austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

One that won't chew a hole in my socks

My parents have left for a week, for a little vacation/family reunion. I'd been invited too, and for that matter so had bunny_hugger, in case she wanted to experience a week on the Outer Banks with an appreciable fraction of my mother's side of the family. We'd ultimately decided against that since nice as the Outer Banks may be for a vacation, we had just gotten together for two two-week stretches barely a month apart, and despite the level of activity I have at work I can't actually take all the time in the world off. Plus, you know, I spend 49 other weeks of the year with my parents. A little time apart is valuable to us as a way of regaining sanity, not to mention letting me go a whole week without my father slamming doors.

The cats have been surprisingly accepting of this, much calmer than they've been about simple weekend visits my parents have taken. Possibly this is because my mother started the packing process about three weeks ago, moving beach furniture, towels, and lots of food into the living room as a staging area. Apparently, Outer Banks residents have no words in their language for ``grocery store'' or any kind of commerce at all, and depend entirely on supplies brought in from tourists. It was a big enough stockpile that the night before they went down, when my father suggested I help him pack the car sometime and I insisted it be right now, right this minute lest he grumble that I wouldn't help him, it took twenty minutes to load up the car. And that didn't count their suitcases, which were only packed the next day.

I do get jokes, mostly from my father, about not holding wild parties while they're away. The most wild party I've ever thrown had two guests show up, briefly, and it pretty much turned into copying The Wrath of Khan from one VCR to another. I think we had cheese puffs. Others were not so exciting. Ultimately, I'm not good at holding parties. What I've been doing instead is moving all the stuff out of my room, so I can decide what to put back into it. This has nearly but not quite taken as much floor space as my mother's food and housing stocks did, which maybe is why the cats haven't yet noticed the big change in human population count.

Trivia: In early 1763 Benjamin Franklin gave his wife Deborah permission to open and read any letters he received from friends in England, ``as it must give you pleasure to see that people who knew me there so long and so intimately retain so sincere of a regard for me'', and also in the hope such letters would soften her resistance to travelling across the ocean. Source: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, Walter Isaacson.

Currently Reading: Matters Of Form, Scott Wheeler. Hey, space otters with magic morphing virus treatments. Also this feels a lot like one of those foreign-language books DAW would publish on the grounds that science fiction not written in the United States should be accessible within it, although the scanty information about the author (he has a loving family) doesn't demand this conclusion. But there's a lot of the protagonist describing his actions in blog-like narrative without much dialogue, which feels very weird at novel length.


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