do now cheer me on

The other day I drove my first solo road trip, to meet up in Albuquerque with Patrick. It was a pretty easy ride– the route was somewhat familiar to the one we took to El Paso (I think I even stopped at one of the same gas stations, heh). I over-caffeinated in the beginning and got really jumpy so every passing road sign made me feel like I was on the verge of a heart attack, and a piece of the chocolate bar I ate melted on the seat/my pants, but besides that, no trouble.

Lately it seems a lot of my friends (and semi-related friends, i.e. cousins-in-law) are traveling as well… People are heading out to the West Coast for internships, one friend of ours moved to Denver too, another friend applied for a job that requires moving. One of my cousins-in-law is working with AmeriCorps out here in the West (I think she’s headed to Texas soon), one lives in DC, my brother-in-law lived in Ireland for a few months, others have taken trips overseas. I know everyone says that posting about trips on social media is fake or trying to make your life seem cool or whatever, but… I guess I’m glad they’re all posting about it everywhere. I feel like we’re all in a sort of club, spreading out and exploring the country. It inspires me to not miss home too much.

While I drove yesterday, telephone wires spooling along beside me, rocks rising out of the horizon, strange plants bristling across empty fields, I imagined myself years from now gliding on some other open road somewhere. And why not? Life is short and gas is cheap. (Uh… right now, anyway. *has horror flashback to 2008* *horror flashback switches from gas prices to my fashion* Yeah guys, forget the past!!! Seize the day!!)

Albuquerque is familiar in a weird way… They have a parkway across from their zoo, which is reminiscent of Old Brooklyn; even the signs for the zoo looked the same. Of course, the parkway went through a forest with signs warning of fire dangers, and all the trees were pale and dry. The path through the woods was just dust. You could walk without making a sound– or hearing a sound. I sat still for a while, though, and saw some small birds and one woodpecker.

Tonight, Patrick and I are driving to some other town in northern New Mexico… As I’m really growing to like this state, I’m looking forward to seeing more. Plus, it’s really spring here! Besides that park, there are many trees budding and blooming. Imagine new, bright green and a clear blue sky against all the subdued shades of brown (which is pretty too). Add in the ~~power of the sun~~ and it’s hard not to feel alive even on an ordinary Thursday.

The title of this post is from “Erin” by Joanna Newsom… A song I think about on just about every road trip. Erin, Erin, Erin across America! Some people say it’s also a mondegreen for “Erring” which I like too.

Yours from the road,
Pen

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oranges and lemons

So, our yearly migration ended last weekend (finally) and now I’m back in the comfort (um, relative comfort, I might say instead– as I survey the disarrayed dishes hither and everywhere) of home.

Poncho: “I want a man-sized hobbit house. Like, to legitly live in.”
Me: “Legitly? Legitly is not a word. ‘Legit’ comes from legitimate, so you’d say ‘legitimately’.”
Poncho: *blank stare*
Me: “Yeah, I know, no one cares.”
Poncho: “Nope.”

So now I am trying to think of all the things I wanted to write a blog about since Thanksgiving– but yep, the ideas have flitted into my brain and right back out again. Or, as Dad said tonight to me (as he demonstrated proper shoe-shining technique), “You have all these good ideas, and you end up dead.”
Me: “Thanks for that inspirational quote, there.”
Dodge: “That’s how he always ends his stories. ‘…Well, that guy’s dead now.'”
Dad: “It happens to everyone, eventually.”

A never-ending fount of optimism, my dad is.

Last night we ate dinner with the grandparents, and Mom started reminiscing about staying over there during the Migration.
Me: “I liked how when Poncho started watching Dr. Who over here, Grandpa said, ‘This is the weirdest movie I’ve ever seen’.”
Dodge: “And it’s not even a movie.”
Grandpa: “What movie?”
Me: “TV show. Dr. Who.”
Grandpa: “Dr. Who?”
Everyone burst out laughing.
Grandpa: “Well, what’s his name?”
Poncho: “That is the name! That is the point of the show!”
Grandpa: “I dunno. That’s some weird kinda movie.”

And then there’s “Dr. Nope”, the phrase that Dodge coined and has now become somewhat infamous among people who hear me say it too much. Any time that Dodge or I use this phrase, Mom is bound to ask what we mean. Francis always says, “I don’t get this Dr. Nope.”
The other day was no different, except that the fabulous Marie was there to explain it all.
Francis: “What does this ‘Dr. Nope’ mean? I just don’t get this Dr Nope.”
Marie: “It’s an expression. Right? It means, like, something’s just not gonna happen. Dr. Nope.”
When I told this to Dodge, he said, “Finally! Someone understands me!”

What? I don’t count as someone? Lest it be forgotten, I was the first adopter of “Dr. Nope” (and everyone smacks me upside the head and asks me why I follow in Dodge’s annoying footsteps). (Although, I might add that Dodge has started calling me “Nachos”, which I don’t think I will ever understand.)

Something else I allegedly don’t understand: 1984. I finally read it, gave it another shot… And I’m glad I did. Not because it’s my new favorite book or anything, but it was interesting and it definitely made me think. Actually, you know what, I think I did understand it (mostly… I just finished it yesterday, so I’m still kind of mulling it over). The truth is, though, that both 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, in their own ways, made me vaguely depressed about life and about the future in general. Oh, not because of the state of the world, not because of the dystopian stuff– but because of the majorly messed-up relationships these characters have. I mean, come on, you guys! Some of us are young and trying to not panic.

I should go re-read Jane Eyre to cleanse my mind. Good grief.

But still. If a book has the power to draw me in to the point where, upon a big revelation, I repeatedly throw it against the couch, it must be pretty good.

One more thing… Snow! Glorious snow! And bad driving conditions, and scraping windshields, and that pale grime on everything, and cold hands while typing this. Yay, winter. (Oh, but outdoor skating! And ice! and salt and rolling in snow and every shade of brown and all the woods and soft as chalk and an excuse to drink excessive amounts of various hot beverages! Yay, winter!)

sewn in a sweater you can wear when it gets colder

Recently I found myself in the midst of a conversation about 3-D printers (and also Oxford commas– always use Oxford commas!) and I said how it seems so weird, like they’re making something out of nothing. Even though, obviously, that’s not what they do. It still seemed too magical, or sci-fi, or something. But then today I was knitting and I realized that knitting is a very similar process. You take a very very very long piece of string and shape it into a garment? What? Knitting is kind of like making something out of nothing, too. So 3-D printers are like machines that can knit plastic and metal. Or… Whatever. Maybe that comparison only works in my head.

In other news: it snowed! And it looked messy and weird clinging to trees which are still clinging to leaves, and coating the leaf piles on the curbs.
(Bug: “Our leaf pile looks like the exact shape of a crocodile.”
Me: “What if leaf piles were like the Sandman and they could shape themselves into different creatures, and they came to eat you?”
Bug: “Woah.”)
I woke up on the snowy morning singing “White Winter Hymnal”. And the night before, as I came out of work, I already knew it would be snowing because I had seen it through the windows. But apparently the lady who stepped out of the doorway before me didn’t. “Aughhh!” she cried. I ran out laughing.

Well, yesterday was Poncho’s birthday… So we all went out to dinner. This is how that went…
Grandpa (as soon as we sat down): “Elvis was a drug addict. Did you know that?”
Me: “Why….”
Grandpa: “Looooove me tender, you ain’t nothing but a hound dog.”
Dodge: “I don’t think those are in the same song.”
Grandpa: “Yeah they are!” *plays air guitar* “The girls went crazy.”
Me: “Oh-kaaaay, new topic.”
Dodge: “Hey Grandpa, who’s your favorite Browns player?” *evil grin* “Brandon Weedon?”
Grandma, overhearing this, glared daggers at our end of the table.
Dodge: (snickering, aside, to me): “Look what I did.”
Mom: “Kick Dodge under the table.”
Me: *kicks Dodge under the table.*
Dodge: “Stop it!”
Grandpa: “Hey, be nice to your sister.”
Dodge: “What? She’s the one kicking me…”
Grandpa: “You gotta be a man and take it!”
At this point Dodge and I fell over ourselves laughing… Then all was normal (ha-ha, riiiiiiight) for a bit until Dodge started playing with his knife, spinning it on the table.
Grandma: “Just wait till you cut your finger off, and I have to drive you to the emergency room.”
Dodge: *pretending to saw his hand* “Grandma, in about five minutes I need to go to the hospital. Go warm up the car.”
Grandma: “You better watch out, that’s all I’m saying.”
Dodge pulled his hand inside his sleeve and waved his knife in the air. “AAAAHHHHH! My hand!”
I took the knife from him and dipped it in salsa. “There, it makes it more realistic.”
Dodge: “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Also, I got Poncho a sonic screwdriver, and I have no regrets. Even though he shined it in my eyes (probably trying to verify that I am, in fact, an alien) and pretended to sonic every closed door. I don’t think it has left his person since he got it out of the box.

I guess that’s all for now… Happy 13th birthday to Poncho, and I am off to make something out of nothing (which is to say, I am going to work on some writing).

decapitated chocolate bunnies

Thus ends Easter Sunday, with me sitting here in the rocking chair that I moved into my bedroom, assessing the mess around me. There is a basket of chocolate on my bed (including, yes, a decapitated chocolate bunny. But Poncho ate the staring, yellow sugar eyes, okay!), which is unmade due to the rush to leave for church this morning. There are papers piled up on my desk, magazines piled up on the dresser, library books piled up… well, everywhere. All the shoes that I own (not many, actually) are strewn through the room, boots and moccasins and flats because what the heck is up with the weather? And don’t even get me started on the three calendars, two notebooks, two bags of potting soil, and oodles of newspaper pots crammed in the corner. Gardening junkie. What can I say.

At least there is good news on that front. My seedlings have sprouted– Well, the tomatoes and leeks, anyway. The eggplants’ pots are stubbornly refusing to look even the tiniest bit hopeful. And I haven’t planted anything else besides those three yet. Oh, except foxgloves just this evening. (*claps hands girlishly*) (Oh dear, someone please restrain me from doing things like that! My younger– and probably older– selves would be so embarrassed!) (Seriously, though. Since when did I become so in love with… with… flowers?) (More importantly, do I really care? Maybe not so much, considering that my weird infatuation caused the bringing home of some blue hyacinths, which are currently perfuming the air with the smell of elusive, mythical spring.)

The tomatoes at first look like near-microscopic, anemic-green arches still mostly buried in soil, and then slowly they rear their heads. Two pointed leaves escape, finally, from the shell that was once a seed. Now they look like tiny, blind, fierce dragons, roaring silently, or else spreading their leaves wide and yawning for (fake) sunshine.

They’re darn cute, is what I’m trying to say.

All right, enough of plants… What else? Oh. Right. This.
Grandpa (giving me boy advice): “Don’t go for some guy who’s twenty-three…”
Me: “Why? They’re done with school, maybe they have a job…”
Grandpa: “Naw! They work at some video store.”
Me: “Um. Grandpa? When was the last time you saw a video store?”
Grandpa: “Well, you know what I mean!”

Other advice I received basically boiled down to “don’t go for an Amish vegetarian”, so… Yeah, okay. Whatever you say, guys. (Maybe I’ll find an Amish vegetarian who works at the last remaining Blockbuster on the face of the earth. That would really shake things up!)

 

I am off to water my seedlings now, the demanding little buggers– but hah! I can’t fool you, reader. You know that I, with my  peculiar need to stroke and coo over every plant in the home improvement store, live for this thrill of watching baby dragons unfurl their first true leaves, spiky and complete with prickles.

Because Easter, obviously, isn’t all just decapitated chocolate bunnies. It’s life springing new! In the midst of messy chaos, sugar comas, and too many cups of tea, yup, definitely. Jesus is risen and the foxgloves are sown and death is powerless and all is right in the world.

I am filled with joy, and I hope you are too. :)
~Pen

fire, flannel, frosty day

Dad is in the kitchen making dinner for us now. He is wearing a flannel shirt that saw better days approximately twenty years ago. It has a front pocket that is held on by safety pins. Another safety pin serves as a button. A huge rip in the side serves as another pocket. The elbow, cuffs, and collar are all worn down to the quilting.

And now…

Dad: “Whoo! My shirt caught on fire!”
He comes running into the room.
Mom: “Greeeaaaat.”
Dad: “Yeah, cause now this seam is melted back together.”

So, yep, it’s just a typical coldpocalypse day here at my house. (In the background, I hear Dad yelp, “OW! asdfghjkl”) All the weather people are freaking out about snow that’s as thin as Dad’s flannel, and about cold that’s… um… normal for this region.  Last winter was basically a prolonged fall, which threw off my internal clock (sometimes, if you’re very quiet, you can hear me ticking from across the lagoon) and made everyone else paranoid about anything below fifty degrees.

Uh, not that I’d like to be out there right now, but still. As Dad said last night admist the numerous rerun-interrupting alerts and warnings,
“Alert! Alert! It’s still winter!”

The good thing is, so far today I slept in, sewed and knitted, and wrote. I’m still hoping to write more. I’m also hoping that my window will un-freeze so that I can feed my poor, frozen sparrows. (My poor, frozen sparrows who probably just ate at someone else’s feeder today, the fickle little buggers.)

Tis all for now…

Yours till the cold snaps,
Pen

stars and angels gave the sign

Hello from the time warp that is Christmas. Seriously, the day before Christmas Eve (Mom calls it Christmas Adam), Christmas Eve, and Christmas (or Christmas Day One, as I call it) felt like a whole week all by themselves. There was cleaning, decorating (I made paper chains and stars, and the stars still haven’t made it up…), church-going, and then on the night of Christmas Eve, feasting and gingerbread-house-making. Also Dad read us “The Night Before Christmas”, as is traditional. Or not.
Dad: “When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but–”
Poncho: “A chocolate cow. HEHEHEHEHEEEEE”
Dad: shakes head sadly, muttering, “Blasphemy.”

Yep, that's the gingerbread house. You either think it's cute, or else you are imagining a fairy tale witch living in there, pre-heating her oven...
Yep, that’s the gingerbread house. You either think it’s cute, or else you are imagining a fairy tale witch living in there, pre-heating her oven…

Oh yeah, and the dead Lego people in the background… The battle of Helm’s Deep spilled over. Because that’s what Poncho got for Christmas! He opened it with much excitement, and Dodge and I just looked at each other and I said, “Can we play?”

Anyway… Christmas itself was laid-back, with us basically taking turns laying on the couch with the television tuned into sleep-inducing nature shows, or new video games, or movies. I never got a nap, though, because right as I fell asleep it was time for dinner. Which was ham.
Ham, my personal nemesis.
Well, one of them. Because if ham was the mayor, Canadian bacon would be vice mayor, and why did I use mayors as an analogy. I do not know. What I’m getting at is, ham creeps me out.
Grandma: “Aren’t you going to have some meat?”
Me: “I don’t eat ham.”
Grandpa: “You’re a vegetarian!?!”
Me: “No… I just don’t eat ham.”
Grandpa: “So you just don’t like pork, huh?”
Me: “I like pork. Just not ham.”
Or Canadian bacon. But I did not mention that.
Next Christmas I think we should have catfish instead. At least one for me. (And if catfish was the mayor, corn muffins would be vice mayor and mashed potatoes would be secretary of state–)

Oh, and everyone seemed to like the presents I got or made for them, which made me happy. I was overly excited to give gifts to people. Probably because I’m about as good as keeping secrets as mashed potatoes would be at foreign affairs, so I would have just burst out “PONCHO I MADE YOU A NARWHAL” at any minute if I’d had to wait longer.

That’s kind of all I have to say about Christmas (so far, that is…). I mean, I ought to have more to say, or some touching words, or something. But nope.

Right now Mom is watching the news, and they were showing snowfall stats for different cities.
Mom: “Way to go, Little Rock!!! …I’m so happy for them.”

I’m happy for us too, that we had snow. The news tried to make it sound like it was going to be a deadly blizzard, and even the library closed early. It wasn’t a blizzard. It was more of, uhhh, normal snowfall amounts for this region.
But that’s probably not as fun to say as “SNOWPOCALYPSE!” so, yeah.

(on the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me–)
That’s all for now…
~Pen

rage against the dying of the light(s)

Driving through Dad’s old neighborhood today…
Dad: “That’s where I went to elementary school.”
Me: “Wow, that’s an intimidating-looking building.”
Dad: “Willie’s Workhouse.”
Me: “Haha! What’s the real name of it, isn’t it Wilbur Wright?”
Dad: “Wilbur Wrong.”

So, you guys. The Christmas tree is up and lit, after the Lighting Fiasco, which went like this:
Dad set up the tree. Then he and Poncho were supposed to put the lights on. So they did. Then they turned the lights on, except… the lights didn’t work. They took the lights off. Then the lights did work. Then they put the lights back on.
Poncho: “If they don’t work again, I’m quitting the lights for all enternity!”
Mom: “I am so sick of everyone quitting lights for all eternity.”
Then only half the lights worked.
Dad: “Maybe we should test to see if the tree is really fire-retardant.”

Then today we went to the store and bought new lights (well, Mom and the boys dug through lights, I perused the ornaments, which I determined were incredibly cheap-o, and also would be easy to make if I liked them). Then we came home and Poncho put the lights on the tree again, but only halfway and it looked like a net thrown over the tree. Then, finally, Mom helped him weave the strings of lights into the branches, and it was finally done.

In the meantime, Dad put a string of lights up outside, and I made approximately 40 feet of paper chain. I would have kept going, but my fingers started to give up the will to live, and I was also hoarse from singing along with endless Beatles. (which I am still listening to now.)

During the Tree-Lighting Fiasco, Mom instructed me to put on some music for Poncho as he lit the tree… So what did I put on but “Please Please Me”? When Mom came back into the room, she gave me a look.
Mom: “What is this.”
Me: “The Beatles are always appropriate.”
Mom: “They are not Christmas music.”

Hey, the season’s supposed to be joyous, right? Well, there you go.

So, anyway, there is some tree-related news… This is probably the last year that we’ll use this tree. It’s lasted over fifteen years, and its condition is what Mom would call well-loved. Of course, after the Fiasco, the boys are begging for a pre-lighted one, but Mom has a specific vision that must be carried out, and the main tenet is: The lights must be multi-colored, not all white. I totally understand this because our tree is so eclectic. It’s basically a mishmash of all of our lives, past and present, all of our likes and phases and yes, even craft projects– including a blue snowman that Mom made in third grade. We don’t decorate the tree, we barrage it. And it’s kind of awesome.

Poncho, looking at the (finally) lighted tree: “Awesomesauce.”
Me: “You did not just say ‘awesomesauce’.”
Poncho: “Naaaaar-whaaaaaals!”
Me: “Okay then.”

Yours till the fire lights,
Pen

Things that Begin with the Letter B (part two)

Part 2: I actually forget what started with B at this part. Best friends? Black Friday? Brain cell loss? 

So then, it was Wednesday. Which meant… ELIZA WAS HOME!!!!

Actually, it meant I was at work for most of the day, stuck there with the knowledge that Eliza was within walking distance (erm, if I reeeeeallly liked walking, that is). Everyone was saying “Happy Thanksgiving” to each other, and I wanted to say back, “Happy day before Thanksgiving, a.k.a. the day I will finally see my friend in real life, a.k.a. ISN’T LIFE BEAUTIFUL DON’T YOU JUST WANT TO HOP IN CIRCLES!” But I restrained myself. Be proud of me. (I did do that thing where you jump and click your heels as I went out the door, though.) I jumped in the car and said to Mom, “Go, go, GO!”
Mom: …calmly clips a coupon. “Hang on. I’m almost done.”
Me: “Gah!”
Then I finally got to the DHF’s house, and knocked at the door. That’s when I heard a thud and PoorBill talking loudly and slowly, and I looked through the window to see the DHFs carrying a couch down the stairs. Bug let me in through the back, and then Eliza came from putting the couch down (I guess they were making good use of having their Krypton Girl home) and we “mauled” each other as Poncho would say. This involved me being squeezed so hard I thought I was going to have a bruised rib.

Well, the DHFs were/are in a state of home-interior transition, so we were all put to work holding pictures up to the wall for approval, handing screws to PoorBill, etc. I also did a lot of jumping around. Just saying. Bug and I went crazy, re-enacted Star Wars and invented “crab attack”, which we decided is the part of Star Wars that you didn’t see, and which we spontaneously broke out into for the rest of the time I was there. At some point all of the excitement died down and– just kidding, I don’t think that ever happened.

And the next day was… Thanksgiving!

So, we got up and made some apple pie. We (well, actually Eliza) had made sweet potato pie (I know, I know! It shouldn’t even be mentioned to people who don’t have a piece in front of them, that was very cruel of me) the night before. Everything was tra-la-la; we were expecting Grandma Vegas to show up in the afternoon, followed soon after by the rest of my family. But then I got the call. (dun dun dun)
It was Mom. Poncho, apparently, had strep. Also Dodge had a similar ailment. So it would just be Grandma and Grandpa Vegas and my dad who would be joining us. They arrived with turkey and other food, and as we waited for the stuffing to finish cooking, Eliza had a little chat with Grandpa.
Grandpa: “So, I hear you’re dating. That’s not good.”
Eliza assured him that her “beau” (as I call him… I am still trying to think of a good blog– or real life!–nickname for him) is a good fellow.
Grandpa: “No, all boys are bad! I know. I was that age once and–”
Grandma: “Ah-ah, don’t even go there.”
Grandpa: “Well, I’m just saying.” Then he made sure to ask all the right questions. Including, “Is he Irish?”
Eliza: “No, I don’t think so. He does have Italian, though.”
Grandpa: “Hardheads! I know all about that. My wife’s Italian.”
Grandma: “Yeah, and I’m right here.”
And, the ultimate question from Grandpa: “What kind of car does he drive?”
You have to understand that this is the question in Grandpa’s mind. As a retired Chevy worker, he won’t even let foreign cars park in his driveway. (I don’t know if Fords are allowed. Maybe only if you let him say “F-O-R-D: Fix Or Repair Daily” every time you come over.)
Eliza: “I don’t know.”
Grandpa: “You don’t know!?!”
His closing advice was “Think with your head, not with your heart.” (But I’m not so sure he ever listened to it himself…)

We ended up having quite a lovely Thanksgiving, even though this has been The Year of Holiday Catastrophes (the Mother’s Day Dog Disaster, the drama surrounding Halloween… I’m thinking of getting my family a bomb shelter for Christmas at this point.) Oh, and after my family left (and I stayed behind, hehe), the C’s came over! Which was wildly fun, and involved mad hairdos and an improvised play. Then it was time for Black Friday.

Which was really still Thursday in my opinion.

I mean, I know it started at midnight, but this entire thing felt like one neverending day. Anyway, we went to Kohl’s. Waiting in line outside, we talked, and did weird voices, and Eliza and Bug started singing something that I can’t even spell onomatopoetically (nor can I spell ‘onomatopeotically’ itself, don’t judge) and dancing. Then the line moved! Then we got in! Then we ran upstairs and went straight to the shoes area, where Bug snatched a pair of boots, tried them on, and decided yes, all in under four seconds. I stood with one foot on the box and pretended to be Napoleon (or someone like that) while Bug looked for more shoes. Then we went on to the rest of the upstairs, and then downstairs, and then all in squiggly lines. We tried on a few items (yes, we did, despite it being against Mom’s “Black Friday Rules”), and then stood in line for what did not feel like such a long time, and then we were out of there. My big purchases?
A pair of tights. Also a shirt.
Wow!

We went home and fell asleep for five hours, and then we got up early to go to a resale shop and Goodwill. (I know, wow again! We also wished that we could pop into a couple of used-book stores. All during Black Friday I kept yelling, “BLACK FRIDAY: SHEETS!! YAAAAHHH!” Or “SOCKS!! YAAAAHHHH!” or whatever else we ended up getting.) After that, we all took a nap in the sunshine upstairs.

Oh, and then I had to go to work.
Yeeeeahhh.

Having Eliza back, and hanging out and talking (oftentimes about Little Dorrit, which has risen way, way above and beyond obsession status, believe me– Bug and I have decided that it’s eaten our brains, and we have resigned ourselves to the fact that we’ll probably spend the rest of our young lives talking about it) (so much so that I could not even wrap up this post without mentioning it. Jeez Louise.) and being crazy and being together… it was just so good.

Whew. That was a long post.
Yours,
Pen

“Double bunny ears! Double bunny ears!”

I usually don’t watch the Olympics when they come around, but this year it’s different. I was initially enthralled by it– I mean genuinely glued to the TV and reveling in the glories of victory and the agony of defeat, et cetera.

Then… Dodge started watching it with me.

During swimming: “Just to troll, I’d start doggie paddling.”
(later during swimming): “How come when they guys win it’s like ‘YEAH! EAT IT, LOSERS!’ And when the girls win they’re like, ‘Hug, hug, oh, you guys all did great, hehe, I win.'”

During the men’s running–
Dodge: “Where’s our guy? Oh, he’s so short! Why did they put a short guy in there? He’s gonna lose. Look, Kenya’s guy is just going for a jog.”
Dad: “Yeah, he could stop and tie his shoe and he’d still win at this point.”
[Actually, he didn’t end up winning, but only because, according to Dodge, our guy “ran under everyone else’s legs”.]
Dodge: “Yeah, just to troll, stop to tie your shoe… No, wait, they have to have pit stops– And a bunch of guys run out with a new pair of shoes– ‘Double bunny ears, double bunny ears!’ And they have to make the noises– Vrrp, vrrp, vrrp! ‘Come on, come on! Tie quicker! What do you want me to do, run on my hands?!'”

So I just laugh through the entire Games now. (Also, thank you, Hunger Games, for making that word sound so sinister.)

And on a side note, watching the runners makes me want to take up running. I keep trying to remind myself that running is not fun, but I actually might try it. Once it stops feeling like the tropics outside.

Anyway, I don’t think it is humanly possible for Dodge to not make commentary while watching something. (Except Back to the Future. Somehow he was silent during that. Oh, except–
Me: “Dad, did you ever say ‘heavy’ like that?”
Dad: “Uh, I actually don’t remember.”
Dodge: “That means yes.”)

But back to the Olympics.

Now Dodge and I have comandeered the couch, remote, TV and refrigerator (Me to the DHFs: “How come you guys don’t watch the Olypics?” DHFs: “We hate the commercials.” Me: “Oh, you mean the snack breaks?”) all through primetime. Then we go to bed way too late, and wake up the next afternoon. Repeat.

I find it ironic that watching the Olympics is making me lazy. I mean, amazing athletes performing their utmost– and then there’s me, still in my pajamas until noon, and only moving to change seats during the day as I read Jane Eyre for the fifth time.

Going for the gold, baby.

Smooth, Dad.

Dad: “Try this, Pen.” He held a mug out to me, a mug which was filled with–
Me: “That looks like crud from the bottom of a pond.”
Dad: “It’s coffee and oatmeal and–” (tastes) “I think it needs more ice.”
VRRRRR, VRRRRRRRRRRR went the blender.

That’s right: Dad’s new obsession is, as Mom put it, “smoothifying everything.”

Including…
Dad: “Oh, and there was a sandwich in the fridge today, which I ate.”
Mom: “That’s okay, it was for you.”
Dad: “Oh, good.” (evil smile) “VRRRRRRRR.”
Me: “You did not. blend. a sandwich!”
Dad: “Everything’s a smoothie to me now.”
He went on to explain how it’s a “much more efficient way to eat” and that we should all be doing it. Well, it is 2012. Isn’t it time all those visions of the future where we wear spacesuits and drink our food come true?

Now he makes stupid blender jokes: “What’s green and red and goes a hundred miles an hour?”
Dodge: “Oh, oh, I know this one! A frog in a blender!”
Dad: “Haha– Hmmmm….”

Mom: “I liked it better when he made lawn furniture.”