The Bus, The Bus, The B-U-S

1936 Dodge School Bus

We’re counting the days now. The days left on Anne’s long term sub gig that is. We still have several weeks left to go, but those pass so slowly that we had to covert from weeks to days. Next week will be a big week at school, report cards and then parent-teacher conferences. The report cards are all but in the can now. Anne has been sweating grades all month. The conferences shouldn’t be that big a deal. She’ll get support for those prickly parents. Yes, they know who you are. 

We’re also counting down the days and looking forward to our next vacation. I know, I know, we just returned from one, but this next trip is a visit to the sunny and tropical American Virgin Islands. A brief snowbird’s getaway from all of this dreary winter weather. Recently, I was distressed to read a New York Times travel article about the resort at Caneel Bay on St. John Island. Devastated by twin hurricanes in 2017, the place is still in ruins. We are staying at neighboring Cruz Bay and I had planned on visiting this resort. Per the article, the rest of the island has been cleaned up. The problem with this resort is a dispute between the US Park Service and the concessionaire that leased the place. Most of the island is a National Park. Basically, this concession’s lease is almost up and the company doesn’t feel it’s worth the money to cleanup their resort, for the time that they have left. They’re arguing for an extension on the lease, but so far to no avail. Too bad, it was supposed to have been the best resort on the island. Still, there are plenty of other beaches on the sea.

Another thought was triggered by a Southwest Airline commercial. In this ad, a couple is seen on a tropical beach, having just come out of the water. They look tanned, except for a circle in the middle of their faces, where their snorkeling facemask has been all day. They spend the rest of the time trying to alleviate this white-face problem. Returning home with a visible tan is part of the winter get-away mystique. A way of extending the vacation longer, if only ephemerally or maybe rather epidermically so.

This advertisement highlights a more serious problem though. There is no way that either of us will enjoy our vacation under the tropical sun, without some sun protection. We do hope to do some snorkeling, but many sunscreens are harmful to the coral reefs that we plan on seeing. Fortunately, Anne’s preferred brand, Neutrogena, offers sunscreen that is reef safe, just not version that we normally buy. Another item that we’ll have to go shopping for, in anticipation. 

Choreographed Clocks

Time is the subject of the artwork, The Clock-Clock. Composed of twenty-four analog clocks, whose hands spin randomly every minute, until coming to rest and coalescing into a digital representation of the current time. In this case, the time is 13:35. Created by a group that calls itself Humans since 1982. This duo consists of the artists Per Emanuelsson and Bastain Bischoff. They describe their art like this, “information—like time—is transformed into an abstraction, an ever-changing pattern made by choreographed clocks.” The Clock-Clock is on display at the Nashville 21c museum-hotel.

Time marches on, just a wee bit slower at this time of the year than at other times. The end draws nigh, as the doomsday clock was adjusted to a hundred seconds before midnight. Its closest approach ever. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking as the tipping point for global warming approaches and a self absorbed Nero fiddles on Twitter all day, while Australia burns.

The timing on our trip to Nashville was perfect, tightly shoehorned in-between two winter storms. We left right after the first storm hit and returned home just before the second. Neither storm was really all that much to deal with, but would have been a hazard with travel. Now it is a dreary winter’s day, causing time to pass slowly and for me to dream of warmer weather. This weekend, Saint Louis preps itself to host the NHL All-Star game, another benny from winning the Stanley Cup last season.

Blue Poison Dart Frogs

Blue Poison Dart Frogs

We’re back in the Lou after our Nashville trip. We met Rey, Becca and Corwin twice, before jetting out of Music City. First, to witness wills and then for breakfast, at Biscuit Love and I love their biscuits and gravy. Since moving to Saint Louis, I have become a big biscuits and gravy fan and I must say that their offering was fine. Both Rey and Becca dived into the hot chicken scene, which is a Nashville thing that I’ll have to reserve until next time. About Corwin? He was quiet throughout the morning. Cute to the last. We expect great things from him.

After signing all of that paperwork, I had to ask Rey, if worst comes to worst, who gets the baby? I was relived that we were not selected. Not that we don’t love Corwin, but first, we had not been consulted and second, we are now old. We had been gladly selected for Rey and his sister Ashlan. Maybe gladly is not the right word for such an eventuality. When first informed of this decision, Rey said that Ashlan had questioned her parents’ judgement and asked, why not Aunt Jane. Well, they told her, we had their cousins, Dan and Dave. Oh boy, three boys, instead of one! Anyway, fortunately none of that ever came to pass. I’m glad that Jay and Carl are still kicking and that we didn’t have to work six people into our one small bathroom,

The drive back to Saint Louis was uneventful. We made good time and got home in time for gyro. This was our first vacation of the year. So now that’s one down and eleven to go. Yeah, really. 2020 is a happening place, with plenty of places to go, people to see and things to do.