Sunday, May 27, 2007

have bags, will travel

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

There's an old saying, something about how it's good to get away, but it's also good to get home again. It has never held any particular resonance for me. Don't get me wrong ~ I love my cozy Cali digs. And there's something to be said for sleeping in your own bed, with it's familiar sheets and sweet scent. Not to mention the very real comfort of knowing just what all those pillows and blankets have been up to lately. And with whom.

But I am always reluctant to unpack after a trip, no matter how long the duration or distant the place. And it's not just because I'm lazy, although that is my husband's theory. I never really want to admit that it's over. That it's time to stop wandering and playing and get back to the workaday world and it's routines and responsibilities. I like the sensation of moving, eyes on the horizon and mind just down the road. The truth is that, despite all efforts to the contrary Mama raised a rolling stone, and there's nowhere that I'd rather be than on my way. To somewhere I've never been before. Or that I've been in the past and remember well. Or remember ill, and have decided to give another chance. Just as long as I'm on my way.

And I can just as easily imagine myself living in Paris as Pasadena, or Venice as Ventura. And then hopping a train to Madrid, or a plane to hit the beach Down Under. Or California. I need not a mansion but a pied-a-terre, a pleasant place to hang my hat and get my mail. And join a gym. Because all that experience is very fattening. Very.

I heard someone say once that travel was for the unimaginative, and there may be some truth in that. It's true that I relish the thrill of the new, and that my limited imagination did not anticipate nor could have done justice to some of the experiences that I've had. I'd still rather do it than dream it. There'll be time enough for dreams. I'm more inclined to take the view expressed by Seneca, that travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.

I ponder that vigor of mind as I wander the house, barefoot and dozy, checking mail and watering plants. I listen to music and fiddle with photos. I watch from a distance as I avoid unpacking by blogging about how I am loathe to unpack. I am home.

Monday, May 14, 2007

sweet home chicago

pearls before swine

MIT called. They want their honorary degree back.

I never said I was the brightest bulb on the tree, and adapting to the new Vista operating system has presented something of a challenge. It isn't it ~ it's me. It looks very attractive and obligingly efficient, and I love the zazzy new 3D graphics and organizational tools. Even my new desktop ~ a soothing eyeful of luscious green bamboo stalks; ooooo, pretty ~ makes me happy.

It's just that I haven't had time to sit down, focus and methodically analyze all the quirks, bells and whistles involved in the new system. Because I wanted to get to work immediately after being offline for so long, I just dove right in without checking first to see if there was any water in the pool. As a result I hit my head, set some things up wrong (for one thing, inputting the wrong PPOE or BYOB or whatever the heck it was that I was asked for during setup) and thus creating all manner of confusion.

And at the moment I have no time to go back and fix my errors. I did go out and buy Windows Vista for Dummies last week but haven't had time to crack it yet ~ turns out what I really needed was Windows Vista for the Busy Idiot. Maybe that's the book I should write. If I have time.

It will all work out in the end, I'm sure. In the meantime, we're off this week to one of my favorite cities and Turk's hometown of Chicago. We're adding a little side tour up through Wisconsin to the Great Lakes area. I have never been to Wisconsin, which seems as good a reason as any to go. I hear there are cows. Possibly a cheese festival. I'd like to stay in one of those converted lighthouse inns I've been seeing online, perched high on a cliff somewhere overlooking Lake Superior. If it's warm enough, maybe we'll do a little sailing; maybe catch us some of that Lake Superior whitefish. Who knows? We'll figure it out. It's a road trip ~ we go where the road takes us.

In the meantime, all we've got so far are nonrefundable plane tickets and a date with some of Turk's old pals downtown. I'll be hanging around the Art Institute, and the evening will almost certainly find us at Harry Caray's. Again. I'll hit the shops along Michigan Avenue; maybe check out Navy Pier too; we haven't been there since it opened. After that, it's anybody's guess. See you when we get back.

Go Sox...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

d'oh! a meme...

Immediately after setting up my new computer, so pleased was I with my incredible new technical skills ('s the blue plug in the blue hole...Genius!) that I awarded myself an honorary degree from MIT, turned the thing off (brilliant!) and promptly forgot all about it.

So when Robbie tagged me, along with Donna and Wil for a meme like, a week ago, I sort of didn't know until now. I never do these things because I hate answering questions about myself ~ the results are never very bright or interesting. But I feel I should in this case because Robbie is my friend. Also, I think I owe her ten bucks. Because I usually owe her ten bucks.

A-Available or Single? Very funny. You'll have to ask my husband.

B-Best Friend: I'm with Robbie on this. I don't like ranking anyone, and life is change. My oldest friend is Alexa...and I just realized I missed her birthday. D'oh!

C-Cake or Pie: Cake! I never get to eat cake! I love cake! Any cake! As long as it has icing.

D-Drink of Choice: Is it Happy Hour yet? See blog title.

I also enjoy a lovely glass of wine or two ~ it depends on what kind of animal I'm oppressing at the moment (see below).

E-Essential items: Glasses. Compact. Lipstick. Credit card. Book.

F- Favorite Color(s): The endless shades of green. And many, many reds. I really like lavender too. And yellow. Orange is nice.

G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Yuck.

H- Hometown: I guess I'll always think of the little town on Long Island where I grew up as my hometown. I didn't realize that 'til now. And I'm not telling.

I- Indulgence: See blog title. Also; chocolate, posh hotels and fancy dinners. And things to wear to posh hotels and fancy dinners. Which require accessories. Also, paint. I like nice oils.

J- January or February: June.

K- Kids: no

L- Life is incomplete without: adventure. And friends. Friends who will go on adventures.

M- Marriage Date: June 7

N- Number of Siblings: One little bro.

O- Oranges or Apples? Oranges.

P- Phobias/Fears: My body outliving the quality of my life. And lizards.

Q- Favorite Quote: "Once you have perceived that life is very cruel, the only response is to live with as much humanity, humor and freedom as you can." ~ Sarah Kane

R- Reasons to smile: Because life is short and then you die. Enjoy the ride. Carpe Diem, baby.

S- Season: Autumn

T- Tag Three: I can't. I just can't.

OK. I admit it. I don't know three people. Who like me enough to do a meme.

U- Unknown Fact About Me: I don't know three people who like me. But at least now I have an honorary degree from MIT!

V – Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? Oh, an oppressor, absolutely. But only on weekends, and at some very nice restaurants.

W- Worst Habit(s): Avoidance. Overindulgence (see above)

X – X-rays or Ultrasounds? What are you, my doctor?

Honestly, you're not even trying. X could be a million things. Xenophobe or Patriot? Xylophone or Sitar? X-treme sports or X-treme makeover?

Does this thing ever end?

Y- Your Favorite Foods: pasta, fresh crab, scallops, oysters; crisp green salads, tomatoes fresh from the garden, anything prepared Italian style, my mother's bread really don't want me to go on.

Z- Zodiac: cancer

Thank you for your patience. And Robbie ~ we're even. ;)