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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a bit of pre-Thanksgiving

Francis: “Sing to it, it likes to be sung to.”
Eliza: *singing* “There once was a lass I used to knooooooow…”
Bug: *singing under her breath* “It’s just a piece of doooough….”

Because yes. They are singing to pie dough. According to Francis, the pie dough “needs to be loved” as you make it. Apparently pie-making is a magical process, one which requires the utmost concentration combined with a loving touch and–

Eliza: *singing* “And at last I seeeeeeeee the liiiiiiiight…. Okay, sing something new to it.”
Me: “When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie, that’s–”
Eliza: “No, he hates it. He liked my other singing better.” Now she has started singing in her Mother Gothel voice… “Rapunzel knows best, Rapunzel’s so mature now– And, the crust is done.” (to the pie) “I’m glad you were finished under Mother Gothel’s hand.”
Me: “This has gotten progressively creepier.”

A Post-Plane Poem

Soon when I go to work, it’ll be dark:
the wet streets shining orange back up.
Reminds me of the plane ride, the cities flat-out
little smatters like places comets dropped
a spread-out net of sparks and then suddenly stopped
in the black lake; the plane tipped
and I saw stars.

I don’t know why, but I think of that now
when we drive down my street.
I picture this city as comet shards,
and my neighborhood, coal cooling under a wing.

This is my jam!

Lately I’ve been thinking about the radio. I don’t usually listen to the radio, but my (*coughs out the word*) boyfriend (I cough this not because I dislike the current state of affairs, but because it just sounds weird to say. Like I should at the same time be flipping my hair and chewing bubblegum with vigor.) listens to a particular radio station in his car, and it’s starting to grow on me.

Because what happens is, you hear the same songs all the time, and it’s like the soundtrack to your life, but it’s one you don’t choose and have ultimately no control over. Which I guess sounds kind of depressing, but that’s not how I mean it. It’s like inspiration that you don’t and actually can’t look for. Plus, you’re listening to the same thing everyone else is listening to. So not only is it the soundtrack to your current life, but also everyone else’s current life. Somehow that’s a comforting thought, although I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just tired of being the only one in the whole city who sees fog and starts singing, “See how the fog from the port in the bay / lays like snow at the foot of the roanoke / hear the frog going courting / til the day he croaks”. (Sorry, but once the weather gets cold, it’s like my brain is a CD player in which a Joanna Newsom mix is permanently stuck.)

Which reminds me of what the radio reminds me of: Weather. Or maybe the constellations. You can’t control it or when it changes, though it does. And even though it’s kind of in the background, it still somehow affects you and everybody who is currently experiencing it.

I used to listen to the radio. Not in the car– I had a little yellow portable radio thing, and I used to sit on the swings in our backyard listening to… I don’t even remember what station or type of music. (It could have been NPR, who knows.) (Actually, it was probably the classic rock station. My childhood musical taste pretty much consisted of whatever Dad was listening to.) And then some years later I had a teacher who would put the radio on whenever the class was doing mindless homework, and everyone loved this one pop station so much that even I listened to it at home. Now whenever I think of it, I remember cold, sunny days and open windows and late afternoons.

Deeeeeeeep, man. I know. I am having all these deep thoughts while I avoid eye contact with my manuscript that I should be editing right now, so that I can instead sit here blogging and eating leftover mei fun.

Last night on the way home from the Chinese place I ate all the fortune cookies. One of the fortunes was, “There is absolutely no substitute for a complete lack of preparation.” I read it aloud to Mom, and we tried to decipher its meaning. I jokingly (sort of…) said that it must be a bad omen for my trip to Kansas. Yep, I’m leaving for Kansas in a couple of days, to visit Eliza at her college Out West. It’ll be my first-ever all-alone plane trip (or trip of any sort). And even with her and Poor Bill’s helpful tips and advice, do I feel totally unprepared? Pretty much.
Mom: “I think it’s backwards. Wait. Read it again.”
Me: “It just sounds like a spam robot message. They have computers making this stuff up. You know they do. Nobody actually sits around writing these.”
But people actually do sit around reading them, apparently. What, I like to have something to read at meals! Why do you think they have stuff written all over cereal boxes, huh?

Although once, I did get a pretty interesting fortune that I still remember, and relate to. It said, “Life is like learning to play the violin in public.” I’m pretty sure some variation of that was already a saying before I found it in a fortune cookie, but whatever. I relate to it both on the intended simile level and through the fact that I actually do learn to play instruments in semi-public, since I always used to play the flute on our front stoop and I still prefer to practice my whistle outside. Amidst the ceaseless smacking of basketballs and the weird disembodied voice that calls from the school up the street, and the churchbells sounding and the trains in the distance, why shouldn’t I join in? I add to the character of the neighborhood. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I chirp out yet another imperfect rendition of “Blackthorn Stick”.

So that’s kind of what’s currently going on… Kind of. An overview. Not really. Actually a side note. Actually I don’t know what’s going on.

But you get the gist. Soon to Kansas. Travel. Musical obsessions. An overactive brain. Also fall.
Also, I should probably go get ready for work.

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.

Woah.

And that one word pretty much sums up my past couple of weeks. But first (well, second? I have no idea what I’m saying), it reminds me of riding in the car with Eliza…

We are at a stop light, Eliza in the driver’s seat and me riding “gunshot” (as Bug called it). I stare out the window (as I tend to do), and just as we pull away I say, “Woah.”
Eliza: “What, the car behind us?”
Me: “…Nope.”
Eliza: “The dark sky?”
Me: “Nuh-uh.”
Eliza: “What, then?”
Me: “There was just… a super attractive guy at the red light.”
Eliza: *side-gawks at me*
Me: “What?! I didn’t mean to say ‘woah’, it just came out. And I mean… It was true though.”
Eliza: “Well, what did he look like?” (still gawking at me the way you would gawk at, say, a goat wearing spectacles and reading the paper)
Me: “He just had, you know, the face. And the hair.”
Eliza: “Wow, Pen, very descriptive.” And we both laughed.

On another car ride down a two-lane road, a truck passed us by too close and Eliza grumbled, “Road hog!”
As I shook my fist, laughing and imitating her, she said, “I’ve never said that before! It just came out!”

Speaking of driving, I have renewed my efforts in trying to drive officially. I used to have this fear that once I had my license, I would be forced to drive to this distant suburb at night, which would be really creepy. But then, for some reason, I kind of had a driving epiphany the other night that night driving is actually fun and the creep factor is all in my head and also, I am capable.

And also also, I want a car. (“I could be the walrus. And I’d still have to bum rides off of people.” –Yes, I have that whole little monologue memorized. Because I basically want to be Ferris Bueller… whenever I’m not wanting to be Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes, Captain America, or some other  awesome character.) (Also, why are all my favorite characters guys? Are there just not that many cool girl characters, or have I not seen the right movies?) (I mean, even the Black Widow… She’s awesome, but I never can imagine myself as her, you know? It’s almost like she’s too cool. Agent Carter is a little closer, but even then, she’s so… shooty.) (I am not shooty. I am shield-y. If that makes any sense.)

Anyway, yeah. Cars. Driving. Vroom. I kinda lost my train of thought.

Now I completely can’t remember what I was going to tell you about? The Dublin Irish Festival, aka a sunny haze of green and food and music and hanging out with Bug? Maybe. Or was I going to talk about how I am finally filming a video thing and maybe sometime eventually when I have got enough shots of bedraggled, sun-spangled flowers it will be done? Or how a tree was cut down in my neighborhood and now there is a big blank spot on my horizon and it weirds me out and makes me panic that one day the distant oak tree that I look at through my eastern window will be cut down too and then I will lose my mind because all the other trees around here have those round, suburban palmate leaves of blandness?

I don’t remember. Clearly, I am in one of those moods where I just want to go on and on about everything in the whole entire world ever.

But I shall not. Because I shall go to work on finishing my book. (“To finish my book,” the DHFs always say in a Bilbo voice.) And also just plain go to work.

Sigh…
-Pen

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

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

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

(insert title here)

Mom: “My favorite blogger has not been blogging…”
Me: “Mhm, okay…” As I finished stitiching up my patient– You see, I was performing minor surgery on a leather jacket. It needed its tonsils (fine, I’ll say it: *gulp* shoulder pads) removed, desperately. The surgery was successful and now the jacket can live a happy, fahionable life as a member of my wardrobe. But it can only eat ice cream for the next week or so.
Me: “Anyway, I have nothing to blog about.”
Mom: “Um, your job?”

The first week, I dreamed of sorting books. For three nights in a row, all I did was sort in my sleep, shelving in sections made up of spinning racks with endless rows of last names beginning with O. Jeepers. Luckily that has worn off and I am free to enjoy my usual variety of dreams about being Prince Hamlet and fighting lions and solving murders and leading rebellions.

I also got my temp license renewed for ID purposes (though I do intend to start driving soon), and I got a bank account in the same day. The picture on my license is… Well, let’s just say that I laugh every time I look at it. I was trying to smile gently and not look like a moron. To no avail: my eyes appear to be half-closed, and my mouth is rumpled grouchily. Oh well.

The bad thing is that lately I feel like the Red Queen, or rather Alice when the Red Queen is pulling her along by the hand. Because I don’t accept this running-as-fast-as-I-can-to-stay-in-place thing as the only way of life. I am trying to adjust to the new schedule, and to being organized. I’m just not there yet.

Hence why my blog has been neglected thus…

Anyway, I did manage to squeeze in the beginning of Basket-Making Attempt no. 4, planting fall greens and collecting flower seeds, and dancing crazily to “It Won’t Be Long” as it spins, slightly scratched, around and around Dad’s record player. (Dad may or may not have been the one who, back in his youthful days, drew pink-highlighter glasses on all the Beatles’ faces.)

Oh, and drinking tea. The temperature suddenly became a teensy, tiny bit chilly. I have decided this means it’s now permissible to drink gallons of Earl Grey and wear sweaters.

So that is life at the moment. Hopefully I shall be back here soon, with many more thoughts.

Yours truly,
Pen