Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page
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clinkle, crinkle, sqwak, buzz, hiss.

Travis here, this is Travis, come in, world.

I’ve been out of touch for a while, about three months to be exact. How sad is that, for your first journal entry of 2000 to be in March.

Well, that’s the problem with having a life—no time to write about it. And now that I’ve stepped in it good and hard, let me say that those people who do write journals all the time do have interesting lives, they just also have self discipline.

Now, where was I. Ah yes, in Budapest. Well, left there in November, came back to Los Angeles. Was greeted at the airport by my wife, looking wonderful, I should add! (I was going to write “fine” but I thought it would either be misinterpreted as “not great but fine” instead of, “what a fine woman!” (and even that might get me into trouble, you never know)).

We immediately took a long weekend vacation to Big Bear, which turned out to be a tactical error, as what I really needed to do was unpack, settle into Los Angeles life and rediscover normality. Once we got home to the spiffy apartment Susie had found us, things were marvelous.

We spent much of the next month looking for furniture to fill the vast empty spaces we called rooms. We ended up getting a bed, a bench, a kitchen table, some end tables for the couch, things like that. It was expensive, but what stopped us after a month wasn’t lack of money (one can think of ways around that), but Christmas shoppers. It got to be so awful that we started avoiding any place where people gave other people money, unless it was to park a car.

Thanksgiving was a cornucopia. We first ate at Susie’s boss’s house (the Larry Pryor residence). He made delicious turkey, and all the fixings. We contributed pie.

Then later that weekend, we went into leftover deprivation, and Susie made another Thanksgiving dinner for Sunday. That lasted for quite some time—we still have frozen turkey bits in the freezer.

The holiday frenzy reached its peak and we got on a plane bound for Calgary. My sister, mom and dad were getting ready to move into a new house, smaller and newer with fewer leaks and less rotting wood in the back deck. We spend a great Christmas with family and friends, enjoying brief periods of -25 degrees Celsius weather, but mostly balmy zero or thereabouts.

After Christmas, we went down to Montana and waited for the end of the world. Also, we ate out several times. When New Year’s happened, there were only three significant events. 1) I got really sad I wasn’t in Paris to see those awe-requiring fireworks on the Eiffel Tower in person, 2) my dad set off some pretty cool fireworks in the snow and helped buoy my lagging spirits, and 3) the largest riots in North America broke out about 40 miles from our quiet cabin in the woods.

You see, it seems these 4 women decided to run naked down the main street of Whitefish, MT. The police tried to arrest them, at which point a bunch of right-thinking or addle-brained men, depending on your point of view, threw snowballs, rocks and beer bottles, in order of seriousness, at the officers. 200 people got involved. Talk about odd—I go to Montana for peace and quiet, but look what happens!

Susie and I went skiing one afternoon, it was excellent fun. It was snowing so hard it was amazing—the heavy, thick flakes that look like crystal feathers.

After a while in MT, it was back to Canada, buy a big batch of Canadian potato chips, hop on a plane, and back to L.A.

The next month went by in a blur. I ended up back in Budapest last Thursday, spent a day in the office, then got on a plane on Sat. a.m. and flew to Paris. Stayed there for 4 days with Thomasin and Mike, two good friends. George, friend first class met me there so that on Feb. 29 we could visit Disneyland.

You see, I think it’s a horrible travesty that we don’t get Feb. 29 off automatically. After all, it’s an extra day of the year. It only happens every four years. My friend George wrote a column in 1992 with these ideas clearly articulated, and declared he was going to spend Leap Day in Disneyland.

If I can insert a side note for just a second here, I’d like to point out that the French have no word for Leap Day. Leap year is called, I believe, an “annee bissextile,” but Leap Day has no word at all. I’ve stumped 6 French people so far. I believe the name in French has to do with the fact that a Leap year has 366 days, and is therefore divisible by 6. But I’m not sure, and it sure seems to me like that’s missing the point of the leap year. Like, isn’t it more important that there’s an _extra_ day, than that there’s no remainder?

OK, so since 1992, I’ve tried to keep the tradition of Disneyland on Leap Day, and this year, I was closest to Disneyland Paris (used to be called EuroDisney). Thomasin was going to call in sick, but then decided to call in with the truth, quite bold I think, and her plan worked, they were so shocked that they let her take the day off. So the three of us hung out in the cold, wonderful, rain and blowing, happy wind and piercing, giddy cold, in hour-long lines that flew by and basically had such a fabulous time it’s hard to put it in writing.

I went directly from Disneyland to the airport and had one more adventure on the way. Just as the shuttle bus pulled onto the highway, somehow the driver’s window broke and showered the driver with glass. He was cut, but not severely, and drove to the airport, 20 minutes away, and the bus was quite chilly because of the huge gusts of wind and rain coming in. Truly odd, and I have no idea how the window was broken.

So, more to follow, especially my meeting with my land lord…



 
 

 

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The Healthy Stinking Waters of Heviz, Hungary

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Leaving PF

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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