Sunday, March 20, 2005

Lead Me Not Into Temptation, Rick Steves

Sunday morning usually finds me in front of the TV with a bagel and iced coffee, watching the Food Network. My roommate Deb usually chides me for using our HD TV to watch a woman with a southern drawl concoct something that uses at least a stick and a half of butter, but I find it comforting. It seems so easy when Paula does it-- mix up some fatty substances with something sweet, pop it in the over and pull out the pre-made model. It's concrete and easy to follow, and the sounds of a mixer and clattering pans reminds me of home.
Today I got up late, thanks to an evening of drinking PBR, so I caught Semi-Homemade cooking, which I hate. I changed the channel to VH1, but there was nothing good on there either, so I went to PBS to begin flipping through the channels. Unfortunately, Rick Steves' travel show was on. Rick Steves always makes me feel like a baby bird who hasn't yet figured out how to fly, watching the other birds flaunt how easy it is to break the bounds of the earth. Pack a small bag, get an open-ended plane ticket and do Europe right. Make friends with a handsome translator named Carlos, watch bullfights and eat tapas. Enjoy a lesiurely day in a palace, walk the streets, see the world.
The thing I regret most about my life so far is that I didn't travel before or during my time in college. It was the best time-- unfettered by student loans (at least the payment thereof) or a job with a 401(k). I could have been twenty, sitting on the banks of the Champs d'Alysee, eating crusty bread and enjoying the world. It's easy to romanticize it since I have a lease and all the chains of adulthood now, but then I look at middle-aged Rick Steves and wonder how he does it. Granted, it's his job to travel, make friends with people with sterotypical names and narrate it for people who rely on public television for their escape from reality, but I can't help but envy him.
Since today is the St. Patrick's day parade in Southie, I'm going to take the kids I babysit and approach it like a tourist. I've got novelty socks on, some green beads. I hope that I can enjoy it, and lose the ache I have to get on a plane to anywhere but here.

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