Ah, the computer. Lucky for me, my mom has a laptop which she's lent to me for my stay in Florida, and we can pick up free wi-fi from Dawn's apartment. E-mail. Blogging. Interference. Journaling. Even Myspace! In this particular photo I am watching this Japanese drama called 1 Litre of Tears on Youtube that my former student Aya has been bugging me to watch all year long. Well, I never had the time until now. It's terribly sad, but addictively good. I've watched 7 episodes so far and have 4 more to go!
It's taken me awhile to post my first blog from my vacation in the States. I guess I was waiting for something newsworthy to report. I've been checking everybody else's blogs and it seemed everyone else was having these great adventures. Grant's rediscovering the vacation spot of his childhood, sailing, diving into freezing cold waters. Mai is going to weddings and working industriously. Britni's slicing up cadavers and studying like mad as she starts OT school. Ken & Crystal are serving the island of Saipan, offering free dental care. Bev's mobilizing the singles on Saipan. And what about me? What am I doing?
Well, to be honest. Not a whole heck of a lot. I finally realized that at the rate I'm going, if I wait to report exciting goings-on during my vacation I might never post at all.
My day typically consists of getting up around 11 in the morning. Most days I'll have some devotional time. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I go down to the gym on the ground floor of Dawn's condo and work out. I'm supposed to run around Lake Eola on the off days but by the time I wake up, it's too hot to jog so. . .I don't. So after devotions and/or working out, the structure to my day pretty much ends. I get on the internet. . .check my e-mail, browse the blogs, and log into Interference and debate for awhile. My sister isn't working right now so we spend a lot of time together, talking sometimes, other times just sharing the same space. Yesterday we spend a couple of hours where she played her video game (it's a game where you pick up shells on a beach. She loves shelling in real life and so she's quite excited she can no do it online) and I watched 1 Litre of Tears, on Youtube.
My high school friend Greg lives 12 floors down in our building so I've hung out with him a lot, watching foreign films, going out for lunch or dinner, or just talking.
These social activities round out the day, and often I get back to the computer late in the evening for a final check of the Interference discussions and e-mail (Barbara only arrived here yesterday, Thursday, June 21, so while she was gone I spent quite a bit of time writing to her and sometimes talking on the phone). I head for bed around 11:30 or 12:00 on a good night, but then often end up staying up another hour or two reading before finally going to sleep.
That's it. No excitement. No adventure.
But you know what? I'm okay with that. I need this. I've spent 10 months being extraordinarily occupied. My life in Saipan is one of constant activity. Work. Tutoring. Gym. REAL. Various church and school activities. Go to bed. Do it all over again. Even after school got out, I went to bed around 10 every night, and was up by 7 every morning, and was busy all day until bedtime right up to the day I got on the plane. And that's fine. My life in Saipan is rich, full, rewarding. But to now have hours and days stretching before me that I don't have to fill with constant activity is deeply restorative. I've realized I don't want to and shouldn't fill up my days of vacation with a lot of activities. I need to not be busy for a change. Idle hands might be the devil's workshop, but there is something to be said for taking a vacation from being busy. There is joy in doing nothing.
My best friend J and I hanging out in Dawn's condo before heading downstairs to Greg's to watch a movie. Greg is there too but he's taking the picture as he doesn't like to have his picture taken and refuses to allow his photo to be posted on the web.
Things have picked up a bit with the arrival of J and his wife Evelyn. He's staying with his sister here in Orlando, but Greg and I have seen him several times since he's gotten here. Yesterday morning (late morning of course), Greg and I went and picked up J and we cruised around for an hour or two, talking and listening to music just like we used to do back when we were in high school. It was the first time the three of us hung out like that in 13 years and it was good. I wish I'd thought to bring my camera. Greg took us out to see the high school where he works and then we had lunch at pizza place around the corner from the condo where he and Dawn live. After lunch we went back to Greg's place and watched a movie. Good times. Exciting? No. But good.
The guestroom in Dawn's condo where Babs and I are staying.
Not much point in taking pictures of Dawn's fantastic condo. I posted plenty of photos last summer and there's no reason to repeat that. (Just click on June 2006) if you want the full tour. But I never did include pictures of the room we stayed in, a very luxurious, 5-star hotel type room, so here they are.
The guest room viewed from the bed. I love the antique wardrobe and the picture over it which you can almost imagine is an actual window.
Today we had some excitement. There was some sort of emergency--maybe it was a small fire, I don't know--but they evacuated the building. Of course the elevators were out of order so we had to walk down (and up, when the "emergency" passed. Even when it was safe to go back upstairs, the elevators remained out of service for awhile.). 18 floors suddenly seemed a lot longer. Here's Dawn and Babs coming out of the stairwell after an exhausting climb up from the ground floor. Dawn's hamming it up as usual!
Tonight Greg hosted J & Evelyn, my mom, my brother Vince, Dawn and her boyfriend Jim, and Barbara and me for a delicious supper of baked ziti, garlic bread, salad, cokes in the classic glass bottles, and homemade ice cream for dessert. Greg has always been an impeccable host and an excellent cook. Below, a few more pictures from tonight's meal:
Mom and Me.
My brother Vince & Me
Hanging out at Dawn's with the family after dinner at Gregs. That's Dawn on the phone, Jim's hand reaching out in the lower left hand corner, Mom lying next to Dawn, Babs and Bambu (Dawn's cute daschund), and lying on the airbed in the upper right corner, my brother Vince (He's spending the weekend). As you can see we're not doing much.
There is one really important thing I'm doing here in Florida, and in a way it's vital that I not be too busy doing other things lest they interfere with this. I'm spending time with my family. My mother, brother and sister who I will only see for these three weeks out of the entire year. Just being together is perhaps the most valuable way I can spend the precious time I have here in Florida.
My family. From left to Right: Vince, Me, Dawn, & Mom. I love you and I'm so happy to be here with you!
I haven't updated the Maycock Media Mix blog since LAST summer. But there's finally a new post. Click on the Maycock Media Mix Link to read my reviews of the first two books of the summer, Nickel & Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman.