Sunday, August 12, 2007

Kayaking, Bush's language inadequacies and a whole lot more

Neel, his coworker Darren and I went kayaking in Hopkinton, Mass., yesterday. We'd been planning it for a week, and it was more than I'd expected. It was amazing being out on the beautiful, clear, open water in a single kayak, paddling with two friends around islands and into the nooks and crannies of the lake. It was a perfect day, too, with tons of sun and only a few freckles of cloud dotting the sky. It was one of the most amazing days of my summer here. Before that, we hit up the Waltham Outlets, which Neel and Darren dubbed "heaven." After that, we went to Providence Place mall to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I got an eggplant burger with fries. I hadn't eaten those in a while, and damn, were they good with ketchup and a side of mayo! Neel sped off afterward to see his girlfriend, and Darren and I went to the movies to see "The Bourne Ultimatum," which I found rather good. We stayed up talking about everything under the sun until about 2 a.m.

Timing sure does suck, doesn't it?

In reading The Washington Post today, I came across an article about French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to the Bushes. It was largely a lighthearted story, focusing on French-U.S. relations and what Sarkozy and the Bushes would eat for lunch. The last two graphs, however, struck me as simply hilarious in its truth. Here it is, straight from the horse's mouth:

Might the president at least speak a few words of French, as a gesture toward the new U.S.-French thaw?

"No, I can't," Bush said. "I can barely speak English."
- "French Leader's Visit With Bush Signals Warming" by Anne E. Kornblut, The Washington Post, 8/12/07

Truer words were never spoken, Mr. President.

There is exactly one week before I move back. I've already started thinking about packing, though I know I shouldn't, and I don't really want to, anyway. Mom's all excited about my homecoming and has proposed a going-away party for both me and my brother, who has already moved to Nashville, Tenn., and started a job handing out credit-card applications at an airport. He's also been looking for other part-time jobs in the area, too. So he's already sold out to the credit-card companies. I hope he doesn't try to sell me one.

In the deepest parts of me, I yearn for home, but the best situation would be if I could go home for a week or so to visit and then come back here and resume a job at The Standard-Times. Not only do I love the people and the culture of the office, I also love my roommates here in Providence. I've made some wonderful friendships this summer that I hope transcend these three months we've spent together. This has been the summer of my life, and I only hope it can get better after graduation. My life is just beginning, and I'm ready to take it on and enjoy every lasting moment of it.

Classes begin Monday, Aug. 27, and I've already decided to take a trip away from it all to see Tea Leaf Green in Buffalo that Wednesday night. I haven't seen my boys in almost a year, so it'll be a welcome sight to hang out with them again, just like old times. This, to me, is more important than some class. This is life, not the bubble of academia that tries its best to shield us from life and prolong our entry into it as long as possible. I'm ready to break out of that bubble. I think I've been ready for a while now, and spending this summer doing what I'm doing has made me realize that.

Bring it on, world. I'm ready.


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