Saturday, July 19, 2008

A fragile grasp on it all

Just when I think I've got a reasonable grasp on my life and things are running at least somewhat smoothly, it all goes to hell. In mere moments. Those being the moments my wayward offspring appeared at my door, big, fat suitcase in tow. This is the guy who for the last four years (give or take) has made his home in Shanghai, China. Last time he blew through town was over Christmas. Right after that he found his current girlfriend and then I hardly heard from him for weeks. But now that summer sizzles in Shanghai very much like New Orleans, he decided to bail and spend the summer here in the Northeast. There's also the part about how he's basically broke at the moment, but let's not go into that right now. It will make me mad all over again.

First let me make very clear that I am crazy about this guy. He's the smartest, funniest person I know. Spending time with him is always a hoot. But he has a very heavy footprint. He makes his presence known. He's got his own room and yet his crap has managed to cover nearly every available surface in my apartment. Shoes in the middle of the floor. Shirts on the back of the chair. Books on the dining table. Papers and notes on the kitchen counter. Towels on the sofa. You get the idea. I thought that when they grew up, I wouldn't have to deal with this kind of stuff any more. Oh no! Apparently it never ends.

So not only has he disrupted my tidy home, he's also up-ended my concentration, my schedule, basically my life. I can't use my computer when I want, and even if I can, I'm too distracted. I keep buying groceries and they keep disappearing. And I don't even want to talk about the bathroom!

I suppose it's my own fault. I kept telling him that he should spend more time here. Well, hell -- I missed him! Now that he's here, I'm looking forward to September when he packs up and goes home to China. Then at last I'll be able to clean my house and have it stay that way for more than a minute and a half.

Friday, July 04, 2008

What I learned on my road trip

1. It is close to impossible to get cell phone service in Vermont. The people who live there make jokes about it all the time. Like, "if you got up on your roof and wave your phone around, you might get a signal." Stuff like that. It's really spotty and unreliable. And your phone battery runs down really quickly because the phone is always searching for a signal. It's just better to turn it off and go cold turkey.

2. Bees in Vermont act like crazy pollen addicts. Maybe it's the flowers I saw, but the bees were going absolutely bonkers. They were literally rolling in the pollen. They were all having little bee orgasms of pollen ecstasy. I have never seen anything like it. We stood right next to them and watched for about 10 or 15 minutes.

3. Mosquitoes in Washington DC are on steroids. I was sitting in my brother's little back yard one evening and the next day I had about 20 bites on my feet and ankles. By that night, my ankles were all swelled up. Then I remembered the same thing happened to me last year in the same circumstance. I guess I also learned that I don't remember the things I should. Next time, DEET.

4. It is become financially unviable to do this sort of thing. I get fairly okay mileage (33 mpg on the highway) but even so, between Washington and Vermont, I spent probably close to $130 on gas.

And finally, this is not technically road trip related, but...if you haven't seen WALL-E yet, run right out and do so. It is just hyper-cute, in the best possible way. Even the crankiest misanthrope I know loved this film.