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Back from Boston!

 
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:04 pm    Post subject: Back from Boston! Reply with quote

Just wanted to let everybody know that I'm back from my vacation, and I have roughly 600 pictures from the trip. Some of those are of people, though, not locations, though I have a ton of scenery shots. I also learned (through some nasty trial and error) how to do free-hand panoramas with my camera, so expect to see some of those in the picture thread shortly.

But for now, there is much sleeping to be done. 15-18 hours total over the past 7 days...I'm about to drop dead. ::falls over::
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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horsin'around



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1260
Location: Stupidville

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back! *dances* Expect copious PMs.
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Fall down seven times, get up eight. --Japanese Proverb

If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them.

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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, I'll anxiously await copious PMs.

I met a lot of cool people up in Boston. Anybody want like, the story of my trip? I'll even edit it for PG-13 status... As a new friend of mine says, "For the lulz"
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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spawnofjaws



Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 559
Location: North Carolina! And proud of it...!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

**glompifies**
Hey, did I just make up a word?
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In my brain, I'm someone famous AND important!
Dubbed 'Egg' by ASA, but also responds to "spegg"...
Keeper of Oliblish and Teh Poodle Stick....
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe, but I learned a lot of new words up in Boston. Most of them, from when this guy walked out in front of traffic and I almost hit him.

As it turns out, pedestrians have ultimate right-of-way in Massachusetts. That means they can walk out into the middle of the interstate and have right of way. It's...uh, not that way back home... lol.

So, enough interest for story time?
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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spawnofjaws



Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 559
Location: North Carolina! And proud of it...!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure!
_________________
Hoffman icon courtesy of my very good friend, Isaymakebelieve, on LJ, check her out! http://community.livejournal.com/isaymakebelieve/
In my brain, I'm someone famous AND important!
Dubbed 'Egg' by ASA, but also responds to "spegg"...
Keeper of Oliblish and Teh Poodle Stick....
[/url]
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Tenshi



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 2594
Location: Star Stuff

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of a disclaimer, there are adult themes (though minimal). Nothing explicit, I've seen worse in PG films honestly. Just a warning though. There's also a lot of soul-searching answers I found, that I'll share. You're all welcome to not read them if you like, I don't much mind either way. If this needs to be deleted, the mods are free to do so, I'll hold no grudge. I consider you all a great deal closer to me than some of my friends. I would even venture to place a select handful of you in my innermost circle of friends, my brothers and sisters as it were.

Okay, so, the trip story!

The night before I was supposed to leave, I was called by a friend who needed someone to hang out with/talk to. So, I ended up hanging out with her and talking about all manner of emotional details until four in the morning. This, of course, didn't bode well for my 8AM departure plans.

I slept, fitfully, and woke with the desire to get everything done quickly... then the rental company "lost" my reservation. Instead of an economy car, I was shuffled into...ugh. I hate admitting this. They rented me a Volkswagen Beetle...

Armed with my Bug, sans flower-wheels and psychedelic paint, I collected (and deposited) my paycheck and went to get some travellers checks with the money I had saved. Problem... no travellers checks, but instead was offered a free gift card with the same balance, which was fine.

Now roughly 4PM, armed with my Beetle and enough money, I departed for Massachusetts!

It's been a long time since I've actually been on a road trip, and up until this I had gotten accustomed to thinking of 8 hours in a car as a long time. Transfers with my son, for instance, the total driving time is 8 hours... So around midnight, I was getting kind of tired, but wanted to push on to arrive in MA before the next day. I got a few good shots along the way, actually, all scenery.

Arrival was 5:30AM, and daylight was already covering much of the horizon. I was greeted by my friend (the first stop in my trip), and promptly passed out in my car after asking her to charge my cell phone for me. Turns out, sleeping in a car isn't much fun... I woke up before her and went to buy a comb, returning in perfect timing to pick her up and take her to breakfast!

The first day was awesome, her boyfriend drove down from New Hampshire and we hung out all day through. They introduced me to this wicked card game called "Lunch Money" which was very fun. We played Risk also, and went out to eat, listened to music, etc. Mostly just hung out.

The next day was a little more "loose" in it's planning. I tried to visit Boston, and met with my first failure of the trip. Turns out navigating into Boston is impossible for tourists, who knew?

After getting lost in Boston, I found my way to a small town to the south of Boston and settled down by a lake. It would be several hours until anyone got out of work, so I settled in to read Speaker for the Dead (Orson Scott Card). As I was finishing the book (which was AWESOME), a second friend called me!

So we spent roughly 30 minutes trying to find one another on the confusing interstates, finally settling into a TGI Friday's for drinks and appetizers. I hadn't seen her in many years, so it was good to get to see her again...

After drinks I returned to hanging out with the first friend, staying well into the night (almost the morning) and watching South Park episodes and playing Lunch Money. We discussed music, and she even sang a few songs for me. I think she would be an amazing Jazz singer, in a lounge somewhere, though currently her band does more Evanescence-like music...

Anyhow, after trading lyrics and passing along some of my work to her, I departed for the two hour drive into Cape Cod. I arrived, again, roughly at 6AM, and slept in my car.

Cape Cod was amazingly beautiful! Just enough forests to feel like home, and just enough beach to feel like vacation. The first day in Cape Cod was spent playing Guitar Hero I, II, and III with a very old friend of mine. We've known each other since before we were barely teenagers.

We went to the mall, and hit the arcade. He's a whiz at DDR, which...um, yeah, I'm too large for. We played Time Crisis 3 for several hours until visiting his fiancee at her work for a few minutes. After having lunch with her, we headed on back home and resumed our Guitar Hero match.

To be fair, neither of us can find worthy opponents outside of each other, so we did a lot of game playing. That night, we went out for drinks at TGI Friday's (again, I dunno why) and he showed me much of his town. On into the night we traded stories and played games, challenging one another's skills back and forth until we were nearly on level playing fields.

The next day, I was introduced to his future brother-in-law and that guy's girlfriend. At first, I didn't like her, because she met the stereotype of shallow image-worshiping women I've met before, so I ignored her mostly that first day. After another day of gaming and drinking, and foam sword battling, and sparring, and long discussions about all things in life, things were settling down.

The brother-in-law's girlfriend offered to take me around, show me Cape Cod, and I accepted for fear of returning to West Virginia with no pictures!

Again, we were up late and back up again early. The girl (I'll call her Jess) and I shared a room, as the two couches were in the same room. We didn't talk too much, and I blame myself of it, though I had tried to keep the gaming quiet enough where she could rest.

The next day we left, and as we drove and snapped pictures, we were discussing our plans for the day. Included in those plans were picking up her boyfriend (the to-be brother-in-law of my friend) from Rhode Island. We visited a lighthouse, the beach, saw a windmill, took some pictures at the canal between Cape Cod and the rest of Massachusetts...

But something interesting happened. This girl listened to country music, which reminded me of home a great deal. Then, as she was urging me to sing along to some of the songs, I looked over and realized she was lost in deep thought. Very quickly, I was re-evaluating her, and my assumptions about her proved to be very wrong indeed.

We talked then, openly, about a past that in fact we shared very similarly. A brutal, violent end to our marriages, and the loss of our children (though hers were both final and permanent, death in both cases). She wasn't shallow, she wasn't vain, she wasn't an image-worshiper. She, much like myself, pretended to be something very different from who she really was.

So I ended up apologizing to her. I confessed to my judgment before knowing her, and apologized for it. After accepting this apology, though saying it was unnecessary, we continued our tour of Cape Cod. After picking up her boyfriend we went to Battleship Cove, and got some good pictures of the two of them there. We also went to a small bay/harbor and got some cool pictures there.

All in all, my time with her was the most enlightening. Maybe second to that was later that same night, though. With drinks, the whole crew (My decade-long friend, his to-be brother-in-law, and Jess) was playing... ah, an adult version of Poker. And, as it turned out, I won by a landslide. However, something made me incredibly uncomfortable. That is to say, Jess.

See, Jess lost. Not since my ex-wife have I been in a position of infidelity, or anything resembling intimacy either. In fact, I had come to the conclusion that physical intimacy was likely best left to either highly committed relationships, or even marriage (though despite my heavy-handed Protestant upbringing, I struggled to reach that point).

The other thing that was rather difficult was, well, I was the only one having difficulty in the situation. Even her boyfriend, even my friend of so many years, found it odd (and amusing) that I would be ashamed of even being present.

So came the second revelation in my trip up north. The first being that I am entirely too judgmental, and hold too strong a grudge against women et all. The second being... I'm afraid of women. I'm afraid of my own emotions, but even more than that, I'm afraid of attaching them to anyone.

I ended up talking to my long-time friend until dawn (again) about this revelation. Between the events of the day, and discussing it afterward, I've actually overcome quite a few internal emotional blockades I didn't even know I had. The serious limitations I had that were keeping me from relating to other human beings on even the most simple of levels without analyzing, critiquing, and implying things they said.

The next day was my last day in the state, and I made my rounds back through. I tried (and failed) to find Boston Harbor, then managed to find my way back to my first friend I'd stayed with. I treated her to lunch/dinner, then her boyfriend came back down and I was given another interesting brain breaker.

He had judged me, at first. How close she and I had been, chatting and laughing at old jokes and internal dialogs. We couldn't quite finish each other's sentences, but we were closer than he and she were. They had known one another a few months, she and I were friends of three quarters a decade.

So he was wary, and this had all been told to me by my friend, I was under orders not to poke at it. So, I thought and decided to use what I did know about manipulation toward a positive benefit, for once. I took them out and we did a photo shoot. They'd been trying to get a good picture of the two of them, and that evening I gave them almost a dozen.

As I left, around 9PM (to go on a 13 hour drive), I smiled and embraced him in a hug like he was a brother. I was told later by my friend that I'd won him over, he made her promise that she would call and keep me awake on my trip. And, she did.

Another lesson learned, though. I was feeling good about myself, that I'd eased someone's concerns and won a friend through it. The trip droned on, and I started falling asleep at the wheel around 4AM. I stopped for the night in a rest area parking lot, and resumed driving by 6AM.

Turns out, Niagara Falls was on my way...took a side trip, got some killer shots of the falls (IMO). I took back off, and made it to Ohio to pick up my son an hour late (around 1PM). In fact, I made it all the way to the border of my home state, West Virginia, before I had to call for my parents to come and get us.

So many nights of not sleeping, so many hours on the road, I could hardly keep my eyes open, and I dared not endanger my son's life. My own life, I'll do, not my boy. As I lay back in the seat of my mother's car (my father drove my rental), I took a few last pictures of the scenery on the drive.

Either I was delirious from lack of sleep, or the day was more beautiful than any I can recall in a very, very long time. Given that the picture turned out so well, I'm inclined to believe the latter...

That's my Boston trip in a nutshell. For me, the pictures are memories of the places. What REALLY happened was the emotional and spiritual growth, at least to me. And it was a doozy, oh yes it was... completely different person almost, it feels like.

I have all the images up on my MySpace, though if nobody wants to go that route (I personally loathe the site myself) I can put them up, temporarily, on Photobucket.
_________________
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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