Friday, August 29, 2008

Staycation All I Ever Wanted

I confess, I am somewhat amused by the advent of the "staycation," defined as basically, staying home during your time off from work or school. The New York Times even had a whole article about this supposedly new phenomenon.

Almost EVERY vacation I had when I was growing up was a staycation. You know why? Because we were too poor to go anywhere. Staycations are nothing new. Who the hell is so out of touch that they thought they needed to make up a word to describe what probably millions (at the very least, hundreds of thousands) of people have been doing for a long time? Because a lot of us are too poor to go anywhere. These are probably the same people who looked at me like an idiot when I asked if they went to Rome, New York or Rome, Italy on their vacation. Well, there IS a Rome, New York! So there.

Travel is great; don't get me wrong. I have done a reasonable amount of travelling since becoming an adult (a long-distance relationship that spanned the Atlantic Ocean helped a lot), although nothing that could be considered too exotic. Various places in England and Paris. I have been to Hong Kong and Phuket, Thailand. Phuket sounds like it's exotic, but really, it's Destin, FL with more Germans and less spoken English. This is interesting in and of itself. Back in the day, going to Europe was a big deal. Now, Europe isn't just for rich people anymore. Europe, big deal! Now, those people who complain about how air travel is like Greyhound now (you know what, it isn't- have these people actually ridden Greyhound?) need to find better, more exotic places to visit to show that they are better than all those people who go to London, because, hell, everyone goes to London!

This is why people that we know do things like go backpacking and mountain climbing in disputed territories like Kashmir. If I had to choose between this and going to England for the (counts on fingers...) well, I've been a number of times, England would win hands down!

Disclaimer: we are planning a trip to Egypt and Kenya in January, so I'm just as guilty of it as anyone.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Architecture School

I discovered, via reading the boards on Television Without Pity, that there is a new show on Sundance called Architecture School. When I clicked on the forum to read about it, I discovered that Architecture School follows a group of undergraduates at Tulane's architecture school.

Oh God. Oh God. This was where my friend (the one who died) went to school. He was in this program. The show follows an aspect of the program that wasn't in existence during my friend's time there- the students design and build houses for low-income residents as part of the gradual rebuilding of New Orleans post-Katrina. My friend graduated and died in 2001, so well before the need for this program.

This brings up a question- do I watch this show? I don't have Sundance (or cable at all anymore, see my previous posts), so I would have to buy it on iTunes.

I am leaning towards not watching; I feel that it would be wallowing on purpose. Maybe people who have never grieved don't understand this impulse that draws you in to face that black hole of grief and jump in. When you are early in the grieving process, you fall in that hole all the time on accident. As time goes on, you learn to avoid that hole. It is still there, though. Maybe it is smaller, but make no mistake, it's still there. And sometimes, yes, you jump in on purpose, especially after you have learned how to avoid it. There is something about losing someone so close to you. It tears you apart, and even though you want to be better, you want to get back to normal, sometimes, when you are mostly back to normal, you miss that grief. Well, not the grief exactly. You miss the person, and the grief reminds you of them. The reverse is true as well- be reminded of the person, be reminded of the grief.

I don't really jump in any more. The desire to do so surprised me, a little. I might just watch some of the clips on Sundance's website. Probably that will give me my fill. To tell the truth, I think architecture is frightfully boring, so once the initial shock is over, I'm sure it will be just like every other reality TV show that I have abandoned.