This is the first of the vacation inspired posts. These may not exactly be what you are thinking, but it will actually give you a better idea of who I/we am/are than if I posted the regular vacation stuff.
The scene: along Scenic Drive in Pacific Grove, CA. It is a roughly 1.5 mile walk along a road that parallels the beach. And yes, it is scenic. Or probably is scenic since the day we saw it, it was very hazy due to the fires in Big Sur.
“OK, what about that one?” asks Spouse.
“OK, I could do that one” I say.
We’re walking along the road next to the beach, but we’re not really looking at the beach. To be honest, the day isn’t all that nice, what with the haze and all. And it’s raining. But we’re out here anyway, taking a semi-brisk walk and looking at all of these beachfront homes. Some of them are really cool. Others….
“Oh my God! Check out that white job over there!” I squeal.
“Very Miami Vice.”
“Where’s the door? It totally blends in, like they’re trying to hide it or something.”
“Well, that was the style.”
“Ok, if I’m paying this much for a home, I want to be able to get into the damn thing.”
“Agreed. Now that one would be cute with a little TLC.”
This house is a little white stucco job with a castle-like facade that you see frequently in California. Actually, in Texas as well. It was pretty cute, just in need of some serious powerwashing.
“Yeah, I could do that one, too.”
We walk a bit more, discussing the merits of the various homes along this stretch of beach until we come upon one house that is playing host to some of the biggest seagulls I have ever seen.
“Is that thing real?” I ask.
“Is what real?”
“Look on the roof!”
And there was this seagull. Mr. Seagull, to you that is. I kid you not, this thing was nearly the size of some of the smaller hawks we have in our neighborhood.
“Wow! Now I know what the “Finding Nemo” writers were talking about when they came up with those seagulls. ‘Mine! Mine! Mine!”, says Spouse.
“That’s for sure. Definitely don’t have seagulls like that in Galveston.”
“Ok, Mel? Galveston isn’t really a beach. It just wants to be a beach when it grows up.”
“That’s true. Hey, speaking of birds, I have a question for you.”
“O-kay. What kind of question?”
“Actually, I could probably use this as some sort of personality test in the future. Has anyone asked you if you are a chicken or a pig?”
For those of you who don’t know, this is a motivational kind of question. Most speakers I have heard use this question want you to be the pig because the pig gives his all to the breakfast cause, whereas the chicken doesn’t seem to make much of a sacrifice. Just an egg. Every single day. Without fail. But the pig dies.
“Oh yeah. I’ve had that question asked.”
“And? What are you?”
“I knew it! Me, too! This whole “chicken or pig” thing really gets to me. I mean, whenever I say, ‘I’m a chicken’, people look at me funny, like I’m not dedicated or something. But I think that *they* are the ones who don’t get it.”
“I totally agree. Yeah, the pig gives his life, and I guess that has to count for something, but the chicken has to get up day after day after day and fulfill her commitment. The pig? He’s dead. His troubles are over. It takes a lot to keep a commitment alive.”
“That’s what I keep trying to explain to people. And they just don’t get it. And I get to wondering about our whole culture. Do we really value that ‘noble sacrifice’ more than long term commitment? Is it more of that short term thinking again?”
“I dunno. It’s hard to say. I mean, sometimes that kind of sacrifice is needed, don’t ya think?”
“True. And I guess we should be thankful for those who are willing to do it. But it’s like G’Kar was explaining to the Minbari in Babylon 5*, ‘You always say ‘Live for the one, Die for the one’, but you seem obsessed with the dying part.’ I think that the living is harder than the dying.”
“I guess it’s a situational kind of thing. Sometimes you need to be a chicken. Sometimes you are a pig.”
“Yep. And I guess that you have to assess what kind of situation you are in. I seriously doubt that “pig” situations come up all that often. You need to be a “chicken” and be ready for commitments. Or that’s what I think, anyway.”
“Well, I think it, too. I guess that’s why we’re together.”
“Probably. That, and you get all of my geeky references.”
Spouse laughs at that.
“Ok, now what about that one?”, he asks.
“Niiice. I could so live there. Great door.”
Next up: Games we play on vacation. Don’t worry, it’s G rated. 🙂
*Thus proving to the world that I? I am a serious geek.