Starting back up.

by sam on 10/24/2004

I’m slowly working my way back through pop culture this weekend, in between running errands and going to work for a few more hours today. One thing that will help me catch up more quickly? My cable went out some time over the middle weekend that I was gone – so TiVO recorded dead air for my second week of vacation. Sure it sucks, but it also means one less week of shows to try and catch up on.

First, I totally forgot one of my other favorite pictures – oooh, barracuda! Earlier in the week, we actually saw one that was enormous – 4 or 5 feet long, but it was too far away to get a good shot (ah, photography, the new venue for "one that got away" stories).

I finished a few books on the trip, including Smartest Guys in the Room, the Know-It-All, and The Family (Kitty Kelley’s book – I know, it should be beneath me, but first, I always like reading fairly mindless stuff when I fly, and second, it was a loaner – I wouldn’t actually pay for the thing). I may be compelled to write something longer about them later, but I’m lazy right now.

I actually tried to avoid much news while I was away, giving my brain a vacation as well. Once in a while politics would come up on the boat, but I tried to avoid taking part. Actually, it was largely because this one woman, who was actually a lefty, was driving me absolutely up a friggin’ wall with the never shutting up and the passing judgment on everyone else. I have strongly held political beliefs, but part of the reason that I keep this blog is that it enables me to vent – to be as shrill as I want without driving even the friends of mine who agree with me absolutely nuts (I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been in conversations with both friends and family where we would get so heated about a topic that, even when we all agreed, it would turn into something resembling an argument). Call me crazy, but I generally think it’s a good idea to not completely alienate the NRA member from North Carolina who may be my only lifeline if something happens to my O2 supply 70 feet below the surface. I’m smart enough to know that I’m not going to change his mind with my brilliant rhetoric, and at that point we’d both clearly rather talk about the giant puffer fish that seemed to know exactly how to avoid being photographed.

Actually, crazy lady was just annoying and loud and nosy about everything. I have a LiveStrong bracelet, and after asking me what it was (which was fine), by grabbing my wrist (which was not), I explained (along with the other folks on the boat who knew what it was) that it was part of a charity. Her next statement? "And clearly you wear it so that people will ask you about it" (in a tone that was pretty much "and clearly you just want attention"). Well no, given that not only are they the trendiest thing in NY right now and four other people on the boat helped explain exactly what it was (not to mention the fact that the nike advertising juggernaut helps to market it, they’ve sold millions of the things, and even her favored Presidential candidate has been wearing one for months) I’m pretty comfortable with the fact that most people who I don’t know won’t grab my wrist in an accusing fashion to ask me about my "jewelry". Ugh. She was just annoying. And then she sat behind me on the plane ride home (She was that person who kept laughing uproariously at the in-flight movie – the only one. y’all have been on a plane with that person, right? The one that everyone else keeps shooting dirty looks at because she doesn’t understand that headphones don’t muffle her voice?).

See? venting.

The only "news" channel we got down there was a bad feed of CNN Headline News, which frankly, makes Sesame Street look like trenchant political analysis. They didn’t show the debate, and the mindless airheads that they have speaking the headlines kept annoying me with their incessant grammatical mistakes (Hint: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania? the "e" in Barre isn’t silent – I’m sure one of the thousands of locals who showed up to this Philadelphia suburb to see a presidential candidate speak could have clued y’all in. Instead of actually listening to the news the only thing I could think was "thank god Kerry’s not in Bala Cynwyd"). I basically checked in for a few minutes a day to make sure there wasn’t any earth-shattering election news.

Anyway, I’m currently suffering from a nasty head cold, as is everyone else in my office – of course, since I caught mine several thousand miles away, we all spent yesterday trying to have conversations from 15 feet apart and using tissues to hand things to each so that we don’t cross-contaminate. I imagine this will last for about three more hours before we all resign ourselves to just being incessantly sick for the next month.

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