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Life's not quite as slow as it is in the Midwest, but the people are friendlier than they are in the coastal cities.

All these photographs I'd taken of snow and storm to instill jealousy in my friends, and everything pales in comparison to the blanket of winter that's already fallen out here. I'm the jealous one, craving a soup-smelling hojme full of friends and Battlestar Galactica.

Maybe Pennsylvania is only so wonderous by comparison to the never-ending nothing that was Ohio, and maybe it's just nostalgia...

They haven't made a camera yet that would capture tonight's sunset. Caught between buildings as I'm pumping gas in Bowmanville, Pennsylvania - stripes of crimson and orange like some garrish backdrop painted over the forest behind the reststop.

Return to I-76 shivering - blasting hot air from the vents of the Saturn, listening to Jude Cole.

Sigh - we've encountered our first traffic since Thanksgiving Day. I'd almost forgotten the helpless amber feeling of being trapped in this wonderful car conveyence and going NOWHERE. Blinkers flashing as people race down the shoulders and merge on to one another. Is it just the loss of a lane? Is it an accident? Is it congestion or a jumper or a speed trap or merely the offchance happenstance of people unable to go over 30mph for too long at a stretch?
I miss the interstate with a passion.

December 16th, 2003.
Returning from Damian's house. It's 2am, and there are emails in my inbox reminding that I've neglected the Journal.

I've been busy with the homecoming.


A couple of years ago, that was a nighmarish dance-opportunity for embarassment and humiliation. Now its the culmination of return. Dancing with friends and playing for and playing with and Loving the Life that I'm leading.

Oh, and forgetting my bloody camera, but at least not being lost.

It's 1.49am, I-66 runs away from the rubber of our tires, and we've been good Cranium players. I'm thinking of the people who've been busy making me feel Loved over the past couple of days.

One of the first nights back, there was a party in Baltimore - board games and cooking and cooling our heels and heating our backs. I've decided that the single best thing in the world is a fireplace.

Even if you're limited to nothing more than a store-bought Party Colour E-Z Log, the warmth of a real fireplace is like sitting in the sunshine in the middle of the night. Like a hot shower, except you can lie your head in the lap of a woman you don't know that well, and still play Monopoly.

Jason is our local chef-experimenteur, and he made a fantastic chicken and lemon and garlic concoction that made me wish I never worried about getting fat.


And then Saturday, we played the Thai Gour.

You know you're dealing with a good owner when the man comes up to you and informs you that, yes, here is an envelope full of cash that he owes you from the last time you'd played there, some seven months earlier.

Yet another night of being fed fantastic food. My grandfather even came out, and we got to make up a song for Heather's parents' 28th anniversary. It had a wah pedal in it.

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