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Sunday July 16, 2000, 15:37 Hawaii

A bit of personal reflection from Hawaii.

That I don't actually hate my job right now, but just rather realize that it is not what I want to be doing with my life. We went snorkelling today and I am reminded of my friend who is off the coast of Maine somewhere doing marine reasearch. He loves what he does. I look at John and Joy, our crew on the snorkelling trip, and I see how happy they are, living a life in the sun, playing with tourists. Not all fun and games to be sure, but to be enjoying life rather than being a slave to it. At this point in my life, there is nobody that I am a slave to but myself. And boy do I have me by the balls right now.

That, one of these days, I will find what I really want to do. It seems that computer work is not where I want to be. Being at the beach has me going back and forth, daily. While the sun is fun, I can't deal with the heat. I sweat a lot too. However, it is pretty here. But, I'm a long way from all my friends. But, sea turtles.

I must cut my hair.

Know that I am not nearly as smart as you might think I am, and I'm certainly not nearly as smart as I used to think I was. Resolve to read more history books, especially regarding United States history, as subject in which I am severly lacking in knowledge. Also, do not get into any history discussions with people lest your lack of knowledge shine through and they realize that I'm a big moron (this on the heels of my father noting the ignorance of college students in the subject of American History and his dissatisfaction in my own personal inadequecies when it comes to that subject).

We went on a boat today. We went snorkelling. There was a family on the boat with us. The daughters all had the same lips. And large breasts. Just to note. I offered to take a picture of the family, on the boat as we hopped over waves, leaving the school of dolphins behind. Oh right. A bit about the dolphines. I'm not sure how I feel about the ocean. Salt water makes me gag, and I was having trouble with my snorkel breathing in water half the time and not being able to exhale fully the other half. Which is a bit of hyperbole, as there was much of the time when I was actually enjoying myself just swimming and watching the fish below us. But we got to a cove and were just surrounded by dolphins (pictures to come). Spinner dolphins, over one hundred of them. Flipping themselves up head over tails in the air. Beside the boat. Under the boat. And we were able to hear them, squeeking and speaking to each other, and I floated on my kickboard, head underwater, and looked up to see half a dozen dolphins swim by me. They'd seen people before, undoubtedly, but I had never seen a dolphin close up like that. It, they, they were beautiful. Swim swim swim, and then they were gone.

But I offered to take a picture, and the mother smiled and consulted with what appeared to be her eldest daughter. No thanks, she said, We've used up all of our film. Did they not want a family picture, or was there just something about me? Was I oggling? Oh, that would have been bad. I was just trying to be friendly. Friendly.

Which brings us to the point about family vacations. Island paradise family vacations can only be so effective when the children are mostly grown. While the scenery is beautiful, and we have a lovely view of the ocean from our room (and a lovely view of mountains as well), it is important to note than in the family vacation, there is the element of family. Which means that while all expenses are paid, it also means that there is little time for me, the past-teenage child and one who would like to exert a bit of independence, to, in fact, use any of that independence without a parental figure bounding up along (clad in sunglasses and a not-at-all-cool hat featuring the logo of this or that product from the company for which the father of the family used to work), slapping me, the no-longer-a-teenager, on the back with a "How ya doin' kiddo?" which, truth be told, should be seen as endearing and sort of sweet, but inevitably serves to annoy.

I'm sure that when I am a parent (a situation that seems so distant that I can not even conceive of such a thing, so I merely treat it in the hypothetical) I will inevitably do the same thing. But at this point in my life, I think that I would much rather be roaming the beach with my friends, checking out attractive people and discussing how better to tighten up my abs. As it stands, however, I sleep on the couch (by my own choice as while I could sleep in the double bed with my sibling, there is something that just dones't sit right with that, and besides, the couch is in front of the television and in my frugal state I have denied myself the luxury of television at home) and the term "Hey, wanna come back to my place" just wouldn't fly in the slightest.

On the other hand, there are the most spectacular sunsets around here, and the fact that I have not even thought about my job in days other than to say "boy, I wish my job could involve driving a boat and watching people snorkel" (though only in concept for the aforementioned reasoning that I don't actually like the ocean that much) is very relaxing.

I just think that this might be the last family vacation that we go on for a while.

So, anyone in Maui or on the big island of Hawaii? We should hang out.

Now if you excuse me, I have to go down to the ocean where I can read my book (and why is it that I'm having such a hard time with David Foster Wallace?) and see if I can't figure out how to make some new friends.

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