Nice Shot: Fly Away Edition

Life has been hectic the last couple of months…but not so crazy that I haven’t had time to poke around Craigslist looking for big, beautiful tail fins.

'61 Cadillac'59 Chrysler'57 Lincoln

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Déjà view.

How far are you willing to travel to find a place like the one you left behind?

And with that rhetorical question, I give you my somewhat anti-climactic introduction to Lisbon. With a thriving tourist economy, antique, electrified public transportation and even its own version of the Golden Gate Bridge, Lisbon looks a lot like San Francisco on the surface. It’s also one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever set foot.

While it’s impossible that me and my outdated iPhone captured the true beauty of the place, I certainly tried. So here are a few snapshots from our latest discount overseas adventure. While I was delighted with this bustling little city in Portugal, I’d take my busting little city in California over Lisbon any day. 

The long way home.

The trip began with coffee at 5 am in Lisbon. And somehow led to whiskey shots with friendly strangers at 5 pm in Miami. All with the guarantee that there would be a tidal wave of of long-awaited Labrador love waiting in San Francisco.

It’s been a day and a half of the not-so-fun aspects of travel. Security lines. Customs. Portuguese confusion over a can of Murray’s pomade. Even when flying across the globe goes smoothly, it’s hard not to feel a little rough around the edges as the process drags on.

But I suspect it’s all worth it to witness new things. A gold star on the quest for perspective and great material for conversation at dinner parties. After all, have you ever met an accomplished professional person who didn’t “love” to travel?

I think it’s all loosely connected to some kind of cultural curiosity and the urge to collect experiences. Looking for places with new scenery, different routines and strange habits that we inevitably try to match up with our own. A funny ritual—putting in so many miles (or kilometers) only to wind up looking for things that remind us of where we came from.

Or perhaps going other places serves a far more important purpose. Maybe crossing borders and boundaries is the only way we can truly recognize home for all of its finer qualities. A bold reminder that your own toilet is the greatest throne of all. Your couch cushions are like clouds. And an evening walk around the block is really one of the most spectacular adventures you can have if you’re in the right mindset.

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The big payback.

Imagine if all the things you ever wondered about slowly came true.

If you had the power to turn the curious intrigue around what if my this could ever be that into something tangible.

Is it a matter of endlessly chasing a cheesy dream sequence like some bad graduation speech? Maybe. A little. If you can start with figments of imagination and turn it into objects and situations that make an impression that eventually make a memory you might be on your way.

Your mission, should you choose to get off your ass and do something besides Netflix and chill, is to keep collecting data. Entertain your brain. It does so much for you. It’s time to pay it back for all the times it saved you from pooping your pants. All the times it kept you blinking, standing and those rare occasions it let you know you needed to duck, jump or dive.

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Color study.

Went to a car show on Saturday and took the dog for a hike on Sunday. Not sure if the cars got me thinking about flowers, or if the flowers got me thinking about cars, but I found a few similarities along the way.


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Take inventory.

Breaking up has inspired creative expression since the beginning of mankind. The seemingly endless supply of poetry, music and books dedicated to heartache and misery are persistent reminders that this special form of disappointment can be debilitating.

As creatures built to survive, we have good reasons to avoid the whole messy situation if at all possible. So when my relationship of 15 years started to take a sharp turn toward a steep cliff, she and I made a deliberate effort to avoid the ugliness of an emotional disaster and work through the issues as best we could. Now, years later, we’ve gotten to that spot where dinner at a restaurant is a plan to look forward to, but visits to the apartment can still be slightly uncomfortable.

Some of what was formerly “our” stuff is now officially my stuff, there are lots of pictures around of me and my new lady and my housekeeping immediately goes under the microscope. When my ex walks in, there’s an undeniable evaluation process going on as she strolls around trying to figure out how my new life works.

This is basically how everything was going down when she stopped by last week. No problem. And then I felt a slight churn in my guts. A familiar sensation, but somewhat inconvenient considering the circumstances.

“Excuse me, I’ll be right back,” I said, feeling slightly embarrassed as I headed down the hall to the restroom.

A minute later I discovered that we were completely out of toilet paper. Of all the times to fail at meeting the most basic expectations of the world, I’d found one of the most sensitive. I’d made reservations. I’d swept. I’d walked the dog. A candle was burning and the laundry was done. But I’d managed to overlook one basic requirement of modern man.

I came up with a quick solution (not worth going into)—and wound up telling her the  story after dinner as we strolled down the sidewalk near the neighborhood Walgreens. We laughed about the whole thing and for at least ten minutes or so we were just two people, without any baggage, making poop jokes. An unpleasant and somehow perfect end to the evening.

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