Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Petromemento mori

This gas station gone to seed is actually located in St. Alban's, Vermont, about 30 miles north of Burlington and right on Lake Champlain. That's where I was last weekend, on an island in Lake Champlain, camping and learning how to fish with my friend Melissa. This is almost exactly 300 miles from New Haven, so only a five-hour drive, which is not bad at all.

This gas station made me think that if I were the photo editor of an undergraduate literary journal I'd have something to put on the cover. It's better than what the other gas stations on the trip made me think, which was "I have eighty-five fewer dollars now than I did before the weekend."

Camping pictures likely to come later. A freaky Google Maps satellite image of the island is here.

We each caught two fish, which were barely above the size limit, but good enough to filet and eat. Smallmouth bass, emphasis on the small. No large fish appeared to be biting, or at least we didn't see anyone on the motorboats reeling them in either. These are the first fish I've ever caught. Fileting them was less traumatic than I expected; the toughest part is killing them when they're out of the water. So I guess this weekend also marks the first time I've ever bashed something on the head with a rock with intentions of eating it. Also I made a couple of pretty sweet raging campfires; we made s'mores; we played a fair amount of cribbage.

You may recall that several years ago there was a legislative kerfuffle regarding congressional efforts to designate Lake Champlain as one of the Great Lakes. Here is a folksy, semi-informed, and outdated account of that event. The Internet is pretty great when you want marginally useful information.

In general, things have been going fine. Work goes well. Today, not only did Mandy come into New Haven for lunch (she had been in Bridgeport talking with someone in the city public health department), but my college friend Judy was driving through New Haven and stopped for dinner. So, after months and months of not seeing out-of-town friends in New Haven (and this makes sense, considering how much more I'd rather go to New York or Boston or Philly or whatever), suddenly two in one day! This also means I am really full of New Haven pizza today. I mean, where else do you take people to eat but the pizza places.

I've been going on dates with this gal named Ellen (who's getting a master's in the nursing school of Nearby Ivy League University), most recently a bowling double date yesterday evening, so this is good news.

Charlie's out of the apartment now, and I've got a new lease signed for next year for the place on my own. Next up: some paintin' to do! Brought some mild satisficient colors back from Home Depot already. Then: adding furniture! And: pictures on the walls! But first: putting some camping equipment back into storage after it's done airing out!

In short, life proceeds apace.


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