Made travel arrangements for the February trip to Taipei today. Gone for right around a week, but I do have one weekend day in there with no presentations. Maybe Ben and I can use it to explore some of Taiwan. I've been putting out the feelers to see if there are any good concerts in Taipei while we're there. Well, I mean "good" in a relative sense - like which of the four Deep Purple cover bands playing each night is the best. We'll go see them. Stinks that I'll be coming home on Valentine's Day dead tired from a fifteen-hour flight though, but owell.
Sharaun started back at work today after a six week break. Must be nice to get regular extended breaks like that. It would be ideal if we were both teaches and could align those kinda breaks, although I'm not sure two teachers would make the kind of money needed to do the things I imagine doing if we did have aligned time off.
Oh man, Sharaun took some DVDs we got a couple Christmases ago and never watched to a store that buys them used. She ended up getting me a copy of Castaway on DVD, the collector's edition no less. Last night her and Melissa were holed up in the living room watching TiVo'd Friends and ER and other junk about bachelors and survivors and all things "real," so I decided to watch some of the "extra features" disc on the PC in the other room. They had a featurette that dealt with "survival" training, which the screenwriter went through prior to writing the movie. There were these three guys, who's job titles were like: "Prehistoric Tools and Survival Expert," and "Human Survival Expert" and such. These guys were hard-core. One of them spent 20 years in some desert, living on whatever was around. He talked about spear-fishing for stingrays with natives and stuff, it was really cool.
Anyway, one of the dudes talked about how basic of a human fantasy the whole "survival" thing is. They went into an interesting discussion about how the people that are here now come from a gene pool that learned to successfully survive in the past, and that those instincts, although forgotten, are still a part of our makeup. It wasn't too surprising to hear them mention that those who tend to be more fascinated with the survivor-type daydreams are those who work 9-5 desk jobs. Tell me about it, you know how often I've walked myself through a typical daydreamed day of being stranded on a desert island? Telling myself that I could make it, imagining what I would do to keep alive. Unfortunately, the survival experts said that the statistics are against those who are stranded somewhere and have to make do, especially those with no training. Those who do last either have some training, or reach down deep inside and pull out a will to make it that won't let them give up.
Hmm... whatever. I'd be totally Swiss Family Robinson on some island. You'd roll up in your rescue ships to find me drinking homemade coconut beer from my roughly-fashioned still. Riding the ostriches around the beach while smoking a handcrafted pipe full of fresh-grown tobacco, and sleeping in my treefort replete with a gravity tank full of desalinated seawater for drinking and bathing. Yeah... awesome. What's that? You wanna come over for braised seagull with banana cream sauce and seaweed garnish? Sure, just leave your ostrich with my trained-monkey valet and come on up my newly-built palm-frond escalator. Proper dress required please.