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Mark’s Rattlesnake Roundup

Today’s title brought to us by the letter R is just my nutso way of saying that there will be a cacophony of topics ahead. A little of everything and little of value to world peace.

Does the World Need Superman?

Friday night, I met up with some friends, Chris and Dan, to catch Superman Returns. I had hope to see it Wednesday night after work, but work would have no part of that idea. I worked late every day. So, Friday, I scooted home and then off to meet the guys for, as it turned out, a leisurely dinner at a Japanese steakhouse followed by the movie. We caught up on comics and the odd movie, etc. Superman Returns? It rocked. Now, if you enjoyed Superman 1 and 2 from the late 70’s and early 80’s, this movie was made to seem to pick up from there, but set in a time more like today of course. The visual effects are just incredible. The characterization is by and large quite good, and I really hope that there are more installments to follow. There are some plot points that could have been stronger. I’ll spare comment on those points to avoid spoilers. So, in summary, very good movie not “ohmygoodbestthingeverabsolutelyever” good but I’ll buy the DVD maybe even make it to see it in IMAX since Dan says there were scenes filmed for IMAX. Cool!

What Mark is Wasting His Time On

Much like Columbus discovered an inhabited world, I’ve discovered a travel blog a good couple of years after the writer set forth on his journey of self-discovery around the world. His writing is awesome. I feel like I’ve traveled around southeast Asia on a bicycle now, and considering how unlikely that is, that’s good writing! His sense of humor is first rate, I strongly recommend any installment that involves a night bus trip! I’ve spent an almost embarrassing amount of time on reading this. It’s like an addiction. And I’ll definitely share my enjoyment with the writer after I’m done. Right now, I don’t want to turn the page to the present. I’m sticking with reading this in sequential order, damnit! No one give away the next chapter! If you’re game to risk the infection, you should check out How Conor is Spending All His Money.

Sometimes I’m Inspired

The benefit(?) to reading somone else’s good work is that I’m often inspired to put fingertips to keyboard myself. Last night, I churned out a rough draft describing part of my Italy trip with Brandy from last January. I banged away like the proverbial roomful of chimps until 12:30am. I still need to edit the beast. In my usual verbose way, I spent a LOT of time getting to the point. I’m sure I can and probably should trim it back a little. I will most likely submit the finished product to Bootsnall, my favorite travel site, when I’m done. I understand a piece I wrote about my trip to Virginia will be posted sometime in July. I’ll bore you all with that when it’s available. For any who haven’t been duly bored to tears, here’s the link to some past articles you can read. Seriously, could be the cure to insomnia you’ve been looking for No one said inspiring me was a good thing.

Picture This

Over the weekend I also finally got around to going back to work editing the photos from my trip to Italy. I’ve completed all the Rome pictures, but there’s still most of the trip to Napoli area to complete. Pompeii on its own is a vast pile of photos. How many are worth the effort? I guess we’ll see. I made it a very short way into the stack on Saturday, but I also logged onto deviant art for the first time in a month and posted a few as well as my apologies for not responding to the comments on my work and the new works of so many of my friends there. Oy, I feel guilty! If you were feeling so nuts as to follow the link to some of my writing, you might even check out my gallery. I know I have a long way to go before I can call my photography anything but a stab in the dark, but it’s one of those few things I’ve found in the post-college era that really means anything to me. I’m good at my job, but I don’t feel much of a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Just another day survived. But photography? I feel genuine pride when I manage to get a photo that really looks like something more than a vacation snapshot.

Speaking of Trips

Someone save me, but I think I may go back to Scotland for New Year’s. I’m sure there’s a world of options, literally, but for a couple of weeks now I’ve had airfare to Scotland on my fare watch. No good reason other than I want to. Scotland was so not what I was expecting. You have to keep in mind that every winter since I’ve moved to Atlanta I’ve felt the pangs of what I believe is seasonal affective disorder. The days get short, the weather gray and wet, and before long I feel like I’m suffocating here. You’d think that the last place I’d want to spend a couple of weeks in the winter is somewhere wetter, colder, and grayer than here, right? Wrong. Now, living there might be another thing altogether, because a lot of the absence of light in my life is that I’m working during all those daylight hours and don’t sit remotely near a window. So, I miss all the daylight there is. In Scotland, I was pretty much out on the streets during the entirety of those daylight hours. And there’s just something about the place I can’t describe. Maybe my brain was wired for it by my ancestors. Maybe it’s just a damn beautiful place and if I saw it outside of winter I’d never leave. I don’t know. But here I am. I could make good on those threats to see Peru. There’s plenty more of Europe. I keep thinking of Ireland. And everyday I realize there’s another place I want to see in my life. Yet, I am so moved to get back to Scotland and actually get into the highlands this time. Hmmm… we’ll see…

Travel, Photography, Writing, and The Meaning of Life

Which brings me to the daily question. The things that keep me up late at night. The why am I here questions. The where am I going questions. And the sad thing is still entirely unanswered. There are days I’m entirely ready to chunk it all and just explore the world awhile, find myself or at least have a good time losing myself for awhile. But then I’ll delay those thoughts with, “oh sure, once you’ve paid off that student loan, eh?” And I’ll splurge on a new computer or a camera goodie or a trip somewhere. Pretty inconsistent thinking, eh? I may not be a gemini, but I’m definitely of two minds on this. There’s the side somewhat content with life and the side that thinks that there’s so much more to it. And then there are the friends that are probably seriously tired of reading about it. I apologize for that, but it always feels like if I try to put it into words that eventually it will all make sense. No luck so far. I’ve ably identified the things that bring me pleasure, but I’ve done sod all to figure out how to make them a part of my life that’s not relegated to spare time.

A Fish With A.D.D.

I read once that fish have memories that last a matter of minutes. Every moment is new to them. And scanning the above, I have to feel like someone grafted those monkey paws onto a fish and then blessed him with attention deficit disorder. Good luck following the threat that bound some (if any) of this together. Now it’s time for bed. The plan is to get up early tomorrow and go walk the Alpharetta Greenway. Some exercise would do me good and maybe I’ll take the camera. It’s hard to marry the two for me. When I walk for exercise, I hate to stop. We’ll see…

At any rate, Happy 4th of July!

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