austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

In a blink of an eye, waving goodbye

Thanksgiving Day opened late for me --- I tend to sleep in when I'm off, and maybe even moreso when I'm happily away from my routine --- so by the time I was downstairs bunny_hugger was watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, on time delay.

It was nearing the end of that when her parents arrived, with some of the things to make for dinner, and with 3-D pictures to look at. Her father had taken several pictures with his stereoscopic camera of us when I visited in summer, and he'd had them developed and had the frame to watch them now. The results were variable, as they always are: on several of the pictures it looked like the composition was of several flat images on different panes, like when documentaries try to dress up the Ken Burns Effect. But on one of them the original photographs and the placement of the images in the frame came together perfectly and it really looked as if bunny_hugger and I were there, at her house.

He wanted to give a try with another stereoscopic picture and I was up for that, too. So he arranged me, bunny_hugger, and her mother in front of the fireplace, fixed the flash to the camera, and then ---


It was an extremely bright flash as, apparently, some defect in the flash bulb made it shatter and the full (I guess) magnesium-phosphorous-whatnot load burned far faster than it was meant to. It was almost bright enough to satisfy rcoony, if you can imagine. We were all shocked. bunny_hugger entertained thoughts it might have been some practical joke, some kind of firecracker imitating a flash bulb. Curiously, bunny_hugger's rabbit seemed to pay no attention to this at all; rabbits are often disturbed by bright and loud things.

There were shards of glass, though, scattered all over the living room. We did sweep up yet were still finding shards days later. Her father speculated the problem might have been this was one of the bulbs he'd dropped on the ground while taking out from the car, which seems like a credible way to stress a bulb so it would shatter this way. He would resolve, though, to sell the flash attachment for his stereoscopic camera and the bulbs he'd gotten for it, which seems to me a considerable overreaction.

Apart from the exploding sphere of glass there weren't any further catastrophes at dinner, although we did discover a shortage of wood for the fire. bunny_hugger had a reasonable supply of more wood in her (detached) garage, but her parents had accidentally changed the door opener access code and who could say what it had been changed to? So before long the four of us were gathered around her garage door working on getting in by other means. This was how I saw just how thoroughly they had cleaned her garage, to that supreme orderliness which makes it suitable for storing a car, if you can imagine.

And so the second meal in two days with her parents went very nicely, with the minor catastrophes along the way quite minor. For example, there were the Lions; her father was curious how they'd fared in the game and while the television was reluctant to actually report who won or by what score, I was able to dig it up on my iPad. He did ask who won, and I asked, ``You sure you want to know?'' He did ask the score, and again I had to ask, ``You sure you want to know?'' He put the optimistic reading on the 34-24 loss, that the Lions were able to get 24 points at least.

We'd had plans to get together again on Friday, and go to the Crossroads Village to see the holiday lights, something her parents had never got around to seeing. But the weather forecast was for lousy weather Friday night, and questionable Saturday night; with Sunday the only option if we were to go as a group we pencilled in Sunday as the night to go instead. (My inclination was to set it for Friday and postpone it only if the weather were truly dire, but we ended up with the correct decision weather-wise: it was much better Sunday night than Friday or Saturday would turn out to be.) And before long, with a wonderful meal and many happy hours behind us, we divided up most of the remaining dinner and dessert and saw them off without the loss of precious dishes or anything else.

After dinner was an unsettling event which I feel is not my place to share. But after that as we were trying to quite understand it I realized, dimly, that this would be a good time to get something soothing, for example, to make some tea. I had no trouble boiling water or finding mugs --- I know some ways around the kitchen --- but had trouble with the remaining item. So I came back to her and said, ``I couldn't find the tea bags, so I made us some mugs of miso soup.'' This would be a short-lived but I think appreciated silly little linguistic filip to share. (It turned out while she had tea bags, she'd left them in a bag to go up to campus, which is why they couldn't be found in the kitchen. This we got fixed soon.)

Later --- after midnight, as we were thinking of going to bed --- bunny_hugger got a surprise phone call, from her brother, who'd been at quite a Thanksgiving dinner himself back in New York City. She was very interested to hear details about it, including an argument he'd somehow gotten into about zombies that sounded more interesting than that description suggests, but he was in more of a monologue-ish mode and couldn't be guided around to any specific subject.

Still, it was good hearing from him, and that he was well, and thinking of her as we finished drinking our miso.

Trivia: 10,000 barrels of flour left Rochester, New York, within the first ten days of the Erie Canal entering operation there. Fresh oysters had already been sent to Rochester. Source: Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation, Peter L Bernstein.

Currently Reading: Mars 3-D: A Rover's-Eye View Of The Red Planet, Jim Bell.


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