–an excerpt from the 14 page log of my vacation (Friday April 16, 2010)–

This vacation has been quite surreal for me because nothing about this vacation has really been about me. It’s like living in someone else’s shell. The worst part about it is being isolated and alone with my thoughts. I’ve been trying to rationalize everything and wanting to find solutions in my life. I want so desperately to be like them, to find happiness in the most simple of things.

Just as I watched my parents dance last night, I thought to myself how easy things would be if I could take pleasure in the everyday moments. I could shut my eyes and pretend I’m smiling.

—-shit missing here (taken out to not piss family off)—-

I was sitting outside of the Windjammer Café waiting for the rest of my family to show up for lunch. I was next to these old ladies. They were commenting on these young girls trying to enter the cafeteria with their bathing suits on and no shoes. I was amused at their commentary about how “they should know better than to try and go inside to eat without proper attire.” They were glad when the attendants turned them away because they weren’t properly dressed for the eating area. One lady made a comment about how she didn’t want nasty sun tan lotion on her seats.

I love people watching and eaves dropping on people. I kind of do the same with my camera. I try to capture moments of strangers just being themselves. It’s lovely to watch people when they don’t think they’re being watched. I noticed throughout the ship those who I believed were truly happy, truly bored, and some that looked downright miserable. None of them saw me though.

I often want to go up to people and explore their minds. That’s what I love about the meta so much. It’s much easier to pick at people’s emotions and thoughts than it is in the RL. At one point, I almost sat down next to these two men who had lunch with each other and said nothing to the other the whole time. I wanted so much to ask them what their story was. Who were they with? Where were they from? What do they do? What were they thinking?

I write too much I think. I can’t help it thought. My head is full. I’ve had no one to share any thoughts with for the past week. Even the little details I keep in my head. For example, I love the facial expressions on Trax’s sister’s face. She has such vivid and beautiful expressions. I took lots of pictures of her. I wanted a chance to talk to her privately but we’re just not that familiar. She’s gay but I often wonder if she’s borderline transgender like my friend Ren. I’ve seen her physically make the same changes he did when he finally knew he wanted to make the full transition. Who knows though, she might just be butch and that’s all there is to that.

—more shit missing—-

I’m looking at the plastic sack on the bed at the moment. Sahd’s mom bought me a journal and a purse hook. It’s one of those cute little hooks you put at a restaurant table to hang your purse from when there is no place to put your bag so you don’t have to set it on the floor. The journal is cute too. It’s blue with colorful circular shapes on it. I’m not sure what to write in it since I never put pen to paper anymore. I thought about maybe using it to journal what makes me happy or sad on a daily basis? I thought about sketching in it.

A part of me thinks I should go outside and stop staring at the waves. Another part of me wants to save this bit of writing and then open up a fresh document and begin writing again with diverged thoughts. I live in my head too much. All I can think of now is how much I want to go home and hold my cat and drink my Diet Sunkist. Oh crap. I have no more at home. I’ll have to run out and by some as soon as I return.

3×5 is one of my favorite John Mayer songs because it’s about how we experience life. It’s how I think life should be spent, with both eyes open and truly enjoying every moment. I hide behind my camera a lot because usually I’m not wanting to be noticed or I’m trying to find something to appreciate. I have to create games with my camera to find the beauty in something but I’m never really enjoying the moment if I have my camera with me. It’s those times in life where you would never think to take pictures that are actually worth capturing.

I once watched a special on tv about this street peddler, Joe Ades, who sold random shit to people on the streets of New York for decades and decades. He made a lot of money doing it and could have gone on to do something else if it weren’t for the fact that he loved his job so much. He loved meeting people every day, seeing the street life, and just was able to enjoy the simplicity of the small connections he made. He was in his seventies and he had never taken a vacation nor was looking to retire. I remember the journalist asked him, “Do you ever take a vacation?”

I still remember the look on his face, the smile he had as he said to the journalist, “Life IS a vacation! Every day is a vacation.”

I reeled I think when I heard him say that. I thought to myself what an amazing fucking way to view life. How lucky was this man? Was he delusional or had he really found a happiness in his life that made life that wonderful?

—Dinner tonight was the second formal night. I hate wearing a dress. I like my new high socks a lot though. They’re a lot easier to wear than stockings though. I think I’m going to buy more when I get home.

I figured out my binaural recording from the other night didn’t work because I forgot to set the recorder to use plug-in power for the mic. I decided to try again tonight. I think the recording turned out quite well. You can hear all my annoying clicking of the camera. I have no idea what everyone thinks of all the picture taking my brother and I have been doing during dinner.

I think once they see the pictures they’ll appreciate it…I hope.

Tonight for dinner was lobster which a lot of people had tons of. I opted for the prime rib instead and the mushroom pastry something or other for the appetizer. My dessert was the cake sampler plate.

After dinner, Taint, Tivi and I played around with their flash and I took a crap ton of pictures of them. It was a lot of fun experimenting with flash and lighting. The rest of the family wanted me to go see the show tonight, an old doo-op band, The Drifters, but I stayed to take pictures instead. I would have gone to the show with them had we not been taking pictures. I think Taint and Tivi really wanted me to take pictures of them. They turned out quite well I think. One of my favorite pictures taken from the cruise I got that night.

Tomorrow is the last day on the ship. We’re all supposed to meet up for lunch. I’m really looking forward to going back home…