Thursday, January 8, 2004

Lifestyles: 2004.

My new year's resolution for 2004 was "Lifestyles: 2004." Meaning, I had no career, I had no money, I had no man...but I would have a Lifestyle. That meant that, if I met friends for lunch, I was "Meeting Friends for Lunch," no t-shirts and jeans for such an occasion! Party dress it is! Maybe I couldn't afford to dine out, but I could certainly manage to put my hair up and sit at the bar to order a water and people-watch! And travel- well- with all the not-indulging I was doing, I could afford to take planes, trains, and carpool to all kinds of exotic locales- like, Provo or Yarmouth. It proved to be one of my best years yet. Here's to living life like you mean it:
Lifestyles: 2004!

January 16, 2004.
Wrong Side of the Tracks.

This is definitely a journal experience. I’m riding a train again, from Provo to San Jose. All of my Provo friends, Jared, Nate, Tom, Laura, and her date, Steve, came to see me off and see if trains really still went ‘cross country. They do. But I don’t recommend it. They kept asking me, “What kind of people ride on trains? Who rides the train anymore?” Well, experience hunters, like me, who want to avoid the cost of speeding tickets, accidents, and rising insurance rates. As for everyone else, in my car at least, there are several elderly sets of people, with cell phones and digital cameras. A woman who must be at least 85* is on the loudspeaker drawing our attention to Donner Pass and the horseshoe shape of our current track. As I look out onto the pristine arrangement around Donner Lake with my fellow geriatrics, I hear several sweatsuit clad couples rumble by.

“Where are you going?” She yells.
“Smoke.” He barks back.
“Of course…Make it fast; I need you for the seven minute tunnel!” ew.
“Ya think we can make it in 3 ½?”
I am not making this stuff up.

My arm still has spackles of paint on it from Ian’s Pollock Party last night. While my last ride was frigidly cold, this time I had the forthought and good sense to unpack my sleeping bag right away. Now the car is hot. And we are located directly above the smoking lounge, so everyone passing through remarks, “this car is stinky!” In fact, I got lost looking for a bathroom, but immediately recognized which car was mine due to the smell.

Did I mention that you can’t buy water, but they do have cans of beer and ½ bottles of wine for $8?
*Her name is Betty. She is definitely over 85.

December 25, 2003.
Christmas at Home- Cape Cod, MA

It’s Christmas at home again with Grampa telling stories and Grandma rustling around the stove. Lynn is already harassing me about the trecheries of women as Grandma grumbles at the inaccuracies of his latest repeated tirade. It’s delightfully warm- no snow, but a spattering of rain here and there. Just following our ham dinner this afternoon, the sun came out and puffy white clouds float through the blue sky.

January 4, 2004

Nassau Island
So much has happened since Christmas. Right now, I’m on a deck chair on a cruise ship, waiting for the sun to rise on the Bahamas Island, Nassau. It is a bright warm sun on my face and head and feet. The motor of the boat hums softly, rapidly. For as quickly as we move, I do not feel the waves. From the upper deck, where I sit, the buildings I see are traditional looking in almost a colonial style. They are not the grass-thatched huts I’d imagined. Some are yellow and others a soft, pale green with white stately pillars and white window frames. I think of Paris.

January 8, 2004
My First Train Ride

It’s 6:30am, and the train is severely behind schedule. We were supposed to have been in Provo at 5:11am. We’re still parked in Salt Lake. Poor Jared was at the Provo Station for me at 5am. Now they’re estimating around 7:30, but I can guarantee you it will take longer. Previously I mentioned how this train was a slight downgrade from the cruise. I must correct that bit of sarcasm. I just spent the last 6 ours huddled in my corner with gloves, earmuffs, my snowboarding coat and the two min9-pillows wrapped around me. I had even taken the paper “pillowcases” off of them to lay atop my legs (much like a homeless person a la park bench). I’m even at the point where I’m going to have to ask someone for 50 cents to help pay for my sandwich because they don’t accept credit cards yet.
On the flip side, since I am up, and increasingly alert, I will get to watch the sunrise! And the snow is fresh- smooth and pillowy. Even with the glow of streetlights, the ground is a hazy pink.

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