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Life among normal people [Jul. 7th, 2010|11:48 am]
First, though, an old quote rediscovered that, if I had enough money, I would put in full-page ads in all major news outlets. Even run commercials that have a sound bites that, ahem, support the theory.

From Mark Twain: A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants.

And of course, lies will still be more attractive, all jogging around the world naked, staying fit, while truth, leading a more sedentary life is more likely to fill out its Dockers.

So, yeah, a relaxing vacation-y long weekend. No funny clothes, no funny accents, no clipboards, not in charge of anything except my own personal fun.

Bronz Zoo on the way up to Connecticut, where we saw many cool critters and I snapped some good shots I think. Which put us in horrendous Southern Conn traffic, which is akin to driving south on 95 from DC to Richmond on a Friday. But a nice dinner waiting for us at my parents' house, then off the next morning to Newport where we toured mansions, watched the ocean from the cliffs and fantasized about leading the kind of life that involved hammocks in the trees that lined the properties that overlooked the ocean. Then noodled around downtown, reflecting on the similarities to downtown Annapolis, just MORE. Bigger boats, more junk & crap shops, more expensive cars, more history, more cobblestones, more fat tourists squeezed into inappropriate clothing.

Then back to Connecticut for dinner again, a day spent with the family the next day -- OMIGOD, I have a niece that is learning to drive. Gah. Then a relaxing morning enjoying the wildlife in the backyard, a trot down to the shore for a lobster roll at the Lobster Shack (you can get two things at the Lobster Shack: a lobster roll, which is just lobster on a split top roll, drenched in butter, no celery, no mayonnaise, no other abominations of nature to sully the perfection of lobster, butter and white bread; or a hot dog. If you want chips or a soda, you serve yourself. You pay on the way out, in case you decide you want more; honor system. You sit on rickety old picnic tables or plastic chairs, surrounded by actual, as opposed to twee and atmospheric, lobster traps, overlooking the water. It so does NOT suck.) and then back home to rest a little before heading out to an authentic small town New England Fourth of July.

Authentic? Tents set up in the front yard, a couple hundred people, you get your potluck assignment with your invite. Booze is set up on an old farm wagon. You can wander down to the barn to see the horses, or to the pond to visit the ducks. I can reunite with old high school friends, AND their parents. And see how much my friends children have grown. At some point, Roger will pick up the Flag and start marching around the picnic and someone will join with a drum....and someone else with a fife...and the kids will follow and an impromptu parade will weave its way through the crowds of people chatting, running after kids heading for the pond, jumping to evade the dogs that already made it into the pond and now want to share the pond's mud and algae extravaganza with their favorite people.

And someone will drink too much and lots of someones will be gossiping and gossiping and gossiping. And half the people will proclaim that they don't even know half the people there, and there will be a clear status line between the people who have been attending for years and the people who've just started coming. Which will be completely ignored by the new people and openly mocked by the young.

But before it gets too out of hand, the desserts are served and the sky darkens enough to put on the fireworks show. Which has grown into a major, computerized and radio-controlled affair, thanks to some affluent participants. And some people will sit, waiting for the police to show up, nervously looking toward the road. And some will mock them. The rest of us just enjoy the really intense 20 minutes of serious fireworks set off on the other side of the pond, ducking the occasional falling ember and trying not to think about proximity, should one of the tubes fall over. Or will the ducks be okay, or will they freak out and try to cross the road in the dark.

Not me, though. Because when I sat down to watch, I sat down on an ant hill. Who knew that the fireworks would make them so angry? Who knew that I would be so allergic?

[User Picture]From: sestree
2010-07-07 04:14 pm (UTC)
Only you sweetie - only you......
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From: kudrasslipper
2010-07-07 06:37 pm (UTC)
Pot-Luck ASSIGNMENTS?!?!? You can DO THAT!?!?!!? HOLY CRAP!!!!!
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2010-07-07 06:43 pm (UTC)
My family's assignment was "Please bring a Main Dish". Of course, most people invited to this gig attend, but if you rsvp "no" then your dish gets assigned to a new person, which is how I got dessert as an assignment. (Almond Raspberry cake is what I chose. One more tweak and I think it will be perfect.)

Of course, I think you have to have a large number of people in order for it to work out with vague assignments like that. And to overcome the people who are assigned "Bottle of Red Wine" and bring "Eggplant Parmesan".
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From: kudrasslipper
2010-07-07 06:46 pm (UTC)
Do you have any idea what this means for Thanksgiving this year?!?! (if I continue to have it where I've been having it?!?) I know exactly what I want folks to bring.... I just had no idea I could TELL them!
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[User Picture]From: skivee
2010-07-08 09:26 am (UTC)

what this means for Thanksgiving this year?!?!

That Mer will be more careful at the annual illegal Thanksgiving evening fireworks display, will be sure to look for the anthill, but will sit on another one instead
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2010-07-09 12:04 pm (UTC)
I need company.
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[User Picture]From: russell_moore
2010-07-07 08:25 pm (UTC)

re: Not me, though. Because when I sat down to watch, I sat down on an ant hill.

oh man ... I cannot even imagine the end results of that

well, actually I can ... but since I'm trying to be sympathetic with your plight, I shall not go there

sounds like things were good up to that point though, so yay

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[User Picture]From: chellebelle74
2010-07-08 01:46 am (UTC)
The Lobster Shack sounds divine, and the 4th celebration sounds lovely, right up until the insect invasion..... Oy...
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2010-07-09 03:59 am (UTC)
Is that normal or just usual?
Sorry about the ants...
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2010-07-09 12:09 pm (UTC)
Is which normal, darling?

The ants weren't that bad when they were biting me -- or I would've moved. But a day later, the welts came and the itching...o! the itching. I'm still itching. Thank goodness I was wearing underwear, so the little bastards only got the backs of my thighs mostly.

I will randomly overreact to darn near anything, as I'm allergic to my own histamine. I can just scratch an area of skin for a few minutes and give myself hives.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2010-07-10 04:29 am (UTC)
Oy. Allergic to your self...

As for which is normal, I, er, can't remember what I was thinking. Probably not too much...
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-09 04:59 pm (UTC)

" Bout dem lobster roll............from the rocketeer

Skivee will confirm this: When our sainted mother was growing up in New London during the Depression, she was surrounded by fisher-folks. The way people knew that you were broke was your kids eating lobster rolls at school lunch, instead of store- bought food.
I bet they could hardly eat it for the shame

WHOOOOOSH...............pop; PPPPOOOOOOOW!!!!!
hope everyone excepting the damn ants had a great 4th
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-07-09 05:06 pm (UTC)

Further, from the rocketeer

Sweat, fireworks and hives, sweet hives.
Good times...

Strangely, one of the great men of Rolls Royce was elevated to the title "Lord Hives" in the years after WWII.

CRAKA_KRACKA>CRACKA____KKAAAAAAPOW! whoooosh pop spisssssssssssssssssss
Missing the 4th already
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