10:38 AM - Fri 7.04.14
(I tried to do an entry a day or two ago, and had trouble "sorting things out", so hopefully, "Second time's the charm"...)
Taking off a day on each end for travel, I'm midway through my Lansing vacation, staying at Mark and Jane's, in the lush tropical rainforest that is their backyard (Seriously - I'm in the middle of more greenery than I've seen...well, since the last time I was here).
I had to laugh when Mark picked me up at
I was stressed about having to get up in the middle of the night to fly out of LAX at 6:25 a.m., but told myself the flight wouldn't be so bad, even if I was dog-tired - "You'll watch some tv, maybe a movie, maybe they'll have Internet, you'll drink a diet coke or two, have some peanuts or pretzels, and you'll be in Detroit before you know it".
But there was no tv. No movies. No Internet. No drinks. No peanuts.
(I joked, once I got here, that we actually had to get out and push the plane down the runway before takeoff.)
And one of the first things Mark said to me when he picked me up was "Oh, I saw a thing on CBS This Morning about Spirit Airlines - They charge you for everything" (I was downright stricken when I got to LAX and had to pay a $45 "baggage fee" for my larger bag, whether I was checking it or not. And if you want a water or a soda or what-have-you during your flight, you're gonna pay for it).
But however bare-bones the flight (And I'd brought my Kindle and an MP3 player and some snacks, so it wasn't that bad), I got here, the wheels didn't come off the plane or anything, and the actual "being here" part of things has been pretty great.
I was just thinking that coming back for only a week was seeming like a pragmatic thing (It's all the "vacation time" I have, I don't want to be out of LA too long, etc), but it's actually a pretty perfect amount of time to be home; I come in, it's exciting and fun (For me, and the people who give a shit that I'm here), I have a pretty full week of socializing, then I'm gone before things get...awkward (In a theoretical second week of "Jim's Vacation", I'm guessing the social schedule would slow to a stop, and Mark and Jane would start thinking to themselves "Okay, what are we going to do with him now...?").
Speaking of Mark and Jane, they were both cast in Young Frankenstein at Riverwalk (As "Frau Blucher" - sp? - and the "Blind Hermit"), so they've actually been in rehearsal this week.
Like my coming the week of the 4th (When many people might be doing family things/going out of town, and be unavailable), I initially saw this as "bad timing" (Nice for them, that they got in the show, but inconvenient for me), but it's really been fine - When they've had rehearsal, I've done things with other people, or taken advantage of the "down time" to do things like this.
And that's really been the dynamic of my visits back - I've stayed with Mark and Jane, done a bunch of social things with anyone interested in hanging out with me, then "come back home" to them.
My favorite time with the two of them so far was Wednesday night, I think, when we had a long conversation I can't share with you at all, but that was so lovely and meaningful (And at times, so hilarious) that it made me realize how long it's been since I've felt completely "myself" with anyone, and how hungry I am for honest-to-god conversation.
And again, "speaking of Mark and Jane"...they're back from an outing, so I'm going to get off Jane's computer, clean myself up, and in an hour or so, the three of us are going to meet up with Tom H. and Mary K. at the Airport Tavern for lunch.
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