Saturday, June 23, 2012

What I'm Taking on My Summer Vacation.

Hey friends. I'm writing this blog post ahead of schedule because by Saturday, I will be in Rhode Island for a week with my family. We go annually; what began as a retreat in order to partake in the festivities of my youngest aunt's wedding (over a decade ago) became a general yearly family reunion, which slowly was eaten away by entropy until now it is just my sole family unit: sister, father, step mom, and me. Even my Dad secretly hates it, but the rest of us are so in love with going every year that he plays along. The reason why everyone else, including my Dad, has lost interest in the annual Rhode Island vacation is because there's really nothing to do there. I mean, there was when we started going as a family, lo these many years ago. People went on hikes, went to various beaches, explored the outlying flora and/or fauna. I am related to more than a few birdwatchers, so that held them for a little while. Eventually, however, one by one, Rhode Island became boring, and my dear relatives stopped using up their vacation time just to sit around and talk to other Hydes about whatever is going on at work currently.

The reason that myself, my sister, and my step mom all still like it is because we are boring.

So boring. We're indoor folk by nature, meaning for us, vacation means a mostly sedentary existence. We watch a lot of movies, we read a lot of books, there's a lot of beer and ice cream involved. I walk to the beach almost daily, but I feel no real urge to go to any other beaches. I'm happy with the beach I go to. This is probably related to the fact that I have poor directional sense, and like to avoid any kind of activity wherein I could get lost. I've tried to fight this whole homebody nature, and I do love nature and being outside, but what I really want from a vacation is the freedom to do, or not to do, as I please.

And here we arrive at the nature of this blog post: what am I bringing to Rhode Island?

Obviously, since this is a graphic novel, (by a notoriously amazing graphic novelist) I reckon it will take me less than an afternoon to get through it. I realized the other day that, while I love Alison Bechdel, and while Graphica is one of my sections here at the store, I still have not read this guy. So I went crazy and bought it - yeah, I bought a hardcover, like some kind of fancypants Richy McRicherton - and, later this week, will delicately tuck it into my luggage (smash cut to: me throwing t-shirts, dog-eared trade paperbacks and bath items into a duffel while my family honks a horn repeatedly from the car outside) where I will enjoy it on a deck, I'd wager.

I'm also going to bring James Joyce's "Ulysses", because I haven't read it yet and I am intrigued by it. I probably won't get very far into it before I pass out in a bowl of potato salad. I don't really know what else to say here except that I have lofty reading expectations but usually do not meet my own goals. And if you have a problem with that, our life together is going to be really long and unsatisfying.

Oh look, another massive, ambitious novel that I have no hope of finishing. This kind of happens every year, I bring several heavy, difficult tomes with me and then I end up watching basic cable and playing video games with my sister. I'm still going to bring this guy though. I bought "Children's Hospital" when it was on remainder about a year ago, because Katie, a bookseller here with a penchant similar to mine for all things weird and funny, recommended it to me. I also find the premise promising.

I have no reason for bringing this slim little collection, except that it is on remainder right now and I started reading it and I like it, it's easy to read, it has some poetical chops that I enjoy, and it's less than 600 pages. I guarantee you, this will be the only book I want to read while I am there.

I'll tell you how things go. Until we read again, sweet gentles.

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