i still got it

FM 21-76.
Today I spent $45 on a tank of gas. That’s a lot of money for gas, right?

Four days and I’ll be back in one of those richly outfitted hotel rooms, looking out over the dirty sprawl of downtown Taipei. I sometimes get this crazy fear that Taiwan will just up and declare its independence during one of my trips. I imagine myself sitting in a cubicle while the Red Army swoops down on that tiny island to crush the rebel uprising. The fantasy goes on… usually ending with me riding on top of a tank, policing the streets. One thing about work is… thing can change pretty rapidly. When I wrote that sentence last night, I was preparing for a two-week trip. Today, I learned that, due to some circumstances beyond my control, the nature of the trip had changed. Turns out I’ll only be gone for a week, still leaving this Friday. Then, I’ll come back for two weeks, only to leave for Taiwan again in early May. The May trip will be the longest ever, clocking in at three weeks. However, since Sharaun is off-track in May, she finally gets to accompany me and experience Taipei. To me, there couldn’t have been a better change of plans. I’m hoping my work schedule while there is flexible enough to allow us some decent “exploring.” And, I feel comfortable enough in the city to act as a sort of “tour guide” for her while she’s there. Awesome.

As you may have noticed, I didn’t really break any new ground with respect to my post-frequency this week. Leading off with a no-show doesn’t really set a good precedent. But… I’ve kind of accepted that I’m just in a slump right now. Whatever the reason… maybe I’m just not putting myself out there and hunting up good stuff to write about, I dunno. I mean, last week’s entries don’t amount to much more than the birthday present story fluffed up with a bunch of rambling. Lately, I’ve warmed up a little bit to the notion of “talking” about my writing. Before, I had this unspoken rule that I didn’t like talking about the blog in person. I mean, the blog is self-serving enough, but making it a topic of discussion was too self-indulgent even for me. Lately though, I’ve opened up a bit and don’t shoot people down as quickly when they bring it up. After all, when it comes down to it, I am proud of it. If half the reason I write is for me, the other half is surely so that people will read it. Anyway, talking about my writing doesn’t put me off as much as it used to. Although I still get surprised when I find out, through some twisted grapevine, that there’s someone reading this who I wasn’t aware of. Where was I going with this?

I’ve been having escapist fantasies again lately. Y’know, researching survival techniques online in case I do decide to abandon the modern world for a tent in a national forest or something. Tonight I learned how to dig a latrine. When I was younger, I can remember being fascinated with a secondhand copy of the Army Field Survival manual. I’ve always had a fascination with self-sufficiency… and I like to think I could handle myself on my own. Now, I’m not saying I actually could… but I like to think I could. I read that Field Manual over and over again, the detailed pictures and diagrams of shelters and snares had me in a trance. I can remember trying to commit things to memory: how to make a fishhook out of thorns, how to smoke meat to preserve it, how to build a lean-to. Just like I will never forget learning from a Hardy Boys book that you can escape your bonds if you flex your muscles while being tied up. Stuff like that has always stuck with me. I think it’d be totally fun to do one of those survivalist training “adventure” things… where they take you out into the wilderness and teach you how to live off the land. Right?

With all the pope-inspired news of late, I somehow stumbled across this vintage link from CNN – I’d never seen it before, but man… hilarious. Goodnight.


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