A long needed break

In my experience, at some point in all our lives, we need a break. Some time to relax and recover. Thankfully, around the later days of December, even trickling into the first few days of January, many of us get the opportunity to do just that.

I say opportunity rather than implying we are granted a break simply because I think there are ways to botch some time off. Not to say there is a right way to go about your relaxation, just that you can sometimes realize you didn’t make the fullest of your break (as ironic as that may be).

My break was a healthy mixture of film, music, video games, and reading, all amalgamating in a four day trip to Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.

Soon after break began, I took the slightly long yet comfortingly familiar trip to my friend Jamie’s house, where our friend Niko was also staying. There, the hours were whiled away playing music and Supersmash Bros: Brawl. There are few things as exciting and relaxing as really clicking while jamming with friends (as I have previously stated).

This+music? What else could you want?

At one point, while reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and listening to people play Left 4 Dead, I heard the thumping of a drum kit accompanied by an electric guitar from the basement. Dropping what I was doing, I found Niko and Jamie in the middle of their own take on Against Me!’s (AM!) “Violence”; arriving just as the chorus hit, I picked up my red Takamine in time to play the post-chorus riff as Jamie took rhythm. We spent the next hour playing vastly different versions of AM! songs.

The film highlight of my break must be granted to not one, but two viewings (a feat which I was told, made me “insane” due to the graphic and heavy nature of the film) of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, director David Fincher’s latest.

Once home, I spent the rest of my Christmas break playing L.A. Noire, watching numerous films, and reading. The ultimate teenage relaxation. After Christmas, Niko and Jamie came over, and, after loading up the car, we left with the rest of my family for Deep Creek Lake, Maryland.

With an entire ground floor to ourselves, there was far from a shortage to do: A pool table, a stereo-system with iPod compatibility, a refrigerator freshly stocked with soda and Chai tea, a flat-screen TV accompanied by a CD case full of movies, and yes, even a hot tub. It was truly lounging paradise.

Problems seemed miles away; a concern not something to fret about, only brought up when being discussed casually and rationally in front of the fireplace or during a game of pool. Though most time was spent relaxing, we had a day of inspiration.

Subsequent to a discussion about a film we have had in the works off-and-on since the summer, a prologue synopsis was suddenly written by Jamie. We had an unexpected burst of energy. The next day was devoted to finding locations and filming. Ideas were changed, shots were taken again and again, land was covered, and hands were cold. Finally, after settling into the hot tub late in the day, we realized that all we had needed was the time off to let our minds get into the right place. A break.

In sum, it was beautifully put by Niko, “you know life is good when all you have to worry about is getting into the hot tub on time.”

Cheers to the new year!

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