So here I am back from vacation once again. It was a good time, but given my penchant for complaining, there are things that could have gone better. I had a few issues, but they’re all minor, petty stuff and thankfully I’m smart enough to keep them to myself.

However, I have paranormal evidence to look at. Less than a week before we left for the beach, we had an investigation that required the use of ten cameras, and that means a lot of video to review. And on top of that, I still have evidence to go over from the week before. Naturally, the two weeks prior to vacation were understandably hectic, and would have been trying enough without having footage to watch. Still, I managed to get through six cameras worth of typical paranormal video from the oldest investigation – boring, static, continuous views of the same image, and then it’s on to the next one.

And I’ll get it all done – I always do, but it’s very much like a job, this paranormal stuff; it’s many other things as well, but it truly feels like a profession of sorts. Like a career, it kind of mentally calls to me during vacation, which I suppose is to remind me that all play and no work is a bad thing.

So, I left that wonderful place (handful of complaints in tow) and headed home with a somewhat heavy heart that there would be a ton of things to do just waiting for my appearance in the driveway – beckoning, as if to say, “It’s about time, dude.” Of course, There was an investigation on Sunday, which was 24 hours after we stumbled home – more footage to view and an ever growing backlog.

People don’t always understand what the big deal would be to just let it go for a day or two. I must obviously be completely obsessed, or at the very least, in need of a priorities check. Certainly I must have the time to do what others need me to do “now.” (They come at me simultaneously – I know it’s some kind of conspiracy.) Certainly I could miss a day of “that evidence stuff.” But a day turns into two, and pretty soon it’s doctor appointments for my mother, and watching a grandchild, and one has to clean the house and cook the roast beast. You know the drill.

Likewise, it probably seems like an hour of video ought to take no more than an hour to watch. And it’s unfortunate, but on average it take two to three times longer because every suspicious change in the video boredom requires inspection to determine whether it actually is a paranormal event. Fortunately, once in a blue moon it is. Since the cameras also record sound, the same rigor is required for audio possibilities. EVP are frequently found on video camera footage. So, a lot of the time, paranormal analysis just doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Like we’re only supposed to be looking for full-bodied apparitions and not wasting time pouring over every frame for other less sexy things.

But let’s return to the subject of vacations. I brought a lot of that footage with me on vacation along with the good intentions of quietly relaxing and viewing as large a chunk as possible. Imagine sitting on the veranda in the evening – a nice ocean breeze quietly cooling the heat of the day, and I, feet propped up and drink by my side, am watching for unexplained activity on a small glowing screen. Or, alone at the end of the day as the family sleeps; under a wide umbrella with the ocean by my side; another drink close by… Sometimes, fantasies really should come true, but alas, I’ve had nary a glimpse at that footage.

Well, there wasn’t any time! These people I live with wouldn’t leave me alone. They were always telling me to get ready for something, or “let’s do this now,” or deciding on restaurants… It’s such an insane thing to actually attempt having fun and being active on vacation, and yet, I surprisingly recommend it strongly – for all investigators. Leave that paranormal albatross at home while participating in the vacation rituals – it just makes sense, and you won’t regret it. It’s good for the soul, you know – your soul. Don’t worry about anyone else’s until you’re home. And have a happy summer, dammit – what’s left of it.

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