It's been over a week since I got back from my monthlong jaunt to points South. It's hard not to be all retrospective.
For starters, a month is a heck of a long time to spend isolated with friends. I sort of knew that this would pretty much be trial by fire-style test of a friendship. And thankfully things went relatively smoothly. Nevertheless, it was hard to have my own space while I was there.
I didn't get a chance to really do much thinking while I was there. One of the things I wanted to do was really weigh my options, specifically about my job. It's a hard decision to make. I have no real direction for my future at the moment, and taking some time to sort things out would have probably been pretty helpful.
While I'm on the topic of retro, I managed to pick up a copy of Donkey Kong Country for my GBA. It's identical to the original game for the SNES, only smaller. And maybe there's a few extra things here and there, but they don't really affect gameplay at all. Back when this game first game out for the SNES, my roommates and I rented a console and the game for a whole week at the end of exams and played this game non-stop, swapping off as one or more of us wanted a break. That was fun.
Also vaguely retrospective-oriented, Teaphile posted this little chain-blogging thing:
Well, I don't have a Live Journal account, but I do have well more than 23 blog entries. Depending on how you count them, the fifth sentence of my twenty-third blog is:
I went looking at the Google.com website today to see how they had modified their logo.
Made it back home, safe and sound, incredibly late on Tuesday night/Wednesday Morning. Kitties were happy to see me, and reasonably not pissed off that I had abandoned them for so long.
Spent most of yesterday, just wandering about, getting caught up, seeing friends. It was a wonderful day, filled with wonderful spring weather.
Spent a large chunk of today getting caught up as well. I had over four thousand unread e-mails waiting for me. Yikes!
Well, the condo has been cleaned, the food has been eaten, the clothes have been packed. We're pretty much on our way. Well, we will be, tomorrow morning. Another day and a half's trek, subsisting on the meagre offerings of Cracker Barrel has to offer the whole way down.
I'm looking forward to being back home. I miss my kitties. I miss my friends I haven't seen in a month. I miss not madly shopping for outrageous bargains for things I don't need. (Though I did pick up a pair of fake leather pants. Wooo!)
Tired now. Need sleep.
We're getting close to the end of our time down here. That means two things:
Okay, pictures galore. First off, while I don't normally include these, the Bebop-ness of this particular quiz made me consider posting it.
Lastly, photos from Martin's and my trip to Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve. It's a very pretty area on the Intercoastal just North of where we're staying. Right on the Atlantic, there is a long row of limestone exposed to the elements. Years of slightly acid rain have created some really sharp and pointy texture on top, while the ocean has gradually been smoothing and wearing away underneath. Much fun was had by all.
Little non-caveman will be part of big tribe called Montréal, and forage for bagels and hunt mighty lox. He will drink of blood of elusive star buck. Oft he will drink second cup's worth.
Some day, little non-caveman wake up in his strange non-cave place and forage and hunt for breakfast, and he will then while away day with his large tribe inventing all sort of things Thak or you not able to comprehend with our unevolved australopithecean-sized brains.
On this day that will happen, little non-caveman invent time machine, and he will appear yesterday over there, where Thak was eating berries.
Little non-caveman scare Thak so much, as non-caveman appear in flash of bright light, that Thak reach for big branch to defend self, and beat little time-traveling non-caveman to pulp.
Today was a good day. Did nothing of import. Drank sangria. Let women play with my hair. Apparently, it's long enough to do things with now. Pictures forthcoming when I get some. Made yummy dinner.
In looking over some recent entries about my vacation, there's a bit of negativity there. I want to stress that I am indeed enjoying myself while I'm here, but enjoying myself largely involves doing as little as possible. Hence the enjoyable things tend to be rather dull, and unblog-worthy. Things that stand out in my mind, or strike me as odd are the things that I tend to make a note about.
As you can probably tell, since I was able to update my blog with my previous entry, that I've returned from the Keys, also known as the Conch Republic. My experiences were mixed.
Michelle and Martin have a very different idea of what going on vacation means, and I think that's partly the reason for my mixed reaction. Not to mention that Michelle and Martin, I think, have a lot of nostalgic value in doing the things that they do when they're here, and everything's basically new for me. My idea of going to the beach is heading up to a relatively unpopulated area of Lake Huron where there's no malls, no bars, and no Internet.
Anyway, while on vacation, M&M like to do things. While I'm on vacation I like to do nothing. I think to them, I might appear to be dragging my heels from time to time, while to me, I don't always understand their motivations for going out to do certain things. Makes for some interesting days I guess.
Driving down the keys, writing a log entry, actually writing. (Well, printing anyway. My handwriting isn't terribly good.) I didn't bring my laptop with me. And there wouldn't be much room for typing anyway. I'm sharing the ride down with four others. Martin and Michelle's friends Chris and Paula came down Sunday night and we're all hanging out here. But I digress.
The reason that I am actually bothering to put pencil to paper to write a blog entry (née log entry) by hand is I am struck by the disparate imagery down here that defines the quintessential American experience to me. This is not specific to the Keys in particular, though the thing that prompted me to write is.
The Florida Keys, as I am being constantly reminded, by billboards and other advertisements as we drive, is the most beautiful place on Earth. Indeed, everywhere I look down here, I am struck by the colours of the lush greenery, the crystal clear blue water... and the matching greys of highway and power lines.
I can think of no better reason to kick Man out of Eden, then known that the first thing we were going to do with our forbidden knowledge was to take the garden of Earthly delights and pave it.
I've been sleeping out on the balcony where I've been staying the past two nights. On the whole, the experience was not terrible, but there's a lot of noise that I'm not used to. It's been cool for the season, and for Florida; between 50 and 60. Still, it's been more than warm enough for me, for sleeping.
Nevertheless, with the bright light of the full moon, and the sounds of the city and surf, I've not been sleeping the full night through. So here I am, at five in the morning, watching the dull glow on the horizon over the Atlantic, waiting for the sun to rise.
A quick check of my GPS tells me that the sun will rise in almost two hours. That's a bit of a wait. But it's okay. I can play nethack and do some writing while I wait. My current game is a good candidate for ascension. I've got an eleventh level elven wizard that knows most of the spells now, and has a decent armour class even though she's only got a small part of the kit assembled. But enough about that.
We're heading off to Key West for a couple of days this morning. That should be interesting too.
It's not been the best week for my vision. Early this week, the wonderful surf knocked me underwater and stole my sunglasses from me. They've probably washed up in the Keys somewhere. Fortunately, I have since found a pair that I'm fairly happy with. Miche took a picture of me looking vaguely sexy.
To top it off, I only brought replacement contact lenses for my left eye only. I found this out, unfortunately, after I had thrown out my previous pair. Oh well. My left eye isn't quite as weak as my right eye. I'm wearing two left-eye lenses today, and I seem to have decent enough vision, though it's a bit weird trying to read things.
We went for a drive up the coast a bit, up to Palm Beach (driving North, as you might deduce, from South Palm Beach) to look around a bit. Up that way, along the intercostal highway, is where a lot of the fabulously wealthy have houses of various shapes. They're all pretty much of the same size though; big.
It amazes me that anyone would even want anything like that. I mean, sure, they're nice houses, right on the coast of a beautiful stretch of beach, but I feel that they've gone out of their way to make these structures as big and noticeable as possible. One house was actually made entirely from bricks hewn from coral. Surely one can do better things with their money.