Monday, October 29, 2007

pt. 1: ma, fl, ecuador

[please to note: i am writing this from a boat surrounded, from furthest to closest, by much ocean, a ton of sea lions and shit ton of old white people. as such, reception is slow and not picture loading-friendly. images to follow when i'm back in my own country, or at least the hilton in ecuador in the major city that rhymes with vagisil.]

[sorry, ecuador, and really to all of central and south america, for a, not speaking spanish (although i can't speak french or hebrew after 6+ years of instruction, either, and lately, my english isn't so hot [last night i had to ask my mother to define the word "espouse," as in, i espouse the theory that i am a dumbshit when it comes to language]), b, not being able to pronounce the names of your major cities (or remember their names, period, except their phonetic relationship to an over-the-counter topical ointment for lady jock itch), and c, all the irritating old white people on my trip (except my parents, who are at least funny), because they're the only people who can afford a trip like this even though they're too old, stiff, and veiny to be active enough to truly enjoy it (you wanna make a boner joke? fine, i won't stop you, but it wasn't my idea). so, sorry. also, sorry for not having enough juice to look up sorry in spanish on the internationalnets, so please cut and paste my apology into google translator for my full contrition. vamos, por favor.]

[i tried.] [also, image = sounds like]

our flight left very early from boston after game 2 of the world series, which means nobody got to sleep very early since FOX has been working for decades in a lab to find a way to make baseball games even more drawn out and boring and are showing us the fruits of their labor.really, when you think about it, all of the jewels in FOX's crown are 8% show, 92% advertising (same ratio as merchandise:attitude/empty space at supreme, or pleasant people: white-haired-unsolicited-advice-spewing-asspains on this trip). i tried to sit through an episode of american idol during its first season, but i couldn't understand why anyone would want to watch a show that's essentially the first act of any episode star search padded into an hour where only some of the contestants actually sing and then they all get together and "act" to try to get you to buy a ford focus. and no ventriloquists, or dance teams, or real hank kingsley! but the celebrity judges on both shows are equally credible.

[image: pronounced "why-a-keel," not like it's spelled, because then it really does sound like an ointment.]

anyway, we left early, and i was exhausted and cranky (see last entry), and by the time we got to miami i was so pissed off at my sister and my mother that i called teeter to complain about them while they were next to me on the trail of tears between terminals. my mother and my

and sister are an unbreakable team, always have been, always will be. if my sister were to stab me, my mother would ask me to sit still because the more i struggle, the more time my murder takes, the last time my sister has for her work out, and she needs her workout! why must i always make things so difficult!

[please note that a, i worked out with my sister today because this boat is seemingly trying to fatten you up to sea lion size, and b, my mom actually took my side the other night, and i said that if could put a plaque on a moment, this would be it, and then changed her mind and backed becca again, but i was sublime while it lasted.]

and my dad, god bless him, is allergic to confrontation, so while he'll remain cheerful and peace-keeping, i have to get on my cell to reach someone who actually has my back. and then in miami, my brother-in-law arrived, thus making everyone cheerful, and while i like aaron, i've never been so happy to see him because he is like heroin to my sister—three seconds with him and she goes from anxious patronizer to high, flaccid (yet still insanely muscular) corpse.

we got from miami to ecuador, meet up with our tour, and then got bussed on to the hotel where we got another ten minutes of sleep before waking up at 6 for our mini-flight to meet the boat to the galapagos (not that i remember where that was-- i'm sorry!). all told, we flew about 11 hours and i watched 5 episodes of the first season of weeds (eh) and rewatched 6 episodes of the first season of friday night lights that weren't on the bravothon/the most heterosexual day of programming in the network's history (damn that show's good! and how could anyone not love matt saracen? he sang to his grandma, he knows from art, and he's a fucking adonis, and oh my god this is the official moment i have turned into blanche dubois [which i guess is better than being bea arthur.]).

[image: like football or no, like the show or no, you've got admit it's a fine piece of outerwear.]

[please note: after writing this, i realized i had confused blanches and mixed up rue mclanahan with one of the great characters of american theater. but i'm keeping it, because i'm not just turning into a creepy ol'cougar, but an insane person.]

we got off the plane to a zodiac, which is basically a giant inflatable raft with a solid floor and a motor, where you sit on the sides and exit the boat with a stripe of water on your ass. plus, getting off the bus to get the boat, our guide du jour ("the weightlifter," one of many guides, and many nicknames) warned us not to pet the sea lions, let alone get closer than five feet, because tada, right there on some benches near the walkway to the boat, 4 giant sea lions, sleeping in the sun, not giving a single shit.

[image: not the landing sea lions, but still actual sea lions we hung out with, maybe their cousins, who knows, couldn't ask, don't speak spanish.]

in case you don't know, the animals on the galapagos, evolved so far away from humans as they are (and around very few predators, period), don't have the fight-or-flight instinct, which is to say, they don't run. or more aptly, they don't move. i'll get into this more later, but to go from wanting to stab my sister to a fancy hilton buffet breakfast in central america to hopping off a bus to a huddle of sea lions was, in a word, odd.

but the weightlifter (so named for his belt-buckle of a what looks like a flexing oscar statuette, and i say looks because he's still wearing it, and always wears it, even snorkeling) got us to the boat, and a nice lady got us to our tiny room in the hull, and i managed not to kill myself when i saw that, not only would i be sharing a room with my parents, i'd be sharing a bunk bed with my father (i called bottom bunk, but don't cry for him, because i can't sleep for shit lately and he could sleep sitting up in a restaurant if the mood struck). and then they told us there'd be cookies and announcements in the lounge, and then lunch, and then more food, and blue footed boobies, also. but meanwhile, cookies. two kinds. and crackers and fruit.

this isn't some monster cruise ship tho with kathy lee gifford on the ledo (?) deck though, so don't get the wrong idea. it's 60ish (mostly 60+-year-old) person tour co-run with a legit science org (tm/google fear), and all the guides are native naturalists, and every day there's a lecture about evolution or single-celled organisms or whatnot, and so many of the passengers on this boat are so fucking smug about it i want to scream but at least the tour itself is keeping it real.

so next time i'll discuss the boobies, and the 700 calorie crackers, and the other be-nicknamed characters/shipmates like old blue bonnet, the loud molester, mr. moron, mean meanie/lesbo gym eacher, and, of course, beard papa (how we hate beard papa!). for now, i love matt saracen, i am old (but not as old as the other people on this trip), and have you driven a ford lately.

[image: this boobie is mid-mating dance. or stoked about the series win. or about to poop.]

and while i am in the middle of the ocean, many miles from my birthplace, with the sea lions etc, I AM STILL IN THE RED SOX NATION. viva (spanish!) that obnoxious terms! in conclusion, woo. not sorry!

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