Tuesday, July 22, 2008

[New York]: Adventures in Asheville, and on Ebay

I should say that [New York] is not going to be an appropriate header for me anymore - I'm moving to [California] in a couple of weeks to begin a PhD program in history.

I just spent a very trying hour trying to package a triangular object in a rectangular box for shipment. Whew. Why don't they make triangular boxes? Melinama is very good at this kind of thing, but unfortunately, she's not here to help. by the time I was finished, the somewhat wobbly, trapezoidal-shaped final project was so wrapped in white tape it looked like the mummy.

Some more pictures from our trip:

Here's ma, riding a fat, passive, slightly grouchy horse in the beautiful blue ridge mountains.

This was from a horseback ride tour we took that, in spite of its fancy signs and good advertising, was barely an outfit at all in the sense of caring whether customers showed up or not. When we drove up in a cloud of dust, there were about 40 saddled horses standing waiting to be ridden. With barely a word, they got us on two of these horses and pushed us along down this beautiful trail behind a teenage boy who was nearly as passive and mute as the horses themselves. He said not a word to us as we set out.

The only time the horses woke up from their stupor was when the people on the 1-hour tour split off from us (we were on the 2 hour tour.) You have never seen such a fuss! We kicked and pulled and kicked our horses, but they only turned in grouchy half circles, totally boycotting the extra 60 minutes of walking (which really turned out to be only another 40 minutes of walking or so, ahem). Mr. 16 year old (who continued smoking and texting throughout our tour) had to get off and haul the horses through the gate for their strenuous extra 40 minutes).

Here's ma in front of a garnet mine. The boy - on autopilot like the horses - got to the garnet mine and said "Now you have 10 or 15 minutes to explore the garnet mine" and lit up again. Neither ma nor I had any intention of walking into this exceedingly dark hole in the ground. But it seemed to be a mandatory destination of our ride, so we dutifully looked at it.

Here are some people playing bluegrass music and dancing at a public concert in an Asheville park. Mom does not like bluegrass because she thinks it is all played by Republicans, but really, can you think of a more harmless activity?

Now here are some other people playing at tents specifically set up for open jams at this same concert. What a lovely idea!

And here are some more people jamming.

This guy had some terrible problem with his hand, but he'd rigged up an amazing mechanical something or other so that he could play. He was proud of it!

And finally, here is the hugest hotel in Asheville, the Grove Park Inn, supposedly built by fine Italian masons, but we thought it was very ugly. Those Italian masons must have known better. I bet they hoped their own masters never found out what they did. Still, pretty amazing to look at.


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