Nothing is so serene as sitting at the desk in the early morning hours and surfing around and deciding what to write about. It’s like being in a womb. And there’s nothing quite so discomforting as the incrementally expanding sense of pressure as the hour of a flight approaches, and knowing you have six or seven things to attend to before you leave. Because I couldn’t make myself do them before (i.e., over the weekend). Because the womb is too soothing to step out of.

My flight to Honolulu departs this afternoon sometime around 4:30 pm, give or take. I can’t stand super-long flights so I broke up the LAX-to-Tokyo haul with 14 hours in Hawaii. The Honolulu-to-Tokyo flight leaves Tuesday at 1 pm (or 4 pm LA time). God knows when it arrives but roughly seven or eight hours later. And yet earlier in an hourly sense, not to mention a day “behind.” And there’s only an hour’s stopover in Tokyo before the Hanoi flight leaves, which means there’s a fair-to-decent chance I’ll miss it. Plus no onboard wifi above the Pacific– terrific.

I’m just going to have to follow the Oscar-season action from afar for nine or ten days, give or take. I’m going to miss next weekend’s big screenings of Les Miserables on Saturday and ones for Zero Dark Thirty on Sunday. I’ll catch everything fairly quickly when I return, and in the meantime I’ll have plenty to pass along in terms of exotic Asian absorptions and the shock of the first-time-ever. Vietnam, I mean. I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to Vietnam in order to attend the Hanoi Film Festival. And there’s a part of me that just wants to stay put.

If the plane lands in shark-infested waters I’ll have lived a rich life, at least, and can reflect upon that during my final moments.