A long car ride home from a convention with someone you know very well at the wheel can be boring as all get out, but it also can be the best possible time to think. If your driver isn’t a great one for chatting, and you are not one of the fortunate few who can read in the car, there’s really not much to do but think. I often have some of my very best ideas while looking out over those big Midwestern fields (corn, corn, soybeans, corn) or into the even larger Midwestern darkness. Or if your imagination gets tired, you can play mental games.
Heavy traffic is good for car spotting. Last night I enjoyed seeing Woodstock, a big old Ford or Mercury station wagon, painted bright yellow with white or pale woodtone “lumber” and its name in reflective letters on the tailgate. It was dark, so this is only a guess, but my guess is it was a late 70s Country Squire or Colony Park. I love a car that has a personality and is not afraid to show it. If you know Woodstock or the people who own it, please let me know, or just pass along my shout out.
We also had the very frustrating experience of passing a transporter filled with very cool classic cars when it was too dark to get a good spot on them. I know I saw a black and white Nash Metropolitan convertible, a maroon stacked headlight Ford sedan, and an enormous 1968 or 69 Chrysler Newport, gold with a white vinyl top. But a dark blue late 30s convertible with a tan top, (maybe a Ford) a white mid 60’s full sized GM convertible with a maroon top, (almost certainly a Buick or an Olds), and a sixth car I never got a clear look at all disappeared into the night without a solid identification. Sigh. It’s like fishing: always all about the one that got away.
The other thing I like to do to amuse myself on car trips is make little playlists from the songs that come up on my iPod when I set it on shuffle. I set a time limit, start with a certain song, and see what happens. So, because I want to a get a little bit of original content into today’s post, here’s my “until it gets too dark to see my notebook: april” playlist, starting with a song Michael Neno and I agreed we really liked during a wide ranging discussion at SPACE . If you don’t like my ordering, it works well shuffled.
- “Birdhouse in Your Soul” They Might be Giants
- “Brazil” Joao Gilberto
- “Thrasher” Neil Young
- “Deacon Blues” Steely Dan
- “Don’t Let Me Down” The Beatles
- “Searching for a Heart” Warren Zevon
- “Spanish Caravan” The Doors
- “Wave” John Pizzarelli
- “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen
- “Reason to Believe” (live) Rod Stewart