Finding Nemo

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Blog is Back!! Woo-hoo!!!

So faithful blog readers (all 3 of you!), you may have been wondering what the hell happened to the blog. Or more likely, you were too busy watching the Amazingly Gay Wedding of England (full disclosure: I watched the whole 800-hour thing from a tinny TV set under a palm tree in a little island in the Philippines gathered around 40 extended family members. They loved it. It was all very scary.)

The HMS Boozy
The truth is that I had about 30 posts all ready to go, chock full of hilarity, sex, and adventure, when I got my laptop stolen in Croatia off my sailboat. Well, it wasn't exactly a sailboat. I mean, it had sails. But they were never used, mostly because they prevented maximization of tanning zones above deck. The stereo, card table, and on-board beer taps on the other hand were used extensively by all 20 of us. You see, this was really a booze cruise along the Dalmatian coast, and about the only thing I remember is at one point I jumped 20 feet off a stone boardwalk onto a water taxi, splitting my ass-bone into 7 pieces, for nothing more than to impress a girl who had already started making out with someone else.

On average, we "sailed" with about 4 other boats, which meant that on any given night about eighty to a hundred 20-year-olds (and "Resurrection Jesus", yes that was me) stormed each tiny island much like Vikings used to storm random restaurants in the old Capital One commercials. So as you can imagine, it was probably fairly easy for a thief to wait for the Inebriation Armada to arrive to his island, then waltz on-board and start nicking laptops.

I had a foolproof plan to back everything up. You see, I had purchased a stack of 16GB memory sticks that I would store in a separate place from my laptop. Genius, when you think about it. But, unfortunately, this plan required me to actually spend quite a lot of time copying files which I sort of never got around to. The problem turned out to be that I was too busy getting assaulted on Russian dance floors by tall models that said things like "wodka," and getting lost in Polish alleyways with a 2-foot kielbasa in hand instead of a map.

So, on that fateful night in Korcula, I lost it all. And I mean that literally. You see, even if you have only traveled on weekend jaunts to Tahiti, you may have experienced that utter black despair which occurs when you realize you have lost all of your photos.  You may have planned months for that Tahiti trip, and the memories may have been priceless, once-in-a-lifetime moments, and now they are gone except for a few already fading memories between your remaining brain cells.

Crazy Nemo! be very afraid
Now, imagine instead you planned your trip for 5 years, researched 30 books, invested all of your savings, and even quit your job and said goodbye to everyone you've ever known. And then, after taking the greatest photos of your life while galloping alone in stunning Mongolia, or running naked along a crumbling lonely portion of the Great Wall (ok perhaps those photos won't be missed), you realize you will never see any of them again. Ever.

And they can never be re-created.

I spent the night going through all 72 stages of grief. I am ashamed to say in anger I broke some onboard items, in denial I pounded the sides of the boat at 3am until I woke everyone up, and in acceptance I sobbed like a little girl for about 20 minutes. It was too much to take. My whole life up to this point was simply a preparation for this trip, in my frame of mind. And now, everything I had ever worked for was gone forever. At least, that was the sort of dark place I found myself in at the time.

Time is truly a funny thing. It does heal even the deepest wounds. Well, perhaps healing is the wrong word. But, instead of fresh pain, I think its safe to say there is now a scar.

It took me about a week before I could even think to lift my camera. What was the point, if these memories too might be taken from me? Slowly, I found myself clicking the button out of instinct. It took until Turkey a few weeks later before I remembered the pleasure of capturing something wonderful in an image.

The task of re-creating the blog was even more daunting. I had lost weeks of original writing, fresh memories that now I could only vaguely recall. I could never re-create it quite the same. And on top of that, by the time I could bring myself to write again, I found myself 3 months behind, and busy with new input from the sensory overload of the Middle East.

So, you can perhaps begin to understand why, in January 2012, you are finally reading the events of July 2011.

I hope you like it! There are fantastic, aromatic, squishy, and best of all, extremely embarrassing things ahead to enjoy.... happy reading!


  1. What a tragic occurrence! I mourn your loss. But you can make memories without cameras. Blogging your experiences, even if they did happen 6 months ago, will be a memento of your trip to look back on in the future.

    Keep going forward, blogging soldier!

    1. thanks unlacing! hope you stick around and enjoy some of the stories ahead

  2. Thanks for sharing the deets on what happened. It does suck you lost the pics, but you still have your health, and a lot of similar pictures of places you visited are taken by tourists every day. Just without your mug. One thing to consider is contacting the other people who also took pictures of some of the events you attended. (Typically once 1 person starts everyone else also wants to take a pic of the evening festivity.) For what it's worth, I myself mostly stopped taking pictures; I just don't ever have time to process them or really care about preserving the past that much. And there is always the complex privacy issue of taking pictures with other peeps in it. I too lost most of our pics. But it wasn't that big deal.