Monday, November 26, 2007

"Do You See a Duck?" "Nope, Just Some Jerk Holding a Rabbit."

One of my favorite pieces is Turangalîla. Part piano concerto, part tone poem, part symphony, tuneful, glorious exemplar of modernist orchestration, frightening, lush, rhythmic: it's unforgettable.

My Thanksgiving was great. It started Tuesday evening. The Chinatown bus was late, and even though I had a ticket for the 6:00 to Philly, when it finally rolled up at 7:30, there weren't enough seats. So I waited another half-hour for the 8 o'clock. We made decent time, passed a few accidents, but really got sloshed in traffic when we approached Philly on 95, which--I swear to God, for no reason whatsoever--had been closed down to one lane. No construction going on, no accidents, just a line of orange cones corralling us down to single file.

I could complain, but any bus ride when you don't get stuck sitting next to an obese guy is a good bus ride, and this was one of those. I got in at quarter to midnight, and asked David if I could stay with him for the night. So I got to see Paige's and his apartment--finding out your baby, non-attorney brother has a (way!) nicer apartment than you is a fine way of starting any holiday. Wednesday, he took me around Philadelphia and showed me various places where It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had been filmed, plus some Rocky, and also the bridge under which some guy who'd shot a cop recently had drowned. Since I grew up fifteen minutes from Philly, most of this tour was unnecessary, but the weather was nice. Jacob, who'd agreed to come, called to say he was too sick to make it up. I told him he didn't sound sick.

By the time David and I got to Jersey, I'd guilted Jacob into coming up anyway. We picked him up Thanksgiving morning and brought him home with us, like a starving pup. David, Jacob and I played Scrabble: halfway through the game I tried to use the word "Qualias," which would have won me the game if it had been an actual word.

Much cooking later, Mom had dinner ready. Aunt Suzi, Uncle Pash, their kids, my grandmother and great Aunt, proceeded to eat. I had like a gajillion slices of pecan pie. After dinner, Steven and Michael hooked up their Wii, which I'd never played before. I kicked some ass at Wii-bowling, held my own in Wii-boxing, but Jacob destroyed all of us at Wii-Duck Hunt by entering some kind of bizarre Jedi mindtrance. The next day Mom told me I'd been drunk, but her evidence for that was circumstantial at best: I laughed a lot, made dirty puns, implied Dad was gay, and pissed myself in the middle of the living room (I pointed out I did 3 out of 4 of those items before I even had my first drink).

Jacob went home Friday, which marks the first time he's visited and a beloved member of our family hasn't died. (We broke the streak, Jake! Told you we could do it!) Richard, Erin (Richard's girl), David and I went back into Philly to feed Erin's cats, and her rabbit, Puff. I picked up Puff, turned his head to the side, and said, "Look! Do you see a duck?" No one got the Psych 101 reference (see here), so I sulked for the rest of the day.

The next day was Dad, David, Richard, and Aunt Peggy's birthday party. I gave Dad the first season of the greatest television show on today, The Wire. Richard and I spent some time in the woods, testing out the various forts and swings we'd built in our backyard when we were kids. The tree fort down at the stream had a few steps that gave way under Richard's bulk, but the ravine-swing held together; I got my foot stuck in it and swung over the ravine upsidedown a few times like an animal caught in a snare. I screamed for help and Richard pointed and laughed. We stacked firewood. The next day my entire back was sore, and I've told myself this is because of the firewood stacking and not Wii-boxing.

The bus ride back yesterday was much easier, since I was sleep-deprived and generally snored the entire trip. I spent the day reading Bertrand Russell's The History of Western Philosophy and had my most socially dramatic Final Fantasy XI session yet (which my character subsequently wrote about.)

DAVID: Why did Benjamin Franklin do that experiment? Was he just trying to find out if lightning would strike a metal object?

SCOTT: No. He just really hated keys.


Joshua Holmes said...

We made decent time, passed a few accidents, but really got sloshed in traffic when we approached Philly on 95, which--I swear to God, for no reason whatsoever--had been closed down to one lane.

Ah, that would be in Chester, just north of the Commodore Barry Bridge. They've been tearing up and resurfacing that area for quite a while now. It's usually not terrible unless it's on a week-end. I swear to God I left Philly for Salem County (girls scream!) one Friday night and didn't get to the Commodore Barry Bridge for two hours.

Jay Goodman Tamboli said...

I once played Scrabble with an ex-girlfriend. Lacking a real dictionary, we agreed my mother would serve as our check. Mom had never heard of "sarin," though, so I lost.

Scott said...

Looks like the roadblockers have somehow got to Josh.