I hitched from Indio, California, to Denver. The whole time I was trying to escape the time zone I was in, but it followed me everywhere I went. First I crossed into Arizona and into Mountain Time. But Arizona is the one state that ignores Daylight Saving Time, so it’s on Mountain Standard, which is the same as the Pacific Daylight I was just coming from. After two or three days I figured that out. But by then I was just about out of Arizona and into Colorado, where I could finally set my watch ahead an hour. Only, of course, the day that I entered Colorado was the same day that Daylight Saving ended, so I crossed the Arizona Exception Boundary right back into Mountain Standard. Now I have to wait until Nebraska (or Kansas) before I can change my watch. Actually, though, according to a rumor that I just made up, those states both had measures on the ballot yesterday that got them added to Mountain Time, and Missouri boldly decided to institute Reverse Daylight Saving Time (a.k.a. Daylight Squandering Time) to boost their economy with the dollars of all the tourists who will come to watch groggy drivers crash and skid around comically.
Denver’s nice. It has a mild oxygen shortage, but that doesn’t seem to faze most of the people who live there. Today I went to the Federal Reserve’s Money Museum and picked up approximately $165 worth of shredded unfit bills for free. I also complained both there and at the Mint about the dramatically slackening standards of design in American currency. I mean, the new pennies use Myriad, a sycophantic font designed specifically to be mediocre and unremarkable (like most of what Adobe’s pet designer Robert Slimbach does). The new presidential dollar coins use Benguiat and Goudy Old Style (both decent fonts for other purposes, but hideous on a coin) and, around the edge – the ultimate insult – motherfucking Arial. Half of new American coinage looks like hastily designed bathroom tokens. Time used to be that being an engraver meant knowing how to engrave something as elementary as the alphabet, and each coin was created with absolutely purpose-designed lettering, as it should be, as befits a tradition that was kick-started by the inscriptions on Emperor Trajan’s column in Rome, known as perhaps the finest lettering in history. Coins used to be art. Art, damn it!!
So anyhow, the other thing I wanted to let you all know was that if I have one single regret about my travels, it’s that I didn’t see this before I started planning it all. That’s all.