Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Morning Call with Rose

Before I even begin I already know the more I say the more I will be misunderstood (except to the very few, but to those there is no need for me to say anything at all). However, I must try because this is who I am and in some ways this is all I have left. The call came in perfect timing since all I need to do today is to catch a 1pm flight to Orlando. Rose and I have been both too swiped away by our personal lives lately to have extended conversations. Finally, we had some time to catch up.

The topic of the day, feral. It takes one to know one. Some people thrive in law and order. They need well defined boundaries to feel a sense of purpose, men especially, which is why they seem to benefit more from marriage. People like consistency and sense of ease.

"We" on the other hand, are a more independent breed that likes to make our own decisions at our own will. To an undiscerning eye there is no visible difference between the two as the separation lays deep within. I always liked the feel of being free. Not that I would act on it constantly but to know that I could do anything at anytime I wish to was liberating. I needed no one's permission with no distraction of guilt or worries of consequences. All I had to do was to catch the 21 bus and meet Rose for a milonga in San Telmo. Those days are long gone. I'm ok with that. At some point everyone moves on.

The real issue here is not what I do or don't do; what happened or can't happen. It's about how I feel inside and I feel trapped. Surely, I can meet friends for coffee, if I still can find one, but the spontaneity is gone. No one calls me out of the blue for coffee anymore and even if some one did I would have to discuss it with my significant other, feel guilty the whole time I'm out and keep an watchful eye to my cellphone on the time and in case he calls. Rather than fighting that, it was easier to live without friends.

To explain to an outsider what travel means to me is a lost cause. I don't just want to jet away to Jamaica alone. I want to see and experience a place to the fullest with whatever resource I have. When couples travel they see the world through a filter; everything is muffled. Traveling solo makes one more susceptible to things. Besides, I don't need to travel constantly. I'm perfectly fine sitting at home and going to work. I just want to feel that I could travel if I so choose to. Rather than fighting that feeling, it was just easier to drop the whole subject.

People put so much emphasis on sex as if everything we do is for getting laid. There were times when someone responded to the fact that I travel is because I want to get laid. I dress nice because I want attention. And the whole world wants to fuck me. The reality is that I like food much more than sex. And if Rose and I can go a whole day in Paris without food, I think I'd be ok without sex too. Rather than fight that, it was easier to not dress up and "appear" to be a sexual being. My hair is short, no more shaving, high heels and short skirts to avoid being associated with one of those girls, slut, player, striper.

Now domesticated, I experience relapse two or three days out of each month when I get completely depressed about what my life have become and how dismal the future seems. It was easier to feel sexy when I was looking at myself naked in full length mirror and high heels all the time. Now I'm frumpy by my mother's standard and have no appetite for sex. To me I need that sense of freedom and independence internally to feel happiness. However, unlike the ones who can't govern themselves, freedom to me has nothing to do with lavish vacations, late night bar hunts or random dates. I just want to FEEL like I can go sip a cup of coffee whenever, wherever and with whoever I want to, not that I actually need to do it! I'm at a lost as to what I or we could do to change this, or if it can be changed. Maybe there is no compromise between domestic and feral.

I can't say that I'm happy but for now at least I have Rose, someone who can truly understand me effortlessly. In this world, that's worth more than anything I can imagine.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day Off

No work today. I spend a little time this morning to catch upon my blog about the big Salmon. Thinking back on all the dreadful essays I had to write in school, who knew I would actually enjoy writing one day. Blogging is therapeutic. Although I don't think more than a handful of people actually read the stuff, it nevertheless makes me happy. Sometimes there are things worth writing about and other times, things seem more worthy after I write about it. Either way, it makes all my experiences seem more complete and memorable. Rarely do I actually look back and read my blogs but when I do I feel as if I can relive the moment. What's life if one can't remember all that had happened. An experience seem more richer with every remembrance. At least more nostalgic.

The day is half over, now time for errands.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Day at Letchworth

It's our annual autumn trip to Letchworth State Park. The weather was quite chilly but one can't complain about the sun and clear sky. We had been looking forward to this years Arts and Craft festival, partly to spot an opportunity to sell our whirligigs. The park was packed and the fact that most people had driven quite a ways for this festival, no one was leaving empty-handed. We picked up couple small ornaments for the doors and one for our down stair neighbor, Charlies. For most of the day I walked around with the blue blanket to stay warm.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Opening Night

After an extensive and expensive renovation, tonight is the re-opening night for Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater. Honestly I was quite skeptical when I first heard of the renovation and plan to build box seats along the sides of the theater. Tonight we rushed onto the grand balcony seconds before the concert and were shocked to find very little has changed! On the way up we noticed the new carpet on the hallway and stairs and all the seats were refurbished with same patterned fabric. The box seats blended in so well with the existing theater just above the orchestra section one can barely see it from the grand balcony. I was relived at how well the construction have preserved the integrity of the theater. Upon hearing the first beat of Beethoven's overture I was overwhelmed by just how amazing the sound was! Having listened to the orchestra from all section of the theater before, the new improvement in sound was just fantastic! The biggest difference was volume. Everything was noticeably louder. The violins really resonate in the theater and the woodwinds were crisp and clear. Be sure to checkout the new sound! I guarantee that you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moore on Capitalism

It's Wednesday free pop corn night at the Pittsford movie theater. We splurged $15 for movie for two to Michael Moore's latest and greatest work: Capitalism: A Love Story. Maybe a Love-Hate Story would have been a more appropriate title. Like most of his other works, the film plays out like a sensational dime novel with images of laid off workers and evicted homeowners to evoke strong emotional response from the viewers. Capitalism is of course a bit more complex than that. But to make my stands clear, being one of the bottom 95% of Americans I must side with the "people". While I believe it was necessary to bail out the financial industry but to give out taxpayers money with no check as to how it's expensed is quite absurd. Something evil had been growing all along and it wasn't just the corporate CEOs. After years of uninterrupted growth Americans were fooled into believing that a strong economy can be built on non-existing fundamentals and that money can indeed be made out from nothing. The big players knew when to cash in the chips leaving the unsuspecting taxpayers to clean up the mess. To say that no one saw the coming of the financial crisis is a lie. And for Allen Greenspan to claim that he did not take human greed into the equation when he made the speeches and recommendations is simply inconceivable. I read his autobiography and was happy to have learned that he was a Juilliard graduate. It's quite impressive to get a slim glimpse into his mind but he is far too brilliant and insightful to factor greed out of capitalism. Something more sinister had been lurking around all these years like cancer. Generations of people, here and abroad, have been fed into believing in the American Dream, the rags to rich story. Just as Gladswell's pointed out in Outliers, people are often the product of their circumstances. And to take that point a step farther, the richest of the rich most likely have gotten to where they are through unconventional or even immoral path. Still, they lead the rest into believing that they too can join the club only if they work hard enough. A donkey can chase after a piece of carrot all his life but he's still a donkey. Surly that's not how we want to look at things. How about Wegmans make a new blend of optimism coffee for me to get through the day. It seems to me the only thing a poor person can afford is the thought that money can make them happier. The riches have already forgone that luxury. But are they happy?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Salmon River

There's an old saying, might even have been Chinese, that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man how to fish, you feed him for life. Well, whoever said that obviously have never gotten a 15lb+ salmon. That thing can surely feed a man for a week!

On the way back we took the Seaway Trail along St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. It's no PCH but the New York equivalent and a very pleasant drive. Traveling from Clayton south west wards we passed by St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Oswego, Cayuga, Wayne and eventually entered back into Monroe County.

The Tibbetts Point Lighthouse at Cape Vincent marks where Lake Ontario meets St. Lawrence River. Built in 1827, the lighthouse quarters now serves as an international hostel, sounds like a place I would stay at. The main structure preserves the only original Fresnel lens on Lake Ontario that is still in function. A deep and somewhat eerie tone can be heard in the vicinity produced by the air-diaphone operated by a diesel engine with automatically timed blasts. After few photos we moved onto our next unplanned stop at Dexter, NY.

Driving south on Rt. 180 I spotted a welcome sign for the village of Dexter, formerly known as "Fish Island". Nothing jumped out at me until we crossed the Brown Street bridge. The water dam seemed picturesque enough for a photo stop but it was the small crowd of fishermen in the middle of the current that perked up my curiosity. Everything became clear shortly after we walked up the rocky side of Black River. Fishermen dressed in their rubber suites stood knee deep in the current with a small crowd of spectators scattered around. I could feel the excitement in the air. Within minutes we saw a guy running down down the river slowly rilling in what looked like an enormous catch. The big fish flapped along the surface of the water and eventually got away. But there's no shortage of fish here, moments later, another one was caught and this time it wasn't so lucky to get away. The locals told us that the big fish here is King Salmon and tis the season for them to swim up stream to spawn. The young man gave the fish away and only wanted a photo opt. We stood around for another 15 minutes or so and called for his second catch! We were still in disbelief as Rob carried the huge salmon to the car. With no proper container or even a plastic bag, we had to stuff the fish in an fabric T.J. Maxx bag. To avoid driving back smelling like fish, we are now on a mission to find large garbage bags and ice!

Alas, a gas station was not easy to find on the country road! 50 miles later we started to run out of gas on Rt. 3. Unwilling to risk any farther, I decided to take a detour to Sandy Creek towards Highway 81. There should always be a gas station or two around major highway exits. Luckily we were not disappointed. However, unbeknownst to us, the next unplanned stop was just down the road from the gas station. In order to get back on the Seaway and eventually onto Rt. 104, we had to drive south on Rt. 11 passing by the town of Pulaski. I noticed the sign for Salmon River right away but it was the FishOnMotel that really got my attention. There were many fishermen in the river. Across the river there was a yellow building with a big sign that reads "$3 Fish Fillet". What does that mean? Are they selling fish fillets for $3 or are they filleting the fish? All along the way we had been discussion on how we can clean the fish in our small kitchen. The thing looks pretty monstrous and I wasn't looking forward to chop its head off! Now no more worries. An u-turn later, we found out that we can get the fish cleaned for $3. That's a bargain and half. So we washed our fish and took couple last photos before it was stripped down to two large fillets weighting five and half pound total.

The rest of the drive went by quickly and long behold, our fish dinner was here!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Heading North

We got an early start to the weekend. By 8pm we have already checked into our favorite place to stay in the 1,000 Island area, the West Winds, in Clayton, NY. The drive up was less than perfect with unrelenting rain and low visibility. The air was chilly and damp with winds picking up every now and then. As we pressed forward on the last stretch of the drive on Route 12, hungry and a bit tired, a sign for spaghetti dinner on the side of the road grabbed our attention. We found a spot in the full lot and stepped back in time. It was a fund raiser for the Lion Club. Old men in yellow jackets and young kids serving dinner. We paid $7 per ticket and wolfed down our plate of spaghetti and two meatballs. The food wasn't nothing to write home about but I could probably have eaten more if my ticket allowed it. We cranked up the little heater in the cottage on the river and settled in early. Hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Two is Better than One