Monday, August 25, 2008

So that's where they all went

Scene: The Left-Wing Intellectual and I are watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, just before they extinguish the torch. True to my pyromaniac nature (and my curiosity about the practical nature of things), I am pondering what kind of fuel they use to maintain such a bright and substantial flame without much smoke.

Me: I wonder what they burn in that thing?

The LWI: Dissidents!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Road Trip

We're getting ready to take a road trip, back to State Where I Grew Up. I know, I know, it's a dumb time to drive a thousand miles, but for all I know this is the last summer that gas will ever be below $10 a gallon, so we're going to do it while we can. We've driven substantially less over the last fifteen years than most people, so this shouldn't throw off our karmic balance too much. And besides, it's going to be an awesome road trip.

Here are just some of the reasons why I am all twitchy with glee:

1) It's our first road trip in the new car! With an mp3 jack and freezingly efficient air conditioning and comfortable seats and room for all our junk and more cupholders than any rational adult could ever need!

2) We're going to see my Piano Niece and her new husband, Tank. We missed their wedding while we were in Spain this summer, so this is our chance to see them as they cross the country towards their new home. (They're crossing the country horizontally, and we're going vertically, to meet up just in the middle. It's the Isosceles Triangle Road Trip.) They're great people and a perfect match, so I'm excited to welcome him into the family.

3) Piano Niece is my Studly Brother's kid, so this means we get to stay with Studly Brother! That alone will make this just about the Most Fun Thing We've Done All Year.

4) Ooo, and it only gets better. We have the magic ingredients to make a queimada, so one night will see us outside in the glowing green of a summer evening, surrounded by trees and fireflies, grouped around a bowl of flames flickering blue in the dusk. I don't think Piano and Tank will have too many demons to scare off just yet, but it seems like a good way to wish them off to a good start.

5) On the way, we get to visit Art Sister, who is always an inspiration to me. She's the one person in the world I can call pretty much anytime, with nothing to say, and we'll end up coming up with some Deep Philosophical Insights into ourselves and the universe. I always feel reassured and invigorated after I've spent time with her. (Hmm, that makes her sound too much like bath gel. New Extra-Foamy Art Sister: Soothing and Invigorating!)

6) Here's what I love about the State Where I Grew Up. There's a bed and breakfast on the way to Sibling Town where we've stayed the last couple of times we've driven that way. I emailed the owners to see if they had a room available for the night we're coming through. They wrote back immediately: "sorry, we're out of town then, but if you'd like to stay anyway, we'll hide a key for you; we just can't give you the breakfast part of the bed and breakfast." Keep in mind that they know us from all of two previous trips. But they're leaving us their house for the night. I love these people.

7) And then we're taking the long way home, to explore some new territory. I chose the route because the scenery should be substantially cooler and greener and hillier than where we live, which is basically furnace-blasted flat clay. It's going to be a good trip.