Posts Tagged ‘holidays’


We are trying to plan a trip out to Santa Cruz Island.

We are trying to plan a trip out to Santa Cruz Island.

In grade school and even up to my Junior year of University I relished every weekend that had a missing Monday attached to it. Now that the first three day weekend of the quarter is upon me I do not look at it with joy but rather inconvenience.

I have lab class four days a week, on Monday I have my Senior Lab. By missing a Monday I do not get out of the work in any way, nor do I have individual access to the labs. As such my lab partner and I have to reschedule Monday’s lab session to another time or simply lose a day of lab initially dedicated to writing up our lab reports.

What makes it worse that in a month there is another Monday off. Why can’t the holiday land on a Tuesday or a Thursday where I have actual classes that can be cancelled? 

Maybe next (and last) quarter I should schedule my classes with holidays in mind.

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Holiday Ingredients


It is mostly sugar.

It is mostly sugar.

I have gathered that there are several main ingredients that make up the holidays: sugar, meat and alcohol. 

Personally I am a big fan of the first and a solid fan of the last. It is a sad day when the Christmas candy and holiday cookies run out. They are such an effective means of dealing with the dark days of winter.

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Holidays revolve around food.

Holidays revolve around food.

Returning home after several months at college is such a strange experience. Especially Thanksgiving. It is a three day taste of home before returning to not only the intensity of school but dead and finals weeks as well. After the two hardest weeks of the quarter the journey home begins again. This is probably not as strange for those who live close enough to home to return on weekends, for those of us who chose to be a good distance away home is a place only visited for Thanksgiving, Christmas break, Spring Break and Summer. Aside from those four time periods home is our rooms at school.

The transition may seem radical: a college dorm or apartment to a house you grew up in. The norms and habits are so very different. Except childhood muscle memory always kicks in. Chores that were done growing up become standard once again, eating with the family something to look forward too, even the hours awake change back to those growing up. At school getting tired at around midnight seems slightly odd while not being in bed by midnight is strange at home. 

The strangest part is the subtle changes. Fixtures around the house change, door handles are replaced, curtains disappear and occasionally a wall changes color. Pets grow slightly or become better behaved (that is actually a rare occurrence). Seasons are weird also. Santa Barbara has no seasons aside form Sun and Rain while going home thrusts me into the normal (for me growing up) cycle of the seasons. I went from a slightly rainy Santa Barbara to the winter of my youth. The clouds, the temperature and the smells bring back the middle of winter. Oddly I miss real winter when I am in Santa Barbara. 

There is also the slow encroachment of space. Some of my friends have completely lost their rooms to siblings or parents. In my case my room is rapidly turning into a second office and a guest room, me as the guest. I mean my posters and books and stuff are all there, but ever slowly more filing boxes appear and a few more shelves are requisitions for business use.

An inability to do work arises as well. Over the summer I spent my time at home luxuriating in the lack of work that I needed to do. I read, I played video games and I took naps in the sun. Now when I return home with piles of work to do I cannot muster the motivation to do any of it. While at school I can easily work twelve hours straight I can barely do a hour of work without drifting off or finding a snack. Part of it is that I never had a dedicated work space growing up since I never had much homework in high school.

People change. It is not that bad now that I am a fourth year, but for my freshman year coming home for the first time was strange. I was no longest the same person who left two months before. The same thing happened after five months in Europe, people change. That is the point of college in the end, growing.

Going home is always a strange experience. The eight hour car ride is like a journey to another world. In a way it is relaxing but in a way there is always a sense of wonderment at the distinct world of home.

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Thanksgiving Traffic


Some bikes are unloved.

Some bikes are unloved.

I had a theory. I though that if instead of taking Highway 101 from Santa Barbara to my house in Sonoma County that it might be faster to go up to Sacramento and cut over and this avoid the traffic of Marin.

Well I was wrong.

The traffic that I normally encounter when going home for Thanksgiving (by bumming rides off of friends) is normally intense in Marine due to everyone going north. There are also exits, merging freeways and bridge like things.

Today the traffic had no discernable cause. We were on Highway 5. In the middle of Nowhere, California. Nothing in any direction, no traffic accidents, no off ramps, no buildings not even any cows. Not a single feature to look at aside from road and traffic. Yet there was traffic.




The drive normally takes (Santa Barbara to Sacramento) six hours or so. At hour seven and a half we could see the off ramp leading to my friends house. The front right tire blew out.

We pulled over and he fixed it while I held my flashlight to illuminate his handiwork. Once we arrived at his house I was then picked up by a family member and taken the rest of the way home. Ten hours.

Ten hours is roughly three more hours then I prefer to be in the car when driving to and from school. But then again Thanksgiving Eve has the heaviest traffic of the year. Or at least of the year when I am on the road.

Seriously though, traffic on Highway 5?

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