Sunday, May 20, 2007


I hate taking pictures. Such feelings have garnered more than one observation that such silliness is appropriate for a 19th Century male, but so be it. The, "so you take a picture in case you forget what something looks like?" brilliance, bespeaks a total misunderstanding of the subject matter but so be it. Maybe its because I take crappy pictures. Could be. I look at a nicely done photograph and admire the textures, the lighting, the color, the skill necessary to capture that moment in time, then I move on. So yesterday we went on a short trip. Something like 170 miles south-east to a little town called Titusville. As the crow flies, Titusville is not that far but Florida doesn't seem to think that Interstates should connect in a reasonable manner, and Gainesville is really a podunk little town that really shouldn't be connected to anything else, so I do suppose all is right with the world. A friend of Lisa got married. It's great having a young wife because her friends are young and this way I get to see a lot of hot chicks. When first introduced they do not believe me to be her sire, for so beautiful a woman could never come from so simian a loin, but instead think that she must have a doting family that provides security for her during her travels in sending along a refrigerator that by some stroke of random chance happens to have two feet.

We brought along a camera. A 5 mega pixel piece of work that in the right hands can generate nice pictures. We passed bear-crossings, and gator-crossings, and hog-crossing signs that WOULD have been cool to photograph. Lisa was somewhat aghast that a civilized stretch of land would put up signs instead of ridding the area of so predatory an animal or two or three, but this is the south, after all. As a boy born and raised in Manhattan, at one time I also was taken aback when confronted with the prospect of sojourning with nature's finest, but my first tour in Vietnam cured me of this. Yes, that in fact IS a tiger. No, we're not SUPPOSED to shoot them. Yes, you can, but don't tell anyone.

The countryside is gorgeous down here. That's if you do not mind flat then more flat. Vast stretches of timber punctuated by bodies of water as far as the eye can see, and the only thing missing are the hills. Thats okay. The palm trees sort of make up for the lack of a bump or two in the topography along the way. I remain a Point-A to Point-B sort of guy, so stopping for anything other than gasoline and/or lavatories is alien to the nature. For now, Lisa is happy with this as the wildness of it all continues to be something of a scary-ass deal, but sooner or later we SHOULD pause to smell the pine. Being a man of scant intelligence but infinite cunning, I've hit upon an idea to familiarize her with the great outdoors by suggesting we go camping. Camping, to me, means bringing along food and water and insect repellent and weapons. A 6' blond always helps to while away the hours but we'd be there to communicate with nature not procreate it, and I may have hit upon the perfect place. Seems there's a campground that is reasonably adjacent to a public firing range (couple miles and anything that crosses ones path is fair target as long as it isn't human so maybe mexicans would be okay but I gotta check), so we could spend a weekend handshaking the flora and fauna then eating it for lunch.

Not really. One step at a time the wise ones say. Loading the car with camping and shooting gear in and of itself would please me to no end as I enjoy making ready nearly as much as doing the deed. Best part of it is we're only 45 minutes or so away from this wonderland'ish locale, and could go back if not arrested the first time.

But I hate taking pictures. This might, just might be a way to wean myself away from the idea that there is something girly about it all. They wouldn't be going into some pink-wrapped diary as a memento of the first time I saw Elvis, or the evening I lost my garter at the prom. They'd be stored in the camera and transferred to the computer. Nothing blush about that, now is there? Not that anyone will ever see me with a foot upon a felled beast with rifle at the ready should any of its kin take exception, because boasting is anathema to retired Marines unless there's beer around and someone shouts "Look! A sailor!"

So we went to Titusville and basked in the happiness of young people who decided that two could live as grumpy as one. Just kidding. Marriage is wonderful. Right, baby?

And the trip made me want more of the countryside. Made me even, gasp, want to STOP the car and look around. Queer. Don't know why this is happening to me, but it is. Perhaps the camping bug has bit again, because it's been some time but one would think I'd wrangled such intentional discomfiture out of my system long ago. I'll take pictures. There, I said it. Families are forever asking DID YOU TAKE ANY PICTURES? so maybe this can garner some brownie points with the in-laws. See. I'm not so bad. Well I am but I did say I was cunning.

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