Friday, November 18, 2005

Arizona Peregrinations

With a huge sigh of relief, Michael and I resigned the same day. We then took a week to travel in the Southeast corner of Arizona. Michael had been itching to see Tombstone ever since I went there about a year ago.

We started off going East on I-10 and kept going until we were outside of Phoenix and hung a right on 85. Dropped down to Gila Bend and then over on I-8 to Tucson. We decided that there wasn't much to see in Phoenix and we might as well just push on to Tucson.

Not that there was much in Tucson. I should warn you - if you go - the Downtown rolls up their sidewalks at 5 or 6 PM. There is some action on Broadway, but if you're accustomed to coastal cities, the 5-6 bars won't seem like much. We accidentally made a right near the Congress Hotel which dropped us under the train tracks and we found 4th Ave. Now, 4th Ave on the Congress Hotel side is so quiet they don't bother with street lamps after about 2 blocks, so it was quite a surprise to find a lively street there. More surprising was their collection of punks and alterna-hipsters.

Exactly what are the punks in Tucson rebelling against there? Rocks? Heat? There doesn't seem to be strong cultural forces to begin with, let alone fight against. But more power to them, I would say they are keeping it real.

Then again, I might be bitter with Tucson, as I got the worst case of food poisoning while there. It stalled our trip, as I was not mobile for the better part of Sunday. Following that, I had terrible cramps for the following 5 days (they have finally subsided, today, Friday) - so I was less than perky on this adventure. Poor Michael. He did his best, but really, there is nothing he could do while I was writhing in pain between sprints to the bathroom and passing out on the bed. Gives me more and more respect for hospice workers. I can't imagine their grit and strong moral fiber, as in so many cases we are as ineffective as the doctors in the middle ages.

Daily we gain a more comprehensive understanding of the human body, the impact of specific medications on the body and nano-workings (I just wanted to write Nano). Yet most information leads to more questions. Why does one chemical cause three specific interactions while a slightly modified one cause two? Not to mention the helplessness that comes from understanding the cause, but having no cure. Or viruses - they enter our bodies and we are never able to make them leave, we are only able to develop anti-bodies that keep them in check. And what really is us? How much of our cells and make-up contain our DNA? There are hundreds of microbes digesting that margarita in my tummy and even more munchins eating the dead flesh off my skin - neither of which are me, yet I wouldn't function as well without them. Now, if so little of me is me, then how much of me must be mechanical or computerized or electronic for me to be a cyborg? Was this question solved by Darth Vader? So similar to this is questions of translated text - how much of the Odyssey is Homer and how much is Richard Lattimore?

I think it best to judge by the ends in these cases. My body is what it is due to the hybrid of its make-up - as it could be complimented by robotics as well. Not that I have them, but would implants count as robotics? They do serve a purpose and are foreign. And a translated text can be delightful in its own right, but if searching for the beauty in the original text, it might be best to learn the language.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about Tombstone.

No comments: