Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Go, Pack, Go!

In my limited time back home, I got the chance to do something very Wisconsin-ish: attend a Green Bay Packers game (that's American football, for any foreigners who might be reading this) at hallowed Lambeau Field.

Of course, we arrived early because we had to do some pregame tailgating: salmon in a homemade Caribbean marinade, grilled portobella mushrooms, and stuffed baked potatoes. And I may have had a beer or two.

The game, despite being just a preseason game, was fairly exciting, and the Packers won 59 to 24. And there were numerous cheeseheads in attendance.

I was impressed by how many people stayed until the very end, despite the lopsided score. Here's hoping the team has a great year; all of the dedicated fans deserve it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Uncooperative weather

I made it up to the lake last weekend after a three-year hiatus. I had a good plan: arrive late and drink some beer around the campfire, then wake up the next day and pummel myself with excessive time on the water getting dragged behind a boat.

However, mother nature did not cooperate. It was raining and windy when we arrived, so no fire. The next day it was windy and cold, and the waves meant no waterskiing. Hopefully I'll have better luck over Labor Day.

I did get to teach my cousin how to play horseshoes, though.
They're heavy enough that we couldn't complain that the wind was affecting our accuracy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Life in a northern town

The last time I was home, shortly before Christmas, my stepsister mentioned that she thought I would have a better tan. I mentioned that I had spent the previous month in England, in winter, and then also mentioned that in Asia I did my best to avoid the sun. I've been burnt before, and I didn't want it to become a regular--or even an infrequent--occurrence. So I took precautions, and hopefully set the occurrence of skin cancer back at least a couple of years.

This past weekend, I went down to a lake north of Milwaukee. I spent a couple of hours out in the sun without a shirt and no sun screen, and did NOT get burnt to a bright red crisp. Gotta love summer in the north, far, far from the equator.

In which my mother is the technologically advanced one

I've been trying to figure out my cell phone situation. I looked at some pay-as-I-go phones, but most of them have pretty crappy or non-existent coverage in a lot of parts of the US, which isn't good for someone who doesn't know where in this great country he might end up. So I'll probably end up piggy-backing onto my parents' account, though I don't like locking myself into any sort of two-year commitment.

While poring over websites and good old-fashioned printed brochures, I said out loud that I don't know why I need a phone. "You need a phone," my mother replied sternly.

"You know, ten years ago nobody had phones and we survived," I replied.

"This isn't ten years ago, kiddo," my mom said.

I never thought I would be on the opposite end of that conversation with my mother.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Frugality and photos

Life back home has been good so far; I've had a chance to reconnect with people I've seen far too infrequently over the course of the past decade. Also, I have a little more of a mid-term idea of my plans: I'll be home at least through Labor Day. After that, everything is still in the "hmmm" stage.

I've been following a blog called the Frugal Traveler recently, where a man is exploring South America on a budget. In the most recent post, the intrepid adventurer's parents arrive, and he attempts to keep all of them on the same budget. This reminds me of the time I told my brother that some day we should go to Indonesia together and travel the way I traveled when I was there, and he looked at me and said, "At this point in my life, I don't feel like I want or need to do that." Then again, this was my same theory when I was in Dublin and avoided the hostels.

I guess my own theory while traveling would be to live to the very edge of my means, spending absolutely all the money I possibly can without doing long-term financial damage to myself. I know that when I put it that way, it seems a little dismal, but it does ultimately result in the most luxurious traveling possible, with luxury obviously being a relative term.

I finally got a new camera, so hopefully I'll start getting some new pictures up online. Now I just need to teach myself how to be a proper photographer.