Sunday, January 25, 2009

My life is one filled with danger.

Starting a couple of months ago, I realized I was taking my life in my hands every morning when I left my home. There's lots of reasons for this, I'm sure. The world is a perilous place. Healthier, stronger men than me probably die every day. Sickness and famine abound. Wars and terrorist attacks are not unheard of. Crimes of all natures occur. Crocodiles have been known to attack people. But these aren't what worry me when I set foot outside the door (well...with the possible exception of the crocodiles...have you seen a crocodile attack on TV? It quickly rose to the animal I'm the most afraid of, even passing great white sharks, which were high up there after shark week on the discovery channel.) What worries me, as I set foot outside, are giant icicles. Seriously.

This is a picture, taken today, of the door I walk out every day to face the world.

Out side my apartment were some of the largest, deadliest looking icicles known to man. I was literally risking my life every time I moved about a foot outside of the entryway into my apartment. I say was in the past tense, because apparently it got to be serious enough, that the apartment people must have come by and knocked them off. All entrances in the complex suddenly had no icicles one day. So unless they all fell at once, they must have been removed on purpose. And had they all fallen at once just by chance, I'm sure I would have heard about the 10 or so deaths that it would have caused.

Sadly I have no pictures of the door before the icicles were knocked down. This is an artist's (using the word loosely) rendition of what it had looked like.

At first I was glad that my life was safer and I no longer feared death when walking through the doors. But at the same time, I felt an emptiness without the icicles there. That sense of adventure every morning and evening as I wondered "Will this be the day an icicle falls on me and ends my life?" Also, my roommates and I would use the icicles as a show of bravery. Whoever could stand under them the longest was the more courageous. It's intense to know that any second you could die, and you only had to take a step forward or backwards to be safe, but to do so would show cowardice and intelligence, two things we try our best to avoid. It worked out well for deciding who's turn it was to wash the dishes. Whoever moved first had to go up and clean them. Well...maybe we never played these games, but I'm sure we would have started if they hadn't knocked them down. So farewell icicles, now that your gone, I can walk out the door and worry about my lesser fears of war, crime, and crocodiles.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Warning: Thief at large

So, I realized I must have been robbed within the last two weeks. What was robbed? Not valuables like diamond necklaces, expensive watches, priceless ancient urns. Not family members (that would be classified as kidnapping, I think it's different than stealing). Not even something less valuable like my wallet (which I keep traditionally empty...a tradition I've had for as long as I can remember...maybe someday it will change). No, what was stolen is hard to put a price to. It's like trying to attach value to a sunrise, or shaking the president's hand, or beating your arch-rival in some sort of daring feat of strength. Someone, or something, has been stealing time from me.

This is from a birthday party I went to a week ago. Could the thief be one of my "friends" Hmmm.....everyone's a suspect.

Now the thief, as most are, is very sneaky about it. It's not like I'm watching the clock, and suddenly it jumps forward 5 hours. But I've noticed my time just doesn't seem to always be there when I want it. And, despite what some may think, it is definitely not because I am wasting and squandering it all. No, it is definitely being stolen. Take last week for example. Sunday is typically my blogging day. And yet, before I realized it, Sunday was gone and blogging time hadn't come. The thief stole blogging time! The only thing worse than that is to steal meal time...and that is serious enough of a crime, even the most morally corrupt, lawless, evil, hateful thief will not go as far as to steal it.

I'm pretty confident in my thief catching skills. I mean, I just watched Batman, The Movie yesterday. You've got to learn from the best, and let's be serious, 1966 Batman and Robin were obviously the best thief catchers out there...whether the villains were stealing time, or dehydrating world leaders, Batman and Robin caught them in the end.

That's not all, every day it seems the thief has been slowly sapping away my time. Days have flown by, I think with only 18 hours in them. I'm pretty sure I only had 5.3 days in the week last week. I worry the thief will only get more ambitious the longer this goes on. Someday soon I may wake up to realize I've lost years of time. Any information that leads to the capture of this thief, may possibly kinda almost be rewarded. So let me know if you've heard of any suspicious characters lurking around.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Traveling for the holidays

It seems like I've been hearing about exciting travel stories from a bunch of different people. Well, exciting could mean frustrating here, as most the stories are about delayed/missed/canceled flights, but that could be thought of as exciting. I didn't actually have an exciting holiday traveling story, but if I did, here's how it probably would have happened.

The day started like any other. The sun rose, the wind blew. In the distance, the wild turkeys could be heard making turkey sounds. Nothing could have prepared me for the grueling journey on which I was about to embark.

Thursday Jan. 1st, 2009. 4 a.m., China Spring, Texas.

Woke up, loaded bags into vehicle for transportation to the Dallas Airport. Loaded self into vehicle for same purpose. Removed self from vehicle in order to go find someone to drive me so I wasn't awkwardly sitting alone in the passenger seat of the car. Went to Dallas airport, checked into flight, waited at gate C 24.

Thursday Jan. 1st, 2009. 8 a.m., Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

Listened to announcement declaring my plane unfit for travel. Transferred to a different plane at gate E 38. Got on plane two hours later than original departure time. Promptly fell asleep.

Thursday Jan. 1st, 2009. 3 p.m., Cairo, Egypt.

Woke up from unusually sound sleep. Plane was unloading. Got off. Looked around. Became confused. Looked around again. Confusion increased 8 fold. Talked with flight attendant. Became apparent that I transferred to the wrong flight. Instead of a layover in Philadelphia, I was in Egypt. Confusion was replaced by fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety were replaced by hunger and sleepiness. Was informed I needed to purchase a ticket back to the U.S. They did not accept Visa. Realized I could not but a ticket. Decided to walk back. Struck out across the desert.

At first I was intimidated by the vastness of the desert. Then I realized, it wasn't the vastness that killed people traveling across. It was was the vastness, the heat, the lack of water, the venomous wildlife, and the marauders that killed travelers. No long intimidated by just the vastness, I struck out for home.

Thursday Jan. 1st, 2009. 7 p.m., Egypt and surrounding countries.

Discovered a lost pyramid during my travels. Excavated it from the hot, burning sand with my bare hands. Found interesting artifacts. Carried them out. Donated them to a museum on my way back to Detroit. Bought lotion for my hands to help soothe the burning pain from the sand digging. Very quickly ran through the countries of Libya, Algeria and Morocco.

Thursday Jan. 1st, 2009. 9 p.m., Atlantic Ocean

Constructed makeshift raft from drift wood, fishing line, and an old sock. Rode quickly across ocean, carried by the winds of a hurricane. Made good time. Nearly eaten by shark north of Haiti. Ate shark instead. Rode winds north to the shores of Connecticut.

Thursday Jan 1st, 2009. 10:00 p.m., Eastern United States.

Sold raft for 50 dollars. Used money to take a taxi as far as the eastern shore of Lake Eerie. Started to swim. Halfway across the lake, wished I had kept the raft. Finished swimming just south of Detroit.

Thursday Jan 1st, 2009. 10:30 p.m., Detroit

Walked the rest of the way to Detroit. Got there 20 minutes later than I had originally planned. Picked up my suitcase from the baggage claim. Found my ride was still waiting for me. Got in car, rode back to Ann Arbor. Trip completed.

Here's the map showing my trip. As I was drawing the dotted lines, I hummed the Indiana Jones music. You should also hum it while you look at the map, if you didn't, you should start humming it now, and look at the map again.

And that's my story of how I went from my parent's house near Waco, TX, back to Ann Arbor, MI where I am currently sitting and writing this blog post.