Monday, May 06, 2013

Vacation Rambles

has come 'round at last. 
You've heard it all before, and doubtless experienced it yourselves: each vacation is more necessary than the one before; each respite is rehearsal for retirement; and damnitall, they go by so fast.

Recycling a couple of my favourite aphorisms:

"Vacation is what you take when you can't take what you've been taking any longer."

"A vacation consists of two weeks which are too short after which you are too tired to return and too broke not to." 
--also Anonymous. Prolific and profound, that person.

This particular week-and-a-bit away from the grind was supposed to happen a month ago, in my break between classes. Unfortunately that week coincided with university exams and all our part timers requested and got time off to study, leaving me virtually the only one available and scuttling my plans. Scuttled plans are nothing new to me, but still, this rankled. I was ready for this week off a month ago, and that month took about a year to go by.

One friend of mine is in Berlin, or maybe en route to Prague, today. Another pair of friends are on an anniversary trip that has incorporated Hawai'i and Las Vegas. My vacation plans, alas, are considerably more humble.

I have French class tonight and on Wednesday night I face down the first test I've taken in nearly twenty years. Just a simple vocabulary test, nothing onerous. Truth be told, I wish I had the opportunity to pay, say, half the tuition, sit the final exam, and if I pass it, gain credit for the course. But that's me, always looking for the easy way out. 
On Thursday I'm off to my Dad and Hez's place Up North -- capitalization deliberate -- for a few days in which I hope I can stay awake. This is, as always, a trip I'm looking forward to.  I expect I'll be thoroughly buried in NHL playoffs--my dad's an even bigger fan of the game than I am--and thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs' series-tying win the other night, there'll be a game on Friday night that father and son can sit down and enjoy (or stand up and curse, as the case better not be). 
Other than that, my plans basically involve the square root of frig-all. Maybe I'll try for the cube root this time. If that sounds're not me.

I was up at 5:15 this morning...meaning I slept in for all of fifteen minutes. I can refuse to set my bedside alarm, but I'm helpless against my inside alarm. No matter, though: I like getting up at that hour.    Once I've showered and dressed, I'll step out into the peaceful crispness to retrieve the newspaper which is invariably somewhere down by the sidewalk. I'll pause, recite a few incantations under my breath, raise my hands to the heavens and summon the dawn. That's right, I'm why the sun came up this morning. It's a heavy responsibility, but somebody's gotta do it.

I've promised a couple of people blogs. Ally: the topic you've set for me is very important and extremely depressing and I promise I will write on it at some point relatively soon, but quite frankly I'm the farthest thing from in the mood to do it today. Chris, I promised you a reading list. That, too, is forthcoming, sometime this week. If you're desperate for something to read, pick up John Dies At The End by David Wong: I think you'll be glad you did.)

The year proceeds apace. Big changes are afoot chez Breadbin. The smallest change is probably the portable dishwasher scheduled to land here in the next couple of weeks.
Amongst all the houses I've lived in--well over thirty--very few have had dishwashers. I've been the dishwasher for a goodly chunk of my life, and I'm not a very good one, if you have to ask. Cleaning, cleaning, I hate cleaning things that just end up getting dirty again. I hate any repetitive tasks like that...if it didn't involve so much pain and expense, I'd laser off all my hair so I wouldn't have to deal with it again. I'd be the kind of rich douche that would, in Paul McCartney's words, be breaking dirty dishes up and throwing them away. I haven't made my bed since I lived at home and had to, reason there being that c'mon, who's going to see my bedroom today? Outside of my fantasies, I mean? So this dishwasher will be a welcome addition to the Breadbin, for me because duh and for Eva because the outside of things will be clean.
Then there's the machine Eva's getting:

I understand there's a little game on this thing in which you're a fish dodging sharks. Who says fitness can't be fun?
This will help with Eva's ongoing weight loss/life transformation. She's gone eight months without smoking a cigarette and this time I know it'll stick. She's also lost a fair bit of weight already in the process of losing a great deal more. While her weight doesn't matter to me, her health emphatically does. I couldn't be prouder of her.

Towards the end of this year, I'll be getting braces. Or at least starting the mouth reconstruction I'll probably need in advance of getting braces.
This is more than three decades overdue and it's entirely my fault. I was slated to get braces at roughly the same time I got glasses and I flatly and emphatically refused. My parents relented after a while and thirty-odd years later I can truthfully say I wish they hadn't.
Oh, I had my reasons, and they were a nine-year-old's damn good reasons: Glasses caused me enough grief on the playground as it was. I viewed braces as the icing on the turd.  Try a little irony, Ken: it's good for the blood. As it turned out, without braces my teeth went hideous on me and I might as well be eating a shit-cake every time I open my mouth. I've rooted out many of my insecurities, or Eva's rooted them out for me, but my misshapen, malformed and malodorous teeth are a huge one and it's past time I did something about it. 
I'll be getting the InvisAlign braces that are supposed to be less painful. This is good, of course, as my philosophy on pain is best summed up as "no pain, no...pain!"...but the truth is I owe some pain as penance for my pigheadedness back when I was nine. Once my mouth is fixed, I hope my self-consciousness  (which really has been, and is, crippling) will be fixed too.

If all this wasn't enough, we're also undergoing what will be referred to in the history of our lives as the Great Purge. 
We've tried this before, by means of garage sales. They haven't gone all that well. So this time the decent stuff is going to Value Village and the rest is getting binned. 
There's a lot of "rest". Our home is not something you'd see on Hoarders, far from it, but it is...cluttered. The basement is cluttered in the extreme. We've accumulated almost fifteen years of C.R.A.P. (Cheap Random Assorted Product) and it's gotta go. Too many times we've hesitated on the "maybe someday we'll need this" principle. You know what? If someday hasn't come up by now, then someday is Neverary 22nd. 

I'm riding Eva's bike on account of having blown a tire (leave my personal life out of this, would you?) I've grown to really like the riding stance on this thing. Having never really driven, I can't  say for sure, but I suspect it's similar to the feeling drivers get transitioning from a compact car to an SUV. I feel like I command the road. It's called a 'comfort' bike for good reason.

And that's life in a nutshell. There are other things going on around here, some of which I'll be writing about later on...but for now I'm just going to enjoy my vacation.

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