I've driven to Utah twice in the last 8 months, and both times satellite radio has made my drive bearable. Usually during a 12 hour timespan, I don't hear the same song more than 3-4 times which is generally fine . . . but for the songs I am obsessed with, that isn't enough.

During my most recent trip, these two songs were the ones that I wished I could rewind to play repeatedly.

The other thing that makes these long drives bearable is the scenery. I didn't take as many photographs as I should have because I did 13 hour legs. I loved driving across the Dine (Navajo) reservation and seeing scenery like this:

I also really loved the views of the Truckee River from the Reno/Lake Tahoe area.

Ah, western landscapes!

Ah, satellite radio!

I've been on quite the hiatus. I blogged about teaching a couple of times, then grading and all kinds of meetings hit and I disappeared. The last two months have been good. Classes are done, we've had two of the pre-Institute days for the Writing Project and are gearing up to start the Summer Institute in a week (love this group, by the way). I traveled to New York for a couple of days, and I've been reading a lot.

Today, I decided to de-clutter. I just have so much stuff in my house and I'm always complaining that I don't have enough storage space, so I started sorting through things. I'm getting rid of books, old journals (everything's on the internet now, isn't it?), clothes, an electric blanket, table cloths I never use, and start up disks from a computer I haven't owned in years. I love the feeling of getting rid of stuff I don't need--I feel like it's a way of making room for new things in my life (not just "things" as in "stuff," but "things" as in "experiences").

As I was sorting through my possessions, I listened to music and became rather obsessed with Flaming Lips. So . . . in honor of summer, here's a song that is atmospheric, moody, and a little depressing. Enjoy.

And as long as I'm in Flaming Lips mode. Here's another song I love, Ego-Tripping at the Gates of Hell: