Monday, October 16, 2006

Am I a bad omen?

Today I realized that 3 of my favorite vacation spots had some terrible thing happen to them in last year or so.

New Orleans, which I visited in December 2001, had Hurricane Katrina.

Hawaii, which I visited in June 2003, had the earthquake yesterday.

London, which I visited in May 2005, had the subway attacks in July 2005.

Probably just a consequence of being well-traveled, yes? Still, it makes me sad that some of those places that existed once will now only leave on in memories.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Googling oneself

Have you ever Googled yourself? What am I saying? Of course you have. I know how egotistical you really are.

There's something strange about Googling oneself (or, doing a search for your own name on Google). How much information is out there about me? But who are all those other Lauras out there?

Sometimes I wonder if anybody is out there looking for me, and coming across Laura the Lawyer, or Laura the Systems Manager, and thinking that they've found me. Am I Laura the Professor? Could be! You'll never know. Did my namesake's accomplishments fulfill their desire to learn more about me?

And at the same time, I'll never know who those other Lauras are either. My name is pretty common, but I've never come across anyone else with my first and last names.

Its also strange to come across the real me on a search results page for random things. Yes, that's my post on that listserv, and look over sister used my full name on her blog and it came up on a search. But there's something pretty pathetic about the fact that the real me only appeared 3 times over 18 pages of search results.

We strive for anonymity, but at the same time yearn for popularity.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The opposite of dying

Yesterday we were finally able to use our camping equipment, for only the second time this year. Its not like we hadn't wanted to go camping before the end of the season, but, really, where did the summer go?

The drive up to Shenandoah was "interrupted" by a trip to a winery. I know what you're thinking...Virginia wine? Yeah, well, they do have wineries, but for the most part, don't expect too much out of them. When we got to Shenandoah, we set up camp, had lunch, rested for a while, and then decided to head out hiking. Unfortunately, it was getting kind of late at that point, about two hours to sunset, and the hike we chose had a time estimate of about 4 hours. We decided to try it, and we booked it down the trail. We got to the waterfall in about an hour, and then had to hike back up. Luckily, we were able to make it off the trail with about ten minutes to spare until sunset. We pulled out of the parking lot, and drove down the road a little bit, where we watched the sun set over the Shenandoah valley. A gorgeous experience.

Dinner involved sausages and the Yee Fong Chang story, a story which Matt will only tell when we go camping. Unfortunately, we forgot the marshmallows for s'mores, but I ate chocolate and graham cracker, which was still really good.

This morning, we woke up, had a good breakfast, and decided to go for another hike. We decided to stop at the ranger station to ask for advice where to go. She directed us to a trail that involved spectacular views...and rock scrambling. Lots of rock scrambling. On mountain sides. Have I mentioned that I'm scared of heights? The whole experience was terrifying but exhilarating.
We left the park to go explore some more wineries, and we ended up at this quiet place with pretty good wines. But more importantly, they had picnic tables, and we ended up unpacking a picnic. Luckily, today was a beautiful Indian summer day without a cloud in the sky, sitting in a vineyard, enjoying a cool bottle of wine with a fresh picnic lunch (that involves sausage). As my friend Jen said, "its like the opposite of dying."

Sitting here at home, I'm glad to be sleeping in my own bed tonight, but I wish I were back up there in the mountains, where the leaves had just started to change colors. Unfortunately, I think the camping season is over now, and we'll have to wait for spring to go out there again.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Songs to die for

You remember that scene in High Fidelity when they find out that the girlfriend's father died and they're all sitting around talking about what songs should be played at the funeral? Well, the Brits have compiled a new set of funeral songs (which I heard about through this Washington Post blog). The list is pretty lame. My choice for a funeral song? In-a-gadda-da-vida by Iron Butterfly. What's yours?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

This is funny

Several months ago, Matt received an e-mail from his ex-girlfriend saying that she was getting married, and she asked for our address. He replied to her, sent the address, and asked when exactly the wedding was going to take place (she just said November). No further response.

Well, today there is an envelope addressed just to Matt (not Mr. and Mrs. or , or Matt and Laura or anything like that, and it looks suspiciously like a wedding invitation, and its from Austin. Well, I only know one other person in Austin, and she's not getting married any time soon. I decided to open it, even though its not addressed to me (ahem, Matt opened my special birthday present FedEx this year, and then totally ruined the surprise for me by waving it in my face, so no, he really doesn't care if I open his mail. In fact, if I didn't, it would probably never get opened, so there. But I digress). Anyway, it is a wedding invitation, for a wedding that's in 5 weeks.

So my question is, am I invited to this wedding? And FYI, she was totally at my wedding, so hello, she knows that we're married