Monday, September 19, 2011

"Hahvahd" Friends: A Funetic Adventcha in Boahstun

Now that we have Rhode Island driva's licenses, weah pickin' up tha East Coast accent too: Harvard = Hahvahd, we pahk tha cahs in tha garahge, or, we would pahk tha cahs theah if we had a garahge, look, theah's anutha squirral's got run ova in tha road! (cause theah's lotsa roadkill everywheah heah, with all tha trees)...etc.

On Satuhday, we went ta tha Boahstun Temple. It's a byootifuhl building. Then we drove ta some a Jesse's forma CRA friends' house. Theah names a Dave an Liz Geiga. Dave got inta Hahvahd Lah School, cause he's real smaht, an stuff. We have ta see these guys while we can, cause someday theah'll be fabuhlusly wealthy an wea'll be too poah ta hang out wuthum!  They took us ta tha Nath End wheah we walked aroun Hanova Street and tuk lotsa pictchas a us in tha same poses.

This heah aint tha Geigas' house. Theah house looks much betta. Weah standin' outside a tha Paul Reveah House. Since it looked so lame, we didn't wanna pay $3.50 ta poke owah heads in 'na doah.

Instead we stood aroun by tha Paul Reveah statue, just aroun tha corna, fa free.

We ate lunch in Little Italy at tha Floruhntine Cafay, an then we walked ta Mike's Pastry. It's a bakery tha reminds ya a little a Seinfeld's Soup Nazi, wheah people line up all tha way outside tha doah and down tha street. Mike's makes 15 diffuhrent canolees, pistasheeo macaroons, an cream puffs tha size a ya face. I asked fa an ecleah; they gave me a haht dawg.

We carried owah blue and white boxes a mile from Mike's and got cat calls from people walkin down tha street. A troop a fat boy scouts oggled tha boxes too. Jesse said he should a toldum he'd givum a merit badge fa untying tha knots on tha box. 

Afta tryin ta scahf up owah doh, we wawked off five a six calories on owah way ta tha U.S.S. Constatooshun Museum. Moah pedestriuns whistled at us (oah, ratha owah boxes, since we didn't finish all tha dezaht), and we almost got run ova by this idiotic-lookin group a people takin' scenic tours of Boahstun on segways; cleahly they smelled residual traces a puddin an grease through tha cahdboahd.  

We ended with a self-guided touah uv tha oneanonlee Old Eye-un Sides and shootin fake 2-D cannons in tha museum. Thanks Geigas, yuwah oahwsum!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Welcome to Rhode Island!

Just so you know, I’ve had a hard time answering my fan mail because we won’t get Internet access in our condo until September 14th. On a more positive note, our car and all 100 boxes of our junk are arriving on our doorstep tomorrow, so we won’t have to camp out anymore.
A few notes:

1. On August 26th we beat Hurricane Irene to Rhode Island by 48 hours. This was our first hurricane, and because of the incessant media hyperbole commandeering all local news channels, we went to Wal-Mart to stock up on Mexican pseudo beer (for Jesse) and Milk Duds (for me). But all the Milk Duds were gone! I wasn’t sure if Rhode Island was just not aware that Milk Duds exist, which made me wonder if it was already time to reevaluate our decision to move, or if their conspicuous absence was due to hurricane warnings. Since there were no Milk Duds to be found, I bought several dozen boxes of Dunkin Donuts. DD = king in RI (there are 124 of these disgusting establishments), where you can buy them, to my delight, around just about every street corner. And I ate them all by myself on Saturday night, went into a hyperglycemic coma, and slept through Irene on Sunday. Before falling asleep, we had been watching one of those random cooking shows where each contestant has to create a dish using the same ingredients. The ingredients this time were goat brains. Therefore, I dreamed that my 7th graders at Elk Ridge were barbecuing goat brains in the aftermath of a hurricane that wiped out the school's foundation, and one kid got food poisoning because he ate his goat brains without cooking them all the way through.

2. I have it on good authority that among other merits, Rhode Island is noteworthy because of: “zip codes beginning with zero! hurricane warnings, eastern algonquian native american names! ridiculous nasal accents! provincially inbred xenophobic paranoia! racist leanings!” To illustrate: last week I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Welcome to Rhode Island! Now get the hell out.” So, we kind of did get the hell out, for Labor Day weekend.

3. If we had been in Utah, this is would have been our agenda: sleep in until 10, go to Target or Ross, write some lesson plans, take a nap/watch all the Lord of the Rings movies/win all 5 games of Facebook Scrabble simultaneously, go to bed.

4. Here, we’re far away from everyone, except my Aunt Kathy; haven’t seen her since 2002. So we drove for 3.5 hours and found ourselves at her house. My cousin Jason-the-quantum physics-enthusiast was home for the weekend from the University of New Hampshire, too. He and Jesse had lots of deep philosophical discussions about string theory, the pros and cons of Jason applying to early decision Ph.D. programs, why Rick Perry is mentally deficient, and how to best diagram the routes for water-gas-electricity to three different houses on the same block without crossing any of the lines (Jason is a fan of those mind-bending puzzles and riddles that give me headaches). I spent most of my time petting Fat Daniel, the latest feline addition to the household (Nimmy, Poe, Harper, and Cinder are his roommates). Daniel has a shoe fetish and loves to flop his girth on top of any shoes that are lying around the house. We don't know why. Adopted as a stray, maybe he was born in a shoebox? He also climbs up and down ladders and has kitty asthma of some sort. So he needs lots of attention. 

5. We also celebrated Jason’s 21st birthday at Chimpunk Lodge. We picked three bags of blueberries the size of grapes at Grandma Helen’s house, where my family lived during 1998-99. And I made Jesse take me to Echo Lake and Goldhouse Pizza and Chutter’s General Store, famous for having the Guiness Worldbook of Records’ Longest Candy Counter—all the places I loved when I lived in New Hampshire. And since Jason was willing to teach me all about it during a two-day thunderstorm, I learned how to calculate distance from lightning. It was a good weekend.

And P.S., today was the first day of school at URI. More on that later. Maybe. 

Fat Daniel and his guilty indulgences: New Balance cross trainer with ABZORB foam and synthetic mesh upper; ASICS running shoe with rubber outsole for maximum traction, flip flops in black from Pac Sun. If you throw a ball of tinfoil into a shoe, it takes him a few seconds to process what's happening, but he'll poke his head inside and try to retrieve it.

The Turkey Run. These guys hang out in the woods across the street from my aunt's house. They come running to her back door when she empties table scraps out by the porch. I think we're having Thanksgiving at her house...

Jesse is so excited he doesn’t know where to start. He got hung up in the section with 14 jars of black licorice, among them Anise Bears and Black Licorice Scotties. Other items of interest to us were the jars of “Gummy Brains” and “Gummy Fried Eggs.”

Chutter’s reminds me of Roald Dahl’s autobiography, Boy, especially the chapter with the “Great Mouse Plot,” in which the candy store that is every kid’s dream is plagued by the lady who dispenses the candy, the devil incarnate, Mrs. Pratchett. If you need a good book to read, check it out, or any of Dahl’s books, for that matter. 

I wanted to bring some of this back to Warwick to the "Friends of Colon Cancer" meetings held on Thursday nights at our public library. I'm not sure why this group of elderly people wants to be friends with cancer. Or colons. 

Chipmunk Lodge is a piece of family property built on 60 some acres (I think) in 1935—so named because one year my Great Grandpa Herbert left a pair of jeans hanging in the basement, and when he found them the next summer, a family of chipmunks had built nests in the pockets.

The Birthday Boy! He just blew out his candles with theatrical flare, upon which he regaled us with the history and physics of the air vortex cannon (a.k.a. the air bazooka).

Echo Lake on a windy day. We didn't do anything here except use the restrooms.