Thursday, October 19, 2006

Near Death Experience (from Jenna 08/20/06)
During my first meeting with Ed…a man I am going to be spending three weeks with, in a vehicle, out of a vehicle, pushing a vehicle through the Saharan desert…of the first 1000 words that he spoke to me was included his wish to be chased down, a la Lawrence of Arabia or Flight of the Phoenix, by Bedouins on horseback with guns. I laughed, and I thought: Ed don’t you know that they use Subarus theses days? Bad omen? Maybe…but I have been very successful in ignoring a number of bad omens in my life, so what was one more amongst friends? Bad omen feeling trumped by happy adventure feeling, laughing and story telling continued.Ed assured me that he did not, in fact, have a death wish, but merely wanted the feeling of a phenomenal escape (I really hope they don’t have Subarus). He then proceeded to tell me, at my request, about his most trying time at sea…and just after he said to me that he was saying to himself “Please let the keel take the boat back up. Please let the keel take the boat back up”…the bad omen feeling returned, and was officially given a small amount of space in the ‘things I will most certainly worry about in the future' region at the back of my mind.So, this past Friday, after taking in some groovy tunes and yummy eats at Table 49 in Newport, Ed and I were walking back to my car, thinking about seeing Snakes on a Plane, thinking out loud about Africa. We are crossing the street, and as we do, a very large vehicle is slowly rolling out into the street, right into our path.Hey…hey…HEY!We both freeze, the slow motion feeling of watching one’s life pass before one eyes not allowing us to move…hands instinctively go out, and we, as well as the 10 + bystanders watching the whole thing, are in shock that this super-sized vehicle CONTINUES to methodically roll our way…did he just accelerate?The bicycle Ed has rented and the knee he has grown accustomed to using make contact with the SUV that is about to roll us over, and not the knee, but the bike, and the small ‘thunk’ it made when it was getting up close and personal with this behemoth’s bumper finally creates the appropriate decibel level to get the driver’s attention. Apparently one too many bourbons (or scotches or beers) in one place have dulled the driver’s senses to the point where, when we finally are no longer afraid of being mowed down by this enormous vehicle, he rolls down the window, and, like he has just been given a Novocain shot directly into the brain…at ½ speed…slurring…maybe even drooling…“is everything okay?” Yeah. (No, you almost just flattened us, we are not okay) Sure…we’re fine. (Dude are you for real? Are you THAT calm?)No apology, no appropriate fear, guilt, nervousness, explanation…no nothing that I think I might do if I nearly ran two pedestrians over. We get across the street, several witnesses empathize…”On my God Man…that was scary, and it didn’t even happen to ME!” Heart is racing, much nervous laughter. Bad omen feeling resurfaces, and during a brief moment of clarity when the internal voice in my head of the day says, projecting into the future: yes, I thought this back and August and here it is February, and I see it happening. …I will remember Ed’s words while we are being pursued with reckless abandon by the Bedouin Death Squad (thanks C) that Ed has now made more real, I will remember nearly being mowed down by an SUV just 6 short months ago…and I turn to Ed once we are safely away from the SUV Death Machine….”I think you may just get your wish.”I have been stuck in the desert with Jay, spending the better portion of a day digging sand and shoving branches and sticks under the tires in order to be able extricate the vehicle from it’s sandy resting spot. I have heard Ed’s sailing tales, and for the first time in my life I have been almost hit by a vehicle. I am not a superstitious woman, though I am really hoping that Mike and/or Troy are decidedly lacking in the transportation misadventures department. Bad omens waiting to be beckoned.... I make it home and sleep the sleep of a person nearly run over by a large pile of metal on wheels.I am not a superstitious woman…I am not a superstitious woman.

Jenna's First Post - from way back in 08/08/06.
Hey...I finally made it onto the site. Nice work to get some real information on here. Eddie and I are going to do some team building tomorrow at the Newport Folk Festival to some Meters! I am imagining, if I stay up all night and drive a lot, it will feel like my first Mardi Gras :)

A picture of the bus. In NY state.

A New Blog.

I decided to switch over to blogger for our entries. I hope this proves a more useful tool than those that came before. I'm hoping, too, that I can get the rest of the team to post some comments.
Here's to hoping.