Tuesday, November 17, 2009

welcome to the monkey house

our new favorite thing to do when we go on long road trips is to listen to books on cd. it's kind of the best. no more fruitless trawling through the hinterlands of contemporary radio for the one song you want to sing along to in haystack that is popular music. no more frenetic jumping from station to station in search of queen. (as an aside: queen is kind of totally THE BEST.) it's nice because it generally keeps you awake and affords you an opportunity to delve into something that you might not otherwise actually find the time to read (ie. charles dickens, most classics.)

this time we loaded up with a collection of kurt vonnegut stories, entitled "welcome to the monkeyhouse" read by stars of stage and screen - maria tucci, david strathairn, etc. it was so good! so good that i was sad we weren't driving farther - we only made it through disc 2 on the drive there and back. having talented readers makes all the difference. the last one we listened to was called "life as we knew it" but we affectionately refer to it as "'miranda,' she said" because the narrator (a youngish, over-enunciating lady) refused to modulate her voice when characters changed or events happened - which meant that it seemed like a long monologue punctuated with "'miranda,' she said" over and over again. david strathairn made this collection - the stories were so good! brimming with vonnegut's signature skewering of contemporary american culture - "no one ever lost money capitalizing on americans taste for vulgarity." that kind of textbook, don't-drink-the-kool-aid counter-cultural voice is so of that generation of writers - pynchon, vonnegut, tom robbins, kesey - i love it. the problem is i don't know when we'll have the opportunity to finish the collection - there's never much cause for listening to books on tape at home.

the weekend was so relaxing. i think we slept about 70% of the time there. especially whenever we slipped into my sis' snuggie. behold, rhapsody in blue, the snuggie series:

as soon as we got there, my sister made a point of telling us: "look, you have to know, your nephew is an a**hole right now" which is never going to stop being funny to me. lol! he was actually fine. that kid is so cute it's hard to be mad at him. he's such a goofball. basically he's just into acting up and being ornery right now. whenever you bear down on him he shouts back at you, "you're the worst auntie!" but then in the next instant he's back to being a smushy goofball who gives really good hugs.

my niece is a hilarious piece of work. outlaw bro, the dotytron were driving in a car to meet me and my sis with the two kids in tow in the back. miss ramona was playing with a magnet set in the car. outlaw bro says to the dotytron, "i'm not sure how to get to so and so, i think if we take this road, it's there." to which the dotytron replied, "yeah, that's cool." at which point my niece from the back seat said idly, "it is NOT cool if daddy doesn't know where he's going." lol! how funny is that? she's such a punk.

we went to cracker barrel and stuffed ourselves with the holiday breakfast sampler. look how much food goes in that thing! it's insane!

other than that, we really just loafed. as soon as i put on the snuggie and lay down on my sis' couch, i basically fell asleep. the kind of sleep where you feel like you're swimming in molasses with a thick woolen raft - like it's impossible to drag yourself back to consciousness.

my body must have needed it though. we picked up all the stuff and got our winter tires and the captain fixed up. we went with the kids to their skating lesson and i got all jazzed on skating. i think i'm going to try to find a cheap pair of hockey skates on craigslist so that we can go this year. there is a public skating rink literally at the end of our street, so i think that'll be fun - it's good exercise and it'll be really awesome to have the opportunity to go night skating after work. i complained about xmas and how i really want to scale back. i got to go shopping with my sis for work clothes for her. i made dinner - we had steaks one night and spaghetti and meatballs the next...it was lovely.

now back to the grind - i'm already exhausted. i missed work yesterday cuz i was feeling ill and playing catch up today made me regret it. i should have just toughed it out and came in instead. i was running around all day perpetually behind. for dinner we had muttar paneer with rice and naan:

now i have to write a billion thank you cards and try to continue to get my life in order.

no fun!


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