austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And the secrets came unfurled

On Sunday I went for reasons I'm still not perfectly clear about with my father to join my brother and my sister's boyfriend in taking a trip to Philadelphia. There was good reason for this: my sister was off to some kind of horse show and we never understand that anyway, so she doesn't mind her boyfriend going off to other things. Also, the boyfriend had never been to Philadelphia before, what with his being originally from one of the big rectangular states -- I think Nebraska -- and then moving to California, so there weren't any school trips to the Independence Hall area. So my father was glad for the chance to go and talk about what he knew about the spots, since we haven't gone as a family since maybe 1985. I don't know why I agreed to go when he asked except maybe that it has been over two decades since I was last there and I am kind of homesick for chances to go wandering around big cities in intense heat and humidity.

Also somewhere along the line I agreed to do the driving to meet my brother and the boyfriend (who were coming from pretty close to each other, but from far north). My father excused not taking his car with the functioning air conditioner because there's too much junk from the work he does in it that he didn't want to clean out.

So our first argument came before we set out. The thing is my father has this thing against saying, in advance, what time we should leave; he leaves things a vague, say, ``about nine o'clock'', indicating a time which has a nine in it somewhere, but which he won't specify except by starting to sigh and grumble and ask if you're done with the bagel when he's decided it should have been five minutes ago. I'm not one for eating while driving -- not bagels, at least, certainly not when my parents get the excessively dry and sugar-packed Panera Bread bagels. They're tasty, but the sugary pieces tend to melt into the napkin, so I won't eat it without something to wash it down with, and that makes the car seat too crowded to drive. I finished up and we set off. Don't think there won't be more; I'm just processing pictures and selecting the good ones and things like that.

Trivia: The United Kingdom spent approximately £69,421 on the coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838. Source: ``The British Monarchy, c 1820 - 1977'', David Cannadine, The Invention of Tradition, Edited by Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. That's not the cheapest coronation of the 19th and 20th centuries -- William IV's is -- but considering how long it lasted this was certainly their best per-year value. George IV cost almost four times that and he only stuck around a decade, although admittedly he did do all those years as Regent gratis.

Currently Reading: Star Makers, Olaf Stapledon.


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