I am a big fan of the time shift this time of year, just for the feeling that I have somehow managed to sneakily steal away both an extra hour of staying up and an extra hour of sleeping in.
Normally, that extra hour of delicious sleep on the first Monday back is also an extra-special joy. Not this year, however.
This year, I had to get up at 4 (but at least it was really 5 if you want to play the time change card in the opposite direction), to take TFN to the airport.
She’s in Bosstown for the next few days. The only funny thing about this early morning excursion to Detroit Metro was that the Dropkick Murphys’ song “Shipping Up To Boston” came on the radio just after I left her at the curb outside the departures entrance.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Murphys, they’re one of Boston’s finest bands, a blend of working class irish music and blue-collar punk. I’ve been a big fan of these guys for years, but they really got their big break being featured in last year’s best picture, “The Departed”
TFN is gone until Wednesday, and bachelor time is usually pretty laid back around here, focusing heavily on loud records, microwave meals and tackling a few household projects. This one is somewhat the exception.
First off, we have come to the sudden realization that this past weekend was our last at home until December. Next weekend, we’re staging a two-wheeled attack on Zillaland, as the masses descend for yet another physical torture/drunken debacle of the type known as the Iceman Cometh Mountain Bike Race. So tonight, one of my projects will be to ensure that every bit of cold-weather gear for a wide range of possible weather conditions has been assembled.
On top of that, this trip marks thhe first time that Shane has gone to stay at the dog hotel. He’s an old-timer, and my kid, so I wouldn’t dare “kennel” him. This place is a full-blown dog hotel, where he’ll have a bed in his little room, with music piped in, and the hotel features a range of play areas, divided by dogs’ interests and activity levels. I signed Shane up for the “I like other dogs provided they are mellow like me. Playtime = laying down together on one giant dog bed.” He’s laid back like that.
Because of this, tonight we’re off to the vet for a Bordetella shot. This is apparently a vaccination that isn’t typically given to a dog, unless he goes and stays at a kennel, or a hotel in this case. Apparently, it’s also shot up the nose. Shane hasn’t heard about any of this.
After Iceman, it’s just a few days before we head back to Europe. Going back to Paris and Florence creates a vastly different feeling. The first time, not knowing if you’ll ever return, one is overwhelmed by this need to see everything and do it all. The second time, armed with the knowledge that we’ve seen the things we needed to see for the sake of seeing them, and equipped with the idea that some places are obtainable enough that one can seen them more than once, we want to experience the places, rather than simply see them.
I want to spend a full day on Mont Martre, not just a few hours. I want to smirk at the lines to certain museums, knowing that they needed to be seen once, but also that once is enough to, again, experience them. I want to… hell, I just want to take it at my own pace, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but not at the whirlwind pace of the traveler on the mission of sucking all the marrow out of an entire culture in four days (speaking of marrow… must find some oxtail as well… mmmmmm).
That is the extent of the leading edge of my upcoming whirlwind. I’ll leave you with a bit of trivia about Pablo Picasso (who had a little house on Mont Martre). His given name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso. How could he not have been destined for greatness?