Sunday, August 21, 2011

I’m Not Dead Yet

The reports of my and my blog’s death have been greatly exaggerated. I know I haven’t posted in a few days even after promising that I would, but the truth is that, even though I’ve been plenty busy gallivanting around central New Jersey over the past few days, there just isn’t as much notable stuff to write interestingly about now that my trip is pretty much over.

On Thursday, my sister and parents took me to Joe’s Crab Shack for my birthday dinner. I’d only been to one Joe’s Crab Shack before – an experience which I’ll never be able to completely replicate, since that restaurant now sits at the bottom of Galveston Bay thanks to a hurricane. This time, it involved a big pot of shellfish and a certain person being forced to do a hula dance against his will all because he was fortunate enough to survive 27 years without dying. There may be pictures of that, but they won’t be appearing here. Sorry. But not very sorry.

There were other festivities that evening. A couple of old friends came by the house, giving me an excuse to unfurl all the souvenirs once again.

Eventually my brother stopped by, as well – wearing a tie. Other than for funerals, I haven’t seen him wear a tie since his high school graduation (if even then). Kinda made me feel even sillier after that whole shorts-in-snow incident at Mt. Rainier.

Then yesterday, my father, my sister, and I went deep-sea fishing out of Atlantic Highlands. Although they swore I’d done this twice before, I only remember doing it once, out of Wildwood, at least 15 years ago. No one caught any keepers that day but I did get seasick. I must have temporarily forgotten that, though, when I cavalierly decided to forgo the Bonine. If not for that mistake, it would have been a fantastic afternoon. I ended up catching about a half dozen fish, all of which were too small or the wrong species, but exciting nonetheless. In fact, none of us caught anything large enough to keep, but that seemed to be the pattern even among the more experienced anglers onboard the Atlantic Star (I know these guys must be more experienced because they had fancy-colored rods, which turned out to be just as effective as the ones the boat crew lent the rest of us).

But, alas, the day was not as rosy as it might have sounded. About an hour into the trip, my lack of Bonine caught up with me, eventually making me feel just as sick as when I had diabetic ketoacidosis and ended up in intensive care for 3 days. I managed to catch 2 of those fish without taking my eyes off the horizon out of fear that I’d puke on a poor defenseless flounder. After a while (and a Bonine) we took an extended journey to a different fishing spot, and I made good use of that time by lying down on the row of padded seats I found. After that, things were better.

Today, after sleeping through the morning, the day’s main excitement (or at least the only reason I’ve had in a few days to bust out the camera) came when my father asked to take a drive up to Liberty State Park in Jersey City, just across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.

Many people say that this spot provides the best views of the Manhattan skyline of anyplace accessible to the public. My dad wanted to see what kind of progress is being made on the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site, but I wanted to see anything that might make for a good picture. For the most part, that turned out to be the view across the Hudson.

Now I can say that since leaving home I’ve been in boats on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, overlooked the skylines of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, and have even seen one or two interesting things in between. It’s just about time for me to head on back to New England.

As I sit here in the spare bedroom (read: basement) of my parents’ house staring at the piles of clean and dirty laundry and knowing that everything I’ve strewn around the house will need to be repacked and fit into the car tomorrow, I understand that I face a somewhat daunting task before heading for home (read: Massachusetts) tomorrow afternoon. I’ve made the 240-mile trek enough times that it’s become routine. The only reason I even bring out Copina Jr. anymore is so she can give me an ETA, which is usually wrong by about 20 minutes anyway. But this time, the trip will be different. For one, I’ll have to do some “visual documentation” along the way this time. I hope to write a blog entry tomorrow night, about what I find waiting for me when I get home, and maybe even about starting to make the transition back to “real life,” although that part may not come for a few more days.

This leg of the trip will also be different because, for the first time since this all began, I’ll have a passenger. Granted, he’s not a human passenger, but Gordo will be occupying the passenger seat, in his special dog car seat that enables him to see out the windows by jacking him up above the actual seat by about a foot. All the clips, straps, and jostling required to get him into said seat are in the hopes of persuading him not to bark and whine at me for the entire trip.

So expect to hear from me at least 2 more times over the next few days. I can’t say when exactly that last entry will come, but you’ll definitely know it when you see it.


  1. So u liked that Gordo and you picture, huh? lol Hope you made it back safely.

  2. You got a SHARPIE? Man, I am SO jealous!