1. Alarums at Arrivals and the Sleep-Deprived Queasy Roadtrips That Nightmares are Made of )

2. Arrival at Cloudland Canyon and a Severe Lack of Flashlights )

3. The Lookout That Didn't Look Out, plus Finnish Delicacies )

4. Worrying symptoms )

5. Bae's First American Speeding Ticket )

Wax's mom pulled up with our box'o'kitties exactly as we walked into the parking lot with our suitcases, so we carried them up in the same trip. Snookums started shouting in the box and didn't stop for a couple of hours after we got him inside.

PS: We brought Wax's mom a bottle of Southern Comfort, which neither of us has ever tasted, and a box of her favorite duty-free chocolates, to thank her for caring for the kitties and houseplants.
We came back with:

  • Four bottles of ibuprofen caplets (200 mg x500) and some Sudafed

  • Three bags of Butterfinger minis and one bag of mini Reese's Cups

  • One pair each of flip-flops from Old Navy (they were $5 USD together whereas the cheapest I could find the identical plastic Made in Chinas for in Finland was over 20€)

  • Three pairs of yoga leggings and a sports bra, two tank tops and a 100% cotton plain white Oxford shirt (me)

  • Sweatpant shorts, a long-sleeved popover shirt and foldover-waistband white linen pants (Wax)

  • A souvenir t-shirt each & a baseball cap from Cloudland Canyon State Park, a pair of sunglasses and a big sunglasses case each, and a bag of cotton terry-cloth crew socks (I looked EVERYWHERE I COULD THINK OF for cotton terry socks here)

  • An eye-searing blue paisley suitcase that looks like a Lily Pulitzer knockoff

Also a giant pop-up book of dragon illustrations from my mom for our niece who loves dragons, the silk phoenix kite my dad brought me back from Singapore in 1988, and a pink glitter USB cable.

We consumed a bunch of Pop-Tarts while there but forgot to bring the extras back with us. I also wish I'd brought back some extra goldfish crackers, but the suitcases were pretty full.

Many things went wrong, but nothing catastrophic; everything managed to recover and occur at the right time in spite of these snags. That will take longer to write up.
"X and Y are the guests of honor, but I don't know who they are," said my sister.

"I don't either, but I know I'm not interested in their work because they're both men," I said.

My dad said, "Yeah. And weren't all the other names on the list of guests men, too?"

(They were... except for one.)
On the Ashkenazi side of my extended family, 9 members in 3 generations have lived past 50, and of those 2 have died of breast cancer and another's been in treatment for a few years (male breast cancer in his case). Now we've found out my aunt is entering treatment for it too, and she's only 55.

Statistically, this is troubling. (Personally, my aunt's prognosis isn't bad and the rest of the oldies seem sanguine, so I'm not TOO upset.)

Thanks to my atheist great-grandparents, though, neither of my aunts were even aware that we're Ashkenazi, hadn't even heard the term -- and naturally, her doctor asked her specifically since it's a risk factor. (I didn't learn it from my family, either, even though my dad knows; I think it came up in the genetics chapter of high school biology... .) I said "I can't believe they didn't know that!" and my sister replied that she didn't either. =_=
I was gone from home for a week, for 5 days with my little sister in Stockholm! [personal profile] waxjism has been feeling under the weather, which meant switching anti-depressants, and has been in the midst of tapering off one and onto another simultaneously for a month or so, and therefore feeling even MORE under the weather. So she didn't come along.

Table of Contents:
1. Wed: The Shoe Affair, The Mall that Cthulhu Built, and a Digression: Don't Try to Eat Vegan in Downtown Stockholm's Central Tourist Destinations
2. Thurs: Medieval Museum and Museum Tre Kronor
3. Fri: Drottninggatan and the Historical Museum
4. Sat: Kungsholmen
5. Sun: Gamla Stan and Gustav III's Antiquities Museum
6. Mon: National Gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts and St Clara's Church

Read more... )

My photo posts from my photoblog at Tumblr: Walking in Gamla Stan - On the Street & in the Church - The Medieval Museum - The Historical Museum - Plaster statues at the Academy of Fine Arts

I just found out that my dad is my sister's long-distance cheerleader when she has to catch a bug inside her flat to release outside, and he has been doing this for years.

When it comes to Crunch Time (ie time to put a bowl or something over the bug) she'll say "Okay, I have to put the phone down now!" and hang up, but then she'll call back after to notify him that she successfully ejected the bug from the premises.

"One time I walked by him talking on the phone and he was saying solemnly, 'That was really brave,'" said my mom.

So this could be useful. Like I could call my dad on the phone when I'm afraid of my inbox and let him coach me through the process.

Although the only thing that upsets me as much as I've seen my sister get upset about grasshoppers are like, having to initiate conversations with people. And I'd need two phones for that one probably. ("Turku Health Center Tallbacken 2." "Can you hold a second please? - Daddy, a nurse answered the phone! She said the name of the health center!")

Honestly, I'd moved in with Wax when I was her age, but a few years before that I was living alone, and I did have to call my dad a lot. He's definitely coached me through filling out scary forms that had to be mailed places. And also with leaving my room and braving the horrors of a communal kitchen to make myself food.
"I thought that now the kids are pretty grown up, we could have a movie night together and pick a nice animated film... but when we got there they all wanted to watch the same thing: Monster High. Not one of them wanted anything else." - sister-in-law

Dear Mom & Dad,

I'm sorry that for all of 1988 the only video I ever wanted to rent was Barbie & the Rockers.

Here's the slightly more detailed babble about the design & execution of the Mage Carmela portrait I made for her birthday.

Carmela the Mage, 25 May 2013, mixed media on paper, A3

On Tumblr

Read more... )
This is a post about the planning of the fantasy portraits I painted of the triplets for Christmas for my mom and anyone else who might be interested (she's the only sure bet, as it were.)

These are the pictures (embiggenable via clickthrough):

Read more... )


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