Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Greetings.

Atheists:            Have a happy godless universe with no rules
Buddhists:          Have nothing
Catholics:           Feel guilty about having something
Protestants:       Feel slightly guilty about having something
Episcopalians:    Have a watered-down version of Catholic Christmas, minus as much of the guilt and even
                         if you are gay
Evangelicals:      Have no shame about having lots of things: God wants you to make lots of money (and
                         I can show you how)
Scientologists:    Have a happy Maiden Voyage Anniversary**
New Agers:        Have a solstice-gathering, or a drum circle, or burn some sage, or whatever you
                         picked out of context from the latest bestseller by "Starhawk"
Occupiers:         Have a drum circle, minus the hair-washing and much sense of a carefully-defined
                         political agenda
Republicans:      Have a good old-fashioned American Christmas goddamnit. What's wrong with a little tradition?
Super Right-
Wing Repub-
licans:                Have a Merry CHRISTMAS. That's CHRIST. MAS. Period.
Democrats:        Have a happy Cultural Exchange Day, fostering dialogue between people-of-faith
                         of diverse traditions in a non-judgmental but slightly patronizing manner
Left-Wingers:    Same as the Occupiers, but more bathing, and a Prius, which is actually pretty
                        expensive for someone claiming to abhor material wealth,
                        as are those gluten-free organic cookies you got at the co-op
And for
those of
us in
Minnesota:         Have a moderate expression of albeit stoic good cheer, and enjoy the weather

*Each year the annual Maiden Voyage event, commemorating the anniversary of New OT VIII, has come to be one of the most important gatherings of dedicated Scientologists and an opportunity for senior Church officials to meet and work directly with these parishioners to advance their religion. Scientologists who attend this annual spiritual cruise become “OT Ambassadors” and initiate programs to help Scientologists all over the world advance the aims of Scientology and to reach the top of the Bridge at New OT VIII."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Now the trip is truly complete. And yet we have another whole day.


On the same day we hiked through a nature preserve and saw two alligators sunning themselves, we walked through historic Charleston SC and saw perfectly preserved colonial homes lining narrow streets, cannons, and battleships. Wherever we are there's the smell of the sea always hinting.

And yesterday we saw dolphins.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Assorted shots, a few with captions.
Courtyard of a house converted to a museum. There were slave quarters in another section.
I was overwhelmed with opportunities to take pictures of architectural details. They won't translate into film. In person, there's something to see almost at every turn.

The seemingly quieter, residential streets are stacked closely to busier districts with taller buildings. The city is compressed. So you have tall buildings like this around the corner from a tree-shaded street. Even the tall buildings are interesting. There were few examples of boring cold-war architecture.
Lots of ghosts when you visit certain parts of the South, ghosts and voodoo. I'm in heaven. Or, purgatory?

There are Christmas decorations and music everywhere. I think people in hot climates overcompensate a bit. It's a bit incongruous and beautiful: many of the stately homes had lights twinkling in the windows.

This was a very narrow block of buildings and shops lined up in a row by the river. The previous picture was of an inn on this row. The whole city reminds me of Europe, but especially this bit for some reason.
These apartment dwellers have a carousel horse stuck to their terrace, and I like that.
The doors of a historic church. My lady expressing cuteness of historic proportions.

This Spanish Moss overhangs everything. It ages everything you see. It softens all the edges.

This house was green.
This was in the colonial graveyard. I will say more about graveyards later.
I tried hard to take pictures capturing the feeling of this street and failed. The town homes are very tall, and the streets very narrow, and the Live Oaks and Spanish Moss hang over everything, so the streets are very dark and quiet. The lights in windows make you wonder what kind of interesting rich people live inside. Note this house looks a lot like the Mercer house from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. We will go back and see that actual house soon. We watched that movie again by the way, in between two visits to Savannah. The second visit was changed by having seen the movie again.

A little courtyard next to someone's house.

This building (the picture above is another angle) is pink.
In the same neighborhood is the Crystal Beer Parlor. A friend told me she had the best hamburger of her life there. I concur. On the left bottom you will see a glass of sweet tea. I have spent this entire trip completely jacked on this beverage. It is so much more than adding sugar to ice tea, where it never really dissolves. I think they also add baking soda to give it a smooth experience going down. This restaurant has been around since the '30s. All old wood, lots of old pictures, our waiter had the best Georgia accent yet. We had fried green tomatoes and the "Famous" burger, and onion rings.

I don't really get the finger that often, so take this more as a depiction of the goofy camaraderie we're sharing on this trip. As always, there is humor, and much of it foul. I love you babe!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Today I am learning about what's true or not. Palmetto Bluff: Behind a fake plantation we found a real cemetery.
(They are all dogs).
When we showed up at the place where we're staying (Coral Sands Resort in Hilton Head) there was a problem with the water in the unit that had been reserved for us... We're sorry, they said. We'll have to upgrade you. I am now sitting in a full-sized living room with sliding doors opening on a terrace overlooking the pool. I had brie for breakfast, and if you knew what I paid for this trip, you would punch me right in the throat. Somebody special hooked us up big time.

Friday, December 09, 2011

I'm back... But I got to go.

Getting on a plane to Savannah, GA with my lady. Plan to update soon with details of this week-long trip, and then get in the habit of updating again in general.