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Month: August 2003

things make a bit more sense now

While talking to Jenni, she asked if I ever searched google for myself.

Of course, yes, I have, just like most people. But I realized I had searched for ‘jim reardon’, ‘jimmy reardon’, and even ‘eviljim’… but never ‘james reardon’.

As per the FIRST result, I give men boobies.


One thing I forgot to put in my astoundingly long blog entry below.

When I went camping in Zion, and late at night we snuck off to the beach. It was dark. We were miles away from any real major light, but you still couldn’t see anything much in the sky. Then I noticed what looked like the sun rising… in the south. It was probably 2 or 3 in the morning, way too early for the sun to rise, and in the completely wrong spot. Then it hit me, it was the lights of Chicago. A now-permanent sunrise at night, always brightly glowing. Even 50 miles out you still see the affect in the sky.

In math class when they introduced the concept of infinity, they tell you to look up at the sky. Look at all those stars, and the endless blackness beyond.

That, they tell you, is infinity.

Yeah, it works. You look up and see an endless sky, the pitch black of an endless universe. You see a handful of stars, far away, so far they seem infinitely far away.

When you get out at night in the middle of Yellowstone, you’re the only light for miles.

Not just miles.

You’re surrounded on 30 or so miles every way by trees, mountains, and bison.

You’re so surrounded, so far away from any other light, you can shut off your headlights and see absolutely nothing.

Then look up into the sky.

Then you will see infinity. You can’t see it from a city, you can’t see it in a field, you can’t even see it a few miles out.

When you look up you don’t focus on the black, the true infinity. You just see so many stars, 100 or a 1000 or a million times more than you can see at home. No, they’re not endless, but they’re not countable. They fade away, you see some you didn’t see before, you see some that aren’t even there anymore. You can fixate on one small, dim star and there’s so many you can be sure you’re the only person looking at it.

I never understood why people were amazed by the stars, why ancient people looked up and were so amazed they created folklore about them. I could only think this way because I’d never even seen the sky before — it’s been stolen away by the cities — when I saw what those people saw before the lightbulb, it was so obvious why.

have a nice trip? see you next fall!

Let’s try to sumarize my past week or so.

First was Cedar Point. Through a gift of providence I did not have to drive there. Although a negative to this was it seemed nobody had an overly enjoyable drive (I make cars fun) and Shane forced me to listen to bad music.

Cedar Point itself was uneventful. We stayed on-site so we could (1) split up [bad idea] and (2) go into park early [never quite worked out for us].

I’ll start out explaining #1. More time was spent deciding who was going where and waiting to rendeverous than was saved by splitting up to do things seperately. In my opinion, at least. It was just a hassle getting groups setup and such. Perhaps it was benificial to others.

#2 was pointless. We stupidly kept getting in line for the Top Thrill Dragster, their newest ride, but it would always be broken down. So we’d lose our ‘head start’ and get in line for something else with the rest of the plebians who didn’t have to pay extra for their hotel to get in early.

It seemed like this year I got a lot less riding done in total. A lot more walking somewhere, someone saying something, going somewhere else, then someone getting pissed off. Oh, then some more walking. Can’t forget the aimless walking.

I’m glad that I’d been there before, the randomness didn’t bother me too much, and I also got to spend some time at the water park working on my tan.

Here’s a picture that summarizes the vacation. Or at least that startled me because I have no idea what Lauren is doing.

On the way back from el point de cedar we passed by this car with two girls who had a sign soliciting honks from cars.

Well, for some reason they decided we looked like hunks so they made a sign with their phone number. I’m not sure who decided to call, but I think it was me that they convinced it was a good idea to pull off with them at a rest area. I think the only simple reason I had to was they explained they were on a road trip to Seattle, at the end of which they were flying back home. Added to the oddness was I was doing the exact opposite of this curious traveling scheme later that day and I was piqued. Here’s a picture of those wonderfully random people and our carload of circus freaks.

Moving on.

The road trip has far more interesting stories associated with it.

First, my brother’s wonderful security incident outlined below. Then being paged. Then the mean plane lady.

But beyond that, Jim took roughly 16 hours after we got there to pack. We got on the road late because of this, my brother locking his keys inside the apartment (nooo, he couldn’t lock them in the car like a normal person), and stoping at Best Buy, the only stop partly my fault. All told we left about 12 hours late.

This meant driving and driving and driving on through the night. We only got one night of normal sleep, the rest was a bit of a blur.

But some entertaining stuff did happen on the way back; first and foremost was our run-in with a gay hotel selling shirts that proudly proclaimed “I Survived Camp Diva.” Diva shirts – $10. Seriously, though, I thought gays had higher standards for hotels, and also were neat. I was obviously very wrong.

Even the drive INTO yellowstone was amazing. Just outside we took some pictures by a stream on the side of the road.

You just know a place is amazing if even the side of a road is beautiful. Probably, I should add, better looking than anything I’ve ever seen in the midwest. Yeah, and that was just the roadside.

So then we’re driving down the road and HOLY CRAP WHAT ARE THOSE HORSES DOING? I attempted to portray some of the surprise we had as random, free, wild horses decided they deserved use of the highway system as well. Yep, a traffic jam caused by horses.

Inside Yellowstone we stopped first at these geo-thermal water spots.

This is approximately the time that I wondered why anyone would ever live anywhere else. Not only is the nature there pretty, but it’s amazing as well. The geo-thermals are just strange. Bewildering. Astounding. Water boils and bubbles up on its own free will, giving off some amazing sound effects while doing so. A choice picture.

Then it got dark. We hit Old Faithful, but it was kind of dark and hard to see. It still was rather neat. My brother decided to order ice cream from a nearby polish guy.

25 minutes later he had the ice cream, had annoyed a girl behind him roughly to the point of homicide, and I received a complement on our stylish yellow ponchos. Oh, yeah, and reinforcements needed to be called for his ice cream — it took two polish guys to make the cone.

There’s a joke in there somewhere, probably.

I think the last thing the guy said to us was to my brother — you are a funny man!

Driving through Yellowstone at night was possibly the most dangerous and frightening thing I’ve ever done.

First of all, you’ll drive right next to a 300 foot dropoff (straight down or, sometimes, into water). It’s pitch black, blacker than most people ever get to see, there’s no shoulder, and no guard rail. You move a bit too far over and you’re dead, no question.

Second, the animals there think the road is theirs. We’re driving along and we notice something in the other lane passing us.

It was a bison.

After that we hit Rushmore, nothing much to say there… the movie was better, I guess.

I survived camp diva.

the only bad thing about traveling is everything

Pepsi or coke? Most places these days carry soft-drinks exclusively from one provider – a Coke store, a Pepsi restaurant, whatever.

I realized there was one place that transcends these boundaries – an airplane. Planes typically stock both Coke and Pepsi and perhaps a few fringe beverages and fruit drinks.

I was thinking about this as the yucky snack cart came by (Cheddar Snack Mix – a personal favorite, and a favorite of the other thousands of lactose intolerant people out there). When the lady pulled up she informed me the plane only stocked Coca-Cola products.

What a scam.

They also seem to be hesitant to give you more than what amounts to a shot glass full of soda. This does not appease my thirst. I won’t be surprised if next flight they just come around with a towel dipped in Coke and dab it on my tongue. Then I can be thirsty and concerned about infection.

The woman kitty-corner (or katty-corner, if you’re a moron) has complained already about no less than 8 things. This does not include the fact that she simply refuses to listen to simple instructions, such as not climbing on her seat looking backwards without her seatbelt on during take-off. A man that looks like Maurie Povich is talking to her quite interestedly, despite her having no readily apparent positive characteristics.

Before this flight I actually thought it’d be stupid to bring Pepsi with me, as the plane would certainly have it.

Pre-flight was even an adventure – I saw my brother (who is flying with me) leaving the security area before I even got my shoes back. I hollered at him to wait, as I needed my shoes, and I noticed he wasn’t so much leaving as being taken. “I don’t have a choice” was all he said.

Then when he got back, we stopped to eat as we had plenty of time. Or so we thought, and were apparently wrong because shortly after sitting down we were paged to our flight.

Once we got on the flight the flight attendant announced almost immediately that everyone was finally on the plane and they could start take-off procedures.

We then received the crook-eye from about 100 people on the plane as we walked down the aisle to our seats.

Uploading some pictures now, I’ll do a little bit of the ‘hey there this is what happened during my week of fun’ in like 10 hours when they’re uploaded.

in training

Friday is my last day at work.

Thursday I’m being treated to lunch at fago. All you can eat steakhouse.

Life is good. Or at least delicious.

Camping was quite fun, despite initial misgivings. I got a bit burninated, but not too bad considering. It was nice to be on vacation. Or holiday. Or whatever.

Back to work. It’s been two busy weeks, and the future weeks promise to be activity-filled as well.