Five weeks from today I'll be finishing my job in Palau and boarding a plane that will leave the land of coconuts and take me to the land of absolutely-everything-else. The wind-down period has felt strange so far, like it's moving quickly and slowly at the same time. And I can't seem to shake the constant sense that I'm closing a big fat chapter. A chapter on tropical solitude, ferocious fruit bats, and ubiquitous mangy stray dogs.

Life is about to change in big ways very soon and right now it feels like I'm slowly ticking up the first hill on the roller coaster and the track is starting to curve. I hope you'll ride it with me and keep me from falling out. But, you probably shouldn't sit behind me. In case I throw up. Because I just ate a LARGE plate of nachos.

And now, your pictures and distractions:

K-Shell's name, forever a part of the Palauan landscape (or until the tide comes in).

Look. I touched animals. And then I had my hands amputated.

Poor Mr. Daniel. This world was not made for him.

K-Shell snapped this shot of me and Daniel boating around the islands. (Note: they MADE us wear those life jackets)

Crap to distract you from whatever you're supposed to be doing:

Newspaper makes a GLORIOUS mistake online.

See?! Cats are dangerous! Thanks, Matt.

How your cat is making you crazy. Thanks, Matt.

Pet wigs. Thanks, Tim and Leslie.

For fans of You've Got Mail. Thanks, Daniel.

Cat toilet training. What the? Thanks, Stephanie.

Insane job opportunities on Craigslist. Thanks, Brianna.

~It Just Gets Stranger