Wondering If I’ve Decompressed Sufficiently

It’s 5 a.m., and when the little hand is on 8 and the big hand is on 12, I will be back to work.  I still don’t feel like I’ve had sufficient time to change gears mentally from the trip to New Jersey and go back into civil service mode.  Especially not helpful is the fact that I collapsed from sheer exhaustion before sunset, and remained asleep until nearly 4 a.m.  (My shuteye was minimal at the LRY Reunion, but I knew from the get-go that would happen.)

Here’s the group picture, taken after the Sunday brunch, before the lack of sleep caught up with everybody.

Monday was one of my cost-saving days, as was Friday.  (I chose those days specifically for the safari that just ended.)  I fully expected to be spending Sunday night on the bus coming home, but thanks to Julie and Marc, Susie and I were home just after 11 p.m.  I would have arrived back in Columbus around 11:30 Monday morning otherwise.

You’d think that the minute I saw the bed, it would be like someone taking the switch that powered my body and throwing it immediately to off, but that was not the case.  I was still wound up from the trip–the joy of reuniting with old friends, meeting some new people, etc.  So, I loaded the 90+ pictures that I took with my Kodak EasyShare C180 (a good digital camera, a rather simple Ph.D.–Push Here, Dummy–camera) to my computer, culled through them for the ones that would go on Facebook, and then scanned the handwritten entries from the weekend into Blogspot.

Jacques, his mom, and I went down to Mineral to deliver clothes and food to Feed My Sheep.  I ran on sheer adrenaline for most of the time I was stocking food boxes and helping to get them out to the front parking lot. I hadn’t eaten anything but two chicken-salad sandwiches I bought at 7-Eleven on the way down.

The trip from Columbus to Mineral is 75 miles each way, and that’s a milk run compared to the trip I just completed, but I found myself dozing off quite a few times on the way back.  I managed to stay awake until dinner, but I lasted less than an hour after the meal ended.  I need to realize that I’m not the type of person who can nap.  When I do nap (such as the siestas I take in the quiet-reading desks at the BWC Library at work), I never feel all that refreshed when I wake up.

My news is good footwise.  I wore the boot on the trip home, mainly because it would have been such a pain to pack it otherwise.  I haven’t had a Darvocet since the noon meal Saturday.  (We went on a hike around the camp property that afternoon, and with lunch I took a double dose, so I could stay ahead of the pain.)  I took the hike wearing a regular shoe, and I can’t really say I’ve felt much foot pain since.

Here is the camp map.  I think we covered about two miles in all.  I remember that three of us (Joan, John, and myself) were standing on Vesper Island and looking out at Lake Shawanni, and we saw Susie in the middle seat of a canoe with two other kids.  They were having a blast, but seemed to have a hard time synchronizing their paddling motion.  (I’m glad now that I haven’t shown A Place in the Sun to her.)

Where I spent my weekend.

The sun will soon be up, and I will probably be moving on sheer automation the first hour or so that I am back at work.  Something truly unusual: It looks like I’ll make it to the bus stop without having to make my customary Dagwood Bumstead sprint to catch it.
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Been Too Tired For Self-Promotion

Very busy on Saturday, from mid-morning until about 3 a.m. Sunday morning, and all I’ve wanted to do in the meantime is sleep.  How tired was I?  On Friday, I learned that one of my favorite Websites, Notebook Stories, named me “Notebook Addict of the Month,” and included a link to this blog.  I have been a devoteé of this site ever since I discovered it, and I was honored to receive this award.  No one who knows me was surprised by this at all.  One of the miracles of the World Wide Web is learning that other people share your more bizarre and offbeat interests, whether it’s collecting Cracker Jack prizes, or decorating your kitchen in old Mrs. Butterworth bottles, or writing in (and hoarding) notebooks.

I jumped at the chance to go back to Athens Saturday with Steve.  He’s writing an article for The Columbus Examiner about Ohio Unitarian Universalists’ reactions to the recent death of Art Gish, so I recommended he speak to Bob Whealey, professor emeritus of history at O.U., and my longtime friend and mentor.  (I knew him for three or four years before I ever took a class from him.)  Steve and I met Bob at Perks, a coffee shop diagonally across from College Gate, early Saturday evening.  (It had been a jewelry store, and later a Kinko’s, during my years in Athens.)  The conversation was quite free-flowing, and we spoke about much more than Art Gish and his legacy.  I think it could have gone on for hours, except that Steve was worried his parking meter at Scott Quad would expire, and, since his wife had gone to Kentucky for the weekend, that if he didn’t get home soon, their dogs would be going berserk.
Speaking of berserk, that describes the rest of Saturday night for me.  I stopped in at Dude Locker Fest II, a marathon metal concert at the Tompkins Warehouse on E. Hudson St.  Several metal bands played, and there was an impromptu skate park set up on the asphalt in front of the building.  I’ve never learned to ride a skateboard, and I was awed by some of the feats these guys performed.  One wooden ramp stood next to a small bonfire (fueled mostly by trash and old pizza boxes), and I winced every time I thought someone would get to the top of the ramp, spill, and land in the fire.  They spilled, but thankfully each one managed to fall away from the flames.
On the other side of the parking lot, someone rigged up a ramp which included an old dryer, which made the drop-off that much higher and steeper.  Several people wiped out attempting it, but just as many landed with all skateboard wheels on the asphalt, and the rider balanced perfectly atop it.  It amazed me how much the excessive alcohol could dampen inhibitions, and make the body more relaxed and able to absorb falls and blows, but at the same time they did not sacrifice the coordination and dexterity necessary to perform skateboard stunts and not end up crippled as a result.
Since I got home from Dude Locker Fest II, all I’ve wanted to do was sleep.  I skipped church, but I did make it to work this morning and the library afterwards.
Mostly, I’m counting down the days until Friday.  The Garden of LRY (a reunion for those of us who were in Liberal Religious Youth from the ’60s through the ’90s) takes place at a 4-H camp near Newton, N.J. this weekend, and yours truly will be going.  Susie will be coming along too–she can make new friends among the teenagers there.  The teenagers can sit back and watch their parents act like teenagers.  I am moved by the generosity of Marc and Julie, a couple at church, who have offered to drive Susie and me to and from.  (Julie is driving me to New Jersey, since Marc will be in Seattle and will be flying to Newark on Friday.  All four of us will head back to Columbus Sunday.)  I had planned on going Greyhound both ways, but when I mentioned this to Marc during coffee hour at church the Sunday before last, that was when he suggested we come with them.  Since not buying bus tickets freed up some money, that was when I began to think Susie would enjoy coming.  It’ll add a new state (New Jersey) to her list.
Julie, Susie, and I are departing around 9 a.m. Friday morning.  According to Google Maps, it’s a 9½-hour journey, but I’m sure it’ll be longer when we add stops for bathroom breaks, refilling, eating, etc.  Travelling with someone else will make it a less grueling trip.  I was upfront about not being able to drive.  That started off as a choice, long before narcolepsy made it a matter of necessity.
The camp itself (the G. Lindley Cook 4-H Camp) is way out in the boondocks and beyond the reach of Wi-Fi.  True to my calling as Notebook Addict of the Month (normally the Webmaster chooses Notebook Addict of the Week), I’ll be blogging with paper and ink.  Once I’m back in Columbus, I’ll backdate entries and scan the pages into the blog, so you’ll read my thoughts and impressions upon my return.
Here is the entry with my “award.”  I am no photographer, but they did publish my pictures of the work notebooks and rough drafts of William Vollmann’s gigantic novel Europe Central, which was on display at the OSU Library last month.
A very small tip of the iceberg that would become Europe
Central.