Thursday, July 2


So! It's been a while since a factual update. Basically, I've been up to my eyelids in work here at Outward Bound. Haven't taken too many days off this month (about four), and now am on my way to a week off hanging out with the parents and family. My grandfather just had an operation as well, and I'm going up to hang out with him for a day or so, to be sure.

To summarize, I spent a few days down at the Key Largo base shadowing a course, three weeks (with a lot of driving) up at a base in a town called Scottsmoor, near Cape Canaveral, and another few days back down here in Key Largo, shadowing another course. It's been a pretty quiet existence, and I'm kind of glad to be actually going on course on the 8th (out of Key Largo). Of course, this is an extremely recent development--I just found out yesterday that all that is happening, which is a pretty big deal to me, because it seems to me that the 35 days on course (with one day off in the middle) are going to be some of the most challenging days I've yet experienced. But things have already been pretty different for me down here in the Florida. Here's a list of the strange things I've done in the last month:

--Went to a firing range and practiced firing a, that's difficult.
--Made plans to get a motorcycle license, and looked at a few bikes.
--Actually PRACTICED playing my banjo, a little (eek!).
--Went to see the Transformers movie.
--Asked a Park Ranger out on a date. Might have been turned down, not sure.
--Saw a NASA rocket launch (an Atlas IV)
--Learned to make apple pie from scratch, which people tell me I'm pretty good at.
--Learned to drive a trailer and a 15-passenger van.
--Gone for two weeks without a shower.
--Started using protein powder.
--Been involved in a car chase involving children running after a minivan (poem soon to follow).
--Slept in a van with a teenager who was afraid of being beaten to death by the other members of his group, who didn't really hate him--just wanted to use beating him up as a means to get out of completing their course.

And now, a poem:


Civilization is: teenagers kissing
in line for movies at the mall
while Daddy stands right behind,
bills flapping in the breeze.
I know I don't want that.
And from my canoe
I can see all of you
clutching your personal items,
the ones you have named
after imaginary soulmates,
men and women who never were.

Take It Home Today, the signs say
But I'm not going anywhere.
I'm sticking it out here,
on a slog through muddy marshland
mixed with barely fixed symbols
of Americana, broken in screen doors
ferris wheels and tractors
with one more ride left,
cars that are barely colors
any more. Honestly
I love those hard, faded blues,
those warm, dried up reds.
But who can stand the mosquitoes?

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