July 25, 2006

Whew

I suppose I can no longer be in recovery from the events of the last week, but I feel like I didn’t properly recuperate. My body is fairly awake—jittery even—but my poor brain is like warm Jell-O. I’ll alternate slamming water and coffee the rest of the day; see how far that gets me. I bet Cleveland. Possibly before sundown.

The family picnic… was fine, actually. I know, sort of a letdown for me, too; I wanted to tell all sorts of stories about how Aunt Mary and I had to go to the mattresses over our respective life choices, but I was so happy to have a day off that nothing really got to me. I was called skinny, but mostly with a complimentary tone, and nobody’s children annoyed me to the point where I had to hide in a bathroom or stick forks in my eyes, and I spent most of the day between the pool and the kitchen table full of Boca burgers and pasta salad. So… fun, actually. Man, I hate it when I can’t whine.

Highlight of the Day: Sitting under a canopy with my grandmother, hearing her tell stories about how they didn’t have “the air conditioning” when she was growing up.

Cedar Point, similarly, was a bucket o’ fun. I spent all day with my sister, brothers and soon-to-be sister-in-law (they need to get married; that’s far too much typing) at America’s Roller Coast™. I didn’t get sunburned* thanks to rigorous applications (extra plural) of SPF 50, thankfully waterproof, as we hit the water rides about twenty minutes in because it was about a thousand degrees ALL DAY. At around five o’clock it went down to ninety, so breathing became more of a possibility about the time everyone decided they were tired enough to go home.

Highlight of the Day: Beedoo rides the Millennium Force with her oldest brother [“Jessica” of mad dog fame] so she doesn’t seem like a big pussy, and spends the next hour trying to get her legs to stop wobbling. Her fists unclench sometime the next day.

Highlight I Actually Enjoyed: Eating dinner at the Friday’s on the lake just outside the park. Nothing beats a good meal after ten hours of hoofing around in the blazing heat.

Sadly, since I was so incredibly wiped from these events and was planning a weekend excursion to Bay City, I saw very little of the famous Ann Arbor Art Fair. I caught only four hours one night after work, and then spent most of the time sidewalk shopping. I bought absolutely nothing (in a year where everyone I’ve spoken to spent at least $100—yay! for A2 Chamber of Commerce), but rather took away delicious smells, countless craft ideas and memories of shopkeepers ogling my navel (it was, again, a bijillion degrees, and the t-shirt I wore was thankfully long enough to knot over my pale fishbelly. Hott).

Highlight of the Day: Flipping through a photographer’s prints of England and Ireland, and squealing like a cheerleader when I found one of where I used to live.

Friday and Saturday were spent at my grandmother’s house to catch the Tall Ships in the Bay. If it weren’t for the driving, I would have had a great time; it really blows to drive for four of your twenty-four ‘vacation’ hours, but on the other hand, I’m not letting my little sister drive my car. Ever. The ships were pretty awesome, but I could have done with a little more atmosphere—sea chanties or something. And they didn’t have the sail out, like, the hell? What’s the point of all the rigging if you pull the sails in? I’m looking at a bunch of ropes and sticks, people, and I’m pretty sure I signed up for billowing. Less than a complete experience, but not wholly a waste of my time. I was made sick by going out to eat twice in one day—something I reserve for road trips or long vacations only—and stuffed myself terribly trying to look like a ‘healthy eater’ for the benefit of my Grama, aunt and uncle. Yeah, I think I’ll heed the wise words of Ricky Nelson next time I’m faced with a giant plate of crab legs when I’m still full of a three-burrito lunch: You can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself. I came home Saturday night and ate only yogurt for a day and a half, stroking my stomach lovingly in apology, promising that it’ll never happen again.

Highlight of the Day: Coming home and sitting on my couch, looking forward to a full night’s sleep in my own bed every night in the coming week.**

* Working in a dermatology office you have equal amounts of pressure not to develop a melanoma because a) you’ve seen pictures… thousands of pictures, with amputations and pustules and yuck, and b) you’d like to keep working there as long as you have student loans, and coming back from vacation red as a herring can get you anything from looks to lectures to big fat fired.

** At least. Maybe. Hopefully. I may not pick up the phone this week, is all I’m sayin’.


Finished Reading: The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-first Century This is a good book. Seriously. It really made me examine the whole concept of marriage, the difference between becoming a bride and becoming a wife, and how a woman’s wedding is like her 21st birthday—the celebration is so huge, each successive one is sort of a letdown by comparison. The analysis of the bride mentality (and the franchise—oh, the franchise) is by turns hilarious and horrific; much like when Al Franken tells me all the secrets behind the Bush administration. Sometimes it read like a feminist diatribe, other times it’s practically a religious tract. The balance was fair, which made it all the more compelling. And the DeBeers company should be rotting in hell. Please go get this book out of your library immediately.

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