Hi everyone, it’s been a long time since I updated this site! I originally launched Adventures of Geo just to chronicle my overseas trips, but I figure that doesn’t mean I can’t make use of it in the off-season as well! Maybe if I actually stick to my guns, you’ll see updates on a semi-regular, rather than semi-annual basis.
One thing I’ve become quite fond of in the past few years is going on long walks. It started back in California, where nearly every weekend I would walk 20 minutes down the road to a little diner called Crazy Otto’s, grab a hot meal, talk with the waitresses and other regulars at the bar, and then take the same 20 minute walk back home. Most of the time I’d listen to music from my phone and just let my mind wander. The morning would welcome me at its own pace. It was especially good back when I was still working on The Wayward Astronomer (my novel) because it seemed it was on those walks when ideas or conversations between characters would gel in my mind, opening up the way for the next chapter to be written.
Those California days are behind me now. Just this past year, I’ve moved to Texas, bought a house, and taken an intensive grammatical crash course in the proper uses of “y’all vs. all y’all”. I am surrounded at all times by enormous, monstrous pickup trucks, each hewn from a single desperate slab of pure testosterone. But still, I’m pleased to find that my love of going on walks has not left me, and I’ve found new routes to indulge in now that I inhabit this strange new land.
The weather is beautiful today, low 70’s with a light breeze. In the direct sunlight it feels about 10 degrees warmer, but not hot enough to work up a big sweat. I decide to take advantage of the conditions and set off, purple Sony earbuds piping the music of Matt and Kim from my new phone.
It’s a brief walk from my neighborhood to a bike path that is constructed alongside an alleyway running between houses. Every so often, a massive concrete power line rises out from the earth to suspend high voltage cables that have also chosen to follow this path.
Just a few months ago, the water tower was a fading rusty blue, but the work of painting crews has transformed it into a new beast. For a city that’s in a bit of a depression due to low oil prices, it’s a refreshing sight to see well maintained infrastructure. Every time I pass by the tower, I secretly indulge in the fantasy of climbing to the top myself, but there are many signs posted dissuading me of those notions.
The sun is warm, and music is lifting my spirits. I find myself thinking about my book and all the work I still need to do to bring everything to the finish line. But it’s an invigorating exciting feeling, not a dreadful “oh man, I have so much work to do” kind of feeling. I know in my heart that by taking things one step at a time, I’ll end up exactly where I want to be.
As I continue, I pass by a mid-sized church. There are many churches down here in Texas, and in the late morning on a Sunday, the alleyway is filled to the brim with parked cars of people attending service.
After about 45 minutes of walking, I reach the conclusion of the path marked by the edge of the highway and a gas station / car wash. This is my usual pit stop, where I grab a snack and a drink for the walk back. Since I like to pretend from time to time that, indeed, I’m not an entirely unhealthy person, I opt for a granola bar and a protein shake. It makes me feel more nourished than the two cups of coffee that is my normal breakfast.
My music inevitably switches over to some form of Japanese Vocaloid stuff on the way back, and it feels that each time, I can pick out one or two more words from the songs. It’s still very difficult to parse in real time due to speed and reversed sentence structure, but building comprehension is a slow and steady process. If nothing else, it makes me happy to listen to the energetic, happy beats as I think about what I’ll do with my time this afternoon. Surely, mowing the lawn can wait another week, can’t it?
Maybe so, but spring is coming quickly here. Already some trees have decided to call it good, blossoming beautifully with cotton white flowers. Best to savor them now before things become scorching hot two months later.
All in all, life isn’t bad. I know this isn’t as thrilling of a post as majestic New Zealand fjords, but it’s a small window into the more ordinary but notable moments of my life. I hope that you all have the opportunity to enjoy the simpler moments of your own.