Sunday, August 05, 2007

Summer Break, Day Twenty Three

I'm home.

I'm both exhausted and recharged. Going to Houghton Lake always has a tendency to do that to me. I go up with the intention of coming home feeling recharged and ready to take on the world. This never happens. I come home and I'm more exhausted and in need of a vacation from my vacation.

The family vacation has always been a special time that many people cannot wrap their head around. When told that I'm going to spend a week with my family most people would expect that to be followed up by groans, sly remarks about my potential suicide, or the loss of my sanity. For most people my age that would seem to be the truth. The idea of spending time with family is (for many) a necessary evil that should be dealt with quickly. For me the family vacation is a highlight of my summer.

We go to our cottage at Houghton Lake with family friends who we only see one week out of the year because they live in Wisconsin, a whole Great Lake away.

One of the centric events (and now in its second year, a tradition) is the volleyball games we play. This year it spanned three days. One match of three games each day. Best of three games takes the match, best of three matches takes bragging rights for the next year. Last year my team got skunked. And were forced to deal with the ridiculous bragging of "What it be," the slogan Keith, the dad of our Wisconsin friends, had said in a vain attempt to be "hip." Well this year "what it be" has become "what it was." We smoked them in the first two matches, going completely undefeated.

We tubed nearly every day, and went water skiing once. The first time we took the boat out with the intent of water skiing we managed to get one person around, and then when we were getting ready to run my mom we were faced with the most bizarre mechanical failure I'd ever seen. The motor on the pontoon stopped kicking water, felt like it wouldn't engage, and then after a further inspection we found that it had lost its motor. How that happened is still a mystery to us. We were forced to swim the pontoon in to shore, which proved a grueling task that was averted after a few hundred yards of swimming by a nice couple in another pontoon who towed us back to the cottage.

This year we also managed to get the jet skis out and run them around the lake. I managed to secure a series of awesome blisters and scabs on my thumbs from the handle bars.

The past few years our family vacation has been marked by mild weather, storms, and a whole lot more inside. This year we were hit with 90s and sunny every day.
I unplugged for the whole week. Sent a couple texts and made a couple phone calls and then turned my phone off. My laptop came out once on the last Friday long enough to download some of the pictures, but for the most part stayed tucked away. The lack of technology has been a wonderful time. I wrote a bit in long hand (like seven pages of quick snippets of scenes). I started a new short story I'm thinking about for the Rosebud competition that involves soldiers in Baghdad and a conversation with an Ifrit. I'm not entirely sure what to do with it, but we'll see if it manages to amount to something more than a couple pages of amusing writing. I read a whole lot, finished the 7th Harry Potter (which wasn't entirely what I expected, but was a very good and very grand conclusion to a really good series), nearly finished the 4th Dark Tower: The Wizard and Glass (probably my favorite of the series yet), and played a whole lot of crossword puzzles.

I also played the best game of golf I'd ever played. My friends and I are talking about actually going out and playing golf around here, which has me excited.

When I got home earlier today I went and spent some time with my friend, Zach, and ended up playing some pick up Ultimate Frisbee with friends at a park around the corner from my friends house.

I got my hands on a stack of new music that you all should check out.

St. Vincent - "Marry Me"
Imogen Heap - "Speak For Yourself"
A Fine Frenzy - "One Cell In The Sea"

Now that this long entry is done, I'm off to go lift weights and read and sleep because tomorrow I need to go to my aunt's house and work.