Friday, January 9, 2015

Asheville, NC: something to see. (Day 5)

Today, we went to Asheville, about 30 minutes up the road. Asheville gets good grades for being a place that people like to be. There is youth and activity. Culture and hippie type people. Cool folks in affordable housing.

The Winters of My Discontent: 

I'm always thinking about where to end up, because I have a constant sneaking feeling that I should try to do better than southeast Pennsylvania. My friends and family are in PA, but my people are spread out everywhere in a thin layer, and I haven't met them all yet.

I'd live forever in Pennsylvania if not for the goddamn winter. The humidity in the summer is no prize, but it's the winter's balls I'd really like to step on. I'd like to stay close to family and see my nephew increase in size and start saying more and more words and sentences. When known friends do something, I'd like to be able to join in. But the cold. It has me sad, and I'm always thinking about how the sun shines in other places. While Pennsylvania is getting snowed on from a vast impermeable blanket, other sections of these same United States are getting absolutely battered by sunlight. Other areas have so much sun it seems selfish. And the kicker, to me, is that when I visit these places, the people are happier and friendlier as well. Aside from not being born there, those places are better.

I think humans are almost certainly insane to stay somewhere worse with anything less than iron cuffs keeping them in place. I hate wearing invisible shackles, and it depresses me when I lose the motivation to at least thrash around furiously.

I have a list of better places in mind, and I'd like to figure out if I should move somewhere or toss the list. Maybe it would be better to just travel for the winter. Maybe I should just go on anti-depressants for a few months every year. I almost wish for fewer options, because the wealth of opportunity and possibility make my mind feel drawn and quartered.

Asheville is a nice place with affordable rent, but it's not warm enough. It's not quite good enough to give up on Pennsylvania. We visited at a particularly cold time, today, and it put a damper on my willingness to wander around. I'd say we got an essence of Asheville. I'd like to return during a warmer month, but I doubt this is where I will stake my flag. 

The Asheville Pinball Museum: 

The Pinball Museum was fun. I'm not a pinball guy, but I like looking at stuff, and I can be entertained adequately by pushing a button. We paid $10 for unlimited play. The machines are all rigged with a start button, so once you pay to get in, all the flippering is free. Good thing, too. My quarter would not go a long way, since pinball - I am ashamed to admit - actually confuses me about as much as school and everything else since. But like everything else, pinball doesn't matter much, and I was especially amused by the giant machine that uses an 8-Ball and has giant clicky flippers to match the larger scale. I like the art and the flashing lights. I couldn't tell you a damn thing about scoring norms or what to do besides just try to swat at the ball. In that way, it's a lot like sports.

Asheville? Looks pretty good, and you can definitely ride a bike there. I left off one star for still being so goddamn cold. 

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