Friday, January 3, 2014

Back to the Future

I don’t usually make concrete New Years’ resolutions. I do, however, find some meaning in that moment when the calendar rolls over to the next year. It’s a time to reflect on the past year, put away its baggage, turn the page, and look forward. With all that in mind, while I wanted to add a final chapter to the story of Steve and the Magical Boat, after the new year it just felt strange to cross that line in the other direction. So I was ready to be done with this trip, for blogging purposes at least.

But just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

We’ve discussed this before, but let’s take a moment to revisit one of the purposes of this whole operation I’ve got going on here. As all 3 of my longtime readers know (actually, now that I think about it, there may be more like 6), I’ve always tried to use this space to capture my impressions of an activity, a place, or a time, and to preserve them. That’s why I often stay up far too late just to be able to write an entry on the day its events occur (protip: you can tell how late I stay up by the quality of the writing, which is inversely proportional to the number of hours since I last saw the sun). Even when my computer self-destructed in Kanab, I made sure to write out the day’s entry longhand on a legal pad (why I thought to bring a legal pad on that road trip is still a mystery).

That’s why, when I got home from the Land of the Midnight Derricks and was too tired to write anything coherent, I resigned myself to the fact that the moment had passed and that the last day would just have to remain a mystery, much like the last day at Yosemite (when, by the way, I climbed up 1,000 feet in a mile and a half. There. Now it’s in the blog.).

But apparently my mid-sized sedan full of followers is a vocal bunch. So, since today’s New England sowgasm has left me with an unplanned day at home, I figured I’d give it a shot.

Where did we leave off?

Friday, December 27, 2013

I’m On A Boat

Current conditions: Bustin’ five knots, wind whippin’ out my coat.

As the Carnival Exculpation begins winding its way up the Mississippi River, this strange odyssey is nearly at an end. All that remains is getting off the boat (which apparently is quite the production), a morning in New Orleans (which must include the requisite vat of seafood, still), and a flight back to Newark before returning home, hopefully to a new salt-free pump waiting for me. Today, though, was my second and final “fun day at sea.”

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Darling It’s Better Down Where It’s Wetter

Under water, things are peaceful. All it takes to escape the noise and chaos of a community swimming pool during, say, a kid’s birthday party is a brief submersion. Under the water, we’re in our own private worlds into which it’s almost impossible for others to trespass. Sound fades away, while everything moves slower and seems more graceful. At least most of the time. There are some occasions when being under water is far from this kind of peaceful experience. Today’s activities straddled both sides of that line. Well, sort of.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Never Really Been So I Don’t Really Know

A surprisingly peaceful day, considering the main attraction was one of the Seven (Existing) Wonders of the Ancient World.

Today, I went to Mexico.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Life Aquatic

I may have been a little hard on ol’ Steve yesterday. This cruise thing may be growing on me. A little. Maybe.

Monday, December 23, 2013

People In Every Direction

“Welcome to your new home.” 

Ominous words spoken over a loudspeaker by a faceless creature known only as “Steve.” I have a home, Steve. It’s in Boston, among my people. My home has culture and variety and authenticity. Your boat seems to have none of these. It is certainly not my home. Five days from now, I don’t envisioning this iron leviathan becoming my home, either.. And honestly, Steve, your little “welcome” sounded awfully cultish.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Moments of Gold and Flashes of Light

What is time, anyway? It can give order and regularity to the workings of nature, but it can be arbitrary and artificial. Perhaps its most important quality is that it can be (and is) relative. However, as Lost taught us, we need a constant frame of reference in order for our minds to make sense of this strangest aspect of time.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Come Sail Away

And now for something completely different.

Things have changed since our last encounter. The ominous specter of law school became the best decision I’d ever made, as I spent the semester doing intense, yet intensely enjoyable learning and having all manner of new experience. And, in the process, I made what are sure to be lifelong friends. In short, I loved every minute of the past four months.

That said, it’s time for a break. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

He Liked to Drink a Lot of Juice

After yesterday’s crazy hiking shenanigans, this morning came as a warning from each of our bodies that we daren’t try that again lest the bodily rebellion we were feeling today return even more forcefully tomorrow. It turns out that when I call hiking down 3,200 feet a knee breaker, that’s pretty accurate. This morning my knee (only one though… weird) was so sore from turning through all the switchbacks yesterday that I was often reduced to going on stairs using my blown-out-kneed-mother’s mantra of “up with the good, down with the bad.”

For sure, we were all in need of a quieter itinerary today. Tioga Road was more than ready to answer the call. It was a peaceful drive with occasional stops, like the obligatory one at Olmstead Point and a less-obligatory but felt-essential one at the Tuolumne Meadows Grill and Store for lunch and junk food (all of which disappeared within 4 hours). 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

And When You’re Up You’re Up

Finally, a day free of drama. A day when we were finally free to do what we wanted, without constantly looking over our shoulders. In short, a vacation from what our vacation had become.