24 November 2012

Husbands

I’ve been giving some thought to an aspect of my life recently that I really should appreciate more. As a single woman with many married friends, I feel like I get to borrow husbands. There may be no way to introduce this topic without looking needy and weird, but in all sincerity, I am blessed to have married friends and husbands I can borrow who will take care of me.
Without sounding like a polygamist, I have different (brother?) husbands who fix my car, chop wood, play video games, fix random stuff, and even a work husband who looks after me there. In a way it is sort of like borrowing other peoples’ kids and giving them back when they get cranky or smelly.
It is a luxury in my life to have these men who work as worthy place holders for my future possible husband. Of course, they are spoiling me in a way that will make it more impossible to find an actual husband, but oh well.
And of course, I can still kill my own spiders, change light bulbs, and trim trees, but it is nice when I don’t have to. Yes, I am a feminist. I now know the value of having a man in my life and it is a privilege to see all of the strong relationships my friends have. This also helps me to focus my drive to find a partner away from the ‘manly’ things he can do for me, and to extract the true needs a spouse can fulfill.
So, thanks to all of my married friends; for helping me to keep the standards from slipping. That being said, which one of you knows how to weld?

21 November 2012

What hole?

Okay so, I was fording a river on an Austrailian outback expedition and Half Pint and I took on a bit too much water.  We were being chased by angry dingos at the time, so there was a bit of a rush to get back on the road.  The engine was running fine, of course, but I had to use an outback technique and shoot a hole in my floorboard so that the water would quickly drain out and we could continue to make our daring getaway.  Luckily, we next went by a winery who sold novelty sized bottles of wine so I was able to negotiate an extra large cork from them to fill the bullet hole.  We had time to stop there, as dingos are famous for their dislike of wine.  We sought refuge in that winery for several months, in fact, and I have become a vintner and can speak perfect Austrailian.  I digress. 
I've been considering fixing the hole, but I'd really rather keep it as a reminder of our great adventure.  I still have the extra large cork anyway.

I am a huge fan of "I Love Lucy."  In one episode, through a series of very silly events, Lucy and Ethel found themselves changing a tire while a potential serial killer was asleep in the back seat.  They bravely found the jack and the spare and believed they were making real progress.  That was, until the top of the jack started to protrude through the front fender.  Horrified, they abandoned their attempt and I don't remember what happened, but they weren't murdered and the moral of the story was to never lie to your husband about losing train tickets.  Or something like that.  

After checking the oil level in the mini (Half Pint) and finding it to be looking quite dirty, I got a little over ambitious and decided to change the oil by myself.  Armed with the Haynes guide, a bunch of appropriate oil, brand new jack stands and a bottle jack, I got to it.  Things seemed to be going pretty well.  I figured out how to make the jack work, and had found what I thought was the right place to put it under the car.  Low and behold, it was lifting the car.  Result!  My celebrations ended abruptly though, when the car returned back to earth as the jack punched a perfectly round hole through the floorboard.  Turns out, I was completely wrong as to where to put the jack.  Absolutely horrified, I struggled to get the jack unstuck, covered the hole with the carpet, and packed up all my oil changing supplies. 

I don't really know why I'm relaying this story as it is quite embarrassing.  But, I knew you would like the story.  Please make fun of me.  I deserve it.

15 November 2012

Antietam

Among the millions of things I've been meaning to do, I have been meaning to post about when my good friend came to visit from far away and we got to take a day trip starring the civil war and a classic mini cooper.  The mini is a perpetual scene stealer, though we learned that not everyone would like to have a picture of it (even when you accidentially/kind of knowingly drove in front of them while they're taking a picture)  We probably should have shouted 'You're welcome!' to the guy I made really mad, as his picture was probably much improved by having half pint in it.  The car brings sunshine and happiness where 'ere it goes (except for that one guy).  (Besides, everyone shoots in digital and he was taking a picture of a statue that wasn't going anwhere.  Okay, I'm finished feeling guilty.)


Anyway, we drove out to Antietam national battlefield mere days before the 150th anniversary celebration.  Well, celebration is not right.  I'll just leave it at anniversary.  The story of Antietam is really incredible, and plays out like it was written for the screen.  It seems like it was the perfect storm of Civil War battles, and after becoming acquainted with the details, I find it unbelievable (and unbearable) that the war raged for nearly three more years after it was over.  Ultimately a draw, or a Union victory, or a Confederate victory (depending on whom you ask) Antietam is most famous for incurring more casualties in a single day than in the War of 1812, the Mexican war, and the Spanish-American war combined.

I really mean it when I say unbearable.  Something to take solace in is that the battlefield exists. Unlike Stamford Bridge, there are no sortage of memorials and information and shared historical lessons at Antietam.  I am a firm believer in the value of history.  Not just in knowing that trivial pursuit question, but, of course, in learning the lessons of humans.  Far too many are forgotten, lost, or changed for the convenience of the winner.  But at Antietam, despite its role in laying the foundation for the Emancipation Proclimation and making Sharpsburg into a town people visit, I think I can be agreed that it was a true American tragedy.

That's plenty of wartime reflection for me.  Catch the sister post here and to cheer you up, check out my new favorite website, http://youarenotaphotographer.com/

14 November 2012

Love Rollercoaster

I am a week behind in the blogging once a week plan, but no one noticed probably. Moving on! This has been an exciting and unprecedented (pun intended) week. Last Tuesday I voted for all winners. Initially I was quite disappointed that my Tuesday improv class was still a go on election night. Therefore, to have an election party I would have to sacrifice class. Needless to say, I didn't have an election party. Well, I guess I did have quite a small one, after I got home, by myself whooping at the TV for a minute before going to bed. Not quite as good as the George Bush piƱata from last time, but I'll take it for a good result.

That was certainly the highlight of my two weeks, even trumping making my first pumpkin pie entirely from scratch. That was an amazing experience that took almost the entire day and most of my sanity. The result though, was scrumptious, I must say.

So, I will tell you of my recent first foray into the world of roller coaster riding. My childhood vacations were filled with museums, historical houses, and cemeteries (for real). Despite the massive boredom I felt at times, these vacations hold a special place in my heart and still impact my traveling habits of today. (aka made me a huge nerd whom now enjoys said museums and historical houses). On these family vacations at least one day would be set aside for a typical vacation day at a beach or an amusement park. These days were the highlight for the younger me, of course. Despite this, I had never ridden an upsidedowny roller coaster before this year. Yes, I am 29. I'd been on wooden ones but never taken the 0.0002 second plunge into invertedness. (Yes, that's a word, as is upsidedowny). I guess this is because I am a huge nerd and a huge pansy. I was the happy coat and purse holder, maintaining a safe distance from the potential falling debris and puke zones of these monster coasters.

But last month, while visiting friends in Tennessee, we went to Dollywood. I loved this park, it is full on Americana and isn't too huge and has trees, and I just really liked it. Not to mention the company. The only drawback I found was that everywhere we went there was an opportunity to have your picture taken and then sold to you. Literally it is taken when you enter the park, then you can buy it on a key chain. Stand in front of this train, then get it on a t-shirt. And of course, ride this terrifying ride and buy your ridiculous face on a mug.

Something really possessed me there in Dollywood. Without too much encouragement, I got on my first, second, and third upsidedowny rollercoasters. Influenced by trustworthy friends, extremely short lines and the unfailing desire to get my money's worth out of things, I went blindly forth into the invertedness. I must say, those rides are awesome! So fast and so smooth, you don't even know what horrors await you until they're already over (most of the time). My friend did coerced me into get on the eagle ride there. This is upsidedowny and feet-dangly and I wasn't totally convinced of it at all. But, I waited in line and finally we got in the seats. I did enjoy how secure I felt, and that the seatbelt configuration actually tightened more if you breathed out too much. We were just settled in and ready to go when everything stopped and my friend said 'Hmm, someone up there is wearing medical gloves.' 'Oh, it looks like someone got sick.' 'Oh, they did! Just now!' We watched over the heads in front of us as some poor kid was escorted away after throwing up all over his seat before we even went anywhere. I was horrified to say the least. What if he had held on another minute? We could have been splattered! And what about those people waiting to get in the seat that just got covered in puke? Ew!

There must have been some kind of protocol for it, as it took 20 minutes to clean up. Then again, my only experience is at the fair when the carnies just hose the seat down, run the ride a couple of times, and it's good to go. The ride was great, even though I rode the whole way with my legs tucked under me as if none of the designers had measured the average human leg length and mine would be the exact length to take out a tree somewhere.
I'd ride it again, now that I am a proper, card holding upsidedowy rollercoaster rider.