Hungover Hangups

        Consequence of drinking until dawn: my belly's not feeling so hot and I can almost smell the liquor in my sweat. Fortunately, Bret's more responsible than me and has us up within time for me to catch my flight.
        I'd like to offer some evidence in the great, important debate of whether one should eat after a night of too much imbibing. Having had time for only a cup of coffee and a beignet (= small French pastry), my belly's just alcohol sloshing around. No biggie as I'm passed out sandwiched between broad shoulders into my Southwest Airlines New Orleans Chicago flight, but I'm hurting when stuck on the runway for longer than my Chicago New York flight actually lasts. It doesn't help that my coflyers include a whole troop of Boy Scouts. Considering how many there are, they're pretty well-behaved; the most obnoxious act is one of the ancient scoutmasters screaming "next one who touches the buzzer switch will have ME as a buddy for the next 2 weeks!"
        The flight fiasco is a huge pain in the ass that makes me miss the last bus back to Wilkes-Barre of the night, but I learn a lesson that makes the hassle worth it. I hate to admit it at least as much as your average adolescent, but my dad was right about something. We were bullshitting before I left for Australia and he said something about loving to talk to people and also doing so almost out of a paranoid concern about what they might know. I don't naturally like being outgoing as much as he does or consider myself as paranoid, but a random conversation with some guy sitting near me that ends up lasting half the flight convinces me that it's really important to talk to everybody. Not only do I enjoy the conversation, but he casually throws a compliment that could save me a lot of moolah and, more importantly, enable many more adventures. Seeing me writing my journal: "you remind me of my best friend. He's always traveling everywhere, and he keeps a journal... not a good writer, but he tried to get it published and counts the cost of his trips as business expenses." Pretty simple idea, but I sure didn't think of it. Next time I'm debating a nap versus a random blab, I hope I'll drop my old, overly simplistic analysis: "do I want to hear something possibly boring or get some rest" should instead be "everyone's got a story. This person's could be funny, sad, or even some random tip that really helps me out. I should definitely find out. Besides, you can rest when you're dead." And on that note, I'm back in NYC, slowly making my way back to Wilkes-Barre for a few weeks' break before Brazil.

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