mumble, rant, mumble, mumble

(I’m over-ridding my inner censor and bitching a bit about work)
lame: presenting (over 3 days) at a conference in a hotel, and not having a room in said hotel.
lamer: instead being stationed in a hotel over an hour away.
(I understand this wasn’t the desired arrangement)

More on familiarity

As we tucked ourselves in last night, Deb announced she was feeling a bit unwell after the large, rich dinner (pan-seared duck breast…) she had earlier in the evening. She was actually a little more descriptive than that… which prompted me to ask: “So when we’re old, are we going to be talking frankly about our poo in regular conversation?” Deb knew exactly what I meant.

Until a few months ago we never really spoke of bodily functions, and did whatever we could to hide from each other the fact that we’re human animals (walking, talking, disgusting bags of meat.) Sure, we speak about gross things in the abstract or hypothetical sense (upper decker, brown hole theory, the Norasster, etc…) but never directly. But, I think all of our traveling together has broken down some of those taboos. We don’t have the luxury of 3 bathrooms when we’re on the road. The recent intestinal nightmare suffered on the Turkey trip didn’t help either. Extrapolating into the future it was obvious where things were headed.

Deb: “We should probably never talk about this again, right?”

Me: “Right”

Travel Stats

In the last year:

Days on the road (not at my primary residence): 152
Days on the road (not in Pittsburgh either): 94
Countries visited (not US or England): 11
Lost baggage: 0
Hours delayed: 2
Flights canceled: 3 (all United from IAD->PIT)

Not what I was going for

“yeah, you are a dick”  (I’m paraphrasing) wasn’t quite the reaction I was expecting or hoping for (Thanks mom.  🙂 )

Striving to be a bit less salty

During the trip to Austria I occasionally heard myself talking…  It’s something I don’t often do.  When you are an inveterate bullshitter you quickly learn to defensively tune out your own voice.  Sometimes I should listen, because when I’m really comfortable (i.e. with Deb) the filter drops and I speak exactly what is on my mind.

The problem is that I’d describe my emotional range as rather stunted.  Occasionally I experience boredom, contentment, and lust…   but like the Eskimos and their 100 different words for snow (apocryphal) most of the time I’m feeling one of 100 different types of angry.  I can normally transmute this anger into something external that is a bitmore pleasant.  But when I’m “speaking my mind”, it’s often dark, sometimes mean, and generally salty.   Too often (honestly, more than once is too often) I catch myself speaking to Deb in a tone that I’d never use with anyone else.  This makes me…  well, angry.   I’m always pointing out the widespread lack of respect that my fellow humans show each other… and then I turn around and don’t show any to the only person who really matters.  Luckily Deb is a bit broken too…  She just accepts her daily ration of shit, with little or no complaint.  I should probaby have her carry a cattle prod or similar behavior modification tool with her to help “remind” me when I forget who I’m talking to.

This isn’t meant to be a confession; just some observations on the dangers of familiarity.

Mr. Accomplishment

(the title is a joke you probably won’t get… don’t worry about it.)

4 weeks on, I appear to finally be over the ill-effects of my trip to Turkey.

The moment Mark broke his finger



The moment Mark broke his finger, originally uploaded by denovich.

On the southern shores of Turkey, as the rope ripped through my grip. I snapped the middle bone of my left ring finger in half.

What in the hell happened to me?

I use Google Reader to manage my RSS feeds.

I occasionally use the “star” feature which lets me note specific interesting posts, or things I want to read later. I can later view these items like a separate feed.

I checked the starred feed last night, remembering there were somethings I marked while traveling that I wanted to check out later only to find that:

Over half of the starred items in my feed were pictures or videos of kittens, mostly from Cute Overload.

Where am I?

Upon waking, the last two mornings I have had to take a few moments to gather my bearings… “wall, window, door way… our bedroom… oh, yeah, I’m home in England.”

It’s the after effects of a lot of recent travel. We just got back from 2 weeks in Turkey, our most ambitious trip to date. Fortunately, the bulk of the arrangements were handled by my best friend’s wife. We merely had to get ourselves there and enjoy it.

I could do without the near constant attack of traveler’s dilemma or the broken finger, but in total it was a very enjoyable trip. Multiple days in Istanbul and Cappadocia, and 4 days aboard a 75′ yacht sailing along Turkey’s southern coast. Honestly, I could have happily spent the entire trip on the boat… crystal blue waters, warm sun, and not a god damn thing I needed to do. It has me thinking about getting my bareboat certification again.

We’re sorting through the photos now… all 1400+ of them. Keep an eye on our Flickr photostream.

Next week is Austria; the 12th different country I will have visited in less than a year.

So much for live blogging the adventure

I had plans of blogging the details of our epic canoe journey this weekend.  As you can see it didn’t really happen.  Something about 20+ miles of paddling per day seems to kill ones motivation.

Deb is going to post (or is currently posting a detailed trip report), shots taken with my mobile are already on Flickr, and the ones taken with the “good camera” will be online later today.

Trip summary:  3.5 days, 92 miles down the Thames by canoe, camping along the way.

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