Obligatory Driving-Related Quote

I was going to call this post “The plague of the greasy black engines has gone East” but I figured that was too unrelated/too long (or maybe life is too short to harbor as many Joanna Newsom quotes as one might wish to use). But that is how I feel when I think of the fact that: yep, I finally got my license. Hip hip hooray, or whatever. Everyone is pretty happy about it, including myself. I was one check-mark away from failing that cone stuff but HA HA NOPE I WIN.

Mom wanted to be tagged about driving, since she was the one who had to endure the torture of teaching me the cones. However, after going to the store with her the other night, I have an even better thing to tag her for.

So I decided to be super nice and accompany Mom to the store… I somewhat dragged my feet, and then dragged a cart, and then rode the back of the cart like you’re not supposed to but everyone does. I stood in an aisle of pillows and contemplated lying down in a basket of them and having a nap while Mom debated for the rest of eternity about which one to buy. Then the groceries… Mom kneeling to peer at the bottom shelf while I lolled over the handle of my cart and made bored commentary for my own amusement and that of nearby shoppers.
Mom: “They only have strawberry lemonade and not pink lemonade!”
Me: “Well, that’s awkward.”
Mom: “I know, right?!”
I laughed, and so did the random lady passing by our predicament.

What is it about this particular store– the Target up the street from my house– that engenders interactions with strangers? And I don’t mean talking to the cashier or something. I mean I always seem to have some kind of encounter within those aisles. Like the time I wore my hat (a gray hat with a brown feather in the band) there and found myself mired in the cereals alongside a pair of hipsters who gave me scoffing sideways looks.

Speaking of which. Just now I was sitting at the table listening to my music play through the pair of computer speakers that have somehow become an intrinsic part of our house, and Dodge teased me about being a hipster (Me: “This band is actually well known though. They’re popular.” Dodge: “With hipsters.” “But they get played on the radio.” “The hipster station on the radio.” ….”You just rage quit this conversation,” he said as I finally gave up). Then Dad sat down and took off his knit hat.
Me: “What the heck is with your hair?” It was laying flat and combed back, and in its need-of-cutting state… “You look like Benjamin Franklin.”
Dodge: laughter
Me: laughter
Dad: “I’ve been wearing a hat all day!” (scowl) “And I’ll wear it all night too.” (mutters) “Kids.” He put the hat back on and went into the living room to sulk.
Dodge: *high-fives me*

Yeah I know, I’m practically a comedian. Anyway, I’m off to work.

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The Rant of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Dodge has been talking to me in the Batman voice all night.
Bat-Dodge: “Did you know I’m also Dr. Seuss? Bat. Cat. Rat. Hat. …I give up.”

So, today I spent most of the day hanging out at Bug’s. And she was in one of her snarky moods, as evidenced by this little episode…
Bug, Francis, and I were sitting around the kitchen table, and flipping through the mail, which included a catalog of unattractive nativity sets (I don’t know why this was even there, okay….???). All of a sudden…
Bug: “Why do they always make the sugar plum fairy lavender?!?”
Me and Francis: *exchange raised-eyebrows glance*
Me: “Um…”
Francis: “Because it’s purple…?”
Bug: “But it’s the sugar PLUM fairy!”
Francis: “Plums are… purple…”
Me: “And it’s a sugar plum, so it’s light purple.”
Bug: “But it’s not lavender! It’s not the lavender fairy!” *deep-throated snarl*

I found Bug’s snark-at-everything mood highly entertaining, but Francis was a bit put off and imitated it thusly: “Why is there SUNSHINE!?! Stupid sun, it’s so lame! Why does it even exist?!?”

Bug also growled and hissed at her math work until eventually she gave up on it, though not before threatening several fractions with imminent death should they reuse to cooperate.

Then, once again we found ourselves at the kitchen table (oh who am I kidding with this “once again” stuff. It’s pretty obvious that we set up camp there for the day)  and Mom’s keys were sitting in front of me. Suddenly Bug said, “Did something just crawl under the keys?”
Me: “Do we want to know?”
Apparently, yes. Bug lifted the keys. A centipede burst forth, and Bug and I leapt back– and Mom shrieked!
Francis: *running over* “What happened?”
Bug: “Centipede…”
Francis: “Oh my gosh, the way she screamed I thought somebody was hurt.”
Me: “The way she screamed I thought she’d just seen a severed hand on the table, not a centipede.”

So, that was my day… Sugar plum fairies, severed hands, and Batman. Yup, pretty normal, actually.

such a long time since I heard from that girl of mine

Today felt like, dare I say it…(do I dare? and do I dare? Do I dare disturb the universe???) (I like the line about daring to eat a peach better, I have to say)

Today felt like spring!

And not Spring.
Because guys. We do not capitalize the names of seasons. It is not grammicly correct, as Bug would say.

Anyway, Mom and I went on an antiques odyssey today to a bunch of places we’ve never been to before. Usually we head into Lakewood for antique and vintage, because it’s riddled with cool little shops. But today we had to pick Dodge up from a retreat in far-flung Avon (I think someone should add “Stratford-Upon-” to that, because why not) and we decided to make a day of it. The weather was so warm that I wore only a sweater, and it was sunny and wonderful and meanwhile I guzzled hot tea from a paper cup anyway because I have a bad cold. So basically I also touched a lot of cool stuff with my germy fingers. Whatever.

First we went into this neat old house that was packed the brim, but still bright and clean. All the way from the enclosed porch to the attic to the basement, there was stuff to hunt through. I was dazzled by the sight of the house’s actual kitchen overflowing with vintage kitchen stuff and completely nonsensical antique cooking implements. I mean, you pick some stuff up and you wonder, Is this a utensil or a tractor component? It was at this house that I bought a big glass light fixture thing that is yellow and brass and shaped like a flower. And it’s epic. (Because I said the word epic!) We also went through a huge barn-turned-antique place where Mom became keenly interested in shutters; another house that was connected sort of in a way; and one more antique store that creeped us out because it was basically junk thrown everywhere in cobwebby corners and dim lighting and different music in every room and a slanted floor like a funhouse of DOOM. (*gasps for breath*)

Then we came home and collapsed for a bit, and I made newspaper pots for my seedlings, which I will plant tomorrow. (If I have soil. I kind of forgot to check… I’m a little disorganized this year for some reason.)

Oh! Oh! And! I forgot! This past week was the week I took my GED test! The actual test-taking was fine and surprisingly not difficult, which has the reverse effect on me than you might expect– I’m actually more apprehensive of what my scores will be since I found it so easy. (Everything has to be more complicated, said my overthinking brain.) And the part where we all sat around in the waiting area during the breaks in between sections of the test? Yeah, that was an experience. The guy I was sitting next to called his mom and asked her to bring him food…
Him: “I need food… No, I’m not trying to yell, I just need FOOD. … …Ew, no. Baloney is inhumanly disgusting. No. No…. What?… I said, baloney is disgusting. I’ll– I will gnaw the flesh off my own leg before I eat baloney.”

My thoughts: Please can break time be over.

So, once I am officially marked “Passed” for the test, I will be graduated! Now I can further my education in the school of LIFE. As if I haven’t already been doing that. As if I actually sat down and did actual schoolwork at all this year… Cough. It was self-guided study, okay?
Basically I’m unschooled, OKAY!?!?!

Also, people keep asking me what my “plan” is now. It’s not so bad when people I actually know ask me this, but when it comes to acquaintances and/or strangers, it gets kind of awkward because I don’t have “a plan”. (“If we sticks to the plan, the plan will work”, as my dad always says.) Well, actually, I do, but since I’m already implementing it (finish my novel and get moving on that writing career while working at the library and possibly moving up in rank there), it sounds lame. Life is so unfair.

Maybe I should start steering the conversation in a different direction. Like this:
“Wellll, technically, it’s not so much a plan as a goal…”
“Oh? So what is it? College? Career?”
“Heaven. You know. The usual. The great thing is, you can get a full ride.”

I mean, who can argue with that, right?

Yours till the ink smudges,
Pen

PS: *News Flash* (Or, as Francis would say, “News for you FLASH!!”)… Radar is real. In case you were wondering if he was actually just a really convincing hologram or something.
PPS: Also, while Radar was here, I became suddenly aware of the fact that so very many of my conversations with the DHFs are, like this blog post, laced with oodles of quotes from not only movies and culture, but also from each other. (“She’s leav-ing to-mor-row!” etc). We have a quote-addiction problem.
PPPS: Like how Eliza can quote the entire “Potato-Head Packing Scene” from Toy Story 2. Just saying. It’s that bad.

a miscellany

Six.
Days.

That ticking sound you hear? (Or are now pretending to hear?) That’s the sound of me mentally counting down the days until I will be leaving for Kentucky. (Hopefully with Dodge in tow… I mean, no pressure, bro. But PLEASE COME PLEASE PLEASE -pleeeee-heeeease. ) I can’t wait! It’s so, so, fun and cool and awesomesauce, as Poncho would say.

Oh, and speaking of things Poncho would say, this is how my conversations have been going with him lately:

Me: “Hey, Ponch, where are your glasses?”
Poncho: “IDK.”
Me: “Well, Mom called and said she’s on her way home with groceries, so get upstairs to help me unload them.”
Poncho: “BRB.”
Me: “Hurry up, will you? I hate unloading.”
Poncho: “IKR.”
Me: “All right, that’s it. Get AFK now, kid.”For the blissfully unaware, those abbreviations mean, in order of appearance: I don’t know, Be right back, I know right?!, and Away from keyboard. The only reason I know some of these is because either Dodge or Poncho explained them to me. Because I’ve had texting for maybe a year and have only been using the interwebs (Poncho has also started saying “interwebs”; I have created a monster) for things other than school projects since… I don’t know. Back then it was a happy time of sending “ship log” emails to Eliza. (Do you remember those, Eliza?)

In other news… I’m sick with a cold today. Hence the blogging. I’m resting, trying to get better before we leave for Kentucky, but resting is boring. Of course, yesterday– when the cold was worse– was even more boring. All I did was sit in my room under a pile of blankets/shawls/tissues/crumbs from my nth slice of nutella-coated toast, slowly sipping orange juice (every sip goes like this: Ick! But vitamins. It’s icky! But vita– Eurgh! Take it away! But vitamins…) and wasting away between doses of medicine. I tried to distract myself by checking email (I had none), texting everyone I know (OK, actually it was just Bug and Eliza, but same thing), starting to knit a cuff and then unraveling it, drooling over an Irish-pub-food cookbook, and making up a personality quiz. It’s a good thing I don’t have the face-books, is all I can say. Luckily, since then I have done some creative things… I practiced watercolors, which I haven’t done in a while and am kind of terrible at. I’m great at making different colors– I made five different shades of turquoise last night– but it’s the actual painting that needs work.
Like, a lot.

And I don’t really know why I care about my painting skills, seeing as my life is not a Jane Austen (or even Elizabeth Gaskell) novel,  but oh well, I don’t care to contemplate the meaning of life/art/human experience when my sore throat makes the air feel like dust and sand.

Speaking of Elizabeth Gaskell (yeah, okay, sometimes I mention things on purpose just to lead into what I’m going to say next, so sue me), I finally got Mom to watch North and South. North and South: Movie that I thought, after she was so into Little Dorrit, that Mom would love.

Yeah, well, she hated it.
Her comments were:
(imitating the girl) “Oh, no, please do not continue… Because we still have two more episodes before we’ll finally get together!”
“I mean, what is her problem?”
“I can’t read her facial expressions. Or expression. Does she have any others?”
Which was kind of how Dodge reacted to Mr. Thornton:
“Grr. Angry face.”
“Nope, nope, don’t smile… Uh-oh… Good job. Same face. All the time.”
“I bet if he smiled, he would die instantly.”
Me: “You know that’s Thorin Oakenshield, right?”
Dodge: “It IS?” (squints at the screen) “…I liked him better as a dwarf.”
I kind of did, too. You see, until that point, I had only seen the movie once, during which I spent more time trying to understand what the heck people were saying and how that related to the plot, rather than evaluating their facial expressions. The second time around, I couldn’t stand them.

Also, the first time I saw North and South, I had not yet seen Little Dorrit.
Little Dorrit changes everything, you guys.
You can never look at BBC movies, potential suitors, top hats, chicken, French people, prunes (or prisms), watches– your life! the same way again. If your feet are cold inside your shoes, your heart melts into little pieces (at least mine does; maybe I should get that looked at).

Then again, I have not yet seen Little Dorrit for a second time.
Maybe I shouldn’t, much as I want to.
I don’t think I will ever recover if I un-like that one. It’s already too ingrained in my psyche…! If you strung together all the times I’ve talked about it, you could build a raft out of them and sail to Timbuktu. You could also become famous for stringing together invisible things such as time, and then build a time machine, and then–

Oh-kay! That train of thought got a little out of hand… Anyway. I suppose I should go now, and get ready to go to the local public high school on some GED business.

Oh dear.

Yours till the teacups,
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

It’s beginning to look a lot like… an utter failure on the part of nature to deliver an actual winter.

All I want for Christmas is SNOW.
I will aslo accept:
slush,
sleet,
brooding gray clouds,
marrow-clenching cold,
or a combination of the above.
So, yeah, hint-hint, you guys. Better get cracking on that, because so far it pretty much still looks like October. It’s already St. Nicholas Day, didn’t you know. (And I already snarfed the chocolate coins I found in my shoes this morning. I can’t control myself around those things. Shiny! Tasty! We must have the precious!) 

Hey, speaking of preciouses, I finally got my hands on Reached, the sequel to the fab book Matched (I am pretending Book Two never happened. Although it did help me learn something about myself: I can’t handle guys with issues. Sorry, I just don’t get the whole brooding + depressed = attractive thing. I mean, Rochester has issues, and he can be brooding sometimes– partly because that’s just his face– but he’s also teasing and independent and he doesn’t give in to melodrama. And seriously, if a guy in a GOTHIC NOVEL doesn’t do melodrama, then what the heck is your problem, Ky and that soldier guy and Arthur Clennam who I secretly love anyway?)

Ahem. Back to what I was saying… I finished Reached today after getting it last night. (Basically, I behave the same way around shiny new books as I do around shiny coin chocolate. Omnomnom.) It was not as good as Matched, which I obviously expected, but it was much more like Matched than book two was. So it made me happy.
It was also so good, good, good to sink my teeth into a book that’s not a classic, that’s not an “adult” book, that’s not something I want to nitpick or something I grabbed out of desperation. I just let myself enjoy this, you know? Classics can be enjoyable, but they require work to get through– I don’t mean “boo-hoo, they made me think!”, I mean “ouch my brain why why why are your sentences so wordy, Dickens?” Time and the evolution of the English language makes reading some classics hard. (To use Jane Eyre again, I initially rolled my eyes at that book every time it said “unclosed” instead of “opened”. But then I got into it, and I loved it so much, and also Eliza wrote a poem inspired by it that used the word “unclosing”, and I just couldn’t hate it after that.) I think some people believe that “easy reading” is for wimps or lazy consumers or the uneducated mass market or whatever. But you know what? Writers work so hard to write well, to make everything correct and clear and beautiful. They forge the same sentences over and over until it’s perfect. And then– they make it so you don’t see those words that they worked so hard over. They make it so that you see only the story. It’s hard to make it easy.
Plus, wouldn;t you rather puzzle about the meaning of the story– and by extension, the meaning of life!, says the hipster on my left shoulder– than the meaning of a sentence?

OK, well, I didn’t mean to go into a rant there… See what literature does to my brain?

Anyway. Hmm.

Oh, yes.

So, the other night we were watching “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it was on TV. By we, I mean: Dad, Poncho, and me. We were kind of sitting there in quiet bemusement, because the movie is so weird. I never noticed how weird when I was a kid (I always liked “The Little Drummer Boy” better, anyway), but, okay. Everyone in the movie is mean, especially Santa Claus, and Rudolph’s mom doesn’t even have a name. (Also the snowman is a Communist, according to Poor Bill.)
Then Mom came in towards the end of the movie, right when there’s a big snowstorm and they’re going to “cancel Christmas”.
Me: “So this is the movie that started that idiocy.”
Mom: “I don’t know if they started it, or just jumped on the bandwagon.”
Santa: “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Mom: “So basically, Santa’s a total jerk to you until you have something he needs.”
Rudolph: Of course” (or whatever he said to the affirmative)
Mom: “Jeez, Rudolph has some boundary issues. He should’ve been like, ‘Screw you, Santa!'”
Me: “BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA”
Later…
Mom: “I’ve always felt that way about that movie, and I’ve never been able to express myself.”
Me: “Well, it’s true. I mean, Santa never has a change of heart in this movie. He gets fat, but he’s still mean. Also do you find it weird that Rudolph’s mom’s name is literally Mrs. Donner?”
Mom: “Yeah, kinda…”
Me: “And only the boy reindeer can fly, apparently? I mean, do not tell me that all of Santa’s reindeer are supposed to be boys. There’s girl names in the song. You know Dasher and Comet and Cupid and… uh…”
Dodge: “Well, they all have antlers.”
Mom: “Girl reindeer have antlers, too!”
Dodge: “No they don’t….”
Mom:
Dodge:
Me: “BAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
(Can you tell that “later” meant “after midnight”?)

Well, then I went to help “Saint Nick” get a certain present ready. It involved funneling fake snow into a glass ornament. The brand of artificial snow was called Rainbow Snow. But I mis-read it as “Raining Snow”.
Me: “Look, mommy, it’s raining snow outside! Ahahahahahahaha–”
Mom: “Har.”

Yeah, if only it were raining snow…

Yours till the snow flakes (DO YOU HEAR ME UP THERE! I SAID SNOW!!!),
Pen

Things That Begin with the Letter B

(I wrote a long, looooonnnggggg post and split it into two parts. Here’s the first.)

Part 1: Buffalo!
The past week has been realllllly long and SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED that we are lucky my brain hasn’t im-/ex-ploded. So I was going to kind of summarize, but it was so awesome that I simply cannot just skim over it. (Plus I feel like I jipped you guys with the last post not going into extensive detail. So, details commence!)

Mom and I went to Buffalo, NY to visit the H’s, who are some friends you have not heard of on here before. I think. I am not combing my archives to see if that statement is true. Anyway. We left right after church on Sunday, and Mom “hauled bleep through Pennsylvania” and I played a bunch of music and fell asleep once we hit New York. It was my first time in that state, by the way. I said to Mom as we crossed the state line, “Wow, I’ve been so many places for the first time this year! Beach, New York, and whatever state I was in with the DHFs before we went to the beach…” (I am still confused about where the heck we were. Was it Virginia? D.C.? An alternate dimension? I may never know for sure.) Right after I said that, I realized what it sounded like: “Hi, I’m the stereotypical Ohio girl you see in poorly written TV shows where Ohio is like one big cornfield and the people have no knowledge of the outside world!”
Well, get ready for more of that, people.

We stayed with the H’s in their house in Buffalo. Highlights include playing games, seeing ducks, eating Buffalonian food, and generally just hanging out. But did I mention… We also went to Niagara Falls! And Dodge, if he ever read this blog, would get a smug grin on his face because of this conversation before I left home:
Me: “Niagara Falls? Come on. It’s just a waterfall.”
Dodge: “Well, it’s actually pretty impressive.”
Me: “How would you know!”
Dodge: *knowing shrug* (which sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s what he does)

Well, it did turn out to be “actually pretty impressive”. I was extremely enthralled by it. We stepped out of the car and I could instantly smell the water. It smelled iminently drinkable. We stayed on the American side despite Bram suggesting that we walk across the bridge to Canada (and then me suggesting that we run up to the border, put a toe over, and then run away). Actually, I liked the American side, because Canada, I love you but you’re all casinos and tourism and flashy-shiny-shouty stuff over there. And over on our side we had a park. (“WHAT NOW!!!” as Mom would say.) I have to write pages and pages about the experience in my journal I keep of such things (there are scrawly pages filled with things I saw/thought/experienced at the beach and also on random walks around my neighborhood. It was supposed to be an “idea journal”, but now it’s an adventure notebook!) so all I am going to say here is ohhhh pretty and wow and holy cow and… yeah. Also I told Mom that the park had a “vibe”.
Mom: “What kind of vibe?”
Me: “Um… a Niagara Falls park vibe? I don’t know.” thinking: I wish Bug was here!
Later, I called Bug and told her about it, and when I related that conversation to her, she said, “Oh, I know! The only named vibe is a creepy vibe.” So there you go.

Then we went to a Frank Lloyd Wright house, where we were peering in the front windows because it was closed. Or, it was supposed to be closed. Because suddenly a guy came out and he said, “Oh, do you guys want in?”
Us: “Um… is that allowed?”
Guy: “The door’s unlocked. I dunno. Sure.”
So we went in. It was all dim inside, but very fab, and we peered around for a couple minutes and I felt strangely hidden from the world. But then someone said, “Uh… I don’t think we’re really supposed to be in here”, and then we heard voices upstairs so we darted back out. That was fun.

Well, actually, the whole trip was fun. And the H’s were brill!

(Which is a word that begins with B, and as such is a good place to stop for now. Stay tuned for Part 2, aka the second half of my week, which I will post tomorrow unless a catastrophe happens or I simply cannot move, both of which are highly plausible at this point.)

Yours till the butter flies,
Pen

Breaking News (and news about breaking things)

I got the library job!

I kind of can’t believe it.

It’s a rainy day, and the first day of school for us, and the only people here/awake are Grandma Vegas and Poncho. They’re happy for me, but the atmosphere of quiet studiousness makes for a subdued celebration. Although I am pretty sure I said “yay” on the phone.

Oy.

Well, I’m excited. But there has been other news in this house as well, such as…

I broke Dad’s blender.

The glass part was near the edge of the counter, and as I was putting dishes away I knocked it with my elbow. Crash! Glass everywhere at 11:30 pm. Mom and I started to clean up, and then Dodge joined in. I went to call Dad and let him know what had happened.
Dad: “Hello.”
Me: “Dad, um, I have some bad news for you…”
Dad: “You broke my blender.”
Me: “How did you know?!”
Dad: “I read your mind.”
Me: “No, seriously.”
Dad: “I felt it in the force.”
Me: “…Dodge texted you.”
Dad: “Yeah, and that.”
Me: “I’m really sorry…”
Dad: “That’s OK. I guess I’m just not meant to have a blender… Your mother broke one, you broke one…”
Me: “When did Mom break one?”
Dad: “That was years ago. She put it in the dishwaser and it destroyed all the plastic components.”
Mom: (eavesdropping) “I do not remember that.”

The next day…
Dad: “I was gonna eat a smoothie for lunch…”

So currently he has no real obsession. I mean, he’s been creating and drinking inordinate amounts of sweet tea, but I don’t know if it’s reached true obsession status yet. We shall see.

Yours till the decimal systems,
Pen

P.S. I have come to realize something through writing this blog: I am a klutz. And there is no cure.

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.”

the long fall back to earth…

Day one of being home: “Ahh, it’s so nice to be back…” 
Day three…
Me: “Oh, what a delicious dinner, I love pita bread!”
Dad: “As long as you don’t pita bed.”
Me: …”I miss being with civilized people.”

Really, though, everything did fall right back into place when I came home. Besides inordinate amounts of weeds in the gardens I tend, and Poncho clinging desperately to me for two days, it’s kind of like I was never gone.

Except every few hours or so I think, WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!?!??
Sigh. I miss the peacefulness of the beach and being away. Oh, need me to do something? Well, too bad, I’m on vacation, can’t take care of it right now. It’s a procrastinator’s dream come true! 

But at the same time I’m glad to be doing things. For example, last night I took my first ever dance-that-is-not-Irish-dance class. (It was, in fact, contemporary ballet.) I think I did surprisingly well, all things considered. Now I am sore in strange places. It was a lot of fun, though! I’m not used to arching my back and flinging my arms about (OK, maybe the flinging was just me) and dancing to music that actually has words. Also, despite my obvious newbie-ness, I didn’t feel completely lost because I knew how to watch what the teacher was doing and mentally break it down into which foot goes first and that sort of thing. Except sometimes I would watch and think: All right, we go down, then do that hoppy thing, and UP one two! And the teacher would say something completely different with official terinology. Irish dance has no official terminology. Half the time, the teacher goes, “No! It’s not dot-did-diddly-dum, it’s da-dum-dot-dadada! Try again.”
That’s usually the point where my head metaphorically explodes. Either that, or I experience the strange sensation of actually understanding such gibberish.

So anyway, I’m glad that Eliza had the idea of getting me into the contemporary class. Brill!

Oh, and something else that lingers with me from The Trip…
Eliza singing “Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley! Ding, ding, ding, went the bell! Zing, zing, zing, went my heartstrings!…” And I kept accidentally singing it the past few days, due to its catchiness. Later on, I heard:
Mom: “Clang, clang, clang, went the trolley! Ding, ding, ding– Oh, I don’t want to be singing this.”

Also, the first time Eliza sang that song, we were all in the car and Rachel jumped in with her own verses… “Blub, blup, blup, went my liver! My kidneys ran off down the street!…”

I think the sea air does something to people’s brains.

Perhaps I shall post a bit more about The Trip later. Maybe with pictures. Maybe…. 

Oh, here’s one picture, at least…

Wawa!

Unfortunately, here at home there are no stores with names so endlessly entertaining. ;) I am glad to be home. The long fall leads to a soft landing.
~Pen