I finished break, unfortunately, and drove on back to Iowa. The next day, I discovered I was going to have one heck of a week. I was more or less continually working the whole week, and getting to bed around 0300 or 0400. Im short, it was pretty awful. The only upside was that it made the weekend so much better by contrast. Stuff I did included: a sociology report where I went into the Walmart in town, a lot of reading for Spanish and a lot more than that for English, and reading a whole book for anthropology. I also worked with Press some. We’re working hard on getting all our books in publishable shape. And on Friday night I worked at Bob’s Underground Café.
The weekend was much better. On Saturday, I went on a trackwalk with a friend I found a while ago named James Y. We were both looking for edible plants by the railroad north of college when we first met. So, that tells you a little bit about both of us. James told me he’d found a way to CERA via the railroad, and after I checked out Google Maps, I saw that it was possible to get there. We ended up arranging the trip on the spur of the moment that day, when we ran into each other at lunch, and we headed south at 2:45. It was pretty fun. We talked about politics and stuff, which was interesting becasue we’re both shades of anarchist. We also talked about plants and growing stuff. James is fascinated with the idea of growing tropical plants at his home in Buffalo; he’s already ordered some small banana trees. He says plants always seem to grow really well under his care. We passed lots of rail construction equipment, which was pretty cool, and we also saw a big corn processing installation that looked like a bunch of tin cans of varying hugeness and suspended from various heights by a bunch of pipes and stuff. There was a loading dock for train cars, but the spur that led to it looked pretty disused. Which is a shame. As we went further, vague industrial buildings with giant, pointlessly manicured lawns gave way to distant motels on the state highway leading to town, and then to farms. We crossed under the interstate (a road crew had stashed some No Passing Zone signs underneath the bridge), and then passed by some emptied cornfields to a gravel road. James said this was the road he’d gone down to get to CERA a while ago on a tour of some sort. So we walked down that road for a ways, but then came to a point where we couldn’t see anything even vaguely CERA-like. To be honest, I’d been expecting that since miles back, when we kept going south at the rail intersection, instead of following the perpendicular track to the west. I drew him a map showing where I thought we were, and where CERA was (several miles away), and he conceded that maybe we weren’t there after all. I would’ve spoken up earlier, but I wasn’t actually too worried about the destination. It was just a fun walk. Later, when we looked up a map, it turned out we wouldn’t have gotten there anyhow – it was at least half again as far as we’d gone, and we just barely got back in time for dinner. Maybe we’ll try going to CERA some other day, but probably not until the spring, because there won’t be much daylight soon, and it’ll be cold too. James says he finds something to like in all the seasons, except winter. It’s because he likes growing plants so much. He says his dream locale would be somewhere subtropical (“Zone 10,” he specified), where you can still tell what season it is, but the growing season is year-round. All in all, it was a pretty fun trip.
On Sunday morning, I went kayaking in the pool. Now, I don’t want to say a lot, because I smell a jinx lingering somewhere, but I will say that it was with a girl, and no one else showed up, so we two kayaked alone the whole time. Anything more than that is going to have to get said later. I’ll just leave you all with that.
Since I guess it’s as good a topic as any to close with, I fed Tenzing today, and he’s getting nice and fat. While he was swallowing his mouse, he looked awesome and you could maybe say savage; right after he got it all down, he went right back to looking cute again. Especially when he yawned to straighten his jaws back out. (Snakes do that.) He’s a pretty cool snake.