Monthly Archives: January 2009

A dream.

“Their thoughts were remarkably alike, as they worked silently together. This is what I want to do forever, each one thought. Rise in the morning, come to the mill, and work all day with him beside me. Never mind that the wish was impossible. Never mind that they might never see each other again, once the boy left for his apprenticeship back in the place of his birth. That only added to the sweetness of the moment, which would soon become a memory, would soon become a dream.”

La luna.

I went to Ikea today. I walked a lot, bought a lamp, ate some meatballs. When I got off the freeway on my way home, I turned the corner, and this is what I saw:

Travel Log: The Leaderboard so far.

Enterprise Rental Car: 1400 points.
Free upgrade when I checked in (+200). Fast, easy, friendly counter service (+300). And after I was unsuccessful at finding a place to fill up the tank before I got to the airport (why are there no gas stations ANYWHERE NEAR the Salt Lake airport?), they gave me the prepaid price for a tank of gas ($17.50) instead of charging me almost $4 per gallon… “since it’s almost empty anyway”. SCORE (+900).

Salt Lake City Airport: -1400 points.
Very clean (+200). Almost too clean, actually (-50). Painfully slow line to drop off baggage for screening (-400). Pretty quick, painless line to get through security screening (+400). TSA employee actually asked me how I was doing while checking my ID (+250). Wireless internet costs $7.50 (-1800). Seriously. I’m going to write a letter to whoever’s in charge of the airport, because I think that’s CRAZY.

“Thompson, party of two”: -200 points (excluding extenuating circumstances).
The flight from SLC to Las Vegas was overbooked, and they asked for volunteers to give up their seat, take a later flight, and be compensated for it ($299 in airline vouchers). What they said though, made it pretty clear that whoever volunteered wouldn’t be going tonight (no more flights), and MIGHT not be able to go tomorrow, either (what with the holiday weekend and all)… Anyway, NOBODY volunteered. I have never, ever seen that happen before. They asked, and they asked, and still nobody volunteered. Finally, everyone is on the plane, and they say, “We hate to do this, but Thompson, party of two, you were the last to board, one of you needs to get off the plane. You will be compensated… but we need you to raise your hand and we’ll get you on another flight.” Silence. Thompson, party of two, does not respond (-500 for not stepping up). “Thompson, party of two, we need you to let us know where you are…” Silence. (-200 for making the rest of the passengers uncomfortable). A minute later, “We will check ID if we have to.” Silence. (+500 for sheer ballsiness). Finally, another lady stands up, says “I’m not Thompson,” and makes her way to the front, volunteering to get off the plane. Everyone cheers, and we get on our way, complete with a pair of Thompsons. (Now, to be fair, I have no idea what their circumstances were. I know that it would have been a BIG problem for me if I had been forced off the plane… and that brings us to…)

Anonymous woman from Flight 3135, now stuck in SLC at least overnight: 2901 points.
She has to stay at least overnight now, with no guarantee of when they’ll get her home (+2000). She helped out Thompson, party of two (+300). She saved the rest of us from a lengthy process of showing our IDs (+900). She scored $299 in flight vouchers (-299).

Las Vegas Airport: 2100 points.
Big, new, clean, CONVENIENT security area to get to the C-gates (+1500). Seriously… the old lines to get through security and go to the C-gates used to be a big, long, sticky, crowded mess. This was a MUCH better experience, and I appreciated it. No toilet paper in several stalls (-400). Internet access for FREE (+800). Lots of outlets & charging stations (+200).

And… they’re about to call my flight. Off we go.

Sometimes I see beautiful things.

After my beloved Canon SD600 bit the dust (and by “bit the dust”, I mean “accidentally got dropped in a river”), I felt like a part of me was missing. I could no longer swerve to the shoulder and get out to take a picture of something that struck my fancy while I was driving. This actually happens quite often – me, on the side of the road, taking pictures. Except that it hadn’t been happening at all lately, because my camera wasn’t working. So when Amazon.com sent me an email a few weeks ago with an absolutely killer deal on a Canon SD770, I bit. And I have to say… I’m impressed. So far, this little camera has managed to take some amazing photos. It goes up to 3200 ISO, and it handles dim light much better than any point-and-shoot I’ve yet experienced. Digital image stabilization? I didn’t know that I was missing it before, and I don’t really know what it is, but wow…

Some examples:

The first night I got my camera, I pulled it out and started taking photos of the Christmas tree. Take a look at the whole tree. See the dove ornament at the top? I zoomed in and took a picture of it while I was sitting on the floor. In the dark. At least 5 feet away. AND IT’S STILL CLEAR. Amazing.

Look at the detail on these:

So yeah. That was the first night, on the AUTO settings (minus the flash). Since then, I’ve taken many pictures, and have stopped by the side of the road several times. This one was taken on my way to work. (Kinda makes you wonder what’s over there, right?)

These were also taken on my way to work, on a different day. There was fog that day… I was about to drive into it – this is the transition, right before the fog really started. The sun was rising and between the branches of the trees, there were these fire-red crepuscular rays. Believe it or not, the photos don’t do it justice, because as I drove, the rays would shift and dance, as the angles between tree, sun, and driver would change.

These were not taken on my way to work. There is a lovely little trail right off one of the roads near where I live. It’s almost invisible, and I had been driving in this town for 10 years and had never seen it. Someone pointed it out to me. When you get to the top, you can see the whole valley. Anyway, as I walked along, the sunset got progressively more intense.

I don’t know why, but I feel more whole with a camera. Maybe it’s the way it helps me connect with the past. Fill in the details a bit. I don’t remember details very well. The way my brain works, my memories are usually a bit like impressionist paintings – conveying feelings and the emotions with sweeping brush strokes, the clear, concrete outlines of things conspicuous in their absence.