Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter readings and visitations

Easter came and went at the ol' beach. I got sardines for Easter! Yippee!

I had fun running out on the beach and avoiding all the women with no teeth and plenty of tattooes.  Interesting combination there.

I reread Michael Crichton's "Timeline" and noticed that its writing wasn't up to par. Not that anyone would claim Crichton is a literary genius, but he writes good books that are a cut above most of the sci-fi, thriller, action paperback novels.  Plus, it's sort of hard to read the same novel again, especially when you know exactly what happens and how it all ends.

But I also started reading a Robert Ludlum novel titled "The Scorpio Illusion."

I tried reading it Friday night, but I fell asleep after a few pages.  I woke up around 4AM Saturday morning because the windows were rattling, the wind was howling, and the roof sounded like it was going to collapse.  I though, "Great. The roof is going to collapse and kill me before my life has even started. My tombstone'll probably read 'Graduated from UNC. Pretty much all the best has been spoken for.'" Then lightning started crackling all around the city, ambulances and fire engines with sirens blaring raced to put out fires, and thunder kept crashing that made the whole house shake. Then I realized that I'd be content with only having to worry about the roof collapsing.

I couldn't sleep so I started reading some more of the Ludlum book.  I noticed that he'd written "The Bourne Identity," so I was expecting a good read.  The book is about some woman who sees her parents beheaded so she goes completely apecrazy and decides to kill every single government in the world so anarchy can reign.  Sounds like a good plot, right? But "The Scorpio Illusion" went a little something like this: "Dammit, Chesterfield, we need to know where this Bajaratt is! She can blend in with any culture! She knows over a thousand languages including ancient Latin and Occitan! She can hack into any secure government connection through a regular phone line and figure out all our secrets! And when she displays her sign, it means she's going to destroy all of us!" "*gasp* But surely you don't mean!..." "YES I DO! She's going to steal all the nuclear warheads in the United States, wire them together and trick the entire legislative branch of the USA to sit on them until they explode while deceiving all the military planes to attack cities!" "By God...we've got our work cut out for us."

And that's when I threw the book across the room and decided to read the Michael Crichton paperback about using quantum foam to travel in time because it was a lot more plausible.

My sister flew to New York to study pieces in museums as part of a trip for her art class. She was flying back Saturday night, and was planning to go back home to visit my grandparents.  I was charged with the task of driving my grandparents back from the beach. I really don't know why, unless it's some sort of old-fashioned rule, but whenever I drive, my grandfather always sits in the passenger seat while my grandmother sits in the back.  

And all of my grandparent's idiosyncracies come out to play while I'm driving them and they're in the car.  My grandfather will start to sniff the air like a dog, gaze around, and say, "Do you smell that? I smell something stinky...Shore wish it didn't smell so bad!"  I'll be driving and my grandmother won't be able to hear me when I talk to her, and she'll remind me that she only hears well enough when you're actually facing her, but when I'm driving I don't want to turn my body around so I can see her face to face, so I'll usually opt to yell at the top of my lungs.  My grandfather will gaze at the gear shifting lever, and start wiggling it to make sure it's in the "right" position. He recently did this while we were going 70MPH on the highway, and when I glanced at him, he looked at me and said, "Hm. Good. It's in the right position."  My grandfather will claim I'm driving incredibly fast, and I'll inform him that I'm driving the exact speed limit.  My grandfather and grandmother will start arguing about whether they need to stop for gas, whether they should pick up groceries while they've got the car out, etc.  It's just crazy.

And when we finally all got back home, my sister and aunt were all sitting around and talking, and my grandfather started mentioning someone he knew named "Flatus Jones."

Looking back on all the Easters I've had, this has to be the strangest one so far.


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