Monday, January 5, 2009
It’s strange now to be on the cusp of departure when for so long this trip has existed only in my head. Understandably I find myself going through periods both of giddy excitement and quiet anxiousness. The majority of my nervousness, I’d say, stems from my trip up Kilimanjaro. Due to mistaken planning on my part, and rather callous inflexibility on my program’s part, I’m not doing the hike I wished to do. So instead of summiting in seven days, I’ll be doing it in five. A longer trip provides better chances for acclimatization, so I’ve been kicking myself the past month or two over not double checking dates and being able to do the hike I originally planned. As it stands, I’ve been (difficultly) persuading myself that reaching the top isn’t important. That the trip and the experience are what matters. This proves more difficult in light of the fact that the standard method of climbing Kilimanjaro comes through the hiring of a guide and the use of porters to carry your things. I’m not sure how spiritual or enlightening a hike can be when your dinner is waiting for you when you arrive at camp, and you only have fifteen pounds on your back.
This doesn’t mean I’m not excited. I certainly am. Only I hold trepidations that become annoyingly persistent the more I entertain them, and are in no part diminished by the fact that still being in America, the outcomes can take any shape they wish in my head.
Background on the mountain: 19,340 ft, the highest peak in Africa (though shorter than a giraffe, apparently - I stole that photo from I forget where, but I think that the giraffe or mountain was photoshopped in), and, (depending on how you reckon the term) the highest freestanding mountain in the world. (Among the highest mountains in the world, however, it doesn’t break the top 100, and I don’t wish to give off the impression that this is a monumental feat.) The coolest part, I think, is that while it lies near the equator, it also climbs high enough to include nearly every climatic zone on earth. (Lots of paranthetical statements here).
I’ll update more on the program when I get the chance. Before, however, I would like to acknowledge the fact that about ten people die every year on the mountain. And while it is not part of my itinerary, there still exists a small chance that I will indeed perish in route. In the unlikelihood of such an event, I would like to express my wishes that my ashes be scattered at camp. If you hold my funeral in a church, I will ensure each and every person’s life in attendance will be haunted by me from the afterlife of my choosing (my preference, the DH, but I'll leave logistics to you all). I think when people say “Wear bright colors at my funeral! I want it to be happy!” they think they’re being unique and cheerful, when in actuality I’m sure that’s in at least five movies, and anyway, doesn’t it seem a bit odd? Celebrate my life all you want man, but face it, I’m dead, that’s sad, so I want you all in formal dress and somber colors. Get drunk all you want, but really, this isn’t a Jake’s Gone! Party. I would also like my life’s savings divided equally between every one of my Facebook friends, even the ones who friended me in the summer between high school and college in order to appear like we knew people freshman year. I want speeches made by my three best friends. I'm not going to say who those are now because what if I don't die? Then you'd all be bitterly angry and upset about not making the list (or being lower on the list than you hoped) and everyone would get in a fight and I'm not even dead. So rest assured that, were I to die, I would find a foolproof method of communicating to everyone who I am choosing to speak. Finally, I want played (in specific order):
Sting: Every Breath You Take
Puff Daddy: I’ll Be Missing You
Sting: Every Breath You Take (so you can really compare them this time)
Venga Boys: Boom Boom Boom Boom
Fatlip: What's Up Fatlip (including the dance)
The Chemical Brothers ft. Fatlip: The Salmon Dance (including this dance)
Andrew Concannon: Kanye West, Wale, Lupe medley of his choosing
Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony (Every second of it)
Taps, but on a bagpipe, because they sound better than horns, and the guy playing has to have a beard. Also, he has to wear a kilt.
Bon Iver: Woods
And the only things you can eat at the after party (at Puffy’s) are vegetables.
P.S. Blogs are kind of weird.
P.P.S. Love you all.