Jessamyn is in...|
16jul... p & e
22jul... bob & nancy
29jul02 . . . . .
the return of me
"so do you think that the over-the-top consumer culture causes clients to expect impossible things from technology in a sort of customer-is-always-right paradigm?"
This was just part of one in a series of inspiring coversations that I had with all the people along our sixteen day road trip. It's hard to enumerate the high points because it was so great to see every single person, but if I had to break it down, by people, it would be:
- a walk in the rain and an ancient library in Somerville MA with my sister. Plus, the beginning of our acquisition phase with a few cookbooks at the booksale of said library.
- a relaxing visit with my relaxed Dad and Cindy and a houseful of spoiled pets. More aquisitions: a hand sander, box of socks, a thermostat, tape deck, and a few timers
- a whirlwind trip with the Yale librarians to Brooklyn to see Yo la Tengo and a bar called The Library and a tour of some of the libraries. First Gutenberg bible. Their mafia-like influence has landed me a speaking engagement later this year [!].
- Suburban New Jersey and my first dip in an aboveground pool since childhood. Buckaroo Banzai still one of the best movies ever. Cheapass Games makes fun games. Temperatures rise, I change my opinion about the necessity of air conditioning.
- The DC Experience. Stays with three sets of friends [John and Laura, Eileen and Patricia, Chuck and Taz] and two trips to the Brickskeller to have one of a thousand [or 8,000?] beers with Steve and Lynne and Jude and Mark and Sarah. Air conditioning not just a good idea, it's life support.
- One low point -- some of the DC museums have turned into giant malls. Many gift shops per museum, too much product placement, pervasive IMAXness.
- I got Library of Congress and National Institute of Health Library reading cards with my picture on each one. Saw the second Gutenberg Bible.
- I can not say enough good things about the totally gross [in a good way] National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed.
- We also found the Annual Library which is actually a flower garden.
- A short drive got us to Raleigh North Carolina where we spent the weekend eating rich food, drinking mint juleps, chitchatting about nearly everything and sleeping until noon, such fine hospitality. Steve and Heather's house is halfway between a Krispy Kreme and a Biscuit Station. Took home a huge bag of pecans.
- Charlottesville VA netted a visit to the Monticello visitor's center where they were just getting around to doing a display of about all of Jefferson's black descendents. Vistied with Bob and Nancy Davidson and fixed their computer. They fixed us some roast beef sandwiches for the road.
- Still staggering along, we headed for Greg's friend Zac's place in PA, right near the Jersey border and stayed up late catching up. a quick jaunt to Frenchtown for some coconut french toast and too much coffee.
- Lastly, the cozy pad of my pal Matthew, my favorite last-stop-on-long-trip
Pictures are coming along but there's so much still to do. Old 4th of July photos are finally up over at jessamyn.info/vt.
26jul02 . . . . .
the return of me
Got back home only 22 hours before my Mom is supposed to arrive for a weekend and about 48 hours before Greg's parents show up for two weeks [neither are staying with us]. We got smart on the way back up and took some side roads. Saw Monticello, or the info booth at least, and saw a baby black bear crossing the highway in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We did the math and think we stayed eleven places in sixteen nights. Also managed to have lunch or dinner with about five more people than that. In my mind this is a sucessful vacation, in Greg's I think it is more of an uncontrolled hurtling careen through the Eastern US leaving him gasping for breath clutching the porch. We are both happy to be home. Further updating will need to wait until after company leaves.
15jul02 . . . . .
asphalt parking lot
We have spent the last few days cruising down the grand asphalt parking lot known as Interstate 95.We have seen some spectacular examples of bad driving and shown Greg three new US States. I've only got brief access to my inTARweb connection here, so I'll throw down a bulleted list to refresh my memory for when I can expound at leisure.The past week, I have seen/done:
- a very nice guestroom at my sister's place and one of the better bookstores I've been to
- emergency Goodwill trip to obtain more summer clothes
- met all my dad's pets and introduced my dad and Cindy to Greg
- listened to coyotes howling up a storm in Westport MA
- went to a great bar in Providence with Jordan and Louisa that had, in addition to a ten cent jukebox,
fresh cut flowers AND bikers [and cheap drinks]
- lunched with the Yale Librarian mafioso. Saw a few grand Yale libraries and a Gutenberg Bible
- caught a nearly free Yo La Tengo show in Brooklyn and went to a bar called The Library for some not-so-cheap drinks
- went swimming in my pals Sandy and Helen's new pool. I can't remember the last time I swam in a backyard pool.admired their new house. watched Buckaroo Banzai.
- schlepped down to DC and hung out with John and Laura who are expecting their first kid in a month or so.they have a vibrating recliner couch
We have four or five more stops on the rest of this trip. Today is our first two-day stop so we are doing laundry and catching up on email before hurling ourselves at muggy Washington DC
for some prime museum entertainment. I half wonder if you can still tour the FBI building in these troubled times.
08jul02 . . . . .
I thought yesterday's weather was going to be normal but it was anything but -- please excuse the endless nattering about weather but it's nearly all we've got -- since there are forest fires in Quebec
. I didn't know this until I talked to my weather braniac dad this morning really, I just woke up yesterday to a yellowish sky and a dull orange sunball in the middle of it. Since 9/11, but really maybe always, I have been fearing the end of the world, or just the end of my world as I know it. So I spent a lot of time eyeing the weather reports trying to figure out why everything was so ... off. Trying to figure out where I would flee in case things got really bad. The sun got a little brighter as it got overhead but no less hazy. There were literally no discerning sky marks, it was just a flat greyish yellow. In the evening, we went to Burlington to see an Expos
game and I worriedly thought that the end of the world might come when I was surrounded by baseball fans, one of my worst nightmares ever. The fighter planes that kept landing at the very nearby airport did nothing to dispell this paranoia.
At some point I decided that if this was going to be the new atmosphere in the New World Order of Whatever, then I was glad it was breathable and not aggravating my asthma and I enjoyed the game. Being out here in Vermont where very little of the local news is online in a timely fashion, you sort of get used to not understanding some of the things you see and just make a metal note to check the paper the next day, or the next week.
We returned to sleep like the dead on our new mattress. We head out tomorrow. Today is for changing the oil, making road trip tapes, packing the stuff, closing up shop, and printing up maps. If we do this all right, we'll have a two week trip visiting roughly 12 to 15 people [admittedly, some of them live together] and maybe 3-4 libraries. Back in time for visits from my Mom and Greg's parents and the T-30 Burning Man count.
07jul02 . . . . .
a return to regularly scheduled weather
It's nice that sometimes someone else
can write the anti-holiday screeds
and I just link to them
. [please see 4th of July, thank you] As for me, I spent the holiday grilling food and hanging out with old friends and making new ones. My oldest friends were several old college roomates and the newest one I met when he got out of his car in my driveway; though of course we had friends in common. In attendance also were two librarians, who knew many of my librarian pals, and Greg's sister who was out getting some much needed R&R before she goes to grad school to get her PhD in physics. We even had people camping on the lawn. The sun shower that we set up on the porch under the stepladder -- afraid that our guests just might die in the 105 degree heat if they coudn't hose down -- went unused due to temperature cooldown.
Today, when everyone but Robin had left, we took a trip to the dump and found an algebra book from the 1890's and a nearly-new mattress! Greg thinks getting mattresses from the dump is somewhat awful but I think it is less awful than 1) sleeping on lame futons and developing back trouble, and 2) buying new mattresses and having to get jobs to support them.
Today it is back to raining. We leave on our little East Coast road trip Tuesday or Wednesday.
02jul02 . . . . .
97 degrees in the shade
We finally wimped out and moved to the bedroom in the lower latitudes because the loft bedroom, while cozy and quiet and dark and all sorts of other good things, was so hot that we couldn't sleep at all. We had a tiny little fan blowing hot air around, but it is one of ths "no growing pot on the premises" the second one will be "no more goddamned glow in the dark stars on surfaces I might one day want to paint!"
We spend a lot of time here like lizards on rocks, languidly reaching up to turn pages on our books, or stumbling ten feet to get more iced chamomile tea from the fridge, but generally moving as little as possible, conserving energy for the nighttime when we.... do more of the same, I guess. It's cooler outside but the little swamp under the deck means that there's always a bug convention out there. I swear I am growing a second elbow on top of my original elbow just because I have so many horsefly bites on it.
We have named all the animals we see in the backyard, mostly birds but a few snakes and yesterday we spotted a few deer running around the backyard. Greg gives everything -- including the rock he unearthed while mowing -- masculine names. I saw the deer first so I have dubbed them Fifi and Hepzibah.