Saturday, January 06, 2007

Some anticipatory thoughts

As I sit here making a list of last minute purchases (face wash, nylon panty hose, extra toothpaste, extra birth control refills...), I realize I still can't quite believe this is really going to happen.

What's it going to be like, spending these next many weeks surrounded by people who can buy such a life-changing experience as nonchalantly as the rest of us mere mortals buy the morning paper? Before Connor told us all, I wouldn't have even believed such people or such excursions really exist. (I'd have thought they died with the rise of the middle class...But then, what do I know?) And that's to say nothing of Mr. Fushigi--not only does he have the cash to treat himself so well, but he has enough for all of us, and the generosity to use it to patronize our work. Incredible. And how on earth did I come to be so lucky?

My advisers were understanding enough, too...but it took a hell of a lot of explaining. They're largely uninterested in my own artistic ambitions, after all (okay, it's a bit of an assumption on my part, and I've never tested it. But I bet I'm right!). They were, understandably, quite skeptical about the offer at first. Originally I was, too. Once convinced it was legitimate, though, and that I wouldn't be foolishly embroiling myself in some kind of horribly illegal or dangerous scam, they granted me a leave of absence. It will set me back anywhere from one to two quarters on getting my masters, but they're all thinking in longer terms, anyway. As for me, I'm delighted to have a break and some distance. Lord knows, I've got a lot I need to sort out.

Mom was ecstatic for me, of course...though it hurt to know how envious she is. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard her say, over the years, that she wants to spend the rest of her life on a cruise ship. What do you say to someone whose wildest dreams have just been handed to you? "I'll send you a postcard from every city?" It didn't seem like enough...but I know she's happy for me.

As for my end of the bargain, the little lead time has left me feeling a bit under-prepared for the artistic aspects of the trip. But I did get my new camera for Christmas--a sexy little Canon Powershot A630 whose pixel count tends to garner disgusted looks from my friends and family, who, again, are mostly strangers to excess. Yes, I went all out...but I haven't had a camera for years, and I've been saving up for it. So I can at least start with some photography.

Saving up...it seems sort of laughable now, in its incompatibility with the bizarre windfall that this whole experience promises to be. It's completely overwhelming. I can't wait!!!

Until we set sail,

Amber

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