So I flew into Clovis last week and have been kind of just hanging out for the last few days. Before I go too far, let me first say that the flight from Dallas to Clovis was the best flight I’ve ever been on. Serious, it was the absolute best. I was on a small turbo prop airplane that sat eight people and there were three of us on board. The chairs were executive level seats that were very comfortable, like sitting in a laz-e-boy (are they still around). From my seat I could see the cockpit and look through the front windshield and of course I had a perfect view from the side too. The other two people on the flight were behind me so it felt like I was on the plane alone. We had some pretty strong turbulence too, but I don’t know why it wasn’t scary, it just seemed fun to me.

The view from my seat. Isn’t it just too perfect. I wish flying was always like this.

Everything about the flight was perfect. The planes took off from DFW, but at a different location so there was no TSA screening. I just checked in, grabbed a seat and waited for the flight to leave. I didn’t have to rush to a gate, or do any of the other BS stuff. I can honestly say that if flying was like that everywhere I’d travel a lot more instead of dreading flying.

So anyway, I’m in Clovis and to be completely honest, I’m loving it here. There are some things that are kind of a pain, like not having a car, but other than that I’m feeling really good.

I’ve kind of stayed away from talking about why I’m here just because I don’t think it’s appropriate to talk about it in this context. I will say I am here for a purpose, not for a visit or pleasure. Even though I’m here more for business, both of those are coming into play on my stay. The thing that is really shocking me is I forgot what it was like to have friends, or maybe good friends around. Since I’ve been back to the US I have felt more at home than anywhere else than I’ve been. It could be because I’m new basically just the flavor of the month, and given time things will go back to normal, but for now, it has been great experience.

Me looking all business and sporting some serious brow wrinkles.

I’ve started working on my next video. This video will be on an abandoned village in an emirate in the UAE. I started it yesterday and it’s going really slow. The past videos I’ve done sometimes I start slow, but get excited somewhere midway in the process. Usually when this happens it’s because during the process I can see where the video needs/wants to go. It just doesn’t seem to be happening on this one. Right now I’m working on the voice over and I haven’t stalled on it, but I’m struggling to be creative and informative without sounding like a weirdo. I’ve roughed in about half of the voice over and tomorrow I’ll finish most of it. It won’t be done, but it will probably be close to being finished. Then I’ll have to go back and edit the footage for clarity and tempo. The rough pass of editing was just to get the parts that I thought were important to the narrative. Once I have the voice over, I’ll have to refine and modify the video footage to get something in a finished state.

So that’s it for now. Actually, there’s more that I want to talk about, but for now I think that I’ll end this post. I can tell that I’m rambling a little– not too much but rambling all the same.

Sat 28/08/10 03:48
Meeting with friends

Today my first goal was to drive around Clovis to see what has changed since I was last here. I did a little of that earlier, but today I took it a bit more seriously, stopping at the more important locations instead of just driving by. My old house that I lived in while I was here is for sale so I spent about twenty minutes checking it out. It looks like it’s been empty for quite a while. The windows to the garage are broken out, the yard looks like it hasn’t been mowed all summer and the front porch has two huge wasp nests. It really makes me want to see how much they are asking for it. Wouldn’t that be kind of funny if I ended up buying my old house back? My only problem with that is the neighborhood has gone down even lower than it was when I lived there, and it wasn’t the best when I left in 2004, but if I could pick it up for cheap, it possibly could be a good investment.

Ken Curtis, Clovis, New Mexico Summer 2010   Sunset over Clovis, NM Summer 2010

About eleven in the morning I made it to ENMU to see some of the friends that I missed the day before. I was kind of nervous because it’s been something like two years since I last saw them and I haven’t kept in contact as much as I should have. My fears were soon dismissed when I saw Mic. I wrote about Mic and all that she has done for me in a page on my regular site (not the blog). I don’t want to go into the details, but let me say that seeing Mic, Cathy, Greg and Greg was one of the best experiences I’ve had, next to seeing my brother, this summer. All those names are professors that I first met in 1997 when I started attending Eastern New Mexico University as a student, and friends when I started teaching there in 2001. I consider them all to be nothing less that my family. They are, along with a few other friends that live in Clovis, the reason that I still consider this area to be my home even though I haven’t lived here for six years.

I hung out with one of the Gregs at his house for lunch and a beer and then later we all went out for an early dinner. It was a great time and reminded me of how much I miss living in Dubai. I’ve been in Dubai for three-plus years and still don’t have any connection to anyone or anything like I do here. It’s probably my fault, but the fact remains that Dubai really doesn’t feel like home to me.

After dinner I headed back to Canyon, Texas for my last night before taking the long trip back to Dubai. As a side note I stopped at an ATM to check my balance and all the money that was stolen from me was back in my account. What a nice thing to see!

I had a pretty good night’s rest last night and have been up for about an hour, maybe a little bit longer writing for the blog and trying to figure out my timings for the day. My flight to Dallas leaves Amarillo at almost three in the afternoon. I have to return the rental car, look for some clothes that I still need to buy, and there are some computer parts that I like to see if I could find. I don’t think that I’ll have any problem doing all that, but you never know. I also have to consider that I have layovers in every stop on my way back. I have two hours in Dallas and two in London, so that will mean that means the next time I will be somewhere to actually relax will be (with the time difference included) eleven at night tomorrow, about forty hours, or about twenty-six actual hours. Speaking of time, it’s about time that I start to get ready. Just like I started to miss my brother before he left about three days ago, I’m already starting to miss Texas and New Mexico. My next post will most likely be from Dubai, unless there’s Internet access from any of the airports that I stop at.

Sat 28/08/10 03:47
It is home…

It’s seven in the morning of the 24th, the day before I head back to Dubai and I’ve already been up for about an hour. I’ve had three cups of coffee, about four cigarettes, and now that I’m coffeed and cigaretted out I’m at a loss to find something to do. I guess I could take a shower and get ready to leave. That could burn about thirty minutes, then what would I do? I’ve got to say one thing before I go on about Clovis, New Mexico. I still miss my brother. I’m not sure why after two days I still miss him, but the fact is, that I’ve been thinking about how nice it would have been if he would have stuck around for a few more days. It could be that the two days we hung out was just enough time to talk about surface stuff, but I don’t know. I sure hope that he made it home. Since I don’t have access to the internet I’m feeling a little bit in the dark right now.

As soon as I could I headed to the bank yesterday to try to straighten out the theft of my money. I don’t know where I got the feeling that banks are nothing more than a necessity and they are, as a whole, nothing more than selfish-money-grubbing institutions that will do nothing to help you unless they benefit themselves, but Wells Fargo is really making me rethink my feelings on banks. Like I said, I went in first thing and was met by smiles, I explained why I was there, they offered me coffee and told me to have a seat. The banker came over and took control of the situation. It was really refreshing because he could see the fraudulent transactions and I didn’t really have to convince him, like I did when I called the bank from England. It took about an hour, and when I was done all the transactions were reversed and money was already being credited to my account. When I walked in, I thought that at best they would tell me that they would investigate and in about thirty days I find out if I’d get the money back. So, without a doubt to me Wells Fargo Bank has earned my loyalty as a customer, probably forever. After the situation was resolved, I stayed and talked with the banker for a little bit longer and he actually walked me to the door just like I would walk a friend to the door as they were leaving. Wells Fargo Rocks.

After the bank I headed to Clovis to see some friends. It’s been more than two years since my last visit and to be honest, I haven’t kept in contact with many of the people here. Time takes a toll on all things, and although I still consider all the people that I know here as friends it’s been a little bit strange showing up. The fact that I haven’t had Internet since I’ve been back to The States has made everything a little bit more difficult as well. I can’t warn people that I’ll be somewhere at a certain time. I did get to see two people yesterday though, and today I hope to see a few more.

This morning I woke up to rain. I don’t know if I’m the weather-jinx or it’s just coincidence that every place (except two) that I’ve gone in thirty-four days has rained, but I don’t like it. It’s August, the warmest time of the year… so why has it rained so much? Regardless of the weather, it’s been great to see all the old places that I used to go. Clovis hasn’t changed that much and for the most part I don’t think that it’s changed at all, so it feels like I never left. I can say that the “home” feeling that I get from Clovis is waning. It still feels like I belong here, but that feeling is not nearly as strong as it used to be. If things keep going as they have been, who knows, in five years I may not consider Clovis my home at all. I hope not though, I’ve always liked the idea that no matter where I lived, Clovis was my home.

It’s taken me about forty minutes to write this so it’s starting to get close to the point where I can actually find someplace to go or something to do. If I only had Internet I could kill at least another hour, maybe two and then it would be the perfect time to leave.

Wed 13/08/08 11:00

Right now I”m sitting in the airport and trying to use my computer but the screen is really dark…so dark that I can’t read what I’m writing. I don’t think I’ll be able to check my email until I get back to dubai in about two days.

sorry if you sent an email, but I hope that you understand…. I can’t see anything on the screen.

Ken

PS: I’m writing this part a few days later now that I’m home. When I was going through security at Albuquerque’s airport I saw a girl that looked just like Karen, a ex-girlfriend. It was kind of funny looking back at the situation now, but at the time my heart dropped down into my stomach and the “fight or flight” mechanism kicked in. I timed the security check so I was putting my shoes back on when she was collecting her belongings and went up and asked her if her name was Karen. I could see when I was close to her that it wasn’t her, but she could really have been Karen’s twin… and she said that she wasn’t. I had a butterflies for about 20 minutes after I asked her.

Sun 10/08/08 13:19

It’s Sunday right now and I’m in Canyon, Texas the city where I lived while I was in grad school. It’s a small city with a population of about 14k people, but is only about 18 miles from Amarillo, Texas a much larger city.

I got into Canyon about 2 yesterday and because I got up late and had to get out of the hotel, I didn’t have a chance to write anything about my time in Clovis until now. If you’ve read any of my other posts you know that Clovis is the one place that I consider to be my home. There are several reasons for my choice of Clovis, it was the first place that I chose to move to without anyone telling me where I had to live, it was where I got my undergrad degree, and it is the place that I feel like I have the most friends. If you have read any other posts you also know how I felt when I got to Clovis last Tuesday. I suddenly had this feeling that I would never move back, that the “home” feeling was gone, or at least overwhelmed from my life in Dubai and the recent travels around the world. Well, that is still the case. I love the memories that I have of my life in Clovis, and I hold the friends there as close as ever, but although it’s still too soon to say with any certainty, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back home.. :(

Anyway, Friday I spent the day with Chris at his shop. He owns a tee shirt shop with a post office attached. He’s been running both businesses for about 4 years and is doing really well… except that he’s getting ready to sell everything and move to Austin Texas. Back in the day, I’d go over and just hang out there, so being able to do it again brought back some great memories. Later in the afternoon Corey, another friend got off work and the three of us along with another friend headed to a bar for dinner and drinks. You have to remember that Clovis is not really small, but it’s small enough that if you went to school there chances are you’re going to know a lot of people, and it seemed that Corey and Chris know a lot of people. We ended up drinking until about 1am and then headed to Chris’ for some home made wine. I got to my hotel about 230.

It was great a time, and I’m glad that I got to do it before Chris leaves for Austin. In fact it may be the last time it happens.

Thu 07/08/08 22:22

Okay, so I went and bought a camera before I went scuba diving. I felt that I just needed one since my other one stopped working. The card that had the images on it are fine and now I can upload them. The only problem is the quality of the photos that my video camera took… I can’t complain though, I’ve got the photos and that’s what matters… right?