le sangria-froid

Hola mis amigos. I'm back. My body exists in its own state of biological synchronicity, thus I am up at 5 in the morning. It's always easier for me to fight jet lag by staying up late, as is usually the case on the journey home, than to try and sleep, which is the case on the way over. Still, it will be a long day. Lots to catch up on around the house.
Oh, I'm loving this American keyboard. I was thinking, maybe they use punctuation in different ways, thus leading to a different optimal keyboard design. Fewer questions, less need for colons, stuff like that. I'm glad to say I fought that design for my week and a half there and continued to punctuate as necessary.
[Aside: Speaking of grammar and punctuation I've been browsing through my
new copy of Garner's A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, which is genius, and must point out a useful entry on the misuse of "aggravate for annoy or irritate." Garner recommends that this usage "be avoided in formal writing" as "strictly speaking, aggravate means 'to make worse, exacerbate'". I only note this because I heard it used on the trip a few times...if some of the Spaniards I encountered could speak English, they would be saying "gringo dumb American, you aggravate me." I would not have had the heart to correct them.]
My roomie Rich has taken a new job and is leaving for New York to study finance for five months. So much change happening around me. I'm glad I took a vacation, otherwise I'd feel like a slug considering the life changes folks around me are diving into (job changes, marriage, kids). Getting away helped me to clear my head and think some more about what my next steps are. One idea I had was to make a movie--I even have an idea for a short film. And an idea for the female lead, though I wonder if she'll want to act in it. Hmmm. As most amateur film directors know, finding good actors is one of the elements most out of their control and thus one of the most frustrating things about that field. I wonder which of my friends would make good actors.
I think my entire trip has influenced my aesthetic sensibility. I had a dream just now, before I ran to the computer, where I saw in a Spanish traffic circle the perfect composition for a photograph, and I woke up desperately groping around my bed for my camera. I started to hone my sense of composition with the camera while overseas. Don't know why I didn't think of it before, but I tried to make it a conscious consideration more. It's part instinct, of course, but I'm still a novice so I have to experiment and play around and see what I come up with. But I definitely think my photos from this trip will be better than those I got in Africa. My first few rolls of transparencies (i.e. slides) show some promise, though I got some vignetting in the upper right corner of my shots. Damn. Must have been the two filters I put on my lens. I definitely have to figure that out.
Flipping through some photography compilations, like that of William Klein, has helped me with my own feel for photography.
So so nice to put vacation messages on voicemail and answering machine. Come back to very few phone messages. E-mail, on the other hand, is another story. I'm not even going to begin downloading messages until I get into the office tomorrow.