Wednesday, November 23, 2005

... almost

well, one more sleep and then i'm back off home. new york city has been a whirlwind visit... or maybe i should say hurricane, after the rain and extreme winds up on top of the empire state building today. the rain let up this afternoon, and julie and i did some rather more serious shopping. we looked around macy's, checked out a rather nifty french language librarie, and had dinner at a particularly nice risotto restaurant. after the risotto dinner, we meandered around to the cupcake place... ummm... magnolia bakery(?) and got some cupcakes. i'm sure we'll eat them in the morning on the way to the met.

after the met, i'm off to catch the air train to jfk. julie wants to pack me onto it at jamaica center, which sounds like a fair enough plan... it'll be touch and go if i can find where i'm going to when i get to jfk anyway, but if she has any doubts about me finding the right terminal, i suppose she'll feel it incumbent upon her to make sure i get there ok. which of course means i feel it incumbent upon me to make sure she doesn't have to.

it's snowing in ithaca (bugger!!!) and julie is hoping to get back there not too late, so i'm equally keen to make sure she gets on a reasonable bus home. neither of us is travelling particularly light (i have souvenirs and julie has... stuff), but all in all i've had a good time here in new york city.

i'll blog again later about my overall impressions... i think it'll make for a fairly lengthy post and one i'm not about to waste my meagre internet cafe time on now. i'm due to arrive in sydney between 8 and 8:30am on friday morning (25 november) for anyone who's interested. if you're desperately keen to meet me at the airport (after all, i travel overseas ALL the time), you can email me at adam_lavery at operamail dot com.

Monday, November 21, 2005

... already?!

well, today's my last day in delightful ithaca, ny. it really is gorges here... lots of them. i walked down one yesterday called cascadilla gorge, and i think if i'd gone down it on my first day here i might have wasted all my time thinking up ways of staying here longer... instead of wasting my time... the way i have... ummm... yeah... anyway...

point being is that i've had a great time here. julie's been an awesome hostess, by which i mean to say that she's been as welcoming as i could possibly have hoped, introduced me to her friends and coworkers, which has been great, and all of whom strike me as being the good value kind of people i feel comfortable having around a friend. i've tried to be as low-impact as possible, and hopefully i've been a not entirely unpleasant guest to have stay.

ithaca by turns reminds me of kiama, and canberra, and wollongong. it's not as cold as i was hoping (not that i'm going to be looking for a refund on my gloves!) but it's been much cooler here than sydney... i'm SO not looking forward to the humidity of sydney after the delightful dry atmosphere here. julie's been complaining about frizzing hair, but i've not felt so healthy for some time. the temperature, the humidity, the distinctly relaxed atmosphere... melbourne is looking more attractive for me all the time.

tomorrow is new york city, then wednesday i'm off home. up until thursday just gone it felt like time was taking ages to pass, but in the last few days it's been hard to believe that time has gone by so quickly! relativity's a pain in the butt.

i've been writing, though, and i'm looking forward to going to mars hill when i get back. hopefully i'll have enough energy to enjoy it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

... well, here we are

actually, if you read kim stanley robinson's novel red mars you'll see that those are the first words spoken by man on mars. in a way, ifeel a little like that's what's happened to me in the last couple of days... it's a bit like being on mars: you can look at it, think you're prepared, and when you get there it's not quite what you expected.

my flight was due to leave sydney at 4.25... it didn't actually leave until about 6pm. that meant that i missed my connecting flight in LA for NY. customs didn't take long to process us, and they didn't take the timtams i brought (very nice of them, as they were very well received) but baggage claim for rebooking took ages, and rebooking itself likewise took rather a while.

as i was standing in the queue, i took a moment to observe the departures board and decided instead of taking the next flight, arriving in NY at midnight, then hinewyork about 12.30am, then getting to port authority for 8am, i decided that a late flight would be better. i rebooked for the 10.10pm from LA, cancelled my booking at hinewyork, then bummed around LAX for 7 hours. i formed a few lasting impressions about the US, and about myself in the process, which i may decided to share later.

after a near miss at LAX, when i found out with 5 minutes to board that i was at the wrong gate, i boarded without further incident and headed east. what an awesome time to travel. i must have dozed from time to time - i didn't sleep as far as i know at any part of the journey, but i definitely dozed - but i did get to see the lights of many US cities. gorgeous. what during the day would have been generally drab green or blue/grey cityscape at night became dazzling gold stars on a rolling sea of black velvet. NY was great to see like this. by the time i got to the bus to port authority, the dawn was just peeking through road pylons and buildings, gibbous and orange.

the bus driver to port authority was cool, which might have been a good karmic opinion to form when, upon buying my bus ticket to ithaca, i realised that i didn't have my luggage! i ran out of PA onto 8th avenue, turned the corner onto 42nd, praying he'd be there still...

and he was!

arrived at ithaca about 1pm. i realised that from the time i was supposed to depart, to the time julie picked me up, i had been in transit for almost 37 hours.

but i can't express how glad i am to be here...

Friday, November 11, 2005

... straws

i just heard from my boss that a man in melbourne was arrested for firing oranges at houses from a p.v.c. pipe gun. apparently, frozen oranges, fired using sufficient accelerant or other explosive charge from the tube, could actually go through a car door! a wag has been heard to comment, "so would that constitute a navel attack?"

two sleeps to go until i fly off the city so nice they named it twice. i'm rather looking forward to getting away from this crappy sydney weather - i can do without the humidity that makes an ordinary temperature extraordinarily annoying. my level of keenness to be enjoying the closing weeks of a new york autumn is matched only by my dread at the thought of coming back to this foul, steamy, can't get away from it without air conditioning weather that we've developed here in sydney. as i write this, i am aware of a southerly change that has arrived, bringing with it some rain, possibly a storm, but pessimist that i am i can't help but think this is more fuel for the mugginess.

currently reading lectures by wittgenstein on the foundations of mathematics (oxford, 1939)... interesting, especially given the interplay by people like alan turing during the lectures...

Friday, November 04, 2005

... eight sleeps to go...

i'm just a little bit excited because i only have a week to go until i leave to go to new york. it's only just kind of settling into my brain that that's actually what's happening... it's been a plan for so long, i don't think i'll really believe i'm going until after i've come back and had the pictures developed!

judging by the amount of sleep i've had this week, i'm not really expecting to get much more next week, which (hopefully) means i'll be snoozing all the way to america... which would be nice.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

... time marches on

not in a "for whom the bell tolls" (metallica) kind of way, maybe. circumstances have reached a kind of ... intersection in my life where i've been thinking a bit about what kind of life i've lived and where i've been and, to a certain extent, where i'm going.

in the short term, i'm going to america! (only 11 sleeps to go!) this has actually been one of the things i've been thinking about.

the last time i went overseas, i went to china with a group from my old school. that was in january,1993. thinking about it, i have memories that feel like only yesterday, although some memories have devolved into those facts-and-figures style memories that aren't true ones, but rather the stories that one tells about some past event, stories you remember better than what they actually describe.

in other news, it's my birthday this month, but other people are also having their birthdays earlier than mine... (happy birthday for friday, motherly type person!!! heheh) i turn 31, which feels kind of... old. it's the stupidest feeling in the world, because i'm the youngest person at my workplace by about 4 or 5 years. what i think it is, is that when i look back on my life thus far, there's more to catalogue than i can actually remember.

ask me what i did this week just gone, and i can remember in broad strokes what i did, but my memory is beginning to fail in the details. i wasn't actually expecting to notice that kind of thing until, oh, i had kids, or some other life-changing event. i find i'm longing for the kind of memory that sax russell (one of the main protagonists of kim stanley robinson's mars sequence) worked to develop, with more room and better filing.

i don't think i've actually lost memories. i think i've just lost access to them. i often in conversation refer to my brain as a library using old-fashioned file cards to index it. while the library itself is theoretically infinite (given the laws of functioning l-space, viz terry pratchett's discworld novels), the file card box i have for indexing it is proving to be about the size of the shoebox a kindergarten kid's first school shoes come in!

curiouser and curiouser...

(i should say more curious and more curious, but even then it doesn't make much sense...)