Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I'm getting antsy, and I think I know why. Getting out of my rut of driving between home and work long enough for a couple trips downtown has reminded me that there are other places I'm like to go, places I can't visit and return from in a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon. I realized when I wrote about Wyatt Earp a week ago that I haven't been to Tombstone, AZ in at least fifteen years, and it's not all that far away. I haven't seen the Grand Canyon since the early 1990s. My solo trip to New Mexico to see my godson and do a little exploring was in April 2006. I didn't even get to Disneyland last year.
And that's all trivial compared to the longer trips I long for: Cleveland to see my brother, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and A Christmas Story House; Wilmington NC to see my dad and maybe visit the Smokies for the first time in a couple decades; Hawaii, where I've only ever seen Oahu, and that for only 3 days including jetlag; and Great Britain, where I'd like to get well beyond London and Liverpool this time.
Farther out, even more inaccessible for reasons of time and money, I've always wanted to visit Kenya and Greece and Australia and New Zealand. I used to read books like Born Free and The Lion, and pore over books about mammals of the world. I may still have a travel poster for Australia that I painted in junior high. Heck, I want to see it all: the whole world. There and Back Again, of course, but the There part is more of a problem than the Back Again.
But I'm less than six months into a new job, and I'm not entitled to time off yet. The company has a PTO (Paid Time Off) system, something I never heard of until the temp job I had last summer. Even if I had the money, I don't have time to get very far.
Nevertheless, over President's Day weekend I'll be at Gallifrey One, the Los Angeles Doctor Who convention. I'll probably rent a car to spare my own, and drive the eight hours each way all by myself for once. It's well worth it to get the heck out of Tucson for a few days. I love the place, but I'm going stir crazy here.
Once I get there I'll have to skip Disneyland and memorabilia shopping in Hollywood. There's just no time for that, or a side trip to the beach, or that movie cowboy museum, or the Guy Williams memorial bench at one of the missions. Those things will all have to do without me until some future vacation, when money and time are both more plentiful.
But at least I'm going to Gallifrey. Okay, I'm not really visiting the Doctor's home planet. Showrunner Russell T Davies destroyed it with his keyboard anyway. But I'll be among Doctor Who writers and actors and fans, a few of whom may even vaguely remember me from the 1990s when I used to attend the con every year, and was writing the Doctor Who trading cards. All I'll have to do is get out of that other rut that holds me back: my shyness.