Certainly not because we had had enough Kerouackian experiences during the trip.

My techno vibe

Honestly, the prospect of driving to Los Angeles at what sounded like the rush hour of the afternoon could have been dreadful. Considering also that Hilary, who was going to give us a place to crash for the night, does not exactly live on the south side of the metro area. I had vivid memories of four hours spent driving north on Interstate 405 on a previous trip and in similar conditions, and I hoped the experience would not repeat itself.

Back to August 11. Hilary, being the coolest and chillest person on earth, said she’d wait for us, as she was just hanging with a friend at home. Maybe her chill brought us luck, since we arrived at her doorstep in the exact time predicted by our GPS navigator, and we found her and friend sipping drinks and practicing songs on the couch.

My exploration

I realize our road trip was made for neither tourism nor exploration. We were the non-existent travelers, whose only purpose in crossing the country was to get to the other side in the shortest possible time.

Or were we? And was it? Had that been the case, we would have taken a higher-numbered Interstate and driven through far greater extents of nothingness – possibly even paid much less in room and boredom.

So we weren’t tourists but we weren’t U-Haulers. We weren’t travelers, voyagers, but we still were not insensitive to the surroundings. Especially when it came to California. There was only one plan after our breakfast in San Diego (one of the maybe only two meals we had in non-chain restaurants): hit the beach, touch the ocean, get sand on our toes and not be bothered if it stuck there until the end of the trip.

My Jai Alai

August 10. The top of the Southwest was reached in Dateland, AZ, home of the Cougars. Sure, the cougars at hand are not of the kind one would date – and the dates in question are rather of the kind that grows on trees.

The car’s thermometer showed some insane 108°F while we stopped for gas, and that would be the last time we’d ever reach temperatures of this sort. After that, it would be California, big cities, the ocean and lots of Mexican food.

The second time we drove by the Mexican border on Interstate 8, the border patrol must have been particularly intrigued, so to speak, by the shadow of Vinnie in the back seat. It being night surely didn’t help. Amused, the officer kept repeating that it was an immigration checkpoint, and I kept saying I knew – until after a couple of more dumb questions he let us go. He probably thought our answers were even dumber.

My poolside night chat

So you move two time zones to the west after eight and a half hours (nominal) of driving, and what do you do? Maybe a cup of green tea, then straight to bed. This would have been the case, had we not had a place to stay at Erin and Mike’s.

Back to August 9. Our evening became a sushi dinner, some chatting in the living room, then a night swim in the pool in our friends’ apartment complex. Perfect time for me to suggest that Vinnie the alligator should be taken out of the car and re-inflated.

Smart move, considering I had taken advantage of the car replacement to get Vinnie folded and stuck in the trunk. Matt would then seize this opportunity to reinstate him onto the back seat. (This will have relevance in a later episode.)

My daylight saving

Back to normal programming now.

August 9. When the Southwest begins, the desert does too. Enough with the mind-numbing monotony of Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana freeways and their endless rows of trees on both sides: you could fall asleep in Roanoke and wake up right before Lake Pontchartrain and believe you just dozed off for a few seconds. As much fun as it may be to hit stray armadillos or make fun at waitresses’ names during rest stops in Nothingness, MS, it’s not until your sight can lose itself into the horizon that your brain can finally feel at home. Or maybe it’s just mine that does.

My infinite loop

Let’s forget about the road trip for a second and fast forward to the evening of August 14. I just want to say that avocados are tasty and make good things happen even just as one buys them.

As I was driving to Palo Alto, Marie called to ask me to buy avocados, so I stopped at Mollie Stone’s on California Avenue (an old playground of mine, or at least where my English was born). I gotta say it took me a while: who’d have thought that even in California avocados would get to the shelf marble-tough?

When I got to the check-out counter, I had a vision: black turtleneck, jeans, New Balance shoes. Add that to the fact that I was in Palo Alto, and you get only one possible solution: Steve Jobs. A thinner, concentrated version of my favorite tech guru.

The iPhone in my pocket and the MacBook Air in my backpack started screaming, “Daddy!” (to him) and, “Don’t you dare not talk to him” (to me), so I went to stand in line behind him and the person he was with.

My lone star

On our third day of Texas we are still more than two hundred miles from its western border. Arriving in Fort Stockton last night we realized that 1) despite this being the first sizable city on Interstate 10 after San Antonio, it was way too late to get anything sensible to eat, and 2) the humid climates of the South are history, and we’d finally entered the Southwest.

The warm and breezy night would have been perfectly spent around the swimming pool of our motel, if it hadn’t been closed for hours. And also considering that today another long day of driving awaits us, so that we can be in Tucson at a decent hour.

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