What a Strange Trip It Could Be

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

In less than 48 hours, I’ll be at Heathrow Airport preparing for one of my infrequent journeys to the nation of my passport, but it’s been seven months since the last trip, and it feels like a whole lot will be unrecognisable. I’ve also just recently reconfigured my computer so that it naturally types words in British spellings, which is why that word ending the last sentence remains as it’s written. I mean, I could go back and correct it to my native spelling, but just reflecting on that, I’ve wasted about 15 words talking about it, so let’s get back to the issues at hand.

I’m going back to an America that is planning a presidential election where the choice is  “Do you want to elect a total looney who despite all his bombast, would probably not deliver on one of his outrageous promises, or do you want to elect a seasoned veteran whose credentials are dubious (to be kind), and who would probably not deliver on one of her well-intentioned promises?”  It’s a toss-up for many, but at least the California primary isn’t scheduled for June 7, so I’ll have the chance to fill in an absentee ballot, and get to vote for Bernie Sanders, who may have already conceded by then.  Then the fun begins over the summer, and I’ll be so glad to watch from afar. The two candidates have been friends for a while, so maybe Hillary can shed a little light on what’s up with The Donald’s hair, and I’m sure The Donald knows plenty about Hillary’s skeletons in the closet. It’ll be ugly, and I will watch, smugly reflecting on the notion that the worst I’ll have to worry about is if my country of residence decides on June 23 to go Indie, and relegate themselves to the “back of the queue,” as Obama hinted last week. The chances seem about the same as a Trump presidency, not impossible, and equally scary, but I’d take my chances being here for 4 to 8 more years if both fates occur.

I didn’t really intend to go political this go-round, because there’s other changes afoot. My father is no longer among the living, so my journeys down from San Francisco to the Veterans’ Hospital in Menlo Park aren’t on the agenda. There still remains the issue of when and how to do a proper memorial service for him, as some unrelated family issues have arisen since his death. I have also become a great-uncle once again, and hopefully the cold I’ve been trying to shake this last week will dissipate enough so I can be in the same room with my grand-niece without posing any danger.

What I’m mostly having a problem with is I’m enjoying my UK routine so much that I almost look on this trip to the US as a disruption. It’s still great to have that chance to perform a lot, as I’ll be doing over my 18 days in the country, but it does mean giving up the quiz for three weeks and my DJ stint for two, not to mention being away from a really lovely relationship for 2 1/2 weeks. My quiz last week drew 11 teams and over 50 people, enough that I had to help bring in additional tables and sort of act as an usher. My DJ’ing now attracts people who like to sit around my turntables either requesting or just talking music (and buying me drinks!). Hopefully, doing a lot of comedy will prop that mini-franchise back up and I can see if 65-year-old me can come back here and handle wearing three hats. The quizzing has helped my comedic skills enough that I’m certain if I were asked to emcee a comedy show, something I shied away from because basically I was crap at it, I’d be more amenable to it now.

Anyway, there’s still work to be done around my co-op today, as well as social obligations and one more DJ stint tomorrow, but I do hope to see as many of my friends as possible during my time in California. That time will be interrupted by a week in Las Vegas, where I’ll be doing two shows a night for seven days. It’s also going to be great to get a respite from England’s weather, which seems to want to ignore the calendar and hang on to winter as long as it can. The average temperature in Vegas will be around 35-40 Celsius; it’s felt like 35-40 Fahrenheit for most of the last month here!


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