austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

The freeway's concrete way won't show you where to run or how to go

The day after the great car purchase I thought I might take it out to White Castle for my first fast-food purchase (I'm sure the list of first things to do with it will run out eventually), although those plans were interrupted when I finally did wake up and I was notified that my brother and his wife were coming down. I'm not sure whether they'd been planning to come down and swing by anyway --- there are outlet malls nearby they visit occasionally, and it's not that far off to stop in at my parents' when they might be on the way to visit my sister-in-law's parents, and the chance to see the New Car would make that all the more tempting.

Both approved the car's general look and the stylish details like the red fringe on the alloy wheels, and the alloy wheels, and I gave my brother a ride in it as my sister-in-law declined the honor. We took a little ride around the neighborhood and he complimented my various improvements to my personal style, among them in losing weight, getting some clothes that don't dangle excessively loosely from me (he's also very eager that I wear pants with cuffs so low that they don't show my socks; since this seems to leave them low enough to get dirt on the cuffs I don't see the point); and the new car. I think he's trying to improve me without riling up my natural resistance to such things.

Back home I learned that it had been my responsibility to decide on a restaurant for everyone to eat at, which fact had gone uncommunicated to me until that point. I suggested a restaurant near the outlet malls that we've eaten at in the past and found quite satisfactory (it's got kind of the coffee-shop-where-grad-students-hang-out style, but without a campus anywhere around), and that was accepted with the reservation that nobody was confident it was still open since it used to have about seven other locations all of which have closed. My father also noted it was the spot where my mother managed to drive the Toyota Something over the railroad tie serving as a curb and spot of last stopping for people backing into parking lots, giving their tire protection policy its first test.

Well, the restaurant was open, and I didn't test the limits of the railroad ties any. We did feel our patience tested by the unexpectedly large delay between getting menus and having anyone interested in whether we wanted food selections from them, and we got our first ``how is everything?'' when the server had just seconds before left the food off, which if general policy suggests a theory to why the other seven locations have recently closed.

I drove my parents back --- my father had gone in my brother and sister-in-law's truck --- testing the limits of the back seat of the two-door coupe (it was plenty of space as long as my mother was careful about sliding the seat back), and on the way back I reached the 100th mile in my car, remarkably. Wow.

Trivia: The salvage of the passenger ferry General Slocum the week after its fire and sinking was performed by the Merritt Chapman Company, which towed the wreckage to a shipyard at Brooklyn's Erie Basin. Source: Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy of the Steamboat General Slocum, Edward T O'Donnell.

Currently Reading: A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Burton G Malkiel.


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