You all are well aware that I took a vacation recently. It is always difficult to return from vacation and dive back into the not-nearly-as-nice routine of our working lives. I had a particularly good time despite subpar weather on my trip, so the shift back to reality has been unpleasant.

At least I thought I had a good time. When I find myself trying to explain what I did for eight days it doesn't seem terribly exciting. Tell people you are going to Brazil and their first reaction is likely to be, "Oh, Rio! So fun!" or something else with strong undertones of Sex, Drugs, and Party Time. Alas, those things were absent from my trip (and life, but that's another story). Instead I took a lot of pictures of buildings and waterfalls. I know, I know. I am so exciting.

I have this recurring problem where I enjoy things until I have to attempt to explain them to other people and then when I see or hear the words coming out of my brain I think, well actually this doesn't sound like fun at all. This sounds like something a very boring person would do, perhaps due to some life-threatening allergy to fun or fundamental ignorance about how the concept of fun works. In short, vacation was fun but at 35 I still can't get comfortable with how lame my definition of "fun" is.

Yes, I know. Save yourself the trouble of rushing to the comments to First World Problem me. I realize that my life is very easy, I do not lack for any necessities, and I can afford things like vacations to other hemispheres. It is an opportunity that many people both here in the U.S. and around the world never get. I get it. Despite that, I feel like having Actual Fun, the kind that people who understand the concept of enjoying life have, would be good for me. It might even make me less of a wet blanket all the time not to mention that I might experience strange feelings like…well, not happiness, but maybe Not Misery for a while. It is not, however, in my DNA. I know a lot of things but how to be fun is not one of them.

So, hello. My name is Ed and I'm a no-fun-a-holic. I'm here today because I went to Brazil on the itinerary of an elderly woman not unlike your grandmother. If I can't learn to be fun at this point I might settle for not talking myself out of it when I manage to do whatever embarrassing things I find enjoyable. On the plus side, it was really interesting to have nobody to talk to for a week in an entirely different country! Gotta change things up every so often, variety being the spice of life and all. So that was exciting.

It's good to be back.

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  1. What The Karp!?! Says:

    My ideal vacation would be going to Alaska to catch fish that are very similar to the fish we have here in Wisconsin. But I want to do it in Alaska before mining and drilling ruins it all.

  2. Cameron Says:


    I remember you like fast German automobiles. Look up the local SCCA (or BMWCCA), get some R compound tires, and run in some autocrosses. Don't worry, you won't break your car. You will have fun.

  3. piperspace Says:

    As always, I enjoyed the stories in the comments. I think @MikeofVB wins this one, though. Wow.

  4. Nick Says:

    Slim Shady: Utah resident here. If you come back, there's a package agency (basically a privately owned store that can sell liquor in some small towns) in Springdale, but the nearest actual liquor store is in Hurricane (pronounced Hurikun). On the plus side there's a decent brewery in Springdale as well. Glad you enjoyed Zion, Utah gets its fair share of shit (most of it deserved) but it's an amazing place.

    Ed: When I went to Prague, my traveling companions went out for a "hostel bar crawl," which in my limited experience involve lots of drunk Americans and Australians and skeezy locals trying to bang them. I passed and instead went around taking pictures of architecture in and near Wenceslas Square. Went to bed around 10:00, woke up at 7 the next morning, got coffee, and went to the castle before the tourists hit, where I also bought a CD from a delightful street band called the Prague Castle Orchestra. By the time I got back, my friends were just starting to wake up, having missed half of one of our two days in Prague. Despite my usual fondness for alcoholic beverages and staying up late, I regret nothing–if I wanted to get shitfaced and pass out at 4 AM and sleep until the afternoon, I could have done that at home. Instead I got to walk around in the morning, watching one of the most beautiful cities in Europe wake up. There's a place for partying on vacation, but fuck anyone who tries to make you feel like you missed out on something if you focused on the stuff you like instead. Glad you enjoyed your trip, ya nerd. Good to have you back.

  5. Entomologista Says:

    I probably have you beat. When people ask what I do for fun, I tell them I play board games. They think "Chutes&Ladders". No… More like strategy games that last several hours. And then I watch their eyes glaze over. But I'm right there with you when traveling. I travel for the history and the hiking. And I stop to look at all the pretty bugs.

  6. Drew Says:

    Good to have you back, Ed!

    I used to dig rocks (mineral collecting) for a hobby, which is not something people usually think of when it comes to vacating. Out in the hot sun, digging a big hole and sweating my balls off seems like work to most. But, I have figured out that most others don't give a shit about what makes me happy, so I have to do what makes me happy instead of what others think *should* make me happy.


  7. Slim Shady Says:

    Thanks Nick, we're definitely coming back! We survived by hitting several restaurants that had full licenses. The place that had those huevos rancheros, Oscars, had this misleading painted Margarita glass on the windows, which had me all worked up the first day. But when we returned in the afternoon, we found they were 'Wine Margaritas'. Probably should have tried one, just for research purposes, but bailed out until dinner later in the evening.

  8. cromartie Says:

    I just spent a weekend driving 500 miles to attend art exhibitions and hike state parks.

    Part of growing up and older is enjoying what you do and shrugging and saying 'fuck it' if people don't agree with your idea/perception of fun.

  9. sinned34 Says:

    So you came back just in time to watch the Hawks get eliminated thanks to a bad bounce. Welcome back!

  10. Lless Says:

    Have you tried running, Ed? Get a copy of Galloway's book and walk till you run. Hurts a little at first. Then it gets better. All of a sudden you enjoy it. It kicks depression's ass.

  11. geoff Says:

    Ed, where're the Oscar Niemeyer pics? That stuff's interesting!! Mid-Century Modern 4EVA!!

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  13. sad Says:

    Even if you think it's inappropriate, or even make believe…

    It might still be helpfull for you to go through the process of defining who is ment by "us" and "them".

    I've never heard anyone do that.

    The hole idea of talking about "us and them" without definition, seems a little weird.

    Peace… sad

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