Thursday, August 04, 2005

I Travelled All Day to Go Grocery Shopping and Drink Beer

  1. On the road:

    How much can one say about interstate 81? I believe that this is the only interstate that I have -- over the course of my lifetime (not just counting this trip) -- travelled the entire length of. I used to think that this was true of I-88, but I have since learned that in addition to the Schenectady-Binghamton part, there is also a piece of I-88 near Chicago. Did you know that if you set your phone to vibrate and then put it in the glove compartment that the entire dashboard might shudder when the phone rings? Sighted on this trip: a sign for the Virginia School for the Blind and Deaf. A mathematician might have named it the Virginia School for the Blind or Deaf. (Unless it really is a school just for the Deaf-Blind?) The weirdest part of the trip was driving from the New York state line to Syracuse (and then also back in the other direction, for much the same reasons). I've lived in Schenectady and Ithaca and have dated a guy in Binghamton; every other time I've driven along I-81 in NY, I've been going to/from (at least) one of those places. It was extremely weird to drive right past the exits for all of them.

  2. Nostalgia:

    I reacclimated to New York very quickly. I am considering buying a vacation home somewhere in central New York. Maybe Trumansburg? I am not moving back for real because I remember how much winter sucks. Still, it was horrible culture shock coming back to the south. You can smoke in Burger King in Virginia!

  3. Grocery Shopping:

    You know I had to go.

  4. The Point of it All:

    You know the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant? My family can be broken down into ants and grasshoppers. The ants are all very well educated (the least educated ant has a masters degree) and are sort of boring. We can talk about estate planning and other dull topics. I was visiting the grasshoppers. (The most educated grasshopper has a bachelors degree.)

    While I am familiar with the ritual of champagne with brunch, the grasshoppers favor the related practice of beer with breakfast. So we were sitting around, drinking beer and reading the newspaper, and Ricky drives up on his Harley. We talk a bit about how he's working construction in downtown Syracuse and how he prefers working in the winter. Not because of the heat but because "the colored people stay in their houses." Nice. Continuing on the Harley theme, we went to Dinosaur for dinner. We were a loud group (as those of us who were not drinking beer all day had been drinking wine or vodka).

    Things continue much the same. As the house is not air-conditioned, we mostly sat by the pool or in the screen room off the garage. People talked about their past lives and their energy meridians. (Yes, these are aging hippies.) They tried to do EFT on me, but I didn't want to talk about the emotions relating to the car accident that I had FOUR YEARS AGO (except that I am annoyed that it is still fucking up my shoulders). I read. I also did the crossword puzzle. crossword I stayed out of the sun. At one point I went to the Carousel Center and narrowly avoided checking my email at the Apple Store. At another point I considered driving down to Ithaca. But I don't really know anyone in Ithaca anymore, so I probably would have ended up going to the Collegetown Bagels at the top of the hill and sat around in the shade while reading and drinking beer. There didn't really seem to be much point. At one point someone got called away to deal with a crisis that I will not write about here even though none of my relatives reads this. Suffice it to say that it involved both the police and a social worker.

  5. Neuroses:

    Yes, it's true that I'm sort of neurotic and it's worse when I'm under stress. One of the people we were visiting is an occupational therapist who works with people with autism-like disorders. I feared that she would determine my quirks to be pathological. I hate lotion, and I will not put sunscreen on your back even if you are one of my favorite relatives and you will be sitting by the pool all day. (I can not watch people put lotion on their faces. Just thinking about it is giving me the willies.) Am I just weird in my strongly-held belief that lotion is very gross and slimy or do I have a sensory integration disorder with tactile hypersensitivity? (I prefer a third option: lotion really IS gross and slimy.) And then I've been having some hypochondriacal tendancies pop up. The itchy allergic spots? Something terrible, I'm sure. The sore throat and vaguely under the weather feeling I'd been having and being a little unsure on my feet? Can't possibly be related to stress + dehydration + heat. Probably cancer. You can tell because I have a swollen lymph node under my right arm. Definitely cancer. Although, after sleeping in unfamiliar beds and spending all day cooped up in the car and having my shoulder be in outright rebellion for the past week, my right arm seems sort of weak this morning (and my right hand is a little cool to the touch, compared to the left). Maybe I have a degenerative neuromuscular disorder. Either that or else the lump under my arm is crushing my brachial nerve and brachial artery, disabling my arm. Yep, it's definitely something very serious.


    You know it always is. (Normal people ask for copies of their radiology reports, right? These are from a few years back.)

  6. Scrabble:

    There's a new dictionary. (I bought it at the Border's at the mall.) Qi and za are now both words!